Sunday, October 1, 2017

Eagles - Chargers Top 10 Takeaways: Doug Pederson Ensures Excitement

Fingers Crossed For Excitement
> If you'd like to make sure every game is close, regardless of the talent of each team, Doug Pederson may be your platonic ideal coach. Adding to the extraordinarily predictable and limited play book this week were give up runs on third and long in distance field goal range, which PK and burgeoning folk hero Jake Elliott keeps making, thank heavens, and a near repeat of last week's brain dead fourth down at midfield before halftime go for it insanity. Someone really needs to let Doug know that (a) his QB isn't a rookie any more, and (b) his team has WRs now, and doesn't need to run Alex Smith II, No Electricity and No Boogaloo, Now Go To Bed Young Man, offense. Just maddening.

> The Eagles are 3-1 with three of the first four games on the road, but I'm not sure that games against the Carson Chargers count as road games any more. When your defensive players can call for noise on third down, that's not a road game. So glad the NFL put not one, but two, teams in a city that could not care less about football.

> Second straight game in which the defense did well early, then gave up some monster plays, then pretty much fell apart late. Keep in mind this is happening with a slow as molasses offense that generally avoids three and outs and keeps winning time of possession by a lot. (Albeit, time of standing around and waiting for Carson Wentz to snap the ball with no time on the clock and the defensisve ends going off like dragsters at the raceway isn't quite as impressive.)

> Either the Charger defense is kitten soft, or the Eagle running backs got a lot better in the last month. Chris Clement was a hammer in the final minutes, Wendell Smallwood had his best game as a pro, but LeGarrete Blount was positively pornographic in running through tackles all game. If this dude wants to keep giving us flashbacks to Peak Marshawn Lynch, I don't care if he can't catch or block. (Note: I am not saying he can't do either of these things. He seems tolerable at both, honestly.)

> If there is a busier CB in creation than Jalen Mills, I haven't seen it. I'm sure the numbers will bear out to the strategy, but I don't get why opponents seem to think that his guy is the only WR that's eligible for a catch. If nothing else, he's young and getting an unreal amount of reps in which to get better.

> The Charger run game today: 13 carries for 58 yards, but keep in mind that 47 of those came on two carries. For most of this game, every handoff was a gift to the road team, and the body language from RB1 Melvin Gordon made me wonder if he even wanted to be there.

> I don't know why the Chargers seem to think that Younghoe Koo is a good idea for being their kicker. He looks afraid to be out there, his stuff has no power even though he didn't miss anything today, and it's not as if there aren't a billion kickers wandering the Earth. Bad organizations make bad decisions and then stick to them. This seems like one of those.

> Disappointing day for Wentz, who started off like a house on fire, then never found the end zone again. He also had more than a few moments of Frisky Young Guy Is Going To Turn It Over, which isn't helping Pederson pull the carbon rod out of his ass and, you know, play call as if ever game doesn't have to come down to a single play. But in the end, a road win is a road win, and his throws to help set up the running game to kill the clock on the final game ending drive were absolute money.

> This was the third straight game in which Eagle Fan got to engage in pure hatred for an Asshat Opponent. Coming on the heels of Travis Kelce and Odell Beckham was Philip Rivers, who is never so fast as when he's running at a ref to pule for PI, and looks like he's going to throw a tantrum when his coach doesn't let him go for it on fourth down. He's always been a problematic talent, given his ball's tendency to float and his tendency to screw up ball security, but on the downside of his career now, he's secretly killing his team. Both from the money he makes and counts against the cap, and the bad decisions and karma-killing whining. So glad I don't have to root for this guy... and now that the Chargers have left San Diego and gone to a town with no football fans, no one else does, either. Everybody wins! Well, everybody except Rivers. Works for me.

> With Dallas losing at home to the Rams (who scored on nine different possessions, which isn't quite as impressive when seven of them are field goals, but whatever), the Giants deader than dead after a last-second loss in Tampa, and DC having to go to KC tomorrow night, the division is definitely looking up. They get Arizona at home next week for a 10am PST start, and with the added bonus of the Cardinals playing extra time today to escape with a home win against SF. The game after that is Terrible Night Football in Carolina, then three straight home games against the Slurs, Niners and Broncos. There's a very real possibility that if the next four weeks go as well as the first four, the November 19 date in Dallas could be the division's last best chance to stop the Green Train.

Assuming, of course, that Pederson doesn't stop the train first...

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