Posted: September 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 62 Comments »

Feels good to have Sunday football.

There was a discussion in the comments section the other day about this possibly being a trap game for Denver. They had the Manning Bowl 2 weeks ago. Last Monday was their bitter rival Oakland. Next week they go to Dallas and face the 2-1 Cowboys. In between is a home game against the struggling Eagles. Trap – yes or no?


Peyton Manning has laser-like focus and won’t allow the team to look past anyone. One of the readers, the great AC Viking, did some research and came up with the data to prove this.

In the 12 seasons that Manning’s team finished above .500, and where he played substantially the entire game, his teams lost only 45 times. Colts 42, Broncos 3.  [In 2009, the Colts opened 14-0, and Manning played less than a half in the last two games, which were both Colts losses.]

Of those 45 losses, only 11 came against teams that had a sub-.500 record going into the game during that 12-season period.

Of those 11 losses to sub-.500 teams, 8 came in 4 seasons — twice when the Colts were 10-6 and once when the Colts were 12-4.

Also, one of the 11 losses was to the ’02 Steelers, who finished 10-5-1. None of the other teams reached .500 the year they beat the Colts.

Manning’s greatest nemesis was JAX under Jack Del Rio — who owns 3 of the 11 sub-.500 wins over Manning.

No other team or coach had more than one.

That said, the common denominator in all 11 of those losses was not turnovers.  Rather, the teams that beat Manning ran, and ran, and ran the ball some more. They kept Manning on the sideline.

Equally worth noting . . . Peyton Manning’s teams historically have lost less than once per season to sub-.500 teams when he’s played on a winner.

Great info.

* * * * *

Have you been reading The Wulf’s Den? No, that isn’t a Danielle Steele novel about a young man from Wake Forest who travels to the big city in search of love. It is a weekly column by’s Bo Wulf. And he does a great job with it.

This week Bo took a look at the Eagles and the age of the team. He didn’t just calculate the age of the entire roster, but weighted it by snaps played so you get a good feel for the age of the key players. The overall team is 15th youngest. The offense is down at 27th. The defense is up at 8th. This is basically what you’d expect.

Wulf offers this conclusion.

It’s admittedly still very early in the 2013 season, but, as a whole, last year’s youngest defenses have already taken a big step forward. Seven of last year’s 10 youngest defenses have improved defensively according to Football Outsiders’ Defensive DVOA (the Eagles have held steady at 26th overall). More importantly, five of those teams (Tampa Bay, New England, Carolina, Cleveland and Kansas City) have jumped into the top 10 overall defenses this year. The Seattle Seahawks have also moved from second overall to first overall.

All of that is to say that as the Eagles defense, replete with rookies and free-agent imports, continues to grow together in its first season under defensive coordinator Billy Davis, there is reason to expect a significant growth curve.

Big picture, it is also worth noting that the Eagles, to date, have the youngest team in the NFC East. Dallas is one spot behind the Eagles in total snap-weighted age at the moment, while the Washington Redskins rank 29th overall and the New York Giants rank 30th (thanks in large part to the league’s second-oldest defense).

If the Eagles replace Vick and Herremans on offense next year, that unit will come down in age. If Sopoaga gets replaced and Trent Cole moves on, the defense could also be younger. Crazy.

Make sure you read the column to check out Bo’s hilarious interview with Colt Anderson.

* * * * *

Check out this piece by Greg Cosell. He breaks down a couple of pass plays to show you just how impressively Peyton is playing this season.

* * * * *

Could the Eagles have interest in trading for QB Josh Freeman? I doubt it. Freeman has big talent. But he has been an underachiever the past couple of years. He also hasn’t been the kind of leader you need the QB to be. Clearly Freeman and coach Greg Schiano never got on the same page. The QB-coach relationship has to be tight. I don’t mean they have to be friends, but the two must share a vision for the team and work well together.

Chip Kelly kept Michael Vick around since there weren’t great choices, but those two don’t feel like a great match. Part of that is because Vick is older and veteran players tend to be set in their ways. It is hard for a coach to train them to do things the way the coach wants them. Remember when Donovan McNabb went to the Skins and tried to get Mike Shanahan to adjust his playbook to stuff the Eagles had done? Coaches are control freaks. They want things done their way. They need players who buy in and will do those things without question.

Freeman is somewhat of a victim to Schiano’s odd coaching, but Josh isn’t blameless here. He’s made a bad situation worse and that will get the attention of the other 31 teams. Yes, he’s talented. But is he coachable? Does he get the importance of being the QB? That’s not a Sunday job. That’s a 24/7/365 job.

