Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week:
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes that Andy Reid will enter 2012 under more pressure than any coach in the league:
So from this point forward, every decision Reid makes is going to be scrutinized in ways it never has been before by the guy who matters most. Whatever mistakes Reid made in 2011, Lurie was able to view them through the prism of all the good work Reid did for him in the previous 12 years, with the knowledge that players have historically played hard for Reid and have wanted to play for the Eagles because of the coaching structure they have in place. But any mistakes Reid makes between now and this time next year will be viewed through the prism of Lurie's present disappointment, and are likely to be judged much more harshly as a result.
SI.com's Peter King has the Eagles 10th in his season-ending power rankings:
Won its last four by an average of 19.8 points.
SI.com's Don Banks briefly compares the the Chargers' situation to the Eagles:
Like Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie standing behind Andy Reid one more time in Philadelphia -- Tuesday must have been "Love Your 8-8 Coach'' Day -- Spanos just gave Turner and Smith a pass they probably didn't deserve.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles taking North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown with the 15th pick:
Finishing the season with four straight wins with victories over the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins — everyone’s high on the Eagles this week. The linebacker play was subpar this season, though, and they should look to improve it with a draft pick. A 6-foot-2, 240-pound tackling machine, Brown’s a guy who’s seemingly in on every play. Watching a UNC game is like watching a Zach Brown highlight reel. The Eagles could use some of that resourcefulness roaming the middle.
Note: I assume meant Jets instead of Giants there.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post has the Eagles taking Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly with the 15th pick:
A tackling machine with good size, natural instincts and knowledge to fend off blocks and find the football. Is the kind of talent the Eagles need inside to improve their struggling linebacking corps.
The Eagles finished 15th in ESPN.com's power rankings. Writes Graziano:
The Eagles finish with their highest ranking since Week 3, when they were ranked No. 6 and we all thought they'd get things right eventually. They eventually got things right enough to finish 4-0 once all was nearly lost, and there's reason to believe they can correct their problems and be a top team next year. But for purposes of this exercise, there's little doubt that they belong on anyone's list of biggest sports disappointments of 2011.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 14th in his power rankings:
They could have folded up, but didn't. That's telling. Andy Reid will get one more year with this group to make something happen.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com runs through six plays that killed teams' seasons. He includes Ronnie Brown's run-pass option on his list:
When I look at what kept Philadelphia out of the playoffs, I have a hard time overcoming that early October loss to San Francisco when the Eagles blew a 23-3 fourth-quarter lead. It was a game that defined two teams, with the victory launching the 49ers, and the defeat burying Philadelphia. Anyway, Philadelphia did what it could to blow the game, with no play more significant than Brown's aborted pass at the goal line. What makes the play incomprehensible is that it was a run into the middle of the line, with Brown stopped, panicking, then turning to pitch the ball backward to an imaginary teammate. The fumble was recovered by the 49ers, and the Eagles blew a sure score. Brown later said the third-down call was for a run/pass, but, c'mon, people. When you have LeSean McCoy in the huddle, what is anyone doing making that call with Brown? Stupid is as stupid does, and that play effectively ended Brown's usefulness to Philadelphia.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 11th:
A strong push to end the season saved Andy Reid’s job. A stronger push will be needed in 2012 to save it again.
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