Detailed Game Review – DEN 52, PHI 20

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 100 Comments »

Rough game. The Broncos are the best team in the NFL and they showed why on Sunday. They were the superior team on offense, defense and STs. The Eagles were competitive in the 1st half, but things fell completely apart after that. Good teams get better after halftime. The Eagles…might not be a good team. I don’t want to be alarmist, but we have to admit that is a possibility. But if we set aside the last 3 1/2 games and focus on the 1st half vs the Skins…I see nothing but greatness. I am not delusional. I just choose to sometimes not have sanity for a companion.

I’m not going to write as much as I usually do. There’s just not that much to say about this game. Peyton Manning just annihilated the Eagles defense. Writing thousands upon thousands of words on the game wouldn’t accomplish much.

COACHING

There is one huge situation to talk about. Chip didn’t go for it on 4th/6 with the team down 21-13 late in the half. The Eagles were down at the Denver 37. Dave Fipp told Kelly that he didn’t want to try a long FG. Seemed like a no-brainer to go for it. If you fail, Peyton gets the ball inside his own 40. Instead Kelly punted and the ball went into the endzone. The Eagles got lucky that Denver committed a penalty and had to start at their own 10. They didn’t score on the drive so Chip’s idea worked.

I still don’t like it.

If you want to upset a team like Denver, you need points. That means taking risks. Denver got the ball to start the 2nd half. You had to try and score. You might have failed, but that risk is worth it. The point wasn’t to stay close. It was to try and win.

I also didn’t like Kelly’s decision to leave starters in for their final drive. I didn’t think they had any business playing in the 4th quarter. Why risk Vick/Shady/DJax? Put in Foles, Polk and Maehl. Give those guys a chance to show what they can do. I understand the players didn’t want to come out. Kelly can’t worry about feelings. 

OFFENSE

The Eagles racked up 271 yards and 13 points in the 1st half. Things weren’t so good in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles only gained 20 yards and didn’t score a point. Denver turned a one-possession game (21-13) into a blowout (42-13). I’m not sure what schematic changes the Broncos made. Their defense really just seemed to come alive. And the Eagles offense did not handle the pressure well. Blockers and skill players all had costly mistakes. Game over.

It did seem like Denver used delayed LB blitzes more in the 2nd half. Blockers would already be committed to rushers. Vick would be reading his progressions and suddenly some LB would come flying in to disrupt the play. The Broncos used more stunts and twists after halftime and they were more effective than they should have been.

Some people complain that Kelly didn’t make enough adjustments. Maybe. Seemed to me that the biggest problem was poor execution. It doesn’t matter what plays you call if the QB, blockers and runners/receivers make mistakes.

Red Zone failures in the 1st quarter definitely hurt the team. You can’t face off against someone like Peyton Manning and expect to beat him by kicking FGs. The 1st half offense was tough on Denver, especially because of the KOR score. That meant no break for their D. And the players felt it. DE Derek Wolfe said, ”That’s the most tired I’ve ever been playing football in my life. Almost made me throw up.”

Chip Kelly mixed 11 and 12 personnel in the 1st half. The 2-TE sets were Celek/Casey and Celek/Ertz.

One frustration I had was with the playcalling late in the 3rd quarter and into the 4th quarter. Kelly kept calling plays that involved play-action passes. They weren’t effective. Denver’s pass rushers weren’t interested in the run. I did like the fact that Kelly never gave up on the run. The RBs are the key to this offense right now. I’m all for getting them as many touches as possible.

Plays

* Ran the play where Vick is under Center and then goes play-action. Cooper ran the cross. DeSean went deep. DJax was being held by DRC. Riley failed to get separation on his route, although a pass out in front of him might have still worked. Vick scrambled on the play.

* 3rd/14. From the DEN 17. Not much field to work with. DJax is the only receiver who went into the endzone. Riley ran a dig route and got the pass for about 10 yds. Vick was late in releasing the ball. That allowed the DBs to close quickly and allow no RAC yards. Only one WR went beyond the sticks. I know that is limited space, but still frustrating to see such a low percentage play.

MISC

* Had to burn timeout on 2nd series due to confusion on who needed to line up where.

* Used the unbalanced line quite a bit.

* There was a screen pass where a TE and WR ran into each other downfield. Was on the backside of the play and not a factor at all, but stuff like that shows you that the players are still learning the system. Aren’t supposed to have 2 guys hitting each other 10 yds downfield while running routes, even if they’re just a distraction on the play.

Players

QB

VICK- 14-27-248. No TDs or turnovers. 8-41 on the ground. Awkward game. Was definitely hurt by his receivers and blockers. There were at least 3 drops. Lost one big play to a holding call. Also had lots of pressure to deal with in the 2nd half. At halftime, Vick was 10-16-170. He had led the team to 13 points. The 2nd half wasn’t good. Was 4-11-78. Didn’t lead the team to any points. Only converted on one 3rd down situation. That wasn’t all on Vick to be sure, but he didn’t help matters. Denver scored 21 points in the 3rd Qtr. The Eagles had just 20 yards.

-Misc-

Hit Celek over the middle with a strike to get the 2nd drive going. A couple of plays later Vick hit Celek with another laser over the middle, but Brent dropped it. Would have given the team a 1st down inside the 5.

Wanted to hit DeSean with a short pass on 3rd/3 on the next series but he was covered. Vick got some pressure so he took off and got the 1st down. Didn’t have many options on that play so it was smart to run. Tried to hit DJax in the RZ, but DRC was able to knock the ball away. Good throw, but a tight window.

Hit DJax for a gain of 20 in the early 2nd Qtr. Had a bit of pressure, but re-set in the pocket and fired the ball off to DeSean. The Broncos challenged if he held on, but it was tough to see so the initial call stuck.

Saw Shady all alone in the left flat so got him the ball quickly. Shady then got up the field for a gain of 21. Just missed Ertz for what would have been a 17-yd gain on 2nd/19. Had to throw off-balance and the ball was just a bit off-target.

Best throws after halftime were to the TEs. Hit Celek for a gain of 27 in the 4th Qtr. That was a tough throw since there wasn’t a great angle. Hit Ertz after that for a gain of 38.

