Big Boy Football

Posted: January 17th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 115 Comments »

Doug Pederson is one of those coaches who knows what he wants. Pederson likes big WRs. He likes big OL. And he likes big RBs. Speed is good. Size is better.

There are times when an offense must be able to line up and get the better of the defense across from them. It can’t always be scheme, deception or perfect plays. Sometimes it must be about physicality and toughness. That is especially true in January.

The Eagles ran 63 plays on Saturday night. RBs had 33 touches. There were another handful of plays that were RPOs where Nick Foles threw the ball instead of handing it off. Pederson wanted his RBs to be the key to the offense. You want them running/catching when the weather is cold and nasty.

There is the added bonus that feeding the ball to the RBs allows the O-line to be tough and physical. Just watch this.

That is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Forget about the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s 9th and The Young Widower’s Handbook. You want real art…look at those blocks. That’s the apex of modern civilization.

And there’s more.

Andy Reid used to love big OL. The problem is that so often he didn’t let them go beat up on the defense. They were retreating in pass protection far too much. Pederson has his Big Sexies up front and lets them go mash on the defense. The Eagles finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing. They led the league in time of possession. Pederson isn’t afraid to feed his runners and let the O-line beat up on the guys across from them.

That kind of toughness and physicality can be infectious.

Pederson wanted a big, tough, physical team and that’s what he’s got. This group can win ugly. They can methodically move the ball down the field. The defense can stifle opponents. It isn’t always the prettiest football, but it is a winning formula in January.

If the Eagles are going to win on Sunday, they need the offensive line to play well. They need the Big Sexies to control the line of scrimmage and give Foles and the runners a chance to succeed.

The good news is that the Eagles have the players to pull this off.

Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are All-Pros this year.

Brandon Brooks was voted to the Pro Bowl.

Stefen Wisniewski started 11 games at LG and solidified that spot. He’s got 94 career starts and is a smart, athletic blocker.

Halapouivaati Vaitai is the weak link, but context is important there. The rest of the line is really good. Including last week, Vaitai has now started 11 games this year. His pass blocking is erratic. His run blocking has come a long way. There are times when Big V is an outstanding run blocker. The Eagles will give him some help when dealing with Everson Griffen, but Vaitai has proven to be an effective LT.

It sounds like the weather is going to be reasonable on Sunday, but the OL is still going to be huge in that game. The Eagles must be able to run the ball and throw when they want to. If the run game is ineffective and Nick Foles has to throw early and often, the Eagles could be in for a long day.

If the guys up front do their job, the Eagles will move the ball enough for the offense to have some success. With the Eagles defense playing lights out, it won’t take a lot of points or yards to win the game.

Style points don’t matter. Winning ugly can be a beautiful thing.


115 Comments on “Big Boy Football”

  1. 1 Buge Halls said at 3:53 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Wiz (I think) with three blocks on three different men on that screen! Glad the zebras didn’t catch that block in the back before Nick threw the ball

  2. 2 D3FB said at 5:51 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Throw by isn’t a block in the back.

  3. 3 scratcherk said at 6:24 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    That clip of kelce, why isn’t it a crack back block

  4. 4 D3FB said at 6:31 PM on January 17th, 2018:


    An offensive player cannot initiate contact on the side and below the waist against an opponent if:

    the blocker is moving toward his own end line; and

    he approaches the opponent from behind or from the side.

    Note: If the near shoulder of the blocker contacts the front of his opponent’s body, the “peel back” block is legal.

  5. 5 daveH said at 6:36 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    You win !! I saw the same block and was fearful of it

  6. 6 D3FB said at 6:47 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    If you eliminated “rat killer” blocks you’d fuck up 80% of RB screens

  7. 7 Guy Media said at 6:55 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    “rat killer?’ Who is doing the blocking, John Gotti?

  8. 8 D3FB said at 6:58 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    The DL who sniffs out the screen is the rat. It is the great honor of the OL who gets to crack back to do his duty and kill the rat.

  9. 9 xeynon said at 7:01 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    As a former OT I used to love making these kinds of blocks. Great chance to de-cleat that guy who’d been pissing me off all game..

  10. 10 Buge Halls said at 10:07 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    Hands pushing on the back and throwing him to the ground is a block in the back

  11. 11 D3FB said at 7:16 PM on January 18th, 2018:

    You can’t block in the back if you are engaged with a player.


    Blocks an opponent (from behind) in the back above the opponent’s waist,
    or uses his hands or arms to push an opponent from behind in a manner
    that affects his movement, except in close-line play.

