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Thoughts From Eagles-Falcons

Eagles Overcome Adversity, Win Playoff War Against Atlanta

After enduring weeks of doubt and all kind of doom and gloom talk, the Philadelphia Eagles came out and proved the naysayers wrong with a grueling 15-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

It wasn’t an easy win. The Eagles made a flurry of gut-wrenching mistakes in the first half that helped give the Falcons an early lead. The team had four first-half fumbles, and lost two of them. All 10 Atlanta points came off of the team’s first half turnovers.

The Eagles also left some points on the field. Jake Elliot missed an extra point, and Nick Foles missed Trey Burton on a third down that killed a drive.

In the second half, the Eagles turned things up. The defense shut the powerful Falcon offense out in the second half. In a playoff game, to shut a potent offense out for an entire half, the second half no less, is nothing short of remarkable. Even more remarkable is that they were able to keep the Falcons off of the scoreboard without forcing any turnovers.

Meanwhile, the offense turned in several long, methodical drives that resulted in Jake Elliot field goals to get the lead.

With six minutes left, the Falcons went on one more march down the field. In all-or-nothing situation, Jim Schwartz’s defense held up, making a goalline stand in the redzone, turning the Falcons away with fourth-and-goal on two-yard line.

The Eagles really overcame a lot of adversity tonight. When you lose a fumble on your opening offensive drive, and you muff a punt that sets up the opposing offense with a short field, those are typically the types of plays that lose football games.

Give a world of credit to Doug Pederson for keeping the ship together, and calling a great offensive game.

Foles Starts Slow, Heats Up In Second Half

Nick Foles was certainly the biggest question mark coming into this game.

And early on, things didn’t look good for the veteran. Foles looked like the same guy that struggled against the Raiders, missing Trey Burton on a key a third down pass that would have at least gotten the Eagles into position for a field goal attempt.

However, Nick was able to settle in towards the end of the second half. Things began to turn around for Foles when he found Alshon Jeffery right before the end of the half with one second left on the clock to set up Elliot’s 53-yard attempt.

In the second half, Foles really began to heat up. He became much more decisive, and got the ball to his receivers quickly. The Eagles allowed him to run a lot of read-option looks that really seemed to benefit him.

Foles guided the team on a 12-play, 74-yard drive that gave the team a lead, and followed that up with a 14-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in three more points.

For the night, Foles was a solid 23 of 40 for 246 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

The second half of this game is something that Foles can really build on moving forward. He’s finally gotten the monkey off of his back, and shaken off the mediocre play from the Oakland game. He ran the offense well, and just guided the team to a playoff win. He’s got his confidence back, he just outplayed Matt Ryan, and that could really help open things up for the offense next week.

Quick Thoughts

Offense

  • Doug Pederson coached a great game. He set Foles up for success by calling a balanced attack. Andy Reid would have put the run away immediately after the Jay Ajayi fumble. Pederson’s best call of the night may have been the handoff to Nelson Agholor on a third down that went for a big gain to set up the LeGarrette Blount touchdown run.
  • Doug also correctly selected the spots to be aggressive. The decision to go for it on fourth down was the right decision, and an even better play call. The decision later in the game to pull back and get a five-point lead was also correct.
  • However, the execution of the decision to send in Elliot late in the game left a lot to be desired and was really the only blemish on Doug’s night. I can understand that he needed to think long and hard about that decision, but once it became clear that they couldn’t get a play off, just take the five-yard delay of game penalty. Wasting a timeout in that situation was very Reid-esque.
  • Jay Ajayi fumbled the ball away on his first carry, but finished strong, picking up 54 yards on 15 carries, and adding another 44 yards on three receptions. I loved that Doug kept the screens to Ajayi under wraps until the second half, when they were implemented, they really caught Atlanta off guard.
  • LeGarrette Blount was second on the team with nine carries, but gained only 19 yards. He scored the team’s only touchdown, however.
  • Corey Clement was given only one carry, oddly enough it came at the end of the game, with Clement picking up a first down to ice the game.
  • Alshon Jeffery as quiet for most of the first half, but made some key plays down the stretch. Beginning with his reception and getting out of bounds to set up the Elliot field goal before the half, Alshon made a difference later in the game. Foles connected with Jeffery three more times in the second half, all resulting in first downs.
  • The Eagles even got contributions from Torrey Smith this week! Smith began the game by drawing a pass interference call on the first offensive play of the game, and finished with three grabs for 44 yards, picking up two first downs.
  • Great performance from the offensive line, they really kept Nick Foles clean most of the night.

