The Eagles

Posted: January 2nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 190 Comments »

The Eagles had the best record in the NFL at 13-3.

The Eagles gained the 7th most yards and scored the 3rd most points.

The Eagles allowed the 4th fewest yards and the 4th fewest points.

The Eagles had the #3 rushing offense in the league.

The Eagles had the #1 run defense in the league.

Carson Wentz was a big part of that, but football is the ultimate team game. You don’t have that kind of a season and post those numbers unless you have a good team.

The Packers were 4-3 with Aaron Rodgers and 3-6 without him. He took them from competitive to winning, but that was a flawed team all year long. Green Bay was 22nd in yards allowed and 26th in scoring defense.

You don’t go 13-3 because of one player. It takes a team.

The Vikings went 13-3 and backup QB Case Keenum played in 15 of those games. He played the best football of his career. But go back and look at the first six weeks. He had two games with a rating over 100 and a rating of 79 or less in the other four. It took him a little while to get going. The Vikings won because they had the #1 defense, played well on STs and limited turnovers. When Keenum started to play well, the team was even better.

Doug Pederson met with the media today and talked about how the whole offense needed to play better. The focus is on Nick Foles, but he’s right. This is a group problem, not just one guy.

If Torrey Smith catches that pass on the opening drive, he might have gone all the way for a TD. Think how different that would feel. Brandon Brooks, a Pro Bowl selection this year, misses a block and his rusher hits Foles as he tries to throw. Mack Hollins was coming open for a gain of 12 to 15 yards. Instead, incomplete. On a 3rd and 7 play, Trey Burton slips and falls. The ball is heading his way. Incomplete.

Carson Wentz was special. He could overcome teammates making mistakes. Nick Foles is not special. He needs help. He needs his teammates to do their part. That wasn’t happening the last couple of weeks.

There is no guarantee the rest of the team will get it going in the playoffs, but I expect to see a better performance. The gameplan will be very specific and the players will know it inside-out. Playoff football brings a sense of urgency. There is no tomorrow. Foles has started a playoff game. LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long won the Super Bowl last year. Torrey Smith won the Super Bowl in 2012. Malcolm Jenkins won it in 2009. You can bet these veterans will talk to the other players about playoff football. I fully expect the Eagles to play with a lot more energy and emotion.

*****

Pederson has talked about the need to run the ball and play strong defense in the playoffs. The Eagles are going to throw some passes, of course, but I’m happy to hear him talk so much about the run game. When the weather is crappy, you just don’t want to be throwing 40 passes. You must run the ball. You must be able to win ugly.

*****

Good news.

Both players deserve to make it in. TO was a great receiver for a long time. He’s got some major character questions, but you can’t ignore what a special player he was.

Dawk is one of the best Safeties to ever play football. He absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame. And he was a great guy and team leader off the field. I hope the voters do the right thing and put Dawk in this year.

_


190 Comments on “The Eagles”

  1. 1 anon said at 11:20 PM on January 2nd, 2018:

    Biggest plus about Wentz is red zone success. Our red zone starts are crazy with Wentz. Can we recreate that with foles? That’s the key to winning

  2. 2 bill said at 8:13 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Recreate? I doubt it. Wentz was historically good this year in the RZ – I’m not sure even he will be able to recreate it when he comes back. I’m not sure Foles can even approximate it. The keys for the offense will be how well Foles does in hitting some long passes and the power run game in the RZ. If they execute in those two areas, they should be able to score enough to let the defense win them games.

  3. 3 Buge Halls said at 8:56 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    They have to get to the Red Zone first!

  4. 4 Tumtum said at 1:04 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yep! I think Foles has gotten a TD every time he made the redzone… for what that is worth. Not sure if they were in the red zone for Jake’s game winning kick.

  5. 5 John Dunkerley said at 2:51 AM on January 5th, 2018:

    Defense and special teams are crucial, especially in the playoffs. Shorter fields. Foles will absolutely do well with a short field and faster pace, no huddle.

  6. 6 Ryan Rambo said at 11:29 PM on January 2nd, 2018:

    Remember when we were the underdogs and were hoping to squeak through to be 3-3 through the first 6 weeks?

  7. 7 Tumtum said at 1:11 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I contend those “must win games” were, in fact, just that. They set the tone for the season.

  8. 8 Ryan Rambo said at 1:56 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    My point was more about how we started off as underdogs just hoping to break even.

  9. 9 xeynon said at 11:35 PM on January 2nd, 2018:

    I kinda hope the players do listen to the fans over the next couple weeks. I want them coming out pissed off and ready to prove the world wrong.

  10. 10 BlindChow said at 9:17 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d77a389fd9b4e16acf1c61af17c3a441ff75bfc953d60830592c8eee824bb388.jpg

  11. 11 xeynon said at 9:23 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Not even talking about Foles. Rather the rest of the team. If I’m Cox, Jenkins, Bradham, Graham, Ertz, Ajayi, etc. I’m pretty miffed that the fans think I’m chopped liver now that the QB has gone down.

    Foles just has to be along for the ride.

  12. 12 SDR97 said at 11:41 PM on January 2nd, 2018:

    Was rewatching the Raiders game to see how bad Foles was. I’m not here to argue that he is anywhere close to Wentz in talent or execution, but although there were many flaws in his game (the RZ throws to Ertz and the 3rd down throw away were particularly egregious) but overall his play wasn’t as bad as the stories and numbers would indicate. He had his share of bad plays, but there were also drops, penalties, and pressure that contributed to the poor offensive performance. I feel like the Foles ceiling is higher than everyone is thinking.

  13. 13 PhanFromAfar said at 1:49 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Nailed it. It looks to me like the offense is still moping over Wentz going down. The coaching staff needs to smack ’em all upside the head and knock the poor me attitude out of ’em.

  14. 14 John Dunkerley said at 2:54 AM on January 5th, 2018:

    The first quarter of the Raiders game looked no different than the rest of the year. Eagles imposed their will.

  15. 15 BlindChow said at 11:57 PM on January 2nd, 2018:

    When the weather is crappy, you just don’t want to be throwing 40 passes.”

    Honestly, I’d take the over.

  16. 16 daveH said at 12:08 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Reading the game recap on Bleeding green i got the feeling that studefeels played decent enough to be a tad hopeful if not fullblown promising. . Big kid, sounds like he can run and there were a few dead pass plays sounding like not as much his fault as WR ..

  17. 17 xeynon said at 1:06 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think he has the potential to develop into a decent backup.

  18. 18 John Dunkerley said at 2:55 AM on January 5th, 2018:

    Lotta dink and dunk, high percentage plays.

  19. 19 Ryan Rambo said at 12:08 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Found this and thought I’d share!

    https://youtu.be/VGwSISKxvBA

  20. 20 daveH said at 12:13 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s great and Macs respects to liam Jenkins breaking the insights from the Motherland !

  21. 21 eagleyankfan said at 8:20 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Thanks for that. Was wondering how he fared…

  22. 22 CrackSammich said at 12:50 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I didn’t pay attention to the message boards for a week due to the holidays, but it seems all I’ve missed is a lot of negativity. The future looks bright and we’ve yet to be eliminated. Things seem a bit rosy from where I’m sitting.

    Chip and a chair, friends.

  23. 23 xeynon said at 1:05 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You haven’t missed much. The negativity has been overwhelming. 1.25 bad games has turned Foles from “not a problem at all” to “so bad we might as well not even show up for the game in two weeks to avoid embarrassment” amidst the black-tinted glasses crew.

  24. 24 Westpaceagle said at 2:27 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    To those of us who have watched him over the years Foles was always going to be a problem. Its not like we jumped ship after 2 games- Foles is who we thought he was. Fingers crossed and hoping for the best, but the faith in Foles just isn’t there. Here’s hoping I am proven wrong!

  25. 25 CrackSammich said at 3:19 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I’m not sure what your expectations for the season were before the season, but limping into the playoffs as an underdog with a weak and unreliable offense and a solid defense was my preseason guess. Except our future outlook is quite a bit better than that now, isn’t it? And we’ve still yet to actually play a playoff game.

  26. 26 Westpaceagle said at 4:24 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Right on since you asked I am probably the same but reverse- I thought the offense would be good enough for a wild card with the D being the liability (specifically on the back end). This year has been the most fun in a long long time. I love this team. I have faith that even if Foles is not great they can come up with enough plays to win one playoff game. But this is a passing league and you have to be able to threaten the pass, so Foles being just decent only gets us so far. Unfortunately, he has a history of flat out abysmal play going back many years. That’s just the way it is. If that Foles shows up it won’t matter if we have the 85 Bears Defense. Anyway this year and this team has already been a success in my book so a playoff win would be icing on the cake. I’m just not expecting much.

