DeSean Jackson was the first one into the tunnel when the clock struck zero. There’s not a whole lot of meat on that 175-pound frame, and he was frozen stiff.
“I can’t feel my feet!” yelled Jackson as he buzzed by. “I can’t feel my feet!”
Chip Kelly came into view a moment later, jogging quickly towards the locker room as a fan’s voice rang down the hall behind him. “Way to go, Chip!”
Then Michael Vick, a giant grin on his face, side-by-side Brent Celek, who let out an emphatic, “Uh!” Roc Carmichael quietly sang the Eagles fight song on his way in. A nearby teammate was not as subtle, screaming, ‘That’s what I’m [expletive] talking about!” Read more »
Photo | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s what we saw during today’s game.
*After a rough go in the first two quarters, the Eagles’ offense caught fire in the second half, scoring touchdowns on five straight possessions to lead the way during a 34-20 victory over the Lions.
* LeSean McCoy went off for a career and franchise high 217 yards on 29 carries. He put the offense on his back with touchdown runs of 40 and 57 yards in the fourth quarter. The Lions’ offense came into the game with the second-best run defense in the league, according to Football Outsiders.
* Nick Foles made some plays in the second half too, finishing 11-for-22 for 179 yards, a touchdown and an INT. It wasn’t always pretty, but he rebounded after a first half which saw him complete just four of 10 passes for 35 yards and a pick.
Read more »
DeSean Jackson celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday by notching his first 1,000-yard receiving season since 2010 in the Eagles’ 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Then he hit the town to celebrate with his mom, his friends, some crazy birthday cakes… and Ashanti. Check the photos from his and his friends’ Instagrams.
More photos from DeSean’s big night at HughE Dillon’s PhillyChitChat.
Follow @iPhillyChitChat on Twitter.
More photos from DeSean Jackson’s big party after the jump »
Here are 10 observations after having re-watched the Eagles’ performance on offense against the Arizona Cardinals:
1. Let’s start with Nick Foles and the positives. He continues to look comfortable in the offense, even though there were some bumps in the road this week. Final numbers: 21-for-34 for 237 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Foles now has 19 TDs and no picks on the season. On the first drive, he did a great job of seeing where the blitz was coming from and finding Brent Celek for a 16-yard gain on third down. On the first touchdown, he made an excellent throw to Zach Ertz in the corner of the end zone after faking the toss to LeSean McCoy. Later, he connected with Ertz on a 22-yarder. Watching live, I thought his pass was high, but the replay showed Foles put the ball where only Ertz could get it as the linebacker tried to step in front. Foles is a master of setting up the screen and waiting until the right moment to deliver the football. He connected with McCoy for a 19-yard pickup on a screen in the second. One of his best throws of the game was to DeSean Jackson for a 25-yard gain on a wheel route down the right sideline. In the third, Foles delivered a strike to Cooper for 16 yards, and his throw to Ertz on the post in the end zone was on the money. Read more »
NFL coaches often use the term “self-scouting” when answering questions about their bye-week plans.
With no game to prepare for and players away from the team facility, it’s a chance to evaluate which areas of the team need to be adjusted going forward.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a position-by-position look at where things stand with the Eagles through 11 games and what changes might be on the way going forward. We’ll start with the offense and do the defense in the next installment.
Nick Foles has been lights-out, having completed 63.6 percent of his passes (10th) with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Foles has made good decisions, looks comfortable in the offense and has connected on downfield throws. He’s averaging 9.59 yards per attempt. To put that number into perspective, since 1957, only two other quarterbacks have averaged at least 9.5 yards per attempt (minimum 150 passes): Kurt Warner (9.88 in 2000) and Chris Chandler (9.65 in 1998). Read more »
Here are five Eagles numbers that matter to get you through the bye week.
1 – The number of incompletions on passes thrown to DeSean Jackson in the last three games. According to Pro Football Focus, Nick Foles has targeted Jackson 14 times, and 13 of those have been completions for 312 yards. On the season, Jackson has caught 68.2 percent of the passes thrown his way. That number has never been higher than 61.3 percent during his first five seasons in the NFL.
