Sorry this is late. Crazy couple of days limited my writing and posting ability.
Big win. That wasn’t a great performance, but it will do for now. The Eagles showed they could handle a struggling team in beating the Giants. The Bucs were a new challenge. They were better than the Giants, although still struggling. And the Eagles were coming off a comfortable win. Not all teams handle success well. How would the Eagles respond to a favorable situation?
The Eagles played like the better team. They didn’t look like a group that had a 3-game losing streak just a few weeks ago. The offense was crisp and productive. The defense was erratic, but made some key plays and then came up big in the 4th quarter. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the Eagles have now won consecutive games and find themselves at 3-3.
I did like the fact the Eagles didn’t go get an easy win. That might have sent the wrong message to the team. Instead, Tampa led at the half 17-14 and things were close into the 4th quarter. This team needs to learn how to play good football. A team laying down to the Eagles would have been fun to watch, but wouldn’t have made the Eagles any better. The goal is to become a good team. You need to be pushed for that to happen.
I get where some critics focus on the fact that the Eagles back-to-back wins came against winless teams. No one is trying to put the Eagles into the Super Bowl. But the flip side is also true. Two of the losses came to the undefeated Chiefs and Broncos, two of the best teams in the league right now. The Eagles have shown that they aren’t good enough to beat good teams, but that they can beat bad teams by a comfortable margin. The Eagles are a middle of the pack team, which is what I expected. They can get better, with improved defense and good red zone play
There weren’t many big coaching moments in this game. No challenges. No critical situations.
One interesting sequence came at the end of the 1st half. The Eagles got the ball at their own 20 with 1:02 left. They mixed in a couple of runs up the middle, but only used 1 timeout. The Eagles ended up punting and only using 1 of their 3 timeouts. The drive had an odd feel to it.
The most interesting coaching moment came late in the game. The Eagles had 4th/1 at Tampa’s 17-yd line. Instead of just kicking the FG to go up 11, Chip Kelly had the offense on the field, trying to draw the Bucs offside. A DL jumped and Jason Kelce snapped the ball, drawing the flag. That allowed the Eagles to work more time off the clock before kicking the FG. There was risk. If the officials don’t throw the flag, you risk something crazy happening. Foles was sacked on the play. The flag wiped that out.
I do give Kelly credit for having the Eagles looking good early. The backup QB started, but you wouldn’t have known it. That was the first time all year the offense marched down the field and scored a TD on the opening drive.
The Eagles now have 425 or more yards in all 6 games this year. They have scored 30 or more points in 4 of 6 games this year. The offense is working.
Michael Vick was the QB for 4.5 games. Nick Foles was the QB for 1.5 games. On Sunday, Foles showed he can run Chip Kelly’s attack and deliver big results. Did the offense look totally different to you?
I think many of the plays are the same. It is the execution that is different. Foles is more used to the spread offense so throwing short, quick passes comes more naturally to him. He also mixed in deep throws. For the first time in a few games, the Eagles faced a team that used lots of zone coverage. This allowed them to actually mix in WR screens.
The team executed well in the Red Zone, scoring 2 TDs in 3 tries. The Eagles went down and scored a TD on the opening drive for the first time all year. This let the team get out to a lead. It felt like the offense was very crisp early on. I like the play-calling. The Eagles spread the ball around. Damaris Johnson and Jeff Maehl were on the field on the opening drive. The Eagles had a great call on Foles QB draw for the TD.
I thought the coaches had a pretty good plan for dealing with the Bucs defense. They mixed in screen passes. They ran the ball upfield most of the time, but mixed in a couple of outside plays to keep the D honest. The coaches were creative with getting the ball to DeSean Jackson. 6 for 64 yards doesn’t sound great, but it does when you know that Darrelle Revis was on the field, mostly covering DeSean. The Eagles lined him up all over to try and get DJax away from Revis.
