All-22: Forming the Wall And Stopping the Stretch

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Billy Davis was asked Tuesday about the difficulty in making potential scheme changes, given that teams are approaching Week 13.

“It’s tough to change who you are at this point in the season,” he said. “You have to stick with what you have success with and try to correct and get better at the things you’re struggling with.”

Davis’ comment applies to teams around the NFL. In the offseason, coaches assess personnel and decide what they want their squads to look like from a schematic standpoint. They then practice, tweak and practice some more. Wrinkles can be added, and ideas can be scrapped. But as we approach Thanksgiving, for the most part, identities have been established.

And for the Dallas Cowboys, that identity is clear: A balanced offense that is finding success running the football on a weekly basis.

The Eagles, meanwhile, are a team that focuses on stopping the run. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Titans

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Fletcher Cox – Another solid game out of Cox. The coaches credited him with one tackle, one sack and one hurry. Cox stopped Shonn Greene after a 4-yard run in the first. He disrupted a run play that gained 3. Good rush late in the first half, but Zach Mettenberger reset and completed a pass. Got some help from the coverage in the back end, slipped inside the offensive lineman and sacked Mettenberger in the second. Cox batted a pass on the next play. Drew a holding call on a run play in the third. Fought off defenders and stopped Bishop Sankey after a 4-yard run in the third. He played 62 percent of the snaps. Announcers made it a point to mention how much Chip Kelly praised Cox during production meetings. He’s had a great season. The Eagles need him to be disruptive against Dallas. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Titans

Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton - USA Today

Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton – USA Today

Here’s a player-by-player review of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – There was some good and some bad with Sanchez. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sanchez has generally gotten the ball out quickly and done a good job of climbing the pocket when he feels edge pressure. He takes fewer shots downfield than Nick Foles. Per Pro Football Focus, 12.9 percent of Sanchez’s attempts have traveled 20+ yards downfield (15th). With Foles, the number was 18.9 percent (second). Twenty-four of Sanchez’s 30 completions Sunday were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Read more »

Logan: Nothing Special About Cowboys O-Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The Dallas Cowboys enter Thursday’s game averaging 4.9 YPC and 150.1 yards per game on the ground. Both marks rank second in the NFL.

DeMarco Murray (1,354 yards, 5.1 YPC) has received plenty of accolades, and so has Dallas’ offensive line. But in the Eagles’ locker room Monday afternoon, nose tackle Bennie Logan was in no mood to heap praise on the team’s next opponent.

“To be honest with you, [I’m] tired of hearing about it,” Logan said, noting that the Eagles have faced better offensive lines. “Their O-Line, the only thing they did was add one guy, so it’s not like this year they’re so special. They’ve got to line up and play us. Are we looking forward to it? It’s not a challenge for us or anything. It’s just next game. And it’s on Thanksgiving Day.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Titans, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.

Are you scared?

“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”

Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.

Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.

Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.

As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.

Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Tennessee Titans: QB Nick Foles, CB Roc Carmichael, DB Jaylen Watkins, C Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl and DL Taylor Hart.

Carmichael takes the place of Earl Wolff on the list. Wolff was put on injured reserve last week with a knee injury. Other than that, the inactives are the same as the previous two weeks. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Will Shurmur Get Another Shot?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

On occasion, Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will discuss the way Chip Kelly runs his program and drop hints about how he’d do things differently if he were given another chance at being a head coach.

Last offseason, Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor left to become the offensive coordinator in Miami. If Kelly’s teams continue to have success, chances are more coaches will get plucked off his staff.

And according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, one of those coaches this offseason could be Shurmur. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Titans

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian – USA Today

Here’s a look at how the Eagles match up with the Titans.

WHEN THE EAGLES RUN…

LeSean McCoy has carried 35 times for 107 yards (3.1 YPC) in the past two games. He’s second in the NFL with 196 attempts, but is averaging just 3.7 YPC. Against the Packers, the Eagles got some run-friendly looks, but McCoy managed just 88 yards on 23 carries. He and several of his teammates said they felt like the run game was close to getting on track.

“It’s always lately just been something small here, something small there, almost, almost,” McCoy said. “I feel like it’s coming together. I feel like the only time we really get stopped is when we make mistakes – penalties, turnovers, missed assignments, small missed assignments. And that stuff, [you] get that snowball effect and it keeps coming and coming. So I feel like we’re almost there. We’ve gotta learn from this last game, move on and look forward to Tennessee.” Read more »

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