Initial random thoughts on the Eagles-Panthers battle for NFC supremacy

• Another game, another loss.  On the bright side, their draft position keeps improving.  If the season ended today, they’d be drafting 5th.

• Bryce Brown was highly impressive.  His burst on the long TD run was a thing of beauty.  He was simply faster than the entire Panthers defense.  That is a run that LeSean McCoy is incapable of because he doesn’t possess that kind of straight ahead speed.  If the Eagles bring in a head coach next season that likes to run the ball, the Eagles may have themselves a 1-2 punch at RB who compliment each other nicely.  LeSean McCoy has outstanding lateral quicks, and Brown, at 6’0 225, would be more of your hard-running banger, but with “plus” speed.

• The concerning thing for Brown, however, would obviously be the fumbles.  He had two of them last night.  He also fumbled against the Falcons, and was involved in a botched handoff against the Ravens, for which he was not credited with the fumble.  I looked at the tape on that one, and it looked to me like Brown was looking at a defender that was coming free, and he took his eyes off the ball instead of making sure he secured it before he ran.  That’s 4 fumbles in just 51 carries.  He’ll have to clean that up, but the sky is the limit for Brown.  Or maybe he was just being smart – He was showing that he can play, but made sure he fumbled enough to protect the Eagles draft position. Yeah, we’ll go with that.

• As long as we’re on the fumbling topic, that was something that was a huge concern of mine for LeSean McCoy entering the season, because he often carries the ball so far away from his body (see right).  He has 4 fumbles this season.

• Just because it irritates my Giants readers:

  • 1st round pick David Wilson so far this season: 102 rushing yards.
  • 7th round pick Bryce Brown last night: 178 rushing yards.

You may have the division all but wrapped up, but the Eagles have a more productive rookie RB so far this season.  So… yeah… take that, jerks.

• Here is what the last 5 QBs have done against the Eagles:

I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around how utterly gross that is. In fact, I’m not even going to bother trying to figure out what happened on the two busted coverages that led to TDs in the first quarter.  It’s not even worth the effort at this point.

Continued…

• There were moments during each of the first two Eagles game where Nick Foles impressed me. I don’t recall any from last night.  He also had several passes that should have been intercepted, but was bailed out by Panthers DBs with stone hands.  I’ll have to take a closer look at the tape to better evaluate his game, but my gut reaction is to say that it was not a good performance.  I’m leaning more and more toward the Eagles using their 1st round pick next season on a QB (Matt Barkley or Geno Smith), if they are in a position to do so.

• Jason Avant was inactive with a hamstring injury last night, and DeSean Jackson left during the game with a collarbone/chest injury.  If you count Avant as a Week 1 starter, the Eagles were down to 3 starters on the offense from opening day: Jeremy Maclin, Evan Mathis, and Brent Celek.

• On Bryce Brown’s long TD run, it looked like Dennis Kelly got a really nice seal block on the edge.  He may have taken out two Panthers on the block.  NFL.com does not yet have its game rewind feature up yet, so I can’t confirm.

• Eagles are now -17 in turnover differential this season. The Chiefs are the only team worse at -21.  They’re also now -98 in point differential.  That’s worst in the NFC.  The next closest team is the Panthers, at -51.

• Good to see Vinny Curry finally get on the field.  22 snaps, 5 tackles.  There is absolutely no reason at all why Darryl Tapp should be playing in favor of Curry with the season down the drain, and the Eagles seem to recognize that.  Just 1 snap for Tapp last night.  Tapp is a great guy and a great locker room presence, but he will not be an Eagle next year.

• The Eagles’ sound guy really has to stop playing “Don’t stop believing” after the opposing team extends a lead in the 4th quarter.  It’s embarrassing.  Also, as long as we’re being real, instead of playing Rocky music during opening kickoff, the Eagles should play the intro music when you face Glass Joe in Mike Tyson’s Punchout:

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20 Comments

  1. David K says:

    We could always trade down. Then we might be able to get a QB at a good value and pick up an extra 1st or 2nd round pick.

  2. Hope says:

    No, I don’t think he forgot to mention Alfred Morris. Remember Jimmy is a Eagles fan therefore he looks for things and compare it to make Eagles looks good (or aleast for postitive hopes).

  3. Roy says:

    You forgot: Alfred Morris, 6th round pick, 982 yards. Kind of blows the other rookie RBs away.

