The Eagles offense ran 88 plays this past weekend and Ray Didinger summed it up best who gives a damn. They scored 19 points and 2 of those points came off the safety when Walter Thurmond thumped Tannehill. Sam Bradford went down with a concussion and AC sprain so he’ll likely be out the next two games at least. Enter Mark Sanchez who appeared to speed the tempo up significantly when he entered against Miami then showed why he’s a backup quarterback by throwing a back breaking interception in the end zone to kill all the momentum. Ryan Mathews sustained a concussion as well and his status is up in the air this weekend as well. Left tackle Jason Peters supposedly refused to dress unless he was starting this past Sunday so we’ll see if he’s back this weekend against Tampa since Dennis Kelly looked terrible as expected. On the bright side, tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz had break out games especially Celek who ripped off three long catches from Bradford. I expect another low scoring tilt this weekend against the Bucs.
Players to Watch: Riley Cooper and Miles Austin
These two are one of the main reasons why this Eagles offense sputters week in and week out. They provide no sort of threat or danger to the defense on the outside. Here’s an interesting stat for you Eagles fans. Riley Cooper and Miles Austin were on the field a combined 97 plays this past weekend and managed to catch zero balls between them. I’m pretty sure Cooper wasn’t even targeted and he hasn’t caught a ball the past three games which is pathetic. Austin managed to not drag his foot in the back of the end zone, not run a hard enough crossing route on the Sanchez interception and finally have a ball whizz by his head unbeknownst to him on the last series of the game. I’m not even going to say these two need to get going because I’m not dumb enough to think that will actually happen. Instead I’ll suggest Chip needs to limit the snaps for these two bozos.
Player to Watch: Lavonte David
David is a very underrated player in this league who’s had his struggles within the past year, but he is starting to turn things around. The last two weeks against the Giants and Dallas he’s had 23 tackles combined. David is paired with Kwon Alexander who plays the Mike position to form a pretty nice duo for the Bucs. The Eagles unfathomably struggled to run the ball against the woeful Dolphins run defense and I don’t expect it to get any easier this week with David roaming around. Gerald McCoy up front will give “hipster center” Jason Kelce trouble up front like the rest of the league has. Darren Sproles might see a lot of David in the passing game which he has been absent from during a majority of the season.
Player to Target: Chris Conte
It amazes me that Conte who was downright dreadful as a starting safety for years with Chicago managed to find another starting gig in the league. Then again if he was going to find a home as a starter Tampa is an obvious fit with one of the most overrated coaches in the league, Lovie Smith. Conte consistently gets bullied in the run game and tends to get burned over the top as a safety in the passing game. If I were Chip he is the one guy in the secondary I am going after to exploit his obvious weaknesses. He is paired with his polar opposite DJ Swearinger formerly of the Houston Texans on the back end for Tampa Bay. Swearinger is a spitting image of Brandon Meriweather when it comes to helmet to helmet hits. These two makeup one of the weaker safety tandems in the league. Conte has played in all 9 games so far this season and has one interception thus far.
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