All-22: Why the Eagles’ Offense Stalled

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With 3:54 left in the third quarter of last week’s playoff game against the Saints, the Eagles’ offense took the field for the ninth time.

The results of the first eight drives were ugly: six punts, one missed field goal and a touchdown. The Saints finished fourth in the regular season in scoring defense, and for much of Saturday’s game, Rob Ryan’s group got the better of the Eagles.


Nick Foles and company scored on their final three possessions to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead, but ultimately, it wasn't enough.

Defense and special teams certainly shared responsibility for the 26-24 loss, but given the way the offense had played all season, it's worth exploring why that side of the ball struggled for the first 41 minutes of the game.

During the regular season, on the rare occasions that defenses slowed the Eagles down, they generally did so with the same formula: man coverage with a single high safety. That allowed them to devote an extra defender to the run while counting on one of three things happening: Eagles receivers not getting open; Foles misfiring/making a bad read; pass protection not holding up.

Those three things didn't happen all that often. For most of the season, even when defenses played that way, the Eagles were able to burn them in the passing game.

The Saints, however, mixed things up.

"They played a little bit more zone than they had coming in," Chip Kelly said. "But I'll give credit to Rob Ryan. Rob did a nice job. They had a really good gameplan."

The gameplan was to mix up coverages (using a healthy amount of Cover-2), hold off on sending extra rushers at Foles and count on the guys up front to win their battles.

The Saints executed well, and the Eagles were not sharp. The results were Foles averaging just 5.9 yards per attempt, his second-lowest total of the year, and LeSean McCoy averaging 3.7 YPC, his lowest number since Week 9.

***

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES IN THE PASSING GAME

When the Eagles did have opportunities for big plays, they didn't capitalize.

For example, on this first-quarter play, the Eagles use a play-fake and then roll Foles out to his right. Jason Avant was used as a backside blocker in the run game quite a bit down the stretch during the regular season. He sets up like one on this play, but then leaks out into the flat. The Eagles also have Brent Celek on a corner route to that side of the field.

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Avant draws the attention of two defenders, leaving Celek all by his lonesome.

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With one deep middle-of-the-field safety, this has a chance to be a big play. But Foles instead dumps it down to Avant for a 2-yard gain. The Eagles were forced to punt after a third-down incompletion and missed a big opportunity early.

DeSean Jackson was held without a catch until late in the third quarter. Cornerback Keenan Lewis definitely deserves credit for the job he did. But the Eagles had some opportunities to get No. 10 the football.

One example was this third-down play in the second quarter.

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The Saints are in man coverage, and the two receivers to pay attention to for our purposes are Jackson and Celek. You'll notice only one deep safety set up in the middle of the field.

Celek is covered by safety Roman Harper on a crossing route. Jackson takes Lewis deep.

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Foles went through his progressions, but never got to Jackson, who had a step on Lewis with the safety in no position to help. Instead, he tried to force one to Celek. You can see Foles has a clean pocket and plenty of time on this play.

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You can also see at the bottom of the shot that Celek is being covered (held?). If Foles finds Jackson and his throw is on-target, in all likelihood, this is a touchdown. Instead, it's an incompletion, and the Eagles are forced to punt.

Another missed third-down opportunity in the third. This time, there's not a lot to draw up. It was a play you undoubtedly remember - a drop by Riley Cooper. Foles' read was good, and his throw was on-target. If you're wondering just how much open space Cooper had in front of him...

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This would have been a monster gain in a big spot. Instead, the Eagles had to punt.

***

RUN-GAME WOES

The most surprising development in the game was that the Eagles couldn't get McCoy going. He averaged 3.7 YPC and didn't have a run of more than 11 yards.

There wasn't really one thing to point to. A miscommunication up front on one play; a missed block by the tight end on another; or a Saints defender just making a really nice play.

This first-quarter split zone run is a good example of some of the issues at work. Luckily, we were able to get Kelly mic'd up on this play for a Birds 24/7 exclusive.

"Alright boys, nothing else is working. Let's go to the old split zone. Who says OTAs and training camp are important? We didn't put this bad boy in the playbook until Week 13! Celek's got the backside defender, and away we go!"

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"Wait a minute. Lane, Todd, what on earth are you doing? Why are you blocking the same guy? That's not how we drew it up! I like to try out new ideas and leave guys unblocked from time to time, but I'm not dumb enough to ignore their Pro Bowl defensive end, you morons!"

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"Wait... maybe we've still got a shot here. Hit the whole, Shady. Back get me 2, line get me 2!"

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"Celek! I've been singing your praises all year and you get tossed like that? C'mon, man! If that happens next year we're trading you to Cleveland! Ok, just kidding... I'm not that cruel."

Thanks to Kelly for his insight there. If you didn't follow along, Lane Johnson and Todd Herremans blocked the same guy. That's an SIW, or self-inflicted wound, as Kelly likes to call them. And then the Saints deserve credit for being ready for Celek. Junior Galette saw him coming, tossed him back into Jason Peters, and New Orleans had two defenders in the backfield to drop McCoy for a 4-yard loss.

Suddenly, 2nd-and-7 turned into 3rd-and-11.

The Saints got some terrific efforts from their front-seven defenders. Let's pick up this fourth-quarter McCoy run mid-play. The Eagles run a sweep to the left with Peters and Evan Mathis pulling. That's two All-Pro linemen setting up to take care of Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton.

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Still looking good in the next frame. McCoy can cut it upfield or bounce it to the edge. It looks like Lofton is pinned inside by Peters and Mathis.

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But Lofton fights through the two linemen and brings McCoy down. What could have been a big gain is instead stopped after 5 yards.

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***

The offense scored on its final three drives and left the field with the Eagles up one. But clearly, it wasn't the sharpest of performances by that unit. The Saints deserve credit for their gameplan/execution, but Kelly and his players know they left too many plays on the field and made too many mistakes to advance to the divisional round.

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

    Really tough to see that Celek post missed by Foles. But that’s football. He’s young and he’ll learn.

    • GEAGLE

      That won’t be the last time we miss open WR…it happens

      • Bdawkbdawk

        …..

  • NickS1

    Well that’s depressing.

  • jabostick

    Excellent work as always, Sheil.

    The Celek corner seems pretty uncharacteristic of Foles. The other one, maybe he’s hoping for a PI call as well (??). In the run game, looks like the Saints line and front 7 just played a little more inspired than our line did.

    The Cooper drop… He might still be running

    • anon

      Everyone misses i think we’re just so granular with our analysis that it makes it look bad, but it’s literally a handful of plays. But does give me faith that CK is a mastermind.

    • Adam

      Depending on if/where he is in his throwing motion, looks like maybe he was being too conservative, worried about those two defenders picking it off on the Celek throw.

  • GEAGLE

    We see such a high octane offense but in reality, chips offense has a long way to go. We are missing the speed that his offense is based on…speed wise, the only acceptable players were Desean and Ertz..Coop has a place in this offense, but once guys like Avant and Celek are replaced with burners, who REALLY stretch the field horizontally and Verticle, the holes will open even more and Chip will be able to isolate individual matchups and better take advantage of them…this is why I think we shouldn’t rule out DAT…he is the horizontal field stretching version of Desean who stretches it Vertically…….I don’t love DAT, but he is a stylistic piece that we don’t have that Chip really knows what to do with

    For Chip to do what he did, without all the overwhelming speed he is accustomed to is very impressive…but, let’s not kid ourselves and think the offense is set…speed is COMING!

    • Jason

      I am going to assume you mean in the passing game (ie WR and TE). Otherwise, I don’t think I can take you seriously anymore.

      • GEAGLE

        How will I sleep tonight? Considering I didn’t even mention RBs, I think it’s fair to assume I was speaking about the passing game

        • Jason

          You do realize we can throw to RBs, your hyperbole is so ridiculous I can only stand so much.

