Monday, October 09, 2006

Week 4: Eagles 38, Cowboys 24 (2-2)

The following must pass as my notes from Philadelphia’s big stand against your beloved Cowboys:

• The easiest way to sum up the events of Sunday will be this way: The Eagles QB was significantly better than the Cowboys QB. It is that simple. Easily the most important position on the field, and to have that big a discrepancy between the two teams when the other principle members of each team are generally playing each other to a push…Well, you know what happened.

• Bledsoe was horrid. He has to be better. No one will ever suggest that his job was easy on Sunday as you could no doubt put a long list together of Quarterbacks who have looked horrid in Philadelphia, but the game was there for the taking and to leave so many points on the field is not acceptable at this level.

• I would like to hereby stall any proclamations that the Cowboys offensive line is up to snuff. Frankly, they have done a great job for the year, but yesterday was a day where they were overpowered by an Eagles team that was obsessed with causing havoc. They did it with relative ease in the second half when the Cowboys were in passing downs. This is not to say they weren’t fighting hard and that they were not accomplishing anything because they really opened up some nice holes for the runners. But, this is another case of a road game in the NFC East where Drew Bledsoe was under assault for the entire afternoon. Just like last December in Washington and New York.

• Mat McBriar is an amazing punter. Would have liked to see him do more with that poor snap in the 1st Quarter than the panic move, but let’s agree that he is clearly pro-bowl caliber.

• Now, to the defense. You can make the case I should start with these guys, but for whatever reason, I started with Bledsoe. I imagine the newspaper guys and the callers will do the same thing. But if that defense is supposedly the leader of this thing, and if that defense has received each of the last 7 1st round picks on this team, and if that defense fancies itself somewhere between the 2000 Ravens and the 1985 Bears then I should hope that they could impact the game with a little more strength than what we saw there. Lots of big plays to wide receivers that nobody knows. Greg Lewis? Reggie Brown? Some guy named Baskett? Sorry. Unimpressed. Until I watched the game. Now I am wondering if they are better than the Colts. Not a good day for the secondary. If you are going to allow Donovan McNabb and his band of merry spares to hit big play (LJ Smith for 60 yards) after big play (Baskett for 87) after big play (flea flicker to Reggie Brown) well then I am going to say you are not a great defense. You knew the offense of the Cowboys was going to have to deal with Trotter, Dawkins, and the crew. But you had to believe the Boys defense could have done better than that.

• So Shaun Suisham’s only job is to kick off and he can’t get it in the endzone? Couldn’t Vanderjagt do that?

• What if Andy Reid and Bill Parcells were matched up in a physical fitness contest? Just wondering. Incidentally, 60% of all Eagles fans look like they are related to Reid. Cheesesteaks are not a health food.

• DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis teamed up for a huge defensive touchdown midway through the 2nd Quarter. That seemed like the last time McNabb got hit. Either Philadelphia really changed up their protection schemes or the Cowboys burned themselves out early. To dominate on defense you must pressure the QB on occasion.

• So, did Philadelphia shut down Terrell? In some respects, yes. Brian Dawkins was bringing the double team on T.O. almost every play. But, dang, there were openings and Bledsoe could not get him the ball. If the passes were there, I see no reason why Owens wouldn’t have had 100 yards and a touchdown. He was open at the 5 when Bledsoe had one of the worst under-throws in NFL history. But now we are left to wonder why we all spent so much time pondering a) which celebration would he utilize and b) which bones would the Eagles break. At the end of the day, he was just another player on the field who had a moderate impact on the game.

• Patrick Watkins looked like a rookie today. Of course, on a few plays so did Roy Williams. Not a very good day for safeties in the bad luck Blues.

• Darren Howard was dominating. Darwin Walker was great. Trent Cole was solid. Or, the Cowboys OL was really bad. Same difference.

• Brian Dawkins is on the brink of being Hall of Fame material in my book. Never cared for his teams, but does anyone consistently look better in big games than him?

