Monday, November 12, 2012

Eagles vs. Cowboys: Behind the Numbers

Game 1 with the Dallas Cowboys this season, loss number 6 (5th in a row) for the Philadelphia Eagles. Let's get this over with, ok?

Right off the bat, let me say that the score is NOT a good indication of how this game went, other than the fact that the Cowboys deserved to win the game. That being said, the numbers don't exactly agree with the score. Once again the Eagles offense played better than their opposition, but had little to show for it. They ran more plays, and had a better average gain; obviously they ended up with more total yards of offense. The Eagles were able to move the ball decently, as they had 23 first downs to only 14 for Dallas. However, a lot of drives ended prematurely due to an abysmal 10% conversion rate (1 for 10) on third downs. Ouch. They threw for more yards, and weren't far off from Dallas in the rushing game (they basically abandoned the run late in the game, as they had to play catch up). Dallas seemed to be called for a penalty nearly every other play, but only had 75 penalty yards from 13 penalties. The Eagles fared better in both regards, but had some costly ones as usual. The most telling stat (again)? The Eagles had 2 turnovers, while Dallas had none.

I'm not going to do an in depth analysis of the offense this week; it's more of the same, Nick Foles had replaced an injured Michael Vick, and the Birds had to alter their playcalling after falling behind. Very similar to last week, in that based on the offense, the Eagles should have won the game. Last week I'd blame the defense for a lot of it, but what about this week?

Giving up 38 points, you'd think the defense was awful and non-existant. Yet despite what the scoreboard said at the end of the game, the defense did not play too bad and certainly improved from last week. They really only gave up 17 points, which should be enough to win a game, even with the underperforming Eagles offense. They were able to record 3 sacks, and somewhat consistently put pressure on Tony Romo. Although Romo somehow escaped a sack at one point and made a good play downfield, which really hurt the Eagles. That reminds me: the defense tackled like a high school JV team. It's been an issue for weeks, and there is no reason for it. Wrap up! And I'm gonna sound like a broken record, but this team just refuses to make big impact plays on defense.

Speaking of big impact plays... Dallas managed to return an interception for a touchdown, return a punt for a touchdown, and score a meaningless touchdown on a fumble. 21 points, 14 off turnovers. Wow. Eagles had 0 points off of 0 turnovers, for comparison.

-Cowboys fans are the worst in the NFL, possibly in all of sports. What the hell are you bragging about? You were a 3-5 team who beat a 3-5 team... congrats?
-I guess Dallas is getting back at us for ending Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin's careers with concussions.
-Special teams suck. I can honestly return a kickoff to the 20 yard line everytime too, how did that guy get the job? Awful tackle attempt Matt McBriar. And way to hit the post, Alex Henery
-O-line improved. Still much room for improvement, but it wasn't terrible.
-Foles looked pretty good, though he made some awful decisions that even Vick wouldn't have made. Got lucky on a couple passes, and unlucky on that interception. Would rather have Vick in especially for the matchup with RG3 next week.
-Doesn't matter who is QB. Season is virtually lost.
-After starting the year 7-7 "predicting" the winner of the game, time of possession is now 0-2 the last 2 weeks. Tells you something about this team.

(Cowboys at Eagles PDF)

Last week vs. Saints: L, 28-13
This week: at Redskins, Sunday 1pm

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