Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Eagles - Vikings Takeaways

10) David Akers isn't right. At the tail end of his best year as the best kicker in franchise history, he's lost a lot of leg. Kckoffs are no longer making the end zone, and his 54-yarder into no win at the end of the first half, which could have taken the momentum back after the disaster defensive touchdown, looked at least five yards shy from where I sat. Combine that with the bad out of bounds mistake, and you've got failure from the part of the game that you rarely have failure. If there's something wrong physically, or a week off can help, he should sit next week against Dallas.

9) Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has a lot to answer for. To be very fair, the defense didn't cost the team the game tonight, or at least, they weren't the primary cause. But on the key third down, even with a timeout, there was no pressure on emergency QB Joe Webb, who had all day to find an open wideout for the conversion. I understand that Webb is mobile and that you don't want to give him a chance to make a play with his legs, but a vanilla zone with a questionable secondary against a poor offensive line and inexperienced QB on the road... well, let's just say the game demanded more from him there. And like everyone else in green, he didn't deliver.

8) In seven out of the last 8 quarters, QB Michael Vick has been Atlanta Mike -- inaccurate downfield, and loose with the ball. Combine that with the shaky game in Chicago, and we have more than proven that he's not the MVP. And if you are worried that he's just coming back to what he always was... you are not alone.

7) This is very sour grapes indeed, but had this game been played when it was originally scheduled -- Sunday at 1pm -- I think the Eagles win it. For no other reason than because RB Adrian Peterson, who was bigger than his numbers tonight in that he gave Webb a security blanket, wouldn't have made the game. So, thanks NBC. And thanks, NFL. Sigh...

6) When you talk a total team loss, don't miss the fact that the crowd was never a factor in this game, either. The crowd arrived late due to traffic and security issues, never really roared for the defense, and sold way too many seats to people wearing purple jerseys. They also left pretty early in the fourth, considering what the team did in a game where they were outplayed a week before. (I've got specific issues with the guys in my section, which you can read elsewhere on the blog.)

5) There's no getting around it -- playing on a Tuesday night is weird. Ever since ESPN took over the Monday Night franchise and ran it into the groud with bad announcing teams and worse matchups, and the NFL Network upped the ante on both of those bad factors, playing during the week has lost all cachet. On a weeknight, with most of the crowd fighting traffic and work schedules to get to the game with no big tailgating vibe, it felt like a preseason game. And Green played like it.

4) Give it up to Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. A day after taking down Peter King on how punting the ball out of bounds isn't as easy as it looks, he controlled the Eagles return game with... punting the ball out of bounds, or at least, damn near close to it. Matt Dodge, he ain't, and he helped his team a lot tonight.

3) The Cursed One, Eagles TE Brent Celek, was highly active tonight, with 10 catches for 97 yards... and yet, I'm still kind of hating his game. Drops are still all too common, he didn't get out of bounds to manage the clock well, and when he's getting this many looks, you know that the guys who can do things after the catch -- specifically WR DeSean Jackson, who only caught 2 of 12 targets tonight, not that Vick gave him a lot of help -- are not. And the TE TD tonight wasn't his, but rookie Clay Harbor, who did a nifty toe tap in the back of the end zone for the first quarter score.

2) As bad as Green played tonight -- and Vick could have easily had a half dozen turnovers had the Vikings secondary simply caught freely available balls -- the play that changed everything was the fumble at the end of the first half that's returned for a touchdown. Had Vick simply sat down on that play and the Eagles go into the locker room up 7-0, the Vikings don't get the boost they need to fight hard in the third quarter. It's a simple game; if you believe you can win, you do. If you don't, you don't.

1) If Kevin Kolb starts this game tonight for the Eagles, they win. I don't mean to demean the efforts of Vick; there's no way they win the division without him. But tonight, he throws one pick (an arm punt, to be fair), puts the ball on the ground for pure disaster twice, missed many open men and would have turned it over six times. He also didn't seem nearly as quick on the ground. And with next week against the Cowboys now meaning nothing, we should see a lot of Kolb and the other backups. It could have more to do with 2011 then anyone could have thought a week ago.


The Truth said...

Man, I was thinking the Bears O Line was bad until watching the Eagles O Line. Just pathetic.

BTW - I think I heard Colonel Klink on the tube last night yelling for Hogan.

DMtShooter said...

Locally, we're still trying to figure out how Jason Peters gets Pro Bowl invites.

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