Week 7 Report Card: Eagles' defense shows up, Nick Foles and offense absent

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The Eagles offense pulls an Eagles defense...

Well, that was a learning experience. The Eagles came into Week 7 with a two-game win streak and were riding high on the arm of Nick Foles. On Sunday, their ascent to the top of the NFC East took a major nose dive. Foles was less than mediocre, LeSean McCoy looked average (mostly due to the offensive line) and several receivers dropped multiple passes. While Michael Vick was clearly missed in this game, the Eagles offense was just undoubtedly poor in general.

In a game that saw the Eagles defense hold the Cowboys to 17 points, the Philadelphia offense just failed to even exist on Sunday. In fact, their only points came off a field goal (which they almost missed) after a DeMeco Ryans interception in to Cowboys territory. Foles performance was flaccid and after he was knocked out of the game, rookie Matt Barkley looked like he was playing for the Cowboys. Barkley threw four passes into the hands of the Cowboys defense (only three counted) in the Eagles ninth-straight loss at home.

If you were at the game and booed, you had every reason to. The defense finally showed up with two interceptions and two sacks, while the offense got shutdown. It must have felt like a taste of their own medicine to the defense. Clearly, Vick should be the starter (if healthy) in Week 8 against the Giants.

Hot

DeMeco Ryans: While he gave away a large reception to Jason Witten in the first quarter, Cap was able to make plays. He had an interception and a sack that caused the Cowboys to lose a rather large amount of yards. The Eagles offense let Ryans and the defense down after the former Texans linebacker essentially stole momentum from Dallas.

Earl Wolff: The rookie took some poor angles at time but was a relatively-sure tackler and got an interception on a Hail Mary pass to end the first half. His hit on Dez Bryant in the third quarter was nasty. He has been somewhat an upgrade over Pat Chung, in that he can actually defend the pass.

Brandon Boykin: While Boykin allowed a few catches from Cole Beasley, he rarely allowed yards after the catch.

Vinny Curry: The second-year pass rusher was able to get a sack on Tony Romo in the second quarter on third down. The front of Curry, Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox has created plenty of pressure over the last few weeks.

Riley Cooper: Another solid game from Cooper. He seemed to be the only wide receiver that was able to catch balls on Sunday with regularity. He finished with six catches for 88 yards.

Eagles defense: While they allowed a rushing touchdown, for most of the day, the Eagles did well against the run. A 3-0 halftime score showed that the Eagles defense had a good game plan. Good for you, Bill Davis.

Not

Nick Foles: The second-year passer went 11-of-29 for 80 yard and zero scores. Those are Andrew Walters/Ryan Lindley numbers. It was a tough game for Foles, who Troy Aikman noted several times, that he seemed uncomfortable during the game after taking several hits. The hits frankly don't matter, as that is life in the NFL. He failed to throw with accuracy or consistency. While he was able to run the ball to some success, his day as a passer was horrific. He may not have turned the ball over, but he did allow for plenty of possessions to end without a score.

Matt Barkley: The rookie moved the ball okay, but his interceptions were awful. Barkley made several rookie throws and he just did not look like a professional out there. The most frightening thing with Vick out with an injury, is that Barkley is always one play away.

Chip Kelly: He did a poor job of play-calling when he went for a 60-yard field goal on 4th-and-1 with a timeout remaining. That was a clear lack of confidence in his offense, when he could have run a sneak with a 6-foot-6 quarterback and spiked the ball. He had an awkward half with his personnel and balance on offense. I understand the running game was bad, but he failed to stick with it when the passing game did not work.

The wide receivers out of Cooper: Jeff Maehl, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jason Avant, Zach Ertz, Bryce Brown and Brent Celek all either dropped passes or failed to complete on reasonable throws. While Foles and Barkley were both clearly "off," the pass-catchers were poor today.

Jason Avant: He dropped several passes. A few were off the mark, but were catchable.

Cary Williams: Wow! This guy may be worse than Nnamdi Asomugha last season. You may disagree, but Williams gave away several catches and was not solid as a tackler. He also grabbed a referee during an altercation with Bryant and was lucky to not get kicked out of the game.

Todd Herremans: While he had been solid the last few weeks, he allowed a lot of pressure on Sunday.

Bryce Brown: Where is any production? Brown has been a complete disappoint this season.

Miscellaneous Musings

  • Clearly, the loss of DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware did not matter for the Cowboys. That is a problem as the Eagles continue to try to win the division and make the playoffs. After Sunday's game, that seems like a fools errand.
  • The Eagles are horrible against slants. Terrence Williams scored a touchdown on a slant route and while Bradley Fletcher thought his positioning could force him off the route, it obviously did not work.

  • Damaris Johnson needs to be benched as a returner. His judgement is terrible and almost becoming a liability to the offense. He should be on the field on offense after Maehl's performance on Sunday, but there needs to be a new returner in Week 8.
  • You cannot hold the 60-yard field goal miss against Alex Henery, but the 31-yard almost miss was pretty ridiculous. I have little faith in him.
  • I thought it was funny that Aikman kept calling Earl Wolff "Cary Williams" despite the camera man clearly showing that it was Wolff on a play. Nice work, FOX.
  • The Eagles face the Giants at home in Week 8 with New York only getting five days of rest. The Eagles have not won a home game since Sept. 30 of last year, when they beat the Giants on basically two missed field goals from Lawrence Tynes and the greatness of Brian Dawkins. The Cowboys play the Lions and that should be a tough game for them. If the Eagles lose to the Giants, it is time to go back to the "rebuilding" excuse.
What did you notice during Sunday's game? Tell us what you thought was "hot" and what was "not."

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