Off the Record (OTR)

My Thoughts Eagles/Cowboys

This was a back-and-forth game for the Philadelphia Eagles as they traded momentum with the Dallas Cowboys en route to to a 38-23 shellacking that sounds a lot worse than it really was. It also our first regular-season look at Nick Foles, who took over for Michael Vick after Vick suffered a concussion. It was the Eagles fifth straight loss, as they continued their downward spiral into oblivion. So, let’s look at the game:

What I liked…

-Riley Cooper had a solid game, highlighted by a brilliant goal-line catch with one hand for a touchdown. Only two catches for 24 yards, but the touchdown was huge if you don’t look at the final score.

-Jeremy Maclin bounced back in the second half to finish strong. Eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. What was interesting was his success in the slot after Jason Avant left the game.

-Nick Foles didn’t look bad. In fact, there were times when he looked marvelous. He’d have been even better if not for things like Avant having the ball hit him in the head while he injured himself. Foles made some bad mistakes. Two costly turnovers that led directly to touchdowns. But, he seemed poised and the game didn’t seem too big for him. His post-game press conference was also refreshing, as all he did was accept responsibility and say that he needs to get better. That’s what you want to hear. Not stuff like we heard from Vince Young last year after the Eagles got thrashed by the New England Patriots and he said he thought he played okay. Foles wasn’t Joe Montana, but how could he be? He did an admirable job considering.

-LeSean McCoy had some decent runs.

-Fletcher Cox could very well be a baller. This is good news because the Eagles do not have many ballers. Would be nice to see a first-round pick actually pan out.

-The run defense tightened up tremendously in the second half after getting ripped in the first half. Makes you wonder where that switch is to turn it on and off.

-They got some sacks! It was crazy! Actual sacks!

-Credit some of those to the secondary. For the most part, the Eagles covered well on Sunday.

…and not so much…

-Bobby April’s special teams continue to be dreadful. This week? His punt return team gave up a touchdown return (even if I truly believe that Orlando Scandrick blocked Brandon Hughes in the back). Oh, and Damaris Johnson still thinks it’s okay to fair catch punts inside the 10-yard line. And Brandon Boykin keeps taking kickoffs out of the end zone even though, at best, he’ll get to the 22-yard line. Disgraceful. Take a knee, Brandon…you’ll get to the 20! The most troubling part of this is that it has been going on for Johnson and Boykin all year, isn’t it the job of the coaches to tell them to knock it off?

-King Dunlap is not a starting-caliber NFL offensive lineman. Two – TWO – illegal hands to the face penalties, one which negated an important first down. He also didn’t know to be out there for a field goal attempt, so they had to burn a second-half timeout.

-Demetress Bell might not even be a backup-caliber offensive lineman. Guys just run right around him. It’s amazing. He is an absolute human turnstile.

-The offensive line as a whole sucks, I shouldn’t just single these two out. But, I am. I don’t know how you could win anything with a unit this poor.

-Shady McCoy is an amazing talent, but there are times when he just needs to hit it up in there and stop dancing. Sometimes lunging forward is your best option. He can be frustrating.

-Awesome tackling on the Felix Jones touchdown. Seriously, that is some bush league stuff.

-What does Jason Babin do? One of the most overpaid players in the entire league. He rarely even gets close to the quarterback.

-Are we done with the Wide 9? It’s terrible against the run and hasn’t been generating pressure this year. It is an awful scheme that has been denounced by numerous NFL defensive minds.

-If you have a QB like Michael Vick that you know is prone to getting hit, whether it’s from poor blocking or his own doing, why all the called runs for him? It’s not even like they were working. Brainless. Whether it’s Andy’s idea or Marty’s…brainless.

-Morris Claiborne was absolutely awful on Sunday. He’s been bad the last few games. The Cowboys traded up to get him. So far, he hasn’t been worth it.

-The Eagles lost by a lot to a team that committed 13 penalties for 75 yards. Sheesh.

-What happened to DRC? He’s been poor to quite poor lately. Although I guess we shouldn’t be shocked. The knock on him in Arizona was that he was great if you could get him to try hard. Maybe his fire has been cooled with four straight losses coming into this game. I don’t know that, but it would be a plausible explanation for a guy whose effort has been questioned in the past.

-So you score a late touchdown with roughly a couple minutes left in the game to pull within a touchdown…but, not really. Seriously, Alex Henery pulled the extra point and doinked it off of the left upright. Seriously. Of all the…

This season is most likely officially in the toilet. I don’t get the sense that Eagles fans are all that upset though. Their worst nightmare entering the season seemed to be that Andy Reid would do enough to keep his job, but not win any of any substance. That does not appear to the be the case any longer. Remember when this team started out 3-1 and had a victory over the New York Giants? Haha…good times. The Giants are playing like garbage right now and it doesn’t even matter. Yeah, that’s where the Eagles are right now. The Washington Redskins are next, let’s see how low this team can sink.

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