Hello, playoffs! Has a nice ring to it, eh? As wonderful as another postseason trip is, the Eagles played some sloppy football in disposing the Niners. Here’s one more look from the Eagle Eye:
- I’m not sure what bothers me more: the fact that Reid went for a fourth-and-inches on his own thirty, or that they couldn’t convert it. At any rate, I trashed Bill Belichick for doing a similar thing against the Colts, so Andy doesn’t get a free pass. It was an utterly stupid decision by a coach who knows better. He better buy Sheldon a steak dinner for bailing his posterior out with that forced fumble.
- Fantastic game for the offensive line. ZERO sacks allowed and 116 yards rushing. Once Reid stopped all that ridiculous guard shuffling, the starting five has been excellent.
- Vick‘s quad/thigh injury doesn’t really concern me. He can be another option, but it’s not imperative he be used every game. Although, the short-yardage woes were back again. Not good.
- Quintin Demps‘ big return on the opening kickoff seemed to set the tone for that first scoring drive. Demps had his moments last year. Hopefully he can have a few more in the coming weeks.
- They won’t jump out on the stat sheet, but Joselio Hanson and Juqau Parker had solid games. Both provided consistent pressure on Alex Smith. McDermott has taken a liking to that corner blitz by Hanson.
- Sean Jones continues to struggle taking the proper angle on tackles. Frank Gore ran through a pair of weak attempts. Dude needs to clean this up, pronto.
- Kevin Curtis caught one ball for a first down then disappeared. Not sure if he tweaked his knee, or if Reid was just being cautious.
- Leonard Weaver did one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen on a football field. What was going on inside his noggin when Ahmad Brooks got in his face? C’mon, Big Weave, you’re better than that! On a positive note, 17 carries and 70 total yards is sweet, sweet music to my ears. He did get stuffed on that fourth and inches and on a couple other short runs, but he also converted a key third down late in the game.
- Trent Cole belongs in the Pro Bowl. Two more sacks gives him 11.5 on the year; one more and he’ll top his career high of 12.
- Shady looked sharp. He had a nifty cut-back on a screen pass that was mighty impressive. He also displayed good power on his touchdown run. His blitz pickup is getting better too.
- Touchdown drives of 9/94 and 8/89 makes me smile. I’ve been bitching for weeks about not relying on a quick strike offense. The last two weeks the offense has shown an ability to execute well-balanced, sustained scoring drives. Those are the kind of drives that win playoff games.
- Did you notice Vick in motion and running a pass route on the first snap of the game? Very intriguing. Wonder if we’ll see something come from that down the road, provided Vick is healthy?
- It would appear that Chris Gocong was the scapegoat for last Sunday night’s debacle. Moise Fokou started the game and didn’t do much, but he didn’t screw up either.
- Vernon Davis stat line: 3 catches for 43 yards. Excellent. Lots of double teams dialed up to stop the big tight end. Alex Smith forcing the ball to him led to a pair of picks.
- Brodrick Bunkley had a terrific shoestring tackle on a Frank Gore screen pass. If not for Bunk, Gore probably breaks it for a big gain.
- I’ve seen all but two of McNabb‘s games in midnight green. So, I can safely say that I can’t recall him tossing two dumber interceptions. I’m all for trying to make a play, but not when you’re leaving points on the field. Picks like those are what loses playoff games. (By the way, I realize Don has thrown worse picks, but these two really pissed me of.)
- How about the Linc grounds crew? They had the grass looking nice after the Blizzard of ’09.
- Despite a bad back and thumb, Brent Celek continues to have one of the finest seasons by an Eagles’ tight end ever: 65 grabs for 754 yards and seven touchdowns.
- I’m running out of superlatives to describe DeSean. Today I’ll go with simply marvelous. Damn, I wish Don had connected with him on that deep ball. Would have been his 9th 50-plus yard score. Anyway, DJax eclipsed 1000 yards and took over the team lead with his 8th trip for six.
Now, the nervous part of the season begins. The NFC East is still undecided, so there is work to be done. I’m pleased the team was so sedate after the win. They were supposed to be in the playoffs. This group wants more.
No offense to Brian Dawkins, but I hope he brings the same guys with him next Sunday as the ones that lost to the Raiders. If nothing else, Dawk can chat it up with his ex-teammates about what it feels like to get beat down by the silver ad black.