Monday, January 08, 2007

The Birds Didn't Bring their A-Game, but...

...we didn't have to, what, with Koy Detmer back holding the ball during kicks and all. Was anyone a little worried when Akers set up to kick that ball? Remember the days when a 38-yarder was automatic? whoa. Akers cried again after making the kick, which was heartwarming and all...for people in Arizona maybe. Come on, David, this is Philly! But congrats to Green Akers for having nerves of steel in the pouring rain. He must be more comfortable with Detmer there. Good move by management bringing him back.

The Giants did bring their A-game however. They came ready to play yesterday, you have to give them that. The stats match up nearly perfectly across the board - Garcia and Manning had about 160 yards passing each, the Brook and Tiki had about 140 yards rushing each, time of possession about 30 min each. Amazing. I have the overall impression however that we're just a better team despite the stats...coaching may be the difference, although I sort of hate to say that.


The Birds O-line was getting shredded most of the day. Come on, can we give Garcia a little time to throw please? Garcia's numbers would have been a lot stronger had he been afforded more than 1.5 seconds to make a decision before scrambling for his life. The pocket was collasping around him all day, and the WRs weren't getting great separation to help the situation either (Reggie and Donte played well when they were open however so I'm not knocking them). Not sure what went wrong there - it didn't appear that the Giants were blitzing a lot. Their front four were just pushing harder, it seems.

Also, I'm not sure what the play-calling duties were but I loved the heaping load of Brook. Can't say enough about this game-changing, hard-running, ass-kicking RB we have. Brook loves running to the right: 8 runs to the right for 117 yards. I need to study the break-down over the course of the season, but he's much stronger on the right side than left. I wonder if that's because Runyan and Andrews are just better run blockers? Speaking of Runyan, what a beast, but yikes, anyone think we dodged a bullet not having him ejected? Back to play calling - my guess is that Andy and Marty shared play calling duties. Why? Because we had good success with our running game - biggest line in the league after all - so what did we do in the 2nd quarter when it was First and Goal on the Giants 4? We did this:

1st and 4 at NYG 4 J.Garcia pass incomplete short middle to L.Smith.
2nd and 4 at NYG 4 J.Garcia scrambles right tackle to NYG 1 for 3 yards.
3rd and 1 at NYG 1 J.Garcia pass incomplete short right to H.Baskett.

THREE PASSING PLAYS! That choice assortment of tricky pass plays had Andy Reid written all over it. Why pass 3 times when (1) it's the most difficult place to pass on the field (no space, no lanes to throw), (2) you have the biggest line in football, and (3) the running game is already working? That's signature Andy Reid football everybody. Whatever. If he's not abundantly aware of how wrong he's been all of these years about WRs and Running backs, then he's dumber than he is fat.


The same problem as on offense: we got owned on the line. Eli's uniform was basically clean at the end of the game. We were obviously concerned about Tiki running wild, but he did that anyway. Why we didn't blitz the snot out of Eli and rattle him is beyond me. Remember when we made Eli a human pinball a few years ago when Eli made his debut? Well, Eli remembers that too. He already looks scared out there, all we needed to do was hit him a couple times early and it was over. The secondary did a nice job overall covering their talented WRs, but at the same time we didn't seem to be double covering Plaxico which made no sense to me. Anyway, I won't question Jim Johnson very much, as he's the master of all he surveys IMO. The front 4 need to play much better next week or we're done.

More later....


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