Bird Therapy: Breaking Down the Eagles’ Performance Against New York

With the Philadelphia Eagles eking a huge victory against their hated rival New York, they have now flown atop the NFC East with a 3-1 record and look to continue their winning ways against in-state rival Pittsburgh this Sunday.

My hairline has been doomed since birth (thanks Dad) and everyone who knows me personally wouldn’t hesitate to say that I am a little thin on top, but thanks to these one- and two- point victories from our beloved Eagles, I am starting to look more like Lebron James by the day—my hair at least. Does anybody have a headband?

Both teams watch Tynes’ kick fall short; the Eagles have won close games, and it’s no fluke (via Getty Images).

Some say it’s fool’s gold regarding the Birds’ 3-1 record, but I couldn’t disagree more. Let’s all be honest: last year, the Birds didn’t display the fight and togetherness late in the game like they’ve demonstrated against Cleveland, Baltimore, and New York this season. Whether or not fans think the Eagles are worse than what their record shows, they have to be able to smell something different in the air this year.

I am not going to dissect too much of last week’s win, but I want to share a couple of things I liked and didn’t like, starting with the running attack. Andy Reid stuck to the run game. Andy Reid stuck to the run game. Andy Reid stuck to the run game. I know, it takes a couple times reading to actually believe it but he actually stuck with handing the ball off even after a tough first half, a decision helped contribute to the final outcome of the game.

There were, however, a couple things I found fault with:

Reid kept handing the ball off to Shady in the shotgun formation, which is typical of a West Coast Offense. However, with a premier back and a shaky offensive line, its vital for Reid to run the ball with Vick under center. With Vick in the shotgun, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck could get around tackles and fly upfield while linebackers filled both inside and outside according to Shady’s run pattern.

DRC has been playing at an elite level (via CSNPhilly).

Must I explain what happened in the second half, when Shady ran the heart out of the Giants defense like in previous years? Look at the tape and tell me if Vick was in shotgun during any of those runs or not. (Hint: He wasn’t.)

Another thing that drove me insane was how our All-Pro RB found himself on the sidelines during the most unnecessary times. After a timeout, Bryce Brown received a handoff with 40 seconds left in the first quarter after Shady touched the ball once during the previous six plays. I am all for getting the backup his carries, especially in today’s game where backfield committees trend around the league, but Brown should get carries when Shady needs a breather after a couple of rushes, not just for the sake of getting carries.

The next play was a handoff to Damaris Johnson. Again, this play. doesn’t make sense. That drive ended up as a three-and-out which was extremely disappointing considering the Eagles were in Giants territory. Again, I am happy Reid stuck with the ground attack, and this week versus Pittsburgh should be a great chance for Reid to continue that success, but I just want to see guys like Johnson and Brown get the rock at the appropriate time.

I don’t want to talk about last week’s game to much, but cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is playing at an elite level. He is without a doubt the best corner on the team, and might as well be the best all around athlete as well. He plays with a high level of confidence and continues to produce signature plays that dictate the game—for example, his 3 interceptions against Cleveland week 1 and his picking off Eli Manning last week in the end zone. We all know that Nnamdi Asomugha needs to step his game up, but until than I feel comfortable with the best cornerback in the NFC on our side.

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Categories: Eagles, Editorial

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