David Akers', Philly's Longest Tendered Athlete, Eagles Career at an End? By Kevin K.
David Akers is getting a bad rap this week after the kicked missed 2 of 3 field goals that could have won the game for the Eagles against the Packers. A lot of fans are putting the blame on the Pro-Bowl kicker for losing the Playoff game versus the Packers and eliminating the Eagles out of the Playoffs. I, however, blame the entire team play for the loss. Much like Giant fans blame the Miracle at the Meadowlands a few weeks ago on Matt Dodge’s punt, David Akers is taking a bulk of blame he both does and doesn’t deserve. What people don’t realize is things happen and so do missed field goals … but you can’t throw all of the blame on Akers when the entire team didn’t do their jobs as well as Akers.
"For a player, it's the worst you can do. You let down the team, the fans and the organization," Akers said. "I just misplayed the first one and tried to drive it in that wind. I just kind of pulled the second one. That's the way it goes.
""Looking back now on 12 years, it's been a nice run. It's not really the way I wanted to go out as an Eagle. It's tough for the organization and I'm sorry I didn't get to put my best foot forward today for them."
John Clark of NBC10 and Chris McPherson of PhiladelphiaEagles.com report, Akers was dealing with “undisclosed difficult person issues all week and today”. Clark said that Akers did not bring this up and never made any excuses.
Eagles Safety Quitin Mikell said, "I have nothing but love for David and he's been a great kicker for years. He still is. I don't want to put him out there, but he's going through a lot this week. He had some stuff going down and for him to even be out here was big. I'll let him handle whatever he has to handle, but I love Dave and he fought through a lot today and this week."
Reports are that Akers is struggling with off the field issues that relate to a family health matter, neither Akers nor his Agent would say. His agent saying, "David is a private man".
David Akers’ 12 years with the Eagles could be over with a poor performance in what could have been his last game as a Philadelphia Eagle. Akers is a 5 time Pro-Bowl Kicker, including the 2010-2011 season (where he went 32 for 38 on Field Goal Attempts) and holds the record for most points in a single decade, from 2000-2009 with 1,114 points.
The longest tenured Philadelphia Athlete’s career in Philadelphia may be over, Akers’ contract expires in March.
Akers didn't blame any outside distractions, the snap, the hold or the wind. None of it. Akers took responsibility for the misses as he called today the toughest day football-wise of his career.
"You've got to do your job to keep things going," Akers said.
David Akers was excused from the Eagles facility on Monday
OK let’s be honest, the Eagles weaknesses shown bright in the Wild Card round versus the Packers. Eagles have a terrible offensive line and a terrible defense … and these weaknesses showed more than ever. The Packers vertical offense showed up against the weak Eagles secondary and even did what Andy Reid always wanted to do, set up the run.
Unfortunately, the run is what inevitably killed the eagles, as rookie James Starks was the surprise star of the game, rushing for 123 yards and taking the pressure off of QB Aaron Rodgers.
If you heard me on the D League show this week, I said the way for the Eagles to win this game is to stop the pass of the Packers … all of a sudden James Starks comes out of nowhere.
So who deserves the blame for the Eagles? THE WHOLE TEAM.
Yes I have heard phans nitpicking already at David Akers missing Field Goals, Mike Vick throwing a last minute interception, DeSean not playing up to level, Trent Cole being invisible, Juqua Parker, the Eagles secondary, Andy Reid, Sean McDermott, so on and so forth. This game is a whole team loss. The Eagles as a team did not show up in the first half at all, killing the home field advantage and killing hopes of a win. The Eagles defense couldn’t stop anyone in the red zone. Andy Reid made play calling and game management mistakes. This loss was bad and actually reminded me of the first game of the season.
The Eagles were being outplayed throughout the game but still had a chance to come back and win it. Instead of the game ending on a 4th and 1 QB sneak, it ended on a rushed play up to the line of scrimmage and a Packers INT with 33 seconds remaining in the game.
The Eagles fell 21-16.
Remember, a lot of Eagles fans didn’t expect the Eagles to make the Playoffs at all this year, even Sal Palentonio of ESPN said a successful year for the Eagles is “one more win than the Redskins”. Phans keep your heads up.
Note: I want to apologize to you the people who follow us. I was drinking the Kool-Aid, but I promise you from here on out to tell you exactly how I feel …. Even if I think the Philadelphia team is going to lose …. Just don’t kill me ok?
Coming Soon: What should the Eagles do in the off-season, Notable free agents, Eagles moves, and an NFL first round Mock Draft plus full coverage of the Eagles offseason.
