Coming off a loss to Atlanta, the Eagles have some legitimate introspection to do on how to improve going forward. While it is easy and fair to partially blame the loss on bad injury luck, last night exposed some issues across the board that the team needs to work on.
On offense, Isaac Seumalo was a liability against the Falcons defensive line. Grady Jarrett, outstanding in his own right, owned the Eagles down-to-down. It was nearly impossible to run inside against the Falcons and every drop back had Jarrett charging up the middle. The health of the skill players is immaterial if the offensive line is disrupted inside like that.
Defensively, the Eagles saw more problems in the secondary. Aggressive defensive calls from Jim Schwartz partly masked the problems by getting Matt Ryan off balance all game, but the Falcons receivers were getting open on a down to down basis. Particularly, Ronald Darby and Andrew Sendejo were massive liabilities.
The secondary has been a question mark going back to last year and while Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas are starting to come into their own, Darby cannot be a long term option at cornerback and the team needs to consider new blood at safety.
There was plenty of good offensive line play across college football on Saturday, but particularly impressive was Houston’s Josh Jones and Daishawn Dixon out of SDSU.
Jones is a senior tackle who is an expert pass blocker with ability to move defenders off the ball in the running game. Houston’s shootout with WSU meant a lot of time on the field for Jones to show off and he turned in an elite performance. Jones could be considered at tackle or guard for an NFL team and his finesse style and athleticism is perfect for what the Eagles like up front.
San Diego State bullied New Mexico on Saturday, rushing for almost 300 yards. This incredible effort was possible due to Daishawn Dixon bullying NMSU’s defense. Dixon is a gritty run blocker and likes to punish defenders. Absolutely a player who deserves draft recognition this season.
Defensively, Damon Arnette was one of many Buckeyes who performed excellently in a blowout win against Indiana. The six foot senior had two PBUs and an impressive pick six.
DAMON ARNETTE STAYIN’ IN SCHOOL pic.twitter.com/P9GUugghWu— Arrogant Ryan Day (@ArrogantBuckeye) September 14, 2019
The fifth year senior was overshadowed by Jeff Okudah heading into the season, but this performance should vault him into national regard.
At safety, Myles Bryant turned in an elite performance against Hawai’i. The Washington Senior was crucial in slowing down The Rainbow Warriors and their high powered offense and he delivered.
Myles Bryant is good at football. Great play to rip this out of the WR's hands at the catch point.pic.twitter.com/vF9vDX7FwS— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) September 15, 2019
Bryant played physical football all day, picking off two passes and sacking Cole McDonald. The senior defender is a smaller safety, but is another playmaker in the long line of Washington defensive backs. Bryant came up big against Hawai’i and should be followed closely for the rest of his senior season.