DGR – Defense and STs From KC Game

Posted: September 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 48 Comments »

Vastly improved showing by the defense. Why?

Getting back CB Bradley Fletcher helped. Adding Vinny Curry to the lineup helped. I think the guys also got tired of being ripped on and played better. They flew to the ball and had a spring in their step. The effort was outstanding. There were still some costly mistakes and there is a lot of room left for improvement, but it felt like the defense woke back up.

Let’s be honest, though. Facing Alex Smith also helped. He threw almost all short passes and that made it less challenging to defend him. He also wasn’t willing to throw to covered receivers. Smith wanted open guys. Philip Rivers threw several passes to covered receivers and some went for completions. That frustrates the heck out of the DBs. Nothing is worse than doing your job well and having that be not good enough.

There weren’t any major schematic changes that I noticed. The Eagles blitzed less and used more 3-man rushes, but I think that was for a very specific reason…Smith. For those who didn’t watch the Dallas game, Smith ran for more than 50 yards. He converted a 3rd/15 by scrambling. If you blitz, you leave yourself vulnerable to running. If you play a lot of man coverage, you leave yourself vulnerable to scrambling. By dropping 7 and 8 defenders in zone coverage, those players keep their eyes on the offense. Smith ran 10 times, but only for 33 yards. His long run was 9 yards. I don’t think he ran for any key 1st downs.

Obviously the strategy backfired due to the inability to handle the WR screens that the Chiefs ran to Donnie Avery. Kudos to them for coming up with that play. I’ve not seen it run quite like that in the NFL. Simple, safe, smart. Should have been stopped every time, but the Eagles had breakdowns. Players took bad angles. Players didn’t tackle well. Simple mistakes that proved very costly. I do have one gripe with Bill Davis. Why not press Avery on those 3rd/longs? I understand the first couple of plays caught you off guard. After that, there should have been a more dramatic adjustment. It was clear that Smith wasn’t going to beat you throwing the ball elsewhere. By jamming Avery, you’d have thrown off the timing of the blocks and ruined the play. You would lose one cover guy since he’d have to be there doing the jamming and not back in coverage, but that was worth the risk.    

It sure felt like KC did well on 3rd downs, but they were only 6 for 18. They were 0-2 on 4th downs.

The Chiefs were just 1 for 6 in the Red Zone. When is the last time the Eagles pulled that off with RZ defense?

No takeaways.

PLAYS

* Chiefs sent RB J Charles to the flat a lot as a receiver and we had trouble covering that.

* 3rd/19. Mid-2nd Qtr. The Eagles had already been burned by Donnie Avery a couple of times. This time Davis used a 4-man rush. The ILBs stayed closer to the LOS. And yet, the delay screen still worked. Boykin got blocked by McCluster too easily. That can’t happen. Bradley Fletcher came inside and let Avery get to the sideline untouched. Barf. Fletcher had to keep contain and force him to the middle. That’s where the help was. Play went for 25 yards.

* There was a pass play in the early 3rd Qtr where the Eagles ran a zone blitz and Ced Thornton was chasing Jamaal Charles to the outside. He never came close, as you would expect. Mayock pointed this out during the game. Before the play, Charles was lined up to the other side. Smith switched him at the last minute. I’m curious if the Eagles failed to adjust to that switch or it was just an awful design. Thornton chasing Charles to the short side of the field would make a lot more sense than to the wide side, where he had no chance. Odd play. Also could have been a blown coverage. Just wasn’t anyone close to that area.

* There was a run play in the 4th Qtr where Jamaal Charles lowered his head and hit Kendricks helmet-to-helmet. This happened 4 yds upfield. Wondered if we might see a penalty on Charles there due to new rule.

* 3rd/2. Long drive in the 4th Qtr. The coaches wisely put Curry in the game. They stupidly blitzed Nate Allen. That left a receiver open. Curry has shown he can get pressure. If you play him, you don’t have to blitz. Especially on 3rd/2. Bad job by the coaches in this situation.

PLAYERS

DL

COX – Good game. Lined up at LDE in 3-man line late in the 1st Qtr on 3rd/15. Beat the RT with a good inside move and pressured Smith. Showed excellent speed to open the 2nd Qtr when he chased Smith way out wide on broken pass play and forced him out after only a short gain. Beat the RT with an inside move for a sack in the mid-2nd Qtr. Smith tried to run, but Cox caught him and made the tackle. Almost got a sack on the final play of the half. Chased Smith and got his hands on him, but Alex somehow was able to break the tackle and get clear to throw the ball. Fought off block of the LG on stretch play and forced Charles out of bounds for a short gain to open the 3rd Qtr. Threw off a running play by driving Fisher into the backfield. The RB had to re-route and stay wide. Enabled pursuit to catch him. Drew holding call on that. Made critical mistake on 4th Qtr run play. Engaged the RG. Then moved to inside. Charles ran through gap where Cox had been. That run set up 1st/GL. Split double-team and tackled RB for short gain on run play on critical 4th Qtr drive. Showed strength, athleticism on that play. Finished with 4 tackles, TFL and a sack.

SOPOAGA - Did a good job of pursuing plays, both run and pass. Pushed the pocket on a 2nd Qtr pass and forced Smith to scramble. Got held on 4th Qtr stretch play, but there was no call. Got a shot on Smith after Graham had already hit him and started Smith to the ground. Got walled off by the C on run play in the 4th Qtr. The C then got him off balance and put Sope on the ground. Not good. Coaches had him moving down the LOS at the snap on some run plays. Worked well on one 4th Qtr play. Sope tackled Charles for about 3-yd gain.

THORNTON - Lined up at NT in some looks. Fought off block of LG and moved down the LOS to tackle RB on inside run. Not flashy, but that was excellent interior defense. Got some push on 3rd down pass play by driving the C backward. Blew up 3rd/1 run with spin move. Totally lucky, but it worked. Spun to get off block and Charles was right there to be tackled. Had another spin move later in the 1st Qtr where he stuffed Charles for no gain/short loss. Odd. Flowed out wide on roll-out pass play. Fought off a couple of blockers and fell on Smith as he tried to dive for the 1st down. Kept him short. Credited with 6 solo tackles. Also got some push on pass plays throughout the game.

CURRY - Great game. Literally. Didn’t play all that much, but made a true impact when he was on the field. Got on the field in the late 1st Qtr. Played LDE. Fought off block of RT and pressured Smith into throwing the ball away. Vinny was tough to block and showed good closing speed on the play. Lined up at LDE on 3rd/5 in the 2nd Qtr and got some put on Fisher. Very quick off the ball from DT. Exploded into the backfield on 3rd/3 late in the half and rushed a pass by Smith that was almost picked off. They had no idea how quick Curry would be. Got his first NFL sack in the 3rd Qtr. Chiefs tried to block him with a TE on what was going to be a play-action pass. Curry was so fast off the ball that the blocker had no chance. Nor did Smith. Curry got a handful of jersey and dragged him down. Great play for the young man. Got some penetration on the next play by beating the LG and Smith was sacked by Cole. Next play was 3rd/25. Curry exploded up the field and drew a holding call on the LG. He flushed Smith and forced him to get rid of the ball quickly. Pass was incomplete. Great series. You could see how much the coaches confidence in Curry had grown when they had him at LOLB on critical 3rd/10 in the 4th Qtr. Got double-teamed on the play. Came back a few plays later on 3rd/2. Lined up on outside shoulder of RG. Used quick burst and rip move to shoot to the inside and immediately pressure Smith.

GEATHERS - Blew up a run play in the early 2nd Qtr. Shoved the RG backward, then grabbed the RB. Held play to minimal gain. Showed great hustle in the 4th Qtr when he chased down Charles and tackled him 18 yards downfield.

LOGAN - Played NT, DE and DT. Did poor job on run by Davis in the early 2nd. OL was able to seal him and give Davis big running lane. Bennie can’t get sealed like that. Held his ground vs a double team on the next play and helped to bottle up a run. Got some pressure on a pass play late in the 2nd Qtr, although Smith helped him by holding the ball for a long time. Somewhat quiet.

SQUARE - DNP.

OLB

COLE - Felt like a quiet game when I watched it live, but was better than I realized. KC tried to block him with 2 RBs on 2nd Qtr pass play. Trent got by both and forced an errant throw by Smith. Blew up a 3rd Qtr run play to Charles. Tried to block Trent with TE, but he got into the backfield and tripped up Charles. Poor play design to run against 3-4. Got a sack in the mid-3rd Qtr. Came upfield and was blocked so he spun to the inside. Rushers had flushed Smith and Cole had the perfect route to get him. Trent was able to trip him up for the sack. Came off the edge unblocked in the late 3rd and got a good hit on Smith. Flew down the LOS on run play away from him and helped tackle Charles. Great hustle. Used very quick burst on 3rd/5 to get some pressure on Smith. That came on the super-long drive in the 4th Qtr.

BARWIN - Another solid game. Had 6 total tackles (5 solo). Used inside move to beat Fisher on opening play and got good shot on Alex Smith. Hustled out wide to get hit on McCluster on early 3rd down. Tackled Avery on the 3rd down play where he got 15 yards late in the 1st Qtr. Was off balance, but missed tackle of Avery on 3rd/5 play in the early 2nd. Turned into big play. Tackled Smith on pass play when he started to scramble up the middle. Gave up just a yard. Had a chance to make a monster play late in the half. Curry exploded upfield on a pass play. Smith hurried a pass on WR screen. Ball went right to Barwin, who had gotten into the passing lane. Hit him in the hands (although above his head) and he wasn’t able to hold on. Might have been a pick-6. Mis-read play in the early 4th. Tried to cover TE, but it was an outside run. Edge was wide open for Charles.

