• May 19, 2022

Eagles Defense Had No Answer For Phillip Rivers And The Chargers

G. Cobb – Eagles defense lost on 3rd down[media id=349 width=480 height=360]The Eagles defense must play much better than they did today if the Birds are going to win many games.  It’s not a shock to me that the secondary was picked apart today by Phillip Rivers, but I expected the pass rush to put more pressure on Rivers.

They’ve got to find a way to get defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in a man-to-man situation.  He’s their best defensive lineman and he’s got to be more effective.  They should abandon the two-gapping every chance they get.  They’re not stopping anybody without a much better pass rush.

Rivers dropped back to pass 48 times and the Eagles pass rush was able to get one hit on him, which resulted in a sack by linebacker Connor Barwin.  That is just not good enough.  He completed 38 of 47 throws for 419 yards and three touchdowns for a 124 quarterback rating.  The Chargers gained 545 yards total yards.  They scored 33 points despite turning the ball over twice inside the red zone.

It seemed that Rivers was in total control of the game.  He detected the Eagles blitzes and made the adjustment to give himself time to make all the throws and completed pass after pass over the middle.  The Chargers receivers were too much for the Birds secondary.

“Couldn’t get them off the field”, head coach Chip Kelly said.  “We have to do a better job generating the pass rush.  We went up against an outstanding quarterback.  Good, pass‑catch combination with him and Gates, and didn’t seem like we handled that very well.”

Rivers was able to hook up with Antonio Gates on 3rd downs with no problem.  The Chargers converted 10 of 15 third downs, which is extremely high.  The San Diego quarterback was able to get the ball to Gates 8 times for 124 yards in his matchup with linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

The young linebacker has to learn to read the routes and backoff of a big receiver, so he can’t push off to get open.  He’s got to learn to change up his strategy from play to play.  On some plays, he should play off of Gates, then at the last split second before the ball is snapped, he should fly up and jam him.  You can’t let the offense know where you are and what you’re doing every play or you’re dead.  He has to go into the game with a strategy.

The quarterback  also got the ball to Malcolm Floyd six times for 102 yards, before he was carted off with a head and neck injury.  Fortunately, he’s okay, but DeMeco Ryans popped him when he was wrapped up.  Right cornerback Cary Williams, who was supposed to be guarding Floyd and had played so well against the Redskins was called for pass interference three times.  Each time he had a handful of the receiver’s jersey.  Trust me, I watched Williams throughout the off season workouts and training camp and he’s not a great man-to-man coverage cornerback.  He’s best when he’s beating up wide receivers at the line of scrimmage or sitting in a zone.

Safety Nate Allen was beaten all day.  He’s just not physical enough to play safety.  The Chargers were running a rub or pick play all day long, but Allen and the defensive backs never adjusted.  You have to play with an in and out call, so that you switch the man you’re covering.  Allen is always getting pushed around, as was seen on the play where Chargers running back Ryan Matthews straight-armed him to the ground.

Still the key of the game for the Eagles defense was how they had no answer for Rivers.  He was able to complete easy passes on short and intermediate routes.

“Phillip Rivers just seemed to know everything that we were trying to throw at him,” Williams said.

“They understood some of our calls or whatever was going on, it looked like he knew exactly what DeMeco was calling to a degree. He knew exactly what we were in to a degree. It was unfortunate. Sometimes you get outwitted, sometimes you get outplayed and I think today was one of those days.”

I don’t think that was the case as much as Rivers giving himself plenty of time at the line of scrimmage to force the Eagles to show their hand.  He would use the fake count like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers do, to get the Eagles to show their blitz, then he would change the play or adjust the blitz pick up.

Billy Davis must give middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans the power to change the defense.  If the quarterback is going to make adjustments immediately before the play, then you’ve got to counteract that by showing him a certain blitz look, then getting out of it.  The defensive coordinator must have enough confidence in the defensive signal caller to allow him to play the chess game with the quarterback.  The other defensive players have to be savvy about disguising the coverage.

