Jag Talk

Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

The Eagles host the Jaguars on Sunday. Jacksonville is a bit of a mystery team. This is Year 2 for Gus Bradley as he tries to turn that franchise around.

The Jags made progress last year. They only went 4-12, but were 4-4 in the second half of the season. The roster is better this year, but still has a long way to go. The Jags have the 5th youngest team in the league and they will rely on some rookies as starters and key role players on offense.

RG Brandon Linder – starter

WR Marqise Lee – starter

WR Allen Hurns – #3 or #4

WR Allen Robinson – #3 or #4

The Jags will have a backup at RT and Luke Joeckel will be making his second start at LT in the NFL. That isn’t an ideal situation for the O-line or the receivers. Add in the fact that Chad Henne will be the QB and Toby Gerhart the primary RB and you can see where Jacksonville isn’t going to have a dynamic offense right now.

Preseason numbers don’t mean a lot, but JAX ran for just 313 yards. By comparison, the Eagles ran for 623 yards. The Jags need that running game to work to ease the pressure on the OL and Henne. You might think the Jags want to control the ball and play methodically, but that’s not the case at all. They want to be an up-tempo offense. Because of the new players and youth, though, they realize there will be some limitations. They will try to mix in tempo.

In a couple of years, that offense might be something. The OL needs time to gel and develop. The young WRs need to get NFL experience and to see which guy fits which role. The Jags also need Blake Bortles to be the QB. Henne is a limited player. His teammates respect the heck out of him (just elected him captain), but Henne isn’t special physically and he hasn’t played at a high level in the past. He has 55 career TDs and 62 INTs. He is capable of having a good game, but not on a consistent basis.

For now, the Jags are in a tough situation. They only had 3 games all year when they scored more than 20 points. I think they will need to score 28 or so to win this game. Barring some fluke plays on offense or TDs by the defense/STs, I think the Jags will come up short in this game.

* * * * *

Bradley’s specialty is defense, but the Jags finished 28th in scoring D and 27th in yards allowed last year so even that side of the ball has issues. JAX did make some good moves to beef up the defensive line so that group should be improved. They brought in ex-Seahawks Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. Bryant is the massive LDE who will set the edge and funnel run plays back to the inside. Clemons is the team’s best pass rusher. In the middle, the Jags have Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks, a pair of good 1-gap DTs who can get off the ball and be disruptive.

The big question is how good Bryant and Clemons still are. Seattle let them go due to a combination of age, cost and performance. Both players also thrived as part of a very talented unit. The Jags are building a defense and there is more pressure on Bryant and Clemons. They need to stand out for the defense to play well.

The Jags do have fast LBs. It sure seemed like the Eagles were hoping to use the wheel route a lot to take advantage of McCoy / Sproles vs LBs, but that matchup isn’t as good this week.

The secondary is long on toughness and effort, but cover skills might be another story. Alan Ball has played both S and CB. Dwayne Gratz started 8 games last year as a rookie. Winston Guy is a big, physical S, but only started 2 games last year. Jonathan Cyprien started 15 games as a rookie last year and showed excellent potential.

* * * * *

The Eagles are 10.5 favorites in this game. That feels about right. They’re more talented, more experienced and healthier.

That isn’t to say Jacksonville is going to lay down. Bradley is an emotional guy and excellent motivator. He will have his team fired up and ready to go. I just think effort isn’t going to be enough in this matchup.

* * * * *

The Eagles have won 3 openers in a row and have been on a real hot streak (5 of 6).

2013 – 33-26 over WAS

2012 – 17-16 over CLE

2011 – 31-13 over STL

2009 – 38-10 over CAR

2008 – 38-3 over STL

Let’s hope that trend continues.

I don’t see Kelly as having this group over-confident, but that is always something to consider when you are a big favorite in the season opener.

_


57 Comments on “Jag Talk”

  1. 1 Flyin said at 8:06 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    This a game I feel the Eagles should get a nice lead going into halftime.

    If that happens, I’d like to see the Eagles maintain that lead and not let the game get interesting at the end.

  2. 2 A_T_G said at 10:04 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    And I was just wondering if we are going to see one half of “here is why DCs won’t be sleeping this year” followed by a half of “we don’t need to give away all the surprises.”

  3. 3 Flyin said at 10:37 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    This is the type of game we don’t need surprises. This is what we are going to do and try and stop it. I expect it to be pretty basic. Let the players win the battles with a few twists.

