Game Review – ARZ 21, PHI 17

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 77 Comments »

I literally felt sick to my stomach as I re-watched this game. We had the game won at so many points, but failed to seal the deal. Want a good idea of why we lost? Making clutch plays. Our Safety was unable to hold on to a pass that hit him in the hands. The ball was then snagged by Larry Fitzgerald and it jump-started a scoring drive. Conversely, their DL had a ball hit him in the stomach, but got his hands on it and made the pick, killing a drive where we were already in the Red Zone. They made the big plays. We did not.

The whole day just a had a funny feel. The crowd was dead. The offense only had one drive that gained 50 or more yards. There were no big plays or ball control. There was just a blah vibe to the game. Things got a bit lively when Asante had his pick-6, but that was a momentary lapse of emotion.

The defense played well for 3 quarters, giving up just 198 yards and 7 points. Too bad the game didn’t end there. The 4th Qtr saw the defense give up 172 yards and 14 points. Good thing we have a defense built to protect leads, as I wrote all spring and summer. Nothing better than the Eagles losing and also taking the time to make me look like a jackass. Thanks, fellas.


Okay, let’s talk about the offense. Vick broke a couple of ribs early in the game. He didn’t tell anyone, but it was clear to anyone watching that he was playing poorly. The logical thing to do was feed the ball to Shady, after all he is having the best year of any RB in the whole friggin’ league.


Every year there is a game where Andy and Marty get something into their head and they won’t let go. This was that game for 2011. For most of the year teams have been hesitant about playing 8 men in the box. They’ve kept Safeties deep and taken away our deep balls. The Cards play a lot of single high Safety. They can be burned deep. I knew Marty/Andy would want to go deep and burn them, but I didn’t think they’d go as overboard as they did.

With DeSean in the game, that plan might have actually made sense. Without him, it didn’t. It made even less sense as we all watched Mike Vick fail to hit wide open receivers multiple times. Instead of adjusting, Marty/Andy stuck with the plan, just knowing that we’d hit for a big play and have our big lead. Uh…oops.

Andy said after the game that the Cards played a lot of 8-man fronts and that took away our ability to run the ball. Dave Spadaro said the same thing on Eagles Live. Ike Reese agreed with him.

Bull. Crap.

Emmitt Smith never saw an 8-man front? Hell, I bet 1/3 of his rushing yards came against that look. You absolutely can run in that situation. There will be plays where you get burned. There are also plays where you can burn the defense if you hit the right gap. Besides, would you rather have Vick throwing incompletions or have Shady with the ball in his hands? Shady can make a defender miss. Let’s say you run him a couple of times for minimal gain. Then you’re dealing with 3rd/6 or 7. That’s better than 3rd/10.

Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have forgotten more football than I could ever hope to know in my lifetime. Those are very smart men. But even smart guys have bad days. In a game where the QB was struggling and the whole offense needed a spark, you feed the ball to your red hot tailback. Instead, he got 17 touches. In a blowout win over Dallas, Shady had 32 touches. That stat makes my head want to explode.

My only sympathy with Marty/Andy is that they devised a gameplan and spent all week practicing it based on the fact DeSean would be part of it. That changed on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Still, how hard is it to look over at #25 and realize you need to feed him the ball?

VICK — Bad game, but how much of that was the rib injury? Really hard to give him a fair evaluation because of that. Vick proved just how tough he was. Played with broken ribs and continued to run around and try to do everything he could. Just didn’t throw the ball well consistently. Worst play was his overthrow of Celek on what would have been a huge play and likely a TD. Killer. Made some poor decisions in the Red Zone. Had a pass picked, but then nullified by penalty. Lucky play. Had another pass picked by DL. Finished the game 16-34-128 with no TDs and 2 INTs. Ran for 79 yards. Good effort, poor results.

YOUNG — Played one snap. Handed the ball off.

SCHMITT — Caught a pass early in the game.

MCCOY — Good and bad game. 14-81 on the ground. That was good. Caught 3 passes and looked to be about to break loose on all of them, but couldn’t. Got just 12 yards. Poor job of blocking. Very bad. Missed blocks a few times and Vick paid the price. Beaten to the inside once. Poor cutblock on one play. Called for holding late in the game and negated a nice gain that would have given us some hope. Shady normally is a good blocker. Can’t have a repeat of that performance.

DJAX — Suspended.

MACLIN — Took a big hit early in the game and wasn’t a factor after that. Hurt his hamstring later on when going for our lone deep ball of the game.

COOPER — Had a drop and never got back in the flow. Spent a lot of time as the lone receiver to one side.

AVANT — Very quiet game. I don’t know if Vick didn’t see him or what. Only catch game near the GL. Almost scored, but was a foot or so short.

smith — Not my favorite human being right now. 3rd/20. Caught a pass over the middle and then went down rather than fighting for the 1st down. Worst part, didn’t need to fight or be tough. I watched his play in slo-mo to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I wasn’t. There were a pair of defenders, about 10 yards apart. All Smith had to do was run upfield and stay between them. Could have gotten the 1st and gone down without a huge hit. Ran sideways and then went down to avoid contact. I literally have no idea what he was doing/thinking. Might be the low point of the whole season. If I never see him play for us again, it would be soon enough. I literally started to get nauseous while re-watching the play.

CELEK — 4-53. Good game as receiver. Helped with block on TD run.

HARBOR — Had a very good block on one run play. Put a LB on the ground. Did have a very costly false start. Turned 3rd/1 near the 10 into 3rd/6. On the ensuing play Vick threw an INT. That penalty cost us 5 yards and 3 points. Did make a key block on TD run. Crashed inside hard and got his body in the way of defender who wanted to get to Shady.

OL — Watching the game live I thought the OL really struggled. I felt differently after checking the tape. Vick was as much to blame as the OL for his “pressures”. Vick had terrible pocket presence in this game. He actually moved toward rushers on several plays. I’m not sure what was happening. Danny Watkins struggled with Darnell Dockett. Vick didn’t imagine that. Darnell used his quickness to give Danny real problems in pass pro. Jason Peters got beat on an early pass play. Just got sloppy. Todd got beat a time or two.

I’m surprised to say that King Dunlap did okay. I don’t think he’s got a future as a starting G, but he held his own. Jason Kelce had a couple of real good cut blocks downfield. He got away with a penalty on a screen to Celek. Jason was 10 yards downfield when Brent caught the pass. Should have gotten a flag. Jason did get called for hands to the face. Peters and Todd both had very impressive blocks on draw plays. Julian Vandervelde played LG in a GL set where we scored the TD.

Teams have come up with a new wrinkle to hurt our run game. Both CHI and ARZ blitzed a DB from the slot on plays where they suspected run. This player fires into the backfield at the snap. Avant has no chance to cut them off. The pulling TE has to take on a LB. That leaves the DB to make the tackle or disrupt the play. Worked well a couple of times in both games. I mention that here because you can see the OT, TE, and Avant all unsure how to handle the situation. Coaches need to figure out a counter to that.



I can’t stress enough that the defense actually played a good game for 3 Qtrs. They did what they were supposed to. Things took a major turn in the 4th Qtr.

I was pretty mad at Juan Castillo initially, but after checking the tape and talking to some people I feel a bit different. There were 2 4th Qtr pass plays where Larry Fitzgerald was able to burn rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett for 1st downs. The first was 3rd/5 after Nnamdi’s idiotic offside penalty. The Cards had 1 WR to the right. Jarrett, Rolle, and Asante were all on that side. Fitz broke to the inside. Jarrett covered him at that point. Asante saw that and bailed deep. There was no receiver on his side more than 4 yds downfield, but Asante was more than 10 yards deep. Fitz broke back outside and Jarrett was half a step behind as he made the transition. If Asante had stayed close to the LOS, he would have been right there to play the ball. Heck, I don’t know if Skelton would have made the throw. Instead, Asante is nowhere to be found. He comes up to join the play, but after Fitz has already been tackled after a gain of 10. There is no way I can believe that Castillo drew up a defense that called for Asante to be covering deep on 3rd/5 with no receiver anywhere near him. That’s got to be on Asante. That play came on the drive that tied the game at 14.

On the go-ahead TD drive the Cards faced 3rd/10 from our 38. Asante was the RCB, covering Fitz. The Cards had a bunch to the other side. A WR motioned to the right. Hanson went with him, which is a sign the defense is playing man coverage. Hanson gave a hand signal, as if to say “That’s my guy”. That WR ran a short route to the flat. Fitz went upfield. Jarrett was off the ball, as Safeties normally are in coverage. He ran with Fitz. Asante? He let Fitz go and focused on the underneath receiver. WTF?????

You might say “Tommy, great but you’re an amateur. How can you blame Asante?”. Fair enough. Except that I heard from a source that Asante absolutely is to blame. Asante decided to freelance on the play. Rather than sticking with Fitz, Asante hung his teammate out to dry. And the team. Skelton hit Fitz for a gain of 37 and they scored a TD to take the lead.

I eagerly anticipate Asante becoming an ex-Eagle. That is everything that is wrong with this team. Sure, Asante is a great playmaker, but that isn’t the time to roll the dice. The game is on the line. That’s the time to cover as if your life depends on it. Make them settle for a FG. Do not take chances. I wish Castillo were to blame for that. I’d rather be mad at the rookie DC for getting out-schemed by a veteran coach than to think a player knowingly abandoned his coverage of the top WR on the other team to play a friggin’ hunch. God, it makes me sick to think about that.

Asante isn’t the only one to blame, but that really eats at me.

Nnamdi had a ridiculously awful offside call on 3rd/10. We forced an incompletion and were headed off the field, but by lining up a yard too far, we gave them a 2nd chance and they burned us.

Several guys had dumb penalties.

Juan isn’t completely off the hook. His zone D on the first TD was poorly executed and I’m not thrilled with the notion of going zone in that situation. Larry Fitzgerald isn’t someone you want running free in a zone inside the 10. Put Nnamdi on his butt and press.

Juan did some good things. I think he anticipated the Cards using max protect so Juan went blitz heavy and it worked. We had 4 sacks and rushers/blitzers did come free on other plays. It was fun to see some good blitzing for the first time this year. Part of that is on the Cards OL. Those guys are not good, especially the OGs. Ugh.

Juan did get a bit creative. There were formations when both WRs were on one side and Asante actually played over on the left side, in the slot. That’s new to me. We did some run blitzing. We ran a few stunts on run plays where the DE crashed inside and a S or LB attacked off the edge.

There was so much to like…until the 4th Qtr. Juan gets some blame to be sure. If he does lose his job, he ought to write Asante a nice little thank you letter.

DL — Trent got a sack, but Patt flushed the QB out into the open. Trent had a dumb penalty for hitting the QBs head. Wasn’t dirty or dangerous, but they call that all the time. Trent drove the LT back into Skelton’s face on the INT to Nnamdi. Tapp, Parker, and Chaney were all pretty quiet. Babin drew a holding call and blew up a run play, but was more quiet than I expected.

Cullen Jenkins was a stud. He was disruptive a lot. He had 4 tackles and 2 TFLs. Hit the QB a couple of times and pressured him on other plays. Patt was somewhat quiet. Did hustle well. Trevor Laws looked good. He was getting penetration and causing problems.

