Win the Week

Posted: January 9th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 214 Comments »

Doug Pederson’s message to the team all year long has been to “win the week”. Whatever you do that week, do it well. And do it all week long. A bad week of practice followed by a win on Sunday isn’t what you want. You won’t sustain that formula. A great week of practice followed by a loss isn’t any good. You need to be good all week long.

Last week the Eagles were able to have some good practices. They got some more rest. Injured players had more time to heal up. Coaches had extra time to work on gameplans and do some self-scouting. That’s how you win the week when you don’t play.

The Eagles also got to watch the Wild Card round of the playoffs. If they are smart, they learned some lessons from those games. I wrote about the potential lessons for PE.com.

None of this is brain surgery, but that’s kind of the point. Too often, people expect some genius revelation in the postseason. The teams that win are usually smarter, but in a basic way. Don’t make mistakes. Tackle well. Run the ball. Block well. Be physical.

The Falcons were up 28-20 in the Super Bowl. They were playing great. They were in FG range. Then they got cute and called a pass play. There was a sack that took them from the 22-yard line with momentum back to the 35. That drive fell apart.

Had they just done the obvious and run the ball, they would have worked time off the clock and almost certainly been up 31-20 with about 3:30 left. The Patriots would have had to burn more timeouts. The Falcons wanted the TD and it is good to be aggressive, but there are times when the risk just isn’t worth the reward. That was certainly one of them.

With Foles in at QB, the Eagles can’t afford to make crucial mistakes. They aren’t going to play a perfect game, but they must be smart overall. I’m really curious to see how Doug Pederson handles himself this week, and hopefully for another game or two. He’s had a great year, but the playoffs are a different animal. Some coaches (and players) are at their best with the pressure on, others…not so much.

*****

How fun was it to watch the national title game last night and see all those talented draft prospects and then think…we still have football games to worry about. The draft can wait at least one more week, hopefully more.

Being a part of the postseason is so much fun. I hope the Eagles give us a reason to be happy on Saturday.

_


  • LowerSlower

    First.

    Now, what do I win? The interwebs?

    • xeynon

      The eternal enmity of SeanE.

      • or____

        Interesting, “blocked” has another name afterall

        • xeynon

          He’s one I haven’t blocked.

          • or____

            I can’t remember if it was the “first” thing and also political rubbish or not but either way, I really don’t care.

          • xeynon

            Oh right he’s the vocal Trump supporter right?

            I really try to avoid politics on a board like this. I get enough of it elsewhere in my life, this is a respite. Yeah given that I’m surprised I haven’t blocked him.

          • Sean E

            In my defense I only brought it up when others have

          • Tumtum

            Because your better than that. I haven’t blocked anyone over that shit.. even though I have seen them exposed for who they really are. Why? Because they don’t continue to press it here and talk good football.

            If they can’t separate those two parts of life, that is when you block them. Good on you.

      • LowerSlower

        Should I be worried?

    • CrackSammich

      Nothing. He’s Jordan Mills finger wagging you. You’ll be back to being annoyed next time he does it.

      • Tumtum

        I love the Jalen finger wag. For goodness sakes the dude has green hair. The guy is exactly the type of player you need on your team to win a Superbowl. Everyone can’t be superstar… I just assume they all think they are though.

        • xeynon

          Yeah, I like Jalen too.

          He’s not a superstar, but he’s a hard-nosed, tough, resilient player who executes his assignments. As you say, you can’t have superstars at every position. I absolutely think you can win a SB with Mills as one of your starting CBs though.

      • LowerSlower

        Ha!

    • RobNE

      do you mean your first time here?

      • LowerSlower

        Been following this blog for a while.

    • Tumtum

      Please God, make it stop.

      • LowerSlower

        Forgot the sarcasm font. My bad.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Dallas Cowboy of the week. Congratulations!

      • LowerSlower

        I’ve been quiet over here in the corner for a while.
        Saw the kerfuffle over being first to post.
        I must have misplace the sarcasm font.

        As for that first sentence- yeah, no. Been an Eagles fan before that organization existed.

        I didn’t watch the ‘60 championship game due to blackout regs back then. Turning the antenna towards NYC to pick up the signal was no help. Also my dad yelled at me for being on the roof.

        Had to listen to radio.

        • Dragon_Eagle

          O_o

          You entered a wiseass post and got playful, just for fun, wiseass responses.

          Chill, Cowboy.

  • xeynon

    The Falcons wanted the TD and it is good to be aggressive, but there are times when the risk just isn’t worth the reward. That was certainly one of them.

    This is something a lot of football coaches/players don’t seem to get. The “play aggressive” mentality is so ingrained in so many people in this sport that it often overwhelms the imperative to play smart. Sometimes the objective isn’t to score more points but to run time off the clock/force the opponent to burn timeouts/ensure that you get at least 3 points, not go all out – Belichick is one of the few coaches I’ve ever seen who gets that and whose teams play like it. Andy Reid sure doesn’t.

    Re: the pressure of coaching in the playoffs point – isn’t Doug kind of playing with house money right now? Nobody expects him to win anything with Foles as the QB. His mettle won’t truly be tested until he’s coaching a team that’s expected to at least win its first playoff game.

    • eagleyankfan

      I don’t know. I’m not sure I agree with that premise that doing a pass play and “aggressive” go together. Last year – Atlanta was nothing short of amazing in the passing game. They were clicking on all cylinders all year throwing. Doing something they do very well(including throwing well during the game) shouldn’t be considered aggressive. Taking/getting the sack was the problem, not the play call. I’m not saying they didn’t(don’t) have a good ground game either – if you have a game plan in place – and you’ve scored 28 points doing according to the game plan — why change it up? They stuck to their game plan. IF anything – that defense let them down…I can’t blame that game on that 1 play(even though, taking a sack there was bad)

      • xeynon

        Pass plays are higher variance. They more often result in big gains, but they also more often result in big losses or turnovers. Calling them is therefore inherently more aggressive because you’re taking a bigger risk for a bigger reward. Moreover when you have a lead you’re trying to protect, calling them can also result in a clock stoppage you don’t want.

        In the situation the Falcons were in – 1st and 10 on the Patriots’ 22, 8 point lead, ~5 minutes left – all they needed to do to dramatically increase their odds of winning the game was not lose any yards, keep the clock running, and kick a field goal. The worst possible thing they could do was call a play with a significant downside risk of taking them out of field goal range. That’s exactly what they did and it backfired spectacularly.

        I’m still mystified by it 11 months later. Belichick has won two Super Bowls because the opposing coach inexplicably went full retard at the worst possible moment.

        • eagleyankfan

          can’t argue that…

          • xeynon

            Forget about Ryan’s stats.

            A passing play moves the ball backward until and unless your QB has a chance to release it. If your OL fails to block you can therefore get a negative result even if your QB is playing lights out in the form of a sack. The risk of a holding penalty is also higher.