FOLES – Played in the 4th Qtr. 3-4-49. 2 passes went to RBs, 2 to Maehl. Big completion to Maehl came vs blitz. Good read, good throw. Hit him for a gain of 37. TD pass to Maehl was quick screen. Accurate throw, but nothing special. It was good to see Nick play and have some success, but don’t overrate what he did. One good drive doesn’t mean he should be starting.

RB

SHADY – Good game. 16-73 on the ground. 1-21 as a receiver. Came close to breaking some early runs, but a defender always seemed to get just enough of Shady to slow him down or to make the stop. Best run covered 15 yds. That was a 3rd Qtr play. Hit the hole hard and had a chance for that to go a long way, but the DB made a good stop. Came out for a series and a half early on. Reportedly had the wind knocked out of him. There was lots of speculation that Shady was hurt. I think the coaches simply wanted to mix in Brown and Polk more. Shady returned and the 3 RBs played a lot in the game. Dropped 3rd Qtr pass. Wasn’t necessarily going to gain much, but would have gotten a few yds and made 3rd down easier.

B BROWN – 8-19 on the ground. 2-41 as a receiver. Highlight moment came in the 2nd Qtr when he caught a screen pass and turned upfield for a gain of 35. Might have scored on the play, but he slipped about halfway through the run. Got a carry on the 3rd series. Ran outside to the right for 9 yds. Was close to breaking that for a big play. Stumbled after gaining 7 yds on outside run to the left late in the 1st Qtr. Got 6 yds on screen pass at the end of the 1st Qtr. Caught screen to the left on 3rd/11. Perfect call vs blitz and Brown raced 35 yds downfield. Stumbled about halfway or he might have scored, but was able to get control and still get down to the 4-yd line. Huge play in the early 2nd Qtr. Tight game at that point. Was tackled for a loss a few times so his overall rushing numbers weren’t good, but Brown played well.

POLK- Scored his first NFL TD. That was a 4-yd run up the middle. Finished 3-33. Besides the TD, had a 28-yd run in the 2nd half. Nothing special about the TD run. Got the ball and ran straight/hard. But that’s what you want on GL runs. Don’t dance. Don’t hesitate. Get it and hit it. Caught a dump pass on 3rd/19 and quickly got upfield for a gain of 13. Long run in the 4th Qtr was impressive. Ran through first tackle attempt. Almost got by the next guy, but got off-balance and went out of bounds. Close to breaking that for a long TD. Instead, got 28. Ran hard. Failed to make good block vs blitz in the 2nd half and that defender got part of a sack. Showed that he is worthy of getting a couple of touches a game.

TE

CELEK – Led the team with 3 catches for 57 yds. Unfortunately the focus will be on his drop that ended the 2nd drive of the game. Celek got open down the middle. Vick threw a terrific pass and Brent dropped it. Would have put the Eagles inside the 5. Instead, had to settle for a FG. Good catch over the middle helped get that drive going. Tried to block DE Ayers on a play-action pass. Kept him occupied for about a second, then Ayers went and got in on sack of Vick. Caught pass from Vick for gain of 27 on 4th Qtr scramble. Celek was blocking initially. He then released and went upfield when Vick ran. Nice catch and run. Blocking was not good in the 2nd half, both run and pass.

ERTZ – Played more. Only had 1 catch, but it did cover 38 yds. Had an effective block on early run play. Lined up to the right and came across the formation at the snap. Sealed the DE and gave Shady an outside running lane. LB made the tackle quickly, but Ertz did his job. Played in-line TE and in the slot. Had a chance to make a tough catch on a pass from Vick, but the ball was too far out in front and he couldn’t make the grab. Showed good RAC skills on the long catch in the 4th.

CASEY – Played on the 2nd series. Lined up at right TE and ran a crossing route. Vick hit him for a gain of 12. Played some in the 4th Qtr as well.

IGWENAGU – DNP

WR

D JACKSON – 2-34. Caught short crossing pass in the late 1st. Turned upfield and got the 1st down. Tried to slide and came down awkwardly. Had to leave the game for a play. Other catch came in the 2nd Qtr. Made tough grab as he went to the ground. DRC sorta knocked the ball loose, but you couldn’t see clearly what happened. DEN challenged, but the initial ruling was upheld. Dropped a short pass from Vick in the early 4th Qtr. Penalty wiped out another catch. Almost had a TD, but DRC was able to knock the ball away.

AVANT- One catch for 7 yds. Quiet game. Had a good block of DB on Shady run to his side in the early 3rd Qtr. Had a pass come his way on a crossing route, but the DB was able to knock it away. Just got no separation vs good man coverage.

COOPER – Had some very good blocks. There was a Shady run on 3rd/1 in the late 1st Qtr. Riley was blocking his CB 15 yds downfield. Caught pass in the RZ on the 3rd series. Didn’t move the chains or score. Just made the FG easier. Caught 15-yd pass down the left sideline late in the 1st half. Those were his only 2 grabs.

D JOHNSON – Played, but didn’t have any passes come his way.

MAEHL – Best game of his NFL career. 2-43. First catch went for 37 yds. Got the ball on the left side and was already downfield. DB tried to tackle him, but Maehl fought through it and got the ball down to the 6. The next play was a quick screen from Foles to him. Maehl got a good block and was able to get in the endzone for a TD.

OL

PETERS – Got off to a slow start. Failed to sustain a block of Ayers on a run to his side. Ayers tackled Shady 7 yds upfield. Easily would have gone for 10 yds without Ayers. Might have been a bigger play since Shady had one DB in front of him. Had one highlight block. Put RDE Derek Wolfe on the ground on a run play to his side. That’s the kind of domination we have come to expect from Jason. Just tossed him down. Had a very good block on Brown running play to open 2nd Qtr drive. Controlled the DE so that Brown was free to the outside. Jason then got a shot on a LB. Brown gained 6 yds on the run. Got beat to the inside by Ayers on next play, a pass. Managed to not let him free, but was beaten initially. Lined up at RT to open the 3rd Qtr and had a good edge block that let Shady get upfield for 9 yds. More of a sloppy game than I would have preferred, but his run blocking was pretty good for the most part.