Defense

  • Star Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman was a total non-factor, picking up just seven yards on 10 carries.
  • Fletcher Cox was very active, picking up seven tackles and a sack.
  • Rodney Mcleod picked up a key sack in the second half, getting to Matt Ryan on a safety blitz.
  • Julio Jones got his numbers, picking up over 100 yards, but at the end of the game, Jalen Mills did a nice job covering him up in the endzone.
  • Speaking of the final play of the game, what was Atlanta thinking splitting their fullback out wide? Doesn’t seem like the kind of formation you’d want to go to with your season on the line.
  • Vinny Curry overpursued several times tonight, resulting in some big gainers for the Falcons.

Special Teams

  • Can anyone figure out Jake Elliot? Money from 50 yards and beyond, yet can’t hit extra points. Elliot made all three of his field goal attempts on the night, and the Birds needed every point.
  • Bryan Braman, a late season addition, came up big tonight, getting his hands on a punt that set the Eagles up with better field position.
  • The turnover that set Atlanta up with a short field was just unacceptable. Dave Fipp’s unit has made a lot of these boneheaded mistakes lately.

Final Thoughts

This game not only makes you feel great about the Eagles in the short-term, but the long-term as well.

Doug Pederson really validated himself as a head coach tonight.

We’ve seen in the NFL that a lot of head coaches with great quarterbacks can’t survive without their star. Take Mike McCarthy out in Green Bay, a coach who has absolutely ridden the coattails of Aaron Rodgers. Whenever Rodgers has gone down, the Packers have gone straight in the toilet, with McCarthy constantly getting exposed for the fraud he is.

Doug has kept his team together, and just coached them to a very difficult playoff win against a team that nearly won a Super Bowl a year ago.

And Doug didn’t just lose Carson Wentz. He’s lost Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, and Jordan Hicks as well. These are four very key pieces to this team, with a league MVP being one of them.

Doug showed tonight that he’s not Andy Reid-lite. He’s better than Andy. He was smart enough not to abandon the run at the first sign of trouble, and found a way to win with what he’s got left.

The NFC Championship Game is coming back to Philadelphia for the first time since 2004. The arrow is pointing up with a defense playing at an elite level, and a quarterback that is starting to settle in and find himself.

See you folks next Sunday!

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Posted by on Jan 13 2018. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

28 Comments for “Thoughts From Eagles-Falcons”

  1. Jim Schwartz and Joe Douglas have to be top of the list candidates for remaining jobs. Amazing !

  2. Home field played a big difference in this game. Julio Jones doesn’t fall down on 4th down on the 2 yard line down by 5 in the last minute of the game in his dome in Atlanta on artificial turf. Eagles benefiting from the hard work of an extremely successful long season with their grass field giving them the edge they earned. In a game of inches those slippery blades of grass proven valuable.

    • We should have blown them out them fumbles sucked, fuck it we winning anyway

      • Falcons are trash. Amazing how they still couldn’t win the game after we tried to keep giving it to them

        THEY WOULDNT TAKE IT!!

        Lmao. Unbelievable man! How this team just keeps finding ways to win

        I like our chances agaisnt either team. Saints or Vikings @ home it doesn’t
        Matter. Maybe favor Vikings win a little more.

        I hope Jacksonville beats steelers. Better defense could beat Brady and the patriots. I’d love a Philly vs Jacksonville SB

  3. There are moments that are part of Eagle lore ,Julio Jonessaw literally the falcon season,slip sliding away.Case keesum willbe,Case closed.The 2018 season has been transforming before our eagle trained eyes. Wether it be a pro bowl pillar left tacke,or an mvp q.b or an inspirational person as Sproles or anysteward of your ship,it matters only that,whomever-standing,they will fight for their brothers in arms.The pundits don’t know jackshit,about this team.Thecity has now witnessed their 2018 Eagles spit in the proverbial eye of the non believers who wrote them off as a one seed. Wether this team makes it to the top step of the library ,matters most.Play the rocky theme loudly,and try to stand in their path. We dare you

  4. Pederson called a fantastic game and stuck with the run, despite the early fumble. At one point the falcons had to call two timeouts in the same drive because the birds were just pushing them around and gashing them with the run. Ajayi has to secure the ball better. Schwartz finally sprinkled in the blitz to great affect. Foles had me scared early, but played a competent 2nd half. Again, great job by Doug putting in some plays that made foles comfortable. Either way, a dome team will be coming to philly in late January for the right to go to the bowl. Maybe this is a team of destiny. Go birds.

    • Shows you how much of a joke the Dallas cowboys and there staff really is.

      One or two players go down, and they are DONE!! Lmao!!

      This coaching staff is special!! Having a lot of guys who come from the Andy Reid tree, played the game, Bill B disciples! This might be the best sTaff in eagles history!!

      Nobody is interviewing them either !! Bears chose Chiefs OC. Lions are getting Patricia!

      Colts McDaniels!! STAY AWAY FROM US

      • ITis no doubt the best coaching staff in eagles history .After Doug proved himself, and grew and grew as H.C. however sadly nothing stays the same, eventually. as in very soon the staff will raided!So I am just enjoyed this staff for as long as it lasts,

  5. I think I might prefer to face New Orleans next week than Minnesota because Everson Griffen(Vaitai) plays on the right side whereas Cameron Jordan ( Lane Johnson) plays on the left side. I don’t see any way Vaitai can block Everson Griffen one on one.

  6. Wentz = Rothlesburger …. foles = Bortles.

    Watching Big Ben and knowing we have 11 makes me feel real good…., we have a lot of playoff football ahead….. and a real shot at SB this year. Damn good stuff… been awhile

  7. The show is set baby! Eagles vs Vikings!!
    Eagles are @ home
    They get a extra day to rest over Vikings
    They get to play case keenum over Bree’s
    They are a dome team

    LOVE OUR CHANCES!!! Let’s go baby!!

  8. Please let us be the underdogs again against the Vikings. This team seems to play with more aggression when disrespected. This has been one of the most exciting seasons I have ever witnessed. This is what happens when a TEAM believes in each other, and never gives up! FLY EAGLES FLY!!

  9. The Boone zoo. Songs. Pman kool t.S all will be purged in the climatic game of this magical season Do any truly believe the Vikings are going to stand in the path of this team?As a twilight zone ending case will be flat on his back while on the sidelines Sammy sleeves will be warming up. We will come full circle ,purging the clown car and their driver Sammy .Delicacy

  10. I’m a half full glass guy..always will be.When oddsmakers collude with pundits and create an “attitude” often uniting this squad,this coach,organization and our team,respond in ways that fill a city and Eagle nation with a profound sense of pride.inso many ways David vs. GOLIATH firmly places this squad in a pantheon of history.The Vikings who are giddy and dreaming big home field dreams will come face to face with reality .A city long starved needs feed their beast. Enter all giddy ,believing you are on a magical ride ,and as Philly devours your purple plans awaiting them is a rematch with Brady and ultimate payback. It is written

  11. Sixers finally beat a big dawg team. Toronto at home today. They almost let a 20 point lead slip away again with a 18 point lead to start the 4th and Raptors got it down to one point with 2 minutes left. Brett Brown is such a loser. He is a horrible coach. The city has to run these 2 losers out of town. ( Brett Brown and Bryan Colangelo ) That stiff Markelle Fultz is still hiding. If Fultz is a bust and it appears he is… Colangelo has to be fired before the next draft.

