How Good Are The Eagles?

Posted: December 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 137 Comments »

This Eagles team is hard to get a handle on. They have a record of 8-5, but this is a very different team right now than it was in September or even October. The obvious difference is Nick Foles taking over at QB, but that’s actually just one piece of the puzzle.

The O-line is playing their best football of the season. It took a while for Todd Herremans to adjust to the RG position. He still has some struggles in pass protection from time to time, but is generally solid. RT Lane Johnson had some rookie moments early in the year. He’s now developed into a solid RT.

The defense is world’s better. They allowed 34.5 points per game for the first month. Since then, no team has scored more than 21 points in a game. The Eagles were dead last in scoring defense for a while. They are now all the way up to 13th. Amazing. Give some credit to Bill Davis and his staff for figuring out how to use the players. Give a lot of credit to the players, since they have gotten better all year long and really become playmakers.

Fletcher Cox started slow, but is now playing good football. Vinny Curry began the season as a spectator. He earned playing time and is now a key part of the defense. DeMeco Ryans took a while to hit his stride. Nate Allen looks like a legitimate starting Safety. Trent Cole has been very disruptive in recent weeks. Early in the season he was effective, but not making plays.

Think about P Donnie Jones. He is the anti-Sav Rocca. Remember how Rocca was always good for about 6 weeks and then as the weather cooled down, so did his punting? Jones had his 2 best games in late November/early December. And don’t underestimate the importance of his punting on the team’s 5-game win streak. He’s been a huge help to the defense by pinning teams deep.

And of course we do have to talk about Foles. St. Nick is now 6-1 as a starter. I think Foles has had his biggest impact in 3 areas. First, he protects the ball. Michael Vick did a solid job of protecting the ball. He only threw 3 INTs this year. But 2 of them came in the loss to KC, including a pick-6. Those INTs turned into 10 points. The Eagles lost that game by 10 points. I’m not saying the loss is all on him due to the INTs. Clearly there were many issues in the game. But the turnovers were costly. They played a big part in the loss.

Foles has 2 turnovers this year. He fumbled in the GB game. That didn’t result in any points. Foles threw a pick yesterday that did lead to a TD. But mostly Foles has protected the ball very well. He is making good decisions. There are some times when he will throw the ball into coverage and rely on his receivers to go get the ball or break it up. Most good QBs do that. You can’t expect every player to be wide open. The key is to be selective with these throws. Don’t make them at critical times. And do make sure that you are giving your guy a chance to get to the ball.

Red Zone success is the next area in which Foles has had major impact. The Eagles are 29th in this stat right now. They were 31st or 32nd under Vick. That doesn’t sound like much, but you do have to factor in that the Eagles have taken a knee in the RZ 3 times under Foles. There was a possession in the Tampa game when the Eagles just ran the ball and kicked a FG. There was no serious attempt to score a TD. That is 4 possessions when the Eagles were just working the clock.

Look at the RZ stats for both guys.

Player Passing TDs Rating Rushing TDs
Vick 5-19-38 1 57.1 6-18 2
Foles 18-26-136 10 121.2 12-9 3

The rushing stats for Foles look funny, but remember that at least 6 of those are kneel-downs. Matt Barkley had 3 RZ knee-downs in one game.

The emergence of Riley Cooper is the final area in which Foles has had tremendous impact. It was like a light switch getting turned on. Rather than me trying to throw the stats at you, just go look at his gamelog. It is amazing the difference that Foles has made with Coop. I predicted Riley’s numbers would go up with Foles at QB, but even I didn’t expect this. The big difference is that Vick likes receivers to be clearly open. Cooper doesn’t get consistent separation. You must be willing to throw to him while covered. Foles will do this and it has paid off for both players.

Prior to Cooper’s emergence, the passing offense was going to sink or swim with DeSean Jackson. Now teams have to worry about both WRs. That has helped the whole offense. With Foles taking over at QB, it was almost like the Eagles made a trade for a good WR. Cooper has 7 TDs on the year and is 2nd in the NFL in yards per reception.

Back to the original question…how good is this team?

I’m always cautious of buying too much into a win streak. There is a lot of fool’s gold in the NFL, both past and present. All we have to do is look down I-95 to the mess that the Skins are. Just one year ago life was glorious in D.C. Team Shanny was brilliant. RG3 was a revelation. Jim Haslett and the defense still stunk, but for some reason that got conveniently overlooked. I think it is important to be skeptical of a team that starts to win more or play better than expected.

Peter King has the Eagles 8th in his latest power rankings. Is that really possible? The 8th best team in the entire league? This is where you have to separate the Eagles of the last 9 games from the team that got off to a 1-3 start. Since then, the Eagles are 7-2. They protect the ball. They score TDs. They come up with takeaways. They prevent TDs.

I think it would be easier to be comfortable with the Eagles if this team wasn’t 4-12 last year and so flat out awful for half the season. I think the slow start to 2013 sticks with us. I think we all still have that little bit of fear with Chip Kelly. Is Joe College going to get exposed in some way, shape or form? There is the whole Foles Factor. Is he really this good?

This Eagles team is not the 2012 Skins. That group started 3-6 before winning the final 7 games of the season. 5 of those wins came against NFC East teams. I don’t think I need to remind you how bad the division was last year. The Skins got hot at the right time. They still had an awful defense. They still had an OL that struggled to pass block. That team was a fluke.

Before the season I predicted 8 or 9 wins. I saw a good coach, enough talent for him to work with and a soft schedule. I did not envision the offense doing amazing things. I did not envision the defense going 9 straight games without allowing an opponent to score 21 points. Chip Kelly and his staff have done an amazing job.

Time will tell us just how good the Eagles truly are, but I do think it is time to accept the fact that this is a good team.

_


  • bdbd20

    I’m really starting to think this team can go to New Orleans and win.

    Still not sure about Seattle, but it would be a great challenge.

    • Anthony Hart

      I wonder if our offense would be exempt from the usual confusion of their crowd noise due to the way we call plays.

    • Nathan Rufo

      Good point. Regardless, I want to see them play top tier competition. Would be great to see if they step up or get flustered, esp Foles.

    • Mr. Toledo

      with how fast the offense moves i bet that could silence a crowd in its self

    • jshort

      Your forgetting Chip is an equal opportunity scorer. What’s good for NO is good enough for Seattle. A team with nothing to loose is a dangerous team. Nice to play with no pressure, no expectations and no one picking you to win. I’m liking watching this scrappy team. Seattle knows they win at home. A few things start going wrong, and they also can get blown out there too. Have to get in tourney first, Giants did it, why not us? Nice to day dream about it in Dec.

    • Anders

      I fear Saints offense. They are scary good in that dome.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    more than anything, i think i’m excited for where this team can go in the future. what is this team going to look like when CK has 2-3 years to build his team the way he wants it? when the defense completes its transition to a 3-4 defense? when loads more players have a year of CK under their belts?

    while this season has been great fun, i do have to go back and remember that my expectations were low for this season due to all of the changes. next season is going to be a different story, for sure. it’ll be back to high pressure, we should win every game eagles football again.

  • Nathan Rufo

    I’ve been thinking about this a decent amount lately. After reading an article by Jimmy Bama about how this Eagles team stacks up with previous SB winners, at least as far as playstyle goes, I think I have to say that there is no limit on what this team can do.

    The defense is middle of the pack in Yards Per Play. They are 13th in scoring defense after a terrible first month. The defense is opportunistic, doesn’t miss tackles, and is only getting more comfortable with itself. The offense under Foles has generally been efficient and, as we saw yesterday, the running game can still work fantastically with him.

    Keep in mind that the only game the Eagles have played a “complete game” on both sides of the ball, they won 49-20 and Nick Foles tied an NFL record. This team is on a 5-game winning streak and still hasn’t put together a game where the O and the D have been firing on all cylinders – although I have a sneaking suspicion that if the weather had been better yesterday, it may have turned out that way.

    All I’m saying is that this team has all the intangible factors you look for in a team that can make a playoff run. Offense that can explode at any time, either passing or running; a defense that shows up in big spots and gets turnovers when they’re there; and a ST game that (aside from yesterday which hopefully was an aberration) has been solid all year. This team has the firepower to beat any team on any given Sunday, and it seems like they’re peaking at the right time.

    Really, it’s a win-win for us from here on out. Even if we don’t make the playoffs or get bounced in the 1st round, I think that there are only a few positions where you could see a drop-off in play next year (LT, LG, RG, OLB [Cole], possibly MLB [Demeco] although I don’t think so). This team has barely scratched the surface of its potential, so even if this year isn’t the year – which, we have seen worse teams make runs – they are in a great position to add a few pieces and mature together for next year.

    Eagles football is exciting again. I’m drinking the kool aid. I think they can make a run. Also keep in mind that this team has no problem winning on the road. Chip trains them specifically for that. So while a trip to Seattle or New Orleans would be difficult as hell, I think the Birds are more prepared for it than some other teams – the “Road Disadvantage” may apply less.

    Sorry for the rambling. Yesterday’s game, for me, was the biggest Eagles game in years, and they showed up in the best way possible. I’m riding the wave.

    • OregonDucker

      Don’t forget the head coach and assistant coaches. These players are getting outstanding coaching. Coupled with a brilliant offensive mind in the Chipper, we have the potential for greatness.

      • P_P_K

        If the Eagles win a game or — listen up, Santa — two, Chip should be considered for Coach of the Year. And I will hang my head in shame that I didn’t like the hire of Davis as DC.

        • Always Hopeful

          No shame in that, most of us were like “what? who?” when he was hired. No shame in being proven wrong in this situation :-)

    • fran35

      You know, good point Re: Tackling. It is an extremely underrated quality that effective defenses all have. After the last few years with Nnnnamdi, DRC, and Asante, I can take a Cary Williams who may give up some throws—but you ain’t breaking his tackle(unless of course Patrick Chung is in the area to blow up his own teammate).

  • Ashley Fox

    Chip Kelly’s 4th Quarter Failures Continue
    by Ashley Fox, ESPN

    Yet another week in the NFL has concluded and the 4th quarter struggles of Chip Kelly’s Eagles continue to the plague the team. With the team driving deep into Lion’s territory with time winding down on the clock, Brent Celek took a Nick Foles pass and slipped down short of the goal line.

    This is a clear indictment of Chip Kelly’s fast-passed college offense, which obviously left one of his players too tired to run the last 8 yards into the end zone.

    Not to be outdone, Chip Kelly made an even more bizarre decision to call two quarterback runs in a row, with Nick Foles slipping and losing 2 yards on each play. That kind of play-calling may have worked in Oregon, but this is the NFL. Kelly failed to call timeout after either run and let the game clock expire, yielding yet another 4th quarter red zone failure for the Eagles and a hollow victory over the Lions.

    The question must be asked…given these failures, how many more chances is Chip Kelly going to be handed to prove that he can run an NFL team?

    • P_P_K

      LOL. For a minute I thought this was the real thing.

      • BlindChow

        Needs an avatar!

    • OregonDucker

      Ashley Fox is a funny writer. She definitely resides in the Twilight Zone. I wonder if she is a non-human entity?

    • TommyLawlor

      Just turned this into a post at Eagles Blog.

      http://eaglesblog.net/2013/12/good-humor/

    • RobNE

      makes me want to sign in as Jason La Confora or Peter King. Well done.

    • sonofdman

      This is incredible!

    • Shane Brown

      My favorite comment on any eagles blog ever

    • Teehee

      That was great.

      In addition, that was also the coolest looking “running out of breath” fall I’ve probably ever seen.

    • CVN65

      Hahahahaha. Ashley will be eating her uninformed words…

  • BobSmith77

    A good team but not as good as Seattle, SF, and New Orleans (at home). I could see this team winning a home playoff game though depending upon the matchup for the first time since ’06 (23-20 victory vs Giants).

    In fact, I could easy see the season ending in the same manner as the ’06 season did. A close, hard-fought victory at home in the Wildcard round and a lose on the road in either New Orleans or Seattle the following week.

    • Nathan Rufo

      Any given Sunday. At the top of their game, I think this offense could keep up with anyone.

      Your scenario is certainly more likely. But I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to win in one of those two places. Stranger things have happened.

    • Stephen Stempo

      I think we would demolish SF. I am not sold on kapaernick in the least. We get 3 TOs in a game vs him. Seattles d scares me they are a solid team. NO shoutout against a QB who is a bit of a gunslinger and will put the ball up sometimes. Brees is vulnerable to a few picks.

      My point. I wouldn’t go into any of those games “expecting” to lose. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost but after these last 2 weeks I am no longer scared.

  • P_P_K

    “With Foles taking over at QB, it was almost like the Eagles made a trade for a good WR.” This is a great point.

    I think the Eagles are good enough to win out, go 11-5, and take the NFC East. I also think they can win a playoff game at the Linc. Beyond that, though, I don’t have enough confidence in the young guys to beat the elite teams when the bright lights and fast pace of the playoffs are cranked up.

    With a couple good picks in this years draft and a pre-season with Nick as the #1 qb (Remember the discussions about taking a qb with our first pick? My how times have changed.), I believe we have a legit shot at the Lombardi.

    • OregonDucker

      The Eagles are a changed team under Chip. Here you have complete player buy-in, great coaching at all skill levels, improved player performance on the OL and DL, improved Offense and Defense schemes, and HEART. This team does not give up – it will fight like a lion to the bitter end. I am in awe of this team and coaches. What we are seeing is a CONTENDER.

      • P_P_K

        Well said. Fly Eagles Fly!

    • Stephen Stempo

      I think this: I don’t think there’s a coach in the nfc who is going to out scheme Kelly right now. Playoffs are such a crap shoot but this team right here is better coached and more talented than both of the giants SB teams. I think our d can do enough. I’m not saying I think we win the SB but I think we have as good a chance as anyone else in the nfc.

  • theycallmerob

    Along with the additional “1” WR, lest we not forget the impact Ertz has had as well. 12-141-3 since OAK, including goose eggs against both GB and DET. Hope he breaks that trend of performances against NFC-N teams the next two weeks!

    And, to be fair, Vick predicted this: http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2013/10/03/vick-zach-ertz-destined-greatness/

  • Ben Hert

    OT, but i love watching GIF’s of Shady juking people, and the GIFs not having a high enough frame rate to capture how quickly he moves. Exhibit A:

    http://imgur.com/nXKuETY

    He just fakes right, and the next frame he’s already to the left of the guy. And he makes it look so simple.

  • Mike Flick

    I am not sure if there is a stat for this, but we have had more Kneel downs this season than any I can remember.

  • NinjaP

    I give kudos to this coaching staff, I was kind of eh on them when they were first announced, but the sheer number of young players the eagles have playing at high level is a testament to the great work they have done this season.

  • Buge Halls

    And suddenly I’m a Bears fan – for 10-12 hours anyway!

    • TommyLawlor

      We’re all Bears fans today.

      • BlindChow

        On Lions’ blogs, they’re talking about how they’re all Cowboys fans today.

        • eagleyankfan

          Now that’s funny!

          My prediction — 42-35 bears.

          • Always Hopeful

            Good call, not that far off!

  • Ark87

    You pose a question in this post that we’ve been asking ourselves for weeks. My question is, what did this last game add to our evaluation? This game is an instant classic, we’re all going to remember it forever. That said, it tells us little about who we can beat under standard conditions, including the Lions. I loved it, the Lions got extra time to game plan for this game, all gameplans went out the window. A lot of the techniques and coaching went out the window. Both teams had to improvise to win, we came out on top. Loved it. That being said, how much did it tell us about how good we are? It feels like it said *something*, having trouble putting my finger on anything tangible.

    • eagleyankfan

      T-Law once said — he’d like to see Foles in the 4th quarter in a tough game. I wonder if this qualifies….

      • Iskar36

        Given the conditions, I thought Foles played decently, but in terms of the 4th quarter specifically, not sure what you can take out of this game in terms of how well he played. He had the pass to Celek at the end of the game and one other completion that I can see on that drive. Outside of that, he did have the 1 yd TD and then the 20 yard scramble, but the 4th quarter belonged to the RBs. Foles really didn’t show a lot in that quarter specifically.

        • eagleyankfan

          I disagree. Foles was a general and showed great poise. You talk of that TD plunge like it was nothing. There were some pretty good backs that couldn’t punch that in.

          • Iskar36

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really trying to take anything away from Foles. But when Tommy says that he’d like to see Foles in the 4th quarter in a tough game I think he is looking for a game where Foles has to take control of a game. Maybe not necessarily carry the team, but be a major factor. I don’t think this game qualifies. He certainly helped and did his part, but Shady took over the 4th quarter.

          • eagleyankfan

            and/or the O-line. other backs, and Foles run(s) there were some pretty good blocking going on…

          • Iskar36

            Very true.

          • jshort

            Most everyone thinks Stafford is a good QB. Foles rating was about 20pts higher…If Celek scores adds about 20 more points. And If Foles is an inch lower with the pass to Cooper and sticks it in his face mask……I’ll stop….we won!

          • Iskar36

            Just to be absolutely clear, if you’re trying to convince me that Foles is good, I’m already sold. I am loving what he is doing right now. I was simply arguing whether this game qualified as Tommy’s test of a tough 4th quarter performance that he wanted to see Foles go through.

          • jshort

            I know. ……I’m still giddy !

        • Stephen Stempo

          Foles managed not to fumble the ball 5 times! I don’t think that can be understated. Kelce gets a ton of credit too for that. Coaches too but those fumbles killed Detroit over and over. His second half in generaL was very good. No panic came out and calmly hit cooper and jax deep. Those throws kept the d honest.

    • jshort

      Tells us don’t make any plans on 2/2/14……We have a game!!!

    • GEAGLE

      Whoa…I’m sorry, but this game TOLD ME a heckuva a lot!

      We are a team built for speed, and I learned we could adjust to a gritty smash mouth style when needed(2nd half)
      ..
      Committing one turnover and only one penalty in a slop is soooo impressive I don’t even know where to start
      ..
      Our interior linemen answering the bell these past two week against the best. DT tandems we will ever face
      ..
      OUR offense just scored 34 points in like 20 minutes, when the veteran Stafford and the unstoppable Megatron ONLY scored 8 points? Your defense gave up 8 points…I don’t care if we play on Mars, that’s amazing to see.
      ..
      Your coaches can make the ultimate adjustments, even taking suggestions from players..
      ..

  • T_S_O_P

    If Coop’s targets were down while Vick was QB, Avant’s are down now that Foles is QB. Could that be that he was over targeted by Vick because of his ability to get open? Is it that Avant and Nick aren’t in sync? His target to catch ratio seem low.

    • TommyLawlor

      Avant did very well with Foles last year. They had excellent chemistry.

      I just think this offense is throwing the ball more downfield. Also, I think Avant has lost some throws to the TEs.

      The Eagles aren’t throwing the ball as much. There aren’t going to be as many passes to go around.

    • Anders

      We are passing less so the 4th and 5th guy will be hurt. Right now Jackson, Cooper and McCoy is the top 3 targets and take majority of the targets.

  • eagleyankfan

    “Before the season I predicted 8 or 9 wins.” Your prediction was with Vick as the starter. I wonder what you would have predicted with if Foles was named the starter.

    • Iskar36

      To be fair, his prediction if I remember correctly came when Vick and Foles were still competing for the job.

      • eagleyankfan

        it’s a hell of a prediction than to give a number of wins without ever knowing who the QB would be. He should working Vegas over pretty good with that talent.

        • Cafone

          Not really. Consider a weak NFC East and a coach who would be more willing to give the ball to our best player, LeSean McCoy, and I think 8 or 9 wins was a reasonable conclusion.

        • Tumtum

          I think most reasonable people expected between the 7-9 win range. Our assumption was *okay* play out of either guy. While highly flawed (and it remains so), this team also has quite a few very talented players.

  • Max

    Riley Cooper has 18 rushing yards on zero attempts, for an average of infinite yards per rush. I love McCoy and all, but clearly we need to be handing off to Cooper more!

    • Iskar36

      You are getting it all wrong. The statistics you just mentioned shows clearly that you don’t need to hand the ball off to him.

      • Tumtum

        If they actually hand him the ball, time will freeze forever in that moment.

    • Andy124

      And hurt his YPC? I think not.

    • A_T_G

      Ironic that this happened this year under Chip; this is exactly what Andy had been expecting from the RB position for years.

  • Vick or Nick

    Tommy I agree with your article….but….

    Soft schedule???

    Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos..then Cards and Lions back to back.

    I’m not saying we played the hardest, but it was far from “soft”.

    The NFC East games help for sure, but even then we lost 2 in a row.

    ALSO:

    How about my guy CHRIS POLK. I’ve been on his bandwagon for the past few weeks. And he FINALLY got some 4th quarter carries. If he can keep holding on to the ball and securing it through traffic, he will be a weapon as a closer.

    • Neil

      I think he’s saying the schedule looked soft before the season.

    • Anders

      Most people expected Chiefs, Chargers and Cards to be softer than they are this year.

      • GEAGLE

        We still might have to go on the road and beat 3 BEASTS in Brandon Marshall!Alshon Jeffries and Forte, and going into free agency I expect Cutler To play by then…I really don’t care if you play the jaguars 8 times in a row, Going into the playoffs on a 8 game win streak is impressive…last years team woulda compared themselves to the undefeated dolphins and proclaimed to these world how great we were after a game win streak…you still don’t hear a peep out of this years team. Head down,work hard, beat the team in front of you regardless of whether it’s stafford or Glennon…

        This is a team that DESERVES to have us on blitz every single day talking about them like madmen…this is a group we can be proud of, and when you consider this is really just the foundation phase…tough not to be excited about our future
        ..
        We will NOT lose another regular season game this year!!! It’s just not going to happen…we don’t face ANY better coached, Discaplined teams the rest of the way…

    • Mike Flick

      Polk is leading our team in Yards per attempt. Time to unleash him to the league!

      He is our secret weapon. Well it was a secret before you blabbed.

      • P_P_K

        The guy is so good he deserves a nickname.

        • A_T_G

          A. Dancer Polk? If he fills out a form for the government it would say Polk A. Dancer.

          • P_P_K

            That’s what we’re talkin’ about.

  • Andy124

    I can hear Dennis Green now:
    “That aren’t what we thought the were! They’re not what we thought they were.”

  • Kristopher Cebula

    tommy,
    When brad smith was signed, I assumed it would be as a kickoff returner. Was I wrong in this assumption? Brandon Boykin still appears to be returning kicks and smith is running plays with the offense. What gives? Is Smith going to get his shot? Is Boykin a better kickoff returner?

    • Andy124

      I thought the same.

      • P_P_K

        Me too.

    • Ark87

      even more surprising, he was getting some snaps at WR. Definitely didn’t expect to see him used in non-gimmick ways on the O this soon. I get the feeling that Chip is fascinated by his versatility as a weapon.

    • Anders

      Howie said he was here to do KR, ST (he is gunner on punts at least) and contribute as a WR. Mainly he has done the gunner part, but he also have some KRs and a few offensive plays.

  • BlindChow

    Be careful with those Vick Red Zone stats! Around these parts that’s considered a-hatin’!

  • Mac

    My hope for the season was to hold teams to under 22 ppg, to see what Foles could do in Chip’s offense, and watch the Eagles win some games.

    Even with the rough start I still predicted 6-6 going into the Lions game. This team has exceeded my moderately high expectations.

  • Brett Smith

    I always have to ask do good teams make their own luck by being good and playing hard? I know they are playing hard.

    I think this team is leading a bit of a charmed life. The past few weeks we have gotten some breaks and calls have gone our way.

    NFC East is trash this season. Washington, NY both are horrible.

    GB no AR.

    Detroit in a snow storm (negates Megatron and Stafford passing) with no Reggie Bush.

    Now for the good news.

    The best part about this stretch is that Foles is a 2nd year QB. Not 4 yrs, or even 3 yrs, he is a 2nd year QB in his second new system of his career. One would hope there is no way to go but up for Foles.

    Shady is just hitting his prime. DJax is in his prime.

    • fran35

      Do not negate the effect that the snowstorm had on us. I submit that on paper, the Lions were better suited to play in those conditions. Strong armed QB with elite, huge WR. Our offense is so predicated on speed and cutting, the snow would absolutely hurt us more. Until the Lions faced adversity and fell apart due to low character, poor coaching. It feels so good to have a tema that is the opposite of that.
      And can I say, —-FUK FUK FUK Jim Washburn!!

      • Brett Smith

        I know that all the players were playing in the same snow. You see how the game went. We didn’t get rolling until the snow started to let up and Foles could hit a few over the top. So you are very right about it hurting us on the offense. But it really hurt their offense because Stafford really struggled and Megatron can’t throw it to himself.

        The great part about that is it was skill players (minus a shady and celek, kelce) first game in the snow. Coop is from Clearwater, Djax from So Cal, Foles from Austin.

        • fran35

          I agree on all accounts-aside from the Charmed Life comment regarding this game. It was a mess. We didn’t luck out, at all. The game could have gone either way. Please do not put any caveats on this one. The Green Bay win, yeah I see the luck of the draw, with no Aaron Rodgers.

      • Michael Jorden

        I think we would have won that game without the storm. Totally subjective I know, but I agree with your points.

    • GEAGLE

      Yesterday it dawned on me that I was watching Cam newton play with more then 40 starts under his belt…we are witnessing something special. I’m watching our inexperienced QB face the most exotic high volume blitz defense in the NFL last week and our inexperienced QB and center who people forget doesn’t eve have 30 games under his belt, are reading the defense, making the right checks, and we go on to pick up these exotic blitzes and FOles SHREDS them! I was so impressed with him presnap against Arizona..

      The next week, the kid from Texas/Arizona plays in a blizzard and proves to adjust to it quickly. we had NO success in these first half but when go back and watch the game film you will see that Nicks ball placement was already adjusted to SHARP in the 2nd quarter, but Coop wasn’t coming down with the ball…he ended the half with a QB rating of 10…you have to play some darn good football which opened things up got shady to finish the game with almost an 80 QB rating when it was 10 at the half…FOles faced more snow then all the veteran QBs in these snow games yesterday, and who had a better 2nd half then him?

      • Brett Smith

        Woot!

  • GEAGLE

    Make no mistake about it, this is a DAMN GOOD football TEAM. Far from the most talented team, but a very well coached bunch, that is hungry, fearless and focused. We just watched a friggin blizzard game, the sloppiest mess we will ever face, and we committed 1 penalty and 1 turnover. I REPEAT, 1 penalty and 1 TO…if THATS not a well coached team! I don’t know what is!!

    these coaches first coached us up to be fundamentally sound, and now they are coaching the details that make you great into your game. We don’t have SHUTDOWN CBs, but we are about to watch our two new CBs, battle and DEFEAT: Floyd/Fitz, Calvin/burleson! Marshall/Jeffries, Jennings/Patterson! Dez/Williams, and we will hold our own with ALL OF THEM and win EACH GAME! not having shutdown corners, we shouldn’t stand a chance..but we got physical warriors out there who are really being coached up. What our corners lack in speed they make up with heart and detail. They are starting to be very good at breaking up the pass after a WR thinks he has it…just look at the front 7. we started off coaching them to be sound, now you are seeing us build on it and you see the first guy holding up the ball carrier while Ced and Barwin strip the ball….THATS COACHING!! We weren’t playing like that in September…

    let’s not even get into our conditioning,.every Monday is a casualty list world wide..this weeks event casualties are Gronk and the Honeybadger blowing out their knees,.we just truck along, healthy. make NO MISTAKE about it, conditioning had a major role in yesterday. Running in snow like that is like running on beach…takes so much more energy then what guys are used to expending, running on grass. it’s not a coincidence that STOUT Detroit defense wore down late in the game and our Discaplined well conditioned scientifically advanced Ivan Drago’s started blowing them off the ball. I won’t forget the image of 11 STOUT Detroit run defenders getting blown off the goal line on that QB sneak…shady looking like he was the only one playing on a normal field….

