Hitting the Reset Button

Posted: January 11th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 303 Comments »

The 2004 Eagles got off to a 13-1 start. Terrell Owens got hurt in that 13th win and Andy Reid decided enough was enough. He barely played his starters the next week and then sat them for the finale. The Eagles lost a pair of ugly games and finished 13-3.

There were serious doubts heading into the postseason. TO had been dominant that year and winning games without him was going to be tough. The Eagles still had Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, but TO was the guy who made the offense explosive. Could they win without him?

The Eagles weren’t explosive. They became more methodical on offense and relied on defense and STs to help them win. They beat MIN 27-14 and ATL 27-10 to advance to the Super Bowl. The 13-1 team showed up in the playoffs. This was a less dynamic version, but the Eagles played good team football and earned their trip to the big game.

Can that happen again?

The Eagles looked great when they were 11-2. They had just beaten the Rams and were clearly the best team in the NFL. Instead of losing a star receiver, this team lost the potential MVP in Carson Wentz. That was the kind of moment that could wreck a team. The Eagles won a pair of sloppy games to get to 13-2, before falling in an ugly finale to finish 13-3.

If the Eagles from the Rams game show up, this team has a legit shot to make the Super Bowl. If the team from the Raiders game shows up, we’re in trouble.

Can Doug Pederson and his team do what the 2004 bunch did and hit the reset button?

I definitely think so.

While the wins over the Giants and Raiders were less than ideal, the Eagles were clutch in those games. They fell down to the Giants 20-7. A few minutes later it was 21-20. That showed a lot of heart. It would have been easy for that team to fold and blame it on the Wentz injury. Instead, they got the lead and then came up with a 4th down stop to win the game late.

On Christmas night, the Eagles looked great on the second drive of the game. They marched down the field and scored a TD. It looked like they were going to win easily. Instead, the Raiders battled and that game was tied 10-10 with only a couple of minutes left. Ronald Darby picked off a pass and set up the go-ahead FG. The Eagles then added a defensive TD to win 19-10.

The Eagles were clearly the better team in both games, but sloppy play made those contests close up until the final moments. The Eagles came up big when they needed to. The 11-2 team showed up in the key moments of each game to help the Eagles win.

Nick Foles made key throws late in the win over the Rams and the Raiders. He got the team into position to kick the winning FG in each game. He isn’t Carson Wentz and will never be Carson Wentz, but don’t ignore the fact he did make clutch plays in those games. You can scoff at the importance of just leading a FG drive, but Jared Goff couldn’t do it in that game. He struggled in the key moments and even turned the ball over.

Pederson has spent the past couple of weeks getting his team rested and healthy. He had them practice hard last week, trying to get back the form that got them off to an 11-2 start. He doesn’t want the team from late December. Pederson wants the Eagles who played so well all year long.

Wentz was a huge part of that, but this team didn’t have six Pro Bowl selections all because of Wentz. There is enough talent for this team to win with Nick Foles. The O-line has to be outstanding. They must help the run game flourish and they need to give Foles good protection when the Eagles throw the ball. The defense finished 4th overall in points and yards allowed. They need to play up to that level. STs need to make plays, not mistakes.

This isn’t like hoping the Eagles magically get more talented. The talent is there. This team can watch tape and see themselves playing well.

To win on Saturday, the 11-2 team needs to show up.

I trust Doug Pederson and the character of this team. I think they will play well.

*****

In case you haven’t seen this…

https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/951152169645846528

Great stuff.

_


  • Gary Barnes

    Amen Tommy, great post

    Eat your heart out, SeanE

  • eagleyankfan

    “If the Eagles from the Rams game show up, this team has a legit shot to make the Super Bowl. If the team from the Raiders game shows up, we’re in trouble.” — oh — so Wentz will play? Simply implying the Eagles are at the same level of play without Wentz — is border line stupidity. There is no way the Eagles win THAT game with Foles at QB for the entire game.

    • kajomo

      Every Foles apologist just gives that game to Foles as a win. I completely agree. That game was on Carson. Foles made a couple throws to hell then win, but honestly it was the defense that really closed the door on that game.

      • eagleyankfan

        Don’t get me wrong. Clearly Eagles D needs to show up. I do think Foles is capable. I do think Eagles have a chance to win the game(and next week). It’s the comparison of the ‘team now’ vs. when Wentz was healthy. Sheer stupidity to even compare the two. Wentz isn’t here – let’s concentrate on what the Eagles are capable of with Foles at QB – and NOT compare him to when Wentz was amazing the entire NFL with his play and EXPECT Foles to play at that level. Brady/Wilson etc were not playing at Wentz level – but we’re supposed to expect Foles to play at the level?

        • kajomo

          I don’t expect a Foles or the offense to play as well as when Wentz was there. I don’t think anyone does. Foles is like Russian Roullette. You never know which version you are getting with him. You just hope that this week he doesn’t kill you.

          Our best hope is that the defense plays lights out and makes his job easy. A solid running game would help a lot as well. If the defense plays like they did for most of the Rams game Foles will not be able to keep up. Pretty simple.

      • xeynon

        Carson gets 80% of the credit, but the fact of the matter is the Eagles were losing that game when Foles came into it. They couldn’t have won the game if he hadn’t made a few plays.

        • kajomo

          The point is the game probably isn’t even close if Foles plays the entire game. I give Foles more like 10% credit. He lead 1 FG drive to take the lead (cusps) and then failed to convert a short field off a turnover into a TD to close the door. The Rams had a chance to win at the end, but the defense held. Foles did his part, but I don’t give him a ton of credit for the overall win.

          • xeynon

            He also made a pinpoint throw to Agholor to convert a crucial 3rd and 8, and he didn’t panic, turn the ball over, or make any terrible decisions under very adverse circumstances. As for the FG drive, you can scoff at the fact that it was only a FG all you want, but that’s more than Goff could manage.

            I don’t think this game means that Foles is guaranteed to come out and play lights out in the playoffs, but I do think it’s dumb to regard it as anything but a good performance and a positive as we evaluate his postseason chances.

          • kajomo

            I think we agree. He played well i just don’t give credit for the win. You gave him 20% credit and he played for a qtr and a 1/2. Even you are devaluing his overall contribution to the win. He did his job and that’s all you can ask, but in my book it’s a Carson win with a Foles close.

          • xeynon

            I guess I don’t really think of it in terms of crediting a specific QB with a win – it’s such a team sport that you can’t really break down credit to maybe more than a particular component of the game (passing attack, run defense, etc.). I meant I’d give Foles 20% of all the credit the QB position deserved for their offensive output in that game.

    • Gary Barnes

      This is why, if the Eagles did not exist, I would not watch or follow football and the NFL.

      This endless ridiculous mania about QB being the only player of worth is insanely stupid.

      The Eagles won those games together. Wentz did not win shit alone nor does any QB on any team. The defense, the ST, the coaching, the OL, the TE, the WR and all the rest helped Wentz win those games and made him look good too.

      It is not a one way street. I’m so fucking sick of the constant QB stroking. Stop it.

      • ChoTime

        I actually dislike the QB love, too; however, if you have one of the two or three best QBs in the game, that’s almost like a cheat code. I don’t like it, and it’s arbitrary and it’s how the game has been tweaked over the years, but it is basically true. Football is a team game, _but_ the real topshelf elite QBs are disproportionately valuable.

        • Gary Barnes

          I agree, but that’s why I dislike the NFL. They’ve encouraged and pushed the QB mania angle to the extreme and arranged most of the rules to help the offense to keep it going.

          It makes it easier for them to market stars, but like the NBA it delivers a shit house product overall.

          Focus energy on having real officials or evolve from using metal chains to measure 10 yards or actually define what a catch really is clearly instead….

  • kajomo

    GMFB is probably the most entertaining national football show to watch. Not always the most insightful, but they do their best to make it enjoyable to watch.

    I did not see that clip and thought it was pretty funny. Got me kinda amped for the game. I think he Falcons are a bit overrated and people don’t realize all that is stacked against them this week.

