OL Review: Watkins Continues To Struggle

Philadelphia Eagles right guard Danny Watkins.Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offensive line after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Lions.

Demetress Bell – Looked like a step backwards for Bell, who struggled throughout. He was beaten badly by Lawrence Jackson and allowed a hit on Michael Vick in the first. Bell ran right into LeSean McCoy on the 3rd-and-1 shovel pass that resulted in a 3-yard loss. Jackson beat him again in the second and hit Vick as he threw complete to Jason Avant. He got spun around and beaten by Kyle Vanden Bosch, who hit Vick on a third-quarter incompletion. Bell was beaten by Vanden Bosch again on a third down in the third. Jackson beat him to the inside, forcing Vick out of the pocket on a third down in the fourth. Bell did a poor job on Bryce Brown’s run that went for no gain on the second-to-last series. And he got steam-rolled by Vanden Bosch on the Eagles’ final offensive play. Early on, Bell was called for a false start. He’s tied for the team lead with five penalties on the season.

Evan Mathis – Up-and-down game for Mathis. He gave up a hit on Vick in the first as Sammie Hill was called for a personal foul. He got blown back on a Brown run that lost 4 yards in the third. Mathis was beaten by Nick Fairley on the second sack of Vick on the final drive. Fairley twisted outside, and I’m not sure if Mathis was expecting help from McCoy, who stayed in to block momentarily before releasing into his route. Vick held on to the ball for awhile before going down for a loss of 14. The next play could have resulted in a safety. After Vanden Bosch steamrolled Bell, Mathis held him pretty blatantly in the end zone before Vick threw the ball way. Had the refs thrown the flag, it would have been a safety. On the flip side, Mathis did a good job pinning the defensive tackle inside on Vick’s 2-yard touchdown to McCoy. And he had some good moments in pass protection.

Dallas Reynolds – Not a good showing for Reynolds. We know about how he snapped the ball before Vick was ready, resulting in a turnover. But the other fumble where he and Vick botched the snap might have been on Reynolds too. Despite a double-team, he and Mathis let a rusher break through and get to Vick on his first interception intended for Avant. Fairley beat him badly and dropped McCoy for a 5-yard loss in the third. Reynolds completely whiffed on his block on the screen to McCoy in the fourth that picked up 1. He and Bell had a good double-team on the linebacker on McCoy’s 2-yard touchdown in the second.

Danny Watkins – The second-year guard is really struggling. Fairley and Ndamukong Suh made it a very long day for Watkins. He got beaten by Suh and gave up a hit in the first quarter. Fairley got past him and hit Vick to force an incompletion in the second. He was slow to get to the linebacker on Brown’s 2-yard run in the second. Watkins got abused by Fairley, who hit Vick in the third. It was really a bad play. Vick was in shotgun and threw an 8-yard slant. The Lions only rushed four, yet he still got crushed. That’s unacceptable. Fairley beat Watkins and dropped McCoy for a 4-yard loss in the fourth. Suh got in Vick’s passing lane and batted down a ball on the second-to-last drive. He could have had Jeremy Maclin for a big gain. Not sure if that was on Watkins or Vick. On the Cliff Avril sack in overtime, Watkins got beaten by Suh. The bright spots? Good job in pass protection on the 70-yard touchdown to Maclin. Good job pulling on McCoy’s 6-yard run in the second. And good job blocking out in front of a 17-yard screen to McCoy in the second. But just too many issues throughout.

Todd Herremans – He actually held up really well in pass protection… until the final drive of the game. Herremans gave up a costly sack against Avril, letting him get around the edge. Other than that, I’m not sure he got beaten all day. Herremans made a nice block on the 17-yard screen to McCoy in the second.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • What Would Saracen Do?

    Mathis seems to be much more inconsistent this year, but I wonder if that’s because he’s trying to give help to Reynolds and Bell/Reynolds and Bell are screwing up to the point where Mathis is exposed as well? Just a thought because I remember how well he played last year.

    • jabostick

      I’m guessing it might have more to do with not having Peters beside him.

  • daggolden

    Avg Guards are a dime a dozen. If Watkins is struggling so bad why in the hell is he still playing? How could you possibly put him on the field and continue to let your QB to take a beating because he cant block anyone? You cant tell me there isnt a better option anywhere. A 1st round pick on a 28 year old guard that cant play is mind boggling.

  • Myke Lowery

    Mathis is looking bad because of the poor LT play. Watkins is either in a sophomore slump or just a flat out bust. The C is just a backup with no experience having to be thrown out there. I have no confidence the OL play will improve to the point that any QB would be successful. They’re physically unable to execute anything. Much like the DL that appears ten years older than last year.

    • Septhinox

      Or conversly, he play was masked by excellent LT play. He may have been this bad last year and we didn’t notice becaue Peters was so good.

      • Sensei

        I’m sure it’s a little of both but even if he is actually bad it would’ve shown up a lot more last season conversely its a lot easier to execute with Peters besides you

    • fran35

      I tend to think Peters made everyone on that line look better than they were. My personal belief is he was the best player on our team. Even better than Shady. Maybe the best Eagles O Lineman performance last year that I have ever watched from an Eagles player.

  • This should not be a surprise. It was foreseen that Detroit’s pass rush would maul the Eagles offensive line. There has been no game this season thus far that this Line looks capable of pass protection or run blocking. To continue to pretend these stiffs are NFL quality Linemen is delusional.

  • daggolden

    If your 15 million under the cap and telling me your backup olineman cant step in than thats unacceptable. Alot of teams get injuries everywhere but guess what NEXT MAN UP. If your backups arent NFL caliber whose fault is that? How can you be phisically unable to execute anything and be in the NFL? Howard Mudd? No answers I guess.

  • dan

    Watkins is a waste of a pick. It isn’t like he is young and has time to develop. If the Eagles want to draft a guy his age they should’ve been damn sure he could perform at this level. What a wasted pick. Meanwhile the safety position is still a huge concern!

  • Mathis is a journeyman LG. He is a backup or a below average starter. Watkins is a huge bust. Reynolds has no business being in the league. He’s not even a backup or practice squad player. There has to be a journeyman guy who’s 37 who can play these last 10 games at center. He has two weeks to learn the calls and the offense. Sign anyone….they can’t be any worse.