Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles after their 31-26 loss to the Bears. Looks like quite a bit to get to this week so I'll post this piece in two parts: one Tuesday night and the other on Wednesday.
SI.com's Peter King has the Eagles eighth in his Fine Fifteen:
Wouldn't make a big deal out of a road loss to a strong team, except for the part about allowing 31 points to an average, at best, offense.
King said DeSean Jackson "being moody and diffident" was one of the things he didn't like about Week 12.
The Eagles dropped to No. 9 in ESPN.com's power rankings:
Minus defensive backs Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs, the Eagles were vulnerable to Jay Cutler's Bears.
Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com says the Eagles had the single worst play of the 2010 season so far:
The Eagles are talking return to the Super Bowl. On their opening possession at Chicago, facing third-and-8, Michael Vick danced in the pocket trying to buy time for a receiver to get open and was sacked, setting the tone for what would become a loss. On the play, after their initial blocks, all five Philadelphia offensive linemen stood around doing nothing, not even attempting to help Vick, just watching him try to evade defensive linemen -- all four of them unblocked at that point.
TMQ notes that it's surprisingly common, during an NFL down, to find a player who is doing nothing at all, just standing there watching. On this down, all five offensive linemen did nothing. Philadelphia offensive line -- you are guilty of the single worst play of the 2010 season. So far.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com lists eight games that will decide the playoff picture. Eagles-Giants on Dec. 19 is one of them:
These are the only teams in the hunt for the NFC East title but a wild-card berth could also be at stake, which makes winning this game of particular importance. The Bears, Packers, Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers could all be in the wild-card hunt with the Eagles and Giants and any losses down the stretch could eliminate them from the postseason. The Eagles won the first matchup in November and a double-dip could seal the Giants' fate.
Michael Lombardi of NFL.com says the Eagles need to play on a fast field to be successful:
Philadelphia needs a fast field and they must play with a lead. When they get behind, their defense is not good enough to go toe-to-toe with anyone. Then they make mistakes, and also it brings Andy Reid's inability to manage the game into play. Reid, for being a solid coach, really needs to outsource his game management and costs his team chances in big games. Style of play is critical to the Eagles, but most importantly, is playing on a fast track. The Birds proved they are not mudders in Chicago.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post breaks down the performances of three Eagles rookies.
He gives Brandon Graham a B for his Week 12 performance:
His overall play versus the run is inconsistent. He gives ground to angle blocks, but shows consistent ability to hold his ground. He also showed good ability to shed a tight end block and make a stop for no gain. His speed and explosiveness are his best attributes when pass rushing. He still needs to use his hands better to disengage from the blocker.
Trevard Lindley earned a C-:
He lined up at left corner in this game and the Bears picked on him. He played too loose in coverage giving Bears receivers too much room to make moves and catches. There were a few plays when he wasn’t within 3 yards of the receiver when the catch was made. He didn’t show aggressiveness in run support either. Instead of attacking he waited for plays to come to him. As a tackler he will hit but he is not an explosive hitter and can give ground on contact.
And Nate Allen a B:
Early on he showed good pursuit speed to catch Matt Forte on a run but then a few plays later he was a bit late seeing Earl Bennett come across the middle and the result was a Bears TD. Like a lot of the Eagles players, he was having trouble with his footing at Soldier Field. This caused him to be a little more cautious in coverage and giving the Bears receivers to much cushion. In run support he is a good player who is aggressive and a good tackler.
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