SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Giants at Eagles -- Some Thoughts

1. What was Tom Coughlin thinking by keeping Eli Manning in near the end of the game? The game was over with at least 8 minutes to go. If Eli gets hurt, there goes your season.

2. What was Tom Coughlin thinking by calling timeouts with less than 2 minutes to go? Does he dislike Philadelphia fans so much that he wanted to screw up the post-game traffic pattern to delay Phillies' fans from getting to the game?

3. The Fox commentators kept on pointing out, especially in the second half, that the Giants' offense lacked a sense of urgency, both in terms of being slow coming out of the huddle and then in running the ball, almost to excess. It didn't seem that the Giants were missing any players on offense, but now, after 8 games, has the league figured out that perhaps without explosive weapons on the receiving end, it's easier to stop the Giants' running game and, therefore, the Giants?

4. The Giants' defense didn't play well today, but that's what happens when you have injured cover corners and defensive ends. The former didn't play; the latter didn't play well. It's hard to read too much into the Giants' defensive lapses unless the team fails to get healthier. If the team fails to get healthier, then the Giants will be exposed in certain passing situations.

5. Why did Aaron "Steel Hands" Babin try to tackle Eli Manning when he was going out of bounds in the fourth quarter? The officials flagged Babin for a "horse collar" tackle that wasn't (he grabbed and then let go of Manning's shirt), but the commentators were right to point out that the chance of the flag was great enough that Babin should have eased up. My bet is that in five years defensive players will have computer chips/sensors in their gloves and quarterbacks will have them on their uniforms, so that once a QB is touched with two hands his shirt will light up and the play will be over (with continuation within reason permitted). Right now, the rules about hitting quarterbacks are a bit much.

6. The Giants special teams didn't cover kickoffs well today. Their defense was having enough trouble, and then the Eagles got great field position to boot.

7. Necessity is the mother of invention. The absence of Brian Westbrook caused Andy Reid to innovate, and that's what he did with giving the ball more to Leonard Weaver. I'm surprised more teams don't run their fullbacks more. My argument: otherwise, you have one more player in addition to the offensive linemen who you know won't touch the ball. Since the fullback is eligible to touch it, deploy him with it. Weaver rewarded the Eagles with a great game, and now opponents will have to watch out for him, too.

8. The Eagles' young tandem of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson is very exciting. If the Birds' offensive line can jell and Westbrook can get healthier, the offense will be in very good shape. Maclin had a spectacular catch for a TD today, while Jackson ran right by a defense for his long score.

9. How much does that loss to the Oakland Raiders hurt now? How good is it to have Todd Herremans back on the offensive line? Who is the DL Dixon for the Eagles? He looked tough today, as did Will Witherspoon, who was all over the place at middle linebacker. And did you see the hit Asante Samuel put on Hakeem Nicks in the second half? Who says that the former NE DB can't hit? That was a great shot.

10. Did you hear the Eagles' fans yelling "Let's go Phillies!" I don't believe in omens, but I'm much more looking forward to Game 4 of the World Series knowing that Philadelphia prevailed in the football rivarly this afternoon.

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