The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Titans

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian – USA Today

Here’s a look at how the Eagles match up with the Titans.

WHEN THE EAGLES RUN…

LeSean McCoy has carried 35 times for 107 yards (3.1 YPC) in the past two games. He’s second in the NFL with 196 attempts, but is averaging just 3.7 YPC. Against the Packers, the Eagles got some run-friendly looks, but McCoy managed just 88 yards on 23 carries. He and several of his teammates said they felt like the run game was close to getting on track.

“It’s always lately just been something small here, something small there, almost, almost,” McCoy said. “I feel like it’s coming together. I feel like the only time we really get stopped is when we make mistakes – penalties, turnovers, missed assignments, small missed assignments. And that stuff, [you] get that snowball effect and it keeps coming and coming. So I feel like we’re almost there. We’ve gotta learn from this last game, move on and look forward to Tennessee.” Read more »

All-22: Zeroing In On the Eagles’ Defense

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Billy Davis pointed out during the summer that part of the reason the Eagles play a two gap 3-4 is because it’s the most effective scheme against a lot of the things Chip Kelly likes to do on offense.

And as we all know, Kelly likes to run the football.

So almost every week, when the coaches are game-planning for their opponents, they emphasize stopping the run. A rare exception was last year’s playoff game against the Saints when Davis decided to guard against the pass. But the Eagles defensive coordinator did not make that same exception for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

“I don’t think he came out with any intention to run the ball to start with,” Davis said. “I was anticipating some running game coming.

“I think a lot of people try to establish the run early. Green Bay has really worked for a balanced attack. A balanced attack means you run a little bit more than they did. But it wasn’t long until you knew right away they were going pass, pass, pass. He was checking into some runs, I think, but I think they were looking at our presentations, so it makes us have to have a little broader plan against them. Again, I could have done better with the plan, too.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Playoff Scenario Notes

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch - USA Today

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch – USA Today

Mychal Kendricks sat patiently at his locker Wednesday afternoon answering questions from reporters.

One questioner asked Kendricks about how the team is avoiding looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Cowboys.

“I can’t even believe you’re mentioning that right now,” Kendricks said. “Where’s that rewind button?”

Read more »

Notes: Davis Considered Pulling Fletcher

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch - USA Today

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch – USA Today

Billy Davis suggested at his press conference Tuesday that he contemplated pulling Bradley Fletcher from the Packers game.

“I was watching him close, waiting one more. What do I do? Do I make a move?” said Davis. “And then you watched him come out and play in the second half. He made those same plays that beat him in the first, he was on it, he played the ball, his press was better. He got better and fought through it, and he is a mentally tough human being. I was very impressed with the way he finished.

“A lot of corners have a lot of outs. They don’t keep fighting and battling. I have a lot of respect for Fletch and how he responded.”

Is he still your guy going forward? Read more »

Eagles Defense Fails Big Test

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers has a way of making opponents look foolish, particularly in his own backyard. In five games at Lambeau Field this season, he has completed 67 percent of his passes, thrown for over 1,400 yards and tossed 18 touchdowns and no interceptions for a sterling quarterback rating of 138.1. The Packers have made a habit out of throttling teams at home, outscoring their last four opponents 128-9 in the first half.

The Eagles, you could say, were just another victim.

But that’s not a particularly satisfactory answer for a team with high aspirations. Each of the other four teams that left Green Bay humbled currently have losing records. The Eagles are considered a cut above. Their defense was playing well of late and was coming off a dominant performance against the Panthers.

Billy Davis wanted to test his group against the best, and it failed across the board. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Panthers, the Day After

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher - USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher – USA Today

After Marcus Smith was drafted by the Eagles in the first round, but before he had ever participated in a practice at the NovaCare Complex, he received a message from Connor Barwin that gave him a good feeling about his new home.

“He texted me,” Smith recalled. “He texted me and was like, ‘We want to welcome you to the team. We can’t wait for you to be a part of what we’ve got going on.’ Ever since I came in, he took me under his wing and has been teaching me the ropes.”

Barwin has been one of the most valuable signings of the Chip Kelly era. When he first arrived, he helped organize team dinners for the defensive linemen and linebackers. Those are still going strong as the guys get together every Thursday night after practice.

For Fletcher Cox’s birthday, Barwin wheeled over a bike to surprise his teammate at his locker. He knew Travis Long would be sticking around Philadelphia during the offseason, so Barwin got him a bike too.

The 28-year-old’s value can be measured in a variety of ways. By all accounts, he’s the ultimate teammate. And in Billy Davis’ scheme, he’s asked to fulfill a variety of roles – some of which don’t produce numbers in the box score. But on Monday night, Barwin totaled 3.5 sacks and led a defensive charge that completely shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers. Read more »

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 »

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