Team Loss

Posted: January 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 183 Comments »

The instant reaction of many fans is that Alex Henery is to blame for the Eagles loss. The final score was 26-24 and he missed a FG in the 1st half. Give the Eagles those points and you’ve got a win.

Uh, doesn’t exactly work like that. Remember that the Saints marched the ball right down the field on their final drive. If they were down 27-23, they’d have played for the TD and not settled for the FG. You also never know how the Eagles having those points would have affected earlier decisions. Way too simplistic to think if Henery makes that kick the Eagles win.

I’m not trying to let him off the hook. That was a costly miss. My point is that no one player is responsible. This was a team loss.

The offense really struggled in the 1st half. They finished the game with 256 yards. They had chances in the game to put up additional points, but failed to do so. This is on the whole offense. Foles took dumb sacks. Cooper had a huge drop. The OL could have blocked better on some plays. And so on.

The defense limited the Saints to 6 points in the 1st half, but New Orleans finished the game with 434 yards and 26 points. The Saints were very good in the 2nd half. The worst part was watching them run the ball when they wanted to. Bill Davis said the Eagles were more concerned about the passing game, but at a certain point you have to sell out to stop the run and take your chances. We’ll see what the tape shows.

We’re all feeling very mixed emotions right now. We’re mad at the Eagles for losing the game. We’re happy they responded to being down 20-7 and making the comeback. We’re happy that they had such a good and fun seasopn. But we’re utterly frustrated that the season is over. Losing a playoff game really hurts.

I hope Eagles players learned a lesson tonight. The Saints were more physical. They were more aggressive. They were the better team. The NFL playoffs are a bit different. I’m sure Chip Kelly learned a lesson or two, although he might not admit it.

QUICK HITS

* No big plays from Mychal Kendricks or Brandon Boykin.

* The Eagles tackling was poor throughout the game. I was especially frustrated with Cary Williams. There were several plays when he was hesitant before making contact. This isn’t Nnamdi/DRC stuff, but it was odd.

* Why no Earl Wolff? We can only guess that the coaches didn’t think he was ready to play unless absolutely needed.

* The lack of touches for DeSean Jackson for so long is something that must be remedied. Once they got him the ball, you could see what a playmaker he is. He should touch the ball on the 1st series of every game. Get him touches.

* The DL was way too quiet. Curious to see how they look on tape.

* The Saints were clutch on 3rd/1 and 4th/1. The Eagles weren’t. Must control the LOS better than that.

* Sproles 39-yard KOR and subsequent penalty to open the final drive were huge. Henery needs better depth on that kick and the Eagles must do a better job in coverage.

* It was great to see Foles lead the Eagles on that final TD drive. He left the field with the lead and never got another chance. Foles was far from perfect in this game, but he put his team on top with a long drive late in the game. That’s a huge sign from a young QB. McNabb first did that in his 5th season, when the Eagles came back to beat the Packers in 2003.

* I do think it was important to see the Eagles come back from down 20-7 and then go ahead 24-23. The offense did their part. The defense played well in that stretch. Even STs came up big. They just couldn’t keep that thing going for the whole game.

We have plenty to talk about in terms of this game and how to go about fixing the team in the offseason. I’m not going to jump in to every topic at once. Patience, my friends.

_


  • slackerjoe

    When the Saints got the ball back with 4+ minutes left, I was really hoping they would score a quick touchdown to give the Eagles a chance to execute a final TD winning drive. I would have preferred an ultra aggressive blitz heavy defensive series and if the Saints hit for a big TD, then fine. The worst case scenario (which came to pass) was a clock chewing drive that ended the game with Foles/McCoy never seeing the field again.

    Oh well, great season overall and I can’t wait to see what Chip/Howie do in the offseason.

  • jackpotsdad

    Agree Tommy. Team loss.

    There could’ve been improvements across the board. Foles played well, but not great. Shady didn’t break open any huge runs, though he did get a number of key yards, including a touchdown. Our defense let them amass way too much run yardage – which was a surprise, and what was the biggest disappointment for me.

    Honestly, Brees didn’t play that well – he had 2 ints. Our inability to stop Ingram and Sproles put us in a bad spot.

    I didn’t like Henry’s performance, but usually when the game is on the line and you have to depend on your kicker, you’ve probably had other things you could’ve done better.

    The loss hurt, but very hopeful for the future.

    • Jeffrey Stover

      I am more disappointed in Henerys last kick and the kick coverage that got the saints to midfield to start the last drive. My issue was with the offense on the drive that Henery missed the 48 yard fg. We had the ball at the 13 yard line and through poor execution, no penalties, he ended up having to attempt at 48 yarder?!? Geez Foles had all day why didn’t he just throw it away! But I can’t be too harsh, I thought he should have thrown it away when he eventually found Cooper for the TD too. But the sack he took turned a chip shot fg into a very long attempt.

      • BreakinAnklez

        Couldn’t agree more. Reminded me of Eagles/Skins back in 04. Skins had ball deep in red zone and ended up missing a 40+ yard FG. Terrible.

  • the guy

    The Saints O averaged 25.9 points and 399 yards per game for the season. The Eagles D allowed 26 points and 434 yards, and forced 2 turnovers. Drew Brees had a QBR of 75.7. Saints longest scoring drive was 66 yards and only managed 2 TDs.

    I get the disappointment with their performance late. I completely understand why the D would be the primary target for upgrade in the draft and free agency. Looking at the defensive performance for the season as a whole, I just don’t get why you’d blame them for this game.

    • TommyLawlor

      They had a good 1st half, but when critical stops were needed in the 2nd half, they couldn’t come up with them. That’s part of the loss.

      And let’s acknowledge some luck. Brees 2 picks were terrible throws right to Eagles. He also had a long TD where he threw a poor pass and it was incomplete.

      The D had good moments, but they absolutely had a hand in the loss.

      • the guy

        They absolutely did. It’s mostly about my expectations. I expected the offense to play well, and they didn’t. I expected the defense to play poorly, and they were (at least) adequate.

        • TommyLawlor

          I gotcha.

        • Daz

          Not singling out the d, but expectations = being able to stop at least one of those qb sneaks… We got absolutely bent over in the trenches on all the 3 and short/4 and short plays…

        • Stephen Stempo

          I dunno. That wasn’t a scrub defense out there.

        • A_T_G

          I understand, and agree, with your relative expectations for the offense and defense. On the other hand, those expectations highlight why the defense needs to be upgraded.

  • ICDogg

    Suggestion for topic: Maclin, and how he might or might not fit into this offense.

    • dislikedisqus

      I don’t see him coming back. Two Reasons. One, Foles and Cooper have real good chemistry. Two, the draft has many bigger, healthier receivers. WRs have gotten bigger since Maclin went 1st round. And there aren’t going to be any first-round WR’s with 2 knee ops like he has had. He is not a first round WR today.

