The Afternoon After

I’m a big fan of blogger and scout Tommy Lawlor. There is absolutely no one who works harder in the Eagles blogosphere, and his detailed breakdowns of each week’s game are must-reads for anyone who considers him or herself to be a fan.

But sometimes Tommy is just a little too cheery. Today, when he posted his thoughts “The Morning After”, Tommy obfuscated some of the issues that made most Eagles fans retch during Sunday’s game. Follow along with my inline rebuttal below.

In some ways the game was better on tape.

In that you knew what to expect going in?

Missed tackles by Kurt Coleman, Jarrad Page, and Jamar Chaney were the worst. Those guys turned short plays into big gainers and/or TDs… Coleman’s miss on Victor Cruz should never happen. Kurt had him lined up and should have made a routine play. Cruz did nothing special. The mistake was all on Kurt for making a horrible, horrible attempt.

Wait. Was it a mistake or a “horrible, horrible attempt”? Those seem like two different things…

Kurt’s idiocy gave them a 74-yard gift. Huge, huge turning point in the game.

So Coleman is just dumb? And again, is that a mistake or a horrible attempt? Maybe it will become clear later on.

I am obviously frustrated with the team, but still have feelings of optimism as well. I know that makes me a delusional homer/idiot/delusional idiot/nut job, but hear me out.

It doesn’t, I want to be convinced.

At the 11:43 mark of the 4th quarter yesterday we led 16-14. The Giants had 232 yards of offense to that point (205 in the 1st half, 27 in the 3rd Qtr). Those yards came on basically 4 plays… 4 plays led to 177 of 232 yards. We’d largely controlled the game, aside from our mistakes.

For starters, why are we talking just about the first three quarters? Didn’t the big collapse happen in fourth? If I read this right, “we” held the injury-depleted Giants to only 55 yards through three quarters — if you take away every big play. I’m convinced already. Actually, this is the post-game pep talk for every team the Eagles beat last year, isn’t it? “Well, if you remove those big plays we gave up and that one awful quarter that lost us the game… VICTORY MONDAY!”

I’m not excusing the mistakes. We made them and they cost us 14 points. But…to that point, we’d kept things under control and had taken the lead. Unfortunately that’s when Andy went for it on 4th/1 and gave the Giants renewed hope. Horrible, horrible decision by Big Red. The Giants may still have won the game, but that call really changed things instantly.

It was a poor decision. But am I supposed to blame the Eagles giving up the next 15 unanswered points on that one fourth down call? I thought the defense “controlled the game” through three quarters.

My point in all of this is that our biggest problem is our own mistakes. That is something that can be fixed.

Or not, seeing as there isn’t exactly a wealth of talent behind those guys.

Last year no matter what the coaches did Dimitri Patterson was still going to be Dimitri Patterson. Hakeem Nicks killed him. Cruz got us for 2 TDs yesterday, but they involved a horrid tackle attempt and our CB missing the ball by maybe 2 inches. That’s far different than having a player who simply can’t match up with the opposing player.

When Tommy classifies something as a “mistake” he means that the player is good but just had a momentary horrible play. The truth is that making mistakes is what makes you a bad player. Casey Matthews doesn’t get to say “well, I just made one mistake.” The mistake proves he isn’t ready to start.

Also, it takes some twisted logic to say that getting beat by a bad player is more excusable than getting beat by a good one.

I understand that there is no guarantee the mistakes will get fixed. Some teams never get fully on track. I have faith in Andy Reid and the players…

Even after this the way this season has started? Based on what?

Let’s not forget that Reid has been backed into a corner before. The 2003 team started 0-2 before rallying to go 12-4… The 2006 team was 5-6 at one point… That team then won 5 in a row and even a playoff game. The 2008 team bottomed out at 5-5-1 after a rough defeat in Baltimore. That group went 4-1 and just missed a trip to the Super Bowl. Set us aside. Green Bay last year was 3-3 and couldn’t stop the run. They made some adjustments on offense and defense and finished okay as I recall. The 2007 Giants started 0-2.

Right, because most teams that start poorly end up going to the Super Bowl. Let’s go see who started 1-2 in 2010… Broncos, Jaguars, Chargers, Raiders, Giants, Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings, Rams — none of whom made the playoffs.

If the coaches make the right changes and the players respond, we’ll be okay. If not, we’re in for a long year. Reid has a track record of making the right adjustments and getting things worked out…

Like “adjusting” his offensive line coach to be defensive coordinator?