OUR team averages almost 30 points a game, yet almost every game is a nail-biter. The reason is simple: We can’t stop anybody. Oh sure, our Defense has given us a few exciting plays, but by and large we hemorrhage yards and points pretty much every week. What’s worse is that we do it the same way every week.
Let me nutshell that :
In Points our Offense is #4 in the NFL, our Defense is #20
In Yards our Offense is #4 in the NFL, our Defense is #26
So who isn’t pulling their weight here? The Defense.
We have THREE problems on Defense, but they all have the same solution. Take a look.
PROBLEM 1: Coverage
For some reason (in a pass happy league) we play a lot of Single-high Safety coverage, which leaves our CB’s on an island with more field to defend. We keep the other Safety in the box to help with the run. Throw in NFL rule changes that inhibit the physical style that BOTH of our CB’s were brought in to play, and you have a recipe for weekly meltdowns. The EAGLES can’t control the rule book, but we CAN pick a coverage concept that doesn’t make things harder on our own players. This is a system problem.
PROBLEM 2: Pass Rush
We have 33 sacks. How is that a problem? Good question. Here’s your answer. We’re a base 3-4 team, but at times we switch into a 4-3 front. In our 3-4 set we typically send 5 to get pressure on opposing QB’s. What’s funny is that in our 4-3 set, we can reach the QB with only a 4 man rush. If we can reach with 4, then sending 5 is wasteful, because it takes away from our underneath coverage. However, due to the base system we’ve selected, we’ve hemmed ourselves in pretty good. This is also a system problem.
PROBLEM 3: Talent Utilization
The reason we can reach with 4 in our 4-3 set, is because our two best pass rushing DE’s are back-ups. What’s funny is that on a team with 33 sacks so far, those two back-ups have 10.5 of them. DE Vinny Curry is our second leading sack man (6) and OLB/DE Brandon Graham (4.5) is tied for third on the team. So we don’t start our best because they are too small to play 3-4 DE. Instead of finding a way to get our best talent out there, our coaching staff is in love with a crappy system. That is most assuredly a system problem.
Everyone wants to blame the players when our Defense shits the bed, but the reality is that Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis’s scheme is full of obvious holes. Crossing routes give us fits. In routes are almost automatic, and the Flats are 7-11 (always open). Due to Connor Barwin and Trent Cole being used mostly as rushers, that’s pretty much how this scheme is supposed to go.
By design of our scheme, we give up easy completions because we totally vacate the surrounding areas where those routes (CROSS, IN, QUICK OUT, and WHEEL) are run. Those are already high percentage routes. Without any coverage in those areas, teams are just playing catch. And again we do this every week. Every week. These same repeated flaws allow even bad teams like Jacksonville and Washington to have a shot at beating us. As you’ve seen.
THE SOLUTION: Replace Bill Davis
Bring in a Defensive Coordinator who understands that today, playing lots of physical man coverage will breed lots of flags; which in turn breeds soft play; which in turn breeds touchdowns allowed. Bring in a DC, who doesn’t waste his resources, but instead gives himself and the athletes options. Bring in a DC who will play his best players, and be more married to results than a scheme. Stop paying a guy who makes things easy on out opponents.
We do beat good teams, but we don’t beat them enough. I do believe the defensive scheme is suspect. Question: Who currently on this roster is talented enough to go man to man with the other teams best receiver all game in the Packers case Jordy Nelson. Answer: none of our defensive backs are so the question becomes why in the hell do you then single cover a talent like Nelson? We can blame this one all on the defense, but I feel the offense gets blame too here. They didn’t sustain drives, Chip’s game plan was poor. He didn’t run the ball nearly enough and he ran too much shotgun in this game. Red Zone offense reverted back to being atrocious, the offensive line was bad, and the QB wasn’t good enough. The special teams also wasn’t so special even with their blocked punt. Humble pie for all this week.
I recently read that Chip Kelly is 2-7 vs teams over .500.
You may classify that as not beating them enough, but that basically is saying we generally can’t beat playoff caliber teams.
Last year we were 4th in the NFL in Offense/30th in Defense. This year we’re (so far) 4th in Offense/20th in Defense. Until we address the actual problem, all we’ll ever be is a measuring stick for other teams.
Green Bay was just one game, but most of what lost that game was systemic and repeats every week going back to last year.
Last year we beat Chicago, Arizona, Detroit, and Dallas when they had winning records at th time we played them so that 2-7 record thing is a matter of perspective. I agree we need to play better against better teams, but it’s still too early in Chip’s career to try and figure out trends.
Even with our record, our team doesn’t have the same talent as we see on most teams that are over .500. Just the fact that Chip has taken a team that before he got here with the exception of the last year, did not draft well at all not to mention they let all the secondary players who weren’t “any good” under Reid go to other teams where most are thriving which only goes to show that Reid’s last few years were all around bad and talent can’t be judged by it and the few secondary players we have are not homegrown or much sought after or we wouldn’t be paying so low for them. Now Chip has the task of basically rebuilding which is hard to grasp with what he has done with this team.
I think Chip has cobbled together a respectable team. They are not star studded but can compete. A word(compete) that is music to Jeffrey Luries ears. Saving money and competing for “championships” has always been his priority. Great teams? where ? when? It will take nothing short of a comedy of events for the Eagles to win a superbowl because on paper its not happening.
This team is poised to get a first round bye. It’s an attribute to this coaching staff. Chip has done a great job even with some of his own flaws.
Some would consider the Cryboys good. I don’t, but their record says otherwise.
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