Finding a Way

Posted: December 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 147 Comments »

The Eagles have lost some ugly games over the years.

2015 ATL 26, PHI 24
2014 SF 26, PHI 21
2013 DAL 17, PHI 3
2012 DET 26, PHI 23
2012 PIT 16, PHI 14
2011 ARZ 21, PHI 17
2010 MIN 24, PHI 14
2009 OAK 13, PHI 9
2008 WAS 10, PHI 3
2007 SEA 28, PHI 24

Sorry for that horrible trip down memory lane. Not a fun list at all.

Those games feature a variety of coaches, QBs, opponents and situations. The one constant is that the team did not make key plays in those games. They blew some leads. They failed to take advantage of possible comeback situations.  There were times when they seemed to find a way to lose.

I started thinking about games like these because of something Frank Reich said in his PC on Wednesday.

I won’t lie. I had my doubts. Still, there was a part of me that didn’t feel all gloom and doom. I guess I just wasn’t sure how they’d pull out the win. Then Ronald Darby picks off that pass and my confidence went straight to 100 percent. I just knew Nick Foles would move the team 15 to 20 yards and Jake Elliott would seal the deal.

This is an Eagles team unlike any I’ve ever seen.

We’ve seen good Eagles teams over the years, but this group combines the talent of the 2004 team with the heart/it factor of the 2002 team. That makes them special.

I wish I could tell you this group will go win the Super Bowl. It’s still possible, but the Carson Wentz injury brings so much uncertainty that I’m not sure what to expect from this team. We’ll find out soon enough.

Don’t underestimate the clutch factor with this team. The defense got key stops in the 4th quarter against the Rams. They got the 4th down stop against the Giants. They came up with huge takeaways against the Raiders.

Jake Elliott nailed the 61-yard bomb to beat the Giants. He hit clutch kicks against the Rams. He hit a late FG in NY. Elliott hit the game-winner on Monday night. He has a few frustrating misses this year, but they generally happen in the middle of the game. When it gets late, Elliott is on the money.

Nick Foles led the team on a FG drive late in the Rams game. That helped to win. He helped to rally the team from a 20-7 deficit against the Giants and then led a FG drive late in the game that stretched the lead from two points to five points. That proved to be huge. On Monday night, Foles took advantage of the Darby pick by moving the team into FG range.

That stuff doesn’t always happen.

Don’t try to make this about heart or effort. This is talent, training, discipline, execution and damn good coaching.

This team doesn’t panic. Doug Pederson has preached the mantra of Win the Week all season long. The players stay focused from week to week. I think that focus also exists within games and the players really live in the moment. That keeps them from getting too high or too low within a game.

Just think about the Lions game from last year. The Eagles trailed 21-10 at halftime. By the middle of the 4th quarter, they were up 23-21. That’s an impressive comeback. The Eagles had the ball late and could have put the game away, but Ryan Mathews fumbled. The defense then let the Lions move down the field and kick the go-ahead FG. The Eagles got the ball back for a final possession and Wentz made a panic throw that was picked off by Darius Slay.

There were mistakes all over the place in the 4th quarter. If the Eagles could have eliminated one or two of those, they win. If Foles hadn’t panicked on the final drive, the Eagles could have gone down and kicked the winning FG. They had chances and blew them.

The 2017 team isn’t doing that. They are far from perfect, but this team is clutch and they do find a way to win.


Jason Garrett won’t be resting his starters on Sunday. I think that’s good for the Eagles. They need a legit test more than a glorified preseason scrimmage.

From the Dallas perspective, the decision is less clear.

Werder makes a simple, but compelling case. What is the reward for playing them?


147 Comments on “Finding a Way”

  1. 1 Sean E said at 12:59 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    First, by a landslide!

  2. 2 Buge Halls said at 7:53 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Nobody cares dude! No…body…cares…

  3. 3 or____ said at 10:29 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Why that reaction to “This user is blocked.”?

    OH – right, my b. I forgot it may only say that for me momentarily.

  4. 4 Sean E said at 12:55 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    You seem to care

  5. 5 Buge Halls said at 7:05 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I love calling out the morons like you who come here for the first time from Spuds page to play the “first” game and all the other nonsense they do over there.

  6. 6 Sean E said at 11:06 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’ve been here way longer than you, suck a fatty.

  7. 7 Buge Halls said at 7:35 AM on December 29th, 2017:

    Now I know why everybody has you blocked.

  8. 8 BlindChow said at 1:50 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    “If Foles hadn’t panicked on the final drive, the Eagles could have gone down and kicked the winning FG.”

    I think you mean Wentz here, Tommy (towards the end of the article).

  9. 9 Buge Halls said at 7:53 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Thought the same thing

  10. 10 kajomo said at 10:20 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Freudian slip

  11. 11 Masked Man said at 1:55 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Those 3 and 5 point wins don’t look as pretty as the 20 point wins…

    But they work just as nicely! Go Eagles!

  12. 12 LowerSlower said at 9:54 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Best team ever in baseball was the 1927 NYY, yet they lost 44 games.

