Learning to Fly

Posted: November 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 268 Comments »

I have struggled with trying to figure out this Eagles team. In the summer, I compared them to Andy Reid’s 2000 team that went 11-5 and won a playoff game. The 1999 Eagles went 5-11. Reid and the front office improved the roster in the offseason and the returning players took a big step forward. That helped turn that team into a winning group in a hurry.

While they went 11-5, that team was highly erratic. They scored 41 points in the opener and then 42 points over the next three weeks combined. That team scored 34 offensive TDs for the season. They were tough, but just not that talented. They won a lot of games because they avoided mistakes and played good defense.

I thought the Eagles would be a 9 or 10-win team this year. I expected Carson Wentz to be better, but was anticipating a player who would still have some growing pains. I was hoping he would throw 25 TDs and would deliver more big plays than last year. I had concerns about the CBs and thought the defense would be vulnerable to teams that could throw the ball. There were also some questions about depth. I wasn’t sure this team would be able to overcome key injuries.

The Eagles have a chance to be a 10-win team…on Thanksgiving weekend. Wentz should have 25 TD passes, possibly as soon as next Sunday night. The CBs have overachieved in a big way. And this team has overcome some incredibly tough injuries.

This team is ahead of schedule.

Heck, I don’t even know if the schedule exists anymore. It used to be that you built a team over time. Bill Walsh did that with the Niners. Jimmy Johnson with the Cowboys. Andy Reid did that here.

The Eagles went from a team that had a 2-9 stretch last year to a group that is 8-1 and arguably the best in the league. So what are our expectations for the rest of the year? What is realistic?

That’s the problem. I don’t know what realistic is with this team. The 1998 Rams went 4-12. They traded for Marshall Faulk, drafted Torry Holt and Kurt Warner took over as the QB in 1999 and that team was instantly great. They went 13-3, dominated on a regular basis and won the Super Bowl. That’s not a perfect comparison, but it is the best one I can come up with.

Six of the Eagles eight wins this year are by 10 or more points. They just won consecutive games by 23 and 28 points. They weren’t playing juggernaut opponents, but never take blowouts for granted. The Steelers and Lions should have had blowout wins against bad teams on Sunday, but both had to come from behind to win.

This team shows real signs of dominance. They can score points in a hurry. They completely shut down the running game of every team they play. The offensive line just had their best game of the year and can be outstanding at times. The Eagles run game got a boost from Jay Ajayi and he could make a big difference going forward. The defense could get even better if Ronald Darby can stay healthy and play to his potential.

One of the reasons that it often took a few years to build a team is that they had to learn how to win. The Eagles seem to already have that ability. Last year they lost close games due to sloppy play and mistakes. This team looks very different. They convert the key 3rd down late in the game. They don’t turn the ball over. They make the key play on defense to stop an opponent who is trying to score.

This team doesn’t play “not to lose”. Doug Pederson has been aggressive all year. He takes chances and the team has embraced that mentality. It helps them to play with an edge. They aren’t reckless. They just aren’t afraid to fail. That can make a huge difference in key moments.

The Eagles had talent last year, but this group is even better. I’m not going to run through all the offseason additions. You know the names. Beyond that, the returning players have taken a big step forward, especially Carson Wentz

Wentz is the X-factor with this team. He is having an MVP type of season. Doing that in September and October is impressive, but we’re now into November and games become more important. The pressure is on. Wentz won plenty of big games at North Dakota State, leading the team to a pair of national titles. There is every reason to think he’ll continue playing at a high level, but it is fair to point out that he’s never had to play in pressure games at the NFL level.

If Wentz can continue playing at the same level, this can be a Super Bowl team.

Just typing that sentence sounds crazy in my head, but I don’t want to put limitations on this team just because they’re ahead of schedule. This is unlike any Eagles team I’ve ever seen. The great 2004 team was built over several years. This is like the microwave version of the 2004 Eagles. Why use the oven and wait 45 minutes when you can microwave your turkey pot pie and have it in five minutes?

I’m excited to see what this team does over the final seven weeks of the regular season. I know everyone thinks Dallas will be an easy win on Sunday night, but I’m not so sure. Then there are trips to play the Rams and Seahawks on the west coast. We still have a lot to learn about this team and the final seven games will show us where this team really is.

I think you’re going to like the answer.

*****

Ouch.

The Eagles will likely run the ball a lot if Lee really is out.

*****

With Ronald Darby coming back (he practiced on Monday), McDougle became expendable.

It will be interesting to see if Ellerbe or Joe Walker is the MLB on Sunday night. This isn’t a starting role right now, but can be important. Ellerbe has the experience, but Walker knows the system better.

_


  • Howie Littlefinger

    At this point I have complete trust in Wentz. I just keep thinking back to last year and how he wasn’t the starter in camp, got hurt didn’t have a preseason ,and was forced to start on 10 days notice. That’s big time NFL pressure to me.

    He came out making calls at the line and passing a bunch to open the season. He looked so natural you wouldn’t know he had never played D1 college ball. He has “it” and I don’t think anything will be to big for him.

    • Guy Media

      Agreed!

      • Howie Littlefinger

        I’m sure u enjoyed last night even less than me but we romped Scam Newton so I just watched those highlights after last night lol

        • Guy Media

          Miami is on quit mode, so color me unimpressed.

    • Ankerstjernen

      As I recall, he came out and starting his very first drive in the NFL going no-huddle down the field. It is already forgotten, but how bad ass was that of Pederson and Reich, to call that and completely pull the pants down on the opposing team like that. Legendary.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Aggression from the start with Pederson. I love it. If I recall correctly the excitement of that was tempered with “It’s just the Browns”

        Pretty cool way to start a career. Also had me worried that Pederson would be like Chip with Tempo. Definitely a good time to be an Eagle fan

      • wee2424

        And against the Browns. The team that didn’t want him.

  • philllyfanatic

    You mention tough road games against Seattle and the Rams back to back. I was wondering…do the Eagles play the Seahawks and then just stay on the west coast for the week? Or do they fly home only have to fly back to the west coast a week later? I wonder if somehow there’s a way for the Eagles to stay out there on the west coast to avoid the extra miles and the jet lag.

    • Steven Steiner

      Yeah, they actually already stated that as the plan. They stay out there – which seems smart.

    • Sean E

      It’s a really rough flight to Seattle, and honestly LA too. SEA to PHI is 6 hours I think, I know LA to PHI is 5 hours. The bigger problem is flying west, where PHI to SEA is probably 6.5 or 7 hours, I know that PHI to LA is 6 hours.

      That’s a lot of travel time. At least the jet lag isn’t as bad when you go West.

      • Masked Man

        The Eagles are making one trip to the west coast and staying out there for both games.

        PHILLY-SEATTLE-LOS ANGELES-PHILLY is the route. So they won’t fly west twice. Just once.

    • Masked Man

      The west coast swing against the Hawks and Rams will be revealing.

    • wee2424

      Could be imagining it but I think I read somewhere that they will be staying on the West coast. Makes too much sense not to.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    With Lee out, I think we handily take care of business against the ‘boys, along the lines of 31-17 with a big rushing day from our new 3-headed monster.
    Going forward, the biggest thing I think is staying relatively healthy from here on out, particularly on the O-line.
    I also hope that last game against Dallas is a Nick Foles-led meaningless game for us (and also a meaningless game for Dallas as well, with them falling short of the playoffs).

    • Masked Man

      I’m leaning toward 38-13 Eagles. I think we crush ’em. Foles in the 4th.

    • Guy Media

      Yeah, we might even be able to call backwards passes that risk taking us out of field goal range safely again…………….or better yet, lets just leave that play in last year.

    • Guy Media

      I’m thinking we might have a little rust on offense, as was the case vs. Washington when we came off of a mini-bye, but the Cowboys are way banged up…………………….20-6 final.

      • kajomo

        No logic reason to feel this way, but my gut tells me we come out on our 15 scripted plays and dominate to take an early 7-0 lead. Things settle down a Big from there, but we win by 13+

    • Forthebirds

      If we beat the Cowpatties on Sunday, they will have a hard time making the playoffs with the number of teams that will be ahead of them and Atlanta having a tie-breaker.

  • Masked Man

    Tommy’s comparison of the 2017 Eagles to the 2000 Eagles is interesting. I think that the one of the main differences is Carson Wentz and Don McNabb. Both talented guys of course.

    But c’mon. Carson is much more mature as a leader of the team and as a student of the game than Donovan was then. And Carson won college championships while McNabb did not. In McNabb’s day, there were guys on defense that had much louder voices in the locker room. Guys like Seth Joiner, Hugh Douglas and others. McNabb’s voice was often secondary to those.

    So Carson has that winning experience and maturity. And he has a stronger leadership position on the team. And also, I think that the organization is more poised to take advantage of the current situation too, compared to 2000.

    From the top down, there’s definitely a more uhh… “empowering attitude” towards the coaches and players to get the job done. It doesn’t seem like the front office is feeling their way. It seems like they know exactly what they are doing here. We’ll see. Go Eagles!

    • Guy Media

      Seth Joyner, although a loud voice, was long gone by 2000. I believe he was last seen on the field helping the Broncos win a title in 97/98.

      • Masked Man

        You are correct. I must be thinking of Trotter and those guys.

    • greenblood0118

      McNabb was athletic and talented but lacked the cerebral game that Wentz has. I remember opposing defenders routinely stating things like McNabb couldn’t read a defense to save his life…

      • Gary Barnes

        Absolute bs; no one becomes a perennial PB QB at this level and leads his team to as much success as McNabb did without being smart and able to read a defense effectively. McNabb is not Randall or Vick. He made the full evolution from athlete to QB.

      • sonofdman

        Such bullshit

      • daveH

        Maybe coaching also at Fault on that .. maybe they let DMac down .. they sure did rely on him to toss a ton of passes, huge % of their gameplan ..
        AR neverfigured out a game clock so maybe AR never gave him a supporting cast of WRs .. oh right, Worst in club history. Maybe coaches let him down ther also

        • Forthebirds

          Except for the year they went to the SB with T.O. they never gave McNabb an elite receiver.

          • daveH

            Agree completely. .ive always wished Andy had been creative enough to contrive some sort of new contract the following year for the high maintenance but best ever Eagles WR TO. It wouldve been non standard operating procedure but anything to fight the SB losers’ jinx would’ve helped. I mean TO and agent antics were almost predictable. . I hate the way Andy handled it !!!!!!

          • Stephen E.

            Yeah, that Desean Jackson was such a scrub.

      • xeynon

        You don’t play at a Pro Bowl level for nearly a decade or record one of the lowest interception percentages in history without being able to read a defense.

        McNabb had his flaws but being dumb wasn’t one of them.

    • Gary Barnes

      *Sigh* This is why I dislike when fans have to slag a past star to make the current star look better.

      McNabb was beating teams like Miami at Syracuse instead of Illinois State in college.

      McNabb came into town with huge pressure, having been booed at the draft and viewed with great skepticism

      McNabb had nowhere near the weapons on offense that Wentz does in his 2nd year

      Both have had very good defenses and ST to work with.

      McNabb was the QB during what was likely the 2nd most successful era of Eagles football ever (2nd to the 1948-1960 championship runs) and he was a huge part of that success.

      How someone could doubt McNabb’s maturity or leadership is beyond me; the guy took his job extremely seriously, worked very hard and turned out to be nearly a HOF level NFL QB. Some think he is; I do not.

      Let’s wait until Wentz and this team of Eagles actually win something significant before we place Wentz ahead of McNabb. I hope that winning starts this season, but there is a long way to go before we’ll know.

      • sonofdman

        I wish I could up vote this 1000 times.

        • Gary Barnes

          That is only 999 more than it deserves, lol

      • Masked Man

        Not putting McNabb down. Witnessed it all. Even met McNabb. He was great.

        Just saying Wentz is more of a natural leader. More driven. Better accepted by everybody on the team as “that guy.”

        And thankfully, so far, Wentz hasn’t barfed yet.

        • Gary Barnes

          You’re putting McNabb down throughout your post, the most obvious using the tired “barfing” bash which conveniently ignores where that game was played, the extreme heat during the game, the reality he was running for his life all game and the very good NE D he was facing.

          How do you know Wentz is a more “natural” leader? You don’t, so just stop the bs. More driven? Are you kidding me? Do you know how hard it has always been for a black QB to succeed and be taken seriously in the NFL? There is bias against them still, was even worse when McNabb came out.

          Talk to McNabb’s teammates and ask them if they thought McNabb was “that guy”. I’ve heard many of them interviewed including Dawk and Runyan and Trotter; they all respected McNabb completely and saw him as their QB.

          Syracuse faces light years better competition than ND State. That is a straight fact. McNabb was 35-14 at Syracuse, a finalist for the Heisman in 1998 and Big East player of the year 3 straight times.

          If McNabb was the QB at ND State, I’d bet he would have won multiple championships too. Wentz in Syracuse? He likely would have done fine, but no trophies either.

          I love Wentz, but please let him win something before we slag arguably the best QB in our team’s history.

          • KillaKadafi

            What I can’t understand is why people have to put one guy down to praise another.

            Appreciate what you had and what you have.

          • Masked Man

            I can tell you are sensitive about McNabb criticism. I’m not trying to break your bananas with it. I was a big McNabb fan myself. Many of my close circles in the ’90s were connected with McNabb, Tra Thomas, Trotter, Ike Reese and others. So I admire the guy and I’m close to the situation.

            But Wentz is way ahead of where McNabb was during year 2 as QB and a team leader. Observing both closely, there’s a huge difference. For example:

            1) McNabb lived on busted plays a lot and ran for daylight. Carson does the minimum with that although he has comparable ability. Carson executes the offense. In fact, he has input to the game plans.

            2) Donny was the face of the franchise, but not the voice of the locker room. He just wasn’t. Wentz is established very strongly as both the face and the spokesperson for the players.

            3) Donny used to do Michael Jackson dances on the sideline. A lot. And play Air Guitar. And make goofy faces and talk with comedic voices. Carson is all business every minute. Both are young year 2 guys with a silly streak, but you never see that side of Carson during the game. He’s all business and it motivates other guys.

            There’s more I could say. But it might just irritate you. McNabb’s Eagles were a great ride. But Carson’s Eagles are already perceived to have an upside compared to that. That gives Philly fans some hope for a happy ending, not an ending full of question marks and excuses.

            I can see you are a great fan man. Not trying to make you mad. The McNabb years are special to me. But they left me unsatisfied inside as a fan too.

            It was good. But I’m still longing for the greatness. Ya know? That’s what we’re talking about here.

            Speaking of McNabb’s team mate, Ike Reese… Today I heard him on radio make the exact same point: “Wentz is more mature at this stage.” So, it’s not like it’s just me saying that.

      • eagleyankfan

        comparing McNabb’s numbers in his 1st two years vs. Wentz is something consider. 2 years and Wentz > 5. But that’s about it for now…long way to go…Wentz is off to a good start….and that’s about it…lol

  • wee2424

    Happy the Birds were able to sign him. Walker seemed to be the only weak link on this team. I don’t expect Ellerbe to be great, but once he starts to get the system down I would expect him to be some type of an upgrade over Walker.

  • wee2424

    I know this sounds insane considering the time of the season and the success we are having, but I can’t wait for offseason in which the coaches and FO will have the ability to really fine tune this roster.

    Find a more dangerous PR.

    More quality depth at DT. Vaeo and Qualls do not impress me and I think they can somewhat be easily upgraded.

    See if Pumphrey can grow into some type of O weapon to add another dimension to this O.

    Hollins growing and fully replacing Smith in which I see Hollins simply just being more productive in every facet while being cheaper. Not that Smith is expensive, bit if you save cap space then by all means do it.

    Drafting a S to mold into a starting role and to take Graham’s spot. Or maybe since we have a plethora of CBs have one of them take Graham’s spot.

    Draft a young blocking TE that will take Celek’s spot while being more of a threat as a pass catcher.

    Carson Wentz having another offseason to further fine tune his craft and build further report with his weapons particularly AJ. Yes I do think AJ will be resigned.

    Big V further developing.

    Add T depth.

    Add a new swing tackle/ 6th OL for jumbo/short yardage sets.

    Our young CBs continuing development.

    Draft depth at LB.

    Either Lavato fixes his snaps or replace him at LS.

    Draft with a truly BPA mindset since there are no significant holes on this roster by any means.

    Maybe just maybe add a FB to add another dimension to this O.

    Gibson taking a large step forward to add a truly deadly vertical threat to this O. Smith will be gone. Hollins has enough speed to stretch the D, but Gibson’s speed is on another level.

    AG’s becoming even better. There is no reason to think he won’t. Maybe next year we will see him on the outside even more to get better matchups.

    This team is built for the long haul but there are some things they can do roster was while many are small to push them even further.

    We do have a shortage of draft picks this year, but many of these additions can be found later in the draft or UDFA. I would expect them to sign more UDFA’s this upcoming offseason then the large majority of teams.

    • FairOaks

      I remember thinking that the 2005 team would be even better than the 2004 team. I think we are built for a good run, but let’s enjoy this year first. There will be some unhappy stuff in the offseason too, I’m sure.

      • Guy Media

        Yeah, that always happens. I’m hoping they keep the “unhappy” stuff to removal of guys I don’t like.

      • Rob Jarratt

        TO mess and rift with DM, among other distractions. AND keep in mind the SB loser hangover.

    • Frencheaglesfan

      I agree but there is a big challenge coming next year. All those guys stepping up isn’t a coincidence. Our coaching staff is really good and the 31 NFL teams will try to take them away.

    • Guy Media

      There is NEVER not a good time to think about improving the roster. And I trust the front office has their eye firmly on that goal.

    • greenblood0118

      Slow your roll there killer. They’re gonna have their hands full just replacing coaches after this run…

      • wee2424

        I don’t see why any of these additions/growth would be difficult to attain.

        • FairOaks

          The Falcons have mostly the same players, but the loss of one particular coach (the OC) seems to have affected them badly. I don’t *think* we are as dependent, but our staff could be raided considerably if we keep this success up.

          • wee2424

            Losing their OC is more costly to them then us simply because their OC called their plays, and with Quin as HC Shanahan really ran and designed the O. Quin is a D minded coach.

            Doug P calls the plays and is mostly responsible for the playbook.

            The two situations are not comparable.

    • or____

      We probably already have the best DT group in the league, period.

      • wee2424

        Do you find anything compelling about Vaeo and Qualls? Best starting combo, but there are better depth DTs out there.

        • or____

          Well first of all, I don’t understand leaving out Beau as if he doesn’t exist. I understand that many think he’s a goner after this year (maybe so, I’m not convinced of certainty), but I am talking about our current unit.

          I think Vaeo is compelling for sure. He is solid against the run and decent at pass rush. (I’m grading him as a 3rd/4th depth DT).

          Qualls has compelling pass rush talent – albeit limited ceiling. He’s a 7th round rookie as the 5th DT. I don’t think anybody in NFL history has had a compelling 5th DT in his rookie season. So to me the jury is still out on him – for a few years (yeah, I’m disciplined with rookie analysis – “brandon graham, bust”, “agholor – bust”.

          • wee2424

            I’m leaving Beau out of this because I like him and would prefer him to stay on the team as long as the price is right.

            All I’m saying is that we should add talent at the position to compete and hopefully best Qualls or Vaeo because that would indicate an improved DL. Draft some guys late in the draft or as UDFA and throw them in there. The best man wins the job.

            I’m not as big of a fan of Qualls and Vaeo as you are. Particularly Qualls.

          • or____

            Fair enough. We differ on Vaeo’s destiny, but yeah, throw some darts for sure. I think the best shot of improving DT depth is developing who we got. I think that more likely than not, draft picks would be LESS of a chance of improving DT depth than Vaeo and Qualls -but to each their own.

          • Stephen E.

            Vaeao’s Destiny: I see what you did there.

          • wee2424

            I like the little pun you added in there.

          • or____

            athankyou

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Don’t forget we have DE take DT snaps on passing plays

          Our Dline is as stacked as possible. Everyone can stop the run and get to the passer. It’s beautiful football.

        • Insomniac

          I have faith in Justin Hamilton but uhh he’s not on the roster..

          • wee2424

            Yeah. I get that they like Qualls but Hamilton was simply better. Qualls is only a rookie so time will tell if keeping him over Hamilton was a good move or not.

    • Insomniac

      Dion Lewis is a FA after this year, he might cost more than we’d like so maybe it’s a stretch (unless Sproles retires).

      I’m in the camp of using Big V until we find someone better (probably not that difficult). Big V has clear limitations and LT being your weakest link does not sit well with me.

      WR, I’m not opposed to letting Alshon go if he wants too much money then again I might change my mind once I see the WR class of next year. A deep threat would be amazing to have but it seems like the highly drafted ones haven’t lived up to their potential. We should trade our last 4th for Josh Gordon so I can shut up about it and let that dream die.

      S, I reallllllly wanted Malik Hooker in the draft. A true centerfielder ball hawk would have made the defense even better. McLeod is serviceable but he is soooooooo inconsistent. We’re locked into his contract for another few years so we might have time to groom a really raw talent.

      LB, no doubt we need depth there. A speedy sure tackler that can play STs with a high ceiling is what we should aim for. Kind of like KGH but hopefully can play.

      • RobNE

        Dion gets hurt all the time. Pass.

        • Insomniac

          So does Hicks but we really aren’t complaining about that?

          • Gary Barnes

            We should. Hicks needs to stay healthy. He is like Sean Lee, great player. but not reliable

      • Stephen E.

        I really hate that we traded Dion for a linebacker who couldn’t even stay on the roster and disappeared from the league.

      • wee2424

        Lewis would be a very interesting addition and could add another type of threat from the backfield. I don’t think his price tag will be too high.

        I’m waiting to reserve judgement in AJ until the season ends. Do keep in mind that it is not worth keeping Smith.

        Agree on Big V, although I do think I am slightly higher on him then you. I don’t think he will ever be an excellent run blocker, but he can truly excel as a pass protector. In time I believe he can be an above average T for us. With that said, if we stumble upon a younger T that is better then I’m all for him starting over V.

        I think McLeod is great for what we ask him to do, although yes there are some inconsistencies, but I do not think he can easily be replaced by any means. He is a big part of the reason why our D has allowed the fewest 20 yard plays in the league.

        Yes, as far as LB.

  • Guy Media

    “This team is ahead of schedule.

    Heck, I don’t even know if the schedule exists anymore.”

    Blasphemy! The schedule, as all other things in the NFL I treasure, should be perpetual!

  • Guy Media

    Pink Floyd or Tom Petty “Learning to Fly”

    Discuss………

    • Gary Barnes

      Give me Petty on this one. Love Floyd, but late career not as amazing

    • Ark87

      Don’t forget Foo Fighters, that said my vote goes to Tom Petty.

    • ChoTime

      Tough one, MM. I like Tom Petty’s song a lot, but PF’s is so amazingly inspirational that it makes me actually feel like I AM flying.

  • A_T_G

    This team and the Chip Kelly’s Eagles have convinced me of the truth of the tenet that games are won in the trenches. They are an example and a counterexample, respectively.

    I always understood the statement to be a good rule of thumb, but everyone can think of counterexamples where screen passes overcame a pass rush, or Randall being Randall, or Dawkins willing the team to victory. Contrasting the feeling of impending doom as Chip’s guys got blown off the line every play with the feeling of inevitable momentum as we constantly play on the other side of the line is stark.

    • bsuperfi

      I’ve had the exact same experience of becoming truly convinced about the trenches. I’ve been thinking back to the 2000s eagles teams that skimped on WRs and LBs but still won big time. Trenches plus QB equals sustained success. It appears these priorities were right all along.

      Though, it doesn’t hurt that our LBs and WRs are playing well right now. Just like it didn’t hurt to have TO to get us to real dominance.

    • xeynon

      A great QB can overcome bad line play with athleticism or exceptional pre-snap reads to an extent. But when you have a stone wall OL, it reduces the need to do that, makes mediocre QBs look good, good QBs look great, and great QBs record-breaking QBs. OL and DL are the foundations of success.

  • Forthebirds

    Get ready for the Cowbabies to come up with all kinds of excuses (no Lee, no Zeke, etc.) after we crush their mediocre team.

    • Ryan Rambo

      Oh I’m ready! No Hicks, No Peters, No Sproles. We’ve won games without Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz. TO HELL WITH DALLAS and their crying!

      • Philadelphian

        The idiot Cowboys fans already claim that the players the Eagles lost aren’t as valuable as the ones they lost.

        Hicks is every bit as valuable as Lee, however the Eagles have better depth at LB. The same could be said for their loss of Tyron Smith compared to Jason Peters. Apparently, Vaitai is a lot better than the crap they have backing up Smith at LT.

        I might agree that Elliott is more valuable than Sproles, but not as much as someone would think when you factor in Sproles punt returning ability.

    • xeynon

      Imagine a team trying to win without their starting MLB, their starting LT, the best RB on their opening day roster, and their PK. Then you’ll know what the Cowboys are going through, and realize it’s impossible to win under such adverse circumstances.

      • Masked Man

        Haha. You mean like no Hicks, no JP, no Sproles, no Sturgis? Also no Darby?

        The Dallas problem is obviously no depth on the roster.

        • A_T_G

          But I think our struggles were negated by also missing our best CB.

      • ChoTime

        You made a funny. 🙂

  • Frencheaglesfan

    Everybody is afraid of the Saints but Brees is not the same player. Don’t get me wrong he is easily still top 10 but he’s not the top 3 player he was and he doesn’t throw with the same velocity. Right now their running games explain their winning streak and I take our Run D against their Run O as a matchup anyday. The team that really scares me is the Seahawks, they always get hot at this time of the year and they have a top 5 qb that can do anything. I think Goff is not that good and the Rams O will slow down eventually sames as Vikes even though their D scares me more.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      The Seahawks can definitely be a dangerous team…but that OL and that run game…not scary…but can be productive…and with Sherman out…that is a big hit to their defense on the outside which can stretch both Earl Thomas and the other safety quite a bit in the pas game…Russell Wilson has struggled quite a bit this year but damn is he dangerous when it comes to making one play in a crucial situation…

      • A_T_G

        This is my thought too. Wilson, like most of the top QBs is always a wildcard that can win games he rightfully shouldn’t, but to me that seems to be their only path to success.

      • Sb2bowl

        Chancellor doesn’t seem to be the player he once was either; at least not from a physical standpoint. He’s still a monster, but not someone that I wouldn’t attack with a vertical passing game (that’s why they also have Thomas).

        Wilson is always a threat. Baldwin seems to make plays no matter what, and the rest of their no-name receivers seem to make unexpected plays all over the field. That’s what scares me about them, they don’t win in a typical fashion.

      • Stephen E.

        Like in a goal line situation in the Super Bowl?

        Heh.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        But the Seahawks just resigned Byron Maxwell. That’ll help….

        (us).

        Seahawks scare me for the same reasons. Wilson makes plays he has no business making. He’s one of my favorite non-Eagles to watch. We’re the better team, but they’re more experienced and dangerous. Gotta make sure the game is in Philly should we cross paths.

    • xeynon

      The Seahawks’ offensive line is still bad, they can’t run the ball at all, and their defense is not the same without Sherman.

      At Seattle could be a tough game, but they don’t scare me at all in January, especially if the game is in Philly.

    • kajomo

      Seattle is like a big name over aged free agent. People assume they are good because of past performance. WE WILL CRUSH THEM. They cannot run the ball or protect Wilson.

      The Saints and Rams are for real. We want both coming to Philly and not on the road. I don’t trust a keenly in the playoffs.

  • Someguy77
    • teltschikfakeout88

      Solid Recap…

  • Sb2bowl

    We were talking about Sean Lee over at Jimmy’s place, and I did some digging today comparing his contract with the contract of Kendricks. Data is listed below.

    Have you guys looked at Lee’s cap hit over the next few years?

    2017 – 31 years old. Cap # $7.3m – dead money $13.1m cap savings +$5.8m

    2018 – 32 years old. Cap # $11m – dead money $7.1m cap savings $3.9m

    2019 – 33 years old. Cap # $10m – dead money $3m cap savings $7m

    Realistically speaking (then again, it’s the Cowboys we’re talking about)- they won’t look to cut him until the 2019 year. Unless they restructure him (highly likely) they’ll have at least one more year of disappointing injuries to their star linebacker.

    He’s the ninth highest paid 4-3 OLB according to Overthecap.com (Kendricks is 7th) based on an average salary of $7m/year. Kendricks has an average salary of $7.25m according to this data.

    The interesting part is the guaranteed money. Lee is ranked 3rd with just over $16m. Jamie Collins is first ($26m) and Dont’a Hightower is second with $17m guaranteed. Kendricks ranks 9th in total guaranteed money ($11.7m).

    After this year (2018), the Eagles can release Kendricks for a dead money hit of $3.2m with a cap savings of $4.4m.

    In 2019, those numbers go to $1.6m (dead) and $7m cap savings.

    • kajomo

      I don’t have time to check but I believe they restructured him too. I remember thinking how weird it was to move more to gaurenteed money considering his injury history

  • Howie Littlefinger

    “Learning to fly but I aint got wings, Coming down is the hardest thing….”

    I hope I feel this high in February

    • ChoTime

      You just made me sad.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Big Tom Petty fan or waiting for the shoe to drop?

