Freezer Burn

Posted: December 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 135 Comments »

The Eagles have had pretty good weather this year. Rain and wind were a bit of an issue in the Niners game, but that’s really about it. Until Monday night, that is. That was by far the coldest game of the year and wind was an issue as well.

There is no question in my mind that the cold affected both teams. No one likes to be outside on a cold, windy night. It is going to bother you. Neither Nick Foles nor Derek Carr played well. Look at the QBs in the Saturday night game between the Packers and Vikings. Brett Hundley and Case Keenum struggled in that game.

The point of this isn’t to dismiss Foles struggles because it was cold. Rather, think about what this means going forward. The Eagles are going to host a game in January. It is almost certain to be cold. That is something Foles is going to have to deal with. It is also something the opposing QB is going to have to deal with.

The Eagles showed they could win an ugly defensive battle in cold weather.

Oakland is a mediocre team (6-9) so beating them has to be kept in context. The Eagles can’t afford for Foles to struggle the way he did on Monday and expect to have much success in January. What we have seen is that the Eagles won with good Foles and bad defense a week ago. They won with bad Foles and good defense this week.

In order to win in the postseason, the Eagles need the defense to play well and Foles to at least be effective.

After Monday’s sloppy performance, Foles is a virtual lock to play this week. Doug Pederson indicated as much in his press conference. He might pull Foles at halftime or something like that, but Foles will play. The temperature at game time on Sunday will be in the mid-20’s. This will give Foles another chance to get out in cold weather and show what he can do.

He missed Zach Ertz on a couple of potential TDs. Both passes were too high. If Foles just pulls the ball down a little, that would have significantly changed the perception of things. If the Eagles win an ugly 21-10 game where Foles is sloppy, but throws 3 TDs, that’s a lot easier to feel okay about.

Instead, the Eagles were 1 for 14 on 3rd downs and only 1 for 3 in the Red Zone. They couldn’t sustain drives. They couldn’t score points. You don’t need to be Bill Walsh Jr. to know that’s bad.

Foles struggled with his accuracy. He made some poor decisions. He went back to his old habit of retreating from pressure. This was a bad showing. Compounding the issue, his teammates didn’t help him out. Lane Johnson was sloppy and drew several flags. Nelson Agholor dropped a downfield throw. Alshon Jeffery failed to catch a pass in the RZ. Jason Kelce was erratic with multiple snaps.

Pederson says the issues are fixable. The offense has played well all year (until Monday night) so I agree with him. Foles isn’t going to turn into Carson Wentz, but he doesn’t have to. He needs to play better than he did, but he also needs the guys around him to eliminate their mistakes and to make some plays for him.

It will be interesting to see if Pederson comes out throwing on Sunday. He might want Foles and the WRs to get as many reps as possible. That gameplan wouldn’t be ideal for trying to win the game, but Pederson may look at this more as a chance to get ready for the playoffs.


Interesting move by Pederson. Playing on Monday night, this being a meaningless game and this being the season finale, there is a lot of logic to focusing on getting the guys rested. At the same time, reps for Foles and the offense would be good as well.

I know I say this over and over, but Pederson has pushed the right buttons for most of the year. He has a great feel for this team.

Time will tell if this is the smart strategy.


135 Comments on “Freezer Burn”

  1. 1 Greg Tulino said at 12:59 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    The narrative after the Giants game from Eagles beat writers and national pundits was that Eagles are going to be ok on offense with Nick Foles and their biggest concern was with Eagles defense. After Raiders game the new national and local perspective from these so called experts is that Defense is fine and offense is most concerning. Brilliant analysis!! These “Pundits” know as much or less than the fans. I can’t stand them all. They rarely tell us anything we do not already know. As Tommy mentioned we need good defense and an effective Nick Foles to grind out any wins in the playoffs.

    Tommy mentioned that the WR’s have to make some plays for our QB. I totally agree. I was at the game last night and there was no separation from Smith or Alson. Nick Foles will not extend drives with his legs like CW did. We have to do something different to threaten the field vertically to open up the running game especially if our WR’s are not getting open. In order to win in the playoffs I believe Foles has to trust Alson and throw up 2 or 3 balls per game to allow him to make a play on a 50-50 ball. He will likely either make the catch, cause a DPI or prevent the other player from picking it off. I watched the stinking raiders routinely stick 8 or 9 guys in the box to stop our running game with no fear of Foles throwing down the field. If we can’t count on separation from our outside WR’s then we have to at least throw the ball up for Alson to make a play when he is covered on the outside and trust he will make a few plays for Foles and our offense. I guess we could try some back shoulder throws also to get Alson involved when he can’t create any separation. Teams have to at least respect our vertical passing game to perhaps cause them to move a DB back from the LOS so we can run the ball vs better numbers.

