Posts for eric rowe

Two teams enter. Only one can lose.

Mark Saltveit - January 3, 2016

The Eagles and Giants are both out of the playoffs. Chip Kelly’s gone and Tom Coughlin will reportedly retire after Sunday’s game. But the outcome is definitely not “meaningless.”

Philadelphia and New York are two of the six 6-9 teams going into week 17, and three more are just one game worse at 5-10. The losing team could rise as high as the 9th pick in the draft, while the winner could fall to 17th — and gets a harder schedule next year.

So what happens if both teams want to lose?

That’s not a given, of course. Fans have paid good money for their tickets, and even if he does retire, Coughlin may want to finish his 20-year coaching with a win. (He’s 170-149 so far.) The Eagles may have the common “just fired a coach we were sick of” surge.

But assuming they are both playing for the long run, it could be a weird kind of chess match. Sitting their healthy starting QBs might be too obvious, but Odell Beckham, Jr. could “tweak something” while warming up, something he does fairly often anyway. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul and WR Dwayne Harris are “questionable” on the official injury report already.

It’s easier for the Eagles, who have already ruled out CB Byron Maxwell and NT Bennie Logan. Logan has clearly been playing injured since at least December 6th. Not coincidentally, the team’s run defense has collapsed during that stretch.

CB Eric Rowe has done pretty well for a rookie, even when thrown into games against wide receivers as good as Megatron, so it makes sense to test him against ODB if he does play. He’ll be seeing plenty of the Giants star for years to come if he does emerge as an Eagles starter. He’d probably get torched, but his confidence seems strong and the sooner his learning process can begin, the better. They could go whole hog and start Randall Evans at the other corner slot.

But if the Eagles really want to lose, the answer is easy: just give DeMarco Murray all the carries he wants.

Stopping John Brown is the key to the Eagles – Cardinals game

Mark Saltveit - December 20, 2015

Philadelphia matches up well against Arizona. They beat them in a tough 2013 game, and lost last year only because of a stupid defensive play.

The Eagles led 20-17 with 1:21 left. Arizona had the ball on their own 25. Might be a good time for a prevent defense, right? Instead, Cary Williams played tight on Williams, who predictably ran by him. Worse, safety Nate Allen bit on a double move, trying to be a hero by going for an interception on a short pass that was just a fake.

Brown flew by both for an easy touchdown. And no doubt, he’s one of the fastest receivers in the game. But half-decent coverage could have stopped the play or at least limited it to a long gain.

Since then, Allen signed with the Raiders as a free agent, and Cary Williams is out of football after the Seahawks cut him. The Eagles also replaced DBs coach John Lovett with Cory Undlin, who players rave about, and the unit as a whole is much better. So far, they’ve given up 44 passes of 20 yards or longer in 13 games. Last year, in 16, they surrendered 72.

But the secondary is still a work in progress. EJ Biggers is erratic at best. Nolan Carroll broke his ankle. Against Tampa Bay and Detroit, DC Bill Davis tried moving Malcolm Jenkins out of the nickel CB role back to a more traditional safety position. The Eagles gave up 45 points each to two of the league’s worst teams.

After they put Malcolm back in the slot and called up Ed Reynolds from the practice squad to play safety, the Birds beat New England and Buffalo, giving up only 28 and 20 points. And Reynolds clinched the Bills game with his late interception.

How well the Eagles handle John Brown tonight will be a good marker of their chances to win. Whether he faces Byron Maxwell or rookie Eric Rowe, Brown remains a deep threat who demands safety help to neutralize. The Eagles will need good coaching from Undlin, a smart defensive game plan and individual execution by Reynolds and Rowe, two green players, to have a chance at pulling off this upset.

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.

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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 – Patriots: Christmas Comes Early

Mark Saltveit - December 6, 2015

Just when the Eagles looked like they were hitting an all-time low, they string us out on a heaven’s high. Would you prefer to be an even-tempered, slightly above average Chiefs fan? Not me. This is the payoff that makes it worth it.

Everything was unpredictable about this game, to everyone except Kyle (who called the win).. Except that the NFL seems to work that way. As soon as something is obvious to everyone, you can be sure it isn’t going to happen. This is a Sunday where Blaine Gabbert not only led his team to victory, but also had a higher quarterback rating than Tom Brady and four times more rushing yards than Adrian Peterson.

So yeah, it’s crazy that the Patriots even struggled, much less lost, but it was sort of predictable. And their near-comeback from 21 points down was predictable, too. Tommy Lawlor called it:

tommy lawlors tweet about nervous with lead

But even given all that anti-logic, this was a crazy game. Here are five especially surprising miracles from today’s game.

1) The heroes of the game

Malcolm Jenkins and Connor Barwin did well, which is no surprise. It’s great that Jason Peters rallied despite injuries to throw a crucial block on third down and allow Bradford to extend the Eagles’ final drive. But he’s a stud. You expect that. Ditto Sproles’ big plays.

But no one predicted Riley Cooper would make two clutch, late plays to seal the victory — first, slapping an onside kick out of bounds, then catching the 14-yard pass that Peters’ block made possible.