          • GEAGLE

            You do realize DAT is considered a RB and I just talked about him? You do realize I said I wouldn’t mind dexter mcLuster the other day? You are just being a prick for the sake of being a prick, but when you see my name, just scroll down…I have no credibility, so don’t waste your time reading when you see my name…problem solved, now enjoy your day

  • Guest

    I’m throwing a flag here. 15 yards for piling on, Sheil. We get that expectations are high for Foles but this is nuts. QB has never missed an open receiver before?

    • Jason

      Piling on?? Are you kidding? Foles is treated with kids gloves on this site. He has been amazing, but hopefully he is more critical of himself then Sheil was in this article.

      • GEAGLE

        You obviously haven’t read Tom Lawlors article

        • Jason

          Which one, he does so many it’s hard to define which one your referencing. If it if the one with McNabb, I fail to see your point.

    • sdk152

      Not piling on. If it was only one, I wouldn’t have mentioned it. You’re right that every offense leaves plays on the field. But I thought the Eagles left too many – specifically in the first half. Also worth noting that I pointed out failures in other areas (WR, OL, etc.). The purpose of this was not to rip Foles, but to identify the reasons why the offense struggled for most of the game.

      Thanks for reading. -SK

      • NickS1

        And thank you for writing.

    • bentheimmigrant

      He’s writing for an informed fanbase who want to understand what happened on the field. If you don’t want to talk about the actual reasons the O wasn’t firing on all cylinders, fine. But don’t complain that the rest of us do.

  • Jon

    Could have done without seeing the missed Celek play. Sigh. I’m curious though about even in the games where the O is clicking, how many big plays are still left on the field?

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    On the Jackson “miss” I can’t be too upset that he took what he considered to be a sure thing with Celek one-on-one against a linebacker (and if he hadn’t blatantly interfered, would have been a nice pick-up). He never even got to Jackson because that was his next read. If he waits for Jackson, then you miss Celek. It’s not like Jackson was running free, although he certainly has one step.

    As for missing Celek on the Avant dump off, that one stings as he should have been more patient.

    Overall I was much more frustrated with the run game than with Foles’s play. I was telling the guys I was sitting with “this is crazy, they’re playing two safeties deep yet we still can’t run on them.” If a team can play cover 2 and rely on their front 7 to cover tight ends and stop the run, that is our line/RB/TE fault as opposed to QB/WR.

  • R. Colton’s Wine Glass

    Like Dick and I keep saying – the D did its job. If the O actually showed up in the 1st half then maybe, just maybe, the Saints would have been forced to run less and play into the hands of Billy’s game plan.

    • theycallmerob

      tell us how you really feel, stemware. Is the QB holding our offense back? worth trading our 2nd and next year’s 1st to move up and get Manziel?

      • NickS1

        It’s probably that cheap plastic kind where you to asseble the pieces it comes in.

      • Andy124

        Why settle? I’ll bet we could get Joe Webb for less than that.

  • dollamakeuholla

    Qb’s miss guys all the time! it happens! Other teams players make great plays! it happens they are pros! The one that hurts the most is Cooper dropping the easiest pass thrown to him all year! UGHHHH! That one i can’t let go! it hurts to bad!!! Cooper has caught everything! The over the shoulder bomb in the snow, or the one handed ball that was WAY overthrown. This was right after saints took the lead and we were coming to answer! odds are we either score on it or we get some momentum and at least get a FG. So score goes 14-13 good guys of 13-10. Instead it is 3 and out and they go up 20-6! ARRRGHHHHH i even hate typing it! That was the ball game!

    • NickS1

      Can’t bank on the FG. We all know that.

      • dollamakeuholla

        LOL! What do you mean he is a 4th round pick and the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. IF that isn’t automatic i don’t know what is! It’s not like we just picked up some kicker in week 15 and played with him! Miss my boy Akers!

