The Eagles had overcome a 3rd-and-17 courtesy of a 21-yard pitch-and-catch between Nick Foles and Damaris Johnson. They were down 11 and desperately fighting for momentum. But the drive fizzled out when Brent Celek dropped his second pass of the game on a 3rd-and-5.
DeSean Jackson, who watched that play from the sideline along with Jeremy Maclin, grew animated.
Nate Allen did not practice again on Saturday because of a hamstring strain and is officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Andy Reid said Allen will travel with the team and be a game-time decision.
If he can’t go, David Sims will get the start. The Eagles acquired Sims from the Browns before the season. He’s never played a defensive snap in the NFL and could be faced with trying to deal with Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense in his first action.
Everyone in this town knows the tale backwards and forwards. Every win and every loss is a piece of a larger mosaic. We know where it fits and what it signifies. Do trade acquisitions and free-agent signings, plucked from one culture and plopped into another, appreciate what this all means? Do they understand the magnitude of this season?
It’s true that sacks aren’t everything, and that the front four can affect the game in other ways. We’ve shown that with the All-22 on several occasions. But Jim Washburn’s group just hasn’t been good enough, and the lack of production has been stunning when you consider pretty much the entire organizational philosophy was built around getting pressure from the defensive line.
When asked last week why the Eagles’ defense has been unable to come up with more sacks, Todd Bowles pointed to four specific things.
“Part of the time, the ball is coming out quick,” he said. “Part of the time they’re max protecting. Part of the time we have to beat one-on-ones. Part of the time, coaching-wise, we have to scheme it better and help those guys get free.”
Today, let’s take a look at those four things individually.
But when the teams actually played, Jim Washburn’s group didn’t have much of an impact, failing to get to Ben Roethlisberger and giving up big plays in the run game all day long.
So what happened? Here’s the weekly review of the Eagles defensive line.
On Sunday against the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger did not go down once. The Eagles certainly aren’t accustomed to coming up empty, especially since defensive line coach Jim Washburn joined the staff. At least not until the last two weeks.
It was also confirmed that Cullen Jenkins was hit with a $7,875 penalty for unnecessary roughness.
Jackson detailed the dust-up on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“The Baltimore Ravens, they’re one of those defenses where they feel they are the big brother where they feel they can punk everybody and do whatever they feel is right,” said Jackson. “I caught a ball and a defender got in my face and I pushed him out of my face. It went from one push to another push and eventually went to some blows. A lineman grabbed me from behind. Gladly nobody was thrown out.
“That got me pumped up. I told my boy Ray Lewis, ‘Man, you better get your corner over there before I torture him all day.’”