I understand that the NFC is wide open this year, but this Eagles team just didn’t look capable of making a deep run. Too many holes that require Michael Vick to be superhuman if they were to win these games. He wasn’t, and they couldn’t get it done. But, let’s look at the game:
What I liked…
-I’m telling you right now there won’t be much in this section.
-Kickoff coverage was pretty nice. That was a pleasant surprise.
-Jason Avant and Jeremy Maclin had good games. The former caught seven balls for 93 yards and a TD. Nice job of pitching in with DeSean banged up.
-Despite a sore MCL, DeSean is still faster than everyone out on the field. It’s a treat to watch him run.
…and not so much…
-Winston Justice has been relatively quiet this year, which is great for an offensive lineman. He was hardly quiet on Sunday. Three costly penalties on two straight plays? C’mon dude. He got benched in favor of a guy that doesn’t belong on an NFL football field.
-The offensive line as a whole still isn’t good enough. Vick is trying to run the offense, but he constantly has to dance around before he can even set himself.
-The names have changed, but it’s still the same story on third and short. This team isn’t built to get third and short. They couldn’t get it if it was Donovan and Buckhalter. They can’t get it when it’s Vick and McCoy. Championship teams can get third and short with a good degree of regularity.
-I praise David Akers almost every week. He’s a stud and the team needs to keep him. You simply are not going to find another placekicker that’s as good and as battle tested as Akers. That said, yes, he was poor. Missing kicks of 41 yards and 34 yards is very un-Akers like. I guarantee you no one feels worse about it than he does. People that want to blame him for losing the game don’t know what they are talking about. It’s easy to look and see you lost by five, and he left six points on the board. But, don’t think for a minute that if he makes one or both, the Packers play the same way.
-Vick didn’t play exceptionally well, but I’m not going to hang this loss on him. He was decent, but not quite good enough. It wasn’t the interception that bugged me so much, but it was that he had Jason Avant standing open at the 11-yard line. There was plenty of time. No need to force things. The bigger problem is why this team needs him to be almost perfect in order to win. He’s covered up a lot of holes.
-I want to hear the game analysis from the fans and media that constantly said “Donovan didn’t get it done” after prior Eagles losses. It’s funny that now it’s Akers fault, and/or Andy Reid (although I will say Reid is a target of constant criticism), and/or Sean McDermott, and/or the defensive players, etc. Shouldn’t you people hold Vick to the same standard that you held Donovan? Vick isn’t a kid and this isn’t his first playoff run. These are the people that said after the Arizona game that Donovan had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to win and he didn’t do it. Vick was just in the same exact position and ended up with the same result.
-I’m now hearing people that think Kolb should be the guy next year. Are you out of your mind?
-Where is the pressure from the front four? And how long does it take to realize that it just ain’t happening with this group, and that something needs to be changed. Blitz maybe? They didn’t sniff Aaron Rodgers. That’s awful.
-And what’s worse is that they just traded up to get a pass-rushing defensive end. He has a torn ACL and we probably won’t know who he truly is until 2012. I hope they don’t think that this issue has been addressed.
-And where is Trent Cole? Stop with the double teamed nonsense. I saw him one-on-one plenty of times. He disappears late in the season far too often for my liking. He’s a nice player, but he’s not dominant.
-I’m not sure what to make of McDermott as a defensive coordinator. I think he needs to make better adjustments, but I’m also well aware of what he’s working with. Not just all the injuries, but a lot of these guys can’t play to begin with.
-I’ve been saying this all year. Ernie Sims just isn’t good at football. He’s got all the physical talent in the world, which makes the fact that he’s awful even more frustrating. He takes bad angles, gets over powered, has no instincts whatsoever, doesn’t make any plays…what else is there?
-12 carries for LeSean McCoy? I know they got down by two touchdowns early, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw every down. I know, it’s a broken record. We all complain about the same stuff every year.
-Now everyone is talking about letting Akers walk. Really? Has anyone looked at the guy who punts the ball? He’s the one that needs to go. The Eagles have two (maybe three if you consider Colt Anderson, who has done a nice job) strong points in special teams. Akers and DeSean Jackson. They can’t afford to have any less. Akers has to stay and they need to take a long, hard look at Rocca.
-Anyone else get the feeling that this is a team ideal for a dome? This is not a cold-weather team, and that might be a bad thing because I hear that it is cold in Philadelphia for much of the NFL season.