All-22: New Wrinkle Sparks Eagles Run Game

hreverse1d_all22_101514

Through the first five games, it seemed everyone had a different reason for why the Eagles’ run game was struggling.

Most pointed to the injuries on the offensive line. Some suggested LeSean McCoy was injured or had lost a step. And others simply figured it was out how defenses were playing the Eagles.

But there was another factor at play, one that the coaching staff could control. During the Week 4 loss to the 49ers, there were indications that San Francisco knew some of what was coming. Against St. Louis, to a lesser extent, there were similar sentiments.

“They knew what plays were coming,” said Lane Johnson after the win over the Rams.

“I just think defenses have more knowledge of what’s coming. Last year everything was so new, and I think they’ve kind of seen a lot of what we do, so just moving forward, we’ll probably throw in a few more wrinkles.”

Chip Kelly would not be offended by Johnson’s comments. The Eagles’ offense is based on running a series of foundation plays effectively, dressing them up differently and moving at a fast pace. The problem at times this season has been that defenses have game-planned well against those foundation plays. Because of injuries up front and inconsistent quarterback play, the offense has not run as smoothly.

But against the Giants, a team that limited McCoy to 94 yards on 35 carries in two meetings last year with an inside stunt, Kelly broke out some wrinkles that helped jump-start the run game and the offense as a whole. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles In Good Spot After Six

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Jason Kelce hung out in the corner of the Eagles’ locker room Sunday night, checking his phone and congratulating his teammates.

The Birds’ center would have loved to have been in uniform competing against the Giants. But after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia injury, Kelce instead spent the game on the sideline next to his buddy Evan Mathis, his offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and others.

This wasn’t how most observers envisioned the first six games going. Kelce went down in Week 3. Evan Mathis suffered a knee injury in Week 1. And Mychal Kendricks went down in Week 2. Quarterback Nick Foles has 10 turnovers (seven interceptions, three fumbles). LeSean McCoy (Sunday notwithstanding) has come nowhere close to matching last year’s production. And while the defense looks improved, it’s still an inconsistent unit.

Yet here the Eagles are at the bye tied for the best record in the NFL at 5-1. Read more »

Sproles Has MCL Sprain

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Eagles will not be without Darren Sproles for long.

“He’s got an MCL sprain,” said Chip Kelly. “We’ll see how long it’s going to be. Could be a week or two. Could be back after…we have a week off, so he’ll get treatment and we’ll assess him when we get back next Tuesday.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Giant Statement

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Giants waited until the home team was off the field before gathering at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of warm-ups, their cleats digging into the Eagles’ logo. Led by Jason Pierre-Paul, a handful of players began stomping up and down on the emblem in a clear sign of defiance.

When Chip Kelly‘s crew returned and the game began, not a sliver more of disrespect was permitted. And it was the Eagles that did the stompin’ on their way to a 27-0 win and a 5-1 record.

“They can do all that,” said Lane Johnson, “but it’s basically whatever happens between the whistles that counts. We did that tonight; they didn’t.” Read more »

Sproles Leaves With Knee Injury

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Sproles was tackled awkwardly to the ground late in the third quarter and suffered a left knee injury.

It occurred during a four-yard run off the left tackle. Sproles’ left leg got stuck behind him as defensive tackle Markus Kuhn wrangled him to the ground. Sproles was able to walk off on his own but was sent to the locker room after a brief examination by trainers on the sideline. LeSean McCoy was by Sproles’ side as he got looked over on the trainers table and offered words of encouragement before he walked indoors.

“It made me pretty mad, the way it was on the field, kind a cheap-shot kind of deal,” said right tackle Lane Johnson. “He’s a key part to our offense, too. I don’t know what the verdict is on his injury — I think they’ll find out more tomorrow — but I don’t think it looks good.”

Sproles has been one of the team’s most valuable players through six games.  He had 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground and four punt returns for 57 yards before exiting.

Chris Polk (hamstring) did not dress. Trey Burton worked with the running backs this week and got a few carries down the stretch when McCoy needed a breather.

All-22: The State Of the Eagles’ Offense

matthews1a_all22_100914

After Sunday’s win against the Rams, Chip Kelly discussed the process of feeling out opposing defenses early in games.

“Just try to loosen them up,” Kelly said. “A lot of times as we play teams, it’s figuring how they decide to defend us. They were in a big man scheme, different than some of the other teams we face. Trying to get a feel for what they are going to do from a defensive standpoint.

“They have done a good job of playing zone and man. Just what are they going to choose to play us in, and they chose to play us in a lot more man today than we had seen. Even any of the other games we had played, I think Jacksonville and San Francisco played us in a ton of zone. These guys, their choice was to play us in man. Just have to do a better job with some of our man beaters. We had some guys there, but we have to do a better job. We knew what we were getting. We just have to execute.”

For the second week in a row, the offense looked shaky, managing two touchdown drives while turning the ball over three times. Read more »

McCoy On Being Pulled: ‘I Wasn’t Pissed About It’

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Three days after the Eagles notched their fourth victory of the season, some in the city are still wondering why LeSean McCoy was on the sideline when the offense was trying to ice the game against the Rams.

Today, the Birds’ starting running back tried to set the record straight.

“What happened was after the game, they asked me do I take myself out when Darren [Sproles] comes in the game, yeah,” McCoy said. “The majority of the times, I take myself, I’m tired, I come out. Sproles can take over and do his thing, and we’re confident in him to do that. But the last drive, [running backs coach] Duce [Staley] pulled me out.” Read more »

« Older Posts