Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Things

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. Your 5-7 Eagles are in first place.

Well they’re in virtual three-way tie for first, anyway, with Washington and the Giants in the godforsaken NFC East. In case you didn’t stay up for a sleeper of a game that got fun late, DeSean Jackson went 22 yards in the wrong direction on an ill-fated punt return and eventually fumbled it away, leading to a Dallas score. He briefly found redemption with a game-tying touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone, but Washington left 44 seconds on the clock and that proved enough time to set up a 54-yard Dan Bailey field goal to lift the Cowboys to their fourth win of the season.

Suddenly Dallas is just a game out, the rest of the division is tied at two games under .500, and the Eagles control their own destiny with four to play. God Bless America. Read more »

Instant Observations: Eagles-Patriots

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, MA — A stunner in New England.

The Eagles used a little special teams magic of old and came up with a pair of huge turnovers on defense — including one that Malcolm Jenkins took to the house — to shock the Patriots, 35-28. Here’s what we saw: 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: Inside the Defensive Line’s Dominance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ season through three weeks has been a fascinating series of twists and turns. Before the opener in Atlanta, many considered the rushing attack to be a potential juggernaut. After Week 3, however, they rank third-to-last in yards per carry.

The secondary, meanwhile, was considered a potential weakness in the offseason. But after the win against New York, the Eagles’ defense ranks in the top-10 in interceptions, opponent passer rating and yards per throw allowed. Read more »

On Curry, State Of the Outside Linebackers

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry has been training at outside linebacker full-time for all of two weeks now, so it should probably come as no surprise that his debut at the position Monday night was far from flawless.

“He was a little up‑and‑down there,” said Chip Kelly. “A couple times, he lost containment: once on the quarterback when we had a naked back our way.  But I thought the transition for him, never really having played there and just got his feet wet in the preseason, we felt he did a good job.  But we have got to get dialed in a little bit some on responsibilities.”

Curry played 21 snaps (or 27 percent on the time) against the Falcons. He was deployed mostly on run downs, he said, to minimize the chances that he would have to drop into coverage.

The four-year vet did line up at OLB here and there during the offseason training program, but that seemed to be more about Billy Davis searching for creative ways to use Curry as a situational pass-rusher. Now he’s smack in the middle of a crash course on the position, trying to grasp the different run fits and various nuances while attempting to play at full speed. Read more »

Curry, Jones Work To Solve OLB ‘Question Mark’

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After several minutes of ambiguity and non-committal responses, Chip Kelly spoke plainly about one position: outside linebacker. Before yesterday’s practice, he said that the Eagles’ “master plan” is “to make sure we have more depth.”

However, he added shortly thereafter that they have yet to reach that point at outside linebacker.

“We had a great rotation last year,” Kelly said. “But we’re still continuing to try to develop that out there. So that is a question mark for us right now.” Read more »

Eagles Notes: Marcus Smith Smith Out 2-3 Weeks

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Marcus Smith told reporters that he will be out for two-to-three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it was,” he said. “Three weeks [out] is probably the most.”

There’s a chance, then, that Smith will miss the remainder of the preseason, but he’ll try to get ready for the finale against the Jets and is confident that he’ll be ready for the regular-season opener in Atlanta.

“I don’t think it sets me back at all,” he said. “I just think it’s something unfortunate that happened. I’m going to just rest and get the proper recovery protocol and just do what I gotta do to get back.”

Smith suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to leave practice early and receive an MRI.

“He really was taking some steps and coming on, but now he has had a setback,” added Billy Davis. That’s all it is, a setback. We don’t know how long the setback is, but we’ll know once we get some more information.”

Read more »

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