Detailed Game Review – PHI 34, DAL 7

Posted: November 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 46 Comments »

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you make lemonade. Other times you tie Rob Ryan down and squeeze the lemons over his eyes, causing him excruciating pain, which is essentially what we did on Sunday night. Dallas came in with a defense that was highly ranked in most categories. Ryan was riding high and full of confidence. His #1 run D would shut down Shady McCoy. His star pass rusher would constantly harass Mike Vick. And Ryan would confuse the Eagles offense with his multiple looks and constantly shifting fronts. This was Dallas’ chance to make a statement to the league.

Well, they did make a statement. “Help!”     
Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg put together a brilliant gameplan. The blocking was great. The skill players executed the plays to near perfection. Mike Vick had a great game. His highlights were not breathtaking runs or 50-yard bombs, but rather sound decisions and accurate short/intermediate passes. Dallas wanted to take away big plays and force the Eagles to play small ball.

Andy/Marty anticipated this and played right along. The gameplan was all about small ball. The first play of the game was supposed to be a downfield throw, but that’s it. The rest of the game was all about moving the chains 5, 10, or 20 yards at a time. And that is just what the offense did.

Ryan accepted all the blame after the game, but his players had a major hand in the disaster. Sean Lee is one of the best young ILBs in the league and he didn’t have a tackle. He did have multiple missed tackles. NT Jay Ratliff is a Pro Bowl player. He made life tough on Jason Kelce, but Jay finished with 1 tackle and no QB hits. LB Anthony Spencer had a tackle assist. DeMarcus Ware is literally the only player who did his part, and even he wasn’t an impact player. He had 4 sacks. 2 of them came when Vick dove at his feet and we barely lost any yards. Another came on a bootleg where Ware was basically unblocked. The final sack was a result of a CB jumping a pass route and forcing Vick to hold the ball.

I was thrilled when we took the opening KO and marched right down for a TD, our first opening drive points of the year. That was a great sign. I was pretty happy when we took the next possession 90 yards for a TD. And we kept on scoring until it was 34-0. All of that was based on long drives. We never had great field position. We didn’t have any huge plays. Best gain of the day was a 34-yard run by Shady, but it went from the 36 to the 2. It wasn’t as if that moved us from deep to midfield. We’d already driven the ball when he broke free.

Shady was magical. He had the best game of his young career. The OL dominated the LOS and Shady made good read after good read. Just as impressive, we kept feeding him the ball. 30 carries? Who dressed up as Reid/Mornhinweg for Halloween? That couldn’t have been the real Marty/Andy, right?

Last year we dominated Dallas on the final drive of the game we won. We used a simple play where TE Clay Harbor pulled to the backside of the formation and sealed the LB, giving Shady a cutback lane. That worked great and we ate up the final minutes of the game, preserving our lead. Sunday night was an extension of that final drive. We pounded Dallas over and over. Ware and Spencer acted as if they’d never seen the play before, which shocked me. We did it to them last year and it is now a regular part of the offense.

Not only did we dominate the LOS on offense, we did it on defense as well. I wrote last week that Tony Romo was the key to the Cowboys offense. Well, we hit him early and bad Tony is the guy that showed up for the rest of the game. He made countless throws off his back foot or falling away. He wasn’t 18 of 35 by accident.

Juan Castillo put together a good gameplan and used a variety of guys to cover Jason Witten. Jason never got into a rhythm and finished the game with 4 catches for 28 yards. His highlight was a 4th down catch late in the game when we were nursing a 27 point lead.

Our run defense never got truly tested. Dallas finished with 10 carries for 85 yards. DeMarco Murray started off red hot, with 4 carries for 52 yards. His speed caught us off guard a couple of times. We adjusted and he got 22 yards on his next 4 carries. That was it for him because of the score of the game. The run D needs to be better, but I think adjusting to his speed was a serious issue, coming off the bye and playing the Skins. They have RBs that are bigger than fast.


I already covered the gameplans above.  Both coordinators had excellent plans.

Reid did a good job during the game.  He was 2 for 2 on challenges.  Both plays were obvious.

There weren’t any significant decisions that had to be made.

I did have a dispute with 2 things.  We had a 3rd/1 play with just under 10 minutes to go in the game.  We could have fed the ball to Shady, but instead tried a bootleg.  Ware read the play and sacked Vick for a loss.  The game was pretty much ours at that point.  Why even mess with the bootleg?  Just run the ball.  If you want to get cut, give it to Ronnie Brown or Owen Schmitt.  Heck, I could even live with an end around to DeSean.  A bootleg to Ware’s side?  Seems like that is playing with fire.

My other beef…we got the ball back with 6:07 left in the game.  We were pinned deep so I had no problem with Vick, Shady and company coming in initially.  Once we got the 1st down and were out near the 15-yard line, why not call a timeout and put in VY, Brown, Riley Cooper, and Steve Smith?  Play the young/new guys.  Get them reps and protect the star players.


* We won TOP, 42:09 to 17:51.

* No turnovers. Do that again, please.

* 4 for 6 in the RZ.

* Scored on first 6 possessions.

* 3rd/9 in the RZ. Vick sees a Dallas blitz and adjusts the play at the line. New play is WR screen to Mac. Vick steps back to throw around blitzer and Mac makes a good catch. There is a convoy of blockers. Peters takes out a DB and Kelce plows some defender in the endzone. Mac easily runs in for the score. Great play.

