Game Preview – Eagles at Bucs

Posted: October 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

Sorry this is so late. The Penn State 4 OT game threw off my schedule in a big, big way.

I wrote the preview for PE.com.

I feel good about this game. Tampa struggles on offense. The Eagles weakness is defense, but that group seems to be heading in the right direction. They did some good things vs KC and NYG. The Denver game is an anomaly since Peyton Manning is a freak right now.

I think the matchups work well for the Eagles. Tampa has big WRs, not speedy RAC guys. Tampa doesn’t have players that catch the ball and make big plays. Obviously RAC yards have been a major issue for the Eagles.

The Eagles offense shouldn’t be in a shootout. That’s good since points will likely be tough for them to come by. I do think the Eagles will come up with enough points to win.

* * * * *

I’m curious to see if Tampa plays more man or zone. The Chiefs, Broncos and Giants played a lot of man and dared Mike Vick to beat them. Those teams often doubled DeSean Jackson. That put pressure on Vick to find Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Brent Celek or Zach Ertz. Cooper lacks the route running ability and natural speed to get much separation. The other guys work the middle of the field a lot. These players had mixed results against the man coverage.

Nick Foles should do better in terms of throwing to covered receivers and working the middle of the field. He did this a lot at Arizona. If the Bucs adjust their defense and mix in more zone to try and jump pass routes, that will let the Eagles bring back the bubble screens. That’s been missing  in recent weeks as teams have played a lot of press coverage.

* * * * *

Some of you wondered about my comments on Foles and how “he didn’t blow me away last week”.

Nick did a good job. No one can dispute that. I’m looking to see if he can be a franchise QB, not just a starter. I think Foles can be a starter, but our goal is to win the Super Bowl. You need a stud QB to do that. You can argue about Flacco (2012) and Eli (2011),  but those guys were 1st round picks and they’re better players than their critics give them credit for. You don’t have to have Tom Brady or Peyton Manning to win, but you do need more than Andy Dalton or Matt Schaub. Heck, Matt Ryan and Tony Romo have combined for only 2 playoff wins.

The Foles critics will laugh at the notion of whether he’s a franchise QB. That’s fine.

I’m keeping an open mind.

He isn’t special physically. The question is whether he can become special by developing his mind and instincts. I don’t think it is likely this will happen, but I think you have to see the guy play before you know for sure. He did some good and bad things as a rookie. Normally you’d look for answers this year, but with the new offense, he’s kind of a rookie again.

Sunday is a huge chance for Foles to offer some clues on what he can do. I think it is great that he’s going against a good defense. Last year his only win was against the Bucs and their dead last pass defense. What did that tell us? That he could be the #32 pass defense. A win on Sunday will tell us he can move the ball on a good defense.

* * * * *

As for Vick’s return, I don’t know what to  make of this note from Reuben Frank.

Although head coach Chip Kelly said Vick’s status for Sunday will likely be a game-time decision, Vick did not sound particularly encouraging in a brief interview after arriving at the team hotel Saturday afternoon.

“Right now, still working to get back to it — get to 100 percent, you know,” Vick told Gunn. “So it’s going to be a long road.”

And that was it.

Was Vick just being sloppy with his words? Or is this issue worse than we’ve heard?

I reported the other day that the guys on NFL Network said the higher the injury (closer to the butt cheek), the more severe. Vick grabbed right under his cheek so maybe this hamstring injury will take a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned.

* * * * *

Back to the Tampa game. Here are the must-read pieces from Sheil Kapadia.

Cheat Sheet for Eagles O vs Tampa D

Cheat Sheet for Eagles D vs Tampa O

_


  • TommyLawlor

    And the Penn State game was a roller coaster of emotions. I hope the Eagles don’t torture me on Sunday.

    • awful waffle

      Brutal game to watch as a Michigan fan. With the bad playcalling and lack of clock management, I thought it was an Eagles game.

      • TommyLawlor

        Brady Hoke coached not to lose late in the game and OT. I didn’t understand that.