    but the most important part is these wins really are ALL TEAM efforts. we really play as a TEAM and when you add the discapline,hunger and focus…it makes us a more DANGEROUS TEAM then some people think…

    Defense gave up 8 points yesterday…we don’t shoot ourselves in edge foot and get major production from our stars…That MAKES US a good team!

    • Mitchell

      I really enjoy the coaching we have now. Everyone in the NFL has talent but the coaches are so important at maximizing potential. That’s why I would be fine picking number 1 or 32, it’s the coaches who bring the best out of our players. Kudos to Kelly having the insight and understanding to bring in this staff to maximize our potential!

      • GEAGLE

        Mitch, I was thinking the same thing early about where we draft….I don’t even think it matters any more..
        ..
        Is believe we will look at the talent, find the guys who LIVE for this game and have high football IQs like Bennie Logan’s, and an Olinemen who has learned the game thru QBs eyes, and just coach them up into BALLERS..

        I get to go into a draft not worrying about Chip taking undersized fastballs, or guys who will take the money and flame out like Mamula. We will draft kids that really care and turn them into Ivan Drago’s football studs!! IF we can have two more drafts like the two we just had, we will have that Stacked Seahawks or Niners teams that were a result of paying QBs on rookie deals and having I solid drafts every year

        • Mitchell

          Btw Logan blocked an extra point on Sunday. That was incredible. I am so excited for this draft because not only do we not have to worry about reaching for picks due to coaching ignorance but we also don’t have to worry about it because we don’t have any glaring holes on the team. SO EXCITED

    • Tumtum

      Ill take the good and wait on the damn good.

    • GEAGLE

      What does it mean to have negative up votes, and negative down votes? I’m confused…am I being PUNKED? Lol

    • RobNE

      I think coaching is just huge in the NFL. I’m not saying Kelly is all that (though I do think so), but I remember Peter King or someone ranking the coaches and having all the new ones last. I’m sorry but there are a lot of mediocre coaches and I would have taken any of the new blood (esp really new blood like Kelly or Trestman) over a lot of guys. I fear Snyder goes and gets Sumlin.

      With Kelly I remember the “build a program” emphasis by Lurie. I feel like whatever happens this year (i.e., whether we win the SB by 3 or 30) I am so happy that the Eagles seem to have an overall plan and are executing it. Whether it takes 1 or even god forbid 2 years to get to the top, I feel like we are in good hands.

      Especially compared to say watching Amaro sign a reliever (Paps) for 5 years then now try to trade him, like he just realized maybe giving a reliever all that money and years isn’t a great idea. No S Sherlock. He has no plan to build a program at all.

      • BlindChow

        It sounds like Redskins fans are worried that the good coaches aren’t going to want to work for Snyder. I’m thinking he’s going to hire some coordinator desperate for a shot at HC, as opposed to a program-builder with a cushy job who can wait a year or two for a more premium spot to open up.

        I can see Ray Horton or someone from the Bengals making the jump.

        • RobNE

          Good! Maybe fire Shanny and promote their Off Coordinator. hahahaha

          • GEAGLE

            Plus they don’t have a first round pick…not very attractive

      • GEAGLE

        Lol @ Rueban “ruin tomorrow” Amaro

      • Neil

        I wouldn’t be too afraid of Snyder getting anybody. He would be a nightmare to work for, and I think if it wasn’t obvious before it is now. He is the worst owner in the league if the rumours about his preferential treatment of RG3 are true.

  • truehaynes

    Eagles could still get the #2 seed if neworleans goes 1-2 and the panthers go 2-1. And if the eagles win out of course. Man of we had just beat the cowboys and giants in those stinkers. We would have a shot at home field

    • Anders

      It is plausible. The Rams is very hot and cold and could beat the Saints and the Saints still has the Panthers at the Panthers and they are bad away from that Dome

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah the rams suck, but they are very dangerous team n their division..that defense! when it’s on, it’s nasty…

    • ACViking

      One thing about the Andy Reid era, the guy had a horseshoe in his pocket. Come playoff seedings, Reid’s Eagles always seemed to catch a break on the last day of the season — especially 2008.

  • Tom33

    “I’ve got to give the front office a lot of credit,” Kelce said. “They brought in a lot of quality guys, guys who are all positive guys and good guys and great in the locker room and are willing to go fight for their teammates and keep fighting when things aren’t always going the way you want them to.

    “And I think they did a great job getting rid of guys this past offseason who didn’t share that outlook, guys who were cancerous on the team, especially guys on defense.”

    http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/adversity-no-problem-seasons-eagles

    Cancerous huh? that’s pretty strong.

    Nnamdi/Jason/Dominique – any retort?

  • Tom W

    This year is just gravy …. relax and enjoy it. we lose in playoffs so what. We hit on a once in a generation coach and potentially franchise qb and stud dline in one year.

    Think parades … w chip and howie mindmelt and players invested in this thing and the sports science and offensive genius of chip and young dline … sky is the limit. parade in next 3 years … potentially 3 in next 12 years. I’m just so happy everything from owner to gm to coach to assistants to qb to team is young hungry and forward thinking and invested. This town is much better place to be when eagles are good.

