Monday, September 14, 2015

Eagles - Falcons Diary

Masterful performance, Nero
> As always, the initial first down is one of the most important plays in an Eagles game, and as usual, the Eagles didn't get one for way too damned long

> WR Julio Jones with 17 on weak work by CB Nolan Carroll, and among many charming traditions from Eagles HC Nero Kelly is how we can never put nominal CB1 on clear WR1

> S Malcolm Jenkins had a very up and down night tonight, but the early pancake block by FB Patrick DeMarco was way, way down

> If Jenkins picks off Falcons QB Matt Ryan on the end of their first drive, the Eagles win, and there's about 10 more of these moments coming

> K Mat Bryant connects from 41, and it's Red 3, Green 0 after four minutes

> ESPN continues the myth that every new stadium is going to host a Super Bowl, and every new stadium is above average, even though no fan base has ever wanted or needed one in my lifetime

> Eagles RB DeMarco Murray lost so many yards it made a holding call meaningless, which is hard to do on a running play, really

> Very, very glad so far that I broke the annual tradition of going to a game, because this would have been the one

> All day for Ryan to throw, Jones draws DPI on CB Brandon Maxwell, so, um, great

> Tempo for Red, and Ryan avoids CB Connor Barwin for 22 to White, on Maxwell again

> All day to throw, open RB in the flat, and yeah, the pass defense has to be better this year, sure

> Red has a patchwork line, not that you'd know it from this game

> Red finally makes a mistake to add five yards of space, then LB Kiko Alonso makes an amazing falling-down INT to recover for blown coverage

> The one-handed pick that was just an amazing,play, and a bit of a mistake from Ryan for not putting more arc on a ball to a wide open White

> Bradford from the gun alone to WR Josh Huff for 13 INT-baiting yards

> Bradford tries Huff again, who had his back to the QB for another near disaster, and that's been a disturbing common note to his NFL career

> Bradford tries WR Miles Austin, but the ball is a foot long and Austin isn't very good

> 3rd and 10 for another near auto-out is a check down to TE Zach Ertz, but it's not nearly long enough

> That's three possessions for one first down for a team that's supposed to be a 40-point per game pinball machine

> 3rd and 15 to get off the field and show a little teeth is a near pick by Maxwell, which is encouraging, but not exactly the end of things we'll say about him tonight

> Sproles wiped out on an internal run, and hmm, maybe wiping out the guards from last season without any draft picks or FAs of note wasn't a great idea for Nero

> Murray ran through a deep tackle as Green's guards are utter turnstiles, and pretty sure he's done talking about how this line compares to last year's

> 3rd and 9 is a miss to WR Nelson Agholor, and the worst defense in the NFL last year looks dominant, while Green looks like they are starting second-string guards for no good reason at all

> Red starts deep, and Ryan finds Jones in front of Carroll for 18 easy, easy yards

> Slant to Jones is just flip and catch and easy, for another big chunk, and it's 3-0 Red after a quarter

> Red up 126-35 in yards without getting the opening kick, and leads while losing the turnover battle

> Ryan to Jones on Maxwell on a rollout, and Red snaps it before a challenge, not that Nero takes those anyway

> Defense starting to wear down, looks slow on Ryan with a bootleg

> Third and 1 to stay in range for no good football reason, after a Red timeout, is Ryan to TE Levine Toilolo, just as easy as it could be

> Ryan to White off play action, as much time as anyone could want, Maxwell looking like Cary Williams

> First and goal, third time already, stopped on first down, Ryan from the gun to White for the stretch screen for the score

> Red 10, Green 0, and, um, Chip can go back to college any time he likes, really

> Bradford to Sproles, who might be the best Eagle tonight, which is not exactly damming with high praise

> Bradford to WR Riley Cooper to move the sticks, and this is now a throw every down offense, because the OL is getting whipped

> Bradford to Mathews for 24, another INT-ish throw, but hey, it got there

> Huff on the smoke screen for six yards, then RB Ryan Mathews drops a wide open screen that should have gotten a lot

> Bradford to Mathews sets up 4th and 1, Green goes for it, and the QB bootlegs to a wide open Ertz to keep the game a game

> Murray on the long left run that looks remarkably slower than McCoy or Sproles, and gets a middling five

