Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)
Billy Davis is a bit worried, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
Metrics traditionally used to evaluate pass-rushers and run-stoppers don’t reflect that well on Fletcher Cox, who doesn’t rank in the top-20 in the NFL in sacks or in the top-50 in tackles-for-loss.
The defensive end is tied for sixth in forced fumbles, but so are 20 other players around the league. His impact is clear and indisputable to those who watch him, but the problem with his Pro Bowl candidacy is most people don’t see his film.
“He’s not overlooked by his peers. The players will vote him in and the coaches will vote him in. Anybody that puts a tape on or has gone against him, that’s a no-brainer. They will vote him in,” Davis said. “The problem lies in the fan vote and that’s what we have to help Fletch with is getting that fan vote up. People look at stats and say, ‘Hey, let me vote on a guy with stats.’ If you played against [Cox], you’re going to vote for him. If you coached against him, you’re going to vote for him. Now we’ve just got to get the fans out there to vote for him.” Read more »
Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)
My, does Thanksgiving seem like a distant memory.
As pumpkin pie was served, the Eagles looked doomed. Not just this season was in jeopardy, but maybe the head coach. Maybe the entire direction of the franchise.
Fast forward two weeks, and after two big wins over AFC East opponents, the Eagles hold their playoff hopes in their own hands.
Here’s what local and national writers are saying about the Birds as they head into Week 15.
Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
From Week 5 to Week 12, DeMarco Murray didn’t have a single game with fewer than 13 rush attempts.
In the Eagles’ last two games, both wins, Murray has run eight and 11 times, respectively.
Pat Shurmur was asked Tuesday why Murray’s workload has shifted and the Eagles’ offense has split carries more evenly between its stable of running backs.
“I think we had a good flow, I think every one of those guys contributed, and we won the game,” Shurmur said.
When pressed on the issue, Shurmur went into a little more detail on the virtues of having a balanced rushing attack.
Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco
Rex Ryan evoked the name of an Eagles legend when speaking about Fletcher Cox following the Eagles’ 23-20 win over his Bills Sunday.
“That 91 is a good player. I was laughing when I saw him being compared to Jerome Brown,” said Ryan, “but I’m not laughing now. The kid is a pretty good player.”
The kid is becoming a game-wrecker.
Celebrating his 25th birthday Sunday, Cox put forward one of the finest performances of his young career, racking up eight tackles — two for a loss — and a sack while helping to limit LeSean McCoy to just 11 yards on eight attempts in the second half.
McCoy’s totals took a big hit with six and change left in the game, when Cox broke into the backfield and corralled him for a 10-yard loss. Read more »
Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)
It was a laughing matter. Literally.
Tim and I explained in last week’s Press Coverage how the Eagles would need to generate a good pass rush and force turnovers against Tom Brady to pull off the unlikely upset over the Patriots. How unlikely? We treated it more as a joke than as something that could actually happen.
But Billy Davis’ unit, after allowing 90 points in the previous two weeks, helped do just that as their four sacks and two interceptions played a pivotal role in Philadelphia’s 35-28 win.
“It’s a tough place to go in,” Davis said. “First of all, I thought the players did a great job. They showed a lot of character, being in the hole we were in the last two weeks and them fighting through it and having that challenge of going in there to beat Brady and Coach [Bill] Belichick in Foxborough is a big deal.
“A big part of it was the three- and four-man rush winning there and the cover guys just holding. We knew we were going to get our share of their passing game. That’s what they do and that’s what their strength is. In the last couple weeks, we were not having much success in that area and the guys stepped up and made a lot of plays.” Read more »
USA TODAY Sports
Good morning. Your 5-7 Eagles are in first place.
Well they’re in virtual three-way tie for first, anyway, with Washington and the Giants in the godforsaken NFC East. In case you didn’t stay up for a sleeper of a game that got fun late, DeSean Jackson went 22 yards in the wrong direction on an ill-fated punt return and eventually fumbled it away, leading to a Dallas score. He briefly found redemption with a game-tying touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone, but Washington left 44 seconds on the clock and that proved enough time to set up a 54-yard Dan Bailey field goal to lift the Cowboys to their fourth win of the season.
Suddenly Dallas is just a game out, the rest of the division is tied at two games under .500, and the Eagles control their own destiny with four to play. God Bless America. Read more »
Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)
PLAYER I’LL BE WATCHING
McManus: Fletcher Cox
The Eagles’ defense is obviously faced with a gigantic challenge this week. Coming off a pair of dreadful performances against the Bucs and Dolphins in which it yielded five touchdown passes apiece to Jameis Winston and Matt Stafford, Billy Davis‘ unit now braces for arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady. Granted, he is missing some key weapons because of injury, but Brady has a knack for elevating the players around him. No matter what group he’s been surrounded by over the last 15 years seemingly, he’s still been able to carve it up. Read more »
Fletcher Cox. (USA Today Sports)
Before the season even started, Chip Kelly made a bold statement about Fletcher Cox.
“Fletch can play any position on the defensive line in any system in the National Football League,” he said.
Playing as a 4-3 defensive end is very different than life as a 3-4 nose tackle, but on the surface, the statement makes sense. It’s just a head coach going a bit overboard in praising his second-team All-Pro defensive end.
However, as Cox has dominated through seven games this season, he continues to prove Kelly’s words aren’t actually far-fetched. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Hope everyone is enjoying this Halloween weekend. Some links to pass along for your reading pleasure:
Domo talked to Joe Banner, who says the Eagles have some financial decisions to make when it comes to their defense.
The Eagles picked up Cox’s option for 2016, which means that unless he signs a new contract, his salary-cap number will jump from $3.3 million this year to $7.8 million next year.
As things stand now, he will be one of seven defensive players with a cap number of at least $4 million next year. The others are cornerback Byron Maxwell ($9.7M), linebacker Connor Barwin ($7.3M), safety Malcolm Jenkins ($7.2M), linebacker Brandon Graham ($5M) and linebackers Mychal Kendricks ($4.6M) and Ryans ($4.5M). Read more »
Odell Beckham Jr. (USA Today Sports)
The first drive of the game Monday night couldn’t have gone much better for the Giants. They traveled 80 yards in eight plays and finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr.
Manning completed all five of his passes to four different receivers for 59 yards.
The Eagles answered by going three-and-out, before the Giants again drove the ball into field goal range. Then, DeMeco Ryans intercepted Manning, and New York went scoreless the rest of the game.
“I love the way our guys respond, to be honest with you,” Bill Davis said. “I’ve been a lot of places where those miscommunications happen and people turn on each other and there’s a huge argument, and our guys are really together.
“It’s a tight unit because they knew a mistake was made and they were real mad that a touchdown happened. We got to the sideline, we solved it and it didn’t happen again, and it won’t happen again. But, it’s really a testament to the camaraderie we have and the chemistry we have on defense right now.” Read more »