Detailed Game Review – PIT 24, PHI 14

Posted: August 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: | 42 Comments »

The Eagles lost to the Steelers in an ugly game. Things looked good when DT Cullen Jenkins sacked Big Ben on 3rd/20 on the opening drive, but there was a facemask penalty. The Steelers went down and scored and that was that. The 3rd down defense by the starters was awful. It wasn’t a schematic problem. It wasn’t Juan Castillo being in over his head. Guys made mental and physical mistakes. Extremely sloppy play.

The offense was plagued by turnovers. Vick threw 3 INTs. Vince Young threw one. There was a fumble. We didn’t score a point for 55 minutes and the Punter only had one kick. Blocking was pretty good. Vick just had an off night. Mike Kafka and the 3rd stringers really came alive in the 4th and we scored 2 TDs in the final 5 minutes. Not a big deal in terms of the final score (meaningless), but it was great to see them play well and take advantage of the opportunity.

No major injuries means the night was really a major success.


VICK —Last week was efficient and explosive. This week was the opposite. Opening 3rd down bugged me. Way too casual. Calm is good, but that looked like too much. Pass over the middle was deflected. If not, might have been picked. Best throw was a strike to Cooper for 16 yards on the 2nd series. Quick read, great throw. Very next play Vick stupidly forced the ball to Cooper on downfield route and it was picked off by S. Forced the ball (under pressure) to Celek and it was almost a pick-six for Troy. Decided to make up for that and on the next play forced the ball toward Chad Hall and the 37 Steelers covering him. INT. Got heavily pressured to open the next drive. Dumped ball to Shady and that turned into a good gain. Things started to look up. Hit Chad Hall for gain of 11 with good throw late in the half. Comeback time!!! Ran for a couple of yards. Got out of bounds to stop the clock. We’re almost at midfield. Then depression set in. Failed to see a CB blitz. Riley was wide open on the play, but Vick held the ball and took a sack. On the next snap he was pressured big time by blitzing DB. Vick ran for his life in the pocket. He then looked up to throw. Passed on a wide open Riley Cooper and instead forced the ball to Celek and his Steeler friends. INT. Vick got a big hit on Troy, who was running the pick back. Vick was under a lot of pressure on the play, but he seemed to look Riley’s way before throwing to Celek. And no one was within 10 yards of Cooper. Thus ends a half of football that Vick would like to forget. I don’t know if he was affected by the GQ nonsense or just played lousy. Let’s hope he got it out of his system.

YOUNG — Started 2 of 2 in the 3rd Qtr. Threw the ball well. Made smart decision on next play not to force the ball and threw it away. Ran QB sneak on 4th/inches. Got a yard. Threw deep for Hall in the late 3rd, but he was covered and the pass was incomplete. Looked like Harbor was open down the seam on that play. Stepped up in pocket and found JLH on 3rd down. That moved the chains. Made a terrible decision and throw in the late 3rd. Forced the ball to Hall and it was picked off by underneath LB. I saw some progress as a passer, but that INT was troublesome. Vince is too experienced to make that throw, especially when he’s not under heavy pressure.

KAFKA — Great game. Entered with 6:44 on the clock and no points on the board. Left with zeros on the clock and 14 points on the board. Do we no call him Joe Kafka or Mike Montana? Joking aside, it was a good performance. Mike got the ball out quickly and made good throws. I thought he showed real good zip on a pass to Harper on the right side. He made another good throw to Harper on the right side. Threw a pretty good downfield pass to JLH. JL couldn’t find it. Wasn’t a rocket, but had good touch and hit him in stride. Next play Mike scrambled up the middle for 17. Showed agility as he avoided contact and then speed once he was in the open field. Next play was a screen. Mike let the rusher come at him and didn’t flinch. That turned into a big gain. Mike showed good pocket presence. He stepped up when pressured. He worked the middle of the field and the sidelines. Very good showing. 14-19-160, with 2 TDs. Ran for 24 yards.

32 SCHMITT — Good seal block of LB on early Shady run.

39 HAVILI — Poor lead block on 3rd/1. Hesitated. Too high. Didn’t deliver the blow. Doesn’t look like natural lead blocker. Got the ball on 4th/1. Tried to jump. DB got him about 6 inches off the ground. Gravity 1, Havili 0.

25 MCCOY — Good game. Ran well. Showed good vision and burst. 4 carries for 25 yards. Got 12 yds on his only catch of the game and looked good there. Had effective cut block on initial 3rd down. Didn’t floor Woodley, but slowed him enough to give Vick clean pocket and time to throw. Had a poor block of blitzer late in the half that led to INT. There’s a reason for the poor block. Harrison was on the edge of the LOS and Shady stepped toward him, then realized he needed to peel off and get the blitzer. Still a bad block, but it was because he was confused by the alignment/blitz. Mental error, not a lack of effort or blocking ability.

36 BROWN — 6 carries for 25 yds. Best run was a cutback to the right side for 14 yds. Good vision, burst on the play. Made a really good cut block of DE and put him on the ground. Excellent block of LB on 3rd down pass play. Another solid showing by Ronnie.

27 D. LEWIS — #3 RB. Good showing. First touch was a run to the left side for 14 yds. Good burst. Got stood up on 2nd carry and DB ripped the ball away from him. Highlight play was a screen pass that went for 40 yards. Got DB off balance with juke move. Then used another move on 2nd DB and went by him. Raced down the sideline. Defender tried to tackle him from behind, but Lewis ran through it. Impressive strength, balance. Did step on sideline. That was the only thing keeping him out of the endzone. Take away the fumble and he had a great night. Looked okay in pass protection, but I need to re-check that to be sure.

10 DeSEAN — Went deep for him on opening play. Well covered and the pass was incomplete. Caught 9 yd pass on next play. Lost a yard on a WR screen. Ugly play. Still fast. Good to see him on the field.

