Eagle Eye: Areas of concern
Will Bryce Brown's 35-yard gain on a screen pass against the Broncos prompt the Eagles to run more of those plays? (USA Today Images)
Here are my bullet points for the Eagles following a 32-point loss to the Broncos this past Sunday:
• How do you unravel the mess that occurred in Denver? You can’t. It was a complete mess. Offense, defense, special teams -- it was all bad. If this awful showing doesn’t wake this team up, nothing will.
• Kicker Alex Henery has a very strong leg. Consistently kicking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs has become a given. The one time he didn’t, the best return man in the game, Trindon Holliday, made him pay with a 105-yard kickoff return. Hopefully he learned his lesson and won’t repeat that mistake against another dangerous return man later this season.
• Why don’t the Eagles use their backs in the passing game more? Screen plays need more emphasis: Bryce Brown picked up 35 yards on one screen play this past Sunday. As for LeSean McCoy, if not more screen options, the Eagles should line him up in the slot and let him work one-on-one against a linebacker or safety like they used to with Brian Westbrook.
• What has happened to this stellar offensive line we were expecting? Michael Vick has been sacked 14 times this year, nine of those coming in the last two games.
• Speaking of Vick: He has to do a better job of getting rid of the ball quicker. He is still not trusting what he’s seeing down field. On timing routes, receivers have been open and he hasn’t gotten them the ball.
• You knew defenses were going to change their coverages to defend DeSean Jackson (see story). Jackson -- who had 16 catches for 297 yards and two touchdowns during the first two games -- has just five snags for 96 yards and no scores the last two outings. Chip Kelly’s offense has to find a way to get the ball back in No. 10’s hands. Hitch passes, bubble screens, drag routes, reverses. It doesn’t matter. Get it to him any way you can.
• The Vinny Curry watch continues. Curry played only 13 snaps against the Broncos. Is he any worse than than the other guys on their defensive front? How do we know for sure unless we can see him perform extensively?
• Tensions are beginning to heat up in the locker room. Offensive players have told me they have to stop letting defenses dictate what they do as a team, instead of just attacking and forcing defenses to adapt to what they’re doing. That logic worked the first two games, but the Eagles have gotten away from it in the last two contests.