September 22, 2008

What A Difference An Opponent Can Make...

Ok, anybody looking to buy the URL -, forget it. Unless you'd like to fight me for it.

By the way, what you don't see in the picture above is that the Offensive Line is collectively handing Ben to the Eagles Defense on that silver platter.

Wow, NINE SACKS! Ben was sacked, NINE TIMES! I mean, say what you want about his lack of foresight to throw the damn ball away, it's pretty tough to do anything as a QB when Broderick Bunkley is in your face two seconds after you snap the ball.

Anyways, this is going to be brief, because I'm trying to put this one behind me. Bottom line - the Defense kept us in a game we had no business being in, and the Offense squandered just about every opportunity we had to capitalize on momentum swings.

You know who had a good game? Jeff Reed. Two tries, two strikes, one from 53 yards! Proof positive that beer, does in fact equal strength. Also, Troy Polamalu. Dude, a one armed interception, his third through three games. Man, thank god he's back. It's just unfortunate he can't teach Ike Taylor how to do the same. Oh, and what about Bryant McFadden? Sure, both he and Face Me Ike let the Eagles complete an assload of 2-3 yard passes. But hey, second game starting, second game with an INT. Plus, that goatee he's got growing there is looking chiseled. Goatee = power.

Beyond that, the story was failure at every turn. Honestly, the best looking drive may have been the last one in which Byron Leftwich (color me real surprised) led us. Was Ben more hurt than we thought? Maybe. But if he wasn't before, he definitely is now.

Here's a list of people who I will not be talking to this week...

1. Chris Kemoeatu - Hey, dude - how about you don't move before the snap?

2. Kendall Simmons - Don't think I didn't see you completely miss on that Gaither sack (least I think it was the Gaither sack).

3. Willie Colon - I didn't like you before. I don't like you now. And I honestly think we should try replacing you with Max Starks. What's the worst that could happen? Nine sacks? Oh wait, that just happened...

4. Willie Parker - Ok, not totally your fault. But seriously, bounce it to the outside?

5. Mike Tomlin - Where was Lawrence Timmons? Rashard Mendenhall? The Offensive playcalling? I mean, what?

6. "Special" Teams - Quintin Demps' stat line - 2 returns, 59 yards. Who the hell is Quintin Demps? Come on, Ligashesky. Sort it out, man. Jeff Reed should not have to make tackles on kick returns.

7. Ben - Ben, Ben, Ben. Let's talk. I know shit is rough right now. You're getting hit more than you'd like. And your shoulder's hurt. I get it, man. I feel you. But here's a tip - sometimes you just have to throw the ball away. Like, when you're in your own end zone and after three seconds you have nowhere to go and are being chased by three rabid Eagles pass rushers. That, my friend, is a good time to throw the ball away. And by throw it away, I do not mean intentionally ground it so they get two points. Just so we're clear. But like I said, not nearly as much your fault as some other people (see 1, 2 and 3). Also, here's a head's up, when you let the play clock run all the way down, the Defense knows when you're snapping the ball and can time themselves accordingly.

Besides that, was I the only one that had a flashback to last year's Jets game when the Eagles tried a flea flicker? Man, that could've been real embarrassing. Oh wait, that game actually was real embarrassing. Whatever. Next week we've got our currently most threatening AFC North rival. We've got six days to ready ourselves. Let's hope we use it wisely. And Ben, heal up real quick. We can't win any big games if we can't move the ball. Can't rely on the running game every time...sad, but true. And I'm not even going to mention how both Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb were out at one point during that game. Oops, guess I just did.

I just want to leave you with one final thought - remember last December's Jacksonville game? Remember how we were down by 15 points going into the 4th quarter and came back to almost win it? Where was that offense today? I thought when we added Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed things would only get better.

Let's discuss...

PS - Is it wrong for me to say that I miss Russ Grimm?


Anonymous said...

