Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Dallas

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Here’s a position-by-position review of the Eagles’ defensive performance against Dallas after having watched the coaches tape.

DEFENSIVE LINE




* This group limited DeMarco Murray to 51 yards on 17 carries (3.0 YPC). Cedric Thornton probably had the best game of any of the linemen. He combined with Bennie Logan to stop Murray after a 3-yard run in the first half. In the third, Thornton and Brandon Boykin dropped Murry for a 4-yard loss, putting Dallas in a tough third-down spot. Thornton finished with two tackles.

* Fletcher Cox was quiet - one tackle, no sacks, no hurries. Logan had three tackles. He pressured Kyle Orton and helped force him into a bad throw in the second.

* All three starting defensive linemen jumped early once, drawing flags.

* The backups were quiet as well. Vinny Curry had one hurry, hitting Orton on a deep ball attempt in the fourth and forcing him to rush his throw.

* Overall, the Eagles didn't generate much of a pass-rush, but Orton did get rid of the ball quickly.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

* Trent Cole had two tackles and a pair of hurries. He brought Murray down after a 3-yard run in the first. Cole came untouched in the third and hit Orton to help force an incompletion. Cole blew up a run play that ended up being stopped for no gain in the third. And he stopped Murray after a 2-yard run in the fourth. Cole had some issues in coverage though. It looked like he blew the coverage on a dumpoff to Murray that picked up 10 in the first. And later, he bit on a play-fake as Orton found Dez Bryant for 18 yards. Overall, OK game.

* Connor Barwin came up with the huge batted pass on fourth down in the fourth. He now leads all outside linebackers with seven batted passes, according to Pro Football Focus. Barwin had two tackles overall (no sacks, no hurries). He brought Murray down after a 2-yard run in the first. And Barwin did a great job tackling Murray in space after a short completion on third down in the third. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal on the drive.

* This was one of Brandon Graham's more productive games of the season. He had two tackles and a pair of hurries. Graham chased Murray down from the back side after a 1-yard gain in the second. He pressured Orton into throwing the ball away on the very next play. And Graham came up big on third down stop in the third, tackling Witten for no gain and forcing a punt.

* Overall, not much pass-rush from this group. No sacks and four hurries overall.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

* Not a good day for DeMeco Ryans in coverage. He was the "low hole" defender in the first on Bryant's 15-yard catch and run. Ryans got stiff-armed by Murray on an 18-yard catch and run. The 17-yard TD to Gavin Escobar looked like it was probably on Ryans. And it looked like Jason Witten was Ryans' responsibility on the 28-yard completion in the second.

* Ryans had some good moments too, finishing with eight tackles. He brought Murray down for a 2-yard loss in the second and tackled Witten after a 3-yard gain.

* Mychal Kendricks saved the Eagles on a couple of occasions, coming up with the huge forced fumble in the first and later intercepting an Orton pass. Overall, he led the Eagles with 11 tackles. In the third, Kendricks made a great tackle in space after a completion to Murray, stopping him for no gain. And he tackled Witten after a 1-yard completion in the third.

* Witten beat Kendricks on several occasions. One was an 11-yarder in the second, then a 19-yarder in the third. In the fourth, Kendricks had Witten in man coverage and gave up a 34-yard completion. On most occasions, it wasn't like Kendricks was beat badly or out of position. Still, a huge challenge coming up against Jimmy Graham.

CORNERBACKS

* Cary Williams played one of his best games of the season. Early on, he gave up a 15-yard completion to Bryant on a slant. After that, he was lights out. Great job by Williams of not biting on a double move in the second. Excellent coverage on Terrance Williams on a deep ball in the third. Good coverage on Bryant on two deep balls down the sideline in the fourth.

* Bradley Fletcher was really good too. One thing to note is that most of the coverage issues were on the linebackers or safeties. Williams and Fletcher have put together back-to-back really strong games to close out the season. Good tackle by Fletcher on Bryant after a 6-yard completion in the first. Excellent tackle on Bryant after a 3-yard gain. Good coverage on a back-shoulder throw on the very next down. In the third, he tackled Miles Austin after a 6-yard gain on a screen. Later, he made a good tackle after a 6-yard gain on a crossing pattern.

* Boykin came up with the play of the game, intercepting Orton to seal the game. He had a pass break-up in the second and a great sequence in the third. On one play, Boykin fought through two Cowboys to help bring Murray down for a 4-yard loss. He then made a fantastic play on a deep ball to Bryant to help force a field goal. The only blemish was a 39-yard completion to Williams in the first (and the special-teams penalty). But overall, he played even better on tape than I thought initially.

SAFETIES

* Nate Allen seemed to hold up well for the most part. Good tackle on Witten after a 5-yard completion in the first. And Allen tackled Witten for a 1-yard loss in the second. Tough to say whether he was supposed to help Boykin on the 39-yard completion in the second. Allen instead cheated up to double Bryant. In the fourth, he got beat by Witten for a 16-yard gain.

* Patrick Chung was put in a tough spot on the 32-yard touchdown to Bryant in the fourth. The Cowboys used motion to get a matchup they could exploit. Chung's coverage was OK, but he failed to make the tackle and gave up the big play. Chung really didn't have a lot of other breakdowns, as far as I could tell. He gave up an 11-yard completion to Witten in the second, but no other big plays.

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  • ftotheyu

    I think our 2014 defense is set except for OLB, CB, and maybe some safety depth. We desperately need a stud rushing LB in the mold of Clay Matthews or Von Miller, and unfortunately there’s probably not one to be had in this year’s draft. If not that, then I wouldn’t mind drafting a potential starting corner for depth and eventually replacing Williams or Fletcher. Also, maybe a good nose tackle to groom and spell Logan.

    • nicksaenz1

      Need S before CB. CB can wait til later rounds.

      • RIP illa

        Don’t make me break out my post to Rob about the quality of CBs taken in the 1st 3 rounds…it’s way better than later rounds…way better!!! If there’s a S better than any CB in the those 3 rounds then sure. But he has to be head and shoulders better. And looking at this safety class, there’s not many.

        • nicksaenz1

          Haha the point was that we aren’t in dire need of corners. We are, however, in dire need of a quality safety….two if you want to get technical.

          • RIP illa

            Yeah I hear ya. It seems Allen has lost a lot of range since his injury. If we draft a S, hopefully he has the speed and athleticism of Wolff (if not greater), while knowing what he’s doing.

    • Maggie

      Not sure Fletcher or even Williams need replacing just yet. They do need quality backups, however. Which is probably a concern throughout the defense.

    • KobraKai7474

      You can never ever have too many corners and/or defensive lineman so I think every draft should include, at minimum, one value pick at one (or both) of those positions no matter how much depth a team has. As for the higher picks (i.e. the first three rounds), I think a safety (or three) and a linebacker (inside or outside) are a necessity. At middle linebacker, Ryans is getting old (in NFL years) and, if we are lucky, he might have another season as an every down player so the Eagles need to have a player ready to take that very key role. On the outside, Cole and Graham both play their faces off, but it is probably time to admit that they are both adequate and nothing more, which is a problem at a position where most 4-3 playmakers reside. As for safety, I think we all know the Eagles’ shortcomings there and, since there never seems to be any decent ones available on the free agent market, they are just going to have to bite the bullet and take a good one (or more) high in the draft.

  • Richard Colton

    Hey Illadelph – remember when I said Boykin didn’t deserve probowl consideration because he wasn’t a starter? You were right – I was wrong.

    • Maggie

      Wrrrr…. less right. ; – )

    • theycallmerob

      heck, he should have been named twice- as a CB and ST player.
      I’ll eat my words on that, too

    • RIP illa

      Lol. Props. I had to do a double take when I was looking up his numbers a couple weeks before the pro bowl announcements. Insane for a guy playing about 50% of the snaps, but yet still enough to not be considered a fluke (so to speak). Loved when we drafted him and thought that he was good and would improve to get to superior level of play, than other slot cbs, in time. Never expected this and still can hardly believe it, even after watching all his snaps.

  • morgan c

    Sheil, good point about our CB play. Though assumed to be a huge weak spot going into the season by a lot of us, including myself, they have really exceeded expectations, a few bad games notwithstanding. Really playing well one-on-one.

    • Mike Giongo

      Agreed…I think that the coverage busts by our safeties and linebackers (especially Pat Chung) make our corners look worse than they are. There is no true shutdown corner on this roster, but Williams, Fletcher and Boykin play very well together.

