Updated View on the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles After Week 15 | Eagles Addict
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LeSean McCoy with eight carries and less rushing yards than Nick Foles?  Chip Kelly was that scared of Cordarrelle Patterson?  The Eagles defense gave up that many yards and points to who?

Anger.  Frustration.  Yelling at my television.  Furiously restraining myself from spewing negativity about this Eagles team on Twitter all throughout the game.  Briefly getting excited during a mini comeback attempt only to be kicked in the nuts by another defensive let-down.

Then ultimately fighting my way through a cloud of misery after losing to a team we should have beaten.

Yeah, that was my Sunday.

But alas, I’ve calmed down.  Yeah, I can be a hothead during Eagles games when things don’t go well and I’ll admit that I have a penchant for turning into a “Negative Nancy” well before the game is over.

However, when the dust settles and my blood pressure comes back down to its normal range, I try to be as unbiased and rational as possible in my viewpoints on the Eagles.  And that’s what I’m going to do right now…lay out my view on this team as it stands now.

To borrow a line from Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were!”

Coming into the season, most people (myself included) predicted a season of change for the Eagles that ultimately ended up with an 8-8 record and no playoffs.  As a matter of fact, you can view my 2013 season predictions from back in April right here.

Funny enough, I had the Eagles at 8-6 with a shot at the playoffs at this point in the season, albeit with differing wins and losses.  However, I predicted the Eagles would lose their final two games and miss the postseason.

That could still happen.  Or, they could win one or both of their next two games and still either make or miss the playoffs.

At this point, the Eagles are who we thought they were for the most part.  But, they may actually be just a little better than that.  They are a team that is still transitioning and fighting to become “Chip Kelly’s team.”

The offense, while explosive and efficient, has had its lapses, struggles and brain farts.  The defense, whom we all thought would be the biggest weakness, has exceeded expectations overall but is still just that: the biggest weakness.

The special teams have been mixed.

But, they stand at 8-6 and control their own destiny for a spot in the NFL’s tournament.  My question is, are they a good, young team who is continually improving and growing into a team to be wreckoned with in the playoffs?

Or are they more of a mediocre team who are simply fortunate to be where they are right now?

My answer is that it’s a mixture of the two, but it’s not a 50/50 mixture.

I think this team is more fortunate to be where they are than anything else.  Let’s recap their five game win-streak before their implosion in the Metrodome on Sunday…

The Eagles were 3-5 and coming off two straight horrible performances against division rivals.  Nick Foles then proceeded to light the world on fire by utterly destroying an Oakland defense for seven touchdown passes.

That caught everyone’s attention and started an upswing in momentum.

However, their next four games are a mixture of good play and good fortune.

They faced the Packers in Lambeau who had to play their first game without Aaron Rodgers and instead ended up facing their practice squad QB.  If Rodgers didn’t get hurt the week before, that’s likely a different outcome to this game.

Against Washington, a disaster of a team, they started out hot but ultimately had to sweat out a furious comeback by RG3 and the Redskins that came down to an interception in the end zone on a bad decision by RG3.

Up next were the Cardinals, whom all of us touted as the Eagles’ first real test against a good team.  The Eagles responded by playing well for the first two quarters and first series of the second half, but then ended up the beneficiary of some highly questionable penalties that allowed them to again withstand a comeback and ultimately win the game.

Then came the game that will live in infamy: the “Snow Bowl” against Detroit.  However, because of the conditions of this game, it’s very difficult to use it as “evidence” of how good the Eagles actually are or aren’t.

In the first half of that game, if you recall, the Eagles were getting killed on both sides of the ball and looked like they were the dome team struggling in the snow.  My feeling is that if the conditions were normal, the Eagles would have struggled to win that game.

Then there was yesterday’s abysmal performance against a Vikings team that has been playing better football of late, but were still seen as the inferior team (not to mention playing without their best player).