MATHIS – Had a good combo block on Shady run to the left side. Knocked the crap out of a DE to open the 2nd Qtr. Peters was pass blocking the guy. Evan had no one to block. Hit the DE from the side and put him on the ground. Had the key block on Brown’s screen pass in the 2nd Qtr that went for 35 yds. Kept a LB blocked so Brown was totally free. He and Peters combined to move DT off the ball on Polk’s TD run. Moved the guy down to the goal line. Got cleanly beaten by Malik Jackson on pass play late in the half. Jackson is DE/DT tweener with quickness. Went hard inside and Mathis had to tackle him to keep Vick from getting blown up. That wiped out a long pass to DeSean that had the team almost in the RZ. Allowed pressure on the next pass play when a diff DT used an inside move. Mostly a good game, but had a couple of costly mistakes.

KELCE – Took bad angle when trying to pass block Vickerson in the 1st Qtr. Let him get penetration and force Vick to scramble. Flew downfield on Brown’s screen pass in the 2nd Qtr. Didn’t have anyone to block, but showed off his wheels. I’m sure Jason will be showing that clip a few times, letting teammates know that he’s the Usain Bolt of interior blockers in the NFL. Good block of DT on Polk’s TD run. Had a terrific block of ILB on 3rd Qtr run where Shady almost broke loose for long run up the middle. Had to settle for 15 yds. Lowlight moment came in the late 3rd. Jason was pass-blocking when ILB came on delayed blitz. Just ran into Jason and knocked the crap out of him. ILB then got in on sack of Vick.

HERREMANS – Best game of the year. No clear mental mistakes. Anchored well in pass pro, which was an issue last week. Did a good job on run blocks. Pulled to the right on Brown run in the late 1st Qtr. Sealed the ILB so Bryce could get to the open space. Was good vs LBs and DL. Blocked well on the move and at the LOS.

JOHNSON – Sloppy game. Opened the 3rd series by sliding over the the left side as an extra OL. Failed to cleanly block a DT and that player helped to blow up a run play. Sloppy technique. Lane was off balance and didn’t make good contact with the defender. Called for holding on RZ run. Had a tough reach block to make on DT. Lane didn’t have his feet under him and got off balance. Very strange play in the early 3rd. DE took hard inside slant. Lane blocked him, then seemed to look outside, but there was no one to take the DE. Guy pressured Vick into scrambling. Cleanly beaten by Phillips speed rush in the 3rd Qtr. Pressured Vick, led to incomplete pass. Got beaten by Phillips for sack on 3rd/9 late in the 3rd Qtr. Just a good speed rush. Lane failed to get his hands on Phillips in time.

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

DEFENSE

Just an awful day.

Oddly, I felt better and worse after re-watching the tape. I felt worse because there was always someone open. And Peyton always found that player and got him the ball. It felt like the Eagles had virtually no chance to stop them. Certainly no chance to do that with any consistency.

I felt better because it occurred to me that this wasn’t a case of everyone screwing up. One player made a mistake. And Peyton did find that guy. This was a combination of defensive suckitude and great offensive execution. Peyton always seemed to have the right play called. And the Broncos ran the play to perfection. The Eagles are definitely at fault here in the sense that they could not confuse Peyton at all. He read the defense like a bad Tom McAllister novel (as if such a thing could ever exist!).

If you can’t confuse him, load up the LOS and attack him. The Eagles generally rushed 3 or 4 guys. They mixed in some other groupings, but I don’t recall any all out attack blitzes. Bill Davis was so focused on not giving up big plays that he let Denver have the small stuff. I understand the thinking, but it seemed odd that he didn’t break from this, even as the game got away. Davis might have had the right philosophy, but he didn’t have the players to execute it.

If you want to focus on coverage schemes, you must have smart, disciplined players that fly to the ball and tackle well. Smart players can read pass plays and know who to cover and where to go. They understand rub routes and tricks that the offense use to get open. Those players understand angles. They know how to cover, which is harder than it sounds. Discipline is important because players must stick with their assignments and not be tempted to jump routes or bite on fakes. Tackling is always important, but it is critical when dealing with a team that throws short and counts on RAC yards. The Eagles had issues in all of those areas.

Bad day.

MISC

Not only did Manning shred the defense, he got them to jump offside several times. You just can’t give him 5 free yards.

The Eagles played a lot of 3-3-5. They used Cole and Graham at DE in this look quite a bit. Then Barwin, Ryans and Kendricks as the LBs. The DL 2-gapped to try and control the run.

PLAYS

* First TD. Boykin blitzed from slot. Wolff was supposed to cover Welker. Too far away (by design) and easy TD. Chip Kelly explained this issue. You couldn’t be obvious with your coverages and make life easy on Peyton, but you also had to have players in position to execute the assignment. That design was flawed. And Peyton made them play.

* Jeff McLane pointed out a 2nd Qtr play where Brandon Boykin was at OLB against a 2-TE set. This was a mistake due to the no-huddle. The problem is that you put players on the field to have certain roles against certain looks. Denver switched and Davis was caught in a bad situation.

PLAYERS

DL

COX - Played better than I thought, but that’s because I thought he had a terrible game initially. Wasn’t nearly as good as he needed to be. Got hit on Manning in the mid-2nd. Kendricks blitzed and forced Manning to move, which gave Cox a chance to hit him. Shed block and helped stuff RB on run near the GL in the mid-2nd Qtr. Beat the LG and got some pressure on a 3rd Qtr pass.

SOPOAGA - Did nothing of significance.

THORNTON - Solid game. Had 5 tackles and a sack. Active game vs the run. Showed strength and quickness. Tossed aside the C and tripped up the RB on opening drive. Got sack late in the 1st half. Shed block of OL and tackled RB in the late 3rd. Got in Manning’s face on pass play in the late 3rd.

CURRY - Didn’t play til late in the 3rd Qtr. Credited with TFL on run in the 4th. Got close to a sack on a pass play after that. Very frustrating. The coaches clearly didn’t trust him as a 2-gap DE.

GEATHERS - Some NT. Typical game. Flashed potential on some plays but did little.

LOGAN - LDE. Didn’t stand out at all to me.