        Either way don’t be sad, we got this

  • eagleyankfan

    Drives me nuts — why is there a need to compare this team(or any team) to a team in the past? For what purpose?

    • Ryan Rambo

      For fun? IDK why it would be a stressful thing.

      • eagleyankfan

        so – do something to accomplish nothing?

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Its been a bunch of days since we had a game. We need to kill time.

      I don’t think we have ever had a team like this, so there really is no comparison.

      • eagleyankfan

        now that is a unique situation…something we as fans haven’t had in a long time….down time with the Eagles in a great position…

    • wee2424

      Because it is an entertaining read and it’s the bye week.

      • eagleyankfan

        1 time is entertaining….we’ve been comparing the ‘Wentz’ Eagles to 5 Eagles the day Wentz was drafted….

        • Ryan Rambo

          Stop reading? IDK brotha. Help us help YOU. #breathe

          • eagleyankfan

            I’m more than fine…seems like I upset a handful of you…who needs a hug? (I’m here for you :))

          • Ryan Rambo

            Nah. I can’t be upset with you for having an opinion. I just know what to do when I want to not read something. ( I don’t read it). Have a great EAGLE Tuesday!!

          • eagleyankfan

            A day before Wentzday! It’s a good day…

        • wee2424

          I understand that but the article is about the team as well. Now that he is having a lot of success I don’t think it is non reasonable to create another article as such for the sake of conversation during a slow bye week in which we are all dying to read anything Eagles related after all the other angles are covered.

    • Frencheaglesfan

      Human Relations and Sciences are ruled by comparatism, it is not that surprising.

      • eagleyankfan

        true…

    • Masked Man

      I kind of like the comparison of this Eagles team to the first Kurt Warner Super Bowl team. A rapid rise out of unpredictable circumstances. Reminds us that football is a year to year deal. Every team has that chance any given season.

      • eagleyankfan

        that makes more sense then trying to figure out how this team matches an Eagles team in the past…

        • Masked Man

          Tommy did both the McNabb Eagles comparison and the Warner Rams comparison. Those Rams had a grisled old ball coach by name of Vermeil helping them with the rough spots.

      • FairOaks

        Of course this year’s Rams are also drawing some comparisons to that 1999 Rams team…

        • Masked Man

          We’ll have to fix that.

        • eagleyankfan

          Rams(like Eagles) have a remarkable story. Replace inept coaches….and BAM!

    • ChoTime

      Because that’s how people process experience.

    • Insomniac

      It’s probably your yankees fandom kicking in if it makes you mad.

  • Philadelphian

    Pressure! It’s that word that makes the difference between a contender and a pretender. The fact is, unless you want to include the Giants game, Wentz and the Eagles haven’t been forced to play from behind and win a game all year.

    I’m not saying they aren’t capable of winning close games, but the fact is they haven’t had to. The great QBS like Brady, Rodgers, Brees, and Peyton Manning have repeatedly brought their teams back from behind. Even Eli Manning was able to accomplish that feat in the past.

    To me, this is the last hurdle this team needs to overcome to become a sure bet legitimate contender in the NFL. I will be shocked if Carson Wentz won’t eventually be able to win the close games, especially when trailing late, but the question that needs to be asked is how soon?

    • Masked Man

      Hey Philly! Carson was sort of a “Come Back Kid” in college based on what I learned about him after the draft. Many dramatic come back wins including a big championship game against Northern Iowa. Fantastic game to watch. Carson did it all with arm, leg and smarts to take the win with a last minute score. But as you describe, this year he’s has the luxury of big leads.

      • Ryan Rambo
        • Masked Man

          Go Bison!

      • Philadelphian

        I truly believe Carson Wentz has the necessary ability, however in the playoffs he most likely will go up against QBS, as well as other positional players, that have repeatedly won in difficult situations. It’s that lack of experience that concerns me most. In fact, I think it will be beneficial to the team to have one or more of these situations before the playoffs. Again, I totally expect Wentz to become one of the great ones, but typically a learning curve is involved.

    • kajomo

      While he hasn’t had that big come back victory yet, it’s partly his ability to respond before we fall behind. Every time the other team seems to be gaining momentum Carson steps up with a scoring drive, often with a key 3rd down conversion or 2 to get them there. That ability is a great trait, but also gives me confidence if we are behind. He is clutch when he needs to be. Maybe not when we are trailing so far, but he’s still been clutch

      • Masked Man

        Wentz has been making his comebacks in the 2nd quarter in games. By the 3rd and 4th he is putting teams away.

      • FairOaks

        We were behind the Giants in the 4th quarter.

      • Philadelphian

        I am in no way disputing Wentz’s ability to come from behind, but only the fact that he hasn’t done it yet.

        When a team repeatedly comes from behind they start believing they can do this all the time. Until the Eagles get to that point, it’s impossible to have that feeling.

        Again, I believe this team has the capability to come from behind, but until that happens the players can’t be sure.

    • Frencheaglesfan

      Disagree. MNF against the Skins the O was awful at the beginning and then Wentz stepped up big time. Same against the Panthers, Wentz was clutch at the right time. What about the last throw to Jeffery agains the Giants? If you are looking for a 20 point deficit come back well blame the D for being that good and Wentz for answering the call everytime. It’s not a story of coming back it’s a story of dealing with adversity and frankly Eagles and Wentz have shown that every week.

      • Philadelphian

        I guess what I’m talking about is coming from behind LATE in the game. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but he hasn’t had to do it yet.

      • Philadelphian

        I might add, as said in my initial post, he did bring the Eagles back against the Giants.

    • ChoTime

      Why would you not want to include the Giants game? That was huge pressure, literally hanging on a single play at times, and they did succeeded.

      • Philadelphian

        It’s not necessarily that I’m ruling out that game, but considering the circumstances around it.

        Even though the Eagles came back to tie the game and win on a field goal, the feeling I got was the Giants had the momentum before the 61 yard FG. If you remember, early in the year, the defense was struggling in the 4th quarter. Just like the Chargers game, when the Chargers seemed to move at will late in the game, the Giants seemed to be moving easily on the Eagles. My concern was if the Giants got the ball back the defense wouldn’t have been able to stop them. Fortunately, the long FG, just as the late 6 minute drive against the Chargers, prevented that from happening.

        I might add that I think the defense has improved immensely since then.

  • xeynon

    To me it’s all about the quarterback. Once you have elite-level quarterback play, the rest of the roster starts to look better in a hurry. The big difference between this team and the early Reid Eagles is that we reached that level faster. McNabb eventually got to the level Wentz is playing at now, but it took him until his fifth season. Firstly because the Eagles’ brass didn’t successfully surround him with elite weapons until then, and secondly because back then the norm was still that quarterbacks had a longer development curve due to the lack of sophisticated passing concepts in the college game. Wentz entered the league with experience running a pro-style offense and it shows. He’s already playing like a great player at the position. McNabb was a good player from 2000-2003 but didn’t become a great one until 2004.

    • eagleyankfan

      some might think he became a better QB once TO got here 🙂

      • xeynon

        Well yeah. I said that in my post. But he sustained that level of play even after TO left. He was still a very good passer from 2006 to 2009. The problem was he started to get hurt more at that point.

        • eagleyankfan

          no argument there. 5 was a fine fine player…..

          • xeynon

            It annoys me that there are so many Eagles fans who don’t appreciate him. He handled a ridiculous amount of adversity with class, he played as hard as any Eagle I can remember, and he was the QB for one of the best eras of Eagles football ever. The dude threw four TD passes on a broken leg. It boggles my mind that people question his toughness or dedication.

