George Lucas said he wanted the world in Star Wars to looked used, lived in. Too many science fiction movies had depicted pristine futuristic locales. Lucas’ story took place a long, long time ago. He wanted the world to look grimy, almost dirty.
Well, I’m sure he’s happy today, as the trailer for the seventh film in his sold-off-to-Disney series debuted during what was a gross, filthy contest between squads wearing light and dark, and jousting for a murky W. If the Monday Night Football game were a scene in Star Wars, the Eagles and Giants would’ve been stuck in the giant trash compactor on the Death Star. Both were in danger of getting squashed between the icky walls of awfulness, but, thankfully, the Birds were rescued by an R2-S8 droid, while Eli Manning… well, he was unable to save the Princess and was flattened between two walls curiously resembling Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry.
My Star Wars analogies and puns are only beginning. I have GIFs, screen grabs, videos, and stats, too. Let’s get to the Droppings! I haven’t slept, and this took forever, so just assume there will be typos.
“Sam Bradford and the slow-starting Eagles offense hits the field.”
This is how Mike Tirico teased the first appearance of the, um, vaunted(?) Eagles offense. Indeed he was correct. Their first drive, as is typical this season, was a three-and-out and lasted all of 30 seconds (!!!).
Eagles' opening drives this season: • 4 yds, punt • 9 yds, punt • 59 yds, FG • -8 yards, punt • 18 yds, turnover on downs • 3 yds, punt
— Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidmanCSN) October 20, 2015
Chip Kelly, if he uses a script, may want to trash it and turn the directing duties over to J.J. Abrams. At least the latter will just run the damn ball a few times and won’t try to cram unnecessary CGI in the form of Sam Bradford mis-throwing a wheel route on the second play from scrimmage:
The 2015 Eagles offense in one GIF pic.twitter.com/kuzrmNJkiF
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) October 20, 2015
I’ve written previously that this play was unstoppable. I was wrong. It can be stopped… if Bradford throws the fucking ball out of bounds!
Somewhere, there exists a series of spinoffs and expanded universe material detailing each of the bonehead plays – from both sides – that nearly cost each team the game. Like, I fully expect there to be an entire trilogy dedicated to how on planet Coughlin the Giants could have a potential safety negated by having 12 men on the field, or the backstory to Eli Manning’s thinking when he threw across the line inside his own 20:
PICK 6. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
But those were just the tip of the Hoth iceberg. There was this unfortunate series of turnovers– two by the Giants, one by the Eagles:
There was Bradford and Murray muffing a handoff, and Josh Huff in an illegal formation.
There was the Giants pulling off the always-hilarious running into the kicker to reboot an Eagles drive, leading to a touchdown:
There was the drive-extending roughing the passer play by Giants “one-dimensional pass rusher” (according to Jon Gruden) Damontre Moore, who gets our Jar Jar Binks award for completely ruining the first episode for his team. It also led to an Eagles touchdown:
In all, between both teams, there were 21 penalties totaling around 160 yards… and that’s without factoring in the game-changing nature of the Giants’ blunders. Man, in a contest where the focus was on Cox, there sure were a lot of boners.
One turnover, Eli Manning’s first interception, was less of a blunder and more of an incredible play by DeMeco Ryans:
Huge turning point. The Giants were driving for the second time in a row, and about to go up 14-0 before the Eagles could even get started with their iffy offense. Then Ryans picks it, the Giants take a dumb penalty on third down on the ensuing drive, and the Eagles take advantage. Game changed.
I know Disney owns the series now, but not sure how purists are going to feel about them inserting Lion King characters into Star Wars:
#Eagles Kelly: DeMeco Ryans 'is our Mufasa. He's motivated 24-7.'
— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) October 20, 2015
— EROCK (@TheMightyEROCK) October 20, 2015
Can’t imagine he’ll get along too well with Chewie.
He sucks. pic.twitter.com/80joratrmF
— CBScreener (@CBGrabsandGIFS) October 20, 2015
Deer-in-star-lights Bradford and his big dumb eyes get our Admiral Ackbar award for having big dumb eyes, or, as eloquently described by Philly native Tonight Show writer Luke Cunningham:
Sam Bradford looks like Ryan Reynolds with Bells Palsy.
— Luke Cunningham (@LukeXCunningham) October 20, 2015
Unfortunately, Bradford couldn’t see the trap coming and kept leading his troops into certain danger. He does this several times per game– nearly getting his receivers decapitated. Look at this:
Put that thing away, Sammy– you’re gonna get us all killed!
