Mondays With Doug

Posted: November 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 183 Comments »

Doug Pederson is proving to be a better coach than anyone anticipated. He’s not just getting the Eagles to win, he’s making a lot of smart moves and creating a culture of success that will last more than a season.

All you have to do is look just up the road to New Jersey to see that winning can be misleading. The Giants went 11-5 last year so we all assumed they would be good (or even very good) this year. They are 1-7 and this is the state of things right now.

Yikes.

The Giants brought in a lot of veteran players last year and patched together a good team. Now that adversity has hit, that team is falling apart. They let Odell Beckham Jr. get away with some odd behavior and that set a bad precedent for the rest of the team. They’ve got some serious problems now.

Pederson took over the Eagles and wanted to build something, just as he saw Andy Reid do with the Eagles back in 1999 and with KC the past few years. If you build it, it can last. If you cobble it together, not so much.

The longer we see the coaching class of 2016 in action, the more we learn about them. McAdoo isn’t looking so good right now (literally or figuratively). Adam Gase, the man I wanted the Eagles to hire, is having a rough year in Miami. There was a lot of preseason hype on Dirk Koetter’s Bucs, but it is starting to look like he’s losing control of his team. Mike Mularkey is quietly plugging along, winning games and avoiding attention. Hue Jackson is 1-23 and will be gone in a few months.

Pederson is 15-10. His team has scored 20 or more points for 13 straight games, the longest streak in the NFL. The Eagles are off to an 8-1 start, despite lots of road games early on, lots of injuries and some short, tough weeks due to prime time games. Pederson and his staff are developing young players and getting the most out of veterans. And he has created a tremendous culture. Everyone has bought into his message and there is great chemistry, on and off the field.

I think sometimes we marvel at Carson Wentz and the other players and don’t give Pederson enough credit. He is proving himself to be quite a coach. Just look at yesterday’s game and some of the things we can take from that.

He can adjust on the fly. The Eagles acquired RB Jay Ajayi on Tuesday. There he was on Sunday, rushing for 77 yards and a TD. Duce Staley spent a lot of time teaching Ajayi a handful of plays this week. Pederson made sure to put him in the gameplan, thinking the Eagles would need every resource to move the ball on a great defense like Denver’s. Ajayi played well and delivered a huge play when he ran for a 47-yard TD. The game was probably over before that moment, but his TD sealed the deal. That was the dagger to Denver’s heart.

Even worse than that was losing Zach Ertz on Sunday. I’m sure the coaches had some ideas on what to do if he couldn’t play, but they were able to adjust plans and keep the offense running at a high level.

One of the big criticisms with Andy Reid is that he adjusted at a glacial pace. Maybe slower. Pederson is showing that’s not the case with him. He can adjust quickly and seems to make good adjustments.

He can gameplan. The Eagles faced 3rd and 9 on the opening drive. Trey Burton was alone to the left. There were three WRs to the right. Burton was being covered by a LB. Carson Wentz dropped back and fired the ball to Burton for 14 yards and a 1st down. The play design gave the Eagles the matchup they wanted. The drive resulted in a TD when Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery on a run-pass option (RPO). Pederson said after the game that they knew Aqib Talib was an aggressive CB and this play was designed to take advantage of that.

Wentz hit Burton for a 27-yard TD on a sluggo route (slant and go). This was the matchup the Eagles wanted (by design) and Burton burned the guys covering him.

The Eagles scored 51 points on the #1 defense in the league. Without Jason Peters, Darren Sproles or Zach Ertz. I would have bet a case of PBR and two Megan Fox autographs that was impossible. But that’s what happened. Pederson drew up a brilliant gameplan and his players executed it brilliantly.

He is aggressive. The Eagles weren’t the least bit afraid of the Broncos defense. They attacked all game long. This wasn’t a bunch of quick passes to avoid the pass rush. The Eagles threw the ball down the field. Alshon Jeffery had his best game of the year. I think the aggressive gameplan helped give the players confidence.

Pederson went for it on 4th and 1 from the 3-yard line. His team was up 31-9. Conventional wisdom says kick the FG and go up four possessions. He wanted another TD. Not only did the Eagles go for it, they threw a pass. The Eagles converted and then did score the TD to go up 38-9.

Compare that to Vance Joseph kicking a FG from the 6-yard line when down 24-6. Yes, he did make it a two-possession game by doing that, but his team clearly needed TDs and he wasn’t willing to take a chance. No confidence. Last week SF was kicking FGs when they should have been more aggressive.

We regularly see teams punting from inside the 45-yard line, sometimes even inside the 40. Pederson takes chances and his players love that. It helps to make them more confident and aggressive.

He knows how to push this team. I was ready for Pederson to stop throwing passes and work the clock in the 2nd quarter. He didn’t listen to me. He kept pushing his players and they kept making plays. Sometimes you will see a blowout like this devolve into some ugly football. That didn’t really happen on Sunday. Pederson kept his foot on the gas.

There was going to be no let up in this game. Denver wasn’t going to make some amazing comeback. Even when Pederson put backups into the game, he let them play. It wasn’t just a bunch on inside runs and punts.

1-53 matter. Continuing with a theme we’ve seen all season, Pederson got contributions from everyone. Jaylen Watkins had a TFL. Isaac Seumalo played RT when Lane Johnson got hurt. Corey Clement scored 3 TDs. Kamu Grugier-Hill had a pair of STs tackles. Brent Celek had his best game of the year. So did Brandon Brooks. It doesn’t matter if you are a starter or backup. It doesn’t matter if you play offense, defense or STs. Pederson makes everyone feel like they are a part of this and that helps them embrace the team concept.

This isn’t Carson Wentz and his 52 buddies. This is the Philadelphia Eagles, a complete football team. An 8-1 team.

The best team in the NFL.

_


  • Dude

    Dug is killing it. It’s fun to watch the team play 4-down football from the 50 to around Elliott’s range. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your team punt from the opponent’s 40.

    • xeynon

      Most NFL coaches are more afraid of being criticized for taking a risk that doesn’t pay off than of losing. Doug is not.

      • JohnDough610

        Which feeds into something else: I think he took heart of the criticisms of him being too tentative last year (the Dallas game last year where they played to not lose springs to mind) and adjusted accordingly.

        For the first time in my life as an Eagles fan I have 100% confidence that no matter the defense we can get a 4th and 1 with Wentz sneaking it behind our line.

      • Dominik

        It does help if the Owner states publicly that he wants that aggressiveness from his HC. Doug has not to fear anything regarding his boss as long as the math is on his side.

        He does a great job in that regard, don’t get me wrong, I just wanted to give Lurie credit, too. He has exactly the right attitude when it comes to 4th down decisions.

  • Ankerstjernen

    I love love love going for it on 4th down, in field goal range, up three scores. There is nothing tepid about this man, nothing fearful and no lack of confidence. He wants to win, and he wants to take control of the game in order to enforce that outcome.

    One of these days Doug will call a play like that, and it will fail, and it will make a difference in the game and we will lose. And everybody will freak out. Unfairly so. Because what he is doing is working, it is generating more success than failure and it is ultimately about more than just the score – it is about practising a mindset and a team mentality that can only exist through implementation and execution – not by merely talking about it. Being aggressive is a mindset that wins you games, and when it comes from the coach like this, every one else follows up and follows suit.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      The Ravens gane last year but it didn’t matter because they were out of the playoffs

      • Tumtum

        At the time I thought the whole point of that one was to just get the game over. Don’t get anyone hurt. Now I am not so sure.

    • xeynon

      Worth noting that Belichick has become famous for making calls like this and they have occasionally backfired (such as that infamous play where he went for it on 4th and 2 from his own 32 against the Colts several years back rather than punt the ball back to Manning who had been shredding his defense). After that game he basically said to the second guessers “screw you, we’ve done the math and it was the right call” and I’m glad to see that Doug has the same mentality.

      • Tumtum

        Sort of Doug’s response after 4th and 8.

    • Mr. Magee

      Well done Anchorsteam… please save this message and post it again after the inevitable happens – I will definitely be one of those in need of a reminder.

      • Ankerstjernen

        Anchorsteam… I like it!

    • Tumtum

      4th and 8 this year would be an example of that. I still call that a dumb call considering the game situation, but I still love the aggressiveness. Would rather deal with the 4th and 8 and all the the 4th and 1s on the 45 that go with it, than deal with old guard terrified coach.

      • Ankerstjernen

        4th and 8 was not a dumb call. I can’t believe we still have to argue that.

        • Tumtum

          You totally missed the point of my argument. Oh well.

  • Rob Jarratt

    I would say that rather than copying and improving upon Andy’s playbook, Pederson is taking his cues from BB’s playbook in NE.

    Running back by committee: check; squeezing out a first down just beyond the
    chains on third down and, sometimes, fourth: check; relying heavily on the tight end(s): check; and, of course, having an emerging quarterback: major check.

    I can tell you that my NE friends here in Maine are paying close attention.

  • philllyfanatic

    Brandon Brooks block on Ajayi’s TD was amazing. He pancaked two guys at the same time to put Ajayi in the clear. Brooks looked back like he couldn’t believe he took out two guys at once that easily. That block ought to make a highlight reel.

    • xeynon

      Brooks has been one of the best guards in the NFL this season. It will be a travesty if he doesn’t get a Pro Bowl nod.

      • or____

        enh, the probowl is a travesty anyway

    • Sb2bowl

      He’s been well worth the money; the line seems to be playing well together, as each man has stepped up his game.

      It was nice to see Warmack on the field when it didn’t count.

    • Tumtum

      I am sad I missed his initial block and saw him running down field and thought he never even blocked anyone. I also thought he was Big V…

  • Donald Kalinowski

    This is why I got really annoyed last off season when people were bitching about Doug Pederson.

    He’s not taken seriously because he was a high school coach who was hired as OC by his former HC. A HC who controls the offense and seemed to hire him more out of comfort level than ability. He also got the job because the ownership wanted to return to the previous regime’s style of doing things and wanted someone who would stay out of GM duties. He also said things like “Gee Golly”

    He didnt come across as an intelligent, confident, well spoken guy who takes control of the team year one and turns it around. The way Sean Payton, John Gruden, and the Harbough brothers did during their regimes. He was seen as a lackey who wouldn’t question Roseman and got the job because the ownership was nostalgic for Reid.

    He didn’t get enough credit last year deapite coaching a team that was starting a rookie QB from NDSU who only started in 22 games in college, had one of the worst RB and WR corps in the NFL, and a middle of the pack offensive line. People forget that the Eagles were projected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL last year.

    • eagleyankfan

      He also got the job because the ownership wanted to return to the previous regime’s style of doing things and wanted someone who would stay out of GM duties. — Think we’re forgetting – he wasn’t ownerships 1st choice….

      • sonofdman

        The problem is that the assumptions of why he got hired and that he wasn’t the first choice (at least some of which were likely true), colored how people (fans and media) viewed him and made people very reluctant to judge him on his own merits. Many people started with the view that he was a bad hire and then looked for ways to reinforce that view while ignoring things he did well. It’s getting harder and harder for those people to stick with it, though I’m sure some will be back the moment the team faces any adversity.

        • xeynon

          Much the same as with the self-proclaimed draft experts who proclaimed that Wentz wasn’t a franchise QB before he was drafted.

          A dumb take only gets dumber if you cling to it in the face of ever-mounting evidence that you were wrong, but admitting a mistake is not the pundit way.

          • eagleyankfan

            Are they the same draft experts that say ‘ never take a rb in round 1’?

          • Someguy77

            Apples and oranges and the biggest concern with Wentz seemed to be about his mechanics & the level of competition he played against.