You hear coaches all the time talk about the four-minute offense. This is when the team has a lead late in the game and the goal is to move the ball and eat up the clock. First downs are the priority, not points. The Eagles took over possession with 8:03 left in the game while holding an 8-point lead. The Bucs desperately needed a stop. The Eagles ran their four-minute offense. The Eagles ran the ball 11 straight times and moved the ball from midfield down inside the 10-yard line. They kicked a field goal to seal the win. They also ate up almost six minutes of game time. Kelly will be thrilled with that. Great job by Celek and the offensive line on the drive. It was also good to see McCoy and Brown run hard and aggressive. There was no dancing.
* 1st/10. Opening play of the game was a screen. DJax lined up in the backfield and then went in motion. The Bucs were completely confused. Revis didn’t know who to cover and the other DBs/LBs were shifting as the ball was snapped. The play was a screen pass to Shady, away from the side where DJax was. There weren’t defenders to that side and Shady had 2 OL lead him upfield for a gain of 44. The Eagles ran same play in the early 2nd Qtr. Got 11 yds on that screen.
* 1st/GL. Went with 3 x 2 set. Cooper, Ertz and Celek were to the left. DJax was way right. Shady was in the backfield, but more like a wing on the right side. Tampa then had 3 DL down. One DE was upright and way outside. One LB was inside the other outside. It was like 4.5 defenders in the box. Insane. Foles took the shotgun snap and then ran up the middle for an easy TD. Kelce had the key block and sealed the NT.
* 2nd/8 from the 12-yd line. 2 WRs, TE to the left. DJax to the right. Celek ran an underneath crossing route. Foles pump-faked to him and the S bit up. DJax ran a deeper crossing route and was wide open because of the pump fake. Foles made a good throw for the TD.
* 2nd/11 in the early 4th. Foles faked to Shady, with Kelce and Todd pulling to the right. Foles then fired a short pass to Cooper on the left side. Chris Brown of SmartFootball.com said this is an option play where Foles can hand-off or throw. Cooper made the CB miss and raced down the field for a gain of 44.
* 1st/10. Next play after Cooper’s long gain. DeSean was in the right slow, Coop out wide. Both TEs to the left. Foles was under Center. Foles faked to Shady. Ertz moved to the right and blocked that DE. Celek ran a downfield route and drew the attention of the Safety. DJax wasn’t covered by a CB. He had a LB over him and then a S behind that. DeSean flew by the LB and then went by the S to his side. Celek had the other S occupied so DeSean was wide open for a 36-yd TD.
* The Eagles ended the game with a shotgun snap. That was because Tampa is famous for having their DL launch into the OL to try and knock the ball loose when the other team is in the victory formation.
* 7 of 14 on 3rd downs
* 2 for 3 in the RZ
* 5 possessions in the 2nd half: TD, punt, TD, FG, kneel down
FOLES – Terrific game. 22-31-296. 3 TDs. No turnovers. This wasn’t a game where everything came easy to Foles. The Bucs were 8th in scoring defense and 13th in yards against going into the contest. The Bucs had already faced Drew Brees and Tom Brady.
Brees – 26-46-322, 1 TD, 2 INTs … Saints won the game 16-14
Brady – 25-36-225, 2 TDs, 1 INT … Pats won the game 23-3
Compared to that, Foles lit them up.
The numbers were good, but I also think Foles passed the eye test. He was accurate with his passes. He got the ball out quickly at times, but also mixed in deep throws. That was one area that had all Eagles fans/media curious. Could Foles get the ball to DeSean Jackson down the field? Could he stretch the defense?
Foles hit Riley Cooper for a 47-yd TD. He hit DJax for a 36-yd TD. The pass to Cooper was underthrown, but in a reasonable way. Cooper was able to stay on the move and make the catch. He did have to slow down for the ball. DJax had to throttle down on his route as well, but not as much.
My favorite little thing that Foles did was using the pump-fake. He had an 8-yard scoring pass to Jackson. Foles pump-faked and that made the safety bite up, which then left Jackson wide open as he crossed the field. Easy touchdown after that. The Eagles faced a third-and-15 at one point. Foles pump-faked to an underneath target and the safety moved up. Cooper was left wide open over the deep middle for a gain of 17 and an impressive first down. That is good quarterback play.
