What Does 3-2 Mean?

Posted: October 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 55 Comments »

The Eagles are 3-2 and in first place in the NFC East.

Some people see me write this and think I’m nuts.  They see that statement as some confirmation that everything is okay with the Eagles and there are no concerns, even if I follow that statement with 2 paragraphs detailing some problems that I think the team does have.

Let me explain why I continue to point out our record and division standing.  Andy Reid is a process coach.  What you see in September isn’t the same as late October and definitely not December.  He fine tunes the team every year.  There is always progress, even if it doesn’t turn out to be enough (see the 2011 season).

The Eagles are in first place in the division despite the fact that there are some serious problems.  This is meant to give you hope that the team can remain in a good spot as the team does improve.

From 2000-2011, there was at least one 3-game winning streak every year.  That includes years like 2005, 2007, and last year when things were very rocky at times. I can’t guarantee you a 3-game winning streak this year since all seasons are different, but history tells you that it is likely to happen.

The Eagles get better after the bye.  The Eagles are much better down the stretch.  3-2 is a base, not a destination.

Our record in the final 11 games:

2011 – 7-4
2010 – 7-4
2009 – 8-3
2008 – 7-3-1  (wait…you can tie in the NFL?)
2007 – 6-5

I think most people agree this team has a lot of talent.  Andy Reid doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel.  He’s got to preach ball security, better blocking, and better execution to his offensive players.  When we lost to the Giants 3 times in 2000, it was because we just didn’t have the talent to play with them.  I think we’ve got the talent to play with anyone right now.

The defense needs more takeaways.  That’s really my one big concern.  They did a great job in the opener, but have been too quiet since then.  Turnovers are impact plays.  We’re not getting enough of them.

Special Teams showed progress on Sunday, but still needs a lot of work.  This subject will get a full post in the coming days.

I fully expect this team to have a good showing down the stretch, just like previous Reid teams.  I see no reason for this group to be different.  I expect 10 or 11 wins.

What about the playoffs?  Let’s talk about them after Thanksgiving.  We need to see how much progress the team shows.  It could be that the team shows marginal improvement and it becomes clear that we won’t get far in the playoffs.  Or it could be that the team really comes together and looks great down the stretch and we become a Super Bowl favorite.

I fully understand where the doubters who see this as a mediocre team are coming from.  You can make a good argument that shows this is a definite possibility, but I don’t think you can strongly argue that it is the likely outcome.  History says different.

This is a young team that has played a tough schedule and is winning despite serious turnover problems.  Think how good this team can be as they gain experience and improve.  Think how good they can be if the turnovers stop.  I know that not everyone thinks the turnovers will stop.

Vick has now gone 3 straight games without an INT.  That’s very good.  As for fumbles, I’m not sure what to say.  Per NFL.com, he lost 4 last year and 3 of them came in the first 2 games.  If that trend holds true, the fumbles should go away.  The difference is that this year he’s already lost 5 and we’re just a third of the way done with the season.  If Vick loses 15 fumbles, we’re definitely in for a long year.  I just don’t anticipate that number to stay so high.

The Eagles remain a flawed team, but Reid and his coaches have a strong track record of fixing issues as the season moves along.  If they’re able to do that, the 3-2 start could be a springboard to a very good final record.

* * * * *

There was a lot of good discussion going on in the earlier QB post, but there were about 80 comments as of the time I wrote this and it can be difficult to carry on a good conversation when a post has that many replies.  Feel free to bring the QB debate to this comments section as well.

_


  • aceandson

    I agree with the premise of your post, and if you take a look around the NFC only San Fran looks like a juggernaut. ATL looks very good but, like the Eagles, has played down to lesser opponents and won games they had no business winning.

    In that light, there’s no reason to think this team can’t make a strong run in the conference.

    On the quarterback, I’d almost like to Vick benched so Reid runs the “conservative” AR offense -which he did in Pittsburgh and against NY. Ball control with the occasional shot down field. Rely on the run and the pass game the defense gives you. Even though the defense didn’t hold on Sunday, they’re good enough to win close games and keep the other team off the field.

  • SteveH

    I think aside from the ball security issues, the biggest thing going against Vick now is that teams are blitzing the crap out of him, and whether its the OL thats the problem or Vick with blitz protection, something is breaking down and he doesn’t have the elite athleticism anymore to make teams pay for blitzing him.

