Philadelphia Eagles News

Wulf's Den: What Went Right Or Wrong?


With the Eagles officially eliminated from playoff contention, two days away from wrapping an anticlimactic bow on the 2014 season, it is time for reflection. What happened that allowed a 9-3 team, tied for the best record in the league, to drop three straight games and fall into playoff irrelevance before the final week of the season? What's next for the roster? Who exceeded expectations and who fell below their predicted level of play?

In the Wulf's Den, self-examination is what we're all about. So, in our final edition of the season, we reflect on the predictions laid forth prior to Week 1 of the 2014 season. How did we do?

Prediction No. 1 – LeSean McCoy Will Become The Eagles' All-time Leading Rusher

Not the highest level of difficulty on this one, but we moved the runners along here nonetheless. McCoy needed 1,065 rushing yards on the season to tie Wilbert Montgomery's record of 6,538 yards. Despite a relative dropoff production-wise from 2013, when he led the league in rushing, McCoy passed Montgomery in the Week 13 loss to Seattle. At press time, McCoy has 6,693 career rushing yards. At only 26 years old, McCoy should have plenty of opportunities to distance himself from Montgomery as he pushes forward.

Prediction No. 2 – Nick Foles Will Set The Eagles' Single-Season Record For Touchdown Passes

A swing and a miss. Foles will finish his third season with just 13 touchdown passes after missing the final eight games of the year with a broken collarbone. He was on pace for 26 touchdown passes, which still would have been shy of Sonny Jurgensen's record of 32 touchdown passes in 1961.

Even if Foles' production was combined with Mark Sanchez, the 2014 Eagles quarterbacks have tossed a total of 25 touchdowns. Down to .500 on the predictions.

Prediction No. 3 – The Eagles Will Set A Team Record For Most First Downs In A Season

We'll come back to this shortly.

Prediction No. 4 – Vinny Curry Will Set An Incredibly Obscure Record

The record in question was career sacks for an Eagles player from New Jersey. The previous record? Just 5.5, by the immortal Danny Stubbs, who notched all 5.5 in his lone season with the Eagles in 1995. Curry, meanwhile, had 4.0 career sacks heading into the season. He broke through with his second sack of the season in Week 6, savoring every moment of the accomplishment.

"That's sweet. I'll just keep putting on the for state (of New Jersey)," Curry said afterward. "I had to make you right."

With the burden of becoming the Garden State's best pass-rushing Eagle off his back, Curry emerged as one of the league's most efficient pass rushers. With 9.0 sacks on the season, Curry now had 13.0 total sacks in his career.

Prediction No. 5 – An Eagle Will Win The AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year Award For The First Time

The Eagles had two legitimate candidates to take home this crown, something no Eagle has ever done. Jordan Matthews was among an historic group of rookie wide receivers. His 767 receiving yards thus far are the fifth-most of any rookie in Eagles history (he trails DeSean Jackson's rookie Eagles record by 145 yards) and his 59 receptions are third. But the depth of the 2014 wide receiver class is such that Matthews is only fifth in receiving yards among the class. Odell Beckham, the prohibitive Rookie of the Year favorite, has 1,120 receiving yards in just 11 games.

Matthews, though, was joined in the chase for the award by kicker Cody Parkey. Heading into last week's game against Washington, Parkey was 30-for32 on field goals, but the two missed field goals last week will likely taint his case .Parkey is still tied for the league lead in points scored, no small feat for an undrafted rookie. The race will come down to the wire – five kickers are currently tied atop the list with 127 points, with three more within just four points.

Still, we'll concede likely defeat here. Down to .500 again.

Prediction No. 3 – The Eagles Will Set A Team Record For Most First Downs In A Season

Will the Den finish with a winning or losing record? This is the tiebreaker. After 30 first downs last week in Washington, tied for a season high, the Eagles are 23 first downs away from tying the franchise record of 356, set in 2011.

This will come down to the wire. The Eagles have broken the 23 mark in first downs in eight-of-15 games this season.

First Downs By Game
WeekOpponentFirst DownsResult
4San Francisco11Loss
5St. Louis22Win
6New York24Win
11Green Bay22Loss

The Giants defense, meanwhile, has allowed 20.2 first downs per game this season, with opponents topping 23 first downs just twice. So the Eagles will have their work cut out for them to vindicate the Den.

Then again, even a win here would give us a winning percentage of .600, the same one currently sported by the 9-6 Eagles.

Next year, we have to be better.

The Paper Of Record


Bo Knows

Earlier this week, Bo Knows sat down with Nolan Carroll II to talk about the cornerback's favorite Christmas carols and what exactly he would consider caroling. But it wasn't that good. Instead, we present a scene from Christmas in the Wulf's Den. The players are Bo, his sister Eve, his wife Rachel and his mother Jane …

Bo Wulf: Merry Christmas, Eve.

Eve Wulf: Emphasis on the comma? You said it too fast.

Bo: It's Christmas, Eve.

Eve: Yes, it's Christmas, Bo.

Bo: Do you get that a lot?

Eve: Yeah, I got like 100 snaps yesterday. My Russian friend from school texted me saying, "I don't know if you do this in America, but Happy Christmas Eve. I figured I'd tell you because it's your name." He goes, "But Happy Christmas Eve."

Bo: That's pretty good. What will you do on New Year's, Eve?

Eve: Shut up.

Bo: What will you do on New Year's Eve, Eve?

Eve: I don't know, Bo.

Bo: Do you think, like, your name is, you're always the night before something. So do you walk around all day long knowing that, like, for you, the next day is always more important?

Eve: Like everyone's birthday is birthday eve.

Bo: So, for you, it's all about tomorrow.

Eve: I think he needs to shut up.

Rachel Wulf: Bo, stop.

Bo: So I did an interview with Nolan Carroll this week, asking him about Christmas carols, but it wasn't very good. So this is the replacement. (Ed. Note – Carroll's favorite carol is "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing")

Eve: The phone?

Bo: I'm interviewing you right now.

Eve: You are? No you're not. Is he interviewing me? Because I haven't answered any questions. He's interviewing me about my name being Eve and how it's significant to the night before every single day.

Bo: But for you it's always about the day before. Because you're Eve.

Eve: So you think everyone just goes about their day thinking today is the eve before tomorrow?

Bo: But you, though, for you, every day is the day before something.

Eve: I really only think about it on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, maybe birthday eve.

Bo: That's it?

Eve: July 4th eve? Wedding eve?

Bo: What do you like better, Christmas Eve, or Christmas, Eve?

Eve: Bo, Christmas. Maybe going to bed on Christmas Eve and waking up on Christmas.

Bo: As Eve.

Eve: As Eve, as myself. Do you think Santa knows my name is Eve?

Bo: He must. He knows everything. Thank you for your time.

Eve: Merry Christmas.

Bo: Merry Christmas, Eve.

Jane Wulf: OK, we're sitting down for dinner!

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