Sorry for the delay. Kind of a crazy week.
Uneven performance that left you both encouraged and worried. There was a point in the game when it felt like 2012 all over again. Vick was making some bad mistakes. Bryce Brown fumbled. Damaris Johnson fumbled. The defense had breakdowns that led to TDs. Offensive drives stalled in the Red Zone. Crucial penalties wiped out a couple of big plays. Ugh.
Good news is that the team worked past the mistakes and found a way to win the game.
The starting offense scored 16 points. The backups scored 15. The offense ran 70 plays. Gained 452 yards. The defense came up with its first takeaway and had 7 sacks.
STs was outstanding, aside from DJ’s fumble.
Kelly seemed to solve problems within the game. That’s very encouraging.
* Vick was under C more in this game than the others from what I remember.
* There was an interesting 4-TE set. Harbor lined up out wide to the right. Celek was standard to the left. Ertz motioned to the right side. Casey lined up as a FB. Shady then ran up the middle for 16 yds. Blocks from all 4 TEs helped on the play.
VICK - Erratic game. At moments, he looked terrific. Had to deal with a lot of pressure. Was able to evade much of it with his speed and running. Finished with 7 carries for 53 yds. Wisely got out of bounds on several carries. In the past we saw Vick go for every yard and take some big hits along the sideline. He was smarter and safer vs the Jags. The pressure did affect him as a passer. On the first play, he was forced out of the pocket. He rolled left and hit Avant for a good gain. On the next play he was forced to his right and got sacked. On the 3rd play, Vick had pressure around him. This was his first bad decision of the game. He jumped and threw the ball down the seam to Celek. You should virtually never throw while jumping. There was a LB buzzing under Celek so Vick had to put the pass up high. Celek extended for it, but couldn’t make the grab. There was a S playing beind Celek. He had a shot at the INT, but Celek tipping the ball sent it off course and it fell to the ground. This was the first appearance of 2012 Vick. You just don’t make that throw. If you have a clean pocket and can put some touch on that pass, go for it. Vick has hit Celek with some beautiful passes over the years. Vick forced that and was lucky it didn’t get picked off. Vick did check down to Shady on 3rd down. That led to a punt, but was a good decision.
Threw pass away in the mid-1st. Jags had played WR screen well so it was prudent decision. Forced a ball to Ertz down the field when he had Shady wide open in the flat. Pass was incomplete. I’d love to know what Chip thinks of that. Does he like the aggressiveness of the attempt or would he prefer the sure 5 yds?
Had a terrific play in the late 1st. Got pressure, but kept his eyes downfield. Moved up in the pocket and then took off running. Got down just as a defender approached him, but got a gain of 16 on the play. That was Mike using his athleticism in a good way. Hit DeSean with a good pass on the right side a couple of plays later. Missed Celek on a wheel route that would have been a TD. That’s a play you set up and then get a big result out of. Celek ran a good route and was open, but Vick overthrew him. Vick made the read, had a clean pocket and was mechanically sound. Just overthrew his guy. Veteran QB can’t do that. Has to be a TD.
Hit Shady with a quick checkdown on the next drive. That got 11 yds and set up 1st/ GL. The next play he hit Cooper for a TD. Showed great arm strength on that. Had a clean pocket and went through his reads. Found Cooper and fired a laser his way. Was late getting the ball to Celek on a corner route on the next drive. Pass still got there and led to a big gain, but could have been huge with a quicker throw. Brent was wide open and had lots of room to run. Used spin move to get away from blitzing MLB and get out wide, where he had room to run.
Threw a terrible INT in the mid-2nd. Got pressure up the middle. Tried to throw the ball away, but did so while jumping up and falling away. Had thrown an earlier pass while jumping. Simply can’t do that. Dropped a snap late in the half. Looked like a good snap to me. Got some pressure late in the half. Moved and then had a chance to re-set his feet and scan the field, but stayed on the move and threw the ball away. The next play a rusher looped inside and came free up the middle. He got Vick by the ankles. As Vick was going to the ground, he tried to throw the ball away. Dumb. Dumb x infinity. Just take the sack. The team was in FG range. The team had a timeout. Take the sack and move on. I hope Chip let Vick know that play was completely unacceptable and simply can’t happen again. A veteran QB just can’t make that decision. Don’t make a bad play worse. The sack wasn’t Vick’s fault, but the attempted throw was all on him.
Opening play of the 2nd half was a short pass to Celek. Vick sat calmly in the pocket. Kelce was driven right back to him, but Vick didn’t flinch. A couple of plays later he was calm in the pocket and threw a laser to DJax for a 1st down. The ball was perfectly accurate and had excellent velocity. Great throw. Whatever Kelly said at halftime worked. Vick looked back to being calm and under control.
FOLES - Good game. Ran 3 drives. 2 resulted in TDs. Was also on the field at the end for a kneel-down, but I’m not counting that as a normal drive. Foles had one play in the 3rd Qtr and was on the field for the whole 4th Qtr. The team had 22 offensive snaps in that period. Good tempo. Finished 10-11-112. Only threw short passes. The one incompletion was his first play of the game, a pass to Damaris Johnson. Made an impressive throw to Johnson for 11 yds. DJ was between 2 DBs. The ball was accurate and had some zip. Hit Casey with a quick pass on the right side. Ball was behind him. I couldn’t tell if Nick did this to keep Casey from running into a hit or if it was simply off-target. Hit DJ with a pass over the middle for a gain of 14. Another solid throw.
The argument against Foles is that he threw a bunch of short passes and only faced a backup defense.
The argument for Foles is that he made good pre-snap reads and knew where to go with the ball. He got it out quickly and gave his guys a chance to get RAC yards. They did. There was nothing physically outstanding about what Foles did. He just executed the offense in a crisp, efficient way and led the team to TDs.
SHADY - Had 5 carries for just 9 yds. Cut the bum. JAX was very aggressive vs the run early on and the OL struggle with some of the things they did. Shady paid the price. Caught 2 passes for 19 yds. Looked good when he had space to work with.
B BROWN - 2012 all over. Looked great, but he had a bad fumble. Brown was at the 4-yd line and got hit as he was trying to score. The ball popped out and went through the side of the endzone. Touchback. Ugh. There is good news. Had 6 carries and 2 receptions after the fumble. Did a much better job of protecting the ball in traffic after the fumble. Had a sloppy pass block on 3rd/8 in 1st Qtr. Went after the blitzer, but didn’t keep moving his feet and the guy got wide and around him to pressure Vick. Blocked downfield on play where Vick scrambled. Let Vick get to the sideline cleanly. Alertly fell on the ball when Vick bobbled a snap late in the half. On the play where he fumbled, Brown looked great initially. Used his speed to take an outside zone run and get to the sideline. Turned upfield and was gone. Got about 25 yds on the play and looked really fast. Great play late in the game. Caught a short pass. Used hop to get away from the first defender. Then instantly put spin move on the 2nd guy. Then took on 4 Jags defenders. Went forward and got what he could. Reminded of a scene from a cheesy action movie where the hero beats up a couple of henchmen and then finds out there are still more. That’s terrific effort late in a presason game.
Finished 11-92. Was really good on the outside zone runs. Used his speed to get wide. Also was effective running inside. 2-10 as a receiver.
POLK - Good game. Caught screen pass in the 2nd Qtr. Didn’t have much room, but was able to get upfield and get 5 yds. Showed good speed on some outside zone runs in the 3rd Qtr. Finished 6-23-1 as a runner. Looked slow vs the Pats, but I think we can now safely say that was just a rough night. Has played well the last 2 weeks. Looks faster than ever. Also running with good strength/power.
TUCKER - Only 2 for -1 as a runner, but looked good as a receiver. Caught short pass on 3rd/2 and turned upfield for a gain of 18. Broke at least 2 tackles and it took several shots before he went down. Caught a short pass in the right flat and got upfield for a gain of about 10 yds. Left the game late with some kind of minor leg injury.
CELEK - Good game. Led team as receiver (4-54). Also had a strong night as a blocker, both in the pass and run game. Caught a short pass at the end of the 1st Qtr. Fought upfield and took a couple of big shots. Had an excellent seal block of DE on outside run to his side. Lined up out left on the next play and had a good block on WR screen. Stayed in on a few pass plays and did a good job.
ERTZ - Caught a 1st Qtr pass from Vick. Lined up in the right slot. Went upfield and turned around. Made smooth hands catch. Gained 14 yds on the play. Vick tried to hit him with a downfield throw on the next play. The pass was behind Ertz, but that’s where Vick had to put it because of a defender. Ertz adjusted to the ball, but couldn’t make the grab. Not a drop, but a pass you’d love to see him catch. Solid job as a blocker. Still played in space a lot.
CASEY - Good block of DE on 4th/1 run to his side. Caught short pass from Foles. Made a nice adjustment to the ball.
HARBOR - Mostly was outside as WR/TE. No passes thrown his way.
IGWENAGU - Caught a pass from Foles in the 4th Qtr for 7 yds. Played a lot as in-line TE. Solid job as a blocker.
