Tag Archives: Eagles

Foles Continues to Shine – EaglesFanCast 132

Three preseason games down, and the Philadelphia Eagles win their third.  This time backup quarterback Nick Foles takes the start while Mike Vick gets some rest for his ribs.  Foles continues to do very well, showing great things as a future starter with this organization.  The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 27-10 under his leadership.  We talked about how Vick needs to protect himself during this season and not put himself out there on every play if there are huge risks.  He has to throw the ball away or slide (feet first, of course.)  What we want overall, besides a safe quarterback, is a controlled and balanced Offense this year.  With the caliber of running backs we have, this Offense could be deadly if balanced correctly.

Our guest this week is EFC contributor Holden Fulco, and he brings up an former Eagles player who is also not doing well, in the name of Kevin Kolb.  The conversation then shifts to what the organization sees that we as fans do not, and most of the time the players that leave the Eagles do not thrive.

The Eagles organization had both good news and sad this week, with the sad being we learned of the death of legend Steve Van Buren.  Any Eagles history book has to mention him, and his accomplishments are still talked about to this day.

On the positive side, modern favorite Brian Westbrook announced that he would retire an Eagle.  Still amazes me as to how lucky I have been to have watched him live on that field so many times.  An amazing player and great person.  I’m glad he is retiring with us.

 

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Watching the Eaglets Grow

After a long, tortuous off-season filled with owner lockouts and labor issues, football is officially back!  I know that training camps have been in full swing for almost two weeks now, but the first preseason game is what gets the juices flowing for me and what truly signifies the dawn of a new NFL season.  Leading up to the game last Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens I, like many other Eagles fanatics, had a list of questions that I wanted/needed answers to.  What I realized very quickly is that out of all the questions that I had, one main theme emerged that I decided to focus on – the performance of this year’s rookie class.  By now, everyone in the free world knows about the enormous splash that the Eagles made in the free-agent pool this year and the roster is beginning to take shape.  But, wait a second.  Is Andy Reid really going to start the season with rookies starting at right guard, middle linebacker, kicker, punter, and possibly strong safety?  After settling into my favorite chair, armed with various electronics and Diet Cokes, I was ready to ignore the horrific Eagles Television Network broadcast team and focus on the performance of the Eaglets.

Casey Matthews

From the first day of training camp, fourth-round pick Casey Matthews has been “running with the 1’s” as the starting middle linebacker.  Armed with outstanding bloodlines and a prolific college career, he has apparently impressed this coaching staff to the point where he is responsible for the pre-snap call on defense.  With all of the free agent signings that the Eagles have made it is still a bit of a shock that they have not brought in a veteran presence here, and I would not be surprised at all if they did.  That being said, for the few snaps that he was on the field he appeared to have a good understanding of what was going on and was around the ball.  One screen pass to Ray Rice turned into a big gain and made that entire side of the defense look lost, so I cannot pin that solely on Matthews.  On one running play an offensive lineman got to the second level and engaged Matthews, but it looked like Matthews was able to shed the block and flow towards the ball carrier, arriving a second after he was brought to the ground.  Matthews was credited with no tackles but in fairness, he only played about 8-10 snaps.

Alex Henery

With the departure of David Akers, the drafting of Alex Henery in the fourth round signified a major change in the Eagles’ special teams corps.  Everyone seems to agree that the kid has a huge leg, but will he able to handle the pressure of kicking in a November wind, in front of the league’s most rabid fan base, with a game on the line?  I was excited to see his first kickoff, and when it came down 8 yards deep into the end zone I was very, very excited and impressed.  It was then when I was reminded by the ETN crew of the fact that in the off-season, the NFL Competition Committee voted to move the kickoff line up to the 35 yard line from the 30.  OK, so that took a bit of the luster off of the kick, but I was still impressed.  A successful PAT and two FG’s were also good signs that Henery has the potential to be a very good kicker in the NFL.

