Pump the Brakes A Bit

Posted: October 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 141 Comments »

After Sunday’s win, there is a lot of excitement in regard to the Eagles offensive line and the 3-headed monster at RB. The Eagles ran out the final 6:44 of the game and were physically dominant at times so it is easy to understand the praise for the run game.

There is also a need for some context.

The Giants defense is currently 28th against the run. The Chargers are 31st. The bigger story would have been if the Eagles didn’t run well.

Both teams were strong against the run last season so this could be an early season anomaly, but it sure didn’t look like it the last two weeks as the Eagles piled up 193 and 214 yards on those teams. The Eagles ran methodically in gaining all those yards. There was one 68-yard gain. This wasn’t a bunch of crazy runs or long plays that inflated the stats.

There are upcoming games against the Cardinals and Panthers. They are both ranked in the top 11 in run defense so these games will give us a better idea of just how good the Eagles ground game is.

There actually is evidence going back to last year that the Eagles ground game will be fine. The team finished 10th in attempts and 11th in yards. They averaged 134 yards a game in the final three weeks, with all of those games being against Top 5 run defenses.

Things got off to a slow start this year. A very slow start, in fact. There are four main factors in the improvement.

Playcalling – The first requirement for a good run game is for the coaches to stick with it. That requires patience and discipline. Coaches want to run going into a game, but once things get going it is easy for them to get away from their intentions. Maybe the coach is trying to jump start his QB by throwing. Maybe he’s trying to exploit a rookie DB. Or maybe he just gets impatient with his offense.

The coaching staff embraced the run game the last two weeks and really stuck with it.

Beyond simply calling enough runs, the coaches have to know which runs to call and when to call them. Jeff Stoutland puts together a run gameplan during the week and Pederson takes it from there on gameday. Stoutland and offensive coordinator Frank Reich make in-game adjustments based on what is working and what isn’t.

The coaches have done a masterful job of getting the most out of their personnel the last two weeks. You’ve seen Corey Clement in the game in crucial situations in the 4th quarter. The coaches trust him and think he’ll work on those plays. He scored the tying TD against the Giants. He ran 3 times for 12 yards on the final drive against the Chargers and converted a pair of crucial 3rd downs. How’s that for clutch?

Blount had a 68-yard run to put the Eagles down inside the 5-yard line. They pounded away with him, but the Chargers defense kept him out of the end zone. On 3rd and goal, Wendell Smallwood came in and scored the TD. The Chargers went from stuffing a 250-pound sledgehammer to trying to close the gaps quickly enough to stop the more explosive Smallwood. They couldn’t and the Eagles got the TD. If you don’t have one great runner, you have to use your resources wisely. The coaches have done just that.

The OL – No RB is going to gain a yard if the Biggies up front don’t win their battles. The OL had no chemistry early on, but benching Isaac Seumalo at LG and sticking more with the run has gotten the group into a good rhythm and they are getting good movement. Jason Peters and Stefen Wisniewski have absolutely demolished some DTs with double teams. When you move that guy off the ball or collapse him to the inside, you give the RB room to run, even if just 2 to 3 yards.

Watch the play below and look at the “communication” between Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks. Kelce lets BB know he’s there and Brooks passes the DL to Kelce, allowing Brooks to go get a LB. That’s a subtle moment in one of 74 offensive plays, but it shows you how important it is for an OL to play as one.

The Eagles have two huge blockers in Peters and Brooks, but the whole line is athletic. Wiz and Kelce are incredibly quick off the ball and that lets them execute reach blocks really well.

For whatever reason, the line didn’t play well this summer or the first two weeks. The run blocking was a mess. Thankfully they have worked through it and now things seem to be clicking. As I mentioned earlier, there are some big tests in the weeks ahead.

Other blocking – It takes a whole team to run well. Brent Celek has had some really good blocks in the last couple of games. It is important for him to thrive in that role since he’s a limited pass catcher at this point. Zach Ertz still isn’t a good run blocker on the front side of plays, but he has improved. He’s now effective on the backside of runs, sealing a defender or cutting him. Check out this clip.

The receivers are doing their part. Nelson Agholor has stood out on multiple plays. Torrey Smith has had some good blocks. When you see runs going longer than 10 yards, that means the WRs are usually doing a good job.

Big V deserves some mention here as well. He is the extra TE in jumbo sets. Vaitai is getting better at this role, but is still too inconsistent. Matt Tobin did a good job as the jumbo TE last year. Vaitai should keep getting better as the season goes along.

Running – LeGarrette Blount ran angry the last two weeks. Whether the coaches meant to or not, it seems like they got his attention with how little he played in KC. Blount was a man on a mission and broke tackle after tackle. This is the guy the Eagles had in mind when they signed him this offseason. Smallwood suffered from poor blocking early on. He’s gotten better blocking the last two weeks and has really taken advantage of it. He’s also done a better job as a pass blocker, which lets the coaches keep him on the field more.

Clement has had only one rookie moment that I can remember, when he bobbled the hand-off and lost yards against the Giants. Other than that, he’s run hard. There is no hesitation. I think that is one reason the coaches use him late. Clement won’t look for big plays. He’ll attack the hole and run hard.

The RBs all want the ball more, but so far they are making this RB by committee approach work. They have to embrace the system for it to really work.

The Eagles are 3rd in the NFL in rushing right now. I don’t know if they can keep up that pace because there are no great elements to the run game, but I think this team can have a good ground game for the long haul. The coaches have to show they will embrace it each week. The OL has to stay healthy. And the RBs have to keep running with a chip on their shoulder.


141 Comments on “Pump the Brakes A Bit”

  1. 1 Howie Littlefinger said at 2:03 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    our time of possession is also inflated due to the defense giving up huge plays in each game if we are being negative

  2. 2 Someguy77 said at 9:54 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    It was pretty large last year though too and seems to be a staple of what Pederson is trying to accomplish each week.

  3. 3 Guy Media said at 5:16 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    “The RBs all want the ball more, but so far they are making this RB by committee approach work. They have to embrace the system for it to really work.”

    Running back by committee is a horrible, horrible trend in the game. I miss the days when most teams had a feature back and stuck with the guy.

    Look at this list from 85

    1. Marcus Allen • RAI 1759
    2. Gerald Riggs • ATL 1719
    3. Walter Payton • CHI 1551
    4. Joe Morris • NYG 1336
    5. Freeman McNeil • NYJ 1331
    6. Tony Dorsett • DAL 1307
    7. James Wilder • TAM 1300
    8. Eric Dickerson • RAM 1234
    9. Craig James • NWE 1227
    10. Kevin Mack • CLE 1104

    or from 95
    1. Emmitt Smith • DAL 1773
    2. Barry Sanders • DET 1500
    3. Curtis Martin • NWE 1487
    4. Chris Warren • SEA 1346
    5. Terry Allen • WAS 1309
    6. Ricky Watters • PHI 1273
    7. Errict Rhett • TAM 1207
    8. Rodney Hampton • NYG 1182
    9. Terrell Davis • DEN 1117
    10. Harvey Williams • OAK 1114

    and sadly 2016

    1. Ezekiel Elliott • DAL 1631
    2. Jordan Howard • CHI 1313
    3. DeMarco Murray • TEN 1287
    4. Jay Ajayi • MIA 1272
    5. Le’Veon Bell • PIT 1268
    6. LeSean McCoy • BUF 1267
    7. David Johnson • ARI 1239
    8. LeGarrette Blount • NWE 1161
    9. Devonta Freeman • ATL 1079
    10. Lamar Miller • HOU 1073

    I just miss having feature backs and the lack of active players on the career rushing leaders list is kind of sad.


  4. 4 Will Ft. The Roots said at 5:47 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    You picked 10 teams from 3 different years. Im sure there will be another 10 this year. If we run for 200 yards a game does it matter if the production comes from 1, 2 or 3 guys?

  5. 5 eagleyankfan said at 7:03 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    he didn’t PICK 10 teams — he listed the TOP teams in rushing…

  6. 6 FairOaks said at 9:12 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    It’s harder to pick the guys who will do well in fantasy that way.

  7. 7 Guy Media said at 8:53 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I was just sampling some random years of the top rushing yard guys from pro football reference.

  8. 8 eagleyankfan said at 7:08 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I’m a believer in game flow. Unless you’re Beli-cheater handling the offense(I know who the OC is), I don’t always see the value in rotating. I think during a game, a runner gets a feel as the game goes on about the defense and about his own lineman. I’m also a believer in ‘best player’ on the field. Just a note – Freeman was time share(I think) and who the heck is Harvey Williams?

  9. 9 Miami_Adam said at 8:57 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I think this list just shows that over time NFL offenses have transitioned from predominantly running to predominantly passing. What’s the difference if it’s one guy running or 2-3 guys running?

  10. 10 Guy Media said at 8:53 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    If it’s two or three guys it forces me to have to be far too active in managing my fantasy rosters!

  11. 11 or____ said at 11:38 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    You into flip phones too? Or wait, 85, carphones?

  12. 12 ChoTime said at 12:17 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Running backs are badass. I always thought that was the coolest position. I do miss the big-time runners, but I don’t miss the overvaluation of RBs that still sometimes occurs in today’s game. For example, the idea that AP was a workhorse that a team could ride to any kind of success. It just doesn’t work now, if it ever really did. The idea that without Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboy’s offense would be broke. Even the idea that the Eagles RBs weren’t good enough to get it done.

    I think it’s pretty rare for a team to fail in finding a RB good enough; usually it’s the rest of the offense that’s the problem.

  13. 13 Guy Media said at 8:52 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    “Running backs are badass. I always thought that was the coolest position. I do miss the big-time runners”

    There were so many cool RBs back in the day. I used to always want to be Walter Payton as a little kid if we were playing nonsense tackle games.

