Fool’s Gold?

Posted: December 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 147 Comments »

I’ve mentioned the Skins 2012 season as fool’s gold in some recent posts. During the offseason, Jimmy Bama wrote about how some luck was involved in their 7-game win streak. A couple of people have wondered if the Eagles could be in a similar situation this year.

First, I do appreciate the line of thinking. I’m loving the fact the Eagles are winning right now, but I have no problem with trying to figure out how much of this is good football and how much is luck. I’ll enjoy the winning no matter what, but I am curious about the future.

I think the Eagles are much different than the Skins. Let’s take a look at the 2 situations.


* Started 3-6, then won 7 games in a row.

* The Skins beat Nick Foles in his first ever NFL start. They later beat him in his 6th start.

* The Skins beat a 5-11 CLE team.

* The Skins swept Dallas, a team that was missing a ton of key players in each game.

* They beat a banged up Ravens team in OT.

* 4 of the games were at home. The road games were at CLE, at PHI and at DAL. Very favorable schedule.

* WAS only played one team with a Top 12 offense (Dallas). They didn’t play anyone with a Top 12 defense.

* This was Year 3 for the Skins under Mike Shanahan. He did have a rookie QB and RB, but Shanny had been building the team up for a couple of years. The OL still wasn’t good at pass protection. RG3 made up for a some poor blocking. He also made a good running offense into a great running offense. In the one game with Cousins at QB, the Skins ran for their 2nd lowest total of the year. And that was against a Browns team that didn’t play the run well. The only team to truly shut down the run with RG3 was PIT, which had the #2 run defense in the league.

The defense was awful. They were 22nd in Points and 28th in Yards. The Skins were middle of the pack in plays so it wasn’t as if the offense scored so quickly the defense got stuck on the field. The Skins were tied for 26th in yards per play. They were dead last in 3rd down defense. They were 17th in Red Zone defense. They were 5th in run defense, but that’s largely due to the fact that teams chose to throw the ball on their awful secondary.

* The Skins had a bunch of takeaways. And not just any takeaways. They had 5 TD drives of 25 yards or less. They were getting the ball in great field position.


* Started 3-5. Have won 5 in a row since then.

* Got lucky in missing Aaron Rodgers, Andre Ellington and Reggie Bush.

* Played winning teams in ARZ and DET. The Lions were leading the NFC North at the time of the game.

* Won in OAK and GB. Those aren’t good teams, but they are difficult places to play.

* The team is in Chip Kelly’s first year. This is still very much a team in transition.

* The offense is one of the best in the NFL. They lead the league in rushing. Nick Foles leads the league in QB rating. The Eagles lead the league in explosive plays and are on pace to have one of the highest totals ever.

The defense is down at 30th in Yards allowed. They are up at 13th in Points allowed. They are 6th in RZ defense. They are 5th in takeaways. The Eagles are tied for 17th in yards per play. The defense gives up a ton of yards because they face more plays than any other team. The Eagles have almost played 2 more games than teams in the middle of the league in plays faced.

* The Eagles have faced 3 Top 12 offenses. To be fair, GB is one of them and they had a first time player at QB. They faced one Top 12 defense – Arizona. The Raiders were up in that area at the time the Eagles played them, but they’re now down lower.

* The Eagles have gotten plenty of takeaways, but they aren’t generating points. Several of the takeaways came in the Red Zone, so they prevented points rather than creating them.

* The Eagles defense has kept the last 9 opponents to 21 or fewer points. That goes beyond luck.

We won’t know anything for sure until we see how the Eagles finish this season and then play next year, but I do think this is a better team than the Skins were/are. There are some similarities to the late winning streaks, but the Eagles are stronger along the LOS and have better young talent. I think that will help the Eagles stay good.

* * * * *

Back to the earlier Nick Foles discussion we had.

I didn’t communicate very well when I talked about wanting to see him tested by certain game situations. Some of you got the impression that I had very specific things I had to see before I could like Foles or think of him as a good player. That’s not the case.

Nick Foles has been terrific for the Eagles this year. He’s impressed all of us. I’m as happy as anyone by his development.

That said, I’m trying to judge him the way that I would a QB for another team. If Foles played for Dallas, you bet I wouldn’t be the only person wondering about different aspects to his game. We’d all be highly suspicious of this 3rd round pick that was leading the league in QB rating.

My point in wanting to see Foles deal with a 4th quarter deficit isn’t that somehow that is a test that will provide a definitive answer on whether he’s the right QB or not. That would simply give us more information in regard to what he can and can’t do.

We aren’t going to know if Foles is good enough to win a Super Bowl until he actually wins the Super Bowl. After all, there are Hall of Fame QBs who never won the big game.

One of the characteristics with QBs who do win the Super Bowl is that they can come alive in desperate situations. You never feel safe with a lead on Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. It would be great if Foles could play well all game long for every game, but that’s not realistic. We know there will be one week when he’s struggling and the Eagles are down 10 or 14 points with 10 minutes left in the game. Can Foles lead the team to points in a critical situation like that?

Foles helped in Sunday’s win by making some key throws in the 2nd half. He did lead a late comeback last year against Tampa. That was good, but Tampa was a bad team that also had the worst pass defense in the league. There was nothing on the line for the Eagles since the team was dreadful at that point. Foles was terrific, but you do have to factor in the circumstances. Let’s see him do that against a team with an average pass defense in a game that means something.

Some of you see me as being overly harsh. I’ve said this over and over, but it bears repeating. I love Foles and how he’s played, but my goal is to win a Super Bowl. I’m not looking for a pretty good QB. I’m looking for someone that looks like he’s capable of winning critical games down the stretch and in the postseason. I want a QB who can be great, but also handle difficult situations when they happen. One such situation is dealing with a 4th quarter deficit in a tough game.

Just because Foles failed to wake up and get going in the first Dallas game doesn’t mean I’m done with him. He might fail the next time the Eagles trail by 10 in the 4th quarter. That’s okay too. I’m only going to get worried when this becomes a regular pattern. The flip side is true as well. One comeback doesn’t mean Foles is set to be a great QB. It just shows that he can handle that particular situation.

As I mentioned earlier, we won’t know about Foles as a postseason QB until we see him actually play in that situation. Hopefully that will happen this year.

We might not really know about Foles for the next 4 or 5 years. Every game that goes by…every year…we’ll get another hint as to how good he can be. We’d all love answers, but for now we have to settle for hints.

I hope that makes more sense.


147 Comments on “Fool’s Gold?”

  1. 1 sprawl said at 11:42 PM on December 10th, 2013:

    Another huge difference:
    Redskins–Had their 1st round pick setup to be their starting QB from day one

    Eagles–Started the season with Michael Vick having won the quarterback battle, changed quarterbacks when he went down in game 5 and actually gave Matt Barkley a full game’s worth of play time.

    When we think back to how many wins we projected for this Eagles team, how many would’ve adjusted their total downwards if they had knowledge of that turmoil?

    It’s basically the equivalent of Cousins coming in and leading Washington to a 5-1 streak. I don’t think that was going to happen.

  2. 2 makarov123 said at 11:50 PM on December 10th, 2013:

    Good points.

    I’ll add the Eagles have a first year head coach new to the NFL, new coordinators to the team, a new offensive scheme across the board (including blocking/pass protection), switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme with less than ideal personnel, and 3 out of 4 new starters in the secondary.

  3. 3 NinjaP said at 12:13 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I also think the eagles are good down the stretch because of the play of their young guys they have picked up over the past couple years. Drafting well and developing that talent is what creates good teams. Looks like the eagles have done both of those this year.

  4. 4 Mike Flick said at 8:26 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Our last couple drafts are looking outstanding. The position coaches have done a great job at bringing out the best in those guys.

  5. 5 BobbyGL16 said at 12:21 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    “One of the characteristics with QBs who do win the Super Bowl is that they can come alive in desperate situations. You never feel safe with a lead on Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.”

    I think a problem with this is that this is not even something you can say about a player as great as Aaron Rodgers. The Packers do not have a good record when trailing in the fourth quarter with Rodgers at quarterback. A major part of it is that their defense isn’t consistently good, but the numbers speak for themselves. The times he has led his team back in the fourth have been against terrible teams.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 12:26 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Notice that I didn’t say much about winning those games. My focus was on the ability to score points and get the team back in it. In order to pull off a comeback, you do need the defense to do their part.

    The Packers are also a tough team to discuss since they generally trail so little. Rodgers went 6-10 in his first year. Since then, hasn’t lost more than 6 games. Their bad games may be really bad games. Or might be losses to the kind of teams that are so good they don’t blow leads.

  7. 7 Anders said at 5:53 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Stil Rodgers has the lowest % in those attempts while Tebow has the highest % over the last few seasons

  8. 8 Vick or Nick said at 12:33 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I like our overall team.

    I really think we are three pieces away from being top contender.

    1. Dynamic OLB pass rusher
    2. Playmaking Safety/Corner
    3. Big/Fast WR

    As of now, I’m not sure how our D would hold up against the Elite group of QBs (Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers). Probably not well.

    We need that special DB and OLB pass rusher to defend against those type of QBs. (Even then its hard).

    A 6-4 220 4.4 WR would really open up things for our running game.

    As it stands now, I’ll admit the players (mostly on D) are overachieving. Mostly due to good coaching. But then again…

    No one wants to play a hot team in December/Jan/Feb.

  9. 9 Steag209 said at 12:52 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I’d argue we need 2 more playmaking DB’s

  10. 10 A Roy said at 10:32 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I would argue we need to upgrade at CB, S, OLB on defense. And have deeper DL talent.

  11. 11 Anders said at 2:56 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Do we really need that big and fast WR?

    2012 Ravens had Boldin and Smith. Boldin is strong and heavy, but he isnt tall or fast.
    2011 Giants had Nicks and Cruz
    2010 GB SB winner had Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, both 6’0″ 195
    2008 Steelers had Holmes and Ward
    2006 Colt had Harrison and Wayne
    2005 Steelers had Ward and Randle-El
    Greatest show on turf had 2 smaller WRs.
    The Pats had some no names WRs or at least not great names in David Givens, David Patten, Deion Branch and Troy Smith

    In the last decade only 2 teams in the last decade had a big WR and neither of them was fast in 2007 Giants with Burress and 2009 Saints with Golston.

    If you notice the trend, it was more about the QB and timely defense (bend-but-dont-break there forced turnovers).

  12. 12 Sokhar20 said at 10:08 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    The 2010 Packers also had Jordy Nelson (6’3″, 217 lbs), who really broke out in that postseason run for them. His totals for the 2010 regular season weren’t great, but in the post season he accumulated 21 receptions for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns, with the Super Bowl itself having 9 of those catches for 140 yards and 1 TD. And the following season is when he went on to post 68 receptions for 1,263 yards and 15 TDs.

    So slight oversimplification.

  13. 13 Anders said at 10:13 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Still my overall point still stands. You can win long term and short term with short WRs as long as they are good and you have a good QB.

    I rather draft the better shorter WR than the big WR who cant run or use his body.

  14. 14 Sokhar20 said at 10:27 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think we’d all like to draft the guy who can play well rather than someone that can’t, yeah. πŸ˜›

  15. 15 Anders said at 10:30 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    100%, but a lot of fans seems to gush over size and not focus on actually skills. πŸ™‚
    Same way many look at Vicks athletic ability and therefor think he would be a much better fit for Kelly without actually looking at his passing ability.

  16. 16 Sokhar20 said at 10:35 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    You hit the nail on the head there. If height alone was an indicator of success, Momah would be a Pro Bowler.

  17. 17 bill said at 10:44 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think it is scheme and other personnel dependent. I would argue that, in Kelly’s scheme, it’s important to have at least one big WR getting high snap counts for blocking purposes and for match-up purposes. I know people like to talk about how someone like Maclin and Jackson can be “coached up” to be functional blockers, but watch the ‘Boy’s v. Bears game and watch Sean Lee get absolutely de-cleated on a block from a WR, protecting (IIRC) the QB from a big hit and letting him get another 5 or so yards on that run. I really don’t want Jackson trying to block Lee with a full head of steam, and I’m not sure I want Maclin in that situation, either.
    Obviously, it can be made to work with the smaller guys, but I have a feeling Kelly’s going to keep finding bigger WR and coaching up their receiving skills to have at least one of the regulars with that skill set. That bigger WR blocking some big-body LBs and safeties downfield creates a lot of “explosive plays” from runs or short passes.

  18. 18 Anders said at 10:48 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    On that block from Marshall, every single WR in the NFL can make that by just screening the guy.

    Normally a WR is never blocking a LB, but at worst a safety. At Oregon, the best blocking WR Kelly ever had was Josh Huff who is 5’11 205 lbs.

    If you need to block a LB, you will use a TE because a LB like Lee would win a normal blocking assignment against Marshall 10 out of 10. The only WR in the NFL who I think can consistently block LBs is Boldin and he is a freak.

  19. 19 bill said at 11:11 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I don’t agree. Jackson “screening” Lee on that play (Marshall blindsided him at a full run, in other words, he was not already in position to make a screen block) results in a full-speed collision between Lee and Jackson. While it still takes Lee out of the play, I don’t like putting that type of hit on Jackson, and I’m not sure Jackson makes a habit of putting himself in a position to take that kind of huge hit for a block (and I don’t blame him one bit – losing Jackson for that play is a bad risk/reward tradeoff).

  20. 20 Antani said at 11:24 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Only Boldin?

    I think the first name that comes to my mind is Megatron.

  21. 21 Vick or Nick said at 2:02 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    In my opinion, Big/Fast WR is the last missing piece for this offense. We don’t have a WR teams feel the need to double team. Djack just needs safety over the top. Not necessarily double. Cooper has been making teams pay but long term you want someone more explosive.

