• January 25, 2022

Eagles Defense Made It Easy For Peyton Manning And Denver Attack

CedricThornton&FletcherCox1Everybody is talking about how great Peyton Manning is, but he didn’t need to be great against the Eagles defense, yesterday.  The Birds defense doesn’t know how to play a solid zone coverage and they’re also suspect in man-to-man.  The Eagles pass defense isn’t very sound and Manning came into the game knowing that.   The Eagles pass rush isn’t very good and they weren’t able to do much all afternoon.

This defense can’t play solid zone coverages because the players don’t seem to have a clear understanding of what they’re supposed to do in the coverages.  On a zone coverage, you have to drop into your zone, see the quarterback release the ball and break on the pass instantly when it leaves his hand.   You have to use your peripheral vision to see the receivers, but you focus on the quarterback and break up when that left hand comes off the ball and he lets it go from his right hand.

If you don’t see him throw the ball and are slow to rally to the pass receiver, it will allow a quarterback to pick you apart without throwing the ball downfield.  If I were Billy Davis I would go over putting in the zone defense again.

The Birds played a lot of nickel defense against the Broncos and stopped them from connecting on many big plays, but they gave up too much easy junk.  They were able to keep the Broncos running game in check with an extra pass defender on the field, but the fundamentals of the defense were off.

Many times the Eagles linebackers and safeties got too much depth when they’re playing in the underneath zones or they didn’t see the ball when it is released.  These bad habits allowed Manning to simply check the ball down to his running backs for 8 or 9 yards a play.  If you can get 8 or 9 yards on a check down, then you don’t need to take the chance of throwing the ball deeper downfield.  A good defense will keep those check downs to 3 or 4 yards.

In man-to-man coverages, they should have taken away the check downs by going up and covering the running back, so Manning had to hang onto the football.  Forcing Manning to hang onto the football should have been part of the game plan.  If you don’t make life uncomfortable for Manning, he’s going to find the opening in the coverage.

Manning and the Broncos do a good job spreading out the defense with their formations and he doesn’t even need to take too man chances throwing the ball downfield to move the football if the defense isn’t sound.  Manning hasn’t thrown an interception this season because he throws so many short passes that are no risk of being picked off, such as bubble screens to Damaryius Thomas, short in and out routes to Wes Welker and slants to Eric Decker.  All the other times, he’s check the ball down to his running backs.

Manning was 28 of 34 for 327 with 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions.  He connected on only two passes for over 15 yards.  The one deep pass he connected on was to Eric Decker for 52 yards on a post route, but for the most part he threw short and checked the ball down after letting the Eagles drop deep and give him yardage.

Decker caught five passes for 88 yards.  Demaryius Thomas, the wide receiver caught nine passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.  He averaged less than 10 yards a catch.

Wes Welker caught seven passes for 76 yards and also caught two touchdowns. He averaged about 10 yards a catch.  Welker caught Manning’s first pass for 33 yards as he got lost against zone coverage.

Julius Thomas, the tight end, caught four passes for 43 yards, which is about 10 yards a catch.

Manning checked the ball down to running back Ronnie Hillman a couple of times for 21 yards.  Knowshon Moreno caught one pass for 13 yards.  Backup wide receiver Andre Caldwell caught one pass for five yards and Virgil Green caught one pass for five yards.

The Eagles pass rush didn’t do much on Sunday afternoon.  Defensive end Cedric Thornton was able to sack Manning once.  The pass rush hit him twice and that’s not good enough.  Thornton also made a couple of run stops in or near the backfield.

“They were hitting on all cylinders today,” Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said after the game.

I don’t think the Broncos were hitting on all cylinders.  They didn’t need to be against the Eagles,who were giving them plenty of yardage on short throws.  Manning missed a couple of deep throws to open receivers, which would have been for touchdowns.

We’re not hearing anything from former number one pick defensive end Fletcher Cox. Davis has got to start putting Cox in position to make some plays.

Trent Cole did nothing with Broncos inexperienced left tackle Chris Carter.  Cole got no where near Manning, finishing the game with two tackles and two assists.

Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans was making tackles all over the field and he finished with 10 solo tackles and two assists, but most of the times those stops were made downfield after the Broncos had gained yardage.  Fellow inside linebacker was very quiet as he made four stops.

Eagles rookie safety Earl Wolff played okay in his first start.  He made six tackles and had one assist. He did give up a big play through.  Wolff let Decker get behind him on a three-deep coverage and that shouldn’t happen in the NFL.  He’s supposed to be deeper than anybody on a three deep coverage, where he is in the middle of the field.  Decker isn’t that fast and a safety should be able to get deep enough to stop that throw in cover three.

I did like the way he attacked the play on a number of short throws.  He limited the amount of yardage they gave up on those plays.  The Eagles need more defensive players to attack the throw in order to limit yardage on check downs.

