Wake-Up Call: Sanchez And the Deep Ball

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

The long ball has fallen off some since Mark Sanchez has taken over.

When Nick Foles was at the helm, he threw passes of 20-plus yards 19 percent of the time, resulting in nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Sanchez, meanwhile, has gone deep at a 13 percent clip and has one TD and a pair of picks. He started out with a bang, hitting Jeremy Maclin for a 52-yard pick-up down the middle on his first regular-season snap as an Eagle, but hasn’t connected many haymakers since.

There appears to be two key reasons for the shift in approach. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Seattle

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense against the Seahawks after having re-watched the game.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – He obviously struggled throughout. Sanchez became the second QB this season to attempt at least 20 passes and total fewer than 100 yards in a game. The other was Andy Dalton. Overall, Sanchez went 10-for-20 for 96 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

The thing about facing a defense as good as Seattle’s is there are not going to be a lot of chances to make plays in the passing game. You have to make the most of your opportunities. And Sanchez did not do that.

On the first play, he stepped up, targeted Jeremy Maclin and was nearly intercepted by Richard Sherman. Sanchez threw short of the sticks to Jordan Matthews for a 6-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 on the first drive. Good decision to pull the ball and fire to Maclin for the 1-yard TD. Good throw on boot-action to his left, finding Matthews for a 17-yard gain in the first. Bad-looking deep ball intended for Cooper on the post against what I believe was Cover 3. He threw short of the sticks incomplete to Matthews on 3rd-and-9 in the second. Sanchez has had trouble on screens to the slot. He fired one high to Maclin in the second, which threw off the rhythm of the play on an incompletion. Read more »

All-22: The Challenges Against Seattle

avril_1a_all22

Go around the Eagles locker room and ask players what makes Earl Thomas so good, and you’ll get a variety of answers.

“He’s a freak,” said Jordan Matthews. “You can tell he has a desire to be the greatest in the game. No different than my lockermate, 27 [Malcolm Jenkins]. I feel like both of those guys have that same mentality. The dude is full speed every single play the entire game. You’ve gotta be able to match that intensity and go out there and play your hardest if you’re gonna compete against him.”

“His speed,” answered Mark Sanchez. “He’s just got a nose for the football. He diagnoses plays fast. One of the most intense players. The film doesn’t have any sound, but that guy almost puts a soundtrack to the film. You see him just completely sell out – against the run, against the pass, breaking plays up.” Read more »

Maclin: ‘I Like My Chances Against Anybody’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Richard Sherman will follow a receiver around the field from time to time depending on the type of defense the Seahawks are in and the receiver in question. Jeremy Maclin noted that when he was watching Seattle-Dallas tape, he noticed Sherman shadowing Dez Bryant some.

Whether he’ll be free to roam this week against the Eagles might be largely irrelevant: Maclin typically lines up on the right side of the formation, and it doesn’t sound like the Eagles will go away from that despite the presence of No. 25.

“For the most part we kind of stay on one side as receivers,” said Maclin, “and he’s on my side, so.”

So they’ll be going head-to-head. Read more »

Will Eagles Stay Away From Sherman?

Kirby Lee / USA Today

Kirby Lee / USA Today

Chip Kelly has confidence in the crew he’s assembled on the offensive side of the ball.

But he’s also not a stupid man.

So when the Eagles’ head coach was asked about the possibility of staying away from cornerback Richard Sherman on Sunday, he offered an appropriate response.

“We always concern ourselves with the personnel on the opposite side,” Kelly said. “You have to know exactly what they’re in, how things are working, the matchups you can exploit or try to attack. I think that’s part of any coach’s game plan.

“I don’t think you just say, ‘Hey, we don’t care who’s over there.’ You really sit down and study the tape and situations. Who do they have in, what they’re doing, do they travel? Do they cover guys on the other side when the receivers switch sides? Do they match up with people? There’s a lot more to it than just saying, ‘We’re not going to throw to the right.’ Because he may not be on the right. He may be on the left.” Read more »

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