Here's the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles. Lots of MVP chatter for Michael Vick and coach of the year chatter for Andy Reid after their win against the Giants:
SI.com's Peter King has the Eagles third in his Fine Fifteen:
There is no question whatsoever that Sunday's win was the biggest, the most dramatic, in Philadelphia since the Phillies won the World Series.
And for the first time all season, King's got Vick in his MVP Watch - second behind Tom Brady:
Though he's missed 17 of 52 Eagle quarters, his fourth quarter Sunday convinced me he belongs on this list, and second only to Brady. Leading his adopted offense to three touchdowns in the final eight minutes of the most important game of the year ... simply phenomenal.
King also named Vick his offensive player of the week:
It's almost a guilty pleasure watching Vick play because you keep saying, He'll never last taking this abuse, and in the next breath you say, Run! Run! Vick could play a long time in the NFL, but he'll never have a fourth quarter and a finish like he had Sunday, bringing the Eagles back from a 31-10 deficit with eight minutes to go. For the game, he ran for 130, threw for 242 and accounted for four touchdowns.
SI.com's Don Banks calls Vick's comeback the No. 1 story in the NFL during the 2010 calendar year:
There are comebacks, and then there are comebacks, and Vick's career renaissance is in a league of its own. Nothing more than a bit player for the Eagles during the 2009 season -- his first season back in the league after serving almost two years in prison because of his dogfighting conviction -- Vick has electrified the NFL in 2010 like no one else. Though he was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback for Atlanta, Vick has elevated his game to a new level since he became the Philadelphia starter in Week 2. In a Week 10 Monday-night game at Washington, he put on a tour de force performance, becoming the first QB in league history to pass for 300 yards with four touchdowns and rush for at least 80 yards and two more scores in the same game. Once a pariah, he's now an MVP candidate who has the Eagles on the cusp of a playoff berth.
Banks has the Eagles third in his power rankings:
There's a cluster of six 10-4 teams to choose from in the No. 3 spot, but how do you not give the nod to the Eagles after that fourth quarter for the ages at the New Meadowlands? The next time somebody starts whining about running up the score in the NFL, let's just pop in a tape of what Philly did to the Giants in those final eight minutes and tell everyone to shut up and keep playing. That's the kind of game that can convince the winner it's a season of destiny, and crush the spirit of the losing side in one fell swoop.
ESPN.com's John Clayton says Andy Reid is the NFL's coach of the year:
I'm leaning toward selecting Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid rolled the dice more than any coach we've witnessed in years by trading Donovan McNabb and resurrecting the career of Michael Vick. His coaching ability has produced the best stable of marketable and functional quarterbacks in recent memory. Reid had the guts to trade McNabb to a division rival (he got second- and fourth-round picks in return) and built Kevin Kolb into a tradable commodity which he can afford to either keep or ship away. Reid made the Eagles' roster younger and was still able to be in position to claim the NFC East crown and either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. But his work with Vick is what puts Reid over the top. Vick was a franchise quarterback in Atlanta, but he was known more for his legs than his ability to work out of the pocket. Reid's coaching staff made him a complete quarterback who can beat a team from inside or outside the pocket. His coaching restocked the franchise and won this year. To me, he deserves the honor.
ESPN.com's Mike Sando is not ready to hand Brady the MVP just yet:
Vick closes the regular season with home games against Minnesota and Dallas. He has 16 TD passes with four INTs on the road this season, but only four scoring passes with one pick at home. Those numbers should even out now that the Eagles are returning home after playing four of their previous six on the road. Two more games like the one Vick put together Sunday would leave him with 26 TD passes, seven INTs, 10 rushing scores, a 10-3 starting record and a legitimate shot at winning MVP honors.
ESPN.com has the Eagles third in its power rankings:
How fitting was it that Michael Vick, the comeback player of the year, directed one of the greatest comebacks in recent NFL history?
Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com hands out Christmas gifts to every NFL team:
An electric shock collar for Michael Vick that goes off any time the quarterback speaks about wanting to own another dog in the future. This would serve as a painful reminder of how Vick should have felt when torturing animals for his own sadistic pleasure. I hope he has learned his lesson, but it’s much too soon for Vick to publicly talk about the desire for pet ownership again.
Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com has the Eagles fourth in his power rankings:
That was an incredible win over the host Giants last week, but you have to wonder if it masked major issues on defense. They lost starting FS Nate Allen for the season in that game and their pass rush isn't getting to the quarterback with the kind of regularity that we saw earlier in the season.
Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com says Reid is the NFL's coach of the year, and Vick is the league MVP:
I’m also asking MVP voters to consider this intangible: When the history of the 2010 season is written, which player and which team will get the largest chapter? It’s Vick and the Eagles. Andy Reid dumped his 11-year franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, on a division rival to make room for Kevin Kolb. The Eagles gave Kolb a fat new contract to lead the team. A couple of weeks into the season, Reid had the courage and instincts to bench Kolb in favor of the QB that had rotted in a prison cell for 18 months. This is a movie script people would laugh at. Andy Reid is coach of the year. And Michael Vick just might be the MVP.
Clark Judge and Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com debate which team should be more concerned about its defense - the Eagles or the Patriots? Judge says the Eagles:
It lost three starters the past two weeks, including middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, and, yeah, I know that replacement Jamar Chaney had another big game, leading the Eagles in tackles for the second straight week. But I also know what happened to the Eagles last season without Bradley, and it wasn't good. The team assures us he could return for the playoffs, and it can only hope. Because it just lost two key members (safety Nate Allen is the other) up the middle, and that's always a problem. Not to diminish the significance of what happened in New England, but, in the words of coach Denny Green, the Patriots are who we thought they were: A young, inexperienced defense that, frankly, isn't all that accomplished. The Eagles have injury issues, and injured players force inexperienced ones into the starting lineup -- which might be OK if this were Week Three. But it's not.
Prisco has the Eagles fifth in his power rankings:
That comeback against the Giants was some kind of special. Mike Vick was great in the fourth quarter. Philly needed it because its defense had a bad day.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock breaks down DeSean Jackson's big-play ability like only he can.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com writes that Vick and the Eagles are on a collision course with the Falcons:
Vick is one of the biggest stories of the year having gone from con to ex-con, to backup quarterback to MVP candidate. His civic service in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley shows maturity and, by all accounts, is sincere. Regardless of how people feel about Vick, there is no denying he is trying his best to be better. His journey could be one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. His possible return to Atlanta in the playoffs might be one of sports history's greatest journeys.
Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports has the Eagles fourth in his power rankings:
Why do I get the feeling that DeSean Jackson’s(notes) favorite movie character is Rod Tidwell?
ProFootballTalk.com has the Eagles third in its power rankings:
Could the first season after the McNabb era be the season when the Eagles finally win a Super Bowl?
Football Outsiders has the Eagles third in its rankings. The offense is second; defense is 11th and special teams 11th.
Football Outsiders says Vick had the second-best quarterback performance in Week 15, behind only Philip Rivers:
Vick's first half was one of his worst halves as a pro, even stretching back to the Falcons days. Facing the league's best pass defense, Vick dropped back 12 times and produced zero first downs. He was intercepted once and took two sacks, and while he picked up two first downs as a runner, he gained 24 yards on four carries. And then the second half happened. Vick produced 158 passing DYAR on 26 plays, with three touchdown passes, five first downs, and only one sack. He was far more impressive, though, as a runner. His 51.8 DYAR as a runner in the second half would be the fourth-highest total of any player over a whole game this week, and it came on just five carries. He picked up first downs on scrambles of 13, 22, 33, and 35 yards, and added a four-yard touchdown run on his other carry. While the improvements in Vick's accuracy as a passer have been remarkable and well-documented, it's amazing that Vick has retained so much of his natural speed as a runner. Taking what essentially amounts to three years off from full-time work undoubtedly helps, but Vick is 30 and he still makes other guys on the field look like they're in slow motion.
Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com takes issue with Jackson not running right into the end zone on the punt return:
Jackson is electrifying. But when he broke into the clear for the touchdown that would make this the first NFL game won by a punt return on the final play, he began waving the ball in the air at the G-Men 30-yard line even though he had already lost a fumble earlier in the quarter. Stop showboating! Dance after you score, not before. If Jackson loses the ball while showboating in the playoffs -- and once in high school and once in the NFL, Jackson has lost the ball while showboating on a long play -- he's going to look like an idiot.
And finally, don't forget to beat my colleagues Matt Mullin and Andrew O'Brien in our weekly FanDuel fantasy game. Makes picks, and win cash. It's that simple.
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