Yesterday I said the Eagles defense has huge holes from talent and coaching. Today I’ll illustrate how.
Here’s a 37 yard run by Brandon Jacobs. The Eagles never had a chance:
You can guess where this play went…
Quite simply, that is bad coaching. Allen lined up as essentially the weak side linebacker, then drifted back. That’s fine. But then Chaney and Rolle slid to their left. By design there is no one in position to make a tackle before or near the first down marker. Or past it.
Neither. It was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is being blocked as Jacobs runs past him. Rodgers-Cromartie eventually sheds the block then chases down Jacobs, who would easily stiff arm Allen down field. If not for the blazing speed of Rodgers-Cromartie, it’s a touchdown.
Last year one of the problems with the defense was that Sean McDermott was asking the players to do more than they were capable of. It appears Juan Castillo has that problem too. Of course, it doesn’t help when the players stink.
We know the issues plaguing the Eagles run defense, there is no need to go over that again unless you are a sadist. So let’s look at the passing. Manning’s first three throws were deep passes that weren’t completed, one was a bad drop. Then they started picking at the Eagles defense rather than attack it down field. A slant to Hakeem Nicks picks up 9 yards against Asante Samuel. You will this material again gentlemen. A screen to Amhad Bradshaw for 5 yards to Casey Matthews’ side of the field:
The next play was a killer. Casey Matthews is the new Mark Simoneau. Scrappy, athletic, undersized role playing linebacker miscast as a starting middle linebacker, so they try him outside and get the same results. In the 2003 NFC Championship Game, DeSean Foster broke two Simoneau tackles on the same goal line play. On Sunday, Casey Matthews got fooled by Brandon Jacobs twice on the same play for a TD.
He bites on the play fake, and then doesn’t stay with Jacobs. It’s almost impossible to try to do worse. “Oh, it’s not a run? Well, let me not cover that guy.” If he had stayed with him, Manning might not even have thrown to him. But instead he is terribly out of position:
It only got worse on the next pass attempt. Kurt Coleman said “anything Matthews can do, I can do worse” and was also beat twice on the same play. You would think Coleman, who knocked Austin Collie out last year and paralyzed a guy in college would have gone for the killshot there. Instead he tries to strip the ball rather than make a tackle.
And that’s just the first quarter. Sigh.
2nd quarter, first Giants possession, Manning starts with a dump off to Jacobs against zone coverage, Matthews actually makes the tackle for a 2 yard stop. Manning comes back with another slant against Samuel, but Victor Cruz muffs it and it pops over him. Like I said, you will this again. Next play is a deep pass through Nicks’ hands over Nate Allen. Next play, a little flat route dump out against zone coverage on 3rd and 10 for a pickup of 7. This sets up 4th and 3 on the Eagles 31, the Giants are going for it. The Giants only get two yards because Travis Beckum falls while catching the ball, otherwise he could have made the first down against Brian Rolle. The Eagles got really lucky here though, as they had 12 men on the field when they broke the huddle, Rodgers-Cromartie got off the field in time and before anyone noticed. That doesn’t worry me as much as this: the entire time before the snap Nnamdi Asomugha is wildly gesticulating to his teammates in the backfield. First he pats his head then he gives what looks like a Gator Chomp, the ball gets hiked while he is doing this.
Next drive, Manning tries an inside screen pass to Bradshaw, but Babin swallows him up for a loss of 2. A screen pass between the tackles against the Eagles defensive line is not going to work. A sack makes it 3rd and 17 from the Giants 13. With 1:25 to go and a 14-10 lead, get as many yards as you can and then punt the ball. With the Eagles playing deep, and rightfully so, that means have Bradshaw chip Babin then use the Eagles overpursuit against them with a screen pass to the outside of the tackle box. Credit where credit is due, Rolle and Chaney spot it quickly and do a good job in pursuit, giving up only 6 yards as Rolle cuts through the blockers and Chaney sheds his.
Now it’s Moise Fokou’s chance to stink up the joint. Here’s a poorly aimed lunge at Bradshaw on what would be a dump off that would go for 26 yards:
The Giants got some help from the refs on this play. This is holding on Matthews that wasn’t called:
Notice that Nate Allen has run right into Matthews being blocked. He manages to avoid it and…
This is Keystone Cops crap.
Manning then misses a wide open Jacobs in the flat and finishes the drive by getting sacked.
Next drive, Nicks on a curl against zone coverage for 9. Manning then tries to go deep down the sideline to FB Henry Hynoski, who has 5 inches on the 5’8″ Rolle, but Rolle does an excellent job of staying with him and getting his hand in to break up the pass. Then there is the ugly TD to Cruz through Asomugha and Allen. Going to have to wait for the coaches’ tape to properly evaluate this one.
Next drive, back to the slant on Samuel for a gain of 8. I told you you would see this again. Then it’s another chance for Fokou to screw up. Here, Fokou is already trailing TE Jake Ballard. If he changes his angle though, he could make a tackle for only a 5 yard or so gain.
Instead, Fokou pauses. WHY. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING? THE BALL IS GOING TO BALLARD YOU IDIOT.
Fokou’s piss poor instincts and general inability to cover anyone leave him dead in the water.
It’s just so frustrating. I’m just going to skip a few plays ahead to the final TD. It’s a great play call by Kevin Gilbride. It’s 3rd and 11, and Gilbride, expecting blitz, calls a screen. Castillo sends a heavy blitz and leaves a huge part of the field open. The part where Ahmad Bradshaw is. No one had a chance to tackle him.
It’s going to be a long season.