    Thats not a issue thats going to go away I think. Teams are going to find a way to get a free runner at Vick and unless we get a lot better with hot reads and throwing to where the blitzer is coming from we’re going to struggle with that.

    Frankly if I was AR I would install the Giants gameplan every week, run out of the I formation and use lots of chips and extra blockers. only go vertical if they start cheating up too much to take away the short/medium routes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.e.rufo Nathan Rufo

      vick was something like 11/16, 123, 2TDs against the blitz against the steelers. i think the team has made great strides in dealing with blitzers in the last few weeks.

      • SteveH

        I doubt it, one good game doesn’t erase all the struggles in that situation. I’ll be relieved if he starts playing well against it regularly but I’m not sure its going to happen.

        He did have a good throw to Mccoy on the TD pass, it was a simple thing but it worked beautifully. Maybe he will turn it around.

        • http://twitter.com/apple4ever Matthew Butch

          It wasn’t just one good game. Every game this season he has improved. 11/16, 123, 2TDs against the blitz is really, really good. You can’t just wipe that away. And no interceptions two weeks in a row.

          Take away the fumbles, and hit a few more big plays, and this offense will be dominate.

          • BobSmith77

            You aren’t going to take away the turnovers with Vick. Just not going to happening. The issue is how much he turns over the ball. If he doesn’t force too many passes like the last 2 weeks, his INT total should be low enough where the Eagles can get by with him at QB.

          • SteveH

            I hope you’re right, but I just don’t see him sustaining the success he’s had against the blitz especially if the protection issues don’t improve.

            I’d be curious to know how the pressures in the Steelers game looked in blitz versus non blitz situations. The Steelers do such a great job with disguising who’s coming/not coming, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a bunch of good pressures on Vick on plays where they didn’t blitz.

  • bdbd20

    Great points. Another important note is that this team is built to beat DAL, NYG, and WAS. We’ve done really well against the division the last few years. If we take care of our business there, we’ll be ok. The Giants look very good, but I will be interested to see how they play against SF this week.

    • miked718

      The Giants, injuries or not do not look great this season. I sincerely hope they get blown out so we don’t have to hear how great they are for the next four weeks. Think about how terrible they would be without Eli. We’re talking the last decade of Redskin mediocrity-levels of stank.

  • A_T_G

    Remember back to when we could look at who we were playing in the upcoming game and have a good sense of whether we were going to win or not? When the biggest variable from game to game was the opponent?

    My biggest frustration with this team, and specifically with Vick is their lack of consistency. I have always been a loyal Reid fan, and I hope he can work his usual magic as the season wears on, but my faith is starting to falter.

    • TommyLawlor

      If you lose faith, who is going to hold me when things get rocky?

      • http://twitter.com/Matchbox_Eric Eric Andreas

        *whispers* I will.

        • TommyLawlor

          ATG controls your future. Better hope he keeps his faith.

      • A_T_G

        I’d say Megan Fox, but I fear you would start rooting for rocky like we were watching one of the 35 Stallone movies.

        • TommyLawlor

          Busted.

  • dislikedisqus

    I agree with this. Pitt at home off a bye was a tough game. And Birds were coming off a division game. A win would have been great but very unlikely. We’ve had 3 road games and except for Cle all playoff caliber opponents. The last 2 QBs we faced have 4 SB rings. 3-2 is about right and nothing to panic about.

  • nopain23

    Can anyone, uncluding you Tommy, explain to me what happened to our pass rush?????? We paid our guys , had a full offseason and preseason and the pass rush is nowhere to be found, and please dont give me that nonsense about quarterback pressures! Without the rush our back 7 are getting exposed!!!
    I love AR and was really pulling for him and his family this year, but it looks like this is his last season.

    • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

      If teams were scoring a lot of points on the D I’d be worried. They’ve gotten fewer sacks than I expected, but have also allowed a lot fewer points than I expected.

      Looking at Sheil’s snap counts from the game, I’m thinking they should be looking at more Graham/Hunt/Tapp (26%/8%/32%) and less Cole/Babin (~70%).

      • BobSmith77

        Tapp a pass-rushing solution? No way. He’s M.O. is that he is is a below-average pass rusher. Basically has a small handful of games where he makes a noticeable impact a year and the rest of the time is a non-entity.

        • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

          So far that applies to both Babin and Cole.

          The point is not that we need more Tapp, the point is to give the two 30+ starters more rest.

          Plus I’d like to see more Graham.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ll cover the DL in the DGR.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.boyer.35 Wayne Boyer

        Tommy, I get up and go to your site everyday. This is first time to reply.I sit here and see the flaws (while watching the game) I have to wonder why the guy up stairs (Not God) in the booth does not see what I see? The play calling is so wrong…… Its very hard to be a Eagle fan.

  • disqus_jB7dl5fzvO

    does asante not being here have anything to do with the defense getting turnovers?

    • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

      Probably. It’s also probably responsible for allowing so few yards/points.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

        I wonder what their turnovers per play is.

    • TommyLawlor

      Not really. DRC has 3 picks. Asante had 3 all last year (I think). Other guys aren’t making plays. Must get to the ball and/or knock it loose.

      • Cliff

        Yeah, we keep dropping interceptions. Kendricks had an easy one bounce off his hands against the Steelers.

    • RC5000

      We should actually be 0-5 without our defense coming up with big takeaways against CLE, BAL, NYG , all wins. Meanwhile we have not had more than a 7 point lead.
      Losing Samuel is not a problem, DRC is getting ints and we don’t need a gambler like Asante back there in this defense, he just doesn’t fit for the salary he was making. Boykin’s a rookie, I think he’ll get some TOs some day. It’s highly unlikely Nnamdi is going to get you many at this point in his career.
      I don’t think you can expect a lot of turnovers when you’re giving the ball away, have bad field position, have never even gotten more than a 7 point lead. I don’t think it’s a big issue right now and if we have to get takeaways to win because of our poor offense I don’t think we can last doing that. maybe we beat Pittsburgh with a timely TO but we lost the game because our offense wasn’t that good and then the defense just didn’t stop them. Big Ben was getting the ball off in 1 or 2 seconds.
      Arizona game I just throw out…everything went wrong in that game.
      Win 1 – It is possible we could be 0-5 without some big takeaways in our wins. Cleveland game we had 4 takeaways didnt we? We could have lost that game easy without them. CLE had a 16-10 lead in the 4th.
      Win 2 – Baltimore had a 17-7 lead and the ball second half kickoff and Ryans picked off Flacco and we had the ball at their 43 and scored a TD off it. May have been a big swing there.
      Win 3 – DRC had a huge pick in the end zone in the 4th Q vs Giants. That was in my end zone and it was a huge game changer. We ended up scoring a FG and took the ball to NYG 17 but the offense had an opportunity to put them up 20-10 and once again did not come through. We hung in and won.
      i’m glad they’ve played conservatively on defense as much as they have considering we haven’t even gotten a two score lead much less broken a game open and considering they’ve been asked to do so much just to keep the team in games. Have you looked at our first half offense and overall points, turnovers, special teams?
      How about Vick and the offense doesn’t give the ball away, scores when they get to the 2 or 3 instead of cough the ball up, and special teams pins the opposition inside the 5-20 and not give up so many kickoff returns?

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Tommy, did you watch tape of Foles in college? I’m curious to know if my perception of him as a guy who learned how to deal with a shaky O-line is backed up by any evidence.

    • TommyLawlor

      Foles had a good OL in 2010. Awful in 2011. He does have experience in dealing with constant pressure and a small, shrinking pocket.

  • austinfan

    People overreact to the first few games, those are usually a shakeout cruise.
    And a fast start often leads to a bleeh finish, remember Kotite and 7-2, blowing out an elite SF team on the road?

    AR has a proven track record of his teams playing better down the stretch, especially coming off a tough training camp. He breaks his teams down, then builds them back up. And the same with QBs:
    2002: Wins down the stretch with Feeley
    2003: McNabb has a horrible start with the bad thumb, fininshes strong despite a pitiful defense (allowed 5 ypc down the stretch, Eagles still went 9-1)
    2006: McNabb struggles, 5-4, Garcia comes in and almost takes us to the NFCCG
    2008: McNabb struggles, AR puts in a conservative game plan, one play from a SB.
    2011: Gets Vick back and remakes the offense, a team that could have gone belly up wins its last 4 games.