            In that situation literally the highest priority for the Falcons should have been to not take a loss of yardage that could knock them out of FG range. They had one job. Calling a deep drop pass is one of the few things they could’ve done to screw that job up. Getting a TD instead of a FG was not enough upside there to make it worth the downside risk. All they needed to do was run three times into the line (almost impossible to lose significant yards like that), keep the clock running, force NE to use timeouts, and kick a FG to go up 11 with just over 3 minutes to go, getting the ball back, with NE having no timeouts. They do that, and they take the clock down to the two minute warning even without getting a first down. Then they punt the ball, and the Patriots have to drive the length of the field for a TD, convert the two point play, recover an onsides kick, and get into position for a FG, all with less than 2 minutes on the clock and no timeouts. That’s an almost impossible task.

            The value of making it a two score game there cannot be overstated, and that was far more important than making it a two TD game. They screwed it up, and they deserved to lose. It was the worst late game coaching choke I’ve ever seen in any sport. Dan Quinn is a goddamned moron and if I were the Falcons’ owner I would’ve fired him immediately after the game for that.

        • Masked Man

          Falcons and Seahawks games…..

        • Bert’s Bells

          I’ve thought that too. The myth of the Belichick genius is so strong other coaches outsmart themselves and the Patriots roll to a bunch of titles by less than one score a piece.

          • RobNE

            Pete Carroll went full Princess Bride self-dialogue on choosing to pass. I knew we had to pass once (why?!), and so instead of passing on the next down we passed on this down! Brilliant. Meanwhile Bill is standing over there not taking a time out.

          • xeynon

            I thought my “Tropic Thunder” quote was going to be the best movie reference in this thread but you’ve got me beat.

          • Stephen E.

            That’s because Belichick spent years building up a resistance to iocaine poison.

          • RobNE

            he is also not left handed.

      • RobNE

        I can, and do.

    • CrackSammich

      Let’s say you’re up by 1-6 pts with 3 min left in the game. Other team has the ball in the red zone. I wish teams would just let the opponent score so that your offense gets the ball back with enough time to score. At least I though that in the Bill Davis defense years, when the only thing they really excelled in was dictating how long it took for the opponent to score instead of how much they scored.

    • Gary Barnes

      Playing with house money? No, they are the #1 seed with HFA throughout and a 13-3 record. They are 7-1 at home this season. This is still a very good team. They should win and must not let this great opportunity slip through their fingers.

      Foles is the guy they picked as the backup. That stated they thought he was good enough for this type of scenario. I agree he can be and the rest of the team needs to do their jobs too.

      Win three games and they are champions. We have no idea if the Eagles will ever be in this position again under Pederson.

      • xeynon

        No, they are the #1 seed with HFA throughout and a 13-3 record.

        While true, the fact that they’re missing the single most indispensable player in compiling that record is kind of a big deal and not something you can just gloss over. The fact is they are the first #1 seed in playoff history to be an underdog against a #6 seed in the divisional round. I don’t necessarily agree with that, and think a lot of people are too down on their chances, but it still speaks volumes to the fact that losing Wentz significantly impacts their SB odds in a negative direction. Should they win? Yeah sure, maybe in a moral sense – but not in a probabilistic one.

        Foles is the guy they picked as the backup. That stated they thought he was good enough for this type of scenario. I agree he can be and the rest of the team needs to do their jobs too.

        Can’t agree with this. There are not 64 Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks in professional football so not every team can have a backup capable of leading their team effectively against playoff competition. In fact, there are not even 32 Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks, so almost no teams can. Foles may or may not be good enough to meet that threshold (my guess he is, marginally) but regardless you can’t just expect having to play him in the playoffs to not impact their chances at all. Even if he’s good enough at his best to win a SB, he’s not as good as Carson Wentz. Good/bad is not a binary – it’s a continuum. A guy who’s really really good like Wentz is better than a guy who’s maybe just good enough like Foles even if both meet the minimum standard of “capable of playing well enough to win a SB”.

        We have no idea if the Eagles will ever be in this position again under Pederson.

        Of course we don’t *know*, but it’s highly likely they will be in a similar position again. Teams that have 25 year old franchise-level QBs don’t generally just fall apart. Even the Colts, who have done everything humanly possible to screw up Andrew Luck, will likely be fine next year assuming he comes back healthy.

        • CrackSammich

          Everything I’ve read regarding Luck doesn’t give me the indication that he’s coming back. That shoulder is done.

          • xeynon

            We’ll see. He’s had a lot of time off and modern medicine and rehab techniques can do a lot when a guy is given time to recover from an injury.

        • Gary Barnes

          Not glossing over the loss of Wentz, but again no player is bigger than the team and football is the ultimate team sport. We’ve won games without Wentz and will again. Like the loss of Peters, Hicks, Sproles etc., it is a next guy up mentality and the whole team, including the coaches, needs to elevate their performance.

          Foles is a perfectly capable QB for a team of our caliber. We are playing at home where we’ve played very well. We have a very good defense who matches up with the Falcons strengths. We have a good running game and OL that has proven effective this season. We have a very good TE that can help move the chains and WR who can execute against any defense.

          This is an opportunity for Pederson to start writing his legacy and for Schwartz to add to his. They all know what is at stake and what a golden moment this could be for the organization. No one is going to use excuses – MN is using a backup QB as well and doing fine. Go Eagles!

          • xeynon

            I don’t disagree with you that this is still a great opportunity, and I want to see the team play its guts out.

            I just won’t be crushed if they fall short.

          • Gary Barnes

            A perfectly valid position

        • Gary Barnes

          Do I need to list again the Philadelphia teams that we thought would be serious contenders and win championships for years, but instead never got back to a certain level? It happens all the time as consistent contention is very hard to sustain, especially in the NFL.

          Nothing is promised or guaranteed. Wentz or anyone else may never be as good or better than they were this year. Each year in the NFL is a separate entity and very little carries over to the next. We may lose Schwartz or DeFil or Douglas this year, players will move on and new ones will come in, other injuries will happen etc. This is why the team needs to seize this moment and take full advantage because tomorrow is unknown.

          The Falcons are not an elite or dominant team – we should beat them at home. If we lose, I’ll definitely be pissed. We may have other chances in the future, but that is not a lock unfortunately.

          • xeynon

            Do I need to list again the Philadelphia teams that we thought would be serious contenders and win championships for years, but instead never got back to a certain level?

            How many of those teams had a player of Wentz’s caliber at a position as impactful as QB? This is a guy who literally looks likely to be one of the best players in the league at arguably the single most important position in all of team sports. Barring injuries, it’s almost certain the team will be in serious contention as long as they have him on the roster.

            There is no player of equivalent importance on a baseball team. You could make a case for a dominant center or all around superstar in basketball, or an all-world goalie in hockey, but the Sixers and Flyers, when they have had success over recent decades, never built it around those types of players. Teams that did (e.g. every team Shaq or Lebron has played on, the Sabres with Dominik Hasek) were sustained contenders. Teams that have had a Wentz-level QB (Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Packers, etc.) have all been sustained contenders. I look at the whole population of sports teams, not just Philadelphia teams, because there aren’t many precedents for the Eagles’ situation with Wentz.

            Again, unless injuries ruin his career, I don’t think there’s any rational reason to bet against the Eagles being a very good team as long as Wentz is here.

          • Gary Barnes

            Eagles of 2004 had McNabb, TO, Dawk, Westbrook, Trot & Co. Lost SB to Pats and never got back again. Dawk, TO and maybe McNabb could be HOF players.

