• May 26, 2022

Eagles/Bears: The Good And The Bad

Coming off of 3 big wins (Colts, McNabb, Giants), there was a feeling this game could be a let down game. The final score (26-31) would make one believe that it was a close game, and in some ways it was. If the referees do their job and review the onside kick at the end, who knows what happens. But at the end, the Eagles came up short, and have no one to blame but themselves.  Lets look at the good and the bad, as the Eagles dropped to 7-4, ending their 3 game winning streak.

THE GOOD:

Michael Vick: Yes, he threw his first interception of the season. But as far as interceptions go, that is about as far from his fault as they could come. The fact that it happened in the redzone only made it worse. Overall, however, Vick still played a very solid game. The Bears front four lived in the Eagles backfield, and it is a miracle that Vick was only sacked 4 times. Vick’s athletic play kept the team in the game, as the offense would have been able to get nothing going without it. Vick’s spin on Lance Briggs to convert a 4th and 1 run was one only he could make. In addition to doing a good job avoiding the rush, Vick had a solid day throwing the ball. Vick’s late touchdown pass to Brent Celek was a thing of beauty, and was even more impressive considering the wind gushing through the stadium. Vick finished with over 300 yards in the air, spread the ball around to 8 different receivers, even attempted to slide, and once again did a good job not taking off to soon and letting a play develop (when he could).

Jason Avant: Avant is built for games like the one against the Bears, as he did his job and killed the Bears underneath. Avant finished the day with 8 catches and a team leading 88 yards. The Bears came into the game playing a 2-deep defense, focusing on taking away the deep ball from the Birds. This left the middle of the field open, and Avant did his job, catching everything thrown his way, and made some huge catches. Yes, the Bears were happy to give it to him, but Avant did his job, which is more than could be said for other members of the team yesterday.

Antonio Dixon: Dixon has been a bright spot on the defense this season, and played well against the Bears. On a day when the Eagles run defense fell apart, he managed to get in on many plays in the backfield and finished the day with 4 tackles. Broderick Bunkley might as well have gotten the surgery, because Dixon has cemented himself as the best defense tackle on this team.

Brandon Graham: Graham recorded his 3rd sack of the season, and forced Cutler out of the pocket a few times. Starting in place of an injured Juqua Parker, Graham played well and stepped up when the team needed him. He has not finished on a lot of plays this year, and while his sack was a clear shot, he still brought down Cutler.

Brent Celek: Celek has had a tough year, so you have to give him credit for keeping his head up and making that touchdown catch between 4 Bears defenders at the end of the game. Celek has been asked to block a lot this season, and is more hurt than he lets on, and his numbers have suffered because of it. It was nice to see him get in the end zone.

Penalties: After a rough week against the Giants, the Eagles were called for only 3 penalties, totaling only 19 yards. It won’t get talked about much, but if were going to kill them for getting to many penalties, we should give them credit when they don’t.

No Andre Johnson: While it is no guarantee, I can’t imagine Andre Johnson will not be suspended for this weeks upcoming game against the Eagles after yesterdays outrageous brawl against the Titans. For an Eagle’s secondary that is hurting right now, that is great news.

THE BAD:

RedZone Offense: This game is in the loss column today because of the Eagles inability to punch the ball into the end zone. Any team trying to win on the road knows there is certain things they have to do to take the crowd out of a game: don’t turn the ball over, run the ball- and convert in the redzone. None of those things happened for the Birds today, but it was the redzone execution that killed them the most. The offense made 5 trips inside the 20 today, the managed to come away with 3 FG’s, 1 TD and a turnover. By comparison, the Chicago Bears got 4 touchdowns and 1 FG from their 5 trips to the redzone. Fans will point to Andy Reid’s decision not to go for the touchdown’s late in the game, kicking field goals instead, but he made those calls because he saw that the Eagles had not been able to punch it in all day.