          • eagleyankfan

            he gave 100% ALL the time….his heart should never be questioned…

          • sonofdman

            Well said

    • ChoTime

      Man, I’m not sure Donnie was ever this good, crazy as it seems to say it. Probably Wentz will cool off and/or commit some boneheaded plays, but right now he’s smokin’.

      • xeynon

        McNabb in 2004 was pretty great. 31 passing TDs with 8 interceptions, 64.0% completion percentage, 8.3 Y/A, passer rating of 104.7, plus 220 yards and 3 TDs rushing. In 14 games. Wentz is on pace to have a similar season this year, which is damned impressive given he’s in his second year, but I don’t know if it’s fair to say McNabb wasn’t ever this good.

        • ChoTime

          Yeah, that year was amazing. Then the injuries came…

  • Jean Souza

    I would like to thank all this community for the tips about Philly. It was a great experience to see the Eagles win and the Jim’s cheesesteak is awesome!! Thank you again!!!

    • GermanEagle

      Glad you liked Jim’s steaks. Was the line bad?

  • SteveH

    This is an interesting year because as of right now it feels like most of the more dangerous teams in the league are in the NFC, even with the Aaron Rodgers injury.

    NFC:
    Eagles
    Saints
    Vikings
    Rams

    AFC:
    Patriots
    Steelers
    Chiefs

    Obviously some of the teams come with caveats, but I think right now the NFC is the more dangerous conference. If Rodgers was still up things would be really hectic at the top.

    • xeynon

      The top four teams in the NFC play each other over the next several weeks (Vikings-Rams, Eagles-Rams, Rams-Saints, etc.). We’ll have a lot more clarity about the likely seeding after these games.

      • SteveH

        For seeding purposes our game against the Rams looks big. Also a big-time measuring stick. I still don’t really believe the Rams are for real, but we’ll see. Shame it’s a west coast game, those are tough.

    • Will Ft. The Roots

      Dont sleep on the Panthers just yet.

    • ChoTime

      Really? Patriots and Steelers are up there with anyone.

      • SteveH

        The Pats are good, but they’re more vulnerable on defense this year than before. Even with their recent improvement, just watching them, they’re not a threatening D.

        The Steelers are inconsistent as hell on offense and have laid a few big turds, including against the Colts where they just barely came back against the worst defense in the league.

        I think the AFC is weaker right now than it has been in a while.

        • RobNE

          every year people say the Pat’s aren’t that good this year. They are the SB front runner until they are out.

          I agree the AFC is weaker (which is why in part the Pats would be front runner).

        • ChoTime

          Right, I just am not going to count out Brady or Ben until there’s a stake in ’em.

  • SuPaFrO

    I did it!! I bought the tickets for the Rams game!

    • Philadelphian

      I’m going to that game, too. The stadium holds over 90 thousand and I’m curious how many Eagles fans will be there.

      • SuPaFrO

        So I actually heard, just yesterday, that rams were actually limiting ticket sales there this season to prevent opposing teams taking over. But bc. It’s such a huge game I find it hard to believe that they will.

        I’ve also heard that they’re trying to possibly flex the game to Sunday night!

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Wouldn’t that cause a blackout out in the tv market? It sounds like something they shouldn’t be able to do. NFL is all about making money and goodell wants that pie growing.

          • SuPaFrO

            I heard they try to limit to 60k tickets. Bc try think the 90k is too much too fill. But they don’t tarp the top. Soooooooo it looks even more gapped. But bc of recent success they’re hoping they won’t need too. I know last year they were selling out the whole 90k! For the first FEW games…. then.. everyone saw how bad the were.

        • Philadelphian

          Interesting, I read that they were limiting their ticket sales to about 70,000 because their concessions couldn’t support a larger number of people, but this is the first I heard they were trying to keep the opponent’s fans from coming.

          I honestly believe around 40 to 50 thousand Eagles might have shown up.

          • SuPaFrO

            Yea! I know last year ,concessions stands were running out of shit by half time. I’ll try to find the report.iheard yesterday locally on the radio.

            I think your right though, easily 65-75% of crowd are gonna be eagles fans. WHOOH!!

    • Spooonius

      I’m going too with 3 others. I hope we outnumber ’em.

  • Frencheaglesfan

    Every Year we say it is a QB league and at the end of the day you either have a QB or you don’t and that is what makes the difference in this game.

    Baring a comeback by Rodgers I see only those QBs facing us and being able to pick us apart in a playoff game:
    Brady, Brees, Wilson, Big Ben.

    Ryan, Cam, Mariota,Smith, Goff belong to the list “not that nervous about facing them but they can still get redhot and win”.

    Good News is I think Wentz belong to the first list.

    • xeynon

      At this point I don’t think Big Ben belongs in the first category. He has been outright awful at times this season, despite having arguably the best collection of skill players in the league to work with.

      • Frencheaglesfan

        I would still prefer face anyone from the other list than Big Ben, this guy knows to win and he’s tough as hell.

        • Insomniac

          We killed Ben the last time we played them

          • RobNE

            the year they won the SB b/c we couldn’t beat the Cardinals, who we had beaten by 237 points a few weeks before? that year?

          • Insomniac

            Was that last year? Am I losing my mind already?

            edit: yup it was last year http://www.footballdb.com/games/boxscore.html?gid=2016092513

          • RobNE

            Oh I forgot about that game! I texted my cousin in Pitt about 75 times.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Well AB and Bell added to Ben makes him more dangerous. He has actual weapons

    • Insomniac

      Add Wilson and Big Ben to the list below then it looks right.

      • kajomo

        Wilson is becoming my new Brett Favre. Guy gets way too much credit. He is essentially Dak, who we tear apart. He only wins when he has a dominant defense and physical running game. He has never carried that team like an elite QB. Like Dak, he is a quality started and can win a championship with the right supporting cast. He is not Rogers or Brady or even Wentz.

  • When you consider the 25 additions that the Eagles have made this year, you can see the overall improvement to the team compared to last year.
    On offense (11):
    Free agents,
    WR Alshon Jeffery is a huge
    upgrade over Dorial Green-Beckham.
    WR Torrey Smith is an upgrade over Bryce Treggs.
    RB LeGarrette Blount is an upgrade over Ryan Mathews (although
    Ryan could catch passes).
    RB Jay Ajayi effectively replaced injured Darren Sproles.
    G Chance Warmack is an upgrade over Matt Tobin.
    T Taylor Hart is an upgrade over Dennis Kelly.
    QB Nick Foles is an upgrade over Chase Daniel.
    QB Nate Sudfeld is an upgrade over Matt McGloin.
    Rookie draft picks,
    WR Mack Hollins is an upgrade over Jordan Matthews.
    WR Shelton Gibson is an upgrade over Paul Turner.
    RB Donnel Pumphrey is an upgrade over Kenjon Barner.

    On defense (9):
    Free agents/ trades,
    DT Tim Jernigan is an upgrade over Benny Logan.
    DE Chris Long is a upgrade over Connor Barwin.
    LB Dannelle Elerbe is an upgrade over Joe Walker.
    CB Ronald Darby is an upgrade over Leodis McKelvin.
    CB Patrick Robinson is an upgrade over Ron Brooks.
    S Corey Graham is an upgrade over Terrence Brooks.
    Rookie draft picks,
    DE Derek Barnett is a huge upgrade over Marcus Smith.
    CB Rasul Douglas is an upgrade over Nolan Carroll.
    DT Elijah Qualls is an extra DT that we did not have last
    year.

