NFC East Reporter
The Philadelphia Eagles are nonetheless undefeated. Nonetheless they’re positively not wonderful.
Certain, it’s nitpicking to aim to find one thing fallacious with a workforce that’s 8-0 and generally appears to be dominant and presumably even unbeatable. And “fallacious” is a relative time interval anyway for a workforce that’s ranked near the very best in virtually every conceivable class inside the league.
Nonetheless the Eagles is not going to should look arduous at their 29-17 victory over the Texans in Houston on Thursday night to look out the one issue that is likely to be an unlimited issue down the road.
This Eagles’ run safety shouldn’t be good, they normally have prolonged stretches of fully horrible tackling.
And ultimately, a higher workforce than the Texans goes to make them pay.
The Texans, 1-6-1 and presumably the worst workforce inside the NFL, acquired right here pretty shut. They’ve been tied 14-14 on the half and down solely 21-17 when the fourth quarter started. And, the truth is, it not at all should have been that shut in opposition to a Philly squad that was a two-touchdown favorite.
Nonetheless the Texans have been able to preserve drives — along with their first scoring drive on the opening possession all season prolonged — utilizing rookie working once more Dameon Pierce for 139 yards on 27 carries.
The Eagles safety knew Pierce was coming because of the Texans do not need lots else. Nonetheless the first-year once more from Florida merely saved working by way of them time after time. He had 88 yards on merely 13 carries inside the first half alone. That included a 36-yard run the place he broke by way of one kind out on the road of scrimmage, and three further down topic sooner than he was pressured out of bounds.
Even inside the second half, when the Eagles’ tackling on Pierce was greater, it nonetheless appeared to take three defenders and a few additional yards to tug him down every time he obtained the ball.
A couple of of that was because of the lack of rookie defensive kind out Jordan Davis, who suffered a extreme ankle sprain ultimate week and could be out a number of month, and who would possibly want been the best run-stuffer on the workforce. Nonetheless it may’t all be chalked as a lot as the shortage of 1 participant, not after they’re missing so many tackles as a workforce.
None of that’s new. The Eagles have been certainly one of many worst tackling teams inside the league all season prolonged —second worst, ahead of solely the Jacksonville Jaguars do you have to contemplate the Skilled Soccer Focus grades. And it started in Week 1, when Detroit’s D’Andre Swift gashed them for 144 yards on merely 15 carries — a ridiculous 9.6 yards per rush. Philadelphia is giving up 121.4 yards per sport on the underside — astonishing for a workforce that has had leads of a minimal of 10 elements in every sport it has carried out.
There are events and video video games when the Eagles seem to be they’ve mounted their draw back, the place they’ll stop the run with ease. Nonetheless there are nonetheless too many prolonged stretches the place it appears to be like their defenders are allergic to whomever is carrying the ball.
And that options receivers. Inside the second half, after the Eagles took a 21-14 lead, the Texans had a 2nd and 14 on their very personal 21. Quarterback David Mills threw a quick show display screen to receiver Chris Moore behind the street of scrimmage, and Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox was correct there to stop him. Nonetheless he didn’t. He ran correct earlier him and Moore ended up working for 25 yards, igniting what grew to grow to be a topic objective drive.
In spite of everything, the Texans had no options for the Eagles offense. If it weren’t for Philly’s first fumble of the season (by quarterback Jalen Hurts on the second drive), this would possibly want was a blowout early.
And irrespective of their flaws, the Eagles safety continues to make huge performs after they need them. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson had an interception for the fourth straight sport. Cornerback James Bradberry picked off Davis Mills on the 3-yard line with 2:08 remaining. And that acquired right here correct after defensive kind out Javon Hargrave had his second sack of the fourth quarter and third of the game.
So, all these missed tackles and lapses inside the run safety weren’t an unlimited deal Thursday night. Nonetheless you perceive when it could be an unlimited deal? Of their two late-season video video games in opposition to the 6-2 Giants and Saquon Barkley, who has the explosiveness to indicate every missed kind out into an infinite purchase. And of their subsequent sport in opposition to the 6-2 Cowboys, on Christmas Eve in Dallas. The Cowboys had 134 yards on 5.2 yards per carry of their loss in Philadelphia three weeks prior to now. Ezekiel Elliott had 81 yards on 13 carries, a season-high 6.2 yards per carry. Which can’ve been ample for a Cowboys win if their quarterback that night wasn’t Cooper Rush.
And the Eagles moreover nonetheless should play the Tennessee Titans and Derrick Henry, the New Orleans Saints and Alvin Kamara, the Indianapolis Colts and Jonathan Taylor, and even the Inexperienced Bay Packers and Aaron Jones. The Eagles are greater than all 4 of those teams, they normally fully should beat them. Nonetheless every a type of backs may trigger points if the Eagles safety is off.
As soon as extra, it’s nonetheless nitpicking. For the entire missed tackles and dashing yards allowed, no particular person has overwhelmed the Eagles however. Nonetheless they should heed the warning anyway because of their targets are far bigger than surviving a midseason sport in opposition to the Texans.
And sooner than they’ll improve that championship banner, they’ll should do one factor about this huge pink flag.
Ralph Vacchiano is the NFC East reporter for FOX Sports activities actions, overlaying the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the sooner six years overlaying the Giants and Jets for SNY TV in New York, and sooner than that, 16 years overlaying the Giants and the NFL for the New York Day by day Info. Adjust to him Twitter at @RalphVacchiano.
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Publish date: 2022-11-04 10:02:44
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