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Eagles advance to NFC Championship Game - The Morning After



Good morning campers,


First off, I have to say that last night had some rather historic overtones for TMA.


After nine seasons and close to 150 games covered on Philly2Philly, I’m proud to say that,

I’m offering a recap of an Eagles playoff win for the first time in the site’s history!


We’ve never done this before on here. Ever. Unfortunately, we’ve only covered playoff

losses; three of them to be exact— 2010 against the Cowboys, 2011 against the Packers,

and 2014 against the Saints. Yes, we’ve come a long way since then, and, in the words

of our dearly departed, yet beloved former Eagles coach James David "Buddy" Ryan,

 “You've got a winner in town.”


I will dispense with any amenities or smart ass remarks. Let's get to getting...


*The Eagles defense, despite what I thought was a lackluster start, came to play... in a

VERY big way. Save for Julio Jones, who is all but unstoppable, the Eagles’ D bottled up

the Falcons potent offense and particularly their vaunted running game.


*In terms of individual honors on defense, I can't go there—only because the entire unit

played well and I don't want to single anyone out. It was the classic group effort.


*While I will still refer to him as 'Doug Reid' because he continues to make Andy Reid-like

decisions (did you catch the head scratching clock management near the end of the first

half?), I have to give the head coach credit where it’s due. He made the right calls for the

most part at the right time. Sure, he went to the Agholor well one too many times with that

little reverse run play, but when it did work, it worked beautifully.


*The man is in the NFC Championship Game in just his second year, so he clearly is doing

something right.


*As for Nick Foles, it is equally clear that he is getting his sea legs. Granted, those legs are

in cement, but he played at his 2013 level for the first time this year. He was decisive, and

except for a few tosses that were off-target, he made all the throws AND he made the right

reads; audibilizing at the line (ala Carson Wentz).


*For the longest time, it sure seemed like the Eagles were giving the game to the Falcons

via turnovers, a missed PAT, penalties, a kickoff that went out of bounds, poor punting

and...you get the idea. And for the record, there's not a chance in hell Donnie Jones is the

punter next year. Book it. But he is the punter, so we're kind of stuck with him.

Unless Ray Guy's available?


*And before you say, 'but Steve he's only the punter,' remember, come playoff time, field

position is extremely important—and you need your punter to be able to do certain things

such as pin the opposing team deep vs. punting the ball into the end zone for a touch back.


Random Observations:


*Where was Jay Ajayi during most of the 2Q? The man was averaging 5 yards per carry.

Did the coach feel the need to appease LeGarrette Blount? But that can't be it, because

Corey Clement got some time as well over Ajayi. I openly wondered if he was hurt—it was

that conspicuous by his absence.


*The penalty for going to the head on Rodney McLeod in the 2Q- Did you notice

where he actually hit the Falcons player and with what? He hit him in his shoulder with his

own shoulder, which remarkably caused the Falcons' player's head to move. Wow.

Imagine that. Did you also catch the nitwit that is Cris Collinsworth (even AFTER the replay

clearly showed it was not a blow to the head) state that it was, in fact, a blow to the head,

and thus a penalty? What a dope.


*Nick Foles races the Statue of Liberty in a foot race. Who wins?


*Why did it take so long for the Eagles to dial up Alshon Jeffery's number?


*How Jason Kelce didn't make the Pro Bowl is mind-blowing. That guy is playing his

you-know-what off and making idiots like me look like, well an idiot for predicting his

demise following the end of last season.


*Regardless of who the Eagles play in the NFC Championship Game next week, they

cannot expect to win making as many self-inflicted mistakes as previously mentioned.

Moreover, they will surely need the offense to score more points and not rely so heavily

on the defense.


Who knows? Maybe next week we’ll have two more TMA recaps to do. In a season of

the unexpected, it’s going to be interesting to see how this crazy roller coaster ride will end.  



'Til next time.

Time's yours.

Food's mine

Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski


Contact Steve Olenski at  solenski@philly2philly.com

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