Wake-Up Call: Three Numbers That Matter

kelly_940_100713

Here are three Eagles numbers that matter as we look ahead to Week 6.

0 – The number of catches Victor Cruz had while Brandon Boykin was covering him on Sunday. That’s according to Jimmy Kempksi of Philly.com, who charted the plays. Boykin was called for one pass interference penalty, but also came up with an impressive interception.


According to Pro Football Focus, in the last three weeks, Boykin has been targeted 11 times and given up just four catches for 37 yards. That includes matchups against Cruz and Wes Welker, two of the premiere slot receivers in the NFL.

Asked if he's thought about expanding Boykin's role, Chip Kelly said: "No, I think he's doing a really good job in nickel.  We're in nickel enough that I look at Brandon as a starter, so I think it's really difficult. If we say, 'Hey, we're going to flip Brandon out and go make him play outside' then who is going to play nickel?"

We've written at length in this space about how Boykin is being used, and it looks like his role isn't going to change dramatically right now. After rushing the passer 17 times in the previous two weeks, he did so four times against the Giants, per PFF. Boykin is playing at a high level right now.

30 - The number of pass plays of 20+ yards the Eagles have produced through the first five games. That's tops in the league, and it's not even close. No other team has more than 23.

The run game is still the foundation of this offense, but Kelly has been able to scheme ways to hit on big plays downfield. DeSean Jackson is second in the NFL with 11 catches of 20+ yards. Jason Avant and Brent Celek have five apiece. And Zach Ertz has four. That's the same number as guys like Cruz and Larry Fitzgerald.

The big-play numbers are impressive, especially when you consider the Eagles are getting very little production from Riley Cooper. Kelly believes there's still a lot of untapped potential with this offense, regardless of who the QB is.

"I think we're still inconsistent," he said. "I think Nick [Foles] was inconsistent at times where we could have delivered the ball. We should have had more plays. I think every game so far we've still left... even though we've been productive, we've still left a lot of yardage on the field."

.211 - The winning percentage of the Eagles' next four opponents. The Birds travel to Tampa (0-4) this weekend. They then return home for games against the Cowboys (2-3) and Giants (0-5). And finally, it's a trip to Oakland to take on the Raiders (2-3). The combined record of those four teams: 4-15.

No one's expecting the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl after one win over the lowly Giants. But they have a chance over this next stretch to show they belong in the "mediocre" group going into November. Mediocre this season probably leads to meaningful games in December and perhaps even a playoff berth.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The position-by-position review of the Eagles' offense.

Kelly left the door open for Foles, writes T-Mac.

Michael Vick is expected to miss this weekend's game.

A closer look at snap counts vs. the Giants.

Jackson breaks back out, writes McManus.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News has some interesting numbers on the Eagles' blitz vs. Eli Manning:

The Eagles’ blitz wasn’t very effective in their three losses to the Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos. Philip Rivers, Alex Smith and Peyton Manning combined for a 123.6 passer rating and a 77.3 completion percentage when the Eagles blitzed.But they had a lot better luck Sunday against Peyton’s kid brother Eli. The Eagles blitzed Manning on 24 of his 53 drop-backs. Manning completed just 8 of 24 passes for 98 yards and two interceptions against the blitz.

Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com chimes in on the quarterback situation:

Vick won the job this summer, but that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to keep the job. Foles finished 2nd in the QB competition, but that doesn’t mean he can’t steal the job away from Vick. Foles also could lose his spot to Matt Barkley. You judge players on how they play. You don’t ignore track records and what happened previously that year, but you try to stay in the moment as best you can. That’s fair to all players involved and also keeps you from blindly sticking by someone that is struggling at that moment.

COMING UP

We'll be down at NovaCare for practice and will hear from the coordinators.

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

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Richard Colton

    Cruz may be the best slot receiver in the game, and Boykin showed what we all saw last year – he’s a great nickel CB, an important asset considering how many teams run some version of the spread offense. So…stupid question…if he’s so good as the nickel corner, WHY IS HE BLITZING 30% OF THE TIME?????!!!????

    • G_WallyHunter

      It went down to 4 Sunday, maybe 2 this Sunday? We hope..

      • nicksaenz1

        One or 2 is managable. It’s only a surprise when it happens sparingly, so, hopefully Davis figured that out.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Agreed, then maybe do it with Cary a few times as well? have Boykin pick up hot… probably.. Can’t wait

          • anon

            I think that’s not terrible as Cary did notch a sack from the position, not sure whether Cary ha blitzed since then, but it seems silly to blitz and take the guy off the slot which is usually the hot.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya Cary has what is needed to blitz corner, take Cary off and safety comes down, leave Boykin to do his thang… Should I pick up Foles in fantasy? I have Vick.. Tough choice.. probably better options on the wire

          • anon

            take the wire, djax on revis island? dashon goldson putting everyone he hits on ir? no thanks.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya that’s the way I saw it, some guy picked up Rivers and stashed him or I would wire it. Flacco and Cutler look like good options too

          • nicksaenz1

            Who’s Cutler’s matchup? If it’s not a top 10 D go for him before Foles.

          • anon

            giants on thursday…

          • nicksaenz1

            Gotta take Cutler. They can’t stop Marshall AND Jeffrey. Those two are animals.

