Fluke or Peak?

Posted: December 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 265 Comments »

The Eagles played their best game of the year last night. The offense was explosive and efficient. The defense was aggressive and stingy. Even the STs units came up big. Was that a fluke or did the Eagles finally reach the level they want to play at on a regular basis?

As a skeptic or non-Eagles fan, it would be easy to point to the game as a fluke. But that might be wrong.

The Eagles have looked great for parts of games since Nick Foles took over as the full time starter. They led GB 27-10. They led WAS 24-0. They led ARZ 24-7. The Eagles were dominant in those games up to the middle part of the 3rd quarter or until the 4th quarter. The team let up and won closer games than they should have.

Last night the Eagles finally put all the pieces together and turned the good 2nd half lead into a huge blowout. They showed just how good they can look when the team plays at a high level. There was no let-up. The Eagles weren’t satisfied with a good lead. Chip Kelly pushed them to want more. The Eagles might have scored 60 if the defense could have gotten the ball back with 3 or 4 minutes left.

I think the score of 54-11 will throw people off. That’s just not an NFL score. People are going to think of that as a game full of fluke plays and crazy events. I get that. Heck, I might feel the same way if say the Bengals had beaten the Vikings by that score. I know I’d be highly suspicious.

But this Eagles team has flirted with greatness since the calendar flipped to November. They weren’t able to play a complete game until last night. Prior to that, the Eagles couldn’t sustain excellence for 60 minutes. Something would go wrong on offense, defense or STs. The key is that the Eagles would look great for about 3 quarters of a game. The potential for this has been there all along.

I’m not saying this is a great team. It isn’t. The Eagles still have definite flaws. I do think this team at its best is capable of beating anyone in the league. And I don’t mean in the “any given Sunday” kind of way. The Eagles are legitimately dangerous. You can bet the rest of the NFL will be pulling for Dallas next Sunday. Nobody wants to face the Eagles in the postseason (except maybe the Vikings).

When you think about the win over the Bears, didn’t it feel like an Oregon game? The team built up a lead. They forced the opponent to play catch-up and were able to get a pick-6 from that. Then the team got a long TD run to close out the game. Even the final score of 54-11 feels like an Oregon score.

Kelly got his Oregon teams to maximize their potential. Last night was the first time he’s had the Eagles maximize their potential. Can Kelly get the Eagles to take this from being a one-game event to a regular performance level? That’s what he’s shooting for. Kelly wants the Eagles to achieve excellence on a regular basis, not just occasionally. Great teams do that.

I’m really curious to see how the team plays next week. Will the Eagles enjoy the win over the Bears too much and get sloppy? Will Kelly be able to sell them on the idea that’s how they should play on a regular basis?

The last time we saw a game like this it was the Starship 7 game when the Eagles beat the Skins 59-28 back in 2010. Michael Vick had a phenomenal showing. He was 20-28-333 with 4 TDs. He ran 8 times for 80 yards and 2 TDs. Jerome Harrison ran for a 50-yard TD in the 1st quarter. Dimitri Patterson had a pick-6 late in the game.

That game felt like an anomaly. Vick opened the game with an 88-yard TD pass to DeSean Jackson. There was a 48-yd pass to Jeremy Maclin that set up another TD. The Eagles didn’t physically dominate that game. They made huge plays. The Eagles ran for 260 yards, but 80 of that came on Michael Vick runs.

Also, the Skins were a 4-5 team. They finished the season 6-10. Beating them wasn’t a big deal at all.

Last night the Bears had a chance to win their division. They had everything on the line. They were the #2 scoring offense in the NFL. The defense was bad, but that team had been moving the ball and scoring on everyone. That game was anything but a gimme.

The Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage. The OL gave Shady McCoy and Bryce Brown tons of room to run. Both backs went for over 100 yards. The Eagles ran for 289 yards. Only 17 of those came from the QB running. Foles didn’t have any huge plays in the passing game. He was more methodical than mesmerizing. We’ve seen Foles play like that already this year. Heck, he’s played better than that. We’ve seen McCoy run better than he did.

The defense is the one group that performed surprisingly well. Even they have been headed in the right direction. 10 of the last 11 opponents have been held to 21 points or fewer. 3 of the last 4 opponents have been held to 350 yards or less. The Eagles matched up well with the Bears so the performance isn’t some total fluke. I just figured the Bears would be held to 24 points or something like that. I didn’t see them being held to 11, but I didn’t anticipate another disaster like the Vikings game.

Can this performance be repeated? Don’t suddenly expect the Eagles to start shutting teams down like that. But the defense can be a lot better when they don’t miss tackles and when they sack the QB as opposed to getting near him and then letting him move in the pocket to complete a big pass.

Sunday night is going to be one interesting game. I really can’t wait to see how the Eagles play. If they are able to have another big game, maybe this team will be a major factor in the playoffs.


265 Comments on “Fluke or Peak?”

  1. 1 Nathan Rufo said at 3:12 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    A huge part of this defense’s turnaround has been the resurgence of Trent Cole and the development of the D-Line. You’ve said all along that for the 3-4 to work, you need a legitimate pass-rushing threat at the OLB position. In the last five weeks, Cole has been that for us, and it seems like he’s coming on stronger now.

    The Eagles can beat anyone. After Arizona’s showing in Seattle, I even think they can win there. Just beat Dallas this week…I have a good feeling about the game. If not for Foles’ awful, awful performance last time, we’d have rolled over them then too. Would love to see an ’09 repeat.

  2. 2 Jamie Parker said at 10:06 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    What? We lost to the Cpwboys in ’09 24-0. Then they spanked us in the WC the following week. You must be talking about ’08 when we won 44-6.

  3. 3 RobNE said at 3:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    This was a methodical beat down and the most fun game to watch in awhile. But I’ve said that 2-3 times this year already. I’ll just have a hard time if we lose next week. We belong, we can beat anyone (not to say we will) and I just want the chance.

    How about Chip with his “we’re from Philly and we fight”. That will win over the fans. Also I really liked how he kept the pedal down much longer (and with more of a margin too) than prior games.

  4. 4 mtn_green said at 3:40 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Chip called almost all run plays after half way through the third quarter, Bears couldn’t stop them. Whereas WA, AZ could, GB, TB and Bears could not. Not sure Kelly was any more aggressive than WA or AZ execution was better.

  5. 5 RobNE said at 3:42 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I had had a couple of beverages by that point. I just remember they kept scoring. Then more beverages.

  6. 6 shah8 said at 3:50 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Much of the success in late game rushing was simply not relying on the QB to freeze a man. Nowadays, James Casey is coming over there and smacking folks rather than head downfield for blocking there. Even if Vick (or some other mobile QB) was there, I think in terms of the four minute offense, we’ll see this more determined effort at straight blocks and quality double-teams much more.

  7. 7 OregonDucker said at 4:25 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yes, it is the TE pull that is nailing the DE or LB that is crashing down the line. No one has stopped this and Chip ran it several times. The ChipWagon website examined this play in detail a week ago or so.

  8. 8 BlindChow said at 7:33 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    What’s interesting is, even with Casey wham blocking the DE, Foles will still draw a linebacker in the direction he’s running after the hand-off, because defenses have started using the scrape exchange to guard against the read option. That basically takes a linebacker out of the play even if there’s no real “option” on the play at all.

    The Eagles scored at least one of McCoy’s long touchdowns because of it in the Lions game.

  9. 9 Mitchell said at 3:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    The real question is: who the hell is Jerome Harrison?

  10. 10 Anthony Hart said at 3:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    The guy Ronnie Brown saved

  11. 11 shah8 said at 3:51 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    He’s a shifty dude who’s a poor man’s version of guys like Sproles. Career ended with a head issue.

  12. 12 fran35 said at 5:47 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yeah, the Eagles trading him ended up saving his life. Failed the physical due to brain tumor

  13. 13 Vick or Nick said at 3:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    A lot of credit has to go to Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly for bringing in the right players through FA and the Draft this past off season. It might not have been appearent early but it is now.