I'm not afraid to say it. I miss russ grimm. That was beyond pathetic. When I can call the false start BEFORE the flag is thrown, it's bad. Yeah, that's right #68, I'm talking about you. I mean, you could see him jump 2 feet to the left before the snap! And Ben, poor naieve Ben. He gives the offensive line too much credit. At least that's what I'm telling myself. There's no other reason for him to hold on to the ball that long. He acts as though he's going to have all the time in the world to throw it. In reality, he doesn't have any time and he's going to have to work on that. Quick release, short passes. It doesn't have to be a deep pass EVERY play. The only bright spot on offense was when(god forgive me for saying this) Byron Leftwich came in and moved them down the field. And how did he do this? By throwing quickly thrown, short passes. You know, RELEASING the ball before he got hit. Of course then he was sacked also, and everything went back to normal. Very ugly game to watch if you were a steelers fan. The defense played good, but I think they should have switched things up a bit when McNabb and Westbrook were out. Kolb should have been sacked everytime he touched the ball. And on a purely statistical note, Ben was sacked 8 times and Byron 1.

matt said...

I could go on and on about this one - it's a shame I've bought tickets to the worst 2 games we've played in recent memory (jets last year and yesterdays embarrassment). This does not look good at all for the rest of the season, maybe it's pessimistic but I have to think the Eagles D is not the best we will see all year. Wonder if we will ever seriously think about upgrading the O line????

FYI. Eagles (I'm assuming Philly in general) fans are probably the worst, most pathetic excuses for humans I've ever witnessed...not b/c we lost. I'd say 3%, that may be a stretch, were there just to root for the Eagles. Countless fights, most were against one another...just ignorance at it's max. So, thank you Philly for staying classy.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Not wrong at all to miss Grimm, especially not after that showing. You can add Bruce Arians to the list of culprits. He never adjusted (well, not enough, anyway) the game plan, it seemed ... and it was an atrocious game plan to begin with.

As for Timmons, the Steelers radio announcers said he got dinged up at some point, which is why he saw limited action. Not sure what the injury was.

I'm a bit concerned about some of rookies' lack of development (Limas Sweed and Tony Hills: both inactive again yesterday).

Christy said...

Oh, so that wasn't a nightmare I had last night? It REALLY happened??

I guess the good news here is that Ben still has a pulse.

Yeah, he holds onto the ball too long sometimes because he's always looking to make that "big play". What he didn't seem to realize that he was playing against the EAGLES defense, not the BROWNS defense.

It took everything I had to stop myself from running out of the bar screaming and crying.

Now excuse me while I go stick needles in my Willie Colon voodoo doll...

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Oh, and one other thing about the play-calling: What the hell was Arians thinking???

Consider: Big Ben dropped back to pass at least 38 times (he actually got the ball of 25 times, was sacked eight times, had four "runs", took an intentional grounding penalty, and an illegal forward pass penalty). Add the nine dropbacks by Leftwich (eight attempts and one sack), and that's a game plan with 45 dropbacks/pass attempt play calls. And the Eagles started bltzing when they got off the bus. Now, really, whose bright idea was that? And, where were the adjustments during the game???

Noah said...

Yeah, wasn't too happy about this one. On that last drive w/ Leftwich, the only reason they were getting far was bcuz of the defense they were playing, which was prevent. When they decided not to do that, it was more of the same.

I couldn't believe it, 8 times Ben was sacked. The worst part was, they didn't change ANYTHING. If a play didn't work the first 8 times how in God's name do you think it will actually work a ninth time? Arians should be fired right now, along with the O line coach, whatever his name is. This has been a flaw for far too long now. Something has to change.

While I agree that Ben should've thrown the ball away more, half of those sacks he didn't really have a chance to begin. I remember one play, I forget who it was, but the play started and the Eagles D-lineman went UP the middle, basically untouched. Ridiculous.

Cotter said...

notgomu ~ Solid assessment. I felt the same way about Ben and the coaching staff - always complimenting the line. I mean, listen, if they suck, let 'em know. Get on 'em. Make sure they know that it's unacceptable. Not that they don't know that on their own. But remind them.

matt ~ Two comments - 1. While I share in your frustration and fears about the rest of the season, it is only Week 4. I'd rather this happen now and they learn from it, than happen in Week 13 when we're trying to clinch the division. And 2. There is a fine line between cheering for your team and being an asshole. Eagles fans do not understand this concept. I don't expect that to change anytime soon. Let them have their victory. We'll beat 'em if/when it really counts.

