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 »
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 »
The Eagles have eight players that are set to become unrestricted free agents: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Michael Vick, Nate Allen, Donnie Jones, Kurt Coleman, Colt 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 »
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 »
When Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett was watching film of the Saints’ first-round playoff game against the Eagles, he came away unimpressed with the effort of the Birds against the run. Read more »
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 »
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 »
Photo | Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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.
Read more »
The Westlake boys met near midfield once the game was in the books. Drew Brees, the elder by 10 years, had just secured the sixth postseason win of his career and was moving on in search of his second Lombardi Trophy. Nick Foles was heading home. That was the reality of the situation.
But that wasn’t the whole story. Foles had just completed a season in which he finished with the third-highest quarterback rating (119.2) in NFL history. He established a record for best touchdown/interception ratio (0.63%) all while leading the league in yards/pass attempt. He thrived in a system that wasn’t supposed to suit him and helped the Eagles capture a division title.
Foles had two interceptions on the entire season while tossing 29 touchdown passes. Brees had two picks in the first half alone Saturday night. Read more »
First-and-10 from the Saints’ 15, late in the opening quarter. Drew Brees had just thrown his first interception of the day, the crowd was smelling blood and the Eagles were threatening. It was the first chance to establish superiority. Instead, a nightmare sequence developed.
Brent Celek was dropped for an eight-yard loss on a screen play. Then Nick Foles, with all day to throw, never pulled the trigger and took an 11-yard sack. A play later, Alex Henery knuckled a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left.
“Part of the turnover thing as I’ve talked about before is if our defense does create them we need to do something with them offensively, and we didn’t capitalize the way we need to when our defense creates turnovers like that,” said Chip Kelly.
What went wrong? Let’s take a look: Read more »