    Fletcher and Williams are HUGE upgrades over Namdi and DRC.
    Barwin has been steady as a rock.
    James Casey has been a very good blocker coming across formations.

    Lane Johnson is better than both Fisher and Joeckel.
    Ertz seems to make better and better catches every week.
    Bennie Logan is pushing the pocket, and stopping the run.
    Earl Wolff didn’t play much but he made plays when he did.

    I have openly criticized the FO for poor drafting and FA signings. But this past Draft and FA’s are meshing extremely well.


    Eagles 28-20.

    Shady said it best. Dallas hasn’t seen the best of Nick Foles, the best of Shady, nor the best of the Eagles. They will next week.

  14. 14 Anthony Hart said at 3:38 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    The last draft (Cox, Kendricks, Curry, Foles, Boykin) was a great one too. Since Lurie gave Howie more power over the drafts they’ve been much better. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of moves he and Chip make this off-season. Crazy that ESPN is pushing the idea that they want to replace Howie.

  15. 15 sprawl said at 3:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    “I think the score of 54-11 will throw people off. That’s just not an NFL score.”

    first one ever! RT @hunsinator Any idea if an NFL game ever ended 54-11 before last night?— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) December 23, 2013

  16. 16 jshort said at 3:43 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    must have something to do with that new fangaled college offense!

  17. 17 Scott J said at 10:08 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Stop that! According to Ashley Fox those fancy smancy college offenses can never work in the NFL.

  18. 18 Maggie said at 4:07 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Actually quite a few supposedly knowledgeable people said the same thing.

  19. 19 ICDogg said at 3:29 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    Mock draft simulator

  20. 20 Mike Roman said at 4:10 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    That was fun. I don’t follow college very closely .. how did I do?


  21. 21 Andy124 said at 4:14 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Well, you got us Mack so I think most of this board will be pretty happy. 21 might be a bit low for us to be drafting though. 🙂

  22. 22 teltschikfakeout88 said at 8:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    U think bucannon will be there at 86?

  23. 23 D3FB said at 8:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Probably not. Alot of these safetys are bunched pretty closely together right now. The offseason process and how some of them run and teams getting a sense for their intelligence level is going to move alot of these guys up and down boards. I think Buchannon ends up in the second or early third.

  24. 24 Mitchell said at 8:05 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I enjoy some bucannon.

  25. 25 deg0ey said at 5:59 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Just put together a draft I’m ridiculously happy with – take a look at this:

    1. Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
    2. Jeremiah Attaochu (OLB, Georgia Tech)
    3. Jared Abbrederis (WR, Wisconsin)
    4. Tre Boston (S, North Carolina)
    5. Ben Gardner (DE, Stanford)
    5. Dri Archer (RB/WR, Kent State)
    7. Donald Hawkins (OL, Texas)

    Let’s do this!

  26. 26 Vick or Nick said at 12:06 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Sick Find. My Results:

    1st Round:

    2nd Round:

    3rd Round:

    4th Round:

    5th Round:

    7th Round:

  27. 27 ICDogg said at 3:33 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yeah… if it just happens that they really are this good and are peaking at just the right time, watch out. Only time will tell.

  28. 28 Ashley Fox said at 3:36 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Chip Kelly’s Head Coaching Disaster Continues
    by Ashley Fox

    Chip Kelly’s disastrous run as the Eagles head coach continued on Sunday night, when the Eagles won a pyrrhic victory against the Chicago Bears. Even though the outcome of the game was completely meaningless because of the strong victory by the Dallas Cowboys over the Washington Redskins earlier in the day, Kelly foolishly decided not to rest his starters for the game. That kind of strategy may have worked in college, but this is the NFL. The decision proved costly when Nick Foles, Lesean McCoy, and other key offensive starters became so banged up that they had to be pulled in the fourth quarter and replaced by Michael Vick, Bryce Brown, and other backups. If those players are unable to play against Dallas next Sunday, we may look back at this game as the beginning of the end for the Kelly era.

    Even more trouble began for Chip Kelly during the game’s fourth quarter, with a brewing quarterback controversy. Michael Vick came in to replace the injured Nick Foles and engineered a masterful one-play, 65-yard touchdown drive. That was far more efficient then the drives run by Nick Foles, which sometimes required 3, 4, and even 5 plays to score a touchdown. In addition, Bryce Brown averaged 65 yards per carry with Vick in the game, proving once again that the Eagles’ run game can only be successful with Vick under center. We will now have to wait and see if Kelly make the obvious choice to bench Foles and move forward with Vick for the rest of the season.

  29. 29 OregonDucker said at 3:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Heeeheee,, hoohoohooo, lol, smh. Good one!

  30. 30 jshort said at 4:04 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    This should be a regular feature….Love it.

  31. 31 Andy124 said at 4:05 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Has to be a regular poster. I think I know who it is, but I’m not saying.

  32. 32 jshort said at 4:12 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I have it down to a few posters……but who is this masked man?

  33. 33 D3FB said at 8:21 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Smart money would be Balhoopi. Also could be ATG.

  34. 34 Maggie said at 4:10 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Or “theycallmerob”.

  35. 35 planetx1971 said at 8:56 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Loved it! I thought Ashley might point out that Chip had to pull his starters by the 4th qtr. because they wore themselves out scoring touchdowns & throwing Cutler around like a rag doll. Will they still be tired from this next week?! 🙂

  36. 36 mtn_green said at 9:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Don’t forget the Brad Smith play.

  37. 37 OregonDucker said at 3:37 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Chip’s teams are like Swiss watches. There are many moving parts, each calibrated to a fine degree. There are diamonds and gems at wear points to refine precision. Time is measured precisely. Offense, Defense, and Special Teams work in unison and in precision each supported by fine jewels – Shady, Djax, Foles, Coop, OL, Cole, Cox, Boykin, and many others. Each working in harmony.

    If Chip now has the watch built, it will last a very long time. Many of us thought it would take two to three years to get the right parts. I am not so sure anymore.

  38. 38 jshort said at 4:00 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    No wonder why, I thought I was watching a football machine.

  39. 39 Vick or Nick said at 3:40 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’d like to add one more thing about pressure to win next Sunday.

    Are you F@#$%^& kidding?

    Dallas has lost games last week of the season past two seasons to both the Giants and Skins, and if they lose would be 3 straight seasons to all NFC East teams.

    It is a known fact if Dallas loses then coaches and players are going to be out of jobs next year. Garret and his staff would be gone. Eagles? You bet they’ll be back stronger and in tact.

    Romo got 50 mill guaranteed not Foles, whoes a young QB still gaining experience.

    Eagles went from 4-12 rebuilding team, to a playoff contender. Dallas was expected to be contending for the Superbowl.

    Eagles have a first year coaching staff with many new players. Dallas has same players and coaches failing to get it done for past 3 years.

    Jerry Jones vs Jeff Lurie. One tries to run the team. The other lets his employees do their jobs.

    The pressure is ENTIRELY on the Cowboys.

  40. 40 OregonDucker said at 3:45 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yes, you are correct. They do not have a multifaceted attack. They only have Romo to bail them out again, again, and again. If Romo is contained in any way, the Cowboys offensive production drops significantly. He then is forced to “make plays” which can result in ints or defensive tds.

    On the other hands, the Eagles have a multifaceted offensive scheme that uses spread, motion, and players to great effect. It is the attack formula that determines that outcome not just the QB. The Eagles are scary as hell.

  41. 41 RobNE said at 3:46 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    overtime would be great with Chip running out the clock for the tie and the division title. Shady running backwards from the 50 and running OB at his own 2 as OT expires.

  42. 42 Jamie Parker said at 10:18 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Hahaha. That would be awesome.

  43. 43 shah8 said at 3:47 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Well, keep in mind, prolific offenses tend to have *lots* of games like this, and it’s not necessarily a good predictor of postseason success. It’s usually not possible to simply outscore on a decent defense. So evaluating the Eagles tend to matter in terms of how you think the defense is coming along.

