Win the Week

Posted: December 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 163 Comments »

Doug Pederson’s message all year has been to “Win the week”. All coaches preach something like this, but Doug seems to get this team to really buy into the message. That’s how this team avoids trap games and seems to overcome whatever is in front of them.

It is imperative that Pederson stay on message and that the players stay focused. The Eagles can’t go win the Super Bowl this week. They’re just playing the Giants. The Eagles can help their chances by winning and securing a playoff bye. They could hurt themselves with a sloppy performance. That could hurt their bid for home field advantage. It could also erode their confidence, which is still pretty high.

I love the movie Miller’s Crossing. There is a great line in there where Tom tells crime boss Leo, “You don’t hold elected office in this town. You run it because people think you do. They stop thinking it, you stop running it.”

I think that applies to the Eagles to a certain extent. This team doesn’t have a great track record. They’ve come together quickly and played at a high level, but part of that is because they believe in each other and play with such confidence. Corey Clement and Mack Hollins aren’t stars, but they are key contributors as rookies. Patrick Robinson was a player that no one wanted. Now he’s one of the best slot corners in the league. Jake Elliott went from being cut by the Bengals to being the King of Philadelphia.

If any doubt starts to creep in, it will hurt the team, possibly in a big way.

Right now, everyone is confident in Nick Foles. Doug Pederson loves him. Jim Schwartz and the defense believe in him. Frank Reich believes in him. So do the players.

Zing!!!

I get Les’s point. Some of the support for Foles seems a bit over the top. That’s a tough balancing act. You want to support your player/teammate, but also risk sounding a bit delusional if you’re too positive.

That said, I’d rather have players too optimistic than the other option. Easier to make a confident guy doubt a little than to make a doubter feel confidence.

Sunday will be a really interesting day. I wasn’t sure this would be a compelling game as of last week, but now this will be one of the most anticipated Sundays in a while. We all want to see just what Foles can do. (fingers crossed)

*****

I wrote a piece for PE.com on the Rams game and Foles taking over at QB. I mixed in a few stories to show how this can work.

Some people brought up Jeff Hostetler leading the 1990 Giants to the Super Bowl. He went from being Phil Simms backup in December to starting for the G-men in the playoffs.

And of course Frank Reich can also share his experience of going from Jim Kelly’s backup in 1992 to starting for the team in the playoffs and leading them to a Super Bowl appearance.

When you have a strong overall team, you can mix in a backup for a short time and still win big games.

*****

The Eagles have not played great on STs recently. Braman was a key STer in the previous few years. Adding him in should only help the units.

*****

The coaches are probably excited to get a look at him. We’ll have to wait and see how he can perform. Jones has worked hard off the field, but getting back on it, as a rookie no less, is tricky. Doesn’t seem likely he’ll play this year, but let’s wait and see how he does on the field.

_


  • SteveH

    Complete team wins from here on out. Can’t count on Wentz’s magic now, so we need to make sure we play clean and up to the talent we have. The defense not having anymore performances like they did against the Rams will help a lot.

    • Guy Media

      NO missed tackles
      NO poor coverage on special teams
      NO claiming pressures are fine if you’re not getting sacks
      NO sleep til Brooklyn

      • Buge Halls

        NO stupid penalties (false start/offsides/holding)

    • xeynon

      Indeed. Like Carson Foles is good enough to win with if the rest of the team plays well. The difference is that unlike Carson he’s not good enough to make up for the rest of the team’s mistakes if they don’t play well.

  • Masked Man

    Ok… It’s taken me a couple of days to get my head around this. But I think I have. Here it is.

    Aside from losing their MVP caliber QB phenom, Carson Wentz… This could be another perfect storm for the Eagles.

    Sound like crazy talk? Maybe, maybe not.

    They have a deep, strong, balanced team roster on offense and defense. They
    have a distinguished group of coaches, even in spite of the fact that
    they were underestimated at first by the public and the press. And the
    16-game schedule is winding down.

    Is there a good time this season for the Eagles to lose their starting QB? No. But is there a better time for Nick Foles to have to step in? No. This is the best possible point for the team to have to turn to Nicky Foles.

    The division championship is secured. The team has the best record in football at 11-2. The magic number for a playoff bye is only ONE WIN (or one loss by
    a key competitor, the Minnesota Vikings). And now the Eagles are in a
    position where they are forced to…

    “INSERT NICK FOLES [HERE].”

    But the West Coast trip is behind the team. That’s positive. The team was
    able to win the game that was more important of the two, against the LA
    Rams. That’s a big positive. And the games ahead – at the Giants, versus
    the Raiders and versus the Cowboys – will offer a three game run up to
    the playoffs that are perfect for where this team stands. That’s what
    makes this point in the schedule a perfect time for Nick to step in.
    Perfect timing to handle an injury to Carson Wentz.

    Having to go to Nicky earlier in the season would not have let the team get the most out of Carson under the circumstances. Having to go to Foles later would
    not have offered him much chance to play himself into playoff readiness. And having to go to him during the playoffs would have been a difficult blow to absorb in the middle of a playoff game week.

    So going to Nicky now will give everybody a chance to adapt and prepare.
    One or two wins out of the next three remaining games is a very achievable goal.

    But two or even three unlikely losses don’t sink the ship either. And the preparation time between now and the playoffs seems ideal… at least under the circumstances.

    So if you have to lose Carson, the best time would be now. Go Nicky! Go Doug! Go Eagles!

    • Guy Media

      Need to get home field advantage for me to feel good about the chances in the playoffs.

  • SteveH

    Speaking of unlikely playoff quarterbacks in Eagles history, I was just reminded of something.

    Back in 2010 we actually came very close to knocking off the Packers during their super bowl winning season. Vick threw that terrible interception at the end (44 seconds remaining) when we were on the Packers 28 yard line.