  2. 2 or____ said at 1:53 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I was there too. That play where Ertz got like 25 yards and there was nobody around him must have worked for a reason. I also saw some play action ish stuff seem effective but Foles sailed a few etc. Alshon is always open if hes v single coverage. I’m not concerned about him (Smith absolutely).

  3. 3 Greg Tulino said at 2:10 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I am speaking to the WR’s not getting open. Ertz was targeted like 14 times? I agree that Alson is always open vs single coverage, but Foles has to chuck it up to him to give him a chance to make those plays. I am concerned if Foles does not have the trust in AJ to make those throws so he can help his QB. If he doesn’t then teams will have no problem stacking the box and making it very difficult to run the ball with no fear of being beat vertically in the pass game. We got nearly three weeks to sort it out and be ready for the PO’s. I am hoping we will be fully prepared to attack whatever defense comes into the Linc.

  4. 4 or____ said at 2:19 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Yeah generally agreed. Btw, do you have something against the h in 17’s name?

  5. 5 Greg Tulino said at 2:25 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Yes. I am dead set against it. The H” HAHA. Nah, just typing too fast an d really late at night. Thanks for the heads up. I corrected my error.

  6. 6 or____ said at 3:47 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Ha. Happens to the best of us. Just rare for it to be that consistent.

  7. 7 xeynon said at 8:25 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I do find it amusing how the football experts turn on a dime and completely reverse what they were saying last week on the basis of one game. It’s like they’ve never heard of recency bias.

    Football is a sport where a very slight adjustment in timing, ball placement, etc. can result in hugely different results on any given play. It’s quite possible if a half dozen of Foles throws are 12 inches or so more accurate on Sunday, he would’ve had what looked like a very good game.

  8. 8 anon said at 10:14 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Foles deep ball is not accurate – did you see that ball to ags – reminded me of all those deep balls to riley cooper where we were like Riley played center field when he was younger so he’s really good at catching erroneous balls.

  9. 9 xeynon said at 11:00 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Nobody’s deep ball is accurate when it’s cold and windy. The deep passes are literally the first part of the playbook that goes out the window under those conditions.

  10. 10 John Dunkerley said at 11:55 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Exactly. Foles was throwing with the wind behind him which carried it further. I absolutely believe they altered the game plan after that. Both teams did.

  11. 11 Eagles4life said at 1:00 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Officiating has not helped us in some of those close games as well! Overall, officiating has been very unpredictable this season.
    I would like to propose ability to challenge at least 3 flags (based on what we have seen, a team usually get 1-3 iffy calls in a particular game) to be fair to all the teams.

  12. 12 Guy Media said at 7:08 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    That is a modified version of Belichick’s proposal to keep the existing number of challenges, but allow everything to be challenged.

  13. 13 P_P_K said at 8:53 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    You’ve ruined my morning but informing me I agree with Beli about something.

  14. 14 ColorSgt said at 7:43 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    3 would be fair. You get 3 if the first 2 are correct now anyway. And sometimes you don’t win a challenge if they don’t have enough “evidence” even though its clear it should be reversed. I think college has it right though. Have a dude in the booth, stop the game if it’s close, get the call right and keep moving. It doesn’t have to take long. Nobody has to worry about losing timeouts or challenges or having timeouts left for challenges.

  15. 15 Charlie Kelly said at 1:01 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Before the seahawks game we were worried we might of been having it too easy, wining easy games comfortably not really playing anyone

    but so far every since has been a test, we have been behind and we battled back

    i feel good knowing we can fight for a W going into the playoffs

  16. 16 P_P_K said at 8:52 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Good teams find a way to win.

  17. 17 Charlie Kelly said at 1:02 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    all those bad kelce snaps were def odd

  18. 18 A Roy said at 3:32 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Kelce was low a lot with Wentz, too. It’s just he’s more athletic than FOles.

  19. 19 Masked Man said at 4:15 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Foles picked them up though. I was impressed.

  20. 20 ColorSgt said at 7:32 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Yeah but it throws off timing. Credit to Foles and Wentz for getting the snaps, but Wentz is able to continue with the play better than Foles is, from what I could see. As Tommy said they guys around Foles have to help him out… Kelce needs to clean up the snaps.

