Monday, December 9, 2013
Upon Further Review: Eagles Week 14
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- Four snowballs in the freezer from the Philadelphia Eagles' 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Celek's slide: While fantasy football owners howled, Brent Celek slid in the snow. Celek, the Eagles' veteran tight end, passed up a touchdown to hang on to the ball and allow his team to run the clock out.
"It felt real good," Celek said. "Just knowing that the game was over, it was a good feeling."
The Eagles faced a fourth-and-12 at the Detroit 37-yard line with two minutes left. With the Lions loaded up in expectation of another run by LeSean McCoy, Celek was able to slip away uncovered. Nick Foles lobbed him the ball and Celek had nothing but a field of white in front of him.
At the 10, Celek slid playfully, sending up a spray of snow. The Eagles, who had allowed two special teams touchdowns, ran out the clock.
"I knew as soon as we called that play that if I caught it, I was going down," Celek said. "Listen, I score, then we have to do a kickoff and then the defense has to go out there. Guys can get hurt. It's not a smart move for the team."
Unless your fantasy team has Celek or Foles, of course.
Late scores: Before Sunday, the Eagles couldn't score in the fourth quarter. In their four wins since a loss to the Giants on Oct. 27, the Eagles had been outscored in the fourth quarter, 33-0. Coach Chip Kelly pointed out that in two of those games, at Oakland and Green Bay, the Eagles didn't need any points.
They needed them in this fourth quarter, and they got 28 of them. If Celek had gone in, the Eagles would have tied or broken (depending on the conversion) the NFL record for fourth-quarter points. Detroit set the record at 34 in a game against Chicago in 2007.
"Today was a different type of day," Celek said.
That was an understatement.
Snow play: Lane Johnson will never forget his first snow angel.
The rookie right tackle followed LeSean McCoy into the end zone on his 57-yard touchdown run. Johnson, who grew up in Texas and played college football at Oklahoma, fell back and waved his arms and legs.
"That was stupid on my part," Johnson said ruefully. "They could have called a penalty on it. I kind of baseball slid, did it and got out of there. That's the first one I've ever done -- probably the last one, too."
Overall, Johnson enjoyed his big snow day.
"It felt like a bunch of big kids out there," Johnson said. "It was funny seeing guys slip. Bunch of big bodies out there. It was like cows on ice. This will be a game I will always remember."
Special teams abysmal: It's safe to say none of the Eagles will be NFC special teams player of the week. Punter Donnie Jones won the award for his last two performances.
Detroit return man Jeremy Ross returned a punt 58 yards for one touchdown and a kickoff 98 yards for another. On a day the Eagles' defense allowed only eight points, those breakdowns could have cost the Eagles the game.
But everything in this game has an asterisk because of the conditions. Would Ross have broken those long returns without all that snow on the ground? It's doubtful.
"We tried not to kick to him," Eagles special teamer Kurt Coleman said. "We wanted to keep it a little lower and not allow him to have an easy catch like that. We were battling a lot of elements. No excuses, he made good plays, but in that type of game, you've got to stop and start and change direction and he was able to hit the holes."
Coleman said he had to remove the visor from his helmet because it caked up with snow.
"It was backyard ball," he said. "It changed the way you had to approach the game. You had to play a little slower, more controlled and be able to front up the block instead of trying to run around it."