HOME-FIELD Advantage has been secured! For us, that means two home playoff games instead of just one. Wonderful. Now can we please rest our starters next week?!
EAGLES 19 – RAIDERS 10
This was an ugly game to watch. The 29 degree temperature, and the biting, driving wind seemed to affect both teams. Neither QB was sharp, both teams missed a field goal, and neither punter averaged 40 yards last night, despite the fact that both came in above 45.
Added to the weather making things difficult, was the uneven play selection (38 passes to 21 runs). The big difference in the game was the 5 takeaways (2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries) that the Eagles managed to pluck from the Raiders.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Don’t get greedy: We played our starters for the whole game in the quest for home-field advantage. It worked out for us, but it was not the prudent move. (NOT DONE)
2) Smart business decisions: Raider RB Marshawn Lynch (25 – 95 – 3.8 – 0 – 1) did his damage through quantity of carries, not quality of carries. At no point did he crack off a run of more than 16 yards and he even coughed up his first fumble of the year. Our Defense didn’t shut him down, but did a good job of containing him (DONE)
3) Serve up play-action: Flat out didn’t happen. I was actually really intrigued with how vanilla and repetitive our play-calling was. (NOT DONE)
4) Get over Under: Unless I missed something, there was no attempt to probe the Raiders defensive front seven, for structural weaknesses. (NOT DONE)
That brings our weekly counter to 1 of 4. Usually a number like that means a loss. Next week against the Cowboys, all Four Things may be REST THE STARTERS, Doug!
On The Whole:
I’m not sure what the Eagles coaching staff was after, with their approach to this game. There wasn’t nearly enough running of the ball to support Nick Foles (19/38 – 50.0% – 163 1 – 1). Especially given the weather conditions.
Offensively, it was so vanilla that it looked almost like a preseason game. There was a clear lack of routes run to clear traffic. Play-action was effectively shelved. Also most of the few deep shots, were sideline routes that landed out of bounds. All of the creativity seems to have vanished.
On Defense, we were solid with the exception of a 63 yard touchdown pass. Aside from that one down, the Eagles surrendered just 3 points all night and took the ball away 5 times. Anyone who had issue with us last week vs the giants, should be thrilled with this week’s performance.