Detailed Game Review – ATL 35, PHI 31

Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

Sunday night was an interesting game more than a critical one. The season is young and you want to see what kind of a team you have. Remember, we’re not looking at finished products. This was the most bizarre of offseasons. Teams are feeling their way through things. Offenses are ahead of defenses and that shows. So what did we learn about the Eagles?
We found out that this team is incredibly talented. The Falcons won the game, but the Eagles were dominant in stretches. Clean up the mistakes and get more consistent play and we might just have a special team on our hands. The flip side is that dominant ability means nothing if the team doesn’t make clutch plays. Games are decided by the scoreboard, not the stat sheet.

We found out the Eagles can be resilient. Last week we got down 7-0 pretty quickly. There was no panic. We recovered easily and won 31-13. This week we got down 21-10. We came right back to score and then dominated the 3rd quarter to go up 31-21. Vick got hurt and that had a huge effect. We lost our edge and the Falcons roared back to take the lead and win.  Unfortunately, we found out the Falcons are also a very resilient team.  They didn’t panic when down 10 and Ryan turned into Matty Ice.  I preferred him as the lukewarm water of the 2nd and 3rd Qtrs.

I still like the resiliency that we showed in not panicking down 21-10 at Atlanta. We didn’t go into comeback mode. We just played good football. We were methodical. Also, we lost DeSean to injury for a while. No problem. Mac stepped up and had a huge night. We lost Asante for a while. No problem. DRC stepped in and played well. Kafka came in for Vick and played well. He sure didn’t look like a guy seeing his first NFL action. Mike was ready and did his job.

Give the Falcons credit for winning. We didn’t hand the game to them. There was no rash of 4th quarter turnovers or penalties. Their guys stepped up and made huge plays.  Ryan is a clutch player and has been since his days at BC.

The loss does hurt. We had a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter. Our defense is built to protect leads. Problem is that we gave up some big plays. Also, when we did make a mistake, the Falcons made us pay. We didn’t have the assignment errors that we did last week. This time it was missed tackles, being a step late in coverage…stuff like that. Juan Castillo and his players need to tighten up things.

Stealing a win at ATL would have helped us down the road when talking about playoff seeds. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out to be a costly loss.

There are plenty of issues for the coaches and players to work on. The Eagles have a ton of talent and a lot of potential, but there are only 16 games in an NFL season. You can learn on the fly, but must do so quickly. Blown games can ruin a season. The 1991 Eagles were red hot by the end of the year, but costly losses early on kept them out of the playoffs.

I still feel pretty good about this team. The offense isn’t fully clicking yet, but has put up 55 points so far (also had def. TD in opener). The defense is all over the place. That group goes from awesome to worrisome more than I like. The good news is that the erratic play is happening early on. Right now Green Bay is 30th in yards allowed (476 per game). New England is 31st (479). Be mad at Castillo and Casey Matthews if you like, but they’re out-performing Dom Capers/Clay Matthews and Bill Belichick/Jerrod Mayo. The obvious argument is that GB and NE are 2-0, but that’s because of their offenses. I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe that if Vick stays in the game, we win, maybe going away.

We’re far from a finished product. We’ve got real problems to fix. But don’t lose sight of how talented a team we have. We should be fine.      


The strategy on offense was fine. We attacked the Falcons in a variety of ways. I really liked some of the creative playcalls. I did think we used too many gadget plays. They were designed to slow down the Falcons and make them think instead of attack, but that didn’t really happen. Late in the game we got too conservative with Kafka, but it’s hard to blame the coaches. In the past we’ve ripped them for taking chances with other young players.

The defensive strategy had some good moments. The Falcons run game hurt us early and late, but we controlled it for the 2nd and 3rd Qtrs. Castillo used some 8-man fronts. He let the LBs attack a bit more in this game. If you could take away the 61-yd run by Turner, we actually played a good game. Unfortunately, that play came at a crucial part of the game and there are no excuses. They gashed us. The biggest areas of concern are Red Zone defense and covering the TE.

Atlanta was 5 for 5 in the RZ. 2 of the plays were 3rd down catches where the receiver had to make great plays. We had guys in position. The Falcons just came up huge on those plays. The other 3 TDs involved sloppy play on our behalf. Castillo made good defensive calls. Chaney whiffed on a tackle for one score. We didn’t cover Gonzo well enough on the other score. Page was close, but couldn’t get to the ball.

We did a variety of things in covering Gonzo. We used Chaney and Page. Casey had him a couple of times. Nnamdi was on him late in the half. There were some reports that DRC’s injury affected strategy, that originally we wanted to play Nnamdi on Tony. We must cover the TE better. To be fair, Gonzo still has excellent quickness. He’s not fast like he used to be, but the man can still get open underneath.

Reid made one good challenge in the game. The other challenge situation he failed to throw the flag, but wasn’t able to see the good replay until much later. Some argue that he should have thrown the flag anyway, but you can’t risk losing a timeout and wasting a challenge for a random guess in a tight game. If we were desperate, do it. We weren’t.

Time management wasn’t much of an issue this week. Plays came in pretty well and the offense seemed to function pretty smoothly.

Reid made an odd decision to attempt a 63-yd FG late in the half. I don’t know that a Hail Mary would have been any better. I think I’d prefer Vick throwing it up and hoping for a miracle or PI call. The kick was 10-12 yds short.



* 2nd play of game we had Vick line up at WR. Mac was QB. He took snap, handed to Shady on an outside run, and Shady pitched to Vick. Ball was supposed to be bomb to DeSean, but he was covered so Vick weaved through traffic for gain of 7.

* Falcons attacking DTs blew up early 3rd/1 where we tried to get fancy.

* 4 WR, TE set. Hit Mac on seam route.

* Tried another gadget play late in 1st Qtr. Gave ball to DeSean on end around and then had him give it to Mac who was circling back in the other direction. Falcons played it well.

* Great play. 2nd/9. Brown, Shady in game. Faked toss to Shady, handed to Brown up the middle. Todd came to the inside and got trap block on far DT. Peters got MLB. Ronnie went for 11 yds.

* 2nd/1 from the 3-yd line. We didn’t block Ray Edwards. Celek had Abraham. Handed the ball to Shady. Both DEs hit him at same time. Odd play.