  14. 14 Stephen E. said at 2:07 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    While we’re talking 1980s… where’s the beef? The rushing totals, overall, are about 100 yards off where they used to be. That’s easily explained by the pass/run ratio moving from about 50/50 to 60/40.

  15. 15 Guy Media said at 8:51 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Certainly true by season, but I find it sad how that’s added up and teams aren’t keeping feature backs for consecutive season as there are very few active RBs that are high up on the rushing yards or scrimmage yards list for their careers.

  16. 16 xmbk said at 5:55 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    That Clement bobble was partially on Wentz, too.

  17. 17 eagleyankfan said at 7:13 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Pump the brakes to ‘masterful’. LMBO! Let’s see – 14 attempts by Blount = win. 0 carries for Blount = lose. Hmm, maybe we should be giving him the ball. 2 wins later — GENIOUS! (spelled that way on purpose). Kinda helps last 2 teams have zero wins. Beat the teams you’re supposed to beat….
    learning to win is awesome. It’ll be interesting to see if these 4th quarter scoring by other teams continue…

  18. 18 GermanEagle said at 7:32 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Go Twins.

  19. 19 eagleyankfan said at 7:45 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    All Rise!

  20. 20 GermanEagle said at 8:21 AM on October 3rd, 2017:


  21. 21 Insomniac said at 7:58 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    We saw the effects of wearing down the opposing defense with runs. It’s not a coincidence that every RB started getting bigger chunks in the 2nd half. Feed the RBs and keep a balanced offense.

  22. 22 eagleyankfan said at 9:04 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I’m not saying I’m right or wrong..just my preference. I think any of those 3 are capable of doing damage as a 1 back. They’d wear em down just the same…

  23. 23 Bert's Bells said at 9:58 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I don’t have a preference if they run 40 times or pass 40 times. Whatever puts up a W.

  24. 24 Stephen E. said at 2:09 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Post hoc fallacy. Your sample set of four games is a bit small.

  25. 25 eagleyankfan said at 2:46 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    That’s all the article is based on — 4 games…

  26. 26 Insomniac said at 7:56 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Our RBs are the next “nobodies” group, you don’t expect to produce heavily but they can get the job done. Blount hasn’t even had a decent contract in his career. Smallwood and Clement are just guys but they are guys with a chip on their shoulders. Don’t fix what’s not broken right?

  27. 27 GermanEagle said at 8:57 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Is this the game Wentz finally breaks out….?!

  28. 28 Ark87 said at 11:48 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Wait is he the new Zach Ertz? Where we all like him a lot, just a matter of time…in 2 years, where next year we all decide he’s fine but not the star we thought he was due to some problems that aren’t going away, then the year after he plays out of his mind.

  29. 29 Insomniac said at 11:58 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    He has yet to break Nick Foles’s record of 7 TDs. Mediocre QB needs to break out soon or he’s a bust.

  30. 30 ChoTime said at 12:20 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    As long as he plays within himself, cuts down on the boneheaded mistakes, and the team’s successful, I don’t care if he gets 400 yard passing games. Same as with the RBs. Or WRs. Yeah, you need stars, but you don’t have to force-feed them volume stats.

  31. 31 GermanEagle said at 12:50 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I was referring to the small but important fact that I have decided to keep Wentz in my fantasy team this year. Still waiting for 50 FFP from him.. 😉

  32. 32 SteveH said at 9:31 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I think something important is that Doug identified that those teams were weak against the run and attacked it. I don’t anticipate he’ll run 30-35 times into the teeth of a strong run defense.

    I’m ok with being more pass heavy against teams with run stuffers, you just need to run it enough and be effective enough with it that they respect it. I was listening to Seth Joyner in the post-game show I believe and he was saying that Doug doesn’t need to call 35 runs every game, you just need to call enough and be effective enough that teams have to respect it, and I think I agree with that philosophy.

    Running 35 times against the Chargers and running 35 times against the Panthers are going to yield wildly different results I think.

  33. 33 SteveH said at 9:52 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The 0-4 Giants meet the 0-4 Chargers next week. There can be only one! Lets hope it’s the Giants.

  34. 34 FairOaks said at 11:13 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Dunno. At this point I want the Giants to win some games, so they don’t get a top draft pick. As long as it is not against the Eagles, them finishing 7-9 would be just fine by me.

    I sort of like Rivers though, and Chargers fans do not deserve what they have gotten, so hard to root against them.

  35. 35 Stephen E. said at 2:11 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I agree, although if we were talking about Dallas here the delicious taste of an 0-16 or even just 4-12 would be worth giving them the pick of the next draft. But then, they might fire their head clapper and that might be the first step in building a new dynasty. Guess we’re better off with another 8-8 season out of them.

  36. 36 Masked Man said at 12:06 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Haha. Somebody’s “Oh” has got to GO!
    (Giants are at home for that.)

  37. 37 Howie Littlefinger said at 12:36 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I hope they tie lol

  38. 38 P_P_K said at 2:19 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    0 – 0, of course.

  39. 39 daveH said at 12:21 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Perfect matchup for a Thursday

  40. 40 Mac said at 4:16 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The stoppable force meets the moveable object.

    Giants run game vs. Chargers run defense.

  41. 41 P_P_K said at 10:15 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Nope, not me, I’m not pumping the brakes. Matter of fact, Tommy, I challenge your metaphor. I say now is the time to push the accelerator. Take care of business against the Cards, hit 4-1, and extend the first place lead. Save the brakes for down the road.

  42. 42 A_T_G said at 11:10 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Agreed. Full excitement ahead until the inevitable crash into the disappointment wall. Then, 7 or 8 months to make repairs and go again. This is what addiction looks like.

  43. 43 P_P_K said at 11:23 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Definition of insanity.

  44. 44 Sb2bowl said at 1:55 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    One day at a time, guys. Stay in the moment.

  45. 45 laeagle said at 3:02 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Hell no. Get excited. Players have to stay in the moment. We fans can look ahead, behind, and sideways all we want.

  46. 46 Sb2bowl said at 4:28 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I was going for the recovery type sayings.

  47. 47 or____ said at 2:27 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I HATE that quote. Any time you f up the definition, of “definition”, you’re being stupid.

    It’s NOT the definition of insanity.

    And it literally advises to “quit if you don’t succeed”.

  48. 48 P_P_K said at 2:39 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    It was meant for the master of humor, A_T_G, not as a legitimate statement.

  49. 49 or____ said at 2:58 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Duly noted.

  50. 50 eagleyankfan said at 2:48 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I thought it meant – keep doing the same thing over and over — which isn’t quitting…

  51. 51 or____ said at 2:58 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Well the quote implies that (not quitting) is the definition of insanity.

  52. 52 Ankerstjernen said at 3:00 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Reminds me of Trainspotting when that dude decides to stop using heroin and hits the wall. Then gets through it. And decides its not much fun to be clean so he goes back to using.

  53. 53 Mac said at 1:14 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I’m buying stock in Heinz as we speak.

    Because I’m going to relish the taste of victory, and the blend of anger and sorrow on Bruce Arian’s face this weekend.

  54. 54 GermanEagle said at 11:02 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    GE’s quick 1st quarter of the season hits:

    + What a pleasant surprise both Kelce and Curry have been?! After being trade/cut- talk material before the season started, both guys may be coming back next season.

    + PhillyBlount. After 0 carries in KC LeGarette seems to be on a mission lately. If he can keep up his angry runs the Eagles will never regret this partly controversial signing.

    + Nelson can frigging catch Agholor. What a turnaround a year in the slot makes, without facing the pressure from (playing) outside.

    + Elliott. God.

    + Playcalling and clock management. The Eagles are sitting at 3-1 in sole first place, having the best TOP of the league, and hence keeping the injury depleted Defense off the field. I am not sure if Doug P. qualifies as the least capable NFL head coach in the last 30 years…

    – Torrey can not frigging catch Smith. Despite his speed, his hands rather remind you of a poor Agholor’s version. He needs to cut down the drops, otherwise he will not stick around in Philly next year.

    – Sturgis. Injured. Again.

    – Soft tissue injuries. Not sure if it’s fair to blame the current sports scientist in Philly, but let’s hope the injuries will become less as the season continues.

    – “4th and 8” discussion. Probably the most overhyped talk – after a WIN – in recent Philly sports history.

    – Mills’ lack of finger swag. Where the f=== has it been?!

  55. 55 FairOaks said at 11:18 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Mostly agree. Kelce has been better, Curry maybe. Blount/Kelce much better against teams ranked poorly against the run the last two weeks, we’ll see if they can keep it up. Nelson is proving the offseason changes were legit. I think this was the first time Sturgis was injured with us. Soft tissue injuries — same sports scientist the Eagles have had when we’ve had good injury luck, isn’t it? 4th/8 way overblown, for sure, even though I disagreed with it.

  56. 56 GermanEagle said at 11:23 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    You are right about Sturgis. Somehow I’ve had in my mind that he also missed games last year.

    Anyway…will be interesting to see if Eagles decide to bring him back from IR later this season or if they stick with Elliott..

  57. 57 P_P_K said at 11:27 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    No love for Kendricks?

  58. 58 GermanEagle said at 12:44 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Ooops, mea culpa. Am I allowed to edit still?

  59. 59 kajomo said at 3:24 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I think it gets lost because our secondary has struggled overall, but Patrick Robinson has really played well in the slot. When we get Darby and Cox back this defense is going to look really different than these last 2 weeks

  60. 60 D3FB said at 5:50 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Curry has been ok, I’m not sure he’s been good enough to say he’s safe. They can free up 5mil and Barnett is basically already pretty much at the same level.

  61. 61 GermanEagle said at 7:34 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Curry will be back. And Joe Banner begs to agree.

  62. 62 Guy Media said at 8:47 PM on October 3rd, 2017:


  63. 63 Ark87 said at 11:15 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I dunno, nobody is really talking about the Eagles nationally because of all those nit picks. No one is impressed with the last win, heck some even held it against us because score board made it look like we barely beat the chargers. Look they never had the lead. We ended the game with all our timeouts in our pocket, crushing over 6 minutes of clock and all 3 of their time outs, and took a knee in the shadow of their end zone. The game was not close.

    There’s no need to pump the breaks because I think weirdly, no one is up on this team and is part of the worst group of 3-1 teams ever, I heard someone put it.

  64. 64 P_P_K said at 11:28 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Eagles at #8 in Power Rankings.

  65. 65 Bert's Bells said at 11:35 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    #3 http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000855928/article/nfl-power-rankings-week-5-lions-eagles-soar-into-top-three

  66. 66 Ark87 said at 11:41 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    ok that one is nuts

  67. 67 P_P_K said at 11:43 AM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Better than the Packers & Falcons? Now I’m pumping the brakes.

  68. 68 BlindChow said at 2:35 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    That guy is probably a big Kenyon Barner fan…

  69. 69 Julescat said at 1:15 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    the people who rank the teams just guess at times. In the preseason one site had New England and the Giants at 1 and 2.

  70. 70 ChoTime said at 12:26 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    They beat two winless teams, played a WAS team that was thought to be mediocre close, and lost against the one team with a winning record. Their wins against these winless teams have also been nail-biters that could have gone either way. Advanced stats such as DVOA rate them middle-of-the-pack.

    The wins have them in good position for the playoffs, but they have not been dominant. They have had stretches of really nice play and stretches of rather incompetent play.

    Notice they also started off with wins last year and then plummeted. I don’t see anything wrong with objective viewers being cautious with us.

  71. 71 Mac said at 1:11 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Yes, but there were a couple errors away from being undefeated and handing KC their only loss. Granted… those are the kinds of things that separate good teams from excellent teams, but if a person is going to downplay the wins I think it’s important to realize that the loss can be downplayed to some extent.

  72. 72 Ark87 said at 1:43 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The problem is neither side makes a very good effort to be objective. Most people who aren’t in on the Eagles do so because either
    A. Eagles lack star power/ Doug is a bad coach and that’s that. It’s a meh team.
    B. 0-4 teams are definitely bad, but 3-1 isn’t necessarily good. Like it doesn’t matter that the chargers and Giants have generally been very close to not being winless on multiple counts, it only matters that the Eagles were close to being 2-2 or 1-3 (again I dispute that the game against the Chargers was very close taking the victory formation on their 14 yard line with a pocket full of timeouts and plenty of clock if we needed it to mount a response to retake the lead, we did not).

    I guess my point is I haven’t seen much hype to pump the breaks on. Most Eagles fans were some form of gripe on Sunday night. The positive talk of the NFL is the Rams, the Bills, the Texans, the Panthers, etc. Granted, I don’t follow power rankings, which seem to be bullish on the Eagles. They have us a tad too high.

  73. 73 CrackSammich said at 6:56 PM on October 4th, 2017:

    “beat two winless teams”

    It’s still early enough in the year that the obvious fact that they’re winless because we beat them is pretty valid and relevant. I don’t expect either of those teams to remain winless over the course of the season.

  74. 74 Mac said at 3:18 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Jimmy’s got a nice summary article on power rankings (which shouldn’t probably even be published until week 8).


  75. 75 Ark87 said at 3:28 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    agreed. Also agree with Jimmy, 8 is fair. Need more games to play out. 4 games isn’t enough to judge the quality of any 1 team, therefore it’s not enough to judge the quality of any of said team’s opponents, further muddying the water. Who knew that beating Washington on the road would be by far our most impressive win at this point?

  76. 76 BlindChow said at 2:33 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Exactly, we started 3-1 last year, too…

  77. 77 ChoTime said at 12:28 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    “Wentz struggled throwing to his receivers and tight ends, but reaped great rewards when throwing to his running backs: 5-of-7 for 65 yards and four first downs, two of them third-down conversions. Six of those passes were thrown to Wendell Smallwood, but LeGarrette Blount also had a 20-yard catch on second-and-12.”

    Interesting, that wasn’t how I perceived the game in real time. I guess we leaned on the RBs even more than we thought.


  78. 78 eagleyankfan said at 2:30 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    That is interesting – expected with Sproles, not without.

  79. 79 SteveH said at 6:28 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I thought Casey Hayward was outstanding this game, it seemed like every time he was targeted he was just blanketing whoever it was (mostly Alshon).

    Made it really tough to get it to the wideouts. Fortunately Ertz was still money.

    We’re so lucky to have Ertz to bail us out when the wideouts aren’t getting open, he’s a major weapon.

  80. 80 Tom33 said at 6:46 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Offseason “must get rid of” rankings on IB-

    1. Kelce
    2. Kendricks
    3. Ertz

    I guess that’s why we only play GM on the internet…

  81. 81 Fufina said at 10:42 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    first 2 absolutely, not sure anyone was calling for Ertz’s head. Think a lot more ire was targeted at Ags/Matthews.

  82. 82 BlindChow said at 2:32 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Who wanted to get rid of Ertz?

  83. 83 Tom33 said at 10:51 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Not necessarily get rid of him now, but Tommy described him as a “complimentary player” and people were saying it was time for him to take the next step or the team needed to move on, since he only catches passes in December.

  84. 84 ChoTime said at 12:30 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    “Rivers was most effective throwing up the middle against Philadelphia: 7-of-10 for 167 yards, plus a 10-yard DPI an on 11th throw. Those completions included a 20-yard gain on third-and-14, a 50-yard gain on third-and-10, and a 75-yard touchdown to Tyrell Williams.”

    Ouch. Hole in the zone!


  85. 85 eagleyankfan said at 2:19 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    yeah well, other than that… 🙂

  86. 86 scratcherk said at 1:37 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Fran Duffy is a Philadelphian treasure

  87. 87 Guy Media said at 8:43 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Yeah, those cutups that he tweets out are fun.

  88. 88 Ark87 said at 1:58 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    So I’m starting to wait for the offense that realizes that our D can play good honest football and be really good, and that if you play with any urgency at all and really try to eat up big chunks of yardage as if you are down by 14 in the 4th quarter, you can move the ball on us at will. At what point does someone turn desperation mode into a game plan and wreck us?

  89. 89 Sean E said at 2:22 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Isn’t that kind of what the Giants tried though?

  90. 90 Ark87 said at 2:35 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Giants dinked and dunked all day long to negate the pass rush. Wasn’t until they started taking some shots on the posts/ deeper slants that they started to do the real damage.

  91. 91 FairOaks said at 6:18 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    … which was only after Fletch and Hicks went out. And Maragos was in. Eli did force one early, and Douglas picked it off.

    Rivers did beat us pretty well that way though. We can hope we don’t get the wily vet QBs as often until we get some players back from injury, though we play another this week.

  92. 92 kajomo said at 9:10 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    You mean after Cox, McLeod, and Hicks all went out. The Giants took advantage of all of our defensive injuries and that’s all. Once we get Cox and Darby back this defense will be much better. Everyone should be back for that big Refskins rematch.

  93. 93 Ark87 said at 9:16 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Who did we lose when the Chargers turned it on? McLeod and Hicks were present all game long.

  94. 94 kajomo said at 9:35 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Cox. We lost not only the best player on our defense, but our team. We also don’t have Darby our best CB. We get healthy and the results will be better. The point is we are still winning despite these key injuries. We’ll be fine moving forward

  95. 95 Ark87 said at 9:51 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    That’s fine, I already acknowledged as much. I’m saying, right now, just like how we ran the ball on the Chargers at the end of the game, they knew we were going to run over and over, we knew it, and we couldn’t be stopped because they were that badly outmatched by the run at that point in the game, the same thing happens to us with the pass. We know they are going to pass, we know their strategy, the game situation. And both times we got absolutely torched the moment that was the game situation.

    If you try to be conventional with us right now, our defense will eat you alive. We are good in that way. A team would be dumb to not eventually go after our weakness, hard.

  96. 96 kajomo said at 10:37 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The cardinals may be that team. They are a vertical passing attack and Fitz always kills us

  97. 97 Ark87 said at 12:17 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    God I hope not, I was under the impression that Palmer was washed up. And I hate Arians. That would make me feel sick. But I can kind of see it, urk.

    Looking at the schedule, I think we’ll be fine. None of the teams are really built to go on an all out passing attack (Arizona is but they’ve sputtered with an aging Palmer and injured David Johnson right?). Washington probably could, but I think we will be healthy enough by then.

  98. 98 or____ said at 2:25 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    But don’t you have to protect against the rush well enough to do that? We do have a very good DL, which kind of negates your theory there…

  99. 99 Ark87 said at 2:37 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Giants and Chargers both have crap O-lines. Our pass rush couldn’t stop them the moment they had to start getting down the field in chunks. I’m not talking hail mary’s, I’m talking like 10-15 yard slants and such.

  100. 100 or____ said at 2:41 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Fair enough. I’d argue though that our D could adjust to that with Jenkins, Bradham, Hicks etc.. covering those intermediate routes. But I of course could be wrong.

  101. 101 Ark87 said at 2:51 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    It just seems like if you play us honest, with a thoughtful but conventional play calling strategy, think Doug:
    “ok we’re going to do a swing pass, got to make them respect the whole width of the field, ok now run the ball, got to make them respect the run now they they are thinking about being spread out, ok now hit them with a big throw, hit or miss now that is on their mind, now some play action and they’re on the ropes and we are rolling.”