14 R. COOPER — Had 3 passes come his way. Made a catch for gain of 16. Next one was picked. Final pass was high. Riley couldn’t make the grab. Wasn’t a drop, but looked catchable.

81 AVANT — Had pass come his way on initial 3rd down. Ball was deflected. Jason had good block on early run play. His knee started bugging him so didn’t play a ton. No need to.

16 C HALL — Typical Chad Hall game. Caught 3 passes for 20 yards. A couple were over the middle. One moved the chains on 3rd down. The other was inches short. I wish Chad would quit moving backward after a catch. Go forward. You aren’t going to break a big play. Get what you can and move the chains. 2 of the INTs came on passes thrown his way. Chad was covered on both.

17 JL HIGGINS — Came alive as a receiver. 7-54. Caught short pass from VY to open 3rd Qtr. Added couple of RAC yds and got 10 on the play. Caught pass on crossing route on 3rd down and made sure to get upfield for the 1st. Caught a quick pass from Kafka and turned that into a gain of 6. Next play was a catch along the sideline for 10. Next play was a deep ball. JL couldn’t locate it and the ball bounced off his facemask. Kafka got him the ball a couple of times on the final drives. JL looked good. Worked the middle and was effective outside.

11 MOSS — Caught WR screen and turned that into gain of 7. Nice play. Only throw to come his way.

89 JONES — Great game. Caught 3-36 with 2 TDs. Both scores showed great effort and some RAC ability. Had to head for corner pylon and then reach the ball over. Neither play was dumb or risky. Gerald has been impressive. I’d love to see him get some snaps with the starters on Thursday to see how he does against good competition.

83 R HARPER — Another good game. 3-37. Didn’t do anything great, but got open and caught the ball well.

87 CELEK — Sloppy block of Woodley at LOS led to Shady getting stuffed for no gain. Good chip block of LB as he released into pass route. Stayed in to help pass protect a couple of times. Had a couple of passes thrown his way. One was picked off. The other, almost.

82 B HARBOR — Pulled left and got wham block on Harrison (almost typed Jason Gildon). That block helped spring Shady for nice gain. Good block on Brown run in the mid-3rd. He’s not getting passes thrown his way, but Clay is getting open. I’m still impressed with what I’m seeing from him.

88 D LEE — Inconsistent blocker. Will have one bad block where he looks very sloppy. Next time will get on LB and drive him off the ball. Had a very good block on Lewis run late in the game.

85 C INGRAM — Saw him playing late in a GL situation. Didn’t stand out as a blocker.

65 K DUNLAP — Starting RT. Rode Timmons wide on early pass play. Much better about not giving ground. Short choppy steps with no kick slide. Pulled right on run and got partial block on Woodley. Kept him from Shady, but King should have been able to really control him or get in a big shot. Good down block of Timmons on outside run play. Moved him inside. Stuck with it. Solid block on initial 3rd down. Got moved back by DE, but kept control of the rusher and maintained the block to the whistle. Bad play to open 3rd drive. Reached for Woodley on run play and got off balance. Woodley put him to the ground. Sloppy. Solid pass block later on the drive. Really has gotten better about not retreating too much. Blocked LB well for a second, then lost contact and the guy started to go by him. King had ridden the guy very wide/deep by that point and it had no effect on play. Overall, I’d give King a B. He kept the right side clean, but preseason is a lot about style points. King is better, but still sloppy. Glad to see the progress. That’s important. Also, I don’t think PIT attacked him the way they would in the regular season. Got help on a couple of pass plays, but largely was on his own.

67 J JACKSON — C. Pulled right and got block of DE. Helped give Shady running lane. JamJax isn’t agile, but moved okay. Good block of Timmons on run play. Kept him from getting upfield to Shady. Solid game overall.

63 D WATKINS — Starting RG. Let LB almost get loose to the inside on pass play. Managed to sustain block and not let LB get free. Helped JamJax block DE on run play to the right side. Good effort by Watkins, but block should have been better. Very good block to open the 3rd drive. Got into the DE at the LOS and then drove him 12 or so yards upfield. Great effort. Showing progress. Didn’t look as lost as last week. Had some good blocks in the 2nd Qtr. Gets better the more he plays.

Peters – Not too much to say. Looks solid. Really using his hands well. Had one bad block of Harrison that led to pressure on Vick. Then had communication breakdown with Todd. Tried to pass slanting LB off, but Todd was looking elsewhere.
Todd H. – Looks good.

69 E MATHIS — #2 RT. Good effort as run blocker. Doesn’t get much push at OT. Came close to holding on Brown’s cutback run. Showed good footwork on some pass plays. I didn’t get to see him really take on a LB on 3rd/long. Was hoping to get a feel for just how good he would be at pass pro vs an edge rusher. I do think he showed enough that I’d be comfortable with him going out to RT if there was an in-game injury.

73 J VANDERVELDE — #2 RG. Short. Really sticks out on the field…by not sticking out. Better run blocker than pass protector. Seems to freeze his feet and reach at times. Excellent effort all the time. Flew downfield on Dion’s screen pass, but couldn’t find anyone to block. Had some good run blocks for Lewis. I’m not sure he’s ready for the NFL this year, but could be ideal for the Practice Squad.

62 KELCE — #2 C. Got driven straight back toward VY in early 3rd. Actually looked to have a solid block on 4th/inches QB sneak. Didn’t go low as I expected. Got under the defender, but worked to move him off the ball. Let NT get by him in pass pro, but was able to recover and stick with the guy. Good reach block on Lewis’ first run. Jason got to the DL and was able to wall him off, giving Dion a running lane. Good cutblock out in space on LB freed up Lewis for big gain on screen. Got driven backward on next snap and Lewis had nowhere to run. Terrific athlete with great motor, but does get physically overwhelmed at times.