  12. 12 Green Goblin Swag said at 6:34 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    And he’s just our backup!!!

  13. 13 Bert's Bells said at 4:03 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Don’t know if this is accurate: Collingsworth pointed out a tell of Foles. If he has two hands on the ball: it’s rpo, one hand play action.

  14. 14 xeynon said at 4:22 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Don’t think this matters, to be honest. The two play types run off of different approaches to defeating a defense so it doesn’t matter if they are distinguishable from each other.

    Play action plays are passing plays designed to look like conventional running plays at the outset. The point is to fool the defender into thinking the play is a run and forcing him up to stuff it. As long as the QB’s play action looks similar to his normal handoff motion on a standard running play, the deception element can succeed – it doesn’t really matter if it looks anything like an RPO.

    RPOs aren’t designed to deceive the defender so much as to force him into an impossible dilemma. He can know it’s an RPO, but the beauty of the concept is that no matter what he chooses to do in response, as long as the QB makes the proper read he chooses wrong. If he steps up to counter the threat of the handoff, the QB pulls the ball out and throws over the top of him to a now uncovered receiver. If he stays with his coverage assignment, the QB hands the ball off and the blockers have a manpower advantage on the defenders at the LOS. Deception isn’t really what makes the play successful, optionality is.

  15. 15 Bert's Bells said at 5:12 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Yeah, I’m not sure it matters much either. But maybe it narrows the play possibilities. Dunno. Thought it was an interesting read.

  16. 16 D3FB said at 5:51 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    By the time an LB could key that (and it would be hard to see through traffic enough to tell 1 hand vs 2) the mesh has already occured, and they’ve moved enough to open up the throwing lane, or its a run and they haven’t moved.

    The LB is reading the OL and peeking for a slant if he thinks it’s RPO.

  17. 17 scratcherk said at 6:23 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I know you were down on their chances for a win last week, what you thinking about how they matchup this week?

  18. 18 D3FB said at 6:30 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I had mentally prepared myself to accept victory for a month. You can’t hurt me if i’ve already hurt myself, not this time eagles. And then as I was pacing manically before the last play I texted my friends “I’ve mentally acccepted this for a month, but this is going to hurt so bad when they lose”.

    They should be underdogs this week. I wouldn’t bet on them, but fuck it I’m willing to love again and inevitably get my heart stomped on.

  19. 19 SteveH said at 6:56 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    It’s our way. Outsiders can’t understand it, but we wouldn’t be Eagles fans if we didn’t allow them back into our hearts one last time, only to rip them out, still beating and gushing blood.

  20. 20 scratcherk said at 7:00 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    its all gravy at this point

  21. 21 xeynon said at 7:05 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I feel the same.

    Win or lose, this is already perhaps my favorite Eagles team of all time. They have shown a tremendous amount of heart, intelligence, and character fighting through so much injury adversity and adjusting their style of play to fit changing personnel.

    And while nothing is certain, there’s turnover every year, “not for long”, yada yada yada, we have 20 of 22 starters under contract for next season and will be adding an MVP-caliber quarterback to a team that’s made the NFC Championship game with an average (at best) one this season and will now have deep postseason experience under its belt.

    There’s a ton to be excited about.

  22. 22 P_P_K said at 8:30 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I’m lovin’ this team.

  23. 23 Guy Media said at 7:08 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I’m not there yet, I want Sunday to be a win. If they’re facing the Patriots in the Super Bowl I’ll to gravy mode. I look at Sunday as the game is in our place and if they can win with a backup QB, why can’t we?

  24. 24 P_P_K said at 8:29 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Such is the frisk of all who dare love.

  25. 25 daveH said at 6:33 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Yes but not known if rpo pass or run. .he explained that Foles .was approx 50% where CW was 30%

  26. 26 Green Goblin Swag said at 6:33 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    If a pro couldn’t figure that out by scouting one game than they shouldn’t be scouting

  27. 27 Bert's Bells said at 6:53 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Not about “figuring it out”, it’s about FOles’ tendencies.

  28. 28 Green Goblin Swag said at 8:03 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I think its a cool tip for fans. Like Brady not stepping into throws to the RB when throwing to his right

  29. 29 Bert's Bells said at 10:34 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    Yeah, sort of what I was thinking.
    Also: nice handle.

  30. 30 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:54 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    What? So you’re saying that if he has one hand on the ball it might be a regular handoff and running play OR it could be play action. Alternatively, if its 2 hands its an RPO. So, what does that tell you?

