November 13, 2015 |
BRANDON GRAHAM blames the turnovers, at least in part. Maybe in football, as in baked goods, gobbling up too many can make you fat and happy? The Eagles' defense has taken the ball away 20 times, which ties the Birds for the NFL lead, heading into Sunday's visit from the Miami Dolphins. But the past few games, a run defense that had seemed impenetrable has been breached repeatedly. "We've just got to get back to what we do, which is having that pride in stopping the run. We still do, but it's not emphasized - we've been, 'Turnover!
November 10, 2015 |
Jordan Hicks Way up. The Eagles rookie linebacker came up with the game-changing (season-changing?) play when he intercepted Matt Cassel in the fourth quarter and took it back 64 yards for a touchdown and an Eagles 21-14 lead. DeMarco Murray He wasn't exactly electric playing in his old home for the first time, but Murray was significantly better than he was against the Cowboys in September. A 44-yard catch on a wheel route set up the third quarter touchdown that put the Eagles ahead, 14-7.
November 6, 2015 |
A BOXER enters the ring solemnly, his head often shrouded, a stark contrast to blasting music and his hyped-up entourage. He looks sedate. He is not. "He's chilling," Brandon Graham said after Eagles practice Thursday. "But he's ready. And as soon as he hears that 'ding, ding,' he unleashes everything. " "That's the approach I'm taking now. " So when you don't see him bouncing and banging into teammates near the Eagles sideline in Dallas on Sunday, don't be alarmed. And if you see more than a few of his defensive teammates take the same approach, take it as a good sign, not bad. Because the other way isn't working.
October 30, 2015 |
WHILE THE 204 rushing yards they gave up to the Carolina Panthers Sunday night might indicate otherwise, the truth is the Eagles have quietly built a pretty good defense. They are first in the league in takeaways, ninth in points allowed, sixth in opponent passer rating, and until Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton and Ted Ginn came along, they had the league's third-best defensive rushing average (3.5 yards allowed per carry) and hadn't allowed an individual 100-yard rusher in 18 games.
October 22, 2015 |
THE PLAY that turned the game looked really improbable, like, "How'd he do that?" to the naked eye. Slowing down the replay still didn't make it ordinary. The Eagles trailed, 7-0, and it was about to get worse, Giants' first-and-10 at the Eagles' 23. Giants tight end Larry Donnell, the game-winning-touchdown-catch hero of his team's thrilling victory over the 49ers the previous week, had both strong hands around the Eli Manning pass, and he seemed to have Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans boxed out. Ryans was trying to reach in, over Donnell's left shoulder.
October 21, 2015 |
- Remember ABC's Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons? Remember when it used to show the demolition derby from Islip Speedway on Long Island? That is what this game resembled, minus the charm. And that is what the first-place teams in the NFC East look like these days - a '72 Hornet with a fender partially torn off and a bumper dragging behind. Welcome to the summit, Eagles. - The more you see DeMeco Ryans, the more you think of him as one of the great, tragic figures of this Eagles era. Because he is so well thought of by his coaches and teammates - respected, revered, all of that.
October 20, 2015 |
EVERY PLAYER on both teams either remembers or has heard that the Eagles beat the Giants, 27-0, in a prime-time game, exactly one year and one week ago, at Lincoln Financial Field. The crushing defeat had huge consequences for the Giants. They lost wideout Victor Cruz to a horrible knee injury - Cruz hasn't played since, and won't play Monday night - and the beating sent them on a swoon that ballooned into losing seven games in a row. A team that had looked like a contender, winning three in a row by an average of 18 points coming into that night, finished up 6-10.
October 6, 2015 |
LANDOVER, Md. - Maybe the Eagles are still capable of reviving their season, which has now drifted to a 1-3 start after a bad loss to a bad Washington Redskins team on Sunday afternoon in FedEx Field. But, make no mistake, with two division and three conference losses already - and a team that is capable of long stretches of poor play - it is going to take an unlikely revival. If you're keeping track, the Eagles have now lost six of their last eight games. They finished last season losing three of four - with the lone win in a meaningless finale - and have started this new season of great expectation the same way. Chip Kelly said he knew the 2014 edition wasn't good enough to seriously contend, so he threw the roster into the air and started over.
September 25, 2015 |
BENNIE LOGAN took over as starting nose tackle for Isaac Sopoaga at the midpoint of the 2013 season. Since then, for every game the Eagles have played, the starting defensive line has been Fletcher Cox, Logan and Cedric Thornton. Thornton broke a bone in his right hand last Sunday against Dallas, though, so that streak is expected to end this week at the Jets. (Thornton should be out a few weeks.) The team hasn't said exactly how it plans to handle Thornton's absence, and reporters aren't allowed to watch the parts of practice that would tell us that, but with 2014 fifth-round defensive end Taylor Hart also not practicing this week because of a right shoulder injury, it seems very likely that Brandon Bair will get his first NFL start, just a couple of months shy of his 31st birthday.
September 19, 2015 |
The focus when something goes wrong on defense against the passing game is always on the back end. You see the cornerbacks running two or three steps behind the receivers. You see safeties arriving too late to help. You see linebackers unable to cover running backs and tight ends. You see chaos and quickly pin the blame on the guys with all the rules stacked against them. We saw lots of that in the Eagles' Monday night loss in Atlanta, which is why Byron Maxwell has quickly become the $63 million question mark rather than the solution to the secondary problems that led to coach Chip Kelly's major offseason overhaul.