    • Bend_dont_break

      I agree GMFB is a lot of fun to watch.
      However, after watching them for most of the season, this clip is just indicative of a shtick that they do each week… the hosts talk up the hot team(s) of the week for most of the show while ignoring all others and at the very end of the segment/show the hosts circle back to commonly accepted conclusions. This was painfully obvious during the Eagle’s bye week where GMFB had a segment debating the best team in the NFC and the hosts didn’t once mention the Eagles… then at the end of the segment they each ranked the best teams and the Eagles were #1 on every list.
      This shtick is fantastic because it gives bulletin board fodder and motivational hype to almost every team.

  • Masked Man

    The clip is interesting. The deck is stacked against us. The result is already mailed in. OK.

    Plenty of bulletin board material now, right? But the time for talk is over. There’s a game to be played on Saturday. And there’s a unique opportunity for this underdog team to shush the naysayers once again this year!

    Haha. Go Doug! Go Nicky! Go Eagles!

  • xeynon

    Look at it this way: the Eagles last year were 7-9, but lost several close games and actually rated quite highly by DVOA, suggesting that with average luck they would’ve won more than they lost.

    Last year’s Eagles team had inferior talent almost across the board:

    QB: Last year’s Wentz was not that great. He showed definite flashes of the player he’d become this year, but he was inconsistent and turned the ball over a lot. I think Foles this year gives us on average what Wentz gave us last year, except with lower highs and higher lows – he won’t make the big plays Carson did even as a rookie, but he won’t turn the ball over as much either.

    RB: The Ajayi/Blount/Clement triumvirate is a clear upgrade on Ryan Mathews/Darren Sproles in the running game. Possible downgrade in the passing game as nobody on this team comes close to Sproles as a receiver or blitz pickup guy, but Clement isn’t a liability in either of those departments.

    WR: We replaced Dorial Green-Beckham with Alshon Jeffery. ‘Nuff said.

    TE: Same guys. Call this is a wash.

    OL: Peters is out after playing the whole season last year, but last year we played most of the season without Lane Johnson. Wisniewski and Barbre are pretty similar. Vaitai is at least a serviceable NFL player this year.

    DL: Much better depth, much better production. Jernigan is a clear upgrade over Logan, as are Long and Barnett over Barwin and Marcus Smith.

    LB: Same guys, but Kendricks has played much better with an additional year in Schwartz’s scheme. Losing Hicks hurts but this is overall a slight downgrade at worst.

    CB: He’s had his consistency issues, but Darby is clearly a better player than McKelvin. Mills has played better than Carroll did last year. Robinson is a big upgrade on out-of-position Malcolm Jenkins at slot CB.

    S: Same guys.

    ST: Losing Sproles as our returner hurts, but this is otherwise the same group.

    So, position by position, I don’t see many downgrades from the roster that beat the Falcons handily last year, even with all our injuries. I think we can at least win this divisional round game.

    • meteorologist

      Well said

    • Mac

      Sneaky keys to this game: Is Jernigan healthy enough to dominate like he was early this season, and is Wisniewski healthy to solidify the left side of the oline?

      If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then I’m liking the odds of the Eagles winning on Saturday.

      • meteorologist

        “Is Jernigan healthy enough to dominate like he was early this season,”
        — FANTASTIC point imo

        “Is Wisniewski healthy to solidify the left side of the oline?”
        –I think so

    • Stephen E.

      It still tickles me that the best pass blocker of our RBs is a guy who is 5’6″, 190 lbs.

  • A_T_G

    (Pretentious and pedantic tone:)
    Umm … Tommy …

    The team is not some electronic device that can be reset by just pressing a button.

    They are flesh and blood human beings that must not be viewed as inanimate objects.

    The Falcons are objects to be reset and sent home.

    An intelligent use of the language is always useful and welcome …

    (I can’t believe I am the one that got to write this post. I feel unworthy of the honor.)

    • xeynon

      Satire recognized, but be forewarned, I’m betting at least 50% of people who frequent this board won’t recognize the reference and will assume you’re being serious.

      • A_T_G

        I think you are correct. I edited in a parenthetical to try to help with that at the beginning.

      • or____

        Yeah but they don’t deserve to savor it.

    • Mac

      All this talk about buttons has me wondering what kind of ostentatious tarts hang out on this board, and don’t even get me started on the horrors of that devil worshiping quick disrobing device known as the zipper. Goodness sakes, now I’m all flustered.

      • xeynon

        You’re getting the vapors… shall we fetch you a fainting couch?

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Ostentatious is the new flavor of POP TARTS.

        get with it, my Flabber has never been so Gasted before

      • Gary Barnes

        My button is bigger than yours and it works!

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Serial Pedantic Posters should be put on a registry to keep track of that unsavory lot

      • Dragon_Eagle

        I’ll handle it. It begins with that asshat from the other day once I remember who it was.

    • Ark87

      I’ve been away too long, there is a whole new meta that went right over my head.

      • A_T_G

        If you go back to the article before this one you’ll find it.

        • Ark87

          found it! Ah it is a very specific parody. Howie had me thinking there were a few of these folks posting a ton with that tone.

    • Tdoteaglefan

      Lol well done..i caught a glimpse of the original satire source material but my eyes involuntarily rolled all the way past it to another article

    • Howie Littlefinger

      I love this got 20 upvotes….

      Best football website I go on 🙂

  • Howie Littlefinger

    I don’t care that the Falcons are favored. I get that and understand it to a degree. However the disrespect and the way the national media are acting as if we don’t have a shot.

    Compare us to GB w/o Rodgers- Disrespectful, they have no defense. They have no Special teams, their coach sucks too

    Compare us to Colts w/o Luck- That roster is Browns worthy

    Compare us to Raiders w/o Carr- Delrio is shitty, we have Ertz and Ajayi. They don’t have anywhere near that fire power.

    Compare us to Texans w/o a QB last year- Foles is better than anything they have ever trotted out there not named Watson.

    We have a complete team that is missing a QB. We have all pro players at other positions. We have a kicker that hits from 60+. We have a collection of phallic named players that no one in the NFL can rival.

    We have more than a chance to win this game. It is nowhere near David V Goliath

    • CrackSammich

      “Compare us to Texans w/o a QB last year- Foles is better than anything they have ever trotted out there not named Watson.”

      Foles = Shaub, and you can’t call a roster with Deandre Hopkins, JJ Watt, and Clowney threadbare.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        I didn’t call them threadbare but Watt and Clowney are made of glass the last few years. I just said Foles is better than:

        Savage, Osweiler, Hoyer, Weeden, Yates, etc

        That is the treatment Foles is getting and it’s not right. He is capable of winning, he just won’t be the reason we won.

        • CrackSammich

          Foles = Hoyer. But I like Hoyer (for what he is), so that’s not really an insult in my mind.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            Hoyer wishes he could be Foles. U are underrating Foles severely because he had one bad game really.

            Foles has a winning record
            Foles has had at lest one great season at QB
            Foles has thrown more than 2 TDs in multiple games
            Foles has a jersey in the HOF

            I am not his biggest fan and he does play ugly but your notions are off in my opinion.

          • CrackSammich

            I don’t care about the Raiders/Cowboys games at all. Backups playing a game we likely didn’t scheme for? Preseason = yawn.

            Foles is a backup for a reason, and it isn’t because he didn’t get his shot.

            Beyond that, I’m not really interested in the longer argument you folks are having about how good or how bad he is, or if we should light him on fire before or after the game.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            I just call a spade a spade brother

          • CrackSammich

            I’m not sure what spade you’re calling, since your statements don’t apply to me. My point is that he’s in the upper echelon of career backups, and Hoyer, Schaub, and Ryan Fitzpatrick are of similar quality. My evidence that he is a backup QB is not based on one bad game, but on the fact that he is currently our backup QB and accepted that role willingly.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            FOLES IS BETTER THAN ANY QB TEXANS HAVE HAD, Probably ever-

            whats has Hoyer or Fitz ever done? Oh thats right nothing. ur comparison is anecdotal. I’m not arguing an opinion but rather the fact that Foles is better than U state.

            Its cool talk to me when we win tomorrow and call him hoyer then

          • CrackSammich

            You act like Hoyer and Fitz haven’t won games. Fucking Dalton makes the playoffs every year.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            All i’m saying is if Foles had Hopkins to throw to he would look pretty good. When he had a star WR (Djax) he had a great season.

