1. Let’s start with Nick Foles and the positives. He continues to look comfortable in the offense, even though there were some bumps in the road this week. Final numbers: 21-for-34 for 237 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Foles now has 19 TDs and no picks on the season. On the first drive, he did a great job of seeing where the blitz was coming from and finding Brent Celek for a 16-yard gain on third down. On the first touchdown, he made an excellent throw to Zach Ertz in the corner of the end zone after faking the toss to LeSean McCoy. Later, he connected with Ertz on a 22-yarder. Watching live, I thought his pass was high, but the replay showed Foles put the ball where only Ertz could get it as the linebacker tried to step in front. Foles is a master of setting up the screen and waiting until the right moment to deliver the football. He connected with McCoy for a 19-yard pickup on a screen in the second. One of his best throws of the game was to DeSean Jackson for a 25-yard gain on a wheel route down the right sideline. In the third, Foles delivered a strike to Cooper for 16 yards, and his throw to Ertz on the post in the end zone was on the money. Read more »
At the beginning of the year, Chip Kelly was feeling so good about his stable of running backs that he said he would put his group up against any in the National Football League. There was talk of creating a nickname for the trio of LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. “Earth, Wind and Fire” was the apparent leader in the clubhouse.
It’s turned into more of a solo show. McCoy is the league’s leading rusher with 1,009 yards through 11 games. He is also second in carries (behind Adrian Peterson) with 213, and is on pace to comfortably set a personal high in that department.
Meanwhile, Brown has failed to get off the ground. He has carried the ball 53 times for 165 yards (3.1 avg.) and has just one run of 10-plus yards on the season — a 32-yarder against Oakland. After back-to-back scintillating performances last season against Carolina and Dallas, when he posted 347 yards and four touchdowns, expectations shot up for the seventh-round pick. This season, though, the images most closely associated with Brown are of him fruitlessly bouncing it to the outside or slipping to the turf before he hits the hole.
What gives? Read more »
1. The one word I would use to describe Nick Foles is comfortable. He was calm in the pocket, delivered the football on-target and did a great job on the little things like setting up screens. Foles threw a beautiful ball to DeSean Jackson in between Redskins defenders for 19 yards in the first. He connected with Zach Ertz for a 15-yard pickup and lofted one to LeSean McCoy for 49 yards down the sideline. In the second, Foles motioned Bryce Brown to the right, pump-faked to him and then came back to Brent Celek for a 42-yard gain on a screen. In the third, he delivered a nice ball to Ertz, but the rookie dropped it. That was no issue for Foles, who came right back to him on the very next play for a 16-yard gain. Overall, 17-for-26 for 298 yards. He easily could have had three touchdowns, but receivers were brought down inside the 5. Foles’ play was not the issue in the second half. He wasn’t asked to pass a lot, but still went 8-for-11 for 81 yards. Read more »
* I thought Nick Foles played great against Oakland. This was a bit of an uneven performance. I know that seems crazy to say, considering he posted a 149.3 passer rating, but I’ll try to explain.
* There were a couple decisions that could have been costly. In the second quarter, Foles was being pressured and just launched a pass up for grabs. It was in the direction of DeSean Jackson, but there were defenders nearby. The ball landed incomplete as Jackson couldn’t find it in the sun, but it was a dangerous throw. In the third, Foles made an awkward throw to Jason Avant, stepping into it with his right foot. It ended up being a 23-yard completion, but just as easily could have been picked off.
* The first touchdown to Jackson was obviously flukey. Jackson had the corner beat, and the Packers had a single high safety, but Foles underthrew him. Chip Kelly said today that the wind played a factor on the pass. Read more »
Going into last week’s game, the Raiders were the only team in the NFL that hadn’t allowed a run of 20 yards or more.
Meanwhile, Bryce Brown’s longest run of the season had only been for 9 yards through the first eight games. But late in the first quarter, Brown found a huge lane up the middle, got outside and picked up 32 yards for the Eagles’ longest run play of the day.
It’s one of the Eagles’ most popular plays: an inside zone read combined with a bubble screen to the perimeter (to be clear, I don’t know if Foles actually had the option to run here, but you get the idea).
The Raiders have three defensive backs on the Eagles’ three receivers. That sets up six in the box. If Nick Foles can “block” the edge defender, it’s hat-on-hat blocking. Read more »
“Sometimes, as I told Nick, grip it and rip it, let’s go,” Kelly said. “He’s thrown a lot of really good passes since I’ve been around him, and he’s been really good with the football.
“The big thing for him is let’s just get him back in the flow. Let’s get in a rhythm. That’s the biggest thing. Can you get in a rhythm, can you get your feet set, can you throw the ball?”
Answers to those questions came against the Raiders: yes, yes and yes.
After losses to the Cowboys and Giants and a grand total of three points by the offense, Kelly emphasized that there would be no grand scheme changes. The concepts would stay the same, but the execution had to get better.
And it did. To the tune of 49 points in three quarters. So what worked? And why was there such a difference from the previous two weeks? Here’s what we saw from the tape. Read more »
Yesterday, we covered what Chip Kelly had to say about Nick Foles and the QB situation, but he discussed a variety of other topics. Here are three things that stood out.
1. Foles had plenty of time to find receivers downfield Sunday. A big reason for that was the play of the Eagles’ offensive line, which had perhaps its best performance of the season.
“I thought they did a really, really good job,” Kelly said. “For most of the day, Nick wasn’t pressured very much, so he had an opportunity to set his feet and get the ball out on time. I thought that group up front played really, really well. I think we were pretty clean for the most part of the day in the pocket, and that always helps. We’ve said all along that pass offense is a combination of everybody. And I think they contributed greatly to that because I think he was clean in most of his throws.”
The guy to watch in the coming weeks is Lane Johnson. I didn’t see him give up any pressures at all vs. the Raiders. The rookie has been a good run blocker, but Johnson’s been inconsistent in pass protection. If he can get that part of his game cleaned up, it will really help the offense in the final seven games. Read more »
* Not sure what else there is to say about Nick Foles. He was spectacular, completing 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. Two things really stood out when I re-watched the offense. One, Foles was willing to take shots downfield. And two, he did an outstanding job of buying time with his feet to create space. On the Eagles’ opening drive, they faced a 3rd-and-13. Foles could have easily checked the ball down, but instead fired a pass to Jeff Maehl in traffic over the middle for a 19-yard gain. That had to be big for his confidence.
* Foles did a great job of looking defenders off all game long. In the first, he looked to LeSean McCoy in the flat, drew a defender and then hit Zach Ertz for a first down. The 17-yard TD to Riley Cooper down the left sideline was a beauty. Foles let go of the ball while Cooper was covered and let his receiver make a play. He later found Cooper for a 63-yard bomb. Read more »
When addressing the media after his team just dropped 49 points against the Oakland Raiders, Chip Kelly wanted to make one thing clear: The offensive explosion was not the result of some magical play-calling elixir he had concocted in the wee hours of the morning at the NovaCare Complex.
Rather, it was something a lot more simple.
“We called a lot of plays that we’ve called the last two weeks,” Kelly said. “We just executed ‘em. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
The masses are searching for answers on the day after the Eagles earned their fourth victory of the season.
How can an offense that scored three points in two weeks all-of-a-sudden look unstoppable?
How can a quarterback who was a complete disaster two weeks ago come back and play the best game of his life? Read more »
One of the fundamental principles of Chip Kelly’s scheme is to set the offense up to take advantage of one-on-one matchups.
There’s plenty of blame to spread around when it comes to reasons why the Eagles have managed just one field goal offensively in their last eight quarters. But one is the failure to capitalize and win those matchups. Read more »