    (i)Philly teams must win by shutting out their opponents throughout the season and the playoffs to be considered good(/i)

  13. 13 unhinged said at 11:23 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    But they won 110 games!

  14. 14 LowerSlower said at 11:50 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    How many were ugly? 😉

  15. 15 unhinged said at 3:59 PM on December 28th, 2017:


  16. 16 菏泽夜生活论坛 said at 2:00 AM on December 28th, 2017:


  17. 17 Philadelphian said at 3:31 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    It’s great to continue to hope to find a way to win no matter what player we lose or how ugly the win was, but what we continue to ignore is our opposition.

    It’s one thing if the other teams in the playoffs were overrated and made it to the post season by backing in, however every team in the NFC playoffs has had a very good year which at one time or another entailed great QB play. This includes the Eagles who whether you want to admit it or not would not be where they are today without Carson Wentz.

    The problem the Eagles face is unlike themselves the other teams involved are entering the playoffs with the QB that got them there. The odds are greater that each one has a better chance of making the necessary plays than a backup QB.

    I’m not throwing in the towel and claiming the season is over, but am only trying to bring realism into the conversation. The simple fact is there is only one time in the history of modern football that a legitimate backup QB has ever led his team to a Super Bowl win and that was Jeff Hoesteler with the 1990 Giants. If you want you can throw in Trent Differ, who was a high draft choice, with the 2000 Ravens. However, in both of those situations the defense wasn’t just good, but was outstanding.

    Some people might want to add Kurt Warner and Tom Brady to the mix, but they obviously ended up being a lot more than backups.

    The bottom line is we can talk all we want ugly wins, but unless our defense plays close to the level of the 1990 Giants, the 2000 Ravens, or even the 1991 Eagles and/or Nick Foles plays like he did in 2013, our chances of pulling off 3 playoff wins are slim and none.

    As always, I will continue to root for my team, while in this case hope I’m wrong, but I refuse to discount what a great year this was if they fail to overcome what are realistically insurmountable odds.

  18. 18 Westpaceagle said at 5:35 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Exactly. Doesn’t make us bad fans or negative Nancys. Its just the way things are. Its going to be an uphill battle to just win one game. Fingers crossed, but not expecting much. Still one of my all time favorite teams though. They won this season no matter what happens now. Go Birds!

  19. 19 Masked Man said at 6:24 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Hey West! I do some “crowd control” stuff over at Philly dot com. Fans over there are negative during the best of times. When the chips are down, they are depressing. So I fuss them out if they get too too negative. That’s what I do. But I know that many real fans are now hoping for a playoff win or two at best.

    Getting to the Super Bowl and winning doesn’t seem to be a realistic hope now. We miss Carson more than we thought after LA and NYG. He’s very special. But if we win a playoff game, I’m good with whatever else happens. But I won’t talk bad about my team ever! And if we get a major surprise, I’m good with that too! Go Eagles!

  20. 20 Philadelphian said at 1:06 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I haven’t been over at Philly dot com in ages. I can just imagine all the negativity going on there.

  21. 21 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:08 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    And the subtle racism. It’s like living in NE Philly again.

  22. 22 Philadelphian said at 1:04 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Most Eagles fans are good fans, however I hope there aren’t too many with unrealistic expectations that start pointing fingers if we are eliminated.

  23. 23 Masked Man said at 6:10 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Hey Philly! Hope you’re having a great holiday season!

    Just now, I’m rooting for one home playoff win. It’s been a long time since we won a playoff game at all. We’re home. If we win, we get to host the NFC Championship Game. I say we have a decent chance to win one playoff game at home where we are undefeated all year.

    Having met that goal, I’m comfortable with whatever happens next. A second win at home means a trip to the Super Bowl. But we have home games as long as we win. So I’m not going to say it’s impossible.

    This is the best Eagles season in a long, long time. At 14 wins if we get there, that would be a franchise record.

    So the future is bright. Carson will be back next year with a young team that has gained from experience. As long as we don’t have to go one-n-done in the playoffs this year, I would say the team did very very well playing without Carson for several games to end the season.

    Go Eagles!

  24. 24 Philadelphian said at 1:02 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Hi MM. Like I said I will pull for them like I’ve always done no matter what their record was.

    Without a doubt one game at a time is the way to go.

    Go Eagles!!

  25. 25 Buge Halls said at 7:54 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    “…who whether you want to admit it or not would not be where they are today without Carson Wentz.” I don’t think a single person is thinking that

  26. 26 Philadelphian said at 12:58 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Do you honestly believe that the Eagles would be sitting at 13-2 if Carson Wentz wasn’t their QB?

  27. 27 Buge Halls said at 7:03 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    You might to re-read what I said and ask yourself the same question moron

  28. 28 Philadelphian said at 7:27 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Okay, I’m a moron and you are a genius. Feel better now.

    What I wrote and how you responded could had been interpreted in different ways, but if you want to label me a moron, go ahead and make yourself happy.

  29. 29 kimsarah said at 11:44 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Howard Eskin is a genius.

  30. 30 Philadelphian said at 3:12 AM on December 29th, 2017:


    So true.

