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Eagles News: Philadelphia's defense is playing really well

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/29/15.

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Eagles' defense among best in NFL last 10 quarters - CSN Philly
Remember halftime of the Falcons game? When everybody wanted to fire Bill Davis? The Eagles trailed the Falcons 20-3 at halftime on opening day at the Georgia Dome. They had already allowed 244 yards from scrimmage, Matt Ryan had thrown for 203 yards, the Falcons had 15 first downs, Julio Jones was making plays up and down the field, and the Eagles' defense was in shambles. Guess what. Since then, they've been one of the best defenses in the NFL. Since halftime on opening day, the Eagles' defense has allowed 36 points in 2½ games, which prorates to about 14½ points per game.

Eagles ILB Jordan Hicks looks more like a savvy veteran than a rookie - PhillyVoice
If you add it all up, in roughly six quarters this season, Jordan Hicks has 17 tackles, an INT, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a pass breakup, and he knocked out Tony Romo for half the season. Not too shabby for a rookie, if that's how you see him. Eagles safety Walter Thurmond had no idea Hicks was a rookie during OTAs. Thurmond had recently signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent, and therefore everyone on the team was new to him. "Jordan is a great football player," said Thurmond. "He's very smart. I saw his ability back at OTAs and I didn't realize he was a rookie when I was coming in as a safety, with just how smart he is and how fluid he is as a linebacker."

Ryan Mathews could earn more carries - Inquirer
Did the Eagles running game rebound because of Ryan Mathews or did he benefit from a better plan and improved blocking? If Chip Kelly comes to the conclusion that it was the former, there could be a change at the top of the running back pyramid or at least a more even snap distribution when the injured DeMarco Murray returns to the lineup. More than likely, the Eagles coach will digest the entire palate of possibilities and come to the conclusion that three games - two with Murray as the lead tailback and one with Mathews - are not enough of a sample to drastically alter his backfield.

Deja Vu All Over Again - Iggles Blitz
This is 2015, right? Are you sure it isn’t 2003? The Eagles started 2003  0-2. Those were ugly losses with the offense looking anemic. Then the team went on the road against an AFC East opponent and won ugly, 23-13. The next week they played the Skins. This team started 0-2, with ugly losses and bad offense. They just went on the road and beat an AFC East team in an ugly game. Now the Eagles prepare to play the Skins. There’s just something funny about the way history sometimes repeats itself. Those Eagles went 12-2 after the opening losses. There was a 9-game winning streak. Donovan McNabb looked awful early on, but by the end of the season was in a real groove and executed the West Coast Offense about as well as you could hope. We have no idea how this team will pan out. They’re 1-2 and just a game out of 1st place. The only team ahead of them is missing a lot of firepower right now so things are basically wide open.

A Momentary Sigh of Relief but QB Struggles Continue - ChipWagon
Let me first start by saying that it's great to get the first win. Especially combined with a Cowboys loss. The defensive play was very encouraging and Darren Sproles gave us another instant classic on STs. All I can say is thank the Pope that the defense and STs unit showed up. We'll have more on the running game a bit later once the All-22 comes out. Lots of interesting stuff mixed in and it was great to see so much outside zone eventhough the execution remains a hair off. But let's get right down to it. I'm generally not the guy who dumps on the team after a much needed win, I'll generally take wins anytime I can get it. But I have bigger aspirations for this team than simply a title in a crappy NFC East and a playoff appearance. It was widely acknowledged that the biggest thing Chip Kelly needed to get this team over the hump was a franchise QB. Unfortunately, Sam Bradford continues to NOT look the part.

Sam Bradford has to improve for Eagles to reach full potential - NJ.com
The defense looked the part. The running game was suddenly efficient. Even the special teams, after a two-week hiatus, got in on the action.  So why in a game the Eagles mostly dominated, was their 24-17 win over the New York Jets still in question in the fourth quarter Sunday? The play of quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford finished the Eagles' win Sunday an unimpressive 14-of-28 for just 118 yards and one touchdown, numbers that sound better than his actual performance. The one positive from his play was he didn't turn the ball over, the first time this season he has not registered a turnover.

Brandon Bair: The Human Flyswatter - PE.com
Asked after the game about his propensity for batting down passes, Bair smiled and joked that his length is all he’s got since he “isn’t a very good pass rusher.” “This was my first game this year, and we’re expected to make things happen when we get an opportunity,” he continued. “When you’ve got the guys next to you, you don’t have to worry about taking care of anyone else’s job. You can just focus on what you have to do, and good things will happen when you do that.”

'Gritty' Eagles win is a reminder that Chip Kelly still knows how to coach - SB Nation
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie's confidence in Chip Kelly was rewarded with a win over the Jets on Sunday thanks to a game plan that revolved around the team's defense.

Can The Eagles Defense Carry The Offense? - McNabb Or Kolb
Through three games, the Eagles have given up the 5th-fewest points per drive (1.42), the 9th-fewest yards per drive (26.9) and the 10th-fewest plays per drive (5.6). The run defense has been fantastic—allowing a league-low of 3.1 yards per rush and zero rushing touchdowns. Most important, they've forced turnovers on one out of every five opposing possessions. To keep it going, we'll need more Walter Thurmond ball-hawking and disruption at the line of scrimmage (Brandon Bair sighting FTW).

Despite First Win, Questions Remain About Eagles QB Sam Bradford | The MMQB with Peter King
The Eagles are on the board in 2015, thanks in large part to defense, special teams and an improved running game (plus an assist from Brandon Marshall’s “historically” boneheaded play). But one major question remains unanswered: What do they have in Sam Bradford?

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