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Monday, September 29, 2008

Eagles lose

Eagles settle for FG after gtg to red zone earlier in Q4, 21-20. Bears get FG to make game 24-20.

Eagles get the ball for what will end up being the last shot at winning the game. They drive the ball down to the Bears 4, 1st and goal. 2nd and goal at the 1. Stopped 3 more times. Score holds up. Eagles 2-2.

With the Eagles and Cowboys both losing this weekend, it is a reminder that the NFL stands for Not For Long. The Bears offense is never going to scare anybody, so you have to be purposeful and get your points where you can with that Bear defense. If Tommie Harris is healthy that entire team becomes much tougher. The game was winnable for the Eagles, but obvly that was not enough- you have to convert your chances and play 60 minutes vs that team. (Duh, the obvious implied, that the Eagles without Westbrook are a completely different team.)

The Giants don't face the Bears this year, but the lessons are there. There just is not that much difference between ANYONE in the NFL. If you want to win you better play 60 minutes. I think the Skins got extremely lucky, because I did NOT see them play 60 minutes, and yet they still managed to hold on. Let's remember the Giants won their last 9 games last year by the following margins: 3, 6, 5, 3, 17, 10, 3, 4, 3. There was plenty of mental toughness alongside of the physical will, as all of those wins were on the road. (Good thing, as we did not win any at home. Scary.) The Giants play with an urgency on the road that they do not have at home. The offense does not attack all game when they are at home. That will need to change. The Giants are in better position now to stretch their lead before the schedule gets tougher. If they play with urgency and remain healthy they will be very competitive. We saw some warts this weekend from teams like the Eagles and Cowboys. The Giants had a few warts as well vs the Bengals but escaped. Right now there is an opportunity for ~ 8-10 teams to step up and grab this championship. The Giants are in the mix. That's all you can hope for thus far.


Ken said...

Hey, Andy, I'm curious if you have any thoughts on Judy Battista's critique of the Cowboys after their loss to the 'Skins. In today's NY Times she writes that the 'Boys lost because Terrell Owens "and everyone else associated with the Cowboys passing game got the ball too much."

She goes on to write, "Washington loaded up at the line of scrimmage to stop the run. But the Cowboys may have the best offensive line in football, with three Pro Bowl players. Imposing their will is what they do best and because the game was close, there was no reason to ignore Barber (who had just eight carries)."

This seems to run counter to your sentiments after the Giants' near-miss against the Bengals. I didn't watch the 'Boys-'Skins game, and it may be entirely different than the Giants' situation against the Bengals, but do you think Battista is off-base in her assessment of why the 'Boys lost to the 'Skins? Did Dallas do what they needed to do, but just not well enough?

Andy F. said...

As I mentioned in yday's post, I did not see enough of the game to make comments beyond what I saw. The most striking feature for me was that I saw 'prevent' from the redskins on two separate occasions (one before the half and the other when they were up by 9). So I cannot comment directly as to what Batista saw.

I just read Batista's column, and you have to take Jason Garrett at his word... sounds to me like the skins did to the boys exactly what the Bengals did to us... and that means YOU PASS THE BALL AND BEAT THEM. Remember, it is Witten and TO and that is it. TO is their only legit passing threat. Crayton is average at best. So if the skins routinely showed 8-9 men in the box to stop the run, then you have to be able to execute in the passing game and find TO in single coverage. Otherwise the math does not add up. Because if they have 8 men in box and TO is gtg help over the top (which is what Sanders and Mariucci said), then that leaves Crayton in single (bfd)... BUT NOW WITTEN is going to have a LB (or more likely a) safety in the box... and that means Witten will kill you in that situation... he'll run right past the LB and he will outsize/physical the safety near the line. His TD at the end of Q1 beat the LB one on one. From the highlights I saw, it looked like the skins showed 8 in the box and quickly pulled back out of the box after the snap. The stats were very gaudy in favor of the pass, a little too much probably. I'd rather have Crayton or Austin beat me than Jones or Barber. Barber punishes you and wears you down, if the skins pulled it off, kudos to them.

Just like I would expect Gilbride to learn about what to do if the defense tries to take away our running game, I would assume the Cowboys are figuring out what to do as well if given the same hand to play again.

Andy F. said...


copy and paste that link into your browser. in the previous reply that I made here on Sep 29, I remarked that it looked like the skins were showing more 8 man fronts and then quickly backing off into coverage after the snap. That is PRECISELY what they did in this video. The Giants can try this with Kenny Phillips. Just to throw a curve, break tendency, remain harder to read.

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