            76ers in 1983 had Doc, Moses, Cheeks & Co. and then drafted Barkley in 1984. Many HOF players. Finally beat the Lakers in 1983 and then never got even close ever again.

            76ers in 2001 had Iverson, one of the best players of his era and HOF. Made it to the Finals in 2001 and never got back.

            Phillies of 2008 had Howard, Utley, Hamels, Rollins & Co. They got back to WS in 2009, lost to Yanks and then never returned even after loading up on pitchers like Lee and Halladay. Halladay, Rollins and maybe Utley could make the HOF.

            Flyers in 1985 had Kerr, Lindbergh, Poulin, Propp, Howe, Tocchet & Co. Made it to the SCF, lost to EDM. Lindbergh died in a car accident, team got back in 1987, lost again to EDM. Never reached again until 1997 with a totally different team. Howe is a HOF.

            Speaking of the 1997 Flyers. They had Lindros, LeClair, Desjardins & Co. Got to the SCF in 1997, lost to DET and never got back until 2010 with a totally different team. Lindros is a HOF.

            If Wentz can reach this level and the team around him stays strong, we should have more chances, but again nothing is guaranteed EVEN if Wentz stays good. Once we pay him QB money, the Eagles will be challenged to build around him effectively. Most QB win their SB early – see Rodgers, Wilson, BenR, Flacco, Brady etc. and it is tougher once they get paid. See Indy with Luck as example.

          • xeynon

            None of those teams really refutes my argument, because none of them falls under my theory of “elite player at high impact position = sustained success”.

            2004 Eagles: McNabb was not a top 3 QB (which is what I think Wentz is pretty clearly going to be) throughout his career – that season (his best) he was, and maybe a few other times, but for the most part he was more like top 7 or 8. That’s a big difference. Teams that have guys who are either the best or arguably the best QB in the league tend to stay in contention. Even with McNabb only being very good rather than great, they were basically a contender every year he was healthy until they traded him.

            1983 76ers: That wasn’t a young team. Julius Erving (their best player) was 33 in 1983. Bobby Jones was 32. Cheeks, Toney, and Malone were all in their late 20s.

            2001 76ers: Not comparable at all. Iverson was a good player, but he was a 5’11” scoring guard, which is not at all comparable to a franchise QB in football in terms of impact.

            2008 Phillies: as I said above, there’s no single player on a baseball team who has the same kind of impact on a team’s probability of winning that a franchise QB does in football. Baseball teams are therefore out.

            1985 and 1997 Flyers: again as above, the only player on a hockey team capable of having franchise QB-type impact is a legit superstar goalie. Lindbergh died before he could establish himself as one. The ’97 team had lots of good players but a notable weakness at goalie.

            So yeah, I’m not really convinced by any of these examples, because I don’t think any of them is really analogous to what the Eagles are looking at with Wentz.

            Re: the “most QBs win their SB early before they get paid” theory – I’m really not convinced of this.

            Firstly, the sample size of QBs who came into the league on low-paying deals is still small (contracts for draft picks weren’t determined by draft slot until 2010 and our old friend Sam Bradford was the last first overall pick at QB to receive a megadeal without having set foot on an NFL field). Wilson is the only guy drafted 2010 or later to win one as of yet and most of those guys are still in the league and still have time.

            Secondly, there are lots of QBs who won their first Super Bowl after signing a big money second contract, even if we confine things to guys who played during the salary cap era. Let’s have a look:

            1992: Aikman, 2nd year (rookie contract)
            1993: Aikman, 3rd year (rookie contract)
            1994: Young, 10th year (big money contract)
            1995: Aikman, 5th year (big money contract)
            1996: Favre, 5th year (big money contract)
            1997: Elway, 15th year (big money contract)
            1998: Elway, 15th year (big money contract)
            1999: Warner, rookie with an asterisk (rookie contract)
            2000: Dilfer 7th year (won with defense)
            2001: Brady, 2nd year (rookie contract)
            2002: Johnson, 11th year (won with defense)
            2003: Brady 4th year (rookie contract)
            2004: Brady, 5th year (big money contract)
            2005: Roethlisberger, 2nd year (rookie contract)
            2006: P. Manning, 8th year (big money contract)
            2007: E. Manning, 4th year (rookie contract)
            2008: Roethlisberger, 5th year (big money contract)
            2009: Brees, 9th year (big money contract)
            2010: Rodgers, 7th year (big money contract)
            2011: E. Manning, 8th year (big money contract)
            2012: Flacco, 5th year (rookie contract)
            2013: Wilson, 2nd year (rookie contract)
            2014: Brady, 15th year (big money contract)
            2015: P. Manning, 18th year (big money contract)
            2016: Brady,17th year (big money contract)

            Honestly, I don’t see a pattern here, other than that all of these guys other than Dilfer, Johnson, and maybe Flacco are good-to-excellent QBs. Some guys have won it on their first contract, but many more have won it on later career contracts. Elway and Peyton Manning were already high-paid megastars when they finally won their first SBs (and Elway didn’t win his until late in his career). Rodgers and Brees were on their second contracts when they won. Brady and Roethlisberger each won early in their careers but also late.

      • Someguy77

        Yeah the whole ‘playing with house money’ is a false canard. Incredibly difficult to get home field and a 1st round bye and no idea how Wentz plays next year.

        • xeynon

          Incredibly difficult to get home field and a 1st round bye and no idea how Wentz plays next year.

          Speaking of canards… Yes, it is fairly difficult to get home field and a first round bye, but it is by no means impossible. Elite teams do it pretty often.

          As for how Wentz will play next year – yes, we do have an idea. He’s already an elite player. Elite players who are 25 years old tend to stay elite. It’s the old “the best indicator of future performance is past performance” thing. Sure, there’s always a chance that he somehow fails to come back from his knee injury at the same level, but the track record of similar quarterbacks with similar injuries suggests that probably won’t be the case. Anything is possible but I think you’d be dumb to wager money on any outcome other than Wentz again being a very good QB next year, because that is the most probable outcome. Good players don’t forget how to be good.

          • Someguy77

            Not about forgetting to be a good player or that he suddenly back slides. The damage was more extensive than they first thought and even the Eagles’ own medical staff said 9 month recovery time after his surgery. Other outside medical experts said 9-12 given his injuries.

            Best case seems to be him missing almost/if not all training camp and ready to go Week 1. It wouldn’t surprise me if he does miss some time in Sept.

            Ditto on getting a bye and home field. Pats are such an outlier that people are used to seeing that type of performance.

            The Packers have had a first round bye and home field with Rodgers just once – 2011 when they went 15-1.

          • xeynon

            Dr. Chao broke down the possibilities here:

            http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/profootballdoc/sd-sp-pfd-carson-wentz-knee-acl-more-damage-1217-story.html

            Seems like the realistic worst case scenario is he’s not back until the regular season and doesn’t have full mobility next year. That will certainly impact his play somewhat as scrambling ability is part of what makes him truly special, but I think even as a pure pocket QB he’s still above average. He’s not a read-option QB whose game will be ruined by a loss of mobility like RG3. I think he’ll likely regress a bit next season statistically, but he’s still likely to be quite good and I think the team is more likely to fall back to 10-6 or so than to 7-9. After next year I’d guess he’ll be fine.

