My Thoughts Eagles/Falcons

There are a few ways that you can look at last night’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. On the one hand, you can look at a team that dominated a good football team for three quarters. You see a team with a lot of potential that needs to iron some things out moving forward. On the other hand, you can see a mistake-filled game by a flawed team that has critical holes in important places. While the loss was painful because of how close the Eagles were to getting a big W on the road and being in the driver’s seat after two away games, I still put myself in the former category. So, let’s look at the game:

What I liked…

-Yes, we’re all going to remember the crucial 4th down drop at the end of the game. Jeremy Maclin has to make that catch and he’ll even tell you as much. But let’s not forget that just a few weeks ago, this guy had a mysterious illness and no one knew when he was going to play again. This offseason he had lost a lot of weight and we didn’t know what kind of game shape he’d be in to start the year. 13 catches for 171 yards and two TD’s? Safe to say he’s going to be okay? The drop aside, it’s comforting to know that we don’t need to worry about his health this year.

-I am the first person to rag on Jason Peters so it’s only fair that I praise him after a great game. Not only did he do a brilliant job at left tackle last night, we didn’t even know if he was going to be active for the game. Job well done, Jason.

-The offensive line as a whole is getting better. We can’t expect it to be anything great for a while, so I’m just hoping to see progress and consistency.

-How good is Trent Cole? It’s not just that he’s an incredible pass rusher, he’s a difference maker in all aspects of the game. It seemed like if Michael Turner was going to get popped in the backfield, it was because Cole torched Sam Baker and got back there in a hurry. And it’s not just the tackles for losses and the sacks, did you notice how many times he simply bull rushed Baker back into Matt Ryan? Ryan was getting happy feet and couldn’t get comfortable.

-This defensive line as a whole I’m very happy with. Cullen Jenkins could be the move of the offseason. He disrupts the middle and that destroys offenses. And this is definitely a different Jason Babin than the Eagles had last time. This front four is a game-changer for this defense. It past seasons it was solid-if-unspectacular (even that might be too much praise) tackle play from Bunkley and Patterson, see how long Cole can be great before wearing down, and rotate ineffective guys opposite Cole. Not anymore.

-This is what happens when you try to use your outside weapons with this defense. Nnamdi and Asante can hurt you bad.

-Credit to Tony Gonzalez. Still doing his thing at the age of 73.

-Peria Jerry might have been the difference in this game last night. His quick inside move to clip Vick’s hand as he handed the ball off to LeSean McCoy (who was about to waltz into the end zone; there was no one in front of him) started a 14-point swing. Instead of 17-7, it was 14-10 Falcons.

-LeSean McCoy is elite. I’ll say it. He actually makes East/West running work. He’s that fast and that quick. He really doesn’t need a ton of daylight and he creates it when there isn’t any. He makes you cringe sometimes as he tries to get out of trouble, but he makes it work so often that you can’t be mad.

-Have to be impressed with Mike Kafka. I keep hearing people say that if Vick didn’t get hurt that the Eagles would have won the game. Perhaps that’s true, but Vick doesn’t play defense and Kafka was not remotely a contributing factor to the loss. He played extremely well and it looks like we might have to take our hat’s off to Andy again for developing a young QB. Is he Drew Brees? Hardly, but that was a third-string QB out there last night playing quite well. Look around the league, some teams don’t have one QB that can win football games. The Eagles likely have three.

…and not so much…

-That’s some Red Zone defense! You know that, while he’d never say it publicly, somewhere Sean McDermott was on a couch in North Carolina with a wry grin on his face. In order to solve any equation, you can only have one variable. So, as different pieces are moved one at a time, you can eventually solve the problem. I’m not saying McDermott was a great defensive coordinator, but maybe he wasn’t the big problem with the Red Zone defense. Hmmmmm….couldn’t be personnel could it? Those awful linebackers and mediocre safeties couldn’t possibly be the problem, could they?

-It wasn’t just the Red Zone defense, the Falcons moved the ball at will in the fourth quarter. I don’t know what degree of the blame falls on Juan Castillo, but I’m serving him a decent portion. I don’t think he called a great game and when the Falcons needed to get it done, they did. Yes, the microscope is a little more intense for him since he has zero defensive coordinator experience at the NFL level and used to be the o-line coach. But it is what it is. And if Castillo fails in this role, his failure is 100% the responsibility of Andy Reid. I’m not calling it the Peter Principle yet, but I might if this continues.

