Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 5: What Did We Learn?

The game -- regardless of a final score of 33-14 -- ended pretty much as we thought it would.  The birds were 13.5 point favorites and the Bucs were (and are) winless thus far this season.  Nevertheless, with every passing game we learn something more about the identity of this team and gain new insight into just how good they are.

What did we learn?: McNabb's health is not an issue, Jeremy Maclin lives, Michael Vick probably hates his life again, Westbrook kinda sucks now, Standard wildcat good / Fancy wildcat bad, Josh Johnson is better than his stats, Blitzing is the new black, and Kellen Winslow Jr is a fucking soldier!!

McNabb's health is not an issue - I guess 3 weeks is enough time to heal broken ribs. After watching Kevin Kolb win over fantasy owners, his haters, and local racists the past couple weeks, Donovan F. brought his A game with a 3 TD, 264 yard performance. He was also the Eagles' leading rusher. More on that later.

Jeremy Maclin lives! - Oooooh, so that's why we picked you first. Cause before this game, Jeremy, you were lookin' busty like D-cups. Okay, well, you keep on doing what you did today, and I'll stop saying that you're a no-route-running, scared-to-get-hit, should-have-taken-Percy-Harvin waste of a pick. Okay? One more thing, you gotta stop stealing all of DeSean's fantasy points. Oh, um, congrats on a great game.

Michael Vick probably hates his life again -

AR: "Hey, Mike, get out there and hand off to Shady. No, wait, wait...line up at WR. You're such an awesome decoy, Mike."
MV: "But, coach, can I throw a few passes?"
AR: "Sure you can...oh, wait, no you can't."
MV: "But why? You're just gonna have me hand off a few times and run a shitty pass play that we never use, aren't you?"
AR: "Yup. And don't bitch, either...nobody likes you anyway. Besides, if you go out there and throw an interception like I know you will, I won't be able to trade you for a second rounder like I promised Jeff I would."
MV: [sigh]

Westbrook kinda sucks now - True blue (green?) fans probably won't agree with me here, but I think we are close to seeing Westbrook's tank completely run out of gas. Right now we are in that weird middle stage where conventional thought says the guy is still one of the better backs in the league, but in actuality he's far from it. Sure, he still is one of the best blitz pickup and receiving RBs in the NFL, but his pure running skills are close to gone.

It's kinda like how Philly fans knew guys like DeSean Jackson and Trent Cole were great players before the national media caught on. Right now, Philly fans are seeing that Westbrook isn't the same running back anymore -- probably weeks ahead of the casual football fan. I understand it was a pass-heavy day, but when Donovan McNabb gains more yards on the ground than you do something isn't right.  Westbrook is still a 93 in Madden, but if you ask me he's closer to an 80something.

Standard wildcat good / Fancy wildcat bad - I love the wildcat, so let's get that out of the way. My only problem with this new style of running play is when the Eagles try to do too much with it -- using gimmicks. Some people mistake the entire wildcat formation for one big gimmick, with this sort of old-hat "back in my day..." condescending tone accompanying their opinion. I don't see it this way. The wildcat is the best way to pick up short yardage out of a running formation for this team right now, and with it averaging 4-5 yards an attempt, it's effective.

My problem lies in how fat Andy tries to do too much with the wildcat by having these long-winded 2-3 handoff trick plays that don't accomplish anything. These are a complete waste of a down and end up with no gain far too often. These "trickery" wildcat plays are like putting rhinestones on a jean jacket -- it's already ugly, why make it look stupid, too?

Josh Johnson is better than his stats - Period. The guy showed guts, poise, and a decent (dare I say accurate?) arm in the face of an unrelenting Eagles defense. Hey, I'd rather have him than JaMarcus Russell.

Blitzing is the new Black - Jim Johnson once told Sean McDermott the key to defense is to "blitz, and blitz again." Sean's obviously been listening (except for maybe the Saints game), and came at the Bucs' young QB on what seemed every down. If we -- as well as teams like the Jets -- keep this up, we might be on the verge of another wildcat-esque NFL fad.

Kellen Winslow Jr. is a fucking soldier!! - I know this is old...but it never gets old to me. What else can be said...the guy came to play. His hands were sticky and he beat whoever the Eagles lined up against him (Gocong, Asante, Macho, etc). Regardless of how you feel about his character or the quality of his motorcyle riding, K2 is a gamer.

Did I miss anything?

1 comment:

  1. Andy Reid thinks he's a Chemist. Mixing and matching formations, with player swaps, with RB sets, with WR spreads. He's over thinking the game to a point where it may bite himself in the Arse!