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Eagles News: Jason Kelce has an important message for fans coming to the NFC Championship Game

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/21/18.

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Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

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Jason Kelce: ‘Take Off Dog Masks When Defense Is On Field’ - CBS Philly
“Take the dog masks when the Eagles defense is on the field,” Kelce said. “We need as much noise out there as we can get.” Kelce explained that the crowd truly impacts opposing defenses at the Linc. “Just look at the way our defense played. If you really want to see a home field advantage, all you have to do is look at how much better a defense is at home than they are away. And our defense has been great no matter what situation for the most part, but I think they’re averaging — it’s like less than 13 points a game at home. Something crazy.”

4 reasons to feel confident about the Eagles’ chances of beating the Vikings - BGN
I feel confident saying Pederson is going to give the Eagles a good chance to win on Sunday. We often fall into in the trap of looking at matchups based on players and not giving enough weight to the impact coaching has. In this case, it feels good to go into the game with Pederson leading his men into battle. And really, it’s not just Pederson. He’s the main guy. But Jim Schwartz obviously deserves mention here as well. The Eagles’ defense is only allowing 10.3 points per game at home since late October. Atlanta only managed 10 points last Saturday and both of those scoring drives came directly off of turnovers.

Mike Lombardi’s lame non-apology - NBC Sports Philadelphia
If the Eagles and Vikings were receiving medals for their performances, what medals would they receive? Bleeding Green Nation’s John Barchard is the judge and jury.

NFC Championship Game: Five over-unders for Eagles vs. Vikings - PhillyVoice
With the weather expected to be much nicer than it’s been for either of the Birds’ last three games, it’s tempting to take the over, but everything else about this one is screaming under. With the Birds averaging just 277.5 yards of offense per game under Nick Foles and mustering just 34 points in their last three games combined (11.3 PPG), I’m taking the under here, despite the fact that the Vikings allowed a season-high 24 second-half points to the Saints last week. During the regular season, they held all but three of their opponents to fewer than 24 points ... for the entire game.

Loving The Linc - Iggles Blitz
Why is the defense so good at The Linc? The fans are part of it. Crowd noise affects the opposing offense. It makes it harder for them to communicate and it can affect the snap count. There is also the fact that the fans create energy and emotion. The players feed off that. The Eagles are at their best when they play with attitude. Playing at The Linc brings out that attitude in them. There are times when home-field advantage seems overrated. These are the best teams in the league. Where you play shouldn’t make that much of a difference. That doesn’t seem to be the case this year for the Eagles or the Vikings.

Playoff intel: Insiders dish on stopping Gronk, containing Keenum, more - ESPN
On why Nick Foles is capable but manageable -- assuming you hit him: “You’ve got to understand he’s still a pure pocket passer. He’s going to make the timing throws. If you don’t get him off the spot, he’s going to be very accurate, no matter the weather. He has poise. If you don’t hit him early, you won’t have him rattled. He’s basically a No. 2 starter. When the starter goes out, he’s a guy who can hold down the game, a Charlie Batch type. It’s so overlooked in this league, but it’s very valuable. You can’t under-regard him. That said, they won’t ask him to do too much but be precise, throw the quick game, being very methodical. The deep ball is a weakness.”

Lawlor: Eagles Must Stick With Winning Formula - PE.com
The Eagles have been a good team all year, in large part due to their consistency. Go back and rewatch the season opener. You’ll see the same defense that the team used in the win over Atlanta. The opponent couldn’t run the ball. There were several third-and-long situations, which weren’t converted, and the defense was especially tough in the red zone. The offense was tough and physical in the run game. The offense mixed in play-action passes and RPOs. The offense was good on third down and moved the chains on a regular basis. Pederson established an identity with the Eagles last year. He just didn’t have the players to make it effective week after week. This team is different. They have the bodies up front to control the line of scrimmage and they have playmakers who can do things down the field. For the Eagles to win on Sunday, they need the game to look like games that were played in September, October, November, and December.