And it’s not like the Eagles are dinking-and-dunking to Jackson. He has a league-leading 19 catches of 20+ yards on the season and is averaging 17.0 yards per catch. That would be his best average for since 2010.
Chip Kelly has done a masterful job of maximizing Jackson’s ability as a big-play threat while making him a more efficient receiver. Read more »
In the days leading up to Sunday’s game, Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was asked if he still thought the Eagles’ offense was more dynamic with Michael Vick than with Nick Foles.
“I would say so,” Fletcher said. “From that standpoint as far as with the run threat, I mean you all know what Vick can do with the ball in his hands if he keeps it as a runner. Again, he’s turned some runs when he keeps the ball, he’s had big gainers in this offense in the past. With Foles, a big gain for him may be 10 yards. With Vick, it may be 40, 50, 60 yards in some cases.”
Fletcher’s response caught some observers by surprise. Foles, after all, had thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions on the season. And the Eagles had scored 76 points in their previous two games.
But the veteran linebacker wasn’t trying to slight the Eagles’ second-year QB. He was simply making a couple of points clear.
Number one, Vick is more difficult to prepare for, although that obviously doesn’t make him the better option. And number two, while Foles had been playing well, the Redskins still felt their best option for winning Sunday’s game was to make the him beat them. Read more »
Here are 10 observations on the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched the game.
1. The one word I would use to describe Nick Foles is comfortable. He was calm in the pocket, delivered the football on-target and did a great job on the little things like setting up screens. Foles threw a beautiful ball to DeSean Jackson in between Redskins defenders for 19 yards in the first. He connected with Zach Ertz for a 15-yard pickup and lofted one to LeSean McCoy for 49 yards down the sideline. In the second, Foles motioned Bryce Brown to the right, pump-faked to him and then came back to Brent Celek for a 42-yard gain on a screen. In the third, he delivered a nice ball to Ertz, but the rookie dropped it. That was no issue for Foles, who came right back to him on the very next play for a 16-yard gain. Overall, 17-for-26 for 298 yards. He easily could have had three touchdowns, but receivers were brought down inside the 5. Foles’ play was not the issue in the second half. He wasn’t asked to pass a lot, but still went 8-for-11 for 81 yards. Read more »
After the Eagles’ 15-7 loss to the Giants in Week 8, Chip Kelly’s message to his team carried a tone of optimism.
The offense had managed just three points in two weeks. Outsiders were taking jabs at Johnny College Coach left and right. And the quarterback situation appeared to be a complete mess.
But Kelly wasn’t about to make any drastic changes. The focus would be on better execution, not the scheme.
“I think we stuck to what we like to do,” said wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
“One thing I can say about Chip is he’s not really into switching up too many things. He feels very confident and comfortable with the system and what we’re able to do out there. At times, teams do a good job of challenging us, but just sticking with it and getting the same opportunities and just knowing maybe one time they might guard us or they might be on our play, but as long as we’re able to keep grinding on it and stick with what we know to do, eventually it’s gonna open up.”
And it did. The Eagles put up 76 points in their next two games. They now find themselves in a first-place tie with the Cowboys, and the offense appears to be on a roll. Read more »
DeSean Jackson was bouncing with the music.
Practice was in the bubble Wednesday and the giant speakers were pumping in some sort of bad remix as the players shuffled to their appropriate spots for the next period. Jackson lightly made his way through the crowd, talking as he moved. He came across Roc Carmichael, and the two did one of those involved, synchronized hand slaps. A word, and then Jackson bounced on.
It’s little things like that.
He used to brood quite a bit. The mercurial receiver often took a knee away from the rest of the pack during practice. The look, intentional or otherwise, seemed to read: “No Visitors Welcome.” That was definitely the vibe at his locker stall as well. Jackson would have his back turned, hood up and scowl on when the media was nearby. Requests for a word would at times be met with a mumble and a dart towards the nearest exit.
The guard is down now, at least for the most part. The furrowed brow has receded, replaced by a more peaceful look. The bubble that kept him at a distance – from reporters and management and even his own teammates to a degree – has popped. Read more »