Eagles cornerback Cary Williams isn’t fast enough to cover many of the wide receivers in the NFL because he had to back off Decker, who isn’t very fast.  Williams plays with too much of a cushion because he’s afraid of getting beaten deep.  If you have to back off of Decker, you can’t cover most of the wide receivers in this league man-to-man.

Brandon Boykin didn’t try to get physical with Wes Welker and the veteran took him to school.  Welker lined up in the backfield on his final touchdown and ran a running back arrow route by coming  out of the backfield, running into Boykin to get him moving backward, then pushing off to go outside and leaving the nickel back standing in place.

Boykin must learn to attack the receiver and not let him push off like that.  On the goal line, you can’t let a guy score so easy.  It would be better to get a pass interference penalty, than to let the guy back you into the end zone, push off, get wide open then catch an easy touchdown pass.

You have to go into the game with your own game plan and it didn’t seem like Boykin had his own game plan.

I thought Bradley Fletcher did a good job for the most part in his coverage on Sunday.  The pass interference they called on him was a bad call, then on the next play there wasn’t much he could do on the perfect pass by Manning to Thomas for a touchdown.

Safety Nate Allen did a good job tackling in the open field yesterday.  He had eight tackles and one assist, but I want to see him and the rest of the linebackers and safeties limit check downs to three and four yards.  I do see improvement in his tackling.

GCOBB

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21 Comments

  • Lets see, why is this defense worse than last year. Is it the failure of the off-season, where we upgraded, not 1 defensive position? Is it Weaselman, & Kelly’s decision making? Could it be not bringing in 1 playmaker, or difference maker on defense? Maybe, it could be the hiring of a career long failure, of Billy Davis, who everyone, but the “Geniuses” in this organization, knew this would happen? Or maybe it was our limp wristed, arrogant, know-nothing owners, ill-advised, non-warranted, advocacy & endorsement, of a know-nothing, bean counting, inept, fantasy football GM?!? I don’t know, you tell me!

  • We all knew this defense blew even before the season started. All we wanted was an upgrade in tackling and players not giving up. The next two games will determine the fate of the season. We win the next two games we will be .500 with 2 division game wins and (as sad as it sounds) are in the mix to win the NFC East. 2 losses and the season is over and we have to debate on getting Clowney or Bridgewater in the draft.

  • Chip Kelley went from innovator to Andy Reidesque predictable with his offensive formations and play calls. 1st week and the fans didn’t know what was going to be called. It was great. Now we can all predict fake handoff and look to Jackson for bubble screen. Its not there, Vick holds on for too long and gets sacked.

    • Reports from Sources close to the Eagles Lockerroom
      state that D-Jax referred to Kelly as “Chump Kelly” and wants out of Philly… Something to keep an eye on as the Season Develops..

  • The Eagles are now 2-14 since their 3-1 start last year. That’s under two different coaches, but 31 current players were on the roster for at least part of last season, so for them, losing has become a habit. It’s like a cancer fellas, you have to remove it if you want to get better! You can blame the coaches all you want but Until we get rid of the majority of those 31 players, Vince Lombardi wouldn’t be able to help this team.

    • Yeah and that cancer is spelled VICK

      • Oooo, he played defense now too? once again he’s to blame for Special teams giving up 14 points…He should be throwing passes and catching those passes hisself too, I suppose….

        3rd downs, consistently, the offense sends someone across the middle on a shallow cross every game…and 99% of time the pass is completed and 1st down is made…No adjustments made yet…LB’s late in zone coverage, safeties late…I’ve seen no improvement in coverage. DB’s playing 7 plus yards off WR’s…

    • Andrew, if that’s true then Mike Vick (the leader of the losers), should be the first to go.

      It is the coach’s responsibility to change that losers mentality, Andrew… Dick Vermeil did it when he came to Philly. Andy did it when he first came here with many of Ray Rhodes players. Andy is doing it again in KC with the same players who went 2-14 last year.

      The one thing that has to change, in order to change a losing mentality is the QB. No coach can lead the team on the field – the QB has to do that. Coaches change QBs…. that’s how they change team attitudes.

  • Jeff McLane writes that Billy Davis hid from reports and when the Eagles communication staff finally forced him to do an interview as required by the NFL, Billy Davis used an I-phone on speaker —bwahahahaha
    can we see Jeff Lurie’s voluminous notebook where he had Howie Roseman clearly the best talent evaluator in the building because Jeff Lurie’s grading curve must be as distorted as GMCliffs. oh and by the way Gmcliff Earl Wolff made more plays yesterday than your entire draft.

    • opps Billy Davis hid from reportERS, I meant to type

  • just a hunch but seeing how King Dunlap destroyed Trent Cole, Andy Reid destroyed Chip Kelly and Dominque Rodgers Cromartie destroyed Desean Jackson I guess we can pencil in a few sacks from Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson up there for the NY Giants next week.

    • Cullen Jenkins will be fired up no doubt and will look to take QB Vick or McCoy Out if/when given the chance.. Remember that last Year, the Eagles Front Office asked him to take a Pay Cut and to Resturctured his Deal, after Nnamdi Asmaough refused to do so, and only to get released immediately after the Season.. There will be no love-lost from Cullen Jenkins..