            What does seem overlooked in retrospect is Wentz’s willingness to work on his shortcomings during the season & in-season, his ability to recognize & make adjustments at the line, and his natural leadership qualities including his charisma.

            It is clear that Wentz is the leader on offense already and that his teammates not only respect him but genuinely enjoy being around him.

            Just look at the TD celebrations or on the sideline where Wentz is often talking/interacting with his teammates.

            It is those intangible qualities that are very hard to evaluate and accurately project to the NFL that are so hard to evaluate.

          • Someguy77

            I’m also interested to see if Wentz does become incredibly successful over the next few years that if he goes the route of a Brady and becomes kind of a prick.

            Almost impossible to become incredibly successful (and famous) and not change considerably.

          • sonofdman

            LOL. We’ll have to wait and see.

          • xeynon

            Every prospect comes into the NFL with question marks, and “can’t miss” guys can and do miss, whether due to injuries, lack of work ethic, bad situation, etc.

            I don’t think it was ridiculous to question Wentz’s ability to be a franchise QB at the time he was drafted – there were legitimate questions about his ability to adapt to the highest level of competition at the time. But to continue to do so now, as the Cian Faheys and Skip Baylesses of the world are doing, even as he’s clearly taken a quantum leap from his rookie year, makes jaw-dropping plays week after week, is on pace for an all-time great season statistically, and is fresh off of a surgical dissection of one of the best defenses in the NFL, is just straight up idiotic. I wasn’t down on Wentz per se, I had much more of a “wait and see” attitude, but I’m willing to acknowledge that the people who believed in him and thought he was a franchise QB were correct in doing so and my skepticism has proven unfounded. The people who were Wentz bashers are even more wrong than I was but seem more invested in clinging to that position.

          • Philadelphian

            Actually, not as much a comparison of apples and oranges as you think.

            I believe a major reason Pederson was hired was his relationship with QB’s. When you obviously have limited ability as a QB, which every Eagles fan saw first hand, and yet survive as backup QB in the NFL, you must have something else to offer. I believe it was those intangible assets that qualifies Pederson more than most people. I strongly believe that it was Pederson’s, Reich’s, and DeFillipo’s evaluation that led Roseman to believe it was worth the risk for pursuing Wentz.

        • eagleyankfan

          We can only go off of what we read. When you read that McAdoo(sp?) spurned the Eagles and Eagles turn to Pederson — we can only assume…

          • or____

            You could also question what you read, which you seem not interested in doing.

          • eagleyankfan

            ??

          • or____

            “We can only go off of what we read.” – that (albeit perhaps subtlety) implies that you believe everything you read and take it as truth.

            I might be over-doing it a bit, but – the truth is that you don’t have to go off of what you read. You can read something and take it with a grain of salt, you can read something and then stop reading it because you realize the author is an idiot with a track record.

            In fact, you can choose to not go off of what you read at all.

            I’m not trying to target or pick on you. Zero personal.

            My point is that I think far too many fans in the Philly area let themselves get played by the media. That goes for print and radio of course.

          • xeynon

            Yeah, all we have to back up the “Eagles wanted McAdoo but he told them no” claim is anonymously sourced reports that rely on sources who clearly had an agenda. If the Eagles interviewed McAdoo and decided they didn’t want to hire him, his agent would still have an incentive to spin it the other way to make him more desirable to other potential employers. The media reporting something doesn’t make it true, even if the report is sourced.

        • Philadelphian

          Much of what you said is because too many don’t trust any move made by Howie Roseman or Jeffrey Lurie.

        • Tumtum

          Who was the guy who said Doug was the least qualified coach in the NFL? I really wanna make some social media accounts (because I don’t have any..not because I am an internet troll) and slam that dude.

    • xeynon

      All of the complaining about Pederson over his first 1.5 seasons on the job is just an illustration of the fact that fans are drawn to style over substance in many cases.

      Pederson actually had a fairly standard resume for a first-time NFL head coach (some of the best coaches were backup QBs, and his career progression was not all that dissimilar from that of Andy Reid), and the fact that he went from high school coach to offensive coordinator for a successful NFL team to NFL head coach in a small amount of time could be seen as a mercurial rise resulting from coaching talent as much as anything.

      I could care less whether he has a “commanding presence” in the eyes of fans or gives good quotes during press conferences. Chip Kelly was full of memorable quotes but was a failure as an NFL coach. Reid’s press conferences were as dull as they come and he was the most successful coach in Eagles history. That stuff doesn’t matter. Preparation, game planning, play design, managing the locker room, teaching ability, etc. – those are what count, and the evidence suggests Pederson has all of those skills in spades.

      • sonofdman

        I agree with what you said about style vs. substance. Even more normal for Pederson is that when he got hired by Reid after being a high school coach, he started out as an offensive quality control assistant for 2 years, then was promoted to Qb coach for 2 years, before getting Reid hired him to be the offensive coordinator in KC. He did not go from coaching high school directly to being an offensive coordinator. His progression was fast, but he worked his way up through the coaching ranks in a very similar manner to other coaches.

      • Donald Kalinowski

        “All of the complaining about Pederson over his first 1.5 seasons on the job is just an illustration of the fact that fans are drawn to style over substance in many cases.”

        Amen.
        You just summarized the point I was trying to make in just 1 sentence.

        • Someguy77

          In fairness, Pederson struggles badly at times in interviews and post-game press conferences. Lurie did him no favors in saying when Pederson was hired how impressed he was with Pederson’s ability to answer questions on the fly during the interview process. Still have never heard Pederson speak in one of those instances and been really impressed.

          I have noticed a marked difference this season in that Pederson tends to keep his answers shorter and more succinct. This isn’t by accident or random chance either.

          Eagles pretty clearly hired someone to work with him this offseason to address this issue. Ditto some of Pederson’s ‘candid feedback’ that he gave last year including information before Roseman/front office had a chance to answer.

          • Stephen E.

