What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia EaglesHere’s a roundup of national media coverage of the Eagles this week.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 12th in its power rankings:

Philly kept RG III in the pocket enough to win. He threw both touchdowns outside the pocket, but was sacked four times and completed 12 of 27 passes with an interception inside.

Eagles punter Donnie Jones earned co-special teams player of the week honors from TheMMQB.com’s Peters King:

Four of his six punts in a 24-16 win pinned Washington inside its 20-yard-line (at the 2, 17, 15 and 4), but it was that last one that was one of the plays of the day. Having lost all offensive momentum, midway through the fourth quarter and clinging to that 24-16 lead, the Eagles had to punt from their 26, and Jones nailed a 70-yarder down to the Washington 4-yard-line. Robert Griffin III didn’t have a 96-yard drive in him, and the Eagles hung on.

King also has the Eagles 10th in his power rankings:

First time over .500 since opening night, and the arrow is trending upward.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com takes aim at Chip Kelly for the way he handled the clock in the fourth quarter:

Why did the Eagles struggle to hold a 24-point lead at home? Chip Kelly’s blur offense is fifth in yards per game, last in the league in time of possession. Taking possession at the start of the fourth quarter with the score 24-0, when the priority should have been draining the clock, the Eagles staged a quick-snap three-and-out that consumed only 1:08.

Danny Tuccitto of Football Outsiders writes that the Eagles now have a 61.1 percent chance to make the playoffs:

Last weekend was as good to Philadelphia as it was bad for Detroit. With division-leading Dallas on bye, the Eagles’ win over Washington gave them the largest increase in playoff odds of any team in the NFL. As we wrote last week, it has been etched into stone tablets that the NFC East will come down to Dallas-Philadelphia in Week 17. But if anything can overcome the power of destiny, it’s that the Eagles’ five remaining opponents average 9.7 DVOA percentage points higher than the Cowboys’ remaining six opponents.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 12th:

Nick Foles had 47 yards on the ground on Sunday and now has just as many rushing touchdowns as Michael Vick does on the season. I’d say he has a pretty firm hold on the starting quarterback position for the remainder of the season.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 11th:

Nick Foles has this team rolling. But what’s really impressive is how improved the defense is the past month.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 12th:

Dangerous team because of an improving defense and Nick Foles under center. The Eagles haven’t thrown more than 28 times in any contest during their three-game winning streak.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 13th:

Though it got a wee bit scary there at the end for the Eagles, another quality showing from Nick Foles led to a divisional win. Don’t look now, but a surprisingly fun (and important) matchup is coming up in Week 13, when the 6-4 Cardinals visit the Linc.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 12th:

Buddy Ryans would say of Nick Foles, “All he does is throw touchdowns. And run for them.”

Foles had the seventh-best QB performance of the week, according to Football Outsiders:

Throwing to his right, Foles went 8-of-10 for 150 yards with five first downs.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner has the Eagles 14th:

The Eagles are 4-1 with Nick Foles starting and 2-4 with Michael Vick starting. It sounds crazy but shouldn’t Foles (16 touchdowns, no interceptions) get at least a little bit of MVP candidacy buzz?

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  • Jim

    Does Easterbrook ever have anything positive to say on the Eagles? That comment 2 weeks about Sopoaga had to be some sort of joke. How misinformed is he?

    • G_WallyHunter

      Couldn’t find anything bad to say this week lol so the heck with it, let’s slam CK for his clock management. I could see his point if they lost the game, but they didn’t. Guy’s an idiot!

      Can’t wait to see what the genius analyst has to say next week. Him and Florio (and sometimes Prisco), love seeing what they have to say every time

    • Ken

      Anyone know his stats or snap count in last night’s game?

      • BlindChow

        ESPN has his stats as straight zeros since he arrived in New England, but apparently he batted down a pass against Pittsburg!

    • Brandon Boykin, OLB

      For whatever reason, Easterbrook has been critical of the “Nesharim” since the dream team. He started calling them the Philadelphia Heat, and he’s hated them ever since.

      So, to answer you questions: no, not since the 2011, and he’s not misinformed, he simply picks stats that agree with what he’s trying to say.

      • smallestsmurf

        The “Dream Team” was full of GLORY BOYS who he absolutely despises haha.

