Monday, December 20, 2010

The Lengthiest GCOBB Post Yet

My Thoughts Eagles/Giants by

I’m not exactly sure where to start. After the Eagles monumental comeback against the New York Giants on Sunday, I couldn’t text or call anyone. I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. Just what exactly can you say after the Eagles dropped four touchdowns on a high-quality division opponent on the road in less than eight minutes? I think it was as surreal for Eagles fans as it was for Giants fans, who watched their 21-point fourth quarter lead melt away like candle wax.

It had to be like a bad dream for the Giants. The kind where you can’t run no matter how hard you try. I don’t know what it is about Eagles/Giants games in New Jersey, but something funky always happens. I’m still sitting here with my jaw on the ground.

But, let’s look at the game:
What I liked…

-I like that Michael Vick can play three quarters or so with absolutely zero of his magic, and then turn it on at a moment’s notice. The offense was dead and lifeless for almost the entire game and then it was like a hot knife through butter. Every time they kept showing his stats, they were awful. 70-or-so yards with an INT. And then you look at the end of the game and he’s thrown for 242 yards, three TD’s, ran for 130 yards and ran one in. Once he started running, the Giants might as well have gone home. They were the kind of runs that not only get you a lot of yardage, but absolutely deflate a defense.

-But, let’s emphasize that a little more. How big was the third-and-10 run from underneath the shadows of his own goal posts at the end of the game? You almost have to feel sorry for any opposing defense because you just can’t defend that (then again, why is Aaron Ross blitzing to the inside there? Don’t you have a TV at home? Ever seen this guy before?).

-As my buddy, my cousin and I sank into the couch watching this debacle, I’m proud to say that when the Eagles were still down by 14, I said, “Don’t forget we got the Miracle at the Meadowlands stuff that tends to happen.” Of course it fell on deaf ears, no one wants to hear that stuff when your team is in the midst of a good ol’ fashioned. But, yes, we have the Miracle at the Meadowlands III. First it was Herman Edwards, then Brian Westbrook in 2003….now this (you can include Clyde Simmons’ FG return in OT in 1988 if you like).

I love how the Eagles bottled up the run for the most part. Not only are the Giants a run-first team, but they played with a hefty lead the entire game. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined for 100 yards. When you are trying to choke a team out? That’s no good.

-The wheels really came off of Eli’s wagon at the end, huh? He was brilliant all day, and then he was way off target to finish the game.

-I hate watching him gash the Eagles, but I am a huge Hakeem Nicks fan.

-And how good is Justin Tuck? From a football point of view I hate this, but from an Eagles point of view it was great. Why on Earth would you have Tuck, who has been up in Vick’s face all day, drop back into coverage on Brent Celek? Watch Celek’s TD again and look who the underneath guy is. Why?

-I know I say this all the time and it’s only because I mean it. How good is David Akers? Strong kickoffs, pinpoint accuracy on field goals, and one of the best onside kicks I’ve ever seen. Yes, the end result was brilliant because the Giants’ ignored Tom Coughlin’s memo to watch for the onside kick and it looked like child’s play. But that kick was spot on. I’ve watched other kickers these past few weeks demonstrate their skills at it and it’s horrific. If Akers airmails that ball into the sideline then we aren’t talking about how great this game was today.

-I’m thinking Colt Anderson was a great find. One of the few guys that does something on kickoff coverage.
-Jason Avant does it all. Once he popped Zak DeOssie on DeSean’s punt return, the rise in Joe Buck’s voice told the story of the Giants’ demise. Avant pretty much never will get the Monday headlines, but he’s a crucial cog in the wheel.

-DeSean tried to do the right thing at the end of the run. I know people want to say he was showboating, but I have to believe that in a game like this, he really was trying to make sure the clocks were at zero. I guess I can’t blame people for assuming that he was showing off, he does have a propensity for it.
-I’m coming around on Moises Fokou.

