Zone Read: Eagles-Packers, the Day After

ryans_400_111113On their first drive of the game, the Packers set up with a 1st-and-10 from the Eagles’ 31-yard-line.

They were in ’12′ personnel with two tight ends and Eddie Lacy in the backfield. The rookie running back had picked up 21 yards on his first four carries as Green Bay entered field goal range.

DeMeco Ryans lined up at his usual spot at middle linebacker about 4 yards behind nose tackle Damion Square. Seneca Wallace took the snap from under center, turned to his left and handed the ball off. As Lacy looked for a hole, Ryans flowed to his right.


Left tackle David Bakhtiari tried to get to him, but was unsuccessful. Ryans diagnosed the play, got downhill and planted his helmet into Lacy’s mid-section, knocking the 231-pound rookie backwards and onto the ground at Lambeau Field.

Lacy would manage just 54 yards on 19 carries (2.8 YPC) the rest of the day. And Ryans, with a game-high 13 tackles, was a big reason why.

"When you get a challenge like that as a linebacker, that’s the biggest challenge you’re gonna get," Ryans said afterwards. "Somebody that’s gonna try to pound you and run you over. So as a linebacker, I love that."

Of Ryans’ 13 tackles, nine came within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage. Eleven were solo and two for loss. He also broke up a pass and came up with a diving interception off a deflection in the second half.

It’s been an eventful couple years for the 29-year-old. Ryans suffered an Achilles’ injury while with the Texans in 2010. He tried to get acclimated to a new scheme in a lockout-shortened offseason, while simultaneously rehabbing. After one year in Wade Phillips' 3-4, he was traded to the Eagles to play behind the Wide-9.

Ryans was one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise dysfunctional defense in 2012. But another offseason brought more change and a switch back to the 3-4. Ryans has had his share of issues in coverage this season, but with the defensive linemen keeping blockers off of him, Ryans has been punishing opposing running backs on a weekly basis.

"I cannot say enough about DeMeco Ryans and what he means to the defense as a quarterback, as a leader, as a playmaker," said defensive coordinator Billy Davis. "That interception he made today was a wild play. He’s having a Pro Bowl year, and I hope he continues to have that Pro Bowl year and gets recognized for it. He’s really consistent and he’s our leader."

Survey players around the Eagles’ locker room, and the word leader comes up constantly when describing Ryans.

"He has a hard job," said Trent Cole. "He has so much going on because he’s looking at the sideline, plus he’s got guys asking questions. Guys ask him what the play is, and he’s in a situation, it takes a lot of focus. And he’s good at it. He’s good at what he does."

Added rookie nose tackle Bennie Logan: "Man, DeMeco Ryans brings so much energy, leadership. Just playing with that guy, you just feed off him. He’s a great guy. He knows the defense. He’s always picking everybody up on the sideline, in the huddle, he just brings so much energy to the game and on the field. You just really want to go out and play for those guys and also play for him."

Four of the starters in the Eagles’ front seven are first- or second-year players. They rely on Ryans to get them in the right spots. That’s one of the reasons he never comes off the field. Going into Sunday's games, Ryans had played 695 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. That was more than any other defensive player in the NFL.

Told that Davis mentioned him as a potential Pro Bowler, Ryans said: “That’s great to hear coming from the d-coordinator. It’s of course the level that I’ve been working to get back to after I came off a big injury in 2010. It’s definitely a level that I’ve been trying to get back to is a Pro Bowl level. And of course that’s where I want to be - known as a top linebacker in this league.”

The defense clearly got a huge break with the Packers playing their third-string quarterback. But the Eagles contained one of the league’s better rushing attacks, limiting the Packers to 99 yards (3.3 YPC) on the ground.

"It’s a good feeling to see everything come together collectively as a defensive group," Ryans said. "And then overall as a team to see everything just come together here in Lambeau, to get a team win was really big for us."

***

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN…

1. Why the Eagles didn’t challenge the 36-yard completion to Jarrett Boykin in the first half?

Boykin made the reception near the right sideline against Cary Williams. But replays showed pretty clearly that he only got one foot down before his hand landed out of bounds. That was a third-down play (3rd-and-9), and even though the Packers would have gotten to replay the down because of an offsides penalty, the Eagles had plenty to gain from a challenge.

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is in charge of advising Kelly on when to throw the red flag. He sees the same replays the public sees on TV. And it seemed like Shurmur had plenty of time to tell Kelly to throw the flag. But he didn’t do so.

In the end, it didn’t turn out to be a big deal, but with a head coach constantly seeking out new ways to give his team a competitive advantage, Kelly may want to revisit his process for deciding when to challenge calls.

2. Why anyone ever doubted that Colt Anderson knew what he was doing?

Anderson is Mr. Special Teams. But his actions in the third quarter created some confusion. The Packers punted the ball, and it hit one of their players at the Eagles’ 16 before rolling toward the end zone.

Anderson tried to pick the ball up, but then lost possession. Did Mr. Special Teams just make a massive error?

The answer, of course, was no. Once the punting team touches the ball, the receiving team can basically do whatever it wants (barring committing a penalty) without risk. Once Anderson saw that the ball was touched at the 16, he figured he might as well try to pick it up and advance it. Best-case scenario: He runs it past the 16, and the Eagles get better field position.

Worst-case scenario: The Eagles get the ball at the 16. Even if Anderson ran 30 yards and then fumbled, it wouldn’t have mattered. The Eagles would have still gotten the ball at the 16. That’s why he picked it up.

The officials called it "illegal touching" on Green Bay. That doesn't mean it's a penalty. It just means a player from the punting team touched the ball before a player from the receiving team.

Got it? Any questions, contact Dave Fipp.

***

THE NO-22

The Packers put together one of their better drives of the day at the end of the first quarter. They drove from their own 4 to the Eagles' 5 and faced a 3rd-and-3.

But a mistake by third-string QB Scott Tolzien left them with no points to show for their efforts. Tolzien was looking for Jordy Nelson, who was matched up against Brandon Boykin in the slot.

no22_boykin1a

"Jordy did a 7-route, and I knew that with this new quarterback coming in that the timing would probably be quick," Boykin said. "Everything would have to be quick."

no22_boykin1c

Boykin was in man coverage, and Nelson had some space between him and the sideline. You can see that Patrick Chung, who was blitzing, did a good job of timing his jump and nearly batted the ball at the line of scrimmage.

no22_boykin1d

The pass had to be towards the sideline where Nelson could go get it.

"As he turned for the 7-route, I turned my head trying to undercut it," Boykin said. "I was able to get my hands on it."

no22_boykin1e

Nice play by Boykin, but the throw was behind Nelson. You can see here he's turning back for it. Ideally (from a Packers perspective), he'd catch it in stride going towards the sideline, and Boykin would have no shot.

As it turned out, Boykin made the pick and returned it 76 yards before being forced out of bounds.

"I’m a little bit disappointed I wasn’t able to score, but big stop in the red zone, so it was good," he said.

***

THE NUMBER THAT MATTERS

4 - The number of sacks Vinny Curry has on the season. Granted, it’s not a huge number, but it leads the team.

The kicker, though, is this: Curry had only played 19 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps going into yesterday's game. I understand why he hasn’t played more. The Eagles want to be a team that consistently stops the run, and that starts with defensive linemen two-gapping up front.

But this defense also lacks a prolific pass-rush. Given that we’re 10 games in and the personnel isn’t going to change, Curry needs to see the field more. If he looks like a major liability against the run, fine. Remove him at that point. But give him more opportunities to get after the quarterback. The benefits could very well be worth it.

***

GAME BALL OFFENSE: LESEAN MCCOY

I thought about giving it to Riley Cooper, but he got some nice B247 ink on Sunday.

McCoy piled up 155 yards on 25 carries (6.2 YPC). In the previous five games, he had 309 yards on 90 carries (3.4 YPC).

"Today, I think the offensive line actually controlled the line of scrimmage," McCoy said. "...I think it’s one thing for a back to be confident to run the ball. But it’s another when the guys up front want to run the ball even more than you do. So it says a lot about them up front, the way they played today.

"I think today I had more lanes and a lot more one-on-one opportunities. I was to the second level so fast today, and I was just hitting it."

McCoy was particularly impressive in the second half, carrying 16 times for 114 yards (7.1 YPC). With six games to go, he leads the league in yards (932) and carries (193).

GAME BALL DEFENSE: DEMECO RYANS

I know we already recognized him up top, but Ryans deserves it. He led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo) and also came up with an interception. Plus, the sense I get is this team would be a mess in terms of pre-snap alignment without Ryans' guidance.

***

THAT’S WHAT HE SAID

"I know a bunch of times, I felt like I was tackling my own guy just because there were so many people around there." - CONNOR BARWIN

The stat community often makes a big deal about missed tackles, and certainly those numbers have value. But against a back like Lacy, the first guy to the ball is not always going to be able to bring him down. He’s a powerful runner who takes on defenders with a violent style.

That’s really what was most impressive about the defense’s effort against the run. Davis’ guys swarmed to the ball and made sure that even if one guy missed, there would be someone else to clean up. In fact, that's something they've been doing well pretty much all season long.

***

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

1. With 9:32 left in the game, the offense took over at its own 8-yard-line. The Eagles ran the ball on 11 of 12 plays and were able to chew the clock down to zeroes, finishing with three kneel-downs.

