Posts for billy davis

Eric Rowe: Not Awful

Mark Saltveit - December 11, 2015

Yes, Megatron and Matthew Stafford picked on him in the Lions game, after Nolan Carroll broke his ankle. But as most intelligent observers noted, Eric Rowe played pretty solid defense against one of the best wide receivers in all of football, despite being a rookie rushed into the game [editor’s note: set up to fail] and giving up four inches in height to the 3-time All-Pro first teamer.

Tom Brady is not shy about picking on a weak link either, as Curtis Marsh learned in the 2014 Eagles – Patriots joint training camp. The Pats went right at him play after play. Sunday against the Patriots, Brady naturally tested Rowe, too, but the rookie confirmed his talent with an outstanding performance in his first NFL start against football’s best quarterback.

It gets better: he brings safety-level hard hitting to his game. His hit in this GIF stopped LeGarrette Blount short of the first down, and planted nightmares in his psyche that will linger for weeks.

It’s a mystery why Rowe, a second round pick, has been unable to get off the bench this year, but now that Nolan Carroll is out for the year injured, the Eagles will get a chance to see what he can do. With any luck, we’ll see more of Kenjon Barner and Josh Huff, too (now that Miles Austin was released).

Whether this team gets into the playoffs because of their terrible division or not, they are short on talent in several areas and in the midst of a terrible year. It’s the perfect time to see how their underused younger players can do.

Eagles – Giants: 7 Ruined Narratives

Mark Saltveit - October 20, 2015

The Eagles game worked out the right way, leaving the Birds in first place in the miserable NFC East weeks before I thought they’d be able to claw their way into that position. It was an ugly game, obviously, but it broke a lot of popular theories about this team and the Giants. That’s at least interesting. Here are a few of the failed stories:

1) Sam Bradford was rusty, he’ll get better.

Nope, he’s getting worse. It was intolerable when Bradford threw two interceptions in each of the first two games. Then he kept his slate clean against the Jets and Washington, leading to false optimism. Now he has has returned to Sanchezian double-INT games, and upped the ante with a third tonight.

I’m not going to advocate benching Sam because people forget all of the problems that Sanchez had: besides interceptions, he failed to see wide open receivers (e.g. the Seattle game), and never threw downfield or even outside the numbers. And while he could theoretically run with the ball, the fact that he never did — and his success the one time he did, in the first Dallas game — made his refusal to do so even more painful.

But Bradford was just bad tonight. His long throws have been routinely short all year, and his three interceptions tonight were made worse by the fact that he wasn’t even under any pressure. The Eagles had a hefty lead. It was a battle of wills between Sam trying to let the Giants back into the game, and their stubborn refusal to accept his gift. In the end, New York “won” that epic crap-off.

A lot of you wondered earlier in the year why Bradford didn’t take shots down the field. Well, tonight Sam showed you!

I suppose Bradford could still turn this season around and prove that he’s a legitimate franchise quarterback, but right now, the best thing you can say for him is that he helped the team a lot by not signing a long-term contract when they asked him to.

2. Eli Manning is awesome in Ben McAdoo’s offense.

The praise for Eli and McAdoo was totally out of hand before this game, and up through the first drive which in fact was a thing of beauty for New York. The MNF crew were even going on about Tom Coughlin’s “New Age West Coast offense,” which, yeah, is cutting edge 1985 stuff.

What that offense mostly is, is predictable. The Eagles destroyed it last year in a humiliating shutout, and only allowed one TD drive tonight before they got New York’s number. Sure, the Giants are executing better and improved their offensive line somewhat — Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t even playing well yet last October when the Eagles faced him — but the Eagles have figured a couple of things out since then, too.

Against the Eagles tonight, Eli Manning was the same old Eli, looking nervous and getting picked off a lot. The short-passing game undoubtedly did reduce the margin of victory, though, since the Eagles’ run defense was a steely-eyed monster and any alternative was was bound to do better. Even the Colts’ Swinging Gate play. Continue Reading

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