• May 21, 2022

Thoughts From Eagles-Panthers

Highs And Lows For Bryce Brown

It was the best and the worst of times for rookie running back Bryce Brown.

Brown made his first career start tonight. He enjoyed a career night, running for 178 yards and two touchdowns. On a night where top receiver DeSean Jackson left the game with a first quarter injury, Brown became the engine for this depleted offense. Every time the Eagles put the football in his hands, something exciting seemed to happen.

Unfortunately, there was an ugly side to Brown’s story tonight.

Brown was the reason the Eagles were in this game, but he was also one of the reasons that they lost. The seventh round pick committed two costly turnovers, fumbling the football away twice. Brown’s first fumble didn’t lead to any Carolina points, but it did stop an Eagles drive in which the team was moving the football into Panther territory.

Brown’s second fumble came right after the defense managed to force the Panthers into a three and out. The Panthers took advantage of the short field and turned the turnover into a Graham Gano field goal to take the lead.

However, Brown’s sins in this game are very forgivable and may in fact be a blessing in disguise. His negative contributions kept the Eagles from picking up a meaningless win. Carolina now owns the tiebreaker with the Eagles, and the loss will help the Eagles secure a higher draft pick in next April’s draft.

Forget about Brown’s fumbles. We found out tonight that the running back is a very capable backup for LeSean McCoy. Brown ran hard all night, and took advantage of his opportunity to shine under the Monday Night lights. The Panthers knew all night that he was the Eagles’ only offensive threat, and even though he ran behind a poor offensive line, the Panthers still had no answer for him (short of knocking the ball loose). He’s obviously got to get better with his ball security in the future, but that is a correctable flaw.

Defense Still Miserable

Juan Castillo has never looked more appealing as a defensive coordinator.

The Eagles defense was once again powerless to stop their opposition. Carolina opened up the game with a pair of touchdowns on their first two drives. The defense put together a sorry effort on the opening drive. The Eagles offered absolutely no resistance, allowing Cam Newton to complete all three of his passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. The drive ended with DeMeco Ryans turning tight end Gary Barnidge loose for a 24-yard touchdown.

On the second Panther possession, Newton hit Brandon LaFell for a 43-yard touchdown. Cornerback Brandon Boykin ran a blitz, but none of his teammates picked up the Carolina receiver, allowing him to score one of the easiest touchdowns on his career.

The defense began the second half by allowing Newton to march the Panthers down the field on an 11-play, 95-yard drive that ended with a touchdown run by the quarterback.

In the fourth quarter, the defense allowed the Panthers to take an eight-point lead by giving up a six-play, 60-yard drive that also ended with a Newton touchdown run.

The defense did have a couple of nice moments, and made a couple of stops over the course of the game that helped keep the team in the game. But ultimately, we saw more of the same from this group; soft, uninspired play complete with terrible breakdowns. Every member of this defense should be ashamed of themselves.

Below-Average Showing For Foles

Nick Foles played better in his second start, but this game wasn’t much of an improvement over his effort against the Redskins.

Foles completed 16 of his 21 passes for just 116 yards. Most of his completions came on short passes, with his longest one going for just 16 yards. The rookie also gave the Panthers several opportunities for interceptions during the team’s first time. In the redzone, Foles tried to force a couple of passes to Jeremy Maclin, both of which were nearly intercepted by Carolina’s Sherod Martin.

The Eagles made Bryce Brown the focal point of their offense, and didn’t ask too much of their rookie quarterback. Part of the playcalling may have been influenced by the fact that the Eagles played most of the game with just Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, and Damaris Johnson as their only healthy receivers.

We don’t have any better idea about Foles this week than we did a week ago. We need to see him continue to play. Last week Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg asked too much of Foles, asking him to drop back and pass more than 40 times. This week they didn’t ask him to do enough. We’ll see if the third-round pick even takes the field next week, as Andy Reid has insisted that Michael Vick will be his quarterback if the former Falcon is healthy.

