What Really Matters For The Eagles Tonight In Green Bay?

Bradford&Murray1The game tonight between the Eagles and the Packers matters for a number of reasons.  Winning it isn’t one of them, but playing well is, especially the first-team units.  They’ve played well in their first two games, so continuing that tonight would be a plus, but there are a number of specific areas of focus for Chip Kelly and his football team.

First of all, we need to get another good look at Sam Bradford tonight and he needs to get more plays under his belt.  He played less than 15 snaps against the Ravens, so he needs to get some work to scrub off the rust from two years in the training room.  This will be a great setting for him in Lambeau Field in front of a noisy crowd.  The Birds number one signal caller needs this work in game conditions where the adrenaline is flowing and a quarterback must keep his cool in the midst of the chaos.

The former Oklahoma Sooner needs to get more work with his wide receivers, especially Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff and Riley Cooper, so he can develop better timing with them.  He needs to get comfortable in the pocket to the point where he feels the pressure from the backside defensive end and knows when to throw the ball away. Bradford needs to get comfortable in the pocket and he must get a feel for the plays coming in at break-neck speed.  The Birds quarterback has to get used to the defense changing fronts just before the snap.  He need snaps to develop in this area.

Secondly, inside linebacker Kiko Alonso needs to get on the field, make some tackles and get accustomed to the speed and aggressiveness of a real game.  It’s been over a year since he played in a real NFL battle, so he needs to get on the field and get his feet wet.

The Eagles inside linebackers Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, and DeMeco Ryans need to get on the field together and get used to playing with each other.  That’s not a problem with Kendricks and Ryans, but Alonso needs some work with the Kendricks.

The former Oregon Duck and Buffalo Bill will also need to get used to playing with outside linebackers Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham.  Many times on run fakes and play action passes, the inside and outside linebackers are exchanging assignments.  They must get to the point where they know each others voices in the noise.  They must be able to communicate both before and after the snap.

The same is true of Alonso and the defensive line.  Fletcher Cox, Cedrick Thornton and Bennie Logan must be able to pick up his voice out of the noise.  Many times Alonso will be responsible for moving them, changing their alignment on motions and shifts by the offense and altering their assignments.  He will be working with them on blitzes, stunts and pass rush games.

The next area I will be focused on will be the Eagles secondary.  I want to see Walter Thurmond make some open field tackles.  I never had any doubt about him as a safety versus the passing game, but I want to see what he does when he has to tackle a 229 pound running back like Eddie Lacy in the open field.

Thurmond doesn’t look like he’s weighing 200 pounds,so I want to see if he can tackle big guys in the open field and I want to see if he can stay healthy doing it.  Let’s see how Thurmond does against the Packers running backs and tight ends.

I will also be checking out the nickel backs, Eric Rowe, Jaylen Watkins, and E.J. Biggers, to see which one of them steps up and takes the starting job.  One big play could do it.  Of course the coaching staff would like to see Rowe do it, but he hasn’t taken that step yet.  There are flashes but we haven’t seen the consistency.

The third quarterback battle between Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow continues.  Neither of them played particularly well last Saturday, so the job is still up for grabs.   Barkley would be more valuable on the open market, so it would be good for the Eagles if both of them play well.  If they both play well the rest of the way, Tebow will make the team and Barkley will get the Birds a draft pick in a trade.  We will only see Mark Sanchez for a drive tonight, but the way he’s played he could use the work.

There are other battles taking place between players for roster spots.  Andrew Gardner seems to have sewn up the right guard spot, so he’s just getting more comfortable next to Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson.  You also have running back Kenjon Barner continuing his drive to win a roster spot and safety Ed Reynolds going after that backup safety role.

The second half

114 thoughts on “What Really Matters For The Eagles Tonight In Green Bay?

  1. Spot on analysis ,but there’s a whole facet of football I’ll be surveying on the road in a hostile environment ,and contrast them to the previous cozy home cooking,this team just left.Special teams has been a star with the exception of Cody ,who was definitively money last year.Ill also be watching the “new” 7 moving pieces and wether its seemlessly apparent they’ve already meshed.Thatwould be a testament to great coaching ,which is what I most am interested in ,on the defensive side of the ball.Themain focus was on that side ,this offseason ,mixing and matching “new”pieces is a task ,normally with a growth curve .If that’s well suited ,this could be a special season..