GRAHAM - Played DE and OLB. Helped blow up early 3rd/1 run. LG tried to block him, but Brandon pushed the guy into the backfield. That forced Charles to stay inside, where Thornton stuffed him. Beat the LG on 3rd/long in the early 2nd Qtr. Flushed Smith, which stopped the drive. Got a sack in the 4th Qtr. Lined up at ROLB and used a good bull rush to drive back the LT. Smith started to move up in the pocket. Graham moved to the inside and got him. Dropped back a couple of times in the game. Still looks awkward. Felt good to see him get a sack and impact some plays. Needs more snaps.

ILB

KENDRICKS - Sloppy game. Wasn’t as bad as I expected, but still missed too many tackles and made too many mistakes. Started off well, though. Made terrific play on early 2nd/GL. Chiefs tried option pitch to their right. Kendricks looked like he was shot out of a cannon. Exploded upfield and tackled McCluster for a loss of 4. Great play. Chased Smith out of bounds on broken pass play that turned into a scramble. Wisely didn’t make contact as Smith stepped out. Missed tackle of Charles on short pass that led to 1st down. Had blocker to deal with, but that was a makeable tackle. Attacked the FB on iso run and clogged the running lane in the early 2nd Qtr. That blew up the play. Looked like Kendricks had good underneath coverage of Chad Hall on RZ play where Smith tried to hit him in the endzone. Pass was incomplete. Whiffed on Charles after short pass into the flat late in the 2nd Qtr. Gave up an additional 14 yds on that play and put them in FG range. Came up quickly to force Smith to slide on scramble late in the half. That kept him from getting a 1st down and ended the drive. Chased ball to outside on run and helped tackle Charles for short gain. Got caught flat-footed on 4th Qtr run by Charles. Kendricks was then slow to get wide and unable to catch Charles. That run set up 1st/GL. Kendricks has to read that play quickly and get wide. Looked like MK might have been slow to come up and cover the TE on pass play in the 4th Qtr. Did make the tackle. Got hit in the head by Charles in the 4th. Left game for a snap. Came back on next play and made a sloppy tackle of FB after catch. Gave up 1st down, but should have stopped the guy short. Did poor job on inside run that netted 8 yds. Kendricks waited for the ball and didn’t see the runner until he was right on him. Needed to make that play in the hole instead of down the field. Had a chance to make key tackle on 4th Qtr run by Charles. Did a good job of moving to his left and getting in position, but then missed the tackle. Ugh. Got driven way downfield on Charles long run on final drive. Led the team with 8 solo tackles.

RYANS - Had a worse game than I thought upon re-watching it. Had 7 solo tackles, but erred on too many plays. Overran inside run by Davis in the early 2nd Qtr and was taken completely out of the play. Made clean tackle of Charles after short catch in the early 3rd Qtr. Chased Smith out of bounds on scramble at the end of the 3rd Qtr. Tried to cover the TE McGrath on 3rd/4 in the early 4th, but McGrath got open and made the grab. Got caught in trash and was unable to get out wide enough on Charles TD run in the 4th Qtr. Ryans has to see the field better than that. Stuffed a run play near the LOS on drive in the 4th Qtr. Whiffed on Charles on run that moved KC into FG range in 4th Qtr. Terrible. Made good tackle of Davis at the LOS in 4th Qtr. Got blocked out of run play by TE on final drive.

MATTHEWS - Came into the game at LOLB in the mid-2nd. Got some pressure on Smith when he was flushed toward Casey. Forced Smith to throw the ball away.

KNOTT - Came into the game in the 4th Qtr. Kendricks got hit in the head on the previous play. Jake helped stuff a run to his side.

GOODE - Only a STer.

S

ALLEN - Best game of the year. That doesn’t mean he was anything special, but he did have some highlights. Broke to the ball quickly and helped break up pass to Bowe on opening play. Tackled Charles on inside run near the GL. TE blocked him initially, but Nate got off the block and made the stop. Encouraging. Made a great play on 3rd/GL. Started by covering on the GL area. Saw Smith start to scramble. Nate didn’t have a specific man to cover so he flew upfield and sacked Smith. Love the result, but how he did it is just as important. Nate was decisive. No hesitation. Made a smart decision. Wasn’t risky since he didn’t leave a player open. And he made a sure tackle. Came up quickly to tackle the TE on a short pass to open the 3rd drive. Decisive tackle. Knocked down the Hail Mary pass at the end of the half. Came up quickly to help tackle Charles on run in the early 3rd Qtr. Made open field tackle of McCluster late in the 3rd Qtr. Wasn’t a clean, wrap-up tackle, but got him down. Made one huge mistake. Nate was the end man on 1st/GL. His sole job was to keep contain. That means staying wider than the widest. No one gets outside of you. FB came at him and Nate engaged the guy. Was strong, physical initially. But Nate then pushed him backward. On most plays that would be good. Not so on a GL run where Nate was the edge man. By getting too involved with the FB, he let Charles get wide of him for the TD. Nate gave up a TD because he was too physical. Mark that down on your calendars. Great effort by Nate, but poor technique. Has to stay wide. Mike Mayock got on Allen for being slow to come up in coverage on 3rd/10 pass play to Avery in the 4th Qtr. Nate stumbled coming forward, but almost got a hand on the pass. Mayock knows DB play worlds better than me. I’m frustrated that the coaches didn’t have Fletcher jam Avery at the release. Had 5 solo tackles, sack and PD. Good numbers.

