EAGLES COACH Chip Kelly explained it the best the other day when asked about his team’s unfamiliarity with being in the NFL playoffs.
“Depends on who wins, right?” Kelly said when asked about the difference in experience between the Eagles and the New Orleans Saints, tonight’s opponent in an NFC wild-card game. “If we lose, we were inexperienced. If we win, then there will be another story.
“We are concerned with how do we prepare to play a really good Saints team, and that’s all we can really be concerned with.”
Experience is an intangible, and intangibles come into play only when the tangible parts of a matchup are played at an even or near-even level.
LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP, PA — With a canvas of tomato sauce and brush strokes of parmigiana reggiano, Collegeville Italian Bakery/Giovanni’s Italian Market has created what could be the tastiest piece of sports memorabilia you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
When husband and wife team Steve and Patrizia Carcarey, owners and operators of the popular spot that’s been an institution for two decades now, decided four years ago to pay a culinary tribute to the Philadelphia Eagles with their classic tomato pie, customers quickly warmed up to the idea.
But it’s only recently that the Eagles-themed pies are selling almost as fast as mint Mickey Mantle baseball cards at a sports collectables expo.
“The sales have really picked up this season,” said Steve. “It’s just a neat idea we came up with that people really like.”
ARLINGTON, Texas – Throughout the season, Chip Kelly insisted he would pick his head up on Dec. 29 and see where the Eagles stood. So when Kelly picked his head up late in the Eagles’ 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys, he saw cornerback Brandon Boykin jump in front of a pass to Miles Austin for an interception that clinched their first NFC East title since 2010.
The victory came with tense moments, but the Eagles did enough to ensure a postseason bid in Kelly’s first season in Philadelphia. The Eagles host the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday at 8:10 p.m.
To secure that date, they needed to get past the undermanned Cowboys. The Eagles led throughout the game, although Dallas had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win. But for the third consecutive season, the Cowboys could not beat an NFC East rival in a Week 17 win-and-in situation. This time, Kyle Orton’s interception was the defining play a loss.
The key for the Eagles was three forced fumbles. Nick Foles finished 17 of 23 for 263 yards and two touchdowns. LeSean McCoy rushed for 131 yards in the victory.
Coach Jason Garrett said Romo had back surgery Friday, and Kyle Orton will start when Dallas faces Philadelphia on Sunday night with the NFC East title and a playoff berth on the line.
Garrett said Romo underwent treatment all week in hopes of playing after injuring his back in a season-saving 24-23 victory against Washington. The winning touchdown came after the injury on Romo’s fourth-down pass to DeMarco Murray in the final 2 minutes.
Romo injured himself when he tripped over his foot while trying to escape pressure earlier in the fourth quarter.
PHILADELPHIA – They couldn’t help their playoff chances no matter what they did on the field, which made the Philadelphia Eagles‘ performance Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field all the more impressive.
Playing an essentially meaningless game after a Dallas comeback win set up a winner-take-all finale in Texas, the Eagles demolished the Chicago Bears 54-11.
But because the Cowboys won at Philadelphia in the season’s first meeting and also clinched a better division record by rallying to beat Washington earlier in the day, the Eagles must win or tie at AT&T Stadium to take the division and earn their first playoff berth since 2010.
MINNEAPOLIS >> DeSean Jackson fumed on the sidelines. Philadelphia’s beleaguered secondary had its own meltdown on the field.
And the high-flying Eagles landed with a mighty thud against the short-handed Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles’ offense was stymied in the first half by Minnesota’s makeshift secondary and Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns to help the Vikings end Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak with a 48-30 victory on Sunday.
Jackson caught a career-high 10 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, but it was the play he couldn’t make in the third quarter that grabbed the most attention. He was wide open down the sideline, but Nick Foles saw him too late and his pop-fly pass was picked off by Shaun Prater.
PHILADELPHIA — It was a game of inches.
Eight inches, according to the people who shoveled the snow.
In a mini-blizzard that made Lincoln Financial Field look like Anchorage before the summer thaw, the Eagles answered the Detroit Lions’ big start Sunday with a record day from LeSean McCoy to produce a 34-20 victory.
McCoy rushed for two touchdowns and 148 of his franchise-record 217 yards in the fourth quarter to spark the Eagles (8-5) to their fifth straight success and sole possession of the NFC East lead.
Keep pounding the rock never felt so good.
PHILADELPHIA – When the moment arrived, it was neither dramatic nor surprising.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly met separately with quarterbacks Nick Foles and Michael Vick and made obvious what had been apparent for some time by naming Foles his starter for the rest of the season Tuesday.
“Chip’s a simple guy,” said Foles. “I just went in there and he told me the situation, that I was the one and Mike was the two, and let’s go. I mean, it’s not drawn out. I know like in movies it’s a big thing. You sit down, there’s tears. He just told me the situation and I was ready to go. Mike’s ready to go.”
“I just wanted it to be a smooth transition, and it was,” said Vick. “When we sat down, he didn’t have to say much. We’re all on the same page.”
We have arrived at the Eagles’ bye week, and they have just said hello to first place in the NFC East. Maybe Nostradamus, in the midst of predicting all that war and famine, saw this coming in the 16th century, but the most believable football forecast around here three weeks ago was for an occluded front bringing in another season of gloom and doom, with the arrival of a new quarterback expected in the spring.
Chip Kelly and his players swear they had a different view of the Eagles’ weather map after two straight NFC East home losses last month in which they did not score an offensive touchdown.