            Re: first round byes – I don’t think you can call the Packers an elite team. They’re a good team with an elite QB, but they’ve consistently had a mediocre defense and a coach who costs them games. Still early with this Eagles regime, but to me Pederson looks like a better coach than McCarthy and the Eagles’ defense is certainly better than mediocre.

        • Bert’s Bells

          So would a false canard actually be something that’s true?

          #realprig

          • CrackSammich

            I believe it’s synonymous with “lame duck”

      • Ankerstjernen

        Well. Foles is the guy they picked for the kind of scenario where you need your backup to keep you in contention. Meaning, he ideally gives you a chance to go .500, losing to good teams but beating bad teams as long as your own team is a good one. But this is the playoffs. Nobody is *expecting* a team to beat other playoff teams (who are good teams) with their backup QB.

        • xeynon

          Yep. If you win playoff games with your backup QB you can’t consider it anything other than a success even if you don’t win the SB.

        • BlindChow

          Nobody is *expecting* a team to beat other playoff teams (who are good teams) with their backup QB.

          I dunno, someone here yesterday was actually arguing that the Eagles weren’t the underdog because of Foles.

          • xeynon

            You’re misrepresenting the argument I was making.

          • BlindChow

            My original statement simply said it was understandable the Eagles were underdogs because of Foles.

            If you agreed, then what was the problem?

          • xeynon

            I didn’t agree. I think it’s understandable to knock down the Eagles’ projected odds significantly. I don’t think it’s understandable to make them underdogs.

            Going from Eagles -6 or -7 (what it might’ve been with Wentz) to Eagles -1 or pick ’em is understandable. Going to Falcons -3 is excessive. My point was that Foles is not the only reason the line swing was so extreme, the public overreacting to the Falcons’ first round upset is also a big part of it.

          • BlindChow

            Nah, the odds should actually have improved with the Falcons win. The Eagles playing the 6 seed instead of the 4 seed is an advantage.

            The Eagles are the first ever #1 seed considered a home underdog in the Divisional round. Do you think they’d still be underdogs with Wentz? If not, than the obvious conclusion is the only thing that’s different: Foles.

          • xeynon

            Do you think they’d still be underdogs with Wentz? If not, than the obvious conclusion is the only thing that’s differet: Foles.

            No, but I think it’s quite likely that they’d be favored by fewer points than they otherwise would’ve been because the Falcons are now a “hot” team in the eyes of the betting public. Maybe it’s Eagles -4 instead of -7 or something like that.

            You keep implying that I’m denying Foles is part of the reason the point spread shifted so much from what it would’ve been with Wentz. I’m not. I’m saying it doesn’t explain the entire shift. Foles is not the only thing that’s different, in other words. Perceptions of the Falcons are also different.

          • BlindChow

            I never said anything about shifts or point spreads.

            I believe “Foles instead of Wentz” made the difference between the Eagles being “favored” and the Eagle being an “underdog.”

            You have now acknowledged that you also believe this.

            Case closed. I don’t get it. Why do you insist there is still an argument here?

          • xeynon

            I believe “Foles instead of Wentz” made the difference between the Eagles being “favored” and the Eagle being an “underdog.”

            I believe it made a difference, not the difference. Those are two distinct claims. The point spread in a football game is determined by a large number of variables. You can’t just look at one variable that’s changed between two different cases and say it explains everything when other variables have also changed.

            Just last week before the WC games I heard several professional oddsmakers quoted as saying Eagles-Falcons should be a pick’em line if the game came to happen. How do you explain the actual line coming out at Falcons -2.5 given that Wentz’s injury and Foles’ poor play in the final 5 quarters of his season were known quantities at that point in time as well? The only thing that’s changed since then is that the Falcons played in the WC game and won it in an (at least superficially) impressive fashion.

          • FairOaks

            I thought I saw an article which asked a Vegas guy, who guessed the Eagles would have been -6.5 point favorites if Wentz was playing.

          • Tumtum

            Oye

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Bill went for it on 4th and 12 when his team was in FG range in that first Super Bowl game vs. the Giants. They ended up losing by 4 points. That FG could have made a huge difference.

      But then you have Sean Peyton who called an onside kick to start the 2nd half.

      Football is a unique sport where every little play gets second guessed and so much of a game gets determined by luck and execution. The best team wins out in basketball, soccer, and baseball, not really the same in football.

      • xeynon

        The best team wins out in basketball, soccer, and baseball, not really the same in football.

        I think this is mostly a product of the one off nature of playoff games in football. In baseball, basketball, and hockey, seven game series make it harder for an inferior team to beat the odds at the pro level, but if you look at single elimination tournaments in those sports (e.g. March Madness or the Olympic hockey tournament) crazy upsets are not that unusual. Soccer also has its share of fluky results since its high level tournaments also tend to be single elimination.

      • Philadelphian

        Then again, maybe Norwood would have missed that FG too.

      • Someguy77

        There are plenty of upsets in MLB playoffs especially in a 5 game series.

        • RobNE

          yes Philly fans know.

    • Philadelphian

      Believe me if Pederson isn’t perfect there are many posters that will bury him.

      • xeynon

        Yeah, of course there will be, but assuming he doesn’t have some kind of Andy Reid-esque meltdown and blow a three score lead in the second half or something, I think it’d be silly to react that way. If they come out and play a good game and lose in a nip-and-tuck fashion because e.g. their quarterback play just isn’t good enough at a critical juncture, I think it’ll be dumb to bury Pederson for that.

        • Philadelphian

          Let’s hope we get to the point where we see how he reacts to a 3 score lead.

    • Tumtum

      Doug is playing with house money, but he has shown he is consistently aggressive.

  • eagleyankfan

    hopefully the Eagles took the time off to fix the defense on the ‘fake in, go deep’ play. Atlanta will certainly test that part of the defense. They would be stupid not to try it a few times.
    ….
    Hard not to see how well Atlanta’s D played against the Rams. Hoping the coaches figure that out as well. Rams ran the ball very well, it’s their strength. 16 times? With stud Gurley – he should have had 25 carries…

    • xeynon

      I think the extent to which the Falcons’ D played well against the Rams is being puffed up in the media a little bit. Gurley had 101 yards rushing and averaged 7.2 YPC. The only reason he wasn’t able to totally dominate the game is because the Rams got down two scores by halftime and were playing catch-up the entire game. As for the pass defense, some of it was good defense, but a lot of it was Goff just being off target with throws. He was making his first playoff start and it showed. He left a lot of yards on the field.

      The Eagles need to not give up the lead with dumb mistakes the way the Rams did and not allow the Falcons to make them one dimensional, and I think they’ll be fine against that D.

      • eagleyankfan

        That’s a great game plan. Don’t let the game get crazy in the first 5 minutes. Build momentum….

        • xeynon

          They absolutely, positively cannot afford to turn the ball over or let the Falcons get out to an early lead. Those would be handicaps difficult to overcome even with Carson at QB. Will require something miraculous with Foles.

          • Someguy77

            Down 7 is fine and even 10 in the 2nd quarter isn’t insermountable.

            Pederson just needs to willing to not get pass happy and trust his defense/special teams can make a play or two.