66 D REYNOLDS — #2 LG. Got good push on QB sneak. Had some good run blocks. Pass pro is sloppy. I don’t think he’s got the footwork for the NFL, at least not a passing team. Some running team ought to give him a look, if/when we cut him.

68 A HOWARD — #2 LT. Austin had a Motel 6 game – the light went on. Thank goodness. Very sloppy last week. Obviously he got an earful from the coaches and this week he played much better. He is far from a good OT, but he looked like a competent backup. I started to worry the other day if he would make the team. I liked his footwork vs PIT. Wasn’t heavy-footed and reaching. Moved well laterally. Showed good awareness on stunts, blitzes. Good block in early 3rd. Rode one defender inside, then peeled off to get player looping wide. Did that on another drive as well. Got off the ball well on run plays. Still needs to get a lot better, but he’s headed in the right direction.

77 M MCGLYNN — #3 LG. What the heck? Mike is behind Dallas Reynolds? Didn’t have a good game last week and the coaches must be giving Mike a hint. I don’t think he did anything vs PIT that is going to make them change their minds. I didn’t chart any standout plays from him.

72 SPENCER JOHNSON — #3 LT. New player. UDFA rookie. Did okay on the late drives, but failed to impress. Sleek build, but didn’t show great feet or athleticism.



* We blitzed on 3rd/4 in early 2nd. PIT threw quick swing pass to RB and it turned into big gain. Similar thing happened last week. This isn’t a physical issue. Someone is blowing their assignment.

* Steelers converted 3rd/24. Reminded me of 4th/26. Rookie LB (Matthews instead of Barnett) didn’t drop far enough. DB over the top was too soft (Hanson). Ugh.

58 COLE — Solid game. Chased down run play from behind. Got some pressure off the edge. Used inside move to flush QB. Got TFL on run play.
Drove the LT back to Big Ben with great bull rush. Awesome to watch. Should have gotten holding call on play. Went through the LT and blocking back to get big shot on Leftwich. Fun to watch. Got best of LT and split a TFL with Jenkins. Ready for Freddie.

68 HARGROVE — Good game. Got pressure with early bull rush. Great motor. Got pancaked on run play where he was caught standing up. RG stonewalled him on 3rd/8 pass where Ben had time to move up and find WR for 1st. No pressure up middle. Used explosive burst to get into backfield on run play. got a shot on Ben when Babin had him wrapped up low. Nothing dirty, but a tough, physical hit. Used quick inside move to get by RG and go sack Leftwich.

97 JENKINS — Got an impressive sack to stop opening drive, but was also called for getting Big Ben’s facemask. Automatic 1st down. That’s when things fell apart. Used a good bull rush to get the sack. Got doubled on 3rd/8 where Ben had all day to find WR. Got nowhere. Got penetration on run play and drew holding call. Came close to knocking ball away from Ben on pass play, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. Used good swim move to get upfield and share TFL with Trent.

93 BABIN — Really wound up. Ran all over the place and had some after the whistle contact with several Steelers. Didn’t bite on PA fake and got shot on Ben early. Should have been late hit penalty. Sacked Big Ben when he was unblocked off the edge. It was a sucker play where Babin didn’t bite on the run fake. Made major mistake on 3rd/10 in early 2nd. For some reason he stunted to the inside. That let Ben roll right and have plenty of time and no pressure. Ben was able to find Ward for a TD. Can’t give up half the field like that. Dumb. Used hard inside move in mid-2nd to beat OT and draw holding call. Flew outside to get hit on WR after quick screen. Love the hustle.

55 D TAPP — Played #2 RDE. Also saw time at LDT in the Nickel. Jumped offside and that led to long run by PIT. Bull rushed LT and that flushed Leftwich, but he had room to run. Used good spin move late in the half to get into backfield, but Leftwich had just released the pass. Not as impressive as last week.

52 TEO — Played both DE spots. Left with hamstring injury in 2nd half. Played a snap at DT late in the half. Got doubled on that play. Beat LT and got some pressure in early 3rd. Hustled to chase RB from behind and got in on tackle. Did that on the next snap as well and helped to stuff RB for no gain. Got good pressure on 3rd Qtr pass. Used good leverage to get around blocker and get a hand on QB. Chased down another RB from behind and got in on tackle. Doesn’t show a great burst, but excellent effort player. Has potential as a bull rusher.

73 LANDRI — Not nearly as good as last week when facing starters. Got moved off the ball on 3rd/1. PIT didn’t run to his side, but that wasn’t good. Still showed some quickness off the ball, but wasn’t getting push when he tried to bull rush. Didn’t get penetration with any regularity. Did get some push on pass play late in the half. Facing backups in the 2nd half was a different story. Drew a holding call in the early 3rd. Drove back RG in 3rd Qtr to disrupt run play. Exploded off the ball in the mid-3rd and ran by the blocking back to get big shot on QB as he released the pass.

64 M FAVORITE — Good motor. Worked hard to get off blocks and to the ball. Batted down pass on 4th/2. Showed good awareness to see the ball and get a hand on it. Showed bad awareness when he tried to huddle up for 5th down right after that. Blew up run play by getting under the LG and driving him backward. Got TFL on the play. Got TFL in early 4th when Rolle got penetration and blew up run. Didn’t stand out as pass rusher, but had another solid showing. Interesting project.

76 P HUNT — Played RDE in mid-2nd. Later shifted to LDE. Wasn’t coming free off the edge like last week. OTs were able to steer him wide. Excellent effort by Hunt. He works hard to get off blocks and to the QB. Got in on TFL in the early 4th. Looked like fringe player / PS candidate in this game. The next couple of weeks will be huge for his future.