  2. No Injuries is the only thing that really matters tonight…
    The Eagles could lay an egg and lose 45-0 tonight and it really means nothing in terms of how the regular season goes…

    5-6 Players I am watching tonight
    WR R Bailey, M Ausin and S Ajiroutu to see who makes the 53 Man Roster
    TE Eric Tomlinson & Trey Burton
    RB/Retrnman K Barner
    WR Josh Huff – can he get off to a good start to help his psyche out or is he going to be one of those frustrated players who plays too tight
    OL Backups (Vandervelde,Kelly,Andrews,Tobin, Bunche, Coccia, Molk, Moffitt & Wheeler to see which 4 Players make the Squad

    On Defense
    Backup DL. T Hart, B Bair, B Allen
    LB Daheem Watkins, B Jones & N Goode & Kiko Alonso
    CB’s E Rowe, DJ Biggers, J Watkins
    Safety Battle between E Reynolds and J Couplin

  3. Pman prediction the Eagles cut tebow..and keep Barkley ..I disagree..some of the reasons may even not be related to football as much as Chips ego.Bellicheck couldn’t make it work with great personnel ,but chip needs prove ,otherwise.He really would be. The only “R.O” option at Q.B. Of the five at the moment .Teams. May have to game plan and spy on him in different situations,including the deficient red zone of previous years.

  4. Pman. I really like Bailey so far.The organization wants Rowe to seize that gold ring ,but bigger screen has impressed.lBailey and Austin (special teams ) gives him a leg up .I like both tight ends and wonder if chip May retain 4 ,and lighten his running back roster.Last year he did just that out of the gate .Against green bays 2-s and 3s who are assumed to start a blowout ,I disagree would be damaging to the Eagles veneer ,vs the top of the NFC heap..

  5. Hopefully the Eagles Play well on both sides of the Ball for the #1’s & #2’s
    I expect that they will.. The 2nd Half will be played by many Players on both sides who will be Cut either Tuesday or by next Sat

    1. Steelers Secondary could be worse than the 2014 Eagles Secondary was..
      Brutal.. No DC Dick Lebeau, no Palomula, Ike Taylor, & other Veterans

  6. Falcons Extend WR Julio Jones for 5 Years at $71.5 Million with $46 Million.
    In Guaranteed $$$$ …

    1. Packers playing Hundley? This game will be over by the end of the 1st Quarter and doesn’t test this Eagles Defense at all..

    1. Tebow lost his explosiveness with not playing the last couple of Years,
      and really adds nothing to this Offense..
      Eagles want to go for Two Pts and everyone inthe bldg knowsTebow will be running it since he can’t do anything else.. Eagleshave more options with RB’s Murray or Matthews, or could spread the field with 3-4 WR’s, use Triple TE Sets..with Tebow Defenses pretty much know what to expect,Tebow is either keeping it or rolling left to find a Receiver in the corner of the End-Zone

  7. Bradford on the money again!!! with pressure in his face takes the hit and delivers a strike to Burton-Touchdown!!! I’ve seen enough…Chip you can take him out now!!! We’ve got a real QB on this team!!!!!

  8. Wowwwww I love this god damn team !!! Sam looks nice. Quick decisions , quick release. Threw a gem to trey burton with pressure

    Now pull the starting offense chip!!!!!!!!

    And get this looooooozah Tim tebow the hell off my team.

  9. This guy is putting the ball dead on the money…smh..dammm!!!! Touchdown…Bradford another strike…..ok I’ve seen enough lets get Bradford out of there…

  10. Looks like we’ve won the preseason super bowl… Yeah us. The coach has a vision most of us didn’t see it. Now let’s be healthy and do some shit in January. Bradford is his Brady …

  11. NolanCarroll involved with the only 2 big plays the Packers have made
    Packers Started with 3 Backups on their OL,a Rookie QB, a Rookie WR
    So much for the meaningful Game # 3 of the Pre-Season
    Eagles Should get all Starters out and focus on the Falcons and let the backups & rotational Players &3rd Stringers get theirReps

    1. Kendricks is a liability in the Passing Game..DC Davis needs to have MK Blitz inand let Alonso, Ryan’s or evenBarwin drop back in pass coverage

      1. Nothing wrong with Kendricks in pass coverage and more often than not he is attacking the line of scrimmage so calm down with the overanalysis. He wasn’t resigned for his pass coverage. He was resigned for his ability to make plays in the open field and at the line of scrimmage.