  12. Jeff Fisher couldn’t win 7 game with Case Keenum or Nick Foles. These National Football writers and talk show entertainers have completely missing this story. Jeff Fisher looks ridiculous with Jared Goff looking good after being free from Fisher and Keenum and Foles excelling after departing his black cloud.

  13. The sixers are 20-20 with the best record they have had in 15 years this deep in the season since Iverson was playing. Our core players are 19-23 years old. With RoCo being 27.

    Fultz hasn’t even played in 41 games. And he’s 19 years old and people are already calling him a bust LOL!!

    Even without a jump shot this kid is a damn good ball player. He showed explosiveness and could get anywhere on the court in the 4 games he played. This kid will get healthy, take his time. And the sixers will have another special player to add to this roster.

    Sixers will get 40+ wins and they are losers LMAO

    • How many games do the sixers win if Fultz has been playing?? Do they blow those 5-6 games with last second shots?? Do we lose in 3rd OT against Okc??

      Sixers are going up agaisnt elite teams every night it seems like with Boston coming up next. The schedule makers really fucked them this year. It has been the hardest schedule at this point in the season… period. If u don’t believe me find a harder one.

      1-3 agaisnt Raptors
      0-2 against Cleveland
      0-3 agaisnt Boston
      0-2 agaisnt Washington
      0-2 agaisnt Gs
      1-1 agaisnt Houston (last second shot Gordon)
      1-1 agaisnt lakers (last second shot Igram)
      0-2 agaisnt kings (last second shot Fox. Keep in mind we are just as young as kings basically)
      3-0 against Detroit
      1-0 against Minnesota
      1-0 agaisnt spurs
      1-1 against Portland (blown 20 point lead) without Damien

      Sixers have proven they can beat anybody. They were up 28 against GS at half time. It doesn’t matter if it’s GS or the Hawks… Sixers compete and nearly beat any team. If. Not for a few buzzer beaters and blown 18+ point leads the sixers would be 30-10 or even better.

      But this is what a young team does. Especially without Embiid 10 games and Fultz for 41

      • I don’t think Fultz adds any wins at this stage of his career. Lazy on d and his shots a mess. Hopefully in due time.

        Collangelo should be fired and never should’ve been hired. Bring back the goat !

        • Hard to comment on Fultz before he plays in the NBA. We hope that he can be a closer, but no one knows at this point what he is except raw.

        • Fultz is hiding.
          a colossal blunder which looks like will haunt Sixers forever as Celtics are about to draft a center to compete with Embiid for the next 10 years with the loot they gave up to draft that stiff.
          TJ McConnell, an undrafted small white boy on the NBA minimum rookie contract, is outplaying all of Colangelo’s acquisitions ( Fultz, TLC, Bayless, Korkmas, Anderson) with the exception of JJ Redick.

  14. in 2016 7 coaches were hired in the NFL- Pederson was widely criticized as the worst hire:
    Chip Kelly….um need I say more
    Macadoo…. oops again
    H. Jackson….. 1 win in 2 years
    D. Koetter…. 14-18
    Gase….16-16
    Mularky…FIRED
    Pederson….. NFC championship….

    • Pederson’s meek style empowers coaches and players to become leaders and rally together. Howie needed a timid coach and Schwartz needed room to lead. Howie purchased the right locker room player leaders too. (Jenkins, Kelce, Cox, Celek,Peters. )

  15. Minnesota seemed to miss Andrew Sendejo after that vicious cheap shot by Saints WR. I wonder what his status is for this weekend.

  16. Andrew Sendejo is, for me, the #1 story right now. The Saints were carving up the Vikess after he left the game.

    We’ll really find out about the NFL and how serious it is on concussions if he plays this week.

    He was out cold on the field, gave the little arm shake too. Unconscious. Yet reportedly is “feeling better” and they’re hoping to have him cleared for Sunday. Please.

    If he plays that’s a joke…..his absence would be huge for the Eagles.

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