Freeman is inactive today for the Bucs. That situation is not going well.

* * * * *

ESPN reported that Titans WR Kenny Britt is available via trade. I wouldn’t have the Eagles touch him with a 10-foot pole. Britt is from NJ and has gotten in trouble there a few times. Putting him close to home would be asking for trouble. He needs to go out west, as far away from his old stomping grounds as possible.

* * * * *

Anyone cheering for the Chiefs today? I want them to crush the Giants. This game makes me nervous, though. Feels like the kind of game where a veteran team shows some pride and plays significantly better.

Chargers vs Dallas. Let’s hope Philip Rivers remains red hot.

Skins at the Raiders. QB Terrelle Pryor will need to make some big plays for Oakland to win this game. Pryor is out. Matt Flynn will need to have a big day. Not sure if this is good or bad.


62 Comments on “Gameday”

  1. 1 Anders said at 11:50 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    I admit, my interest in Josh Freeman is to get him cheap in FA. See if we can coach him up.

  2. 2 holeplug said at 12:52 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    would be a good buy low QB to bring into camp next year if Vick leaves

  3. 3 Jonzee72 said at 11:52 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    Terrelle Pryor isn’t starting today, Tommy. Matt Flynn is.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 12:07 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Just saw that. Forgot about the concussion.

  5. 5 A_T_G said at 2:33 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    That’s okay, he probably doesn’t remember it either.

  6. 6 bdbd20 said at 2:43 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    If only he had this concussion during the NCAA investigation.

  7. 7 Anders said at 12:08 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Funny is Pryoer has been clearled, but somebody got a hard on for Flynn inside the Raiders.

  8. 8 aub32 said at 11:54 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    Anyone know if the Eagles game is nationally televised? I’m trying to figure if I can watch it from home or go to a sports bar.

  9. 9 Ben Hert said at 11:56 AM on September 29th, 2013:

  10. 10 Anders said at 11:56 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    great minds think alike

  11. 11 Ben Hert said at 11:57 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    ha! I was just coming back to edit that to say “Depends where you are” when I saw your reply. Indeed they do!

  12. 12 aub32 said at 12:08 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Thanks to both of you.

  13. 13 aub32 said at 12:12 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Looks like I’m stepping out. I’m in NC, and for some dumb reason we are showing the Raiders v. Redskins game.

  14. 14 Anders said at 11:56 AM on September 29th, 2013:

    Tv map:

    So depends where you are

  15. 15 Ben Hert said at 12:02 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Greatest part of the Wulf piece? Click to “embiggen”

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:09 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Embiggen is a great word. That’s also the name I’ll use if I decide to pursue a rap career.

  17. 17 Brendan Ekstrom said at 12:23 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Please consider Lil Embiggen

  18. 18 Anders said at 12:25 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Should be: T Lil Embiggen 😛

  19. 19 ICDogg said at 2:37 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Seems cromulent to me.

  20. 20 Brendan Ekstrom said at 12:18 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Friends in Tampa say that freeman is spotted at the beach constantly and overall has the storyline of another talented qb who isn’t putting in the work necessary to be great. That’s the last thing I want in Philly.

  21. 21 GermanEagle said at 12:33 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I think after today the NFC East standings will look like this:
    1. Cowboys 3-1
    2. Eagles 1-3
    3. Skins 1-3
    4. Giants 0-4

    And in a couple of weeks time, Dallas will have run away with this pitiful division.

  22. 22 Anders said at 12:34 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I do not think the Cowboys win over the Chargers

  23. 23 GermanEagle said at 12:43 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Yes I am afraid Cowgirls will win. Chargers O line will be without 3 starters…

  24. 24 Anders said at 1:07 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Dallas OL isnt so good and Austin is out so it only really Bryant the Chargers have to worry about

  25. 25 GermanEagle said at 1:16 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    And Murray. And Witten…and Ware…

  26. 26 Ben Hert said at 12:35 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Which will validate Jerruh’s style of running an organization to himself even more, thus making Dallas be Dallas for that much longer.

  27. 27 GermanEagle said at 12:46 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Didn’t get what you are saying…

  28. 28 BlindChow said at 12:53 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    The Cowboys still have to play us twice, though. That could be the equalizer!

  29. 29 Vick or Nick said at 1:43 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Don’t put your faith in the cowgirls. They’ll lose when expected to win. Oh and Romo sucks.

