An Unofficial NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles Blog
Eagles Win NFC East Classic 23-20
Posted on Sun Jan 07, 2007 at 09:53:19 PM EST
I think we can all agree that after watching that Romo debacle last night that we all were pretty happy Andy made the decision to bring back Koy for the playoffs. Given that move last week, isn't it fitting that this game came down to kick?
The great hold and kick aside, let's get to the real reason we won this thing. That would be a certain #36, Brian Westbrook. Looking at the final stats of this game and watching it play out it's fairly obvious that this game was a war between 2 running backs. Both were damn near unstoppable whether they were handed the ball or thrown it. On this day, our guy was just a bit better. This game was in my eyes, a passing of the torch from Tiki Barber to Brian as one of the elite backs in football. Playoffs are where stars and are born and legends are made, certainly Westbrook's 141 yard 1 TD performance over the division rival Giants will enter Philly football lore.
Overall, it was an amazing game and an amazing win. Looking back, how could we expect an NFC East battle to turn out any different? The Giants looked like a hapless team entering this postseason and to their credit they gave the Eagles all they could handle. I don't know if it was enough to save Coughlin's job, but then again I don't really care. Considering the Saints are up next, I'm just glad that finally WE ran the clock down on the final drive and WE kicked the winning FG!
Finally, I just want to give credit to the Eagles fans tonight. They lived up to their reputation as the absolute best fans in the NFL. They were noisy and wild from start to finish, forcing the Giants into(by my count) at least 4-5 offsides penalties. They were truly a 12th man on the field and deserve tremendous credit for willing this team to a hard fought playoff victory.
Eagles Giants Playoff Gameday Open Thread
Posted on Sun Jan 07, 2007 at 01:19:01 PM EST
This is it, the day is here. Wildcard weekend wraps with the Giants heading down the turnpike to face our Eagles.
Post any comments or news on the game right here.
Eagles Giants Game Preview
Posted on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 11:13:43 PM EST
First and foremost before we even discuss offense vs defense the Eagles hold one very significant advantage over the Giants. Momentum. The Eagles come into this game on a blistering pace as probably the hottest team in the NFC. They finished the season with 5 straight wins, including 3 straight on the road against their division. The Giants, on the other hand, have limped into the playoffs on a worse roll than any other team left. At 8-8 overall and losing 6 of 8 in the second half of the season,it's fairly safe to say the Giants backed into the postseason. Without an incredible performance from Tiki Barber, to beat the 5-11 Redskins the Giants wouldn't even be here.
No 8-8 team has ever won a playoff game and an Andy Reid led Eagles team have never lost a first round playoff game. So momentum and history appear to be on our side...
Eagles Offense vs Giants Defense - The Giants defensive line has certainly suffered from the loss of Michael Strahan. Their pass rush has been missing in action and as Paul Domowitch pointed out, the Giants haven't had more than 2 sacks in a game since week 6. Big Blue's 25th ranked defense got even more bad news this week when they put starting CB Corey Webster on injured reserve. What's worse, Nickel cornerback Kevin Dockery is listed as questionable.
The Eagles passing attack will certainly to look to take an advantage of a depleted secondary that was frankly not very good in the first place(5th worst in the NFL). LJ Smith has been particularly good against the Giants this year with 11 catches for 165 yards in the 2 meetings. In the last few weeks of the year, and frankly after LJ complained a bit, Garcia has started to look his way a bit more and has had a lot of success doing it. Of course, the top threat in the passing game is the same guy who is the threat in the running game. Brian Westbrook.
Since McNabb went down Westbrook has averaged over 26 touches a game, about 6 more than he was BG(before Garcia). He's coming off a season in which he was just a few yards short of 2,000 total yards from scrimmage. In the win over the Giants Westbrook rushed for 97 yards and 2 TDs. He also had 5 catches. In the earlier loss to the Giants Westbrook had 124 yards from scrimmage and a TD. In the last game both he and Buckhalter ran all over the Giants working out of the 2 back set together.
Eagles Defense vs Giants Offense - My absolute favorite description of the Giants' offensive situation came from the Iggles Blog.