The play calling, however, was almost as bad as the execution. One of the flaws of Andy Reid on game day is that he gets to cute with the play calling, instead of using what got him there. Why is a play designed for Clay Harbour being run in the fourth quarter of a tight game? I am a big Harbour fan, but he is still only a rookie that has been inactive for most of the season. The same questionable play calling was shown earlier in the game in the redzone, when the Eagles had Michael Vick roll out to the right, with only Owen Schmitt in the flat. I understand that most team anticipate a quarterback draw, but what makes Michael Vick so great is his ability to convert on those plays despite the other team knowing its coming. I would rather see Vick with the ball in his hands instead of Harbour. The hot start the Eagles offense experienced in the redzone with Vick appears to be over, as the team has only score 2 touchdowns in the last 10 possessions inside the 20. The main reason for the teams inability to punch it in is obivious: when inside the redzone, the field strinks- and the Eagles offense is built to play on a wide open field, where they can utilize their speed. But speed does not score in the redzone- big bodies and overpowering the other team does.

Run Defense: The Eagles had been doing a good job against the run in the last few weeks, but their run defense came apart the seams today, to the tune of 117 yards to Matt Forte on only 14 carries. Forte became the only opposing player this season to rush for over 100 yards against the Eagles. While that number can be a little bit misleading, as over half (61) of Forte’s yards came on 1 carry, it was the way the yards were gained that was frustrating. This Eagles team needs a serious crash course in how to tackle, and Stewart Bradley is the main culprit. The next time Bradley is able to make a tackle behind the line of scrimmage it’ll be the first. Without Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws stepping up this season, the team would be in serious trouble, as Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley were not even on the field for a key third down, obvious rushing play late in the game.

Solider Field: A high school game was played on Friday, and the damage the field took from it showed. The Eagles secondary was slipping all day, and it cost them on the Bear’s second touchdown pass. Yes both teams were playing on the same field, but it is unacceptable for a game to be played with the field in such bad conditions.

Secondary: In the offseason, many fans called for Asante Samuel to be traded. Today was a sneak peak of what the secondary would look like without him. I have been high on the play of the secondary this year, but it was clear they missed Samuel today. Trevard Lindley saw the most action he has seen all season, and had his good and bad moments. He had excellent coverage on Devin Hester in the endzone, and was never caught completely out of position. Jay Cutler is a good quarterback, but he is not the superstar the Eagles made him look like today. The Bears were able to beat the Eagles with quick slants to utilize the speed of their wide receivers. The Eagles secondary did not adjust. Couple the lack of adjustments with poor tackling, and Cutler’s line of 14/21, 247 yards and 4 touchdowns happened.

DeSean Jackson: Jackson was a non factor today, catching the ball only 2 times for 26 yards. In comparison, Riley Cooper and Clay Harbour both had more yards. Jackson showed why Joe Banner might be a little hesitant to turn the big money over to him.   When a team does not allow him to get deep, he has little effect on the game. Jackson had a chance to pull in a touchdown catch late in the game, but was unable to come up with it. I won’t go as far as to say he got alligator arms on the play, but it was no doubt a catch a number one reciever- which Jackson want’s to be paid like- makes. Les Bowen tweeted after the game that Desean is said to have snapped at Vick, and described a scene of him basically pouting at his locker after the game. DeSean is not on the level of Randy Moss, but he definitely quit on Kevin Kolb earlier in the season, and his attitude is growing old fast.

Where is Harrison?: Once again Harrison was no where to be seen, carrying the call only 1 time. I don’t understand what the thinking is here- Harrison showed he can play against the Redskins. He needs more chances then he is getting,and deserves them.

Turnovers: Coming into the game, the Eagles were first in the NFL in takeaways. They failed for the first time all season to register either an interception or a fumble recovery. They had their chance in the fourth quarter to give the ball back to their offense, but were unable to recover a Johnny Knox’s fumble in Bear’s territory. They were also unable to pick off Cutler, who is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league at protecting the ball. Michael Vick fumbled the ball 4 times, and was lucky to recover 2 of them. People talk about the way LeSean McCoy carries the ball, but Vick might be even worse, as he roams around the pocket with the ball in one hand hanging loosely on his side.

Playoff Seeding: Despite the loss, the Eagles still remain in first place in the NFC East. But they had a blew a chance to move into second in the conference, with Green Bay losing to Atlanta. The Eagles and Packers now have the same record, but Green Bay holds the tie breaker. With the Eagles beating Atlanta, a win today would have put them in great position to finish first in the conference. They did not capitalize on it, and it could come back to bite them in the end.

Despite all of this, the Eagles still had a chance to win the game, and lost by only 5 points. The good news is that this is a short week, and the Eagles will get the chance to get the bad taste out of their mouth from this one quickly.

Eliot Shorr-Parks

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17 Comments

  • Bears suck. They are the football version of the 2010 San Franscio Giants.

  • Great points G, I have said this time and time again…this pass first philosophy of Andy Reid will always
    handicap the Eagles. Yes, we have an explosive offense but there are certain situations in a game that call for power, smash mouth football. where is # 33 ??? good question. AR should have called his number in the red zone. By lining up in the shotgun you have already dictated to the defense what they have to defend. we should have won this game against the bears but when have 44 pass attempts you are not going to beat many teams especially chicago who is a coverage based team on defense. someone please tell me what is AR thinking?????

  • Top Players on Offense
    McCoy,Avant,Celek
    Top Players on Defense
    A Dixon

    Bottom players on Offense
    D-Jax,the O/Line as a unit and Vick was ineffective in the Red-Zone (play calling was questionable in the Red-Zone too)
    Bottom players on Defense
    Q Mickell,J Hanson in particular and the LB Corp and rest of the Secondary missed many tackles allowing for many “YAC” on receptions and too many yards after contact by RB Forte..

    Coaching Staff gets a C for this game across the board

  • If Kolb played QB in this game and had the game vick had, people would be tearing him apart! Multiple Fumbles, Over thrown receivers most of the game, and couldn’t score in the redzone.

    People can give Vick a pass all they want, but they need to be realistic, He did not have a good game on sunday.

  • Deshawn are you really surprised? What do you expect from a guy who is 160 pounds has had multiple concussions and was knocked out earlier this year? He cant go over the middle. He will have some alligator arms. Its pointless for him to put himself in a vulnerable position. Hes to small to take a hit. It is what it is. The Eagles really have to take a look at what they want to do with him. His career isnt gonna be long. He is a weapon and does some good things but to expect him to do big man work and take hits just isnt realistic. He will get another concussion.

  • If Kolb played in this game Zukny he would of been sacked 8 times thrown 3 ints and we would of lost 35 to 3.

  • Why NOT say alligator arms/body for DJax. That ball int he end zone is one that a #1 must make. He had his hands on it, and looked at the safety coming over and gave up on the ball. Going down repeatedly without being touched is one thing, but come on… start extending those white strings extending from the uniform (his arms…) once in awhile! Or… just treat him like Warren Wells and throw bombs/fly patterns and that’s it.

  • zukny – thank you for summitting you application for moron of the week. We’ll get back to you, but it’s looking good for now.

  • Did’nt we draft riley cooper for the red zone?

  • I did not know that the Eagles had top notch scientist playing linebacker.

    Their cloaking technologie is state of the art.

    They disappeared all game. Could not even see them. Noble prize in science for sure.

  • First of all the offensive line was horrible……… Lb’s and safeteys were coming in free as a f***ing bird…….. 2nd of all the run defense was horrific……… Which mean to you SEAN MCDERMOTT……. Put Dixon in instead of bum ass BUNKLEY………

    A guy like Al Harris would have been great to have at these key games………. Guys bashed me for that but the Eagles put a rookie corner (Lindley) who I like but hasn’t had alot of playing time this year……….

    Hanson is garbage……… He let us down and shouldn’t play outside ever again…….. Scratch his name off the list……..

    Jaqua Parker was missed as well……… Those Cutler outside runs killed the birds and he would have cut the field off better than Graham……… That right side of the field was exposed something terrible……. Mike Marts had a great scheme and I hate to say so did the defense…….. But we should have won that game……..

    ST…….. Bobby April should be fired today……. Period…… Very inconsistent and the worse I’ve seen in years…….. Just flat out terrible…….

    The offense didnt do a bad job…… They got down field…… But just not enough to get in the enzone…..