    In terms of illustration, think about what happened with Tom Brady in 2010 and 2011. He could score at will on a Tebow-led Broncos, but otherwise, there were real problems. It took a lot of luck to make it past Baltimore in 2011. In terms of exception that proves the rule, think about Aaron Rodgers 2010. That team was the only one in recent memory to succeed without a credible run game and a not-that-great defense. Lived on Rodgers making plays and a very full stable of receivers, while getting a big stop on defense when they needed it. Of course, making a good study of the Jim Kelly era Bills will also educate. Those guys generally had a more impressive defense, though, and in that era, the AFC was really rather weak. A quick look, for example, showed that John Elway spent much of that era before 1993 being entirely marginal. Like, what was wrong with that boy?

  44. 44 Andy124 said at 3:52 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Packers had the #2 defense in the league that year and James Starks emerged late to provide the offensive balance they needed.

  45. 45 shah8 said at 3:55 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    by what measure, exactly? Felt like a lot of opportunistic defenses, like the Indy Super Bowl winner.

  46. 46 Andy124 said at 4:00 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    2nd in points per game. They were 5th in yards per game. First in opposing quarterback rating. Second in interceptions. Second in sacks.

  47. 47 shah8 said at 4:02 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yeah, pretty much like what I thought. Definitely better overall than what I remember, but you could move on those folks. Just a matter of avoiding negative plays.

  48. 48 Stephen Stempo said at 6:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    5th in yards per game. So apparently you couldn’t. Though I admit I think a lot of it was making opposing offenses predictable by scoring the hell out of them.

  49. 49 shah8 said at 6:08 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Perhaps so. Visually, those Packers were just not anything like the kind of “oh shit” that you can see from this year’s NFC West teams on a good day.

  50. 50 Stephen Stempo said at 6:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    That was before Clay Matthews was in every commercial too. He hasn’t been the same player in 2 seasons.

  51. 51 D3FB said at 8:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Raji was still a good player.

  52. 52 Lewwyn said at 8:53 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Disagree. Clay Mathews was a huge force that year, and they were definitely “oh shit” worthy. Remember when they played us? Kolb was knocked out of the game and the offence was barely able to do anything. Only when Vick entered the game did the Eagles have success and that was because the Packers were not prepared for him and he was able to improvise.

  53. 53 RobNE said at 3:53 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    do we not have a credible run game? should we try to score less, would that make you more optimistic about our post season?

    Also, the best predictor of post season success is to MAKE THE POSTSEASON. And if you get to beat some teams badly, because you are better or they are bad or whatever, you take it and move on. I mean, the Pats play in the worst division ever (5 titles in a row now) and it allows them to get a bye almost every single year, and do you think they sit around and say “sure but we can’t beat a season full of good teams” NO because they only have to win 3 freakin games to win the SB. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but they keep pulling the lever. Having the chance to pull the lever (and with a bye) is worth a lot.

    I don’t care if they are built differently, my point is if you have a method to produce regular season wins, that is really really valuable. More valuable than you are giving credit.

  54. 54 OregonDucker said at 3:54 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    IMHO, the best defense against the Eagles is press-man single coverage, and a big, quick defensive line that is effective against the run. Usually, there are tough D’s like this in the playoffs. We can’t get our hopes to high in this first Chip season.

  55. 55 shah8 said at 4:01 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    We will see that from all of the serious contenders in the NFC. It’s wierd, since the Seahawks have the least rushing stoppability of all the top defenses, but their line is probably the most dangerous because they can force the run game to be simplistic.

    As far as what it takes to stop the Eagles, I would venture that zone defenses run as a scheme to win, and not cover inadequate personnel is probably better than man. The Eagle is playing a very space game, and the scheme is all about getting wide open looks that takes advantage of unsure tackling up close and unsure play recognition in the defensive backfield. Generally, again, this makes me think Seattle would cream us. But, well, we play the games.

  56. 56 RobNE said at 4:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I did think a lot of passes last night were to “college open” receivers. Also, you will like this, the NE fan (neighbor) says to me during the game “you guys are so lucky to have discovered Foles. He is great and he has a GUN”. Even I didn’t think that was true, but funny how a casual fan (who might not have seen a game) draws conclusions.

  57. 57 shah8 said at 4:06 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    That is not at all surprising. Few people seem to be able to recognize what’s a strong arm and what isn’t. Foles passes looked good because he’s not being sloppy like he has been. That doesn’t mean that he can truly zing passes.

  58. 58 Stephen Stempo said at 6:02 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I prefer to think of Foles arm as artillery. It’s fired high, it might not be fast, but when it lands it’s devastating. Also I don’t buy the “college open” thing. Watch other NFL games QB’s usually hit open recievers it’s not as if we haven’t seen Foles thread it or throw to a covered guy, or throw a guy open. In the Endzone Pass to I think Ertz last night he put it right by a linebacker who was just out of reach of the pass.

  59. 59 BlindChow said at 7:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’ve seen Foles kill a man with one of his rainbow passes.

  60. 60 Andy124 said at 7:27 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    A saw him kill a man 3 times before he hit the floor… with luck.

  61. 61 OregonDucker said at 4:05 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Good points. One positive is that Carroll has sought out Chip for lessons on offense. Chip owned Carroll when he was at USC. My hope is that Chip knows Carroll’s weaknesses. I pray we get the chance to see that.

  62. 62 RobNE said at 4:05 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Let’s start with Kiffin ok?

  63. 63 OregonDucker said at 4:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Kiffin was effective in the last game. I read an analysis that he used press-man single coverage and used DL stunts to stifle the Eagles run game. We now have a different Eagles team but I am sure Kiffen will use what worked before.

  64. 64 shah8 said at 4:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Sean Lee will not be healthy in this game. More than that, Foles was missing on everything. Had he been competent, eminently winnable game. Romo also will not be healthy in this game.

    We will know what’s what by the end of the first quarter. If the Cowboys come out clawing like a cornered animal, rather than crouch back and mew like the Bears, then it’s gonna be a fight.

  65. 65 47_Ronin said at 4:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Some credit deserves to go Monte but much of the blame has to go to the bad QB play from a seemingly concussed Foles

  66. 66 BlindChow said at 7:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    WR’s were wide open all day against Dallas. Foles couldn’t seem to complete a pass that game, though. I really hope they don’t change the gameplan…

  67. 67 D3FB said at 8:16 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    We also didn’t use as many manbeater concepts like the crossing routes we’ve seen so heavily in recent weeks.

  68. 68 shah8 said at 4:07 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Execute the runs right, however, and they can be run on, though.

  69. 69 Stephen Stempo said at 5:58 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I do not want to face Seattle. I want the 3 seed, that should avoid that until the NFCchamp game (getting ahead of myself). On the other hand I’d love to see how Chip gameplans against a defense like Seattle.

  70. 70 HipDaDip said at 3:58 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    How about 58% of defensive snaps for Vinny Curry?! I didn’t notice him too much during the game, but the steady increase in playing time continues. Likely playing more because the bears were in must-pass mode most of the game, but still… pretty cool.

  71. 71 BlindChow said at 7:14 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    They played the backups more in the 2nd half because of the big lead.

  72. 72 RobNE said at 4:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Is Romo hurt?

  73. 73 OregonDucker said at 4:14 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Romo has back issues but should be ready by game time. He’ll get a couple of shots for the pain then kick ass. Still, I would not want to be hit by Cole, Cox, Hendricks, et al. These guys can put the hurt on you.

  74. 74 RobNE said at 4:17 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    so not an ankle? that’s too bad. If he could play but not run well, that would be ok with me.

  75. 75 Mac said at 4:21 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    He should follow Shawn Andrew’s lead and convince Jerrah to hire his brother (Gomer Pyle) and then quit the team to produce rap music.

  76. 76 Tumtum said at 4:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    You mean from when he had his sock pulled down and limped around like a wounded bird for the next 2 series? I felt like that was a classic case of the ole’ rope-a-dope. Looked like it might have worked on that 4th and goal to end the game too.

