Eagles: October 2005 Archives

Week 8: Eagles at Denver

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From heroes to zeroes.

I went into this game expecting a loss, but not a massacre. Mischief night was in full effect at mile high, and everything simply went wrong during the game. The Eagles pass defense is a joke, and after watching the front line barely put any pressure on Jake, he picked us apart. The Denver run game was excellent, and we had barely any answers for it.

We lost to Denver, and AFC team, in Denver. End of the world? No. I think if you had to lose games all season, I would certainly pick the AFC games. But we have 3 big games coming up: Washington, Dallas and Giants. Unfortunately you have an Eagles team floudering and ripe to lose those games.

But you have to take it one game at a time. You lost to Denver. Identify what is wrong and move forward. McNabb at Denver showed signs that he is really, really not fit to be a starting QB and showed other signs that he still has some magic left. The only way i'd want McNabb out is if he is getting surgery to fix the hernia. Otherwise, i'd say keep him in. Could you imagine Detmer playing against Denver? He would have gotten killed out there.

The Eagles nearly pulled off another comeback (like they did against Kansas City), and when it was 21-28, I thought we were going to pull it off. Then a terrible pass picked off by the Denver corner Foxworth, who was subsituting for Bailey sealed the game. If McNabb saw that Westbrook was WIDE OPEN, he would have easily scored for a touchdown. But it is easy to see these things when we are watching it on TV and not down on the field.

Now that half the season is over, I think the next half will be much like the first. Before the season, I expected our record to be 11-5. I think the defense is showing glaring signs of weakness and the teams we face are showing much better football prowess, it could be an 9-6 season. The next 3 games will be more telling than you think. We go 0-3 or 1-2 in the next 3, you can stick a fork in us. We win 2-1 or 3-0, then it will be a footrace to see who can make the playoffs.

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It was another nationally televised game and we still had a decent crowd of people on hand. Misery loves company. We raffled off a XL Eagles jersey (hey, it was free!) and the photo above is the lucky winner. If I remember correctly, she is a FRIEND of an Eagles fan, and is actually a Steelers fan! Lets hope to convert another to our cause with the T.O. nightshirt - it is almost as large as her! The next 3 games are nationally televised, but come down to Dipper's we are planning on doing more raffles each week of Eagles gear.

Week 7: The Newest Jinx of Jinxes

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There is nothing like a good serving of crow on a Sunday.

I got a text message while bartending, when the Eagles were down 13-17 and the San Diego Chargers were lining up:

"Can you say...last place?", it read from Chris S.

Obviously, Chris didn't read my story The Jinx of Jinxes. We all know what happened next.

Blocked field goal. Dipper's goes bonkers, and all is well again in Eagle Country.

Congrats, Chris. You are the new Jinx of Jinxes. See Tom from Moran's, and he can hand over the crown to you.

Wow. What a game. I think I can speak for most level headed Eagles fan to agree that it was great to win the game - but this isn't the Eagles team from last year.

Mistakes, penalties and injuries are making us look woefully average. Cowboys, Giants and Redskins are playing much better football from last year and are all in contention now for the NFC East crown. Gone are the days where we would dominate games against all opponents.

Sadly, since I was bartending, I didn't get to watch the game as intently as I did in weeks past and can't give my in depth analysis. From what I did get to watch, i'm tired of hearing everyone bemoan the Eagles run game. Here's why:

1. McNabb completes passes. He has, to date, a 62% completion rate (254 attempts / 158 complete), and has passed for 1751 yards. He has 5 interceptions. I have said it once, and I will say it a million times, we are running Andy Reid's WEST COAST OFFENSE. Every conservative football guru is going to drive home the "run run run" philosophy. I don't agree with it, I think Andy is doing a great job, should close his ear to the critics and keep doing what works.

2. We aren't designed for the run. Westbrook isn't a between the tackles running back. He is a shifty scat back. Warrick Dunn and Tiki Barber are the same type of running back as Brian. Tomlinson, James and Alexander are the other type of power back. If we had Tomlinson on our team - I would certainly be crying about our running game. Anyone watch Westy try to run the ball yesterday? 10 attempts for 25 yards. Conversely he had 10 catches for 75 yards. Throw to Brian. He has outstanding hands and is deadly when given the short pass while he is in the flats.