  • GumboGumbo

    I’d like to see more of a pass rush vs NO especially from the front 3. Thanks for not mentioning Square getting lit up by Murray!

    • evanphilly

      Should have been a penalty on Murray for lowering the head.

      • Maggie

        I would upvote 10 times if I could!

      • Will

        The refs called Dallas for one 5 yd penalty all game what BS…the hit on Square, hit on Foles when sliding, holding on DJax just to name a few…

        • Media Mike

          And Cooper was held on the play where Foles was hit when sliding.

          • Ron Swanson

            Also add in the late hit on defenseless Avant when Foles threw it away.

          • dave H

            HUGE – you have the been only person ive seen to mention this. ye si scream OUCH at the TV

          • G_WallyHunter

            Yup, they did a replay and you could CLEARLY see cooper’s jersey get held right in the middle of field. BS, Al and Chris missed it completely, too busy looking at Foles. They’re sometimes good for catching those no-calls.

          • Media Mike

            Correct Wally! I’m still irate over the 6:1 penalty ratio and the announcers not mentioning anything beyond the delay of game on Dallas. Brutal.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya, let’s hope they call a better game saturday eh lol..
            Lucky for us, Cris and Al get Saturday again.

            I can’t wait, Brees and his little hands will have so much trouble in 22-25 degrees, CAN’T WAIT!!
            Hopefully Foles has the right gloves but his hands are so big, that ball security becomes extra handy in these cold weather conditions.

        • Maggie

          Watched part of Green Bay-Chicago game. Late hit on Rodgers was called. Why not on Foles?

        • Sven

          Especially when they called the garbage penalty against Boykin on the punt…

      • EaglePete

        nah, just fine him later but ya Id take the penalty. The Kurt Coleman rule in effect and we dont get any love on it. You have to be impressed though as just a fan of athletes, I mean to upend a D tackle like that. I havent seen something like that since the Nigerian Nightmare.

    • theycallmerob

      According to Square (via Kempski), there were some good laughs about it in the film room. Kempski is pushing to call him Damion Rhombus.

      • Eagle in VT

        It’s a math joke!!!

        …math is funny.

  • Dave

    Check out this article from UW regarding the 4-3 under, essentially the defense we play and are working to perfect. You can see how some of the players on this team are starting to fit nicely into those roles (hence the progression on defense we’ve seen) http://www.uwdawgpound.com/2013/9/13/4727200/the-4-3-under-defining-the-defense

    I’ve always been a huge Chip Kelly fan…because of his offense and coaching style. But I think I’m getting even more excited to give BD a draft or two with FA’s to make this a stout 4-3 under…much like Seattle

    • theycallmerob

      thanks for the link. however, we seem to run more of a true 2gap 34, whereas the 43under gets more DL pressure from 1-gapping. At least to my eye, we seem to 1gap only on 3rd downs, and usually out of a more base 43.
      I thought we’d be aligning in the under more this year, being a transition and all. But I’m glad Kelly and Davis went all the way to 2gap so quick.

      • mtn_green

        Agree with rob.

        • Andy124

          There was, of course, a ton of speculation that we’d be running the 4-3 under, followed by a good bit of consternation that we were skipping right over it to the pure 2-gap 3-4.

      • BlindChow

        I think that’s the reason we get burned so bad on the quick passes. The 2-gapping linemen have to read the play first, which gives the QB time to find his man and get the ball out.

        • theycallmerob

          Having CBs press more, especially against rhythm/timing offenses would help, but it seems Davis avoids that to limit big plays (in other words., safeties can’t be trusted over top in coverage). Having Ed Reed behind him really helped Sconces in that regard during his BAL years.
          All things considered, I’ve been somewhat impressed with the CB coverages this year. No depth, of course, but like Sheil said above it seems coverage brain farts happen more with safeties and LBs (especially when a blitz is involved)

  • EaglePete

    Very surprised they held Murray to so few yards, didnt know that or wouldnt have thought watching that game. I live out in Denver and I can tell you that Von Miller had just an awful year with suspensions, poor play in first few games back and then an injury. I would not be surprised if the Broncos are willing to trade him at some point. I know thats a stretch but he may be available at some point down the line. Just a question of whether you want his off the field stuff. I think a change of scene would be good for him, a change to green that is.