Derek Landri was flat out terrific. He had a sack and TFL. He pressured the QB on the pick-6 by Asante. Landri blew up a couple of run plays with penetration. He got his TFL on the late TD drive by Arizona on 2nd/GL. I hoped that would be a huge play, but not so. That’s what you want from a backup DT. Get in there and go 100 mph and make stuff happen.

LB — Jamar Chaney had a solid game. He had 6 solo stops. He also had a TFL and got his first sack of the year. He broke up a pass. He did well on short throws to the TE. Chaney still needs work on run D, but he’s making strides. There was one play late in the game where he was burned badly. 4th/2. They have us spread out. RB runs a wheel route. It wasn’t Beanie Wells, but their pass catcher LaRod Stephens-Howling. Chaney should have really noticed that he was in the game and focused on that. Jamar was slow getting out wide as he had to move around traffic. The RB was wide open and Skelton made a good throw. We’ve been burned by the wheel route this year, but not the MLB in such a situation.

Brian Rolle wasn’t credited with any tackles, but he was in on a few. He did a good job of getting upfield and creating TFL situations for others. Rolle got burned by Fitz for a TD, but it’s hard to blame the rookie too much for that.

Akeem Jordan started at SAM. I didn’t see any mental mistakes, but ARZ didn’t run wide very much. That made it easier to deal with them. Jordan had a couple of good moments, but didn’t really stand out. Did look like he was held on a blitz. Hit Skelton, but after the ball was out. No call.

COLEMAN — Good game, with one huge mistake. I’d kill him for that, but he played so well overall that I don’t think it is fair. Led the team with 10 total tackles. Had a TFL. Blitzed well a couple of times. Kurt is the guy who forced an incompletion on 3rd/10 when Nnamdi lined up offside.

Kurt’s mistake was bad. BAD. He was on our right side. Arizona lined a WR in the backfield and then threw him a short pass. Kurt read the play and went for the guy. Kurt got an arm on him, but didn’t come close to making the tackle. Easy TD. Kurt was out of control, trying to come up with some huge hit. Just go make the tackle. It was 3rd/GL. No reason to go nuts. Bad missed tackle.

JARRETT — Got his first NFL start and boy was he a busy man. Had 7 tackles (6 solo). Got run over by Wells on one run up the middle. This ain’t the MAC, Jaiquawn. Generally did well in coverage. Just missed an INT while covering Fitz in the 4th. Would have been a huge play. We were up 7 and would have had the ball near FG range. Jarrett undercut the WR perfectly and was right there to make the play. Just couldn’t make a clean grab. Ball bounced off him and Fitz caught it. Even on those plays when Fitz did beat him, Jarrett never looked lost. I think he showed a lot of good traits.

ASOMUGHA — Shut down Fitz when he did cover him. Came up with an INT in the 4th Qtr. Had a solid overall game, but made one crucial mistake. Lined up offside on 3rd/10. Very dumb and very costly penalty.

SAMUEL — Did some good things. Had a pick-6 in the 2nd Q. Jumped a short route to his side. Smart gamble. Game was scoreless and it was the 1st half. Asante had Safety help over the top. Unfortunately he carried that mentality into the 4th Qtr and it killed us. Arizona threw 2 TD passes in his directions. Asante is a target in the Red Zone. People know he’s playing off.

RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Had his best game as an Eagle. Looked okay in the slot and had a couple of nice tackles. Got his first sack of the year when he shoved the QB out of bounds on broken pass play. DRC broke up 1st Q pass to slot receiver. Left game with nasty ankle injury in the 2nd half.

HANSON — Had one huge moment. ARZ threw WR screen to his side. Joselio jumped to inside of his guy and got a hand up. Unfortunately he hit the ball back into the endzone and Fitz snared it for the score. If Joselio got it cleanly, might have had a long pick-6. At the least could have knocked it down.

HUGHES — #4 CB late in game.


CHAS HENRY — 4 of his 8 punts were downed inside the 20. Averaged 42.8 per punt.

ALEX HENERY — 1 of 1 on FGs.

PR — Mac and steve smith shared duties. smitty muffed a punt and tried to give it away (traitor), but Cards refused. Mac came close to having a good return early on.

KOR — DRC took the job and did well. Averaged 26 per KOR, but did get hurt on KOR in 4th. Dion Lewis had a 33 yarder.


* Coverage was great. Colt Anderson and Akeem Jordan have been on fire recently.

* Landri got inside pressure on first missed FG.

* Laws got inside pressure on 2nd missed FG.

* No fake punts.


77 Comments on “Game Review – ARZ 21, PHI 17”

  1. 1 Scott Mather said at 6:23 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Did you leave steve smith’s name lower-cased on purpose, out of spite? If so, I love it.

    Had to be painful to watch this game again.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 6:29 PM on November 15th, 2011:


  3. 3 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:41 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    it’s the little things that set you game review apart

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 8:44 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    His name shouldn’t be in lower case or in caps, it should be in CRAPS!

  5. 5 Steve H said at 6:45 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    What? No fake punts? No wonder we lost.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 6:48 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Exactly. We just worked out the kinks last week. Should have used our secret weapon.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 7:05 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    We need to incorporate that into our redzone package.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 8:34 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Good one!

  9. 9 the guy said at 6:52 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Isn’t the whole point of having a star tailback that you can just feed him the ball when things aren’t going well through the air? Not to mention what teams trying to protect a 4th quarter lead usually do.

    A lot of things have to go right for a strong passing attack. All Shady needs is a few decent blocks.