* One of the huge moments in the game came on our opening play of the 3rd Qtr. We had a spread set. ATL ran an overload blitz. Shady got one DB, but another came free. Vick avoided the pressure, but forced a pass over the middle. Avant had no chance for the ball. CB Kelvin Hayden picked it off. Oh wait, actually he didn’t. The problem is that the play happened in the middle of 3 guys and on the Falcons midfield logo. The distant replays showed nothing obvious. Avant signaled that the ball hit the ground, but players always do that. You can’t really trust them. NBC didn’t show a good replay. Andy didn’t challenge. The Falcons had the ball at our 49. They went down and scored. That grew the lead from 14-10 to 21-10. NBC later showed a good replay where you could see the ball hit the ground. They apologized to the Eagles for not showing that earlier, but the damage was done.

* 1st/10 at the ATL 36. 3 WRs, TE, RB. 2 WRs to the left side, Celek right. WR screen to Mac. Quick, accurate throw. Avant, Peters, and Mathis flew out there as lead blockers. Mathis picked off trailing LB. Avant got DB. Kelce stayed in the middle, but made a key block on Weatherspoon, to keep him from chasing the play down. Peters acted as the escort for Mac down the sideline. He got a big shot on FS Sanders and Mac was able to race into the endzone for the score. Great execution, teamwork.

* 1st/GL at the ATL 8. Ace personnel, but both WRs to right. Draw play. Todd shoved DE upfield, using guy’s own momentum. Then Todd sealed ILB. DeVan had good block of DT. Celek got thrown down by DB, but at least kept the guy busy. Mac blocked the OLB and DeSean blocked CB. Shady started upfield, then bounced way outside by the WRs. Their blocks gave him a clear path to the pylon. TD. Very good blocking.

* We did get WR screen happy late in the game. The thinking made some sense…protect your young QB and get the ball to your hot receiver (Mac). We just did it a couple of times too much. ATL caught on.

* 4th/4. We go spread, empty. Mac is in left slot. Runs short route over middle and is wide open. Kafka makes a terrific throw and it goes through Mac’s hand. Ugh. For some reason, Falcons only rushed 3. Dumb by them. Kafka had clean pocket and open receiver. I liked the fact that Mike immediately ran to Mac to show support.

* We did have good field position in this game. 5 drives started at our 40-yd line or better. Sadly, the final drive started at our 9. Kafka drove us 69 yards, but things stalled there.

VICK — More efficient game this week, which is what I wanted. The rust is going away quickly. Vick was 19-28-242 with 2 TDs and an INT. He also fumbled. Ran 6 times for 25 yds. Vick was very much a pocket passer in this game. It was good to see him running the offense instead of running for his life. No one wants to lose his scrambling, but there are some weeks when we should be able to let him just be a QB and not Superman. Vick used his weapons this week and let them make the plays for him.

Threw terrific pass to Mac up seam out of spread set. Good touch. Stood still in pocket. Looked very calm, kinda weird. Ran the read-option play in the RZ. DE followed the RB so Vick kept the ball and got 7 yds. Designed run. Good quick throw to Celek out of spread set near GL. That was a Tom Brady play, throw. Forced the ball to Celek on 3rd down near GL. Ball was tipped by defender and went up in the air. Fell down, but that was a scary couple of seconds. You could just see someone picking that and going off to the races. Hit Celek for a good gain on a seam route and took a big shot to the knees on the play. Stayed focused on the receiver and just felt the rusher. Impressive pocket passer stuff. Ran for 1st on 3rd/3, but frustrated the heck out of me. Got to sideline and jumped, as if he was gonna score from the 5. Defenders were there. Smart, safe move was to just go out of bounds and not risk injury/getting hit. Win the war Mike, not the battle. Got careless on drive late in the half. Was running around and had the ball stripped from him at midfield. Way too casual on the play. Scrambled for 7 yds on 3rd/3 to set up 1st/GL situation. Got hurt on 3rd/8 pass to Mac. Blitzing DB used good inside move on Shady and got by him to Vick. Wrapped up, after ball was out, and was pulling Vick down. Todd had been blocking DE and was in the area. Vick’s head collided with Todd’s as he was being tackled. That ended the night for Mike. Not a dirty play. Just bad luck.

KAFKA — Came in to the game in the late 3rd. Handed the ball off to McCoy for short TD. First full drive was in the 4th. First play was a draw and Mike almost botched it. He was slow in getting the ball to Shady. Threw the ball well to start the final full drive. Hit Maclin over the middle for 10. Then he threw downfield to Mac for 39 yds on play-action pass. Ball was right on the money. Arm looked good. Hit Shady with a very good swing pass for 7 yds. Accurate and had touch. Scrambled up the middle for 2 yds. Didn’t see anyone open and decided rather than forcing things he’d get what he could. Smart. Mike finished the game 7-9-72 yards. He was clutch. I was very impressed with him, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You’d have never guessed this was his first NFL action by just watching him. Acted like he’d been there before.

SCHMITT — Tried to cut a LB on outside run play, but the guy just jumped over Owen.

MCCOY — Shady is really turning into a special player. 18-95 with 2 TDs, rushing. 4-21 as a receiver. Might be the best in the NFL at turning disaster into art. Able to make moves in the backfield and avoid defenders. Must drive guys crazy. Really a complete back with his ability as runner, receiver, and blocker. Good chip block of Abraham early when John took a hard inside move on Todd. Shady was there to pop him and keep Vick clean. LB was able to get by him when blitzing on next drive. Shady was late getting to proper spot due to play fake and the blitzer pressured Vick into quick throw. Had gain of 7 yds in early 2nd Qtr. Had to dodge 4 different defenders on the way. Used all his moves and quickness to do that. Had another brilliant short run in the early 2nd. Dodged DT in the backfield, put wicked move on Abraham, and then got by FS all for a couple of yds. Had a wild run on 1st down when Kafka came in. I won’t even try to describe it. More twists and turns than a dime store novel. Got 4 yds on the play. Ran a screen to him on next play. Shady was in heavy traffic and fumbled the ball. Recovered it, but lost yds. All for naught, as penalty on ATL gave us 1st/GL. Got 19 yds on draw play up the middle in early 4th. Timing on handoff was weird, but Shady worked his magic. Shady isn’t just a dancer. Fought hard for 1.1 yards on 3rd/1 late in game. Didn’t have much room, but went hard up in there and got the 1st down.

Left the game for a while with a hand injury. Only missed a couple of plays.

BROWN — 3 carries for 10 yards. Best run was on the fake toss play when he went for 11. Did a solid job of pass pro as well.

