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Philadelphia Eagles

Underrated plays from Super Bowl 52

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Kirt Dozier-USA TODAY Sports

Ya, that’s right. Another Super Bowl article. Like I said on yesterday’s podcast, we are in the middle of the dead period around the NFL. The “grind” between mini-camps and OTA’s that drive NFL media and fans bonkers.

Doug Pederson may have turned the page from the Super Bowl win against the Patriots in February but while we have some time, let us take another trip down memory lane to February 4th in Minnesota.

Only this time with a look at some of the plays you may have forgotten about in the big game that was more important than one might think, and were over-shined by the likes of the Philly Special, Brandon Graham’s strip sack, Zach Ertz’s game-winning touchdown, and other famous moments from the Eagles first ever Lombardy Trophy.

Torrey Smith’s reenactment of the David Tyree’s helmet catch

It was only a third-down conversion early in the first quarter in a scoreless ball game but Patriots fans around the country had to be getting deja vu from seeing this right? Let us go back 10 years ago to when David Tyree made a similar catch to keep the Giants alive and eventually go on to end the Patriots perfect season.

Smith’s catch wasn’t a super important one but the resemblance here is just so awesome. Best unintentional troll job in sports.

 

Nelson Agholor does his impression of Randall Cunningham

Another early play in the game that wasn’t extremely important. However like the Torrey Smith helmet catch, this reception by Agholor, taking a hit, spinning around and staying on his feet looks like something Randall Cunningham did back in the day.

 

Foles drops it in a bucket to Alshon along the sidelines 

Foles made some pretty beautiful touch passes along the sidelines including this one to Alshon Jeffery. This ball couldn’t have been placed better. Over the heads of Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung, far enough away from Harmon to make sure Jeffery doesn’t get leveled while making the catch.

Rodney McLeod bodies Brandin Cooks

Brian Dawkins is that you? The Eagles defense was gashed by Brady throughout the game but repeatedly in the first half the defense tightened up in the red zone and forced New England to kick field goals.

Although Malcolm Jenkins knocking out Brandin Cooks is the go-to highlight for big hits in this game, Rodney McLeod body slamming Cooks before he exited the game was a gem.

Brandin Cooks did not have a great experience in his first Super Bowl.

Gostowski misses the extra point 

Love this one. Mr. Perfect finally caved on the biggest stage. There might not be a more automatic kicker in the NFL than Gostowski but on this day…..this was our day.

Back shoulder perfection to Nelson Agholor

Agholor made some pretty important plays in the Super Bowl but this one is the most impressive. It might be a better throw from Foles than it is a catch from Agholor but it was a play of perfection from both sides. Back shoulder throws might be the most difficult to make consistently in the NFL but Foles in the clutch places this one right on the money.

Agholor gets tough on a reverse 

Another smaller play on the big scheme of things but is another example of how far along Nelson Agholor has come since being labeled a bust after two of the worst seasons a receiver has had to start off his career.

Pederson implemented reverse plays to Agholor on a number of occasions throughout the playoffs now that the speed we saw at USC was showcased on the field.

Agholor got tough on this one, lowering the shoulder and running through two defenders to get the first down.

Foles hits Agholor on the run 

Everytime you thought “ok this is when the Patriots start pulling away” Nick Foles would make another tough play to keep the Eagles drive alive. He isn’t the most athleticly gifted quarterback in the league but Foles was able to evade the rush by rolling to his right and delivered a perfectly placed ball to Agholor.

Jake Elliott has ice in his veins

Jake Elliott. Off a pracitce squad. Hit a 46-Yard FG to put the Eagles up by 8 with only a minute left in the Super Bowl. Ice. In. His. Veins.

Special teams set up the defense to finish the job 

The last drive that resulted in a failed hail mary attempt by the Patriots could have been a lot easier if the Eagles special teams didn’t set them up with horrible field position.

New England tries a reverse but Bryan Braman and Najee Goode were having none of it.

