September 09, 2007

Special Teams Cost Birds

After a long wait, opening day turned out to be a disaster for the Birds.

The game started, and ended with two key special teams gaffs, and in between there was an ugly defensive battle.
Early in the first quarter, Greg Lewis muffed a punt that bounced around into the end zone recovered by Greenbay for a touchdown. Lewis clearly can not field punts, as he made two more near disasters on punts later in the game. He was replaced by J.R. Reed, who muffed a punt himself in the games final minute. A play that setup the game winning field goal.

Lewis, who last year got Ex-Packers CB Ahmad Carroll cut by beating him for two touchdowns, should probably be cut for this terrible performance. That might sound harsh, but maybe making an example out of him could wake this group up.

Donovan McNabb was just ok today. He moved fairly well, and did make some plays that resembled classic Super Five. He also threw a terrible interception, and had a few others that were luckily dropped.
I don't know if the Packers defense is really that good, or if the Eagles offense is just not all that great. There were only two big plays to speak of. A 37 yard strike to Kevin Curtis, and a 31 yard catch and run by Jason Avant. Outside of those 2 plays, there was very little offense to speak of.

The pass protection was very poor, and the running game was not much better. Credit the Fudge Packers for doing a good job on Brian Westbrook. The play calling was not very creative, and it seemed to really hurt them.

The biggest thing I noticed, was that the Packers were not respecting the Eagles play action at all. Almost every time they tried to hit a big play off play action, it actually gave the defense an extra second to get to McNabb.

L.J. Smith did play, but was very limited. Brent Celek saw a lot of playing time, but he did not catch one ball. Probably because he was kept in to pass protect a lot, which he did a bad job of. Andrews also played, but I did not notice any great blocks by Shawn. He usually has at least two or three of them a game.

The only silver lining in this dissapoiting loss, is the play of the defense. The scoreboard might say 17, but really they only gave up 3 points. The only Packers touchdown came off the Lewis muffed punt, one field goal was dude to a McNabb interception, and the final fg was due to J.R. Reed's muffed punt.

The defense did a really good job for the most part, but the Packers offense is not exactly a big test. Hopefully they can keep it up all season. The run defense was especially good, as they held rookie RB Brandon Jackson to only 40 yards on 15 carries. They also got after Favre, sacking him 5 times. Sheldon Brown had a great game, and got a nice interception. Sean Considine made a really nice play breaking up a deep pass.

One thing is for sure about this team. They certainly do not look like a Super Bowl contender. I know it is only week one, but I know every Eagles fan had this game circled as a W when they went over the schedule. This game was a very frustrating start, to what could be a frustrating season.

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