SQUARE - DNP

OLB

COLE - Better game than I realized. Credited with 4 tackles. Got some pressure, but Peyton got rid of the ball so quickly that Trent couldn’t get to him. Got some pressure on the play where Thornton got his sack. Hustled down the LOS and got RB on the opening drive. Blew up run play late in the half. Created TFL for Ryans. Fought off LT and stuffed RB on outside run in the early 3rd Qtr.

BARWIN - Credited with 4 tackles and a TFL. Active game. Used to rush and cover a lot. Had offsides penalty on opening drive.

GRAHAM - Mostly played DE, but got some snaps at ROLB. Quiet game. 1 tackle.

ILB

KENDRICKS - Poor read on early 3rd down. Too far from his guy, got lost in traffic. Good play vs the run in early 2nd Qtr. Slid to the left, used hands to fight off blocker and stopped RB for gain of 3. Blitzed up middle in mid-2nd and had a shot at a sack, but Manning was able to slide from him. Made good tackle of RB on cutback run in the mid-2nd Qtr. 4 solo tackles. I was hoping Kendricks would stand out in this game. Didn’t happen. Left the game for a few plays after making a tackle and landing awkwardly.

RYANS - Solid game as a tackler. Had 10 solo stops. Got TFL late in the half when Cole blew up a run play. Ryans chased down the RB for the stop. Didn’t make impact plays, but got runners/receivers who were near him.

MATTHEWS -

KNOTT - Replaced Kendricks late in the half. Forced RB out of bounds on outside run play.

GOODE -

S

ALLEN - Looked like a solid game to me. Tackled well. Came up aggressively. Had 8 solo stops. Didn’t stand out in coverage, good or bad. Came up and tackled Welker quickly after short catch on crossing route.

CHUNG - DNP

WOLFF - 1st NFL start. 6 solo tackles. Mix of good and bad. Tackled well at times. Did okay in coverage on some plays. At his best, was in zone and made good reads. Tackled aggressively. Other times was lost. Made a good tackle of WR after short catch in the early 2nd Qtr. Screwed up late in the half. Looked like D was in Cover 3. Earl didn’t stay deep enough, didn’t see Cary’s WR going deep. Pass play was completed down the deep middle, where Earl should have been. Missed tackle of TE in the mid-3rd Qtr.

COLEMAN -

CB

FLETCHER - Broke up pass to WR on opening drive. Got away with grabbing the jersey, but did it subtly. Had tight coverage on RZ pass in the 3rd Qtr and it was incomplete. Manning went right back to Thomas on the next play with a fade. TD. Good coverage, but throw/catch were even better. Gave up completion to Thomas in the 4th. Missed initial tackle, then got him on 2nd effort.

WILLIAMS - Bad game. Got badly burned by double move in the early 2nd Qtr. Decker got right by him, but the pass was just a hair overthrown and the play was a noisy incompletion. Manning hit Thomas with quick pass when Williams was playing off. Failed to make the tackle and gave up at least 10 bad RAC yards. Missed tackle of WR in the late 3rd.

BOYKIN - Awkward game. Had 2 tackles. Used to cover and blitz. Struggled at times with Welker. Part of that was great play design. Part was Welker being a crafty veteran.

POYER -

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

ST’s

JONES - 4-191…on punts that weren’t blocked.

HENERY - 2 for 3 on FGs. Missed from 46 in the 4th Qtr. Had 5 KOs. 4 were touchbacks. The one that wasn’t was returned for a TD. Ugh.

- MISC -

KOR – 9 KOs for Denver. 8 of them were touchbacks. Crazy.

PR – Damaris only had one PR and it went for 21 yds.

There were 2 huge STs errors.

* Trindon Holliday returned a KO 105 yds for a TD. It looked like Najee Goode (Najee Baade?) got out of his lane and took a bad angle to the ball. Other Eagles couldn’t get off blocks. Ugh.

* There was a blocked punt in the 4th Qtr. Brandon Graham took off downfield to go cover the punt. His rusher got partially blocked by Jon Dorenbos, but mostly had an opening running lane to the punter. Ugh.

* Anderson blew up first PR, then Carmichael made the tackle.

* Boykin was virtually tackled from behind while covering a punt and there was no flag. Horrible missed call.

GAMEBOOK

_


  • TommyLawlor

    Sorry for the delay. Odd week.

    We’ll jump into Giants talk on Thursday.

    • Anders

      Just blame Jimmy

      • Mac

        You have to read between the lines to get the whole story:

        “Sorry for the delay (it really hurt when I tripped over that pudding cup and got covered in boo boos). Odd week (I miss my pal Jimmy, he’s been so reckless with my heart, I wonder what it is that’s “really” happening over at Eskin’s apartment).

        We’ll jump into Giants talk on Thursday (please let Eli be Eli, please let Eli be Eli, please let Eli be Eli)”

      • P_P_K

        Truth!

  • Mitchell

    So whats the verdict on Nate Allen? Seems like he has played better as the year has gone on, more aggressively. If he can get some ints or break up some more passes will he be considered a decent (lower end of good) safety?

    • Anders

      The last two games have been his best two game stretch in a long time.
      If he can keep improving during the year to a serviceable safety, I wouldnt mind bringing him back next year as depth.

      I know some people want nothing to do with Allen anymore, but I find it encouraging that he is at least improving.

      • GEagle

        he can’t be here next year! If Allen is going to start, then you need two new, and better C

        • Anders

          I said IF he keep improving and only as depth, but I knew you would come and hate on him even when he is improving.

          • GEagle

            Hate? I’m telling the Truth…Not once this year has Nate been GOOD…it’s only ok, or horrific…not once has he looked anything remotely close to a 2nd rd pick since hi a rookie season. that’s the God damn truth, tired of this sugar coating. Poor Nate Allen the victim, hating, bullshit. keep it real….NATE can’t be here next year, unless h signs a petty 4th stringer contract as a backup…but he is a wimp who would never play ST, so how can you even keep him as a backup. that’s REALITY! Sorry, enough!!! You aren’t going to continue pissing in my ear and try to tell me that it’s raining regarding Maclin anymore….Improving is WORTHLESS if you just suck a little less then you did before, Dude is a constant liability, and you can count the actual plays that he has made this year on one hand….enough with the blind faith….ITS BS!!! call a friggin Spade a Spade for once!!! bet anything Nate isn’t an eagle in 2014!!!! Celek and Maclin have better chances of being here than Nate…

            Tired of this morphed definition of the word “good” that we are using in regards to Nate….if you want to tell me that he isn’t blowing coverages like he did last year! or isn’t getting beat! I can buy that…..but that’s worthless if you have to give up every short route in order to make those FRAUDELENT improvements that you continue to defended

            STOP it!!!!

