Eagles Crush Bucs 33-14
At least I won’t have to repaint my truck or watch Cutthroat Island. Whew! The Eagles disposed of the Bucs today, but were hardly impressive in doing so. McNabb and Jeremy Maclin were the offense. The defense had trouble with a quarterback making his second career start. The special teams continued their spaz-like ways. Let’s discuss, shall we.
The Quick Strike is Back
Maybe it never went away. The offense scored on three two-play drives totaling 1:51. It’s great to convert touchdowns, but when your leading rusher is your starting quarterback and all he gained was 30 yards, I call that a problem. The Bucs ranked 30th versus the run coming into the game. Birds’ backs had 38 yards on 14 carries. When they play the better teams down the road, a concerted effort to run the ball will be needed. Same ol’ story for Air Reid. (However, that seven-yard touchdown run by Westy was fun to watch.)
Front Four Pass Rush
McDermott dialed up over 25 blitzes once he realized his front four couldn’t get to Josh Johnson. When Johnson had time, he moved the ball with accurate throws. The defensive tackles are getting no inside push. How many teams use four defensive ends on nickel passing downs? Looking ahead, Heckert needs to find a couple quality defensive ends to put opposite Trent Cole. Abiamiri and Clemons are not the answers.
Ten for 112 yards. That included four personal foul penalties. One by Macho Harris gave the Bucs a first down on third and twenty-five. The special teams were flagged four times, I think. This kind of undisciplined play is not indicative of Reid coached teams. Something needs to change — NOW!!
I understand it’s still early in this whole Vick experiment, but if they are not going to throw from the Wildwhatever alignment, defenses are not going to be fooled. The direct snaps to Shady work to an extent. However, I’m concerned the Eagles just can’t pound the ball from a conventional I-formation or split-back set. Being creative is great, unless you’re doing it to mask the fact that your basic offense is flawed.
Did the Birds forget how to wrap up during the bye week? Kellen Winslow and Derrick Ward made the entire defense look very silly on a few occasions. By the way, Winslow destroyed whoever was covering him: Macho, Mikell and Gocong all got schooled by the big tight end. Look for future teams to exploit this weakness.
DeSean’s Disappearing Act
Two touches for 1 yard. I could crank up the conspiracy machine about DeSean having only three catches in two games with McNabb, but I won’t. The Bucs defense bracketed coverage on Jackson all game. They elected to slide a nickel back to cover Maclin. Big mistake.
Let’s talk about JMac
Six catches for 142 yards and a pair of sixers is going to give many a defensive coordinator nightmares during the coming weeks. Maclin is a natural X receiver. Why? He has deep speed. Kevin Curtis does not. Defenses will be forced to use a safety over the top to honor Maclin’s speed. Bottom line: you can’t double team two starting receivers without getting burned over the middle. Oh, and how about the kid’s hands? He made every catch and none of them were routine. He reached high, low and behind him. Imagine the possibilities with Maclin and DeSean for the next five years. Scary.
Patterson, Hobbs and Samuel will all have MRIs tomorrow. Sheldon is already playing hurt. The deepest position on the roster is suddenly depleted. Let’s hope they can get healthy by November.
16/21 for 264 yards, 3 TDs, two scrambles for 30 yards and ZERO turnovers. Welcome back Donny Mac!!
Perhaps I’m being overly critical, but the kinds of mistakes being made will not beat the Giants and any other team with legit talent. It seems at times like the guys in green play down to the level of their competition. Stupid penalties, poor tackling and sloppy execution are not symbolic of championship teams. NFC title game appearances are getting old. I’ll take a 3-1 start with the Raiders and Redskins looming, but I want more from this team.