Posted: December 1st, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 569 Comments »
Good start. The Eagles were a bit sloppy at times, but mostly played well. The Cards were also sloppy at times.
Big difference, aside from turnovers, seems to be the Eagles get chunk plays and the Cards having to drive the field. The one TD for them came when an intermediate play turned into a long TD. Thanks for nothing, Mr Chung.
Eagles get the ball to open the 2nd half. Let’s get some points and make the Cards one-dimensional.
Go Eagles !
Posted: December 1st, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 37 Comments »
Getting closer. Only 90 minutes to go.
QB Matt Barkley
RB Matt Tucker
OL Dennis Kelly
OL Matt Tobin
DB Curtis Marsh
DB Earl Wolff
LB Emmanuel Acho
Mychal Kendricks and Bradley Fletcher return to the defense.
Michael Vick is the #2 QB.
Big news for the Cards. RB Andre Ellington is inactive. He’s been a key player for them in the recent 4-game winning streak. The Eagles catch a big break there.
The Sunday morning shows are throwing lots of love to Nick Foles and the Eagles. That’s nice to hear, but it also makes me nervous when they start to jump on the Eagles bandwagon. Ron Jaworski has a sit-down interview with Foles coming up at about noon on ESPN. That could be interesting.
One prediction for the game…I think Nate Allen comes up with his first INT of the season today.
Posted: December 1st, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 65 Comments »
I can’t be the only one who is going nuts while waiting for Sunday to get here. The bye week was great for getting the Eagles rested and healthy, but I’m dying to see the boys go out and play.
The Cards are a weird opponent. The media is buying in on them. I did too, initially. The more I watched them play and studied the stats, the more I started to see some holes. The Cards are 5-1 at home. Their 2 road wins came in Florida, one vs the crappy Bucs and one vs the crappy Jags. Put the Cards in a favorable situation and they win. Challenge them and things are far less certain.
Watching the Colts game from last week wasn’t a ton of help. The Colts DL was awful in that game. The Cards don’t have a good O-line and seeing them control the LOS was not a good sign for Indy. The Colts OL struggled and Andrew Luck played poorly in part because of that. How far has that team fallen in recent weeks?
I’m fully aware that you can pick apart the Eagles just as well. Right or wrong, I just believe in the Eagles a bit more.
One of the key reasons is that the Eagles are good on the LOS. The OL can block. The DL can play the run and pressure the passer. The Cards have a good DL, but their OL has issues.
Maybe the best part of this game is getting to see Nick Foles go against a top shelf D. He’s faced some that were ranked relatively high, but none that had the buzz that the Cards have. There is a ton of hype about DC Todd Bowles and his players. A good NFL analyst suggested on Twitter tonight that Calais Campbell could be Def Player of the Year material. Patrick Peterson is a player who gets tons of hype. And Tyrann Mathieiu is another player the analysts love. These guys deserve the credit they get. Add in LB John Abraham, DL Darnell Dockett, ILB Karlos Dansby and ILB Daryl Washington and you have a talented defense that can make some plays.
If Foles and the Eagles can move the ball and score on these guys, the Chip Kelly hype will go through the roof. Probably true for Foles too.
I am curious to see how the Cards cover the Eagles. Does Peterson cover DeSean Jackson? If so, does he get Safety help or does that go to the CB on Riley Cooper? Jackson vs Peterson 1-on-1 would be very interesting.
I wrote a preview for PE.com.
There really are a lot of angles to this game.
* Playoff implications
* The return of Todd Bowles to Philly
* Bowles D vs Kelly’s O
* Mr NFL (Bruce Arians) vs Joe College (Chip Kelly)
* Can the Cards win on the road?
* Can the Eagles extend their home winning streak?
* Will the bye week affect the Eagles?
* Will we see Mike Vick as a role player?
* Can Nick Foles avoid turnovers against a Cardinals defense that thrives on takeaways?
* * * * *
If you prefer visuals, check out this great All-22 piece from Fran Duffy. Superb preview of the Cardinals.
* * * * *
Les Bowen wrote a good piece about the Eagles need to pick up the Cardinals blitzes.
The good news is that so far this season, Foles has been good under pass-rush pressure, in limited exposure. Pro Football Focus gives him a .676 accuracy percentage in such situations, with two touchdown passes and of course, no picks, because Foles hasn’t thrown any picks in the eight games he has played this season (five starts).
This isn’t all on Foles.
Foles agreed that the Eagles’ uptempo style could disrupt the blitz packages a bit – it’s hard for the defense to change personnel – but he said he figures the Cardinals have looked at that and figured out ways around it.
“Our line’s done a great job of really seeing what’s going on,” Foles said, when asked about his blitz success. “They’re able to give me just a split second longer to get a throw off. That’s huge . . . Our receivers and running backs have recognized when we are hot, to get their head around and get ready for the ball.”
Should make for an interesting match-up.
* * * * *
The Eagles will wear black jerseys. What do you guys think of that?
I’m mixed. I don’t like the black jerseys on the players, but I think they look really good on fans.
Posted: November 30th, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »
Bill Davis has been asked about Trent Cole since the day he was hired as Defensive Coordinator. Davis has had nothing but positive comments about Cole. At times you wondered if some of this was coachspeak. Was Davis really seeing the kind of pressure from Cole that he expected? Davis either has a good poker face or he legitimately was happy with Cole. The message he preached is that the pressure was there and that the sacks would come.
2 weeks ago Cole finally broke through and had 2 sacks. I didn’t think he did anything significantly different. Chris McPherson did a good interview with Cole for PE.com. Cole told McPherson that the light did go on for him and that he did make some small changes. Cole didn’t talk about them and said they were secret for now. I don’t know if this is a player BS’ing us or if he did really tweak some things in regard to rush angles or something like that. On Sunday we’ll see what he does vs the Cards. Carson Palmer has been sacked 30 times. Cole should have good chances to add to his sack total.
I’ve talked about the Eagles need to upgrade at ROLB, but I’d love Cole to get hot down the stretch and make me wonder about that.
What if he did figure something out? If the pressures turn into sacks, that will make a difference. Cole still isn’t going to be a dynamic force off the edge, but if he’s able to get to the QB on a regular basis, that might make him a player worth keeping around for another season. The Eagles still need to find a stud for that role long term.
Cole said that Kelly’s training methods have him feeling better right now than he’s used to feeling late in a season. Cole sometimes struggled late in seasons when it seemed that he wore down. This will be another angle to consider when evaluating him.
As for the other LBs, DeMeco Ryans is playing his best football of the year. I think he’s finally comfortable in the scheme.
Connor Barwin has played pretty well all year.
Najee Goode had to play a ton in the last 2 games and looked like a solid ILB.
We don’t know what to expect from Mychal Kendricks. He is healthy and will play Sunday, but has been erratic all year. Did watching from the sideline help him? Did the coaches figure anything out with Goode that will help Kendricks? The coaches did say that Kendricks was playing better as the season went along so he’s headed in the right direction.
Brandon Graham has had his moments, but still has yet to really stand out.
All in all, the LBs are playing their best football of the year. That’s crucial in the 3-4 defense. If the defense is going to play well down the stretch, the LBs are going to be a big part of that.
* * * * *
Bob Grotz wrote a good piece on Connor Barwin and how he’s getting the front seven to bond.
“He’s a leader in so many different ways,” defensive end Vinny Curry said of Barwin. “He’s all about team camaraderie.
“That’s something he brought to the team. And just look at us now. Guys are out there making plays. Everybody is happy. Everybody is jumping around compared to last year. It’s fun to be a part of.”
Just another reason to love the Barwin signing from the offseason. Good on the field. Good in the locker room.