  • mksp

    I just don’t know what to think about Nick after tonight. I feel like he had his chances and just couldn’t pull the trigger at times. Some bad throws and some bad luck (Cooper’s incredibly awful, poorly timed drop), but generally speaking a little disappointed.

    Hopefully Nick gets in the gym and spends a lot of time watching tape. I think the Eagles will need to see a big improvement from this year to next to give him a bit contract and make him “the guy.”

    Big thing with regard to Nick is that he’s not athletic, and isn’t a true threat on the read option. So he has to be exceptional in other areas: accuracy, decision making, arm strength, etc. Not just good, but elite.

    With all that said, its not like Drew Brees had a great game tonight in the same conditions, against a statistically worse defense. And he’s a 10yr veteran and top-5 QB in this league.

    • ICDogg

      Without a wider view, like the All-22, I can’t really say whether Foles had good available targets when he was holding the ball for so long, so it’s really hard for me to judge his performance based on what I’ve seen, as to some of those issues.

      • Media Mike

        The “highlight” film of Keenan Lewis showed Jackson was open a lot, but Foles didn’t throw him the ball.

        • fran35

          My thoughts exactly. Those “highlight” films seemed to show Desean getting separation. Now, it was only a snapshot, and there may have been safety help. However, I will say that as the season wore on, Nick was less inclined to try deep balls.

      • Mark Cooperberg

        I was at the game so I got the “all-22″ look for the whole game. There were several instances where Foles didn’t see or didn’t attempt to throw to open receivers. On the first or second series, Foles chose to throw short to Avant, but Celek was wide open much further down the field. Desean was open on some plays but Foles waited too long. As soon as #28 went down for the Saints, their defense was significantly affected. I immediately shouted to throw to Desean, and that is exactly what they did (and got a long bomb)…shortly later they got the long PI right in front of our seats. Foles sack when we were in chip shot FG range may have been his worst play. He also missed a wide open desean on the first play of the game. The intentional grounding throw was ugly and he needs to get better at that this off season. I was impressed with his 2 TD throws though, and again he stayed away from INTS.

    • Mitchell

      Bottom line is in his second year, Nick took a playoff team, down 20-7 to up 24-23.

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        Because their best corner got injured. Lewis doesn’t get injured that doesn’t happen.

        • Daz

          You can swing that as a positive though. Good qbs have the killer instinct to go after a weakness, which Nick did…

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            Yeah. That’s a stretch.

          • xeynon

            So is suggesting this game reveals Foles is too limited to ever win big. Besides, a lot of the big completions down the stretch came at the expense of Corey White, not Lewis’ replacement.

          • fran35

            Exactly. They switched coverage almost immediately and put Sweetney on Coop and Graham on Djax. But we all know that the trolls will be out today…….using restraint.

          • Stephen Stempo

            you’re wrong.

        • DJH

          And what DBs was Drew Bree’s facing? It is what it is. I agree tho that Nick is more of a “take what defense gives” not a “take what I want” QB.

        • jamesbondage

          Kinda like when Roc Carmichael got burned by Brees when Cary Williams was injured on the key 3rd and 10 play?

        • Mitchell

          Because obviously you can see the alternate universe where he doesn’t get injured. Go home your drunk.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Big Butt and a Smile has the same thoughts on this as Shah.. They both liked Vick and just flat out refuse to give Foles ANY credit. obvious reasons.

          • xeynon

            Last time Vick was quarterbacking in the playoffs and had a suspect CB to work on, he threw the guy a game-ending interception.

          • Stephen Stempo

            I know all about it Vick’s never been all that good but is revered by people who value athleticism over any type of intelligence. Which is the wrong way to look at life.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            The on;y one thinking about Vick is you. Your issue. Not mine.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            No. But 3 quarters of play is plenty enough to go on.

        • Stephen Stempo

          wrong.

        • Ark87

          don’t agree, but isn’t that more of an indictment on our WR’s than the QB anyway?

    • xeynon

      Since when did being a threat on the read option become the most important trait for a quarterback to have? Brady isn’t a threat on the read option. Neither is Manning, Brees, or Flacco. Rodgers could be but the Packers don’t use it.

      Being good at knowing where to throw the football and throwing the football still are and always will be the most critical traits for a quarterback to have.

      • mksp

        Point is I didn’t get the sense that nick knew where to throw the football last night. The all-22 on this one may be depressing. There had to be some shots downfield that he could have taken if he had a little more confidence, considering how well the saints were able to bottle up the run.

  • ICDogg

    They game planned to take away Brees’ timing, and as much as possible limit Graham and Sproles. I think they did fairly well in general, of course I have pretty low expectations for this D with current personnel.

  • Joe Minx

    I think when most people place a great deal of fault on Henery it’s not so much for the missed FG but for the short KOs & the last one in particular.

    • ICDogg

      Alex Henery is 27th out of 38 kickers in average kickoff distance. Average opponent starting position off his kicks is 4th worst allowed— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 5, 2014

      • Insomniac

        The sad part is…they moved it up 5 yards with the new rule and he still doesn’t boot it to the end zone consistently.

    • fran35

      DING. Thank you for saying this. I actually got into a debate with another poster regarding this after the Dallas game. I made the statement that in a cold playoff game, I didn’t trust Henery to a) get a touchback on kickoff b) hit a FG from 40 yds+. He disagreed. God, I wish I were wrong today. Bottom line: Henery has got to go. Kickers who are mediocre at FGs and horrible on kickoffs have a limited shelf life on a team that doesn’t play in a dome.

  • ian_no_2

    I was thinking that if Williams doesn’t make the horsecollar tackle, it’s may have been a touchdown return. But in hindsight, that would have been better.

    • fran35

      Good call. As much as some fans were probably cursing Cary for the penalty, I didn’t feel one bit of angst towards him. He made the tackle the only way he could. If he didn’t make the tackle, it would have been a TD

      • ian_no_2

        but.. the Eagles would get the ball back, losing by six (or 5 or 7 if they go for two) with almost five minutes left. Better than letting them run out the clock. Whether Williams should have been coached to play it that way is hard to say in hindsight.

        • Stephen Stempo

          We don’t know anything

          • ian_no_2

            The ST coach is supposed to explain to them how they can tackle Sproles at the Saints 15, not “if he gets past the 30, don’t horse collar him, let him score, because the past statistics show that it’s better if they don’t have it midfield with 5 minutes to go down by one.” Or the kicker can go for a touchback which is easier.

          • ian_no_2

            I mean, Rory Segrest would have thought of it but he coached at Samford.

    • Ark87

      The fan in me was hoping we would “blow a coverage” and let them score. I know you have to play to hold them w/o points or hold them to a FG hopefully with some time left to get your own FG and win (and hope for that game ending TO that we’ve gotten so many times this year). But man, drew brees, in 4 down situation, felt like the definition of inevitable. I just wanted the ball back with 2 minutes on the clock, felt that was plenty to go get a game winning TD. Their D was gassed.

