Blog Entry

Still no need to worry in Philly

Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:38 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit

At their best, the Philadelphia Eagles are the most explosive team in the NFC. But we’ve only seen their best for one of the past eight quarters. The Eagles struggled mightily the first three quarters against the Giants last Sunday. If not for the otherworldly theatrics of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson, they wouM. Vick (US Presswire)ld have come into Tuesday night’s game with a record of 9-5.

What’s more, Philly’s struggles continued against the Vikings. Now the Eagles, 10-5, find themselves without a bye and stuck in the NFC’s third seed.

The loss of the bye is bad but not devastating. If Andy Reid so chooses, he can treat next week’s game against the Cowboys as a de facto bye and rest players. The bigger concern than seeding is whether there is now a blueprint for beating the Eagles.

The common theme between the Giants and Vikings was blitzing. Both teams attacked Vick – the Giants with mixed looks from their safeties and the Vikings with blitzes by slot cornerback Antoine Winfield in the first half. One of those blitzes resulted in a sack-fumble and touchdown return. It was Vick’s eighth fumble in the past six games (he would go on to have a ninth scrambling in the second half).

Vick has also thrown six interceptions in that span (and keep in mind there were several dropped picks by Minnesota defenders). Vick had just two combined fumbles and interceptions his first six games; he’s had 15 in his last six games.

So are the Eagles in trouble? Is this the blueprint – to make Vick jittery by blitzing? Perhaps. But keep in mind, blueprints constantly change in the NFL. The Eagles have nearly two weeks to examine their own weaknesses and make the proper adjustments. (One place to start is at right tackle, where Winston Justice, who returned from a knee injury last week, needs to hone is pass-blocking technique and regain his early season form.) Now that their game against Dallas is meaningless, Philly can rest Vick (he was gimpy after taking six sacks and umpteen hits Tuesday night), DeSean Jackson (battling a foot injury, he looked nothing like his usual self) and whoever else needs a break. (Reid said after the Vikings game that the Eagles aren’t good enough to rest players, but that’s likely just coach speak.)
It’s easy to overreact to a primetime upset. But with their speed and explosiveness, a fresh Eagles team is still a team no one will want to face come playoff time.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:53 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 7:27 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:49 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

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Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2010 11:51 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

not sure what "phillies" team you were referring to here. I'll assume you meant The Phillies. I dont know if winning a World Series and then losing season-ending playoff series' to the eventual World Series Champs is a choke. It happen dude. I wouldnt call it a choke, more so running into a hotter team. If you look back over the last 10 years, there is almost always a team in the WS that "doesn't belong". Thats why we watch, isnt it? What we think we know about sports and what we end up learning is often 2 different things. Does it look like the Phillies are going to win the WS this year, with the acquisition of Cliff Lee? It sure does. As a baseball fan, would I be suprised if they didnt, not any more.

As far as Goodell wanting to pimp out Michael Vick's success for the good of the league. I couldn't disagree more. I think Goodell has gotten to know Vick pretty well over the last 2 years. Maybe he is even quietly cheering for him, but I no way think that the Eagles are a shoe in for the Super Bowl just so Goodell can "claim that football is a good product that the public needs as part of their lives..." Dude look at the numbers, its already being done. This league is making more money than the other 3 majors combined. Michael Vick does nothing to boost the status of the league. There are still a lot of Vick-haters out there. The people that dont care are still gonna watch football, the people that do care are still watching football. He is a non-factor either way.

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2010 10:53 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

Sometimes a new starter gets a few wins until defenses learn how to figure him out, since Vick is such a talent maybe it just took the other teams alittle longer to find his weaknesses. I like the Eagles and they make for great T.V., but unless Reid has a way to counter all of the defensive adjustments.. they are one and done in the playoffs 

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2010 10:40 am

The Patry's Over...