  27. 27 ChoTime said at 11:12 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s true, I felt the odds were that Wentz would be nothing more than an average starter (based on draft position, early returns, and the outrageous difficulty of the QB position), but he’s now at the co-MVP level at least. I won’t complain about that.

  28. 28 xeynon said at 11:36 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yeah, the bad luck of losing for Wentz is distracting people from the fact that we already got really lucky by drafting a QB high and having him actually turn into a franchise player, and sooner than anybody thought possible.

    There are maybe 1 or 2 guys a decade drafted that high who actually pan out on this level, with the vast majority of the litany of top 5 QB picks over the years consisting of guys who were outright busts (Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, etc.), guys who had some professional success but ultimately never turned into anything better than average players (Mark Sanchez, David Carr, etc.) and guys who have been good players but not generational talents (Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Eli Manning). The chances of a QB prospect like Wentz panning out 100% are low but we appear to have hit the jackpot.

  29. 29 xeynon said at 9:20 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Fun data point: Foles has a higher career passer rating than Eli Manning. As in, two time SB champion Eli Manning.

    If you’ve watched him over the years, and you’ve been paying attention, you should’ve concluded that under the right circumstances he can perform well enough to win, not that he sucks.

  30. 30 Westpaceagle said at 9:36 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    “under the right circumstances he can perform well enough to win”

    That’s the kind of thing that people say about crappy quarterbacks. In the playoffs players like that typically get exposed. Look, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade and I will certainly take no joy if Foles, ahem* ‘struggles’. I hope he is awesome. It will take a helluva game plan by Doug and a misfire by the opponent. Personally I hope we get Atlanta- dome team coming off a short week and West coast trip would seem like a favorable situation.

  31. 31 xeynon said at 9:40 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think “crappy” is overstating it. Foles is average. A lower tier starter or high-level backup. But he’s not crappy. Bryce Petty is crappy. Nathan Peterman is crappy. DeShone Kizer is crappy. Those guys give your team no chance to win. Foles does give you a chance to win.

    He can’t carry a team, and if we’re depending on him to throw for 350 yards and 4 TDs, convert third downs at a crazy clip, or make highlight reel plays to win a game in the playoffs, we’re toast. But this is a good team across the board. He doesn’t have to be awesome for us to win – he just needs to move the offense, be efficient, and not turn the ball over. I think he’s capable of that.

  32. 32 Westpaceagle said at 9:47 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Personally i hope the Foles from the ‘bodyguard’ game vs. Washington shows up. He battled that game. That was a slug fest and Foles held his own. I fear the bad version of Foles that is undeniably a horrible qb that gives us little chance to win. We will see soon enough who comes to play!

  33. 33 bill said at 2:19 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think that WAS game ruined him. He got happy feet after taking that pounding.

    He’s still a competent QB when he’s not getting heavily pressured. My hope is that he can overcome the happy feet lizard brain for a three game stretch.

  34. 34 Stephen E. said at 10:03 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Eli is clearly a better situational player. Let’s not kid ourselves. Elway’s career numbers are mediocre, but he made the tough 3rd down conversions.

  35. 35 xeynon said at 10:29 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I’m not arguing that Eli isn’t better. He is.

    I’m arguing that Foles is not as terrible as his detractors seem to think he is.

  36. 36 John Dunkerley said at 2:59 AM on January 5th, 2018:

    4 TDs in the Giants game. First quarter of the Raiders game looked fine, marched down the field. Came in for Wentz in the Rams game. Offense didn’t miss a beat. Seriously I wonder about what people see and why they listen to the national media, who are creating more drama with their opinions.

  37. 37 Gary Barnes said at 5:02 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Its not blind negativity. If the Eagles play like they have the last two games, we will very likely not achieve our goal this season. If people want to avoid thinking about that or believe they will play better in the playoffs, that is fine.

  38. 38 or____ said at 8:00 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    But the assumption that some might be “more realistic or more accurate” by assuming that most likely they will indeed be play similar to the past two games, is indeed being blind to NFL history (even on a micro level or what happens on a regular basis), and context.

  39. 39 xeynon said at 9:18 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    To the Negadelphian mind, there is no such thing as statistical variance and the only outliers are positive results. If Foles sucks against the Raiders, it’s not that he had a bad game, it’s that he just sucks. If he plays well against the Giants, that’s an outlier against a bad defense and has to be discounted.

    It’s an irrational way to look at the world.

  40. 40 or____ said at 9:42 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yep.

    Id

  41. 41 kajomo said at 10:52 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You know my stance on Foles, but let’s look at a larger sample size. Hopefully we can all agree that his 27-2 season was much more a product of Chip’s offense catching the league by storm than Nick Foles’s ability. His QB rating the rest of his career are as follows:

    79.1
    81.4
    69.0
    105.9
    79.5

    His 105.9 was based only on 55 attempts showing again that he can have success in limited action, but would likely be unable to sustain it. To put his number into context, we all rip on Dak’s pathetic season this year where he had a rating of 86.6. Foles has failed to play to Dak’s level outside of Chip’s gimmicky offense.

    Add his historical performance to what we have witnessed here the past few weeks and any optimism is blind. Nobody is denying that Foles could have one of his better games in 2 weeks. We just know it’s not likely against a top level opponent and significantly less likely he can put 3 quality games together.

  42. 42 ChoTime said at 11:13 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    All we in need is 55 attempts at 105.9, number two.

    Make it so!

  43. 43 xeynon said at 11:16 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You can’t just remove the 2013 season from the equation – that’s skewing your data and is bad statistical practice. If you want, you can adopt an “exclude the outliers” approach, but that means you have to exclude the outliers on both ends, which means also removing the lower tail of the distribution (i.e. the 69.0 he put up playing in Jeff Fisher’s QB Killer offense).

    As a matter of fact, Bill Barnwell took precisely that approach, and what you get is a QB with a career QB rating of 83.0. Not great – the closest comps are Andy Dalton and Blake Bortles – but better than several guys who have won Super Bowls. Also comparable to Eli Manning’s career QB rating, and he won TWO Super Bowls.

    http://www.espn.co.uk/nfl/story/_/page/Barnwellx171211/nine-questions-answers-carson-wentz-knee-injury-super-bowl-lii-chances-philadelphia-eagles-more-nfl-2017

    Nobody is denying that Foles could have one of his better games in 2 weeks.

    This is the thing – Foles doesn’t have to have “one of his better games” in 2 weeks for the Eagles to win. He just needs to not be bad. Let’s say he throws for 200 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT (a pretty average game for any quarterback). If the running game is working and the defense plays well, that quite likely could be enough.

  44. 44 kajomo said at 11:52 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    It’s not skewing it when you are talking about his performance in a standard NFL offense.

    Either way the point is that the giants game is an outlier even when looking at a larger sample size.

    Guys like Eli and Flacco played above their heads on their runs. Their career numbers don’t matter in a sense. The same will hold true for Foles. He will have to play so far above his norm. The difference is his physical limitations. They to were first round picks for a reason. I think it is incredibly far fatched to think Foles will do that.

    Foles’s slow feet really really bother me. I don’t think a QB can be successful against good defenses with slow feet. It’s not a Foles thing, it’s all QBs. If he was able to move better I would feel a whole lot better.

    I view our chances solely on our DL’s shoulders. They need to be special.

  45. 45 FairOaks said at 12:00 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    The only non-Chip, non-Fisher stuff for Foles was his 100+ rating in KC. Which is definitely a too-small sample size, but at that point, it’s hard to say what is an outlier. Maybe the Raiders game was the outlier, and the Cowboys game was a straight “incomplete”.

  46. 46 xeynon said at 12:06 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    He played I think 6 or 7 games in his rookie year with Andy Reid and was okay (~80ish passer rating) in a terrible situation.

  47. 47 xeynon said at 12:04 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    It’s not skewing it when you are talking about his performance in a standard NFL offense.

    Yeah, it really is, because “standard NFL offense” is a meaningless, arbitrary phrase. Everything that Chip Kelly’s offense did (tempo, read options, stacked receiver formations, etc.) is pretty common in the NFL nowadays, so Foles has played most of his career in offenses that utilize those concepts. There’s no huge discontinuity between the Chip offense and the rest of his career. Personally I don’t buy the argument that defenses “hadn’t figured out” Chip’s offense in his first year – rather, it was that the team benefited from exceptional health that season, and Foles was given the benefits of exceptional protection and an extremely talented set of skill players. Regardless, you can’t throw out data that doesn’t support your hypothesis.

    Either way the point is that the giants game is an outlier even when looking at a larger sample size.

    True, but a 4 TD, 0 INT performance is an outlier for any QB, including Brady, Rodgers, Peyton Manning, etc.

