Sunday, September 26, 2010

Eagles - Jaguars Diary: The Defense Spays

> A hot day in Jacksonville is worrisome, but really solid blocking on the opening kick gets KR Ellis Hobbs loose for 46 yards up the sideline, and the Birds start at the Jags 44. QB Mike Vick to TE Brent Celek for 4; Celek wrestling for a little more. Vick on the Wildcat for 3, and I kind of hate that play if Vick really is the season-long starter, but so be it. Jag Fan makes a little noise on third, and Vick and WR DeSean Jackson can't connect on an open crossing route off pressure; sad. Punter Sav Rocca is said to have the best hang time in the NFL this year, which is news to me, but his punt is fair caught at the Jag 9. Keep sticking it to me, Aussie.

> The Jags run RB Maurice Jones-Drew into the line for little on first. MJD gets 17 on a cutback where LB Ernie Sims couldn't get off a hold; it's the longest run of the year for Team Teal, and that mark won't stand for long in this game. Boom-bust gets a few on first and stuffed on second. Third and six sees QB David Garrard from the gun, and he gets it backup RB Rashard Jennings on a leak route for the first, despite pressure. Hoo boy, this defense wastes its athleticism...

> Jennings for a couple to the left. Second and 8 sees a nice double sack from DEs Darryl Tapp and Juqua Parker, and Garrard takes a serious hit from the combo. Third down is a screen to MJD that S Quentin Mikell smells and stops, and it's 4th and 19. This defense could be good if they ever grow up and learn their roles. Short punt checks up, and the Eagles will start at their own 29.

> RB LeSean McCoy on the first down run for 6; it was almsot that in points, as he's tripped breaking into the secondary. Shotgun handoff for two to Shady. Vick rolls for the first, and the offsides is declined; that just looked easy. Short gain on first, and Vick can't make four men miss on; terrible work by the offensive line, yet again. Third and 16 is usually a give up play, but Vick from the gun has time and Jackson, and that's your garden variety 61-yard TD for DJ. Wow, wow, wow. DJ might have set a record for the amount of time celebrating the score before actually making it. Eagles 7, Jags 0, and I do enjoy rooting for a team that doesn't just pack it in on third and long.

> K David Akers puts the ensuing kickoff in the end zone, and the Jags take it back to the 22. Very quiet stadium right about now; it'll be curious to hear the crowd's reaction if Eagle Fan starts to make themselves heard. The Jags open in the gun, and Garrard scrambles for 8; I'd love to see the home team lose patience in the running game. MJD for five and the first. Hobbs jumps a slant route for an incomplete, and it looked like Garrard got outguessed as the defense showed a corner blitz from the other side. MJD for a couple, and it's 3rd and 8. From the gun, Garrard misses WR Mike Thomas, as defensive pressure didn't quite get there. The punt is taken by WR Jeremy Maclin at the 16 on a fair catch. If the Jags are going to stay in this game, either Garrard has to step up his game, or Vick will have to bring down his.

> First down is confusion as Vick misses Maclin. RB Mike Bell on good power to the left for 9. Third and 1 is a quick out to FB Owen Schmidt, and it moves the chains with a relatively high degree of difficulty. McCoy for four as the defense has to respect the end-around. From the gun on second, Vick's try for a crossing route to Shady is tipped at the line; that wasn't crisp. Third from the gun sees Vick throwing into four men, two white and two teal, and DJ isn't going to concuss himself on Celek for the first. Wise move, really. Rocca's 53-yard punt only gets 12 yards of net as the punt coverage team gets pancaked.

> From the Eagles 43, Teal's got some momentum. Garrard gives to MJD off the gun for three. After the quarter break, Garrard has a man in the end zone and open, but can't connect. Phew. Third and long from the gun sees the QB try to run into a blitz, and MLB Stewart Bradley cleans up the mess for a three and out and no field goal attempt. Nice series by the defense, strongly aided by poor play by Garrard, but at least they pressured him. Andy Reid gets the customary wasted time out done early; nice to see the man's still consistent in some ways.

> Right now as I write this, the Giants have lost, the Cowboys have won, and the Reskins are down two touchdowns to the Rams in St. Louis. Which means Green might be the best team in the NFC East, and lo, the division is not looking good right about now. But you take what you can get.

