Posts tagged Nick Foles
Ball Don't Lie Ep. 33 - The Kings of the North

It's been eight long years, but the Chicago Bears are once again the Kings of the NFC North! Pierce and Scott talk about the division champs and more from Week 15 of the NFL Season.

Topics:
Are the Bears legitimate Super Bowl contenders?
Changing the national perception of this team
Re-drafting the 2017 NFL Draft
Can Nick Foles write the sequel and take Philly to the playoffs?
Did the Seahawks miss a golden opportunity to go into the playoffs hot?
Do you trust the Vikings to win out?
Who wins the AFC West?
Are the Steelers back?
Do you trust the Patriots to win two playoff games on the road?
Does a bye give the Texans a shot in the AFC
Week 16 predictions
Avengers: Endgame trailer
Goofy Mog of the Week

Celebrate your division champs by grabbing one of the NEW shirts straight from The Barber's Chair merch store!
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Follow Scott on Twitter: @Scott_CEOofSUH
Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega
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intro music: Pavy: "Problematic"
outro music: "Jive" by The Loyalist - hooksounds.com

Ball Don't Lie - "Starting Nick Foles Is Like Trying Coke Once"

Ball Don't Lie returns to recap week 2 of the NFL season! What's going on in Pittsburgh with Mike Tomlin and Antonio Brown? How long will Fitzmagic last in Tampa? Are the Eagles rushing Carson Wentz? Is Patrick Mahomes the real deal or should we wait it out? Can Blake Bortles be consistent enough for the Jaguars to make a real run at the Super Bowl? We'll also talk about the Packers/Vikings tie, Josh Gordon to the Pats, and Vontae Davis quitting the Bills at halftime. PLUS D-Wade's last season, Kanye’s fufu-ass apology tour and the Captain Marvel trailer!

Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Scott: @Scott_CEOofSUH
Follow Joe: @Flowsandolini

From Nightmares to Dreams: Eagles are ringless no more

I'm putting my Eagles slander to bed.

For years I got such satisfaction from ringless jokes, my favorite of which the one of Donovan McNabb chilling next to a trophy case with a single can of Campbell's Chunky soup inside. They were the NFL's punching bag, and punching the Eagles when they were down felt fun for fans of fellow mediocre teams.

(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

But the Eagles aren't mediocre anymore. In the wonkiest football season in recent memory, Philly overcame early-season injuries to their kicker (Caleb Sturgis), third-down running back (Darren Sproles), a leader in the defense (Jordan Hicks) and their All-Pro left tackle (Jason Peters) to surge towards the best record in the league & an NFC East crown. But when would've-been MVP Carson Wentz injured his ACL late in the season, everyone wrote the Eagles off.

Insert Nick Foles. 

Foles is only four years removed from a Pro Bowl season where he led the NFL in passer rating and set the best TD-to-INT ratio (27-2) in history. He'd since fallen out of favor in an ugly Chip Kelly-led mess in Philadelphia, gotten shipped off to St. Louis for Sam Bradford and benched by the Rams, only to back up Alex Smith the next year in Kansas City. He contemplated calling it quits, and then Doug Pederson's Eagles called him back.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles fans couldn't have predicted they would be on this stage with this quarterback. None of us did two months ago when Foles was thrusted into the starting job. Even less when he struggled mightily against New York and Dallas towards the end of the season. The Eagles were 13-3 and the top seed in the NFC, but they were anything but favorites.

The Falcons were favored to roll through Philly on their revenge tour. The Eagles defense held them to 10 points.  The Vikings were practically given the NFC Championship after their stunning win over New Orleans the week before. Their fans even hit the Skol chant in front of the Rocky sign. The Eagles delivered the knockout blow.

And then with history, Tom Brady and the mighty New England Patriots staring them in the face, the underdogs rose to the occasion again. And it was the quarterback no one thought could pull it off leading the way.

Nick Foles played as outstanding a game as you could ask. He outplayed the greatest of all time in Tom Brady, throwing for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns; all on perfect strikes to Alshon Jeffery, Corey Clement and Zach Ertz to win the game. But it was the trick play to cap the first half that everyone will remember. Pederson and Foles fooled the Patriots defense all game, but none moreso than Trey Burton's touchdown PASS to Foles. It was a testament to the balls of Pederson and Foles to take risks in order to beat the best team of our generation.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It took a lot of risks to get the Eagles to this point, not counting the trick plays and fourth down gambles. The Eagles took a risk in bringing back an Andy Reid-coordinator, all of whom except one (John Harbaugh) have hoisted a Lombardi before. Alshon Jeffery took a risk on himself when he declared a Super Bowl victory without having a team last offseason; he signed a one-year deal, parlayed that into a new contract, and then made good on his promise. LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long bet on themselves as well, leaving the Patriots after capturing a ring to go play together in Philly.

And Nick Foles took a risk by not hanging them up when it felt all was lost. Now, the Super Bowl MVP is ready to cash in big time.

Eagles fans, your 365 days of uninterrupted shit talk begins now. Enjoy it. It was well earned.

#FreeMeek

Fairly Odd Football Family Super Bowl preview

It's the Saturday before the Super Bowl, and Pierce and Jordan talk about Jordan's nerves, what this game means as an Eagles fan, and who will be the MVP of the Big Game.

Patriots, Eagles battle for immortality in Super Bowl LII
C.J. Gunther / EPA / Shutterstock

C.J. Gunther / EPA / Shutterstock

The Patriots vs who? It's become a preseason expectation to see the Patriots in Super Bowl. On Sunday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will team up for their 8th Super Bowl appearance together, having won it an astonishing five times. This level of dominance is unlike anything we’ve seen before in pro football, but it nothing out of the norm for the Patriots.

When comparing the experience of the team's leadership, the Eagles seem to be overmatched. Bill Belichick is coaching in his record-11th Super Bowl as a coach (twice as an assistant with the Giants, once as a Patriot assistant); Doug Peterson is in his first as a head coach. Nick Foles is in also starting in his first Super Bowl.

On paper, the Eagles match-up stat for stat with the Patriots and have just as much talent if not more, but the experience factor is what gives the Patriots an edge. Tom Brady, at 40 years old, has maintained his excellence and will look to hold up his sixth Super Bowl trophy which would undoubtedly establish him as the greatest quarterback ever, as if that hasn't already been done.

JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

The Patriots excellence can be credited to Bill Belichick and his program that he has built for success. Belichick put this roster together from top to bottom and led this team back to the promised land with 18 undrafted players on the roster. The Eagles have nine. Every single player was handpicked by Belichick to run his system to perfection, and it has paid off tremendously. Belichick is the only coach in the league with full roster control, a trust that he has built with owner Robert Kraft.

It's easy to count the Eagles out of the game before it even starts, but the Eagles are playing their best football. Nick Foles proved that he is not just a backup in the conference championship game and silenced all doubters who believed the Eagles wouldn't make it this far. The Eagles managed to overcome adversity after losing their MVP candidate in Carson Wentz, and still have been clicking on all cylinders.

This Eagles team is solid, and would probably be favored in this game if Carson Wentz was starting. Tom Brady will once again have his hands full against a tough defense that has only surrendered two touchdowns this playoff season. The Eagles have a solid attack, efficient in the run game with Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount, a passing attack that showed it could flourish against the number defense in the league by carving the Vikings secondary, and a defense that is playing at its best.

Despite being overlooked in this matchup, the Eagles players are incredibly confident going into the game. “Right now, at this time of the season, I don’t think anybody can call us underdogs,” starting cornerback Jalen Mills said. “Two teams left, about to play in the Super Bowl… No way we’re underdogs right now.”

The Eagles know exactly what challenges they are facing going up against the highly favored Patriots, but don't expect them to back down. “It’s pretty funny, but it’s definitely motivation," said Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry. "If people want to call us underdogs, so be it. You can call us anything you want to call us, but you still have to line up against us Sunday and play. Since we’ve been called underdogs, we’ve been winning. So, keep calling us that.”

Tom Brady knows not to take his opponent in this game lightly. "They're well-coached. They're good in all three phases. They play complementary games. They do a great job. There's no underdogs in the Super Bowl," Brady said. "They're the first seed in the NFC. Man, they're 13-3. They had an incredible season. I don't buy into any of that. I think they're as dangerous as any team in the league. It's going to come down to whoever plays the best, and hopefully it's us.”

