Local Football Bloggers
For the first time, this Eagles team was faced with the position of being the team that should win and had no logical reason to lose. To the surprise of some, the Eagles played like a team unfamiliar with taking on the role of favorite, and that inexperience may have come in to play.
The Heisman Trophy will be presented Saturday evening in New York City. Winston’s name should be at the top of the list as college football’s most impressive player from the start of the season through the championship games. Everything else after that is purely a guess.
While the Eagles are making a push for an NFC East Division championship, the Vikings are starting to make early NFL Draft plans and looking ahead to 2014. But the Vikings cannot be taken lightly, especially if Christian Ponder is back and Adrian Peterson is healthy.
Credit Chip Kelly and his staff for committing to an offensive style that at times is not what they feel is most comfortable. Sticking to the power running game and letting the offensive line set the tone up front proved to be the best decision Kelly could have made. It helps to have one of the best running backs in the league, LeSean McCoy, blowing through the holes opened up in front of him.
The Eagles are far from playing the level of defense adored by Buddy Ryan zealots, but this Eagles defense has held six of their last seven opponents to 20 points or fewer (Arizona scored 21). In today’s NFL, those numbers will give teams more than a chance to win much more often than not. It has not happened by accident, as the Eagles defense has continued to gel together following a coaching change and a roster makeover.
After blowing a fourth quarter lead against the Lions at Lincoln Financial Field last season, the Eagles look to avoid letting another potential win slip away.
The Philadelphia Eagles handled a close game against a tough Arizona Cardinals team. See how Nick Foles, Chip Kelly and others performed during the home win against the Cardinals.
Injuries have been a far smaller concern this season for the Eagles compared to last season. Perhaps that is a significant factor in the turnaround on the field in addition to a new coach breathing new life in to the franchise.
The Eagles need this win to nudge ahead of the Cardinals in the playoff race, just in case. It will not be easy with Arizona finding a bit of a hot streak over the last month. This will be a true character game for the Eagles that could demonstrate what this team will be made of the rest of the year.
The Eagles have found a quarterback they can feel good having on the field, the league’s leading rusher leads the offense and the defense has improved week by week. The Chip Kelly offense is coming along nicely, even if Nick Foles is not considered the ideal quarterback to lead it but Kelly has been silencing critics as he keeps the Eagles loose and ready to strike.
Foles has always been a pretty smart passer and his instincts have always been admirable. This is what former head coach and quarterback guru Andy Reid saw in Foles and it is something Chip Kelly was very familiar with having coached against him in the Pac 12. Now, as Kelly’s offense starts to become more familiar with the Eagles, Foles is beginning to excel in it with smart decisions.
Chip Kelly’s predecessor in Philadelphia, Andy Reid, established a great track record after a bye week. The bar is set high for Kelly, but how the bye week impacts a season and its momentum is not exactly a huge concern for the new Eagles head coach.
As the Eagles have battled back to even their record of wins and losses, the discussion on what to do with the quarterback situation has evolved from locking in on a top 2014 NFL Draft prospect to the idea that the team can realistically move forward with Nick Foles leading the offense. Much of the decision-making for the offseason plans will be determined by what Foles does for the rest of this season.
It feels weird to suggest that an undefeated Ohio State team could have absolutely no shot to play in the national championship game, but that is the reality staring down at the Buckeyes right now following the release of the latest BCS standings Sunday night.
The Eagles got another solid game out of their offense and the defense handled a weakened opposing offense. This is what good teams do, but the Eagles still have some work to do before being counted as a good team in the NFC.