  • JJVJACK

    I always enjoy reading your site. I do think this end of season was more than a lose. The last 4 games we only had one good game against the Bears. The Vikings, Cowboys and Saints really out played us. Not a big Romo fan but we probably lose that game with him in there. Not sure what the disconnect is but we basically got lucky because we have been out played the last month. I was real high on Kelly but something is missing and it is not one of the 3 phases because they have all looked bad at different times.

    • P_P_K

      I hadn’t thought about the last four games in this way. You’re right. Now I’m sorry I read your post because I’ll be thinking about it all off-season.

    • Stephen Stempo

      Yes Kelly.. terrible job those last 4 games just aweful . I think if John kitna gets in the Cowboys game we lose or If a meteor hits the earth and kills all the saints we win.. or if if if.. Kelly is fine.

    • xeynon

      Puh-lease. Vikings game was definitely a dud. But the Eagles outplayed the Cowboys, and last night’s game I thought was fairly evenly played, with the difference being a few close plays that didn’t go our way (Coop’s drop, the Graham non-fumble, etc.). The team went 7-1 in the second half of the season and won the division. No way can you spin that as a slump.

  • jackpotsdad

    Okay, here are my positive takeaways from the game, since I already talked about some of the negatives…

    1. The Eagles came back from a 20-7 deficit and took the lead!
    2. I love how when an opposing team puts a bad defender against either Cooper or DJax that Chip always calls a play against that side. He’ll keep doing it until you can prove you can stop it or until you change it up.
    3. The Eagles weren’t the team that made dumb penalties – the Saints racked up 85 yards of penalties, including a couple of false starts charged to their HoF bound QB
    4. The Eagles will be the best team in the NFC East next year as well. The Giants are going into rebuild mode; the Redskins have imploded and will probably be bad; the Cowboys have (aging) talent but have one of the worst cap situations in the NFL. Meanwhile, looks like the Eagles have a great HC and a franchise QB.

    • Mitchell

      Wer’e gonna be hungry next year.

  • McNabbulousness

    i think it’s fair to say both teams didn’t play their best games. STs was definitely the deciding factor. Henery’s performance not withstanding you had dumb shit like roc carmichael kicking the ball into the endzone when the saints could of been pinned on their own half yard line.

    it was a game there for either team to take and the saints made the plays at the end of game to escape with a win.

  • Thorin

    Can run-first teams win in the playoffs?

    I was talking to a friend not long ago and realized that none of the great RB’s of the last decade or so won a Super Bowl. Not Tomlinson, Not Adrian Peterson so far, not Chris Johnson, etc.

    The NFL network mentioned an even more interesting stat, it’s been 6 years since the Rushing Champion has won a playoff game.

    When push comes to shove in the playoffs, is it just too easy to scheme that running game away?

    • ICDogg

      I don’t know about such statements, it’s sort of like asking if a dome team can win in the cold outdoors. (They can’t. Until they do.)

      • Thorin

        It’s nothing like asking if a dome team can win out doors, and it’s not a generalization, It’s a simple strategic question: Is it too easy to upset a run-focused team by scheming away the running game?

        If not, why do top running backs seem to have so much less post season success than the top QBs? When was the last time a great RB won the Super Bowl?

        • Jamie Parker

          Depends on your definition of great RB. Emmitt won 3 SB’s, the last came in the ’95 season. Terrell Davis for the Borncos in ’97 and ’98? Marshal Faulk in ’99? Jamal Lewis in 2000?

          • Thorin

            So the most recent one was 14 years ago? That ain’t the same NFL.

            And the year when Lewis ran for 2000 yards (2003), the Ravens were eliminated in the first round.

          • Jamie Parker

            It all depends on the rest of the team really. Most teams with great RB’s don’t have great QB’s. I think we have both. However, we don’t have a great defense. Put the Eagles’ defense from ’00, ’01, ’02, ’04, or ’08 out there tonight, and we win.

          • ICDogg

            Let’s start with this: who are all these big time RBs that got to the playoffs and suddenly were stopped cold? Were they much better than guys who did win the Super Bowl, like Tiki Barber? Because there’s no point in explaining the “why” of something if it isn’t demonstrably true to begin with.

        • dislikedisqus

          I don’t think the question is when was the last time a great RB won the Super Bowl. Sure YPA > YPC, that is clear. But Peterson came within a Favre fumble of getting to the SB. When I look back at the 2010 playoff game against GB , our opponent won because it had a good day rushing, like NO yesterday, Partly that was because Rodgers like Brees was such a great QBs, the defense semi-conceded the run. But point is GB went to the SB that year and would not have made it without James Starks running wild against the Eagles. I’ll take offense and yards anyway I can. I totally believe if the Eagles had run more yesterday they would have won.

    • xeynon

      I think the fact that Peterson and Johnson have played pretty much their entire careers with crappy quarterbacks and Tomlinson played for a notoriously poor playoff coach in Norv Turner has more to do with it.

      The 49ers are a run first team and made the Super Bowl just last year. I wouldn’t overreact or over-generalize from this loss.

    • DJH

      I don’t think it matters if they’re run first, but the passing game does need to be above average. The Eagles WRs struggled against man coverage all year. That can’t happen the playoffs if you want to move forward. Ideally a team move ball in running and passing game. Defense pick poison.

      Eagles took away passing game a against Saints and they were then able to run the ball. They get the win. Eagles couldn’t run the ball and were up and down in pass game.

      The WR corps needs rebuilt to compliment our RB corps.

  • xeynon

    I wanted to say thanks for your great Eagles coverage Tommy. If there is a silver lining to the Eagles’ season ending, it is that I can now start looking forward to your coverage of the offseason. A lot of what is discussed here during the season is Xs and Os stuff that as someone who played football I am familiar with, so as good as your in-season material is I don’t enjoy it quite as much as the the scouting/draft process/free agency stuff which enlightens me in regard to areas about which I am ignorant. Loved your posts from Mobile, write ups on top prospects, free agency analysis, and podcasts with Jimmy Bama last year (they helped get me through a long winter), and am really looking forward to them again this year.

    The Senior Bowl is less than two months away! Can’t wait for the discussion of what the Eagles need to do to improve on this result next year to begin.

  • JJ_Cake

    I’m pretty happy with how Foles played the game.

    But we got a gift when the Saint’s main CB went out with an injury, thats when our Offense started looking great. There were a few good plays here and there, but the saints loosing that guy really hurt them.

    This game was similar to the Dallas game. We lost on both sides of the LOS. Mostly on the D tonight. We couldn’t stop the run when we knew it was coming. The reporters were all hailing Drew Brees… no, it was Ingram and Sproles and their OLine that got it done. We actually played Brees pretty well.

    Shame we couldn’t punch them in the mouth and run the rock on them like they did us.

    Some real “rookie” mistakes in this playoff game that I haven’t seen the Eagles do in the reg season. (in no particular order)

    1. Boykin screwing up that punt which should’ve been downed on the 1 or 2 (not sure if Boykin or Roc, I thought the announcers said Boykin).

