Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles continued their winning ways with a 34-20, in a game that will go down as the “Snow Bowl”. This was the Eagles fifth win in a row, three of which have been in Philly, where the Eagles could not buy a win earlier in the year and in the latter part of last year. The offense is clicking on all cylinders, and the defense continues to make key stops along with forcing turnovers. Chip Kelly critics are now struggling to come up with ways to blather his apparent “college offense” that put up 34 points in a blizzard, and ran for 299 yards against the NFL’s second best rush defense in Detroit.
What more do people need to see from Nick Foles? The dude is an efficient, scoring machine. It took eight inches of snow and horrific conditions for Foles to throw his first interception; and he would not have thrown an interception on that specific play if Mother Nature had been favorable yesterday. Foles is plowing through the checklist that all young quarterbacks need to go through in order to prove that they can be a franchise quarterback. Have consistent play for an extended period of time? You can check that off (I’d say a five-game winning streak and a 7-1 record in his starts is consistency). Play well against a respectable defense? Check (Cardinals and Lions). Battle in a tough environment and get the win? Check (Won at Green Bay and in yesterday’s blizzard). If you rode Foles off after his horrendous start against Dallas, he has proven you wrong; and if you still think Foles has something to prove, you’re insane.
LeSean McCoy along with the rest of the Eagles offensive weapons have proved why they should be considered one of the best in the NFL. McCoy personally is not only making a case for MVP, but he is also making the case to be considered the best running back in the NFL. He has the most rushing yards in the NFL with 1,305, and has the most yards from scrimmage with 1,744 (439 receiving yards). DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper are emerging as a dominant WR combination; and lets not forget that Jeremy Maclin is out. When Maclin comes back next year, the Eagles WR core will extremely dangerous with Foles throwing to them. These past two games against the Cardinals and Lions, the Eagles have shown that teams should not sleep on tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz. With Shady McCoy doing Shady McCoy things, Jackson and Cooper continuing to light it up, and Ertz along with Celek emerging as a respectable TE combination, the Eagles offense will be tough to stop for the remainder of this year, and for years to come.
The Eagles defense is finally starting to get the respect that it deserves around the league. They only gave up eight points to an explosive Lions offense (12 of the Lions 20 points came off of punt and kick returns). People may use the weather as an excuse for the Lions only scoring eight points, but the Eagles offense had to function in the same conditions, and they put up 34 points. No excuses. The Eagles defense has not given up 21 points or more since they went up against Peyton Manning in week 4 back in September. One of the main arguments bashing the Eagles defense is that they give up “too many yards”. Who cares? Last time I checked, the score board counts points, not yards.
Both the offensive and defensive line units have been the unsung heroes of this Eagles team. Evan Mathis, the Eagles right guard, is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He was left in a horrible situation last year when the rest of the Eagles offensive lineman got hurt, and Mathis was stuck blocking with a bunch of scrubs, which made him look bad. This year, with All-Pro tackle Jason Peters along with All-Pro guard Todd Herremans and center Jason Kelce returning from injury, the Eagles offensive line has been one of the best units in the NFL, needless to say they also have a rookie in Lane Johnson at right tackle. The Eagles defensive line has also done a tremendous job causing havoc at the line of scrimmage with their blitz schemes. Bennie Logan, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, and Connor Barwin deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their pass rushing abilities along with how they’ve slowed down opponents rushing attacks, which is something the Eagles could not do at the end of the Andy Reid regime.
Andy Reid did not leave this team in shambles when he got fired, the players themselves were just literally in shambles. There was talent on this team, but Reid’s philosophy and ways of doing things were just no longer working. Chip Kelly and his coaching staff’s fresh approach to football is both effective and entertaining.
The Philadelphia Eagles will win the NFC East this year, there is no doubt in my mind. If week 17 at Dallas means anything, the Eagles will go down there and take of business, clinching a playoff spot for the first time in three years. Football is meaningful in Philadelphia again, and it is fantastic to watch.
Image Source: USA Today (http://usatq.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ap_lions_eagles_football_60412752.jpg?w=640&h=426)