Big Picture

Posted: December 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 92 Comments »

The Eagles goal is to win the Super Bowl.

Let’s be perfectly clear on that. Going 15-1 would have been great, but that’s not the goal. The Panthers went 15-1 in 2015 and lost the Super Bowl. The Packers went 15-1 in 2011 and didn’t even reach the Super Bowl. Do you think those fans celebrate the 15-win seasons?

Look at recent Super Bowl winners.

2016 – NE – 14-2
2015 – DEN – 12-4
2014 – NE – 12-4
2013 – SEA – 13-3
2012 – BAL – 10-6
2011 – NYG – 9-7
2010 – GB – 10-6

Sunday night’s loss has nothing to do with the Eagles goal of winning the Super Bowl. It could affect playoff seeding, but recent years tell us that being the top seed doesn’t guarantee anything. Dallas was the top seed last year and lost their only playoff game. You’d rather be at home, but it is more important to play good football than to play at home.

The Eagles played poorly and lost on Sunday.

It would be great for the team to get hot again and finish the season 14-2, but the real key is playing good football. That doesn’t mean just winning. You want to avoid penalties and turnovers. You want to make plays. The QB must be smart and accurate. OL need to block well. Defenders need to cover and tackle. We’re talking about basic execution.

This team has the talent to play with anyone in the league. They are good enough to beat anyone, anywhere.

But they can’t beat good teams while playing bad football. Doug Pederson mentioned that he thought something looked off in practice last week. The players know they weren’t good enough and the loss got their attention.

Guard Brandon Brooks called the loss a “wake-up call.” Kelce went a little further, deeming it a “humbling point.” A good humbling point, he said. He didn’t go into specifics, but he noted that practice wasn’t up to snuff last week. Other players said the intensity was lacking Sunday night. Winning has come so easy to the Eagles lately, that perhaps they needed a reminder that it’s anything but.

The Eagles have done a lot of celebrating recently. This week would be a good time to focus more on details and less on dancing. That message applies to the whole team since everybody had a hand in that loss.

Carson Wentz missed throws. Jalen Mills missed tackles. Alshon Jeffrey blocked too long. Big V didn’t block enough.

The good thing about this team is that they’ve had great chemistry all year. There were mistakes all over the place in Seattle so no one should be doing any finger-pointing, unless it is to the guy in the mirror. These players have supported each other all season long and I expect that to be the case now as they face some adversity for the first time in a while.

If this loss truly gets everyone’s attention and helps the players to re-gain their focus, it could end up being a big help as the Eagles chase their goal.

You don’t win in the postseason because of record or talent or scheme. You have to out-play your opponent. The Eagles didn’t do that on Sunday night and they lost. I can’t wait to see how this team responds on Sunday when they play the Rams.

_


  • SteveH

    Something I hope develops with this team over time is the desire to be relentlessly good, and have a killer instinct. We blew out teams like the Bears and the Cardinals and the Niners because were more talented than them by miles, but we did nothing in those games that said to me that we were going strait for the jugular.

    The talent is there, now we just need to breed excellence into the program, and the desire to crush the opponent whether they’re any good or not.

    • Tumtum

      I think fun is great. This team is having so much fun. You never see the Pats having fun though. Channeled properly it can carry you through adversity and do great things. Might be unsustainable though, and lead to negative feelings in times of adversity. Maybe that is why the Patriots don’t appear to have fun… meh I dunno.

      I like this team, and this is year 1 of the 100 year dynasty. Have some fun.

      • SteveH

        I’m not saying that they can’t have fun. I think the reason the Patriots never seem to have to have fun is because Bilicheck is a humorless authoritarian goblin who views anything other than winning football games as a waste of time.

        Fun and killer instinct aren’t mutually exclusive.

    • A Roy

      Yule meak a gud riter

  • Masked Man

    Yeah, Tommy. All that dancing and celebrating has been way over the top. Plus the Bears seemed sensitive about it and I think it hurt their feelings. Haha.

    No but seriously, I think it was over the top. And it can easily feed an overconfident mind set. Time to get back to work and get it in line now. It’s been fun, but now it’s time to be more business-like here. Now’s the time.

    I would be pleased if we see all wins down the stretch and no dancing and celebrating until we have something to celebrate about, as in some championships.

    There’s three championships on the table for the Eagles to compete for – the division, the conference and the whole darn league. Go Eagles!

  • Guy Media

    I’m really happy to see the team self-flaming over that dog dirt lack of effort and focus. I’m looking forward to seeing them get after it next week.

    • Stephen E.

      Self-flagellating?

      • Guy Media

        They can do that as well.