  77. 77 jshort said at 5:25 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’m really thinking this is a save face injury, with JJ coming up with the idea. If they lose w/o Romo fans will accept it. Really, who would want to play the Eagles, you dont know what could be in store for your team ,bad, good, or red hot. They are scary.

  78. 78 ICDogg said at 5:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Oh please.

  79. 79 jshort said at 5:27 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    well, with a red face… just a little outside the box

  80. 80 Jamie Parker said at 10:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    You know who wants to play the Eagles? The Vikings.

  81. 81 Corry said at 4:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Breaking news! Tony Romo out for the remainder of the season! Back injury worse than expected.

  82. 82 Mike Roman said at 4:40 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Shit. The Eagles have a way of making backup QBs look like Joe Montana.

  83. 83 jshort said at 5:12 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I know that feeling….Kyle Orton??? I do believe.

  84. 84 Andy124 said at 5:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    It’s ok. That bad juju only works if Joe Webb is on the roster.

  85. 85 jshort said at 4:59 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yep, If I were him, and watched our game last night, my back would be hurting me too.
    Of course, my whole body is hurting form some of the ridiculous positions I get into, and stay in, as not to jinx us.

  86. 86 FairOaks said at 4:10 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    One part which was fluky — and huge — was the fumble on the kickoff return. That got the eagles a 14-0 lead before the bears got the ball back, and that may have taken them out of their game plan. Also… Not sure that every team will be nice enough to try zone defense against us. We have shredded most every team that has tried.

    Kelly is definitely in a comfort zone with an early lead. The problem seems to be with getting behind early ourselves, or with some 3 and outs which leave the offense taking a while to get into rhythm. We recovered against the lions but the defense did not give us much of a chance against the Vikings.

  87. 87 BlindChow said at 7:13 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Didn’t Minnesota use a zone defense?

  88. 88 FairOaks said at 10:38 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    If they did, they still gave up 470+ yards and 30 points. And that was with Foles making good decisions but being inaccurate on a number of throws resulting in missed opportunities; he probably would have had 600 yards passing on a more accurate day. Whatever was stopping the Eagles wasn’t the Vikings defense, I don’t think.

  89. 89 Tumtum said at 4:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Win or lose this week, it doesn’t matter too much in my view. This is not only a winning football team, that has more than doubled its wins from last year. They are a team that has become a blast to watch. I’m trying to remember the last team that was this fun to watch and honestly I think it was 04′.

    Even the teams that made serious runs since 04′ have been infuriating at times. This team has had me dejected at times (dallas, giants), but not just outright angry. I generally will only get angry if the team is making stupid mistakes. I made a comment in the game thread last night about the lack of flags thrown. What I was really remarking is how this team is so crazy disciplined. There just are no dumb mistakes. They don’t happen.

    Perhaps my enjoyment from this season was due to lowered expectations, but I really think its because I know I am watching a good team. Ever since 08′ or I was never quite sure what we had. For me 08′ was one of my worst seasons as an Eagle fan… and the Eagles were a hair away from the Superbowl.

  90. 90 Corry said at 4:21 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    HOLY SHIT! BREAKING NEWS! Schefter reports Tony Romo is done for the season!

    Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been ruled out the rest of the season due to his back injury, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2013

  91. 91 Tumtum said at 4:23 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    lies! PFT and Google can not confirm! I would probably rather face him than Orton too…

  92. 92 DarthBanner said at 4:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I just saw it on ESPN as well. Crazysauce.

  93. 93 Mac said at 4:30 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    One step closer to his rap career.

  94. 94 Tumtum said at 4:25 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Ok I just got 3 texts.. man I’d rather not face Orton.

  95. 95 DarthBanner said at 4:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Absolutely no excuse to not win now. And that scares the crap out of me.

  96. 96 Corry said at 4:29 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    yeah…ghost of Matt Cassell will be haunting me for a long time.

  97. 97 Stephen Stempo said at 5:55 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    makes me happy the matt cassel game happened. I don’t think this team will forget that.

  98. 98 BlindChow said at 7:11 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


  99. 99 A Roy said at 9:54 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yes, but who controls it? A cynic would say it’s controlled by the ref who bet on the game

  100. 100 Maggie said at 4:19 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Kelly says nobody controls “destiny”. Your destiny is what it is. And I agree. Although the cynic in me sees your point, lol.

  101. 101 47_Ronin said at 4:41 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Orton is 1-1 vs the Eagles (Chicago then Denver) but he hasn’t really played in 2 years.

  102. 102 Mr. Toledo said at 4:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    romo out for the year……….too bad i wanted to see us crush him

  103. 103 Mac said at 4:29 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    This is clearly a ploy to save Jason Garrett’s job.

    (turns to the side whispers “yes” with a fist pump)

  104. 104 47_Ronin said at 4:38 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yeah there’s nothing like enjoying a crushing Romo-dallas defeat. Here comes Kyle Orton with a builtin excuse ready in case of a loss.

  105. 105 Mr. Toledo said at 4:56 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    garret is just saying romo is hurt as an excuse to keep his job…espn will be speculating that soon enough

  106. 106 CrackSammich said at 4:40 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Joke however you’d like, but it definitely looked like the linebackers bit hard on Vick’s fake on his one IZR. Dude still gets respect.

    It seems odd to say this after such a convincing victory, but I can’t imagine how dominant this team will be with some defensive talent. The performance of our D in the Vikings game gives me little hope for keeping up with the big boys in the playoffs, but we shall (maybe, hopefully) see shortly…

  107. 107 Tumtum said at 5:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Oh yeah they bit real hard. There is certainly more room with a mobile QB. Seems to be enough without one too though.

  108. 108 BlindChow said at 7:10 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Actually, they didn’t really bite at all. Just rewatched the play.

    The unblocked DE (Peppers) waited for the handoff before making his move, but that’s what he had been doing most of the night with Foles (Chipwagon even shows a play demonstrating this). None of the other linebackers even paid attention to Vick. They came right up to go after Brown, but our (backup!) linemen were able to knock them right out of the play. Bad tackling took care of the rest.

  109. 109 CrackSammich said at 11:42 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Just checked Chip Wagon and their review of that play shows what I saw. Edge defender plays the run, which you are correct on, but one of the middle linebackers bites hard to the outside to stop Vick. OL cleaned up and made the mistake stand.

    Pictures 5 and 6, which seem out of order.

  110. 110 shah8 said at 11:50 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Man, mixed feelings about this. That’s a tutorial on what not to do. Teams are going to be looking at this, and using it as a guide in making keys for DL and LB.

  111. 111 CrackSammich said at 10:10 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    I mean, you’re right in that this is information that Coaches on other teams will want, but it’s not like they don’t already have the coaching tape and couldn’t see what happened. It’s not like the read option is new, and it’s not like certain coaches haven’t gotten good at stopping it. I’d guess this was more a linebacker not staying disciplined to his assignment rather than a poor defensive scheme. The unfortunate part for that linebacker was that if the play had gone for only a couple of yards, he’d have been able to adjust for the rest of the drive and it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Now, like our jokes about Vick’s increased run abilities for the offense, this guy was wrong 100% of the time.

  112. 112 Stephen Stempo said at 5:54 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    The bears simply can’t stop the run. They could have had Jon Dorenbos line up under center and hand it off and rack up 9 yards per carry.

  113. 113 Tyler Phillips said at 4:46 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Romo done for the year. Per schefter

  114. 114 ICDogg said at 4:48 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    So who’s their backup? Orton?

  115. 115 Corry said at 4:49 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yep. He has thrown 15 passes in the past 2 years.

    BUT! Matt Cassel.

  116. 116 ICDogg said at 4:49 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    yeah… there’s that

  117. 117 OregonDucker said at 5:01 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Confirmed on NFL network!! Wowser!

  118. 118 ICDogg said at 4:54 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I guess we’ll get a heavy dose of Demarco Murray.

