Coming Together

Posted: November 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 63 Comments »

It sure sounds like Mark Sanchez will be starting this week (and probably on Thanksgiving). It sounds like Jason Peters might be out this week. Ryan Mathews will likely miss the game as well. Wonderful, right?

We’re at a critical juncture in the season and key players are falling like flies. This is less than ideal. Can the Eagles win this week, and going forward, if they are missing key offensive players?

History has shown that teams can overcome injuries if the backups play reasonably well and the remaining starters do their part. Sanchez isn’t your typical backup QB. He’s got plenty of experience as a starter and knows the Eagles system very well. He’s not likely to make anyone forget Ron Jaworski or Donovan McNabb any time soon, but Sanchez put up okay numbers last year and had some good moments.

Mathews has been terrific this year, but was only the workhorse in one game. DeMarco Murray normally is the guy moving the chains, with Mathews stepping in to deliver fresh legs and some long runs. Without Mathews, the Eagles will mix in more of Darren Sproles and possibly Kenjon Barner. They will miss Mathews, but should still get solid production from the RBs.

The OL remains a mystery. Chip Kelly didn’t expect Jason Peters to practice on Thursday, but JP was out there and per Lane Johnson (via Les Bowen), it sounds like Peters will try to play.

“I think his back is feeling a little bit better than it has. I guess he’s expecting to go, as far as I know,” Johnson said. “He took a lot of reps today. He looked close to normal. That’s the most he’s done in a while.”

Isn’t this uncertainty a little difficult for the o-line, which played pretty well against Dallas with Johnson at left tackle and Dennis Kelly on the right, but was a disaster area against Miami?

“It’s tough, but it’s my job, so I just go out there and try to get used to it,” Johnson said. He added that moving from side to side, back and forth, “is a lot more difficult than people think it is.”

Johnson said he isn’t expecting this week’s Peters decision to come down to the final 90 minutes before the game, as last week’s did.

“I expect it’ll be a little bit different this week,” Johnson said.

This is a real Catch-22 situation. You want Peters on the field because he’s so good. But you also want continuity. Moving around during the practice week hurts all the guys it affects. I think the OL played well at Dallas because they practiced together. Last week Peters was at LT some of the time, with Johnson going back to the right side. Then on gameday Johnson has to switch and Dennis Kelly is back in the lineup. The OL struggled.

If Peters is going to practice, let’s hope he plays.

This offense can be successful. Murray is still a good RB. Brent Celek and Zach Ertz are good TEs. Sproles can be a playmaker. The WRs aren’t having a great year, but Jordan Matthews can move the chains and Josh Huff has flashed some playmaking ability. It would really help if Nelson Agholor would get back to 100 percent and start to really contribute. He’s got the best combination of size, speed, skill and athleticism.

The key is Sanchez.

Last year Sanchez took over against Houston and then made his first start vs Carolina. The Eagles could not run the ball in that game, but Sanchez played well, going 20-37-332 with 2 TDs and no picks. The Eagles got up 45-7 before winning 45-21.

He doesn’t need to be great for the Eagles to score points and win, but he needs to limit mistakes and make some plays. Both are a challenge for Sanchez. We’ll find out just how much he’s improved since last year, if at all.

Just how different are Sanchez and Bradford? The numbers are pretty similar.

Sanchez did have one advantage last year. The offense seemed to be clicking. He took over and the offense continued to click, at first. As the competition got better, things became erratic.

This year the offense has been erratic all year. The hope is that Sanchez will somehow get the group to play more consistently.

Sanchez will need help. He needs the guys around him to quit dropping passes and having dumb penalties. Maybe the change at QB will be the spark the other players need to get going and come alive. Sometimes a QB change, whether a coach’s decision or through injury, can give a team some life.

Soon enough, we’ll find out if that’s the case with the Eagles.


Actually, the last 5 times.


As wide open as the NFC is this year, this could be another addition to that list.


Gus was a great assistant. Hasn’t worked out so far as head coach. Currently losing to 2-7 Titans and their rookie QB.


63 Comments on “Coming Together”

  1. 1 anon said at 11:54 PM on November 19th, 2015:

    watching allen robinson you gotta wonder when’s the last time an eagles WR went up and caught a contested ball. QBs get minimal help and a lot of blame in philly.

  2. 2 Will:↑↑↓↓←→←→BA said at 12:21 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Only thing I can think of is Ags snagging a one handed catch in traffic. I’d love for us to run some fades, seams and gos with Matthews from the slot or outside. What’s the point of having 6’3″ WRs if we don’t use them?

  3. 3 Patrick said at 2:46 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    I’d take Bortles too, he is looking pretty good in my eyes. That entire Jags offense looks like its just about to turn a corner and become very, very good.

    I could see them paying a couple of FA offensive linemen this spring and drafting one pretty high too. With a good OL, that offense is pretty much set. Not to mention they are yet to see Dante Fowler on their team, and I loved him as a prospect.

    Passer, Pass protector and pass rusher, the holy trinity. They have the QB and the pass rusher, while Joeckel doesnt look too good but is young and has struggled with injuries.

    I’m kinda always hoping for the Jags and the Raiders to turn it around. They have looked like they were about to turn the corner before, and then fell back into terrible. Hopefully they actually get going this time.

  4. 4 Anders said at 6:36 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Bortles has developed way more than most people outside of Jags thought.

  5. 5 Patrick said at 11:12 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    I might overrate him and he certainly has to improve, but he looks good in the pocket, showing good ability to read a defense and a strong arm, both in terms of zip on passes and a good deep ball. Looks like a leader and a hard worker, commands the offense and looks very mobile at his size.

  6. 6 Eagle Central said at 12:06 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Despite the offensive struggles the D is playing at a very high level. Currently #2 in the NFL behind only Denver, per Football Outsiders

  7. 7 Sean Stott said at 12:58 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    It hurts to think about how much the offense is letting down the rest of the team this year. They should be ashamed of how they’ve played.

  8. 8 SteveH said at 3:10 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    I think the NFC East and the AFC South should be forced into a deathmatch to determine which one continues to exist.

    This headline just kills me: “Jaguars stake claim in AFC South title race with win.”

    They’re 4-6.

  9. 9 b3nz0z said at 9:33 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    or like a merger where the top four teams remain in the league.

  10. 10 Insomniac said at 4:32 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Jaguars had to completely rebuild. Chip decided to tinker and then blowup the team.

  11. 11 Anders said at 4:34 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    The way the Jags brought in FAs, not sure I would call it rebuild on purpose and more a forced rebuild because the roster was hot shit garbage.

  12. 12 CrackSammich said at 9:19 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    It really doesn’t help that all their first round picks (besides Bortles) are constantly dealing with injuries. Fowler, Lee, and the OT they took before Lane all have sat out significant time.

  13. 13 RobNE said at 10:15 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    yep I hate comparing records and making blanket statements like that. Tomlin inherited a team with a franchise QB and wins a SB and is oh so super great. Put Tomlin in Jacksonville and Gus in Pitt (back then in the time machine) and see what happens.

    Really, the Eagles had been killed by injuries Andy’s last year and thinking that the Eagles and Jags were somehow equal starting points in order to judge the new head coaches is crazy. I know that’s not what Tommy wrote but it’s implied by the conclusion.

  14. 14 Tumtum said at 1:45 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    At the end of the day in this situation, Chip hasn’t had a QB and has faired well. I think at this point you give the Foles success in 13′ to the staff over the player.

    If he had his QB all of these issues would be moot I think.

  15. 15 Media Mike said at 5:05 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Tampa and Detroit (although Miami was in the same boat) should be ready-made wins for Sanchez. These two wins are vital.

  16. 16 BlindChow said at 9:34 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    They should be. But this team finds ways to lose.

  17. 17 eagleyankfan said at 2:56 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    that’s what talented teams do…smh…

  18. 18 Ark87 said at 10:24 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    I’m not so sure, in my mind we’re about equal. urk

  19. 19 Tumtum said at 1:43 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Mike I have got to give it to you. You are an optimist man.

  20. 20 botto said at 1:47 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    they will be crushed like ants

  21. 21 MagsMumDadBro+Ex said at 4:00 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Funny thing about crushing ants. You can never quite get them all.

