Posted: November 16th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 507 Comments »
I just didn’t see this coming. Green Bay has totally dominated the Eagles. Ugly, ugly game. Aaron Rodgers is playing brilliantly, both at making reads and throws. The Eagles have not been able to get pressure on him. The cover guys are simply not good enough to handle receivers when a guy like Rodgers has plenty of time. Ugh.
Let’s hope we can get this thing over without anyone getting hurt.
Posted: November 16th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 25 Comments »
A few gameday items.
QB Nick Foles
OL J Vandervelde
OL D Kelly
WR Jeff Maehl
DL Taylor Hart
S Earl Wolff
CB Jaylen Watkins
Wolff is the only interesting name on the list. He has been disappointing on D and STs and is now watching games while newbie Chris Prosinski takes his place on Sundays.
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There was an interesting report today about a CFL receiver that could be in high demand. Duron Carter, son of Cris Carter, was a major prep star but could not get things worked out in several attempts at college. He eventually ended up in the CFL and has emerged as a star. The report says 10 teams are heavily interested, with the Colts being seen as the favorites. Carter can negotiate with NFL teams in December, but wouldn’t officially sign until February.
The Eagles are not mentioned in the report. But after trying to make a deal for Vincent Jackson a few weeks back, you wonder if the Eagles are interested in trying to add another talented player to the mix. Carter is approximately 6-2, 190 and very talented. At the same time, he isn’t the kind of off-field player that the Eagles have seemed to want in recent years. The reason they could be interested is that he won’t cost a draft pick or a mega-deal.
I tend to think Carter is the kind of player the Eagles would pass on, but you never know.
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The Eagles worked out a couple of QBs this week. Terrelle Pryor and Thad Lewis were in town for a look.
If Foles injury hasn’t healed much in a couple of weeks, the team may put him on IR and add a QB to the mix. Sanchez and Barkley are fine at 1-2, but the team may want a third option in case someone else gets hurt.
Both Lewis and Pryor have starting experience. Pryor is a dynamic athlete while Lewis is more of a pocket passer.
Posted: November 16th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 123 Comments »
Big day. The 7-2 Eagles are at the 6-3 Packers. Everyone is excited by the Eagles success this year, but one concern has been the quality of the competition. The Eagles only have one win against a team with a winning record (the early season victory against the Colts). They came very close to beating SF and Arizona on the road, but lost heartbreakers.
Today the Eagles have a chance to show the world that the 7-2 record is real and they are a good team. A loss would mean more questions about whether the Eagles can beat good teams. This game would mean a lot because there is a real buzz around the Packers right now. I wrote about that in my game preview for PE.com.
I’m excited for this game. I want to see how the Eagles stack up. Going by the numbers, the Eagles actually look like the better team.
I’m optimistic about today. I know it will be a major challenge for Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher to deal with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. We’ve seen lesser receivers light up the Eagles. That said, the CBs have played their best football in recent weeks. The timing of this match-up works well for the Eagles.
I’m looking forward to seeing if the Eagles can pressure Rodgers. That’s the key for me. If the CBs have to cover guys while Rodgers stands in a clean pocket, watch out. If the Eagles can continue their recent trend of getting to the QB, that evens things out for the DBs quite a bit.
One of the big angles is how Sanchez will do. I feel confident that he and McCoy and the offense will be fine.
Maybe the Eagles come away with a big win. Maybe Rodgers stays red hot and shreds the defense. Either way, it will be good to come away from this game with a better idea of just how good the Eagles are.
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Domo wrote a good column on the game. His focus was on LeSean McCoy going against the Green Bay Nickel defense.
But there is reason for hope. McCoy has had just two 100-yard rushing performances this season, including a 149-yard game in the Eagles’ 27-0, Week 6 win over the Giants.
Most of the defenses the Eagles have faced have made stopping McCoy their first, second and third priorities. They have stacked the box and stayed in their base defense, even when the Eagles have gone to three-wide receiver sets.
The one notable exception was the Giants, who played nickel almost the entire game, even against two-tight end sets. You saw what happened in that game.