        • Will

          C’mon anything beyond 40 yds is iffy….48 forget it….same can be said for kick offs not going out the back of the end zone a lot fall short on the 10 yard line….Alex Henry has no leg…terrible…We need a kicker who can nail a 55 yard FG and boom a football out of the end zone on kick offs that ain’t Henry…

    • cliff henny

      agreed, but the avant celek bothers me because it’s in his line of sight. d-jax 1v1 should always get at least a glance too.

      • theycallmerob

        true.
        although, he did just that in the 4th on the PI ball that he threw. The guys in the booth saw it too- said look for the deep shot here. I think it was also after the play where they showed Foles making his reads and pumpfaking, but everyone and their mother knew where we were going. Glad to see Foles made that throw

      • dollamakeuholla

        yea! He was locked in on Avant not to see Celek right behind him! I remember watching it during the game wondering why we just threw that to avant on 3rd down nowhere near the 1st down marker! Avant had no shot

    • Luke Ivan

      karma?

    • Maggie

      That was not the ball game. There was plenty of time left to make more plays.

  • theycallmerob

    I remember the last play (Lofton). That, along with the Cooper drop, made me almost break the TV. Those were my “this is not our day” moments.

    • Ark87

      First Coop had the drop, then Donnie had an ugly punt (by his lofty standards at least). It was at that point that I decided the football gods had forsaken us.

      • theedevilsadvocate

        likewise

    • cliff henny

      Roc kicking it into endzone.

      • Ark87

        How many people felt neutral abut Roc coming into that game? Comes in for one play and plays soft, giving up a first down, then practices his onside kick in punt coverage, bleck. He’s gotta be pretty deep in the fans’ dog house now.

        • Brandon

          No way he should be on the team next year. Outside CB depth has to be among the highest needs of this team.

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t know we can say depth is one of the highest needs when we have starting holes to fill, but CB depth is certainly an issue I would like to adress in round 4 or 5 of the draft…maybe another Brad Fletch type of signing

          • Ark87

            even if we get another guy who can play the slot, then we can slide Boykin over to cover in those situations. Our Nickle CB Depth chart:
            1. Brandon Boykin
            2. Patrick Chung
            3. Kurt Coleman

          • theycallmerob

            I threw up a little in my mouth seeing that list

          • cliff henny

            joyner solves this

          • GEAGLE

            I like the kid because he is the closest comparison to the Honeybadger that I can find…adding him and Byrd gives us so much versatility in coverage and dialing up exotic blitz packages…you put playmakers like Kendrick,Byrd,Wolff,Joyner,Barwin in center field! Cary and Brad can jam and press all day and put that size to use disrupting an offense timing without being petrified of getting Byrd because you can’t count on COMPETANT help behind you

          • cliff henny

            he much stronger at the LOS than HB too. HB came across about as stupid as one can get and not be institutionalized. joyner seems to have good head on shoulders.
            .

          • GEAGLE

            The HB is one stupid mofo lol.
            ..
            I could see him in rehab for pot. With Bob Saget standing up and saying what he said in half baked lol

          • theycallmerob

            You and cliff need to stop f****** with me with all this Joyner talk

          • Andy124

            A lot of people are pretty hard on Joyner. But he did land James Franklin!

          • cliff henny

            if eagles draft joyner, i picture you in dead sprint running down street, heading to florida to help him pack before they even finish announcing his name. you’ll be elbows and a-hole at LaMarc

          • theycallmerob

            I have enough sense to use my bus pass. I’ll be too drunk on draft day to be sprinting anywhere.

          • GEAGLE

            I heard he told his agent to let the league know that he won’t sign with anyone but the eagles! and that if anyone else drafts him he will walk away from the game and become a Buddhist monk…E true Hollywood story

          • theedevilsadvocate

            i like this i really do geagle you make sense. you always make sense. except for your hatred from mcnabb but thats the past so who cares.