    Regardless, Chip Kelly likes guys who are matchup nightmares. On offense and defense. He will get more weapons on Offense to make it even more potent.

  22. 22 Anders said at 10:03 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    How is a safety over the top not a double team?

  23. 23 Vick or Nick said at 6:12 PM on December 12th, 2013:

    Sorry. I mean’t single high safety for deep routes. Not necessarily for DJack.

    You know what I mean. A guy like Calvin, Fitz, AJ Green. Maybe not even that great but good size/speed/ability to go get the ball.

  24. 24 Dominik said at 12:17 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    And please, a kick/punt returner, for god sake.

    Boykin isn’t good at it and Jackson has the potential to be great, but he loses yards way too often. But the main thing with Jackson is: you shouldn’t risk an injury with him.

    The returner would be my #4 on the list, after OLB, DB and WR (one more, so we’d have 4 good WR with DJax, Maclin, Cooper and the new one). A good return game could give this team another boost.

  25. 25 Vick or Nick said at 12:39 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Two of the worst Defensive performances this year were against the Chargers and the Broncos.

    Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning.

    The one common theme to both of them was how they both got to the line early, identified the defense, then got their team in the proper play.

    Past 7 weeks, no QB has really been able to do this.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 12:54 AM on December 11th, 2013:


    Not having Bradley Fletcher hurt vs SD. I guarantee with him we’d have allowed at least 5 fewer yards.

  27. 27 Anders said at 2:43 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    With Fletcher we might have 1 more pass breakup. Also Curry, Cox, Cole, Kendricks, Wolff, Allen and Logan wasnt playing that much or as good as they are now (The Chargers game might have been Allen’s and Kendrick’s worst game and Cole got shut down by King Dunlap)

  28. 28 mheil said at 6:32 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    another common theme was that we faced both of those QBs in our first 4 games; Denver is a better team without question, but the result might be different if we played SD again

  29. 29 BlindChow said at 7:05 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    We still had Soap for those games. Since we traded Soap, we haven’t lost a game.


  30. 30 P_P_K said at 8:54 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Our D has definitely improved but if we played them again those two veteran qbs may still shread our mediocre secondary.

  31. 31 Mitchell said at 8:54 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    You forgot we have Nate Allen though. He is a qb killer.

  32. 32 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 12:40 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Re: Foles
    My advice: Stop digging that hole, Tommy, and focus on the team itself.
    Evaluate Foles in the off-season. In the meantime, just “enjoy the ride.”

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 12:56 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I am enjoying the ride. But I’ve always got one eye on the present and one on the future. The part of me that follows the draft and free agency will always ask strange questions and think long term.

    But trust me…I’m loving this team and Foles. Good times.

  34. 34 bill said at 8:35 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    That, and you put out interesting and thought-provoking posts nearly every 24 hours for nearly 365 days/year. Can’t do that if you’re not asking a lot of questions, some of which are guaranteed to have some people upset. The sheer volume would suggest that a fair percentage is fluff – but while reading them, I’ve never seen one where I came away saying “Tommy mailed that one in.” The consistent quality here really embarrasses many of the bigger names in the field.
    My tinfoil hat theory of the day is that you’re not really who you say you are, you’re some sort of “plant” – I can’t think of any more plausible reason why someone big hasn’t put you on their staff. Granted, I’ll be a little sad when that happens, (this site is really pretty unique) but that’ll be a small part of me – the majority will be happy to see you get what you so clearly deserve.

  35. 35 P_P_K said at 8:53 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    With you on that. It amazes me that TLaw puts so much time and energy into keeping this site u and running. The dude is a superhero.

  36. 36 Mitchell said at 8:53 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Is it weird that I’m starting to love you?

  37. 37 McMVP said at 12:44 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    It makes perfect sense Tommy.

    I love what I’ve seen so far, but we all have to sit back and remember that Nick won’t have a full 16 game starting history until this reg season ends….and even then we really won’t know the full story. I’m just enjoying the ride…

    I do absolutely love his demeanor. The guy is just flat out genuine. He is a guy that looks in the mirror constantly and asks ‘what can I do better?’ I know Chip downplayed the ‘leadership’ thing in a recent PC, because he wants to build a collection of players that all do this, but that trait (personal accountability) is something that is necessary for a leader. Foles has that trait in spades.

  38. 38 Cafone said at 12:56 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    One game where Foles was impressive in a pressure situation was the first Giants game. Granted, the Giants were 0-4 at the time, but Vick went out and Foles had to come in cold and try to win the game. He performed extremely well, throwing for 2 TDs and 200ish yards. The Eagles got a lot of help from Eli, but Foles made some great TD throws and won the game.

  39. 39 TommyLawlor said at 1:04 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    That was good. And we did trail 21-19 in the late 3rd or early 4th before taking command of the game and winning 36-21.

  40. 40 Anders said at 5:50 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Last year he looked good leading us back against Tampa and even called the game winning play him self. He also played well against the redskins outside of the one under throw to Maclin, but we would still had won had Moore not dropped a sure Td pass

  41. 41 T_S_O_P said at 1:58 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Fool’s Gold, isn’t that the currency used by Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones?

  42. 42 Mike Cappelli said at 2:49 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    long may they reign

  43. 43 Anders said at 5:47 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I know Jones is dreaming of his glory holes days

  44. 44 ICDogg said at 2:06 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think It takes about 20 starts to really get a good feel for what a QB is and what he isn’t. But an encouraging picture has started to emerge, and now it’s a matter of how teams adjust to him, and how he counters. Once you see the evidence of that, you’ll know whether he is the real deal or not.

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 2:10 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Well said.

  46. 46 Anders said at 5:46 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    A Big thing is also how does a team play you the second time around. We won’t really get a clear answer on this, this year but that is always interesting

  47. 47 TommyLawlor said at 8:13 AM on December 11th, 2013:


  48. 48 ICDogg said at 8:36 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    We see a lot of this type of comment: “Look at what Foles has already accomplished! What else need he do before you believe? He could [insert ridiculous or impossible feat here] and you’d still be saying he didn’t do it right!”

    And what you and I are saying is, I think, the answer to that sort of remark. We love what we see so far, but yes, there are things we still need to see, and no way to rush those things.

  49. 49 McMVP said at 9:24 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    You’re missed at the blog…haven’t seen you there in a while…

  50. 50 ICDogg said at 2:58 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    You know, we spent a lot of this season assuming that we would be drafting fairly high in next year’s draft. After a while, it became clear that we wouldn’t be one of the worst teams, and changed our sights and starting thinking of the Eagles as getting a middle-of-the-round pick. But the most likely scenario now has the Eagles picking somewhere after the top 20.

  51. 51 GaEagle1023 - Tom said at 6:24 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    32 Dogg….32. After all it is Christmas

  52. 52 Anders said at 7:16 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    yea, that is also why my focus has clearly changed.

