Eagle Eye Observations: Week 8

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Watching the Eagles blowout the Chiefs is fun. Watching them destroy the Giants is the party of the year. Time to take a closer look at the massacre. It wasn’t all puppy dogs and ice cream, but it was by far the best game the Birds have played in ’09. Here’s another view from the Eagle Eye:

  • The offense racked up 180 yards on the ground. 107 came on the two long TD runs. 14 on a scramble from McNabb. That leaves 59 yards on 21 carries. Not great, but at least the commitment was there.
  • I wonder if Weaver got more carries because of his early touchdown, or if it was by design to attack the Giants’ mammoth front with a bigger, more physical runner? His other seven totes netted 34 yards. I’ll take that every game. We can’t expect this kind of production every week, but he definitely adds another dimension to the run game. After this, maybe Reid won’t forget about him.
  • DeSean and Maclin with touchdown catches in the same game! Get used to seeing this for the next few years. If we think these two are good now, just imagine how scary they will be in say 2011.

  • It sure does make a world of difference when McNabb sets his feet and throws under control. That laser strike to Celek was a thing of beauty. I could watch it all day. In fact, here it is:

  • Does Asante Samuel own Eli Manning or what? Two big time picks in the last two meetings. Eli must hate to throw the ball in his direction. It was also nice to see Asante put his hat on Hakeem Nicks to cause a fumble late in the game, even though Nicks recovered it.
  • Even if he had help at times, Winston Justice once again represented himself nicely. Justin Tuck was a non-factor.
  • Trent Cole‘s backside pursuit in the run game is amazing. I hate using stupid terms like “high motor,” but Cole has a high motor. By the way, this was the first game this season he was held without a sack. That doesn’t mean the effort wasn’t there, because it was.
  • Goat of the game has to be Jason Babin. A botched kickoff return and a horse-collar infraction. The call was questionable, but it was on a quarterback and his name was Manning, so it will be flagged every time. Shame, shame Mr. Babin. On a positive note, he did notch another sack. That’s a pair in two games this week. Safe to say he will continue to see reps.
  • In his post-game wrap, Reid said Sean Jones would have started even if Macho wasn’t hurt. Hmm. Guess Macho-man wasn’t impressing the coaches. One thing Jones does well is hit, especially in the run game. He introduced himself to Brandon Jacobs a lot on Sunday. He also got torched by Kevin Boss on a long catch and run. He might be a liability in coverage, but when he’s in the box, it’s like having an extra linebacker on the field.
  • Jason Peters didn’t have a strong game. Osi gave him fits throughout. On one play he just let him crash in on McNabb. Still learning the scheme? I hope he gets it down soon. DeMarcus Ware is next.
  • It’s a good thing the Birds can score all those long touchdowns, because their red zone offense is still a problem. 1/3 against one of the league’s worst red zone defenses is not good. One of these weeks it will cost them a win.
  • 6/11 on third down is more like it. And yes, that was Jason Avant returning from exile with a great catch and slip tackle scamper for a first down during the opening quarter. Welcome back, Jason. Where ya been?
  • McNabb hit eight different receivers, including himself, on the game’s most bizarre play. How that ball wasn’t picked off is a mystery.
  • Sav Rocca‘s two punts were both boomers. I’d like to see that on a regular basis.
  • Overall, I thought the Giants did an excellent job in pass protection. Manning had time to throw. He hit some, but missed a bunch more. Not sure if it’s his heel, or if it’s just Eli being Eli, but he looked very erratic and uncomfortable.
  • Quintin Mikell had a chance at two picks, but dropped them both. Hopefully, he’s saving his best for Romo.
  • Will Witherspoon narrowly missed Manning twice for sacks. His lateral pursuit is incredible. He is a major upgrade over both Gaither and Trotter in this area. Can he hold up the rest of the way against the big backs? We shall see.
  • Did anyone else catch the post-game locker room frivolity? Brian Stewart – the ex-Dallas D coordinator – congratulated Weaver and said the following: “We got the Cowgirls next!” I get the feeling he might be a tad bitter about his time in Big D.
  • I noticed a lot more reps for Stacy. I’d have to watch the game again to gauge how he did. Reid saying he did a “nice job” tells me nothing.
  • Blocked PATs should never, ever happen. Alas, Akers had one knocked down. Ugh.
  • Four batted down passes at the line. Man, the Giants front four was dialed in to where Donny was looking to throw. Looks like they might have identified a tell. Didn’t the ‘Skins and Raiders do the same thing? James Urban needs to have a chit chat with McNabb.

Great win for gang green. It’s apparent the Giants are in a downward spiral. Injuries in the secondary are killing them right now, as is Eli’s poor decision making. This one got away from them quickly, but the Eagles deserve credit for keeping the gas to the floor. During the third quarter, I had visions of a 33-30 final score, or worse.

On this Sunday, they played hard and smart from start to stop. And they racked 40 points without Westbrook. Could they have done the same a year ago? No way. This offense is younger and faster. Let’s hope they got something left for the ‘Boys. It’s stacking up to be a real doozy next Sunday night. I can’t wait.

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