  12. All disagreement aside can this kelly/Bradford combo just win a SB? I don’t care that chip is a LLCB, I don’t care if Bradford was injured, I don’t care if he isn’t a RO QB… Win a fucking SB

    1. Amen and when we are in process of winning it flip floppin fraudman will be live blogging Charlotte Hornets basketball.

    2. The Chip Kelly gamble gives us a chance that we didn’t have before! Chip Kelly knew that we had absolutely no chance at all to win with Nick Foles…he had to upgrade the talent at the position…and this is what he accomplished in getting Sam Bradford!

  13. We have a good pass rush but still not a dominant one. In comparison to our run defense our pass rush still needs help and aided by the blitz. I need to see another step taken to the next level from Fletcher Cox.

    1. Going against 3 Backups on the OL and a Rookie QB, the Eagles should be stuffing the Packers Offense…

  14. Packers QB Hundley has 5 Completions for 125 Yards (25 Yds per Completion)
    Not very good coverage by the Eagles DB’s

  15. lol.

    People are way WAY too excited about pre-season.

    Bradford’s talent isn’t the question – his ability to stay healthy is.

    And what I would be worried about is why Hundley is looking so good against our starters. That would leave me scratching my head.

    1. tsjohnson, the preseason has given us enough to determine that giving up Foles and going with Bradford is a good gamble! Foles stayed hurt and didnt’ have the talent…yes Bradford has to prove he can stay healthy…that is the gamble….but watching him play with his pinpoint accuracy and steadiness in the pocket tells me that it was well worth the gamble!

    1. Hey I like the kid – I wanted the Eagles to pick him up.

      With that said he’s still a rookie not looking so rookie-ish against our veteran D. That’s my only point.

    2. Hundley can play! He’s got a good arm, he made some good decisions, he made some plays with his legs. The rookie Qb’s are looking pretty good despite what paulman, GMCliff and others predicted.

  16. Rookie QB Hundley 10Completions for 200 + Yards… Packers missed a FG Earlier and gave the Eaglesa Gift TD on the Int or it would be a 1 Score Game.. Who is impressed with their Pass-Defense?
    Marty Ice & Julio Jones, Roddy White and JJ Hardy are lickin their chops for Week 1

  17. Packers have more Yards.1st Downs and 10 minutes more of Possession and are making a game out of it… QB Hundley looking like a Pro-Bowler in his first real NFL Game…there should be aton of teachable moments for DC Billy Davis & Staff to take back and work on..

  18. I’ll watch the Replay on NFL Channel as game was not on down here (Redskins/Ravens & Bengals/TB Bucs were on here tonight)

    Stats Wise – Couplin looks like he had an Active 2nd Half

  19. Man Enough??

    Lets review the Kool/Songs positions:

    Mick Vick is great – wrong
    EJ Manuel is great – wrong
    Geno Smith is great – wrong
    Taj Boyd is great – wrong
    RGIII is great – wrong
    Cam Newton is great – wrong
    Kapernick is great – wrong
    Sanchez is great – wrong
    Foles is terrible – wrong
    Bradford is great – possibly right

    Wow…he hit on what? 1 of 10? 1 of 20? Well done.

  20. What Bradford is showing is this version of Kelly’s offense is predicated on tempo accuracy and decision making. In the box thinking of he needs a mobile QB looks small minded.

    Hitting WRs in stride allowing them to make plays is huge. We haven’t seen that here in a LONG time.

    The Sproles touchdown was a pass that not a lot of guys in the NFL can make.

    Jury is still out. He has to still face heavy pass rush and heavy blitz teams. Preseason doesn’t show him that. And he has to hold up to getting hit etc.

