"The Morning After "
Time's yours. Food's mine
It's been about 5 hours since the gun went off and I can honestly tell you it's a good thing I didn't scribe this immediately following said firearm's discharge.
For if I did, it may have been filled with an expletive…or 50.
I kid of course, as there is no place for expletives in this forum.
Now driving home? That's a different story. The old BP went up I can assure you and I'm quite certain I was not alone in my drive-home frenzy.
Where do you start?
Is this the worse loss in franchise history? Is it worse than the 3 NFC Title Game defeats, two of which were at home?
I guess it's hard to call it the “worse” loss considering it's just the second game of a long season BUT…good night nurse how do you possibly explain what we witnessed?
I have quite a few notes from the game and I am very tempted to shelve my normal method of operation in favor of just a flat out rant and diatribe on the boys in green and their leader who was dressed in black, AKA Mr. Reid… AKA Mr. Bad-Time-To-Get-Conservative.
And while that may make me feel better when all is said and done and in fact could be prove to be very cathartic, I will refrain…at least from at least a complete onslaught and will mix in my normal oddities & observations.
The Blame Game…
You know the adage, “win as a team, lose as a team?” Well that would define yesterday's game.
For all the good things the Eagles did in ALL facets of the game, save for a missed FG by David Akers, they, as a group --- did as many, if not more, bad things in the second half --- particularly the Fourth Quarter & Overtime.
Missed it by that much…
Remember Maxwell Smart? If you don't, then you're too young and you can stop reading…but that was a famous line of Agent 86 and one that he would have repeated many times during yesterday's game in speaking about Donovan's accuracy because one thing that was quite apparent throughout the ENTIRE game is the fact that #5's accuracy is still a major concern. How many times did he have open receivers only to throw passes either short, behind or too high for its intended target? Face it kids, this is a problem, win or lose yesterday.
What in the name of Denny Terrio was that move Donovan tried in the Second Half when he tried to draw the Giants offsides? Did he really think this was a legal maneuver? Of course afterwards, seeing how his Eagles had the game well in hand, #5 was smiling from ear to ear.
Do you think he's smiling now?
One really is the loneliest number…
Toward the end of the Second Half, the Eagles were faced with a Second and One from the Giants 34. There's a little more than a minute left in the Half. They lead 14-7 and more points would look very good right about now. Their next THREE plays are all passes, all incomplete and they turn the ball over on Downs. Fortunately for the Offense, the Defense held the Giants to Three and Out, they got the ball back with 38 seconds left in the Half and got into Field Goal Range and Akers connected from 37 yards out.
Then, in the Second Half the Eagles are again faced with a Fourth and One. There are a little less than ten and a half minutes to play, the score is 24-14 and they are on the Giants 38. A pretty pivotal point in the game wouldn't you say? Perhaps a QB Sneak or a Play Action is in order, perhaps? Um, no. They run RB Correll Buckhalter straight up the gut for no gain. Another missed opportunity.
One freakin yard! ONE!!!! That's pretty pathetic.
Trent, what were you thinking? What could possibly be going through your head when you decided to drop kick a Giants Offensive Lineman with only the game's outcome hanging in the balance??!!
But again, he is not alone…plenty of blame to go around.
What can Brown do for you…
I'll tell you one thing Reggie Brown can do. Learn how to block!
Yes, the kid made a nice catch for a TD BUT someone needs to teach him how to block. As Exhibit A, I give you Thomas Tapeh's catch in the Fourth Quarter. It was a very crucial part of the game, late in the Quarter. The Eagles faced a Third and 12 from their own 36. Tapeh caught a short pass from McNabb and was headed toward first down-ville, but was tackled short of the stick by Giants Cornerback Sam Madison, the same Sam Madison made to look the fool by Donte Stallworth earlier in the game. The reason Slammin Sammy was able to make the all-important tackle was Reggie Brown's complete lack of blocking ability.
Don't believe me? Watch the tape. Reggie makes any kind of block there and the game very well could have been over.
But rest assured, Reggie was not alone in this blame game for sure.
