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Eagles no match for Giants: The Morning After

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Good morning campers,

I don’t know what happened. This weekend started so grand for yours truly. On Saturday, I celebrated my birthday and my son made, not one, but two catches in his flag football game.

Then yesterday morning we all took our annual trip to the pun-kin patch at None Such Farms in Buckingham. In fact, that was the reason I missed the first half of the first quarter of the game. As it would turn out, I would’ve been better staying at the pun-kin patch and taking hay rides and drinking warm cider.

Yes I did write pun-kin on purpose. If it’s good enough for Brenda Lee in Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, it’s good enough for me.

Ok, let’s get to getting…steve olenski

 

‘TIS A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS

Before we get to the Birds, allow me to vent on the entire state of Philly sports at the moment. I can honestly say I do not remember a time in the past – at least the recent past, when all four major sports teams were this bad at the same time.

I realize the Sixers are rebuilding and have their eyes set (as do every other team in the NBA) on freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. And yes, sitting Nerlens Noel for the entire year is the right thing to do. So yes, they are in rebuild mode. But haven’t they been in this mode for quite some time now?

Then you have the Figtins. The Phillies, it would appear, are stuck in a time lock where the consensus seems to be “if we can get one more year out of Rollins, Utley, Howard, et al, we’ll be right there.” It is, in reality, quite alarming (to say the least) to see how far they’ve fallen since 2008. And yet here they sit, ready to go to war again with seemingly the same nucleus as they had five (soon to be six) long years ago.

As for the Flyers, well they have become something I for one never thought they would become: an organization that has lost its stature and status among the NHL’s elite. Sure, they have not a Cup in 40 years, but there was always an inherent respect around the league for the Flyers from an organizational standpoint. Now, that is gone. With the ridiculously unprofessional handling of their head coaching situation just three games into the season and their chairman’s incessant insistence that they are on the right course, the Flyers have lost that glow; that luster; that certain something they had going for them.

And of course, we have the Eagles. Well, actually we have the Union too, but they’re no good, either- just missing out on the playoffs a few days ago.

As for the Eagles… just read what I have to say below and you’ll know exactly where I stand when it comes to this team.

LET THE CHIPS FALL…

As you all know, I have been preaching one word and one word only this entire season: Patience. I am on record however, as stating I will have none of it during the actual playing of the games. But be that as it may, patience is key this year.

In other words, I thought we needed to let the chips fall where they may and see where we are at the end of the year and assess the damage then.

Notice the word “thought” in the sentence above? Yeah, well that’s not there by chance. I still think to some degree we’ll know a lot more about this team at the end of the year then we do now. We can continue to clearly formulate an opinion on things from what we’re seeing week in, week out.

Yesterday was a great example.

Case in point: The mysterious play calling of Chip Kelly.  (ie: Not running the ball from first and goal in the second quarter- resulting in a Matt Barkley fumble, his inexplicable decision to try an onside kick with over four minutes left to go in the fourth quarter).

I realize the Eagles only had one timeout left, but why would you take the chance and sacrifice precious field position with so much time left on the clock? As it turned out, the defense held the Giants and the Eagles got the ball back. The problem was field position, as the Eagles (when they finally got the ball back), had to start a drive at their own 16-yard line instead of a presumably much better position had they not tried an onside kick.

Then there is the head scratching, undeniable and irrefutable and downright disconcerting fact that it appeared Kelly was either incapable of or refused to alter his game plan once Michael Vick left the game.

How else do you explain the repeated calling of the read option plays? After a while that became laughable, as the entire world knew Matt Barkley was NOT going to run the ball, despite what appeared to be open field.

Lord knows Barkley is no Steve Young, but there’s something to be said for keeping a defense honest. There’s also something to be said for removing the play entirely from your playbook- once you realize you don’t have right quarterback in to run it in the first place!

I don’t mean to go off on a Chip Kelly rant here, but what the hell, he is the head coach. I happen to like him and think he will eventually do a good, if not great job with this team. We all have to remember, myself included, that he too is in somewhat of a rebuilding mode having never coached at this level before.

BUT… the fact that he has never coached at this level before does not excuse him from ANY of the aforementioned mistakes. We’re talking about basic stuff here, kids. You have a rookie quarterback and the league’s leading rusher (at least he was) and you have a first and goal? You run the ball! Period. Fact is, if the Eagles score a TD there, you’re looking at an entirely different game.

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WORSE THAT COULD HAPPEN

Kudos to everyone who picked up on the classic Brooklyn Bridge song of the same name.

The reason I use it here is for the simple reason that the Eagles first half of the first game against the Redskins is the worst thing that could have happened to them- particularly with their offense.

Think about it.

Other than a few times in the Chargers game, has the Eagles’ offense come close to matching the execution they displayed during the first half of the Redskins’ game? In three words: Not even close. It seems with every passing week, their offense takes a step backwards, while, incredibly enough, their defense improves.

Now don’t get me wrong, their defense is still deplorable. It’s just that they’re playing better and had no place to go but up, right? Photo: Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

However, the offense is another story.

Remember, there are no injuries of note to their offensive line. Their vaunted, if-they-stay-healthy-watch-out offensive line has been, for the most part, not up to par, to put it quite mildly. No injuries to LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson, either. Since the Redskins’ game, the only major injury on offense has been to Vick.

So what happened?

Remember when he was hired, one of the things Chip Kelly told us his offense can and would be adjusted to fit whomever under center. Clearly that is not happening. Not even close.

After the Redskins’ game the bar was set – VERY high. The entire league was all abuzz about this new-fangled offense and many wondered aloud how defenses could stop it. Little did they realize it was not opposing defenses that would stop it per se, but rather the Eagles themselves- thanks to their strange and unexplained decline.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

One last thing to get off my chest before I sign off for the week and it has to do with FOX color analyst Daryl “Moose” Johnston.

For the most, I think Moose does a pretty good in his role as analyst. But yesterday, he stuck too much to the “script” and should’ve realized that sometimes silence is golden.

One of the roles of the analyst is to fill in air time in between plays. I get that. But when there’s nothing to say, the last thing you want to do is open your mouth just for the sake of opening your mouth.

Such was the case yesterday with ol’ Moose.

It was during the third quarter or possibly in the fourth. Regardless of when it was, what he said was just flat out unnecessary and not to mention idiotic.

While I do not recall verbatim what Moose said, the basic premise was he was singing and extolling the virtues of the New York Giants for having played such a good game. That despite the fact they did not score a TD, they still had plenty to be proud of.

Something along those lines…

I nearly fell off my chair.

I can almost guarantee you Moose that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is not holding up the game film from this week as an example of how well his Giants can play the game of football.

Are you kidding me, Moose?

I realize the “script” calls for you to speak as to avoid dead air, but I for one would rather have deceased air time than listen to something no one in their right mind would ever believe.

This was as ugly a game for BOTH teams as you will ever see. The fact that Moose tried to spin this as a positive for the Giants greatly depleted his credibility in my estimation.

Moose, like I tell my kids, there’s a time to speak and there’s a time to just be quiet and say nothing.

Tell me/us what you think.

Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski

Bring some fire in the belly though.

You want to disagree? Fine.

But bring something to the table.

‘Til next time.

As always, time’s yours…. Food’s mine.

Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com

 

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Photo: Robert Sabo/New York Daily News