Zone Read: Eagles-Packers, the Day After

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu - USA Today

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu – USA Todays

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In all likelihood, this particular line of questioning was nothing new for Mark Sanchez.

Having made 64 career starts, the Eagles’ quarterback understands there will be ups and downs, praise and criticism, wins and losses. Six days ago, the story was about second chances and reinventing himself under Chip Kelly. Today, the conversation focuses on a team that failed to measure up against one of the NFC’s best.

“Now we’re gonna find out who we are, what kind of team we have,” Sanchez said, his left hand wrapped after taking some big hits early against Green Bay. “It’s easy when you’re on the other end of this thing like we were last week. You’re on national TV, and everything’s going great. You can’t miss and score a lot of points, and defense and special teams score. That’s fun, and it’s easy. But now it’s tough. This is gonna be a really good test for this team. So I’m excited because I think we have the type of players that can bounce back from this.”

Sanchez’s final stat line read 26-for-44 for 346 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times and charged with two lost fumbles (although one and maybe both didn’t appear to be his fault).

The defense looked like a unit that had no chance against Aaron Rodgers. But in a game where the Eagles needed the offense to keep it competitive, they got a clunker from that side of the ball. Read more »

Live Chat: Eagles Vs. Packers

Nov 10, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the ball past Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (50) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 10, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the ball past Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (50) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Join Tim and Sheil for a live chat as the Eagles take on the Packers at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Numbers That Matter

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Below are three Eagles numbers that matter.

85.9 – The Birds’ chances of earning a playoff berth, according to Football Outsiders. According to the Web site, they have a 73.2 percent chance of winning the division, while the Cowboys are at 26.2 percent.

The Eagles have a 42.9 percent chance of earning a bye in the first round and a 22.5 percent chance of making it to the Super Bowl. That’s the top mark in the NFC and second in the NFL to only the Broncos.

That’s a roundabout way of saying the Eagles are well-positioned to make a run. They face the Packers, Seahawks and Cowboys (twice) in the next five weeks. Big games ahead and big expectations for this team in Chip Kelly’s second season. Read more »

All-22: On the Eagles’ Run Game Struggles

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Chip Kelly was asked earlier this week whether the win over the Carolina Panthers represented the Eagles’ most complete game of the season.

“No,” he said after a short pause. “We didn’t play well offensively at all.”

Considering Mark Sanchez posted a passer rating of 102.5 and the Eagles put 45 up on the scoreboard, Kelly’s response caught many by surprise. But the truth is the Eagles had trouble sustaining drives, with seven of 13 possessions gaining 10 yards or fewer.

To Kelly, not having an effective run game is like not having a morning cup of coffee. Regardless of what else happens, it’s likely to ruin his day. And on Monday night, Eagles running backs totaled 38 yards on 18 attempts (2.1 YPC). After the victory, the mood among the offensive linemen was different than many others in the locker room. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Panthers, the Day After

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher - USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher – USA Today

After Marcus Smith was drafted by the Eagles in the first round, but before he had ever participated in a practice at the NovaCare Complex, he received a message from Connor Barwin that gave him a good feeling about his new home.

“He texted me,” Smith recalled. “He texted me and was like, ‘We want to welcome you to the team. We can’t wait for you to be a part of what we’ve got going on.’ Ever since I came in, he took me under his wing and has been teaching me the ropes.”

Barwin has been one of the most valuable signings of the Chip Kelly era. When he first arrived, he helped organize team dinners for the defensive linemen and linebackers. Those are still going strong as the guys get together every Thursday night after practice.

For Fletcher Cox’s birthday, Barwin wheeled over a bike to surprise his teammate at his locker. He knew Travis Long would be sticking around Philadelphia during the offseason, so Barwin got him a bike too.

The 28-year-old’s value can be measured in a variety of ways. By all accounts, he’s the ultimate teammate. And in Billy Davis’ scheme, he’s asked to fulfill a variety of roles – some of which don’t produce numbers in the box score. But on Monday night, Barwin totaled 3.5 sacks and led a defensive charge that completely shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers. Read more »

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