What They’re Saying About the Eagles

kelly_400_102613Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about today’s Eagles-Raiders game.

Andy Benoit of TheMMQB.com looks at the matchup between the Eagles and Terrelle Pryor:

The Eagles probably assumed that the best read-option opponent they’d see this season would be in Weeks 1 and 11, when they faced RG3 and Washington. Instead, it will be here in Week 9, when they face Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders. Much like Cam Newton, Pryor has the size-speed combination to run read-option keepers out of traditional power-blocking plays. The Eagles will have to stay very disciplined up front.

Ashley Fox of ESPN.com offers her thoughts on Chip Kelly’s first eight games:

This is where Kelly finds himself midway through his first season as an NFL coach. He isn’t smarter than everyone else. He isn’t an offensive guru. His philosophies on training and nutrition, while forward-thinking, aren’t revolutionary.

Once he has an opportunity to select a quarterback in the first round of the draft — presumably in 2014 — and build around him with players he chooses and doesn’t inherit, maybe then Kelly will prove to be an offensive innovator. Maybe then he can run teams out of the stadium with a rapid-fire offense that thrives under the repetitive accuracy of the starting quarterback. Maybe then Kelly can run more plays than the New England Patriots and exhaust opponents with a relentless attack that includes an effective read-option package and keeps defenses on their heels.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicts a 23-17 Raiders win:

The Eagles looked horrible last week against the Giants. Now they must take a long trip against a Raiders team that is playing good defense and coming off an impressive victory over the Steelers. The Eagles offense is a mess now. Oakland wins consecutive games.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com predicts a 16-10 Raiders victory:

Nick Foles will take the reins for the Eagles, who have scored all of 10 points the past two weeks. Now, that doesn’t mean the Raiders will win 30-7, either. Yes, Philadelphia surrendered 27 points to the Redskins and 33 to the Chargers, but that was back when the Eagles’ offense was faring much better. NFL defenses generally step up when they know their team is starting a backup, and Philly coordinator Bill Davis’ unit likely will circle the wagons, as it’s been doing recently. Expect the Raiders to pound the run while trying to get Terrelle Pryor out in space. Meanwhile, it’s time to give Oakland’s defense some love. The Raiders have been stout against the run. They’re not giving up chunk plays at all, literally: No one has a run of 20 yards or more against them this season.

KC Joyner of ESPN.com looks at how the Eagles’ current personnel is being used in Kelly’s scheme:

It would be great if Kelly were more like a modern-day Don Shula and willing to radically alter his game plans to suit the talent on his roster. But the reality is that Kelly’s system can still be a success at the pro level, it’s just going to take some fundamental roster changes to make that happen.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com goes with a 27-23 Raiders victory:

Don’t look now, but the fourth team in the AFC West — a team no one’s talking about in that division — has a bit of a nice stretch of schedule coming up. At 3-4 and very much in the AFC wild-card hunt, the Raiders have the Eagles (3-5), New York Giants (2-6), Houston Texans (2-5), Tennessee Titans (3-4), Dallas Cowboys (4-4) and New York Jets (4-4) in consecutive weeks. I’m not saying they’re about to go on a 2012 Redskins-esque run to the playoffs, but I’m also not NOT saying that.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk predicts a 17-9 Raiders win:

The Raiders complete a rare two-game sweep of Pennsylvania’s pro football teams without ever having to leave the Bay Area.  All four NFC West teams will be at or above .500 come Sunday, thanks to their ability to pulverize the teams of the NFC East.

Doug Farrar of SI.com says the pressure’s on Nick Foles:

The Eagles’ offense has been wretched in its past two outings, mustering all of three points against the Cowboys and Giants. (Philadelphia scored its only TD of Weeks 7 and 8 on special teams.) Foles was wholly responsible for the former effort, throwing for just 80 before an injury drove him from Philadelphia’s loss to Dallas.


He’ll get a shot at redemption Sunday in Oakland versus a middle-of-the-road pass defense. Another disappointing performance could send the Eagles to their third straight loss and a 3-6 record.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com says it's make-or-break time for Foles and the Eagles:

The Eagles' season is in the hands of Nick Foles. Foles hasn't thrown an interception in his last 90 passes, but the effectiveness of LeSean McCoy drops off considerably when Foles plays instead of Vick. Raider QB Terrelle Pryor is 3-1 at home and the Eagles haven't scored an offensive touchdown in two games.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld predicts a 23-20 Eagles win:

Kelly's offense was billed coming into the league as tight end friendly. The tight ends do play a lot of snaps, but they're not big parts of the passing game. Neither Ertz nor Celek has cleared 60 yards in any game this season.

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  • Will

    KC Joyner of ESPN.com looks at how the Eagles’ current personnel is being used in Kelly’s scheme:

    It would be great if Kelly were more like a modern-day Don Shula and willing to radically alter his game plans to suit the talent on his roster. But the reality is that Kelly’s system can still be a success at the pro level, it’s just going to take some fundamental roster changes to make that happen.

