What They’re Saying About the Eagles

From mock drafts to the Eagles’ rise in power rankings, here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds this week.

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

Four of the five opponents the Eagles have left to play are very much in the playoff hunt. They can’t afford to have any slip-ups in the race for the NFC East.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 11th:

Nick Foles is 4-1 with a 63.6 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. Michael Vick is 2-4 with a 54.6 completion percentage, five touchdowns and three picks. End of controversy.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has a mock draft out. He’s got the Eagles picking 20th and taking Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu:

Allowing an average of over 300 yards per game, the Eagles rank dead last in the NFL against the pass. While Chip Kelly was best known for his offense at Oregon, his Ducks could fly on defense, as well. Adding one of his former pupils in Ekpre-Olomu could improve Philadelphia’s coverage as well as toughness on the perimeter.

Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has the Eagles taking Ekpre-Olomu also:

The Eagles need to get bigger, faster and more talented on defense, especially in the secondary where Philadelphia ranks 31st in the league. Coach Chip Kelly recruited Ekpre-Olomu to Eugene, so he knows the player – and he knows Ekpre-Olomu is a day one starter in the NFL.

Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com on what each team should be thankful for:

Eagles: That management thought outside the box and doggedly pursued Chip Kelly, a refreshing change agent in a league too often stuck in the past.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com has the Eagles 10th in his power rankings:

Kudos to Mike Vick for saying the other day he couldn’t justify pulling Nick Foles to return himself to the starting lineup. Everybody can see that, and often the incumbent quarterback can’t.

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

They come off the bye in first place but facing a tough game with the Cardinals. Can Nick Foles keep it going?

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

Philadelphia was off in Week 12, leaving millions to lament the fact that they couldn’t play LeSean McCoy in fantasy. Your friendly writer took much grief for placing him on this list over C.J. Spiller. Hopefully someone will back us up on that now. McCoy this season: 1,009 rushing yards, 399 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He’s also fumbled once in nearly 250 touches.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com writes that the Eagles are facing an uphill battle for a playoff berth:

Philadelphia has emerged as the trendy favorite to take the NFC East because the Cowboys … are the Cowboys. But it’s worth noting that the Eagles probably will have to win the division outright to make the playoffs. The Cowboys just have to beat Washington in Week 16 and they will hold all division tiebreakers, regardless of who wins the season finale between the Eagles and Cowboys.

To put it another way: Dallas could clinch the division with a one game leading heading into the final week. And they have just three games left against teams with winning records. The Eagles have four.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner has the Eagles 10th:

The odds of Eagles at Cowboys in Week 17 being flexed to Sunday night are off the board. It’s too obvious.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 11th:

Believe it or not, the Eagles may make the playoffs without winning the division.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.


  • Brian

    Nick Foles = NFC Offensive Player of the Month for November. Keep on rollin’.

    • nicksaenz1

      Best statistical month in the history of the game.

      • Brian

        Starting to get exciting. It’s nice to feel that sense of anticipation for the remaining games, and the excellent play of a young Eagles quarterback.

      • cliff henny

        grrrrrreeeeeeeeeeat, means all he’ll do is get worse. just wanted to beat token to it

        • nicksaenz1

          Well, his rating was only 152. There’s room for improvement. I think he can bump that to a perfect 158.3 haha.

          • cliff henny

            add 1/2yd to both cooper’s and celek’s catches vs wash and turn them into tds, he’d probably be there.

          • nicksaenz1

            I wish we had a site for qb rating like the overthecap.com site that allowed you to plug in stats and it gives you the rating. Would be nice to see how those two plays affect it.

          • cliff henny

            tds account for 35%, or something like that. tds count for too much for, and ints counts way too much against. but, it’s hard to rig a 152. it’s when people use 87 vs 84, mean that’s a tip pass, jump ball, garbag time etc.
            .
            loving that overthecap…even breaks down contracts, so can give d-jax a brown from pitts type deal.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, not going to lie, I ban myself from it during work hours. I can do that all day. I wish I could be a salary cap analyst. Pretty much my dream job.

          • cliff henny

            as crazy as it sounds, if you gave me a day with any eagle, i’d spend it with howie. either he’d hire me or call for a shrink

          • nicksaenz1

            While there’s some guys who’d be cool to hang out with, I’m with you on that… Speaking of overthecap, had to use it to answer a question Rich asked me and I noticed something. When you June 1st someone, only that year’s dead money affects that years cap, and the rest gets accelerated onto the following year’s cap. Well, I was answering a question related to the Toddfather and the acceleration didn’t happen in 2015. The cap should have only gone up 2.8mil and it went up all 5.2 (2.4 in dead money). A pretty big flaw if you ask me. Makes you look like a better future planner than you are.

