It's not that the Eagles weren't making good plays in Sunday's loss to the Packers; it's that turnovers and unblocked sacks did their damage, killing reasonable drives. The Eagles were one of six on third-downs in the first half, going a long way in explaining the 30-6 halftime deficit. It also goes a long way in explaining the rough afternoon in frigid Lambeau.
If the Panthers game was the statement performance, then Sunday's loss was the Murphy's Law special. The Titans don't exactly have a complete defense, so the Eagles will need to find their groove once more here before the Thanksgiving showdown at Jerry-World. Fortunately, there's ample opportunity to do just that.
There's the Sanchize everybody remembers. The bad pass to Julius Peppers, the pocket discomfort, the confusion, et al. Not that his ten teammates were playing at a world-class level and he couldn't live up, but Sanchez was clearly overwhelmed by the competition on the Packers side of the ball, and Dom Capers' unit didn't relent. Another aggressive defensive coordinator awaits in Ray Horton, so this won't exactly be a reprieve, 2-8 record or not.
KEY STAT: For the second straight week, Sanchez failed to clear 60 percent completions, falling short at 59.09 percent.
Philadelphia committed to the run against Green Bay, but the pop wasn't there. 'Shady' racked up 88 yards, but on 23 carries for barely more than 3.8 yards a run. The commitment is at least vital to the team's success going forward, and McCoy's 729 yards are still near the top of the NFL. It feels as though McCoy needs a truly dominant game to jump start the offense's confidence.
KEY STAT: McCoy has not scored a Sunday touchdown this season, scoring both of his end zone runs on Monday Night Football.
Hopefully a contract extension is in the near-future of a man on the verge of his first 1000-yard season. His 16.2 yards per catch are the most of any of his seasons, and Sunday was his fifth game of the season catching for over 90 yards in a game this season (even if most were in garbage time). Maclin's reliability continues to serve the offense very well.
KEY STAT: Maclin needs just 14 catches in the final six games to set a personal high for receptions; his most is 70 in 2010 and he's on pace for 91.
Kelce's had himself a rough couple of weeks, particularly in the run-blocking department. The usually-reliable center hasn't been able to give McCoy his middle lane to burst through since that Texans game. His pass-blocking was left in shambles Sunday after Green Bay's 2-5 front blitzed often. Tennessee brings lots of pressure from various places; Kelce needs to be extra-conscious of the attacks.
KEY STAT: The sack Kelce surrendered on Sunday was the first he'd personally allowed since November 10 of last year, breaking a streak of 12 'perfect' games.
Ray Horton's crew managed to keep his old Steelers employer to 13 points after three quarters. That was before two quick touchdowns took the lead in the fourth, dropping the Titans to their eighth loss. It was a gritty effort, punctuated by five sacks from a variety of locations. The pass rush, however, isn't the problem with the defense.
Tennessee's run defense is pretty bad, as evidenced by letting Le'Veon Bell stomp them like grapes en route to 204 yards. In three games, the Titans have let the opposing team clear 200 yards on the ground, undermining all of the work the brilliant blitzes can do. The phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' gets used a lot in NFL vernacular, truly applying to the Titans defense.
Casey doesn't get the headlines that other defensive linemen draw, mostly because the Titans never make the news, but the four-year, $36M extension he signed in August rewards his aggression and consistency on the line. Casey doubles as the team's strongest run-stopper and pass-rusher, scoring 20 sacks in four seasons (four this year) with incredible middle presence.
KEY STAT: Casey's 31 run stops are most by a lineman on the Titans; Ropati Pitoitua is a distant second with 14.
"The Lumberjack" cashed in on six years of quality play in Denver by signing with Tennessee early in free agency. The linebacker's accumulated 61 total tackles, two picks, and 1.5 sacks since going to Music City, but he's struggled against powerful running backs. The losses to Dallas, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh have seen poor performances from Woodyard, who can be flooded out by run commitment.
KEY STAT: Despite making 27 stops in the run game, Woodyard's had eight tackles broken, indicating difficulty in open-field play.
Strong safety Wilson gets lots of snaps for a player that doesn't start every game, although he's started four of the last five. His pass coverage has been serviceable, but his run-defense leans toward horrendous. At 33 years of age, Wilson has played 58 or more snaps in each of the last five games, looking like little more than a Band-Aid with some worn adhesive.
KEY STAT: Only six passes have been thrown Wilson's way in coverage, for 52 yards, or 8.67 yards a catch.
Statistics from Pro Football Focus were used to write this story.
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