What about decision-making? I thought Foles mainly did a good job. He only took one sack. He didn’t force the ball into coverage. He was willing to use his check down receivers. My one bit of frustration with Foles is something he’s done since his days in college. Like Eli Manning, he holds the ball as long as possible on some plays and waits for someone to come open. This didn’t hurt the Eagles on Sunday, but I think it is a bad habit to get into. Throw the ball away rather than risk something bad happening.
Foles was 3-4-26 yds with a TD on his passes in the Red Zone. The Eagles were 2 for 2 on trips where they tried to score. Late in the game they were more concerned with running the ball and working the clock than scoring a TD.
We also can’t leave out Foles running skills. He ran a QB draw for a 4-yd TD. He also kept the ball on an option play and got 3 yds. Pretty much Nick Vick.
From a game management standpoint, Foles did a good job. There weren’t any wasted timeouts. There wasn’t confusion at the line of scrimmage about who was supposed to be where. Foles used a hard count late in the game that helped the Eagles get a first down and eat up some clock. Foles looked like a veteran quarterback, not a player making his first start of the season.
Raw notes …. Went sidearm on a throw to Ertz on the opening series. The pass was broken up by a DB, but that was a pretty good throw and it was interesting that Nick made the decision to go sidearm in the middle of a play. Then made a good read that TB was blitzing and then fired a quick pass to Damaris for a short gain. Made an errant throw to Cooper in the early 2nd Qtr. Ball was too far outside. Made real impressive throw at 13:10 of the 2nd Qtr. Had 3rd/15 play. Bucs rushed 4 and got some pressure. Foles stood tall in the pocket. He pump-faked to the left and then hit Cooper over the deep middle for 17 yds. Made an errant throw to Ertz on the right side on that drive. Just put the ball too wide. Hit Cooper for a 47-yd TD in the early 3rd Qtr. Made a good throw. Ball was a bit underthrown, but was in a spot where Cooper could adjust to it and make the catch. Made a good throw to DJax for his long TD. DeSean had to slow down a bit, but the pass was pretty accurate.
SHADY – 25-116 on the ground. 2-55 as a receiver. I don’t know if this was something the coaches focused on or just how things worked, but Shady didn’t dance much. He attacked up the field. Tampa loves to blitz. If you get a crease, you’re better off running north-south. Shady did that and had a good game. Went for 44 yds on the opening play, a pass. Caught a screen to the right and the defense was completely fooled. Shady had blockers in front and lots of room to work with. Got up-ended by Revis on the 2nd series and fumbled as he was about to hit the ground. Ran up the middle on 3rd/1 in the mid-2nd and got 8 yds. Really attacked upfield on the play. Love when Shady runs like that. Got 19 yds on quick hitter up the middle in the mid-3rd. TB only had 5 defenders in the box and Shady flew right up the middle. Good 7-yd run on 2nd/8 late in the game. Hard yards. Got 8 yds on 3rd/12 at the end of the game. Good run.
B BROWN – 5-20 on the ground. Better than last year’s 12 for 6 showing vs Tampa. Had 2 runs on the opening drive. Got a 1st down and set up 1st/GL. Had a run near the 10-yd line in the mid-2nd. Gained 2 yds to the outside. I loved the fact he finished his run. Lowered his shoulder and hit the DB, instead of taking the hit. Ran hard late in the game. Got 9 yds on a run to the outside.
POLK – Injured his shoulder and left the game.
CELEK – Good game. Only 1-10 as a receiver, but did an excellent job as a blocker. Had good block of LB on Brown’s run to the right side on the opening series. That let Brown get to the edge cleanly. Drove Teo-Nesheim 4 yds off the ball on early run play. Excellent block. Caught TE screen in the early 2nd. Got 10 yds on the play. Took an awkward shot on that play. Had a great block of Clayborn on a run by Shady in the mid-4th. Sealed him and let Shady get wide for a gain of 8. On the next play Brent drove the backup DE off the ball and gave Brown a free shot at the outside.