  31. 31 Buge Halls said at 7:39 AM on December 29th, 2017:

    The first step to solving your personal problems is admitting you have them – congratulations, you’re on your way to becoming a better person.

    If you would have been able to comprehend the simple statement I made instead of calling me out for the exact OPPOSITE of what I did say, you might not be a moron.

  32. 32 Philadelphian said at 1:12 PM on December 29th, 2017:

    Now I also feel better .

  33. 33 Formidable said at 8:03 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Wasn’t Tom Brady a backup QB when he won his first ring? Just asking is all.

  34. 34 LowerSlower said at 9:41 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Technically, yes. Came in during 2nd game of 2001 season after Bledsoe was injured. Remained starter through SB.

  35. 35 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:15 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Tom Brady got injured in the AFC championship gamr. Bledsoe came in and beat the Steelers in Heinz field to get to the Super Bowl.

    Bellichick benched him for Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

  36. 36 Philadelphian said at 12:56 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I specifically mentioned Brady and Warner as not being career backups.

    If Foles is anywhere near as good as those two, then let’s plan the parade down Broad Street.

  37. 37 FairOaks said at 2:48 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    …except that those other teams do not have home field advantage.

    I agree that our odds were damaged badly by losing Wentz. Foles is not nearly as good. With Wentz, I think we would have been favored in every game. Now, we are probably brought down to a bit under Minnesota’s level (who are themselves playing with a backup, or borderline starter like Foles). However, if we play Minnesota, it will be in Philly — and that could end up being important. We may still be favored there by a bit.

    We probably won’t be favored by much if any in these games. If each game is 50/50, we’d have a 12.5% chance of winning the SB — not great. But it’s not completely hopeless. And frankly, at this point, we may just be hoping to *reach* the Super Bowl. That is two wins, at home. That may be doable. But for now, one game at a time. We can’t have Foles lay an egg like last game, but he’s had plenty of good games in the past.

  38. 38 Philadelphian said at 4:00 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I totally agree with you that home field can play a big part, especially if Foles takes advantage of any cold weather. Cold weather has been known to affect domed teams like the Saints and Vikings in the past. That’s why I hope they are the two teams we play.

    Interesting, that you brought up Keenum because he’s the best example of why it’s possible that Foles can get it done.

  39. 39 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:09 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Case Keenum is probably their starter going forward.

  40. 40 FairOaks said at 5:55 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    He’s an unrestricted free agent. Like Bradford.

  41. 41 FairOaks said at 2:55 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Earl Morrall and Doug Williams were backup QBs as well. Frank Reich played some playoff games to get *to* the Super Bowl, but Jim Kelly was back as the starter for that last game (though Reich was put in later in the game).

  42. 42 Philadelphian said at 3:53 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Wow, you are going way back. If I’m not mistaken didn’t Morrall do it twice, once with the Colts and once with the Dolphins? I believe he started for the Colts in the Super Bowl, but lost to Joe Namath and the Jets. In fact I think the Colts put their regular starter, Johnny Unitas, into the game late out of desperation.

    When Morrall played for the Dolphins he replaced Bob Greise during the regular season, but Greise was back for the playoffs.

    You are right about Williams, but it can be argued that he was a legitimate starter and not a career backup. Even if we added Williams to the mix, we are still talking about a small sample.

  43. 43 FairOaks said at 6:09 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Williams was a former starter, who was at the time a backup, who started two regular season games (middle of the year) then went 3-0 in the playoffs. The Redskins kept him as a starter the next year, but he played pretty poorly. He went 4-6 and then became a backup again the next year.

    Morrall was really another era, yeah.

  44. 44 Philadelphian said at 6:33 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember Morrall, his Super Bowl appearance being Super Bowl III when Joe Namath made his famous prediction of a win over the heavily favored Colts.

  45. 45 anon said at 4:36 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Ed werder quote seems dumb considering we’re playing all of our starters. D. Lawrence could take foles out. Big pride game for Dallas Sunday

  46. 46 ChoTime said at 11:33 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    You think pro players actually care about hurting players on the rivals teams?

  47. 47 Guy Media said at 7:40 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    “Don’t try to make this about heart or effort.”

    It’s only about those things when they lose games they should win.

  48. 48 bdbd20 said at 7:59 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Great points about preparation and execution when pressure is highest.

    Even though Prince Harry is out, there’s a lot of value to getting guys playoff experience and performing in high pressure situations.

    Graham, Cox, Ertz, Lane, Kelce, Foles, and others were there in 2013. Let’s see how they respond.

    Would be nice to get Jones some playoff experience. Schwartz sounded like he’s playing this year.

  49. 49 Formidable said at 8:00 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I read the article and the only thing that started on my mind was the Seattle game. Playoff quality team where we did not measure up. Reich can say what he wants but in the playoffs confidence only takes you so far. Performance is truly the main determinant of the outcome.

  50. 50 Guy Media said at 8:03 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    The inability of this team to do anything but lose to Seattle won’t be a factor in the playoffs as they’re not likely to face Seattle. I like their recent wins over Carolina, Atlanta, Vikings, and the Rams however.