SHAW - Didn’t stand out.
CARRIER - Didn’t stand out.
D JACKSON - 3-48. Long of 22. Smooth showing. Also did a solid job as a blocker.
AVANT - Another good game. 3-36. One of the catches was just spectacular. Vick tried to hit him in the flat. The ball was tipped. Avant just reached out and scooped it in with one hand. Watching live, I thought for sure the ball hit the ground. Amazing catch. Then he made the DB miss and got upfield for 11 yds. Opened the game with a very good catch. Got loose in the secondary and made a leaping catch along the sideline. Was able to get his feet in as he came down. Caught a WR screen late in the half and got 10 yds. Has looked pretty good on those plays this summer.
COOPER - Only 1-9 as a receiver, but had a good game as a blocker. That was both in the run and pass game. Good block on WR screen to Avant. Kept control of his DB and gave Jason room to run.
D JOHNSON - Good catch on pass from Foles in the early 4th. Reached up and plucked the ball despite DB being right there to hit him. Total focus. Caught one over the middle for 14 yds.
SHEPARD - Good showing. Caught WR screen in the early 4th. Had a pair of good blocks on the outside. Split them and flew upfield. A DB closed in for the tackle, but Shepard cut back to the inside. He broke the arm tackle and got additional yds. You could see his natural athletic ability on that play. Gained 29 yds. Lined up on the other side on the next play. Went inside on a short route. Foles hit him. Shepard made a LB miss and then got upfield for 9 yds. Great RAC skills on those plays. Good block on Brown’s TD run to his side.
MOMAH - Didn’t stand out.
SALAS - Didn’t stand out.
N MILLER - Didn’t stand out.
MAEHL - Good job as a run blocker.
This was a rough game for the O-line.
There was a play where Todd, Lane both blocked a LB and both left a DL wide open to stuff Shady. Pure confusion. JAX used some stunts and slants and had the guys confused on who to block at times. Good learning experience.
PETERS - First game back since 2011. Was a little rusty, but looked pretty darn good pretty quickly. Showed off his natural gifts in pass pro. Great feet. Great balance. Knows how to use his hands. DE tried to attack inside. Jason hit him from the side and put the guy on the ground. Had blizing DB fire off the edge to his side. The guy jumped to deflect the pass. Jason popped him in the stomach and the DB went crashing to the ground. Coach Stoutland will love seeing that. Make those guys pay when they jump.
MATHIS - Called for holding on early 3rd/8 that wiped out a 1st down. Was blocking Mincey (athletic DE who plays some inside) and just failed to get his hands on the defender quickly enough. Smart to hold and keep Vick from getting blasted. Excellent block on 3rd/long. DT used hard inside move. Evan got on him and rode the guy that way. Moved him completely over to the right side. Sustained the block perfectly. Beaten by Mincey on another 3rd down pass play. Just too quick for Evan on the play. Was beaten to the inside by Marks on a later pass play. Failed to read a stunt late in the half and didn’t pick up a rusher that looped inside and sacked Vick. Rough game for Mathis.
KELCE - Got beat by the NT on the first play, which led to Vick having to get on the move. Terrific block on inside run by Shady. Went to the 2nd level and engaged Poz. Sealed him and then drove Poz completely out of the box area. Picked up Babin on a stunt and got him to the ground. Took an awkward, hard fall after a run where players hit him from behind. Very encouraging to see Jason hop right up. Struggled with the massive DTs on some plays. Got driven back in pass pro a couple of times. Had a terrific block when pulling on Brown run in the early 3rd Qtr.
HERREMANS - Sloppy game. Roy Miller beat him with an inside move and was then able to chase down Vick from behind for the sack on the opening drive. Still has moments when he’s outstanding. Had to make reach block on the NT and fired off the ball. Was able to seal the NT and then ride him out of the play. That is a hard block and Todd made it look easy. Tackled blitzing LB on 3rd/8. Somehow didn’t get called for it. Was an odd play and Todd didn’t make the tackle until Poz’s 2nd effort, but he did get him from behind. Struggled on pass play where DT took a hard outside rush. Gave up the pressure that led to Vick’s INT. DT caught Todd with his hands down and got into his body, then by him. Just had a rough game. There were too many plays when DL got the best of Todd.
