Friday, December 2, 2011

Breaking Down The Eagles-Seahawks Thursday Night Game

As a Seattle Seahawks fan, nowadays, it is a rare occasion when I am able to watch the Seahawks live on TV out here on the East Coast. But, Thursday night was the first of two consecutive games in which the Seahawks will be on national television.

So, Thursday night, on the NFL Network, two of the 4-7 teams, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-8) visited the Seattle Seahawks (5-7) squared off. The Eagles were trying to salvage a season which started with so much promise. The Seahawks were trying to establish some consistency in what is becoming a top rushing attack, credit Marshawn Lynch who led the NFL in rushing in November.

To say that this game was dominated by the Seahawks was an understatement. LeSean McCoy was the Philadelphia Eagles team on Thursday night. The Eagles as a team looked unmotivated and unprepared. Vince Young, playing for the injured Michael Vick, was clearly butting forward his best effort - but that did not turn into competitive statistics as he threw four interceptions.

Early in the first quarter, after a monster gain through the air on third down, the Seahawks had the ball on 1st and 10 on the Eagles 20 yard line. Marshawn Lynch, the running back for Seattle, got the carry and appeared to run into a wall and disappeared for a minute, but then reappeared as he cutback and found the endzone. Lynch would carry the ball 22 times for 148 yards and two rushing touchdowns. In addition, Tarvaris Jackson, the Seattle Seahawks starting Quaterback, ended 13-16 with one touchdowns. The Seahawks as a team had no turnovers - a rare occurrence. Their defense intercepted Vince Young four times, and scored 21 out of their 31 points off of the turnovers, including a 77 yard interception return touchdown for Seattle Linebacker, David Hawthrone.

As far as the Eagles go, their statistics and highlights are not as pretty. LeSean McCoy had another great game as he had 17 carries for a 84 yards and a touchdown against a very strong Seahawks run defense. As mentioned, Vince Young, the Eagles quaterback had four interceptions but two out the four were not really his fault. Although, the two that could be considered his fault were balls that should have been thrown. DeSean Jackson several times showed absolutely no effort or motivation. Early in the game, Young was looking for Jackson. Jackson, who never bothered to look back at Young continued to jog his route. The Eagles would punt. Later, LeSean McCoy broke into the secondary. He came up on Jackson's side, but Jackson made no attempt at a block. If Jackson made the block, McCoy could have cut back and possibly scored.

So, what have we learned from the "[2011] Dream Team?" A simple concept; You can't build a football team like a fantasy football team. After the shortened off-season, the Eagles appeared to be a great team on paper:
-QB: Michael Vick
-RB: LeSean McCoy (So far no fumbles on the year; Also the leads leading rusher)
-WRs: Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson
-CBs: Nmandi Asamough, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie; Asante Samuel

Not to mention Jason Peters, who could be the best Left Tackle in football, among others. But the Eagles have struggled all year long. Despite acquiring several players through free agency and trades, they only acquired raw talent. They failed to create chemistry. With the addition of Rodgers-Cromartie and Asamough, the Eagles overcrowded the cornerback position with two many big names. Samuel reportedly wanted to get out of Philly, but regardless, he is still there. They also failed to take care of their own. I do not approve of how DeSean Jackson has acted in his contract year. But, the Eagles handed out contracts to several free agents without showing any form of interest in resigning several players on their team who were worthy of new contracts.

The Eagles will find themselves in an interesting position this offseason. They could use some help on the offensive line but there is not a position that desperately needs help. Asamough has not panned out and several players are unhappy. It is almost a given that DeSean Jackson will not be back. In my opinion, the Eagles must evaluate every player and coach and decide who to keep and how to dump. Because, if the Eagles roll the same team out in August of next year, the end result may very well be similar to this year's.

As for the Seahawks, they have really hurt their draft position, so look for another blowout against the Rams on Monday Night Football, next Monday at 8:30PM on ESPN.

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