"You would think a long drive like that you’d get tired, and you don’t because you’re used to going so fast that when you slow down, it’s like a huddle," McCoy said. "And we haven’t huddled since probably last year. So to get a chance to really huddle up and run the ball and call the plays is a totally different feeling."

Added Jason Kelce: "We didn’t really do much different. Like I’ve said in the past few weeks, I feel like the line and the running backs have kind of been on a different page, and it almost feels like at times, they’re not where we think they’re gonna be or we think they’re gonna go one way and it just doesn’t happen. Or we just flat-out don’t block well. They did a lot of similar things that the New York Giants were doing - really trying to run the ‘backers down, create a wall right there and make Shady bounce it outside. And we did a good job of getting movement.

"Chip [Kelly] did a really good job of when he saw they were running downhill, instead of continually trying to bash our heads against that all the time, that we could get to some outside stuff and then they’re out of position to scrape over the top."

2. This was my first trip to Lambeau Field. As you’ve probably heard, there are residential streets surrounding the stadium, and people try to make a dollar or two offering up their properties for parking.

The pricing structure is fascinating. We saw some homes asking for $10 or $15. But others upped the ante. They asked for $20 or $25. The reason? That price included use of the bathroom.

I know we’re in tough economic times, but is the mark-up really worth it? Do you really want strangers to step inside your home and use your bathroom for an extra $5 or $10? I say no. More importantly, I’m 100 percent sure my wife would say no.

3. The Eagles shook up their secondary a bit on Sunday. Bradley Fletcher was sidelined with a pectoral injury. But instead of going with Boykin on the outside, Davis decided to give the start to Roc Carmichael.

"It came down to not knowing what personnel groupings," Davis said. "And again, I need Brandon to be a great nickel for us. I had to put him on Jordy Nelson. So in order for him to step up and play a great game, I felt like putting him at nickel was the way to start. ...So Roc was doing a nice job out there, Boykin was doing a nice job inside. Kind of had a roll going. So we kept with it."

It seems pretty clear that Davis doesn't like the idea of moving Boykin back-and-forth between the inside and the outside.

The Eagles also showcased their dime package for the first time all season, playing with one inside linebacker and six defensive backs (three safeties).

"I think I should have been in this package a little bit earlier [in the season] to give DeMeco and Mychal [Kendricks] a little bit of a break because we are playing a lot of snaps every game," Davis said. "And that’s one way to help the inside backers get a blow because they’re the only group that really hadn’t. So we dropped in a little bit more of the dime package."

When the Eagles have opponents in obvious third-and-long passing situations, going dime makes sense. It's not like they have an embarrassment of riches in the secondary, but a third safety might be a better fit than either Ryans or Kendricks.

lombardi_4004. If you recall the stories about how Kelly met with Bill Belichick in the past, one of the themes was one-word play-calls. It's a way of simplifying things so that the offense can move fast.

Kelly often talks about how everything he does is stolen from coaches who came before him. Would you believe that the one-word play-calls go back to Vince Lombardi?

The image to the right can be found in the Packers Hall of Fame, which is a spectacular museum at Lambeau Field. If you're a football nerd, this should be on your bucket list. Lombardi's calls were pretty simple. Sweep to the right was 49. Sweep to the left was 28. It's easy to go quickly with calls like that.

5. All season, I've maintained that Eagles fans want to have meaningful games in December. And it looks like that's going to happen. The Cowboys got smoked by the Saints Sunday night and are now in a first-place tie with the Birds at 5-5.

The Giants and Redskins are 3-6, respectively. The Eagles play Washington at the Linc Sunday afternoon before the Week 12 bye.

The Cowboys have a bye and then take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium in Week 12. It's true that no one gives out trophies in November, but it's at least worth mentioning that the Eagles have a chance to be in sole possession of first place in the NFC East at around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Extra point: You'll notice I didn't write a lot about Nick Foles in this space. That's because I need to re-watch to get a better feel for how he played. My initial impression was that he was dealt some good fortune and also took advantage of some opportunities. Rather than offer up a concrete opinion that I'm going to change in 24 hours, I'm going to hold off. McManus took a look at No. 9 after the game.

Editor's note: The snap counts have not yet been released. They will be posted later in this space or a separate post.

***

GUESSING THE LINE: EAGLES (-3.5)

OK, I'll be honest. I already mistakenly saw the line for this week's game on Twitter (yeah, I'm looking at you Kempksi! Thanks for ruining it!).

The guess is that you might hear about that whole home losing streak once or twice in the coming days.

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  • Jason

    I was pretty impressed with Goode. Is there a reason that Kendricks couldn’t be moved to OLB? It seems on the outside to fit his skill set. Barwin doesn’t seem to be that much bigger.

    • Matt

      Its about length. Outside linebacker, for the most part, is a position where length and height are valued, and Barwin has about 4-5 inches on Kendricks. Now maybe he could play instead of Cole since poor old Trent still looks lost, and Kendricks has experience there from college.

      • southy

        Well that, and he’s good in coverage and has the speed to get to the sidelines, but he’s not going to be winning battles against OT’s very often as a pass rusher.

    • mtn_green

      Good point, played OLB in college. Seemed easy assignment for Goode though, pro bowl QB injured, just needed to fill hole.

  • cliff henny

    mid november…1st place Eagles…boy, that’d be great to say again! best part of the whole game was last 9 mins. ask ’11 Eagles if they’d like that skill, been 11 or 12 win team.

    • JofreyRice

      It was a great drive. They really executed well. No big drops, no dumb runs out of bounds–Shady and Brown understood what they should be doing. That looked really good.

  • addicted2mula

    Only allowed one 100+ rusher

    • anon

      That stat’s a little decieving — we’ve faced Giants 4th string rusher twice, Cowboys second string, etc.

      • Adam

        Holding Alfred Morris, Ryan Matthews, Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, and Doug Martin to less than 100 yards isn’t deceiving, though. That’s just good run D.

        • addicted2mula

          Thank you for helping prove my point.

        • theycallmerob

          …plus Terrelle Pryor!

      • addicted2mula

        Thats three out of 10 games. I can argue that going against – Lacy and Sparks. J. Charles . Alfred Morris.

  • mtn_green

    Curry- I think in this game he’s turned a corner and is executing his assignments properly. I love that Davis and Kelly are willing to sit a player that isn’t executing the gameplan, that is huge. Curry wasn’t two gapping when asked, liability in run and liability on field if not carrying out assignment. An example was the play where Davis called a stunt in Oakland and Jenning got a TD because no DL was in the middle, that is what happens when someone doesn’t do the assignment.

    Whole plan is based upon players doing assignments. Regardless of talent coaches willing to bench him. Media picks it up as a scandal, “best passrusher on bench, coaches screwing up”.

    Davis has said it in PC that he doesn’t want a pass rushing specialist, curry, that only one gaps then the other team will run at him or throw screen at him. Curry needs to be on the same page as the other players, two gap when asked, one gap when asked.

    There was a press conference after one of the preseason games where curry had a sack and he admitted that he wasn’t supposed to shoot the gap but did.

    I think now curry is on the same page as the others and doing his assignments the next question is:

    Should curry start or are Logan, Thornton and Cox playing at a higher level?

    Situationally Curry should probably be the first DL of the bench. Square might be a better run stuffer and is more the size of a nt.

    I would go with Curry as the first off of the bench he is too explosive to leave off the field and seems to be properly executing his assignments.

  • GEAGLE

    Kapadia: It wasn’t a pretty game, but there is NOTHING you can say about Folesy other than GREAT GAME!! was it this dominantly beautiful 7td performance where he can do NO WRONG? NOPE, but that’s NOT life in the NFL…If Luck,RG3,Wilson, KAP, CAM played the exact same game Folesy did yesterday, NO ONE would call that ANYTHING but a GREAT game…

    The expectation of this perfection where we are in ou intro land NEVER in any trouble throughout a game with a QB who has started 10 games, is an ABSOLUTE JOKE!!!! Did Nick get some good bounces yesterday? SURE he did! Eli Friggin manning is a two time SB champion due in part to some “good bounces” and a hot a streak, yet their is NO Asterix next to his name in the history books..

    Sure FOles got some good bounces yesterday, but he also overcomes a heckuva a lot of adversity and got us the win, which is the ONLY measure of a QB, especially one so inexperienced as the kid. He had some good bounces, but he also had some horrible bounces:
    1) 2nd and 14 early in the he game, he bails his offense out of a big penalty with a BIGTIME throw and his wide open WR drops the ball.
    2) He throws a bubble screen to Desean that should have been an easy first down with Cooper and Lane blocking in front of him! and AGAIN Desean Whiffed, basically catching the ball and just running to the sideline for dear life..last week we saw how you run a bubble screen when Riley went all beast MODE after the catch..Desean easily coulda had the first down and probably more, but he ran out of bounds 3 yards short, ending the drive…If FOles is doing his job, and guys are keeping us from picking up a first down and getting in a Rythm, then you just don’t know how different his game could have went if our guys did their jobs and we moved the chains gettng into a flow..
    3) The horrible blown calls against us by the Refs all day..

