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Eagles News: Alshon Jeffery is having a bigger impact than his stats suggest

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/8/17.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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Eagles Film Review: Alshon Jeffery's hidden impact - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jeffery may not be busting out of the box score on a weekly basis, but he’s doing a heck of a lot more damage than the numbers suggest. Look no further than what the presence of a true No. 1 receiver has done for Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. “It’s benefited (Ertz) tremendously,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday. “He’s getting a little more of the one-on-one stuff. You’re not seeing the combo coverages necessarily on Zach until you get in the red zone area. “Having Alshon on the outside, on the perimeter, has really allowed him to have better one-on-one matchups. He does a great job with that, and a good route-runner – obviously, it’s really helped him.” Ertz is currently tied for fourth in the NFL with 26 receptions and ranks sixth with 326 receiving yards. The fifth-year player is off to the by far best start of his career, and it is absolutely thanks in part to Jeffery.

Three Eagles numbers that matter for the Cardinals game - BGN
The Cardinals’ tackles aren’t the only issue. The interior offensive linemen also struggle in pass protection. Starting right guard Evan Boehm has allowed 13 pressures in 201 snaps, which ranks 53rd out of 71 guards. Boone has been good in pass protection (13th out of 71) but hasn’t performed well as a run blocker. If Boone can’t play, the Cardinals will be starting the NFL’s worst pass protecting guard: Will Holden. He’s allowed nine pressures in just 57 snaps played. That’s 71st out of 71 guards. And then there’s center A.Q. Shipley. Yes, former Eagle A.Q. Shipley. Crazy how he’s lasted this long, right? Shipley has allowed seven pressures in 201 snaps, which ranks 17th out of 28 centers. This could be a big game for Tim Jernigan and/or Beau Allen.

Five over/unders for Eagles vs. Cardinals - PhillyVoice
After eight sacks through their first two games of the season, the Eagles have recorded just two over their last two. So why do I have the over/under for this so high? That's largely because of the Cardinals offensive line, or lack thereof. They've allowed 17 sacks so far this season, tied for the most in the NFL. If the Birds can do what they did last week against the Chargers – get ahead early and force the opposition to throw the ball – they should have plenty of chances. Even without Fletcher Cox, there's a chance they hit the over in this one; it's not like the rest of their defensive front is incapable.

Air Attack - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles secondary better be ready on Sunday. Carson Palmer has thrown 183 passes this year. He’s been sacked 17 times. That is 200 called pass plays in four games. 50 called passes per game. The Cardinals have no run game right now so they have to rely on Carson Palmer and the air attack to move the ball. This is going to make for one heck of a challenge for the secondary. One bit of good news is that it sounds like Jaylen Watkins and Corey Graham will return to action. Those guys aren’t great DBs, but they are veterans and they give Jim Schwartz options. He can put together a gameplan that uses the various DBs.

Larry Fitzgerald, Eagles killer, on minds of Philly defenders - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins considers Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald a good friend. They've known one another since Jenkins entered the league in 2009, and train together in the offseason. When they go toe-to-toe, like they will Sunday when the Eagles host the Cardinals (1 p.m.), Fitzgerald keeps things friendly while trying to rip his old pal's heart out. "He’s a nice guy on the field. He tries to distract you with kindness," said Jenkins, "so I try to ignore him.”

Report card: Grading the Eagles' defense after the first quarter of the season - The Athletic
Cornerback: C. This was probably the toughest position to grade. Expectations were not high coming into the season, and they were lowered after Ronald Darby went down with an injury. Jalen Mills has been targeted often, and he's had ups and downs. Rasul Douglas played well in his first start but struggled against the Chargers. Patrick Robinson has exceeded expectations in the slot. The Eagles' defense ranks 17th against the pass. The good news for the Eagles is that if they can weather the storm during this upcoming stretch, they should get Darby back in the second half of the season. And Sidney Jones probably has a chance to contribute as well.

Eagle Eye: Carson Wentz Must Be Prepared For Arizona's Exotic Pressure Schemes - PE.com
After looking at Arizona's explosive offense and what the Cardinals will likely look to do against the Eagles on Sunday, let’s now focus on the other side of the ball. Arizona’s defense is a high-volume pressure team that ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in terms of the number of blitzes this season. Arizona was known for its various A-gap pressures back when Todd Bowles was the defensive coordinator. The A gaps are the spaces between the guards and the center along the offensive line. Bowles was a master at getting extra rushers clean right up the gut at the quarterback. One of those blitz concepts is what we call the triple A-gap blitz, where three rushers come straight up the gut. One of those defenders comes completely unblocked. Bowles was replaced by one of his former assistants in James Bettcher, who has kept the triple A-gap pressures as part of the scheme.

Eagles, 3-1 again, say they're different this time - Inquirer
Brent Celek has been down this NFL road before. He has had to navigate a few on the opposite side, as well. In fact, the tight end has nearly seen it all in his 11 seasons. And in Celek’s estimation, the Eagles’ second straight 3-1 start — despite the near-universal claim in the locker room and from Doug Pederson that this year’s team is different from last year’s — translates to nothing more than three wins and one loss at the quarter-pole of the season. “We can sit here and say everything’s different,” Celek said last week, “but at the end of the day, we as players have to go out on the field and execute. Because if we sit here and say, ‘Oh, it’s different,’ and then we go out there and think something’s just going to happen, it’s not.

NFL odds, picks Week 5: Advanced computer model loves Steelers, Eagles - CBS Sports
Another team SportsLine's proven model loves: the Philadelphia Eagles, who are 6.5-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. The model predicts an easy eight-point win and cover for the Eagles, who will end the week 4-1. The Cardinals are 0-4 against the spread this season, and the Eagles are winning 68 percent of simulations.

NFL Week 5 Preview: Cardinals at Eagles - PFF
WR Alshon Jeffery vs. CB Patrick Peterson – Despite pacing the Eagles with 34 targets, Alshon Jeffery has battled inconsistency this year. Jeffery has caught only half of his targets, but has scored twice in four games. His 1.41 yards per route run ranks 51st out of 92 wide receivers. Unsurprisingly, Patrick Peterson has thrived when matching up against his opponents top pass catchers. Last week, Peterson limited Pierre Garcon to just one catch for 16 yards on four targets while defending one pass. In Week 2, the shutdown corner held T.Y. Hilton to just one catch for 16 yards in coverage. This may not be the matchup for Jeffery to have a breakout game.

Eagles' running back Blount knows about last chances - Press of AC
Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount knows a lot about last chances. Over a decade ago, he was playing for East Mississippi Community College. The junior college program, located in the one-stoplight town of Scooba, Mississippi, has become famous lately as the site of the popular Netflix series, “Last Chance U.”

7 things to watch in NFL’s Week 5: Are the Cowboys already in must-win mode? - SB Nation
For the Giants, it’s a rushing offense in which Eli Manning is the top scorer and a defense that’s given up nearly 24 points per game. In Los Angeles, it’s the looming spectre of 16 straight road games — de facto or otherwise — and an offense that looks great on paper but unable to execute. Team owners, executives, and coaches on each side are saying all the right things, but it’s fair to begin wondering if these four 0-4 franchises have begun to plan for 2018. Week 5 will be a big indicator of which teams are still trying and which have slid into tanking mode.

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