            Pederson is probably a lot more comfortable in a job interview (of which he’s done many) than in a press conference (of which he’d done few as a head coach).

          • Philadelphian

            Some of the most intelligent people I have come across weren’t able to put two verbal sentences together in front of others. They did their best work crawled up in a cubicle at the back of a room.

            You got a guy like Joe Montana, one of the greatest QBS of all time, that couldn’t handle a color analyst job because he was out of his comfort zone vs Trent Dilfer, a first round bust, that is articulate and extremely successful in broadcasting.

            My point being, sometimes we need to look beyond the normal guidelines determined to judge someone’s capabilities.

        • Insomniac

          The dumbest complaint was firing him after last season or this season. That one pissed me off the most.

      • Someguy77

        Also not to be overlooked is that Eagles’ fans in particular have always like a coach with swagger who says certain things and acts in a certain way.

        Just look at how popular Buddy Ryan is still popular in this town despite never winning a single playoff game or how popular Ray Rhodes was especially initially here.

        I’d argue Schwartz is still more popular than Pederson yet I would take a coach with Pederson’s persona any day over Schwartz.

        Coaches like Schwartz have a fairly limited shelf-life anywhere they go especially if the team hits a downturn for a year or two.

        • sonofdman

          This goes back to the style over substance thing. Pederson doesn’t act like he has a swagger (like Chip, Buddy, Schwartz, Rex Ryan, etc.), but he sure coaches with a swagger. Chip loved to play up his persona of an aggressive coach, but he didn’t actually coach aggressively in the NFL. I’ll rather Pederson’s mild mannered press conferences and aggressive coaching than vice versa.

      • Dan in Philly

        No one knows nothing when it comes to hiring HCs. Nothing.

        • sonofdman

          That’s not true. I know nothing.

      • Mr. Magee

        You’re so right about style vs substance… And your incite applies to just about everything: sports, business, academia, government… (especially government – people don’t read anymore).
        Unfortunately you have to search far and wide for leaders who don’t look the part, let alone those saying the ‘right’ things and possessing the correct pedigree. When it comes right down to it, just about everyone is trying to protect against the downside, I guess.

    • Someguy77

      I was critical of Pederson because I thought it was a reach for him to be a head coach and that him trying to call the plays as well as being a head coach was just too much of a burden for a rookie coach.

      To his credit, he has adjusted very well this season and everything has come up in his favor.

      • Philadelphian

        Interesting enough, although I supported Pederson from day 1, I am against any head coach calling plays.

    • Mr. Magee

      I am eating crow not so much because of what you reference above (though they were all cited by professionals and amateurs alike), but because I saw him as stubborn and somewhat myopic. He has certainly proven he can learn from his mistakes, and his “stubbornness” is now more likely to be cited (justifiably) as a strength.

      I wanted him to give up playcalling duties because I thought it was too much to juggle come game day – especially for a new HC – but now it seems like that would be counterproductive, to say the least.

      And the leadership / locker room presence that is so important to the job – something we fans have little exposure to or incite on – appears to be something he really has his arms around.

    • Sean E

      One of Pederson’s best traits is he doesn’t have an ego.

    • Tumtum

      You realize we were projected as 4th in the division this season, right? It was pretty split in this area over the off-season. Those of us who thought we could compete for a division title, and those that thought we really didn’t have what it took to best the other teams in the division.

      I like to admit when I am wrong, but in this case I didn’t see why we didn’t have a shot to win the division. I also thought the Giants were gonna be really really bad.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    A 30 yard pass on 4th-1 at your own 40 yard line against a probowl CB thrown by your backup QB is straight up crazy. 8 minutes left in a 21 point game, one posession removed from your backup QB giving up a fumble TD. That could gave quickly gone to a 14 point game.

    There are times when Pederson has me scared shitless while he stands their confidently despite having his job and reputation on the line.

  • Bert’s Bells

    After witnessing clearly poor coaching jobs like the game Vance Joseph called yesterday and Kyle Shanahan last week, you have to wonder if it’s not only Dug is good -but so other coaches are bad.

  • Seth S. Scott

    1-53. Love it, and love this team. Everyone is playing hard, and everyone has smiles across their entire faces. Yes, winning will do that, but you can see it goes farther than that, this team is playing together and winning together. Ajayi was right behing CC patting him on the back and congratulating him in his ear after CC’s first TD. This is a complete football team with the best play at almost every position we’ve had in the past 5, maybe 10 years. Fly.

  • daveH

    Check out the video of this sick catch my bud’s son made last week .. he is an Eagles fan in ny
    ..
    https://instagram.com/p/BbH4yuUA_pb/

  • dandynator

    yea tommy you just summed it up perfectly. all these little things like seumalo playing RT, jaylen watkins Tfl, the gameplans are on point, run a balance offense, so many different formations and shifts, the adjustments, the guy he hired running the defense seems also to be the exact right guy(old school agressive and tough). the draft picks are playing well, clement is ballin and he came out of nowhere. etc etc i could go on. But to me yesterday the exclamation point in doug play calling was that outside pitch clement td.. it was just a smooth playcall and set up perfectly #thatswheniknew

  • eagleyankfan

    When you watch a Buff team come in completely unprepared on a Thursday night game — and you watch an extremely prepared Eagle team week in, week out, short week etc .. you get to see the coach DP is(Proving me wrong weekly and I’m ok with that)

  • Philadelphian

    I know I harp on this a lot, but what this story proves is the barometer used to determine who is best qualified to be a head coach in the NFL is wrong. Most people look at success as a coordinator to make that determination and what they still don’t realize is a head coaching job and coordinator job have little or no correlation.

    Whether you can coordinate an offense or defense is not the same as understanding what it takes to get over 50+ players on a roster to buy into your program and be willing to commit to it at the best of their abilities. Pederson’s experiences as a backup QB in addition to his time as a coach under Reid puts him in a position that few if any coordinators can share.

