All-22: Return Of the X-Plays

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Through the first four weeks of the season, the Eagles’ defense allowed less than three X-plays — completions of at least 20 yards — per game. Despite their four takeaways and rigid red zone defense, however, they gave up seven such passes against the Saints.

“We were real excited because we had finally made the top five of the positive in X-plays, and we were excited about [how] we were correcting that and going in the right direction,” Bill Davis said. “And then boom, here it comes.” Read more »

All-22: Washington’s Game-Winning Drive

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Bill Davis wasn’t angry, but as he talked to reporters Tuesday before practice, he did want to clarify that his defense didn’t give up Washington’s game-winning touchdown drive because they were tired.

“I honestly don’t see it that way,” he said. “In talking with the players, we are in great shape. There was nobody talking about being gassed. It’s not an excuse that we’re going to rely on, even though the question isn’t about an excuse. I really believe, guys, that we are in great shape.”

The Eagles were on the field for more than 41 minutes, or nearly 70 percent of the game. Even using Chip Kelly’s preferred method of analyzing number of plays and not time of possession, the Redskins dominated the ball (79 vs. 51).

But if you ask Davis, his three starters — Brandon Bair, Mychal Kendricks and Byron Maxwell — leaving the game with injuries was far more important. Read more »

All-22: Inside the Defensive Line’s Dominance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ season through three weeks has been a fascinating series of twists and turns. Before the opener in Atlanta, many considered the rushing attack to be a potential juggernaut. After Week 3, however, they rank third-to-last in yards per carry.

The secondary, meanwhile, was considered a potential weakness in the offseason. But after the win against New York, the Eagles’ defense ranks in the top-10 in interceptions, opponent passer rating and yards per throw allowed. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Eagles-Cowboys Predictions

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco


McManus: Bennie Logan

The Cowboys offensive line is so good, some say, that you can plug just about any back behind it and the machine will still hum. This theory was presented to Bennie Logan at his locker stall following practice earlier this week.

“Oh, cool,” he deadpanned. “Do you buy into it?”

Not really. Do you?

“You already know how I feel.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Monster In the Middle

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Before the Colts’ first run play of the preseason opener, Bennie Logan shaded to the center’s right. He fired off the ball, got underneath Khaled Holmes, shed the block and tackled Zurlon Tipton before the ball-carrier could get past the line of scrimmage.

He did it all without missing a beat.

“My first couple of years was just growth and development and now I’m real comfortable in this two-gap scheme,” Logan said. “I understand the ins-and-outs about the defense; not just my position, but the end position also. It allows us to play on the go.” Read more »

Four Downs: Tim Tebow’s Debut

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles beat the Colts, 36-10, in their preseason opener. Here’s what I noted.


Although the Eagles’ defense played without four key defenders, most of their starters played every snap in the Colts’ first two drives. After allowing 16 yards on the first series, Philadelphia gave up a 68-yard drive in the second series. Why? The Colts’ third-down conversion rate was 60%.

The Eagles gave up an average of 2.5 yards on both first and second down in the first two drives, but allowed 8.6 yards per play on third down. A big reason for the starting defense’s success on early downs was Bennie Logan. The nose tackle helped force Andrew Luck out of the pocket on the first snap and tackled the Colts’ running back for no gain on second down. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Talent Better Suited For a 4-3?

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Today’s question comes from Silvio on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page:

Two of our best young defenders (Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham) are better fits for a 4-3 scheme, and we are underusing them and risking losing them. Also, Trent Cole and probably Fletcher Cox are more suitable to a 4-3, while only Connor Barwin is a true 3-4 player. If the target is maximizing your talent, does it make any sense keeping this odd front?

Thanks for the question, Silvio. I actually think the job the coaching staff has done with the front seven in the past two years has been the biggest success story on defense. Read more »

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