    My worst fear was we would sneak into the plays offs at 7-9. Because a 7 win team is often picking around 12th and a division winner is automatic 21st at best.

    Im also one who thinks people focus to much on defense. While I would love a stud pass rusher or shut down CB, adding offense isnt out of question. OL and WR been pretty big future “needs”.

    Next year will be Peters last season under his current contract and he will be 33 when it ends. Also Herremans and Mathis is getting up in age (tho I think Mathis will still be a star for at least 2 more seasons). So a high pick OT or a top 4 round OG should be in the picture.

    At WR next year Jackson will be the only WR we can count on been healthy and good as Cooper and Maclin might not be back, Benn is always injured, Avant is getting old, Johnson isnt getting playing time and Smith and Maehl is just depth.

  53. 53 Mitchell said at 8:44 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I agree with the possibly drafting offense. I think the best thing is we don’t have any glaring needs which frees us up to simply pick best available. After the past couple drafts I have complete confidence in the drafting staff.
    I would love to see me some Mike Evans though. After this season we may really need some more talent at the WR if we lose Maclin to FA, upgrade the slot, and Benn may not be the same even though he will have over a year of recovery. Isn’t Hakeem Nicks a free agent after this year? There is a lot of tackle depth in this years draft too yeh?

  54. 54 Anders said at 9:50 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I rather pay Maclin than pay Nicks.

    There is two guys in this draft who is perfect for replacing Avant. One is LSU’s Jarvis Landry, he is a very strong possession WR, who is a very good blocker and has some play making ability. Anothe one is Josh Huff from Oregon. Huff also has great blocking ability and play making ability, but can be had later.

  55. 55 Insomniac said at 2:05 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I love Landry but I don’t want to overvalue a position that will likely only play a few dozens of snaps per game. At this point, I would take Huff since Landry’s stock is rising to a borderline second round pick.

  56. 56 Anders said at 6:32 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Seems 3 WR set is preferred set for Kelly, so slot WR would essential be a starting position.

  57. 57 Andy124 said at 2:12 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Wouldn’t Maclin be a better replacement for Avant? Or Benn? 1 of thost 2 have to come back fully healthy right?

    Don’t forget, Nick doesn’t just have chemistry with Cooper. When he played last year Maclin’s numbers picked up to a pace that would have easily set career highs for him if prorated over a whole season.

  58. 58 Insomniac said at 2:17 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    They had the same injuries I think?

  59. 59 Andy124 said at 2:25 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Pretty much, yeah.

  60. 60 Anders said at 6:31 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Reason I say Landry or Huff could be Avant’s replacement is because of how good run blockers they are.

    I just cant trust Benn to stay healthy, but he would be the perfect guy because how physical he is (many compared him to Boldin coming out)

  61. 61 Insomniac said at 1:58 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I don’t watch a lot of Texas A&M games but even if we draft would that solve the slot problem? I don’t know if Cooper will produce like he will in the slot but I have no proof that he won’t.

  62. 62 Insomniac said at 1:56 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I said this weeks ago but you disagreed with me. If Watkins or the OT from Alabama is there who would you take?

  63. 63 TheRogerPodacter said at 2:54 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    i think you are right. OT could be a wise pick. maybe not a first rounder, but a second or third rounder would make a lot of sense. someone who can sit on the bench and learn for a few years until Peters is done. I’m ok with Barbre as a back up, actually, for now.

    OG could also be a mid-round pick as you said.

    WR is a bit of a mess this offseason with so many unknowns.
    Cooper – he’s a FA, not sure how much money he’d like to get. can he repeat this performance next year? could he be upgraded?
    Maclin – he’s a FA and would be a mild injury risk. would he be 100% when he comes back? can he learn this offense and block as well as cooper?
    Benn – he’s always injured. not sure we can trust him to be our #2 without a suitable replacement on hand.
    everyone else just doesn’t seem to be a real option as a #2 receiver…

    even a draft pick might be a risk. it could take him a while to get acclimated to the offense and the NFL in general.

  64. 64 Mike Flick said at 8:30 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    We have seen the bad Foles and the good Foles.

    The question going into the game is which one will we have. Detroit game started with bad Foles. The Dallas game was all bad Foles. He has stretches where he just sucks. When he starts out with a great drive, I can rest easy knowing it is good Foles.

    What causes that, and can he prevent that is the key for him moving forward.

  65. 65 Mitchell said at 8:35 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I don’t think you can say he was bad Foles to start the Detroit game. Did you see the weather? Stafford didn’t look that great either. The only “bad Foles” we have seen was in Dallas. What stretches does he have that he just sucks? Do you mean on certain drives?

  66. 66 aub32 said at 11:11 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think bad Foles is not about his throwing ability but his willingness to throw and decision making. He looked to be doubting himself early against Detroit.

  67. 67 shah8 said at 12:18 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Yes, which was why I was pissed. At first I was thinking the weather too, but no, that was Bad Foles. A lot of cheap negative plays that didn’t need to happen, even considering weather. And yes, there is a background tune about whether Foles can maintain confidence (and mechanics) in adversity. It does seem like getting hit, a set of bad plays, weather, etc might cause Foles to have seriously worse mechanics/decisionmaking. Not sure about it because every QB does that. The good ones are affected less than the bad ones with excellent ability to forget the last play. My real concerns relates to ICDogg’s stuff about what happens when there is more tape.

  68. 68 Anders said at 12:26 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    How come Foles then looked much better in the 2nd half? By your account he shouldnt have looked better, but did any way?

  69. 69 ICDogg said at 12:29 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Part of it, at least, was abandoning the shotgun. And, IMO, they should do that more often, especially when they are trying to close out games.

  70. 70 shah8 said at 12:45 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    You did notice that it stopped snowing, right?

    The passes still were not great. You do not want your WR being like Willie Mays, you know. DJax was digging down a little bit for those first down outs he caught. You couldn’t tell whether that TD pass was actually meant for DJax in the endzone.

    In general, the WRs are spending too much of their talents *catching* the ball rather than *making plays with the ball*, and this has been true of the games after Oakland, broadly speaking.

  71. 71 TheRogerPodacter said at 2:18 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Foles himself said that he saw two of his WRs in the area and just threw it out there to let them make a play on the ball. when they are already in the endzone, i’d much rather them spend all of their talent to *catch* the ball since that in itself is the play they need to make!

    lets not forget that the WRs (coop in particular) were not making Foles’ day any easier. he dropped a few passes that he should have caught in that game. including the one that was pretty perfectly thrown in the corner of the endzone. if the ball hits you in the face, you should have caught it. haha

  72. 72 ICDogg said at 12:29 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    The upside is I think we’re starting to see some of the adjustments and counters already.

  73. 73 ChaosOnion said at 11:12 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    He may be referring to the overall poor performance of the Eagles offense in the 2nd half of games during this streak. Entering the late 3rd quarter trailing, the offense put the hammer down this week. This might indicate the earlier struggles resulted from trying to protect the lead and run out the clock. The Eagles still need to find a way to run out the clock, but we know they can come back from a decent margin.

  74. 74 ICDogg said at 12:20 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think when the Eagles are determined to run out clock, they lose a couple of advantages that they normally have. First is that they are almost always going to be better accustomed to dealing with a fast pace than the defense they are facing, more likely to catch them in a state of non-readiness. Second is that the defenses know that the Eagles would prefer to run in that situation. The fact that they do run, makes the offense too predictable.

    I think that these are the kind of situations where it would be advantageous to use more than one running back, to create multiple running options.

  75. 75 Mike Flick said at 1:02 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    3rd + 4th quarter in both Redskins and Cardinals game, 1st half against Detroit.

    That is over two games where he really is horrible. He is bad for stretches.

  76. 76 Andy124 said at 3:35 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    He was good in the second half of the Redskins game. They just didn’t call any passes.

  77. 77 Mike Flick said at 4:09 PM on December 11th, 2013:


    5 pass attempts. 1 st down, 2 incomplete, 1 sack and a 10 yd pass on 3rd and 11.

    The offense went into the tank.

  78. 78 Andy124 said at 4:29 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Did you not say 3rd + 4th quarter?
    Did he not lead excellent touchdown drives in the 3rd quarters of both of Ari. and Was. games?

    I anticipate you’ll want to move the goalposts and only look at what happened after those touchdowns.
    Against Washington, the offense went in to the tank, not Nick. He only got 4 pass attempts the rest of the way after the 3rd quarter touchdown, and there were some killer penalties and some horrific run blocking. He completed 2 of them and had a nice run or two mixed in.

    There was plenty of debate as to whether the problem was more blocking and penalties, or play calling. But this is the first someone has tried to say Foles was bad.

  79. 79 BlindChow said at 4:30 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t the first time!

  80. 80 Andy124 said at 4:33 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I may have hyperbole’d myself there.

  81. 81 Mike Flick said at 5:31 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    You missed the point entirely. It is not the first time someone said Foles was bad. Chip Kelly said they just didn’t execute, which is coach speak for they played bad.

    We are projecting off limited sample size. But from the eye test and what we have seen before we have seen him play lights out.

    But we also have seen him go into funks. They happen in stretches. When he has our offense has stalled badly.

    He has played what 7 games worth of football and about 2 were in that mode. As he matures, hopefully that will go down, but there is a possibility of him having some bad stretches. Or if you prefer coach speak stretches where he does not execute.

  82. 82 Andy124 said at 10:51 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    I don’t dispute that he’s had stretches where he wasn’t very good. I do dispute that he was bad the second half in Washington and I do dispute that he was very bad in the first half in Detroit.

    Related, there was a pretty awesome post not too long ago about how often good quarterbacks have bad games. It was from one of the newer blogs, maybe Derek? Anyway, he showed that even the best quarterbacks have down games about 25% of the time. That entire games, not just single halves.

    So, sure I hope Nick continues to improve and never ever throws another incompletion. But my expectations are a bit more reasonable than that.

  83. 83 Mike Flick said at 1:55 PM on December 12th, 2013:

    I am living in Houston, and have seen really bad QB play. When Matt Shaub is bad, it is a pick 6.

    When Nick is bad, the offense stalls out.

    So far St. Nick has exceeded all our expectations so far. And we are projecting and hoping.

    The cool thing is typically QBs have a sophomore slump. Maybe Foles got past that because coordinators assumed Vick was going to be the guy. Maybe Shady is so good that it covers any inexperience.

    The best part is he should be able to get some playoff experience this year. That is huge. If he can light it up in the playoffs, then Folesmania can really take off.

  84. 84 AnirudhJ said at 8:53 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    The second half of the post is directly linked to the first half as well. (I’m sure someone has made the “Foles’ Gold” joke by this point.)

    Anything like a late 4th Q comeback from Foles would make me incrementally more confident in the team and, consequently, make the fool’s gold thing seem less and less likely.

    All that being said, I’m very glad that this is the big mystery now. Winning teams have to start winning at some point, and every time they start, they get questioned until they string together great seasons (and hopefully championships).

  85. 85 RobNE said at 9:04 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    All this talk about needing to add a specific position player to the team. I think it’s difficult to say you have to have a stud at any one specific position. One way (the NE way) is a great coach and QB, and that’s it. They have had stud players but at different positions over the years. Their WR’s have been ok (except for Moss), they keyed on the slot WR and TE’s when those positions were not as valued, their secondary has been bad recently.

    My point is that I trust Kelly and the team’s ability to draft and coach up. Most of us were saying “Bennie Logan??” at the top of the 3rd? I am impressed with the overall plan on how to build a program, and that gives the team flexibility. I think that means we don’t HAVE to have super studs at any of WR, safety, even rushing OLB. Now of course they will spend resources upgrading everywhere they can, but I don’t think it’s right to say “well they HAVE to do this in rounds 1-3 next year or they can’t compete for a SB.” There are lots of different ways to build a contender and due to limited resources it may not result in looking like our ideal.

    I do get that most of us, when making these comments, are picking a position where we think the upgrade would give us the most benefit to the team.

    Caveat: they do need a certain level QB (ideally Foles is that guy)

  86. 86 iceberg584 said at 9:46 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Well we were just given the SI cover kiss of death.

  87. 87 jshort said at 10:37 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    That’s a good start. Was thinking to myself how we going to know If Foles is real. Publicity #1, would like to see him in a panty hose commercial. Maybe followed by a gang leader action adventure movie. Proper nickname, (Broad St Nick) for example. How about sporting a full length midnight green fur coat, during cold weather games. The shoes, he’ll have to come up with something on his own, I’m thinking super hero, but don’t know. The final test should be, showing up for the SB, hung over with about 3, 4, hrs sleep and put up a QB rating of about 150. That would seal the deal for me.

  88. 88 Richard O'Connor said at 2:20 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Isotoner glove commercial for Foles.

  89. 89 TheRogerPodacter said at 2:55 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    are you also assuming he will be kidnapped along with Swoop right before the superbowl? : D

  90. 90 TheRogerPodacter said at 10:01 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    * The Eagles have faced 3 Top 12 offenses. To be fair, GB is one of them and they had a first time player at QB. They faced one Top 12 defense – Arizona. The Raiders were up in that area at the time the Eagles played them, but they’re now down lower.

    wasn’t Tampa also in or around the top 12 at the time we played them too?
    that seems to be a theme this year. we face a good defense and after the game, they are no longer a good defense : P

  91. 91 Anders said at 10:02 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    yep Tampa was a top 5 when we faced them and Raiders was top 10.

  92. 92 Mac said at 10:43 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I was thinking the same thing. haha

  93. 93 TommyLawlor said at 11:51 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I only focused on the 5-game winning streak.