    While it’s fun to see FOles throw 7TDs, it’s much more important to see the kid find a way claw,scratch thru adversity and lead us to wins, because THATS life in the NFL…people are talking about his game as if it was one of those games when a team carried it’s QB and won inspite of the QB playing good…that’s not the case, the kid faced adversity, his pro bowl LT went down, he threw into really tough winds and won AGAIN on the Road….no need to rematch the film to say that Folesy had a GREAT GAME!!!

    • Andy124

      Has there ever been less praise for a QB putting up a 149.3 rating?

      I’m not denying that numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s fair to say his performance wasn’t as good as that number would suggest. But how much to you want to tweak that number to match the performance? Say he was really like 10 points worse than that? Well, that’s pretty fantastic. Wanna knock 50 points off it (not remotely reasonable)?! Holy crap he’s still almost at a 100 rating when anything over 90 is good.

      Foles had a really good game and it wasn’t a matter of the defense just giving it to him. He made plays, led the Eagles to a 2-touchdown, total team victory, avoided the big mistakes and was near perfect in the second half.

      Is there anyone left who would start a fully healthy Vick over Foles right now? Anyone?

      • Adam

        Yeah I don’t understand where this notion is coming from where people downplay a QB so hard for putting up numbers and winning games. Sure Foles had a few lucky breaks. Actually, I would attribute probably one pass (that TD to DJax) as luck. Other than that it was just Foles putting in work and getting in done.

        Do QB’s need to play lights out 24/7 to be considered legit now? If so, I guess Luck is no longer legit. Or Kaepernick.

        • EaglePete

          I dont even call that djax play luck, he was beating both defenders by about a step and half. The defenders were not in a position to make an INT save for a spectacular diving catch, they barely got their hands on it and it popped in the air. Ask the Bengals about balls popping up in the air by defenders. Agree, some really bad calls all day and no calls. Facemask anyone.

      • aub32

        You’re not really doing it right. He played no where near what his rating would suggest.
        1. PR is a flawed stat first and foremost and not always indicative of how a player performed good or bad. That goes for all QBs, not just Foles.

        2. Passer rating doesn’t account for his fumble, which could have been really costly.

        3. The DJax TD was luck. I’m glad it happened. I’m glad it wasn’t an INT. However, I’m not going to lie to myself either.

        4. The TD to Coop was much more on Coop. The ball was underthrown. Coop made a great play. However, Foles got lucky and bailed out a lot in this game.
        ….
        Some will take my words as Foles bashing. I’m not. I’m giving my assessment. I am happy with the win. I like that despite the underthrown balls, Foles still has the confidence to throw the ball downfield. I’d much rather him take shots and get bailed out than look like a scarecrow as he did in Dallas. However, can we please be objective.

        • Andy124

          1) PR isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. No problem saying that stat doesn’t tell the whole story, but you can’t produce a 149.3 without an excellent game. The stat is imperfect, not garbage.

          2) Yes, his lone error in the game. Maybe it wasn’t you, but there were plenty here that blamed Vick’s sack fumble against Arizona on LeSean for not picking up Kerry Rhodes. Guys were on Foles in an instant on that play.

          3) Every play has some element of luck to it. It’s not like the D dropped an easy int there. I mean seriously we’re giving him demerits for a 56 yard touchdown pass now? What about the 56 yarder to DJ that Vick through against NYG that we agreed to give Vick credit for even though it could have been picked?

          4) Foles put that ball where only Cooper could get it. And he did. It’s a 45 yard touchdown pass. Great job by Foles and Cooper and the rest of the offense. Doesn’t belong anywhere in a post trying to minimize Foles’ day.

          So, what about my question. Fully healthy Vick or Foles, who give us the best chance to win?

          • Adam

            It’s obviously Vick why are you even asking

          • knighn

            It’s 2013: is there actually such a thing as a “Fully healthy Vick”?
            I appreciate all that Vick brought the Eagles and the NFL. No player in the league can outrun Time, even the fastest QB in the history of the NFL.

          • Adam

            Damn dude, that’s deep…

          • knighn

            Hey, not everything I say can be comic gold. I’ve got to throw in a deep thought once in a while!

          • southy

            2) He got sacked from both sides simultaneously on that play, and even then I don’t like the fumble call. They originally ruled him down and it was close enough that the commentating booth all agreed that it was probably down by contact. I don’t see how you overrule the original call on that play.

            Anyway, it’s not like he was being careless.

          • Richard Colton

            based on the last two weeks? Foles. Not even close.

            The thing is, he’s got, what? 10 starts? Still need to expect growing pains from a young QB. So what happens next time he throws out a clunker? Not Dallas bad, but bad? Would Chip put in a mostly healthy Vick the following week?

          • Andy124

            Would Chip put in a mostly healthy Vick the following week?

            I don’t know what Chip would do. I know I would think a lot less of him if he benched Foles after 1 clunker.

          • Richard Colton

            So in other words, Chip’s not going to “name a starter” for the rest of the season, causing Les Bowen’s head to explode.

          • aub32

            I still think fully healthy Vick gives us a better chance in the playoffs where a stronger arm and better rushing attack can make all the difference. That being said, I think Foles has earned the starting job and should be the starter going forward.

            For those who will only see that I wrote Vick, I am not saying we have no rushing attack with Foles. That’s asinine. The rushing attack is just better with VIck.

          • hacker13

            Vick has a better arm but is very erratic. He makes poor decisions, and he takes bad sacks. I don’t know if Foles is or isn’t the guy – I just know the ship has sailed with Vick and Foles has played well enough to peek my interest. There is only one way to find out if its for real and thats to let him play the season out.

          • Andy124

            So looking back, I technically did ask two different questions: Who would you start; Who gives us a better chance to win. And you basically answered both, Foles; Vick.

            I don’t understand how you can watch these guys and think that Vick’s physical advantages still translate to better chance to win. But hey, we’re treading trodden ground there.

          • aub32

            I saw Brady and Manning lose to Joe Flacco last year. Flacco is no where near as accurate or consistent as those two. However, he won in the cold with big plays and a run game.
            ….
            Have you and others not been paying attention to Foles. His scores have come off of big plays. He isn’t carving up the field like Brady or Manning. Yesterday we won thanks to a run game and the deep ball. I like Foles, but Vick is a better deep ball thrower, he makes our already good rushing attack better.
            ….
            I’m not saying Vick is so much better than Foles. He’s not. In many systems with other players Foles would be better. I don’t believe this team is one of them.

          • theycallmerob

            Yesterday we won thanks to a run game and the deep ball. I like Foles, but Vick is a better deep ball thrower, he makes our already good rushing attack better.
            If Vick’s such a better thrower, why is his accuracy not better? Foles is not winning off the deep ball, he’s winning off Play action. check your stats again. Big difference. He’s completing passes at a high % rate, the run game is doing fine. But see what you want to see

          • aub32

            “deep ball thrower” Foles is more accurate because he will take checkdowns. Vick gets those yards with his legs vs. taking checkdowns. The run game has not been doing fine. The run game did really really well yesterday. However, the run game did take a dip. Also, I didn’t say the team couldn’t run without Vick. Stop confusing me with other posters. I said the run game, which is good, gets a boost with Vick. Feel free to deny that rather than being objective.

          • theycallmerob

            But the scoreboard, and win column, gets a boost with Nick. Objective enough?

          • aub32

            Ok guy you win. Foles is the greatest QB ever. He’s Manning Brady Brees and Rodgers rolled up into one. I can’t wait until he’s inducted into Canton.

          • theycallmerob

            Nice strawman; never said any of that. But it does make for an easy defense I guess

        • knighn

          I think we must take the ESPN appoach and look at more than Attempts, Completions, Yards, TDs and INTs (i.e. “Passer Rating”). The ESPN QBR actually takes into account things like rushing, sacks, and fumbles.

          So, while Nick Foles’ Passer rating of 132.5 would put him as above Peyton Manning on the season, his season-long QBR of 79.2 ranks only second to Peyton Manning, and his weekly QBR actually ranks behind Christian Ponder and Russell Wilson, and he is only tied with Drew Brees.
          http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr
          http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr/_/type/player-week/week/10

          In short: yes, there is luck involved. There often is in the NFL and it goes both ways. The Eagles and their fans have gotten enough of the bad luck. How about appreciating the good luck for a change instead of using that good fortune to criticize a young, developing QB who might just prove to be the future of the franchise?

          • aub32

            Who isn’t appreciating the luck. I love that we won. I loved seeing two GB defenders practically run into one anoter only for DJax to get a walk in TD. However, I’m not deciding my future franchise QB based on how lucky he gets.

          • knighn

            Thank God you’re not deciding the franchise QB! You’d already have Vick locked up in another 5 year contract! Chip and the Eagles will make that decision for all of us. In the meantime I intend to appreciate the special moments that this QB is bringing us, just as we appreciated the play of Vick in 2010. I’m not going to devalue the contributions of Foles like he plays for another team just because he’s lucky, doesn’t run very fast or doesn’t have a cannon of an arm!

        • hacker13

          Luck goes both ways… how many INTS or incompletes are perfectly thrown balls that bounce right of the WRs hands? Foles made the right decisions, and the play to Cooper was thrown away from the defenders, which is what you want! You can’t cherry pick the good luck and ignore the bad luck as they even out over the long haul. And if the QB rating is so flawed, why aren’t there more QBs with 149 ratings?

          • aub32

            Because most QBs throw more than 18 passes in a game.