CHUNG - Bad game. Took a poor angle on 3rd/15 pass to Avery late in the 1st Qtr. Needed to stay in his lane. Got too aggressive and left big void for Avery to run in. Was blocked in the back on that play, but still took a poor angle. Helped stuff a run play late in the 1st Qtr. Got held by the RT when blitzing off the edge on 3rd down in the early 2nd Qtr. Missed tackle of Avery after catch over middle in the mid-2nd. Turned into 51-yd gain. Critical mistake for Chung. He was unblocked and the play was in front of him. Just missed it. Tackled Avery after short catch over the middle late in the 1st half. If only he’d done that more. Made solid tackle of FB in the flat after a short catch late in the 3rd Qtr. Whiffed on Avery in the late 3rd on crossing route. Play should have gotten 5 yds. Instead, it got close to 20.

WOLFF - Continued to get mixed in. Got blown up by RB on blitz in the early 2nd Qtr. Charles put Wolff on his butt. No shame in that. 2 guys going all out. Hustled in pursuit on Avery’s long catch and run. Able to make the tackle downfield. Tackled Charles for only 3-yd gain on screen pass in the early 4th Qtr. That was an impressive read and tackle. Missed tackle on key run by Charles in the 4th Qtr. Tried, but couldn’t get him down. Had a couple of tackles late. Finished with 5 total tackles.

COLEMAN - Only a STer.

CB

FLETCHER - Helped to break up a pass to his side in the 1st Qtr. Missed tackle of Charles after short pass to his side in the late 1st Qtr. Tackled Davis on an inside run, but only after a gain of about 12. Blitzed off the edge in the mid-3rd and that forced Smith to move up in the pocket, right to Cole for the sack. Solid game.

WILLIAMS - Pass came to Bowe on first play. Cary got in there quickly and helped break it up. Probably more drop than anything, but Cary did hustle to Bowe to do what he could. Gave up a short completion to Avery in the early 2nd Qtr. Had a chance to get Charles down on key run, but tried to hit him instead of wrapping up. Charles ran right through that. Dumb. Gave up 4-yd catch to Jenkins late in the 1st half. Had tight coverage on WR on 3rd down play late in the game. Pass was incomplete.

PRATER - DNP

BOYKIN - Quiet game. Didn’t have many passes come his way. Used as a blitzer quite a few times. Still funny to see him battling an OT to get to the QB. Missed a tackle of Avery.

POYER - DNP.

=============================================================

ST’s

Bad game by the STs unit. Dave Fipp has done an amazing job with his group, but they all seemed to pick the wrong night to struggle. Mistakes were made by both of the kickers, various cover guys, blockers and a returner. This was a unit meltdown. Very odd. And costly.

JONES - Only averaged 37 yds per punt. 2 were inside the 20. Had an early shank that went just 37 yards and gave the Chiefs good field position.

HENERY - 1 of 2 on FGs. Missed from 48. Only had 1 touchback. Quintin Demps was determined to bring KOs back and had a couple of good returns. Henery had to make the tackle on one. Got called for horse collar tackle.

– MISC –

KOR – Damaris Johnson averaged 26 yards per KOR.

PR – Johnson muffed the first punt of the game and gave the ball to KC inside the RZ. Huge blunder. Returned 3 other punts and averaged just 4.7 per return. Johnson’s mistake on the muff came when he failed to get under the ball. It seemed to go wider than he expected and his body wasn’t totally under it. Needed to take another step to the right. Dave Fipp will work with him on that.

* The Eagles tried the swinging gate play after a TD. They hoped for 2 points, but the play failed due to faulty blocking. Go read this piece by Jimmy Kempski for more details and some visual aids to understand what happened.

* Quintin Demps had 58-yd KOR to open the game. Looked like Colt Anderson got out of his lane. Good hustle by Cary Williams to make the tackle.

* James Casey made a good tackle on punt coverage.

* Chung made terrible tackle attempt on 3rd Qtr KO and Demps got by him easily. Henery then ran over and made the stop, but drew a horse collar penalty in the process.

GAMEBOOK


  • ACViking

    Re: Curry

    Vinny Curry had a nice game.

    But no one should argue that he deserves more playing time while “underperformers” — like Ertz and Graham — don’t deserve more time just because of their draft status.

    The same people are making the playing-time decisions for Ertz, Graham, and Curry — i.e., the coaching staff.

    So to argue — as someone did in a comment two posts back — that Curry is *not* an underperformer and, hence, deserves playing time, while Ertz and Graham should stay buried on the bench, despite the same coaches making the evaluations for these players, is not a very compelling argument.

    And no one suggested the Eagles should start trading the 3 or 4 players worth a 3rd round pick or better. My only point was that getting Avant and Cole lots of experience this year in the new system won’t be an especially good decision in a year or two.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jimmy played more older guys than you remember. He mixed in youth, but also had older guys in the lineup.

      If there was no scheme change, Graham and Curry would have played a lot more. You can’t force them into action in a system where they aren’t a complete fit.

      I do agree that Davis should have adjusted more to them than he did. I’ll cover this in a post as we talk about the defense and where it’s going.

      • Weapon Y

        I actually think Curry and Graham are both better fits in this defense than we think. It’s not like they’ve struggled (maybe, a mistake here and there, but nothing major). Obviously, there are still some adjustments, but they’ve done better than I expected. I’m not nervous when I see them on the field. Honestly, I’m more worried about the secondary and ILBs adjusting to this defense than I am the DL and OLBs.

        • GEagle

          Preacher meet the choir lol…Although I don’t worry about the ILBs as much as you do. I feel like we will be pleased with the front 7 once to comes together and
          hits it’s stride…I’m hoping that eventually we see a 50-
          50 split from Cole and Graham, and Vinny Curry always
          on the field for anything longer than 3rd and 7…..

          this front 7 can play some good football by mid season, but can it play so well that it can overcome the problems at Safety?….It’s going to be tough unless
          Wolff can grow so quickly that Nate never sees the field.

          it’s really hard to consistently play good defense, when you have such a glaring weakness. how many defenses
          really have a worst starting safety then Nate Allen? NFL coaches will exploit that one chink in your armor all day long…Reid doesn’t run that exact same play to Avery 15 times if our safeties played a COMPETANT game

      • austinfan

        I think this is also a Steeler MO.

        Polamalu didn’t start a game as a rookie, a bunch of other Steeler starters sat for a year or two before starting. Now here they’re not behind veterans that know the system, but I think one reason is to ensure young players know what they’re doing before they get on the field so they can play 100%, and play well enough to play with confidence (see Nate Allen for a player who lost his mojo behind the wide 9).

        You can see that with Wolff, they’re gradually working him in and he’ll be starting at one spot before long. Guys like Prater, Poyer and Carmichael will get more PT if they show something in practice. Sopoaga will start in front of Logan until Logan shows he can handle double teams at NT. Curry will work his way into PT as he shows he’s at least adequate against the run (don’t want him to leave a 6 lane highway on draw plays even on passing downs). And so on.

        Jim Johnson’s first year, Eagles defense was 22nd in points allowed, 24th in yards allowed. Tim Hauck was the SS, W Thomas the WLB, Greg Jefferson at LDE, Mamula at RDE, Steve Martin at RDT, James Darling at SLB. Next season they draft Simon, bring in Emmons, Douglas returns at RDE, Whiting steps in at LDE, Moore at SS, Gardner at WLB, Caldwell and Grasmanis added to the bench. Darling and Mamula to the bench, Thomas, Martin, Hauck and Jefferson gone, Six new starters in one year. They ranked 4th in points allowed, 10 in yards allowed.

        Notice four of their top players starting in 1999, H Thomas, Vincent, Trotter and Dawkins. They add a couple good players, got one back from injury and promoted some young players.

        • Anders

          Also lets remember that building a defense from almost scratch takes time.
          Took Jim Johnson two years and he even had a good amount of pieces on the roster (Dawkins, Trotter, Douglas, Taylor, Vincent). Took Buddy Ryan 2 years and he inherited Reggie White (he also drafted some bums like Clyde Simmons and Jerome Brown /s :P).

  • GermanEagle

    Mike Mayock got on Allen for being slow to come up in coverage on 3rd/10 pass play to Avery in the 4th Qtr. Nate stumbled coming forward, but almost got a hand on the pass.
    Yes, almost sums it up pretty well why Nate Allen is…Nate Allen.

  • GermanEagle

    Mike Mayock got on Allen for being slow to come up in coverage on 3rd/10 pass play to Avery in the 4th Qtr. Nate stumbled coming forward, but almost got a hand on the pass.
    Yes, almost sums it up pretty well why Nate Allen is…Nate Allen.

  • ACViking

    Re: DJ2’s fumbled punt return

    T-Law:

    On that punt, Colquit hit a knuckler (I think that’s what I heard).

    I don’t remember . . . but was Johnson was at the open end of the Linc on that punt? The side that, per Henery, has the cross-wind — which, combined with a knuckler of a punt, would have made the catch that much harder?

    Should have had it, but just wondering.

