Twitter Mailbag: Foles And the Turnover Issue


Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

Well, they have the best record in football, so technically he is not holding this team back from anything at the moment. But I understand where your mind is at, and agree that Foles needs to be playing  at a higher level down the stretch if the team wants to get where it wants to go. 

Foles  leads the league in turnovers, and yet the Eagles are 5-1. It’s rare that you see that statistic tied to that kind of record, and it’s not a sustainable formula.

“We still have to do a better job from that standpoint,” said Chip Kelly. “We were a lot cleaner last year from a turnover standpoint, and he’ll be the first to tell you that…We’ve got to do a better job [when it comes to team turnovers] because you can’t do it at that rate and end up on the right side of the ledger. The turnover differential is really big in this league in terms of being an indicator of wins and losses.”

The Eagles are currently minus-5 in the giveaway-takeaway department, which ranks 27th in the NFL. Consider this: of the 12 teams that currently have a negative giveaway/takeaway number, the Eagles are the only one with a winning record. That’s troubling. If Foles continues to turn the ball over at this rate, it’s going to catch up with them. 

Yeah, I was a little confused by the Giants’ game plan on defense. To have a chance against this attack, you have to bottle up the run game. Teams recognize this and have been allocating their resources accordingly, but New York took a different approach and it backfired.

“We got an opportunity to run against a defense that we wanted; we got what we wanted, and this is the result,” said David Molk. “When a team doesn’t decide to go, we’re going to take the run away completely and play a bearish, goal-line defense, this offense is deadly. We got our opportunity and we seized it.”

The guess here is that Perry Fewell believed that he had a firm enough grasp of the Eagles’ tendencies to where he felt like he could slow the run game down without overcommitting to it. As Sheil did a wonderful job of explaining, Kelly went away from those tendencies and added some new wrinkles that New York had no answer for.

I don’t think you’ll see many more light boxes moving forward, but that doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t find success on the ground. Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis are due back soon. Assuming they play at a relatively high level and Kelly continues to mix it up, they should be OK.

I think this is the wrong week to pick on the corners. Eli Manning was pulling the trigger quicker than anybody in the league coming in with the exception of his brother, Peyton, but was routinely forced to hold onto the ball Sunday night because of the job the Eagles did in coverage.

Take Connor Barwin‘s first sack, for example:

The ball was snapped with 9:19 on the play clock. As you can see below, Manning wants to fire less than two seconds later.

Barwin 1a

That’s a nice, clean pocket he’s working in. The problem? Not a soul is open downfield.

Barwin2

Manning pulled the ball back in and began scrambling around. Three seconds later, Barwin shook loose and came up with the strip sack.

Barwin3

As we wrote about this morning, the Eagles’ pass rush has been outstanding over the last three games. That has helped out the secondary, no doubt. But credit also needs to be given to the corners and safeties for making some of those sacks possible. It’s all interconnected.