    Point is AR may be willing to live with Vick’s growing pains, if he’s seeing Vick make better decisions, throwing accurate passes, he figures he can coach the fumbles out of him and have a pretty good ball control QB to go with his young defense. And Mudd, given another month can turn some of his sow’s ears into silk purses. Fans panic, AR has been to this rodeo before.

    Now, that’s no guarantee it’ll work, but this team doesn’t need a huge overhaul, they just need to improve execution, everything from Vick protecting the ball, better blitz pickup by the RBs, better coordination along the OL, improvement by young DL like Graham, Cox and Thornton, and players like Kendricks and Boykin. Mostly little things, like don’t let blitzes come free, get a hand on them and buy a second, play with better leverage and get more penetration, get comfortable and anticipate better on pass defense. No one has to work miracles, just do their job a tad better and more consistently.

    The only unit where really drastic improvement is called for is STs. Yes, they’re not scoring a lot of points, but they’re moving the ball, and if they cut back on turnovers and block better they’ll score points. The defense is playing well, but they’ve yet to put it all together.

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  • Zachary Kaplan

    Zach, you really hurt your argument with some simplistic statements.
    3-2 is not 8-8. That projects to 9-6…which could go 9-7 or 10-6. Both records have won the NFC East in recent years.

    ————————————————————

    Tommy,

    You posted this to me – and while in math you are accurate, the math isn’t what I was referring to (maybe I should have made it more specific).

    For me – the goal – for all teams – espically those who are in the tail end (at least in my opinion) of a long term successful run – is to win the Super Bowl. 3-2, 8-8, 9-6/7 – these are all the same records to me. A record of a medicore to good team, not a good to great team. I guess where I’m lost is I still refuse to believe 9-7 teams can win the Super Bowl – despite the fact it’s happening in the NFL now, but I for one don’t think this “9-7″ team can.

    I don’t think I can trust Vick to play LIMITED mistake football for a 3 game strech, and with a 9-7 or 10-6 record, it would have to be a 4 game strech.

    So if I as a fan wanted another NFC East title and a first round bonce, I’d be all for keeping Vick. I’d be all for keeping Reid. I’d be all for the way the team is playing. I don’t see that as the goal. I want this team to win in the playoffs, I want this team in the Super Bowl, and I want this team to hoist the Lombardi.
    I don’t think this squad has the make up for a champion, and Vick while he isn’t the only problem – sticks out to me like a sore thumb in todays NFL….and in a QB drive league, having a “different” type of QB makes me want to change.
    Hope I’m wrong, I hope days of the running QB winning Super Bowls are coming – it’ll be exciting for the NFC East with Vick and RGIII – but I don’t see it. As much as I hated McNabb becoming a pocket passer, there is a reason for it, it protects the player from hits (if they have any pocket presence) and it’s basic philosophy in my mind is to put the ball in the hands of the play makers, which shouldn’t be the QB.

    • TommyLawlor

      So you don’t trust Vick. Fine. That’s your choice. I wonder about him as well. So who do you trust? What does the team do?

      The problem is that you don’t know you’ve got a SB QB until you see him actually go out and do it. Is Matt Ryan a SB QB? Phillip Rivers? Alex Smith? Matt Schaub? Those guys have combined for 4 playoff wins in their careers. Are those teams wasting time?

      Vick got on a super hot streak in 2010. Who is to say he couldn’t do that in the playoffs? Vick has the talent to be a SB winning QB. Can he play the right kind of football? Fair question.

      I do think Vick can win a SB. He has won playoff games before. He has won big regular season games before. He’s shown this year that he’s not afraid of tough situations. Until he does it (or at least comes close), I understand he’ll have his doubters. That’s fine.

      • ceteris_paribus1776

        Tommy,

        The “you don’t know until you know” line of reasoning holds for all QBs, not just Vick. The fact of the matter is that very few from the QB pool actually win. When you watch the QB play in the NFL you can feel confident saying certain guys will not get the job done. Of course you can never know with certainty, but you can get a good sense for which ones the odds remain very low.

        3 of the 4 guys you named I’d take immediately, without question, over Mick Vick. I’d strongly consider Smith at this point since he seems to be trending up while Vick is clearly trending down. That group of QBs is the closest to a SB capable QB that have not yet been there as you’ll find currently in the NFL.

