Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Defense

Posted: October 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

This really was a tale of two halves (or is that halfs because it is football?).

The defense was terrible in the 1st half. The Lions had 3 possessions and scored TDs on all 3. The Eagles had not allowed a TD pass all year. The Lions TDs all came via the air. What happened?

Re-watch the game and you see a ton of missed opportunities. It almost looked like the defense was too fired up. They took sloppy angles. They missed tackles. They gave up the edge on run plays. They weren’t in the right gaps. These aren’t talent mistakes. They are execution issues. And most came due to over-aggression, as if maybe the players were trying to do too much for their coach on his return to the old stomping grounds.

The 2nd half was completely different. The Eagles played smart. They were in the right spots. When someone missed a tackle, there was a teammate there to get the runner/receiver down. The Eagles gave up just 45 yards and 3 points after halftime. And the FG came when a turnover put the ball just about in scoring position. The Lions had more yards and points on their opening drive than they did in the whole 2nd half.

The Eagles adjusted well. They executed better. No magic. Just good football.

You do have to tip your hat to Detroit. They were 1-3 and coming off a tough loss. Instead of falling apart, they played their best game of the year. They had a good offensive gameplan and there were some wrinkles that gave the Eagles problems. Screen passes were a big problem. Schwartz said the issue was players not having the right leverage on those plays. You want to get wide and force the ball back to the middle, where your pursuit is. DBs and LBs have to take on blockers rather than focusing on making the tackle. Angles and positioning are huge to stopping screens.

The Eagles lost this game due to their own mistakes, but poor officiating didn’t help matters. The Eagles were called for 14 penalties, the Lions just 2. There were 2 blatant holds on the opening drive, but neither was called. Either one  of those could have changed that drive dramatically and who only knows what happens after that. If the Lions get down in that game, they just might have fallen apart. Give them credit. They got some generous calls/non-calls and took advantage of them.


Brandon Graham had another strong game. He was credited with 6 total tackles and 2 TFLs. Didn’t have a sack, but he pressured Matt Stafford multiple times. Graham gave the RT fits. There were several plays where BG used a power rush and got under the RT’s pads, then just drove him straight back. After a couple of those plays, the RT jumped offside. Graham was good against the run, as usual. The Lions had success on outside runs early, but never to his side. They tried to run wide on him in the 2nd half and Graham blew that up and created a big TFL. 

Connor Barwin gave up the edge on one of the runs that went outside. Big no-no. He hustled, as he always does, but was only credited with 2 tackles. No sacks or TFLs. Did use a pretty spin move to get pressure on a pass play. Used a power move to drive the LT backward and flush Stafford on a later play. Vinny Curry didn’t play as much as BG or Barwin, but Curry made his snaps count. He was in on 4 tackles and had a sack. That was a gift after Cox blew up the blocking. Curry got into the backfield several times. His biggest moment came in the 3rd Qtr when he looped inside and flushed Stafford. That’s the play where Matt fumbled the ball away. Marcus Smith had a nice TFL in the 1st half on a run play. He is showing progress as a run defender and power rusher.


Bennie Logan was in on 3 tackles and had a sack. He made one beautiful run stop. DET tried to run just outside of him and there was a hole. Logan just grabbed the runner and put him on the ground. Had to fight off a blocker while doing that. As always, stout against the run. Just overwhelmed the RG on a pass play. Got him off balance and collapsed the pocket right into Stafford’s lap. Not bad for a guy with a calf issue, huh?

Fletcher Cox was in on a couple of tackles and had a sack. Just destroyed the pocket on the play where Curry got his sack. That play knocked the Lions out of FG range. Clutch. Cox almost destroyed Stafford in the 1st half. Edge pressure forced Stafford to move and Cox reached for him. Got his facemask and ended up pulling the whole helmet off. Not ideal in a close game. Got his sack late in the game. Had a hand in the Stafford fumble. Didn’t knock the ball out, but was right there when Stafford just lost control.

Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao didn’t play very much. Vaeao jumped offside on a 2nd/12 play that ended in an incompletion. Instead of 3rd/12, the Lions had 2nd/7 and then did convert on 3rd down. Ugh.


There was some question about whether Nigel Bradham was benched for part of the 1st half. Nope. Just wasn’t making plays. Sat for a series when the coaches decided to rest and he Hicks while playing Tulloch and Kendricks. Bradham came alive in the 2nd half and was great. Finished with 5 tackles, 3 TFLs and a FR. Really flew around the field in the 2nd half. Had a pep in his step. The fumble recovery was a hustle play. Bradham was in coverage and saw Stafford moving. The ball came loose and Bradham dove on it. Read a screen pass perfectly and got the RB down for a good loss in the 2nd half.

Jordan Hicks did not have his best game. Had a chance for TFLs a couple of times on outside runs. There were clear lanes to the runner. Didn’t make the tackle either time. Had a chance to stuff 4th/1 run by Riddick. Was right there in the hole and clean. Couldn’t make the play. Did have some good moments. Blew up a run early in the 2nd half. Shed a blocker and got the RB at the LOS. Flew out wide to make tackles a couple of times. Finished with 5 total tackles. Didn’t make any plays.

Mychal Kendricks is a mess right now. Got caught flat-footed in coverage and Riddick got a step away from him, leading to an easy TD catch. MK should have known he had help to the inside on that play. Should have cheated outside. Missed a tackle of Riddick on 3rd/11 that kept a TD drive alive. If MK makes that play and they punt, who knows how different the game might have been. Critical mistakes. Lone highlight was a TFL on the goal line series late in the game. Still has the physical talent to be a playmaker, but doesn’t have any confidence.

Stephen Tulloch played a series at MLB. No tackles. There was one play where he and Kendricks went to the same spot in coverage. I’m assuming Tulloch was right on that, but not sure.


Rodney McLeod led the team with 9 total tackles. Didn’t have any highlight moments. Hit Stafford up high on a scramble in the 1st Qtr and that gave 15 more yards to Detroit. Had a chance for an INT in the 2nd half. Dove for the ball, but just couldn’t quite get there. McLeod played really deep most of the game. Lions didn’t get any big plays.

Malcolm Jenkins was in on a couple of tackles. Played all over the field. Covered Boldin 1-on-1 on  a 3rd down and was beaten for a catch, 1st down. Did have tight coverage on the play. Called for hit to the head late in the game. Actually benefited the Eagles because it stopped the clock and they were already in FG range. Jaylen Watkins got on the field and covered well on some late plays.


Leodis McKelvin returned to the lineup. Solid game. Broke up one pass that came to his side. Nolan Carroll was more up and down. He was called for PI twice. Neither was big yards, but did give up 1st downs. Detroit threw his way a few times. Ron Brooks was burned on the TD pass to Marvin Jones. Sure looked like Jones stepped out of bounds before the catch, but never saw that addressed. Brooks was burned by Boldin on 3rd/11 for a gain of 20. That set up the first TD. Jalen Mills came in the game when McKelvin’s hammy acted up. Mills played well. Lions ran a rub route to his side. Mills read it and went around the “rub” and tackled the WR for only a gain of 4. Did get burned on 3rd down late in the game that set up the winning FG. That was a pick play. Mills got separated from his WR. Bradham then covered the guy, but wasn’t fast enough to stick right on the WR. Lions WRs were 11-124-1 for the game so the CBs were obviously solid in coverage.



Caleb Sturgis was outstanding, going 3 for 3 on FGs. He hit from 50 and 49 yards out. KOs had good distance as well. Had 3 touchbacks.

Donnie Jones only punted twice, averaging just 38 yards per boot.

Jaylen Watkins was good in punt coverage. The Eagles didn’t have many return yards on punts or KOs.



67 Comments on “Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Defense”

  1. 1 Game Review – DET 24, PHI 23 – The Defense - said at 11:37 PM on October 13th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor This really was a tale of two halves (or is that halfs because it is football?). The defense was […]

  2. 2 SteveH said at 11:40 PM on October 13th, 2016:

    I love watching this TNF game, where an insane comeback is possibly happening and pheeel and jim are just totally deadpan the whole time, no excitement at all about the improbability of it all.

  3. 3 A_T_G said at 7:10 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    I wonder how many living room items were broken in Colorado during that two-minute series of events starting with a possibly tying TD being called back and ending with a game-sealing turnover?

  4. 4 KevinShinn said at 3:33 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    Go go Toronto Maple Leafs!

  5. 5 Anders said at 4:25 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    Go Flyers

  6. 6 KevinShinn said at 5:16 AM on October 15th, 2016:

    Oh please don’t mistake me for a Leaves–er, Leafs! fan. Just a bad joke, recall Tommy’s beginning this article. Flyers all the way

  7. 7 daveH said at 5:56 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Toronto Make Believes

  8. 8 Cafone said at 3:34 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    How long will Curry have to outplay Barwin before he gets on the field?

  9. 9 SteveH said at 10:48 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    I think that Schwartz mentioned Curry’s snaps have been limited because he’s still recovering from an MCL sprain he had in preseason. Should be geting more moving forward.

  10. 10 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:10 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    The lions game was the first he played this year without a knee brace. Today curry talked about not being healthy the first few weeks. Im sure we will see his role increase

  11. 11 Dan in Philly said at 4:54 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    “or is that halfs because it is football?”
    This is the kind of stuff only Tommy gives. Well played, sir.

  12. 12 unhinged said at 11:11 AM on October 14th, 2016:

    TL, your succinct wrap of the defense in the 1st half is awesome. To think that the Eagles D has conceded 51 points in 4 games, and 21 of them were at the hands of the Lions, really underscores the critical nature of attention to detail. Our guys know they beat themselves, and I hope they develop and nurture a big, fat chip on their collective shoulder, and wear it on every play.

  13. 13 Gian GEAGLE said at 12:03 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    One of the times Barwin lost contain and the RB was able to get outside and turn the corner resulted from a blatant hold on Bawin…. Ridiculous to allow the DE to be held when the running back is trying to get outside, that hold had a huge effect on whether that Run play would be successful or not…. And when they ran to the other side, refs allowed Curry to be tackled. Absurd that the refs allowed that

  14. 14 P_P_K said at 1:36 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    We were yelling for a flag on that play.

  15. 15 The original AG said at 10:51 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    We were yelling about flags all day.

  16. 16 Gian GEAGLE said at 12:06 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Kendricks comments yesterday make him sound clueless, acting like he played ok, and the problem was that he barely played,.. Can you be any more out of touch with reality.
    How could KEndricks think that his play actually warrants more playing time?
    Sit his ass on the bench and give Najee Goode a look

  17. 17 RogerPodacter said at 4:42 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    tommy’s remarks on kendricks is probably the most scathing i have ever seen him write. damn….

  18. 18 P_P_K said at 1:36 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Tommy, great work. Thanks, I probably don’t say thanks enough. I take it for granted that with a touch on my keyboard, Iggles Blitz magically appears on my computer screen with an informed cast of characters bantering in the comments. I forget it is your labor that makes all this possible. So, again, thank you.

  19. 19 Nailed It! said at 2:00 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Flyers season starts tonight, as does the Konecny and Provorov era! Philly sports haven’t been this exciting in a long time.

  20. 20 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:12 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Yes but this city belongs to Joel Embiid

  21. 21 unhinged said at 3:15 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    You’re joking, right?

  22. 22 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:25 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Not at all… Wentz is clearly a special talent, but Joel looks like the most freakish, prodigy, Savant, Phenom….dominating presence
    Splitting hairs, so much to be excited about

  23. 23 unhinged said at 4:29 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Philly is a football first metropolis. Baseball second. The Sixers have had probably as many empty seats as the Phillies, and that’s a lot.

