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Eagles News: Carson Wentz’s biggest hater resigned from ESPN

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/13/18.

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ESPN contributor Cian Fahey resigns after ‘ignorant’ conduct at bar - Awful Announcing
NFL analyst Cian Fahey announced Friday that he has resigned from his ESPN gig after what he described as “ignorant’ behavior at a bar. Fahey, who runs the football website Pre Snap Reads, hosted a podcast on ESPN and appeared frequently on ESPN radio programs. Fahey announced his resignation in a series of tweets Friday afternoon. He declined to elaborate on what he had done beyond saying he had, “treated American strangers like I would my Irish friends.” Fahey has lived most of his life in Ireland.

[BLG Note: In case you forgot, Cian is the guy who compared Carson Wentz to Blake Bortles right before the 2017 season.]

Falcons writer gives 3 reasons why the Eagles will beat Atlanta - BGN
The Falcons can’t handle the Eagles defense. This is a legitimate concern. The Falcons have been silenced multiple times this season by quality defenses, including a frankly embarrassing nine point excursion against the Minnesota Vikings defense. At home.

Eagles Mailbag: The day before the storm - PhillyVoice
For me, Bradham is the far more important player. He’s a good, solid starting linebacker who doesn’t seem to make many mistakes. He plays hard, he tackles well, and he’s very good in coverage, which can be hard to find at the linebacker spot. Because he was arrested twice last year, Bradham got labeled a “dumbass” by his own defensive coordinator, but is a better person than is probably perceived, as he spends a lot of time visiting schools, and other charitable efforts.

The Friggin Playoffs - Iggles Blitz
Are you excited yet? Nervous? It feels like a lifetime ago that the Eagles were in the playoffs. LeSean and DeSean were Eagles stars. Chip Kelly had a bright future. The backup QB at North Dakota State was some dude that nobody ever heard of. How things have changed. Can the Eagles win this game? Yes. Hell yes. The Falcons were a better team last year. The Eagles were worse. But the Eagles and their rookie QB still beat the high-flying Falcons in November of 2016.

Lawlor: Time For The Defense To Deliver - PE.com
Buddy Ryan built a great defense when he took over as head coach of the Eagles back in 1986. It took him a few years to put all the pieces together, but Gang Green’s performance in 1991 is one of the best of all time. Unfortunately, that particular defense didn’t get to the postseason. It would have been great to see them playing in January for the one season that everything truly clicked. Instead, we are left with frustrating memories from 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992. Reggie White and his teammates couldn’t shut people down, allowing 20 or more points in each playoff game in those seasons. Despite enormous talent, those teams only won a single playoff game. Jim Johnson had some great defenses. They shut some opponents down in the playoffs. There were nine games where teams scored 17 or fewer points. Johnson’s defense held several teams to single digits. That level of defense helped the Eagles have postseason success from 2000-08. January is all about defense.

Winning ground war is Eagles’ best path to victory over Falcons - Daily News
Forget Matt Ryan. Forget Nick Foles. Forget Julio Jones and Alshon Jeffery and slants and posts and 50-50 balls. Focus on sweeps and dives and draws and counters and off-tackle runs. Lane Johnson says Saturday’s divisional-round playoff game between the Eagles and Falcons will be won or lost not through the air but on the ground. “What we’re going to try to do is run the ball and keep them from running the ball,’’ the Eagles’ All-Pro right tackle said. “Try to make them one-dimensional. If we do that, we’ll win the game.’’

Falcons vs. Eagles: NFC Divisional Round preview - NFL.com
Having won seven of their last nine games, the Falcons boast a momentum edge as well as a decided advantage under center. Those strengths are counterbalanced by coaching and matchup issues, as evidenced by last year’s decisive outcome in which a lesser version of the current Eagles became the lone team to hold Atlanta’s explosive offense under 20 points. Will a Falcons outfit that has struggled to match the consistency and potency of last year’s attack fare any better this time around? We have our doubts.

2017 NFL playoffs: Player scouting reports and game predictions - ESPN
How do you take Matt Ryan out of his game? “He’s not the type of guy that likes to get hit. If you can get after him early, that’ll get him rattled. We know they like to run a lot of two-man routes, so there’s going to be more protection. Wherever their singles are, those are the guys that have to win.”

Steelers D Vs. Bortles’ Legs, Vikings Must Be Sharp When Blitzing Brees, Tennessee Takes on Gronk, Philly’s Chance to Run on Atlanta - Sports Illustrated
10. Falcons right guard Wes Schweitzer has played better in recent weeks than he did in September, October and November, where he was clearly the O-line’s weak link. On the left side, backup Ben Garland has been surprisingly stellar filling in for the injured Andy Levitre. But that said, these two are still on the wrong end of a glaring mismatch against the Eagles. Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan have been the most dynamic defensive tackle pairing in the league this year, and in passing situations, Brandon Graham, who often slides inside from his defensive end spot, has some of the best quickness and body control that Schweitzer and Garland will ever see.