Brandon Boykin, who started at left cornerback in place of the injured Bradley Fletcher, had a solid game in coverage, plus he made a huge play by stripping the football from Gates inside the ten yard line.   He was beaten a number of times by Chargers receivers, but each time he was standing there right by the guy with tight coverage.  I think he should be the starting left cornerback because he’s the best coverage cornerback on the team.

Linebacker Trent Cole forced the other big turnover inside the red zone, when he stripped Ryan Matthews of the football.  It was a huge play at the time, but he wasn’t heard from much after that.  The Chargers were playing with a rebuilt offensive line.  Three of the five starters were new and former Eagle King Dunlap was the starting left tackle.

Rivers went to speedy and quick Eddie Royal when he got in the red zone as they connected eight times for 90 yards and three touchdowns. The Birds had no answer for Royal, who is extremely tough to cover in one-on-one situations.

Davis and the Eagles defense are going to need to blitz teams and find a way to turn their pass rushers loose.  He said they tried plenty of blitzes, but they’re going to need to change things up, by faking one blitz and coming at the opposing offense with something else.  Yesterday he was beaten by Rivers and the Chargers offensive coaches in the chess match.

“Three-man rush, four-man rush, five-man rush, six — we threw everything at them,” said Davis. “We tried to change it up, bluff blitzes and fall back. Phillip had a better day than we did.”


Read Previous

Thoughts From Eagles-Chargers

Read Next

Michael Vick And Offense Played Well, But It Wasn’t Good Enough


  • Has Nate Allen been cut yet? Addition by subtraction. Nate is not physical nor does he have the instincts to play the position. He hasn’t made a game changing play since his rookie year prior to his injury. He has no business on the roster. Cut him and burn his jersey. Never reissue the # 29.

    • Amen brotha

    • What game changing play did he make in his rookie season????? O.o
      LOL! Man, where those 2010-2012 drafts epically horrific! They set this team back 5 years. FU Hindenburg! FU Weaselman! Up yours Lurie!

  • Should’ve made the trade for revis

    • No thanks!

  • We’re going yo go a bit ‘off topic’ here: the defense stunk up the joint today, that’s agreed.

    But this ‘read option’, ‘hurry up’ offense, tell me, what is it?

    The idea is supposed to be you wear the defense down with quickness and multiple plays, run off at speed.

    But see, if you watched the Broncos-Giants game today, you see what a real ‘read only’ offense is at NFL level: Peyton Manning comes up to the line; if he doesn’t like what he sees, he audibles, 1-2-3…Then, he catches the defense before they can get set…If there is a call that just happened that can be challenged by the opposing coach, he gets his team up to the line, the ball is snapped, a play is run, and the opposing coach can’t challenge anything.

    Where is this ‘read only’ aspect in the Bird’s offense?…The offense depends on what Mike Vick and McCoy can make happen…Where is the ‘read only’?…Please tell me.

    • BTW, head coaches are usually vastly over rated in the NFL: Unless you have the players who are intelligent and can make big plays, PLUS a co-ordinator or two who have some kind of solid scheme, forget it.

    • 30 points on top of 3 lost opportunities to get 3 more TD’s.

      That’s what the read option is.

      A team that scores 30 consistently should win with an average defense.

      I’m just pissed with the Eagle’s FO and Chip after looking at the tape of the last few years and still believed Nate Allen was worth keeping.

      Instead of trading for Casey, the Eagle should have looked into bringing in a better Safety to replace Nate Allen all together.

      Cut his ASS!

      • They didn’t trade Casey they signed him as a Free-Agent
        C’mon Songs get your story together
        Vick had a chance to win at the end and he came up short
        With a first & 10 at Chargers 14 Tard line with 2:30 left in the game.. A fG there is a defeat, needed 7pts and the 4 Pt lead
        Not pkay for a Tie..

        • trade, free agency….who gives a damn.

          Nate Allen should be gone, and the Eagles should have made a starting Safety with grit their top priority over another tight end.

          • Nate Allen laid the hammer down on one play today, unfortunately it was on Patrick Chung ( lmao). He hasn’t done that to the opposition since he’s come into the league. This guy is just a walking f@#$% up!!!

      • Well, we know Nate Allen stinks.

        But, as far as I can see, Chip Kelly’s offense is the same as Reid’s except in theory we will run the ball more.

