Wake-Up Call: Eagles’ Interest Soaring High

Eagles fans endured the weather to witness a comeback for the ages

If television ratings are any indication, Philadelphia hasn’t been this invested in the Eagles in some time.

As we mentioned yesterday, Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Lions pulled a 34.9 rating, the third-highest rated 1 p.m. Eagles game since 1997. The other two came during the ’04 Super Bowl run — Nov. 7 against the Steelers (35 rating) and Nov. 28 against the Giants (36.7 rating).


The overall numbers are up as well. The cumulative rating for the Eagles' 13 regular-season games stands at 28.5 --  a 12 percent increase over last year's mark. Take a look at how the '13 figures compare to other recent seasons.

(Note: These stats are for 1 o'clock games only.)

2013: 27.9
2012: 24.7
2011: 25.8
2010: 27.2
2009: 25.5
2008: 26.4
2007: 26.5
2006: 29.3
2005: 29.4
2004: 31.9
2003: 27.5
2002: 24.8
2001: 24.6
2000: 26.0

As you can see, the numbers are projected to be better than they were for some of those (very good)  teams of the early 2000's. I'm sure there are all sorts of different factors that impact the numbers, but it's interesting nonetheless. If they continue at this clip, the Eagles will pull in their best ratings since at least 2006.

* Director of Grounds Tony Leonard , based on the local weather reports, was expecting a coating to an inch of snow Sunday. Instead, the Linc had approximately eight inches dumped on it in a matter of a few hours.

"Everybody called an audible at that point," said Leonard, "and you just have to do what you have to do."

There are four full-time members of the grounds crew present on game day and approximately 10-12 part-timers, some of whom are on hand to help raise the field goal netting. There wasn't a whole lot of kicking going on in those elements and there was plenty of snow to be removed, so the priorities shifted. Leonard had 8-10 guys on shovels and the rest had snow-blowers, as the crew tried to keep the key yard-markers clear.

One employee wore a pedometer, and ended up logging 25,000-30,000 steps -- triple a normal Sunday's work.

Per NFL rules, all tarps must be off the field by 11:30, according to Leonard. Given the timing, the grounds crew had no choice but to keep the snow on the ground, and took care of what they could.

"We can just react at that point," Leonard said.

* Chances are, Leonard had a better view of the action than some of the Eagles' coaches did, at least for a half.

"You know, you really couldn't see," admitted Billy Davis, who operates from the coaching booth on gameday.  "You couldn't see the jersey numbers.  The personnel groupings was a little bit challenging...because you couldn't see jersey numbers."

It wasn't until late second/early third quarter before the group upstairs had a decent look at the action. So they relied on their eyes on the ground.

"You could see better down there," he said.  "They weren't doing a whole lot of different personnel groupings because of the severity of the weather, so it wasn't a challenge, but we could not see from up there."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Mr. Kapadia uses the All-22 to show how Nick Foles and Brent Celek helped ice the game.

The latest Twitter Mailbag on ratings and expectations.

Sheil provides a game review of the defense. His take on the offense can be found here.

Have a look at the latest Eagles playoff scenarios.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

The Eagles continue to climb in ESPN's power rankings.

The Eagles moved into first place in the NFC East this week and improved one spot to No. 9 in ESPN’s weekly Power Rankings. Their five-game winning streak has corresponded with a steady climb from the mid-20s to the top 10.

Of the teams in the top 10, the Eagles have made one of the biggest jumps from the preseason rankings. They have moved up 16 spots from their preseason rank of 25th. The Arizona Cardinals, who also have a first-year head coach, made a 16-place jump from 26th to No. 10. Carolina, which was 23rd in the preseason, is at No. 6, a 17-place progression. With their climb, the Eagles are ranked above all of their remaining opponents: No. 27 Minnesota, No. 13 Chicago and No. 15 Dallas.

Jack McCaffery on the change Chip Kelly has brought with him.

Last season, the Eagles ran the ball 413 times in 16 games, good for the 13th lousiest rushing offense in the NFL. In 13 games this season, the Birds already have rushed 417 times and lead pro football in rushing...

It’s the eternal football riddle, whether the run opens passing opportunities, or if it is the other way around. Either way, Kelly is comfortable calling running plays. But that’s not all he has been willing to try. He has installed a 3-4 defense. He has found new ways to use old players, and fresh ways to mix in new ones. He has loosened the mood to the point where players suggest ideas to him, even in games, and he listens … and succeeds.

