What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here’s a roundup of what the media are saying about the Eagles following their 37-34 win over Washington.
Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles in his Fine Fifteen at No. 6:
Nick Foles showed me a lot on Sunday, especially on a day when LeSean McCoy’s line was a bizarre 19 carries for 22 yards. Jordan Matthews came up big too. Really impressed with the Eagles’ versatility on offense, particularly when the offensive line is in shambles.
Robert Mays of Grantland offers his takeaways:
Philly is going to need more of those throws — and the ones threaded to Jordan Matthews for touchdowns — and less of Foles airmailing a wide-open Brent Celek near the goal line, because there’s a good chance they’ll be needing their passing game more than ever moving forward. Center Jason Kelce left the game with an abdominal strain, and with left guard Evan Mathis already hurt, the Eagles are now without two of the top interior offensive linemen in football. And it showed. LeSean McCoy averaged 1.2 yards per carry on his 19 rushes yesterday.
Chris Burke of SI.com on the Chris Baker hit:
The NFL tends to overdo it when it comes to protecting quarterbacks, so they certainly should not be off-limits from taking a hit or two if they’re trying to make a tackle following a turnover. Chris Baker still went over the line when he laid out Philadelphia QB Nick Foles on Sunday, peeling back to drill an unsuspecting Foles in the chest.
John Breech of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles an A for their Week 3 performance:
Chip Kelly got rid of DeSean Jackson because he thought his team could win without him and that’s exactly what the Eagles have done. In the “DeSean Jackson Revenge Bowl,” DeSean Jackson did not get revenge. Nick Foles proved he doesn’t need Jackson at all by throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post offers a list of “ifs” which he believes would have yielded a Washington victory:
If his team had not given up a 102-yard kickoff return for a score, if his quarterback had not thrown a fourth-quarter interception, if place kicker Kai Forbath had not missed a simple 33-yard field goal attempt and if 325-pound defensive lineman Chris Baker had not ignited a 92-man sideline rumble by flattening the Eagles’ quarterback near midfield, the day might have ended in victory.
In particular, if his team — and his own play calls — had been able to make just one first down to set up a potential game-tying field goal after Washington got the ball back at the Philadelphia 41-yard line with two minutes to play, then every mistake could have been forgotten and every simple sin forgiven. Even a potentially serious injury to the team’s best defensive back, DeAngelo Hall, who said, “They tell me I have a torn Achilles’,” might have receded temporarily.
Jason Reid of the Washington Post sees QB Kirk Cousins as a bright spot in Sunday’s loss:
The possibilities abound after Cousins played at a high level Sunday during an intense shootout against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles, who outlasted the Redskins, 37-34, in a game stained by a fourth-quarter brawl between the division rivals. Although Cousins shined once he took over for the injured Robert Griffin III during last week’s rout of the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars, the undefeated Eagles figured to be a better test for Cousins in Gruden’s version of the West Coast offense. Again, Cousins received strong marks while producing big numbers. One of Cousins’s favorite targets also delivered in a long-anticipated homecoming.
After the Eagles surprisingly released him in the offseason, DeSean Jackson sought a measure of revenge against his former team. Despite playing with a sore shoulder, Jackson had a big game, teaming with Cousins on a long touchdown reception. Jackson, though, didn’t get what he wanted most: a victory. Another horrendous performance on special teams was a key factor in the loss.
Justin Klugh of Philly.com talks about ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith applauding Baker’s hit on Nick Foles:
This morning, Smith announced that he was “applauding” Baker for the hit. “Didn’t bother me at all,” Smith said. “I actually loved it.”
“You are going to jog and lollygag towards the action on a football field? Shame on Nick Foles. I bet you he won’t make that mistake again. He should have known better. He deserved to get popped.”
In Stephen A. Smith’s world, the punishments for lollygagging are harsh.
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com writes about how the defense seems to get better as the game progresses, noting two fourth quarter interceptions by new safety Malcolm Jenkins:
And Sunday, they got gashed by Kirk Cousins all day but stopped the Redskins when the game was on the line.
“We don’t quit,” defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. “There’s no quit in this group. It was a bad day for us. A bunch of [long] plays, we gave up the deep ball and we can’t do that and expect to win, but they just kept fighting and fighting and fighting and we came up with a big third-down and fourth-down stop at the end when it did matter.”
Three games in, the Eagles rank 26th in the NFL in yards allowed, 30th in passing yards allowed, last in passing touchdowns allowed and 26th in points allowed.
Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB stresses how much the San Francisco 49ers need a win this Sunday against the Eagles:
The 49ers’ defense, hurting without NaVorro Bowman and, especially, Aldon Smith, hasn’t been up to its usual standards, but has played well enough to win the past two games. It’s Harbaugh, Kaepnerick and the offense that have failed to deliver. If they don’t do it Sunday against the Eagles, it may be too late.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective writes about the the statistical anomalies behind the Eagles’ 3-0 start:
Against Washington in week 3, the Eagles fell behind 17-7 before coming from behind and again emerging victorious. As a result — and after trailing the Jags 17-0 and the Colts 20-6 — Philadelphia became the first team since at least 1940 to start a season 3-0 despite trailing by at least 10 points in each game.
In fact, only three teams had ever overcome a deficit of a touchdown or greater in each of their first three games: the 2000 Rams, the 2000 Jets, and the 1960 Giants. Those teams finished the season 10-6, 9-7, and 6-4-2 respectively, which means they went just 16-17-2 the rest of the season after starting 9-0.
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and intern at Birds 24/7.