-Michael Vick wasn’t bad on Sunday night, but he needs to improve some of his decision making. He threw a few balls that he shouldn’t have. And while I’m always quick to point out his recklessness and how it pertains to his own health, the concussion had nothing to do with him protecting his body. He just got rocked in the pocket.

-Hey DeSean, Larry Fitz catches that ball in the end zone. You have to catch that. Drops happen (just ask Maclin), but you’ll get paid a lot sooner by catching that ball.

-I thought Jamar Chaney could cover tight ends. All I heard about all training camp was how he’s the best cover linebacker the Birds have since Carlos Emmons. You sir, are no Carlos Emmons. He was on the scene the whole time with Gonzalez, but never made the play. Gonzo had his way with him. With the corners the Eagles have, look for teams to hammer away at the middle of the field against these linebackers and safeties.

-Kurt Coleman and Jarrod Page are just okay. They are average at best and not playmakers at all. I don’t think they are horrific by any stretch, but they could upgrade here. Hey, what’s Nate Allen up to? You don’t know either? I think I saw him in the game a time or two, but how quickly has he fallen off? I’ll give him a pass as he gets confidence back in his knee.

-Back to the linebackers, what’s the over-under on how long it takes Andy Reid to admit that Casey Matthews can not play middle linebacker in the NFL in any way, shape or form? I don’t think it’s in this team’s best interests to let him fight through his struggles. It’s not just knowing the defense and making the right reads and reactions, it’s a numbers game. He’s simply not big enough or physical enough to get the job done. Unless getting the job done includes being blown off of blocks and shoved out of the play, creating a huge whole for anyone to sprint through. If that’s the case then he’s great.

-That wasn’t an interception by the Falcons; that ball hit the ground. Still, I can’t kill Andy for not challenging it because I don’t know what replays they got to see before the ball was snapped. I know I didn’t see it on replay until about the fourth or fifth angle, and then Ryan snapped the ball. So I might be giving Andy a pass on not getting the challenge flag out. Then again, he’s so bad at it anyway, might as well chuck the red flag and see what happens. Not like you’re careful with timeouts anyway.

-I’m livid with Vick for holding that ball with one hand past the line of scrimmage. He should know better, he’s been a running QB for how many years of his life now? I could see if it’s a QB that isn’t comfortable running with it, but Vick pretty much has made his living that way. He should know better than to carry that ball with one hand. Careless. I get frustrated because $100 million QB’s shouldn’t be careless and reckless, and he can be at times. You’re better than that, knock it off.

-I think Matt Ryan may be a really good QB in this league, but he’s not in the upper echelon. He’s a nice player, but let’s shelve the Mattie Ice nonsense. Maybe do something in the postseason first.

-Dunta Robinson can say what he wants, but that was a dirty and illegal hit on Maclin. Luckily, Maclin saw it just in time to avoid it somewhat. But, c’mon. He clearly launched into Maclin with his head. I’m not ready to say Robinson is a flat-out dirty player, but that play looked like it had bad intentions.

Overall, it is what it is. It’s a tough loss and the Eagles have no one to blame but themselves. Stupid mistakes and breakdowns ultimately led to their demise. Not taking anything away from the Falcons, but I don’t see them as this big, bad NFC team that the Eagles can’t beat. Not by any stretch. But remember, we’re supposed to expect these kinds of things from this team early in the year as they get used to one another. That said, they should have won the game. Go get ready for the Giants.

28 thoughts on “My Thoughts Eagles/Falcons

  1. Matthews is small and not quick enough. How do you overcome these flaws in the course of a season? Will he get faster and grow a few inches and put on 15 pounds of muscle? I seriously doubt it. Reid made mistakes in judgement during the game. The non challenge, holding back Kafka and that trap call, not to mention those stupid wide receiver screens which usually get gang tackled.

  2. the thing about the gimmick plays were that Andy kept going back to them… The first few times he used that fake pitch handoff play with Vick, it worked great… but he kept using it and the falcons stopped biting on it and went directly for Vick…fumble return.. The Wr screen was another play… It worked great, even got us a touchdown, but Andy couldnt stop dialing it up… In the clutch with Kafka, he kept running it and they had it pegged when it counted most… We dont need soo much trickery… the reverses werent working… We got caught going to the well too many times

