The Linc - Jason Peters Returning to Form

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/13/2013.

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Let's get to the links...

Eagles are 4th in yards per play differential - JimmyK, Philly.com
I was playing around with some numbers yesterday for my hierarchy post, and stumbled upon a fact that I thought was probably worthy of its own quick post. The Eagles gain 6.2 yards per play this season, which is 2nd in the NFL behind only the Broncos. They allow 5.5 yards per play, which is tied for 18th in the NFL. The differential between yards per play gained and yards per play allowed is +0.7, which is 4th in the NFL.

The Emerging Zach Ertz: A Closer Look - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
When the Eagles drafted tight end Zach Ertz in April, Chip Kelly praised the Stanford product's route running. You hear that occasionally about certain players -- "So-and-so, he runs great routes." -- but coaches rarely explain why. So I asked Chip Kelly last week, after Ertz caught five passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns, what makes a receiver a great route runner. "I think number one, it’s athletic ability," Kelly said. "Can you get in and out of cuts suddenly and in transition. I think that’s one thing with Zach, for such a big target, he’s kind of deceptive. "He’s deceptively fast. He doesn’t look like he’s moving as fast, but all of the sudden he’s right on top of you. He can change direction very quickly. I think what you’re seeing now is that things are starting to slow down for Zach."

Detailed Game Review – PHI 34, DET 20 - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
Some people wonder if this was a character win. I think you can make a case for that. The Eagles got down 14-0 due to their own mistakes. The offense was stagnant. Nick Foles threw an INT that set up a short TD drive. Then the STs unit allowed Jeremy Ross to return a punt for a TD. The Eagles never went into panic mode. They just kept grinding away and making small adjustments. When things started to click, the Eagles totally took over the game.

Finally healthy, Peters back to dominant self - Reuben Frank, CSN Philly
An offensive lineman has never won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, but you can certainly make a case for Peters, who was one of just three NFL offensive linemen to make every Pro Bowl from 2007 through 2011 before his injury. Peters’ ability to return to form after two Achilles surgeries is a big reason the Eagles are on pace to net the 16th-most yards of offense in NFL history.

All-22: Adjusting the Offense For Foles - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
By my count, the Eagles have used the zone read (or zone-read look; sometimes it’s a straight handoff regardless) on 13 of 141 plays the last two weeks. That’s about 9.2 percent of the time. Through the first eight weeks of the season, that number was 31.4 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information. There are many elements at work here. A major one last week was that the Eagles played a lot more under center than they usually do because of the weather. On those plays, Nick Foles turned his back to the line of scrimmage, meaning there was no zone-read. But the week before against Arizona, the Eagles only used the zone read on seven of 73 plays, or 9.6 percent of the time. The theory here – and we’ll see if this bears itself out in the coming weeks – is that the bye gave Kelly and his staff time to tweak the run game to better suit Foles. The idea of playing option football is still relevant, but because teams were so often crashing down their unblocked defenders on LeSean McCoy, the Eagles were forced to adjust in a variety of ways.

Eagle Eye In The Sky: Vikings Preview - Fran Duffy, PE.com
The Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) sit at the bottom of the NFC North, but this team is still very dangerous and has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Let’s take a look what you can expect to see from them on Sunday afternoon by looking at the All-22. The Vikings are a team that looks to be very physical on the ground with running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart. This is a downhill running game that wants to attack you between the tackles and hit you in the mouth. You’ll see the lead play (which we saw against the Giants), inside zone (a play Eagles fans should be familiar with) and other downhill runs. One you will certainly see is the "power" run play, which they love to run particularly out of the inverted wishbone. Let’s take a look.

Connor Barwin says Eagles used medical latex gloves under football gloves for Snow Bowl - The700Level
Fan favorite Connor Barwin was a guest on Jimmy Traina’s podcast over at FoxSports.com today and shared a couple of the secrets the Eagles used during the Snow Bowl against the Lions in frigid Philadelphia last week. Some of the tricks to stay warm were pretty typical, like a long-john type pant underneath their actual uniforms. But then a couple of tricks were extra interesting.

Sound the horn: 'Vikings meet Vikings' - ESPN
The subject: The Berserkers, a group of Norsemen who were said to fight with an animalistic ferocity. Schmitt told his teammates about them, particularly the offensive linemen. Next thing you knew, as Pete Townshend once wrote, the beards had all grown longer overnight. Right tackle Todd Herremans sported a Berserker-inspired topknot for a little while there.

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