Teams at the Top

Posted: November 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 165 Comments »

We’re in November now so it is relevant to look at the standings. The Chiefs, Steelers and Patriots look like the three best teams in the AFC. For now, let’s focus on the NFC.

East  PHI 8-1

North  MIN 6-2

South  NO 6-2

West  LAR 6-2

CAR 6-3
DAL 5-3
SEA 5-3
ATL 4-4

Only two of those teams at the bottom will make the playoffs. That means a couple of good teams will be left on the outside. It is hard to imagine the playoffs without Seattle, but that is a possibility.

The Eagles haven’t clinched a playoff berth yet, but it would take a shocking collapse for this team to miss the postseason. The more likely scenario to discuss is whether the Eagles can maintain the best record and clinch the #1 seed. They control their own destiny in that regard so we’ll see what happens.

The Eagles do have the best record, but are they the best team? That is a fair question.

Football Outsiders released their DVOA rankings and they have the Rams as number one, the Steelers number two and the Eagles at three. The Rams may come as a surprise, but that team is legit. Their offense is playing at a high level. Wade Phillips is doing good work with the defense. They were also #1 in STs rankings by FO. That’s impressive. As for the Steelers, they have been hot recently and look pretty darn good.

I happen to think the Eagles are the best team. Clearly I am biased, but I can make a good case. Both teams are Top 5 on offense (points and yards). Both are very good on STs. Both are good on defense, but very different. The Eagles have a historically good run defense right now. They lead the league and are completely overwhelming RBs. The Rams are 26th in run defense. They give up 4.6 yards per carry.

The Rams have a better pass defense, 9th to 25th. However, some of those yards the Eagles gave up came in garbage time. Opposing QBs have a rating of 75.8 against the Rams and 81.2 against the Eagles. Both are difficult to throw against, but the Eagles have given up more yards.

I also think the Eagles have had to deal with more adversity. The Rams have four guys on IR and none of them was projected to be a key player. The Eagles have had all kinds of injuries and overcome them all to this point. That gives a team a kind of mental and emotional toughness. The Eagles aren’t having a dream season because things are breaking their way. The Eagles have had a lot of issues to overcome on the way to 8-1.

I don’t have a good feel for the Steelers. They lost to the Bears, a bad team, and then got blown out by the Jags. They do have great offensive weapons and the #5 defense in the league so the Steelers can beat any team in the league.

Whether the Eagles are first or second or even third is somewhat irrelevant right now. The key is that they are in the discussion to be the top team because they are having a great season. After all, the real best team will be decided on the field in the postseason.

There are some tough regular season tests left for the Eagles. In a four week span, they play at Dallas, at Seattle and at the Rams. I’m excited to see how the Eagles do. If this really is a championship caliber team, they’ll find a way to win at least a couple of those games. The tough tests will help the team to get ready for the postseason. And that is what all this is about…the postseason.

I don’t care if the Eagles go 15-1 or Carson Wentz is the MVP or whatever regular season accomplishment you mention. I just want the Eagles to win in the postseason.

For now, we’ll enjoy the rest of the regular season and seeing just what this team can do.

*****

About that run defense…

The Eagles have played with the lead for most of the year so that has certainly been a factor in keeping teams from running the ball, but teams just aren’t having success and that is the biggest factor in having them go pass happy.

I don’t think Jimmy has updated this yet with the Broncos game, but you can still see just how good the run D is.

_


  • Masked Man

    Here’s the remaining games on the Eagles schedule:
    @DAL
    CHI
    @SEA
    @LAR
    @NYG
    OAK
    DAL

    If the Eagles take Dallas out after the bye, they will crush the Cowboys’ hopes of competing in the division. I predict the Eagles win the road game. I also predict a win here at home against the Bears the week after.

    If the Eagles split the west coast trip games, that would wrap up a playoff spot for the Eagles and possibly earn them a bye at that point too. If they have to split, I hope they beat the Rams since LA has the better record at this point. I predict that they beat the Giants afterward who will have little left to play for.

    I want a win at home for Christmas against the Oakland Raiders. I hope that a win or loss at home against the Cowboys to end the season is meaningless at that point.

    The Saints and the Rams seem to be the toughest competitors on the horizon in the NFC for the Eagles. I understand that if the season ended today, the Saints would be the #2 seed along with the Eagles at #1.

    Go Eagles!

    • Buge Halls

      I’d love to see Nick Freaking Foles as our starter against Dallas in a meaningless final game of the season against Dallas!

      • Stephen E.

        It would be awesome if we clinched it in week 16 like 2004. Then we can start Nick against OAK so he can throw 7 TDs again.

      • Masked Man

        Yup

      • sprawl

        Even if it is meaningless for the Eagles it could definitely impact Dallas getting the wildcard spot

        • HokiEagle07

          Would love to see the Eagles knock Dallas out of the playoffs if that was on the table, even in a meaningless game.

          • ProbablyDrunk

            I’d rather face Dallas in the playoffs than the other wildcard hunters

    • Philadelphian

      The Dallas road game will be key. It will be interesting to see if Pete Morelli and the rest of his incompetent crew shows up to help the NFL’s favorite team (Cowboys).

