The Week 11 NFC East Champions: The Philadelphia Eagles
OK, so having sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East after Week 11 means squadoosh. Still, for a team that has mostly overachieved in terms of preseason expectations, it's OK to enjoy the following sight heading into the bye week:
Enormously underrated free agent pickup: Donnie Jones
In 2012, the Eagles were brutal when they punted near FG range. On their 12 closest punts to the opponent's end zone, which were all at least at the Eagles' 48 yard line or closer, the opponent's average starting field position was the 17.8 yard line. Four of those punts went for touchbacks, three of them were actually outside the 20, and only one measly punt pinned their opponent inside the 10 (it was at the 9). That's absolutely awful.
On the season, Donnie Jones has pinned Eagles opponents inside the 9 a total of 9 times:
Jones' monster 70 yard punt near the end of the game that pinned the Redskins at the 4 was absolutely huge. "I thought that punt was huge for us," said Chip Kelly. I just said it was huge, Chip. Stop copying me.
The Boy King Award: Brandon Boykin
Many of the above Donnie Jones punts downed inside the 9 were partly because of the stellar play of Brandon Boykin as the gunner on the punt coverage team. I'm not going to pretend that I've scouted gunners across the NFL, but Boykin may very well be the best in the game at it. And it's something he takes seriously. He watches tape every week of the player(s) trying to block him. "That's something that (special teams) Coach Fipp does a great job of, said Boykin, "preparing us through the week, letting us know who's going to be on us, and what they like to do."
As the slot corner, Boykin picked off his 4th pass of the season, sealing the game.
The Boy King can do no wrong.
The Biggest Liar Award: Jason Peters
After the Eagles' Week 1 win in Washington, Jason Peters told me that LeSean McCoy was going to rush for 1,000 yards by Week 10. He lied. It took him until Week 11. I'll never trust you again, Jason.
The Shutdown Corner Award: Fletcher Cox
Fletcher Cox caught a ball out of the air that was ruled a fumble recovery, but Cox showed the ball hawking skills of Deion Sanders on the play. He later almost had another pick.
"If he'd have caught that second interception, I might have moved him to safety," said defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
Memo to NFL QBs: Don't be throwing your balls anywhere near Cox Island.
The Heal 'Em Up Award: Injured Eagles players
And there are suddenly a lot of them. The Eagles head into a well-deserved bye week, which comes at a great time late in the season. Get well soon.
Worst Slider Ever Award: Nick Foles
This is Nick Foles sliding:
"I think it is smart that I learn how to slide and do it a little more gracefully," said Foles. Nonsense, Nick. You be you.
Bonus award! The second worst slider award: Chad Durbin
Bend But Don't Break Award: The Eagles' D
In the last 4 games, Eagles opponents have converted 2 of 12 red zone opportunities:
Best Hat Wearer: Connor Barwin
Barwin rocked RG3 (via The Big Lead):
"We ask a lot of him and he wears a lot of different hats for us," said defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
The Grossest Sound in the World Award: Eagles fans
After Brandon Boykin intercepted RG3 to seal the win, there was an audible sound of 60,000+ sphincters unclenching simultaneously at Lincoln Financial Field. I'm going to have nightmares tonight.