Eagles Out Fowl the Falcons: The Morning After
Good morning campers,
As you all know, this past week saw perhaps the biggest change in recent memory. A change so profound that it will impact generations for years to come, and will have scholars and great thinkers writing and disseminating it for hundreds of years. I can hardly focus on my task at hand just thinking about the the consequences of this one action.
I refer, of course, to the Phillies acquiring infielder Howie Kendrick.
Yeah, like I was going to wade into that other big event from the past week. Not a chance. Not here. Not now.
Let's get to getting...
Fire Me, Rapidly...
Despite the fact the Birds won and I normally only go rapid fire after losses or games that end after midnight, I'm in a RFM - Rapid Fire Mood.
*Don't look now kids, but the same guy we all had penned (not penciled) in as a bust is more than likely going to his first Pro Bowl. The guy in question is Brandon Graham. Remember when Earl Thomas and Jason Pierre-Paul (two players drafted after Graham in the 2010 NFL Draft) broke onto the scene with a bang? We all lamented how the Eagles screwed up again. Well, for kicks and giggles, I went back to see what was said about BG coming out of college. Here's what NFL.com said about him:
Strengths: He's athletic enough to get to the quarterback and make plays away from him in the running game.
Weaknesses: Scouts question his versatility and ability to stand up and play outside linebacker in a 3-4.
And let's see, ol' Chipper came in and installed what kind of defense? That's right—a 3-4, which forced him to play linebacker. Another shining example that was Chip Kelly.
*Is it possible to take the Eagles first offensive drive and copy and paste that onto every opening drive for the rest of the season? If not eternity? It was, of course, run to near perfection as the Eagles OL manhandled—yes, manhandled, the Falcons DL. And while the Eagles ran for over 200 yards for the entire game, I cannot help but think they could have had more—a lot more. Yet for some reason, Dougie Fresh went all Andy Reid-like (again) and dialed up shotgun plays in the 3Q. Why?
*Remember all the years Eagles fans have been looking for that hard-hitting safety to assume the Brian Dawkins' leadership role? (Paging Earl Thomas). Well, it seems as if the Eagles have had their man all along. Perhaps not in the hard-hitting aspect, but in the leadership, solid-play, lead-by-example fashion? Absolutely. Malcolm Jenkins is all that and more. Spare me the national anthem "stuff" - that has no bearing on how he plays between the lines. And how he plays between the lines is rock solid, week in/week out.
*Tease is a word that has so many connotations, but in the context of the Eagles, there are no bigger teases than Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz. The former will make catch after catch after catch, sometimes in spectacular fashion—yet the one time you need him to make the "big" catch, he fails. As for the latter, he too will make catch after catch, sometimes in spectacular fashion—yet his achilles heel is his brain. How else to explain three - THREE False Start penalties yesterday? Last time I checked, yesterday's game was at The Linc, so crowd noise and not hearing the snap count should not have been a problem. Maybe these two players are the entire Eagles team in a microcosm. At times very good players, yet are not completely reliable, and will very often break your heart.
*NFL Takes Head Injuries Serious. I made that up, but that surely could have been a headline (and maybe in fact is) for yet another bulls$#t story on how the NFL is cracking down - no pun intended, on hits to the head, and defenders leading with their head, and so on. Well, yesterday we saw a vicious, brutal helmet-to-helmet hit yet no penalty was called. Wait, here is an actual headline from USA Today: Referees miss blatant helmet-to-helmet hit by Falcons and Eagles fans lose their minds. Here's the play in question in case you missed it here it is:
As you can see, the Falcons Keanu Neal clearly led with his helmet on the Eagles WR Jordan Matthews, and used it as a battering ram into Matthews' helmet. It was, in fact, the second blown call on the same drive, as the Falcons earlier committed pass interference that went uncalled.
I know we say it every year, but this may be the worst year of officiating. Ever.
“I don't look at no drops, none of that type of sh@t'" he added. "I'm tired of hearing that sh@t. It’s stupid. We play football."
So my guess is he doesn't want to talk about his key drop in yesterday's game then? Too bad. I'm sure he would've have had a great explanation as to why he dropped that 3rd down pass that would have or could have wrapped up the game. But hey, you got the next one, right Nellie?
*I know MQ is no fan of kickers, and I know he missed two FGs yesterday, but I have to give credit to Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis. The kid has had a solid year so far, and has been one of the few constants on the team—other than the aforementioned Graham and Jenkins. I would add Darren Sproles to that list and maybe Rodney McLeod, but no other players in terms of being consistent. Am I missing anyone?
*This was the epitome of an ugly win. But a win nonetheless. It keeps the Eagles playoff hopes alive for at least another week. Next up are the Seahawks in Seattle. Not easy to win on the road in general, and it's even harder to get a W at CenturyLink Field.
One game a time. One game a time.
'Til next time.
As always, time's yours. Food's mine.
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