      • Masked Man

        Hey Philly!

        That will be awesome to be at the game in LA. It’s a great town with perfect weather this time of year. Bet it’s around 70 degrees and sunny!

        Personally, I think the Eagles can take the Rams. I don’t believe they are as deep and as tough as the Eagles. But they will make a game of it. Great RB. Great head coach that knows offense.

        Expecting a west coast shoot out. Should be an entertaining game to watch. Just take a tablet or something so you can watch the game on TV too and see all the replay action!

        • EagleOne1983

          Expect a shootout… but the finaly score will probably 12-10… Just because.

        • Spooonius

          I’ll be there. It will be the Eagle’s game for my son (8). I can’t wait!! Good idea about the tablet, but it may be hard to sync with the game in real-time.

    • Philadelphian

      Tell you what MM, my family scheduled a trip to LA in September just to be able to see the Eagles on the road. Never in my wildest imagination did I believe this game could be so meaningful.

      What I’m wondering about is what type of turnout will there be of Eagles fans in this 90,000 plus stadium, especially since I don’t think LA bought into their team yet. I have a feeling that this game will produce the largest fan turnout from the visitors side in NFL history, especially if it’s the same ratio as the Chargers game. This type of turnout can give the Eagles a huge advantage.

  • Flyin

    Tommy, over the years you have talked about the Eagles facing strong competition within the division to toughen up the team for the post season.

    4 out the last 7 games are against teams in playoff contention. Dallas x 2, Rams, Seahawks. Nice lead up to the post season if the Eagles can hold their own.

    • EagleOne1983

      You could toss Oakland in there as well and make it 5. They aren’t playing well, but could be in playoff contention in December if they play up to their abilities in November.

    • RobNE

      we’ve had disagreements here where some of us (I’m in this group) think wanting a tough schedule is over rated and prefer the Pats style of having a poor division and riding that to home field advantage.

      • or____

        What’s the point of arguing either when we have no control/choice… That’s my take

        • RobNE

          what’s the point of sports at all?

          • or____

            Now that’s a deeper question.

            But watching/analyzing what happens/happened is one thing. Talking about alternate realities is another…

          • RobNE

            I’d say it’s generally entertainment/ a distraction, and the hypotheticals are a natural offshoot.

            Despite what they think here in NE, the point of sports is not to decide which non-playing residents are better than the non-playing residents of another city.

          • or____

            Agree about entertainment and distraction 100%. And yeah, cheatriot fans suck. I lived in Boston dor for 5 years.

  • Ark87

    I like advanced stats a lot. It bums me out that they don’t support our #1 claim. Now I feel like the short man that needs to fight all the bigger men, go full wrestling heel. Alright, Bring on the Rams! We’ll beat them twice, in the regular season and in the post season if they have the GUTS to play us again! Steelers you better make it to the Superbowl, because we’re going to wipe the floor with you, COWARDS!

    • Flyin

      Love the optimism. The Eagles have to prove it every week. So far so good, long way to go.

    • Buge Halls

      Only ONE stat matters – wins! The Eagles have them!

    • sprawl

      The main reason we aren’t #1 is that they think only NYJ and BUF had an easier schedule than the eagles so far. The teams the Eagles beat wound up falling off a cliff shortly after playing Philly.

      • EagleOne1983

        Nothing like cheering for the team that breaks the wills of their opponents.

  • Masked Man

    Here’s an excerpt from the article at Profootballtalk titled:
    “Eagles cleaned up Chip Kelly’s mess in a hurry.”

    “It wasn’t even two years ago that the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, an
    alleged offensive guru who had saddled them with a bunch of overpaid and
    underperforming offensive players. It’s remarkable how quickly they’ve
    cleaned up his mess.

    Philadelphia, which put up 51 points on a very good Denver defense on Sunday, is now 8-1 and the best team in the NFL. That’s mostly due to its stellar offense, and what’s remarkable about that offense is how completely it has been rebuilt since the departure of Kelly, who spent three years as the Eagles’ coach and also had final say over personnel in his final year. Bad personnel moves can put a team in a salary cap hole that takes a long time to dig out of, but Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson have done it quickly.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/11/06/eagles-cleaned-up-chip-kellys-mess-in-a-hurry-and-other-week-nine-thoughts/

    • ProbablyDrunk

      Maybe it’s also possible that Chip left some positive qualities on the team that ending up helping Pederson. Training/health staff, special teams, Malcolm Jenkins, a few pretty damn good positional coaches left over and a really solid locker room. His tenure was regressive but that doesn’t mean everything he touched turned to crap. It also seems like our offense is still influenced by him at times, along with certain other offenses in the league

  • Insomniac

    I’d say the Rams are getting a bit overrated. They are good but not as good as people are giving them credit for. All of these teams have different strengths and I’d say we match up well against everyone but the Saints. The Saints have the most potent offense and arguably weakest defense of the four. That’s not to discount their defense because they’re not scrubs. It’s just that defense seems to be the forte of the NFC right now while offensively they can get by if their defense isn’t getting scorched. Brees is still good and they have veteran/playoff experience at the helm which gives them quite the edge.

