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> Before we criticize the D too much, got to consider the context of how it happened
Birdwatcher
post Dec 18 2017, 11:41 AM
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It is concerning that a D that allowed just 18 TDs in the first 11 games would give up 10 in the last 3 weeks. Then again the last 3 weeks were all road games with 2 on the west coast, a grueling part of the schedule we knew was coming. In the first game we went to Seattle and R Wilson played his best game of the season, making our D chase him all over the field. Then we spend a week in sunny California and play the second most prolific O in the league, and like many expected it was a barn burner, but we win it. Then, after all that we come back East, but have to go up to NY for an early Sunday game. Given we never go up to NY the day before, like all other road trips, and just take buses up very early Sunday AM, what we saw was a road weary D. But now we are home, our 6-0 home, and 1 more win means the only road trip would be to the SB this Feb. If the D still looks bad Xmas night I will worry, but I think they can get their mojo back in the next two weeks and set us up for some fun in January. Just remember, this is Philly and it is almost never easy when it comes to post season aspirations.
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Pila
post Dec 18 2017, 01:40 PM
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Last year the defense tailed off as well, especially the front 7. Seems to be little reason to attribute it to wear and tear, considering the fact that they rotate the front line so often. They need to pick it p to help the secondary. Schwartz has to do better in scheming these guys better - seems like the offenses are much better prepared then he is.


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eagleaddict
post Dec 18 2017, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (Birdwatcher @ Dec 18 2017, 11:41 AM) *
It is concerning that a D that allowed just 18 TDs in the first 11 games would give up 10 in the last 3 weeks. Then again the last 3 weeks were all road games with 2 on the west coast, a grueling part of the schedule we knew was coming. In the first game we went to Seattle and R Wilson played his best game of the season, making our D chase him all over the field. Then we spend a week in sunny California and play the second most prolific O in the league, and like many expected it was a barn burner, but we win it. Then, after all that we come back East, but have to go up to NY for an early Sunday game. Given we never go up to NY the day before, like all other road trips, and just take buses up very early Sunday AM, what we saw was a road weary D. But now we are home, our 6-0 home, and 1 more win means the only road trip would be to the SB this Feb. If the D still looks bad Xmas night I will worry, but I think they can get their mojo back in the next two weeks and set us up for some fun in January. Just remember, this is Philly and it is almost never easy when it comes to post season aspirations.


I was thinking the same exact thing. There's no readon to hit the panic button. We went from 1-7 on the road to 6-2. However, I am a little nervous that the 2 giants games are a blueprint to beat us. IMO we need to lean heavier on the run game to dictate the speed of the game and give the D rest.


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Reality Fan
post Dec 19 2017, 12:22 AM
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QUOTE (eagleaddict @ Dec 18 2017, 05:42 PM) *
I was thinking the same exact thing. There's no readon to hit the panic button. We went from 1-7 on the road to 6-2. However, I am a little nervous that the 2 giants games are a blueprint to beat us. IMO we need to lean heavier on the run game to dictate the speed of the game and give the D rest.


It is not an issue of rest...the D gave up 23 in the first half and 6 in the 2nd.

They just seem sluggish to start every game the last 3


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Rick
post Dec 19 2017, 05:37 AM
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My concern is they aren't swarming to the ball like they had been and their tackling is piss poor. You can't get away with this in the playoffs.
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eagleaddict
post Dec 19 2017, 10:57 AM
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QUOTE (Reality Fan @ Dec 19 2017, 12:22 AM) *
It is not an issue of rest...the D gave up 23 in the first half and 6 in the 2nd.

They just seem sluggish to start every game the last 3

Maybe a little less time planning the electric slide and more time working on tackling. I wonder if rasul Douglas could be activated this week. I like Darby but rasul wasn't playing poorly.


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Birdwatcher
post Dec 19 2017, 11:44 AM
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QUOTE (Reality Fan @ Dec 19 2017, 12:22 AM) *
It is not an issue of rest...the D gave up 23 in the first half and 6 in the 2nd.

They just seem sluggish to start every game the last 3


The great Les Bowen ponders the defensive issues:

It is unlikely the Eagles have forgotten how to tackle over the past month or so, or that they never really could defend a slant, and teams are just now catching on that the middle of the field is wide open, as it was in Sunday’s struggle with the previously inoffensive New York Giants.

So, what in the name of Nnamdi is going on here? A defense that allowed 35 points during a three-game stretch against Denver, Dallas and Chicago has allowed 88 in its last three games. (Yes, I’m including the touchdown the Rams scored on a blocked punt, because officially, the NFL charges all points to the defense.)

Tuesday we’ll get to ask defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz that question. Monday, all we had was the guy in charge, Doug Pederson, but even though Pederson mostly works with the offense, he had some thoughts.

“I do know this: It’s been a rough three games,” Pederson said, when asked if fatigue is a factor. “We’ve been on the road. There was a West Coast trip in there with Seattle and L.A., and then [we were] up in New York. I think back to when we played the Broncos — I believe the Broncos were on the road for three games in a row at the time we played them, and you saw what happened there,” the Eagles winning, 51-23, against what had been considered a tough Denver defense.
“I think there’s something to say about that, being on the road, and traveling,” Pederson said.

Pederson didn’t say so, but the Seattle loss, having to chase Russell Wilson around CenturyLink Field, had to be pretty draining; it might not be an accident that the two games since have been the Eagles’ worst of the season in terms of points allowed.

Pederson also alluded to a “compounding interest of everything that’s sort of taken place in the last month of our season,” which also makes sense. Maybe the offensive guys knew Nick Foles well enough to trust him with their season right away, but what the defense might have seen when Carson Wentz went down was the loss of the team’s leader and the best player on the roster.

If the Eagles could clinch homefield throughout the playoffs, and rest some starters, that might make the defense look a bit more crisp in the postseason. The first-round bye the Eagles secured against the Giants also could help.

It was revealing that when Pederson was asked about tackling Monday, he didn’t threaten any Week 16 full-contact practices, he talked about the importance of making sure “guys are fresh.” The Giants rolled up 88 offensive snaps Sunday.

Of course, there are issues that might not be fixed by rest. The quarterbacks the Eagles have faced the last three weeks – Wilson, Jared Goff and Eli Manning – are a pretty solid bunch. No Brock Osweilers or Mitch Trubiskys lately. And on the second weekend of the playoffs, when the Eagles take the field, the opposing quarterback is likely to be pretty good.

During that stretch when the Eagles were blowing teams out, maybe we convinced ourselves a bit too easily that the defense was making up for the loss of middle linebacker Jordan Hicks to an Achilles’ tear back on Oct. 23. Going into the season, I would have rated Hicks as one of the five most indispensible Eagles, and Sunday, watching Manning work the middle, it was hard not to wonder if Hicks might have helped stop the bleeding.

“It’s tough when you lose your starters,” said Pederson, who threw in the fact that backup MIKE Joe Walker also has missed time, but did not mention that neither Walker nor Najee Goode is anywhere near as talented and intuitive as Hicks. “Yeah, it can be a little disruptive defensively. But listen, we don’t use [injuries] as excuses. We still figure it out, and try to find ways to win, and we’ve been able to do that.”

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