Scripted Plays Worked. Everything Else Failed: The Eagles first 15 plays of every game are usually scripted. The 15 the Eagles used in this game worked beautifully. Once Reid ran out of scripted plays, the offense went down the toilet.
“We’d never seen those plays they came out with,” Redskins’ CB Carlos Rogers said. “I’m serious. Those were great plays. But after that, I guess our coaching took over.”
Rogers is right. The Eagles play calling was awful after the first 15 plays. They were so creative, and had such well designed plays early on. Then the play calling got very predictable, and just ugly. Not much worked at all after that.
The Eagles offense only scored 3 points after the opening drive, and that was setup by a broken play. Reggie Brown caught a pass falling down, but was never touched, and got back up to race for a bunch of extra yards. Without that Redskins mistake, I am not even so sure they manage to get that field goal.
Dropped Passes Are Killing The Offense: How many dropped passes do the Eagles have this year? It seems like they drop a pass every other possession. Dropped pass kill drives, and drive me up the wall.
Andy Reid should have all of the wide receivers do 2 hours with the Jugs machine to work on their hands.
Reid Makes More Mistakes: What is with Andy Reid lately? He seems to be making a lot of bad decisions, and his play calling has really been poor.
Right before the half, Reid called timeout thinking about getting the ball back. Instead his timeout just helped the Redskins conserve enough time to kick a field goal with seconds to go in the half.
Why would Reid call timeout in that situation? The Skins had been moving the ball well, and there was only 46 seconds left in the half. You can’t be thinking about getting the ball back there. You have to force the Redskins to either use their timeouts, or run the clock out. This clock management mistake cost the Eagles 3 points.
Another mistake was the challenge of the Antwan Randle El touchdown pass. Who is telling Reid to challenge that? Clearly Randle El threw the ball well before the line of scrimmage, and the guy who said challenge the play to Reid should never be allowed to handle that job again.
It pisses me off that last week against the Bears there were a bunch of plays that should have been challenged, and they never were. Then when the play is obviously by the rules, the red flag comes flying out. I don’t know whether to blame Reid here, or the guy who looks at the video and tells Reid what to do. Since I never see that guy, I have to blame Reid here. He needs to get a better challenge guy.
Refs Screws Up: On the Eagles 3rd possession of the game, the refs made a big mistake. It was 1st-and-10, and the Redskins were flagged for 12 men on the field. That is a 5 yard penalty, and it was 1st-and-5.
On the very next play McNabb threw a 2 yard pass to FB Tony Hunt, and across the top of the screen it said 2nd-and-8. HUH? How can you go from 1st-and-five, to 2nd-and-8? The Eagles did move 5 yards for the penalty, but instead of 1st-and-5, the refs made it a 1st-and-10.
The next play Correll Buckhalter ran for 3 yards, and it was 3rd-and-5, instead of being a first down. On third-and-five McNabb threw a bullet a little high for Greg Lewis, who watched the ball go right through his hands. On 4th down, David Akers missed a 50 yard field goal.
This is not a major mistake, but a mistake none the less. The Eagles offense had some rhythm going early, and that was the first time it got broken.
Tight Ends Are Killing The Eagles: The Eagles are getting nothing from their tight ends this season. There are no big plays from the tight ends, and the blocking has been awful. Two weeks in a row the Eagles have faltered near the goal line, and both times the tight ends were partially at fault.
Mr. Franchise L.J. Smith is not involved in the offense at all. Ever since his touchdown against the Rams he has been the invisible man. Smith has missed two games with a back injury, but he has been less than stellar in the 3 games he has played. Smith has 9 catches for 75 yards and 1 TD so far this year.
While the Eagles are getting nothing from their tight ends, other teams sure are throwing to their tight ends against the Eagles.
Jason Witten lead the Cowboys against the Iggles, with 7 catches for 110 yards. When the Cowboys needed a big play, Witten was the go-to-guy.
Greg Olsen burned linebacker Chris Gocong for a 19 yard score in the Bears loss.
Even in the two Eagles wins, the leading receivers from each opposing team was a tight end(Heath Miller and Randy McMichael).
So how would the Eagles do against one of the leagues better tight ends in Chris Cooley? Cooley kills them with 8 catches for 108 yards, and a touchdown.
The Eagles change to bigger slower linebackers seems to have helped them a lot against the run, (although not in the Skins game) but it has killed them in pass coverage. This weakness continues to get exploited each game, as offensive coordinators are trying to get fast players matched up on the Eagles linebackers.
It’s not just the linebacker, as the safeties have also given up some pretty big plays. I don’t know if Jim Johnson can scheme better for the tight end, or if this is just a major flaw with the Eagles defense.
Something needs to change soon, or other teams will continue to abuse the defense with tight ends.
McNabb Embarrassed: Donovan McNabb was very vocal about his displeasure with the Eagles losing the last two games. He even feels that the Eagles lost to an inferior team Sunday.\
“There’s no way that this team is better than us,” Donovan McNabb said. “The same went for last week. I was embarrassed these last two weeks. To two teams we shouldn’t have lost to. Not taking anything away from them, but there is no way that team is better than us. The same went for last week and then you find yourself here wondering why. It’s what we didn’t do. Not what they did, but what we didn’t do.”
Embarrassed is a good way to feel after the game, but I don’t think it’s wise to say that the Eagles are better than the Redskins publicly. I am sure McNabb really believes this, but this quote will probably be bulletin board material for Washington.
I thought long and hard about whether the Eagles are better than the Redskins, and I can’t justify that statement. They definitely were not the better team Sunday, and overall they are playing better football. They just did not get beat, the were gashed for 200 yards on the ground, and gave up 23 straight points to the Redskins.
Maybe Akers Is Done: I hate to say this, but the Eagles need a new kicker. David Akers has missed 9 straight field goals past 40 yards, and is only 3 of his last 14 from beyond 40.
Troy Aikman said during and after the game that if a coach is unsure that his kicker can hit a reasonable field goal(45 yards or below) then it is time to replace them. I think Troy is right here. The Eagles can not afford to have Akers miss all of these kicks. Not only is is points not on the score board, but these misses are setting up the other team with great field position.
There is probably nothing that can be done this year, but next year the Eagles should spend a late(around the 5th round) draft pick on a talented young kicker.
Akers has been a fan favorite for a while, but he is not getting it done anymore. It is time to move on.
Westbrook Talks About His Injury: Brian Westbrook talks about the rib injury, and if he will be able to go Sunday on his weekly radio show.
“it’s kind of wait and see.”
“Can you stand that pain and play with it and be effective? Do I want to be out there at 45 percent and not wanting to take a hit and hurting the team more than I’m helping it?” he said on 950 ESPN Radio.
“No, I would rather have Correll Buckhalter, a proven running back, a guy who can get the job done, take over and carry this team, and I wouldn’t want to set the team back like that. But what I’m going to do is rehab and see where things end up at the end of this week.”
“Every hit you feel it. Every time you run and turn you feel it,” Westbrook said. “You turn right, you turn left, you try to make a move, and that’s part of my game, trying to make people miss. You get hit in your right side, you get hit in your left side you feel it. As a player, you want to be able to do the things that you do help this team, but it definitely limits the things you can do.”
It sounds like he is hurting bad, and won’t be able to go against the 9ers. What else can go wrong?
Jackson’s First Punt Return Touchdown: The only positive I can take from this game, was the big return by exciting rookie DeSean Jackson. Jackson started running right, and on a dime he cut back left, and then just put on the jets. A good block down field was all Jackson needed, as he used his speed to blow past everybody else.
There was a flag on the play, and the Birds got a huge break that the refs lifted it. Number 50, Tank Daniels made his first bonehead play of the game by blocking number 50 Khary Campbell in the back. Somehow the refs got confused, and called the play on Campbell instead of Daniels. Thanks to the dumb refs, the touchdown stood.
It was a penalty on Daniels, but Campbell was already out of the play anyways. It would have been a real shame if a dumb penalty would have taken away such a great return. Especially when it was really not even a factor in the play.
This return ended a long drought for the Eagles special teams. The last time the Eagles scored a special teams touchdown was when Brian Westbrook returned a punt 81 yards against the 49ers in 2003.
Another big time play from Jackson who is a big time play maker.
Fans Egg The Skins Bus: The Redskins’ bus got nailed with a flurry of eggs, as they pulled into the Linc. I don’t care if the National Media rips us for this, because I think this is great. I say egg them again next year, and every year after that!
Topics: 950 ESPN Radio, Andy Reid, Brian Westbrook, Carlos Rogers, Chicago Bears, Chris Cooley, Chris Gocong, Dallas Cowboys, David Akers, DeSean Jackson, Donovan McNabb, Eagles Fans Egg Redskins Bus, Heath Miller, Jason Witten, Jim Johnson, Khary Campbell, L.J. Smith, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Randy McMichael, Refs Suck, Reggie Brown, St. Louis Rams, Tank Daniels, The Brian Westbrook Show, Washington Redskins