What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s what the national media are saying about Nick Foles and the Eagles this week.

In a National Football Post article, Jason Cole says Foles’ performance is the result of rule changes that help offenses:

While Manning’s achievement didn’t raise eyebrows, Foles’ record effort should. That’s because not only did Foles do it, he did it in only three quarters. By the fourth quarter, Foles was out of the game in favor of backup quarterback Matt Barkley and after Foles had run up 406 yards on 22 of 28 pass attempts. By the end of the third quarter, wide receiver Riley Cooper had already set career highs with 139 yards and three scores.

Perhaps just as stunning is that Eagles coach Chip Kelly actually backed off, but that’s a story for another time.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com thinks Kelly got “snookered’ by Bill Belichick in the Isaac Sopoaga trade:

Why the Eagles, ranked last in defense, should be trading a defensive starter for next to nothing is anyone’s guess. Looks like neophyte Kelly got snookered by veteran Belichick. The trade may become another knock against the former Oregon coach. First Kelly’s offense show signs of being a flash in the pan, then Kelly can’t make up his mind about quarterbacks, next he’s fleeced in a trade. Maybe Kelly can get Nicholls State, Oregon’s 2013 opening opponent, on the Eagles’ schedule for next year. And don’t we wish Nicholls State played Nichols College.

Considering the Nesharim had laid eggs in their previous two games, it was defensible for Kelly to keep the pedal down in the second half of Philadelphia’s destruction of Oakland. But one wonders — was Kelly trying to get his team to believe its season can be saved, or does he think there are style points in the NFL?

Editor’s Note:As far as I can tell, the above two paragraphs were written in a serious tone. This was not a satirical piece.

LeSean McCoy and Evan Mathis make Greg A. Bedard’s midseason All-Pro list on TheMMQB.com:

McCoy leads the league with 777 rushing yards, and he’s fumbled just once. It won’t be long before critics knock McCoy as a “system back,” but Shady is just tremendous, especially in space. The only question is if he can last the season as the workhorse.

Mathis is simply the best guard in the game, and it’s not even really close. Just a phenomenal athlete and top-notch technician.

ESPN.com moves the Eagles up to No. 20 in its power rankings:

Chip Kelly says the Eagles’ starting quarterback is still based on health. Maybe an eighth touchdown pass would have clinched the starting job for Nick Foles.

Peter King of TheMMQB.com weighs in on the Eagles’ QB situation:

As for the Eagles’ quarterback-of-the-future thing, that’s for another day. Kelly’s not showing his hand now, and Sunday certainly wasn’t enough to make Kelly, owner Jeff Lurie or GM Howie Roseman think Foles is the next Ron Jaworski. But I’ve maintained all along that Kelly doesn’t need a quick-twitch quarterback with Mike Vick’s running ability to be a good quarterback in this system. It’d be nice to have great athleticism, sure. But the most important thing is a quick-twitch brain, with fast decision-making ability and efficiency. Foles is completing 63 percent, which is good, not great. He has 13 touchdowns and no interceptions, which is very good, of course. His 8.7 yards-per-attempt is good, and his 127.4 rating ridiculously high.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report says Foles’ record is garbage:

There will be a lot of analysis about what Nick Foles did on Sunday involving plenty of data and declarations. Some will say it’s a validation of Chip Kelly’s offense. Others will say Foles is the next great quarterback in the sport.

The truth is, all of that is garbage.

In tying the NFL record for touchdowns in a game with seven, what Foles did was take advantage of today’s NFL. That isn’t hard. You know why it isn’t hard? Because Nick freakin’ Foles did it.

KC Joyner of ESPN.com considers Foles a one-hit wonder:

First, the Raiders contest had more to do with Oakland’s defenders looking like a bad slapstick comedy troupe than it did Philadelphia’s offense hitting on all cylinders. Two of the touchdown passes occurred on plays in which the cornerback fell down and two others were the direct result of a blown coverage. Those types of errors happen from time to time in the NFL, but they don’t happen on anywhere close to a regular basis and therefore aren’t likely to recur down the road.

Doug Farrar of SI.com recognizes Fletcher Cox for his second-year performance:

We’re cheating a bit with Cox, who’s played inside and outside and is currently an end in Billy Davis’ 3-4 defense, but he’s got three sacks, seven QB hits and 30 hurries from that position. He also amassed four sacks as a tackle in whatever the heck the Eagles were doing on defense in 2012.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 21st in his power rankings:

While we were typing the Eagles blurb, Nick Foles threw his 23rd touchdown pass against the Raiders. As you know, the league reviews all scoring plays, so we’re going to move on to the Bills section in the meantime.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 19th:

The Eagles averaged just five points per game over the previous two weeks but exploded for 49 points after running just 45 plays against the Raiders on Sunday. That’s efficient.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 21st:

Nick Foles. Nick Foles. Nick Foles. How do you contain him?

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 19th:

Owner Jeffrey Lurie says he’s looking for a franchise quarterback. Based on Sunday, he may have found one.

Football Outsiders ranked Foles’ performance No. 1 among QBs in Week 9:

Ignoring pass interference calls, the average quarterback this season is completing 39 percent of his Deep passes (those that travel at least 16 yards past the line of scrimmage) for 11.2 yards per throw. Foles completed 7-of-9 deep balls against Oakland for 241 yards and three touchdowns. He threw one other pass that went exactly 15 yards downfield. It was caught in the end zone for another touchdown.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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