* 1st/10 from D-36. 3 WRs, TE, RB. Dallas started in normal 3-4. At the last moment Lee and a S came up quickly to blitz. Thank you, Mr. Ryan. Lee attacked a meaningless gap and the blitzer attacked off the edge while we ran to an area where he had been. The play was the designed cutback with the TE blocking the backside LB. Line flowed right. Celek came back and got Ware. Shady had an interstate to run on. If Avant could have gotten just a bit more of 43, we have a TD. Instead we had to settle for a gain of 34. Set up…

* 1st/GL from D-2. Jumbo package. King Dunlap came in as extra OL on right side. Todd was actually a TE on the play. Used our 2 other TEs and then Schmitt and Shady in the I. Ran right and Shady fought his way in for the TD. Watkins sealed Ratliff. Kelce got ILB. Shady saw a gap and went for it. Lee hit him, but Shady stayed off the ground and reached for the GL. TD.

* 3rd/5. We initially line up in odd formation, somewhat of a bunch set. Vick then backs into shotgun and the skill players scatter like dust in the wind. Next thing you know we’re in an empty set. Dallas is freaked out. The back seven players are running around pointing and yelling. I haven’t seen that much movement since the last episode of Glee. Brent was in the right slot. He was uncovered. Vick dropped back (and with me yelling “CELEK!” as loud as possible) looked right and hit Celek for an easy gain of 7 yds. 1st down. We confused the confusers.

* 1st/10. Early 4th Qtr. We line up with 2 TEs in the formation we’d been running out of so much. Vick fakes hand-off to Shady. Harbor crosses the formation, but instead of blocking a backside LB the play is a screen to him. He caught the ball behind the LOS, spun away from a DL, and then headed upfield for a gain of 12. Took 4 Cowboys to finally get him down. Great play. Love to see us running fake off base play like that. Love the TE screen. And I love getting the ball to Harbor.

* 2nd/1. From D-13. We go 3 WRs, TE, RB. That is a passing formation, but on a running down. Dallas responds with 3-3-5, a pass defense. They have 6 guys in box. We have 6 blockers. Uh, not good Rob. Simple hand-off to the right side. Shady makes one S miss at the 5 and scores easily. That was a terrible defensive call.

VICK — Great game. For my money, Vick’s best game as an Eagle. Not his most dynamic or most exciting, but his best. Vick used his arm, legs, and head to beat the Boys. He played smart football. Vick’s weakness has been pre-snap reads. He’s been more of a reactionary QB than a guy who anticipates. That wasn’t the case on Sunday night. He did a terrific job of reading the defense and making adjustments in alignment, protection, or even outright changing the play. I also loved the fact that Vick got out of bounds on several of his runs. Avoid senseless hits whenever possible. For the game, Vick was 21-28-279 with 2 TDs and no picks. He ran 7 times for 50 yards.


Threw slant to Mac on 2nd play of game. Very good throw. Let us get RAC yards.
Ran for 15 on opening drive. Wisely got out of bounds.
Ran on a broken play for 11 yds. Vick seemed to be bobbling the ball slightly when he tried to hand-off so he just kept it and ran.
Scrambled for 9 yards on 3rd/8 to keep the 3rd drive going. Ware thought he might catch him, but Mike was a step too fast. Mike then got up after being hit and threw/spun the ball forward. We got a 5-yd delay of game penalty for that.
Made great throw to Avant on 3rd/8 that went for 20 and set up 1st/GL.
Made great throw on 1st/GL to Celek for TD. Got the ball just around LB Bradie James. Brent was “open” by NFL standards and Vick put the ball on the mondy.
Off target on throw to Celek in early 3rd. Would have gotten us 15 to 20 yds.

SCHMITT — Did an okay job as lead blocker. Got a pass thrown his way in the RZ. Good call, but Dallas had the right defense. If CB goes with Mac on crossing route, Owen would have been wide open. Made a good block of ILB on screen pass where Shady went for 16 yards.

MCCOY — Great game. 30-185-2 as a runner. 2-15 as a receiver. Arguably Shady’s best game. Numbers aside, he just had a great game. Made tacklers miss, play after play. Both TD runs came in the Red Zone. I’m not going to cover every run below. Shady had a ton of plays where he had huge holes. I was very impressed with his short yardage running in this game. Converted on 1st/GL from the 2. Converted on 3rd/1 and 4th/1. Ran hard and stayed as N-S as possible. This was an issue in some previous games.

Made poor block attempt on opening play, when we were trying to go deep. Blitzer forced Vick to run and he got sacked for short loss. Made a good block of defender on early Vick run. Gave Mike extra yards and kept him from getting hit. Good awareness to see that he needed to block. Had impressive run on 2nd drive. Ratliff was in the hole waiting to tackle him when Shady just busted out wide. Jay was left on the ground wondering what just happened. Sean Lee tried to tackle him out wide, but got a stiff arm. Shady got 10 yards on the play and made 2 Pro Bowl players look silly. Put a wicked move on CB Newman in the backfield and turned loss into a gain of 2. Newman was left on the ground staring up as to what the heck just happened. Impressive run in early 3rd. Ran inside for gain of 7. Was in heavy traffic at that point, but broke out to the right and got another 6 yards. Shady used his strength to fight off a tackle attempt by Brooking. Loved his run on 3rd/1. Shady didn’t hesitate. Fired up behind Mathis and hit the hole hard. Got 3 yds. Gained 16 yards on screen pass in the 3rd Q. That set up 1st/GL. Ran hard on 4th/1 and got the yard. Tripped and fell. Bounced the run outside a bit, but was only by a gap and there wasn’t traffic to that area.

BROWN — Backup RB, but only played a few snaps. Had one carry up the middle in the 3rd Q for a gain of 4.