jppb ~ I'm not expecting Tony Hills to ever make our active roster. If he does, great. But I felt then, as I feel now, that we wasted a pick on him. A 4th round pick if I'm not mistaken. As for Sweed, I don't know what the deal is but he better sort it out. We'll need him later (if not now).

christy ~ Yeah, this was clearly an O-Line FAIL. And I'm none too pleased with it. But I'm trying to get over it and think about next Monday Night.

noah ~ Good call on the Leftwich assessment. And the reluctance to alter the play calling. First off, throwing the ball around all game should never have been our philosophy. Tough to be successful passing when you have no running game. We should've gotten that going early and even gotten Mendenhall into the game. But even still, when something isn't working, and you've shown it ten times already, scrap it. Move on, try something else. Get creative. Shit man, do something!

domski43 said...

gotta tip my hat to the eagles...their defense was very impressive.

even when ben got out of the pocket the eagles had our wide receivers covered. this usually doesnt happen when plays break down.

luckily, the Afc north looks really weak and hopefully we can win our division.

after yesterday, its safe to say that the cowboys are the best team in football right now and the eagles have to be considered right up there as well.

the tide in the nfl has changed, its very clear that the nfc is better than the afc, which is good news for the steelers.

Big Snack Silverback said...

This almost made me embarrassed to wear my Stiller jersey in public. We have BAD personnel at o-line, and everyone knows it, but Zieling and Arians HAVE to go. They are awful. The play-calling is awful. It was awful last year too. I think Ben wil be out at least 4 games this year with injuries. I keep the faith and all, but until we get new o-line personel and/or new coaches on the O, we are staring at an 8-win season or worse. You think the Ravens won't sack ben 6 times and knock him out of the game? What in the world is Tomlin thinking????????

tobiathan is still effing mad... said...

The only explanation i can come up with is that the Eagles defense had Ben/the offense's snap-count and rhythm timed out perfectly.

The best point made here is the fact that on 90% of our offensive snaps the ball snapped at the 1 second mark on the play clock. Not fucking smart.

Ben SHOULD throw the effing ball away faster, too. There is no denying the fact that he tried WAY too hard WAY too often to "make a play", only to have it blow up in his face.

The offensive line seemed completely out of sync. I got the feeling Kendal was just waiting to get back to his wife- was he gonna leave the game if she went into labor? Asshole. He's a "professional", making millions of dollars- no excuse from that group.

In all fairness, tho- if Ben calls the snap at exactly the same moment every down it ain't hard for a defense to do this. This isn't the first time Ben has had a bad day that was pretty much his own fault: regardless of how the O-line performed Roethlisberger is the one w/ the $100,000,000 (one hundred MILLION dollar!) contract. He needs to take control AND responsibility. Both.

If Ben was hurt he shouldn't have played. We'd have been better off, given the defense's showing, with anyone else under center. And by "anyone" i mean Dennis Dixon. Leftwich is a "never-was". Not a "has-been"...a "never-was"- he looks good for about four snaps then falls off fast.

I'm pissed. Arians quit on the team. Zero obvious changes to the gameplan. Willie Parker trying to break outside instead of plowing forward. The failure to let Mendenhall play despite Parker's struggles. The offensive performance of the O-line- not what is expected of an "Offensive line" gang.

Tomlin, as usual, showed either no emotion or all the wrong emotion at the wrong times. He shows me almost zero ability to rally this team. say what we will about The Chin: he WAS an incredible motivator. How many times has a Tomlin team come from behind TO WIN? Zero, i think.

God bles our defense: this could've been A LOT more humiliating than it was.

Wake Pittsburgh: the fucking AFC is yours for the taking IF you can beat anybody but the Browns and Texans.


Can i tell anybody how goddamned hard it was to liveblog that fucking game? I was physically sick. So, so much was done wrong by our coaches and offensive(yer fucking right they were offensive..) squad..

tobiathan blames Ben and Tomlin and Arians said...

And i disagree that the Eagles are anywhere near an "elite" team. Ben just made it easy for their defense by calling the snap at exactly the same time on every single down.

The Immortal Silky Johnson said...

So, The few of you whom attended the game in support of Black & Gold found Philly to be a land of Savages. I'm a little shocked by that, but that's our cross to bear I guess.