  119. 119 47_Ronin said at 5:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I don’t think that is necessarily the case. Orton is an adequate QB that can execute most, if not all, of Dallas’s passing offense. He definitely doesn’t have Romo’s ability to extend plays. It will be interesting to see whether the Eagles play the run to force passes. I think the Eagles should try to jump on the Cowpokes and score fast to put them in a hole and then go after the less mobile Orton.

  120. 120 shah8 said at 5:32 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Haven’t really seen enough of him on TV (only saw one of his game messing up before Tebow was named starter), but Kyle Orton looks like one of those guys who can rack up passing stats when things are going well for him, but who can be slapped shut in the end zone and by competent defenses. Has zero ability to make plays. I suppose he could come out snappish, but it’s pretty unlikely. Almost as cold as Joe Webb was, a week instead of two hours, and Webb also did all the practices that week, too.

  121. 121 P_P_K said at 6:14 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Orton, but I remember him as being a decent qb with a good arm who plays lousy when under pressure.

  122. 122 D3FB said at 8:11 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’d say we use the same concepts we did this last week. A heavy dose of Man with safety help over top and bringing the heat up the middle.

  123. 123 ICDogg said at 5:00 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Eagles now up to 7.5 point favorites, according to Twitter, though I don’t see any actual live betting odds for the game anywhere at the moment.

  124. 124 A Roy said at 9:50 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Vegas books shot to 7.5 just before 5PM as word on Romo hit the street.. Some took it down and haven’t posted new PS yet.

  125. 125 ICDogg said at 5:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Dammit, I was hoping we would be the ones to injure Tony Romo on Sunday.— FakeWIPCaller (@FakeWIPCaller) December 23, 2013

  126. 126 Stephen Stempo said at 5:52 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    They failed to mention that Garrett actually hit Romo on the back with a giant wrench in private after the game. Romo agreed that this is the only way to save both of their jobs for next season as playing the Eagles would most surely get them both fired.

  127. 127 ICDogg said at 5:04 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Do the Cowboys have another QB behind Orton on their roster?

  128. 128 Corry said at 5:06 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    No, they’re only two deep. I had to look it up. I thought they still had McGee (I think that was his name). They absolutely need to IR Romo and bring in someone now.

  129. 129 OregonDucker said at 5:08 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Where is Dennis Dixon now? Hope they don’t get him.

  130. 130 ICDogg said at 5:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    G.J. Kinne!

  131. 131 Andy124 said at 5:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    You take that back. TAKE IT BACK!

  132. 132 Corry said at 5:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Bills practice squad.

  133. 133 shah8 said at 5:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Thad Lewis has done a heroic job as the scrappy backup QB for the Bills this year, come to think of it.

  134. 134 Andy124 said at 5:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I can’t find one. Doesn’t look like they even have one on their practice squad.

  135. 135 ICDogg said at 5:10 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I bet they sign Tebow

  136. 136 Corry said at 5:10 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    That would be a good play. Battle Chip Kelly’s voodoo dolls with Jesus.

  137. 137 OregonDucker said at 5:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Nope, Dennis Dixon! Bet on it.

  138. 138 Crus57 said at 5:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    A game against a team missing one of its best players, with the potential for a very significant game the week after? What can go wrong.

  139. 139 ICDogg said at 5:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Well, yeah. Earlier today I thought that the Cowboys were under far more pressure than the Eagles to win this game, it would be the Cowboys who were tight and the Eagles would be loose. Now that might be flipped.

  140. 140 ACViking said at 5:57 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    Kyle Orton’s no joke. He’s a Matt Cassel-type who’s slightly less mobile. But Orton would be throwing to better receivers.

  141. 141 shah8 said at 6:00 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’d say the receiver set is about the same.

  142. 142 shah8 said at 6:02 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Better No. 1, somewhat comparable No. 2, and Vikings have better bottom of the pile receivers. If Kyle Rudolph is included, Vikings definitely has better, for a guy like Orton.

  143. 143 theycallmerob said at 6:02 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Rudolph has been out almost all year.
    And Witten blows him out of the water anyway.

  144. 144 shah8 said at 6:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Thank you Christian Ponder. I’m sure you appreciated all Rudolph did to get you your TD!


  145. 145 theycallmerob said at 6:05 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    /me wonders aloud to the meaningless posts of shah

  146. 146 ICDogg said at 5:18 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Source close to Romo says he suffered a herniated disc and is currently looking at options. Garrett wouldn't get into what injury is— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 23, 2013

  147. 147 Corry said at 5:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    It’s legit if it’s coming from Glazer.

  148. 148 shah8 said at 5:25 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Romo’s going to come back pretty diminished if it’s too bad. Back issues are no joke.

  149. 149 ICDogg said at 5:28 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Eventually #Cowboys QB Tony Romo is believed to need surgery to fix this herniated disk, per source. We’ll see when that is.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2013

  150. 150 ICDogg said at 5:30 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Also from Chris Mortenson (@mortreport)

  151. 151 OregonDucker said at 5:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Garret is saying Romo is day to day. We know he is being coy to keep the Eagles D guessing. Interview happening now.

  152. 152 ICDogg said at 5:25 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    jason garrett presser reminds me of shanahan quote: "what I’m trying to do is be as honest as I can, and I don’t normally do that."— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) December 23, 2013

  153. 153 OregonDucker said at 5:31 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Yeah, he’s not playing with a herniated disc. No way, no how.

  154. 154 shah8 said at 5:37 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I feel bad for him. Does mean the end of his career as a top QB, unless he finds himself on a stacked offense like Manning. Maybe he’ll heal up right, but football is just so stressful on backs, and back injuries tend to be really resistant to pain-free healing.

  155. 155 Ark87 said at 5:44 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I feel bad for him but at the same time I sort of don’t. And not because I’m a hateful Eagles fan. No matter how you look at it, Romo’s career is defined by not being clutch, choking in big moments with the season on the line. If his career was over, then his swan song was a very clutch drive, while struggling through his career ending injury. What a gutsy way to go, would be a nice note to end with for a much maligned and otherwise prolific passer.

  156. 156 ICDogg said at 5:31 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Cowboys re-sign Quincy Carter!


  157. 157 McNabbulousness said at 5:32 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    i heard they’re bring in chad hutchinson, although it’s conjecture at this point

  158. 158 shah8 said at 5:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Heckuva talented dude. Never really played that well at Georgia, and never matured at all with the Cowboys. Probably a headcase issue, as with Jamarcus Russell and Blaine Gabbert, etc…

  159. 159 Stephen Stempo said at 5:49 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think Parcells blackballed him honestly.I never understood why they Never got behind him in Dallas (well I have an idea). His Failed cocaine test didn’t help either.

  160. 160 shah8 said at 5:51 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Nooooo, not anything like Jeff Fisher’s unproductive relationship with Vince Young. Quincy Carter’s attitude was quite a bit closer to Ryan Perriloux or Tyler Bray. Vince Young was just stupid. Russell had a bunch of issues and bad coaching. Gabbert is just a coward, of course…

  161. 161 Stephen Stempo said at 6:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    erm…. was that meant to be a reply to me?

  162. 162 shah8 said at 6:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Well yes. I don’t think Parcells blackballed Carter, any more than teams blackballed Russell. Carter clearly has issues.

  163. 163 RobNE said at 5:33 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I was doing some actual work for a couple hours, and now Romo is out?!?! Wait….I’ve cracked the code! But I’m not willing to work on Sundays (anymore).

    Will they un-flex the game?

  164. 164 Corry said at 5:37 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I don’t think they can.

  165. 165 ICDogg said at 5:36 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Roseman: "Mike [Vick] has been one of the unsung heroes on this team." Referenced work with Foles, leadership during Cooper saga.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) December 23, 2013

  166. 166 Ark87 said at 5:38 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    So I woke up this morning, went to work, threw on some football podcasts from all over the national media, thinking what say yee!? Turns out all anybody wanted to do was admire Dallas for the “clutch” victory over an awful Washington team. Everybody breezed right by our statement game, and even then only really taking the time to wag the finger at the bears for blowing their opportunity. Man we took it to the bears, we took the disdainful “well somebody from the NFC north and NFC east divisions have to go to the playoffs” bowl and said, that ain’t us, we’re above that, don’t overlook us. Well we’re being overlooked, and that’s probably a good thing, really. Even this week, all anybody wanted to talk about was Dallas’ clutch win, now with Romo hurt, that place is going to be a circus, lt should be pretty quiet for the birds this week.

