• September 29, 2022

Trouble Lies Ahead For Eagles “D”, If The “O” Doesn’t Strike Quickly

You may have thought the Eagles defense did a decent job of only allowing the Skins to score 17 points, but the Skins worked the game plan to success.  They jumped out to a quick lead and sat on the ball in the second half to get the win.

I think trouble may be ahead for the Birds if they let other teams grab the lead on them rather than vice-versa.

Part of their defensive problem might be the fact that Michael Vick is sidelined.  The Eagles football team is built for getting the lead early with big plays downfield from DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin or their other offensive weapons.

Once they get that lead, it forces opposing teams to throw the ball more than they want to, which plays into the strength of the Birds defense.

The Eagles draft players thinking pass defense first and run defense second.  Rookies Brandon Graham and Nate Allen were brought in to stop the pass, not stop the run.  Graham is a liability versus the run and it’s not Allen’s strength either.

If the Eagles offense sputters, it will allow the opposing team to put the ball on the ground and pound the Birds.  That’s what happened against the Redskins on Sunday.  Let’s take a closer look.

I believe the Eagles lack of size amongst their defensive front seven was exposed.  The Redskins showed everybody that you can run the ball against the Birds if you come in with the right attitude.  On Sunday the Skins had a lot of success with the stretch play against the Eagles defense.

On a stretch play the quarterback hands the ball off to the running back who heads to the sideline.   The lateral movement gets the Eagles defensive line running.  Once you get them moving, you get a big offensive lineman on each of the Birds smallish defensive linemen and it allows the size of offensive line to be used for a major advantage.

The running back simply cuts upfield through a hole that will be created naturally when the linemen start moving laterally.

The Indianapolis Colts have used the stretch play for years and we remember them dismantling the Birds with it a few years back on a Sunday night game.  The Colts run it as well as any team in the league.  Don’t look now but the Colts are on the schedule.  That’s not good.

We saw the Skins dominate the game when it started with the stretch play.  Later on with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, we saw them go back to it.  The Skins ran the ball 35 times for 169 yards.  That’s nearly five yards a carry.

If the Eagles offense doesn’t get off to a quick start, teams are going to put the ball on the ground and pound the Eagles upfront.  That’s going to force the Eagles to make Kevin Kolb throw the ball downfield.  He’s got to make some plays early downfield to the receivers or it will allow teams to expose the Birds undersized defense.

That brings us to what awaits the Eagles on Sunday when they play the winless and hungry San Francisco 49ers. The Niners don’t have any wins, but they are an aggressive and physical football team.

It would be humiliating if the Eagles were to lose to the 0-4 Niners, but when you look closely at the matchups, it won’t be a shock.  Frank Gore and San Francisco is exactly the type of team the Eagles don’t want to see right now without Vick at the helm.

The Niners already like to run the ball, so if their defense is able to hold the Eagles offense in check, you know that they’re  going to try to run the football down the Eagles throats.

Following the trip to San Francisco, the Birds will host another team with a tough running game.  Big Michael Turner, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will visit Lincoln Financial Field. Turner will get his chance to punish the Birds defense if their offense doesn’t strike quickly.

After that the Birds will go to Tennessee and try to deal with Chris Johnson and the Titans running game.

All I can say to the Birds defense is buckle up your chin straps fellas.


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October 5, 2010 8:20 am

Well unfortunaly without vick WE HAVE ZERO DEEP THREAT for two reasons. One becuase espically with jackson and how deep he gets so fast i dont think kolbs arm is good enough. Truth be told ,and im not tryin to bash the guy, but from what ive seen he has just big enough of an arm to make it as pro accepatble at best. Vick can appear to get the ball 60 yards in air off his back foot. Then you have the glaring problem that was way to eviedent in last weeks …embarrasment….. The dude just cant read the field well. With as much time as our revloving doors gave him(an the oline did pretty damn well besides the 9 million penatlys) he missed guys that WERE WIDE OPEN. That just cant happen. We r not going to win any games this year with 16 play drives that r 14 minutes long and alll 3 to 6 yard passes over the middle. Please come back soon vick…..