    We handle that very well on defense. You aren’t going to run on us, you just burn up downs on the short stuff and increase the likelihood of punts. Once the game situation forces you to use up 3-4 downs attacking our intermediary and deep secondary, mind you, we know they aren’t running or going short, we are selling out to defend this, we just can’t hold up for 3 downs. We can’t force 3 incomplete passes in a row to get a punt without a lucky pick. 2 weeks in a row we’ve watched this as our defense melts away in the 4th quarter.

  102. 102 or____ said at 3:01 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I hear you and that all makes sense, but I refuse to admit that our defense is ineffective as long as keep winning games.

  103. 103 Ark87 said at 3:04 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I’m not trying to be defeatist. I hope Schwartz and company can rise to the occasion until we get healthy. I’m sure that will be a point of emphasis.

    Again, I think our defense is really really good at conventional football. Just these 4th quarters protecting a generous lead, woof. Really bad.

  104. 104 or____ said at 3:24 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Fair enough. I agree that we are on thin ice given the injuries etc… and that a better team probably has a decent shot of beating us. I just think we do have more intangibles with some very talented players who are health on D, and factoring potential development from the young DBs is realistic – as a possibility, not a given.

    For example, who knew Beau Allen would step up and play so well this past game?

    We got a key turnover basically from our 2 (“3rd and 4th string”) DEs…

    Patrick Robinson continued to play pretty darn well in his specific role….etc….

  105. 105 Ark87 said at 3:30 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I’m a big Honey Beau Beau fan, but agreed. I’ve been impressed with Robinson as well.

  106. 106 or____ said at 3:47 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Me too. #localfurniturecommercials

  107. 107 bill said at 3:29 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Cox is a difference maker. We’ll see if teams want to expose their QBs to Cox and Jernigan for 4 quarters like that. Probably in “must-win” games, but unlikely otherwise.

    Plus, Eagles were playing their 4th string S against the Giants. (I’m not going to get into Darby, because I honestly don’t know how effective he would have been if he had stayed healthy, and I further don’t know if, when he comes back, he’ll be healthy enough to make a significant impact. Too many ??? regarding him at this point).

    That said, clearly the DBs are the weakness of this defense. And teams will be able to exploit that at times. But I don’t think it’s quite as bad as all that.

  108. 108 Ark87 said at 3:54 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    We definitely miss Fletch. It was especially noticeable against the Chargers. Rivers was holding on to the ball a bit, there were opportunities our pass rush wasn’t cashing in on. Not much to be done pass rush wise about Eli getting the ball out as if here were being snapped a live hand grenade.

  109. 109 Ark87 said at 9:30 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Also, now that I’m looking at our schedule, most teams we play can’t do that game plan without doing as much damage to themselves as they do to us (picks and such). The only one I think could pull it off is the Redskins. A couple of years ago Palmer and Fitz and co could, but Palmer looks done, Fitz is hurt. The Cowboys are their run game. Maybe if Carr comes back healthy they could pull it off. But all of that happens when we might be more healthy (some pieces come back, but we don’t know who we will lose).

    I’m just thankful we don’t have to play Greenbay like it seems like we have to every year. Aaron Rodgers is they guy that could probably let some kid play madden and call his plays and ruin us.

  110. 110 Gary Barnes said at 12:22 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Part of that are the large cushions we are giving WR and TE off the line. That is the scheme Schwartz is using in an attempt to minimize giving up big plays, but unfortunately it is leading to easy completions for opposing QB and, at times, not being executed consistently which leads to those big plays we’re trying to stop.

  111. 111 Tumtum said at 5:23 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The 3 step drop pretty much negates our pass rush by itself at times. That does need to improve.

  112. 112 Tumtum said at 3:37 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    That is assuming the defense plays the same at the beginning of the game and the end of the game. Don’t you think circumstance will dictate what the D will do, meaning playing in that “mode” could just cause you to get a bunch of turnovers and lose big early?

    Then again, it seems like at least in the Wash and NYG game, both teams were testing us deep early.

  113. 113 Ark87 said at 3:48 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I think we make it difficult to sustain drives. We are good at putting you in 3rd down and 6+ yards to go. And we aren’t good on that last bit when it’s the real throwing down. But we will make you do that over and over, and it’s hard to sustain drives like that. Eventually you won’t convert on the many 3rd down attempts we make you face, and you will punt or settle for a field goal. When the situation isn’t about playing the sticks and using 1st and 2nd down to set up manageable 3rd downs, we struggle. When every pass is aimed at 10+ yard gains, we struggle to defend that 3 plays in a row to force a punt. These 4th quarters we are absolutely selling out to not allow the comebacks that we are allowing.

    Maybe there is severe 4th quarter fatigue involved too. But we are crushing the T.O.P, there’s no excuse for that.

  114. 114 Tumtum said at 5:21 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Yeah I don’t think it is fatigue. I think it is probably a mixture of just not letting the play get behind you and being a bad secondary. Probably more of the latter than anything else.