        Vick’s play viewed in context is not promising. His hot streak from 2010 came before any defensive coordinators had a body of work from which to game plan. Since that Chicago game the results have been mixed at best, and his performance against the blitz is among the worst in the NFL. A full off-season was supposed to benefit him, yet it seems that it hasn’t at all. To me, it seems he has fundamental recognition problems that are now very clear to defenses, and he can’t seem to protect the football. I’m not seeing anything in the season and a half of work since his hot streak that indicate he’s getting back to that point.

        Vick won playoff games with his feet, and a running game that avg. close to 200 yds a week. Anytime they got near the goal line Duckett punched it in. He led a very different team then. In the end, he couldn’t get past a well game planned Johnson led defense that completely shut him down. The team that he’s asked to lead now, while more talented, gives him far more responsibility in the passing game and he hasn’t not looked like he can handle it.

        I think he’s a talented enough athlete to win more often than lose, but I don’t see a talented enough QB to win a SB.

      • Zachary Kaplan

        I mean “anyone” can win, I’m not opposed to that belief, but I can’t imagine Vick playing at a high level for 4 games, and I for one don’t think the 2000 Ravens could win in this NFL, so I imagine we’ll need our QB.

        And on the QB’s you listed? Based on what I’ve seen in the playoffs from them, I’d say no. I mean I would have said the same about Eli a while back, but obviously I’m not a visionary.

        I understand the logic, I’ve just feel like I wouldn’t trust Vick to win 3 or 4 in a row when it counted.

    • http://twitter.com/Dasdip Osiris

      If the team beats the Lions (1-3), they will be 4-2. That puts them on pace to win 10.7 games. With the way that Reid teams have a tendency to develop — and when you consider how many snaps per games the Eagles are playing — it isn’t that far fetched to see the Eagles become an 11 win team. Of course, a lot of this depends on the Eagles coming back to Philly and kicking a struggling team while they’re down. But, that’s what a good team would do.

      The Eagles have, more often than not, played well this season, and they’ve done so against tough competition. Yeah, they’ve struggled with turnovers (and it hasn’t just been Vick), and there have been occasional issues in other places, but overall the team has put in solid performances as a whole. It’s just that the mistakes have been so significant when they occur that they tend to overshadow the good.

      Many of the teams’ issues from last season, like Red Zone defense or even basic tackling are significantly improved this year. The team has shown a knack for dusting itself off when meeting adversity, and Vick (and the leaders on defense) has been a leader of that charge. That wasn’t the case last year. Last year, if the offense turned the ball over, the D would roll over. It was like it wasn’t their problem. Last year, if the Eagles were down, they were out.

      The toughness and the scrap of this Eagles team is something that they have lacked for years. They’re nastier. They’re willing to put it on the line (even Desean Jackson), and that nastiness and toughness is led by their QB. Vick has cut out the INTs. No INTs in three games. He just has to cut out the fumbles while staying wisely aggressive. He still has to take risks; they just have to be measured.

      If his teammates haven’t given up on him, then why should we?

      It’s a long season, and I’m looking forward to watching the story of this season develop. This week, against the Lions, I can’t wait to see what the Eagles (and Vick) do on the way to victory.

  • Zachary Kaplan

    I also want to make sure when we score 24 or 18 points this week, I don’t here how we were playing a tough defense, or our offense is fixed…

    The Detriot Lions defense is bad…maybe downright awful…Look at points allowed over the last 13 games:
    2011
    week 10 – 37
    week 11 – 35
    week 12 – 27
    week 13 – 31
    week 14 – 28
    week 15 – 27
    week 16 – 10
    week 17 – 45
    wildcare – 45
    2012
    week 1 – 23
    week 2 – 27
    week 3 – 44
    week 4 – 20

    30.69 PPG over the last 13 weeks. Should be no excuses this week, we can’t score on them, I don’t think we ccan score on anyone.

    • TommyLawlor

      Actually, their defense is ranked 9th in yards allowed.

      STs are a huge, huge problem for them. They have already allowed 4 return TDs already this year. The Lions have also had 2 defensive TDs scored on them this year.

      Their defense allows 18 ppg this year.

      See, those are facts. No spin needed.