    Cowgirls = accident waiting to happen

  30. 30 GermanEagle said at 1:43 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I am afraid history won’t repeat this time.

  31. 31 Vick or Nick said at 1:04 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I’m ready for Eagles to “shock the world”.

    But just in case they don’t. I’ll be dreaming of clowney or bridgewater in midnight green.

  32. 32 GermanEagle said at 1:17 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I am not overly impressed with Clowney like everyone else…

  33. 33 Vick or Nick said at 1:41 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I think he’ll be a better pro than college player. And he’s already a pretty damn good college player. He’s seeing double and triple teams regularly this year.

  34. 34 GermanEagle said at 1:44 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Listening to all this hyperbole, I was expecting more dominance from Clowney, even against triple teams.

  35. 35 Vick or Nick said at 1:45 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    If by overly impressed you were expecting Reggie White. Then yeah. You’ll be disappointed.

  36. 36 GermanEagle said at 1:52 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    To be honest… Yes I was expecting RW II.

  37. 37 Vick or Nick said at 1:53 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Then be disappointed. Very.

  38. 38 GermanEagle said at 2:51 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    No point of drafting him over Bridgewater then.

  39. 39 Anders said at 3:05 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Imo, never draft a DE, not even Reggie White type over a franchise QB

  40. 40 GermanEagle said at 3:13 PM on September 29th, 2013:


  41. 41 Vick or Nick said at 1:48 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    If NFL teams have to double or triple team a player that’s huge for the defense. Makes everyone on the D better. Is there a player on our D that requires consistent double team? Cox? Maybe but largely no.

  42. 42 GermanEagle said at 1:49 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I thought Nate Allen drew triple teams constantly. That would explain his bad individual stats.

  43. 43 Vick or Nick said at 1:51 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Nate Allen is so good he can triple team himself on most plays. All. By. Himself.

  44. 44 Anders said at 1:48 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    The hyperbole made him sound like he would get 3 sacks per play he was in.

  45. 45 GermanEagle said at 1:21 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    @ Anders

    U still think that Earl Thomas is overrated?!

  46. 46 Anders said at 1:30 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Im not watching the Seahawks, but I still stand by my comments that he was overrated the first three years of his career no matter what he does this year.

    Just because he might be very good this year does not mean he cant have been overrated to start his career 😛

  47. 47 GermanEagle said at 1:31 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I still take ET over BG any day of the week.

  48. 48 Anders said at 1:39 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    There is a great chance Thomas would be a bum getting coached by the like of Juan Castillo 😛

  49. 49 Vick or Nick said at 1:55 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Castillo was still a lot better than he gets credit for. The D completely collapsed when he got fired.

    But on the subject. Hindsight is 20/20. But I wanted ET then and I sure as he’ll want ET now over graham.

  50. 50 Anders said at 2:07 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I want Eric Berry, then Graham. I also liked Allen in the 2nd round (I thought Allen and Thomas was closer in college). Graham and Allen had good rookie years, but two ACL injuries and bad coaching seems to have doomed them

  51. 51 Bleedgreen said at 1:27 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Any Eagle fans living down in Baltimore? I just moved here and am looking for some fellow bird fans to watch the game with

  52. 52 Vick or Nick said at 1:58 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    AP’s strength and speed combo still surprises me every time he breaks one. Ridiculous.

  53. 53 RichF said at 2:06 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Especially the way he just turned on the afterburners at the tail end of the run. Special player.

  54. 54 Vick or Nick said at 2:49 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    So…Quinten Demps is a functional safety for Kansas City…

  55. 55 Anders said at 3:06 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    He was that for the Texans as well. Good 3rd safety for them, but he is not an every day starter

  56. 56 GermanEagle said at 3:13 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    QD > NA

  57. 57 Vick or Nick said at 7:22 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    He could be in philly.

  58. 58 SteveH said at 3:18 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I hope we don’t go near Freeman. Everything about whats been going on with him screams washout. Losing captaincy, demoted to 3rd string, missing team meetings. He’s playing bad and not handling the situation like a pro at all to boot.

  59. 59 ICDogg said at 3:26 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    I don’t think there’s much chance of that

  60. 60 ICDogg said at 3:28 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    Old habits… After Andy Reid won a challenge, official said, “Philadelphia will not be charged with a timeout.”

  61. 61 Crazymike663 said at 3:37 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    So will the Eagles cover the spread ?? I want to see all three running backs used.

  62. 62 ICDogg said at 3:42 PM on September 29th, 2013:

    If I had to wager this game I would take the under.