  24. 24 daveH said at 5:54 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Philly is a Sixers town

  25. 25 unhinged said at 8:04 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Based on what? They’ve been irrelevant for almost a quarter century, they’ve been a running joke for the past 7 or 8 years. College basketball probably gets more buzz in Philly than that sorry franchise. The Eagles fans staged a riot when Braman didn’t fire Kotite before the team was sold. The Eagles often had near capacity attendance when they sucked. Are we talking about the same city?

  26. 26 daveH said at 9:01 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Yep precisely. and still regret in 1983 not going down to the Spectrum for the finals. Went to South St instead. Ended up in a precint oops. But tickets were available at the box office window at face amount for the championship game. Damn

  27. 27 Anders said at 3:30 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    As an outsider it seems like the Eagles ate the team of Philly

  28. 28 Nailed It! said at 3:31 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Yeah the Iggs are the biggest team in Philly for sure, probably only team who could eat an entire town IMHO

  29. 29 Nailed It! said at 3:30 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Just wait till Provy wins the Calder this year (ROY in Hockey)

  30. 30 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:31 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Admittingly I haven’t seen him yet, but I hear great things. Def gonna check them out tonight

  31. 31 Anders said at 3:32 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Problem with provorov is that his style of play is so subtle that you often won’t notice him. Konecny will be the more dynamic player

  32. 32 Nailed It! said at 3:34 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I don’t know what your talking about? Provy is a fast, puck moving Dman who has the hands to dangle and a shot that is a laser. You will not miss him out there especially after suffering the last 5 years with some of the worst Dmen in the league.

  33. 33 RC5000 said at 6:42 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Incorrect. His CORSI was off the charts earlier in preseason.

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 6:47 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Where do I find CORSI in the box score for a game? Those made up stats are funny and all that, but Anders’s main point is correct; Provorov is going to be quietly excellent in a way that doesn’t generate award votes.

    I think he’s going to be awesome however. I just don’t put much stock in CORSI stuff.

  35. 35 Nailed It! said at 7:02 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    He will be quiet in the same way that Gostisbehere was quiet last year. (sarcasm)

  36. 36 Anders said at 2:10 AM on October 15th, 2016:

    Corsi is simple just shot attempts instead of just looking at goals. It’s sorta like using OBP instead of just BA in baseball, it gives you a better idea about who had the puck the most and in the end the team with the puck the most wins the most

  37. 37 RobNE said at 5:27 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I hear the rookie in Toronto is pretty good.

  38. 38 P_P_K said at 5:37 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Let’s hope.

  39. 39 Media Mike said at 6:38 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Sadly we’re still stuck watching Matt Read. That stiff needs to be traded so we can open up some ice time for another young guy.

  40. 40 Nailed It! said at 6:56 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Yeah, hopefully he is a healthy scratch most nights when Schenn comes back from suspension. Rather see Lyubimov play more than that plug.

  41. 41 Media Mike said at 6:39 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I’m so excited to have both young guys playing. Seemed like the entire free world, except Hexy, knew these guys needed to be up here playing.

  42. 42 Sean Stott said at 2:40 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Any word on what kinda illness Mathews has? He was held out today and his game status isn’t listed, while Cox (questionable) was. Hope it’s not serious, I know he fumbled but he’s a good back for us.

  43. 43 GermanEagle said at 4:39 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Not sure, but this sounds like flue symptoms to me…?

  44. 44 P_P_K said at 5:37 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I hope he doesn’t have Stickittothemanatosis.
    Anyone get the reference?

  45. 45 HawaiianEagle said at 6:24 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Jack Black is one of my heros…

  46. 46 P_P_K said at 9:13 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    You mean Ned Schneebley?

  47. 47 HawaiianEagle said at 9:20 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Technically Dewey Finn…

  48. 48 P_P_K said at 9:28 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    HawaiianEagle, you’re the man… but not like Miss Mullens.

  49. 49 HawaiianEagle said at 9:34 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    The legend of the rent was WAY past due…

  50. 50 daveH said at 5:52 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    It mathewsifimnotoutbecauseiminjuredimoutbecuaseimsickbutifitsoneofthe6gamesaseasoniplayIwillfumblethegameaway itis

  51. 51 Media Mike said at 6:38 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I think he watched his game take and felt ill; I know it makes me sick.

