Zone Read: Eagles-49ers, the Day After

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Surrounded by a group of reporters at his locker, the usually talkative LeSean McCoy appeared to be a man without much to say on Sunday evening.

He first spoke about being embarrassed that the offense accounted for zero points in the Eagles’ 26-21 loss to the 49ers. But then the line of questioning became a bit more specific, focusing on the struggles of the rushing attack.

“I’m not talking about running the football,” McCoy said. “I don’t even want to talk about that. Any other questions?”

There were other questions, but in some form or another, many of them involved the fact that the Eagles had just managed 22 total  yards on the ground on 12 carries (1.8 YPC). Of that, McCoy was responsible for 17 yards on 1o carries (1.7 YPC). Read more »

All-22: Issues Plaguing the Eagles’ Defense

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Billy Davis has had to strike a balance quite a bit since taking over as the Eagles defensive coordinator last year.

He is honest in admitting when his unit doesn’t play well, but he’s also a positive person by nature and tries to look ahead. After all, it’s not like the defense is loaded with talent, and the team is 3-0 heading into Sunday’s game against the 49ers.

“We weren’t playing well at all in that game, and we gave up a lot of yards and all those things,” Davis said Tuesday. “And most teams I’ve been with would let those bad plays ‑ we had five X plays. Most of the time you get in such a tank that at the end of the game when you have to defend 6 yards to win it, you don’t have the mental toughness to do it because you’re still frustrated from the bad game you’re playing. And our group didn’t show any signs of that. They showed such mental toughness and strength that we had to defend 6 yards for four downs, and they stepped up and got that done.”

On seven of 12 possessions, Washington’s offense either scored a touchdown or set up for a field goal. Kirk Cousins went 30-for-48 for 427 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. While Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Boykin made some nice plays down the stretch, this was the definition of a defense getting picked apart.

Cousins played at a high level for most of the game, getting rid of the ball quickly and making some impressive throws into tight window. But this is the NFL, and there are a lot of good quarterbacks. At some point, just giving the other guys credit is no longer valid.

Keeping that in mind, below is a look at some of the key issues that hurt the Eagles Sunday. And in case you missed it, yesterday we provided a player-by-player breakdown. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Nick Foles walked slowly and gingerly from his locker to the podium in the media room at Lincoln Financial Field.

He had removed his jersey and shoulder pads and cleats. But he hadn’t showered yet and still was in his game-worn pants, pads protecting his thighs and quadriceps.

If Foles hadn’t realized it before, he found out with about 9:56 left in the fourth quarter that as a quarterback in the NFL, it’s always wise to keep your guard up because you never know when the next hit is coming.

Foles had let up after it looked like Washington defensive back Bashaud Breeland was down on an interception return. But behind him to his right came 325-pound defensive lineman Chris Baker with a leveling blow that lifted Foles off the ground and put him in a daze, sparking a melee on the Washington sideline.

“No I didn’t,” Foles said, when asked if he saw the hit coming. “He got me pretty good. I did not see him. …I thought the guy was down so that’s why I wasn’t looking for anyone. The next thing I know I’m just obliterated, so I don’t know.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Colts, the Day After

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the Eagles facing a 2nd-and-goal from the Colts’ 19 yard line, Darren Sproles set up in the backfield to the right of Nick Foles.

The quarterback handed him the ball, and Sproles initially headed to the left, where his blocking was. But there was no hole, and the cutback was open, so he brought it back to the right side. Foles was a couple yards behind him carrying out his fake.

At the 15, there was safety Mike Adams waiting. Sproles juked him and headed further to his right where there was open field. At the 7, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson closed in and made contact, but didn’t wrap up. Another Colts defender went low, and cornerback Darius Butler tried to help out as well. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Defense Turns The Tide

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts
INDIANAPOLIS – It was 3rd-and-9 from the Eagles’ 22 and Andrew Luck was heating up.

The standout QB had never lost consecutive games in his young career and he was fixing to keep that streak alive. A 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by his seven-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Bradshaw put the Colts up 27-20, and he had the offense in position to stretch the lead to double digits with just over five minutes to play.

And then, a remarkable turn of events. Read more »

Inside Voices: How The Training Is Different

Chip Kelly
Under Chip Kelly, the Eagles have quickly become known as an organization on the cutting edge when it comes to the training and maintenance of their athletes.

One veteran after the next last year said that their bodies had never felt better. Soft tissue injuries were down. Stamina was up.

What sets them apart?

To help get a better understanding, we called on some newcomers to explain what differentiates Kelly’s operation from others they have been a part of at their previous stops. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Jaguars, the Day After

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Watching from the sideline, linebacker DeMeco Ryans knew the Eagles had a first down before the ball was even snapped.

Darren Sproles had just picked up 8 yards on a screen, but he was tackled short of the sticks, and the offense faced a 4th-and-1 from the Jacksonville 49. The Eagles were trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.

“Sitting on the sideline, I knew we had ‘em,” Ryans said. “Because as a defense, you’re kind of happy about a third-down stop and you’re not expecting a fourth-down play. Our offense gets on the ball and runs it quickly, catches everybody off-guard.”

Chip Kelly didn’t hesitate. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told him the Eagles were short, and Kelly made a tempo call – a message that can be communicated with one or two words. The call lets the offensive players know it’s time to bust it back to the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped. Read more »

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