Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: Declining Defense

Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)

Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)

Surrounded by a horde of reporters in the Eagles locker room, Billy Davis took full responsibility. Just minutes prior, his defense allowed 45 points and 521 total yards to a previously below-.500 Buccaneers team.

Tampa Bay broke several records at The Linc, including the franchise mark for number of players (five) to catch a touchdown pass. They also became the first road team in NFL history to have a quarterback throw five touchdown passes and a running back to rush for at least 200 yards.

“I didn’t see this one coming,” Davis said. “We didn’t do anything well today starting with coaching. We didn’t stop the run and we gave up five touchdown passes. There are no excuses for anybody. It was an awful day.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A ‘Very Embarrassing Loss’

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

Nolan Carroll stood despondent at his locker after the Eagles’ 45-17 loss to the Buccaneers yesterday. Defensive backs coach Cory Undlin approached his cornerback, put his left hand on Carroll’s shirtless back and asked, “You alright?”

“Yeah,” Carroll responded, as if he was trying to convince himself and not only Undlin.

The scene around the rest of the Eagles locker room was quite similar. Lane Johnson sat in a small black chair in front of his locker looking at the ground, saying the Eagles’ offense “imploded.” Connor Barwin stood with his hands on his hips and added that the defense “sh-t the bed.” 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 »

Eagle Eye: Dez Bryant Is Back, And Dangerous

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When the Eagles lost to the Cowboys in Week 2, they faced Tony Romo, but not Dez Bryant.

This time around, the Birds will face Bryant but not Romo, which obviously lessens the potency of the quarterback-receiver one-two punch.

Still, Malcolm Jenkins and company would be unwise to underestimate the impact that Bryant can have on an offense, even when handicapped by a quarterback like Matt Cassel.

Read more »

Instant Observations: Eagles-Panthers

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 27-16 loss to the Panthers from Bank of America Stadium:

*Drops continue to be a big problem for this offense. Jordan Matthews had a pair. Darren Sproles let a red zone pass hit the turf in the second quarter. Josh Huff had one go through his hands in the back of the end zone in the third quarter. Zach Ertz and Miles Austin each dropped one on the Eagles’ final drive.

Jeremy Maclin‘s price tag may have been too steep, but there is no denying that his presence on this team has been missed.

Matthews’ struggles in particular have been a disappointment. According to Pro Football Focus, the receiver entered the game second in drop percentage, allowing 10 percent of catchable balls to hit the ground. Read more »

All-22: How the Eagles Limited Odell Beckham

Odell Beckham Jr. (USA Today Sports)

Odell Beckham Jr. (USA Today Sports)

The first drive of the game Monday night couldn’t have gone much better for the Giants. They traveled 80 yards in eight plays and finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr.

Manning completed all five of his passes to four different receivers for 59 yards.

The Eagles answered by going three-and-out, before the Giants again drove the ball into field goal range. Then, DeMeco Ryans intercepted Manning, and New York went scoreless the rest of the game.

“I love the way our guys respond, to be honest with you,” Bill Davis said. “I’ve been a lot of places where those miscommunications happen and people turn on each other and there’s a huge argument, and our guys are really together.

“It’s a tight unit because they knew a mistake was made and they were real mad that a touchdown happened. We got to the sideline, we solved it and it didn’t happen again, and it won’t happen again. But, it’s really a testament to the camaraderie we have and the chemistry we have on defense right now.” Read more »

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