  • DCar
    September 30, 2013 – 10:14 am

    “Lets see, why is this defense worse than last year. Is it the failure of the off-season, where we upgraded, not 1 defensive position? Is it Weaselman, & Kelly’s decision making? Could it be not bringing in 1 playmaker, or difference maker on defense? Maybe, it could be the hiring of a career long failure, of Billy Davis, who everyone, but the “Geniuses” in this organization, knew this would happen? Or maybe it was our limp wristed, arrogant, know-nothing owners, ill-advised, non-warranted, advocacy & endorsement, of a know-nothing, bean counting, inept, fantasy football GM?!? I don’t know, you tell me!”

    Everything mentioned here.

    On a side note: I am noticing that Mike McCoy, who worked with Jake Delhomme and Can Newton at Carolina, Tim Tebow at Denver, and then did post graduate work with Peyton Manning, has Phillip Rivers and the Chargers showing signs of playing winning football and having new life…Any comments?

    • Frank, that’s a tremendous point…

      Look at what a first-year head coach Mike McCoy is doing for the Chargers. He’s getting great play out of Phillip Rivers, and by the way they lost their top receiver Darnario Alexander for the season and they’ve been without Malcolm Floyd…and instead of LeSean McCoy, he’s got Ryan Mathews as his top running back…and who pray tell is his left tackle? King Dunlap.

      McCoy is overcoming talent issues and doing a great job far.

      What’s Chip Kelly’s excuse?

    • McCoy is in a perfect spot for him with SDan Diego with a Strong-Armed, Intelligent QB with a high Football IQ in Phillip Rivers.. the Chargers were the perfect landing spot.. McCoy is from the MOuntain States and not really cut out for the East Coast.. the Media would have a field day with him, but’s he’s a perfect fit and probably the Best Hire (outside of Andy Reid) that any NFL Team has this Year along with Marc Trestman of the Bears, Doug Marrone in Buffaly nad Chudzinski in Cleveland all Good Coach’s that Fit those Teams,Markets nad Personalities ..
      I am not sure about “Jelly Kelly’s” overall Fit in Philly, which is known for their blue-collar, bring your lunch pale and grind it out type of personalities, Now we have the high fast-tempo, a high pitched almost feminine sounding voice of a College Rah-Rah Guy, with a very little clue on how to build a Defense (which was last Coach’s problem) so I am not too excited about the Chip “Jelly” Kelly Era, but that’s just me …

  • Say what you want, but go take a look at Mike Tomlin’s after game press conference yesterday. They may be 0-4 but that guys is a leader and a coach. I hope that Kelly can prove to be a leader too, but right now he is a rookie NFL coach who is having a tough time stepping up to the professional ranks.

  • Denny Basens
    September 30, 2013 – 12:48 pm

    “Look at what a first-year head coach Mike McCoy is doing for the Chargers. He’s getting great play out of Phillip Rivers, and by the way they lost their top receiver Darnario Alexander for the season and they’ve been without Malcolm Floyd…and instead of LeSean McCoy, he’s got Ryan Mathews as his top running back…and who pray tell is his left tackle? King Dunlap.

    McCoy is overcoming talent issues and doing a great job far.”

    You know, McCoy was my first favorite as the new Eagles coach, because of his tremendous track record with QBs; I though he would have done a good job with Nick Foles, correcting Foles’s mistakes, and building the kid’s confidence and giving him structure.

    Of course, we needed a top defensive coach, too, but I was confident that McCoy would have recognized that need.

    But, it wasn’t to be.

    With Kelly, it’s still early, but Billy Davis hasn’t made me feel confident w the ‘D’ and the offense doesn’t look much different than Reid’s.

    I think the game with the Giants will be tough, as Coughlin is under the gun, and their season is on the line…On the other hand, they might just fold up.

    • I totally agree. McCoy was my first choice as well as I believed that if he could win with TeBow he could come in and make this team roll in a rew years also. Dude can actually take what he has and work a system to play in. Chip just puts guys in his “system” (you are seeing that with the defense especially)

  • bottom line is that this team STINKS. we have and are counting on guys who are starting who would be 3rd/4th string at BEST and in some cases, CUT on a great team. Yet we have these guys playing major minutes and not getting the job done. not to mention the true philly traits, heart and passion are totally missing from these dudes. the commercial “fly eagles fly” is everything these eagles are NOT…..

  • We have a team of ME guys with talent that do not function as a team on offense.

    We have a team of hey pick me guys on defense that aren’t good enough individually to contribute to a team at this level.

    • Yes they do Regal,
      It started with the Acquisitions of WR Terrell Owens, then the Free-Agency Signing of
      Assante Samuel a few years back, which I didn’t like and was called out many times for it, but these knuckkeheads were the beginning Cancer that invaded the Eagłes Locker Room and Franchise and they haven’t been the same since in my opinion.. Not as a Team anyways..

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