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 »

Johnson On Pregame Confusion: ‘It Was Kind Of Messed Up’

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

It was getting close to kickoff, and Lane Johnson still didn’t know what position he was playing.

Jason Peters warmed up pre-game against the Dolphins and apparently indicated that he was ready to play, but got shot down by Chip Kelly.

“I think he tried to go and I think he was going to go but I don’t think Chip allowed him to go is what it was,” said Johnson. “When I got there I thought he was warming up so I was expecting to go right. In the locker room, I was kind of, ‘What the f— am I playing?’ and ended up knowing I was going left. It was kind of messed up.”
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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 »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles Look In Mirror After Loss

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Sitting on a stool shirtless in the Eagles locker room after losing to the Dolphins yesterday, Lane Johnson paused to consider the question.

What was the turning point in the game?

The offensive lineman had a plethora of possibilities to choose from. Was it the blocked punt that gave Miami the ball at Philadelphia’s 12-yard line? Or Jarvis Landry’s touchdown catch that bounced off Connor Barwin’s helmet? What about Mark Sanchez’s interception in the end zone?

Perhaps the number of options overwhelmed Johnson, because he struggled to identify one.

“I felt like we had the game won a few times,” he said. “This one slipped away, in a bad way. We had a chance to win that game, and just didn’t. It was right there at our fingertips.” 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 »

Notes: Maxwell’s PIs; Johnson Readying For LT

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Byron Maxwell wondered aloud if his past behavior influenced the officials on Sunday night.

“They look at tape, too. Maybe he saw something on tape like I was holding, because I mean, sometimes I do,” he said with a laugh. “Maybe he got it in his mind, ‘That’s what this guy does.’ I don’t know what the case was.”

Maxwell has been by far the Eagles’ most penalized defensive player. According to stats kept by the league, he has been flagged 10 times — nine of which have been accepted. (The next closest in penalties on that side of the ball is Nolan Carroll with four.) Of those, four have been pass interference and three have been defensive holding.

Two of his PI’s came while defending Dez Bryant on the Cowboys’ final drive of regulation, which resulted in a field goal to force overtime. Both were questionable calls. 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 »

Lane Johnson Expecting To Play Left Tackle

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The contingency plan is now clear.

If Jason Peters is not able to suit up this weekend, Lane Johnson will take his place at left tackle and Dennis Kelly will be inserted into the right tackle spot.

The Eagles have gone with that alignment this week as Peters continues to sit out with a back injury. The closer we get to Sunday, the more likely it seems that the line could be operating without its future Hall-of-Famer.

“It’s kind of up in the air, just kind of play it by ear and see how he feels,” said Johnson. “As of right now, I’m expecting to play left.”
Read more »

Eagles Notes: Peters, Ryans Held Out Again

Jason Peters

With three days until the Eagles face the Cowboys on Sunday night, Jason Peters remained sidelined during the Eagles’ practice Thursday.

Peters left in the first quarter of the Birds’ Week 8 loss to Carolina with back spasms, and hasn’t participated in practice this week after taking the bye week off.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles Blow Opportunities

Josh Huff drops a potential touchdown. (USA Today Sports)

Josh Huff drops a potential touchdown catch. (USA Today Sports)

It’s unclear who said it, but the sentiment was probably widely held in the locker room.

“Catch the f-cking football!” one Eagle reportedly yelled after last night’s loss. The Eagles dropped six to eight passes — it depends on how you count them — but the takeaway is the same: it’s tough to expect Sam Bradford to win games when you don’t give him much help.

“Our defense plays lights out every single week,” Jordan Matthews said. “You can’t tell me we don’t have a championship defense. You can’t tell me we don’t have a championship quarterback.” Read more »

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