What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina - USA Today

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina – USA Today

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Peter King of The MMQB thinks Mark Sanchez could end up staying in Philadelphia:

“We’ll never know how it would have played out if I stayed [with the Jets],” said Sanchez. “That’s okay. I loved my time there. I’m a pretty positive guy, as you know. When I got hurt, the only thing I cared about was trying to get better every day. I never got caught up in the other stuff.”

I do believe he’s the only one who didn’t. Sanchez is only 27 (he turns 28 next week), with four playoff wins on his résumé. A good half-season here and Sanchez could write the ticket the Jets never got to cash. He’s on a one-year contract, but I won’t be surprised if he stays in Philadelphia because of his affection for Kelly, the fact that Foles’ starting position isn’t set in stone, and because of the uncertainty of so many quarterback situations around the league.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland weighs in on Sanchez and Nick Foles:

The perpetual question is whether he’s an above-average starting quarterback or a guy who happened to fall into the NFL’s best offensive system.

Sanchez will be an interesting data point in that discussion, regardless of whether he succeeds or fails. The range of possibilities for Sanchez and the Eagles over the next six weeks is enormous. Sanchez could be good enough to win the starting job, usurp Foles, and totally revitalize his career. He could be so subpar that he derails Philly’s offense and drags them out of the playoffs. More likely than either is the possibility that he plays just well enough to keep the Eagles going without clearly outplaying his predecessor. Bottom line, I don’t know if they’ll be better or worse with Sanchez in the lineup, but somehow, they’ve just become even more compelling theater.

ESPN.com’s John Clayton on the Eagles’ win:

Kelly didn’t drop off the tempo, which calls for a snap before 12 or 13 seconds come off the 40-second clock. The plan is to wear out a defense. By the third quarter, the gas tanks of the Texans’ defenders started to reach empty. Already missing Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Cushing, the Texans were struggling to tackle backs, so Kelly kept calling runs. Late in the third quarter, the Eagles had a 70-yard touchdown drive on four running plays that ate up only 84 seconds of the clock. That was the game.

Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB thinks the Eagles will be fine with Sanchez:

The other factor that could benefit the Eagles going forward is that Sanchez is a much better athlete and a faster runner than Foles. I always thought Philadelphia was held back because Foles isn’t really a threat to run on the read-option, but a quarterback’s decision-making in the passing game trumps all. Kelly’s scheme runs optimally with a true dual threat at quarterback. By having the threat of a running quarterback, the defense has to worry about one more gap that they wouldn’t have to mind with Foles under center. That allows them to crash against the run. While Sanchez isn’t exactly Marcus Mariota, his presence will create a little more space in the run game. That might have been a small factor in Philadelphia rushing for 190 yards in Houston, their second-highest total of the season.

Robert Mays of Grantland likes what he’s seeing out of Jeremy Maclin:

He is clearly the Eagles’ no. 1 receiving option, and as Philly gets at least some of its offensive line back,1 some more success in the running game should open things up for Maclin even more. It’s always fun to see players take a chance on themselves and have it go well, and there’s no better example than Maclin running past the Texans defense again and again yesterday.

SI.com’s Don Banks on the loss of DeMeco Ryans:

The greater concern in Philadelphia is probably the status of inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans. He left the game on a cart in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, and at least one postgame report termed it an Achilles injury. If Ryans is lost for the season, he’ll be tougher to replace than Foles. Reserve linebacker Casey Matthews would probably slide into Ryans’ spot.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com on the Eagles’ QB situation:

It looks like Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has a broken collarbone, which will shelve him for a long time and maybe the season. Mark Sanchez replaced him against the Texans and threw two touchdown passes and two picks. The Eagles lead the NFC East, but it could be up to Sanchez now. We will see if Chip Kelly’s scheme can work with any quarterback.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks the Eagles are still the favorites in the NFC East:

This is Sanchez’s chance to change the path of his NFL career. He could earn himself a starting job in 2015 with a big stretch run, possibly even in Philadelphia. We still see this team as the favorite to win the NFC East.

John Breech of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles an A for their Week 9 performance:

Just when you’re ready to write off Mark Sanchez’s career, he goes out and wins an actual NFL game. In the Eagles’ win over Houston, Sanchez threw two touchdown passes for the first time since 2012. America could be getting a heavy dose of Sanchize-style football if Nick Foles’ injury is serious.

If the season ended today, the Eagles would have the No. 3 seed and host the Seattle Seahawks.