DJAX — Finished with 3-31. Drew a holding call on CB on opening drive. Guy had to do it because DJax got behind him and had a TD if not for the penalty. Was open for a catch in the RZ, but Vick was under pressure and couldn’t get off a good throw. Short-hopped the ball to DJax. Caught a 12-yd pass on the left side on 2nd drive. Bobbled the ball, but held on. Ran a poor route at the end of the 1st. Was supposed to be quick throw to him. CB tried to jump it. DJax has to fight through that to make sure CB can’t get to ball. DeSean was too passive and Newman almost did get the ball. Vick didn’t look thrilled. Caught a short pass on the right side and got a few RAC yards on 4th drive. Ran a crossing route out of a bunch set in the 3rd Q. Got the ball just 2 yds upfield. Used a stiff arm on Scandrick to get some separation and turned the pass into a gain of 14. Love seeing DJax on plays like that. Low risk, but gets the ball in his hands. 12 RAC yards. Good block of Newman on Shady’s final TD run.

MACLIN — Had 3 catches for 54 yards. First catch was a slant from Vick (2nd play of the game). Added 15 RAC yards on that play. Next catch was the TD on WR screen. Had to pluck the ball with his hands. Nice grab. Caught pass for gain of 18 to open the 3rd Q. Tough grab. Had to go down for the ball. Good adjustment, hands.

AVANT — Very good game. Led WRs with 5 catches for 74 yards. Had a solid day as a blocker. Lined up in left slot and ran crossing route on 3rd/8. Vick made a great throw and Jason got 20 yds on the play. Lined up in left slot and ran crossing route on 1st/10. Vick made an easy throw and Jason got 18 yds on the play. Lined up in the left slot, faked a crossing route, and then cut back outside. Great route. Wide open. Vick hit him for a gain of 24. That set up 1st/GL. Caught a pair of passes in the 4th Q when we were trying to eat up some clock.


CELEK — Brent’s best game of the year and his best in quite some time. He was targeted 9 times and caught 7 passes for 94 yards. Had 1 TD. He and Vick showed good chemistry in this game, something I think had been lacking this year. Caught a pass on 2nd drive. Lined up a couple of yards away from Peters, but in upright position. Went upfield and planted hard, then cut to the inside. Got inside of Lee and was wide open when Vick hit him. Caught the ball at the 18 and managed to fight his way to the 31. Had a good block of Scandrick on broken run by Vick. Play could have been TFL, but Brent stuck on his guy and Vick went for 10. Helped on Ware before releasing on pass routes on some plays. Had to block a backside DE (290 lbs) with a wham block. Brent wasn’t so keen on that and went low. Marginal block. We ran a TE screen to Brent on the 3rd possession. He blocked Ware, then let him go. Vick made a quick, soft throw. That went for 15 yards, all of the RAC variety. Caught a downfield pass for gain of 22. Looked like Brent was open for a 2nd TD on drive in the 3rd Q. Vick didn’t see him initially. Then he did throw the ball that way and the CB was able to get a hand on it and break up the pass. Had a false start in the 3rd Q, but it didn’t hurt us. Ran another TE screen to Celek on 3rd/13 at the end of the 3rd Q. Brent blocked Spencer then let him go. Vick got ball out quickly and Brent rumbled for 12.5 yards. Didn’t have any blockers and had to deal with 3 or 4 tacklers. Good effort. Made tough catch for 9 yards in the early 4th. Vick put the ball low and Brent went down and got it.

* Favorite moment was Shady run that started right and then got bounced left. Brent had Brooking, but let him go. No holding. That play showed good awareness. Too often we’ve been a dumb team this year. That was an incredibly good sign for me.

HARBOR — Good game. Only had 1 catch for 11 yards, but was a key blocker all night. Took on Ware on passing play and actually drove him to the ground…cleanly. Wow. Had a good block of Spencer on run play where McCoy ran for 22 yards in the late 3rd Q. Good block of Spencer on run play. Anthony tried to avoid the block and essentially took himself out of the play. Shady got 9 yards. Caught TE screen in the early 4th and got 12 yards on the play. Had a good seal block of defender on run play when we were backed up deep. Allowed Shady to get 7 yds on the play.

PETERS — Terrific game. Forgot just how good he is at LT. Time after time he just collapsed the backside of the DL with down blocks. That left Shady acres of running room. Good block on Mac’s WR screen TD. Good block to open 2nd drive. Got a shot on the DE and pass him to Mathis. Then went after LB. Shady ran to that area and got 6 yards. Had a false start after that to remind us he’s human. Put Brooking on the ground on screen pass to Celek in 2nd Q. Jason just knocked the crap out of him. Good block of DE on run play where Shady came to his side. Got 9 on the play. Had good block of DE on 4th/1 run. Got the guy off the ball enough for Shady to get to that side cleanly for the 1st.

MATHIS — Good game. Good block of Sean Lee on early run for nice gain. Nothing great, but got enough of Lee to keep him from making the play. Good seal block on Ratliff on Brown’s run in the 3rd Q. Outstanding job on 3rd/1. Helped Kelce double Ratliff and get up to sorta stand up. Evan peeled off and got a LB. Shady ran to that hole and got the 1st. Actually got 3 yds on the play. Good block of Ratliff on inside run for gain of 3.