> Bradford misses Ertz in the end zone, and nearly got him killed

> Third and five from the 11 is Bradford to nowhere, and that was Sanchez-esque

> K Cody Parkey connects, and it's 10-3 Red

> Parkey doesn't have last year's oomph, which means touchbacks might be a lot less prevalent, and is officially foreshadowing

> Defense as rested as they will ever be, and Ryan derps a blown screen to White

> RB Devonte Freeman for 7 yards on what looks holding-esque

> 3rd and 3 to get back in the game is Ryan from the gun to White, with Carroll getting away with borderline DPI

> If you loved obvious picks, this game was porn

> S Walter Thurmond with a dumb clip, and STs are not at 2014's otherworldly level

> Bradford to Mathews from his end zone as ESPN shows the highlight reel of QB Pain

> Murray with his best moment so far, sticking his head down and bulling for not a first down

> Third and one is a batted ball, and it says everything that everything is a quick screen because the OL is getting mauled

> P Donnie Jones fails, and that's also new and unwelcome

> Red runs twice for 8 to the edge of figgie range, and really should be winning by a lot more than seven

> Third and 2 to stay in a game for no football reason is a quick screen to move the sticks

> Run defense keeps just missing, and if that's happening in Game One, yikes

> Ryan to Jones, clear pick not called as White blocks before the pass is caught, but what the hey

> Jones for another 10, and the refs make the make-up call on White a play late

> 2 minute warning, then Ryan to TE Jacob Tamme, and honestly, game could have been over with any amount of competent Red play

> 3rd and 1 is a very badly blocked run, and Red's bad work down low is the only reason this is still a game

> Bryant connects, 13-3 with 1:05 left and two timeouts

> Bradford throws a back-breaking pick that's been hinted at all half

> Miracle sack and fumble wiped off on a flag against Alonso that is as marginal as it gets, then Ryan to Jones, touchdown, ye gads

> Bradford misses Sproles, hasn't thrown a ball more than 10 yards downfield all night, um, yup

> Give up run to Sproles, who doesn't give up and gets a first down

> Bradford trashed as T Jason Peters looks real old real fast

> Consecutive holding calls, give up runs, and as bad a half of football as the Eagles have played since the last days of Reid

> During the half, you would be forgiven for hoping that Nero took a college job already

> Sack for Cox to set up third and long after a Carroll blitz, then an INT by Thurmond, and hey, a pulse

> Just the worst kind of throw by Ryan, and there's a reason that Red isn't all that good, either

> First and goal down 17 is 4-down territory... and a screen to Murray is mercifully dropped in the flat, so, um, not much in the way of confidence inspiration there

> Second and goal is an ungainly give to Murray, but C Jason Kelce mans up and seals the edge, and that's a TD that any RB can get, so, um, yay

> Red 20, Green 10, and phew

> Ryan to Tamme for 4, then RB Tevin Coleman moves the sticks

> Red with some of the clearest pick plays ever seen for another OPI

> Small throw to WR Nick Williams, then 3rd and 11 and have to get off the field is Jenkins not making another pick, and good grief, man, make a freaking play

> P Matt Bosher hits a 62-yard punt that's all net, and good grief

> Bradford from his end zone again, and Peters continues his miserable night with a false start

> Mathews takes big punishment to get seven yards, and that will be a fine later

> Bradford to Cooper moves the sticks, and way too many of these throws look super close to INTs

> Murray gets loose, but it comes back on a hold on Celek, and honestly, I'm shocked at how slow he looks

> 1st and 18 is Mathews pinballing his way to a first on a smoke screen, who moves the chains, then hobbles off

> Bradford to Austin for 7, everything checkdown, then Murray for two on the only side that's worked in running tonight

> 3rd and 1 is have to have, and with no LBs, it's still all throw, with OPI bringing back a connection to Ertz

> This game is all OPI Pick, and Agholor was blatant

> 3rd and 11 to Mathews, who RACs his way to a first down

> Bradford to Austin, some mild mobility and a trace of zip there

> Bradford to Mathews for 8, Red defense looking gassed, then again for more, but it's holding on Kelce; fourth flag on the drive as Eagle Fan boos lustily

> Phantom flag, 2nd and 12 is Sproles in motion, and he's beautiful for a first

> Bradford misses Ertz, should have been 10, and now Peters is gimping from a roll up, and good God, that can't happen

> T Matt Tobin in, and we can only hope this is just for a single play

> Sproles for a 27 yard burst, big play by Celek and Kelce, face mask adds more, and he looks so much better than Murray on that play

> First and goal is Murray left, might have had it if he were, you know, fast

> Peters back in for second and goal, Bradford to Murray, shows good patience on both ends, and it's a ball game again

> Red 20, Green 17, after a 97-yard drive with four flags, which is officially hard to do

> LB Mychak Kendricks misses on the run blitz, but it's stopped after 2; team playing with juice

> The most obvious holding call yet on Red WR Leonard Hankerson, and that's just comedy

> 2nd and 15 should be intentional grounding in the end zone, but somehow isn't

> 3rd and 15 might be a give up run, and gets the first down anyone, because DC Billy Davis eats paste, and honestly, this was the play where I knew the comeback wasn't getting all the way there, because you can't be that goddamned stupid and win

> End of the third quarter, Red 20, Green 17

> 3rd and 4 and get the hell off the field without points is a blitz that doesn't get anywhere close, and a simple slant to White for the conversion

> Freeman for a yard loss, then Ryan to Hankerson for the first down on Thurmond, and yup, not nearly enough pass rush for this terrible secondary, same as it ever was

> Ryan for 5 yards as Green can't chase him down, then Coleman for a first, but it comes back on a hold

> Sloppy game from all concerned, including the refs

> 2nd and 14 and no pass rush for a short one to Tamme, setting up 3rd and 7 and have to not give up a touchdown

> Ryan from the gun, blitz doesn't get there, but the throw to Freeman isn't long enough, and Barwin does just enough on coverage

> Bryant from 44 connects, and it's Red 23, Green 17

> Murray for 4, and I honestly would rather have Chris Polk, and maybe Charlie Garner, Ricky Watters, or Wilbert Montgomery... today

> Bradford to Sproles for 24 down the sideline, who can't quite stay in bounds for a lot more

> Bradford to Mathews for 11, Red trying to sub and can't get it done

> Bradford to Ertz, great catch on the stretch, big chunks coming now

> Bradford to Mathews on the cross, gets all the way to the 1, should be a touchdown, not called because tempo is better

> Ryan Mathwes smashes his way in with a shove from G Allen Barbre, and while that worked, it nearly caused a fumble, concussion, and all kinds of illegalities, really

> Parkey connects, and Green leads for the only time tonight, 24-23

> Red from their 20, Ryan to Jones for 44, and yeah, the secondary is still terrible, and you'll be forgiven for thinking this is just the Cardinals game from last year

> Ryan fakes to air, then misses Hankerson as Jenkins makes a great deflection

> Draw by Coleman almost breaks it, but Kendricks gets just enough

> 3rd and 10 from long figgie range is a big damned deal, and it's Ryan from the gun to Freeman, short of the sticks

> Red kicks the figgie because you have to, and Bryant connects from 47 for the lead again

> Bradford to Mathews, who gives up yards for no good reason, then moves the sticks on another cross to the same man; only WR that everyone seems to trust (sigh)

> Mathews again for 4, everything just to gas the Red pass rush, then Agholor at the sticks for five

> 3rd and 1 is Sproles for a freebie with offsides, gains 10 and is the only Eagle RB who runs in real time

> Sproles in the flat for 14, and the spin is just clowning the LB

> Ryan Mathews on a screen gets a lot, but it comes back on yet another hold, this one on Kelce

> 1st and 20 with 4 minutes left is Bradford to Cooper, who gets 16, Red just not able to make stops

> Ryan Mathews for 3 and should have had more, then gets it again on the 3rd and 1 tempo middle run that everyone in North America called out in advance, because Nero Is A Genius

> 4th and 1 has to be a figgie to take the lead, Parkey misses from 44, and Nero's Done It Again

> Red runs for 5, Green timeout

> Coleman for 4, Red gets away with holding, second Green timeout

> 3rd and 1 is a stop by Jenkins, and yes, both of these teams were doing everything they could to lose this game

> Bosher gets it deep, Sproles back to the 15, Green has 1:49 left and one timeout

> Bradford to Sproles for 2, inbounds, not good

> Too much clock running, Red getting pressure, this doesn't look like the rest of the second half

> 3rd and 8 with 1:17 left is Bradford from the gun, deflected out of Mathews' hands and picked

> That's a terrible loss to a terrible team, but to be fair, the same thing would have been said by Red if they lost

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