Fast, Hard, Physical

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 72 Comments »

We saw a team yesterday that played tough, physical football.  I’m speaking of the Bucs, of course.  I’ve re-watched part of the game and the Bucs were more physical and more aggressive.  They lost due to awful pass defense and an offense that was really sloppy in the 1st half.

LB Lavonte David knocked Brent Celek out of the game with a clean hit.  Watch some of their blitzes.  You see Eagles RBs going backward as a LB runs them over.  Watch Tampa’s DEs over-power the Eagles bigger OTs.

The Bucs just have a vibe about them.  They’re young.  They play hard.  They play like the Eagles did a decade ago.

It was great to get a win, but please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that changes anything.  Andy Reid will still be fired in January.  The Eagles have won 4 games by a total of 6 points.  This is not a good team, not even close.

For my SB Nation Philly column I wrote about the Eagles need for a culture change.  I think Sunday was evidence of that.  Tampa is a completely different team under Greg Schiano than they were under Raheem Morris.  The team had 2 awful years under Morris and one 10-6 season.  The players liked him.  Morris, by all accounts, is a great guy.  He is very much a players coach.

Schiano is a jerk.  He was a jerk at Rutgers.  He’s a jerk in the NFL.  He’s also a winner.  He has a very set way of doing things.  You fall in line or he’ll get rid of you.  Tampa would not have the worst pass defense in the NFL if CB Aqib Talib was still there.  Schiano traded him because he’d rather struggle with his type of guys than deal with an underachieving turd.

Andy Reid threatened to bench DRC and Nnamdi last week.  That got their attention and they played better, helping the team to win.  Why now?  Why not have this talk 2 weeks ago?  Reid is a patient guy and trusts his players, but part of the point here is that DRC and Nnamdi aren’t guys that he drafted and developed.  They needed a stern talk a few weeks back.  It took them hitting rock bottom vs Dallas for Reid to do something.

That kind of lack of accountability is part of the problem with the 2012 Eagles.  I don’t think you bench a guy the first time he has a bad game or struggles.  You don’t even do it after 2 games.  A good coach just knows when the right time is.  He has a feel for his team and knows what buttons to push.  Reid pushed them…too late.

How do you think it made guys in the front seven feel to play their butts off only to watch the Grey Poupon Patrol (my new nickname for Nnamdi, DRC) back there being passive as receivers ran into the endzone?  That’s not good for team morale.

DRC has been in a major free-fall since Juan was fired and Bowles promoted.  He needed a talking to a month ago.  Maybe Andy did try to get through to him, maybe not.  We know he did last week and it was only by threatening his job that he got results.

I don’t want to be Debbie Downer here.  Winning yesterday was fun and it is good to be happy about the Eagles, but I don’t want people to mistake winning a game for any serious change.  We still have yet to see the team play a legitimately good game.

I got several Andy Reid questions on Sunday so I felt it was important to address the issue.  I’ll put up a Nick Foles post later on.  There is plenty to be happy about with that young man.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama and I talked about the game this morning.  Folesmania was in full effect.

_


  • Ark87

    It was an odd game. We had the same old stuff happen. Had a 10-0 lead at the half. 21 unanswered points later and deep in the fourth, a heroic effort by Foles saves the game. That game had a flukish feel. But who knows, maybe now this team wakes up and ruins our draft position.

    • TommyLawlor

      The team is still flawed. I’d like us to win at least one more game, but don’t see a need to go 7-9. Can’t cheer for us to lose, but finishing with a Top 5 pick would be a good thing.

      • Eric Weaver

        Yes, and I hate when people say having a top pick in a deep draft is silly. You always want as high as you can get. You never know when there’s that one team out there that is in love with one player and they are willing to swap firsts and give you a first next year or whatever for the pick you have.

        • A_T_G

          I say we start trading all our picks for 2014 1st rounders and have the ammo to draft that rookie Heisman winner. I don’t follow college football that closely, but with a last name of Football, he must be good.

          • TommyLawlor

            I wish I could argue with this logic. I cannot.

          • shah8

            Manziel is 6’0″. Unlikely he proves to be a top prospect, and with his tackles gone, he might have tougher games. Weeeeeeaaaak Heisman class. Mariota is much more likely to be worth a high draft pick. Along with others, of course.

          • A_T_G

            Umm, sure. And I guess Mr. Clean isn’t a very good pick for cleaning stuff either? Or that Mr. Mom wasn’t a very good mom?

