Context Matters

Posted: December 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 118 Comments »

Let’s go inside the Eagles 10-2 record for a minute.

Wow, the Eagles must not be any good.

Or…context matters.

It isn’t just who you play, but when and where you play them.

The Eagles played 4 of their first 6 games on the road, including a trip to the West Coast and a road game on a short week (TNF in Carolina). That was a tough schedule no matter who you played. But let’s talk about the actual opponents.

  • The Skins were healthy and considered a potential playoff team when the season began. That was a good win.
  • The Chiefs looked like the best team in the NFL for the first 5 games of the year.
  • The Giants had Odell Beckham when the Eagles played them. He caught 2 TDs and both were great catches.
  • The Chargers had lost a pair of close games and also to the red hot Chiefs. Anyone who took a long look at the Chargers could see that was a good team.
  • Arizona still had playoff hopes in early October. They were 2-2 and Carson Palmer was playing at a high level.
  • The Panthers were 4-1. They’ve had a good overall season.
  • Washington was 3-2 coming into the rematch with the Eagles.
  • The Niners were a bad team with a rookie QB. No disputing that.
  • Denver was 3-4. They had lost 3 straight games, but still had the best defense in the league.
  • Dallas was 5-4 when the Eagles came to town. That game was huge for the Cowboys. Their season was on the line. They lost by 28. At home.
  • The Bears were a bad team with a rookie QB, part 2.
  • I think you have a good idea of who Seattle is.

That’s not an easy schedule. I realize there are no great wins in there. There hasn’t been a signature moment so far this year.

That’s okay.

The NFL is all about the postseason. You can only beat the teams on your schedule during the regular season. The key for me is that the Eagles have been blowing out mediocre or bad teams. If there were a bunch of one-possession games, I think questioning the Eagles would make a lot of sense. That just hasn’t been the case.

The Eagles will have some chances in the last month.

The Rams are one of the best teams in the league. After that is a rematch with the Giants. They’re a mess this year. The Eagles close with the Raiders and Cowboys, teams that might have winning records and will likely be fighting for their playoff lives.

We’ll see how things look in early January.

*****

The funny thing about all this schedule talk is how different it was back in August. If you watched Eagles broadcasts of the preseason games, Mike Mayock would go over the upcoming schedule. He and Scott Graham were struggling to come up with more than a handful of winnable games. I was hoping for 9-7 and those guys made it sound like the Eagles would need luck to get 7 wins.

They weren’t down on the Eagles so much as they were up on everyone else.

The only sure wins felt like the Chargers, Niners, Bears and Rams.

Let’s hope they were right about that last team.

_


  • Sean E

    1st

  • Guy Media

    Whoever runs that account should be beaten with a cell phone displaying that tweet until they recant.

  • Someguy77

    Fair criticism but you can only beat the teams you are scheduled against.

    Eagles winning on Sunday will largely extinguish these claims too.

  • Masked Man

    Expectations have changed fast for this Eagles team.

    Personally I am enjoying the ride.

    The Eagles and the Vikings are 1A and 1B best record teams.

    Big game on Sunday.

    Time for the 2017 Eagles to show us what they are about!

  • Jake and Elmo

    Skins, Cowboys and Chargers have winning records if they beat the Eagles instead of lose to them.

    • Sean E

      but then their narrative isn’t as strong

    • Tom Everett

      I like what you’re saying there. I do something similar when people bring up our opponents’ records- I take away the result of their match against us, or the team being discussed. It’s something I realised when I thought about how every AFC east team in the Belichick era has basically had its win total suppressed by about 1.5 games a season due to having to play the Patriots, or when people said the rest of the NFC East was weak during the Reid era. I just thought ‘well, of course they lost a lot of games, they had to play US.’

      So for our opponents this year, their non-Eagles records are:

      (teams we beat)
      5-5 Redskins
      2-9 Giants
      6-5 Chargers
      5-6 Cardinals
      8-3 Panthers
      2-9 49ers
      3-8 Broncos
      6-5 Cowboys
      3-8 Bears

      (teams who beat us)
      5-6 Chiefs
      7-3 Seahawks

      There are only really 4 terrible teams in that list. Everyone else is either a winner when it comes to all their other games or someone who would at least be break even if they won their games against us.

