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Eagles News: Doug Pederson turned out to be the best coaching hire of 2016

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/16/18.

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Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Doug Pederson was the prize of the 2016 head coaching class - PhillyVoice
When the dust settled after the seven 2016 head coaching hires were complete, the Philadelphia Eagles’ hiring of Doug Pederson was widely thought of as the worst of the group.

Eagles vs. Vikings: Early thoughts on Philadelphia’s NFC Championship Game opponent - BGN
Keenum transformed from a journeyman backup to an actually good starter this year. He’s completed 67.6% of his passes for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 98.3 passer rating. One thing that really stands out about Keenum is his mobility. No one will be mistaking him for Michael Vick but he’s elusive in the pocket. Despite being the third most pressured (in terms of percentage) quarterback in the NFL this season, he has the second lowest sack rate in the league. As we saw with Russell Wilson, the Eagles defense can struggle to handle mobile quarterbacks. The good news is that Keenum will hold the ball to give the Eagles a chance to sack him. But they really need to get home and finish the play.

The Eagles Are Heading To The NFC Championship Game -
John Barchard and James Seltzer recap the nail biting win over the Falcons! Doug Pederson coached his butt off, the defense was outstanding all night long and Nick Foles put together a really good 2nd half.

D is for… - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles pitched a shutout in the second half of the Atlanta game. By my count, 31 of 59 plays in that game went for 2 yards or less. And only 14 of those were incompletions. The Falcons struggled to get yards when they ran or threw short. That is championship level defense.

Lawlor: I Can’t Wait To See What Doug Pederson Does This Week -
Players are defined by the postseason. Dan Marino is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he will always be known as the guy who didn’t win a Super Bowl. Eli Manning has had a solid career, but his supporters simply point out the fact that he’s got a pair of Super Bowl rings. Coaches are held to the same standard. Regular season wins are important, but postseason success is critical for being considered a great coach. It’s ridiculous some of the coaches who are held in higher regard than true legends like Don Coryell and Marty Schottenheimer, who never even got to the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is only in his second season at the helm of the Eagles, but he is showing the signs of a coach who is going to win his share of playoff games. Think about what he did on Saturday night.

By just being himself, Doug Pederson has had masterful year - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Bill Belichick didn’t win a playoff game until his fourth year as an NFL head coach and didn’t reach a conference title game until his seventh year. Don Shula didn’t win a playoff game until his sixth year as a head coach. It took Dick Vermeil four years to win a playoff game, Dan Reeves six years, Tom Landry eight. Heck, Pete Carroll didn’t reach a conference title game until his third head coaching stop, and Marv Levy didn’t even get to the playoffs until his eighth year as a head coach. Just a little context. Pederson has been magnificent this year, and out of everybody we talk about who’s played a role in the Eagles’ success — from Carson Wentz to Nick Foles, Howie Roseman to Joe Douglas, Fletcher Cox to Malcolm Jenkins, Jim Schwartz to John DiFillippo, Jason Kelce to Alshon Jeffery — Pederson is the common thread that’s tied all of it together.

Lessons of an impossible QB final four in 2017 NFL playoffs - ESPN
Coaching matters. Suggesting that coaching plays a big role in winning football games isn’t exactly some newfangled secret, but we often underestimate just how much it really matters in thinking about matchups before a game. Foles wasn’t very good on Saturday night, especially during a rough start for the Eagles’ offense. It’s a small miracle that Foles didn’t throw an interception to Keanu Neal, who had the ball bounce off him and to Torrey Smith, which became the biggest play on what ended up becoming a critical field goal just before halftime. Thanks to a smart game plan and a coaching staff that adapted as the game went along, though, Doug Pederson & Co. moved on. Faced with a speedy, undersized defense capable of giving his struggling quarterback fits, Pederson leaned heavily on a power running game that relied more heavily on his offensive line than the skills of his quarterback. As the game went along, Foles found success as a passer on run-pass options (RPOs), which require him to make a single read after the snap before making a decision.

Eagles vs. Vikings: Ten thoughts on the NFC championship matchup - The Athletic
So where can the Eagles attack? Brees picked the Vikings apart in the second half of Sunday’s game as the Saints scored on four of five possessions, including three touchdowns. The screen game worked well for New Orleans. The Saints hit tight end Josh Hill for a 22-yard gain on one, and Alvin Kamara gained 23 on another. The Vikings have talented linebackers in Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, but the Saints showed that screens can still work against them if called at the right time and timed up correctly. Hill had three catches for 54 yards, and Kamara had four for 62. But overall, the Vikings were second at covering tight ends and first at covering running backs in the regular season, according to Football Outsiders. The Eagles’ most favorable matchup could be Nelson Agholor against Vikings nickel Mackensie Alexander. Brees went after Alexander often Sunday with great success.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson pushed the right buttons last week, now must do it again - Inquirer
Doug Pederson: “I’ve just got to make sure that I continue to stay aggressive with the week of practice and prepare the guys just like we have the last couple of weeks and just try to stay in our lane and try to block out some of the noise.”

I Love The Matchup, Line and Everything Else About This Game - Crossing Broad
In the two games they played in under 40-degree weather, they lost to the Panthers 31-24 when it was a cool 39 degrees and beat the Packers 16-0 on the Aaron Rodgers-less frozen tundra. Keenum went 27-44 with 2 TDs and 2 INTs in the former, and turned in a game-managery 56% completion percentage and 153 yards in the latter. In fact, since November 12, those were his only two regular season games with a QB rating of under 100.

Offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams - PFF
The Eagles overhauled their receiver corps, but there is still room to improve there. Alshon Jeffery signed an extension during the season and Nelson Agholor was reborn in the slot this year, but they could use an upgrade over Torrey Smith on the other side. That this is maybe their biggest need shows how talented this roster is top to bottom, and they have plenty of options in a deep receiver draft to make this happen. The most interesting of which could be Colorado State’s Michael Gallup, who broke 20 tackles after the catch this year and averaged 6.9 yards after the catch.

Week 19 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
The Eagles rank seventh.

Mike Zimmer: We made critical errors that could have led to loss - PFT
“We can’t make these mistakes in playoff games or we’ll be going home,” Zimmer said. “There’s always good and always bad in some of the games. We made some critical errors in that game that coulda got us beat.”

Post-Miracle Thoughts & Take-Aways - Daily Norseman
Case Keenum made some nice plays- but also two key bad ones. The first was taking a sack on the opening drive of the second half that took the Vikings out of field goal range. Looking at the play again on tape, Keenum looked a little too long at Diggs- his first read- and hesitated once he looked to Rudolph- who was open over the middle for what would have been a drive extending first down. The key mistake was looking too long at Diggs, who had double coverage on an out route. In any case, he could have made a throw to Rudolph that would have either extended the drive, or resulted in a field goal attempt. Obviously had the Vikings scored on that drive- putting the Vikings up 20-0 or 24-0 mid-way through the 3rd quarter, that would have gone a long way toward eliminating any 4th quarter drama.

The Jaguars beat the Steelers for the same reason they can beat the Patriots: They’re pissed - SB Nation
The odds are against the Jaguars making it to the Super Bowl. Don’t ever tell them the odds.


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