    QUESTION: how much practice in the Linc to guys like Henery and Johnson get to master their crafts?

    • TommyLawlor

      The Eagles don’t practice at The Linc, beyond what they did this summer. The returners do field punts before games. That allows them to adjust to the conditions on gameday.

      • goeagles55

        Off-topic, but something i just remembered: the kickers and the long snapper are always the first ones warming up on gameday. But last week before the chargers game an offensive player player had them beat by about a half hour. Matt Barkley was on the field throwing passes to carmichael well before any other QB touched the field.

        I’m not sure if he’ll ever be great, but i know he’ll do everything he can to try.

        • BlindChow

          Do the kickers get to practice on each side of the field, or just one?

  • xeynon

    Given that this defense has struggled mightily against middling quarterbacks like Philip Rivers and Alex Smith and middling receivers like Eddie Royal and Donnie Avery, it’ll be a surprise if Peyton and co. don’t hang 50 on them next weekend. I’m glad that, contra last season, the effort is there, but this just isn’t a group with much talent. We can talk about cleaning things up, cutting down on mental mistakes, etc. but part of what makes a guy like Nate Allen a bad player is that he’s prone to sloppiness and mental mistakes. He’s been blowing coverages, taking bad angles, and missing tackles for three seasons now – at what point does he become a lost cause?

    Pat Chung is a similarly limited player. So is Cary Williams. Brandon Hughes doesn’t belong on an NFL field other than as a STer and he is what passes for depth at outside CB. DeMeco is an older player who is limited in coverage. Trent Cole is as well. Barwin is solid but not an elite pass rusher. Up front, Thornton and Sopoaga are JAGs who don’t do anything particularly well, and their backups are fringe NFL players. Cox and Kendricks are the only two front seven players with the potential to be above-average pieces and both are still swimming a bit mentally it appears.

    I have no expectation that this defense will get much better this year. Whatever schematic adjustments they make to stop the plays the Chargers and Chiefs used to gash them will cause them to spring leaks elsewhere. We’re not going to field even an average NFL defense until we get new players.

    • GermanEagle

      I have asked the question a couple of days ago if there was ever an over/under of 50 points for a QB before?
      Both Thomas and Welker could all have 100+ receiving yards in 8 days time with Peyton throwing for a new NFL record 8 passing Touchdowns…

    • Always Hopeful

      Can Davis “keep us in games” with some smoke and mirrors?

  • BlindChow

    Good old Andy Reid. Still trying to make Chad Hall happen.

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t get his obsession with Chad Hall.

      • SteveH

        He’s the spiritual successor to Reno Mahe.

    • Patrick

      To be fair, so far there hasn’t been a difference between Hall and Damaris Johnson. Hall is at least being utilized on offense where all Damaris is doing right now is muffing punts.

      • BlindChow

        Johnson has shown some great YAC ability and elusiveness when he’s played (though obviously that was last year and in preseason).

        • Patrick

          I agree that Damaris Johnson looks infinitely more talented than Chad Hall, i cant believe he has a job either. I’m just saying that DJ haven’t done anything worth while compared to Hall.
          Rolando McClain was a super talented player, yet Casey Matthews is on an NFL roster, while McClain is retired and thats not just the off-field issues.
          I’m really hoping that were gonna see some significant time for the young players soon. Damaris, Ertz and the older Casey on offense, Graham, Curry, Logan to go with Wolffs’ increasing time in the field.

          • ACViking

            Why would you want to see significant time for young players?

            They must be underperformers — or they’d be playing.
            _____________

            Patrick, I frankly agree with you.

          • Patrick

            I already mention my train of though when Vick was named the starter, maybe even when we restructured his contract to keep him around. I don’t believe we’re a SB contender with Vick, so why not see if Foles got what it takes to be a NFL QB. Now, Vick won, and in my opinion, a fairly decisive victory, he is the best QB in Philly. What bothers me is that we don’t know if Nick Foles have an NFL arm and can read and NFL defense, which means that when Vick becomes an FA, we’re right back at: We dont have a QB, and if you dont have a QB in the NFL, you’re irrelevant.
            I have the same thought process with the young guns. Obviously, the situation is better with any other position than QB. I’m not saying lets have Trent Cole, Jason Avant, Isaac Sopoaga inactive at gameday, but come on man, i want to see Graham, Curry, Logan, Damaris, Ertz get significant time, simply because we’re not a contender even with Cole and Avant, then lets figure out which of our young players can play. Can Curry and Graham play in the scheme or do we need Clowney or Barr, if Sammy Watkins or Maquiese Lee is available are they a target, are we going to HAVE to take a QB? Theres a lot of questions we could be answering, but aren’t because we’re hoping to win THIS year, and willing to sacrifice putting the team in position to win in 15,16,17,18. I find that troubling with a new HC, no franchise QB and no defense.

  • BlindChow

    “Chiefs sent RB J Charles to the flat a lot as a receiver and we had trouble covering that.”