  94. 94 TheRogerPodacter said at 2:14 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    ahh ok. that makes sense. i remembered that looking back, Foles has faced some good defenses.

  95. 95 A_T_G said at 11:52 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    We don’t just beat teams, we break them. We leave behind shattered confidence, internal conflict, and media distractions, and walk away towards the next victim with the glow of the burning organization back-lighting our silhouette.

  96. 96 Sb2bowl said at 12:21 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Or, as will be the case at the end of the year, a burning glory hole for Jerrah Jones’ to fiddle with while Nero figures out what to do with the upcoming draft……..

  97. 97 OregonDucker said at 2:49 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Sounds like winner to me.

  98. 98 A Roy said at 10:03 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Tommy, I don’t look at the information we receive on Foles as ‘hints.’ I think of them as brush strokes painting his canvass. The canvass is incomplete, but each game he plays adds a little something to the overall picture, which is good so far, and may be excellent in it’s entirety.

    I agree with ICDogg’s earlier assessment that it takes around 20 starts to know what you have in a QB. Assumption being there’s some stability in coaching & system. Foles had several starts last year that were in Reid’s/Mornenwhig’s “pass no matter what” system. I think those are less valid than his more recent starts. Once Foles has an off-season with some celebrity, comes into the season as ‘the man’, and plays several games vs the tougher schedule we’ll see next year, we will have a fairly good understanding of him as a potential SB QB.

  99. 99 Weapon Y said at 10:18 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    The fact is that if Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin played anywhere near as good as Nick Foles has, this conversation wouldn’t be happening for them. We’d be hearing how they’re the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, and rightfully so. Pedigree is overrated. The only reason people continue to nitpick at Foles’s few mistakes is that he wasn’t a first round draft pick. He absolutely looks like a quarterback who could win Super Bowls. He can make every throw in the game, and rarely makes mistakes. It’s ok to relax. I know it feels weird after suffering through the disappointing QB play at the end of Andy’s reign here, but we truly have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Let’s stop looking for problems where there really aren’t any (or very few), and enjoy the ride.

  100. 100 P_P_K said at 11:49 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I completely agree with you about comparing Foles to Luck or RG. Give our young man credit, he surely looks like an NFL caliber qb. I’m not sure, though, we can conclude he is one of the best qbs in the league. Not quite yet. I am personally confident in Nick and have been since he took the field last year. I think he has the skills, the poise, and the intelligence to succeed. Before we can identify him as one of the best, I think we need to see a larger body of work.

  101. 101 Neil said at 12:01 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think in your example we’d be wrong about Luck and RG3 if we assumed that about them based on pedigree. To some extent, RG3 already went through this, being rookie of the year and everything. It was kinda obvious the offense he was running wasn’t sustainable though to the people who paid close attention because defenses had no idea what to do about the zone read. Still, I think it’s reasonable to want 2-3 years of track record regardless of pedigree to start feeling SURE. The fact that Foles is playing so well this far into his career (ie, after some defensive adjustments, etc.) is a really good sign though.

  102. 102 shah8 said at 12:37 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think the zone read is perfectly sustainable. The issue with Kaepernick and RGIII is that they have Darren McFadden level agility. Russell Wilson can run it all day long because he’s slithering around being extremely hard to hit. Same with the likes of Cameron Newton (and Newton has the size, as well).

    To a very limited extent, the crash of the Deadskin’s offensive system is why I have doubts about this one, currently construed. RGIII is a much better PA passer and a better passer in general as well as being very fast. What would happen here if things go wonky? NFL offenses have the complexity they generally do, because it’s designed to hold a lot of different circumstances in account. Sometimes, like MMorninwheg, these systems are overly complex and overly reliant on good play at the same time from too many players–but those further out systems, Morninwheg, Martz, etc, when things are going well, are **extremely** robust offenses. So on that end, it’s basically sports car philosophy, high performance, in the shop often. Other offenses, say, like Derrell Bevell, has a much more conservative offense, and as you can see, one that survives even when there’s no OL, practically. When things are going well, there will still be some three and outs in the old run, run, pass philosophy. However, big plays are easy and cheap to come by from PA. Think Hummer (of the sort actually meant for fighting).

  103. 103 Neil said at 1:58 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I was just referring to the level of success of the zone read. I think it’s a fine play, but last year you had several offenses that were devastating on account of it solely because defenses didn’t have an answer. That wasn’t sustainable.

    People are familiar with everything the eagles do at this point, and the eagles have freaking Nick Foles running the zone read, and we’re still putting up historic numbers of big plays. This isn’t the Redskins springing something defenses don’t understand on the league with a QB who’s tailor made for their favourite play. The eagles just run such a well thought out system of plays that take advantage of the way people try to defend their bread and butter that you can’t call the right defense much of the time. A few zone reads get stuffed, though, sure. I’m sure there will be plenty of games in Kelly’s tenure where we can’t execute. But this offense works as long as the players execute and aren’t at a massive talent deficit to the defense.

  104. 104 A Roy said at 10:22 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    I am friends with some Ravens fans (my parents didn’t raise me very well) and go to a game or two each year. The average Baltimore fan didn’t look at Joe Flacco as a SB winning QB until they won with him.
    I believe Tommy’s point to be this: Last Sunday, Flacco made big plays in their win over MINN. Yes, it was the Vikings, but during crunch time, he made plays. The more I watch this game, the better my appreciation for players who do just that; MAKE PLAYS.

  105. 105 Anders said at 10:26 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    The problem is Joe Flacco didnt make plays for around 50 mins and therefor had to make plays the last 10 mins.

  106. 106 A Roy said at 10:27 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Much like Foles this week. Weather on both fields crappy, although crappier in Phila.

  107. 107 Anders said at 10:29 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    yea but Joe Flacco has been like that his whole career, Foles have had 2 such games now (Dallas and Detroit, as Im not counting his rookie year)

  108. 108 A Roy said at 4:54 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    And he won a Super Bowl!

  109. 109 ACViking said at 11:53 AM on December 11th, 2013:

    Re: No SI Jinx ( & You Can’t Spell “ice” without Nick Foles)

    The SI cover this week in the southern U.S. has FSU QB Winston and Auburn DB White, as part of the BCS (mythical) national championship preview.

    The SI cover with Foles is a northest edition.

    Because the so-called “Jinx” applies only when the SI cover is nationwide, there will be no jinx that Eagles’ fans need to worry about.

  110. 110 mtn_green said at 12:03 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Didn’t Washington have good numbers during their 7 game winning streak too.

    Hard to know, fool’s gold is determined once you have hindsight.

    GB is probably the game that eagles would have lost if Rogers was healthy. Bush and Ellongton could have made differences too. You can only beat who is on the schedule.

  111. 111 ACViking said at 12:18 PM on December 11th, 2013:


    You’re right, in a nutshell. It will take a couple of seasons, at least, to find out about this team.