  • knighn

    “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. Hooo.”
    – Batman

    • Tumtum

      Batman????!!! You are kidding right?

      Edit yeah you trollin ya got me.

      • Mac

        It’s a test to find out who on Igglesblitz has children age 10 and under.

        • knighn

          Those movies are so fun I might watch them even if I didn’t!

      • knighn

        Mac is right – It’s from Lego Batman Movie. Very fun. Very funny. Understandably: not for everyone. However some of the humor in their is definitely for the adults and not the kids… especially if you’ve ever seen any of the other Batman movies or TV shows… ever.

        • Tumtum

          Ok, because it is actually from a Michael Jackson song..

  • Corry

    Clearly the answer is Alshon Jeffery, your new starting Left Tackle.

    • Crus57

      Yes but then we end up complaining when Vaitai can’t make clutch catches in the red zone.

      • Corry

        Well see that’s when we go into a heavy package with Alshon lining outside of Vaitai and declares as eligible and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

      • or____

        He’s got the height…

  • Dave

    Bluto should give the pregame pep talk against the Rams.

    Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

    And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough… the tough get goin’!

    Who’s with me? Let’s go! [runs out, alone; then returns] What the fuck happened to the Eagles I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this.

  • MattE

    I don’t care about the 9 game win streak, i just care about the next 7 game win streak

  • Crus57

    On the one hand, it’s good the players are saying the right things and appear to have been shocked out of complacency. On the other hand, talking is easy. We’re heading towards crunch time for the season, and only playing better will matter.

  • A_T_G
    • P_P_K

      Crap.

      • xeynon

        We’ll be fine. Ertz missed the Denver game and we didn’t have a problem.

        • Stephen E.

          That was Denver.

          • xeynon

            Which at the time had the best defense in the league. We still hung 50 on them.

            Burton is a capable receiver and can function fine as a fill-in in the passing game if necessary.

            Relax.

          • Masked Man

            You are a tough minded guy, Xeynon. Go Eagles!

          • xeynon

            I think Eagles fans are prone to irrational pessimism and don’t realize how good Wentz is.

            He is one of maybe 3 or 4 guys in the entire league capable of carrying an offense by himself. He’s not Rodgers or Brady (yet) but he’s just a notch below them.

            The Eagles are a very good team, it’s not smoke and mirrors. I think Eagles fans have a tendency to confuse being objective about the team with being pessimistic about it, which is what’s going on here.

        • P_P_K

          I like your attitude. But because I like Zach so much and think he’s an incredible weapon, I’ll modify my comment to “crap,” with a lower case “c.”

    • anon

      that’s ok, burton is a beast

    • Masked Man

      Is this his second officially? Didn’t he have another last year? Anybody remember?

  • Dave

    On a former Eagle note, Herm Edwards seems batshit crazy. Arizona State better get their popcorn ready.

    • ChoTime

      Just listened to some of the press conference on the radio. W. T. F.?

      • Dave

        I always thought his over-the-top Schtick was for TV. I was dead wrong. He seems like a character from Seinfeld.

      • Masked Man

        click click click click click

    • Masked Man

      Semi-retirement for Herm.
      Drawing lots of press attention to the school too.
      Bet the golf is very nice in AZ.

  • Gary Barnes

    Exactly right, Tommy, keep the eyes on the prize: winning the SB.

    That is how Lurie, Roseman, Pederson, Wentz et al. are ultimately judged, unfair or not that is the reality.

    If this era ends without a ring like all the others, many will be disappointed. They have done a lot right and have many of the necessary pieces to get it done, but, as we know, luck is involved and in a one game and out playoff scenario anything can happen.

  • Tumtum

    I could give a damn about the over-all record. I just know we need to be 1-0 this week.

    • or____

      I was about to give you an upvote. But no, we don’t need to win this week. I certainly share your preference, but I’m sick of “must” and “need” being used with no attention to true accuracy.

      It’s not a must win because we can still win the superbowl, make the playoffs etc, without winning the game.

      We don’t need to beat Minnesota in order to win the superbowl and/or have a successful season.

      • sonofdman

        We are only still eligible for the playoffs now because we survived the “must win” game against Washington in week 1.

      • Tumtum

        Nope. Need to be 1-0 this week. Then next week I will habe the same mind set. This is the mind set the players need to have. Win today. Win this game. Watch the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves.

        I realize I left context open ended. It was intentional and not really meant to be disected. My fault.

        • or____

          I agree with the mindset and overall point. I disagree with the continued wrong use of the word need.

          • Tumtum

            I NEED it or I will die

          • or____

            This reminds me of a great comedy bit by David Cross about people who misuse the word “literally”. Worth searching for it you have the time. It will literally make you crap your pants. A MUST listen.

          • Tumtum

            I’ve seen that one. Chuckles out loud thinking about it.

    • BlindChow

      *couldn’t give a damn

  • SteveH

    I feel like Vaitai is the kind of player that Bilicheck would scheme to expose in a major way if we played the Patriots.

    • xeynon

      I think you need to have a little more confidence.

      Belichick is a good coach, but he’s not some all powerful omniscient sorcerer.

      He’s been beaten plenty of times by other coaches/teams and good quarterbacks (which Wentz is) have torched his defenses plenty of times.

      As for Vaitai, he’s not JP-level dominant, but the he’s not a total liability that’s only being propped up by the coaches scheming to protect him either. Relax.

      • Stephen E.

        We’ve been so spoiled by Peters that we forgot what it’s like to have an average LT. That’s what Vaitai is. It’s up to the coaches to deal with that.

        • xeynon

          And they have given no indication so far that they’re not capable of doing so.

          Seriously, Eagles fans are fragile AF. One loss and it’s back to classic Negadelphia.

      • SteveH

        From Jimmy’s recent article:

        “Vaitai struggled mightily against the Seahawks’ Frank Clark, and Doug Pederson has admitted that the Eagles have given Big V a lot of extra help, both in terms of extra blockers on his side as well as scheming so that he’s not exposed.”

        You’re right, Bilicheck isn’t a sorcerer, but he is very smart about how he goes about exposing teams weaknesses. He always attacks the weakest link on a team, and right now Vaitai is clearly several tiers below everyone else on our OL.

        Fortunately this is something we’d only have to worry about if we meet them in the super bowl.

        • xeynon

          The Eagles will have to coach around their limitations, including giving Vaitai help if necessary. They’ve done that all year, successfully, against defenses better than the Patriots’. The Pats do not have any elite pass rushers so I think you’re exaggerating how big of a problem this would be.

        • Insomniac

          Clark isn’t a bum, he’s like Danielle Hunter who gives everyone fits because they’re just soooo damn athletic. While I think Big V is just a backup swing tackle at best, you could take advantage of him being the weakest link with creative play calling.

        • Masked Man

          But we’ll never have to worry about Brady doing dances in the backfield to make broken play passes all afternoon anyway.

          • Insomniac

            He was a statue in 08 and he’s still a statue now. If our CBs can keep them in check then I like our odds.

    • Insomniac

      You’re not wrong. Vaitai is a limited player and has very clear weaknesses.

  • xeynon

    The team seems to be responding to the loss the right way. Get back to fundamentals and focus on what got you here. They are very talented, but in the NFL no team can win every week by just rolling the ball out on the field. Especially against good opponents like the Seahawks, you need to show up focused and ready to play or you’re very likely to lose.

    If they come out and play a crisp, clean game and beat the Rams Sunday, all will be right again.

  • Masked Man
    • SteveH

      I’d put us behind the Steelers right now, probably 4th. We laid a huge egg in prime time in an important game, we need to show we can win when it matters the most, and right now I think the more seasoned teams have the edge there, even if we are probably more talented overall.

      • Masked Man

        Honestly the Steelers have laid bigger eggs this season.

        And they had to dig very deep to win a squeaker over the Bengals last night after being down 20-10 at halftime. They have flaws as well.

        Three is fair to the Eagles. They have the best record in football.

      • sonofdman

        I know the Steelers keep winning, but they do not look like a very good team. I think they are very overrated.

        • Insomniac

          Said the same for the Seahawks but we ended up losing to them anyway.

          • Mac

            Despite the fact that the Seahawks won the game… I wasn’t impressed. It felt more like the Eagles beat themselves than the Seahawks won.

          • Insomniac

            I’m with you. I still think that we would have crushed them if Doug stuck to his usual aggressive style. It’s just that we’ve saw some of the limitations of what the team can do if everything isn’t firing on all cylinders.

          • sonofdman

            I actually said the opposite for the Seahawks. I didn’t think they had played their best so far this season, but I didn’t like the matchup and thought they were better than everyone was giving them credit for.

      • Julescat

        Pittsburgh has Baltimore and New England the next 2 weeks

        those games should be a good indication of how real a playoff threat that Pittsburgh will be.

    • xeynon

      I think that’s about right – not sure I’d rank the Vikings ahead of us though, might swap them with the Steelers.

      • Masked Man

        It’s fair. They share the best record and have the hot hand and the tie breaker. Let’s see if they can avoid a key loss down the stretch.

        • xeynon

          I think you can make a case either way. I’m still not sold on Keenum.

