Losing is not fun, but being shutout for the majority of a game when you are supposed to have a brilliant offensive head coach and a top 3 running back is even worse. Well, that is what happened on Sunday for the Eagles. As if you thought Week 7 was rough, the Eagles offense put on a literally unwatchable performance. We always want to talk about quarterback play, but there is something more to the Eagles offensive struggles.
Michael Vick started the game but was out by the end of the second quarter in what looked like a possible repeat of Week 4. Well, that was until Matt Barkley pressed and fumbled in the redzone. Oh and then there was the whole "calling the read-option with a quarterback that refused to run with the ball" thing that lasted until the mid-fourth quarter. When a former fullback (Daryl Johnston) that has had more undiagnosed concussions than Chuck Bednarik is calling out a head coach for play-calling, that is a breaking point.
The Eagles gave the Giants their second win in a row while playing a team that essentially just sucked more than they did. The Eagles defense showed up but really, this was just karma-style justice for the offense from over the last five years. Every time the defense would make a major stop, the Eagles would just tip toe or dance or fumble the possession away. This one honestly felt like a loss from the first possession.
Nate Allen: He missed one tackle but that led to a stop by stopping the runner with contact. Allen broke pass up and blitzed well. I felt he also tackled well, despite the one miss.
Jason Avant: After a few poor weeks, Avant seemed to have his hands back again. He caught a few first downs and blocked relatively well.
Cedric Thornton: He continues to be one of the best run-stuffers this team has had in years. While DeMeco Ryans and Brandon Boykin have made more obvious standout plays, Thornton is likely the best player on defense this season so far.
Fletcher Cox: He got pressure regularly but only had one sack. I think he is a force to be reckoned with once he has better play-makers at outside linebacker.
Referees: As pointed out in the telecast a few times, this game's officiating was very, very uneven. That is not the reason the Eagles lost, but the bad spots and poor call were just lame.
Pass Rush: The Eagles over the last two years have failed to really finish on sacks. Quarterbacks have been easily able to avoid the takedowns. These players are not weak, this needs to stop.
Dave Fipp: His unit caught a huge break on possibly the worst long snap in NFL history and then what does he do with that momentum? Onside kick with four minutes to go with one timeout when the Eagles are down just one possession and only two have been converted all season. Hmmm...
Chip Kelly: I do not care who was open. He starts a Michael Vick, who from the first snap looked unhealthy, and then you have Matt Barkley run the read-option on several possessions despite his insistence on handing the ball off with a defender clearly aiming for his running back. He then calls a 4th and 9 passing play in the third quarter while down two possessions...again hmmm. Also, the aforementioned onside kick had to be cleared by him.
Eagles Quarterbacks: The Eagles had three turnovers on Sunday, all of which were by quarterbacks. Listen, Matt Barkley is a rookie and clearly is not ready for a full-time role yet, but his lack of vision and anticipation is a problem. I understand that his stat line was not horrific but his performance did not lead me to believe that he should be on the field again with a healthy Vick or Nick Foles. I know Vick wants to play and carry his team, but if you are not feeling it, tell someone. Vick's possessions were really empty plays.
Eagles Offense: The Eagles have had back-to-back games without a touchdown for the first time since 2002. Chip Kelly is supposed to be an offensive mastermind but his offense has accounted for zero points over the last two weeks. Alex Henery's field goal in Week 7 was the result of an interception by DeMeco Ryans, not the Eagles offense. The Eagles got a gift on Sunday with (again) the worst long snap in the history of the NFL.
LeSean McCoy: I understand that the offensive line did not open holes but McCoy looked like he was dancing on hot coals all afternoon, which essentially made him useless for the second week in a row. It was not an impressive performance from the league's leading rusher.
- Nick Foles deservedly got a ton of hate for Week 7, but I would clearly prefer him over an injured Michael Vick or Matt Barkley at this point. At full health, I would no doubt go with Vick.
- Daryl Johnston is a very, very good analyst. He is knowledgeable and teaches the audience without talking down to them. He is also somewhat serves as the knowledgeable audience's perspective. He asks the same annoyed questions as a lot of well-read fans do.
- Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin were not bad on Sunday, but they all gave up plays that were important in the game. Fletcher had a major pass interference call, Williams was burned by Hakeem Nicks a few times and Victor Cruz caught a big pass on third down against Boykin. Again, they were not bad, but they certainly had some poor moments.
- The Eagles have lost 10-straight games at home and since they are on the road in Week 9, they will not post a home win within 400 days. Yeah, and you thought you felt bad for Browns fans.
- Coaches hired directly out of college over the last two years are 13-26. The trio of Greg Schiano, Chip Kelly and Doug Marrone are all under .500 this season and Tampa Bay was 7-9 last season.
- Well, fortunately (or unfortunately) the Lions defeated the Cowboys on an awesome fake spike by Matthew Stafford. The Cowboys are now 4-4 and only one game ahead of the Eagles, so yes the torment of being mediocre enough to make the playoffs will continue. This division is so putrid that it makes the 7-9 Seahawks from 2011 look like a perennial Super Bowl team. Also, Dez Bryant clearly hates everyone, as he was ripping into Jason Witten and had to physically restrained and even roughed up by DeMarcus "Bad Quad" Ware at the end of the game.
More from Bleeding Green Nation:
- Eagles vs. Giants Final Score: Philadelphia's offense struggles in loss to New York, 15-7
- Eagles vs. Giants 2013: Fourth Quarter Open Thread
- Eagles vs. Giants 2013: Third Quarter Game Thread
- Michael Vick Injury: Matt Barkley takes over at QB for Eagles
- Eagles vs. Giants 2013: Second Quarter Open Thread