D. LEWIS — Got a snap in the last 1st Qtr. Picked up blitzer off the edge and did his job. Didn’t see other snaps.

DJAX — Sorta quiet game. Caught 2 early passes along the left sideline. Not huge gainers. Gained 21 total yds. Those turned out to be his only grabs. Got open on 3rd down in RZ, but dropped the pass. Defense bailed him out with penalty, but DeSean should have made that grab. Got the ball on an end around in the early 4th. ATL had defenders to that side and played it well. DeSean was lucky to get back to the LOS. Did block well. Biggest contribution was flying downfield after the GL hand-off disaster. DeSean tackled the DL who was running for the score. I was hoping he’d strip the ball, but did make the tackle. Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t come up with a RZ stop.

MACLIN — Best game of his young career in some respects. 13-171 with 2 TDs. Caught TD in 2nd Qtr. Lined up wide left. DeSean was in slot and both CBs took him, leaving Mac wide open on crossing route. Caught a pass over the deep middle and got unloaded on by Dunta Robinson. H2H hit. Put his helmet under Mac’s chin. Dirty play. Got 15-yd penalty and league fined Robinson $40K. Mac had to leave the game for a while to be checked out. Came back and caught a short pass on drag route on 3rd/8. Turned upfield and ducked under tacklers to get the 1st. Had a 36-yd gain on WR screen for TD. Caught a 43-yd pass from Kafka on final drive. Caught a bunch of WR screens. Gave us good RAC yds. All of his great play will be overshadowed by his drop on 4th/4. Mac was wide open. The ball was on the money. He just didn’t catch it. Ugh. Killer.

AVANT — Caught ball on crossing route in early 2nd and got 29 yds on the play. Wasn’t able to catch a key 3rd down pass in the mid-3rd. MLB flashed right before him right before the ball got there and that seemed to throw him off. Early catch was his only one of the game. Did block well, as usual.

SMITH — Caught pass in right slot in late 2nd for first Eagles catch. Caught a pass late in the half and tried to get out of bounds, but wasn’t able to. Finished 2-29. Got mixed in more regularly.

CELEK — Pretty good game, but had ups and downs. Pulled on run play and had very good block of Biermann. Lined up in backfield and acted as lead blocker for Brown on shotgun run play. Really popped #21. Caught a quick pass out of spread look down near the GL. Nice safe play. Caught pass over the middle and got 24 yards on the play. Took a shot to the legs. Got up fine, but went right back down and trainers came out. Bobbled the ball initially, but was able to gain control of it. Sloppy backside block of Abraham on run play almost led to TFL, but Shady avoided the tackle and got upfield. Dropped a pass over the middle in the late 3rd that hurt us. Might have been a TD. Ball was on Celek’s back shoulder, but had to be because of traffic. Brent would have had the ball at the 5 and there was a gap between 2 defenders for him to get into the endzone. That would have been huge since right after that is when Vick got hurt. Celek finished 4-43.

HARBOR — Tried to reach block Ray Edwards on GL run. That didn’t go well. Ray got Brown for short TFL. Got a good block to seal OLB to outside on Shady’s long run in the early 3rd. Made a real good initial block of OLB on outside run. Moved the guy off the ball, but couldn’t sustain it and the guy limited Shady to just 3 yards. No passes came his way.

PETERS — Terrific game. Started off on the 3rd play by pulling on outside run and crushing S William Moore. Sent the guy flying. Had a very good block of DE on outside run. Engaged the guy by the LOS and stuck with the block 10 yds upfield. Good block on Shady’s long run in the early 3rd. Pushed DE to the inside, then got on the MLB. Nothing dominant, but both guys were taken out of the play. Controlled Edwards or Abraham all game long in pass pro. Jason showed just how good he can be. Did have one false start. Blocked well on numerous run plays.

MATHIS — Solid game. Got a LB off balance on a run play and literally threw the guy to the ground. Looked odd. Really good block on draw. Walled off his DT and kept the guy from going anywhere. Good job on Shady’s short TD. He and Kelce got DT, then Evan peeled off and got LB. Slipped and lost control of his DT in pass pro in 4th, but Kelce bailed him out with a last second cut block.

KELCE — Another good game. Pulled on 3rd play of the game and got good block of LB to create some room for Shady. Missed block on DT on pass play and the guy got good shot on Vick. Jason mis-read something. Should have been easy block. Made good cut block of DB on screen pass to let Shady get some extra yds. Jerry used a quick burst to get by him on run play and almost get Shady in backfield. Jerry looks like an emerging player. Got to the 2nd level and had a good block of LB Weatherspoon on Shady’s long run in the early 3rd. Made a terrific reach block on McCoy’s 2-yd TD run. He and Mathis doubled the DT initially, then Kelce handled the guy on his own. Eagles made the right call on going with him at C based on the first couple of games.

DeVAN — Got completely dominated on pass play in late 2nd. DT Vance Walker bull rushed him back to Vick and then hit Mike in the knees. Ouch. Nasty, but clean hit. Missed block out in space on WR screen in early 4th. We got 7 yds on 3rd/8. Kyle just didn’t see the guy, he was looking further upfield. Generally a solid night, but couple of poor blocks.

HERREMANS — Pretty good game. Faced Abraham a lot. Got beaten inside and out a few times, but Todd didn’t give up on the blocks and was able to ride Abraham away from Vick. One play John pressured Vick into a quick throw. Todd has looked pretty natural at RT so far. Kudos to him. Got away with hands to the face on Abraham on a 2nd Qtr pass play. John took a hard inside rush. Todd blocked him, but got a hand up in his face.



* I’m not sure who was responsible for 1st TD pass. Ball went to White. He went upfield. Nnamdi was to his left, Coleman to the right. White went right. Coleman had good coverage, but not good enough. Ryan made tough throw, White tough catch.

* I’m not sure what happened on TD pass to the FB in the early 4th. Casey and Fokou were both out wide. Not sure who had the FB in coverage. Ryan sold great play fake and that basically killed us.

* 1st/17. 4th Qtr. I thought we had the Falcons right where we wanted them. Backed up. Passing situation. Their spread set, our Nickel. They ran a draw. Chaney was a bit hesitant about firing upfield to take on blocker. Matthews was too aggressive and was blocked because of that. Kurt Coleman came flying up, but the run wasn’t to his side. Turner hit the hole hard and quickly was on the 2nd level. He caught J. Page off guard. Jarrad was sorta flat footed and Turner ran by him. DRC gave chase and tackled Turner after gain of 61. Failures by LBs and Page on the play. Killer play. Game changer.

