28 September 2015

An Ugly Win Is Still a Win

Eagles 24, Jets 17, Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Monday after a win is much better than the Monday after a loss.

Stud of the week: Really want to go with either Darren Sproles (THAT PUNT RETURN) or Jordan
Hicks (10 tackles, a fumble recovery, AND a pick) again. But the way those two are playing, they're going to appear here a lot this season, so I need to spread it around a little. With that in mind, I'm going with Ryan Mathews, who proved that the Birds CAN SO run the ball, even against a good defense. He went over 100 yards on the ground and had a receiving TD. Yes, he dropped a pass on what likely would have been another TD and had a very untimely fumble (where Jordan Hicks and Brandon Bair saved his bacon moments later, and more on Bair in a minute) when the Birds were trying to seal the win, but he ran hard and delivered when the Birds needed it. Whoa Mary, did we need it.

Speaking of Brandon Bair: who is this guy? I counted three batted passes, one that was picked, as mentioned above, at just the right time. And I've never heard of him. So I looked him up. Turns out, he was a UFA who spent three years riding the pine for three different teams, played all 16 games with the Birds last year doing not very much, spent the first two weeks of 2015 inactive, and then had a great game Sunday. I'm guessing he's been spending all that downtime in an adult rec volleyball league, because he was knocking stuff down seven ways from Sunday on, uh, Sunday.

I do have to talk a little more about Darren Sproles, who had two TDs Sunday, including that highlight reel punt return where he made EVERYONE miss. Yes, he got help with some solid blocks, but I'm pretty sure he slipped through all 53 Jets on that run. With the recent announcement that #36 is being considered for the Hall of Fame class this year, Chef Spouse remarked, wistfully, that some of the most exciting words in his football watching career have been: "Westbrook breaks free." I think "Sproles breaks free" may be running a close second. That guy is just insane. I don't know why the Saints (or the Chargers, for that matter) let him go, but thanks y'all!

I also have to talk a little more about Jordan Hicks, who's playing like a stone-cold pro at this point. Rookie shmookie. He keeps this up, he can be my schmoopy. And also, maybe, my next jersey.

Speaking of schmoopies, Byron Maxwell showed up! Billy Davis has been taking some heat in various fan quarters, but the Birds D is actually playing well, allowing only 36 points over the 10 quarters when Julio Jones wasn't spanking them (anyone else still have PTSD from that?), and they're on the field A LOT. Thankfully, Davis has realized that Maxwell needs help to cover the #1 wideout on the other team (Brandon Marshall, for instance) and has started providing it. Memo to Billy: he's not Richard Sherman. You're welcome.

To quote BGN: "My point is that the Eagles' defense (with an assist from special teams) is carrying this team while the offense is still in a funk."

Let's not get crazy - it's not the second coming of Jim Johnson - but how long has it been since any Birds fan has been able to say that? (I'll tell you how long - 12 years, and thanks for the refresher, Tommy!)

Also, the O line kept Sam Bradford clean. So that was good.

I guess we'll have to move to Sam Bradford, who is not playing well. If I can see that he's staring down the receiver from the comfort of my Eagles woman cave, that is not good. And I can. Admittedly, his receivers are not helping him. Dropsies, dropsies, dropsies. He's not throwing picks, so he is an upgrade over Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez. But he's playing like, well, like he hasn't played in years. Which is basically true, but at some point, he needs to stop looking like he just woke up from a bizarre dream and is not sure how he ended up on the football field in pads with a bunch of large men trying to pancake him.

Meanwhile, Jordan Matthews is practically on the side of a milk carton. Next to him are Miles Austin (too early to say "waste of a roster spot?") and Zach Ertz. Brent Celek managed to escape that fate merely because he remains a money blocker. Sigh. The Birds need a passing game, like immediately.

Also, Cody Parkey is now on IR. He had such a great year last year that I'm hopeful that his early season struggles are just the groin injury - which is apparently now much worse - and that when he heals up, he'll be back to 2014 form. In 2016, of course, and welcome Caleb Sturgis! Don't screw up.

But this was, as a number of people have mentioned, a team win. Name players stepped up. No name players stepped up. If Chip can just get Sam Bradford to play like a competent professional NFL quarterback, the NFC East crown is still very much in the Birds' reach.

1 comment:

Debbie Phillips said...

This sums things up well... "To quote BGN: "My point is that the Eagles' defense (with an assist from special teams) is carrying this team while the offense is still in a funk."" I was glad we won but felt it was only by the skin of our teeth and thanks to the defense.