    The Rams are more balanced. That’s not the best thing since they’re in the middle of the pack in terms of offense/defense. They have young talent everywhere but they also have their bigger tests in this half of the season. We’ll see if they are for real since they’ve only really won against bad teams (they’re 2-2 against teams with positive records).

    The Vikings have a great defense but the offense isn’t very potent without Cook. Their defense probably matches up against us the best but our defense should also shut down their offense. They’re kind of identical to the Rams where they’ve only really beaten bad teams and have their biggest test in the upcoming weeks.

    Who knows about the wildcard? I expect us to beat the Seahawks and Cowgirls so it’ll probably come down to who’ll scrap it out between the Seahawks/Cowgirls/Panthers. The Panthers are winning despite Cam playing like crap. I don’t think that’s sustainable and they might end up 9-7/10-6 at best. The Seahawks look very very vulnerable without a great run game (huh I called that years ago). I think they’re the favorite to get one of the wild card spots. Cowgirls are likely going to be swept by us and won’t have much of a chance unless the other 3 teams give them a huge favor. The Falcons looks bad but it’ll only take a spark to get them hot again. Could they go on a Giant-esque run? Sure but it’s not likely.

    Out of all of those teams, I don’t want to play the Saints. The other teams that are likely to get the top 4 seeding are young and inexperienced like we are. The Seahawks/Panthers have playoff experience as well but they don’t look nearly as good as the other teams right now.

  • GermanEagle

    Call me crazy but for some reason the only team from that list I don’t want to meet in the playoffs are the Saints.

    *SaintsTrauma

    • Mac

      #Sainthappenin’

  • Fufina

    I dismissed the Rams earlier in the season as the kind of wildly inconsistent team that goes 9-7 and just misses the playoffs. They let the 49ers score 39 points, couldn’t score on Seattle, but managed a big win against Dallas. However they have emerged the last few weeks, with big wins the last 3 games, winning in Jacksonville and thrashing the Cardinals and Giants with impressive all 3 phases performances.

    Their route to the playoffs isn’t easy however Rams have the hardest remaining schedule in my opinion. Games against Vikings, Saints, Eagles and Seahawks in a 5 week stretch is brutal. If they go 3-1 in those games they should have a good chance of a bye week, but 2-2 or worse and they may struggle to win the division (loss to Seahawks already hurts) or even make the playoffs due to head to heads and poor strength of schedule due to playing the AFC South and 49ers twice.

    • Fufina

      The Rams offence has been productive all season, with only the Legion of Boom slowing them down (held to 10pts), although having said that their only win against a good defense was over the Jags (and the Rams only put up 249 yards total, and 107 net passing yards).

      Gurley has returned to his rookie form, they have a near perfect 50/50 run/pass ratio, and have kept Goff clean in pass protection with him taking only 10 sacks. I wouldn’t characterize their run game as dynamic, it is more sustaining in style.

      The Rams have a bunch of weapons in the passing game but their screen game is nasty and they really focus on getting RB’s to contribute in their passing attack. This may be stylistically biased but i don’t think the Rams passing attack is as good as it looks on paper, they use a lot of gadget and misdirection, and i am not sure that will give consistent production against better defenses. The Rams rely on big chunk passing plays to move the ball in the passing game, which again i am not sure will last against the better defenses they will face.

  • Fufina

    Not sure we should be counting out the Redskins at 4-4. Their 4 losses are to Cowboys, KC (when they were blazing hot) and the Eagles x2. They have beaten the Rams and Seattle so have some legit wins. Their Defense is good and their OL if it gets healthy is a really good unit. There is upside in their passing game if Cousins can get any kind of chemistry with his WR’s.

    Next 2 games are brutal against the Vikings and Saints, but it they can escape 1-1 and beat Dallas they could easily end up with an 10-6 or even 11-5 record with strong tiebreakers with the NFC wild card competition. I wonder if the Redskins record is more a function of them having to play the Eagles twice already, rather than them being an mediocre team.

    • sonofdman

      I like how when you complimented Washington, you were really complimenting the Eagles.

      • Fufina

        Well i wont lie that allowed me to not vomit while doing it.

    • RobNE

      Kempski hasn’t killed them off yet, so it’s good. They aren’t counted out.

    • EagleOne1983

      Washington is a better team than their record (& yes…I know the old Parcell’s saying). But they are only a 8-8 (+/- 1) team. They have too many holes on offense to really keep pace.
      The inability to surround Cousins with true talent, is why I think he will walk after this year. He can head to Jacksonville and have a very good supporting cast around him (That Defense!, Robinson, Hurns, Fournette, Lee, Westbrook) and an entire draft to shore up their offensive line for him.

  • A_T_G

    Looking at the big picture, saying 4-3 down the stretch seems…responsible. But using the one week at a time mentality, are we favored to win all of these games?
    @DAL
    CHI
    @SEA
    @LAR
    @NYG
    OAK
    DAL

    Maybe we are the underdog in LA. Maybe. I think we need to give ourselves permission to think 15-1 is on the table, though.

