The Very Odd Year

Posted: October 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 72 Comments »

2013 is shaping up to be the strangest season I can remember.

The Falcons, the #1 seed in the NFC last year, are 1-4. The Giants are 0-5.

Just 6 weeks ago we knew that the Raiders, Jets and Titans would be 3 of the worst teams in the NFL. There was simply no question about it. Now the Raiders are 2-3 and QB Terrelle Pryor has given them some sense of hope. The Jets are 3-2 and playing Rex Ryan football. Geno Smith is erratic, but has looked very good at times. The Titans have a very good defense. Gregg Williams is the best hire of the offseason.

The Bucs and Texans hoped to be playoff teams. Both were set with franchise QBs in Josh Freeman and Matt Schaub. Now Freeman is a Viking and many Texans fans wish they could say that about Schaub. He’s already set an NFL record with pick-6’s in 4 consecutive games.

The Steelers are in disarray. They’re 0-4. They’re old. Some people are starting to question coach Mike Tomlin. Shockingly, they are the worst team in the AFC North right now. They’re also the least talented. That’s crazy to say.

Denver has the best offense in the history of the NFL after 5 games. They make the 2007 Pats, 1999 Rams and 1998 Vikings look boring and unproductive. And this is with a 37-year old QB who had his neck operated on multiple times less than 2 years ago.

The surest sign this is the weirdest year ever…both Nnamdi Asomugha and Rob Ryan are on teams that have winning records. Neither guy has finished better than 8-8 (Ryan as a DC). If both make the postseason, the Mayans prediction may turn out to be true, just late.

As for the Eagles, the weirdness of 2013 doesn’t seem to mean much. 2012 was the crazy year for the Birds. That’s when things went bizarro and you just didn’t know what to make of it.

I can’t decide if I like the topsy-turvy NFL world of 2013 or not.

What about you guys?

* * * * *

LeSean McCoy had 11 games of 20 or more carries in his first 58 games.

He has 3 such games in 5 appearances this year. It isn’t likely, but is possible he could match his previous career total of 11 games with 20 or more carries just in 2013.

While his touches have gone up, I don’t get the feeling that he’s being over-worked. Chip Kelly has him run from the spread set so much that there are plenty of times when he’s out in space with just 1 or 2 defenders. He’s getting a lot of work, but I don’t think he’s taking the beating that he would in a conventional offense.

* * * * *

Trent Cole has 3 sacks in his last 21 games.

Yikes.

And yet…I watch him play and don’t come away shaking my head. He’s still a very good run defender. He gets pressure on a semi-regular basis. He’s just not getting home.

They say sacks come in bunches. I wonder if Trent is going to get hot and have 5 in 3 games or something like that. I certainly hope so. Drives me crazy to see such little production from a player I love so much.

One of the reasons I’m not ripping on Trent is that I do think he’s got value as a leader. He’s not necessarily a rah-rah guy, but is a great example for young players. Trent does whatever is asked of him. He does it with a smile on his face. He has never had great size or athleticism, but his work ethic is second to none. And young guys can learn from a guy like Trent. They can see how to prepare, practice and play. That’s a lesson that coaches can try to explain, but is best learned from other players.

* * * * *

The Eagles let go of Safety Trenton Robinson from the practice squad.

No word yet on who they’ll add. I think Chris McCoy is still on the market. Would love to take a look at him. The Jags cut him from their roster and PS recently so he’s available as far as I know.

_


  • T_S_O_P

    I can think of a Buccs fan that would have boldly predicted that they would only be 1 game behind the Falcons at this time of the year and happy with that.

    • TommyLawlor

      So true.

  • T_S_O_P

    Missing out on some the previous conversations re QB and losing seasons, but the Colts proved that to ‘Suck for Luck’ is a working formula. All we have to do is wait for the male seed of his loin to repeat this process. Alternatively, ‘Cannin’ for Mannin’ is a distinct possibility in 20 years, through Peyton’s son Marshall, though as Oliver Luck was no star QB, maybe Cooper Manning’s boys will be worth ‘cannin’ for.

