Wake-Up Call: Barwin And the Sack Surge

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Following the 27-0 demolition of the Giants Sunday night — in which Eli Manning was pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks –Brandon Boykin offered the following analysis:

“I felt like at one point [Manning] was more concerned with the pass rush than he was looking at his receivers,” said Boykin.

Consider that statement for a moment. Heading into the season, the pass rush was one of the biggest concerns surrounding this team. The early portion of the schedule did little to alleviate those worries, as the Eagles were blanked in the sack department in two of their first three games. Since then, an out-and-out explosion. The Eagles have generated 16 sacks in their last three games, including eight  during their shutout win over the Giants on Sunday night. Suddenly, they rank second in the NFL with 19 takedowns.

Leading the charge is Connor Barwin, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today. The five-year pro has a team-leading six sacks — all of which have come over the last three games. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Giant Statement

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Giants waited until the home team was off the field before gathering at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of warm-ups, their cleats digging into the Eagles’ logo. Led by Jason Pierre-Paul, a handful of players began stomping up and down on the emblem in a clear sign of defiance.

When Chip Kelly‘s crew returned and the game began, not a sliver more of disrespect was permitted. And it was the Eagles that did the stompin’ on their way to a 27-0 win and a 5-1 record.

“They can do all that,” said Lane Johnson, “but it’s basically whatever happens between the whistles that counts. We did that tonight; they didn’t.” Read more »

All-22: Dissecting the Eagles’ Defensive Breakdowns

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Knowing that he was about to field several questions about the defense’s near-meltdown against the St. Louis Rams, Billy Davis went for the humor route as he walked up to the podium Tuesday afternoon.

“You guys rather have [special teams coach Dave] Fipp?” he joked. “I can bring Fipp up. He deserves it.”

The first nine possessions against the Rams resulted in one touchdown, five punts and three turnovers. However, the Eagles allowed three touchdown drives of 60+ yards in the final 18 minutes and needed a late stop to hang on to a 34-28 lead.

Davis fields questions about his starting cornerbacks on a weekly basis. On Tuesday, he offered a passionate defense of Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. He also provided context for some of the team’s late-game breakdowns. Read more »

Billy Davis Backs His Corners

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Starting cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher have taken some heat for their play down the stretch against the Rams. While Billy Davis did not absolve them, he made the point that there is plenty of blame to go around for the late-game breakdowns on defense Sunday, and maintains that the Williams-Fletcher pairing is the one that gives the defense the best chance to be successful. Read more »

‘A Win And A Knot In Our Gut’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Players and coaches seemed to be dealing with conflicting emotions following the Eagles’ 34-28 win over the Rams.

They walked off the field 4-1 and there is plenty to like about that, but the last quarter-plus Sunday left the team a bit unsettled, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Read more »

All-22: Jenkins Looking Like a Perfect Fit

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Back in March, there were bigger names on the free agent market, but the Eagles insisted Malcolm Jenkins was the top safety on their board, ahead of guys like Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward, both of whom played their college ball at Oregon.

Some (including yours truly) questioned the decision. Given the franchise’s track record in evaluating safeties over the years, it was fair to wonder whether Jenkins would just add to a long list of guys who were unable to adequately fill the void on the back end of the defense.

But four games in, the opposite appears to be true. Jenkins has three interceptions in his last three games and has shown the versatility that Chip Kelly and other team officials raved about back in the spring. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Mileage On ‘D’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Close your eyes, Cary Williams. You’re not going to want to see this.

The defense was on the field for 42 minutes, 17 seconds Sunday and played 76 snaps. The workload is actually up a tick from last season. In 2013, the Eagles were last in the league in opponent snaps per game (71.6) and time of possession (33:40). Through four games this season, those numbers have risen to 73.8 plays and 35:38  TOP.

We know that Chip Kelly isn’t a time of possession guy, but is he at all worried about the miles being logged on defense? Read more »

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