    Also that was the David Akers game, where he had found out his daughter had cancer and missed those two easy field goals (Andy Reid was kind of a prick about it afterwards too if I’m honest).

    And look at some of the drek we had starting too. Mike Mcglynn, Max Jean-Gilles and Winston Justice manning the center to right side?

    Antonio Dixon, Moise Fokou, Ernie Sims, Dimitri Patterson and Nate Allen as regular starters on the defense?

    Ellis Hobbs, Akeem Jordan, King Dunlap and Trevor Laws all picking up significant playing time?

    This was the year Jamar Chaney was going to the hall of fame and we had high hopes for something called a Chad Hall because of his versatility.

    This is also back when Brodrick Bunkley was going to be our stud DT next to Mike Patterson.

    God did the stars on offense carry that team. Maclin/Jackson/Shady/Vick was enough to get us into the playoffs and almost beat the Packers.

    No lies though I would probably take Max Jean-Gilles over Warmack or Seumalo.

    • Ankerstjernen

      I remember that loss, thank you. The Packers were great, but after that game, you were left with a really bad feeling that the eagles should have won it. And when they went on to win the whole thing, well… That along with the loss to the Saints were the kinds of losses that eat you up as a fan.

      • Guy Media

        AMEN. The Eagles choke vs. Green Bay was the closest game Green Bay had that whole post season. And it would have been sweet to shut up all of Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.

      • SteveH

        I had the same feeling, it felt like we lost it more than the Packers won it. I also remember being frustrated because there was plenty of time left, we didn’t have to take an end zone shot with 50~ seconds left at the snap.

        Hard to blame the team too much though, they were playing way over their heads talent wise.

        • Ankerstjernen

          Maybe, maybe not. Djax at that point was a game wrecker, and Vick was throwing the deep ball to match his speed as well as any QB in the league. People forget about Vick, the man had ridiculous arm strength yet a lightening fast release on those balls, and he got them downfield with such a flat trajectory it really maximised Djax ability to get open over the top and catch it in front. I don’t blame them for taking the shot, its oneo f the things that got them there.

    • Guy Media

      “Vick threw that terrible interception at the end (44 seconds remaining) when we were on the Packers 28 yard line.”

      Riley Cooper didn’t fight for a 50-50 ball vs. a midget CB that should have been a TD catch.

      “Also that was the David Akers game, where he had found out his daughter had cancer and missed those two easy field goals (Andy Reid was kind of a prick about it afterwards too if I’m honest).”

      Found out on a Friday. Game was on a Sunday. The most celebrated game of Brett Favre’s career was when he threw 399 yards / 4TDs on the same day his father died. Akers had also been an incredible prick toward the whole organization all year in making infantile demands for a huge contract extension because he greedily lost money in a Ponzi scheme. Akers was also a massive prick to the grounds crew guys a well. Andy Reid NEVER flamed players, so I’m quite sure his flaming of Akers was well deserved and a long time coming.

      • SteveH

        Well no one will ever accuse you of holding back your opinions.

        I would love to get inside your brain for a while and poke around, it seems like an interesting place.

      • Buge Halls

        Spoken like a man who doesn’t have children!

        • Guy Media

          We’ve got an almost two year old, but thanks for losing the guessing game.

          • Buge Halls

            That poor, poor child

      • teltschikfakeout88

        get a grip man…there is so much unconfirmed narrative in this post it is silly…you have no idea what Akers agenda was on that day or leading up to it…c’mon man…incredible prick, infantile demands, greedily lost money…love your passion…but sometimes your very own “flaming” makes it tough to take you seriously…LOL….

        • Guy Media

          That’s the best retelling I can give you of what Eskin said on the radio about Akers in the week after that game.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Your point of view is driven by Eskin…now I get it…love eskin for trolling Beasley but his style panders to a particular audience…LOL…

          • Guy Media

            Reporting on something that happened isn’t exactly “style.”

          • teltschikfakeout88

            That’s not what eskin does nor does your post…he doesn’t simply report on something that happened…taking all your comments as verbatim sage advice from eskin…let’s unpack “greedily lost money in a Ponzi scheme”… this is chock full hyperbolic descriptors that try persuade a reader to whip out pitch forks and light some torches in a united chant to say FU Akers for wanting more money and saying if not for his greed he wouldn’t of lost it in a Ponzi scheme… I think it’s plausible that he was more a victim just like countless others who were stung by Madoff… greed had nothing to do with their situation…eskin doesn’t simply report he does it in a ay to incite emotional discussion… that is a style…

          • BC1968

            Especially since Eskin will suck Reid’s balls at any cost.

  • Guy Media

    You absolutely win the week! The Giants flat out suck. Ideally you win in a blowout and speed Eli into retirement.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      I hear Jacksonville’s nice.

      • Guy Media

        I’ve been there; it isn’t!

        But Eli is welcome to be terrible there as well!

  • Dan in Philly

    The Eagles faced one of the toughest two game road tests in all the NFL, lost their superstar QB, and still went 1-1. Foles entered the game trailing by 4 and the Eagles won the game. That’s reason to have confidence.
    One silver lining to this cloud is all QBs have a few games where there’s not much tape on him to game plan to. I know Foles has lots of tape but it remains to be seen how he’ll play in this offense with this head coach and with these teammates. Hopefully we can keep other teams off balance for 5 games (with Foles sitting the last regular season game).

    • Guy Media

      Yup! Just need the D to start playing with some effort again and we’ll be feeling a lot better.

      • Always Hopeful

        Is the defense regressing because as a unit they were playing “over their heads”? I’ll be more confident if the defense and special teams show us more consistency these next few weeks.

      • eagleyankfan

        Bad D or did they play some incredible offenses the last 2 weeks? I tend to think – a little of both. Eagles D came up pretty huge at the end of the Rams game forcing a punt.

