Hello Eagles win, it’s been a while.
There was a lot of work for the Eagles to do going into Sunday’s pivotal game against the Redskins. And they crossed a lot of things off the check list. The Eagles had to run Shady McCoy more. They did. They had to stop the run. They did. They had to not blow a 4th quarter lead. They did. They had to win the turnover battle. They did. They had to get Brent Celek more involved in the passing game. They did. The safeties needed to play better. They did.
So why does this win feel so vacant?
Because it’s not so much the Eagles won the game as it is the Redskins lost the game. There are still serious issues for the Eagles. Once again, the Eagles offense just wasn’t there in the 2nd half, scoring 0 points. Against the Giants and 49ers, they managed 3 points in the third quarter, and none in the 4th. That’s 3 games with a total of 6 points in the second half. Obviously that is not good enough. And let’s be honest, the main reason the Eagles won is that Rex Grossman threw four interceptions. Even with the thankful demotion of Jarrad Page, the defense still has tackling problems. On opening drive of the 4th quarter alone, Jamar Chaney had difficulty tackling Fred Davis in the open field, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie whiffed on a scrambling John Beck and Joselio Hanson and Kurt Coleman missed a tackle on Santana Moss. Juan Castillo is still using that awful CB as a safety defense, and it still doesn’t work. The defense as a whole still is all over the place. Let me show you…
Here we have the 2 minute offense for the Redskins. You know, the one that got Donovan McNabb benched in favor of Rex Grossman. I actually didn’t even realize until now how much time was on the clock. The situation only raises the stakes.
A few things to take away from this: first, the wide 9 isn’t quite so wide. That’s of course a good thing. Second, Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel are on the same side of the field. The third and more obvious thing though is that Asomugha is pointing something out to Jamar Chaney and Brian Rolle. So Chaney audibles…
Chaney signals to Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and Kurt Coleman, and then audibles to the defensive line…
Thus grabbing Cullen Jenkins’ attention. So clearly the entire defense has just made an adjustment. Let’s see what happens.
Coleman blitzes (as does Chaney, Babin drops into coverage), vacating the area where he was. Which is now covered only by Brian Rolle, as Rodgers-Cromartie has dropped to a deep third:
Rex Grossman is a bad QB, but he’s a veteran. He knows exactly where to go with this ball. He stares Coleman down the whole time because he knows he doesn’t even need to look elsewhere, this pass is going to his TE, who is alone in a zone against bad tackling LBs:
First down as Davis easily escapes Brian Rolle.
Is that on the players or the coaches? Chaney called for the blitz, and it failed miserably. I’m no Juan Castillo apologist, but it’s hard to blame him for this play. Which only emphasizes that the problems on this team are both the coaches and the players, and that a long term solution does not exist in-house. It’s still the same over-matched coaching staff using the same bad players. The outcome changed, but the process has not improved enough.