“I wasn’t worried, but I knew that was going to be a big test for us,” Kelly said late Sunday afternoon as his team celebrated a 24-16 win over the Washington Redskins. “We knew what we had to do. We had to stick together as a group. The only people that really had confidence in us was us, and rightly so because we weren’t playing very well.”
Forgive the football forecasters if they did not envision Nick Foles’ return from a concussion as a sign that an Eagles resurrection was about to occur. But here they are in first place at their bye week with a meaningful final month in front of them.
Nick Foles keeps throwing touchdown passes. The Green Bay Packers keep losing quarterbacks.
A week after tying the NFL record by passing for seven TDs, Foles connected for three long touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles pulled away for a 27-13 victory over the injury-ravaged Packers on Sunday.
Foles connected with DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard score in the first half. Touchdown passes to Riley Cooper from 45 and 32 yards highlighted a 17-point second half for the up-tempo Eagles.
Philadelphia handed Green Bay its first back-to-back home losses since 2008, Rodgers’ first season as the starter. It was the worst home loss for the Packers since falling 38-10 to the New York Jets on Dec. 3, 2006.
OAKLAND — You couldn’t stop Eagles quarterback Nick Foles Sunday, much less hope to contain him.
Two weeks after Foles was accused of being overwhelmed, he cut it loose firing an NFL single-game record seven touchdown passes to power the Eagles to a 49-20 rout of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum.
The next stop for the game ball and Foles’ gear almost certainly is the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, where it would join a growing exhibit. The distinguished cast includes the late Adrian Burk, also of the Eagles, the late Sid Luckman, George Blanda, Joe Kapp, Y.A. Tittle and Peyton Manning.
“Whenever I’ve looked at records, the greatest thing about them is the guys you do them with,” Foles said. “So it’s something that’s special for the Philadelphia Eagles organization. We were able to spread the ball around but you’ve got to look at the key components that went into it like the O-line blocking, the guys running great routes and making huge catches. So it’s a special moment for the organization but it’s special for all our teammates.”
IF THIS WAS the class of the NFC East, then the NFC East has no class.
The Eagles played for first place in their division and lost, to a sloppy, depleted Cowboys team that showed up without bullets.
Then again, the Eagles brought knives to this gunfight.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have smaller problems than the Philadelphia Eagles this week — as in microscopic problems.
The persistent, contagious and nasty skin infection MRSA has struck a third Buccaneers player. Two players were diagnosed in August, kicker Lawrence Tynes and offensive lineman Carl Nicks. Nicks recently has had a recurrence of his infection. The third player is Johnthan Banks, according to NFL.com.
MRSA is a strain of staphylococcus bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics. Infections are common in hospitals, prisons, farms, and athletes.
Various media outlets are reporting that the National Football League Players Association and the National Football League are investigating and will advise the Buccaneers on whether or not to play Sunday’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.
Editor’s note: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
They got key plays from their bottom-ranked defense and a timely performance from Nick Foles after he replaced an injured Michael Vick late in the first half, sending Eli Manning and the Giants to another loss with a 36-21 victory Sunday.
The Giants’ 0-5 start is their worst since the 1987 strike season when the NFL used replacement players for three games. It comes just two years after New York won the Super Bowl.
Foles threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes of 25 yards to Brent Celek and 5 yards to DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak by forcing three interceptions by Manning in the fourth quarter.
According to WHP CBS 21, event organizer Joe Bartolo claims death threats were made against him, his wife and their family for organizing the Vick signing, which had been scheduled for October 31 at a local Buffalo Wild Wings. Bartolo also says he was forced to shut down JJ Cards-N-Toys Facebook page.
“The message was, ‘I wish your wife and kids would die,'” Bartolo told WHP CBS 21.
THE EAGLES retired No. 5 last night. They won’t be retiring No. 7 any time soon.
Maybe Michael Vick tried too hard on the night of his mentor’s immortalization.
Maybe he wanted to impress Andy Reid, the best coach he ever had, the man who afforded Vick redemption.
Maybe he was just tired, playing his third game in 11 days at the most frenetic offensive pace in NFL history.
Maybe he was just due for a vintage Vick implosion.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Missed assignments, fumbles, dropped and batted passes, egregious errors in judgment, penalties, confusion and a pick-six to seal the verdict.
All the food groups of an NFL exhibition game featuring almost all backups were presented in an exquisite, all-you-can-eat, soup-to-nuts smorgasbord Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, where the Philadelphia Eagles dropped a 27-20 decision to the New York Jets in their final preseason game.
By the end, coaches on both sides were left to determine whether the fringe players who seemed to separate themselves actually played that well or just looked like they did because the men across the line from them didn’t.
Head coach Chip Kelly said today before training camp practice that the 12-year veteran had won the competition with Nick Foles and will start the Sept. 9 season opener at Washington.
“I think Mike is ahead right now, and I think Nick made it very difficult there,” Kelly said of the decision, which came after 20 training camp practices and two preseason games. “It wasn’t where one guy went north and the other guy went south. I think both of them upped their games, but at this point in time, Mike’s ahead, and we want to move forward.”
Each quarterback started one game and both led two touchdown drives during their preseason work.
Cooper said the last few days have been incredibly difficult and he will step away to seek counseling.
“My actions were inexcusable,” he said. “The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better.”
Cooper apologized profusely Wednesday after a video of him using the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert last month surfaced on the Internet. The Eagles immediately fined him.