  • Someguy77

    McAdoo seemingly has struggled to adjust to the adversity but a lot of the blame lies on Reese. They have had generally bad drafts the last 5 years and this offseason was just puzzling since he refused to upgrade the OL or the RB to help his aging QB.

    Manning still isn’t a bad QB and this would have been a competitive team if the offensive was so bad.

    • Someguy77

      Also the issue of the epidemic of injuries the Giants have endured already this season too.

      I can’t see how any coach would have overcome all of this although McAdoo seems like he has lost control of the team a bit including effort on the defensive side of the ball.

      • Julescat

        leaving OBJ play deep into the second half of an exhibition game was a major coaching mistake. That’s where the first injury happened.

        • daveH

          Nicer point! ! Coaching mistake or maybe he had needed the extra reps for some other reason ..

    • Julescat

      I still can’t believe that some websites had the Giants rated as the second best team in the NFL and the Eagles hovering near 30th.

      The Giants defense looks like it has given up

  • SteveH

    My biggest beef with everything right now is that we don’t get to put the Cowboys in the dumpster for another 2 weeks. The Chiefs failure yesterday left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    • or____

      Have you checked the record of the team that plays more locally? You shouldn’t have a biggest beef right now. You shouldn’t have any beef.

      Yeah, I know, I’m the “party pooper who tells everyone they can’t be negative”….

      But, what!???!!?? Are you seriously complaining/scared/nervous in THIS context?

      • A_T_G

        An hour ago I had two Cowboys fans telling me that the Cowboys are better because they beat the Chiefs, who beat us. The Denver point is moot because they played them “back when they were good.”

        I get what Steve is beefing about. Two weeks seems like a long wait to shut them up.

        • or____

          Enh, flys gonna pester…

          • Bert’s Bells

            And flies are attracted by shit (a.k.a. Jerry Jones’ Cowboys)

          • or____

            And Zeke, and Dez, and measly beasly…. the list goes on..

          • A_T_G

            …until you swat them.

        • SteveH

          Seriously, I’m also personally invested because one of my best friends is a Cowboys fan and things are getting heated right now.

          I’m excited for how the Eagles are doing no doubt, but putting a beat down on Dallas is the one thing this regime has yet to do, and it needs to be done.

          Edit: I should also add that this even goes back to last year when we blew it against Dallas. Had the game in hand and just blew it. Winning the super bowl is obviously our #1 goal, but making sure Dallas knows they’re the also rans in our division is the most important thing.

          • P_P_K

            Did you say one of your best friends in a Cowboys fan? How the hell did that happen?

          • SteveH

            I’m charitable, I was willing to overlook his extreme deficiencies in character.

          • DustyRyder71

            You think that’s bad… my priest is a Cowboys fan.

        • RobNE

          but then you gave them the transitive property back on the common games against the Broncos right? right?

        • xeynon

          We lost to the Chiefs back when they were good. And played them on the road, to boot.

          Cowboys fans are so full of it.

          • DustyRyder71

            And we lost to them before we discovered we had a running game (and Ajayi was still a Dolphin).

  • EJ

    I think Pederson likes to be aggressive on 4th down because he used to be a player. What player doesn’t want to go for it on 4th down?

    • ChoTime

      Most coaches were players at some point.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Don’t think our Eagles haven’t forgotten how things worked out when we played Dallas last season. Payback comin!!

    • SteveH

      It better be. I want our best game of the year in 2 weeks (playoffs excluded).

      • Dan

        Playoffs will be next year anyway.

  • SteveH
    • Bert’s Bells

      That reminds of the classic Electric Company clip of the man who invites the M to dinner.

  • ChoTime

    Doug has done a great job this year. The team is rolling. Wentz is dynamic and, at times, devastating. The defense, while far from impregnable, still has a monster DL and a knack for bringing the hammer.

    But…the season is only half over. The team is currently a juggernaut, but it’s too early to make pronouncements as if we’ve already won two Superbowls and it’s all based on Pederson’s brilliance.

    McAdoo has still won more games than Doug has and is saddled with a far worse team. Try taking away the four best players on the Eagles’ DL (our strongest position) and see how things go for us.

    Maybe in five years, we can say Pederson’s the best coach the Eagles have ever had and all the “haters” were wrong, but at this point there’s a lot of ill-founded triumphalism. By no means does the guy winning the race at the half-way point always end up with the blue ribbon.

    • sonofdman

      “McAdoo has still won more games than Doug has and is saddled with a far worse team.”

      Nope. 15 > 12.

      • ChoTime

        Oops, bad arithmetic.

        • sonofdman

          Oh well, it happens 🙂

    • Bert’s Bells

      “Try taking away all the good players”…

      Well, the Eagles were missing 4 of their best players yesterday and look what they did.

      You can’t play a game of randomly yanking guys from the roster to make your point. You can just as easily say “try adding All Pros at the 4 weakest links on the team”.

      • ChoTime

        Not random, they lost an entire position group!

        In any case, the point remains–the season is only halfway over. Every year some team looks like a lock to win the Superbowl, talking heads and fans start yapping, and they sink back into the pack.

        Optimism and excitement is good, triumphalism and crowning our asses is not.

        • Bert’s Bells

          True.

          I’m personally happy they’re playing good football and just enjoying that.

          Though, honestly, yesterday’s game got kind of boring by the half.

          • ChoTime

            I thought so, too! I was thinking to myself, is this what it’s like to be a Patriots fan? Weird, because I’ve been a Spurs fan since ’89 and so I’ve seen a lot of very good teams.

        • laeagle

          Don’t anyone ever accuse me of being a triumphalist, even if it’s true. You’ve been warned.

          • ChoTime

            Okay, it won’t happen!

        • RobNE

          we can be happy on our own Iggles centric blog. Who is saying we are a lock to win the SB?

          • ChoTime

            Don’t twist my words, man.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          I mean…they lost 2 starters (Darby/McLeod) and the 2 top backups (Graham/Watkins) in their secondary in weeks 2 and 3.

