What Went Wrong

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 145 Comments »

Sunday the Eagles showed how to lose as a team. All 3 units had a hand in the poor performance.

The focus is on defense. Giving up 48 points like that is simply unacceptable. The Vikings were missing their 2 top RBs. The Eagles did shut down the ground game. Matt Asiata had 30 carries for 51 yards. He did run for 3 TDs.

The secondary had a horrible day. I have yet to study the game, but it sure looked like the Eagles played a lot of zone. Let’s talk about zone defense for a minute. The goal of a zone defense is to keep everything in front of you. Defenders are to close to the ball quickly and tackle the receiver. Ideally, you’d like players that can break on the ball and then play the ball, either breaking up the pass or picking it off.

The Eagles have slow DBs. They don’t break on the ball well. They also can be sloppy tacklers. That means receivers are getting open and they aren’t always being tackled immediately.

When the Eagles did play man, they got burned there as well. Think about the pass to Jarius Wright along the sideline. Bradley Fletcher was all over him, but Wright still made the grab. There was the pass play over the middle where Mychal Kendricks was beaten by Chase Ford on 3rd and long.

Minnesota kept the guys up front blocked. Cassel generally had good protection. He did take some big hits here and there, but not consistently enough.

The defense struggled in 2 main areas – Red Zone defense and 3rd down defense. They couldn’t get the Vikings off the field and when the Vikings did get into scoring territory, they couldn’t hold them to FGs. This was utterly infuriating.

Nick Foles and the Eagles offense might have put up a ton of yards and 30 points, but they didn’t have a good game. They made too many mistakes. The Eagles struggled early and late, when it was critical to score points.

Foles had an odd day. He didn’t have a good game, but it was encouraging to see him play sloppy and not have a repeat of the Dallas game. Foles finished with a rating over 100 and he threw for 428 yards. That’s pretty good for a subpar showing.

Foles either wasn’t reading the defense well or was slow to make decisions. The TV announcers talked about the Vikings playing a lot of zone. We’ll see what the All-22 shows, but Nick should have been able to find guys regardless of the coverage.

He did make slow reads on some plays. The INT to DeSean was a late throw and a poor one. DeSean was wide open early. Nick held the ball too long and then threw to a spot where a DB was waiting to play the ball. DeSean could have helped him out by making a play on the ball, but was too passive and did nothing.

Chip Kelly got away from running the ball more than he should have. Shady McCoy finished with just 8 carries. Kelly kept trying to throw the ball to get it back to a one possession game. The offense would score and the defense would let the Vikings go score on the next series. Right back to the big deficit. Shady getting underused is an anomaly. Kelly has fed him the ball throughout the year.

STs was a mess as well. Kelly feared kicking the ball deep to Cordarelle Patterson, the NFL’s leading KOR. The problem is that Patterson will catch the ball 9 yards deep and still bring it out. You literally have to kick the ball out of the end zone for it to be a touchback. Kelly didn’t want to risk that so he and Dave Fipp came up with the strategy of squib kicks and pooch kicks.

That idea apparently worked well in practice. It didn’t work well in the game. The Vikings started 4 drives after kickoffs at least at the 34-yard line. A couple were up by midfield.

Giving Minnesota good field position certainly hurt, but let’s not forget that they scored their first TD on a 91-yard drive. They later had a 75-yard TD drive. STs certainly didn’t do the defense any favors, but it wasn’t like the defense was getting stops even when they did have a long field.

The Eagles psyche was off yesterday, but maybe not in the direction so many expected. The Eagles might have been too fired up. DeSean Jackson had a sideline blow-up, apparently with WRs coach Bob Bicknell. Jackson was jawing with Vikings players throughout the game. CB Bradley Fletcher got away with shoving a Vikings player after a play. In fact, they called a taunting penalty on the player. Roc Carmichael drew a flag for taunting later in the game. And Cary Williams was his usual vocal self. He got benched late in the game after a taunting penalty. The coaches wanted him to “cool off”.

Chip Kelly didn’t like the penalties and emotional stuff. He’s going to address this on Tuesday when he meets with the team.

Kelly has never been in an NFL playoff chase. December football is different than the other months. The intensity picks up. He’ll have to figure out how he can best control the players emotions so they don’t become a distraction and hurt the team.

There are a lot of things for the coaches to talk about and get fixed. Maybe the loss will end up being a good thing. A little humble pie can go a long way. The Eagles sure got plenty of it yesterday.

_


  • ICDogg

    Yep. And I am still going with “letdown game”. The players (usually) know the right things they are supposed to say, but I think they completely underestimated their opponent when preparing this week.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I don’t know… The O picked things back up and were OK overall. If anyone was guilty of that, it was the secondary. But all that happened there was our opponent decided to just attack our glaring weaknesses that have been well known since before the season. In September this was basically what we expected from our secondary. The last 8 games changed that somewhat, but the Vikes just went back to basics.

  • Dave

    “Foles had an odd day. He didn’t have a good game, but it was encouraging to see him play sloppy and not have a repeat of the Dallas game. Foles finished with a rating over 100 and he threw for 428 yards. That’s pretty good for a subpar showing.”

    Tommy, do you think maybe you are expecting too much? If he didn’t have a good game, are you saying he had a bad game.

    Dallas was a bad game. This was a good game. Everyone seems to be expecting a great game all the time.

    • TommyLawlor

      Foles made some critical individual mistakes that cost us TDs.

      The Vikings have an awful defense. Putting points and yards on them doesn’t mean you had a good game.

      • Dave

        “Putting points and yards on them doesn’t mean you had a good game.”

        Now I’m confused, what constitutes a good game? If you eliminate the peel-back block negating the TD, would you then call it a good game? Does he need a 75% completion rate to be a good game? No interceptions?