• I honestly thought McNabb was amazing. I still say 2005 went south primarily because he was never right health-wise. But now, he seems to be on a mission and if forced to vote right now, I believe he has to be in the MVP mix as strongly as pretty much anyone. Especially given his supporting cast. His throws today were uncommonly good, and clearly he was up for one of the biggest games of his career, and surely the biggest in the regular season.

• Generally, you won’t win road games when scoring just 3 points in the entire second half.

• Generally, you won’t win road games when surrendering 21 points in the second half.

• I really find Eagles Fans to be drunk, belligerent, mean, and frightening. But, if I am the Eagles organization, I wouldn’t change a thing (outside of trying to stop the violence). You wouldn’t believe this city when there is a big game like this. Everywhere you go, everyone is completely decked out in their Eagles gear. Everyone. It seems like a cult. And I have a feeling that you are not allowed to like any other team if you are born here for fear of your well-being.

• Is this a disaster? Nah. If you thought the Cowboys would sweep Philadelphia in your season projections then have another beer. This went exactly as the percentages would indicate. These road games early are not going to be easy, but now home games against Houston and the Giants await. Win those, and you sit at 4-2 heading to your biggest road trip of the season. No worries, but obviously the play of today is proof that we should all simmer down on the Cowboys being ready to make a Super Bowl push. They have plenty of issues to sort through before we fit them for rings.

27 comments:

P1 Eric in McKinney said...

Damn Bob. This is Eaaaaaaaaaarly. Generic business men like me that are in the office early love this.

Oh yeah, first, and gay?

Holmes said...

No Merkin, but Turduckin!

Kipster198 said...

P1 Eric..... Generic business men that work out of their house love it too....

And, on to the game... Did the Cowboys have any cornerbacks on the field yesterday? I don't seem to remember seeing more than 2 passes caught against a cornerback (except for the ocassional 6 yard out where they were backed off against a deep route). I still have to think that the Cowboys corners are some of the best in the league. Now, if only Watkins and Williams could cover someone...

Brad said...

Many thanks to Bob for pointing out the defense.

wait, what defense?

All people seem to want to talk about is Bledsoe.

Talk about that crappy D. What a bunch of spares making big plays. I think I caught a 40+ yarder yesterday too....

P1 Eric in McKinney said...

Let me make one point regarding the cowboys game now that I've got the obligatory first and gay post out of the way.

I have been torn for weeks between the two camps regarding Bledsoe. One camp says put in Romo. The othe seemingly more logical camp says to in no way do you play Romo as he has never started a game (true), and could be worse than Bledso, and that this team was built for a Superbowl run, not a team trying to establish a new quarterback.

OK, I used to agree with the latter crowd, but now I know for sure that Bledsoe isn't the answer, and here is how I know why. Imagine any important game, Superbowl, NFC title game, last game of the year to make the playoffs, whatever. The cowboys are in the last couple of minutes of the 4th quarter and need a score to win or tie. Fairly likely scenario right? All I can think of happening is one of two things. Bledsoe being pressured and sacked, or Bledsoe being pressured and turning the ball over via the fumble or interception. I mean, that is the ONLY scenario I can see happening.

Couple that with the fact that Bledso is now 7-7 in his last 14 games and has 17 touchdowns and 20 interceptions along with 46 sacks. Who knows how many fumbles he has as well.

Now, to the who starting a new and unproven quarterback. It seems to me that San Diego is doing a pretty good job easing a new promising and talented quarterback into the position while winning at the same time, and they are doing it by running the ball effectively, and playing outstanding defense. Dallas has the ability to do both of those well. Sure, probably not as well as San Diego, but I think they can run the ball and play great defense, which leads me to the defense.....

What a stinker. Roy Williams get smoked again. Well, thats not accurrate, he didn't get beat as much as he took a terrible angle. It doesn't matter, the result is the same, a wide receiver getting behind Roy in the endzone for a TD, an all too familiar site.

Even though the defense had a stinker of a game in the second half, I truly believe in this defense and believe it will come around as the year rolls on. They are extremely deep, and that will serve them well as we get deeper into a long NFL season.

In summary, Drew Bledsoe needs to get benched, and the sooner the better. The stats clearly show this team hovers around .500 with him. I doubt that the team would do much worse with Tony Romo behind center. Yes, he will make mistakes, bad ones. But you know what, I think he can also make plays too, and when they need him.

