January 22, 2016 |
BRING ON the snow and bring on the conference championship games. Sunday's doubleheader is typically fascinating. Four great quarterbacks. All sorts of talented wide receivers. Denver's great defense. Carolina's great linebackers. Just hope the zebras don't get in the way. There are enough story lines in these games for a dozen daytime soap operas. Here are just a few: Patriots (13-4) at Broncos (13-4) Seeds: Patriots, AFC-2; Broncos, AFC-1. When: Sunday, 3:05 p.m. TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn)
January 17, 2016 |
AS WE WAIT to see how new Eagles coach Doug Pederson's Chiefs fare in Saturday's AFC divisional matchup against the Patriots, we can kill some of the time by pointing out that Andy Reid's assistants have outperformed Bill Belichick's assistants when they've moved on to head-coaching gigs. And, really, by pointing this out, all we are doing is killing time. In general, the branches off a coaching tree struggle to blossom. That because coaches in general tend to fail, which is why NFL owners hire new ones every year.
December 11, 2015 |
EAGLES (+1) over Bills "Uncle!!!" . . . Remember when you were arm wrestling back in the day and cried that to admit defeat? Kinda like tapping out in a UFC mixed martial arts match. Not ashamed to admit that Kelly 's Heroes have given me agita all season long, and predicting the outcome of their games is about as easy as finding a ticket for Bruce Springsteen 's upcoming tour. They come off two of the ugliest games in NFL history (losing by a combined total of 90-31)
December 8, 2015 |
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - With his team in the midst of a monstrous free fall that would have rendered the season meaningless in a more competent division, Chip Kelly tried something a little different during the Eagles' Saturday night meeting at the team hotel in Providence, R.I. And given the Eagles' stunning 35-28 victory over the Patriots on Sunday, you'd have to say it worked. The head coach's intention was to restore confidence and remind his players that they have the ability to win at a time when the season was on the brink of being lost.
December 8, 2015 |
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The scoreboard decides genius and makes its final judgment over years and decades, not days and weeks. It always looks a lot smarter to win than to lose. Time has already made a call on New England coach Bill Belichick, who has built a football edifice that, even if it fell right now, would still be ranked among the most enduring in NFL history. Chip Kelly? Well, the jury is sequestered and has asked for reams of additional evidence. Get back to us on that one. But if a football analyst from any era took a hard look at the Sunday game between the Patriots and the Eagles, it would be really difficult to determine which guy is the genius and which is considered several answers short of a good SAT score.
December 7, 2015 |
In his three seasons as Eagles coach, Chip Kelly has never benched a starter based solely upon performance. He has released or traded only three players in-season never for them to return. He is loyal - some may say to a fault. There is a school of thought that coaches, in order the keep players on their toes and to hold them accountable for poor play, should at pivotal times use benchings or cuts to send a message. Players, the theory goes, perform at their best when motivated by fear, and there is perhaps no greater fear than being deprived of playing in the NFL. While it is difficult to say for certain whether the 4-7 Eagles are playing with or without that kind of motivation, they sure haven't looked like an inspired team over the last three weeks.
December 4, 2015 |
WHEN SAM BRADFORD walked off the field, carrying his left arm at an awkward angle, the Eagles were 4-4, and were holding a 16-13 third-quarter lead over the visiting Miami Dolphins. This week, Bradford will get back behind the wheel and try to drive the team out of a 4-7 ditch, at the 10-1 New England Patriots. The Eagles last won at New England in 1987. So. Welcome back! "Obviously, the last two weeks have been tough, but I think our effort and energy at practice this week has been great . . . It would be easy for us to hang our heads and get down and go through the motions out there, but that hasn't been the case at all," said Bradford, who told reporters he expects to play this week, barring any sort of setback.
November 13, 2015 |
EAGLES (-6) over Dolphins Nailed the Birds last week, and Double V is now on a 4-0 run with the Green Machine. Looking for "one for the thumb," so I gotta try the Eagles against this school of Fish that have no idea which way they are swimming. After Miami fired Joe Philbin and replaced him with Dan Campbell , the Dolphins posted two "so what" wins, beating the Titans (2-6) without Marcus Mariota , and the Texans (3-5), who just stink. Then the Fish reverted back to their losing ways, getting smoked by the Patriots (36-7)
September 10, 2015 |
There is a reason that most NFL home teams choose the sideline with its back to the press box and coaching boxes. There is a reason coaches hold the play chart in front of their faces when calling plays or coverages. There is a reason locker rooms are guarded and practice facilities are inspected for hidden cameras and hotel trash cans are emptied lest a morsel of information fall into the wrong hands. The reason is not because Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have turned the league into a cult of cheaters.
June 14, 2015 |
I DON'T THINK releasing Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis dooms the Eagles this season. I don't think any of the stuff Chip Kelly has done since taking over personnel control in January necessarily dooms the Eagles this season, or beyond. I still think there's a real good chance the guy is smarter than all of us. But I do think we'll look back someday on all this restructuring and we'll either cite it as the time when "the Kelly way" turned the franchise toward championship contention, or we will cite this offseason as the beginning of the end, when Kelly's inflexibility irreparably marred his genius and started him on the path back to college coaching.