          • GEAGLE

            Coleman is no longer an eagle, that should make you feel better..just think Rob, today their is no longer a locker at the Novacare complex that has Coleman’s name on it…adios F’er..Sayanora F’er..Keep the change you filthy animal lol don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you

            We play a 4-2-5 on 3rd down, but if we could add a honeybadger type of safety/corner hybrid AND Byrd, we can also incorporate a good Dime defense, which so few teams today have in their arsenal, and some mean 3 safety looks…that’s why I like Lamarcus Joyner..he provides depth at Nickle and safety

          • GEAGLE

            I’m downloading all of LSU’s games. Give me a few weeks and we can chat about barrow

          • cliff henny

            enjoy landry and beckham too

          • GEAGLE

            Already saw cut ups of both…but I won’t just fast forward thru all of LSU’s offense..I’ll watch some of them…but I really want to see barrow, Loston, and the Dlinemen

          • Maggie

            See, you agree with me, about CB depth.

        • macadood

          so deep

          • theycallmerob

            deeper than the Hudson canyon.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_Canyon

          • Maggie

            Wikipedia is just like reading a real paper dictionary. or encyclopedia. You just can’t stop after one definition. : D

        • cliff henny

          dog house? aint no way i’m letting that clown sleep anywhere near my dog. i have a pool and pond, pond’s better for him.

      • theycallmerob

        and when Roc came in the game. man, I just remember seeing Cary get up ok but Collingsworth reminding everyone that he had to come out at least one play. I could almost see Brees grinning from baltimore

        • GEAGLE

          Like that F’er couldn’t hold the fort down for one stinkin play? We need 4th-5th round CB depth

          • Andy124

            Mitch Williams Joe Carter all over again.

          • Maggie

            That was one of three times I cheered against a Philly team. Ironically, I haven’t liked the Jays since.

          • Andy124

            That’s 3 times too many Mags.

          • Maggie

            Couldn’t help myself. The other 2 times were for the Oilers. I did root for the Flyers in the 70′s however.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Between those and the backwards drive for the missed field goal, it was pretty hard to take. Have to remind myself that they fought back and took the lead late.

  • pjcostello

    Sometimes we can read too much into things (and sometimes too little, of course). It’s all perspective. For instance, what if Foles couldn’t see Celek because a defender was between them? Maybe Celek wasn’t supposed to leak out and run a corner route at all, but had no one to block and played sandlot. Who knows? By and large, it was a successful and exciting (second half of the) season, and I think we all agree that we have a LOT of fun to look forward to in 2014. :-)

    • Ark87

      Saints busted that coverage, may have been Line of sight issues that Foles didn’t see it. But I think the design of that play is for Celek to draw that outside CB with him and turn into a blocker after the completion, leaving Avant with 1 guy to beat in space. I’m not a fan of a play design that puts Avant out in space behind the line of scrimmage. Love Avant to death, but you can see where a dynamic threat in the slot makes that play design so much more viable.

      • pjcostello

        Nice analysis! You may be 100% right, or 100% wrong — that’s the beauty of football, and the danger of nit-picking plays with only limited visual evidence in support. Thanks for a great reply!

        • Ark87

          Ditto. Like you said, impossible to know for sure if you aren’t in the meetings. But this is a really nice play to examine and learn from, be it as a fan or player.

      • ztom6

        I think that’s right as well.

  • Brandon

    With all the hype about the Saints offense, people forget that their D has been great all season. In the end, although it could have been more, putting up 24 pts is nothing to sneeze at against a D of that caliber (especially if you consider the 20 degree temperature). As you can see from the article their D made plays that lesser defenses wouldn’t have made, especially against the run.

    I looked it up and 24 pts would have beat the Saints 50% of the time during their reg. season. That ain’t bad. They have some talent on that defense so people expecting us to put up 30+ pts is just not reasonable (again esp. when you consider the 20 degree temps).

    I have to pin this lose mostly on the defense and special teams. If they don’t lay an egg that final drive, we win the game and nobody is talking about these missed opportunities. I mean I’m sorry but giving a team 5+ yards every time they rush the ball just makes it very hard to win.

  • ace8842

    Those were the only two receivers I think Foles missed in the game. You could look at any QB and find those on any week. I remember seeing Celek open, even being at the game in person. I didn’t see the DeSean one, and the pocket was collapsing a little..the real problem was lack of running game.

