Defensive linemen have a crappy job in the Eagles’ 3-4 defense. It’s as brutal and difficult as any position in football, but thankless, too!
By design, they focus on stuffing the run instead of quarterback sacks, which bring all the glory (and big paydays). Three guys square off against five lineman and a tight end or two, battling for a draw so that linebackers can run past them and make highlight reels. And the offense’s pretty boys get to score almost all the touchdowns.
So let’s take a moment and appreciate how great the Eagles’ run defense is. Even as run stuffers, they get no respect because Chip Kelly’s tempo offense means they face a lot more plays than most teams, which means they give up more total yards.
The standard statistic is total rushing yards allowed in a season. Last year, the Eagles gave up 1,771 yards, exactly in the middle of the league. But they faced 473 snaps, 5th most in the league. Denver, praised for giving up only 1,276 yards, faced the fewest run plays in the NFL.
The better statistic is yards per carry, and the Eagles tied Denver for 4th in the league, at a miserly 3.7 YPC. But the Eagles also forced 10 fumbles and kept six of them, best in the league. The Bronco’s only took away one.
So let’ s see how the Eagles did, at hostile Lambeau field, in shutting down the Green Bay Packers top two runners:
Yeah, that sounds about right.
The Eagles delivered a dominating beat down of Green Bay at Lambeau Field, where the Packers are nearly invincible. Sure it’s the preseason and it doesn’t mean anything, but it doesn’t mean nothing either. With two minutes left in the first quarter, the Eagles had scored 25 unanswered points and were on a pace to win 125-0. The Green Bay announcers were stunned. Just before half, one said:
“I can’t remember any team coming in here [to Lambeau Field] and scoring 40 points in the first half. And the starters are still in on defense.”
The tempo offense may give the Eagles an outsized advantage in the preseason when most teams don’t game plan, but the football world is waking up to the fact that Chip Kelly has a real plan behind all of his crazy personnel moves. And that plan just might work, better than anyone imagined.
After the jump, 7 surprises from today’s game.
The Packers have been having a pretty rough night as it is, but Najee Goode piled it on early in the third. He timed his rush perfectly with a running start before the snap, and got to the quarterback and running back so fast that he nearly stole the handoff going the other way. He wasn’t even sure if he should tackle the RB or QB Brett Hundley. Awesome.
GIF after the jump, h/t @TheMightyEROCK
Photo Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
This is only one Gronk. At the same time, there are maybe Gronks. There’s Gordie Jr., Rob, Dan, Chris and “Baby Gronk” Glenn. Glenn is a fullback for Kansas State, and he’d really dig being drafted by the Eagles.
When a NASCAR writer asked whether his favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, would be smart to take the youngest Gronkowski at the end of 2016’s first round, Glenn suddenly wore a serious look.
“You won’t be able to draft me at the end of the first round. Because I’ll already be taken.”
As his brothers slapped him on the back, Goose’s smile returned. “Just kidding. If I’m there, yeah, definitely take me.”
What he’s got going for him is Gronk blood. A kind of super-bro serum that seems to make Bud Light hounds into freak athletes. Against him? He’s a fullback – though that could make the Eagles Super Bowl champs – and the Eagles don’t even have a roster spot for one. The plus that puts him over the edge though? Little Gronk is reportedly the “brains of the bunch.” With the Gronkowskis though, who knows what that means.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The go-to knock on Chip Kelly has been, for a few seasons now, that if he fails, he’ll just go back to college. No harm, no foul. But his biggest offseason move was inspired by the desire to do exactly the opposite.
Chip Kelly took a huge risk in trading for the oft-injured Sam Braford, but it’s just because he learned from Nick Saban’s mistakes, according to Fox Sports. When Saban was the coach of the Miami Dolphins, he passed on free agent Drew Brees because “team doctors felt Brees couldn’t mount a successful comeback from the shoulder surgery he underwent the previous season.” Drew Brees is having a hall of fame career post-surgery and Nick Saban got ran back to the NCAA. That’s what Chip looked at:
“The impact Drew had on the Saints was really what we studied. What would this league be like if Nick Saban had Drew Brees? Would Nick have ever gone back to Alabama?
It’s not like it was 15, 20 years ago. I think the advances in all of medicine have really helped from an injury standpoint. I don’t know if there’s a way to prevent it. I also don’t think this guy is more susceptible to it. When we look at his functional movement, we didn’t think it’s something where Sam is always destined to have this happen to him.”
Of course, Bradford isn’t exactly Drew Brees. And Chip Kelly isn’t exactly Nick Saban. Chip has turned in two 10-6 seasons, while Saban went 15-17 over two seasons in Miami. He’ll at least get a few more seasons before he would even consider having to retreat to the NCAA, but he’s hoping the Bradford gamble will prevent that.
Kyle: I’m not sure if Chip said this exclusively to FOX or sometime in the past. Hadn’t heard it before.
Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
“Look upon your choices, ye Eagles fans, and despair!”
When you buy yourself – or as many of you are probably swearing right now, your girlfriend/sister/mom – tickets on StubHub, they keep track of that. So they know that you bought those Eagles tickets and then immediately dropped triple digits on some floor seats to hear that sweet, sweet Adam Levine.
StubHub looked at fans who purchased tickets for both NFL games and live concerts, and saw which artists popped up most frequently for certain fanbases. The Dallas Cowboys’ favorite is Taylor Swift – leading to some very conflicting feelings on Kyle’s part – but we Eagles fans are saddled with those among us who have bought Maroon 5 tickets. Still, it could be worse. We could be Baltimore Ravens/Florida Georgia Line fans.
Kyle: Last three concerts the wife and I have attended and bought tickets for: Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift. I go big pop, baby. Big pop.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, I mentioned that the Eagles have one of the lowest injured reserve rates in the NFL, and don’t lose many games due to injuries. The latter is a lot of luck, but the former isn’t just circumstance.
Today, the Eagles released Emmanuel Acho due to a thumb surgery he underwent. There’s still a lot of roster trimming to go – and all teams do this – but releasing on-the-bubble injured players has the added benefit of keeping the IR number low. With the cause of his release both out of his hands and literally in his hands, Acho still has team spirit:
Just recently, the Eagles have waived/cut/released the injured Acho, Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, Earl Wolff, and Brandon Hepburn. Only one of those guys may have ended up making the team, but that’s four fewer IR spots on Chip Kelly’s roster that are being used. That, and it’s certainly making roster cuts easier for the coaching staff: “Can he play?” “No.” “Well, that’s easy.”
NFL Week 1 is fast approaching, and with it, your chance to win $1 million, or a t-shirt. Basically the same thing given the crazy-ass sales of The Man shirt.
First, Draft Kings is running their own big money game, the $10 million event that gives the first place winner a cool $2 million and cash money to the top 125,700 finishers. It’s $20 to enter, and the rules are the same as always:
- Week 1 games starting after 1 p.m. on Sunday (no Steelers-Patriots on Thursday night)
- Standard Draft Kings lineup: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 defense-special teams
But, if you’d rather spend $5 to enter a contest and lord bragging rights over the head of Kyle Scott forever, we’re running our own contest. The CB exclusive Week 1 league (v2– first one already filled) will be full at 50 entrants. The top 18 win money:
But that’s not all. ANYONE AND EVERYONE who finishes ahead of Kyle – username bdncb1 – wins a free t-shirt from the Crossing Broad Store in the way of a $25 promo code, courtesy of Draft Kings. There are only 50 spots available, so claim yours ASAP (you can reserve your spot without picking your team). And remember, in this league, money is pretty sweet, but shutting Kyle up is even better.
The Eagles don’t play until Monday night. I know you’re just happy to have football back, but this will make all those other Week 1 games a lot more fun.