Sunday, January 14, 2007

Run Defense Again Let Eagles Down

NEW ORLEANS -- When it comes down to it, an old nemesis bit the Eagles and ended their season. When things have gone wrong this year, a major culprit has been the Eagles' inability to stop the run.
And that was certainly the case during their 27-24 divisional playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints in the raucous Superdome.
The Saints ran for 208 yards on 37 carries (5.6 average) and two touchdowns. Deuce McAllister ran through them and Reggie Bush ran around them. And the Saints ran out the clock, when the Eagles needed a stop on that final possession, when the Saints got the ball on their own 22-yard line with 1 minute and 48 second left.
It's an old axiom, but teams that run the ball, usually go deep in the playoffs. Now the Saints are realizing this first hand, headed to their first NFC championship, while the Eagles head home.
There will be many off-season priorities, but the biggest would have to be shoring up the run defense. The Eagles have a number of high paid defensive linemen, but apparently there still isn't enough depth.
And the linebacker position needs an overhaul, if not a complete one, then at least two additions.
The Eagles gave more than most expected, especially after that 5-6 start, but the feeling persists that much more could have been accomplished, if only they could have consistently stopped teams from running all over them.


At 3:02 AM, Blogger yechi7 said...

Forget about the Reid's decision to not go for it on 4th down & 15.

The biggest blunder took place much earlier. The Eagles went from their own 30 to the Saints' 4 behind three Garcia completions and two runs by Westbrook that covered 24 yards.

Westbrook's 9-yard run gave the Eagles a second-and-one from the 4-yard line, but they couldn't convert the first down and were forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal that left them down by three points that they never got.

Second down & one on the 4 yard line! Don't pass unless it's a sure thing! They should have fed to Westbrook to leap that one yard & then they would have 4 chances to run it in from the 3 yard line!

That was the stupidest mistake to not do that.
How they didn't follow that game plan is beyond me. I was yelling at the tube for the Eagles to do this but I guess Reid didn't hear me. What a heartbreaker!

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

To me, the biggest blunder in this game was the incessant play calling of runs between the tackles. The Eagles couldn't have gained more than 5-10 yards all game doing that, but were burning up the Saints when they sent Westbrook outside with a head of steam.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Dan B said...

Two months ago I wrote: "Let Marty call the plays and bench McNabb and we would be fine". See what happens when you listen to me.

So keep listening to me and we will win the Super Bowl next year. Don't and we won't. This is what needs to be done.

1. Chunky Reid must go (make Marty the Head Coach)

2. Trade Donnie Mac (Make Garcia the full-time QB and get a "Urlacher" type LB for him)

3. Dhani Jones must go (Thru trade or draft)

4. D-Line needs some new blood. (thru draft, trade and/or free-agency)

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most amazing thing to me was that Dawkins was a complee no-show! I have never sen us win a game when he wasn't in it to the fullest. LAst night, they sent in the pod instead of the player!!!!!

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan B, I agree wholly. McNabb would have been lost on Saturday night. I can just see him, throwing wobbly passes and giving us the sad puppy dog look when he threw interceptions. Trade McNabb while he still has some trade value. Let's givw Garcia a whole season to produce a winner. Let's not forget where the Eagles were headed when McNabb was at the helm. Long live Garcia and his never give up attitude. Shame on Philly to let go of this modern day Balboa!!

At 10:48 AM, Blogger mike said...

i like McNabb and would hate to see him go,, but is it really that bad of an idea to trade him for some much needed Defense?
the QB is not the problem with this team it's the D. if you could help on the front lines and LB's then you just gave yourself a much better chance of winning the ultimate Goal.
sign JG for 1 year, draft another QB, LB and what ever else ails this team and get that SB win.

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trading Donovan McNabb for anybody less than Peyton Manning or Tom Brady is ludicrous.

McNabb was tied for most TDs in the league with Manning at the time of his injury. The Eagles were the number one offense in the NFL. The offense gave the Defense 4th quarter leads in every game but Jacksonville only to see the D give it up vs. NY, Tampa and New Orleans.

You McNabb haters are the most ignorant people on the planet.

Garcia looked great against the Saints, huh? Under throwing Stallworth consistantly. Throwing up three gimme picks that the Saints secondary dropped.

Give me a break.

With a baanced offense the Eagles will be unstoppable next year. Only question is will the defense be able to stop anybody.

With McNabb at the helm this team was a Super Bowl bound team.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

DanB...You're utterly insane.

Make Marty head coach...worked in Detroit, right?