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        Do the Eagles have more 1-2 pt wins left in them?

    • bdbd20

      I’ll consider it payback for the game we lost down there on the 62 yard FG after the Jerome McDougal personal foul penalty.

      • Ark87

        Our ace PK missed a pair of FG’s in homage of that. I’m just glad Sapp was there to watch his team get Foled by the hated Eagles.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    Great observation.

    We also see it in the way TB defenders — and it seems every other opponent’s defense — really fly to the ball and do a lot of gang-tackling.

    That gang-tackling mentality of “hold up the runner for the next defender to hammer” has been absent.

    I can’t remember an Eagles team in the Reid/Rhodes/Kotite/Ryan era where more defensive plays were made by a single defender.

    (When Dick Vermeil took over in ’76, his biggest point of emphasis on defense was swarming to the ball — “Eagles Football” he called it. There’s been very little “Eagles Football” this season.)

    • TommyLawlor

      Exactly. We don’t play swarming defense with any consistency. There isn’t a sense of urgency to get to the ball. You see it from some guys, but not all 11.

      • The_Reddgie

        Isn’t a swarming defense something that is coached into them from day one of mini-camps with drills and practice?

        DRC constantly looks like he pulls up just enough to reach the ball carrier just a second after someone else is making the tackle. The DRC-NA “lack of effort play” from last week that John Lynch diagrammed and used as an example of their heartless play was flat out awful. Just awful. Beyond awful. Awfully awful.

        • ACViking

          Great question . . . .

          I always had the impression that a swarming defense was the product of three things: (i) desire to make the play, (ii) talent, and — most important — (iii) a head coach willing to cut guys who don’t show (i) and (ii).

  • BobSmith77

    Yet you might argue the Bucs were a bit too aggressive and got called for 9 penalties yesterday (1 was declined).

    Good points though Tommy. As for DRC, you do think the Eagles will have any interest in resigning him this offseason?

    • TommyLawlor

      The Bucs have some players that must be upgraded (CB primarily). They can be a sloppy team. Still, I’d rather have aggressive mistakes than a passive team.

      DRC’s future is up in the air. I don’t trust him. The new coach might. If DRC plays well for the last 3 weeks, he might be worth bringing back. If he remains up and down, let him go.

      • shah8

        Aggressive, like Detroit? How about no? And I’m not a fan of Schiano, anyways.

        Here’s the thing…There’s aggressive, and then there’s *aggressive*. Watched a good bit of that SF defensive line. Do you see either ends failing on gap or contain duties often? Compare that with the Detroit DL against GB. They got freakin’ killed by the corpse of (insert running back).

        I don’t think it was a matter of Andy not being tough enough. At least not on his players. It has been a matter of Andy not being tough on his coaching staff and being self-indulgent when selecting said staff. Both Washburn and (I think, because of the consistently poor pocket generation for passing) Mudd has been poor hires with poor accountability. They played favorites and dumped responsibilities on everyone else, some of whom were not capable of handling that extra load.

        I just do not need the posturing kind of “toughness” that shallow men tend to like, especially in football and in the fans. How much do you want to bet that Tomlin has a firmer grasp of demanding accountable subordinates and players than Reid? And he doesn’t actually give off tough guy vibes, much. Gary Kubiak has also been succeeding on the basis of demanding accountability from everyone and replacing until he has good players and coaches, while Shanahan practices nepotism and uses McNabb as a scapegoat for the poor playcalling. RG3 is simply young enough, and talented enough to complement what Shanahan does do well in the running game.

        • TommyLawlor

          Did you read the column? Getting a screamer isn’t what I’m talking about.

          • shah8

            The primary focus on my argument is that I think that the fact that Reid needed to have been more results orientated with his coaches is a more urgent issue than a focus on the players.

            Going by the sum of this season–who was really playing that obviously couldn’t play other than Coleman, Reynolds, and Bell? Every team has players like those, and it was the duty of the coaches to cover those deficits. I think it has been really clear that the process to change to methods and playcalling to fit who is on the field was far too slow.

            I mean, the last two years, the defensive setup was pretty much anti-linebacker, anti-safeties. It got us some good numbers at some things, but it only gelled the last six games of 2011, and never really did gell in 2012–the added talent only putting a bandaid on things. Reid never really put the pressure on Washburn that he needed to have done if he wanted a reliable defense, rather than one that was rather brittle and finicky as a nice Italian car.

            The OL was largely the same. The last few years have seen the Eagles with unreliable protection in the interior. Mudd has more or less aggravated these issues in a way that Shanahan/Alex Gibbs never had for their OLs. They run alot, and those light guys needed the protection of a run game just as much as a QB did. But what MM wanted to do was not really compatible with what Mudd wanted to provide him. That results in fatboy interior guys going full out on passrushing, and playing all kinds of creative tricks to knock guys who don’t have the physical talent to do anything but rely on technique off their game.

            Look, it’s pretty clear to me that *the* big part of the problems don’t have to do with the players, and I don’t think player enthusiasm or gangtackling had much to do with anything. The *big* problem is that Reid has never really reigned in subordinates that he really needed to have done, subordinates with rather purist and inflexible attitudes at that. Sean McDermott (on his way out of his next gig, too), Washburn, etc, all have effectively removed the ability of the players to make instinctive plays. McDermott left his defense confused. Washburn left people outside of his DL with way too much on their plates. You won’t see flowing to the ball if everyone is constantly thinking about responsibilities.

            In effect, Asante Samuel is, like, totally correctamundo to have his attitude, in retrospect. A working defense needed flexibility to generate turnovers. Flexibility to generate people at the ball. Players who have reasonably good instincts, percentage-wise, needed a defense that doesn’t collapse if they freelance.

            I read the column, and I think that the focus on demanding accountability from the players was just totally missing the point. We *do* have tons of talent, and in too many cases, they were not put in a position to succeed. Getting rid of Reid is important in getting someone who will enforce a broadly coherent staff.

  • BobSmith77

    Bowles is interviewing for the Temple head job. Smart move by both as Temple needs to keep momentum going ahead forward in their program & I would imagine Bowles would find it very difficult to even land a defensive coordinator opening next year at the pro level.

    • TommyLawlor

      Bowles seems like a really good guy. Would love to see him get the Temple job. He definitely loves his alma mater.

  • scott_mather

    Foles nickname:
    Nick Dynamite

    • Ark87

      Here I was calling him Quick Nick.

      • K_Dilkington

        Or how about Nick Fury? Eh?

        • Ark87

          He could be the greatest QB-with-an-eye-patch of all time!

    • doublgee

      Funny! My Facebook post after the Eagles won read, !!!!DYNAMITE!!!!
      I’m on board…

    • Arby1

      I”m voting for ‘Cool Hand Nick.’

  • nicolajNN

    While Nnamdi did step up his game for this game would you still consider benching him for Marsh? He’s young and unknown while Nnamdi is known and old

    • TommyLawlor

      Marsh seemed to play better. Haven’t studied him thoroughly yet, but was very encouraged by what we saw.

    • Septhinox

      When Nnamdi got hurt, Marsh came in and played well. I think we should see Marsh a lot more for the same reason we needed to see Foles. We need to know if he can truly play. From what we’ve seen he’s looked ok, but we definitely need to see more.

  • doublgee

    Cheesesteaks equal wins! The more weight Andy has lost over the last few years, the less competitive we have become in the NFL. There has to be some kind of stat backing this argument…right?! Cheesesteaks were the fuel for his fire. Now, the fire has been dwindling for years.

  • Pitmanite

    Tommy, you just touched my heart with this post. I love you calling folks out. There are so many things here that should’ve been done earlier, and we are still a bad team in many ways.

    Question for anyone on here: Have a girl cousin who is 14 and loves sports. She wants to be a sports writer, so I’m trying to get her some sports biographies to read. Anything you guys would recommend for someone her age? Thanks in advance!

    • shah8

      Get her reading Paul Zimmerman. Best football columnist, hands down, and she’ll find a character she might be able to identify with, natch.

      His book is good, too.

      Sports biographies, though–I can’t recall anything that’s really good, because they tend to be hagiographies, like the recent one for that tarnished and dead Penn St coach.

      • P_P_K

        When I was a 14 year-old sports nut boy, I started reading Frank Deford. Turned me on to the world of words. The kids is lucky to have cousin like you.

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t know that I’ve read a biography that would help. Here are some movies/books that have influenced me:

      * All The President’s Men — really makes you want to be part of a journalism team that uncovers a huge story.

      * Almost Famous — you see the young guy struggling with covering a subject that he likes. Semi-autobiographical tale from Cameron Crowe.

      * read Dan Wetzel’s columns … he sticks with facts, but is able to tell good stories … http://sports.yahoo.com/author/dan-wetzel/

      * A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson — Bryson is a travel writer that decides to tackle science and history. Must-read book. He makes them come to life because he focuses on people and is a great storyteller. Good writing is good storytelling, no matter what the particular subject.

      * As shah8 noted, anything by Dr Z is worthwhile. I miss his columns.

      * This Hunter S. Thompson Kentucky Derby story is probably inappropriate for age 14, but is must-read for aspiring journalists. Again, the focus is on people and telling a story…not just covering the facts. Classic tale. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7887639/looking-back-hunter-s-thompson-classic-story-kentucky-derby

      * Bringing the Heat by Mark Bowden and Next Man Up by John Feinstein are excellent NFL books. One way to judge their quality is that I knew what happened in real life, but still enjoyed reading each book They were able to bring stories to life. They also did a great job of talking about the players/coaches and their backgrounds. Both books were able to weave from past to present as they told someone’s story as well as what happened at that point in the particular season.

  • austinfan

    Well, Debbie -

    I think there were some very good signs, yes, the Bucs are young and aggressive, but one of those young and aggressive DL was drafted by Howie. I’d also point out that we’ve seen a new coach come in and get the defense to play aggressive, at least until Ray’s rants got old.

    Most to the point, given one practice with Brasher, the DL actually played pretty well, Curry was a bit clueless, but Cox and Graham were certainly making plays and Curry was hustling. Thornton was up and down but disrupted a few plays.

    Chaney played his best game in two years.
    Anderson was a guided missile.

    Now I think AR really needs to get more serious about playing the kids, just watching Marsh v Aso, Marsh may get turned around but he was more aggressive in coverage, not just breaking up a play but running with receivers (the 22 will give a better look), Aso can’t even press anymore and he’s always a step behind. Allen still looks lost trying to tackle and DRC played better, but still was late trying to make a tackle near the goal line.

    The kids that are playing seem to have given this team a shot in the arm the last two weeks, they make mistakes but they are hungry, Kelly was really struggling with Bennett (this is where his lack of strength and hand use showed up, but Bennett may be the most physical DE he’ll deal with this year) but hung in there.

    • TommyLawlor

      There was plenty to like. And I’ll certainly cover that stuff. Foles is the huge point to take from the game.

      I’m very happy that Jeremy Maclin stepped up and that Jason Avant had a great game. Those guys were huge. Liked 95 percent of what DRC did. Colt Anderson was a very pleasant surprise.

      Young players stepped up. That’s good. I just don’t want people making this win into something it wasn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    I’m really curious to understand what happened with our safeties. Was it Kurt Coleman’s absence or removing the Wide-9 that helped them?

    I saw Anderson had at least two big run stops near the line (not sure if both were TFLs). Feels like it’s been a long time since we saw a safety with a TFL.

  • Eric Weaver

    I know there were quite a few people here that were opining for Lavonte David in the draft.

    I was intrigued because he reminded me so much of Navarro Bowman at Penn State. And Bowman was a guy I thought wouldn’t translate to the NFL.

    • Cal Setar

      I would have loved Lavonte David. The Bucs took him right before we took Vinny Curry with our second, second round pick. I have the sneaking suspicion he may have been an Eagle if not for the Bucs, especially considering the “depth” we thought we had on the d-line prior to the season…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    I liked how the Eagles used Colt Anderson in blitzing situations. Paving the way for Honey Badger…………………….?

    • TommyLawlor

      No idea if the Eagles will like him. I sure do. Just gotta figure out if you can trust the kid.

      • austinfan

        With a 7th rd pick and cut him in camp if he misbehaves.

  • http://twitter.com/akuatuta nathalie a

    that’s one of the main things that drives me to think that reid doesn’t have his head completely, this season. he is experienced. never, never, should he have made the mistake to not address the issues (be they with coaches or with players) until it was way too late.

    i see him as a spent man. he might be out of solutions, out of energy resources, to try and listen to players and persuade them to do their job properly. but if all else fails, find it in yourself to give them a good ‘scolding’ when it’s still effective enough that the course of a season can be altered.

    this to me is the great great mystery of that reign end. he can’t have been totally unaware of the rift between his coaches for instance ?

    it’s a puzzlement.

    and, if we expand this, why the blazes has lurie done exactly the same thing ? reid needed a good shellacking and he hasn’t gotten it. this should have happened very long ago, after their last playoff loss.

    but it’s oh so easy for me to say. life is complicated. dealing with men is complicated. money is involved. pride. hope.

    a few weeks ago, i was in favour of reid’s resigning at the end of the season. leaving without the humiliation of being sacked. but now, i think lurie must make a strong point and fire him. no honourable discharge.