      • Zachary Kaplan

        The below 12 games if my math is right:
        Offenses gained 408 yards per game
        Offenses scored 25.5 per game (not counting special teams and defensive)

        If our offense is supposed to be anything near good, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to Minny, Tennesee, STL, and San Francisco. But here’s the breakdown as I see it….and my judgement – is I think Detriot has a bad defense. Also those 4 return TD”s probably help the defense if anything, 4 less possessions for the offense.

        Lets talk about opposing offenses against them then:
        Week 4:
        Vikings gained 227 yards and 6 points

        Week 3:
        Titans racked up 437 yards and 23 points

        Week 2:
        49ers racked up 349 yards and 27 points (another high powered Offense)
        Week 1:
        STL racked up 251 yards and 16 points (but it’s the Rams)

        wildcard game:
        Saints racked up 626 yard and 45 points – all on offense

        Week 17
        Green Bay racked up 550 yards and 45 points…with Matt Flynn
        Week 16
        San DIego gained 367 yards, only scored 10 points
        Week 15
        Oakland gained 477 yards and scored 20 points

        Week 14
        Vikings gained 425 yards and scored 28 points
        Week 13
        New Orleans racked up 438 yards and 31 points
        Week 12
        Green Bay racked up 349 yards and 27 points

        Week 11

        Panthers racked up 409 yards and 28 points (7 on a return).

        • laeagle

          Honestly, using numbers from last year doesn’t help your case. I’m sure if you were trying to talk about how bad the Eagles defense was, you would only use numbers from last year and not this year. That’s selective use of statistics and a pretty obvious case.

          The numbers from this year are enough to tell us who we’re facing. The numbers from last year tell us pretty much nothing. What do the numbers from last year tell us about Green Bay, and where are they now? Two totally different teams.

          I don’t think Detroit is a good team, but as Tommy says, they’re 9th in points allowed. What they did in week 11 last year has no bearing on that whatsoever.

          And note that this isn’t trying to justify what happens next week. It’s just calling you out on irresponsible use of statistics.

  • http://twitter.com/rollo_e Raul Estrada

    I’ve said it once and I’m going to say it again: When and where does Vick fumble? In the middle of the field, usually when he’s running for his life. When he gets out of the pocket is where he’s dangerous to defenses.
    Versus NYG, he ran away out of the pocket and had the 12th man – the sidelines – to escape to avoid any fumbling of the football. In the CLE, BAL, AZ, and PIT games – they gave him no room to run to the sidelines, and got him to where he starts dancing around to avoid a tackle and become careless with the ball.
    He’s not as fast as once was, and defenses know now that his grass dances will be enough to slow him down and catch up to him.
    I’m convinced that defenses are knowing how to contain Vick by keeping the pocket from collapsing and cutting off the sidelines especially to Vick’s left side.
    Shady can attest to this because not even he could run as fast laterally to the sidelines to turn corners with the ball. He had 80 total yards and under 60 of them were rushing yards. His lone TD was a reception of 15 yards which is only enough to appease fantasy football owners.

  • dislikedisqus

    If you read the Pitt papers today, you’ll see lots of quotes frim their players about effort, intensity, etc. They were determined not to go 1-3. For the Birds, being in first place, coming off a win over the defending SB champs, a division rival, it wasn’t that important. Pitt wanted this one more. I would mot read too much into that one game.

    • Yuri

      Winners write history. They overreact in Pit just as we in Phi.

  • D3Keith

    Good topic for a post. You can definitely look at this several ways, and the conclusion is often optimistic:

    They’re 3-2 and they haven’t played a really great game yet.
    When you saw the schedule come out with the Giants, Ravens and Steelers the first five weeks, you were just hoping we didn’t lose all three. The Eagles won two of those.
    They haven’t fixed the turnover problem, and they’re 3-2. Maybe offensively they’ll start to accept they are who they are.
    They have found a defense, and they’re 3-2.

    I wasn’t that irked by the Steelers loss, because I’ve become a big-picture guy. I need to see they can play with teams like that. Granted I love to beat them, and you need to win them enough to get into the playoffs, but the losses to bad teams irk me much more.

    Although losing winnable games, or games where you just didn’t play to potential can definitely be frustrating.