          • ChoTime

            The difference is when it hits your best group versus your worst.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            I mean…the Giants fucking sucked before all their WRs got hurt, too.

            The biggest difference is having depth, leadership, a good scheme and a QB that isn’t watched up.

  • Corry

    This is probably going to be the toughest test for the birds yet. They’ve got a week to relax and listen to everyone talk about how awesome they are. Dallas week after the bye may be a blessing to get the team back into focus.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Yes, undoubtedly. Division games are just different. We needed a miracle 61-yard FG from a rookie in his first game to put away the hapless Giants. Yet we dominated Washington on MNF without JP.

      • Corry

        And after a 10 day lay off we came out slow and was sleep walking for the first quarter or so against a winless 9ers. Dallas isn’t on the same level as the Eagles in my opinion, but they’re going to bring their A game. We need to as well.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    I hate bye week.

    • Insomniac

      Bye week – 51, Eagles – 0

      • Dragon_Eagle

        You’re overreacting. More like 31-7.

    • P_P_K

      But this is Dallas week, x2.

    • DustyRyder71

      I usually do, too, but this one comes at a great time. Ertz and Lane can heal up, Darby gets another week to get ready, Ajayi has some extra time to learn the playbook. Everybody can use the rest, and the coaches will make excellent use of the extra week of studying Dallas’ habits. The timing of this bye is better than last year’s in every conceivable way.

      And, while it’s Dallas week in Philly, the Cowboy will be struggling to tune out the noise and not look past Atlanta. As bad as the Falcons have been, they’re the defending conference champs, they’re at home, and they’re perfectly capable of getting up for Dallas and playing well. I’d love nothing more than to face a demoralized and deflated Cowboys squad teetering on the brink of mathematical elimination from division contention.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        Yeah, but I have no patience.

  • Insomniac

    “Daily reminder that Mack Hollins isn’t starting yet” – angry man yelling at clouds.

  • Ark87

    http://www.phillyvoice.com/eagles-used-von-miller-against-himself-gifs-and-stuff/

    Great article from Jimmy

    1. The 2 Lane Johnson gifs were incredible.
    1b) Also Mack Hollins

    2. More support of my theory that PFF does not put human eyes on these games, the automated stat generated narrative. Vonn was the highest-rated player last night by PFF on good stats.

    • sonofdman

      I couldn’t believe that Vonn was the highest rated player in that game. In the beginning of the 4th quarter (before the Foles strip sack) I even commented to my dad that Vonn had been invisible all game.

      • Bert’s Bells

        You mean (before he was a yard over the line of scrimmage to offsides sack Foles), right?

  • Frencheaglesfan

    https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/927591129461161985

    I just want to be with them, laugh with them, jump with them, play with them! God, I love this team.

    • P_P_K

      I’m lovin’ this Coach!

    • EaglesHero87

      Give this man some love!!

  • Benny6968

    Been a long time coming.

    I remember reading a “not so recent” article about how Pederson was the least qualified HC in the NFL.
    I wonder how dumb the author of that garbage is feeling right about now.

  • xmbk

    The Eagles have 6 Pro Bowlers out right now. Let that sink in.

    A 2nd year QB is so good that losing 6 Pro Bowlers isn’t even a speed bump.

  • RC5000

    My question isn’tthat we don’t run some of that stuff but my reaction was the same as PFT, what did the Broncos run? A college offense from the 60s? Broncos were predictable and were running a lot of picks. Whether it was dumbed down for Osweiler or not, I saw a vanilla scheme from Denver.

    “They run this college offense,” Harris said, via James Palmer of NFL Media. “They run kind of what the Chiefs do. They got an option to run, an option to pass. They run the read option, the real option. He’s checking to a lot of things. It’s a college offense and he’s just executing it very good.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/11/05/chris-harris-eagles-run-a-college-offense/

    • meteorologist
      • RC5000

        True that’s a little better than just saying it’s a college offense but that doesn’t change that he clearly said it was a college offense twice. Unless he talked about us running a pro offense also , it is what it is.

        I think they run a pro offense – WCO offense with some concepts mainly brought in by Chris Ault, former Nevada football head coach.

        We don’t just run a college offense imo. Pederson and Reid have a long history running the WCO.

        https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2013/5/13/4327732/andy-reid-chris-ault-reactions-chiefs-consultant

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          I think people are attaching a stigma that wasn’t implied to the term “college offense.”

          When they went to KC, Doug and Andy incorporated a ton of college concepts into their WCO base, updating and adapting them to the realities of the NFL.

          Pretty much the reverse of what Chip did, when he incorporated a bunch of West Coast concepts into his college offense, and simplifying them.

          • RC5000

            I think they’re also running a handful of plays Wentz brought with him. He came out of a hybrid pro/college offense though relatively speaking to college offenses, it was more of a pro offense. He was under center a lot.

            I think of the shotgun too when I think of college offenses. Goff and Lynch were in the shotgun much more especially Goff. Wentz was more ready than many QBs because he was under center a lot at North Dakota State.

  • JohnDough610

    Definitely really enjoying it. Pederson has turned out to be a much better coach than I expected. Based on last season he seemed like he was going to be a poor man’s Andy Reid. I don’t want to crown Doug yet, I want to see how he does in the Dallas game. And ultimately, I only care about the postseason.

    • Bert’s Bells

      Andy would be an all time great coach if not for his stubbornness. If Doug is Andy minus that one trait, he’s golden.

      • unhinged

        I think that is a tad simplistic. AR’s devotion to detail can come across as demanding, stubborn, maybe even humorless, but I believe they are inherent aspects of his success as a coach. One man’s stubborn is another man’s determined.

        • Bert’s Bells

          I agree, it’s simplistic but I still see Andy’s poor self-evaluation as his biggest flaw. While Andy’s definitely adapted and grown, we can see in Doug that you can script your plays, you can have a plan but you can move from it if it’s not working.