Hold that thought…
Was it me or did the Giants Offensive Line get away with a lot of holding that was not called by the officials? I am NEVER one to blame the pinstripes for a loss and I am not starting now but again, as an observation…again, watch the tape.
David Akers. Gotta give the guy credit. He tried to fire the crowd up following the opening kickoff when he took on that mean, nasty, intimidating Giants…assistant to the assistant to the assistant trainer or whatever the guy was. Not the wisest thing to do, taking on a member of the opposing team's staff on their sideline.
But the guy's got spunk.
No Mas, Matt…
New Eagles Tight End Matt Schoebel must be a boxing fan. How do I know that?
Because he did his best Roberto (Hands of Stone) Duran impersonation, dropping a touchdown pass that Donovan had the nerve to drop right in his hands.
Nothing to say here other than I thought this would be a clever way to mention that DE Darren Howard is apparently also the Eagles backup Long Snapper.
Would have been better with “Jerry” Lewis…
Eagles S Michael Lewis did not have himself a game for the books, well, maybe for the Giants books he did.
First he is beaten very badly on the Giants first TD, then he fails to pounce on the fumble that ultimately became the Giants second TD.
Coming off a very inconsistent season last year, #32 is having a rough go of it right now but again…
He is hardly alone.
Honolulu here we come?…
Long time readers of the TMA will know that yours truly has been predicting a trip to Hawaii and the Pro Bowl for Eagles TE LJ Smith, ever since he came into the league.
A few more games like yesterday and he could be shopping for suntan lotion: 7 catches/111 yards.
BUT, he needs to have better control of the pigskin when he runs after the catch. And yeah, that would have been so nice of him if he could have held on to that pass in OT, which oh by the way, came two plays after Donte Stallworth dropped one that hit HIM right in his hands, much like the one LJ dropped.
Donovan's gonna make some bad throws, we know that. But that makes it that much more important to catch the ones he throws on target!
In a span of about five minutes in the First Half, the Birds were whistled for 3 False Start Penalties, including back to back by each tackle, William Thomas and Jon Runyan.
All good things who come to wait boys…
The Lido Shuffle…
My favorite whipping boy did not play due to an ankle sprain and his replacement, Rod Hood, went down early with a bruised heel, leaving Joselio Hanson…WHO?…to play the majority of the game opposite Sheldon Brown at CB.
Now you will hear all sorts of debate as to whether or not #26 would have made a difference.
The answer of course is no and believe it or not, this has nothing to do with Lido but everything to do with the Eagles were going to lose this game regardless of who was playing CB.
Coming back from a commercial break, onscreen we saw a jaguar, or was it a panther? Whatever.
Either way, what the hell do either of these members of the feline family have to do with the Eagles and Giants?
And did anyone catch Fox Analyst Troy Aikman referring to Vikings QB Brad Johnson as “Brian” Johnson? Me neither.
The Bottom Line…
Last week I wrote…
Next up are the New York football Giants and that will of course be a much tougher test and one that very well could help predict where this team will be at the end of the season.
For Three-Quarters, this “test” was anything but. The Giants were dead. Both on the scoreboard and on the sideline. No life. Flat line. Dead. 0-2 to start the season with a trip to Seattle staring them in the face, while the Eagles were 2-0, sole possession of first place in the division.
The Eagles were making a statement; they were telling the rest of the NFL that they were back; that last year was an aberration. They were literally having their way with the Giants on both sides of the ball.
Well, something happened on the way…
The Eagles decided to play God and bring the Giants back to life.
Yes, the Eagles got out the defibrillators and shocked the G-men back to consciousness. They even started an IV, D5W with Ringers Lactate.
Sorry, that's an Emergency! joke, an old TV show from the 70s.
But you get the point.
Yes, it is early and yes there are 14 more of these to go BUT yes this game could very well have major implications by the time the season is done.
Next up are the Niners. A game the Birds SHOULD win.
Let's just hope if nothing else, the Eagles and Andy learn that when you have team dead and buried, don't play God… just let them rot.
Until next time.
Time's yours. Food's mine.
© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla
Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa
Eagles or the NFL.