Wake-Up Call: How Sunday Affected the Eagles

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia EaglesThe Eagles have company atop the NFC East.

Dan Bailey booted a 35-yard field goal with time running out Sunday to give the Cowboys a 24-21 victory over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Dallas is tied with the Eagles at 6-5, while the Giants fell to 4-7. The Redskins are 3-7 going into tonight’s game against the 49ers.

That means there will be plenty of scoreboard watching in the weeks ahead. Let’s take a look at the Eagles’ and Cowboys’ remaining schedules.




The Birds' remaining opponents have a winning percentage of .500:

 
Opponent
Wins
Losses
Week 13vs. Arizona74
Week 14vs. Detroit65
Week 15at Minnesota28 (1 tie)
Week 16vs. Chicago65
Week 17at Dallas65
TOTAL2727 (1 tie)

Dallas' remaining opponents have a winning percentage of .453:

 
Opponent
Wins
Losses
Week 13vs. Oakland47
Week 14at Chicago65
Week 15vs. Green Bay55 (1 tie)
Week 16at Washington37
Week 17vs. Philadelphia65
TOTAL2429 (1 tie)

That Week 17 finale in Dallas obviously looms large. When teams finish with the same record atop the division, the first tiebreak is head-to-head record (the Eagles need to win Week 17 for a split).

The second tiebreak is division record. Right now, the Cowboys are 4-0 against NFC East foes. If Dallas beats the Redskins in Week 16, it will own the tiebreak against the Eagles regardless of what happens in that final game (the best the Birds can do in the division is 4-2).

In simple terms, what that means is the Eagles would have to be either tied or ahead of the Cowboys going into Week 17 for it to be meaningful in terms of the NFC East title. If the Birds are one game back (again, assuming a Cowboys win over Washington in Week 16), they've already lost the tiebreak.

Of course, we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. The Eagles still have four more games before they play Dallas again. And first up is an important matchup against the Cardinals in six days.

Arizona crushed the Colts 40-11 yesterday and has won four in a row.

Going into Sunday's game, Todd Bowles' defense ranked first statistically, according to Football Outsiders. In other words, not a bad opponent for Chip Kelly to get some extra time to game-plan for.

The other consideration going forward is the wild card. The second-place team in the NFC South - either the Saints (9-2) or Panthers (8-3) - is in great position to land one of the wild card spots. But the second-place team in the NFC East still has a shot to claim the other spot.

Here's a look at all the non-division leaders who have at least five wins:

 
 
Panthers8-3
Cardinals7-4
49ers6-4
Eagles6-5
Bears6-5
Packers5-5-1
Rams5-6

It's worth noting that the Lions (not listed above) are tied with the Bears atop the NFC North at 6-5. The Eagles play the Lions in Week 13 and the Bears in Week 16. Green Bay could get Aaron Rodgers back on Thanksgiving.

The Cardinals have quietly snuck into that second wild card spot at 7-4. The 49ers could improve to 7-4 tonight with a win over Washington.

Going into December, there are plenty of teams still in the mix.

Eagles players will return to the NovaCare Complex for practice on Tuesday with the Cardinals on their minds. Unlike the previous two seasons, there figures to be plenty of meaningful football around here in the final five weeks.

WHAT YOU MISSED

From DeSean Jackson's production to DeMeco Ryans' playing time, here are five Eagles numbers that matter.

Three Eagles leftovers, including Kelly's admission that he doesn't miss the recruiting grind.

New and improved Eagles pass-rusher rankings through 11 games.

Three-and-out: Our predictions for the stretch run.

The Birds 24/7 podcast from late last week.

T-Mac on the Eagles' youth movement.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jerry Jones tells CBS Dallas he plans on being the Cowboys' owner/GM for the next 15 to 20 years:

But Jones believes his time as GM is far from ever, saying that he plans to remain the owner and GM for the next 15-20 years.

“Of course, I said it, and I really meant that and just think about that a minute: Why wouldn’t you?” said Jones.

“One of the reasons that I to some degree have taken the risks that I have over the years and kind of had the professional life that I followed is so that I get to decide when enough is enough — God willing. So I do get to decide that. It’s a certain part of working for yourself if you still are standing when the time comes. So I get to really make that decision, and I want to make it in a way that I think is in the best interest of the team, franchise and really our fans.”

The Eagles need to add an outside linebacker this offseason, writes Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz:

The Eagles need a ROLB who has the speed to be a disruptive force. I think you could get by with Cole if you had a great LB on the other side, but that’s not the case. Connor Barwin is more of a complete OLB than a dynamic pass rusher. Barwin is good at what he does so I think having a guy like him at LOLB is fine. He can cover, rush and play the run. Plus, he’s 27 years old and in his prime. This is a guy you want on your defense. The Texans had a younger, cheaper option and went with Whitney Mercilus.

COMING UP

We'll have plenty to get you ready for the final five games.

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  • nicksaenz1

    AZ’s D looked great yesterday. They dominated the Colts’ line and it wasn’t pretty. That’s going to be a great test for our line right out of the gates on the home stretch. I trust they’ll be prepared.

    • anon

      But we have Foles so shouldn’t be a problem. EDIT: *sarcasm voice*

      • nicksaenz1

        Good point. EDIT: I knew it was sarcasm voice. Avoided the douchiness.