  4. 4 A_T_G said at 6:51 PM on September 7th, 2014:

    Well…um…yeah. We both nailed that one, didn’t we?

    Sheesh.

  5. 5 GEAGLE said at 8:12 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    The LBs are fast, but not the MLB Puzlnesnky built in the trotter Mold.. Whoever the PSU LB is matched up on is who the ball will be thrown to.
    ..
    I actually think Dwayne Gratz will become a solid CB, whether he is their yet is another story..

    Will Blackmon is a good slot corner Gus brought with him from the legion of boom..

    Red Bryant, IMO still has plenty left in the tank and I expect him to play his ass off to prove it after the embarrassment of being cut by the SB champs..Formidable run defense..

    On offense they are going to try and run the ball, control the clock, keep our offense of the field, physical run game with a bruising back looking to wear or front 7 down. important to shut the run down during 1st and second and make them throw on 3rd down where our front 7 can blitz and take advantage of an OL that’s going to be very poor to start the season. It’s not a terrible OL, but it’s had no time to Gel, which is why G us Bradley won’t put BOrtles on the field even tho he looked good. There is just no way that OL has had time to Gel and perform at a high level to start the ceiling with Joekel switching sides and having little NFL experience, rookie guard, journeyman center making his first start,and the other Guard Beadles who came over from the broncos… It’s bad enough that their OL lacks talent, but also lacking cohesion is the kiss of death for any hope of a passing attack…

    Offense needs to do it’s part and light them up for 21 points in first half force them to be a little more urgent to abandon the run which will allow us to bring the pain to Henne and force him into mistakes..

    Eagles will score 34-37pts, jags will score 17-20pts

  6. 6 GENETiC-FREAK said at 8:16 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Im thinking this game is gonna be a blowout for the Eagles too be honest.. Just dont see Jags competing with this team

  7. 7 GEAGLE said at 8:17 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    37-20 is blowout territory, no? Should def cover 11pt spread

  8. 8 Flyin said at 8:29 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    62-13 is now the standard. (for the Eagles)

  9. 9 OregonDucker said at 1:21 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Saw that Duck game last Sat. The team that Chip built is still running like a Swiss watch.

  10. 10 GEAGLE said at 7:14 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Thinking Arik Armstead will be an eagle… What you think about him?

  11. 11 OregonDucker said at 1:58 PM on September 5th, 2014:

    Armstead is very athletic but came to the Ducks very raw, unpolished. Good hands and feet, could be the pass rusher we need, with “could” being a qualifier. Chip will definitely try to get him.

  12. 12 GENETiC-FREAK said at 9:20 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    haha nah man my expectations are something like 40-7 something similar.. 20 points against us is too much lol

  13. 13 GEAGLE said at 7:13 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Works for me

  14. 14 Anders said at 8:49 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Ertz and Celek is the guys who should have a big game

  15. 15 Scott J said at 8:24 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    This is a game where we might rest McCoy and Sproles later in the 4th quarter and could use a healthy 3rd back.

  16. 16 mtn_green said at 2:38 PM on September 5th, 2014:

    Boykin!!

  17. 17 jshort said at 8:36 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Is it me or is Collinsworth starting to look like Mr. Rogers.

  18. 18 Mitchell said at 9:32 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Still salty we didn’t get Cyprien but hey, we got Ertz out of it instead.

  19. 19 Media Mike said at 5:38 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    I agree completely. I was focused on Cyprien going into the 2nd round, but glad to see that Ertz is on our team.

  20. 20 Anders said at 9:39 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Seriously, the Eagles offense is based on YAC and the Seahawks defense allow like 0.01 YAC per play, gonna be a tough one

  21. 21 Flyin said at 9:50 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Is Chip calling plays in this game?

  22. 22 Anders said at 9:54 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    No, but still matters that they are super good at tackling.

    One advantage we have is we use hand signals to call in plays and we are about twice as fast as the Packers in there “uptempo” offense

  23. 23 Flyin said at 9:58 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Plus we play them at home:) I don’t disagree that it will be tough, however I have faith Chip will know how to match up with them.

  24. 24 Anders said at 10:01 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    ahh yea, makes a giant difference playing at home against them (there home/away split is crazy)

  25. 25 Flyin said at 10:14 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    I’m optimistic on the season. Shady will continue to drop jocks in there place, and Chip will cause players to receive neck injuries being spectators.