-I liked that I was able to go back and DVR the fourth quarter (I hadn’t changed the channel and it let me go back. In general, I hate this DVR, it’s crap). I watched the fourth quarter again last night around midnight. And you really have to go back and do that to really remember the despair. It was awful. I felt that “this entire team was not ready to play today” feeling all over again. The win is so amazing when you consider the feeling of the first three and a half quarters.

…and not so much…

-I apologize in advance that this section will be pretty long considering how great of a win this was. But for all but about eight minutes of game time, the Eagles were thoroughly outclassed by a very good Giants team.
-I spoke too soon. I was telling my friend before the game how happy I was with the play of Dimitri Patterson. He was absolutely garbage on Sunday. He was getting lit up all over the place.

-And what was with the first-half defense? In general in football, if you can stay in third-and-manageable, you are in good shape. And if you are in third-and-long situations, you are probably screwed. The Eagles had the Giants in third-and-way-too-much for most of the first half and couldn’t get off the field. C’mon.

-I don’t have strong enough words for what happened at the end of the first half. Anyone that blames Jeremy Maclin is missing the point. You have about 80 yards to go with 40-some seconds on the clock. It is not happening! No good can come of throwing a 10-yard slant to Maclin. The upside simply does not exist. You are down 17-3. Take the ball and go into the locker room. I was yelling at the television as soon as they lined up with a real play. Take a knee. This was beyond brainless and could have (should have) cost you a football game. Stupid. And I thought it was stupid before disaster struck.

-I don’t blame Andy Reid for not challenging the DeSean Jackson fumble. There is no way that he was getting good information. I would love to know who is in charge of seeing that replay and communicating with Reid. Awful. That’s a huge play at the end of a game. What did he have to lose? One of his precious timeouts that he takes such poor care of on a week-to-week basis? The only thing I blame Reid for is not throwing the flag just on a wild guess considering the magnitude of the play. Someone has to do a better job of telling Reid to throw the flag, and I’m not exactly sure who it is.

-The offensive line annoyed me pretty well Sunday, but I do have to remember that the Giants front four isn’t filled with a bunch of bums.

-Jamar Chaney….what are you doing? That offsides penalty was just plain dumb, and why did you peel off of Kevin Boss and let him run into the back of the end zone? Not his fault that he’s a rookie, but dude….c’mon.
-Another safety is out? Awesome. Getting pretty thin back there after Nate Allen busted a tendon in his knee.
-Can we do anything about kickoff returns? Jorrick Calvin just isn’t the guy and I don’t believe there is anyone on this roster that can do it. Starting every drive at the 21-yard line is a huge disadvantage when…
-…Your kickoff coverage can’t pin anyone. Other teams are starting at the 35-yard line and the Eagles start at their own 20. That’s a big problem.

-I don’t like that people are blaming Matt Dodge for losing the game. Are you people brainless? You give up a 21-point lead with less than eight minutes to play and you are blaming a rookie punter that – sadly – everyone knows isn’t very good to begin with. You could even argue that if DeSean fields that punt cleanly that he would have been dead to rights. Still, what would the Giants have paid Sean Landeta to come out for just one last punt?

-I don’t understand how Jonathan Goff could be so careful with Vick on the sidelines on one play (he clearly pulled up and didn’t want to shove him out of bounds) and then some two plays or so later give him an all-out blast while he had almost two full feet in the white. Cautious and stupid all over the course of a few plays.
-What’s with all the batted balls at the line of scrimmage? That’s pretty annoying.

-Mario Manningham is a very talented player, but he’s also a chowderhead. How do you not take better care of the football at that point? He handed the Eagles a turnover. It should also be noted that several Giants beat writers have said that Manningham drives Eli nuts. Apparently, he struggles with option routes and isn’t always doing what he’s supposed to be doing. That was apparent on that play. Focus, dude.

Okay, I’ll lay off of this for now. I have to. The entire NFL now has to think, ‘at what point is this team really out of a game?!’ I think it’s safe to say that we’ll all remember where we were when we watched (or didn’t watch….I know some people like to head to the garage or outside for yard work when it gets this bad) the Miracle at the Meadowlands III. I don’t care that it’s a new stadium, why let facts get in the way of a good narrative?

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