Tag Archives: Jeremy Maclin

#BirdDay Statement and Sole Possession of First Haiku

That was awesome.

What a gameplan by Chip Kelly and Billy Davis. What an opening drive. What a game.

Aside from what turned out to be a harmless LeSean McCoy fumble in the third quarter, the Eagles just dominated their NFC East rival in their house for all of the nation to see.

Mark Sanchez exorcised his demons of Thanksgiving past and outplayed Tony Romo, who admittedly entered today having a terrific year.

McCoy more than doubled DeMarco Murray’s output on the ground, as the Cowboys running back was held to a season low 73 rushing yards.

Jeremy Maclin at one point had more receiving yards than the entire Cowboys team and outperformed Dez Bryant.

Chip Kelly was miles ahead of Jason Garrett and Rod Marinelli throughout the afternoon.

We can nitpick and point at the Eagles red zone struggles. That is a legitimate concern, and the attempted fade pass to Riley Cooper seemed like a real odd call towards the end of the first half, but honestly, I’m too excited right now to get into that.

The Eagles are now 3-0 in the division while Dallas is 2-2. As I wrote earlier this morning, today would not decide the division, but the Eagles now sit in a prime position to repeat as NFC East champs. A win two and a half weeks from now at Lincoln Financial Field, where they are 6-0 this season, against the Cowboys, would just about clinch things.

There is more I want to write, and if time permits, I will dive into some deeper and more analytical things tomorrow and Saturday, but we’ll worry about that in a little while.

Happy Thanksgiving, Philadelphia, let’s hit the haiku.

Bird Day in Big D 

Sole possession of first place

Tasty Cowboys tears 

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Sole Possession of First Place Haiku

I thought it would be difficult to get weirder than Eagles-Cardinals last Sunday, but this came real close between the injuries, interceptions, and penalties.

Thankfully this game had a different end result. The Eagles are back in the win column and once again have sole possession of first place in the NFC East. It may have come with a price though — a price that cannot yet be measured.

A determination will not be made there until we hear about Nicky Foles and the extent of his shoulder injury. A lot of Foles haters wanted to see Mark Sanchez play. The results were uneven with a few beautiful throws and some inexplicable ones. Sound familiar?

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 4.02.20 PM

Sanchez looked pretty incompetent at times, but he won, and made a big throw in the fourth quarter to do it (bless you Jeremy Maclin). I give Foles credit for doing those things, so I have to extend the same sentiment toward Sanchez.

Still, some of the bad was really bad, and I wouldn’t be too comfortable with Sanchez having to quarterback this team for an extended period of time.

Thankfully either quarterback will have the services of Darren Sproles, Jason Kelce, and Evan Mathis, but the defense may have lost its leader in DeMeco Ryans on a fluke play that had me flashing back to NaVorro Bowman in the NFC Championship game last season.

They survived no Kendricks for a few weeks, but depth at inside linebacker is one of the biggest issues on this team and has been for some time.

The win feels good, but this will be a few days filled with uncertainty as a Monday Night date with the Panthers looms. Let’s try to enjoy being in first place again and hit the haiku as we hold our breath for injury updates:

Awful injuries

But Maclin ain’t one of them

Get well soon Nicky

Exhale: An Eagles Victory Haiku

So…That was weird.

What was on track to be a relaxing victory turned into the type of afternoon where you don’t have any fingernails left come 4 p.m.

I cannot go into a ton of observational details as I was trying to watch on a shaky live stream that didn’t completely hold up in the second half.

The only thing I do have to offer is that his type of escape act is becoming a characteristic of the Chip Kelly coached Eagles (Think both 2013 Redskins games along with the Arizona game last year), but to the team’s credit, there has not been a time where the Eagles actually lost a game after letting a seemingly buried team back in the game late.

This is a weird team. The defense is opportunistic but below average on third down. At times, Billy Davis looks like a head coaching candidate directing the defense. He makes me tweet something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 5.51.32 PM

And then five minutes later he reminds you why he failed as a defensive coordinator in San Francisco and Arizona last decade.

Jeremy Maclin is good. So is Cody Parkey. The secondary (aside from Brandon Boykin, who rarely plays, and Malcolm Jenkins) is not good. Neither is Marcus Smith. LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles have been inconsistent to say the least, but birds are off to their best start since 2006.

