It’s amazing how the Eagles offensive line played so well against the Cowboys, but were awful in their performance against the Dolphins. The NFL is a battle each and every week, so you can’t get too excited about good games and too down about bad games. The Birds offensive line has to learn from the mistakes they made in their 20-19.
The interior of the Cowboys defensive line is no big deal, but Miami’s defensive line led by defensive tackle Ndomukong Suh dominated the Birds offensive front. Suh had one sack, three tackles for losses and three QB hurries, and he was living in the Eagles backfield.
“Whenever he wants to turn it on, I don’t think there’s anybody better in the league as far as a defensive tackle,” Johnson said regarding the league’s highest paid defensive player. “He’s hard to stop. He’s one of those guys, you see him lollygagging, b.s.ing and that’s what makes him dangerous. I guess he got tired of losing. He’s one of those guys, whenever he wants to turn it on, he can do it.”
Suh and his buddies spooked Bradford before they knocked him out of the game. At the end of the first half, Bradford was only looking to get the ball out of his hands and not looking downfield because he had been battered by the Dolphins defensive front.
They also beat up the interior of the Birds offensive line, especially center Jason Kelce and right guard, Matt Tobin and right tackle Dennis Kelly. Kelly got Bradford knocked out of the game and he’s showing why he hasn’t been able to be a starter in the league. Left guard Allen Barbre wasn’t far behind as he let Suh and their other defensive tackle Earl Mitchell live in the backfield all day long. Even their best healthy tackle Lane Johnson was getting his lunch eaten at times on Sunday. Suh and his teammates on the Miami defensive line took turns driving the Eagles offensive line into the backfield.
Kelce is very effective when he the Eagles can get a defensive line on the move, but if they are forced to run right at a big defensive line, the Birds All-Pro center has trouble moving big defensive tackles like Earl Mitchell and Suh.
“I think I was really hard on myself because it’s just been a very frustrating season for me,” Kelce said according to CSNPhilly.com. “I’ve had a lot of penalties, a lot of dumb mistakes, mental mistakes, poor fundamentals, bad snaps. It’s been things that have just sort of culminated throughout the season, that have been very consistent for us. Physically, I don’t think I really played that bad in the game. There’s a couple plays where [Dolphins defensive tackle] Ndamukong Suh got me, but other than that, I handled a lot of situations well.”
Everybody gets overpowered sometime, but they can’t afford the mental mistakes as they battle for a playoff spot.
Regardless, they need to rebound from a bad performance. The National Football League is very competitive and sometimes, you’re going to get outplayed, but you have to dust yourself off and get ready to come back. That’s what this offensive line needs to against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it’s not going to be easy.