    • Media Mike

      What do you give up for a guy who is one drug issue away from an 8 or 16 game suspension and is playing on a bum knee?

      • EaglePete

        I know, they wouldnt just give him away either. I think hes far too smart to get caught up in the drug issue again but you never know, he wasnt smart enough the 2nd or 3rd time or whatever it was. Hes got years left Im sure once hes rehabbed. Has he hurt that same knee prior?

        • Media Mike

          I don’t believe he’s injured that knee before, but “smart” isn’t a word I’d use to describe any player who has been suspended by the NFL for substance issues.

          • EaglePete

            well, hes young and having fun, havent we all. He seems intelligent in interviews but thats a long way from grown up smart. He can ball though when he puts his mind to it. Flaky is a good way to describe him at this point.

          • Media Mike

            He’s an awesome football player, but guys with multiple strikes against them aren’t long for this league with Mr. Goodell in charge.

          • Maggie

            And it takes quite few times being caught before the league steps in. Anyway, Eagles replay on NFL Network now, so I’m gone.

  • Joe from Easton

    Nick Foles is slow. Our defense is forced week in and week out to make up for his inconsistencies. If only we had a QB with a faster 40 time that could escape pressure then we’d be great.

    • Joe from Easton

      Really? Down vote? You people obviously don’t get sarcasm.

      • Andy124

        Or somebody did get it and didn’t appreciate it. Or, most likely, it’s because they wanted to see a comma after the word pressure. Yeah, that’s it. It’s the comma thing.

        • Joe from Easton

          I think you’re probably right. Grammar is a hot topic around here.

      • RIP illa

        Or you can use sarcasm font. It leaves nothing to chance. :-)

        • Joe from Easton

          What is this magical sarcasm font that you speak of?

          • RIP illa

            Lol. Put your sentence in italics.

            Edit: ugh…can’t show you how w/o my sentence going in italics. Google it and you’ll see.

  • Media Mike

    Missed the HORRIBLE and SLOW close by Allen on Escobar on the TD catch. I know Meco got beat, but Allen needs to run his slow rear end over the to save the TD.

    • Adam

      He was mid field when Meco blew the coverage. No safety could have covered that space, and Escobar still would have just went over the top. That one was one Ryans 100%

      • Media Mike

        I don’t agree. We needed that stop.

      • Media Mike

        http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/videos/Gavin-Escobar-Flips-Into-The-End-Zone/58891de9-8975-41ef-a50b-471fd603ce77
        Here is the play. Slow close and bad angle by Allen. Escobar should have been hit out at the 2 or 3.
        I’m not excusing Meco at all because his coverage sucked, but Escobar cannot get that far down the field before Allen gets him.

        • Adam

          You don’t even see Nate Allen’s starting point on that angle, I’m not sure how you can deduct he took a bad angle. He was the safety help on Dez on that play and had to come from the middle to help on Escobar. Unless he somehow can jump over Fletch and Dez then that’s the best angle you get.

          • Adam

            He hits him at the 3 Escobar is big and fast enough to go over the top. Maybe Dawkins makes that stop, but there aren’t many safeties that can. I love to harp Allen as much as the next guy but that play is on busted coverage, but I thought it was a good effort making Escobar at least go over the top to get in. Bad things normally happen when ball carriers leave their feet.

          • Adam

            Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Escobar was Allen’s responsibility the whole time. But it sure did look like he the safety help on Dez which would make more sense than double teaming Escobar.

            Mainly I just wanted to use my telestrator.

          • Media Mike

            And it was used in a damn fine manner! Nice work.

          • Media Mike

            Thank you for the overhead shots, but I see Escobar as a garbage football player who is a bust and was a laughable reach when drafted by Dallas. I cannot do anything but assign blame when that type of guy is allowed to score a TD in a critical game.

          • southy

            It was a blown coverage. Only BD can tell us who was at fault on the play, but it would have been a great play for Allen to keep Esco from scoring there.

            Esco is garbage but mainly because he couldn’t block your grandma in a hallway. He was drafted as a Hernandez type and has some athleticism in the open field.