  • Tumtum

    The schedule has been really easy, so what? Pitt lost to Chicago, how bad are they?

    • ACViking

      New England gets 6 wins just about every year by default.

      • Dave

        The Pats are 80-23 against the AFC Least since Tom Brady became the starter…that’s over 5 wins per year. Their basically gifted home-field advantage for the playoffs every year.

        • P_P_K

          Hate the Pats.

      • P_P_K

        Truth.

    • BC1968

      Everyone keeps forgetting that Chicago also beat Carolina. Chicago didn’t have a great or a good offense, but their defense had been solid and they shut down the Panthers and I believe the d scored twice in that game.

      • Tumtum

        I said I was worried about the Chi game all week long. They are a lot like us last year.

  • ACViking

    A quick rundown on how many teams with a winning record have beaten other winning teams (as of today):

    4 wins
    – Minnesota (ok … maybe the Vikings are good … but peaking too early)

    3 wins
    – Pittsburgh (but only 1 in the past 7 weeks … so clearly a fraud)
    – Tennessee (anyone think TN is better than the Eagles?)

    2 wins
    – New England (total fraud … at least 1 win the result of cheating)
    – New Orleans (both wins agst CAR, so Saints twice as good as Birds)
    – LA Rams (home loss to Seattle doesn’t make them fraudulent — ok)
    – JAX (it’s all about Tom Caughlin and Eli)
    – Seattle (worth shit until Wilson makes an illegal forward pass)

    1 win
    – Eagles
    – Falcons (even after losing to Vikes, Falcons are back … if you say so)

    0 wins
    – Baltimore (oh, but John Harbaugh … and those Ravens are just tough)
    _________________

    Only 1 game matters … in February.

    • Tumtum

      Exactly only one game matters. The Eagles don’t pick opponents. They play who is on the schedule.

    • BlindChow

      This actually shows why football seems so mediocre this year…

      Too many below-average teams playing other below-average teams — and too many below-average teams getting beaten by the same handful of above-average teams.

      Figures that all the good teams are in the NFC now that the Eagles are actually playing well…

    • sonofdman

      If San Diego and Dallas win next week then Eagles will have beaten 3 teams with winning records. Then without any change in the past results, will they have retroactivaly played a difficult schedule?

    • Gary Barnes

      Good post….however we’ve got to earn a berth in the only game that matters in February. The best way to do that is to earn HFA and then not lose. Much easier said then done.

  • ChoTime

    Some analysis on the Seattle game. Pro-tip don’t read the comments.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/any-given-sunday/2017/any-given-sunday-seahawks-over-eagles

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      Key take-away from that article:
      “Philadelphia comes out of this game looking good. They didn’t play a bad game so much as Seattle played at their best. When you consider the implications of playing at CenturyLink, in prime time, on the road, the Eagles weren’t so bad. Some of the games we cover in this column are lost; this game was won.”

      • Masked Man

        I just watched the replay. That game was a 7 point game with 10 minutes left (score 17-10). Wilson ran that lateral on 3rd and 9 from about the Hawks 42 yd line.

        No referee call with NBC announcers screaming “Forward lateral! Forward lateral!” No challenge by the Eagles. Almost 9:30 left on the clock.

        That could have been a punt. Instead Hawks drive another 2 min on the clock and score a TD. Now it’s 24-10 with 7:30 left. But it’s a 14 point game now.

        Possessions went Eagles-Hawks-Eagles then it was over. But we were in that game big time until the missed lateral call that swung the game out of our reach.

        • SteveH

          There haven’t been a lot of times I’ve been as incensed as I was when Doug didn’t challenge that.

          The non call on the PI against Kevin Curtis in the championship game was worse, or Andy Reid’s “2 minute drill” in the superbowl, but in terms of a regular season game this was really high up there.

          • Donald Kalinowski

            The PI still pissed me off and it doesn’t even get talked about a lot. It was cleat PI and it could have gone for 6.

          • SteveH

            Refs eat their flags in the final moments of games, even if the foul is clear as day. Pisses me off considerably.