Chas Henry

First, let me get this out of the way.  Was Sav Rocca really an Eagle for 4 years?  Really?  I cannot believe this.  If you were to have asked me a few days ago how long Rocca was the Eagles punter, I probably would have answered with 2 or 3 years tops.  Amazing.  Another main part of the special teams overhaul, Chas Henry had a very good debut in my opinion.  The same cannot be said for his punt coverage teams.  Henry’s first punt was a terrific pooch punt and should have definitely been downed inside the 5 with no problem.  The fact that Jon Dorenbos, the long-snapper, was the first coverage guy on the scene shows that not everything is rainbows and unicorns coming out of training camp.  Two other punts by Henry were rockets that went into the end zone for touchbacks, but one of them barely went in and spun back into the playing field.  This kid, so far, seems to have a very bright future.  But, as mentioned with Alex Henery, let’s see how he performs when he is punting out of his own end zone in December and the ball feels like he is kicking an anvil.

Danny Watkins

So as I prepared to watch the Eagles/Ravens game in preparation for writing this article, I went “old school”.  I had paper and pen, and I created sections on the paper for these four rookies to be able to quickly write down some notes and observations.  I then focused my view on these guys when they were on the field.  A few minutes in, I heard the announcers say that Danny Watkins was done for the night, so I looked at his section in my notes.  It was completely blank.  I had nothing, nada, zilch, bagel, goose egg, bupkis.  Initially, I thought that this was a bad thing.  But, after thinking about it, I remembered that offensive lineman are supposed to be like the officials.  If you do not notice them specifically, that usually means that they did a good job.  Since he did not get run over or get Michael Vick killed in the short time he was in there, let’s consider this debut a rousing success.

Conclusion

Wrapping it all up, the rookies mentioned above (along with Jaiquawn Jarrett, who had a pick on a bad throw) did not do anything to cause the Eagles faithful to immediately call for the heads of Andy Reid and Howie Roseman for a terrible draft.  All were very solid, with the obvious disclaimer that they really did not play a lot of snaps at all.  Next week, they are in Pittsburgh for their first road game.  Although is is preseason, the crowd will be loud and hostile, so let’s see how they perform in that environment.

Until the next butt-kicking by the Eagles Defense…E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

EFC Eric

Twitter

While watching the game I was also monitoring our Twitter feed to see what the fans were thinking.  Beside the fact that numerous Eagles-related hashes were trending, here are some of the many, many tweets that I found quite amusing: (and as you will soon see, @OfficialReview was en fuego)

@lawlornfl – #Eagles now have Eli Manning’s two favorite receivers:  Steve Smith, Asante Samuel.  Weird, but cool.

@OfficialReview – D-Line looks solid.  So does Duce Staley. #HUUUUGE #Eagles #Ravens

@Everybody_Hits – I’ve missed hearing the word “penetration” on my TV. #nfl

@OfficialReview – Mike Vick is as accurate as CC Sabathia’s pizza delivery guy.  #nevermisses #Eagles #Ravens

@OfficialReview – Man, Jason Peters is the size of a European car.  #Eagles #NFL

@Everybody_Hits – In all seriousness, if there was no NFL on weekends in the winter what the hell would we have done?

@OfficialReview – Dear Macho Harris, how’s it going down at Target?  I need a new TV. #Eagles #NFL (this one was probably my favorite for the evening)

@OfficialReview – Nnamdi Asomugha doesn’t give an eff about your predictions, dream teams, or haircuts. #Eagles #NFL

@FO_MTanier – Good thing pollard made that pick.  One more positive eagles tweet and I would be spadaro. (this was right after Kafka threw that AWFUL int)

@OfficialReview – Andy Reid is SO tan.  He looks like Snooki’s dad.  #Eagles #NFL

 

NFC East Prediction 2010 – Review

Back in September, I attempted to predict the 2010 NFC East regular season standings based on the previous decades’ records for each of the teams. You can read the original article by clicking here.

After much number crunching, I came up with:-

Eagles    10-6
Giants     9-7
Cowboys    9-7
Redskins   7-9

How accurate did this method turn out to be? Well, what we actually ended up with is:-

Eagles    10-6
Giants    10-6
Cowboys   6-10
Redskins  6-10

As you can see, the Eagles were bang on form. I thought that we may have been facing a year of rebuilding with Kevin Kolb as Quarterback (who didn’t?!) but he was knocked out of the game in week 1 and Vick 2.0 stepped in. Kolb still played his part by dismantling the Atlanta Falcons, but the Eagles quickly became Vick’s team and flourished. But for Vick’s injury and the strange last 2 weeks, we could quite easily have been looking at a much higher win ratio and #1 seeding. Very positive going into the playoffs with, hopefully, a fully fit and rested #7.

The Giants ended a game better than the prediction. They didn’t have massive personnel changes in key areas of the team and it was no surprise that they were very close to the predicted 9-7. It did take a ‘miracle’ to keep them down, but we’ll take that!

The Cowboys were the big losers in the division, falling 3 wins behind the predicted 9-7. There’s no doubt that Quarterback injuries hurt the team and they actually recovered from a disastrous start to the season under Jon Kitna of all people! I remember when he won MVP for Barcelona Dragons in the NFL Europe “World Bowl” 1997. He’s certainly been around for a while! Poor coaching, penalties and dropped catches all contributed to a poor season for Dallas in the year that they were going to win the Superbowl in their own stadium. Really, Jerry?! That sort of arrogance often comes back to bite you in the butt.

There were Quarterback problems in the Capital too. All those questions about the McNabb trade appeared to be answered in Andy Reid’s favor this year as the Redskins, who I predicted to achieve 7-9, didn’t even manage that. Whether McNabb didn’t know the 2 minute drill, wasn’t fit enough or simply not good enough, few could argue that the Eagles missed him this year. Yes, the Redskins’ O-Line is a debacle and maybe McNabb will bounce back in a better team next year, but this season his performances were disappointing. He finished with 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a rating of 77.1.

In total, my predictions were 5 games out across the division which isn’t bad at all. Especially taking into the account the Quarterback changes/issues/controversies. I even got the 4 teams in the correct order!

I’m not sure how I could work out a post season formula to predict the playoffs, so I’ll just say this. Let’s bring it home for Jerome!

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

NFC East Prediction 2010

It’s a new era for our Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb has headed off to Washington and our fate now largely rests in the talented, yet unproven hands of Kevin Kolb. I’ve heard predictions for the 2010 season ranging from 6-10 all the way to Superbowl champs, so what does history suggest is in store over the next few months? In order to attempt to predict the future, I’ve analyzed the win-loss records of each NFL team for the past 10 seasons and this is what I’ve discovered.

NFL 10 Year Record – Regular Season
1st 2nd 3rd= 3rd= 5th 6th 7th 8th
Colts Patriots Steelers Eagles Packers Broncos Ravens Titans
W 115 112 103 103 95 93 92 91
L 45 48 56 56 65 67 68 69
T 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
.719 .700 .647 .647 .594 .581 .575 .569
9th 10th 11th 12th 13th= 13th= 15th 16th
Giants Chargers Vikings Saints Seahawks Cowboys Bears Jets
W 88 85 84 83 82 82 81 80
L 72 75 76 77 78 78 79 80
T 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
.550 .531 .525 .519 .513 .513 .506 .500
17th= 17th= 17th= 20th 21st 22nd 23rd= 23rd=
Buccs Dolphins Panthers Jaguars Falcons Rams Redskins Chiefs
W 79 79 79 76 75 71 70 70
L 81 81 81 84 84 89 90 90
T 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
.494 .494 .494 .475 .472 .444 .438 .438
25th 26th 27th 28th= 28th= 30th 31st 32nd
Bengals 49ers Bills Raiders Cardinals Texans Browns Lions
W 68 68 66 62 62 49 57 41
L 91 92 94 98 98 79 103 119
T 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
.428 .425 .413 .388 .388 .383 .356 .256

Unsurprisingly, the Colts (.719) and Patriots (.700) have the best records in the regular season, but tied in 3rd position are the Steelers and Eagles, both with a record of .647 (103-56-1). This gives the Eagles the best record in the NFC, followed by the Packers who are 5th overall. Of the top 10 NFL teams, only 3 hail from the NFC with the Giants making up the trio.

Over the past decade, the NFC East teams shape up as follows:-

Eagles           .647
Giants           .550
Cowboys      .513
Redskins       .438

That makes satisfying reading for Eagles fans, but how can I use this to predict the 2010 season?