72 C THORNTON — Another player who had the light go on. Better than last week. Hustled outside on early run and got in on the tackle. Grabbed RB on inside run as he went by him. Good awareness. Showed Ced was playing under control. Got penetration on mid-2nd run and blew up the play. Led to TFL. Got penetration on another run play and threw off the timing. Drove his blocker into backfield and blew up run play. Led to group TFL. Jumped offside in the 3rd Qtr. Got moved off the ball by double team on run play. Didn’t give up, though. Battled the blockers to the whistle. I thought he showed big time growth from last week. Really interested to see what he does in the 4th PS game when he’ll play a lot.

65 C WILSON — Very good showing…BUT…Wilson is a veteran player. He’s going to thrive against 3rd string OTs. Can’t get too excited about what he does. Had one great play. Flew off the edge and absolutely planted Dennis Dixon. Big time hit. Fun to watch. Wilson is putting some good tape out there for a team looking for a 5th or 6th DE.

94 NOONAN — Welcome back, Charlie. Made TFL on screen pass in 4th. Impressive when you consider that all the other players were taunting him with “Noo-nan!” and “Miss it”.

51 CHANEY — Ducked around block on 2nd play and left area for RB to hit. Needed to take on blocker. Fought off block to get in on stop of RB for minimal gain. Only LB on field in Dime looks. Stupidly went after Big Ben after he’d scrambled out wide. That left RB open for dump pass and gain of almost 15. Made good tackle of RB after Allen missed tackle. Got TFL in late 2nd. DTs did their job and Jamar jumped in to get RB for loss.

50 MATTHEWS — Side-stepped block on 2nd play and got out of position. No-no. Made a good read on screen pass on opening drive. Helped make the tackle, but should have got the RB down by himself. Got off balance before diving and getting the guy’s feet. Jumped around a blocker on inside run, but did help to stuff play for short gain. Did take on blocker on inside run and was driven away from play. Got free after a couple of seconds, but not nearly fast enough. Mis-read early screen. Got back in play quickly and helped to make stop. Made sloppy tackle attempt on RB on 2nd/1. Other guys got him a yard away. Casey read the play correctly and dove for the guy, but wasn’t able to cleanly get his legs. Got blind-sided by Hines Ward and missed tackle of RB on pass play. Very close to block in the back. Awkward on offside (Tapp) play where PIT ran. Casey got in the right gap. RB cutback. OL hit Casey from behind and put him on ground. Looked bad live, but different when you studied play. Got blocked out of run play by Pouncey. Got a RB right at LOS in early 2nd Qtr when Jenkins and Cole were able to control their blockers. Casey got upfield and grabbed the RB for no gain. Stuffed an inside run play that came right at him for just 1 yard. Didn’t make a clean tackle, but hit the guy in the leg hard enough to put him down. Got 1/2 a TFL in the mid-2nd when Thornton got penetration and disrupted a run play. Used his hands to slide around blocker and get into backfield for group TFL.

Casey didn’t have a good game. The key thing for me is that he did get better as the game wore on. Young players need to show progress. Every snap is a learning experience.

53 FOKOU — Good game. 5 total tackles. Broke up a downfield pass to TE on opening drive. No skill. Just happened to be in right place at right time, trailing in coverage. Made real good play on screen. Read it quickly, changed direction, and chased it down fast. Only gave up a couple of yards. Got physical pop on Mendenhall after chasing him down on run play. Almost stuffed FB on 3rd/1, but couldn’t wrap him up cleanly. Only got him with hands.

57 K CLAYTON — Going against the Steelers offense was a good test for Clayton. He’s getting more physical, but still isn’t a good run defender. Read TE screen in early 3rd and made the stop for no gain. Smart, quick. Showed some aggressiveness on run play that came at him, but still turned his shoulder to the play. Must square up and take on blockers. Took on a TE and FB on a play where he was lined up outside. Fought around them. We’re seeing progress, but Clayton still needs to be more physical. Made good tackle of RB in space on pass play. Showed his agility as he moved around players to get in position to make the play. Late in the 3rd Qtr got into a shoving match with OL. Keenan then put up his dukes, like he’s Ali or something. Only lasted for a second, but was weird and hilarious.

56 JORDAN — Backup MLB. Came upfield and had open path to RB for easy tackle. Looked awkward and missed the tackle. I don’t really know how that happened. Was out in space and had a free shot at RB on screen pass. Akeem looked hesitant and didn’t make the tackle until the RB had started to pass him. Made a good stop vs run when he had to shed blocker and then tackle the RB. Much better. Did a good job of shedding blocks.

59 B ROLLE — Made tackle vs draw in early 3rd. Got blocked, fell, got up and then made the stop. Good hustle. Flew out wide and popped a WR on a WR screen. Got excellent depth on his pass drop in the early 4th Qtr. We blitzed DBs and it was important for Brian to get back and act as a Safety. CB made the tackle, but Brian was in the right position, deeper than the CB. Impressive for rookie. Attacked upfield and blew up run play. Didn’t make stop, but play was a TFL. Started really aggressively taking on FB in the 4th. Affected the RB.

42 COLEMAN — Solid job of hitting/tackling early on. Had chance for early INT, but was focused on making the hit and not the ball. Fell incomplete. Slammed WR down after catch over middle. Got shot on Ben when he ran bizarre QB sneak up the middle for 9 yds. Got badly burned by cutback run to open 2nd drive. We had PIT pinned deep. Kurt flew up in run support, but pinched down too far and let RB get by him for gain of 9 yds. Should have been 1 or 2. Came up quickly in run support, but got sealed inside by WR and RB was able to get a few yards. Got in on TFL in mid-2nd. Flew up in run support and helped get RB down.