    Special Teams (2)
    PK Jake Elliott effectively replaced injured Caleb Sturgis.
    PR Kenjon Barner effectively replaced injured Darren
    Sproles.

    Also (1), injured 2nd-round CB Sidney Jones will
    be a major upgrade at the CB position in the future and possibly this year.

    All eight draft picks made the team.

    Coaches (1): Mike Groh is an upgrade over Greg Lewis as a WR
    coach, especially since he helped turn Nelson Agholor around.

    Front Office (1): Possibly, the biggest upgrade to the team
    was the addition of Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas, a well-respected player evaluator who selects playmakers based on production rather than Combine
    measurements. All of the above player upgrades are his and Howie Roseman’s responsibility. Expect Roseman and Douglas to continue wheeling and dealing.

    • kajomo

      Good post. But pumphrey is not an upgrade over Barner at this point. He was down right pathetic in the preseason

      • or____

        Ha, that consideration is Guy Media’s kryptonite

        • Guy Media

          I can’t even flame Barner at this point. He wouldn’t be here if Sproles wasn’t hurt and isn’t keeping better talent from being on the roster.

          • or____

            Ha, fair enough. Never thought I’d see that though

          • Guy Media

            I still think he’s a massively sub optimal player, but the time to run him off of the roster isn’t until the off season.

      • Stephen E.

        Also, it’s questionable whether Warmack is an upgrade over Tobin, and it remains to be seen whether Sudfeld is an upgrade over McGloin. McGloin is bad, but Sudfeld could be worse.

        • Bert’s Bells

          Also those are “who cares?” positions. #3 QB is about practice. We have no idea who’s better there.

    • ChoTime

      When you’re rolling, everyone seems like an upgrade.

      • SteveH

        Yeah, some of our improvement is just… hard to explain. It seems like the whole team has taken a step forward all at once.

        • Insomniac

          Except for Pumphrey. Even Gibson sort of found his hands.

          • ChoTime

            Pump will probably have a 50 yarder for a TD at some point, if they give him a chance.

          • xeynon

            Plot twist: Pump comes off of IR and is the Super Bowl MVP with 220 total yards and 3 TDs.

          • ChoTime

            lol. Wentz gets injured in the first quarter of the SB and Pump plays QB. Gets the win.

      • Bert’s Bells

        And whatever he’s rolling makes everyone look reeaaaall good.

  • ChoTime

    OOOOOOT:
    Check out Inspirobot, an AI that can generate inspirational quotes. Here’s the first one it gave me, WTF!?
    http://generated.inspirobot.me/069/aXm1206xjU.jpg
    http://inspirobot.me/

  • ChoTime

    “The team is ahead of schedule.”

    I don’t think there is a schedule, I think the time to win is NOW. This year. No one knows what next year will bring. Lots of teams have made it to the big game, come up short, and never returned.

    …like us.

    • xeynon

      Of course you want to win every year you have a chance to do so.

      I think Tommy’s point, which is a valid one, is that nobody envisioned this being a conference powerhouse, Super Bowl contender type of team until 2018 or 2019. It’s usually pretty rare to make the leap that quickly.

  • SteveH

    Remember when Roseman mentioned that the team was close last offseason? Maybe he was onto something. I didn’t believe it at the time but… Maybe last year we were closer than we thought.

    • kajomo

      We should have won the Lions and Dallas games last year. If we don’t fumble those games away this season might now look so shocking

    • xeynon

      It wasn’t just Roseman saying that. The team finished in the top 5 in DVOA last year. Football Outsiders had them as basically the unluckiest team in football as far as actual record vs. expected performance goes.

    • Someguy77

      I thought they were but Roseman did a really good job in FA including making additions in camp & late trades.

      Eagles have gotten great production out of bottom-dollar FA signings (Robinson, Blount) for a change.

  • Nailed It!

    Booo Redskins poached Byron Marshall off our practice squad

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Ajayi
      Blount
      Sproles
      Pumphrey
      Smallwood
      Clement

      I think I’m happy for Byron. i will also point out as we have purged our team of “Kelly Players” and former Ducks we have gotten better. Addition by subtraction anyone?

      • A_T_G

        Isn’t Blount a former Kelly Duck?

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Yeah but wasn’t that before he was a “Genius”? Besides Howie signed him here and I think he will be one and done

          • D3FB

            Howie signed Marshall too…

          • Howie Littlefinger

            I thought he was a holdover.

            Either way I’m happy for him because he clearly didn’t have a future here. Kind of reminds me of Thompson a bit. If that means the Skins let Thompson walk (Doubtful) than this is pretty much a win for us

        • Masked Man

          Blount and Barner!
          Blount at Oregon only right?
          Barner in Oregon and Philly.

        • Chris Lindeman

          Yes. Thankfully Belichick coached the Kelly out of him though.

    • BlindChow

      At least we’re done playing them this year. That could have been one of those “intelligence” signings…

    • Ryan Rambo

      Damn. He was getting PAID too. Good luck to him, one of my favorite players on the team.

      • A_T_G

        I’d imagine he didn’t see much hope of cracking our 53 with 5 RBs there already. WAS is banged up and might get him noticed.

    • A_T_G

      Word on the street is that it went like this:
      Dan Snyder: I insist we bring back Brian Mitchell to provide a spark.

      Jay Gruden: Mitchell is like 50. Byron Marshall is available.

      Dan: Close enough, But I’m going to call him Brian, John.

      Jay: Um, John is my br…

      Dan: Shut up John. Go get me Brian.

  • Nailed It!

    Schwartz slowing down the Darby playing this Sunday hype train.

    • Ryan Rambo

      Cool! Why tell your opponent more than they need to know. As long as McKelvin and Carroll aren’t suiting up I think I’ll survive!! LOL!! #yuck

      • Masked Man

        Hahaha.

    • Tumtum

      Thought so.

    • Masked Man

      No need to throw Darby into an intense game and set him back.

      It would be great if he could just be a full participant at practice for a week or two without a setback.

  • Ryan Rambo
  • Ryan Rambo

    One thing that I can hang my confidence on is that this team hasn’t laid down not one single game. Even if they aren’t on schedule early on or at any point during the game, they seem to just keep trucking until they find a way to get rolling again. You never know how any of these games will really go, but I’m just not nervous about them playing unpredictably bad like last season.

  • or____

    Um wow. – Will Beatty.

    All in for sure.

    • xeynon

      Meh. The Giants have a dog poop offensive line and weren’t interested in him. I doubt he has anything to offer other than as experienced depth. That said, I’m more comfortable inserting him if Johnson or Big V goes down than I am inserting Seumalo.

      • or____

        Yeah well I think that’s the idea. As OT depth, he’s better than anything else that was available.

        • Masked Man

          Veteran smarts from being a starter.

          Can give spot relief or maybe for a couple of games.

          That’s all we need from a backup this year.

          • or____

            Exactly

    • Someguy77

      Yeah but also about how bad Seumalo look in those first 2 games at LG too.

      Vaitai has done a nice job filling in but if he or Johnson goes down with a significant injury it is a huge problem.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Nice…..
    Eagles signed OT Will Beatty to a one-year contract.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Eagles signed OT Will Beatty to a one-year contract.
    Hunting for work since the end of last season, Beatty will give the Eagles some options along their Jason Peters-less offensive line. Beatty hasn’t made a start since 2014, so he won’t be a plug-and-play option. He missed all of 2015 and came off the bench for the Giants last season. He’s depth that could eventually spell Halapoulivaati Vaitai on the blindside.

