Well, that was horrible. The first half defensive performance was just as bad as last week. I'm not going to start calling for the coaches to be fired because I believe this team has serious flaws and that's sort of ridiculous after 1 season. However, it obviously should be better than whatever that was on Sunday. Although it was bad, I'm not going to show all negative plays. Just because the team was bad, doesn't mean that certain players didn't play well. Also, it's depressing for me if I just post bad plays.
Clearly, this was Carson Wentz's worst game. His mechanics were off as everyone has said about 100 times already this week. I'm not worried and you shouldn't be either. It was a bad, bad game. No quarterback is perfect coming into the league. Wentz is pro ready in a number of different ways but his mechanics need to be tweaked. Most of the time, his mechanics are okay. These are not fatal flaws that are going to make him a bad quarterback. This isn't like Blake Bortles' mechanics that need an entire reworking, so ignore people that say that. It's not a comparable situation.
Doug did not do a good job this week making it easy for Wentz. The offense literally ran through him this week. He was asked to carry the team, without a good offensive line, without a good wide receiver and with basically no running game whatsoever. That's incredibly difficult and it's impacting Wentz because he's thinking about everything too much. He threw the ball over 60 times. I don't want to break down the interceptions because you know they weren't good. Sometimes, there is nothing he can do as a quarterback, like the play below.
No one is open at all. He throws a perfect ball to a spot where only Dorial Green-Beckham can get it. DGB lets it go straight through his hands. Good luck rookie! Wentz still showed on a number of plays how advanced he is for a rookie. Like the plays below.
On the first play, Wentz is reading his single receiver to the right, before coming off him, resetting his feet and then throwing a strike to Trey Burton, who actually played really well by the way. The second play is awesome. He has trips to his left and he elminates those reads really quickly, he then turns like he's going to check it down to Sproles to draw the linebacker over and then throws it beside him to DGB. This is an awesome example of going through your reads and using your eyes to manipulate defenders. Watch how number 57 moves when Wentz turns to the right. That is a high, high level play.
I was stunned the Eagles didn't play Bryce Treggs more than 2 snaps this week. On the 2 plays he was on, he at least got deep and moved the safety back. I have no idea why he's playing 2 snaps and Agholor is playing 100%. It puts us back to where we were before the Giants game where the Eagles couldn't stretch the field at all.
Although most of his catches weren't very exciting (sorry), someone requested all of Paul Turner's catches so here you go!
Play 1 shows Turner moving across the field on the crossing route and Wentz hits him with a dart. He wasn't pressed or anything so he didn't have to beat man coverage. On play 2 he catches a slant in the middle of the field, he has a really nice burst off the line of scrimmage which you can see here. On play 3 he runs a slant as the outside receiver to the left and he makes a nice catch.
Play 1 was his best play. Turner runs a deep comeback route and despite not getting much separation he comes back to the ball and makes a good catch in traffic. Play 2 is a simple drag route. So overall, Turner's catches weren't exactly spectacular. He clearly has good hands but he doesn't look like he's got the movement skills to create separation consistently. Hopefully we see him more though. I'm finished with Agholor entirely, I was disappointed by his play this week, if that's even possible. He's so slow off the line of the scrimmage, there's just 0 explosiveness there.
There's nothing to really say about this. I've been saying all season I don't think Smallwood is a feature back and I think I'm being proved right. I really hoped I was wrong because it would solve an issue for us, but I don't see it with this guy. The offensive line didn't block well but it's clear the coaching staff don't want him carrying the load right now. I also thought he showed poor vision on a few occasions
I'm not going to lie to you all, scouting a running back's vision is something I have found really difficult in the past. I wouldn't consider myself an expert when looking at running backs (although I did absolutely love Jordan Howard pre-draft and traded up for him in my dynasty league, the Eagles should have taken him in the 3rd!). But you don't need to be an expert to realize that on play 1, running into your center and falling down isn't really very good. There's a hole next to Celek if he cuts it back to the left but he just seems to want to hit the hole at all costs and sometimes you need to bounce it outside. On play 2, I think the whole is between Peters and Celek but once again he runs down the middle and gets nothing. Smallwood isn't a power back, we badly need explosive plays so I would like him to try and create something.
The secondary was awful this week. The pass rush wasn't good either. That isn't really a winning combination. Nolan Carroll and McKelvin are flat out awful at the moment. Mills is okay, but he's hardly setting the world on fire either. On 3rd and long, Andy Dalton and a bunch guys I've never heard of destroyed the Eagles. I will say one thing though, Andy Dalton played extremely well. Yes, the defense was bad. But he made a couple of incredible throws.
The defensive line can't get pressure right now and Jim Schwartz basically admitted he can't blitz because his cornerbacks are useless. Fletcher Cox actually failed to get pressure when blocked one on one a few times which is sort of worrying. Brandon Graham and Cox do pressure the pocket but they literally cannot get anything from the other side. Connor Barwin is basically useless. Vinny Curry is getting doubled a lot to be fair, but he's not playing well. They keep running these stupid stunts that never ever seem to work.
On play 1 here, you can see Cox struggling to get past the right guard. Once again, Curry is doubled here. I know fans rightly are angry at Curry for this year, but offensive coaches clearly think he's a handful because they frequently double him. Barwin is never doubled. On play 2, once again there's a lack of pressure. Cox and Graham can't really do much. Barwin does his special move, the jump up in the air when he can't get to the quarterback but sadly it doesn't work here. Barwin and Curry must have run that stunt on nearly every 3rd down and it never worked. The cornerbacks don't press either which gives receivers a free release, meaning Dalton can get the ball out his hands quickly.
Here's another big play with no pass rush. Cox gets nowhere and actually gets pushed back by the guard. Graham next gets there, but once again Dalton can get rid of the ball quickly because there's no press coverage. Oh look, Barwin and Curry are running a stunt. You might be getting the idea I'm not a fan of these stunts at the moment.
I'm also still annoyed about how much Jenkins is playing slot cornerback. Watkins isn't that good and Jenkins is an average player right now when he's an elite safety.
On the plus side, the Eagles are still good against the run! Hooray! Cox, Logan and Hicks were really good against the run. I really don't care if Barwin is better against the run than Curry and Marcus Smith, please play Curry and Smith more. If we get run all over, I'll accept defeat. But I don't get how you can play a defensive end for 50%+ of the snaps when he literally cannot get any pass rush. Once again, Smith showed up on a few plays.
On play 1, Smith makes a nice play as the backside defender and shows good speed. On the 2nd play, Smith nearly gets pressure around the edge and almost disrupts the throw. Considering we use a wide 9 quite a lot, it's quite important for the defensive end to be able to bend the edge. Smith certainly can bend the edge better than our other defensive ends. Just let him play more, let's see what we have. I cannot take anymore Barwin, I can't do it.
There was some talk about a lack of effort this Sunday, let's be clear that Brandon Graham was not one of those players.
On play 1, Graham makes a nice play as the backside defender. He shows some really good closing speed here. But play 2 is the one I really wanted to show you. It's incredible. Graham gets cut down. He doesn't give up and gets back on his feet almost immediately and then hits Jeremy Hill hard. The athleticism and desire on show here is awesome and it's great to see.
As always, feel free to ask any questions. Thanks guys.