          • G_WallyHunter

            My logic as well, I have like 8 priority, priority 1 told me last night that he was going for him :(.. I think Flacco is next best option this week

          • nicksaenz1

            good luck with jeff george 2.0

          • G_WallyHunter

            Jacoby back might help, Geno is also an option after last night lol, at home against Pitt. Steelers might give him a hard time

          • nicksaenz1

            id take flacco over geno for sure

          • G_WallyHunter

            I’m gonna try and get Cutler, but if not him then ya Flacco it is, especially if Jacoby is back

          • nicksaenz1

            I’m terrified of Dashon Goldson ending D-Jax’s season. Chip should do everything in his power to keep D-Jax away from him.

          • Dutch

            Well there was all this talk about Foles ball placement and anticipation yesterday now today there’s a concern about Goldson. If Foles is accurate he’ll put the ball in places where DJax can catch it and get down and out of harms way with Goldson lurking around.

            Foles gets a chance to shine amongst the big boys this week. He has enough time to practice and I’m sure the coaches are going over his options. But there was a claim he has a high football IQ so that doesn’t have to be drilling into his mind, he should know what’s coming and have a plan to protect DJax in the route over the middle. .

          • nicksaenz1

            didnt realize foles called the plays too.

          • Dutch

            He plays in an option offense. Do you need me to explain that?

            But, more importantly protecting DJax has more to do with Foles accuracy and ball placement over the middle in front of the safety.

            Foles supposedly having an high football IQ, he should know what to do and where exactly to place a ball over the middle.

          • nicksaenz1

            the options seem to have been rather limited lately. i agree to a certain point that its somewhat Foles’ responsibility

      • Richard Colton

        we showed it enough for the whole year I think. BlitzinBoykin (copyright Nick) is to 2013 what the halfback option from the 1 yardline was to 2011.

    • nicksaenz1

      Why doesn’t he stay on the field for most of the 2WR sets as well and just bumps inside for nickel? I think he’s better on the outside than Sconce.

      • Richard Colton

        I think so too. I honestly feel a lot better about the secondary now. If Fletcher can stay healthy – he’s a legit #2. Boykin has proven he can play the slot. Wolff made fewer rookie mistakes than last week. We might be looking at only needing one legitimate #1 cover corner and one NFL caliber safety. That’s a lot better than when the sky fell last week.

        • anon

          yup

        • nicksaenz1

          In fairness, the Giants are terrible this year. I liked what I saw last week: Wolff’s improvement is notable, I don’t want to dropkick Nate Allen as much as usual, and Fletcher actually looks like the best FA signing for us so far, and may be worth keeping around longer than the contract. Sconce has been too up and down, hitting the extremes at both ends it seems, especially the downs against SD. Agree with your list of needs though, especially at safety since Allen isn’t trustworthy. The corners may shake themselves out if Boykin ever gets the outside opportunity. Need to see if he can become a #1 before investing in one, in my opinion. Not meeting Chip’s desired measurables is his biggest hindrance, it appears.

    • anon

      Billy said it’s for appearances — he needs QBs to know that a blitz can come from everywhere so the O-line has to account for it. On the blitz that caused the pick the O-line didn’t pick it up. I think 4 times a game is appropriate.

      I think Billy Davis should just watch breakdowns fo all of Rex Ryans games and just steal his whole defense.

  • G_WallyHunter

    I LOVE THE OPTIMISM SHEIL!

    we need more of that around here

    • cliff henny

      if there ever was a year for blind optimism, it’s this year. even when something goes wrong, if done by rookie or 2nd yr guy chalk it up to learning experience…if done by vet, who cares, 90% he wont be here in ’14/’15 when Eagles should be pushing their way back to top. anything good happens, then you give kelly credit. and this coming from 35 yr Eagle fan, i’m as sour and negative as everyone else, but not this year.

  • cliff henny

    cant wait for the game when this offense clicks. at some point this season, kelly’s gonna Oregon a NFL team – post near 35 by halftime – possession are too limited for 50. Please be Dallas at home. offense is inconsistant because it’s being run by inconsistant players. give kelly couple yrs to turn roster over, get defense to mediocre and we might have something here.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Heck, if this is the first year of the rebuild, give him 3 or 4 years haha, would be fun to watch it get better every year

    • nicksaenz1

      He’s got to get it to Belichick status where it’s plug and play. Obv needs the QB first, be it Foles, Barkley, or a current Saturday player. Once that happens, salary cap becomes less of a hindrance to keeping a quality product on the field, offensively, and allows a little more spending on the D.

    • Soybot

      I agree, but I’m worried that if it happens this Sunday with Foles at the helm, I won’t be able to read any blog comments or listen to talk radio for weeks, for fear of my head exploding over the idiotic bickering that will certainly ensue.

      • anon

        It’ll be annoying (it’s annoying now) but Ws are worth it for me.