      • OldDocRoss

        I think he has a more specific problem with Chip Kelly. I remember him taking issue with Kelly/Oregon’s recruiting violation. That, plus Kelly appearing to decide to stay at Oregon then change his mind to come to Philly had him question his character or moral standards or something.

        Since then it’s been he’s been attempting to take pot shots at Kelly based on increasingly threadbare ‘evidence’. If you can bring yourself to stand the trail of douchebaggery it’s almost worth going back through this year’s columns to find what he’s said about Kelly each week. The Sopoaga trade stuff was, to date, the pinnacle of his stupidity but there are some other pearls of wisdom that are actually pretty hilarious once you realise they’re the work of a maniacal fool with a vendetta desperately scrambling for something, anything to support his case.

        The irony, of course, is that he apparently sees no problem with his own morals despite his use of a portion of his column almost every week to mislead readers and demean a rookie head coach with (presumably) the end goal of turning less informed fans on him and getting him fired.

        I’m ashamed to admit I used to like the TMQ column, but the guy’s a tool.

        • macadood

          that, and he’s a skins fan too, no? all of that adds up to hatred of the eagles.

  • Soybot

    The idiocy of Easterbrook is boundless. Speaking of idiots, why haven’t we heard much from Ashley Fox in the last few weeks?

    • G_WallyHunter

      She hasn’t written one of her award winning columns on chip kelly yet

  • Chris

    I think it’s still all part of being a rookie coach, and more importantly a rookie in the NFL. Kelly’s a smart guy but when things are moving quickly and he’s in charge of the offense, it can be easy to miss a small detail. These are things I expect to be cleaned up in a year or so, and planned on giving him somewhat of a pass this year. He’s a detail fiend, so he’ll get these things right. The only thing that is worrying me is, if Shurmur is up in the box and NOT calling the plays, what is he doing? Why is he missing these challenges?

    • southy

      As far as we know, Shurmur isn’t missing challenges. He sees the same broadcast we all see and is already in Chip’s ear saying “we challenge this one and we probably win” and Chip up to now has not wanted to lose timeouts.

      Thing is, turnovers and scoring plays are automatically reviewed now, so really if there’s a key first down or something that might swing momentum in your favor, go for it.

      • Chris

        Agree, timeouts in the 2nd half are sacred, but you have a great point about the scoring/turnover plays being automatically reviewed. Gives the coaches a better chance to challenge plays like stepping out of bounds/spot of the ball, which we should be doing correctly. Hopefully they get it straightened out.

  • DirtyWaters

    If the eagles win the Super Bowl,most of these writers will still have them 12th in the power rankings. “Sure they won, but…”

  • livingonapear

    So, Easterbrook is complaining about the blur offense because of a 3 and out. A 3 and out, where they were trying to chew clock. The problem wasn’t the strategy, it was that they got stopped, which will hurt any offense, be it ball control, WCO, or blur.

  • theedevilsadvocate

    aha some positivity from the media guess they are back tracking now. i would rather have them keep hating and have the birds keep making them look stupid…

  • nicksaenz1

    I know Easterbrook is a huge douche, with only misinformed, idiotic things to say…. And yet every time I read what this a$$hat says, my blood boils.

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    It pains me to say this, but Easterbrook has a point. When the game clock is running and you’re up 24-0, I don’t understand why you snap the ball with 10+ seconds left on the play clock, as the Eagles did several times in the 4th quarter (sometimes even with 20+ seconds). Granted, the 3 and outs were the bigger problem, and if we convert on any of those it probably doesn’t matter, but if you add up the amount of time in the 4th quarter that they could have bled just by letting the play clock run down to 2 seconds, Washington gets the ball back on that last drive on their own 3 with less than a minute to go, instead of 3:30.

    • anon

      Some say “dont let off the gas” others say “run the ball”.

    • nicksaenz1

      It was broken down recently that most of the 4th quarter was more about poor execution than anything else. Missed blocks coupled with WSH stacking for the run.

      • cliff henny

        pretty happy now that fox took this part of the game off for me. out of all the problems to have as a coach, not knowing how to protect 20+ points leads is i guess the best to have. but need something between 3 and out due to defense selling out los and wide open normal offense. use wr screnes or something.