The Giants basically have two go-to plays at this point, the first being handing, tossing or screen passing the ball to Tiki Barber and the second being chuck-it-deep-to-Plaxico-and-see-if-he-can-draw-a-flag-for-pass-interference. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that if the Eagles don't play well this weekend, the game could come down to who the back judge is.
Love that... and it's true at this point. I also might add the "throw the ball deep to Plaxico and let him blatantly push off whatever defender is on him every play."
Injuries have claimed their most consistent receiver in Amani Toomer and neutralized Jeremy Shockey lately. The pro bowl TE missed the Giants final game with an ankle injury. He's listed as questionable for this weekend's game but has been able to practice twice. It's hard to believe Shockey won't play this weekend, but it remains to be seen how effective he'll be able to be. Media reports had him jogging with a limp in the Friday practice. Injuries have also claimed 3 of the 5 starters on the Giants offensive line.
Plaxico Burress is pretty infamous for his several playoff disappearing acts. He earned the rep for not showing up in the postseason in Pittsburgh and pretty much confirmed it by getting shutout last year against the Panthers. Of course, a fairly significant part of that was the play of QB Eli Manning in that game... He had 4 turnovers, looked completely lost, and the Giants offense didn't score a point.
Sam Donnellon expertly summed up how Manning has looked lately
In the last four games, Eli Manning has completed just 53.2 percent of his passes and has averaged just 5.1 yards per attempt. He's become timid in the pocket against a rush, not stepping into his throws. He has cut down on his interceptions, throwing just three in the last five games.
It's been another tough season for Manning as he once again finished in the top 5 in the NFL in INTs with 18.
More than anything the Eagles need to focusing on stopping Tiki Barber, whose incredible 234 rushing performance in the final week of the season ensured the Giants would be in the postseason. For whatever reason, however, the Eagles have been very effective in stopping Barber. He's been held under 100 yards and only 3.2 yards per carry in both games against the Eagles this year. Certainly the Eagles familiarity over the years with Barber has to play a major part in their ability to figure him out this year.
I've written alot here, but in the end the plan boils down to this. Stop Barber, limit mistakes on offense, and let Westbrook run wild.
Kearse, Baskett, Buck and are the Giants the Worst Playoff Team Ever?
Posted on Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 11:47:08 AM EST
Covers.com makes a pretty bold statement, Giants look like worst playoff team -- ever
We're talking about a team that has the lowest-ranked defense (25th) of any of the playoff squads, with the worst pass defense (28th). New York has won exactly twice in the past two months. Those victories were against non-playoff teams, Carolina and Washington.
Heck, the Giants nearly blew a 20-point third-quarter lead to the Redskins in their final regular season game. The Giants were bailed out by one man and one man only - Tiki Barber.
In their past eight games, the Giants have allowed an average of 27 points per game. They can't rush the passer, don't stop the run very well and just lost starting cornerback Corey Webster for the season.
In the 36 years since wild-card entries were added to the playoffs, only two 8-8 teams have managed to win in the playoffs.
The Giants have been outscored 107-26 in the fourth quarter over their last eight games.
Thanks to his 7 catch 177 yard performance on Sunday Hank Baskett won his 2nd rookie of the week award. Also, Correll Buckhalter has been removed from the injury report and is fit for this weekend's game.
We all remember how much trash the Giants talked last times these two team met right? Antonio Pierce, Burress, Shockey, even Barber all had something to say... They are certainly singing a different tune this time. It's led Sam Donellon to ask, where's the hate, Giants?
Having tried bravado, baiting, berating and just about every other motivational tool during their slide from top dog to lame dog this season, the Giants have turned their locker room into a great big pity party this week.
"There's no reason that it should come together," Pierce said when asked this week to offer some semblance of hope. "You look at the way the Eagles are playing. Five-game winning streak, quarterback playing great, running back, defense playing well. So we've got our hands full. We just hope to give them a good game."
This from a man who called Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter's play "limited" before the Dec. 17 game at the Meadowlands, while espousing his own Pro Bowl qualities as a more versatile linebacker.
It turns out that if he were not put on IR Kearse would be healthy enough to play this weekend.
Defensive end Jevon Kearse on Thursday expressed no regrets about being placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a leg injury in a Week 2 home loss against the Giants, even though he said he would be ready to play this week if he were eligible.
