Posted: September 28th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 209 Comments »
The Eagles lost 26-21. Regardless of the score, that was a bad game.
The Eagles made a ton of mistakes. Sloppy football is going to catch up with you at some point and that’s exactly what happened today. The Niners defense played well, but the Eagles offense had a lot of self-inflicted wounds. Chip Kelly didn’t call a good game. Nick Foles didn’t play well. The makeshift OL had a bad day. Zach Ertz fumbled the ball to SF and set up a short TD drive. Riley Cooper let the potential game-wining TD pass go through his hands. And on and on.
The good news is that as bad as the Eagles played, they were right there at the end of the game. The Niners made some sensational plays, especially the WRs, and they needed all of those big moments to win a slopfest.
Lane Johnson comes back to the NovaCare tomorrow and not a moment too soon. All the talent in the world doesn’t do you any good if the blocking up front isn’t good enough.
Don’t make too much of this loss. We don’t need to fire Chip Kelly, bench Foles or Shady McCoy or anything like that. Kelly and the coaches will work through the issues. The players need to eliminate the mistakes.
More on the game later.
Posted: September 28th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 744 Comments »
What a bizarre half. The offense can’t get going, but the team still has 21 points.
Blocked punt for TD
PR for TD
The Eagles are playing sloppy, but making huge plays. That might not be enough to win the game. The offense needs to get going.
It has been fun to see the pass rush come alive. Kaep has been under pressure all game long.
Posted: September 28th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 683 Comments »
Can the backup OL get this done?
Can the Eagles get to 4-0?
Let’s hope so.
Posted: September 28th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »
The Eagles might be 3-0, but if you just looked at the defensive stats you would expect the team to be 0-3. The numbers are not good.
Put the numbers aside and judge some individual situations. You will see the defense making some key stops and even coming up with key takeaways. Andrew Luck got the ball back in a tie game with 3 minutes left and had to punt. Last week the Skins got the ball almost in FG range needing only 3 points to tie and they couldn’t gain a yard. Malcolm Jenkins has key 2nd half picks in each of the last 2 games.
What is wrong with the defense in the 1st half?
I don’t see one thing that needs to be fixed. Cary Williams was awful in the 1st half against the Jags and that hurt the overall team. All it takes is one guy breaking down and you’ve got problems. The pass defense was much better in Indy, but the Colts ran the ball behind their unbalanced look and ate the Eagles up. Last week Bradley Fletcher was the player who got attacked over and over.
The biggest problem against the Skins was the failure to get them into 3rd/long. Kirk Cousins and Washington had manageable 3rd downs and were able to convert those over and over and over. The Skins stayed on the field. I don’t know that they physically wore down the Eagles because the defense played better as the game went on. There is no question that the defense got frustrated and that had to affect them mentally and emotionally.
Can the good moments become good games? Can the defense eliminate the sloppy play and get into a groove?
That’s what happened last year. Starting on October 6, the Eagles held 9 straight opponents to 21 points or less. There was no magical flick of a switch. The coaching was better. The players executed better. Players got into a comfort zone with their roles and each other.
The scheme isn’t new this year so expectations were higher. There wouldn’t be a learning curve. So what’s the deal?
I wish I had an answer for you.
I do think this defense can play better. Getting Mychal Kendricks back will help a lot. He is a key playmaker. Young defenders like Beau Allen and Brandon Bair are still adjusting to real games. The coaches need to find a way to get Nolan Carroll on the field more. The defense can be quite a bit better if they just eliminate mistakes. Think of all the times the defense jumped offside in Indy. They gave away 1st downs. Bradley Fletcher played too soft on a FB in the Red Zone. That’s just a sloppy mistake and easy TD. Nate Allen made a simple mistake against the run in Indy and gave up a 28-yard run. There were the short TD passes to RBs on play-action passes in Indy. Bill Davis says they have corrected those mistakes. Fletcher Cox had a crucial hands-to-the-face penalty last week that took the Skins from 3rd/long to 1st down. That extended a TD drive and might have cost the team 4 points.
The Eagles do not have great defensive talent, but they should be better than they are right now. Davis and the staff need to figure some things out. The players need to play with better discipline. The talent isn’t going to change until the offseason so improvement for now is all about better execution. And that is possible.
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Here are your inactives.
The backup OL are Andrew Gardner and Wade Smith. Let’s hope they aren’t needed.
Marcus Smith will see some more time in the Nickel defense. He had a couple of good moments last week. Would be great to see him take another step forward this week.
Posted: September 27th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 229 Comments »
The Eagles play a late afternoon game in San Francisco on Sunday. This game is giving me fits as I try to figure out what to expect. We’re talking about the Niners, a team that was a Super Bowl contender just 6 weeks ago. But I can also make a strong argument that the Eagles could win this game…comfortably.
Color me confused.
I wrote a game preview for PE.com.
If the OL can give Nick Foles any kind of time, I expect the Eagles to move the ball and score points. Can the OL do that? With Aldon Smith out, the Niners pass rush isn’t all that fearsome. They have a total of 4 sacks this year. SF prefers to limit blitzing so they can cover and prevent big plays. They need a monster game from Justin Smith or Ahmad Brooks for that to work on Sunday. It is possible that those guys could do that.
I do think the Eagles OL has their best set-up (minus starters of course) going this weekend. Players are at positions where they have experience and are comfortable. Matt Tobin is making his first NFL start and that will be a challenge, but he is a good run blocker and could help the Eagles move the ball on the ground.
I can’t decide what to think of the Eagles defense against the SF offense. They lack a top passing game, which is what normally gives the Eagles fits. Can the Eagles shut down their run game and handle the running of Colin Kaepernick? You really wish you had Mychal Kendricks out there chasing him around.
There is also the question about SF and whether things could unravel.
That is Heath Evans, who leaves a lot to be desired as an NFL analyst, but he’s not the only person to hear things could fall apart out there. The Niners have lost 2 games in a row. If the Eagles get out to a quick lead (crazy concept, I know), you wonder how SF will react.
As I wrote in the preview, SF is a desperate team. That could also bring out the best in them.
Sunday will be a good test for both teams.
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If you need some lighter reading for the night, check out the Wulf’s Den. Bo Wulf got Zach Ertz to spill the beans on all the cheating that Jim Harbaugh did at Stanford.
You won’t see a detailed confession like this very often.