  21. 21 Sb2bowl said at 7:42 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Foles has a much slower delivery, which as you pointed out- throws off the timing on poor snaps. QB’s hate to take their eyes off of the field; Foles had to do this numerous times on Monday because of those snaps, and it looked like he rushed his reads because of it.

  22. 22 Guy Media said at 7:06 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    for this year. They’d become an increasing part of his typical play over the last few years.

  23. 23 P_P_K said at 8:51 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    It was so strange for that problem to suddenly reappear. Maybe the weather?

  24. 24 unhinged said at 2:28 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Cold is definitely a big reason why teams that can’t run in December don’t generally get very far. The Jaguars run with malice, so I expect them to present every team they face with a challenge.

  25. 25 xeynon said at 9:43 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I’m sticking with my prediction that the Jaguars will knock off either the Patriots or the Steelers before the AFC title game.

  26. 26 anon said at 10:11 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    team is very undisciplined – surprised they couldn’t hold it together against 49ers.

    coughlin has a lot of work to do

  27. 27 xeynon said at 10:58 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    They have a downright nasty defense though, and a punishing running game to go with it. If they don’t beat themselves, that’s a recipe for beating both the Steelers and the Pats.

  28. 28 unhinged said at 2:34 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    If Foles sits out the 2nd half, will we get to see Sudfield against the Cowboys?

  29. 29 or____ said at 2:42 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    What’s the alternative? All wildcat?

  30. 30 Masked Man said at 4:14 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Trey Burton is the emergency QB/wildcat QB. 🙂

  31. 31 Dragon_Eagle said at 6:45 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Sunday should mark the debut of Sudfeld and a new QB controversy. This will be fun.

  32. 32 Dave said at 8:09 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    If by new QB controversy, you mean Sudfeld > Dak, I agree.

  33. 33 xeynon said at 8:13 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    That’s not a controversy to anybody but the most homerish Cowboys fan. 😉

  34. 34 ChoTime said at 10:35 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    You think Sudfield will look that good, eh?

  35. 35 P_P_K said at 10:42 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    It won’t matter. We’re talking Philly, home of the qb controversy.

  36. 36 ChoTime said at 2:49 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Has there been once since the good old days of: ?
    BTW, he has an interesting article up right now.

  37. 37 P_P_K said at 3:20 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Thanks for the link, I didn’t realize that site was still up.

  38. 38 D3FB said at 7:03 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Actually Shazz wrote it not Brian

  39. 39 Dragon_Eagle said at 11:06 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Meh, just speculating on the “what if” scenario. But its never a dull moment around here, so I expect Sudfeld to put on a show, because you know Foles doesn’t have enough detractors right now.

  40. 40 Someguy77 said at 12:48 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Care less if Sudfeld completes nearly every pass on Sunday and looks like a rock star in the 2nd half.

    Foles starts the playoff game and they ride with him.

  41. 41 Guy Media said at 7:05 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    “If the Eagles win an ugly 21-10 game where Foles is sloppy, but throws 3 TDs, that’s a lot easier to feel okay about.”

    That’s basically what I was demanding from that game, the fact they had to play so close wire to wire was enraging.

  42. 42 xeynon said at 8:22 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    If the weather for our playoff games is going to be bad enough to incapacitate the passing games of both teams, I think that works to our advantage. With the possible exception of Keenum, every team in the NFC playoff field has a better QB than we do. Having Foles neutralized by the weather will not be as huge a disadvantage to us as having Brees, Wilson, or Ryan neutralized by the weather would be to those teams, and we have the running game and defense to win a 13-10 slugfest if need be.

  43. 43 ChoTime said at 10:36 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    One thing Donny had going for him was that Gun. He could push that ball through cold and bad weather without much problem.

    It still hit the ground, but that’s okay. Feature, not bug. 🙂

  44. 44 P_P_K said at 8:55 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think the weather could help the Eagles tremendously. Every one of the NFC playoff teams is a warm climate team. I’ll throw the Vikings into the mix since they are a dome team. If Nick can keep his hands warm, cold temps at the Linc could be a big advantage.

  45. 45 LowerSlower said at 7:00 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Keep telling yourself that, then check the results of the TB-PHI game played in Philly on January 19, 2003

  46. 46 P_P_K said at 7:22 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Oh, man, have you no decency. I don’t have to check the score as I still have the scars from banging my head against the wall.