        • cliff henny

          it’s tremendously annoying, because the correct answer is neither. both have flaws, vick is 33 oft injured, what’s he going to be like in ’15? and foles is a quality backup. does enough right to trust him for short periods, but certainly does have a wow factor. perfect world Eagles arent qb shopping in ’14, but i just cant see how they arent. dont pay a guy 35m, change whole football culture around to his style of play, then try and make due at the most important position

          • GEagle

            Personel people for ATleast 4 different NFL franchises seem to think FOles can be more them just a back up…but becUse some QBs had rookie success, our instant gratification meter is thy the roof..
            …..
            Sure, fast mobile QBs like RG3, Cam, Kapernick had success as rookies running around with their heads cut off! but what happened In their second seasons when they are being asked to grow the pro style aspect of the position?

            Aaron Rodgers would have been horrible as a rookie in FOles situation..heck! he wouldn’t have been ready to do what FOles did to the pathetic Giants I his second year..

            Peyton, Aikman…some really really great QBs didn’t come close to providing instant gratification…

            If FOles had no shot of being Chips guy(DESPISE that TERM) then we would be sitting here with an extra 2nd and 5th round pick, watching Dixon or Barkley playtheo Bucs this week….The general assumption is we are drafting a QB in round 1 this year…lol if that at were the case, FOles would be playing for the Browns right now…Extra draft picks are like GOLD for a team trying to win a division, in a year that they will draft a QB in round 1, on a team with a ton of holes….If FOles couldn’t be chips guy, that second round pick would be much more valuable then having FOles play the 3 games Vick misses this year..

            I really don’t think we will draft a QB in bethe first 4 rounds of ether next draft…there are really two options:

            1) FOles is a legit NFL starter, thus he will be Chips guy
            ..
            2) FOles isn’t a starter, so we will fleece some schmuck franchise out of a second round pick and then draft a QB..
            ….
            but What ISNT an option is FOles being a franchise QB, but not being able to play for Chip Kelly. There aren’t enough QBs to go around for all 30 teams, no coach will discard a capable one because he isn’t fast enough, and go fishing for one in The inexact science, crap shoot draft…”Chips guy” is just crazy talk,especially when you have a top back who doesn’t need a read option or a fast QB to rack up 1600 yards and 20 TDs..

            Position is to important, position is too hard to find, if he is a Franchise QB , then he will probably be OUR franchise QB

          • cliff henny

            if foles was worth 2nd and 5th last yr…why would he be worth anything less this yr? especially if he showcases some talent against Buccs. by bringing Vick back, they just made qb a ’14 decision, that’s it, when options were better. foles does not have nfl arm, is still loose with the ball – not against giants but preseason he was, limited athetically, too. he can be eagles backup for 10-12 yrs, love him in that roll. i do not see a 16 game nfl starting qb when i look at him. especially when you have ~6 qbs coming out that have to light up kelly’s eyes.

          • damrvrhunter

            The whole debate is the most asinine ever for incredibly obvious reasons which is the definition of ASININE huh? To read all day tens to hundreds of posts of the nut huggers on either side of two severely flawed QBs makes me dislike this site on those occasions. In the race for which of our two QBs sucks the least Vick wins the day for the dynamic factor he brings to the offense and that is not saying much. QED.

          • defroe81

            i get annoyed with the fact we have not seen foles what so ever in all reality get a real shot but we all know he sucks and is a back up qb just by looking at him… .lol hillarious

      • evanphilly

        Really can’t wait to see what Foles can do with the first-team Offense (and a healthy one at that!).

  • Adam

    People talk about how Boykin should be playing outside more, but look at the receivers that have burnt us the worst so far this year: Royal, Avery, and Welker. All slot guys. I think he should stay put because that’s where we need him the most. While Williams and Fletcher aren’t All Pro’s, they’re serviceable covering outside.

    • anon

      Yeah agree gotta know your role. Welker doesn’t want to move outside — that doesn’t mean he’s not a great receiver.

    • Token

      But thats short sighted thinking. Who cares about this year? They arent winning anything. This is about building. Boykin, a young draft pick who is probably your best corner, should be playing outside, 100% of snaps.

      Williams and Fletch wont be here in a year or two. They are not part of the future. Boykin certainly could be. He should be getting all the experience he can get outside. It may give us one less position to have to fill going forward.

      Since Thornton can move inside now, you are basically saying you must agree with Sopo taking snaps away from Curry too. Gotta get those bum FAs playing time right?

      • borntosuffer

        You are right if Kelly thinks that way. But, he’s obviously not thinking “Who cares about this year?”.

      • Dutch

        Kelly when he arrived alerted the media that he would be hands off on the defensive calls. Boykins sitting on the bench 40% of the defensive snaps and rushing the passer in lieu of Curry is a Davis decision.

        Davis should be outta here in another year. He’s historically been an install guy. Game calling and evaluating defensive personnel is not his area of concern. He called a horrible game in Denver, against Kansas City and allowed the Chargers Rivers to sit in the pocket and pick his secondary apart.

        Bill Davis is dead weight around Kelly’s neck and, he’ll drag Kelly to the bottom of the Schuylkill if not replace soon.

        • Token

          Yea, but Kelly is forcing 2 gap 3-4 on Davis. So hes not completely blameless in everything defense. Davis has been a 4-3 Under guy. Even talked about that when he got here. It disappeared and they went with 2 gap 3-4.

          You hear Kelly talk about Boykin…. He just doesnt like him very much. Loves HIS FA guys, Williams and Fletch. Im sure its a size thing too.

