CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 27-16 loss to the Panthers from Bank of America Stadium:
*Drops continue to be a big problem for this offense. Jordan Matthews had a pair. Darren Sproles let a red zone pass hit the turf in the second quarter. Josh Huff had one go through his hands in the back of the end zone in the third quarter. Zach Ertz and Miles Austin each dropped one on the Eagles’ final drive.
Jeremy Maclin‘s price tag may have been too steep, but there is no denying that his presence on this team has been missed.
Matthews’ struggles in particular have been a disappointment. According to Pro Football Focus, the receiver entered the game second in drop percentage, allowing 10 percent of catchable balls to hit the ground. Read more »
The fortress walls were shaking ever so slightly as Chip Kelly stood in front of his team Saturday afternoon.
Theories about pending locker room implosions and Kelly’s imminent NFL demise fell a few clicks west of reality, but this was a significant moment in time for both the head coach and the 2015 Eagles nevertheless. Early October, and the season already at cliff’s edge. A loss here and they would be charged with the very difficult task of trying to climb out of a 1-4 hole while simultaneously fighting to keep the growing outside skepticism about the operation from finding its way in.
Such was the state of affairs as Kelly addressed the players before they headed for the team hotel.
“He always uses analogies, and he had an analogy about [a fighter],” said linebacker Najee Goode. “When you keep getting hit, you keep getting hit, 1-3 right now…the outside looking in, people are thinking, ‘What’s wrong with the Eagles?’ You keep getting hit. But we’re going to throw the last punch.
“Coach Kelly said, ‘We have to throw the last punch no matter what.’ You’ve gotta take it right in the face and just go straight ahead and knock them the f–k out.” Read more »
Ahead of a Week 5 showdown with Drew Brees and the Saints, Tim and Josh explore what it would take for the Eagles to successfully salvage their season. They also offer up their respective takes on Sunday’s showdown at the Linc, with Josh looking for his first correct prediction of the season.
Speaking after practice Thursday afternoon, Jason Peters told reporters that he is “going to play” this Sunday against the Saints.
Peters said he isn’t concerned about potentially re-injuring, saying, “I am who I am.”
Peters returned to practice after missing Tuesday and Wednesday because of a quad injury.
Chip Kelly said that his starting left tackle would “try to do some things” in practice Thursday, and Peters had his pads and a helmet on as the players warmed up.
Kelly also said that Lane Johnson would participate in practice for a second straight day. Johnson, who suffered an MCL sprain and an ankle injury in the Eagles’ Week 4 loss to Washington, said Tuesday he will play against the Saints on Sunday. Read more »
Chip Kelly said Wednesday that one contingency plan, in case Jason Peters is unable to play Sunday, is to place starting right tackle Lane Johnson at left tackle in Peters’ stead.
Johnson (knee, ankle) has maintained that he plans to play against the Saints, though he took in practice from the sidelines alongside Peters (quad) for the second straight day.
Along with Johnson and Peters, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Kiko Alonso (knee), and Brandon Bair (groin) were also without helmets and pads Wednesday. Allen Barbre was back practicing after being held out Tuesday, and Byron Maxwell (quad) was seen warming up, but without a helmet. Read more »
An already struggling offensive line is now dealing with a rash of injuries.
Tackles Jason Peters (quad) and Lane Johnson (knee, ankle) were both sidelined as preparations for the Saints began Tuesday. Joining them on the sideline was Allen Barbre, who played the entire game against Washington but apparently got banged up as well.
This unit is already down Andrew Gardner for the season and cannot afford any more losses; that’s especially true when it comes to their tackles. Johnson is dealing with an MCL and ankle sprain but could be available this weekend. Peters has left each of the team’s games at some point this season and was only able to play six snaps against Washington.
Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Byron Maxwell (quad) and Brandon Bair (groin) all sat out as well. Billy Davis sounded confident about having Maxwell, Cedric Thornton (hand) and Taylor Hart (shoulder) this week. He does not think Bair will be available, and labeled Kendricks as day-to-to-day.
After missing his first game as an Eagle, DeMarco Murray is active today against the Redskins. Thad Lewis, Chris Maragos, Kiko Alonso, Julian Vandervelde, Cedric Thornton, Marcus Smith and Taylor Hart are all inactive. Read more »