    • Insomniac

      W
      W
      W
      W
      W
      W
      W

      • sonofdman

        Seems reasonable to me.

    • RobNE

      we are underdogs at Dallas, so no.

      • A_T_G

        Really? That is absurd.

        • RobNE

          hmmm..I saw this on 538 which shows future weeks. Or somewhere. Not sure if it’s “real” NFL odds.

      • EagleOne1983

        Some places have us underdogs @ Dallas, @ Seattle, & @ LA… seems weird to have us stacked like that.
        When was the last time an 8-1 teams was picked to go 0.500 in their next 6 games?

    • CrackSammich

      Giants and Bears are the only “easy” games left. Dallas needs a win against us to stay alive probably both times we play them, and Oakland and Seattle will likely be in the same position. Rams could be a Superbowl preview based on current rankings. I think an even split on the games is a reasonable expectation. A mostly pessimistic prediction: beat Giants, bears, Dallas once. Split the rest = 5-2 down the stretch.

      • A_T_G

        That is reasonable, except we won’t be facing Rams in the SB.

    • Sb2bowl

      After looking at the list, I can see 4-3 happening, with 5-2 more than likely if we don’t rest our starters. We currently have at least a 1 game advantage, so as long as our opponents lose one game, we should sweep most tie breakers and clinch home field advantage.

  • knighn

    I don’t know if Jimmy updated on Twitter but he updated here:
    http://www.phillyvoice.com/handing-out-10-awards-eagles-broncos-game/
    It’s under: “4) The ‘Stone Wall’ Award: The Eagles’ defensive line (again)”

    • A_T_G

      Having just read the article Masked Man linked earlier in the comments which talked about Chip’s mess of a roster, this struck me as a reversal in coaching as well:

      “”He keeps them off-balance,” said Carson Wentz, “…we just mix it up so well. Being able to mix it up like that, and spreading the love the way we do, I just think it makes us really tough to defend.”

  • sprawl

    Not that I actually care but Eagles DVOA seems oddly low. Feels like it’s skewed based on teams turning out to be much worse after we played them. That KC team in week 2 or the NYG in week 3 were much different teams at the time. Even the Cardinals still had Carson Palmer in there and in theory could have been a passing threat.

    Just look at how the “Past Schedule” rank shows that we had only the 30th hardest past strength of schedule and compare that to what your intuition says and what we were thinking before the season…

    • Ryan Rambo

      Yeah. A lot of those games we were kinda expected to lose, and then we didn’t. Game after game, Birds just kept winning. Love it!!

  • Bert’s Bells

    Here’s a thought about chemistry and one thing that could contribute to how this Eagles team is playing: Jordan Matthews.

    The guy was a solid starter, well liked by fans, media, coaches, teammates and inexpensive. Then BOOM! Gone.

    They thought the team could get better without him.

    He wasn’t shipped out because he was unproductive (Alonzo/Maxwell) or difficult (Ajayi from Miami) or expensive per production (Barbre) but because he wasn’t good enough.

    An action like that has reverberations. When people talk about “culture” this is really the type of move that creates it.

    • Mac

      It helped the team reduce redundancy on the roster (and more importantly on the field) away from Matthews playing the pseudo TE from the slot WR role.

      • Bert’s Bells

        For sure, there were a lot of good reasons for the move. It’s just not the kind that you typically see. Teams tend to play it safe with players like Matthews.

    • kajomo

      Was he really liked by fans. I couldn’t stand that guy

      • Bert’s Bells

        I think?

        People seemed to say good things about him. Maybe not. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

        You could be thinking of CASEY Matthews. People hated that guy.

      • or____

        Yes, he was.

      • ChoTime

        My perception was that people liked him a lot. He seems to be a great guy, his hands are just too shitty.

      • Insomniac

        People loved him and bought into everything he said. I was in the put up or shut up crowd and people always gave me crap for it.

  • Tumtum

    No offense to the Rams but you wang to talk about taking advantage of an easy schedule…

    • Philadelphian

      Just to be the devil’s advocate, the only team the Eagles have beaten that now have a winning record is Carolina.

      The fact is you can only play the teams on your schedule and both teams have done just that.

      • Mac

        Yes, and after the Eagles beat the Rams the Rams will have another loss on their record, which will mean that the win over the Rams wasn’t all that impressive.

        • or____

          Whoa….so meta

      • RobNE

        The Pats routinely beat up on teams with losing records, winning home field advantage and then winning the tougher games at home. I have absolutely no qualms with our level of difficulty barometer. Besides we aren’t plus 5 in scoring differential we are 2nd in the league.

        • Philadelphian

          I totally agree. Good teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat. My point was to point out the Rams have done the same.

      • Insomniac

        Redskins were handed two Ls from us so they’re like what? 2-2 against some good teams soo they’re a decent team despite what the record says.