  3. calling out any player right now is stupid, unless its chris johnson the corner for the raiders
    that guy had 4 penalties and made a couple good plays, but his good was outweighed by his bad plays and catches/plays allowed (on top of those penalties)
    i hear the bad and the ugly in terms of our lbs
    we did great in the 2nd/3rd qtrs, and only allowed turner 2 keys runs (61 yards and the goal line td)

    we shoulda won, gift wrapped field position and red zone attempts to atl
    the only thing atl gets credit for is the redzone efficiency/conversions
    our turnovers were our faults, we beat ourselves
    not many teams can win with a 3rd string qb, let alone on the road
    were fine, the wins will tally up and we will be a top 3 team in the nfl come the end of the yr
    last nights game was a marathon and a journey, so we got a ways to go, our d will get praise down the road
    last night, was basically our offenses fault for not scoring, turning it over, field position, and vick went down and we kept going 3 and out
    momentum went back to the home team, they got us this time (lucky but better it happens now than later)
    if we meet up with them in the playoffs, we will blow them out like gb did last yr, and how we shoulda last night
    no worries here, i expect to win out til our bye week
    go birds!

  4. This team starts the season slow under Reid and I figured this would be a lose, but they had it in hand to win. They can now rush the qb with 4 lineman and get pressure. This is why teams can’t kill them with screens like the last 2 years. Missing Tapp and JP being hurt left them drained at the end, but injuries happen. They have big holes at linebacker and are questionable at safety, but are solid everywhere else. I would rather be excellent at most positions and be very bad at a few. It’s not unreasonable to think they can go from bad to average as the season progresses with coaching or new players. Turning an average roster to great is impossible, so I’ll rather see how the coaches and GM try to fill the big holes.

    The 5 red zone td’s has to stop, that is the biggest concern far and away from my point of view.

  5. I thought Chaney played a horrible game also, he missed so many tackles and couldn’t close on plays… I did not expect much from Matthews since we all know he is not a NFL Ready LB, but after last night’s game, I am not so sure that Chaney is Starting NFL LB material either… This LB Corps has to be rated the weakest in the NFL ..
    Look at bad teams like the the Benglas,Panthers,Bills,Broncos,Dolphins,Browns, Seahawks , I would trade LB Corps with any of them teams in a heartbeat…

  6. All the linebackers seemed to stick to the Falcons offensive linemen. Chaney got to holes last year, but both Matthews and Chaney don’t fill the holes this year. I’m starting to think it might be Castillo’s fault. He talked about the backers engaging with hands instaed of delivering a blow to the linemen to get away from the blocks in training camp. How can Chaney be so bad this year after looking good in his rookie year. It’s not like the Eagles keep the backer clean with huge 1 gap defensive linemen.

  7. Paulman’ Top 10 in the NFC Confernce after Week #2

    #1) PAckers (2-0) – UNdefeated and SUper Bowl Champs
    #2) Lions (2-0) – 2 Impressive wins out of the gate
    #3) Redskins (2-0) – 2 scrappy tough wins, but are undefeated so far
    #4) Saints (1-1) – Lost close one to Packers, Beat the Bears
    #5) Bears (1-1) -Beat Falcons badly, lost to a good team on the road (Saints)
    #6) TB Bucs (1-1) Lost close one to Lions, then won big game on the road
    #7) Falcons (1-1) Lost badly to Bears, came back the beat the Eagles
    #8) Eagles (1-1) Beat Rams and blew the lead versus the Falcons
    #9) Cowboys (1-1) Should have beaten Jets, should have lost to 49ers..
    #10) Arizona (1-1) close loss on the road to the Redskins

    I don’t have the winner of the Gaints or Rams game moving ahead of any of these teams righ now, so that’s the list for this week… Enjoy

  8. jphalines – was that during the first 3 quarters when the Eagles were holding the Atlanta to about 154 yards in total offense? Or When Turner had about 50 yards rushing before he broke a long run – I am trying to remember because I mostly saw Atlanta getting pummled – I do rememebr two really bad series late in the game when they needed to close the door –

  9. Pman – not a bad looking list

    Question – what did the Falcons do differently in the 4rth qtr that let them drive 80 yards 2X – protect Ryan better – did they keep RBs into block? What changed

  10. The did keep the FB in to help Pass Protect and a 2nd TE on occasions to help block, and the big thing was them going to a sped up/no huddle offense and threw a lot more underneath routes and by using the no-huddle and speeding things up, The Eagles were unable to substitute fresher players in leaving COle,Babin,Jenkins gasping for air at times…

    I see lots of team going to the no-huddle versus this Eagle Defense

  11. What is this need to give Matthews a (5th rounder) all this lalitude to learn on the job, yet the 1st rounder is benched to take a step forward?