* Jim Washburn is an advocate of rotating guys. He stuck with Trent at RDE for about 90% of the game. I don’t know if that was Jim riding the hot hand or him worried about playing Phillip Hunt vs a running team. Either way, it hurt us late when Trent wore down.

Tied into us wearing down…the Falcons mixed in some no-huddle in the 4th. Smart tactic on their part. Our scheme is predicated on fresh DL. If we can’t rotate, the offense has the upper hand.

* Atlanta’s first 3 TDs all came on short fields. Their last 2 were long drives.

COLE — Great game. I can’t list every highlight. I’ll do a few, but suffice it to say LT Sam Baker never wants to face Trent again. Trent used bull rush a lot and simply drove Baker back into Ryan. Trent finished the game with 5 solo tackles and a sack. 3 of the tackles were TFLs. Trent hit Ryan numerous other times and was a pain in his rear all night long.

Literally pounced on Turner after short gain on opening drive. Funny image. Stormed in from the edge and tripped up Turner on run up the middle in the early 2nd Qtr. Fought off cut block and then tackled Turner by the LOS. Sacked Ryan on 3rd/3. Patt actually flushed Ryan after stunt. Trent cleaned up the play. Showed great hustle in chasing down Rodgers on run play that went to the other side. Opened the 3rd Qtr with a TFL. Was unblocked and chased the play down from behind. Great bull rush in the mid 3rd drove LT right back to Ryan. Forced Matt to step up and Jenkins was there to sack him. Got TFL of Turner in late 3rd when he beat the LT and flew into the backfield. Blew right by TE and stormed into backfield for TFL of Turner to end 3rd Qtr.

PARKER — Backup LDE. Okay game. Got in on tackle of Turner on opening drive run to his side. Falcons ran Flip 90 to his side. JP read it and was in position to make the play, but just couldn’t get hold of Rodgers. Got some pressure, but nothing significant. Hurt his ankle at the 14:20 mark of the 4th Qtr. Foot just got caught in the turf as he tried to get by the RT on pass rush. Had to be helped off the field.

PATTERSON — Another good showing. Only had a tackle assist, but was active and disruptive in the middle. Disrupted GL run with penetration. Moved the RG back a couple of yds and that slowed Turner down. Created sack opportunity for Cole on 3rd/3 play. Looped outside and forced Ryan to move up in the pocket, right to Cole. Created TFL in the mid-3rd. Got into the LG and went with him down the LOS. Turner tried to cut back that way and Patt slowed him up, then Casey got the TFL.

JENKINS — Very good game. Cullen is really growing on me. Best DT we’ve had since Corey Simon of 2000-03. Had 3 tackles. 2 were sacks, 1 a TFL. Used quick burst, semi-swim move to beat RG and shoot into backfield for TFL on opening drive. Ended the Falcons opening drive with sack on 3rd/5. Got off the ball quickly and then used his hands to get by the RG. Dove on Ryan and put him down. Got away with h2h contact. Should have been a penalty. Got a penalty for hitting a Falcon in the back near a pile just after the whistle had blown. Helped blow up GL run. Got by OL blocking him. Slowed up FB and then got piece of Turner. Late in the half just threw the C out of his way and hit Turner in the backfield, but wasn’t able to make a clean tackle. Helped create TFL for Cole to open the 3rd. Drove his OL down the line and into Turner’s path. Michael had to slow up and Cole got him from the backside for a TFL. Got sack of Ryan on 3rd down when ATL was backed up near GL. Jenkins used spin move to get off double team and right to Ryan. Got by the RG and into backfield to slow up Turner and create TFL for Cole.

BABIN — Dude plays angry. Flew around the field all night long. Got a sack on opening drive of the 3rd Qtr. Used a good burst and shoulder dip to get around the RT and hit Ryan. Slung him to the ground, but not violently. Looked like Jason was offside on the next play, but nothing was called. Lined up offside on pass play in late 3rd. Got hold of Ryan on the play and bent him awkwardly. Looked like a torn groin or some other injury for sure, but Ryan bounced right back. Jumped offside early in the 4th Qtr. Got away with hands to the face on pass play in the 4th Qtr. Also put Ryan on the ground on that play. Could have been flagged for that, but wasn’t clear-cut. Fun to watch, but makes me nervous. Always seems on the edge of a penalty.

HUNT — Didn’t play until the 4th. Filled in at RDE. Looked quick off the ball. LT hooked him on pass play and could have been flagged for holding, but no call.

DIXON — Okay game. Needs to work on pass rush skills. Tries to get low in track stance and fire off the ball, but doesn’t have the balance, agility for that. Was too low and easily blocked on several plays because of that. Disrupted GL run by driving the C into backfield and cutting off Turner’s path. Forced him back to LBs/S.

LAWS — Quiet game. Didn’t make any plays. Wasn’t as disruptive as I hoped. I bet Derek Landri would have had 5 sacks, 5 FFs, and scored a TD. Or 2.

CHANEY — Rough night. Had some good moments, but made too many mistakes. Gonzo got open on 1st Qtr drive and caught ball out in space. Chaney overran him and let Tony get a couple of extra RAC yds. Was over-aggressive vs run early. Got out of his gaps. Recovered on one play and still made the tackle, but it was 8 yds upfield. Tackled Turner on run up the middle. Blew up FB in the backfield to help disrupt a run play. Had tight coverage on Gonzo on his first TD. Ryan put the ball up and gave Tony a chance on the play. Tony made tough, spectacular catch. Strange coverage on pass play to Gonzo in early 4th. Got close initially, but then let him go. There was no other receiver in Jamar’s vicinity. Ryan got the ball to Tony to set up 1st/GL. Helped to blow up run on 1st/GL. Stepped over blocker and filled on inside run. Able to stuff Turner for minimal gain. Made good tackle of Rodgers on run play after long gain by Turner. DTs kept him clean, Jamar made the tackle. Made a good tackle of Douglas after short catch over the middle. Very next play was 3rd/4. Tried to cover Gonzo, but was a couple of steps away and Ryan hit him to move the chains. Tackled Rodgers on run up middle where he went for 10 on late Falcons scoring drive. On Turner’s TD run, Jamar read the play correctly and got out there to make the play, but Turner just ran through his tackle attempt. Critical mistake. Can’t miss open field tackles like that so badly. At least slow him up so pursuit can get in on play. Finished with 9 tackles (5 solo).

