Eagles – Skins: 6 Surprises

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. The offensive line actually got worse. And then it got better

This OL has been hanging by a thread all season, and then Andrew Gardner got injured. Surprisingly, he turned out to be a key part of this year’s line, and it got worse in his absence. Then Jason Peters reinjured his quad and left the game midway through the first half. In the second, Lane Johnson hurt his left knee on a PAT try, and was pounding the turf in pain but came back in at the next opportunity.

Jimmy Kempski has been warning everyone who would listen that the Eagles have a dangerously thin bench on the offensive line. I’ll admit, I was annoyed by his relentlessness on the issue but I take it all back. He was absolutely right and the Eagles are paying the price.

And yet, in the second half, the line had a miracle recovery, even with Peters and Gardner out. Somehow, despite three sacks and approximately eleventy billion QB hits in the first half, the remnant line found a way to give Bradford plenty of time to develop long plays.

2. Sam Bradford went deep

Fans have been yelling at the Eagles to have Sam go deep all year. It has been tough with teams running coverages to take away the bomb and a shaky OL (which to be fair gave Bradford plenty of clean pockets in the first three games). So in the second half today, with the line ripped apart by injuries and the offense in tatters, Sam Bradford started throwing long.

The surprise is, it worked! First Agholor’s one-handed grab for 45 yards. Then a miss to Matthews (still exciting) and the 62-yard TD bomb to Riley Cooper of all people (just to add a little humiliation for the Skins DBs. The bombs kept dropping, hit or miss; Matthews for 31 yards, incomplete to Ertz, 10 yard touchdown to Celek (the other forgotten receiver), a 39-yarder to Miles Austin for another TD!

FedEx Field turned into the Land of Forgotten Receivers for Philly today.

3. Washington kept running up the middle

I get it, they’ve had a very successful run attack this year with two strong RBs, but the Eagles have had the league’s best run defense, too. Washington ripped off a big draw play early on 3rd and 19 for 42 yards, but after that the Eagles stuffed them up the middle again and again. Aside from that one play, the Skins got just 85 yards on 31 runs.

Not only did the Skins get shut down several drives on third and short, they lost a fumble when Brandon Graham stripped the ball out during a tackle. The Eagles wouldn’t have stayed in this game or been able to limit three red zone drives to field goals if Washington’s 29-year-old OC Sean McVay had been more creative.

4. Caleb Sturgis is terrible

Nobody expected a kicker available three games into the season to replace Cody Parkey in the Pro Bowl this year, but Sturgis was worse than even the lowest expectations. He missed a 33 yard field goal — the same distance as extra points under the new rules — and then confirmed that by missing the first extra point.

He did get touchbacks on his first three kickoffs, which was great, but even that faded as Washington returned his fourth.

The bottom line: he missed two kicks that should have been four easy points, and the Eagles lost by three.

5. Horrible injuries didn’t slow down the defensive line

Philly entered this game with only 5 healthy defensive linemen, since Cedric Thornton and Taylor Hart were inactive due to injuries. Then it got bad. Brandon Bair — Thornton’s replacement — was lost for the game in the first quarter. Then, early in the fourth, Fletcher Cox went to the locker room with an injury, which is basically the worst case scenario imaginable. It turned out to be leg cramps and he was able to return but even then they had only one substitute left, Vinny Curry (who normally only comes in on passing downs).

ILB Mychal Kendricks and CB Byron Maxwell left in the first quarter, too. Jordan Hicks played well in Kendricks’ stead, catching the fumble that Brandon Graham pulled out in mid-air. Eric Rowe was a bit shakier coming in for Maxwell, getting penalized for a late hit that extended a Washington drive and on a questionable pass interference call in the end zone.

The D played very tough under very difficult circumstances. They looked very tired by the end of the game, but they should have been. Forget time of possession — Chip is not wrong about that statistic being flawed at best. Look at the stat Chip prefers: number of plays. That small group of reasonably healthy linemen had to defend 79 plays, while the Eagles only managed 52.

6. Kirk Cousins led a winning touchdown drive

The Eagles managed an impressive second half comeback, with Bradford leading the team to a 20-16 lead with barely over six minutes left. Kirk Cousins had only led one game-winning 4th quarter drive in his career before. Welp, now he has two.

There were a couple of positive developments, notably the long passing game (269 yards total passing with an average reception of 17.9 yards) and the continued lack of turnovers. But this was an ugly loss with several injuries that will extend the misery into the future.

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  • Wait a minute... October 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    1-3…could very well be 0-4 so there’s that.