    • Anders

      Luck was a once in a generation talent at QB, none of the QBs this year is on his level.
      Closest this year will be Bridgewater, but his lack of competition makes it tough.
      James Winston in 15 or 16 will be a Luck type prospect tho.

      • T_S_O_P

        Anders, I couldn’t agree more and as long as Andy has a male heir, we are sorted. Obviously we will have to wait a generations time and only if we coincide our suckiness to match but the science is undeniable.

      • shah8

        Winston is a Roethlisberger or a larger Romo type QB.

        Bridgewater seems to be more along the lines of Sam Bradford, hopefully with more moxie.

        Andrew Luck, for example, is much more of a more athletic Matt Ryan. He’s not generational. Generational dudes are pretty much the likes of Vick, Stafford, Elway, blah, blah blah. Which goes to show how coaching after you draft someone is a big part of the story.

        • Anders

          How is Luck not a generational talent?

          Winston is like Steve Young type. Extreme accurate with good mobility.

          Bridgewater is better prospect than Bradford imo.

          • shah8

            Luck is a generational hype, not particularly generational talent. He isn’t even the prospect RGIII is. He’s not tops in arm, tops in movement, and well, Russell Wilson is the more…sophisticated…in the intellectual arts, such as that is for an athletic position, even at QB.

            Seriously, he’s just not that far above Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez–enjoys better size and mobility than either, and not quite so prone to read errors as Sanchez.

            No Winston is not Steve Young type. If you must question why, think of Steve Young as essentially about halfway between Aaron Rogers and Michael Vick–Steve Young was not a marginal QB rusher, but a little more upright/stiff and less shifty than Vick or Manziel, and his throws are also pretty close to how Vick throws, even taking handedness in account. Jameis Winston does not remotely play like either Rogers or Vick, just check out any of those clips available of him online. Winston doesn’t even play much like Culpepper or McNair. *Much* closer to Roethlisberger.

            It’s hard to tell quite how good. Sam Bradford was really quite an excellent prospect, and like Bridgewater, very strong technical refinement. In a sense, Bradford’s failure to be a star has to do with a lack of growth, and not really his talent base coming into the NFL. It’s hard to tell how much QBs can actually *grow*. This is a major reason I don’t give much credence to the idea of giving lots of chances to players that don’t show good highs. By and large, in the NFL, it’s about refinement of what already brought you to the dance. Much of the issues with Bradford is pretty much the same as Stafford, JaMarcus Russell, and others who don’t live up to their talent–he went to a dysfunctional organization and had coaches who weren’t really doing the *work* of getting that NFL refinement done, preferring to be like various college coaches like Bobby Bowden, Beamer, or NFL coaches like Jim Mora Jr, Buddy Ryan, who were mostly interested in other aspects of the game, and lean on the QB’s natual talents to fill the gaps.

          • shah8

            I took the liberty of refreshing myself with some game utubes:

            Bridgewater: Yeah, much like Bradford as to what people like about him. Functional NFL arm, plus a little. Really nice technical form, and and flick of the arm release, the way I like it, unlike Foles or Geno Smith. Gives his receivers clean balls. Don’t let people tell you that Bridgewater isn’t capable of rushing. Extremely underrated on the ground, lots of common sense, shows vision and some elusiveness. Obviously an NFL starter with potential to be a good one. Not as good as RGIII, but like a little more than Luck as a passer. A little small. You wonder about ceilings as well.

            Brett Hundley: Doesn’t have anything that really separates him from Mariota or Boyd as far as tools go. Not as good a rusher as either, shows poor vision.

            Mettenberger: Not really worth anyone’s time, based on mostly 2012 footage. An NFL arm, but isn’t really strong. Doesn’t really offer anything else. Doesn’t seem to have too much moxie, relies on superior WR talent doing a lot of the work. He seems not to be mobile enough to be viable in the NFL. Good risk of Jevan Snead pre-bust-hood. Ryan Mallet at best, which isn’t great.