  51. 51 Formidable said at 8:11 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Recent wins with Wentz as QB do not carry over to recent games with Foles at QB. When did we recently play against Falcons and Vikes tho? The argument was about This team… This year and the coach’s confidence in them finding a way to win. If they play flat against playoff caliber teams I doubt the outcome will be the same. I believe the overall trajectory is positive for the franchise but you can’t ignore the performance issues of late.

  52. 52 Guy Media said at 8:17 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Foles won the Rams game at the end, we not counting that? A large number of the guys playing for us in the playoffs this year were members of the team (coaching staff included) for wins over Carolina, Atlanta, and Minnesota over the last two seasons.

  53. 53 kajomo said at 10:15 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I personally don’t count that as a Foles win. Wentz walked off the field with the lead. The defense did their part. Foles played a role, but was hardly the hero. Doubt we win the game if he starts the entire game

  54. 54 xeynon said at 9:40 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Wentz may have walked off the field with the lead against the Rams, but Foles entered the game facing a deficit. The defense ultimately did make a few big plays to help win that game, but for them to win Foles had to make plays too, in adverse circumstances where the odds were against the team, and he did. He played like dog poop against the Giants but I don’t think you can count the Rams game as anything other than a win he helped to engineer.

  55. 55 kajomo said at 9:41 AM on December 29th, 2017:

    I know is not a perfect parallel because the rams were up, but I view Foles as a closer in that game. That was a Carson win while Foles closed it out.

  56. 56 P_P_K said at 10:30 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’m not upvoting because I don’t want to mess playoff mojo.

  57. 57 FairOaks said at 10:42 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    We played the Vikings and Falcons last year, and beat them both pretty handily. I think the Vikings are substantially better now, but not so much the Falcons.

  58. 58 Rob Jarratt said at 8:43 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I don’t know how many of you longtime Eagles fans reacted this way when the Raiders got the ball late in the 4th quarter already in field goal range with time waning, but this is what I did:

    My gut has been punched way too many times over the decades in situations like this. In a close game with seconds ticking away, the opponent gets possession and kicks the winning field goal, or some such scenario. I expected the same in this game and abandoned my TV, because it’s easier to take not in real time.

    But in the end, I couldn’t resist. When I went back to the game, they were replaying the Darby interception and then I watched the “drive” to set up Elliott’s game winning field goal that DIDN’T hit the goal post and bounce back. It was not what I’m used to.

    All this to say that there is something peculiarly special about these 2017 Eagles. They are busting through the paradigms of “Eagles Football.” I am now in the category of the possible. It’s a very strange feeling.

  59. 59 Forthebirds said at 10:23 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Felt the same way. Was sure the Eagles would lose by a field goal in the waning seconds. This team is different, but obviously if it plays like it did against playoff teams, we won’t win. So that sick old feeling is still lurking somewhere in my semi-consciousness.

  60. 60 P_P_K said at 10:28 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I felt similar, but my feelings were more of a question that a conclusion. It was gut check time and I pondered, “Are these the old Eagles, who could find a way to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory, or the new Eagles, who seem to find a way to win?”

  61. 61 Rob Jarratt said at 10:34 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I admire you for hanging in there. My movie (Groundhog Day) had dominated my fandomship too many times. Over the years, I have dented a lot of trees in my backyard to the detriment of my knuckles.

  62. 62 ChoTime said at 11:35 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    It is odd; no matter the situation, the Eagles seem to come out on top. It is quite the opposite of what I’m used to, where we often manage to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. I’m not superstitious and don’t really believe in clutch, but this team certainly has performed well in high leverage situations.

  63. 63 SteveH said at 9:35 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Watching some of the film breakdowns coming in, it’s clear that Foles played bad, but at the same time a lot of the throws he’s missed are throws he made just the week before, in particular the corner post throws to Ertz.

    Also that miss to Jeffrey was bizarre. Jeffrey popped open but Foles was waaay late with the throw and the safety had time to undercut it anyhow. Actually it looks like if he had held onto the ball for a beat longer Jeffrey was going to come open on the other side of the safety for a TD. He could have made a touch throw over the safety who was jumping the route for the TD but that’s pretty advanced QBing for Foles.

    Who shows up in the playoffs, Nick Foles or Dick Foles.

  64. 64 Forthebirds said at 10:18 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Hoping it isn’t Nick Folds or Nick Holds.

  65. 65 P_P_K said at 10:26 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    St. Nick or St. Dick.

  66. 66 Ark87 said at 11:41 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    It’s frustrating but that is sort of the source of hope. On paper, a team that loses its MVP QB has no shot.

    But there is a Nick Foles that can throw 4 TD’s in a game and everyone shrugs. There is a Nick Foles that got hot and threw 27 TD against 2 ints. If we get lucky, he can be good enough. If we get Good/Great Nick Foles, and the defense plays to its potential, we can still beat anybody. Even if one of the units doesn’t bring their A-game, if the other team doesn’t bring their best, the Eagles have shown they can win ugly.

    Here’s hoping the team has some playoff magic in the tank.

