11 November 2014

Monday Night Massacre

Eagles 45, Panthers 21, Monday, November 10, 2014 

(Yes, I know Tommy Lawlor used the same post title, but it's TOO OBVIOUS to pass up.)

OK, I think we all pretty much expected the Eagles to win, but I don't think anyone would have predicted the EPIC BEATDOWN that took place last night. Wow.

Stud of the week: could it be anyone other than Jordan Matthews? No, it could not. Someone get the
canapes and champagne, because that was one fine coming out party. You know how, in the offseason, Chip was all "DeSean, Shme-Sean, I want a big receiver!" and we were all like, "You sure, man? DJax is pretty good." Turns out, the Chippah may have been right. The guys over at BGN commented that the Sanchez-Matthews hookup was money in training camp, so on the night when Sanchez had his first start in, like, two years, it makes sense the rookie would BE HEARD in a big way. Lets hope that chemistry continues in the coming weeks.

Shout-out also to Connor "I eat opposing QBs for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner" Barwin. Been too damn long since we had a sack-machine linebacker. He was clearly spying Cam all night, and that running start allowed him to just bulldoze the Panthers' o-line left and right.

Speaking of, something is clearly wrong with Cam Newton, and if, as sideline reporter Lisa Salters indicated, Ron Rivera thinks he's fine, he needs to have his eyes examined. Yeah, the Panthers' o-line may be garbage, but it still shouldn't be possible to sack Cam NINE times. (Rivera just said "Cam's not hurt" AGAIN on the NFL Network. Is he nuts?)

Also! Darren Sproles AGAIN with the awesome. He's at a Devin Hester-level of "DO NOT KICK IT TO THAT GUY" at this point. RUN, LITTLE MAN, RUN! Seriously, when you see still pictures of him with the other players, it's hilarious - he's a munchkin - but even with that, he stoned a few Panthers on blocks last night, which is damn impressive for someone who's about four feet tall.

Brent Celek sighting! I'm guessing the reason he's been MIA pretty much all season is that the patchwork o-line has needed him to stay back as an extra blocker, but with the big uglies returning to form, I'm hoping we'll get to see more of him, because he is still totally unafraid to go across the middle, catch the ball, and take the big hit, and he's still good at picking up that tough but crucial extra yard or two after the catch that can be the difference between a first down and a punt.

Even Cary Williams and Nate Allen did reasonably well, with both of them recording a pick. And Bradley Fletcher! With the pick-6!

Sanchez was solid, and most importantly, no fumbles of any kind, butt or otherwise. He got lucky on an almost-pick where the defending Panther couldn't get his feet down in-bounds, but he played at least as well as Foles has been playing. He seemed - to me, anyway - to make faster decisions and be more willing to step into his throws (I didn't see back foot shenanigans). And he did have some pretty, pretty throws. Can he keep it up? Looks like we're going to find out, but on a big night on a national stage, he delivered a better-than-adequate performance and with the special teams bringing their usual AWESOME and the D bringing THE BUSINESS, that was more than enough. (Although I would like to see him clean up his screen passes. The Eagles have been a screen team since, um, FOREVER, so get on that, Mark.)

It *was* a bad night for the Birds' running game. As pretty much everyone has observed, teams can go all out to stop the run, which the Panthers did, and the Eagles will just beat them through the air. Still, Chuckie remarked that this was Shady's first TD in six weeks. He was wrong - Shady hasn't had a TD since week 2, almost two months ago. That's pretty f-ing weird.

And apparently, the refs need to start coming to practice with the Eagles, because even THEY can't keep up when the Kelly offense is moving full speed. You guys might want to get in a little more treadmill time at the gym is all I'm saying. 

But these last few are nitpicking, honestly. Let's just enjoy Victory Tuesday before we turn our thoughts to the EXTREMELY DAUNTING task ahead: the Packers at Lambeau.

Meanwhile, CHEESESTEAKS FOR EVERYONE

(Also, if you need a giggle, go to last night's game open thread on Blogging the Boys and read the comments.)

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