      • GEAGLE

        Exactly…now we are learning :)

  • GEAGLE

    I don’t know why everyone is worried about Dallas. They did what the always do, win in November..next time they retake the field it will be December, which we know is a whole different story

    • aub32

      Hard to see Dallas losing the next two considering how badly those teams are playing.

      • evanphilly

        They are playing at Chicago, so that could go either way. They should beat Jokeland.

        • aub32

          Chicago couldn’t stop the run if I played tailback. They gave up 133 yds to Ray Rice who has been terrible this season. I can’t see any team not taking advantage of that.

          • BlindChow

            Dallas will use the Andy Reid game plan. They’ll have seen something in the secondary they thought they could take advantage of…

          • aub32

            we can only hope.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            They ran Murray all night against the Giants. Think they won’t against the Bears? I’m not calling the game, but they will take advantage of the piss poor run defense.

  • Tyler Phillips

    I’m fairly certain that the Eagles will be 9-6 going into the Dallas game if they continue their level of play. Dallas will be either 8-7 or 9-6 as well. Week 17 will be for the division.

    • anon

      The only game that worries me is AZ. I refuse to think they are as good as their record indicates. But this will be our most legit game since Denver.

      • aub32

        Why do you refuse to buy in? They have beaten more legit teams than we have over the past few weeks. Their defense isn’t just good; it’s a weapon. Also their talent on offense isn’t bad.

        • anon

          Colts are first notable team they’ve beat. they do have a great run d — so we’ll see how that works out.

          • cliff henny

            true, but that’s not the same team that beat denver. injuires have really caught up with them. 2 blowout losses and 2 squeakers against not so great teams in Tenn and Houston since that big win. Az 4 game winning streak is against ATL,HOU, JAX and INDY…take out INDY, 3 really really bad teams.

          • Adam

            I think the Cardinals played great last night and deserved to win but I don’t believe the score was as indicative of how good they are/aren’t. Colts are slipping. People think they’re a young team but outside of Luck they are one of the older teams in the league. Their D wasted a few gift INT’s early in the game. Luck had a few WTF moments, and they couldn’t run the ball to save their life (credit to Cards run D though). I think with Shady and our line it we’ll be able to find more success in the run. It’s all about whether we can contain Fitz. Something we’ve never done well in the past but this is a new staff. We’ll see how it goes.

          • GEAGLE

            Our lines are going to have to have one of the best games of the season if we are going to get this win..
            ..
            Oline is going to hold off a dangerous front 7, open up some holes for shady, while giving FOles some time to wait for Djax to shake free of Patterson. We are playing against a dangerous and opportunistic defense. We can’t force anything, it’s crucial to take care of the ball and play the field position game while we wait for our time to come. Defense should force Carson into some mistakes, so if we take care of the ball. We should be fine…going to be a very physical game,,going to be interesting to see how we battle in this one..

            Keep Fitz and Floyd under control, don’t turn the ball over and we should be fine

        • theycallmerob

          really? the falcons(H), texans (H), and jags (@) are more legit than oak (@), gb (@), and wash (H)?

          • Andy124

            Probably referencing earlier wins over Detroit(H) and Carolina(H).

            We do have one common opponent with Arizona. They squeaked by TB by 3; We beat them pretty handily.

            EDIT: Originally said we destroyed them. Destroyed is a bit too strong there.

          • theycallmerob

            thanks, I didn’t look that far back. Thought it was more in reference to their streak.
            They’ve lost to those recognized as “elite” teams, or at least the big matchups/tests- saints, niners, hawks. They were also without one of their stars (Daryl Washington MLB) for the first 4, went 2-2. Led the charge with 2 (of 7!) sacks of Cam in first game back.

            Overall, they have a great DL, but the one talented OL they played (niners) negated that a bit. ARZ > on Defense, but I think PHL > on Offense.

            And even more excited for the game…for Thanksgivakkuh, my better half surprised me with tix!

  • anon

    Andy Reid’s in a tailspin — 2 game losing steak that could go to 4 really quickly.

    • cliff henny

      especially if hali misses some time. non-contact injuries seem to be the worst

      • GEAGLE

        We need our own Tamba

        • cliff henny

          glass half full…week off and if Eagles slip against AZ, in 2 weeks going from 20th sead to 10th pick…right in Mack range. would love nfc east crown again, but 8-8 and 10-12th pick, with continued good play from foles…6 months ago everyone would have signed up for that.

          • nicksaenz1

            I’d be a little disappointed to not win the division, but the consolation of being in Mack range does make it a little easier to deal with.

          • GEAGLE

            As long as FOles and defense improve, I’m happy with either scenario..,

            As for the playoffs, it’s not really that I care so much about seeing us in the playoffs…my desire to make the playoffs comes comes from the experience we get from it…

            A young QB is going to have to taste playoff football, and fail before he can seriously be ready to compete for SB..

            Take a highly touted well respected prospect like Matty Ice who was a top pick..It took the kid a few regular seasons of development, before he could ever get over the hump and win a playoff game. last year we finally see him persevere and lead his team to the conference championship..