      • xeynon

        Yeah, you just need to watch the tape to feel better about that game.

        We left at least 17 points on the field with the two missed throws to Agholor and the Wentz fumble, likely more given the desperation fourth downs we were forced to attempt and couldn’t convert. The Seahawks scored their points off of a couple of big plays (one of which involved an egregious blown call that went in their favor).

        It wasn’t a one-sided game. People need to chill.

    • xeynon

      You’re right, there’s some real weapons-grade stupid in those comments.

      People thinking the Eagles’ defense hasn’t been elite this year or that their offense has only moved the ball because of KC-like gimmicks that defenses have now figured out are too dumb to be allowed to comment on game breakdown articles.

    • Mac

      This article gives me hope that Wentz can do to Seattle what Warner did to the Eagles back in 2008. The defense played a masterful game on Thanksgiving night, only to have given Warner the intel he needed to inch past them in the playoffs… ugh… that 2008 Eagles team could have easily pasted the Steelers in the SB.

  • SteveH

    You had to know this kind of thing was going to come out of the woodwork if we lost to Seattle. The only way to shut it up is to start winning again.

  • Masked Man

    Schwartz comments criticize the team’s defensive performance on PFT.

    [The 24-10 defeat was the first time in three weeks the Eagles had
    [even allowed more than nine points in a game. They still rank third in
    [total defense, sixth in points allowed and remain the league’s top
    [defense against the run through 13 weeks. “It shows you a little bit about [where our guys are that that’s considered a bad performance,” Schwartz said.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/12/05/eagles-defensive-coordinator-jim-schwartz-looking-for-rebound/

  • or____

    Anyone worried about the LA match-up? I can’t find a reason to be.

    • Insomniac

      I can. If the offense starts like that again then we’re toast.

      • or____

        I can’t agree.

      • or____

        Why, because we have a bad passing game? Because our QB is bad? Because our defense can’t get turnovers? Because we can’t stop the run?

      • xeynon

        Disagree.

        The Rams are a solid team. They’re not the ’07 Patriots. I think our defense will keep us close and we will be able to score points on them.

        • Insomniac

          You can disagree all you want. We’re not winning many games with 10 points.

          • xeynon

            That’s fine, because we’re not scoring as few as 10 points in many games either. We left at least 17 on the field on Sunday. They’re not going to make unforced errors like those two Wentz misfires to Agholor every week.

            Judging by the opinions of Eagles doomsayers you’d think no good team in other cities had ever had a bad game.

  • Forthebirds

    As I recall, the Eagles were thought to have one of the hardest schedules as the start of the season. A couple of theses teams would be at .500 or have winning records if they’d beaten the Eagles, so a lot of the criticism is BS.

  • SundayAfternoons

    Football Outsiders seems to think that “win quality” has less to do with your opponents record or perceived talent and much more to do with how you beat your opponent. At least the history of statistics they delve into show that.
    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2005/fo-fox-guts-and-stomps

  • TO BLACKS

    YOU ARE A BUNCH OF RETARDS

  • Jernst

    Football games are often decided by just one or two plays — a missed field goal, a bouncing fumble, the subjective spot of an official on fourth-and-1. One missed assignment by a cornerback, or one slightly askew pass that bounces off a receiver’s hands and into those of a defensive back five yards away and the game could be over. In a blowout, however, one lucky bounce isn’t going to change things.

    Championship teams beat their good opponents convincingly and destroy the cupcakes on the schedule. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule, including last year’s Super Bowl champion. However, in the DVOA era (1989-2014), 23 of 26 Super Bowl champions have had more blowouts against sub-.500 teams than close wins against above-.500 teams.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2005/fo-fox-guts-and-stomps

  • ReagansReanimatedCorpse

    I saw some idiot Saints fan write a whole blog post about the Eagles schedule basically saying they’re frauds. It read like a drunk guy at a bar wrote it. So I looked at the Saints schedule.

    Here’s who they’ve beaten: Dolphins, Lions, Rodger-less Packers, Bears, Bucs Bills, and the Redskins (barely by 3 pts).

    Losses: Patriots, Vikings, Rams.

    I guess they just can’t beat anybody good.