      • Tumtum

        Yep, but Washington and Arizona are .500. Poor Washington has played us the 1/4 of their games so they aren’t above .500. In games not against us they are 4-2. One of those wins being against those Rams. We certainly haven’t lost to any sub .500 teams either :). The other team who beat the Rams was Seattle. Washington also beat those Seahawks.

        That was just for some fun. I really do think the road we have taken to 8-1 has been tougher sledding. None of it is too important because we will play those Rams soon enough!

    • kajomo

      I liked Goff at Cal and think he is doing a nice job this season. There is no way he is prepare to travel across the country and come play in Philly during January. The game in LA should be a lot of fun.

      • Ark87

        Rams are impressive. The coaches are exactly what you want, the young aggressive offensive coach and an absolute rock on defense. Wade Phillips is up there with Jim Johnson and Dick Lebeau as far as modern defensive coordinators go, imo.

        I think we can beat them in LA because I think our strength, run defense, can more than handle their strength, Todd Gurley. But it gets facinating because both teams have a lot of other strengths that can throw the game any direction. At Seattle and at LA back to back is going to be tough.

      • P_P_K

        I also like Goff a ton at Cal. I’d say no way is he prepared to shoulder his Offense against the Eagles, even in LA. Our D line with shut down Gurley, forcing him to throw. I think he’s going to be in for a painful day facing the assault Schwartz unleashes on him.

  • Brian

    OT (sort of), but how concerned are you about Dallas? My hatred of Dallas is unquenchable, but I’m especially annoyed right now how they found another franchise QB in the later rounds right after moving on from their undrafted franchise QB. The Eagles need to destroy them in two weeks.

    • Ryan Rambo

      Any team is a concern to me really, but I certainly don’t fear them. One thing I keep reminding myself is, what exactly does Dallas have that would be such a threat to us that we have not seen before in the previous 9 games. Zeke? Ok sure, he may or may not even be playing in 2 weeks. If he does, I KNOW our defense is going to be eager to NOT let him be the reason Dallas is successful. I take confidence in knowing our Eagles realize the importance of winning that game means for their season. I’m nervous but def not concerned. I believe our offense can definitely overtake their defense, not so sure theirs can overtake ours. LEGGO BIRDS!!!

    • RobNE

      Dallas is certainly not OT compared to playoff and seeds and home field etc.

    • ChoTime

      How many games did they win last year? How much has the team lost since then? How much did it take for them to get knocked out of the playoffs?

      They’re also ranked #8 in DVOA. A solid team, and even if not, any given sunday.

    • sonofdman

      I am concerned also. I keep telling myself that they were much better last year and we were much worse, and it took an epic collapse by us for them to beat us in Dallas last year.

      • or____

        Man up. We have a better team. It’s football.

        • sonofdman

          LOL. I agree with that and have been overwhelmingly positive about this team. Also, I am mildly concerned that Dallas is also looking good. I’m not cowering under my desk in fear of them. So there is nothing I have to “man up” about.

  • Seth S. Scott

    Definitely dont want to think about anything else except winning in the postseason. Anything else at this point will be heartbreaking.

  • P_P_K

    Off topic, but I was such a huge Roy Halladay fan I can’t stop thinking about his death. I watched the playoff game in 2010 when he pitched his no-hitter. My son was seven, taking a bath, when I had him get out of the tub and watch the 9th inning so he could see history being made. Doc was only 40. Left us too damn soon.

    • or____

      It pains me that he had to take up a hobby that is so dangerous. If he was into golf or almost anything else aside from something involving guns or weapons, he’d likely be still alive.

  • ChoTime

    I figured this team would win something like 8-9 games, so you can imagine how unbalancing the actual results have been. From looking up at a possible playoff berth to possibly finishing with the best record in the league. It’s crazy.

    That being said, that Rams team is scary. They have major defensive talent, quite formidable, in fact. The offense blossoming is really out of nowhere. If it’s legit, they are going to be a very tough out indeed.

    We’ll want to play them at home.

    • Mac

      Rams calling the 3rd highest % of rush plays in the league currently at almost 50% increases the likelihood of Eagles defensive success. Goff will be tested in that game… which is a good thing because Wade Philips is still a legit DC, so I’m sure Wentz and the Eagles weakness vs the blitz will also be tested in that game.

      • Bert’s Bells

        Wade Phillips is a great DC. Damn him.

      • ChoTime

        The question is, how much of the Eagles’ strength against the run is due to game situation and how much are they some kind of impregnable wall. If Goff is anywhere as good as he looks, it’s our CBs who are going to be tested.

        • EagleOne1983

          Sounds like a good Bye week article.
          Carries and RPC by quarter.

          • ChoTime

            Also the quality of the opposition’s running attack.

        • Mac

          I’m a believer in this D-line’s ability to shut down the run game, and I do think it will put extra pressure on a young qb who has been leaning heavily on the run game.

  • CrackSammich

    If you’re a conspiracy theorist at all, consider that the best thing for the NFL right now would be a Superbowl appearance by the Rams. That might be the only way to get people into the NFL in that city

    • or____

      I am a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the NFL.

      There was a time where the US government wanted support for the “patriot act”…

      • sonofdman

        Holy shit. The tuck rule took our rights away.