        Allen Robinson hurt PSU by playing sloppy.

        Wild game.

        • GEAGLE

          Rough game for A Rob…I think he will be a fantastic pro, so I don’t mind seeing him struggle…would love it if he fell to the 3rd round instead of playing his way into the 2nd

          • Andy124

            The catch down to the 1/2 yard line excuses all other mistakes for me.

          • GEAGLE

            BIGTIME play for sure…l really think the world of that kid. if he ends up being a Giant, redskin or Cowboy, I’m going to be pissed

          • Andy124

            Are you trying to ruin my morning? It’s like when Sean Lee when to the Cowboys. Ugh.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah MY bad. I I really should know better lol

    • Corry

      Much beer was drank last night…

  • sprawl

    The “long road” comment was definitely perplexing

    • Mac

      Maybe Vick is dropping hints about his transition into country music.

      • TommyLawlor

        Mac, this is easily the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Kudos sir.

  • ACViking

    Tommy,

    Did you write earlier this week that you’d be posting on the college QBs, like Boyd, Bridgewater, Hundley, Manziel, and Mariota?

    Hell of a show by Manziel at Old Miss.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m working on a post. Wanted a chance to watch another week of action.

      Jonathan Football is kinda decent.

      • GEAGLE

        Hate that little shit….hoping he becomes a stinking brown

  • A_T_G

    I don’t have a good feeling about this one. Tampa has the feel of a team that is better than their record, has been pushed down, embarrassed by the QB thing and the MRSA, and should have something to prove at home. I don’t know if we are good enough to shove their faces back into the dirt. This is a game we lose the last few years.

    Hopefully I am seeing things wrong and this is a team without a leader, who hates their coach, feel destine to lose, and is afraid of their own locker room. That one doesn’t feel as true, though.

    • GEAGLE

      Have no fear…our defense will step up. Yesterday was an Omen….I already had my bullmastiff puppy named fletcher cox! but yesterday my Cane corso, “Vinny curry” was born….front 7 shows up today!! Lol I’m a rational dude

      • eagleyankfan

        How can you argue with that logic? A win today!

        • GEAGLE

          My logical, rational thoughts exactly!!!!

          Im building my own Dline of animals!!!

          • A_T_G

            And, when you buy dog food, you will be glad we switched to a 3-man line.

          • GEAGLE

            Hahaha well played

      • A_T_G

        Great names for the dogs. I would love to be a fly on the wall when you try to pick up a girl at a loud party or bar and tell her that your mastiff, Cox, is going to love her.

        • GEAGLE

          Lol, trust me, I can’t wait…..I’m Done with dogs for a while now…two is good for now…but I will make a pledge to Eagles fans right now….if they sign BJ Raji! I will get a 3rd lol

          • A_T_G

            Honestly, I think you should lead with that, macklemore-style. “Wadup, I got a Mastiff, Cox. And I’m working on getting a BJ.”

          • GEAGLE

            I LOLed…”what ya know about wearing a Wolff on ya noggin”

    • P_P_K

      I think you’re right about TB being better than their record but I don’t think their rookie qb can get it done against our improving D. I predict Shady has a big game and solidifies his led in the rushing race, Foles plays well but not good enough to silence all doubts, and the Eagles fly home with a win. Check back later.

  • GermanEagle

    Speaking of next year’s QBs:

    Any chance we will see ’99 all over again, when back then the first three players picked were all QBs?!

    • Anders

      I doubt it. For 1 Clowney is too good to not go top 3 and two there is a great chance a non QB needing team is drafting top 3.

      The current top 5 is:

      Steelers – Big Ben is not the problem, his lack of anything on offense is. Most likely would take Jake Matthews
      Jags – Bridgewater
      Giants – would take Clowney in this scenario
      Bucs – Need a QB, so 2nd best QB is going here
      Redskins – This is the Rams pick and they would most likely go BPA. Could take Sammy Watkins and still roll with Bradford, take a QB if the right one is here or upgrade at LT.

