Monday, October 03, 2005

Game-changing pick no surprise

Remember when the Eagles were trailing the Chiefs 17-0 and Sheldon Brown stepped in front of Eddie Kennison for an interception he returned 40 yards for a touchdown that sparked the Eagles' rally, en route to a 37-31 victory Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium?

Turns out everyone saw it coming. Brown. Eagles defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson. Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders. QB Trent Green. Kennison. Even KC tight end Tony Gonzalez. Everyone.

Saunders dialed up the exact same play, from exactly the same empty backfield formation, as he did when Kennison caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Green to make the score 17-0 just a few minutes earlier.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well ..... Jimmy Johnson is nobody's fool.

This from Jason Whitlock's column in today's Kansas City Star:


The Eagles adjusted to KC’s empty-back set and went zone. Sheldon Brown was waiting on Green’s toss to Kennison. Brown jumped the route and raced 40 yards into the end zone.

... The interception infuriated Green. As he jogged to the sideline, (he) flung his right arm in disgust.

After the game, Green tried his best not to talk about the interception.

“I don’t want to open a can of worms,” Green told me privately after a gaggle of reporters stepped away.

He said he wasn’t surprised at all that the Eagles adjusted their defensive look. You expected it?

“We all did,” Green said.

The problem is Saunders’ “system” doesn’t allow the quarterback to audible or for receivers to adjust their routes. Green and Kennison could see the zone defense and anticipate the danger, but they were powerless to do anything about it.

“He can’t do what Peyton Manning does at the line of scrimmage, even though (Green) could,” said tight end Tony Gonzalez.

And this from Andy Reid's Monday press conference:

"I think Kansas City did a great job offensively with their initial first 15 plays there of scheming that thing up. They caught us in the right defense with the right play called," Reid said. "Jim (Johnson) made some adjustments and settled down and we were able to pull it back together."

And what about Brown's scoring interception?

"It was a route that they had run before," Reid confirmed. "Sheldon anticipated it and did a great job with it."

Any system in the NFL that doesn't allow a quarterback to change a play at the line of scrimmage, or a receiver to break off a route based on coverage, seems like a sure system for failure.


Chiefs coach Dick Vermiel had nice things to say about the Eagles, the team he led to the 1980 Super Bowl.

"You can see why they were in the Super Bowl last year…. They’re better than we are.”

And McNabb, who threw for 369 yards and 3 TDs.

“He’s just not a normal guy standing back there.”

Eagles greatest comeback in 12 years

The Eagles comeback was their greatest since overcoming a 21-0 deficit at NY Jets on 10/3/93 to win, 35-30. The Chiefs collapse was their worst in club history, according to a news release from the Eagles.

After 5 scoreless offensive possessions, the Eagles scored on 6 of the following 7 possessions.

The Eagles have outscored their opponents 58-20 in the 2nd half thus far this season.

The Eagles converted four Chiefs turnovers into 23 points.

Andy Reid manned the Eagles sideline for his 100th career regular season contest, becoming the 3rd coach in team history to reach that milestone (Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil and Greasy Neale were the others).

The Eagles are 37-3 under Andy Reid when they lead in time of possession.

The Eagles are 52-6 under Andy Reid when they score 20-or-more points. They are 28-0 when scoring 30-or-more.

Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil is now 0-4 vs. his former team (0-2 with the Rams and 0-2 with the Chiefs).

QB Donovan McNabb
became the first quarterback in team history to top the 300-yard passing mark in three consecutives games. His 33 completions were a career high. He has now led the Eagles to 17 scoring drives on 49 possessions (35%), including 12 TDs (25%). He has thrown for at least one TD in 14 straight games. During that stretch he has thrown 35 TDs and just 10 INTs. His numbers through the 1st quarter of the season project to 696-440-5,332-12-44TDs. Each of those numbers would shatter club records – attempts (569), completions (330), yards (3,875), TDs (32) – and set new NFL records in all but TDs. When McNabb starts, the Eagles are now 30-7 when he completes 20-or-more passes; 36-8 when he completes 60%-or-more of his passes; 12-2 when he throws for 300-or-more yards; 18-3 when he is sacked fewer than twice; 26-2 hen his passer rating tops 100.0.

WR Terrell Owens was 11-171-1TD receiving. The receptions and receiving yards both represented career highs as an Eagle. The TD was the 99th receiving TD of his career. He has now eclipsed the 100-yard mark in 3 of 4 games this season and 11 of 19 as an Eagle. It was the 6th time he reached double-digits in receptions. He converted 9 of his 11 catches into 1st downs and now has 24 for the season.

TE L.J. Smith tied a career-high with 9 receptions, along with a TD and 67 yards receiving. Combined with Owens, they became the first pair of Eagles to have 9-or-more catches in the same game since Keith Jackson (9-62-0TDs) and Keith Byars (9-77-1TD) on 10/10/88 vs. NYG. Dating back to 1970, no Eagles teammates had 9-or-more catches and a TD in the same game. That occurred just 3 times in the NFL in 2004.

CB Sheldon Brown recorded his first multiple interception game with 2 picks of QB Trent Green. He returned the first one 40-yards for his first career TD.

With 18 catches for 203 yards and 1 TD in 4 starts thus far, 3rd-year WR Greg Lewis has already recorded career-highs in each category.

TE/LS Mike Bartrum had one catch and, yes, it was for a TD. He now has 10 career catches and 5 TDs.

RT Jon Runyan started his 148th consecutive game, including 132nd straight regular season contests.

Kicker Todd France and S Sean Considine played in their first NFL game. France nailed 3 of 4 field goal attempts and Considine contributed on special teams.

Kicker David Akers snapped a streak of 99 consecutive games played