With the Eagles having scored 10 points in their last two games, Chip Kelly told his offense this week to take cues from an unlikely source: the defense.
“I don’t think there’s anything else our offense needs to look at except our defense,” he said. “They’ve stayed the course. They’ve worked continually on their techniques. We haven’t added a lot of new things for those guys. We continue to let them feel comfortable in what we’re doing. On a weekly basis, I see them getting better and better and better.”
Billy Davis and his staff are employing the same tactics they used early in the season, but the results have been vastly different. The Eagles allowed 34.5 points per game in the first month of the season. In the last four weeks, that number is down to 18.3. Granted, strength of opponent has played a major factor, and there’s still a long way to go, but the improvements are showing up on tape, and it starts up front with the defensive line. Read more »
We went over the offense on Tuesday. Now here’s a look at how the defense grades out through the first half of the season.
Defensive line: B-
This group has shown more improvement than any other on the team from Week 1 to Week 8. And defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro deserves credit for that.
Cedric Thornton is playing lights-out on a weekly basis and leads all Eagles D-Linemen with 45 tackles. Fletcher Cox has really come on as of late and has three sacks to go along with a team-high 15 hurries (no other Eagle has more than seven). Isaac Sopoaga was a non-factor, but players like Clifton Geathers on the second team are starting to show flashes.
Opponents are averaging 3.7 YPC vs. the Eagles. Only five teams have posted a lower number. Read more »
Back in the spring, new Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis was asked if he had spent time looking at Jim Johnson’s scheme and concepts.
“He had some great dynamic pressures, and I’ve studied a lot of them,” Davis said. “They were out-of-the-box thinking. But when you really break him down, it was more guys up in the A-gaps with the illusion of pressure than actual [sending] more than four rushers.
“There were times that he brought more. …But he did a great job of keeping offenses off-balance through both pressure, illusion of pressure and non-pressure. And you need all elements to attack an offense because there’s some times you pressure some of the stuff Coach [Chip Kelly] does, you’re going to get eaten alive.”
Davis’ comments serve as a good launching off point to examining what’s working well for the Eagles on defense. Last week, they were able to keep Tony Romo off-balance and free up rushers all game long, both with the blitz and the threat of the blitz. Read more »
If you missed the first cheat sheet, click here. Now, onto 10 things to know about how the Eagles’ defense matches up with the Cowboys’ offense. Read more »
A week after facing a run-focused offense and a rookie quarterback, Billy Davis and company now get Tony Romo and the Cowboys Sunday afternoon at the Linc.
Romo is completing 70.2 percent of his passes and has tossed 14 touchdowns to go along with just three interceptions. At 33-years-old, he’s making the most of the weapons around him and having a career year.
“I think one of the biggest things that Romo does is he extends the play,” Davis said. “If the initial play is not there, like a couple of quarterbacks in the league, the Roethlisbergers, they don’t necessarily run to run, they run to extend the play and the receivers do a great job of, when it breaks down, coming back to the ball, finding the open area.”
That means the defensive backs will have to hold their coverages longer. But just as importantly, the Eagles’ pass-rushers need to finish when they have opportunities.
Below is a look at where the pass-rush stands. Sacks and hurries are tracked by the Eagles’ coaching staff.
Read more »
If you missed the first game review on the Eagles’ offense, click here.
Now onto the defense. Read more »
If you missed the first cheat sheet, click here.
Now, on to 10 things about how the Eagles’ defense matches up with Tampa’s offense. Read more »
Here are 10 things to know about how the Eagles’ defense matches up with the Giants’ offense. Read more »
The Eagles added a new name to the injury report today: Brandon Boykin.
The second-year corner suffered a shoulder contusion in last week’s game against the Broncos. In case you’re wondering, the injury was not sustained on a play where Boykin was going up against a right or left tackle from his make-shift outside linebacker spot. The injury happened on a punt, Chip Kelly said.
Boykin and Patrick Chung will both be limited in practice today. But Kelly sounded like he expected Boykin to be ready to go tomorrow. The Eagles’ slot corner is even more important this week against Victor Cruz. Rookie Jordan Poyer will take Boykin’s snaps in nickel today.
Kelly was unsure about when Chung (shoulder) would return. He missed Sunday’s game. It sounds like Earl Wolff will join Nate Allen as the starters once again if Chung can’t go.
Read more »
It’s time to run to the mailbox and steal the report card before Mom and Pops get their hands on it.
OK, fine. Apparently, that’s not how things work nowadays. But you get the idea. We’re a quarter of the way into the season, so it’s time to give out some grades. We’ll do the defense today (position-by-position) and deal with the offense in a future post. Read more »