JOHNSON - Found out what it’s like to go against a good speed rusher. Johnson had never dealt with anyone like Jason Babin and that was a problem in the 1st Qtr. Babin got the best of him with speed off the edge and then spin moves back to the inside. The good news is that Johnson adjusted and got better. Babin used a spin move on the 2nd play and flushed Vick out of the pocket. Johnson had an excellent block on long inside run by Shady. Lane sealed the LB and gave Shady a huge void to hit. Great block on Vick’s TD pass. Handled Babin’s speed and wouldn’t let him back to the inside either. Lane settled down in pass pro in the 2nd Qtr and looked much better. He used his arms to lock onto Babin. Lane kept his feet active so he could mirror Babin. The talent is there. Just learning how to play.
TOBIN - Backup LT. Hustled downfield on Shepard’s long catch and run. Didn’t have anyone to block, but you love that hustle from a rookie who was blocking on the backside of the play. Easily could have gotten a penalty for the Runyan Rule late in the game. Dove on a pile a good half-second after the play was over. Love the hustle. Made a really smart decision on Polk’s TD run. Pulled to the left. Could have stayed out in front for no reason, but decided to block the first guy he saw. Made sure that guy wouldn’t get to Polk. Drives me nuts when some OL pull and run in space with no one to block, waiting for someone to appear. Get the first guy and make sure he’s taken out of the play. Tobin got in the way of 2 defenders. Don’t know if either would have made the play, but I do know for a fact that neither did make the play. Love watching this guy play. Limited talent, but great effort.
BARBRE - Backup LG. Pulled to his right on 4th/1 power play. The LB stayed real low and Barbre grabbed him. Called for holding, which negated a good run by Polk. Tough play. Give the LB credit. Pulled as lead blocker on Brown’s TD run, but no one was there to block. Looked good on the move.
TENNANT - DNP.
VANDERVELDE - Backup C. Good block of LB on run in early 4th Qtr. Got to the 2nd level, engaged and sustained. Pulled and went outside on Brown’s TD run. Had no one in front of him so went after a DB. Looked good on the move. Flew upfield on run play and tried to cut LB. Good attempt, but didn’t get the guy down. Real good block of DT on inside run. Had to reach to his right, then extended his arms and sustained the block. Really struggled vs the Pats. Has gotten a lot better in the last 2 weeks. On track to be the backup C.
WATKINS - Backup RG. Excellent in pass pro. Got a wide base and locked onto defenders. Didn’t give ground. Pulled on Brown run to the outside. Hit a LB in the side. Got just enough of the guy to affect him. Didn’t hold, though. Let Brown get wide. Had a couple of good run blocks.
KOPA - DNP
REYNOLDS - DNP.
BAMIRO - Backup RT. Has gotten worlds better. King Dunlap was a gentle giant. Bamiro is a goofy kid that is just learning how big and strong he is. Watch out for the day when he realizes he can kick everyone’s ass just about any time he wants to. Still struggles at pass pro, but will force the DE to go wide to get around him. Had a false start on 2-pt play that made Kelly opt for PAT. Drove DE 10 yds up the field on a run play, then pushed him away. Seems to be really taking to the coaching he is getting.
A lot of people came away very worried about the defense. I had some concerns, but think some people are being a bit over the top. The Jaguars scored 3 TDs in the game. Only one of them came against the full starting defense. That TD came on the opening drive. The long TD run happened when there were 5 backups mixed in with the starters. 3 of those backups were rookies and 2 of them played significant roles in the score. The final TD came when the Jags starters scored on the backup defense.
The Jags gained 346 yards and scored 24 points. That’s not good, but let’s hold off on talk of this defense being completely dreadful. The starting 11 actually played a solid game. They had 3 sacks, deflected a couple of passes and came up with a takeaway (INT). Gang Green? No. But that is a step in the right direction. This defense isn’t going to shut people down. They did at least start making some things happen.
1st TD – The Jags had a RB, TE, Denard Robinson and 2 WRs on the field. They split the TE far left. That put Robinson and the WRs on the right side. The Eagles went with a base defense and no one was on Justin Blackmon in the slot. He came upfield and Pat Chung then broke over to cover him. Blackmon was wide open for the easy TD. This should be a simple schematic fix. The OLB to Blackmon’s side maybe should have gone out over him. In a real game, the D would hopefully call a timeout if faced with this situation. Part of the confusion is Robinson. Is he a WR or RB? He was lined up between Blackmon and the other WR, which meant he got a DB on him.
* 3rd/5 in RZ – Barwin sacked Henne. Coverage sack. All 3 CBs locked down WRs. Kendricks went with one guy. Ryans/Allen doubled other receiver. No one open at all.
Long TD run – Backup DL was in the game. Damion Square was at NT and got moved off the ball. He started between the numbers and ended up outside the numbers. Part of that was him trying to flow to the ball, but the NT needs to stay more to the middle of the field. Both Chung and Allen took poor angles to the ball. Ryans overran the play by a couple of yards. The backside was wide open. TD.
