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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.

Fan spent 15 hours making incredible Super Bowl art

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Reilly Haney

Fan spent 15 hours making incredible Super Bowl art

Is there anyone in Philadelphia that wouldn’t want to relive that unforgettable day on Feb. 4, 2018?

You’ve probably rewatched Super Bowl LII a few hundred times, give or take, but how about reading it on your living room wall?

One dedicated artist, Reilly Haney, decided to spend 15 hours recreating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over the Patriots by hand. Haney wrote up this awesome art print using the NFL announcer’s transcripts from the entire Super Bowl. 

Below are some photos of his progress throughout the daunting task.

Now you can read NFL announcers Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels’ words, even when they were overpraising Tom Brady, in beautiful cursive with arguably the most memorable play, the "Philly Special" in green. 

We know this took an absurd amount of pens and maybe the looming threat of tendonitis, but the artist’s commitment to the cause is admirable. 

If you want to pick up a copy of this awesome 24x18 print for yourself, you can find it on Etsy.

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There shouldn't be debate on whether Carson Wentz plays Week 1

There shouldn't be debate on whether Carson Wentz plays Week 1

When it comes to whether Carson Wentz should suit up for Week 1, there is no debate. Either doctors give the quarterback the green light to play, or they won’t.

Nothing else matters.

Enough with this nonsense the Eagles should give Wentz extra time to heal even if he is cleared to play. At that point, doctors are literally saying he’s 100 percent. He isn’t going to get any more healed than that.

No yeah, but’s. No deep dives into the historical data of ACL injuries. No crying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles “deserves” to start Week 1. No discussion, period.

This is a decision that will be left up to medical professionals. If they say Wentz is good, that really ought to be enough.

If Wentz’s doctors tell Doug Pederson his franchise quarterback can go physically, but playing so soon after the injury increases the risk of re-injury, then the Eagles have something to think about. If they say the ligaments are as strong as they will ever be, and the health of a 25-year-old’s left knee is in the hands of luck or mystical forces, then there is absolutely zero reason to wait for some arbitrary date.

Naturally, Wentz’s recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in December has been of tremendous intrigue, which has led to tireless coverage. In 2018, tireless coverage results in even more opining, predicting and debate.

The only type of opinion there’s room for is a medical opinion, preferably that of somebody who is directly involved in Wentz’s treatment.

The Eagles have tried pouring cold water on this cycle all along, repeatedly telling reporters over the course of many months there’s a plan for Wentz’s rehab, and doctors will ultimately inform the team when he’s ready.

Yet, we’re a little more than two weeks from the Eagles’ regular season opener against the Falcons, and it seems everybody wants to give their two cents on what should happen.

If Wentz is ready, great. If he isn’t, that’s not a problem, either. The Eagles still have Foles. Obviously, there’s no reason to rush Wentz back.

Except there is no indication the Eagles would do that. If Wentz plays Week 1, it will be because the team’s medical staff is confident he is no more at risk of serious injury than any other human being who steps on the field that Thursday night.

What more do you want?

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