            So for FOles to lead us to the playoffs, it’s a chance to be further along on his development. tasting playoff football this year would make him more comfortable next time we reach the playoffs…..
            ..
            I wouldn’t expect playoff success this year, however I don’t think it’s impossible..the kid is literally playing like one of the best QBs in the NFL..If he has THAT in him, who is to say it won’t come out in the playoffs…not to mention that if we do make the playoffs, it probably means we got HOT..and NO ONE wants to face that Hot team down the stretch..

            Ultimately the road to the Super Bowl I will go thru Seattle and I wouldn’t like our chances in that rowdy atmosphere..so while many people talk playoffs for their desire to make a run at it…I hope for playoffs to get the experience under our belt so that next year we can try to make a run at ut

          • Andy124

            Excellent points.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank u sir

          • Explorer51

            Good forward thinking G…every game right now is a learning experience for Foles so pressure games, particularly playoffs, will be huge. This team is providing us with some excitement and hope but, realistically, we are still a couple of successful drafts and FA cycles away from serious contention.

          • cliff henny

            after watching vonn miller, with cox, logan, thornton, being able to push o-line back…cant imagine a beast flying off edge. eagles offense just needs minor tweeking (really barkley and kelly’s only thing thats slowed them down so far), like a more dynamic slot guy, but if defense can force big errors and stay efficient in red zone, this is going to really good team in ’14.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, would love an Evans-type receiver, but knowing that, almost need to draft D in 1st. Maclin likely back next year helps the receiving corp a good bit. Maybe we get a decent outside guy in 2nd, slot in like the 5th or 6th.

          • cliff henny

            resign cooper, and draft landry out of lsu in 2nd-plays both slot and outside, plus excellent returner…you see him against tex a&m? not as physical as evans, but better at getting seperation, and knows what to do with ball once he catches it, thats for sure.
            .
            can live with either maclin or cooper, assuming knee/contracts arent bad…see no free agents i want. was thinking hakeem nicks, but that guy just cant stay healthy

          • nicksaenz1

            I was only awake for a part of that game and I caught Evans just beasting people, as always. That dude is a stud. I did like Loston, tho…. Nicks would be almost like signing Steve Smith. Don’t need to ever live that again. Just hope that if he does stay healthy, he does so outside of the NFC East.

          • GEAGLE

            Hahahahah I swear I was having the same thoughts last night watching Von Miller…

            The rams will have a top 5 pick from Skins, but the Rams really don’t need a pass rusher or a QB…The rams are going to want WRs, ILB like Mosly, and an OT since Roger Stafford will hit FA…the problem is, that their positions of need probably won’t be the BPA when they pick in the top 5..That organization helped itself tremendously by letting the skins move up to get RG3…The Dream is that they let us move up and get a special pass rusher, while they move back get extra picks while getting a position of need with our 1st round pick…

            Before the season I would have never imagined being in a position to give up picks trying to move up, but now it seems like we don’t have as many glaring holes to fill as we anticipated having..if we can hit on another Barwin/Bradley signing or two in FA, I wouldn’t mind giving up two picks this year and a pick next year to go get Barr or Clowney(heck, I’ll throw I’m a 4-3DE if they want one lol)..
            .,,
            Rams have Long, mighty Quinn, they have the makings of. Nasty young defense if they add to it, instead of taking a redundant BPA..with our first round picks they can fill real holes by adding guys Lke: Lewan, FSU OT, Jordan Mathews! Mosely, Nix, Dix..
            ..
            That will be my number 1 pipe dream scenario for this offseason

          • cliff henny

            be willing to use 3rd to move up. landry out lsu has replaced evans. that kid is freaking perfect for kelly. jax, cooper/maclin, landry, ertz and shady would put up 30+ with you playing qb.
            .
            i just dont know about clowney. unreal athlete, but between the ears and consistant effort levels leaves alot to be desired. not sure 10m check is going to help all that either.

    • evanphilly

      Wouldn’t be a shock to see them finish 10-6 or 9-7

    • nicksaenz1

      Yeah their D really killed me as I sat Rivers and Allen, both of whom blew up.

      • evanphilly

        Same! Started Romo instead. Had to, it was a better matchup on paper. No one knew that Houston and Hali would leave the game.

      • Adam

        I started Donald Brown (-.1 points) over Tavon Austin (16 points) but luckily I had Gordon and Charles who went ham.

        • nicksaenz1

          Yeah I started Brown over S-Jax, Cotchery over Allen, and Eli over RG3 and Rivers. Needless to say I lost.

      • theycallmerob

        KC defense (-2) killed me last night. And I’m finally breaking up with DeAndre Hopkins, he broke my heart for the last time.

        • GEAGLE

          Yeah KC defense killed me too

        • nicksaenz1

          He’s in an unfortunate situation. Much like Jordan Cameron, for me.

          • theycallmerob

            yea, got him too…..

          • anon

            Me too — luckily i saw the writing on the wall and traded him before the deadline.

      • anon

        Same, Rivers, Allen and Woodhead (different leagues).

      • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

        Not one of my players went for over 9 points. Dallas’ D was my leading scorer (still have Kaep and SF’s kicker). Losing 88-27 to the only team in my league that hasn’t won.

        FF kills me sometimes.

        • nicksaenz1

          Yeah, I need Kaep to go off in my one league. I need it for playoff purposes.

    • BlindChow

      The Kansas City faithful are already starting to question his time management skills.

      • Andy124

        What time management skills?