    NOW LETS GET TO THE PLAY CALLING:

    NO BALANCE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> REDZONE 2nd and GOAL and your in shotgun…….. ARE YOU SERIOUS AR and MM……… COM ON………. RUN the ball call a playaction…… or something…… I just dont understand……..4 yards to go and your in shotgun……..

    Safeties played deep all game long……. What does that mean you can run the ball AR and MM instead you put your QB at risk of getting killed……. NO BALANCE……….. THe offensive line gets into a rhythm when you have balance………. COACHING ALL AROUND WAS FLAT OUT FRESH OUT OF A BULLS ASS………..

    Asante Samuel might cant tackle worth a damn…… But you know what he makes a solid difference of this team…….. Cutler wouldnt have completed half of those passes on that side if he was in the game…………. Other than that Go Birds lets take care of the texans……..

  • Asante Samuel is the leading candidate for defensive player of the year…….. AND I MEAN THAT……… The best corner in the league as of now………. IF anyone Blames Vick for this loss……. KILL YA SELF……. It was a overall team game and they didnt show up……. IT all starts from the coaching staff to the players…..

    The Birds had an off game but still put up 25 points but should have been more……… We seem to shut down the best WR…….. But Bradley and Knox have great games against the BIRDZ……. COM ON MAN!!!!!

  • It’s gotta be Donovan’s fault… It’s just gotta be! We NEVER had games like this before in the past where the defense collapsed at horrible times, special teams leaked like a sieve, timeout usage was mishandled, no touchdowns in the red zone, etc. It is all Donovan’s fault! Wake up guys, this has been and will continue to be the way things are here untiL REAL change takes place.

  • Samuel is not the leading candidate for Def POY , he will get maybe a vote or 2,
    LB C Mathews Jr is clear ahead for the running of Def Player of the Year and other cadidates who have played in every game and have made more of an impact are players like MLB B Urlacher of the Bears, Steelers players S- T Polamoleau, LB -J Harrison, OLB/DE S Phillips

    Upcoming opponent Houston Texans have given up a NFL worst 25 TD Passes on Defense
    while the Eagles have given up 22 TD Passes so I expect a high-scoring game

  • @Paulman thats my vote…….. MY VOTE>>>>>>>>>

  • ZUKNY…VICKS NUMBERS 333 YARDS PASSING 2 TD’S 1 INTERCEPTION

    THOSE ARE GREAT NUMBERS CONSIDERING THE O LINE GAVE NO TIME AND FUMBLES RESULTED FROM POOR LINE PLAY.

    IF KOLB WAS PLAYING HE WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN PASS 150 YARDS AND THE TEAM PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN SHUT OUT. LOOK AT THE GAME AGAIN …YOU SAID VICK HAD AN AWFUL GAME?

    IF THAT WAS KOLB WITH THOSE NUMBERS YOU’LL BE BRAGGING ABOUT ANOTHER 300 YARD PERFORMANCE.

    SAVE IT BUDDY!

    WE HAVE TELEVISIONS TOO..AND SEEN THE SPECIAL TEAMS SUCK, OFFENSIVE LINE SUCK, SECONDARY SUCK, AND OUR MIDDLE LINEBACKER IS PURE ASS…AND ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY IS VICK PLAYED AWFUL?

    he actually played beetter this week considering the circumstances than he did against the giants..and by the way…

    The interception came off of a tipped pass….look at the states along with his current rating then comment again.

    A loss does not translate to a bad game by Vick.

    Now you may ask..well why Kolb does not get the same consideration when the team plays poor around him?

    Well, Vick played well in spite of the poor play around him, and made plays Kolb could only dream of making when plays broke down…that’s why he’s in the running for MVP

    There’s 5 games left with Asante coming back…

    We’ll get back on the horse better than before this loss and use it as fuel going into the last part of the season. This lost was a reality check at the right time and I think the Eagles will respond quickly.

    “TIME’S YOURS”

  • Paul man, you obviously haven’t seen Matthews play these last couple of weeks.

    He was a non factor against the Falcons and teams are now abusing him.

    Look again..Matthews is not the MVP on defense this year.

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