Posts Tagged ‘Colt Anderson’

Philadelphia Eagles Season Sinks Even Further Into Meaninglessness

Monday, December 24th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





(Image via the Philadelphia Eagles)


The ending of Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, the final home game of an awful season for the Birds, was a good analogy for the frustration of the entire year.

Nick Foles, trying to orchestrate a game-tying drive, found new tight end Evan Moore near the goal line only for Moore to drop the pass with 11 seconds left in the game.  For what would be the final play, Foles threw an incompletion that was ruled an illegal forward pass, thereby ending the game.

And so it went, with the Redskins winning 27-20 and on the cusp of winning the NFC East.  Which left the Eagles to sink even further into meaninglessness, falling to 4-11.

If the Eagles were trying to put on a good show for Andy Reid’s final home game or attempting to play the spoiler, they failed at both tasks.  But sadly, while we may have hoped for a different outcome, we didn’t really expect it.

There were some high points, certainly.  Foles’ 27-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin in the first quarter was a beauty.  And Dion Lewis notched the second touchdown of his career with a run into the endzone in the fourth.  Brandon Graham was fierce, leading the defense with 6 tackles and showing that his 2012 “I’m not a bust” campaign will be a success.  And Shady contributed his talents to the running and passing game, accruing 77 yards from 9 passes and getting 45 yards on the ground from 13 carries.

One of the highlights from the game only served to point out how bad this team has been this season.  Colt Anderson got an interception, the first time the Eagles have done so since Week 5.  That’s just pathetic.

Not surprisingly, there was a whole lot of bad.  Philadelphia converted on just 5 of 15 3rd downs.  The Redskins’ horrible defense did a number on Foles and the offensive line, sacking Nick five times.  And once again, as was the case when the Eagles and Redskins met up in Week 11, RG3, returning from an injury and visibly limping early in the game, put in another strong performance, going 16/24 for 198 yards for 2 touchdowns and 1 pick.

Foles’ numbers for the day were 32-of-48 for 345 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble.  He sustained an injury to his throwing hand but neither he nor Reid pointed to that as the reason the team couldn’t get it done this time – as has been the case so many times this season.

The final test for Philadelphia comes next week when they play the Giants at 1 pm at the Meadowlands.  This painful chapter of Eagles history will soon draw to a close, with a report this morning from ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio on Mike and Mike saying that Reid will be fired on December 31, a day after the team’s final game.

We’ll see.  But it would be fitting to ring in 2013 Reid-free to show that we are truly entering a new era.

The end is almost near.  I can’t remember ever wanting to see the end of the football season come to a conclusion but this season warrants that exception.  And then will be an offseason of a lot of uncertainty and change.  But it’s time.

And, in case you’re wondering, if the draft were held today the Eagles would have the fourth overall pick.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

No Love Lost from the Philadelphia Eagles Linebackers Over the Departure of the Wide-9

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell




It was no illusion.  The Philadelphia Eagles defense played better than they had in weeks in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  It couldn’t have all been because the death knell had been blown to the Wide 9 with the firing of Jim Washburn, could it?

Not all, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  The linebackers  felt that new d-line coach Tommy Brasher’s more traditional approach made their work on the field easier.  Some were open in speaking about it to Tim McManus at Birds 24/7 on Tuesday.

Said Jamar Chaney,

“It’s better for the linebackers.  If you ask any linebacker what scheme or how they would want to do it, they would want the linemen to hold up the blocks and they go make the plays.”

With the change, the d-line is keeping offensive lineman busy for longer periods of time, which frees up the linebackers to make plays.  Things may have gotten harder for the defensive lineman but their efforts have helped their linebacker brethren.

“There is no read [before].  With this right now, they read the blocks.  It’s probably harder for the d-line but it’s easier for the linebackers.  It’s harder for them because they have been playing the Wide-9 and they have to make the adjustment, but it’s probably easier for the linebackers because everything will get more clear.  Not saying that linemen aren’t going to get up on us, but they probably aren’t going to get up on us as fast.  It just clears out everything.”

The elimination of the controversial formation wasn’t the only change that seemed to have an impact on Sunday.  With Mychal Kendricks’ switch to the WILL linebacker position, which he played in college, he was freed up to more effectively utilize his speed to make plays.  And there was marked improvement with the secondary.  Colt Anderson did a good job replacing the injured Kurt Coleman at safety and noted that no Wide 9 meant that safeties felt some of the same relief as the linebackers in defending pass plays.  As he told McManus, in those situations they experienced “a little less stress.”

While seeing any improvement on the Eagles defense was long overdue, seeing the near-immediate positive impact of Washburn’s firing makes you wonder what could have been if the move had happened when there was some hope of saving the season.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports