Sunday, September 24, 2017

Eagles - Giants Takeaways: Escape from New York

Snaked 'em but good
> First things first; what we will remember from this game is just the game's final play, when rookie PK Jake Elliott, who is only here because of injury, sneaked a 61-yard field goal over the left upright to pull off an utter escape of a win. Everything else is going to be lost to the sands of history, because great moments are like that, but give the kid his due; unreal kick that he probably makes 1 time out of 20. That's football; random plays matter. Probably too much, really. (And if he had made the earlier kick from 52, he's not in this situation. But you'd have to be a total killjoy to hold that against him, especially when he hits from 47 to tie the game late.)

> I don't want to beat the same drum every week, but good God, HC Doug Pederson should not be trusted with sharp scissors. Going for it on fourth and long deep in the second quarter gave NYG life that they didn't deserve, and at some point, it really would be nice if obvious blitz situations had, say, someone in the backfield to help prevent QB Carson Wentz from having to make three guys miss. Oh, and let the kid snap it at something other than 0:01 on the clock, Doug E Stale. The current method is pretty much given the opposing DEs a baton and a starter's pistol.

> For every game where Eagle Fan rails about the refs -- which is to say, like damn near every fan of every team, every game -- they really got the better of things today. From an almost never called delay flag on an offensive lineman for impeding a defensive player prior to a 12 men call, to actual OPI getting called on enfant terrible WR Odell Beckham Jr., to a massive DPI call on CB Eli Apple on a ball that probably wasn't catchable, the road team got more than a little shafted today. It's hard not to see how that might just be refs getting well and truly tired of Bex's act. Something to keep in mind, really.

> This thing the NFL did when it let the genie out of the bottle on touchdown celebrations... really isn't working. Eagle RB LeGarrette Blount got the same 15 for dropping the ball in the general direction of a Giants defender after scoring (truly, the most devastating diss in the history of disses, that) that Bex got for pantomime peeing. I didn't realize that the league wanted to make the Hingle McCringleberry "Key and Peele" sketch a documentary, but, well, they've done it. Three pumps next time, Bex.

> Speaking of Bex... good God, what a train wreck this guy is. I'd call him the Donald Trump of NFL WRs, but I suspect Trump finds Bex a little too desperate for attention. The fact that no one from the Giants came over to try and break up his stand-up routine with the Linc crowd speaks volumes. They clearly have to put up with him, and both of his touchdowns were amazing feats of athleticism, but the second he needs back up and/or this team is eliminated from playoff contention, all bets are off. There's only so long that you get to be this big of an asshat in team sports without someone freaking out about it.

> This was a very weird game, because of the vast portions of it where one team offered little in the way of resistance. The Eagles were lucky not to fall behind early due to three and out offense and the all-day bend don't break nature of the corner coverage; defensible given how banged up the roster is, but still terrible to watch. NY's misfires at the QB level (more on that later) and utter lack of spark from the running game helped loads, as did sound tackling after the catch, but it's not a good sign for an offense in its first home game to come out with so little fire.

Then in the fourth, once the Giants popped their touchdown cherry, it was as if all of the air had left the balloon, and the home team was the one with the defense worn out from early fall sun. Maybe you can pin it on a simple lack of personnel, but DC Jim Schwartz didn't make adjustments, didn't bring any different kind of pressure, and just seemed to call the same approach that had worked for the first three quarters. If you have confidence in the Eagles coaches after the first three games of this season, you are far more trusting than me.

> The stat sheet is going to say TE Zach Ertz had another good day, but the raw numbers lie. He dropped a touchdown before a redemption moment a play later, fumbled the ball with terrible security and awareness in the fourth quarter nightmare section, and just didn't seem to have the same spark that he showed in the first two games. He's never been good the whole season, and also gets banged up pretty often. If he falls off after this game, consider it a trend.

> It was nice to see Blount get some touches and do good things with them, but for a physical battering ram to have his best moments early makes me wonder if he's just too limited with his skill set to stay effective outside of certain roles. I get that his job is short yardage, but if that's all you can do, it makes scouting pretty easy. But all of that's quibbling. His big first run really changed the game, since it reminded Pederson that Run Plays Matter.

> Watching RB Darren Sproles leave, and also RT Jason Peters for his more often than not play off, should remind everyone of how close to metal on metal this team is, in terms of talent evaluation. They can't afford injuries. No team in the NFL can, really, but especially not this team. And it's not as if Sproles and Peters are, um, young.

 > The numbers aren't really there yet, and I'm sure that I'm just overreacting to last year's collection of circus animals, but it's nice to have actual NFL WRs again. Jeffery getting free for the FG winner, and getting out of bounds with 0:01 on the clock, was special. Torrey Smith also had moments today, though Wentz still can't seemingly sync up on deep balls.

> Another game where Carson Wentz, Mobile QB, made plays and put tape on the board that should concern opposing DCs. Having a big and mobile guy there helps loads on sneakery (the Eagles haven't had a QB that's been good at that since Donovan McNabb, and yes, I am impugning Mike Vick's legs, at least in short yardage). I'm worried that he's going to do this too often and take a nightmare of a hit, because no one wants to watch Nick Foles again, but the kid competes. You take the good with the bad on that.

> If I were Blue Fan, I'd be *seriously* worried about my QB. Eli just looks befuddled and sad back there (yes, even more than usual), and it's not like he's going to be able to rely on his arm strength or his quicks to get him out of this. With a bad OL and no running game, he's getting exposed for what he is; an aging turnover machine that knows football well enough to start, but will also get you killed against a good defense. Today, he had any number of chances against a decimated defense that never changed schemes, and it took him 3+ quarters to do a damned thing with it. The fact that he doesn't get hurt might not be such a good thing, too. I get that his line stinks and he has no running game, but that's true for any number of NFL QBs, and they don't get to throw to one of the better WR corps, either. Dude has rings; dude has tenure, but he might be nearing the end... especially since his career pattern is to fade with bad weather, not get better.

> Final point... I saw the game from the local meh sportsbar -- it's close to my gym and supermarket, so it works for the rest of my day, but Lord, I should just start bringing my own silverware -- and had the pleasure of multiple Giant Fans in the vicinity. One of them was a deaf fellow with another deaf guy who was an Eagle Fan, and you've never heard a guy that didn't talk make so much damn noise. Wild gesticulations, high fives for the other enemies, lots of finger pointing at his fairly sedate friend, etc.

Winning this game the way that the Eagles did doesn't speak much for their long-term chances; NYG is a bad, bad team this year, and even while desperate, didn't play a very good game. But watching the kick in the teeth happen to their fans in real time, then giggle my way out to the parking lot? Freaking awesome.

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule