SBLII: Patriots vs. Eagles, the Build-Up

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TheoShmeo

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In 2000, the NY Giants beat the All-World offense Vikings 41-0.

Vegas favored Baltimore in the Super Bowl.

The Giants proceeded to get smoked by the Ravens 34-7.

One game is just one data point.
Was just about to post along similar lines that the Peyton Manning Colts looked like a juggernaut in the 2004 WC round when they beat the Broncos 49-24 and headed into Foxboro, only to get shut down 20-3 in the Divisional round.

I think a lot of media folks and fans are going to be swayed by the fact that the Eagles just housed the Vikings while the Pats had to go to extremes to beat the Jags. That Vegas is taking a broader look does not surprise me.

And I get that Nattysez's comment was not singularly focused on the disparate nature of the two games. At the same time, we're going to hear that analysis over the next two weeks.
 

BigSoxFan

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What do we think Philly’s record is with a full season of Foles? 10-6? 11-5? He looked amazing yesterday but looked the exact opposite against the Raiders. I really don’t know what to think about him.
 

MarcSullivaFan

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I mean, I’m not going to be remotely surprised if Foles puts up a zillion yards against us, but him being horrible would be equally unsurprising. He’s not a good QB. I’m sort of stunned that people like Lombardi seem to have Nick Foles amnesia.
 

Marciano490

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I mean, I’m not going to be remotely surprised if Foles puts up a zillion yards against us, but him being horrible would be equally unsurprising. He’s not a good QB. I’m sort of stunned that people like Lombardi seem to have Nick Foles amnesia.
I don't know how to evaluate Foles. I lived in the area when he had that amazing run, and definitely got caught up in the hype. Maybe his first few games were shaking off rust and this last one was closer to who he is as a QB. It's one of the reasons why this game is hard to peg.
 

Captaincoop

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I don't know how to evaluate Foles. I lived in the area when he had that amazing run, and definitely got caught up in the hype. Maybe his first few games were shaking off rust and this last one was closer to who he is as a QB. It's one of the reasons why this game is hard to peg.
This feels like a good theory.
 

johnmd20

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I mean, I’m not going to be remotely surprised if Foles puts up a zillion yards against us, but him being horrible would be equally unsurprising. He’s not a good QB. I’m sort of stunned that people like Lombardi seem to have Nick Foles amnesia.
He might not be a great QB, but he's certainly a good one.
 

Marciano490

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I always think of that scene in Glory where SJP's husband starts shooting the revolver in the ear of the sharpshooter and yelling at him as he tries to reload his rifle when it comes to evaluating players who haven't done it on the biggest stage yet. Bortles was very good for 3 quarters, but couldn't make it happen to put the game away, and Brady could. Even if we were up against Wentz, until he shows he can win a SB or play at his usual level when one is on the line, there's not a ton to be scared of. It's a very, very rare trait.
 

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I think these takes on Foles are mostly accurate. Only two weeks ago the Eagles were held to 15 points, all field goals, by Atlanta’s D (8th in scoring, 9th in yards, 12th against the pass). It seems just as likely that he’ll look pedestrian against the Pats as it does that he would repeat Sunday’s performance.

I like Foles and think he can be an average to good starter in the league, but if you told me at the start of the season that Brady & co. would have a Super Bowl matchup against Foles for Lombardi No. 6, I’d be giddy.
 

dynomite

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In 2000, the NY Giants beat the offense-heavy Vikings 41-0.

Vegas favored Baltimore in the Super Bowl.

The Giants proceeded to get smoked by the Ravens 34-7.

One game is just one data point.
Right. It even happened to the Pats. In the 2014 Deflategate AFCCG they beat the Colts by roughly a million points while the Seahawks needed that miracle comeback and onsides recovery to beat the Packers in the NFCCG.

We all know what happened, but the Pats hardly waltzed to victory there. As you say, just one data point.
 

RedOctober3829

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Right. It even happened to the Pats. In the 2014 Deflategate AFCCG they beat the Colts by roughly a million points while the Seahawks needed that miracle comeback and onsides recovery to beat the Packers in the NFCCG.

We all know what happened, but the Pats hardly waltzed to victory there. As you say, just one data point.
Also happened to the Pats in the 2013 divisional game when they walked all over the Colts then went to Denver and couldn't move the ball whatsoever.
 

nattysez

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I don't know how to evaluate Foles. I lived in the area when he had that amazing run, and definitely got caught up in the hype. Maybe his first few games were shaking off rust and this last one was closer to who he is as a QB. It's one of the reasons why this game is hard to peg.
Yeah, this is my feeling, too. This is not Bortles pulling a few great games out of his behind. Foles has played at a high level in the past.

And I 100% agree with the argument that recency bias is a killer when prognosticating in the NFL, and it's worse during the playoffs, so don't fall victim to it.
 

Oil Can Dan

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What do we think Philly’s record is with a full season of Foles? 10-6? 11-5? He looked amazing yesterday but looked the exact opposite against the Raiders. I really don’t know what to think about him.
The Raiders game was Christmas night game and the Eagles largely had the division and a top two seed locked up at that point. So, a lack of focus and a scaled back game plan.

Also, Foles missed most of camp with an injury, and backups don’t get reps during the season. That Raider game was like his 2nd preseason game.
 

Oil Can Dan

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I think these takes on Foles are mostly accurate. Only two weeks ago the Eagles were held to 15 points, all field goals, by Atlanta’s D (8th in scoring, 9th in yards, 12th against the pass). It seems just as likely that he’ll look pedestrian against the Pats as it does that he would repeat Sunday’s performance.

I like Foles and think he can be an average to good starter in the league, but if you told me at the start of the season that Brady & co. would have a Super Bowl matchup against Foles for Lombardi No. 6, I’d be giddy.
No, the 15 points were not all FGs.

And the Falcons D was much better with Trufant back, which he was for this game.

And Ajayi Lost a fumble at the Atlanta 25 or so, and they lost the turnover battle 2-0.

And finally, the conditions were very poor. Very windy and very cold. Not conducive for good QB play. And I think that Foles in particular is a bad cold weather QB.
 

DJnVa

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He might not be a great QB, but he's certainly a good one.
I still don't know. 2013 was unreal, but he threw more passes in 2015 and completed only 56.5% for 7 TDs and 10 INTs, and put up a passer rating of 69.0. Can he play well? Absolutely. He's done it. But his career since then has been mediocre:

58.3% completions, 28/22 TD/INT, 77.7 rating.

But he's been unreal in the postseason, and we have to see what happens when the lights are the brightest.

I suspect BB is scouring the tapes to see what he's doing now compared to then and what kind of positions they need to force him into.

His career passer rating is much lower when trailing--perhaps reflecting that when he needs to throw, he struggles. Not that this is surprising, but his takes a rather large drop, that I'm not seeing when I look at other QBs. From 108 when leading, to 76 when trailing.
 

johnmd20

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I still don't know. 2013 was unreal, but he threw more passes in 2015 and completed only 56.5% for 7 TDs and 10 INTs, and put up a passer rating of 69.0. Can he play well? Absolutely. He's done it. But his career since then has been mediocre:

58.3% completions, 28/22 TD/INT, 77.7 rating.

But he's been unreal in the postseason, and we have to see what happens when the lights are the brightest.

I suspect BB is scouring the tapes to see what he's doing now compared to then and what kind of positions they need to force him into.

His career passer rating is much lower when trailing--perhaps reflecting that when he needs to throw, he struggles. Not that this is surprising, but his takes a rather large drop, that I'm not seeing when I look at other QBs. From 108 when leading, to 76 when trailing.
To me that says he's a good QB. He's had some moments of greatness and some moments of very average play. Tom Savage is not a good QB. Dishone Kizer is not a good QB. There are a lot of QBs in the NFL that aren't good.

Foles is good. Perfectly and utterly good. But not great. I think it's a fair description. Saying someone is good is saying they are a little above average. That's Foles in a nutshell.
 

Leather

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What Foles and Philadelphia did against the #1 ranked defense in the league is a little different than the ‘00 Giants or ‘04 Colts.
The point is that the Giants held a team with Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Dante Culpeller in his prime, and a 1500 yard rusher to 0 points. Then they gave up 34 to a team helmed by Trent Dilfer.

So maybe a little different but not much.
 

tims4wins

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Also happened to the Pats in the 2013 divisional game when they walked all over the Colts then went to Denver and couldn't move the ball whatsoever.
2012 as well when they put up 41 on a good Texans D then 13 against the Ravens (though some of that was injury related)
 

pokey_reese

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I think that people are grossly underrating Foles, at least relative to Wentz, in trying to cherry pick specific games. Frankly, I'm not sure that Wentz is really much better than Foles, and they have virtually the same career QB rating (around 87), for all the faults that stat has, and I think that this Eagles offense outside of the QB is really good. Looking at games that Foles either started or had more than 10 passing attempts in (including the playoffs), his teams have averaged 23.5 PPG. For his career he has a just over 60% completion rate, and a 2-1 TD-INT ratio, so while he might not be amazing, he isn't a typical journeyman/backup.

The Pats can certainly stop him enough to win this game, as they did Bortles, but expecting him to regress into a terrible QB just because he outperformed expectations against a very good defense isn't realistic, and further, not how regression analysis works. In fact, because he played so well against a very good defense, any decent model would increase his expected points for the next game based on that additional observation, not decrease it. You can say that the Eagles won't get three turnovers against the Pats (including a pick 6), which should lower their expected points as a team, but that has nothing to do with Foles's expected performance moving forward.
 

DJnVa

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I think that people are grossly underrating Foles, at least relative to Wentz, in trying to cherry pick specific games.
If you're referring to me, I didn't cherry pick--I used every game he's played in the last 4 seasons.
 

BusRaker

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Every quarterback has their good and bad games, but it seems to me that Foles has a bit more deviation
 

MarcSullivaFan

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He might not be a great QB, but he's certainly a good one.
You sure? He was incredible in 2013 and these playoffs. Otherwise he’s consistently been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league by pretty much any statistical measure. Not mediocre, terrible. For example, he’s had a negative DVOA every season other than 2013. Other than ‘13 and ‘16 (when he started one game), he’s never had a passer rating over *80*. Etc.

So, weird career with some high highs, and who knows what will happen in one game, but I think it’s a stretch to assume that this is the “real” Nick Foles.
 

Captaincoop

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This is one year where I love the two-week break before the Super Bowl. The Eagles just played the best game they could conceivably play. Give them plenty of time to cool off and pat themselves on the back. Give Gronk an extra week to clear the cobwebs, and McDaniels plenty of time to find the holes in the Eagles D.

Also love that the Vikings just got humiliated by Philly, so all the locals who manage to get into the game will be rooting for the Pats. Helps even out the crowd.
 

Marciano490

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I think that people are grossly underrating Foles, at least relative to Wentz, in trying to cherry pick specific games. Frankly, I'm not sure that Wentz is really much better than Foles, and they have virtually the same career QB rating (around 87), for all the faults that stat has, and I think that this Eagles offense outside of the QB is really good. Looking at games that Foles either started or had more than 10 passing attempts in (including the playoffs), his teams have averaged 23.5 PPG. For his career he has a just over 60% completion rate, and a 2-1 TD-INT ratio, so while he might not be amazing, he isn't a typical journeyman/backup.