KELCE — Won his battle with Jay Ratliff, but it wasn’t easy. Jay fired upfield on early run play. Luckily it was a designed cutback. Kelce stayed on him and Shady was clean in getting to the backside. Used leverage to control Ratliff. Got under him a lot and then steered him away from the ball. Ratliff exploded into Kelce on 2nd Q pass play and knocked him back. Jason didn’t panic. He recovered and got his hands on Jay to ride him wide and give Vick a chance to move (ran for a couple of yards). Made one huge mistake. Thought Vick was behind him on 3rd drive and snapped ball normally. Problem. Vick was in the shotgun. Mike dove on the ball so it didn’t hurt us, but that could have been a costly mistake. Ratliff flew upfield on another pass play. Kelce stuck with him as long as possible and gave Vick time to get the pass off. Jay got free, but too late. Had a real impressive block of Ratliff on pass play in the early 3rd. Got driven back, but re-set and stuck with him. Ratliff did every thing he could to disengage, but Kelce sustained the block long enough for Vick to scramble for a gain of 5. Made a subtle, but good block of ILB on screen pass. Got upfield and dove at the guy’s legs. Didn’t make great contact, but did enough to totally take him out of the play and leave the middle open for Shady. Called for holding in the late 3rd. Questionable call. His left hand came close to hooking Ratliff, but Jason never full on did hook him. That erased a Vick run for a 1st down.

WATKINS — Making progress. Got up under Ratliff’s pads and kept a path clear for Shady on run up the middle. Sloppy block on pass play. Let his DL pressure Vick, but pass was still completed for nice gain. Danny needed to get a step wider to force the DL to take a bad angle. Those are the kind of little things he’s going to be learning each week. Good block of Brooking on Shady’s last TD run. Hit him about the 10 and stuck with the block down to the GL. Didn’t have a lot of highlight run blocks because so many plays started to his side, but were designed cutbacks. Danny and Todd just got the flow going and pounded on the defenders in front of them.

HERREMANS — Good game. Controlled Spencer when he faced him. Had some issues with Ware. Ware “beat” him for TFL on draw play, but as Collinsworth pointed out, that was an influence play that Ware didn’t fall for. Wasn’t a poor block by Todd. Ware got by him on a pass play and came close to Vick, but was still late. Did get beaten for a sack, but even that wasn’t really his fault. We tried to get a quick pass to Mac, but the CB jumped the route. Vick wisely held the ball. Todd was expecting a quick pass. Ware got by him and sacked Vick and got a FF. Luckily, Todd jumped on the ball. Had he just watched, a Cowboy might have gotten, but Todd stayed focused and involved. Had good block of LB on Shady run to his side. Todd got upfield to seal ILB and give Shady space. Gain of 22. Key block on Shady’s final TD run. Got the best of the DE and gave Shady free access to the edge. Like Danny, most of Todd’s run blocks were meaningless because Shady cut to the backside.



* On the TD…we were in Nickel. Nnamdi in slot. DRC at RCB. Asante out left. Looked like it was zone. 2nd/4 situation with us up 34-0. Asante carried his receiver up the sideline and then saw Romo’s fake. Asante focused on the receiver in the flat. Kurt Coleman also bit on the shoulder fake. That let Robinson get free for an easy 70-yard TD. Both guys wanted to make a play on the ball instead of just playing it safe. Coleman, as the S, can’t let a receiver get behind him.

* One of the things that makes Witten so valuable is RAC yards. I don’t know if he had more than a couple. We tackled him well.

* On final drive, every DL moved around. Patt LDE and DT. Trent LDE and RDT. Cujo RDE. Babin LDT and LDE.
The coaches let the guys have some fun.

COLE — Had a sack and that was his only tackle of the game. Got a nice shot on Romo on the opening drive. Babin came inside and was sacking Romo as Cole got back in that area. Tony’s head/neck hit up against Cole’s elbow. Completely accidental, but looked very unpleasant. Jumped over a cut block from Free. Got in Romo’s face and forced a quick throw, plus Tony threw it while falling backward to avoid contact. Incomplete. Got a gift sack late in the half. Romo got flushed by inside pressure and ran right to Trent. Welcome back. Hit Romo on 4th/12 pass in the 4th Q, but only after ball was out. Moved to LDE for a snap on final drive. Crushed RT Smith and put him on the ground. Dove for Romo, but barely missed. Got held on late pass play, but mercifully the refs let it go.

PARKER — Backup LDE. Played the fewest snaps of the DEs. Didn’t have any tackles. Got a bit of pressure, but nothing that stood out. Best pressure he got all night came on play where Romo moved out wide and threw TD. Got a finger on the ball on WR screen and it then hit the ground.

PATTERSON — Good game. Mike has now played well in consecutive games and the D looked good in them. That’s not a coincidence. Only credited with 1 stop, but had a hand in 2 of our 4 sacks. Used spin move on run play to come free and stop RB for short gain. Beat Holland late in the half (the Dutch army just isn’t what it used to be). Got free up the middle and flushed Romo, right to Cole for a sack. Came free up the middle on 4th/GL late in the game and that pressure flushed Romo. Babin got that sack.

JENKINS — Good game. Only credited with 1 tackle, but he was disruptive. Also dealt with his share of double teams. Drew holding call on G Holland on opening drive. Key play because it derailed a promising drive. Got held late in the half but drew no call. You could see the OL holding onto Cujo’s jersey as he was in the backfield. Crazy. Helped tackle RB in early 3rd. Good hustle on that play. Beat the RG on 3rd down pass play in the mid-3rd Q and forced Romo to dump the ball to checkdown target. That led to punt. Had offside call in the 4th Q.