            Pederson seems to like to get the ball first but I would rather see the Eagles defer, get the defense out there first thing, and hopefully get an early stop & really get the crowd into it.

          • BlindChow

            Pederson’s deferred all year.

            I just hope the OL reminds him about the run game if he moves away from it, the way they did during half time in Dallas that first game.

  • Gary Barnes

    Again, Falcons are extremely likely to stack the box, focus on the run and dare Foles to beat them while playing tight, aggressive coverage. I could also see them double teaming either Ertz or Jeffrey at times.

    I’d pick Ertz because teams know he is Foles’ security blanket.

    Pederson better have found ways to attack this approach and give Foles options. This offense needs to be effective so the defense and ST can play their preferred way.

    • eagleyankfan

      That should have been the game plan vs. Rams too…I don’t think they change game plans…(just an opinion)

    • Bert’s Bells

      I hope the Falcons play 6 or 7 in the box and put two guys on Ertz. Those are winning numbers for any offense.

    • xeynon

      You can’t really both stack the box and double team an outside receiver at the same time, unless you’re okay with leaving somebody uncovered or covered by a single guy who has no help and will give up a TD if he gets beat.

      • eagleyankfan

        I trust the coaches to switch the calls if they stack the box. I’m not worried about Atlanta trying to stack the box….

      • Gary Barnes

        They were separate statements, not meant to happen at the same time. Normally, the defense would stack the box and focus on the run while their offense builds a lead.

        Then the defense can switch to unleashing the pass rush normally while focusing on taking away the pass weapons Foles needs to catch up.

        If Ertz is not a significant factor, we’ll likely be in trouble.

        • xeynon

          I’m sure that’s what they’ll try to do, but building a lead and shifting from balanced/run-oriented defenses to ones designed to throttle the passing game is what every team tries to do to a certain extent.

          To make it work the Falcons will have to build a lead and I’m not how much success they’ll have doing that against our defense – I expect even if the offense sputters our D will be able to keep it close.

    • or____

      That’s where the “faking not having chemistry with Alshon in the last few games phase 2” comes in….

    • Ankerstjernen

      The only option, really, is to beat man coverage on the outside. We are about to see if Foles can do it.

      • xeynon

        We know Foles *can* do it. We’ve seen him do so in the past. The question is whether he *will* do it when the chips are down.

        We’ll need Alshon, Ertz, Ags, and (gulp) Torrey to make plays to win. Can’t have egregious drops like the one Smith had vs. the Cowboys with the smaller margin for error not having an elite QB gives us.

        • Someguy77

          I’ll be pissed if Smith gets a lot of PT again this week especially vs Hollins.

          Been a minor thing but I don’t get why Smith has gotten as much PT as he had especially late in the year.

          He hasn’t been reliable almost all year including in the red zone and brings little besides ‘experienced playoff veteran’ at this point.

          • xeynon

            As I’ve said before on previous threads when this has come up, I assume there’s a good reason for it, probably one that’s invisible to us as fans. Perhaps the coaches don’t yet trust Mack to be where he’s supposed to be on every play or something of that sort. They’re not blind, I’m sure they realize that on pure ability to run and catch, he’s better than Torrey.

  • P_P_K

    I think Doug will be less aggressive on 4th downs with Foles under center.

    • xeynon

      Probably, but that would be smart. With Wentz the downside risk of not getting points on a drive/giving up field good position isn’t as high because you can always get it back on the next drive/outscore the opponent if necessary. With Foles, every point could be precious, so they can’t afford to give any away.

      • sonofdman

        Also, not to be to obvious, but the probability of converting a given fourth down is lower with Foles than with Wentz.

        • xeynon

          Yes, that as well.

      • Donald Kalinowski

        It’s easy being agressive verse Chicago. He wasn’t the same way against Seattle.

        • xeynon

          He was against the Rams though. I think he learned his lesson from the Seattle debacle (his lack of aggressiveness in that game was one of the few missteps he’s made all season IMO).

  • Someguy77

    I hope Pederson hasn’t been wearing his trademark sun visor at outside practices this week.

  • Someguy77

    Jeffrey and Agholor need to make a few plays this week. Actually much more hopeful that Agholor does on a slant or a screen than I am Jeffrey does.

    These CBs aren’t a good matchup for him and I see him having trouble creating much seperate and space.

    • xeynon

      Agreed Jeffrey and Agholor will need to make plays this week.

      I’m not too worried about Jeffrey gaining separation (he rarely does that against any CB) – his game is outmuscling receivers for contested balls. Nick is going to have to be willing to throw where he can go get it and he’ll have to go up and get it. I don’t think the Falcons’ CBs are as bad a matchup for him as you do as neither Trufant nor Alford is a particularly big, physical guy. I think there will be plays there to be made on Sunday, and if we lose we will be lamenting that we didn’t take advantage rather than that the Falcons just totally shut us down.

      • Someguy77

        Big no. Physical yes. I do want to see 1-2 jump balls deep to Jeffrey vs Alford though. Alford has decent vertical but is generously listed at 5’ 10”.

        Play will be there if Foles can recognize it and put it in a spot where Jeffrey can go up and get it.

        Where the Eagles miss Wentz the most besides creating something out of very little especially on 3rd down is how darn accurate and how quickly he can make throw slant/crowding route intermediate throws.

        Foles needs to hit a few of those this week.

        • xeynon

          They’re feisty. They’re not Richard Sherman. I think Jeffery can outmuscle them. That’s what I meant by “not particularly big or physical”.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    I wonder if they’ll bring in the Chip Kelly playbook and run a quick tempo.

    If the running game gets 1-2 yards on 1st or 2nd down they’re going to be forced to pass on 3rd and long. The run/pass ratio is going to be closer to 67% than 50% and a lot of people will be calling for Doug to be fired.

    If the offense falters I will be very disappointed. Nick Foles is one of the highest paid backups in the league, Doug Pederson has worked with him before, he’s played 2 full games and had three weeks to prepare for the playoffs. This is a situation they’ve prepared for in the offseason.

    • CrackSammich

      functionally, rushing for 1-2 yds on 1st Down is the same as an incomplete pass. In full coach speak, they just need to execute.

    • Bert’s Bells

      I’d guess that tempo will be the basic gameplan. Foles operates best in that system and the Eagles have run tempo effectively at times this season.

      • xeynon

        My hope is they mix it up. Tempo could be effective at knocking the Falcons off balance and maybe stealing some cheap points, but they will also need to be able to control the ball because we want to minimize changes of possession given that they’ve got the better QB.

        There’s a good post up this morning on BGN about how to beat the Falcons that delves into this actually.

        • Bert’s Bells

          Agree! I was going to head over there at lunch, thanks for the tip.

    • Sean E

      I agree that going tempo would be good. Just, as you mentioned, really need to avoid getting behind the chains on 1st and second down.

    • eagleyankfan

      yes – they’ll bring in the Chip Kelly playbook — you know — that’s what number 1 seeds do in 1 week – they re-vamp the offense. Can’t over think this. Eagles aren’t going to come out as new look Eagles team and surprise everybody with a different formula. Win or lose — after a great regular season – nobody will be calling for Dougs head. Relax. It’s ok…

      • xeynon

        Win or lose — after a great regular season – nobody will be calling for Dougs head.