  • Steag209

    I agree with your premise that AR’s teams get better as the year goes on but i question the thing you said about this being a young team and maturing over the course of the year. I realize they are a young team, but I would argue that the offensive players (minus whoever LT is and now Reynolds) have been here for while. They know the scheme. They know how to execute it, but what’s going on? Why have there been glaring issues with picking up linemen on pass plays, I’m not even talking about blitzes here, just straight up four man rush. I realize Defenses are trying to confuse the line but it seems like it has been more of a problem the last 2 years than the first ten or so years Andy’s been in charge. I guess what I’m wondering is, is this a coaching issue or can our current OL not mentally handle the complexities of a defensive front 7? (and i mean that with zero disrespect to them, dissecting an NFL defense is no joke, but how come other teams seem to do it the majority of the time but we fail, seemingly, the majority of the time)

  • Sb2bowl

    Tommy- you should repost some articles from last year when we were 1-4. That’ll calm some folks down!

  • P_P_K

    Tommy, regardless of how the Eagles are doing, your writing is always reasonable and thoughtful. You never rant. So, I’m here to ask: Dude, what the hell is your secret? A good therapist? A better bartender? Are you some ninja zen master? How can being an Eagles fan not drive a brother nuts sometimes?

    • TommyLawlor

      I do plenty of screaming during games. If you could have heard a yell that I let out late in the Giants game, you’d have feared for your life. It was as intense and flat out rage-filled as I’ve ever had. If a neighbor heard that, they literally might have called the cops.

      I decompress after games and then get into the writing process. I used to live and die with games. Now I’m able to get by that once a game is over.

      • Julz

        During the Cardinals game I switched Gamepass off and on about 5 times during fits of rage. My family was fearing for my mental health.

      • P_P_K

        It’s good to know that you are human.

        More seriously, props to your professionalism.

  • FrenchEagles

    About the two fumbles of Vick this sunday, could anyone discuss about the rain? I know he fumbled before, and I know it will rain later, but still. Brown and Wallace dropped easy passes, Mendenhall even lost the ball without the help of anyone during a run. He was lucky to be near the sideline. In all games in the eastern coast, receivers dropped more passes than usual and fumbled more. Maybe we can just wait next sunday and see if Vick still fumbles without heavy rain.

  • Julz

    Vick’s fumbling issue is still down to his complete an utter inability to slide properly. If he starts going down feet first with the ball cradled in his arms like a baby he just wouldn’t lose it nearly as much.

    Diving head first into swinging arms/legs/the turf is just dangerous, the ball is always bouncing off something and running the risk of coming free.

    I think it’s good in the sense that something like that *should* be an issue which can be coached out of him…. But we’ve been seemingly trying for so long I just do’t hold much hope anymore.

  • CheesesteakWilly

    Posted this over at BGN:

    The offense must get better, but look at who we’ve played so far. We’ve played 4 teams that have a legitimate shot of being in the playoffs (Ravens, Cards, Giants, Steelers) and we’ve come away 2-2 with one bad loss and the other being by just 2 points and both were away games.I know this is a stretch, but imagine that those are the 4 teams (or put the NFC equivalents in, Ravens = 49ers, Steelers = Bears) that we could face in the playoffs. If we get one bounce to go our way against the Steelers / Bears, that leaves us with a 3-1 record in the playoffs.We know that whoever ends up winning the whole thing at the end of the season usually has their fair share of luck. There’s only been two #1 seeds that have won the Super Bowl since 2000 (‘03 Patriots and ’09 Saints). That’s 2 out of 26. So far, I’d say we’ve been good enough to make the playoffs. If you can get to the playoffs, you have almost the same chances as everyone else when it comes to winning the big game.

  • RC5000

    Re: Special Teams showed progress on Sunday, but still needs a lot of work. This subject will get a full post in the coming days.
    Oh boy that will be a big task. I looked at every drive and the starting yard line and our percentages we start inside our 20 and 30 by rough counts look absolutely horrific. There are a number of factors but special teams has to be a big one.
    Go look at the plays preceding our drives that start outside our own 30 (there aren’t more than 10 drives or so total not including drives at the end of games that are meaningless or kneel downs) and half of the 10 are either turnovers, Ravens going for it on 4th down and not making it, Babin sacking Kolb at AZ 5 yard line.