    • Ray Didinger's Favorite K&A Prostitute October 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Why do I have to listen to these assholes Tribesmen Barkann and Rendell and “Hall of Famer” RDiddy BS us with how they knew all along that the OLine was weak and Chip should have addressed it and yet these clueless fucks all picked them 13-3 and 12-4???????
      I don’t want Eagles cheerleaders SalPal, Mike Miss, Gargano, Cataldi, Eskin etc etc I want unbiased analysis —–FUCK THEM ALL!

      • Mark Cuban October 4, 2015 at 10:04 pm

        There is one guy like that, his name is Josh Innes yet everyone hates him because he’s realistic and doesn’t talk sports the entire time. Is he annoying yeah at times but he keeps it the realest.

  • Bob October 4, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Jerking off with tweezers is not all that hard once you used to it. Micropenises are the new black, so F all you haters. Eagles suck!

    • Tommy Gunn October 4, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      You okay, Bob? Seems like you’re having a meltdown these last few, posts…

      • Bob October 4, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        I’m good. Thanks, Tommy, I’m just so sick of these dirty Eagles fans. Plus, I have a micropenis.

  • I am the Liqour October 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    sad cums

    • steve mason elite nhl goalie October 5, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Jim Lahey????

  • GayJeffySuxCox October 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Fear not sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, uh, fans..the solar panels look great and we have harnessed a tremendous amount of energy from the turbines with all the recent wind. I just got done fucking Chip in the a$$ while my Wh0re “wife”–hahaha–rammed her entire arm up my ass…..
    Just keep giving me your $$$$$$

  • Me Love You Long Long Time Jeffy! October 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Sorry, my comments were anti-Eagles and were promptly deleted. I really think the Eagles will turn it around and finish 13-3.
    Ed Rendell was a great governor and his unfunny comment about Riley Cooper was so spot on!

  • Howie, the former GM October 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Miss me yet? You have Chip running the Titanic because Jeffrey went to far for me…..if you know what I mean. Chip will do anything.

  • RailinBigGackers October 4, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    That one preseason game allowed me to go from 6 to midnight. I’m such a sucker. Our o line is worse than the line up at Scruples on a Monday afternoon. Do you think Mathis will come back of we apologize? I I don’t care if he’s a grandfather. I’m ready to kick chip in the ba-gina. I’m sick of getting crushed by this shit.

  • Pollster October 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Who has a thicker hose: Barrett Brooks or Hank Thomas?

  • Jillian M e l e Chief Twitter Wh@re on PGL October 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Keep reading those dumb a s s tweets.

  • LDEM October 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I could hear Howie Roseman’s laugh from the Linc’s equipment room 30 miles away.

    • Mark Saltveit October 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      This one. Yards per game is a worthless stat because they have to defend a lot more plays (27 more than the Skins yesterday). It’s not the defense’s fault that the offense can’t sustain a drive. Sort your same page by yards per attempt and you’ll get the real answer.

      Now, Eagles dropped from 1st to 3rd because that one 42-yard run bumped their average up from 3.1 yards to 3.3 yards per carry. But they’ve been very tough on the run. Anyone who watched the game yesterday saw that.

  • Screw Ray Diddy October 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Seriously this guy was asked after the Packers preseason game if this was the best Eagles offense ever and after doing that long stupid pause that he does digesting a question he said yes some hall-of-famer he is

    • R Diddy October 4, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      But I tell stories about the time I saw Tommy McDonald score on a really nice post route while Macn0w bl0ws me!

      • Hall of Fame In Canton October 5, 2015 at 8:01 am

        To Ray Didinger;

        You have embarrassed us and resultantly we are taking action by removing you from the Hall. Your recent predictions at 0 and 4 and saying Chip Kelly would have a more successful reign the Andy Reid is delusional at best. Also, there are grounds for removal by just associating with Cataldi and Barkann, two total clowns and idiots. Consider yourself removed from the Hall of Fame.

  • Big Dick Foles October 4, 2015 at 8:59 pm



    • Foles thick c0ck October 4, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      True handle. My ex-neighbors sister blew Foles in an alley and while she said he was quiet and didn’t take charge during the blowie she said he was hung like Manute Bols leg and as thick as a soda can.

  • Aspegers Spike E. October 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    After watching the Rams today, it is clear Foles sucks and all his success is because of Chip Kelly’s system

  • Kelly green is the right thing October 5, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Called the falcons win three months before the season started now while you take it in the A from Jeffy he still has his hand in your pocket for every little fee keep Jeffy paid while he rides smoothie to the bank

  • Zach Berman's booster seat October 5, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Kelly is already in discussions with the University of Texas. Figures he can sucker those people down in Texas to believe in his shit like he got most of Philadelphia to do.

  • JaQua'Nishi Coates-Goldstein October 5, 2015 at 8:09 am

    The Redskins were missing Hall and Culliver appeared to be dragging one leg like an anchor but yeah, Bradford managed to not suck for 3 TDs.

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