Domo's second take: Eagles vs. Giants
The Philadelphia Daily News - Eagletarian
Domo's second take: Eagles vs. Giants
Paul Domowitch, Daily News NFL Columnist
Some day-after observations of Sunday’s game after looking at the tape:
* I’m not sure what’s more noteworthy – all of the missed tackles by the Eagles in Sunday’s game or the fact that few of them involved Asante Samuel. The biggest culprit was free safety Sean Jones. He got stiff-armed by tight end Kevin Boss on his 23-yard catch and run at the end of the third quarter. He failed to wrap up Brandon Jacobs on an 8-yard run in the third quarter. And he and linebacker Will Witherspoon both blew chances to bring down Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon on his 61-yard TD catch and run in the third quarter.
* Quintin Mikell didn’t have one of his better games. On one Giants scoring drive early in the second quarter, the Eagles strong safety got beaten badly down the field by wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who dropped what should have been an easy touchdown, was called for back-to-back illegal contact penalties and then missed a tackle on Nicks on a 68-yard touchdown catch-and-run. Later in the game, he also was flagged for an out-of-bounds hit on Giants tight end Kevin Boss.
* Jeremiah Trotter did some good things against the run Sunday, but the Giants were able to exploit him in the passing game. If Sean McDermott tries to play him 25-plus snaps a game in the playoffs against the Saints or Vikings or Cardinals, Drew Brees or Brett Favre or Kurt Warner will carve him up. My sense is McDermott will eventually move Will Witherspoon back to the middle once he’s confident that Akeem Jordan is healthy enough to play every down on the weak side. Sunday, Jordan, who had missed the previous four games with a hyperextended knee, rotated inside with Trotter, and Witherspoon played WILL in their base defense and MIKE in their two-linebacker nickel.
* The Eagles, who had a season-high 13 hurries in first Giants game, didn’t get consistent pressure on Eli Manning, even after the Giants lost their starting right tackle, Kareem McKenzie. The Giants effectively handled most of McDermott’s blitz packages, and the Eagles weren’t able to get much pressure on Manning with a four-man rush. The Eagles sacked Manning 3 times, but didn’t get the first one until there were 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
* Donovan McNabb really only threw two poor passes the entire night. One was his third-quarter interception when he and Brent Celek weren’t on the same page. The other was the overthrown deep ball to an open Reggie Brown on the possession after the interception.
* I’ve watched the replay of Eli Manning’s third-quarter ``fumble’’ about 30 times, and I still feel the zebras blew the call. Manning didn’t go down on his own accord. He was tripped up by Brodrick Bunkley who got a piece of the back of his jersey and also clipped his foot, which caused Manning to lose his balance and fall. The fact that he took two steps before he went down is irrelevant. You could see him start to lose his balance right after Bunkley got a piece of his foot.
Did you notice?
* The Brandon Jacobs fumble that Sheldon Brown returned 60 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter ricocheted off the back of Kevin Boss’ foot and into Brown’s hands.
* The blocks by Joselio Hanson and Dimitri Patterson on the Giants’ Domenik Hixon that helped spring DeSean Jackson down the left sideline on his 72-yard punt return for a touchdown.
* The blocks by Leonard Weaver (on Mathias Kiwanuka) and left guard Todd Herremans (on safety Aaron Ross) on Michael Vick’s 1-yard touchdown run just before halftime.
* Fred Robbins was able to get penetration between long-snapper Jon Dorenbos and left guard Max Jean-Gilles on his PAT block after Vick’s second-quarter touchdown.
* Trent Cole’s stop of Ahmad Bradshaw for no gain on an inside handoff on a third-and-five play early in the fourth quarter.
* Left tackle Jason Peters created the seam for Leonard Weaver’s one-yard touchdown run on the Eagles’ impressive 12-play, 91-yard drive in the fourth quarter, clearing out Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Earlier in the drive, Peters, Herremans and center Jamaal Jackson all had big blocks on Weaver’s 10-yard run on a second-and-8 play.
* Donovan McNabb was sacked just one time Sunday. It’s just the third time this season – and the first time since Week 3 – that the Eagles have allowed less than two sacks in a game.
* For the first time in 8 games, Jason Avant didn’t have a reception Sunday. His only catch was on the two-point attempt following the Eagles’ final touchdown. He had 20 receptions in the previous 4 games.
* The Eagles, who had converted just 10 of 24 red-zone opportunities into touchdowns in their previous 8 games, were 3-for-5 against the Giants, and the fifth was a one-play kneel-down at the end of the game. So, they really were 3-for-4. McNabb, who was 15-for-37 in the red zone going into the game, completed 2 of 3 passes inside the Giants’ 20, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek. It was Celek’s team-high 10th red-zone reception and team-high sixth red-zone touchdown. Not including the final kneeldown, the Eagles ran 10 plays in the red zone. Six of them were runs, including two by Michael Vick – a 1-yard touchdown run and a 5-yard run that set up a 1-yard TD run by Leonard Weaver.
* The Eagles had 8- and 12-play touchdown drives against the Giants. They were just the 11th and 12th touchdown drives of the season of more than 6 plays. They’ve had 17 touchdown drives of 4 plays or less.
* Leonard Weaver rushed for 33 yards on 9 carries and had one reception for 8 yards vs. the Giants. In the last 8 games, the Eagles fullback has averaged 6.8 yards per touch (320 yards on 47 touches).
* The Eagles have a plus-19 turnover differential in their 9 wins and minus-4 in their 4 losses.
* Through 13 games, 313 of the Eagles’ 789 offensive plays, or 39.6 percent, have been run plays. Last year, 427 of 1,056 offensive plays, or 40.4 percent, were run plays.
* On their last 8 carries Sunday, Giants running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw gained 6 yards. On their first 21 carries, they ran for 109 yards.
* McNabb has started 11 games this season. The Eagles are 8-3 in those 11 games. In the 8 wins, McNabb has completed 64.9 percent of his passes, averaged 8.56 yards per attempt and thrown 15 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. In the 3 losses: 55.3, 7.17, 3 TDs, 3 interceptions.
* In 16 starts since his benching last November, McNabb has a 12-4 record and has thrown 27 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions.
* McNabb had a 110.3 passer rating against the Giants. It was his fifth 100-plus rating in 11 starts this season. He’s had a 90-plus rating in 7 of those 11 starts.
* In the Eagles’ 2 wins over the Giants, McNabb had a .694 completion percentage, averaged 10.5 yards per attempt and threw 5 TD passes and 1 interception. In his last 11 starts against the Giants, McNabb has thrown 20 TD passes and just 4 interceptions. (in 355 attempts).