  • Will

    There’s always next year and the Offense should be more comfortable in year two …Especially Foles…

  • Scott J

    I thought Foles got a little too cautious towards the end of the year. He was probably afraid of throwing a pick, where earlier, he was throwing into tight coverage. Big contract year for Foles, I hope it doesn’t weigh heavily on him next year.

    • pjcostello

      “Grip it and rip it, NIcky!”

    • Sven

      I agree with the observation, not so much with the inference drawn though. I keep hearing – Andrew Luck did a great job coming back from the 3 Ints in the 1st half to throw 4 in the 2nd. I mean, if he was cautious with the ball initially and scored 1 or 2 TDs, they would have won comfortably. I’m OK with him holding the ball too long, what I do see as a problem is not seeing the pressure close to him 7 seconds after the snap.

    • Tom W

      can’t talk to him until after next season and he still is under contract for 2015. we got him for two at the least. No pressure on the kid next year or Howie and the FO to sign him yet.

      Against the much tougher schedule next year — seahawks, niners, pack, panthers, rams, cards, texans, colts — we will see where Foles stands. If he puts up 90 percent of what he did this year and shows improvement avoiding sacks, I am all in.

      Will really provide Chip and Howie an idea if they wanna invest serious money in Foles after 2014 but before 2015 … w injuries i would probably wait till midseason 2015 to sign Foles if everything is looking good.

      • NickS1

        He can put up 80% of what he did this year so long as he improves the sacks. The yards will come by virtue of the offense, keep that completion % up and obviously we all have to be realistic about the regression that’s going to happen with the INTs. He’s bound to throw at least 5 next year. I want to see him keep his total turnovers under 13 (9/10INTs 3/4FMBL). Off the top of my head, without having looked at what the rest of the QBs did turnover-wise, I would say that’s a reasonable expectation, but I’ve been wrong before.

  • morgan c

    Ya, Foles missed some throws. It happens. It’s easy to bring up the one time that Jackson got open and Foles didn’t go there; most of the game, he was blanketed and Foles had understandably turned away from that match-up. How about showing the more representative part of the game where DJax couldn’t get separation from a solid but certainly non-pro-bowl corner?

    Lane Johnson leaving the end un-blocked is just inexcusable. It seemed that he made mistakes like this every game. He and Herremans were really inconsistent all year, and I think covered by the degree of domination by the guys on our left side. Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with him as a #4 draft pick. I know he’s a rookie, but by week 18, you can’t make mistakes like that. How does he not know that Celek is going backside and he’s the only guy available to block the end? Mental screw-ups of that basic nature and inexcusable.

    • cliff henny

      think that was Johnson’s 3rd yr ever playing tackle, 1st ever at right, mean, rawer than raw. i see a guy that’s going to anchor eagles line for about a dozen years.

      • Ark87

        He played both in College, but your point stands. Extremely high ceiling. He and Todd seem to need to build some chemistry though, they seemed to hurt each other all season at times.

      • GEAGLE

        And he spent I his only two years of college OT experience switching sides…that’s one player I will be shocked if he isn’t a future probowler

        No one can convince me that the jags and KC still would take Joekel and Fisher ahead of Lane…Lane had some rookie struggles, but in reality he overachieved this year…a Kid that raw was not supposed to pay dividends as a rookie! but Stoutland and the veterans did a heckuva job with Lane…

        • cliff henny

          hope you areright about all these pro-bowlers. have to rename them the honolulu eagles

          • GEAGLE

            Who are all these probowlers? I don’t think it’s that absurd to expect Cox,Kemdrick and Lane to grow into probowlers…

            Who else? Maybe Ertz?
            ..
            I expect guys like Wolff,Logan,and curry to become good pro’s that help teams win, but I don’t see probowl upside for guys like that….I guess Boykin has some probowl potential….do they even have a Nickle probowl spot?

            If I had to guarentee one kid making it to the probowl it would be Lane

          • cliff henny

            agree about lane, but you do claim alot of eagles to be pro bowl talent. pro bowl game end up like an OTA scrimmage, eagles O vs eagles D

          • GEAGLE

            Uhhh…we do have plenty of probowl “potential”…who would you say either A) isn’t currently playing at a probowl level, or B) doesn’t have a probowl ceiling?
            1) Did FOles not have a probowl type year, or did I miss something?
            ..
            2) Jason peters was named to the probowl.

            3) Evan Mathis was an All pro which is above the probowl
            ..
            4) Jason Kelce is considered by many as one of the top 3 young centers in the league..if you are one of the best at your position does that not mean you have probowl potential?

            5) Lane Johnson..plays a position I played for 9 years. If you put a gun to my head and say your life depends on one player making the probowl in 2016 who would it be? It would easily be Lane
            ..
            6) Shady is a probowler
            ….
            7) Desean is a current probowl alternate and has probowl under his belt already…he isn’t declining yet, thus it’s fair to say he has probowl potential
            ..
            8) Cox was a top 15 pick who has two years starting experience when he should have just finished his senior year..If we draft someone in the top 15 and he DOESNT have probowl “potential”, then we have BIG PROBLEMS as an organization!

            9) Demeco Ryan, a former probowler who I doubt anyone would have cried a bloody murder if he was named to a probowl this year after the season he had
            ..
            10) Mykal Kendrick…all the ability in the world! Put it together, and you will have an ILB playing at a probowl level..It’s not like I’m calling him a young superstar like Collinsworth..

            11) Zack Ertz…the potential is their. Next time anyone goes to an Eagles game, get there early, and just watch Ertz run during pre game warm ups..I can’t tell you how impressive he looks running..hands improved drastically! just think of some of the TD catches he had in his rookie season with a shortened offseason. Having the potential, doesn’t guarentee he reaches it, but the dude does have all the ability in the world and he already is a weapon for us..heck, he caught a go ahead TD with 5min left in his first playoff game lol

            13) Patrick Chung…I think we can all agree on this one..played so well its self explanatory..

            14) Donnie Longball had one of the best years punting I can ever even remember seeing

            Exactly who on that list do you take exception with? Please explain? If the 4th pick, 12th pick, 33rd pick(whatever Ertz was) and 50 something (Kendrick) DONT have probowl “potential” then Howie shouldn’t have a job!!!!!



            And not for nothing, if you aren’t getting probowl potential out of the players you drafted in the first two rounds, then you did NOT have a good draft…I look at Lane!Cox,Mykal and Ertz and their really isn’t much that I don’t think you can ask them to do on a football field(within the scope of the position). All good Charecter kids, who should work hard to reach that level…We can debate whether or not Cox,Kendrick!Lane ever make a probowl! but I don’t see how anyone can look at the raw ability of those 3 players, who performed well without getting any continuity whatsoever and reach the conclusion that there is no way you can see those three growing into probowlers…I just don’t understand.


            Barwin I think the world of, but to make the probowl at that position you have to be a league leader in sacks, and that’s just not Barwin..but guys like Him,Cary,Brad,Ced,Wolff,Benny!Vinny can have major roles on a good defense IF you compliment them with enough “probowl talent”…Obviously as fans we would like to have probowlers and upgrade every position, but with a salary cap you have to pick and chose your battles

          • cliff henny

            awesome list…now sign Byrd. and, left out boykin.

          • GEAGLE

            No, no. No….now you are going to tell me who you take exception with lol..I want to hear this…because those are the only eagles I have ever spoke about in terms of probowl potential

          • cliff henny

            scary part, none.

          • Andy124

            Seriously? Did you miss #13? I don’t know what he was thinking. Must have been a joke. Really, really undersold Chung there.