          • cliff henny

            MFr!!!! yeah…playing with it now.

          • cliff henny

            sent them an email. see if they reply. but they, see what you are saying. the liabilities go down in ’15 same amount if you cut or june1st. but, still dont think it changes much, because if the plan is to release them in ’15, its really no different for that yrs cap (but correct, on that site, cutting june 1st in ’14 makes future cap look better).

          • BlindChow

            QB Passer Rating Calculator:

            http://www.primecomputing.com/

          • Andy124

            Booo. Build the calculations in to a spreadsheet like a real man.

          • nicksaenz1

            Thanks!

          • mrparabolic

            Actually, it’s his completion percentage that is keeping him from perfect. You need a 77.5% completion percentage to be perfect. Nick was at 70.8% for November. His yardage, touchdowns, and interceptions were all perfect. If he had completed 5 of his incomplete passes in November, he would have been perfect for the month.

          • Andy124

            Actually, no. Part of the ratings calculation is based off td’s per attempt and that has a cap of 11.875% which Foles is over for the month (13.89%) so adding more touchdowns does nothing for his rating for the month. Likewise, he’s capped out in the yards per attempt part of the calculation. He would need a higher completion percentage to raise that rating.

          • cliff henny

            i did not know that…have to take that link blindchow sent out for a spin.

          • Andy124

            For the record, I didn’t realize that until I plugged the numbers in to my spreadsheet as saw the rating not go up.

          • cliff henny

            not offended, i was just going off of what i heard. never seen the math breakdown. probably should study it since i routinely call it ‘garbage’.
            .
            i do like how espn’s qbr is weighted for time and score. the old QR system has no clue whether it’s 15 yd pass on 3rd and 30 or 3rd and 10 or up 20 down 20.

          • Andy124

            wikipedia has a nice breakdown of it.

          • Andy124

            Seems reasonable for a backup.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, I don’t think it’s asking too much of him. Not like he has anything to lose as a backup by just going for it.

    • Brian
  • jabostick

    It’s sort of funny that most years, an upcoming schedule of good teams would have me nervous. But all the games feel winnable and, instead, it feels like the best way to separate from a packed group of playoff contenders.

    • nicksaenz1

      Agreed. We’ll get a great sense of where the franchise is.

  • JofreyRice

    I’d rather see them draft a S than corner. I think you could cut down all the yards allowed by playing tighter coverage, but that would require more competent coverage in the back half, if the CB loses a step. Also, PLEASE try Boykin outside before investing in another corner. The guy has 4 INTs and 2 FF’s playing 60% of the snaps. If you had decent safety play in the back half, and let Boykin and Fletcher play up on receivers, I think the pass defense would improve tremendously.

    Also goes without saying that a more potent edge rush would improve the coverage, as well.

    • Token

      I agree. A good safety just has more of a overall impact than a good corner does IMO. But I dont know about drafting one. I havent looked to closely at them in the upcoming draft. I guess Clinton-Dix is the best one, but from Alabama.

      Boykin probably wont get a shot. They are holding his height against him. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Boykin is a way better corner than Cary has ever been. But for this year they are gonna roll with the excuse of “well Boykin is just so darn good in the slot we dont wanna move him”.

      Ok, whatever. But next year is a different story. I see zero reason why Cary Williams should be starting next year when you have Boykin. Arent we supposed to be putting the best players on the field? One of the recent games Boykin played something like 30% of snaps because they werent in Nickel much. Thats just stupid. All so Roc Carmichael can get snaps? Its bizarro world.

      Just because a guy is a really good slot corner doesnt mean that should be where his career stops. Most teams would give him the chance outside. Then if he isnt good there, then you can say hes your lifetime slot corner. Not when hes only 2 years into the league, is a 4th round pick, and shows promise as a playmaker.

      • nicksaenz1

        I only understand the Boykin issues to a point. When we have three CBs on the field, he should absolutely be the nickel corner. But in 2 CB sets, he should be on the outside over CW, with CW occasionally spelling him. It’s a little ridiculous. CW would have to really f up to get that demotion. They love him on the outside for reasons unknown to me. As for Carmichael, same thing. Since Fletcher was hurt, Boykin should have been on the outside in 2WR sets.

