The Eagles' big announcement on Tuesday was that quarterback Nick Foles will be the starter moving forward. On Wednesday, the coordinators will meet the media beginning at 10:25 a.m. We will broadcast those here on PhiladelphiaEagles.com before Eagles Live! at Noon. Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know for the day before Thanksgiving ...
1. MUST-SEE MATCHUP: JACKSON VS. FITZGERALD
For the fourth time in his career, DeSean Jackson will go head-to-head against Larry Fitzgerald in a matchup of two of the NFL's most dynamic wide receivers. Though they are polar opposites in terms of body type, natural ability and style of play, both strike fear into opposing defenses and can shift the momentum of a game in one snap.
It turns out Jackson has been a fan of Fitzgerald dating back to his high school days at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly.
"Growing up, I looked up to Fitzgerald," Jackson said. "When I was in high school, I watched him at Pittsburgh. He's done some great things. We have a good relationship. I admire him as a wide receiver. He's very good, very physical, and when the ball's in the air he's going to come down with it. I definitely put him with the elite, top wide receivers in this league and he's done it for a long time now."
Larry Fitzgerald was selected by the Arizona Cardinals out of Pittsburgh with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He just became the youngest player – at 30 years and 85 days of age – to reach 11,000 yards receiving and is a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Fame selection.
Fitzgerald has also feasted on the Eagles over the course of his career. In five total games, including playoffs, he has 35 catches for 570 yards and a whopping nine touchdowns, most against any non-NFC West team. And, as much as we might like to, who can forget his nine catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns in the 2008 NFC Championship Game, or his seven catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns – including the over-the-shoulder game-winner – in Week 7 of the 2011 season? It always seems like he saves his best performances for Philadelphia.
Jackson has fared pretty well against the Cardinals himself. In three career games, including playoffs, he has 15 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson's best showing came in the 2008 NFC Championship Game when, as a rookie, he caught six passes for 92 yards, including a long, tip-drill touchdown from Donovan McNabb that completed the Eagles' comeback and gave them a brief 25-24 lead.
We'll see which player most helps his team emerge victorious on Sunday.
2. EAGLES GET IN THE THANKSGIVING SPIRIT
With the holidays right around the corner, the Eagles and the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger provided low-income families in the Philadelphia community with a Thanksgiving to remember. On Tuesday night, Eagles players, family members and volunteers distributed Thanksgiving meals to nearly 450 families visiting the Feast of Justice food pantry in Mayfair.
After greeting guests upon arrival, Eagles players and volunteers helped to distribute turkeys, vegetables, pies and an assortment of desserts at various meal stations located on site. Funds donated by the Eagles players and staff paid for the Thanksgiving meals that Feast of Justice provided to more than 450 families in need in Northeast Philadelphia.
Feast of Justice, a ministry-based operation, is an extension of St. John's Lutheran Church located in Northeast Philadelphia. Since 1997, the program has provided food and other services to over 3,400 individuals each month. Some of its other services include: life skills, counseling, clothing, nutrition education and a summer reading program. The program's food pantry initiative allows individuals to choose their own foods, including fresh produce and nutritious goods.
3. FOLES: THE BEST VS. THE BLITZ
If quarterback Nick Foles' stats weren't already impressive enough, Foles is also the league's best passer against the blitz. According to Stats Inc., Foles has completed 60 percent of his pass attempts (22-of-40) for 419 yards with four touchdowns against no interceptions and two sacks.
Something has to give this Sunday because the Cardinals utilize a lot of blitz packages and have been very successful at implementing them with former Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles guiding the unit.
Opposing quarterbacks have the fifth-lowest passer rating against the Cardinals blitz this season going 106-of-197 for 1,307 yards with 10 touchdowns against nine interceptions for a 72.4 passer rating. The Cardinals have registered 17 sacks using extra pressure.
4. INJURY UPDATE: WOLFF EXPECTS TO BE READY FOR LIONS
The Eagles will release their first official injury report of the week later today, but safety Earl Wolff is not expected to play this Sunday due to a knee injury he suffered in the Week 10 win in Green Bay. However, Wolff said following practice Tuesday that he should be ready for the Week 14 matchup with the Lions.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks spent most of the bye week rehabbing his knee injury at the NovaCare Complex and the work paid off as he will return to the lineup after missing the win over Washington.
In fact, Wolff was the only player who did not practice on Tuesday, per head coach Chip Kelly.
5. EFFICIENCY: ACHO VISITED BROTHER, SCOUTED CARDS
Linebacker Emmanuel Acho's brother, Sam, is a member of the Arizona Cardinals, but unfortunately the two won't get to play on the same field this weekend as Sam is on Injured Reserve following a foot injury suffered in the Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Emmanuel Acho used the bye week to visit his brother and took in the Cardinals' 40-11 win over the Colts. Acho watched the game from a box with a notepad to do a little scouting.
"You can see more box level instead of field level," Acho said.
Acho described Arizona's offense as being "very poised" and noticed that they "repeated successful plays" on the same drive. Acho didn't ignore Arizona's vaunted defense which he said was "very aggressive."
With Sam unable to play, the entire Acho family will spend Thanksgiving with Emmanuel. Even though the two teams are playing against one another, the brothers are used to working together. The two were teammates at the University of Texas.
More importantly, the brothers have worked together in Isuikwuato, Nigeria with their parents, Sonny and Christie, who were born there. Sonny and Christie started a foundation called Living Hope Ministries and every year they take a group of doctors, nurses and volunteers to provide free health care. Crowds of 10,000 line up for the medical assistance.