  167. 167 Stephen Stempo said at 5:46 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    My favorite was Skip Bayless saying that the Bears gave up early because they knew they had to win next week anyway. I think a lot of National media are embarrassed to praise the Eagles after their early season statements about Kelly.

  168. 168 Ark87 said at 5:49 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    you listened to that too!? man I was kicking myself for listening to that garbage. That guy is so damn bad.

    Very good point though, it would be pretty shameless to hop on the band wagon now. I think if Coughlin, Shannahan, and Garret are fired this year, I’m going to send Dan Graziano a card or something.

  169. 169 Stephen Stempo said at 6:17 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I’d love if all three were out. HA.

  170. 170 ICDogg said at 5:43 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Eagles say they're on track to become first team to lead NFL in rushing while ranking last in time of possession since 91 Bills— John Clark NBC10 (@johnclarknbc10) December 23, 2013

  171. 171 ACViking said at 5:56 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    Sorry, just want to clarify . . . .

    Are you talking about the 1991 K-gun SUPER BOWL Bills?

  172. 172 Anders said at 1:51 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    If Chip makes is into that kind of team just with a sb win, he is going to become a God in Philly

  173. 173 A_T_G said at 6:18 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I wonder when the last time the leading rusher and highest QB rating were paired up in the same backfield.

  174. 174 BlindChow said at 6:51 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think it was 1962: Bart Starr and Jim Taylor in Green Bay.

  175. 175 since1961 said at 9:51 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I believe they said on the broadcast it was John Hadl & Paul Lowe, 1965…..

  176. 176 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:59 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    i think that is actually somewhat telling. teams could pad their rushing stats by running the ball when the have the lead to run out the clock and keep the ball, thus giving a lot of rushing yards, but also holding the ball for a long time. this says that we’ve been piling on the rushing yards, but we’re doing it when it counts!

  177. 177 ACViking said at 5:52 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Re: Dallas in Week 17 – Those Guys in Green – Jason Kelce – The “I” formation

    In Week 17 over the past 13 seasons, starting with the 2000 season, the Cowboys are 2-11.

    That includes of course the Eagles’ 2008 thrashing of Dallas at the Linc with the NFC East on the line.

    The victims of Dallas’s only two victories? Also, the Eagles.

    In 2009, the Cowboys blanked the Eagles 24-0 in another NFC East title game in McNabb’s last regular season game for Philadelphia.

    Then again in 2010, but in a meaningless season-ending game for the Birds — you know that because Kevin Kolb started — the ‘Boys won 14-13.

    So what did we really learn over the past two Sunday?

    The Eagles aren’t as bad as the Minnesota game (on defense for sure). And the Eagles aren’t as good as the Bears game.

    Who are those guys? Hopefully we’ll find out exactly who they over the next 6 weekends.

    Last night, on 3rd and short, the Eagles got stuffed again running behind Kelce/Mathis/Peters — just like against the Vikings.

    Kelce’s certainly athletic. And he’s making the Eagles’ screen game better at least as good as the best years under Big Andy.

    But is his size a problem on short yardage? Seems he’s losing control over the guys on his nose on those plays as soon as Mathis slips off the double-team to take his guy.

    Why do I mention Kelce? Because Dallas’s best defensive player earlier this season was Jason Hatcher — who lines up inside at DT. On short yardage (unless the Eagles can avoid them), he’s the who’s going to be on Kelce’s nose, I’d wager — more times than not, I guess.

    Besides the extraordinary dose of screen passes last night against the Bears, one other offensive choice by Kelly stood out.

    He seemed to call a heck of a lot more plays with Foles under center and the RB in the I-formation. Bryce Brown looks so much better in that scheme. Polk? Doesn’t seem to matter . . . he just bowls over guys. And McCoy? Doesn’t hurt him a bit and inside the 10, maybe it helps.

    Love that Kelly’s shown that look. It says to the defense (for me at least), “we’re about to punch you in the mouth . . . and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    I don’t know if the numbers support that, but for the teams who can best execute plays out of the “I”, I think it gives the O-line a great psychological advantage.

  178. 178 P_P_K said at 6:11 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Who are those guys? Hopefully we’ll find out exactly who they over the next 6 weekends.

    I sure hope you are right and this is how we spend our next 6 weekends.

  179. 179 ACViking said at 6:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    As long as the season doesn’t end against Belichick.

    Anyone else is fine.

    I say that because there’s no other defensive-minded uber genius out there who — with 11 guys off the street — could come up with a game plan to shut down the Eagles.

    When I think of Kelly’s Eagles against Belichick, I think of the ’90 Bills against the Giants in the SB . . . and Belichick shut down the K-gun. And he shut down the ’49ers in the NFC title game in what should have been a mismatch.

  180. 180 OregonDucker said at 6:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Bingo AC, we do not want to play Belichick.

  181. 181 ACViking said at 6:38 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    You’ve been relentlessly upbeat all season. Not to mention extremely foresightful and insightful. So good to have here.

  182. 182 P_P_K said at 6:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    OK, let’s have a rematch against Denver in the SB.

  183. 183 BlindChow said at 6:45 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Or Kansas City…

  184. 184 P_P_K said at 9:04 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I hadn’t even thought of that. LOL. Beating Andy in the Super Bowl would be Shakespearean!

  185. 185 Jamie Parker said at 11:50 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    But losing to him in the SB would really F’in suck.

  186. 186 Flyin said at 8:40 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I was very happy to see those basic power running plays and just out power the Bears. Tommy has mentioned before how the Cowboys with Emmitt would basically say this is what we are going to do, try and stop it.

  187. 187 Ark87 said at 5:59 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Speaking of Fluke or Peak. Tommy, what’s your take on Trent Cole’s sudden late season burst of production? Did something click and suddenly we have a very good pass rushing OLB? I mean Cole was always very good against the run from week one (one of the best at OLB in the league in that department imo), now that he is getting to the QB, does that blunt the need to spend the 32nd pick in the draft on a pass rush specialist at OLB?

  188. 188 ACViking said at 6:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Can’t rely too long on 31 year-old pass rushers. But Cole may have more tread than he seemed 8 weeks ago.

    32 year-old Robert Mathis of the Colts has 24.5 sacks in the past two seasons since switching from a down DE to a pass-rushing OLB.

    What turned things around for Cole? Here’s my 3-point guess.

    First, he’s figured out how rush from the OLB position.

    Second, he lost a bunch of weight and added some quickness.

    Third, he’s not taken the beating of past seasons from challenging larger OTs and chipping TEs/HBs play after play.

    Regardless, if the Birds can grab a big OLB or undersized 4-3 DE with an explosive first step, I think they grab him. Whether in Rd 1, 2, or 3.

    You can’t teach the kind of explosive first step Thornton showed last night.

  189. 189 D3FB said at 8:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Plus I think there is definite value in having someone around to learn from Trent. Coaches are great but sometimes its the talented vets with the subtle little suggestions that can make a huge impact.

  190. 190 Anders said at 1:49 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Agree, also Cole will cost 12 mill in 2015 and he will not get that

  191. 191 A Roy said at 9:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    This must be excellent analysis, because I agree completely.

  192. 192 Maggie said at 4:30 AM on December 24th, 2013:


  193. 193 ConcussedFB said at 6:18 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


  194. 194 P_P_K said at 6:17 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    “I do think this team at its best is capable of beating anyone in the league. And I don’t mean in the “any given Sunday” kind of way. The Eagles are legitimately dangerous.”

    I am happy to agree with you, Tommy. I would have thought you were nuts, though, if you would have said this at the beginning of the year.