Bradford played well against the Saints, but the Eagles won despite him last night. Not shown here are two woefully underthrown balls to Jordan Matthews, who already has a problem hanging onto the rock. Bradford regressed last night, against a mediocre Giants defense, at home. In a win. That’s hard to do, and concerning. Through he reportedly rallied the troops (again) – this time on the sidelines and thankfully not in the shower – that doesn’t make up for being picked four times in the red zone this season— the most in the NFL, and a problem spot for the Eagles last year that may have led to Nick Foles getting shipped off to the Rams. Ergo, Chip trading for Bradford is like if Luke’s uncle bought utility droids and, rather than helping, they wound up getting him killed… oh, wait. Shit. The Bradford era:
I give Bradford 0.8 headlights this game.
Who knew this Tweet would become so prescient:
Jason Kelce has a poop emoji on the nameplate of his locker stall. pic.twitter.com/05HCS5znbR
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 16, 2015
Penalty, mis-timed snap count, bad snap:
— CBScreener (@CBGrabsandGIFS) October 20, 2015
For real, what’s wrong with him?
Easily his best game as an Eagle. 109 rushing yards, touchdown, looked faster and healthier. Carried the load at the end of the game when they needed him:
He seems to be learning the ways of Chip’s force… or his hamstring is better.
One of the best analyses of his struggles so far came from the always-great Gruden, who plainly diagramed how, running out of the I- formation, with the Cowboys, Murray was able to gather a head of steam into the line. With the Eagles, he gets the ball in the backfield out of the shotgun and his first step is typically a lateral one. I haven’t bought into this shotgun theory about Murray’s struggles, but what Gruden said made sense.
Of course, there’s this, too:
When DeMarco Murray carries the ball 20+ times in a game, his teams are 24-2. When he doesn’t, they’re 9-23. pic.twitter.com/XclRPVSST5
— Colleen Wolfe (@ColleenWolfeNFL) October 20, 2015
Also, the Eagles stuck with the run last night, as predicted by Mark Saltveit. 37 runs, 38 passes, 10 running first downs, 11 passing first downs. Balanced.
Fewest yards/play allowed… DEN: 4.3 NYJ: 4.3 CAR: 4.9 PHI: 5.0 TB: 5.1 SEA: 5.2 STL: 5.3
— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) October 20, 2015
This stat is telling. As Mark put it in his excellent recap, the Eagles are like Broncos light– a team thought to be an offensive force, but really their strength is defense. Cox is all over the place. The cornerbacks are… good. Malcolm Jenkins is a monster. And they’re missing Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks, and now maybe even Mufasa, and they’re still dominating.
Bad clock management
Like Lucas spending 30 full minutes on trade negotiations on Tatooine, the Eagles didn’t use their time wisely at the end of the second quarter. Inexplicably, Chip Kelly, who received the gift of about seven extra seconds (which Mike Tirico was positively freaking out about) due to clock “error,” opted not to use a timeout after a first down at the Giants’ 20 with 28 seconds to go before halftime. Rather, he wasted nine more seconds until Bradford could spike the ball. And then Bradford, incredibly, took a sack with under 10 seconds remaining, forcing the Eagles to kick a field goal when a touchdown was well within the cards. Not even a sweet pod race could’ve saved this sequence.
Star Wars trailer
— Nate (@DelcoNate) October 20, 2015
Sure, why not:
I can only imagine the blind rage from non-football nerds wondering who in the hell that talkative fat guy was delaying their trailer. This contrasts with how football nerds feel about Berman: Why in the hell is the talkative fat guy delaying my football? Mesahthinks Berman demanded to be on-air and throw it to Tirico before the trailer, just so he could feel like he was still relevant.
— Dan Feinberg (@ChefKramsky) October 20, 2015
Manning intentional grounding penalties are my favorite:
But Manning Face is nowhere near as good as:
— Toby (@tdwilli1) October 20, 2015
I’m honestly surprised he made it through that dreck without throwing anything, especially when you consider his dumb:
4th and 1 play call
Run to the outside with under a yard to go on the 40, in the first quarter.
Giants trainers telling Hankins to "push!" pic.twitter.com/bWnKFn7FlR
— CBScreener (@CBGrabsandGIFS) October 20, 2015
I would give anything for this Raccoon to be named Rocky
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) October 20, 2015
He just wanted to watch the game… but he was declared part of the Rebel alliance and a traitor, and they took him away.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 20, 2015
— Phil Dassing (@PhilthyDC) October 20, 2015
OK then … pic.twitter.com/2coF9xP43S
— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 19, 2015
It appears Howard Eskin made up with the Giants exec who called him an asshole just hours earlier.
I asked Bill Davis what was said after the Giants' first drive: “After the first drive, we were making sure they didn’t score 100 on us.”
— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 20, 2015
— Kyle Walsh (@kwalsh2) October 20, 2015
Hmm. Intrigued, I am.