          • hacker13

            18 passes, 3 for TDs. Seems pretty impressive to me. Tolzien threw it 39 times and only had 1 TD!

          • aub32

            lol that’s my point. His passer rating was so high because he threw so few times and got help and luck. Things broke right for him. That’s awesome though a bit deceiving.

          • Andy124

            It’s absolutely a bit deceiving. That’s my whole point. It’s a “BIT” deceiving. It’s not “A WHOLE CRAPLOAD DECEIVING”, which is what it would have to be for a rating that high to not represent at least a really good game.

            Like the old doctor said, even if you flip the td to DJ in to a int, he still had a rating over 100. I’m taking his word on that, didn’t do that math myself.

      • OldDocRoss

        I agree with your general point, but knocking 50 points of isn’t *that* ridiculous. If you just flick the Desean TD to an INT – which it easily could’ve been – it takes 42.4 points off just like that. Of course, if that were an INT the whole game is different, Foles maybe passes a bunch more and his rating’s entirely different.

        Also, at some point Foles will have a pass bounce of a WRs hands to a grateful CB and you can be sure many of his detractors won’t be sympathising about the poor luck he enjoyed.

        Like I say, I agree with you that Foles played well but his rating’s mighty volatile because it’s largely predicated on the success or failure a small number of passes.

    • Token

      I dont wanna go to far with this.

      But I think I agree with your overall point.

      We will nitpick things.

      But people, even here, were praising Geno Smith. And hes a guy turning it over atleast twice a game.

      Foles production is at least in line with other young QBs that people generally consider good. If his name was Russell Wilson people would be going head over heals.

      I still have no clue if Foles will end up being a legitimate franchise looking QB by the end of the year. But its pretty dumb to just devalue his production. I feel pretty confident in saying hes not Kevin Kolb.

      The question that remains is how good is he? The Dallas game is still fresh in my head. And that was a brutal as it gets. But I try to remember that young QBs will have brutal games. He has probably had less of them than most.

      Hes played in 14 games, 10 starts. Has 2955 yards, 22 TDs and 5 INTs. 62% of throws. Its hard to overlook that or devalue it. I think most of us, if told we were gonna draft a QB in 2014 that would produce those numbers, we would be all in.

      But I also get the skeptics. I consider myself one still. I want to see him improve his control over the game. Be more decisive. Continue to grow as a leader. I wanna see him win a big division game, like this weekend.

      • Adam

        Wouldn’t mind seeing him play from behind as well. Not that I have a problem with building an early lead, though. My main issue with Foles last year was that I didn’t think he had the big play ability, and that he would struggle with just check down’s if he was down by 2-3 scores. This year he showed he isn’t afraid to air it out and I think with the quick decisive nature of our offense we can deal with being down a bit.

      • GEAGLE

        All fair points. Good stuff!

      • hacker13

        I don’t even think it has anything to do with name recognition – people can’t get past the fact that because he is as slow as he is he can’t be effective in Chip Kelly’s offense. Meanwhile, this offense is more about making 1st downs and getting into rhythm, not the need for a QB who can take off and run for 100 yards a game.

        • Token

          If it came to pass that Foles plays well til the end of the year….. and then Chip STILL wants a run arounder……well we have bigger problems then.

          • aub32

            Are games like yesterday’s good enough in your opinion to warrant Chip to not want to draft a QB? I say no. That has nothing to do with running around. I think you try to get a special QB if you can. I don’t think Foles is that, but there’s still time for him to show he is. I’m interested in your thought if games like yesterday really show you he can be “the guy”.

          • Adam

            Drafting QB’s a complete crapshoot. Outside of maybe 2 guys that are going to be long gone before the Eagles get to pick, you’re rolling to dice on any of them. Most people would go with the proven commodity.

          • aub32

            I’m not saying jettison Foles. I just don’t think he’s all that proven that you forego getting someone. The two can compete for the job. Chip has always said you need 2 QBs. Foles has been injured twice in two seasons. With Vick gone, who’s the second QB that can win games?

          • Adam

            See what happens with free agency, or pick a guy up in the mid to later rounds. Heck, let Vick do it if he can’t find a good home elsewhere. Team has too many other needs right now IMO to spend a first round pick on a QB unless Foles starts dropping off big time before the end of the season, which might happen who knows. But if Foles keeps playing the way he has been and winning games, I’m not thinking QB next year.

          • aub32

            If Foles plays like Oakland and TB, then I’m all for him. If he plays like NYG and GB then I think we need to look at the QB market. I don’t know if we will be able to bring Vick back as a backup. He’s better than more than a handful of current starters. I also don’t believe we should reach for an OLB. I want the best guy for this team, and I think QB is an area that can still be upgraded. I think OLB can have the biggest upgrade as we would go from much less than average to at least slightly above avarage. However, QB has so much more impact than any position on the field, and you upgrade there if you have the chance.

          • Token

            See how this works? Even tho Vick has won about 4 games in 2 years, he is still better than starters in the NFL? But what Foles did against GB isnt good enough? Name association.

          • aub32

            Did I say Foles wasn’t better than other starters in the league. I would absolutely take Foles over Ponder, Glennon, Geno, and others. However, if Foles ceiling is Dalton, which is a comparison someone else made, then I want someone else. Is that really so wrong?

          • cliff henny

            we all like and respect avant and celek, but it’s a very nice draft to get younger and more athletic. think everyone is shocked by cooper, i’m excited to see a beckam, evans or moncreif out there. get foles some kelly weapons, this offense could be nasty

          • Adam

            Couldn’t disagree more. When you have a quarterback who scores and doesn’t turn the ball over, you don’t look for upgrades just because you think there might be better. The Eagles are looking at a middle of the round pick right now, which means any “special” guys are well off the board. There aren’t any guys in this draft class that are going to put up numbers like Foles did in GB or NYG.

            10 TD’s in 2 games, 16 TD’s on the season with zero picks. Unless you have a once in a generation player, you’re not going to be able to upgrade on these numbers with a rookie.

            Vick is 34 next year. No team is going to let him come in as anything more than a backup to compete with and maybe mentor a young guy.

          • aub32

            34 is not that old. Romo just got a new contract. Garcia got a contract after his year with us. Hasselbeck was a starter a couple years back. I get you no longer believe in Vick, but try to be objective.

            Foles did turn the ball over yesterday, or do fumbles not count as turnovers anymore? I love that the DJax play worked out, but let’s not kid ourselves just for the sake of trying to say we have found our QB. How many fanbases have fallen into that trap?

          • Richard Colton

            your concern is warranted. and no Aub, being cautious isn’t Foles bashing at all.

          • Adam

            Please don’t attribute any roster moves that Cowboys make as a reason for the Eagles to do something. Romo’s contract is absurd and ridiculous but at least he can win games. Garcia was brought in as a backup both times and never resigned either time. Hasselback is and was trash.

            So one fumble and one potential INT that turned into a TD overshadows 10 TD passes in 2 games? Okay then. You talk about being objective, try it out too.

          • EaglePete

            Dude you couldnt be more wrong about that Djax play, he only had to slow down a tad to come back to the ball. The defenders had to speed up to even get a hand on it to pop it up. Fact that you brought it up so many times to discount or minimize stuff is evident. Wasnt that lucky, happens all the time. Foles really uses the pocket well and is willing to wait stuff out, he stepped up there and fired away. Hes taking some sacks in there but that will happen to all QBs, I love that. Those arent sacks that get QBs hurt either in most cases.

          • knighn

            Objective? Do you honestly think that the wear and tear that Vick has taken throughout his career equals that of Garcia, Hasselbeck or Romo at 33-34 years-old? Who do you honestly think is more likely to miss a game: Romo or Vick?

            The strength of Vick, throughout his career, is also his curse. He has been like a running back and a QB all-in-one. So, throughout his career, he has taken a beating more like a running back than a quarterback. There’s a reason why there aren’t many RBs running around the league after 30 years old. There’s a reason Vick keeps getting hurt now, even on a routine thing like running out of bounds. And Vick, at 33 going on 34, is very close to done, much like McNabb at that same age.

            You got one thing correct: we still don’t know, for certain, what Foles is or can be. The only way the Eagles can determine that is if Foles stays healthy and the Eagles keep playing him. The only thing that you should be certain of: Foles shows promise. There aren’t many QBs who have stacked up stats like Foles in their first ten starts, in only their 2nd seasons.

          • hacker13

            You don’t want a QB who finishes with 3 TDs and a QB rating of 149???? There isn’t too much room to improve upon that performance in GB!!!

          • aub32

            HAHAHA. Even Foles said he needed to improve from that game. You can’t count on that type of luck each week. It was a great team win. Foles benefitted from luck and was helped by his team. I love that he won, but the numbers don’t tell the entire story.

          • EaglePete

            look no further than games by Flacco and Dalton even Kaep yesterday (although Carolinas D just gets better every week). They all have pedestrian games throughout a season and if you have the right coaching and team you have a shot. Getting a Brees, Brady, Rodgers or Manning is no simple task. It may be good enough come years end but not yet, I can totally understand that. Just think if you find a decent top end QB that is a step above game manager you can do things. Problem comes with guys like Cutler and others, where the end results never seem to pay off but you cant find anyone better to replace them. Happens more than not in the NFL.