MATTHEWS — Improving. Better than the opener. Solid showing overall, but still has some definite issues to work through. Got stuck on block on first play and Turner went right by him. On the 2nd snap we ran some sort of run blitz. DL slanted inside, Casey looped outside. Falcons hit it perfectly for gain of 15. Tackled Turner on a cutback run. Chaney got too far inside, Casey flowed laterally and was the first defender to get to Turner. Next play went to our left. Casey used his hands to keep blocker away and slid over to that gap. He hit Turner frontside. Parker grabbed him from behind. Good stop. Tackled Turner on a run to the left where Fokou should have already made the play. Helped to get in on GL tackle of Turner on run play where he tried to cut back to the middle. Stuffed Turner on 2nd/GL run. DL ate up blockers and Casey was able to make the tackle. Had good coverage on Gonzo on 3rd/GL. Hit him on release and stuck right with him. Unfortunately White was open for TD. Got careless on 2nd Qtr run up the middle. Allowed C to pin him to side and Turner ran for 5 yds up the middle. Got in on 2nd/GL tackle of Turner late in the half. Chased down Turner and made tackle on 3rd Qtr play where Fokou missed tackle on short pass and Turner got loose for 32. Got a TFL in the mid-3rd, but credit goes to Patt for blowing up the run play. Casey finished it off. Had tight coverage of Gonzo on pass play where Tony ran up the middle of the field. Ryan looked that way, but ended up throwing the ball away. Got blocked to ground by C on run play. Casey was trying to get around him and got off balance. Needed to aggressively take on the blocker. Luckily DL made the stop for loss anyway. Drew a holding call on the C on run play on early 4th Qtr drive. Jumped wrong gap on Falcons last scoring drive and left big running hole for Rodgers right up the middle. Got cut blocked and tripped on Turner’s TD run. The play went outside so it didn’t have much effect. I wonder if it’s an inside run if we get a call on that. Finished with 7 tackles (4 solo) and TFL.

FOKOU — Not a good game. Failed to tackle Turner on a run that came right at him. Hustled to get in on tackle of Rodgers that went wide to the other side. Missed open field tackle of Turner that should have limited dump pass to 5 yards. Instead, the play went for 32. Crucial mistake. Quiet vs run. Jumped on the pile a lot. Pursued well, but that wasn’t much of a factor.

K CLAYTON — Got on the field. Was mixed into some Nickel/Dime looks. Didn’t have any action come his way.

ROLLE — Quiet game. Played in the Nickel early on. Later, we seemed to go with Casey and Chaney in some Nickel sets.

COLEMAN — I thought he looked better on tape than he did live. Was in on 3 total tackles. Covered well at times. Helped to stuff Turner on GL run. Had a chance to catch a deflected ball over the deep middle, but reacted slowly and actually ball bounced right back to the WR. Refs ruled it a catch, but Andy challenged and we saw it hit the ground. Came down and covered White in slot on 3rd down play. Tight underneath coverage helped create sack. Had good inside coverage of Jones on 3rd Qtr pass play. Ryan had to adjust his throw and the ball was off target enough that Samuel could pick it. Came up and got a shot on Gonzo on 3rd Qtr pass that came his way. Ball was overthrown and incomplete. Came up quickly to get hit on Jones after catch on 3rd/2, but couldn’t get a hand on ball to knock it away. Came up quickly to help stuff run play of Turner on 1st/GL.

J PAGE — Rough night. Didn’t play poorly, but you could see his limitations. Came up and tackled Jones after 3rd down catch over the middle. Wasn’t in man coverage on the play. Page didn’t get there quick enough to break up the pass, but didn’t give up any RAC yards. Gave up TD to Gonzo in the 3rd Qtr. Was playing off. Broke on the ball and almost got a hand on it, but didn’t. Had tight underneath coverage of receiver on 3rd down pass in mid-3rd. Ball was low and Page hit the guy to make sure there was no catch. Blitzed in late 3rd and flushed Ryan on play where he was called for grounding. Had man coverage on Gonzo on 3rd/12. Coverage was pretty good, but Ryan still got the ball to him and moved the chains. Came up quickly to help Chaney stuff Rodgers on run in mid-4th. Got blocked by Roddy White on Turner’s TD run and was complete non-factor. Was in on 9 tackles (5 solo).

ASOMUGHA — Finally looked like the guy we expected. Shadowed Jones on 3rd down play and forced errant throw, incompletion. Picked off a pass late in the half. It was an errant throw intended for Gonzo. Came up and popped Roddy White after catch. ATL was in a 1-WR set and Nnamdi was playing like a FS. Broke up downfield throw to Jones in the early 4th. Tight coverage on the play. Gave up completion to Jones on 3rd/2 play in early 4th. Ryan had time. Nnamdi covered well, but Jones was able to go up and make a tough catch for the 1st. Had 3 tackles to go with his pick.

SAMUEL — Not a great night. Atlanta took advantage of his poor run defense. Ran at him more than a few times. Think about it. ATL’s best run plays were to their right/our left…Asante. He did cover well. Had tight coverage on Jones on downfield throw on opening drive. Pass was overthrown and incomplete. Sorta forced White out of bounds after quick catch to the outside. Tried to cut tackle him. White slid off the hit, but went out. Actually had a good moment vs GL run. Saw Turner and pulling OL coming his way. Dove on the ground. Turner stopped and tried to cut back, but pursuit got him. Helped to break up a pass to Jones over the deep middle. Came up with a sensational INT in the early 3rd. Ryan overthrew Jones and Sammie made a diving grab. Great hands. Injured a finger making the catch and had to leave the game for a while. Absolutely worthless on Turner’s TD run. Might not have stopped him in flag football.

RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Came in and played LCB in 3rd when Samuel got hurt. Falcons threw a deep ball to Jones to that side. DRC had solid coverage and broke up the pass. Only concern is that he never turned back to play the ball. Reached up and knocked it away as Jones tried to make the grab. Showed great hustle to chase down Turner on long run play. Forced him out and gave us sense of hope. Alas, that was wasted effort. Played some in the slot as well. Finished with 1 tackle, 1 PD.


CHAS HENRY — Had one great punt that was downed at the 1 and ended up giving us great field position. Kicked much better than last week. Averaged 44.8 per punt and had 2 of 5 downed inside the 20. 1 TB.

ALEX HENERY — Good depth on his KOs. 1 of 2 on FGs. Miss was from 63. Smooth so far.

PR — We used DeSean and Mac. DeSean had an arm issue so we limited using him. He did get a chance late in the game to work his magic. There was a big lane up the middle. DeSean started up there, then cut right. A LB got him by the feet. For a second…just a second…it was like the Giants game all over again.

KOR — Dion Lewis only made one bonehead decision this week, so that’s progress. Averaged 22.6 on 5 KORs. Ran one back for 30 yds. Had a long return negated by penalty.


* Colt Anderson had the holding penalty that wiped out Dion’s long KOR. Good call.

* Colt had 1 tackle in coverage.

* Brandon Hughes had 2 tackles. 1 wasn’t smooth. Hit the guy and slid off him. Brandon got back to the guy and re-tackled him, but hated to see that kind of sloppiness against a guy like Weems who can break big returns.

* Weems did have a 19-yd PR and 36-yd KOR.


36 Comments on “Detailed Game Review – ATL 35, PHI 31”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 7:50 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    It’s nitpicking to say this, but the correct call based on the info he had would be for Reid to have thrown the red flag based on Avant’s reaction and the importance of the turnover. If it’s close, and you have a 20-50% of keeping the ball with the call overturned, you should throw the flag and take the risk of a lost timeout. That Reid didn’t make that decision isn’t a big failing and the criticism is affected by hindsight.

    I like the 63 yard attempt… You are saying that your chances are 2.3 times better of making such a FG than a Hail Mary, which is probably correct, and if Henery ties the NFL record your rookie becomes an instant folk hero in the media.

    Kafka threw mostly high percentage passes, but I got the feeling watching him that this was a special guy. A guy who doesn’t make a mental mistake in the clutch, and who will run over to Maclin after the drop. Great guy to have on your team, and I can see what Mornhinweig means when he says he’s the smartest QB he’s ever coached.

    It appears Nmandi will be covering some TEs in the future. They should work Hughes in so that they’re not afraid to use him when there’s a CB injury. Hard to say what’s up with Page and the safeties. I think Coleman’s slow start doesn’t mean he won’t have a good season, but his plays on the ball haven’t been his strong point. I hope Allen plays well but have repeatly stated my skepticism. He could be good at some point but I don’t think he’s ahead of Jarrett or Anderson right now, and Jarrett may be a faster learner among the 2nd round picks.

    Fukou has also had two bad weeks in run defense, but his mistakes haven’t been in pass coverage. I was also reading how Casey M was pretty good at getting off blocks in Oregon, which makes me feel better about him. Chaney has had one bad game now, but he was up against a Hall of Fame TE and tackling Turner from the side like that is a skill that has to be acquired, otherwise he wasn’t terrible. Curious whether Clayton will be tested for TE coverage.

    One way to avoid game-ending 4th down drops by your receiver having a career day is to get the first down on the first three tries.

    I keep thinking from the moment Maclin dropped the ball was after that, that, that, that, that, and that, they almost beat the Falcons away, but they didn’t and they lost. At least they have the ability to eventually beat anyone on a good day as some national columnists noted.

  2. 2 the guy said at 8:12 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Another problem with the Hail Mary is it requires time to set up, giving the defense a chance to put a big hit on Vick right before the half. Injury concerns aside, that can pump up a team.

    I liked the FG call. You get a chance to see what the rookie can do. You miss it, everybody expects it, no harm is done unless it’s blocked (which is pretty rare). You make it, you get 3 gimme points and the other team has to feel a little put upon to have a rookie in his 2nd game connect on a 63 yarder.

  3. 3 the guy said at 8:12 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Another problem with the Hail Mary is it requires time to set up, giving the defense a chance to put a big hit on Vick right before the half. Injury concerns aside, that can pump up a team.

    I liked the FG call. You get a chance to see what the rookie can do. You miss it, everybody expects it, no harm is done unless it’s blocked (which is pretty rare). You make it, you get 3 gimme points and the other team has to feel a little put upon to have a rookie in his 2nd game connect on a 63 yarder.

  4. 4 Eric Weaver said at 3:40 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    “I like the 63 yard attempt… You are saying that your chances are 2.3 times better of making such a FG than a Hail Mary, which is probably correct, and if Henery ties the NFL record your rookie becomes an instant folk hero in the media.”

    I just wasn’t in favor of the field goal at all. So much more could probably go wrong. In order to make a long kick like that, it obviously has to be kicked much lower, increasing the chance it’s blocked.

    In my mind, going for a field goal that has only ever been made 3 other times in NFL history, twice in thin air Denver, is a bad decision.

    I get the guy’s argument about Vick getting hurt, but in those situations teams are normally only rushing three anyway. I’d just rather the opportunity for the score and take nothing or a Vick pick than the potential for something much worse with a field goal.

  5. 5 ike said at 8:03 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    So far, the way the Eagles are playing the “Wide 9”, I can see how a DT like a motivated Albert Haynesworth can raise the performance of everyone on the inside. Just one enormous and explosive freak-of-nature DT can protect the LBs and safties on running plays.

    C-Jenkins has been great as a pass rusher. But how is he as a run defender? And, given his size, will he hold up over a 16-game season?

    TOMMY — who were the DTs on Turner’s 4th Q back-breaking run?

  6. 6 ike said at 8:24 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    The Eagles/Vick Red Zone fumble.

    The call was a quick trap — or “negative influence play,” for those old enough to have watched the ’70-’74 Dolphins w/ Csonka, Kiick, and Morris — right up the middle.

    On the reply from the far endzone, McCoy had a clear path for a TD.

    So why didn’t the Falcon’s Peria Jerry take a jab step to his left when he saw Devan pull?

    Because everyone knows that the Eagles love to throw the ball a lot in the 1st half.

    Strictly playing the percentages, every D-lineman should be guessing pass on every down against the Eagles until the 2nd half.

    If that’s the case, unblocked lineman pose a serious danger to the Eagles’ QBs.

    Just a theory.

  7. 7 the guy said at 8:25 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Going into week 1, I had the LBs and safeties as concerns. What I didn’t think of is that changing to the new defensive line scheme means that the weaknesses at LB and S combine into something greater than the sum of its parts.

    Hopefully at least one of the units gets a lot better.

  8. 8 ike said at 8:42 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Great framing of your concern.

    You have to hope though that these problems would be of substantially less concern if there’d been OTAs.

    There weren’t though. So, one hopes that by week 5 the defense is straightened out.

    Maybe N-Allen’s back. Maybe J-Jarrett’s earned a shot.

    Off topic . . . regarding B-Graham, I don’t recall seeing him at any time in T.C. last year or in the first few games (before he was nicked up prior to his knee injury) showing the explosion off the edge that Hunt’s shown.

  9. 9 Morton said at 11:59 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Graham’s more of a leverage / power pass rusher.

    Pure speed off the edge is not his game.

  10. 10 Mac said at 2:38 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Tommy, did you forget and log in under the wrong handle?

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 10:09 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    I do think Reid was too conservative when Kafka came in. Sure call a couple more running plays but to give up 2 consecutive series with conservative calls was a mistake and the turning point in the game, not Vick going out. It was not such a huge lead that you say: ‘don’t make any mistakes’ and we’ll let our defense win the game. If you have momentum, try and keep it going- don’t play it safe. The play calling in those first 2 Kafka series told everyone that Andy didn’t really trust him.

    Also, the non-challange was a mistake. In this case, Andy didn’t trust himself. We all know Andy is never one to shy away from throwing the flag, why didn’t he do it here? I was baffled – if you’re wrong you’ve only lost a timeout, instead you give the ball away at midfield. That one was on Andy.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 11:23 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    Actually, Andy does shy away from throwing the flag. No coach does it less.

    I agree that, in hindsight, it sucks that we didn’t challenge and have the footage to overturn it. At the time, though, I have to admit to saying to my dad that the replays they showed just weren’t good enough to overturn it. If we had challenged, would the refs have had access to the definitive replay we saw 10 minutes later, or would they have been stuck with what we saw at the time?

    I don’t understand how that camera angle was “lost” for 10 minutes.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 11:59 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    I’m thinking of a bunch of challenges he has lost in the past perhaps making him hesitant in a tight game to throw the flag? I’ve never heard of that stat that no one does it less. Very surprising to me.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 12:52 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    It was said in the game Sunday night. Actually, they said that since ’99 when Reid started no one has averaged fewer challenges per year. I didn’t think challenges have been around that long and I questioned the whole thing, which made me remember it. Maybe I misheard. Anyone with the tape, I think it was leading into the challenge that we won.

  15. 15 the guy said at 7:22 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    It would have been nice to have a challenge, but I don’t find the whole challenge/interception thing to be that interesting.

    Usually when you focus in on one decision it’s either a scoring play or something that essentially changed the momentum of the game. I don’t feel like that pick was either.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 11:33 PM on September 20th, 2011:

    With Maclin, it was important to me to see him return to the field and play aggressively after the big hit. Last year, I had questions about his toughness; he seemed to go out of bounds a yard or two before it was appropriate and the punt returning was painful to watch.

    I haven’t seen that at all this year, and I was glad I didn’t see it after the dirty play.

    I was thinking Peters having such an incredible night can be partly attributed to Abraham flipping sides for much of the game. He certainly had an easier match-up and dominated. That left him fresh and having fun to pull and destroy other, smaller defensive players. I wonder if future opponents will think twice about moving their top DE to Vick’s blind side, especially since Todd did pretty well.

  17. 17 the guy said at 7:28 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    For me the thing I noticed about Maclin was his speed.

    Until the last game, I really had mentally put him in the same category as Reggie Brown. Promising rookie, gets a lot of work later just because he’s the top WR but never really showed anything special to the untrained eye.

    I had never watched him and thought “that guy is fast” until that screen that went for a TD.

  18. 18 Morton said at 12:03 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    – Why doesn’t Washburn use Phillip Hunt in the rotation more often? I think a fresh Hunt would have been invaluable late in the game when the front four (especially Babin and Cole) were gassed and gave up those two long drives. Remember how much time Matt Ryan had on those 3rd down conversions, especially the 3rd down pass to Julio Jones when Ryan stepped out of the pocket and easily evaded the tired Eagles DEs? Hunt coming off the edge might have been more effective than Cole or Babin in those two situations.

    – Cowboys ILB Sean Lee is *leading* the NFL in tackles at this point, and has made several spectacular plays in both games so far. Profootballfocus has him rated as one of the top ILBs thus far in the season. It sure would have been nice to such a perennial Pro Bowl type of player as the Eagles MLB, especially one who fits the Wide-9 scheme so well (because his strength is shedding blocks). Why, oh, why did they have to trade down with that 2nd round pick in 2010 and instead allow the Cowboys to take Lee? He was sitting right there for them!

  19. 19 Oscar Kuruvilla said at 12:18 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Instead of Sean Lee, we traded that pick MULTIPLE times for —– Clay Harbor, Ricky Sapp, Daniel Teo-Nei.., Mike Kafka, Riley Cooper, Dion Lewis

    A couple winners and a couple losers there. Overall not a terrible trade.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 2:27 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    We won that trade 😉

  21. 21 Morton said at 12:00 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    Daniel Teo-Neishem: on practice squad, doesn’t look like he’ll ever contribute
    Riley Cooper: special teamer
    Dion Lewis: who knows
    Ricky Sapp: cut
    Clay Harbor: backup

    Sean Lee: perennial Pro Bowler in the making, one of the best ILBs already.

    I’d rather have one Pro Bowl player than a bunch of scrubs. And it’s not as if they couldln’t have selected some of those players (Kafka, Cooper, Lewis etc) if they didn’t trade away the 2nd round pick. All they had to do was pass on selecting Teo-Nesheim and they could have nearly as many picks in the 4th rounds and later, even if they had used the 2nd round pick to select Lee.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 1:03 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Regarding Hunt, first of all, good comment. Not just the content, but the tone makes me focus on what you said instead of how you said it.

    Anyway, I wonder if there were concerns that with Hunt on the field the Falcons would start going no-huddle and exploit him in the running game. Just a thought, no evidence to base it on.

    Either that, or they may have concerns that he can hold his own against the starters in the same way he did during preseason.

    With Lee, keep in mind that at the time we had a different system, a coordinator with question marks, Stew returning, and there were serious questions about Lee’s knee. A year and a half later, based on two solid games, it makes you wonder, but there were certainly reasons.

