Gameday, Turkey Style

Posted: November 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 44 Comments »

Are you ready for some Turkey Day football?

The Eagles played Dallas on Thanksgiving back in 1989 and won 27-0. You might remember the game by its nickname…The Bounty Bowl. While I’d love a repeat of that, it doesn’t seem likely. Still, one can dream.

I’m not a huge fan of playing on Thanksgiving. I am basically the only football fan in my family. Trying to explain to them the significance of today is like trying to explain the joy of eating turkey to a vegetarian. Simply a lost cause. I am definitely fired up for the game. I wrote a few weeks back about how I hated the Cardinals because they always seemed to bring out the worst in the Eagles. Dallas often brings out the best. I look forward to seeing which players step up today, either in terms of having a great game or making that one crucial play that impacts the game.

I’m curious about screen passes. Dallas struggled with them in the Giants game. Dallas took away the screen pass in last December’s game vs the Eagles. Will that be a point of emphasis for Dallas or not? Darren Sproles caught 7 passes vs Dallas in 2013 and 2012. Was that due to Sean Payton’s design or did Dallas simply not have anyone who could cover him? That is something to watch.

Last year Nick Foles was 17-26 vs Dallas in December. No player caught more than 3 passes. The Eagles are throwing more this year. It will be interesting to see who gets fed the ball. Dallas could try to take away Jordan Matthews. I’m sure Mac and Coop would be just fine with that. More balls for them.

Bill Davis did a good job against the Boys last year. They had 39 total points in 2 games. To put that in perspective, Dallas had 3 games where they scored 36 or more points last year. The Eagles didn’t shut them down, but did limit their success. I’m fine with that same formula today. Give up yards between the 20s if you have to, but keep them out of the end zone.

The Eagles don’t need to do anything special to win today. They just need to play good football. They have more talent. The backup QB angle is a factor, but Mark Sanchez is good enough to lead this team to 28 points. That should be enough to win if the D and STs do their part. The big challenge is for the defense to play well enough to limit Dallas. Every stop is crucial.

* * * * *

Here is Fran Duffy’s All-22 preview. Great stuff as always.

* * * * *

In case you get bored and want some reading material, here is my DGR for last year’s 24-22 win over Dallas.


44 Comments on “Gameday, Turkey Style”

  1. 1 Greg Richards said at 11:25 AM on November 27th, 2014:

    No other football fans in your family? Time to trade in.

  2. 2 mtn_green said at 11:56 AM on November 27th, 2014:

    We are Tommy’s family

  3. 3 P_P_K said at 12:28 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Like every family, we have our quirks. We do agree on one thing — DallasSUKS!

  4. 4 Insomniac said at 12:57 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    You forgot NY/WAS.

  5. 5 P_P_K said at 3:20 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    It’s funny, whenever I talk with a Giants or Skins fan, we argue a lot but end up agreeing that Dallas Sucks. Perhaps it’s a case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

  6. 6 OregonDucker said at 11:36 AM on November 27th, 2014:

    Just saw the Giants/Cowgirls game again. Despite comments here, it looks to me like they have a solid OL. In watching the game for the second time, I noticed how vulnerable Romo was to a delayed blitz up the middle, but I did not see the Giants do that all game. Maybe Billy D will surprise today?

  7. 7 ACViking said at 3:04 PM on November 27th, 2014:


    I don’t disagree with you at all.

    In 4 of the past 5 games, Dallas has allowed 2, 1, 1, 2 sacks.

    The outlier game was against Washington (discussed below).

    LOT Tyron Smith — against the Eagles since his rookie year of 2011 — has gone:

    2011 (2 games): 2 sacks by Trent Cole (Wide 9)

    2012 (2 games): .5 sacks by TCole (W-9)

    2013 (2 games): 0 sacks.

    TSmith may be the premier LOT in the NFL, along with JPeters.

    Back to the Cowboys – Washington game, where Romo was hurt, earlier this season.

    Dallas gave up 5 sacks — ALL when Romo was the QB.

    Washington plays a 3-4 defense (1-gap).

    Against Dallas, D-coordinator Haslett called an aggressive game.

    4 sacks resulting from blitzes (someone other than an OLB):

    2 sacks on safety blitzes by Brandon Merriweather

    1 sack by ILB Keenan Robinson

    1 sack by ILB Perry Riley

    The 5th sack was bagged by OLB Ryan Kerrigan

    Has Billy Davis called any Safety Blitzes this season?