  47. 47 Eagles vs. Cowboys: Five matchups to watch | The Hindu Patrika said at 8:59 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    […] friend Tommy Lawlor made the astute point that the cold weather very clearly affected the play of both quarterbacks Monday night. In my view, that’s not good, seeing as the rest of the Eagles’ games up until they […]

  48. 48 Techtriumph said at 9:07 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Weather can’t fix Foles’s slow decisions. Foles is what he is, not good enough.

  49. 49 xeynon said at 9:16 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Foles is as good as or better than Trent Dilfer, Jeff Hostetler, Doug Williams, Earl Morrall, Jim Plunkett, Brad Johnson, etc.

    Teams have won the SB with mediocre or worse quarterbacks before. Obviously the chances are lower, but it’s simply not accurate to imply that it’s impossible.

  50. 50 Sean E said at 12:23 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Hot take. Really solid analysis there.

  51. 51 Corry said at 9:17 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I keep harping on this but Foles is just all around slower than Wentz. Not just athletically but it appears that he’s slower mentally too. The decision making, the throws, everything was just slower.

  52. 52 xeynon said at 9:18 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think rust and lack of rapport with the receivers have a lot to do with that. One major reason it’s essential that he get as many reps as possible before they start to count again.

  53. 53 Corry said at 9:20 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I’m hoping the offense plays the entire Dallas game. They all have got to be better.

  54. 54 xeynon said at 9:37 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I hope Foles comes out and looks razor sharp on the first few drives, hitting timing patterns left and right and taking them down the field to easy TDs, putting everyone’s minds at rest and allowing Pederson to rest him thereafter.

    Realistically though, I think you’re right, they need all the reps they can get.

  55. 55 Corry said at 9:51 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think we’re all hoping for that. I think he can be good. He was good against NYG and OK in relief against the Rams. Reps will certainly help him a LOT.

  56. 56 P_P_K said at 10:41 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Gruden was saying the same thing about a backup qb needing time to develop the rapport with his wrs.

  57. 57 xeynon said at 9:36 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Looks like McVay is resting key starters in week 17 even though the Rams could still secure the #3 seed by winning. No doubt he’s doing so because he’d prefer to be the #4 seed and play the Eagles in the divisional round if the #3 seed wins its WC round game than go to Minnesota to play the Vikings. Disrespect!

  58. 58 kajomo said at 9:38 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    We don’t deserve respect the way we have been playing. If that is his thought prices it’s very smart.

  59. 59 xeynon said at 9:40 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I agree it’s smart as we’re probably a better matchup for them than the Vikings would be, but I also think any team that wins 13 games in the NFL deserves respect. Playing outdoors in Philly might be a tougher matchup for their offense simply because of the elements.

    It would serve the Rams right if the #6 seed pulls off an upset over #3, or they come into Philly and lose.

  60. 60 kajomo said at 9:45 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I’d much rather player the rams than the saints any way. I think the saints and Vikings are the 2 best teams in the NFC right now. Anyone else and we have a decent shot. HFA and a well rested team could prove to be a big advantage in the divisional round.

  61. 61 xeynon said at 9:49 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think the Rams are a more favorable matchup than the Saints also, but not by much – they’re pretty similar teams all things considered, I mainly give the edge to the Saints because Brees is battle-tested and experienced whereas Goff is not.

    I’d rank the Vikings behind both as I think their offense might really struggle outdoors in the elements.

    All three of these teams are ahead of the Falcons, Panthers, and Seahawks though.

  62. 62 P_P_K said at 10:40 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I’d certainly rather face a rookie qb in the playoffs than Drew Brees.

  63. 63 Someguy77 said at 12:44 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    This team is going to be very hard-pressed to out score the Rams without Wentz even if the defense plays better at home.

    I would do the exact same thing if I was McVay. I’d be confident my offense could put up at least 23-24 points which the Eagles would be hard pressed to match.

  64. 64 xeynon said at 1:15 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Completely depends on (1) weather and (2) which version of Foles shows up. If the game is played in cold, windy conditions, I think it’s going to hurt the Rams more than it hurts us, since the deep throw is one of Goff’s best weapons and their offense depends on it to a greater degree than ours does. If Foles is the guy we saw against the Giants and just hits the throws that are there and makes the defense pay for overplaying the run, he can move the ball against that team (he did the first time). If we get the indecisive, scattershot version we saw against the Raiders, we’re not beating the Rams or any other playoff team.