29 ALLEN — Came out very aggressive vs run. Then got burned on PA pass to TE for big gain. Had tight coverage on WR on 3rd down, but Ben got him the ball for the 1st. Nate did tackle quickly. Blitzed on first TD throw. Stopped and jumped. Ben was able to wait and throw over him for the score. Probably should have kept coming on the blitz. Fired in vs the run late in the 1st Qtr and should have made a nice play, but missed the tackle. Gave up 6 yds instead of 2. Got burned by Ward for TD pass. Allen had solid initial coverage, but Ward changed direction behind him and Nate was half a step slow in pivoting. That’s all Ward needed to get open. Rough night for Nate. He was always half a step slow or off. This was the most he’s played since the injury.

26 J JARRETT — Got a hit on TE after short catch in the early 3rd. Blitzed in the late 3rd and got RB down for TFL on draw play. Jarrett timed the blitz well and made a good play. Really locks in on ball on run plays. Needs to show better awareness of blockers that aren’t in front of him (like WRs). Got sealed by blindside block on a run and RB got out wide. Got a good shot on RB in tight quarters. Love that part of his game. Doesn’t need guys lined up out in the open in order to pop them.

25 J PAGE — Made good tackle of TE out in space after catch. Missed tackle of RB at the LOS. Dove for him, but couldn’t get a foot. Got RB out of bounds after he got loose on cutback run for 10 yds. Made good tackle of WR after catch on 3rd down. Got RB down for short gain in the early 4th. Good tackle of RB on 1st/GL. Came up quickly. Had tight coverage of TE on 3rd/GL and forced overthrow. He’s now played well in the Red Zone in consecutive weeks.

24 ASOMUGHA — Made good tackle of RB on opening drive. Played in the slot and outside. Didn’t have a lot happen around him. Finished with 2 tackles.

22 SAMMIE — Had a pass come his way on opening drive. Broke on the ball, but it fell incomplete. Classic Asante. Bites on route, receiver goes by him for easy TD. Lined up as deep S on one play when PIT started with stacked WRs to one side and then sent one guy in motion. Asante got near a RB on the play, but had the good sense not to touch him. Had tight coverage on WR on 3rd down pass that came his direction. Ball fell incomplete. Made a reasonably good open field tackle of WR after quick throw. Another sign the Mayans are right.

23 RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Blitzed off edge on draw play and got held. Drew the flag. Blitzed off the edge on TD throw. Got picked up by RB. Needs work as a blitzer. Generally had a good night in coverage. Got beaten on 3rd/7 late in the half. WR ran drag route. DRC trailed, but failed to make the tackle after the ball go there. That led to 1st down.

21 HANSON — Played when starters did some Dime looks. Gave up TD late in the half. Played off coverage in the slot. Read the play well and broke on the ball, but was 1/2 second late and the WR already had the ball for the score. Was playing off on 3rd/24 pass play and was half step slow in getting to the receiver. Much better pressing than playing off.

35 LINDLEY — Called for PI in early 3rd. Good call. Got sloppy when trying to play the ball. Gave up about a 15-yd completion on an outside throw. Needs to work on his jams. Wasn’t able to re-direct a WR who took an inside route and the guy had a pretty easy release. Ball didn’t come his way, though. Blitzed off the edge to open the 4th. Got some pressure and forced quick throw. Made good open field tackle of WR on crossing pattern on late 3rd down to get the ball back to the offense.

31 C MARSH — Had okay coverage on 3rd Qtr pass play that came his way. WR got him off balance and went upfield. Marsh recovered well and stayed close. Ball was overthrown and incomplete. Gotta show you can recover like that when you’re caught leaning the wrong way. Made a good tackle of WR when 3rd down pass came his way. We blitzed so the throw was early. Marsh kept WR short of the chains. Tackle could have been better, but was effective. Got run over by WR on pass route in 4th. Marsh is thinking a lot right now. Doesn’t show a good feel for understanding routes. That comes with experience. Failed to read WR screen and gave up TD pass. Luckily it was called back by penalty. Got caught going to the inside on that play.

27 HUGHES — Played in the slot and outside. Best when pressing. Ran right with slot receiver on pass play in the late 3rd. Blitzed off the edge vs spread set, but turned out to be draw play. Chased and kinda got in on stop. Took bad angle when he came up in run support and let the RB get to the outside for good gain. Had tight coverage of WR on crossing route.


* Asante got free to the inside and blocked a FG.

Henery —Hard to kick PATs or FGs when Vick is being an INT machine.

Henry — Hard to punt when Vick is being an INT machine. Had one punt. 53 yards.

KOR — Moss ran back 2nd half KO. Caught it deep. Ran hard and got out to the 23. Return of 31. I liked the speed and aggression he showed on the play. Ran back KO to open 4th Qtr. Got 28 yds. Looked good again.


42 Comments on “Detailed Game Review – PIT 24, PHI 14”

  1. 1 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:20 AM on August 20th, 2011:

    Eagles re-signed G Reggie Wells.

    Odd move. Mathis is the backup LG and now might be shifting to backup RT. Wells could be backup LG.

    Remember that McGlynn was just demoted to #3 LG. That’s a spot they probably aren’t happy with. And Reynolds didn’t shine in the game as the backup there.

    Don’t like Wells, but I also don’t anticipate him playing much.

  2. 2 Austinfan said at 11:50 AM on August 20th, 2011:

    We disagreed about Matthews on draft day, and the reasons I didn’t like him have become apparent, he’s just not a good athlete, as we’lve seen with Tatupu as he aged, instincts don’t help when you can’t get there in time.

    Matthews is never going to be great at getting off blocks, few LBs are (go look at Bradley glued to blocks all last season, Arizona gave him $10M guaranteed?). But if you’re game is predicated on great instincts, then you have to read and react a half step faster than everyone else to have a chance. Maybe that will come in time, but he doesn’t have the explosive first step you want to see in undersized MLBs. And he’s too slow to play outside, good RBs would just run away from him. Heck, he’s slow dropping back in zone.

    Chaney has that explosive first step, but he seems lost at SLB, and really isn’t the smooth open field guy you want in the nickel and dime. That may come with time, he has the size and athleticism.

