Donovan McNabb fell out of favor in Philadelphia in large part because he could not lead the Eagles back from deficits on a consistent basis. That’s why fans have in part taken to Michael Vick, and now Nick Foles, because of their demonstrated ability - in limited samples - to engineer a late-game comeback.
Of course, as we saw with Vick, these rousing comebacks are not the sole indicator of a quarterback’s ability to carry a franchise for years. Much more is at play, and though Foles’ ability to lead the Eagles on two touchdown drives in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter was impressive, it certainly doesn’t mean he’s The Next One. It just means he’s not Mike McMahon. Which is something to be proud of in its own right.
Here’s what they’re saying about a team that has not lost since December 2:
From the Philly media
Foles’ 381-yard effort against the Buccaneers was even better than the numbers indicate, Ray Didinger writes after doing the film study. [CSNPhilly.com]
Jason Avant said he’s not impressed by his one-handed catch Sunday. Things he’s also not impressed by: modern medicine, the Grand Canyon, McKayla Maroney’s silver medal. [NJ.com]
Vick and LeSean McCoy, both recovering from concussions, returned to practice but are out for Thursday’s game. [Eagles 24/7]
This article asks if Andy Reid could possibly return if he wins out. It then runs down all the reasons and/or excuses Jeffrey Lurie could use to argue for bringing Reid back, and then tears them down with a single line: “All that said, the city might riot if Lurie doesn’t part ways with Reid.” [CBS Philly]
Yeah, Tampa Bay’s pass defense is the worst in the league, but that doesn’t mean you should consider Foles the second coming of Bobby Hoying. [The 700 Level]
Speaking of Hoying, he’s on Twitter (@BobbyHoying) and sees all the jokes you’re making about him.
From the “Nnamdi Asomugha can’t do anything right” files: Jeremy Maclin hurt his groin while celebrating Sunday’s game-winning touchdown after, you guessed it, Asomugha jumped on him. Maclin should play against the Bengals. [Eagles 24/7]
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is being considered for the Temple head coaching job. Did they ask Juan Castillo first? [CSNPhilly.com]
Mychal Kendricks moved from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker against Tampa Bay. The result? His best game since September. [Bleeding Green Nation]
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was almost the Eagles’ defensive coordinator instead of Jim Johnson when Reid was hired. [Delco Times]
Let’s watch Foles’ touchdown run against the Bucs - in slow motion. [Zoo With Roy]
From the national media
Peter King doesn’t want to sound like he’s objective, but he was happy to see the celebration on the Eagles’ sideline after their comeback win:
“I think -- and I don't care how much of an Eagles homer this makes me sound like -- I was happy to see the delight on the Philadelphia sideline as the seconds ticked off on the win in Tampa. That's not an eight-game-losing-streak team, and it doesn't mean Andy Reid is suddenly a lousy coach. It's football. And it's good to see the seeds planted with a young quarterback like Nick Foles bear fruit -- he improvised on the winning drive, inventing a fourth-down-conversion pass in the huddle.” [SI.com]
The Eagles are projected to pick high enough in the draft that you don’t have to purchase ESPN Insider to find out who Todd McShay thinks they will take. In his first mock draft, McShay has the Birds drafting offensive tackle Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. Oh boy, that’ll be fun. [ESPN]
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal says Foles had the best performance of a rookie quarterback in Week 14:
“Foles' performance had some Andrew Luck-like characteristics. He was absolutely hammered by the Tampa pass rush, but kept firing. He showed terrific pocket movement to keep plays going. He made a number of "wow" throws on plays that looked over, especially on third down. He even scrambled for two key first downs and a touchdown. Foles had more passing yards (381) than the team had total yards. Think about that.” [NFL.com]
Evan Mathis, Fletcher Cox and DeMeco Ryans represent the Eagles on Dan Graziano’s All-NFC East team. [ESPN]
Foles gave the Eagles their best bit of news in a long, lost season with his two late touchdowns against Tampa Bay. [SI.com]
Where could Vick end up next season? [Football Nation]
From the Cincinnati media
Rookie quarterbacks have done well against the Bengals:
“In a statistic that will likely surprise you, the Cincinnati defense has performed better against veteran quarterbacks than rookie ones this season. Rookie quarterbacks have a passer rating of 98.5 in four starts against the Bengals while veteran quarterbacks have produced a 79.5 rating in nine starts.
Rookie quarterbacks have completed 64.2 percent of their throws against Cincinnati this season for an average of 249.2 yards per game. They have thrown five touchdowns and one interception.” [ESPN]
If anyone understands what the Eagles are going through this season, it’s the Bengals. [Dayton Daily News]
A win tonight is a necessity if the Bengals are going to reach the playoffs for the second straight year. [International Business Times]
The Bengals will look for a quick start against the Eagles. [Dayton Daily News]
Here’s where the Eagles ranked in polls of varying importance: