Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eagles vs. Lions: Behind the Numbers

Another week of BtN, another Eagles loss. Sorry this is so late in the week, but watching these games are frustrating and doesn't exactly make me happy to write about the team.  I'm not gonna bother writing much about this one for now, maybe I'll add more later. Let's look behind the numbers of another loss by a field goal at the last second:

At first glance, there isn't too much dominating for either team. Close score, about the same number of plays, identical passing yards, nearly the same number of first downs. Lions fared better on the ground and in overall yardage, but it took them until 10:21 remaining in regulation to get their first 3rd down conversion. Their penalty yards were through the roof, but they only had 1 turnover to the Eagles 3. Both teams clearly had their pros and cons, but let's get to where the stats are REALLY telling: the 4th quarter and overtime.

Bonus graph!

Yeah, so what you're looking at in the bar graph above is ONLY the stats from the 4th quarter and overtime. Yes, the Lions gained 250 yards in 19 minutes of game time, and held the ball for 70% of that time. They ran half their offensive plays and had 64% of their 1st downs once the 3rd quarter ended. Complete domination. The only stat the Eagles beat the Lions in during the end of the game was turnovers; while it didn't lead to points, the awful interception by Michael Vick on the first play of a drive allowed the Lions to get the ball back at a vital point in the game with almost no time taken off the clock. In a moment where the Birds should have been trying to run out the clock, they basically were allowing Detroit to attempt a comeback, and they suceeded. The 4th quarter is why the Eagles lost this game. Blame it on both the offense (poor time management, inability to move the ball) and the defense (no sacks, let up big plays), as it definitely took every player working together to lose this one.

Before getting to the miscellaneous stuff, I do want to point out something about time of possession. Obviously it is usually a decent indicator of a team's success or lack there of, but so far this season the Eagles are 3-0 when winning the ToP battle, and 0-3 when losing it. This week's difference was fairly little, but we all know which team maintained the ball longer. The bye week couldn't come at a better time, as this team needs to do something FAST. And I mean more than fire Juan Castillo, since the defense isn't the problem.

At least they can't lose next week!

-As I said above, the defense hasn't really been the problem this year. Juan Castillo was a scapegoat. Andy better watch his back; I predict his departure at the end of the season if the Birds miss the playoffs again. Or if they lose 2 of the next 3, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go.
-Can you even imagine an Eagles team without Reid?
-Speaking of Reid, I surely hope he didn't call for that long pass attempt in the 4th quarter. At that point in the game, why are you going for the homerun when you're already winning? Especially on 1st down! Run the clock!
-Running the clock means running the ball... where was LeSean McCoy this week? He should have gained 50+ yards in 4th quarter, and would have if given the chance.
-The offense is offensive. More turnovers by Vick, and an inability to capitalize. Once the Eagles had a 10 point lead, it was almost as if the offense decided that was enough and simply shut down. 75 net yards in over a quarter? Were they even trying?
-I don't want to blame just the offense on this one, since the defense also seemed to relax after getting a lead. They let up too many yards per play, and the Lions were running circles around them. I wonder how much was attributed to the offense's quick drives late in the game?
-Anyone catch the BASEketball quote above?

(Lions at Eagles PDF)

Last week vs. Steelers: L, 16-14
Next week: BYE
In 2 weeks vs. Falcons: Sunday 10/28 1pm

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