Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Backer Breakdowns

Mychal Kendricks and Theo Riddick. (USA Today Sports)

Mychal Kendricks and Theo Riddick. (USA Today Sports)

After the Eagles allowed 45 points and five passing touchdowns in two consecutive weeks, Billy Davis stood stunned and speechless on Thanksgiving.

“That was a disaster,” Davis said. “There’s no excuses. There’s no explanations for that.”

However, because the Eagles played three days earlier than they normally do, Chip Kelly watched the game tape a couple of more times than he typically does. In that additional film review, he singled out one reason Detroit dominated en route to a 45-14 win. Read more »

Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: Secondary Concerns

Nolan Carroll and Dez Bryant. (USA Today Sports)

Nolan Carroll and Dez Bryant. (USA Today Sports)

Despite the Eagles’ win Sunday night, their pass defense had one of its worst games of the season. They gave up season-highs in opponent passer rating (105) and touchdowns through the air (three), and Matt Cassel had his best game as a Cowboy.

Both Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant surpassed 100 receiving yards while reaching the end zone, and their quarterback averaged 7.9 passing yards per attempt.

“[Beasley] is a tough matchup for a lot of people because he’s so good at getting in and out of breaks,” Chip Kelly said. “The tough matchup is that is that they also have [Jason] Witten and they also have Dez at full speed, so who are you going to double?

“You can’t double three of them; if you do, you don’t have enough guys. Sometimes they caught us when we were doubling Witten or Dez, and now Beasley is in a one-on-one. That’s what happens when you have three really good weapons in their offense.”

The Eagles did have their bright spots in coverage, however, including Jordan Hicks’ pick-six. Byron Maxwell also continued his improvement and turned in another good performance, while the pass rush disrupted Cassel or brought him down several times.

But between Philadelphia’s struggles on Sunday and Hicks’ season-ending injury, how much concern should there be about the Eagles’ defense going forward? We turned to the tape to find out. Read more »

With Hicks Out, Focus Shifts Back To Original Three

DeMeco Ryans

Billy Davis didn’t sugarcoat it.

“It’s a big hit,” he said of the loss of Jordan Hicks. “It’s a shame that it happened. But as soon as I saw the nature of the injury, I’ve seen enough of them, been around enough — especially having a background in linebacker coaching — kind of had an idea that’s what happened.

“Jordan did a great job of bringing himself into the conversation of a main rotation guy…It’s a shame that he only made it halfway through the season, but in the NFL it’s a bad part of what we deal with. Jordan will get everything fixed and then we’ll move on and we’re back to the guys that we originally started with, and they go day-to-day.”

That’s the term he used to describe DeMeco Ryans, who continues to work through a hamstring strain. He had his helmet on but was working off to the side with a trainer at the start of Tuesday’s practice. Read more »

All-22: Lessons From the First Dallas Game

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ players and coaches have been candid about one thing all week: they don’t like turning on the tape from their Week 2 loss to the Cowboys.

“It was bad,” Sam Bradford said Wednesday. “I think we’ve come a long way from that game. So many negative plays in that game that just put us behind. We struggled to establish any sort of rhythm.”

The Eagles totaled 226 yards on offense (including just seven rushing yards), gave up a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and gave the ball back to Dallas after forcing two turnovers. Read more »

All-22: What To Expect From Kiko Alonso

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Back in September — with the preseason complete and the Atlanta game just days away — uncertainty surrounded the Eagles. One thing that was clear, however, was the Eagles’ inside linebacker rotation.

“Obviously, we’re going to feature Mychal [Kendricks] and DeMeco [Ryans] and Kiko [Alonso],” Chip Kelly said.

But that plan was quickly thrown out of the window when both Alonso and Kendricks were hurt against Dallas in Week 2. Alonso hasn’t played a snap since, and Kendricks has missed more games than he’s played. Read more »

Players Poll: What’s Chip Kelly’s Real Name?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly rarely reveals much information about himself to the media, but is he the same way with his players?

We decided to go around the Eagles’ locker room and find out just how much his guys know about him. We asked them about their coach’s real name, in addition to the weirdest fan interaction they’ve had. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Pass Rush

Vinny Curry. (USA Today Sports)

Vinny Curry. (USA Today Sports)

Bill Davis just wanted people to relax. Through the first four games of the season, his defense recorded just one sack each week. Criticism of the Eagles’ pass rush picked up, and those questions reached him in his press conference after the Washington game.

“There is more pressure than there are sacks,” he said a few weeks ago. “So I don’t think it’s a pressure problem. The sack numbers aren’t where you like them. But we’ve got to get the pressure on the quarterback and get him down and affect the throws. That has to increase. But we actually aren’t horrible right there.”

In the two games after that, the Eagles sacked Drew Brees and Eli Manning a combined eight times. Against Carolina, the front seven brought Cam Newton down just once, but they disrupted several passes. Read more »

All-22: Kendricks, Smith And the Run Defense

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

The Panthers ran the ball 33 times against the Eagles Sunday night, which wasn’t surprising as Carolina entered the game first in the NFL with 33 carries per game. What was surprising was their 204 rushing yards on 6.2 yards per carry.

“We knew going in [they’d run so much],” Chip Kelly said Monday. “I know Jonathan [Stewart] really well; I coached him in college. He ran for 1,700 [yards his junior year]. And I said it before, we knew, number one, he’s tough to bring down and number two, he’s a lot faster than I think people give him credit for. He’s a 250-pound back, but he can pick them up and put them down.”

Before Sunday, the Eagles appeared more than capable of stopping the Panthers’ rushing attack. They ranked first in the NFL in rushing touchdowns allowed (1) and second in opponent yards per carry (3.5).

Carolina, on the other hand, didn’t run the ball that well as they ranked around the league average with 4.1 yards per rush. What killed the Eagles, however, was a 43-yard end around and a 36-yard counter. Read more »

Eagles-Panthers, The Day After

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Frustrations are mounting within the Eagles locker room.

Now seven games deep, the we’re-this-close optimism that the new-look Eagles carried with them like a security blanket has all but unraveled, replaced by a level of bewilderment at their inability to put an end to the dysfunction – particularly on offense.

“Mistakes. I don’t know what the reason is. We’ve had mistakes across the board,” said Jason Kelce. “Offensive line…everybody takes turns. I shouldn’t be making mistakes at this point in my career. I should be on top of my stuff, and it’s just, it’s getting old real quick.

“Offensive line, receivers, running backs, quarterbacks. Everybody is taking their turn. Penalties, turnovers, drops, whatever it is throughout the first half of this season, it’s really killed us on offense.”

“It’s like musical chairs,” added Lane Johnson. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

Mychal Kendricks is active tonight for the first time since leaving the Washington game with a hamstring injury. Thad Lewis, Nelson Agholor, Denzel Rice, Kiko Alonso, DeMeco Ryans, Tanner Hawkinson and Brandon Bair are all inactive. Read more »

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