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.