Quick Thoughts

  • Jonathan Stewart made Cullen Jenkins look foolish with a stiff arm on their opening drive.
  • Naturally, an Eagles game wouldn’t be complete without some kind of special teams breakdown. This week, Brandon Boykin fumbled away a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Boykin looked as though he was going to set up his offense with great field position with a 44-yard return, but instead destroyed the team’s remaining chances with a fumble.
  • Derek Landri made his first play of the season, bringing down Jonathan Stewart for a loss in the backfield during the second quarter.
  • Nice to see Mike Patterson get the sack on Newton in the third quarter. The play came on a third down that stopped a Carolina drive. Patterson has worked hard to get back on the field this year and its good to see him enjoy some success in a big moment.
  • Dion Lewis saw his first significant action of the season, and picked up 24 yards on five carries. The former fifth-round pick lost his backup job to Bryce Brown, but he looked good in his limited action tonight.
  • Alex Henery hit all three of his field goals. He’s been one of this team’s only consistent players.
  • Vinny Curry played his first game of the season, and registered five tackles.
  • I’m sick of watching Nnamdi.
  • What has happened to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? He started off the year playing at a Pro Bowl level, but he hasn’t made a play in two months.

Final Thoughts

Well, the Philadelphia Eagles now sit at 3-8, with the worst record in the NFC. So much for the substantial improvement that Jeffrey Lurie was looking for this year. Only five more weeks of the Andy Reid era.

Even though this was another loss, I did think that the team played a little harder tonight than they had in over a month, although that isn’t saying much.

At least this week, we got to see some positives. We saw a couple of guys play for jobs next season. We found out that Bryce Brown can be a legitimate backup for LeSean McCoy. We saw a nice game from second-round pick Vinny Curry. For the first time since the Detroit game, we saw a reasonably competitive football game that the Eagles had a chance to win.

The Eagles have a date with the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday night, and hopefully we’ll have another opportunity to evaluate Nick Foles and some of the other young players on this doomed football team.

 Denny Basens is the editor of GCobb.com. Email him at dbasens@ycp.edu, or follow him on Twitter.


Denny Basens

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  • Was a very nice game …

    (result perfect btw – deceent game by rooks – qb rb de- and a loss…perfect!!)

    The game turned on 3 plays:

    1 – going for 2 in first quarter down 14-12.. Stupid. That’s a bad coaching decision. Never go for 2 until the 4th.(or else go for 2 every time a la Oregon, but nfl that doesn;t happen)

    2 – 4th and inches. Handoff. Stupid. That’s a bad coaching decision.. You’ve got a 6′ 5″ 245lb QB??? QB sneak makes that at home about 95% of the time. Eagles win if they convert there. Play of the game.

    So that’s 2 completely ridiculous coachig decisions that cost the team the game.

    3 – Fumble on the kick return with 5 mins to go or whatever. Game over.

    Otherwise….I think things went great/

    Foles was efficient and other than a few early bad throws, intelligent. Some nice audibles to run plays.

    Very nice gameplan….loved taking FGs on dicy calls….be safe for the kid. But of course hated the handoff on 4th and inches….that stupid call cost the game.

    BB was solid running the ball. The fumbles will be corrected because he’s a rook. Don’t expect to see them again.

    Eagles return game improved….though turnover was death knell.

    • Im calling b.s. on you… u ALWAYS said this is a throwing league… the big boys throw and put up points… now u are using words like safe and good game plan. U are so fake… it kills me. Ok.. continue with your b.s.

  • I was actually shocked they put up 22 points without Shady, Avant, and Djax for most of the game.

  • Denny,

    Some good observations. Brown definitely showed he is a player. He needs to hold onto the ball. I mentioned last week that DRC should not be given a new contract. I think he will be a lazy player once he gets his money.Foles was very lucky tonight. He could have easily had 3-4 INT’s. Did the light bulb go on for Reid and Morningweg. Running the football! What a novel idea. Basic football when you have a rookie QB you run the ball to keep the pressure off of him. You keep him from costing you the game and just make the medium range passes. THey should have been running the ball earlier in the season when the offensive line had its injuries instead of having Vick trying to win the game himself which he is incapable of doing. I do not understand Reid’s offensive game plan. There is no consistency to it. He never schemes to a defenses weakness or plans his offense to his teams shortcomings. I thought this would be the last chance to win a game. I do not see a win in any of the remaining 5 games. The Redskins once they get a defense will be the new king of the NFC mountain.Giants will roll into form late in the season like always. The Cowboys still think they have a chance to win the division and that will be enough for a win. The Bengals are in the hunt for a WC and that offense will run right over the Eagles D. Same with Tampa. They are in the WC hunt and they will be home.