At least one person this week is going to refer to the Eagles as the ‘worst 4-1 team ever.’ I don’t believe that, and nor do I care. There are certainly issues to worry about, but this team is 1.5 yards away from being 5-0 and undefeated.

Let’s hit the haiku and look forward to Giants week:

Live stream stopped working

Defense almost did as well

Somehow four and one

Five Numbers I Would Like to See When Eagles-49ers Concludes Tonight

Conventional wisdom suggests the 49ers are set up to win today’s game, but as I mentioned earlier this morning, it eerily reminds me of when these two teams met in Week 4 of the 2011 season.

I would not at all be shocked if the Eagles lost today, and thankfully, being 3-0 allows them to drop a game on the road against a perceived tough opponent, but in my season predictions I picked them to escape with a narrow but epic victory, so I will obviously stick with that.

Here are five numbers that I hope to see in the box score when this NFC showdown concludes in about nine hours:

  1. LeSean McCoy averaging four yards per carry — This may be lofty given the Eagles makeshift offensive line, but should McCoy find room on the ground for essentially the first time this season, the offense could be deadly. The Nines held Andre Ellington and Matt Forte in check, but DeMarco Murray averaged 5.4 in the season opener. Hopefully a breakout performance from Shady is coming.
  2. Less than 45 rushing yards from Colin Kaepernick — Between Chad Henne, Andrew Luck, and Kirk Cousins, the Eagles have not exactly faced fleet-of-foot quarterbacks. They see a mobile one today in Kaepernick. Not having Mychal Kendricks won’t help their chances, but keeping him from using his legs could go a long way.
  3. At least two turnovers forced by the Eagles defense — The Niners have played two full games with zero turnovers but had four in their home loss to the Bears two weeks ago. Kaepernick has thrown some costly second half interceptions in the past. Do it again, Malcolm Jenkins.
  4. Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews, and my dude Zach Ertz combining for 200 plus receiving yards — This trio combined for 227 yards last week against the Redskins, and doing it again would be something else. Should that happen, I like the chances of Nicky Foles remaining the NFL leader in passing yards. Nicky Foles
  5. One sack from Vinny Curry or Brandon Graham — This duo was fantastic in the preseason, but the numbers have not shown up after three weeks of regular season play. Furthermore, the Eagles have not had a sack since Week 1 against the Jaguars, but Kaepernick has been sacked at least once in every game. Hopefully the former trend reverses today and the latter holds true.

There you have it. We got four, 45, two, 200, one, and hopefully leaving San Francisco undefeated and rockin the best record in the NFL.

Role Reversal: This Eagles-49ers Game Eerily Reminds Me of When They Played in 2011

As I mentioned two weeks ago before the Colts game, when the Eagles face a non-NFC East opponent, we will try to do a history esque lesson reflecting back on a previous matchup between the two teams.

Ideally we would go further back than three years ago for this feature, but today’s game reminds me a lot of a 2011 matchup, only the roles flipped completely upside down here.

Allow me to refresh your memory, and you can decide on your own if you see such parallels.

The date was October 2 (another Week 4 game), and the 49ers came to Philadelphia with a surprising 2-1 record. The Eagles entered on a two-game losing streak at 1-2 but were still a home favorite and perceived to be the better team.

They had the more established coach albeit similar to Jim Harbaugh now, some questioned if Andy Reid was losing his grip on the team at the time. They also had the more accomplished quarterback in Michael Vick, and most figured it was a game set up for the Eagles to win and get back to .500 at 2-2.

Early on, it seemed like things would follow that exact script. The Eagles jumped out to a 23-3 lead. An inexplicable lateral near the goal line by running back Ronnie Brown would cost them points, but everything was still going well.

Alex Smith found Josh Morgan for a 30-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to cut the deficit to 23-10. It was thought to be a relatively harmless touchdown pass at the time, but Vick and the Eagles went three and out. The 49ers scored again, and all of a sudden, a 23-3 lead was now 23-17 with 20 minutes still to play.

The Eagles looked prime to respond on their next drive and make it a two-possession game again, but rookie kicker Alex Henery missed a 39-yard field goal wide right three plays into the fourth quarter.

Juan Castillo’s defense was able to force a punt, and with less than seven minutes to go, Henery had a chance at redemption from 33 yards.

