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The Linc - Jeff Lurie sees greatness in Chip Kelly

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/1/13.

Rich Schultz

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Let's get to the links...

Week 9 NFL picks - JimmyK,
I'm not sure anyone really has a good feel for this game. That includes Vegas, whose lines on this game are all over the map. Some have the Eagles favored by 2.5, some have the Raiders favored by 2.5, and there a couple of 'Pick'ems' thrown in. For me, the logic is pretty simple. The Eagles need to show that they're not the awful football team they've been over the last two weeks before I'll trust them.

Fixing Foles - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
Nick Foles will be the starting QB on Sunday in Oakland. That’s good news to me. Nick looked so good vs Tampa. And so bad vs Dallas. Will the real Nick Foles please stand up… He needs to show that he can bounce back from a really awful game. This game won’t offer definitive proof of anything, but Sunday’s game will give us a big hint about Foles future. A good showing will give us hope that the Dallas performance was a weird anomaly. A mediocre showing will leave us arguing what to make of him. A bad showing will push people into writing Foles starting QB obituary.

All-22: D-Line Showing Progress - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
Billy Davis and his staff are employing the same tactics they used early in the season, but the results have been vastly different. The Eagles allowed 34.5 points per game in the first month of the season. In the last four weeks, that number is down to 18.3. Granted, strength of opponent has played a major factor, and there’s still a long way to go, but the improvements are showing up on tape, and it starts up front with the defensive line.

Kelly: Raiders Defense Poses Challenge - Alex Smith,
The Raiders rank 10th in the NFL in total yards allowed per game and 12th in points allowed per game, but their most impressive element has been their run defense. Oakland has held opponents to an average of 89.9 yards per game and they have not allowed a single run of over 19 yards this season. As LeSean McCoy looks to get back on track following two consecutive difficult games, Kelly understands that facing Oakland's defense will be no easy task.

Jury still out on Eagles' free-agent signings - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
The Eagles, burned by past mistakes, clearly wanted to avoid signing any big-name free agents. So they sprinkled their money around, signing second- and third-tier talents, mostly on defense. Some had an extensive history of injuries, suggesting they were merely stopgaps as the defense transitioned from a 4-3 front to a 3-4.

NFL Trades That Should Have Happened - Bill Barnwell, Grantland
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Destination: Eagles
It seems more likely that the Cardinals will deal Fitzgerald after the season, but if they were going to deal him now, the most obvious landing point would be Carolina or Philadelphia. I already have somebody in mind for the Panthers, so I'm sending Fitzgerald back to Pennsylvania, where he played his college ball a few hours away in Pittsburgh. The Eagles actually have just less than $19 million available on their cap this year and should have been able to fit Fitzgerald in, and it would have given them the receiver they sorely need to beat man coverage across from DeSean Jackson (albeit at a heavy price). The personnel fit makes a bit of sense, but it's hard to imagine the two teams agreeing on a price; nobody's going to give up a premium pick for Fitzgerald given his age and salary, and the Cardinals would struggle to deal their long-time face of the franchise without getting a notable pick in return.

Lurie sees Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson in Kelly - Geoff Mosher, CSN Philly
He harbors no concern that Kelly will follow in the footsteps of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino, looking for the quickest escape route back to college when perfection isn’t achieved from the start. "He’s so committed," Lurie said. "One of the things with him is, you see it, through adversity he loves the challenge of fixing things and making it great. He loves the challenge that teams have stopped his offense a couple of times. He doesn’t get deflated. You need that.

NFC East: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Week 8 - FanSpeak
When Matt Barkley was 10 years old he did not dream that his NFL career would start the way it has. Barkley hasn’t started an NFL game yet, but he has thrown 46 NFL passes, four of which have been intercepted. In Barkley’s two appearances he has yet to throw a touchdown and has compiled an awful 42.6 passer rating. The Eagles are desperately hoping either Nick Foles or Barkley can step because of Vick’s lingering hamstring injury that now appears more serious than ever. To be successful in the NFL a team needs at least a smart mistake free quarterback (Alex Smith) and with Foles and Barkley manning the ship for awhile there is very little reason to think the Eagles can be successful.

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