        Let’s scale him on a high school grading system with no plus/minus scales. If C is average, he was a B. He surely was above-average correct? Many this morning seem to have an opinion that if he doesn’t bring his A game, it must then be considered a bad game.

        • ztom6

          Foles was great at times and bad at other times. I definitely didn’t see anything that would change my belief that he will be and should be the Eagles’ starting QB for the immediate future and beyond.

          He took some bad sacks, the pick was a bad throw, and the penalty on the peelback block was just “smh” (although admit it, you didn’t know that rule either until the referee explained it.) It also looked like the Vikings tricked him into making the wrong read a couple times on packaged plays.

          That said, I agree TL is too tough on him. The thing is we’ve seen Foles do certain things well so often we take them for granted, like the way he sets up screen passes (3 more big plays on screens this game), the way he uses his eyes and pump fakes to set up defenders (the TD to Jackson), and his ability to hang in and take a hit while delivering a throw. These are all qualities that seperate great QBs from good ones and it’s pretty astonishing how adept he is at these concepts given his lack of experience. He didn’t put up 500 yards of offense by accident yesterday… he was making plays.

          • Daniel

            Don’t think Tommy is being too hard on him. Foles has been missing throws that should be “automatic” for the past couple of weeks. Specifically, balls have been sailing on him.

            When a QB’s best attributes are his accuracy and decision making, and he shows slow decision making and poor accuracy on easy throws, I have a hard time saying he had a “good” game.

          • ztom6

            I disagree “accuracy” is Foles’ best attribute. When he’s on fire, he’s very accurate, but that’s not what I’ve seen from him on a week-in/week-out basis. I’d say his best attributes are:

            — decision-making, as you said. No question. Knows where to go with the football and even when he is inaccurate he usually doesn’t throw it to the other team.

            — throwing with anticipation: his best throws are when he sees what’s going to happen before it happens and gets the ball out before the defensive back knows which way the receiver is going to break.

            — manipulating the defense. He doesn’t just know where to go with the football and when to go there, he also knows how to create windows using his eyes and using pump fakes.

            — toughness: kid is tough

            Is he really all that accurate a QB? Right now, not consistently. Even in some of his best games he had numerous throws where receivers had to go get the ball. But those are the kinds of plays Foles’ current skill set brings to the table. Give him time and I don’t doubt he’s going to become a more consistently accurate passer— he’s improved his game overall immensely in the time he’s been an Eagle and it’s fine that he still has room to grow.

          • Daniel

            All fair points, but I still believe there has been a huge drop off in accuracy from the first game he started to today.

            Specifically, a lot of balls seem to be sailing on him, or he’s throwing too far into the sideline. Snow Bowl aside, where long balls sailing are understandable, still seeing it.

            What concerns me is *why* he is regressing. Is he overthinking? Is he injured? Is he becoming too comfortable and not focusing on basics? I just want to find what it is now before it becomes a habit, because you *have* to make those automatic throws in this league to win. Can’t miss wide open receivers.

          • ztom6

            With respect, I think you may be the one overthinking things here. I don’t think Foles is “regressing” in any meaningful way. His accuracy has been up and down throughout his time as a starter. You’re going to get variable play with such a young QB, it’s normal.

          • Daniel

            I think his accuracy was down at the end of last year when he was playing through an injury, and I think his accuracy has always been meh on the deep ball. I may be wrong, but I thought for the first half of his starts, he was really damn accurate.

            Maybe I had my Foles colored glasses on.

          • Dave

            He has been on an near all-time high QB rating streak. He has nowhere to go but down. To call that regressing is a little premature.

          • Anders

            Agree. Accuracy has never been Foles best attribute this year.

            I would say all 3 points you make are 100% accurate. He will sometimes make a bad decision (like the int today), but overall he is making smart decisions, on time (anticipation) and very good with his pump fakes (Big Ben is the best, but Foles has some of that in him).

            If Foles can just be more consistent with his accuracy he will be deadly.

          • Dave

            Sounds like you think 63% completion is bad. This isn’t 7 on 7. You make it sound like there is no pass rush to deal with.

        • BlindChow

          Foles missed some key wide-open throws, leading to three-and-outs, particularly late in the game. There’s a reason so many analysts are saying he played worse than his numbers, and it isn’t because they’re all Michael Vick fans.

          • Andy124

            Worse that his numbers is clear. The question is, how much worse? I think that’s what Dave is asking.

          • Anders

            I would say much worse. He missed a wide open Cooper for a TD (lead him too much outside), he had that stupid penalty on a Jackson TD run, he missed a wide open Avant on 3rd down after he held the ball for around 2 mins in a 2nd down.

            That is just 3 of the plays I remember.

          • Andy124

            And I would disagree.
            1) Illustrating that he wasn’t perfect, which is what you have just done succesfully, is not the same as illustrating “much worse” than his numbers.

            2) You cannot play poorly and put up very good numbers. You can certainly put up numbers better than your performance would merit, but not by some huge amount. Football doesn’t work that way. Hell, life doesn’t work that way. When you’ve got 11 guys who know you’re going to throw the ball every play, and cannot play poorly and put up a passer rating over 100.

            Like Chow said, it’s difficult to quatify. Personally, I think the good he did puts it at a pretty good/above average game. I can’t argue with ‘ok’ or ‘mediocre’ either. But when some want to go below that, I just don’t think that’s an accurate assessment at all.

          • Anders

            When I say he played much worse than the numbers. It is simply reference to how inconsistent he looked. On one series he would be 100% perfect with every throw and on the next he would overthrow wide open guys or throw behind a crossing Jackson.