    • Masked Man

      Hahaha. Cupcake schedule! Did you post back at him or them?

  • xeynon

    This is fine with me. Let the doubters talk. Hopefully the team uses it as fuel to the fire. There’s one way to shut them up and that’s to go out there and win.

    • Masked Man

      Either the adversity build character in our guys….

      Or else they crumble! Haha. Go Eagles!

  • Tom33

    What’s great about the NFL is all this crap doesn’t matter. The Eagles could play the Browns, Giants, Colts and 49ers 4 times each. If they finished 16-0, they would be the #1 seed and have home-field throughout the playoffs. No polls, no committee, just the record. So who cares.

    What concerns me is that they seemed so tight on Sunday night. They have been a team that looked like they were having fun all season, but against Seattle they were not that way. The game plan was super conservative and the players didn’t seem to have that swagger that they were playing with all season. They have reminded me a lot of the 85 Bears team that had as much personality as they had success on the field.

    Hopefully they shake this off and get back to being the team that we’ve all enjoyed watching. The team that has group celebrations for TD’s and looks like they are having fun getting paid a lot of money to play a game.

    It would help to clean up the penalties too.

    • sonofdman

      I agree 100% on your first point. That is part of why the NFL is so great.

      Regarding them being tight on Sunday night, that is part of why I was so annoyed that Pederson punted on the 4th and 1 at the 50 on their first drive. They had been aggressive in those situations all season and punted for some reason there like they were intimidated. If they went for it and got it, I think it could have loosened them up and had them playing more confident early on in the game. Oh well.

      • Mac

        I’m a full blown Doug fan at this point, and I agree his greatest flaws were not going for it on that 4th and 1 and throwing the challenge flag on the 3rd down come up short play. I mean if we’re looking for an identifier for this offense… it might be that they’re unstoppable in those short yardage plays (which I love about this team).

        • sonofdman

          I too am a full blown Doug fan and think he is great coach. I love how aggressive he has coached even in the face of criticism. I don’t know why he went away from it against Seattle.

          • Mac

            Hopefully, Jason Peters pulled him aside and gave him some “advice.”

          • P_P_K

            When Jason talks, people listen.

          • Masked Man

            Doug fan here too! Yeah he has greatness potential.

    • A_T_G

      I was thinking about the conservative game plan and Doug getting blasted for it this week (not that your comment comes close to blasting anyone).

      It was pretty clear that Wentz did not have a great night. He looked like a second year QB feeling the pressure of a primetime game in a hostile environment with huge expectations. His insane performances prior to Sunday is the only reason we did not expect to see a bit of mortal man showing through.

      I think it is more reasonable to consider that perhaps the conservative “game plan” was not Doug, but rather Wentz passing on the deep routes in favor of the check downs because he felt his mortality.

      • FairOaks

        Possibly, or Doug dialing it down until Wentz himself settled down. I was thinking that maybe that horrid overthrow to an open Agholor scared them off downfield passes for a bit, be it Doug or Wentz. But it lasted too long, whatever it was.

    • Masked Man

      Doug is usually very prompt about self-scouting and self-correction. Rarely makes the same mistakes two weeks running.

      I think the coaches and players bounce back. Must have been an interesting experience to go into that loud stadium with those nutso fans. This Eagles team usually has that advantage on their side.

      Seems like they got a little bit complacent and a little bit wide-eyed at the exact same time. The game was still within 7 points with 10 minutes left.

      Lots of odd dynamics last week. Chalk it up. Beat LA! Go Eagles!

      • Mac

        Growth mindset.

        • Gary Barnes

          Emotional intelligence

  • bsuperfi

    So, my in-laws live in so cal and are going to the game, and I just mailed them 3 eagles jerseys: Cunningham, Barwin, and DJax. Barwin would be a particularly interesting choice, but Cunningham got mad props even from Bears fans when I went to and Eagles game in Chicago a little while ago. I also loved DJax, but I’m not sure it’s as perfect for this game as the other two…

    At any rate, the stadium is going to be filled with green. In my in-laws words from a text this morning, “LA fans suck!”

  • P_P_K

    This is the only blog I read where the comments are as interesting as the original post. Thanks, guys.