            Your point is noted though

  • Philadelphian

    I believe the key to this game is the defense and the key to the defense is Jernigan. The beginning of the season, the chemistry between Cox and Jernigan led to outstanding line play, created by constant pressure from the interior. Since getting banged up, Jernigan hasn’t been anywhere nearly as effective and this has also effected Cox. After rest, if the Jernigan from the beginning of the year resurfaces it will go a long way toward winning this game.

    • xeynon

      People are really sleeping on the mismatch that is the Eagles’ DL against the Falcons’ OL. Matthews and Schraeder are solid offensive tackles but nothing great. Schweitzer and Garland are both below average guards. Donald and Brockers were wrecking shop against them last week and if Brockers hadn’t gotten hurt it’s quite possible the game would’ve gone differently. I expect Cox and Jernigan to be able to have similar success this week.

      • kajomo

        This is where the game is won. It’s why despite my lack of confidence in Foles I think we can win. This DL can dominate this match up. If it does then Matt Ryn will struggle

        • xeynon

          The Giants, Ravens, and Bucs all won Super Bowls on the backs of dominant defensive lines making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks while receiving quarterbacking that ranged from above average (Eli) to average (Johnson) to inarguably worse than the best Foles is capable of (Dilfer). The blueprint is certainly there.

          • eagleyankfan

            AMEN!

      • Philadelphian

        I agree, but it will help if Jernigan plays like he did earlier in the year.

    • meteorologist

      100% agree

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Ever since he signed that shiny new contract though…

      • Philadelphian

        Now, I heard he was hurting, and I’m hoping it’s that and not the contract.

        The fact is if a player can’t get up for a divisional playoff game, it’s time to get rid of him as soon as possible.

  • Ark87

    Definitely going to watch that clip again on Saturday, hard not to get pumped watching that, let’s freaking do this! The fans are going to bring it. The Linc will be rocking. Eagles better show up. If the secondary sells out and tackles like they did earlier in the season, we can win this thing. Hell we can dominate this thing. Shut down their offense and run the football down their throats. Play physical, play mean, that will be all.

    • Man Of War

      but Foles

      • Ark87

        You mean Blick Fortles? Don’t even need him to derail the Falcon’s hype train. Run the ball down their throat, and shut them down on D, that will be all.

  • Eagles4life

    Off topic and a bit of a controversial debate!
    If Belichick resigns, would you make a move and hire him as HC? I know Pederson has been awesome but he is no BB. We have Wentz who could potentially be coming of the next Brady (provided circumstances remain positive and barring any more devastating inuries) and we have really good talent across the board, wouldnt BB be the final piece of the puzzle to make us a dynasty for the foreseeable future?

    • Man Of War

      duh

    • eagleyankfan

      I’ll pretend I didn’t read this…

    • xeynon

      There is very little chance he’d come here, and no way you could discern if he would without reaching out. By reaching out you’d alienate Pederson, as well as any other coach you might possibly recruit to replace him.

      No, this is a terrible idea.

    • Tumtum

      nope

    • P_P_K

      It’s an interesting idea to consider as time drags on endlessly waiting for Saturday. The answer to your question, though: No. Pederson and Wentz have the potential to be the next Belichick and Brady. Play that out. Plus, if my love for the Eagles intersected with my hatred for BB, my brain might explode.

    • anon

      no – we tried chip kelly already, player revolt

    • RobNE

      If aliens arrived…?

      He is not resigning. If he did (he isn’t) why would he do it to coach with not Tom Brady somewhere else?

    • Dragon_Eagle

      No. I don’t want to win by cheating. Let him go to Cleveland.

  • unhinged

    There might be reasonably cobbled explanations, like best player went down, and practices were light around the holidays, but the Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde versions of this team feels different from other more typical question marks that accompany win-or-go-home games. I feel like Eagles OL is going to really feel the absence of JP. If Kelce and Johnson have good games, some running yards might be had, and a couple screens might work, but BIG V will probably need a running back chipping to protect Foles in PP. Matt Ryan will probably cherish the opportunity to make our defense pay when it blitzes…unless he doesn’t see it coming. Eagles ST need to win the field position battle.
    Eagles DL holds the game, I think. If they dominate Atlanta’s OL, Ryan gets happy feet and running game gets neglected. If Atlanta can run, Ryan could shine…and that would real suck.

    • anon

      running game is reliant on guards playing well.

      Change from Wentz to Foles would have me disappointed too.

  • Tumtum

    I love it. No one expected us to do anything in the summer. No one expects us now. This team feeds on it.

    • xeynon

      Yeah, Chris Long may say that being underdogs in their own stadium to a #6 seed as a #1 seed doesn’t matter to the players, but I’m not sure if I buy that. I doubt the team would’ve hung notices about it up all over the Novacare Complex if they were totally indifferent to it.

      • CrackSammich

        you act like your office has never put up stupid signs that they thought would be motivational.

        Hang in There, Kitty!

        • xeynon

          Thankfully, my company doesn’t go in for that kind of stupid gimmickry.

          I think it’s a fact that lots of athletes use any perceived disrespect as motivational fuel though. Does this impact the outcome of a game much? I have my doubts. Is it a major factor in determining the outcome? Almost certainly not ever. But they do do it. Just look at Richard Sherman acting like a crazy man a few years back when he was angry somebody said Michael Crabtree might have an impact on the game.

          • CrackSammich

            They’re kind of like coaches calling time outs before a field goal. Does it do anything? who knows. But it’s the only thing they can do, so they’re always going to. Pictures on the wall. Stupid quotes about toughness. *jerk off motion*

    • Bert’s Bells

      I doubt the team cares either way what ESPN commentators and talk radio have to say.

      • Tumtum

        So let’s say espn was dedicated to commenting on your field of work. Let us also assume you are a bad ass at what you do. If they shit talked you, it wouldn’t affect you at all?

        • ChoTime

          Yeah, from how often the “no respect” card gets played, I think the players actually do care what people are saying.

          • BlindChow

            It’s hindsight bias. Plenty of teams that play the “no respect” card lose. We only hear about the ones who win.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            To piggyback this I will say this lot is a highly competitive finger wagging group. We might not have a QB but we def have the most swag

          • BlindChow

            Only the swaggiest teams can win playoff games imo.

          • xeynon

            It’s hindsight bias (or perhaps more accurately, misattribution) to ascribe a team winning to the “no respect” card, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an effect. Teams can derive extra motivation from something and still lose.

        • Bert’s Bells

          Nope.

          • Tumtum

            You aren’t human 🙂

          • Bert’s Bells

            Nah. In my experience high end professionals don’t concern them with noise and don’t need phony motivation.

            Sure there are some people who need accolades all the time and whine about detractors, but largely, successful people don’t care.

          • Tumtum

            “I was watching ESPN today and all five analysts, experts they call themselves, picked the Falcons to win. I’m glad they’re not in charge of my finances by any means, picking stocks here and there,” Ertz said. “If they’re going to call us underdogs again next week I’m fine with it.”

            Yep he totally ignores ESPN.

          • Bert’s Bells

            “I’m fine with it.” Doesn’t sound like a guy who cares what they think.

          • Tumtum

            Ok, you win. He brought it up and addressed it with no previous thoughts about it.

          • Bert’s Bells

            You should also post that interview with Mills in which he was upset by the ESPN coverage -which he was completely unfamiliar with until the coaches cut together a sizzle reel.

          • Tumtum

            Gracious in victory, eh?

          • Bert’s Bells

            I’m an Eagles fan, what’s “victory”?

          • Tumtum

            Lane Johnson is such a dog lover, isn’t he just one of your favorite players?

          • Bert’s Bells

            The crux of your argument is that professional athletes are driven by “media” calling them “underdogs”.

            I refute this premise.

            Anyone who needs “bulletin board” material to perform their best, isn’t cut out for professional competition.

          • Tumtum

            Is it a driving factor of motivation? Absolutely 100%. Is it the only or primary, no? I simply contended it was a factor. You are the one making absolute arguments. Sorry those never win.

          • Bert’s Bells

            It’s absolutely a non-factor.

            “Disrespect” is invented when it doesn’t exist (Tom Brady, for example). What “the media” says has no bearing on players. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

            Every commentator can say FOles is the greatest of all time and it will not make a single iota of difference on the field.

            I’ll give you that maybe there’s 1% influence on players (though I would say that’s high). 1% is completely irrelevant.

          • Tumtum

            If 1% gets t shirts made, they have a lot to give.

        • BlindChow

          This quote, from Chris Long, basically sums up the difference between fans obsessing over national media and the guys actually playing the game:

          https://twitter.com/MikeTanier/status/950462974636036096

          • xeynon

            Yeah, but there are plenty of quotes from other players indicating the opposite.

            I tend to think that if the players were totally indifferent to the fact that they’re underdogs there wouldn’t be signs hanging all over the practice facility reminding them of that fact.

          • BlindChow

            I wonder how many underdogs played up the fact they were underdogs and then actually lost the big game…

            Unfortunately, you don’t see many articles about that.

          • xeynon

            Who knows? I’m sure there are quite a few, and I’m inclined to agree with you that other things matter a lot more than this. I’m not sure it doesn’t matter at all, though.

          • Ark87

            It’s different for everyone. I’m a big believer in the ole chip on the shoulder. I think Richard Sherman gave us excellent insight into how he manipulates his emotional state to get his trademark intensity when he absolutely lost his mind after making the game winning play against the 49ers in the NFC championship game. He was absurdly outraged that they would disrespect him by going after him with the game on the line. That’s an entirely fabricated manipulation of his own psychology just to get to the intensity he needs on game day. Brady, Dawk, any great player is no different. If you don’t have that sort of mindset to turn the nerves into intensity, you’re left with the ole “stay loose and have fun” approach and you’re air guitaring down the tunnel. Every player has a strategy, if they don’t want to use the bulletin board material, all power to them.

            Will it make a huge difference? Probably not. It’s a playoff game. Every NFL player lives for this and musters just a little extra anyway. But the extra chip on the shoulder can’t hurt.

          • BlindChow

            Fair enough, but how many times have we heard about the 7th round pick having “a chip on his shoulder” because he wasn’t picked earlier?

            Seriously, I bet EVERY 7th round pick has that same chip. But we only ever hear about the ones who overcame the odds and became successful. Most 7th rounders disappear into NFL obscurity.

            Every “no one believed in us!” story has at least 10 analogs where the underdog actually lost, as expected. We just never hear about the losers.

          • xeynon

            Seriously, I bet EVERY 7th round pick has that same chip.

            Actually, I don’t think this is likely to be true. Lots of guys get pulled into football because they have the body type to be good at it (large and athletic), not because they actually like it. These are the type who play just long enough to get a scholarship or cash a paycheck and then are out. My guess is there are lots of 7th round picks who make it that far because of basic natural ability but don’t have the inherent love of the game or competitive nature to take being a late round pick as a slight and wash out as a result.

          • Ark87

            It’s definitely not the single biggest factor or anything. But it is pretty common for a great team to play sloppy against a bad team, and bad teams show life against great teams. Doesn’t guarantee wins or anything.

            I will say this, I do think it can rally a wavering and unfocused team. The Seahawks were a dysfunctional mess this year. Still a ton of talent so they won games, but they missed the playoffs. There is one game they really had their stuff together, the game they whooped us after being heavy favorites in their house.

            And that’s the crux of it for me. The Eagles haven’t looked like they’re missing their QB, they’ve looked sloppy and lost. Admitting that something is going to get 110% out of your team comes with the uncomfortable acknowledgement that your team has been in a funk this past month.

            I’ve got no science to it, so I totally respect anyone that calls it superstitious nonsense.

          • Tumtum

            If they win, I’ll have some quotes for ya.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      I wasn’t expecting them to make it to the Super Bowl anyway. The Wentz injury will make me less mad about the whole thing.

    • Man Of War

      but foles

    • bdbd20

      Not saying it will be easy, but ATL and MIN might be the two best match-ups for our defense.

      Doug has some quiet confidence. He might just be a good HC.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        They are good matchups because they are not explosive offenses.

        Saints, Rams OTOH would have been problematic without a QB who can keep up.

  • Eagles4life

    Eagles vs Jags! Get your Fish and Chips ready!

    • xeynon

      Sorry to disappoint you, but Fish and Chips are a British dish, not a Minnesota… oh wait, I see. You’re talking about next year, not the Super Bowl this season.

      • Eagles4life

        I wont mind if its a rematch of this season’s Super Bowl.

      • P_P_K

        Well played.

  • T_S_O_P

    Will be seeing the Eagles in London for the first time since 1989.

  • bill

    1. My newsfeed is full of articles about other NFL teams’ offseason needs and mock drafts. It’s awesome that I’m not even slightly interested in the draft yet. And perhaps just as awesome that it’s all Cowboys fans have to do right now.

    2. I think Ajayi could be a big presence for the team this weekend. He’s got to know he’ll probably never get a chance this good again. National stage. High stakes. He’s very rested. If he comes out and just plays nasty football, that can go a long way in making every other part of the team’s job easier. See Cowboys and Seahawks.

    I’m not confident, ’cause Wentz really was THAT good, but I’m going to relish the moment for now.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Looking at free agency and scouting NFL draft prospects is pretty fun. Not so much for the Eagles this year since they have no cap space and they don’t have a lot of picks.

      • xeynon

        I expect they’ll still make a few moves in free agency, but they’ll be mainly bringing in second tier free agents on modest contracts. They won’t be sexy names but there’s no reason this approach can’t be highly impactful – Bradham, Long, Robinson, Wisniewski, Blount, and Corey Graham are all guys who were brought here on those kinds of deals who’ve made an impact this season.

    • Tumtum

      I haven’t even looked at baseball off-season stuff. From what I have heard that is a good thing for me.

    • BlindChow

      As to your #2 point:

      I mean, it depends on if Doug actually uses him. It’s not like after busting a long run Ajayi was begging the coach to have Blount play the next three series…

      • xeynon

        Ajayi has a bum knee. Given that he has finite carries in his body, which is a smarter use of them, running him into the ground to win a comparatively lower stakes game against the Giants or Raiders, or saving him so that he’s rested for the playoffs and can carry a bellcow load then?

        • BlindChow

          You do realize you don’t have to respond to EVERY post on this website, right?

          • xeynon

            Yes. But I like to debate, and I like to respond to posts that I disagree with or which make a factually incorrect point, of which types you happened to make a few yesterday. Lots of times I agree with you or disagree but think it’s a valid difference of opinion and not worth arguing and don’t respond.

  • anon

    Pat Shurmur – bell of the ball this offseason.

    • Tumtum

      Probably the only reason Chip found any success on offense in the NFL.

    • BlindChow

      He’s said to be in the running for the Giants job. I guess they’re still haunted by his win over them when he filled in after Chip Kelly was fired…

  • meteorologist
    • daveH

      Not even looking at the vid but just the idea that new secret walkng Ajayi could beast out for a big big game is such a sweet hopeful idea

  • xeynon

    The latest weather forecast has renewed cold weather arriving sooner than anticipated, with temperatures dropping to freezing by game time with 15+ MPH winds that will make it feel significantly colder:

    https://weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/USPA1276:1:US

    Can’t help but think this is to our advantage.

    • Tumtum

      Whatever it takes to bring Matty Ice down to Nicky Cold’s level.

      • BlindChow

        Too bad Nicky Cold’s problem is being afraid to throw the ball. He’ll hold the ball too long and get sacked. Matty Ice will just be slightly inaccurate in windy weather.

        • xeynon

          Foles played two cold weather games this year. He was sacked twice against Oakland and zero times against the Cowboys. For comparison’s sake Wentz was sacked twice or more in seven out of the 13 games he played this season, despite not playing any cold weather games.

          Holding the ball too long in cold, windy weather is not Foles’ problem. Inaccuracy is, as it is for every QB.

          • BlindChow

            Well, I stand corrected! Going 4/11 for 39 yards and 1 INT against Dallas is definitely better than getting sacked a lot.

          • xeynon

            I didn’t say that Foles being inaccurate wasn’t a problem. Quite the contrary. I did say that you were wrong to say that holding the ball too long and getting sacked was a problem for him, and brought actual evidence to the table to prove my point.

            Again, don’t get salty when somebody refutes your argument with actual facts. Come up with a better argument next time.

        • Tumtum

          He has a lot of problems. Being afraid to pull the trigger has always been his biggest. Any game condition that forced either or both teams to run more is a game condition I endorse.