            Maybe Im expecting too much out of Foles

          • Iskar36

            I agree with your view on how Foles played for the most part. To me, he did not have a flat out “bad” game and certainly did not have a “good” game. The bigger issue though is not whether you quantify this as an OK game or an above average game. To me, the question this game creates is, is this what Foles will be on a regular basis or is this a substandard game for Foles? If this is “average” for Foles, while I think it was an ok game, to really be successful in the NFL you need a QB who is on average great. So this game from that perspective would be telling of Foles’ long term ability. On the other hand, if this was a subpar game for Foles’ standards, and his average game is somewhere between what we saw today and what we saw most of November, than that would be positive for Foles’ long term potential.

          • Andy124

            Can’t argue with any of that. I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s our starter next year. With good health, that gives us another 18 regular season starts to decide what his average game is.

          • Iskar36

            No question about that. I think it is hard to know with any certainty how good of a QB he will ultimately become right now. To me, he is playing too well to not go into next season with him as the starter and find out what he will become. I’d much rather go into next season and find out he is a good but not great QB than to trade him and find out that he is a franchise QB playing elsewhere.

          • BlindChow

            Yeah, it’s pretty hard to quantify. The fact Kelly wasn’t running the ball really hurt some of those drives. (Ugh, I thought those days were long gone…really disappointed in Kelly.) Hard to fault Foles for that.

            But there were 2 three-and-outs in the 4th (down 12 points) where Foles missed open receivers that basically killed any chance of taking control of the game (Kapadia talks about these at the end of his Zone Read column).

            It seems like whenever our defense has a 3rd and long, the opposing offense always has a WR make a catch right on the line to extend the drive. When our offense is in 3rd and long, we either take a shot way downfield or end up with a checkdown (or sack) way short of the 1st…

          • Andy124

            The bombs on 3rd down make me cringe.

        • Ark87

          Basically, if he were Drew Brees, he might have kept up with 48 points, the opportunities were there, put me down as he was good enough for a reasonable defensive effort to win. I put this one on the D.

          • ACViking

            A87:

            If Foles were Drew Brees v. 2007-13.

            Not if Foles were Drew Brees v. 2002-03 — when he had his first 25 starts and posted 28 TDs agst 31 INTs.

            Brees didn’t become Brees until his 3rd full season as a starter — supported by the class Marty Schottenheimer ground-and-pound offensives scheme.

        • Maggie

          You can bet that the guys who block every single play and end the day covered with bruises appreciate the skill position players trying to block, even if they aren’t very good at it.

  • ICDogg

    By the way: 4th and 1… is it possible we start doing that from under center?

    • AnirudhJ

      We have a 6’5″ QB. Why isn’t this a sneak every single time?

      • ICDogg

        At least have the threat of a sneak… by being close enough.

  • Ashley Fox

    Chip Kelly coaches his finest game in the NFL
    by Ashley Fox, ESPN

    There has been frequent criticism of Chip Kelly’s college-style coaching this year, but he must be given credit for his coaching in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. The run-pass ratio, play-calling, and decision making he demonstrated were easily on par with the performances by his long-time NFL colleagues in the NFC East, Mike Shananan, Tom Coughlin, and Jason Garrett. His performance in the NFL may have finally turned the corner.

    If Kelly is able to keep following this trend, his future will look just as bright as the rest of the NFC East coaches.

    The same accolades cannot be given to the game’s opposing coach, Leslie Frazier. In a truly bizarre decision, Frazier decided to operate exclusively out of the wild-cat formation, with star QB Joe Webb split out at wide receiver. His team may have won the game, but if he keeps this up his days in the NFL will be numbered.

  • Scott J

    I thought the game was weird from the beginning. Why did we defer the kickoff? Usually you do that because of weather conditions. Why give them any momentum? Then I thought our defense looked complacent. They didn’t seem to have any enthusiasm. And, our first couple of passes were to Avant and Polk. What happened to Celek and McCoy? This game was a head scratcher – and a headache.

  • ICDogg

    If this doesn’t come out right, I’m deleting it…
    and so I did

    • goeagles55

      Attached a picture of what you were trying to post.

      • ICDogg

        Thanks. I find it interesting that a lot of teams are starting to get into very difficult cap situations under the 2011 CBA.

  • AnirudhJ

    Why aren’t the Vikings being scrutinized by the NFL for the illegal 54th player they brought onto their roster for this game. The Ghost of Cordarelle Patterson came in and had massive impact on the return game, giving Minnesota amazing field position throughout.

  • Corry

    I can definitely buy into the D being too fired up, particularly the back 7. The one thing this D has done this year was rally to the ball and I don’t recall that happening a lot yesterday other than on run plays. Seemed like a lot of diving tackle attempts that became big plays. Or my memory is off and I’m just grasping for any explanation.

  • goeagles55

    I’ve had tickets to the Bears game since before the season started. Now, if the Cowboys win on Sunday, the Bears game becomes completely meaningless. If the Redskins win, the Eagles lock up the division title with a win Sunday night.

    Here’s hoping the crew in Washington can get their stuff together for one game, just enough to give the Cowboys a chance to further their implosion.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Cousins>RG3

      • BlindChow

        Cousins played well. It was against the Falcons, but their defense is actually better than the Cowboys’. After watching the Redskins game yesterday, them beating Dallas doesn’t seem as much of a pipe dream.

        • bentheimmigrant

          That’s my thinking. Though I’m ok with Romo saving his last choke of the season for week 17.

  • Anders

    Only positive thing this weekend is the following teams also lost:

    Broncos
    Patriots
    Bengals
    Saints
    Cowboys

    Yes some teams like Seahawks, Niners and Chiefs all dominated, but still this almost felt like upset week in college football.

  • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

    I’m probably the only guy who grew up in Philly in the 80s who doesn’t like Buddy Ryan, but I kind of wished he was on the sideline yesterday to take a swing at Fipp for handing the Vikings a short field every time.

    • Anders

      That is 100% Kelly’s decision when it is done so often.

      • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

        Buddy see. Buddy punch.

    • ACViking

      I think Buddy might have swung at Kelly yesterday.

  • philip

    This game was so frustrating. Sure WRs were open, but many times fletch was on the man and they still made the play. hmmm….sounds ALOT like what Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall do best… Hope Wolff isnt rusty when he returns. We are going to need him this game. I really wanna win this game (even though it is probably a pointless game). I wonder if this loss will humble the team. At least they have tons of film to study from.

    • BlindChow

      I HATE that our CB’s seem to be the only ones in the league that never turn around to look for the deep ball. I remember reading that they were supposed to watch the eyes and hands of the receiver, but it’s clear that strategy isn’t working with these players.

      • bill

        It’s a fine line. Turn your head around too early, and you’re going to get toasted also. I think that they’re generally executing properly, it’s just a lack of talent that causes the problem. If they had a little more speed, they could afford to turn their heads a little earlier, but they don’t, so they can’t.

        • AnirudhJ

          Agreed – we’ve got slow corners and in the second half of yesterday’s Dallas game, Green Bay’s corners showed how helpful speed can be.

      • Anders

        If you aint talented enough to run with the WR, it does not matter :P

        Also every CB except for maybe 2 or 3 in the NFL struggles with that.

      • Ark87

        yeah if your head isn’t turned, any contact at all will draw the flag just about every time.

        • ICDogg

          I suggest two sided helmets with a fake face in the back.

  • Weapon Y

    I hate that Chip decided to hand the Vikings the ball in good field position every time. That’s cowardly and it sends a bad message to your players that you don’t trust they can get the job done. One Patterson touchdown is better than letting Minnesota score every single drive with a head start in field position. This should be an indictment of Dave Fipp if the kickoff team has to play scared every time. Chip should’ve publicly apologized to his defensive players for putting them in a bad position. To quote a former Eagles coach, he should’ve said, “That’s on me. I’m supposed to put my guys in a good position. I need to do a better job.”

  • Mitchell

    I’ve like Henery for a while but I have to agree with others on this forum. If our kicker cannot consistently kick it out of the endzone with no freaking wind for crying out loud, it’s time for a change. I’m going to look for the Eagles to bring in some serious competitions for Henery.

    On the other hand he still had made 89% of his kicks this year and is for the most part reliable. Maybe I’m just really fuming about this game. Thoughts?

    • BlindChow

      I would have at least rather they tried to kick deep a few times before conceding the field position. Frankly, I think it was a little embarrassing.

      • Mitchell

        Agreed, I guess we don’t really know if he couldn’t kick it out of the back because they never tried. I guess it goes to show you the confidence that our coaching staff has in special teams.

      • ACViking

        BC:

        Agreed. How many times did Kelly think CPatt would return a KO for a TD yesterday? After the defense proved to be a sieve, kicking deep would seem to have made sense.

    • Anders

      He can it deep with no problems. He has for most of the year.

    • Cafone

      He’s still very young. Theoretically, his leg strength should keep improving. He’s already kicking it further than he did his rookie year. If the Eagles are happy with his accuracy, they should hold on to him.

      • Anders

        You dont get it. Henery is the worst kicker and much worse than Eagles legend David Akers (dont tell them Akers never was that good)

  • zbone95

    Play with emotion, don’t let emotions play you. They certainly failed in that aspect. And about foles, he was facing constant pressure up the middle so its understandable that he missed a few throws. That’s what happens when you ask your o-line to pass protect on every play. Vikings d line did not even try to run defend because they were expecting pass. Idc how good ur oline is you will get exposed if u have to pass protect every play. Bad job on kellys play calling . I understand that vikess secondary was weak but if they only expect pass they will have an easier time covering. Gotta run more.

  • Anders

    Regarding the 8 carries for McCoy. I didnt watch the whole game, but what I did watch the Vikings often had 7 in the box. In Kelly’s book that means pass all day until they stop stacking the box.

    I know people would argue this was AR-like, but Kelly was just been true to his philosophy and why shouldnt he be? If Foles is the guy we think he is, he should shred a Vikings D playing cover 3 (maybe they showed cover 3, but went into cover 2 after the snap and that confused Foles?)

  • Sean Stott

    I think a lot of people missed it, but Fletcher’s reaction to the taunting was reasonable. Simpson was in his face laughing, which is not a penalty, but then he patted Fletcher on the butt. That’s pretty textbook.

  • ACViking

    I don’t know what “answers” will unlock the mysteries of immediate success for this team . . .

    But I do know Kelly’s in his 1st season in the NFL. He’s made some wrong-headed choices. And some great choices. Though chasing a 2-score game in the 1st half yesterday by going “pass, pass, pass, pass, pass” probably wasn’t one, in hindsight, he’d do again. Too early to expect perfection — and we’ll never get it anyway.

    I know that Foles, in season 2 of his career, has started less than a season’s worth of games. And he’s had some ups and downs. But he’s protected the football. And he’s very confident and comfortable in this offense. Does he have Kelly’s confidence? Well, yesterday’s play-calling says “yes” — Kelly put the game in Foles’s hands. Will he keep Kelly’s confidence? Who knows. Right now, though, he seems to be progressing. And it’s too early to expect perfection.

    The defense? We all know that they are in need of a big-time talent infusion in the D-backfield. And an elite edge pass-rusher.

    If the Cowboys weren’t so bad, the Eagles wouldn’t be in the hunt for the NFC East title. Games like yesterday wouldn’t be as unsettling.

    The focus would be where it was early in the season . . . on what this team needs to do to move into the upper echelon of the NFC. Cause there’s still work to be done.

    • Anders

      Regarding the pass pass. He will do it again if the defense gives him 7 man box looks.

      I agree Kelly is still new to the NFL and therefor will make some mistakes (talent level is so much closer even between a “bad” and a “good” team).

      Regarding the D, im more disappointed on how much of a step back they took. Somebody like Brian Soloman (mcnabborkolbblog) theories that last 8 weeks was more a mirage and that it was more a function of bad QB play than us.
      I think it was a bit of both. We played better last 8 weeks, but we also faced less than good QBs and this game nobody played really well on defense.

      • ACViking

        Re: Pass, Pass, Pass / Defense

        The schedule’s been good to the Eagles this year. Matt Flynn plays for GB? Not sure the Eagles win.

        I wrote after the game what Soloman is saying: The defense’s put some good numbers up against bad QBs, one pretty good QB (Palmer), and in a snow storm.

        As for all the passing, I’m not criticizing having Foles pass so much in the 2nd half. My objection was passing so much in the 1st half.

        Kelly seemed so anxious. Maybe more patience next time.

        • Anders

          Still remember Kelly’s philosophy? Equal opportunity scoring? He will take what the D gives him. Vikings D gave us the pass, so he took it. Kelly aint going to run McCoy into 7 man boxes when he has Cooper or Jackson in single coverage.

          • ACViking

            Sure, that’s Kelly’s philosophy.

            What I’m saying is sometimes facts have to inform decision making.

            If your QB’s having a bit of an erratic day, why on earth would you continue to bang your head against the wall and throw so much?

            Foles is a 1st-year starter who’s still growing into the job. Maybe he needed some help yesterday.

            If taken literally, Kelly’s philosophy would take no account for the talent he’s employing.

            I can’t believe Kelly’s that stubborn — that would be what Andy Reid would do.

          • Anders

            I know Foles isnt Brady, P Manning or Brees, but if you gave them 7 man fronts nobody would complain if they aired it out on every play.

          • ACViking

            A–

            In theory, I wholly agree.

            But on the field, when a pass rush is getting to your QB, when your QB is holding the ball too long sometimes, when your QB is missing open guys . . .

            Then I think the play-caller has to adjust his philosophy.

          • Anders

            Foles has been holding the ball too long or missed open guys all year :P

            I mean had the defense done its part, we would have won by over 1 score, so it is not like we had a terrible day on offense.

          • ACViking

            I’m on record (yesterday) saying 30 points — should have been 34 — is enough to win any week.

            But every week’s a new book. Kelly was so damned anxious to score fast. It wasn’t working early. I’m only suggesting maybe he wants to adjust that desire a bit — as game-day circumstances dictate.

            But we both agree the defense was atrocious yesterday. Talent matters, that’s for sure.

          • Michael Winter Cho

            Sure seems like scoring is way up this year. Maybe we need to recalibrate.
            Winning scores from this weekend:
            27, 25, 48, 33, 30, 37, 37, 38, 24, 23, 27, 56, 27, 30.
            Maybe I’m getting old, but those don’t look like football scores as I know them. 29 points would win or tie only half of those games. Jim Johnson’s old goal of 17 would have won all of them.

    • Michael Jorden

      If the DEF gets more pressure and some stops and the secondary makes some plays, passing to the tune of 30 points even while Nick misfires somewhat is going to win most games. And we shouldn’t see many more like Patterson in STs ending up in game planning to give up short fields. DEF needs to generate more pressure against CHI and DAL to get some stops and make some plays.

  • Cafone

    Good post by Solomon on the “McKnabb or Kolb” blog: http://mcnabborkolb.com/blog/2013/12/15/the-eagles-still-arent-great-but-thats-ok

    “A smart, patient, accurate player will pick this secondary apart. That’s what happened when the Eagles D was skinned alive during the three-game stretch against Philip Rivers, Alex Smith, and Peyton Manning. Since then, during the team’s 7-2 run, opponents never scored more than 21 points.

    The great nine-game run leading up to Sunday seemed to be the defense gelling, but most of it was the horrendous, mistake-prone quarterbacks the Eagles faced. Only two of the QBs the Eagles faced in that span have positive DVOA on the year, and they played one of those in a blizzard. Matt Cassel could easily have been another one of those lightweights, but he did his best 2008 impression, throwing for the 4th-most yards of his career. That came despite the Eagles front seven holding the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings to just 2.4 yards per carry.”

  • P_P_K

    At least we know that Nick is a ferocious blocker.

    • Cafone

      The Ndamukong Suh of NFL quarterbacks.

      • Ark87

        Ndamukong Suh, James Harrison, and Napoleon Dynamite all wrapped into one mean mammajamma

  • P_P_K

    When Chip had the Eagles go for it on 4th and 1 in the 3rd quarter, I was screaming for his head. I told my buddies that I hated, hated that call regardless of its success. One of my friends liked it. He said it was gutsy and sent a signal to the Eagles that it was “all in.” What do you guys thing?

    • Anders

      It was the right call. In general it is always the right call to go for it on 4th and 1 and with the NFL’s best running game?

    • BlindChow

      I thought it was an okay call, but I’m bothered by the fact they were so quick to run the play they missed the possibility of challenging the spot of the third down run.

      • ACViking

        BC:

        Not so quick that Fox didn’t have time to run a replay. We all saw the replay. And I think we all were saying “challenge”!!!

        But I’m no Replay-Challenge proponent anyway.