    I think back to 1997, when Tony Dungy was in his 2nd season with the Bucs. Playing a last-place schedule, Tampa Bay made the playoffs at 10-6 (knocked out in Rd 1). The next year, TB — playing a tougher schedule, in theory at least — fell back to 8-8. In 1999, the Bucs proved they were for real, going 11-5 and losing to the Rams 11-6 in the NFC title game . . . out of which emerged the “Bert Emmanuel Rule” for catching the ball.

    We’re a long way from knowing about this team. Surprises may abound.

  112. 112 Stephen Stempo said at 1:13 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    in hindsight the way we’re playing now, I’m not so sure that GB game would have been a given for GB if Rodgers was in. It certainly would have went differently but it’s not as if their defense was giving us fits. Would have been a shootout.

  113. 113 Ark87 said at 12:14 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    damn I posted this after Tommy posted the new article, luckily it’s still relevant:

    Re: Foles Good enough to win a Superbowl?

    short answer, of course he is, take a gander at the list of SB winning QBs.

    Is he good enough to put THIS team, as is, on his back and carry it to a superbowl? Almost certainly not.

    More important for me is getting value out of our roster. How is Seattle soooo talented? Well, their QB is putting out an MVP type season for peanuts. That helps. Flacco was good enough, when his salary allowed him to be on the same team as multiple hall of Famers. Brady when the Patriots could afford a defense vs after? Peyton, for all his greatness Denver D before vs after? 1 SB?

    Elite QBs are awesome, but they are exponentially more expensive, you have to make sure they’re worth it.

    My point: next year, draft well, then use our cap space wisely (just about all of it if there are enough good moves to be made), we can build a team around Nick good enough to win a SB, as cheap as he is and as well as he’s playing, no doubt. Now when we have to pay him for these garish stats, like a franchise QB, will he be good enough to carry the burden that he places on the team’s salary cap? We’ll have to see.

  114. 114 ACViking said at 12:22 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    A87 —

    You’re so right . . . SB Champs come in all shapes and sizes.

    It’s not about having a “Franchise QB”.

    We know that because Peyton Manning has 1 SB title.

    Tom Brady has 3, but none since the Patriots’ defensive stalwarts — like Seymour, Bruschi, Vrabel, Law, Harrison — began to fade with age.

    Your plan’s the right plan: Get as many good players as you can around a good QB. Eventually, with a break or two, you win a SB.

  115. 115 OregonDucker said at 2:41 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    AC quote – “Your plan’s the right plan: Get as many good players as you can around a good QB. Eventually, with a break or two, you win a SB.”

    Players like Shady, DJax, Coop (?), Celek, Casey, DL, OL, Ryans may be enough? I do not want to fan the SB fire but the Eagles have talent focused by exceptional coaches. When you have this combination, plus player leadership, good things can happen.

  116. 116 HipDaDip said at 12:17 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Calling it: after Foles wins Super Bowl MVP, Tommy will make a post called Foles’ Gold

  117. 117 Dominik said at 12:24 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Re: the mess in Washington

    What makes their situation even better (from our perspective, of course) is that they don’t have their First Round Pick next year (if I’m not mistaken something here).

    So they don’t benefit from playing that poor via draft position AND their new HC will have a harder time to rebuild the team his way.

    In addition to that they have Salary Cap problems, also. Actually that’s too good to be true. πŸ˜€

  118. 118 jshort said at 1:03 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    McNabb might have been right about Shanny ruining RG…but then again, why does he play him with his leg held on by a shoe string, and now inactivate him because he’s worried about his health…lol…

  119. 119 Stephen Stempo said at 1:11 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Because Mike Shanahan is the worst head coach in the NFL.

  120. 120 Tumtum said at 1:31 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    It intrigues the fan base. It should fill the stadium for their final home game next week against Dallas. That is all Snyder really cares about. They can also build value for Cousins moving towards a draft where they have few picks and many holes?

    I think this came down from the top.

  121. 121 Stephen Stempo said at 1:45 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Well RG3 sadly saved shanny’s carreer for another year or two. He’s just a terrible human being and a terrible coach. I hope he stays there forever so Kelly can coach rings around him, but I hope RG3 holds out and goes to a real team I feel bad for the kid having to play under that hack family.

  122. 122 shah8 said at 2:08 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Sleazy coaches with enough friends in high and low places tend to be hardier than a cockroach.

    Exhibit A: Jeff Fisher.

  123. 123 Maggie said at 1:27 AM on December 12th, 2013:


  124. 124 Maggie said at 1:26 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    Shanahan had no say in the terrible destruction o the team’s draft picks in order to get RGIII. Shanahan has had endless interference from the owner from day 1. Proof? What is the GM’s name?

  125. 125 Stephen Stempo said at 4:21 PM on December 12th, 2013:

    I stand by my statement based solely on his job as a coach. over the last 12 years which has been suspect including the last several seasons he was in denver.

  126. 126 Tumtum said at 1:22 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Actually their cap problems are over after this year. Expect them to open up the check book. Frankly, I am fine with that because its what has gotten the in trouble since I was a kid. Heck it got us in trouble the last two years.

    One of their main problems is their lack of ability to judge talent, or scheme fit… or something along those lines (not trying to sound like I am an Xs and Os expert). Their young players are not contributing.

    -They have a former tight end returning punts and kick-offs, granted the one guy they brought in for it as a late rounder or UDFA is on IR.

    -From this draft Ammerson has been up and down but forced into service now. Reed looks like he is the real deal but SHOCKER is constantly hurt. Oh let us not forget he part of the reason they are so predictable because they won’t use him to run or pass block (with good reason). Everyone knew he could not stay healthy and the Redskins over paid for him. The rest of their draft isn’t even contributing. Sure they are on special teams but can you seriously tell me any of them should deserve a shot to start when they clearly just give no effort on ST (and we thought ours were bad last year).

    -Last years draft netted two contributors. Their 3rd round pick who was expected to start out of the gates doesn’t even dress.

    The skins lost a couple less notable names last year that were actually very key contributors. Instead of improving the areas they vacated they took a major step down. The Skins were a good team last year IMO. However, they were flawed… JUST like this Eagles team (even though they were much more flawed). Instead of improving in the off-season they regressed either talent or fit wise, within their schemes and its showing. Are they as bad as they appear to be this year? Probably not. If you were to listen to some experts no team in the NFL is THAT bad talent wise. Its a lack of effort/scheme/execution that causes teams to be so bad.

    The funny thing about it is that if they blow this thing up they are going to set themselves back much worse. I very much doubt they would change to an offense with the same zone blocking concepts. That means just about every player on the O-line is gone, except for Trent Williams. That means the best offensive player goes back to being that 6th round pick, without the athleticism to play in the NFL (Alf). So unless there is a dream FA period with new scheme fits, they are in a world of hurt.

    So if they blow it up they are screwed. If they don’t blow it up they are trotting out the same guys next year that potentially put up a 3-13 record this year. They are looking at a lose-lose situation. It seems like their best chance at turning it around is keep things status quo. If don’t make major changes they could completely lose the fan base.

