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Eagles News: Bill Davis might be on the hot seat

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/22/15.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Bill Davis' job on line: Here's why - Inquirer
Kelly staunchly backed Davis after the Buccaneers and Lions posted 45 points apiece on the Eagles in November. The defense, in turn, rebounded against the Patriots and the Bills. So his support should come as no surprise. And it's not as if the defense has been solely responsible for a 6-8 record. Kelly's offense has been inconsistent all season. But the marginal improvement that Davis' unit has made in pass defense has been offset by a steep decline against the run. And all things being equal, the numbers this season compared with his first two seasons have been worse in many key categories - red zone, third down, and most important, points. Tackling also has gotten progressively worse.

The Eagles defense was much better with rookie Jordan Hicks on the field - PhillyVoice
As it turns out, Hicks -- a pleasant surprise who was never really penciled in as full-time contributor because of their depth a MLB -- was a lot more valuable to the defense than we thought, especially against the run. For the season, the Eagles have allowed an average of 134.1 rushing yards per game — only the Browns and the Saints are worse, but not by much. In their seven-plus games prior to Hicks’ injury, they were allowing opposing offenses to rush for an average of 112 yards per game. In their six games since, that number has increased by 50 yards per game.  I’ll let you read that one again: The Eagles rush defense was 50 yards/game better when Simba was in the lineup. And since sometimes numbers speak for themselves, here’s a week-by-week look at their performance on the defensive side of the ball.

Inconclusive - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles are now 6-8. They host the Skins on Saturday night. In the finale, they travel to play the Giants. Win both games…and the Eagles are NFC East champs. They would host a playoff game. In some ways, Sunday night was meaningless. Had the Eagles won 40-17, it wouldn’t have changed the importance of the Skins game. That one really will make or break the season. I wonder if losing was actually a good thing. I want the Eagles playing with a sense of desperation on Saturday night. A win over Arizona might have falsely inflated some egos. What does this game mean going forward? If the Eagles do make the playoffs, are they just going to get bounced early? Back in 2008, the Eagles hosted Arizona on Thanksgiving night. That game was a blowout, but the fun kind. The Eagles won 48-20 (and the game wasn’t even that close!). A few weeks later the same teams met in the NFC title game. I don’t think I have to remind you how that game turned out.

Eagles' Sam Bradford is good, just not good enough -
Sam Bradford is certainly a NFL-caliber starting quarterback. There are not 32 quarterbacks anywhere in the world who can do a better job than Bradford can at the position. With that said, Bradford isn't anything special. Maybe he was coming out of Oklahoma as the No. 1 overall pick of the draft; and maybe he was before two torn ACLs affected him physically and perhaps mentally. He just isn't now. And now is what matters. Bradford can win some games for you; he can lose a couple, too. What he's not going to do is win a Super Bowl for the Eagles. And isn't that the ultimate goal?

Eagle Eye: Bradford's Best Performance -
If you’re going to take away anything positive from Sunday night’s loss to Arizona, other than the fact that the Eagles are very much in control of whether they make it into the postseason or not, you had to be impressed with the play of quarterback Sam Bradford. The first-year Eagle had arguably his best performance of 2015. He stood tall in the pocket and delivered some big-time throws under serious heat against a pressure-packed Arizona defense.

Eagles-Cardinals, The Day After - Birds 24/7
Bruce Arians said he forecasted a "breakout game" for his rookie running back against the Eagles, and he was right. Johnson, a third-round pick out of Northern Iowa, racked up 187 yards on 29 carries (6.4 avg.) with three touchdowns. It was his highest rush total by 88 yards, and his three TDs nearly doubled his total coming in (4). This is not the first time that a back has run roughshod over this defense this season. If you'll recall, Tampa's Doug Martin (235 yards on 27 carries) was one tackle-for-a-loss away from breaking a record for rush yards against the Eagles established by Emmitt Smith and Jim Brown (237). A couple weeks before that, Carolina amassed over 200 yards on the ground against them. A unit that was ranked second in opponent rush yards per attempt (3.5) through the first six weeks of the season has plummeted all the way down to 27th (4.5).

Kelly focused on winning, not appeasing players with more reps - CSN Philly
This was as close as Chip Kelly has come to acknowledging that the DeMarco Murray signing was a mistake. On Monday, a day after Murray got just two carries in the Eagles’ 40-17 loss to the Cards at the Linc, Kelly fielded several more questions about Murray’s precipitous drop-off in playing time and carries. Last year’s NFL rushing leader played only eight snaps Sunday and ran for three yards on two carries. It was Murray's fewest carries since his rookie year, when he was still backing up Felix Jones. Murray is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry this year, which ranks 40th of 42 NFL backs with at least 100 rushing attempts this year. Kelly was asked about the gradual change in the Eagles’ running back rotation and Murray’s declining role in that rotation. "We’re not just going to run it for the sake of running it and average two yards per carry and say, ‘At least we ran it enough, and everyone got touches,’" Kelly said. "It’s not about getting touches. It’s about winning and it’s about productivity." This is pretty damning. This is Kelly basically admitting he's not going to give Murray carries just to appease him.

Odell Beckham Jr. suspended 1 game for 'malicious' hit vs. Panthers - SB Nation
Beckham is the first offensive player to ever be suspended for a helmet-to-helmet strike.

Eagles and NRG are working together to give away tickets, prize packs, and more
Check this out, Eagles fans! And stay tuned to BGN for more info on contests involving free tickets.

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