Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: O-Line Inconsistency

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The offensive line was rolling. They paved the way for a rushing attack that gained more than 150 yards in four straight weeks — the first time the Eagles did so since 1992 — and provided sound pass protection.

Before Sunday, the Dolphins ranked second-to-last in run defense (allowing 142 yards per game), leading many people to believe the Eagles would dominate the ground game.

However, the opposite happened on Sunday, and Philadelphia averaged just 2.3 yards per carry in their 20-19 loss. Miami recorded four sacks, nine tackles-for-loss and 10 quarterback hits. Sam Bradford constantly took shots from the Dolphins’ defensive line, and he eventually suffered both a concussion and an injured left shoulder in the third quarter.

“We’re frustrated,” Jason Kelce said. “I think we let a game get away from us, and I think everybody knows that. Offensively, we had so many opportunities, and let every single one of them slip through our fingers, it seems like. But I think everyone else knows that we can improve, and if we can eliminate these self-inflicting things, we can still be a dynamic offense.” Read more »

Eagles-Dolphins, The Day After

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Expectations for the  2015 season were largely built on trust.

Trust that Chip Kelly knew what he was doing as a head coach and architect; that the offensive line would hold up despite a big subtraction and no notable additions; that the young receivers would help replace a key veteran; that Sam Bradford would take his game to the next level in this system and avoid injury; and that over time, the new pieces would coalesce to form a contender.

On Sunday, that trust absorbed its biggest hit yet. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Eagles-Dolphins Predictions

DeMeco Ryans (2)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

PLAYER I’LL BE WATCHING

McManus: DeMeco Ryans

“You can definitely understand his voice when he’s back there; it’s a lot deeper than the younger guys,” joked Cedric Thornton when asked about DeMeco Ryans returning to the mix. “That’s funny you asked, though: today he was back in practice, he called a play and I looked back and I was like, ‘OK, I got you.’ You can definitely appreciate his presence and what he brings to the team, how he gets us lined up and the impact that he has on Sundays…It’s just really good to have him out there.”

The importance of Ryans to this defense gets underplayed due in part to the depth at the position and the fact that he hasn’t looked quite himself since returning from a second Achilles tear. But there’s no denying that the defense has a different feel to it when he’s roaming the middle. Read more »

All-22: The Offensive Line’s Transformation

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ offensive line couldn’t have played much worse against the Cowboys in Week 2. They gave up so much penetration that the team totaled just seven rushing yards, averaging 0.4 yards per carry. If not for Sam Bradford’s 9-yard scramble, they would’ve finished in the negative.

Down two starters (Jason Peters and Andrew Gardner) heading into their rematch against Dallas Sunday night, the offensive line appeared poised for another poor performance.

What followed surprised many, however, as they paved the way for a dominant performance on the ground. The Eagles rushed for 172 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and won largely because of how well they ran the ball. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeMarco’s Dominant Return

DeMarcy Murray. (USA Today Sports)

DeMarcy Murray. (USA Today Sports)

Losing in the first half to his former team, DeMarco Murray walked the sideline during Week 2 livid. In those first two quarters at Lincoln Financial Field against the Cowboys, Murray carried the ball seven times for -10 rushing yards.

“He was very, very passionate the first time we played them,” Jason Kelce said, “and it was frustrating for him out there — you could see it on his face — with how the game was going.”

Flash forward seven weeks and Murray combined for 161 rushing and receiving yards, plus a touchdown on the ground. Philadelphia topped Dallas, 33-27, in overtime as Murray had his best statistical game as an Eagle. Read more »

All-22: Eagles Failing To Capitalize On Turnovers

DeMarco Murray. (USA Today Sports)

DeMarco Murray. (USA Today Sports)

After the Atlanta game, amid all of the ups and down the Eagles have encountered in this rollercoaster ride of a season, there has been one constant: the defense has put them in a position to win games.

According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles rank first in the NFL in turnovers forced per drive, at 21.8 percent. That was evident against the Panthers, as they intercepted Cam Newton three times, even though he only threw four picks in the previous five games.

“Our defense did a good job of creating turnovers for us but we have to turn those in to seven [points] and not three,” Chip Kelly said. “We talk about response after turnovers and we end of up kicking two field goals.” Read more »

Eagles-Panthers, The Day After

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Frustrations are mounting within the Eagles locker room.

Now seven games deep, the we’re-this-close optimism that the new-look Eagles carried with them like a security blanket has all but unraveled, replaced by a level of bewilderment at their inability to put an end to the dysfunction – particularly on offense.

“Mistakes. I don’t know what the reason is. We’ve had mistakes across the board,” said Jason Kelce. “Offensive line…everybody takes turns. I shouldn’t be making mistakes at this point in my career. I should be on top of my stuff, and it’s just, it’s getting old real quick.

“Offensive line, receivers, running backs, quarterbacks. Everybody is taking their turn. Penalties, turnovers, drops, whatever it is throughout the first half of this season, it’s really killed us on offense.”

“It’s like musical chairs,” added Lane Johnson. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Eagles-Giants Predictions

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Byron Maxwell. (Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

After their second win of the season, the Eagles will try to pick up their first NFC East victory against the Giants Monday night. Tim and Josh discuss who to keep an eye on, who will win and more. Read more »

All-22: Improvements In the Run Game

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

The Eagles have a losing record, are winless against NFC East opponents and haven’t been able to play well in all four quarters of a game through five weeks.

However, beating the Saints Sunday put the Eagles on a path to potentially turn the season around.

“Everybody knew this was a very important game,” Jason Kelce said. “1-4 is drastically different from 2-3, especially with where the division is. I don’t want to say it was a must-win, but it kind of was.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: O-Line Carries Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ offensive line presented a plethora of problems to Chip Kelly in the first four weeks of the season, allowing five sacks against Washington and limiting their running backs to -2 rushing yards against Dallas.

But those all washed away — at least for a few hours at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday — as the offensive line dominated in the Eagles’ 39-17 win over the Saints.

“Those guys were unbelievable,” Bradford said. “You could really tell that they were just wearing them down, with the way we were able to start running the football at the end of the game. Those guys dominated the line of scrimmage.” Read more »

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