November 29, 2017
With the best record in the NFL, you can bet there are a lot of people out there talking about the Eagles, from the play of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz to their historically good run defense.
On Monday, the best (basketball) player in the world weighed in on Wentz, calling him his favorite player in the league right now. That's high praise, especially considering the source – a Cowboys fan.
Wentz responded on Wednesday, saying he was humbled by the comments (despite LeBron's rooting interests):
But with two tough games out west on deck, Wentz and the Eagles are about to face their most difficult test of the season, so it will be interesting to see if everyone is still flying with the Birds.
In the meantime, here's a look at what they're currently saying about the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles:
Brandon took a look at a few unexpected surprises for the Eagles this season. And it all starts at the top...
Doug Pederson — Pederson was ranked as THE worst coach in the NFL after being hired in 2016. Prior to this season, a former NFL general manager called him the least qualified head coach in the last 30 years of the NFL. Pederson has proved everyone wrong by becoming a legitimate Coach of the Year candidate and arguably one of the better play-callers in the league. [bleedinggreennation.com]
Speaking of Doug, Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports has Pederson third for Coach of the Year, behind Bill Belichek and Rams coach Sean McVay, in his updated awards projections. But the real race here is the one for MVP, where he has Wentz finishing second to Tom Brady.
Wentz is a great story and having a marvelous season. Yet, the only reason to vote for Wentz at this point would be because you’re bored of the obvious pick. That’s why Michael Jordan didn’t win more NBA MVPs. Brady is the MVP at this point. Brady has gotten an MVP vote each of the last four years, but hasn’t won an MVP since his second award in 2010. It would be surprising if this wasn’t his third MVP season, though there’s still time for Wentz or someone else to catch him. [sports.yahoo.com]
Wentz is currently leading his aforementioned MVP competition in Pro Bowl fan voting...
... and Patriots fans aren't taking it well.
Perhaps fans have grown so accustomed to seeing Brady do well that it’s always expected. Maybe he’ll never truly get the credit he deserves because he’s been doing it for so long. Nearly a year after he completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and established himself as the greatest quarterback of all time, people are ready to move to something new. [fanragsports.com]
Jordy does have a point, however. Brady has been really good. That being said, he's leading all the players in his conference, so I'm not really sure why he thinks everyone is ready to move on. Furthermore, this is fan voting, and there's no way you can tell me a 40-year-old Tom Brady is more exciting to watch then Wentz.
Even in his physical prime, Brady was nowhere near the type of mobile threat that Wentz is in only his second year.
It isn’t so much that Carson Wentz can scramble. Lots of quarterbacks can scramble. But Wentz seems to almost draw the defender into him, wait until contact is imminent, and then use quickness or leverage or both to pry himself free, sending the pursuer flying past. The latest and perhaps most amazing demonstration came Sunday when Wentz tried to throw a screen to his left, saw Chicago was all over it, somehow sensed blitzer Cre’Von LeBlanc coming at him from the right and spun like a bullfighter, then quickly launched into a full sprint and easily picked up an Eagles first down with a 16-yard run on third-and-9.
“I knew it was a cover zero and an all-out blitz. I thought our screen would be open, but the guy peeled off with him,” Wentz said afterward. “From there, instincts just took over, and I was fortunate enough to make a play.” [philly.com]
So, yeah – Brady may still be killing it at 40, but let's see him do this:
Eagles fans aren't the only ones paying close attention to what their team is doing. And you can bet that fans in Minnesota (as well as New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and the Carolinas) will be tuning in on Sunday night as Wentz and Co. face a team with a winning record for the first time since Week 6.
They’re a league-best 10-1 with a nine-game winning streak. But they’re 1-1 against teams that have a winning record heading into Week 13. Their signature victory is a 28-23 win at Carolina, which has lost two of five home games.
The other top six teams in the NFC and their records against teams with a winning record are: Vikings (4-2), Panthers (4-2), Saints (3-3), Rams (2-2) and Falcons (2-3)....
If the Eagles lose two straight, they’ll still be good. And they might not even lose the NFC’s top seed considering the Vikings have their own turbulence to maneuver in back-to-back games in Atlanta and Carolina.
But a 10-3 Eagles team will create a feeding frenzy of doubt because it would be 0-2 in December and 1-3 against teams with a winning record. [startribune.com]
At least, that's been the case for Jim Schwartz's top-ranked run defense. Here's a few of Roob's weekly stats highlighting just how good they've been through their first 11 games.
• The Bears' six rushing yards are the fewest the Eagles have allowed in a game in 71 years - since they held the Boston Yanks to minus-26 rushing yards in a 40-14 win on Dec. 8, 1946.
• The six yards were the Bears' fewest in 65 years - since they had one in a 31-7 loss to the Rams at L.A. Coliseum on Oct. 26, 1952.
• The Eagles have allowed 716 rushing yards so far this year, the seventh fewest in NFL history by any team after 11 games. [nbcphiladelphia.com]
The Birds won't be playing back-to-back primetime games out West.
After the Baltimore Ravens topped the Houston Texans on Monday night, the league has decided to leave Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in NBC's prime-time window and leave the Eagles and Rams at 4:25 eastern on FOX.
In other words, both Eagles vs. Rams as well as Steelers vs. Ravens will be played as originally scheduled. [nj.com]
This is the first time I've seen this video, but it was apparently filmed prior to the Eagles Week 11 game against the Cowboys.
Before the game in a Walmart in Arlington, Texas, an Eagles fan named James started dancing in the Cowboys' fan section. He is joined by another Eagles fan, Lori Davis.
The store is across the street from AT&T Stadium, where the Eagles would eventually beat the Cowboys 37-9.
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