BABIN — Good game. Had 2 more sacks, giving him 9 for the year. Showed great hustle on early WR screen. Chased play down and got in on tackle. Came up with a sack on the opening drive. Used a spin move to the inside and got to Romo. Helped to disrupt a 3rd Q run by hitting the FB in the backfield and forcing the RB to stay deep. Got his 2nd sack in the 4th on 4th/GL. Used spin move back to the inside and Patt had forced Romo to move. Jason was able to get him pretty easily.

D TAPP — Backup RDE. Lined up at RDT on 3rd down. Looped around the LDT and came free up the middle. Forced Romo to get rid of the ball, but he made a terrific throw. This was the sideline catch/non-catch by Robinson. Ended up incomplete. Did a good job on 3rd Q run. Stood up the LT and pushed him back, boxing in the RB. Broke up 4th Q screen by sticking with the RB and forcing Romo to throw the ball in the ground.

LANDRI — So humble that it frightens me. Derek knew the game was on national TV and decided not to make any plays so as not to steal the spotlight from his teammates. Just another reason he should be the team MVP. Did Use a spin move late to come free up the middle and flush Romo. Just wanted a chance to say hi to Tony.

LAWS — Got a sack to halt opening drive. 3rd/16. Babin went inside and Laws looped around the outside. He came free and was able to chase down Romo for the sack. Ate up a double team on running play in the late 1st Q and formed a pile that slowed down RB. Beat the RG to the inside and may have forced poor throw. Didn’t hit Romo, but the pass was off target. Strange play on final drive. Drove RG back a step at the snap. Thought he might push the guy back to Romo, but Trevor either lost his balance or got confused. He quit pushing and moved E-W instead of going upfield. Not a key moment so it was more funny than anything.

CHANEY — Best game of the year. He’s not in Butkus territory mind you, but is at least headed in the right direction. Led the team with 6 solo tackles. Missed tackle of Murray on run play that came by him. Did have to deal with a blocker, but stiff arm from Murray was what really slowed him down. Got to Witten quickly after a short catch. No one blew a whistle so Jamar slammed him to the ground. Refs have got to blow a whistle on that play. No penalties, injuries, or fights, but that is how those things happen. Made a good tackle of Witten out in space on final drive of the half. Tackled Robinson after short catch to open the 3rd Q. Made solid tackle of RB on early play in 3rd Q. Didn’t have any blockers to deal with. Got to the lane and filled, then made good stop. Had an unusual PBU in the early 4th. Covering the RB out wide. RB goes downfield and Chaney is trailing. Romo hit Chaney in the numbers with a pass. Had good coverage of Witten on 4th/GL and I think that made Romo hold the ball. He was sacked a second or two later. Hustled out wide to tackle Bryant after catch on final drive. Failed to tackle RB on short pass on the very next play. Good effort, but was up high and the guy shrugged it off to get out of bounds. Did a solid job on Witten when he was given the task of covering him.

FOKOU — Up and down. Made a good tackle on 1st Q play that came right at him. Then, he got cut blocked on outside run and we gave up a big gain. Covered TE M Bennett on a wheel route. Trailed the TE by a step. Romo put the ball to Bennett and Fokou got a hand on it as Martellus was trying to make the grab. Bennett then bobbled the ball and Nnamdi was able to make a diving pick on it. Stuffed RB on run play right at him. Moise was unblocked, but made a strong, physical tackle. Played a 3rd Q run perfectly. Lined up on the LOS. RT pulled and Fokou engaged him and that funneled the RB back inside, to other defenders.

ROLLE — Solid. Tripped up Robinson on early WR screen. Made a very good tackle of Murray on 3rd Q run. It was an inside run and Rolle read it quickly. Fired upfield and got Murray by the feet, then twisted him down. Made a twisting tackle of Robinson on WR screen in the early 4th. Held the play to a short gain. Missed TFL of Murray on next play after pass to flat, but DRC made the play. Brian slipped as he went to make the tackle.

COLEMAN — Somewhat quiet game. Helped make tackle of Murray on first play. Chased down Murray and force him out of bounds after nice gain in the early 2nd Q. Made a good coverage play on Witten in the endzone in the mid-4th. Made sure Jason didn’t make the grab. Bought Romo’s shoulder fake and was burned for long TD. Didn’t cost us this time, but can’t repeat that mistake.

ALLEN — Somewhat quiet for him. Came down in the box and helped make tackle of RB in late 1st Q. Gave up minimal gain. Good tackle of Witten in the 4th. Came down in the box at times. Flew up near the ball several times, but the runner/receiver was already on the ground.

ASOMUGHA — Good game. 3 tackles, INT, 2 PBUs. Covered WRs. Covered Witten at times. Did well on all assignments. Made a diving pick in the late 1st. Made an impressive diving tackle of Murray on draw play late in the half. Dove by an OL and took out Murray’s legs with solid tackle. Lined up like S/LB in dime package in mid-3rd. Hanson, Asante, and DRC all played press coverage on WRs. Witten was in the backfield like a FB. Not sure if that’s why Nnamdi was off the ball the way he was or if that was a design. The ball got dumped to Witten. Nnamdi flew up to make the tackle, but didn’t wrap up. Hanson cleaned up and made the stop. Nnamdi got up and piled on as well. Had pretty good coverage on Witten on 4th/12 play, but Romo got him the ball and the play gained 12.1 yards to keep 4th Qtr drive alive. Kept Bryant from catching TD pass in the 4th Q. Some Cowboys fans will tell you that Nnamdi got away with pass interference Nonsense. He was being supportive of Bryant on a night when things weren’t going well. Touching is a sign of friendship. That’s all.