    • levdog

      I like it, I am very confident for this game. Let the so call experts forget about us, better to be under the radar.

    • Mr. Magee

      Agree… Foles’ ball slices through the wind, and his mobility on those RPOs will certainly come in handy.

      • xeynon

        Assuming you’re being sarcastic.. weather which hampers the passing game hurts them more than it hurts us. If it’s a slog in which neither team can pass effectively, we’re better equipped to win a rugby match than they are.

        • Dragon_Eagle

          Exactly.

      • RobNE

        You are thinking of Kapernick

        • xeynon

          A lot of Eagles fans don’t seem to understand what an RPO is or that in 99% of cases the QB’s mobility is completely irrelevant to whether it works or not because he’s not the one running the ball.

          • Masked Man

            People just hear “RUN PASS?” and say “KAP WOULD BE PERFECT BECAUSE HE CAN RUN AND PASS!”

            They don’t know what an RPO is.

            “Read Option is hard enough to understand. Now we got RPO? What’s Dat?”

          • RobNE

            and some Eagles fans don’t understand a joke

          • xeynon

            I wasn’t referring to you, rather to OP. I took your comment as a joke.

  • ColoradoEaglesFan

    Defense wins championships so I’ve heard. What I firmly believe is that complete teams win them consistently (Patriots). From the top down, gm, coaches, and positional players make that a possibility to come to fruition.

    We have a team mentality and in my opinion the Eagles have a dominating defense to will us to win our first playoff game this year.

    Go Eagles and Tommy I love your writing! Thanks. Enjoy the playoffs everyone.

  • ChoTime

    Film room on the Atlanta D. Damn, that hit on Goff was nasty.

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/film-room/2018/film-room-falcons-defense

    • Mr. Magee

      Good break-down. Eagles passing game will have their hands full.

      • xeynon

        Atlanta Pass D statistical rankings:

        Yards allowed: 12th
        Passing TDs allowed: 12th
        Sacks: 13th
        Interceptions: 29th
        Completion percentage allowed: 27th
        20+ yard passing plays allowed: 8th
        Opposing QB rating: 21st
        Passing DVOA: 19th

        It’s an average-to-below average passing defense. Any D looks intimidating if you only look at plays they defend well.

        • BlindChow

          Oakland Pass D statistical rankings:

          Yards allowed: 26th
          Passing TDs allowed: 18th
          Sacks: 24th
          Interceptions: 32nd
          Completion percentage allowed: 31st
          Opposing QB rating: 30th
          Passing DVOA: 26th

          This was the defense that made Foles look like garbage.

          No, they didn’t shut him down. He was just too scared or simply unable to hit open guys when he had the chance.

          Pray to the football gods that we have a run game on Saturday, is what I’m saying.

          • xeynon

            Statistical fact: small sample size isn’t a concept that only applies to good performances. You can just as easily (and accurately) write this game off as a wide deviation from Foles’ expected performance as you can the 4 TD, 100+ QB rating Giants game.

            In fact, since the Oakland game was played in biting cold and blowing winds, conditions in which other QBs also tend to perform poorly, you could argue there is more justification for doing so in its case.

          • BlindChow

            you: *posts Falcons defensive statistics* they’re not good

            me: *posts Raiders defensive statistics* these guys are worse

            you: SMALL SAMPLE SIZE STATISTICS DON’T MATTER WHAT ABOUT THE WIND

          • xeynon

            Let me explain this to you:

            Falcons defensive statistics: compiled over an entire season (large sample size, more likely to be predictive of expected performance as a result)

            Foles’ offensive statistics against the Raiders (or against the Giants for that matter): compiled over one game (small sample size, less likely to be predictive of expected performance as a result)

            Citing one of these is more likely to help us guess what the outcome of Saturday’s game might be than the other. And it’s not the one you cited. You’re the one making shoddy use of statistics to support your argument. Don’t get salty because you get called out on it.

          • eagleyankfan

            IMHO – stats during regular season are meaningless during playoffs…I don’t care what Atlanta did last week or week 1…nor do I care about the Eagles record for the regular season…

          • xeynon

            They certainly don’t tell you everything or predict things with 100% accuracy, but when you’re talking about season long stats they do tell you something – a player or team that is great at something during the regular season is unlikely to become bad at it in the post season or vice versa.

            However, I do agree with you that when there is a limited amount of regular season data involved (as is the case with Foles, who only played a bit less than 3 games’ worth of time in total this year) they’re not especially meaningful.

          • ChoTime

            that’s not the argument he’s making, BC.

          • BlindChow

            Hey @xeynon:disqus you didn’t reply to this one! Refute these stats, dammit! Convince me Foles is actually Good™!

          • sonofdman

            What were Oakland’s numbers after they switched their defensive coordinator? QBs were way worse against them from that point on.

        • Mr. Magee

          Thanks for the info. Full season stats can be anywhere from alluminating to worthless, depending on the circumstances. In this case, they’re much closer to worthless: Falcons’ D has been playing much better of late, and are not the same D that faced Jay against Miami earlier this season, for example. Similarly, the Eagles full season Offensive stats are rock solid, but have been trending down – especially given change at QB.

          The wind will obviously be a factor today… don’t know if that benefits Eagles or Falcons or neither. I do think Atlanta will stack the box and attempt to make Foles beat them with his arm; for Eagles to win, he is going to have to be effective.

  • ColorSgt

    TOMMY… Your headline says hitting the reset button. Don’t you mean PUSHING? Save the violence for our real enemies! Derp derp condescending blah blah blah.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

    ‘Pologies. Eagles withdrawal symptoms. I hate bye week in the regular season. Offseason should be made illegal. This??!! This is fucking hell.

    • daveH

      Anticipation is torture. . Reality is hell .. had been hell ..

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Almost there. I just hope once the game starts I’m not like:

      “I waited two weeks for this fuckin shit!?”

      Hope they come out on fire bro

    • Bert’s Bells

      After the last few years of “bye months” I’ll take it.

  • daveH

    Clement runs better in clement weather.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Your best post ever.

      • RobNE

        Shoot it’s blocked.

        • daveH

          What blocked ?? Am i troll blocked ??

          • Bert’s Bells

            What does this say? I can’t read it.

          • daveH

            Was i blocked for bad typing, bashing Andy, stooooo pittt jokes, or race ?

          • RobNE

            can’t remember but you’re back now!

          • Bert’s Bells

            Are you purple? I only block purple people.

          • eagleyankfan

            eaters damnit…purple people eaters…blocking u too

          • Bert’s Bells

            criminy!

          • daveH

            Only purple when i am so maaaaasaaad at andy for passing 50+ a game

          • ChoTime

            Blocked for reason of punny jokes.

        • or____

          You can unblock in disquss settings. Go to edit settings => settings => blocking

          But did you just click the minus button?

        • eagleyankfan

          I’m blocking him too after that…

  • BlindChow

    Tommy, you stopped linking to your articles on your Twitter! How else am I supposed to keep up?

    • or____

      Come to this website instead of Twitter?

  • terminusbbq

    In the wild Eagles prevail. They show no mercy. They are a symbol of pride, grace, and are majestic creatures. They are tenacious, ruthless, but yet they work together to overcome obstacles. They are by far my favorite bird. This year, more than any year that I’ve watched football, this team has performed like a bird of prey on offense and defense. They feast on offenses. They destroy the hopes and dreams of opposing teams. They work together as a team.

    Yes, the offense has sputtered without Carson but at times it sputtered with him too, let’s be honest. No, I’m not a Foles apologist, I’m a realist, and the reality is, Carson can emerge from under a pile of defenders and Foles cannot, but Foles is capable of doing just enough that we win. He needs to believe in his ability and play football. Basic, rudimentary football – 10 yards at a time, don’t turn the ball over, don’t get sacked for a loss, throw the ball away, and evade just enough to get away. No one expects a super hero performance, just a calm, capable one that leans on the running game, short screen passes to Clement, The Jay Train, heavy TE sets, and dink and dunk passes that move the chains. Make Atlanta respect the run and the pass and it’ll open up the defense. Then let our defense and special teams do what they do best and feast. This team is very capable of winning. Very capable. I believe in them, like I have believed all year. We lost our MVP but we didn’t lose our heart, our passion, or the team. We can do this!!!!