      • Forthebirds

        The Rams put together some good drives, but they were averaging 31 points per game. Take away the 7 points off the blocked punt, and their offense scored 28, and one of those was from the 30 yard line after the early interception. It was not a great performance, but not the horrible letdown it appears to be from the score. But the D will have to play their best now.

    • eagleyankfan

      I’m not really that “excited” about what Foles did. Eagles got some pretty generous calls go their way to help burn the clock. Eagles had a few of their own ‘holding’ calls in there too. Eagles relied on field goals because Foles couldn’t move them….

      • Ankerstjernen

        Foles can be really good off of play action, when he is allowed to step into his throws and get rid of his ball fast. The success of this offense depends now, much more than before, on their ability to establish a dominant run game. I think Pederson and Reich knows this very well and are planning accordingly. We might finally see more of Ajayi who seem to get more positive yards on plays where contact is made at the LOS. No reason to think they wont be able to do it against the Giants and Raiders, and I suspect Foles will be alright the next couple of weeks. Then we’ll see what happens when they run into a team a strong run defense.

        • eagleyankfan

          amen! This will give Foles a few weeks to prepare for the season, after the season …

      • GreenBleedin

        When you consider he had no live game action for over a year, remember he didn’t play pre-season, I was happy with his performance. That pass to Agholor on third and eight was clutch and big time.

        I can only imagine how going into the game with no recent game speed experience and in such an important game must have felt. He did good.

        I trust in Nick. He’s no Carson but very few are.

  • Always Hopeful

    Wentz’s injury had me thinking I need to change my screen name to “Reservedly Optimistic”. There are plenty of reservations I feel about this team based on Wentz’s injury and the overall play since the Bears game.

    If you have ever watched those “America’s Game” Super Bowl documentaries every single team that won the Super Bowl had some adversity to overcome to win it all.

    This team has had it’s share of adversity BEFORE the Wentz injury. As Tommy said, this Giants game has more intrigue now than I thought it would have a week ago.

    We know Foles is not Wentz, but can Doug and crew help Foles by helping the left side of the line and committing to the run?

    Defense and Special Teams has to step it up. Let’s see if the late game focus against the Rams can propel them into this drive for home field advantage.

    Fly on

  • GermanEagle

    What if – and it would be a good problem to have – the Eagles secure HFA already this Sunday?!

    Will you rest your most valuable starters for three weeks…?

    • eagleyankfan

      They can secure home for the entire playoffs or just week 1?

    • A_T_G

      No, because then I will need to start Nate Sudfeld on my fantasy team in the championship game (assuming Foles carries me through this week).

      • Insomniac

        Sacrifices must be made and unfortunately you might be chosen.

      • xeynon

        Look at it this way: if you want a fantasy championship with Nate Sudfeld as your QB you’d have bragging rights over your buddies forever.

    • P_P_K

      Good problem to have, but no, not complete rest. Foles needs to get in synch with his O, and we don’t want guys rusty. Maybe play the starters for 2-3 quarters against Oakland and let them sit against Dallas.

  • eagleyankfan

    re-watched the game and count me as not as excited as everyone else. Foles did as a back up can only be asked to do(I guess). For a veteran – I expected a little better. The end of that game was a mess. Eagles were given a ‘mystery’ flag on that field goal. Given 15 yards – and puked on offense. Maybe Pederson got conservative to not turn the ball over? Game against the Giants will be interesting – will Foles be able to change the play at the line of scrimmage? (he didn’t this past game – but – reserving that judgment because he was a back up)
    …..
    Overall team play – I expected better. Holding penalties at key plays were killers.
    What was Darby doing on some of those plays – specifically – that last drive where the Rams scored – that guy was open by 15 yards.
    …..
    Always – always take a win – even if ugly – that game(defense wise) was ugly. Beat the Giants – Eagles have to run the ball and play better D. Now we hope – before we(as fans) were confident…sucks….

    • or____

      Pick your head up son. I don’t know what NY bull crap pinstripe worshiping hogwash you expect, but this is football, not fashion shows.

      • eagleyankfan

        reality vs. fantasy is hard for most fans…

        • or____

          Perhaps that’s it, and although i generally hate the Yankees and ny, i meant no disrespect to you.

          And this goes way beyond the birds and sports, but what confounds me about that truth you just spoke, is that we all get practice with reality, you know, like every day…

          • eagleyankfan

            some(maybe most) deny it – daily .. 🙂 (I wasn’t offended – your response was great)

    • Buge Halls

      I think for the most part, they were selling out against the run in fear of Gurley- whether justified or not!

    • kajomo

      Foles played 1 qtr in a very strange game. Don’t go off of that.

      This week he will have taken all the first team reps and will hit the field knowing he is the starter. Whether good or bad, this will be a better barometer than anything he did in the Rams game.

      • A_T_G

        This is true. Unfortunately, what happens on the field Sunday won’t answer our questions either. If he plays well we will wonder if it was just because of the Giants. If he plays poorly we will wonder if he just needs more time.

        In two months we will know.

        • sonofdman

          I plan on forming a definitive opinion based on the first pass Foles throws on Sunday and then let nothing change my mind after that. I’m practicing for if I ever get a sports talk tv or radio show.

    • xeynon

      The guy came in cold, with minimal reps, into a playoff type atmosphere, losing the game. That’s about as adverse a circumstance as a backup QB can face, and he got the job done. He didn’t make any spectacular plays, but he didn’t melt down in the face of a pass rush that was murdering the left side of our line on every play, he didn’t commit any huge mistakes, and he made a couple of huge throws that got us the points we needed to win the game and then iced the victory.

      I’d say if you expected him to come in and march the team up and down the field with ease your expectations were way too high.

    • Stephen E.