ERTZ – 3-13. Not flashy numbers. Caught short pass over middle on 3rd/5. Got 6 yds. Got pushed back on WR screen. Was blocking CB, but the guy had leverage and Ertz couldn’t move him. Caught 5-yd pass as dump-off receiver on 3rd/long in the mid-3rd. Blocked DE just enough on Foles deep TD to Jackson.
CASEY – DNP. Had been injured in practice last week.
IGWENAGU – DNP
D JACKSON – Good game. 6-64. Targeted 6 times and caught all 6 passes. Had 2 TDs. This was the first game of his NFL career with 2 TD receptions, which I find to be mind-blowing. I mentioned in my game preview that the Eagles could be creative with DJax and sure enough they opened the game with him in the backfield. He then motioned to the left and they threw a screen to the right. Jackson was a great decoy as the play went for 44. First catch came a few plays later. Lined up in the left slot and ran a short route over the middle on 3rd/2. Caught pass for a gain of 5. Didn’t have a good block of Revis on 2nd series and that led to tackle that made Shady fumble. Caught screen pass in the late 1st Qtr and got a few yds. Caught quick screen for a gain of 4 in the early 2nd Qtr. Caught a short pass before the half. Made one dumb move. Ran out of bounds. That stopped the clock at :08 and forced the Eagles to punt. The 36-yd TD involved a good route. Jack was in the right slot. He used his speed to get up the field and just overwhelm the S. Jackson vs Revis wasn’t a true battle since it wasn’t mostly man coverage, but you’d have to give DJax the advantage.
AVANT – 4-21 as a receiver.Had a really strong day as a blocker, both in the run and pass game. Caught a short pass in the left flat and fought upfield for a 1st down. Caught short pass over the middle on the opening series of the 2nd half.
COOPER – Best game of his young career. 4-120-1. Caught pass on the second play of the game. Short crossing route. Riley got it and went upfield for a gain of 14. I love the fact that Riley lowered his shoulder and attacked the DB. Big guys need to play big. Had the 47-yd TD. Was fast enough to get by the CB initially and then used his size to fight off the CB and make the catch. Again, played big. Caught short pass on the left side and made the CB miss. Took off upfield and got 44 yds on the play. You could see his lack of speed. LB caught him from behind.
D JOHNSON – Caught short pass on opening drive. Got 8 yds. S made a quick tackle.
MAEHL – Caught pass on WR screen in the early 2nd Qtr. Got upfield for a gain of 5. Got mixed into the game a decent amount.
* The Bucs blitz a lot. They also use more DL stunts, slants and loops than any other team in the league right now. That really challenges the OL and QB to know what is coming and to stop it.
* Foles had pass deflected on 3rd series. RT and Shady went to block same guy and left #59 unblocked so he hit the ball.
* Only sack came early on. LB flew off the edge, unblocked. Brent and Shady were to that side, but both released into pass routes. Seems like some kind of play or blocking audible should have been called. One replay made it look like Peters was at fault, but the protection seemed to be sliding right. Not sure who is to blame.
* Bucs almost got a sack in the late 1st Qtr. Blitzed 2 DBs off the OL’s right side. Shady got the inside rusher. Outside guy came free. Looked like Avant might have been open, but will need to see the All-22 to know. Foles held the ball even as the DB tried to tackle him. Finally threw it away late. Riskier than I like.
* Bucs got TFL when RDE fired thought G/T gap and hit Shady in the backfield.
* Foles had to throw the ball away in the early 2nd Qtr when a LB came free off the edge. Another play where the TE and RB both released and there was no one to block the blitzer.
* Bucs used a LB twist to almost get a sack in the mid-3rd.
PETERS – Good game. There was some confusion on blitzes/stunts, but did a good job when blocking a guy 1-on-1. Watching Peters run block Daniel Teo-Nesheim wasn’t exactly fair. Peters hurt his shoulder on the opening drive of the 3rd Qtr. Came back into the game either late 3rd or early 4th. Lined up on the right side for a run play. Drove the LDE off the ball a few yds and gave Shady lots of room to run. That was on 3rd/2.