> Odd punt where DJ signals for the fair catch, then picks it up off the bounce and gets a flag for his efforts; he also kind of blocked the gunner, so oh well. First down from the 5. Vick has all day to throw from his end zone and misses Maclin, and that's a little worrisome that the accuracy seems to be off right now. Second is a fullback dive to Bell which gets a yard. On third, Vick in the end zone is hit while throwing for an incomplete, and against three rushers, that's real sad work from the interior line. Rocca's punt is fielded at the Jag 38 for a 57 yard kick, and brought back 11. Rocca's earning his kibble today.

> MJD pinballs for 12 by running to the right on a left side run blitz. They give it to him again for four up the gut, and that's getting worrisome. MJD for 2 to the left, running through tackles on blizes; very, very worrisome. Third and four at the edge of figgie range is from the gun, and Garrard connects with TE Marcedes Lewis to move the chains on a physical mismatch. Lewis makes a nice catch, and if he brings his A game, that's a load of trouble.

> On first, Garrard is nearly picked on a middle crossing route, and really should have been. Ugly flip to MJD results in a loss of seven; another unforced error by the QB. On third, the QB is tentative and should have been picked by CB Asante Samuel. A 51-yard field goal attempt is always good against my team, and so is this one. Eagles 7, Jags 3, and absent the TD throw to DJ, the QBs are not covering themselves in glory here.

> The kickoff team is called for an illegal wedge, and the field position is weak again, starting at their own 6. Nick Cole goes out for Reggie Wells on the line, so Reid rolls Vick out and connects with DJ to move the sticks, but the Jags challenge the ruling. If it's not, it says more to DJ being nonchalant with the feet, and it doesn't look like enough to overturn, as there's no real good camera view of the play. You have to love the Fox B team, and how the game is played differently for minus markets... and the play stands. From the gun on first, McCoy takes a checkdown for five. DJ on a drag route is shifty for 25; wow. Vick almost connects with Maclin as the defense starts to look shaken by Vick's mobility. On second and 10, the QB takes it himself and powers for nine, but it comes back on a hold. I'm really not thrilled by Vick's willingness to take punishment, or by the line's inability to block *or* avoid holding calls. Second and 20 is a give to McCoy that doesn't work. On third and long, old friend S Sean Considine hits Maclin early for the easy flag, and that moves the sticks. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy a team that doesn't turtle up on third down? Maclin stays down for a while, but walks off.

> From the Jags 36 and the gun, Vick holds it forever, and McCoy can't catch it off his fingertips. The O-line is getting mashed. Trickery to DJ gets nine, and he just looks like he's playing the game at a different speed than everyone else. On third and two after a timeout, Bell gets the ball for a yard as Eagle Power remains a misnomer at best. Fox analyst John Lynch praises the Eagle run blocking in 2010, which means that he hasn't been watching the same team the rest of the world has. On fourth and one, rather than take the 43 yard field goal attempt to make it a 7-point game again, Reid's going for it, and we are on You Crap Alert. A toss to Bell takes forever and is ruled short, so Reid challenges. Kind of an automatic challenge, really, and there is some hope of an overturn... and it's denied. Jags ball, and Andy extends his lifetime lead in You Crap The Bed moments. Gahhh.

> With four minutes left in the half, MJD gets a yard, and the defense needs to step up and stop the momentum change. From the gun on second, Garrard tries MJD on a hot read screen, and LB Akeem Jordan drops back nicely in coverage to tip it and break up the play. Third and long from the gun is a slow out to WR Mike Sims-Walker, the Jags' first completion to a wideout today, and it moves the sticks. Huge play on a lot of levels, really.

> Garrard to Thomas on a wideout screen for eight. Garrard avoids pressure and rolls for three yards and a first, and the Jags o-line takes a 15 yarder by spearing DT Broderick Bunkley, and that's the two minute warning. From the gun on second, Garrard's pass is tipped by DT Trevor Laws, and that penalty is looking big right now. Third and long is a Laws sack, with a holding call declined, and a loss of 12. If only Reid hadn't, you know, wasted two timeouts. Fourth and 29 has the clock not running for some reason, and the punt is taken back to the Eagle 47. With 97 seconds left in the half, Vick will have a shot to add to the lead.