    • Brandon Boykin, OLB

      Did you mean to put steak? If so, hysterical. If not, hysterical.

  • evanphilly

    Arizona. They are so hot right now. Arizona.

  • cliff henny

    for a non-eagles playing Sunday, wasnt too bad. got to sit back and get feel for up-coming teams for both eagles and dallas.
    vs. ARZ…on a roll, from hearing rd/hm splits, sounds like @linc is big. next game is always biggest, but a good win here…this is the playoff bandwagon game for me.
    vs DET…Stafford trying to be romo jr? this guy makes bad decisions all the time. again, @linc should really help
    @Minn…AP AP AP, and hope when Dallas plays GB Rodgers is back healthy
    vs CHI…giving up 250+rushing, IDK rams stats, but have to think eagles will do well. mccown not all that bad either, maybe eagles get rusty culter, cowboys get in a groove mccown. just really odd seeing that defense in chicago after all these years.
    @Dallas…wow, what would i give to be able to play those 2 home losses vs Dal and NYG now. really hope Foles is healthy and that game means something. Kelly vs Kiffen, 2nd time around after mess of 1st game.
    .
    and i really hope kellly stayed up and watched Den vs NE. hasnt bitten Eags in rear-end yet, but 20+ leads in todays NFL means nothing till well into 4th quarter. Dallas screams 8-8 team, but they get that thanksgiving home game, 10 days rest bs. really depends on how many backups they get in next 3 games.

    • GEAGLE

      Chip will learn. He is too bright and thorough not to….the only question is how long will it take?

      • cliff henny

        i dont mind the idea, i just mind the when. 3rd quarter is way too soon to go one demensional in nfl. defenses just cant hold up all game anymore against half decent offenses. it’s not like kelly’s offense is high risk. not sure how, but shady rarely fumbles for swinging that ball around. he must have 6th sense, but that thing is out away from his body alot. guess defenders are just trying to get a hand on him, not able to worry about ball. foles isnt throwing ints. kelly can run same offense that got them up 20+ and still protect lead safely.

        • GEAGLE

          Yeah I def don’t disagree…right now, there is a TON that Chip needs to work on, but this isn’t some stubborn Andy Reid who will make the same clock management mistake for 14 years and refuse to ever correct it…as our young players grow, so will our coach, and I have a feeling when he really settles in as an an NFL coach, we are gona have a special leader on our hands

    • Andy124

      sounds like @linc is big.
      Remember when we were happy the Oakland game was on the road, even though it was all the way out on the west coast because the linc was a disadvantage? What a difference 1 home win makes.

      • cliff henny

        be really interesting to see AZ. on 4 game winning streak, but indy isnt indy right now and other 3 were against nfl cellar dwellars to say the least. after a win at home, 1st place in nfc east, week off, think linc is going to be tough place to play.

        • Andy124

          Agreed. I kept saying if they win at home, the fans will be back to their usual, intimidating selves. I think a 3-game winning streak, winning record, tie for first place and a home win the last time they played should do the trick.

          • bentheimmigrant

            And the crowd looked pretty good last week, right from the start. All they need is some hope.

          • Beavis

            West Coast dome team traveling east for a 1pm game (10 am back home) outside in sub-30 degree weather. Call me crazy – I like our chances.

          • Andy124

            It’s early, but the forcast for sunday is a high in the upper 40’s, low 50’s. Hopefully that dips.

            Anyone have a book on how Palmer plays in the cold?

          • Adam

            Nothing definitive, but playing at USC, Oakland, and Cinci probably didn’t help.

          • theycallmerob

            http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6337/splits/?season=career

            doesn’t seem to indicative of any trends to me. Hasn’t played a really cold game since ’11 (once that year)

          • BlindChow

            How about how Foles plays in the cold?

          • Andy124

            Foles doens’t have to play in the cold. He’s so hot he warms the air around him to 70 degrees on even the coldest day.

            He’s so cool, he chills the air around him to 70 degrees on the most blistering of globally warmed summer days.

          • theycallmerob

            much smaller sample size; 3 games played between 21-40 deg. F.
            64-102 (62.7%), 214 YPG, 2TD and 2INT
            http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/25798/splits/?season=career

          • GEAGLE

            If we,thrash the cardinals at home then it will prove that we just needed to get the monkey off our back…a month ago I woulda been wishing this game was in Arizona, it’s damn sure nice to have our linc back…winning this game would be huge because it would prove that the bye week didn’t break our focus, confidence and hunger

    • evanphilly

      Arizona will be a toughy. Maybe the hittest team in the NFL right now. Shutting down Floyd and Fitz will be a nice challenge. If they can get to Palmer, they can force him into mistakes.
      Detroit can be beaten. Stafford chucks the ball up most of the time as it is, so INTs can happen.
      Stop AP and you beat the Vikings.
      Chicago got thrashed by the Rams (even when Stacy left the game, his backup ran for 100 yards), so Eagles could run all day against them.
      Dallas…woo boy! This will be a great game! The Giants ran all over the Cowboys, again, no reason to think the Eagles couldn’t do the same.

  • Token

    Looks like Arizona will be a test. The Oline and Foles are in for a challenge. I always feel like Palmer is just waiting to collapse. But you have to get to him.

  • Adam

    Man, I wish Josh Gordon didn’t have two strikes against him. I’d almost be willing give up a 2nd round pick for him if that wasn’t the case.

    • Richard Colton

      almost? I think that ship has sailed. remember when we thought we could fleece the Browns – Gordon for a 3rd? They’d laugh poor Howie off the phone.

      • cliff henny

        rather wait till draft. lots of good recr, especially considering what kelly’s made cooper into, with no strikes. plus, getting rcr in middle of the season, he wouldnt be much use, take rest of season to learn foles and offense.

        • Richard Colton

          I would trade a 2nd round for Gordon right now. Imagine what he would do in this offense. Scary.

  • pjcostello

    Unfortunately, I think the Eagles need to win out to make the playoffs now. They’re in poor position for a wild card spot, so they’d need to win the division — that means, to me, winning out. That’ll be a Herculean task, 8 straight wins. Ugh.

    • Adam

      Dallas is a key injury or two away from unraveling. Normally I’d give up on any chance of a break going the Eagles way but it just feels different this year. Even if we don’t make it I’ll be disappointed as hell but it was a heck of a run.

      If nothing else though, it’s completely in our own hands.

    • anon

      yeah they beat giants who aren’t that good. Whoever they play they tend to play close — i think that means they lose some games that look like Ws on schedule.

    • Andy124

      This would mean that if we go 4-1 down the stretch, with Dallas being 1 of the 4, that Dallas won all of their other games.

      I think 4-1 gets us in and 3-2 leaves us with a pretty good shot.

  • Will

    Foles and the O-Line need to bring there A game next week against the Cards…

  • Explorer51

    Anyone else notice that two DCs (Bowles and McDermott) that the Eagles (and, yes, the fans) trashed then fired are now running two of the best defenses in the NFL? And that our own DC (jeered and criticized for months) is quietly conducting a major in-season turnaround? Patience and trust, while often in short supply, can really pay off.

    • Will

      Great Defensive players help that’s the difference for Bowles and McDermott. Our DC Billy Davis is working miracles with the players he has….The Eagles still need OLB and a Safety on Defense…and maybe a CB or two…

      • bentheimmigrant

        McDermott also has experience now. He knows what he can and can’t do, he knows how not to install schemes, and how much change should happen how fast.

        • Will

          McDermott schemes are a bit complicated the player’s he had in philly were a bit brain dead and lacked any real talent…

          • Will

            A Hodge pod of 4th, 5th, and 7th rounders don’t make a great defense…Hopefully they get serious and get some real talent for the Defense next year…

        • theycallmerob

          exactly.
          Think the Browns look at themselves in the mirror wondering how they let Belichick get away? Sometimes it takes a bit of time for coaches to adjust and grow.
          Heck, even Davis is doing better than his past stops. Think those failures helped make him the coach he is today?

          • bentheimmigrant

            Definitely. As fans we like to talk about people as if they don’t change… Certain players can’t win big games, until they do, etc. Coaches are bad because they did poorly in a bad situation… Makes for easy articles, but I think it’s rarely true.

          • Will

            When Cary Williams comes out and say’s this Defense doesn’t scare anyone that is a realistic down to earth observation of the current state of affairs, the effort is there just not sure the talent is yet…

          • bentheimmigrant

            And funnily enough, replacing Cary Williams is one of the best things we could do to scare people.

          • Will

            I said OLB,Safety and CB…..or two depending on Fletcher’s health…Trent Cole, Cary Williams and Nate Allen are the junk to jettison…

          • bentheimmigrant

            I’m not sure I agree on S, to be honest. It all depends on Wolff. If he starts looking like he could be special, I’m happy to keep Allen, as he no longer looks like a weak link back there.

          • Will

            Nate’s play has improved…but how much of that is a business decision on Nate’s part since he is in the final year of his contract …I wonder…Nate’s just not the guy who is gonna lower his shoulder and say hi to someone with a jarring hit….

          • Jonathan R. Henry

            I think Nate had the makings of a solid – good player. His knee injury really set him back, and I was in favor of getting rid of him only because it didn’t look like he would ever fully recover. It looks like he is finally back to full form. Whether his ceiling is high enough is another question, but he is playing very well now.

          • bentheimmigrant

            This brings up an interesting question… who has the higher ceiling: Allen or Wolff?

          • Will

            Wolff……no doubt Allen is dreadful…

          • bentheimmigrant

            ? Allen has been pretty good this year. Our best safety, and definitely not a liability. Could become a real asset at this rate.

          • Will

            When I start seeing jarring hits instead of avoiding contact and less finesse I buy in….

          • bentheimmigrant

            Fair. But he has actually hit some people this year… I’ve been surprised every time.

            I think if Wolff can step into that role, I’d keep Allen, no doubt. Both safeties don’t have to be like that. If Wolff can’t, it comes back to my question on ceiling. But either way, I prioritise OLB, CB (maybe even 2), OL, and WR over S, at this point.

          • Will

            Soon as he gets a new contract he’ll return to old ways…pure fool’s gold, still not playing exceptionally well just meh okay at best….

          • RIP illa

            I don’t think you should worry bout what Allen is doing for his own pocket book…as long as he keeps doing it. And everyone wants a hard hitting S that can run like a WR and cover like Dion. But those are rare and w/ today’s rules in the league, jarring hits are becoming less and less required.

