Opposite Directions

Over the past five weeks, the Eagles are 2-2-1. The losses came in close games against the Steelers and Ravens, two of the best teams in the league.

The Cowboys are 1-4 in that same span. Two of the losses were by 22 or more points and they trailed by 27 in another game. In their lone win, Dallas was down 17-3 to an 0-5 team and needed a last second field goal to win the game.

It is fair to say that both the Eagles and Cowboys are bad teams right now, but they are heading in different directions.

There is a lot of talk coming out of Dallas, with players questioning the coaching staff. Jerry Jones obviously got tired of that and decided something had to happen.

Griffen was traded today. The others were cut at some point. This sure feels like Jerry is getting rid of anyone he doesn’t totally trust. If you’re an outsider (free agent), you better have a great reputation with the coaching staff.

The Eagles are starting to get some injured players back. Some young players have benefited from the playing time they’ve gotten and you can start to see some reasons for optimism.

Dallas is reminding me of the 2012 Eagles. The team started 3-3, but had some ugly and some lucky wins. They fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo during the bye week and the team was never the same.

Castillo wasn’t a good DC, but his dismissal was the wrong move. It sent the wrong message to the team and the Eagles went 1-9 after that. Nnamdi Asomugha ate lunch in his car every day. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had to be shamed into tackling during a meeting in Andy Reid’s office. Desean Jackson avoided contact the way I avoid salads.

That team was a mess on and off the field. Once things started to go wrong, they just snowballed. It feels like Dallas could be headed in that direction. We’ll find out a lot about Mike McCarthy and the leadership of the core players (Zeke, Zach Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, etc.).

Dallas does scare me. That team is a mess right now, but that’s when teams can be their most dangerous. I hope they don’t figure things out on Sunday night.

We don’t yet know if Andy Dalton will play or if they’ll turn to rookie Ben DiNucci. Dalton has the experience, DiNucci is more athletic. Neither appears to be a great option at this point.

The Eagles know their QB, but the OL is again a question. Jason Peters was at practice on Wednesday and playing LT. Jordan Mailata slid over to RT, with Lane Johnson still in question for Sunday. Matt Pryor was back at RG, with Nate Herbig staying at LG.

We’ll have to wait and see if anything changes between now and Sunday.

A win would move the Eagles closer to .500 and the team might really start to build some confidence as they head into the bye week. Get some more rest and see who else is able to come back.

After facing the Eagles on Sunday night, Dallas gets a showdown with the Steelers and their #1 defense. The next two weeks could really bury the Cowboys if the Eagles and Steelers handle their business.


IgglesBlitz is getting some work done to it. I’m trying to have all the hacker issues sorted out so the site functions better than the Eagles secondary. Hopefully it will be done by the weekend.

Thank you for your patience.


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Yeah, But…

The Eagles are in first place. Carson Wentz is heating up. Travis Fulgham is legit. The defense just came up with three takeaways and sealed the win over the Giants on Thursday night with a huge play.

Yeah, but…

The Eagles have serious issues. Let’s start with the O-line. The guard situation is a mess. Nate Herbig is an effective starter, but the team keeps moving him between LG and RG. That has limited his ability to develop and improve. He’s a functional starter, but has the potential to be more than that if he can stay at one spot.

The reason he keeps getting moved is that the other guards are significantly better at one spot. Sua Opeta is better at LG. Jamon Brown needs to play RG. Matt Pryor is better on the right side. And so on.

If you can ever get Seumalo back at LG and Herbig stays at RG, you might have something. For now, guard play is a problem and that makes it tough for Carson Wentz to step into his throws confidently.

Jordan Mailata has been solid at LT, but he’s had issues the past couple of weeks. That happens to all OL. You’re going to get beat as you learn. Let’s just hope his confidence doesn’t start to waver.

RT is fine when Lane Johnson is healthy. The other 75 percent of the time, it is up and down.

Coaching has become a problem. Doug Pederson didn’t forget how to coach. He’s just used to having a good OL and his offensive ideas are built on that. When the OL is struggling, you have to adjust. Pederson has been up and down.

The Red Zone is normally a strength for the Eagles, but that was an issue last week. 2-point play decisions and choices have been less than ideal.

Special teams used to be a strength of the Eagles. Dave Fipp was considered one of the best STs coaches in the league. That hasn’t been the case this year. The return game is a mess, both punt and kickoff. Coverage has been solid.

Jake Elliott is officially an issue. He’s missed costly kicks in three straight games. He missed a key FG in the opener. He is hurting the team. The Eagles need to bring in competition. Elliott has a big leg and has been good in the past. Maybe Fipp can fix him. Something needs to happen.