    We shouldn’t be this good this early. Maybe in 2 years I wanted this. I wanted a franchise qb by year 3. we may have one now. I wanted a stud 3-4 defense in year 3. we have the makings of a good defense now w a couple more additions very doable. no gapin holes and a coach who actually coaches … billy davis great job!

    Our contract situation is great this year and next. Cap situation is amazing. Not a ton of hard decisions. we have a 3-5 window to get one if not 2.

  • ICDogg
    • RobNE

      Just read this, good stuff. I remember seeing the replay of Cooper looking straight ahead, then having to find the ball again. My first thought was, wow that is hard. My second was, why did he feel the need to look away from the ball and down the field. It’s not like he is playing in a parking lot. Maybe he thought he was close to the end zone?

  • ACViking

    Re: How Times Have Changed — in just 13 weeks

    T-Law:

    Two points.

    _________________

    First, throughout the season, the Eagles’ offense has averaged 26 points. That was true in the first quarter of the season. And that 26 point average has held over the last 9 games.

    So 26 points on offense . . . that puts the Eagles solidly in the Top 10 (and actually pretty close to the top 3 — Denver’s off the charts).

    Now, look at the defense.

    The Eagles’ defense in their first 3 games — I’m not counting Denver’s offense because they’re in another dimension — gave up an average of 28 ppg.

    In the past 9 games — since Denver — the defense has given up only 18 ppg.

    So in the past 9 games, the Eagles’ defense has eliminated a TD and FG.

    That 2 scores. And a 2-possession swing.

    So, over the past 9 games (including the NYG/Dallas games), with the offense at 26 ppg, and the defense at 18 ppg, the Eagles are almost 2 scores better than their opponents.

    ___________________

    That leads to my second point.

    In 2013, the Eagles have played exactly ONE game in 13 where the teams finished within 1 score. (That was the San Diego game at 33-30.)

    That’s a remarkable statistic for a *Winning* team. Only 1 game in 13 where one more score — a FG or TD+2 pt converstion — either ties or puts the losing team ahead.

    Here’s why I think that gives you a good impression of how well this 2013 team has done:

    SF has 4 such games (agst Seattle, Saints, Carolina, GB w/ Rodgers).

    Denver, with an historical offense, has 5 such games.

    KC has 5 such games.

    The Cards have 5 such games.

    Seattle has 6 such games.

    The Saints have 7 such games

    Dallas has 7 such games.

    New England has 10 such games.

    Baltimore has 10 such games.

    For historical perspective — for what it’s worth — only ONE team since 1960 (the AFL’s birth) has finished a full season with only 1 game being close enough that one more score ties or wins it.

    In 1968, the 13-1 Baltimore Colts — victims of Namath and Jets in SB III — hold that distinction. That team rolled through the NFL.

    Next, at 2 games are the (a) 1973 12-2 Dolphins — a better team than the undefeated ’72 bunch (which had 3 such games), (b) the 1968 Oakland Raiders [who lost in wind-swept Shea Stadium in the AFL title game to the ’68 Jets, which had 5 such games], and (c) the 1970 9-4-1 LA Rams, with HOFers DE Deacon Jones, DT Merlin Olson, C Tom Mack, and All Pros like QB Roman Gabriel, WR Jack Snow, OT Charlie Cowan, OLBs Jack Pardee and Maxie Baughn, CB Kermit Alexander, S Richie Pettibone . . . and the MOST paranoid head coach ever, George Allen [who was fired and moved to the Redskins, creating the “Over The Hill Gang].

    At 3 games, (a) the World Champion 1964 Cleveland Browns, (b) the the 1969 NYJets, in Namath’s last good year, and (c) the 1985 Bears — w/ Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense at its peak.

    The great 1971 Cowboys teams, that won the SB in Staubach’s first year as the QB, had 6 such games. The great Dallas teams of the Jimmy Johnson era never did better than 5 games.

    The 1998 Vikings, which held the team scoring record for 10 years, had 4 games where they and the opponent were separated by a FG or TD+2pt conversion.

    And the 2007 16-0 Pats? The greatest scoring team? 4 games just like the Vikings.
    _______________

    I find that statistic — just 1 game in 13 with the teams separated by a single score — really impressive in historical terms, irrespective of their schedule. Because every team they Birds play is in the NFL.

    This is a very good football team.

    • RobNE

      maybe I misunderstood, but I see Eagles 33 Redskins 27 (5 points), Giants 15 Eagles 7 (8 points), Eagles 24 Redskins 16 (8 points) plus the Chargers game.

      • ACViking

        Rob:

        I’ve stricken both sections of the comment.

        Thank you.

        • RobNE

          no worries. we are all off kilter today from the game yesterday, in a good way.

          • ACViking

            Indeed.

            But the 1968 Baltimore Colts really did have only 1 game where the final score separated them and their opponent by a TD or FG. Just 1 game.

            Then they played SB III and became a punchline.

  • ACViking

    Re: Improving Defense

    The defense in Games 1-3 (forget Denver, they destroy most everyone), gave up 28 points per game.

    Since the Denver game, the Birds’ defense has allowed 18 ppg — which would make the Eagles one of the top 5 scoring defenses in the NFL.

    That’s a 10-point swing in the Eagles favor (or a 2 possession swing), thanks to the defense.

    The offense has averaged about 26 points all season.

    With the 10 points cut off the scoreboard, that gives what’s been a very productive offense a lot of room to work.

    • BlindChow

      Is that counting pick-sixes and special teams blunders?

