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Eagles News: Nick Foles is PFF’s highest graded quarterback in NFL playoff history

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/8/19.

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NFL: NFC Wild Card-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

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Nick Foles’ incredible postseason run continues in nail-biting win over the Bears - PFF
Foles’ latest installment of postseason excellence contributed to his career postseason grade, which now stands at 91.3 – the best mark among all quarterbacks in the PFF era with at least 100 dropbacks in the postseason; better than Aaron Rodgers (90.9), better than Russell Wilson (85.7) and better than Philip Rivers (83.9). It marks the incredible journey of Nick Foles in the playoffs, who has now graded above 75.0 in four of his five playoff games as a pro. For his career, Foles has been nothing short of miraculous in January and beyond, completing 125 of his 179 attempts for 1432 yards, 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He’s thrown nine big-time throws and had just two turnover-worthy plays, his 8.0 yards per attempt is the fifth-best career mark by a postseason quarterback in the PFF era, his 105.2 passer rating comes in second to Hall of Fame signal-caller Kurt Warner and his 77.3% adjusted completion percentage tops the list that also contains Drew Brees (74.1%), Peyton Manning (70.3%) and Tom Brady (71.6%).

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears: 16 winners, losers, and I don’t knows - BGN
The big winner of the night remains -- rightfully -- Ol’ Douglas. It’s easy to forget that last season, when Nick Foles was doing...well, exactly what Nick Foles is doing again, that the majority of the credit was not going to Nick. It was going to Doug: the Eagles’ were able to out-gameplan some venerable coaches in Dan Quinn, Mike Zimmer (lol), and Bill Belichick en route to their impossible Super Bowl victory. Foles lore was certainly growing, but it was Pederson -- a Coach of the Year snub -- who shined brightest on those stages. So as Episode Two: Attack of the Foles continues, it’s easy to begin pouring the credit on Nick for his second playoff run -- and he rightfully deserves some credit. But Doug Pederson’s offensive gameplanning around Foles’ limitations and strengths is nothing short of masterful; the defense always rises to the occasion when Foles is in the backfield; and in tight fourth-quarter moments, Pederson manages the clock and game script better than the opponent opposite him.

The Kist & Solak Show #66: Wild Card Film Review - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak have broken down the film and they *slams table* have the takes! Loaded coaches film review of the Eagles’ heart-stopping 16-15 win over the Bears! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Wild-Card Weekend: Double-Doink Misses, Grass-Green Stains and One Golden Grab - FMIA
Great question. I had an interesting conversation with someone very close to the Eagles situation last week. He said if he were in authority with the Eagles, he’d go to Foles and say, “You’re a different kind of guy. You almost quit football a couple of years ago because it wasn’t fun. Your family means everything. You’re so human. Maybe you should think about being a relief pitcher or part-time starter.” In other words, maybe Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson could convince Foles to be an Eagle for the next two or three years at maybe $15 million per, and let the chips fall where they may with Carson Wentz and his health and the starting job. I thought that was smart. Of all the wannabe starting QBs I’ve met over the years, I think Foles might rather be 1a or 1b in Philadelphia versus the starter on a team he really doesn’t trust to win big.

Sloppy Football - Iggles Blitz
Don’t throw it to them – Nick Foles has been great recently, but he threw a couple of bad picks. The first was a short pass to Wendell Smallwood. Bears LB Roquan Smith read the route and went for the ball. Smallwood was trying to catch it when Smith stole the ball away. Foles needed to put the ball more to the outside, away from the LB. The second pick was just terrible. Foles got pressure and rolled right. Instead of throwing the ball away, he forced it into heavy coverage in the endzone. There was one Eagle and half the Bears. To make matters worse, both picks came in scoring territory. You can’t give away points against a team like the Bears.