  31. 31 Jamie Parker said at 8:19 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Sounds like the same thing to me. But if the LB is hesitating so he could see if he has 1 or both hands on the ball, then we’ve already won that particular play.

  32. 32 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:31 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    My point. 1 or 2 hands, reveals nothing. In either case back 7 need to stay disciplined or they can get burned.

  33. 33 Jamie Parker said at 8:33 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    That’s why I said it sounds like the same thing to me. Just agreeing with you.

  34. 34 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:37 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Got that. Didn’t mean to sound snarky if it did. Collinsworth insight doesn’t reveal a tell, just 2 variations on the same options.

    And honestly, if the DBs are watching Foles’ hands, Foles & the WRs should have a field day burning them with mid-range passes.

  35. 35 RobNE said at 9:58 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    another tell is when he drops back he throws or hands off.

  36. 36 Dragon_Eagle said at 10:00 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Shhhh. Belichick & Zimmer are probably reading and taking notes.

  37. 37 RobNE said at 10:01 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    someone tell Gary Barnes he wrote a whole god darn defensive game plan up above for the Vikings.

  38. 38 sonofdman said at 12:16 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    That is not a tell in the classic sense of the defender being able to tell what is going to happen on a play. That was a way for the viewer to know the difference between classic play action or RPO.

  39. 39 CrackSammich said at 7:17 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    Or one hand = actual hand-off.

    The defenders also don’t which player is the read on the RPO, so not as if the MLB just *knows* it was him. Sometimes it’s the safety. on the classic read option, it’s the DE. On the read stick it’s one of the LBs. I’m fairly certain there’s been plays where they’ve read the DT.

  40. 40 xeynon said at 4:06 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    The league has become so QB-centric in recent years that pundits have started to forget just how important being strong in the trenches is.

    The Eagles have a top 5 OL – Kelce, Brooks, and Johnson are All-Pro level players, Wisniewski is an above average starter, and Vaitai, even as the weak link, has improved to the point where he would start for many teams. This group is good enough to cover up for a lot of deficiencies elsewhere as they can pound a defense into submission and give a QB a lot of time to throw. Those three long drives in the second half against the Falcons were all down to the work of the guys up front wearing down the Falcons defenders.

    The Eagles have a top 5 DL – Cox and Jernigan are as good a pair of DTs as there is in the league being able to both collapse the pocket and stone the inside running game. Graham and Curry are solid well-rounded DEs and the depth is outstanding.

    Wentz was great this year, there’s no question, but I think people were so dazzled by his performance that the the fact that this team is really strong at other critical positions as well has been overlooked.

  41. 41 Gary Barnes said at 6:52 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Exactly, it is the Philadelphia Eagles, not Philadelphia Wentzes

    Winning the SB with a backup in Foles would be sweet vindication for the idiotic QB-driven marketing ploy NFL

  42. 42 Nailed It! said at 4:32 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Oh god now Brady has a hand injury and is limited so now all the football world will talk about is how this could be the reason the Pats could lose ad nauseum only to have Brady sling it for like 500 yds and 4 tds… Just kill me

    Kinda like Jordans flu game.

  43. 43 Green Goblin Swag said at 6:29 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    He’s holding out until he gets named “Patriot of the week”

  44. 44 RobNE said at 9:57 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    no way I remember someone here already won it this week.

  45. 45 Green Goblin Swag said at 10:20 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    /playoff controversy

    Will it be a distraction… Find out on Sunday

  46. 46 daveH said at 6:30 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    My response the rest of my life will be “unlucky. Injury is what i hate about the sport the most. The refs next. And non-guaranteed moola to the players.3rd”

    .. much like us losing Peters, I’m still not over it ..

  47. 47 Stephen E. said at 11:07 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    No problem, they have a good backup in Garoppalo… oops.


  48. 48 xeynon said at 4:41 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Watching those Fran Duffy breakdowns of the Eagles’ running and screen games is like porn for people who love offensive line play.

  49. 49 Reservedly Optimistic said at 5:19 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    What was a little disappointing, and ended up making the last Falcons drive nail biting, was the lack of being able to run in the Red Zone. I know everything in the Red Zone is more difficult offensively, it would have been nice to finish off the Falcons with TDs not FGs. That might have stole their heart from them.

  50. 50 jshort said at 5:46 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    They would have been cooked on that drive but for that fake injury. That defense was gassed at that point.

