I rewatched the Eagles-Giants game the other night. Here are a few more brief observations.
Other than the interception, which he lucked into, LB Jamar Chaney did not have a good game. First of all he’s (become?) a very poor tackler. There were at least three or four completely missed tackles on his part. But his bigger problem is play recognition and reaction. Both Brian Rolle and Akeem Jordan are relatively quick to diagnose and attack run plays. Chaney tends to move slowly in both run and pass defense. The long pass to Victor Cruz on the Giants final drive was his fault.
Another player who needs to step up his game is Clay Harbor. He didn’t get beaten as a run blocker, but rather failed to sustain the blocks. His man eventually tackled LeSean McCoy on multiple occasions. Not good enough effort. Also, Vince Young’s first interception came when the ball hit Harbor in the helmet (although pass interference should also have been called).
Danny Watkins could also work on sustaining blocks and looking for guys at the next level, but overall he’s holding his own at this point. He’s a legitimate starter. So far Watkins has only improved, and we can hope that continues.
I liked referee Mike Carey yelling at the Eagles and Giants players, getting in their faces after an early skirmish. You don’t see that often.
One of the things that worked really well was switching Cullen Jenkins out to defensive end. Juqua Parker often slid inside on those plays and they each got a lot of pressure.
Both Parker and Darryl Tapp played really well as the second-string defensive ends. Jim Washburn’s revival of the second defensive line unit (even with street free agents like Derek Landri) might be a more impressive feat than turning Jason Babin into a Pro Bowler.
The Giants deployed a 3-4 base or 3-3 nickel look more than a handful of times. I’m not sure it was the best decision, given the state of their linebacker corps and the way the Eagles have played against 3-4 teams thus far in the season.
The biggest way the Giants kept McCoy under control was by maintaining containment. He wasn’t able to bounce inside runs outside nearly as often as he had through the first 10 weeks.
The Eagles tried Ronnie Brown as a fullback a few times and it predictably failed. They must see Owen Schmitt as a big liability. However, it did help to set up an inside trap run to Brown that converted a 3rd and 3 in the fourth quarter.
Not sure the goal on QB sneaks should be to run behind Kelce/Watkins. They both have a tendency to lose leverage and get pushed, if not backwards, at least not forward. If you watch Jason Peters and Evan Mathis on the same play, they start slowly but end up pushing their linemen back two yards or so. Might be time to try that side.
Regardless, there's good reason to be happy about the offensive line. The Eagles line was named "Top Protectors of the Week" by John Madden. It's the second time in the last four weeks that they've been pick as the best in the trenches.