MATHIS – Generally did a good job of blocking McCoy. Kept him under control. Had a good subtle block of LB on TE screen in the early 2nd Qtr. Just hit the guy from the side and kept him out of the play. Wasn’t “wow” hit, but key block on the play. Got beat by McCoy just before the half. He pressured Foles and forced a bad throw. Did a good job vs the NT anytime he faced him. Not a flashy day, but a good one.
KELCE – Good block on the opening play. Hustled downfield on a screen pass and took out the first defender that came close to Shady. Picked up McCoy when he got by Todd on the 2nd play. That gave Nick time to throw. Totally controlled the NT when facing him 1-on-1. Did a good job on plays when he got out in space (screens, outside runs).
HERREMANS – Another good showing. Had good block on 2nd Qtr screen pass to the right side. Caved in the NT on inside run where Shady got 19 yds up the middle. Called for holding in the mid-3rd. Did have his hand on the back of a LB, but seemed like a ticky-tack call. To be fair, looked like Barbre did hold. Todd got beat by McCoy on the next play. That flushed Foles. Helped keep McCoy under control most of the game. Had some good blocks as the team ran to the right side a lot on the final drive.
JOHNSON – Good game. Lined up to the left side on early inside run play and drove the NT off the ball, giving room for Brown to run for a 1st down. Wasn’t able to sustain block of McCoy and he hit Shady at the LOS in the early 3rd Qtr. Caved in DTN on run play to that side in the early 3rd Qtr. I didn’t see him getting beat in pass pro. The team ran to the right side quite a bit in the game and Johnson was able to seal on some plays and get movement on others.
BARBRE – Came into the game when Peters got hurt. First assignment was to block McCoy. Did that on inside run play. Had a good block of Clayborn on Cooper’s long TD catch. Clayborn got off his block and stuffed run play in the mid-3rd.
TOBIN – DNP
VANDERVELDE – DNP
KELLY – DNP
Up and down showing. They gave up the fewest yards and points of the season, but the numbers should have been even better since they were facing a team with limited firepower and a rookie QB making his 2nd start. The Eagles were very sloppy on 3rd/long situations and let the Bucs sustain some drives that they shouldn’t have. Does that sound familiar?
I did like the way Bill Davis used his personnel. Here are some of the DL combos from the game.
3rd down – Cox – Thornton – Curry
3rd down – Curry – Cox – Cole
3rd down – Curry – Thornton – Cole
1st / long – Curry – Logan – Cole
3rd down – Cox – Thornton – Cole
2nd / long – Curry – Logan – Graham
3rd down – Curry – Cox – Graham
My only complaint there is that I’d like to see Graham more at LDE, a spot where he’s really comfortable. Davis mainly used the base lines in base situations. This is Thornton-Sopoaga-Cox and Geathers-Logan-Curry. There were all types of combos when they used 4-man Nickel looks.
Davis had some nicely designed blitzes early that freed up ILBs. The Eagles don’t do a good job of consistently executing blitzes. 3-4 teams don’t just overload the line and attack. They try to confuse the offense and need the blitzes to work well. Some players are there to occupy blockers. Others are supposed to come free and get the pressure. It takes good timing and proper angles/gaps for these blitzes to work. That happens sometimes, but not enough.
The Eagles doubled up Vincent Jackson at times and that was effective. He won a lot of the battles when he was single-covered.
* The one play that frustrated me was the longer TD pass to Jackson. The Bucs had an extra OL in the game. They were showing a run look. You knew the ILBs would be moving up, either to stop the run or biting on a play fake. The DBs played off. That let Jackson get a free release and run through a wide open secondary. In a situation like that, I’d think you would want the CBs to press and disrupt the release of the receiver. That might be enough for the ILBs to drop back and affect the passing lanes. Davis did say that they made some changes after the game on a couple of coverages they had been using. I wonder if this was one of them.
