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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Birds Stuffed in Chicago

A pretty ugly game ended even uglier, as the Eagles couldn't punch it in from the 1-yard line. The defense, which dominated in the second half, couldn't keep the Bears to a three-and-out, and that was the game.

Give us your player of the game. Buckhalter probably gets it for me. I got lots of notes to update this tomorrow (maybe).

Update:In the morning light the Eagles’ loss to the Chicago Bears isn't any less ugly than when we went to bed with it last night. They never really are, and, yes, I’m skipping the obvious joke.

Bottom line, the Bird’s offense came up small, especially the offensive line. Here’s my rundown:
• Starting at the end, I don’t care whose in or out of the lineup, a championship team scores late in the fourth quarter with first-and-goal, especially with three shots from the one. I actually buy Andy Reid not calling a quarterback sneak because Donovan McNabb is banged up, and I get that Brian Westbrook was out. Reid shouldn’t have had to call a sneak. That is where your big, veteran offensive line gets you 6 points.
• The game might have been over in the first two series. The Eagles went three-and-out, including not a single run play, followed by a three-play drive by the Bears that ended with a touchdown. On NBC they made a big deal of Reid not challenging the TD, and in hindsight he probably should have.
• DeSean Jackson reminded everybody he is a rookie only playing his fourth game. He started strong with a big reverse (hey, they ran one effectively!) and a 22-yard TD catch. But a muffed punt led to a Chicago TD, and letting another punt go cost the Birds field position leaving them inside their own 10. He also may or may not have run the wrong route that led to an interception right after Correll Buckhalter had a nice run to get them out of that terrible field position.
• Donovan McNabb might not have been to blame on that pick, but he didn’t move the offense several times when the defense gave them field position. At the end of the first half Juqua Parker got a nice hit on Kyle Orton leading to a turnover, and the offense went three-and-out. In the second half, Trent Cole got a sack, resulting in an Omar Gaither fumble recovery. The Eagles eventually had a first-and-goal, and came away with 3 points instead of 7. They really only had one sustained drive all night, and that ended as already noted with the Birds’ stuffed at the goal line.
• The defense certainly isn’t blameless, though. Showing up in the first half would have been a nice idea for them. They gave up 3 touchdown passes by Kyle Orton! Asante Samuel looked bad on at least one of them. And did anyone notice Brian Dawkins last night? Neither did I.
• There’s no way to prove it, obviously, but I thought the Eagles should have gone for the first down instead of letting David Ackers try a 47-yard field goal early in the third. Ackers had already missed a 50-yarder. He’s been great for most of a decade, but he looks “just average” now.

I'm sticking with last night's selection for . . .
Player of the Week

66 rushing yards on just 16 carries

Got a better selection? Post it in the comments!

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