Just a few notes from yesterday’s game:
– I don’t understand Chip’s decision to dial down the offense in the second half. It makes complete sense to become more conservative and to take fewer risks when you have a lead (think equation). HOWEVER, when the opposing team is basically begging for you to take a shot, you should take it.
Early in the game, it was clear the Eagles were going to take shots downfield when they had Cooper matched up one-on-one with a DB with no safety over top. It almost led to an early TD (Cooper lost sight of the ball). Anyway, late in the game the Redskins were packing 8 in the box and playing a single deep safety. That means you’ve got both D-Jax and Cooper against a CB, and the safety can only help on one of them.
Somehow, a situation Chip was hoping for and targeting early in the game lost its appeal. Keep in mind that this is not a high-risk play. Throwing it deep to Cooper when he’s in single coverage is very unlikely to produce an outcome worse than an incomplete pass.
Given that we saw this exact same situation play out last time the team played the Redskins, after which Chip claimed he learned his lesson, I’m worried this will be a recurring issue. Obviously, that would necessitate having big leads, which would be awesome, but it’s still a bad habit. My only guess as to the reasoning is that Chip still doesn’t fully trust Foles.
– Overall a good win, but let’s remember that the Redskins aren’t a good team. We’ll learn a LOT more about the team when it faces Arizona and Detroit after the bye week. To date, the Eagles “best” win came against a Green Bay team playing with its 3rd string QB. It remains to be seen whether the Eagles rank within the “mediocre” division of the NFL. They’ve lost against Dallas and San Diego…which would suggest they’re at the bottom of that subset of teams. If so, they’ll have trouble against the Cardinals.
– Still researching the topic, but safe to say that Nick Foles is at least close to doing something unprecedented.
He now has a career rating of 97.6, with 22 TDs and just 5 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 3 TDs.
His rating this season is currently 128. The single-season record is 122.5 (Aaron Rodgers).
Under Chip Kelly, he’s seen significant playing time in 6 games…he’s won 5 of them.
His career interception rate is now 1.2%. The NFL Record for a career rate is 1.7% (Aaron Rodgers…yeah, he’s really good).
As I showed at the end of last week, few QBs have, at ANY point in their careers, had a career rating that as high as Foles does now. The fact that Foles has it 15 appearances and 11 starts into his career is a very good sign.
Naturally, it’s a safe bet that Foles won’t maintain this level of play. The next question, though, is:
What are the odds a “bad” QB could have a stretch of games like this?
How about a “mediocre” QB?
We could probably turn to Bayesian analysis to help out, but for now, it’s enough to know that the odds of either situation aren’t very good. When you then consider that fact that he’s doing it to start his career, I think it’s safe to say Foles’ odds are now pointing heavily in favor of at least “solid NFL starter” and potentially much higher.
– Last point. Chip was correct in going for it on 4th and 1. There’s just not much to gain from punting the ball there, especially in comparison to the relatively high likelihood of maintaining possession. I was much more concerned about the play-call. It looked like a delayed handoff, which would be an inexplicable call (especially to Bryce Brown). However, it may also have just been a miscommunication. Unfortunately, the announcers had already stopped calling the game and were too busy to bother talking about it. I don’t think we even got a replay. I’ll have to review the film, but my first impression was: right strategy, wrong play.
P.S. It’s week 12 (practically) and the Eagles are entering their bye week in first place.