* Bucs were 6-15 on 3rd downs.
* 1-2 in the Red Zone
* Used the Bear front at times. This is when the G-C-G are covered by DL. You do this to clog inside run lanes and create 1-on-1 situations for the DL. At least once, the Eagles covered the T-G-C in a hybrid Bear front.
COX – Best game of the year. Started quietly, but things picked up in the 2nd Qtr. Used hard inside move and pushed the LG and C back toward Glennon, forcing a quick throw. Good power. On the next play he drove the LG back and tried to stuff the RB. Got held and drew a flag. On the next play Cox lined up as 3-tech on the left side and blew by the RG. Hit the QB’s arm as he threw and the ball went up in the air. No defender could get to it in time, though. Used quick inside move to blow by the LG and force Glennon into quick throw in the mid-2nd Qtr. Threw the LT down in the late 2nd and flushed Glennon from the pocket. Beautiful play. Love to see a DL show that kind of power. Flushed Glennon with pressure up the middle late in the half. Got knocked to the ground so he wasn’t able to chase Glennon. Got sealed on inside run late in the half and that opened huge hole for Martin. Drove the LG back and pressured Glennon in the early 3rd, but Mike still got a good throw off. Drove the LG back on run play and totally disrupted it. RB got no gain on the play. Went unblocked on 4th Qtr pass play and forced bad throw. Looped inside on late drive and tackled the RB. Tampa tried to run bootleg to his side late in the game. Cox pushed the OL aside and closed in on Glennon in a freakin’ hurry. So athletic for big guy. Forced incompletion.
This was the Fletcher Cox the defense needs to see on a regular basis.
SOPOAGA – Pretty good game. Moved well to his left on early run play. Flowed to the right and made tackle vs run on the 2nd series. Got some push up the middle on mid-2nd Qtr pass play. Hustled downfield and tackled RB after catch and run. Had dropped back on zone blitz on that play. Got moved off the ball on run play in the early 3rd Qtr. Looped to the right and got a bit of pressure on a 3rd Qtr pass play. Drew holding call on run play in the early 4th Qtr.
THORNTON – Another good game. Began game at LDE. Blew up run to his side by fighting through block and forcing RB to stay deep, wide. Blew up early 3rd/2 run when playing NT in the Nickel. Stood up the LG and then a double team. RB came to him. Odd choice by Martin. Only gave up a yd on the play. Stuffed run by shedding OL and grabbing RB at the LOS in the late 2nd Qtr. Drove the C right back into Glennon’s face on 3rd Qtr play where he threw the INT. Drove the C back on run in the 4th Qtr. Shed the block and just missed tackling Martin for no gain.
CURRY – Curry came into the game on the 2nd series. Played RDE on 1st down. Got sealed by the OL and RB had room to run, but someone got the runner from behind to wipe out Curry’s mistake. Did better on 1st down run play late in the 1st Qtr. Still got pinned inside, but initially covered both gaps. Went to one side and RB bounced the run wide. Interesting move on 2nd down pass. Lined up inside of LT. At the snap, fired to his left and crossed the face of the C. The NT looped behind Curry. Vinny did get some penetration and pressure on the play. That’s really impressive lateral agility and quickness. Had a chance to get Glennon late in the 1st half on 3rd/long, but couldn’t quite reach him and he scrambled for long 1st down. That was the worst moment of the game. Used explosive inside move late in the game to get into the backfield. Had Glennon on the move and deflected the ball as it was thrown.
GEATHERS – Disrupted an early run play by getting penetration and forcing the RB to cut wide. That led to TFL.
LOGAN – Had a sack late in the game, which gives him 2 in 2 wks. Good play in the mid-2nd Qtr. Got some penetration on a pass play. Got held by the C on 3rd Qtr draw play. Got some late pressure on 4th Qtr pass play. Didn’t really do anything special. Shed block of C and almost got to Martin for no gain in the early 4th. Got a gift sack. For some reason, Glennon moved up in the pocket, right to Logan. On the next play, Logan was unblocked and fired into the backfield to force a bad throw.
