Inside the Eagles

Monday, September 22, 2008 ·

It was an old-time football game that we rarely see in this era of football. It was a battle of two heavy weights. Arguably the best in the AFC (after-Brady) against one of the best in the NFC. Eagles-Steelers, the battle for Pennsylvania. The Eagles were a 4-point favorite and they pulled out a 15-6 victory with a stout defensive effort.

The Offense

It's really hard to judge the offensive performance. First, the Eagles were playing a great Pittsburgh defense. Secondly, without Westbrook for most of the game, the Eagles had to completely alter their game plan.

Early on, things looked alright as Buckhalter had a great TD reception as he leaped over a Pittsburgh defender to get into the end zone. However, the offense slowed down after McNabb suffered a chest contusion. They were able to move the ball, but their drives would stall. McNabb started the game 15 for 15, but went 9-20 the rest of the way. The throws he was making pre-injury looked far less accurate after his injury. You could tell that he was tight. With the lead, the Eagles probably should have tried to run a little bit more, but they settled on the pass, even with an injured quarterback. However, it was hard to run with both Tony Hunt and Brian Westbrook both being injured.

We saw a little bit of the Kevin Kolb experiment that ended with an interception and a completion on a risky pass, though he put it in the only place it could go. However, I still wish we drafted Eric Weddle instead of Kevin Kolb. Hank Baskett had a career day for the Eagles with 8 receptions for 85 yards. Hopefully this can continue as he was a great possession receiver and made some great catches to extend their drives.

Defense

I don't know how to describe the defense. Perfect comes to mind, but even that may underestimate the performance. The defense was absolutely amazing. Jimmie Johnson's blitzes put a great of pressure all day on the Steelers. With the Eagles corner not having to worry about the best receiver in football, they felt safe leaving them out in man-to-man coverage. 9 sacks! 9 fucking sacks! I thought that type of goal could only be achieved if the opposing offensive tackle was Winston Justice (who is still on our roster for unknown reasons). One of the sacks even forced Big Ben to be sacked for a safety.

Once again, the Eagles slowed down the rushing attack of their opponents. I told you last week that was not a good measure of our defense and it proved correct. 33 rushing yards. 45.7 yards allowed for 3 games. The young linebacking group is continually doing a good job at stuffing the run.

Asante Samuel made a great interception and in his second straight week showed his playmaking abilities. I cannot remember the last time I saw an Eagles defensive back go up for the ball the way he did an actually made the catch. Brian Dawkins had a much better week. He was all over the field and a big part of their great run-stopping ability. He made the play of the game when he jumped across the field to not only sack Big Ben, but he also forced and recovered the fumble.

Special Teams

Quinton Demps had two good kick returns, but the star of the special teams was Sav Rocca. He booted a 64 yarder, but also pinned the Steelers inside their own 10 twice. One of the punts later lead to an Eagles safety.

Offensive Star - Hank Baskett
Defensive Star - Jimmie Johnson and the entire defense.
Special Teams - Sav Rocca

Turning point - 6 sacks in the 2nd quarter set the tone early and forced the Steelers to adjust their blocking assignments, which often forced Heath Miller to stay in to help out.

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A small introduction...

We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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