Here we go ... It's another playoff run lead by Coach Andy Reid. His big play offense has brought the Eagles to another playoff appearance, but there is a clear change in this year's personnel, QB Michael Vick. The QB has elevated this offense to levels that Reid could only dream about until now. The big question is: Can Andy Reid's love of the pass game finally get us to the promise land? Yesterday we saw Seattle and New York (Jets) control the games with their running backs, and the Eagles need to do the same thing today against the Packers. LeSean McCoy is the key to controlling this game and securing a win for the birds. Through the draw plays, screen plays, and check downs, McCoy needs to capitalize by using his shifty moves and quick feet.
The man that will lineup right over top of him goes by the name of Clay Matthews. All week we heard about Matthews' dominating play and long wavy locks that has become his signature. Well McCoy can be the dominant factor today, and I believe he will leave Matthews and the rest of the defense pulling their hair out when they see the Eagles' offense clicking today.
As for the Eagles' defense, it has been a rough year, especially in the red zone. We have a strong area though... The rush defense has been there for the birds and the Packers do not have much of a running game to begin with. The objective: make sure they continue to fail at rushing the rock. Make Aaron Rodgers throw 50 times, and maybe Asante Samuel can pick one and take it to the house.
As for Special Teams, the Packers embarrassed the Eagles in the last meeting (Week 1). Jordy Nelson looked like Devin Hester and DeSean Jackson's offspring against the Eagles' Special Teams coverage. This will change today. I give the edge to the Eagles' ST with DeSean Jackson handling punt returns, which can always lead to a miracle at this point.
Buckle your seatbelts Philly Phans. This will be a great show.
Eagles Will Beat the Packers ... but How? By Kevin K
Not one of the NFC playoff qualifiers could be characterized as dominant and five of the six teams probably have a legitimate chance to win the NFC title.
Dom Capers’ defense finished the season with a dominating six-sack, two-interception performance in Sunday’s 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears and has kept the Packers in game after game this season while the offense has been on the inconsistent side.
A key for the Eagles is stopping the pass rush.
The pass rush has been strong, led by Clay Matthews (13½ sacks) on the outside and Raji (6½) on the interior. And Cullen Jenkins (seven sacks) is expected to be back after missing the last four games because of a calf injury; it should be that much better.
So what can help the pass rush block for the Eagles? A Healthy Fullback, Remember Weaver went down early in the second quarter when the score was 3-3 leaving Mike Bell as the Eagles fullback. We know how that worked for the Eagles during this year … Mike Bell was terrible. WR Chad Hall has 9 carries for 29 yards, Bell before trade had 16 carries for 28 yards, so having Owen Schmidt as a real FB in the back field helps the Eagles more than people would think. Yes I may be nitpicking here but I believe having a real FB in the backfield protecting Mike Vick from Clay Matthews helps the Eagles explosive offense.
Another key for the Eagles is to RUN THE FOOTBALL. The Packers rush defense is #18 in the NFL compared to their pass defense which is #5. Andy Reid needs to use the running game with the backs he has... McCoy, Harrison (who played well vs. -#12 rush D in NFL), and dump passes to the backs plus Schmidt. Using the run will open up the pass for Vick … or open up Vick dropping back and running for another 110 yards like he did in Week One.
I believe resting the players after that Tuesday night disaster to the Vikings will help get the starters minds in the right position to be explosive again- it also helps rest the guys who needed it, like the defensive front four, DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, and LeSean McCoy (who btw I believe is the Eagles most underrated player and actually could be up there as the Eagles MVP along with Vick).
Eagles need to get a natural pass rush on Aaron Rodgers … he is good against the blitz and has used it against his opponents. Rodgers reads the blitz and knows exactly where it is coming. Rodgers also has the best passer rating in the NFL. The Eagles need to put pressure on him with the front four.
The problem with the Packers is that they seem too inconsistent and even played down to teams throughout this season, a problem the Eagles have had in the past.
This weekend brings a rematch from Week One of the season between the Eagles and the Packers in what could be the best game in the NFC Playoffs all around. In Week One the Packers defeated the Eagles 27-20 in a brutal game for Eagles starters.
Starting QB, at the time, Kevin Kolb was constantly under pressure and the Eagles explosive offense couldn’t move the ball at all, until Clay Matthews knocked Kolb out with a concussion. After Kolb went down, Vick played well and was able to rush away from the blitz. Vick had some opportunities to run the ball into the end zone, but decided to use his arm to get a touchdown, he failed. However, Vick did go 16 for 24 for 175 yards and a touchdown. Vick also ran the ball 11 times for 103 yards. Michael Vick brought the Eagles back from what looked like a scary game in the first quarter, to an almost win.
After the game Michael Vick said that if he played from the start the Eagles would have won, well know is his chance.
Michael Vick has to overcome the constant pressure of the Packers defense led by Clay Matthews. Matthews is a game changer and is a main reason the Packers made the Playoffs. I think if Owen Schmidt and LeSean McCoy can pick up the blitz, the Eagles offense will be explosive and pull this game out.
I think the game will be a close one through and through, however, I believe in this Eagles team and I believe they will win 27-20. My standout stars are FB Owen Schmidt, who I think will be the key to moving the ball down field (remember Weaver went down with a torn ACL in Week One against the Packers). I also believe that rookie Safety Kurt Coleman will have a breakout game and stop the deep ball from Aaron Rodgers.
But who cares what I think, here is what other Philly Sports Bloggers think:
Patrick Gallagher Eagles win 35-17 (Twitter @Patrick_DLeague) and Jack Bevenour (Twitter @Dawkblitz) of The D League have released their picks from their show. Patrick was flip flopping back and forth on this game but said he thought the Eagles were going to win 35-17 with the Eagles front four on defense being the standout stars along with QB Mike Vick. Jack said the Eagles were going to win in a close one 27-21 with the standout starts being LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek for their blitz pickup, giving Vick time to throw. Listen to their show here with me, Kevin, as a special guest.
Mike Meech (Twitter @meechone) formerly of the great Phillies blog theFightins.com says 27-13 Eagles with Mike Vick as the standout star.
Tracie Gross (Twitter @PHLSportsGirl) of Philly Sports Girl says “I honestly think it could go either way. standout player - Michael Vick. Score: Eagles 21 Packers 17”
Matthew (Twitter @PHLSportsFan) of PHL Sports Fan says Eagles 27-24 with the standout star being Michael Vick. He also said a key for the Eagles is “the Eagles need to contain the pressure from the Packers big defensive line. Especially keeping Clay Matthews from crashing hard onto Vick.”
Chooses to remain unanimous (Twitter @ZooWithRoy) of zoowithroy.com says 31-27 Eagles with the standout star being LeSean McCoy.
Brian McCollum (Twitter @bmac2838) of Holy KK Phils! says “28-27 Eagles. Vick torches the Packers D as Rodgers matches him. Last second stop saves the Eagles.”
Eagles blog The Wiz Wit (Twitter @TheWizWit) says, “My heart: 27-24 Eagles. My brain: 31-20 Packers. We don't have a secondary”.
Eagles QB Michael Vick said after the Eagles Week One loss to the Packers said that if he played the whole game the Eagles would have won ... now is his time to prove that.
Last night the Packers came back on the Bears and beat them to earn the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Eagles and Packers are now set to go at it in Game One of the Playoffs and Michael Vick gets to prove if he was right or wrong after those comments after Week One.
Vick said on Twitter, "My 2nd go around with the Packers im looking forward to the challenge!"
Here is the FULL NFL Playoff Schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 8
4:30 p.m. ET – New Orleans Saints (-10) at Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
8 p.m. ET – New York Jets (+3) at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
Sunday, Jan. 9
1 p.m. ET – Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
4:30 p.m. ET – Green Bay Packers (+2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles (Fox)
Saturday, Jan. 15
4:30 p.m. ET – Best remaining AFC seed (Indianapolis, Kansas City or Baltimore) at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
8 p.m. ET – Worst remaining NFC seed (Seattle, New Orleans or Green Bay) at Atlanta Falcons (Fox)
Sunday, Jan. 16
1 p.m. ET – Best remaining NFC seed (Philadelphia, Seattle or New Orleans) at Chicago Bears (Fox)
4:30 p.m. ET – Worst remaining AFC seed (Kansas City, Baltimore, New York Jets) at New England Patriots (CBS)
Sunday, Jan. 23
3:00 p.m. ET – NFC championship at best remaining seed (Fox)
6:30 p.m. ET -- AFC championship at best remaining seed (CBS)
Super Bowl XLV
Sunday, Feb. 6
6:30 p.m. ET – NFC winner vs. AFC winner, at Cowboys Stadium (Fox)
Game one is officially in the books and the Philadelphia Eagles suffered a 27-20 loss at the hands of the Packers, however, that wasn’t the worst thing to happen to them on Sunday.
The Eagles suffered through injury after injury, penalty after penalty, mistake after mistake, and still made Game One an entertaining game.
The Eagles entered week one with the healthiest team in the NFL, they left week one more injured then us phans would like.
Let’s start from the worst down. Eagles Fullback Leonard Weaver was taken off the field with an apparent knee injury. Andy Reid has officially announced that Weaver has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Weaver is expected to get an MRI Monday morning.
Center Jamaal Jackson left the Eagles game early on Sunday with an apparent arm injury. Reid tells us that Jackson has a torn bicep and may also be out for the season. This leaves more open questions for the Eagles offensive line, knowing that starting Guard, Nick Cole, replaced Jackson last season at center.
Middle Linebacker, Stewart Bradley, fell to the ground on Sunday before the first half looking very dizzy. Bradley left the game with a concussion and the defense wasn’t the same without him. Bradley rejuvenated the Eagles defense in the first half, as they worked well together with him on the field. When Bradley left, the Eagles defense wasn’t the same. At Half Time, Bradley was missing in action. Without Bradley the defense made a few mistakes that could have cost them the game.
Starting Quarterback, Kevin Kolb went down with a Jaw Injury after being hit hard in the second quarter. Kolb was then feeling dizziness and has been ruled with a concussion. Reid says that if Kolb is healthy next week, he will be the starting Quarterback.
After Michael Vick came in to replace Kolb, fans have started to come out and say bench Kolb and start Vick … much like fans were saying last season about Kolb replacing McNabb. The problem that Kolb really had in the game was that Reid didn’t give Kolb the opportunities to play in key plays of the first half. Reid consistently put Vick in the game in situations that would have given Kolb the opportunity to shine. That wasn’t Kolb’s only problem in this game. He was consistently under pressure as the Packers kept sending the blitz from all different directions at Kolb to the point that the offensive line couldn’t stop the blitz from coming.
After Kolb went down injured, Vick played well and was able to rush away from the blitz. Vick had some opportunities to run the ball into the end zone, but decided to use his arm to get a touchdown, he failed. However, Vick did go 16 for 24 for 175 yards and a touchdown. Vick also ran the ball 11 times for 103 yards.
The Eagles defense did play well, as Trent Cole had 6 tackle with 1 sack and Juqua Parker’s two sacks changed the pace of the first half of the game. Rookie Nate Allen had 5 tackles of his own and an interception. Allen is the first Eagles rookie to have an interception in a game since Eric Allen did it in 1988.
The Eagles Kick Return coverage played very iffy on Sunday, however, Sav Rocca and David Akers both put on impressive performances for the Special Teams. Akers went 2 for 2 on Field Goals. Rocca had 5 punts for 240 yards and a 48 yard average.
The Special Teams play was terrible otherwise. The Packers seemed to get down the field easy on kick returns and also on punt returns. On punt returns, Eagles Special Team “specialist” Hank Baskett missed a wide open tackle. On another one, HB Eldra Buckley ran over the returner after a fair catch was called for. One thing the Eagles have to work on at practice this week is discipline, not only on Special Teams, but in Penalties as well.
At one point of the game the Eagles had more penalty yards then they had offensive, now that is a scary number.
The drive that changed the game however was the Eagles last. The Eagles had the perfect opportunity to drive the ball down field and tie it up; however, a poor play call by Andy Reid on 4th and 1 caused the Eagles the game. Reid decided to go with a QB Draw play that was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. This was an easily readable play as Reid has tried to do it consistently in the past.
After that stop, the Eagles had zero time outs, so the Packers ran the clock out.
The Eagles fell in Week One after an impressive comeback to show that this team is never going down without a fight.
The Green Bay Packers are ranked by multiple “experts” as team that will be in the Super Bowl for the NFC. In week one the Eagles and Kevin Kolb are ready to show where they will rank in the NFC this season right off the bat.
The Packers have an explosive offense lead by one of the top Quarterbacks in the League, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has many options to go to in the offense, including Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.
The Packers weakness for Sunday will be their defensive secondary. CB Al Harris is missing this week’s game with an injury as the Packers have to figure out a way to cover the explosiveness of the Philadelphia Eagles offense.
The Eagles are the healthiest team in the NFL heading into Week One of the season, but look to have a two man rotation at the Center Position, as Jamaal Jackson is coming off of an ACL injury. The Eagles announced that Jackson and McGlynn will both take reps at the center position, which could be a huge weakness for the Eagles on Sunday.
A look at the spread: The Eagles are 3 point underdogs at home versus the Green Bay Packers. Both teams are very explosive, but we still do not know how Kevin Kolb will run the Eagles offense. Advice is to stay away from betting on this game and just enjoy it.
Notes: The Eagles will be wearing their Kelly Green Jerseys in celebration of their 50th Anniversary of the 1960 NFL Championship, a game in which the Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers. Look for members of the 1960 team like Tommy McDonald and Chuck Bednarik.