The Eagles defense was awful on Sunday. But Bill Davis made me feel more comfortable with the situation after listening to his PC on Tuesday.
Davis talked about what went wrong. He was critical of his players, in a reasonable way. Davis talked about the fact that there were times when the coverages used by the Eagles needed to be tighter. He also said MIN did some things on offense they hadn’t seen before.
(Quick aside…What the hell is it with the Vikings always coming up with late season adjustments against the Eagles? They blitzed out of nowhere in 2010 and this year went from a conservative running team to a wide open passing attack. Ugh.)
The formations MIN used caught the Eagles off guard. That led to some receivers getting more open than they should have been. Davis also gave plenty of credit to the Vikings for executing well. He made sure to praise Matt Cassel, who really did have a great game.
Davis talked about missed tackles being a big problem. There were too many plays where the Vikings caught the ball and then added too many extra yards. You don’t expect to tackle every receiver immediately, but the Eagles were too generous with RAC yards. You can’t do that when you cover the way the Eagles want to.
No one is under the impression that the Eagles can magically fix the defense and get them to be great, but Davis talked about the defense trying to fix what they could. That’s exactly what you want to hear. No dominant pass rusher, shutdown corner, or playmaking FS is coming through that door. So you focus on fundamentals and try to eliminate the mistakes that aren’t talent-related. You can’t make a player faster or better, but you can help him to play smarter.
The Eagles have a tremendous challenge this week with the Bears coming to town. That offense has terrific skill players. The back seven will be in for a real test. The Eagles will be totally focused on how to slow down this offense. The good news is that Chicago isn’t likely to come up with a bunch of new stuff. MIN was missing 2 key RBs and had to re-invent their offense. The Bears are more likely to do exactly what they’ve done all year.
If so, that means preparation will be crucial. It can help the Eagles more than it did last week.
* * * * *
The Eagles face 2 of the best offenses in the NFL in the final 2 games. They must rally and play better than they did on Sunday. Cary Williams is of the belief that the Eagles didn’t take the Vikings seriously enough. I think he’s a little bit full of it when he says that the Eagles expected the Vikings to lay down. Huh? MIN had played pretty good football in recent weeks, going 1-1-1, with the only loss being the heartbreak special to the Ravens. They hadn’t been blown out since playing Seattle in mid-November.
I can see where players might have not thought the Vikings offense would be very good minus AP, but I find it hard to believe that Eagles players genuinely expected the Vikings to lay down. That’s just a weird thing to say.
* * * * *
My PE.com column was a review of Sunday’s whipping. I’m still working on the DGR.
* * * * *
So we got this going for us, which is nice.
Despite loss, Eagles playoff odds moved from 67.1% to 70.7%. Cowboys odds dropped from 36.8% to 29.3%. http://t.co/5WSEHuq1yy
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 17, 2013