    I’m starting to think a Reid-coached team is simply incapable of relying on the run, no matter how much sense it makes. We’ve all made jokes and cursed the endless passing, but for whatever reason (I’m leaning towards ego), nothing changes. That, more than all the talk about Castillo or anything else, is why I might one day get on board with the Reid-Must-Go faction.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 9:05 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    How can you say that nothing changes? This time when we brought in he-who-cursed-our-team for a single play Andy and Marty had him hand it to our guy instead of tossing it to their guy. That is progress folks. If we can keep on correcting mistakes like that we should be competitive again around the time the CBA expires.

  11. 11 the guy said at 12:05 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Great, remind me that even Andy Reid doesn’t want to have our backup QB throw the ball. Way to cheer me up there.

    At least he probably won’t see the field short of Vick breaking some… oh crap.

  12. 12 Gary said at 2:38 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Do you think some day they could have our punter just punt instead of throw? Probably just a pipe dream.

  13. 13 Jay Ernst said at 7:04 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    AR and MM’s biggest problem on gameday seems to be the fact that they simply ignore or are blind to the obvious in-game situations that are unfolding before their eyes. Every year it’s the same thing. They spend a week coming up with these great schemes to attack the other teams coverages. 90% of the time these schemes work as they are drawn up. And, by that I mean that pass catchers exploit the match-ups that Andy and Marty dictate and usually at least one of them is running open on most pass plays.

    But, every once in a while the QB or the Oline is having a bad day passing the ball and despite open receiving options the plays are failing to produce anything real in the way of positive football plays. And, yet we see these stooges continue to bang their head against a brick wall and call pass play after pass play expecting different results. What was that quote about the definition of insanity again?

    Our QB was playing the worst game he’s played in years, our top two WRs were out, their back-ups were playing rather poorly and our running back was averaging 6 yards per carry in a game that we were leading into the 4th quarter. If you asked any coach, Marty and Andy included, what the logical thing to do in that situation would be, they’d all tell you to hand the damn ball off to your MVP running back.

    Yet, instead of seeing a struggling QB failing to make accurate throws, our top two WRs out, shitty play by the back up wideouts and a RB that’s playing well, all they seem to see is WRs and TEs running open like the play is designed and, perhaps it’s just hubris, all they see is that the SCHEME is working just like it’s designed. BUT, we’re just not hitting the play…BUT BUT it’s there, we just need to call it again and we’ll get it next time.

    Why is it so hard for these football geniuses to be so clueless when it comes to playing the game that’s unfolding in front of them rather than being stuck on the chalk board playing these what-if scenarios?

  14. 14 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 8:02 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    This right here may define the ceiling on Reid coached teams.

    The regular season is just 16 games. It’s unacceptable to throw away even one game every year, and it seems like we do it at least twice a year. Derek at Igglesblog even had an acronym for it (though it may have had more to do with McNabb). Tommy, you were even referencing it in a previous post. This is the Cincinnati game, or this is the Oakland game. I think as fans we’ve come to expect the mindblowingly stupid loss to a clearly inferior team. It’s just what Andy does.

    That sentiment alone makes me think it’s worth switching coaches. I’m not saying there’s any perfect coach out there – even Belichick and Mike McCarthy make some questionable decisions (though it’s honestly very hard to remember them) – but the mistakes Andy makes, at least in this case, are atypical. In these cases, it’s not about a bad timeout taken or not throwing the challenge flag or not going for it on 4th down (though he does make those mistakes a lot), it’s about game long decisions. Not giving the ball to Shady after going 3 and out twice. That’s one mistake. Not giving the ball to Shady consistently in a game where his QB is playing like sh!t is a game long mistake, and not a unique one for him. Not realizing what’s going on with the defensive coverages – that’s a game long mistake and one he should be held accountable for. The instant Juan came in with his zone defense plan against Larry Fitzgerald, Reid should have told him to go #&!* himself and just stick Nnamdi on Fitz all day. Instead, they go with that disastrous plan, they give Asante the keys to the defense on plays that end up becoming crucial plays, and we let Fitz go for 140 yards and 2 scores.

    It’s now fair to say that Andy Reid has a ceiling. If we didn’t blow that Vikings game last year, we would have had a bye and we would be facing the Packers until at least the divisional round and with 2 weeks of rest – anyone remember how close that game was? It’s not crazy to expect a different outcome. How much better would our playoff positioning have been year in and year out if Andy didn’t blow these gimme wins. And unfortunately, it’s not like he’s losing them in different ways. We never lose games because we ran too much or because we were being too conservative with Vick. We’ve lost all those games for the same reason that you can see coming a mile away – too much passing in idiotic situations and the occasional defensive scheme that shouldn’t have even made it out of the first game plan session the previous week.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 8:46 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    You hit the nail on the head. There is a ceiling to Reid’s skill set, in large part because he is unwilling to change and grow. It’s the same ol’, same ‘ol year after year.

  16. 16 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 7:08 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Even though I wrote earlier that I wouldn’t wanna read anymore about this game, I am truly glad that you put in the effort to do it!

    How can a coach forgive a player like Asante, who doesn’t play for this team, but only for himself?!?!? And how can the other players?

    The worst thing is, that this makes it hard to trust the guy. That makes other players trying to compensate, which again makes them look bad. Do you follow my reasoning?

    If Asante truly doesn’t play for the team, I’d rather bench him for the rest of the year! I hate guys like that! Put Marsh and Hughes in there – they’ll play their hearts out!

  17. 17 Jay Ernst said at 7:18 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    completely agree. Asante has not only been a total turd this year, but he’s come right out and admitted it. I believe he said something along the lines of, “this is a business, I don’t play for the Eagles I play for Asante Inc”…this shouldn’t be a surprise either. He doesn’t care if we win or lose, he wants the most amount of picks and the least amount of tape out there of him getting abused by Larry Fitzgerald. Hence, we have him passing Fitz onto a rookie safety and gambling on picks. Best case he get’s a pick and increases his asking price next year from whatever team signs him, worst case the rookie gets abused, the Eagles lose, but at least no one has tape of him getting out played by a superior WR.

    Asante is a tool…I was one of the people that really wanted them to keep him this year. I was definitely tricked by his advanced stats from last year pumping his play up. But, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he should have been dealt for anything worth while at the beginning of the year.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 9:10 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Yes. And, furthermore, even if he thought he was taking a calculated risk with the good of the team at heart, he is dead wrong.

    I agree with the decision to show DeSean that he was not above the team rules. This seems like another moment to drive that point home.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 8:29 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    I almost wonder if the hand signal was to indicate that the play was something the DBs had discussed already. If you think you know a play is going to unfold a certain way, then fake the real coverage, knowing that you can burn the opponent be recognizing what is going to happen , and getting to the spot first. This is the tough thing about playing against savvy pro-bowl veteran QBs, they can burn you some times too…. wait… never mind.

    I remember reading quotes from the Giants after the superbowl about how they knew to take advantage of Asante because he never presses, even if he lines up like he might. I also remember the play with the ridiculous helmet catch, that Asante was right frikkin there and didnt lay the wood. He just watched in awe.

    None of this is new. We used to be able to take the bad with the good, because we werent losing all the damn time. Winning covers a lot of problems.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 8:54 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Everyone knows Asante is a prima donna. So are a lot of pro athletes and others in the public eye. A good coach knows how to use a guy like this to help his team win. Remember how Phil Jackson related to Dennis Rodman?

    On the the play in discussion, Asante was a complete moron and should be held accountable. But this doesn’t change one thing: the successful scheme was put Nnamdi on Fitz each play, every play, all game.

  21. 21 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 7:15 PM on November 15th, 2011:


    Quick repeat from earlier post – let me know if you’re fed up with talking about the draft!

    I know you really want Kuechly to be a part of our team – maybe we can get him in the high 2nd… Who would you target with a pick 15? (I know it’s very earlu, but still…) As I understand it, Still is the best DT (senior and junior), but is he THAT good? Would you take DE Jenkins from FSU? Or LB Brown from UNC? Or maybe Claiborne if he would fell into our lab?

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 7:19 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I didn’t have time to answer. We’ll do a whole draft thread. You know that’s a subject near and dear to my heart. Don’t want a good draft conversation to get lost in a game discusssion.

  23. 23 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 7:43 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Fair enough 😉 Can’t thank you enough for the time (and misery) you put into enlightening us!

  24. 24 Morton said at 7:46 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    My ideal scenario:

    Still with the 1st round pick, and then grab whichever LB falls to the highest 2nd round pick, whether that’s an OLB like Zach Brown or a MLB like Kuehcly or Burfict or even Donta Hightower (who would be excellent in the Wide-9 imho because he’s built like Jeremiah Trotter)

  25. 25 Eric Weaver said at 11:01 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    I love Still, but is he a top 10/15 kind of guy? I don’t think he’s that dominant.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 7:28 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    TOMMY wrote: “Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have forgotten more football than I could ever hope to know in my lifetime.”

    But . . . the question, or problem (?), is what part of football have they forgotten.

    You know, like the part about running the ball when your QB is playing poorly and you have the lead and the other team is 2-6?

    Maybe they’ve forgotten that.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 8:42 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Tommy, I’m piling on because you also wrote, “But even smart guys have bad days.” This game was not a case of smart guys making honest mistakes. This was another example of Reid being so stubborn and arrogant that, in spite of every shred of evidence and resource at hand, he refuses to change his thinking.

  28. 28 Morton said at 7:44 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I like the lowercase spelling of Steve Smith’s name. He doesn’t deserve to be in All-Caps 🙂

    I wonder why Brandon Graham was so quiet in this game. I didn’t really see him make any impact at all as a pass rusher, despite being rotated into the DL for a significant number of snaps. You failed to even mention him in your review.

    I wonder if Graham just isn’t an impact player, or if he is simply still recovering from that knee injury.

  29. 29 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 8:05 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I actually didn’t notice him at all in the game… Thought to myself earlier if he wasn’t activated. Wow – what a quiet game he must’ve had!

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 8:15 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    It wouldn’t be fair to offer any conclusion on Graham or Allen until next season, when they’re a full 12 months removed from their knee injuries. This is the case for them as much as for any player dealing with a major knee injury, and this is why the Eagles were foolish to enter the season counting on Allen being healthy, regardless of all the predictable stories about them being ahead of schedule and “feeling as good as new.”

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 8:34 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Excellent game review Tommy, as always!

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 9:17 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I am not sure if you are a sadist or dedicated, but thanks for doing this.

    No matter how much it feels like visiting the scene where someone you cared about was gruesomely murdered when I start reading, I always find I enjoy these.

  33. 33 Matthew Butch said at 9:34 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I was wondering if Asante had something to do with the bad play, and the idea not to put Nnamdi on Fritz. I didn’t want to trade him before. Now I’m all for it.

    And for Kurt’s big mistake- its my understanding that he had to play out of position a bit because DRC went down. Still should’ve made the play.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 10:04 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    If Juan Castillo watches the tape and feels the same way as Tommy about those plays by Assante, shouldn’t he bench him, at least for a week to see how DRC can do in one of the outside spots?

    If Juan isn’t the problem, then the question seems to be can he correct the problems?

