Eagles Embarrassing Loss At Minnesota
After winning 5 straight games, the NFC East leading Eagles (as predicted by me) were embarrassed as they lost 48-30 slaughter by Matt Cassel and the banged-up Vikings. Coming into week 15 many thought with their last three coming against the league’s worst defenses in the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys (Philadelphia-30th, Minnesota-31st, Dallas-32nd) that the rest of the season for the Eagles would be a cakewalk, however with Minnesota’s win last Sunday, the Eagles learned the hard way that there is still a lot more football to play. What surprised me most about the Eagles’ loss Sunday was not the fact that their defense got blown up for 48 points (that I could have predicted), it was the fact that LeSean McCoy, arguably the league’s best running back, was only given the ball 8 times after going for over 217 yards the previous week against the impenetrable run defense of the Lions. McCoy didn’t perform poorly, he still managed to gain 38 yards (4.8 yards per carry) in the game, however in a game against a rush defense that has allowed opposing rushers to go for over 100 yards, McCoy should have gotten the ball a minimum of 15 times. For the sake of fantasy owners McCoy still was able to 5 passes for 68 yards, but nothing out of the ordinary. In these next upcoming weeks Eagles need to win at least one of their two games in order to be guaranteed the NFC East title. This week they’ll be playing the Chicago Bears at home and then the Cowboys on the road to finish the season. This week’s game against the bears should be very interesting. Both the Eagles and Bears will be playing for their individual playoff lives seeing as both the Bears (at the top of the NFC North, two games above Detroit) and the Eagles (at the top of the NFC East, two games above Dallas) are 8-6. While the Bears in fact do have the worst defense in the league (allowing 152.4 yards per game), last Sunday they were still able to hold the Browns to under 100 while still pulling off a win on the road at FirstEnergy Stadium. This week the task is definitely going to be much harder as they will be taking on the #1 ranked rushing attack of LeSean McCoy and the Philadelphia Eagles which has averaged over 152.9 rushing yards per game this season (.5 more yards on average than the Bears have allowed). For the Eagles in order to win and secure themselves of the NFC East title Chip Kelly and the Eagles coaching staff needs to give LeSean McCoy the ball early and often, while utilizing the play-action and letting DeSean Jackson and Nick Foles loose against the 11th-ranked Bears’ defense. Looking forward to even past this week, the Eagles are playing on very thin ice. Considering the Eagles loss this past week to a sub-.500 opponent, it will be interesting to see how Foles and the Eagles adjust to the potent offenses of the Bears and Cowboys in the upcoming weeks. I’m expecting a Bears win here, but don’t be surprised if Philly ends up pulling it off.