    The thing is, if McVay is thinking about the structure of the playoff tournament he shouldn’t just be thinking about potential divisional round matchups. He also has to worry about the Wild Card game. I think the Seahawks or Falcons are an easier opponent than the Panthers or Saints for that game, and that’s likely the difference between the third and fourth seeds. Moreover if you end up as the fourth seed, and beat the Eagles in the divisional round, while the Saints beat the Vikings in the Metrodome in the other divisional game (not a farfetched possibility at all), you go from hosting the NFC championship game to playing it in the dome in New Orleans where your chances decline significantly.

  65. 65 Bert's Bells said at 9:45 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I’m sure I’m not the first to say that Wentz’ cold weather pedigree is a big deal. If you’ve played in freezing temperatures your whole life it’s not going to faze you like it does a guy from Texas.

  66. 66 kajomo said at 9:48 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    He grew up in the cold, but I remember hearing he never actually played cold weather football games. I know ND State plays in a dome, but not sure about high school.

  67. 67 Forthebirds said at 10:12 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    you are right. he played in a dome, but maybe living in ND helps. At least he’s used to being in the cold. And I sure he grew up throwing the ball in the cold.

  68. 68 Sean E said at 5:57 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    You get used to field conditions in the cold, but your body never gets used to being cold. Everyone reacts the same way physiologically to the freezing cold.

  69. 69 Ark87 said at 6:25 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    True, most of it is mental. Do you have the mental experience of withstanding the cold, throwing into the dense, freezing wind, etc. I think the clearest example is seen in a guy like Shady McCoy and snow. The dude just knows how to run in snow like no one he’s played against.

    As you said, physiologically we generally have the same limits against cold, with 1 bizarre notable exception.

  70. 70 ChoTime said at 8:50 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    This isn’t true. The body does adjust to different environments over time, so a cold-weather team may have intrinsic, physiological advantages over a warm-weather team (depending on if they actually train in the cold, of course).

    This is both a matter of adaptation and genetics. It is akin to the human relationship to high altitude: training at altitude (ie Kip Keino in Mexico City) or Denver teams have an advantage, but certain populations (ie Andes natives and Tibetan natives, who have genetic adaptations _using different mechanisms_ that make them operate better at height.)

  71. 71 xeynon said at 10:56 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    ND State’s conference opponents are all cold weather teams though are they not? I’d be surprised if he’s NEVER played a cold weather football game.

  72. 72 Bert's Bells said at 11:52 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Hadn’t heard that, but there’s an argument to living in the cold (though playing surely helps). ND is practically tundra in the winter -two minutes walk through the Walmart parking lot is more cold than Foles experienced in his whole life.

  73. 73 SteveH said at 9:48 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think the temperature aspect of things is overrated, unless it’s really extreme. How many times have “warm weather” teams come to the cold weather outdoor stadium and whooped up on them?

    Also, Foles played in the Saints playoff game back in 2013, and I was at that game and it was so cold I thought I was going to get frostbite, and Foles played pretty good in that one.

    Honestly I think Foles just sucked Monday night. He was inaccurate, he locked onto his receivers, he didn’t improvise well, he made poor decisions…

    We just need to hope he gets it together for the playoffs.

  74. 74 xeynon said at 9:54 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think cold weather is a factor in that it makes the ball slicker and increases the likelihood of fumbles and dropped passes, but not enough to be decisive on its own. If the air is still throwing the ball still works basically the same way.

    The bigger issue is cold combined with wind – teams that play in domes and/or warm weather cities are not going to be as used to adjusting to the different physics involved in throwing a ball in those conditions.

  75. 75 anon said at 10:00 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Can we dust off that 2013 playbook?

  76. 76 Dragon_Eagle said at 11:08 AM on December 27th, 2017:


  77. 77 Someguy77 said at 12:41 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Different team namely they don’t have a RB who has McCoy’s overall ability and skill set. Also don’t have a dynamic deep threat like Jackson.

  78. 78 Tom33 said at 1:43 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Yeah – watching Foles play it’s amazing Chip got 27 & 2 out of him. I do remember all those guys running wide open in that first year though.

  79. 79 jamesbondage said at 10:16 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    No reason for Foles passing 38 times in that game. Peterson needs to gameplan better and take weather into consideration from now on. I was hoping for more running with some play action sprinkled-in. One of my biggest complaints about Andy Reid was his stubbornness with his pass-first mentality. With a strong running game that the Eagles have why not run more and let our big backs do their thing?

