The Linc - More Violence!

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/22/2013.

Don't forget to follow the wonderful BGN writers on Twitter:

Brandon Lee Gowton - @BrandonGowton

Mike E. Kaye - @mike_e_kaye

James Keane - @JeromesFriend

Brent Cohen - @EaglesRewind

Mark Saltveit - @taoish

Josh Collacchi - @PFF_JCollacchi

BGN Radio - @BGN_Radio.

Let's get to the links...

Week 12 NFL picks - JimmyK, Philly.com
Cowboys at Giants - This will of course be the game of the week for Eagles fans. The Cowboys come into this game limping. Their DL is thin, and their best LB (Sean Lee) is out. The Cowboys defense has been an embarrassment the last 3 weeks, as they've given up 1641 yards, 103 points, and 91 first downs. That's 547 yards, 34.3 points, and 30.3 first downs per game. If you have Giants on your fantasy football team, start them.

Red Zone Menace - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
The Eagles had some of the worst Red Zone defenses in NFL history just a few years back. Now the team is 6th in the NFL in that category and is on a major hot streak. How can a unit that gives up yards left and right be so good in a critical area? What gives? I think the biggest thing is that the Eagles lack speed on defense. That’s a major issue when covering the whole field. The Red Zone is a confined space. Size becomes more important. Quickness can be a big help, but flat out speed has its limitations. There just isn’t enough room to run by people.

Jerry Azzinaro key in Eagles' D-line's resurgence - CSN Philly
The strength of the defense is up front, where the starting line of Cox, Cedric Thornton and Bennie Logan has developed faster than anyone could have imagined and laid the foundation for a promising future, if not an enticing December, for the first-place Eagles. The 25-year-old Thornton is the oldest of the trio. Reserve end Vinny Curry, also 25, leads the team in sacks despite coming off the bench. The man largely credited for the overnight metamorphosis is defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, whose relationship to Kelly is so tight knit and significant that he doubles as the team’s assistant head coach.

Top WR duo ranks - Chris Wessling, NFL.com
7. DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
Jackson isn't a true No. 1 receiver -- he doesn't make contested catches in traffic or move the chains -- but he's a big-play machine in Chip Kelly's offense. A liability in the first month of the season, Cooper has been a top-10 receiver in terms of yards and touchdowns over the past six weeks. He's making a strong argument for the Eagles to move on from impending free agent Jeremy Maclin in 2014.

BLG Note: DeSean is 9th in the league in first downs, FYI.

What Has Happened to the NFL's Running Game? - The Triangle Blog - Grantland
It's not exactly a secret that the NFL is continuing to move away from its running-friendly roots. Through Week 11, this has been the most pass-happy season in league history. Teams are averaging 26.9 rushing attempts per game, which would be the first time NFL teams would fail to hit 27 running plays per game. Receptions per game are also at an all-time high — NFL teams are averaging 21.9 completions per game and 239.6 passing yards per game, which would both be league records. Now 69.9 percent of yards from scrimmage come on passing plays; just wait till Andy Reid and I throw a party when that baby goes over 70 percent!

Is the NFL More Hazardous Than Pro Wrestling? - Bloomberg
In at least one important sense, the distinction is arbitrary. Football players and pro wrestlers are both subject to the same laws of physics. No matter how thick and muscle-hardened their bodies, their brains remain fragile things, unprepared by evolution or exercise to be battered regularly against their skulls. An autopsy found that Benoit’s brain at the time of death resembled that of an 85-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease. That's precisely the conclusion a neuropathologist reached after studying the brain of former NFL safety Andre Waters, who had killed himself several months earlier.

State of the Eagles Address: A compilation of statistics, summaries, and rankings [Bye Week Edition] - r/Eagles
Greetings! It is the Eagles BYE Week and we don't have a game to look forward to this weekend (other than a tie in the Cowboys/Giants game). With the downtime, I wanted to take a detailed look to see how the Eagles starters have done up to this point in the season. We know that the team has improved as the season continued, but this will give us a broad look at where our players stand overall in the NFL. I am a stat junkie, but I hope other people enjoy the work. It took a pretty long time to compile everything.

What Are The Players Doing For The Bye? - Danta Klaus, PE.com
While fans try to figure out what they’re going to do with the bye week, find out how the Eagles players are spending their final few days of relaxation before the stretch run of the season …

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