  4. ChickenCheesesteak says:

    Jimmy K, I love reading your posts and you consistently make good points, but please explain why you think Barkley or Geno would make a good pick in the top 5. I don’t like neither QB. I’ve watched 3 games with Barkley and I’m turned off by his bad decision making. I watched 2 games with Geno and thought he looked pedestrian against K State. I’m down on the QBs eligible to come out for the 2013 draft, no one impresses.

    1. I’ve seen more of Geno Smith than Matt Barkley. I’ll get a much better look at Barkley if he competes at the Senior Bowl, and hopefully he does. Smith has impressed me. Very, very accurate. Arm looks like it has some pop. Nice size at 6’3, 220-ish. No idea about the brains of either guy. I’ll take a better look at all of that when the season is over.

      But from just the philosophical perspective, in the NFL, you either have a QB, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you have no chance. So if you have a guy that you perceive as a “Top 10-15” kind of guy, you’ll take him at 5 because the importance of the position is so high.

  5. You can probably watch the run where someone you mention gets a nice block as a highlight video on nfl.com

  6. bula says:

    the only reason i’d be ok with geno smith or matt barkley is that it would ensure a top ten draft pick for the next 5 seasons. truth be told, i don’t want either one. i’d rather (hate to say this) have vick back at a restructured price

  7. NYG_slater says:

    4 fumbles in just 51 carries…….that is…..kinda incredible. I haven’t watched him run, are the fumbles just carelessness?

    If he cleans up the fumbles, heck of a steal. If not, out of the league in 2 years.

    1. mjoedgaard says:

      My theory is that he is not used to playing against NFL type defenders. When he last played a ton, it was against high school kids or college kids where 99.9% of them is not playing football now.

  8. TylerD says:

    LOL at your Giants dig, if the Eagles had a real coach Bryce Brown wouldn’t even be dressed for this game after his fumbles against the Falcons.

  9. deg0ey says:

    I’d rather not take either of those QBs. If the draftniks are to be believed, next year’s class is supposed to be much better in the QB department and, if that’s true, I’d much rather leave Smith and Barkley (who IMO will be massive reaches for whoever takes them) and roll with Foles for next season. That way, if/when he sucks we’ll still be in a reasonable position to get a better guy for 2014.

  10. Derf Diggy says:

    *singing*

    YAYYY HAYYY THE WITCH IS DEAD! THE WITCH IS DEAD! THE WITCH IS DEADDDDDD!

    R.I.P to the Philadelphia Eagles…Winners of nothing…Champions of Empty Trophy cases….Beast(s) of the East for the last decade…..God bless your Soul Fat Andy…go forth to another division. We don’t want your tyranny in the NFC East any longer!

    1. Derf Diggy says:

      Sorry that was a bit uncouth…:( But I had to!

  11. triplej says:

    I hate it when the media tries to defend Andy. It’s his team; His draft picks, his free agent signings, his trades, his coaching hiring decisions, his play calling etc.
    He had a long successful career in Philadelphia. His success went down hill with the passing of Jim Johnson. When you look back, Reid’s success was based on Johnson’s defense and McNabb as his QB.
    Based on your chart of QB ratings the last 5 games, let’s put it in perspective; Jim Johnson had 7 games where the QB rating was over 120 in TEN YEARS.

  12. Quick correction. If the season ended today the Eagles would be drafting third (because the games in the future that bolster their SOS wouldn’t count).

    If the teams ahead of them don’t win anymore by season’s end they would draft fifth.

    1. Ignore the “if the season ended today” part. I should probably change that.

      I think that using the full 16 games in terms of strength of schedule makes more sense, because it show each team’s SOS for the entire season, which is what will ultimately matter, as opposed to the version that shows only the the teams they’ve played so far. The other version of the SOS is worthless to me, in my opinion.

      1. deg0ey says:

        You could, however, if you wanted to, use the difference between their SOS up until now and their SOS for the season to project whether a team is likely to move up or down over the next 5 games. For example, the Eagles have a 0.273 winning percentage so far against whatever their SOS might be up until now. Therefore if their remaining SOS is higher, we can expect them to win even fewer games over the next 5 weeks and therefore end up with an even higher draft pick than they’d have now?

        Does any of that make sense or am I just BSing?

  13. pricenbe says:

    Please no Matt Barkley. Please. (I’d take Geno Smith though…)

  14. Tom says:

    One bright spot you forgot to mention – with the 2 sacks (OK 1 sack by Patterson and Babin tripped over Cam near the LOS) the Eagles passed Aldon Smith on the sack race for the season. Who says these guys have quit?

    1. Ha, an excellent point. Suck it, Aldon Smith.

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