          • Ark87

            Easy up man, Nate’s a flawed player in a flawed defense. But he wears the colors. No need escalate valid criticism into seething hatred, save it for the giants and cowboys.

          • GEagle

            And that’s fine and dandy…but his level of play is unacceptable for a 2nd rd pick who has started over 30 games, playing a position not affected by whether we play a 4-3 or 3-4. It’s still unacceptable, and I serious question someone’s sanity that would try and argue that he is a layer we should re sign….

            Improving is ok when we are talking about inexperienced young players, or positions that actually have to adjust to playing in a 3-4…Improving at this snail like pace is not acceptable in this case…and it’s maddening to see the same person blindly defend this wimp no matter how much of a bust he has been.

            I wish Vegas would set odds on whether the eagles would re sign Nate lol….I’d take that bet!!!

          • Ark87

            I don’t know which way it will go. Thing is, it isn’t his fault that someone declared him the winner of the safety competition this summer, or that the FO failed to bring in starting caliber safeties, or that the FO drafted him in the second round, or that he continues to hold onto his job. So i don’t see why it’s got to be so nasty.

            Truth is Nate hasn’t been the biggest liability on this defense lately. We’ve got so many needs to adress on the defense, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Nate makes the team next year. I don’t care whose name is on the Jersey next year, I just want starting caliber play at the starting positions.

            Keep in mind, our players aren’t exactly being put in positions to succeed. http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2013/10/03/22-state-eagles-defense/ Sheil shows us a few scenarios where are players are being put into no-win situations.

        • TheRogerPodacter

          i kind of assumed that we needed two new and better CBs regardless lol

          • Anders

            Williams and Fletcher would be fine if the safeties behind them was consistently better

      • Mitchell

        What IF (that’s a big if) he finishes the year with over 100 tackles, 3 sacks, and 3-4 ints? is he still depth or perhaps trade bait?

        • Anders

          I would bring him back then. Have him, Wolff, a FA and a draft pick battle for the two spots.

    • BlindChow

      Wouldn’t it be hilarious if he was our only Pro-Bowl player this year?

      • Corry

        I would be laughing only to stop myself from crying.

      • Ark87

        It would be hilarious if he made a probowl after all the crap we give him. More likely for him to play mediocre football and still be the best defender on the field. I would classify that as tragic.

    • anon

      sad that our safeties have so many tackles so early in the year.

  • PeterAkkies

    Someone (Jimmy? Derek? One of the beat writers?) mentioned on Twitter that the Eagles have the easiest strength of schedule for the remainder of the season. It really will tell us a lot more about how good our current team is.

    And Tommy, I know it’s very early to talk about this–but given current knowledge about the state of our team, what would you find most helpful: an impact WR, an impact CB or an impact OLB?

    • Steag209

      I was thinking the same thing and while I would prefer a stud DB, the best position that would improve the team the quickest, imo, is an impact OLB with this defense. Just getting healthy at WR will improve that group a little.

    • shah8

      Oh, I can tell you right now:

      Impact DL, preferably one can can play in the middle.

      Impact WR is largely the same as impact QB, you only get it when it the top of draft quality. So really, one should easily expect that defense will be the primary target here, unless you get a jewel at the top.

      Impact OLB? No, you can make LBs *look* MUCH better when you have space eaters actually making a difference. Dontarie Poe type prospects are far more important the Kuechly type prospect as far as the Eagles are concerned.

      • Anders

        I disagree about the NT vs OLB. Yes you need a good NT, but unless its rare talent, you do not pick them in the first round.
        Only one from next years draft who might warrent a high draft pick is Louis Nix and he is disappointing so far.

        Agree about WR, if the talent is too good to give up, you get one, but else not worth it.

    • Anders

      For me its between CB and OLB (and QB if the right one is sitting there). I love an impact safety, but with Clinton Dix getting suspended, I do not feel there is any safety worth of a 1st round pick.

      WR should be fine next year if Maclin gets a new contract from us and Benn can stay healthy next year.

      • GEagle

        No way!! Can’t just count on a WR coming off an ACL injury, and as much as I like Benn, you can’t count on him either…WR and a replacement for Celek need to be added

        • anon

          agree no way they keep benn, i’d probably take a FA over maclin

          • GEagle

            I’d keep Benn and maclin(if you can get him cheap 1yr prove it deal), but I wouldn’t Count on either. Both are talented enough worth gambling on, but neither can be counted on…so no, I don’t feel like keeping Maclin and Benn is enough to not add help at the position because I trust neither in 2014…
            ….
            If the defense can add two Impact players, then the pieces we have in place will all look much better.

            offense needs help:
            QBs, if FOles or Barkley aren’t the answer
            Colt Lyeria to replace Celek lol
            Big, explosive, possession WR
            Possibly a guard

            Until we prove to have fixed our redzone problems! all the yards in the world mean nothing. Offense has been struggling to put up points since San Diego…so, we have two games of acceptable offense, and two games of unacceptable offense. So today, it looks like we can’t just load up on defense next year, like a defensive maniac like myself would want. Oline could prove to be elite as the season goes on, and eliminate a guard from our list of possible needs, but Avant and Riley won’t become fast, and Maclin and Benn can’t be depends on for next season, so you still need a WR…

            Celek can’t be here next year, maybe Ertz proves to grow enough as a blocker, and us be ok with Ertz and Casey, but I don’t see Ertz ever becoming that type of TE.. I envision him more as a slot WR, or lined up out wide…which means we could still really use a Lyeria, Jason Witten

            the more quality we add on defense, the less quantity we need to add, allowing us to also improve the offense…

            But If Chip decides FOles and Barkley can’t be his starter long term, then I hope we get some value for one of them..