  12. Songs – what is your fascination with what order people were drafted? There are multiple lists of all time draft busts and multiple lists of great players that went undrafted – why don’t you just an R or D next to them for all that matters during the game
    Here is how we should blog about all players henceforth – Maclin (1) had a great game but dropped a key pass – Djax (2) and Celek (5) had key drops also McCoy (2) ran well. Kafka (damn was he a 6 or a 5…) threw well. Cole (5) played well – Chaney (7 right??) amd Coleman (7) played …. Nate Allen (2) and Watkins (1) didn’t play the O Line Peters (cost us a #1), Hermanns (4) and Kelce (6) did fine – the kicking brothers henery (not drafted) and henry (4 or 5?) did fine.

    For that matter Songs – if Vick (1) can’t go should we let Young (1) or Kafka (damn 6 or 5) go hold on –

    Kafka was a 4 and Chaney was a 7 – don’t want RTB to call me a retard again

  13. We beat ourselves. Andy Reid didn’t coach a good game. Once Vick got hurt her became too predictable. If we stay aggressive we probably win this game. I feel bad for Maclin because he had a good game, however, everyone will only remember the pass he dropped at the end. Hopefully we can look at the film and learn from our mistakes. We must beat the Giants if we are Superbowl contenders. This is the week we allow Steve Smith to do his thing regardless of who the starting quarterback is. If we need to rest Vick lets rally around Kafka and take care of business at home!!!!!

  14. Eagles nered to learn that a NFL Football game last for 60 Minutes, being very good for the middle 30 minutes is not going to be good enough to be the good teams come playoff time

  15. good question songs, one of many that should be asked of this coach,this franchise, starting with, why would you ship out a qb you have been grooming for four years, great potential, 2 time nfc player of the week in 6 or 7 starts, currently the 5th highest qb after two games, and pay a career 55% completion qb 100 million, turnover machine, takes more hits on one game than brady does an entire season, already injured, can’t read a blitz, can’t protect the ball, unwilling to change, while a rookie, cam newton, can, a completely bewildered quarterback after playing a decade as a pro, why songs, why songs, damn it WHY

  16. Jake….The pass that went to Maclin earlier and the wide open pass Celek dropped, or the pass Vick threw on the play he was injured on (in the pocket)

    Was Vick throwing against the Blitz?

    If Vick is not injured..We win by at least 2 touchdowns easy down the stretch.

    He’ll come back and win, but that will not be enough down the stretch.

    We will not win the big games down the stretch with that weak ass MLB and suspect safeties in the middle of the field.

    We need a defensive coordinator with some nads who command authority and is willing to sit bums. A coordinator who can adjust when it’s clear one man is beating the hell out of your zone coverage. How about using a linebacker to jam the tight end before letting him release free in your suspect middle behind the defensive line?

    The weaknesses we have all seen since the preseason are the same glaring issues that will plague us until our early exit…again.

  17. Another thing…When will we get a serious threat at tight end?

    I’m tired of this celek guy who drop passes in key situations. We’re one year away ans hopefully we address the tight end postion along with the safety and linebacker next offseason.

    Another thing…our best tight end in the preseason (Lee) in order to keep Harbor.

    What the hell is Harbor doing?

    Back to the game.

    Did it surprise anyone when Andy didn’t throw the challenge on a clear drop during that interception?

    We’re use to it!

    Did it surprise anyone that the tight end killed us all night?

    What about the run defense down the stretch?

    5 COUNT THEM “5” RED ZONE TOUCHDOWNS!!!!

    SEAN MCDERMOTT SHOULD GET A PUBLIC APOLOGY!!!!!

    You expected him to scheme with one corner and suspect safeties and linebackers.

    Now the offensive line coach get corners..but the linebackers and safeties are suspect. The one bright spot at linebacker last year (Chaney) have now took steps back because the “offensive line coach” want “baby bloodline” to play the middle.

    Good coaches could really turn this team around and get the big one, but these bumbling idiots will always be in their own way.

    schiller is somewhere painting Banner’s toe nails.

    Where are all the apologists?

  18. So what Jake – what does that matter? Who cares if Watkins starts or not – have you looked at all 64 draft picks from this year to see how many are starting or dressing – have you looked at all 128 from the last two years first two rounds? Your get 22 starters – that’s it – does this mean every year two of them MUST start? Graham and Allen are hurt – I do believe they both had knee surgery within the last year?

    Remember the Eagles once had 4 picks in the first 3 rounds and they didn’t play – I think it was Lito Shepard, Shledon Brown, Mike Lewis and oh yeah – Brian Westbrook – I think they all went on to have decent careers

  19. Songs great points – 5 trips to the Red Zone and 5 TDs ain’t gonna get it done

    Ried should have thrown the challenege flag

    What is an ‘apologist’ – now is Atlanta’s LT suspect? What about Atlanta’s center? Is Atlanta’s D that got torched for about 450 yards of D suspect?

    I want to coorelate to this weeks game against NYG – I want to know what is ‘suspect’ on the giants so I can compare it to what is suspect for the Eagles and see who has more ‘suspects’ (is this football or law and order!) – And I don’t think the Gnats are dressing their top 3 draft picks either…….

  20. Jake…fantastic…”why would you ship out a qb…..” I wish I had written that. (Especially wne they could have traded Vick for at least 2 1sts – buy low sell high??”)

    Songs…”If Vick is not injured..We win by at least 2 touchdowns easy down the stretch.” Stop making shit up. Vick left the game up 24-21 after having handed the Falcs 21 pts. He did nothing but keep both teams in the game.

    This is a team that the Birds…..destroyed with Kolb at QB. (McNabb too). The game should have been long over at half…but turnover central….Vick fumbling??? That’s weird…not like he;s the worst fumbling QB over the last QB or anyting….never saw it coming.

    Blame everyone else.

  21. Schiller & Wmonell are stuck in Andy’s @$$. They have to wait for the laxatives to start working, to get out. Don’t worry Songs, we still have Navy & Vinnie to get on our nerves! I’m so sick of the delusional apologists on this site. Open your eyes gents, this season is over before it even begins! It’s ashame, when the lockout ended I was extremely pumped. Reid & Rosebud sucked all of the life out of this man!

  22. actually, this is me (wmonell)
    due to some sensitivity, i had to create a new name to comment with the knowledgeable football fans, and then idiots like you car.
    beyond that, you wont get a response from me bud, until you show some common sense
    idc if its constructive, but the negativity is only valid and respectable when you acknowledge the pros of this football team
    i dont argue for the sake of arguing, some people on here live in a glass house, i have my full glass of water knowing the flaws but i dont beat a dead horse (ask my girl what i beat lol trying to keep things light on here)

    bottomline, were in the same boat when the eagles dont win the superbowl
    and when/if the eagles do win it all, we’ll still be in the same boat
    thats why im over the gibberish, the norm is to bash people left and right because msot follow the media without realizing it
    so, its whatever, if you wanna ask my opinion ill respond to you, but from here on out i wont waste my time
    i like all of you on here all the same honestly, and i understand all of your perspectives, im the type of person that expects success
    when i played/coached, i expected my underdog teams to win while other said we overachieved
    the title iust important to me, whatever you wanna call it, the objective is to get the job done and complete the goal(s)
    ill still read what you write, idc if you agree with what i write or not, its just a place to chat
    i jsut prefer it to be more constructive, everyone points out a problem, but if you feel strongly about something then tell me/us your solution

  23. hmm…i didnt mean to say idiot, but you will prob think i did and thats fine
    i meant “fellows,” but dont ask me how that happened im on my phone
    haha perhaps a freudian slip (sarcasm) but its posted and you can believe whatever you please
    ill apologize, but the odds are that i wont even come back to this post tomorrow anyways lol…
    goodnight eagles fans…

  24. Navy: I think the Eagles defense was very good for 3 quarters, but they also gave up 3 touchdowns over the first three quarters, not amazing. Cole, Babin and Jenkins were doing the pummeling, it was great to watch. I saw Mathews follow Chaney around the TE on a play that went betweeen the guard and tackle. Can you honestly say the linebackers stopped Turner, or was it Cole and Jenkins making plays behind the line of scrimmage? When you get sacked and it’s second and third and long the Falcons have to pass instead of run. Coleman makes a lot of tackles on running plays because the linebackers are blocked.
    I just don’t see Chaney flowing to make plays like he did last year. Mathews was not a middle linebacker in college and he is expected to jump in as a rookie? The Eagles just need them to be average to be a really good defense. I expect there to be some bumps along the road, but the next 3-4 weeks need to show improvement.

  25. Coward, why did you change your name! Just messing with you, Wmonell, errr Awolwest. BTW, i’m not arguing, for the sake of arguing. What part of what i’m saying about this team isn’t common sense. Everybody in the world of sports & football are saying the same things I am, except the Reid apologists on here! But hey I give you, Birdo & Navy major props, for coming on here & hashing things out. Real men, unlike the condescending comment Nazi, Schiller! Hello are you out there!?

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