  35. 35 Mac said at 1:35 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    high ankle sprain kinda nixes that theory

  36. 36 Thorin McGee said at 2:20 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Also gives Castillo some easier decisions for a game or two. He no longer has to force 3 corners to make everyone happy.

  37. 37 Mac said at 3:14 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Also true, sadly my fear is that people will be reminded of the reason why we reworked Hanson’s contract.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 10:51 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    I know this seems to be a marginal topic in light of the more serious concerns, but I’d love to know what B. April, C. Anderson, and co. are doing differently this year to make such an improved and consistent ST coverage group. Speed? Technique? The Henery/Henry combo of kickers don’t seem to be kicking all that well (nor throwing that well), yet the coverage groups consistently hold down on the return. Any thoughts on the improvement from last year?

  39. 39 Zachary said at 10:53 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    For me – I won’t shed a tear when Asante leave, or DeSean…and quite a few others. I’ve said it all week, and for weeks, these players are here for one thing, a pay day.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 12:05 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    I really don’t think that’s fair as far as DeSean’s concerned. I don’t know that I’d break the back to keep him (in fact, I wouldn’t), but that has nothing to do with this alleged attitude that he has. Look, the guy’s stats are down, but I think that has more to do with other factors (wretched playcalling, Vick bailing out before downfield routes open) than Desean lollygagging. He still blocks hard for a little dude. Yeah, he missed a meeting, and I’m sure his saltiness RE his paycheck has worn thin with teammates, but this isn’t a me-first diva like T.O.

  41. 41 Zachary said at 7:22 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    He’s not TO, but that doesn’t mean he’s not me first. TO is a once in a generation me first. Think about all other sports, how many TO’s come to mind in the last 10 years? TO is a rare kind of selfish.

    DeSean I do think is half assing it this year, either that or he’s gotten slow. He doesn’t beat his man like he use to. His drops show a lack of concentration.

    You all can think I’m a harsh for critcizing him, but I firmly believe it. I also firmly believe he’ll be in a difference uniform next year….hope you are prepared for that.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 12:50 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    In the upcoming off-season, I’ll be prepared for anything from preservation of status quo to a complete house-cleaning. And I’d be fine with not re-signing DeSean; his field-stretching speed will fade over time, and the other stuff he brings to the table is replaceable. I just think he was unfairly labeled a diva in the past, and that label has caused people to assume he’s dogging it in an act of self-preservation or something. Agree to disagree, I guess.

  43. 43 Thorin McGee said at 2:23 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    I have a bad feeling that if DeSean leaves, that special feeling Vick and all the guys had on this team goes with him.

    And you know what, I can understand a guy letting his contract get to his head. That’s not necessarily prima donna behavior if you just feel like the team is jerking you around. He has tried to act like nothing’s wrong. He may not be strong enough mentally to do that, but he’s not out being an ass either.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 12:50 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    That’s crazy. DeSean Jackson is one of the best players on this team, if not the best. You don’t get better by throwing away your best players.

    But I believe Todd Pinkston is available if you would like to go that route.

  45. 45 Zachary said at 7:20 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    DeSean is a hot dog. Who based on this year, isn’t helping the team. He reeks of a guy who wants the money, and that’s his primary concern. I got no problem with athletes looking out for their family, but the way he’s played this year, says to me, the team – isn’t one of his concerns.

    DeSean Jackson is on pace for the least amount of TD’s scored in his career. The lowest PR average in his career. And the 2nd lowest yards per catch. His drops are up, and his effort is down. Let him go, let him get paid, let him stop half assing it here.

  46. 46 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 7:45 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Is there any way we can mandate him to fire Rosenhaus? That guy has done more to ruin Eagles games than Howie Roseman, to date.

  47. 47 Rai Wilson said at 11:15 PM on November 15th, 2011:

    Benching Asante in what appears to be a lost season doesn’t seem like the answer. I’m through with him, but that would just lower the compensation we can get for him in the offseason (which because of his age, year, and salary is already going to be lower than we want). And I know that DeSean hasn’t been himself, is petulant, and doesn’t deserve it based on his production, but why not pay him like Holmes? He’s still young, and as we saw his presence opens up a great deal of the underneath stuff for our other guys. Plus it would be nice to show free agents and youngsters that the front office isn’t composed of cold hearted jerkoffs.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 1:49 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Tommy we have to get out of this “middle zone” of evaluating this team. They arent coming together as a whole as a unit and playing a complete 4 qtr game. This kind of talk went on when Rich Kottie was coach… Oh if we made that one tackle.. if that one guy didnt jump offsides etc etc etc. The truth is there needs to be a serious coaching change for this team to move forward. Every great coach has his end day. Every single one. Firing Reid is not the end of the world its just a part of life. All coaches know it. Not firing or addressing Juan Castillo is a sure sign he needs to go. I dont care if Juan did “some things right” His defense is losing games overall. As much as we appreciate Reid over the years, we cant let that cloud our judgement. His drafts havent been that good. We are about to lose our star WR because they cant handle him. He is not good with time management and his playcalling has been sloppy this year. And he seems to have lost all reality on Juan Castillo. We are the laughing stock of football. Its time for Reid and Howie to go and to make room for a new football mind and a new direction for this team.

  49. 49 Zachary said at 7:39 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    “So, the last time the Eagles produced a game-winning touchdown drive was eight years ago (and it’s not like any of those can be considered signature wins, either). Don’t believe me? Do the research yourself.”