Key stats for every Divisional Round playoff team - PFF
Team Stat: The Eagles’ front seven (interior defenders, edge defenders and linebackers) have combined to produce a run-stop percentage of 8.4 percent, the best mark among the league’s 32 units. Elite Stat: Edge defender Brandon Graham has logged a run-stop percentage of 13.7 percent so far this year, which is the best mark among 4-3 defensive ends with at least 100 run-defense snaps.

NFC Divisional Round Playoff Preview 2018 - Football Outsiders
But what’s interesting here is that once we adjust for the fact that Atlanta faced more third-and-longs than other teams, the Falcons defense was actually bad at getting off the field on third downs. The Falcons were a dismal 29th in defensive DVOA on third and fourth downs: 14th on third-and-short (1-2 yards), but 27th on third-and-medium (3-6) and 29th on third-and-long (7+). Essentially, the Falcons faced a lot of passes in situations that were very favorable for them, and still allowed too many conversions. OK, fine, but will they allow those conversions to Nick Foles? The Philadelphia offense was great on third downs, including No. 1 on third-and-long, but again... does that mean anything with Foles now at quarterback?

All Eyes on Nick Foles: Does the Eagles QB Have a Playoff Run in Him? - B/R
“There’s still hope, man,” Vick says. “When you have a defense as strong as the Eagles defense, all you have to do is make plays on offense where you’re complementing what the defense is allowing you to do. … If Nick plays well, if Nick does everything he knows he can do—play with confidence, be assertive, take the bull by the reins and just run with it, [the Super Bowl is realistic]. ”And have fun, man. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s always easier to play when you’ve got a good defense. He has that.”

Eagles Q&A with Joe Banner: On Joe Douglas, Jim Schwartz and playing the role of ‘bad cop’ - The Athletic
Assuming the team asking permission is giving, in this case Joe, final say over personnel decisions, the Eagles can only block Joe until they’re done playing. So as soon as they’ve played their last game, if the team is giving him final say over football decisions, the Eagles would not be able to block him from taking an interview — if he wanted to do that. But the key is if the team is just trying to hire him as general manager, he has some final say, but the coach may have some final say, then as long as he’s under contract, they can block him. If the job includes final say, then they can only block him until they stop playing.

Fargo, Season 4 - The Ringer
While they’ll be without their star quarterback this weekend and throughout the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles receiving corps credit the team’s success to a trip they took to Carson Wentz’s home state over the summer. And to bison burgers, lots and lots of bison burgers.

Eagles RB Jay Ajayi’s career, fueled by doubts, has been building toward this postseason - PennLive
To Ajayi, 24, his football career has long been about silencing naysayers. ”Building the chip, getting doubted here and there,” Ajayi said. “Colleges. D-1. It built over time. Building the fire, adding fuel. The draft. Everything. It’s been building more and more, just building that ultra competitiveness. I just always want to be the best and prove everyone wrong, because there’s a lot of people that say a lot of stuff.” And the motivation has guided him here, to Philadelphia, where he has a chance to make his grandest statement by leading a new team somewhere they’ve never been.

How Foles dealt with week of doubters - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Alshon Jeffery sees it too. The Eagles’ top receiver said Foles seemed a lot more relaxed this week. He thinks it has something to do with finally having an opponent to prepare for and a game plan to install. So how about that. As confidence in Foles outside the building has been plummeting, his self-confidence might be reaching a new high.

For Eagles Stefen Wisniewski the playoffs were a long time coming - NFL Player Engagement
All it took was seven years, three teams and 107 games for Stefen Wisniewski to finally play in a NFL playoff game. Wisniewski, the Philadelphia Eagles veteran guard, will make his postseason debut when the Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional round game Saturday, January 13 at Lincoln Financial Field. “It feels pretty awesome,’’ Wisniewski said. “I’ve been waiting a long time. Six years and really never even having been close to making it. This year has been pretty special.’’

By the Number stats preview: Falcons vs. Eagles - The Falcoholic
The 10-6 Falcons face the 13-3 Eagles in the Divisional round of the playoffs. How do these two teams compare statistically?

NFL playoffs 2018: What to watch for in the Divisional Round - SB Nation
The Eagles should let Nick Foles take shots downfield against the Falcons. Let’s start with the Saturday afternoon contest in Philadelphia. The Eagles are home underdogs against the Falcons, the first time a No. 1 seed has been an underdog in the Divisional Round. The reason is clear: Nick Foles. You can read my write-up on what the Eagles need to do with Foles, but the key for them is Doug Pederson. The conventional wisdom is when you have a backup quarterback with a strong run game and a good defense, you play it safe with the route concepts. However, I think Pederson needs to scheme up some shots for Foles. This is Pederson’s first shot in the playoffs as a head coach, and he’s had two weeks to figure out ways to push the ball downfield. They don’t need multiple shots, but just a few to get the offense some chunk plays. Also, scoring a touchdown early will lift the anxiety off the Linc and that place will be rocking.

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