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Eagles News: Sam Bradford is showing improvement in Philadelphia's offense

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/25/15.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles' Sam Bradford is healthy and playing well - Inquirer
In his first seven games, Bradford completed 62 percent of his passes for 252 yards a game, with nine touchdowns and ten interceptions for a 76.4 passer rating. In his last five games, he has completed 66.5 percent, averaged 252 yards, and tossed seven touchdown and three interceptions for a 96.1 rating. But numbers don't tell the full story. Bradford is tossing strikes on throws that were balls early in the season. He's anticipating routes, throwing into tight windows and keeping his eyes downfield amid pressure. There are still shaky moments that suggest Bradford might not be worth what it may take to sign him long-term. And there are still two games left, starting with Saturday's must-win if the Eagles are to have any hope of making the postseason.

Sam Bradford’s Improvement - EaglesRewind
Breaking down the tape over the last three games — with wins over the Patriots and Bills, and a loss to the Cardinals — supports that conclusion. Without question, last Sunday’s performance against the Arizona Cardinals was his best of the season. And it came on the heels of two good — but by no means great — performances against the Bills and Patriots. There is a valid question of why these improved performances have not led to more points from the offense, which I plan to address later this week. But for now, let’s focus on the tape. I am still not entirely sold on Bradford, especially not at the current price that some are suggesting it would cost to sign him.  But I am encouraged by his improvement in the areas I consider most critical to succeeding as a quarterback at the NFL level: accuracy, throwing under pressure, working through his progressions, manipulating defenses, and operating effectively within the pocket.

A look ahead to the 2016 quarterback class: Jacoby Brissett edition - PhillyVoice
As noted above, Brissett's yards per pass attempt is 6.7 this season. That's good for just 89th in the nation among quarterbacks with enough qualified pass attempts. The reason why? Brissett rarely takes shots down the field, and when he does, they are often off-target.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: 1-On-1 With Billy Davis - Birds 24/7
"Stick to what you believe in. Be true to yourself. Don't change. Don't be someone you're not because of outside opinion. The outside opinion...the guys that have been in the league as long as I have, that have coached long, I respect highly the guys that have sat in my chair and have done what I'm doing, they mean a lot to me because they know exactly what I'm going through. A lot of people put their opinion on what they would do if they were in your chair having never, ever been a coach, never, ever being in the seat. Their opinion, although I appreciate it and that's part of what makes the NFL so neat is everybody is so into it; we wouldn't have all these opinions if people weren't so excited about it and I understand that -- so I take it for what it's worth and believe in my experiences and the men that have done it a long time that I've coached with and walked the same path I'm walking."

Under Pressure - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles season really boils down to one game. If they don’t win Saturday night, it’s over. I’m curious to see how the team responds to this situation. A few weeks back the Eagles were 4-7 and at rock bottom. They had to go on the road to face Tom Brady and the 10-1 Patriots, who were coming off a loss. Every stat and trend told you the Eagles had virtually no chance in that game. And yet, with less than 8 minutes to go, the Eagles led 35-14. The Pats made it close, but the guys in green still won the game. Does that mean the team will respond the same way this week and win?

Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins can boost leverage with strong finish - ESPN
At the very least, according to an NFL executive with experience in such negotiations, the Eagles had the opportunity to renegotiate the terms of Bradford’s 2015 contract. Bradford’s incentive to lower his salary would have been the opportunity to move on from St. Louis and avoid a trade to a less desirable team (the Cleveland Browns were also interested in Bradford, for instance). By failing to tie the terms of the trade to a new contract for Bradford, the Eagles ceded leverage to Bradford’s side. Bradford seized it, playing the season with the risk of injury or poor play. That risk was offset by the fact that Bradford’s career earnings will reach $78 million by the end of this season.

Smithology: Scouting Santa - PE.com
College bowl season is a fun time of the football calendar. For a lot of players, bowl games offer the last chance for players to suit up in their college colors and play with their teammates one final time. For NFL hopefuls, it could be the last performance that they ever get to put on game tape. As we roll into the new year, we’re starting to hear more and more about the best draft prospects and where they might fall in the latest mock drafts. While most media outlets have been tracking the top prospects for months now, Smithology has learned, according to sources familiar with the situation, that a new prospect will soon be declaring for the 2016 NFL Draft – defensive lineman Santa Claus.

5 years later, déjà vu for Sam Bradford with do-or-die game - CSN Philly
The NFL is so cyclical that it's hard to remember that just five short years ago, the NFC West was viewed how the NFC East is now. It was Sam Bradford's rookie year with the Rams, and the division had a collective .391 winning percentage, 20 points lower than this year's NFC East. In Week 17, Bradford's Rams were flexed to Sunday Night Football for a road game against the Seahawks that determined the division. St. Louis was 7-8; Seattle was 6-9.

3 key matchups and more for Eagles vs. Washington Redskins - NJ.com
Redskins OL vs. Eagles blitz: The Redskins have kept Cousins clean most of the year, allowing just 24 sacks, the sixth lowest total in the league. In a loss to Dallas three weeks ago the Cowboys blitzed like crazy and caused some trouble for Cousins. The Eagles need to copy the plan and get after him the same way. This is going to be a game of wits on both sides and the Eagles coaching staff better be on top of their game.

Predicting first-time Pro Bowlers in 2016 for all 32 teams - ESPN
Tight end Zach Ertz sought guidance from Tony Gonzalez and legendary offensive line coach Hudson Houck during the offseason. Then, Ertz tore a core muscle in his abdomen, had surgery and missed the preseason. Ertz played in pain through the first month of the season. Since then, he has averaged five catches for 53 yards per game. He currently has more catches (53) and yards (579) than Pro Bowl selection Tyler Eifert. Given a fully healthy season, Ertz's drive and dedication could raise him to the elite level among NFL tight ends

Matt Cassel is a child of God - SB Nation
Over the weekend, Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel threw what was perhaps the worst pass in NFL history: an interception so errant that it was also called for intentional grounding. It deserves appreciation, and so does he.

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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