    • ACViking

      I’m sure lots of people remember the nationwide ridicule heaped on Barry Switzer in the Eagles’ 20-17 win over the Cowboys in 1995 at the Vet — because Switzer went for it on 4th and 1 on his own 29 with two minutes left. And failed.

      I’m sure a number of arguments can be made on either side of the argument here. All I’m saying is once upon a time, a great college coach was laughed at for doing what Kelly did yesterday.

      But, as Bill Belicheck later explained after doing the same thing against the Manning Colts on MNF, the odds favoring going for it.

      My biggest complaint is I hate those short-yardage plays out of the shotgun.

      • Andy124

        QB Sneak all day every day. Especially with a 6’6″ QB with big hands.

        • ACViking

          Yes!!! QBK.

          What’s the deal with that damned 4th-and-1 from the shotgun? HATE IT

          • Anders

            I think it is because we do almost all plays from shotgun.

          • ACViking

            Maybe.

            But against Detroit, McCoy — w/ Foles under center — piled up yards.

            Kelly’s said his offense can be run from under center.

            More fundamentally, is there at all any lost time — even a thousandth of a second — on the mesh on 4th and short out of the shotgun? I don’t know. But I wonder.

          • BlindChow

            Oddly, the yards started piling up only after we went back to the shotgun in the 2nd half of the Lions game.

          • ACViking

            BC:

            You’re damn right.

            On Brown’s 2pt conversion was that w/ Foles under center?

          • BlindChow

            The 2-pt was also from the shotgun. Standard zone-read play.

          • Anders

            Also while it is possible too sneak from under center, you cant do the zone read

          • Andy124

            Maybe wants to make sure Foles has the option to pull the ball if the red sea parts? Grasping at straws. I hate it too.

          • OregonDucker

            As do I AC. We need to hit the hole faster in such situations. And they need to be power plays, not zone reads.

  • Anders

    @Mjoedgaard:disqus @igglesblog And Chip won't admit it but this is one reason why he'd like a mobile QB. Mobile QB can balance #s vs single safety— Smart Football (@smartfootball) 16. december 2013

    I love Foles and this is not about him, but more on Kelly’s over all philosophy.

    • shah8

      A better passer would, too. Don’t get quite so caught up with Chip Kelly wants running QB. That’s just about anti-Vick. The issue is that Kelly wants a QB that can dictate limitations to what the defense can do. It can be rushing quality, but passing is also the same.

      • Cafone

        To play devil’s advocate… if Nick Foles is a product of the system, his trade value is at its highest now before the rest of the league realizes it. If Kelly feels he could plug in someone else and get similar results, why not get some value for Foles now when he looks like the taller second coming of Drew Brees?

        • Anders

          I would give Foles 2014 with a high draft pick behind him (I have been saying draft a high round QB if the right guy is, but because of Foles, we do not have to force it).

      • BlindChow

        I agree. Every coach would rather have a mobile QB, all else being equal.

        Few coaches would sacrifice passing competence in order to attain that mobility, however. As we saw with Vick (and Tebow, for that matter), when you can’t even hit 50% of your passes, an offense isn’t anywhere near as effective as it is with a competent passer.

        • shah8

          Well, no…Like I said, mere anti-Vickism. Vick was leading an extremely robust offense at the time of injury, and his yards per attempt was very good as well as yards per play. The TDs would have come, eventually. Foles has been scoring lots of points, but much of it was luck, because so much of it was fishing for points with Cooper. It’s nice when it’s working, but Foles has shown very little ability to run a real passing attack, which is the major reason why I’ve been down on him. The TDs will drop, eventually. His ball placement absolutely sucks beyond 7 yards or so, unless it’s to the middle of the field, where he’s always had a few nice passes. He’s also not really reading defenses–I would be willing to bet cold cash (had I any), that what Minn did was watch tape for who Foles wants to hit during what situation, and did a good job of taking that first read away. Shoved away from what Foles really wanted to do, he throws off-target passes to second or third reads, if they’re really open, or takes a bad sack. The difference between Kaepernick being extremely efficient while working on his ability to process information, and Foles being a lot sloppier is glaring to me.

          • 91mr2t

            You truly are delirious. I think your hate for foles is really clouding your judgement. The points you make are nothing more then opinionated garbage with nothing to back them. Ive been reading the comment sections since the beginning of the season and have never posted but I just couldn’t sit back and read your nonsense any longer. Nothing personal, i just feel like it had to be said.

        • ACViking

          BC–

          Bravo.

        • ACViking

          Also . . . over time, that mobility ebbs.

          By 2007, it seemed like McNabb could scramble. But run the ball with a purpose?

          QBs take a beating like every other player in the NFL.

          It’s not like college where every 4 years, a coach gets a pair of fresh 18-19 year-old legs.

          Take the QB who can throw any day.

          • shah8

            Flipside. Someone who *isn’t* mobile ebbs too, and becomes a liability as they age. Think Schaub, versus Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. There is no offense for NO if Brees isn’t protected well, and as such, much of their offense is definitely about taking the sting out of the pass rush. Of course, it helps when they’ve had the likes of Bush or Sproles, and that they run well.

          • ACViking

            S-8:

            True of McNabb once he went to D.C. But if he’d stayed with Reid, I don’t know.

            On the other hand, NFL history — including the present day — is littered with starting and back-up QBs who, despite age and significantly lessened mobility, can still toss it.

          • Anders

            Having a QB for over 10 years is very rarely and even having a QB playing great for 5 years in a row is rare.

            Also McNabb had a lot of lower body injuries and he wasnt really the same after his ACL in 2006 in terms of scrambling ability.

          • ACViking

            A–

            We definitely agree on D-Mac. Never the same after the knee and hernia problems.

            But if a team finds a pretty good QB, they hold on to him — hold on to him like hell. Not having QBs for more than 5-6 years or so seems more a function of the extraordinary difficulty of the position. That is, only a handful of QBs in any generation are stars.

            If the Eagles 2010 brain trust had a do-over on the QB-trade decision, I think Kolb would have been the one to go. In Reid’s system, McNabb did pretty well.

            (And looking at D-Mac’s time in D.C., it’s hard to put much credence in his numbers under Shanny — given the troubles Griffin’s having, too. Just my view.)

          • Anders

            Look at D-Mac’s numbers, outside of his interceptions, all his other stats was right in line with his Philly days. Skins just had terrible D and the offense had nobody to help McNabb (it was early 2000 weapons without the great D and ST to help him)

    • Cafone

      I think you need to read the link in the date of that post to understand the point: Derek of IgglesBlog is saying “those nine yard Foles runs are nice but a bit of a wasted opportunity when there’s 30+ yards of space.”

      • Anders

        That point came after Chris Brown made the point I linked.

        Also I think the point here is more that a more mobile QB might open up those 7 man boxes more bc nobody fears Foles keepers

        • Cafone

          I guess the #s thing threw me off and I didn’t think the tweet came through properly… Is that an abbreviation for “numbers”?

          • Anders

            yea take: #4 would read as number 4.

  • greenblood0118
    • TommyLawlor

      The boys on the board do love to argue.

  • Tumtum

    Foles ability to run this offense at its peak performance aside, I just hope this was a case of the Eagles feeling them selves a bit too much.

    I know the feeling well. Too fired up is one way to put it. Instead going and and playing to survive, going in and playing to dominate. Its a different mindset. Different feeling. The sport I played at a similarly high level was worlds different than football, but the players just oozed the same sentiment yesterday that we did in similar situations. The important thing is going to be getting back to playing the way they were before. Its real easy to go down a different road here. We just have to hope that the Eagles didn’t peak in the Vikings game..

  • Jerry Goldstein

    You do a great job of putting things in perspective Tommy. I think the kickoff strategy was totally cowardly, though. Can’t agree with it at all, even in theory. Nick was definitely off this game. DeSean’s antics are starting to become worrisome. Blowing up like that is inexcusable, especially when you have a young QB who is trying to get his game going. Shady only getting 8 carries was bad, but we still could have won with Nick throwing that much if not for the defense.

    • ICDogg

      Holy crap we actually agree.

      • ICDogg

        Well, actually, I’m not as concerned about DJax’s behavior yesterday as you are. It is very low on my “concern scale”.

        • Anders

          Agree. Adrenaline pumping etc. They happens all the time.
          I much rather a player care than him showing no emotions or desire to win (see charming brigade last year)

          Same reason why people are way overreacting to Dez Bryant, the guy 100% cares and it is also clear that he isnt TO or Moss, as I havnt seen anything to suggest he isnt given 100% every game or throwing his QB under the bus.

          • D3FB

            Brady has freakouts all the time. The only time it ever really got much play was when he absolutely lost it on Bill O’Brien.

    • Cafone

      I agree DeSean’s antics are worrisome. How can the Eagles ever expect to win with 200 yard performances like that? He’s tearing this team apart! He needs to act more like a traditional Eagles receiver, more of a Todd Pinkston or Greg Lewis kind of guy, or he risks alienating his teammates by outshining them.

  • GermanEagle

    I don’t mind the loss. The odds of a 12 game win streak are certainly worse than of a 6 game win streak. #humblepie

    • Anders

      I like your positive perspective :P

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Hmmm… seems to me wins and losses are more or less independent of other games. More like a coin flip in that sense.

  • ICDogg

    thedoubleentandres says:Dec 16, 2013 9:54 AM

    I stuck a Tony Romo fathead on my garage door and now it won’t close…

  • ACViking

    How would Alshon Jeffery look in this offense, long term?

    Better than Kendricks looks in the defense, long term?

    Only wondering because in the 2012 Draft, the Bears traded up 5 spots to get Jeffery with the choice immediately preceding the Eagles’ selection of Kendricks (then, next, the Seahawks’ choice of ILB Bobby Wagner, Pats’ selection of S Tavon Wilson, and Chargers’ choice DT Kendall Reyes).

    Were the Eagles eying Jeffery in 2012? D-Jax had just received an extension. Maclin still had 2 years to go in his contract.

    (Plus, what else is there to say about yesterday? )

    • Anders

      Jeffery would look great in any offense, but there was huge question marks regarding Jeffery entering the draft. There was rumor’s that he played that year at over 250.

      looking at the 2012 draft. I would say only Jeffery and Lavonte David have clearly outplayed Kendricks in terms of 2nd round draft picks. and Kendricks has been looking better and better every game and looks to be a very good ILB for years to come.

      When looking at the 1st round only Chandler Jones and Luck (bc he is a QB not is performance) and maybe RG3 can be argued as better picks than Cox (I think Poe and Kuechly are getting overrated)

      In the 3rd round only two good picks has been Foles and Wilson so far

      In the 4th, just looking over the names Brandon Boykin seems like the best player of that round (Ladarius Green TE for the Ravens is looking like a player as well)

      Consider we also got Bryce Brown, Vinny Curry, Dennis Kelly, Damarius Johnson and Chris Polk from that draft.
      We also have Acho, Goode and BJ Cunningham from that draft in other ways.

      Overall 2012 was a great draft for us and has us in a good spot moving forward.

      The 2013 seems to have some of the impact and that is very important moving forward.

      • ACViking

        A-

        I think you’re right across the board on the evals.

        Living in SEC country, I saw lots of Jeffrey — and he was TE sized his last year. He’d been nicked up I think and let himself go. But what a dominating player his junior season. Really dominant.

