Tag Archives: NFC East

Playoff Bound!

As an Eagles fan living in the UK, timezones can be a real issue. Primetime games start at 1.20am and keeping in touch with friends in Philadelphia is difficult because when I want to chat during the evening, they’re still at work or spending time with the family. However, there are advantages.

1pm and 4.15pm games start here at 6pm and 9.15pm respectively which is very convenient. I can spend my Sunday doing whatever I like and then settle down for an evening of football. Also, breaking news late in the afternoon is often when I’m free in the evenings and so I can tune in to sports radio and Tweet away.

The news of Nnamdi’s signing broke quite late in the evening for us Brits and it was exciting! Not only had we snatched him from under the cosmetically enhanced nose (allegedly) of Jerry Jones, but it was a serious upgrade of our defense. Twitter almost exploded as Eagles fans all over the world celebrated the news and in Las Vegas, the bookies quickly slashed the price of a Superbowl win for the Birds.

It was late in the evening here though and many of the UK bookies had called it a day. A few were aware enough to cut their odds, but many of them had no idea what had happened so I was able to back the Eagles to win the Superbowl at 16/1. By the next morning, the best price on offer was 10/1 and this went even shorter as the other signings rolled into the City of Brotherly Love.

The start of the season certainly hasn’t lived up to expectations for us Eagles fans. But with the rest of the NFC East also struggling to dominate, the season is far from over. It’s not even that unlikely that an NFC East team could clinch a wildcard spot. The NFC North will probably grab one and that leaves the South and East to fight over the other.

At 3-4 the Eagles must be a pretty big price to win the big one though, right? Wrong! The best price quoted today is just 14/1 for the Vince Lombardi Trophy to finally head to Philly. There are 14 teams in the NFL with a better record than the Eagles but with less of a chance in the post season, according to the bookies. That’s a HUGE vote of confidence in the team and the coaches.

We’re third favourites for the NFC title, almost joint second with New Orleans. Obviously, Green Bay are expected to be crowned champs but we’re hanging in there. The NFC East title looks a cert for Philadelphia too with every bookie I can find making us clear favourites. I wonder how the 5-2 Giants feel about that?!

For me, the next four games will decide our season. If we can win three of them – and the Giants game is a must – then we should be able to win the division.

After that, it’s a case of ‘any given Sunday’…

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

NFC East Prediction 2011

This time last year I was talking about the new era under Kevin Kolb and how the Eagles could well be a team in transition. Now, Kolb’s career in Philly is over. Blink and you’ll have missed it!

Was last year a transitional season? I think it was meant to be. I don’t think that many Eagles fans truly believed we’d get to the playoffs and one of the main reasons we did was that the NFC East was in such a mess. I didn’t expect McNabb to crash and burn so spectacularly in Washington and who could have foreseen Dallas challenging Carolina for last place in the NFL until their form picked up under Kitna?

The other main reason that the Eagles won the NFC East and marched into the playoffs was the star reborn, Mr Michael Dwayne Vick.

When Vick signed for the Eagles, I had a #7 jersey shipped over to the UK right away. I knew he was going to be a back-up for McNabb and I knew about his previous problems, but he was still one of the most exciting players ever to play the game and he was an Eagle! At the end of that first season there were talks of a trade and then Kolb was named starter, but I still wore my #7 jersey. Then week one came, Kolb was KO’d and Vick took over the team. And how!

There were certainly areas, especially on defense, where the Eagles were lacking. The secondary was decimated and it really started to show as the playoffs loomed. Even the offense had problems. Short yardage situations were a nightmare and Vick often took it upon himself to singlehandedly make first downs. This led to injury and meant that when I flew in for the Falcons game I saw Kolb rather than Vick at QB, not that I complained after his performance that day!

A stronger, faster, meaner Mike Vick dragged the team right into the playoffs and it appears that the Eagles’ Front Office were as impressed with #7 as the rest of the world. This off season, they’ve gone out and spent dollars. Lots of them. It’s almost as if they realized that in Vick they have something very special, a Quarterback capable of winning the big one. If this was a game of poker, the Eagles just went “all in”.

It’s difficult to predict the future, but last season I was only 5 games out when looking at the NFC East as a whole. How did I do it? Well, I figure that the most relevant season in history is the last one, so I’ve awarded 10 points for each win during 2010. This gives the Eagles 100 points (10 wins x 10 points). Then in 2009, I’ve awarded 9 points per win which means that the Eagles bank another 99 points for their 11 wins. I’ve followed this all the way back to 2001 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 540, 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 9.82 (540 / 55) and so from the record of the last 10 NFL seasons, I predict that the Eagles will end up 10-6 in 2011.

Interestingly, the stats have come up with exactly the same prediction for the NFC East as it did last year:-

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

Of course, what actually happened last year was:-

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

The prediction for the Eagles was spot on, the Giants and Redskins were just 1 game out and even historical data couldn’t predict the horrible mess in Dallas (haha!).

Eagles 10-6 in 2011? I’d be disappointed with that, to be honest. With the hype surrounding this team and the massive upgrade in personnel, I believe we should be looking realistically at between 12 and 14 wins. The Giants are likely to be the biggest threat in the division, 9-7 or maybe 10-6 for them. The Cowboys… well… can we dare wish for more comedy from Jerry’s circus? I’m sure all their fans are predicting 16-0 like they do every year, but it would be a big turnaround if the managed a winning season at all. And the poor Redskins with Rex Grossman leading them. Can they get 7 wins? They do have some pretty average teams on their schedule, but I still think that 7 wins will be a stretch.

I’m not too confident that the stats system will be as accurate this year, but then I didn’t expect the ‘transitional’ Eagles to achieve 10-6 in 2010. As it happens I was spot on. Only time will tell. Well, time and #7 staying healthy for the season.

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

EaglesFanCast 105 – Eagles Schedule 2011

After a few months’ hiatus, the show is back. Jason from Bleeding Green Nation and SB Nation Philly is on tonight and we talk mostly about the newly-released 2011 Eagles schedule. It’s so early to truly evaluate the schedule and the Eagles chances this year, especially with the uncertainty of the current NFL lockout and negotiations. Jason and Chuck touch on the lockout, and the trickle down issues having to do with player conditioning, finances and more.

Overall, we both feel that the schedule looks like a challenging one, but can be one that the Eagles can excel and prove themselves in a very public eye.  Five of the games are primetime, with three more in the later slot, so half of their schedule are nationally televised.  Eagles fans will get to see plenty of their team no matter where they are.

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EaglesFanCast 103 – Playoff Fever

The Philadelphia Eagles win the NFC East, and take the #3 seed in the NFC for the playoffs.  They lose the last two games of the regular season to the Minnesota Vikings in an ugly display of football, and the Dallas Cowboys in a meaningless game.  In the Wildcard game, the Eagles host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at 4:30pm.  Lots of concerns for this game, as the Packers are playing very well, and the Eagles ended on a down note, and quite beat up.  Regardless, it’s still another exciting year of Eagles playoffs, and the only team from the East in the playoffs, capping off a surprise and unbelievable regular season.  Cannot wait for this game to start!

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the Vikings and Cowboys to end the regular season.  Should we be concerned?
  • Eagles are favored over the Packers by 2.5 points, but this game does not look good on paper for our Birds
  • Not a whole lot of excitement being displayed by fans so far, and we talk about whether it’s concern or Eagles fans are used to a playoff team now
  • Our esteemed cohost Eric becomes the first winner of the EFC Fantasy Football league
  • NiDice returns this year with a brand new awesome song called “Eagles Young Guns”, and we play it for you with permission

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More Vick-tims On The Schedule

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs for a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 21, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES)

With 10 games gone in the season, the Eagles have hold of a very respectable 7-3 record. So what’s in store for the rest of the year? Are we cruising towards a 13-3 NFC East domination or heading into the face of a 7-9 collapse? Here are my thoughts.

Of the 10 games so far, Michael Vick has a 5-0 record when starting the game and not being knocked out of it through injury. That’s an impressive record that surely no-one predicted before Vick 2.0 was unleashed. Kolb has managed a 2-1 record, which when added to Vick’s efforts, gives 7-1. The other two games were when one of the Quarterbacks was knocked out of the game (Packers and Redskins) and both resulted in losses. Probably not a huge surprise, given that Vick and Kolb are very different players working within a set game plan. Without those injuries, we could be looking at 9-1. However, without Kolb’s injury in Week 1 we probably wouldn’t have seen Vick’s exploits. Let’s take 7-3 and be very happy with it!