  • I love how the national media kisses Reid’s ass right before the game. Ditka is telling us be careful what we wish for BS. Gruden is all gushy when he talks about him in the opening credits. Then once the game starts, and the first blown coverage happens within 5 min of the kickoff, the same guys like Gruden are just like wtf is this team doing. They are trashing the play of the players that their boy Reid handpicked. what a joke

    1) Bryce Brown: sure the fumbles cost us the game but the guy showed flashes of what he could be possible be as a counterpart to Shady. At least you don’t have to waste a late round pick on a RB for the backup spot.
    2) Nick Foles at the line of Scrimmage: At least he showed he can audible. He recognized the pressure and where it what coming on numerous occasions and made adjustments that led to a lot of those bi run plays.
    3) Alex Henery: we should probably just build the team around him.

    1) Defense: the sad part is that they are relatively healthy this year. Cam Newton has been abysmal this year but hey every QB in the league looks like a HOFer against them. They are horribly coached and out played every single week.
    2) Turnovers: Its what a poorly coached team does. We are probably the only team (other than KC, Browns) in the league that fumbles on that return right after the opposing team just gave you a gift of missing an extra point.
    3) Reid: really bad decisions when it counted most. Never even got back on the field after we went for it on that stupid running play on 4th down. Seriously, give it to BB again? How predictable can be you be?
    4) King Dunlap: please get this freak of nature looking motherfucker out of here asap

  • Denny sorry I don’t need to see Foles anymore, he is at best a game manager. Just my opinion should have thrown at least 3 picks. If Vick is healthy guess what he returns as the starter end of story. Coach Reid wants to win and if he thinks Vick gives him that chance he plays.

    • I don’t think its fair to give up on him after just two and a half games. I will say that he hasn’t shown us anything special…maybe a nice throw here and there, but he has given teams a ton of turnover opportunities.

      But he is a rookie, and he’s gotta go through growing pains. Also, missing a couple of your top receivers (Jackson, Avant) doesn’t make things easier.

      Even though he hasn’t shown you anything special whatsoever, he’s gotta play. If he sinks, then the Eagles know for sure that they need to address quarterback with a high draft pick. If he shows you a little something, maybe they can use their top pick to rebuild the offensive line or defense.

      Vick has had his shot, and he isn’t the future of this franchise. There’s absolutely no reason for him to see the field again this year.

  • Foles sucked against a horrible defense . He also doesnt have the arm strength I thought. He was throwing it right to the other team time after time. and under threw the deep ball to maclin luckily it was pass interference.. It 2 or 3 years he can be a pretty good back up

  • Biglions, Larrwd…how did Foles lose us this game? He did what he was asked to do. Those almost interceptions that both of you speak of would happen multiple times a game this entire season by Vick, who has been in the league for more than 10 years. He did the same thing Vick does in throwing those bad passes yet both of you sound like its something new.

    And Reid might not even be here to make that call on who starts these last 5 games…I bet Lurie fires him if he tries to go back to Vick. Lurie will tell Reid what to do or Reid will likely not finish the season out, Just my opinion, but Im sure it wasn’t Reid’s idea to fire Castillo. That was all Lurie.

    • I didn’t say he cost us the game, I just think it’s a waste of time he doesn’t have it. Like I said he has the look of a backup.

  • No, It no contest. Vick is a much better quarterback remember take away the first game the season where vick threw 4 ints with out a preseason and that would only be 5 picks that hes thrown. Foles makes poor decisions and doesnt have the arm strength to negate his poor decisions. He’s a career back-up

    • larrwd, Vick is a bum!!! You are just as bad as Vinnie on the opposite pole. Give it up already! He blows! JEESH!!!

    • You make a good point Larrwd. He made mistakes in that game but he over came them and brought the team back to win the game.

  • Vinnie, give it up, Foles hasn’t shown much of anything. IMHO, he ain’t the answer either. Broom him with the rest of the Beagles!!!! We need an entire overhaul of the team, from the GM to the last guy on the practice squad! Who exactly is worth keeping on this team?!? There might only be a handful of players.
    DF- Curry, Cox, Thornton, Landri, Kendricks, Ryans, Boykin.
    OF- Shady, Brown, Havili, DJax, Kelce, Herremans.
    ST- Hennerey.
    We need an entire secondary. We need a bigger SAM, & move Kendricks to WILL. We need to get bigger & stronger at DE, DT, OT, OG, both safeties. Asomugha needs to take a restructured contract, because he ain’t going nowhere. We need a big play-making WR. A big play-making TE. A franchise QB (Foles ain’t the answer, yet, if ever). An entire coaching staff. It’s going to take a very long time, to rebuild these heartless, talent-less, bunch of undersized, MUTTS!!!! We have ZERO play-makers!!! Where are the sacks?!? Where are the TO’s on DF?!? Where are the big plays on OF?!? Where are the big hits & nastiness?!? It’s an absolute disgrace & embarrassment, to all of us fans, who waste our time & $$$ to support this abortion of an organization!!!! I’m ashamed to be a fan!

  • Bunch of ill-informed, fact-less, clueless, delusional dopes, on here! Get your heads out of your @$$e$, & know what you are watching, before making stupid statements!!!

  • Coach Reid made another serious mistake making Foles # 2 back-up QB. Trent Edwards looked just as good or better than Foles in training camp and with his NFL veteran QB experience would have given the Eagles a much better chance to win these last three very crucial games. Foles should have been a 3rd string rookie project this year.

  • Foles is ass…..I don’t ever want to hear this Foles over Vick shit again.

    I know everyone would like a Manning, Brady, Brees, or Rothlesberger, but those players come around once in a lifetime.

    Reid have ran this team to crap and he’s leaving it in worse shape than when he came.

    He’s a damn fraud.

  • @ Deepthreat. You hit the nail on the head. Trent Edwards may have been the best QB on this roster. He was the best QB in the preseason and he is only 28 years old. I thought he was a Jeff Garcia type. I definetly would of given him a look .

  • What do you expect from Nick Foles? He wasnt a top prospect in college so what makes you think he is a top prospect on the next level. Its so hard for QBs who are top 10 picks to make it in NFL what do you think the odds are that a 3rd round pick makes it? The odds dont increase. Everyone acts surprised. Hell you act like the Eagles have a good track record of drafting players in the top rounds lol.

  • I have a question. I thought it was very strange for Jon Gruden to bash Nick Foles the way he did. He criticized Foles the whole game. Thats usually not his style. He also runs the QB camp and he never spoke about Foles evaluation. Gruden is usually very positive with young players. Not with Foles. What could be his agenda? Please dont say for a job here in Philly. Gruden can get a HC job anytime he wants

  • Foles stares down his receivers. Maybe he’ll get over that and be competent at most. King Dunlap belongs in the circus. 3 offsides in a row was remarkable. I have never seen DBs drop receivers like these guys do at any level of football. At least now that you know what to expect from these guys, it’s not painful anymore.

  • @dag, thought that was strange too the way gruden talked trash about foles, what’s the agenda? There’s always the agenda, here, there and everywhere

    Songs, for a third round project foles looks pretty good, made some bad decisions, but is good at audibilizing, strong arm that hasn’t been showcased yet, and vinnies analysis of sacks, getting rid of the ball is very telling

    Wait until foles gets some confidence, airs it out, maybe we have something here

  • If there’s no hope in foles then there’s is no hope for the eagles for the foreseeable future

  • Just a few thoughts Nick Foles was only a third rounder on the Eagles board, he was expected to go later so he shouldn’t be expected to set the world on fire. The wide 9 will never work without legitimate NFL safeties and we don’t have any on the roster.

  • Foles is really in a tough spot he’s ‘leading’ a bunch of quitters and trying to throw to undersized recievers who only have 1 ‘trick’ run fast and deep. meanwhile he’s got swiss cheese for an O.line. other teams can load up and not have to worry about the deep ball.
    the defense UGH! WTF I say its time to fire castillo!!!! oh what are you saying? they already did! Andy’s decision making in the last couple of years has been atrocious– and as it turns out FIRING castillo mid-season may turn out to be an even worse decision than hiring him!!!

  • You can’t fire coordinators mid season, should have fired Washburn and scrapped the wide 9 and played the Tampa 2 the rest of the way. But it is what it is. Please hire David Shaw.

  • Funny.

    Larrwd especially.

    Hey Lawwrd, wasn’t it you after the Atlanta game who said that Vick had his “best performance” and he wasn’t the reason the Eagles lost? It was either you or one of your ilk.

    So how is 21 of 35 (60%) for 191 1 td and 0 ints a “good game” for a guy making his 99th start “good”

    But 16 of 21 (70%) for 119 0td and 0 ints is “Foles sucked!”

