Wake-Up Call: Sanchez, Eagles Not Good Enough

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

The game had morphed into a shootout and it was Mark Sanchez‘s turn to fire.

After a dismal start in which the home team put up exactly zero yards on six plays in the first quarter, the offense clicked in and the Eagles rattled off 24 straight to turn a 21-0 deficit into a three-point lead.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys answered with an eight-play, 78-yard drive capped by DeMarco Murray‘s two-yard plunge that put Dallas back on top, 28-24 late in the third quarter. On the ensuing possession, Sanchez dropped back on 3rd-and-7 and located an open Zach Ertz over the middle. The pass was too far out in front of the second-year tight end, though, and the ball glanced off his outstretched hands and was intercepted by safety J.J. Wilcox. The Cowboys turned that into seven, extending their advantage to 35-24. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: McCoy Expects Seattle Influence

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

By the time Sunday night rolls around, the Cowboys will have had 16-plus days to stew over their embarrassing Thanksgiving loss to the Eagles. And because their Week 14 game against Chicago was played on a Thursday, they were allotted nine days to try and come up with ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

In order to change their fortunes they will have to have to do better against LeSean McCoy, who busted loose for a season-high 159 yards on 25 carries (6.4 avg.). The Eagles finished with 256 rushing yards in all en route to their 33-10 win.

A heavy-hearted McCoy had a much harder time this past week against Seattle, rushing for 50 yards on 17 carries (2.9 avg.) while losing a key fumble to open the second half. McCoy thinks  Rod Marinelli will apply some of Seattle’s tactics to try and limit the Eagles’ ground attack this week.
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Video: Foles Making Strides

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

There is still a major hurdle to clear, but Nick Foles is showing signs of progress.

The quarterback has been increasing his activity during training sessions of late, running and throwing and catching passes on the side as the rest of the team practices around him. This week he has jumped into some individual drills, like the one below from earlier today. Read more »

Notes: Dallas Prep, Foles And A New Safety

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It is not all that common to be playing a division opponent twice within the span of three weeks, so many of the questions posed to Chip Kelly Wednesday were about the potential obstacles or unique challenges that such a situation presents.

The head coach didn’t hold anything back the first time around in anticipation of this matchup, he said, and doesn’t intend on drastically changing his approach the second time around.

“Just go play. I think you can paralyze yourself by trying to overanalyze it,” said Kelly. “I would imagine DeMarco Murray is probably going to carry the ball a lot against us in our game. I think they’ll probably try to throw the ball to Dez Bryant in our game. They’ll probably try to find the tight end a lot in probably third-down situations in our game. We’re going to give the ball to LeSean McCoy in our game. It’s kind of similar to what happened the last time. It’s really about going out and executing and which team can execute better and which team can block better and which team can tackle better.” Read more »

Chip Stands Up For Cooper

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly agreed with Riley Cooper’s postgame analysis: Mark Sanchez‘s fourth-quarter interception was on the quarterback and not the receiver.

“[Sanchez] got pushed off the point. Coop was exactly where he needed to be. The ball was thrown behind him,” said Kelly.

So Cooper didn’t hurt them there. It’s also true that he didn’t help the Eagles much from a production standpoint Sunday, finishing with three catches for 13 yards. He’s had his share of quiet days this season, and against defenses a lot less vaunted than Seattle’s. That’s been especially true since Sanchez  replaced Nick Foles. Over the last six games with Sanchez at the helm, Cooper is averaging three catches for 28 yards.

Kelly stood up for Cooper at his day-after press conference, noting that he had 47 catches all of last year and has 46 this season with three games to play. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Tempo No Help Against Seahawks

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

A few sharp-tongued members of the Seattle defense let it fly in the locker room following a dominant performance against the Eagles’ highly touted offensive attack.

Linebacker K.J. Wright called the Eagles “a pretty simple team.” Defensive end Michael Bennett said the Philadelphia police should be notified because Mark Sanchez is “trying to impersonate a good quarterback.” And Richard Sherman took a shot at the Eagles’ receiving corps while throwing some love in the direction of his childhood friend, DeSean Jackson.

“I think they miss him tremendously. He was an incredible threat — still a threat in this league,” said Sherman of Jackson. “A player like that a defense has to account for. You have to be worried about where he is at all times. Right now we can stand up across the board and play.”

The defending champs had room to criticize after holding the Eagles to just 139 yards of total offense en route to a 24-14 win Sunday. That’s the lowest offensive output in Chip Kelly‘s six years as a head coach.
Read more »

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