  • TNA

    Still recovering from Sunday night. Hope players and staff are adjusting their body clocks and getting physically primed for a night game out in freezing temperatures.
    Speaking of freezing temperatures, I hope NO’s travel plans are screwed up by the weather and they waste time sitting in an airport for several hours.
    Kendricks ability to cover would be better if he focused on pass defending and less focused on hitting the receiver after the catch is made to tackle or jar the ball loose. With his speed, he should be a bit more disruptive on passes but he runs low to the ground and gives away high targets to QBs and receivers even if he is in tight coverage. But that technique will need to be learned for next year.
    In terms of media coverage I’m also curious as to how the playoff game impacts the finances of the team and the players. It’s been a while…

    • Maggie

      To the best of my knowledge, and I’m not certain, but believe the players don’t get paid for playoff games until the Big One. Maybe bonuses for next year? I also believe that a lot of the revenue from playoff games ends up in the league offices somehow.

      • TNA

        Players don’t get paid for playoff games?!? And revenues don’t go to the team? That can’t be right. Incentive structure is ass backwards.

        • BlindChow

          Teams themselves do get bonuses for the playoffs, but their ticket revenue is shared equally among all teams, even those not in the playoffs.

          From the same article I quoted above:

          The league rewards teams that win in the wild-card round with $590,000 if they lose and $650,000 if they win. In the divisional round, each team gets $650,000 to cover expenses; that jumps to $1.01  million for the conference championship game. The Super Bowl winner gets $4.108 million and the losing team $2.878  million.

          • FluxCapacitor

            Wow, they upped the bonuses in a big way!

          • Media Mike

            That should be just enough money to get you a party boat and a “crew” of “ladies” flown up from Atlanta for a party on the lake!

          • BlindChow

            Better have some lifeboats ready if you have McCoy and ladies on the same party boat…

          • Media Mike

            Ha ha ha ha ha. Get off of my bus/boat!

          • Maggie

            Thanks for the info. it seems to me that at some point in the past there was a different structure for the playoffs. I still think the home team mostly just gets the extra parking and concession revenue, but again, not sure. Perhaps the biggest payoff is in the bragging rights. And rings.

      • BlindChow

        Player salaries are only paid over the 17-game season, but they do get bonuses for playing in playoff games (a little more if they win). Each player gets the same amount (though perhaps more if it’s in their contract–not sure if this is allowed or not). The amount goes up for each round of the playoffs.

        I couldn’t find anything about this season’s numbers, but here were the 2010 amounts:

        Players earn $21,000 for winning a wild-card game and 19 grand for
        losing one. That rises to $21,000 for the divisional round and $38,000
        for the conference championship game. Players on a Super Bowl winner receive $83,000 each; the losers get $42,000 each.

  • Media Mike

    I don’t expect Chung, or any safety for that matter, to prevent Bryant from making a catch. I do expect ANY guy playing football to wrap up and tackle once he’s got a guy in his grasp at the point of the catch. Chung needs to go bye bye soon.

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      Nate Allen needs to go too

      • Media Mike

        Allen, in spite of his slow/poor angle on the Escobar TD, has played mediocre football this year and would be fine to bring back cheaply as depth.

  • Media Mike

    Bigger dope: Redskin’s GM for interviewing Sean McDermott, Ruben Frank for being all over McDermott’s piece, or McDermott himself for being responsible for one of the all time worst red zone Ds in the history of the NFL in 2010?
    Discuss

    • Ron Swanson

      McDermott has been really good though. Maybe he just wasn’t ready for the position in 2010 and really learned a lot from his experience. The guy shows a lot of promise now, there’s no reason to be bitter about.

      • Media Mike

        No, he hasn’t. That is 100% Ron Rivera’s D and a stud front 7 put together by solid drafting. McDermott has no promise whatsoever and should be scolded daily about how horrible of a DC he was here.

        • BlindChow

          In that case, we should be ecstatic about the possibility of Washington hiring him. Does he have any sort of experience to suggest he could lead a team as head coach?

          • Media Mike

            He’s worked under Reid and Rivera, so he should have learned a lot about how to be a good coach. He play calling on D Is moronic. He wasted Brandon Graham’s rookie year playing him in pass coverage, had good enough players to be the #12 D by yards but was the 32nd red zone D and the worst in the NFL at red zone D in something like 30 or 40 years. He’s quite possibly one of the dumbest and overmatch human beings alive.