        I guess what I’m most curious about is why Chicago made the trade-up. Who were they thinking was the competition.

        ‘Cause I don’t think it was the Eagles. Seattle? The Pats? SD?

        Just an intriguing draft-day story, I guess.

        • Anders

          Seattle, Pats and SD all had need at WR, so they all might have taken him.

          • ACViking

            I’m sure your right. ‘specially Seattle.

  • OregonDucker

    Forgive me if this is mentioned below, I’ve not read all posts, but I do not think the Eagles can win any game where they are dominated on the OL and DL. Where Peters is beat in key situations. Where the Chip cannot trust the OL enough to run frequently, a strategy that is the foundation of our offense.

    IMHO this game was lost in the trenches. And I have not read WHY????

    • Anders

      I do not think we lost in the trenches on offense. We had plenty of good protection for Foles and as I have said, Kelly didnt run because the Vikings put 7 in the box and that means a pass every time.

      On defense, the Vikings did a little of max protection and the secondary just couldnt cover anybody. We did an overall good job against the run (outside of key situations like close to the goal line or 3rd and 1-3 yards)

      • OregonDucker

        I may be mistaken but Chip mentioned in his PC that he did not run more because the blocking was not there. Your point about 7 in the box is a good one and usually dictates that a pass is preferable. Yet, my understanding is that a major reason Nick held the ball so long was due to coverage and zone confusion – pick your poison I guess.

        I am very frustrated with the game yesterday. Thank god my TV screen survived; I almost through a beer or two at it.

        • Anders

          yea but he meant blocking wasnt there as in they could defeat there blockers or because the numbers didnt match so they lacked a blocker?

          • OregonDucker

            That makes sense Anders – “the numbers didn’t match so they lacked a blocker”. Thanks.

          • Anders

            I didnt get to watch the whole game, but the part I watched, the Vikings clearly stacked the box with 7 defenders and that means single coverage with 1 deep safety on the outside, so that is clearly a passing situation.

  • ACViking

    Re: Young Foles v. Young Brees, Young PManning, Young Brady

    Just for the sake of comparison . . .
    ________________

    From 2002-03, Drew Brees had his first 25 starts. (Brees rode the bench his rookie season of 2001.)

    In those first 25 starts, Brees posted 28 TDs agst 31 INTs.

    And that was in a conservative Marty Schottenheimer offense with All Pro LaDainian Tomlinson at HB.
    _________________

    In Peyton Manning’s first 14 starts, he had 24 TDs and 25 INTs.
    _________________

    In Tom Brady’s first 14 starts, he threw 18 TDs and 12 INTs.
    _________________

    Nick Foles, in his second NFL season, has started 14 games.

    He’s posted 28 TDs and 7 INTs in those 14 starts.
    _________________

    What Foles is doing is damned impressive — whatever the reason.

    Has he been as good as the Brees, Manning, and Brady we’ve been watching for the past 5 years?

    Of course not. Why would he? Those guys are now in their 13th, 16th, and 14th seasons as NFL QBs. So 5 years ago, they were hitting their professional peaks.

    Aren’t we setting the bar just a bit high with Foles?

    • Andy124

      Yes.

      I blame Chip. Everybody’s still waiting for 100-100 with 27tds.

      • ACViking

        And a Thousand Year Reign for Emperor Nick, too!!!

        Which is, like you said, Kelly’s fault.

        Damn those people from New Hampshire.

    • OregonDucker

      Some posters on this thread are convinced Foles is just getting lucky. I guess time will tell if it’s luck or QB skill.

      • Anders

        only 2 ints is to some degree luck. I would say Foles should maybe realistic have 4 ints this year.

      • pkeagle

        I’ve counted 6 occasions (2 which have counted) this season where the ball should’ve been intercepted. That still gives him an excellent ratio so even if he’s been ‘lucky’ to some extent, the kid can play.
        ACViking’s stats obviously don’t factor those other QBs’ opponents dropping easy INTs or ones that were called back due to penalties too.

        In addition, he is not just dinking and dunking the ball – there are plenty of downfield throws.

        p.s. Maybe it’s time to change your handle to something else – say ACEagle maybe ;-)

        • OregonDucker

          I’m thinking about a new handle. Not sure yet, maybe after the playoffs. :-)

  • Anders

    Question re: Vinny Curry

    What to do with him this off season? Should we trade or keep him?

    Reasons to keep him:

    Clearly one of our best pass rusher on the team even tho he hasnt gotten a sack in 4 games.
    He is still very young and cost controlled for next 2 years and the only quality backup we have.

    Reasons to trade him
    He isnt a perfect fit in Chip Kelly’s version of a defense, as Kelly clearly wants a 3-4 2 gap defense (he implemented the same at Oregon when he become HC)
    A lot of teams around the NFL might be interested in a guy with Curry’s skill set (his draft position is irrelevant now that he has showed he can play both 3-4 and 4-3)

    Curry seems better fitted to play an attacking 3-4 scheme (like Houston or Saints) or a traditional 4-3. There is added bonus in that he can be a 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and even play DT/NT in nickle looks.

    Im not going to give a list of teams, but what kind of compensation would you guys prefer if we are going to trade him?
    I doubt we can get a 1st round for him, but I do think fair price would be 2nd+4th.

    I would do a deal like that. I much rather get some good compensation now than try to fit him into this defense when it is clear we will keep running 3-4 2 gap and his snaps will never come over 40% on a regular basis.

    • pkeagle

      Anders,
      I’d jump at a 2nd & 4th for Curry. As much as I love the guy (being a life-long Eagles fan and all) he would be better served as you say in a 4-3 D.
      Realistically I think a 3rd (and maybe a 6th) is what we’d get for him.