Maclin, Dunlap Out vs Cards

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 29 Comments »

No one is surprised to find out King Dunlap is out.  Jeremy Maclin practiced some on Thursday and I think most people expected him to play at Arizona.  So how does this announcement affect the Eagles on Sunday?

Mac has been banged up in the first 2 games.  He was productive at Cleveland, but only caught one pass last week.  That was a TD and an impact play.  Losing him hurts.  The good news is that the coaches have enough time to account for this.

Last year we lost to the Cards in a game where DeSean was suspended the day before the game.  That move came out of left field.  The gameplan was already in place.  I’m sure the coaches have had it in the back of their minds that Mac might miss this game.  That means more Damaris Johnson.  More 2 TE sets.  Maybe more touches for Shady.  Again, the key is that they knew about it.

Johnson has been mixed into the offense when Mac has been hurt.  Damaris made a crucial catch last week on 3rd/7 that kept a FG drive alive.  He used a great move to get open.  He has the skills to step into a certain role and be a solid player.  That said, he’s not Jeremy Maclin.  I’m sure Mardy Gilyard will also get mixed in a bit.  He does have NFL experience and is bigger than DJ (who’s not, right?).

As for the OL…I certainly expected Demetress Bell to start this week.  I thought he outplayed Dunlap on Sunday.  The one concern here is that Bell played pretty well last week, but in an emergency situation.  That’s different than having all week to plan on things.  The Cards will attack him a certain way.  Also, Bell now has time to get nervous.  I don’t know if he will, but jumping onto the field in the middle of a game can be far different than starting.

I hope that Bell’s confidence is sky high after getting on the field last Sunday and holding his own.  No one has questioned Bell’s talent.  He was a solid LT in Buffalo.  His adjustment to the Mudd style of blocking was the issue.  He made great progress there.  He moved his feet well vs the Ravens and didn’t look nearly as awkward or spastic as he did this summer.

The Eagles are still the better team and it’s not even close.  I watched the Cards win over the Pats and I’m still not sure how they won.  Arizona has some voodoo that just brings out the worst in their opponent.  Remember how last year the Broncos got lucky with Tebow at QB?  Marion Barber ran out of bounds late in the game and that led to the Broncos beating the Bears.  Analysts said you can’t count on fluky stuff like that happening each week.  But it seems to for the Cards.

I’ll write a lengthier preview later on.  The Cards are too talented not to worry about, but are so odd and dysfunctional that you don’t come away all that impressed by them.  Weird.

Do you remember last year’s loss?  Here are some nuggets of interest:

* DJax suspended

* Mac got hurt in the game

* King Dunlap started at LG

* Jaiquawn Jarrett made his first NFL start, playing in place of Nate Allen

* We blitzed more vs them than at any point leading up to that game

* Eagles defense dominated for 3 Qtrs, then fell apart in the 4th

* Derek Landri had one of his best games vs the Cards

* Cullen Jenkins was also outstanding in that game

* Joselio Hanson failed to make an INT in the RZ that might have been a pick-six

* Kurt Coleman missed a tackle in the RZ that became easy TD

* JaiJar dropped an INT that came right to him

* Shady had a bad day in pass protection

* steve smith had the worst moment of his NFL career when he came up short on 3rd/long

* The Cards ran a lot of 8-man fronts and that “forced” Marty/Andy to throw the ball over and over, despite having Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, and smith as the key targets for much of the game. Ugh.

Here is a passage from my DGR that I thought you might enjoy.

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.

Misery then, entertainment now.  Sort of.

* * * * *

For SB Nation Philly I wrote about Michael Vick.  What do we make of his start to the 2012 season?  I know a few people wanted him benched this time last week.  I hope most of you feel different now.  Feel free to speak up if you still want him benched.  I’ll listen to a good argument.


29 Comments on “Maclin, Dunlap Out vs Cards”

  1. 1 GermanEagle said at 12:55 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    First…to say we are gonna have the better cards up our sleeves…!

    Eagles 31, Cardinals 17!

  2. 2 Kevin_aka_RC said at 1:04 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I maintain that we should have benched Vick in the Cleveland game: he was so terrible we almost lost. Make no mistake, if their DB catches that INT in the end-zone there’s a very likely chance we’re 0-2 and the “Fire Andy” chants start.

  3. 3 GermanEagle said at 1:10 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    You mean 1-1….

  4. 4 miked718 said at 2:06 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    If Riley Cooper grabs that TD instead of it being picked off in 2010, we’d be super bowl champs! If Clay Matthews didn’t knock Kolb out he’d be starting for us right now! If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass when he hopped!

  5. 5 Mac said at 4:02 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    If Joe Dirt could grow a full beard he’d be our starting C right now too!

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 2:13 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    The INT would have come in the endzone with 90 secs left. We had all 3 timeouts. There is a legit shot that we force CLE to punt and then get the ball about our own 40 with 1:10 or more to go score. Not impossible. Much, much tougher though.

