Messed Up – EaglesFanCast 135

The Philadelphia Eagles fall apart, mostly on the Offensive side of the ball this week, and lose to the Arizona Cardinals, 27-6 on the road.  Many things went wrong, and we pretty much blame quarterback Michael Vick, the Offensive Line, Coach Andy Reid and Coach Marty Mornhinweg.  Alas, the Eagles are now 2-1 on the season, and if they fix the issues plaguing them now, are on a solid track moving forward on the season.  Speaking of moving forward, rival New York Giants drive down the Turnpike and show up at Lincoln Financial Field for some Sunday evening festivities.  The Eagles crowd will surely be there to welcome them with open arms, and mouths.  Also at the game Sunday night will be a tribute to one of the greatest Eagles, Brian Dawkins.  His number will also be retired in a much-deserved ceremony.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the Arizona Cardinals in embarrassing fashion
  • Michael Vick is again under attack and on the turf often, getting almost no protection from his Offensive line
  • The New York Giants come to down in a rivalry showdown on prime time television
  • Eagles great Brian Dawkins will receive a tribute and the Eagles will retire his number
  • The NFL’s replacement referees are thankfully gone, and the regular refs are back after the dispute with their union is finally settled

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These Birds Carry Heart of 2004 Eagles

After about the most agonizing and at the same time possibly most satisfying wins to open a season in a long time, the Eagles find themselves in an interesting spot. Not since 2004 (yes that was really 8 years ago) has Andy Reid’s Birds started 2-0.
While the first two games have been at times excruciatingly difficult to watch, they have proven that this team has it where it counts, they have heart and they refuse to just give up. I give immense credit to the Defense for taking a leadership stance in the second half Sunday. They rose up and allowed only two field goals, giving a sputtering Offense the opportunities it needed to score.
Le’ts not mince words here. Michael Vick must get better. He must make better decisions and if this is to be a Super Bowl year he cannot continue to expose himself to all of the hits he took against the Ravens. It only gets tougher with the loss of Jason Kelce, but that is all the more reason to get rid of the ball quicker. These Eagles will only go as far as Vick and LeSean McCoy can take them, and they both must take care of the football better than they have.
If the Offense can manage to play more mistake-free, its scary to me how good these guys have the potential to be. The bottom line is that they and only they can decide how good they want to be. The members of the 2004 team are watching. They see the potential for these Eagles to finish what they could not, and I see it too. I believe that after two ugly wins, they have shown that inside, the heart of 2004 is beating.
Time will tell if there is a heartbeat in February.

Alone On Top – EaglesFanCast 134

Our Philadelphia Eagles play the home opener against the Baltimore Ravens in a slugfest and the Eagles come out on top, banged and bruised, but winners.  This leads the Eagles to be 2-0 on the season, and sitting at the top of the NFC East Division.  We saw the team pick itself up and continue to fight the entire game, despite more turnovers that would have done most other teams in on the day.  To make it even better, the team fought from a deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead late, and the Defense once again did a phenomenal job to keep the Ravens Offense from scoring.  Unfortunately the Eagles lose center Jason Kelce for the year when he tore is knee’s MCL and partially tore his ACL.  He will surely be missed on the Offense.

Cody Benjamin from Bleed Green joins us this week, and we talk about the Ravens game, coaching efforts, improvements, and the coming Arizona Cardinals game on the road.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-23
  • Michael Vick shows confidence and determination that we didn’t see a lot of when Donovan McNabb was under center
  • Brent Celek had an amazing game, and helped the fans go crazy with acrobatic and enthusiastic display
  • DeMeco Ryans is emerging as the powerhouse leader of the Defense
  • The Eagles Defense looked especially good this week, and the Defensive coaching schemes were great to handle what the Ravens threw at them
  • Coaching all around in this game was impressive… adjustments were key
  • Eagles travel to Arizona to take on a tough Cardinals team
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The Value Of A Win

Each win is worth the same at the end of the season, but this one means so much right now. Despite turnovers and penalties, the Eagles are finding a way to win and, as we all know, winning becomes a habit. The performance last week was embarrassingly poor, but it all changed on Sunday.

The Ravens are genuine Super Bowl contenders. It may sound a bit backward, but I’d have almost been more content had we narrowly lost than I was with the win at Cleveland. That week one debacle felt like we had picked up a win by the Browns beating themselves, rather than our sparkling array of Offensive talent actually doing anything.

I criticised Andy Reid and the Coaches last week for not making adjustments during the game, but this week appeared to be different. The second half was better than the first with fewer mistakes and better play calling. There are early signs that everything may just be coming together.

However, if it wasn’t for two late drives, the Eagles would be 0-2 today and facing a very long season. If the turnovers continue, defeats will happen. There is some basic coaching to be done to eliminate schoolyard errors. It’s hard to criticise Shady, but two fumbles in two games? Come on man, you’re better than that!

Michael Vick is making some poor decisions, but he has pulled it out when it counts. Of course, the counter argument is that it is somewhat down to #7 himself that the team has been in a position where those game-winning scores were needed. Vick must improve his decision-making on his “quest for greatness.” Having seen the mic’d up video last week, his leadership and confidence is not in question.

And how about those receivers? DeSean looks like he’s finally happy to play, Maclin is playing great, Jason “Hands” Avant is as reliable as ever and there have been really important catches made by Harbor and Celek too. A couple of injury worries, but not as serious as Jason Kelce. The bearded warrior is out for the season, yet we still put together a game winning drive against a very good Ravens Defense without him. This is a team with a lot of fight.

The Eagles Defense looks light years ahead of last season’s unit. Juan Castillo took a massive amount of criticism all through 2011, but today he deserves high praise. He has his guys playing and needs to keep them on top of their game. If he can do that for an entire season, it will turn an Andy Reid “goof” into a master stroke. It is often said that Defense wins Championships, well the Eagles Defense has certainly played a huge part in the 2-0 start.

Cut out the penalties and turnovers, then we’ll see just how good the 2012 Eagles are. Get down to Arizona and beat Kolb, then we’ll show the Super Bowl Chumps… I mean Champs… what we’re all about.

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

Moments of Mediocrity – EaglesFanCast 133

The 2012 NFL and Philadelphia Eagles season kicked off, and the result of a win was what we expected.  The WAY in which they won was not what was expected.  With QB Michael Vick throwing four interceptions, all but one of our Offensive line committing penalties, and a fully unbalanced play scheme, the Eagles barely win against a below average Cleveland Browns.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 17-16
  • There were way too many mistakes in coaching, play calling, and fundamentals
  • DeMeco Ryans played great and is exactly what the Eagles had hoped for
  • Andy Reid recognized that his play-calling should have had more runs
  • Ray Lewis and the Ravens Defense is going to be more than a test for this Eagles Offense
  • This week is all about the coaching
  • Our safeties and cornerbacks did the job they needed to shut down Brandon Weeden

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