The Eagles defense has allowed ten passing touchdowns and 90 points in the last two weeks of football. They did not play the Patriots in either of those games so gear up. If you allow Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford to dissect your defense with ease I don’t understand how you expect to turn around your season versus possibly the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Now granted he is more than likely going to be without his top two receiving weapons in Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, but nonetheless the Eagles defensive coordinator and the defense as a whole have given us Eagles fans zero hope that will make any difference. Cornerback Nolan Carroll broke his ankle on Thanksgiving forcing rookie corner Eric Rowe into action. Anyone who watched the game realizes how the rest of the afternoon turned out for the Utah rookie. Calvin Johnson feasted on the rookie who was left on an island inexplicably by Bill Davis who continues to run man coverage against elite receivers with subpar cornerbacks (Dez Bryant vs. Bradley Fletcher). At this point I’m just looking for a little fight from the defense and maybe even a pass rush that would be a nice surprise.
Matchup to Watch: Brandon Bolden vs. Mychal Kendricks
The Eagles defense and Kendricks in particular were abused by the Detroit running backs on Thursday coming out of the backfield. Theo Riddick looked like an All Pro for the majority of the game running swing and wheel routes with ease. Kendricks has struggled in coverage this season and I’m starting to think that might not be one of his strong suits. In his defense, Davis scheme of man coverage forces Kendricks to work through pick plays and sprinting full speed to the sideline in some instances to even get to the running back to cover him. It’s a scheme and player issue in my opinion. Bolden caught a 63 yard touchdown on Sunday Night against Denver. He was largely viewed as an ace special teamer for the Patriots, but since the injury to Dion Lewis and departure of Shane Vereen he’s seeing increased action in that role for the offense. Bolden had 4 catches for 84 yards on the game. Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, fantastic name, was able to dice up the Eagles defense with his play calling using his running backs. I shudder to think what Josh McDaniels will have in store for Bill Davis.
Player to Watch: Eric Rowe
We’re going to get a nice long look at Rowe for the rest of the season after Carroll was placed on season ending IR. As soon as Rowe came into the game I pretty much figured the Lions would attack him on almost every passing down. They did that and then some yet Bill Davis refused to give the kid any help which still pisses me off. That being said Rowe will get a chance to redeem himself this weekend against a great quarterback. The jury is still out on Rowe whether he’s actually a corner in the NFL or better suited at safety where he played the majority of his time in college. The remaining games should give us fans a pretty good idea if we made the right move trading up in the second round to select him.
Player to Watch: Scott Chandler
Chandler is your prototypical annoying Patriots player who is just another name when he played for the Bills then he goes to New England and is a pass catching tight end all of a sudden. Gronk is likely out this week even though reports have been conflicting on the severity of his knee injury after taking a low hit in the Denver game. Chandler is the next man up and along with wide receiver Brandon LaFell are arguably the top two targets remaining for Brady. Veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola should return this week, but may be limited due to a lingering knee injury which forced him to miss the Broncos game. The Eagles struggled two weeks ago with Bucs rookie tight end Cameron Braite who in many ways is just like Chandler. We’ll see if the lack of weapons for Brady will allow Bill Davis to slide Malcolm Jenkins or Walter Thurmond onto Chandler in the hopes of taking him out of the game. Chandler had 5 catches for 58 yards and a score against Denver.
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