        • anon

          Yeah but it’s bad that RGIII even had a chance…Not only did we give up the TDs we gave up the 2pcs

          • cliff henny

            yeah, not arguing that. big difference in college and pro’s in taking foot off gas. think he needs to figure out an 8 minutes offense, or something. low risk, but more than just run after run. tb was great, but that is really hard to do. especially against sold out defense. wr screne or 2 would shake things up.

          • BlindChow

            It’s especially bad if they aren’t actually using all the clock they can between plays.

            One thing I like that Auburn does during their 4-minute offense is line up in the huddle with the linemen directly over their spots on the line. Then, when the play clock drops down to 10 seconds, they quickly spin around and assume their positions, with the WR’s sprinting out to their spots. That way they keep the defense off-guard with their alignment (they’re usually a no-huddle/hurry-up team), but allows them to drain off as much time as possible between snaps.

          • JofreyRice

            Malzahn’s another good coach. That program has come a long way in a year.

          • BlindChow

            I can totally see him being offered an NFL head coaching job in a couple years, particularly if Chip Kelly is successful here.

          • theycallmerob

            if anything, the only play calls that were somewhat ??? were the 4th/1 run with Bryce that got stuffed, and Foles coming up inches short on the last possession and Chip choosing to punt (which Donnie boomed).
            Only 4 possessions for us in the 4th. McCoy couldn’t get away from one guy in one series for -5, and a big hold set back the other. Really just an execution issue.

            Chip may see the “run, run, run” strategy based on other factors. Maybe their D was gassed? Sure worked great against GB

          • Chris

            Yea, i wasn’t happy with the 4th down run with Brown, partly because they used BB, but I thought if they punt/get good field position, it makes that explosive long TD a little bit harder. That skins drive probably would’ve taken a bit longer had CK punted there. more likely that RGIII throws a 40yd TD than an 80yd TD

            EDIT: sorry, 62yd TD, not 40yd. Not a huge difference but i feel like that better field position would’ve helped.

      • BlindChow

        I think it was play calling. Kelly went very conservative. After that final touchdown drive, they ran 21 plays, 15 of which were runs (plus two scrambles). That was mid-way through the third quarter.

        It’s one thing to run out the clock at the end of the game, but the one thing he should have learned after the first Washington game was you don’t let them off the hook that early. Especially when they are stacking the box, expecting you to run, and the run game clearly isn’t working because of it.

        • Andy124

          Another thing is that, just because bad execution helped a play fail, doesn’t mean it wasn’t also a poor call/strategy.

          • BlindChow

            That’s true.

            There were some breakdowns on the line, particularly by Celek.
            But switching to a 75% run-pass ratio that early in the game was definitely a bad idea.

          • anon

            I think it’s hindsight. He got so much praise for having all run plays with 9 and change left against GB.

          • BlindChow

            Right. 9 and and change in the 4th quarter.

          • nicksaenz1

            But that’s where the execution part comes in. We executed the clock run down that game. We didn’t here.

          • BlindChow

            That’s true, but had we actually run our normal offense the entire 3rd quarter, they likely would have had a larger deficit to overcome.

            As it is, we came awfully close to letting them tie with another furious comeback.

          • nicksaenz1

            Impossible to know or really guess at. Who’s to say that their plays still wouldn’t have been victim of poor execution in their “normal offense”?

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        My point is that even with all the poor execution, if we had just let the clock run in between plays longer, we would have bled more clock and prevented the collective hypertension of an entire city of fans and players. It wasn’t as if we were going hurry up where we were catching them off guard. We were moving slowly and already slowing down our tempo, but then we would just snap it at like 10 or 15 seconds instead of at 1 or 2. But yeah, getting more first downs would have helped too, but that’s a little harder to fix than “wait 10 more seconds before snapping the damn ball”

    • Bukester

      Agreed, but not too worried about it. I was more concerned with the conservative play calling. The Eagles entire run game with McCoy is predicated on him making people miss. The Eagles front line needs to be able to go a little ol’ school sometimes and they just cannot do it and its a weakness. They look like a pack of meerkats on an African plain popping up all the sudden to get the call from the lion on the sideline; and everyone knows they are going to run at that point. It jacks up their tempo. 24 points against any team is not enough with 15 minutes left. I hope we have that problem every game and it would nice to keep the momentum – not cede it over to a capable quarterback. Easterbrook is still a prick.

      • BlindChow

        There was about 22 minutes left when we slowed it down.

