Weekend Reading: Foles, Senior Bowl Studs

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A few links to pass along to get you through the weekend.

Tedy Bruschi unveiled his second annual  “All-Bruschi Team,” which recognizes some of the less-heralded players that are “flag carriers you need in order to win games.” Nick Foles is his quarterback.

Foles was the most efficient quarterback in the NFL this year. He led the league in passer rating and passing yards per attempt, and he threw only two interceptions. This is no dink-and-dunk quarterback; he will take you deep and make you pay. Foles led the Eagles to the NFC East title despite entering the year knowing Michael Vick was the starter. Once Vick went down, Foles stepped in and didn’t look back. The Eagles might have found their franchise quarterback.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Too Soon To Elevate Foles

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One of the great things about the NFL is how one week, one series, one pass can alter perception.

How many times have you gone into a Sunday feeling one way about a team or player, only to walk away with a fresh perspective? Sometimes, that happens even if the team or player in question isn’t part of the proceedings. Take Nick Foles, for instance.

Even though he hasn’t played  since January 4th, the conversation around Foles continues to evolve as the playoffs unfold. He is being compared to Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson — in many circles, favorably. An argument I have heard several times since the NFC Championship Game is that Kaepernick and Wilson are beneficiaries of a strong supporting cast, and that Foles would be as successful (maybe more successful) if he was backed by the type of nasty defense that the Niners and Seahawks enjoy. Kaepernick’s three turnovers on San Francisco’s final three drives in the NFC Championship game are helping to fuel this conversation.

It’s a dangerous leap to make. Read more »

10 Observations: An Eagles Slant To the Playoffs

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Here are 10 observations with an Eagles slant from Sunday’s conference title games:

1. I think if the Seahawks and 49ers played 10 times, they would probably split five and five. Or maybe San Francisco would win six and Seattle would win four. But the Seahawks made the big play at the end to advance. If Broncos-Seahawks comes close to being as entertaining as the NFC title game, we’ll all be happy. Denver opens as a 2.5-point favorite. My initial thought? Peyton Manning, for as well as he played yesterday, is going to have a tough time against that Seattle defense. On the other hand, while the Seahawks’ offense got things going in the second half, they have been up-and-down on that side of the ball. I think we have ourselves a good matchup for Super Bowl XLVII. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: How Far Away Are They?

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Before we get started: DeSean Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl on Friday. He replaces Andre Johnson, who is not participating because of an unspecified injury, according to the league.

Jackson is the fifth Eagle selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, joining LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Nick Foles and Evan Mathis. Peters has opted not to play in the game.

Now onto the mailbag: Read more »

Crystal Ball: Michael Vick

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The Eagles have eight players that are set to become unrestricted free agents: Jeremy MaclinRiley CooperMichael VickNate AllenDonnie JonesKurt ColemanColt Anderson and Clifton Geathers.

Tim and Sheil will look at one free agent per day and give their take on what should and what will happen with these players. Maclin was up first. And they tackled Cooper yesterday. Now it’s onto Vick. Read more »

10 Observations: An Eagles Slant To the Playoffs

NFL: Divisional Round-New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

The Eagles did not play this weekend, but like many of you, I spent 12-plus hours in front of the TV watching the divisional-round games. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 observations with an Eagles slant.

1. The four winning quarterbacks – Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick and Peyton Manning – completed, on average, 15.5 passes in their victories. And no quarterback threw for more than 230 yards. Wilson went 9-for-18 for 103 yards, completing just two passes in the second half. Brady went 13-for-25 for 198 yards; the 13 completions were his fewest ever in a playoff win he started/finished.

The talking heads like to remind us constantly that “it’s a passing league.” And in many ways, there’s truth to that statement. All four teams still alive finished in the top eight in passing during the regular season, according to Football Outsiders. But it’s also true that teams that can find different ways to win give themselves the best chance to advance in the postseason. Read more »

All-22: Why the Eagles’ Offense Stalled

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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 »

Kelly: Foles Is the Guy Going Forward

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

On the surface, questioning whether Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles in 2014 might seem silly.

The 24-year-old just put together a season in which he led the league in yards-per-attempt and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 25+ touchdowns and three or fewer interceptions. Foles’ 119.2 passer rating was the third-highest of any QB all-time for a single season.

But still, considering he is not someone Chip Kelly hand-picked, the question was worth asking.

As you build the roster this offseason, are you planning to have Foles as the starting quarterback going forward?

Yeah,” Kelly said. Read more »

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