Chip Kelly’s offense is all about creating favorable matchups. He’ll spread you out with three-wide receiver sets, get you to bring in your nickel personnel, then gash your lighter lineup with the run. Or he’ll trot out “12” personnel (two tight ends), get you to play base and then make safeties and linebackers try to cover Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz in space.
When he won the rushing title last season, three-quarters of McCoy’s rushing yards came out of three-wide receiver formations.
The Packers, like the Giants, don’t play much base defense. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers has used his base package only about 20 percent of the time in the first nine games. The Packers have played nickel (five defensive backs) about 65 percent of the time and dime (six defensive backs) 15 percent.
They’ve only given up 13 touchdown passes and have 12 interceptions, but are 30th against the run. Capers stopped the bleeding with his run defense, at least temporarily, last week against Chicago by moving his Pro Bowl outside linebacker, Clay Matthews, inside.
The Packers, who had given up 193 rushing yards in a loss to the Saints the previous game, held the Bears to 55 yards on 24 carries.
Even with Matthews in the middle, the Packers still played very little base defense. They were in nickel or dime almost the entire game. Probably will be again against the Eagles.
“Then again,” McCoy said, “every team shows something on tape and then plays us differently. So we’ll have to see Sunday how that works out for us.”
Center Jason Kelce said it’s not quite as simple as getting a defense to play nickel.
“Nickel is just personnel,” he said. “They could stay in nickel and still get to some fronts and some alignments that would make it very difficult to run as well. Even though it’s less [big] people, they’re still packing the box and putting a lot of guys between the two tackles. That said, I still think, in general, nickel usually is easier to run against.”
A big game from McCoy and the O-line will go a huge way to winning this game. No snow is expected, but it will be a cold, windy day. That’s not always conducive to throwing the ball so the running game could be crucial. And the Eagles are at their best when McCoy is running wild.
Lots of other good nuggets in the column. Make sure to check it out.
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A couple of site notes.
No DGR for the Panthers game. My day job was a bit overwhelming this week. With the boss out of town, I was putting in 11-hour days all week long. I re-watched part of the game, but never had the time to study it the way I like, let alone write 4000-5000 words on the game. No more Monday night games this year so that helps in a huge way. Monday night games are the worst.
Many of you have asked about the H2H shows. Good news. Jimmy Bama is getting a new computer and we’re hoping that will help with the technical problems we had. We’re going to try recording again and see if we can get things working as they did in the past. Rejoice, America!
Posted: November 15th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 146 Comments »
From Chuck Bednarik to Bill Bergey. From Seth Joyner to William Thomas. From Jeremiah Trotter to…Connor Barwin? The Eagles have had a lot of great LBs over the years. I never expected to mention Barwin with those names, but the way he’s playing this year is something else.
I wrote a piece for BGN on Barwin’s season and compared him to Jason Babin. As I said in the piece, Barwin is the anti-Babin. He’s having great individual success, but within the framework of a good defense and in the middle of a winning season. Not to mention, people actually like Barwin. Babin isn’t exactly a beloved figure.
Barwin is on pace to have 19 sacks this year. Clearly, that is a long shot to actually happen. Barwin has had some great games, but he isn’t an explosive pass rusher. He’s not just going to take over many games. Barwin needs the right circumstances to succeed. It is shocking to see him at 10.5 sacks in only 9 games, but that is a really tough pace to sustain.
While he’s not explosive, Barwin is a good athlete. He’s also smart and is a great effort rusher. One of the reasons that Barwin is thriving this year is that Bill Davis is using him creatively. Davis has Barwin and Trent Cole moving around a lot. They will play OLB, ILB, DE and DT. They rush from the right and left. Both will drop into coverage and Barwin was used as a spy vs Cam Newton on Monday night.
I don’t want to make Barwin out to be JJ Watt or something like that. He’s not. But I do hope people appreciate just how well Barwin is playing this year. And this isn’t a complete anomaly. Barwin hnad 11.5 sacks in 2011. That means that 2 of the last 4 years he has been in double digits. Barwin also is very good at batting passes.
And here is a little something for the ladies out there who can’t get enough of Barwin or rookie NT Beau Allen.