What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Photo | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland argues that Chip Kelly made the right move going for it on fourth down inside his own 25:

The Advanced NFL Stats calculator suggests that the Eagles should have tried the conversion if they had a 50 percent chance of succeeding. It’s hard to imagine that Philly’s chances of succeeding weren’t higher than that: They have the league’s best rushing offense, while the Vikings have the league’s 20th-best run defense. McCoy also didn’t even need the full yard to succeed. If anything, you might argue that the Eagles should have considered a sneak with Foles were one available. (Kelly used a challenge to try to overturn the spot when McCoy was stuffed on fourth down, which seems less advisable given the success rate of challenging spots.)

You know what? Going for it and failing didn’t really hurt the Eagles, either. The Vikings went three-and-out and kicked a 38-yard field goal to go up 27-9, and the Eagles promptly went out and scored touchdowns on each of their next two possessions, and only a failed two-point conversion prevented them from making it a 27-24 game. They never got any closer than that, but failing deep in their own territory didn’t do much to blow Philly’s chances of coming back. It’ll be interesting to see if Kelly goes for it again in this situation sometime down the line. He would probably be right to do so.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 11th in its power rankings:

LeSean McCoy ran the ball eight times Sunday despite leading the league in rushing entering the day. QB Nick Foles finished the game with more rushing yards than McCoy.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com takes a look at the NFC East race:

Of course being in the NFC East, they remain very much alive. If the NFL East title comes down to the anything-can-happen Eagles at the low-IQ Cowboys on Dec. 29, one of the wackiest games ever may be in store.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com has Kelly third on his Coach of the Year list behind Pete Carroll and Ron Rivera:

All 53 players on the Eagles’ roster were in helmets and practicing late last week. Perhaps the Mad Scientist’s science coach, personalized smoothies, heart monitors, customized sleep tests and eclectic music playlists really will change the way the rest of the league operates.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 12th in his power rankings:

Getting wasted by Matt Cassel can only be analogous to one thing in the entire sports landscape: getting posterized by Shawn Bradley. Thankfully for the Eagles, another spare signal-caller named Matt saved the day by wasting the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 11th in his power rankings:

That defense reverted back to some bad ways against the Vikings. That can’t happen against the Bears.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 14th:

There are no excuses for the loss in Minnesota to a team without AP and at least three other starters. The Eagles are lucky the Cowboys can’t figure out how to win lately.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 16th:

Nick Foles posted a career high in passing yards. DeSean Jackson posted a career high in receptions. The Eagles lost by 18 points to the Vikings.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles ninth:

The Eagles would have been better off if the roof at the Metrodome had busted. Again.

Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles 14th:

Some alarming failures on defense, but it’s the same D that allowed 21 or fewer in the previous nine games. Lucky for the Eagles, Dallas was Dallas Sunday.

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  • G_WallyHunter

    Again, Florio, thank you for the insight.

  • Adam

    Billick has the Lions ahead of us? Okay, yeah.

    • GEAGLE

      Wow, that’s pretty Incompetant

  • Andy124

    So, in summary, they’re saying we’re lucky Dallas lost. Ok.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Wasn’t luck. It was inevitable.

      • Andy124

        Soooooo, we’re lucky that it was inevitable?

    • Richard Colton

      If we’re talking playoffs, aren’t we? This week’s conversation would be a lot different if we were facing a must-win against Cutler/Forte/Brandon & Alshon

      • GEAGLE

        This breathing room was just HUGE especially against a dangerous team…I also think it will help us keep our emotions in check better then the bears who will be tight, fighting for their playoff lives…we should come into this game more loose, but just as hungry and irritated

      • Andy124

        The “Ok” at the end wasn’t sarcastic. It was like what I’d say to someone who really wants to let me know that 1+1=2.

        If I wanted to be sarcastic I’d have been like ‘OoooooK’, Bull Shannon style. :)

        • Richard Colton

          my 3rd favorite nightcourt bailiff, otherwise, solid.

          • Maggie

            I hate to ask, bur who are your first two?

          • Richard Colton

            nobody beat Roz – she was far and away the star of that show. And if you were a fan of the show in its first season, the bailiff they had before Roz was a 70 year old grandmother who was always falling asleep. I forget her name. I didn’t like Bull, he scared me.

          • pjcostello

            Selma… she was my favorite, always with a cigarette dangling from her lips, and an attitude. :-)

          • Richard Colton

            Yep. Selma – couldn’t remember her name.

      • reb

    Man..it’s only weds and I’m going crazy waiting to see how we bounce back and answer a tough test against a dangerous team that has a lot to play for.
    Funny how we are playing an opponent who is used to the cold, yet it’s gonna be like 60 degrees….
    I KNEW for a fact we would beat the lions because I knew we were a much better coach team then them, and more then ever, I believe it’s all about coaching..I respect Trestman..I don’t view him as some weak, Undisciplined, in over his head fool like Schwartz…So like facing a Lezlie Frazier coached team! we can get our asses handed to us if we don’t bring it this week. This is the NFL, as great as Chip is we won’t enjoy a drastic coaching advantage every week..this is one of those weeks, so after coaching the next important thing becomes the battle of QB vs, Defense….