  195. 195 ACViking said at 6:24 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    “Any given Sunday . . . ”


    In the last days of Jurgenson in Philly, then Snead, Liske, Arrington, Gabriel, and early Jaworski . . . the mantra “anything can happen, and usually does in the NFL” meant only bad things for some very bad Eagles teams. In the 18 years between playoff appearances, you could count on 1 hand the number of times Summerall and Brookshier (and Jack Whitiker) said — on This Week in Pro Football, “the Eagles win proves that ‘on any given Sunday in the NFL’ anything can happen and usually does.”

  196. 196 P_P_K said at 6:18 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    How close are we to discussing Chip as Coach of the Year?

  197. 197 ACViking said at 6:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    In the conversation for sure.

    Won’t beat out John Fox. Top seeded team. Record setting offense. And a heart-ailment survivor in mid-season who came back to the sideline.

  198. 198 Stephen Stempo said at 6:23 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think if he wins the east he has a really good chance at it. Peyton Manning is the Coach of the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning makes coaches look really smart. Jim Caldwell for instance.

  199. 199 ACViking said at 6:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    You could be right.

    Fox’ll walk away with a couple of those awards (AP, PFW, etc.) Kelly may, too.

    On the other hand, Kelly may be facing some bias among the writers. Who knows.

  200. 200 Iskar36 said at 9:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think the heart-ailment story actually could hurt Fox in terms of any awards. There will be writers who point out that the Broncos went 3-1 without him with their only loss coming against the Patriots in OT. So in other words, without Fox, the Broncos didn’t really seem to miss a beat. Meanwhile, coaches such as Andy Reid or Chip Kelly have taken teams that were drafting 1st or 4th in last years draft and are now serious playoff contenders. While “worst to first” stories do not really mean that the coach has “coached” the best, writers tend to go that direction with their voting unless there is some other obviously interesting storyline.

  201. 201 A Roy said at 9:37 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I would agree if you approach it logically. Most sportswriters are visceral and will give him the sympathy vote. My vote would go to Belichick. As Iceberg584 commented earlier, he probably won’t be considered, but he’s done a lot without his WR and TE weapons this year. Especially going into BAL and simply crushing them yesterday.

  202. 202 P_P_K said at 6:23 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Does the voting take place before the end of the season? The playoffs could make a difference. It sure is great even having this conversation!

  203. 203 ACViking said at 6:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think so. Seems to be the rule around professional sports.

  204. 204 Maggie said at 4:32 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Regular season only.

  205. 205 iceberg584 said at 6:58 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I disagree. Writers will correctly ascribe Denver’s success to Peyton. I think Bruce Arians, Pete Carroll, Andy Reid, and Chip Kelly are in the mix. Belichick should honestly get consideration too, but I doubt that he will.
    it seems that Kansas City’s recent struggles have taken some of the shine away from Andy. My gut says that if Arians gets Arizona into the postseason, he’ll win it.

  206. 206 ACViking said at 7:04 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I understand the argument.

    Sportswriters, though, are quirky.

  207. 207 Maggie said at 4:34 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    All the TV people and writers will not vote for Kelly because that would mean they were wrong at the beginning of the season. They could not possibly be wrong, therefore they will vote for someone else. Possibly the groundskeeper in Jacksonville.

  208. 208 ICDogg said at 8:06 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Vermeil won COTY a couple of times and scoffed at the honor, pointing out the number of coaches that won it and were fired after the following season.

  209. 209 Maggie said at 4:31 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Right now!

  210. 210 P_P_K said at 10:39 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Love it!

  211. 211 shah8 said at 6:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Only just realized. Now the Cowboys have to pick up a QB, draft or FA for next year. A little more spice for the offseason.

  212. 212 ACViking said at 6:28 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Would Jones be interested in MVick?

    Would MVick be interested in Jones?

    Randall Cunningham once wore the star on his helmet. Can’t think of any other ex-Bird QBs who did off the top of my head.

  213. 213 shah8 said at 6:32 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I don’t really know. Vick’s chief problem is his unpopularity. Anywhere he goes, a big part of the fanbase will hate him loudly. Which is why I didn’t laugh off the idea of him staying as backup when that came up the other day. I’d think he wants to start, and Foles here or Romo there would be in the way.

  214. 214 ACViking said at 6:34 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    If Romo has a herniated disk, he’ll be challenged to come back. Gutsy guy, though. But tough, tough injury.

    Agree for sure though that MV wants a shot to start. Many fans don’t like him. And he may not leave Philadelphia.

  215. 215 A_T_G said at 7:04 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    I posted a hypothetical for you the other day, but it was just before the next thread came up, so here it is again, your dream dilemma:

    I think we all agree that Foles and Barkley will be back next year. Vick just said he is open to returning as a back up.

    So, let’s say Minnesota makes Webb available for minimal considerations, no one we would miss. Would you fill the third QB slot with Webb or Vick?

  216. 216 shah8 said at 7:12 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    If Barkley is back, then that depends on whether NFL GMs and coaches think

    a) That Webb is talented enough to play QB, like I do.

    b) There’s enough tread on the tires to make it worth the while to be invested in making him reliable. He’ll be a fairly old project this offseason.

    I’d like to think that I’m right and there would be a viable market for Webb at backup QB (well, I think I’m right–Webb backing up Kaepernick makes a rather intense amount of sense)

    Only way Webb is here is in a Brad Smith role, unless Barkley gets dumped or demoted to third QB. I think that Webb is far more likely than Barkley to be useful if the QB goes down in a game, as he has a history of being so. I could see Chip Kelly thinking that way, but I think that’s just bad process and bad politics to be so overtly down on your second year pick.

  217. 217 A_T_G said at 7:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    So you would keep Vick and pass on adding Webb?

    Obviously I don’t share your enthusiasm for Webb, I believe that only his mother might, but I think Vick has proven he can be a solid veteran presence as a backup, and if he is willing to embrace that role I would keep him over a younger prospect.

  218. 218 shah8 said at 7:28 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    That was all assuming Vick is gone. If Vick is here, why would Webb have a chance at all to be QB 3? The very fact that the Vikings held onto him suggests that he has real value on the market, despite being used mostly as a blocking WR this year. He really should be able to find a more attractive job than third string. I mean, he’s still better than any of Oaklands QBs, for example.

    As for my enthusiasm, go and check on a few Vikings sites. A little groundswell of “Webb wouldda been better” and the usual backbiting of the folks that never wanted him. Try Daily Norseman. The weird thing is, the Webb haters really, really, harp on that post-season game as if that was the book on Webb. Nobody is ever going to look good simply dropped in at QB, especially in the postseason, at the last moment. Kirk Cousins didn’t look good when RGIII went out in the divisional playoffs. Smart Football did a post on backup QBs with limited reps in the postseason. Most of them were pretty big failures.

  219. 219 A_T_G said at 8:32 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    No, Vick doesn’t have to be gone, it is your call.

    The question was framed as you have your choice to bring Vick back or let him walk and replace him with Webb.

    Both players’ agents are agreeable to our offers, the financials are not consequential in the decision, and Howie can only pull the trigger on one of them. Which way do you want to see him go?

  220. 220 shah8 said at 8:42 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Vick is a high caliber starting QB. Gun to people’s heads in some high stakes football, rather than as entertainment, Vick would start the next game. No reason on god’s green earth that I’d prefer Webb to Vick as backup.

  221. 221 A_T_G said at 8:55 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I think you would have to hold the gun to many people’s heads to get them to endorse a switch back to Vick, but I agree I’d be happy to have back as the backup.

  222. 222 P_P_K said at 6:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Last night, at the same time as the Eagles game, ESPN aired a “30 For 30,” entitled, “No Mas,” about the great Roberto Duran quiting during his second fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. My 11 year-old son and I watched a bit during halftime and commercials.

    I just told my son that Romo is hurt and won’t be playing on Sunday. He responded that Romo isn’t hurt, this is his “No Mas” moment. Gotta’ love a kid that hates the Cowboys.