  26. 26 Media Mike said at 5:41 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    No, but (even though I love Foles) if Green Bay would like to trade us Nelson for Maclin I wouldn’t mind giving it a go vs. Seattle with our O-line.

  27. 27 A_T_G said at 10:08 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    True, but we run a lot of plays. Those pennies will start to add up.

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 5:39 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    I’m not making or breaking my judgement of our team this season based on a game vs. the team I expect to repeat as champs. Seattle is a tough matchup for us, or any team, that I don’t expect to win until 2015 and beyond.

  29. 29 Yuri said at 9:58 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    I went to Bears-Jaguars 2nd preseason game (stayed 2.5 quarters or so). The Jags starters were much better than the Bears’ in that game. My impressions were as follows:
    – Dominated special teams play, much better return and coverage. Bears STs had a terrible performance in prior game, so it did not say much
    – “Gritty” rather than big play offense. Kept stalling in RZ and kicking FGs.
    – A good offensive player seemed WR #12 Mike Brown; noticed him a lot targeted and as blocker, and he’s their #5 WR!
    – Much better running up the middle than outside, seemed like every run wide went for a loss. The Gerhart speed demon!
    – Both top QBs (Henne and Bortles) played well, though again not flashy.
    – Not much pass rush vs Cutler, but good run stopping D

    Basically, if the Eagles start well, the Jags do not strike me as a team with comeback ability. But, they might have some miracles on special teams…

  30. 30 Insomniac said at 10:38 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    The Seahawks look pretty good.

  31. 31 SteveH said at 10:55 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    It’s so obvious how much better they are along the lines than GB. On offense they’re just mauling the DL 3-4 yards down the field every play, on defense they’re jacking GB’s OL back into the ballcarrier constantly, and whoever #78 is is going to get Aaron Rodgers killed at some point this year.

    GB is so chronically bad along the OL its amazing they can ever win anything at all. If I was Rodgers I’d give back some of my salary and say please, for the love of jesus find me some people who can block!

  32. 32 Insomniac said at 11:43 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Andy did get something right though. You win the battle through the trenches when you have almost equal talent. The way James Carpenter mauled that DE was amazing. Seahawks are going to the playoffs this year again and they’re someone you want to avoid.

  33. 33 SteveH said at 11:52 PM on September 4th, 2014:

    Andy would get huge, mammoth OL and then throw the ball 60 times a game. Conceptually I think he had the right idea, but he would mess up the execution.

  34. 34 Insomniac said at 7:32 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    He did change his mindset for his OL as times changed though. Peters, Kelce, Mathis and Shawn Andrews were all great athletes.

  35. 35 Sb2bowl said at 3:10 PM on September 6th, 2014:

    It really is amazing how good Shawn Andrews “could” have been– that guy had all of the talent and potential in the world, but he had such a soft personality that when he faced adversity and set backs, he couldn’t overcome the obstacles. Imagine if he had Runyon’s attitude or temperament? We would STILL be talking about how dominant he was as an Eagle– chances are he would be in the Eagles Ring of Honor, and he would certainly have had Hall of Fame credentials. Too bad; hope “the big kid” is doing alright in life today, whatever he may be doing.

  36. 36 NinjaP said at 5:52 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    I actually think we are a rather stout team on the line of scrimmage, seahawks would be a better match up for us than say the saints.

  37. 37 Insomniac said at 7:39 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    I would much rather play the Saints than the Seahawks overall.That defense suffocates everyone and people who think otherwise are just being homers.

  38. 38 NinjaP said at 7:45 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Drew brees could beat us himself, Wilson? Not sure about that one with those terrible receivers.

  39. 39 GEAGLE said at 8:23 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Yup… If you are outmatched In the trenches, you probably are in for a rough night…we are a much tougher matchup for Seattle than GB

  40. 40 bill said at 8:24 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    GB’s DBs were also putrid. SEA receivers were running wide open all night long – Wilson rarely had to move past his first read. First week, though. Rarely tells you much about either team – remember way back when the Eagles stomped the Cowboys on Monday night in like week 4 – in the season where the ‘Boys went on to win their first SB? Gotta see how the season unfolds.

    *edit* first SB under Johnson

  41. 41 GEAGLE said at 8:24 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Haha Clinton Dix had a rough night

  42. 42 anon said at 12:51 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    they have a domination mindset. its hard to teach but they believe it whuch i think is goimg to set them apart from everyone who is “competing”.

  43. 43 McNabbulousness said at 1:00 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    So someone on reddit made a chart ranking which fans curse the most. The eagles were #39 on the list.

