Your Monday Morning Roundup: Dud
Go look outside– the sky is falling today. I’m not sure how, as a community, we’ll get through this. I’m not sure how Mark Sanchez will carry on. Not sure if Chip Kelly is the right man for the job. Let’s just shut it down and watch the Sixers rebuild, because the 7-3, tied-for-first, still-in-position-to-earn-a-bye Eagles are done.
Let’s hit it.
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Which is mostly just the Quick Post-Game Thoughts and Bird Droppings I was too despondent to write last night.
He wasn’t good, but he only got really bad as the game got into silly time. During the first quarter and a half, when the Packers were clipping the Eagles’ wings one large cut at a time, Sanchez was fine. He took three sacks thanks to completely unblocked pass rushers and a bad play call (and recognition) of Clay Matthews streaking off the end. And two passes that should’ve been caught were dropped. None of the early struggles could really be blamed on Sanchez. As the game carried on, though, he slowly morphed into Jets Mark Sanchez. He took a snap to the dick (a literal event summarizing how we all figuratively felt), missed a high snap from Jason Kelce (more on those in a second) that turned into a touchdown, missed WIDE OPEN Riley Cooper and Darren Sproles on potential touchdown passes, and was generally wild with mostly poor throws. The passes to Cooper and Sproles were particularly concerning– not because they would’ve led to a comeback, but because they were good play calls that had both players streaking toward the end zone and passes that would’ve been completed by someone like Aaron Rodgers. As an NFL quarterback, you can’t miss those throws. Nothing special was required– just a simple reading of the play (completed) and leading of the receiver (not completed). These… these two throws worry me:
Josh Huff needs to be benched
I’m tired of Josh Huff. He’s got a ton of talent, but this is three out of four games where he’s made egregious errors. There was the fumble in the red zone against the Cardinals, the dropped pass against the Texans, and this week, the failure to pop the punt returner when he didn’t call for a fair catch and yet another dropped pass. What’s worse is that this is the second time Huff has completely forgotten his status as a rookie and felt the need to excuse his mistakes after the game.
Talking to reporters about not realizing that Micah Hyde didn’t call for a fair catch on his punt return touchdown, Huff blamed THE COACHES for his mistake. From CSN Philly:
“I just did my job, did what the coaches told me to do. I just did what the coaches told me,” Huff said. “If I would have stuck to what I know, I would have made that play.
“If I would have stuck to what I know, just played my game of football, I would have made that play.
“That’s all I can tell you without going into, without trying to get in trouble.”
Perhaps the Eagles’ coaches told him to beware of interfering with the returner before the ball was caught, which every gunner has to be cautious of anyway. Had Huff kept going, he could have hit Hyde immediately after the catch was made, which isn’t an easy play. Or he could have run right by him, which gunners often do.
Slow your roll, rookie. Slow your roll… and then pop the returner!
Not to blame this loss on anything but the Eagles’ inability to stop Aaron Rodgers from rowing the Packers’ boat gently up the Eagles defense’s loser stream, but it doesn’t help things when your quarterback takes obvious (uncalled!) helmet-to-helmet hits in the first quarter that lead to Packer touchdowns on the ensuing drives. The tone was set on those plays. The Eagles probably wouldn’t have won, but the failure to call thsoe penalties went a long way in helping the rout.
I count purple as his fourth color of Beats headphones on the season– white, pink for breast cancer awareness month, orange, and now purple. Does anyone want to tell him he looks like a toolbag?
McCoy and Sproles
It’s no longer a fluke or too-small-a-sample-size– Darren Sproles is a better runner right now. There aren’t many excuses left for McCoy. The line is mostly intact and Sproles seems to have little problem running behind it in his limited opportunities. I watched closely yesterday to see if the blocking failed McCoy. Sometimes it did, but most of the time he was given room to get going and put on his moves… moves that never showed up. Last year, all he needed was enough time to read the play, find a hole, and make a move to get there. This year, he’s missing that initial juke to hit the hole. He’s not as quick. It’s concerning. It was one thing early in the season with a banged up line and Sproles serving as the wild change of pace. But the line is now healthy and Sproles is consistently able to gain positive yards when he gets the ball. McCoy wasn’t awful yesterday (77 rushing yards on 23 attempts), but his average (3.7) is still a drastic decrease over last season’s (5.1).