    • A_T_G

      I don’t know if it is the ONLY one.

      On PFT, for example, the posts are often nearly worthless and the comments have a train wreck, “dear God, these people are likely to breed one day” feel that also makes them nearly worthless. Both are equally interesting.

      • Masked Man

        Hahaha! PFT is comical.

        Ever read comments from that Skins fan named “logicalvoice” before? Nutso!

        • P_P_K

          PFT rantings, not comments. Same with Kempski’s site.

      • P_P_K

        Only one for me. Seriously, this includes political blogs and other interests, too,

        • A_T_G

          No, honestly I agree completely. Tommy’s tone, attitude, and dedication transfer over to a comment section that is unique.

          • P_P_K

            Yea, considering this is a football blog, the comments are remarkably thoughtful and intelligent. And considering this is an Eagles blog, well, I can vouch it was hard to find many thoughtful and intelligent guys on the 700 level.

  • Insomniac

    Only gripe about Doug so far is…

    Start Mack Hollins already #FreeHollins

    • Sean E

      Seriously Torrey Smith is such a letdown, virtually every game.

      • MattE

        yeah it will be nice freeing up $5 mill next year

        • Masked Man

          Are you two “the E brothers” or is the E a coincidence?

          • Sean E

            Seany & Matty

    • xeynon

      My guess is that there’s probably something Hollins still isn’t doing at a high enough level for him to be playing full time. Perhaps he can’t run the entire route tree, isn’t yet able to make all the route adjustments in response to coverages, etc.

      Doug has shown that he’s not wedded to the preseason depth chart and will play the best players (Wisniewski over Seumalo and Warmack, Clement over Smallwood) so I doubt he’s sticking with Torrey Smith just because.

  • Gary Barnes

    I do not think external media or fan or other sources matter in the psyche of the Eagles.

    I think all of it depends on how the players and coaches feel and think.

    Against Seattle, Pederson was timid, Wentz was nervous and that lack of confidence and belief impacted the rest of the roster and staff.

    “Deer in the headlights” is one of my least favorite sports cliches, but unfortunately I think it was appropriate for how the Eagles performed in that game. We had not seen that before this season and I’m hoping we can chalk it up to a bad week of practice, a hostile road environment, sloppy execution and an a very motivated opponent.

    We’ll know the answer this week vs the Rams. If Pederson coaches out of fear and Wentz plays like a 1st yr QB again, we may have a bigger issue than we thought. However, if we snap back and beat the Rams effectively, it will be a good learning lesson and motivation for the rest of the season.

    • P_P_K

      You’re probably right that the fanbase likely doesn’t influence professional athletes. I like, though, that Eagles players seem acutely aware of the hatred we hold towards Dallas.

      • Gary Barnes

        indubitably

  • DJH

    Someone in a different thread wondered whether the Eagles would make an effort to get Ags the ball versus Seattle since he had such an awful game last year.

    He ended up having a monster game. Greg Cosell said during this week’s podcast w/ Fran Duffy that many of the plays appeared to be designed to go to Ags; he was the 1st read/progression.

    Whether the Birds saw a weakness they knew he could exploit or they just wanted him to be the man, I don’t know. But it is interesting.

    In any case, we’ll need lots of tuddies this weekend, and I don’t care who gets them!

    • or____

      I was the one who called that BS. But they sure did use him (there was that major missed play too). I think it was matchup related. Maxwell is better v. Alshon than Agholor and that did it.

    • mtn_green

      Ag was fast enough to do deep crossers and take advantage of their man coverage one side and zone on other. He crosses midfield deep and db doesn’t follow.

  • MattE

    2-3 Year NFC Outlook (bored end of the day):

    PHI: Young QB that is developing at a ridiculous pace. Coach that is getting players to respond. GM and Personnel Director that have proven to pull the right strings. Wentz being less than $10 mill per year for the next 2 years opens up a world of possibilities, but may also make him a $30 mill per year QB in 2020.

    GB: Rodgers is gonna be 36 and looking for a new contract in 2019 ($30 mill per year is not crazy)

    NO: Brees will be FA next season and 39, probably will be looking for $20 mill per year at minimum if NO wins a playoff game. My guess NO brings him back at a $50 mill/2-year deal with very little money guaranteed.