          Just nuts to have your only CB who has shown he can make a play on the sideline at all.

          • Dutch

            Kelly like Big Guys, Big Guys beat up on Little Guys is part of his theory. And that’s doesn’t always hold true at this level. That’s something he has to come to grips with.

          • aub32

            Pretty sure Megatron, Bryant and Marshall would beat up Boykin on the outside. He’s much better in the slot where he can take the middle of the field away. We can replace Williams this offseason with a CB with the size to play outside.

          • cliff henny

            williams wont be replaced till ’15, he makes 4.7m next yr, but is 3.3m dead…not the worst contract, he just isnt a #1.

          • Token

            Hes gone after this year. It saves 3 mil. Im sure they would have cut him already if not for the 6 mil cap hit.

          • cliff henny

            you and the cap…how does it save 3m? it saves 1.4m, but then you have to pay another #2 or #3 cb, and they make about 3m…that’s what fletcher makes. so in end, it’s costing eagles 1.5m to cut him. he’ll be an eagle next yr. he rec’d a 2 yr contract.

          • Token

            Maybe im wrong. But looking at eaglescap.com…. looks like theyd save over 3 mil next year. Hed count 6.4 against the cap next year, and would be a 3.3 dead money hit if they cut him.

          • cliff henny

            yup, ur right, was looking at base. doesnt change much. williams isnt a #1, he’s a #2/#3, that’s what those guys get paid. like fletcher better, but Eagles wont take 3.5m dead to save 3m, when he’s servicable. the issue is, Eagles dont have a #1. sign top free agent, let williams and fletcher fight out #2 (or cut fletcher…he’s 3m but no dead and transfer his money over to #1). was a 2 yr contract. now, ’15 he’s 8m against, 1m dead…pack your bags CW.

          • aub32

            I meant more phased out than replaced. Rookie CBs tend to struggle trying to transition into the league. So having Williams next year isn’t a bad thing imo.

          • cliff henny

            fletcher and williams dont have bad contracts. the issue is, they are both 2/3′s, and would be alot better if Eagles had a true #1. should have an absolute ton of money to buy top teir corner, safety and olb.

          • aub32

            Exactly. If we get a #1 CB with Fletch as a legitimate #2, Boykin in the slot, and CW coming in off the bench and playing dime, then CB becomes a strength on this team.

          • Dutch

            I’m pretty sure Bryant, Marshall and Megatron is going to destroy Fletcher and Williams outside, No, if healthy I’m willing to guaranteed that’s the future for both Williams and Fletcher very shortly in Bryant and Miles Austin’s case.

            Boykins in coverage is better than Williams and Fletcher, Fletcher is get good coverage not much on playing the ball, but Williams without a question can’t hold a candle to Boykins.

          • anon

            What happened in the SD game when Boykin played outside? Eddie Royal (their slot) went for 90yds/3TDs. Playing outside chargers moved V. Brown / Floyd to Boykin’s side to take advantage of size, Brown went for 102 before being taken out. And that’s just the chargers.

          • aub32

            You’re being silly again. Fletch played really well on the outside. Who is going to guard Cruz in the slot if not Boykin? This year is not about the young guys showing Token they can do this or that so you feel good at night. Kelly wants to win. Many fans want to win. How is having Boykin guard Reuben Randle while giving up a big size mismatch conducive to winning?

          • Token

            lol ok, lets go win the SB. Thats not silly at all.

          • aub32

            Hearing what you want to hear again. I never said anything about the SB. Here is my argument. In this league you need a slot guy. They are hard to find. We have one. He’s really good. He can match up against the best slot receivers in the game and go toe to toe with them. However, Boykin is small. He’s at a huge disadvantage going against bigger receivers outside. So he should continue to perfect his niche versus trying to play a spot where we need to eventually bring someone in to play. Nod if you understand that has nothing to do with SBs in 2013 or supporting Davis.

      • Adam

        Why is it short sighted thinking? The league is trending towards teams trying to create mismatches, especially guys in the slot. Nickel corner is an important position in the NFL now and we’ve been getting dominated by slot receivers for years now. There’s no guarantee that Boykin will be an automatic success outside either, with his lack of size but his strength and speed he’s built to play the slot. Putting Boykin outside could very well downgrade 2 positions on the field.

        I’m not basically saying that at all, so don’t put words in my mouth.

        • Token

          Simply, I dont care what it does to the slot this year. They need to see how Boykin does outside. They need 2 starting corners going forward. Boykin may be able to man one spot.

          You get another slot corner. You dont put your best corner in the slot and play him 50-60% of the time. Thats insanity. Especially with a rebuilding team.

          • Adam

            They can figure out how Boykin does outside when they’re out of the running. Right now the Eagles are still contending for a terrible NFC East and putting Boykin outside is not the best use of resources. You can experiment with youth when your mathematically out of the running. It’s not a transition that’s going to take years for him to make. If he can play outside then he can play outside.

          • Dutch

            They are taking themselves out of any running not playing their best cover guy 100% of the time. That’s not an experiment, it’s crystal clear the Eagles don’t have on this roster a better ball guy roaming their secondary than Boykins and it’s not even a close call.