    Guys like Eli and Flacco played above their heads on their runs. Their career numbers don’t matter in a sense. The same will hold true for Foles.

    They did play better than their career averages during those runs. What I don’t understand is the conclusion that Foles isn’t also capable of playing better than his career averages. He’s done it before.

    The difference is his physical limitations. They to were first round picks for a reason. I think it is incredibly far fatched to think Foles will do that.

    I’m not sure what physical limitations you’re talking about. That he’s slow-footed? Sure he’s no gazelle, but neither Eli or Flacco is winning any foot races either. Arm strength? Foles doesn’t have a rocket launcher attached to his shoulder, but neither does Eli.

  48. 48 kajomo said at 7:47 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I’m not talking slow running with Foles. Brady isn’t fast. Peyton wasn’t fast. Flacco is actually deceptively fast. Eli is slow. Yet they still could use their feet to navigate the pocket effectively.

    Nick has very slow feet. Looks like he’s playing is cement. It’s why he back pedals when he feels pressure. He can not move laterally well enough. Footwork and the ability to slide as needed is a key trait to playing QB effectively in the NFL. Good pass rushes really expose this weakness. He will be forced to ply some good pash rushers in the playoffs.

    For the record I was happy with trading Foles away the first time because of these same concerns.

  49. 49 xeynon said at 8:54 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Let’s look at actual data, shall we?

    Below are the times of these players as well as some others in the 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuttle (the two drills which measure quickness, change of direction, and agility and require the most foot speed) recorded at the combine/private workouts in their draft years:

    Foles: 4.68 s 20 yard shuttle, 7.14 s 3 cone drill
    Brady: 4.38 s shuttle, 7.20 3 cone
    Flacco: 4.24 s shuttle, 6.82 3 cone
    Matt Stafford: 4.47 shuttle, 7.06 3 cone
    Matt Ryan: 4.51 shuttle, 7.40 3 cone
    Kirk Cousins: 4.50 shuttle, 7.05 3 cone
    Jameis Winston: 4.36 shuttle, 7.16 cone
    Matt Schaub: 4.62 shuttle, 7.65 3 cone

    Eli Manning: Didn’t do these drills publicly, ran a marginally faster time than Foles in the 40 yard dash (4.90 vs. 4.99)
    Peyton Manning: Didn’t do drills publicly
    Phil Rivers: Didn’t do drills publicly, ran a slower 40 yard dash time than Foles (5.08)

    Means for QB position from Mockdraftable: 4.33 shuttle, 7.09 3 cone

    Foles is clearly a below average athlete for the QB position with regards to what these drills test, but not outrageously so – his 3 cone time is only slightly below average and is actually better than several of the QBs on this list, including some elite ones. Interesting, it’s also better than that of Aaron Rodgers (7.38). While his 20 yard shuttle time is quite bad, so are those of several other QBs who nevertheless have had success as NFL passers, even great success in some cases.

    I don’t think it’s his athleticism or lack thereof that holds him back, at least not alone.

  50. 50 kajomo said at 9:40 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s interesting and appreciate that you took the time to look it up. That said in games his feet are very slow. Could be like those guys that run a fast 40, but it doesn’t translate to game speed. I thought Sudfeld showed noticibly better foot speed on Sunday.

    Foles needs a clean pocket to be effective. Maybe Wiz being back helps there. The smartest way to win moving forward is run the ball and play defense. Keep Foles on schedule where he can get the ball out quick. 3rd and long is just asking for trouble with foles.

  51. 51 xeynon said at 9:47 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Sudfeld ran a 4.48/7.48 FWIW, so better than Foles at the shuttle, worse at the 3 cone. I think mental processing speed is probably part of the reason Foles looks sluggish, and that’s something he can hopefully speed up a tick with lots of practice reps over the next two weeks. Ironically being a guy who’s trying to make multiple reads on each play rather than just dropping back and throwing to his first or second read the way a young player like Sudfeld tends to probably makes Foles look slower.

    I agree that a clean pocket is key for Foles. The OL has to step up their game in the playoffs because Nick certainly doesn’t have the ability to escape from a burning house the way Carson does. I think does have the ability to hurt defenses badly if he gets a clean pocket though, whereas truly bad/overmatched QBs do not.

  52. 52 FairOaks said at 11:20 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If you “throw out” the Chip year, you can just as easily (and just as validly) look at his career in the light of throwing out his Jeff Fisher year, given what he has done to QBs, and seeing how he has done otherwise. The numbers look very different there.

    The one thing that I see is that if he gets good protection, he can be a near 100 rating kind of guy. When protection breaks down though, he has this ugly retreating habit which pretty much ends the play at best, and he won’t look as good. That was also one of the big differences in the 2013 Chip year and 2014 (though he was not playing as well even during the offseason/preseason as the year before, so whatever groove he had that year may have been gone regardless).

    He probably is just a good backup, but let’s see if we can get a couple of good backup games out of him now.

  53. 53 kajomo said at 7:56 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I do agree with this.

    1) Jeff fisher is horrible.

    2) I have commented on his slow feet a few times which is why he cannot handle pressure. 3rd downs will continue to be a problem for him as pass rushers can just attack.

    My point was it is reasonable to say the giants game is more of an outlier than the raiders game. Like many average to below average QBs, the more they play the worse they look. Even Sanchez looked good here for a couple games. Then he went back to being Sanchez.

    Foles is extremely average. I see him playing worse against good defenses in the cold, not better. We all hope he’s a Cinderella story, but odds are he is just a crusty old pumpkin.

  54. 54 xeynon said at 9:32 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    My point was it is reasonable to say the giants game is more of an outlier than the raiders game.

    His entire track record as an NFL passer suggests they’re both outliers. He’s not as good as he was against the Giants but he’s not as bad as he was against the Raiders either. The Raiders performance also has the extenuating circumstances of adverse conditions (cold, windy weather) – let’s not forget that Derek Carr (whom many consider any undisputed franchise QB) also sucked in that game.

  55. 55 FairOaks said at 3:23 AM on January 4th, 2018:

    Yep, it’s reasonable. May be just as reasonable to call the Oakland game the outlier though. Reality is probably somewhere in between — the hope is that it’s enough at home in the playoffs. It could be, for a game or two. Little hope of winning a SB but let’s see if we can get one playoff win — it’s been too long since one of those — then go from there. We will require a running game, and good protection, but those are not impossible.

    Even Sanchez did win playoff games a couple years, and outside of his first Chip year, he was considerably worse than Foles. Only the Foles year under Fisher compared to most of Sanchez’ career.

    I do believe Foles is a backup — though better than some starters (once who teams are looking to replace, of course). He does seem to have the disconcerting ability to have a hugely awful game from time to time — the Dallas game in his best year comes to mind, where even a Sanchezian performance would have won that game easily, but he looked utterly lost. Then came right back against Oakland the next game. The last preseason game that year was another one — I had enjoyed his battle with Vick, as he had played well in the other preseason games, and was looking forward to seeing him play more that game, but he was hideous (far far worse than previous performances). Barkley was better than him that game. Which of course did not preclude him playing well once Vick got hurt. But you would really like starters to have a somewhat OK “floor”, so that even an off game they can at least give you a chance. Foles’ “floor” games do not. On the other hand, when he gets into a groove, he can be more effective than lots of other starters. So we can hope that happens.

    He actually did out-play Brees in the cold in that 2013 playoff game. The Chip Kelly defense couldn’t stop the run though, and that was the difference. Well that and giving Brees too much time at the end of the game to win it with a field goal. I do fear similar results this time — our defense is worlds better, but they have Kamara to go with Ingram this time, and I’m not sure how well we will deal with that.

  56. 56 Gary Barnes said at 9:47 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I stated clearly:

    IF (never ever said they WOULD play the same)

    THEY (the team, not just Foles)

    play like they have the last two games, we will likely not achieve our goal.

    It is perfectly logical.

  57. 57 or____ said at 10:09 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You sure did. But the context is that many are assuming/predicting with strong confidence that what you stated as conditionals/hypotheticals, will happen.

  58. 58 eagleyankfan said at 10:16 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    that and he’s using basically 2 pre-season games as his judgment. maybe he doesn’t remember who the QB was for most of that last game….

  59. 59 BlindChow said at 10:26 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s true. Sudfeld played way worse than Foles in that game.

  60. 60 BlindChow said at 10:33 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    It’s like people aren’t even reading your post before they respond to tell you how wrong you are…

    For the comment police, it doesn’t matter how many IF’s and HOPEFULLY’s you use. If you’re not espousing how great the team WILL do, you might as well get off the website.

    The world won’t end if people are allowed to voice their concerns without being browbeaten for it. We’ll all be cheering together just the same when the team takes the field in two weeks.

