This is purely my opinion, but I feel like we had a pretty solid game plan to combat the Eagles the other night, both on offense and defense.
Yes, we blew an 11 point lead in the game, and yes, we looked flat-out bad at times, but the plan was solid, and that starts with coaching.
Why would I say that, you ask? Yes, MM and BVG are oft-maligned on this board, and rightfully so. I'm not suddenly taking them off of my hot seat, but they did know how to attack the Eagles on both sides of the ball and formulate a plan to work it out.
A more detailed explanation awaits you after the jump!
The known weakness of the Eagles' D is their LBs and, to a lesser extent, their safeties. A weakness of the wide-9 DE technique is that, combined with a sprinter's stance, can run a DE right out of a running lane, leaving extra pressure on their weakest unit to make a play. When your running back is as big as your LBs, that's not always an easy task. Turner rewarded the planning with some big runs, including a 61 yard monster.
The coaches talked about the 61 yard run, saying they kept running the same play because they knew eventually it would payoff when everyone hit their blocks - and it did! This was combined with a spotty challenge to their superstar DBs, which was spaced out enough to be reasonable and without too much error.
Also, mad props to whoever suggested throwing the ball to Turner more. Whoever got on him about catching the ball has opened up the offense in a greater way than many realize. Turner has been so unbelievably open on his catches and they've been for good gains. We may not be throwing down the field with success like we want, but the 20+ yard plays have increased (We've had 7 so far this year). We had only 44 last year, and we're on pace for 56 this year. And to think, we're dealing with some of the more difficult teams now.
Individual play calls aren't always the best, but the plan was excellent. We were able to lay a blueprint to defeat the "dream team", and that starts with coaching. You get a high five from me, MM, but NOTHING MORE.
Now, BVG, you're still somewhat in the fire. DBs everywhere, holey zones everywhere, BUT your gameplan was rock solid. Vick had little chance to run, and he was rocked for much of the game. ESPN said he was under duress for 30% of his drop backs, which is higher than his average (in the top aka most terrified 4, around 29%)
And most importantly, you kept Andy Reid's silly gadget plays in check. Those dumb reverses that used to burn us for infinity yards? You had the defense prepared for all of them, and that's darn impressive. You've also helped Spoon out (who has put up nearly identical numbers to Lofton thus far).
Don't let the "Backup QB nearly beat us" talk fool you. Kafka looked ready to play. He made some big time throws, and he looks like a reliable backup, maybe even more talented than ours. While he very nearly did beat us, the D held strong.
For that, BVG, you get a high five. BUT NOTHING MORE.
I'm not advocating for keeping these men yet, but for the game plan they organized (not necessarily the scheming or the play calling), they get a thumbs up in my book.
Naturally, I'm not expecting many, if any, of you to agree with me, but that's the fun in writing! Let me know what you think!