      “Eagles were given a ‘mystery’ flag on that field goal. Given 15 yards – and puked on offense.”
      Yeah, and the call didn’t change the outcome of the game. So?

      • sonofdman

        Not to mention that the flag was not actually a mystery (other than to the Fox announcer idiots) and was an actual penalty. It was a rule change that got a lot of attention last year that if a defensive player attempts to jump over the line to block a field goal they cannot land on the offensive lineman or it is a penalty. Aaron Donald tried to dive over Brandon Brooks and landed on top of Brooks. The penalty was the correct call.

      • DustyRyder71

        The extra series allowed them to kill more of the clock. It helped.

        But it was a penalty. Every bit as much as the flag the negated the TD Carson sacrificed his knee for was a penalty. So the point is moot.

  • GermanEagle

    Is it already clear when the #1 and #2 seed of the NFC will play in the divisional round on the 15/16 January?

    Or will we have to wait for the outcome of the NFC wildcard games to know the schedule?

    • or____

      I believe the later. Most important is for tv profits to be maximized. Second important is for other profits to be maximized. Somewhere along the way time zones probably factor in.

    • RobNE

      Have to wait. They also love to give the Pats the home sat night game.

  • izzylangfan

    The key is clearly not that Foles play as good as Wentz. That is not going to happen. However, I want to know if Foles has improved since the last time we saw him. Because if Foles can avoid throwing late down the middle type interceptions we can win with him. If not it will be painful.

    • xeynon

      He played well in limited action in KC last year. If I had to guess, I’d say that performance is more likely predictive of what he’ll do with us than his godawful stint with the Rams was, since it’s a similar offense with similarly talented skill players and the STL situation was not.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Good foles was the throw to agholor…bad foles was when he missed Jeffery on the long TD throw…obviously those throws are different…air yards and all LOL…he is not carson but he can win us some games…

      • xeynon

        They discussed that Jeffery throw on one of the film review posts I’ve read over the last few days – conclusion was that it was a miscommunication between Foles and Jeffery about how Alshon would finish the route and something you could put down to lack of chemistry between them.

        Still a problem obviously, but unlike a straight up bad throw, one that can be corrected with some reps over the next month.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Agreed…he overthrew him bad…but to be fair…it was like his first or 2nd series playing…its fixable…why I think we can get some wins and enjoy the holidays with great Eagles performances…

  • Forthebirds

    I think Eagles can win 2 of the last 3 with Foles, but I’m not optimistic about the playoffs, as much as I want to be. Carson made some amazing throws to keep us in the Rams game. I don’t see Foles making the kind of 3rd and long throws that Carson made to keep drives alive. I hoping I’m wrong and Foles plays at a high level and the coaches come up with game plans that adjust to his strengths. Sorry for the pessimism. The Eagles are still a very good team that’s overcome the loss of several key players, so I’m trying to keep hope alive, but it seems hard this morning.

    • xeynon

      Foles made a good throw on the 3rd and 8 to Agholor that basically iced the game. It wasn’t a mind-blowing wow play, but it was a pinpoint throw into a very tight window in a very high leverage situation. It was a professional QB throw. It’s also worth noting that while Wentz did keep us in the game, the team was losing when Foles came into the game for the first time. From that point on he quarterbacked them to the points they needed to win the game.

      Foles isn’t Carson, we all know that. But he’s not roadkill either. This is not the Raiders going into the playoffs with Connor Cook, or the Bengals with A.J. McCarron. We still have a competent professional QB. If the rest of the team steps up its game and doesn’t make the kind of mistakes that put us in the holes Carson had to dig us out of to begin with (dropped pass turned INT, blocked punt returned for TD, missed tackles turning a short Kupp reception into a 65 yard X play, etc.) we can still win with him.

      • sonofdman

        Interestingly enough, they were losing when Foles came into the game, but they were winning when Wentz exited the game.

        • xeynon

          Yeah I by no means intend to minimize Wentz’s contributions – he was amazing in that game and I think there’s very little chance we win it if Foles plays the entire game. But the fact of the matter is Foles did not come into a situation where all he had to do was protect what Carson had built – he needed to make some plays himself for the team to win the game, and he did.

          • sonofdman

            I agree, Foles played well (especially on the first FG drive and the final drive to take time off the clock) in a difficult situation. I just thought it was interesting that Wentz left the game with the Eagles winning and Foles entered the game with the Eagles losing.

          • Stephen E.

            That’s what happens when the defense poops the bed.

  • teltschikfakeout88

    the tale of the tape will be how we look on 3rd down conversions…more pressure to have positive plays on first and 2nd downs..more pressure to not have dumb penalties creating a greater chance of 3rd and long…need to consistently be in 3rd and manageable for Foles…yeah I know he made that 3rd and 8 plus throw to Agholor to seal the game…on offense…the big uglies need to step up their effort in the run game for both Blount and Ajayi…also need Blount to get some speed juice in his system and hit the holes faster…one thing we know is that no one will hit the holes harder…

    • xeynon

      You obviously want to stay out of 3rd and long as much as you can with any quarterback, but it is more imperative with Foles than it is with a guy like Wentz who can convert those situations at a high rate.

      One adjustment I’d expect them to make is fewer low success rate, high reward plays such as deep throws on first and second downs, and more of the quick outs, slants, and bubble screens designed to make sure they at least pick up a few more yards. They will have to be more methodical in manufacturing scoring drives than they were.

  • Bert’s Bells

    The Miller’s Crossing line alludes to a philosophic/law theory concept sometimes called the mystical source of authority.

  • Bert’s Bells

    I think we all just want to see Blount/Ajayi/Clement toting the ball 70% of the time until that’s not working.

    • Insomniac

      I want to believe this but Doug has been pass happy recently.

      • BlindChow

        Against the 27th-ranked run defense, too, last week. Ugh.

