Eagles

Enough blame to go around for Eagles' last 2 games

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Enough blame to go around for Eagles' last 2 games

It's not just the quarterback. It might be mainly the quarterback, but the last two weeks have been disastrous for the entire offense, not just one person.

The Eagles' offense scored just 10 points the last two weeks of the regular season, an ugly win over the Raiders that locked up the No. 1 seed and an uglier 6-0 loss to the Cowboys in a game that had no impact on the standings.

In the process, they netted fewer than 220 yards of offense in consecutive games for the first time since 2005, went 3-for-25 on third down and recorded 12 or fewer first downs in consecutive games for the first time since late in the 2001 season.

They became the first 13-win team in NFL history shut out in its final game.

“I think that obviously we aren’t happy with the way we’ve performed the last two weeks," Jason Kelce said.

"We don’t really have time to worry. We’re just trying to focus on getting better and improving what’s going wrong, why it’s happening and correct it. You’re always just trying to improve what you did wrong and not do it again. It’s just been a frustrating last couple of weeks.”

Through the Giants game, Foles' first start in place of Carson Wentz, the Eagles led the NFL with 31.3 points per game, and were third with 387 yards per game.

Since then … disaster.

No team in NFL history has ever scored 20 or fewer points the last two weeks of a season and gone on to win a playoff game.

The Eagles scored 19 the last two weeks of this season — only 13 of them courtesy of the offense.

Thanks to their 13-3 record, the Eagles are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff bracket. They'll be at home at 4:35 p.m. a week from Saturday against the winner of the Saints-Panthers game unless the Falcons beat the Rams, in which case they'd face the Falcons.

“I’m excited about what we’ve earned," Torrey Smith said. "Because of the way we played early in the year we have the opportunity to take a step back with the bye week and start to prepare for the next team.

"It’s almost like we get to hit the reset button. Everybody does. It doesn’t matter if we’re 13-3 if we go out there and blow it the first game. We need to go out and handle our business, continue to get better this week, pay attention to the fundamentals and play like the Eagles we are."

Foles has been horrible, but he's not the Eagles' only concern on offense. Although everything is clearly related.

After averaging 148 rushing yards per game and 4.7 per carry the first 11 weeks, they were at 99 and 4.0 the last five games.

And big plays have been disappeared. After recording 22 plays of 30 yards or more the first 12 weeks of the season, the offense produced just two the last four games.

They didn't have an offensive touchdown longer than 32 yards the last seven weeks of the season after recording eight the first nine weeks.

“It’s not rocket science," said Smith, who had a costly drop on the Eagles' first drive Sunday. "You just gotta do it.

"The coaches can’t do anything about me trying to take off without the ball. That’s me. I catch that ball, I'm scoring. That's me. I didn’t get it done. So it's execution. We just can’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

"It's always execution. We've been in a lot of third and longs and that's never a good thing. We have to stay in third and manageable and make the plays when they're there."

None of the Eagles' wide receivers were here when Foles was the Eagles' quarterback from 2012 through 2014, and their lack of chemistry shows.

Foles' longest completions since Wentz got hurt were a 32-yard catch-and-run by Jay Ajayi and a 25-yarder to Zach Ertz. A running back and a tight end.

Foles hasn't hit a pass longer than 19 yards to a wide receiver over these last 2 ½ games.

“Obviously any time you kind of go to a new person at the position it’s going to take some time to build that chemistry and I think the next week is going to be almost like training camp, getting on the same page with Nick," Ertz said. "That’s going to be the focus."

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them, and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.