    But it’s remarkable to see that talent. Last preseason Foles and Sanchez were neck and neck in play and one was not better than the other. This year the divide in talent and play is monstrous.

  21. If you can keep that pace and tempo and run the ball with early success, this Eagles Offense puts opponents on their heels right away and then QB Bradford
    Has time to get the ball out.. The Key is 1st Down execution whether it’s a 3-4 Yard Run or a 5-6-7 Yard quick Pass .. Once you get the chains and Referee’s moving, then huge advantage to the Eagles Offense and once that Train starts rolling and gathering steam, it’s hard to generate a pass rush to slow it down
    Bradford obviously has this System down on where to go with the ball and is in shape enough to help set and run the Tempo.. He was about Perfect last night.

  22. Another facet not being talked about much but is a definite upgrade is the pass blocking and blitz pickup ability of Murray and Matthews. If you watch last night Murray especially was doing quite a bit of chip blocking(no pun intended) helping out the RT and looked good on a couple blitz pickups.

    1. Good Point on the RB’s ability to Block.. LeSean McCoy did not like to Take on Blitzers very often his last couple of years with the Eagles

      1. A lot of the offense is predicated on mismatches inspace and precise route running.I don’t think there has been a tandem of young receivers all co-dependent as this groupware at any time in eagle lure that ,I recollect.They appear to be in synchronicity ,and the discipline they exhibit toward the play ,blocking and staying engaged ,I know wasn’t there with DJAX,and even more so with Shady .Every guy I watched this pre -season is all about blocking ,enabling and team oriented.ATTITUDE and swagger are a very important component in the NFL ,this team with punishing runners ,athletic and big receivers who seem to have no drops ,because they’re,Getting lead into there routes ,to make RAC and guys are blocking for each other ,exhibiting a selflessness we haven’t seen .Isnt it obvious that there we had too many ME guys ,who albeit they were talented ,were never going to sell out…it isn’t in there DNA, and although I doubted Chip ,I’ve seen enough of a sampling of his vision offensively and I applaud him,it’s very eye pleasing .The sobering facts are preseason is sometimes a mirage of fools gold.In this offense ,it is what it is ..a thing of beauty ,if they can keep Sam comfortable..Hits are cumulative ,he is taking one here ,one there in pre season ..He needs to stay upright..that simple.Ondefense I love the front and there ferocity. ,but I don’t see pockets collapsing ..I believe kinkos insertion and kendricks ,will create more havoc.Ihavent been secretive of the one albatross ,Bill kill Davis ..Lastyearon this same lambeau,field,he was quoted as saying he picked his poison ,scheming to stop green bays running game ,and allowing Rodgers to vice rate him.He then singled on Dez,and Seattle was just so much better than we were..a lot of that personnel is no longer here ,yet bill Davis ,remains.He was given a lot of focus this off season ,he needs pick up his Game and scheme with what he’s got for the first time in his career ,or don’t let the door hit you on the way out..he’s so frustrating at times ,too many .I can envision with the depth on defense ,a team that would be creating havoc as would it’s offense ..here’s hoping bill ,sees it that way as well.Hes the biggest. Question mark on this new look team in my opinion..I really want him to show us that with the personnel we’ve seen that we had last year on the roster ,wasn’t utilized when all else was clearly failing? That’s on him..why wasn’t he accountable?

    2. Agreed. There were 2 plays in particular when Murray, then Matthews both slid out them just stood up the oncoming edge rusher.

      Impressive on both counts.

      “Culture”???

      I for one and excited to see those high priced guys throwing down in the bocking game.

      And after every offensive play? The receiver, or ball carrier just tossing the ball to the ref. “Here;s the ball, I just did my job – what I was expected to do” without any “FIRST DOWN” exaggerated pointing, without any posings…without any “look at me” business that’s plagued this t0
      \o lke.

      1. Bullshit Vinnie theres not one person in these rooms that cared when TO did his dances and did his look at me strut as he led us to a SB. Theres not one person who bitches everytime Richard Sherman talked shit or M Lynch grabbed his crotch as he scored wished that was our team. Everyone is so righteous all of the sudden. Give me a fucking break. Chip Kelly at Oregon didn’t care about culture as he recruited in South Central LA and brought in the Blounts and Kikos of the world. lol

        1. Who gives a fuck about culture. Want to talk about culture with Belechek up in NE? Lets talk about that culture that’s produced all them SB. With cheating, murderers and scandals. Ask them fans if they give a shit about culture. Ahhh only the righteous Philly fans care about culture and there 0 SBs. Give me a break with the culture shit. The 2 best teams in the NFL have the least amount of culture, respect, integrity in the NFL and will shove that culture up our ass.

          1. I don’t care about culture. I don’t care if we sign every bad player in the NFL just win. I have never seen a SB for the Eagles. If a player dances after every play or throws the ball to the ref and runs back to the huddle. If he grabs his crotch after every TD, If he prays, if he pronounces he is gay etc etc etc. I DONT CARE. We have a lot of nerve to now suggest what kind of players we want. Lets win one first before we start categorizing specific traits of a player. Just give me a parade.

            1. “Culture” on the football field has nothing to do with “culture” off the field. IMO Chip wants guys to do it his way on the field. Hes a football lifer so personal life nonsense has nothing to do with to him. Now the Owner may be different because he has a brand. To many fans making much ado about nothing on both sides.

              Chip wanted guys who bought into all the facets of his scheme. Nothing more nothing less.

          2. Dag, funny you were talking about those guys throwing blocks, being insync etc…thats part of the culture- the team first culture- you contradicted yourself

  23. Exactly right izzy..and pman.Add in the cumulative effect of pounding the defense “downhill” putting the defense into unpredictable 3rd and short distances..not allowing them to tee off and having the chains move allows for our defense to grab sir..also Murray showed he can leak out andthat creates space for sprsprouts as well.im excited by everything this offense has shown thus far.

  24. Dag..you’re over simplifying things .The “culture” is a misnomer ..what I’m seeing are guys who are all about selling out for the team.Let the other teams have guys that are more concerned and focused by there agents on there face time on ESPN ,I’m seeing a team that’s flying ,with total disregard for ME.That Attitude and swagger will help this team during adversity ,as there’s always perceived power in numbers vs me vs the world..A new attitude will only prevail if,The team yields results,as habitually these are still pampered sheltered athletes ..that’s the magic potion chip is banking on,by wearing the GM hat and buying the groceries

  25. How is Sam feeling as an Eagle vs being the number one pick in a franchise ? I see a much more confident ,accurate field leader who as Vinnie stated is heads and shoulder pads above Sanchez.Last year Foles vs Sanchez seemed to be neck and neck down the stretch and even on the stat sheet .I haven’t hid my hopes that Foles would be the guy ,but I’ve seen enough to believe that if allowed to stand tall ,we have a guy who can process his best read option and execute precision throws hitting Matthews in stride on the gallop vs him having to contort to make a grab.Thats immeasurable.

    1. Anyone still crying for Foles after seeing what Sam can do is a complete and utter idiot! Not even Vinniedafool can have a legitimate cry and whine for Foles now. So now you do see what I have been saying all this time deserteagle!
      We should now all see why Kelly got rid of Foles and paid St.Louis to take him off of our hands…both Sam and Sanchez gets rid of the ball quicker than slow-thinking-reacting Foles…Foles would see the receiver too late, no anticipation, inaccurate passes…he was bailed out by the enormous talent of DJax.
      With Sam Bradford, we have a quick thinking, strong arm, and deadly accurate QB. Puts the ball on the money…and like you stated desert…receivers are much more comfortable and confident in Sam

  26. It has to make every receiver that much more confident ,as they know they’re not going to be “blind” targets for a safety zeroing in on there contorted bodies.Its easier to outrun a guy in stride ,when you don’t have to reach for a poorly thrown ball.That emboldens better route running ,which is when this machine hums .

  27. The Eagles like Trump had a huge amount of face time in winning the off season ,now the same can be said for the median infatuation in the pre-season..If they win the season ,that will matter most ,as the media can congregate on Broad street ..Yo Adrian!

  28. Its still pre-season-no one should jump the gun and go crazy…but we saw what we needed to see in the pre-season…we see plain and simple with no more credible and intelligent arguments-Chip Kelly’s oft-season moves were the right ones…bottom line!

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