Ultimately, this game will come down to which defense plays the best. Both offenses have proven capable to put up points in bunches, and Foles will look to go tit for tat with Brady. The Eagles managed to jump out to a comfortable lead against the Vikings, but if they do establish a lead, don't count the Patriots out; Brady has already earned his stripes in second half comebacks (refer back to last year’s 28-3 halftime deficit where Brady led them back to victory.) Even with all of the experience that the Patriots have, the Eagles are fully capable to pull off the upset.

Prediction: 21-17 Patriots win.

NFL Conference Championship preview
(Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

And then there were four. This has been one of the most exciting postseasons in recent years, and this week’s matchups look to keep the entertainment rolling with the conference Championships set to kickoff.

(Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

(Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

AFC Championship: Jacksonville at New England, Sunday, Jan. 21, 3:05ET CBS

"I ain't got too much to say, but make sure you all bring that same energy out next week and the week after,” Jalen Ramsey said in front of Jacksonville fans after the Jaguars win over the Steelers. ”We are going to the Super Bowl, and we're gonna win that bitch. We're gonna win that bitch."

The Jaguars have every right to be confident after putting on two strong performances this playoff season, but the last time they beat the Patriots was in the 1998 playoffs…and that is the only time. The Jags are 1-10 all time against the Pats, 0-7 in New England, and 0-6 in the Brady/Belichick era. They are underdogs to say the least,  but the Jaguars aren’t looking to back down against the reigning Super Bowl champs. A win in New England solidifies an amazing turnaround season, from nine straight losing seasons to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots are used to big-game situations. However the Jaguars are not, and the bright lights and cooler temperatures could factor into their performance.

The Patriots will need to prepare for a physical game as the Jaguars ranked number one in the regular season in rushing yards, averaging 141.4 yards per game. Expect the Jags to rely heavily on rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who torched the Steelers last week with 109 yards and 3 touchdowns.

As well as the Jaguars have been playing, it’s tough to pick against the Patriots in the playoffs. Brady is the most successful quarterback in postseason history, taking ownership of just about every statistical category a quarterback can have in the postseason. The most passing yards, touchdowns, and wins in NFL postseason history all belong to Brady, the G.O.A.T.

Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars will have their hands full this weekend, but expect this to be a hard fought gritty matchup that could very well come down to the end of the game.

Prediction: Patriots 30 Jaguars 24

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

NFC Championship: Minnesota at Philadelphia, Sunday, Jan. 21, 6:40 ET FOX

Both teams barely slipped their way into this conference championship game, but have proven to be two of the NFL’s toughest teams this season. This is the Jeff Fisher Bowl(HOW did Jeff Fischer not win with either of these quarterbacks???) One of these teams will advance to the Super Bowl with their backup quarterback taking the lead.

The one big difference between the quarterbacks is Case Keenum has had all season to work out his kinks and receive plenty of game time reps, while Nick Foles was thrust into the starting role at the very end of the season. Keenum went undrafted after college but has managed to have the best season of his career.

Despite losing MVP contender Carson Wentz to a season-ending ACL injury, the Eagles have advanced to their first conference championship since 2008. Quarterback Nick Foles appeared a bit shaky at times during last week’s win over the Falcons but managed to go 23 for 30 with no interceptions. He can manage the game, but just managing the game may not be enough this week going up against a stout Vikings defense.

The Vikings have one of the toughest defenses in the league and will need to play physical all game to stop Eagles running backs Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount, who are punishing runners and have the ability to wear a defense down and move the chains. A key factor in this game could be the Vikings forcing Nick Foles to use his check downs as these two running backs have only accounted for 18 catches combined all season. This is where rookie running back Corey Clement, who has been a versatile addition to the team, could come into play. Clement has caught 10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns this season out of the backfield and was a factor last week with 5 receptions.

This game could be decided between the Vikings receivers and the Eagles secondary. Eagles corners Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills played well against the Falcons but will have their hands full once again this week matching up with wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Thielen has been the go-to-guy all season for the Eagles but Diggs provides a tough matchup for any corner and has big play ability as seen last week when he scored the walk off touchdown to win the game.

Don’t expect this game to be high scoring game and don't expect it to be a blowout either. This will be an old school, grind it out defensive battle.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Eagles 17