  61. 61 eagleyankfan said at 8:12 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    it’s not blind negativity – it’s just blind. Last game didn’t matter – there was no game plan other than to play the game. That game has zero bearing….Game before that was one of the best defensive games(4th quarter wise) to watch. Then – after a terrible 3 quarters — Foles did what was needed to be done to move the bowl for a winning kick. Fools gold – maybe — but the team isn’t as bad you think they are…

  62. 62 Gary Barnes said at 9:50 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If they play much better, they’ll be fine. That was my point. If they play the same way vs the Saints or Falcons etc., they will likely lose. That is not blind negativity; seems very reasonable and logical to me.

  63. 63 eagleyankfan said at 10:09 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    that’s a blanket statement for every team. Every team has question marks. You were judging the team by basically 2 meaningless games. (I say 2 meaningless games because if the Eagles lost the week before, they would have played Dallas different. I have nothing to back that up, just a guess)

  64. 64 BlindChow said at 9:04 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e3c437608a499ccc80a73c478a4045323fa32b8d296928d00e68e6e321892d1.jpg

  65. 65 xeynon said at 9:14 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This meme is so overdone.

    You guys are the ones jumping off the bridge on the basis of a little more than one game’s worth of action played in terrible weather.

  66. 66 BlindChow said at 9:20 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Who’s jumping off a bridge? I haven’t said anything about our playoff chances either way. I’m actually one of the optimistic ones.

    I’m just making fun of people who can’t understand the concern.

  67. 67 xeynon said at 9:26 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Okay, apologies.

    The pessimists are jumping off a bridge.

    Speaking as an optimist, I think it’s mischaracterizing my views to say I don’t understand the concern. Of course I understand the concern. I’m on record as saying if Foles doesn’t play better than he did against the Raiders/Cowboys, the team won’t win in the playoffs.

    I just don’t assume that Nick Foles at his worst is necessarily what we’re going to get, nor dwell on that possibility. I get the concern, I think everybody does. I just think people are treating it as a certainty rather than a possibility.

  68. 68 Gary Barnes said at 9:52 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Who is jumping off a bridge? All I said is IF IF IF IF they play the same shitty way they did vs the Raiders and Cowboys, they will likely lose the game. That is not jumping off bridge worthy at all – very rational and realistic.

  69. 69 xeynon said at 9:14 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If the goal coming into the season was to win the Super Bowl, you had unrealistic goals.

    My goals were to make the playoffs and to continue to develop Wentz into an elite QB who can win the Super Bowl at some point. Check and check.

    I think any realistic goals any Eagles fan might have had coming into the season have already been met. Everything that happens from here on out is gravy.

  70. 70 BlindChow said at 9:22 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If the goal coming into the season was to win the Super Bowl, you had unrealistic goals.

    You should tell the players that.

  71. 71 xeynon said at 9:28 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    As fans we’re allowed to be realistic – it’s not like our mindset actually affects the performance of the team. Players have to be irrationally confident.

  72. 72 bill said at 9:30 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    The time frames of fandom and playerdom are so distinct that I don’t think there’s any meaningful relation there, even ignoring the obvious differences in causal roles.

  73. 73 eagleyankfan said at 10:14 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    As a fan, looking at a 2nd year QB, an extremely unproven wr group, the weakest CB group in the entire universe(or history of the world lol)…as a fan, I thought SB was unrealistic (at that given point in time).

  74. 74 Gary Barnes said at 9:55 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    It was not my goal originally. I said 10-6 at the beginning of the season and was similar to you; get into the playoffs and win a game.

    But now they are 13-3, #1 seed with HFA throughout. If the SB is not your goal now, then I think you have low standards. They are 3 wins away – the team can do that if they perform well together.

  75. 75 xeynon said at 11:09 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    It’s fine to readjust goals based on what happens during the season, but if that’s the approach you take then you should adjust accordingly when something like the Wentz injury happens.

    Personally my goal after reaching the playoffs is “play well and hope for the best”. If they come out in two weeks and play a good game but come up short, I won’t be too disappointed since a deep playoff run might be a bit much to expect given how many key injuries they’ve suffered.

  76. 76 eagleyankfan said at 10:10 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    *stands up and claps*

  77. 77 eagleyankfan said at 8:22 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Think Sidney Jones showed enough to play during the playoffs? I think, but don’t remember – was SJ rated higher than Latimer(sp)?

  78. 78 A_T_G said at 8:37 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That is a good question. I hadn’t considered it a real possibility last week, but maybe. The argument against it would be he got burned on that one double move so we should put Mills back in? Um…

  79. 79 or____ said at 8:38 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Precisely

  80. 80 BlindChow said at 9:08 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think he could play if there’s an injury, but I doubt Schwartz would put him in over the others at this point.

  81. 81 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:58 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    No. He’s got great talent. Can definitely develop into a starting quality CB and maybe more. But he’s far too green to put on the field during the playoffs. His mistakes Sunday are correctable with *experience* but not something you hope gets fixed during a playoff game.

    I will be surprised if he’s activated without injuries to the other CBs.

  82. 82 A_T_G said at 8:36 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Almost 92% of the playoff teams are going to have their season end in a defeat ranging somewhere from disappointing to heartbreaking. That is a fact.

    It is not negativity to admit that, even as a top seed, we face long odds of reaching the ultimate goal. All twelve teams do. I don’t begrudge anyone struggling to accept the improbability. Even a team led by Carson Wentz faces long odds. Lets not pretend this went from a layup to Bird/Jordan through the open window, off the scoreboard shot.

    I have followed this team year-round for over a decade and have been a fan for all of my life. This is the closest we have been in a long time. I am excited, and I am maintaining hope, despite the odds. Just like I did when we lost Sproles. And Peters. And…

  83. 83 or____ said at 8:37 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Slow clap.

  84. 84 xeynon said at 9:11 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Even a team led by Carson Wentz faces long odds. Lets not pretend this went from a layup to Bird/Jordan through the open window, off the scoreboard shot.

    I agree with almost everything you say, but this to me is the key insight.

    Everyone agrees the Eagles’ chances of winning the SB went down when Wentz got hurt. The thing is, I think they probably dropped from something like 20% to something like 10%. The pessimists who think they’re now 0% or close to it in some cases seem convinced that they dropped to that number from 50% or more before the injury.

    That’s the thing, though – even as the SB favorite, you are an underdog when matched up against the entire playoff field. It was always a low probability event, even with Wentz. The fact that the probability has gone down isn’t going to ruin the experience of being at the dance for me.

  85. 85 RobNE said at 10:46 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think this is right but most of us are just mourning the loss of that 10%. We see a lot of good but not great teams in the NFC and think this really could have been our year. Could it still? sure, and I am pumped. But you only get so many chances lots of variables.

  86. 86 kajomo said at 11:05 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If you get a bye and every team is equal you have a 12.5% chance of going to the super bowl. We were probably the best team in the NFC with Wentz. The home team wins 57-60% of games where the eagles have proven to play their best football. We would have been favored in every game at the Linc.

    I was never focused on winning the SB, but I felt we had a pretty good shot at getting there. Then it is truly a one game playoff where anything can happen. That opportunity seemed attainable. Now it feels like the longest of long shots.

  87. 87 ChoTime said at 11:19 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    .60x.60=.36, so are you proposing a 36% chance of alternate universe Eagles with a healthy Wentz of going to the Superbowl? That’s different that 20%, but not tremendously so.

    If you could rerun the game 100 times, the Eagles would win 36 times with your percentages. They would win 20 times in xeynon’s. More to the point, they would lose 64 times and 80 times, respectively.

  88. 88 xeynon said at 11:27 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Note: my 20% estimate was for the Eagles to *WIN* the SB, not just get there. So I think my estimated probabilities and Kajomo’s are very similar.

    And we all know that if the Eagles had just made the SB, and then lost to the Patriots or Steelers, nobody would be happy with that.

  89. 89 RobNE said at 11:55 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    oh my god, no. Great reward carries great risk though. But ideally would be Eagles – Jags or something so the downside pressure wouldn’t be as bad. I’m still hoping. Or Bills. That would be ok.

  90. 90 Jernst said at 2:05 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    #1 seeds make the Super Bowl 52% of the time since 1990 when the 12 team format was adopted. People truly don’t understand how high the odds actually were pre injury.

  91. 91 ChoTime said at 3:56 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yes, I hear you. Although I think they were showing some signs of slipping even before Wentz went down.

  92. 92 xeynon said at 9:25 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Even if the odds are 52% (which I think is optimistic given that we were not as dominant as many #1 seeds; see DVOA and point differential analysis elsewhere), that still gives us only a roughly 25% chance of winning the SB assuming we’d be a slight underdog to a team like the Patriots or Steelers in the SB (which is what was roughly projected pre-Wentz injury).