    Maybe today’s the day.

  8. 8 OregonDucker said at 3:27 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I thought Billy had Allen blitz the first couple of games. Didn’t he recover a fumble on a blitz?

  9. 9 ACViking said at 3:51 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I think you’re spot on.

  10. 10 Dragon_Eagle said at 11:40 AM on November 27th, 2014:

    Couldn’t be more tense. Decided to quit smoking yesterday – cold turkey. So far, so good – but I am bouncing off the walls already and that usually doesn’t happen until 15 min before kick off.

  11. 11 OregonDucker said at 11:50 AM on November 27th, 2014:

    Whisky will take the edge off.

  12. 12 Dragon_Eagle said at 12:39 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Not sure a bottle of whiskey is going to solidify my shaky self-control. But if you say so…

  13. 13 P_P_K said at 12:26 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I’m cheering for you and the Eagles. I hope the Eagles are smoking hot and you’re not smoking at all.

  14. 14 mtn_green said at 12:01 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    This is the perfect division rival game. Both defenses scheme really well and match up really well. I see a surprisingly low score.

    Barwin and Cole are the players to watch. If they can set the edge, Murray will have a hard day. Fletch and Williams and Allen will have their lumps.

    It’s all about romo feeling footsteps and throwing too early. Davis is going to dial up cover zero blitzes if eagles can get them into 3rd and long.

    The delayed a gap blitz has been more like Barwin looping into middle. He has gotten pretty good timing on that. His other move is coming up the left stopping and waiting for QB to be flushed to him.

  15. 15 GEAGLE said at 1:15 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I dunno man, this dallas defense is pretty damn suspect if you ask me. I will be very surprised if our offense struggles with this over rated Defense…

    I bet Eagles fans can’t name 4 of the 7 scabs playing in Dallas front 7. And usually Eagles fans can name every cowboy player….can’t wait to smash this off brand defense

  16. 16 mtn_green said at 12:03 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Are eagles-cowboys this years Seahawks-49ers?
    Not that Seattle versus San Fran isn’t still a good rivalry they just don’t have the best records and trail cardinals.

  17. 17 GermanEagle said at 12:38 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I did read your comment 5 times but still don’t get it.

  18. 18 GermanEagle said at 12:45 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Happy thanksgiving Tommy.

    We are all thankful to have you!

  19. 19 Insomniac said at 12:57 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Definitely this.

  20. 20 GEAGLE said at 1:11 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Just get this damn game underway, I can’t wait any longer for Cox, Bennie and Ced to come out and punch the dallas OL in the mouth..SET the TONE Early with a 3 and out! Let em know what type of day this is going to be from the start….
    Want to see Romo catch a beating today… Like to see Murray held to 50-70 yards, while Polk, Sproles and Shady rush for 150 plus yards….just watch what a poor tackling team this cowboy defense has become with Durrant gone

  21. 21 OregonDucker said at 3:31 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I am so darn nervous about this game. GB scared me. I do expect our Offense to roll, IF Sanchez can protect the ball.

    I truly believe we can win if we have a pass rush while containing Murray.

  22. 22 GEAGLE said at 1:12 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Curry, Barwin, COLE, BG… Want to see them all take turns rushiñg against RT Doug Free(such a poor pass blocker, watch how the line the tight end next to him all game in passing situations……
    hit Romo HARD and OFTEN!

  23. 23 T_S_O_P said at 2:51 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    IIRC, Cole has had a lot of success in the past against Smith

  24. 24 ACViking said at 3:06 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Actually (as I noted elsewhere) . . .

    Coles success came in TSmith’s 2011 rookie year. Cole had 2 sacks in 2 games playing in the Wide 9.

    In 2012, in 2 games, Cole’s numbers dropped to .5 sacks in the Wide 9.

    In 2013, TSmith pitched a shutout against Cole.

  25. 25 OregonDucker said at 3:33 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Need blitz stunts to beat TSmith.

  26. 26 SteveH said at 1:18 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Got a couple Eagles fans in the family, should make it more interesting.

  27. 27 T_S_O_P said at 2:44 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    What’s going on? Thanksgiving games have never been anything other than night games – is that right? Chicago are playing Detroit as we speak, so how long before THE game? Sorry for my stupidity in advance.

  28. 28 oreofestar said at 2:52 PM on November 27th, 2014:


  29. 29 T_S_O_P said at 2:57 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Which is an hour and a half from now? Right?

