Here’s a roundup of this week’s national media coverage on the Eagles.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com looks at which teams are best positioned for 2014. He’s got the Eagles at No. 8:
The Eagles won the NFC East and set a franchise record for scoring in Chip Kelly’s first season as coach. The backup quarterback Kelly inherited tossed 27 touchdown passes with two interceptions along the way. So, when I asked an NFL personnel analyst whether any of the current coaching candidates from the college ranks measured up to Kelly, the answer was no. “Chip Kelly can adjust anything and is really, really, really smart,” the analyst said. “Once every five years in college you see one like him.”
Brandon Boykin made Doug Farrar’s All-Pro team on SI.com:
Since we added a slot receiver to our All-Pro team, let’s get a great nickel corner to cover him. Few are better than Boykin, who sent the Eagles to the playoffs with his late-game pick of Kyle Orton last Sunday and amassed six total picks alternating between the slot and outside.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com says his favorite thing about 2013 was Chip Kelly shutting everybody up:
You must marvel at Chip Kelly’s ability to silence the critics who said he wouldn’t translate into the NFL. In 2013 the coach proved his offense is more than a “gimmick” zone-read scheme that took advantage of Pac-12 defenses in college. He proved a guru whose most important offensive philosophy lies in forcing defenses to cover the entire field. Kelly’s deployment of LeSean McCoy was spectacular. The running back constantly got in open space and gave us jaw-dropping runs (who will ever forget him treating defenders like practice cones in the Blizzard Bowl?).
The Eagles are 11th in ESPN.com’s power rankings:
How good is the Eagles offense? Philly scored an NFL-high 266 points and committed an NFL-low five turnovers after Nick Foles reclaimed the starting job in Week 9.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 11th:
How many Philly fans were sweating bullets Sunday night when it looked like Kyle Orton was going to lead the Cowboys down the field at the end? Nice work by the Eagles’ defense, which will never get the credit in Philadelphia that Chip Kelly’s offense does. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis’ group finished 17th in points allowed … which is firmly in the middle of the pack. However, given the fact that Kelly is obsessed with scoring points and not burning clock, that defense figures to be good enough to potentially help Philly go deep in the playoffs.
Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles seventh:
The Eagles have the second best turnover differential behind the Seahawks and are the most explosive offense in the entire NFL. Based on that, they should actually be higher on this list.
John McTigue of ESPN.com Stats & Information says the Eagles could be dangerous:
Aside from the 49ers, there are several factors that point to the Eagles being the most dangerous team playing on wild card weekend. The Eagles went 7-1 over the last eight games of the season, committed a league-low five turnovers, and produced a 101.7 EPA on offense in that span. The Eagles’ defense isn’t as strong as the 49ers’, Seahawks’ or Panthers’, but Nick Foles’ efficiency, coupled with the NFL’s leading rusher in LeSean McCoy, make Philadelphia a top contender, regardless of seed.
Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com likes the Saints to beat the Eagles:
TMQ’s sixth sense tells him the Blur Offense fades in this contest and that New Orleans will advance to a monster NFC playoff confrontation at Seattle. But my sixth sense also told me Sarah Palin would help the 2008 Republican ticket.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Saints in a 34-31 victory:
The Saints are the only team in the NFC playoffs ranked in the top 10 in the league in both total offense and defense. Yet here they are on the road as an underdog. I think that’s a mistake. Yes, the Eagles have done some really good things on offense with Nick Foles, but they finished last in the league in pass defense. Drew Brees and his receivers have to be salivating at the idea of facing that secondary. The Saints have never won a playoff game as a true road team in five tries. That’s concerning. So is the fact that they are playing outside. They’ve struggled at times in the weather with this offense. But I think the fact that the Eagles’ defense is so bad against the pass will offset that. I will take Brees over Foles in a shootout. Remember, this is the first postseason game for Foles. That matters.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles seventh:
Chip Kelly will have to get used to playing in a postseason game without naming rights.