            Wonder if we have any interest in Josh Freeman

        • Anders

          So you rather want to spend on offense that is moving the ball super well already or the historical bad defense?

          • A_T_G

            Well, after this year’s defensive stats are compiled it will be much harder to be “historically bad” next year.

      • BlindChow

        I don’t trust CB’s to be “impact.” I think they will all have substantial growing pains that will be making us scream “BUST!!!”

        Dee Milliner (1st round pick of the Jets): Benched

        Darius Slay (2nd round pick of the Lions): Benched

        Morris Claibourne (1st and 2nd round picks of the Cowboys): Benched (hahaha!)

        • anon

          sherman is a converted receiver wonder why more receivers dont try to make that transition

          • Anders

            Many players try to make the transition but cant do it.

        • Anders

          I don trust any position to be a impact players anymore.

          • Ark87

            totally agree, there are many positions that can be dominated with nfl type athleticism without an nfl skill set in college. CB fits neatly into this category, experience is so big: Recognition and reaction has to be so fast and withing the context of your defense, your job is to keep up with someone who knows exactly what they’re doing, recognize what that is, and make a play. Some people got it, some people can get it, and some people can’t. But they can hide that well enough against smaller and slower competition in college.

          • anon

            I think coaching plays a big part and having veterans to school you up on the field helps a lot. Wolff playing out there with someone else that doesn’t know what he’s doing doesn’t help.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      OL, dude!

  • GermanEagle

    Thanks Tommy for pointing out Chip’s flawed playcalling which I said over and over again was too conservative in the first half. In a game against Peyton you have to go all in, punting at their 37 yard line got me furious when watching the game live.

    Also I am a little bit disappointed that we haven’t seen any trick plays (apart from the failed 2 point conversion) nor any fake punts/field goals. To be honest I was expecting more ‘wow’ plays (calls). That doesn’t mean our offense should become gimmicky and trickery, but when being such a big underdog in a game like this you just have to risk more as you cannot beat the Broncos straight up.
    So when will Chippah pull some trick plays outta his sleeve? Will it be against the Giants this week?

    • shah8

      On offense, he don’t need no trick plays. I think he mostly came to Denver expecting to lose, and his conservative attitude was focused on just getting better. Lane Johnson getting better will almost certainly lead to lots more points scored. It won’t matter if Cooper or Avant is a slowpoke if you give Vick 4-5 seconds .

      • GermanEagle

        I don’t think going into a game knowing that you’re not going to win should be the mentality of ANY coach in the NFL, no matter how bad your team is.
        ‘You play to win the game’!

      • A_T_G

        I … agree (holy shit).

  • SteveH

    So what you’re saying is the only way to go is up?

    • Ark87

      People are on the ledge for not looking good against the hottest team in the NFL, if we lost to the Giants…My. God. Yeah, there’s a distinct downward path we can take.

  • Jamie Parker

    I don’t know why you’re so upset at this game. This is exactly how I thought it would be. The Ravens stayed close in the first half too. Look at how that turned out for them. The defense is just awful. I think Bill Davis is an idiot. When you mentioned in the SD game review that Davis tried everything and anything but nothing worked, I thought to myself that that’s what the problem is. Derek at Igglesblog mentioned it this week too. The defense is not simple enough right now. It’s too complex. The offense seems a lot simpler. Keep running the same play knowing you have 5 or 6 different things you can do with it. The players can get it down to where it comes naturally for them, or at least looks that way. It’s kinda like building muscle memory. But when it’s too complex to start with, the players don’t have much of a chance to get it down. When I was at Delaware under Tubby Raymond, he told us that it took years for Dave Nelson to install the wing-t offense. They would run the same play over and over again in the games that first year. Over time, that offense became very complex and very powerful. It wasn’t just a running offense like people think. They passed for more yards when Gannon was there and Matt Nagy (yes, that Matt Nagy) once threw for over 500 yards in a game in the wing-t offense. What I’m trying to say here is Bill Davis needs to simplify things. Let the players play before ramping it up too much. Add wrinkles here and there, but always keep to your basics.

    This is just my $0.02 and what I think

    • BlindChow

      The big problem was offense. Chip Kelly just isn’t getting it done anymore. Play-action passes when everyone is expecting passes? Long-developing WR routes? It’s Reid all over again (though at least Kelly will actually run the ball every now and then).

      • anon

        whats the difference btw zone read w a run pass option and play action? i think kelly was trying trying to get vick more time, but tommy is right that play action doesnt work down 30 since you dont need to respect the run.

        i agree we need more crossing routes that are dip and dunk, that’s how you beat man d.

        • BlindChow

          I think the difference is in the blocking. With the zone read they run block either way. I think they block a little different with play action (though I may be mistaken).

      • Matthew Verhoog

        I wonder in the second half if SE were trying to get big plays a s most of our deep pass plays are play action. It’s unfortunate w could ‘t keep running the ball we were killing them on the ground

        • BlindChow

          I think we should keep running the ball if we get behind. For one, they might not expect it, but also since we weren’t getting it done through the air, it’s not like it could have hurt us any worse…

  • dislikedisqus

    Most people expected a weak D based on the poor preseason. most expected Peyton to win easily.The real concern is the offense has gotten worse every week. They’ve gone from dominant agst WAS to respectable against SD to beating themselves against KC to playing well for just half a game against DEN.

    • Tom33

      I agree with this 100%. The defense really only cost the team 1 win (SD). They actually played pretty well against KC (only gave up 19 points – 3 of which followed a turnover inside the 10). You can’t expect to win in the NFL when you only score 16 – 20 points.

      As far as this last week goes – I’ve heard a lot of people that talk about the pressure that is exerted on the defense when Kelly’s offense goes 3 and out. I think that’s a big part of what happened in the 3rd quarter. The other thing to realize is that the Broncos are just ridiculous right now. In 2007, when New England was in this mode, they hung 34 points on the Steelers, who ended up having the #1 defense in the league that year.