    • Fufina

      There is no way he is replacing Vaitai. We just need an experienced swing tackle who can execute the basic blocks with assistance in a consistent way if either Vaitai or Lane are injured during a game or for a week. Anything more than that and we are screwed anyway (no team in the NFL is 4 OT’s deep, Eagles are lucky to have a 3rd OT as good as Vaitai).

      Problem with Heart is not only would he be a big drop off in skill/chemistry/scheme knowledge, but also learning the basics of being an NFL Tackle at the same time during a deep playoff run which as we can see from Dallas last week will cost you games

      • or____

        I’m nitpicking here, but I think Hart learned the basics of being an NFL tackle in training camp this year, and since he’s been back with the team. I don’t think they’ve locked him in a room with a yoyo, iphone, and water bottle since resigning him….

      • FairOaks

        Yeah, having to put in Seumalo was probably a bit of a scare. Either that, or watching the Dallas game reminded them how that can sink a season. I hope this doesn’t mean that Johnson’s injury the last game is worse than the team has let on.

    • Masked Man

      Will Beatty’s a veteran that could give you up to 2-3 games if needed.

      Don’t know if he has much more to give after that.

      But that might be all we would need if we got in a jam at Tackle.

    • Spooonius

      Spelling Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a lot to ask.

  • GermanEagle

    I love the english pubs…

    • Frencheaglesfan

      Are you watching the game?

  • Nailed It!

    Bill Vinovich is reffing this Sunday, Eagles are 1-6 with him as referee. Is he really as bad as Morelli with his anti Eagle bias?

    • BlindChow

      I mean, which games were they? How lopsided were the penalties? Was one team clearly better than the other? I bet the Browns have an even worse record under him, but I wouldn’t (necessarily) conclude Vinovich just really hated Cleveland…

      • Nailed It!

        That’s true it was just a tweet from Jimmy so i thought I’d share it here.

        • BlindChow

          Yeah, I saw that. Hopefully Jimmy needs a subject for a new article and he does the research for us…

  • A_T_G

    I was just going to say Howie has crossed the line, but giving it a second look we added Will, not Warren Beatty.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Yeah, Warren would’ve started along the Giants OL.

    • Rambler

      I will take either over Ned Beatty… Even though he played Rudy’s father, he’s way past his prime.

  • meteorologist

    “This is like the microwave version of the 2004 Eagles.”

    Great line here Tommy

  • unhinged

    Some comic relief for anybody who watched that Dallas performance against the Falcons. This guy is hilariously not joking!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nffi410VSs4

    • Dragon_Eagle

      This is gold.

      • Ankerstjernen

        Pure gold.

  • unhinged

    On the subject of team turnaround, I believe that Doug Pederson probably gave his players some down-to-earth career advice. Many of the goats from two seasons ago are still on the 53, but they look relaxed and aware of where they are. A simple dictum like “just do what you have trained to do, what you’re paid to do, and what you know how to do” could resonate if it is stressed over and over. Good teams don’t beat themselves, and when mistakes are made, good players don’t compound them by trying to do more than their job. It is really satisfying as a fan, to see Kelce reverting to his best version, and Agholor brimming with confidence. Wentz is indeed the X factor, but Pederson has tweaked the recipe and the 53 are cookin’.

    • Masked Man

      Masterful coaching job for a 2nd year guy.

      Very underappreciated.
      Has the self-assurance to give Carson lots of input and control.
      Has the judgement to see the kid is a star and lets him be that.
      And the game plans speak for themselves.

  • Someguy77

    Everybody seems to think this game is going to be an Eagles’ blowout by double digits.

    I see this being a close game as the Eagles start a little sluggishly, commit a few turnovers, and end out pulling in out later in the 4th quarter. Eagles 27-23.

    • Insomniac

      We’re going to blow them out because we’re better than them in every aspect of football. Dak can get his garbage time stats but we sure as hell won’t be losing to them unless everything goes wrong.

    • Sean E

      Nah man. This is going to be a stomping. It’s gonna be hard to watch if you’re a Dallas fan. Honestly, it will be hard to watch if you’re anything other than an Eagles fan.

    • Masked Man

      Maybe sluggish in the 1st quarter.

      Game is basically over by halftime.

      Something like 38-13 Eagles.

      • Philadelphian

        I’ll be happy no matter what the score as long as they win.

    • stephenstempo

      The only way it’s 27-23 is this: Eagles Lead 27-9 with 6 minutes left. Cowboys score two meaningless TD’s against garbage time prevent defense with the help of a deep PI call. And the game looks closer than it ever was.

  • Someguy77

    ESPN has the odds of the Eagles making the playoffs at 98%.

    • Masked Man

      Yup. Nobody in the division is even close.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    Interesting comment I saw on reddit from a Giants fan:

    “Some background: Beatty had a rough season in 2013 but bounced back very nicely in 2014 at LT. He tore his pec in Spring 2015 forcing the human pylon Ereck Flowers to play the left side. The Giants placed him on IR with the designation to return that year but during rehab he tore a rotator cuff. We brought him back last season but he rarely played, only coming in as an extra Tackle in obvious running situations. Ability has never been an issue with Beatty outside the 13 season, now it’s just how well he can come back from the injuries. Honestly, I am curious to see how well he performs because I really believe in this guy.”

    I thought he was trash but as 2nd string OT, he may not be that bad.

    • Masked Man

      Solid starter. Not much mileage on him either. Just a rash of injuries.

    • Masked Man

      I cut and pasted you on Philly dot com.

  • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

    Iggles loading up on vets at positions of need (Beatty, Ellerbe). A team looking past the regular season, I think.

    • Philadelphian

      I doubt if Gordon and Hart are out if their long term plans. Beatty gives them experience needed for a playoff run that the other two don’t have.

      The same could be said about Ellerbe in relation to Walker and Gerry.

    • A_T_G

      Better than Hart…

      I am sure they sat the youngins down and told them they aren’t going anywhere, but they still have some learning to do.

  • Insomniac

    Is anyone else confused about this Keenum and Bridgewater situation? IMO, Bridgewater has always been a barely average game manager (Vikings fans will tell you otherwise) and yet they want him to replace Keenum. I know Keenum isn’t a great QB but damn why the hell would you start a barely average QB coming back with one and a half legs while you’re chasing the playoffs? Heck actually I’d love to play Bridgewater in the playoffs but I fear we might end his career.

    • A_T_G

      Viking are in a tough spot. They believe Bridgewater is the future of their franchise. So, they are going to commit to him. Or maybe they commit to him as soon as they get this playoff run out of the way with the backup to the guy that was brought in to fill in for him.

      Either way, there will be plenty of second guessing.

    • FairOaks

      Bradford and Keenum are both free agents after the season. Bridgewater… is on the last year of his rookie deal, but he may run afoul of a CBA clause and still be a Viking in 2018 because of it. You wonder if there is pressure from ownership/GM to see where Bridgewater is.

      Hard to imagine a coach wanting to screw with a 7-2 start where they appear to be in line for a division title. Unless it’s clear to everyone in practices that Bridgewater is all the way back and maybe even better than he used to be.

  • stephenstempo

    I think Pederson’s aggression is really important. For all the flack earlier in the season it does set a tone. The opposing team never gets to feel comfortable. And the offensive team gets to keep throwing punches. That’s an attitude I think players love. Even on Defense it sends a message to those guys that ” Hey you see this other team? We don’t respect them, we don’t respect their offense, and we know that even if they get the ball back at mid-filed you will shut them down.”