          • RIP illa

            Concur w/ the overall theme of your post. He played Cole in coverage the most while he moved Graham in at DT. Which Graham is strong enough for but was no where near ready for that role of taking on strong as hell centers and guards and their double teams as a rookie. He was still learning how to use his hands and only had one rush move for Gods sake!!!

          • Media Mike

            Yup! It still burns me that Graham lost an entire year do to being used incorrectly and having his knee BADLY damaged by Tyson Clabo on a cheap chop block that should have resulted in Clabo’s execution by being hung from the Ben Franklin Bridge.

      • RIP illa

        Sean tried pushing his D philosophy on a team completely not built for it w/ us. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a good or could be a good D-Coord. It’s the fact that he thought he could re-invent the wheel w/o spokes or a tire. Plus he really sucked at communicating and and winning over the players.

    • mtn_green

      So much fun watching wa disaster. Giants will be in next two years too.

  • Tom w

    Can’t cover jimmy graham w Kendrick’s or Ryans. Sorry billy gotta come up w a better scheme than that. I wouldn’t mind going man w Cary Williams on him and place Boykin outside all game and bring Chung in only on passing downs. Basically what pats did w talib to shut graham down. Would also like a Barwin/Allen double team on graham w Barwin jamming him at the line. Let’s go billy Davis.

    • Tom w

      Meant running downs.

    • Media Mike

      G Cobb was Tweeting that Barwin should be on Graham. Makes me really miss the days of Carlos Emmons at SAM shutting down TEs weekly!

      • theycallmerob

        twas a different breed of TE back then

        • Media Mike

          I still think a 6’4″ run and hit guy would slap around these TEs today. Emmons was a unique talent.

          • theycallmerob

            I won’t argue that. Love me some Emmons.
            But guys like Vernon Davis, Gronk, Graham have really changed the position. Look at the numbers Graham puts up, it’s not as if other teams OLB and S were really keeping him down.
            Moreso than putting a single player on him, I like what Davis has done to bracket some guys in this year. If our DL gets any pressure and the CBs can press a little, we may be ok.
            Also, I’d rather our LBs focus on those receiving backs leaking out rather than Graham. Knock him off his route right away, and then watch for Sproles or Thomas

          • Media Mike

            I agree that scheme-wise Davis has been very smart with how we’ve covered TEs.

      • RIP illa

        The idea is great in theory but Grahm would eat Barwin alive, and that’s not a knock on Barwin. Barwin came out of the combine as a Freak athlete, but he’s lost some of that agility and explosiveness in the process of getting up to his current weight. Couple that with the fact that Grahm can run good routes and has the advantage of already knowing where’s he’s going w/ his route and that’s a one on one match up nightmare. Although it would be interesting to see Kendricks have the assignment of taking the RBs out of the backfield. But I’m pretty sure we’re gonna be blitzing w/ Kendricks a lot.

        I say don’t go away from what got us here. Let Kendricks cover the TE when he’s not blitzing, as usual…and have a safety playing a robber position over the top. That way Kendricks can worry about the underneath stuff and we take away Grahm as a deep threat. Role the other safety to the side of Moore or Stills in the slot so we don’t get taken deep by them, and although I would like C-Will on Colston…put Fletch on him and let them battle all day. You know Colston’s not gonna beat you deep unless it’s a blown coverage or our guy slips and falls.

        Also having a Safety play “center field” for Grahm could help us in the run game if we play him up close enough to the line while keeping his first priority on Grahm. Don’t wanna see any of our guys w/ too many one on one situations w/ Grahm.

        • Media Mike

          I’m with that.

        • dave H

          id have one of the assistants chart & graph every spot that Graham has caught every pass all season and know when he tends to run to .. I mean if there is a tendancy or two. put 1 guy on him man to man and have one of the LBs in those areas already .. if possible.

    • mtn_green

      Boykin on graham all day?

  • KobraKai7474

    I am sorry but, if it were as easy as “using motion to get a matchup they could exploit”, the best receivers in the NFL would always be in man coverage against the slowest and/or worst tackler in the other team’s secondary. As well as the Eagles defense has played over the last half of the season, it has a fatal flaw if the Saints merely have to put Colston or Graham in motion to ensure that Patrick Chung will be single-covering them with no deep help. If Billy Davis wants to blitz 10 guys, have at it…. as long as it doesn’t leave Patrick Chung as the only thing between the other team’s best receiver and the end zone. Otherwise, the Eagles are going to have score 80 to stay in the game.