      • xeynon

        Doug’s offense puts up the most points in the league and people aren’t happy with the play calling. SMH.

        • or____

          Perhaps otherwise we’d be in contention for best record and #1 seed.

        • BlindChow

          *Wentz’s magic puts up the most points in the league.

          Any idiot coach can rely on a star QB to win them games every week. Good coaches spread that burden around when they can. Like, maybe when you have a guy averaging 12 ypc, you let him run the ball more?

          • sonofdman

            The Eagles spread the ball around more than any other team in the league other than maybe the Patriots. Doug has done a phenomenal job calling the offense. We run the ball a lot. Is Belichek an idiot coach because he relies on Brady to win games?

          • BlindChow

            71% passes to 29% runs called against the 27th-ranked run defense in the first half last week. Similar ratio in the first half of Dallas (before the OL told Doug he should maybe start running more).

            Well below league average.

            A good coach should only rely on a star QB when he has to, imo. When he has the opportunity to spread that burden around, he should take it. That’s what keeps a team balanced.

          • xeynon

            You need to look at first half run/pass ratios for other teams in the league also.

            Spoiler: they almost always pass way more than they run in the first half too. The “running late in the game with a lead making the percentages look more balanced” thing isn’t unique to the Eagles, and true run-first teams usually are so because they have crappy quarterbacks and have no choice.

            Teams with elite quarterbacks such as Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, etc. are all pass first offenses. The Eagles with Wentz are not unique in this regard. At all.

          • sonofdman

            I think it is ridiculous to complain about the play calling when they scored 37 points against a good defense and needed every one of them. The plays he was calling were working and we were moving down the field and scoring points. Would you rather have the team be more balanced in a given game, but score fewer points? It is absurd to argue what a good coach would do, when Doug’s coaching and play calling has the Eagles as the highest scoring team in the league with the best record in the league. The Eagles pass on 54.32% of the plays. That is very balanced. They are eighth in the league in run percentage and 27th in the league in pass percentage.

          • BlindChow

            Teams that are blowing out their opponent run out the clock in the 2nd half. It’s disingenuous to imply those numbers are representative of their pass-run ratio over the entire game.

          • sonofdman

            As xeynon pointed out, this is what all teams do, not just the Eagles. So let’s compare the Eagles pass percentage to teams with similar records:

            Minnesota 54.04% (6th run %; 27th pass %)
            Philadelphia 54.32% (7th run; 26th pass) (sorry for the mistake above)
            LA Rams 55.29% (9th run; 24th pass)
            New Orleans 56.11% (14th run; 19th pass)
            New England 59.24% (19th run; 14th pass)
            Pittsburgh 59.86% (22nd run; 11th pass)

            So New England, who most people would say has the best coach ever and who has blown out a lot of teams this season, is less balanced than we are. Belichek must be a terrible coach because he relies on his star QB to win games. Pittsburgh, who is also 11-2 and has maybe the best running back in the league, runs the ball significantly less than we do. So does New Orleans with Ingram and Kamara and the Rams with Todd Gurley.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            This is also a topic of discussion that Joe Banner had on the athletic… that teams that get the lead do so with the pass then milk clock with the run game… take Gurleys use as a runner and pass catcher later in the game… they went to a rb to grind… they also used him on higher percentage/the Long handoff effectively…

    • Sean E

      .. remember Smallwood? lol what happened to him..

      • Someguy77

        Last seen on the side of a Wawa milk carton . . .

  • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

    https://twitter.com/Jeff_McLane/status/940970421834387458

    Doug going all-in on the vote of confidence at QB. Right call.

    • xeynon

      What would be the point? If Foles goes down, they’re screwed. If Foles AND Sudfeld go down, they’re really really really really screwed.

      Bringing in an elite ST player like Braman to shore up that unit is actually a better use of Carson’s roster spot than signing a QB off the street.

      • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

        A different coach (or GM) signs a vet off the street and bumps Sudfeld off the depth chart. There’s this big focus on keeping the roster the same since training camp broke that I find really unusual. Less roster churn than we’re used to.

        • xeynon

          Doug seems to be following the AR playbook in this regard. I remember that season when McNabb and Detmer both got hurt, and everyone thought Reid would bring in a veteran QB off the street, but he rolled with A.J. Feeley instead. Seems like Pederson has the same philosophy about QB continuity.

        • D3FB

          You apparently don’t remember Chip Kelly/Gamble

    • Bert’s Bells

      QB3 wouldn’t even dress for gameday. Sudfeld’s been with the team all year so he knows the drills for running the scout team.

      Coaching a PS eligible QB up at the end of the season if a poor use of resources.

      If the worst happens to FOles they sign a street free agent (Kaepernick probably, he’s the only guy out there with the experience and talent to make any sense) and roll the dice.

      • Sean E

        RG3 makes way more sense than Kaepernick

        • Bert’s Bells

          Maybe. Maybe not. If you’re looking for playoff winner and a guy who can handle pressure there’s no contest.

          I’m sure they’d look at both.

      • Ark87

        Didn’t someone try to take Sudfeld off our practice squad so we had to promote him because we really like him? If I’m not making that up, it seems the future backup of Wentz is meant to be Sudfeld (who if it turns out he sucks I will be calling him Sudafed). If the plan is for him to be the long term back up, I don’t mind seeing what he’s got, as there is no one coming off the couch to save us out there. Just not enough time to get anyone to where they need to be imo, and even a vet to the nth degree like Romo has to get in shape and build chemistry.

        Wouldn’t hate them going out and getting someone, but they would have to do it right now before we need them.

        • Bert’s Bells

          Yeah. Someone did try to sign him from the practice squad.

          This FO has been calculatedly aggressive in building the best roster they can. If they think a free agent gives them a better chance to win than Sudfeld they’re gonna sign one.