    • Vick Must Go

      That is one thing I don’t understand. There was so much talk before the season about the adaptability of the system. Yet, Foles and Barkley continue to run the read option with no intent to run. I don’t get it.

      • bentheimmigrant

        It’s the option of hand off and pass, usually. Foles has kept it a few times. He has 2 rushing TDs now, right?

        • Vick Must Go

          Foles has run a few times, but Barkley hasn’t taken it once even when the DE was crashing on McCoy and the end was wide open. I don’t think you need a mobile QB (per my name), but you do need a QB that is willing to tuck it for 5 yards and slide feet first to at least allow the read option to work. If you don’t have that guy, then I think you need to change the playcalling.

          Barkley running those read options last week was really sad…

          • theycallmerob

            Last week has a huge * with re: to the read option; I believe either Kelly or Barkley said how he truly had the option to run only once. Many times they are called straight runs. But more importantly, the Iggs were down to the last QB with Barkley last week; no chance he’s taking off and risking injury.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Good point re: injury. I’m pretty certain there were a few times he could have had some free yards, but I suppose we shouldn’t trust him too far… The fumble play showed that he wasn’t quite out of college yet.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Oh, no doubt. I remember during his first drive (I think), I saw how little respect they were giving the threat of him running. I was really hoping we’d see him tucking it, even if it was only once. Felt like a real lost opportunity, even if it would have just been 7 yards.

      • Mr. Magee

        Will, why are you repeating what was said in the article?

  • GEAGLE

    Finally Lurie shut down the Vick experiment…fly Folesy fly…redemption day is upon us!!! Can’t wait to watch the eagles defense take another step forward this week…
    ….
    So pumped up for Folesy time

    Yeah downvote rooting on a young eagle you dopes!!! Lol pathetic

    Don’t be mad at me cause ‘Mike Vick won’t ever take another snap as an eagle…no more wasting time!! The future has arrived!!!

    • anon

      If Foles lays an egg (i don’t think he will) MB time or stick with Foles ROS or until Vick is fully healthy?

      • nicksaenz1

        That’s a great question. I think it depends on how the egg looks. If it’s Dallas bad, it may be Mark Barkley time.

    • Justin

      Lol… Folesy time? How about nobody on this roster time? Lurie has shutdown the experiment for all the current QBs and will be drafting one.

      • anon

        Laurie’s making personnel decisions? I guess you reap what you sew.

        • GEAGLE

          No Lurie isn’t making decisions, but don’t get it twisted, that was a calculated statement by the Eagles..Lurie never speaks, yet the eagles clearly wanted to get that message out…I doubt It was Lurie’s call, I think he just acted like the mouth piece delivering the message the eagles wanted to get out there

      • GEAGLE

        eagles probably aren’t drafting a QB in round one,,,remember where you heard it when your jaw drops in May

  • djack10

    Based on those national comments, the Eagles should win today. Safe to say if Foles lays another egg, they would give up on him, or does he get a few more weeks?

    • Vick Must Go

      Considering Barkley has 5 turn overs in 11 possessions, I would think they would stick with him to see how it goes. If he still struggles after 2-3 starts, Barkley vs. Vick. That being said, I don’t think the Dallas game will happen again any time soon. I think Foles turns it around and makes his case to be a capable back-up to whoever the Eagles draft next year… assuming they don’t sign Cutler.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Cutler? Please don’t sign cutler….

        • Vick Must Go

          Agreed. I would rather draft someone. But the large number of teams in need of a QB makes me nervous that a QB will not drop to the Eagles spot that they are especially fond of. I realize this example is bordering on the ridiculous, but if the Eagles draft #10 and 5 QBs go in the top 9… we are going to wish we signed Cutler prior to the draft.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya makes sense, if they sign Cutler I’ll still snap regardless lol. I think I’d rather Foles

          • UKEagle99

            I would rather slam my balls in a drawer for 17 weeks than watch Cutler in an Eagles jersey for 1.

          • Vick Must Go

            Brings back memories of Dragnet… Dan Akroyd, Tom Hanks… good times. They had Emil Muzz singing like a canary

          • UKEagle99

            Lol, great movie.

      • DirtyWaters

        I can’t see Kelly signing someone like Cutler. He’s gonna get a kid that he can call his own not some crybaby journeyman. He needs a leader not some lone wolf. Cutler may win you some games but when he’s bad…ugh. Smokin’ Jay.

  • DirtyWaters

    Foles is not as good as he was in the Tampa game and he’s not as bad as Cowboys game. I think today we see the real Nick Foles. As far as what the national media thinks, they’ve proven they have no idea what they’re talking sabot.

    • G_WallyHunter

      “They’ve proven they have no idea what they’re talking about”

      Bingo!

  • Michael Tyner

    I cant root for us to lose but I sure am looking ahead to the draft and getting a QB chip actually wants and didnt inherit. Then I think we can fairly judge him and his spread option offense

  • Loke1988

    You keep quoting Ashley Fox why? Oh never mind I see Sheil posted this one. That explains it.

  • G_WallyHunter

    LOL Ashley Fox at it again…

  • Soybot

    Ashley Fox can eat a butt.

    • Septhinox

      I think she already has. That’s why so much isht comes out of her mouth.

      • pjcostello

        BOOM!!!!

  • Explorer51

    CK has revamped an offense that, up until the last couple of weeks, was gobbling up yards at pretty damned good clip. He’s done this with a QB carousel, a #2 WR that thinks he’s a #1 and a supporting WR cast that makes you long for the days of Thrash and Pinkston, an OL that is just OK, and a great RB that has been in a mini-funk (without a real back-up). The mediocre point total is, in large part, due to that aforementioned QB trio lack of RZ accuracy which is, in large part, due to exactly zero reliable RZ targets. Has the head coach made mistakes…yeah, of course…but please show me any NFL HC, including Hall of Famers, who haven’t passed when they should have run or called for an onside kick when they didn’t have to or tried a long field goal when he should have punted. Also show me one quote…just one…where Kelly claimed to be a football genius. Many of these NFL writers and commentators were just waiting for him to fail regardless of the context; he’s an “Other”… a coach who made his name outside the cozy confines of the NFL “know-it-all” universe. To build a consistent winner, you need a strong front office, a smart head coach, and a core of great players starting with a QB; we’ll see if CK is the smart HC but he’s gonna need the other two to succeed.

  • tabu34

    On GameDay Morning on NFL network, they just read off the BS line about how the “Chip Kelly offense hasn’t lived up to it’s billing” and “defenses have figured it out” and “the run game doesn’t work without the dual threat of the QB running”.

    The next segment was about the Patriot’s fast paced rushing attack where the WRs line up wide and the QB makes decisions on the line and they just run it at you.

    Such hypocrites, wow.

    • Vick Must Go

      Agree. You can’t judge Chip after 8 games.

    • anon

      Frankly those guys are the worst (yes all of them). Their analysis depends on whether you won last week.

    • RIP illa

      Pats run a completely different O than we do. The only similarities were the tempo, at least at the start of the season. So although I don’t agree w/ everything they say…You can criticize Chip/our O while praising Belichek’s O.

  • Byter

    Perhaps it is not working out quite to CK’s plan. He is learning on the fly what works and what doesn’t. I believe he is a smart coach, a football geek, who will adjust. Funny thing is, CK never said he was a genius, that he would revolutionize the NFL, and was smarter than everyone else. The hype machine did, the Eagles, the media, etc. Now they’re arguing with themselves.

    Just recently, I watched an episode of A Football Life about Tom Landry. You know he invented the 4-3 defense? He was considered a “genius” and innovator. He had EIGHT losing seasons in Dallas before he got the players he needed and could use the Flex defense, the Doomsday defense, etc. People in Dallas wanted him fired and called him a bum.
    * – I am an Eagles fan but I like the “A Football Life” series.

    • JofreyRice

      I mean, he never said it explicitly, but challenging NFL conventional wisdom on so many fronts–disregarding time of possession, running a very limited scheme, in terms of multiplicity of formations or plays, having running plays directed towards the perimeter, laterally, when most NFL offenses want to run “downhill”–all sort of imply that he thinks the conventional wisdom is wrong, and that his system is better. His actions in how he’s decided the Eagles will attack opposing defenses kind of make the case for him.

      Who knows, maybe he really does just need the right guys to make it work.

      • Mr. Magee

        Exactly, Joffrey. Kelly needs to be evaluated in context – in context of what he said, did, implied, etc. I really, really want him to be successful, but there are a lot of legitimate questions that can be raised at this point. It amazes me the lengths that people are willing to go to defend him without acknowledging some of the negatives.

        The points raised by Joyner and Silva, for example, are undeniably reasonable. Those who can’t see that have their heads in the sand.

      • Byter

        I understand what you mean but the only meaning is that he has his own system. Yes, it is against conventional NFL wisdom on many fronts (but not as much as before). I don’t know if it will all work and he doesn’t know if it will all work. I believe he will tweak his system to work in the NFL.

        My point is that he never attached the “genius”, “revolutionary” tags to any of it. The media did. The media glorified it too much and people who don’t like the system, CK, the Eagles, Philadelphia, etc., denigrate CK in context of the adjectives. Nobody is criticizing Gus in Jacksonville. I would hope it is his offense and defense that he is installing (but God forbid it is different than the “norm”). As for Mr. Magee below, I don’t have my head in the sand. My point is he should be allowed time to get his system in place, get his players, and adjust to the NFL, before he is called a bust or called a savior.

        BTW, other than some of his game-time decisions, most All-22 reviews I’ve read said there are always plays to be made on the field, so is it really scheme?

  • djack10

    Hey Ashley, you suck.

    • pjcostello

      …and not in the good way…

  • jon h

    love reading this column the day after.

  • theedevilsadvocate

    i love reading how wrong all these haters were today made my monday so much better.