  22. 22 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:36 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    So we have to hang our hopes on the QB who led us to our late season implosion after A 9-3 head start last year.
    … Yikes..
    sanchez dissapointed me this summer not showing year two growth I would have liked to see.. But the one thing he has going for him is that he knows this offense much better than SAM who is still getting comfortble in our offense, which results in an offense that moves faster than SAM
    I enjoy seeing defenders bending over sucking wind because of our tempo, but part of me wishes we would line up and impose our will on the deffense, instead of having to tire them out, or snap the ball before the defense is set to be able to move the ball..I like our Tempo, but part of me wishes we would line up, tell our opponents exactly what’s coming, and just out execute our opponents, instead of having to take opponent off guard because of our tempo to make big plays…
    I would love to see a compromise where we start games like a normal NFL offense, and after we prove that we can execute hat tô hat against our opponents, prove that we can move the ball against the defense, and after you are successful playing at a normal NFL pace, THEN you Rev up the tempo and unleash the fast break… Not a fan of starting games with fast tempos… Prove you can execute against your opponent without tempo, and once you pick up your 2nd first down, you have Mark crank up the tempo at a frantic pace for the rest of the drive…
    Show that you can straight up execute first, and then we can worry about tiring out the defense or catch them before they can line up…part of me feels like a pussy that my Eagles need to use tempo to have success…. Sometime you just have to line up, tell your opponent exactly what’s coming, and execute showing the defender that he can’t do ANYTHNG about it….. I also like that chip choses plays and sets based off of how an opponent will line up if we come out in a certain set. Basically he calls plays that he thinks will force the defense to line up against us the way chip wants.. and while Andy failed miserable to take advantage of opponents weakness, I do think a playccaller needs to find the proper balance of letting how the defense lines up to dictate our play call (attacking their weakness) , but he also needs to be able to IMPOSE a our own Will, we are going to run this play, and no matter what the defense does, we will execute and ram in down their throat… Need to find a balance between attacking weakness and imposing our Will exciting so well that yout don’t even care how the defense lines up..
    I’m hoping that thru trail and error, chip evolves. And he starts to care more about winning, than he cares about winning HIS WAY.. Right now he still wants to win with his principles, but after he has been in the NFL long enough, I think he will stop caring about proving his ideas work, and be more concerned with doing whatever it takes to success against an opponent… Basically I pray for the day where we evolve into a Chameleon Offense like the Patriots, that look different each week because they don’t care how they get It done, they just care about running whatever it takes to beat the team across from them…
    Chip was NEVER hired because of the pro coach he was, he didn’t become our GM because of the GM that he is… Chip was hired because he is a smart, hardworking guy, and with experience and trail and error, hopefully he would grow and evolve into the top NFL coach we hope he becomes…

  23. 23 The original AG said at 8:38 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    I think Sanchez can give us two games. I’m hoping the light comes on for everyone in the offense, and it starts to trend upward on a steady curve. If everyone else is playing well, it makes it easier on the QB.

  24. 24 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:42 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Yeah, I have confidence that he can give us two solid games before he turns back into a pumpkin. Hefully we see SAM in Foxborogh

  25. 25 b3nz0z said at 9:32 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    he should have two in him at least

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 10:19 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    We’re a little limited on offense. We don’t have a dominant line, QB, WR’s, etc, and with an 8-play (or so) scheme (limited by our ability to signal plays in quickly and distinctly), we just aren’t good enough in any aspect when they aren’t tired and on their heels and we’re putting the tempo on them.

    I’ve brought this up before, I wish we implemented a full playbook and huddle to start drives. As soon as we land a nice play, 15 yards or so, get them on their heels, turn on the tempo with the current system we have in place. Then when teams fake an injury to disrupt our tempo, we can huddle up and unleash the full playbook rather than let them kill our drive. I really like the tempo, I just hate watching well coached and prepared defenses know what we do as well as we do.

  27. 27 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:53 AM on November 20th, 2015:


    Mile Austin played double the snaps that Sproles got in the Miami game, and Coop got 3 times as many snaps as Sproles
    This can’t happen again…. Your BEST players are Jordan, Eetz and aproles. Since both ERTZ and Sproles can also play WR! There is no excuse for other players getting more snaps than those 3 weapons…
    Stop throwing to fuckin miles Austin, and start force feeding Sproles, ERTZ and jordan…. All 3 should get AT LEAST 8 passes thrown there way each game

  28. 28 P_P_K said at 8:55 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    A stat like that makes me start to listen more to the guys yelling for Chip’s head.

  29. 29 anon said at 10:02 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Shurmer said when they decide to go fast sometimes they don’t have the best personnel

  30. 30 RobNE said at 10:12 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    whose fault is that. So put the other players in, then decide to go fast.

    plus, that doesn’t justify the absolutely absurd number of plays Austin is playing.

  31. 31 P_P_K said at 11:25 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    Exactly. Put Sproles in and keep him in, rather than the Austin and Cooper debacle.

  32. 32 b3nz0z said at 2:05 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    i mean jesus. script a no-huddle sequence around sproles. imagine a sequence where he runs it, hurry, pa to celek, hurry, swing pass to sproles, hurry, bubble screen to huff, sproles motions to the slot . . .

  33. 33 Tumtum said at 1:42 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I know, right? Why am I always left to scratch my head. Is Chip innovative or just contrarian? Sometimes he obvious answer is the best answer. To be blind to that is stupidity.

    I haven’t jumped ship on the guy but I certainly would not put up a fight to defend the guy.

  34. 34 b3nz0z said at 9:31 AM on November 20th, 2015:

    i mean at some point you have to acknowledge that you don’t have the horses to run a spread.