  223. 223 Always Hopeful said at 8:35 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    You’ve raised him well!

  224. 224 Corry said at 6:42 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I have to wonder, how do you prepare for a QB who has hardly thrown a ball in two years?

  225. 225 A_T_G said at 7:14 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Watch Matt Cassel’s tape?

  226. 226 cliff henny said at 8:30 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    do love the correlations to MN game. disrespected perennial backup, ST threat and certainly prepared for AP were focus of week’s preps. major difference is cassel had some repoire with WRs and Minne’s overall team talent level is much higher than Dallas. o-line and defense for cowboys isnt near same level as vikings.

  227. 227 47_Ronin said at 8:59 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    The Matt Cassel comparisons are not valid. Cassel has actually started and played in games the last 2 seasons while Orton has not really played in a game for 2 years, also Orton has had more success as a starter than Cassel, but I think the Eagles will have a much better game plan against the cowboys (the game plan vs Minny was bad, and there weren’t good in-game adjustments).

    Kelly is getting a 2nd shot at the cowboys and Kiffin’s D, I’m sure he is very motivated to beat them as we’ll as Foles being motivated to redeem his dreadful earlier showing.

  228. 228 planetx1971 said at 6:45 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Watched the game again & in the spirit of Jimmy Kempski, I hereby give the Gandalf you shall not pass award to Cedric Thornton for scampering on all fours to force that safety. AWESOME play.

  229. 229 BlindChow said at 7:50 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


  230. 230 Andy124 said at 7:55 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Amazingly awesome!!!

  231. 231 cliff henny said at 8:20 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    my only regret is but i have one upvote to give

  232. 232 Always Hopeful said at 8:39 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    As much as it makes for good memes (above example one of the finest), I want to wait and see if Romo plays or not. Dudes a choker, but he’s a tough choker.

    He may try some Willis Reed like walk out to help fire up his chums…or not. This week is going to be crazy…”waiting all WEEK for Sunday night!”

  233. 233 BlindChow said at 8:09 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Familiar complaints from Chiefs fans after yesterday’s loss:

    abandoning the run so quickly. It’s a joke, best back in the league and we give him 12-18 carries

    tackling. Or lack of

    Just last week there were stories about how Reid’s physical camps made all the difference!

  234. 234 cliff henny said at 8:19 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    such a dichotomy wirh reid. tenured the greatest stretch we’ve every seen, and i dont miss him one bit

  235. 235 anon said at 2:07 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    to be fair what were people saying after the vikings game?

  236. 236 ICDogg said at 8:22 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Cowboys add John Skelton & Tyler Thigpen to the workout also featuring David Carr. 1 problem: Flying on Xmas eve. Could be problem. For real— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 24, 2013

  237. 237 ICDogg said at 8:54 PM on December 23rd, 2013:


    Fran Duffy’s review of last night’s game

  238. 238 Gary Spach said at 8:55 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Celek and Ertz were great again last night. Probably our best tight end duo ever. We have been fortunate to have several great duo’s over the past 25 years.. Jackson/Spagnolio-West/Johnson-Lewis/Smith-Spach/Thorn

  239. 239 ICDogg said at 9:11 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Especially liked that they opened with 13 personnel.

  240. 240 A Roy said at 9:26 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I wish they could use 13 personnel more frequently without the ref throwing that damned flag.

  241. 241 Iskar36 said at 9:30 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Hey Tommy (or anyone for that matter), do you have a place where I can find the DGR (or some of the other articles you wrote) after the Washington/Philly game in 2010? I’d love to see the views we took after that game. The question of “fluke or peak” after any impressive game is always going to be asked, and while I think you make a lot of good points in this article, it would be interesting to see if in the middle of the season in 2010, we had similar thoughts/hopes that the Washington game was a peak rather than a fluke.

  242. 242 shah8 said at 9:37 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    google-fu, man.

  243. 243 Iskar36 said at 10:41 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Tried it. Even searched through emb and igglesblog.com but couldn’t find it.

  244. 244 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:49 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    i tried a google search too. couldn’t find anything. even Tommy’s archives on iggles blitz only goes back to 2011…

  245. 245 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:51 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    ah. i think Tommy was posting on iggles blog at the time. i searched there and found these. hope this is what you are looking for!



  246. 246 Iskar36 said at 12:13 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    I found that link as well. Unfortunately, the links within them no longer work. The one to scoutsnotebook goes to a page that no longer exists and the PE link goes to the Eagles homepage.

  247. 247 Iskar36 said at 12:25 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    I probably should have mentioned that I did try to find it a few different ways in my original post… Wasn’t simply being lazy.

  248. 248 TheRogerPodacter said at 9:51 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    he mentions in that post that he put it up on the EMB as well? i dont know if its possible to search through there or not…

  249. 249 shah8 said at 11:53 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Another technically perfect victory was two years ago to the date Eagles vs Dallas.

  250. 250 shah8 said at 11:53 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    If you want to find the discussion for that, too.

  251. 251 Iskar36 said at 12:23 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Are you talking about the game we beat Dallas 20 to 7 where the game didn’t matter to Dallas because they would have to play the Giants in Week 17 for the division regardless of the outcome of the Eagles game?

  252. 252 shah8 said at 12:28 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Whups, think I got the wrong Dallas game, the first one in Oct.

  253. 253 D3FB said at 12:19 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Was able to get back into the early days of Iggles Blitz. None of posts had more than 10 comments. My how times have changed. Tommy could have a post that only said: “I now prefer bud heavies” and it would probably be a 75 comment thread.

  254. 254 Iskar36 said at 12:21 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    So true. I like Eaglesblog.net for what it is, but it weirds me out a bit seeing no comments after most posts. I just assume with Tommy’s post = long comment sections.

  255. 255 Scott J said at 10:15 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    I was skeptical at first. Then I became curious. Then I sat on the fence for a while. Then I started to believe. Now I’m all in.

  256. 256 OregonDucker said at 1:44 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Welcome to the Chip Train. Care for some Kool-Aid?

  257. 257 ACViking said at 11:03 PM on December 23rd, 2013:

    Injury to Romo?

    “It seems that Destiny has taken a hand.”

  258. 258 Vick or Nick said at 12:07 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    My Draft Results:

    1st Round:

    2nd Round:

    3rd Round:

    4th Round:

    5th Round:

    7th Round:

  259. 259 Vick or Nick said at 12:22 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    NFL Superstar written all over him.


  260. 260 Anders said at 1:43 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    I would draft at least one guard/tackle around the 5th, else I see nothing wrong

  261. 261 Vick or Nick said at 2:13 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Def. We need to upgrade depth. I’m just not too informed of mid-round guards/tackles.

  262. 262 Anders said at 6:29 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    Same here, but like your over all strategy

  263. 263 The Linc – Tony Romo Injury Aftermath | Sports Feedr said at 6:41 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    […] Fluke or Peak? – Tommy Lawlor, Iggles BlitzThe Eagles played their best game of the year last night. The offense was explosive and efficient. The defense was aggressive and stingy. Even the STs units came up big. Was that a fluke or did the Eagles finally reach the level they want to play at on a regular basis? As a skeptic or non-Eagles fan, it would be easy to point to the game as a fluke. But that might be wrong. […]

  264. 264 Eagles Metal said at 7:48 AM on December 24th, 2013:

    I’m still more suspicious. The week before, the Vikings looked dominant. They’d been flirting with big wins for weeks, and finally put it all together against an Eagles team that’s a contender. The next week, last week, they laid an egg against Cincinnati. If they go out and perform with excellence two weeks in a row, then I’ll start to believe. For now, though, Sunday night was a perfect storm for Chicago and the Eagles steamrolled them. It was fun to watch, but I’m not buying in just yet.

  265. 265 Chip Kelly Update: A Good Old-Fashioned Beat Down said at 6:04 AM on December 27th, 2013:

    […] Lawlor makes an excellent argument that this game was not a fluke: ”When you think about the win over the Bears, didn’t it feel […]