SQUARE – DNP
COLE – Set the edge on early run and forced the RB to turn inside, where pursuit helped Trent make the play. Drove the LT back into the pocket and flushed Glennon in the late 2nd Qtr. Ran zone blitz in the early 3rd Qtr and Trent was supposed to jam the TE and drop back. Stumbled. Poor jam. TE wide open for big gain. Used hard inside move to get pressure on 3rd Qtr pass. Went hard inside late in the game. Got into the backfield and batted down a pass. Got pressure on the final couple of drives.
BARWIN – Another solid game. 2 tackles, 1 sack. Made tackle on early run play to his side. Fought through TE to get to the RB. Had good underneath coverage of WR on play-action pass where Glennon threw the ball away and got grounding penalty. Flushed Glennon with pressure from the RDE spot late in the half. Chased down RB on draw play up the middle in the early 3rd Qtr. Looped inside from LDE late in the game and got sack of Glennon.
GRAHAM – I first saw him in the late 1st Qtr. Played ROLB. Used power rush to drive the LT back to the QB. Used power rush on 3rd down late in the 1st Qtr. Should have had a sack, but the LT held him as Graham got his hands on Glennon. Did draw the holding call. Mainly used power rush moves.
KENDRICKS – Seemed better on tape than when I watched the game live. Credited with 6 solo tackles. Blitzed up the middle on the first play. Pulled up before hitting the QB, which was smart since the ball had just been thrown. Tackled Martin from behind while pursuing early run play. TE got separation from him on early 3rd down. Kendricks should have anticipated the route better. Failed to make clean tackle of Martin on run play right to him in the late 1st Qtr. MK was in good position. Tried to wrap, but Martin went hard on the play and got free. Chung cleaned up. Hustled in pursuit and made tackle of WR in the mid-2nd Qtr. Made good tackle of TE in the mid-2nd. Guy caught short pass over the middle and MK flew over and put him down quickly, cleanly. Only gave up 4 yds. Tackled Martin for no gain on 3rd Qtr run play when Cox got into the backfield and blew up a run. Got held by FB on 3rd Qtr run and drew flag. MK still almost made the tackle. Had solid coverage on TE in the early 4th, but TE made diving catch to move the chains.
RYANS – Led the team with 12 tackles, all solo stops. Disrupted early run play by stepping up into a gap and taking on an OL. Knocked the guy back. RB still got around them to gain a couple of yds. Tried to cover Demps on crossing route. That’s a mis-match and Demps got by him. Nice job vs pass in the early 2nd Qtr. TE released and Ryans jammed him. Pass came quickly and Ryans made the tackle. Only gave up 5 yds. Hustled to tackle WR in space. Couldn’t get him cleanly, but slowed the guy down with just one arm and MK finished the play. Mis-read run play coming at him and left gap wide open for good gain. Took on OL late in the half and couldn’t get off the block. Martin ran up the middle for a big gain. Beaten by athletic TE for gain of 12 on 3rd/7 in the early 3rd Qtr. Tough matchup (due to blitz). Made terrific tackle of Martin after short catch on 3rd/long. Wrapped him up and put him down hard. Missed tackle of Jackson after short catch over the middle. This happened when TB was backed up inside the 10 and let them move the chains. Made good physical tackle of Martin on late 3rd Qtr run right at him. Loved his 3rd Qtr tackle of Martin on inside run. Ryans was the LILB and moved right. He met Martin in the hole and popped him. Big collision and Ryans stopped Martin, who is a hard runner. Didn’t look fancy, but that was a heckuva tackle. Excellent job on 4th Qtr run play. Came upfield and fought through OL to stuff Martin. Physical play.
MATTHEWS – Didn’t see him on defense.
KNOTT – STs.
GOODE – STs.
