The winter wonderland that was Lincoln Financial Field put on a show for all Eagles fans both in attendance, and watching from the warm confines of their living rooms. It was a game that started out so so ugly for the Eagles who at one point after a few drives had -1 yard of offense. Luckily for the Eagles, nobody on the Lions could hold onto the football, or even remember the snap count.
I was just as shocked as Angelo this morning listening to 94 WIP that Chip wasn't more prepared for the snow considering he is from New Hampshire. I've been to Maine in the winter and its not forgiving let me tell you, but the fact is, College Football doesn't play into the winter like the NFL does. Most college football teams do not see a flake of snow for years, let alone the 6, or 8 inches, depending on who's measuring, that we saw yesterday on the field. The snow hit us in Philadelphia, the Vikings and Ravens in Baltimore, the Chiefs and Redskins in Washington, and the Dolphins and Steelers in Pittsburgh. It definitely provided for some serious entertainment, but very very non-traditional played football games.
Chip made the adjustments he needed to make, and apparently also got some coaching advice from Cary Williams - yeah okay Cary, try not to hit your head on the way out. Behind Shady McCoy, who broke a franchise record for rushing yards in a single game when it looked in the first half that he would be lucky to get 50. Quite simply, if you had the ball and knew exactly where you wanted to run, you could. But on the defensive side of the ball, it was nearly impossible to adjust and make cuts which is how the Eagles were ultimately able to prevail. It certainly is easy to grade a team that has won 5 in a row and sitting atop the division at least for a day. It's Monday Morning and its time to hand out some grades.
Report Card after the jump...
A much needed adjustment was in store for the 2nd half and Chip did not disappoint. I had made mention in previous report cards that Chip needs to take better control of the 4th quarter. He was a Brent Celek touchdown away from scoring the most points in the 4th quarter in NFL history. Touche Chip, touche.
Nick Foles: B
First interception of the year. If there was ever a game to have it happen it was this one. It really is a shame that Foles was unable to best Peyton Manning's record set early this season, but 19 touchdowns before throwing a single interception is pretty amazing. To put that in perspective:
Foles: 20 TD - 1 INT
E. Manning: 16 TD - 20 INT
RG3and10: 16 TD - 12 INT
LeSean McCoy: A+
When you break a record, you get an A+. When you rush for over 200 yards, you get an A+. When you carry the entire team on your back late in the game, you get an A+. Shady running downhill through the snow was a sight to behold.
DeSean Jackson: B
Did he step out of the back of the endzone? Maybe, but there was no way anybody, even if you were standing in the back of the endzone could you tell? The touchdown was huge, but Jackson was awful in the return game. He fielded two punts and returned them both for negative yards. On other punts, he never took his hands out of his handwarmer. Yes its cold, but take a look at what Jeremy Ross took advantage of and did on his returns.
Chris Polk: A
Talk about making the most of your time on the field. Polk only had 4 rushes, but one he broke for a 38 yard touchdown in the 4th with Shady on the sidelines.
Riley Cooper: B
It was a shaky first half, missing two balls that he probably should have caught, but the 2nd half was where he made his mark.
Connor Barwin: A
Led the team in tackles and scooped up the botched snap fumble when Stafford was unable to pick it up. Barwin played a great game and seemed to love playing in the snow yesterday.
Cary Williams: A (sorta)
Or should I say coach Williams. Whether or not Chip listened to Cary or not, his insight was seen by nearly everybody watching this one. Nobody could move like they wanted to, so chuck the ball deep. Foles was able to hit Cooper for a long gain, but the passing game for either team was pretty bad. Williams held Megatron Calvin Johnson in check for most of the game,but had a ton of help from the snow.
This is the 9th game in the row that the Eagles defense was able to hold its opponent to 21 points or fewer. But in reality only 8 of Detroit's 20 were because of their offense, and that number was all the difference. The defense as well as the snow forced 3 fumbles which they were able to recover, and they all stalled Detroit drives that were looking to score. They were able to avoid Reggie Bush, who hurt himself in warm ups, and Joique Bell, his replacement, couldn't get a grip.
Special Teams: F
The WORST part about the game. Once again it's most likely due to the elements, but the Lions did not give up any yards on the Eagles returns. Jeremy Ross made the Eagles special teams look like they were standing still. Donnie Jones is mostly exempt from this but the fact that they couldn't bring Ross down on his 2 touchdowns was pretty bad.
BONUS: Mother Nature: A++++++
Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
Below is my favorite tweet about the game from @zoowithroy