  35. 35 A_T_G said at 2:08 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Sproles’ usage has definitely dropped despite his effectiveness early on. I have been wondering if Sproles and/or the staff realized that the mileage on Sproles body and workload he was handling meant he was not going to last through a season.

  36. 36 HawaiianEagle said at 3:25 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Well, he can now have a longer, less productive and boring career – just like all the rest of the Eagles…

  37. 37 eagleyankfan said at 3:00 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Jeff McLane – -not sure of your point — neither are going to the SB.

  38. 38 Tumtum said at 3:26 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I think his point is that in regards to hiring Chip we very well could of been in a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

    Unless of course as I suspect you are well aware and just taking a shot. Always hard to tell in text.

  39. 39 eagleyankfan said at 4:03 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    99 % of the time I’m teasing…

  40. 40 botto said at 3:27 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    his point is that gus sucks too like everyone else

  41. 41 GermanEagle said at 3:39 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    …and so the Jaguars happen to be half a game behind the division lead. Just like the Eagles…!

  42. 42 MagsMumDadBro+Ex said at 3:57 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    The Jags were a pile of doo-doo when Gus arrived. At least they win sometimes now. So many folks seem to forget that a team of 53 players plus numerous coaches, trainers, etc. can’t be fixed in one year.

  43. 43 TypicalDouche said at 5:29 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    No, things cant be fixed in one year but he’s been there 3 years and there have been no real improvements.

  44. 44 botto said at 5:31 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    well the first two years were better then the 3rd year so far.
    so the first year was a big improvement over the year before.

  45. 45 A_T_G said at 10:38 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Which is even more damning when you consider that regression to the mean is helping him. It takes almost constant effort to fight off gravity pulling you back towards average.

  46. 46 Joe Minx said at 5:11 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Jason Peters didn’t practice today & is now questionable. Roto says it looks like he’ll be a GTD.
    Getting tired of this ish with Chip & guys practicing. If they’re healthy enough to practice 2 or 3 days out of the week they should be playing, unless they’ve suffered a setback or something. Now Lane won’t know what’s going to happen again until right before the game.

  47. 47 anon said at 5:13 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    GTD is pretty typical, i think if JP wasn’t JP he’d be out, but b/c of the way the line looked last week they’ll try to see if he can play.

  48. 48 botto said at 5:29 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    don’t you think Chip would prefer JP to play?

  49. 49 laeagle said at 7:04 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I think you’re micro worrying. Seriously. If you didn’t have constant updates about injury status on practice days, you’d just know on the game day if he was playing or not. And that would be enough. And it should.

    This constant barrage of information is turning people into addicts.

  50. 50 Joe Minx said at 11:43 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I only bring it up because much was made of how the OL not knowing who was going to play last week was a possible reason for them playing badly.

    But I agree with your larger point. Information oversaturation maybe.

  51. 51 laeagle said at 2:16 AM on November 21st, 2015:

    And I absolutely agree with your point, “Getting tired of this ish”, pretty much applied across the board.

  52. 52 Allen3000 said at 5:25 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    To borrow a line from a classic movie: “That sports science guy was full of shit!”

  53. 53 Aaron said at 6:02 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    what a crappy year, I was so hoping miles austin would be release after that last game he crapped the toilet in, should start that young guy seranto or whatever his name is, at least see what you have, you know what a bum austin is

  54. 54 Aaron said at 6:04 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    seye arijotuto, I cant spell it for nothing, he’s gotta be better than austin

  55. 55 anon said at 6:11 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    sad part is what if he isn’t, At least Maehl could come in and catch a couple of passes, I wanted him gone but now i’m sort of missing him.

  56. 56 A_T_G said at 10:34 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Alas, if only Maehl would return to sender…

    We are in a sad state if we are longing for Maehl’s return.

  57. 57 GermanEagle said at 6:43 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    If the Eagles lose to the Bucs, our season will be over. If we beat them, we will win the Super Bowl, makes sense, right?!

  58. 58 anon said at 6:58 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Our season will be over unless everyone else loses this weekend. Then we’ll be in purgatory. With out luck giants will win the division and beat the patriots for a 3rd time in the SB.

  59. 59 HawaiianEagle said at 7:05 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Nah. They may win the div but their D will let them down.

  60. 60 HawaiianEagle said at 6:52 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    Eagles sign Ed Reynolds to active roster…

  61. 61 Tumtum said at 8:29 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I think this is good.

  62. 62 anon said at 10:36 PM on November 20th, 2015:

    I was hoping they’d drop austin and bring up a WR.

  63. 63 SPYGAMES: Coming Together « The Big Blue Blog - The Ultimate New York Giants Blog said at 5:22 PM on November 30th, 2015:

    […] The rest of the article can be found here: Iggles Blitz […]