Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws while under pressure from Arizona Cardinals defenders during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
This past sunday The Philadelphia Eagles took on the Arizona Cardinals in a showdown of two one loss teams. The Cardinals came out of the game victorious leaving a lot of people saying that the Eagles were pretenders the whole time as opposed to contenders. However despite the Eagles losing they still are contenders for the Super Bowl.
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Most people are blaming the loss on the joint effort of quarterback Nick Foles, and the Eagles secondary, but in actuality only one of those parties deserves to be held responsible. Nick Foles has struggled this year, but he continues to look better each week, and one thing that I saw this week from him that made me quite happy is that the man is fearless. Many quarterbacks would throw a few interceptions, take a loss, and lose their courage to make risky throws. Foles was not afraid to make any throws on Sunday, at one point he even took a risk and threw the ball to wide receiver Riley Cooper when he was in triple coverage. It was an ill advised throw, but he had the courage to make it. Foles is improving, so the blame must fall on the weak secondary.
What shocks me about Foles is that he seems to have taken a step backwards in his mechanics of all things. Mechanics are those teachable traits that a quarterback usually picks up with experience. Last year Foles looked incredible, largely because he was playing like a veteran and his mechanics were incredible. This year he seems to have forgotten the things he knew last year, to me that means that it is only a matter of time before he starts to see what he is doing wrong in the film room and begins to make adjustments.
Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) catches a 75 yard touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams (26) defends during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
I felt the Eagles actually outplayed the Cardinals the entire game, except for two plays, which gives me confidence going forward should we meet the Cardinals again. Bradley Fletcher successfully took Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd out of the game completely as he was a non factor in his team’s win. However, an 80 yard touchdown by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and a 75 yard touchdown by wide receiver John Brown were enough to give the Cardinals the win.
There was no excuse for either of those touchdowns. The one by Fitzgerald was bad coverage and tackling by our defense, but also an impressive effort by an elite wide receiver. Meanwhile, the touchdown by John Brown was beyond inexcusable. On third and long with not much time left on the clock, the Eagles defense had one thing to cover, LONG! They could have given up a short pass, or even the first down and still had the edge in the game. The one thing they could not do at all costs was exactly what they did.
Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (18) celebrates with fans after a 54 yard touchdown during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Cornerback Cary Williams, and safety Nate Allen let Brown run right in between both of them and let him get behind him. He then proceeded to catch the deep pass and score an a crucial drive for the Cardinals, costing the Eagles the game. The tag team of Williams and Allen has been an absolute disaster this year. Allen has actually been decent and even forced a fumble earlier in the game. Meanwhile, Cary Williams has been terrible and needs to be replaced.
The bottom line is that despite a loss, the Eagles still looked good throughout that entire game. They should seriously consider trading for a cornerback or safety.
Next week the Eagles are taking on the Houston Texans. For them to win this game, the secondary really needs to step up to shut down wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. They also did a good job of shutting down running back Andre Ellington this past sunday and should use that game plan to shut down running back Andre Ellington.