    • Media Mike

      Chung is one sucky football player. His blindness / slowness / stupidity in misreading plays is what allowed Eli to complete that lucky rainbow pass in the 2011 season Super Bowl. I hate me some Chung.

    • mtn_green

      Chip on Nnamdi: he’s a player that’s got some skills. (Nnamdi released weeks after)
      Chip on Chung: he’s a player.

    • Jason

      It’s bad that I was excited that Chung didn’t tackle Kendricks on one of the pass plays to Witten.

  • John J. King

    Just a suggestion for Coach Davis. Don’t blitz at all but play a 4-3 hybrid with Boykin as one of the ‘3’. He’s a ball hawk and makes plays. Cole will love coming off the edge again from a 4 point and while he won’t fool Brees, he will limit him a bit while killing the run. Iggs 50-49.

    • Andy124

      What ever formation the Eagles employ, getting heavy, consistent pressure with 4 rushers would be a huge benefit. Bring on the wide-9!!!

      No seriously though, our guys have done that in some games and not in others. Here’s hoping they turn in one of their good games.

      Still house money. :)

    • Adam

      I’m not sure this is the best time to change our scheme

      • BlindChow

        They certainly won’t expect it.

    • RIP illa

      That’s not how you play Brees. He would kill us, plus you don’t change your scheme on whole when going into the playoffs. Brees’ becomes so beatable when he gets hit and then becomes antsy in the pocket. Get him uncomfortable and off his spot…and turnovers ensue!!!

      • John J. King

        Agree that we have to get him off balance but he kills the blitz. We don’t get enough pressure w/the basic rush as it is. My guess is that this will mean we have to score 40+ to win.

        • RIP illa

          Happy New Years!!! Hope you’re wrong about scoring 40. Not that we can’t do it, but based off the discussion…it would mean that we’re in a shoot out and I really don’t wanna be in a shoot out w/ the 3rd best QB I the league.

          Brees’ good against the blitz but he does turn the ball over the more he’s hit or that hits are accumulated on him. Our bread and butter blitz is the A-gap blitz w/ Kendricks. That’s not gonna get the job done. As u alluded to, everybody’s gonna have to step up. That means Cole’s gonna have to abuse Armstead, Barwins’s gonna have to rush harder than he has all year and Cox is going to have to do whatever he can to get one on one w/ their Guard and then do whatever he must to beat him.
          Thornton can sometimes get in the backfield and make life for a QB difficult, but we can’t count on that. And we definitely can’t count on Logan holding the point of attack, let alone pushing the pocket. But in obvious passing downs we can count on Curry to blow stuff up and penetrate the pocket. Luckily for us…the Saints suck on 3 and long which is generally anything over 5 yards, at least in the road. This is where stopping the run game is so important. Ced and Barwin do a great job of locking down our left side, but Logan is sporadic in the middle and Cox has gotten abused too many times on the Right…even w/ Cole backing him up (I am being very critical on Cox because he’s our most talented D-linemen, and although he’s best suited for 1 gapping, he still has all that’s needed to be excellent in a 2 gap system).

          Bottom line is we gotta keep them in 3rd and long for majority if the game (very possible see Carolina game) and be consistent w/ our pressure when he drops back. This also means we should tighten up the majority of our coverage, w/ only leaving Fletch to play off on Moore (if that’s the matchup) or give him a Safety over the top so he can tighten up also. Manning, Brady/Belichek, and Brees!!! These are the only 3 QBs that I think a team should never go into a game relying on any type of zone D to beat them, unless that team has 5 Asantes’ in its secondary! Zone doesn’t confuse these guys and all three can kill the smallest of windows that the best zone leaves open. Gotta man up and shift the onus to their WRs while making them as miserable as hell in the pocket.

  • mtn_green

    I can’t put my finger on why the pas rush is decent some games and then non existent others. Seems eagles cant just line up and get a sack, they need a blitz stunt or something. Was Orton firing quickly? Are Dallas OL good?

