OL Review: Scott Still In For Watkins

It’s probably too little, too late, but the Eagles’ offensive line turned in one of its best performances of the season Sunday night against the Cowboys.

Sure, it helped that Dallas was without Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, but the offense scored points on six of 10 offensive possessions. Nick Foles was sacked just once and had a comfortable pocket for most of the game. On the ground, the Eagles averaged 7.0 yards per carry, which help neutralize DeMarcus Ware. The Eagles often ran play-fakes right at Ware to slow him down.

Below is the player-by-player breakdown:

King Dunlap – He had some issues, but overall, did a respectable job against Ware, especially considering Dunlap was playing through a knee injury. In pass protection, he allowed Ware to get some pressure on Foles as he dumped it off to Clay Harbor for 3 yards in the third. Ware got past Dunlap in the fourth, but Foles escaped and threw complete to Jason Avant. Dunlap allowed the team’s only sack, as Victor Butler went right around him, one-on-one, and stripped Foles in the fourth. He did a poor job on Jason Hatcher on Bryce Brown’s run that lost 6 yards in the first. On the flip side, Dunlap got out in front and blocked the linebacker on Dion Lewis’ 11-yard run in the third. He helped shove Ware upfield on Brown’s 13-yard run in the fourth.

Evan Mathis – He’s really playing well right now. Mathis did a nice job on the linebacker on the 13-yard screen to Damaris Johnson in the first. He threw the key block on Brown’s 10-yard touchdown in the first. And Mathis got to the linebacker on Brown’s second touchdown run. He pinned Hatcher on Brown’s 20-yard run in the second and did a good job on Josh Brent on Lewis’ 11-yard run in the third. Mathis blocked Hatcher and helped create a lane for Brown on his 13-yard run in the fourth. Strong overall game.

Dallas Reynolds – I thought he also delivered a pretty good performance, especially considering he was dealing with an ankle injury and listed as questionable on Friday. Let’s start with the good. Reynolds did an excellent job getting to linebackers on the second level all game long. Examples: Brown’s first touchdown run, Brown’s 20-yard run in the second, Brown’s 13-yard run in the fourth. He and Dennis Kelly had a nice double-team on Brown’s 39-yard run in the second. And Reynolds had an excellent block on Marcus Spears on Brown’s second touchdown run. The issues? Brent got past him and pressured Foles, forcing him to throw it away in the fourth. And Reynolds failed to switch off his man and pick up Ernie Sims on the first play from scrimmage.

Jake Scott - By all accounts I’ve heard, Danny Watkins was healthy last week and ready to start at left guard if Mathis had to play center. Yet Scott still started at right guard in his place. And Scott played pretty well too. It’s now officially fair to question why the Eagles didn’t sign him earlier in the season. Scott sealed the edge and allowed Brown to turn the corner on his 39-yard run in the second. He did a nice job of switching off his man on a stunt in the second, giving Foles time to hit Avant for 29 yards. When the Eagles needed a first down on 3rd-and-2 in the third, they ran Brown right behind Scott and picked it up. He did a nice job on Sims on Brown’s 17-yard run in the third. And Scott got to Dan Connor on the shovel pass to Brown that picked up 7. He did a good job on the linebacker on Brown’s 2nd-and-2 carry that picked up 6 yards. Most of the Eagles’ issues in pass protection came late when Dallas knew they had to throw the ball (and perhaps the linemen were fatigued). Spears beat him badly in the fourth, forcing Foles to scramble and throw the ball away.

Dennis Kelly – He has issues here and there, but overall, Kelly looks like a pretty competent right tackle. He did a nice job on Spears on Brown’s 5-yard run in the first. He handled Anthony Spencer one-on-one on an 8-yard completion to Brown in the first. Kelly threw a key block on Brown’s 24-yard run in the first. Perfectly-executed double team by him and Brent Celek on Brown’s second touchdown run. Nice job switching off his man and handling a stunt on a 29-yard completion to Avant. Good block on Sean Lissemore, creating a running lane for Brown on his 17-yard carry in the third. Kelly got out in front of the screen to Avant and blocked Ware. He had some trouble with Spencer on Foles’ incompletion to Riley Cooper in the third. And Kelly got beaten by Spencer in the fourth, but the Cowboys linebacker was called for roughing the passer on the play.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • Ken

    Foles has something to do with the improved offensive line play.

    • Average__Joseph

      True, but consistently running the ball is the biggest factor.

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        No he doesn’t. Did you see his first two games? They have completed altered the playcalling…using the run to setup the pass etc. Not throwing bombs down field, especially since Jackson is out. Running RB screens and a plethora of short and intermediate passes. That’s why the line looks better. The moment they go back to 40/50 drop backs, barely using the run and deep passes the line will look like it always did.

        • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

          Though I will say Mathis plays well at right guard and Scott seems to be a decent pick-up. SO this combination of line is, possibly, somewhat, decent.

          • The Guru

            Actually genius….Mathis plays LEFT guard. Love when you prove you know nothing!

      • The Guru

        You are absolutely correct. Vick held on to the ball too long, had no idea where the blitz was coming from, and NEVER audibled into the correct play.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      - Vick has a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio against the blitz this season.

      - 129.1 passer rating, .667 completion percentage, 9.5 yards per attempt, four touchdown passes and no interceptions in the three games preceding Atlanta.

      - And that’s with this atrocious OL

      Shrug…but I guess he can’t read blitzes.