          • aub32

            The only difference is Flacco and Kaep are much more gifted physically. They can go on special runs. Comparing Foles to Dalton doesn’t say much for Foles. Dalton is surrounded by talent, talent that we as Eagles fans would kill for. He has a defense. Yet he still can’t get the job done. That’s not the QB I want.

          • EaglePete

            True, cant argue their athletic skills. I still think its 75% between the ears though so that doesnt bother me. In all honesty I think the Bengals should be killing teams this season and in the mix, I think they need a new coach. They have so much talent its crazy. People loved Dalton early on though, opinions change year to year, he could be up again in no time.

          • aub32

            People loved Dalton because they had no expectations from him. His emergence also allowed them to move away from Palmer picking up a 1st and 2nd round pick in the process. Maybe they do need a new coach. However I think other QBs could be doing so much more than Dalton with that squad.

          • Adam

            No expectations for a 2nd round pick?

          • aub32

            In his first year? No. No one expected Dalton to come on like he did in his first year.

          • Token

            Who do you plan to get is the question?

            Theres Bridgewater and then theres not much.

            At the end of the day the guy won the game. It wasnt pretty. But they arent all gonna be. We should know, McNabb rarely had “pretty” games his entire career.

            I feel like everyone, me included, wants to see absolute perfection out of this guy to be convinced he can play. But that doesnt apply to any other young QBs. Their flaws are just excepted. Does Wilson have no flaws? I think we know Kaepernick does at this point. Even Luck, who I think is great, will have bad games.

            If there was a special guy out there id be 100% with you. If Luck was sitting there, trade the next 3 years of 1st rounders for the guy. But thats just not the case. A year that looked stacked at QB has turned out to be not very good.

          • aub32

            I don’t expect him to be perfect. I don’t think you need perfect to win the big one. Consistency or special ability is needed imho. Foles lacks a big arm or rushing ability. So the question is can he get hot over a stretch? I don’t know. Yesterday was not that good a follow up to his performance against the Raiders. Yesterday wouldn’t cut it against a playoff team, and I have yet to see him put two games together that would. Now he’s still very young, so by no means am I saying he’s not the guy. I hope he is the guy. I want him to be the guy. However, I think it’s crazy so many are willing to crown him the guy after we have seen QBs like Kolb, Cassle, Freeman, Feely, and the like.

          • Token

            Man, the big arm stuff is getting old. How many big arms do you think are in the NFL? Ill tell you its not nearly as many as you think.

            Foles arm is good enough. And id hope it could get a bit better as get gets more confident in what hes doing, and fixes a couple nagging mechanical problems. I believe he is near the top of the league in 20 plus yard throws or something like that.

            Im not sure how much hotter you can get that 10 TDs in 2 games. 16TDs and no picks. How much do you expect from him? Does Wilson have better numbers? Does Kaepernick?

            As far as running, to me its a plus he isnt a runner. That doesnt win you titles. Being effective in the pocket does. He has the ability to get the easy 5 yards if its there, thats all you need.

            Either way…. The story will be written by the end of the year. Hes either good enough or he isnt.

            I just think the guy is held to a standard thats not comparable to other young QBs, and im not sure why that is. I cant imagine the stories that would be written if Geno Smith or Tannehill threw 10 TDs in two weeks. Hell, if Vick had the exact same game Foles did yesterday I know for a fact a number of you would be singing a different tune.

          • Adam

            Such a strange case for Foles. People hold him to the standards of a 1st round pick or a 10 year vet. He’s not either, yet he’s out preforming a lot of them, and he still can’t garner any respect.

          • cliff henny

            other point is, he is getting better. give kelly another full off-season, tailor playbook and personel to foles.

          • aub32

            People hold him to the standard of a starting NFL QB. He’s not a rookie. It doesn’t matter where he was drafted. Either he’s a starting NFL QB or he isn’t. What’s wrong with holding him to that standard? He’s getting respect, but how many times have we as Eagles fans seen this exact same act and swindled other teams? How is it so hard to understand why people are reluctant?

          • Adam

            Except he’s not at all. If he was held to the same standards as the rest of the NFL then his Oakland performance wouldn’t have been attributed to the NFL needing rule changes.

          • aub32

            That was a point made by talking heads. There are always going to be ridiculous points made. After the Tampa game Foles was thought to be the unquestioned starter. After the Dallas game he should have been taking someone’s order at BK. Isn’t that the same as every other young unproven QB?

          • knighn

            Nick Foles – the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL QBs.

          • theycallmerob

            Yesterday wouldn’t cut it against a playoff team, and I have yet to see him put two games together that would.
            the first part of that sentence is a stretch. That was a playoff team, or close to it. And before you even type his name, I don’t care what QB was playing for them. Foles went into Lambeau and won, period. With some help, and (as Geagle showed) some hurdles.
            What kind of barometer is that to set for him, 10 games in? Especially since 2012 was ridiculous to begin with, but….
            This is NOT a playoff team. We don’t quite have a “playoff defense”. Certainly no home field. In the NFC, there’s SEA, NO, and not much else….we’ll see CHI, ARI, and DET soon enough. Everyone is flawed and hurt. Enough with the “yea, buts….” and take every win as the celebration it is in this rebuilding year.

          • aub32

            Without Rodgers GB is no playoff team. Let’s be serious. Hell they might not even make the playoffs even if he makes it back. Detroit leads that division and will pull away. I believe SF and CAR take the wildcard. So how is GB a playoff team?
            ….
            Can you or no one else read. Since when is being somewhat critical in a win not celebrating. So because we won Foles is the greatest QB in Eagles history. How many times must I say that I like that Foles is winning. I want Foles to show that he’s the guy. That would be awesome for the Eagles and therefore awesome for me. I am not however going to delude myself. I didn’t buy into Kolb. I didn’t but into Feely. I didn’t buy into Garcia. I’m not sold on Foles, but I like him. I can’t wait to see more. He’s about to play WAS at home for a chance to put us half a game up and in sole possesion of first place. I hope he does well. I hope he can earn Chip’s trust. However, my hopes and reality are two different things. You guys just refuse to see that.

          • theycallmerob

            At no point did I anoint Foles’ performance. I merely critiqued your one unrealistic expectation; extra defensive today. The thing is, your reality is somewhat skewed with a hint of bias

          • aub32

            Defensive? Have you read the comments. I merely said the numbers were inflated, and I think people should be a little cautious. People act like I said the kid should be thrown into a volcano.
            ….
            Please list one thing I said that is me being defensive. I stated my opinion. I’m with holding judgement and I want the best possible QB for this team. Foles would be great but I don’t want 3 or 4 years of a Dalton/Schaub esque QB. If (and I am saying if) that’s Foles ceiling, then no thanks.

          • Richard Colton

            that’s the thing. who’s willing to say they know his ceiling at this point? OK, yeah, Dutch. But other than him. 10 games still isn’t enough.

          • aub32

            It’s not. So I am leaving the door open and hopes he improves. Right now I think he should start, but I am not against taking a QB early in the draft. The next six games will make up my mind which direction I am leaning toward more.

          • theycallmerob

            Can you or no one else read. Since when is being somewhat critical in a win not celebrating. So because we won Foles is the greatest QB in Eagles history. How many times must I say that I like that Foles is winning.
            for someone who attacks others re: reading comprehension….

            I get your withholding judgement shtick. Fine. I’m cut from the same cloth. Since when is his ceiling Dalton 2.0? Since when is Vick better in the playoffs (been there, done that) I took issue with your playoff comment (my entire original post), which you continue to evade…

          • aub32

            I did not evade. I stated GB is not a playoff team. I was very explicit in that regard.

          • theycallmerob

            They were, and still might be. 5-3 when the day started. Foles can’t control who played QB for them. He went into Lambeau and beat a McCarthy and Capers game plan. Their D was beat up, but who isn’t? We lost 3 starters on that side of the ball.
            Again, the Eagles are a flawed team. I could care less if Foles goes toe-to-toe with Brees or Stafford at this point of his career, so long as he plays well enough to win. Yesterday, he did that and more.

          • aub32

            You brought up playoff team. They aren’t one without Rodgers. Foles beat the competition placed in front of him. He won the game. He deserves credit. However, I will not say he beat a playoff team when GB is not a playoff team without Rodgers.

          • theycallmerob

            Well, sure. How valid is KC’s record, or their defense, judging some of the competition they faced?
            Foles will get the chance soon enough, against CHI/DET/ARI/DAL

          • aub32

            HAHAHA ok rob I’m done. You got it. I never said Foles would not or should not have a chance in the coming weeks. I stated he didn’t. HAHA Then you bring up he did. However, rather than just saying “you’re right aub, GB isn’t a playoff team without Rodgers” you bring up games that Foles hasn’t even played yet. Thanks for the laugh, but I’m off work. GO Birds! GO Foles! (just so we are clear that’s not sarcasm. I really want Foles to destroy Washington)

          • theycallmerob

            enjoy your work. I’ll assume after a similar output next week, Foles’ still can’t beat a playoff team, nor would he have won in the first place if RG3 is fully healthy.
            It’s one thing to be wary, but to hide an obvious bias towards a player behind your Shield of Objective* Invincibility is just too much.
            It would be a perfect world indeed if every good QB always beat the bad opponents they were “supposed to beat”. I’m sorry if Foles’ winning games just isn’t in a fashion akin to your preferences.