Destroying myths about eight 2018 NFL playoff teams in divisional round - ESPN
Let me be careful with what I’m about to say. I don’t think Foles is a better quarterback than Carson Wentz, in a vacuum. I don’t think the Eagles have a better shot of winning the Super Bowl with Foles at quarterback than they would with Wentz. I don’t think the Eagles should do anything that gets in the way of keeping Wentz as their quarterback for the next decade, even if the Eagles win a second consecutive Super Bowl with Foles under center. I do wonder, though, whether Foles was the better option of the two for this specific matchup against a terrifying Bears pass rush. Whether it’s the offensive line improving, the game plan building in extra protection, or Foles’ instincts (or most likely a combination of the three), he has done a better job of avoiding sacks than Wentz. And while they have roughly similar pressure rates since the start of 2017, and get the ball out about as fast as one another, Wentz has been sacked on 6.2 percent of his dropbacks; Foles is at 3.8 percent.

The Growing Legend of Nick Foles and the Plays That Explain the Wild-Card Round - The Ringer
As for Foles, this finish is just the latest plot twist in what must be the strangest career arc for any player in league history. The reigning Super Bowl MVP was far from perfect, finishing 25-for-40 for 266 yards, with two touchdowns, two picks, and a 77.7 rating, but he showed what’s become a trademark unflappability in crunch time, confidently steering the team’s offense down the field. The Eagles, who somehow clawed their way into the postseason despite sitting at 6-7 through 14 weeks, have hit their stride at exactly the right time—and seem to have a little bit of divine favor, or maybe magic, on their side. Their offensive line held Chicago’s fearsome pass-rush group at bay, the defense allowed just a single touchdown (forcing the Bears to kick three field goals deep in Philly territory), and Foles made a few big plays when his team needed him most. The Eagles aren’t the most complete team left standing, but it’s getting harder and harder to bet against them.

Eagle Eye: Quite Simply, The Eagles’ Defense Was Better -
Cox was once again a monster in this game. Whether he was dominating at the point of attack against the run or disrupting the quarterback in his pass drop, the All-Pro tackle was all over the field and consistently was making plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Not all of this shows up on the stat sheet as you can see in the video above. Cox was great against Chicago, and his presence will once again be needed this week against New Orleans. As a whole, I was impressed by the defensive line in this game. Did the Eagles rack up a half-dozen sacks and double-digit hits on Mitchell Trubisky? No, but they were extremely disciplined in their rush lanes. As I wrote last week, Trubisky is an athletic kid and a very willing runner. The Eagles had been burned by Deshaun Watson, Blake Bortles, Marcus Mariota, and the like as runners this year, so keeping Trubisky from beating them with his legs was paramount. Trubisky carried three times for 9 yards.

Monday Morning Digest, Wild-Card Edition: Can Weekend’s Winners Keep Winning? - B/R
Stop Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, and you stop the Saints offense. The Saints lack a third weapon in their passing game. Ted Ginn Jr., just back from injury, is an aging deep threat with a long history of dropping easy touchdowns. Rookie Tre’Quan Smith had 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles in Week 11, when all of their cornerbacks were hurt, but has six catches for 56 yards and one TD in five games since. Ben Watson, the 38-year-old tight end, has nine catches for 108 yards and no TDs in the last eight weeks. Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham will be tasked with containing Kamara, who caught a 37-yard touchdown pass against the Eagles in the last meeting. Hicks and Bradham are solid in coverage, but Kamara is one of the league’s toughest assignments. Malcolm Jenkins may also draw Kamara at times, but the Saints spent the last game making the Eagles Pro Bowler and spiritual leader look silly by forcing him to be in three places at once. Rasul Douglas and converted safety/rising star Avonte Maddox are both likely to have long days against Thomas. But the lack of secondary Saints targets should allow the Eagles to roll coverage (yep, that’s another task for Jenkins) and force Drew Brees to look elsewhere.

The Eagles, Chargers, Cowboys and Colts Advance—and Look Dangerous - MMQB
Does that go even for a Saints team that destroyed the Eagles, 48-7, on Nov. 18? “We understand the task that’s coming up, and it’s gonna be a very tough one, against a tough opponent that’s playing some top-level football,” Tate said. “But we feel like we can play with anyone, as long as we’re doing our job the best we can, all 11 men playing collectively. We’re gonna go out there and try to handle business. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but now that we got into the tournament, you gotta deal with us.” And dealing with them, as the Bears would tell you this morning, is no picnic.