    2. Coop not catching that 3rd down play, would’ve been huge.

    3. Ertz not catching that Foles TD pass (it was catchable)

    4. Getting caught throwing the ball away, but he had a dude unblocked come right at him, not sure that’s on Foles.

    5. I don’t blame Henery for missing the 48yd FG, it’s a shame, but not a gimmie; it was more of a wtf with back to back 10yd+ losses thats a bigger issue

    6. Yeah, would be nice if Henery could be better on kickoffs, if anything thats where his game needs improvement.

    With 2:30 left and the saints in clear FG range (not to mention they were running for lots of yards per rush), I was thinking Chip might want to let the Saints score, so then we could give Foles and the Offense 2 mins to get a TD. Seems like it would’ve been a real Kelly type of strategy. You know your defense can’t stop the FG, so put yourself in a position to win. Would Ingram or Sproles have the common sense to run out some clock before scoring?

    Looking forward to your analysis, but I think our O looks great. Hope the D can be fixed and we can keep as many of these guys who played a great season.

    Montana and Brady didn’t win a SB in their first season, hopefully next season the team will be able to improve on this great season.

    • Jamie Parker

      Boykin didn’t screw that punt up, Carmichael did. Boykin made a great play on it.
      I think Foles played great, except for that big sack.
      Brady Won the SB in his 2nd year, but first as a starter. Montana won it in his 3rd year. He started 7 games in his 2nd year. But those teams had defense.
      I think the Saints defense proved they do, in fact, have the 4th best defense in the league.

      • Mitchell

        I was like Carmicheal, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GET AWAY!!! WHY THE HELL DID YOU KICK INTO THE ENDZONE!

        • Jamie Parker

          Now every time I kick something that I’m bending down to get, I’m going to have to say, “I Carmichael’d it.”

    • A_T_G

      I imagine Ingram would have taken the touchdown, since nothing is a gimme, but he also could have pulled a Westbrook at the 2-yard line.

    • Ark87

      what happened on that punt was boykin stopped it from going into the endzone and landed into the endzone himself. At that point he couldn’t down the ball himself and was pointing to his teammates to come and get it, and Roc just sort of ran up to it at full speed and kicked it. there is clutch, and there is Klutz, Roc was the latter tonight.

    • BreakinAnklez

      I don’t think Ertz gets both feet in… Also doesn’t impact game because Cooper catches TD next play.

  • Sifter

    Cooper’s drop was gigantic, if any one play is going to be blamed that should be it. But that would be stupid to boil it down to one play, after all many could be chosen. Stopping any one of those 3 QB sneaks by Brees would have been very handy. Those were knives to the heart, along with any of the bigger runs really, because that was where I thought the Eagles would win. No Pierre Thomas, and a generally decent run D let to an underestimation of the Saints running threat by me, maybe by Bill Davis as well.

  • Jeff M.

    Lost opportunity. This season should definitely be looked at in a bright light, there’s no question – but I don’t know about automatically assuming they’ll be right there next year. Even a decade ago that seemed like a natural progression. Now I’m not so sure. The NFL just seems so random now. Personnel decisions that are made with the right process and intentions can go awry. The only team that seems immune to this are those bastards in New England.

    On the run defense – I truly thought it looked like coming in that the gameplan was to give extra support in the secondary and to let them try to run it if they so wished. Let Ingram beat you over Brees. The Jets perfected this kind of gameplan to perfection against Manning and Brady in 2010. For a while it was working, but at some point it just seemed like our D-Line totally wore down to an extent that the whole thing backfired. I really don’t think this would have been as big a deal if our offense had put up some points in the 1st half. We’re simply not built to win games based on our defense.

    • Mitchell

      I just hope we’re not like the Skins this year.

      • Ark87

        had a similar thought. We will need to improve our roster and refine our scheme. Coaches will be better prepared for us next year, we will need to be better suited to just outplay them. We’ve got to win the trenches and get open if we want to match or surpass this year.

        • Mitchell

          I guess the good news is, we have a better coach than they did, we have a younger/better defense than they did, we didn’t sell two years worth of number 1 draft picks to get our qb.
          Those are all good points.

          • Ark87

            How sweet is that Ram’s pick this year? Oh man, happy for them.

            But yeah, I agree with what you said. No way we should be as bad as the Skins, but there is definitely an argument for regression towards the mean until we prove what we did this year was not an outlier. One such argument would be posed as such:

            We added no one to the IR during the regular season this year, that isn’t likely to happen again.

            Our QB threw only 2 picks during his 7-1 stretch. (I don’t think this is an outlier at all, Foles will hold onto a ball and take a sack rather than throw a pick).

            A lot of our wins were decided by final-drive turnovers. The only difference between the Dallas game and last night was that against Dallas we stopped the game winning field goal from happening by getting a pick.

            I don’t really agree with any of those points, but i can see that being a common narrative for haters going into next season. I do have some reasons for optimism, but this post is getting long, might bring that up in a new post.

          • nevadausa16

            Good thing the Eagles aren’t in the NFC West. They’d be about as good as the Rams, maybe.

          • Mitchell

            Will do.

  • JulzPE

    It’s funny that I am genuinely gutted that we didn’t come away with a win here, when if you’d said we’d be one and done in the playoffs this season after going 4-12 I’d have been pretty happy.

  • Iskar36

    Fully agree with your assessment Tommy. This was definitely a team loss.

    With that in mind, I’m sure we will talk about this plenty throughout the offseason and coming weeks, but the areas that I think we need to fix on the team are:

    1. Pass rush – The last couple of games, our Dline got stone walled way too often. We need someone who can be disruptive on a consistent level. Cole played well down the stretch, but I still think we need someone who is elite or close to it being added to the pass rush so we can be more disruptive in the offensive backfield.

    2. Chung must go – I’m sure someone who is more level headed than I am will have a reasonable argument for why Chung does not absolutely need to be cut tomorrow, but to me, I will be upset to see him in midnight green next season. He has been a liability all season. Doesn’t seem to know how to cover anyone and half the “big hits” he has are on Eagles defenders, some even preventing the other defender from making the play. I don’t know that Earl Wolff is necessarily the answer to replace Chung, but please, no more Patrick Chung on the Eagles.

    3. Henery might as well join Chung – Again, someone more level headed may argue that he needs to have competition going into the season rather than being flat out cut (Kempski argued that in his 10 awards article http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/eagles/10-awards-from-the-Eagles-Saints-playoff-game.html?c=0.42255459068054557&posted=y&viewAll=y#comments), but to me, I don’t see what Henery does that warrants keeping him. In terms of kickoffs, we rank 25th in the league for kickoff touchback percentage with only 40% being touchbacks. From long (50+), he is not reliable and you’re often better of going for the 1st down than taking the chance with Henery. For 40-50, he is unreliable as well and simply does not inspire any confidence. Finally, even from inside of 40, you are not comfortable with him until the ball is through the uprights. As we saw today, you can find kickers off the street that perform better. Let’s go out and get one.