        • or____

          Don’t get so deflated about it. Or at least don’t get caught on film showing that.

  • GermanEagle

    Would you replace AJ with JG next season, if you could?

    • or____

      FYI acroymns are confusing. LOL

      FWIW, often people won’t know what you’re referring to.

      I do understand that this might be TLDR

      All I can think of is Alshon Jefferey with Jared Goff?

      • A_T_G

        WTH? Jason Garrett, obvi.

        • or____

          Jimmy Graham? Jose Garces?

          • Ark87

            Jimmy Garoppolo, obviously. Just can’t defend 2 quarterbacks.

          • Bert’s Bells

            That’s Chip Kelly worthy!

          • Ark87

            You see, you have Ajayi in the Wildcat, with Wentz and Garoppolo in the backfield. He can keep it, hand off to one or pitch to the other, who can then fling it, hand it off to Ajayi or pitch it back to the other QB, unstoppable!

        • sonofdman

          Jeff George?

      • unhinged

        lol.

    • mrparabolic

      Alshon Jeffery with Josh Gordon? No.

      • or____

        AH! Thanks.

        Agreed. No. Don’t chase what could have been, and for a guy who was SUCH a mess.

      • sonofdman

        Hell No.

      • ChoTime

        There might not be a choice of keeping AJ, if he gets a big offer from somewhere else.

        • GermanEagle

          You win the internet today.

        • mrparabolic

          True. Hopefully we can keep Jeffery on a reasonable deal. Fortunately for us, the Eagles’ current season is a lot more interesting than next offseason.

    • or____

      There really should be a rule that acronyms are reserved for people who’ve played recently.

    • D3FB

      If you’re going to outright replace Alshon next year the only two guys I see as like for like WR1’s are Allen Robinson and Davante Adams.

      • GermanEagle

        AR comming off ACL will be a huge gamble though.

        • D3FB

          It will be but it might shave off a mil or two AAV and some guaranteed $. Plus it happened early in the season so he’ll be running by mini-camp and close to full go by camp. He only turns 25 right before the season too. So it’s a gamble but not as big as it would seem.

    • A_T_G

      No. The only role for Gordon at this point is as a lottery ticket.

      Don’t spend money on him you actually need, don’t make any plans that depend on him working out. You add him after all your shopping is done and with full expectations that it is money wasted.

    • Bert’s Bells

      AJ Feeley with JG Quintel? Seems crazy, but it’s out-of-the-box thinking that I like!

    • Insomniac

      Gordon as #2? Hell yes. #1? Uhh lets see how he plays first.

    • RC5000

      No way Jose, he is a replacement for no one but Cheech or Chong.

      • truehaynes

        as someone who partakes i often feel bad for nfl payers who get busted for weed, however, I want them nowhere near the eagles

    • unhinged

      Talent wise I think there is no comparison, but AJ is much safer. He’s a team-first guy who makes not a peep. Gordon just admitted that he drank and smoked weed on game days. That makes him untouchable.

  • truehaynes

    can anyone explain how we have a historicaly good run defense while paying in an attacking “wide 9” front. I know were not running the wide 9 constantly but our dl’s main job is to attack the qb and play the run on the way there. How is it that we are so good at run d? its not even that we face so few runs we also allow an incredibly low ypc

    • ChoTime

      Consider that part of it is that we score a lot in the first quarter and have a good offense. Teams are playing catch-up a lot. Also, do you see a lot of strong rushing attacks in our previous schedule?

      • bill

        That may be an explanation for the low number of rushing attempts against, but it doesn’t really say much about the low numbers next to yards per attempt (especially when compared to the Y/A averages of the given team).

        I think the simplest answer is that Schwartz is getting the most out of the best player on the team (Cox) and another playmaker at the position (Jernigan). They’ll probably fall off a bit as they have 3 games remaining against better rushing teams (DAL 2x and LAR) than any they have faced so far. But I think their success is more than just “they played with a lead” and “their opponents sucked.”

        • ChoTime

          Consider that by DVOA, which measures per/play success, they are ranked #8 for rushing. That’s very good, but significantly off the best in the league. Now combine very good defensive efficiency with an offense that limits opponents’ attempts and weak opponents.

    • or____

      Because “wide 9 is weak versus the run” is a false myth.

      If you have good DL and good LBs (as we do), it’s not a weakness. If the DL penetrate and are behind the OL, they’ll tackle whoever is appropriate and if that’s the RB, that’s a stop. They’re not THAT “simple” that they’ll go after the QB if the ball has been handed off.

      And we might not actually use the wide 9 formation/stance nearly as much as people assume. Especially not on “running downs”.

    • D3FB

      Talented, veteran front 7. They understand how to attack gaps but maintain gap integrity. This leads to lots of TFLs and Malcolm and the LBs clean up the mess when guys manage to get to the second level.

      It’s still possible to crease it and get big gains, but with our offense being prolific and it generally being a losing proposition, teams tend to abandon it. 2nd and 13 sucks early in the game but when you’re down two scores it gets really hard to justify it.

      Eventually somebody is going to go off for 130 yards.