          • Andy124

            You also have to understand, others have been more critical and dismissive of Foles than you. Many points that are being made are in reference to those.

            And my initial post wasn’t in any way critical of those not ready to crown Foles (I’ve always said it takes a long time to fully evaluate a quarterback and that holds even after a few good games) but of the ridiculous underselling of the GB game specifically.

          • aub32

            Who is underselling it? Most the posters here seem to be fully buying into the GB game. I’m not, but I don’t think I’ve made any unreasonable argument.

          • Andy124

            Please list one thing I said that is me being defensive.

            People act like I said the kid should be thrown into a volcano.

          • aub32

            That’s defensive? I was just trying to bring some levity to this.

          • FMWarner

            Couldn’t agree more. I know I’m in late on this, but to me the Foles skepticism is entirely reasonable. I’d love him to turn out to be the guy, and I hope he does. But he just has to do it for a little longer, that’s all. If we all remember, Tom Brady took over in Week 3 for the 2001 Pats, and people were still making the argument that Drew Bledsoe should start in the Super Bowl. I’m not questioning what Foles has done – just want to make sure it’s not an anomaly.

          • Eaglehaslanded

            JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Lief had big arms but couldn’t quarterback their way out of a paper bag. Drew Brees doesn’t have a strong arm, but he has poise, touch and a high football acumen. Romo has a big arm and he has escapability, but he can’t get to the NFC championship game. If Foles was a first rounder or if Geno Smith was playing on Foles level he would be praised, not questioned and second guessed.

          • aub32

            I second guess Foles because of his play not Smith or Brees. Foles has yet to win a divsion game where he started. Foles still underthrows balls. He still fumbles in the pocket. He also has good pocket awareness. He seems to have gotten his moxy back since the Dallas game. He takes chances. I love that. He also does that dumbass shuffle pass when going to the ground. I have both positives and negatives for Foles. Sorry that I can be objective.

          • Coatesvillain

            Objectivity? How dare you speak of such a thing!

            I’m right there with you. I didn’t think he was the guy in the offseason. I was looking toward the draft. Foles has outperformed my expectations and looks much better this season than last.

            I want to see more. I want to see him play well in games that mean something, and he will have the chance in the Eagles’ last six games. That’s what we all want. Games that matter in December.

          • aub32

            Couldn’t agree more, though I’d like to see the birds play in january as well.

          • Jason A Hines

            This exact point is what is interesting to me about the clamoring for Foles. Let me first say that I don’t think I am in any particularly person’s camp. though I felt Vick won the preseason competition. Foles has been operating the offense well (w/the obvious exception of the Dallas game) and so he should have the reins unless he’s hurt. I at least want to get a really good look at him before the draft. But I don’t think we can be so results oriented. We should at least take into account that he did not seem as on yesterday as he was in OAK or even in TB or against the NYG. A lot of those deep balls didn’t come out clean, even the 32 yd TD to Cooper fluttered a little. While the WRs did great work in coming down with those 3 TDs, I don’t think we can just say “well they got caught so no worries.”

            Which leads me to my point about McNabb. McNabb had tons of stinkers that he managed to overcome adversity and get the win, and I feel like a lot of us didn’t give him any credit for those. Maybe not you specifically, but I don’t recall a ton of people in the “McNabb just gets it done” camp. Why does Foles get that benefit of the doubt?

          • FMWarner

            Because some people simply would not accept McNabb and because some people think Saint Jim Johnson was the only reason those teams won.

        • Brian

          Since January, 90% or more, of the local and national media has been saying that this offense needs a mobile quarterback, and that keeping Nick Foles was puzzling. They have also said that Nick Foles just didn’t have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL. 10 games into the season, Nick Foles (after 4 starts +) has 16 touchdowns, zero interceptions, a 132 rating, and performed so well in Oakland that his jersey is in the Hall of Fame. The media doesn’t want to believe that this is real, because it would mean that they were Very wrong. For that reason, the media will be the last ones on the bandwagon. Even though, typically, they’re the first ones on board.

          • OregonDucker

            Chip has made it very, very clear he wants a QB who is accurate, makes quick decisions, has a high football IQ, AND does not turn the ball over. A running QB is absolutely not in the equation. Foles fits the bill. Period.

          • theycallmerob

            Some people have made it clear they won’t listen.

          • cliff henny

            kind of funny how some of those people arent nearly as active since somebody hurt his leg

          • Adam

            Yeah funny how that works eh? It is kinda nice though.

          • cliff henny

            i was willing to give the always injured one a shot at backup roll, but these board are so much better without that constant bs, i really dont want him back just for that reason alone. really just have vick-fatigue

    • ACViking

      GEagle . . .

      Nicky Sevens is the man.

    • Coatesvillain

      Hold on.

      Sheil says that Foles had some luck and took advantage of some things, and that he wanted to wait to watch the All-22 before he comes out with a full opinion and this is your response?

      Sheil is as unbiased as it gets with the Eagles in the local media, and I think we can trust him to give a balanced view.

      Ease up a little.

      • theycallmerob

        the kid faced adversity, his pro bowl LT went down, he threw into really tough winds and won AGAIN on the Road
        I don’t see how an all-22 would contradict any of that.

        • Coatesvillain

          By all accounts Allen Barbre played pretty well as Peters’ replacement (better in the run game). So the All-22 will allow that to come to light. It also shows angles we don’t see on game day, but we all know this and it’s why we come here.

          There’s no need for people to be defensive. I’m sure we all want to see the Eagles win. And if Foles is playing well, and he’s the guy going forward while playing well even better.

          • theycallmerob

            It’s one thing to be defensive; it’s another to cherry-pick stats or downplay the things no QB can control- weather, injuries (you, your team, opponents, whatever), or live in hypothetical “Vick’s legs would open up so much more…”
            Not accusing you of that. This thread is just getting ridiculous, considering it’s the day after a road win at Lambeau to get back to .500

          • Coatesvillain

            To be fair I see cherry picking on both sides. Which is unfortunate. Especially when you consider that Tim and Sheil do their best to be as balanced as possible when talking about the team.

            I didn’t have much faith in either of the QBs as long term fixes coming into the season. Foles has outperformed my expectations, but I want consistency. Not Oakland or Dallas, but somewhere in between. If that’s yesterday, I’m okay with it (I also don’t think you need a franchise QB to win Super Bowl, but that’s another thing entirely).

            That said I wouldn’t call yesterday a great game. Yet, I’d be okay even if that TD to Jackson ended up an INT. Not everyone has Flacco’s arm to get through wind, but an INT there would have practically been an early down punt. Unfortunate? Sure, but not a killer.

            Despite feeling this way I absolutely want to see how Sheil sees the All-22. One of the main reasons is because more information in this situation is good for everyone.

    • iagozdi212

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  • GEAGLE

    Time to talk defense..While it’s awesome to see this team holding teams to 17pts that past 6 games (2nd in the NFL being KC these past 6 games), I’m more excited about a Other things I’m seeing on defense:
    ..
    1) forget that they are playing good ball, they are starting to become NASTY which is something that has been missing for a long time,,Meco has been BLOWING UP RBs and WRs all year, Curry really out a nasty hit on the QB…they are starting to PUNISH opponents and even Nate Allen is starting to play with more intensity, and seeing this team go out and start to really hit people is just soooo great to see.

    2) DEPTH!!! I knew the starters were developing and I knew we would see a better defense than people that, but the Depth to me was a major concern. I don’t care who was on the field for our opponent, we overcome the loss of our starting CB,Safety and ILB, and defensively we didn’t skip a beat, and continued to build off the previous 5 weeks…that was really encouraging to see

    • ACViking

      Where’s the pass rush?

      I want to know where’s the pass rush?

      Can’t beat the best QBs without getting in their face.

      • Adam

        I think at this point we just need to face facts and say that we simply don’t have it, and won’t have it until we sign and/or draft it. We’ll just have to hope for our interior can provide enough push.

        • ACViking

          Thank you. You couldn’t be more right.

          If, by chance or otherwise, the Eagles reach the playoffs and face a team with a very good passing game, the lack of a pass rush will be a serious problem.

          • theycallmerob

            “If we reach the playoffs….” would lead us to many problems, but all of them would be good problems to have.

            If you told me this summer we were talking playoffs just before the bye, and our defense is doing well except for sacks, I’d assume you were on bath salts

      • OregonDucker

        I think we are close. If Curry can 2 gap better then his pressure will free LBs blitz and stunt to put pressure on the QB.

      • Richard Colton

        Yeah. Hate to be a downer after a win, but when your sack leader is a guy who plays 19% of your snaps, you have a serious pass-rush problem. I think we’ve seen enough of them in the 3-4 to say that Cole/Graham aren’t a good fit.

        All I want for Easter is the next great stud OLB – am I asking too much Howie?

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        This defense is designed to stop the run first, not rush the passer. It’s a strategic decision that Kelly and Davis have chosen. You can’t have your lineman cover 2 gaps and then expect him to rush the passer as effectively as if you just sprint between lineman (or around lineman like the wide 9 ends) without worrying about the run. When it’s 3rd and long, then change strategies and get after the quarterback (usually pretty effectively).

        To clarify, it’s not a personnel problem that we don’t have more sacks. If Kelly thought getting more sacks was worth the trade off of getting gashed in the run game the way we used to, we would have more sacks. Have you seen any of our safeties getting beaten over the top on play action this year? NO! Do you know why? Because the safeties don’t have the insane run responsibilities that they used to have in the Wide 9.

