Friday, July 31, 2015

What they're saying about the Eagles

Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles as they prepare for Sunday's matchup against the Packers.

What they're saying about the Eagles

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As promised, What they're saying about the Eagles turns into a nightly feature for playoff week.

Click here if you missed Monday night's version.

And earlier today, I posted on Sean McDermott's gameplan against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

And now Tuesday night's roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds as they prepare to host the Packers Sunday afternoon:

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ESPN.com has the Eagles seventh in its final regular-season power rankings:

The Eagles got younger and better with some great coaching from Andy Reid.

John Clayton of ESPN.com released his QB rankings. He's got Michael Vick eighth overall behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan:

Vick revamped his game by becoming every bit as dangerous throwing from the pocket as he was running out of it. He was the story of the year in the NFL.

Clayton also ranks Kevin Kolb on his list at No. 26:

If Kevin Kolb is supposed to be the next Matt Schaub, it's appropriate that Michael Vick, whom Schaub backed up in Atlanta, would take away his chance of being a starter. He's accurate and competitive. To get him in a trade, it might cost a team at least first- and third-round choices.

By the way, no Eagle made Clayton's All-Pro team.

FoxSports.com ranks the Eagles ninth out of 12 playoff teams:

The Eagles are very banged up, so coach Andy Reid was correct in his decision to rest most of Philadelphia's starters on Sunday. The Eagles had a great game plan to limit Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the teams' first meeting this season, but Philly has lost some key defensive players since that Week 1 matchup.

Adam Schein of FoxSports.com doesn't think the Eagles got a very good matchup in the first round:

I love Andy Reid and always respect Philly’s chances, but the Eagles have a lot of issues, whether it is the offensive line or the overall defense. And I think they are running into a buzz saw with a deep and talented and well-rounded Packers team that is making plays on defense and special teams to go along with its outstanding passing attack, led by Aaron Rodgers. Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams match up well with the Eagles' receivers, and Dom Capers’ blitzing defense can rattle Vick.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles eighth in his power rankings:

It's all about Michael Vick. How healthy will he be? The offense is far different without him.

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com wonders whether the Packers can advance since they're one-dimensional on offense:

The Packers know they can beat Philadelphia. They've done it once before. But they must wonder how they can sustain a three-week run through the playoffs without Rodgers at his peak each week. As I said, I don't worry about their defense. It allowed the fewest points in the NFC and was second only to Pittsburgh in the NFL. Plus, only once in the past nine games did it allow more than 20 points, and that was a 31-27 loss at New England.

But the Packers go only as far as Rodgers can carry them, and while he produced seven games with passer ratings of 100 or more this season, only two were on the road. But let's forget about away games for the moment. Let's look at the bigger picture: Aaron Rodgers hasn't won a playoff game in his career, and now he must because, like it or not, now he is the Green Bay Packers offense.

Michael Lombardi of NFL Network thinks the Eagles are one of the teams that can get hot in the playoffs:

The Birds, coming off their remarkable win against the Giants looked Super, but the horrible loss at home to the Vikings created doubt about their ability to get to the big game. The Eagles are explosive offensively and can score quickly behind the arm and legs of Michael Vick. Still, their offensive line is a mess and the defense has had to deal with too many injuries.

The Eagles are a banged-up team and that might keep them from advancing past the first round. Philadelphia relies on the big play and when its opponent makes the offense work the ball down the field, jams the receivers and disrupts the passing game, the Eagles struggle to be effective. With Vick, the Eagles are a potential Super Bowl team, but he has to stay healthy and they need their defense at its best.

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post provides five things to watch on Sunday:

Philly will use Jackson in motion to get that free release off of the line of scrimmage. Move to the stack look (immediate Hi-Lo alert), the bunch alignment and across the formation so the Eagles’ WR doesn’t have to work at the line vs. Charles Woodson or Tramon Williams. There will be plenty of movement and shifting from the Eagles' offense to see what the Packers are playing from a coverage standpoint and to get Jackson open.


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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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