Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here is our weekly look at three Eagles numbers that matter.
59 – That’s Brandon Boykin’s success rate, according to Football Outsiders. Success rate is defined as “the share of targets on which the corner prevented a successful gain (45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down and 100 percent on third down).”
Boykin’s mark ranked tied for fifth in the entire NFL last season, behind only New England’s Darrelle Revis, Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis, Buffalo’s Corey Graham and Houston’s Kareem Jackson. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.
Jeff McLane of the Inquirer wonders if Chip Kelly can find a bigger role for Darren Sproles in his offense:
Sproles was second on the team in carries (57) to McCoy (312) during the season, but after [LeSean] McCoy was traded to the Bills and [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews were brought in, Kelly spoke of more evenly distributing the workload.
Performance would seem to be the ultimate decider in how Kelly doles out playing time. But Sproles averaged 2.1 yards per snap to McCoy’s 1.9, 5.8 yards per rush to McCoy’s 4.2, and 9.7 yards per catch to McCoy’s 5.5 last season.
Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.
If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »
PHOENIX — Chip Kelly was asked a bunch of questions Wednesday about some of the Eagles’ current holes on the roster – most notably safety, right guard, wide receiver and the No. 2 cornerback spot.
Here’s a rundown of what he said, along with my thoughts. Read more »
Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports
At the end of Chip Kelly’s press conference Thursday, he was asked about reports that the Eagles are looking to deal left guard Evan Mathis.
Kelly didn’t confirm or deny the reports, but his response provided some further insight into what’s been a hectic offseason.
“In the last week, I think every person on this team was talked about on the trade block,” he said. “We’ve had discussions with everybody about everybody and everything. As we put together models, there wasn’t anybody that was untouchable. If we were willing to trade LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles, then I think everybody on this team… we had very hard discussions on who we could lose, and if we lost ‘em, what would we do to replace ‘em, and how we would use that money?” Read more »
We’ve got to knock out the final two offseason outlook pieces, so instead of taking a question today, we’ll take a look at the Eagles’ cornerback situation.
State of the roster
The only cornerback from last year who is a free agent is Bradley Fletcher.
Cary Williams enters the final year of his deal, but carries with him an $8.17M cap hit. That’s 13th among all NFL cornerbacks.
Brandon Boykin enters the final year of his rookie contract. And Nolan Carroll is on the last year of his deal as well.
The only cornerback who was on the roster last year and is signed past 2015 is Jaylen Watkins. Read more »
The way Billy Davis tells it, the Eagles fully understood going into last week’s game that the Bradley Fletcher-DeSean Jackson matchup was one that favored the opponent.
“The whole game plan was either to pressure and have the post-safety stay over the top of DeSean, unless somebody else was in a more stressful situation, or split the safeties and double,” Davis said. “So we moved in and out of that the whole game.”
Chip Kelly and company were adamant in the offseason that Jackson didn’t affect how defenses played the Eagles. But apparently, as an opponent, he was someone they felt they had to focus on with their game plan.
The speedy receiver got loose for four catches for 126 yards. He had two grabs of 50+ yards and also drew a pass interference penalty that set up a Washington touchdown.
Fletcher had been left on an island against the Packers earlier this season, and Jordy Nelson went off on him. In Week 15 against the Cowboys, it was the same story; only the name changed. It was Dez Bryant this time.
Yet in an absolute must-win spot, there it was again: Fletcher on an island against an opponent he couldn’t handle. It wasn’t every play, but it happened enough to where the mismatch was glaring. It got to the point where Davis finally made a switch, pulling Fletcher for Nolan Carroll II in the fourth quarter.
Too little, too late. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY
No current Eagles player has been with the team longer than Trent Cole.
A fifth-round pick back in 2005 (the same year the team drafted Todd Herremans), Cole has logged 154 games in Eagles green over the span of 10 seasons.
Has the 32-year-old thought about the fact that Sunday could be his last opportunity to play for this franchise? Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
The calls for more Brandon Boykin have quieted down as the year has gone along, partly because people have come to realize those efforts are fruitless, and partly because Boykin hasn’t been flashing with the same brightness compared to last season.
That six-interception campaign seems a world away now, doesn’t it? The talk this offseason was all about how to get the young corner’s snaps up from 50 percent. Instead, his playing time has gone south (he’s played 42 percent of the defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus) and it feels like Boykin has been pushed further to the fringe by Billy Davis and Chip Kelly despite the coaches’ claims that he is viewed as a starter. Read more »
In the days leading up to the Eagles’ rematch with the Cowboys, Billy Davis made it clear that he was expecting to see a different Tony Romo.
On Thanksgiving, the Birds’ defense applied consistent pressure on Romo, and the Cowboys’ quarterback struggled to connect with open receivers when he did have opportunities.
Sunday night was a different story, and Davis ended up being right. Despite a mostly ineffective run game, Romo picked the Eagles apart, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I think the biggest difference in the two games that we had… was the play of Tony Romo and the throws,” Davis said this week. “The throws on Thanksgiving were under-thrown and bad, and we were coming back and making plays. The throws the other night were on the money, and they were right where they needed to be.”
Romo certainly deserves credit for playing well in a big spot. But Dez Bryant scored three touchdowns one-on-one against Bradley Fletcher. Was the Eagles’ game plan sound? Was it just a matter of the more talented unit winning? We explore those issues with the All-22. Read more »