What started out as a promising game (and a lower draft pick), ended in an abysmal loss (but a higher draft pick). Losing 34-13 is never a good thing, but I look at it as a perfect result. As the first half proved, the young players on this team show a lot of promise for the future. Nick Foles played well in the first half, outperforming Andy Dalton and showing that he can make most of the throws. But, in the second half he looked like a rookie, under-throwing Maclin on a sure touchdown and made some other mistakes, but it is a growing process. Last night as a whole was not something to write home about on the offensive side of the ball, but we did see flashes here and there.
Last Thursday was about the resurgence of the defense. Jim Washburn is gone, Jason Babin is gone, and suddenly the defense looks good. I know 34 points is not a good performance, but the Eagles defense allowed just 249 total yards. The special teams and offense was to blame for nearly all of the points that were allowed. A blocked punt, a defensive touchdown, and 5 total turnovers, most of which were on the Eagles side of the field. The defense, notably the defensive line was very good last night. This can all be attributed to the departure of Jim Washburn and his poster boy, Jason Babin. The wide 9 is no more, and stunts are FINALLY being brought back to the D Line. Trent Cole and Cullen Jenkins on one particular play ran it to perfection and notched Cole’s first sack since Week 2. Another plus was former first round pick Brandon Graham. If you did not see the game, you see that he accumulated 2.5 sacks. But if you watched the game as I did, you saw that every single time he had an opportunity to, he stepped up. He must have had 4 or 5 holding calls against him, which can be thought of as a sack. Graham also had 3 QB hits, so in summary Brandon Graham got to Andy Dalton or would have gotten to him 11 times in the game. That is absurd, what a game for the former Wolverine and he is making a STRONG case to be the starter at right end (or a pass rushing LB, depending on the scheme) for next year.
Another plus was safety Colt Anderson, who attributed 9 total tackles and a beautiful pass deflection in the end-zone to assist much maligned Nnamdi Asomugha and save a TD. Anderson, who may scouts dub as just a special teams specialist has played very well in the last two games. These are his first games started in the NFL, and although he may not be a future starter, he can certainly help and be a depth safety in this league. Anderson has been one of the Eagles best run stoppers the last two weeks, and with the horrific play of Kurt Coleman, we can tell how much having a decent safety means to a defense.
The Birds sit at 4-10, and are pretty much locked into a top 7 overall draft pick. One of Manti Te’o, Jarvis Jones or Luke Joeckel will be available, and it would be a huge mistake not to take one of these guys.
The Eagles play the Redskins next week at home at 1pm on FOX.Tags: Brandon Graham, Colt Anderson, Cullen Jenkins, loss, NFL, Nick Foles, Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles, Trent Cole