    4. CBs – I’d like to improve on the combo of Williams and Fletcher, but having said that, I must admit that they have not been as horrendously awful as some have made them out to be. I’m not a fan of Cary Williams, but he has come up big in several moments throughout the season (Dez Bryant 2 point conversion for example). I hope we improve the CBs, but this is not as high on my priority list as I thought it would be earlier in the season.

    5. Cooper/Avant – I’d be ok with Cooper being resigned, but I’d love to have another big, physical WR to compete with him and preferably take his spot as starter (as a note, I don’t trust Benn to stay healthy enough/play well enough to be that competition). Ideally whoever came in would take the starting role and Cooper would end up taking Avant’s role in the slot. As for Avant, as much as I like him, he either is finished or doesn’t fit this offense. Need to move on from him.

    6. Backup RB – 86 touches for the two backup RBs isn’t enough in my opinion. Whether that is Kelly wanting to feed the ball to McCoy more or not enough trust in the backups, I want to see more from the other RBs on the team. If Polk is only going to warrant 11 touches all season, let’s get someone else who will earn a few more productive carries.

    • pjxii

      I honestly thought that I wrote this, that’s how much I agree with it, except…Avant does bring more to the table than he seems to be given credit for by fans. Sure hands, great blocking ability and locker room presence. What do you want upgraded in the slot receiver position?

    • fran35

      Great points.
      No disagreements at all. As for No. 6, I do not think Polk is the problem. The kid is very good and just doesn’t get carries because Shady gets the lion’s share. I would rather trade Bryce Brown (if we can get anything) and give Polk more carries. Polk does not have Brown’s rare speed and size, but he has the brains and intangibles to be a good backup.

    • Rambler

      With regard to Henery… I think overall the entire special teams unit absolutely has to be improved. Kickoff coverage hurt this team all year, and lack of returns on our side were poor. Very disappointed and surprised that this phase of the Eagles team was below average, when such an emphasis was placed on it this season.

  • MFGor

    Thanks for the great season, Eagles!

    Your biggest fan from Armenia,
    Gor

    • A_T_G

      Armenia? Cool. Could we do a roll call of which countries are represented by a reader on this blog? I will add:

      1. Armenia
      2. USA

      • RobNE

        no way! I am from USA too!

        • A_T_G

          Cool, I am from the eastern part of the country.

          • Ark87

            no way! Me too!!! How did you hear about and get into football???

      • A_T_G

        1. Armenia
        2. USA
        3. Belgium

        • Corry

          Pretty sure Anders is from the Netherlands and there’s at least one from France.

          • A_T_G

            I have also seen Brazil, England, Australia, and at least formerly a German national.

          • suthrneagle

            ex(+-)Phillyburbs in Brazil

        • fran35

          I think I remember one poster was from Detroit. Does that qualify as another country?

        • MatthewBryan

          Canada!

      • Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        Anders and I am from Denmark

      • Frencheaglesfan

        Pretty easy to tell where I’m from thanks to my very original profile name.

      • A_T_G

        1. Armenia
        2. USA
        3. Belgium
        4. Denmark
        5. Canada
        6. France

        Where else? I will limit it to first person responses to ensure accuracy (no, “I remember seeing a guy on here from…).

        • edinburgheagle

          Scotland for 7

  • Patrick

    Anybody else disappointed with our DL? Cox and Ced were pretty anonymous and Bennie Logan just got manhandled. Im curious to see how Tommy rates them out in the DGR. Sometimes i forget that our DL doesn’t have a single monster in the mold of Wilfork, Hampton or Ngata. A 330 pound freak who just cannot be moved. It works well when opponents pass but those giant Saints interior linemen could have been sent to jail for the assault they committed to our youngsters.

    • fran35

      I may get lambasted on here, but I am very low on Cox right now. He has made only a handful of plays the whole season and largely disappears for most games. He is not a bust, but kind of a disappointment. I know some will say that I am crazy, that he is only year one in a new scheme, but that doesn’t quite cut it for me. He has been outplayed by an undrafted free agent (Thornton). Logan is just too small and lacks ideal power to be an effective NT

      • BobSmith77

        Overall Cox had a decent statistical season but yeah the last 2 weeks in particular he got pushed around an awful lot and generated no pass rush.

        Logan was the real issue last night. He just got pushed around all night long and is a tough call going ahead forward. Quick & agile but undersized all around too for the NT position. Even though the Eagles drafted him pretty high and he played well, I could easy see them taking a NT in the draft if they really like somebody on the board too.

        • suthrneagle

          Another year of coach`s smoothies,15 more lbs.,and this offseason`s weight training, Logan will be a force
          to be reckoned with.

  • Stephen Stempo

    It’s not the missed field Goal Tommy. It’s the constant inability to get a touchback. Akers could get Touchbacks and that was with the old kicking spot. We NEEDED to pin them there and we just couldn’t.

    • wingsfan77

      If this was an issue that just popped up this year then I could maybe cut Henery some more slack, but he’s been inconsistent pretty much since he got drafted, great first year aside.

  • RobNE

    as lots of people have pointed out there are plenty of roster spots we can try to upgrade. Hopefully the FO upgrades where we HAVE to (looking at you Chung) so that we can go BPA in the draft. Did Byrd play well/ recover from his injury ok?

  • RobNE

    I am crushed/disappointed too, but look this high variance, good but not great team needed to win 5 games in a row (counting Dallas) where it was basically a coin flip plus or minus to win. Of course it happens, but that is harder path. Better to take the Pats’ course – find yourself in a weaker division, and get a freakin bye each year. Rather than 5 games in a row, it’s 3 games. And often it’s 2.5 as the first game is against a clearly weaker team.

    I know the bye teams don’t always win, but it’s the easier path. My hope is this is where we are heading.

  • Media Mike

    Henery flat out sucks and needs to be gone. I agree there is more blame to go around than just him, but we win that game with the additional 3 points AND touchbacks on every kick. Other things that bothered me.

    1) A lack of push from the O-line espeically far too often from Kelce, Herremans, and Johnson vs. substandard personnel in the run game.

    2) Besides the abysmal play vs. the run by our d-line, where was the pass rush? Trent Cole spent all week talking smack produced nothing. He, and his bloated salary, can go.

    3) Possibly signing Terrance Knighton and Glover Quin, as DOZENS of people suggested, would have yielded better D-line and Safety play than was demonstrated last night.

    4) It completely and absolutely sickens me that the Eagles have now TWICE allowed an inferior opponent with serious road issues to come into our house and walk out of here with a victory. The 2002 season-ending debacle vs. Tampa and now allowing the Saints their FIRST road playoff win in the ENTIRE HISTORY of their franchise is disgusting dereliction of the Eagles’ collective duty to protect fun narratives; such as “lame warm weather and dome teams can’t win on the road in the playoffs” and/or “The Saints have never won a road playoff game.”

