What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here is a roundup of national media links from this week.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com says the Eagles can still run the read option with Nick Foles:
Although Foles definitely is not a dangerous runner like Vick, the Eagles will continue to use the read option. The simple threat of the quarterback keeping the ball or firing a bubble screen to the perimeter is enough to keep a handful of defenders from pursuing the ball aggressively, which leads to bigger running lanes on the front side.
ESPN.com has the Eagles up six spots to No. 21 in its power rankings:
What does the loss of Michael Vick mean to the Eagles? Maybe nothing this week in Tampa, but next week’s game against Dallas has serious implications in a wide-open NFC East.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 23rd:
If you’re an Eagles fan — or just think the NFC East stinks — you have to be encouraged by the way Nick Foles stepped in and played against the Giants on Sunday. Completing 16 of 25 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns — in a divisional game on the road, no less — is clutch. That’s especially true when one considers that Michael Vick had been getting the majority of the reps in practice. We’ll see if Foles can keep things going; he’s likely to get the start with Vick’s hamstring acting up. Philadelphia showed some resilience not seen in successive losses to the Chiefs and Broncos.
Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com looks at Tom Coughlin’s decision to accept a holding penalty against the Eagles in the first half:
Coughlin took the penalty because he knew Chip Kelly would go for it on fourth-and-4 from the Giants’ 47! Almost any team should go for it in this situation, but especially the Eagles, who entered the contest with the league’s No. 2 offense and last-ranked defense. That it never occurred to professional football announcers, one a former NFL head coach, that a team might do anything other than punt on fourth down is an indicator of football orthodoxy.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland on Coughlin’s decision to call timeout and then challenge a LeSean McCoy catch:
After the Eagles converted a third-and-10 on their own 27-yard line early in the third quarter for an 11-yard gain, Coughlin’s Spidey Sense started to tingle. Sensing a chance to make a play, he called a timeout to get more time to review LeSean McCoy’s catch. Then, having reviewed the evidence, Coughlin decided to throw his challenge flag to overturn what was a relatively meaningless play. The Eagles had the ball only on their own 38-yard line, and given how prone to big plays these two defenses are, the field position the Eagles gained from the conversion was relatively meaningless. Forcing Philly to punt, in the bigger scheme of things, wasn’t going to have a huge impact on New York’s chances of winning the game.
The MMQB.com’s Peter King likes what he sees from one Eagles rookie:
Zach Ertz is growing on me. Good, energetic tight end in the Chip Kelly offense.
Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 22nd:
You know that rule that you don’t lose your starting job due to injury … well, we are about to find out if Chip Kelly buys into that philosophy. Nick Foles entered for the injured Michael Vick in the second quarter and finished with two touchdowns and nearly 200 yards passing.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com has the Eagles 23rd:
The No. 1 rushing team in the NFL with 187 yards a game has to support a shaky defense and they may have to do it without Michael Vick for a while.
Frank Schwab of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner has the Eagles at No. 20:
Nick Foles has a great chance to solidify himself as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback. If he plays well, there’s no reason to turn back to Michael Vick.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles at No. 20:
“We’re 2-0 against the NFC East” doesn’t have quite the caché it used to.
According to Football Outsiders, Foles was the sixth-best QB in Week 5, and Vick was 13th:
In one stretch over the third and fourth quarters, Foles went 0-for-5 with a sack. When Foles and the offense next took the field, the Eagles were only ahead by one point. From that point forward, Foles went 4-of-4 for 69 yards with two touchdowns, plus a 27-yard DPI, and the Eagles won by 15.
Vick only threw for three first downs on the day, which totaled 92 yards. His other 11 pass plays netted 13 yards. He also ran seven times for 79 yards and five more first downs, with four runs of 10 yards or more, capped off by a 34-yarder.