    I think they have to take a closer look at Clayton and Rolle, right now Fokou is the only dependable LB. They may have to go with Fokou – Chaney – Rolle/Clayton if Matthews doesn’t step it up the next two games. I think Chaney would be a solid run down MLB, just not sold on his judgment right now in the nickel/dime packages.

  3. 3 iskar36 said at 11:54 AM on August 20th, 2011:

    To me, it’s one thing for our returners to take out the KO during the preseason when the ball is that deep, but it is another once the season starts. The issue of turning KOs into the most boring play aside, do you think our returners should take the touchback when the ball goes deep into the end zone? The way I see it, in the past, we would have taken the touchback. With teams now 5 yards closer, it seems to make even more sense to take the touchback this year. There is a lot of risk of injury, and at least on those two returns by Moss, he only gained 5 yards but risked getting tackled before the 20 as well.

  4. 4 DB said at 11:56 AM on August 20th, 2011:

    Looks like we have some WR’s that can play. Do we keep 6? DJax, Mac, Avant, Cooper & Smith are locks. Do we keep Higgins for PR? Or Moss? Or Hall?

  5. 5 JR said at 12:01 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Tommy, How much of an improvement will the return of Big Mike and Moby Dixon have on our run defense? Does their absence account at all for the poor linebacker play?

  6. 6 mcud said at 12:05 PM on August 20th, 2011:


    Agree wholeheartedly. Tommy wrote that the key for him was that Casey got better as the game went on. The consolation may be that he got better as time went on, but to me, the “key” is that he looked far from good, and a light year from great.

    Even if Morrison isn’t better than Mathews, he’s out there. We just signed REGGIE WELLS to another contract (for reasons passing understanding). What is the downside of bringing in some veteran LBs to push the kids?

  7. 7 Sokhar said at 12:06 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Moby Dixon. Well played, sir.

  8. 8 theguyotc said at 12:19 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    I agree Kafka had a good game, but I thought he had a throw that really should have been an INT. It was dropped, but I remember it being in the defender’s hands. Am I remembering wrong?

    Wouldn’t have been great if all three starting QBs had an INT, even in a preseason game. At least it was against a good team and defense.

  9. 9 ian no. 2 said at 1:03 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Joseph K Montana

    (2nd English major joke in 2 minutes)

  10. 10 iggles nut said at 1:09 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    You have to think that McGlynn would have at least a little bit of trade value to a running team that needs a backup C/G. Baltimore and the Jets seem like ideal candidates.

  11. 11 eagles nut said at 1:11 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    As far as the general defensive performance, it’s just going to take some time to get used to the wide nine scheme. I know Matthews didn’t play well but when you have the defensive tackles so spread out so that the center is basically uncovered and can get a free shot on a guy that he outweighs by at least 60 pounds I don’t know how the MLB has a chance. Even if he does everything perfectly.

  12. 12 mcud said at 1:32 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    At this point, I want the Eagles to just quit screwing around, move Todd to RT and JJ to RG. Then, they have all the excuses they need to put Kelce in the starting lineup. 🙂

  13. 13 mcud said at 1:33 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Oops. Meant JJ to LG.

  14. 14 Havana Omelet said at 2:07 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Great write-up Tommy. It’s good that you are able to see the rapid improvement of some of these guys. Makes me feel better after the igs “got debacled.”

    I had heard when Babin did his first stint with the Iggles 2 years ago the knock on him was that he was not a very smart player. Great athlete, but dumb.

  15. 15 Big Don said at 2:27 PM on August 20th, 2011:


    the JJ to G idea has been bouncing around my head as well.

  16. 16 ian no. 2 said at 3:00 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Herremans and JJ will get to try out their new positions in the 4th quarter of the Sept 25 game at the Giants. Timing is everything.

    It seems like Lindley is falling behind Marsh and Hughes.. hope Hughes stays here.

    Tommy should get an intern, and one of her first jobs would be to sort all of the player blurbs from last year’s game reviews by player.. It would be interesting to see all of your reviews of Allen’s games. Sheil at MTC summarized his from last year saying Allen had problems in coverage. I’m suspicious of Allen and think sometimes high picks get kept in too long, when the Eagles have talented backups and possible cuts there. I hope I’m wrong. Allen was rated highly going into the draft and was tagged as a heady player, and is supposedly instructing the rookies this year. Demps was supposed to be heady coming out of college. I’m curious to see what Anderson could do against ones. Adams is a little big, and we’ll see about Jarrett in coverage soon enough.

  17. 17 LT said at 3:35 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Hmmm. Reggie Wells. Interesting.

    Castillo buried him last year. If Mudd turns him into a useful player, that’s another strike against Castillo in my book.

    I’ve about had it with Castillo. Is he a civil servant or something? Who guaranteed him a job with the Eagles for life?

  18. 18 PhxPhilly said at 3:42 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Tommy or others, can you explain why avoiding a block and making a tackle is a ‘no-no’?

    I certainly see the ‘toughness’ factor of taking on a blocker but it I think it increases the likelihood of being blocked out of the play. The only reason I could see in taking on block is if blocker is an eligible receiver. In that case defender is actually eliminating a possible option in the play. But I see no reason why MLB should let the opposing center to engage them straight up.

    I am certainly no expert on defensive coaching or plays and I come here to learn a bunch of it. So thanks for the explanation.

  19. 19 fran35 said at 4:16 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Honestly, is there anyone who really thinks that Matthews starts opening day at MLB? I really, really have to believe that this is not going to happen.

    Just my opinion–and this has alot to do with his performance as O line coordinator–but I really think Juan Castillo is lost. I just hope that he runs such basic schemes that he talent will carry us on defense

  20. 20 Austinfan said at 5:15 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Eagles fans tend toward manic depressive, following the lead of the Philly media.

