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Eagles season ended by Saints field goal: The Morning After

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Good morning campers, for the last time this season…

Well, all good things must come to an end, right? At least that what’s they always tell us, anyway. I don’t take much solace in that personally and something tells me not many of you do, either. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, losing a game to the Saints in that fashion at home in the playoffs in the cold against a team who supposedly cannot play well on the road in the cold… stop me when you’ve heard this all before.

No, I am not about to tell you this is Andy Reid redux. No, there’s only one of him and the good folks of Kansas City have all off-season to live with what we grew all too accustomed to – losing in the playoffs and doing so in spectacular fashion. steve olenski

So perhaps there is some solace in that fact; that at least we know Big Red’s season is done, too.

But that solace is small, isn’t it?

Ok let’s get to getting and you know damn well I am going rapid fire following THIS Eagles loss.

Oh yeah, I’m mixing in some longer term thoughts of mine; not just those on last night’s game plus I throw in some grades.

*Nick Foles- Obviously not his best game, but hardly the Dallas debacle of a few months ago, either. Some disconcerting things were his incessant penchant for holding onto the ball too long. He also was off target on more than a few throws last night. But long term, the kid’s got a bright future for sure. Nick Foles is only going to better from all of this, and most notably from last night.  

Season grade: A+

*The Defense- This is a very hard to figure out group. Last night, their warts and all were on display starting up front with their inability to stop the run or get to the passer consistently. Their linebackers may have collectively been their most consistent group all season long. Their secondary is in desperate need of an upgrade, particularly at safety and cornerback depth. And someone please tell me why Roc Carmichael is on this team. Clearly it is not for his Mensa-like intelligence: as witnessed by his brain-dead play in the 1Q, which saw him kick the ball into the end zone following a punt, thereby nullifying a great play by Brandon Boykin, which would have forced the Saints to start a drive from their own 1. Then again, the way the Eagles’ run defense played it may not have been that big of a deal.  

Overall unit season grade: C-

*The Offensive Line- A strength for most of the season, they too came up small in the run game not allowing LeSean McCoy to ever establish a consistent rhythm all night long. Their pass blocking last night was exceptional for the most part I thought. But again, it was their run blocking ineptitude that prevented the Eagles from ever truly “get it going” on offense.

Overall unit season grade: B

*Special Teams- Four words: Are you kidding me? The biggest kick off of the entire season and you allow not just a long return but you compound the problem by adding on a horse collar penalty by my boy Cary Williams? Really? That was effectively the entire game right there. Yes I realize the Saints, as I mentioned previously, ran the ball exceptionally well and they may have in fact marched down the field anyway but… why make it easier on them? And as for Alex Henery, well Al, was nice knowing you, kid. Have a good life and best of luck in your next endeavor.

Overall unit grade: F.

(Notable exception: Punter Donnie Jones, who gets a grade of A+)

*LeSean McCoy- Shady must have been going crazy in the first half with the poor blocking and his lack of touches. Did you see how revved up he was on the sideline prior to the last Eagles offensive series? What else can you say other than he’s the NFL’s leading rusher?

Season grade: A+

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*Chip Kelly- Before the season started, the one word I kept preaching was “patience.” I felt patience would be needed to watch this Eagles team, which was in a rebuilding mode. Obviously, patience went out the window as we all joyfully hopped on the Kelly bandwagon and rode it right into the playoffs. Of course, things didn’t quite turn out the way they, did so I am here to preach a new word: perspective. No one in their right mind – and “right” is the operative word – could’ve predicted this season turning out the way it did for the Eagles. Admit it, before the year you were thinking 6-10, 7-9, 8-8 or maybe 9-7 if they catch a break or two.

It is quite clear that Chip Kelly has this team headed in the right direction. Now I must caution Chip that the bar you set is now quite high and the honeymoon is long gone, my friend. Yes, it is a good problem to have with that problem being how you will address the needs of this team in the offseason? What will be your priorities? There is no going back, Chip. There is no rebuilding. Not after this season there isn’t. I’m not trying to scare you big guy; just telling you how it is. You raised the collective hopes of Eagles fans across the land and now it’s your job to deliver on the promise so many before you have failed to deliver upon. We have faith in you Chip. At least for right now, anyway.

Season grade: A

Ok boys and girls, that’s all for me for this season.

I want to wish everyone the best in 2014 and I will see you a little later this year, God willing.

Be well. Stay well. Peace.

And of course, time’s yours… food’s mine.

Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski

Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com

 

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