        In sum, we’ve been effectively stopping the run. We haven’t given up big passing plays. We’ve been holding opponents under 20 points.

        Kelly doesn’t care about time of possession (which we got destroyed in yesterday, even with a 9 minute drive to close out the game), nor does he care about sacks. I think he is smarter than ACViking. Therefore, I have stopped caring about those things, and just care about points and wins.

        • Adam

          I don’t really agree. It’s not the lack of pass rush from the interior DL (the guys that are 2 gapping) that’s the problem. In fact, those guys are getting some of the best push of the lot. It’s the lack of pass rush from Cole and Barwin that are the problem.

          Now, I have no issue with Barwin’s play. In the ideal world we’d have a good enough guy on the other side so that Barwin can what he does well (everything except rush the passer), but Cole isn’t getting the job done this year. If we upgrade there, it makes the entire defense look better… interior and secondary.

          I appreciate the sentiment that you think if the Eagles wanted more sacks they would get more sacks. If only it were that easy. Simple fact is we don’t have the personnel to do that, and we’re making do with what we’ve got.

          • theycallmerob

            ^ this.

            Cole is simply replaceable at this point. Major upgrade at personnel in that spot. If Graham stays, he can challenge the rookie we bring in for reps. Or keep learning behind Barwin, and be first off the bench at either spot.

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            I like what you did there, how you saw a discussion about the Eagles’ overall lack of pass rush/sacks and then turned it into a discussion about Trent Cole not getting the job done this year.

            My point was that Kelly has de-emphasized “pass rush at all costs” in favor of defending the run. This has allowed us to keep all running backs in check while also playing two safeties deep who have yet to get beat over the top (save for a rookie mistake against Peyton Manning by Earl Wolff). So, yes, I think we could easily get more sacks with the current personnel if we let our linemen bust through the gaps without regard to the running back. But I have faith in Kelly that 2-gapping and leaving our safeties deep to cover is a proper calculation in today’s NFL.

            I’m not saying Trent Cole is a pro bowler or that I wouldn’t love a first round OLB to come in and replace him, but this blind focus on sacks and getting after the passer instead of trusting your assignment and the scheme is a little over the top, especially since the current defense hasn’t given up 21 points or more than 400 yards (outside of garbage time v. Oak) since playing in Denver in September.

          • Adam

            I like what you did there, how you saw a discussion about the Eagles’ overall lack of pass rush/sacks and then turned it into a discussion about Trent Cole not getting the job done this year.

            These aren’t mutually exclusive. The reason for lack of pass rush is because Trent Cole isn’t getting the job done.

            Cole not getting sacks isn’t by design. In a 2 gap 3-4 defense the pass rush is supposed to come from your OLB’s, not from your interior lineman. His job on passing downs is to get to the QB and he simply isn’t doing that.

            You’re missing the point all together here. We have no qualms with the 2 gap 3-4 and we don’t want sacks at all costs. But at some point you do need sacks, and we simply can’t get em. And when it comes to playing a team that has a good air attack (like say, our game against the Broncos) if you can’t get hits on the QB you’re going to get destroyed.

            Another way to look at it is, just imagine how much better this defense would look if we had someone who could hit the QB. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone else, and puts our team in a position to make plays and create turnovers.

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            To be clear, I love sacks as much as the next guy and understand how great it is to generate pressure, but not if you’re leaving your disregarding your other assignments on a given play. My anecdotal evidence of watching every game suggests Cole’s assignment is rarely rushing the passer without holding his lane integrity (I see defensive ends and OLBs, especially the sack kings, speed rush around the tackle all the time, which results in more sacks but also results in more draws or the QB stepping up that don’t show up in the stat sheet).

          • theycallmerob

            My anecdotal evidence…
            No need for all that. Sheil broke it down last week in a wake-up call; pass-rushing opportunities by player. Not only is your point incorrect re: his pass rush opportunities but he’s simply not getting it done. Even if he’s playing the run on the way to the passer, it’s not working. He’s seen plenty of 4down looks too.
            I don’t get why this is a convoluted point. Kempski showed the breakdown last week- of 34 defenses, we’re dead last in sacks generated by OLBs. Improvement is sorely needed.

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            It’s a convoluted point because you don’t know what Cole or Barwin are being asked to do on a respective play. Yes I see Sheil’s handy pass rush opportunities charts, and while it is certainly helpful, I don’t think it ends the discussion if Cole’s first step isn’t exploding into the backfield. Surely even theycallmerob would concede that if your first step is lateral or you take a half second to diagnose a run or pass, you are not going to have as many sacks as you could if your first step is sprinting into the backfield. Sheil’s numbers, for all their value, don’t address that distinction. I should add Trent Cole’s on pace for his most tackles in a year since 2008, so the dude is doing a lot right.

            It’s just so easy for Eagles fans to cry about one player’s statistical production when they don’t know that individual’s assignment or the team’s scheme on that play. Last year Nate Allen was the whipping boy and was repeatedly burnt on play action. Everyone thought he sucked. This year he’s playing quite competently, on pace for 100 tackles, hasn’t gotten beat over the top, and has made a few highlight reel plays behind the line of scrimmage.

            Only in Philly do the fans comment about one player’s lack of sacks when they are in 1st place in the NFC East after 10 games in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year with a defense that hasn’t given up more than 21 points in 6 weeks.

            Evan Mathis, I know you’re reading this, and please tell Trent Cole I still have his back.

          • theycallmerob

            Just Rob, thanks. Yes, g-d forbid we complain. I guess you missed almost every other post I’ve made before today. I love this D and the staff for what they’ve done; doesn’t mean you get a free pass.
            And of course I concede that. Any discussion involving football, ever, has that disclaimer; but thanks for clearing it up.
            Nate’s situation last year was vastly different, his responsibilities were clear. So are Cole’s, for the most part. If anything, it’s easier in this scheme standing up to get at the passer; don’t take my word for it, Cole said it himself. It’s not just sacks, but hurries and hits are way down. He’s getting old, it’s part of the business

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            Well if you concede that part, Rob, then you also realize that even if you’re standing up, it won’t be easier to rush the QB if you are hesitating to diagnose a play before rushing into the backfield, at which point I would respectfully rest my case.

            To your other point, I have seen and appreciate a lot of your optimism on these boards. On the Trent Cole piece, I just say “not so fast!”

          • theycallmerob

            Just as you tell me not to assume to know scheme, you’re asking me to accept that Cole’s struggles have to do with clear evidence that he is hesitating. As if, as a 43 end, you never have run responsibility. where is the clear evidence you have to support that claim, before resting? Was he not allowed to “pin his ears back” last year, when he had 10+ 3 sacks?
            I don’t mean this as a personal attack; just having a hard time defending him at this point. And I love the guy to death. But to say OLB production is ok in this scheme is relying more on anecdotal evidence and scheme assumption than statistical evidence (even if not 100% accurate to respective roles)

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            I don’t consider your statements a personal attack in the least and I hope the same is true. I believe in the Wide 9, when Cole had 11 sacks in 2011 (and the team had like 50), he and Babin were instructed to sprint up the field and try to get the QB.

            My premise as it relates to Trent Cole, flawed as he is, is that sacks or hurries should not be the barometer of his success as long as he is doing his assignment properly. Given that his tackles are up and that the defense as a whole has been so productive the last 6 games, I tend to side with the player and coach that he is doing what he’s being told to do. Unfortunately my job does not permit me hours to review all of his snaps to get to the bottom of this, but if Sheil is reading this, I would love to see some All-22 breakdowns of his play after which if the evidence supports your point that Cole is too old/slow, please return here to tell me how terribly wrong I am and I will admit it.

          • theycallmerob

            please return here to tell me how terribly wrong I am and I will admit it.
            hahaha, sorry to give you that impression; I just believe that an upgrade at OLB is the most critical component going forward with this defense.

            I believe in the Wide 9, when Cole had 11 sacks in 2011 (and the team had like 50), he and Babin were instructed to sprint up the field and try to get the QB.
            same was true last year, but he did not produce. I don’t deny his past; but 2 years ago is a long time for a DL his age.

            as long as he is doing his assignment properly.
            that is simply the foundation of our difference in opinion. I believe, according to all evidence presented to us (most significant, the desire for Davis’ charges to play a LeBeau-inspired 2gap 34), that Cole’s primary responsibility is rush. He is simply not as good at that anymore.

            I would love to see some All-22 breakdowns of his play

            amen

          • JofreyRice

            After Washburn was fired, they went back to a read & react system run by Tommy Brasher; the same system that made Cole #3 on the Eagles all-time sack list–as well as one of the most “complete” 4-3 DE’s in the game–when Washburn showed up with the Wide 9 in ’11.

      • Andy124

        It’s hiding out in the future.

  • BleedGreenJames

    Foles be like

  • Johnny Domino

    Re: random #2:
    You assume those people have indoor plumbing.

  • EaglePete

    nitpicking here, but I thought Boykin couldve beat that one last guy on the INT return. That guy was a lot bigger and did have the angle slightly but it seemed like one more burst and that guy didnt stand a chance of catching him. Im sure he was gassed a bit at that point but man, I was not happy when they came away with no points after that. I guess negating their score was a positive but it was still disappointing. Henery is the worst.