I wonder if my post was longer than Bob's Blog?

Anonymous said...

The COWBOYS found a way to ruin a gr8t sports trifecta weekend. THANKS!! Hooked 'Em on Saturday, STARS sent Lags and the Devils back to the Jersey cess pool. Now this.

Sean in Garland

Andy Douthitt said...

Cowboy game...

You can analyze and talk about plays, sacks, secondary brainfreezes, ridiculous blitzes, etc. but...

You can throw that all away with a TD pass in the final 30 seconds. You can throw that all away with 4 downs to get it into OT. You can throw it all away with a simple touchdown when you have 1st and Goal at the 7 yard line.

Instead, on 2nd and goal, you throw it to THE OTHER TEAM AND, GAME OVER!!!!!!!! I ALMOST THREW MY TV ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF MY 2 AND A HALF YEAR OLD SON, but I refrained. Drew, give me a clutch pass please, just one in your current and still brief Cowboy career.

Didn't happen. That's it. Unbelievable. Very upset, but we can still turn it around. We still have the squad to do it.

Greatmondo said...

Parcells trusts his "Boys" way too much. He did this with Vinny and Bledsoe. Every road game he starts with these guys throwing the ball 10 times in a row before running it. I don't know why he thinks these guys are all world.

Remember Quincy Carter? Remember how Parcells would "contain" him by utilizing the playaction, run game, and dump offs to RBs and TEs? Why doesn't he do the same to Bledsoe? Clearly he is better than Carter, but if we ballance out the offense more, we will limit his mistakes. Why does Parcells open up the offense with Bledsoe on the road? Especially in the last 2min going into the half. Bledsoe is dreadful in the those situations. 9x out of 10, he will get hit and fumble or throw an INT. Why does Parcells do this when Bledsoe does it everytime?

I can't believe Greggo and Norm couldn't put the majority of blame on Bledsoe and the coaching staff. Parcells and Zimmer were not good yesterday.

How do you call a 5 wr set with a blitzing D on your own end of the field? When are we gonna install audibles that Bledsoe can call, or be smart enough to call, that change the WR/TE routes to quick slants, screens, or just shorter routes? Why did we not run the ball more when the Eagles could not stop it?

Zimmer continues to let me down. You do not leave a rookie FS, 1 on 1, on the road, against one of the best QBs today. Sue Watkins took a bad angle, and Ellis missed a sack, but still. Also where were the LB blizes? It seemed like a typical 4 man rush and 4 man contain, alll day.

Gross game.

Anonymous said...

The best thing that could happen now is for Bledsoe to get hurt so that Romo could play for a while. If he does alright, then the job is his.

On another note, the Stars looked good. Mike Ribeiro looked a little like Pierre Turgeon in his prime. That could really help the power play down the line if he can stay healthy. I know its early, but this looks like a great trade.

Baby arm

The Man said...

The Cowboys corner can cover, the safeties cannot. It's that simple. We have probably the best trio of corners in the league, but when our safeties are required to cover somebody, it usually results in a big play. Everyone knows this, so why the hell would you run a corner blitz?

I understand Bledsoe was trying to make a play, but isn't it basic football knowledge that you don't hold the ball for 10 seconds?

Anonymous said...

How do you call a 5 wr set with a blitzing D on your own end of the field?

well, the idea is that they either back out of the blitz to cover the spread formation or you burn 'em because someone will be left wide open. the only problem is that you need at least 2 seconds to throw the ball. apparantly that's too much to ask from Flozell and Co.

it's hard to defend Bledsoe, especially when he threw an iffy pass with 2 more downs and plenty of time left. BUT, the dude was getting his ass kicked yesterday. and if you want to look at what the Eagles have that the Cowboys don't have, it's an awesome O-Line. their line was the difference. if Dallas had applied the same pressure to McNabb that was applied to Bledsoe, they would have won. in the first half, Dallas did that and they had the lead. Philly sustained the pressure throughout the end of the game, and they adjusted their protection to nullify the Dallas pass rush.