  93. 93 kajomo said at 8:09 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s a very simplistic way of looking at it. That 60% home team winning takes into account teams like the browns losing all their games. The eagles are a good team that needed to play 2nd a 3rd stringers to lose a home game. I’m sure their odds would be better. Probably end up with a 40-45% chance of going to the super bowl. They would have had the best odds in the NFC to win the conference. That is a significant difference than where we are now. With Wentz is truly exciting even if not totally probable. Without him we are praying for a miracle.

  94. 94 xeynon said at 9:23 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That’s a very simplistic way of looking at it. That 60% home team
    winning takes into account teams like the browns losing all their games.

    It also takes into account teams like the 07 Patriots and 2011 Packers winning all or nearly all of their games.

    But if you look at just the playoffs, the home field advantage rises only slightly from the regular season (roughly 61% in the playoffs under the current playoff format vs. 57% in the regular season for the most recent data I could find with a quick Google search, which ends in 2011). Since then it’s 40-20 by my count so that bumps it up slightly to roughly 63%. That’s bigger than the regular season advantage but not by that much.

  95. 95 ChoTime said at 10:48 AM on January 4th, 2018:

    Sure, I was just taking the given information to its logical conclusion.

    However, no miracle is needed. Top-seeded teams get to the Superbowl 52% of the time. Therefore, the chances in each of the two games would be over 70% each.

    Part of this 70% (note: 20% over a coin flip) winning percentage is that the top-seeded team is better.
    Part of it is home field advantage.
    Part of it is wear and tear on the other participant at the end of long season, and rest for the home team.

    We keep home field and the rest advantage. We have to decide how much swapping out Foles for Wentz costs us. That is an unknown quantity. But it doesn’t eliminate the other advantages. It doesn’t eliminate the other talent on the roster, the coaching, the schemes, and the other aspects that got us to this point.

    While the QB is extremely important, we can go too far. Notice that Aaron Rodgers did not win all his games at Green Bay, despite being the best player in the league. His team did worse without him, but still managed to stay in the playoff hunt. Notice that the Patriots managed to win 10 games one season with Brady rehabbing. Notice that the Broncos won a Superbowl with Manning playing at a level similar to Foles the last few weeks.

    I’m not saying the odds are good, but we only have to win three games to take home the trophy. It’s a three-game playoff. We are still in this thing.

  96. 96 Jernst said at 1:52 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Not that your numbers are egregiously off, but I love when people try to frame their side of the argument as more reasonable by simply pulling numbers out of their asses. Let’s instead look at actual numbers for other #1 seeds:

    Since 1990 when the current 12 team format was adopted in the NFL 28 out of the 54 teams that entered as the number 1 seed in their conference made it to the Super Bowl. So 52% chance of making the Super Bowl historically as a number 1 seed in your conference. If however, you are not only the number 1 seed in your conference but the number 1 ranked team in the entire NFL, those numbers jump to 18 out of 27 or 67% chance of making the Super Bowl.

    Number 1 seeds have a 50% win rate in Super Bowls. However, 6 Super Bowls have featured number 1s from both conferences so someone had to lose.

    So essentially, based on historical precedence of number 1 overall seeds, we had approximately a 67% chance of playing in a Super Bowl in which we were the favored team to win. Hardly the long shot that you seem to be pushing as a part of your rosy narrative.

    Conversely, in the same time frame a backup QB has taken over a team mid season or later and won a Super Bowl 2 out of 27 potential years…or about 7%.

    I know 33% to 7% chance of winning the Super Bowl doesn’t sound as good as dropping from 20% to 10%, but it’s a lot more accurate of a prediction based on historically similar data.

    That being said, “chances of winning” always seem like a ridiculous thing to me to try and accurately calculate. What does the outcome of the 1991 Super Bowl have to do with the chances of this particular Eagles team, right? But, me feeling going into these playoffs with Wentz would be that there’s absolutely no way someone else would beat us at home. Historically and by the eye test there was at the very least a better than 50/50 shot we’d be playing in a Super Bowl that we were favored to win. If you don’t see those chances as being DRAMATICALLY lowered by replacing Wentz with Foles, I don’t know what to tell you. Except, it’s ok to recognize that an incredible, perhaps once in a career opportunity was taken from us this season and still hold out hope and/or recognize that all isn’t lost or that Foles isn’t that bad and could easily play well enough for us to still win the whole thing. But, pretending this injury wasn’t a devastating blow to our chances is just naïve.

  97. 97 xeynon said at 2:27 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Not that your numbers are egregiously off, but I love when people try to frame their side of the argument as more reasonable by simply pulling numbers out of their asses.

    I didn’t pull the numbers out of thin air – they were from a statistical analysis I read somewhere (don’t remember where, unfortunately).

    Since 1990 when the current 12 team format was adopted in the NFL 28 out of the 54 teams that entered as the number 1 seed in their conference made it to the Super Bowl. So 52% chance of making the Super Bowl historically as a number 1 seed in your conference. If however, you are not only the number 1 seed in your conference but the number 1 ranked team in the entire NFL, those numbers jump to 18 out of 27 or 67% chance of making the Super Bowl.

    This would be relevant if we were the clear-cut number 1 ranked team in the NFL. We are not. Four other teams all finished with a 13-3 record, and other measures (DVOA, etc.) don’t suggest that we were definitively better than any of them (we finished 5th in DVOA, but we weren’t #1 even with Wentz in there). So the 52% chance seems closer to the real number to me, and frankly even that seems overly rosy, given that we were quite likely to be facing two strong teams in the playoffs (say, the Saints, followed by the Rams/Vikings). You’d have to give us a better than 70% chance of winning both those games for us to have a 52% chance of making it to the Super Bowl.

    So essentially, based on historical precedence of number 1 overall seeds, we had approximately a 67% chance of playing in a Super Bowl in which we were the favored team to win.

    To have a 67% chance of making it to the Super Bowl, you’d have to give us at least an 82% chance of winning each of our playoff games (.82 * .82 = ~.67). That strikes me as quite frankly delusionally optimistic given the strength of the NFC this year and the fact that the Eagles are not a historically dominant #1 seed (again, they were not even the top team in their own conference by DVOA even before Wentz got hurt).

    Conversely, in the same time frame a backup QB has taken over a team mid season or later and won a Super Bowl 2 out of 27 potential years…or about 7%.

    Ummmm, no. This is not how statistics works. How many of those years have even had a team make the playoffs starting a backup QB? A year in which no backup QB starts in the playoffs doesn’t count as an observation for statistical purposes. Moreover, how many teams that did start a backup QB made it as top seeds as opposed to weak wild card teams that likely would have lost anyway? I’ll give you your answer – it’s two. The Giants in 1990 with Jeff Hostetler and the Raiders last year with Matt McGloin/Connor Cook. One of those two teams won the Super Bowl. That is meaningless as this is too small a sample size to tell us anything, but the bottom line is your analysis here is not sound.

    But, me feeling going into these playoffs with Wentz would be that there’s absolutely no way someone else would beat us at home.

    If that’s what you thought, you were WAY too optimistic. Good teams with strong home field advantages lose all the time. The 15-1 Packers lost to the Giants. The Brady-led Patriots lost twice to Mark Sanchez in Foxboro, as well as to the Ravens twice. In case you need to be reminded, the Eagles lost to Tampa Bay and Carolina. If you think the Eagles would’ve been a sure thing at home with Wentz you think something crazy.

    Historically and by the eye test there was at the very least a better than 50/50 shot we’d be playing in a Super Bowl that we were favored to win.

    No, there wasn’t.

    If you don’t see those chances as being DRAMATICALLY lowered by replacing Wentz with Foles, I don’t know what to tell you.

    I estimated them as being cut in half – I’d say that’s a dramatic reduction.

    Except, it’s ok to recognize that an incredible, perhaps once in a career opportunity was taken from us this season and still hold out hope and/or recognize that all isn’t lost or that Foles isn’t that bad and could easily play well enough for us to still win the whole thing.

    The opportunity was not as good as you think it was and is not as likely as you seem to fear to be once-in-a-career. Teams led by elite QBs (which Wentz is) tend to be in the mix every year.

  98. 98 Jernst said at 9:50 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Haha, nice reply…but the fact is 52% of #1 seeds in their conference make the Super Bowl. You can pretend that’s not true, you can state repeatedly how that just doesn’t sound right to you, you can point out that that would mean we had a 72% chance of winning each game…doesn’t matter. That’s what the averages are for the #1 seeds over the last 27 years.

    You don’t have to remind me that #1 seeds lose all the time. In fact they don’t make it to the Super Bowl 48% of the time. That’s what 52% of #1 seeds make it means in reverse.

    You did pull those numbers directly out of your ass.

    If you want to use DVOA do a statistical analysis using DVOA, but don’t question the factual percentages taken from #1 overall seeds (which is clearly defined, doesn’t matter how many teams are 13-3, there’s tie breakers) and saying they don’t exist because we’re not #1 in DVOA. Perhaps DVOA is a better ranking system than the one for NFL seeding ranks. But it’s irrelevant in disproving the actual percentage of #1 overall seeded teams performance in Super Bowls.

    Point taken on trying to figure out the percentage of teams that make a Super Bowl with a backup. Regardless, it doesn’t happen often and for good reason.

  99. 99 xeynon said at 10:02 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You’re putting an awful lot of weight on the slender reed of this “52% of #1 seeds” thing. More weight than it can hold. No statistician worth his or her salt would state that any variable with only 27 observations tells you anything ironclad (that’s not a large enough sample size), but that is in fact what you’re trying to do. DVOA is at least based on a sample of hundreds of plays run over the course of a full season.

    But as I’ve said elsewhere, even if we accept for the sake of argument that the Eagles had a 52% chance of making the SB with Wentz, that still puts their chances of actually winning it at only ~25% given that they likely would’ve been a slight underdog. 25% is really not all that much higher than my guess of 20% (which I didn’t make up, but whatever, I’m not going to argue that with you. I cite sources and corroborating data as much as anyone around here so I don’t feel like I need to defend my drawing on a source I don’t remember and can’t be bothered tracking down. I want to say it was an article on 538 or FootballOutsiders several years back if you want to look).

  100. 100 Jernst said at 11:46 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    A lot of weight? I decided to use the very imperfect, easiest to find metric of…well anything (outcomes based on teams’ seeding)…as opposed to a number I made up while citing a source from somewhere years ago, I don’t know, I can’t be bothered to look it up.

    And, for your information, when you run a power of study test on binary outcomes 54 data points provides enough power to achieve scientifically accepted statistical significance. When you add the data from the 2 through 6 seeds giving you 324 data points, you not only have a more than adequately powered study but there’s a clear statistically significant correlation between win percentage in the playoffs increasing dramatically as you move up from one seed to the next. So…Again, with the pulling absolute statements out of your ass without backing it up properly.

    If you don’t like basing it off seeding and prefer DVOA use DVOA. I don’t really care. Just use something, not let’s just assume it dropped from 20 to 10% and therefore if we accept that as fact because I’m a well known citer of facts my original argument is suddenly valid. That’s not the way it works.

  101. 101 ChoTime said at 3:55 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    There is a flaw in your analysis, namely in: “Conversely, in the same time frame a backup QB has taken over a team mid season or later and won a Super Bowl 2 out of 27 potential years…or about 7%.”

    You would need to find out what happens when a #1 seed loses a starting QB at the very end of the season for these things to be compared.

  102. 102 Jernst said at 9:56 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This is true. Good point. Unfortunately impossible due to the absurdly low cohort size.

  103. 103 John Luck Pickerd said at 9:12 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This team will go down as a Top 3 favorite Eagles team of mine. It’s up there with the 2004 and 2002 seasons.

  104. 104 sonofdman said at 9:16 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Perfectly stated. This sums up my exact feelings going into the playoffs.

  105. 105 Gary Barnes said at 9:57 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Perfect

  106. 106 Mac said at 10:16 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    We’ve got our ticket to the greatest crap shoot in all of sports.

    “Welcome to the NFL playoffs, the show where everything’s made up and the points are the only thing that matters.”

    (quote slightly modified)

  107. 107 Philadelphian said at 7:32 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    The fact is the NFL is the most difficult league to win a title in because you are one and done, meaning it’s very possible that the best team in the playoffs doesn’t win it all.

    In other leagues, if the better team gets beaten in a particular game they have more opportunities to overcome a bad performance. Case in point was the 2001 NBA Finals when the Iverson led Sixers upset the overwhelming favorite Lakers in the first game only to lose four straight games.

  108. 108 sonofdman said at 9:25 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Everyone worried about Nick Foles can relax because my sources tell me that Pederson is working on an innovative game plan for Foles that the defenses will never expect. After Foles takes the snap he will turn around 180 degrees so he is facing backward. Then, when he backs up to get away from the pass rush he will actually gain yards.

  109. 109 ChoTime said at 11:20 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-4-gLlF0uw

  110. 110 cshav10 said at 9:25 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Funny – when Nick Foles had a coach that believed in him and he believed in himself, he was special. Historic-game and All-Pro special. He had an incredible connection with his receivers that year.

  111. 111 RobNE said at 10:36 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    when they were wide open and on jump balls in the snow.

  112. 112 xeynon said at 10:39 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This is a popular but inaccurate historical re-imagining of what actually happened in 2013. Go back and watch the highlights. Yes, Foles had wide open receivers at times. But he also made some throws that were absolute dimes. Chip Kelly’s offense doesn’t get all the credit for how he played that year.

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

  113. 113 RobNE said at 10:44 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    sure the truth is somewhere in the middle, I was overplaying the comment based on the prior one, but based on the infallible eye test, Wentz is way, way better and Foles was never, ever going to repeat 27-2. As I watched then it didn’t seem repeatable. There was a fair amount of luck involved, Shady was doing Shady things, etc. The OL stayed intact the whole season right?

  114. 114 xeynon said at 10:46 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Sure, but the bar for success for Foles is not “repeat literally one of the greatest 10 game stretches any starting QB has had in NFL history”.

    It’s “play like a competent NFL starting quarterback”. He’s not 27-2 guy, and he’s not Carson, but if the rest of the team does their jobs, he doesn’t have to be.

  115. 115 RobNE said at 10:52 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I agree and am hopeful.

  116. 116 cshav10 said at 10:41 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    In 2013, Foles threw at least 12 balls that “should have” been interceptions, except his receivers kept making plays on the balls that resulted in catches for big gains. It was one of the most remarkable years of football I have ever watched and reminded me of playing sand lot football with guys who knew each other’s games really well.

  117. 117 xeynon said at 10:53 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This is a very arbitrary thing to say.

    How do you define what “should have” been an interception? Balls thrown directly to defenders that are dropped, or INTs wiped out by penalties, fine, those are easy, but Foles didn’t have “at least” 12 of those in 2013. But if a QB throws a 50-50 ball and the receiver makes a play on it? I don’t know if I call that something that “should be” an interception.

  118. 118 cshav10 said at 11:14 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    A lot of 50-50 balls, and a lot of balls chucked into open spaces for receivers to break route and go get them.

  119. 119 xeynon said at 11:24 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    That describes literally 50 percent of NFL passes, at least.

    Throwing 50-50 balls and to open space for receivers to go get a ball are both things good NFL quarterbacks have to do.

  120. 120 cshav10 said at 11:48 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Guess you had to be there. It was a remarkable year and Riley Cooper (who couldn’t catch a pass from another QB to save his life) had a stunning chemistry with Nick Foles.

  121. 121 xeynon said at 11:55 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Oh I remember the year well.. I do think Foles benefited from luck but I also think he undeniably played well. Hasn’t been able to duplicate that level of success since, perhaps because he’s never had such favorable circumstances. The OL staying healthy and being good was a huge factor.

  122. 122 FairOaks said at 11:32 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I do recall remembering he probably should have had 7ish interceptions on the year, rather than just two — several pick throws were outright dropped by defenders. But I can’t call 50-50 balls “should have been” interceptions — by definition, that is 50-50 and not “should”, and really those plays were working so the receivers had the advantage anyways. And part of those throws are trusting your receivers to play defense if they can’t catch it — something those receivers could be trusted to do, and not the 2016 Eagles WRs. Yes, Jackson got extremely lucky that one of those bounced away which he then caught for a TD, but still can’t call that “should have” been a pick.

    By that measure, Dak has thrown lots and lots of “should have” been interceptions that Dez has defended.

    Even redoing those numbers some for more normal luck, Foles would have been mid-20s in TDs and probably less than 10 INTs, which is still very good. He really was good that year, and didn’t display some of the bad habits he has acquired since.

  123. 123 cshav10 said at 12:10 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yeah, there were definitely defender drops that year that contributed. But he had this sandlot mentality with Cooper where he would chuck the ball up like six or seven yards off the route and Cooper would go and get it. It consistently took defenders by surprise and the ball would just be out there floating in space. It was simultaneously really fun and heart-in-your-throat nerve wracking to watch. Many of the things I saw him do with Cooper I’ve only seen maybe Russell Wilson do since. Foles and Cooper developed that understanding on the second team. In the years before he started, I saw it evolving in the preseason games during the junk-time second halves.

