Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eagles - Giants Diary: Pyrite Fight

Pyrite Night
> Last year, the Eagles came into this game with all kinds of questions, and left with all kinds of answers. In hindsight, it was all because the offensive line got healthy and put the team back in balance, and that worked until QB Nick Foles went down, at which point we got the inevitably doomed Mark Sanchez Experience. This year, maybe something similar can happen. But at some point, the organization with QB stability and a sane use of available talent probably wins out. Then again, it's the NFC lEast. Who the hell knows?

> Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins in the house to honor Brian Westbrook, but by all means, ESPN, let's fellate Eli Manning. That never gets old.

> Shot of McNabb with his head down. Time's coming for that hair, Don. Drink up.

> The simple fact of the matter is that, thanks to the Dallas and DC Derpery, this is a must win for the Eagles hopes of hosting a first round playoff loss.

> K Caleb Sturgis with the touchback, using the power of the black bug jerseys. My laundry tends to play better in terrible laundry.

> RB Rashad Jennings for four, ended with violence by LB Connor Barwin. Manning from the gun, fast slant to WR Reuben Randle, moves the sticks. Tempo, then a bootleg screen to TE Will Tie, easy play and another first. Not encouraging. Delay to Jennings, who chugs for six yards with the kind of running that LeVeon Bell does better. Manning from the gun, has time to move off his first read and hit Tie for a simple first. No good plays for Green yet as Jennings gets another six yards. Stadium has the air of preseason. Manning from the gun, all day, easy completion to TE Lawrence Donnell, and this could not be easier so far.

> From the 18, long clock, then DE Fletcher Cox comes through for a free five. Why the hell not? From the 13, it's Manning from the gun, hits WR Odell Beckham Jr., and that's an opening drive touchdown that was achieved without even a trace amount of perspiration. So good to see my laundry come out with a good start for once! The Giants ran 8 plays in that drive to go 80 yards, and there wasn't a single redeeming moment from the defense on any of them. You know how teams like to say you have to play 60? The Eagles disagree. Violently. K Josh Brown false starts to add drama to the PAT, then makes it anyway. 7-0 Blue after 4.5 minutes.

> Kickoff to the 1, with WR Riley Cooper derping it to the 13. Wouldn't want the special teams changing the mood of this one. After commerce, it's the call it out predictable first down run to RB Ryan Mathews for 3, then QB Sam Bradford not throwing the wheel route that RB Darren Sproles ran. 3rd and 7 and instant death is Bradford missing WR Jordan Matthews, and yeah, THAT WAS UNEXPECTED. Punter Donnie Jones with a good effort for what is clearly the best play for Green yet in this one. Blue starts at their own 37.

> Yards are 75 to 3. And counting! Manning from long count, RB2 Andre Williams for 3. Really one dimensional back, that. Play action, all day, Manning takes the check down to Randle, and CB Nolan Carroll gently escorts him to the sideline. 3rd and 1 and cheer for the hell of it is Manning rolling to Beckham for the obvious pick play and conversion, and the refs wave off a flag after a committee meeting, because that's what's done now. Great game!

> Manning from the gun to Donnell for five, then tempo gun to RB Shane Vereen, who is ended by DT Bennie Logan for nothing. Third and five and somehow not be down by two scores really fast is incomplete to Randle, but the flag will bail Blue out, with offsides for the conversion on Barwin. It's not as if third down is a strength.

> Manning to Beckham for the long sweep screen for five, obvious play, but not obvious enough for DC Billy Davis to figure out. Manning handles a bad snap to give to Vereen, who is stopped just shy of the sticks. Third and 1 and give up just a long figgie is Manning from the gun, simple cross to Beckham for the first, and Manning is 10 for 10. Honestly, I'm not sure any QB wouldn't be 10 for 10 so far.

> Manning from the gun to Donnell, and LB DeMecco Ryans simply rips the damned ball away from the TE for a strip INT. Great play to allow us to continue to have a football game, and damned lucky, really, but in the lEast, lucky is better than good, because no one is really very good.

> Yards are 110 to 3; maybe the turnover can wake Green up to actually do something in the first half.

> The most telegraphed screen pass in the history of the NFL, incomplete; lucky not to be picked. Bradford to Matthews, doesn't hold on after a hit. 3rd and 10 and hold the ball for more than an eyeblink is Bradford from the gun to Sproles, can't make the man miss. Blue roughs the passer for no good reason at all, and wow, that was so damned stupid, I can't begin to say. Just a gift.

> From the 40, the super obvious screen works this time, with Murray getting seven yards. That's going to be a pick six at some point. Murray again, backtracks and moves the sticks, so yay him. Bradford to WR Josh Huff, running well after the catch on the smoke screen for 15, WR Miles Austin getting away with the pick. Bradford with all day, underthrows Cooper, who comes back for the ball and saves the pick for the score. The replay shows that the ball almost goes completely through Cooper, but a non drop is a non drop. Sturgis connects, and that is an actual first quarter touchdown for Green. Tie game, and lucky, lucky, lucky. But it's not as if Blue defense the pass well, either.

> This game was a cheap shot away from being a Blue runaway; let's see if the defense decides this is Mo Mentum. Sturgis with a bad kick, and Vereen shakes off contact to get it back to the Blue 27. Obvious running formation gets Jennings three yards, defense closing the hole with violence. Play action works with Manning to Randle for 15, open all day.

> From the Blue 45, Manning shifts to the gun, then misses WR Dwayne Harris, covered well by Jenkins, but CB Byron Maxwell gets nicked for a flag for funsies. From midfield, long count, then Jennings gets nine and destroys Maxwell; woof. Second and one is Go Deep Time, and Manning burns a time out while dealing with the drool. Quick commerce, then Manning tries Donnell again, who was open but can't bring it in. Third and force a fourth down conversion is power from Blue that gets marked back; hmm. Fourth and do it again is time for a sneak that always works, but Blue derps it up with a long delay to Jennings, who gets slammed backwards by LB Brandon Graham. Wow, Blue is making a lot of dumb mistakes. De facto turnover, good field position at the end of the first.

> Bradford to Murray, who gets past a man, then oddly stands still before dancing out of bounds; it comes back on holding on C Jason Kelce. Green lets the clock burn, and that might be the best first quarter of the season for the laundry. It's kind of like being the world's tallest midget, or its smartest Kardashian.

> 1st and 20, Murray with that disaster run that he's really good at. 2nd and forever, checkdown to Murray. Whoop de damn do. 3rd and 20 has to be a checkdown, and it would have been, but DT Cullen Jenkins bats it down. Great job, offense!

> Jones for 57, Cooper on the coverage, but why let football happen when we can stare at refs? Both are on Blue, so they get it at their own 4 to start.

> Williams for little, with Ryans doing damage. Manning from his end zone, Beckham falls down, so that pretty much has to be DPI. Good play by Beckham; just fall down, it's always a flag. Williams for nothing, and Blue is just doing a favor by using him, instead of a back who can do other stuff. Manning telegraphs a terrible ball, Carroll accepts the gift with grace, and it's a pick six for Green. Wow, bad time for Old Eli to show up for Blue. Sturgis hits the PAT, and it's Green 14, Blue 7. ESPN tries to give its usual Manning coverage by saying the WR slipped, but, um, no, you asshats. He telegraphed it, plain and simple.

> Given how gassed the defense is, and how guarding between the 20s is not exactly a strength, I'd kill for an onside kick right now... but Nero is actually much more conservative than you might think, and Sturgis gets it to the end zone on a line for the touchback. With the crowd in full throat, Jennings gets 9, and the run game is working more than you might expect. From the gun, it's a slant to Beckham, and 15 more is added from DT Cedric Thornton not touching Manning in the head. Man alive, NFL refs *suck*.

> From the Green 47, Jennings for 3, then Manning to Jennings, stripped on the screen, and after a massive fight, it's Green ball. Great blindside hit on the ball by Jenkins, and Blue HC Tom Coughlin is in full Rassing Frassing Mode. That's always fun. Ryans gets the fumble recovery, and he's having a hell of a night. Blue pissed off on the sideline, and that's fun too.

> Murray for 2 yards and a cloud of meh, then Bradford to Matthews, makes men miss and gets 11 and the first. Nice work by the WR, bad work by the DBs.

> Bradford with a disaster pick, and yeah, that's his seventh of the year, and I guess he was trying to get it to TE Zach Ertz, but missed him by a freaking mile. To say you can't have that happen is obvious, but we're well above a pick a game pace for Nero's Chosen QB here. It's getting more and more obvious that is what is going to happen.

> Four turnovers in 20.5 minutes of football here; there's a reason we call it the lEast, folks. From the Blue 42, Williams loses two with Logan showing ferocity. Cheap out to Randle for 5, lots of anticipation from the DBs. Third and 7 is Manning from the gun, with DE Vinny Curry timing the snap count perfectly, and that's a hell of a sack to answer the turnover. P Brad Wing on for the first time tonight, with Sproles running up to catch the ball, and pain. Green to start at their own 25, and try to overcome their offense, which has 79 yards in 4 drives, and would be shut out if Blue could avoid roughing the passer.

> RB Ryan Mathews, so much faster than Murray, for 9 on the long sweep. ESPN stops showing youth football just long enough to show a conversion from Matthews. Disaster snap from Kelce, and Bradford falls on it for an 18 yard loss. FFS. From the gun, Bradford tries Cooper on a dangerous corner route, incomplete. Third and 28 is a checkdown waiting to happen, but for variety's sake, we'll give it to Murray so he can pad his rushing totals. Six yards! Jones kills another punt, the coverage is all over Harris, and Blue has it at their 21. 96 yards in 5 drives. Woo, Nero, woo.

> Manning incomplete on a screen, probably better off on the ground, nearly picked. From the gun, Manning goes to Beckham after Barwin almost gets the ball out of there. Third and 4 with full throat is a blitz that's handled, but Cox gets his hand up and kills an ugly screen. Big three and out from the defense, again.

> Wing with another bad kick, but gets a roll and an EJ Biggers penalty for maximum yield; gahhh. From the 20, Bradford to Ertz, lowers the shoulder for 12 and that was nice. Tempo, rollout, and the QB takes five yards on no pressure. He can actually run a little. Murray for seven yards and a first on a play where Matthews or Sproles would have gotten a lot more. Terrible screen to Huff, loss of one; telegraph city. Slow, horrible run left, Murray loses more. Third and 12 with 2:30 left is a big damned deal, seeing how it can keep the ball and Blue down at the half. Blue calls time, and then it's Bradford from the gun, buys time, but shorts Matthews, and that's just another mistake from a QB who is supposed to be here for his accuracy. Jones puts it in the end zone for a touchback; disappointing, given how good he's been so far tonight.

> 2:11 left and Blue trying to tie it before the half. From pressure, Vereen can't bring it down. From the gun, Graham and Curry and Barwin make an Eli sammich, and the pass rush has been the best of the year to date. Two minute warning, Blue with a 3rd and 16 that, if they are smart, they'll give to the RB and convert, since that always works against a Davis defense...

> From the gun, Manning with the slant to Beckham, poor tackling, first down. Gahhh. Ryans out with a hamstring; gahhh. Manning underhands a ball to avoid grounding, and gets called for grounding, as Barwin is just omnipresent right now. 2nd and 20 is Manning to Harris for 11, and a Green timeout that could be a problem if Blue converts again. 3rd and get the hell off the field is Manning to Harris, bad throw but the WR bails him out, out of bounds before the sticks. Wing punts before replay can take the yards away, and it's another terrible kick. These punts are so bad, they might result in a Green turnover from not knowing how short the ball is.

> From their own 34, Bradford to Matthews for 8, clock running. Bradford to Ertz, TE shows toughness for 17. Blue injury with 46 seconds left, two Green timeouts remain. From the Blue 41, Blue defense getting thin. Bradford not bright enough to snap it fast enough to get the free play, batted ball to Matthews is incomplete. Blue jumps again, and LT Jason Peters moves to make sure the five happens this time. From the 36, Sproles with a four yard gain and a late flag. Odd call with a shaky kicker, but the call is defensive holding to help it along. Refs pick up the flag later, because why not. Bradford from the gun to Matthews as ESPN howls about the clock, as if Green would just let the clock run and not take a timeout. Bradford then clocks the ball, for no good reason, seeing how he's got timeouts to burn. Ye gads, Nothing Here Is Good.

> From the Blue 19, it's time for Bradford to throw a terrible pick, and he misses Sproles in the end zone. Jenkins freaks out about a roughing call, and I have no idea what he's yelling about; that's a clear flag. From the 9 with 14 seconds left, Bradford takes a terrible sack, and the clock runs to six seconds before the second timeout is called. Let's just say that clock management is another thing Bradford doesn't do well, really. Sturgis from 37 after the Eagles own clock operator ices the kicker hits, and it's Green 17, Blue 7 to end the half after a squib.

> Blue K Josh Brown to the end of the end zone, and Huff tweaks it out to the 21 before taking punishment. Nero is counting on Second Half Magic according to ESPN, with Huff hurt. Joy. Telegraph Screen to Murray for three yards and a cloud of kill me. Bradford for the wide open deep ball to Cooper, who hauls in a big gain, then goes down in a heap. Jebus, it's not like the WRs were good before injury.

> After commerce and clerics, it's first and 10 at the Blue 33. Cooper looks OK. Bradford checks down to Mathews for six yards, then trips for half a yard. Third and save yourself from a long figgie is another Kelce mistake; yeesh. Third and 8 instead of third and 3 is Bradford after ref derpery, from the gun, and Mathews doesn't get the first or keep the damned ball. A FB gets to the QB, the offense leaves a field goal opportunity on the ground, and does any team from the NFC lEast have to go to the playoffs?

> Not to beat a dead horse's ass, but Nero's offense has 10 points in a home game when they have been given three turnovers, and their touchdown was a gift from the roughing the passer gods. Against a team whose best pass rusher appears to be a spinning fullback, using second-string CBs. Heckuva offense, Nero.

> From the Blue 37, defense has to do it again, and Jennings gets 13 with anti-fumbling anger. From the Green 49, no gain, as LB Jordan Hicks is present and accounted for. From the gun, Manning's ball is tipped on an bad out route to Tie, with reserve LB Najeh Goode getting home on a stunt. Third and get off the field is Manning getting strip sacked, with Blue lucky to recover. Nice game for the pass rush to show up. Wing continues his night of adventure with a ball that Sproles makes a fair catch at the Green 15. This game is just there for the losing, for either side, really.

> Bradford to Ertz, easy nine, but we can't have nice things, so LT Lane Johnson jumps offsides. Murray for two yards and who the hell cares. Third and four and keep the damned ball is incomplete on a rollout, and the flag does not bail the offense out, so that's another three and out for the offensive genius. Even ESPN is calling this for what it is; poorly played. Jones nearly blocked, and Blue gives up another first down with penalty. Ye gads, what a bad game this is. Five yards and a first down. Woo.

> From the 28 after the de facto turnover, it's Murray for 12 as Peters and Austin seal their men long enough for any NFL RB to get yardage. Long stupid sweep for 3 with the same bad back, then play action to Matthews, who holds on for once and gets a gain of 19 after contact. From the Blue 39 with a trace of tempo, Huff catches the short screen that is his raison d'etre, and fights for six tough yards. From the gun, Murray runs through a massive hole for 12, and the line is starting to win. ESPN fellates Murray because believing your own eyes is stupid. Bradford to Austin, who falls down immediately for seven yards. Blue looking tired, and Mathews gets a first down on pure line surge. First from the 12 is Murray through a big hole, fights off a man and scores. I suppose it's bad form of me to note than any RB worth a damn scores on that. Sturgis hits the PAT, and Green is really good at cashing in absolute gifts. Not much else, though. Green 24, Blue 7, 21 minutes left to lead the worst division in the NFL.

> Sturgis to the end zone, Harris to the 21, ball to the 11 because Blue held. Not their best game. Williams on an awkward run for three. Manning from the gun, misses Vereen from an empty backfield, nice work by Goode on the RB. Third and seven and continue the avalanche is Manning nearly picked by Barwin, the QB just not dealing with pressure at all well. Intentional grounding, second time tonight, and Curry does a little dance because it's Party Time. Wing from his end zone fields a high snap and gets a roll to the Green 45. After that last drive, the visitors look ready to get in the bus and get warm; should be interesting to see if the Green line can just end things.

> Bradford tries Cooper deep, who stops on the route, and what the holy hell was that. Blue takes the unforced arm punt error and gets it to their own 39. In a game with a dozen candidates for worst Non Colt Fake Punt Play of the Week, that might be the worst. Is there something about Bradford that just inspires these plays?

> Jennings for 8; other than a fumble, he's been good for them. Defense looks shocked to be back on the damned field again. Manning tries WR Myles White on an open wheel route, but it's dropped; another Blue gift on a night filled with them. Third and 2 and get off the field yet again is back shoulder to Randle, no DPI because he's not Beckham, and Maxwell had it read. Wing punts again, this time to the Green 6, and Sproles can only get five yards before he takes undue punishment. The toughest man in the NFL on a pound for pound basis is slow to rise, and there's still 19 minutes left in this mess.

> Sproles getting the evaluation; oh joy. Murray for 3; he now has 56, then fumbles the damned ball because he's just that freaking horrible. Bad exchange from the QB, too. It's recovered by Johnson to avoid disaster. Blue then has 12 men on the field, and rather than throw it, Bradford takes a bad hit in his own end zone. Christ. Third and 5 and can anyone play this game is Bradford from the gun to Matthews, who converts on a cross. Murray for two, and I want Chris Polk back. Clock runs; run, clock, run. Mathews for 7 to the left, so much better than Murray in every goddamned way. Third and short is Bradford from the gun, and the true RB1 gets the first. Bradford to Austin, good play fake and throw, and Blue sold out for the run as bad as the cameraman. 37 yard gain. Another play action, but Bradford misses Ertz, open but not by very much. Timeout Blue on tempo, and with 16 minutes left, um, I guess defensible. Green nearly even in time of possession, which means they are winning, really. Mathews for seven, averaging nearly a yard more per carry. Blue with the strategic cramp before third and 3. From the gun, Bradford tries Ertz, jump ball in the end zone, INT #3, turnover #7 of the night. The TE nearly bailed out the QB, but not quite, and it's still a game, for no good reason at all. Oh, other than because neither of these teams are good.

> From the Blue 20, Manning on play action, Beckham can't stay in bounds. After the quarter change, Cox eats Vereen whole. Third and 11 is a cross to Donnell, he makes one man miss, but not four, and Manning just doesn't seem like he wants to play anymore. Wing punts to Sproles, who cares not for your concussion concerns, and gets it back to the Green 40 after a 13-yard gain.

> Murray for 8 yards, away from the run blitz for once. Slow and no go right for a yard. Third and 1 from the gun moves the sticks, as just running the ball in the middle of the line should really work now. Peters is dinged, because that happens a lot now, but stays in. Murray for four; Mild Detention Mode begins. Murray for two to set up third and five from the Blue 42. Bradford to Austin moves the sticks, no rush, everyone should find QB opportunities to be so abundant. From the Blue 26, Detention Mode to the 10 minute mark; Sproles for nothing in the middle. Fake and throw to Ertz, who gets five yards and cut at his knees, and doesn't like it. Bradford to Cooper on third and five, and that stops the drive. Sturgis from 39 is good again, and that's encouraging, at least. Green 27, Blue 7.

> Eight minutes left, and time to see if the defense can finish this off with fun feelings. Harris brings it back to the 22, STs doing their job. Manning to Jennings for 8 yards, defense in DBs everywhere mode. Manning takes the underneath gift for Jennings to convert. Clock running a lot, Manning runs for 12 with no spy assigned. Duck underthrown to WR Jeremy Davis; Carroll could have had the pick if he had his head turned. Jennings for 6 yards, then on 3rd and 4, Manning finds Randle to move the sticks. Clock keeps running, so this is mostly for stats padding still. Movement on Blue because their line can't do this work. Vereen dances too much and loses to Hicks for a 3 yard loss. 2nd and 18 is Manning to Vereen for 6 yards, and 3rd and 12 is Vereen for 11, but it comes back on OPI for the Donnell pick. 11th flag on Blue. 3rd and 22 is a sack and strip, and with any degree of sense, that should be the end of the night for Blue's starters.

> From the Green 27 with a 20-point lead, this is all about clock burning and getting out of town. Murray for 7, might get to 100 with who cares persistence. Detention Mode, then another yard. Third and 1 with clock burning to the warning is Murray finding a hole, getting 21 yards for his first 100+ yard game in Green, and sitting down in bounds. Murray adds six more before realizing that Blue isn't trying any more, and two kneels happen despite timeouts in hand. Good move, Tom Coughlin. Get the hell out of town already.

> Next week, Green takes on the undefeated Panthers in a SNF game, and honestly, I have no idea what to expect. They are 3-3 and winning the division without actually playing a good game yet. The defense was nails after a slow start, and any offense with tolerable run blocking should be able to win with those advantages. They've won back to back games by a lot despite playing really bad football, so maybe this is just a team that makes everything looks bad and wins anyway, Hell if I know, but first place in the division is first place in the division. Fool's gold spends here.

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