          • Will

            you can still lay some wood just no helmet to helmet Nate’s been in business mode since injury….and if you think Nate’s a great Safety or were fine there then we agree to disagree. Nate has lulled everyone to sleep with his play to the point that good safety play is a forgotten art on this team. LOS contact is what I look for…remember BDawk coming up and just leveling Reggie Bush who caught a swing pass at the LOS in New Orleans….a powerful clean hit that took Reggie out of the rest of the game…but that’s how Great safeties play not so so good ones…

          • bentheimmigrant

            That wasn’t BDawk. It wasn’t even a safety. It was Sheldon Brown. And Bush came back.

            I fear you’re basing your safety requirements on something that didn’t happen.

            But let’s relive that moment, because it was awesome:
            http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/001/029/315/reggiehit1_original.gif

          • Will

            Sheldon Brown….well they were greats we have meh…at CB and Safety saw it when I searched it…but that’s how secondary play is supposed to look like with shoulder all clean hits…Bush he did play but was a non factor the point is are current secondary is soft by that they just are not a physical bunch in the least….was an Awesome hit then we have had some awesome defenses in years past…

          • Will

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_f916M81IU Spoiled what I miss from a Great safety….

          • Will

            True True….but believe me there is still a need to add to the current roster on the defensive side and jettison some junk…

    • RIP illa

      Couldn’t careless what Bowles and McDermott are doing or not doing right now!!! They aren’t apart of this!!! Glad Davis is getting the D to buy in and play well together. But I’ll keep my patience reserved for more sacks and less yards given up per game. So basically next year when we get a chance to upgrade a few key personnel spots. And before this D started coming together…as the D-Coord he deserved the jeering and criticism. Just as he deserves some praise for the turnaround.

      You led off w/ McDermott??? The same guy that was so eager to take over the reigns and differentiate himself and the D from JJ! The same guy that dropped Cole in coverage when he was in his prime instead of rushing him! The same guy that had Graham as an severely undersized DT, on some plays, and where Graham got hurt and never has been the same! The same guy who on every single 3rd and medium would call the same BS soft ass zones which every team knew was coming and would always get 1st downs, save for dropped passes. The same guy that was the start of this teams horrible redzone woes for years to come!

      Just cause he’s having success now doesn’t mean that w/ patience he would have had success here and doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t of either. Who knows!!! Maybe it Buddy had patience w/ Carter’s drug habit, he would have still been the HoF WR but only in eagle’s green…doubt it!

      Of course Bowles and McDermott are skilled and talented. Doesn’t mean that they’ll workout on each and every team their on and doesn’t mean they won’t be fired…again. But they sucked horribly and deserved the boot when they were here!!! As a matter of fact, the only D-Coord that didn’t deserve to get fired in recent history was Juan!!!

      • theycallmerob

        But I’ll keep my patience reserved for more sacks and less yards given up per game.

        You didn’t have to elaborate much more beyond this; I think herein lies the fundamental difference between yourself and some of the other fans who don’t mind, or even like, Davis.
        He and Kelly have made it clear that sacks and yards aren’t a priority. Currently 15th I believe in pts. scored against, and a top 10 (7th?) red zone defense. Bend But Don’t Break will always give up yards.
        But without those guys going, we would never have the current staff….so I’m not missing them too much

        • Richard Colton

          re: “bend but don’t break” – I’m having a problem with that term, and we’ve used it before to refer to JJ’s defenses in the past. Does it mean the defense gives up a lot of yards and positive plays, and can’t get off the field but is lucky?

          or does it mean that somehow the scheme works better when the field is shorter? And if the latter is true, how does that work?

          • theycallmerob

            At least by JJ’s definition, it was designed to (1) contain big plays and (2) sacrifice yards between the 20’s while preventing TDs. Davis adds in the fire blitz component, which JJ incorporated as well, to help disguise blitzes without sacrificing many coverage tactics. when the field is shorter, the CBs can’t play off as much and the QB has tighter windows to throw into. And, if a team is so lucky as to have a good DL rotation, fresh bodies in the red zone may have an advantage over an OL that has gone the length of the field.
            Think how teams played us; Reid loved the big play with DJax in ’10, but once teams started forcing him closer to the line and keeping Vick from the big play, he was more liable to make mistakes with shorter passes. Not every QB can dink-and-dunk down the field with great accuracy, like Brady for instance.
            At the end of the day, the key is still the 3rd down conversion rate. Kind of goes back to RIP illa’s comment; more pressure and sacks on 3rd down results in getting off the field quicker. That’s what kills us this year. But at the end of the day, giving up 3 instead of 7 is huge if our offense is clicking.
            The scheme almost challenges the other team’s passing game to win the game, not play to lose.

          • cliff henny

            right now it’s bend but dont break between 20’s, put mack at olb and byrd at safety, it’s bend dont break with couple playmakers causing turnovers. davis is working with 70% of to-be defense, and hopefully kendricks/d-line get even more dynamic.

          • Will

            Yeah FF by safeties is missing….70% sounds about right on…

          • Richard Colton

            Mack’s a pipe dream unless we see a lot more of Mark Barkley

          • cliff henny

            8-8, probably in that 12-15 range, if he drops to 7-8(he’s in that 6-10 range now), might only take 3rd. it’s that top3 qb range get raked over coals. it’s doable, but agree doubtful. i bet eagles sit, let bpa fall. kelly and crew can cach up talent.
            .
            no one wants to see more barkley, except 1 guy.