I realize that there are a lot of “what ifs” and we can’t really judge a team based on what might have happened, but when your team wins games based on “fortunate” circumstances, you have to at least take notice.

There is that old football cliché that sometimes teams win with smoke and mirrors, and that could be what’s happening here.

Yes, this is a glass-half-empty viewpoint and it’s not purely because of the loss to the Vikings.  It’s something I’ve felt during the entire win streak.  Besides the Oakland and maybe the Tampa Bay games, this Eagles team has yet to play well for 60 minutes on both offense and defense.

They now have Chicago coming up and it’s a game that I’m both really looking forward to…and really NOT looking forward to.

Brandon Marshall.  Alshon Jeffrey.  Matt Forte.  These three guys and the Bears’ passing attack have the potential to completely blow the doors off this Eagles defense.

If Matt friggin Cassel and the AP-less Vikings did what he did against this defense, just imagine what the Bears will do.

The only saving grace is that the Bears’ defense isn’t what it used to be either so the Eagles should be able to score a bunch of points too.

All of this isn’t to take away from all of the good things this team has done this year so far.  Yes, the Eagles have played well overall and if they were a bad team, they wouldn’t have been in a position to benefit from the aforementioned fortune I spoke about.

What this team is, is unpredictable.  They’re just good enough to entertain the notion of winning the division and even making a little noise in the playoffs.  They’re also maddeningly inconsistent enough to lose either of their next two games and miss the playoffs altogether.

That’s why I’m not going to predict whether or not the Eagles will win or lose this week or make the playoffs, etc., but I will say that we can expect a struggle.  Even if the Eagles lose to Chicago, it will still come down to the Dallas game.

It’s going to be a roller coaster ride these last two weeks.

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6 Responses to 2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Who is this Team and What to Expect Now?

  1. tval says:

    Man dave I couldnt agree more..maddening! Also agree with ur take on the beneficial schedule..and that is why i just still dont think foles is the answer…great qbs dont come out flat and erratic in games like this..way too important..and yes if we lose to chicago, as u & I seem to expect, coupled with slow start vs dallas in nfc east title game..mike vicks 2nd comeback should take shape..when I look at his early season stats with an awful defense his games looked exactly like this one…and hes hammered..he did throw for 400+yds vs sd..2 tds no ints week 2 iirc…thats bettr than peyton performed vs charges.. dallas is too important of a game to waste entirely on baby (carson cassell)-thats my nickname for foles..carson/ matt cassell hybrid..do just enough to stay your starter..then break ur heart…lol! My franchise qb wont be outplayed by romo matt cassel or jay cutler in 3 crucial december matchups..unacceptable!!

  2. tval says:

    Not saying u wernt right for pegging foles starter preseason either..that was right choice. I still submit, after lookn back at vicks games this season he wasnt bad atall..now hes healthy he could provide much needed spark..not that foles cldnt see playoff action if mike reverts to past tendencies after chicago/dal..I just think he could be super fresh and ultra ready for playoff push.and weve seen what hes capable of when on..maybe watching this team from sideline succeed has provided perspective. .I believe when both are top of their game I still take vick easily, even with 2 ints from foles..hey very least foles wld have to be worth 2nd rounder if mike balls out..thoughts??

    • Man you’re still on the Vick wagon huh tval? I have no desire to see Vick ever take another snap in an Eagles uniform. If Foles gets hurt, so be it. But otherwise, no way.

      It seems to me that you’re still grasping at the Vick from 2010. He is nothing more than mediocre right now and there is no evidence that he’d be any better than Foles at this point. Vick is a 12 year player, Foles hasn’t even started a full season’s worth of games yet…big difference in experience there.

      The last 2 games Vick played where anything was on the line were the Vikings game and then the playoff game against Green Bay, both back in 2010. Against the Vikes, he was off and turned the ball over 3 times. Against the Pack, he started out very slow and then ended the game with a pick. Foles’ performance this past Sunday, while not good but not “that” bad, was still better than Vick played in either of those games.