> The Jags bring jumping pressure on first, forcing an incomplete; just an odd looking play. On second, Vick escapes to get it to McCoy for a hard yard. Clock running, and DE Aaron Kampmann is having a day here. From the gun on third with a minute left, Vick finds Celek for a 21-yard seam route, and the TE staggers off after punishment from Considine. Vick tries backup TE Garrett Mills on first and throws it out of the end zone for safety. 29 seconds left, no timeouts, from the 30. Vick to Maclin for an out, and he doesn't get out of bounds. Vick spikes it with 12 seconds left from the Jags 16. End zone or nothing has to be the play here, and from the gun, Vick shows great patience to come back to Maclin for the score. Tremendous play by Bick, and how he's got the confidence in his line to give him eight seconds of time there, I'll never know. Vick avoided the secondary blitz and makes a simply huge play to end the half. 14-3 Green.

> An odd squib kick is pushed out of bounds by the Jags, and that was nearly the world's best onside kick. Garrard sits on it, Jag Fan boos, and that's the half.

> The Jags start the second with Garrard taking 10 on a controlled scramble. MJD nearly breaks a big one, but Bradley gets an arm and loops him down after 7 yards. Pressure on second forces an overthrow, and DE Trent Cole nearly gets him on third. Garrard massages his wrist and heads off, and the Jag punt doesn't quite check back enough to stay out of the end zone. Nice physical work from the defense there.

> Vick from the gun on first hits Celek in the hands, but the TE's poor drop history shows up again, and it's nearly a pick. On second, Vick hits DJ in stride on an out, but he doesn't get the feet down on another play that seemed a little nonchalant. Third down is a throw to Maclin for 8, and Considine barely touches him for the three and out. Gunner Demetri Patterson crushes the returner as Fox notes that the Eagles were the top team in the NFL last year in punt coverage. You learn something new every day, really...

> The Jags' best play of the day is a 23-yard cross to Sims-Walker; no pressure and a good ball from the QB. Parker makes a wish on Garrard on the next play, and he just owned the tackle there. Second and 19 is a shotgun out to Lewis as Samuel sniffs the TAInt, but wraps up instead for a three yard gain. Third and 16 from the gun sees Garrard smashed as he flips it, Favre-style, to MJD, but the defense takes him down, too. The defense looks like they are having fun, but I'd like to see them get more rest. Eschewing the wisdom of letting the ball bounce inside his five, new punt returner Jorrick Calvin takes it back to the 18. Nice athleticism and all, but the only way the Jags are winning this game is from Green mistakes, so I'd rather he let that bounce, really...

> Shady McCoy draws for 18; nice run. They do it again for two, and there's actual clock running here. Innovative! Second and eight sees trickiness crushed for a sack, and four linemen were at the QB there. Not exactly a great line here. From the gun on third and 15, DJ drives us all crazy by dancing around the sticks and not quite getting the first. I love this man, but that was terrible. A delay of game flag happens before the punt goes off, and Green is just handing out gifts right now. Rocca's punt goes out at the Jags 28, and there's another gift. Shades of the Detroit game here...

> MJD boom busts for a 5-yard loss. From the gun on second, Garrard is nearly picked on another telegraphed pass; nice reaction by rookie S Nate Allen, who I'm starting to really enjoy. Third down is that Samuel pick that we've been waiting for, and that's his first of the year. A late flag for taunting on Hobbs pushes the field position back, but the way Garrard is playing today, I'm not sure it's going to matter.

> From the Jags 45, Green goes for the kill shot and gets it with ease, as Vick hits Maclin in stride down the left sideline for pure lightning. Honestly, NFL life rarely looks this leisurely, and that's our old friend Considine getting roasted on the perfect throw from Vick. It's 21-3 Eagles, and Life Is Good.

> A hold cuts the Jag return, and with 20 minutes of time left in this game, we're looking fairly close to over. MJD for a few, then Garrard navigates sacking traffic for a few more. On third, MJD is bottled up, and that's a three and out and Fox's cue to start disparaging Garrard's commitment to his profession. Calvin dances a little more, and it's clock killing time.

> On first, backpedaling, Vick just lofts it 50 yards off his back foot, and DJ runs under it for the catch. Good, Lord. Vick to Schmidt and who needs clock killing when you can just pad your numbers? He takes a Considine blind side sack, and there's no need to see more of that, really. Celek in a convoy screen moves the chains, and the TE seemed to enjoy the hit at the end of that. McCoy for three to the right, and Green now has 220 more yards than Teal, on one more play. From the gun, Vick escapes pressure and takes it on for the score, and yes, that was vintage. If I'm Reid, I give Kolb the fourth quarter. Eagles 28, Jags 3, and about the only person not liking this in Eagle Nation is the guy who was counting on a ton of field goals from Akers. In the red zone the last two weeks, Vick has been absolutely deadly.

> Akers puts a kickoff out of bounds with an offsides, and Green might be kind of checking out mentally at this point. MJD for a loss, and he's got 59 yards in 3 quarters. Not exactly terrifying. Garrard goes deep and gets a flag on Hobbs, who stays down after losing contain on reserve speed wideout Tiquan Underwood. Garrard tries Sims-Walker in the end zone, but it's defended well. Jennings for a draw for four. From the gun on third, Garrard is unbearably tentative on a hot read, and it's nearly a pick for CB Joselio Hanson. On fourth, Teal goes for it, and from the gun, Garrard misses Wilford on a touch pass, and the near-pick means nothing, since the ball is turned over on downs anyway. Garrard is just one maddening mess of a QB, really.

> Vick goes out again, and gives to McCoy for a loss of a yard; I don't like either of these players being out there at this point. Vick bootlegs for a few. On third and 8 from the gun, Vick has time but throws his worst ball of the day. Teal might have gotten away with some PI. Rocca's punt is taken by Thomas to the 37, and the only thing Vick could do better in the last two games is take more time off the clock with a fourth quarter lead.

> MJD draw for 5, and this is just about fantasy points now. They do it again for 3 on second down. If Jag Fan hasn't left by now, he really just dislikes his home life. Third and two is dropped by Sims-Walker off pressure, and the WR really didn't look like he cared that much about it. They go for it on fourth, and MJD shows the pride to fight for, and get it. I don't know why you play him at this point, but there's a reason why people love this guy.

> MJD for 10, and after the play is over, Teal takes a late hit o-line penalty to back them up 15. The fourth Eagle sack of the day goes to Cole. Garrard scrambles for a few, and it's third and 10. The fifth sack of the day is also Cole's. Of such things are Pro Bowls made, really. Calvin finally lets a punt bounce into the end zone, and with just under 8 minutes left, Vick will return. His fantasy owners must love Reid, really.

> McCoy for 12 and that showed some talent. Vick calls time rather than take a penalty. We get footage of Jaguar Mascot stuntwork; what ever. McCoy for a yard, then five more. Celek can't move the sticks, and that's a punt. Rocca's had a nice day, and it continues with a 47-yarder with no return.

> MJD on a shotgun draw, and they have 26 yards total passing right now, subtracting the sacks. Wow. Lewis is tackled by five men for five yards. MJD converts. Three minutes left until this one is over. Pressure from Cole and a tipped ball that stays down. Kolb warming up but the defense doesn't get off the field. The two minute warning happens after a short cross to reserve WR Kasim Osgood, who you might remember from Charger special teams. Then again, you might not.

> Garrard fakes Laws and moves the sticks on a scramble. Jailbreak rush forces an out to Sims-Walker, who is suplexed down for a loss. Tipped ball forces third and 11. Parker with yet another sack, but he jumped early. Garrard converts third and six to the other TE Zach Miller. Allen with a Dawkins-esque flying sack, and that's the team's... I can't count that high. Garrard pads the numbers on a throw to Underwood, and that is that. Your final is Eagles 28, Jags 3.

The Eagles suddenly look like the best team in the division, and the schedule, assuming that the Redskins can be overcome following their road loss to the Rams, looks quite palatable until the weather turns cold. Especially if this defense is the real one.


Anonymous said...

And the last time the Birds played in Jax, our QB spewed on the field. Funny how he will be wearing the skins color next week.

DMtShooter said...

I never quite got how that was a reason to downgrade the man. I've spewed more than a few times in my life now, and never wanted to go back to work immediately after doing it.

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