        I wish this were the case, but this being Philadelphia sadly I think there will be at the very least a vocal minority doing exactly that if they lose.

        • eagleyankfan

          it’s funny cause I was one of the biggest haters with him too when they signed him. Somehow, Pederson got me join the dark side and like him…a little 🙂

      • Donald Kalinowski

        They’ve had about 3 weeks, and I’m not saying they’ll run exclusively up-tempo but they could incorporate some of it into the gameplan. They did run some of it last year.

        I guess you don’t listen to sports radio. People are always calling for the HC to be fired. That and bitching about not calling enough run plays. It’s 99% of it

        • Insomniac

          I can already hear it now.

          “Doug can’t get it done”
          “Doug is a fluke”
          “Wentz is the one carrying the team”
          “Doug’s playcall on XYZ down was awful, he should have done Y instead of X and he’s an idiot”
          “Dump him already, we knew he was a temporary coach and now he’s overachieving”

          My god I hate myself for listening to sports radio almost daily.

  • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

    Fun aside: assuming Foles doesn’t carry our beloved birds to Lombardi Trophy immortality in the next few weeks, the Eagles could be be looking for a QB to be ready to start next year until Wentz is healthy.

    Who will that be, if it isn’t Foles?

    • xeynon

      Honestly, unless he completely melts down in the playoffs, I think it should be Foles. He’s a vet who knows the system, is a team guy, is under contract, and has proven that he can play well enough to keep a playoff-caliber NFL team afloat until Carson gets back. Why would you get rid of him given that we’d be looking for a player with those exact same characteristics to replace him?

      • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

        Yeah thats why I preface that with “if isnt foles”. Lets assume Nick pulls a gun on Dougie or leads Howie’s grandmother into some shady real estate investments… Who is it? Is it a rookie?

        • xeynon

          No way do I go with a rookie. The team will have playoff aspirations next season, I don’t want some untested greenhorn wrecking a potentially promising season before it can get started.

          Perhaps it’s Sudfeld if he shows enough progress in the offseason for the coaches to be comfortable with him. But I’m inclined to believe they’d bring in a familiar, not-Foles-but-very-Folesian veteran as well.

          • kajomo

            Just playing devils advocate, but you constantly talk about the odds being low of winning the SB even if you make the playoffs. Now aren’t those odds incredibly small for a team starting a back up week one and missing their franchise guy for an unknown amount of time? If the odds are so small why waste the resources on an expensive back up with virtually no upside rather than an inexpensive young player with unknown upside?

            1) you are likely not hurting your chances much
            2) may develop a guy that could prove to be an inexpensive back up for a couple years
            3) may develop a guy that has trade value down the road
            4) save money over the next 2 years in cap space which can be used to improve the roster elsewhere

          • xeynon

            If you start a competent veteran backup for the first month of the season, you’re likely to win 2 or 3 games with a roster as good as the Eagles’, maybe even all 4 if you get lucky. If you start Sudfeld, you don’t know what you’re going to get – he could be good and get you the same results cheaply, or he could suck and dig you a 1-3 or 0-4 hole that proves impossible to dig out of.

            I think the calculus is different for a team that’s still rebuilding and a team that has legitimate hopes of contending. If the Eagles were going into next year coming off a 6-10 season and the best case scenario was a playoff berth, I’d say sure, play the young guy and see if you can gin up his value. But we’re going to be going into next season as a team as a Super Bowl contender. Under the assumption Wentz isn’t ready for week 1, I think it’s worth paying our backup QB a bit more so that we avoid ruining our chances before the season even really gets rolling.

          • RobNE

            Yes. Like when Jimmy G played the first 4 games for the Pats last year.

          • kajomo

            I said in another post that I would be ok with the Jimmy g approach. draft a guy, play him, develop him, and trade him to recoup your investment.

            It’s like buying a home vs renting. I want to be able to recoup something if we make a significant investment. $7mil+ is a signifant investment that we are not likely to see a return on.

      • RobNE

        Foles won’t be here.

        • xeynon

          You say that based on what?

          People have said we can save cap space by cutting him, and that’s true, but if we’d have to immediately go and use that cap space to sign a new veteran backup QB, that kind of defeats the purpose.

          Unless he totally craps the bed in the playoffs and it’s clear that he’s ruined here, I don’t see any logical reason why he wouldn’t be back.

          • kajomo

            Long term it can provide relief. Cut him in 2018 and he’s completely off the books in 2019. 2018 may be a wash if you bring in a veteran, but could see the savings in 2019 when Carson Ian up for an extension.

          • xeynon

            Foles is only under contract through 2018. He becomes an UFA after next season, so he’ll be off the books in 2019 regardless.

            http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/nick-foles-9898/

          • kajomo

            I wasn’t sure about his contract.

            Im still in favor of going young and saving the money. No more chase Daniel or Nick Foles for me. The Colts never paid big money to back up Manning. The Seahawks have young guys behind RW. The Steelers never invested heavily for the back up Big Ben.

            I just feel that if your guy goes down for a 1-4 games and you have a SB caliber roster, they can probably still win 2-3 games with a Nate Sudfeld. If he is down longer it doesn’t really matter who your back up is.

            All this said I fully expect DP to stick with Foles. I would just personally handle it differently.

          • xeynon

            The Colts did go 2-14 the year that Manning got hurt and they had to actually play the backups (I think it was Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter if memory serves). The Seahawks have so far dodged a RW bullet. Roethlisberger is made of iron and never gets hurt; unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Wentz. We need only remember the last time the Eagles went into the season without a decent backup for their franchise QB – Mike McMahon came in and murdered the season, and the next year they went out and spent the money to get Jeff Garcia, who not only got us to the playoffs but won a game when McNabb got hurt again. $4 million on a backup quarterback can save a season.

            $4 million spent elsewhere gets you what – a slight upgrade at nickel CB? A better slot receiver? I’m not sure it really moves the needle that much if you sink it into any other position. I am generally of the belief that you should keep young backups at most positions to minimize costs, but QB is an exception.

          • kajomo

            His cap number is $7.2mil. That’s more than Alshon or Jernigan are making next year. Paying a guy like Nick limits our ability when tight against the cap. It becomes almost impossible once we extend Wentz.

            Again I just disagree with wrapping cap dollars into a back up QB. I’m ok with spendinh draft picks and developing them. I’d take the risks associated with not paying veteran back up QBs. I know what they are. I’d draft quality QB prospects and trade the ones that work out as they beat the end of their rookie deals. Rinse and repeat.

            It’s obviously not what the eagles philosophy is, so it doesn’t really matter.

          • xeynon

            The $7.2 M cap hit is significant and does complicate things. Still, though, I don’t even think we’re taking a risk here so much as incurring a very likely downside as Wentz may not be back until the regular season next year and certainly will miss most offseason activities. If you go through camps with a rookie QB who doesn’t know what he’s doing it could set the whole offense back and if Wentz is slower than expected returning you could be tanking the whole season. In this case I’m not sure I see the expected win value of that money being higher if it’s put into another position given that there is a relatively high probability of the backup QB playing an important role next season.