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile
        • GoBirds1

          Wasn’t it the Atlanta game that the obvious corner blitz was coming and he stood there, got his clocked cleaned and fumbled the ball. I guess that one didn’t count. Or was it the Arizona? oh yeah it happened in that game too. Vick is tough as nails, but has zero recognition skills pre snap. Kind of important in this league.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            Arizona. And it wasn’t a missed blitz pickup…it was a missed block by McCoy. But you can’t argue with the numbers. You can look them up yourself. His blitz pick-up has been good this year.

          • The Guru

            What numbers? You haven’t posted anything to prove those numbers at all.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            Jacobs it’s a Google search away – hell read the ALL-22 you want to quote so much they are there too. U don’t want to do the work..it’s not on me.

          • The Guru

            Or they don’t exist. I post proof. You post your opinion. It’s getting boring wiping the floor with you. But, keep lobbing them up….I’ll keep knocking them over the fence chubbs.

          • Alec

            That’s so stupid you want to post “Facts” its not our job to prove them wrong its your job to prove them right…. facts without proof is not facts at all (which is why I referred to yours as “Facts”) the one “source” (Oh I did it again) you posted doesn’t prove a single thing that you said and just so you know almost all of his fumbles were on blitzes which he has a lot so you should probably bring that up when you are talking about his blitz recognition skills. Oh and the fact (notice no quotes that time) that McCoy missed a block on a BLITZING CB actually means it was a missed blitz pickup and with the CB was blitzing that means he had an open WR on that side so yea please get some real facts before defending a person who is one of the worst at recognizing blitzes…..

      • The Guru

        And I’m sure you have PROOF behind these numbers right?

  • UncleCarm

    That rundown sounded more like an NFL caliber offensive line. When we get our injured starters back next year, we may have something. (then again, we thought the o-line would be a strength this year too until the injury monster got us).

  • Myke Lowery

    Still amazes me that on the first pass play of that game Celek gets beaten and almost allows Foles to get destroyed.

    • 1972

      thats what happens when u try to block a hall of fame player with a mediocre tight end..theyre so old at this point look at reids old face, he looks beaten and tired why are we still doing this?? get rid of him as soon as the clock goes to zero

      • morgan c

        ya dude, not really fair to ask celek to block ware one-on-one on first play of the game. he would have made gronkowski look just as foolish. TE’s cannot block the best OLB in the game. period.

    • The Guru

      Celek is the worst blocking TE I’ve ever seen. Even LJ Smith could get in the way of guys….

  • eagles1

    give vick a chance with this o line

    • theycallmerob

      why? who cares? why ruin the draft seeding at this point?

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      Vick is likely gone after this season – so it doesn’t matter. Besides his best bet is to get healthy so he can land a job elsewhere.

      • Anebriated

        There is no reason at all for the Eagles to rest Vick “so he can land a job elsewhere”. We dont care about his future if it isnt with us. Thats what scares me though. We rest him and keep him healthy and then restructure his contract and bring him back next year…

        • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

          I didn’t say it was the Eagles responsibility to rest him. I said the decision is actually a blessing in disguise for Vick. More than likely he’s not coming back. Starting him the rest of the season is pointless ’cause they are out of playoff contention. What they do with him at this point is anyone’s guess…but I figure they cut ties at the end of the season and call it a day.

    • FMWarner

      Vick is a better player than Foles at this point, but it serves no purpose to play Vick. You have to see what you have in Foles so you know if you need to go get a QB.

      • The Guru

        Don’t know about that….Foles put up 27 points last week. Know the last time Vick did that? 2011.

    • GoBirds1

      He had a chance all last year, how did that work out?

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        You mean those Five fourth quarter leads squandered by the defense?

      • The Guru

        Isn’t it funny how for 10 years it’s always someone else’s fault why Vick isn’t successful? Or it could just be he’s just a lousy QB….

  • Matt

    Is it possible we have an abundance of linemen when the starters return.
    Peters-Mathis-Kelce/Reynolds-Watkins/Scott-Herremans/Kelly. Not to mention any future and probable draft picks.

  • 1972

    who drafts a 27 yo guard with no real drive to play football? that alone is a fireable offense to me. not to mention graham and jaquain jarrett. Have the eagles ever heard of the SEC??i think they have more byu and utah players than they do sec guys..

    • morgan c

      graham has played well this year and could turn out to be a very fine player. in fact, signs point to that occurring at this time. he isn’t a bust.
      but yes, watkins and jarrett picks are disgusting. watkins especially as a number 18 overall pick (or something like that). you have got to be kidding me. the kid can’t start over an off-the-street wash-up that no one wanted. cut watkins. it’s best just to admit total failure at this point and cut him lose. just him being on the team and riding the bench will be a permanent taunt to the fans.

  • GoBirds1

    Another reason to fire Andy, Mudd, Marty et al, first play of the game, Celek is one-on-one pass blocking Ware. How does that happen????????? What they didn’t think he was going to play? Needless to say, Celek failed and so did the play!

  • BQNinja

    ProFootballFocus just put out a blog about Evan Mathis’ season: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/12/05/analysis-notebook-week-13-2/

    “The lone survivor of a line that looked very good on paper, Mathis is
    currently sitting atop the PFF guard rankings with a score that almost
    doubles the next closest player, Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda.
    He hasn’t given up a sack all season and has been excellent as a pass
    protector, but perhaps his best play comes in the run game.”

    • JofreyRice

      The guy is amazing at the second level. When Peters is healthy, they are easily the most athletic LT/LG tandem in football.

      I will say that Mathis’ critics are right in saying he’s not a mauler, and can be overwhelmed by powerful interior guys. If Haloti Ngata or Justin Smith is lining up in a 4th and inches situation, and the play is coming to the left, I don’t know that Mathis is necessarily my choice, if I had a choice of all the guards in the league. He’s still the best of a bad bunch, though, and one of the rare Free Agent “hits” for Howie.