Zone Read: Eagles-Rams, the Day After
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN…
1. What the Eagles cornerbacks were doing in the fourth quarter?
Bradley Fletcher failed to make a play on the ball on a 30-yard touchdown to Kenny Britt. He was called for a 24-yard pass interference penalty on the next drive. Cary Williams got beaten for a 5-yard touchdown. Earlier in the game, Britt got him for a 32-yard gain down the sideline.
“A couple of them, I think our DBs were there,” Kelly said. “They just need to make a play. It’s not like guys are running clean down the field and we missed somebody. I think a couple we just need to make a play when the ball is in the air.”
There are different aspects to playing the cornerback position: man coverage, tackling, understanding zone concepts, making plays on the ball. With Fletcher and Williams, achieving success in all those categories throughout the course of a 60-minute game is rare.
Austin Davis completed 29 of 49 passes for 375 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Keep in mind, those numbers came with the Eagles generating a steady pass-rush for most of the game.
Not a good showing at all, specifically in the final 18 minutes.
2. What Cody Davis was doing on the third-quarter punt?
The Rams safety was on punt coverage. The ball bounced inside the Eagles’ 10 near the sideline. Davis leaped, controlled the ball in the air and tossed it back in bounds. You know, kind of like guys do when they’re trying to prevent the ball from going in the end zone for a touchback.
But what exactly was the point? I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one, which is why this might have been my favorite part of the game. Maybe Davis was just bored?
Overall, the Rams seemed like a poorly-coached team to me. They had 10 penalties for 82 yards, including a delay of game call on 4th-and-8 on their final drive. In field goal range earlier, they put Davis, an inexperienced quarterback, in an empty set, and he got crushed by Vinny Curry. And I know Tavon Austin was returning from injury, but how do you only get that guy two touches? Especially after spending the No. 8 overall pick on him?
Jeff Fisher’s teams have made the playoffs twice in his past 10 seasons as a head coach. And he’s failed to win a playoff game during that span. After the Sam Bradford injury in the preseason, I really have no idea where this franchise is going.
THE NUMBER THAT MATTERS: 7
That’s the number of non-offensive touchdowns the Eagles have scored this season. According to Elias, that’s the most by any team through five games since 1970.
Against St. Louis, a Trent Cole sack/forced fumble led to a Thornton touchdown. And the Eagles got another TD on a blocked punt for the second week in a row.
With the offense sputtering, the Birds managed to get points from alternate sources. Special teams, in particular, has come up huge.
THE BEST OF 140
Stedman Bailey tries to taunt the crowd into booing. Crowd responds mostly with confusion about who Stedman Bailey is.
— Noah Becker (@Noah_Becker) October 5, 2014
I’m pretty sure Eagles fan and friend of the blog Noah is going to make it in this section whenever he attends a game. Bailey had two catches for 20 yards for the Rams.
Eagles have as many special teams TDs this year as previous five years combined. — Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 5, 2014
A reminder that we’re only five games in.
Darren Sproles’ dad says his son hates running along the sideline and has a overriding fear he’s going to get knocked under a bench.
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) October 5, 2014
Only thing missing here is the hash tag #playmakerproblems.