Bash Bledsoe and the coaches all you want. but, the real problem is the multiple brain farts they commit on blitz pick-ups. Kyle Kosier is a douchebag and Marco Rivera just looks old and slow.

in the words of Flo,
OLE!

Arthur

Brad said...

People actually want to talk hockey?? OK!

Well I was at the game...and what I saw from Ribeiro was a couple of bone-head plays with the puck, and a lack of hustle at times. Then he gets a great assist.

Same thing with Lindros. He looked like he was freaking brain dead out there half the time, then he scores a goal. Which by the way, if you told me Lindros would still be on his skates and have a goal in the 2nd game of the year, back when we signed him, I would've been elated.

All that said...the rest of the team played with some grit. TOOK TOO MANY STUPID PENALTIES. You watch folks...this is really going to be a problem this year.

Tough road trip to start the season coming up starting thursday...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah the line sucks but....is there another qb in the league that stands there longer doing nothing more than Bledose? I put half the sacks on the line, half on Drew. He is absolutely painful to watch when he is getting pressured.

*Note to Drew - you do not have to pat the ball before you throw.

*Note to Ticket - Pregame show great - Post game show not so good.

Bob,

Couldn't agree with you more on McBriar. I watch all the generic spare Cowboy shows on Sunday, I fight (and I do mean fight) through Mickey's ranch reports, I listen to the Ticket as much as I can - I've never heard this question asked....Why don't they try McBriar on kickoffs? He appears to have an incredibly strong leg. If he can kickoff you also don't lose that coveted roster spot that Bill likes to waste on 5th string linebackers or tight ends.

Thank you Bob, you're my only hope.

anon in ftw

jasun said...

"Brian Dawkins is on the brink of being Hall of Fame material in my book. Never cared for his teams, but does anyone consistently look better in big games than him?""

If this isn't a Larry King scattershot, I dont know what is...

Anonymous said...

The reason the Cowboys are starting Bledsoe over Romo is because Bledsoe will not make the stupid, rookie mistakes that Romo would. Romo would turn the ball over too much, would try to force the ball in the red zone, would way underthrow wide open recievers, would stand there forever and take a sack instead of throwing the ball away (or trying to make a play), would get an intentional grounding penalty when he had no pressure on him...oh wait...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight Brad. Maybe we have enough leadership this year to fix the penalty problem. I saw the Daley penalty and thought it was well taken. I must have missed some of the others. Were they the standard Robidas getting beat behind the net so he holds kind of stuff? What makes you think it will be an ongoing problem?

merkin

Observer said...

For all of the million things that went wrong yesterday, the bottom line is that we were a first-and-goal-at-the-7 away from going to OT and probably beating the Eagles in Philly. That's the 3-1 incredibly pumped-up Eagles on the road.

We can't win 'em all, but I'm a lot more optimistic now about 11-5 or 10-6 than I was before the Eagles game, which everyone in their right mind wrote off as a loss before the season started.

I bet we win the next two home games rather easily, and all will be well. Bledsoe would've looked a lot better yesterday if we had called for quick slants when an imminent blitz is obvious. What happened to the king of the slant route, T. O.?

Bledsoe isn't McNabb, but his numbers are going to be solid by the end of the season. He's no Quincy.

Anonymous said...

I thought the defense looked pretty good minus Pat Watkins and Roy Williams. If they could cover and McBriar could hold on to a punt the Cowboys could have had a chance yesterday.

Troy was talking ab how this defense didn't really have holes--ya it does and it is at safety.

Ware is a freaking monster, I love that guy.

Anonymous said...

Stop Ripping Bledsoe. He's only the 27th rated passer in the league.

Anonymous said...

"Well I was at the game...and what I saw from Ribeiro was a couple of bone-head plays with the puck, and a lack of hustle at times. Then he gets a great assist. Same thing with Lindros. He looked like he was freaking brain dead out there half the time, then he scores a goal. Which by the way, if you told me Lindros would still be on his skates and have a goal in the 2nd game of the year, back when we signed him, I would've been elated."

