The Andy Reincarnated Award: Chip Kelly
The Chippah had a lot of (cough) questionable decisions today. There were plenty, but here are the most egregious ones:
• With 1:14 left in the first half and the Eagles driving with 1st and Goal from the Giants 2 yard line, the Eagles called timeout, stopping the clock. WHAT?!? Why? They had all three of their timeouts, so there was no danger of the clock getting away from them. The clear play would be to bleed time off the clock so the Giants wouldn't be left with much time to mount a drive of their own after the Eagles score.
So what was Chip's answer to why they did that? "We called a timeout, We wanted to get Matt (Barkley) settled."
Barkley was 6 of 7 for 55 yards on the drive, and the Eagles were rolling. I don't think he needed to be settled. But even if you want to settle Barkley, at least let the clock run down before you call timeout.
Nothing came of it, as the Giants didn't score on their ensuing drive, but it's still a fairly basic time management error.
• With a little more than 10 minutes to go in the game, the Eagles faced a 4th and 4 at the Giants 47 yard line. They were down 15... and punted. WHAT?!?
Again, it's the explanation that's the bigger concern here. "It was a two-score game, so I knew we were going to stop them," said Kelly. "I wish they stopped them on the first 3rd down, but they got them on the 2nd third down. We felt like we would get the ball back, with at least time to score, and then get the onsides kick."
So am I to understand here that the higher percentage play was to expect to get an onsides kick than to pick up 4 yards on 4th down to keep the drive alive?
• Earlier in the 2nd half, on the first drive, the Eagles faced a 4th and 10 from the Giants 32 yard line. Had the Eagles attempted a FG, it would have been about a 49 yard attempt. Chip elected to punt. I'm not so sure that was a bad call by the Chippah, but it does bring us to the next award...
The 'Nobody Trusts Me' Award: Alex Henery
If you'd rather go for it on 4th and 10 with your offense that hasn't scored a TD in more than 20 consecutive drives and is currently being a led by your rookie 3rd string QB... instead of trusting your kicker to hit a 49 yard FG... you need to upgrade your kicker.
Also... As long as we're on the subject of the kicker, that was one of the worst onsides kicks I've ever seen.
The 'Steve Smith / Frank Costanza Stop Short!' Award: DeSean Jackson
In a 2011 game against the Cardinals, Steve Smith had the chance to easily convert a HUGE 3rd and 20 if he just leaned forward and took a hit:
He didn't want it:
He stopped short:
Deep in their own end, the Eagles had got a similar play (although not nearly as egregious) from DeSean Jackson. Had DeSean simply put his head down and plowed forward, he would have easily had a first down. Instead, he tried to make a move and was tackled short of the first down, which forced the Eagles to punt. Whether it was a lack of toughness or a lack of awareness of where the sticks were, it was a bad play.
The 'Get There!' Award: Matt Barkley
When I golf with my friends, and I hit a terrible approach shot that I know has no chance of getting to the green, I'll jokingly root the ball on by yelling "Get there!" I feel like I was doing that on some of Matt Barkley's passes today. When it comes to arm strength, Matt isn't John Elway.
The 'Damn Straight That's Delay of Game' Award: Me
Last week I wrote that NFL officials aren't enforcing 'delay of game' penalties. This week they called two of them on Eli Manning. I'm taking full credit for that.
The Eagles' MVP: Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie
When Zak DeOssie snapped the ball 37 yards over the head of his punter and the Eagles scored a TD, Tom Coughlin must have had flashbacks to Miracle at the Meadowlands III. At least we gave Tom a little heartburn. So we have that going for us.
The 'Ghost of Michael Vick Future' Award: Michael Vick
Some QBs who relied on their legs early in their careers can become pocket passers later in their careers. You know what Michael Vick will look like as a QB when he can't run anymore? You saw a glimpse of it today.
The 'All the Fragile Eggs in One Rickety Basket' Award: Chip Kelly
Matt Barkley said he didn't get many 1st team reps this week. Seems like it might have been a good idea to give him some more, seeing as the starting QB (who is fragile to begin with) wasn't going to be anywhere close to 100%.
The Golf Clap Award: The Defense
For the second straight week, they did their part, and then some.
The False Hopes Award: The Dallas Cowboys
The great comedian Mitch Hedberg once said...
"I like cinnamon rolls, but I don't always have time to make a pan. That's why I wish they would sell cinnamon roll incense. Sometimes I'd rather light a stick and have my roommate wake up with false hopes."
The Cowboys also lost today in embarrassing fashion, and the NFC East remains wide open. Eagles fans are the roommate waking up with false hopes, but this is not a good team right now.