He missed again.

This time, Alex Smith and the 49ers would take advantage of a golden opportunity. Frank Gore capped off an eight-play drive with a rushing touchdown from 12 yards out. Former Eagles kicker David Akers nailed the extra point, and Lincoln Financial Field was in a state of shock.

The Eagles still had time and were actually moving the ball, but Justin Smith forced a Jeremy Maclin fumble on the edge of field goal range in Niners territory that was recovered by Dashon Goldson. A slim chance still existed, but Frank Gore was able to run for two first downs to salt away the clock.

Andy Reid’s squad would lose a game at Buffalo before it won again and would never completely recover from the 1-4 start, finishing the season 8-8. The 49ers would not lose again until Thanksgiving night as they advanced all the way to the NFC Championship game.

A box score from the game is here. A screenshot of the scoring summary and video highlights are embedded below.

Eagles-Niners Screenshot

The 49ers broke the Eagles will that afternoon, and today, the Eagles have a chance to do the exact same thing in San Francisco at the newly opened Levi’s Stadium.

They come in rolling while the 49ers are reeling after losing two straight. They have a better kicker now and a hot shot coach making waves throughout the league.

Everything feels so eerily familiar. All that’s needed is an Eagles victory to flip the script as part of the sequel.

Three Fun Eagles Passing Statistics For You

Waking up 2-0 instead of 1-1 just feels great, doesn’t it?

Below are three Eagles passing stats to pass along to you on this Wednesday morning (pun semi-intended).

1. Nick Foles is the only quarterback to throw for 300 yards in both Week 1 and Week 2 — Foles currently sits second in the league in passing yards trailing only Matt Ryan. He is tied for fifth in attempts with 82 and could certainly improve upon his 58.5 completion percentage (last year he finished at an even 64 percent) but certainly nice to see the production. More on Foles here if interested.

Foles Passing Stats

2. Zach Ertz is the NFL leader with 23.3 yards per receptionJimmy Kempski over at Philly.com has some additional stats on Ertz that you might enjoy. The real impressive thing to me is just how steady Ertz is. Michael Floyd of the Cardinals is second on this list behind Ertz, but he already has logged a 63-yard reception. Ertz might not be outchea catching 80-yard bombs from Foles, but he is no doubt a consistent, big play machine.

3. The Eagles are the only NFL team with three players in the Top 25 for receiving yardage — Darren Sproles is fourteenth at 166, Ertz is one spot behind him, and Jeremy Maclin comes in at twenty-third with 142 yards through two games.  This will be tough to maintain going forward but certainly fun to look at for the time being.

Eagles Receiving Stats

As I mentioned yesterday in a chart, the Eagles have been pretty bad in the first half and terrific in the second half. I am not sure how much longer they can afford to play like that, but you can clearly see that the numbers are still there at the end as Chip Kelly’s offense gets it done.

Thinking about what they could accomplish with a complete game is fun.

Checking Back on the Eagles Numbers I Wanted to See

I am afraid to check these numbers, but let’s do it. Here are the stats we wanted to see:

  1. Less than 45 rushing yards for Trent Richardson
  2. No more than one turnover for Nick Foles
  3. Jeremy Maclin with 90+ receiving yards
  4. At least 14 first half points
  5. Andrew Luck sacked three or more times

How did we do?

  1. No — Richardson somehow ran for 79 yards. The Eagles did force a key fumble on one of his carries, and I thought Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox played nice games, but the run defense looked shaky overall and will need to be better with Alfred Morris coming to town.
  2. Yes — Only one interception for Nick Foles and no fumbles. I wrote more about the Eagles quarterback and earning respect here.
  3. No — Half of that total, 45 yards to be exact, but Maclin did catch the game-tying touchdown from Foles with three minutes to go. Up and down performance but came through late.
  4. No — Only six first half points for the Eagles. Last year against the Redskins, they had two excellent first halves, outscoring the Skins 43-7. Hopefully they find their groove in the opening 30 minutes on Sunday.
  5. No — Neither Luck nor Foles was sacked all game, but it seemed like some of Billy Davis’ blitz packages got home and at least made the Colts signal-caller uncomfortable.

Not as good of a showing as Week 1 here, but the Eagles won, so all good. We have a short week upon us, so stay tuned for another edition Saturday night.