What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here’s a roundup of what the national and local media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland sizes up the division races:
Eagles-Cowboys is shaping up to be a titanic tilt. They will play twice in 17 days, with the Cowboys at home on Thanksgiving followed by the return trip in Week 15. I give the slightest edge to the Eagles because their offensive line should be healthier than it is now, and that should get their running game going on a more consistent basis. If you thought the Cowboys were better than the Eagles, though, it would be hard to say you’re wrong.
Robert Mays of Grantland has the Eagles’ pass-rush as one of his Week 6 winners:
Philadelphia’s front came into the season as an intriguing group with a ton of talent. Last night, they put together their best game, shutting out the Giants. Right tackle Justin Pugh — who’d actually been playing pretty well — called it “the worst game I’ve ever played, hands down, not even close,” and Connor Barwin was the reason for his misery. Barwin had three of the Eagles’ eight sacks, two more tackles for loss, two hits on Eli Manning, and a forced fumble. Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, and Trent Cole got their own shots in, and Philly’s stable of interior linemen were a real pain to deal with against the run. This is a deep group that’s still young, for the most part, and they have a chance to buoy an Eagles defense that has some holes elsewhere.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com gives six notes from the Eagles-Giants game:
1. McCoy recaptured vintage 2013 form, making sharp cuts and slipping tacklers in tight spaces while averaging roughly 7.0 yards per carry. By the start of the fourth quarter, McCoy had 144 yards from scrimmage compared to 136 for the entire Giants offense. There’s nothing wrong with his game.
4. Despite a pair of interceptions that extended his NFL turnover lead, Nick Foles clearly outplayed the opposing quarterback for the first time this season. He can thank his beleaguered offensive line for taking only one hit all night.
5. Whereas the Eagles’ blocking was significantly improved, the Giants’ offensive line lost the battle in the trenches. Connor Barwin and Vinny Curry combined for five sacks, as right tackle Justin Pugh had a particularly rough evening. By the second half, Eli Manning’s footwork was noticeably affected by the pressure.
The ESPN.com staff put together game ball winners for each of the Week 6 games:
LeSean McCoy. We have to go with Shady here. You could make an argument for Nick Foles or Connor Barwin, who had three sacks. But it has been such a frustrating season for McCoy, let’s just hand him the rock one more time. — Phil Sheridan
Antrel Rolle. No Giant played well enough to deserve a game ball, but we have to give one, so mine goes to the Giants safety. Rolle had one of the team’s two interceptions of Nick Foles. He stopped Darren Sproles on a sideline play and successfully argued his way out of a face mask penalty. The Giants’ defensive captain played hard in a game that was lost early. — Dan Graziano
Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com talks about the Eagles’ quick start on offense:
The Eagles won the opening coin toss. Earlier this season when they won the toss, coach Chip Kelly chose to defer until the second half. That meant the Eagles kicked off and their opponent got the ball first. This time, Kelly took the ball. He wanted to get his offense going right away.
“We want to start faster, and we did that today,” quarterback Nick Foles said. “It helps our defense out when we can put some points on the board early. … It’s a momentum thing.”
The Giants’ approach helped Philadelphia establish McCoy and the running game, but the Eagles deserve credit for their execution, too.
“It wasn’t a spurt here and a spurt there,” Kelly said. “It was a consistent football game from start to finish. I thought LeSean did a really good job tonight. He really hit some things tonight. You saw the LeSean everybody knows he can be like.”
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reviews the game from a Giants’ perspective:
The Giants aren’t as bad as they looked Sunday night. Nor are they as good as they looked during the three-game winning streak they carried here with them on a wave of bizarre midweek trash talk. They are what we thought they were all along — a rebuilding team that’s going to show progress in spurts but isn’t likely to sustain excellence anytime soon. They’re a team unlikely to be able to survive injuries to players as important to them as Cruz and injured running back Rashad Jennings, who missed this game with a knee injury of his own. They’re good enough and well-coached enough that it’s not going to shock you to see them win any given game, yet they’re unfinished enough that they can still get their helmets handed to them by a 2013 playoff team that has as many good players as the Eagles do.
From Peter King’s ‘Ten Things I Think I Think‘ on the MMQB:
3. I think—and I wasn’t there, simply tried to divine what happened from the NBC sound and pictures—that I was so impressed with the reaction of the Philadelphia players and crowd when Victor Cruz of the Giants went down with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee Sunday night. This is not a friendly rivalry. In fact, if you were in the New York/Philadelphia corridor last week, you’d have thought a playground fight between 12-year-olds had broken out. The Eagles and Giants set an NFL record for juvenile sniping in a week. Thus, I was heartened to see players kneeling from both sides, praying for Cruz, and impressed that so many Eagles spoke of Cruz with such emotion after the game.
Jeff McLane of the Inquirer writes about how indispensable Connor Barwin is:
3. Connor Barwin is the Eagles’ most indispensible defender. In the rash of free agent signings the Eagles made in March 2013, the last key acquisition was Barwin. I can remember Howie Roseman coming down to talk to reporters afterward and saying that the deal they had negotiated was too good to pass up. And what a deal it ended up being. Barwin was arguably the Eagles’ best defender last season, but now that he’s getting to the quarterback with more regularity I don’t think it’s close. You could make the argument that Malcolm Jenkins or Fletcher Cox or DeMeco Ryans was more indispensible, but Barwin is the more irreplaceable because he’s Bill Davis’ most versatile defender. He’s the Eagles’ best outside linebacker in coverage and at setting the edge, and he’s been just as effective a pass rusher as Trent Cole and Brandon Graham through six games. Barwin leads the Eagles with six sacks – all in the last three games – and has already exceeded last season’s total of five.
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News talks about the secondary bouncing back:
The popular thinking was that if a nobody like the Rams’ Austin Davis and his receiving corps could give Fletcher and Williams fits, what was going to happen last night against Eli Manning and the Giants?
But that fear turned out to be unwarranted. Fletcher and Willliams and the rest of the secondary rebounded with solid performances against the Giants as the Eagles recorded their first shutout since 1996, a 27-0 laugher that sent them into the bye week with a 5-1 record and tied for first place in the NFC East.
Manning completed just 13 of 23 passes and was sacked six times.
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.