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Eagles Lose Winnable Game to Giants: The Morning After


Good morning campers,


Yes, it is a good morning despite yet another loss, despite yet another conference loss, despite another division loss. It is still a good morning.


Ah, who am I kidding, this morning sucks. This is really starting to get old boys and girls. This losing, and in the manner which the Eagles are losing, is starting to get old... real fast. NFL betting is on the fritz when it comes to this team. 


This week's TMA will have a little different bent to it, as I was only able to watch the first half. During the second half I was busy with basketball tryouts. No, I was not trying to make the Sixers. I can’t even go there comically.


No, this was for 7th & 8th grade boys and I am one of the coaches, so duty called. Duty also called for Joe Vallee, the beauty, the brawn and the brains of P2P, as he and his co-author Bill Werndl had a signing for their new book No Curveballs.

It‘s a great read, and yes, it makes a great Christmas gift. And no, I am not just saying that, and no, Joe is not paying me to say that.


So here goes an amalgam of a TMA.


First Half Highs and Lows


Obviously, our rookie QB Carson Wentz sure reminded us that he was a rookie. Wentz made two very rookie-esque horrific throws resulting in interceptions. Each one led directly to Giants' touchdowns. Yes, Mr. Wentz redeemed himself for the most part over the rest of the first half, but being down 14-0 in the blink of an eye is hardly the best way to start off a game, let alone one of this magnitude.


Dougie Fresh, my unofficial nickname for Doug Pederson, also reminded us that he too is a rookie—a rookie head coach that is. Lord almighty his play calling was nothing short of mind blowing, as in "I want to blow my brains out watching it." A QB keeper on 4th and 1. Really? And run your smallest RB between the tackles on another 4th and short? Doug... Dougie... Douglass...you are getting dangerously close to living up to the preseason panic that was you would be Andy Reid redux. With play calling like that, all that's left is for you to gain a few hundred pounds, start wearing glasses and say "Gotta do a better job" a lot, and you'll be just like Big Red. Yes, I realize the six points left on the table via not kicking field goals was the difference— at least on the scoreboard. But for the record, I have ZERO PROBLEM with going for it on 4th Down. None. It's the play calling I have issues with.


Tell me again how that was NOT running into the kicker penalty by the Giants in the 1Q. It was a crucial play and point in the game, despite being so early. A penalty would have given the Eagles a first down and potentially a touchdown vs. settling for a field goal. The Zebras are consistent though... consistently bad.


You know the phrase "cutting corners?" Well, with this Eagles team, it takes on multiple meanings. From what I saw in the first half (as well as other games this year), it would appear that the Eagles should be cutting some corners—literally, but should be doing so figuratively. In other words, don't sign the cheapest free agent cornerbacks out there—but then again, we also don't want another Byron Maxwell on our hands, either. Regardless, it appears that the position of cornerback, in addition to other positions (wide receiver anyone?) is in desperate need for an upgrade this offseason.


I will say this though—As a whole, the defense is light years ahead of the offense. Yes, they missed Benny Logan the past few weeks, but when healthy their front seven is pretty darn good. And their safeties are above average as well. It's that other position—yes, that means you Leodis McKelvin, where the problems arise.


Who else was saying "Josh who?" after watching Bryce Treggs haul in that bomb from Wentz in the first half? The kid can fly. Period. Yes, catching helps, too—especially on this team. But just the fact that he can stretch the field and keep an opposing defense honest is good enough for me.


Second Half Ughs


As I mentioned previously I did not see any of the second half, relying solely on updates from MQ via text. Among his messages was this succinct gem: Agholor blows. He didn't elaborate, but then again, he really didn't need to. And quite frankly, that text is applicable to pretty much every game ol' Nelly has played in.


Before I hand it off to Joe, literally, for his take...I think it's time we dial back our expectations to reality level. Starting off 3-0 has proven to be fool's gold. Yes, one of the Ws came against the Steelers, but they were without Le'Veon Bell. But go back to what you predicted for wins for the Eagles before the season started. Me? I had them at 5-11 or 6-10 at best. I don't know how this season will ultimately play out. No one does, but it's time to take off the green sunglasses and come to grips with the reality that is this Eagles team.


