clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How will Mark Sanchez do, why is the Eagles defense good and more with Bleeding Green Nation

We got to talk with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation about Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

1) Mark Sanchez will start this week. What can we expect from him? Will he represent a step down from Bradford?

Mark Sanchez is what he is at this point in his career. He's a capable backup who doesn't serve as a viable answer as long-term starter. Sanchez went 4-4 in eight starts during the second half of last season. He gives the team a chance to win some games, but he can also cost the team since he's bound to throw interceptions. I don't think he'll be a major drop-off from Sam Bradford because it's not exactly like Bradford was lighting it up. It's probably still a downgrade, though.

A lot of what Sanchez's success is based on how the team is performing around him, which isn't necessarily untrue for most quarterbacks. If the run game is rolling and the defense holds up, he'll be able to guide the team to a win. But if everything else is shut down it's not like he's going to carry the offense on his back. That's just not him.

2) As far as I can tell, the Eagles defense is actually really good this year. What happened? How did the Eagles overhaul their defense over the past years?

Yeah, the Eagles have a very legitimate defense. It all starts up front with a strong front seven. The defensive line is especially young and good. Fletcher Cox is a star at defensive end. Per Pro Football Focus, he's recorded 18 hurries in the past two weeks alone. He's a beast. Starting nose Bennie Logan is typically a really good run stuffer, as is starting defensive end Cedric Thornton. Vinny Curry provides value as a pass rusher off the bench. Starting outside linebackers Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham have been able to generate pressure. Inside linebackers DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, and Kiko Alonso all have talent. The safety play is brilliant with Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond making big plays on the back end. Byron Maxwell hasn't struggled as much as he did early in the season and Nolan Carroll has been a solid starter at cornerback. There's a lot of talent on this unit and defensive coordinator Bill Davis has done a good job of getting the most out of his players.

3) On the other hand, this is probably the worst Eagles offense we've seen under Chip Kelly. How did that happen?

The offense lacks talent. Sam Bradford has shown some improvement in recent weeks but he's still not lighting the world on fire. The offensive line has struggled to block well, especially with the absence of starting left tackle Jason Peters. The run game got off to a terrible start this year, then found some success, and then went cold again last week. The receivers have dropped passes all year. Miles Austin and Riley Cooper just aren't good players to be relying on each week. Chip Kelly hasn't done a great job of managing the roster and his coaching hasn't been top notch either.

4) Chip Kelly has made a lot of controversial moves. How do Eagles fans feel about him?

A lot of Eagles fans are upset with Chip Kelly. Expectations were high heading into this season. He's struggled as both a general manager and a head coach. At the same time, I think some fans still have faith in Kelly and they believe he can turn things around.

5) Which relatively unknown Eagles player will have a big impact on Sunday's game?

I already mentioned him earlier, but Bennie Logan is a beast. Fletcher Cox rightfully gets a lot of attention for being Philadelphia's best defensive lineman, but Logan is an impactful player who flies under the radar on a national level. He leads the NFL in tackles by interior defensive linemen. He'll play a key part in the Eagles' efforts to stop Doug Martin from running wild.