    • Adam

      Well I think the Bears game was somewhat of a false positive in the sense that 2 of the sacks game when they put Forte on Cole. Plus the Bears run longer developing plays so that gives more time to get to the QB. Cowboys did a good job sticking to short and intermediate stuff and getting the ball out quick. We were almost there a couple times.That neutralized our ability to use stunts too. Kudos to Tyron Smith, he had a great game as well.

    • theycallmerob

      DAL definitely outplayed us in the trenches on both sides. Understandable, being a division game (and do or die) for them at home. But you’re right, it’s bothered me how they disappear sometimes, and not always due to the great performances of the opponent’s OL.
      If Logan gains some weight or a bigger NT comes in, drawing more double teams, it should help Ced and Cox a little. OLBs have to get home. And of course, having a safety that can cover some seam routes or be trusted with half a field over top coverage will improve the entire defense. QBs will have to hesitate just a second more when making reads. Football is a game of milliseconds and inches.

      • Adam

        And if we get an OLB that can be a real consistent threat (no offense T. Cole) that will see some double teams, that should open up some 1 on 1’s with some guards for Cox.

      • Media Mike

        I just saw a mock with us taking Nix from ND. Thoughts on a nimble 340lb NT?

        • theycallmerob

          If he is there that late, I wouldn’t mind it. I think he and Hageman (MIN) are real talents at DL, considering where we’ll be picking.
          Not sure, other than HaHa or L. Joyner (who is now a CB apparently, but really a honey badger hybrid), who would be worth a 1st round grade as a DB. Also afraid the best OLBs will be gone, don’t want to see us reach. So if that is how it plays out, wouldn’t mind a big NT.
          I also think the Soap signing was indicative of the plus-sized player Kelly and Davis would prefer to have there. I’m all for athletic guys, and love how Logan has played, but we can’t have an entirely undersized DL

          • Adam

            Yeah I don’t feel Logan was ever meant to be the long term solution at NT. More of a combination of Soap playing bad, and Logan not being a big enough drop off the justify paying Soap. It at least got him on the field though. I do wonder what their plans are for him though. If we get a true NT, does Logan come off the bench for Thornton or vice versa?

          • theycallmerob

            I always thought he was more DE, or at best DE/DT. NT may be a bit of a stretch.

            Can never have too many good DL. I’d like Nix here, and Logan/Curry coming in to spell Cox and Ced. Get Damion Rhombus off the field

          • Adam

            Possibly throw Kruger in the mix as well. I’m very interested to see how he looks come OTAs/training camp.

          • theycallmerob

            boy, me too. Liked that pick a lot

          • Mitchell

            “Activate Kruger”

          • Media Mike

            Having a nimble pig is important for nose. I was really hoping we were going to sign Knighton for that spot, but he was never worked out by the Eagles and signed with Denver.

          • RIP illa

            God I was feen-n for some Knighton this past offseason.

          • RIP illa

            I think we’re going on a deep run for the playoffs, and if ‘Shede’s on the board when we’re up to pick…we better not pass him by!!! That kid would solidify our starting line, while being another freak athlete to go along w/ Cox, and give us some depth w/ Logan now being rotational, while he adds weight and strength. And hopefully Kruger is getting his bulk/weight room on!!! We’d be set. Of course Nix would do that for us too, but I love me some ‘Shede!!!

  • southy

    At one point Allen had Murray lined up in a hole on an outside run. Instead of taking him on he stepped to the side and tried a drag down tackle. Murray is a strong runner, but unless your name is Asante you have to man up in that situation.

    On the late deep seam pass to Witten, Chung had a chance to put a big hit on and challenge the catch, but instead slowed and chose to wrap up. Can’t tell if he didn’t want a penalty there or didn’t have the confidence to put a hit on Witten. Now that I think about it, good thing he didn’t go for the hit… Might have taken out the other Eagle in on the play (Kendricks?)

    • dave H

      YES I SAW THAT ALSO about Allen on the solo chance in the hole !
      ..
      I was yelling WTF !!!
      really weird, really bummed me out !! made me think of so many players that fat andy would employ for 1 year then DUMP! Dhani Jones AHHHH!!!!
      players who seemingly WERE ALWAYS BLOCKED / who could never shed blocks ..made me think they HATEd tackling and used to hide behind blocks!
      ..I like our corners and LBs because they HIT .. and I LOVE DeMeco & Kendricks style how they lurk behind the blocked line HUNTING for the ballcarrier!!