      • cliff henny

        joyner out of fsu. smaller than kelly ideal, but man, all he does is make plays. howie, little advice, if in doubt, just take bap from fsu, that has to be the most talented team since early 2000′s miami teams.

        • theycallmerob

          he’s my pick for DB. I’d love him 1st rd. the kid simply makes plays; I remember the Clemson game (when there were like #3 and 5), it was over by the 1st qtr. He was making plays EVERYWHERE

          • cliff henny

            yup! i wrote your draft down, cause basically same guys as i like. if eagles dont get evans (and after lsu took him completely out of the game-his limited speed was really in display there, so he lost some luster for me) but landry is perfect.
            .
            did you read lawlor, he was a little rough of logan. some of it i wanted to write, that’s why he 6th rouder. it’s not like va tech is qb factory and he’s getting best coaching there. couple yrs with chip, never know. done a lot worse alot earlier

          • theycallmerob

            ha, I did see that this morning and immediately thought of you. like you said- he’s 6th for a reason. I saw the other names he had too, don’t consider any of them more impressive (Lynch is ok, always have a soft side for small school guys like myself).
            did agree in general with his notes on the 1st rd guys. I’ve been impressed with Carr (the little I’ve seen), still just not sold on Manziel. And even if i was, I’d take Joyner over him in a heartbeat. just something about that kid….

          • cliff henny

            like price, but like 6’5 250 vs 6’1 215. guy that is also falling is Fales, he might be there in 5th.

          • theycallmerob

            Foles and Fales?? Love it

          • Andy124

            When I read that I was like, “I need to show this to Cliff – Tommy’s been reading our discussions and he’s using my material.”

      • JofreyRice

        Preachin’ to the choir. Give the guy a shot.

      • Adam

        Call me a homer but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this till at least next year. It’s a completely different beast playing outside, and Boykin’s numbers this year outside were lukewarm at best if I remember correctly (would have to go back and find them). He’s strength and size is pretty well suited for covering guys in the slot instead of down field. Even though he’s not on the field much he’s still the 12th most targeted corner in the league and he’s making the best out of those targets.

        I like what the coaching staff did with Wolff and Logan as far as letting them get the system down before pushing them into a bigger role. It worked pretty good. I see moving Boykin outside as an off-season move after they find someone who can man the slot for him now. If our slot corner is really getting targeted this much then moving him outside might do the team more harm than good if we do it mid season.

    • Tom W

      OLB pass rusher makes everyone on the backside better. We don’t have that whatsover. Too bad Cole is still upwards of 4 million in dead money and graham a couple million. Gotta try to trade one for peanuts and just get the salary off our books.

      Bunch of stud olbs available … barr and mack will probably be gone by the time we pick (17 or later) but kids from stanford, utah, and byu look good. Murphy from Stanford fits chip’s H/W/S bigger guys mentality at that position. His article about his upbringing in sportsillustrated is the greatest thing I ever read about a linebacker and really makes him an encouraging pick .. mean, big, nasty, powerful olb … does he have the first step explosion or is he another barwin yes that is a concern but can never have enough mean nasty talented edge defenders

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20131105/trent-murphy-stanford-cardinal/?xid=si_topstories

      • JofreyRice

        I like Murphy’s size, and the production is there this season, but like you’d I’d be concerned he doesn’t really have that explosion to be a force on the edge. I also think he looks a little stiff, as an athlete. It’s not fair to compare him to Barr, but Barr makes his 6’2 look like 5’9 with the way he bends, and then explodes around the edge. I’d really have to study Murphy more, but he certainly looks the part.

      • RIP illa

        Murphy at best could be a little better version of Paul Kruger which doesn’t translate into elite pass rusher! Some other guys will come up during the process w/ more athleticism to be that guy, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all be 1st rounders either. Chip and Davis have their size bias (in a good way) for the position, but I also believe that they have an athletic bias (also in a good way) for it. And I just don’t see Murphy coming close to the athleticism bias. And Barwin is/was a FREAK athlete. So I don’t think it’s fair to mention Murph in the same vein.

    • nicksaenz1

      If we pick up a S in FA then drafting a CB isn’t as big of a deal. However, still think rush OLB is of much higher priority. The thing I didn’t like in the above comments was the guy who said we need a corner said ours needed toughness, which basically goes to show he pays no attention whatsoever. Toughness was the biggest upgrade in our corners from a year ago. Apologies to the guy for not having Sherman and about to be suspended for 1 yr Browner.