We knew Tom Brady would try to pick on rookie Eric Rowe, since Nolan Carroll is out for the season with a broken ankle. We did not expect Rowe to break up the first and last plays of the Patriot’s final drive with two crucial shutdowns. Continue Reading

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Eagles – Lions: 5 Counterpunches

Mark Saltveit - November 26, 2015

The Eagles surprised everyone by being even worse than last week. It didn’t seem possible.

On the team’s own website, Chris McPherson apologized to fans for the game, Ike Reese called out [some of] the players for not doing everything they could to win, and Greg Cosell identified Malcolm Jenkins as the guy who missed key tackles allowing Ameer Addullah’s 23-yard run today as well as Doug Martin’s 84-yard run last week.

That was the team’s own announcers. And everyone else was more negative, as they should have been.

You know how bad they played, and you probably watched at least part of the game, or you wouldn’t be reading this. So there’s no point rehashing that part of the story. Here are five other points worth considering. Not everyone played terribly or gave up. And since this team is sure to get blown up this off-season, perhaps including the coaches, it’s important to note where the problems were.

1. Real injuries hurt this team.

It wasn’t only lack of effort. The offense was moving well until Jason Peters left the game, after a lineman rolled up on his leg. Then the drive moved backwards and Caleb Sturgis sproinked a field goal off the post. Jason Kelce had entered the game hobbled by a bad knee, and the offense couldn’t weather these two weak spots at key positions in their ultrathin offensive line.

Sanchez was under severe pressure the rest of the game, taking six sacks and nine hits while the run game evaporated. This team’s problems this year started with Chip Kelly not investing enough in the offensive line, and that failure (more than scheme or play calling) has been the root of this team’s troubles.

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Injuries all over the place

Mark Saltveit - October 4, 2015

LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles both got hammered in game three against Washington last year, and neither was the same for a few games. Shady took a helmet-to-helmet spear from David Amerson that left him splayed out on the field for a while; he had 19 carries for 22 yards that day, and was 10 for 17 the following week at San Francisco. Foles was nearly suplexed on Chris Baker’s cheap shot that led to a bench clearing brawl.

This game against Washington may be even worse. The Eagles started with only five active defensive linemen, and before the end of the first quarter DE Brandon Bair — starting in place of the injured Cedric Thornton — was out for the game with a groin injury.

Two other defensive starters were on the bench after the Skins first drive: CB Byron Maxwell and ILB Mychal Kendricks. They both have good if raw replacements in Eric Rowe and Jordan Hicks, respectively, but the roster is getting dangerously thin, even as Washington is grinding out long drive after long drive while the Birds can’t sustain a drive.

And Bennie Logan looked “uncomfortable” after the second drive, which might have been some kind of injury or simply exhaustion by that point. He kept playing, though.

The defense is playing remarkably stout (with a couple of bad exceptions) despite fatigue and a tough run game by Washington. But they’re already looking winded, and any further injuries could be devastating.

On offense, the news is even worse. Matt Tobin was already struggling in place of Andrew Gardner. Then Jason Peters went out after reinjuring his quad, which had left him questionable for the rest of the game. He started but was having a lot of trouble on the first drive sliding and blocking edge rushers. The effects are obvious — Bradford has rushers on him almost immediately on a lot of plays.

Know Your Rowe: Meet the Eagles’ Second Round Draft Pick (And Their Third Round Pick, Too)

Kyle Scott - May 2, 2015

Rowe's the guy on top of fellow second round pick Devin Funchess, photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rowe’s the guy on top of fellow second round pick Devin Funchess, photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles must’ve really liked Eric Rowe, seeing as though they traded up five picks and sent both of their fifth round picks to the Dolphins so they could get him. [They got a sixth in return as well.]

He’s a 6’1 cornerback, HYBRID D-BACK from Utah. The scouts say:

CBS Sports gives the pick an A+, saying:

He is one of the most versatile defensive backs in the draft. To go up and get him is a heck of a move by Chip Kelly. I think he can be a star safety, but a lot of scouts love him as a corner.

NFL.com likes the versatility as well:

Rowe brings great coverage skills, and as a bonus, he can play both safety and corner.

The strengths on his draft profile:

Tall cornerback with long frame. Has the ability to disrupt wide receivers off the line of scrimmage and can mirror them out of their release. Jams and disrupts shallow crossers. Will throw his body around in run support if needed. Solid tackler. Attacks ball at catch point and makes it hard for receiver to finish the catch. Was a three-year starter at free safety before moving to cornerback this year. Can break hard on throws in front of him. Instinctive in zone with ball skills to match.

And the weaknesses:

Linear body type with average play strength. Will struggle to carry NFL deep speed. Lacks an accelerator and is not a recovery-type cornerback. Limited as a man-cover corner. Has change-of-direction issues in tight spaces. Plays into boundary too often. Had to fight through a leg issue at one point during the 2014 season. Likely a scheme-specific player.

What does the Apple Watch say through the Eagles app?

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Apple Watch approves.

Fun fact: he likes big buttholes:

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pic via (@CMazzi78)

My take? Rowe seems like a fairly highly regarded defensive back with perhaps no obvious position. The knock on him always seems to center around speed, butt he makes up for it with his ability to attack the ball, and tackle. Look at this hit– that’s a tight end he nearly broke in half: Continue Reading

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