          • aub32

            I hear what your saying, but what outside receiver has destroyed us? Bowe was silent. Nicks didn’t do much outside of that big gain in the first. So maybe you’re looking at D.Thomas and Floyd. They are both 6’4″/6’5″. Do you really want Boykin giving up that much size?

          • Dutch

            For all the good Williams and Fletcher did on Thomas, Floyd and the Tight End Boykins would not have hurt covering either of them. I would have much rather seen Boykins making plays down field than rushing Peyton.

            The Kid Boykins is a play maker and that can’t be taken away from him. Playing the way the Eagles and Davis are playing Boykins is negating his ball skills.

            There a disconnect to say he’s to short and in the next instance he’s rushing the pocket going against 67 300 lbs Tackles. That’s ding dong logic.

          • aub32

            You realize Fletch was out against the Chargers. Boykin played outside and Floyd still went off. Royal also went off because we didn’t have anyone who could play the slot with Boykin outside.

          • nicksaenz1

            Boykin played well. 2 or 3 or Floyd’s 5 catches were just perfectly thrown balls where Boykin had great coverage. One or two of Royal’s TDs were safety miscues.

          • aub32

            There’s alot more room to throw that “perfect pass” when the CB is giving up 7″. I’m not saying Boykin can’t play outside. I am saying he’s much better inside and will face better matchups, sort of like how a guy like Cox would be much better in a 1 gap system but can be decent in a 2 gap system.

          • nicksaenz1

            As opposed to 3-4in? I think we’re nitpicking a little.

          • Dutch

            The problem with that thinking is you are also negating Boykins when teams line up 2 tight ends. Again, you are finding a way to take off the field your best cover corner.

          • aub32

            I don’t get your logic at all. You don’t care about this year. I get that. Instead you prefer some of the young guys find their niche. Boykin has been going against some of the best slot guys in the league and doing well. We need a guy like that and now know we have a guy like that. Why not use next year, the year you may care about, to draft or buy a Starting caliber outside guy?

          • Token

            What sense does that make though? You need 2 outside guys. You are just ready to call it a career for Boykin, slot is as far as he can go?

            You find someone else to play the slot. If you have potentially a good outside corner, you dont just keep him in the slot cuz you need a guy there. I dont understand that.

            Thats halting a kids progress and growth.

          • Adam

            Where are we going to make this new slot corner magically appear from? There’s no one on our current roster that can play the slot average, let alone near the level Boykin plays. There’s nothing wrong with the corner set up we currently have. Boykin and Williams have as many INT’s in 5 games as the entire secondary had last year. Corner play is not our problem. Safety is the issue. You let Boykin play the year out in the slot, if they don’t bring Williams back next year Boykin moves outside, Fletcher is a decent #2.

          • Token

            We will just disagree. If you are content with the corner play theres no more argument to be made.

            One thing is for sure and for certain, Kenny Vacarro would be of much more value to this team right now than Lane Johnson is. Would you lose much at all playing Dennis Kelly over Lane Johnson at RT this year? Seriously.

          • aub32

            Why is it that when it comes to CB play you are not concerned about this year, but you go on and on about Vacarro over Johnson? We all knew Johnson was raw. He just started playing tackle. He was a TE prior to playing tackle. I think we have another guy who used to play TE and came in so raw that he went undrafted. So if LJ stinks this year but becomes a stud LT in the future, why are you going on about it now? You completely contradict yourself.

          • Token

            Not really at all. I dont care if a bum FA plays less so Boykin can play more. Makes no difference. Can only benefit the team going forward.

            Picking KV over LJ is a completely different thing. Both are rookies. One would have been on the team and the other wouldnt have. In 5 years, KV will be one of the top safeties in the NFL most likely. While im not sure LJ will even be starting.

          • aub32

            In 5 years Vacarro or LJ could suffer career ending injuries. No one can accurately project that far out. This isn’t like we grabbed Joeckel who was a polished LT. LJ is raw, but he has a ridiculous amount of upside. Why keep going on and on without giving the young guys a chance to learn?

          • Adam

            You’re just talking out of your ass now, but it’s quality entertainment.

          • Richard Colton

            Justin Tuck isn’t chopped liver, and LJ shut him down. I am VERY happy with that pick at this point. Not to mention, he’s playing better than any of the other 1st round linemen with the possible exception of Kyle Long.

          • anon

            Franky think we need a vet Safety, someone who knows the position and can be a leader back there. Allen can’t lead, he’s fighting for a job, Wolff is a rookie, Chung should just play in the box.

          • Dutch

            the Eagles had ample opportunity to sign in FA a quality Safety and chose otherwise. The spent time and money last season blaming the woes of the Safety position in DRC and Nnamdi and jettisoned both of them and kept in place the same sad safeties.

            This year we are seeing the same exact flaws in the defensive backfield that have plagued this team for 3 or 4 years now. Obviously it was not all DRC and Nnamdi as the front office would have you believe.

          • Dutch

            The Eagles are going to keep Boykins in the slot so they don’t have to pony up come contract time in another couple of years. He’s best served playing out his term of agreement here and getting out of here.

            There’s no viable reason to sit your best cover corner and top defensive play maker next to the Gatorade bucket 40% of the defensive snaps.

          • Token

            If he stays in the slot he wont be here when his contract is up. And good for him.

          • Chris

            Kelly has been inactive every game due to injury, so I would say yes, we would lose a good deal of production because it wouldn’t be Kelly playing these last 5 games. If Kelly was healthy AND playing well (which we still don’t know if he is capable of doing), we’d be having a different conversation. Lane is also a building block for the future, so I think you need to take your own advice on this one and look to the next few years and hope that we have our starting Tackle.

          • Token

            O obviously I do hope that now that we have him.

            Its just pretty obvious now that Vacarro was the better pick. Or Mingo. Or probably a host of other difference makers, I dont feel like looking at the 1st round board.

          • Dutch

            Since when did the slot defender become someone other than a corner who was not good enough to displace one of the Starting Corners on a defense? That characteristic doesn’t describer Boykins.

          • anon

            Games changed. When you have dominant slot guys, welker, amendola, cruz, etc. you might need better corners to cover. Probably the reason why those guys are so dominant is that they are playing against bad corners and LBs.

          • Dutch

            Well name one Corner specifically drafted to play slot ? The Slot corner has always been the guy not good enough to replace an outside corner and sits on the bench until called upon. For some that’s the case perfectly, the Slot receiver is covered by a corner who is not as good as the primary corners and a safety or linebacker has no chance at defending him. Thus the nickle defensive formation was created. Teams don’t want to pay the reserve corner, who fills the nickle as well as they pay the outside guys.

            the benefit is going to come down to the Eagles the year after next is not going to want to pony up for Boykins. Williams a backup signed for $17 Million over 3 years. The Eagles aren’t going to want to make that kind of financial commitment to Boykins.

            As it always is with the Eagles, this has as much to do with money than anything, Boykins didn’t come into the league looking to be restricted to playing in the slot.

          • aub32

            This isn’t your grandfather’s NFL. Look at the most productive WRs. Outside of guys like Megatron and Marshall (who Boykin would have no chance against) are Cruz and Welker. The team is going to need someone to take guys like that away. If Boykin goes outside, now we don’t have that guy and still don’t have a CB who can match up against the bigger outside WRs. Just look at the draft. Tavon Austin went 8. Teams are starting to realize you need that playmaker in the slot. Being a slot CB is not a bad thing anymore.

            Furthermore who are the best outside CBs right now?
            Richard Sherman (6’3)
            Brandon Browner (6’4)
            Patrick Peterson (6’1)
            Aqib Talib (6’1)

            Do you see a trend here? Revis is only 5’11 true, but he’s over 200 lbs.

          • Token

            groundbreaking stuff. You better let the other NFL team know to put their top corner in the slot.

            I cant believe Andy lets Brandon Flowers play outside. His size tells me he is a slot corner. And size+best corner on your team= play in the slot 50% of snaps. Right? Did I learn anything?

          • aub32

            Did you watch the Cheifs vs the Cowboys? Flowers got destroyed by Bryant. It looked like a man vs a little kid. I forgot though, you have to see it happen over and over under the exact circumstances you want in order for things to count. What happened to learning from the mistakes of others?

          • Dutch

            Who doesn’t Bryant destroy? He is a freak of nature. Bryant is the school yard Bully, He, Williams, Austin and Witten should do a lot of damage to the Eagles secondary.

          • aub32

            I would take Austin out of that equation. He’s done.

          • JofreyRice

            Pretty selective sampling there–two guys from the same coach with a very specific philosophy of what he wants from a CB. There are a ton of quality CB’s that are 5’11 or under. I mentioned a bunch in a post above.

            If you’re not playing press man (we aren’t), you’re not leveraging the height/length of the CB’s, anyway.

          • Dutch

            Boykins can be moved outside and shifted back into the slot when necessary, that’s not a major drag on his abilities. That’s a better use of Boykin then sending him on blitzes against tackles. Boykins has distinguished himself as a play maker on this defense. It’s just not sound decision making to muzzle your top defensive play maker.

          • Token

            Eh, doesnt make sense to keep going with this. Some people just wont question Chip or Davis. Because if theres one thing the Eagles have shown us over the years, its that they always make good decisions………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

          • aub32

            Who is blindly supporting Davis? I hate this 2 gap and any time Boykin is lined up at OLB. People give you their own reasons and you read what you want to read. I have yet to see anyone say anything in support of Davis versus just believing we need a slot guy and Boykin is too small outside.

          • aub32

            Don’t get me wrong. I hate when they play Boykin at OLB. However, I don’t want to see him matched up against bigger outside WRs. I think Fletch has done pretty well to this point. We can upgrade from Williams next year, but for now I would like Boykin to focus on becoming a better inside guy.

          • Richard Colton

            Boykin. you’re yeasting him up again.

          • Dutch

            Boykin’s game doesn’t need embellishing. He is clearly the better corner on the Eagles roster and it’s not close. Now, Yeasting would refer to fluffing the details of an account, or, common lying or being ficititious and omitting any accuracy of a detail.

            It’s amusing watching you struggle with yeasting as an informal interpretation……….

          • Richard Colton

            thank you. I struggle with lots of things, like, for example, why you’re choosing to capitalize your invented word. Anyway, you and I agree on Boykin, he’s a great player who’s more effective in the slot.

            “Boykins” on the other hand, has been invisible this season. Is he still on the team?

          • Dutch

            What invented word? What are you talking about?

          • JofreyRice

            To play Devil’s Advocate here: Boykins.

        • Dutch

          The Eagles have been getting dominated has more to do with scheme and lack of talent at the corner back positions over all. Boykins is clearly the best cover corner on this roster. Why aren’t his cover skills and his flexible hips no transferable to the outside.

          Boykins appears to have the technique and is developing the skills to be successful outside. He can not be any worse than Cary Williams.

          I’d play him outside and shift him to the slot in nickle situations. You don’t keep a cover guy like Boykin on the bench 40% of the defensive snaps when you secondary is operating on band aids, a wish and hope.

          • aub32

            It’s not about hips or coverage ability. It’s about size. He can’t go against bigger WRs so why waste time on him practicing outside. Why not have him focusing on what he does best full time?

          • Dutch

            I don’t believe there exist any evidence he’s incapable of defending taller receivers effectively. Again, it makes no sense to deny him on the outside because of a miscalculation on his playing ability due to his size but have him rushing the passer going against 6’7 300 lbs Tackles.

          • aub32

            Why bring up the rushing? We both agree that’s the dumbest thing Davis has done out of the many many dumb things he has done.
            ….
            However, you are kidding if you don’t think Boykin would be at a disadvantage against bigger receivers. That’s exactly why teams want a big #1 WR. Boykin’s talent are much more suited against the slot.

          • Dutch

            Because his coordinator has made rushing the passer a component of the kid’s game. I don’t believe and have not seen where his size has been a deterrent to his play making skills. And I’m sure none of you complaining about his size has seen where his stature has been a hinderance

          • Richard Colton

            hips don’t lie

          • cliff henny

            i lived in LA…it’s the hands…the hands dont lie!

          • Mitchell

            Wait. Who said he can’t bigger WR’s on the outside? Has he had a chance to cover them before?

      • neldogg7

        Boykin won’t be playing outside in a year or two. He may be our best corner but he’s our smallest. Chip cares about measurables and size. And Sopo isn’t taking snaps away from Curry. Thornton is. What Sopo does is anchor the line against the run – which Thornton can’t do at the nose. It’s short sighted to move a 2nd year player who (while the best of a dubious bunch now) to a position where he hasn’t really played all season and won’t be playing all that much in the future. Let him stay where he is in the role that he is having success in.

        • Token

          Your not paying attention. Thornton has been moving inside to nose on certain plays. So the excuse that hes taking snaps away from Thornton isnt valid anymore. You could cut Sopos snaps by 10 and not notice a thing. He gives absolutely nothing out there.

          And you act as if theres never been small quality outside corners.

          You play a dangerous game when you always choose measurables over talent. Right now we have two tall outside corners, that dont have much talent.

          • Dutch

            Unfortunately when this 2 gap gets up and running, Cox and, nor Thornton will be occupying those roles. Cox and Thornton in my opinion at better suited in a scheme designed specifically to get pressure on a Quarter. Each could be causing mayhem with better linebakers behind them as they are disrupting the pocket and any activity behind the line of scrimmage. Neither should be made to delay their rush to look for the run.

            Never should that have been the scheme over the last 4 games against those QBs

            You have to accept the current scheme is not what those guys and Curry were drafted by the Eagles to fulfill.

          • Token

            Seems like a 4-3 line of Cole-Cox-Thornton-Curry/Graham would be pretty good.

      • JofreyRice

        I’d give Boykin a shot outside. That play he made on the ball against Cruz was really, really good. And he didn’t let the baloney penalties get him down. Williams and Fletcher have been better than Nnamdi or DRC, but Boykin is an actual playmaker, and someone that forcefully defends the field–not just someone that can avoid giving up big plays, which I think is what a guy like Cary Williams is, at best. Even if you count Nickel Cornerback as a “quasi starter”, the “starters” are still going to be on the field more than quasi-starters.

        I get that at 5’9″ he doesn’t have prototype size for outside CB–especially with all these huge Sherman/Browner press man corners in vogue–but he’s not Mark McMillan, either. He’s really well put together, and has great hops. Also, we don’t play press man very often–which is really why you want those tall, long guys, to disrupt receivers off the line–so I don’t think it’d be as big of an issue.

        Alterraun Verner came into the league as a 4th round slot CB from UCLA, and has since moved outside, and had a lot of success.

        (Tangential Ax to Grind, here: The Eagles missed on Verner when they selected Trevard Lindley a few picks before, and Daniel Te’o Nesheim a round earlier. That was the year Howie was quoted as saying they were “trying to break the record for draft-day trades”. Right after the Titans got Verner, the Eagles picked up the building blocks of the franchise, Keenan Clayton, Mike Kafka, and Clay Harbor.)

        Verner’s 5’11, and not as fast as Boykin, but wins with technique and intelligence. Revis is 5’11. Tim Jennings, in Chicago is only 5’8″. Leon Hall, Joe Haden, Brent Grimes, all in that 5’10-5’11 range, and play at a high level. 6’1+ cornerbacks are really kind of a new thing.