3. Owens changes the game. I have people who come up to me all the time and say, "How can you wear number 81? Come on - you hate him, don't you?" When he was on the 49ers, I thought Owens was a flashy annoying player that had a lot of talent. Now that he is on the Eagles, I think he is a flashy, funny player that has a lot of talent. Some people don't like his showboating, and I certainly didn't when he was on the 49ers. Now - I find it funny and think, "If I were on the Eagles - THAT is what I would do when I score a touchdown!". Aside from my critique of Owens, we have the #1 deep threat in the NFL. Some may argue for Moss, but I disagree. I think Owens is hands down better than "Starvin'" Marvin Harrison (don't throw stats at me, i'm just calling it like I see it). You send Owens down the sidelines and that is going to open up the short passing game for...LJ Smith. He caught 6 catches for 63 yards. He already has 34 catches for 350 yards this year (10 yards per catch!). That is more than Greg Lewis, our #2 WR.

Bottom line is that we are nearly at midseason and the ship is taking on water. It is my sincere hope that the Eagles can plug the holes and start to show a consistent passing attack. They play Denver last week at Mile High Stadium - and I will guarantee that the Broncos are extremely angry for losing to the Giants. They are coming to play.

Are we?

God Is On Our Side

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"Gnats" is a small insect that bothers you during summer or also a derogatory term for the Giants football team.

"Cowgirls" refers to the Cowboys.

For all of you that didn't get the joke.

Beat My Quote

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"Soon after this photo was taken, Suzy, Jill, and Dallas Parcells got to meet their new mother, Michael."

"Is that a A cup, Bill?"

"Throwing convention to the wind, Michael Strahan and Bill Parcels touch hips while hugging, breaking all sorts of Guy Rules."

Week 5 Photos

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Week 5: Cowboys stun Eagles!

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The Eagles crashed and burned in Dallas last Sunday and what can we learn from that game. If you want to be a Eagles homer - you can stop reading now, because I will give credit where it's due.

First and foremost, Dallas played a great game. You can't take away from their team, on both sides of the ball, how well they played. The pair of TD passes to Terry Glenn (118 yards, 2 TDs) by Drew Bledsoe (289 yards, 3 TDs) were simply great passes. Drew proved he has still a great touch with his accuracy and is tremendously dangerous when sitting in the pocket. Julius Jones, with only a half played, attemped 16 times for 72 yards (4.5 yards per carry), and his backup Thompson ran 20 times for 75 yards (3.75 yards per carry) - the Eagles run defense did a good job there, in my opinion.

Here is what I saw as the key factors to the loss:

  • Not enough pressure on Bledsoe. How many times did you hear the broadcasters say, "Eagles blitz..." and just watch the Dallas offensive line pick it up easily? Again, great job by Dallas and a poor job by Eagles. No matter how you slice it the Eagles need to re-tool the blitz against Dallas next time they meet.

  • Terrible special teams. I have said it before, and I will say it again - do you think we miss Ike Reese? I'm not saying one player makes that special team special - but we have a glaring problem with a) people that over run coverage or b) giving our punt/kick returners lanes to run. Eagles gave Dallas tremendous field position and Dallas may us pay for that - by either converting for points or giving us terrible field position. Also we couldn't move the ball very well with special teams, but i'm guessing we are 26th in the league on punt and kickoff returns.

  • Dallas & Falcons learn how to beat the Eagles. Step 1 - pressure McNabb with blitz packages. Step 2 - force him to throw in a hurry. Step 3 - watch as the Eagles offense sputters. Why? Simple - we don't have a running back named Tomlinson, Alexander or James that can threaten the opposing team. Westbrook is very good, I think he deserves a good contract, and I hope he remains on the team for a long time. But, with that being said, I don't think he is an upper echelon back that can change the dynamic of the game with his running. I think of Westy got the ball 30 times a game, he would be injury riddled by Week 14 - if not sooner. You have to think of Westbrook more like a shifty wide receiver that is playing a running back role. Eagles need a powerhouse back. We can absolutely win with our team, but here is the kicker: When McNabb is off his game (either because of defense or himself) - like against Dallas or Falcons - our team will lose. Why? Because we are a pass happy offense that needs him to be extremely accurate to win. If he isn't crisp, we are in big trouble. We have the weapons to win, but the linchpin is McNabb.

