All-22: On Davis, Allen And the Talent On Defense

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Billy Davis made sure he spoke with conviction. He knew hesitating for even a split-second would allow the public to draw its own conclusions.

Asked if he’s still confident in Nate Allen, the Eagles defensive coordinator responded quickly: “Absolutely confident in Nate Allen. No question.”

Davis was grilled earlier this week about the big plays the Eagles’ defense allowed against the Cardinals. He offered a passionate defense of Allen, sticking up for the veteran safety who had been blamed by many for the Eagles’ second loss of the season.

The specific play in focus was the 75-yard touchdown to John Brown. The Eagles were in quarters coverage, meaning Allen and Cary Williams were dividing the top half of the field; each was responsible for a quarter. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeMeco’s Return

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

DeMeco Ryans learned that he was being traded from Houston to Philadelphia over supper.

“I talked to the general manager [Rick Smith]. We sat down and ate dinner,” Ryans remembered. “He told me what we were doing, sending me to Philly, and I was like, ‘Hey, cool.’ And he was like, ‘I didn’t expect you to accept it this way.’ I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m fine. I’m going to Philly, it’s a good team. ‘ I was excited about coming here. If I’m going to leave Houston, I’m happy to be going to a really good team.”

His teammates weren’t as accepting. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: This Time, Turnovers Costly

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ —  The Eagles were coming off a 27-0 stomping of the Giants, his team was 5-1 heading into the bye and everything seemed right in their world. Chip Kelly, though, stepped outside the glow for just a moment to address one area of concern during his postgame press conference.

“We’ve got to do a better job [when it comes to team turnovers] because you can’t do it at that rate and end up on the right side of the ledger. The turnover differential is really big in this league in terms of being an indicator of wins and losses,” he said.

The Eagles entered Sunday’s game against Arizona minus-5 in the giveaway/takeaway department. Through six weeks, they were the only team out of 12 in the red that had a winning record.

This week, their failure to protect the ball finally caught up with them. Read more »

Eagles Burned By the ‘X’ Plays

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ — One of the biggest things that Billy Davis has stressed to his defense since taking over is the importance of avoiding “X” plays, or plays of 20 yards or more. And through the first six game the Eagles were pretty good in that department, yielding 21 X-plays through the air, good for the eighth lowest mark in the league.

On Sunday in the desert, however, it was the big plays that did them in. Davis’ group surrendered seven plays of 20-plus yards to the Cardinals, including a pair long touchdowns that proved to be the difference in the game. Read more »

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 »

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