  67. 67 ColorSgt said at 9:39 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Thanks Tommy for this piece. This sums up show I feel. Its hard to articulate it in the comments section to some degree. This year has exceeded my expectations by a mile. I am in no place to start getting upset when things don’t go smoothly. Yeah I see the issues just like everyone else, but at 13-2, something is going right. Even though Wentz is out, I’m just along for the ride. I don’t have any expectations anymore because I have no idea what might happen and that is exciting. Foles isn’t Wentz, but he has experience and gives us hope. That’s all you can ask for going into the playoffs.

  68. 68 truehaynes said at 10:02 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    When he said Jason Garret won’t be resting his starters did he mean Doug pederson?

  69. 69 Forthebirds said at 10:31 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Yep, Jerrah gotta play his starters to ensure a winning record and justify keeping Garrett (Mr. Mediocrity) around another season. That is the only upside to a Dallas victory on Sunday. Let’s hope he is also dumb enough to pay Dez (My Career is in the Toilet) 12.5 million to stink up up the Jerrydome on more year.

  70. 70 P_P_K said at 10:33 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    I was thinking the same thing but it’s a bonehead move. Why risk an injury to a significant player in a meaningless game? Ego and pride are not reason enough.

  71. 71 FairOaks said at 10:48 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Most teams playing out the string do seem to play the starters. Maybe auditioning for next year’s roster, etc. I don’t recall too many bad teams resting starters — most injuries would heal before next season. Resting starters seems to be just for playoff teams, who have critical games in the very near future. Now if they play hurting starters like Tyron Smith… that would make little sense.

  72. 72 P_P_K said at 11:09 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    From what I remember about season’s past, I think you’re right. I don’t agree with the strategy, though. If I were head coach, I’d treat it like a pre-season game — rest the starters unless they need the reps, play the guys who I need to see under game conditions.

  73. 73 kajomo said at 11:18 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    We did it last season. Just about every team plays their starters. It’s not good for the nfl to see late season preseason games.

  74. 74 Bert's Bells said at 1:06 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Part of winning is cultural in professional sports. This is why franchises that tank have a difficult time turning it around. Even if you look at the Astros, during their shitty years they were consciously building their farm system and trying to maintain a winning culture there.

    The NFL structure is completely different, not fielding the most competitive team you can and trying to win every game seems to have long term negative results. This isn’t true in situations where playoff position is established -game time to back ups can be seen as a reward of winning more than an admission of defeat.

  75. 75 P_P_K said at 2:15 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I agree with you about the cultural of winning and that is why I hated “The Process.” So, I might be a bit hypocritical but my reasoning is somewhat different.

    Injuries happen in every single game and I’m arguing it’s just not worth having a major player go down. In this case, that holds true for the Eagles because of the playoff implications, as well as for the Cowboys, where a serious injury could potentially impact next season. If Dak suffers the kind of injury that put Carson out, the meaningless game suddenly takes on very meaningful significance.

  76. 76 Bert's Bells said at 2:30 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I think it’s a legitimate argument from a fan and organizational point of view. I doubt it’s convincing to professional coaches. They almost always say you can’t worry about guys getting hurt.

  77. 77 P_P_K said at 2:35 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Yup, you’re right. Kinda’ reminds me of the way coaches have to balance the need for contact w/o killing your guys during pre-season and practice.

  78. 78 unhinged said at 3:54 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I think a healthy Prescott is the last thing the Dallas FO is thinking about. Well…maybe not the last, but his shortcomings really came to the fore this season when one starter was missing from his offense. I know that the left tackle was ailing at one point, but the Jones’s learned that replicating the 90’s ain’t gonna happen with Dak.

  79. 79 P_P_K said at 9:23 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    “…replicating the 90’s ain’t gonna happen with Dak.”
    A great way to ring in 2018.

  80. 80 ChoTime said at 1:53 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Starters want to play. They get more stats and it leads to more $. Wanting them to sit so they don’t get hurt is taking the perspective of a fan or a manager: they’re a resource to be hoarded. Wins are important in a 16 game season, and wins are important in fan enthusiasm. Moving a draft position or two doesn’t make much difference in results, except maybe if there’s a clear #1 or #2 player that you just have to have.

  81. 81 P_P_K said at 2:20 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I don’t really feel very strongly about my position, but it’s 0 outside so I’m happy to curl up next to the woodstove and argue with you!

    I guess I am taking the perspective of a manager, but I disagree about the term “hoarding.” I’m thinking more “protecting.” The NFL is so violent and injuries take place every single game. I’m thinking it’s wiser (ok, maybe just safer), to protect the star players than add one more win to the standings.

    I’m happy to continue arguing, but the stove is so cozy I might be napping by the time you write back…

  82. 82 jshort said at 3:32 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I too am seated near my woodstove. I’ve never seen anyone more excited about a Christmas present than my wife was about the new wood splitter I gave her for a gift.

  83. 83 P_P_K said at 3:46 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    My wife and I had been disagreeing about how much wood to burn. I like the house around 60, she likes it at around 73. We compromised at 72. Domestic bliss & tranquility.