  • Mr. Magee

    Doug looking so smart right now that any coach worth his title should want to play against him just to learn what his team’s weaknesses are.

    And that gif of McAdoo? Just, wow…..

  • I’ve always been impressed at how Doug (and Howie) changed a toxic culture under Chip, even though a lot of the key players are still there. Granted, Wentz playing like an MVP cures a lot of ills, but the idea that Doug is somehow a dumb coach never sat well with me. He’s got this team bought in 100%. This season has been so much fun to watch, and it’s not only because they’re winning.

    • Mr. Magee

      Great points

    • A Roy

      Well, #culture helped to a large extent. Kelly’s heroes may not have been the most talented, but there were a lot of good pieces in place. (Don’t get me wrong…CK was an asshole and I’m ecstatic he’s gone.)

    • ChoTime

      Was the culture toxic, or did they just hate Chip and when he was gone, so did the problems?

      • …isn’t that a toxic culture? I mean, hating your head coach is not a good thing.

        • Will Ft. The Roots

          I think the bengals have a toxic culture. They were just a bad team under Chip

          • I’ll never forget that last game against the Redskins, which we needed to salvage any chance of going to the playoffs. That team couldn’t give a damn. They had talent, but the heart was gone.

        • ChoTime

          IMO, a culture is a pattern of behavior built into the interactions at all important levels of the organization. Therefore, if the only thing that changes is the head coach, and everything turns around, the culture wasn’t toxic. If the culture had truly been toxic, you would have had to clean house to change it.

  • unhinged

    Random thoughts:
    It’s remarkable to me how much Goff looks like a slightly taller, lankier version of Joe Montana. His footwork is uncannily similar.

    Dennis Allen has the NO defense playing solid D. That D with Brees and Payton running the offense gives the Saints an inside route to the division.

    I hope when Eagles face Rams, we relax and don’t even think about how talented that defense is. We could well meet in the post season, so no need to pull out all the stops.

    Jaguars could easily win their first playoff game. Their D is also loaded.

    Beware hiring and later firing Tom Coughlan. The Jaguars became consistent basement dwellers after saying adieu to TC. They missed him so much they brought him back to their FO. The Giants won 2 SB’s with TC, but they showed him the door and look at ’em now!

    Feel bad about Andrew Luck. A nice guy with lousy luck.

    My soon-to-be-gone list: Gase, McAdoo, Jackson, LEWIS. An argument can be made for a few more, but there’s a lot more playing to do.

    The current Rams coach, Sean McVay, is the son of the 1978 NY Giants HC who watched Joe Pisarcik botch a hand-off to Larry Csonka so Herman Edwards could win the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” for Dick Vermeil’s Eagles. That same guy, John McVay was instrumental, along with Bill Walsh in building an awesome dynasty in San Fran in the 80’s.

    Who will be the first QB in the 2018 draft, and how fast will he fly off the board?

  • dandynator
  • GermanEagle

    So teams have already figured out Andy Reid’s ‘awesome’ offense witn the Chiefs losing three in a row?!

    NFL stands for Not For Long for a reason.

    Enjoy our ride as long as it lasts! Go birds.

    • Ark87

      3 of their last 4, they beat the Broncos last week.

      Their status as the best team of the league went down with Berry.

      Great safeties have quietly become one of the most important pieces of great defenses. The same thing happened to Seattle’s defense when Earl Thomas got hurt.

      Stay healthy Malcolm Jenkins. Great safety, and the most important leader on the defense, and no one healthy is left after him

  • Guy Media

    This has been amazing so far, but I’m using the Dallas game as my barometer to see in which way I lose my mind.

    A win = we’re rolling and ready to win enough game to get home field given the 2nd tier bobo teams currently leading the other NFC divisions.

    A loss = the team is full of bunch of soft, mentally weak bums who’d rather read their press clippings and come up like a bunch of used feminine hygiene products vs. a collection of overrated scumbags in a vitally important national game that would give us further ammunition to continue to silence all fucking morons like Bayless, the air yards mongrel, Fuckface Fahey, and Rodney Harrison.

    The are serious principles involved in ending Dalls via a win on the 19th; I have full faith that Doug and company are up to the task.

    • Ark87

      Even under Chip Kelly the locker room was hyper aware of Dallas week. There is an institutional awareness that 8-2 is a shit record in Philly if one of those 2 losses is to Dallas. Would have loved to punctuate that steamrolling of Denver with an overwhelming “We want Dallas” chant in the 3rd quarter. Just something to think about on this little vacation.

      • Guy Media

        AMEN! Although Chip’s team laying down on the job in the decisive Dallas game in 2014 was vomit inducing.

        http://www.espn.com/nfl/recap/_/gameId/400554425

        This was so gutless that it should have resulted in immediate roster cuts, firings, and permanent banishments from the Greater Philadelphia area.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Wishy-washy as usual, Guy. Try to be more definitive.

  • Henly125

    E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!!!!!!

  • A_T_G
    • Sean E

      Doesn’t that mean that Dak throws lots of would-be picks?

      • FairOaks

        Yes, but Dak may only throw those 50-50 balls to him because he knows that Bryant will at least break it up if he can’t catch it. That was yet another problem with the Eagles WRs in 2016 which has largely evaporated this year. Granted Wentz has more open options to choose from as well.

        One major advantage WRs have over CBs on the PBU category is that QBs are actually trying to throw the ball near them. If you are good at contested catches, and also good at breaking them up, it’s worth the risk to try.

        • ChoTime

          “Like old school Eli Manning, back when Bill Barnwell wrote that Manning threw every pass as if there was an invisible box above Plaxico Burress’ head and Eli thought if he hit it, he would shoot fireballs.” Schatz

      • A_T_G

        Yup.

    • A_T_G
    • Guy Media

      Dak is such an overrated piece of trash.

      • Will Ft. The Roots

        He’s overrated but he’s far from trash. Brock was trash.