          • RobNE

            I think you like Sudfeld enough, he’s the backup. Save the money on Foles by trading him. I think trading him is much better for cap space than cutting him. So even if it’s for a 6th.

          • Mr. Magee

            I don’t see anyone trading for Foles

          • sonofdman

            What about “Super Bowl winning QB” Foles? Maybe someone bite then?

          • Mr. Magee

            Lol.. ok, I’m down

    • BlindChow
    • kajomo

      I don’t think Foles is worth anything close to what we are paying him.

      In principal I don’t like paying back up QBs a lot of money. Invest it in other guys that play every week. They help your franchise guy when healthy and make the job of a back up QB easier.

      I also like the idea of using those back up QB spots to develop guys that could potentially have trade value down the road. It’s a QB driven league where demand is always greater than supply. Unfortunately Foles has not improved at all since his first stint here. Teams know his ceiling and are not willing to trade anything for that.

      I say we add a young QB to the mix and let them battle it out with Sudfeld. If Carson misses significant time next year is a giant uphill battle anyway. If the young guy succeeds, great, he might save the season and can be traded in the offseason. If not, enjoy the better draft pick and continue to build around a healthy Carson moving forward.

      • xeynon

        A competent veteran backup QB is insurance against an injury to the starter. Not so much a season-ending injury like Wentz’s, but one that knocks the starter out for several games but not for the year. I think the Packers would’ve liked very much to have somebody like Foles on their roster this season, who could keep the team from sinking before Rodgers got back, rather than Brett Hundley who dug a hole too deep for them to get out of.

        To me the difference between what Foles makes and what a street level free agent backup would make is not a bad use of cap resources. A good backup QB is like any insurance policy – you always feel like you’re paying too much for it, right up to the point where you need it.

        • kajomo

          But it’s like car insurance policy where you wrecked you Ferraro, but they only give you enough to a Camry. Sure it’s dependable, but it’s not enough to win a race(game) with.

          I’m not saying backups are useless. I’m saying go invest in a good rookie. Our Jommie Garrapolo. He give you quality back up play at a low salary, but can be traded to recoup the draft investment down the road. Foles feels like a bad lease.

          • xeynon

            Our current situation isn’t the best example since Wentz is done for the year. The real value (assuming the Eagles don’t beat the odds and win it all with Foles) is for something like what happened to the Packers this year.

            To use your analogy, we didn’t buy the policy so we could try to win a race with the Camry if the Ferrari got totaled (what happened to us this season); we bought it so that we wouldn’t have to rely on a rusty bicycle to get to and from work and get our errands done while the Ferrari was in the shop if it got dinged up before the race happened (Rodgers /Packers scenario). A rusty bike maybe gets us fired from our job and makes us unable to pay the entry fee for the race by the time the Ferrari is fixed (unsalvageable season), a Camry doesn’t.

            And hey, it’s a longshot, but you could at least conceivably win an auto race with a Camry. That definitely ain’t happening with the bicycle.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        I’m perfectly fine paying good money to a backup QB. It can easily be the difference between making the playoffs or not. Had the Packers done that, we’d probably be playing them instead of the Falcons this week.

    • or____

      Sudfeld

  • Eagles4life

    I think this is the week to uncover some 3 TE sets with Celek blocking and unleashing Ertz and Burton to kick start our passing attack and open up some holes for run game and possibly be able to beat Falcons stacking the box.

    • BlindChow

      We’ve been waiting for 3 TE sets ever since Chip Kelly held up three fingers that one time.

      https://media.giphy.com/media/3oEdvddejaTWNpNCTK/giphy.gif

      • Someguy77

        Notably used less 2 TEs this year vs last year as well. Celek is willing but the body isn’t able. He looks done.

        Burton might be a nice surprise option especially in the red zone but TE is going to be a clear needs next year.

      • kajomo

        That along with the 2 RB set with Sproles and “x” RB in the backfield at the same time. Fans are obsessed with these ideas For some reaskn

    • D3FB

      We did it earlier in the year and it just bring more bodies in tight to the formation, decreases natural lanes, and makes hiding blitzes easier.

  • daveH

    Watching the Cessna QB chins in and out his head down on that run (isn’t that illegal in college wtf ?????) .. but i thought of my main man RB Clement how he had that nasty strong attitude. .that week be very valuable to the team. .
    ..
    One problem w Cam is that imho, from fan perspective. .he sucks on the sidelines . Never leads his team emoticontionally .. he can do it all and make every play but he is like a bad vibe .. seems to me at least

    • BlindChow

      I’m…having a little trouble parsing that first paragraph, Dave.

      • CrackSammich

        Light aircraft are ruining the game, Chow!

      • daveH

        Me too actually .. i call my spellchecker Andy Reid because it’s always smarter than me

  • eagleyankfan

    Pederson, in the interviews, keeps mention the fans and the noise. Almost like he’s saying “come on fans — BE LOUD” without actually saying it…lol

    • Dragon_Eagle

      I’m sure they will be to start. Sustaining it though is on him.

      • kajomo

        Think it would be better to be on D first. A quick 3 & out by Foles and company could really quiet the crowd in a hurry

        • Dragon_Eagle

          Yes, we agree, just I place more blame for a quick 3 & out on Pederson rather than Foles.

  • Someguy77

    Things I’d like to see this week:

    – An early downfield jump ball to Jeffrey especially vs Alford in a 1 on 1 matchup
    – More PT for Hollins, less for Smith
    – Blount to be a bench fixture this week and consistent feeds to Ajayi early and often to grind on the Falcons defense; even if the ground game is struggling early I bet Ajayi will one or two decent ones and a long one late in the 1st half and or in the 2nd half.
    – Minimal screen plays and no damn WR bubble screens
    – Getting the ball to Agholor early and often hoping he can make a big play or two in space; most dynamic offensive playmaker they have
    – Defer the ball if they win the coin toss and get the defense out there first
    – Minimal blitzing; yes Ryan is as bad as Foles at avoiding the rush but this defense generated decent and consistent pressure vs Falcons last year. The DL is getting paid big bucks and they need to deliver especially Jernigan who had really fallen off since contract extension
    – Pederson being aggressive including on 4th down; don’t turtle and go conservative now; keep the same attacking mindset and go down swinging if necessaru

    • BlindChow

      I still read “PT” as “Paul Turner.”

      *stares plaintively out the window, a single tear rolling down my cheek*

    • CrackSammich

      “The DL is getting paid big bucks and they need to deliver especially Jernigan who had really fallen off since contract extension”

      UGHHHHH They’re scheming them out of the game

      • Someguy77

        Let’s part of it but he hadn’t played nearly as well either. Barnett hit the rookie wall as well

    • BlindChow

      I actually disagree about screens. Foles executes those really well. With Wentz, those bubble screens were a guaranteed 2-yard loss.

      • Someguy77

        Just don’t see the Eagles having the personnel right now to run them well and that the Falcons will be expecting their share of them.

        • Sean E

          This year’s version of Kelce is the prototypical screen blocker.

        • P_P_K

          Ditch the screen, pitch to Ajayi.

      • xeynon

        Agreed, I think we need to be running some screens, specifically to Agholor. Play design will have to be good though as our WRs are not the best blockers in the world (where’s Riley Cooper when you need him?)

