What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

In his MVP Watch, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com puts LeSean McCoy sixth:

There’s a little-known clause in Chip Kelly’s contract that says he’s allowed to go back to Oregon and play quidditch in Phil Knight’s backyard if McCoy isn’t on the team anymore. A little bit further down, in the fine print at the bottom of the page, it says that Kelly’s actually not required to coach any game prior to which McCoy exhibits cold symptoms. Kelly’s got a heck of a contract lawyer.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com puts Nick Foles in the “worse than the numbers indicate” category of the QB Index:

Luck matters. Nick Foles didn’t have a great game in Green Bay despite his incredible box score line. He held the ball too long at times. Two long touchdowns both came off poor throws that could have been picked off. Give Foles credit for pulling the trigger on vertical tries.

The Eagles lead the league with 61 explosive pass plays, which is defined as plays of 20+ yards. That’s 16 more than any other team. From Brian Billick on NFL.com:

While Philadelphia doesn’t have the best offense in the league, it does have the most explosive one. The Eagles have 16 more explosive plays on offense than any other team in the league, and seem to be rounding into form with Nick Foles as quarterback. If the defense can play better, Philadelphia should be favored in the NFC East.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 16th in his power rankings:

Nick Foles is playing at a high level and the Eagles are a playoff contender. Two road victories can do that to a team.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 14th:

Someone has to win the NFC East. The Cowboys looked awful Sunday, the Redskins lost to the Vikings and the Giants are two wins behind. Is this your division “favorite?”

Chris Burke of SI.com has the Eagles all the way up to No. 11:

And speaking of heaving the ball up to a receiver … Riley Cooper bailed out Nick Foles a couple times Sunday en route to 102 yards receiving. Cooper is now averaging 19.8 yards per catch, behind only New Orleans’ Kenny Stills (23.0) in the NFL ranks.

Burke looks at soon-to-be free agents, including Jeremy Maclin:

Jeremy Maclin: Falling. That’s a retroactive “falling” designation for Maclin, who tore his ACL in late July. He should be healthy for the 2014 season, but he’ll also waltz into free agency with nothing to show for ’13. His best bet might be to stick in Philadelphia, if Chip Kelly’s team can use him. The offense remains a nice fit for him, and he could regain his footing in a familiar setting.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 14th in his power rankings:

Usually when you say a team is totally different on the road, it’s a bad thing, but not for the Eagles. They are 5-1 on the road with a plus-8 turnover differential and 0-4 at home with a minus-6 turnover differential.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 17th:

Hope Michael Vick isn’t prone to splinters. Yes, Nick Foles got away with a few throws, but given the way this team is playing, how could Chip Kelly make a change at quarterback, even when Vick does get healthy?

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner has the Eagles 16th in his power rankings:

I don’t think this is a roster with .500 talent. Chip Kelly must be doing something right.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 15th:

If they could win their home games, they’d be 9-1.

Football Outsiders had Foles’ performance ranked fifth-best last week:

Foles had a good day overall, but a lousy day on third downs. In seven dropbacks, he only completed two passes, both for first downs, for 33 total yards. Otherwise, he had two incompletions and was sacked three times, with one fumble.

Len Pasquarelli of the National Football Post offers this note on Foles:

Although Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly has publicly refused to close the door on the chances of Michael Vick starting again this season, Eagles players privately suggest only an injury to Nick Foles will get him back into the lineup. Kelly plans to ride Foles, who threw for a record-tying seven scores last week, the rest of the way, to determine if he’s the man moving forward of if the club needs to look elsewhere for a quarterback.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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