The Eagles are the 2013 NFC East Champions, and the focus will now shift to the New Orleans Saints. But before we start to look ahead to Drew Brees and Company, let's hand out some hardware.
OK, so Nick didn't have his best game by any stretch, but let's just take a moment to recognize the season he had.
Foles finished with a passer rating of 119.1, which was the best passer rating in the NFL this season. It was also the 3rd best passer rating in the history of the NFL. According to the Eagles, Foles is the only player in NFL history to throw more than 20 TDs (he had 27) and 2 or fewer INTs. He also had the best TD:INT ratio (13.5 to 1). That is crazy for a guy who is only 24 and still learning the position.
McCoy was the NFL's leading rusher this season, by a wide margin.
What'd you get for winning the rushing title, Shady?
Early last season, before the Eagles played Pittsburgh, Steelers WR Antonio Brown called Brandon Boykin a "candy bar," which was supposed to mean that Boykin gave up a lot of big plays. It was a dumb, inaccurate comment at the time, that frankly didn't make any sense. I still don't get the joke. But whatever.
The Eagles are in the playoffs, due in large part to some huge plays made by the "candy bar" this season, namely his game-sealing picks against the Cowboys and Redskins. The Steelers, meanwhile, will be watching the playoffs from home.
Boykin had 6 INTs and 2 forced fumbles this season. He's only 23, and he's already a legitimate playmaker, despite only playing a little more than half the team's snaps.
Memo to opposing QBs: If you throw at the Boy King, you best not miss.
The Eagles finished the season with (by my count) 99 plays of 20+ yards. That is the most of any team since the NFL began tracking that stat in 1991.
And not only that, they did it with balance. The Eagles ran for 2500 yards this season, and passed for 4000. They're the first team to do that since the 1998 San Francisco 49ers. That Niners team had a few names you may have heard of... Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Terrell Owens.
Phil Simms, what do you think of Chip Kelly's offense?
Best "bottom 5" offense ever.
3-0 in the NFC East on the road, and 6-2 overall. The Eagles are going to have to play some road games in the playoffs if they continue to advance, and they'll be ready.
I wrote an article about Barwin's batted passes a few weeks ago. It was Pulitzer-worthy, but didn't get the attention it deserved, so go read it now. The short-short version of it was that Barwin has been ending drives all season with batted passes in key moments. A quick pictorial:
His batted pass on 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter was an enormous play.
Which leads us to the next award...
I think I'm supposed to be totally unbiased in my coverage of the Eagles, and that's what I try my best to be when I write about them. I give both credit and criticism when it's deserved. But at the same time, I grew up an Eagles fan, and can't help but be very fired up for a game of this magnitude. When Connor Barwin batted down that pass on 4th down, I let out a celebratory scream that sent my dog running into the bedroom. Poor Charlie is still a little shaken up hours later. Sorry bud.
Late in the 4th quarter, clinging to a 2-point lead and punting from their own 19 yard line, the Eagles desperately needed a bomb from Donnie Jones. As always, Donnie delivered. 56 yard bomb, with hangtime. #DonnieFootball.
I don't ever want to see Patrick Chung lined up 1-on-1, man-to-man on a slot receiver ever again. Serious, Billy. Never again. Please take whatever pages of the playbook call for that to occur, and burn them instantly. Better yet, shred them, burn them, and scatter the ashes across the 4 corners of the Earth.
Thank you in advance,
Otherwise, great job.