  30. 30 Baloophi said at 3:02 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Aye. When Big Ben strikes 9:30… if it strikes on the half-hour.

  31. 31 T_S_O_P said at 3:05 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Thanks guys, I now have plans this evening which differ from before.

  32. 32 Baloophi said at 3:05 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    We get it, T_S_O_P, you’re popular!

  33. 33 Baloophi said at 2:57 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    4:30 PM EST
    9:30 PM GMT

  34. 34 Nicodemus_09 said at 2:50 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I am literally a total nervous wreck right now. This cannot be healthy. lol

  35. 35 NinjaP said at 3:17 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I was nervous for the packers game. This one I think we can win.

  36. 36 oreofestar said at 3:29 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    I’m nervous as hell

  37. 37 OregonDucker said at 3:36 PM on November 27th, 2014:


  38. 38 Chip Kelly's bastard son said at 3:42 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    It’s all the sodium you’ve ingested today

  39. 39 Nicodemus_09 said at 3:52 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    You may just be on to something there! : )

  40. 40 daveH said at 3:02 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    go eagles// Happy Thanksgiving Tommy Lawlor AND FAMILY.. cant do without your website man!!

  41. 41 anon said at 3:48 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    we’ve played really well in both divisional games — let’s make it 3 of 3!

  42. 42 ACViking said at 3:48 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Re: Some Numbers to Consider While Killing Time

    In 2013, heading into the Dallas game in Wk 16 . . . the Eagles had held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in 9 of their prior 11 games. And the Birds did so again in beating the Cowboys to win the division

    In 2014 heading into Dallas, however, the Eagles have held opponents under 100 yards rushing in only 5 of the team’s 11 games.

    In 2014, Dallas has held opponents to less-than 100 yards rushing in just 4 of 11 games with a low of 71 (JAX).

    Their next lowest rushing-yards-against was 80 yards — versus the Seahawks. Forcing Russell Wilson to win the game was a winning recipe.

    In 2014, the Cowboys have won the turnover battle in 5 of 11 games.

    The Eagles, this year, have won the TO war just 3 times in 11 games.

    Yet both teams are 8-3.

    That said, against good teams — which both are — turnovers usually make the difference.

    In 2013, the Eagles won TO battle over Dallas in Wk 16 by 3-1, keying the Birds’ 2-point victory.

    The Cowboys have gained 400+ yards in total offense this year in just 4 of 11 games (4 straight from game 4 to 7), and had 395+ in 2 other games. In all those games, Murray rushed for at least 150+ yards (but 1, where he had 140).

    The Eagles have 400+ yards in TO in 7 of 11 games. And there were 3 near misses against Washington, the Rams, and Carolina — but only because of Spec’l Teams and Defense.

    Against the Rams and Carolina, the Birds scored 2 TDs in each game on special teams and defense — otherwise they’re easily over 400+.

    Against Washington, Polk returns the opening KO for a TD. With 2 first downs, the Eagles reach 400 yards — which may or may not have happened on that first drive of the game.

    The only game in which Dallas was forced to throw the ball all day was against Arizona — when Romo was out injured. Cards stacked the line to hold Murray under 100 yards. And Weeden was Weeden.

    Otherwise, Dallas has been remarkably balanced — the way teams were in the ’80s and ’90s.

    If Dallas’s numbers mean anything, it seems like getting a big lead fast — the way Green Bay did to the Birds — is the key today.

    (Yes . . . do that every week, and you go 16-0. I understand.)

    That said, last season in Week 16, the Eagles held Murray to a mere 60 yards. But Kyle Orton threw for 350+ yards and kept Dallas in that game with a chance to win (before the late INT) . . . and Dallas yielded 0 sacks.

    Dallas — insofar as last year is any indicator — seem to defend Kelly’s offense pretty well.

    Likewise, the Eagles have played Dallas tough defensively.

    All adds up to a close game . . . with Special Teams and turnovers the difference maker, maybe.

  43. 43 T_S_O_P said at 4:03 PM on November 27th, 2014:

    Tommy, not sure what this might mean, i.e. Good omen or bad omen, but it is Bill Murray season in Film 4 on this side of the pond. Tonight’s film, which will run through our game tonight is none other than Stripes! Time for the speech?

  44. 44 Dragon_Eagle said at 4:13 PM on November 27th, 2014: