Eagles

Eagles' starting O colder than the temperature

Eagles' starting O colder than the temperature

BOX SCORE

Frigid temperatures at the Linc on Sunday were in the teens. The wind chill dipped into single digits.

The Eagles' starting offense was colder.

Nick Foles didn't inspire much confidence as he and the starters put together a lackluster four drives in the first quarter as the Eagles eventually went on to lose the meaningless regular-season finale to the Cowboys by a score of 6-0 in an absolute snooze-fest (see Roob's observations).  

Before Sunday, the last time the Eagles were shut out was the last game of the 2009 season. The last time they were shut out at home was in 2005 against the Seahawks.

The good news is, the Eagles' defense played well for most of the afternoon and the entire team escaped without any real injuries.

The bad news is, confidence in Foles might be at an all-time low with a playoff game just two weeks away (see report card).

With the loss, the Eagles finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and failed to win the meaningless game that would have given them their first 14-win season in franchise history.

The Cowboys won and finished their season with a 9-7 record, which doesn't look terrible, but they missed the playoffs and had an extremely disappointing season a year after they were the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Sunday's game was the first scoreless game through three quarters in the NFL since December 2007.

The first half was brutal too. It was 0-0 after 30 minutes. The highlight of the first half was when punter Donnie Jones forgot to take off his warmup pants and had to do it in a hurry before booting a ball to the Dallas 4-yard line.

This was the first time an Eagles-Cowboys game had ever been scoreless at halftime, according to ESPN. It was the first scoreless half in Philadelphia since 1993.

It was the first scoreless game at halftime in the entire NFL since December 2011.

Turning point
The Cowboys put together a 99-yard touchdown drive after Jones pinned them at the centimeter mark. It put them up 6-0 after Dan Bailey's missed extra point. That's all they needed. 

Key stat
Foles was 4 for 11 for 39 yards and an interception. He had a passer rating of 9.3.

He became the first Eagles quarterback to have a passer rating under 10 with at least 10 passing attempts in a game since Donovan McNabb in 2007. He's the second player in the NFL to do it this season, joining Matt Cassel.

Offensive stud
No, he wasn't great, but Nate Sudfeld made a few good plays, including a 22-yard scramble. Sports talk radio will be fun in Philly for the next two weeks.

Offensive dud
Foles was pretty terrible in his four first-quarter drives. Maybe the offense could have put up points if Torrey Smith doesn't drop a pass on third down on the first drive, but it's hard to say. Foles didn't gain any confidence Sunday afternoon.

Defensive stud
Vinny Curry was forced to play a lot Sunday because Brandon Graham was out. He played really well. He was a force against the run, even after most of the other starters were out.

Defensive dud
Rasul Douglas didn't have a great game (see rookie report). He had a particularly bad series on the Cowboys' scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. He was beaten on a 20-yard slant for the touchdown.

Sidney Jones watch
Jones played some significant time in his NFL debut and had an up and down day. He showed he can play tight coverage at times. He did let Ezekiel Elliott get wide on him for a first-down run and later was beaten by Terrence Williams on a sluggo route, but the pass fell incomplete.

Jones left briefly in the third quarter after cramping and didn't return, although he was listed as probable to return.

Key plays
• Dak Prescott hit Brice Butler for a 20-yard touchdown pass to break the scoreless tie in the fourth quarter. Douglas was beaten on the play. That capped a 99-yard touchdown drive. It was the only score of the game.

• Sudfeld scrambled for 22 yards on third down in the third quarter, but the Eagles' offense stalled. Then Jones drilled a perfect punt that went out inside the Cowboys' 1-yard line.

• On Sudfeld's second drive, the Eagles started in Dallas territory, but Mack Hollins dropped a pass on first down. Then came a short run and a sack. That was the Eagles' best chance to score in the first half.

• Foles threw a terrible interception about 2/3s through the first quarter. He just underthrew the pass terribly.

• The Eagles stuffed Elliott on fourth down on the Cowboys' first drive.

• On a key third down in the first quarter, Smith dropped a pass on third down when he was wide open. The fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Injuries
Graham (ankle) sat out Sunday's game. He should be good to go for the playoffs. Same with Jalen Mills (ankle).

Up next
It's playoff time at the Linc in two weeks.

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Never one to be left out, Terrell Owens has chimed in with his own social distancing home workout challenge, and it will take Eagles fans back.

Owens, aiming for people spending extra time at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, launched the "COVID-19 Driveway Challenge" on Monday evening, piggybacking off recent home exercise social media trends like the "See 10, Do 10" pushup videos.

Owens attempted to start his own movement with a video, filmed in a driveway, eerily similar to the classic 2005 situps he did while holding out as a member of the Eagles:

"All y'all stayin' at home, stayin' safe, let's get this workout in," Owens says in the video. "I need 19 situps, just like I did back in '04, '05, when I did my situps in the driveway." 

Say what you will about Owens: he's nothing if not on brand, even during a global health crisis.

Owens didn't detail whether he's looking to raise money for COVID-19 research, or simply awareness about responsible social distancing.

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Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

ESPN's First Take is a build-your-own hot take generator, but former NFL quarterback and current ESPN personality Dan Orlovsky usually tries to stay away from saying stuff just for reaction.

Which is why Orlovsky's assessment Monday of the five best quarterbacks in the NFC generated so much... discussion? Fury? It was kind of both.

Orlovsky said, in no uncertain terms, that he ranks Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the fourth-best QB in the NFC, behind Russell Wilson (yep), Tom Brady (likely), and Drew Brees (yep). 

This, of course, puts Wentz ahead of Aaron Rodgers:

Unsurprisingly, Orlovsky had to deal with angry football fans all day, sifting through tons of tweets calling him out of whack and (kind of hilariously) demanding he be drug tested. You can go look at his timeline for the horror show.

I'm here to defend Orlovsky. Yes, Rodgers is one of the greats. And yes, in a vacuum there is zero comparison between the Packers legend and Wentz.

But heading into the 2020 season, knowing what we know about each QB, I'm also taking Wentz.

Rodgers has seen his completion percentage fall in each of the last four seasons, he posted the second-lowest yards-per-attempt mark of his career in 2019, and he turns 37 in December. Last year, he tossed too many errant passes on would-be easy completions. It felt like he'd turned the corner, and his prime was over.

Wentz, on the other hand, made do with embarassingly bad skill position players and led the Eagles to the playoffs with numerous clutch throws in December.

One of Rodgers' greatest remaining skills is his ability to avoid interceptions, throwing just six over his last 32 regular season games. You know who else has low INT numbers? Wentz, who posted a higher completion percentage than Rodgers in 2019 while working with you and me at wide receiver.

And Wentz, a decade younger than Rodgers and still growing as a passer, also has the added benefit of being an athletic, mobile quarterback.

The greats age, and eventually are no longer great. It happens, and it's happening here.

It took guts for Orlovsky to put Wentz ahead of Rodgers in 2020, but I'm glad he did - because now everyone else can do the same.

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