    • TommyLawlor

      Reid will be let go in a friendly, honorable way. He and Lurie are friends. The friendship still won’t save his job.

  • eagles2zc

    Bucs fans are already talking about DRC’s pending FA status after the game. I know fans don’t hand out the contracts, but it only takes one FO to be fooled by his potential. So I have a hard time seeing him back next year.

    • TommyLawlor

      Interesting. Yeah, a team like Tampa might be willing to take a chance on him. He’s got talent.

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        I’m not sure DRC — based on the tape showing this effort (or lack of) — is a Schiano-type player.

        If you’re the new coach in Philadelphia next season, do you want DRC here?

        Seems to me that Schiano and DRC’s former coach in AZ, Wisenhunt, are very similar in what they expect from their players — especially defenders.

        I’d be very surprised if TB is a possible landing spot for DRC.

        • Ark87

          DRC is tricky. He has CBatosis. It’s an epidemic (not pandemic). Like many CBs, he’s a headcase. When he’ not happy, it shows in his play. When his confidence is shaken, it shows in his play.

          DRC is not a particularly intellectual player. To me his big issue is he tends to have focus lapses even before Juan was fired. DRC is a confounding player, he wants to be physical, he talks it, and at times walks it. But some plays he just checks out and is terrible. It’s up to the next coach to decide if he wants to work with DRC. Happy-DRC is fine, he dyes his hair and beard midnight green and wears ridiculous prop glasses and most importantly he plays well. Keeping him happy and motivated would be a pain. But that’s sort of the way it is with CB’s.

  • P_P_K

    Ms. Downer,

    The Eagles — the Philadelphia Eagles — beat a fast, hard, physical team in the playoff hunt, in their house, and you are whining? Our rookie qb looked like a poised pro behind a battered O line that let him get sacked six times, he’s without three of his big weapons, and he still leads his team to victory with a td pass as time expires! Our D only gave up two td drives and made a major stop which got the ball back into the hands of said qb. Whaddya’ having pms?

    • TommyLawlor

      Fair enough.

      No whining. Just want to keep proper perspective. Sentimentality is our enemy right now.

      • The_Reddgie

        ” Just want to keep proper perspective.”

        I am getting blasted on BGN by some for the very same line of thinking. /sigh

        • P_P_K

          I don’t want to blast anybody (I trust the pms line was understood as a joke poked at “Debbie”) and it’s rare that I get accused of being sentimental, but I seem more impressed with this win than most guys. The Eagles are a team that has little to play for and they beat a good team playing for a playoff spot, on the road. This is never a simple feat in the NFL. A couple of question marks are being answered in a positive way (Cooper, Anderson, D line), some dead weight has been cut off (But why is Bobby April still around?), and Nick Foles, who has only started four games, looks like the guy we saw during pre-season, only this time he’s playing agianst the big boys.

          After the Eagles blew the lead, it would have been easy for them to roll over. It was gut check time and they rose to the challenge in a very clutch way. I’m not predicting flowers and candies from here on in, but there were some definite signs that this team has a sound core and heart enough to be competitive.

          This week’s game is against the Bengals, similar to TB in that they are playing about .500 ball and are in the Wildcard hunt. Last week I didn’t think the O had the talent or the manpower on the field, and the D just wasn’t inspired enough, to be competitive. One game doesn’t define any team, but this week I’m feeling like the Eagles can certainly play with and perhaps beat the Bengals.

          • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

            I agree with Tommy – there are bigger issues at play here that one last-second win over a mediocre 6-6 team doesn’t solve. The win was good from one perspective only and that’s Nick Foles development. Still need to clean house – coaches, players and front office – for a much-needed culture/philosophy change.

    • A_T_G

      PMS – Perspective of Morton Syndrome?

      I see where Tommy is coming from. Beating a .500 team on a last second TD set up by a play drawn in the dirt after miscues gave up the lead is not the long-term goal, it only feels that way by comparison to the last couple of months. That being said, yesterday went a long way to building hope for the future and, hopefully, garnering the interest of some quality perspective coaches.

