Patterson was also all over the field on Sunday night, penetrating and causing all kind of havoc mostly to the Giant run game. Granted, the Giants run game is putrid, especially Brandon Jacobs, who was slow three years ago, and now just looks like a large old man gingerly probing into the line. But still, the physicality and quickness of Patterson was striking and impressive this past week. Not to mention, Trevor Laws has been getting in the act as of late, creating pressure up the middle. Even Derek Landri has made for a nice addition. He had a great camp, and has been solid ever since the Dixon injury. He even quite athletically (at least for a DT) recovered the Manning fumble to win the game.
So overall, a monster effort from the DTs this past week. More than any group, they were most responsible for the victory and are shaping into a nice group. Hopefully they can sustain this kind of physical domination (Wait, what the hell am I saying? This is the Eagles for Christ sake. They’ll probably get thrashed by a non-existent Pats run game this week. Remember, no logic applies to this team from week to week).
2. Pass Wackiness Watch: Remember when the Eagles were completely balanced against the rather good Cowboy defense? Well, this resulted in an absolute clinic on the Cowboy defense. Of course, this was all thrown out the window the following two weeks, and mild pass wackiness against the Bears led to complete and total pass wackiness against the Cardinals. Not surprisingly, both losses.
This past week, largely due to the absence of Vick, the Eagles were again nicely balanced, 40 passes and 30 runs. Additionally, completely unlike Reid teams, they stayed with the run despite limited effectiveness early. Andy, you know what this did? It kept the Giants honest and they largely keyed on stopping McCoy, which opened up things for Vince Young in the passing game, and also, limited the intensity of the pass rush. Wow, this is a novel concept. It is remarkable to me that a man who has studied football his whole life, played major college football (on the line no less), coached in the NFL for almost 20 years, cannot see the correlation between his team’s offensive balance and their success, and alternatively, their continued failure when dreaded pass wackiness takes over. Well, wait no longer folks as the Pats struggle stopping the pass, and well, here we go again….
3. Linebackers: I cannot remember the last time Eagles linebackers have played better than this past week. As discussed previously, Rolle and Chaney appear to have very good instincts and tools to boot (despite Rolle being a little undersized). Well, this was on full display this past week, as Rolle and Chaney were around the ball all night long. Rolle particularly shows great recognition, and just fires towards the ball. The rather underrated Collinsworth touched on this a few times in discussing the replays. Also, if you haven’t noticed, my favorite whipping boy Moise “The Phantom” Fokou has finally been replaced after three long years of mysteriously doing absolutely friggin’ nothing. Literally, nothing. It was an amazing run Moises, congratulations. Akeem Jordan took over, and played rather solidly, at least having his hand in a few plays. Granted, the Eagles are still in need of a upgrade at LB, but adding a stud prospect or even a solid free agent to Rolle and Chaney could make for a heck of a group next year.
4. Vince Young is not Dan Marino: I can just see it already, the WIP cretins calling for Young over Vick. Look, there is no doubt Young has a certain mojo when it comes to 4th quarter comebacks, some guys have this and it’s obviously a great thing to have. Really, I think this has to do with a supreme confidence in being able to get it done, which no doubt was probably instilled in Young early, both in high school and certainly in college at Texas, and probably can be sensed by his teammates in these moments, which no doubt helps. But, confidence can also be a problem. For instance, Charles Manson was no doubt very confident in himself and this was obviously not a very good thing. Obviously, this is a VERY extreme example (sorry Vince), but you get the point. Confidence can only get you so far and delusion can get you into trouble. So, this would be my advice to Eagles fans: let’s not get delusional. 4th quarter comebacks are great, but unfortunately (despite the Eagles M.O. this year) all games are not won in the 4th quarter in the NFL. Young’s mechanics are just plain brutal and his arm strength is surprisingly limited, and this is not likely to win you games consistently in the NFL (Case in point: the jump ball moon balls all night long when single coverage was begging to be beaten). However, to his credit, Young’s decision making was very good, and he looked to the right spots on the field all night long and this was more than I thought he was capable of. Maybe Vick (and Andy) can learn from this. In order to beat a team like the Pats, the Eagles will certainly need them to. But, let’s not get confused. Vick needs to play (and play better) for this team to succeed.
5. Desean carries himself like an 18 year old boy (and not just physically): Look, I love Desean. He is amazingly exciting when he is engaged and on. Probably right up there with any Eagle in history as far as excitement. But, he is also dreadfully immature. Despite being a little melodramtic, Collinsworth and Michaels were right on Sunday night. Jackson needs to grow the fuck up, and he did himself a huge deservice on Sunday. Yes, did he make some huge plays and help get the win? Sure. But, he looked like a petulant child in the process and only highlighted the fact that he has not been bringing it at all this season, and probably costing his team victories in the process.
Think NFL owners will be lining up to pay this guy like Larry Fitzgerald after that? Granted, owners always surprise me with their ability to blow money, but I doubt this is the case. Here’s a note of advice to Jackson: Be an adult and recognize what you are, a speedy playmaking receiver on the order of say a Santonio Holmes (in fact a little better). Take this type of contract and end this nonsense. Something tells me the Eagles would do this in a heartbeat (or perhaps would have), but Rosenhaus has convinced Jackson he is on par with the best receivers in the league. Well, you’re not, because you’re only 5’9″. Just accept it. Stop being delusional as to your value. Until he does, he’s clearly going to be a problem. I blame the Eagles for this as well. You cannot have players like Jackson in this situation. Didn’t they learn this with TO? Sometimes certain mercurial players are worth giving a little extra to keep them happy, and this probably could have been resolved long ago. Trouble is, we may be too far gone now and they are 4-6. Way to stick to your guns Eagles, it only cost us a season. In other words, shit or get off the pot with Jackson, as this “wait and see” approach with diva receivers clearly doesn’t work.
So, where does this leave us? Who the fuck knows. This team is as unpredictable as weather patterns. I wouldn’t be surprised if they blew out the Patriots or got blown out. But, at least we have life for one more week.