    • laeagle

      I don’t know what’s happening but I swear that people are getting stupider. Maybe it’s that social media lets us live in these self-confirming bubbles. I don’t know. All I know is, anyone who is boasting about how great their WRs are at making up for terrible mistakes by their QB needs to have their head examined.

      Add in the doubling/tripling/quadrupling/too-high-to-count-ing that Kacsmar/Fahey/etc are doing around Wentz, and I seriously worry about the future of humankind. It’s OK to be wrong, people. It’s OK for your team to have flaws. You don’t have to insist that stupid shit you say is more right than anything ever said by anyone ever before. You don’t have to actively try to convince people that vices are virtues. Sometimes, it’s OK to just say `mea culpa` and move on. Or just admit that the emperor has no clothes, even if you’re the emperor.

      The future of humankind depends on it.

      • Rob Jarratt

        I can’t let this one go, Iaeagle. I actually find it cathartic to admit I have it wrong at times. Sometimes, someone comes up with a brilliant idea that makes mine less so. I congratulate them. Also, forgiveness is a quality that is far too lacking in our interactions nowadays. What happened to humility? OK, back to the action on the field.

  • EaglesHero87

    This isn’t Carson Wentz and his 52 buddies. This is the Philadelphia Eagles, a complete football team. An 8-1 team.

    This pretty much sums it all, Tommy. This team just has a special feel to it. Although, I will say that I very much look forward to seeing this Carson Wentz era.

  • EaglesHero87

    Guys (and ladies), are any one of you scared that the bye week may actually hurt us more than helping us prepare for the Dallas game? I can’t help but feel like the bye sometimes takes away the team’s momentum. We basically manhandled the Broncos and I would very much like to carry that mentality to the Cowboys.

    • GermanEagle

      I personally think the bye week still comes at the right time.

    • Guy Media

      NO FEAR! The only people who should be scared are the 53 guys on the team and the dozen+ on the coaching staff if they choke away a chance to stick a fork in Dallas.

    • laeagle

      Regardless of what happens in Dallas, the bye week is here at the right time to recharge for a playoff run.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    I forgot to mention this earlier but… Mike Lombardi can go suck a dick

    • Guy Media

      I wouldn’t wish his mouth on anybody’s dick. He can actually go eat a turd out of the toilet instead.

  • RC5000

    According to head coach Doug Pederson, Darby could be back on the field as early as Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys.

    “Last week he really got more reps in practice,” Pederson said Monday at the NovaCare Complex. “Even though [he was listed] limited, he was almost a full [participant] last week, too.

    On Jernigan:

    “Tim’s fine,” Pederson said. “He could have come back in that game yesterday. He’ll be fine. We have this time off now. He’ll be fine next week.”

    http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2017/11/eagles_injury_update_whats_the_plan_for_ronald_dar.html

    • GermanEagle

      I will be flabbergasted if Darby doesn’t dress against Dallas in week 11.

      • Ark87

        Eagles fans have been waiting for 2 things these past 3 weeks. Darby’s return and Zeke’s suspension. I hope we get both, Zeke should have to pay 1 game in interest for the delay plus a general scumbag fee of another game and be done for the season. But I’ll settle for 6.

        • P_P_K

          Although it would be fine to have Zeke play and run into the full wrath of our D line.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          in my perfect scenario we beat them with zeke doing little damage and dak being further exposed.

          Then comes the 6 game suspension……

    • RC5000

      I think Lombardo forgot Zach Ertz …

      “Meanwhile, the only other significant player dealing with an injury heading into the off week is defensive tackle Tim Jernigan…”

      • Sean E

        The good thing about a back injury is they shoot you up with so much pain meds that it doesn’t matter. Try not to get too addicted to opiates, NFL players.

        • Will Ft. The Roots

          Its a bruised tailbone. It shouldn’t become a chronic issue like a strain or sprain

  • ChoTime
    • Ark87

      Just that last one in my opinion, attrition. If this team stays healthy where it counts (Wentz, Cox, Jenkins), I don’t really see this team falling apart any other way. They’ve been mentally steady and tough through adversity, and have enough ways to win a game (run, pass, defense- never know which one will be the star of a game).

    • SteveH

      omg, I love that he calls the Falcons “Team Self Doubt”. A+ for that guy.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    TOP Carson Wentz Highlights in 2017 (so far), in gifs. From: Jimmy K.

    http://www.phillyvoice.com/top-10-carson-wentz-highlights-2017-so-far-gifs/

    Squeeee!!!

    • daveH

      Ooo this is dangerous. . Too dangerous. .no upvote
      must only be watched with extreme Caution and PBR supervision …
      This gets me a little too too hopeful ..

      • Will Ft. The Roots

        Why not us?

        • daveH

          Doooont watch it ..it made me all tingling and gushy dreamy .. started me thinking this could go on with 25 sick sick gifs every year for the next decade. .. made me think big happy thoughts

  • Nailed It!

    Dude just will not take an L on his Wentz prediction.
    https://twitter.com/fo_scottkacsmar/status/927692290528817152

    • FairOaks

      Yep, and Wentz needs to stay consistent the rest of the season to end that comparison.

      The biggest difference there though is that leftmost column, “Age”.

      • BlindChow

        The difference in the “TD” column is bigger.

        • FairOaks

          Yeah, a bit. 5 TD is nothing to sneeze at, but still ballpark. Three years of experience getting to that level is humongous though.

          The Bengals did have a couple of good wins early in the year, but went 4-4 over their last four games, only beating the bad teams. They missed a bye and lost the wildcard game.

          The 9th game they scored 6 points total — losing 10-6 — which was a harbinger of things to come. And I’m willing to bet Dalton didn’t have nearly the highlight reel plays that Wentz has, which would be the biggest reason you know the teams are nothing alike.

          Still, it is possible to lose momentum somewhat in a season. Don’t see it happening, but sometimes a team comes up with the right gameplan and then that’s on tape for others.