          • Richard Colton

            yeah. where’s he been? Mack’s a riser. I agree that he may be in striking range if we finish 8-8, but if a playoff run means I have to settle for Van Noy over Mack, I can live with that.

          • cliff henny

            idk…but there’ll be a long line to rip on him if he ever comes back. good thing is his writing style and personality will shine thru even under different posting name. though, he thinks everyone in here is idiots, so doubt he’d change names.
            .
            watched little of vannoy against ND. he’s fine, but more barwin. been watching Beasley, he just needs shakes and the navy seal. has speed and energy level, plus not too bad against run. he might be more realistic with 8-8, 9-7, 15th range pick.

          • Andy124

            I think it’s about playing conservatively between the 20’s so as not to give up the big play, because they expect that have better success once the other team reaches the redzone and the D can get aggressive without fear of getting beat deep.

            Thing about JJ’s bend but don’t break defenses is that they didn’t bend that much.

            As for McDermott, what we’ve been told is that he pretty seriously alienated himself from the defensive players. Maybe a clearing of the air could have fixed things, but I think a fresh start and some time to develop with less pressure on him was critical to Sean’s success.

          • Will

            It means a lot of Zero man coverage in the Red Zone with everyone else blitzing to limit the time a QB has to decide what to do cause of the instant pressure….not so much luck…more of a Blitz and contain mentality…and to this point it is working keeping opposing teams under 21 points which at the end of the Day is all that really matters…and hopefully the Eagles Offense at a minimum can muster a TD in each quarter of the game…which isn’t asking too much…

          • pjcostello

            JJ was always vocal about not caring how many yards were given up between the 20s (or on the ground), but wanted teams kept out of the end zone.

          • Stephen Stempo

            the team lacks top end speed on defense. They do have size and they tackle well. In a confined space that lack of speed weakness is minimized and their size and tackling shines more. JJ wouldn’t blitz as much as people though between the 30’s he’d make you earn those yards but once you got inside the 30 he unleashed hell because speedy receivers could no longer beat you deep so leaving your CB’s on islands was a less risky strategy.

            It is a strategy. Limit big plays in the middle of the field but give up some underneath stuff make the offense dink and dunk and they a lot of times will beat themselves. In the red zone play aggressively when teams can no longer beat you deep. Create disruption.

        • RIP illa

          I understand and am good w/ Bend but don’t break and love the RZ turnaround. However, it’s coming against less than stellar opponents (no one’s fault) and still the yards we give up per game is alarming, even for a bend but don’t break. Also I still don’t like his tendency to go (IMO) to conservative in the 3rd, when we have a lead. And the. When we start losing that lead, expecting the D to turn it back on in the middle of the 4th. That is the one thing that has bugged me about him all year. Other than that, Davis has made me change my stance on him from the beginning of the year. I was all for him installing our 3-4 and then getting the hell out of dodge and replaced by someone else. Now I’m for seeing where he can take it, given more pieces to work w/. Not 100% sold on him, as of yet, but am liking the changes and adjustments he has made since the beginning and am expecting to see more improvement going forward.

      • nicksaenz1

        Which guy is likely better in coverage, 26yr old Cole or 31yr old Cole? Could argue McDermott was ahead of the curve considering how Cole is deployed now. Not saying that as a way to defeat your points, I agree with them. Just finding a possible silver lining regarding Cole.

        • RIP illa

          Lol. I get it but that’s a big stretch. One being DE vs OLB and two, they both sucked in coverage.

  • Richard Colton

    Once again, Nick “Game Manager” Foles did nothing to lose the game on Sunday. And, predictably, we didn’t.

    • Andy124

      yeah, but what did he do to win it? i didn’t see any nfl throws or wow plays out of him.

    • cliff henny

      cant win without great defense and shady

      • Richard Colton

        don’t forget Bryce Brown

    • Will

      Be thankful you do not have Geno Smith at QB then ask yourself what did Nick do that hurt us….

      • cliff henny

        that’s dutch’s boy. went on and on how kelly would regret going with check down charlie over geno. with just horrible qb play, jets could be half decent team.

      • Richard Colton

        Would love to hear from the Dee Milliner people too. How’s he looking? hehe

    • Stephen Stempo

      …. I can’t tell if that’s a backhanded compliment or not.

  • Bird of Prey

    Ariens is a great coach, and I’m sure both the Steelers and Colts would echo that opinion as well. I honestly think we could win four out of the five remaining, but next week is going to be a heck of a match up! I can’t wait!

    • nicksaenz1

      The Steelers pretty much said they were going to let him go, thus, he “retired” only to come back out of retirement to sign with the Colts. The Steelers let him go because they wanted to get back to being a run heavy team. All my siblings (Steelers fans), despite hating Haley, wouldn’t want a return to Arians. I remind them that it’s all personal/sentimental reasons, not logical, because their offense under Arians was far better than under Haley. They don’t care. I don’t understand it.

      • bentheimmigrant

        We put up all kinds of yards and points under MM. Would you want him back if things headed south?

