Eagles, St. Nick, pull off holiday miracle: The Morning After


Good morning campers,

Good morning campers,

First off, I want to wish everyone a safe, happy and joyous holiday season!

Let’s get to getting…


*Word of the Day- Have to give props to the immortal MQ right off the bat this week. Watching yet another instance where the Eagles Defense only rushes 4 – despite not getting any consistent pressure, the word he used to describe the experience was spot freaking on.


But then it hit me: this word is not only apropos when explaining the Eagles Defense, it was fitting to to describe the whole damn team! The word is maddening. How else would you describe something that “drives to madness or frenzy; infuriates or exasperates”? As usual, MQ nails it.

*Continuing the maddening theme…for the second straight week, a turnover in a VERY crucial stage of the game nearly cost the Eagles a win. Last week, it was a pick thrown by Nick Foles in the red zone, which completely changed the complexion of the game. This week, it was a fumble by Josh Adams. It is incredible how, well…maddening this team can be. Seemingly in control of a given contest, they somehow insist on walking that tightrope to victory, leaving all of us collectively holding our breaths hoping they don’t fall.

*Let Fouts Creep In– What game was Dan Fouts watching yesterday? What color is the sky in his world? Following a completion to the Texans’ Deandre Hopkins, Fouts told us viewers that was Hopkins’ 95th touchdown of the season. Now, I’m not sure, but I THINK that would be a record. Later, following an Eagles sack – by Chris Long, Danny boy sang the praises of… Brandon Graham for said sack. Truth be told, they are only one number apart, 56 and 55 respectfully, so maybe that one wasn’t all Danny’s fault.

*Love is Blind– Maybe, just maybe, the NFL officials have become so enamored with themselves this year (to the point of out and out love) that they are now blind – literally. Yes, I know I am mixing metaphors here or something like that, but how in the world can you explain the collective ineptitude this year? One example from yesterday was the clear and blatant penalty that should have been called on the Texans Jadeveon Clowney for yanking on Foles’ face mask, nearly spinning his head clockwise in the process. If you watch the replay, the referee (AKA: The Big Kahuna) is no more than 5-7 yards away, yet no hankie was thrown. I would love to ask this official how and why Foles’ head could be spun like Linda Blair WITHOUT his face mask being grabbed.

*Life in the Fast Lane- Major props to Lane Johnson for his incredible job on the all-world JJ Watt. You barely heard Watt’s name all day, other than when play-by-play man Ian Eagle said how great he and Clowney had been playing all day. Yes, he really said that. Must be nice to have such a name as Watt does that even when he has a down game, the announcer will still sing his praises. Keep up the good work, Ian.

*V is Not For Victory- At least in the case of Halapoulivaati Vaitai (AKA: Big V). Good lord, did he have a bad game yesterday. The aforementioned Clowney had his way all day with Big V. If he’s the future for the Eagles at EITHER tackle spot, we’ve got trouble, kids.

*Ertz So Damn Good- It wasn’t all that long ago that a certain TMA scribe was calling for the end to the Zach Ertz era in Philly. So much potential, yet so little production. Well, times certainly change and the Eagles now have a record-setting tight end in their midst, as Ertz now holds the record for most receptions by a tight end in one season. Pretty remarkable, and it never felt so good to be so wrong.

*The Gold & the Beautiful- Someone a lot smarter than me needs to explain to me why Golden Tate is not a bigger part of the Eagles offense. I simply do not get it. Someone, anyone, please help me understand this. Thank you.

*Paging Doug Rei… Ok, I will stop one letter short of referring to Doug Pederson by his other monicker – the one I use that irks several of our TMA readers to say the least, but for a while there it sure looked Dougie Fresh was doing his best Big Red impression. Two delay of game penalties, along with Ill-advised timeouts (including one on defense). Um, clock management is one of Big Red’s biggest weaknesses as we all know, so any time I see ANY sign of that rearing its ugly head…I get scared.

*Coaching Carousel- By this time next week, several NFL coaches will most likely have received their pink slips. So without further adieu, here’s my personal list of coaches who should be fired/will be fired and coaches who should be fired/won’t be fired.

Should Be/Will Be Fired:

*Todd Bowles – Jets

*Vance Joseph – Broncos (plus, I think the almighty John Elway needs to take some heat too but he won’t be fired)

*Marvin Lewis – Bengals (finally!)

*Doug Marrone – Jaguars (although one report has him inexplicably coming back next season)

*Steve Wilks – Cardinals

*Dan Quinn – Falcons

*Dirk Koetter – Bucs

Should Be/Won’t Be Fired:

*Adam Gase – Dolphins

*Matt Patricia – Lions

*Ron Rivera – Panthers

One not mentioned: Mike Tomlin of the Steelers. If Pittsburgh somehow does NOT make the playoffs this year, I think you will see the Steelers do something they never do: fire their coach.

*Foles Farewell- Barring another Super Bowl victory (no, I don’t think that’s happening), it’s pretty obvious by now that Nick Foles will not be returning to the team next season, and Sunday probably marked the last time the reigning Super Bowl MVP will take the field as an Eagle. This is obviously worth discussing, for many reasons. No, he’s not the second coming of Joe Montana, but give St. Nick his due, as his place in the annals of Eagles history started long before “Philly Philly” (not to be confused with Philly2Philly).

For example:

-Foles is the first QB in the history of the NFL to have a perfect passer rating and also throw seven TDs in a single game.

-He’s also the first QB with a passer rating above 149 for two straight weeks. Foles also has the second highest Touchdown-Interception ratio for a single season in NFL history (Tom Brady is beating him by one touchdown).

-St. Nick was also the starting QB for Andy Reid’s last win as an Eagles coach, as well as the QB during the “Snow Bowl” in 2013.

-On Sunday, he broke Donovan McNabb’s team record for passing yards in a game (471).

And oh yeah, before I “forget,” he also did what McNabb, Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Ron Jaworski, Roman Gabriel and any other Eagles QB had never done: bring the city its first EVER Super Bowl. Foles “gets” Philly, and because of what he did last February, he will never have to buy a meal in the City of Brotherly Love for the rest of his life. If this somehow does not happen, and you know about it, contact me and I will gladly reimburse him. Cheers to you, Nick.  Your play gave the entire Tri-State area a highlight film that will be shown long after all of us are gone.

*Stats Incredible. Did anyone else hear the stat which read that 69% of defending Super Bowl champs make the playoffs the following year? As we all know, it’s been an up and down year for our beloved defending champs. As you know, several heartbreaking losses along the way have prevented the Birds from controlling their destiny. A lot has to go right for a playoff appearance, and it all comes down to the final week of the season. We Eagles fans wouldn’t want it any other way. So grab your seat, look up, and watch as our Birds walk perilously across that high wire next week against the Redskins.


Until next week, which will hopefully not be the final time this year.


Steve Olenski
Former Forbes Contributor/CMO Whisperer/Writer/Coffee Drinker
| “If you’re a CMO or marketing leader you owe it to yourself to follow Steve and read/listen to what he has to say. Plus he’s just a super-nice, funny, and down-to-earth guy.” Julie Lyle, former CMO of Walmart



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