Incidentally, those 3 losses were all against .500 or better teams (Packers, Redskins, Titans) while the Eagles have beaten 5 .500 or better teams (Jaguars, Falcons, Colts, Redskins, Giants). The other 2 wins were against teams with a losing record (Lions, 49ers).

Of the remaining 6 teams to play, 4 of them have a losing record, though the Cowboys are included in that number twice and surely won’t be as easy to beat as their record suggests. Or will they?!

Week 12 @ Bears

The Bears are all about defense. They’re 3rd in the NFL in yards given up (Eagles 9th) and they’re 2nd in interceptions (Eagles 1st) going up against Vick who hasn’t thrown one all year. Add to that that they’re only the 21st ranked team for sacks (Eagles 9th) and I start to feel confident that another big game is in the cards for #7. If they sit back in their Cover 2, Vick will hurt them with his scrambling ability and if they load the line, Jackson and Maclin will have a field day.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears are the 30th ranked team for total yards (Eagles 2nd) and 26th for touchdowns (Eagles 3rd). The Bears appear to end most of their drives in field goals, being ranked 9th. The Eagles are ranked 5th for the same stat and that would be more of a worry if it wasn’t for the amount of touchdowns being clocked up. Safer hands from the Receivers and a certain Mr. Celek could up the touchdown percentage considerably.

I’m putting this one down as a win.

Week 13 v Texans

Win. The Texans suck. Badly. Their game at the Jets was shown on TV over here in the UK last Sunday and it was blindingly obvious that Mark Sanchez would get the late touchdown he needed to win the game. The Texans Secondary is awful. Worse than awful. If you have Vick, Jackson, Maclin, Avant, etc. on your fantasy roster make sure you start them in Week 13!

Week 14 @ Cowboys

The news this week is that Tony Romo’s collar bone is still not healed (shame!) and that he won’t play in this game. The Cowboys are picking up, but Jason Garrett was Offensive Coordinator under the previous Head Coach, so if he was that good then surely the team wouldn’t have been so bad before? The Eagles have some revenge to inflict for those two games at the end of last season and the Receivers especially have a point to prove. By the time game day comes around, the Cowboys could well be 3-9 with games against the Saints and Colts in Weeks 12 and 13. That’ll destroy any momentum that the coaching change has given them and play right into the hands of the Birds. [Already a loss in 12, as the Cowboys lost to the Saints. Steve wrote this before Thursday. – Chuck]

Win.

Week 15 @ Giants

The Giants are the only credible threat in the NFC East this year. They also have a fairly kind schedule between now and the end of the season which includes the Jaguars, Redskins (twice) and Vikings. It also, however, includes the Packers and Eagles. This game could go either way. The Eagles certainly had some luck against the Giants last Sunday, though the Eagles Receivers could have had the game won by half time. As it’s at the Meadowlands, I think the Giants just about have the edge.

Loss.

Week 16 v Vikings

The Vikings are dead in the water. They sit at 3-7, they’ve fired Brad Childress and by all accounts Brett Favre has headed to Mississippi to “think things over.” What’s the betting that he’s placed on IR to save face and the Eagles come up against Tarvaris Jackson? The Vikings have to play the Redskins, Bills, Giants and Bears before they travel to the Linc and by that time they’ll be looking forward to the summer.

Win.

Week 17 v Cowboys

Maybe Tony Romo will be back. Maybe Jason Garrett will need the win to secure the Head Coaching job permanently. Maybe the Cowboys will have fought their way back to 7-8. Only one thing’s for sure; the form book will go out the window and anything could happen. Whatever the Cowboys are playing for, none of it will include a trophy while the Eagles could be looking to secure home field advantage for the post season. Has to be a win, surely?

So there we have it. The Eagles will end the season 12-4 and battle it out with Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game. Mike Vick will destroy his former team and win Superbowl MVP in Dallas as the demons from 2004 are exorcised against the Patriots. Glad that’s settled then. Now let’s sit back and enjoy the football this team is playing!

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!