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The Linc - Don't Doubt Chip Kelly

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/11/2013.

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S

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Let's get to the links...

College Boy - Dave Mangels, SouthernPhilly
When Chip Kelly was hired there were many writers and analysts who were immediately dismissive he would succeed in the NFL or that his demolishing of the Redskins to start the season was basically a fad. Healthy skepticism is one thing, close minded "hot takes" are another. Kelly’s proven them wrong immediately. After every Eagles win, fans take to Twitter to retweet those who were hilariously wrong. But it can be a taxing exercise having to find those tweets you’ve favorited from over the summer or searching and wading through the ever growing number of ironic tweets that say similar things to what some people actually believe. Now you don’t have to. For your bookmarking pleasure, I have compiled (and will continue to add to) a cornucopia of funny then, hilarious now tweets by media members who think they know everything when they so clearly know so little. You’re welcome.

Statistically, the Eagles' key players on offense match up with the best over the last 30 years - JimmyK,
When you think of the best offenses over the last 30 years, you think of the 49ers dynasties of the late 80's led by Joe Montana, or Steve Young in the 90's. If you're a little older, maybe you think of the 1984 Dolphins, or if you're a little younger, the 2007 Patriots that went 16-0 in the regular season. Or if you're a bandwagon Cowboy fan, perhaps you think of the Aikman-Smith-Irvin trio in Dallas in the mid-90's. Statistically, when you look at the numbers that the Eagles' skill players are putting up, they compare quite favorably to the best offenses over the last 30 years. Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Riley Cooper form a QB-RB-WR1-WR2 combo that is doing amazing things this season.

Fool’s Gold? - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
I’ve mentioned the Skins 2012 season as fool’s gold in some recent posts. During the offseason, Jimmy Bama wrote about how some luck was involved in their 7-game win streak. A couple of people have wondered if the Eagles could be in a similar situation this year. First, I do appreciate the line of thinking. I’m loving the fact the Eagles are winning right now, but I have no problem with trying to figure out how much of this is good football and how much is luck. I’ll enjoy the winning no matter what, but I am curious about the future. I think the Eagles are much different than the Skins. Let’s take a look at the 2 situations.

All-22: How Foles, Celek Iced the Game - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
With two minutes left in Sunday’s game, Chip Kelly put the decision-making power in Nick Foles’ hands. The offense had called 14 straight run plays. But after Bryce Brown got dropped for a 2-yard loss, the Eagles faced a 4th-and-12. They had the game in hand (up 34-20), but a turnover on downs would have given the Lions at least a slim chance of scoring, kicking an onside kick and scoring again. The call, like many others in the Eagles’ playbook, gave the quarterback options. He would have to read a key defender and then make a decision post-snap.

This Season Is Truly A Team Effort - Dan Klausner,
In a sport where mostly everyone wants the ball, blocking, especially by players at the so-called skill positions, has become an unappreciated and lost art. Not so for Kelly’s Eagles. Far too often last season, receivers were completely disinterested in blocking downfield and hindered running back LeSean McCoy from breaking huge gains. At Oregon, Kelly had a very simple policy for his receivers -- if they didn’t block, they weren’t going to get the ball either. These Eagles receivers need no such impetus. They love blocking and do it regardless of whether or not they are targeted in the pass game.

Running game reborn in Kelly's offense - Mike Sielski, Inqurier
At their current pace, the Eagles would finish the regular season with 513 rushing attempts. That would be their most in any season since they had 516 in 1992 - when they had Herschel Walker and Heath Sherman at tailback, when they had Randall Cunningham at quarterback, and when NFL offenses on the whole were more run-oriented than they are today. They lead the league in rushing yards (2,061) and yards per attempt (4.9) and are second in attempts (417), just two behind the Seattle Seahawks. They already have 16 rushing plays this season that have gone for 20 yards or more, the second-most in the NFL. They had 14 all of last year and 19 in 2011 and in 2010, thanks in large part to Vick's ability to improvise.

Eagles grades vs. Lions: Game won in trenches - Geoff Mosher, CSN Philly
It took them one half to weather the inclement weather, but once they did, the Eagles unleashed a storm on the visiting Lions. Their win, like most, was decided in the trenches. The Eagles were stout against the run and put persistent pressure on Matthew Stafford. On the other side, the offensive line made its mission to get bodies on Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley and clear lanes for LeSean McCoy, who turned in a superstar game. Win the trench battles, win the game. Here are my positional grades for the Eagles from their 34-20 win over the Lions.

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