Philadelphia Eagles news and stories from around the web…
December 6 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“It’s one thing to think your young running back has the stamina for 16 weeks. It’s one thing to believe he’ll be tough enough to fight through the dings as the season grinds on.
It’s another thing to see him do it. And as the 2010 season enters its final stretch, the Eagles have seen LeSean McCoy do it.
Late against the Giants three games ago, McCoy surpassed the 195 season touches he had as a rookie in 2009. Since then, he has shown no signs of slowing down.
He came back with 120 combined yards the next game at Chicago, and tacked on 130 against the Texans Thursday.
After last season, “the number-one thing was getting stronger physically, and he worked on that very hard, came back stronger, didn’t lose any of his speed or flexibility,” head coach Andy Reid said. “And then he studied. There’s more than just getting the ball and running to a spot.”
Along the way, McCoy has joined quarterback Michael Vick as the Eagles‘ most consistent offensive threats. Just as impressively, McCoy has displayed the grit needed to thrive as a No. 1 back, fighting through a broken rib early in the season and a shoulder injury that has had him on the injury report for the last three games.
“He’s very tough,” Reid said, even though McCoy “comes across like your little brother.”
McCoy, 22, is still the youngest Eagle on the roster. He was born 11 days after rookie safety Kurt Coleman.
“He’s a happy, happy guy,” Reid said. “Always smiling. Always teasing people. Underneath all that is a tough, competitive, very skilled player. You can overlook that if you’re just hanging around with him.”
December 6 Camden Courier-Post:
“Eagles coach Andy Reid said last week that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was “beating himself up” about his unit’s season-long inability to stop opposing teams from scoring in the red zone.
The Eagles came back in the fourth quarter to score a 34-24 win over the Texans Thursday in a game that wouldn’t have been so close had the Eagles stopped Houston from scoring just once from inside their 20-yard line in three trips.
The Texans scored two red-zone touchdowns in the third quarter to briefly take a 24-20 lead. Overall, Houston went 3-for-3 and made sure the Eagles maintained their league-worst red-zone efficiency on defense. Opponents have scored touchdowns against the Eagles in nearly 80 percent of the trips inside the Philadelphia 20.
Reid gave the Eagles (8-4) off from Friday to Tuesday after his team played four games in 18 days and went 3-1, but it’s safe to say the coaches have punched their time cards at the NovaCare Complex in an attempt to rectify the problem.
“It’s too much,” Reid said. “We’ve got to do a better job there. Sean is beating himself up over that. So, he’s looking at it, been looking at it.”
The Eagles have allowed at least one red-zone touchdown in all but one game this season. They opened the season by allowing Green Bay and Detroit to combine for five touchdowns on five trips inside the 20.
Six different teams scored at least three red-zone touchdowns against them in one game and five different teams scored on every red-zone trip against the Eagles with a minimum of two.
“It’s very unacceptable,” defensive end Trent Cole said. “We know what kind of defense we’ve got. We know what we can do. We just have to execute as a team.”
Imagine how dominant this Eagles team could be if the defense just tightened up this one major weakness. They have the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense, averaging just under 29 points per game, which means the opponent usually has to score four touchdowns just to keep pace with them.”
December 6 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:
“The wind whips and the bones crunch. New Meadowlands, old Meadowlands, it doesn’t matter. December is December up here, brutal.
Two weeks from now, it is where the NFC East is probably going to be decided.
There are details, certainly – other games, other places, and tiebreakers that will need to be untied. But when the Eagles play the Giants up here on Dec. 19, in all likelihood the winner is going to take the division title and the loser is going to be thrown into the wild-card heap for a merciless round of sorting.
And if yesterday was any measure, the Giants – a team with an inclination to fade at times – have begun to recapture their trademark. With a cold wind blowing, with the Eagles home and resting in front of their televisions, with the wilting Washington Redskins as the opponent, Brandon Jacobs ran for 103 yards, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 97 yards and the Giants forced six fumbles (recovering four) and sacked Donovan McNabb four times and intercepted him twice.
For the Giants, it was the old-time religion in their new cathedral. After their 31-7 win, they are tied with the Eagles with an 8-4 record. Giants coach Tom Coughlin has no trouble at all recognizing the import of this particular stomping.
“To keep pace, to get the eighth win, to get to 2-2 in the division – those things were very important,” Coughlin said. “We tried to have four solid quarters. I’m not sure we got it as solid as we would have liked. I thought the first half was good . . .
“Trying to get four quarters in, winning the physical battle, winning the turnover battle – I’m glad we were able to do that today.”
Close to everything that could have gone wrong for the Eagles went wrong yesterday. The Giants won to even up the NFC East. Among the potential wild-card teams, the Bears (9-3), Packers (8-4) and Saints (9-3) all won. There are still a million possible eventualities, but there is a train wreck approaching for the NFC East team that does not win the division. And while you can survive a train wreck, what are the odds?
It is early to be watching the scoreboard, but there you are.
“You try not to, but, human nature, you kind of check and see what other guys are doing,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. “But we understand that we’ve got to control what we can control – and that’s how we play on Sunday. If we go out on Sunday and handle our business, it will take care of itself. If we starting thinking about what Philly did, or Green Bay, or all that stuff, and it affects our play, we’re just hurting ourselves.”
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