        • Will

          NNNoooooooooooooooooooooooo……………..

        • nicksaenz1

          Did things head south in Pittsburgh while Arians was there as OC from 07-11? I’d answer no. They never had a .500 or less record, 4 playoff appearances, appeared in 2 SBs, winning 1. Not really sure things went south, and the aforementioned accomplishments pretty much make MM a bad comparison.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Fair. Although I’m not sure you can blame MM for any of our problems directly.

          • nicksaenz1

            He and Andy get near-equal blame for our offense seeming so one dimensional. From me, at least. Certainly not speaking for everyone else

          • bentheimmigrant

            Obviously… but it did move the ball and score points, for the most part. But the 1D issue is exactly why I’d never want him back, despite the apparent success on paper.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, but had we won all that the Steelers did under Arians, would it be a different tune we’re singing? That was my original point. They won with the guy as OC and still pissed and moaned for reasons I can’t figure out.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Well, if we’re going to do the hypothetical thing… The D holds up in that last drive in Arz in 2008, and we go the the superbowl, where we beat the Steelers (because we would have)… does that change the entire equation for both coaches? MM’s flaws would be the same as they always were, but he would have gotten away with it.

  • brent

    Eagles
    Arizona: L
    Detroit: W
    Minnesota: L
    Chicago: L
    Dallas: W
    Final record: 8-8

    Dallas
    Oakland: W
    Chicago: W
    Green Bay: L
    Washington: W
    Philadelphia: L
    Final record: 9-7

    I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t see it this year

    • theycallmerob

      you seem to be one of the few predicting a L in the vikings game.

      • brent

        i may still be slightly traumatized from the joe webb game

        • Andy124

          No sure things, but Minnesota is as close as it gets. I’d put us over 50% odds to win in each of our last 3 and right at 50% for the next two.

          Getting ‘zona and detroit out of their domes is pretty fortunate. I’d have us as clear underdogs against both of them if we were on the road.

          • pjcostello

            Arizona’s not in a dome, are they?

          • Andy124

            it features the first fully retractable natural grass playing surface built in the United States on top of an AirField Systems drainage system. An opening on one side of the stadium allows the playing field to move to the exterior of the building, allowing the entire natural turf playing surface to be exposed to daylight.

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Cardinals_stadium_crop.jpg

          • pjcostello

            Thanks — didn’t have a chance to look it up at work, and didn’t know that. Interesting.

          • Andy124

            My pleasure. I definitely second guessed myself there. Surprised I can still get to wikipedia.

        • cliff henny

          like dline to somewhat slow down AP, or as much as one can. just not run absolutely wild. ponder is god awful. i can live with playing well and losing any of the other 4, but no way should a half decent team lose to christian freaking palmer.

          • Stephen Stempo

            let AP run. woopie. He’s not going to get 350 by himself.

    • Richard Colton

      I think I’ll take Chip Kelly coming out of the by week, but don’t feel as good as you do about Detroit

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      I wouldn’t call any of those games truthfully. I think we’re just as likely to go 4-1 as we are 1-4. All of those teams minus the Vikes are playing for their plyoff lives with a couple that have the division on the line. And while the Vikes aren’t playing for the post, they aren’t gonna lie down either, and the spoiler role can be a bit of fun as well. It’s anyone’s game moving forward. I got nothing. lol.

      • Max Lightfoot

        Well, right you are – who knows what the Birds will do? Trying to predict what this team will do is nigh impossible. It’s always been this way, in my experience. Do hope it’s 4-1, rather than 1-4. Go Eags!

    • pjcostello

      I think you have to flip the Detroit and Chicago games, and I agree with you. The Bears are very vanilla, and have a BAD run defense. The Lions are a matchup nightmare for the Eagles — who is gonna cover Megatron? Or Reggie Bush? And those defensive tackles (Suh, Fairley) will eat the inside zone runs alive. The Lions aren’t the be-all end-all, I just think they are strong where the Eagles are weak.

  • EaglePete

    Not sure about everyone else and I usually dont get over hyped on stuff but Im really amped up for Foles ceiling. I think the guy, along with Chips system have a chance to do great things. I feel like the arm strength can be improved but the way the scheme is set up and how he manages it has incredible potential. I dont know, maybe its because I always had limitations on ARs coaching set in my head, hed always have clunkers of games. I think one of the reasons is the way this team has gotten big leads and also doing it with (what I think anyway) is a fairly thin WR and TE group. Shady helps of course but its when I watch the really good teams, I feel like CK is on his way along with Foles to having a chance at that upper level.

    I no longer fear a game that will be just stalled completely like some of those mcnabb/reid times we all know so well. I feel like they can compete with anyone know. Not that I expect they will win every game, but that they compete and have answers. We could just as much lose to a Minn team as beat up on a Cards or Lions team. Sure, the Dallas game is easy to point out and I think in terms of clunkers it can happen again. I just dont see it as quite the given it used to be. These last games will answer some reservations anyone has or at least give us a better idea.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Glad Ol’ Jerrah plans on sticking around – he’ll be good for many more years of dubious drafting, comical hirings/firings and silly trades. Can’t beat him for sheer entertainment value, and for messing up the Cowgirls.

  • bcmm92

    Can’t believe how many people thought that the Giants losing yesterday was better for the Eagles than a Giants win.