Posted: December 1st, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 181 Comments »
The Eagles are 7-5. They are 6-2 in the last 8 games. The defense hasn’t let anyone score more than 21 points in that stretch. The QB has the highest rating in the NFL. Life is pretty good.
There are still concerns.
But that’s okay. We knew all along this was a flawed football team. Chip Kelly wasn’t going to come in here and solve everything all at once. And let’s consider the problem right now…the Eagles are able to build big leads, but not sustain them. All in all, that’s a good problem for a first year coach.
The funny thing here is that part of what got Andy Reid fired is that his team was building leads and then losing them altogether. Kelly is still winning games. He’s just not making it very pretty at the end.
The Eagles had some chances to put today’s game away. There was a PR for TD that a penalty negated. There was a long run that got the team into FG range that a penalty negated. Dumb mistakes. You can bet that Kelly and the staff will be working to clean them up.
Part of being a good team is finding a way to win. Last week Brandon Boykin had the pick in the end zone. This week the D got the Cardinals to go 4 and out and then the offense did just enough to run out the clock. It wasn’t pretty, but it was winning football.
I’m curious to see what the ceiling is for this team. They had a 24-0 lead last week. They were up 24-7 on Sunday. The Eagles look pretty darn good in building up those leads. If this team can somehow start to play complete games, they’ll look pretty good. I don’t know if that will happen this year, but I’ll certainly keep my fingers crossed.
One thing that is encouraging is the play of the front seven. They had 5 sacks today and got regular pressure on Carson Palmer. I wrote on Saturday about Trent Cole and the LBs being on the rise. Cole had 2 sacks and a FF. Brandon Graham had 2 sacks. DeMeco Ryans had a sack and played the run well.
We know the DL is good. If the LBs start to turn it on, that will be another big piece to the puzzle. Cole now has 5 sacks in the last 4 games. He told Chris McPherson that he’d figured something out about playing in the 3-4. I had my doubts about that, but he was a force off the edge today. It would be great if Cole really did figure something out and he can play at a high level for the last month.
I need to watch the tape before saying too much about the OL giving up 5 sacks. That’s not good, but it helps to see why things happened to understand them. I know Lane Johnson gave up one sack to Abraham due to over-setting to the outside and leaving himself vulnerable to an inside move. I do know that Foles had good enough blocking to throw 3 TDs and finish with a rating of 112.o.
The one upside to all of this is that the Eagles can’t get complacent. Everybody will stay a bit on edge due to the tight finishes. That could serve Kelly well as he tries to keep his team focused and hungry down the stretch.
Posted: December 1st, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 162 Comments »
Great game…until about the 9-minute mark of the 3rd quarter. The offense fell apart after building a 24-7 lead. The defense remained stingy, but did give up 14 points in the 2nd half. There wasn’t anything pretty about the win, but I’ve been a part of some ugly losses to the Cardinals so I’m going to enjoy this result.
The D has now kept 8 straight opponents to 21 points or less. They sacked Carson Palmer 5 times today and got lots of pressure on him. They had 3 takeaways.
Obviously the hot topic will be the offense shutting down in the 2nd half…again.
Here’s the most simplistic explanation I can give you. Late in games, defenses are daring the Eagles to throw. Kelly will spread them out, but defenses will keep 7 in the box. With only 5 blockers, that’s not a winning formula. Defenses are single-covering on the outside and daring the Eagles to throw the ball.
Kelly has 2 choices. He can go to a more conventional set and load up on TEs and use Casey as a FB and then pound the ball. Or he can throw it. Spreading them out and running against a 7-man box isn’t working.
It would help if the Eagles had more of a downhill runner that packed some pop. Shady looks for big plays and loves to move laterally. Late in games you want a N-S runner that will attack the LOS, whether there is a hole there or not.
Nick Foles looked sloppy at times today. He got bailed out in a major way when a flag wiped out an incredibly dumb throw that was picked off. Nick was sharp for a while, but had some off-target throws. Gotta check the tape and see if the Cards were playing good defense or if this was him proving to be human.
The Eagles advance to 7-5 and keep pace with Dallas. The win also helps the Eagles in the Wild Card standings since the Cardinals are one of the teams the Eagles are battling with.
Oh…and the Eagles have won 2 home games in a row. The Linc is basically the new Lambeau.
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 | 465 Comments »
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.