Make Garcia starting QB...this is a joke right. This is some sarcastic or ironic statement, correct? Make a 37 year old player - who himself has a history of injury - starting QB and trade a 31 year old man of magnificent athleticism. A joke, right? Garcia played seven games and it was obvious by the 6th he started to break down. Making him play a 16 game schedule and - if by the grace of God they make - make him play in the playoffs, the poor man would be a puddle.

You mention nothing about receivers so I assume we'll let Stallworth walk since Garcia is good for only one long pass a game. No need for a deep threat.

Linbackers, you actually make sense about.

D Line, I think kearse coming back and hopefully Bunkley will help, but we could use a big run stopper up front.

And for the person who called Garcia a "modern day Rocky Balboa", last time I checked Jeff Garcia was flesh and blood and not an imaginary Chuck Wepner ripoff like Rocky Balboa. Please, live in reality.

At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This management team has a pattern:they only change when beaten into submission.
The poor run defense will be solved when they have been beaten into changing.
Not a minute before.
That means changing personnel philosophy
and ending this ill-conceived affair with smaller,Dlinemen who get punked by massive Olines throughout the league.
Nothing will change until that happens.Ain't rocket science.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Johnson's bend but don't break scheme has one major flaw: Great teams will bend you until you break. So, whereas that philosophy may work in the regulars season when you get to the playoffs or Super Bowl (where you run into great teams) you lose.

Johnson must go.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to all the FOOLS who think McNabb is the answer,, hello this will be year #9 and what does this team have to show for it?
who cares if he was tied with Manning when he got hurt, that means nothing, unless you have a QB with some sense and a D that could stop the run then you nothing. mcnabb made up for his bad judgement with his powerful arm, well were still waiting for that arm to delliver,, they need an new QB, it's time for a new QB,, it's a plane as the pout on ELi's face.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never, NEVER in a million years would I ever think that signing Garcia as the back-up would create a QB contraversy. Are you people hearing yourselves? Garcia or McNabb? If it weren't for the defense missing tackles like a homeless person missing teeth, this team would have easily been 12-4 at worst. Garcia had success because this offense has an unbelievable offensive line, and the most underrated receiving core in the NFL. Remember AJ Feeley throwing for 323 in less than a full game? Joey Harrington could have success with this offense. QB contraversy...whatever

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Dan B said...


There is a number of available QB’s that can throw screens or short passes to running backs and we have a great one in Westbrook (we have two not named McNabb). By the way, just how many of those 17 TDs were low-risk throws to Westbrook.

And as far as McNugget being a “31 year old man of magnificent athleticism”, I agree, but it’s his head, not his body that I have a problem with. He refuses to use his mobility because in his head that would make him less a QB. McNugget aims for his receiver’s shoes and make catching the ball in stride near impossible. Lastly, he not a leader, Garcia and Dawkins are leaders. And if I have to listen to another commentator talking about how happy McNugget seems, as he is seen on national TV laughing and joking, I’ll puke. His comedy act during the 1st half of the Giant’s game seemed to entertain his team-mates, as they laughed it up, while the Giants came back and won that one. Garcia would give us a good year or two while we draft and train a college QB.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone watching the game can tell Donovan is no leader. I think Westbrooks comments bear that out. Any other player who has been out as often as he has is dubbed "injury prone" but not so with Donovan. They call Stallworth injury prone and I'll bet he's played more game than McNabb in the last five years. I think the time overdue to stop wasting first round picks on failed defensive players and try to really upgrade the offense for the long run. Trade McNabb (and whoever else is needed) to Oakland for a chance to pick LaMarcus Russell a big 6-6, 260 QB with a very strong arm. Then make sure to keep Garcia to play while the young QB learns the NFL game. If Oakland is dumb enough to take the deal we would be assured of a better future.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Dan B said...

Hey Joe:

I forgot to comment on your Marty at Detroit comment. Detroit is a perennial loser as an organization, that's not Marty's fault. With your reasoning, since Bill Belichick was 37-45 (.451) with Cleveland, I guess he’s a scrub too, Huh?

I think Jimmy Johnson’s scheme is workable, he just needs better players. The Eagles need to get off that pile of money and stop bragging about how much they are under the salary cap.

And as for Garcia not holding up…, your utterly insane. McNugget can’t seem to finish a season, while I can’t remember Garcia taking ANY major hits this season.

If they would just let me run this thing, we’d be champs next year!!!!

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OAKLAND is not that dumb just the owner. We have the number one draft pick and we will pick up LaMarcus Russell 6-6, 260 of full grown man!!! You Eagle fans are hating it because you know that you are STUCK with McNabb. Choke on it and leave Oakland out of your QB problems. S&B

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if you saw this, but a hot Saints fan got a photo shoot with Maxim for wearing a "F*ck Da Eagle" shirt:


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