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, him and Thurmond. They might have to change the nickname up there to “Legion of Choom”

    • Adam

      I’m worried about taking a corner in the first round. I had to go back to McCourty in 2010 to find a corner who had stepped in from day 1 and played well. Peterson could also be considered but more so for his special teams play, he was pretty average at CB his rookie year.

      • JofreyRice

        I think Peterson’s pretty solid, definitely will agree he struggled in the first half of his rookie season, and mostly made his impact on special teams. They’ve played a fair amount of “Deion” coverage with him, with nobody over the top. He’s held up pretty well.

        • Adam

          Oh for sure, I would love to have a guy like that on our team who can be solid at corner and a top tier returner, it would make it a lot easier to justify the first round pick. But when you look at guys like Claiborne and Milliner, it just makes me a bit wary.

      • BlindChow

        And McCourty struggled his 2nd year, ultimately leading to his being converted to Safety!

    • RIP illa

      They have already stated their plans in regards to Boykin, which is to get him to “master” the Nickel position and be one of the best out there, before anything else. And seeing as we have no other nickel on the roster and if we drafted one next year, the amount of time it will take for him to get acclimated to the position before we could even call him decent/good…I’m all for that plan of action. Plus the stats you produced we’re accumulated at nickel, so who’s to say he can duplicate or better them on the outside.

      We can’t play tighter coverage right now for several reasons. Davis is scared to death of getting beat deep, C-Will is nothing special in coverage plus he plays the tightest coverage of the 2 CBs, and Fletch lacks the downfield speed to stay w/ some WRs. So now as you said, we throw a safety over the top to help them out…Or better yet, do we displace both safeties to provide help for both corners for the reasons already stated. Now we’re taking safties further away from the line and making it somewhat easier for us to be exploited by athletic receiving TEs and slot WRs in the middle of the field. And that’s not assuming that both WRs are running down field. One can run a go or post and the other can run an in or a slant and still it would delay the safeties reaction to the ball cause their main assignment has changed to watching for the route that requires help over the top. I like the fact that Davis has them playing the way they are now. It’s usually one S patrolling the middle and one back. Notice TEs and slot WRs haven’t been destroying us lately. The way we are now, even if the safety is late to make a play on the ball, he’s still in a position to make a play on the man. I think that changes the more tighter coverage we run w/o having the corners to really handle it.

      There’s only one safety who maybe drafted in the 1st now, but there are possibly 2-3 corners. Is Dix really that much better of a player than the top corners? (IMO) I don’t think so. I don’t have a problem w/ taking the best safety but I just think that the fact we have 2 stop gap corners and that the safety position is being played reasonably well right now, that means Corners is the more pressing need in the draft. I didn’t necessarily want to take a CB in the 1st, but I think we might be picking in the 20′s range and that seems like the range where CB is most probable to be the BPA this draft. I still have my guy I want just not sure he’ll be projected/or picked in the 1st after the combine.

      And don’t believe the hype…this past draft was horrible for CBs taken in the 1st when it’s coming to their ROOKIE yr production. But from 2012 on down CBs taken in the 1st usually turn out to be real solid contributors/starters to the squads that selected them! And yes a outside pass rush would help a lot either way.

  • Explorer51

    How cool is it that it’s Thanksgiving and we’re talking about playoff possibilities? With a relatively young team that’s on the rise? With an offense that can match up with just about anyone with a pre-season #4 receiver (and I’m being kind) that is now playing like a legit #2 and a #2 QB that has had an off the chart statistical month? And with a defense that some were saying would be historically bad that is in the middle of an in-season turnaround?

    As excited as I am about this year, I’m even more pumped for the next few seasons. Our needs, which early in the season looked like too many to count, has tightly focused on some specifics: OLB, OL, CB, S, WR…but with the draft in better hands and with solid cap $ for select FAs I’m feeling much better than this time last year!

    My biggest worry right now is that Dallas owns every tie-breaker because of that ugly two game bump a few weeks back; but at least we are still in it, which is more than I really expected in this big transitional year.

    • EaglefaninAZ

      You stole my entire post. Lol… can’t agree more. After the coaching change, I’d have been happy with 3 wins and signs of improvement. Kudos to Kelly and that entire staff.

    • Adam

      Agreed man. If somehow we get bumped out of playoff contention I’ll definitely be bummed out for a day or two but I know I’ll look back on this season as a big success and a giant step in the right direction. Can’t wait for free agency and the draft.

  • Andy

    Rosenthal is right about the Cowboys likely holding the tie-breaker over the Eagles, which makes it a little tougher to win the division. But he isn’t accounting for the fact that Dallas’ defense is just bad, and the Eagles’ defense has consistently improved to the point where it is much better than the season-to-date stats would imply.