      Basically, with a new scheme and a bunch of new players, the best I think you can reasonably hope for is that the defense forces some turnovers and improves as the season goes on. My only real issue is that Davis says he is focusing on eliminating the big plays right now. I’d argue that this D is never going to win the war of attrition – so I’d rather see them play more aggressively and try to force some mistakes (while giving up big plays), rather than a conservative approach. Especially against quality offenses like Denver.

      • holeplug

        Eagles have the lowest 3 & out drive percentage (6.12%) in the nfl this year

        • Tom33

          I believe that stat – I haven’t seen too many this year. Unfortunately their two possessions in the 3rd quarter were a 3 & out and a 5 & out. Total time of possession was < 3 mins.

        • ztom6

          I think the problem is, when they are behind, they are a different team on offense. A lot of their success passing the ball is predicated on their ability to run. Obvious passing situations — like when they are down 2 TDs in the second half — are where they really seem to struggle.

      • BlindChow

        I wouldn’t even count that FG after the punt fumble against the defense. They actually held KC to negative yards on that drive!

  • pkeagle

    What disappointed me was that they didn’t try an on-side kick to start the 2nd half.
    That’s when they needed to regain some offensive momentum and once the Broncos scored there was only one possible outcome

  • GEagle

    this Giants game is crucial. A Loss this week and things could get very ugly

    • OregonDucker

      I’m worried. I don’t think the OL can do the job in Chip’s system – LBs are too fast for lineman to slip from double teams; and OL fail at pass protection. Defense has no talent and fails often. Secondary sucks.

      Giants may not be as bad as Eagles. This game will determine the heart of the Eagles and Giants. How does each team react to adversity. Which defense is weaker. Can Chip and Davis finally adjust to lack of talent on defense with new schemes. These guys better come up with something because what they have tried has not worked.

      • BlindChow

        Three weeks, and you’re finally sounding like an Eagles fan! :D

        Seriously, though, does the offense we’ve seen the last two weeks look like the Ducks’ offense to you?

        • OregonDucker

          Yes and no. OL is not doing well on blocking schemes and too many mistakes in pass protection. Receivers are not finding the seams in defense and QB is slow on release. Offense is not fine tuned yet. I think you need Maehl more in slot and elsewhere. He really is a Wes Welker kind of player. Maehl needs more playing time!

          • GEagle

            I think Chip broke this season into 4 quarters…Giants are the first game of a new quarter, which makes me suspect that cHip will whip out a whole new playbook for the next 4 games, and what better opponent to whip it out then the Giants? Our first quarter playbook took the skins by surprise….I suspect Chip has the same thing up his sleeve for rival giants

          • A_T_G

            I imagine when he does whip it out, it will feature Cox prominently.

          • BlindChow

            Or maybe Johnson. Either the big or little one.

          • BlindChow

            Boy, if only that were true. Maybe on Sunday it’ll be all 3-TE sets.

      • Jerry Goldstein

        PFF tweet – Pro Football Focus ‏@PFF

        Of all QBs w/at least 100 dropbacks Mike Vick has faced the most pressure (46.5%). 2nd is Russell Wilson (44.6%) & 3rd Matt Schaub (44.4%).

        So you’d think our blockers were doing a terrible job? However:

        Pro Football Focus ‏@PFF22m

        Not all on Eagles pass blockers. Vick 3.4 seconds highest average time to throw. 2nd highest Kaepernick (3.32) & 3rd Pryor (3.3)

        So Vick’s had the longest on average time to throw in the league. I don’t understand, what happened to what we saw in pre season and the idea that Kelly’s offense was based on quick throws and if the QB took the sack after holding the ball for more than 1.5 second then it was his fault?

        Now Kelly defends Vick every week and says we need to protect him better, well he’s having 3+ seconds on average to throw the ball?!

        This is what the 3.4 seconds are based on – “The average time the QB has as a passer (the point until he attempts a pass, is sacked or scrambles away from pressure”

        • anon

          yup obviously vick’s a terrible qb b/c he takes too long to throw the ball. what else you got?

          • Jerry Goldstein

            You nailed it, no more needs to be said. Thanks for agreeing with me.

        • phillychuck

          Defenses in the last three games are playing a lot of press coverage, taking away the quick throws, especially WR screens. If D’s do that, you have ot be a ble to make down-field throws, and the receivers have to get a step or two of separation.

          • ztom6

            downfield throws aren’t the only way to beat man though. Chris Brown and Jeff McLane were having this conversation on twitter. The Eagles could be using more bunch formations and pick plays, putting guys in motion at the snap, using Jackson or Johnson on fly sweep plays, etc. This is nothing new to Kelly either; it’s a topic of conversation why he’s not using these concepts.

        • BlindChow

          Yeah, not at all what we saw when we were actually winning games.

          Kelly is looking more and more conventional; the focus on play-action passes (when they’re not working) is very Shurmur-like, so now I’m wondering if Kelly is actually deferring way too much to his coordinator’s schemes rather than his own.

      • ztom6

        I don’t think the pass-blocking schemes are anything that’s essential or particular to Chip’s offensive system. That’s likely Stoutland’s responsibility.

  • BlindChow

    Smart players can read pass plays and know who to cover and where to go. They understand rub routes and tricks that the offense use to get open.

    Can any of those smart players teach those tricks to our WR’s?

    • anon

      i thought he was implying we didnt have smart defensive players

      • BlindChow

        I’d settle for smart coaches, but….

  • TheRogerPodacter

    “There is one huge situation to talk about. Chip didn’t go for it on 4th/6 with the team down 21-13 late in the half. The Eagles were down at the Denver 37. Dave Fipp told Kelly that he didn’t want to try a long FG. Seemed like a no-brainer to go for it. If you fail, Peyton gets the ball inside his own 40. Instead Kelly punted and the ball went into the endzone. The Eagles got lucky that Denver committed a penalty and had to start at their own 10. They didn’t score on the drive so Chip’s idea worked.”

    Tommy, wasn’t this also the play where we had a delay of game penalty before we punted? what was that about? did the coaches just take too long discussing what they wanted to do? (Fipp didn’t want the FG attempt, Kelly was trying to decide to go for it or punt?)
    part of me felt like we had the ball in sort of a weird part of the field where the punt was too likely to go into the endzone and maybe they wanted to be moved back 5 yards to get a more favorable punt? (but it was still a touchback lol)

    • A_T_G

      I assumed that once they decided to punt Chip believed that the timeout would be more valuable in case they got a turnover (ha!) than to prevent the delay of game penalty.