    FLY EAGLES FLY, ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • xeynon

      Good take.

      We have to hope they play their best three games of the year, because the margin of error is so much smaller without a superstar QB. It’s certainly possible, and if they do they have a shot. So let’s just enjoy playoff football.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Bunch hype videos going around. I liked this one:

    https://www.facebook.com/EaglesTailgateTeam/videos/887088631465891/

    • eagleyankfan

      meh…not sure how Dawks n Reggie help hype….

      • Tumtum

        You could put Ectasy of Gold over a video of paint drying and I would be ready to go to war after watching it.

  • Ryan Rambo

    ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reports Patriots DC Matt Patricia is the “favorite” for the Giants’ head-coaching job.
    Less than a week ago, PFT reported the Patriots expected Patricia to take the Lions’ job, reuniting with GM Bob Quinn. Things have appeared to change course over the last 48 hours, with Patricia now the clear favorite in New York. Per Raanan, the Giants are down to Patricia, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, and Vikings OC Pat Shurmur. Patricia is 43 and has never been a head coach.

    • xeynon

      I could be wrong, but I would honestly be thrilled with the Giants hiring any of those guys. Patricia is a Belichick coordinator, and those guys have universally failed when hired as HCs themselves (Mangini, Crennel, Weis, etc.). Shurmur is a retread. McDaniels is both.

      • RobNE

        I totally agree. Please hire him.

        • Dragon_Eagle

          Same. Shurmur is the guy on that list with serious experience who could fix that offense and groom a new QB. McDaniels would spend the #2 on Baker Mayfield. Let’s hope they go that way.

    • RobNE

      If you were owner/GM, what is the argument for making a Belicheck coordinator HC? Reid’s coaching tree is >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Belicheck, which means Belicheck is 1) lucky to have Brady, 2) a wizard, 3) doesn’t give a sh#t about teaching his assistants how to be a head coach (doesn’t mentor, too selfish like Brady). I would actively steer away from the Pats’ coordinators. I’m thinking, is there even one that was pretty successful? The old OC and DC from years ago I think were gone in a couple years. I can’t even think of others.

    • Tumtum

      Rome Kernel, Charlie Wiese, Josh McDaniels, ManGenius…. Missing anyone else from that coaching tree?

      Could be good news for us.

  • scratcherk

    Not sure if I saw this posted. Brian Gaines hired by Houston for GM. Douglas safe?

  • Donald Kalinowski

    The Eagles lost their star QB, their offense looked like shit in the last 2 games, and their defense looked like shit vs. Eli Manning. Of course they’re going to be underdogs vs any team in the playoffs.

    • sonofdman

      How about this to describe the same series of events? –

      After the Eagles lost their star QB, their offense played great with the backup against the Giants and their defense shut down the Raiders in two games they had to win to secure home field advantage. In their final game in which they rested most of their starters after the first quarter, their backups on defense almost completely bottled up Dallas’ starting offense.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    The defense fails to show up and Nick Foles is who we thought he was. Falcons will control this game from the start. Falcons 31 Eagles 10

    • ChoTime

      No way, I doubt Foles even manages to put up a point. 31-0.

      • Ark87

        Yes he does, pick six, 38-0

        • daveH

          Damn you guys are rough. . e Can stop the run or julio .. 47-0

      • xeynon

        What if all da Falcons players were 12 inches tall? Falcons, 54-0.

        What if da game was just Dan Quinn by himself against da entire Eagles team? Quinn, 71-0.

        What about Dan Quinn vs. a hurricane? Quinn.

        Ahh, but what if da Hurricane was called “Hurricane Quinn”?

      • Tumtum

        Jake won’t kick an 80 yarder?

        • ChoTime

          Depends, having Foles on the sideline might jinx him.

      • P_P_K

        I wouldn’t be surprised of he pulls a reverse Mariotta and throws a td pass to himself in the wrong endzone. 38-0.

      • eagleyankfan

        Remember the time Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Eagles won the game, do ya? 31-32.

    • RobNE

      this worked 13 times this year.

  • Dave

    Now is the time for the Schwartz to have Mills and Darby to play aggressive.

    Referee: Bill Vinovich | Falcons’ record in his games: 7-3 | Eagles’ record in his games: 2-6

    Vinovich is annually one of the least flag-happy NFL referees, and 2017 was no different. In fact, as the chart shows, he averaged the lowest number of penalties per game (11.6) — a full three flags fewer than the next-lowest referee. His regular-season crew threw just three flags in one game this season, five in another, six in two others and more than 17 only once.

    http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/266273/scouting-nfl-playoff-officials-what-to-know-about-divisional-round-refs

    • Sean E

      Kinda hard to play aggressive when you’re 10 yards off the LOS.

      (I’m not smart enough to really critique CB play, but I’m going to anyway)

      • CrackSammich

        THEY DIDNT TURN THEYRE HEADS!!1

      • Tumtum

        Oh hell it’s still fun to. That is why we are here 🙂

    • John Galt

      Sounds good, but he doesnt work with his normal crew, its an “all star (try not to laugh)” crew – so the stats dont really mean much.

  • CrackSammich

    I’m glad Jmatt got into the playoffs.

    • Tumtum

      Can’t believe I don’t even miss that guy at all.

      • kajomo

        He wore on me. His try had act was annoying when he continued to drop balls. Plus his drops had a way of coming in key 3rd downs or popping up and getting intercepted.

        • Insomniac

          Hands never improved when he got into the league. He said all of the right things but never improved.

    • xeynon

      JMatt is the WR version of Dak.

      Solid, pretty dependable, can put up big stats under the right circumstances, but is not a guy who’s ever going to make huge plays to change a game or carry you to victory.

      • CrackSammich

        I just mean he seems like a great guy, and I’m sad he gets to be a great guy for another team, but happy that he’s seeing a bit of success,

      • ChoTime

        The most solid thing about him is those hands that footballs tend to bounce off of.

        • xeynon

          Bad hands keep him from being a better player. He would be an ideal possession receiver if he was better at possessing the ball.

      • Man Of War

        except that OT game winner in Texas

      • Kohlhaas

        That’s low. I don’t understand why JMatt got such vitriol during his time here. He certainly wasn’t the most talented guy but he worked his ass off and, by all accounts, was high character. Comparing him to a cowboy is crossing a line.

        • xeynon

          I don’t hate him at all. I think he’s a fine 3rd receiver. I just don’t think he’s anything special as a player, and wasn’t overly upset the Eagles traded him.

        • anon

          at one point he was called the pope and was a leader on offense

        • Insomniac

          If you want the truth then it was the Matthews’ fans constantly talking him up while confusing his personality for his ability on the field.

      • Sean E

        Yea, I don’t care what numbers he puts up. I don’t ever want him on this team. You simply can’t rely on him for any clutch plays.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Dak can’t hold a candle to Matt Stafford,

        Dak can’t even be the best over rated QB 🙂

        • xeynon

          Hey now, Matt Stafford has won his fantasy teams many a game with a clutch late game TD drive that brings his real team within 14 points with under two minutes to go. Thou shalt not speak ill of the Joe Montana of garbage time.

          • Howie Littlefinger

            HAHAH thats great. I haven’t played FF in a long time, didn’t even consider this

          • xeynon

            I don’t want to think about the number of fantasy games I’ve lost over the years due to garbage time TDs by Stafford. He’s also great at the backdoor cover in any game where you pick against the Lions against the spread.

      • anon

        who would have thought we’d be shitting on jmatt and praising ags

    • Tom33

      Pretty sure he went on IR late in the season, but yeah.

    • GermanEagle

      And… he’s a free agent!

      • Howie Littlefinger

        But how is his blocking?

  • Ark87

    this was a fun article
    https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/1/12/16881716/philadelphia-eagles-carson-wentz-fargo-north-dakota-summer-trip-receivers

    My favorite quote comes from Mack Hollins: “If we were in Miami, guys know people, everyone at night separates. In Fargo, it’s ‘Hey Carson, what are we supposed to do?’”

    and Shelton Gibson: “My friends were saying, ‘Why are you going to North Dakota? There’s nothing there,’” said rookie wide receiver Shelton Gibson. “And I was saying ‘I know about North Dakota,’ and they said, ‘What do you know about it?’’And I said ‘OK, I don’t know anything.’”

