Here’s a position-by-position review of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense this week.
* Not sure what else there is to say about Nick Foles. He was spectacular, completing 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. Two things really stood out when I re-watched the offense. One, Foles was willing to take shots downfield. And two, he did an outstanding job of buying time with his feet to create space. On the Eagles’ opening drive, they faced a 3rd-and-13. Foles could have easily checked the ball down, but instead fired a pass to Jeff Maehl in traffic over the middle for a 19-yard gain. That had to be big for his confidence.
* Foles did a great job of looking defenders off all game long. In the first, he looked to LeSean McCoy in the flat, drew a defender and then hit Zach Ertz for a first down. The 17-yard TD to Riley Cooper down the left sideline was a beauty. Foles let go of the ball while Cooper was covered and let his receiver make a play. He later found Cooper for a 63-yard bomb. Read more »
With eight games in the books, here are position-by-position grades for the Eagles’ offense.
During this exercise, it’s important to remember that we’re handing out grades based on everything we’ve seen in the first half of the season. In other words, what you won’t see here is: The offense has stunk it up the last two weeks. Everybody gets an F!
I would say the Eagles got above average QB play against the Chargers, Giants and Bucs. They were OK against the Redskins and Broncos. And they were flat-out bad against Kansas City, Dallas and the Giants (the second game). The way I see it, that puts them at just about average.
Michael Vick has completed just 54.6 percent of his passes, but averaged 8.6 yards per attempt and was good as a runner before injuring his hamstring. Nick Foles played well in the second half against the Giants and again in Tampa, but delivered a clunker vs. the Cowboys. And Matt Barkley is about what you’d expect. Read more »
Here’s a position-by-position review of how the Eagles’ offense performed against the Giants after having re-watched the game.
* Michael Vick never looked right, but it seems pretty clear that he did damage to the hamstring on a 1-yard run late in the first quarter. Vick ran out of bounds, and it sounded like the on-field mics caught him letting out an F-bomb. He then was shaking his head and clapped his hands in frustration as he returned to the middle of the field.
* When he played, Vick was 6-for-9 for 30 yards and an interception. He also fumbled once on a play where it looked like he had James Casey open in the flat.
* Matt Barkley went 17-for-26 for 158 yards, no TDs and an interception. Lots of screens and short/intermediate throws as he only averaged 6.1 yards per attempt. The Eagles entered the game leading the NFL with 36 pass plays of 20+ yards, but they only had one with Barkley. Read more »
Editor’s Note: This new feature will post every Friday and replace the old Cheat Sheets. We’ll bring you nuggets from the locker room, scouting reports on the upcoming game, reader e-mail and more.
It was after midnight by the time Jason Kelce had fired up his iPad and loaded the coaches tape to see what had gone wrong.
Hours earlier, he had been on the field at MetLife Stadium during one of the more frustrating games of his young NFL career. The Giants came up with a gameplan to stop the Eagles’ most popular run play: the inside zone read. The biggest factor in their success? Stunts by the defensive tackles that kept Kelce off-balance all game long.
“I was kind of checking, hitting refresh every single minute to see when it would come up,” Kelce said. “Very frustrating game for me. I knew I played bad even during the game. I knew the stuff wasn’t going well for me and that we tried some things to fix it, but I felt like they had a good take on when to do it and when not to do it. So we didn’t really handle it well throughout the game, me in particular.” Read more »
When the Eagles don’t run the ball effectively, LeSean McCoy shoulders the blame.
Even if there are other factors – the blocking, the defensive scheme, etc. – McCoy takes it personally when the offense can’t get the ground game going. It’s something his teammates appreciate about him.
So on a day when the Eagles were hosting a division rival for first place and with his quarterback Nick Foles struggling all game long, McCoy knew 55 yards on 18 carries was not good enough.
“I just wasn’t myself,” he said. “I felt like with a game like this where my team needed me and depended on me, I didn’t show up. I started doing just too many individual type of plays, not really going with the plays and just doing my own thing.
“Just was a little frustrated. I wasn’t really making the plays that I usually make. And they were stopping us. We were going three-and-out. And things weren’t going our way. I just tried to make too many things happen. Certain plays, from running the ball to screens, different things like that. I felt that was probably my worst performance since my rookie year. But I’ll bounce back this week for sure. Just gotta trust in the scheme. If things are not working out, eventually they’ll break.” Read more »
Here’s a position-by-position review of how the Eagles’ offense performed vs. the Cowboys. Read more »
Editor’s note: The Zone Read is a new weekly feature that will publish the day after every game some time before noon. It will feature dispatches from the locker room, thoughts on what went down, play breakdowns and more. If you have feedback or suggestions, e-mail Sheil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Peters’ locker at the Linc serves as a boundary of sorts.
The offensive players, beginning with Todd Herremans, are all to his left. On the other side of the green double doors that lead to the training room are the Eagles’ defensive players, starting with Brandon Graham.
For the most part, during the first six weeks of the season, Peters’ side of the locker room had done its part. The Eagles went into Sunday’s game ranked near the top in most offensive categories. But against the Cowboys, the results were ugly. On 14 offensive possessions, they turned it over three times, punted on nine occasions, made one field goal and missed another.
All in all, it was easily the worst performance on that side of the ball all season.
“It was tough, man. Very disappointed,” said Peters, whose body language reflected his words. “I know to come out here, we haven’t even won a game at home, this is disappointing for the fans and disappointing for the team. Just a bad deal all the way around.” Read more »
A sequence late in the first half told the whole story.
Final minute of play. Third-and-1 from the Dallas 42. Nick Foles takes the snap, finds an open DeSean Jackson along the right side, and misfires. Jackson smacks his hands together in frustration before heading to the bench to steam.
Meanwhile, Chip Kelly decides to send Alex Henery out for a 60-yard field goal attempt, which predictably fails.
Poor quarterback play. Bad body language. Questionable decision-making. That about sums up the Eagles’ 17-3 loss to Dallas Sunday. Read more »
Brian Westbrook, one of the great screen running backs in the history of the league, continues to be a guiding voice in the ear of LeSean McCoy. It probably came as little surprise, then, that McCoy had a message waiting for him on his phone following the Tampa game on Sunday.
“He texted me after the game and said, ‘Come on, bro. You’re supposed to score on that play.’ ”
The play was a screen pass to McCoy on the Eagles’ first offensive snap of the game. Everything was perfect, from design to execution. What’s more, the Bucs were in the worst possible defense for this particular play call. The seas parted and McCoy was in the wide open field with blockers set up in front of him. He got 44. He could have had the whole thing.
“I should have scored,” McCoy admitted.
Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a near-perfect screen play with the help of the players involved and the screen maestro himself, Westbrook. Read more »
All last week, Chip Kelly and his staff made one thing clear: The offense would not undergo a complete makeover with Nick Foles at quarterback instead of Michael Vick.
His argument didn’t seem all that convincing. After all, the two quarterbacks have different skill sets. Why not mold the offense to whichever guy was going to be on the field?
On Sunday, against the Bucs, we got a better idea of what Kelly meant. And for the most part, he was speaking the truth.
“We’d have played the game exactly the same way,” said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. “We would have had all the same plays in the gameplan, and we would have called it exactly the same way with Mike.”
Several players backed up Shurmur’s words. The Eagles piled up 425 yards and scored 31 points in their victory over the Bucs. Foles completed 71 percent of his passes and averaged 9.5 yards per attempt, accounting for four touchdowns.
Without a quarterback who poses a true running threat and facing a defense that liked to employ a lot of zone, the Eagles still found ways to play option football and had success with packaged plays all day long at Raymond James Stadium. Read more »