The weekend's biggest upset goes under the Football Outsiders lens.
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27 Sep 2011
Vince Verhei looks at the problems in the middle of the Eagles defense -- against both the pass and the run.
Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 27 Sep 2011
11 comments, Last at
30 Sep 2011, 11:36am by
I thought AGS was supposed to examine a game where a heavily favoured team gets upset. Like, say, NE/BUF or even NYJ/OAK not NYG/PHI... my giveashitometer isn't moving off zero for that one.
Philadelphia was favored by 8 points, New England by 7, the Jets by 2 1/2.
I guess Megamanic should have his giveashitometer checked? And perhaps realize that sometimes FO isn't all about him.
I think he has point. Regardless of the spread, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that Buffalo over New England was the most surprising result of the week, followed closely by Oakland over New York. The Giants winning may be an upset, but I don't find it shocking. The Bills haven't beaten the Patriots since 2003, and they play them twice a year. Oakland has consistently been one of the worst teams in the league since their '01-'02 run, and they won out over a team that's supposed to be a contender. The Giants beating the Eagles? Eh, it happens.
We felt this game said more about what will happen with these teams going forward than the Patriots-Bills game did, especially since we had already written "The Bills offense is for real" for ESPN Insider the week before.
Personally I fully expected Oakland to play the Jets close, and the Patriots/Bills game to be a tit-for-tat shootout. But I also expected the Eagles to blow out the Giants, so to me that was the most shocking result of the weekend.
Anyhow, the article is about matchups, and how and why a surprise result came about; not about telling us why the Bills beating the Patriots for the first time in 16 attempts was such a great story. Leave that to Peter King et al.
I don't bet so I don't look at the lines. Quite frankly I'm staggered that the line on Philly was so high with Vick already dinged. Also shocked that the Jets were only favoured by 2.5. Probably says more about the people betting than the actual odds of victory...
Oakland NYJ would have been entertaining as RaiderJoe bait. Also, what's happened to the Jets D to let OAK rack up so many rushing yards.
Understand not wanting to repeat / cannibalize the ESPN Bills article - don't subscribe to ESPN so I didn't read it. Still would have been interesting (possibly) to read how & why Brady got picked 4 times.
I'll admit the the NFC East is about as far from my AFC West as possible so that had something to do with it; but the NFC East is so grotesquely overexposed I get bored reading about it.
Andy Reid's obsession with proving that linebackers are pointless has seriously gotten to the insane level. I mean, before, they were typically replacing 1 linebacker a year with Random Mid-to-Late Round Pick Who Performed Well Last Year In Spot Duty. This last year they decided "eff it, let's just replace 'em all. Maybe THEN people will believe linebackers are pointless!"
That combined with the realization that no, they can't just draft a 2nd round safety and get Brian Dawkins again (or heck, even Quintin Mikell) is really causing problems.
I really find it amazing that Vegas had Philly favored. I mean, last week, PFT was still fawning over Philly even after they lost. Now do people get it? They have the worst linebackers + safeties in all of the NFL. Which isn't surprising, as virtually all of the NFL passed on the guys that are starting multiple times.
Well, there were reasons to doubt the Giants, too. As a Giants fan, I wasn't hopeful leading up to this game. I recognized that LB & S were the Eagles' weaknesses, but the Giants did not look like a team who was well-suited to attacking those particular weaknesses-- no consistent receiving threat at RB or TE, and no effective slot WR. So much of the Giants' offense goes through the starting WRs, which, in my mind, played right into the strength of the Eagles D. I thought the Giants could have success running the ball, but the Eagles' penetrating style of DL play would intersperse some 2-yard losses in between the 6-yard runs, and I thought that the Giants would be hard-pressed to keep drives alive when they got to must-throw situations.
Luckily (for me), Coughlin and Gilbride figured out some ways to attack the Eagles with the personnel they had. And either the Eagles' gameplanning to keep a woozy Vick from taking too much abuse left a lot of points on the board, or the back-seven issues the Giants had in the first 2 games have gotten at least somewhat resolved. (Well, that and a 2nd-year undrafted guy out of UMass making his first career start managed to haul in a jump-ball TD over a $60M CB...)
One of the problems with the Revis-Asomugha comparison is that while Asomugha basically covers one side of the field, Revis moves around to cover the other team's number one receiver. Therefore, it's easier to avoid Asomugha by moving your best receiver to the other side, and still give your number one a lot of targets.
The other problem is that Revis is much much better than Asoumgha and has the latter has posted a good-but-not-great YPA the past 5 years, while Revis has been the best in the league.
How dramatic was Jay Cutler's improvement from the first half to the second against San Francisco?
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