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Eagles News: Jon Gruden would vote for Carson Wentz as MVP

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/29/17.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles' Carson Wentz has a case for league MVP - ESPN
"It's hard to argue with that guy up in New England," said Jon Gruden of Tom Brady, "but what he did as a second-year player, I would vote for Carson Wentz. He did it as a runner, he did it as a passer, his audibles, his command at the line of scrimmage, his leadership. It is killing him to not be playing. I hate to see him sitting up there." Wentz had been a favorite for MVP before getting injured. The fact that he was unable to finish the season lengthens his odds: The latest ESPN poll has Brady first, Rams running back Todd Gurley second and Wentz third in MVP voting. There is precedent for giving the MVP to someone in a similar situation as Wentz. Joe Montana won the award in 1989 despite missing three games. Like Wentz, he went 11-2 as a starter. Montana led the league in completion rate (70 percent), threw 26 touchdowns to eight interceptions, and established a new record for quarterback rating (112.4).

Ranking the Eagles’ potential NFL playoff opponents - BGN
What should Eagles fans hope for, though? That’s probably the trickiest question of all, because there’s an argument to be made that maybe five of the six NFC playoff teams could be classified as the best in the conference. It’s been years since the NFC carried so many potential 11- or 12-win records into the postseason, and there’s been little correlation between the NFC playoff teams when matched up against each other (the Rams lost to the Eagles but beat the Saints, who lost to the Vikings but beat the Panthers, and so on). The Eagles obviously have themselves to worry about, too, having just barely escaped two underwhelming teams since Week 15. But with “any given Sunday” in mind and the postseason right around the corner, it’s never too early to start ranking the team’s potential playoff opponents in order of most favorable for Philadelphia.

Brandon Brooks: We're not looking for perfect wins, just wins - PhillyVoice
Q: Did Mack say anything to you after the game? LJ: We started laughing at each other, because early in the game, as soon as I go to every play, he was getting in the ref’s ear, “He’s holding, he’s holding.” I said some pretty humorous stuff to him during the game. I respect him. He’s a competitor. Guys like that make you play hard. I told him to stop talking to the refs, I wasn’t holding.

Play to Win - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles only shot to win the Super Bowl with Foles is if he plays well. Just keeping him healthy won’t be good enough. You need him to be able to run the offense well and lead the team to points. Some people will argue that playing him for half a game on Sunday isn’t going to change who he is. That’s one million percent true, but misses the point (just like Foles did on Monday night – Zing!!!). Extra reps won’t make Foles more talented, but they can help him to play better. Maybe it helps him to make a read quicker in the next game. Maybe he gets into a good rhythm with his footwork. Maybe he improves his timing and chemistry with the receivers.

Nick Foles 'Preparing To Play The Whole Game'- PE.com
This is just like any other week as far as quarterback Nick Foles is concerned. A No. 1 seed in the playoffs secured, the Eagles aren’t playing for anything as far as the standings when Dallas comes to town on Sunday, but Foles is “preparing to play the whole game. That’s my mindset.” ...

The five key areas to focus on in the Eagles-Cowboys matchup - Inquirer
Completions to wide receivers: Foles completed only five pass attempts to wide receivers on Monday. I’m all for spreading the ball around, and Zach Ertz can be viewed like a top receiver. But Foles needs to get the ball to the wide receivers – it threatens defenses differently than passes to the tight end and check downs to the running back. Pay attention to the connection with Alshon Jeffery, who will need to be a key part of any offensive dynamism in the postseason and went without a catch on Monday.

The 10 biggest Philadelphia Eagles stories of 2017 - PennLive
If 2016 for the Philadelphia Eagles was about building a foundation for success, 2017 has been defined by the hope, happiness and heartbreak that can come once that groundwork is in place. The Eagles this season have tied a franchise record for wins behind the quarterback they drafted and the coach they hired last year. They claimed the No. 1 seed in the NFC, helped six players earn Pro Bowl nods and jolted a Super Bowl-starved fan base with one of the organization’s most awe-inspiring seasons in memory. Along the way, the Eagles pulled out thrilling wins and raked in accolades. The team also engineered startling trades, watched leaders grapple with off-field decisions and dealt with injuries that sent shockwaves across the NFL. Those factors generate excitement and intrigue as the team looks ahead to an eventful 2018. But first, we’re looking back. Here’s a list of the 10 biggest Eagles stories of the 2017 calendar year.

Eagles' top CB was nearly cut in camp - NBC Sports Philadelphia
On a team with countless improbable stories, Patrick Robinson might be the most improbable. With his fourth team in four years. Turned 30 earlier this season. Had a dreadful training camp. Was so bad in the summer he was moved to a new position. And here he is, enjoying perhaps his best season as a pro on one of the NFL's best defenses. “It’s very rewarding," Robinson said Wednesday. "Around my age, you start to get those, ‘Oh, he’s getting older, he’s slowing down.’ People just assume that you’re going to slow down.

Why home-field advantage matters so much for the Eagles - Washington Post
In terms of points, the Eagles are projected to score 18 points per game with Foles, three points fewer than with Wentz. However, using the same data that helped construct our power rankings — which highlights a team’s actual and expected win percentage for the year, Philadelphia gets at least a 10 percentage point boost to its win probability over each of the NFC teams currently in the playoff picture because of home-field advantage. Translate that to points, as Las Vegas does to calculate its point spreads, and you get a boost of about three points. That effectively bridges the gap between Wentz and Foles on the field.

Scramble's 2017 All-Rookie Team - Football Outsiders
There are plenty of options to join Garrett in our quest to make quarterbacks' lives miserable. T.J. Watt may be playing the most significant role for any of the other rookie edge rushers; playing 76 percent of the snaps on Pittsburgh's playoff-bound defense, Watt is already outshining 2015's first-round pick, Bud Dupree. Derek Barnett has also looked like a dangerous player in Philadelphia. We're going to give the mark to Cincinnati's Carl Lawson, however, who has been a heck of a value for a fourth-round pick. He is leading all rookies in sacks and pressures, and showing impressive power and aggressiveness. The injury concerns that caused him to drop seem, so far, unfounded.

Who will new GM Dave Gettleman hire as head coach? - Big Blue View
John DeFilippo (Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach) — DeFilippo is a hot name in head-coaching circles right now, especially with the success he has had in quickly helping Carson Wentz become a top-tier quarterback. DeFilippo’s only NFL experience as an offensive coordinator was a single year (2015) with the Cleveland Browns. Earlier this week, SB Nation’s Eagles web site, Bleeding Green Nation, took an in-depth look at DeFilippo.

Who is Dave Gettleman, the New York Giants' new GM? - SB Nation
The former Panthers GM is back at the helm of an NFL franchise.

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