SAMUEL — Best game of the year. Had 4 solo stops and a PBU. I’ve been plenty critical of Asante this year, but Juan or Andy or someone got him to get with the program and Asante played very well. Broke on pass play to his side and almost got a hand on the ball, but did at least make the tackle. Had tight coverage of Robinson on 3rd/5. Played press and even got a jam on him. Asante never saw the ball. Robinson went over him to make the grab. He bobbled the ball and had a foot hit the sideline. Ruled catch, but challenge and instant replay over-turned that. Had good coverage of Robinson on pass play in early 3rd. Ball came that way, but was off target. Made a good tackle of Robinson after short pass to that side in the early 4th. Made good tackle of Austin after short pass in his area.

RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Solid game. Played a lot at RCB when Nnamdi was on Witten. DRC didn’t give up much. Had 3 solo tackles. Had a TFL in the early 4th on pass to RB in the flat. Rolle slipped/missed and then DRC made the stop. Came up quickly to get Bryant after short pass in the mid-4th, but couldn’t make a clean tackle. Several guys got shots on Bryant to put him down.

HANSON — Played in some Dime packages. Miles Austin beat him in the left slot for a good gain on 3rd/6. Hanson had okay coverage, but Austin got to the inside and Romo made a good throw. Sort of broke up a pass to Witten in the early 3rd. Witten ran the route fine, but then looked surprised when the ball came his way. Combination of him dropping it and Hanson getting a hand in there. Incomplete. Had one serious lowlight. MmmBop tried to tackle Bryant after a short catch on final drive. Bryant used a stiff arm to just shove him to the ground. Ouch. He’ll hear about that in film sessions. Teammates will show no mercy, especially after a win.


CHAS HENRY — 2 punts. Averaged 46 yards per punt.

ALEX HENERY — 2 of 2 on FGs, but both were short. Generally got good depth on his KOs. Did have an early KO go out of bounds and that gave DAL great field position. Dumb.

PR — Maclin had a 7 yd PR late in the half. Looked like he was close to breaking it for long gain. Dallas main P was injured so most kicks were an adventure.

KOR — Dion Lewis was out so Ronnie Brown took his spot. Only had 1 KOR. Got 25 yards and looked solid.


* Player was offside on first KO. Then Henery put the ball out of bounds on the re-kick.

* Colt Anderson made a good stop of Ogletree on the 2nd KO.

* Akeem Jordan really popped the KOR late in the half.

* Casey Matthews made tackle on KOR in early 4th.

* Gave up 25-yd PR to Ogletree. Sloppy coverage.


46 Comments on “Detailed Game Review – PHI 34, DAL 7”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 5:04 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Before I read the DGR I wanted to ask you about something I read in the TMQ column over on ESPN, here’s what he said:
    “Andy Reid is known for using the same game plan week after week, which is a reason the Eagles tend to wheeze out in the postseason, when film study intensifies. But during bye weeks Reid always adds new wrinkles…”

    Have you noticed this throughout the years. I always was under the impression Reid always kept a handful of plays or so for use in the playoffs or “must-win” games. I think he changes up his gameplans as much as any other coach, personally.

    btw, Good work as always, love beating the Cowboys

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 5:13 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Reid has a lot of wrinkles he mixes in. Some are subtle. The Patriots make drastic shifts with their offense. We’re nothing like that.

    I don’t agree that the reason we lose in the playoffs is gameplans. Could that have been the case in 2002 and 2003…maybe. I think ’02 Donnie was still rusty and 2003 we didn’t have Westy, our one legit playmaker.

    Offense was good in 2004, 2006, 2008. In 2009 Donnie didn’t play well. Last year…I think GB was just a flat out better team.

  3. 3 Anders Jensen said at 6:13 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I really dont think GB was a better team last year. The Eagles had every chance to win that game, but mistakes killed us.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 11:04 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    That’s why I brought it up, the comment just seemed asinine to me when I read it and just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t missing something. If anything, our downfall has simply been execution or like you noted, injuries.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 5:24 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Great DGR Tommy. It’s always fun to read these after a win. I will say, the one thing that did bother me was the number of times you wrote “best game of season” or “best game of career”. We won this game by a good margin, but can we expect a similar level of play from so many guys week in and week out? I liked what you said about Vick and how despite having such a great game, he didn’t do anything that was so spectacular you couldn’t expect it again, but is that true for the other guys you mentioned. After this past week, I have gained higher expectations for the Eagles after loosing a lot of faith in them after the 4 game loosing streak, but I also realize that there is no way we are going to run away with each game the way we did against Dallas. I’m curious to find out how this team plays in a tighter game, especially considering that Dallas was averaging 8.5 yards/run in this game.

    One other minor thing I noticed was that you wrote Henery had good depth on his kickoffs. Really? With the added 5 yards, I have seen very few kicks not make it at least part way into the endzone (regardless of whether it was returned or not). Henery had a few throughout the game that were a few yards short of the endzone. That bothered me a bit.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 5:36 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    “Generally got good depth”. He did have a couple short.

    If you’re getting the ball 3 to 5 yards in the endzone, that’s good. Short of the endzone isn’t good. Back of the endzone is very good.

    Best game of the year:

    Vick – Efficient led to this being his best game.
    Shady – Great.
    Celek – part of him having a good game was simply being key part of gameplan
    Chaney – underachiever this year who is turning things around
    Asante – good player who’s been awkward this year

    None of these guys did anything that can’t be duplicated. Kurt Coleman getting 3 picks last time out was an anomaly. Jamar Chaney making solid tackles should be normal. Calling this his best game is an insult to the rest of the year, when he’s played poorly.

