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Eagles Film Review: Jason Kelce is doing work

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Eagles Film Review: Jason Kelce is doing work

Eagles center Jason Kelce might be the most unfairly scrutinized athlete in the city. We’re talking about a player who’s earned trips to the Pro Bowl two of the last three years, yet remains a constant source of fan frustration.

Well, until this season anyway. Kelce appears to be off to his best start since 2013. Through five weeks, he grades second among all NFL centers, according to Pro Football Focus. Gone are lazy complaints about the 295-pound lineman getting pushed around in the trenches, or taking too many costly penalties.

Nobody can argue Kelce isn’t getting the job done right now.

There are a lot of factors behind Kelce’s resurgence. For starters, he was never performing as poorly as the criticism might make you think. The offensive line is also improving as a unit, and the seventh-year veteran is benefiting from a developing rapport with the players to his left and right. It’s his second season in Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s system as well.

All of which has Kelce playing with a high level of confidence that was somewhat lacking in years past. There is perhaps no better example of just how much the guy is “feeling it” right now than on Carson Wentz’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor in the Eagles’ 34-7 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.

“They brought an all-out blitz there,” Wentz said postgame. “If you guys go back and watch it, Jason Kelce made an unbelievable play. He ended up blocking two guys, so I shouldn’t have had the time to get that one off.”

Wentz challenged us to go back and watch the play, so we did – and couldn’t help but come away impressed.

If you recall the situation, the touchdown came on 3rd and 19. More often than not, defenses will set back and keep the play in front of the sticks. But the Cardinals are trailing 24-7 in the third quarter, and want to force the Eagles to make a mistake, so they are sending a zero blitz.

There are so many rushers coming for Wentz, they aren’t even all in the picture.

Kelce is going against unheralded first-year player Olsen Pierre here, and winning. There’s nothing spectacular about this one-on-one block, but Kelce is holding up at the point of attack and steering his assignment to the outside, leaving Wentz plenty of room to step up.

Make note of No. 41 in white, though. The Eagles only have six blockers for seven rushers, leaving safety Antoine Bethea unaccounted for – and a small crease to the quarterback.

Not on Kelce’s watch. At the last moment, he reaches his arm out and essentially clotheslines Bethea. It’s just enough to slow the blitzer.

Then, Kelce finishes the play, driving Pierre into Bethea. Both defenders wind up on the ground.

It’s not a pretty, clean pocket, but Wentz is great at navigating crowded areas, and he gets off a perfect throw. Everybody did their job here to make this play happens, including Agholor with the catch and run.

Kelce went above and beyond.

Obviously, this is only one play. Are there occasions where Kelce is overpowered at the line of scrimmage, whiffs on a block or is called for a bad penalty? Absolutely. Yet, for the past few seasons, fans only seem to take notice of his mistakes. You can pick anybody apart if you’re only looking for the negatives.

Kelce has a reputation for being a “finesse” player, somebody who’s only good when he gets into space. And when it comes to that aspect of the game, Kelce is the best in the league, hands down. He is perfectly capable of making the “ordinary” play as well though – even the ones that aren’t so ordinary.

Maybe it’s about time people stop throwing Kelce’s name into every trade rumor or debating whether he will be a cap casualty. The Eagles have arguably the best offensive line in football right now, and their center is a big reason why.

Bud Light hasn't forgotten about their Super Bowl promise to Lane Johnson

Bud Light hasn't forgotten about their Super Bowl promise to Lane Johnson

A wise man once said, "The only thing better than beer is free beer."

I think Benjamin Franklin said that.

And Philadelphia Eagles fans may have some free beer coming their way if and when they beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

A quick refresher: Lane Johnson had a quote back in training camp in August about providing Birds fans with beer if the Eagles won the Super Bowl. That's when Bud Light chimed in, saying "win it all and the party is on us."

Welp. Fast forward a few months and the Eagles are one win over Tom Brady away from that party.

CBS Philly recently followed up with the Bud Light folks who issued a statement.

“Bud Light has not forgotten about our commitment to Lane Johnson, the Eagles and the city of Philadelphia. We will be sharing plans soon, but in the interest of not jinxing the team ahead of their upcoming games, we are not going to unveil any plans at this time,” a spokesperson tells CBS Philly.

While it would likely be quite costly, it's a smart marketing play.

Bud Light's DILLY-DILLY spots are a staple on the jumbotron at Eagles games this season. And they've even made a special "Philly! Philly!" commercial.

 

Scenes from Philly's wild party for the Eagles on Broad Street

Scenes from Philly's wild party for the Eagles on Broad Street

Philadelphia partied on Sunday night.

It was a very fun party.

Eagles fans all across the city from the Far Northeast to the South Philly stadium complex used Broad Street as their meeting spot.

It was a joyous atmosphere. Nick Foles was their hero with his last name replacing “Skol” in a mock Vikings chant that echoed off the buildings all evening. Odd chants about his anatomy also proved popular. Tom Brady emerged as an early enemy, with not-so-fond chants about him being used as a rallying cry.

Everyone was on their best behavior. There was no need for trouble because everyone was so damn happy that the Eagles are actually going to the Super Bowl.

That’s fun to type: the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.

There were no arrests and no injuries at the packed corners of Broad and Walnut, according to the Philly Police Department.

The most mischief I witnessed there was a jubilant fellow climbing on top of a lottery kiosk only to be told to get down by police. When the police got a hold of him after his descent, chants of “Let him go!” seemed to work, as he was set free after a stern warning much to the crowd’s delight.

Everything else was high-fiving random people, enjoying the cops turning a blind eye to open containers for one festive evening, and E-A-G-L-E-S chants. So many Eagles chants.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Joe smile so much,” my friend Ashley said at one point.

Just wait until we win the Super Bowl.

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Some scenes from the party. City workers tried to prep for the party by greasing polls across the city. Crisco was not a big enough challenge for some Birds fans.