Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘We’re Hot Right Now’

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As far as LeSean McCoy is concerned, it all makes sense.

The way he sees it is pretty simple: The Eagles are talented, they put in the work all season long, they stayed healthy, and now they are in position to make some noise in the postseason.


"We’re made for the playoffs," McCoy said. "Everybody’s so excited for us to be here, but we should be here. Everybody’s so excited about us being division champs, but I think we should be. We prepared hard each game. We have so much talent on this team. And the way we prepare, we prepare to be the champs of this division. And we prepare to win this game. The Saints are a good team for sure. They have a very explosive offense and a solid defense, but I think the guys in this locker room, the coaches we have, we can get the job done."

McCoy is coming off one of the great all-around seasons for a running back in recent memory. Consider this: There have only been five running backs ever who have rushed for 1,600 yards, averaged 5.0 YPC, caught 50 balls and accumulated 500 receiving yards in a season. They are LaDainian Tomlinson (2003 and 2006), Tiki Barber (2005), Priest Holmes (2002), Chris Johnson (2009) and now McCoy.

But he's never been on a team that won a playoff game. McCoy was on the roster in 2009-2010 when the Eagles lost to the Cowboys, 34-14. And he was the feature back in 2011 when the Eagles fell to the Packers, 21-16.

McCoy is hoping for a different result this time around.

"As a team, we’re playing for each other and we’re rolling," he said. "I think we’re hot right now. I think we’re real hot. Even if the games are close or not, blowouts, we’re winning. We’re getting the job done. The ball’s falling in our court where other times it didn’t. I think it’s a lot of playing hard, preparing hard, and it is a little luck sometimes. But that’s the way it is right now. We’re rolling."

The Eagles won seven of eight to close out the regular season, and McCoy took the rushing title with 1,607 yards. He excelled in a couple specific areas. For example, McCoy seemed to get stronger as games went on. He averaged 6.0 YPC in the fourth quarter, fifth-best in the NFL.

"The more touches, the more plays you get running the ball, the [more] comfortable you get," he said. "The different looks you see, you see how defenses they adjust to certain plays that you’re running, and you feel ‘em out. So the play that might be successful to the left late in the game might be more successful to the right. And defenses are smart. They try to adjust to whatever you’re doing. It’s a reaction. We run right, they chase us right. So it’s just different things - the way you fit into a run, just getting more comfortable I think as the game goes on. The fourth quarter I kind of can really take over."

The other area that stood out was big-play runs. McCoy had 47 carries of 10+ yards, tops in the league and six more than any other back, per STATS, Inc.

"Just the one-on-one opportunities, I think I’m getting the best of those guys on one-on-one opportunities," he said. "And that’s not easy. It’s not easy because you’ve gotta get there, and the guys up front are getting me there. And Coach [Chip] Kelly, just the designs he has, the plays, using different decoys just to get the matchups. That’s all you can ask for is just the matchups. And I just think guys that we have on offense with the matchups, we’re making the most of it."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Good All-22 look from T-Mac at the potential Mychal Kendricks-Jimmy Graham matchup.

And here's an All-22 look at a new run play the Eagles added last week - a sweep from an unbalanced line.

Some are already picking the Saints. Here's what they're saying.

McManus takes a look at the Drew Brees-Foles connection.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com talked to Michael Vick about potentially returning to the Eagles as a backup next season:

“Yeah, if it doesn’t work out, if all else fails, absolutely,” he said. “You can never rule that out.

“It all depends what happens, where I’m at in my career. Never rule it out. But I’m not thinking of that right now. I’m not thinking about the future. I’m just thinking about doing whatever I can to help this team win a Super Bowl.”

Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com writes about Nick Foles in his playoff preview:

Foles reminds me of Trent Green. This season -- one of the best in history according to the efficiency rating stat, which goes a little weak-kneed at the sight of a low interception rate -- felt a lot like Green's 4,000-yard, 24 touchdown, 12 interception Chiefs seasons, though the numbers look a little different. The Dick Vermeil-Al Saunders offense stretched defenders horizontally and vertically, then froze them with play action, leaving Green to spread the ball around and take measured shots downfield. The window dressing is very different in Chip Kelly's scheme, but some of the core principles are the same. One big difference: Green was 33 years old when he worked his ball-handling magic.

COMING UP

We'll talk to the players down at the NovaCare Complex and continue to get you ready for Saturday night.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • addicted2mula
    • DirtyWaters

      Kolb for DRC, Curry, Boykin. Wonder who we should thank for that

      • addicted2mula

        Andy Ried

        • DirtyWaters

          Saw his presser from yesterday. All the same catch phrases from the past 15 years. “Gotta get guys in position to make plays. “

          • evanphilly

            Nothing will ever change with Reid during his pressers. When they lose to Indy this weekend, he will start with the usual “I need to do a better job of putting my team in a position to win the game”

          • DirtyWaters

            “That’s on me.”, he says through labored breaths that blow crumbs out of his mustache.

          • nicksaenz1

            Old cheesesteaks.

          • DirtyWaters

            The remains of stale play calling, missed opportunity and yes, of course, old cheesesteaks.

          • GEAGLE

            Funny…I heard KCs owner refer to Andy as engaging,….,our Andy? Lol

          • Max Lightfoot

            Andy is always engaging to the owner and the national press, hence his reputation as one of the league’s top coaches. Once he depletes his small store of charm, he goes back to browbeating the local press. KC fans will discover this.

            On the other hand, Chip Kelly is more honest and a Natural Born Wiseass, which I prefer.

          • Maggie

            Nothing better than a wiseass who gets the job done.

          • FMWarner

            I think his reputation as one of the league’s top coaches comes from being one of the league’s top coaches.

          • Max Lightfoot

            Except in a tight game that really matters – then he gets outcoached.

          • EaglefaninAZ

            Does he still do the “times yours” thingy? Lol…

        • EaglePete

          and on a positive AR note, his backups beat SD when their season was on the line, thats all coaching. Then refs gave game to SD.

          • addicted2mula

            That’s true! I’m happy for AR , but more happier that we got CK

          • EaglePete

            ditto

      • Mr. Wu

        Kevin Kolb….the shlepp that keeps on giving

  • Beastmode

    I was afraid of a loss before the bears game. Hope this one proves me wrong too.
    In watching and reading last nite it was clear that these are not the SB winning saints of a couple years ago-they’ve gotten gashed by good running backs, failed to score on opening drives till week 17, committed turnovers in all their road losses etc.
    I’m hoping Foles and Chip rise to the occasion and kick ass!

    • Beastmode
      • evanphilly

        They are both right, I am sure this was the best matchup the Saints could have gotten in the first round. Def. the best matchup the Eaglesx could have gotten as well. Should be a fun game.

      • Sven

        All Saints homers commenting on that page. Most of them haven’t changed the calendar from 2009.

    • EaglePete

      ya I was thinking that also, they seem to have back n forth games where they look great, then not so much. If that continues, this is another great game. Foles goin off at home, expecting run, bout time we toss some bombs their way. Big play splashes would be extra exciting.

  • Andy

    I think Shady gets better in the late going because the opponents’ defense gets gassed. The fast pace wears them out so late in the game they are particularly vulnerable to the run. That’s the payoff.

    • GEAGLE

      Rev up the pace and watch fat lazy bunkley have a heartattack

  • evanphilly

    Best run team in the league. They also play decent D. They are also THE healthiest team in the NFL. They also have NOTHING to lose. Everything is shaping up for a magical run in the playoffs this year. BUT, they have to beat New Orleans this Saturday. That is the only thing that matters right now.