The snap over Sanchez’s head should’ve been caught, but this is now three-straight games where Kelce has looked… off. There’s an inconsistency with his snaps that we haven’t seen before. Maybe it’s rust. Maybe Sanchez’s bobbles have made it more noticeable. Either way, it’s not good.
Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were rocking stubble yesterday. Is there a reason for this? Aikman’s… actually a good looking dude.
The next time someone asks why we don’t do things like every other outlet, I’m just going to point to this screenshot:
— Franny Diggz (not imploded) (@FrannyDiggz) November 17, 2014
Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead: “If this was a preview of the NFC Championship game … pencil the Packers into the Super Bowl.”
The Inquirer‘s Zach Berman point out that the Eagles are first in something:
The Eagles entered the Packers game with the second-highest turnover total in the NFL, and they took the lead in that category Sunday after they gave the ball away four times … the Eagles did not force any turnovers and now have a minus-9 turnover differential. They are the only team in the bottom 10 in turnover differential that has a winning record.
Looking forward, of the top eight teams in the NFC, the Eagles’ remaining opponents have the worst combined record.
They never really stood a chance:
Mike Sielski thinks Sanchez didn’t have to win the game to look alright, but he did neither of those things:
Sanchez didn’t have to lead a crazy, miraculous comeback to retain everyone’s confidence. He just had to keep things from getting out of hand, from opening himself and his teammates to ridicule, and he couldn’t.
What exactly did Aaron Rodgers do to the defense? “There was no column marked “stripped away defense’s illusions of competency,” but if there had been, Rodgers could have checked that off, too.”
Chip Kelly told Angelo Cataldi this morning about the sartorial requirements of the NFL: “You guard from being too high and you guard from being too low, and you move on,” Kelly said. “I don’t think anybody feels sorry for us around the league. ‘Poor Philadelphia, let’s take it easy on them,’ that’s going to happen. It’s a big boy league, gotta put your big boy pants on and get ready to play another game.”
LeSean McCoy, on the merits of comparing which team is better: “I don’t think they’re a better team than us. They were today and that’s all that matters. No reason to talk about it.” Alright.
Forbes had some thoughts on Kelly’s coaching talent vs. Sanchez’s quarterbacking talent. Namely, that both are important and Mark Sanchez is still Mark Sanchez:
If Kelly really is a magician with the Xs and Os to the extent that who executes his plays is of secondary importance, we have yet to see clear and convincing evidence to prove it. Winning two games with Mark Sanchez at quarterback was a neat feat, and no quarterback, not Peyton Manning, not Tom Brady, not Aaron Rogers, wins every game, so Mark Sanchez can’t be held to such an impossible standard. But when looking for examples of coaching brilliance in Sanchez’s play, it’s hard to find them. The fumbles and interceptions that marked his tenure in New York were there. The bad decisions with the football were there. The missing wide-open receivers, that was there too.
Perhaps two and a half weeks isn’t enough for even the genius of football geniuses to rewire four years of horrific quarterback play. Perhaps it’s a gradual process, the fruits of which will reveal themselves bit by bit over time. Or, perhaps there is no answer because the truth is, in the NFL, both coaching and talent matter.
The Pope did a big long speech about Pope-type stuff but finally confirmed that he’s coming to Philly next year.
This “Saints fan steals ball from Bengals fan” thing is all over the place — and that is exactly what happened, but no one is talking about the two most important things: Both fans seem to be having fun with it, and the dude was about an inch from dropping a big elbow on the Bengals fan when he grabbed that ball. Then, it’d be a different story.
The Flyers put together a welcome back video for Scott Hartnell on Friday night:
And the DEA searched and/or talked to the team doctors of the 49ers, Seahawks, and Buccaneers after their respective games yesterday, regarding a lawsuit that alleged team doctors “routinely gave [players] painkillers in an illegal manner to mask injuries and keep them on the field.” According to Outside the Lines, it all comes down to this:
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, doctors cannot give players prescription drugs like Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin outside of the facilities where they are registered with the DEA to prescribe those controlled substances, and trainers are not permitted under the federal drug laws to ever provide prescription medications to players.
But according to a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of Sunday’s inspections, the DEA has reason to believe those laws are frequently violated, particularly by visiting NFL teams.
I wonder if the “reason to believe those laws are frequently violated” is common sense.
All-new shows are up, and our interview with Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil is posting later today. LibertyBroadcast.co.