Lemme tell you, that game was great. I went with my eagles fan friend and we had a great time. The tix were an Xmas present, and we had pretty awesome seats. Truth be told, the fans weren't that bad, as in they didn't try to belligerently fight me lol. But the point of this post is to talk about a couple things you guys might not have seen on TV.
First off officiating: It was terrible. In the first half, even my friend agreed with the calls, they were BS. Stokley clearly was right, but that meltdown really cost us. There was one blatant penalty that they showed on the jumbo tron on Westbrook's only good run of Ayers being blatantly held. But I must say, the calls were starting to go our way in the second half.
Speaking of Ayers, he had a great game, and I am now officially removing the "potential bust" label. now I'm not sure if you could see it on TV, but when he was on the field, HE was telling people what to do and HE was making calls for the D. Compare that to the preseason where people had to drag him into his spots. He also played ST, and their he was the leader with Reid. They would both talk to the team with authority last night, and they did a great job because of it. Ayers was also flying to the ball on a lot of plays, and was just a second away from making the play before someone else made it. He also made the very athletic tackle on McCoy on that screen play. Think bout that play. If he doesn't make the tackle, its a TD, and if he does, Doom sack force fumble.
Our OL, I dont even wanna talk about it. No blame can be put on Moreno or Buck. Look at them when they got the ball in the open field on pass plays: Buck had a 30 yard gain on a 3rd and 22, and Moreno had a TD. They can both run, but not when the OL cant open holes and creat a cluster f*&$ at the line. The whole point of the power blocking scheme is to open just one hole, and give the RB room to get at least 3 yards and then he after that its on him, good or bad. in pass pro, they were disgusting.
But, The OL's pass pro can only be blamed so much. Orton is by far the worst QB I have ever seen in person, yes, BMarsh's 3 drops were atrocious (I'll get into him later), but he didn't help himself either. People have told me on here Orton is very accurate. Well yesterday, not so much. he was throwing horrible balls all game. I remember once he left Gaffney out to dry. Gaff dropped it, but it wasnt his fault. Orton threw it horribly high. And he is also a horrible decsion maker under pressure, sometimes he would step up and scramble out of the pocket (btw, his pocket prescence was the only good part of his game yesterday) but then he would sit their like a duck, and then make a horrible read. Most of the time, he could've tucked it and run for a nice 5-10 yard gain, but instead he mae horrible reads and threw to tight spots and threw bad balls. The one time he did tuck and run in this situation was a 3rd and 20, and he didn't get the first. Thats the time where he had to throw it.
I think 2 plays of Orton's officially put me in the category of "Orton hater" (although I dont hate the guy, I thoughtn he did much better with his limited abilities than most thought) The first was the deep ball to Orton. That throw was a DUCK. If Orton overthrows that throw, no big deal its incomplete move on to the next play. But not only did he underthrow it, he made it so catchable for Asante Samuel. The second was another deep ball to BMarsh. BMarsh had a step on Brown and then some. If Orton throws this to the front pylon, this is caught for a TD and is on SportsCenter. Instead, he underthrows it atrociously and Sheldon Brown catches up to it and breaks it up causing a 4th down.
Because of these two plays, I see why McD is so limited in his playcalling. I'll tell you, after both those throws, I'd be nervous to run routes of more than 10 yards too
Without great runs after catches from both Moreno and Gaff, Orton doesn't get a TD. So please, take those TD's with a grain of salt.
BMarsh: I'll say this, he was physical and good against Asante Samuel, but when they put Sheldon on him, he played like a little girl. After the first hit BMarsh took from him, BMarsh was scared from then on, which led to drops. I don't think Brown is an excellent CB, but his uncharacteristic physicallity for his pos. helps in scenarios like this. He also lost all sense of direction from that first hit. he was goin East, South, and West after catches, but not North. I think his YAC might be in the negatives.
Gaffney, I tip my hat to you. You earned your Td's with your legs and hustle. I'm glad we have you and I hope your PT increases going forward.
If you read my comments on KaptainKirk's UFR, you'll see I was dead on pertaining to the Eagles passing game. We would own it, IF we contained Celek, and we didn't. Kudos to him, he had a monster game. Champ owned DeSean, minus that PI call (I still disagree with it). Goodman didn't do as well as I thought he would on Maclin. Maclin had him a couple times, but McNabb just missed him.
And I wanna say this. On the last pass that won the game, from McNabb to Maclin, that was by far the luckiest play I have ever seen. Me and my friend had a perfect view of the play, as when we looked straight from our seats, we saw McNabb to where the ball was throw. From our seats, McNabb was throwin to Avant, who had a step on his guy, and he overthrew it. Avant was running like he was gonna get it till the last second, and I was about to start cheerin, till I see Maclin come out of nowhere to make that grab. I will say this once again, that play was all luck, McNabb overthrew Avant and Maclin was there to make the catch.
Our D played great. This game was like so many others where the O was so bad it allowed points. Its eerily familiar to last year where the D was so bad it cost points.
And I believe I was right with McNabb. The more he's pressured, the better he is. Like that 27 yard run on 3rd and 25, thats what the man does under pressure. My friend even told me after the game I was right. McNabb, although improved, is not a great pocket passer. I truly believe he overthinks throws when there is no pressure to throw, and I think we should've done more containment on him than we did. All his great plays yeasterday were impromptu plays where he had to think quick.
And our run D was exceptional. As I said, Westbrook, and the entire Eagles team, only good rush came from a missed holding call. That, and the 27 yard scmaper by McNabb, and the Eagles had bout 50 yards of rushing.
And Finally, our Pass D played like they did v Colts/ Came out flat, then picked it up. We can't have performances like that from the strenght of our team, we need more consistency. I must say though, I picked up a lot of confusion from us when the Eagles bunched their WR's. Kudos to Reid for seeing this and to keep using it.
Now, Let's learn from our mistakes, and Run over KC and pray for the cards to fall in our favor...