    This is strange because if you’ve watched either of their first two games, Smith is always checking down to Charles in the flat. It’s no surprise, and they should have found a way to take Charles out of the play like the Chiefs did with Desean.

    • GermanEagle

      This is the one play I was absolutely furious about. If you watched the Chiefs/Cowboys game you could bet your house what was coming, but the Eagles couldn’t simply stop this simple play.

      • ACViking

        GermanEagle (or should I say “Herr Papa”):

        On the flip side . . . after Avant made the juggling catch in the 4th Q putting the Birds at the KC 41, the Eagles rushed to the line and, when they lined up, I said to myself: “If I’m the Chiefs I call T.O. — because the Eagles are about to run McCoy on the same inside-power play that would have gone for a TD earlier but for Peters’ false start.”

        And that’s exactly what the Eagles did, although to Kelce’s left instead of right. But you could just see the Eagles had KC unprepared and over-matched on the inside left.

        Stuff happens like that. The whole match-up thing. Just not enough TOs in a coach’s back pocket to prevent all the mis-matches.

  • GEagle

    Cox sack was a thing of beauty..completely abused Fisher with a swim move. Blasted Alex, then got up and wagged his tongue like the big Dawg he is turning into. he will get better as he gets more comfortable in this scheme til we have the best DT this city has seen since Jerome Brown. he is THAT talented.
    ….
    curry was a Force. this had better be the last time I see him play less then 20 snaps…who knows what can happen if you give him more snaps and let him gain some continuity and experience

    • BlindChow

      Heh heh. “Cox sack.”

  • GermanEagle

    Although going for two against the Chiefs turned out to be the wrong decision (or bad execution, however you want to call it!), but if I was Chip Kelly I’d go for two on every TD the Eagles score against the Broncos in one week time.
    Peyton will probably hang 40+ points on us, so every point on our scoreboard will increase the small likelihood of pulling off a big upset.
    I would also decide to go for it on fourth down in Broncos territory every time. And maybe this will be the first game when we are going to see some trick plays (fake punts, fake fields goals for instance), because in the end it doesn’t really make a difference if we lose by 30 points or 10.

  • Mitchell

    If Mychal Kendricks didn’t miss so many tackles he would literally be leading the league in that category right now.

  • BlindChow

    One good thing about looking bad on a Thursday night is we’ll only be inundated with “Chip Kelly has been figured out!” stories until Sunday, when the news cycle will shift to all the other teams.

    Still, I wonder during press conferences how much Chip wants to point out that he didn’t scheme such classics as the Punt Fumble, double Vick Interceptions, or Butt Snap…

    • GEagle

      Im one of Vick harshest critics but I don’t put our offensive woes on him. we all know that if you get pressure on Vick he will implode and start making mistakes left and right. that is Not a secret..That is never going to change although he could learn a lot from watching Alex smith play QB…That is who Mike Vick is, and that’s who Vick will always be..so if you are going to have him play QB, then Thursday wasn’t really his fault..Here is how I allocate the blame for Thursday’s offense:
      ….
      1) Chip Kelly..your Oline is struggling all day in pass protection, you boast the most unstoppable run game in the NFL and you never see defenses hold us to less then 4-5 yard gains for two plays on a row..pound the damn rock!!! Just because you don’t have the right numbers in the box doesn’t mean the defense will automatically stop you, and that really good defense looked like it haven’t even come close to stopping our run attack….I’m also tired of not seeing well versed gameplans..I get that on a given week you think 11personel is how to attack a defense, but mix it’s up damn it. Show some 4wr sets(let damaris work some quick slants), show some 3TE sets..we have a brilliant offensive mind with a brand new playbook so open it up and start throwing drastically different sets at them besides the attack formation..

      oline(everyone but Mathis should play much better then they did)

      SToutland

      because Vick has showed that if you protect him this season he can hang 30 and eat a ton of yard in this offense, and because Vick has shown for a Decade that if you get constant pressure on him, he will have a Tom of turnovers…I can’t even blame him for Thursday as bad as he played. I wouldn’t blame a duck for Quacking, so how can I blame Vick. Coach had a decade of film on Vick to watch and he is the one who decided to go with such a Hit or miss flawed QB, so it’s up to them to put Ick in positions to minimize his flaws, and they didn’t do that

      f course, even if you protect Vick and he throws 4TDs and 400yards, we will still have to deal with that one stupid boneheaded play per game, and we will still have to put up with his eventual injury because of his constant refusal to protect himself outside the pocket….but this Oline is good enough that it has a chance at not having many performances like this last one and so far signs point to Vick putting up points in this offense when Chip,Stoutland, and the Oline does it’s job

      So for me to blame Vick for a game, it would have to be a game where the Oline is protecting him, giving him time to get it done, and him shooting us in the foot consistently like last seasons opener against Cleveland…we all knew who Vick was…a tale of two Estes. Dr. jeckyle and Mr. hide…..it’s up to the rest of the team to keep the bad Vick from coming out

      • BlindChow

        Vick wasn’t under pressure on that first interception (not sure about the second).

