2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Unselfish play key for first-place Eagles

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-12-10 18:20

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - From Jason Avant's blocks to Brent Celek sliding short of the end zone to run out the clock, the Philadelphia Eagles have a group of unselfish players.

That's part of the reason they're positioned to go worst-to-first.

The Eagles (8-5) were in sole possession of first place in the NFC East when they took the field for an indoor practice Tuesday.

Chicago's win over Dallas on Monday night gave Philadelphia a one-game lead with three to go.

So, the Eagles control their playoff hopes. If they win out, they'll secure their first NFC East title since 2010 and at least the No. 3 seed in the conference.

It's an impressive turnaround for a team that finished 4-12 last season.

But rookie coach Chip Kelly instilled a new attitude along with his innovative offense and players have bought into his philosophy from the start.

Unselfishness is a priority.

''The people we have here is a great place to work,'' quarterback Nick Foles said. ''It's an honor to be a Philadelphia Eagle because of the people here. We hold each other accountable and we play for each other. That's why I love it here.''

Players care more about the team's success than individual stats. A prime example came at the end of Sunday's 34-20 victory when Celek caught a pass from Foles and had a clear path to the end zone.

But he slid into a pile of snow at the 10-yard line so the Eagles would run out the clock instead of giving the ball back to Detroit with just under two minutes left.

Point differential is far down the list of tiebreakers, so Celek's heads-up move is unlikely to cost the Eagles in a negative way.

''That's the kind of player Brent is,'' guard Todd Herremans said. ''He always puts the team first and before his own accolades.''

Then there's Avant, a slot receiver who does whatever it takes to win. Avant doesn't get the ball thrown his way as often as DeSean Jackson or Riley Cooper, but he contributes with downfield blocks to spring LeSean McCoy for big gains.

Avant drove cornerback Bill Bentley to the ground and blocked him into safety Louis Dumas on McCoy's 57-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Jason is on the sideline asking me: `Can we run the ball my way?''' Kelly said. ''I don't know how many wide receivers in this league are asking to have the ball run their way, but I think that's kind of a testament to the team we have right now.''

Avant's whatever-it-takes attitude is contagious.

''We are just trying to do everything we can to win,'' Avant said. ''As a receiver you want to catch passes, but if you don't get that opportunity there are other ways you can help. If that's what we need to do in order to win, I'll do it.''

After winning three straight games at the Linc following a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak at home, the Eagles hit the road to play Minnesota (3-9-1).

They return home to face the Bears (7-6) in a prime-time game on Dec. 22 and finish up at Dallas (7-6) in a game that could decide the division.

The Eagles are 4 1/2-point favorites against the Vikings and it would be easy to overlook them with two tough opponents looming on the schedule. But the coaching staff has cautioned players not to take any team lightly.

''We hit the reset button,'' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. ''Our guys believe in the process that we go through each week. The veterans that have been around here have helped them. They've been really good about putting the last game to bed and moving on. We talk about this being the best Tuesday of the year, and they've embraced it.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group