After four games, the Philadelphia Eagles were 1-3 and it looked as if this team was not going anywhere. The defense was giving up 25 points or more every game and although the offense proved effective at times, there were still many flaws in the system that Chip Kelly was trying to implement. Then came along the Philadelphia Eagles savior: Nick Foles. Finally an efficient quarterback who can read through his progressions, gets the ball out quickly, and gives his receivers a chance to catch the ball every throw. At first, many questioned whether or not Foles could run Chip Kelly’s offense, since he is not known to run. Foles has proved in his starts this season that he can in fact run Kelly’s offense, and will even tuck the football and run if he has to. The offense has been efficient, rarely turning the ball over, if they ever do, and the defense is starting to come together, as the Eagles defense has not given up more than 21 points since they faced Denver in week 4. Heading into their bye week at 6-5, a top the NFC East, are the Eagles actually legit, or has this just been a hot stretch that every team goes through?
Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles are legit. Are they good enough to win a Super Bowl? Not this year. But, are they good enough to make the playoffs this year and continue their success in future years? Yes. One of the reasons the Eagles have become legit, and will stay relevant for future years is their starting quarterback that has emerged: Nick Foles. People doubted whether or not Foles would be the future, and he has certainly proved those doubters wrong. He is able to run Chip Kelly’s offense, and will have no problem running it for the years to come. Although there are quarterbacks in college such as Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, and Johnny Manziel who may end up being better than Foles, the Eagles will not be able to take any of those guys in the draft. Why? If Foles keeps winning, he puts the Eagles further back in the draft order to potentially drafting his replacement. There is nothing to hate about Nick Foles. He wins football games, and takes care of the football, as his only turnover is a fumble; and on that play he was clocked by a Packers defensive lineman who went unblocked.
Foles has yet to throw an interception in 162 passes this year, he is first in the NFL in yards per pass attempt at 9.59 yards, has the highest passer rating in the NFL at 128.0, and is second in the NFL in total QBR at 78.2, right behind Peyton Manning. He also has 16 passing touchdowns and is five touchdowns away without an interception from breaking Peyton Manning’s record of most touchdowns without an interception. Foles’ 16 passing touchdowns in only five starts are more than Andrew Luck, RGIII, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, and Colin Kaepernick have had all season. But, Foles can’t run, as the haters would say. He actually has two rushing touchdowns (more than Russell Wilson and RGIII), 123 rushing yards in 30 attempts (4.1 yards per attempt), and has picked up 10 first downs running. Of course, Foles is not a running quarterback, but he can run if he has to. Whether you want to accept it or not, Nick Foles can play.
The Eagles defense has not been given enough credit for the team’s turn around. Every week I hear NFL analysts and so called “experts” say that the Eagles defense is atrocious. Do these people check the scores of the games, or do they base all of their opinions off of yards allowed? The Eagles defense has not given up more than 21 points in SEVEN GAMES. Week 4 was the last time a team scored more than 21 points against the Eagles, and that team was the Denver Broncos, who arguably have the best offense in the NFL. Chip Kelly has brought a new philosophy on the offensive side of the ball, and his defensive coordinator, Billy Davis, has brought a new philosophy to the defensive side of the ball. Davis’s philosophy of football being “a points game, not a yardage game” struggled at the beginning of the year, but has started working now that the players have had more time in the system. His philosophy is accurate. It does not matter how many yards your opponent gets, as long as they do not score. Let them drive 70 yards down the field and end up with three points. I will take that every day of the week in the NFL.
The Eagles defense is ranked last in the NFL in total yards given up with 4597, 3301 of them being passing yards (ranks last in the NFL as well), and 1296 of them being rushing yards. Those are awful numbers, but the yards are not adding up to points for the Eagles’ opponents. Teams are averaging 23.6 points per game against the Eagles, and if you were to only count the past seven games where the Eagles defense has not given up more than 21 points, teams would only be averaging 17.4 points per game, which would be FOURTH in the NFL. Either way, 23.6 points per game or 17.4 points per game, is sufficient when your offense is scoring 25.1 points per game, which the Eagles offense is.
Heading into the bye week, the Philadelphia Eagles should be feeling confident. Nick Foles, as running back LeSean McCoy would put it, is playing with a ton of swagger, and so is the rest of the Eagles team. Riley Cooper is proving all of the haters wrong, while DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy keep doing what they have been doing throughout their entire careers. I see the New York Giants being the Eagles only threat for the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys will choke, as they always do, making one of the hottest teams in the NFL, the Giants, the Eagles only true threat. I think that if the Eagles play as well as they have been after their bye week, the last game of the regular at Dallas may not mean anything, since the Eagles would already have the division wrapped up.
Do I see the Eagles winning the Super Bowl this year? Of course not, they still have some work to do talent wise. However, I do think that the Eagles have their future quarterback in Nick Foles that can be the centerpiece of the Eagles offense with dangerous weapons named DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy for the remainder of this season, and for years to come. Many people doubted whether or not Chip Kelly’s system would work in the NFL and game-by-game, he is proving all of those doubters as the Philadelphia Eagles look like a bigger threat every week.
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