All-22: Twists And Turns In the Passing Game

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Brent Celek. (Jeff Fusco)

Prior to the Eagles game Sunday against the Dolphins, many expected them to use a run-heavy offense and exploit the NFL’s second-to-worst run defense. But then they averaged just 2.3 yards per carry against Miami, so it wasn’t surprising they threw the ball 48 times compared to 36 rushes.

However, even before their struggles against Miami on the ground, they relied on the pass to move the ball down the field, throwing for nearly 400 yards (although -39 sack yards hurt their total number of passing yards). They utilized their tight ends in particular as Brent Celek accumulated 134 receiving yards, his highest total since 2012 and the third-most of his career, while Zach Ertz added seven catches for 68 receiving yards.

“We just thought those match-ups for us were something we felt like going into the game [with],” Chip Kelly said. “We run the ball a lot with Brent when Brent is in there, so obviously we felt like in play-action pass, we could exploit some things there, and I thought Brent did a really nice job with it.

“They made some adjustments and played a little bit more man coverage than zone coverage to kind of take some of that stuff away, but we felt like those match-ups on the inside with their linebackers and safeties were to our advantage with our tight ends.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles Look In Mirror After Loss

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Sitting on a stool shirtless in the Eagles locker room after losing to the Dolphins yesterday, Lane Johnson paused to consider the question.

What was the turning point in the game?

The offensive lineman had a plethora of possibilities to choose from. Was it the blocked punt that gave Miami the ball at Philadelphia’s 12-yard line? Or Jarvis Landry’s touchdown catch that bounced off Connor Barwin’s helmet? What about Mark Sanchez’s interception in the end zone?

Perhaps the number of options overwhelmed Johnson, because he struggled to identify one.

“I felt like we had the game won a few times,” he said. “This one slipped away, in a bad way. We had a chance to win that game, and just didn’t. It was right there at our fingertips.” Read more »

All-22: Behind the Offensive Line’s Bad Start

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Jason Kelce was extremely frustrated after the Eagles’ loss to the Redskins Sunday, calling the offensive line “a disgrace.” When he met with reporters Tuesday after practice, he didn’t back off his comments at all.

“I still think that through the first four weeks, we have been a disgrace,” Kelce said. “We haven’t been able to run the ball. Especially with the backs that we have, we should have rushing yards. We don’t give the offensive coaches and head coach the confidence to call run plays, because we’re not consistent.”

Despite spending more than $50 million in the offseason on DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, the Eagles rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (70) and 31st in yards per carry (3.1). Although they appeared to take a big step forward in the box score Sunday by reaching nearly five yards a rush, that mark dips below 3.5 when eliminating Murray’s 30-yard run. Read more »

Sam Bradford Perfect Against Packers

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — After his rusty Eagles debut last Saturday, Sam Bradford turned in a perfect performance in Philadelphia’s 39-26 win over the Packers, completing all 10 of his passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns.

“I thought he was really poised out there, had a really good command of what we were doing, [and] really located the football,” Chip Kelly said. “I thought he played really well.”

Bradford led the Eagles to a 38-yard scoring drive on the first series of the game after Raheem Mostert’s 67-yard kick return. He capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles (video below courtesy of the Eagles). Read more »

Running Diary: Eagle Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during Friday’s practice at the NovaCare Complex.

11:36 – Let’s start with who’s here. DeMarco Murray’s back, but he did not participate fully as he recovers from an illness.

Kiko Alonso (concussion) was out for the second day in a row. Mychal Kendricks was on the field, but not in pads and did not participate. No reason was given by the team. And the same can be said for Zach Ertz. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Tight End Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on August 2, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We’ve covered the running backswide receivers and offensive line so far. Today, we’ll take a look at the tight ends.

The pressing question: How will the playing time between Brent Celek and Zach Ertz be divided?

The passing of the torch many predicted for last season never really came to fruition. Celek was on the field for 827 of the offensive snaps, or 69 percent of the time, compared to 603 snaps (50 percent) for Ertz. It really does come back to blocking. Ertz was called on as a run-blocker 161 times last season, per Pro Football Focus, to Celek’s count of 443. Read more »

Depth Chart Projection: Eagles Offense

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles begin OTAs a week from today at the NovaCare Complex, so now seems like a good time to take a look at their depth chart.

We’ll do the offense today and the defense tomorrow. Before the big unveil, a few notes:

  • This is a beginning depth chart, not necessarily what I expect it to look like in early September.
  • Having said that, for the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume that every player is healthy and in attendance.
  • Below the actual depth chart are position-by-position breakdowns. More than anything, this is meant to provide an overall look at where the roster stands, but there’s no harm in guessing where things might be headed in the coming months.

Without further ado… Read more »

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