What's behind Ronald Darby's 'horrible' play of late?

What's behind Ronald Darby's 'horrible' play of late?

Ronald Darby regrets his mini Twitter rant Tuesday morning when he said he was ready to block "half way fans." 

He even apologized (see story).

But the reason Darby was "in his feelings" was that he didn't think he had a very good game against the Giants. Sure, he had a huge interception in the first half, but he was roasted and picked on by Eli Manning for much of the afternoon. Darby said it was one of the worst games of his career. 

"It was horrible," he said. 

On Thursday, Darby admitted he "sort of" overlooked the Giants' receivers but didn't want to use it as an excuse. In fact, Darby wasn't willing to use anything as an excuse. Not switching sides. Not his health. Not his relative unfamiliarity with the Eagles' scheme. 

Darby, 23, actually echoed what his defensive coordinator pointed at as the problem. Jim Schwartz said technique issues have been his problem. 

After joining the team Aug. 11, Darby didn't have a ton of time with the Eagles when he dislocated his right ankle in the season opener in Washington. Based on how gruesome that injury looked at the time, it's pretty amazing Darby has even been able to play at all this season. Since returning, he's played 93 percent of the defensive snaps in the last five games. 

But in those last five games, Darby has been far from a dominant corner. According to ProFootballFocus, he's given up 24 catches on 40 targets for 309 yards and a touchdown, with that one interception. 

How close is he to 100 percent? 

"Right now, I feel I'm as good as I'm gonna be," he said. "That don't make no excuse for nothing. I'm out there playing, so I need to play at 100. Even when you're not feeling 100. I'm not the only person out there not feeling 100."

After Darby went down in the opener, Jalen Mills took over at the team's left cornerback. That means Darby has returned on the right side, which he admitted was awkward at first, but has become more familiar. 

The Eagles traded Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick to get Darby this summer and they need him to play well in these playoffs. Rookie Rasul Douglas played well while Darby was out, but Darby gives the Eagles their best chance at success. 

What's the next step after a "horrible" game against the Giants? 

"Move on," Darby said. "That wasn't the first time I played bad before. We play corner. There can be games where you cover tight on somebody and they make a catch on you and it could go like that the whole game. It's just how the position is." 

Eagles at Saints live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 11 game

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Eagles at Saints live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 11 game

2:29 p.m.: Washington was about to take a lead at the end of the half, but Alex Smith threw a 101-yard pick-6 and the Texans extended their lead. It’s 17-7 at halftime. In Atlanta, the Falcons are clinging to a 6-3 lead over the Cowboys. 

1:40 p.m.: Keep an eye on the game in Washington. The Texans have a 10-0 lead after one quarter. The Eagles can use all the help they can get in the NFC East. 

1:15 p.m.: After about a half hour of trying to figure out how to get in the Superdome and then how to get up to the press box, I have finally arrived. This is my first trip to the Superdome. First impressions, it’s kind of a dump, but also kinda cool. I’m looking forward to seeing how loud this place gets in a few hours. 

10:53 a.m.: Good morning, everyone. It’s game day! And it’s a big one for the Eagles. I’m getting ready to walk to the Superdome from my hotel and we’ll follow this entire game day together. 

For what it’s worth, I was out about town last night and saw a ton of Eagles fans. Another big showing from Eagles fans in another city. We’ve seen that on every trip this year. I think it was a perfect storm for it. The Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl and have a tremendous road schedule. A lot of good options for fans and they’re making the most of these trips. 

Be sure to watch Eagles Pregame Live at 3 p.m. and tune in after the game for our complete breakdown on Eagles Postgame Live. 

Eagles at Saints 2018: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines for NFL Week 11

USA Today Images

Eagles at Saints 2018: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines for NFL Week 11

The Eagles (4-5) are heading to New Orleans to face the red-hot Saints (8-1) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday afternoon. 

Here’s everything you need to know: 

3 p.m.  Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP

4:25 p.m.  Eagles at Saints on FOX 

7:30 p.m.  Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP

9:30 p.m.  End Game on NBCSP 

You can also watch the game on fuboTV.

The FOX broadcasters for this game are Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline). 

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP. 

Season spiraling 

Coming off the bye week, Eagles fans were feeling pretty good. The Eagles clawed back to .500 with a win over the Jaguars and still had everything ahead of them. Not to mention, they added Golden Tate at the trade deadline. But what happened last week was an absolute disaster. Not only did the Eagles lose to a reeling Cowboys team at home, 27-20, but Washington also won to extend its lead to two games in the division. 

The season isn’t over for the Eagles even if they lose to the Saints on Sunday. But things are a lot more difficult now and their playoff chances have definitely gone way down. One of the big themes this week was that the leaders on the team needed to bring energy, to keep everyone’s spirits high. If they don’t, there’s no way they climb out of this. 

Stopping the Saints 

It definitely won’t be easy to get a win. The Saints are an absolute offensive juggernaut. They have averaged over 36 points per game this season and have put up 96 in the last two weeks. It all starts with Drew Brees, who is somehow having his best season at age 39. This guy has been incredible. He’s completing 77 percent of his passes and has 21 touchdowns to just one interception.

The Eagles are banged up in their secondary too. Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod are done for the year and Jalen Mills (foot) isn’t expected in this game. Even if the Eagles get Sidney Jones (hamstring) back, they’re still not in great shape. 

Scoring some points 

If the Saints put up the points we all expect them to, how will the Eagles respond? Because they’ve averaged just 22.0 points per game this season and can’t seem to figure things out offensively. They have scored just 21 points in first quarters this season, so a quick start would really help in this game. They really can’t afford to get down early and try to play catch-up. That’s a recipe for disaster. 

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