    • southy

      Henery is in a bit of a slump. It happens. But let’s not forget that he’s been incredibly accurate up to this season. It would be nice if he had the leg to drill a 55 yarder from time to time, but if he can step it up over the stretch and get back to being $$$ again I’ll be happy.

      • EaglePete

        right, I get that but its always short term with kickers. Those slumps over several weeks in a season are hard to accept. Its nice to win when he misses but thats not always the case. Id also be fine if he gets back to hitting everything inside 40, 45 to 50 needs improvement though. Dont like that coaches are hesitant to even try with him.

      • Token

        The guy cant be trusted at 40 yards. You are the only Henery backer in town.

        The guy is done here after the season.

        UDFA kickers come into the league every year that are better than Henery.

        • aub32

          I don’t think he’s done. His KOs are much improved. He has struggled as of late. However, that’s the thing about struggling, if he can make some big kicks before the season’s end all will be forgiven.

        • southy

          Right. Forget that of all active kickers in the league, he’s ranked 11th in FG%. Forget that he’s only missed more than 1 FG twice in his career. Forget that this season we’ve asked him to kick a 60 YARDER (!?) and he missed a FG this week in a wind swept game in GB where Mason Crosby (whose stadium it is) missed 2. But he’s garbage and we’ll find someone better as an UDFA.

          I hate making these arguments cuz I don’t consider Henery to be a world-beater, but jeezus get some perspective.

          • cliff henny

            least he should have competition brought in next camp.

          • southy

            that’s fine with me. you draft henery where we got him and you expect the guy to either have a huge leg and passable consistency or be like clockwork inside of 45 yards. right now he’s neither. we got spoiled a little bit with all those years of Akers.

          • Token

            Some have a much lower value on a 4th round pick than I do I guess.

            Not sure what stats your looking at.

            Hes 26th this year in FG %. His long is 48.

            62% from 40-49 yards. You wont be in the league long with those numbers. Especially given hes a weak kickoff guy too.

    • Brian

      Don’t forget, that play came at the end of a long drive. Boykin was gassed. Assuming he played the whole drive.

      • EaglePete

        Smoothies? cmon Boyk you had that dude. He was very happy you slowed up to the sideline.

    • Adam

      Longest INT return since 2009, if you need a bright side

  • Adam

    No injury update from Chip’s PC.. says Kendricks doesn’t think his knee is a big-time injury (one of the CL’s) and Peters says he expects to play (but Chip says to take with a grain of salt, Peter says that every week). Wolff’s didn’t look too serious.

    • cliff henny

      great news…for awhile there they were dropping like flies…was getting nervous

  • 1972

    A few people wanted Ryans gone next year. He’s the leader on defense and he’s having a great year. I would keep him and upgrade the OLB position in the first round

    • Token

      You need to upgrade one of the ILB spots. If your picking Ryans then get another guy to take over for Kendricks. I dont care who goes, I just know they need another ILB next year. Ryans and Kendricks will not be the starters on a good team.

      • aub32

        I think we have bigger concerns in the draft than a starting ILB. We still need an OLB an CB. Fletcher went down and we had to put Roc on the outside. I’d much rather have another year of Kendricks and Ryans than no CB depth. We have shut down some good RBs with Kendricks and Ryans. We have yet to shut down any good QBs, outside of a decent game against Romo.

        • Token

          Ill just let it play out. I realize Kendricks is one of those players nobody will believe stinks until hes not playing.

          Obviously OLB is the biggest need. But they need someone at ILB before next season.

          • aub32

            I agree Kendricks isn’t a stud. However, he is still young and has had good games. I just don’t think he is as big a liability as you say. I think he should have at least one more year before we actively seek a replacement.

          • Token

            He could be a solid backup at ILB and OLB.

          • aub32

            I will be ok with that. We’ve had 2nd round picks that couldn’t even stay on the team. I will take a role player. I just think he remains the starter until someone outplays him. I don’t think we spend a lot of resources on that postion via the draft or FA, unless a deal is too good to pass up.

          • Pennguino

            Outside of size, Kendricks has the speed and some power that you want. This is only his second year. Just from interviews and comments from other team members I get the feeling he just needs to mature as a football player. He has the skills just need for him to calm down and let those skills take over.

            Its a new system for him. He is learning. He is still too hung up on the mental side and too amped up. Once he starts recognizing blocks, hand placements of oline, flow of the play, he will start making plays instead of chasing plays.

          • Token

            Kendricks plays weak. Dunno what Power you see. Im ok with his size if he didnt play so small. Ernie Sims had a bunch of speed too. Without instincts all the physical gifts dont mean very much.

        • cliff henny

          it’s the final yr and 7m that’s the issue. very very rarely are guys not extended before final yr of contract. so, either extend him and reduce cap figure or take that 7m and get a much younger version. today, i’d extend him couple yrs, draft(4th-6thrdr) his replacement and give couple yrs to learn under him

      • 1972

        Kendricks is a ok player but I thought he would make more of an impact by now, maybe he’s too small or just slightly above average

  • Will

    The Eagles Defense came up Big a very nice Team Win!

  • Will

    Nick Foles
    Passer rating: 149.3
    QBR: 91.8
    Analysis: Three touchdown passes against the Green Bay Packers brought him to 16 for the season, with no interceptions. That’s tied for the second-most passing touchdowns without an interception to start a season in NFL history. There’s really no secret to what the Eagles are doing with Foles, however. They have arguably the best play-action passing game in the league. They used it for 14 of his 18 attempts Sunday, and at 78 percent, that’s the most frequent use of play-action in an NFL game since at least 2006. He completed nine of those passes, including all three of his touchdowns, for 172 yards. Six of his 10 touchdown passes over the past two games have come via play-action. Foles’ QBR on play-action plays this season is 95.3, trailing only Peyton Manning (95.4) among qualified starters.

    per NFL Nation

    • cliff henny

      there is no doubt his numbers look great. dont think it’s unreasonable to still have questions on the guy. he is playing in a very qb friendly offense, with couple true nfl weapons. do think he’s notch above game manager, but still cant see him as a top10 qb. but, kelly’s offense not need top10 qb. like to see cooper upgraded, i just cant see him continuing these numbers with his skillset, avant cant be the slot recr kelly pictures, celek is on backend of career. good part is all that will be in draft, and no need to reach at any point.

  • theycallmerob

    Been a lot of talk about cutting Ryans on these threads. Since day 1, he’s done nothing but get better, get healthier, and take more leadership of this defense.
    Cox may be the most talent, Sconces the loudest, but Demeco is the closest to a “heart and soul” type player as we’ve had on the D in a looooong time. Pay the man.

    • Adam

      Yeah he’s worth the money for sure. Whatever he lacks in physical skills (which isn’t much TBH) he more than makes up for in intangibles.

      • theycallmerob

        I’ll just take health and consistency. Back to full health in a new scheme with a whole new staff, and he’s at a pro-bowl level playing the most snaps in the NFL? yes please.
        And for all the sh!t I gave Geagle…..

        • cliff henny

          G’s did say alot of things though…still waiting on B-GRIZZLE to dominate. my guess is this time next yr, after another good draft and couple more solid FA signings, the nfl will be on notice that NFCCG is going thru philly again. love how this team is contrusted in cap and the holes have replacements in draft or FA. oh, and kelly, he’s ok

    • cliff henny

      he made a couple of bucks on Lacey’s 5th carry, that was awesome! have to do something with him. it’s final yr of contract, teams dont let those guys go into FA if player is part of future. so if he’s not, take 7m and move it onto younger vet mlb. i agree though, he’s earned 2 yr extension. get a rookie to learn in behind him, or maybe knott is that guy.
      .
      also helped that sop isnt being pushed back into his lap.

      • theycallmerob

        speaking of all that BS from this morning’s thread….if Demeco lays the wood like that next week at home, you’ll see the Linc go nuts. that’s exactly the physical play we haven’t seen in oh, I don’t know….about 10 home games now….

        • cliff henny

          not sure i could handle another home game loss. and not sure i could handle a bye week after 3 game winning streak and sitting alone in 1st place.

    • UKEagle99

      If they let Mecco walk then they truly learnt nothing from letting #20 go.

    • 1972

      Yes sir!!!!

  • Justin

    I haven’t heard anything about the injuries to Kendricks and Wolff. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    • Adam

      Eskin just tweeted that Wolff and Kendricks likely out this weekend, Peters likely to play.

      Take that as you will.

      • Token

        That sucks, I think Wolff being out has a bigger impact than Peters. Especially a gimped Peters.

        • theycallmerob

          Hopefully Fletch is back, and Chung seems healthy (for what it’s worth). Having 2 starters out in that secondary really tested our DBs, and Garcon and J. Reed have looked very capable the last few weeks.

        • 1972

          I love how wolff and chung hit out there. They’re a big reason why we’ve been tackling better this year. Nate Allen too. Shocking I now lol

      • Justin

        So it would be Chung and…Who replaces Kendricks? Matthews?

        • theycallmerob

          More than likely Goode or Acho, I’d imagine. Wonder how healthy Knott is at this point.

          • Justin

            Oh right. Goode was out there yesterday. I distinctly remember asking “Who the hell is #53?”

          • 1972

            he dropped a pick 6 yesterday. At least he was in the right spot