    It’s not as simple as who throws the most TDs..When you are playing in an evenly matched NFL game, the turnover battle and field position become crucial…We boast a better defense than the bears, but both defenses are vulnerable to what the opposing offense brings to the table, so both offenses are going to GET SOME on Sunday. I really like FOles chances of putting up points WITHOUT putting our defense in a bad position against the bears defense who will be struggling with Shady MORE then I like Cutlers chances of putting up points on our defense without turning it over to them…I also believe our defense can do better against Forte, then their defense can do against Shady…

    So once again, We have to stop their ST from being the grand equalizer. Donnie Longball will come in really handy against Devon Hester, so the Question becomes Henery and the kickoff coverage Unit….there is NO CHANCE IN HELL that Chip will try that pooch strategy and give Cutler the ball on the 40 all game, so we can’t coddle our kick off coverage unit this week. Boys gotta bring their big boy pants, not be on the heir heals, but run down field and attack Hester! If he burns us for a TD so be it, but he won’t burn us every time…and making Cutler go the length of the field gives us the best chance of landing that ONE play, where Cox, or Curry are closing in on him quickly and he thinks that cannon of his will bail him out, throws it up, and we make a play on the ball and change the course of the game!!!..

    Other CRUCIAL matchups are Ertz vs. suspect Safeties and we are fortunate Kendricks is playing well, because he will have a tough test stopping Forte as a Reciever.

    Crazy that it’s getting to a point where I like Chip/FOles/Desean over ALOT of other Coach/QB/RB combos…FOles is responsible with the rock like a Alex smith type “game manager”, yet he is FEARLESS and has a quiet gunslinger in him..add in his humble, grounded, work ethic and his ability to stay even keeled, and IM TELLING you we have a kid who will develop into a stud under our coach. I just KNOW IT!!! All the signs are there..I have seen enough! That’s not to suggest he has arrived yet, because he is far from it…but his arrival as a top Dog is inevitable. Whatever doubts and wait and see I had are OVER! he is LEGIT!

    • nicksaenz1

      60 and rainy. Fun day coming. RBs top 250 again, with Shady having 150+. Foles has an average day of stats, but plays great ball. That’s my prediction.

  • Norv

    The pundits’ explanations may be idiotic, but the Eagles are not a top ten team. The defense is a crapshoot and the offense that should be like Denver’s, is not.

    • GEAGLE

      Defense is not a crap shoot when it performed 9 times and failed once in a month and a half…it’s a good defense, trending up, that like most defenses has some major weakness that can be exploited…

      Look at the cardinals defense..everyone would agree it’s a legit top defense..but even a legit top defense was suspect to our #2WR and TEs..
      When your defense isn’t on point and playing their hearts out and they face a team that are executing against your weakness, ANY defense starts to look weak..ours is no different. when the pass rush doesn’t get home, most defenses will start to struggle, ours has to shore up the safety position, while improving our pass rush so it GETS HOME more often..but by no means, do we have a bad defense. I seen BAD defense. You want bad defense watch a bears tape, and you will see every RB they face have a field day, now THATS BAD defense…I would rather be suspect Down field because of weak safety play rather then see a defense that gets the ball rammed up their gut all day

      • anon

        Yeah we just had a bad game. I don’t think we have a super high ceiling, but prior to last week we’d been playing good FUNDAMENTAL defense, executing assignments, playing within the system, making tackles — can’t throw baby out with bathwater.

        Peyton got killed by Chargers last week — i don’t think anyone things the Broncos are no longer a good team.

        • Andy124

          Broncos suck! Totally pathetic that Vick let us lose to them!

          EDIT: After the events of today, I’d better add this—> lol :) j/k

    • John

      How do you compare our offense to denver? Their Trio of WR’s are probably better then our #1. We do have the better running back though.

      • jon h

        our qb is better

  • Andy

    Chip Kelly has a great offensive mind but let’s face it, he is still in his first year as an NFL head coach. He is learning the in-game management stuff at this level. The great thing about that is he is definitely learning from experience, coming up the curve quickly, and improving as the season goes on. Unlike some prior head coaches, he isn’t the kind of person to stick his head in the sand and keep doing the same things regardless of whether they work or not. He is going to be an even better head coach on game day (I already think he is one of the best between Sundays) next year than he was this year, and he’s already pretty good.

    • Mikeq

      I think (hope) it’s true that he will improve, but at the risk of being swarmed for being a negadelphian, I’m still in wait-and-see mode on it. My impression of Chip when he was at Oregon was that he tended to lose the close games he played in more that he won them (Auburn NC game, couple of Stanford games)- in other words, the kinds of games where strategic decisions can be the difference between wins and losses. I could be wrong, as I wasn’t following him very closely at that time either. I know we have at least one big Oregon Duck fan on the board, maybe he can shed some light on how he did on in-game decisions at Oregon? They won a lot of blowouts, but were there costly strategy blunders that cost them wins when the opponents were of higher quality?

  • Greg

    Did we really expect them to be contenders for the division? Come on guys. We are lucky to see them clicking the this rate and will only improve with the next draft and free agency. Next year is a 10 win year while be actual contenders. 1st year coach at the level + one of the youngest teams in the league = needs time. We are exceeding expectations and for the most part, play lights out. The Vikings game kept them in check now and reaffirms that they need to be on their game, every game, if they want to win.

    • anon

      You really never know. I’m sure Vikings, Falcons, Redskins and Buccs (and probably others) had same expectations this year.

  • EaglefaninAZ

    Going 3 and out and getting a field goal is two different things. I expect better from Grantland.

  • devCal

    our defense cannot play in a dome. too slow and got exposed.

  • UncleCarm

    Nobody else thought it was funny that Easterbrook called someone else low-IQ?

  • Dominik

    “Getting wasted by Matt Cassel can only be analogous to one thing in the
    entire sports landscape: getting posterized by Shawn Bradley.”

    Good one, Mr. Harrison.