With Super Bowl 50 just five days away, there’s plenty being written about the Panthers and Broncos, but there’s also a bevy of reading about a few former Eagles getting ready to do battle out in California. We’ve put together a compilation of the best reading you may have missed.
A pair of former Eagles playmakers faced off on Sunday when LeSean McCoy and the Bills battled Jeremy Maclin and the Chiefs in a fight for playoff picture relevancy. Maclin and Kansas City prevailed, 30-22, on the back of an impressive outing from the wideout.
Maclin caught nine passes for 160 yards and a touchdown, propelling the Chiefs’ offense, while McCoy had 101 total yards and a receiving TD.
“[Maclin] made the Bills pay for their decision to single-cover him early in the game,” ESPN’s Adam Teicher writes. “He caught a 37-yard pass to set up Kansas City’s first touchdown and scored their second one on a 41-yard catch. He finished with nine catches and a season-high 160 yards.”
Maclin now has 57 catches for 772 yards and three touchdowns this year. He has over 140 receiving yards more than the Eagles’ leading pass-catcher, Jordan Matthews, and has already eclipsed Kansas City’s leading receiver from last year, Dwayne Bowe.
As the Eagles rested during the bye week, plenty of former Birds around the league picked up wins, including one European victory.
Here’s an update on the Eagles’ offseason departures. Read more »
As the St. Louis Rams handed the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the season, former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles led the charge with three touchdown passes.
“In an ideal world of Rams football, this is what it’s supposed to look like,” Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Dispatch wrote after St. Louis’s win. “A defense and special teams unit that create turnovers and give up points grudgingly.
“And don’t forget Foles, who squeezed those three touchdown passes out of just 24 throws en route to a 126.9 passer rating.”
Through four games, Foles and the Rams are 2-2 and one game back in the NFC West. Foles has completed 63 percent of his passes for 815 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, and a 96.5 quarterback rating.
Here’s a recap of how the rest of the Eagles’ offseason departures are faring after Week 4. Read more »
While the Eagles’ offensive line has struggled with technique issues and execution through the first two weeks of the regular season, another former player is having similar troubles out west.
The Broncos have pulled out two dramatic wins to start the year, but the offensive line in front of an aging Peyton Manning, including former Eagle Evan Mathis, has been less than stellar, the Denver Post’s Troy Renck writes.
“The addition of Evan Mathis, an all-pro performer, was supposed to stabilize the group,” Renck writes. “The Ravens and Chiefs are stout up front, but the Broncos shouldn’t have this many mistakes and missed blocks.” Read more »
As the Chiefs and Rams faced off in the final week of the preseason, Andy Reid and Jeremy Maclin were both asked about St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles, whom Reid coached and Maclin caught passes from during their careers in Philadelphia.
ESPN’s Nick Wagoner writes that the two had nothing but positive things to say about the former Eagles quarterback, who was jettisoned to the Rams this spring in exchange for Sam Bradford.
“You are asking one of Nick Foles’ biggest fans,” Reid said. “He is smart, he has good accuracy, and he is a big body. A big strong guy, and he is young. He is going nowhere but up here. He is surrounded by good coaches and good skill players. I think he will do fine. He has to get back into this system. And it is just a matter of time.” Read more »
Chip Kelly calls them self-inflicted wounds, or SIWs. It refers to preventable actions (turnovers, penalties, drops, etc.) that make it more difficult to achieve your objective.
That was the term that came to mind Sunday afternoon while pondering the state of the nickel position/secondary after JaCorey Shepherd went down. An MRI today will reveal the severity of the right knee injury. According to Les Bowen, they are checking to see if the rookie out of Kansas tore his ACL. We’ll wait to see just how long the Eagles will be without Shepherd’s services. At the very least, this is a scare that forces you to examine the depth. At worst, the news that is coming down will put that depth to the test. Read more »
NFL analyst Mike Mayock joined the Mike Missanelli show this week to offer his thoughts on the 2015 Eagles. Even with some question marks surrounding the quarterback position, he is bullish on what this team can accomplish in the regular season.
“Regardless of who plays quarterback this year, I think they’re going to make the playoffs,” Mayock proclaimed. “I think the differentiation of the quarterback position starts in the playoffs when you play quality defenses every week.”
Mayock believes Sam Bradford‘s struggles in St. Louis were due to an unimpressive supporting cast and feels he will fit in much better in Chip Kelly‘s offense.
“I think they have a better offensive line than [Bradford] is used to and I think they’re going to run the hell out of the football,” said Mayock. “Last year, there were only three teams in the league that ran the ball more than they passed the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles were one of those teams this year.” Read more »
Former scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah joined Rob Ellis and Harry Mayes on 97.5 The Fanatic to offer his thoughts on the state of the Eagles heading into camp.
Nelson Agholor came up in the conversation. While Jeremiah might not be totally on board with the NFL exec that thinks Agholor is a number one receiver, he is high on the former USC wideout.
“I think he’s a big-time guy. Ideally to me he is a great number two, I don’t think in terms of the size and physicality that I would want in my number one guy, but I think he can be an outstanding number two,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys with his skill set that have been very, very successful. Emmanuel Sanders is who he reminds me of, and we’ve seen what he can do both in Pittsburgh and out in Denver. I think he’s outstanding. He’s very tough and he’s very instinctive and I think he’s one of these guys that we saw last year where all these rookies jumped right in, no adjustment period; I think he’s going to fall into that [category]. He’s going to jump right in and be ready to go.”
Read more »
Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell, a Charleston native, discussed last week’s shootings in Robert Klemko’s Monday Morning Quarterback:
“When it happens in your hometown, you have a different perspective,” Maxwell told me by phone Thursday night. “When it’s about race, it affects everybody. Honestly, that could’ve been my family. He could’ve walked in anybody’s church and did that. It’s hard to accept that.”
“At first you feel shock. Anger. Disgust. Then the next question is, what do we do about it?” he said. “How do we stop things like this from happening?” Read more »