    • EaglePete

      yup, I hope they arent playing catch up in this game. That ole time of possession stat that nobody cares about could actually matter if they get behind. Any kind of stalling or lack of flow on offense might hinder them with bend but dont break. Lets not forget Saints can run the ball also, Thomas has had a decent year and Sproles is always scary. Okay, enough negative BS, they can def win this game but those are my fears.

  • cliff henny

    am enjoying espn’s coverage for once. listening to sean peyton and brees talk about mac and cheese, warmer sweats and the color of gatorade, is music to my ears. think kelly would let this crap come out? no way, he cram that bs talk right down reporters throat.

    • Beastmode

      Is the Gatorade shit supposed to be funny? Dumbest party line ever from a team IMO. Every single saints interview I heard had players saying the Mac and cheese line.

      • GEAGLE

        How did Peyton respond when Kelly was called a young Sean Peyton?

        • Maggie

          Interesting question. Seeing as they are the same age, I would bet that Peyton would consider laughing out loud, right into the writer’s face, lol.

      • cliff henny

        we know it’s to deflect road record and 0-5 in playoffs. if brees wants to talk about it, that’s one thing, he’s great, wont have impact. it’s that the talk is trickling down to the roll players. and if they are thinking about how to stay warm on weds, wait till they get hit in face with 15 degrees. the color of gatorade will have phycological impact on play, give me a break. maybe if you are 10. but com’on, grown men should not even let this nonsense be uttered.

        • Maggie

          Nitpicking…”role” players.

  • GEAGLE

    man it’s Thursday…this saints game will be here in no time…. I hoping to run that defense out of philly…just score every time we touch the ball…

    • cliff henny

      saturday is going to be a long day

      • DirtyWaters

        At least we don’t have to wait until Sunday. Let’s hope next year we have to wait 2 weeks for our playoff game.

        • GEAGLE

          Screw that….wildcard teams win superbowls

          • DirtyWaters

            Hahaha. Yeah, the home team only wins 70% of the divisional round games. Screw that.

          • GEAGLE

            If we are going to be this healthy, I don’t even want a bye week to screw up our flow…we coulda rested against the bears, yet took the field and blew them out the stadium

      • GEAGLE

        I can’t deal with another dAy like this past Sunday…I’m just going to wKe up get ridiculously drunk…fall asleep at like 3pm, wake up to catch the end of the first game…

        • cliff henny

          hit the gym, workout till inch of life, sleep for 5 hrs. little healthier, though i’ll just eat and drink like an animal during game, so whatever gain is tossed out by halftime.

  • nicksaenz1

    Anyone have access to PFF? I’m trying to find out where The Boy King ranks among corners in terms of productivity. A friend was telling me he thinks he isn’t as good as some make him out to be and takes too many chances, a la Asante. Would love to know so more detailed stats for discussion.

    • anon

      gotta be pretty amazing since he only plays 50% of snaps, but as Billy D says i think specialization has helped him.

      • nicksaenz1

        I would think so, just want to know if anyone can contribute. Don’t want to pay the subscription for something I’ll use only a handful of times.

  • jon h

    Trent Green? – let’s give Foles a little more credit here.

    • cliff henny

      green was a player. let’s not forget he beat out warner to run greatest show on turf. think writers point was foles at 24 is equal to trent at 34…now imagine foles at 34…cause Green could ball

    • jabostick

      I think the takeaway (for me, anyway) is that the right QB-Coach combo can make all the difference between a journeyman spot starter and an All-Pro.

    • FMWarner

      Trent Green was a good player.

  • Tikkit

    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=112&f=1786&t=11993429
    Just some last minute fun reading from a Dallas board.
    HAHhahhahhahahhaaa!

    • addicted2mula

      Hahaha I needed that laugh. 9/23 and thought the division was theirs. Oh how he ate his words.

    • GEAGLE

      Redskin fans beat their chest all Sumer, yet RG first read and take off, led them to 3 wins with no draft pick to show for it…I can’t even imagine losing more games then we lost last year

  • addicted2mula

    Shady ran for 598 yards just this month!!!!! That’s crazy