COMING UP

We'll speak to Kelly at 10:40 before practice.

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  • Beastmode

    Just spent an hour reading blogging the boys….really fun stuff. Those guys are on suicide watch!
    Good take

    • Richard Colton

      going to need you to change your name if we meet Seattle in the playoffs

    • GW.Fisher

      Had a good time on the ESPN Dallas board yesterday. A guy said blame Romo, not the D, for the loss. I just couldn’t resist giving em this:

      Interesting theory: A defense that gives up 33 first downs, 45 points, and 490 yards of offense without forcing either a turnover or a punt isn’t really to blame for the loss.

      Who knew not actually stopping anyone was one of the keys to victory?

      • PhiEagles14

        cowboys fans are so stupid…. they don’t even know why they lose, you would think with the 32nd and a 1/2 ranked D that they would key in on that…

    • BlindChow

      One of the interesting things is, most of them don’t think they can take Philly in week 17. They seem to acknowledge the team is performing at a different level than when they first played us…

      • Joe from Easton

        I have a friend who just won’t let go of week seven. “How are the Eagles better? Dallas beat them and held them to 0 TD’s in a head-to-head game.” It’s sad. He’s left with nothing but logic that even he knows is about as good as a bic lighter on a windy day.

        • Richard Colton

          he’s right. Dallas was better…in week seven. Lucky for us we play in week 17.

          • PhiEagles14

            Kinda funny how opposing teams trash talk us (especially the cowboys)– comments filled with poorly thought out points, stats, and well just plain stupidity.

          • Joe from Easton

            That’s exactly what I said to him. I also asked him if the Eagles would have beaten Baltimore in week 17 last year after beating them in week 3. I didn’t receive a response.

        • southy

          some of them were clinging to the fact that it will be at home for them, until I slipped in the fact that the eagles are 5-1 on the road.

        • BlindChow

          You totally need to make sure you watch the game with him.

          • Joe from Easton

            He wouldn’t watch that game with me if someone paid him to do so.

    • cliff henny

      i’ve gone back and forth on whether want division wrapped by week 17, or not. sounds like rodgers isnt playing, so maybe that’s helped me decide i want game for nfc east. also, i want kelly/foles to absolutely destroy cowboys. espn and jones might be pulling wool over people’s eyes, but cowboys are a sal cap, coaching and personel mess waiting to implode, and i want week 17 to be the ignitor.

      • Beastmode

        My perfect scenario is to have div. wrapped up by week 17, and then destroy the cowboys with all backups in a soul crushing schadenboner type of way.

        Chris Polk runs for 250 yards, and Vick torches them for 400.

        If we do that, loosing in the playoffs is no big deal considering the worst to first story that Chip has gotten the birds into, plus the highly functioning front office picking up curb stompin players in the draft for NEXT YEAR BABY!

        • Johnny Domino

          Chris Polk runs for 250 yards, and Vick torches them for 400.

          Only after Foles fourth TD pass.

          Vindication.

        • cliff henny

          that’s a close 2nd for me, but it takes away our gloating, the imploding in-fighting fox camera shots during game. all that would have happen prior week.
          .
          we’ll just get dallas has nothing to play for but pride. i want kiffen/garrett/jones/romo/dez falling to their knees on national tv with kelly holding samuri sword to necks, delivering us the kill in slow motion.

          • EaglePete

            I agree in terms of they will have already been defeated if we clinch prior to that game. So they wont be playing for much anyway vs our backups. I think Id rather have us clinch and not come down to last game. Much easier on the stress levels.

        • knighn

          I agree. Division is wrapped up by week 17. In my scenario the Eagles play Matt Barkley (so they don’t risk injury to Vick). Barkley shows that he’s been learning and healing while on the bench. Barkley, Polk and Bryce Brown light up the Cowboys. The angst of a possible QB controversy is swept aside by the sudden, strange revelation: the Eagles have TWO good, young QBs!

        • southy

          upvote for use of the (now) word “schadenboner”

        • Max Lightfoot

          Not to be a nitpicky jerk about this, but it’s actually Schadenfreude, which means joy at some else’s sorrow. It’s such a German concept, but I’m with you – I will experience true Schadenfreude if the Cowgirls are stomped flat at Jerrah’s Mispleasure Dome. Dallas has a crapload of bad karma piling up and it ain’t gonna be pretty (except for us Iggle fans)

      • Carolina boy

        I was thinking I wanted it wrapped up by week 17 as well for rest but I know chip really waiting to silence the ppl by busting kiffen ass before he retire

    • Jason

      Cousins to start for Redskins. Awesome news, he gives them a better chance to beat Dallas.