Ok, that's all I got for this week.


Over to you, Joe.



Thanks Steve.

 Brett Brown photo: NESN.com

For the record, not only do you have the height to make the Sixers, but you could probably draw up a plan for closing the end of a game better than Brett Brown can. For the first time in years, there’s some legitimate talent on that squad, but once again, the team can’t hold a lead. Whose fault is it? I’m beginning to think it’s the Bostralian’s fault, but I digress.


Anyway, in between looking up for brief moments from signing books, talking to the nice people kind enough to come out and buy a copy, and writing them all nice messages for doing so, I honestly have gathered the same input that you so accurately stated above. I’ll be brief. Here it goes:


Personally, I also have no issue with “Big Balls Doug” going for it on 4th Down. Two times? Hmm, at least once. Like you, however, I have more of an issue with the plays he called. Pederson had his second straight bad week with his clipboard. And like you, I’m seriously getting horrible Andy Reid-like vibes. I’ll stop watching this team before I deal with that nonsense again. I dealt with it for 14 years. That was enough. Only so much punishment is allowed.


For decades, I insisted that the Cubs would win the World Series before the Eagles won the Super Bowl. That came true this week. And while I really am happy for the franchise and their century-long suffering fans, I don’t need to hear “Go Cubs Go!” anymore. They won. Good. Five million at the parade. Nice. You’re not lovable losers anymore. Let’s end another streak: Ours. Does Theo Epstein know football? No matter what, he probably would get along better with the 49ers front office than Howie Roseman does. Wonder why that is, but I digress.Cubs parade photo: joyofsox.blogspot.com


I’m not going to make this a Roseman bashing session. Historically, the Eagles have been horrid at evaluating wide receivers—long before Jeffrey Lurie’s boy came to town. That being said, I’m not going to go praising Bryce Treggs just yet, but there’s no denying that he looked good on Sunday. No, he’s not the ideal 6’2” physical presence who can outmuscle defenders and actually run a route, but I’m just resigned to the fact that Eagles fans will probably never see this kind of play from a standout WR again—only from opposing WRs who embarrass our pathetic secondary week after week.


Perhaps that’s why it didn’t faze me that Jordan Matthews failed to bring down a catch on that final drive that would have won the game for the Birds. Remember when Davy Jones got the girl every week on The Monkees, and somebody wasn’t happy about it? It got real predictable after a while, and so is the maddeningly inconsistent play of our wideouts. Winning teams run down that field after an INT, which I facetiously called—minus the whole “Eagles lost the game” part— and shove it down the throat of the opposing team. Not our guys.


Simply put: This Birds team is not  ready for prime time. Some of this also falls on Wentz, who recently only seems to find his groove when the team happens to be trailing. We knew going into the season that it would be a learning process for our rookie coach and QB. Forget about the 3-0 start. Fool’s gold indeed.


Maybe I’m being too hard on the team in general, but when you hire the “safe” choice for a head coach, because your team’s GM has an inferiority complex, and his owner has no idea how to run a football team, you’re not going to get miracles. That only happens in New England—home of deflated footballs and video spy equipment.


Before I go, I’ll run these five “constants” by you.


1. No legitimate wide receivers.

2. A less-than average secondary.

3. Predictable head coaching.

4. Ownership.

5. No Super Bowls.


There’s a pattern here, boys and girls. I’m over it. Perhaps more so than this stinking election, and that’s saying something.


And that's the perspective of a writer watching parts of an Eagles game, while signing copies of a book that I hope you will all purchase and like.


Steve, I’ll leave the closing to you.


Thanks Joe.


'Til next time.


As always, time's yours. Food's mine.


Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski



Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com



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Brett Brown photo: NESN.com

Cubs parade photo: joyofsox.blogspot.com