Saints are going to find a very different Eagles team this time - NBCSP
What’s changed? Since that 48-7 loss, Nick Foles has galvanized the offense, Darren Sproles has returned along with his playmaking ability, young defensive backs Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas have blossomed and reshaped the secondary, Michael Bennett has emerged as a big-time pass rusher and Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce and Jason Peters have all gotten healthy. And Doug Pederson has done a remarkable job keeping the thing on the rails when things got a little precarious there. “We just kept believing,” Jenkins said. “At this point, why wouldn’t you? We’re a team, man, that’s just resilient. We continue to fight and do whatever we can do, whatever’s in our power, and then sometimes the ball rolls in our direction, and we’ll keep riding that. We have full faith in each other. We’ve been through too much not to believe.”

Ranking the NFL’s divisional round playoff matchups - The Athletic
So what do we think now? New Orleans still might be the best team in the NFC, but they are certainly fallible. What we’ve learned in the two months since that blowout at the Superdome is that the Saints’ offense has some vulnerabilities, particularly at wide receiver, where Mike Thomas can’t do everything. But we’ve also learned that their defense might be pretty good, too. Not counting Week 17, when many Saints starters rested for the playoffs, New Orleans allowed just one of seven opponents to score more than 20 points. But it’s perception and reality for the Eagles that have changed most in the past two months. Now, we look at the Eagles as a scary playoff team with some sort of uncanny Nick Foles magic that conjures memories of last year’s Super Bowl run.

Clutch Encounters: Wild Card - Football Outsiders
After last season’s run, Foles was four attempts shy of qualifying for the highest passing DVOA in the playoffs (56.6%) since 1986. He’ll be featured more prominently in our next update of the playoff stats, but Foles added to his hard-to-believe resume with another playoff game-winning drive. Foles is the fourth active quarterback to have at least a .500 record (12-12) at game-winning drive opportunities. Consider the playoff DVOA, the two championship games last year, the franchise-record 471 passing yards in Week 16, and the 25 consecutive completions (tied the single-game record) in Week 17, and Foles is making history in a Doug Pederson offense in which he only has 12 relevant appearances. Foles has also been the quarterback the last three times the Eagles have won a game after trailing by at least four points in the final five minutes, but this was the first time it happened since 2014 against the Colts.

Bears vs. Eagles: Notes from a heartbreaking 16-15 loss - Windy City Gridiron
Eddie Jackson is an incredibly important part of the Bears’ defense, and if anybody says otherwise, show them this game. Jackson was active but rarely played due to injury, and his range and instincts were sorely missed on Sunday. Nick Foles had a very underwhelming game, making several ill-advised throws throughout the game that a player like Jackson could have picked off. Nonetheless, the Bears were still able to pick Foles off twice, with Adrian Amos and Roquan Smith coming through with turnovers.

The “Best of” Farzetta & Tra in the morning 1-7-19 - 97.5 The Fanatic
It’s an Eagles playoff victory Monday & the guys were excited this morning as it’s off to New Orleans next! They spoke with former Eagles WR Jason Avant & Bleeding Green Nations Brandon Lee Gowton!

Giants news, 1/7: Nick Foles a Giant? Is that a realistic possibility? - Big Blue View
Perhaps the NFC East isn’t so bad after all. Looked down upon as a division filled mediocrity this season, the NFC East now has two of the four NFC teams still in the playoffs. That, of course, is because the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles each won over the weekend. You can look at those victories as a good thing because they represented the division. You can also look at them as a bad thing because the Cowboys and Eagles again showed what the Giants are up against as they try to work their way back into the ranks of the perennial contenders. [BLG Note: I’ll never understand “division pride” being a thing.]

Is the Cowboys defense good enough to stop the Rams? - SB Nation
That defense is a big reason the Cowboys could very well force their way to the NFC Championship after starting off the season 3-5 through their first eight games. All they have to do is beat the Rams on Saturday. It won’t be easy. The Rams were one of the best teams in football this season, going 13-3 and winning the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Los Angeles owns both one of the best passing offenses in the game (fifth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric) and arguably the top rushing offense in the game (first in DVOA). Los Angeles and Dallas will feature one of the things that we love during the postseason: a great offense taking on a great defense. So which one has the advantage?


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