            Jameis Winston: Yeah, not like Steve Young at all. Seriously, both as a passer and rusher, Steve Young is really rather close to Vick. Jameis Winston is not a serious rushing threat at all, not even like Newton. Good mobility in the pocket, as I’ve seen before. The thing is, Winston has an ARM. Stafford, Flacco, JaMarcus, close to Vick ARM. Does it with a smaller windup than Kaepernick. Dat dere is a future number one pick. Clean up a bit on the accuracy, get better with the vision thing as far as rushes go, a bit of refining work…

            Aside: Manziel would work if he had an NFL arm at all. Very good rusher, plenty of moxie. Not truly elite, and really more like Dexter McCluster compared to CJ Spiller–a poor man’s Vick who’s going to lose a lot of his escapability and long rushes in the NFL. Still would be good if he could throw.

            Watched some Young flicks for old time’s sake as well.

  • P_P_K

    Watching LeSean has been one of the highlights of the season so far. When was the last time an Eagles led the league in rushing? Seeing him get the carries makes me glad Reid is gone.

    I don’t watch tape so I only have my game eyeballs to go by, but Trent seems like he’s having a pretty good year. Regardless of sacks, it appears he is a disruptive force when rushing the qb and is a good run defender.

    • GEagle

      We have to get more out of Trent as a pass rusher? We can’t use him as a weapon in coverage, so he has to provide a rush and start getting to QBs…I love and respect Trent like everyone, but it’s not good enough for a premier position..If you want to two gap you LBs need to be very good!..

      Just think of what could have been:
      Barwin, Kendricks, Kiko Alonso, Dion Jordan…. What a dream that woulda been.
      ..
      Hopefully we can get Orakpo this offseason

  • GEagle

    Texans should have signed Freeman, Matt Flynn was cut…JJ Watt for Nick FOles? Lol…seriously tho, Watt has become my fav player to watch.

    Tom: You left off the quarterback the bills are trotting out there this week on your list of wackiness… lol I. Can’t even tell you his name.
    ..
    Billy Davis had a nice press conference. Surprise Surprise maybe Billy wasn’t blatantly lying last week…”We are constantly talking about trying to increase Vinny Currys reps”….Billy acknowledged picking Earl Wolffs brain about his college teammate Glennon.

    How does everyone feel about Desean going at Revis and giving Tampa some bulletin board material? really liked Glennon, it’s going to be interesting to see these two big young QBs (Glennon vs. FOles) try and lead their teams

    • BlindChow

      Bills signed Dennis Dixon to their practice squad today…

    • Ark87

      Mixed feelings about Desean, he is daring them to give him single coverage, if they bite on that bait out of bravado and single cover him, that’s a win, mission accomplished. But in general, we don’t need to be firing up the other squad.

      • Anders

        I like it, Revis is said too be the best. Desean sees him as a star WR, of course he should have the mentality that Revis cant cover him alone.

        • Ark87

          of course, that’s generally true of every position, you must believe that you can hang with and beat anyone you face. The trick knowing when to us discretion in keeping that to yourself, and when to be bold and turn it into a public challenge.

  • Flyin

    Every other year is odd.

    • bdbd20

      I was told there would be no math

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Some of these teams are surprise, some are not. The Steelers have been getting old for awhile now.

    The Falcons and Jets are a complete surprise..

    The scary thing is if the Eagles do a bad job of drafting we could easily be bottom feeders for quite some time now. These drafts are killing us. Surprise you don’t hear fans clamoring for Howie’s head.

    • anon

      they hired gamble, hopefully he’s the one making decisions

    • Anders

      The last two drafts have been pretty good.

      Cox and Johnson are starters.
      Kendrick have promise.
      Boyking (yes its Boyking when he is playing like this) is already one of the best nickle CBs in the NFL,
      Foles has potential.
      Bryce Brown, Polk and Johnson could all be major contributors on O sooner rather than later.
      Ertz shows his potential, just need more snaps.
      Curry is a pass rushing force when he gets snaps and will get more once he gets the 2-gap down.
      Logan has a future on this team.
      Earl Wolff shows potential to be a good NFL safety.

      If we also add the two positives from 2011 in Kelce and Thornton and this team has some good young players. Just need more of them next year.