  7. 7 Kevin_aka_RC said at 2:50 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    That’s a very good point. The way Weeden was playing, you know it would have been 3 straight Richardson runs. Nonetheless, gotta give Andy some credit for sticking with his guy. Of course, he could have ran the ball more and helped him out but that’s asking a little too much.

  8. 8 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:20 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    since i know most of us are fans of derek’s blog as well, i figured i’d post this here to show you all. this is really cool!

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 9:11 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    And if you joined the conversation after Derek retired, follow the link and enjoy the occasional cameo appearance he can’t resist making.

  10. 10 makarov123 said at 1:53 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    Even missing Maclin, Kelce, and Dunlap (and who’d have thought he’d be a starter this season), I can’t help but feel if the offense holds onto the ball the entire game they are due to run up 45+ points on someone. That team may be the Cardinals.

    If you look at the box score for AZ @ NE, you too wonder how the hell the Cards won that game. NE led in first downs (25 to 16), total yards (387 to 245), turnover ratio (NE +1), yards per play (5 to 4), and time of possession (32m to 28m). Both teams had crappy 3rd down efficiency (NE 5-15 and AZ 4-14). The only categories AZ led were total rushing yards (105 to 90), passer rating (Kolb 82 to 80 due to Brady’s INT), sacks (4 to 1), and fewer penalties (AZ 5-39 to NE 8-60).

    If Gostowski doesn’t miss his 5th FG of the day from chip shot range (he made 4 others including one from 53), NE escapes with an ugly win.

    I think the Cardinals luck is going to run out Sunday. I also think Kolb (or possibly his backup) gets sacked 5 times and turns the ball over at least once. Whichever combination of RBs AZ fields (Williams, Wells, and Stephens-Howling) doesn’t scare me. Larry Fitzgerald has all of 5 receptions for 67 yards and 0 TDs for the season. NE held him to 1 catch for 4 yards, and no would accuse the Pats of having an elite secondary.

    As long as the Eagles can contain Fitzgerald and don’t give up big plays on special teams, I don’t see how the Cardinals can even keep this game close. My prediction: Eagles 34 – Cards 16.

  11. 11 Mac said at 3:59 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    Any chance of Lewis seeing the field this week. I’d like to see some Westy-esque stuff from him, like start in the backfield and flex out to the slot…

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 11:03 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I do think he’ll be active. Hadn’t thought about him, but good name to bring up.

  13. 13 P_P_K said at 4:47 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    What kind of depraved beast are you, Mr. Lawlor? That loss to the Cards last year is not entertainment, sir. Remembering Steve Smith’s dive on 3rd and short is like reliving my circumcision.

  14. 14 TommyLawlor said at 11:02 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    Now that’s bad!!!

  15. 15 P_P_K said at 4:47 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I was psyched when the Eagles acquired D Bell. I’m still hopeful he’s
    going to play at a high level and take back the LT position.

  16. 16 Eric Andreas said at 5:00 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    There is something that I just have to get off my chest. I’m becoming really irritated with all the free late shots defenders are getting on Vick. Many people complain about how Vick is too reckless with the ball (and he is, at times) and how that leads to him taking needless hits, but so far this season, Vick has been getting punished not by his own doing. I must have counted at least seven or eight times where Vick either got manhandled after releasing the ball and slammed into the turf or where a defender cracks him a good 1-3 seconds after he passes it. That uncalled Ngata hit where Vick got a helmet cracked in his ribs several moments after getting rid of the ball really baffled me.
    The announces said something like “Folks if you’ve just tuned in, Vick has been knocked down on EVERY play”. Well, yeah. That’s because there’s always someone getting an extra shove, an extra shot to the knees, chest, etc. I know there are many “bang-bang” plays in the NFL, but the late hits are getting so aggregious now and the fact that this isn’t getting talked about more makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
    Vick is fine so far, but the law of averages says that he won’t stay healthy after taking these hits too much longer. I can live with Vick getting hurt while trying to make a play and getting crushed within the rules, but it just infuritates me to see the constant no-calls.

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 11:00 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    There were 2 or 3 plays on Sunday when roughing could have been called, beyond the one hit where it did get called. Vick takes a beating that other QBs don’t.

  18. 18 Eric Andreas said at 9:13 AM on September 22nd, 2012:

    It’s getting to the point where I hope Reid chats with the officials each week before the game to remind them that Vick is in fact a quarterback and not a running back.

  19. 19 the guy said at 5:39 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I don’t want Vick benched. I just don’t really care anymore (in game terms only, of course) if he gets hurt and has to miss some time.

    The PS games could have been flukes. Certainly with this week’s game vs Kolb, I thought of the two 300yd games in his first 2 starts in 2009. Also, guys like Ryans really stepped up their games when the season started. Perhaps the opposite would be true. I definitely can’t rule out that Foles isn’t nearly as good as he seemed.

    With all that said, I keep coming back to my belief that a Foles-type QB is a better fit for this offense than Vick. The way the defense has been playing actually reinforces it.

  20. 20 A_T_G said at 9:28 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    Yeah, I’ll admit to curiosity leading me to cringe a bit less when Vick takes a hit. More so, though, is that I don’t think we want the Vick that doesn’t take hits.

