Corner Tandem Steps Up Against Dallas

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo didn’t look right, and that needs to be part of the conversation.

Since fracturing two transverse processes in his back last month, the Cowboys quarterback typically doesn’t begin practicing until Thursday in a normal week. This, of course, was no normal week, and it looked like the lack of recovery time affected his play.

“There are no excuses,” said Romo. “They made things a little bit tougher. I missed a couple throws that I normally won’t miss. I will be better at that the rest of the year, I know that for sure.”

That’s probably true assuming the wear and tear doesn’t get the better of him over the final quarter of the season.

While the Dallas passing game wasn’t at its optimum, credit needs to be given to starting cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. This was not an easy matchup and many thought it would go the way of Green Bay, only this time with Dez Bryant tearing it up on the outside rather than Jordy Nelson. Bryant did pull down a 38-yard reception over Fletcher late in the first quarter and finished with four catches for 73 yards. But that was just one of two Dallas pass plays that went for over 20 yards, and the second came in garbage time on the Cowboys’ final drive.

In a roller coaster season for the corner tandem, this performance was right around the top of the lift hill. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

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

WHEN THE EAGLES RUN…

LeSean McCoy had one of his most productive games of the year last week, rushing for 130 yards on 21 carries (6.2 YPC) against the Titans. While it’s worth noting that Tennessee had the worst run defense in the NFL, McCoy looked shifty and certainly had more space than he’d had previously. He’s fourth in the league with 859 rushing yards and is averaging 4.0 YPC. The Eagles are 21st overall in rushing offense, per Football Outsiders. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Titans

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Fletcher Cox – Another solid game out of Cox. The coaches credited him with one tackle, one sack and one hurry. Cox stopped Shonn Greene after a 4-yard run in the first. He disrupted a run play that gained 3. Good rush late in the first half, but Zach Mettenberger reset and completed a pass. Got some help from the coverage in the back end, slipped inside the offensive lineman and sacked Mettenberger in the second. Cox batted a pass on the next play. Drew a holding call on a run play in the third. Fought off defenders and stopped Bishop Sankey after a 4-yard run in the third. He played 62 percent of the snaps. Announcers made it a point to mention how much Chip Kelly praised Cox during production meetings. He’s had a great season. The Eagles need him to be disruptive against Dallas. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Welcome To Dallas Week

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles fans kickstarted Dallas week a little early.

With the game against Tennessee pretty well in hand in the second half, “Beat Dallas” chants began to ring out at Lincoln Financial Field.

“There were a few drunk fans yelling more than that,” said Lane Johnson.
Read more »

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 »

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