The haters will read this as an Eagles fan who trashes his team when they lose and praises them when they win. Everything I mentioned above is the same for all the Eagles games - special teams, pressure of McNabb or defense.

The bye week, at week 6, is fairly crucial for the Eagles, especially for McNabb. I think the injuries are going to be a nagging factor all season, and it is up to Donovan to either say if he wants to sit or not. Personally, if I were Reid, I would sit McNabb until Nov 6. Give him 4 weeks of rest.

Yep, you heard it here first.

I know everyone is going to go bonkers when they read this, but my attitude is remember that we did win without McNabb 2 years ago. It is the Philadelphia Eagles, not the McNabb Eagles. Rest him up, and let the chest and hernia heal more. Gear him up for the next meeting against the Redskins.

By that time we will be 3-5, 4-4 or 5-3. The next 2 games we play, both of them are against AFC teams, and not as crucial as playing an NFC team (especially an East team) when it comes to getting a playoff spot.

I think by keeping him in, we are playing on borrowed time. What if we keep him in - win the next 2 games, and by week 15, the tank is out of gas? Come the playoffs we can't have him hobbling on the field, just to prove to everyone how tough he is, and watch as teams swarm him.

Also consider the rest of the NFC East's three games:

Dallas will play Giants, Seattle & Arizona - two tough games, one easier one.
Giants will play Dallas, Denver & Washington - all not easy wins.
Redskins will play K.C., SF & Giants - don't count SF as a win with this team!

Because of the matchups, Dallas vs Giants and Redskins vs Giants, this means that two of three NFC teams will lose 1 game. Lets just imagine that Dallas goes 2-1, Giants go 2-1, and Redskins go 2-1:

Washington 5-2
Giants 5-2
Dallas 5-3
Philly 5-2, 4-3 or 3-5.

Now, Philly has the next 3 games against divisional rivals, with a healthier McNabb. For certain, this is a gamble. But ask yourself - would you rather have a battered McNabb walking into the Redskins game or a McNabb who just took the last 4 weeks tending to his injuries, stretching and practicing? Hey, maybe it is just me. But that is what I would do.

Sometimes you have to roll the hard six.

Week 4: Never Say Die

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Can words be put into emotion on how great of a comeback that game was? That is what you call a "gut-check" victory. You are deep in the hole and pull yourself out of it. I think if we lost that game you would have us at 2-2 and the pundits foaming at the mouth that the Eagles are finished. The injuries are too much. We can't expect to keep winning like last year.

We have been winning. I'm not a huge stat person (I think they are deceptive), but, still. McNabb has Week 1, 257 (1); Week 2, 342 (5); Week 3: 365 (2), Week 4: 369 (3). 11 touchdowns after 4 games, he is on pace for a 44 touchdown / 5300 yard season, similar to Peyton (4559 yards 49 TDs) last year. Can he keep this up?

Westy had a quiet day. 9 attempts at rushing for 15 yards. 6 catches 33 yards. Again, a very good RB, but he isn't on the same level of LT or Alexander. He is a different back, and will have slow weeks like this.

Fortunately we have others to step it up, like TO. 11 catches 171 yards, 1 TD. LJ Smith 9 catches 67 yards 1 TD. Even Bartrum gets into the mix for a TD.

If you were watching the game, like me, and wondering what the hell our defense was doing, they looked miserable for the first 20 minutes of the game. Chiefs were humiliating them. It was like our secondary fell asleep. But, Trent only threw 221 yards, and 2 TDs - but was picked off twice. Eddie Kennison - KENNISON?! - caught 7 passes for 109 yards. Sheldon Brown kicked off the comeback with his impressive 40 yard TD return.

In other news...

Phillies are out of the playoffs, but was this a Championship team? I'd say no - but I did enjoy (some of) the season. I got to see them play the Mets, and blame them missing the playoffs because of my jinx. Had I not attended that game at Shea, the Phils would have won and they would be in the playoffs now. My apologies to the City of Philadelphia.

I really want to see an Eagles game at the Linc. I have only been to that stadium once, but fear that the jinx will come into play.

Eagles are headed to Dallas next week for a 4:15pm game. Very exciting football next weekend!!

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This page is a archive of entries in the Eagles category from October 2005.

Eagles: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Eagles: November 2005 is the next archive.

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