ALLEN – Up and down game. Did have 9 total tackles. Tackled TE on early pass play. Terrible job on TD pass to Jackson in the early 2nd Qtr. Nate was the deep S. For some reason he bit on a play fake and moved up. Jackson caught a slant and Nate should have been there to make the stop, but he was out of position. Easy TD. Helped to tackle RB after short catch in the flat. Nate and Boykin hit him at the same time and the ball looked like it came loose. Had tight coverage on deep ball in the late 3rd Qtr. Ball fell incomplete. Flew off the edge on 4th Qtr run and helped stuff Martin for short gain.
CHUNG – Got his first start in a couple of weeks. Had early TFL. Chased down RB from the backside on the 2nd series. Blitzed off the edge to get into the backfield on that play. Tackled Martin for short gain in the box on run in the late 1st Qtr. Covered Jackson downfield on out/up route. Kept him from making the catch. Left with shoulder injury.
WOLFF – Solid showing with some good moments. In on 6 tackles. Came up and made physical tackle of Martin on early run. Blitzed and got late pressure on Glennon on play-action pass where he threw the ball away and was charged with grounding. Blitzed in the early 2nd. Got by OL and pressured Glennon into throwing the ball away. Overran receiver on pass play in the mid-2nd Qtr. Turned nothing into a gain of 8. Made TD-saving tackle of Martin late in the half. Got him down at the 1-yd line. Unfortunately, they scored on the next play. Chased TE out of bounds after long catch and run in the early 3rd Qtr. Almost made important play in the late 3rd. Had tight coverage of receiver. Pass came that way. Earl reached to deflect the ball and missed it by inches. Great effort. Took a poor angle on 4th Qtr run and gave up a few additional yds. Came down into the box in early 4th and made good tackle of Martin. Had good coverage of TE on 4th Qtr pass play in the end zone. Ball got to TE, but he couldn’t make the grab.
COLEMAN – STs
FLETCHER – Made some plays, but some mistakes as well. Played press coverage and broke up pass on the opening play. Broke up pass on 3rd down. Played off, read the route and broke on the ball. Missed tackle of RB after catch and run in the mid-2nd. Gave up extra yards. Picked off pass in the early 3rd Qtr. WR cut off his route and Fletcher was there for the pick. Had good downfield coverage on 3rd Qtr pass play. Ball was incomplete. Gave up big 3rd down catch to Jackson late in the 3rd Qtr. Jackson made a sharp cut and got a step of separation, leaving him wide open for a good gain.
WILLIAMS – Tackled TE after early catch. TB used rub route and Williams had to go around LB/WR. TE made the grab, but did get tackled. Had tight downfield coverage of WR in the late 2nd. Actually drew OPI call on that. Cary went nuts at first, since he thought the flag was on him. Beaten for short TD late in the half. Had good coverage, but Jackson made an even better catch.
CARMICHAEL – Got to play RCB in the 4th. Called for PI on the first pass that came his way.
HUGHES – DNP
BOYKIN – Somewhat quiet game. Glennon didn’t go to his slot receivers very much. Boykin was credited with 4 tackles. Gave up early completion to V Jackson when he lined up in the slot. Came up to make quick tackle of RB after short catch on 3rd/long. Had good coverage of Jackon on RZ pass play in 4th Qtr. Pass was thrown out of bounds. Jumped route late in the game. Was in zone and got to the right spot perfectly. Pass came right to Boykin, but he dropped it.
JONES – Averaged 49.8 yards per punt. 3 were downed inside the 20.
HENERY – 1 of 1 on FGs. 4 of 6 KOs were touchbacks.
– MISC –
KOR – Damaris returned 2 KOs. Both were very deep. I thought they were poor decisions. Kelly said later that he didn’t like the decisions and that the coaches would talk to Damaris about that.
PR – Had an 8 and a 7-yd return. Had some room on one, but didn’t make much of it.
* Chris Polk hurt his shoulder while covering a punt in the mid-1st. Polk helped make the tackle.
* Long PR by Eric Page. Looked like Casey Matthews got dragged down right in the area of the open running lane. Graham reached to make the tackle, but couldn’t get there. Donnie Jones did make a good stop.
* Jeff Maehl made good tackle in KO coverage in the early 2nd Qtr.