Why all the new playa hatin'? I was pleasantly suprised by Mickey Ribs, who definately has more than a bag, and if you can't see Lindros' talent out there, I don't know what to tell you. I'm not really sure what horrendus play bugged you about him. You wanna bag on someone, how about no-D Jokinen. Just watch how difficult it is to take the puck from Miettinen along the boards vs. Jokinen. It's comical. Maybe that's why Ott took his place on Modano's line late into the game. And Daley...talk about taking a step back. He makes almost as many bad plays as he does good ones. Sydor has lost a step too.

If anything, I'd like to see more of a Morrow-Modano(Ribeiro)-Lindros line. I think Eric would work better with a little more offensive-minded center. They haven't looked that bad together on the PP. Halpern just doesn't seem to click as well with them.

All in all, I think we'll be alright. Keep the positivity!

Just my 2 cents.

p1dean said...

I love Uncle Rico, but this was his worse loss as a Cowboy. That was QCar style screw ups...just awful.

Lets see, Parcells doesn't want TO on team, doesn't want to involve him in the game...Bledsoe not comfortable throwing to TO...When thrown at, TO drops half of passes, the other half are woefully short, or intercepted...Looks like the powderkeg is primed and ready...

BTW...did anyone else see the conspiring between Vanderjackoff and TO? I'll bet a million bucks the cocky kicker was telling him that he wouldn't have underthrown that ball. (he is like 6'4", and could play quarterback.

p1dean

JHM said...

Seems to me that Westbrook was the biggest decoy on the field--not T.O. as per JJTAYLOR. Two rushes, the 2nd resulting in the fumble. Then he disappears! Are the Eagles coaches watching Parcells' show with Brendon "Babe" on SUN morn? TUNA said that he expected to "see a lot of Westbrook". Quote my quote. Start-to-finish: 2-play drive;4-play drive; 4-plays; 1-play; 1-play. INT for TD. Q.E.D. Everything PHL did was to set up the big play. No? PHL coaches knew they couldn't move the sticks and control T.O.P. Watkins got played big time, as did the secondary, but I believe learning has taken place. Better early in the year say we hopeful. THE COWBOYS WERE OUT-GAMEPLANNED.--JHM

Brad said...

Anonymous Stars posters....

I agree with you about no-D Jokkinen...

Lindros looked pretty pedestrian to me much of the night, and at least twice let someone by him, or the puck, because he seemed to be checking out the blond sitting in the glass.

I want Lindros to use his very considerable size and strength in the middle on the power play. something he was shying away from the other night. I dont know if he's just lost over there on the wing or what... but if he scores a goal every two games, ill shutup. he needs to be more aggressive.

The penalties are a discipline thing. They just need to get back up to speed with the game, and learn you can't put your stick parallel to the ice not even for a fraction of a second, you cant grab anyone for even a fraction of a second. They will call you!!! They need to be more disciplined in that area. Keep two hands on your stick.

Some of them were pretty ticky tack on sat night, but the players need to adjust. the refs are not going to change.

Anonymous said...

bob and dan are sure defending their boy bledsoe saying that no other qb in the league can go against the great eagles defense.

well, i found a few that could manage:
Eli Manning
09/17 @PHI 31-43-318-3-1

alex smith
27-46 293 yds 1td no int

the great hall of famer DAVID FING CARR
18-27 208 YDS 1 TD 0INT

by the way, the eagles are currently rated 24th in the league in total defense.

i must admit that neither Carr, Manning, or Smith have a show with BAD radio so that does diminish their credibility.


how did bledsoe even stand a chance against the mighty 24th ranked Philly defense

seanb said...

P1s at it again:

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/college-football

Brandon at GSR said...

"Lindros looked pretty pedestrian to me much of the night, and at least twice let someone by him, or the puck, because he seemed to be checking out the blond sitting in the glass."

I noticed he did the same thing in the final pre-season tilt agains the 'Ning.

He wasn't aggresively going after loose pucks. Instead, he was waiting for the puck to come to him.

I'll shutup, too, as long as keeps scoring or setting up crucial third period goals though.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:09....they clearly said GOING INTO PHILI....why don't you listen before you start mouthing off...