    • jon h

      we just need RGIII to light it up one time this year – against Dallas

  • knighn

    Normally, I read these “What They’re Saying…” posts and I look for just an absolutely terrible article, take note of the writer of that terrible article, and name my next dump after that writer.
    I have taken a “Mike Freeman” and a “Greg Easterbrook” a few times this season. It has just made flushing more fun.
    Lately, I have been disappointed to not find more flushing fodder.

  • cliff henny

    say the eagles and cowboys are 9-6, and that sunday night game is flexed, i will probably start the party somewhere around noon sat 28th and just keep it rolling straight thru the 1st, win or lose.

    • knighn

      You’re waiting until noon? Pussy.

      • cliff henny

        challenge accepted! best part of living in LA, was socially acceptable to start drinking at 9am, est games were on

        • knighn

          I regret that I only have one up-arrow to give!

        • knighn

          By the way: I demand updates right here on 24/7! I want to see just how bad your posting gets. Basically: I want to see how many days of drinking it takes before you turn into Dutch.

          • Brian

            It might take years of drugs.

          • knighn

            I actually Laughed Out Loud.
            Observation: if peopled actually LOL’d or SMH’d as much as they claim they do in texts or posts, we’d all think there was something terrible wrong with them.

          • Brian

            My office neighbor has his suspicions.

          • BlindChow

            Don’t forget all the coffee-spitting.

          • Andy124

            IT guys would be pissed.

          • cliff henny

            i’ll do the 100 beer challenge…100 beers in 100 hours(give update after every 5 beers). have to take marker, number beers and tie trashbag to hip for empties, dont want anyone not to know you are a flaming drunk, they need to see and hear empties.
            .
            tried this in college…lemme tell you, after about 50, it get really ugly. like cops and walking into burning building, lost in woods ugly

          • Andy124

            Tried the 100 minute challenge once with a buddy of mine (1 shot of beer per minute for 100 minutes = 12.5 beers in 1.66 hours)

            Buddy quit around 50 and passed out when I was around 70. With no witness, it wasn’t worth continuing.

          • cliff henny

            my frat did that about once a month, i’d get into high 90′s then it was just too much. probably best for society that i got it out before everything could be absorbed.

          • knighn

            Damn. Don’t go dying on us, cliff. We need plenty of witnesses from the QB wars…

    • nicksaenz1

      I could pull that day drinking off if I were suffering through Miller/Bud Light. But, I’d rather just nap through the 1pms and go hard from 4:30 on while enjoying some quality brews.

      • cliff henny

        that game will require a case of guinness. shoot, i’m out of practice, last weekend i caught a buzz off of miller 64′s. 25 yr old cliff was embarrassed of what he’s become…maybe knighn’s right

        • nicksaenz1

          I can only consume Guiness in the form of irish car bombs. Guiness is difficult for me to enjoy. Might start with a few Yards IPAs and switch to Jameson and ginger for game time.

          • cliff henny

            carbombs, yeah, used to love those. for the drunk who cant do shot and beer seperately fast enough

  • Loke1988

    I stopped caring what any of the so called experts have to say about the Eagles. When time goes by and year after year after year your own instincts and opinions turn out to be proven correct you begin to tune it all out.

  • Andy124

    .

    • jabostick

      **moved to other post**

    • cliff henny

      i’m grateful that the eagles arent totally piss poor on 3rd/4th and 1. i cant tell you how happy i was when kelly didnt challenge cooper’s catch cause 1st and goal at the 1 is easy money to him. 14 yrs of reid getting 2nd and 1 only to go run of -2, incomplete 4 yd out sent me up the wall

    • Andy124

      Weird you guys are still seeing this. I editted it almost instantly to a “.” because I posted it over in the Another Honor for Nick Foles thread.

  • Tyler Phillips

    Fun fact: the Dallas cowboys only have 2 stretches of 4-1 play over the last 4 seasons. Look for them to drop the redskins game and at least one other between now and week 17.

    • cliff henny

      fun fact, F U Cowboys!
      .
      watching them Sunday night, no way they have a 5-0, inc nyg, stretch in them. Dallas is the poster child for nfl mediocrity. murray is good, but at end of every run even he’s looking for injury. cant trust romo. austin is always hurt. dez looks like he’s hanging on by a string, and that defense is just terrible. Eagles take care of business next 4 weeks, 3-1, that game will definitely be for nfc east

  • John J. King

    My how the tune has changed!