    Can you fucking believe that?! Only fucking #39…

    http://deadspin.com/which-sports-subreddits-curse-the-most-1630636718

  44. 44 Birds4Life said at 9:33 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    That’s some fucking bullshit!

  45. 45 T_S_O_P said at 2:14 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    If you are Gus Bradley, this is a game you want.

  46. 46 NinjaP said at 5:55 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    If the Eagles want to be a challenger for the superbowl this year this is a game they need to come out and dismantle the Jags. Like bears last year win.

  47. 47 Media Mike said at 6:05 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    I don’t think that we’re really going to be a challenger for the title this year. I also don’t think that any one game should be a determinant for that, but I agree we need to dismantle the Jags simply based on their inferior status as a football team.

    Even if it doesn’t show up in the record this year, I’m expecting the Eagles to be a better team this year in that they don’t fiddle around with garbage teams and put some comfortable victories on the board. I’d like to feel this game is wrapped up by mid-2nd quarter.

  48. 48 GEAGLE said at 8:44 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Not really…. The eagles team we see Sunday, should not be as good as the eagles team we see in December….

  49. 49 Sb2bowl said at 3:17 PM on September 6th, 2014:

    Agreed– its all about the process; each week is a building block to stack on the block(s) from the previous week. The Eagles weren’t the same team last year in week 3 that they were in week 16; I expect a similar transition this year, only now, we are much further ahead (hopefully). It should hell to experience the ups and downs of the season, but looking back (when its all over) if we can see our team grow together, get better, and challenge for a title, it’ll be worth the frustrations. Hopefully.

  50. 50 GEAGLE said at 7:17 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    We need to run that Seahawks jet sweep that they run with Harvin, using Huff or Sproles with Celek as the lead blocker….after all, we are the see Coast offense

  51. 51 eagleyankfan said at 7:29 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    when Huff is healthy of course ­čÖé

  52. 52 GEAGLE said at 8:43 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Did you start Cobb?

  53. 53 eagleyankfan said at 8:56 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    In one league yes, one league no. My bone head move thinking about Sherman too much. I forgot he only stays on one side of the field. If I remembered that I would have played him. All GB did was attack the other side of the field away from Sherman. I do think that plays into the hands of Seattle and stops all the RAC because that’s where all the help is. I think Eagles need to attack Sherman or overload that side with WR’s.

  54. 54 GEAGLE said at 7:20 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Everyone is ready to bow down to the Seahawks after last night, but it saw a packers team that was really flawed in the trenches… Our OL is drastically better than the Packers and our Defensive front will do a better job against BEASTMODE that the Pack did….we are strong enough in the trenches to compete with amyone

  55. 55 Sb2bowl said at 3:23 PM on September 6th, 2014:

    Losing Finley really hurts A.Rodgers and their short/intermediate passing game; he was a chess piece unlike most and when they could move him all around, it caused chaos for any defense. While I like Cobb, he really isn’t as dangerous as Finley was, and it seems like their passing game would really be in trouble without one of the best QB’s in the game back there slinging the ball all around.

    You are right about the Packers– their attack has become limited. In previous years they had multiple dangerous WR’s and an All-Pro “move” TE that could line up almost anywhere in the formation. While they do now have an improved running game, their passing situation has retreated to average (I’m NOT saying Rodgers is average; I’m saying the skill players he has as a whole when compared to previous years are now). I don’t worry about playing any team- Chip says its about winning your match ups; some days it happens, other days it doesn’t…………. should be a fun year to see how everything shakes out!

  56. 56 GEAGLE said at 8:25 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    Greenbays tempo was a joke…. If Seattle thought that was a fast tempo, wait til we leave them gasping for air

    Plus Seattles is going to pay the price for getting TOO CUTE moving Earl Thomas to punt returner… Watch. He will go down with an injury or something.. Get too cute and it usually blows up in your face. You don’t mock the football gods. You have Percy Harvin and you are playing around with your star safety, going to pay the price

  57. 57 Birds4Life said at 9:31 AM on September 5th, 2014:

    In the 3rd, when GB was running tempo on Seattle and their D looked gassed, that is exactly what I thought! Maybe we do have a shot to beat them. Seattle is a better team, but I think we can beat them.
    And no way Harvin will stay healthy this year, that guy is always getting hurt. Maybe that is why they don’t want to use him on punt returns; not that using their $10 mil a year safety is smarter though.