        • Token

          I think everyone wants a 6’1+ corner that can actually play and move. Buts there really arent many of them.

          I dont like the trend of Kelly picking favorites and putting guys on the bench that have shown they can make a play.

          Boykin has probably made more plays this season so far than, well, its been a long time since we have seen a corner make plays.

          Having him play 50% of snaps is insane. Having him blitz so much was even a worse idea.

          Same as hardly playing a guy like Curry.

          I just think favorites have been picked. It may turn out that Boykin/Curry have their best years not in Philly. Chip wants his prized FA signings playing outside.

  • Kevin

    Sheil forgot an important number – 2. The number of division road wins the Eagles have.

    If we can just take care of business in our house.

    • cliff henny

      are the Eagles allowed to win at home? kind of like picking up a 1st down on 3rd and 4 by running the ball. until kelly did it this, wasnt sure it was legal, just been so long

      • Kevin

        I hear ya Cliff. For a while I thought the NFL passed a rule that you must pass the ball at least 60% of the time or get a fine.

        • cliff henny

          yup, that was clause A. clause B was, Eagle’s roster could not average over 90% of the average NFL height and weight for each position, outside o-line.

          • Kevin

            Clause C was every player need to be a ‘high motor’ guy.

          • EaglePete

            Clause D was any FA pickup has to be coming off knee surgery.

          • Kevin

            Awesome Pete. Truly Awesome.

    • damrvrhunter

      Kinda shocking to see us not have a home field advantage anymore. I guess it does not matter how rabid a fan base is, if your team is LOFT.

      • nicksaenz1

        The rabid fan base is as happy to boo the home team as it is the away team the instant an opportunity arises.

        • damrvrhunter

          What a pity that that is the case.

        • Token

          Well when you have suffered through watching this awful franchise for so long, you reserve the right to boo.

          And I promise you theres no more rapid fanbase at the Linc. That died with the Vet. The Linc is like a childs playground environment. Maybe the worst home field advantage in football.

          • borntosuffer

            Maybe a little of the “Estadio Azteca” environment would help that. Just curious, do you use regular balloons to fill with urine and hurl at the opposing team? Or, is there a more specialized vehicle of delivery?

          • nicksaenz1

            At least it’s solar powered.

    • Will

      Eagles have yet to face Dallas who did a lot better against Denver then we did. Even if the Eagles win the Division so what. The Eagles Defense is not good enough to make this a good play off team. 1 and done at best in the play offs providing we get pass Dallas.

  • GiveMeABreak

    If you can get excited about a team that has not beaten a decent team yet, then Jeffie’s plan is working.

  • Dutch

    There’s no reason the Eagles should loose the next two games. The Raiders should be a tough test. Grand Ma Dutch could be lined up outside at receiver and bring enough to get open against the Cowboys & Giants.

    Geno Smith looked good last night. That was a second round pick the Eagles missed that was a boneheaded oversight to reach for Ertz.

    • Adam

      If the Cowboys play like they did against the Broncos we don’t stand a chance.

      • Dutch

        Defensively, maybe you’re right. But that back end defense is ripe for the plucking. The Cowboys are vulnerable and suspect against an air raid. Denver was also and the Cowboys showed their weakness. The Eagles just didn’t have the receiving arsenal to pull a similar escape.

        • Basscase

          You are assuming Foles can do the same thing Peyton Manning did.

          Some of you are seriously underestimating the Cowboys.

    • nicksaenz1

      You’re the same guy who said yesterday that a Foles-led Eagles should beat the Bucs. Which is it?

      • Dutch

        Foles should, but what does the Bucs have to do with the Cowboys, Raiders or Giants?

        • nicksaenz1

          Sorry, misread your post.

    • EaglePete

      blah, Geno Smith will just be average, maybe a tad above for a career. Still dont see him being top 10 type QB. That could be because he’ll be stuck on the Jets though so who knows ha

  • Andy124

    TB has held NO to their season low of points, Arizona to their season low, and NYJ to their second lowest output. NE hasn’t been scoring a ton, so holding them to 23 doesn’t jump out at you.

    I don’t care who is playing QB for the Eagles on Sunday, this game is a toss up going against that D.

    Davis is going to have to take advantage of their rookie qb, force some turnovers and set the offense up with good field position.

    • aub32

      I think Foles can do ok if he can get a few TOs to help give him some short fields like against the Giants. I am worried to see what our run game looks like without Vick, and I’d be worried about the passing game regardless.

    • BlindChow

      Eh, the only impressive one on that list is New Orleans, and they’re not as good when they’re not at Dome. Not that I think this’ll be a cakewalk, but Arizona and NYJ haven’t really been lighting it up (until last night).

  • Dutch

    It’s apparent that Boykin has left an impression on Eagles fans. So he’s made it very clear he’s a player to keep and watch.

  • BleedGreenJames

    Pretty impressive number with the 30 20+ yard pass plays, especially considering 2 of our 3 WRs are Cooper and Avant.

    • JofreyRice

      True. Certainly, I think Kelly’s offense is pretty effective in gaining huge amounts of yardage down the field, and limiting the kind of exotic blitz looks a lot of conventional offenses have to face. I’d love to see them put it together in the redzone–they’d really have something.