Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Oct 2009

ESPN AGS: Raiders over Eagles

This week's Any Given Sunday looks at Sunday's shocking Eagles loss and finds that it is the product of some bad luck, injuries on the offensive line, and a big gaping 32-year-old hole in the middle of the defense.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 20 Oct 2009

5 comments, Last at 21 Oct 2009, 11:40am by chemical burn


by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 10/20/2009 - 2:11pm

Damn it! Louis Murphy's great blocking should have made it into the piece. It is a reason Philadelphia lost.

by Zymurge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/20/2009 - 3:01pm

Interesting how the article also neglects to mention that the Raiders had their share of injuries as well.

Their best OL, Gallery missing at LG and their starting RT Green out. The hit to their depth caused them to move their starting center over to LG, putting yet a 3rd backup into the line. And then they were missing their starting RB, McFadden as well as the most proven WR, Schillens.

On defense they are also without a starting LB and then played a large chunk of the game without their overall best player, Asomaugh.

If you want to use injuries as an excuse, you might want to look at both sides of the field. The reality is that the Eagles have done a poor job in finding quality depth players. When the Raiders show better depth than you, you should realize that you have a serious problem!

by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/20/2009 - 3:30pm

This comment on injuries is absurd: Raiders were missing 2 o-line starters (and 1 of their o-linemen was playing out his "natural position"). Eagles were missing 4 (3 of which were playing out of their "natural position"). 2 of the o-linemen the Eagles lost were Pro-Bowlers (while Gallery is a borderline bust to begin with and Green is a journeyman). The o-line injuries are a huge difference alone and means that there's really no comparison - it's case closed.

As for the other injuries: Raiders were missing a starting LB. Eagles were missing their starting MLB (Bradley - their 2nd or 3rd best defensive player) and their backup MLB (Gaither). Once again, the Eagles had more significant injuries.

The rest are basically a push: Raiders were missing their #1 CB, Eagles were missing their #1 WR. Their starting DE (Abiamiri) got injured during the game. McFadden is injured, Westbrook played while injured. McNabb is also still recovering from an injury.

The Eagles played a shitty game and lost legitimately - I don't want to take anything away from the Raiders. But let's be honest: the Eagles had far more injuries and lost more important players. Losing Asomaugh is a probably a bigger single loss than any the Eagles suffered (although I would argue losing Shawn Andrews has been bigger for the Eagles), but overall there's just no comparison...

by Zymurge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/20/2009 - 8:03pm

I agree with many of your statements on the impact of the losses to the Eagles. Not so much on your triviliation of the Raiders injury impact. Gallery is not a bust and in fact would start on nearly every team in the league at guard. He was picked #2 overall as an LT, where he was less successful and has been tagged by those that listen to pundits as a bust because of this, but this does not domonish his value as a guard in the zone blocking scheme that the Raiders run. The Raiders were also without their #1 WR as were the Eagles. Westbrook played with an injury, McFadden is out for weeks; not exactly comparable in terms of loss of starting RB. Also unmentioned, the Raiders were starting in his first game ever at FB, the 215 lb Gary Russell, who wasn't even on the depth chart two weeks ago and until being signed to fill in for all the injuries at FB.

Anyway, your response further refines my summation in my post: the Eagles' depth was outplayed by the Raiders depth, indicating that the Eagles are thin behind their starting players and thus have a serious problem.

Exhibit A: The Eagles supposedly dominant pass rush was stemmed off by a patchwork Raiders line. The same issue for the Eagles lead to a season high in sacks for the Raiders.

Exhibit B: Your allegation that a less player (Shane Andrews) has a greater negative impact to his team than losing one of the best CBs in the game did for the Raiders. That indicates a further dropoff between starter and second stringer on the Eagles. And that's saying a lot if you've been watching the lacking play of Stanford Routt this season!

by chemical burn :: Wed, 10/21/2009 - 11:40am

Hey, look - the AGL lost article is up today. It settles this injury discussion fairly definitively...