  52. 52 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:23 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Vinny said he wasn’t healthy the first 4 games and the lions game was his first this season without wearing the knee Brace
    Kelce: “we have a really, really good team with really, really good players with really really good people…..this is the most fun I have had playing football in my career”
    Sounds like the kid and this coaching staff have really electrified this entire franchise. Wentz proving to be that Rocket fuel we needed to launch us into a new golden Age of Eagles footbal. I hope we can keep this coaching staff and talent in place giving us a few years of continuity to build something special.
    If HOWIE has another great draft this year, we should have the Ingrediants in place to build something special, especially if these coaches continue to prove that they really know how to Develope young talent.
    It’s been 4 weeks, but watching Wentz I still pinch myself and ask if this could really be true. He looks that Special. Talk about “Checking all the boxes”…

  53. 53 Nailed It! said at 5:20 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I will never not love Dawkins.

  54. 54 P_P_K said at 5:36 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Dawk was 1-in-a-million. It’s interesting what a soft spoken, polite man he is off the field. When he put on his Wolverine persona, though, he was a stone cold killer. Deserves to be in Canton.

  55. 55 daveH said at 5:49 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    He better be. Straight up gangsta on the field. ..
    My favorite hit ever was him not only stopping Daunte Culpepper at the goal line but he caused him to fumble!! I swear Culpepper’s career ended right then & there. He played on a bit more but he was never ever the same and inside he knew he was done.
    He went from biggest fastest youngest in the nfl to over in 1 Dawk hit.
    I have never seen or found footage of that hit anywhere either

  56. 56 John Galt said at 7:17 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I remember that hit too – and I couldn’t find it either (although I only searched a couple mins). Searching for Dawk highlights is awesome in and of itself though – this will bring back some other memories…

  57. 57 GermanEagle said at 7:23 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Lol. I’ve just done exactly the same after reading his post.

  58. 58 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 5:30 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    We’ll trade Kendricks and he’ll be successful somewhere else, and I’m completely fine with that. He seems to have run his course in Philly. What a shame.

  59. 59 Media Mike said at 6:37 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I’d prefer we traded him and he was not successful after leaving.

  60. 60 daveH said at 6:44 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Agree. He works hard. Hope the best for him… just never while against us

  61. 61 Blackfoot said at 7:42 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    we are going to trade him and he will get a new brain?

  62. 62 daveH said at 11:18 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    Two brains if belichek gets him

  63. 63 GermanEagle said at 8:54 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I smell. Shutout.

    Eagles 20, Redskins 0.

  64. 64 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 9:50 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    That would be sweet, really sweet.

  65. 65 The original AG said at 10:50 PM on October 14th, 2016:

    I have to agree with Brian Westbrook. Redskins are a front-running team. If we get out early, we are going to roll. If we don’t, it’s going to be a tough game.

  66. 66 ChoTime said at 12:37 AM on October 15th, 2016:

    The more things change…
    “We have two similar quarterbacks. Our offense doesn’t change. I don’t think you’re going to outsmart people in the National Football League where all of a sudden if the second quarterback’s playing that Rex (Ryan) is going to tear up his game plan and say, ‘We’re screwed. We have no idea how to defend him.’… I don’t buy that whole ‘stick the banana in the tailpipe and try to tell them the car is broken.'”
    — San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly, explaining why he announced Colin Kaepernick as the starter for the Niners’ game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday so early in the week. (NBC Sports)

  67. 67 Greg Tulino said at 1:54 AM on October 15th, 2016:

    Rodney McLeod- “Had a chance for an INT in the 2nd half. Dove for the ball, but just couldn’t quite get there. ” McLeod was playing 30 yards deep to prevent getting beat deep. I know the game was played in Detroit, but Rodney was lined up at Linc on that play. If he was lined up just 5 yards closer he makes that Int. If he was told to play that far off then you can’t blame him for not making that play. Nobody in this league could have made that play where he was lined up.