    Also, Foles looked jittery most of the game and relied too much on his primary read i.e. Ertz. He wasn’t even looking at WRs most of the game.

  80. 80 Someguy77 said at 12:53 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    It did seem that Pederson went away from the run after the 1st quarter because it was struggling to gain consistent yardage especially on 1st down.

    Agree that Foles shouldn’t have been throwing the ball 38 times though to. It made for a lot of 3 and longs (at least 7 yards) which are tough to convert but especially with windy/cold conditions.

  81. 81 Forthebirds said at 10:22 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Eagles need a solid run game for Foles to be effective. They didn’t have it against the raiders. Maybe it had something to with Wiz being out of the game, and some bad snaps. Teams are going to key in on the run and let Foles try to beat them through the air. Foles can hit the short and intermediate throws when he is on. I think three weeks practice with the receivers will help a lot.

  82. 82 xeynon said at 10:57 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Also had a lot to do with the Raiders stacking the box and Foles being unable to take advantage of it.

  83. 83 P_P_K said at 11:58 AM on December 27th, 2017:


  84. 84 cshav10 said at 10:51 AM on December 27th, 2017:

    Without Wiz at left guard, this offensive line descends to mediocre. Cold and wind plays havoc with the passing game. The inability to run and sustain a running game under these conditions you can pin on Wiz’s absence. A high ankle sprain for him is the biggest concern – they heal very slowly.

  85. 85 dillinja said at 4:19 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think Wiz will be good to go in the playoffs – it will have been 5 weeks. Also think the issues with the running game were more about the Raiders scheming to stop it by putting 8 men near the LOS.

  86. 86 cshav10 said at 11:28 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I didn’t realize it would be that long. Hope you’re right. He’s had an amazing year. Especially with JP being out. I think the difference we’re seeing in Kelce this year is in having two guards that get the job done that let Kelce get out an play in the open spaces which he does better than any other center in the league, and Wiz has been a huge part of that. I do love how Kelce keeps his mouth shut and never throws his team mates under the bus when people start saying he’s past his prime and it’s really just a weaker sum of the parts that creates weakness everywhere, though.

  87. 87 D3FB said at 6:57 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I hate chance warmack with the passion of ten thousand suns.

    He was not the reason the offense looked like dog shit this week.

  88. 88 Dave said at 12:16 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    So Schwartz indicates the double-move on Mills by Cooper for the TD was McLeod’s fault too and not all on Mills. McLeod was supposed to play over the top to protect the deep ball.

    My question remains the same as it has been all year, WTF is Mills playing 7 yards off the receiver?

  89. 89 Someguy77 said at 12:45 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Mills has been doing that almost all year.

    Mills can’t play press man coverage closer to the line because he is too slow. Schwartz also schemes that way anyways.

  90. 90 or____ said at 12:53 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I think that would result in him getting burned much more.

  91. 91 Dave said at 12:57 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Hence, the safety played over top.

  92. 92 or____ said at 1:02 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Right, but the idea is that Mills plays effective as can be against the WR, and then the safety over the top helps out if need be.

    If Mills played press or just up tight to the corner, it would be more like having zero CB cover that WR on every play and only rely on the S to cover that guy.

  93. 93 Dave said at 1:30 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    With your description, Mills’ responsibilities are that of a zone coverage linebacker Why not have Kendricks cover the left side WR since his combine numbers were better across the board.

  94. 94 or____ said at 2:15 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    “Mills’ responsibilities are that of a zone coverage linebacker”

    I’m no football coach, and I never played. So it’s just my opinion, but I believe you went (way) too far there and are incorrect. It sounds like you want a Darell Revis in his prime, or a LB. Nothing in between. Which is far from reality.

    He’s a limited speed CB. There are many in the league like that. He had a tough game and was coming off injuries. We won that game by the way and have a great DBs coach and a DC who’s gotten the job done.

    I say chill a bit, let them address it and it will be ok.

    I’m done talking Mills but I think you’re getting a little to concerned and extreme with your analysis. Just my opinion.

    Go birds and enjoy the new years festivities.

  95. 95 Dave said at 4:49 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I need to my sarcasm.

  96. 96 xeynon said at 1:36 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Mills has the strength and toughness to be a press man corner, but he doesn’t have the recovery speed or the length – if his man beats the jam off the line, he’s toast.