The Pats can certainly stop him enough to win this game, as they did Bortles, but expecting him to regress into a terrible QB just because he outperformed expectations against a very good defense isn't realistic, and further, not how regression analysis works. In fact, because he played so well against a very good defense, any decent model would increase his expected points for the next game based on that additional observation, not decrease it. You can say that the Eagles won't get three turnovers against the Pats (including a pick 6), which should lower their expected points as a team, but that has nothing to do with Foles's expected performance moving forward.
Wentz was a rookie last year and an MVP candidate this year.
 

j-man

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this game

will come down to
is gronk 100%
2 can foles do it again

u had 4 commom opp
Denver u both smoked
KC Beat Both
LA lost to 2 to philly 8 to u
OAK u smoked they shouild had lost to oak

their frount 7 is nasty they have 2 good CB their DC only likes to rush 4

u best case u draw and screen them foles playes like week 16 they play thight in 1st haif NE 24 Philly 17
Worst Case they jump up early gronk is 60% they hit a few runs trick plays they jump out to a 28-10 lead and iced it with blount Philly 34 NE 27 17 4th q points
 

DJnVa

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I gotta say, if the game goes best case for NE it's not going be just a 7 point win. If it goes best case, NE scores 30+, and gets ahead early, making Foles throw a lot and he can't do it.
 

Deathofthebambino

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As incredible as the defense has been playing recently, here's a stat I noticed today. The Patriots have forced ZERO turnovers in their last 6 games. Zero. I don't think I can remember a BB defense ever going 6 games without forcing a turnover. So, not only are they playing great defense, and keeping the opponent out of the end zone, they are doing it the old fashioned way. That's fucking amazing.

I think the streak ends next Sunday.
 

Rheal With Cheese

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As incredible as the defense has been playing recently, here's a stat I noticed today. The Patriots have forced ZERO turnovers in their last 6 games. Zero. I don't think I can remember a BB defense ever going 6 games without forcing a turnover. So, not only are they playing great defense, and keeping the opponent out of the end zone, they are doing it the old fashioned way. That's fucking amazing.

I think the streak ends next Sunday.
Are we not counting fake spike plays?

But otherwise that’s a fantastic point and I’d love to win a turnover battle for the first time in a really long time... hopefully they’re due indeed.
 

jsinger121

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As incredible as the defense has been playing recently, here's a stat I noticed today. The Patriots have forced ZERO turnovers in their last 6 games. Zero. I don't think I can remember a BB defense ever going 6 games without forcing a turnover. So, not only are they playing great defense, and keeping the opponent out of the end zone, they are doing it the old fashioned way. That's fucking amazing.

I think the streak ends next Sunday.
They had an INT against Pittsburgh. 4 games without a TO.
 

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They had an INT against Pittsburgh. 4 games without a TO.
Which, to be fair, is still a record for a BB coached team. Previous record was 3, done twice, most recently last season (10/30-11/20) in addition to 10/2-10/16 of 2005. 5 is the all-time overall NFL mark since the merger though, done eight times, most recently this year's Browns, and all but one was done this decade (2006 Redskins).
 

Hagios

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This scares me:
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Thursday one of the advantages the Philadelphia Eagles have in a ground-and-pound matchup is depth on defense, especially the defensive line.

“They play lots of players, so the ones that are in there, they’re rotating them like hockey lines, so they go in there and they sell out, and they get a rest,” Shurmur said. “They really trust their guys to be in critical situations. Sometimes when defensive lines rotate, you get to what would be considered a critical third-down, and they make sure they just put the front-liner, but they play their guys.”

The highest percentage of snaps played by any Eagles defensive lineman was pass rusher Brandon Graham, who was on the field for 64 percent of total plays. Superstar defensive tackle Fletcher Cox played 58 percent. Rookie pass rusher Derek Barnett added to an already-gifted D-line, playing 41 percent of snaps and picking up 5.0 sacks this season
https://www.1500espn.com/vikings-2/2018/01/vikings-oc-eagles-depth-defense-line-like-hockey-lines/
 

Oil Can Dan

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Exactly. And quit hit passes to take away their effectiveness. It’s gonna be nickel and dime all day long.
 

InstaFace

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Soooo, I was watching the postgame show last night on CSN Philadelphia. They literally were discussing how there was going to be a parade on Broad Street in a couple weeks. Unironically. I nearly lost it, had to think of that awesome parade route speech before 39. And here we are again. Motivation is already there. As history repeats, oft do its messages and more subtle nuances, this being no exception.
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes".
 
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