      • Donald Kalinowski

        Part of me believes that the 2011 debacle is on Andy Reid and the coaching staff.

        2010 was mostly a miss.I wish I could redo that draft- JPP, Sean Lee, Daryl Washington, Jimmy Graham, Kam Chancellor, etc..

        • Media Mike

          JPP is broken toast. He’s done.

        • Anders

          Daryl Washinton was not not drafted in 2011

        • BlindChow

          I’m not too heartbroken about players we’ve missed. I figure they’re unlikely to have turned out the same with different coaching and situations…

          • Anders

            That is a great point and why I hate that shit about hindsight on who we should have drafted

        • TheRogerPodacter

          a surprising amount of the 2010 draft is still here, can’t say that much about the 2011 draft…
          I’m still holding out hope that the awful defensive schemes of the last two years has not ruined the development of some of the young guys.

      • sew737

        Kendrick- simoneau As of now Cox doesnt sniff corey simon’s jock @ this time in the Nfl. Our offensive line still doesnt get the big push so they can run inside.

        • Anders

          Why are we comparing Cox to Simons? Simons had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a DT and didnt have to switch position after 1 year.

          • sew737

            Sorry I only was commenting on the draft you opined about. I compared a great DT to the present DT. It would not matter if Corey Simon would have switched to DE in a 3-4 anyway. If you are an outstanding lineman it will not matter. If you want a decent front 7 to checkout in a 3-4 see the Jets

      • Joseph Dubyk

        Meh…. If they were so good we wouldn’t be in such dissarray… Again lots of “potential.”

        A 4th overall can’t be a JAG…He has to be pro bowler for 10 years..

        I have been eharing about potential for a couple years now and haven’t seen a lot of it come to fruition.

        Kendricks = meh
        Boykin is very good

        Bryce Brown has regressed…

        Curry gets 15 reps a game

        Wolf hasn’t done anything. Not sayin ghe’ll suck, but he hasn’t shown much yet

        • Anders

          Players can be good without been elite. Elite players can carry bad players. Good players cant. That is the reason why we are so bad.
          We got a lot of good players with only 3-4 Elite guys and a ton of bad guys.

          Also what is wrong with potential and growth from young players? Wouldnt it be bad if we didnt see growth from players?
          While a player like Kendricks might not turn into an elite LB, if he can at least just be good, its a better draft pick than many of our draft picks.

  • Media Mike

    Falcons – banged up, they’ll be back in 2014…with a high draft pick on D or O-line
    Raiders – still playing a scramble dope at QB, he’ll be injured sooner rather than later (just read your Bruce Arians / Pat Kirwan / Mike Tomlin / Aaron Rodgers / Gunther Cunningham guide on how to play real NFL football)
    Jets – Mo Wilkerson rules! TEMPLE, WHAT?
    Giants – about time they realized that they all suck that much. They really should be 0 for Eli’s career, but at least this season is helping the cause to keep him out of the HOF.
    Bucs – Not a shock, invest in a fool like Freeman and a horrible coach like Schiano……………see what happens

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Gonzalez should have retired. Now I hear that Julio Jones is done for the year.

      • Media Mike

        And the Jones injury is the same one that was worrisome as he entered the draft in 2011. Could be very significant.

    • Anders

      The Falcons is like the 2011 Giants just without the SB ring.
      Holes all over the roster, but the offense and some close game luck had em winning more games than they should.

  • barneygoogle

    I’ve always believed each year has TWO NFL seasons– the first 5 or 6 weeks when teams figure out what each other has, and the rookies get grounded– and the second season, when you see teams surge ahead despite early failures.
    We can hope as Kelly adjusts to the NFL and his young players learn the system, this team will surge rather than fade. Don’t count the ‘skins out either.
    One thing we do know–Tony Romo will throw an interception to keep the Cowboys out of the playoffs…

    • TommyLawlor

      Good stuff.

  • eagleyankfan

    not only is it crazy, but it’s just getting started. I wonder what awaits in the next few weeks :). Losing JJ in Atlanta is a killer. Possible heart and soul of that team.

