Q&A: Birds Massive Turnovers Can't Happen Down Stretch
The Philadelphia Eagles were defeated by their rival Dallas Cowboys in a game marked by mental mistakes.
On the latest “Q&A” podcast on Inside The Birds, former Eagles standouts Jason Avant and Quintin Mikell evaluated the 40-34 loss and discussed changes the team should make going forward.
Quintin Mikell: “I thought there were more than a couple of sailed balls and straight up misses. He just didn’t look comfortable in the pocket at all, he didn’t look comfortable throwing at times. I don’t know if he’s pressing a little bit, but he definitely didn’t look like how he did a year ago.”
Avant: “Play after play, that in-cut at the end of the game on the last drive where he had to climb the ladder when the ball is behind him, he had multiple big time plays and catches. When you back and look at the tape on the last possession of the red zone, that first down to Devonta, the dude pass interfered him.”
Mikell: “I’m not too concerned. He has a history a little bit with the turnovers. At that critical point of the game, you would think he would have better concentration, but he’s still a young player that has had a great season. That fumble was weird. It wasn’t like he got hit or stripped, it just popped out of his hand. Hopefully this week in practice, he’s really working and focusing on holding the ball.”
Avant: “When you start fumbling the ball, it becomes a mental problem, especially for a running back. I don’t like to have these types of problems at the end of the season. I’d rather have these corrected in Week 5 or 6, rather than going into the last two weeks of the year and you put the ball on the ground in critical situations.”
Avant: “When you’re in zone the entire game and you have enough time to throw the ball, they recognize the ball and know where to sit down. If you play man coverage, it’s a different story. We may need a new nickel if Avonte Maddox is out any time, especially playoffs. We need somebody we can depend on to play the slot, and I don’t think it’s Josiah Scott.”
Mikell: “He has struggled all year. It’s frustrating because even as good as [CeeDee Lamb] was, if the underneath coverage played with better awareness and understand the QB is not looking at you, you need to move your zone to find the open receiver. The Eagles secondary helped them out tremendously.”
Avant: “I thought he should have went with more man coverage at times, especially to throw off the rhythm of Dak Prescott and make it so that it’s not a pitch-and-catch read and he has to make accurate throws. You can’t play an entire game in zone.”
Mikell: “You have to change the coverages up. If you’re going to play zone, you have to put some better games in for your lineman to get some pressure. We didn’t get any pressure from our four-man rush, which is weird because we usually do get a lot. In these critical situations, if you’re sitting in zone and not getting any games going on, couple that with young guys in the secondary that aren’t dropping where they need to, what’s going to happen is exactly what happened.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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