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 remain in the fourth sport of NFL.com‘s power rankings:
Kudos to Mark Sanchez, who capitalized on a second opportunity after a well-publicized failure with his initial team. The list of NFL players who struggled at their first stop but managed to carry on successfully in other cities includes numerous Hall of Fame and Hall of Very Good quarterbacks: Len Dawson, Earl Morrall, Billy Kilmer, Steve Young and Rich Gannon, to name a few.
Connor Orr of NFL.com talks about Jeremy Maclin being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week:
Over on the NFC side, Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin was just as much of a no brainer. The Missouri grad has been fantastic this year, especially considering the fact that he’s recovering from a serious ACL injury. Maclin helped Philadelphia squeeze by Houston on Sunday with six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has Mark Sanchez trending up in his Week 9 Winners and Losers:
Mark Sanchez: He’s taking over the quarterback-proof offense. Nick Foles hasn’t played well at all this year, and the Eagles are still in the top four in yards and points. Next stop: Matt Flynn free agent contract land!
Sanchez will take the Eagles’ job for six to eight weeks. They don’t play a pass defense ranked in the top 12 of Football Outsiders’ DVOA in that entire time. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Sanchez keeps the job into the playoffs.
Adam Rank of NFL.com discusses the QB position for the Eagles:
I have a weird suspicion Kelly wasn’t too bummed when he had to turn to Sanchez. He seems like the quarterback he would have wanted on the field all along. Remember, Kelly inherited Foles and the other guy last year. Sanchez was somebody he sought. Sure, the market was kind of thin. But the Eagles didn’t make a move for a quarterback in the NFL draft. And before you want to just claim it’s the system that makes the quarterback, may I present to you Matt Barkley.
ESPN.com bumps the Birds up one spot to fourth in its power rankings:
Mark Sanchez sighting! Sanchez was 15-of-22 for two touchdowns and two interceptions, his first two-touchdown performance since 2012 (Week 6). Could Sanchez’s success make 2014 even worse for Jets fans?
4. Philadelphia (6-2). Jeremy Maclin (six catches, 158 yards, two touchdowns) has done a great job of making a city forget about DeSean Jackson. Maclin is on pace for a 1,580-yard season.
Don Banks of SI.com puts out his Midseason Report with Pat Shurmur topping his list of offensive coordinators:
Offensive Coordinator of the Year — Pat Shurmur, Philadelphia, along with head coach Chip Kelly: The Eagles traded their top receiver of 2013 to Washington when they shipped DeSean Jackson out of town this spring. All-world running back LeSean McCoy started very, very slowly this season behind an offensive line that was decimated by injuries and suspensions in the season’s early weeks. Then quarterback Nick Foles struggled to regain his form of last season and started turning the ball over, before breaking his clavicle at Houston on Sunday. And somehow, the Eagles are still averaging 29.3 points per game and holding down first place in the NFC East at 6-2. It’s Kelly’s offense in Philly to be sure, and he calls the plays on gamedays, but the combination of he and Shurmur has done yeoman’s work so far in 2014.
Even after the win against the Texans, FoxSports.com drops the Birds two sports to fifth in the power rankings:
Just when the Eagles started to get healthier on the offensive line, injuries to their quarterbacks on both defense and offense strike. The offense didn’t skip a beat when Mark Sanchez stepped in, but replacing DeMeco Ryans on defense will be a lot harder to do.
Matt Mosley of Fox Sports Southwest asks if the NFC East could really come down to a battle of backup quarterbacks:
As ridiculous as it sounds, the Eagles have a much better backup plan with former Jets first-round pick Mark Sanchez. He performed admirably once starter Nick Foles suffered a cracked clavicle Sunday in Houston. Foles will miss at least 6-8 weeks, so it’s unlikely he’ll be ready before the playoffs.
The NFC East race will feature a 34-year-old quarterback trying to recover from two broken bones in his back against a guy who flamed out in spectacular fashion with the Jets in 2012. Romo’s definitely the better quarterback, but no one knows how much this latest back injury will hinder him in the final seven games.
The Eagles also lost starting inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans for the rest of the season. The Cowboys’ most consistent starting linebacker, Justin Durant, is also out for the season with a torn biceps. Both teams are banged up on the offensive line, so that might be a push. The Eagles have lost starting guard Todd Herremans for the season, but they have starting center Jason Kelce and left guard Evan Mathis back in the lineup.
Donovan McNabb releases his power rankings via FoxSports.com:
4. Eagles – The Mark Sanchez Era begins!
CBSSports.com bumps the Birds up one spot to fourth in its power rankings:
The Nick Foles’ injury situation will be tough to overcome. Mark Sanchez to the rescue for the next month or so.
Pro Football Talk has the Eagles at third in its power rankings:
3. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4; 6-2): Chip Kelly says DeMeco Ryans is the team’s Mufasa. Which makes sense coming from a guy who’s built a little like Pumbaa.
The Birds stand pat at fourth in USA Today‘s power rankings:
Mark Sanchez’s success (or lack thereof) will shed light on what’s more valuable: Nick Foles or Chip Kelly’s system.