Photo | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
To put the Eagles’ accomplishments through 12 games in perspective, Sal Paolantonio rolled out this fact during his weekly appearance on the Mike Missanelli show.
If the season ended today, the playoff teams would be:
From the AFC: Denver, New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Indianapolis.
From the NFC: Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Carolina.
What do they all have in common?
“One very important thing,” said Paolantonio. “All 12 have had one starting quarterback all season long. And the Philadelphia Eagles have survived and flourished despite instability at the quarterback position…When you have instability at the quarterback position, it’s very hard — almost impossible — t0 qualify for the playoff tournament.
“This team is not in the playoffs yet but they’re right knocking on heaven’s door here, and they have a shot to do what few teams do, which is to change quarterbacks mid-course and still make the playoffs.” Read more »
The Eagles offense has been shut out in the fourth quarter in each of its last five games. Not since October 20, when Alex Henery kicked a 31-yard field goal three seconds into the period, has this unit generated points in the fourth.
The good news is that the Eagles are 4-1 over that five-game stretch. In back-to-back wins against Oakland and Green Bay, they were able to maintain a comfortable lead as they salted the game away. If you remember, they closed out the Packers with a 16-play drive that ate up 9:32 of game clock.
Things got a little too interesting late against Washington and Arizona over the last two weeks. The Eagles entered the fourth quarter up 24-0 on Washington and won 24-16. A 24-7 second-half lead against the Cards shrunk to 24-21.
There are worse problems than trying to figure out how to hold onto big leads — at least it means you’re getting big leads to begin with — but it is an area that needs to be cleaned up before it comes back to bite them. Read more »
Cary Williams took a long pause before giving his reply. A reporter brought up the fact that Bruce Arians submitted some 15 plays to the league for review following the Cardinals’ narrow loss to the Eagles Sunday. After digesting that news like one might a box of nails, Williams began.
“Let’s not be crybabies, man,” he said. “I thought the refs kept them in the game to some degree at times. But it’s football, man. It’s about going out there and executing. If they came in here with a different attitude, maybe not so nonchalant, thinking it was going to be a cakewalk…
“I’m not big on teams sending stuff in, and ‘This is what needs to be called.’ Play the game, dude. It’s football, man. Either you come in and win or you blame it on the refs. Don’t blame it on the refs, blame it on your preparation that week. I’ve never been a fan of coaches sending stuff into the refs unless it was blatant. To me I didn’t think there was anything blatant out on the field.”
Read more »
The Arizona Cardinals have sent tapes containing about 15 plays from Sunday’s game to the league office for review.
“There were obviously problems in the ballgame,” said head coach Bruce Arians. “There are protocol to follow. We followed the protocol. We sent the tapes into the league office. [Vice President of Officiating] Dean Blandino does a great job as far as being honest on the calls, and we’ll follow up more…on what will be done and can be done later, but that’s all I’ll say about the officiating in that ballgame. The proper channels have been followed, and there were obviously very many problems.”
Arians noted that the Cards submitted about 15 plays for review.
“That’s pretty high,” he said. “I think that’s considered a problem.” Read more »
Chip Kelly committed to Nick Foles beyond the 2013 season Monday, then let reporters know that his words meant absolutely nothing.
The Eagles head coach was asked if he expects Foles to be the starting quarterback beyond this season.
“As long as he can stay healthy,” Kelly replied.
That response raised a few eyebrows, seeing as Kelly would typically dance right around such a question. In his short time in Philly, we’ve learned that he won’t tie himself to a QB unless he has to. By the sounds of it, he’s grown weary of the same line of questioning and chose a different approach this time around.
“I’ve been asked the question a thousand times so I will say it: He’s the starting quarterback for the next one-thousand years here,” said Kelly, in full I-don’t-give-a-damn-what-you-write mode. “And if I’m wrong next week then I’m wrong next week. Read more »
It didn’t take long to figure out Chip Kelly‘s offensive strategy against Arizona. Have a look at the play-by-play from the Eagles’ opening drive:
|1st and 10 at AZ 25
||N.Foles pass short left to B.Celek pushed ob at ARZ 22 for 3 yards.
|2nd and 7 at AZ 22
|| N.Foles pass incomplete short left to B.Celek.
|3rd and 7 at AZ 22
||N.Foles pass short middle to B.Celek to ARZ 6 for 16 yards
|1st and 6 at AZ 6
||N.Foles pass short right to Z.Ertz for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
See a pattern there?
Read more »
Nick Foles has known for some time that if you want to be Chip Kelly‘s guy, you can’t throw interceptions.
“The Oregon teams that I faced in college prided themselves on not turning the ball over much,” said Foles following the Eagles’ narrow win over the Cardinals Sunday. “I knew that when he came in here, that would be something that he would really stress.”
Kelly is a stickler for efficiency, and there is nothing efficient about handing the ball over to the other team. Just a couple weeks back, Kelly ranked ball security behind only winning when discussing what he wants out of his quarterback. Read more »
Nick Foles had thrown his first interception of the season, and at a most inopportune time.
With just a few minutes left in the game and the Eagles nursing a three-point lead, Foles dropped back on 2nd-and-7 from the Eagles 34 and faced immediate pressure. He had a defender draped all over him but decided to try and force a throw to DeSean Jackson anyway. Bad choice. Patrick Peterson picked off the errant pass and had the Cardinals set up in Philadelphia territory for the possible go-ahead drive. But as the dust settled, sitting on the ground alongside all the fallen players was a yellow flag. Tyrann Mathieu had been caught holding Jason Avant, negating the play. Foles’ streak remained intact and, more importantly, the Eagles retained possession.
That was one of several critical plays down the stretch that hinged on a referee’s call (or non-call).
Arizona head Bruce Arians concluded his opening statement after the game by saying “refereeing did not determine us losing the football game. We didn’t make enough plays.” His players generally followed suit. But their body language in-game struck a much different tone.
“It went both ways,” said James Casey, who was also involved in one of the defining moments late in the contest. “We had a couple big calls go our way at the end of the game but that’s the way it goes sometimes. A lot of times you’re on the other end.”
Let’s take a look at the key moments: Read more »
At the beginning of the year, Chip Kelly was feeling so good about his stable of running backs that he said he would put his group up against any in the National Football League. There was talk of creating a nickname for the trio of LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. “Earth, Wind and Fire” was the apparent leader in the clubhouse.
It’s turned into more of a solo show. McCoy is the league’s leading rusher with 1,009 yards through 11 games. He is also second in carries (behind Adrian Peterson) with 213, and is on pace to comfortably set a personal high in that department.
Meanwhile, Brown has failed to get off the ground. He has carried the ball 53 times for 165 yards (3.1 avg.) and has just one run of 10-plus yards on the season — a 32-yarder against Oakland. After back-to-back scintillating performances last season against Carolina and Dallas, when he posted 347 yards and four touchdowns, expectations shot up for the seventh-round pick. This season, though, the images most closely associated with Brown are of him fruitlessly bouncing it to the outside or slipping to the turf before he hits the hole.
What gives? Read more »
Here is the Eagles’ injury report for Sunday’s game against Arizona:
Out: S Earl Wolff (knee)
Probable: S Colt Anderson (ankle), CB Bradley Fletcher (pectoral), LB Mychal Kendricks (knee), LB Jake Knott (hamstring).
As you can see, the Eagles exit the bye in pretty good shape. Read more »