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The Linc - How Will the Eagles Handle Playoff Pressure?

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/2/2014.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Let's get to the links...

Free Eagles-Saints Tickets - BLG, BGN
Today's the last day you can enter to win free Eagles playoff tickets! Details inside.

Film review: Neither Cowboys nor refs can beat the Eagles - Derek Sarley,
Penalties – called or not – did not determine the final outcome of this game. Kyle Orton’s off-target chuck to Brandon Boykin did that. But in reviewing this game with the benefit of the all-22 camera angles, they were undoubtedly part of the story. Late in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were facing a key third-and-four situation. Convert and the game was basically over. Come up short and the Cowboys would have two minutes to pick up 30 yards against a defense that had struggled for much of the night. The NBC announcing crew focused on the front end of the play. LeSean McCoy tripped heading into his route, taking away Nick Foles’ first option. But they ignored or didn’t notice what happened in the back.

The Moment - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
Chip Kelly is trying to get the Eagles to treat every game the same. This is tough because it goes against history and human nature. Ask anyone who has ever played in the NFL and they will tell you the games are different in December than in September. They will also tell you the games go up a notch in January. Playoff football is a whole other animal. How will the 2013 Eagles handle the pressure of the playoffs? Will they respond well to the big moment?

An unscientific competitive advantage analysis between Drew Brees and Nick Foles - JimmyK,
The Eagles will take on the Saints this Saturday night in the first round of the playoffs, and while Drew Brees and Nick Foles seem like completely different QBs, you may be surprised to learn they have quite a bit in common. We take an unscientific look at which QB has the advantage.

5 reasons Philly sports fans should be excited for 2014 - Andrew Kulp, The700Level
The Eagles’ rebuilding process is way ahead of schedule. In a season where most fans and experts predicted 6-8 wins, the Birds won 10 and a division title. They unearthed a franchise quarterback almost everybody had overlooked at some point, and successfully transitioned from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 faster than expected. We’ll find out just how good the Birds are right now in a matter of days. They may still be a piece or two away from the Super Bowl, but they’re in the playoffs. Anything can happen. That’s not even the best part. The way the landscape looks at the beginning of 2014, the Eagles are poised to be contenders for a long time.

Boykin motivated by 11 CBs drafted ahead of him - Reuben Frank, CSN Philly
Morris Claiborne. Stephon Gilmore. Dre Kirkpatrick. Janoris Jenkins. Trumaine Johnson. Josh Robinson. Jamell Fleming. Bill Bentley. Jayron Hosley. Omar Bolden. Coty Sensabaugh. "I can name all of them," Brandon Boykin said. Those are the 11 cornerbacks taken ahead of Boykin in last year’s draft. Three in the first round, one in the second, five in the third, two in the fourth.

All-22: On the Kendricks-Graham Matchup - Tim McManus, Birds 24/7
The Eagles are the ninth-worst team in the league in defending tight ends, according to Football Outsiders, yielding 61 yards per game. Kendricks has been up and down in coverage. He has been targeted 67 times and has yielded 55 catches for 605 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. No inside linebacker has given up more yards, per PFF, and the opponent’s completion percentage (82.1) is ninth highest for the position. On the flip side of that, Kendricks’ three interceptions on the season is the second-highest mark among middle linebackers. Overall, he has been one of the defense’s top playmakers.

Saints Heated Over Cold-Weather Woes - Alex Smith,
Heading into Saturday night’s Wild Card matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, the narrative of the "there’s no place like dome" New Orleans Saints traveling into the frigid grounds of Lincoln Financial Field has been a popular storyline. It’s hard to argue with the facts. The Saints were undefeated at home this season, but lost five of their eight games on the road. In their franchise history, they have never won a road playoff game, going 0-5. Also, teams that rely on passing the football typically run into speed bumps when the weather gets colder. But don’t tell any of that to Sean Payton. The Saints head coach has been asked the question so many times that he’s now decided to have a little bit of fun with it.

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