  • Matthew Butch

    “Andy Reid threatened to bench DRC and Nnamdi last week”

    Where was this said? I missed it.

    • TommyLawlor

      They mentioned it in the broadcast.

  • Ark87

    Listened to the new H2H, pretty good. stuff. You were talking about how in depth you think about these coaching candidates. It makes sense that these GM’s so often go with an unknown or unexpected candidate from what was the “obvious” choices. From a fan aspect, and even an analyst’s perspective to an extent (who analyze a of of different things for a living) don’t go into the depths that these team execs have to. As a result, popular opinion tends to be a little superficial. The same can be said of the draft.

    Jeff McLane had an article on Chip Kelly. He brings up a great point about Nick Foles. He is not ideal for the offense Chip runs. A lot of the creativity with chip rely’s on the dual threat of a mobile QB. Overall he brushes past his own point, I think he has Chip fever.

    • ACViking

      I can’t imagine any NFL QB — even one as nimble as RGIII or as big as Cam Newton — lasting very long in Kelly’s offense.

      Yes, Belichick has consulted Kelly. But I’ve yet to see Tom Brady run the read-option. Instead, I’ve watched Brady race to the line of scrimmage play after play and exhaust the defense — a la Oregon — but with a nice mix of conventional passes and runs.

      That doesn’t mean Kelly wouldn’t be a successful NFL head coach. I just think he needs to run different offense in the NFL.

      Same thing happened when Dick Vermeil came to the Eagles from UCLA. He didn’t install the Veer. He ran a conventional offense. He won because he was a great motivator and teacher.

      • Ark87

        Good point, hope Chip can present a good case for how he would adjust to the NFL. I hope execs demand that of him even though it looks like he will be a hot commodity. Still, it’s hard to quantify how much more effective his running scheme is because defenses have to account for the QB’s mobility on every snap. You saw how much NFL defenses think about Nick Foles running the ball on Sunday. They looked like they thought he was wearing a shock collar with an invisible fence on the line of scrimmage. It worked out there, but you saw a defense totally sell out to a running back, which…well opens up other opportunities, but Chip needs to communicate to Roseman that he is willing and able to exploit any and all opportunities that the defense gives. I’m tired of coaches that sort of have a narrow identity and rarely deviate from that at the cost of wins (Andy Reid <3 passing).

        • shah8

          Sundial!

        • A_T_G

          I am tired of dual threat, mobile QBs. I just want to be one of those teams with a QB that throws accurate passes, leads receivers to RAC yards, makes good reads and anticipates. Foles has me excited.

          • Ark87

            If he can hammer out the deep ball accuracy he can be devastating. It’s his biggest challenge for the off season. There has been a disturbing trend in promising rookie QB’s having big sophomore slumps. Foles will have the additional challenge of working through a coaching change. Maybe the new coach prefers a more mobile QB, who knows. This is uncertain waters for Nick Foles and this franchise.

  • ACViking

    Re: Dr. Z — Paul Zimmerman

    Can’t say Dr. Z without saying: (i) Rich “Stonewall” Jackson, a free-agent signee by the Denver Broncos in the late ’60s, and the greatest living defensive lineman not in the HOF (eligible or not), and (ii) he wrote an SI article in 12/80 after the Eagles beat the Raiders at the Vet 10-7 — in maybe the best regular season game the Eagles played under Dick Vermeil — called “Preview of the Super Bowl?”.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1123997/index.htm

    At the time, the Eagles were 11-1 (before finishing 12-4). The Raiders had switched to Jim Plunkett after a 2-3 start under Dante Pastorini and had a 6-game winning streak going before coming to the Vet.

    Dr. Z ultimately picked the Raiders to win to the win the SB over the Birds — a “team of destiny” he called them. He was right.

    • pkeagle

      I miss Dr. Z – my favourite writer (Tommy excepted of couse!)

  • Ark87

    Anybody else depressed that we didn’t have a great play to exploit the defense in the playbook, the rookie had to modify one to the situation…*sigh* Get Zimmer next year, OC will be Nick Foles, QB coach will remain Doug Pederson.

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      I think both Marty and Andy wanted to run the double-reverse, halfback option fade pass to King Dunlap coming out of the backfield. That was a “no-brainer” in their minds.

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