    People comment on how Vick won’t age gracefully unless he learns to be a pocket passer. Otherwise, he will just be a below average passer who doesn’t have a plan B.

    This line of thought has pretty universal acceptance.

    What the conversation over the last few weeks led me to is that the safe Vick everyone thought we wanted is pretty similar to a self-impossed aged Vick. We want him to turn it on and turn it off situationally. I don’t believe he is capable of that.

    And so, I stopped caring about taking too many hits. I hope he makes it through the hole season, the playoffs, and the SB healthy. But I want him to play to win and hope to stay healthy, not to stay healthy and hope to win.

  21. 21 RC5000 said at 6:13 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    You can’t really judge Vick on two games especially the first ones. He needs to stay healthy and it’s a long way to go still He needs to make fast decisions which he has done at times, eliminate mistakes, communicate with receivers. Some say you need him to be himself but I personally don’t think that style gets you where you need to go.
    Vick has had big ups and downs but they are 2-0 so obviously he isn’t going to be benched but I’d rather have waited to get Foles in anyway. He’s shown flashes since he’s been here but has been inconsistent so we’ll have to see if he can be consistent and stay away from the playground style. Also need to see him not trying to do everything himself over a longer period. Celek, Desean, Maclin made some big plays but Vick hung in there and made it happen. Offense has turned the ball over, defense has come up big.
    He has been okay so far. Not tremendous and at times awful besides the comebacks but the good thing is we’re 2-0 and should probably be 0-2 and we have one of the toughest games out of the way.
    Offense needs to protect the ball obviously. One of the key stats that is keeping this team in it with the TOs is 3rd down efficiency in addition to yardage stats. We are 15-34 (44%) , our opponents are 6-27 (22%).

  22. 22 Todd B. said at 7:18 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I think I am the only one that thinks the Cards is a good team.
    They are 9-2 over their last 11 games (dating back to last year). I don’t care who you are, you only get to 9-2 over any stretch if you are good.

    As far as the Patriots, the Cards defensive coordinator came out earlier in the week and bragged about knowing what was coming and about how he figured them out prior to the came.
    (BTW – I don’t necssarily buy that explaination but it caused a small firestorm here in Boston.)
    And I know it seems like they get some lucky FG misses.
    But take a look at this article on their FG and punt blocking units.

    Basically, because they have had so much success, teams are rushing FG attempts routinely causing many misses…too much to simply be luck. Very much like how the DL’s success against Flacco caused him to see “ghosts” even when the rush was contained, causing him to hurry his throws.
    With Henerey already a little iffy, I hope the Eagles look at positions beyond a 40 yard field goal as four down territory.

    I think the Eagle will win the game but I don’t think it will be a cake walk.

  23. 23 austinfan said at 10:34 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    The Cardinals have a good but not great defense.

    And they’ve been lucky, they won 4 OT games in that stretch and a number of other close games. Over time, those games will even out, the same way the Eagles will struggle if they keep turning the ball over 4 times a game. The difference is, there isn’t much the Cardinals can do to improve, the Eagles merely have to regress to the mean (1.5 turnovers a game).

  24. 24 Corry Henry said at 8:28 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I feel like this game could end up being a really ugly, crap-fest of a game in terms of offense. Like a 12-7, WTF-was-that-crap type of game.

  25. 25 Joe Hinchliffe said at 10:03 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    Vick puts a ton of pressure on defenses. The Maclin TD (Ravens game) was created by Vick’s threat to run. The D bit up and left Mac wide-open. The fact that Vick completes passes like that is really good going forward. The defenders will have to cover every inch of the field. If he can get rid of the ball faster – even better. If I was a Raven’s fan I’d be sick over Ed Reed’s play there and a couple of Celek catches where he was looking for the INT instead making the play on the receiver. Question: Did you see Cam Newton last night? Would you rather have Vick or Newton this year? Cam lit it up last year. It’s still early but he looked a bit like Vince Young to me. I’m glad to have Vick at this point in his career. He’s still a threat to run and is improving as a pocket-passer. Get rid of the ball – protect yourself.

  26. 26 ian_no_2 said at 10:51 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    There’s two WRs that aren’t playing hurt, two that are… as I’ve said I’m not liking that Cooper wasn’t IRed return or just cut and brought back when he’s healthy. What this may mean is that it’s time to say I’ll see your Patrick Peterson from scrimmage and raise you Boykin. Line Boykin out wide.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 11:02 PM on September 21st, 2012:

    I doubt Boykin plays on offense just yet, but that is an interesting idea. He certainly is gifted. Would be interesting to see him on the field just as a decoy.

  28. 28 ian_no_2 said at 8:39 AM on September 22nd, 2012:

    It may be either that or Bryce Brown out wide if guys aggravate their injuries. Let Cullen Jenkins hold down 8th offensive lineman and not 5th WR.

  29. 29 ian_no_2 said at 8:44 AM on September 22nd, 2012:

    Boykin’s 2011 receiving stats were 6-99, 2 TDs