The Eagles continue to have breakdowns by the back seven. Some of these come in coverage, but the run has also caused problems. Opposing QBs have had long runs the last two weeks. Opposing receivers have had successful run plays in several games. The lack of discipline and good tackling on the back end has hurt the team.

This isn’t meant to be all gloom and doom. The Eagles are not a good team, but they have held it together and they are playing hard. Some of you scoff at that by talking about “moral victories”. That’s not the point at all.

Look at Dallas. That team is awful right now. There are questions about effort. There are questions about unity. The players are going to the press to rip the coaches. That’s a mess.

The Eagles are not playing well. No one would try to tell you they are. But the team has remained together. That gives you a chance to turn things around. Dallas could still do that as well, but it becomes increasingly difficult when you have to solve problems on and off the field.

The Eagles need to get healthy and eliminate mistakes. Whether either of those happens this year is anybody’s guess.

It is encouraging to see Travis Fulgham, Alex Singleton and the guys like them who waited forever to get on the field and now they’re taking advantage of it.

Every time I want to give up on this team, I think about them. Is that youth and energy enough to get this group to win more games? It certainly helps.

Hopefully we’ll get good injury news this week. This team needs some guys to start coming back.

For now, enjoy your first place Eagles, even if they are a mess.


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More Roster Additions

Davis was a dynamic PR in college. It will be interesting to see if he can show that kind of potential in practice.

Killings got paid good money by the Eagles to stay on the practice squad this year. He must be a player they like as a prospect.

Ward showed real potential last year as a slot receiver. Can he take a big step forward in Year 2?


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Harold Carmichael Gets Honored

Former Eagles WR Harold Carmichael was recently honored.

Carmichael was a star player for Southern University before being drafted in 1971. He starred in football, but was a gifted athlete that also played basketball and was on the track team.


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Early Additions

The Eagles added some young players to challenge for 2018 roster spots.

P Cameron Johnston
TE Adam Zaruba
CB Elie Bouka
WR Marquess Wilson
S Harold Jones-Quartey
C Jon Toth
TE Joshua Perkins

Zaruba could be a player to watch. Talented athlete who showed potential last summer, but was extremely raw. A full offseason may give him a chance to really compete for a roster spot.

Wilson is a talented WR with experience. He’s just struggled to stay healthy.

Perkins is small, but a talented pass catcher.


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DeSean Update

DeSean Jackson signed a big deal with Tampa in the offseason. Expectations were sky high for him and the Bucs. Jameis Winston has a strong arm and Mike Evans draws plenty of double teams.

Jackson is off to a slow start, going 9-143-1 through three games. He was frustrated on Sunday.

 It’s hard to tell exactly what it was that set him off, but if the little sideline tirade that Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jacksonthrew on Sunday was a result of quarterback Jameis Winston’s inability to get the ball to him, coach Dirk Koetter is OK with that.

Jackson came off the field and slammed his helmet and threw his gloves after Winston failed to connect with Jackson on a critical 2-point conversion during the Bucs 25-23 victory over the Giants and Koetter says Jackson has every reason to be frustrated.

“DeSean should be frustrated because DeSean is an elite player in this league and we didn’t get him the ball,’’ Koetter said after Jackson caught just two of the six passes that were thrown to him on the day, gaining a total of just 20 yards.

We tried to get it to him, and I mean, we’ve talked about how Jameis and Cam (Brate) were clicking; how Jameis and Adam (Humphries) were clicking; how Jameis and Mike (Evans) are always clicking. We even got O.J. (Howard) on track today.

 “But with DeSean, we just couldn’t get it to him other than a couple of short ones. We either flat out missed him a couple times or we didn’t see him. So DeSean has every right to be frustrated and we have to get him involved more because he’s a dynamic playmaker.’’

 Jackson dressed quickly and left the Bucs locker room without speaking to reporters, so it’s uncertain if he’s frustrated over the lack of opportunity or because three games into the season he and Winston still haven’t developed a good connection.

It sounds like Winston is really struggling with his deep accuracy. He’s had some deep balls that were way off target. That can frustrate a receiver.

It will be interesting to see if Winston gets better at that during the season or this issue frustrates Jackson the whole year.


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Beau for the Win

Beau Allen is good at football. And Twitter.

Here is his breakdown of Chris Long’s hustle for the strip sack of Philip Rivers.

I really enjoy the chemistry of this team so far.


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Wentz Getting It Done



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Sights and Sounds From the Win Over the Giants

Great job by NFL Films.


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Breaking Down the Kick

Chuck Zodda is a kicking expert and needless to say, he was impressed by Jake Elliott’s winning kick on Sunday.


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