    • A_T_G

      That catch leading up to the score to take the lead was amazing. The defender has one arm pinned behind him and isn’t letting go, so he goes up and catches it with the other hand. He didn’t flail about, he didn’t jump up looking for a flag, he just beat his man The PI flag was just insult to injury for the defender.

  • Bradley Abraham

    Tommy, the new H2H podcast is HUGE at 342MBs! Usually more like 60MBs for similar length. Also, it’s marked as “other” and not “audio” like usual which is fine for iTunes on PC but on my iPhone from the podcasts app it now won’t download but rather opens the web browser to stream from there. I think because it doesn’t recognize it as an audio file, it is streaming from QuickTime in case there is video. Hopefully just selecting “audio” when uploading will fix that issue?

    You guys were gone so long you forgot how to upload a podcast! :p

    At 340MB, I’m naming this episode “Jason Peters”. Next week once it’s finally finished downloading, I’ll let you know if it lives up to that expectation…;)

    • BlindChow

      It looks like it’s a wave file, so maybe they forgot to convert it. But the audio mix is terrific compared to their other shows. No more of this:

      Jimmy: (whisper whisper)

      Tommy: I COMPLETELY AGREE, JIMMY. GREAT POINT.

      • Bradley Abraham

        Aah a wave file, that makes sense, thanks.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    How is Javead Clowney doing? It’ ain’t right that the Steelers or the Giants might get him.

    • Anders

      Giants would be wise to draft offensive line or LB, CB or safety instead of just drafting DE and WR.

      • Anthony Hart

        Offensive line in particular, but you know if there’s an elite pass rusher sitting there Jerry Reese will take him.

        • Anders

          Some reason I hope they draft a pass rusher. That means there offense will keep been crap unless they get lucky and finds a very good RT later.

          In todays NFL offense > Defense. I mean watch good defenses like the Seahawks, Niners, Texans or Jets get scored upon pretty easily by good offensive teams.

  • Weapon Y

    Growing up near Pittsburgh, it isn’t a surprise the Steelers fell apart. Years and years of really bad drafts added up. The fatal blow was firing Bruce Arians and replacing him with Todd Haley. The offense is dysfunctional because of a terrible run game, poor protection, and constant injuries. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Giants were just mediocre, but I am shocked that they could actually rival the Jaguars for worst team in football.

    To me, the real shocks are the Chiefs and the Jets, homes of the divorced Eagles offensive braintrust. I thought Alex Smith would be ok, but struggle at times because Big Red would force square pegs into the round holes of his game. Boy, that hasn’t happened at all. Andy brought back the early McNabb, über-short pass playbook and it’s worked to perfection. His bastardized Vick West Coast offense clusterf@$& is replaced with a real West Coast offense. Maybe he finally learned. Why couldn’t you do it here Andy?

    But Geno’s success astounds me considering the historic Jets offensive ineptitude and the way Marty made me want to tear my hair out last year. I was not impressed with Geno’s college tape, but he actually looks decent for a rookie. He was poised and decisive last night. Rex, as badly as he looked starting Sanchez over Tebow and McElroy last year, has always coached his defense very well and it shows this year. Sheldon Richardson looks like a beast.

    • BlindChow

      Geno’s looked awful in other games this year. Lots of bad decisions.

      The key seems to be Rex shackling Marty to a run game. In their losses (all but Tennessee were close games), their pass/run ratio was like the Eagles’ ratio the last couple years. When they’ve run as many times as they’ve passed, the Jets have had enormous success. The biggest one was against New England, when Marty completely abandoned the successful run game in the 4th quarter, resulting in all 3 of Geno’s interceptions. And they only lost by 3, which tells you what a difference a few extra runs could have made in that game.

      • Weapon Y

        All good points about Geno and Marty. I can’t help but wonder if he turned a corner last night.

    • A_T_G

      I think that was the most frustrating part of Marty and Andy the last few years. Rational fans knew that they were great football minds and were capable of succeeding, but they didn’t.

      Seeing them succeed now provides a little confirmation. At least I wasn’t crazy to think we should have been better than we were.

