Initial notes on the Lions-Eagles debacle

First, a quick note: For some reason, the comment section disappeared. Not sure why, but I’m working on it.

  • I’ve read a few places where people are saying that the Eagles played well on defense for 3 quarters, then fell apart in the 4th.  I’ll have to re-watch the tape to see for sure, but it looked to me like plays were there to be made for the Lions all day, but Matthew Stafford was simply missing open receivers.  They also committed 16 penalties, 9 on offense. 6 of them were false starts (unforced errors), which was odd, considering there was no crowd noise whatsoever. It wasn’t so much that the Eagles played well on defense for the first 3 quarters.  It was more like the Lions couldn’t get out of their own way for 3 quarters, and finally began to execute in the 4th.
  • LeSean McCoy: 14 carries, 22 yards.  There was nothing there.  And Michael Vick continues to take an abnormal number of shots.  The losses of Jason Peters and Jason Kelce are proving to be devastating to this offense.
  • The Eagles are now -9 in turnover differential.  Second worst in the NFL.
  • The offensive pass interference call on Brent Celek looked very weak.  Here it is.  Jason Witten has been doing this his entire career.  That cost the Eagles 4 points.
  • On the Eagles’ last possession during regulation with a 23-20 lead, Michael Vick had Jeremy Maclin WIDE open on a quick slant.  He might still be running if they connected.  However, Ndamukong Suh tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage.  Michael Vick is 6’0, and batted balls at the line of scrimmage are a big problem.  Last season, Vick had 14 passes batted at the line, according to Pro Football Focus.  Mark Sanchez and Andy Dalton tied for the league lead with 15, but they played all 16 games, whereas Vick only played in roughly 12-13 full games.
  • Trent Cole when asked why the pass rush wasn’t there today: “It was there. You know it was there.”  More on that and the defensive line in general later.

  • Looking at the landscape of the NFC, 9-7 isn’t getting into the tourney.  There are too many good teams in the NFC this year that 9-7 won’t get it done.  The Eagles will need to go 7-3 at a minimum from here on out.  Within the division, the Giants’ offense is a well-oiled machine, and they’re not even fully healthy yet.  I’d be shocked if that team didn’t cruise to at least 10 wins.
  • On the deep ball to DeSean Jackson that was intercepted, DeSean was open, but Vick underthrew it.  Vick had a clean pocket and was able to step into the throw.  That would have been a TD in 2010.  Instead, the CB was able to make a play on the underthrow.
  • I’ve never seen a team kick off from their opponent’s side of the field.  That exactly what the Lions did in the 4th quarter after the Eagles were called for 2 penalties on the extra point (an offsides, followed by a an unnecessary roughness penalty).  The Lions kicked off from the Eagles’ 45.  If they had tried an onsides kick, the worst case scenario would have been Eagles ball at the 35.  At the very least, the Lions could have done a little squib kick, hopefully to around the Eagles 5 or so, and perhaps pin them deep.  So what do they do?  They boot it through the end zone.  The strategist in me shuttered at that approach.
  • I got somewhat excited before the game began when it was announced that Damaris Johnson would be inactive.  That meant that DeSean Jackson would be returning punts.  Nope.  It was Mardy Gilyard.  Ugh.
  • Staying with special teams, Mat McBriar hit a couple of bombs, but his first punt of the day was terrible.  It was a low line drive that gave the Lions returner all kinds of room for a big return, and he happily obliged with a 48 yard return.  The Lions went three and out on the ensuing drive, but kicked a FG.  That bad punt had pretty much the same result as a turnover.
  • Riley Cooper made a great block on a kick return, and contributed a couple of catches.
  • Alex Henery had a good day.  He ht a semi-clutch 49 yarder to put the Eagles up by two scores, and had several touchbacks.

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5 Comments

  1. slandog says:

    You may shutter at Gilyard returning punts but Jackson did NOTHING when he had is opportunity. If fact he lost yards. Last year he was terrible at PR and so far this year he’s done nothing to change that. If he can’t outrun someone to the sideline or have a open space right in front of him he’s done. He just can’t seem to juke the first guy down there.

    Vicks long pass that was intended for Jackson but was INT. It was a terrible pass. You have the lead, keep the ball and clock moving. If you’re going to make that pass overthrow Jackson, don’t underthrow him. This is where Vick says he’s a smarter/more mature QB, i don’t see it at all. That was a stupid throw from start to finish. For a veteran he sure does make a lot of mistakes!!!

    1. It’s just one return though, where there was nothing there.

      1. slandog says:

        Last season he had more opportunities and he did nothing. When his career started he was pretty good and a threat. This year (one return -3 yards) and last year he’s shown nothing to be excited about.

    2. willgfass says:

      Giants fan here, and no idea about his recent PR play.

      But against a team that’s been this bad on special teams, the situation is practically begging to use a guy like Jackson and see what he can do

  2. Comment section is back. Apologies for the delay.

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