        • SteveH

          Yeah the first one was completely on Vick. He bad a clean pocket, just stared down the receiver and LB jumped in front easily. Second one he had some pressure but it was still a really bad decision. Cooper was completely blanketed.

      • mksp

        “you boast the most unstoppable run game in the NFL and you never see defenses hold us to less then 4-5 yard gains for two plays on a row…….Just because you don’t have the right numbers in the box doesn’t mean the defense will automatically stop you”

        this is logically flawed. our run game is “unstoppable” and rarely held to “less than 4-5 yard gains” precisely because we run when we have the numbers advantage.

        while you can’t prove a negative (i suppose it is *possible* that we could continue to run even if the defense outnumbers the offense in the box), you can’t use the first part of your statement to support the second.

        gameplan was frankly fine. we moved the ball. 4 TOs when you have the ball will destroy any ability you have to score.

  • GEagle

    Vinny Curry had like the best game imaginable for a Dlinemen who only got 12 sacks…I was told this was a “MERIT-ocracy”, so unless I was being lied to, Vinny will see ATleast 20 snaps against the Broncos

    • Media Mike

      LOL @ “only” 12 sacks.

  • SteveH

    I’d love to be able to go back in time and sit in on the coaches meetings to hear why they decided to have Curry inactive for the first 2 weeks. I will not let this go.

    • mksp

      Maybe he got the message? Hard to know for sure. Nice to see him play well. Him and Cox could be a pretty disruptive front.

  • Matthew Verhoog

    #henery’s tackle. Has any ever been called for a facemask and a horse collar on the same tackle before?

    • SteveH

      He’s a violent tackler, we should put him at safety.

      • Media Mike

        Shame he can’t recover a fumble.

  • ACViking

    Re: Kelly & Jimmy Johnson — maybe not good comparators

    T-Law,

    You’re right, for sure, that Johnson played veterans his first year.

    More fundamentally, though, Kelly’s taken the opposite approach to his first season from Johnson.

    Kelly’s trying to win now.

    Johnson, on the other hand, spent the better part of two seasons tearing apart the Cowboys to find young players who fit his vision.

    Maybe that doesn’t happen without the Herschel Walker trade. But the trade itself is endemic to Johnson taking the long view.

    So I’m not sure how useful the point about veterans is — one way or the other.

    I’m still of the view that Vick, Cole, and Avant — each on the backside of their career — is taking snaps from Foles, Graham, Curry, and Ertz.

    Maybe Jimmy Johnson took the long view, while Kelly has not, because the Cap wasn’t around in ’89. Or because Johnson’s offensive talent — which was a pretty good nucleus (Aikman, Irvin, Johnston, Tuinei, Gogan, Stepnoski, Newton . . . totaling 20 SBs) — was too young and incomplete, i.e., no Emmitt Smith . . . who arrived in Year 2.

    In any event, veterans mattered to both Kelly and Johnson. But otherwise, they took very different approaches — for whatever reasons — to their first seasons.

    • Anders

      I think Kelly is looking at this with the long term in mind. Why else would he have his DC install a defense that does not fit? You do that to evaluate the players on the roster too see who fits and who needs to be upgraded.
      He is also installing an attitude switch. Bust your ass of in practice and in the film room and get rewarded with playing time. See Square starting over Curry, Celek over Ertz and Avant over less talented guys. Square then got benched after 2 games when he proved he was way in over his head.

    • A_T_G

      It seems much harder to take a long view of the roster today with the amount of turnover free agency and the cap create.

  • BobSmith77

    Really kind review of Kendricks. There isn’t a guy on this defense (and maybe this roster) since the start of last year that has more physical raw talent yet gets such poor and inconsistent results.

    Missed tackles are the most glaring so far this year but it just seems like Kendricks is playing the game in mental fog/haze. Just is out of position way too often especially in zone pass coverage and way too many poor angles on tackles.

    He was one of the few guys I was hoping on this defense who would show some improvement over last year. He hasn’t so far.

  • BlindChow

    Mornhinweg update! From ESPN:

    “Mark my words, you’ll be hearing the phrase ‘run-pass ratio’ a lot throughout the season. The chatter already has started. Ryan is saying all the right things, claiming he’s all-in with Marty Mornhinweg’s pass-heavy approach, but this bears watching. Ryan is a defensive-minded coach and defensive-minded coaches have “ball control” in their DNA, especially when there’s a rookie quarterback involved. Under Mornhinweg, they’re running the ball in only 37 percent of the plays. In 2009, Mark Sanchez’s rookie year, they ran 59 percent of the time.”

    I like reading these things, just like I enjoy hearing about Nnamdi sucking it up out in San Francisco…

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