      In a nutshell, it needs to be Foles now. You can’t keep yanking your starting QB based on a bad game…and Foles ended up having an “okay” game.

  3. tval says:

    An okay game against a bad team journeyman qb with season and division on the line isnt enough for me..comparing green bays super bowl team, who obliterated everyone outside of vick led eagles, to any of the last 6 teams foles has played is unfair to me. Foles has beaten carson palmer..barely..his lone impressive win. Im not holding onto 2010..like I said look back early this year when vick had near identical nmbrs to what foles is putting up, plus 300 more rushing yds, with an awful defense’ support..thats what I think too many people ignore..sure foles protected ball vs awful teams..good for him..now if you’re not providing spark this time of year and you struggle mightily vs awful ch8cago and dallas defenses foles remains untouchable? Thats definition or double standard..I dont want carousel qb situation but I refuse to throw season away for future journeyman as well..be it vick or foles..no excuse for us not to win division..none!!

  4. tval says:

    One could also argue with 300 pass yds vick outplayed rodgers easily.i remember game vividly- stating whoever wins this wild card game wins super bowl..which came to fruition…also that year outplayed peyton and hot eli twice..not exactly matt flynn terrelle pryor and matt cassell I know but come on now..perspective..foles hasnt showed that kind of piggy-back ability..we see what happened when vikes made us one dimensional..he couldnt answer until they played prevent.stats are relative..he had a bad game when it mattered most of all..thats the bottom line and very troubling when talking of franchise qb to me.

    • Just for you tval, here’s a 4-game stat comparison of Foles and Vick. Vick is for the first 4 games of the season (the ones where he started/finished or played basically the entire game) and Foles’ last 4 games:

      Vick: Completed 65 of 118 passes for 1,080 yards, 5 TDs with 2 INTs and 2 Fumbles. 26 carries for 228 yards and 2 TDs. Sacked 14 times. Record: 1-3.
      Foles: Completed 79 of 130 for 1,142 yards, 7 TDs with 2 INTs and zero fumbles. 29 carries for 133 yards and 2 TDs. Record: 3-1

      Furthermore, we could say that in those 4 games, both QBs played one “legit” D (Foles vs. Arizona and Vick vs. KC), plus I’m even giving you some leeway with Foles because this counts the game in the snow storm. As you can see, the only thing Vick has over Foles is the running capability. And even that, stats-wise, isn’t a big difference.

      Here are the key differences between the 2 QBs…Vick turns the ball over, Foles does not. Besides the Vikes game, Foles has shown a much better decision-making ability (faster, more efficient). Foles utilizes all of his skill players more, Vick seemed to lock in on 1 or 2 guys and if they weren’t open, he’d scramble around, get hit, fumble, get hurt…etc etc etc (the bad plays outweigh the good ones in this regard). You don’t see that from Foles. Foles is more consistently accurate. Vick can be accurate, but over the course of his career that’s an aspect he’s been highly inconsistent with. And lastly, Vick is an injury waiting to happen.

      Vick’s mentality is that when the going gets tough, he wants to run around to “make plays”. Sometimes he makes them, other times he kills you with the big turnover or killer sack…or gets hurt and has to miss the next 4 games. It’s only because of the times he does make a good play with his legs that attracts people who yearn for the possibility of those “electric” plays. But, there are just as many negatives that go along with that as well. The good isn’t good enough to outweigh the bad.

      I just don’t understand why you, or anyone, would want to go back to Vick at this point. We need to see if Foles is going to be “the guy”, period. If he fails these last 2 weeks, then Chip will need to figure out who will be the QB for next year (draft pick). We need to see how Foles responds these last 2 games, especially if it comes down to Dallas. Big game, big stage, alot on the line…how will he do?

      That’s what I want to see…that’s what we need to see.

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