        The read option, as you state, is just a recipe for losing, because that’s incredibly sloppy football and pipe dreams.

        Maybe it will get better on Thursday.

        It’s all media hype, in any case.

        • Frank, I think Reids offense was boring and it did not generate alot of points or first downs the last two years. I remember alot of 3 and outs. Thirty points or more in both games and tons of yardage will win you games if the defense can play halfway decent…unfortunately, ours hasn’t managed to do that.

        • It’s nothing like Reid’s offense, you’re talking out your ass. How is it incredibly sloppy? It’s the opposite of sloppy, it’s crisp and efficient. It’s not bogged down by the offensive coordinator or head coach micro-managing every call. The players aren’t sloppy, they are in top top shape form months of cardio and good diet.
          Just the fact the we run the ball more (in a league that is moving every day towards passing) makes it nothing like Andy Reid.

        • ???

          How is Chip’s offense like Reid’s in theory with running the ball more?

          running the ball is the opposite of Andy Reid…what the hell are you talking about?

          He should have run the ball though instead of letting Foles throw that whack ass pass. Run down the clock to force the chargers to take their time outs once we were up late.

        • I know you’re not complaining about the offensive production….?

    • frank, as I stated many times before the season, while could be exciting, it’s a gimmick, that’s not going to work in the long run. It’s going to wear down the defense by game 4-6, cause many injuries, & not be successful. It isn’t anything groundbreaking. This offense has been used in many different versions for years. All this is, is a faster version, of a combination of Seattle & Washington’s offense. That’s why these jack@$$e$, (#1 culprit Angelo Cataldi), that have a statue built for Kelly already, is nauseating, frustrating, & angering! They are, what I said they are. Anybody thinking this team is anywhere close to a playoff team, is nuts. I don’t care how bad the division is!

      • Eagles is the best team in the NFC East and will win the division.

        I’m willing to put a wager on it.

        • I don’t bet with, traitor, troll, bandwagon jumping, racists. Sorry! Go make a wager with yourself, in a mirror, on which jersey you’ll be wearing in a few weeks, when it’s apparent, that we ain’t going anywhere, & Vick is down with his inevitable injury? Will it be RGIII, Wilson, Kapernick, Cam, or some other playoff bound QB?

          • here’s your chance to get rid of that you call a bandwagon jumping racist.

            If the Eagles don’t win this division I’ll never post here again but you must go away forever if they do.

            That’s giving you a 75% chance to get rid of me, but keep in mind I’ve never lost a bet here yet.


            • Per Sources, The NFL is already looking into not naming the NFC East Winner as an Automatic Playoff Team.. An 8-8 Cowboy,GIant,Redskin or Eagle Team is no longer a Guarantee and may lose out to a Team with a better Record for the “Integrity of the Game” Commisioner Goodell is tired of these bogus .500 Teams making the Playoffs while a 9-7/10-6 Team elsewhere gets shut out..

              • RG3, Romo and Vick are dead men walking with a one way ticket to the IR. Eli Manning and the giants win by default.

            • As I stated in my last post! You are a necessary evil, to prove what scum is in this world. So no deal!

      • You would actually be nuts to say we don’t have any chance to win the division.

        Only completely negative guys think that way.

        Why do you have a problem with anybody who isn’t as pessimistic as you? Even a dyed in the wool Negadelphian like Cataldi can see we have a good chance.

      • 30 points a game so far, so the gimmick is working pretty well. Why are you complaining about the offense when the defense gave up 33 points yesterday. And what did it have to do with the offense that Vick and DJax couldn’t hook up more even though he was running wide open? And with Vick throwing a tough but catchable ball to Casey that he dropped. At some point, the players have to make plays, but I will take 30 points a week.

  • Want some cheese with that whine?? Man you so called fans are so bi-polar. 1 loss just one!!’ Yes defense was bad. We knew there would be growing pains. So what’s the damn problem?

    • Exactly. After every loss, we’re the worst team on the planet, and we’ll never win another game.

      No perspective whatsoever.

  • The Eagłes DL is among the weakest in the NFL
    Then you pair that with a Weak Secondary
    And then Average LB’s which are weak in pass coverage and small inside
    With Kenricks/Ryans and this is the kind of shitty Defense we’ll see for rest if the Season and especially against the better QB’s
    They will be seeing..