Figured out. It's that simple. The Eagles have all the athletic ability in the world. Probably more than any team in the NFL. The problem is that athletic ability doesn't win championships. In every other way the Eagles have been exposed:porous offensive line, inconsistent defensive effort, lack of commitment to the running game (this is the byproduct of wanting to rely solely on athleticism). Things I know: 1.) Eagles's skill positions are top-notch - NFC defenses can neutralize them. 2.) Lack of a running game - McCoy can do it, but the Eagles are more interested in seeing Vick run around. 3.) Jackson and Maclin started believing everything they were reading - they work harder for style-points than for real points. They have little mental toughness.

Look, I like Andy Reid, and the Eagles are probably my second favorite team. I'd love to see them lose to the Bears in the NFC Championship, but I just don't believe they're smart enough or tough enough to get there. The Vikings proved the party is over in Philly.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2010 3:10 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

What's that sound I hear in the distance? Is that the sound of another Phillies team choking when it matters most? Don't worry. Roger Goodel already had the Super Bowl MVP trophy engraved with Vick's name. The NFL will do everything it can to make the Eagles the next Super Bowl champs. By "turning" Vick's life around the NFL and Goodel can claim that pro football is a good product that the public needs as a part of their lives and will willingly pay absurd amounts of money to make it so. To celebrate Vick's MYP award his jersey will sell for $1,000 each...autographed of course. Vick has come along way from when crazies were burning his jerseys and effigies.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 2:11 am

It is time to worry

I have to admit I am a little confused by this article. It spends all but the last paragraph talking about how everything is going downhill for the Eagles, but the headline is reassuring Philly fans that they don't need to worry. Yeah, that last paragraph is really reassuring.

The Eagles do have a bye next week if they want to use it, so it's at least a consolation prize for not getting one in the first round. It's not the same, though. A first round playoff bye gives the Eagles certainty that they'll be playing one of two teams, and it gives ALL of their players a chance to rest, not just the superstars. The linemen are forgotten but incredibly important parts of any team and chances are most of the starting linemen will still be playing next week.

And I actually think it might be time to worry. Foot injuries do not bode well for speed-driven receivers and DeSean looked terrible tonight. The Eagles offense was almost completely neutralized by a mediocre pass defense. McCoy's contributions were nice against the Vikings run D, but even that was sporadic and unreliable. And any time you get beaten at home by a 5-9 team with nothing to play for, it's got to sound some of the alarm bells.

And who knows, maybe they just ran into a team motivated to give their head coach a new job and their quarterback was motivated to get a gig for himself. Maybe Joe Webb is the real deal. That's what the announcers kept saying. And it's not like the Vikings don't have the talent -- they were picked to win the NFC by a lot of people before the season started. But that was without Favre, and even if Webb has a future, he's still a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start, and the Eagles are going to be seeing quarterbacks a lot better than Webb in the playoffs. So maybe the Vikings are really a legitimate team with Leslie Frazier and Joe Webb in the mix, but I sure as hell wouldn't bank on that if I were trying to win a Super Bowl.

I still think the Eagles look nasty on paper and I think they have the best chance to beat the Patriots, but they have some serious problems to address. And they better take the time to do it or else they're not going to beat anyone come playoff time.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2010 1:51 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

If the play Green Bay, they'll lose.

Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: December 29, 2010 1:18 am

Still no need to worry in Philly

I agree.  I think it is their speed coming back to bite them.  The offense is too obsessed with getting downfield.  I love them picking 10-15 snaps a game and trying to take them upfield... but they need to make a concerted effort to spread the field laterally as well... Jackson looks to me, sometimes, like if he isn't going on a deep post of a go route... he doesn't really care to be on the field.  And Maclin just struggles hanging on to the short, sudden throws. Mostly I just think their own reputation as a "Big Play Offense" has gone to their heads.  The big play is a dangerous weapon... but it only works as a counterpoint to steady ball movement.  If a team is sending pressure... someone on that team needs to be open.  There is too much talent for that not to be the case.  

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