Each and every one of these plays was crucial to the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. With so many incredible moments from the game, a lot of these plays went unnoticed until now.

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz vs Star Quarterbacks

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In just three seasons, Carson Wentz has gone from a young, promising future star to an actual star in the NFL.

Most objective NFL fans (not looking at you Cowboy fans) would go through their top 10 QB list and have Wentz there.

NFL players have the same belief as they voted Wentz the #3 overall player on the 2017 NFL Top 100 list.

As the Eagles head to New Orleans to take on the 8-1 Saints, Wentz is set to take on another star QB, and future hall of famer in Drew Brees.

In three seasons, how has Wentz fared against opposing star quarterbacks?

2016

Week 3 Eagles vs Steelers: Wentz vs Ben Roethlisberger

Result: Eagles win 

Wentz statline: 23/31 301 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

Roethlisberger statline: 24/44 257 YDS 0 TD 1 INT

 

Week 10 Eagles vs Falcons: Wentz vs Matt Ryan 

Result: Eagles win

Wentz statline: 25/36 231 YDS 0 TD 0 INT

Ryan statline: 18/33 267 1 TD 1 INT

 

Week 11 Eagles vs Seahawks: Wentz vs Russell Wilson

Result: Eagles lose

Wentz statline: 23/45 218 YDS 2 TD 2 INT

Wilson statline: 18/31 272 YDS 1 TD 0 INT

 

Week 12 Eagles vs Packers: Wentz vs Aaron Rodgers 

Result: Eagles lose 

Wentz statline: 24/36 254 YDS 0 TD 1 Rushing TD 1 INT

Rodgers statline: 30/39 313 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

 

2017 

Week 4 Eagles vs Chargers: Wentz vs Philip Rivers 

Result: Eagles win 

Wentz statline: 17/31 242 YDS 1 TD 0 INT

Rivers statline: 22/38 347 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

 

Week 6 Eagles vs Panthers: Wentz vs Cam Newton 

Result: Eagles win 

Wentz statline: 16/30 222 YDS 3 TD 0 INT

Newton statline: 28/52 239 YDS 1 TD 3 INT

 

Week 13 Eagles vs Seahawks: Wentz vs Russell Wilson 

Result: Eagles lose

Wentz statline: 29/45 348 YDS 1 TD 1 INT

Wilson statline: 20/31 227 YDS 3 TD 0 INT

 

Week 14 Eagles vs Rams: Wentz vs Jared Goff 

Result: Eagles win 

Wentz statline: 23/41 291 YDS 4 TD 1 INT

Goff statline: 16/26 199 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

 

2018

Week 3 Eagles vs Colts: Wentz vs Andrew Luck

Result: Eagles win 

Wentz statline: 25/37 255 YDS 1 TD 1 INT

Luck statline: 25/40 164 YDS 1 TD 0 INT

 

Week 7 Eagles vs Panthers: Wentz vs Cam Newton 

Result: Eagles lose

Wentz statline: 30/37 310 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

Newton statline: 25/39 269 YDS 2 TD 0 INT

 

Total record: 6-4

Wentz total statline: 2,672 YDS 16 TD 6 INT

Opposing star QB total statline: 2,554 YDS 15 TD 5 INT

Overall not a bad resume for Wentz against other star QBs. A winning record, more yards and touchdowns. The Eagles defense plays a big part in the opposing signal caller’s numbers but even in 2016 when Wentz had virtually no help on offense, he has played up to the level of competition from the star quarterback on the other side of the field.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Turning the season around with snow?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On this Friday edition of Locked on Eagles, Louie dives into how perhaps a day of practice in the snow can spark the Eagles second half run.

Is not playing loose enough a problem for the Eagles? What match-ups are key against the Saints?

All that, thoughts from Locked on Saints Host Ross Jackson, and more!

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Philadelphia Eagles

An honest evaluation of Rasul Douglas

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Step aside Jalen Mills. Rasul Douglas is the new public enemy #1 on Eagles Twitter.