    Let’s think about the first half, Steelers had almost their entire starting team from the SB on the field (with their best OL, Colon, back), with the same coaches, running the same schemes, at home with the coach wanting to please the home crowd. Shocker, they outplayed the team that just broke camp with two new starters on the DL (and four new backups since Teo basically didn’t play last year), 3 LBs learning a new position, two new CBs and two 2nd year safeties. Gee, I suppose we should have expected the Eagle defense to dominate?

    The Steelers did not steam roll the defense, they had the Steelers in a number of 3rd and longs (and those holds, including a couple that should have been called, were due to Eagle defensive players out quicking the Steeler OL). The Steelers ran delays and draws to take advantage of a young LB core, then play action to catch them being overaggressive against the run. It was a good learning experience for a young group.

    Most of the problems were breakdowns on 3rd down, missed assignments (Allen and Cheney, who’s got the RB?, Babin stunting inside, Allen not attacking on the blitz, etc.). All fixable, it’s much easier to fix mistakes than find talent.

    Am I confident in Matthews? No, but if the DL plays well he can manage, Gardner managed with a good DL, Sims struggled with a bad DL. In today’s NFL, you can live with a few 8 yard runs if you get your share of stuffs and put teams into passing situations – but you can’t let them convert 3rd and long. Had they made them punt a couple times, you’d be looking at 10-0 at the half, all the blame would be on Vick and no one would be panicking about the run defense.

  21. 21 Austinfan said at 5:38 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    A little observation on shedding blocks.

    If a 320 lb guard is able to square up on a 250 lb LB, much less a 230 lb LB, it’s all over for the LB, just go back to last year and you can find plenty of film of Bradley being blocked out of plays.

    The key is “square up”, it’s hard for most OL to hit MOVING targets on the second level, usually they’re a step behind and reaching for the LB, who needs to use his hands to deflect the reach block. Bradley’s problem last year was he was slow to read and react, so he was often a stationary target, Matthews had the same problem on some plays, smaller LBs have to hit the gap before the OL gets his mitts on them. Recognition and reaction is the key, not size, for a MLB.

    Now LBs have to be able to fight off FBs the same way DEs can’t allow themselves to be blocked by TEs (unless we’re talking minature OTs like Kleinsasser), FBs are more mobile and can hit moving targets, so if you can’t use your hands to shed them you’re going to have a bullseye on you.

    Jon Beason was 6’0 237 at the Combine and ran a .472, then dropped 5 pounds and ran a 4.64 on his pro day, and plays in the 230s.
    DeMeco Ryans, 6-1 236
    Kirk Morrison 6-1 235
    Lofa Tatupu, 6-0 225/238
    Sean Lee 6-2 236

    Matthews 6-0 231 (up to ??? in camp)
    Rolle 5-10 229

  22. 22 McG said at 6:34 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    @ Austinfan

    Nice game summary. I like to think back to that ticky tacky facemask penalty. That really seemed to take some of the wind out of our defense’s sails. There’s no doubt jenkins grabbed it, but i didn’t see it as intentional and he released it immediately.

    It was a great learning experience. I wish we had a more difficult challenge ahead than Cleavland, but hopefully this week will bring another injury free game.

  23. 23 eagles nut said at 6:45 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    They never should have gotten rid of the 5 yard and 15 yard face mask penalty differentiation. They still call it any time you even graze the face mask. Now they’re just all 15 yard penalties and automatic first downs.

  24. 24 Kammich said at 7:46 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Good work, as always. Interesting to see the amount of fire that the Matthews conversations bring up. Always good to have a nice debate going. I rest assured that the Eagles coaching staff and front office personnel are having similar conversations.

    I am happy to read your mostly positive assessment of Nate Allen. I like the kid a lot, and thought we may have found a rightful heir to the Throne of Dawk last season, but he’s looked a step or two slow and gunshy in the pre-season. My question to you guys out there: while it seems likely that this is a product of Nate coming off of knee surgery, is any of it a product of the Safety position swap? From what I’ve heard, the swapping of the Safety spots is actually fairly infinitesimal; is it just a matter of both safeties playing closer towards the hashes to make up for the gap control that is lost via the wide-9?

    I don’t know enough about the wide-9, nor Castillo’s philosophical approach, to know the answer… so I’d be interested to hear your guys take on it. Personally, Nate seems like more a centerfield deep cover safety, but if Castillo’s system deploys the Strong Safety title in name only, I guess its not a big deal.

  25. 25 Cliff said at 7:49 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    @ Austinfan

    I’m really glad you’ve brought your comments to Tommy’s blog here. I’ve always liked your rational, level-headed approach over on the EMB.

  26. 26 Kammich said at 7:49 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Also, I like the idea of mixing up some of the defensive fronts, and they’ve obviously shown the single-deep-safety look with the CB against jumbo sets a few times already in the pre-season.

    But my heart skipped a few beats when they did it on Thursday night, and Samuels was the one back deep. The ‘back appeared to hit the hole and there was NO ONE for about 65 yards except for Asante, but fortunately a defender tripped up the runner before he hit the open air.

    Please, Castillo and co… don’t leave us in that situation in the regular season. Having Asante Samuel as your lone run defender with 60 yards of grass behind him is like having my 8 pound Dachshund guard an armored truck.

  27. 27 Cliff said at 7:56 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    RE: Chaney vs. Matthews

    Count me in the group who wishes Chaney was kept at MLB. From what I could tell, our defense got better last year when Chaney was on the field. I was hoping to see how he progressed at MLB. I’m confident he can pick up SLB, but it seems odd to have shuffled him and Fokou out of their positions.

    With that said, I’m not as pessimistic about MLB as most seem to be. Matthews is struggling, but I put a lot of stock in intelligence. I think he’ll get it.

