Quick note to get things started:
The Eagles-Lions game pulled a monster rating of 34.9 in the Philly market. Per the team, that is the third-highest rated 1 p.m. game dating back to 1997. The other two both came in 2004 during the Super Bowl run.
Also, the Week 16 Eagles-Bears game has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, bumping Patriots-Ravens to 4:25. There is a chance the Eagles-Dallas game gets flexed as well. The NFL typically makes that decision on Monday after the Week 16 games.
Now onto the Twitter questions.
From @SellBlock18: 2 of the next 3 games will be played in a dome…how do you envision this offense playing and will anyone stop them??
I’m not ready to call them unstoppable, but the offense is pretty-well suited for dome ball. You don’t have to worry about Nick Foles‘ accuracy being affected by the elements, and guys like DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy have the skill set to take advantage of a fast track.
Chip Kelly believes the notion that teams are built for certain conditions (dome, cold weather) is “writer-speak” and does not factor such things in when putting together a roster.
“We don’t get that technical,” he said. “Can they run and catch and tackle?”
But you can make the argument that this offense is suited for whatever environment they play in. If it’s a total mess, like this past Sunday, they can lean on one of the top running games in the league. If the game is played in pristine conditions, they can deploy more of a precision attack.
Another way to put it is it pays to have a balanced offense.
From @bmbarlet: Do you think part of the Eagles 5 game win streak is attributed to their overall health compared to most other teams?
I think in part, yes.
Earl Wolff returned to practice today, leaving Najee Goode (hamstring) as the only spectator. That’s pretty remarkable for this time of year. And the energy level at Tuesday’s session was pretty high. The Eagles are one of the few teams in the league to practice this early in the week and they are coming off an emotional game, but the practice was upbeat and no one seemed to be dragging.
I’m not sure how much credit goes to sports science, or how much luck is involved when it comes to their good health. All I know is that the Eagles are healthy and looking fresh, and it’s hard to overstate just how important that is for a football team this time of year.
From @addisonroberts: should we still have low expectations for this team? They keep making me think they are legit SB contenders but I know better.
One of the great things about this fresh start is it re-sets the expectation levels. For much of the fan base in the latter stages of the Andy Reid era, the mentality was: “Wake me up when the Eagles are in the postseason.” That takes some fun out of the process. This year fans have been able to live moment to moment, and I see no reason to stop that now.
Do I think they are Super Bowl contenders? My first instinct is to say no, that Seattle and San Francisco and New Orleans may be a cut above this Eagles team. But Kelly’s group is healthy, as we just discussed, and appear to be getting stronger as the year goes along. Who knows what is possible?
The season ends in disappointment for 31 teams, so the odds aren’t in your favor to begin with. But it’s much more fun to ride the ride rather than sitting it out in fear that they let you down.