  • DirtyWaters

    You forgot to take a jab at Foles.

  • BostonianEagle

    To be a little fair, the ratings could also be high because the blizzard outside allowed more people to be in their respective homes, and that could either affect people going to the bar to watch the game or people going, “Hey, I can’t go out.. let’s watch some football. Oh wow, that’s a lot of snow during a football game. I’m going to watch all of that!”

    • Carolina boy

      Don’t be a hatter WE ARE A MUST SEE TV this year just to bad now they want to acknowledge it but I was enjoying flying under the radar because I hate bandwagon ppl

  • G_WallyHunter

    Just got news I have to miss most or all of the game sunday for “other commitments”… What a crappy morning this morning. Oh well, at least I got Birds.

    • Joe from Easton

      FOMOF? Get that $h!t on your phone or get the Sunday Ticket and don’t ever miss a game, anywhere!

      • Maggie

        I think GWally meant he has a life which includes other people and a job, which sometimes takes precedence over sports. Don’t forget, time of game has changed, maybe that has something to do with his schedule too.

        • Joe from Easton

          Wow Maggie, you don’t spend too much time around “here” do you? First of all, it’s called a joke (which happens to be a play on a nationally televised series of commercials for things just like GWally’s predicament). Second, that dude (or lady) posts on here multiple times a day. I’m sure his life consists of many things, including an obvious passion for his favorite team. By the way, I work well over 40 hours per week, have a fiancee and a dog, and also have a “life”. Maybe you’d like to go get one? If so, that attitude will need to change.

          • GEAGLE

            I can assure you, she isn’t worth your time whether you have a life or not lol

    • Richard Colton

      sucks, doesn’t it? Im crossing my fingers I’ll get to watch the next four games live

  • evanphilly

    Truly been a pleasure to watch this team and the growth of not only the young players (some of them, the third system they have learned in the last three years), but also the veterans of this team. There was a lot of talk early in the year that the vets would not want to practice as much because they weren’t accustomed to it (creatures of habit was thrown around at least 10k times), but the fact that they have embraced the system that CK has put in place is wonderful and leading to some career years for some of these guys.

  • cliff henny

    it’s just not philly area. my sister emailed so excited bears game was flexed-after explaining for 30 mins, still not sure she understands it. she was raised in Lanc, never spent more than week in philadelphia visiting me and barely tolerates sports, but even she knows Eagles are must see TV.

    • nicksaenz1

      It was on the regular Fox station here in KC on Sunday, too, and a lot of bars had it on. Regardless, I can’t wait to get back to Philly this weekend so I can guarantee I’ll get the game and be surrounded by good, like-minded company while watching the destruction of MIN.

  • Beastmode

    Just read this morning that Birds defense has played enough snaps (due to how quickly we score/go 3 and out) to equal two extra games this season.

    Which is mindboggling if you consider the lack of injuries on this team, and also how fresh they look overall.

    • cliff henny

      that’s what lost by national talking heads, kelly’s schemes just arent game day. this is a total organizational shift, starting from day 1. think lurie needs some credit. hiring of hals, who knows whats in novacare’s basement, opening of checkbook, all this comes out of his wallett basically. teams are going to try and copy, but it wont ever look the same. eagles do this day in day out, starting in april, just cant turn it on weds before playing them.
      .
      seing how Wash AZ and Det have been overwhelmed in 10 minute surges, wait till next year when these guys have another full off-season. the difference is going to get greater before league closes gap, but wont ever catchup.

      • EaglePete

        yup, and I look at some of the old school coaches and could not be happier we are in on that trend. Shanahan, Kubiak etc, just seems like last few yrs its out with old, in with new. You keep up with trends or you are gone real fast. Not saying old school style doesnt work anymore, it does but like Harbaugh, still willing to implement new ideas and mix it up. Shanny was even running super basic plays for RG3 and he completed like 1 of 5 from a basic set per Cooley.

    • Jason

      Interesting, the Patriots D has played almost as many snaps, but I never hear from the national media about them.

      • theycallmerob

        Eagles are at 950, Pats at 912 with 3 games left (diff. of 38). Already, that’s more than a half game’s worth compared to the league average (847, of which the eagles are outpacing by a game-and-a-half worth of snaps). By year end, our defense will have played more than a full game extra than the Pats.
        That’s why the whole “yards allowed” stat is a bit of hogwash. Think the eagles are last by that measure, but by yards per play they’re a respectable 5.4 (17th in NFL). For comparison, the Pats are just ahead at 5.3
        http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/defensive-snaps/2013/

    • theycallmerob

      not quite that many, but impressive nonetheless. A full 103 snaps more than the league average of 847, or 65 per game. By year’s end, definitely.
      Very, very impressed with these guys under Davis

  • Eagle in VT

    Help please. I’m not familiar with TV ratings or how they work. What does that number even represent? Is that just the Philly market or include other areas that carried that game? If it’s the latter, is it possible that Chip’s cult following is skewing the numbers?

    As for the final game, I hope Foles breaks the 7TD record and hangs 8 in the air on them…whether it’s all wrapped up or not.

    • BlindChow

      That means 34.9 people watched the game in Philly.

    • PhiEagles14

      It’s usually just within the local area… it matters if it is broad cast on major TV networks around the states… the game was broadcast in Southern California (where I’m from) so that would increase the ratings as well… if people can’t watch the games on fox or CBS the ratings will obviously be down, so for a game to broadcast all over the states of course the ratings will be up…. Ratings come from the Nielson ratings… lots of people with black boxes in their houses, they receive what those people watch and report numbers on their own scale from there…

      • PhiEagles14

        hope that kinda helps

    • Maggie

      Don’t know all the workings of the rating system, but I have an odd cable package which includes various stations in Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. And Rochester, NY of all places! The Eagles game was on all the Fox stations I have available. As well, it was picked up by one of the Canadian sports networks, so it was considered an “important” game by quite a few programming people,

  • Adam

    Don’t get a big head on us now Mr. Foles. SI Cover!

    • Richard Colton

      downvote a good post. reverse blackcat-ing the cover jinx.

      • Andy124

        Ditto, for extra juju.

      • knighn

        I’m with you. Sorry, Adam. It’s not because your Canadian.

        • BlindChow

          My downvote was because he’s Canadian.

    • TNA

      Science >> Superstition

      We just better remember events confirming the superstition (confirmation bias is one of the mysteries of evolution and life – why does it exist?). I remember when Halladay was on the cover of the SI MLB pre-season issue. Went on to throw perfect game, no-hitter in the playoffs and led the Phillies to the most wins in MLB.

      HOWEVER, there is an interesting connection between media hype and playing better than “expected.” Usually media hype happens soon after the peak of a hot streak when the team/player is either winning more than expected or performing far better than expected. And then the team/player falters because they’re reverting back to the mean. This usually applies more to sports with larger sample sizes like baseball. Football is a small sample size sport, and suffers from much more variability. So when people say past performance doesn’t predict future performance, that applies doubly so in football. What I am concerned about is media hype getting into the heads of players and they start getting subconsciously complacent – like they’ve arrived because everybody’s saying glowing things about them and how nobody wants to face them. It sounds like the Eagles have it under control with all the players saying they’re focused on winning the day, taking it one game at a time and simply focused on getting better every day with the ends resulting (or serving as justification) from the means or process. It’s akin to what Niki Lauda’s character says in the movie Rush: “Happiness is your biggest enemy. It weakens you. Puts doubts in your mind. Suddenly you have something to lose.” And I would put “doubts” in the general category of distraction away from the laser focus on getting better as a player and team.

      Anyway. Just some food for thought.

      • Andy124

        As a wise man once said to me:
        Buzz Killington.

      • EaglePete

        good stuff, Look no further than Atl, Wash and Hou. All playoff teams last year, disasters this yr.

  • PhiEagles14

    Anyone still amazed how the idiot “game analyst’s” over at NFL network still think it’s the cowboys division… i get that they might have an easier schedule, but dude… c’mon…. really?!? Dallas has the worst D pretty much in the history of the universe… and are notoriously known for losing in December and yet they still pick them to win it… even though we have a game lead…. even though we have won 5 in a row… even though we have held the last 9 opponents to 21 points or less (including Dallas)…. even though we have Nickfolean and Shady, even though dallas just got their ASSES WHOOPED on national television to a backup QB and one of the worst d’s in the league…

    seems to me that it makes a lot of sense… Dallas… yah Dallas… what a pick to win the NFC East….

    idiots.

  • GEAGLE

    When I compare and contrast us with Carolina! I’m not sure that they are better than us