          • Masked Man

            Not a bad college prospect. But Keenum’s been in the wrong place at the right time in his pro career until now – bad Texans and bad Rams teams.

            He’s gotten a chance to play in Minny, has some talented receivers, and shows a nice accurate arm for Shurmur’s offense.

            We haven’t seen him under much pressure yet. That’s when I believe Wentz would have the edge. He’s proven that this year. Keenum hasn’t proven he can evade a pass rush and keep Minny in the games.

            They would be a nice NFCCG opponent if one of these old battle tested teams don’t take them out in the playoffs.

  • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

    Beyond the Cover-0 blitz, have there been any scheme criticisms (on either side of the ball)?

    Feels like a pure execution loss, which is I guess is comforting somewhat. From the coaches: 4th down decisions and challenges. From the players: missed tackles by DBs, overthrown balls by Wentz, blown pass protection by Ajayi.

    Execute better and we win. No wait, that’s just a cliche…

    • Masked Man

      Tommy’s game coverage article outlined five plays that all went the wrong way. Two or three going our way would have let the Birds have a much better chance to win last week.

      Seattle (Russ Wilson) played perfect football. And the referees gave them a home field edge.

    • Dave

      The scheme of throwing lots of 5 yard passes to Torrey and several t Ags when he was covered, while avoiding Ertz and Alshon was a serious scheme error. The refs seem to only call PI on intermediate and long passes, Wentz unwillingness to throw these passes during the first half were a mistake.

  • Frencheaglesfan

    I’ve rewatched the game and I feel better.
    This game was about the perfect execution by the Seahawks vs the mistake prone Eagles. But still we were able to run the ball, pass and we just lost the turnover battle, when Russell is ballin’ like this it’s almost impossible to overcome.

    My only concern after this game is that our DBs were really exposed against a good but not great WR corps.

    • Masked Man

      Our DB’s are a young talented group. But they lack that veteran edge. They had trouble covering double and triple moves for 4-8 seconds while Wilson ran around finding passing lanes.

      Is that pretty much what you saw? That’s what I think.

      • Dave

        Add the fact that they play off coverage, quick passes expose their weakness too.

    • Nick C

      Our DBs were exposed to pick plays every third down. And our DLine did not get one holding call. I hate to make the official excuse as we could have played much better, but the NFL knew the outcome of the game when they place Corrente on the game (which has several old members from Morelli’s crew).

    • Insomniac

      We’ve always looked bad when we play mobile dink and dunkers.

      • Masked Man

        That’s tough if you can defeat our pass rush AND make the passes. Few can do that consistently.

        • xeynon

          Right, Wilson and Rodgers clearly, then there are a few more physically limited guys who also fit that mold such as Alex Smith and Dak. Wilson and Rodgers are the only two I’d say I really fear though.

        • Insomniac

          Yup. Alex Smith on a hot day would beat us if our offense doesn’t show up again. Hell even Case Keenum would too.

          • Masked Man

            I would rather face Keenum and the Vikes or Goff and the Rams in the playoffs than some of these old field general types like Wilson, Brees…

          • Someguy77

            I wouldn’t want to face Keenum the way he is playing right now.

            He has just been making money throws, has a clear go-to guy, and continues to impress me more each week. Teams that try to double Thelien then open up other options which Keenum readily exploited vs Falcons.

          • MattE

            Keenum ironically is 2nd this year in TD’s outside the pocket

          • Masked Man

            I did not know that.

            On Thanksgiving he looked sorta stationary.

          • MattE

            Wentz is of course #1

    • xeynon

      I kinda think any set of DBs in the league is going to have trouble against a guy capable of escaping the pass rush and buying time the way Wilson can. He’s amazing on broken plays.

  • or____

    Ha, pft headline now is “rams prepared to use silent count for Eagles game…” due to Eagles fans….

    • P_P_K

      12th man.

      • or____

        Na, that’s what Seattle “has”.

        We got 12th-12thOUSANDth man

  • kajomo

    Man I really don’t know how to cope with losing anymore. I’ve gotten so accustomed to winning this loss is lingering. Am I alone in that feeling? Do I sound like a total Patriots fan?

    I need a win next week so badly. I get the big picture and all that, but I need to feel good about this team again. I’m not sure wins against the Giants, raiders, or cowboys are going to help do that.

    • BlindChow

      I think the main reason it’s lingering is they didn’t look like the same team, offensively or defensively. If at least one side played competently, losing wouldn’t be so tough. Now they look like major chokers: “The Eagles finally got to the ‘playoff rivals’ stretch of their schedule, and they couldn’t handle it.”

      Beating the Rams would be a great remedy for that feeling.