  124. 124 unhinged said at 9:26 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If they had score one TD in their last game they would have had the best record in the league, but now they don’t own it, they share it. Eagles across the season scored one less point and gave up one less point than NE. To me the most glaring number when I look at the regular season standings: Vikings for the season points against 252. That’s a gaudy 15.8/game. If they play Saints and keep them under 20, they will win, I think. Carolina could be kept under 20 and still win. I think Eagles are going to need turnovers and ST to keep pace.

  125. 125 eagleyankfan said at 10:04 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I’ll bite — who care’s about the best record in the league? Home field through out the playoffs is all that matters. No trophy given to best record in nfl…

  126. 126 Howie Littlefinger said at 10:16 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If u are suggesting this team can’t beat the Vikings 14-10 then u are wrong. This team wins ugly.

  127. 127 unhinged said at 1:53 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    i m not.

  128. 128 ChoTime said at 11:22 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Eagles and Patriots are tied for point differential, which is usually the most accurate determinant of future success (independent of seeding and opponent level, etc). Of course, it’s only a field goal better than Minnesota. Basically, these playoff teams are all pretty good and matchups, home field, and luck will tell. Luck has already played into it, to our detriment, of course.

  129. 129 Philadelphian said at 10:22 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Good article that puts things into perspective. The total focus has been on what Foles did wrong while ignoring the too many mistakes made by others.

  130. 130 kajomo said at 8:18 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I think something that doesn’t get talked about enough is how Carson elevated the play of those around him. Maybe the offense is just average without a guy like Wentz. I think the defense and ST are the ones that are really going to need to step up and carry the offense as a whole.

  131. 131 Philadelphian said at 11:46 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    You got something there, but then again isn’t it true with all special QBS? For example, if you got a receiver like Jeffrey whose strength is out leaping defenders, don’t you need a QB that can throw the ball just right?

    Before the Eagles/Rams game I was watching Kurt Warner being asked on the NFL Network about Goff and Wentz. His response was quite telling because he said both QBS were good but he saw difference in the types of passes they attempted. According to Warner, Goff completes the easy passes, but struggles with the tough passes. On the other hand, he said Wentz sometimes doesn’t make the easy completion, but can complete a difficult pass. He went on to say if you can complete the tough pass you have a better chance against a good defense.

    During the game I think I saw examples if what Warner meant. Goff’s completions were to wide open receivers. However, if you look at the four TD passes Wentz made, only Celek was open. In both of Trey Burton’s TD catches, the defender covered Burton perfectly. It took two great passes and catches to make both plays. The same was true of Wentz’s TD pass to Jeffrey.

    To ask Foles to make those types of passes is unfair. That’s why it’s imperative that Pederson comes up with game plan that gives receivers a better chance of succeeding. It comes down to good old fashion play action that only works with a running game.

  132. 132 RobNE said at 10:41 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    off topic but I need to say how ridiculous it is to offer Gruden a piece of ownership of the Raiders to coach. I get it, it’s not my money, etc. But on a pure value basis, this blows my mind. It’s an unbelievable overpay. [no it’s not announced I am commenting based on rumors]

  133. 133 cshav10 said at 10:42 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Agreed…but it shows the value of self-promotion.

  134. 134 ChoTime said at 11:24 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yes, in this Brave New World, you are indeed right. A lot of young people are already in the habit of considering themselves independent little corporations, and this should just clinch it.

  135. 135 Bert's Bells said at 11:47 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This is the endgame of late stage capitalism. The obliteration of the individual as anything other an official economic unit.

    Citizens United laid groundwork for this on the other end by ruling that corporations are people.

    Young people -rightly -see this as a survival mechanism. To retain your position as a human would be revolutionary.

    PS: Workers of the world unite!

  136. 136 RobNE said at 11:53 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    This could be the endgame of a lot of things.

  137. 137 Bert's Bells said at 11:57 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Such as? Tell me more!

  138. 138 RobNE said at 12:44 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    an independent Justice Department

  139. 139 Bert's Bells said at 12:47 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Young people with W9s?

  140. 140 BC1968 said at 8:13 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I try to sell my body to women but it’s just not that lucrative of a business. Actually the money ends up going out if my pocket, I screwed up somewhere along the way.

  141. 141 ChoTime said at 1:47 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yes, as an independent musician, I have had to operate this way my whole career. I offer and am a “product,” something (partially) consciously created, including my image, dress, repertoire, online presence, etc. Accepting this is the big difference between me and many “artists,” who aren’t willing to, well, prostitute themselves in such a way. But in a capitalistic society with free market-like qualities, the individual must sell something.

  142. 142 Bert's Bells said at 2:23 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    We all sell our bodies. That’s the foundation of economics.

  143. 143 ChoTime said at 3:50 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Wage slaves, tbh!

  144. 144 unhinged said at 2:07 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Actually the ruling equating corporation and personhood came down in the 1880’s…in a Pennsylvania court! Citizens United was more related to unmetered monies from ANY source (in the country) as protected by the first amendment. It. Together they show the court to be as owned and kept as our political parties.

  145. 145 Bert's Bells said at 2:22 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    interesting

  146. 146 FairOaks said at 11:33 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Davis knows him from being Raiders coach before, not just as a TV personality.

  147. 147 xeynon said at 10:57 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Makes me grateful we don’t have a dumb owner like Marc Davis.

  148. 148 FairOaks said at 11:11 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Apparently any ownership stake offer might need to be approved by the other owners. So that may not happen — other owners may not want that as a precedent. May only need to be 24 owners instead of unanimous, but not completely sure.

  149. 149 BlindChow said at 11:47 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Gruden has already said he didn’t want an ownership stake.

    https://twitter.com/GehlkenNFL/status/948561854153895936

  150. 150 Howie Littlefinger said at 11:52 AM on January 3rd, 2018:

    They are dead in the water in OAK. Its more for publicity and fan interest than him actually being worth it as a coach. it’s an entertainment industry that needs to put asses in seats.

    For the record I 100% agree with ur sentiment.

  151. 151 RobNE said at 12:45 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    winning puts butts in the seats too, but I guess that’s harder to do.

  152. 152 anon said at 12:43 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Have to take that team to Vegas – need a coach

  153. 153 unhinged said at 1:57 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    The Raiders are maybe the least lucrative franchise in the NFL, so maybe Mark Davis is looking for long-term commitment. Apparently he’s been wanting for a long time.

  154. 154 A Roy said at 3:36 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    He said no offer of ownership on Golic & Wingo this morning.

  155. 155 Tumtum said at 1:01 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    No matter what happens, all parts considered, this is the best Eagles team I think I have seen. This season will be remembered both fondly and with disdain. It would be cool to win a play off game. I wonder if Jeff Garcia will come out of retirement?

  156. 156 Howie Littlefinger said at 2:15 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I’m starting to really buy the idea of winning a few 17-10 games at home. Best pass rush with pressure, #1 stopping the run, insane home crowd advantage.

    All Nick Foles and the offense really need to do is not turn the ball over and keep running it. Ajayi, Clement, Endarounds. I think screens to TE/RB will play apart in this and get the ball to Burton and Hollins.

    Ertz on 3rd/4th downs

  157. 157 xeynon said at 2:40 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Foles will still need to make a few big throws to win with this formula. But it will be more like 2 or 3 big throws a game, not 9 or 10. That should be doable. Just can’t get into any Rams or Giants part II-type defenseless shootouts. I’d like our chances to pull one of those out with Carson, I’m far less optimistic we could do it with Foles.

  158. 158 Howie Littlefinger said at 3:45 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I can see him making a few throws and winning it. That’s something he has proven he can do. He did it in the rams game and the Raiders game.

    I can’t see winning with him throwing 40 times. I can’t see him throwing 4 TDs. Make a few plays? Sure.

  159. 159 CrackSammich said at 5:57 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Yeah, but that’s also what every defensive coordinator is expecting us to do until we prove we can do otherwise. They’ll play us exactly like they played Chip. 8 in the box under cover 1/man free all day.

  160. 160 Sean E said at 2:54 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Foles’ 2013 was more special than Wentz’s 2017.

  161. 161 Philadelphian said at 3:27 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I don’t agree at all. Foles benefited from DC’s not knowing enough about Kelly’s system to defend against it. More often than not any pass completed was to a wide open receiver because the defenses were being caught off guard. In 2014, the defenses started to figure Kelly out and Foles struggled a lot more.

    On the other hand, Wentz was able to not only run a more complex offense, but was given the authority to make changes on the line, which is something Kelly never allowed his QBS to do.

    Also, Wentz has an uncanny ability to complete difficult passes to tightly covered receivers which is something Foles hasn’t proven he could do.

    Understand, my intention is not to knock Foles because I think much of the criticism of him is unfair, but I strongly believe that Carson Wentz is something special.