        • Sean E

          Ugh, there’s a timeline where Cooper catches that third down pass and the Eagles win the 2014 SB

          • BlindChow

            he’d still be running

          • xeynon

            As slow as Riley was, yeah there is a good chance he’d still be running. 😉

        • Mr. Magee

          NOOO! No WR screens, please!!

      • Insomniac

        We can definitely sprinkle in a few screens to Ags/Clement/Ajayi. The playmakers simply need more touches now that Wentz isn’t playing.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        Agreed with Wentz I only want screens to the RB or the TE really. He can work on those bubble screens in year 4

    • Sean E

      can we just bench Smith

    • P_P_K

      I agree with everything, excellent ideas, except I’d want Blount to get carries, too.

      • D3FB

        Blount has been ineffective for months

        • P_P_K

          He’s been inconsistent all year but I think he’d have a role in this game when we want to emphasis the run attack.

    • Mr. Magee

      Agree, but some of these just don’t seem possible (like 1 and 2, for example).

      Clement needs to be in the mix… He is good change of pace from Ajayi / Blount.

      Will be interesting to see how Schwartz game-plans against this offense. Stop the run, pressure the QB sounds enticing, but I think it’s gonna be more complicated than that.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Anyone know what officiating crew were getting? If we get those idiots who called the Tenn-KC game….

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Correction: “Asshats” – Idiots is too generous and gives them an excuse for how badly they handled that game.

    • CrackSammich

      I wasn’t able to find it posted anywhere yet.

      • Masked Man

        Me either. I don’t think the Morelli team is working post season this year though. Hope not.

    • BlindChow

      The Tenn-KC game guy retired afterwards.

      We just have to hope it’s not Morelli…

    • BlindChow

      Jimmy Kempski has posted an article about it:

      http://www.phillyvoice.com/eagles-get-familiar-referee-assignment/

      It’ll be Vinovich. Eagles are 2-6 with him (including our last playoff game) and Falcons are 8-3.

      • Masked Man

        Is he heavy handed as a ref, or even handed?

        Will he call a straight up game, or should we expect otherwise?

        • BlindChow

          I can tell you nothing about him, I’m afraid…

        • Howie Littlefinger

          I Fickin hate him, just not as bad as Morelli

  • Insomniac

    Get Burton some snaps. Keanu Neal is almost mini Kam and Ricardo Allen is an undersized FS. He could win most of those matchups and be an impact. Deion Jones is fast as hell for a LB and can sniff out our RBs. Burton would at least make him accountable for some coverage assignments .

    Screens need to make a comeback but not as much as last year (those were bad). The left side might be hot garbage at times with Big V going up against Vic Beasley but screens can take advantage of that.

    • Howie Littlefinger

      I think the big guys are going to run all over the small guys and in retrospect everyone will see why we still should have been favorites.

      I’m not worried about this game at all in an oddly accepting way. However it goes everyone doubted we would even make the play offs, or get the Bye Week, or Home Field Advantage.

      I expect this game to make a certain AFC coach look worse after we run 40+ times.

      • xeynon

        I think the big guys are going to run all over the small guys and in retrospect everyone will see why we still should have been favorites.

        You might even say big people will beat up little people.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Somebody get this man a visor and an inflated sense of self worth smoothie. well done

        • Insomniac

          Stop it.

      • Mr. Magee

        You’re expecting someone to go all Tanya Harding on Doug’s brain before the game?

        In all seriousness, it wouldn’t be illogical for the Falcons to stack the box and force Foles to beat them with his arm…

        • P_P_K

          “…go all Tanya Harding on Doug’s brain…”
          Great line.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          I wanna know what role tempo will play in this. I want some hurry up to help files but also TOP to limit Ryan….

          That’s one thing I’ll be watching closely. Doug seems to value TOP

    • Man Of War

      who’s going to get the ball to them?

    • Mr. Magee

      And Foles’ backpedaling is tailor-made for the screen game

  • Donald Kalinowski

    The only thing I want in the playoffs this year is for the Patriots to get a game winning TD called back as a fumble and end up losing. Actually I want them want them to make the playoffs and lose every single playoff game on a controversial call for the remainder of the Bellichick/Brady/Kraft era.

  • or____

    Anyone care to take a shot at the 7 inactives for the playoff game? Given Elerby hammy, I want Goode and Walker, and Geary active. I also want Jones active. And all RBs. Don’t care much about bottom of wr depth. Thoughs?

    Ps, I can’t think of our last two OL in the roster by memory game right now, so maybe both of them?

    • sonofdman

      Smallwood will be one inactive.

      • or____

        Yeah probably.

    • Duracell

      Walker is on IR.

      • or____

        Ah, right.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Speaking of which, I don’t get why there needs to be 7 inactives every game especially in the playoffs.

    • D3FB

      Gibson, Qualls, Jones, Johnson, Smallwood, Means, and probably one of Sem/Warmack/Beatty

      Ellerbe will play.

      • or____

        Thanks man. That looks/sounds spot on and of course it carries more weight coming from you.

        • kajomo

          But he has Sydney Jones inactive

          • or____

            Drat! I was biting my tongue and hoping he meant Donnie meaning we won’t need to punt at all…

      • Mr. Magee

        Don’t know how Eagles are supposed to pull this one out without Gibson. Good thing we kept him on the 53 all year, he was in high demand.

        Didn’t know Ellerbe had hammy… Is that true? Bummer, if so

  • GermanEagle

    ANY reason why the Eagles tix prices went down today?

    I purchased mine (nose bleeds in block 202) for $255 last week, but somehow you could get tickets in block 242 for $200 each today.

    I mean ‘c’mon man’?!

    • Mr. Magee

      It’s because Eagles are underdogs 🙂

      • GermanEagle

        OK. Makes sense. Not.

        • Mr. Magee

          Just having some fun with you, bro. Go eagles

          And They should give you a partial refund if they reduced prices.

          • GermanEagle

            Much appreciated bro. However I will get a refund. Go birds.

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Ask customer service for price adjustment. Maybe u get one. I do things like that all the time if the price has dramatically changed

    • A_T_G

      The cashier probably thought a German Eagle was some kind of falcon and jacked up your price.

    • eagleyankfan

      Seats aren’t selling. They need to sell…

  • Masked Man

    London game possibilities next year:

    “In addition to the Seahawks, the Packers, Eagles, Panthers, Texans and Titans haven’t made the trip.

    And if the foreign powers want to check off as many boxes as
    possible, the schedule offers some options. With the schedule rotations
    announced, there are seven games next year which include two of the
    teams: Seattle at Carolina, Green Bay at Seattle, Carolina at
    Philadelphia, Philadelphia at Tennessee, Houston at Philadelphia, and
    the two Texans-Titans games.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/01/10/nfls-2018-international-slate-coming-thursday/

    • sonofdman

      No way the Eagles give up a home game to play in London. I would love them to go there as a visiting team. At worst it would be a neutral site, but more likely the Eagles would have more fans there than their opponent. I think they play away games against Jacksonville and LA Rams next year, so I would not be surprised if one of those games was in London. I just wonder if the Eagles will have as much of a home field advantage in London as in LA?