COX - Best game of the summer. Lined up over the LG and drove him back into Henne’s face on early pass play. Fought off attempted cut block and got into backfield on run play. Grabbed RB from behind and held the play to minimal gain. Fought off another cut block and got RB as he started up the middle. Drove the LG back on a run play that came to his side. Limited the RB’s choices. No gain on the play. Showed his speed by chasing down Henne late in the half. Henne started to scramble on 3rd/5. He got out wide. Fletch took a good angle and flew out there. He got Henne up high and made a violent, twisting tackle that kept Henne a yard short. Wasn’t dirty. You just had 2 guys going full speed and Henne is no small QB. Wasn’t dominant in the game, but started to look more like the guy from last year.
SOPOAGA - Got off single block to open 2nd drive and helped tackle RB up the middle. Sopes has just had an odd summer. Wasn’t getting moved off the ball consistently, but also wasn’t pushing the OL backward. Doesn’t get free when single-blocked as much as I’d like. Gets little push on pass plays. Doesn’t hurt the defense, but isn’t the anchor you’d like at NT.
THORNTON - Good game. Solid job on run defense. Didn’t make plays, but ate up blockers. Got the best of the C while rushing as the NT in the Nickel. Forced Henne to throw the ball off-balance and to a checkdown target. Beat the RG with a good inside move and sacked Henne on the 3rd drive. Got some inside pressure on pass play late in the half. Lined up at NT in a 3-3-5 look late in the half.
CURRY - Came into the game in the early 2nd Qtr as part of the Nickel D. Excellent pursuit on plays where the ball goes outside. Hustles to the ball. Came free to the inside in the 3rd and got RB for a loss. Used hard inside move to get by OG and pressure Henne in the early 3rd. Lined up at LDT and split the G/C to hit Henne as he threw in the 3rd Qtr. Got a sack on the next play. Henne tried to run up the middle and Curry was able to get off a block and sack him. Disruptive when he’s allowed to attack upfield.
GEATHERS - Picked it up a bit. Came in on the opening drive. Drove the RG back on run play and forced the RB to go wide. Drove Joeckel right back to Henne in early 2nd and flushed the QB. Made impressive tackle in the 3rd Qtr. Avoided cut block and moved down the LOS and got RB as he cut back to the middle.
LOGAN - Came in at NT on the opening drive. Has terrific lateral movement ability. Engages the blocker and is able to move right or left in pursuit of the ball. Good feet. Terrific hustle to fly out wide and get RB after short catch and run in the flat. Gets the most push of any Eagles NT on pass plays. Did a better job of holding his ground vs the run.
SQUARE - Played some RDE on the opening drive. Got off block and tackled RB as he started upfield. Good awareness. Struggled at NT. Played DE in the 3rd Qtr. Got moved off the ball several yards by a double team. Struggles to anchor. I don’t like him at NT. The coaches love Square, but he’s got some holes in his game. He’s in the no-man’s land. Not big enough to be power player. Not athletic enough to be movement player. Gets by on skills and smarts, even as a rookie.
DIXON - Came in at NT in the 3rd Qtr. Flashed. Fired off the ball on one play and looked quick. Got cut so didn’t affect the play. On another run the grabbed the C and threw him aside and helped stuff a run. Other times he looked lost. On the ground more than you’d want. Needs to show better awareness vs cut blocks. Needs to use his hands better. Someone tell him he’s not the Venus de Milo. Needs to play to his size. Remained up and down all game. One good play, one bad. The guy from 2010 appears to be long gone.
KRUGER - Came in a LDE in the late 3rd. Also played DT and RDE. More physical this time out. Still doesn’t have the strength to be a good NFL player right now. Needs to develop.
KING - Played RDE for much of the 3rd Qtr. Uses his hands and arms well. Able to get into blockers and keep them off his body. Not a very athletic guy, though. More effort than talent.
WALKER - Took over at NT in the late 3rd. Love his size, but doesn’t use it consistently well.
COLE - More progress, but still up and down. Dropped into coverage on the first snap. Saw the ball headed kinda his way so Trent leapt to get a hand on it. Pass was too high, but that was good awareness. Had dropped back 8 yards at that point. Looked to be okay depth. Trent isn’t totally stiff in space, but is very herky-jerky. One thing he definitely struggles with is getting a jam on receivers in the slot. The Eagles have OLBs line up over them and try to jam them at the snap, then release the player. Trent has a habit of lunging and getting off balance. Run defense is up and down. Went too far inside on the opening drive and let the RB bounce the run outside. Trent recovered and got on MJD, but couldn’t bring Pocket Hercules to the ground. Lined up as DE in the Nickel and used good burst, move to get by the LG and get right in Henne’s face. Hit him with his hands, but didn’t draw a flag. Just slung Brett Brackett aside and got RB on 2nd Qtr run. Did a great job on another 2nd Qtr run to his side. Shed the block of the TE and stopped the RB for no gain. Drew double teams a couple of times as a pass rusher.
BARWIN - Good game. Used a hard inside move to get some pressure on Henne on the early TD pass. Got some pressure by bull-rushing the RT and driving back to Henne on early 3rd down. Came up with an INT early in the 2nd Qtr. Lined up over slot guy. Dropped back, saw the ball at the last minute, reached up and knocked the ball to himself. Caught it as he fell to the ground. Impressive. On 4th/1 run to his side, Barwin for some reason looped inside. If that was the design of the defense, it was a bad guess by the coaches. If Barwin did that on his own, that was an incredibly dumb decision. The RB was able to get to the edge. Shed the block of the FB and stopped RB on edge run for a short gain. Had a really nice play on 3rd/5. Lined up as Joker in Nickel. The NT took on the C and then Barwin hit the C from the side, knocking him completely to the ground. Barwin then moved around him and sacked Henne.
GRAHAM - Came in at LOLB on opening drive. Set the edge on early run. Kept the RB to the inside, but couldn’t cleanly shed the block of the TE. Dropped into coverage on pass play late in the half. Actually looked the most nimble that I’ve seen from him. Took over at LOLB in the 3rd Qtr. Hustled out wide and made tackle on WR screen. Best pressure in the game came on a play where the TV angle was terrible. Flew off the left side and forced Henne up the middle, where Curry sacked him. Graham needs to do a better job on runs plays that come at him. Just engaging the TE and setting the edge isn’t enough. Needs to be able to shed the block and have a chance for the tackle. Wasn’t doing that vs JAX.
MCCOY - Bad game. Got sealed too easily by LT on early run and ball went to that side. Full time ROLB in 3rd Qtr. Brackett knocked him back with a block and sealed him for run to that side. Next play was a run at him. FB blocked McCoy to the inside, partly because McCoy tried to side-step the block. Cannot do that at the point of attack. Must engage the blocker and hold the point. Did a better job on the next run by taking on the FB and the runner went to the inside. Got blocked by WR and didn’t get off the block. Actually moved backward trying to shed the block. Ugh. Took on the FB on the next run and the ball then had to stay inside. Took on the LT on run play to his side on 3rd/4. Looked like he might have gotten held, but couldn’t shake the block and the RB got out wide for a good gain. Covered Denard Robinson in the flat in the RZ and did a pretty good job of sticking with him. Pass was off target and dropped. Got some pressure off the edge on 3rd down pass in the 3rd Qtr. Got sealed inside by FB on outside run to his side. Did a good job of covering RB 1 on 1 in flat on 3rd down. Had him pinned by sideline. RB cut back inside and got a couple of yds, but pursuit made the stop. McCoy had some good moments, but he was blocked way too easily on some run plays. Can’t choose when to be tough. Gotta do that every play. Still talented and a player worth developing.
LONG - Took over at LOLB in the late 3rd. Good job of taking on FBs and TEs on runs to his side. Destroyed the LT and got a strip sack late in the game. Wow play. Not explosive or overly athletic, but he is tough and physical.
BROWN - Took over at ROLB in the late 3rd. Used good inside move to get by the LT and hit the RB as he threw. Chased down a 4th Qtr run by hustling down the LOS and getting the RB as he started upfield. Lined up at DT in the Nickel late in the game and got to the QB. Quick off the ball and used his hands well to beat the LG. Couldn’t make a clean tackle, though. Got a sack late in the game when he used his hands well to cleanly get by the LT. Looked his best as an Eagle, but that raises the question of why it took so long? Playing like this the last 2 weeks would have him pushing for a roster spot. Now…who knows?
KENDRICKS - Good game. Took on the FB on 3rd/1 run play. Stuffed him, but no one was there to get the RB. Flew out wide to tackle MJD after a short 3rd down pass, but MoJo dropped the ball. Really good speed for MK to get out there so quickly. Blitzed up the middle and got a bit of pressure on the play where Henne was picked off. Got Henne down on play where he was flushed and started to run. Only got a yard on that. On next play, got Henne down for a loss. Busted pass play where WRs didn’t run the right routes. Dropped way deep on 3rd/12 and was basically like a FS. Blitzed up the middle in the early 2nd Qtr. Timed it well and got right in on Henne. Wisely pulled up since the ball was out. Next play was 3rd/1 pass. Kendricks batted the ball down. Both plays showed athleticism and excellent awareness.
RYANS - Made solid pursuit tackle on early run. Good game in coverage. Always seems to be in the right spot. Run D can still be erratic at times. Overruns some plays as he tried to get to the RB.
CHANEY - Just cut the other day so I’ll keep it simple. Not impressive. No instincts. Doesn’t play to his athletic ability. Not physical enough. Still has good potential, but must play in the right 4-3 system.
MATTHEWS - Played in the 3rd Qtr. Came over to the right and had chance to tackle Robinson, but then he cutback and Casey wasn’t quick enough to get him. Tackled RB on inside run. Wasn’t his primary gap, but Casey found the ball in traffic. Hustled outside on WR screen and got in on the tackle. Cleaned up tackle that Whitley started and put RB down with authority. Fired upfield into the LG on run play and forced the RB to cutback. Used his hands to take on the blocker. Aggressive, physical. Blitzed in the early 4th and was credited with sack. Several guys got their hands on the QB. Great effort by Matthews. Good showing, but his lack of top speed will always limit what he’s able to do. I do love the fact he’s more physical now than in the past. That at least gives him a chance. Does look okay in coverage.
ACHO - Came into the game in the mid-3rd. First play was run outside. Acho flowed outside and made the tackle. Tackled RB on inside run. Moved laterally and then stuffed run play that came right at him. Does a really good job of finding the ball in traffic and then getting to the right spot. Tackled TE after short catch over the middle. Should be the #3 ILB in my opinion.
KNOTT - Came into the game in the mid-3rd. Better in coverage than vs the run. Took on blocker on inside run play that came his way. That’s a step in the right direction, but still had other plays where he ran around blockers. Didn’t make any big plays, but had a solid showing.
ALLEN - Tackled the RB on 4th/1 play where he got loose. Was lined up deep and hustled over in pursuit. Didn’t make a clean tackle, but did get the runner down. Gave a shot to WR Justin Blackmon when he tried to come inside and block Nate on a run. Kinda surprised me to see that. Odd game. Was generally in the right spot. Was around the ball a lot. Just never had a chance to really make plays. The action seems to stop before he’s got his chance to hit or tackle. He’s not missing tackles, but also isn’t making them. There isn’t a lack of effort. Just the way the ball bounces some times. I don’t feel confident in him, but also can’t say that he’s made key mistakes in the last 2 weeks. Hope he plays on Thursday. Need to see some tackles. I do trust him in coverage and that may be enough for him to remain the starter.
CHUNG -Came up quickly in run support to help tackle MJD. Had chance to make a play early on. JAX ran play-action pass and dumped the ball to the TE in the flat. Chung was on the move and had a good angle. A big hit would have kept the TE from getting the 2 yds they needed. Chung got a solid shot, but not enough and the TE got 2.1 yds. No mistake on Chung’s part. You just wish he made that play. Came up quickly to get MJD on 3rd/1 run where he got loose for 5 yds. Helped Cole get RB down on run play that tried to go outside. Did a good job of working to the ball through some traffic. Took a poor angle to the ball on the long TD run. Was too aggressive. Needed to keep the runner boxed in, but ran in out of control and let the RB get out wide.
SIMS - Played in the 3rd Qtr. Was slow to recognize the FB had split out wide. Got out there late and the FB made him miss with a quick move and got about 10 yds on the play. Made diving attempt for the ball on play where it bounced off him and was caught, then challenged. Gave up TD while in man coverage and ran into a pick play. Was covering TE. Just not seeing it this summer.
WOLFF - Came in on the 2nd drive. On the field for the long TD run. Started back initially, read run and came upfield. Ran to where the RB was instead of anticipating where he’d be. Took to direct a route and once the RB was wide, Earl had no chance. Aside from that play, had a quiet game. Like Nate, just didn’t have many chances.
COLEMAN - Played some late in the game. I think the coaches know Kurt (good and bad) and wanted to focus on other players that are more erratic.
ANDERSON - Very active game. Played in the 3rd Qtr. Tried to take on the FB on outside run to his side. Got jacked back a couple of yards. Got RB on inside run in the 3rd Qtr. Looked like it was Colt diving for the ball on the play when Whitley’s leg got hit and hurt. Had a shot to pick off deflected pass in the late 3rd, but Colt doesn’t have good hands. Flew around the field and was in the action a lot, but the results were mixed. Lack of size and athleticism shows his limitations. Great effort.