All season long Eagles fans have called for Douglas to get playing time as starting corners Mills and Ronald Darby have played up and down all season.

The #FreeSul campaign got their wish on Sunday Night as Douglas started on the outside against the Cowboys.

The results did not totally destroy the brand….but it certainly didn’t help it.

To the film room we go.

The good:

Douglas didn’t have a good game by any stretch of the imagination. But he also didn’t play bad enough to believe he is the next Bradley Fletcher like some have him set to be.

On this play Douglas does a good job of staying with Cooper in the end zone, keeping him close to the sideline. Good leverage and he put himself in a position to make a play on the ball if it came his way.

Douglas has been strong in the red zone this year.

When Douglas plays up, he has more success when jamming at the line. It allows him to use his length and stop receivers from opening him up. Here, Douglas does a good job of bumping the receiver who stumbles and can’t gain any separation.

Gallup couldn’t create any separation from Douglas who once again does a nice job tying up the receiver.

Douglas didn’t have a great day when it comes to tackling but a lot of that came from hesitation and getting caught in the wrong spots. On this play Douglas reads Prescott going to the out route at the 50 and closes in to make a great open field tackle. When he wants to be, Douglas can be a very forceful tackler for a CB.

More examples of that tackling ability when Douglas takes the right angle and shoots to the ball.

Douglas shows a lot of patience against Amari Cooper on this play. Cooper tries to turn Douglas inside but Douglas doesn’t bite and runs toe to toe down the sideline, keeping Cooper on the outside with little room to work with.

 

The bad: 

Despite showing some positive signs, Douglas didn’t instill confidence in fans that he could replace Darby who most likely won’t be in Philadelphia after this season.

There were too many plays were Cooper manipulated Douglas’s hips to go wherever he wanted them to.

In a previous play shown Douglas did a good job not quickly biting on Coopers first step. This play was a different story as Cooper turned Douglas outside and then cut inside into the end zone. Luckily Dak Prescott isn’t Carson Wentz or this might be a touchdown.

Two more examples of Cooper beating Douglas with a good sell on his first cut. Cooper once again gets Douglas to commit outside with his hips while making another move inside. It is tougher for Douglas to get caught in these situations as he doesn’t have the quick footwork and hip movement to recover as well as someone like Sidney Jones or Avonte Maddox.

This was a brutal play for Douglas. On this screen, Douglas has a responsibility to protect the outside. Instead, he stays inside and has no shot of getting back to his spot with blockers already set up. Truthfully it looked like Douglas had cinder blocks attached to his feet. He didn’t move his feet and was badly out of position. Gotta fly to the ball.

Blame should go to Douglas for his play, but Jim Schwartz shouldn’t get a pass either. A coaches job is to put his players in the best position to succeed. Douglas isn’t the most athletic corner and he needs reps to grow his patience and route recognition.

Schwartz knowing that, should have allowed Douglas to get his hands on receivers at the line so he could better position himself to make plays on the ball and stay with receivers.

The way Douglas was getting turned inside-out with these first steps, Schwartz should have adjusted his gameplan. Instead, Dallas moves the chains on a crucial drive late in the game because Douglas gets put on ice skates.

Once the NCAA leader in interceptions, Douglas has a knack for making plays on the ball when he is in the right position.

The coaches have to do a better job of getting him in positions to make those kinds of plays in man coverage which West Virginia rarley used with Douglas.

Against excellent route runners like Amari Cooper (and Michael Thomas coming up), his weaknesses can be exposed.

When he was able to get his hands on Cooper or play off in man or zone, he was much more effective.  That should have been the game plan all night long.

With Darby out for the season after tearing his ACL, Douglas is going to get 7 crucial games to prove he can be a starter in 2019.

It wasn’t a great first step against Dallas but it wasn’t a catastrophic performance that has sealed Douglas’s fate.

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