      • Weapon Y

        I think Tommy once wrote that they were probably both better separate from each other than together. As BlindChow said, Rex might be the check on Marty that Andy never was. I’ll also say that Alex Smith is probably the ideal Andy Reid quarterback, more than McNabb and Vick ever were. His execution of a heavily short passing game is superb. Talent and the guys surrounding you are such big factors.

  • ICDogg

    Football Outsiders gives the Eagles over 50% shot to make the playoffs

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/playoffodds

  • GEagle

    Walterfootball and his senile mocks(although he did mock Benny Logan in round 3 to us all of last year) updated its 3 round mock:

    Rd 1 CB Brad Roby who got torched by Wisconsin
    ..
    Rd 2 Craig Loston, Safety LSU
    ..
    Rd 3 Odell Beckham WR LSU

    • Anders

      I do not like Roby at CB and Beckham does not make it to the 3rd round

      He also have only 3 QBs in the 1st and he does not have Mariota or Hundley, but he does have Manziel coming out.

      He also have Carr and Mett going in the 3rd round a couple of picks before the not so very good Logan Thomas.

      • GEagle

        Yeah his QB picks were weird….I think he has Lyeria staying in school too…really liked his Seferian Jenkins to the bills pick tho, he called Manziel a Giant douche and had banner reaching for him in round 1, so that was cool lol.
        ..
        Hate drafting QBs in round 1…Barr will fall due to OTs and QBs…go up and get Barr

        Rather have the PSU WR instead of Odell…wondering if he knows someone that he keeps mocking these LSU players to us….I was so against him mockin Benny Logan to us, but he nailed it…he had that pick in early and didn’t waiver from it for months

        • Anders

          Lyerla is not a top 3 round pick right now. He will most likely be in the later rounds.

          • BlindChow

            Is he even going into the draft? I got the impression he was done with football.

          • Anders

            He said he would go pro.

          • D3FB

            any word on why he left Oregon over the weekend?

          • Anders

            Personal reason. Can be anything.

  • Ark87

    Don’t forget to tell folks your new podcast is up Tommy! It was great to hear from you guys again, always a lot of fun. http://traffic.libsyn.com/helmet2helmetshow/H2H_101_-_Eagles_catchup_after_Week_5.output.wav

  • sew737

    Todays NFL sucks ,,,all the high scoring..There really isn’ t a defense that scares anyone out there. Bring back the bump and run.

  • BobSmith77

    An Andy Reid coached team that has attempted less passes than the opponents (185 to 191). I know the Chiefs have had the lead in most of their games which plays a part but this stat surprised me.

    I thought for sure Reid wouldn’t tailor his game calling on offense to suit his personnel while the Chiefs would end up going anywhere between 7-9 and 9-7 depending upon how their defense played.

    • BlindChow

      I noticed in the Tennessee game that Alex Smith was checking into run plays sometimes. It’ll be interesting to see how things go when they start playing tougher competition and fall behind.

  • CrackSammich

    In perspective, the Niners had an awful draft in 2012, culminated by dropping their first round pick for whatever they could get. Is it any wonder they’ve slipped a bit this year?

    I only bring this up because someone below had mentioned Tom Gamble. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Anders

      The Niners have lost their star WR, w/o star LB, starting NT, OL is regressing, Gore is getting older, Rogers getting older, lost Donte (w)Hitner. Their starting QB is having a down year bc the OL, run game and pass game is worse.

      A team does not fell the effects of 1 missed draft

      • Insomniac

        Yea it has to be at least 2-4 of them…like 2008-2012 for the Eagles.

        • Anders

          more like 2004-2011. Outside of a few good picks, the only 4 pro bowlers from those drafts was Andrews, Cole, McCoy and Jackson. Sadly Cole is old now and Andrews flammed out long ago.

      • CrackSammich

        Correct. They lost their star wide receiver, and then their first round pick can’t jump in and be the next guy up. While a few years of bad drafts might lead to these holes, an injury makes that problem pretty obvious. If everyone on the team is getting older and none of the new guys can replace them…?

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    Yes, it was a topsy-turvy NFL world…but then Romo threw that INT and things instantly returned to normal.