    • A Roy

      I thought, as did that idiot, Buck, that he took the 5 to give the punter more room to keep it out of the end zone.

  • A_T_G

    Something I have been forming a thought on, I believe that we are failing to separate playing to win now with putting the best players on the field.

    I think Kelly is, correctly, doing the latter without necessarily worrying about the former. The way to motivate players to work hard and improve is to link that to playing time. Kelly is doing that, despite what we see with Curry from the outside. Nate is starting to look competent, Brown has started losing some snaps to Polk, Celek, Avant, and Cooper are holding off the youth behind them by blocking well.

    On the other hand, the coaches have their hands full teaching the basic system. I think we haven’t seen a lot of tweaks and opponent-specific wrinkles because, frankly, Chip doesn’t care about the opponent or the score. He cares about teaching the system and testing the progress on Sundays.

    • Mac

      This makes too much sense.

    • Anders

      I agree and that is also how Kelly worked at Oregon.
      Compete in practice and the film room, let the best man win and reward him with playing time.
      Square won on the practice field and film room over Curry, but also got benched the moment it was clear he wasnt cutting it.

  • P_P_K

    I’m probably in the minority but I agreed with Chip’s decision not to go for it on 4th down. If you don’t have confidence in your pk, you’re figuring the ball is going to end up in Peyton’s hands in good field position. You’re still very much gunning for an upset as you’re only 8 points down. Let your punter lay it on the 5 (or the 10 with a gift penalty) and get into the lockeroom with the game close.

    • ztom6

      The problem is, as Tommy pointed out, the Broncos get the ball to start the second half. So there is every reason to think going into the half down one score might as well be down two scores.

    • anon

      Yeah i mean knowing the defense it doesn’t really matter where they got the ball.

  • Joe Minx

    This Curry thing is starting to become infuriating to me. Exactly what more has to happen for them to realize they need him to generate some, any kind of pass rush?

  • Anders

    Trololol. The Cowboys have benched Bruce Carter for Ernie Sims.

    • Ark87

      Clearly it’s because land shark was instrumental in the 2010 Eagles beating Peyton. I think it’s fair to call him the Manning killer.

      • Teehee

        Now they just need Asante.

  • GEagle

    Keys to Giants game:

    Oline has to dominate this weak Dline of the midgets
    ..
    defense has to get through a putrid midget Oline and pressure Eli. In terms of pressure, it had better look similar to the skins game.
    ….
    Keep Cruz in front of you. Corners have done a solid job of keeping WRs in front of them and not getting scorched deep like last season. Cruz is a very dangerous deep threat but he becomes limited if you don’t let him get behind you. CBs have done a decent job at that considering the limited safety help that they get, which doesn’t allow them to take many chances….however, Giants arent good enough to make us pay continuously underneath from making sure we keep Cruz from getting over the top..
    .,
    Leading into the chargers game I talked about how they had a RB that would break and cough up that Chicken, And Mathews went on to cough it u…Defense needs to strip these flawed RBs. A fumble will be there for the taking and I hope to see us capitalize

    If you can’t win the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, it’s really difficult to win games and that’s what’s leading to a terrible Giants season. We have plenty of our own problems but there is no reason to why we should lose this weeks battle in the trenches. I think both our lines have an advantage against the Giants…This is a division game, physical rivalry, and a great opportunity for both our lines to get back on track and beat on a weak rival…It’s there for the taking. It’s really not a good sign if both sides of the trenches don’t answer the bell for this very important battle….when your rival is down, you BEAT the snot out of them. we have a chance to step on the throat of one of the two teams we hate the most and send them spiraling out of control with a 0-5 start, while also righting this ship and excersizing some daemons of our own…it’s Crucial that we take this very important opportunity!

    • OregonDucker

      Were not many of us led to believe that the Charges OL was crap? Didn’t someone say that King Dunlap was a terrible T? Looked to me like the Charges OL did fine against our DL and LBs.

      Someone on the Eagles DL and LB better show-up for this game or it will go the way of the Chargers game.

      • BlindChow

        I agree. We always struggle against teams which supposedly have a glaring weakness.

        It looks like a lot of the mistakes the Giants are making are self-inflicted. Their WR’s have dropped a lot of balls they should have caught (much like our tight ends). It looks like this game will be a battle to see who can shoot themselves in the foot the least number of times…

        • A_T_G

          Wait, they resigned Burress?

      • Anders

        Actually the Chargers OL has been fine this season. Also Dunlap can pass block, just do not ask him to run block.

  • Anders

    Watching Bill vs Browns. It is clear that none of the 3 QBs who have played so far are even close to the QBs we have faced the last 4 weeks. Even RG3 on a half leg is better than them.

    • Ark87

      Did you Hoyer live Mike Vick’s phobia? Now we’ll (definitely) never get him to slide….

      • BlindChow

        I was thinking the same thing. If he had done a Vick throw-yourself-back-first-into-the-defender thing, he’d still be playing.

      • Anders

        yea I saw that and was thinking the same thing. I rather Vick have bruised rips than tear his ACL

  • Pennguino

    Finished up the All 22 look for the game. Yes, I understand to not make too much out of the Foles drive for a TD. The defining play of that drive was the big pass to Maehl. It deserves more than just a gloss over.

    He was facing a 3rd and 9 and staring into a 0 coverage man up, all out blitz. In fact, 7 defenders blitz on that play. He read the DB and threw the ball right at the break. At 1:52 seconds he is in his windup and Maehl is into his break. He releases the ball and the receiver is not even looking yet. He was dead on target, in stride. The ball covered 27 yards in the air. He threw with authority and anticipation.

    One Drive, One TD

    • Ark87

      It was a nice read, saw the defender open his hips the wrong way, knew his guys was going to be open, pulled the trigger, accurate pass, nice play

  • A_T_G

    So, Joe Banner is looking pretty smart right now…

    • Anders

      Funny is Joe Banner and AR looks very smart right now. The national media just forget that those two was the main reason we have this crappy team.