  • Corry

    I think what hurts me the most is that we made Brees look ordinary in the start of the game. He threw two awful picks and we couldn’t capitalize. Then there’s the whole history of the Saints being 0-5 on the road, and the fact that teams that are +2 in the turnover margin are like a 10,000,000,000 and 5, dome teams are 3-22 in road play off games in the cold…and yet, here we are dissecting a loss.

    This is a young team and they’ll get better (hopefully), but man this hurts a lot for some reason. The team really needs to improve everywhere and most positions should have competition next year. Everyone can be better and we need them to be better.

    Also, I hate Sean Payton more than I have hated any other coach in the history of the game.

    • fran35

      I hear you with the Sean Payton hate. He is pretty smug, but there is no coach who I hate as much as Harbaugh (from San Fran).

  • BobSmith77

    - This was the 3rd game in 4 weeks where the Eagles were beat up front physically on both sides of the ball. Eagles players may have not said they were tired but I think it clearly showed the last 2 weeks. Just didn’t have another gear tonight and got manhandled up front on both sides of the ball.

    – Peters got outplayed by Jordan tonight especially in the run game and the Eagles just didn’t get the yards they are accustomed to on the ground especially in the 2nd half on their stretch runs to the left.

    – Logan also got pushed around all night last night. He did play well at times as the starter but if the Eagles can draft a stud DT who had alot more size they should.

    – Chung will get piled on and righly so. Physically he is lacking but his lack of situational awareness is what amazing. His knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time was astounding at times this season. Seems like a million years ago when the Eagles had 2 quality starter at safety (Mikell and Dawkins even if he was a bit of liability in coverage).

    – Ertz had a nice season as a rookie but there is no way he is a Graham-type TE either. Avant was painful to watch again tonight too. This offense needs one more weapon in the passing game. Either an elusive target in the slot WR or a physical WR who can’t be manhandled at the line in press coverage. Maclin is neither and why I don’t want him back. Cooper is a tough call too because he is going to want and get a big payday from someone.

    • Insomniac

      Ertz was always compared to Jason Witten though. It was Eifert who was drawing comparisons to Graham. As is Ertz will be good but not dominating like Gronk or Graham and maybe even Eifert. There will be more athletic TEs down the line unless this year is the start of a long drought of them.

      As for receivers. Damaris (he’s alive…yea i know right?) is gone. Avant needs to restructure and Maehl is just for STs. If Cooper wants too much money then I’d let him walk. There’s plenty of tall and fast receivers in this years draft. Use the money saved to help out the secondary.

  • Cafone

    Rob Ryan has never lost a playoff game.

    • BobSmith77

      Actually looked pretty sedated last night by Rob Ryan standards. I wonder if he is on Xanax.

  • BobSmith77

    Henery doesn’t suck as badly as some make him out to be but i expect the Eagles bring in some strong competition for him in camp.

    Getting an upgrade at KR would be nice too. Brian Mitchell was the last good one they had and that was over a decade now,

  • BobSmith77

    For the Eagles to really improve next year too and to address the multiple needs on this team, they need immediate impact out of their draft this year and the best thing is that the 2 previous drafts have provided that.

    Even the most pessimistic fans have to be optimistic about the team’s prospects and you saw that reflected last night by a fan base which didn’t boo at the end of the game. They know this was a younger team that arguably overachieved a but this year. Also didn’t give up after getting done or really get out schemed last night either. Just got out executed really in the trenches.

  • BobSmith77

    Watched Luck yesterday and while it was fun to watch Foles emerge this year, I would love to see what Kelly could do with Luck at QB in this offense. Don’t understand how he isn’t more popular already in Indy. No player has done more the past 2 years on the NFL to elevate his team.

    • xeynon

      Luck is fantastically talented, but has a bit too much of the Favre-esque gunslinger in him. As great as that throw to Hilton for the winning TD was, the only reason it was necessary was those horrible picks he threw earlier in the game. He won’t get away with being that reckless against a team like Denver or New England.

    • Stephen Stempo

      Luck is insanely ovverrated currently. “ZOMG look at the comebacks” The problems with all them comebacks is he’s usually the REASON you need to comeback. He is too much like the fantastically overrated brett Favre who cost his teams more games than he won.

      • Insomniac

        I agree that’s he’s overrated but he doesn’t have much to work with though. He deserves some credit but the media gives him all the credit.

        • Stephen Stempo

          He’s whitebread top pick all american good old boy of course the media gives him all the credit.

          • Stephen Stempo

            and I’m not saying he’s been bad. He’s been pretty good but not Manning’s second year good.

          • BobSmith77

            Manning may be the best regular season QB of all-time and had the best statistical jump from Y1 to Y2 in NFL history.

            Ridiculous bar of comparison.

          • Insomniac

            ESPN/NFL/media can’t let years of hype go unnoticed.

    • Stephen Stempo

      his 57% comp is just awe inspiring though.

      • BobSmith77

        Look at this numbers this year and how they notably improved across the board.

        Plays behind an average/above average line and has arguably the worst skill players of any team in the playoffs right now on offense.

        He gets a lot of hype but he carried what was a mediocre Colts’ team this year that had a ton of injuries. Still is maddeningly inconsistent but there isn’t a player I wouldn’t take in the NFL right now to build a team around either.

  • fran35

    First off, great season. Way better than almost any sane person could have predicted.
    Without a full breakdown on the game and me bashing Chung and Henery(they both deserve to be shipped to the Island of Misfit Toys), I want to make one observation. I do not think we have a legit #1 receiver on this team. Desean is a situational superstar. I believe that we lack that guy who a QB can look to almost every time and know he will be open-or make a tough catch in traffic. A true #1 does not disappear for large stretches or on the big stage. Desean is too easy for Defenses to make a non-factor. His size and attitude limit him. Size is not always a limiter. Steve Smith is not the biggest guy. However, he is much thicker that Desean and plays even bigger. Desean does not have the same “dog” in him that Steve Smith has.

    • Byter

      Agree with the DJax comments. He also has to realize he can’t run past CB’s anymore. He needs to learn to run better routes.

      • fran35

        One thought that I have involves trading him now, while we can. It is the perfect time. He is very close to losing a step-which will render him useless. Our offense does not need him to function. His salary is very cap friendly. And honestly, when it comes down to it, I think he is a selfish bitch who only cares about himself. Never seems to try and pcik up his teammates when they struggle. More times than not, he is throwing his hands up at the QB in frustration. Factor in his arguements with teammates and coaches periodically, and we may test the trade waters to see what the value is.

        • Byter

          I think you don’t trade because of he is cap friendly. I think you spend money on a top-tier WR in FA and keep DJax on the other side.

          • fran35

            I think the top tier FA may be Cooper. Eric Decker is a FA, but not sure he is much better that Coop. Coop knows our system and we do not even know his ceiling yet. I think its a lean year for Free agent WR

          • Ark87

            I like the sound of that, I’d bring back Coop too, to play the slot (he’s got the size and toughness to play in the middle of the field) and we know he’s a legit #2 receiver as well if someone gets hurt.