    SEA: Russell Wilson will finally hit the >$20 mill per year benchmark, also the defense is getting pricey and old (Sherman will also be coming off an Achilles injury), that team no longer has a cheap QB and will drastically change their salary cap expenditures going forward. Normal salary cap progression for a team with early success, PHI may follow similar progression by 2020.

    MIN: Case Keenum…… I have no f*cking clue what is going to happen with him and Bridgewater…. either way Mike Zimmer is a good coach and that roster is pretty solid. Even mediocre QB play can keep them in the hunt year to year if the rest of the organization keeps clicking like they are

    LAR: Young coach, better roster than Jeff Fisher led on. Same situation it seems as us moving forward, young cheap QB, up and coming coach, decent roster top to bottom

    DAL: Dak and Zeke will return to functionality next year, but that defense is at least 2 drafts/FA classes away (if not more) from becoming a Top-10 unit.

    • mtn_green

      Nice work.
      If wentz stays on this track eagles good for long time.

    • SteveH

      Once Dallas puts all that sweet money into Dak it’s going to make it so much harder for them. Unfortunately Zeke is going to keep them competitive for a long time.

      • FairOaks

        Hopefully the 300+ carries a year gets to him not long after that extension. (But Dak will likely be much better by then.)

    • Gary Barnes

      Atlanta and Carolina also still viable with Detroit in the running too. However, your point that the Eagles will have one of the most favorable situations in the NFC over the next 2 seasons is true. Got to take advantage of it!

      • MattE

        good point, and to be honest i am not sure who the better situation is. Carolina has no GM currently and Matt Ryan’s next contract is quickly approcahing

  • meteorologist

    Posted this before but people are still struggling with the same reasoning.

    It’s an old article but blowout wins against inferior opponents are more indicative of your team being good than close wins over good teams !

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2005/fo-fox-guts-and-stomps

    • Masked Man

      I read that when you posted it last week. That’s a well-done article. And a pretty easy read. Not too stat crazy or wonky.

  • SteveH

    All right I’m starting to get over this goddamn Seattle fiasco, bring on the goddamn Rams. I hope we take our frustration out on them and bury them in front of that pathetic “home” crowd they’re going to have.

    • ColorSgt

      Yup.

  • SteveH

    “We have to hold our load a little bit,” said Brandon Graham.

    I dare you to guess the context of this sentence without going and finding it on your own.

    • A_T_G

      Clearly an apology to everyone who ended up sticky and hungry after their s’more crumbled on the first nibble.

      • A Roy

        I assumed it was an alusion to going to (revolutionary) war and having to load one’s musket.

        • A_T_G

          Nah, Graham is definitely the part of a s’more that breaks down.

    • bsuperfi

      Does it have to do with the effect of penetration?

  • SteveH

    I wish sports betting was legal in New Jersey. I wanted to put a load of money on the Eagles in the first Cowboys game, and now with the Eagles a dog to the Rams I’d bet this one again if I could, but not as heavily as that Cowboys game.

    • Sean E

      5dimes.eu

  • SteveH

    Dak Prescott QB ratings without Zeke:

    83
    30
    60
    93

    and the 93 came on literally 100 yards passing on 22 attempts, just 2 tds saved what was a very forgettable performance.

  • SteveH

    Even on a shitty day:

    Wentz threw for 300 yards in the 2nd half on Seattle in Seattle. The lack of scoring primarily came from a couple of failed 4th down conversions.

    Begging the question of course, why the hell weren’t we attacking down the field earlier in the game?

    • BlindChow

      Had to feed Torrey Smith on 5-yard outs during that first half. Doug’s orders.

    • FairOaks

      Yeah, that is the big question.

      First half we looked like last year without Lane Johnson — not attacking downfield at all. Maybe Doug got scared when Wentz badly overthrew Agholor on that downfield pass and dialed things back a lot until Wentz was less amped up. Wentz did look a bit rushed or anxious. He was settling down in the second half though, other than the fumble, maybe trying for a bit too much.