  51. 51 scratcherk said at 6:20 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    The fake injuries drive me nuts. I think Zimmer is too much of a gentleman for it…

  52. 52 xeynon said at 6:56 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    If Zimmer wants to waste his timeouts having guys fake injuries, he can have at it.

  53. 53 FairOaks said at 7:57 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    That is a way of saving timeouts. There is only a forced timeout used when an injury happens in the last two minutes of a half. Outside of that, it’s basically a free stoppage.

  54. 54 xeynon said at 8:18 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Yeah but the end of the half/game is when this is most likely to be an issue.

  55. 55 FairOaks said at 10:42 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Sure. Not the one in the Falcons game though, nor in most of the Chip-induced ones.

  56. 56 Guy Media said at 7:02 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    The new rule needs to be; injury on field stopping play = you sit until the next series. “Player safety” issue.

  57. 57 ColorSgt said at 10:12 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Used to be that if you left the field, you were out until halftime. If it was past halftime, you were out. So I have no problem with that rulw change.

  58. 58 CrackSammich said at 7:13 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    Yeah, until the backup DT “goes down” after getting stuck in the no huddle.

  59. 59 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:57 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Yeah, but our Traci Lords of the OL, aka Jason Peters, is no where to be seen these days. 🙁

  60. 60 Someguy77 said at 8:35 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Jason Peters is really developed 15-year old?

  61. 61 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:38 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    1st ballot Hall of Fame.

  62. 62 P_P_K said at 8:44 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Jason or Traci?

  63. 63 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:46 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Both. Same person really. Can’t tell them apart myself.

  64. 64 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:49 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    BTW, m y Xmas gift below, Favorite player on this team.

  65. 65 xeynon said at 9:48 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Lane is just as good as JP at this point, and Brooks, Kelce, and Wisniewski are fun to watch crushing DBs and undersized LBs in space. Even Vaitai has gotten to the point where he can dominate at times and be fun to watch – he absolutely mauled the defensive end on one of those big Ajayi runs.

    Still some pretty good action goin’ on, in other words.

  66. 66 Green Goblin Swag said at 8:04 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Thats what Wentz probably does lmao

  67. 67 kajomo said at 8:24 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Brandon Brooks is my favorite pornstar.

  68. 68 xeynon said at 9:45 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Which of the five has the best porn star name/nickname?

    Lane Johnson is of course pretty good, but Big V is right up there too.

  69. 69 kajomo said at 9:50 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Jason Peters sounds like a porn name too.

    On defense Chris Long and Fletcher Cox are strong candidates.

  70. 70 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:55 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Smallwood wins

  71. 71 xeynon said at 9:59 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    This was meant to be linemen only, but whatever floats your boat, I guess. 🙂

  72. 72 HawaiianEagle said at 12:40 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    Felcher Cox

  73. 73 CrackSammich said at 7:12 AM on January 18th, 2018:


  74. 74 P_P_K said at 8:27 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Like Tommy said, “Speed is good. Size is better.”

  75. 75 Smoky said at 11:42 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    As a former lineman, have you spent any time thinking about where Lane should go next year (if JP isn’t back)? Conventional wisdom would be to the left, but my impression is that the best rushers come from the right these days. Also, I imagine that its better for big V to stick with a spot. So, keep Lane as RT?

  76. 76 xeynon said at 9:33 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    My guess is they keep them where they are. Lane has settled in at RT and has great chemistry with Brooks, which is really important, and at this point there’s not much difference between LT and RT as far as pass pro responsibilities go. As for Big V, he has improved the more he’s had a chance to play, and I think he has the talent to be a solid starting LT – most of the issues he’s had this year have resulted from inexperience and/or sloppy technique which are both things that can be corrected. JP will get the job back if he’s healthy, and they should draft a guy as competition if he’s not, but if Vaitai is the opening day starter next September I think we’ll be okay.

    Caveat: I didn’t play anywhere close to the level of competition of the NFL, so there might be something I’m missing.

  77. 77 Guy Media said at 6:20 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    “It sounds like the weather is going to be reasonable on Sunday, but the OL is still going to be huge in that game. The Eagles must be able to run the ball and throw when they want to. If the run game is ineffective and Nick Foles has to throw early and often, the Eagles could be in for a long day.”

    Considering the Vikings on got Brees twice for 16 yards, and especially in their own building, portends well for the Eagles blocking well on Sunday.

  78. 78 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:00 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Ah, no. Brees is a vet. He’s seen his share of really good defense. He can see it coming and knows what to do.

    Its one of the main advantage of having a quality vet.

  79. 79 daveH said at 6:27 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    On that long drive ther was an RPO that Nick held onto instead of handout to Ajayi and it was all open space …still was a sweet pass, think it went for a first down to Smith, but to see Ajai take one 20 or 30 is sooooo goood. if we can catch on one of those it is a backbreaker

  80. 80 kajomo said at 8:23 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Foles is looking at what is available for Ajayi. He’s reading what is available in the passing game. If it’s open he hits it. If not he hands the ball off. That’s the way it’s drawn up.

  81. 81 daveH said at 8:50 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Think it was a 2nd down .. and not saying he made the wrong call because he makes it earlier and from the different perspective .and Because he is awesome (wish he would grow his hair long again).. but hoping they see on the film study that they may have an additional opportunity

  82. 82 Gary Barnes said at 6:41 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    If I’m Zimmer, I’d play cover 1 shell with Harrison Smith in the box to help with the run and/or blitzes and focus the coverage on clogging up the middle and extending out to roughly 15 yards.

    Foles’ average yards per pass vs the Falcons was 5.2 and the majority of the play calls were runs or those short routes (less than 15 yards). Foles threw 3 passes past that distance, completing none and coming close to INT in at least one case. For the season, Foles tried 21 passes over 15 yards. He completed 4 of them with one INT and 0 TD.

    I’d dare Pederson & Foles to beat me deep and try to force them to abandon the run game so their preferred RPO playbook breaks down. Put the game in Foles’ hands. It would be easier to do this if the Vikings can build a lead of 7-10 points which is why turnovers, penalties and field position are so critical.

    If the Eagles get buried in their end of the field like they did at times vs the Falcons, it will be very difficult to grind out long drives to get points against this stifling defense. Likewise, if the offense or ST give away the ball like they did vs the Falcons and MN gets a lead, it may get ugly. I know MN blew a big lead last week, but the Eagles offense is not at the level of the Saints and Sendejo likely will play for the Vikings (he went out vs the Saints in the 3rd quarter and they took advantage).

    Pederson, Fipp and Schwartz need to preach clean football – the difference between these teams is razor thin so the better performer in penalties, turnovers, TOP and field position will likely win. If we could get points from the defense or ST, that would be HUGE.

  83. 83 Guy Media said at 6:43 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Sounds like another big gainer to Torrey Smith to open up the game!

  84. 84 Gary Barnes said at 6:48 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Agholor would be my choice, but yes it could be a nice first punch

  85. 85 Guy Media said at 6:50 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    It worked well last week, so why not go it again?

  86. 86 xeynon said at 6:57 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    They will definitely go deep to Torrey at least once, especially given that Waynes will likely be covering him and is the weaker of the Vikings’ two CBs.

  87. 87 ColorSgt said at 9:56 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I’ve been down on Smith this season, for good reason. But the PI he forced was really good, smart, veteran football.

  88. 88 Jamie Parker said at 8:28 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    He was wide open on that play too.

  89. 89 Masked Man said at 11:36 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Counting on Torrey for another “Immaculate Knee-Ception” too!

  90. 90 ChoTime said at 6:47 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I don’t think Foles is going to need to drop 40 yard dimes to move the ball. If the Eagles have to rely on RPOs and checkdowns, that could be enough, assuming the defense makes some plays.

  91. 91 Gary Barnes said at 7:00 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    If they shrink the space to 10-15 yards and use 8 men there to clog the middle where Foles prefers to throw, stop the run and/or blitz using Zimmer’s famous A gap overloads, it will be much harder to run and use the RPOs or checkdowns.

    We saw this strategy vs Foles & Bradford under Chip as teams learned how to attack the scheme and we had a lot of trouble moving the ball and scoring.

    Foles either needs to show he can stretch the defense or that he can make the passes outside the numbers consistently. That will force the Vikings out of that contained box and make the RPOs and run game easier.

  92. 92 xeynon said at 7:10 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Foles is fine at throwing quick and mid-range outs (witness the completion to Alshon that set up our FG before halftime) and stuff like hooks and curls. If the Vikings want to put eight men in the box and clog up the middle of the field, it will open up opportunities elsewhere. We won’t be able to torch this defensive alignment for huge plays the way we could’ve with Carson at QB, but I think we can move the ball against it.

  93. 93 Gary Barnes said at 8:28 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    We’ll see, this is the #1 defense in the NFL. They are going to try to force as much of the load on Foles as possible and then pressure him relentlessly. It is going to be very tough.

  94. 94 Duracell said at 7:27 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I’m not saying Foles is suddenly going to be able to throw the ball all over the field, but I keep seeing the air yards stat from last week, and I think people fail to realize/remember that they were dealing with 15-25 mph winds for much of the game. If the weather is a little better on Sunday, I think you’ll see him take a few deep(er) shots.

    Edit: doesn’t mean you’re wrong that this is the approach the Vikings should take though.

  95. 95 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:04 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Agreed. Completely. And with a first drive bomb to Agholor. Not first play, that’s too obvious. But first drive? Yes, to Ags.

    Bench Smith for Burton and 3 TE sets.

  96. 96 P_P_K said at 8:25 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Bomb to Ags not Smith.

  97. 97 Dan in Philly said at 8:41 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Foles has played almost all his season in cold and usually windy weather. It is unfair to grade him against fair weather and dome QBs. If the weather is good Sunday I predict a fine game from him.

  98. 98 SteveH said at 6:53 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I want to see Doug scheme creative ways to get in Eric Kendricks’ way. I don’t want him Sean Leeing us, making plays all over the field. Find a way to frustrate him.

  99. 99 scratcherk said at 7:02 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Still ZERO respect by media. Also Brian Billick is an ahole

  100. 100 Guy Media said at 7:03 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Vikings partisan.

  101. 101 xeynon said at 7:16 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    My dream is for the media to keep bitching about how they aren’t really a good team and they’ve only gotten as far as they have because their opponents keep blowing it right up to the point where they choke out the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    I love this team as an underdog/narrative wrecker.

  102. 102 ColorSgt said at 9:52 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    It was weird most of the season being favored to win. The underdog role is so much more comfortable for an Eagles fan.

  103. 103 ChoTime said at 9:54 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I heard some guy on national talk radio pick the Eagles, so… not zero.

  104. 104 Someguy77 said at 8:45 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    It isn’t the size but how you use it that matters . . . (I’ll see myself out)

  105. 105 P_P_K said at 10:47 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    That’s small comfort… (I’m right behind you)

  106. 106 tony said at 9:43 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Can we please talk about how bad Ellerbe was? We need to limit his snaps if we want to keep Minny in check.

  107. 107 xeynon said at 9:58 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Ehh. He’s a run down only LB. The Vikings don’t throw to their RBs all that much. I’d be surprised if he plays a meaningful role one way or the other Sunday.

  108. 108 Someguy77 said at 10:44 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    McKinnon has 51 receptions and they run a lot of tosses and sweeps with him.

  109. 109 Ryan Rambo said at 5:19 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    You a Vikings fan this week?

  110. 110 xeynon said at 8:28 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    The Eagles do not play a lot of 4-3 – their primary defensive package is some form of nickel and Ellerbe is generally on the field for only 30-35% of snaps, mostly in obvious rushing situations or against heavy personnel packages.

    Of course anything is possible, but Ellerbe getting burned in pass coverage is far down my list of defensive worries for this game. I am far more concerned about Thielen, Diggs, Keenum’s elusiveness in the pocket, etc.

  111. 111 kajomo said at 11:47 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    I’m confident that they will not leaving much to chance in this game. If they feel he’s not getting the job done the won’t keep him on the field.

    He may be a good option against a physical guy like Murray though.

  112. 112 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:52 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Does anyone else think this Tom Brady hand injury is complete distraction cheating I-don’t-wanna-talk-to-the-media bullshit?

  113. 113 xeynon said at 9:57 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Nah, I think it’s mind games to screw with the opponent. They’ve been blowing smoke up the Jaguars’ butts all week, now Brady isn’t practicing – think they want the Jags to come out overconfident on Sunday, then they will slam the bear trap down on them.

    The one thing that gives me hope as a Pats hater is the presence of Coughlin – he’s something like 5-1 lifetime against Belichick and handed Brady the two worst losses of his career. I’m sure Marrone will be leaning on his advice heavily in formulating the game plan for this week.

  114. 114 Dragon_Eagle said at 10:02 PM on January 17th, 2018:

    Yes. That’s what I meant. Mind games. BS.

    Its weird rooting for Coughlin, but here we are hoping he takes down the evil empire yet again.

    If its not the Eagles winning it, than I am rooting for anyone but the Patriots*

  115. 115 DustyRyder71 said at 12:17 AM on January 18th, 2018:

    I’d honestly rather play the Patriots. Better matchup, and we have some old business to settle.