    There’s also something to be said for shuffling our LB’s from last year. My boss at work shuffles my team around every so often and we all bitch about it. But not long after the changes, we’ve all gotten comfortable and learned our new functions. In the long run, it makes our team more versatile in case somebody leaves or somebody is out. I sort of see that happening with this group of linebackers. Jordan, Fokou, and Chaney now have experience playing multiple positions. Injuries are inevitable and we’ll have the ability to shuffle our guys if need be.

    Is this ideal? Maybe not, but I feel better about the group as a whole than the individual positions. If Matthews doesn’t work, what’s the worst-case scenario? Chaney returns to MLB, Fokou returns to SLB, and Clayton or Jordan step in to the WLB role?

  28. 28 McG said at 8:52 PM on August 20th, 2011:


    I think we heard somewhere along the way that the purpose of Chaney at SLB was to use coverage capabilities to help negate passes to the TE. In the scenario of shifting Chaney to MLB you would keep Fokou at WLB (the new gritty mixing it up to stop the run LB position) and move in Clayton, Jordan or Rolle? at SLB (who ever is the best of the three as a coverage backer).

  29. 29 JakFTW said at 9:19 PM on August 20th, 2011:

    Hey Tommy, I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts on Larry Fitzgerald’s deal as it relates to DeSean and the Eagles.

  30. 30 Name said at 11:16 PM on August 20th, 2011:


    The thing that I noticed about the facemask penalty was that Rothlisberger acutually ducked his head right into the grasp. Without that duck I think Jenkins hand would have landed on his shoulder or collar bone.

  31. 31 Cliff said at 12:05 AM on August 21st, 2011:

    One of the best parts of preseason is watching some of these games and seeing ex-Eagles tear it up. Lorenzo Booker looked good for Minny on the FEW plays I saw and Brandon Gibson continues to look like the WR we thought he could develop in to.

    Sam Bradford might be my fantasy QB this year. I wonder how many rounds I can hold off on picking a QB before I need to worry about Bradford getting stolen. I’m also a big fan of Josh Freeman.

  32. 32 CVD said at 12:11 AM on August 21st, 2011:

    #73 for the stillers needs to be fined for that bull$hcheap shot. the play was already over and that bum decides to roll into the back of chaney’s legs. i saw two other instances where the steelers Oline was getting into it late but that play by #73 was one of the worst i ever seen.

  33. 33 Stephen said at 12:29 AM on August 21st, 2011:

    During that regurtitated crapstorm we are referring to as a football game, I did have a good laugh when the ball bounced off JLH’s facemask. Would have been even better if it had somehow gotten lodged in there.

    Tommy I think we may have witnessed a “business decision” as Deion would put it by Desean on that screen pass to him. He definitely went down before he needed to, and it looked like he got up and was laughing about it with the Steelers players afterwards. He still doesn’t have his contract so why risk taking a shot during the preseason anyhow? I’m not saying its a bad thing, I don’t think Desean needs to risk anything during a meaningless preseason game, but just an observation about what happened…

    Actually I laughed twice during the game. The other time was during Stanley Havali’s “run” if you want to call it that. He must have a 12″ vertical because he had so little force in his jump it was just comical how the DB threw him down. I don’t think this guy has NFL potential.

  34. 34 Name said at 1:43 AM on August 21st, 2011:


    I believe a facemask is called any time the mask is grasped and the helmet rotates or moves. Intention isn’t a factor.

    The old rules were:
    5 yds – grasp but helmet doesn’t move
    15 yds – grasp and helmet moves

    They just took away the 5 yd.

    Still, it was a penalty that probably wouldn’t happen most of the time and I’d say it was still a good play considering its preseason.

  35. 35 izzylangfan said at 1:37 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    OK. Starting to come down a bit from Thursday Night. The Anger and frustration is fading. In some moments it even seems that the Eagles are not the worst possible team in the world.

    I am encouraged that the coaches think Mathews played better as the game went on. Often when players get beat early they completely fall apart and completely lose their technique. However, Mathews actually improved in using his hands which I believe can be fairly difficult. This shows some mental toughness as well as athletic ability.

  36. 36 McG said at 2:06 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    Reggie Wells is in da house! We’re fine now at RT… ;p

  37. 37 mcud said at 3:03 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    Re: Fitz’s new deal

    Good Lord. Payback for us ripping their head off on the Kolb deal.

    I can just see Bidwill instructing Wisenhunt to “call Andy Reid and tell him ‘F-you’, a la Jason Robards.

    No telling what DeSean wants now.

  38. 38 ian no. 2 said at 4:57 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    didn’t sign Vick before the Peyton Manning deal, didn’t sign DeSean before the Fitz deal. I have no idea how much money DeSean has been asking for. Maybe there’s a chance to play off Vick’s and DeSean’s idea of staying together to get a deal done soon.. I sense a general FO indifference to retaining them past their franchise tags.

  39. 39 Kyle said at 6:12 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    Im not a big clay mathews basher. i just want someone to clear this up for me.

    They moved Chaney to strong side, so we could have someone covering the TE, with other reasons also probably. But it was said that was one of the bigger reasons. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    But it has been said plenty of times durring TC and the 2 preseason games. particularly the first one, that Clay was good in coverage for a rookie LB. Coming out of college he was known as a pretty good cover lb.

    So why is Clay MLB and Chaney SLB?

    People keep talking about getting a veteran LB. But why dont we just put Chaney back in middle and Clay SAM?

  40. 40 Kyle said at 6:13 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    lol sorry meant Cassey^^^^^^^^

  41. 41 Kyle said at 6:13 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    meant casey^^^

  42. 42 Name said at 10:30 PM on August 21st, 2011:

    Just wanted to bring a few smiles back to us doomsday prophets. Watch this youtube clip of Dion Lewis. I watched it full speed during the game, but it is even more impressive the second time you watch it. This kid has some moves and is fun to watch.

    check it out!