"I was messed up," he said. "During those (first) eight weeks, I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to walk again. I had to heal mentally first."
Eagles Giants Predictions
Posted on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 09:29:41 PM EST
Adam Schein from FOXSports says the Eagles are too tough for the Giants to overcome.
Though we are in the world of competitive balance and the Giants certainly know the Eagles very well and Barber is always capable of heroics, beating the Eagles will be extremely difficult on Sunday.
Five of Sports Illustrated's six writers picked the Eagles picked the Eagles. In fact, they were fairly mean about...
- There will be no Eli Manning fourth-quarter comeback this time. The Eagles stay hot and maybe end the careers of both Tiki Barber and Tom Coughlin.
Half of CBS Sportsline`s writers picked the Giants to cover the 6.5 point spread.
CBS also had this to say about the Eagles.
There's no team in the NFC with greater momentum, and that counts for plenty at this stage. I didn't believe in this team until it completed a sweep of three consecutive road games -- with Dallas the final stop on the victory tour. Since 1990, there have been 97 three-game road trips in the NFL, and only seven clubs won all three. That tells you something about these Eagles.
The Sporting News picks the Eagles.
Expect Barber to make it close with another big game, but the Eagles will play spoiler and turn his NFL farewell into a tough playoff loss. Eagles 24, Giants 21.
Chris Carter also picked the Eagles and gave them the edge in nearly every category.
Offense: Unlike N.Y. and Eli, Eagles have veterans and stability.
Defense: Jim Johnson's blitzes will put lots of pressure on Eli
Special teams: Slight edge: Akers can kick in that windy stadium
Coaching: Andy Reid has turned around Philly's season
Intangibles: With five straight wins, Eagles have the momentum
Clark Judge wrote a pretty funny and glowing article about how no one would want the Eagles as house guests this time of year.
Tis the season to identify visitors you would rather not see on your doorstep. And the No. 1 visitor NFL teams would like to avoid this January is Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles. Trust me, they will raid your fridge, mess up your beds and aim poorly in the bathroom.
This is why you don't want the Eagles in your team's house, and it's why the Giants are looking forward to going to Philly like a trip to their mother-in-law's.
Pride Of Detriot, using Matt Millen-like judgement picks the Giants.
The Sports Guru from Mile High Report has the game Eagles 24- Giants 20.
Most of the Niners Nation is also picking the Eagles.
Dire Radiant pointed out that all the Cowboys fans at Blogging the Boys are, like everyone, also picking the Eagles.
Rams Blog Turf Show Times says the Eagles will have it wrapped up by halftime.
Vikings Blog The Daily Norseman also has the Eagles winning.
Dave the Falconer at The Falcoholic predicts an Eagles win.
MSNBC says the Eagles win
The Giants are beat up and prone to fatal mistakes to beat the Eagles unless Philly helps them out with mistakes of their own. The split their two games during the regular season, but the Giants won the first one thanks only to a historic collapse by the Eagles. I don’t think Philly, which is playing as well as any team in the NFC right now, will do those kinds of favors again. It will be tight for a while, but the Eagles will pull away in the second half, thanks to some bad throws by Manning. Score: Eagles 31, Giants 21.
I'm saying Eagles 24, Giants 10.
For the rest of Wildcard Weekend... I'm taking Seattle -2.5 over Dallas, KC +6 over Indy, and the Jets to cover the 8.5 against New England.
Post your predictions below!
Update [2007-1-5 9:58:39 by BleedGreen]: included some new predictions
Dawkins wins NFC Defensive Player of the month
Posted on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 08:14:51 PM EST
After leading the Eagles to a 5-0 record in the month of December, Dawkins on Thursday was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month.
Dawkins, who was named to his sixth Pro Bowl, was the driving force behind an Eagles which yielded an average of just 17.8 points during the five-game winning streak. He recorded 48 tackles, three interceptions, one sack, two forced fumbles and six passes defensed during the month.
It was the first career Player of the Month Award for Dawkins, who recorded a career-high 93 tackles and four interceptions this season.