  23. 23 Morton said at 11:57 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Except that:

    a.) The Wide-9 is based primariy on upfield pressure and as a scheme you give a little in the running game anyway. What did the Eagles in on most of the Falcons scoring drives was not the running game; it was actually giving up 3rd down passing completions. On most of those, especially in the 4th quarter, Babin and Cole weren’t getting enough pressure and Ryan had enough time to maneuver and throw. Hunt would have been more effective than Babin or Cole in the 4th quarter at getting pressure on those crucial 3rd downs. I mean, at the very least, put him in for Babin or Cole on 3rd down. They didn’t do that.

    b.) Re: Lee… that’s why this is not a good front office / general manager. The Cowboys had Keith Brooking and Bradie James playing at an admirable level in 2009. But they still jumped at the chance not only to select Lee with a 2nd round pick but to *trade up* for him. Why? Because he was clearly a talented player who played at a high level in Penn State. As a general manager, you have to grab talent when it becomes available, regardless of position. If Cam Newton had somehow inexplicably dropped to the Eagles’ #24 last year, do you pass on him to select a Guard? No; you realize that Newton is a rare talent and you take him regardless of your QB situation, if you’re a good general manager. And it’s not as if the MLB situation was settled anyway. Stew was coming back from a season-ending ACL tear and there were question marks as to how he would play, which turned out to be valid concerns. The Eagles were *far* from set at the MLB position, and Lee, who played the position, was just sitting there for them. It’s a huge mistake on the part of the general manager / front office. I suspect they just got greedy and Roseman wanted to ‘show off’ his ability to trade draft picks with teams, at the expense of taking the most talented player on the board.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 3:40 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    Aw, you slid back into your old ways. You picked one piece of a larger point that almost fit your preconceived notions and used it to don your sandwich board, climb on your soapbox, and preach why the end is near.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 12:58 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Do you think in maybe, say, two years that we’ll be trading vick for two 1’s to let Kafka start?

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 1:34 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Despite the limited time and conservative playcalling I was very impressed with Kafka, he looked very poised in the pocket. In hindsight it’s fair to question the playcalling with Kafka and Reid did admit being too conservative, but remember this, Kafka is a second year 4th round pick in his first real game, he had no preparation against a good team in the 4th quarter. I think most people would have done the same.

    Before the game I didn’t think Hunt would see as much action as Tapp would but he was probably underused, probably due to concerns about stopping the run.

    Tommy, does Brown look slow-ish? I know he’s not a speedster and being used to seeing Shady doesn’t help either.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 1:47 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    I was thinking that Ronnie Brown looked alot slower than I remember as well. This preseason, I thought he looked really sluggish and the holes were closing faster than he could get through them. In any case, he is a very good number 2 running back for us and reliable in the passing game and a very good blocker. However, once Dion Lewis learns the offense and becomes a better blocker–stand by. I think this kid could be very good for our offense.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 1:44 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Can you imagine if Morton has a son…the poor kid. He’ll be like 8 yrs old and after his baseball game ask Morton how he did. “Well son, 3 for 4 with 5 RBIs is pretty good, i guess, but let’s focus on the time you struck out. I have 3 words for you…HOR-RI-BLE! While we’re at it, i was watching you play legos with your buddies the other day and you’re terrible. Stevie was pretty good though, it sure would be nice to have a perennial bad ass son. I wonder if his dad would be willing to make a trade?”

  29. 29 Morton said at 12:06 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    I see what you’re saying here, but honestly, how can even an optimist be satisfied with a defense that gives up 5 TDs and looks weak in its supposed strength (passing defense, 3rd down stops)?

  30. 30 Yuri said at 4:15 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    This was the ultimate “money” game as far as defense is concerned. That is, the highly-paid players (DL, CBs–I disagree with Samuel negative assessment) played well, and the lower-paid ones (S, LB) did not. The fact that the known weak link was ‘weaker than sum of parts’ as another commenter put it, is a coaching issue. Agree with all that TCole played too much. In a sense, we must have fallen in love with the fact that he and DL had so much pressure with no blitz, then failed to adjust when ATL did so in 4Q.

    Offense was more of a typical Eagles game. (On a side note, offense look built to play in a dome) Could have won in a blowout based on yardage, but we were hurt by turnovers, cute playcalls, and some old 3d and short issues. I think we obviously suffered from Vick not being there at the end. I am not ready to crown Kafka yet, nevertheless the bomb to Maclin was the best playcall all night–in a run situation we completely outsmarted the ATL D. At the same time, I think after the “vanilla” Rams game, everyone (us an opponents) was looking for more Eagles gadget plays, and we delivered the fun but not the success.

    The long fumble return was the biggest play of the game (I guess I am taking the Football Outsiders point of view that returns were random, and randomness worked against us big time).

  31. 31 Steve H said at 6:00 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    Tommy, what has our linebackers coaching situation been the last 4 or 5 years? Because it seems to me we’ve had so many players come through that at some point SOMEBODY should have stuck. I’m beginning wonder if its less a player issue than a coaching issue. How does a guy who looks like a stud last year (Chaney) look so weak this year? Maybe we should have just left him in the middle, why mess with success?

  32. 32 Jules Andre said at 10:08 AM on September 21st, 2011:

    I’m starting to wonder if the Eagles should play a hybrid nickel/3-4 base defense. Fokou might be worthless on the weakside, why not swap him out for a third DT to help stuff the run? Cole and Babin out wide, Jenkins weakside causing havoc, and Patterson and Dixon strongside to crush the run. Matthews and Chaney as the LBs and the standard 2 CBs and 2 S’s in the secondary.

    It’s a bit Madden-ish, but I’d be looking pretty hard at a formation like that as a base defense instead of a traditional 4-3. It would certainly stop these ridiculously long inside runs.

  33. 33 Morton said at 12:03 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    The best thing to do is just do what the Packers do: play in a nickel formation nearly all of the time. Find some way to have DRC, Samuel and Asomugha on the field at all times.

    I’d have played Asomugha in the slot on Gonzalez all game long on Sunday, and then DRC on Jones and Samuel on White.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 1:00 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    The idea of playing a nickel most or all of the time is something that was talked about during training camp. Anyone have any stats on how much time it’s been implemented in these first 2 games?

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 6:17 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    No clue how often we’ve done it.
    I would guess, and I may be way off, that we haven’t been doing it because 2 of the 3 CBs are known for their lack of tackling ability, and therefore we might have to put Nnamdi in the slot, which then takes him out of his ideal spot.
    I agree that I hope we try it more often, but with so much pressure coming up the gut, maybe that is part of the reason they are hesitant.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 8:03 PM on September 21st, 2011:

    This exemplifies where your ideas come up short. You would have played nickel all game with DRC on Jones… Except in reality DRC wasn’t healthy enough to do that.

    The real decision makers don’t have the luxury of ignoring inconvient facts.