  • Ark87

    It’s weird being good to very good in some places, and in this game we needed to be great. I look at the O-line and D-line. We definitely need a beefy nose tackle, Just one stuff there can change the game. Watching that wave of saints sort of roll over the LoS so easily was getting old.

    As for the O-line, we need to be better at running the ball early on, not just when the D is gassed at the end of the game. Maybe get a lead blocker in the action. Would be neat to bring Coop back to play the slot (and maybe bring back Mac, or upgrade somehow for the #2 WR) and get a true H-back at TE when we are emphasizing establishing the run. How’s this for a formation shift, bring the TE in behind the QB, move cooper into the TE spot. Would also be handy in a situation where we’re getting killed by A-gap blitzes.

    Foles seemed to be playing hyper careful in the first half. Wasn’t until we were losing by 2 scores that he really started throwing it up and letting his receives go get it. That trust paying dividends is what got Foles’ rating to where it was in the first place. Risking turnovers sucks, but you saw the saints overcome 2 turnovers to win by just playing better football (both a product of being aggressive).

    Ultimately, playoffs are different, and this will be valuable experience for all. Can’t play for your highest average possible, gotta roll the hard six.

    • nevadausa16

      Kelly won’t use a FB. Don’t get it. Nice to have a FB push your QB forward on on sneaks.

  • Mitchell

    I was talking with my wife, and the more I thought about the more I realized we could have won this game i we just executed!

    The touchback by Carmichael whichever should have been downed at the one.

    The Cooper drop.

    The sacks taken.

    Henery’s, well, awfulness.

    Sloppy tackling.

    I think this is why this loss is so tough.

    • Ark87

      Agree, but keep in mind we got 2 bad picks off of Brees. Sort of cancels it all out. I think this is one of those rare situations where the records match the teams match the score. It was close, and a good match up. They were just a slightly better team. Was somewhat validated to show that we belonged there, in the playoffs.

      If only we turned those ints into points. Would have almost certainly won the game.

      • A_T_G

        I was pleased that we showed we belonged in the playoffs as well. That is well beyond my expectation for this year.

    • JJ_Cake

      Don’t forget the Ertz drop of that TD pass too.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    In a game like that it’s whoever makes more plays… We didn’t.. I say we go bpa during draft…is there a position on this team that ISN’T upgradable aside from our core players (foles,mccoy,jackson,cedric,cox,e etc

  • nevadausa16

    The past two games, playoff games, against Dallas and NOLA, the Eagles did not match the intensity of the opposition. The Eagles looked like they had the same intensity level as they had all regular season long.

    Maybe the problem is that Kelly tells the players, “Every game is the Super Bowl.”
    http://igglesblitz.com/2013/08/chip-kelly-oregon-vs-philadelphia-practice-methods/

    But every game isn’t the SB. How do you dial up your intensity in the playoffs when your coach is saying Week 9 against the Raiders is the SB?

    • the midatlantic

      Um…we don’t get to those “playoff games” in December and January, if we don’t approach each game (even against tha Raidahs) like it’s a big game. This is a silly line of thought.

      • nevadausa16

        Maybe. Just seems stupid to say every game’s the SB. Cause when you get to the playoffs, teams like the Saints dial it up. You saying the Saints didn’t play with more intensity? They kicked the defense around last night.

        Anyway, I think Tommy Lawlor wrote a post once about how Ray Rhodes told his team every week that they were fighting people who were going to attack their families. Eventually Rhodes motivational ability wore out.

        But I’m sure that’s different.

        • the midatlantic

          I guess it comes down to execution. We were definitely out executed last night.

          • nevadausa16

            your right. offense ran out of time after finally figuring out what was happening. defense didn’t get the job done.

    • BlindChow

      Aw, man, if only Kelly didn’t tell the players that every game was the Super Bowl, we would have totally WON THIS GAME! Damn!

  • Buge Halls

    I think the reaction to Henery is spot on. The missed FG was huge – things like that can change momentum.

    And the fact that he can not kick the ball through the endzone – which should be a minimum requirement for any kicker the NFL – consistently gives the opponents the ball on great field position.

    Were there other problems? Absolutely. Sputtering 1st half offense, porous defense, poor ST coverage (back to the kicker). But, if they don’t bring a kicker in for competition – something they should have done months ago – won’t bode well for next season.

    Overall, I was pleased with the season. Playoffs were a bonus. But there are additions that need to be made

    • nevadausa16

      Here’s a list of active NFL kickers in order of FG %. Who’s available on this list that the Eagles should use instead of Henery?
      http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/fg_perc_active.htm

      • Buge Halls

        I guess you missed the part where I mentioned kicking the ball out of the endzone as being important too. How much better would the end of the game been last night if NO started on the 20 instead of the 45?

        it’s not all about FG’s, but kicking the LONG FG is something the team can’t rely on Henery to do consistently.

        • nevadausa16

          keep track of all the kickoffs that go out of the endzone in games played outdoors with the temperature under 25 degrees. the number will be zero or close to it.

          i didnt miss what your wrote. and in better weather it’s a fair complaint. but how many kickers put the ball out of the endzone, and not ones that skip through the endzone, in 20+ degree weather?

          regardless, i get your complaint. Henery’s not good enough on kickoffs. true enough

      • Mitchell

        I’m sick of seeing kickoff being returned to the 25-30. I realize he has had a good percentage this year but it is most definitely as spot for competition. We need better kicker play. There’s no question. Our special teams have suffered because of it.

      • BlindChow

        There’s also Kickalicious and any number of rookie kickers. The Vikings, Ravens and Rams all signed great rookie kickers last year.

  • mksp

    Surprised no one has mentioned how badly Kendrick’s played. Overran a ton of plays, missed tackles.

    We should be drafting BPA all the way. We’ll be picking 21-23. Really want Dennard to fall to us.

    It’s a deep WR class, would be nice to pick up a stud in the 2nd round.

    What I really want is more picks. If Percy Harvin is worth a 1st rounder, is DeSean? Would you trade him? Brandon Graham should be gone for some mid-round picks if we can pull it off.

    What about Jason Peters? It’s better to trade a guy a year too early and get some assets in return. We need more youth on the OL.

    Also, Barkley needs to get healthy this offseason and have a great preseason. We need to get that 2015 2nd and 4th round pick for him.

    This is the long game. We have some pieces and could have made some noise this year, but end of the day we weren’t that talented. Next years schedule is way tougher and we’re not gonna surprise anyone.

    This offseason should be about getting younger, longer, faster, tougher. Seattle/SF model.

    • nevadausa16

      I think Brandon Graham’s your new ROLB.

      • Guest

        I don’t think he showed that ability. At all. Would not be happy going into 2014 with him.

        • nevadausa16

          not saying i agree. just saying he may be the man. DISAPPOINTING if true. unless Graham turns into Lawrence Taylor.

      • BobSmith77

        Graham showed little to nothing most of the year and was a liability in coverage all year. He’ll be fighting for a roster spot at best next year in camp.