  • The happiest guy on defense tonight is Vinny Curry.

    • Yeah, after today, he and Graham should get on the field.

  • Let me introduce you guys to an LSU safety by the name of Craig Loston. Eagles need to take him with their second round pick. If you like Eric Reid, you’ll love Loston.Has Nate Allen been cut yet?
    Does Bill Davis know that Vinny Curry is still on the team?

  • The Eagłes DL is among the weakest in the NFL
    Then you pair that with a Weak Secondary
    And then Average LB’s which are weak in pass coverage and small inside
    With Kenricks/Ryans and this is the kind of shitty Defense we’ll see for rest if the Season and especially against the better QB’s
    They will be seeing..
    By the way, Fketcher Cox has been a disaster in this 3-4 Scheme
    He’s lost Cobfidence, looks slow and unsure of himself.. What a big step back he’s taken from Kate last year when it looked like he would be a more impact player.. He’s best suited as a DT in a 4-3 Scheme
    Just as Trent Cole, Brandon Graham & Vinny Curry are best suited as DE in a 4-3 and ILB DeMeco RyaNs seems to struggle in the 3-4 also
    Eaglez just have too nany Pkayers not suited for this 3-4 Schem then add disappointments from Soapaga, average Safety in Chung & CB’s Fketcher & Willians with no Safety Kenny Phillips who was damaged goods and it’s no wonder that this Defense us a Train-Wreck with helmets on..

  • I haven’t seen too much discussion about the terrible clock management at the end of the game. First, they left way too much time on the clock on their last drive. Then Chip calls timeouts when the Chargers seemed content to go for a long field goal.
    I thought I was watching Andy Reid.
    In his 2nd game as head coach, Chip was made a few clock management gaffes worse than any the fat man ever made (and he made some awful ones).
    That scares me.

    • He used 3 time outs, giving them extra plays! I was screaming at the TV, “WTF are you doing!!!” Hindenburg 2.0.

    • I was yelling at the TV too.

      Pretty much I think this is the way that this season will go. It is a rookie coach and a rookie staff pretty much. The team will look really good at times, and at others look pretty bad.

      Most recognized before the season began that this team was going to have trouble on defense. Davis was not kidding before the Redskins game when he commented about not really knowing what to expect. The defensive backfield is a mess, and Cary Williams played more like the player that Baltimore let walk, instead of the all-pro during week 1. There was practically no pass rush…..and stinking KING DUNLAP was protecting Rivers blindside….that hurts. We were fooled last week against the Redskins because they appear to be a worse offensive team then expected and RGII was clearly not ready for a game yet….I actually think Cousins may have made it a tougher game for the Birds.

      I tend to believe that Kelly is a smart coach and that he learns from his mistakes. With the pitiful state of the NFC East I am hoping that the mistakes don’t continue to add up this year before the coach turns it around so we can contend for the NFC East title, otherwise I do not see us or any other NFC East team in the hunt for a wild-card spot…..I know, way to early to start talking about playoffs, but I think that whatever team makes it from the east will be a deeply flawed team this year.

      I hate this short week and especially hate Reid coming back in 2-0. I think we will need to have an offensive explosion in order to make up for our defensive shortcomings.

  • BTW, for all of the no football knowledge, critical nitwits-
    Rivers in 1st 2 games 50/76- 602 yards- 7 td’s- 1 int. All of that, with no receivers, a mediocre Rb, & a 95 year old Gates. Man, that guy really stinks.

  • The Eagles had no business cutting Acho and McCoy, they showed they know how to get to the QB, all this talk about keeping players like Matthews ahead of them because he can play special teams is a joke. They better get Allen out of there, promote that kid they got from San Fran off the practice squat and suite Curry up this week.

  • unless Howie Roseman is cleared out I don’t see how the defense can get repaired in the coming years. I have zero faith in Howie being able to acquire the personal to turn this defense around.
    I was told Rory Secrest was the problem and the play on the field suggests Rory Secrest is way better than Jim Washburn and current Eagles DL coach Jerry Azzinaro.

Comments are closed.