Posted on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 10:34:41 AM EST
If asked what the worst loss of this year was, I doubt there's an Eagles fan alive that wouldn't say the home collapse against the Giants. It was a gut wrenching loss that started what looked like a very promising season off on a sour note. It was especially tough considering it was our division rival and that the 4th quarter collapse was so bad. A rare Westbrook fumble that led to points, A Burress fumble that ended up a TD, a stupid penalty that led to the tying FG... So many improbable things had to occur for that collapse to happen. It really took until the Dallas win to get over it.
Sure, the beating the Eagles put on the Giants in their house late in the year certainly gave us a measure of revenge... but only a chance to do it over is going to truly wash the bad taste of that loss out of our collective mouths. The football gods have seen fit to give that do-over. This time with the stakes much higher.
The Eagles have their one shot at redemption this Sunday. Until I see the this team defeat the Giants at home again, I'll still have that sick feeling I've had near the end of almost game this year where I think "Well, it might not be over just yet..." It's actually gotten quite ridiculous. In the game a few weeks ago, I believe the Eagles were up 2 touchdowns against the Giants with less than 2 minutes left and I still didn't feel at ease until that final second ticked off the clock.
This team really has restored my confidence in many ways. The 5 game win streak to end the season, the 3 straight division road wins all made me feel like this team can beat anyone... but I need this one win to feel completely whole this year. Redemption time is this Sunday, let's beat those Giants and make that early season loss a distant memory.
Making the Grade
Posted on Wed Jan 03, 2007 at 03:30:22 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-6): If the linebackers were better, this defense would really be able to carry this team. That said, the offensive coaching staff has done a brilliant job of adjusting without quarterback Donovan McNabb. When healthy, that wide receiving corps can make the offense truly explosive.
Seems pretty fair to me. I think the Eagles hit their expectations this year, albiet in a way almost none of us could imagine. I think we all thought that the team had the talent to win 10 games and take back the division this year... I just didn't they'd do it like this.
It's getting crazy
Posted on Wed Jan 03, 2007 at 11:13:04 AM EST
This has been a crazy ride so far this year... Jeff Garcia is on the cover of Sports Illustrated!
Now let's hope that SI cover jinx doesn't apply here...
SB Nation 2006 NFL Season Awards
Posted on Tue Jan 02, 2007 at 11:12:57 PM EST
Well, the 2006 regular season has come to a close, and now it's time to time the best and worst of 2006. We did something similar at the mid-way point of the season. My how things change from Week 8 to Week 17. SB Nation pooled its NFL writers for their opinions. Here are the results of the polling, with some opinions attached. Enjoy.
And oh yes, an Eagle made the list....
Click "Read More" for the rest...
Eagles up for awards
Posted on Tue Jan 02, 2007 at 04:27:50 PM EST
Hank Baskett is up for NFL Rookie of the Week. You can vote for him here. It could be the 2nd time Hank has won rookie of the week, with week 5 being the first. Pretty impressive for an undrafted rookie!
AJ Feeley is up for the FedEx Air player of the week. You can vote for him here.
Stallworth Schools DeAngelo Hall
Posted on Tue Jan 02, 2007 at 01:53:15 PM EST
Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall who is well known as one of the biggest punks in the league was taught a lesson by Donte Stallworth on Sunday. Hall, despite being beaten pretty badly by every notable WR he faced this year, showed exactly how much he cares about his own stats above actually winning...
Wide receiver Donté Stallworth didn't spit in the face of cornerback DeAngelo Hall, as Terrell Owens did a couple weeks back. Stallworth got sweeter revenge on the trash-talking Falcon.
"I'm wearing a division-title cap and DeAngelo Hall isn't," Stallworth said.
According to Stallworth, Hall talked a lot of smack during the game.
"He called me a bum," Stallworth said. "He kept saying he's been to two Pro Bowls and I haven't been to any. Well, this bum is going to be in the playoffs next week while that two-time Pro Bowler is out on the golf course or somewhere."
I think this type of thing had alot to do with why Jim Mora jr was fired after the game. Hall is out hyping his own accomplishments as the team is eliminated from the playoffs... Mike Vick told the Philly media before the game on a conference call that he was happy with this year because his "stats" have been "gravy." Mora was out talking about how much he wants to coach in college... he seemed to have a team that lost focus on what really matters. Winning.