      That is often what happens to young / inexperienced teams in the playoffs, and there was a bit of a playoff feel to that one. I’m *hoping* they can learn from that when the actual playoffs come around, because the pressure doesn’t get easier. Experience in those games does count for something. Perhaps, this experience gave them a little of that, and in a game before it really matters. The good second half wasn’t enough to catch up — the defense could not stop Wilson enough. But it was the sign that they are fully capable (and probably should have been more aggressive like that more in the first half).

  • unhinged

    Early on when the Eagles had strung together a few consecutive victories, LaGarette Blount uttered a welcome BUT. “We haven’t won anything!” A streak can be a double-edged sword. It can bolster you confidence and give everyone an immediate hurdle to clear, or it can almost imperceptibly lull you to sleep. The Eagles managed to win a few games by showing up and making fewer mistakes than their opponents. They whipped their opponents in some other games, and they won more than most teams could while playing down to or below the level of their opponents. To me the Seattle loss came at a perfect time. Now they are the 2nd seed, now they have no wiggle room, and now they have pressure to perform. This sunday should tell us all what we have.

  • EagleOne1983

    This “Easy Schedule” talk is just crap. The tough teams that the Eagles have had to play (or will play) are ALL road games.
    @ Kansas City (6-6)
    @ LA Chargers (6-6)
    @ Carolina (On Thursday) (8-4)
    @ Seattle (8-4)
    @ LA Rams (9-3)

    The only 3 road games that aren’t listed are the divisional ones. The Eagles are 2-2 in difficult road games this year. (Might say 4-2 because Washington and Dallas aren’t easy places for division rivals).
    I’m pretty sure we have one of the hardest away schedules this year (50-46 [without NYG it’s 48-36]) . The only “EASY” away game this year will be the NYG.

  • Someguy77

    https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-owners-ignore-threat-of-jerry-jones-as-roger-goodell-gets-signed-to-new-deal/

    I really despise Goodell but the only things that matter is profitability at the end of the day and positioning the league for expansion outside of the U.S.

    • xmbk

      He’s not wrong. There’s a risk to everything, including doing nothing. Youth soccer has a higher incidence of concussions than football. Both my son and daughter play football. You just have to be smart about it, like anything in life.

      • Someguy77

        What he said isn’t factually correct from a relative risk standpoint but that wasn’t that point. It was just such a cavalier thing to say about the topic on the record.

        I don’t think that Goodell even cared that much about the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident but more about the huge backlash created after his initial take on it.

        Goodell is fortunate to get relatively positive treatment from the media and reporters (especially at ESPN) that work with an organization with strong ties to the NFL have been pretty strongly rebuked by corp. management to stop any vocal criticisms of Goodell. Simmons was a perfect example of that after he tore into Goodell about the Ray Rice incident.

  • A_T_G
    • CrackSammich

      Sounds like a relatively even trade if only comparing this year’s production.

      • BlindChow

        Except we get Darby next year as well.

        • FairOaks

          We gave up a 3rd round pick as well.

          • Gary Barnes

            Exactly plus Darby looked pretty bad vs Seattle. Work in progress I guess. I like Matthews and wish him the best. At least Shady is still balling.

    • SteveH

      Perfect, now that his value on the FA market is destroyed we can cut Torrey Smith and bring Mathews back on a team friendly deal to be our possession receiver, giving us a lineup of Alshon/Agholor/Mathews/Hollins

      • Will Ft. The Roots

        Id rather Ags stay in the slot and Hollins take over on the outside if we don’t draft/buy a WR this off season.

        • or____

          That’s not a different thing. Mathews is backup slot and some packages with aghs on outside

          • xmbk

            Matthews and Ertz have too much overlap. I like the guy, but he’s not a good fit.

          • or____

            I can’t disagree but that’s an argument for not paying them both big money and not having them on the field at the same time. Which is not what was being discussed here. ERTZ gets injured. So does JMat. Redundancy in depth isn’t necessarily a problem.

      • Masked Man

        That’s a nice lineup 4 deep.

      • Sean E

        You trust his hands?

        • Masked Man

          As the number 3 or 4 guy Matthews is great.

    • BlindChow
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