Some weekend links to pass along before the divisional round begins… Read more »
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With 3:54 left in the third quarter of last week’s playoff game against the Saints, the Eagles’ offense took the field for the ninth time.
The results of the first eight drives were ugly: six punts, one missed field goal and a touchdown. The Saints finished fourth in the regular season in scoring defense, and for much of Saturday’s game, Rob Ryan’s group got the better of the Eagles.
Nick Foles and company scored on their final three possessions to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
Defense and special teams certainly shared responsibility for the 26-24 loss, but given the way the offense had played all season, it’s worth exploring why that side of the ball struggled for the first 41 minutes of the game. Read more »
When asked why he was so confident that his program could work in the NFL, Chip Kelly offered a somewhat surprising response.
“I wasn’t confident,” he said. “I had a system and a plan that we were going to go in, but I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be until it was all finished. But I think we played sound fundamental football, and I think that’s what we preach on a daily basis to our players. I think it’s still a game of 11-on-11, and I think a lot of things we do schematically match up 11-on-11. It’s a fundamental game, and I think that’s what our coaches teach. I thought we brought in a bunch of really good teachers that could implement the plan that we had in place, and we felt this would be the best plan for us this year going forward.”
Going into next season, new faces will be added, but many of the core players from the 2013 squad will remain the same.
Keeping that in mind, I posed one simple question to the players earlier this week as they cleaned out their lockers:
What did Kelly do in Year One that makes you believe he can lead this franchise to greater heights going forward? Read more »
Chip Kelly was asked today to evaluate his first year on the job.
“I give myself a 58.8 percent,” he said.
How did you arrive at that number?
“That’s winning 10 games out of 17.”
The Eagles’ head coach addressed the media today for the last time in awhile. He has reviewed the film of Saturday night’s 26-24 loss to the Saints, mulled over the mistakes and started on an offseason plan.
“There were some plays that we talk about offensively, we left the meat on the bone a little bit,” he said. “We could have been a little bit better. There were some things defensively. We missed some tackles at times. There were a lot of positives, but they made more plays than us. The Saints did a really good job of executing, and we came up short. But there were some issues offensively, defensively and special teams that when you look at it, you wish we could have that one back.” Read more »
By Tim McManus and Sheil Kapadia
DeSean Jackson is after a new deal once again.
The 27-year-old wideout signed a five-year contract in the 2012 offseason that was valued at right around $50 million and included a $10 million signing bonus. But the guaranteed money (a cool $18 million) was all contained in the first two seasons. The rest of the contract is basically filled with option years, and they come at a steep price.
“I think my agent Joel Segal has a great plan going into this offseason. I still feel like I’m a top receiver in this league, I’ve been able to do some explosive things, and I really don’t feel like there’s a lot of receivers that are able to bring it to the field,” said Jackson at his locker stall Monday. “I definitely feel something’s deserving, so we’ll see how that plays out and hopefully we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary. But I definitely feel it’s deserving.” Read more »
No matter how disappointing Saturday’s 26-24 loss to New Orleans might have been, there is absolutely no denying the fact that the 2013 Eagles were successful, exciting and fun to watch. As much as it will pain fans to see the Saints travel to Seattle Saturday, they will look back on this season fondly — once the grief subsides.
The NFC East champions were a juggernaut in the second half of the season, winning seven of their last eight. They found a quarterback around whom they can build, received an historic performance from LeSean McCoy and learned that good health — particularly on the offensive line — can be pretty valuable as the season goes on.
Now comes the real work. Despite posting a 10-6 record, the Birds were a highly imperfect team and enter the off-season with considerable work to do if they want to have playoff success in 2014. Failure to improve could lead to the type of collapse that occurred in Houston, where the Texans went from division champs to the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. Here, by position group, is an Eagles postseason breakdown of what’s needed to allow the team to become a true Super Bowl contender.
Going into Saturday night’s matchup with the Saints, the Eagles’ defensive gameplan focused on daring Sean Payton to take the football out of Drew Brees’ hands.
New Orleans has been a pass-first offense and was playing without its leading rusher in Pierre Thomas. Unlike most weeks, Davis figured he could pay less attention to the run game and instead scheme to limit big plays in the passing game. Payton responded by handing the ball off over and over again to the tune of 36 carries and 185 yards.
“That’s on me,” Davis said. “I made the calls for the passing game to make sure we keep the big plays off us. It was a lot more split safety and a lot more pass-oriented calls, so some of the runs leaked out. I could have called more of a run-based defensive game, shut that down, but we were trying to keep the points down and the big plays off us. So that run game comes down to me, not the players.” Read more »
Here’s what we saw during tonight’s Eagles-Saints game.
* The Eagles’ offense got going in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as their season ended in a 26-24 loss to the Saints.
* Nick Foles went 23-for-33 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. In the second, he found Riley Cooper for a 10-yard score. And in the fourth, Foles hit Zach Ertz for a 3-yard TD.
* DeSean Jackson was shut out in the first half and targeted just once. It looked like Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis was on him most of the time. But in the third quarter, Lewis went out with a head injury, and with the offense needing a spark, Jackson made a great play on a 50/50 ball for 40 yards. McCoy ended up scoring from 1 yard out on the drive. On the Eagles’ next possession, Jackson had a 29-yard punt return to help set up an Eagles field goal. And in the fourth, he drew a 40-yard pass interference penalty to set up a Foles TD pass.
* LeSean McCoy had trouble getting going with 77 yards on 21 carries.
* Riley Cooper had six catches for 68 yards, but had a costly drop in the third quarter. Cooper was wide open on a crossing route on third down, but couldn’t hang on to a perfectly-placed Foles pass. The Eagles ended up punting.
A slew of franchise records were established in Chip Kelly‘s first regular season as head coach of the Eagles. A quick look at some of the accomplishments before we turn our full attention to the Saints. (Stats were compiled by the team). Read more »
Here’s a position-by-position review of the Eagles’ offensive performance against Dallas.
* It was a tale of two halves for Nick Foles. For most of the first half (12-for-16 for 197 yards), he was comfortable, decisive and on-target. In the second half (5-for-10 for 66 yards), the pressure seemed to affect him.
* Early on, Foles found Chris Polk on a wheel route for 34 yards. He put some extra zip on the ball, squeezing a pass in to Riley Cooper in between defenders for a 16-yard pickup. He stepped up, avoided pressure and found Zach Ertz for 17. Again in the face of pressure, he showed patience and hit Ertz for 12 yards on 3rd-and-7. Still in the first, Foles slid away from pressure and found DeSean Jackson for 20. In the second, his receivers helped him out with a couple of great catches, and Foles took advantage of a blown coverage on the 14-yard TD to Brent Celek. He beat the blitz with a 17-yard completion to Avant and was 8-for-9 overall against the blitz for 128 yards, per Pro Football Focus. Read more »