    Playing him 7 yards off and letting him break on the ball/make the tackle seems to play much more to his strengths as a sure tackler who anticipates well. He just has to stop biting the cheese on those sluggos.

  97. 97 D3FB said at 6:56 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    He’s a cover 2 CB

  98. 98 Bert's Bells said at 2:31 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Even with a safety over the top, Mills needs to know when he needs outside vs inside leverage. A safety in the middle of the field probably doesn’t have the recovery time to catch up with a guy sprinting down the sideline untouched. He’s got to give up the middle of the field on that play and turn the receiver back into traffic.

  99. 99 Guy Media said at 9:40 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    McLeod’s fault. Nate Allen’s fault. Kurt Coleman’s fault; SAFETY MEANS YOU NEED TO KEEP THE END ZONE SAFE AND NOT BITE ON UNDERNEATH BULLSHIT!!!!

  100. 100 Dave said at 10:56 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    McLeod seems to be a disappointment. I’m was expecting a ProBowl type player from the hype when he was signed.

    His highlight film on YouTube when he was with the Rams is nothing like what he has been with the Eagles.

    Either he is not being used to the best of his abilities, or he was never that good to begin with. I am leaning to the notion that he has been miscast as a free safety while he is much better suited to the box.

  101. 101 Someguy77 said at 1:25 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Ellerbe got named the starting MLB nod and did play in 39% of the snaps.

    Seems like Schwartz wants to play more of a conventional 4-3 especially on 1st and 2nd down and move away a bit from the Big Nickel as Graham PT went way down with 22% of the defensive snaps.

    Probably was dictated as well by how much the Raiders were trying to run the ball though and the extra number of 2 TEs set they employed.

  102. 102 xeynon said at 1:34 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Some of this I’m sure was dictated by the Raiders’ offensive strategy – they were running a lot of 2 and 3 TE sets and were only really moving the ball successfully on the ground.

  103. 103 Tumtum said at 3:03 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I was lookig for an update on Walker. Heard anything on him? Really haven’t had time to pay attention to the details lately (also don’t feel like hearing negative stuff about Foles)

  104. 104 A_T_G said at 10:47 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Les was inferring from the press conference that the team though he would be healthy by now, but he is day to day. Les also suggested that the comments about Ellerbe using his hands well to defeat blocks underscore an area in which Walker is lacking.

  105. 105 Sb2bowl said at 4:19 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Most teams we face don’t employ the 1WR 3TE front; Raiders wanted to pound the rock, and that’s what they tried to do.

    Most of the teams we face going forward will be more towards the 3WR 1TE set, which brings our our Nickel package, and Ellerbe goes back to the bench.

  106. 106 D3FB said at 6:54 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    It was all personnel based. The Eagles were in a 4-4 at least once.

  107. 107 FairOaks said at 7:09 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Graham went out with an injury at some point.

  108. 108 A_T_G said at 10:43 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    From context, I am guessing he is referring to Corey and the 3 safety big nickel.

    But since you mentioned it, is there any word on BG’s health?

  109. 109 FairOaks said at 10:18 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Whoops, thanks.

    X-rays were negative on the ankle after the game, he said he was “fine”, but he did not practice yesterday, and Pederson called him “day-to-day”. I’d be surprised if he played Sunday but sounds like he should be fine come playoff time.

  110. 110 xeynon said at 1:33 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    One thing I haven’t seen many people comment on was the role of field position in that game. The Eagles only got decent starting spots a few times and when they did they either moved the ball and scored or turned it over (Ajayi fumble, Foles interception).

    I wonder if some of their offensive struggles resulted from conservative playcalling, with Doug not wanting to turn the ball over deep in his own end. When the offense is playing poorly this can become a vicious cycle (conservative playcalling contributes to inability to move the ball which leads to three and outs which leads to poor field position when you get it back which leads to conservative playcalling). If Dave Fipp has any trick returns in his playbook the playoffs may be the time to break them out as we don’t want to be starting out on our own 15 on every drive without a top 5 QB to bail us out.

    Kudos to the defense for coming up with several huge plays in the 2nd half though. The Jenkins forced fumble, Darby interception, and big Graham TFL were all plays that saved the game for them.

  111. 111 jshort said at 5:09 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Field position was on my mind also, not to mention it seemed the Raiders were starting their drives around the 50yd line. They too did not move the ball well either.

  112. 112 ChoTime said at 5:35 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    It was a really exciting, hard-nosed, bad-weather, grind-it-out playoff game against a non-playoff team in the regular season.

