What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
The Eagles stand pat in the sixth position of NFL.com‘s power rankings:
Is it fair to suggest that, just maybe, some of the oomph behind the genius of Chip Kelly’s offensive revolution stemmed from a healthy offensive line? LeSean McCoy, who picked up 5.1 yards per carry last season, is sitting on a Trent Richardson-esque average of 2.9 in 2014. All-Pro guard Evan Mathis is currently on IR-recall while he recovers from a sprained MCL. Center Jason Kelce, who suffered an abdomen injury in Week 3, is trying to get back by Week 10. And sixth-man Allen Barbre is done for the season. Brent Celek has been spotted essentially playing the role of right tackle on run plays. Not even Steve Van Buren could run behind this line.
Conor Orr of NFL.com writes about Nick Foles‘ continuing development and Pat Shurmur‘s take on what he’s seen:
While the act of adding up total games played and downgrading a player’s experience is often a cop-out, Shurmur makes a solid point. Foles rode the wave of one of the NFL’s most innovative offenses in recent memory in 2013. The rest of the league was, in some aspect, unprepared each week to face him.
“Everybody’s still hung up on 27 and two,” Shurmur said. “We’re a different team. We have different players in there. We’re playing different opponents, who are playing us differently.”
Now, Foles is learning to deal with some of the same problems he encountered as a rookie. The TD-INT ratio has come back down to earth, and so has the adjusted yards per pass attempt, which ballooned to 10.5 yards last year and is now back to 6.5.
At some point, Eagles fans were due to see this period of continued development.
NFL Media Senior fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano posted his “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 6” for fantasy football quarterbacks in which he touted Eli Manning and was wary of Nick Foles:
Manning didn’t put up a great line last week (15.70 points), but he does have a nice upcoming matchup in Week 6 against the Eagles. First, Philadelphia has allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any other team in the NFL. Second, Manning has thrown for a combined 20 touchdowns in his last eight games versus this NFC East rival.
Owners beware: Nick Foles vs. New York Giants
In his All-22 Analysis piece, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com examines what has brought the Birds’ offense back to Earth in the past two games:
The NFL is full of bright football minds, so it rarely takes long for astute coaches to adjust to personnel/schemes when they’ve had enough time to study the film and assess tendencies. Defensive coordinators spent the offseason breaking down Foles’ play within Kelly’s system and crafted effective solutions to deal with the Pro Bowl quarterback.
From a scouting perspective, defensive coordinators understand that Foles is a limited athlete without the speed, quickness or agility to threaten the edge as a runner. Thus, they are ignoring him on the zone-read and committing more defenders to attackLeSean McCoy in the run game. Against the pass, defensive play callers are using more blitzes, stunts and games to create penetration up the middle, leading to Foles throwing balls with defenders in his face. As a result, Foles is fading away on his throws and delivering floaters to his receivers over the middle.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com picks this week’s winners and losers where the Eagles find themselves on the negative end of the spectrum:
Cogent Eagles analysis: There’s just no way to make sense of this team. You can make the case that they are 4-1 despite all their offensive line injuries and shaky play by Foles — that has the makings of a team with major room for improvement. You can also make the case that no one on their defense scares opponents and that their special teams dominance can’t last. Foles’ play was poor even when the line was healthy in Week 1. This team could go in any direction, but it’s hard to imagine Chip Kelly letting it sink.
The Birds fly up two spots to fourth in ESPN.com’s power rankings:
Were you expecting a down year for the NFC East? If so, the first five weeks have been a revelation.
The division’s top three teams — Philadelphia, Dallas and the Giants — have a combined 11-4 record. ESPN’s Power Panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) has been onboard with the Eagles (No. 4) all season, but their closest competition has risen from sizable depths.
The Cowboys, No. 22 in Week 3, are now No. 6. The Giants, buried at No. 30 after an 0-2 start, are No. 13. The opportunity is there for both teams to make further gains in Week 6, as the Giants travel to Philly and Dallas plays at No. 1 Seattle.
No matter what happens, the NFC East — save for the Redskins (No. 26) — appears poised to overachieve. It’s already come a long way in a short time.
Unimpressive win over the lowly Rams. They need to find a way to get LeSean McCoy on track.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has moved the Eagles up one spot to sixth in his power rankings:
They are finding ways to win games, but they are not playing well. That has to change this week against the Giants.
Pro Football Talk bumps the Birds up one spot to fifth in their Week 5 power rankings:
So which team in the NFC East will sign LeSean McCoy after he’s cut in the offseason?
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.