  • Marilyn Monbroe

    I was thinking about this today. If the defense keeps improving, foles looks better than tom brady did when the pats won their 1st super bowl. Crazy thought but a boy can dream

    • G_WallyHunter

      That is quite the dream, I’m sitting here dreaming it with you lol

      • cliff henny

        this yr is dream, but starting ’14,think eagles will have to be mentioned as a possible threat.

        • Marilyn Monbroe

          you’re probably right, I don’t think we could go to new orleans or seattle and win a playoff game. I would love a chipadelphia tat if we won the super bowl this year though

          • EaglePete

            nope, I get tired of this kind of thinking. Sometimes if you can get hot, anythings possible esp in the NFL. Far too often you see young teams on a roll but its almost like they temper expectations themselves, why not go for it. You may never get back. Now of course its possible, not probable.

            oh and Easterbrook is the worst…..again

          • GEAGLE

            So true…you aren’t going to get me to start talking playoffs and SBs, but a team that gets Hot at the RIGHT time is a dangerous thing in the wacky NFL

        • G_WallyHunter

          Do I go to far to say this years eagles are shaping up to be a dream team? In a whole different way? In my opinion it is

    • Richard Colton

      Crazier than Schwab saying Foles and MVP in the same sentence? Dream away!

      • cliff henny

        next td pass at linc i expect an nba type MVP! MVP! MVP! chant

    • Kev_H

      I think I posted similar after Tampa Bay game.

  • FluxCapacitor

    The poke about “they didn’t run down the clock” a week after they ran off 9+ minutes is kind of stupid. Obviously they tried to do the same, but just couldn’t get it done. I don’t mind the “experts” making a point that is negative – but at least it should make sense with all things considered.

    • BlindChow

      In Green Bay (and Tampa, for that matter), they didn’t try to run out the clock until they were well into the 4th quarter.

      Against Washington it was half-way through the 3rd.

      And if they were trying to run out the clock, not actually waiting until the clock runs down before you snap the ball is kind of strange.

      • FluxCapacitor

        It was nicely explained on this exact web site on the execution flaws. Could they have ran down the clock more? Yep. But convert one of those 1 yard downs and you run off a lot more clock.

        My point is we just did it – does anybody think it is not top of mind?

      • livingonapear

        They weren’t in full running out the clock mode, but they had switched to a ground attack which still takes more time off the clock usually.

        They were kind of trying to transition to clock chewing mode, and it probably would have worked if a few plays went their way.

  • Mike

    Unfortunately the Eagles (with Foles or otherwise) have not beaten a quality team all year. Everyone needs to chill just like they needed to chill when Foles had a clunker for the Dallas game.

    • anon

      I think folks think they could beat KC

    • theycallmerob

      neither has DEN or KC. who cares. they’re beating the teams they need to beat. All they have to do is back into the playoffs.

  • Wilbert31

    The Ryans family is carving out a nice space in eagles lore. First Buddy, now Demeco.

    • Mr. Wu

      I guess Meco got the good genes out of the siblings

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    I forgot about that final punt Donnie Jones is the man for pulling that clutch 70 yarder off. Mad respect.

  • G_WallyHunter

    Dolphin browser for android works great for this mobile site, for all y’all’s info

  • GEAGLE

    Look of FOles keeps playing like this and finishes the year with 25 TDs and 3 INTs…he better get some serious pro bowl consideration. You can’t convince me that FOles 6 games haven’t been better than that of Romo,kAp, Wilson, Matt Ryan…if the season ended today, I’d probably be talking about FOles,Brees and Stafford for probowl consideration

    • theycallmerob

      Cam will get some votes, i’m sure, and Wilson has that shiny record to stand on. I could see Foles being an alternate at least, but we all know the fan voting throws that off every year. people may see McCoy as the one leading this team, especially outsiders

  • Bird of Prey

    Unfortunately I didn’t see the game past the 3rd quarter thanks to Fox. I’m not an Easterbrook fan, since he criticized Foles 7 td performance compared to anointing Mannings. But looking at the stats, and nothing else, he’s correct. Kelly had them run the ball, but didn’t milk the clock at the line of scrimmage. But Kelly was probably trying to keep his foot on their throat and couldn’t make the first down. You guys saw the game, is that a good guess?

  • #7

    Foles, Foles, Foles. How about the defense improving when all of us wanted Davis fired?