Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: Why the Defense Has Declined

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Just last month, Jim Schwartz was still being called a “hot head coaching candidate” for 2017. The Eagles’ defense ranked in the top-3 in points allowed per game, and Schwartz’s unit was good enough to keep Philadelphia in games even as the offense struggled to score.

Flash forward to Week 13, however, and Schwartz may not even get interviews now for head coaching jobs in the offseason. The Eagles are still 10th in points allowed per game, but the defense’s play has been in a sharp decline over the past few weeks.

“We’re in a three-game slump. We had good games and bad games in that nine-game stretch early. Some games we played better than others, but these last three, we’ve been in a slump for a lot of different reasons,” Schwartz said. “We’re in a slump, and it didn’t matter what we were calling. A couple (months) ago when I was up here, we were talking about Minnesota and I said, ‘It didn’t matter what I was calling, they were all working.’ In this [Bengals] game, it didn’t matter. Didn’t matter what we were calling, it wasn’t working. Read more »

Doug Pederson Explains Why the Eagles Aren’t As Good On the Road

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles’ 24-15 win over the Falcons furthered one inescapable fact about Philadelphia this season: They’re a completely different team at home than they are on the road. They’re 4-0 at the Linc, but 1-4 in away games as their average point differential shifts from +17 per game to -1 outside of Philadelphia.

“When you’re on the road, you try to press just a little bit,” Doug Pederson said. “You try to get that quick, early lead and take the crowd out of the game. You do some things that are a little uncharacteristic of what you do at home. We just can’t do that. We got to stick to the game plan. We got to approach it much like a home game and trust the players, trust the plan. Let the game come to us a little bit, as opposed to trying to make something happen.

“We got to handle the crowd noise better. There are quite a few factors we’ve got to address and clean up going into these road games.” Read more »

All-22 Review: How the Eagles’ Defense Dominated the Falcons

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Some position-by-position thoughts on the Eagles’ defense after watching the All-22 coaches film from their 24-15 win over the Falcons:

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

*Jim Schwartz turned in another terrific game calling the shots, and while the Eagles have plenty of talent on defense, he’s a big reason the Birds rank third in the NFL in points per game allowed, sixth in yards per game allowed and sixth in takeaways. Against Atlanta, Schwartz’s unit held the Falcons to season lows in points (15), yards (303), first downs (11), offensive plays (48) and time of possession (21:50). Before the game on Sunday, Atlanta ranked first in the NFL in points per game (33.9) and second in the league in yards per game (429.2). Read more »

Eagles Notes: Injury Updates, NFL Not Yet In Touch

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

After exiting the Eagles’ 24-15 win over the Falcons in the second quarter with a head injury, Nolan Carroll is now going through concussion protocol, Doug Pederson announced Monday afternoon. However, Pederson added that the Eagles aren’t planning on making any personnel changes despite Carroll possibly being out this week and Leodis McKelvin’s lingering hamstring injury.

With Ron Brooks out for the season with a quad injury, the Eagles’ only other cornerbacks are rookies. Jalen Mills has played significant snaps, but C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes have combined for only one NFL snap. Read more »

Eagles-Steelers Rewind: Defensive Breakdown

Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)

Some final position-by-position thoughts on why the Eagles’ defense dominated in their 34-3 win over the Steelers after watching the All-22 coaches film:

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

*It’s safe to say Antonio Brown made his presence felt as he compiled 140 receiving yards on 12 receptions. However, Jim Schwartz did a nice job of limiting Brown’s impact in the red zone by shading Malcolm Jenkins toward the Pro Bowl receiver, which is why Brown didn’t score a touchdown. Here’s one example of how much Jenkins shifted toward Brown before the snap: Read more »

Marcus Smith Suffers Concussion, Ertz Frustrated

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith suffered a concussion during practice on Friday, the Eagles announced. Jordan Matthews suffered a left knee sprain, but Doug Pederson told SiriusXM that Matthews will just be sore for a few days. Mike Martin (left knee sprain) also left practice early, while Nolan Carroll (ankle) was given the day off.

Zach Ertz, who was also evaluated for a head injury, was cleared, but he said he was “not happy” with how some of his teammates have approached the hitting periods. Ertz was hit low by Blake Countess today and by Rodney McLeod two days ago, while Matthews was hit low by Jalen Mills when he suffered his injury.

“Guys gotta be pros. Rookies coming in, they don’t know what the atmosphere is like, the respect that’s given in practice,” Ertz said. “I think it needs to be addressed, but it is what it is. It’s live football, so that situation is in the game. We got to get ready for it. Obviously, Jordan and I getting hurt today, you don’t want to see that.” Read more »

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