  115. 115 D3FB said at 5:35 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    If they want to go tempo from the begining that’s fine but it’s the Chip Kelly gameplan with all it’s pros and cons.

  116. 116 A_T_G said at 5:48 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I don’t think he is talking uptempo. Rather, the throwing deep over and over in the way the Giants and Chargers did to come back from a deficit.

    The hope, I would think, is that the DL makes that proposition too scary.

  117. 117 Ark87 said at 7:44 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Thanks, I worded it poorly by calling it urgency. I also want to clarify I don’t mean hail mary’s and go routs all day. Referring to using your downs aggressively, not using first and 2nd down to set up a safe and easy 3rd down. That plays right into our strengths. We want you to face 3rd down over and over because we know eventually you will stall. It’s when you aren’t thinking about the sticks, rather you’re thinking about chewing up yardage, that’s when we get in trouble. We know a pass is coming, we know they aren’t going for small stuff, and they kill us anyway. Much like the chargers couldn’t stop the run when they knew it was coming. We are helpless against the pass, we can’t hold up to 3-4 pass attempts attacking the intermediate and deep zones to get off the field. That’s been an ongoing theme this season.

  118. 118 Tumtum said at 6:25 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    The Giants were up tempo from snap 1 weren’t they?

  119. 119 Ark87 said at 7:57 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Didn’t mean the tempo, I guess I mean using your downs aggressively. Just not playing 1st and 2nd down safe to make sure you have a manageable 3rd down, we are really good against that plan.

  120. 120 GENETiC-FREAK said at 5:43 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    3 RBs ive been watching on ESPN and could be entering next NFL draft.

    Compared to Lamar Miller

    Compared to Le’Veon Bell

    Compared to LeSean McCoy

  121. 121 Sb2bowl said at 9:12 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    At least at this stage, I don’t see us utilizing draft capital from the first round on a RB. Maybe a trade out of round one for other assets, but it’s not a highly valued position in our team rank.

  122. 122 GENETiC-FREAK said at 9:21 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Dunno what round these guys would go. Just players ive been watching. Dont think rankings are out yet are they?

    I still see it has highly valued though. You have 4 RBs trying to compensate for a complete RB if that makes sense. Dalvin Cook was rumored to be the target in the 2nd round before the Vikings took him before the Eagles.

    In saying that OL, DE, RB would be the priorities i would think for next season.

  123. 123 D3FB said at 11:10 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Jones might sneak into late round 1. The other two probably go in the second and third.

  124. 124 Sb2bowl said at 11:31 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    No, but I’d be lying if I haven’t run a few mock draft simulations.

    I agree with your positions; I’d add in Safety and TE.

  125. 125 Insomniac said at 9:31 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Luckily Howie is pretty decent at moving up and down the draft.

  126. 126 Sb2bowl said at 11:31 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Agreed- if anyone can get a decent return and value, it’s Howie.

    When it comes to salary cap management, projections for positional costs, and draft value up and down the board based on their assessments- he’s the best in the business.

  127. 127 Mac said at 11:30 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Based on those clips, I like Wadley the most.

    I’m not sure why but for a 230 lb college RB I’m not sure why Freeman looks so contact allergic. I don’t think his stiff looking “moves” will cut it at the next level.

  128. 128 TO BLACKS said at 6:20 PM on October 3rd, 2017:


  129. 129 wee2424 said at 6:59 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    When Pumphrey went on IR the title for the post should have been PumphreyThe Brakes.

    Yes, I eagerly waited to get out of work to type that….

  130. 130 or____ said at 7:32 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    You should be pumped.

    Consider yourself phrey from holding on to that one for a while.

    That is all. I promise.

  131. 131 Guy Media said at 8:42 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Ha; I also lurk on the browser, but don’t long in to comment at work.

  132. 132 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:27 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    I do not tire of seeing this:

  133. 133 Ark87 said at 9:46 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/standings/_/group/conference How does that make you feel. I haven’t decided yet.

  134. 134 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:52 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Good, until I see the Rams and Bills near the top.

  135. 135 Ark87 said at 9:54 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    you’ve been out done

  136. 136 daveH said at 9:49 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Want something negadelphia that you don’t want see again ?
    1 line that will deflate yourself ?

  137. 137 Dragon_Eagle said at 10:52 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Not now. Let me enjoy the rest of this week, please.

  138. 138 daveH said at 7:19 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    Agree. I wouldn’t.

  139. 139 daveH said at 7:52 AM on October 4th, 2017:

    I meant i won’t bring you down. How’s this coach& team can keep us ALL our of negadelphia

  140. 140 Ryan Rambo said at 9:53 PM on October 3rd, 2017:


  141. 141 Dragon_Eagle said at 10:07 PM on October 3rd, 2017:

    Some OL porn for yous guys. Check shot#4 for why you establish the run and shot#11 for why Jason Peters is my favorite player on the team today.