    That line is one of the most damning of the Reid era that I’ve ever seen. We’ve gone 8 years without a game winning TD drive? 0-3 this year, it’s not like we haven’t had chances. 8 years is a long time to not even luck box your way into 1 game winning TD. I understand maybe we haven’t had as many chances as other teams, you know based on the fact we win like 10 games a year over that span, but it’s still insane to think, not one of Reid’s teams in the last 8 years has produced a TD to win the game on a offensive drive.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 7:57 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    im sick of the we havent won a game with a winning touchdown in reids era….so do we not count the miracle at the meadowlands II as a game winning touchdown or are we strictly counting taking it down the field to score? Also I hate to think the season is over until week 17….seven games left and Im as frustrated as everyone else but I will have hope until the last two minutes of the final game of the season… I may have a heart attack after that moment and die but I can’t give up when there are still seven games left no matter how frustrating the loss. I also feel like sometimes I know what play they are going to call before andy reid and Juan, that in itself makes me scream at my tv and want to drive up to philly and smack someone but I refraim, hoping they will get it together. If Coaching changes at the end of the season help the 53 players get us remotely close to a deep run in the playoffs then bring on the champion coach that will bring home a Lombardi.

  51. 51 Zachary said at 10:37 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Well wouldn’t you like to believe when your offense got the ball back with 2 minutes needing a touchdown, that they could do it? I’d find it hard to believe if many other teams had this level of inconsistent offensive play. How can we be a typical offensive juggernaut until the 4th or until the game is on the line?

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 1:28 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    VERY True.. its hard having a “unstoppable offense” that everyone can stop smh

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 8:12 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    As much as I want to believe this Eagles team will tease everyone with a win this week…I think this is gonna be a blood bath. 31-10 Gmen….On a brighter note…at least I won’t have to stay up till Midnight watching the game!! That 5:30AM alarm comes awful early when they have Sunday night games. I sure hope they prove me wrong…but I dont see it happening. Defense would have to play lights out and hold the giants to 14 or less to give our O a chance. With no Machlin, they will double Desean and say beat us with Avant, Smith and Celek.

    What is the over/under on how many times they run the sprint draw this week?!?

  54. 54 Week 10 Recap: Cardinals 21 Eagles 17 | Bring It Down Broad Street said at 9:20 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    […] Everyone needs to read this concerning Asante. Credit for the link goes to commenter Turd.Ferguson at SB Nation. Andy, if you […]

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 9:23 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Anyone else see the interview with Kevin Kolb..he said that the eagles coaching staff never changed the signals to their plays in the hurry up offense. He said he knew everything they were running and yelled it out to the defense. if that is true…that is amazing and goes a long way to recognizing what a stellar coaching staff we have. AR and MM never thought a guy they had in their huddle for all those years would remember their offense?….what a joke.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 9:47 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    TRAITOR. He needs to learn about loyalty from a guy like steve smith

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 12:54 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    nice one 😉

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 1:46 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    REIDICULOUS!!!!!!!! So we change stuff up against Q. Mikell and the rams.. but not for a back up/former starter QB….. STUPID

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 9:53 AM on November 16th, 2011:


    What does your gut tell you at this point in the season about Andy? It is feeling a lot like he’s hit his expiration date with this team – some big, costly miscalculations but also lots of little things like not mixing up the offensive play calls when you’ve got your ex-QB on the other sideline shouting out the plays before they happen.

    Second question – given our current record and anticipated draft position, it looks like we should be in place to be able to draft one of the top 2-3 QBs this year. Do you do that with your first round pick? It isn’t often that the Eagles find themselves with such a good draft pick and while it might seem a year early to grab the “next” QB, does the intersection of resources and opportunity tell you to do that now?

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 10:06 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    I think Tommy was trying to antagonize me by bringing up Spuds. This is the same guy who for a couple years running kept talking about Tank Daniels at the beginning of each season like he was on the verge of becoming the next Patrick Willis, even though Tank was fighting to make the team.

    I love the 8 man front argument. It’s typical Andy speak. It throws simple minded people off because they just repeat it, rather than look at the fact that Shady avg 6 ypc against that unbelievable 8 man front.

    Andy is a complete dope when it comes to running the ball and he has always been horrible at in-game adjustments. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to think about what our team would look like if he left so I’d probably choose to bring the dope back next year (sans Marty).

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 2:12 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Seriously, I don’t think Reid’s a dope. Nor do I think he’s unaware of these statistics.

    What I do think is he’ll lie to your face to make a excuse to doing what he likes with the team.

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 10:15 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    To clarify why I want Marty gone, I think he loves to throw the ball just as much as Andy, and he appears to be just as bad at in-game adjustments. It’s like if you’re trying to eat healthy and get in shape and you have a buddy who loves fried food and drinks beer all the time. You hang out with him and talk yourself into why it’s okay to slack as you watch your buddy down a burger and fries. Essentially, he brings out the worse in you.

    Meanwhile, if you had the friend who eats right and works out, when you’re hanging out with him maybe you put down that buffalo wing and pick up that lettuce wrap. We need to find Andy his lettuce wrap at OC. Any names out there?

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 11:33 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    I think MM escapes a lot of criticism because AR is essentially viewed as the OC as well as coach. On one hand, even if MM is calling the plays, it is AR’s game plan and MM is just implementing it. At the same time, MM should be capable of making adjustments throughout the game and I have to assume that even if the game plan is to attack via the passing game, they don’t actively game plan to avoid using McCoy, MM and AR just get lost in the pass attack that they loose sight of the rushing attack and McCoy. The way I see it though, AR and MM go hand in hand. I don’t know that you can justify firing one and keeping the other when they are so similar.

  64. 64 Mac said at 3:30 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Pit… my dad and I were just talking about this kind of thing today at work. Marty’s track record in Rock City combined with the seeming ineptitude with just doing the obvious thing seem to be pointing to his tenure in Philadelphia coming to an end.

    The thing that drives me the most crazy is that we don’t seem to exploit the other teams weakness hard enough. Figure out where they are soft and attack, attack, attack… try to anticipate when they will shift to stop the bleeding and then go to the new whole for the kill strike. Dictate what the tempo will be, and force them to react.

    When was the last time you saw us snap the football with more than 8 seconds on the play clock?

    I absolutely don’t want to see Reid go. I think are so many intangibles that he brings to the team that he is 100% necessary to keep the organization headed in an upward direction/staying competitive year in year out.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 10:21 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    One last thing. Here’s a pretty funny video Tommy’s brother on CSN after the Eagles lost to the Cards. This guys anger cracked me up and the fact that it was on tv.

    p.s. tommy, i had to take that shot at u for bringing up the name of Dave “Spuds” Spadaro

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 11:33 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Exhibits A, B, C, and D…

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 1:13 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    The look on the Eagles fan’s face at the end of the vid says it all.

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 11:59 AM on November 16th, 2011:

    Oh, and as far as draft talk… Desean walks after this year and we steal Mcnutt out of Iowa in the 3rd round or later to take his place, and he contributes immediately. Book it

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 1:04 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    Tommy you finally get a small victory, Page is gone Chad Hall got promoted

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 1:35 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    I’m sorry Tommy but you’re an amatuer…lol

    You might say “Tommy, great but you’re an amateur. How can you blame Asante?”. Fair enough. Except that I heard from a source that Asante absolutely is to blame. Asante decided to freelance on the play. Rather than sticking with Fitz, Asante hung his teammate out to dry. And the team. Skelton hit Fitz for a gain of 37 and they scored a TD to take the lead.

    This play has Juan’s fingerprints all over it.

    This is why Juan tried to force Casey Mattews down our throat as a MLB. It wasn’t because he is really fast or super at getting off blocks or that he plays with great leverage. NO, it’s because Juan wanted a “play-maker” at MLB.

    It’s the same reason K.Coleman sold out short while playing with a 27 point lead.

    You have to play team defense first and make plays (turnovers)out of the team defense as a consequence .

    And I’m sorry but the “wide 9” is not anywhere near a modern NFL defensive alignment. It’s a defensive formation that should only be used on obvious passing situations. This is why you see inconsistent running defensive plays, such as loss of 2, loss of 4, gain of 13. It relies too much on individual play, and to win consistently on defense in the NFL it has to be done as a team.

    I rest my hope on the fact that this is a three year rebuild in which we are in year 2. I hope like hell that A. Reid is great at self scouting and is using this year to learn some things. But it really is no wonder that he could not find a real defensive coordinator to use this “wide 9” BS as a base defense.

  71. 71 Anonymous said at 3:07 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    I definitely think the wide 9, whether it was specifically a result of the alignment or our players trying to make the proper adjustments and learning how to play with the alignment, had a lot to do with our problems against the run early in the season. However, the last few weeks, I have noticed us mix it up a lot more and a teams were getting big gains against both the wide 9 and a more normal 4-3 alignment. I’m still not convinced the wide 9 is the proper scheme for the players we have on this defense, but right now, our problems are beyond the wide 9.

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 2:19 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    P-DOMO’s piece today, summarizing comments of some NFL personnel/scout type, reinforces what I wrote yesterday.

    This team needs a QB to build around. If they get at least the no. 7 pick in round 1, they need to move up and get one of the top three guys. (I’m record for RGIII.)

    I’m not — repeat, not — off the Vick wagon.

    Just planning ahead.

    The Eagles haven’t been in the top 5 neighborhood too often. (Since the mid-70s, at least.)

    And the top 3 QBs this year are great. Barkley may be a better pro, in the long run, than Luck. And RGIII may be better than both of them.

    When you can get a QB, you take one. (Green Bay Circa 7 years ago anyone?)

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 2:25 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    I just can’t imagine we end up with a top 10 pick based on the other teams who share the bottom of the standings with us. More likely a 12-16 type pick.

  74. 74 Christopher Miller said at 2:59 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    But we could end up close enough that based on teams above us not needing a QB and trading up that we could still land one. Honestly though, some small modifications in play calling like RUNNING THE BALL with our best offensive weapon could really take the pressure off of Vick. I think Vick is good enough with the right coaches calling plays to win a Super Bowl.

  75. 75 Zachary said at 2:50 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    The Eagles are clearly like a month behind reviewing game tape. Finally realized Page stunk, booted him. In December Steve Smith will get the boot.

  76. 76 Christopher Miller said at 2:55 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    It takes a lot of guts (or anti-depressants) to watch this game a second time with your analytical hat on.

    One off topic question. Is Wade Phillips that good? I remember everyone saying this would be a year where new coordinators struggle to implement their scheme and yet Houston really seems to have improved without missing much of a beat. Saddens me to think what this year could have been like if we had a good veteran DC. Water under the bridge now, but I am worried that two things will happen while we go all Thelma and Louise in the Juan hooptie for the rest of the season. 1) young players get demoralized and never quite bounce back 2) we move on from a guy that never got a chance here due to bad coaching.

  77. 77 Christopher Miller said at 3:12 PM on November 16th, 2011:

    PS – Is it still too soon to discuss state of the franchise position by position. LB is an obvious, but I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the other positions like WR. I love Maclin but he has come up small quite a few times this season and gets dinged a lot. I have never been a huge Desean fan because he disappears too often in critical times and we probably have 3-4 better options in the red zone than him. If we are still at an impasse with DJax and an elite big receiver is there for the taking, would you take him in round 1?