Well, I figure that the most relevant season in history is the last one, so I’ve awarded 10 points for each win during 2009. This gives the Eagles 110 points (11 wins x 10 points). Then in 2008, I’ve awarded 9 points per win which means that the Eagles bank another 81 points for their 9 wins. I’ve followed this all the way back to 2000 where the 11 wins are worth 1 point each, so 11 in all. Adding the points for each season together gives me a total of 543, but in order to convert this to a single season win record I need to divide by 55 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10). I then end up with 9.87 (543 / 55) and so from the record of the last 10 NFL seasons, I predict that the Eagles will end up 10-6 in 2010. I’d take that!

If this system works, the NFC East will end up as follows:-

Eagles           10-6
Giants             9-7
Cowboys        9-7
Redskins         7-9

But can history really predict the future accurately? Maybe. The stats for the 10 years previous to 2009 predicted a 10-6 season for the Eagles in 2010 and 11-5 was only 1 game out. The Giants’ prediction was also 1 game out, 9-7 against an actual record of 8-8. The Cowboys had a projected season of 9-7 which was 2 games out of their final 11-5 and the Redskins were 3 games behind their predicted 7-9 finishing 4-12. In total, the NFC East prediction was 7 games out which isn’t so bad out of the 64 games played between the four teams.

I’d say that the Giants prediction for 2010 is about right, one game better than last year. Even the Redskins could achieve their 7-9 if McNabb stays fit (what does history tell us about McNabb’s durability?!). I do think though that the Cowboys are better than 9-7 and who knows if the Eagles can get to 10-6 with essentially a rookie Quarterback? Time will tell on that, but I don’t think that 10-6 is unreasonable if Kolb can hit the ground running.

How about post-season?

NFL 10 Year Record – Post Season
1st 2nd= 2nd= 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
Patriots Steelers Saints Cardinals Panthers Ravens Raiders Eagles
W 14 10 5 4 5 8 4 10
L 4 4 2 2 3 5 3 8
.778 .714 .714 .667 .625 .615 .571 .556
9th 10th 11th= 11th= 13th= 13th= 13th= 16th=
Giants Colts Seahawks Jets Rams Buccs Vikings Bears
W 6 9 4 4 3 3 3 2
L 5 8 5 5 4 4 4 3
.545 .529 .444 .444 .429 .429 .429 .400
16th= 18th 19th= 19th= 19th= 19th= 23rd 24th
Falcons Chargers Packers Jaguars Redskins 49ers Titans Dolphins
W 2 3 3 1 1 1 2 1
L 3 5 6 2 2 2 5 3
.400 .375 .333 .333 .333 .333 .286 .250
25th= 25th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th= 27th=
Broncos Cowboys Chiefs Bengals Browns Bills Lions Texans
W 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
L 4 4 2 2 1 0 0 0
.200 .200 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000

The Eagles have the 8th best record in the NFL over the past 10 years with .556 and this is 4th in the NFC behind Saints, Cardinals and Panthers. Interestingly, the Eagles have played 18 post-season games over the past decade and the rest of the NFC East teams combined have only managed 19! The Eagles are actually tied 1st with the Patriots for the number of post-season games played over the past 10 years in the NFL. That’s pretty impressive, though out of the top 6 (Eagles, Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Ravens, Giants) the Eagles are the only team not to have won a Superbowl in that time.

Here’s another historical fact for you. The Phillies have won the NL Pennant 6 times since 1950 and in all but 1 of those seasons, the Eagles finished their regular season .500 or higher. The Phils are starting to get it together and could quite conceivably clinch NL Pennant number 7, but am I clutching at straws now to try and convince myself that the Eagles are heading into a winning season? Quite possibly!

A lot rests in the hands of #4, but in Kolb we trust!

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

EaglesFanCast Is Back!

Your EaglesFanCast HostsAfter a Summer of vacations, conflicts and technical issues… Eric, Todd and Chuck climb out of the sweltering heat to talk about our first love, The Eagles (our wives won’t read this anyway). With the team starting up Training Camp this week, we will start to see how things are going to look for our reconfigured 2010 Philadelphia Eagles. Hopefully this year will start off better than 2009 did, and the transition from McNabb to Kolb will be solid.

We plan to also record the show live on ustream, so join us in the chat room tonight at this address – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/eaglesfancast.  Check our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for the exact time that we will start (somewhere around 8:30pm EDT).

The podcast will be posted a few hours later once it’s all been put together. I’ll let you know in the usual locations.

See you tonight!