  84. 84 ChoTime said at 3:45 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    “We’re from Dallas and we fight.”
    *drops mic*

  85. 85 unhinged said at 3:48 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    That’s when I knew Kelly was full of shit.

  86. 86 or____ said at 11:43 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Rest them for the …uh….uh…. offseason?

  87. 87 Howie Littlefinger said at 1:49 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Many of them have a pro bowl to play in!


  88. 88 daveH said at 12:30 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Yes i love it. .don’t stress the game just to keep the blah coach that jerrah loves so much in place! !!

  89. 89 unhinged said at 11:11 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    If nothing more than reinforcing the notion that nobody’s job is secure. They’re playing the division winner, away from their pissed off fans, and some of those guys on the field sunday will not be back. That’s probably more motivation than the Eagles can conjure. Sure they hate the Cowboys, but their attention is probably diluted by the breath-taking moments that will decide the fates of all of the league’s not-quite-dead.

  90. 90 Nailed It! said at 12:34 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I would assume that BG, Cox and Jernigan will be inactive on the DL, linebackers will play a series or two. Jenkins and Mills will also be inactive. Jenkins so he doesn’t get hurt and Mills who may still have a lingering ankle issue.

  91. 91 Philadelphian said at 1:19 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    The problem is there are only 53 players on the roster and even if they play guys like Means who has been deactivated, I don’t see how he rest too many. My guess is unless a player is nursing an injury most players will need to play. Maybe, with fewer reps, but nonetheless play.

  92. 92 RC5000 said at 9:09 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Bradham has played 923 snaps, no way should he play imo. Jenkins and Mills have played 942 and 932 snaps respectively. I expect all 3 of them to be rested .

  93. 93 truehaynes said at 1:07 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    so i have a question for anyone with an understanding of tiebreakers. If minesota new orleans and los angeles all lose and the panthers win they become the 2nd seed. However, if los angeles wins than the vikings remain the 2nd seed. why in t he world does the rams record change how the panthers vikings tiebreaker works? i get that if new orleans wins they get the division and the panthers are a wildcard team and cant beat the vikings in the tiebreaker but the rams buisness confuses the crap out of me. The nfl playoff machine says it has to do with conference records and mutual opponents stuff but im stilll confused

  94. 94 Guy Media said at 4:27 PM on December 28th, 2017:

  95. 95 FairOaks said at 8:02 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Not completely sure, but…

    If the Rams/Vikings/Saints lose and the Panthers win, the Vikings and Panthers would be tied at 12-4, ahead of the other teams, and the Panthers beat the Vikings a couple weeks back to win the head-to-head tiebreaker.

    If the Rams also win, there is a three-way tie at 12-4. The head-to-head tiebreaker is thrown out, since that only counts if one of the three lost to both the other two, or beat both the other two. Vikings went 1-1, Panthers 1-0, Rams 0-1. Next tiebreaker is conference record, and in that event the Rams and Panthers would both have four conference losses and the Vikings 3 (one of their losses was to the Steelers), so the Vikings win that.

  96. 96 Guy Media said at 1:38 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’d assume the following:
    Means and Curry taking 90%+ of the snaps at DE. Same for the combo of Destiny, Qualls, and Allen at DT.
    Douglas almost all game at CB with the other 2 guys all splitting time.
    Play a ton of Watkins and Graham at safety
    Just about all game of Gerry, Walker, and Goode at LB.
    Tons of Seumalo, Warmack, and Beatty playing as well.
    A lot of Gibson, Mack Daddy, and Marcus Johnson at WR
    BIG work day for Smallwood at RB
    A ton of Sudfeld
    And another ton of Celek and Burton at TE

    So the 7 I’d sit are: Cox, Brandon Graham, Wiz, Alshon, Blount, and one of Kelce or Brooks. Then one other mystery guest; Bradham perhaps.

  97. 97 Bert's Bells said at 2:04 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Can’t sit any of the OLine with FOles at QB.

  98. 98 Guy Media said at 4:26 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    That’s presupposing Foles is playing all that much and/or they’re going to do much besides run a lot.

  99. 99 Bert's Bells said at 4:43 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Right. If Foles is playing you need the starting 5 up front.

  100. 100 Guy Media said at 4:50 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Just a hunch, but I’m of a mind that Pederson is going to give us a ton of Sudfeld.

  101. 101 Bert's Bells said at 5:22 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’d personally love to see that.

    Foles is who he is. A streaky guy who can light it up or freeze you cold. Playing him a ton on Sunday won’t change that.

  102. 102 Guy Media said at 5:23 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    You’re correct. What helps Foles is better play calling and more of an effort by guys blocking.

  103. 103 Bert's Bells said at 2:05 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Also, Doug’s said Nick and Alshon need more reps together.

  104. 104 Guy Media said at 4:26 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    You’re correct that he said that, but we’ll see what happens.

  105. 105 Sean E said at 2:46 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I think Barnett takes way more snaps than Curry, otherwise I think your list is spot on.

  106. 106 FairOaks said at 2:54 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Barnett showed up on the injury list recently, so it may depend on how that is feeling. If it’s still hurting, sit him. Otherwise yeah, get him lots of reps.