    After last years debacle we at least had positives to look at. There was a pretty fair abundance of talent on the roster for a new coach to work with. What can the skins possibly look forward to next year? More RG3 operation-im-a-diva stuff?

    It sucks to be them, and unfortunately I listen to their sports talk every day….lol

  127. 127 Stephen Stempo said at 1:49 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think any story about RG3 being a diva comes directly from Mike “I should send half my paycheck to john elway and the other half to Terell Davis” Shanahan. I hated RG3 going there because you could see that coming. He is a truly awful head coach.

  128. 128 shah8 said at 2:05 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Remember, virtually every QB Shanahan has ever worked with hates his guts. Maybe not John Elway, but I bet he did, too.

  129. 129 Stephen Stempo said at 3:52 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    yeah I really dislike the guy. He treats his players like crap it seems. Except his o lineman i guess.

  130. 130 Tumtum said at 11:32 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    I think Shanahan is a pretty good coach personally.

    I think RG3 is over rated and the diva rumors are partially true. His own family came out and expressed that he should not be a running QB anymore. He made a documentary about his recovery from surgery to air on ESPN before he ever took a snap in a live NFL game after the surgery. He is the one, who through his family, and media leaks suggested his coaches were responsible for his injury. Every time the guy has spoken since his injury he has caused at least some sort of ripples in the media. Of course he can’t be fully to blame that every word he speaks is over analyzed and taken out of context, and viewed under the strongest of microscopes. He just doesn’t even try to help matters.

    In my memory after Elway in Denver, Mike always fielded a good team. He always churned out a good offense. Tony Dungy only won one SB with Peyton. I guess if Shanny is a terrible coach Dungy is on Pop Warner level.

  131. 131 Maggie said at 1:28 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    You’re beginning to sound a little like sour grapes. How do you know what kind of person Shanahan is?

  132. 132 Stephen Stempo said at 4:28 PM on December 12th, 2013:

    So by sour grapes you mean I pretend to dislike Mike Shanahan because we can’t have him? I mean that’s what sour grapes means.Yeah, Because I haven’t considered him an overrated hack since he was in denver.

    Based on his public treatment of Albert Haynesworth, and Donovan McNabb. Good decent head coaches don’t act like that to the media and don’t publicly embarrass there players. Granted neither of those players were probably great and I’m sure they had roles in that BUT decent human beings don’t act like that. Great head coaches don’t either. Also as Shah said basically all the QB’s Shanahan has had hate him. He hired his son as his OC; the height of hubris and nepotism as I’m SURE that he was the most qualified person for the position. He’s done a great job. I mean it’s not as if he was on the way to getting fired before RG3 SAVED his coaching job single handedly last year and for his effort Shanahan ran him into the ground. He’s a clown. Retort. Tell me he’s great point to specific examples of his greatness show me quotes that show he’s an intelligent great guy and not a bitter old man who’s had the game pass him by.

  133. 133 Dominik said at 3:15 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Well, if Chip needs some opposition research, I could give him your number. πŸ˜‰

    Very interesting post. I would disagree with one thing, though: never underestimate the power of a new HC. You’re right, the new HC in Washington will have a (much) harder time than Chip had, but there is talent on the Skins roster, too. He won’t have a First Rounder, which sucks badly, but he can still turn this thing around. Look at how fast the Eagles learned their new scheme.

    It will all come down to who will Snyder hire as HC. I hope he’s not as successful as Lurie is with the Head Coaches he chose. πŸ˜‰

  134. 134 GaEagle1023 - Tom said at 2:06 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Not Fool’s Gold….Foles Gold

  135. 135 RobNE said at 4:30 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    kind of silly that Shady runs for about 200 yards in one quarter and Foles is on the cover. Oh well you can’t stop the national media story lines.

  136. 136 BlindChow said at 4:31 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I don’t think it’s about one game. I think the article is specifically about Foles.

  137. 137 GaEagle1023 - Tom said at 5:39 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Yeah, the media loves a story, and Shady is already hot and not so much a story to them….Foles on the other hand is a great story.

  138. 138 Maggie said at 1:31 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    The article on Foles was actually in the works for awhile. And the cover is different in other parts of the country.

  139. 139 Maggie said at 1:30 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    It’s like NFL Network running the Browns-Pats game as the ‘Game of the Week’ and the “Great Comeback” without one word about the Eagles vs the Lions.

  140. 140 BobSmith77 said at 2:08 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Hope I’m wrong but I see the Eagles having a letdown this week for several reasons except a team that is terrible but has been pretty competitive at home and played reasonably well of late.

  141. 141 shah8 said at 2:11 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Matt Cassell. No RBs. Injuries to secondary. This game should not be competitive.

  142. 142 Insomniac said at 2:12 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    True we’re due for a L until we can play all 4 quarters consistently instead of compensating for a bad half of the game.

  143. 143 jshort said at 3:05 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    Thought we were due for a few more wins last year. That didn’t happen. Don’t think the due stuff applies to this team.

  144. 144 Maggie said at 1:33 AM on December 12th, 2013:

    Strange. for weeks the writers have been saying that the Eagles are hot the first half and can’t play in the second half, so which is it? Have you been paying attention?

  145. 145 Insomniac said at 8:28 PM on December 12th, 2013:

    I don’t want to sound rude here but..what? The Eagles play so inconsistently throughout games that I wonder if YOU pay attention.

  146. 146 myeaglescantwin said at 2:25 PM on December 11th, 2013:

    I think all the fans need to temper our emotions. Heading into the this season, realist were thinking 8-8 at best. The Eagles have put together something special here, but we need to remember how this all started. There is no question that this team is less physically talented than most teams they come up against, but they find ways to win.
    We need to realize that this still IS a rebuilding year. The success we have had can’t get our chest bloated. The main thing driving this team is heart. That is something that has been missing from this squad for a while. Each win brings this team closer together as a unit, one heartbeat.
    This squad has overachieved this season. Every win has had some flukey calls along the way, or some league super start ruled out for the week. Hell, even mother nature decided to double cover Megatron with a foot of snow. The Eagles can only beat the teams that are out there, but fans need to understand the breaks this team has received.

    so, FOOL’s GOLD??
    i think not, but this is one hell of core to build off of. A team with an identity on both sides of the ball. A team with a core of hungry angry athletes, destined for years of success. This is not gold at all, but a diamond being molded one game at a time. A team that is growing and riding a wave of emotion on a legendary streak.
    a team that a fan can pour their heart out for. A team we can’t wait to watch embarrass and destroy the cowboys in 3 weeks.

    In Chip We Trust

  147. 147 Kev_H said at 12:39 AM on December 15th, 2013:

    Foles led a furious 4th quarter comeback- with a broken hand- against Washington last year. One of the guys off the street that he was playing with dropped a game tying TD pass if you recall. Foles has that cold blooded killer instinct that never gives in. You could see that in him in college.