Calm down, Philadelphia fans. Relax, Eagles haters.
The Eagles always start weak. This loss, as a matter of fact, moved Reid to 2-5 on opening day games.
And yet they seem to right the ship soon after, right? Every year, right? So given the trend... I think we're going to be just fine.
How's about some grades?
Very confusing evening for the Birds' O. Owens had a good deal of success for a while (though he wasn't able to really break anything)... then nothing. It seemed as though he couldn't catch a damned cold in the fourth quarter... was it intentional? Was he tired? Was Donovan making poor passes? Or was T.O. running half-hearted routes?
As for Westbrook, he had almost nothing at the start... and then he picked things up a bit. I'm not entirely sure why he wasn't used more as the game went on, as the Falcons were having trouble picking him up, consistently.
And McNabb... well, McNabb just seemed off the entire night, making bad decisions by the bushel.
So... am I missing anyone else? Because all I saw from the offense was those three guys. That, and a lot of penalties from the line.
Back to McNabb... why didn't he run the ball, even once?
Why did he seem to be allergic to throwing the ball away?
What was with that backwards pass that resulted in a funble?
And most importantly... how's he feeling this morning? Because I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he had some seriously bruised ribs from that hit in the first quarter. Did you see him wincing on the sideline?
Donovan doesn't wince!
Anyway, I hope that after watching the tape, he realizes how poorly he played... and picks it up. Immediately.
I have faith that he will.
This grade should be higher, right? Forcing a number of turnovers? Holding a great (or very good, at least) offense to 14 points at home? Playing aggressive, for the most part? Dawkins having an all-pro-worthy evening?
Too bad. As is the norm, the Eagles' run defense is a problem. And I know, Trotter was out, blah blah blah. Vick is an all-world superstar, yadda yadda yadda.
But no one else stepped up, least of all Labinjo. And last time I checked, fat Corey Simon is (inexplicably) a Colt.
So given that the Falcons have a sub-par passing attack... it was all about stopping the run. And last night, the Birds just couldn't do it when it counted... which was, evidently, in the first half. Even when they knew it was coming.
That's a bad sign.
Special Teams: C-
Holding Allen Rossum to pretty much nothing is a nice way to earn an "A." But David Akers just can't miss (notonebut) two field goals, even if they are almost 50 yards apiece, in a game of this magnitude.
In a dome. With solid snaps.
Do you remember anything the Eagles' return men did? Me neither.
The playcalling last night was highly suspect... where was the versatility that has marked almost every Eagles win over the past several years? When you throw to Owens and Westbrook and nobody else; when you don't establish the run or even attempt to; when you waste time outs; when you throw 8 yard patterns when you need 10 yards... you've more than earned the criticism you're going to hear all week on WIP.
But the Trotter situation? I blame the coaching staff. Sure, you can't control the players once they're on the field. But a smart team, one that is prepared and that has its head in the game, doesn't let that happen. That wouldn't happen to the Patriots.
Trash talking is one thing; fighting is another. And for once (as I am typically a strong Reid backer), I blame the coach.
The Eagles should have a tonic next week, as T.O. returns to San Francisco. I think that after some hard time looking in the mirror, they come back strong.
This isn't a season-ender, especially in light of the other NFC contenders' performances over the weekend. But... a bit demoralizing. Because really... the Falcons didn't play their best game, either.
Thanks again to Andy for hosting, and for letting me borrow your new TV. You wouldn't have thought it could fit in my trunk... but there you go. Who's laughing now?
Great wings, btw. Andy is a master chef. Between his cooking and Wawa... we were prepared for last night but good.
Today's a day where it's good to work from home. I can mourn in my own private fashion.
By the way, if you were wondering... Abby went to the nurse, and got a tetanus shot but needed no stitches. Some ointment, some large bandages, she'll have to keep an eye on things for awhile to make sure nothing flames up... but she's OK. Thanks for your concern.