  162. 162 xeynon said at 3:35 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I agree with you that Carson is clearly a much more talented player and that his success is far more likely to be sustainable, but he’s not wrong that Foles’ 2013 season was more special from a statistical standpoint. It was one of the greatest seasons by a starting QB in NFL history.

  163. 163 KillaKadafi said at 5:24 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    There’s statistics and then there is actually watching the game…

  164. 164 BC1968 said at 8:06 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I agree here 100 percent. What Wentz was able to do doesn’t show up in the stats, which by the way were still amazing, the eye test tells it all. Squeezing out of the sack against Washington, the first game, first touchdown play against Washington, fucking amazing. That throw while being pulled down against Seattle. He was able to make a TD throw without any push from his leg, just tossed it like an apple, yeah great catch by Alshon, but still. Look at the YouTube highlights the NFL put up after the injury, its tiyled, Get Well Wentz or some shit. It was an amazing year, not just statistically, that just scratches the surface. Foles was throwing to a bunch of wide open guys in a new system that took the league by surprise.

    When I hear that we have better talent now I also call bullshit. We had a younger DeSean, Shady and Maclin, hell even Cooper was wide open in that offense. We still had a good Celek and a first year Ertz. You could say Foles had a great year and better years than Montana, Brady and Elway had at some point but even Chip(rightfully so) didn’t think he was the guy. After that in credible year he still traded for Sam freaking Bradford. What did he see in Foles?

  165. 165 xeynon said at 9:00 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    When I hear that we have better talent now I also call bullshit. From an
    offensive standpoint we had a younger DeSean, Shady and Maclin, hell
    even Cooper was wide open in that offense.

    While I don’t disagree that that team had better offensive talent than this one, it’s simply not true that Foles was throwing to wide open receivers all year. Seriously, go back and watch the highlights – he made some real NFL-quality throws into tight windows. He’s not Carson Wentz by any stretch but it’s just not true at all that he only succeeded in 2013 because he had wide open receivers to throw to.

  166. 166 BC1968 said at 10:28 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    If that’s true, and I have no reason to doubt you, he has to learn to trust these receivers more. Apparently it took awhile for even Wentz to trust Jeffery, a guy who doesn’t create much separation but he makes his plays by out jumping, reaching and or out muscling a defender for the ball. It’s just that Foles has two games and a quarter under his belt and he’s not throwing to him, not even much to the receivers at all. The throw that Smith dropped against Dallas was was nice, the short balls to Agholar to get the winning fg against Oakland were nice, but even like you said in one of your posts, he has to get some deep balls. He did that in Chip’s offense.

    The int he threw was forced to Jeffery when he had a wide open Agholar underneath. Its like he was trying to make a point to get him the ball when he should’ve threw to the open guy. Hope he can fix that, or the coaches can get him to recognize that. Hoping that Doug can and the offensive coaches can come up with something and play to his strengths, hopefully he has something left in the tank. Remember we are talking about an older Foles on top of everything.

  167. 167 Man Of War said at 3:56 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    LOL!

  168. 168 Bert's Bells said at 4:13 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Special in that it was anomalous and unrepeatable. Yeah. Wentz’ season is just who he is, there will be many more.

  169. 169 xeynon said at 10:07 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Wentz is great, and will be a top QB for years to come, but some of the things he did this year (such as his absurdly high efficiency on 3rd down) are likely to regress to the mean. Even he is not immune to mathematical laws.

  170. 170 Bert's Bells said at 10:29 AM on January 4th, 2018:

    true

  171. 171 Donald Kalinowski said at 3:34 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    One concerning thing about Foles is that it seems like his wind up and delivery are slow. In the Oakland game it felt like he couldn’t get the ball out of his hands quickly enough for the receivers to be able to catch it while they were open. It allowed the DBs and LBs enough time to catch up, causing him to panic. So when it got to 3rd and 8 there was a sense that there was no way they were going to convert it.

  172. 172 Man Of War said at 3:57 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    yeah he’s slow.
    weak arm now too.
    sad

  173. 173 kajomo said at 8:13 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    He seems to go through his progressions a little slow. We can’t really be sure how much of that is just a lack of playing time. He also doesn’t throw well when off-platform and it takes him some time to gather himself. I think we notice things like this so much because Wentz was so good at them.

  174. 174 xeynon said at 8:58 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    FWIW I think slow mental processing time is a bigger issue for Foles than lack of physical attributes such as foot speed. The two of course compound each other, but if he can get his processing speed up I think he can compensate for his lack of athleticism.

  175. 175 kajomo said at 9:41 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I would think foot speed would be easier to improve, but I agree. If he could get the ball out faster his ability to move around the pocket becomes less of an issue. Conversely if he could buy time in the pocket it would allow more time to work through his progressions.

  176. 176 xeynon said at 9:52 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    As a former physically limited QB himself I’m sure Doug knows this, and will do everything he can do design a game plan which gets the ball out quick and minimize the amount of time Nick has to spend holding onto the ball waiting for routes to develop.

    I suspect we’ll see a lot of running plays and quick hitters with play action, rub routes, etc. mixed in in the playoffs. There was no reason to run this stuff against the Raiders or Cowboys and put it on film. Only so many bullets in the chamber as far as playcalling wrinkles go and there’s no reason to waste one when you think you can get the job done with a blunt instrument.

  177. 177 scratcherk said at 7:34 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Kurt Warner’s #1 QB of the year: Carson Wentz

  178. 178 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:09 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Was responding to CShav below then realized its so far back, yous guys would miss out, and lord know we wouldn’t want that:

    Nick Foles played very well when opposing defenses were terrified of LeSean McCoy. He opened up the passing game more than DeSean Jackson, though DeSean’s speed certainly helped.

    If Dougie P. and the OL (that’s my new band name BTW) can get that running game into high gear, we’ve got a real shot against anyone.

    Run the damn ball!! If Dougie slips into ‘Keep firing’ we’re screwed – BUT he has been really good at learning from AR’s stubbornness in most cases.

    There is hope.

  179. 179 unhinged said at 8:42 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    From here on out there is no opponent that will be weak vs the run. Maybe the Falcons, but we probably won’t get to play them. I don’t see Doug going full-tilt w/the run…mainly because that’s is not how his team got where it is. On the other hand, I would definitely applaud an earnest effort to run hard and run often in the first quarter and see what happens. On that subject, the next draft should include a Y TE that excels at blocking, and maybe an OG that loves punishing people. Having a strong short-yardage OL would be a nice upgrade.

  180. 180 xeynon said at 9:36 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Dougie P so far has showed me that he actually does what Chip only talked about – see what the defense is giving him/what the game situation dictates, and call more running or passing plays accordingly. Outside of the KC game when he got a little pass happy, I’ve had very few issues with his passing vs. running balance this season. I think in the playoffs we’ll see him run the ball plenty, likely with some new wrinkles (jet sweeps, etc.) we haven’t used much yet this year.

  181. 181 daveH said at 9:07 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Dawkins in such a badass

  182. 182 anon said at 9:26 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Thoughts on Jim Schwartz leaving? How bad is this defense next year?

  183. 183 xeynon said at 9:28 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    My thought is we worry about next year next year. I think Schwartz is a good coordinator but if he leaves there are plenty of accomplished defensive coaches out there we could hire to take his place.

  184. 184 daveH said at 10:27 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Agree. . And also happy to play against him twice a year as a head coach

  185. 185 anon said at 11:01 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Names? Lots of Billy Davis out there. You remember this day with sconces?

  186. 186 BlindChow said at 11:07 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Haven’t you heard? It’s all “good vibes” and “chill out, man” these days. You best not question anything about our statistically-assured upcoming Super Bowl victory. No one is allowed to express any trepidation about this team. Sorry, bro.

  187. 187 Donald Kalinowski said at 11:01 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    Lose/Lose for the Giants and the Eagles. A major win for Dallas.

  188. 188 CrackSammich said at 12:31 AM on January 4th, 2018:

    Somebody would have to be particularly bad to field a bad defense with the talent we have. I’m not saying Schwartz is bad by any means, but almost all of his teams have been absolutely stacked along the DL, which makes him looked good by default.

  189. 189 ColorSgt said at 12:46 AM on January 4th, 2018:

    Isn’t that his doing though? He has to get some credit for building the defense, not just coaching it.

  190. 190 ColorSgt said at 11:23 PM on January 3rd, 2018:

    I don’t really care what happens as far as TO getting into the HOF. I think he deserves to be in, but appreciate that he got snubbed last year. If he gets in, he deserves it; if he gets left out again, he deserves that too. On the flip side there is Dawk, my favorite Eagle of all time. He absolutely should be in the HOF and better not get skipped over again this year.