Zone Read: Eagles-Cowboys, the Day After

Tim Heltman/USA Today

Tim Heltman/USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Bennie Logan insists he wasn’t trying to create a stir.

The Eagles’ nose tackle was asked during the week about the Cowboys’ offensive line, and he made it quite clear that he wasn’t impressed. His comments seemed somewhat out of character, but Logan’s fellow defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton backed him up. They felt like they were a good group that has been flying the under the radar, and they were not going to be intimidated by the one of the league’s best rushing attacks.

“People had their own opinions about teams and things like that,” Logan said after the Eagles’ 33-10 win. “I’m a nobody. I’m a nobody. We’ve got a lot of nobodies up front. People don’t give us the credit and things like that. We just play football. We have fun when we do it. It wasn’t any big talk or anything, no big pressure or anything like that. We just wanted to go out there and have fun and just play our style of defense.”

The Eagles’ defensive line showed up in a big way, limiting DeMarco Murray to 73 yards and 3.7 YPC. Both numbers were season lows. This was just the second time in 12 games Murray failed to gain at least 100 yards. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Big Moment For Sanchez

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Mark Sanchez was the last Eagles player to leave the field Thursday. His teammates came streaming through the tunnel and into the locker room in waves. Fresh off a man-handling of the Cowboys for all the world to see, there were plenty of smiles and handshakes and Ric Flair-like “Wooo!”s bouncing off the walls in the bowels of JerryWorld.

Sanchez eventually came jogging up, an Eagles ski cap on his head and the game ball tucked securely in his arm. As he turned into the locker room, the waiting players let out a celebratory “Heyyyyyyy!”to welcome in their quarterback.

He  had a good night in a big spot for the Eagles, going 20-of-29 for 217 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and no turnovers. This is the second time in four starts that he has posted a clean stat sheet. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Here’s a look at how the Eagles match up with the Cowboys.

WHEN THE EAGLES RUN…

LeSean McCoy had one of his most productive games of the year last week, rushing for 130 yards on 21 carries (6.2 YPC) against the Titans. While it’s worth noting that Tennessee had the worst run defense in the NFL, McCoy looked shifty and certainly had more space than he’d had previously. He’s fourth in the league with 859 rushing yards and is averaging 4.0 YPC. The Eagles are 21st overall in rushing offense, per Football Outsiders. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Thursday Factor

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles traveled to Seattle for a Thursday night game back in December of 2011. Trevor Laws predicted that his team was poised to “blow out” the Seahawks but it went the other way on him, as Seattle cruised to an easy 31-14 win at CenturyLink Field.

Recognizing the difficulty of playing all the way across the country on a short week,  the NFL established new guidelines for scheduling Thursday night games following that season. With the exception of an occasional divisional matchup, teams are no longer asked to travel more than one time zone to play a Thursday road game.

Dallas is just a time zone away but the Eagles still have to hop a nearly four-hour flight for their Thanksgiving showdown with the Cowboys this week. The fact that Dallas played in New York on Sunday night should help balance the travel factor out some, but it’s a challenge nonetheless.

The Eagles hope that they are designed to deal well with the quick turnaround, particularly as it applies to physical recovery and game-plan installation. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Titans

Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton - USA Today

Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton – USA Today

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

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – There was some good and some bad with Sanchez. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sanchez has generally gotten the ball out quickly and done a good job of climbing the pocket when he feels edge pressure. He takes fewer shots downfield than Nick Foles. Per Pro Football Focus, 12.9 percent of Sanchez’s attempts have traveled 20+ yards downfield (15th). With Foles, the number was 18.9 percent (second). Twenty-four of Sanchez’s 30 completions Sunday were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Titans, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.

Are you scared?

“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”

Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.

Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.

Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.

As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.

Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »

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