      • bentheimmigrant

        I think the top two QBs will go 1 and 2. Maybe even top 3 if all of them declare. Doesn’t matter who’s picking. They’ll trade out if they’re not interested.

      • eagleyankfan

        Clowney might = cancer for a team.

        • GEAGLE

          I want Barr!!! The top of the draft is filled with QBs and OTs, and Clowney….some good players at other positions will fall….Barr is a freak at a premier position! who in going to fall out of the top 7…so even if we pick like 13, Hoping to see us go get him.

          Sign BJ Raji and Jarius Byrd…Draft Barr…..and then you can pick all offense for all I care..didn’t realize Raji was still young enough to sign

          • eagleyankfan

            TB turned their secondary around in 1 season. There’s hope the Eagles can as well.

          • GEAGLE

            Absolutely…if Wolff grows at the rate of Boykin, and is paired with a stud safety to anchore the secondary, things will be drastically improved

          • Anders

            Tb also traded for the best CB in the NFL.

          • BlindChow

            We tried that once…

        • Anders

          Based on what? So people are complaining because he got bone spurs and had sore rips that he choose to sit instead of playing?

      • GEAGLE

        How did Austin Jenkins look yesterday against Oregon? Missed the game

        • Anders

          Had 1 impressive TD catch, else nothing.

          • GEagle

            thanks

        • mksp

          Not great. Two nice catches, including the TD. HUGE guy though. Announcers were chatting about how he had some work ethic issues. Didn’t like his body language.

          The Oregon CB is a stud. That entire D is actually pretty stacked. Long, rangy, athletic, tough.

      • BlindChow

        A non-QB needy team would most likely trade a high pick, I would think.

  • Anders

    Tommy I would love to hear your thoughts on this comment:

    “Things are starting to slow down a little bit for Nate. He’s starting to get an idea of kind of what the route recognition is, what’s coming at him and things like that. He’s a guy that I’ve seen over the last couple weeks make strides from an improvement standpoint.”

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/article-1/5-Things-To-Know-Today-October-12/645c6483-60eb-4f65-8236-d03cf4250fa8

    The first part really had me thinking. How bad have the coaching etc. been for Nate Allen that this defensive staff have had to teach him route recognition?

    • eagleyankfan

      Or — how “slow” is Nate in his learning ability? Why assume it’s the coaches?

      • Corry

        Reuben Frank wrote an article about Nate and made a point that he’s had a lot of different DB coaches in his short career. He’s had 4 different defensive coordinators and 7 different DB coaches. It’s hard to develop when you’re constantly changing coaches/schemes. Now, that’s not to say Allen is ever going to be more than mediocre, but that much change in his short career can really stunt the development of a player.

        • eagleyankfan

          Amen. Still would like for 1 day that Allen comes up and whacks a wr. Those coaches can’t teach “nasty”. Would like to see if Nate has a mean streak….

          • GEAGLE

            We need to find his “bobby bOuche, water boy” trigger..

            “mamma..Vicky Valencourt showed me her boobies, and I liked them”

          • eagleyankfan

            She’s not the devil!!!

  • Anders

    Also something I didnt get too post in the other thread regarding the 3-4 2 gap and Mr “More Violence”.

    I think 100% that Kelly and Azzinaro have asked Davis to implement the 3-4 2 gap. The same way they got Alloitti to change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 2 gap when Kelly became HC.
    I also think it is Azzinaro there is the main guy who determines the DL and who is playing (before people get Washburn flashbacks, this is very common that the DL coach calls who is playing on the DL based on the DCs call). So the lack of playing time for Curry is more on him than Davis.

  • eagleyankfan

    I expect the Bucs to come out and try to establish a run game. They have a very good back. If they weren’t off last week, I’d predict an Eagles win. Come off of a by week has a certain unknown to it. Great piece on tv on how the Eagles moved to more of a wr “bunch” set to free up DJ not allowing them to jam DJ. It’ll be fun to watch what the Eagles came up with.
    When Dallas played Bronco’s, they used a formation they haven’t played all season(according to tv show). I wonder if Chip comes up with new formations given the fact that TB had 2 weeks to study them.