      • ACViking

        Doing it the way the NFL does.

        But, BC, point well taken.

        “Defensive” points are inflated. (I suppose offensive points, too, when you include ST TDs.)

        Even discounting those (like the INT-TD in the KC game), the defense has stepped it up.
        _______________

        By the way . . . speaking of Kick/Punt return TDs.

        Only two NFL teams has had a player return a punt and kickoff for a TD in the same game and lost.

        The Lions . . . TWICE. Yesterday and in ’77.

        And the 1961 Broncos in the AFL’s second season.

        11 other times it’s happened, and the returner’s team won.

    • OregonDucker

      Chip’s Defense Mission – “I think over time we felt like we had some guys on the offensive side of the ball that could put some points on the board, so if we make offenses go out and earn it, not just one-play deals going down the field, then we’ve got a shot at winning, and that’s kind of the whole concept we have: let’s create turnovers on defense, let’s do a great job of ball security on offense, but let’s not allow the team to get back into it with the easy play,” said Kelly.

  • ACViking

    Re: Shula II?

    Don Shula’s teams — especially his best teams in Baltimore and Miami — played notoriously disciplined football. They didn’t turnover the ball. They didn’t commit penalties.

    As GEagle’s earlier comment about the Lions game seems apt about this season — especially since Foles took over.

    This band of Eagles does not hurt themselves very often. At all.

    Now, if they can just add a 6-2 210lb WR who plays like Paul Warfield and a pair of safeties like Jake Scott and Dick Anderson — best pair ever — this team will be on its way.

    Can’t underestimate the importance of a Warfield-type receiver on this team. He was a HB at Ohio State under Woody Hayes, so he caught the ball you had a RB in the secondary overmatching the DBs. He was fast and athletic as Brian Westbrook — but much bigger. And he had the hands of Jason Avant.

    Oh to have a WR like that on this team . . . sweet tonnato!

    • Anders

      Be honest Cooper has looked pretty good in screens this season.

      Regarding bigger WRs with big play potential

      There is of course Sammy Watkins, but he is going top 10.

      I know a lot of fans really like Allen Robinson because he is big and he can do this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-cuNKb4Kjk#t=181

      I be honest im not his biggest fan, but there is a couple other WRs with good size and great RAC ability in this draft.
      There is of course also some smaller guys like Oddel-Beckham Jr and Marquise Lee with superb RAC skills

    • A Roy

      So what is it that caused our LT to stop making a procedure penalty every stinking game?
      While you’re asking for old players, we could use another LB…Nitschke or Butkus? Or would you prefer someone a little younger? Nobis or Bergey?

  • ICDogg
    • ACViking

      I have no problem with AF’s past comments. Even last week’s.

      As long as she confesses error. America loves people who admit when they’re wrong.

      By the way, since I’m the guy who remembers flubber being the creation of Fred McMurray’s character . . . I have a question.

      Is someone who uses twitter to make self-evidently dumb comments a “twit”?

      Just asking.

      • ICDogg

        Heh. Well, by the time they admit to being wrong everyone already knows it… anyway, there’s a bunch of these types of tweets here

        http://southernphilly.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/college-boy/

        • BlindChow

          The timbre of her most recent post on Kelly suggests she’s conceding nothing. I think she’s biding her time, waiting for a big loss, so she can unleash an I-Told-You-So article.

          • D3FB

            I think she’s really just waiting for chip to go undefeated for the next 7 years bring home more Lombardi’s than any team has and when he retires write a scathing “Chip Kelly is a quitter!” article.

        • Anders

          That is gold.

  • ACViking

    Re: Time Does NOT Heal All Wounds

    The Lions played Thursday afternoon, a week ago.

    No team gets more time to prepare for their next opponent than the TG-day entitled Detroit Lions.

    Didn’t help, apparently. In fact, by the 4th Q, it looked like the Eagles had 10 days to get ready.

    (If this point was made before, my apologies.)

    • ICDogg

      In this case, any game preparation not accounting for lots of snow was rendered useless and it came down to a battle of who could make the best adjustments.

      • Anders

        the 10 day rest for the players is more important than any game planning this time of the year

        • ICDogg

          Fair enough

      • OregonDucker

        Which translates to superior coaching. The Eagles have it in a head coach and skill coaches. Period.

  • A Roy

    I still don’t know what to make of this team. They beat a decent DET team. In the snow. They beat GB at Lambeau. Without Rodgers. They beat the DC team twice and NY once, but they suck. Ditto TB and, as it turned out, OAK. And, according to Bruce Ariens, the refs jobbed AZ. And it looks like MINN won’t have a healthy Ladanian Tomlinson next week. CHI is missing Cutler. If we go into the DAL game 10-5, we still won’t have a true signature win to define this team.

    • BlindChow

      I know, right? At this rate, we’ll zip right through the playoffs, take home the Lombardi trophy, and STILL know nothing about the kind of team this is!

      • Anders

        Wouldnt surprise me.

        I was ready for people to come with terrible excuses if McNabb had won a SB with like 300 yards and 3 TD and 1 int.

      • OregonDucker

        There is a perceived destiny in the events of late. No Aaron Rogers, no Bush, no AP, no Ellington – kinda makes you think there is something in the wind.

        At this point we need to enjoy every game. Evaluate the growth of the team. And plan for something very special.

  • Anders

    Did people just watch Jason Hatcher try to emulate the immortal Marlon Favorite on that McCown run? :P

  • Bob Brewer

    I think they’re the best team in the NFC-E and yes I think they could win a WC game.

    I don’t think there’s a team in the NFC that can win at Seattle or at New Orleans.