Yesterday's game felt like a nightmare that I have not yet awoken from, especially watching the Eagles secondary get beat over and over again by the Vikings receiving corps. It may have not been the best night for the secondary, but I still feel that Rasul Douglas held his own for the most part. Sidney Jones on the other hand looked worse than ever (granted Jones was just coming off from another injury, this time a nagging hamstring). Because of these injuries, Jones has just never gotten into any rhythm with the defense or built any chemistry on the field with his defensive teammates. However, Douglas has taken advantage of his opportunities and the curse of injuries someone has put on the Eagles secondary to show his potential as a starter over Jones.
When the game started, the Eagles had Douglas on Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and Jones on the other wide receiver Adam Thielen. Right away this sounded like a match up disaster. Clearly, Jones was not ready to cover either of the those two star receivers. All it took was Thielen to make a double move and he was open in the endzone for an easy touchdown. Jones has always had trouble with the double moves, so it’s no surprise that the Vikings used that against him and targeted him from the very beginning, especially coming off an injury. Kirk Cousins also saw the mismatches the entire game and made sure to exploit them for all they were worth. Douglas, trying to stay up to speed with Diggs, was the biggest mismatch of the game. Once Diggs put on those boosters, he was gone. Douglas had been given an impossible job with no safety help on either of the two long touchdown passes to Diggs. After the second half, I did see Douglas keep up with Diggs, which surprised me, but by that point the Vikings elected to basically run down the clock. Douglas never gave up throughout the game, but I cannot say the same for Jones.
These two young Eagles cornerbacks allowed the Vikings to get three touchdowns in the first half. They did do a better job in the second half, but the damage was done. It feels as though Jim Schwartz left these two cornerbacks out to dry. Though the determination that Douglas had did show throughout the game. This is why he was considered a top 15 cornerback in the league this year. before yesterday's disaster. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jones seems to have shown why he is a risk that we should not have put up with any longer. Even when healthy, he gets targeted all the time and constantly gets beat, but the Eagles still made him their go-to guy over Douglas.
It is time the Eagles realize what they have in Douglas, a solid, aggressive cornerback who is also a ball hawk. With safety help, he's even more of a shutdown corner. That's what they thought they were going to get from Jones, but in only 15 games in three seasons, he hasn't showed any of that. It's time to move on from Sidney Jones and onto something better.