  • GermanEagle

    Ideal path for Eagles to the Super Bowl in the playoffs is probably Panthers/Falcons and Vikings. Rams and Saints and Packers, teams who can score a lot of points, could put Eagles in a shootout. Close, defensive games vs Falcons, Panthers, and Vikings are more appealing.

    • xeynon

      Actually, the ideal is that the Lions somehow squeak into the playoffs, then win in the first round – they are the one team in the NFC playoff race I am confident we would smear even with Foles at QB.

      But assuming the rest of the field consists of some combination of the Vikings, Rams, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, or Seahawks (I think Green Bay is probably toast, even with Rodgers back), Panthers followed by Vikings is probably the easiest road we could realistically hope for.

      I place the Falcons in the same category as the Saints as a team with a veteran QB which, while I think they wouldn’t be as formidable in the cold at the Linc as they would be at home, could still put up points against our defense and give us a lot of trouble. I’d absolutely prefer to avoid the Rams and Seahawks if we can.

      • GermanEagle

        I’m totally with you trying to avoid Rams and Seahawks at all costs. I’d also put the Saints – our playoff nightmare – in the same category.

        • xeynon

          Weirdly I don’t fear the Saints as much this year as I have in the past. I think we match up pretty well with them. You can run the ball on their defense, and while their offense is balanced, its strengths are the running game and short passing, both things we do pretty well at stopping. I also think cold conditions in Philadelphia would adversely affect them. That’s not to say I think it would be an easy game but I don’t fear them the way I would the Rams or Seahawks (or if Green Bay some how pulls it off the Packers with Rodgers).

          • GermanEagle

            My most preferred teams to face in the playoffs – in particular order:

            1. Lions
            2. Cowboys
            3. Panthers

            4. Falcons
            5. Vikings
            6. Packers

            7. Seahawks
            8. Saints
            9. Rams

          • xeynon

            Mostly agree though I would rank the Saints higher (probably 5th after your first three + the Vikings) and the Packers, Seahawks, and Falcons lower.

          • GermanEagle

            I don’t want to get into a shootout with Brees!

          • xeynon

            I’m not too worried about that.. Brees isn’t what he used to be. Still a very smart veteran QB who can beat you, but his arm strength has declined. That team wins primarily with the running game at this point.

          • BlindChow

            We thought we were good at stopping the run before playing the Rams, too. Gurley averaged 7.4 ypc.

            And Goff is no Brees.

          • Tom33

            If Curry remembered how to set the edge instead of collapsing down the line I’m not sure the Rams would have had that much success on the ground.

            I think he had so many TFL’s early in the year he forgot his primary job against the run.

          • xeynon

            Every team has a bad game from time to time. I’ll take the season-long body of work over the single game poor result. Besides, even in the Rams game, when we needed to shut down the run at the end of the game, we did.

            It’s true that Goff is no Brees, but at this point in his career, Brees is no Brees either. This isn’t the same guy who won the Super Bowl, or even who beat us in the playoffs in Chip’s first year. He’s still a smart, capable veteran quarterback, but he doesn’t have the arm strength he used to.

    • Will Ft. The Roots

      Seagulls, Panthers, Packers, Saints, Falcons, Vikes, Rams…

      All these scenarios look like a mess.

      • GermanEagle

        Negadelphian!

    • Tom33

      Teams with mobile QB’s that can negate the pass rush and expose the secondary for what it is are what concern me. So Seahawks, Panthers and maybe the Packers (depending on how Rodgers looks) are the teams it would be nice to avoid.

      Everyone else will just depend on if the offense can score 20 points or so with Foles at the helm.

      • Ark87

        I think we’ve got Cam’s number.

  • Insomniac

    http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/161637/eagles-once-nixed-nick-foles-josh-gordon-trade

    I’m so confused here. Chip would have never put up with Gordon even if he was a monster getting ready to enter his prime.

    • ChoTime

      Thus, “nixed”?

  • Frencheaglesfan

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1i5_F1BKvs

    Special Footage of Foles Pederson and Wentz (and jake elliot as the baby) having a little catch up after Wentz operation.

  • GermanEagle

    OT:

    I decided to watch the Eagles game in Buffalo Billiards last Sunday. I must say the atmosphere was lame and the crowd was even worse. Most guys seemed to hate Doug P. and were complaining about him not running the ball enough.

    And when I told them about Wentz’ possible ACL tear they just laughed it off because obviously Carson was walking on his own.

    What a bunch of dickheads.

    Sorry to share this experience with you.

    • or____

      Sorry dude, I tried to warn you.

      Seriously – here’s the list of sports bar experiences available in Philadelphia that match what you’re looking for:

      • or____

        No, that wasn’t an error. I tried several lines of blank space, but that’s what disquss reverts to.

        You want the out-of-town Eagles bar experience, in-town.

        Places in Philly with good beer usually don’t have good sports watching/tv set-ups. Places with those tend to have crappy beer and non-serious fans there – if any. And they tend to be trashy places like where you went.

        Good Eagles fans – in town – watch at home, at friends houses, or at the Linc.

        I think you’re chasing a unicorn.

        Now, the suburbs are possibly a different thing.

  • unhinged

    This whole season I’ve been speculating to myself about what (or who) is most responsible for the turnaround displayed by the Eagles. Not beating themselves, check…mental toughness, check…focused, check…playing relaxed, check. Did this about face coincide with Wentz’s improvement, or was it triggered by Wentz’s field presence, or is it really more a consequence of Doug Pederson’s coaching methods? Obviously this is impossible to parse, but I think the play of the team from here on out may possibly offer some insight. A sound thrashing of NY would be a great exhibit A.

    • ChoTime

      Me too, it should be interesting to see what happens. I actually have no idea.

  • sonofdman

    From Kempski, this seems highly relevant, especially the section dealing with the criticism of Doug for not running the ball more against the Rams:

    http://www.phillyvoice.com/morons-are-blaming-doug-pederson-carson-wentzs-injury/

    From the article:

    “Secondly, and more importantly, hang in there with me here… THROWING IT WAS WORKING!!! The Eagles had 29 first downs, a big number. How big? Well, only six teams have had more than 29 first downs in a single game this season. They also controlled the clock for almost 40 minutes, keeping the Rams’ potent offense off the field. Oh, and Wentz also threw for four TD passes and had a 100-plus QB rating when he left the game.

    How dare Doug utilize his MVP candidate quarterback, who had his ‘A game,’ in a matchup with enormous NFC playoff implications!”

    • BlindChow
      • sonofdman

        If Doug is not a good coach and he is only successful because Carson Wentz does something, than why would you advocate for running the ball more? That would rely more on Doug’s play calling and players who aren’t as good as Wentz instead of relying on their best player, who apparently has been bailing out Doug’s terrible play calls all season.

        • BlindChow

          All I’ve said is relying on Wentz to work his magic every other play doesn’t automatically make Doug a great coach. I mean, any of us could probably win games with that strategy.

          • xeynon

            Which would be a valid criticism if that was what Doug did, but it’s not.

          • BC1968

            Lol agreed there. It’s a valid criticism of me if I ran a team that way. It’s a helluva good criticism when factual.

          • Ark87

            I’m sort of in the middle. Doug has really shined in the red zone imo. But getting down the field, he is a bit oldschool in his approach where 1st and 2nd down are for setting up a manageable 3rd downs. Definitely seems like the whole thing wouldn’t work without Carson Wentz black magic on 3rd down along with a willingness to go for it on 4th down on a long section of the field (which credit goes to Doug, he’s got the short yardage thing down to a science and it takes guts to put yourself on the line to go for it).

            If we don’t get more productive on 1st and 2nd down, and without Wentz to evade those sure drive killing sacks…there will inevitably be more punts. Defense needs to step up big time.

            I would say both player and coach were synergizing nicely with each other. Hard to get results like these if they weren’t.

          • xeynon

            I think we’ll see a few less of those sacks because I expect them to get the ball out quicker with Foles than they did with Wentz, since Foles doesn’t have the same ability to buy time with his legs. This will minimize the opportunity for big plays that Wentz often converts on, and our offense will have to be more methodical, but I think we might actually give up fewer sacks.

      • xeynon

        Sorry, but Kempski is right. This is a stupid criticism.

        Firstly, McCarthy is generally criticized for being a bad game manager/misusing timeouts/etc., not for his play design or overdependence on Rodgers improvisation. The Packers actually run a pretty structured offense.

        Secondly, listen to anybody who breaks down NFL film for a living and they’ll happily talk about the intricacies of the Reid/Pederson KC offense, the concepts built into it which create mismatches, etc. People who know what they’re talking about recognize that the Eagles’ offense is not just “Carson Wentz does stuff”, just as the Packers’ isn’t just “Aaron Rodgers does stuff”.

        Thirdly, every team in the league that has an elite quarterback throws the ball a lot. If you have an elite quarterback and you’re not throwing the ball a lot, you’re dumb. That’s like a basketball team with Lebron James only using him to set picks, or a baseball team with Giancarlo Stanton only using him as a pinch runner. When you have an elite player in any sport you want to put him in a position to make plays as much as you can.

        • Ark87

          It goes beyond Reid and Doug. Belichick is notorious at identifying a look he likes and doing it to the point of being obnoxious. In the same season they will have games when they run it an absurd amount and then a few weeks later throw it an absurd amount. He see’s the thing he likes and exploits it until someone shuts it down.

          • xeynon

            Doug does that too though. He has at times this season come out and run the ball relentlessly (see San Diego, first Giants game, second half of Dallas game). When the defense is giving it to him, he takes it.

            I’m just saying that on balance, a good coach who has a great QB is going to throw the ball more often than not over the course of a season. Belichick and Pederson both do this.

  • xeynon

    For those interested in a deep dive into the technical aspects of the game that don’t usually get talked about in the regular media (and never get talked about on the TV broadcasts), BGN Radio’s “Next Level” podcast is really good. They have Tra Thomas on this week breaking down Big V’s development as a pass blocker.. really interesting stuff.

  • Someguy77

    For all of the overkill analysis on Foles this past week, he is almost irrelevant. He isn’t going to win/lose the Eagles a Super Bowl. Capable QB who I see being able to put up some points with this offensive personnel but not good enough to win a game/makes plays on 3rd down like Wentz.

    This defense isn’t an elite unit either like the ’86 Giants, ’00 Ravens, ’02 Bucs, and ’16 Broncos.

    It is a good/very good group that has struggled the last 2 weeks.

    This team will go as far in the playoffs as the DL takes them. It is where they have invested a lion’s share of their payroll and a lot of attention including last offseason yet again.

    At times, this season I honestly would compare this DL to Gang Green in its heyday before Brown passed away. If they play like that in the playoffs, it is good enough to carry them to a Super Bowl victory.

    If they play like they did the past 2 weeks, they are one and done in the playoffs and will lose in the divisional round.

    • xeynon

      While I agree with you that Foles is neither a huge positive nor a huge negative, and isn’t likely to be what wins or loses them the SB, I disagree that he’s irrelevant.

      He’s proven that he can give a team competent, capable QB play, and move the ball and put up enough points against playoff caliber defenses to win games. The difference is that he can’t bail you out by doing more than that. With Carson in there, the rest of the team could afford to get sloppy – Lane or Big V could commit a holding penalty, Nelson could bobble a pass into an interception, Curry could miss a tackle or lose gap discipline on a run, the punt unit could give up a return TD, or Bradham could drop a gift interception on the goal line, and Carson could be counted on to make a spectacular play to escape the resulting adverse situation as often as not. With Foles in there, we can’t afford to commit dumb penalties, turn the ball over, blow assignments, or fail to capitalize on turnover opportunities. We need the rest of the team to be razor sharp. If they are are, Foles is good enough to win with. But if they’re not, those mistakes are going to be fatal instead of just footnotes in the box scores of games we went on to win anyway because our QB played out of his mind.

  • Someguy77

    Can we also see Blount largely riding the bench?

    His production has really started to slide as the season has wore on, he stinks in pass protection, and isn’t a receiving threat.

    This offense can’t afford many plays on 1st/2nd down where they get minimal/no gains and that has been happening too much when Blount carries the ball lately.

    If the Eagles need him in spots (short yardage, goal line), then use him but I would like to see him get 5 carries or less the rest of the way unless they get a decent lead & want to use Blount a bit more especially in the 2nd half.

    Not that I necessarily want to see Ajayi getting 20+ carries either. I would use Clement a bit more vs Blount. Better fit right now including in pass protection (best of the 3) and as a receiving threat.

    • daveH

      I’ve always wanted wished Blount ran thru peeps and dished out more pain. .. but he isn’t quite that guy

    • BlindChow

      I like that when they were fighting for the game on Sunday, Doug finally stuck with Ajayi. I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come.

      I get wanting to ease Ajayi into the rotation and not wanting to step on the other guys’ toes, but it’s playoff time. Dude was averaging 9 ypc by the time Foles came in. Blount was averaging 1.7 (both had 7 carries). Wins should come first.

      • BC1968

        Still, it seems both teams should’ve ran their backs more. Ours being Ajayi, and of course we know their guy.

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    Reading coaches comments on Jones it sounds like if he looks the goods the next 3 weeks they could activate him. Didnt get the feeling they have already ruled him out.

  • Someguy77

    Surprised there hasn’t been a bit more criticism of Schwartz the past 2 weeks.

    In his press conference this week, even he admitted the adjustments he made during the game and at half-time didn’t work. He didn’t say he got outcoached but if you didn’t have to infer that much to imply he knows he did.

    Crazy as it sounds, I have a lot more confidence in Pederson/Reich right now in creating a game plan and especially making successful in-game adjustments than I do Scwhartz.

    • Guy Media

      I can’t blame Schwartz too much for the f-headed plays vs. Wilson; happens to a lot of teams over the years.

      Last week was a horror show. The Rams are about 35 minutes removed from being a complete shit show of a team and I didn’t care for having to sweat out a victory, Wentz injury be damned, to a team full of Johnny come lately types.

      So if they don’t dominate both the Giants and Raiders in locking up home field; Schwartz will be up for some increasing criticism for sure.

      • ChoTime

        “Last week was a horror show.”

        And not in a good way.

        “horrorshow: good, well, wonderful, excellent”

        https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:A_Clockwork_Orange#H

        • Guy Media

          No the definition I would have gone with, but………I must be missing something in the joke dept here.

          • ChoTime

            Have you ever ready “A Clockwork Orange,” or at least seen the Stanley Kubrick movie? The author created a whole new future slang for the book. Very cool (although a disturbing movie for sure).

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Wentz’s recovery is taking forever. Isn’t he back yet?

    • daveH

      Feels likes IT’S been FOREVER! !

      • Ark87

        He’s milking it. God I just remembered how much of a dick Chip Kelly was to injured players

    • BC1968

      Meanwhile here comes Mr. Rodgers. Remember how we felt everything was falling our way this year? Not so much cheering his injury, but praying for a semi-speedy recovery for next year.

      • xeynon

        I’m not sure why people are so worried about Aaron Rodgers. Yes, he could make the Packers formidable if we have to play them in the playoffs, but the chances of that are low.

        They would have to win out against a very tough schedule (all three of their remaining opponents are potential playoff teams, and two of the games are on the road), AND get help from other teams which hold tiebreakers over them, AND then win a very difficult road playoff game, likely in Seattle, LA, or New Orleans. I’d guess the likelihood of all that falling their way is small, maybe less than 10%.

        Even if it does, they’re only in the middle as far as teams I worry about. I’d be much more concerned about playing Seattle or LA. While Rodgers is great, the Packers’ defense is sieve-like and we would be able to score on them.

        • BC1968

          It’s just another thing to think about. Wilson did it by himself to us.

  • Julescat

    Redskins have tickets available for less than $5 for this week’s game

    I thought they had some great fanbase?

    • Tumtum

      Most transient city in the world? What fan base?

    • xeynon

      They’re a bad, depressing team playing another bad, depressing team in an outdoor stadium that’s a notoriously unpleasant venue to get in and out of and doesn’t offer fun distractions like tailgating, in a game with no playoff implications, in what will likely be freezing cold weather, in December when there are other things to do.

      I really don’t blame fans for not wanting to go to that. My company has luxury box seats and while I hate the Redskins, I wouldn’t go for for free even if I was a fan, especially knowing that I was giving Dan Snyder money by doing so.

      • BC1968

        Hopefully a lesson learned for us about making a young QB play when he’s not ready. You can get away with that with a veteran, McNabb, Rodgers, a young guy could, and his case, would fall apart.

        • xeynon

          As I’ve said elsewhere, they’re very different situations.. RG3 was a true running QB who relied on mobility far more than Wentz does and whose style of play placed more stress on his knees, he got injured later in the season, and the injury was more severe and required a more complicated rehab. I’m not too worried about the Eagles repeating that scenario, but yeah they shouldn’t rush him back before he’s physically healthy.

  • BC1968

    Come on Nick, remember what Vince Lombardi said, “Lose and you’re out of the family!”