Okay, that was better. A mere field goal away from being back!
Clearly, that is ridiculous. This season is no longer about wins and losses.
It is about sorting through the wreckage to find some sort of foundation for next season- and to make an accurate measure of just how far behind the Eagles are. The season is about the young players now. So what is the survey?
Well, a week after they all looked gross and stuff, it was a pleasant surprise. The o-line was pretty darn good most of the time, Cole (four tackles- three assists) and Patterson (six tackles) had fine games, the wide outs still appear hopeless outside maybe of Brown and the quarterback has a long way to go
So yesterday was heartening. The Giants don’t stink. Sure, they are behind the AFC powers- but not by that much. They are firmly ensconced in the next tier of NFL teams- a good defense, an adequate offense, say ten/eleven win potential in the weaker NFC. And honestly, the only two telling differences Sunday were that McMahon was brutal while Manning performed merely bad- and second the Giants featured a punter who belongs in the NFL.
Otherwise the Eagles gave as good as they got. It was tied at the end of regulation for a reason; it would have been hard to pick a team that deserved to win at that point.
Again, the Eagles clearly are not as good as the Giants week-to-week. With McMahon, the junior varsity offense, and young guys all over the defensive line & secondary, even with this effort Philadelphia would probably have little hope of winning up in New York- and conclusively would struggle beat the Giants at the Linc. They got some lift from the crowd- like the Marines, you can count on the Linc in big spots to make a difference.
Put it together with the Dallas loss- one loss in overtime and another on the worst turnover McNabb will ever commit-
they are not far behind. In fact, their effort at the Linc last night beats most teams in this League. And that isn’t bad- although admittedly that is about as good as they can play right now.
This was actually the most “interesting” outing of the season. The Eagles managed to hang around for a variety of reasons. First, with the big caveat of "after the Giants’ opening drive", they played very well on defense.
The Giants scored only six points in the second half, and didn’t move the ball a lick in the overtime. They intercepted Manning three times. Yes, the Giants helped them immensely with their “give it to Tiki” 30+ times offense. Do you know how you turn a solid offensive performance against a defense playing a ton of young guys into only two touchdowns- and only one in the last sixty minutes? Run the ball thirty-five times is a good start.
Couple that solid effort with an offense that played with heckuva lot more smarts and moxie than last week, and you had yourself an entertaining afternoon. The Eagles offensive line dominated the Giants physically.
At the end Sunday, there was no doubt who the stronger, younger, more athletic grouping was. Philadelphia ran the ball effectively
- which I don’t care about so much- but Philadelphia then executed the more important corollary- and generated big plays from the rushing and play-pass attack.
The Giants’ pass rush is normally outstanding- but they had to blitz to get pressure. Albeit, they did get good pressure then- but one step at a time.Andrews had his best game as a pro
- absolutely blasting people. Herremans was outstanding in the run game- struggled with the Giants tackles otherwise. There were too many penalties, and the quarterback is incapable of taking advantage of the good things the offense does.
The protection was spotty when the Ginats were determined to send enough people to get there, but McMahon consistently had the time to throw- a dozen balls fifteen-twenty-thirty yards down the field and completed a few- and a lot of sacks are due to the fact McMahon cannot manage the pocket at all. But they didn’t turn it over in regulation.
I guess you could kill Reid for calling the pass play that McMahon fumbled late. Catagorically, nothing good is coming out of McMahon throwing third-and-forever deep in his own end.
But heck, he also hadn't turned it over all day- give him a shot. It doesn't matter anyway- give him a chance to prove he belongs in the League. Regardless, the offense came back from ten points down- and managed two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to tie the game. The line played well. Moats looked fast. They gave themselves a chance. It was encouraging.
There are still problems. They can’t rush the passer inside at all
- and the ends got blocked all day too. Greg Lewis regresses before our eyes
- and I would cut McMullen today.
Reggie Brown did play nicely- but like Moats, you gotta see it week-after-week before I believe. Let’s see Brown get every opportunity to catch 15-20 balls for 200 yards these last three games.
And of course, the Giants with their plethora of quality possession wide-outs, Shockey and then Tiki really cause a match-up problem for the Eagles- who choose not to invest in linebackers who can cover these kinds of people. Obviously, I am member of this Church of Pro-Football. Possession football- throwing and passing- is unimportant in pro ball.
I’m worried about the downfield passing game to the elimination of all other factors; I want quality corners and a big pass rush. But the Giants killed them on third down all day long with possession routes. Again, this sort of offense, even like Sunday when the Giants executed well, doesn’t ever lead to touchdowns- but it would be nice to look at getting a 'backer in here who can cover people due to the quality TEs in Dallas and New York.
Fortunately, the Giants didn’t do that "throwing thing" much in more favorable down-and-distance situations- instead allowing Philadelphia to inadvertently and gladly shorten the game & hang around by watching New York hand it to Tiki.
I’m not sure if the Ginats noticed- but the one thing the Eagles can do this year is stop the run. Why are you bleeding the clock for Philadelphia?
Keeping the score down and eating the clock helps the Eagles- not the Giants. Just dumb.Unless you don’t trust Manning… hmmm???
I think there is some truth to that.