  113. 113 jshort said at 6:00 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Yea! Best game of the year!

  114. 114 xeynon said at 6:19 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    A non-playoff team, and not a great one, but not one without talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I’m a bit more lukewarm on Derek Carr than a lot of people, but Cooper, Crabtree, Cook, and Lynch aren’t chopped liver as far as collections of skill players go. The weather was certainly a factor in their ineffectiveness but our D deserves some credit as well.

  115. 115 Masked Man said at 7:21 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    The Raiders have talent on offense and defense. They won 12 games last season somehow. They started slow this year. But now they are playing for pride and digging deep. They played tough in a meaningless road loss here in Philly.

  116. 116 daveH said at 9:43 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    The Bradham x Lynch collisions were painful to watch! ! Sweet job by my main man Nigel B .. he stopped him in his tracks several times

  117. 117 P_P_K said at 3:24 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    My son and I have come up with the ultimate Eagles qb controversy. Foles gets hurt sometime before the playoffs. Sudfeld comes in and plays like the second coming of Tom Brady. Eagles win the SB. Nate, with a perfect qb rating, is the MVP. Eagles fans go crazy debating Wentz or Sudfeld.

    If Foles does go down and Sudfeld isn’t the second coming, and my son and I get blamed for Nick’s injury, we’ll be hiding from you all in the witness protection program.

  118. 118 Bert's Bells said at 3:28 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Love it!

  119. 119 ChoTime said at 4:10 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    How about, Foles goes down, Sudfield plays like Brady 2.0, Howie gets greedy and trades Wentz to the Browns for the #1 pick and a CB?

  120. 120 Bert's Bells said at 4:14 PM on December 27th, 2017:


  121. 121 Sb2bowl said at 4:17 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Don’t bring him to Philly – the pot around here is much better than anything Cleveland has to offer.

  122. 122 Bert's Bells said at 4:48 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    In the spirit of TATERiffic trades and signings, he’s a necessity.

  123. 123 Insomniac said at 6:06 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    It’s wrong to smoke the strong stuff with your son before sharing with us. Where are your manners sheesssh.

  124. 124 ColorSgt said at 9:11 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    I said last week that Sudfeld could go from being cut by the redskins to Superbowl MVP. I’d say trade Sudfeld. Sell high.

  125. 125 Guy Media said at 9:39 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Sell everybody who isn’t Wentz and get back high returns!

  126. 126 A_T_G said at 10:38 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Once Rodgers is on the Browns, GB could use a Sudfeld.

  127. 127 Ryan Rambo said at 8:47 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports the Giants are expected to move on from CB Eli Apple this offseason.

    Anderson’s source said, “He will not be in an NYG uniform next year. Dude is done with NYG. Done.” Apple has clashed with teammates and coaches all season and was just suspended for Sunday’s regular season finale following a confrontation with CBs coach Tim Walton at Wednesday’s practice. Apple’s fate will be in the hands by whoever the Giants choose to replace Jerry Reese, but as of now, the 2016 first-rounder is a long shot to return next season.

  128. 128 ChoTime said at 8:52 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Foles Apple

  129. 129 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:42 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Give me the average talent, no issues guy over the high talent, locker room cancer guy every time. Foles>>Apple.

  130. 130 ColorSgt said at 9:08 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Interesting… Losing certainly compounds issues. I’m grateful the Eagles have been winning.

  131. 131 A_T_G said at 10:35 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    You know what they say, one bad Apple…

    Apparently the suspension was triggered by his unwillingness to run win the scout team in practice, but that was more of the final straw than the actual cause.

  132. 132 daveH said at 9:40 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Kudos also to Darby for taking a ton of plays focused on him. . Staying very gamely and overcoming the injury and staring right into intense focus..getting a few difference making plays !! Impressive far more than i was hoping for!

  133. 133 A_T_G said at 10:31 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    Schwartz commented that there were two plays in which Darby made superb plays that likely went unappreciated. Two screen plays that were largely successful for the Giants, Darby took on an OL blocker and made the tackle on the RB. Both were possibly TDs if Darby doesn’t get him down.

  134. 134 daveH said at 12:14 AM on December 28th, 2017:

    Nice! Thank yoo. Exactly why i read igglesblitz! !

  135. 135 daveH said at 9:49 PM on December 27th, 2017:

    And the multiple times that Nigel B stopped Lynch in his tracks was pure pain inducing joy .. live my main man Nigel Bradham