All the hope, all the optimism, all the reasons you had to believe that the Eagles had turned the corner, that they were on track, that they were a “legit” team was shown to be false. Even Merrill Reese hated it.
Nothing went right. Nothing. It was more of the same from last year and the first two games from this year. Hate to say I told you so.
Michael Vick again played like crap. Bad reads, bad throws, bad decisions, bad turnovers. The secondary, which wasn’t tested against stiff competition against Cleveland and Baltimore, was a coaching disaster. Against a talented group of receivers they gave up 9.25 yards per attempt. And no, it wasn’t just Fitzgerald doing all the damage, the rest of the Cardinals had 108 yards on 8 catches, Fitzgerald had 114 on 9. The worst defense in the league in that category, the Giants, gives up 9.3 Y/A, the Eagles gave up 9.3 to Kevin Kolb. Larry Fitzgerald had his way with the Eagles, again. Nnamdi Asomugha, for all his faults as an Eagle, played pretty well against him last year. But no, let’s put a rookie on him. Let’s rotate guys on him that haven’t proven effective against one of the best WRs in the league. Todd Bowles, unsurprisingly, is not the savior. This Tim McManus article (which shockingly I read without a retweet from Sheil Kapuda) puts the rotation over Fitzgerald on his feet, and not once mentions Juan Castillo. I don’t think that’s an overlook due to of bad writing. The run/pass balance we saw against Baltimore was a mirage, even Shady McCoy is frustrated. Again, the defensive line was the strongest unit, but still an underwhelming performance.
Everything went wrong at the same time. Sounds like last year! Awesome.
Welcome to South Negadelphia. It’s a laid back kind of hate, we sit on the porch and sip drinks. Sorry, no whittling. So, it’s been a week since the Eagles beat the Ravens, and I still don’t know what to think. Part of that was a lack of free time this week, and part of that was there were too many positives to not feel good about the win, but there were too many negatives to feel good about the team going forward. Quite the dilemma.
In space, no one can hear you audible.
After digging a ditch to start the game, the team rebounded very nicely. Things like “swagger” and “chemistry” are overrated and tossed around a lot, but the 2010 team had something going for it mentally that the 2011 did not. The defense holding on in the fourth quarter was something we didn’t see last year, and the offense getting it’s shit together to put together a game winning drive was highly encouraging. The game plan was much better, with the run/pass balance a team with LeSean McCoy should have; I liked getting DeMaris Johnson a rushing attempt as a wrinkle, it was more than just a cute play call Reid has been guilty of over the years ala Chad Hall; Vick spread the ball to 8 different receivers yet still feeding the ball to Jackson and Celek 15 times; and after a rough start DeMeco Ryans played very well and Mychal Kendricks did too. The linebackers just might be settled. For now. We’re only two games into the season. Teams are going to start figuring things out, can the defensive coaching staff make the adjustments needed? We shall see.
The Eagles consider themselves Super Bowl contenders. I don’t, but those are the expectations they have set for themselves and so that is how I will judge them, and you should too. Jeffrey Lurie said it himself, 8-8 is not acceptable. I think this team is more like 7-9, but we’ll see. Their performance in the Browns game was not acceptable either, and it shows that they have a mountain to climb to get to the Super Bowl. Not just any mountain though, they have to climb K2, one of steepest, deadliest mountains in the world. Annapurna is the deadliest, but since the Eagles picked up the W they’re a notch above rock bottom. (Yes, I realize I used “rock bottom” in a sentence about climbing mountains.) Reach the summit and they’ll have achieved greatness; fail and the Andy Reid era will die.
Michael Biehn is not going to save the day.
They have a mountain to climb because despite winning, there was very little about the Browns game that was positive. DeSean Jackson allayed fears about his effort, DeMeco Ryans looked as advertised and, umm, uhh… Chas Henry punted well. Everything else was adequate at best, most of it was awful.