        • Iamallthatisman

          He will be savvily traded to a 4-3 team and they’ll have a steal on their hands.

    • Insomniac

      Peters can still play. Who would you replace him with? Lane has been ok and that’s it. There’s OL talent in this draft but what Peters will net us won’t be as good as Peters is now. I say draft a development guy in JuWuan James or Cornelius Lucas and develop them behind Peters.

      • BobSmith77

        Johnson was a disappointment to me this considered we was the #4 pick in the draft. Did play better as the year went on after a rough first month but gets beat way too routinely in pass coverage & struggles to pick up assignments on blitz/stunts. Give him either a B- or C+ for the year.

        • Ark87

          I was hoping to see him become a stud RT this year, seeing as the hope is that he develops into a stud LT (there is a sizable talent gap between stud RT and Stud LT). Haven’t seen anything to suggest he can’t eventually get there, he just isn’t ascending as quick as I’d like. Still hopeful for progression to be along the lines of becoming a stud RT next year while Peters is still around, then spend the next off season possibly making the switch.

  • ojdiddoit

    Its only the first year of Kellys system and plan with a team filled with many players leftover from the Reid era,he got them to play for him after they had essentialy quit on Reid last year.Great job Chip!

  • mksp

    Can’t be overstated how big this offseason is for Nick (and then, next season obviously).

    2014 QB class will be loaded (Mariota & Hundley will definitely be coming out, maybe Winston).

    He has next season to prove that he’s the man. If he is we sign him to a new contract and lock him in. If he’s not, in which case we’re picking in the teens most likely, we’re gonna have to use some assets to get one of those guys.

    In a perfect world Nick continues to show improvement and solidifies his status as the franchise QB. In a less than perfect world we’re trying to trade him and others along with picks to get enough assets to move up and take one of those 3 guys.

  • Weapon Y

    Henery definitely wasn’t the only reason for the loss, but he was a big reason. If he could actually kick the ball out of the end zone, that monstrosity of a kick return/penalty at the end of the game never happens. The missed field goal per se wasn’t bad, but there have been so many of those misses that it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. If Akers got cut for one bad playoff game in an otherwise good season, Henery deserves to be cut for a horrendous year.

  • BobSmith77

    Devil’s advocate

    If a QB falls that Kelly is absolutely in love with in the 1st round, do the Eagles still take a QB and use Foles as a trade bait for a package built around a 1st rounder in ’15 and another high-contingent draft pick?

    • BlindChow

      I doubt there will be such a QB in this year’s draft.

    • Byter

      If they truly stick to their manta of drafting the best available player (BAP) and their BAP when their time to pick is a QB, then they should draft him. I think Foles is the default starter for next year but I think EVERY position should have competition. The 49ers did it by replacing Smith with Kapernick (spelling?).

  • Bob Brewer

    And to think Alex Henery is the second best pick of the Eagles’ 2011 draft class…

  • Mark Cooperberg

    I was at the game so I got the “all-22″ look for the whole game. There were several instances where Foles didn’t see or didn’t attempt to throw to open receivers. On the first or second series, Foles chose to throw short to Avant, but Celek was wide open much further down the field. Desean was open on some plays but Foles waited too long. As soon as #28 went down for the Saints, their defense was significantly affected (they couldn’t cover Desean and coverage on Cooper was not as strong). I immediately shouted to throw to Desean, and that is exactly what they did (and got a long bomb)…shortly later they got the long PI. Foles sack when we were in chip shot FG range may have been his worst play. He also missed a wide open desean on the first play of the game. The intentional grounding throw was ugly and he needs to get better at that this off season. I was impressed with his 2 TD throws though, leading them back from behind, and again he stayed away from INTS.

  • BC1968

    If I read everything on here and didn’t know the final score you’d think we got destroyed in every facet of the game. We must’ve did something right to be up by 1 with a little over 4 minutes left and kicking off. What positives are there to talk about if they don’t drive at the end and win the game? What would we be saying was a reason we played good enough to win?

    • jshort

      This will be a team playing with a Chip over their shoulder next season. Still in a little funk, but really enjoyed the season. D did a pretty good job against top shelf NFL QB. I like our corners,

    • jshort

      After thinking about your post, see what you mean. Like, Henery still sucks, at least he redeemed himself by kicking ball out of end zone. Clutch play of Foles on game winning drive. D’s crucial 4th down stop or take away. How Foles look great kneeling down to run out the clock. We’d be laughing at the CB for knocking himself out. yea…I get it, it was that close.

  • Vick or Nick

    Say what you want about Nick Foles. But be careful. This guy is going to come back next season with a vengeance. Consider yourself warned.

  • BCSonHere

    I was at the game. Foles hurt us a lot in the first half. One thing to look for when those coaches tapes are released for people on NFL.com is to look to the 2nd and 8 on the Eagles first offensive drive. Foles dumped it off to Avant for next to no gain and the Eagles punted it two plays later. I was at the game and Brent Celek had gotten wide open about 15-20 yards down the field behind Avant and if Foles had thrown it to him Celek could have probably taken it down inside the Saints 20 yard line. There was no mention of this at all on TV when I watched the DVR this morning. That decision by Foles to just dump it off instead of going for the wide open Celek was huge. Really set the tone for the constant stalling of the offense in the game.

    • JJ_Cake

      Thats one play. I also think he took a dumb sack for a big loss, but I wasn’t at the game. Overall, (from what I saw on TV), he looked like he did a lot of good things, Coop dropped a good pass, and Ertz dropped a TD pass. I think the D getting run on at will, and the ST’s letting them have good field position hurt us worse than anything Foles did. The truth will be in the tapes.

  • SteveH

    I think we mostly lost in the trenches. The Saints ran the ball way too effectively (our DL were getting manhandled a lot of the time) and we didn’t run the ball effectively enough. ST’s were clearly a big problem as well, missing the field goal hurt, but the setting up the Saints on the + side of the 50 was crushing.

  • Buge Halls

    Great article on Philly.com (I know, I was surprised too!) about Alex Henery

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/eagles/Putting-Alex-Henery-under-the-microscope.html

    • Buge Halls

      Henery MUST have competition in the spring and summer!

  • planetx1971

    While it’s undeniably true that there’s no way of knowing how Henery’s missed FG would have effected the ultimate outcome, I sure did have one serious issue with him all game. They kept saying that the wind was mostly non exsistant but his horribly short kick off’s were driving me nuts & sure felt like they were lousing up the field position game. I know the kid has a good career FG %,but I sure hope they bring in some good strong legged competition for him next spring! One last item, I feel pretty confident most of Eagles Nation is with me in this but MAN please let that be the LAST time we ever get, as in our house we say, that we get “Chung out to dry”. If I never see him in Midnight green again, it’d be too soon.

    • Spooonius

      chung is the new sims

      • planetx1971

        Right? Let’s call him Nnamdi Sims. Can’t cover anything but a willing hitter. Absolutely LEVELED a teammate every chance he got. The blind hammer!