  107. 107 Sean E said at 3:13 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Ahh didn’t see that, thanks.

  108. 108 Guy Media said at 4:25 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’d consider Barnett the more important guy to not lose as these are the last 3 or 4 games of Curry’s Eagles career.

  109. 109 levdog said at 3:27 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    No way you don’t play the regulars – you need to play all out and keep the ball rolling, don’t need 2 weeks of rest- keep the ball rolling and beat the Cowboys, thats how you get ready for the playoffs.

  110. 110 Guy Media said at 4:25 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Until proven otherwise, I expect Pederson to default to Reid mode. That would include resting regulars in games with no bearing on the standings.

  111. 111 levdog said at 4:55 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    History shows that teams resting the players fail in the playoffs. Especially coming off our last couple of games, I am hoping that Doug plays this game all out, but I think you might be right.

  112. 112 Guy Media said at 4:56 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    The Patriots fail in the playoffs?

  113. 113 levdog said at 4:58 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Atlanta handed them the Super Bowl last year when they stopped playing in the 2nd half.

  114. 114 Guy Media said at 4:59 PM on December 28th, 2017:


  115. 115 Guy Media said at 4:59 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Also, on resting players.

    Key sections

    “Recent history also shows that resting starters in Week 17 does work. In 2009, the Colts were 14-0, up against the Jets in Week 16 and took their starters out in the third quarter. Then in Week 17, they BS’d around and lost as well. They ended up in the Super Bowl against the Saints, who eventually won the game.

    That season, the Saints rested starters in Week 17 as well. I played against the Saints that season, with Carolina. We were 7-8; they were 13-2. That game always stands out to me because it was a game like no other one I’ve played. The Saints were playing to not get hurt. They weren’t going hard, they weren’t trying to score. Just bleed out the clock.

    I remember the end of the game, they were down and instead of driving to win the game, they just ran it a few times, punted, and the game was over. I had never seen that before. But it worked. They won the Super Bowl.”

  116. 116 unhinged said at 3:43 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Is Pederson possibly thinking Foles needs to get in work because he’s been carrying a clipboard all season? The pass happy play calling in cold weather seemed wrong to me, but maybe Doug has got an eye on PS. So maybe just a half-ton of NatetheGreat?

  117. 117 Guy Media said at 4:24 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’d be shocked if Foles got more than 3 series. Just a hunch on my part.

  118. 118 daveH said at 6:46 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Good optty to give others more playing time. . Keep Ellerbe in, keep rookies out there

  119. 119 bsuperfi said at 4:06 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    After looking at the last few games and the playoff field, I think the run D is the unheralded lynchpin of the playoff run for the team. Right now, the #1 ranking is deceiving. But we know the team can play better–the front 4 was nasty in the beginning of the season on run D, and Kendricks was surprising the hell out of us with his search and destroy plays.

    Imagine if we can stop the run on the following teams:

    Min: Case Keenum and the WRs are playing good ball, but they’re untested and can certainly use support. Losing Cook was a big blow for them.
    LA: That offense runs through Gurley. Goff isn’t there yet to take a game over by himself.
    NO: Brees is still good and playoff tested, but he can’t do what he used to do, and he needs the run game to open up windows he can’t drive the ball through anymore.

    The same can certainly be said of us, but no other team–with the exception of Min–has the potential to utterly annihilate an opponent’s run game. Hopefully Wiz coming back cures some of our woes, and Ajayi starts going off for real.

  120. 120 Guy Media said at 4:23 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    And Carson Wentz wasn’t playing defense, so the run D needs to tighten up and shut down everybody………….or face serious recriminations.

  121. 121 ACViking said at 4:09 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Re: Why Playing Foles vs. Dallas is a Bad Idea

    Lot’s of great, and not so great, sports moments — like The Miracle at the Meadowlands 1 (a game that, after 39 years, I’m still waiting to end differently) — begins with the question, “What are the odds . . . ?”

    For example:

    “What are the odds . . . that, after clinching a 1st-round bye but losing its MVP-caliber starting QB, an NFL coach decides to start his 2nd-string QB in a meaningless Game 16 to get him some reps . . . only to see QB #2 injured and lost for the playoffs?”

    The answer is, I have no idea what the odds would be.

    But I suspect Raiders fans would say, “Don’t play Foles against Dallas . . . ’cause crazy stuff like that happens to SB-starved teams.”

  122. 122 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:27 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Foles can’t play the way that he did last week and expect to win a playoff game. He misses throws to Ertz, didn’t even target Alshon, and struggled playing in the cold.

    He’s not a star that can dominate every week. He’s a player that needs all the reps he can get.

  123. 123 Guy Media said at 4:28 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    But Foles has less reps prior to the Giants game and played really well. Maybe Pederson more needs the work?

  124. 124 Bert's Bells said at 4:45 PM on December 28th, 2017:

  125. 125 Guy Media said at 4:51 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Noted and edited on the usage correction.

  126. 126 Bert's Bells said at 5:21 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I just think Stannis is hilarious.

  127. 127 BlindChow said at 5:33 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Maybe they can max protect for three plays and just have Foles chuck a 50/50 ball in Jeffery’s direction each time. Then, assuming it’s a 3 & out, put in Sudafed for the rest of the game.

  128. 128 Philadelphian said at 7:34 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I think it comes down to whether playing the starters can build confidence going forward. For all we know several players think they need the reps. If confidence is lacking to the point that players doubt they have a chance it won’t matter how healthy everyone is.

    The bottom line is what to do next is a crapshoot with no perfect answer.

  129. 129 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:01 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I understand the logic of the risk, but I disagree based on the reward that is at stake.

    Playing Foles gives him valuable reps heading into the post-season, a chance to improve his timing with receivers and become more comfortable with the offense in general. The reward here, in close playoff games, could mean the difference between winning and losing. In an elimination tournament, winning is everything.

    Furthermore, playing conservative isn’t Doug’s style. Don’t start now.

  130. 130 BlindChow said at 12:38 AM on December 29th, 2017:

    “Furthermore, playing conservative isn’t Doug’s style. Don’t start now.”

    Except in that game against the Seahawks. Yuck.

  131. 131 xeynon said at 11:57 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I disagree.

    We have in the past seen Nick Foles play well enough to win playoff games, especially if supported by a good defense and running game. The guy we saw on Monday night, however, is not playing at that level. He looked sluggish and indecisive and I’m sure not receiving starting reps all season is part of the reason why. I think we have to take the chance that he gets hurt in order to give him extra chances to acclimate to game speed and build rapport with his receivers.

    Sure, if he gets hurt we’re toast in the playoffs. Burn if he plays like he did against the Raiders in the playoffs we’re also toast.

  132. 132 anon said at 2:01 AM on December 29th, 2017:

    Those are basically to different people

  133. 133 Guy Media said at 4:55 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Good news for the Eagles, the Giants hired intellectually inept Dave Ghetto Man as their GM. I’m sure a condition of the hire was explaining how they can use their draft pick to make another run with Eli, not draft a new franchise QB. Eli went dead silent with movement demands, so my guess is that ownership told Eli it’ll still be his team. I look forward to whoever the Giants take (unless it’s Barkley) being a massive bust.

  134. 134 RC5000 said at 8:58 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    What do you think of the rumors that Josh Rosen is a party guy and disliked in the locker room. Is it a smear campaign or is he another L.A. party boy jerky guy QB?

    If they don’t like Rosen’s personality and Darnold goes, who should they take?

    I feel like he’s been inconsistent yet very talented at times when I’ve watched him and Reich said something about Carson’s character and film watching being key. So it makes me wonder about Rosen.

  135. 135 Guy Media said at 9:11 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I’m planning on doing a lot more reading on Rosen vs. Darnold vs. Allen for who the best NFL QB should be out of the group. But you’re right that the rumors around Rosen are weird.

  136. 136 RC5000 said at 9:22 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I ‘d be surprised to see Allen in the top 2. I actually really like Allen but he needs a lot of work. He’s somewhat of a running QB I’ll warn you.

  137. 137 Guy Media said at 9:26 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    He is who I’ve see the least, but he if he’s a run type guy you’re correct that I’ll hate him.

  138. 138 Insomniac said at 9:24 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    USC QB vs potential Johnny Manziel?

    Hmmmm….I think the USC QB busts are stronger in terms of longevity but Manziel was destined to fail.

  139. 139 unhinged said at 9:02 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    So is Gettleman “intellectually inept” because he’s a NY Giant GM, or is there a basis for your description beyond the rival hatred that you express with fulminous frequency?

  140. 140 Guy Media said at 9:09 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    The Josh Norman debacle in Carolina was a massive demonstration of ineptness and poor asset management.

    And he’s been associated with the Giants for a lot of his professional career; so he’s also a massive pussy.

  141. 141 unhinged said at 10:37 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Thank you for clarifying. Norman got $75M from Dan Snyder. That’s not what I’d call smart with money, though I admit that Norman was on top of his game when he was signed.

  142. 142 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:39 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    This will be interesting. He’s been on successful teams: Giants for a long time and the last 4 years with the Panthers, bringing them from cap hell to playoff regular. His recent experience with coaches are the old school types: Coughlin and Rivera.

    Hope you’re right about the ineptitude but hate to say it, looks like the Giants got someone who knows what they’re doing.

  143. 143 Guy Media said at 9:42 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    Fuck that and fuck them; horrible hire.

  144. 144 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:58 PM on December 28th, 2017:


  145. 145 Howie Littlefinger said at 7:27 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    It’s become very clear to me that Wentz is the MVP

    If he played that game I think we would win by 3 scores

  146. 146 Philadelphian said at 7:37 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    It’s kind of a mixed bag because we can realize more so than ever what we have in Wentz.

  147. 147 kimsarah said at 11:40 PM on December 28th, 2017:

    I disagree with I think the Dallas game is important to establish momentum going into the playoffs. So they should play to win. At this point, however, I think the offense has to have some luck, and the defense to rise to another level if the Eagles are going to even win one playoff game.