    • P_P_K

      Great read, thanks for the link.
      How can you not love this team?

    • SteveH

      lol, Shelton.

  • DJH

    I’m seeing chatter on twitter about Cian the Irish football commentor and something about Wentz air yards or downfield passing. No one is quoting an actual report or article, just alluding to it.

    Did cian get fired? Did new stats come out?

    • DJH
      • Bert’s Bells

        I lived in Ireland for a year. Treating someone like his “Irish friends” just means being racist and bitching about the economy.

        • laeagle

          it’s pretty obvious he just started calling people the “C” word, which is much more common and much less offensive to the Irish. But drop him in a bar in New York with a bunch of colleagues from ESPN, most likely some female, and it looks really bad.

          Shame, but fuck that guy. No one should have takes that bad, and defend them that consistently, and be paid for it.

          • D3FB

            I feel like it had to be more than that. That’s a pretty commonly known cultural difference, and usage also tends to be different.

            Feels like he got handsy/violent/racist.

          • xeynon

            Best theory I’ve heard for what happened.

            As someone who’s had a fair number of British, Irish, and Aussie friends over the years, and is aware of the less extreme offensiveness of that word in other dialects of English and the greater frequency with which it is used by speakers of those dialects, I feel for him a bit if this is indeed what happened. Yeah, it’s dumb and culturally ignorant to not realize the connotations of the word in American English, especially for a guy who works for an American company and has spent a lot of time around Americans. But I’m not sure it’s something someone should lose their career for.

            If it was racist or homophobic language he was using on the other hand, firing him is justified.

          • Bert’s Bells

            That’s true.

      • xeynon

        The guy’s Carson Wentz takes are awful beyond comprehension, but I’m not one to kick a man while he’s down. Whatever his problem was, I hope he gets it straightened out.

    • SteveH

      oh my god. AIR YARDS. God the talk around Wentz got so stupid sometimes.

  • SteveH

    Ok, nerves are starting to set in for tomorrow. We gotta kick that dirty bird ass.

    • xeynon

      I’m weirdly not that nervous. I think they’re going to play well and I’m actually pretty confident that they’re going to win this game.

      Even if they don’t, though, thinking about how bright the team’s future is takes the sting out of a possible loss.

      • SteveH

        Yeah, it’s kind of bittersweet though because I’m still thinking about what could have been, if not for a very poor bit of luck.

        Either way the future is brighter for the Eagles than it’s been since the beginning of the aughts, so hopefully this is the first of many many playoff berths to come.

        • xeynon

          The way I look at “what could have been” scenarios is to remember that they cut both ways. Yes, there’s an alternate timeline in which Wentz is currently leading us to the SB, but there’s also an alternate timeline in which the draft doubters were right about Wentz and he’s Blake Bortles 2.0 now.

          • SteveH

            There is no timeline in which Wentz is Blake Bortles 2.0. Blake Bortles exists outside of the timeline.

          • xeynon

            After that Buffalo game last year I can see how you might conclude he exists in a singularity of bad quarterbacking that transcends time and space.

          • truehaynes

            There’s a timeline where the browns took wentz

          • xeynon

            That too.

        • P_P_K

          The future is very bright, indeed. Hopefully that includes tomorrow.

  • xeynon

    Football Outsiders’ writeup on the game has the Eagles as (very slight) favorites. Worth a read:

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/game-previews/2018/nfc-divisional-round-playoff-preview-2018

    • SteveH

      Seems reasonable. If I set my homerism aside I see the game as a coin flip.

      Really it just seems like if Foles plays well we should have a big advantage, if Foles plays poorly then they should have an advantage.

      Obviously the games don’t play out like you draw them up, but it feels pretty clear cut in this one, if Foles doesn’t show up it’s going to take a lot for the defense and running game to carry us to a win.

      Not going to stop me from betting on the Eagles with my Cowboys friend though, because fuck the Cowboys.

      • xeynon

        Yeah. The way I look at it is, there are three scenarios for what happens with Foles:

        (1) Good Foles (220+ yards, one or more TDs, no turnovers): Eagles very likely win the game (75%-80%)

        (2) Career average Foles (QB rating in the 80s, 180 to 220 yards, maybe one TD, maybe one turnover): Eagles still favored, but only slightly (maybe 55%)

        (3) Bad Foles (QB rating in the 70s or below, lots of 3-and-outs and/or multiple turnovers, etc.): Eagles don’t have a great shot (maybe 20%, and some of that due to a possible case where the weather is so bad neither QB can be effective)

        I’m reasonably confident about the win probabilities I assign to each scenario. I’m not at all sure which scenario is the most likely, however. If I had to guess I’d say that the probability of (1) and (2) together is higher than the probability of (3), and I’m pretty sure that most people are overestimating the probability of (3). Thus I arrive at my fair degree of confidence that the Eagles win the the game. But I really have no idea.

        This week has reminded me a bit of the runup to the 1995 WC playoff game against the Lions, in which everybody (oddsmakers, betting public, talking heads, etc.) was similarly picking a visiting a team to come in and beat the Eagles, with a similar mismatch at QB (Rodney Peete vs. Scott Mitchell, who was a Pro Bowler that year) being a major reason why. The Eagles went on to demolish them in one of the most one-sided playoffs games I can remember. No idea whether we’ll get a similar outcome here, but I do have a sense of deja vu about the pregame.

        • P_P_K

          Great analysis.

        • BlindChow

          If you subtract the outlier Chip Kelly Scheme year (2013), Foles’ “career average” QB rating dips to 78, which would fall into your “Bad Foles” scenario, unfortunately.

          But hey, maybe Doug brings some of that First-Year Chip Kelly magic back to Philly in his game plan tomorrow?

          • xeynon

            If you subtract the outlier Chip Kelly Scheme year (2013)

            Which you can’t do if you want your analysis to have any statistical validity whatsoever. “Outlier” has a specific technical definition, and it’s not “data point that doesn’t support my preferred hypothesis”. There are also specific rules for truncating a data set, and they’re not “get rid of all the data points that I don’t like because they don’t support my preferred hypothesis”.

            I could just easily flip your argument and say “if you subtract the outlier Jeff Fisher Scheme year (2015), Foles’ “career average'” QB rating rises to 93.4, which is borderline Pro Bowl territory”. That’s a terrible argument to make, because it rests on a bad use of statistics. You can’t just decide you’re arbitrarily going to ignore some data points because you don’t like them. But that’s what you’re trying to do.

            If you want to drop Foles’ 2013 season, you also have to drop the St. Louis season (i.e. drop the outliers on both ends of the distribution), and if you do that, you end up with a player with a career QB rating similar to that of Andy Dalton or Eli Manning. Not great, but good enough to win in the playoffs with if he’s surrounded by a good team.

          • BlindChow

            That’s true, there was absolutely nothing unusual about the offense in Chip Kelly’s first year in the league. His continued success in the NFL after that first year definitely supports that fact.

            I, uh, stand corrected.

          • xeynon

            You’re still asserting something without evidence.

            Unfortunately for you, cloaking it in snark doesn’t make a shitty argument any less shitty.

          • BlindChow

            Ugh, I’m way too tired right now to spell out what made Chip Kelly’s offense so amazing in his first year, average in his second, then abysmal in his third and fourth. Please don’t make me do it…please tell me you don’t NEED me to do it. Please tell me you understand more about the NFL than that…

            I get you want to fluff Foles any way you can right not with a playoff game coming up. Yes, I get it. Go Eagles! Great. I, too, hope Good Foles shows up.

            I’m not saying he can’t be good. We’ve seen that. He was good in KC in relief of Alex Smith last year. He was okay against the Giants. But there’s a reason he went from 27-2 to considering retirement three years later.

          • xeynon

            Please don’t make me do it…please tell me you don’t NEED me to do it. Please tell me you understand more about the NFL than that…

            Nobody but nobody is arguing that Foles is as good as he looked in 2013. He’s clearly not the best NFL QB of all time (which is what he’d be if those statistics were representative). He’s clearly not even a good starting quarterback. You keep tilting at this bullshit straw man as if there are people actually claiming otherwise.

            The point, he’s also not as bad as he looked in St. Louis, playing in a QB killer offense that was every bit as poorly designed and lacking in talent as Kelly’s 2013 offense was well-designed and abundant in talent. Yet you insist his performance with that team and under those circumstances is relevant while the 2013 ones aren’t. That. Is. Not. How. It. Works.

            I get you want to fluff Foles any way you can right not with a playoff game coming up. Yes, I get it.

            BS. Complete, utter BS. I’m doing nothing but citing actual, real data to try to evaluate our chances or Foles’ possible performance, and unlike you, I’m actually paying attention to statistical rigor when I do so. The actual data giving somewhat more cause for hope than your doom-and-gloom naysaying is not “fluffing” anything. It’s being realistic, as opposed to irrationally pessimistic. Learn the difference, and stop getting tetchy with people just because they point out you’re not coming correct on the facts in your argument. As I’ve said before, make a better $#%&ing argument.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Thank you for that. Worth the read, as you said.

    • ChoTime

      Good read. Basically, it reinforces the idea that we really just don’t have enough information to make a good prediction here. If Nick Foles is just non-awful, we should have a pretty good chance.

      • xeynon

        Yeah it pretty much sums up exactly how I feel – I think many of the other matchups here are in our favor, but I don’t have enough data on Foles to feel confident predicting one way or the other how he’s going to perform.

  • laeagle
    • SteveH

      Oh my god, this is the best possible response.

      • laeagle

        Seriously. Doesn’t stoop, doesn’t get outraged, just sends out a positive message. Best way to counter negativity from shitholes.

        • SteveH

          It’s crucial too to bring the experiences of other countries and cultures to us. One of my dreams with journalism is to be able to travel and create works of non-fiction intended for an American audience.

  • D3FB

    Sorry folks.

    Can’t bring myself to see it.

    28-17 ATL W

    • P_P_K

      I’m seeing the Eagles D line chasing Matty all over, and Ajayi toping 100 yds. in a physical game. Eagles 20-17.

      • D3FB

        I just see them putting 8 in the box, leaving their two good corners on islands and saying go ahead Nick Foles make 15 good throws to contested WRs

        • P_P_K

          I see Kelce having a career day, a couple rb & wr successful screens, Johnson clearing the running “lanes,” and Nicky playing well enough the 7 or 8 in the box doesn’t work.

          • xeynon

            The way people are talking about Foles it’s like it’s a miracle he can put his cleats on straight.

            He’s nowhere close to Wentz and would be a bottom tier starter at best, but he’s a professional quarterback.

            I feel like “he’s not that bad” has become a radical position among a large contingent of the fanbase and you’re branded a Foles apologist just for adopting it.

        • xeynon

          You’re right, Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor suck, there’s no way they can possibly make a play in man coverage against the future first ballot HoFers that are Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

          Why are we even bothering to play the game, honestly?

          • BlindChow

            That’s right! You tell ‘im! There will only be one QB on the field tomorrow who’s currently in the Hall of Fame! Guess who that is??

            Nick F’n Foles, that’s who!

            *does the ‘Nick F’n Foles is in the Hall of Fame’ dance*

          • xeynon

            Is this how you react when somebody criticizes an argument you make or lays out facts you don’t like? Acting like a child? Grow up.

          • BlindChow

            Hey, even adults are allowed to do the “Nick Foles is in the Hall of Fame” dance!

          • xeynon

            I’ve been pointing out over and over how your use of facts is selective and your use of statistical is deeply flawed. I understand getting schooled in an argument over and over is embarrassing, but Jesus, grow up and take it like a man.

      • BlindChow

        Gurley topped 100 yards in the game they just lost.

        • xeynon

          Thanks to some nice gift turnovers that both denied the Rams possessions and handed the Falcons points.

          Ajayi getting 100 wouldn’t guarantee an Eagles win but it would certainly augur well. You seem convinced they have no chance to win under any circumstances though, which really makes me wonder why you’re still following the team and haven’t moved on with your offseason routine yet.

          • BlindChow

            Huh? I haven’t made any predictions at all about this game. What are you talking about?

          • xeynon

            No, you haven’t, but every single comment is a negative one that suggests that you don’t think the team has a realistic chance to win.

            Hence why I said you “seem” convinced rather than that you “are” convinced.

          • BlindChow

            Actually, I’m pretty optimistic about this game. But you only focus on comments that aren’t 100% Green-Colored Glasses Positive. Like you always do. The Fan Police.

            Jesus, can you just block me already?

            Think about how amazing your Eagles Fan Experience would be! No one pointing out unfortunate facts about your backup QB on your favorite website! No one pointing out the Falcons just beat a team that had 100+ rushing yards against them! It would be so sublime!

            It’s win-win! ;D

          • xeynon

            Actually, I’m pretty optimistic about this game.

            Funny, you could’ve fooled me.

            But you only focus on comments that aren’t 100% Green-Colored Glasses Positive. Like you always do. The Fan Police.

            Can’t roll my eyes hard enough at this one. JFC, if you can’t handle an argument, don’t frequent an internet comment section where lively discussions are the whole point.

            No one pointing out unfortunate facts about your backup QB on your favorite website! No one pointing out the Falcons just beat a team that had 100+ rushing yards against them! It would be so sublime!

            You’re presenting facts very selectively, badly misusing statistics, and keep strawmanning my argument. That’s why I’m giving you so much pushback. It’s got nothing to do with you being negative per se. If you make a good argument in favor of your viewpoint I’ll consider it, otherwise I’m going to engage and refute.

            Jesus, can you just block me already?

            This keeps up I’ll consider it.

          • BlindChow

            Block me. It’ll be amazing.

          • xeynon

            Nah. Sorry, but you haven’t really done anything to merit it.

            Making a shoddy argument isn’t sufficient. Disagreeing with me certainly isn’t.

          • BlindChow

            If you make a good argument in favor of your viewpoint I’ll consider it, otherwise I’m going to engage and refute.

            Oh, like you did when I had the audacity to suggest Nick Foles was the reason the Eagles were the first-ever (in the entire history of the NFL!) #1 seed underdogs in the divisional round?

            No. You still somehow had to double down and tell me I was wrong. “It wasn’t Foles. It was because the #6 seed just beat the #3 seed for the first time in NFL history!” or some such…

          • xeynon

            “It wasn’t Foles. It was because the #6 seed just beat the #3 seed for the first time in NFL history!” or some such…

            I’m not rehashing this with you again, but if that’s what you genuinely believe I was arguing, I suggest you take some adult literacy classes to improve your reading comprehension, then go back and re-read my posts so that you actually understand them this time.

    • Tom33

      See – I’ve been on the other side all week. Feeling like a 23-10 type win, although I’m hoping for 28-3 just to be vindictive.

      • D3FB

        It’s a talented team that just hasn’t completely gotten everything right this year vs NICK FOLES

        • xeynon

          Quarterbacks much worse than Nick Foles have won playoff games.

          This is a bad argument you’re making.

      • BlindChow

        *27-2

    • xeynon

      You think Atlanta is going to score 28 points against this defense in cold, swirling winds?

      Not seeing that. I can easily see them winning the game. I don’t see them running our D out of the stadium, especially if they can’t throw the ball downfield effectively.

    • P_P_K

      I trust you realize that if this happens we’ll be coming with pitchforks and torches.

      • xeynon

        Meh. If the Eagles crap the bed tomorrow, my reaction to the doomsayers will just be “so the Eagles lost. Did being miserable for two weeks beforehand and harping about how they never had a shot make it suck any less?”

        • P_P_K

          I was just messing around, D3FB is a good guy.

          • xeynon

            While I don’t know him in person, he certainly seems like he is based on his posts on this board, and he’s clearly knowledgeable about the game. He’s also usually quite level-headed and rational which I appreciate.

            I do think he’s being unduly Chicken Littleish about this game though.

  • daveH

    1 TD, 4 FGs .. we won 19-14…
    ..
    And we are pissed because we let up 2 TDs, missed out on 2 TDs

    • BlindChow

      TD is a Darby pick six.

      • xeynon

        If the weather forecast is correct (31 degrees at game time and dropping throughout the game with 15 MPH winds) I think that’s quite plausible.

      • daveH

        AND he dropped another potential pick 6 so we are PISSED

        • Insomniac

          Bradham drops at least one.

          • daveH

            Only if you mean he drops a few RBs behind the LOS

  • Sean E

    28-11 Eagles win in a dominating performance!