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Eagles news: Thursday Night Football isn’t popular with players

News and notes for 12/21

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Like Richard Sherman, Eagles are not big fans of Thursday games - ESPN

"I think every player kind of understands the toll that those games take on your body," said Philadelphia Eagles safety and player rep Malcolm Jenkins. "I think that Thursday games, and the talk about adding two more games [to the regular-season schedule], those are going to be hot topics as we get closer and closer to the end of that [Collective Bargaining Agreement] deal."

Last week, Sherman referred to the ongoing scheduling of Thursday games as a "poopfest". He called it hypocritical that the NFL would take a strong public stance about player safety, then turn around and "put the players in tremendous danger."

Fresh off a road loss to the bruising Baltimore Ravens, several players on the Eagles offered their thoughts on the matter in front of their upcoming Thursday night tilt with the New York Giants.

"It's obviously tough," said tight end Zach Ertz, still in uniform following Sunday's game. "Guys gotta really start recovering right now. A lot of guys hit the cold tubs already. And then when we get back [to Philadelphia], guys will do the same.”

Ertz believes the NFL should eliminate a preseason game and add in a mini-bye surrounding Thursday games to allow for proper recovery. Veteran tackle Jason Peters was thinking along the same lines. He proposed that teams who are playing on Thursday night should play on Saturday the week before.

"I think it can be better," Peters said.

Lane Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins and how players challenge NFL policies - Penn Live

But should players be speaking out against NFL as much as they have over the past few seasons? From Tom Brady challenging the Deflategate ruling in court to Sherman's routine declarations of NFL hypocrisy to Cam Newton's complaints about absent penalty flags, players seem more likely now than ever to spout their frustrations with the league.

There's a balance players need to find, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said.

Jenkins, who turned 29 Tuesday, is Philadelphia's NFLPA representative and often comments on league-wide issues. He's been critical of the NFL's perceived lack of attention to player safety, among other things.

And Jenkins said this week he thinks players should feel comfortable speaking up -- but only if they're willing to follow through with actions.

"You don't want to troll an issue," Jenkins said. "You don't want to just tweet or post something when it's advantageous and it makes a lot of noise, but you as a player don't do anything. If you're not a player rep or you're not involved in the actual decision-making on what happens, then it's hard to criticize.

"But I think there are times where you need to be able to speak out on things ... like player safety or when some of the fine systems were coming out."

Eagles can't create big plays ... or stop them - Philly Voice

This season, the Eagles are once again among the league's worst in giving up big plays. On the season they have given up 52 pass plays of 20+ yards, which is tied for third-worst in the NFL. They have also given up 13 pass plays of 40+ yards, which is tied for second-worst.

Conversely, the Eagles' offense has produced just 37 pass plays of 20+ yards (tied for seventh-worst) and five pass plays of 40+ yards (sixth-worst).

In other words, the Eagles have allowed 15 more pass plays of 20+ yards defensively than they have produced on offense. That -15 differential is second-worst in the NFL, behind only the dreadful San Francisco 49ers:

Which NFL teams surround their QBs with the best situation to win? - Sports Illustrated

I’ll admit that the Eagles’ defense probably broke a lot of analytical models—like our friends at FootballOutsiders.com—with its hot start against some good teams because it’s not really a borderline top-10 unit at this point. And Doug Pederson also got off to a great coaching start with the way he set things up for rookie Carson Wentz, but both of them have tailed off. Still, Philly has a decent situation overall with a solid offensive line. QBR ranking: 27. MV-QB ranking: 31. The excuse-making out of Philadelphia doesn’t measure up: Wentz simply needs to play better.

This one gentleman is incredible at scoring free Eagles tickets - Philly Voice

The week of every home game, the Eagles run a promotion called #FanFriday, in which Swoop could be hanging out anywhere in the area. It could be the Cherry Hill Mall, Dilworth Park, Pat’s and Geno’s, or pretty much any spot you can think of. The first fan to high five Swoop at that particular spot earns two free tickets to that week’s game.

Editor’s note: