Let's see here, what do you get when you run more plays, gain more yards (passing and rushing), achieve more first downs, and have 2 takeaways? The answer is a 15 point loss! On a deeper look it's not that surprising, when you consider that the Eagles were awful on third down, and scored a mere 6 points on 5 red zone possessions. And despite having 2 takeaways in which the Birds scored 10 points, they also turned the ball over twice in the red zone. Basically, the Eagles were able to move the ball almost at will against an awful Saints defense, but were unable to finsish drives and capitlalize on their chances. Oh, and that defense barely put pressure on Drew Brees, only sacking him twice for -8 yards. He was able to keep drives sustained long enough (56% third down conversions) and the Saints were able to score 4 touchdowns. Much different game if the Eagles scored a touchdown on even one more drive, and the Saints were stopped on one.
They even won the time of possession battle! And still weren't even close to winning this game! I don't have much else to say about this game honestly; each week brings another loss and makes it harder and harder to care. I was glad to see LeSean McCoy get the ball more, as he had an overall great game. The offensive line? GOD AWFUL. Vick looks like he is running for his life on nearly every play, but luckily was able to find DeSean Jackson for a deep 77 yard touchdown. Those big plays have been missing lately, on both offense and defense (more on that later). As for the red zone offense? We all know it was abysmal. I don't even know what they're doing wrong, but it needs to change fast. Worst play of the game was the Michael Vick interception returned for a 99 yard touchdown. Much like the Arizona game, the Eagles were at the wrong end of a 14 point swing. That puts a burden on your defense, for sure.
Now, the defense. They are just as lacking in the big play department, though this week showed SOME promise with 2 fumble recoveries after 2 sacks of Brees. The secondary, however, has failed to make much of an impact. Disappointing to say the least, just like the defensive line. Despite the 2 sacks, Brees was way too comfortable in the pocket, and rarely had to make a rushed throw. He's not too mobile of a quarterback, but yet was able to avoid several other sacks; it seemed like at least once that Trent Cole was so anxious to record a sack that he overpersued and missed a tackle. That's desperation from a team on the brink of disaster, my friends.
-It's becoming more obvious each week that Juan Castillo was NOT the problem. This defense has gotten worse.
-Offensive line lost another starter (Todd Herremans) for the season. I don't expect any improvements.
-Whoever is calling the plays in the red zone needs to get fired. So be it if it's Andy Reid.
-Never hear Nnamdi Asomugha's name for a good play, do we?
-The entire NFC East lost last week, which means the Eagles lost a miracle chance to close the gap with the Giants.
-At 3-5 through the halfway point, the Birds probably need to go 7-1 or 6-2 the rest of the way to have a shot at the playoffs. Might have a better chance hoping the division falters.
-First week when the team winning the "time of possession" battle did NOT win the game.
(Eagles at Saints PDF)
Last week vs. Falcons: L, 30-17
This week: vs. Cowboys, Sunday 4:25pm