    • EagleOne1983

      They are playing team defense and celebrating whoever gets the tackle. The team is treating run defense (TFL’s) as sacks, which in my opinion they should. They are playing fast and in control. They are beating the man assigned to them and sometimes another guy (think Jernigan against a Trap or Wham Block).
      They are also playing sound gap control run defense. Playing disciplined and not over-pursuing.
      The coaches are also doing a great job of game planning and teaching these guys what to expect. You can see guys trusting their teaching when they move to gap the run is going to just before the snap of the ball.
      This is a great combination of good coaching and players executing selflessly.

  • D3FB

    MIN- Basically the Broncos with an offense that is efficient instead of self defeating.

    NO- This would not be a fun playoff game. Especially if it’s in the dome. Really rather avoid having to get in a shootout with Brees.

    LAR- This is probably the best balanced team. Great defense with speed and talent at all 3 levels. Balanced offense. I’d favor us but they are built to win shootouts and slugfests. Will be an interesting game.

    SEA- Would be real trouble if we have to play on the road. Even at home, would want to build a lead on them, don’t want to be staring down Wilson late in a one score game.

    CAR- Not worried at all

    DAL- Hopefully we can handle our business against them, they pick up a couple of other losses and our backups send them home for the year week 17.

    ATL- Dangerous team but they have to pull their heads out of their asses before I pay too much attention to them. This weekend Je suis Dirty Birds

    • GermanEagle

      Totally agree with you my friend. Saints away would be a nightmare scenario…

    • Insomniac

      Am I the only person who thinks that the Seahawks would be an easy win? They can’t run the ball and Wilson can’t carry that team alone consistently.

      • D3FB

        Sure but that defense can keep it close and then you’re a couple of Wilson doing his scramble magic plays away from an L. We could roll 35-21 or they could steal one 21-17

        • RobNE

          so in other words I should fear all of them. Drats.

          • D3FB

            NFC is way better than the AFC this year.

          • Tumtum

            Seems like the last 8 or so years any time we are half way decent that is the case.

          • RobNE

            so another Pats SB then.

          • D3FB

            Eagles beat the Jags my man.

          • RobNE

            ha I would love it. Jags winning in Foxboro. There will be tears.

          • D3FB

            Tom Coughlin strikes again

          • unhinged

            They have played one less game than Eagles, but their D has given up 62 fewer points!

        • Tumtum

          Denver’s defense “can” keep it close too 🙂

      • Tumtum

        Nope!

      • EagleOne1983

        I agree. Our defense stifles their offense. Just can’t lose contain on Wilson.
        And I think Seattle’s defense has lost something this year. They are still good but they are no longer the dominant defense that everyone feared for years. The Legion of Boom is getting long in the tooth and it’s beginning to show. I will never count them out, but beware of reputation over production. They are starting to remind me of Pittsburgh when Polamalu got a step slower.

    • Tumtum

      MIN- Super dependent on Bridgewater’s return to form. Very interested to see that develop.

      NO- They beat Garcia we owe them a playoff beatdown before Brees leaves.

      LAR- Skins beat em!

      SEA- Our D line is going to feast.

      CAR- I am actually terrified

      DAL- This is where Hick’s loss will be felt the most.

      ATL- Dangerous team but they have to pull their heads out of their asses before I pay too much attention to them. This weekend Je suis Dirty Birds ^^^

      • Sean E

        Disagree on first point. They are doing fine with Keenum.

      • D3FB

        Carolina scares you? That was our Murphys law game and we still won.

        • Tumtum

          They killed half our starters. I can’t take anymore of that.

          • D3FB

            Ehhh we broke cam

    • Nailed It!

      I still feel we have the most physical team in the league and that is a huge plus in the playoffs.

      • Someguy77

        Especially at home where this team for the first time since the Linc has opened has bee dominant at home over a 2-year stretch.

        Going into this year, the Eagles had the worst home winning pct vs overall winning pct since the Linc opened in the NFL.

    • unhinged

      New Orleans is at Rams same week we host the Bears. I think Brees prevails, because his D is not a joke, but either way, we are probably going to meet one of them in NFCC.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    I loathe bye week. Want Eagles football now. Gimme gimme gimme.

    • P_P_K

      It’s not bye week, it’s Dallas week x2. Double the time to loathe those who are rightfully loathed.

  • RC5000

    Nice link to tweets and rush D stats Tommy. I didn’t know all that great stuff!

  • unhinged

    An interesting week to be idle. Three teams lost games to division rivals they easily could have, possibly should have won last week. The Bills lost to the Jets last Thursday, and Julio Jones let the Panthers beat his Falcons. Meanwhile, the Texans lost to the hapless Colts. This week all three of their games indirectly impact our odds on finishing #1 seed. Buffalo hosts New Orleans, and I hope it is colder than the “Ice Bowl.” Atlanta hosts Dallas, and I hope Julio has redemption on his mind. These are two games that the favored visitors could drop, and they would be gifts to the Birds. Meanwhile the Texans should be heavy underdogs to the Rams, playing in LA, and that is exactly why the Texans will probably win.
    To sum: If Chester County’s favorite son wants to shut up the critics who said he was lucky last season, he needs to show up big on Sunday. And if Sean McDermott wants to prove his mettle against one of the best matchup manipulators in the league Sunday is his big opportunity. Let the games begin…go AP!

    • ChoTime

      The string of causality here eludes me… is the idea that the teams that lost last week should have a higher chance of winning this week? Like angry coin flips?

      • unhinged

        I was not arguing that they should have a higher chance per say, but that the bitter taste left in their mouths by trifling losses to inferior (probably) teams should piss them off, light a fire, embarrass them into playing with more determination, and fearing the boos from their own fans in the stands. Julio is an emotional player, and he was a goat last week. He is definitely talented enough to do some damage if he gets some love from Ryan. Buffalo has a taller order, but they lost to the Jets at NY last week, and they get to come home, get some home cooking. So they are definite maybes. Texans are owned by an ass, but coached by a pretty savvy football guy. They could surprise LA, but I am not counting on it.

  • RC5000

    Just ran across this. I didn’t know Bill Davis got the linebackers coach gig at Ohio State. He’s under media criticism because they gave up a lot of TE yards and some RB receiving yards.

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/2017/11/ohio_states_linebacker_problem.html

    • Someguy77

      Bill Davis was one of the most hapless Eagles’ coaches I can remember.

      He is classic example of a guy that gave good interviews but couldn’t plan or adjust during games to save his life.

  • RC5000

    OT – Giants are heavily scouting QBs which comes as no surprise. Here’s a Giants blogger’s take below. I’m not in love with this QB class but there are a slew of pretty good ones if they all declare. I hope they take the wrong guy!

    I think Luke Falk is a better prospect than Darnold who gets all the publicity.
    Rosen has more talent than Falk a former walk-on but Falk has a strong arm too just not as pure as Rosen – Falk throws with very good velocity . Rosen has had a few injuries.

    All these guys except Mayfield seem to have issues with decision-making. Mayfield only has 5 interceptions vs. 28 TDs. My conern with him is he’s reckless running at times and with his small size, it’s slightly more concerning.

    Josh Allen has fallen on a lot of boards but he’s a big time talent so I hope the Giants forget about him. Therevhave been extenuating circumstances that have hurt his development.

    https://www.bigblueview.com/2017/11/8/16622982/ny-giants-2018-nfl-draft-quarterback-ranking-top-five-mayfield-jackson-darnold-rosen-news-rumors

    • Bert’s Bells

      If the Giants were the Eagles, they would have dealt Eli last offseason and picked Deshaun.

  • Guy Media

    I don’t have a good feel for Eagles/Rams, but we’ll get one in person…..so I’ll focus on a possible Eagles / Steelers matchup.

    Eagles win because we’re better on both lines, by far. And all Steeler fans are pussies.

    • unhinged

      Just curious…are there any fans who are not Eagles fans that are NOT pussies?

      • Guy Media

        Absolutely. But mostly fans of bad teams who we don’t play often and keep their mouths shut.

      • ColorSgt

        Raiders fans.

        • unhinged

          I wonder if the Raider fan base NOT in Oakland continues to root for the team when it plays out of Nevada. I don’t imagine there will be too many Oakland residents who will.
          Mark Davis couldn’t get a deal he liked from the City of Oakland for a lucrative new stadium, so the NFL way is to move to a place where tax payers are happy to subsidize owners. Davis is one of the least wealthy owners in the league, so when he joins the billionaire club, I would love to see Davis do to Las Vegas what he is doing to Oakland, and return to the ONLY city that will ever be the real home for the Raiders!

  • GermanEagle

    Have we all used the ‘SB’ word that often on igglesblog back in 2004??

  • Ark87

    Kudos to Jalen Ramsey becoming one of the preeminent shit-talkers in the league. This guy played AJ Green all game long like a fiddle.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000874114/article/jalen-ramsey-on-aj-green-i-told-him-he-was-soft

    Worth being noted though, if you call someone soft, don’t let them kick your ass. I respect the great shit talkers of the game. I just wish there was a Steve Smith in his prime type that would dominate Ramsey, and remind him of that time AJ Green beat his ass, all game long.

    • Someguy77

      Interesting how that it is somewhat frowned down upon as ‘poor sportsmanship’ but you see professional athletes including elite ones doing it all the time.

      Especially prevalent in basketball with the greatest example being MJ. Unfortunately, he not only used to do it to his opponents and fans (Spike Lee at MSG) but also to his own teammates especially in practice.

  • FairOaks

    Not sure this was mentioned, but the Eagles apparently tried out three long snappers yesterday (did not sign them, obviously).

    https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/11/8/16625732/eagles-free-agent-long-snappers-philadelphia-rick-lovato-special-teams-andrew-east-jeff-overbaugh-ls

    Unsure how often the team works out players, especially for the specialist positions, but you do wonder a bit if the team is happy with Lovato. There does seem to have been the odd wide snap (and Elliott has missed a couple extra points lately). Maybe just kicking tires though.