It Was a Bad Day For Many Of The EaglesBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Monday, December 16th, 2013
It wasn’t a good day for Chip Kelly, his players, his staff and especially his defense against the Minnesota Vikings. There was no question that the Vikings coaching staff game planned to win from the outset. This wasn’t Chip’s best game, but so what that’s how the NFL is from week to week. Kelly has done a great job in his first year, he’s got to learn from it and move on.
I understand how a play caller can get caught up in the game and not realize that he’s not utilizing his number one weapon, but there’s still no excuse for handing the ball off to LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher only 8 times in the game.
“We got down a little bit there, and we really weren’t moving them very well up front,” Kelly said after the game. “But I think trying to take advantage of some of the matchups in the passing game, trying to free up DeSean and those guys… I also thought LeSean was a very good weapon in the passing game itself with the screen passes and some of the underneath routes. Didn’t convert in the red zone and then we were down. It felt like we were down two scores all the time, so just trying to get back into it.”
Kelly needs to have one of his coaches let him know that one of his major weapons hasn’t be getting the football. You always want to make sure you force the other team to stop your weapons rather than doing it yourself.
Kelly made a mistake by going for a first down on fourth down in the third quarter with the ball deep in Eagles territory. The Eagles didn’t make the first down then he challenged the spot and they still didn’t get it.
Nick Foles and the offense wasn’t on top of their game yesterday but they still played well enough to win, if the defense had played decent. Yes, Foles threw an interception and he wasn’t at the top of his game, but he got them back in it in the third and fourth quarter, but the defense that’s been playing for the Birds the last month didn’t go to Minnesota.
I can understand the Eagles respecting talented rookie wide receiver/returnman Cordarrelle Patterson, but that doesn’t mean letting the Vikings start each drive outside the forty-yard line. Kelly should have first of all challenged his kicker to kick the ball out of the end zone. At the same time, he should have challenged the kickoff team to go down and make a play on Patterson.
In his post game interview Kelly was asked about his strategy against Patterson.
“We were concerned going into the game with Patterson, obviously the best returner in the league,” Kelly said. “If you look at what he’s done during the season, even when you do kick it deep, he takes it out and he’s got a 109-yard kickoff return. We knew how dangerous he was and were just trying to keep the ball away from him.”
I say you’ve got to try something else when that’s not working.
The Eagles defense played a horrible game. The Vikings could have very easily scored 50 points if their field goal kicker was on target. How do you let an offense like the Vikings go up and down the field like they were the old Montana or Young-led 49ers, or the Kurt Warner-led “Greatest Show On Turf” Rams, or Manning’s Broncos. Matt Cassel isn’t Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but the Eagles pass defense made him look like them today.
They exposed the Birds cornerbacks.
Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis started out the game out with a simple strong zone coverage. Minnesota showed on their first drive that they were going to throw the football on first down, when Davis expected them to run.
Once the Vikings showed that they were going to throw the ball on first down, Davis needed to get out of the straight zones and start playing some man-to-man coverages to force Minnesota quarterback Matt Cassel to pull the down and not be able to throw to his first option. The strong safety can help out in run defense better when you play zone, but zones are easier for the quarterback to read quickly and get rid of the football. They should have made Cassel hold the ball early in the game, so they could get some hits on him.
For some reason, the Birds defensive coordinator seemed to play defense the rest of the day like Peterson was back there running the football rather than the inexperienced Matt Asiata.
I can understand respecting Minnesota wide receiver Greg Jennings, but that doesn’t mean Birds cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher giving him a 15-yards cushion. Once Jennings got behind Patrick Chung and Nate Allen for that first touchdown catch, none of the Birds pass defenders would challenge him.
These cornerbacks must get up in the face of receivers and challenge them. They’re not nearly as effective when playing off of them. I’ll be there’s a “GJ” tattoo on every Eagles cornerback today because Greg Jennings owned them yesterday.
One good thing about Sunday was the Cowboys losing to the Packers.
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