    • GEAGLE

      So anxious to see what our offense looks like with a traditional young gun under center and Kelly having a week to Chef up a gameplan…

      For me, the keys to this game are the RBs and Front 7..

      We have the better RB, but they have the better Front 7…if they take our running game out of the equation! then we have o shut down theirs. They are going to try and force the Tampa Slayer to beat them again, so we have to reciprocate, take Martin out the game and force the rookie to beat us….If FOles and Glennon are forced to win this game, we will have a major advantage….If they shut down our running game, and Martin runs wild! things become complicated…
      ….
      Shady and ERTZY I. Suspect will have big days catching the ball

      • eagleyankfan

        I think our experienced corners will make it tough on the rookie QB. So very few weapons on TB offense. 17-14? 17-10? Eagles win.

        • GEAGLE

          Sounds about right…I think our Ceiling today is 24 points….but the defense will have to come up with some turnovers to crack 20pts…
          ..
          Most games are decided by the turnover margin…if FOles responsible with the ball, and our skill players and return men don’t lay the ball on these turf…then a rookie QB in hiss second start just isn’t going to be able to overcome losing the turnover margin….
          ..
          junk games like today scare me. In a Junk game, it’s crucial that our ST play a smart game..you can’t be giving up returns for TDs or fumble the ball away in junk games like this..Don’t make this game harder then it needs to be by giving them momentum and confidence..

  • GEAGLE

    I get the impression that this Vick injury is going to linger, and be a two, three game absence….the “Braniac” has been running around, jogging on the hammy all week….we benched a promising kid, for someone we all knew wasn’t going to play 16 games. Why did Kelly have to learn the hard way?
    ..
    I don’t know that FOles will set the world on fire today, and I don’t know if he will stink up the joint. But what I do know is that if we actually committed to grooming him, and had been giving him the reps, continuity. Green light to play thru mistakes and grow with experience, then we would be looking at a more improved and comfortable QB today had he been given the he first five weeks to play and get comfortable….but we didn’t!!!!! And for what? So Vick could go 1-3? Does anyone actually think that we wouldn’t have won 1 of the first four games with FOles playing? love me some Chip Kelly, but this was a FAIL!!!! I wanted him to be smarter then the 15 predessesors who drooled over Vicks ability and got Burned….There is NOTHING worse than a QB who can’t stay on there field…

    I just watched Vick do everything right. Playing smarter then he has in years. last week he was throwing the ball out of bounds, running out of bounds, avoiding Hits,,,,and he literally runs out of bounds, untouched, and will now miss a few weeks. if you can’t play you let your team down!!! Now it’s not Vicks fault, he is a class act, and I’m proud of the dude, and don’t like seeing him get injured after how hard he worked…but this is exactly why so many of us were so against having Vick…His Body is just too unreliable to ever count on him…which makes it really aggrivating that I’m not seeing a FOles with 5 games under his belt play today…By the next time we play the giants we will see who FOles should have been today had we actually committed to growing him…..a young hard worker like Nick is constantly growing early in I his career when given experience…..would feel much better about starting the season 1-3, had it been with FOles getting his feet wet….dissapointing Chip!!!

    • eagleyankfan

      I never saw the gain in playing Vick. If this was 5 years ago — ok, I get it. I said in pre-season and I say it again. Vick is and always will be Vick. That’ll never chance no matter who the qb is. How can you not see the outcome of starting him? It wasn’t going to change. Game 1 — Vick tried being the QB Chip wants. As each week, each snap you can see Vick turning back to “be Vick” and do what HE thinks is best(which isn’t the best course of action). After 4 weeks — if we were to “rate” Vick. It would be the same as before the season started. A “good” qb who gets hurt. Some things never change.