    Everyone….it was his 2nd start.

    Was he better than last week? Yes
    Does he look what he knows what he’s doing at the LOS? Yes
    Does he have pocket awareness? Yes

    Did he stare down some WRs early? Of course he did. He was 7 quarters into his career you numbskulls.

    I may hate Mike Vick, but at least I gave him about 3 years of bad play in Atlanta before I named him a bust. Some oif you can’t wait 3 quarters.

    Who knows if Foles will be good….but he improved from last week….and I expect him to continue to improve each week.

    Oh by the way…one sack given up? That’s weird.

  • I heard Gruden give Foles some compliments on his calls at the line of scrimmage switching some of the run plays wen he saw the Panthers D lined-up
    Foles did not have a strong game and and raarely threw a ball while stepping up, he was either fading back,to his side and was late on a majority of his passes all game.. It’s not like the WR’s were giving him many open looks either, once D-JAx was out, the PAnthers played more press-coverage and it was rare to see an Eagle Receiver even open in their routes.. I thought FOles ran the Offense pretty good, made some good reads but his mechanics were out of sorts and he needs to do a better job of stepping into his throws and trusting the routes and let the ball go sooner.. I give him about a 3-4 out of a scale of 10
    or a “C”.. He was very fortunate that he didn’t have 3 Int’s and remember this was against a Panther Secondary that has been scorched all season long by just about every other Team..
    What was everyone’s thoughts on Panthers Top Pick LB Luke Kuechley,
    he looked pretty good to me and was arounf the ball quite a bit

  • 2013 Draft Position as of today

    1st Pick – KC Chiefs (1-11) QB Geno Smith – West Virginia 6-3 220lbs
    2nd Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars(2-9) DT Star Lotuleile – Utah 6-3 320lbs
    3rd Pick – Cleveland Browns (3-8) OLB Jarvis Jones – Georgia 6-2 242lbs
    4th Pick – Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) OT Luke Joeckel -Texas A&M 6-6 310lbs and becomes Starting RT from Day 1, Todd Herremans moves back to RG, Joeckel eventually becomes the LT after Peters Retires in a few years
    5th Pick – Oakland Raiders (3-8) CB Dee Milliner – Alabama 6-1 200lbs

    I would not be surprised to see the KC Chiefs try to trade Down with another Team with maybe the Cardinals and go after back-ups like Seahawks Matt Flynn or Chad Henne to take over for Matt Cassell.. Geno SMith is a very athletic QB but there are a ton of questions about him being able to adjust to the NFL Game, playing behind center, his accuracy and would be a huge gamble with the 1srt Overall Pick in my opinion.. but with the success of Cam Newton, RGIII, the NFL today has many athletic QB’s who can rely on their legs as well as their arms to make plays and Geno SMith does fit this mold instead of a classic Pocket Passer which seems to be on the way out with the younger QB’s these days and many of the NFL Offenses for that matter

    • I’d like to see Herremans move to LG and find a new RG in free agency or trade for DJax( too afraid to get hit anywhere on the field)

  • What about Flynn in Philly?

  • Flynn in Philly could happen
    If Tom Donahoe takes over as PVP Of Football OPerations (Which I think he already has behind the Scenes) then I look for him to hire friends Dave Wannstadt as HC and Tom Clements from the Packers as OC/Asst HC and Clements worked with Flynn for a few years while with the Packers..
    Eagles would most likely Trade RG Danny Watkins & WR Jason Avant for QB Flynn which would be a good move for both Teams and all 3 Players

    • done deal, I’ll take it
      anything to get rid of Avant

  • Dude, I would do that deal in a heartbeat.

  • once there was 11 starters and now the Eagles are down to 3
    Mathis, Celek and Maclin
    who gets knocked out against the cowboys next sunday?

  • i love all this nick foles optimism. Why can t we assess the guy yet with this bad o line but its ok to assess vicks play witht he very same line? and this idiot reid always runs heavy when he has a back up qb in. foles threw 21 passes and should have thrown 3 picks. I know hes a rookie but what do any of u who like him thinks he does well? quick trigger ?nah. accurate deep ball? nope.reading defenses? not so much.. so if he doesnt improve this year restructure vicks contract or try and grab a game manager like matt flynn or alex smith.. Scratch that, i hate alex smith lol

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