    I get your point, but I’m not concerned because these players didn’t do special things. They played up to their ability. They eliminated mistakes. That stuff can happen any week (and should most weeks).

  7. 7 the guy said at 6:00 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I managed to find a clip of Tommy celebrating after Sunday night’s game.

    I have to say, you got some moves!

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 11:13 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Pretty much the greatest commercial ever. PBR + Pat Swayze + disco. Heaven on Earth.

  9. 9 the guy said at 11:46 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Honestly I didn’t even know PBR came in bottles. I thought you could only purchase single cans in brown paper bags.

  10. 10 Alex Karklins said at 9:18 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    If it isn’t in a tall boy can, it isn’t a true PBR. 12 oz. cans and botles are for hipsters.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 3:17 PM on November 2nd, 2011:

    You are so dead to me.

  12. 12 ike said at 6:26 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    You’re never as good as your best game or as bad as your worst.

    The Eagles “worst” game was against the Giants — because the Giants, with or without turnovers, PHYSICALLY outplayed the Eagles. Not true in the other games, when the Birds’ turnovers and mistakes cost them the victory.

    Beating Dallas was the Eagles’ “best” game. But not like the 2008 season finale that ended 44-6, where Dallas turned the ball over a bunch deep in Eagles territory.

    This game the Eagles simply out executed ‘Boys. If Dallas had tried to take away Shady, the long ball would have opened up. Otherwise, the Eagles — as I commented in one Tommy’s posts last week as to what I hoped to see — took what the Cowboys gave them. Real WCO.

    My Point: If the Eagles “worst” game was the Giants, then this year’s Eagles have a chance to be a very special team. Because that game was a winnable into the 4th Quarter.

    And if the best was the ‘Boys, it’s because we saw the Eagles not making mistakes and TOs. We saw the Eagles play sound, fundamental football (certainly, on offense).

    Also, this game showed what having Nnamdi can mean. He’s the first “shut down” corner in the 42 years I’ve been watching the Eagles. He forces teams to change their offenses completely.

    Again, this team has a chance to be very potent . . . but first they need to Beat Duh Bears.

  13. 13 Eric Weaver said at 6:32 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    It’s hard to believe, but Vick is on pace for more yards rushing this year than last year. He just won’t have 9 TDs.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 11:14 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    He’ll get a few rushing TDs before all is said and done.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 6:41 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Tommy, great write up as usual.
    Just one question, is Keenan Clayton in Andy’s doghouse or was it just Dallas’ scheme that didn’t suit him even though i think he’d be perfect against their Offense

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 11:15 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Good question. The way the gameplan was devised we sure didn’t need him. Still, it isn’t good that he’s been inactive 2 weeks in a row. I’ve not heard anything on him behind the scenes.

  17. 17 Steve H said at 6:45 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Asomugha was just shaking Bryants hand and wishing him well on his career endeavors. Frankly I think Cowboys fans should be lauding such sportsmanship from a bitter rival.

  18. 18 Kammich said at 6:56 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I haven’t read the whole DGR yet, but your early point about the brilliance of the gameplan has not fallen on deaf ears. I think there is a LOT to be said about Andy Reid being 13-0 after bye weeks. I think that, in today’s NFL, that statline is frankly incredible. It shows you that with an extra week of prep, Andy is one of the best in the biz. He’s like Batman. Give him a few days notice to draw up a plan and set some traps, and you can’t touch the dude. Marty can be his Robin. And Howard Mudd is a grizzled, hobbled, and angry Commissioner Gordon.

    We can always lament Andy for his game-day decisions, and often times it is much-deserved criticism. But 13-0 after a bye week? Blows my mind.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 11:16 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    So which opposing coach is Catwoman?

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 5:48 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    Clearly, Rob Ryan is the Penguin.

  21. 21 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 7:37 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    Before we start creating images here, let’s just have the cheerleaders all be catwoman.

    Ed Hochuli is Bane.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 11:30 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Does that make Washburn the uppity butler? Maybe Asante?

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 7:12 PM on November 1st, 2011:


    What’s with the lack of Riley Cooper? Him and Vick seemed to have good chemistry and he’s the perfect redzone target. Why aren’t they getting him involved? At first I thought they were saving him for later in the season, but the season is getting shorter and Cooper isn’t getting any more playing time.

  24. 24 Anders Jensen said at 7:33 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Who would you take out? Its not like he is sitting behind bums

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 8:05 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I said, why isn’t he getting playing time, not why isn’t he starting. He’s a big body, with good hands. He should be getting some snaps in the redzone.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 10:07 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Yes, but you still need to take someone off the field. I’d rather have Maclin, Avant and Celek in there and I’m sure Jackson serves a purpose in RZ in some form…

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 11:17 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    The team still has high hopes, but Avant is having a career year. So is Maclin. DJax is his usual self. Shady is getting more touches than ever. Cooper is just caught up in the numbers game.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 12:29 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    Fair enough. I still say when your biggest offensive problem, aside from turnovers, is redzone production, you find a way to get your biggest skill position player on the field.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 12:12 PM on November 2nd, 2011:

    Honestly, I would disagree with that at this point. Riley is our biggest WR, but he isn’t even close talent-wise to McCoy, Maclin, DeSean, or Celek. Heck, he might not be better than Avant, Schmitt, or even Brown in the redzone. Part of that is because our top skill position guys are so good that Riley can’t get on the field, but also, I don’t think it is unfair to say that Cooper has been a bit of a disappointment so far. Yes he is lost in the numbers game, but he should be finding a way to make his presence known. Now, don’t get me wrong, he is still young and not finding a role in an offense where we have such talented skill players doesn’t make you a bust by any means, but drawing up plays for Cooper in the redzone takes away plays from guys who have significantly more talent.

    To me, sticking to what they are doing the last couple weeks seems to have made a significant improvement. Feeding the ball to McCoy and getting away from the “cute” type plays has helped our offense. I think we should continue to focus on that rather than force the ball to a guy who has shown very little so far in his career.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 7:33 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    I’m still upset on the wasted $$$ on Steve Smith…I am not sure if his leg is not 100% by waste the money, just to stick it to the Gmen? Tulloch was sitting there….that $$$ could have gone his way. I would have rather overpaid a stud LB, then pay a WR that was great 2 years ago, but obviously is down now. I don’t think they will give Smith another year to try to prove himself. Avant just seems to keep getting better and better. Though, if its a roster spot between Cooper and Smith who do you keep? A good special teamer and an okay receiver, or a potentially stud WR?

  31. 31 Anders Jensen said at 1:09 PM on November 2nd, 2011:

    With or without Smith, we would have had the money for Tulloch, but we dont know if the FO wanted him or he even wanted to come here.

  32. 32 Yuri said at 9:05 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    One beef with coaching. Not a fan of timeouts at the end of first half. All it got was a chance at PR, at the cost of injury or potential big play by Dallas.

    Yes it was also a big FU message to the boys’ offence, but I would have run down the clock. SD tried a similar tactic at end of regulation vs KC on MNF, and it almost backfired.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 9:43 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    * We won TOP, 42:09 to 17:51.

    That has to be close to a record. That is just insane.

    I can’t think of a better reason for a quiet game by a safety than this: “Flew up near the ball several times, but the runner/receiver was already on the ground.”

    This DGR was fun to read, a welcome change from some of the recent ones. Not a criticism or the writing, mind you, rather the subject matter.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 9:52 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I just Googled it: 45:07 by Miami in a MNF loss to the Colts two years ago.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 11:02 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I remember watching that game, to this day I still can’t believe Miami managed to lose. They had the ball for over 3/4 of the game, but as we all know Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning and does things most people just can’t do

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 10:10 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Indeed. If your safties are quiet because the other guys in front of them are tackling well, it has been a good performance…

  37. 37 Cliff Hall said at 10:44 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Is DeSean underrated as a blocker? He’s not laying defenders out on run plays, but he’s really pesky and I rarely see him shy away from contact when blocking. Seems like this is our best group of blocking WR’s in a long while. Just a thought.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 11:19 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    Yeah, I don’t think people give him credit. Heck, I think part of his success comes from defenders not taking him all that seriously. He is a small dude.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 11:20 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    I am sure the fact that they are such dangerous receivers helps too – when the DBs are so worried about getting burned they have less of a chance to see Shady coming and it gives our guys the jump.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 11:26 PM on November 1st, 2011:

    It seemed the refs felt bad for Romo by the end. They ignored some blatant holds and an obvious grounding call at the end. That pissed me off. (1) It is not their place to decide the guys has had enough; nothing was preventing Dallas from just running it and (2) it was Dallas; we owe them for the ’90s.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 3:41 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    I love reading these when the Eagles win. When they lose the DGRs are more like an autopsy.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 4:38 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    As the deadline (14th of Nov) for extending players approaches do we see Desean’s contract extension soon???

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 11:40 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    The Eagles version of the WCO has normally included more of the long pass in the mix than is traditional. That is probably in part because Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have a certain aggressiveness to their natures. Historically this may have also been due to Donovan McNabb being better at the long pass than the short one. But today we have a QB who excells at the short pass (how many times were those throws right in the numbers and out in front so the reciver could get that RAC) and now can read defenses. So if defenses want to play the linebackers up to stop Shady and the safeties back to keep Maclin and Jackson from getting over the top why not throw in the middle and short – particularly when you have Avant and (count em) two good tight ends.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 11:51 AM on November 2nd, 2011:

    Just got my power back. Obviously missed the game. Two questions:

    1) Does Casey Matthews even see the field anymore?
    2) If this was week 1 of the season and this was Watkins first game, what would your review be like? I ask because this was the first game after the bye. The first 6 weeks could be considered a true TC/Preseason all rolled into one (for Watkins in terms of learning) and then he had two weeks where he could really sit down and work on the things he learned up until then individually with coaches.


  45. 45 James Coe said at 7:06 AM on November 3rd, 2011:

    I’ve got a couple of comments on this game…

    The thing about Kelce’s fumbled snap that really impressed me is that he didn’t panic. He knew he’d made a mistake and rather than try to dive on the ball himself, he got good push on the D-line and helped give Vick space to go get the ball. As quick as Mike is, he wouldn’t have recovered if the OL didn’t respond in the right way.

    Nnamdi’s hold on Bryant was great – there’s a real skill in being able to keep hold of your guy just enough to stop him making the catch but not so much that the referees see it.

    The KO that went out of bounds was obviously a bad kick, but the one before (that was offside) was also short and towards the corner. Do you think they’re trying to work in some shorter kicks to avoid touchbacks and give the coverage guys a chance to make a play within the 20/cause fumbles etc?

  46. 46 andrew neiffer said at 12:36 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Tommy, I really enjoy reading your write ups, but as a former football player, I need to inform you that “RAC yards” is not the correct term. Instead it is YAC which means Yards After Catch. There is no need to have the R in your version, since im assuming it stands for Running, because obvously any yards after a catch are going to be running yards.