      • GEAGLE

        Preach On brother man!!! I was hoping Chip didn’t need to learn his lesson the hard way like all the coaches of the past…Hopefully Foles plays well enough these next few weeks to keep the job and warrant us continuing to ride with him, giving the him the continuity he needs for us to start and get a real idea of what he could grow to be…

        Vick is just a bonehead…just like he is too proud to slide, his pride had him running around in front of cameras every day this week, and now It looks like he won’t be back for Dallas???if he can’t play against Dallas! when we will need to put up a lot of points, then we don’t need him against Oakland or the Giants…
        ..
        Why would a 33yr old who led us to a 1-3 start play ahead of the kid anyway?

        • Andy124

          I think we may all be reading a bit too much in to the “long road back” comment. Remember that Vick still says things out of emotion sometimes and doesn’t always provide accurate statements.

          I’m quite sure Vick wouldn’t have been jogging around if the training staff thought it would slow his recovery. The biggest factor that may cause the injury to linger is decent play from Foles.

  • eagleyankfan

    Not to be mistaken. I’m not a “Foles is a franchise QB” fan. I like Foles, I like his poise. I think he can be a winning QB. Franchise? Good question. I don’t know. 1/2 the fan base says “we need a tall, elite WR” other half says we don’t need one. I’m in the 1/2 the says “we don’t need a franchise qb to win a sb”. P.Manning and Elway were hugely successful franchise qb’s. 3 SB’s (maybe coming this year).
    Let’s not decide Foles fate after 1 game. Let’s hope he plays a solid game – win or lose.

    • GEAGLE

      Yeah I think it’s silly to even talk about who FOles is after this game…it’s so early in the development of the kid playing the hardest position in all sports..and when you don’t give the kid any continuity, then you pretty much lose the right to come to any conclusions so soon..
      ..
      If he looks like Peyton today, it will mean about as much as if he looks like Eli…today will be nothing more then a hint..

      But vIck will miss the next two weeks to a month(the genius was running around in front of cameras all week), so we will start to see how he grows from one week to the next when given continuity…would love to see FOles play the next 4 games:
      1)Tampa
      2) Dallas
      3) Oakland
      4) Giants

  • GEAGLE

    The best interviews this week were:
    1) Cary…talking about growing a culture. “Let me know who y’all hate, if you hate them, ate them, we will all hate them together lol”
    ..
    2) talking about his thoughts while stopping Victor Cruz, and it giving him the confident that he belongs which hopefully enables him to turn the corner
    ..
    3) and Kelce showing more accountability in one bad week then mcnabb showed in a decade…
    ..
    Hoping everyone has checked out those 3 player interviews this week

    Has everyone fallen in love with Cary yet? need a little more time? Don’t fight it, you know you are all falling in love lol

  • GEAGLE

    Question: would you rather be facing Lavonte David and the TB Bucs today? Or would you rather be facing Vinny Curry and the TB Bucs?
    ..
    Had Vinny been drafted by TB, his development wouldn’t have been jerked around. He would have 20 games of continuity in a 4-3 under his belt today, and we would be getting ready to see Curry lined up next to Gerald McCoy…Lavote is a heckuva young LB, but I think I would rather face him today then an experienced Vinny Curry added to that good Bucs front four

    • Neil

      I thought about this too. Still, David is atheltically at LB everything Curry is at DE, while having already developed into a good LB while Curry is still a hypothetical. A large part of the decision is what position you value more.

  • Andy124

    Side note: Where do you guys go for your box scores? I’ve been grabbing them from espn.com out of habit for well over a decade now.
    I just saw a box score where they provided only the QBR, no traditional rating. Their QBR has to be the single worst “advanced” statistic ever created. I’d like to stick to a site that does not acknowledge its existence.

    • GEAGLE

      Sorry…I use espn out of habit,,,and fantasy yahoo lol

    • BlindChow

      I use espn, too (usually at the top of the Google results), but NFL.com has box scores also.