          • cliff henny

            johnny is joking. think he hates chung more than dutch hate foles

          • GEAGLE

            If I told you my name, you would say how in the world did you ever come up with John G lol

          • cliff henny

            i called you it once, and it just stuck in my head

          • GEAGLE

            No worries..doesn’t bother me, I just think it’s funny

          • Andy124

            Twist on Denzel Washington’s John Q character.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol I don’t know what his name is,,,I just have a crazy iTalian name that no one in this country has ever pronounced right, so I just wanted the opposite and posted under the most generic name I could think of

          • Andy124

            Re-read my last sentence. I declare Chung to be far, far better than Geag implies. :)

          • GEAGLE

            He’s mine…I’ll fight you over him…til th death..Winner gets to be Vhungs number one fan…do you accept my duel?

          • Andy124

            Nah, you can have Chung. I’ll settle for Foles.

          • GEAGLE

            DEAL!!….lol sucker!!! Jk

          • cliff henny

            ah, my bad.

          • GEAGLE

            Stop it…you know we don’t need Byrd. We have Chung

      • Maggie

        Odd how Watkins never was given a grace period like that, even though he was generally considered good at his position, blocked for RGIII. Of course, Andy and Mudd got their hands on him, shifted him along the O Line, next to Herremans, just like Johnson. Hmmm.

  • izzylangfan

    OK so your going against Drew Brees with the Eagles 2013 defense. So you load up to defend the pass and accept that they are going to get some running yards. OK so you miss a few tackles and give up a few extra yards. But you get stops and interceptions and in the end you give up 26 points. OK make it 30 since they perhaps could have scored the TD at the end if they needed it. But the Eagles offense sputtered and they didn’t get enough points off of those turnovers. I think that most of us thought going in that we would need at least 30 points to win that game. So all things considered I think that Bill Davis and the defense did OK. I put the loss more on the offense where there were too many mistakes and not enough points.

    • GEAGLE

      That was truly one of those losses where you spread the blame across the entire team from Coaching, offense,defense,ST, we didn’t have our best game….my beloved defense played well for a lot of the game, but it’s tough to predominantly blame the offense when they came back and left the field with a lead…

      That was a team loss…and if we are being realistic, FOles had as good of a first playoff game as we could expect…the Oline and the run game failed us and didn’t help our QB much..I blame 4 veteran linemen and the top RB in the NFL for the offense sputtering, more then I blame a kid making his 17th start, 1st playoff game who only really missed on a handful of plays
      ..
      Can anyone really say that FOles was completely outclassed by Brees…
      .after the game, Brees told FOles he would get his number! and Sean Peyton congratulated Nick on a good game, and then he stopped to congratulate him on a great season

      Lol the kid lost twice out of 10 games this year…

      • izzylangfan

        You guys make fair points. All three phases share the blame. But I can’t help but feel that this year if we were going to win we needed to do it with offense first and then hope special teams didn’t mess up. But we got way more from the D than anyone expected. Its great to say that Foles had a good effort for a first playoff game, and gee wiz even when he is off he is still pretty good (except for that first Dallas game). Foles was great. Foles was a revelation. But not in the first part of his last game this year.

    • Andy124

      Team Loss.

  • Andy124
    • theycallmerob

      I’ll second that. When it comes to using #’s and pragmatism, Brent is our homegrown Bill Barnwell

  • Dustan M. Howell

    We should have been up by a lot more at the half.That’s on Foles. In addition to misses a wide open Celek on a corner route and Jackson on a go route, he also missed Jackson on a wide open corner route. He also held the ball for 7 seconds waiting for Cooper to get open on corner route in the end one when he could’ve simply hit Jackson who was open on an in route which would have made that 48 yard FG a lot shorter, which would have made a difference in the game. Foles is careful with the ball to a fault. When Shady is gashing defenses, he can get away with that, but when defenses force Foles to beat them, he can’t afford to pat the ball waiting for someone to get wide open and keep taking sacks when they’re not. At some point, indecision becomes a bad decision

  • John J. King

    But we only lost by 2 little points! Some of this is on Foles but that’s just inexperience. Any one of those plays goes as designed and we win by 5. I’m sad we lost but these guys can play with the best and we are seeing it evolve.