FLETCHER - So-so game. Made mistake on early WR screen. Came up quickly, but didn’t have outside leverage. Let Blackmon get up the sideline instead of forcing him back to the inside where pursuit was. Only cost 5 extra yards, but shouldn’t make simple mistakes like that. Still did make the tackle. Blackmon beat him for good gain on fade. Slight push-off, but great throw/catch. Brad had no chance. Limited WR screen to Blackmon to just 5 yds late in the half.
WILLIAMS - Good game. Was consistently good in press coverage. Didn’t face speedy WRs though so that helped him. Gave up early completion. Was in off-coverage. Closed to ball quickly. Active run defender. Played press coverage a lot in this game and showed good ability. Able to jam receivers at the line. Does a good job of mirroring them as they run the route and then look for the ball. Helped break up early pass with tight man coverage. Had tight coverage of Blackmon on 3rd/long & forced errant throw.
HUGHES - I didn’t see him in action.
BOYKIN - Played the slot in the 1st half. Very good in coverage. Moved to LCB in the 2nd half. Had a real impressive play in off coverage. WR caught pass in the flat. Boykin read it and flew up to make the tackle after only a gain of 2. Good awareness, burst and tackle. Gave up 14-yd catch on 3rd/14. Had a chance to tackle the WR short, but slipped. Ball was marked an inch short, which JAX got on 4th down. Broke up a pass in the late 3rd. Needs to stay in the slot for now. Better there than outside.
LINDLEY - Took over for Whitley after his injury. Broke up pass in the late 3rd. Had tight press coverage on the play. Showed good feet at times. Good tackler on several plays. Should play a lot Thursday. Could he challenge for spot with good game?
POYER - Played the slot in the 2nd half. Did a good job. Can be sloppy with his jams at times. At his best when pressing and being aggressive, physical. Tried to pick off short pass to his right. Dove, but missed the ball. Hustled up and chased the ball. Undercut another WR and went for the ball. Pass was too high and neither guy had a good shot at it. Very happy that we saw him going for the ball. That’s the Poyer from OSU. The light has come on for him.
WHITLEY - Played CB in the 3rd Qtr, working with #2 defense. Gave up short completion to his side when playing off. Got a shot on RB coming his way. Wasn’t able to make a wrap tackle, but good effort to get the hit. Came to the inside and got RB on a run up the middle. Will aggressively come up to take on blockers on outside runs to his side. Would have given up good gain to Blackmon while in off coverage, but Justin dropped the ball. Got hurt in the 3rd Qtr and is done for the year. Bad break.
JONES - Good game. 48.3 yds per punt. 1 inside the 20.
WING - DNP.
HENERY - 3 for 3 on FGs. Some were worried about him after an odd summer, but Henery was very good vs JAX. FGs were from 30, 31 and 45. The long one was down the middle and had another 10 yds of distance at least. 4 of 6 KOs were touchbacks.
- MISC -
KOR – Damaris Johnson averaged 28.5 yds per KOR. Had a long of 61. Johnson had a bad KOR. He tried to run wide and was tackled about the 10. If you watch the play, the lead blocker also goes wide, as if that was by design. Didn’t work either way, but you’d rather it be by design than him trying that on his own.
Bryce Brown returned a KO in the 3rd Qtr. The ball was way short. Brown bobbled it at first, then got control and went upfield for a short return.
PR – Johnson averaged 15.5 yds per PR, with a long of 37. The punter tackled him by grabbing his facemask. That set up a FG. Did have a fumble in the 1st half. Bobble the ball initially, but then got control of it. Was running up the field and got hit. The ball just came loose.
* Brandon Graham did an excellent job on KO in early 2nd Qtr. Got off block of LB and tackled the RS.
* Boykin and Hughes were the “starting” gunners on punts. Shepard was the left gunner on the next punt.
* Knott, Casey and Graham did a good job on mid-1st Qtr punt.
* Knott did a good job while covering KO in the early 2nd Qtr.
* Jordan Poyer was part of early PR unit (not as returner). Good sign to be on STs early in the game.
* Jake Knott and Kurt Coleman had key blocks on the long KOR late in the 1st half.
* Kurt Coleman had a terrific block on DJ’s long PR. Put one Jag on the ground and another guy started stumbling. Colt Anderson also put a Jag on the ground. Later in the play Coleman and Shepard got another guy hit another guy and put him on the ground.
* Sims made a good tackle in KO coverage in the 4th Qtr.
* Salas made the mistake of not keeping contain as gunner on punt. Let the PR cleanly get to the sideline.
* Shepard will run around some blocks in KO coverage.