A fantastic day for tailgating and night for football with incredible Eagles fan energy, couldn't have ended in a more dramatic and frankly, fitting way. Since my sons and I were only 10 rows from the incoming flights into Philly International and so had a better viewpoint than everyone in the stadium....and since my sons are still learning football a bit...and since I was the only sober one in the stadium, I think I singularly possess, the real assessment of the game.
The Eagles played well and better than any of us could have hoped. Enjoy this win and this caliber of play because we all know (see last week's Cardinals game), this team does not play this well with regularity. Here's to the start of 10 year trend.
We prayed in the parking lot that Michael would recalibrate 0.5 seconds off the clock in his head and simply do what is best at that point in time. He did and the Eagles won. This team can win 10-11 games if he doesn't add that time back in. Michael does not need to look at photos in between series - he needs to have some 95 year old clockmaker stick a metronome into his ear. If Michael makes that level of play his "worst" and he can definitely do that, this team could go places. I'll say it - Michael looked more like an NFL QB last night than the nights where he goes all Virginia Tech on some crap defense (see that Redskins Monday night game where he scored 65 points on the opening drive).
Bobby April should have something stuck in his ear and I'm thinking some type of brain aneurysm scope. There is no rule against squib kicks except at the end of halves. I've never heard a chant of "Squib the Kick - We're Okay with It" at a football game before but I'm proud to say Section 230 started it. P.S. might be best for folks to stop saying "special teams sucked". Placekicking is part of special teams and, well, at 4 for 4, it largely won the game.
I'm not a huge Andy fan, and neither is the fellow about 5 rows back, who is either obsessed with penises or really needs a good Philly course in "Diversifying your Profanity". BUT, give the big man credit, he ran the ball, even after and through moments where it did not work. This is the key to running the ball, making that handoff and then setting expectations at below 7-70 yards on every carry. Many NFL coaches have learned this, as they were coming up through high school and college, but Andy seemed to truly understand it last night. The fans of coursed booed every time a run yielded less than 5 yards but I schooled most of them, that yes, even Jim Brown and Walter Payton occasionally had runs that were stopped rather early. They really appreciated my enlightenment. Many of them said "**** you dude" and having lost my hearing in the 1st quarter, I think it was "hug you dude".
Here's my biggest point of the game, and go figure, I buried it. HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RUN PLAY-ACTION. Oh man ! One of the best parts of establishing the run, is forcing the LBs and DBs to bite on play-action and opening up all kinds of fun passing advantages. By the middle of the 3rd quarter, TV couldn't see but fans in the stadium could just see the Giants D taking that half step forward, that "dammit, I think they're going to give McCoy the ball again" mentality. Hell, they were biting on run without a fake handoff ! We gave up big yards and an opportunity to put that game away right here with lack of exploitation of what they'd worked so hard for.
Trent Cole and Justin Babin never got near Eli. I mean, I think they might have waved at him during pre-game warm ups but they better figure out how not to be anonymous next game. Blitzing Eli is risky business and it was still a good game plan to keep that limited. While everyone freaked at the last Giant's touchdown, holding the Giants to 17 is nothing to be ashamed about. And all night long, it never felt like the Giants offense was going to come anywhere close to dominating. I am still adjusting to not seeing a classic JJ blitz on 3rd and long in between the 20-40 yard line though. And I miss seeing the opponent QB get dumped on his ass and taken out of field goal range. But none of our DBs can blitz and I'd rather the D play smart and win than play with ego and roll the dice.
Brent Celek does a great job of getting open. Likely, the best on the team. You can't see it on TV but you continually see him find seams and moreover, place himself equidistant from the defenders around him. In other words, he doesn't just get open - he gets the MOST open. That enables nice relaxed throws from Vick that have little to no interception probability.
Dawkins was awesome and the decibels he was due. I really miss seeing him back there. And while the celebration was well done - I just couldn't help wondering how good this defense could be if we had him instead of Coleman. Kurt is my least favorite starter and I didn't see anything last night to change that. I will say it again, he is a liability waiting to happen back there. Good energy yes, but the polar opposite of Celek. Coleman somehow finds a way to put himself equally far from every receiver running a route. Honestly, I think it's a skill. How can a safety take himself that far out of plays with regularity? Poor guy, he really does seem to try very hard.
Shady was, well, you saw it. He is becoming the heart and soul of this team. He is resilient and you never see the prior play affect his next play. Developing the heart of a lion, the reason you have to run Bobby Brown, Bryce Bobby, Ricky Bobby or whatever his name is, is because we are going to ride Shady into and through the playoffs. Andy just may have seen the light....i know, I know - but I can't wish can't I ? !. I don't care if the 2nd back is Chase Utley, you have to spell Shady and you have to run the ball when he isn't in. Besides, Shady could get....I'm not even going to say it....
What a pleasure, and how surreal it was, to see the Eagles with only 3 penalties late in the game. Could this be another Andy epiphany?....Can we all agree the Eagles will pick up at least 1 win, maybe 2, per year if they stayed under 160 yards of penalties/game? They played poised and gave the stadium confidence that they would play well all game long. There wasn't even any panicking or anyone leaving when they went down 17-16....now THAT'S progress !!!
Well, that's the real deal on the game - there's no disputing it. I was there and so, well, if you weren't, I'm right and you're wrong. And if you were there, I'm an Eagles fan, so I'm still right and you're wrong.
I loved being at the game, I love the Eagles....how the fans gave a Standing O to the Marine home on leave. That wasn't a token 10 second golf clap, i mean you could feel the appreciation and support pour out to him.
I actually never get tired of hearing E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles ! And I'll never get tired of beating the Giants...never.