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 5, 2010 9:41 am

The big strike/quick score of the Eagles offense will not happen with Kolb at the reins…
Unfortunately, this Eagle Defense is built for getting after the Qb when having a lead..
Since that is unlikely to occur against good Defensive teams like the 49ers/Falcons/Titans/Bears
The Eagles Defense will see lots of power running between the tackles from these teams, I don’t believe
the Eagles D is built to stop this.. Then after this stretch, they will play against other good teams like the Cowboys,Giants,Vikings,Colts,Texans.. This may get ugly if they don’t win versus the 0-4 49ers..

October 5, 2010 9:53 am

Yeah eaglez4ever. Vick can flick the ball with his wrist 60 yards ACCURATELY with a perfect spiral. That’s just God’s gift. Seriously. Kolb needs his whole body to get the ball 40 yards down field. Not he fault, but it is what it is.

Many of us said before the season started that this defense was just too small to be successful over the long term. Sure they will have games where they are explosive and creating havoc… because they are fast and agressive. But playing against teams that are going to force the issue, we will get pounding. Even though this is a passing league, teams will run the all on you if you can’t stop it. Did anyone see what the Colt did to the Giants? We all know Peyton throws the ball 40+ times a game but they just ran the ball because they could. It’s the same thing here. Teams aren’t going to throw the ball if they don’t have to. I thought the secondary (which I still have questions about) was going to be the weakness. But the entire rush defense is in trouble.

We have Gore, Turner, Johnson, Addai, Portis/Torrain, Jacobs/Bradshaw, Forte, Foster, Barber/Jones/Choice, Jacobs/Bradshaw, Peterson and Barber/Jones/Choice again.

Any of these teams can run the ball if they want to.

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 5, 2010 11:25 am

Looks like a lot of Black and Blue for this Eagle Defense going against this group for the remainder
of the Season.. I think most os us thought the defensive issues would like in the Secondary and the opposing teams QB’s, but if the Eagles Front 7 can’t stop or control the run, it’s katie by the bar and
it will be a long season… I don’t see how this Front 7 will hold up week after week at all, especially
after getting pushed around by Green Bay,Detroit and Washington when most would say that these
3 particular teams are not known for having strong O/Lines… This will be brutal and get real ugly..

October 5, 2010 2:52 pm

I wonder if the FO is still excited about the players and team they have assembled.

October 5, 2010 3:34 pm

I think the shift back towards the running game has begun. I’ve stated all along that the NFL is cyclical and that they’d revert to the run as pass rushers got smaller. Eventually, the bigger backs will begin to dominate, giving way to the smaller backs as a change up.

When Reid began, most NFL defenses were built to stop the run first. Now, every team is built to stop the pass first. As QBs continue to get knocked out, teams will be forced to run the ball (and with success). Even Andy Reid has been forced to run. I said “ANDY REID” has been forced to run. The same Andy Reid who continued to throw with his franchise QB playing on a broken ankle. The same Andy Reid who called 50 passes with his franchise QB suffering from a sports hernia. I digress.

October 6, 2010 12:05 am


But for every strength presented by a tactic used there is a corresponding weakness. For instance if the Eagles had any real linebackers on this team, the stretch play would be plugged by a maniacally insulted football player, who would fill the hole with an attitude. Think: How dare they try to run through my gap/area! No such heart and talent exist to make them pay. Give us some strong and stout DL men, PLEASE! I hated the fast defense when Jimmy Johnson ran it out with the Cowboys and that defense actually worked.
And I’ve seen Jeremiah Trotter, Byron Evans, Bill Bergey, Frank LeMaster and Carlos Emmons play. Don’t compare Bradley favorably to anyone until he dominates just one game like those guys did most every game, every year.