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 »

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 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 »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Matthews Breaks Out

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

While talking about Jordan Matthews at his postgame press conference Monday night, Mark Sanchez joked that he didn’t want too pump up the rookie too much because “he’ll get a big head and his hat won’t fit.”

There were no signs of an inflated ego as Matthews faced the large crowd of reporters surrounding his locker stall, though, and his green Eagles cap with the black brim seemed to fit just fine. He had just busted out on Monday Night Football, snaring seven balls for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help his team improve to 7-2. How did it feel?

“I felt like I was Jeremy Maclin,” said Matthews, drawing a big smile out of No. 18 a couple stalls down. “At the same time, you have to put it behind you. Like I said, I have a bunch of great guys ahead of me who show me how to be a professional. If you take too much time looking at the stats and drinking the Kool-Aid, you lose your appetite. I just try to put it behind me and move forward.” 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 »

Wake-Up Call: This Time, Turnovers Costly

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ —  The Eagles were coming off a 27-0 stomping of the Giants, his team was 5-1 heading into the bye and everything seemed right in their world. Chip Kelly, though, stepped outside the glow for just a moment to address one area of concern during his postgame press conference.

“We’ve got to do a better job [when it comes to team turnovers] because you can’t do it at that rate and end up on the right side of the ledger. The turnover differential is really big in this league in terms of being an indicator of wins and losses,” he said.

The Eagles entered Sunday’s game against Arizona minus-5 in the giveaway/takeaway department. Through six weeks, they were the only team out of 12 in the red that had a winning record.

This week, their failure to protect the ball finally caught up with them. Read more »

Eagles Burned By the ‘X’ Plays

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ — One of the biggest things that Billy Davis has stressed to his defense since taking over is the importance of avoiding “X” plays, or plays of 20 yards or more. And through the first six game the Eagles were pretty good in that department, yielding 21 X-plays through the air, good for the eighth lowest mark in the league.

On Sunday in the desert, however, it was the big plays that did them in. Davis’ group surrendered seven plays of 20-plus yards to the Cardinals, including a pair long touchdowns that proved to be the difference in the game. Read more »

Williams: Chip Has Shortened Practice

Photo| Jeff Fusco.

Photo| Jeff Fusco.

The morning after he popped off about how the intense training regimen was negatively affecting this team, Cary Williams came to the NovaCare Complex to have a sitdown with Chip Kelly. Both coach and player spoke their minds, and Williams walked away with a better understanding of Kelly’s methods.

Could be that Kelly took something from that conversation as well.

“Changes were made,” said Williams at his locker stall Tuesday. “I don’t know if they were made necessarily [as a result of] the conversation. Chip may have already had those things in mind anyway.” Read more »

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