AFCCG & NFCCG Matchups - Rotoworld
I expect the health of Nick Foles’ throwing arm to become a bigger story as Vikings-Eagles game time draws near. Foles has dealt with elbow problems since November of 2016, considered retiring at one point, missed all of the 2017 preseason with more elbow issues, and has struggled mightily to complete anything downfield since replacing Carson Wentz (ACL) in Week 14. Per PFF, Foles is 2-of-15 (13.3%) passing for 52 yards (3.4 YPA) and an interception on throws attempted more than 20 yards in the air. Although game plans are sometimes easier contemplated than executed, it seems clear Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s strategy should be to sell out to stop everything short and force Foles to resort downfield.

If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird: Ringer Philly Fans Prepare for the NFC Championship - The Ringer
I’m going to tell a personal story about meeting Nick Foles and why I think all this happened for a reason ... I worked at a restaurant named Buddakan in Philly. Nick and his gorgeous wife, Tori, sat in my section. They both treated me so kindly and were so interested in me and my life. They were very in love, and I overheard very sweet and kind words back and forth to each other all night. Long story short, Nick looks up at me and says, “You have something, I can see it, follow your dreams.” Tori nodded in agreement. In that moment, I thought, WOW WHAT A GUY! WHAT A COUPLE. THAT’S SPECIAL. Also, they tipped me $200 on a $150 check. So, yeah, I’m all in on Nick Foles and I hope he throws for 400 yards Sunday.

Four PFF QB Annual stats that will define the NFL conference championships - PFF
The Eagles’ passing game certainly took a hit when QB Carson Wentz was injured for the season, but they put Foles in a position to succeed well enough in the Divisional Round, as he hit on 19-of-21 passes thrown up to nine yards past the line of scrimmage, the short area of the field. However, he’ll likely need to be efficient in the intermediate area of the field against the Minnesota Vikings. The intermediate depth was where Wentz excelled this year, and he produced a passer rating of 131.4 on intermediate throws, second-best in the NFL. Foles had mixed results on intermediate throws during his limited time in the regular season, finishing with a passer rating of 102.0, but he also posted an adjusted completion percentage of 48.0 percent in the intermediate area, well below the NFL average of 61.0 percent. Against the Falcons, he completed all four of his intermediate attempts, though one completion came on a lucky dropped interception in the secondary. Foles must be efficient at the intermediate level in order for the Eagles to move the ball against a tough Vikings defense.

Vikings built leads of 16 or more points 10 times this year - PFT
Vikings built leads of 16 or more points 10 times this year - PFTWhat relevance does any of that have on Sunday in Philadelphia? Probably not a lot. But the Vikings have shown an ability, both at home and on the road, to build significant leads this season, thanks to a defense with tremendous third-down efficiency and an offense that can move the ball quickly, when it’s clicking. And only franchise-level quarterbacks (Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, and Drew Brees) have been able to take games that were on the fringe of blowout status and make them interesting. Although Eagles quarterback Nick Foles played admirably on Sunday against the Falcons, the only franchise quarterback on the Philly roster is on injured reserve. So if the Vikings can somehow do what they’ve done in 10 of 17 games this season, the second half may not nearly be as interesting as it was on Sunday against New Orleans.

Why did Alshon Jeffery sign with the Eagles? Sunday says it all - Inquirer
This was what Alshon Jeffery had wanted all along: the comfort and validation of a multiyear contract combined with a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. It was more than just the money. It always was. “I’m excited,” he said. “It’s an exciting time. This is what you live for. This is what you dream for as a kid.” This was the opportunity he had sought in the spring. He gets his shot at all of it Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Stefen Wisniewski brings football family to cusp of its 1st Super Bowl - PennLive
Leo Wisniewski assumes it happened more than six decades ago, shortly after his dad joined the Army. That’s when football first seeped into his family. As Leo tells it, Jim Wisniewski learned the game while preparing to fight in the Korean War. He adored the discipline and physicality it required and passed the sport down to his three sons. Two, including Leo, starred at Penn State and played in the NFL. Football soon intertwined with a firm Christian faith to craft the fabric that bound the Wisniewskis. This brings us to the starting left guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, Leo’s son and a football man in the truest sense. A player whose grit and grimace and giant shoulders reflect an upbringing rooted in the sport.

Lozo’s NFL picks: Take the Jaguars and Eagles in title games, but get rid of PATs - The Athletic
Meanwhile, Keenum threw for the emptiest 318 yards in history. He got 61 on a prayer and holy mother of Eli was that interception horrendous. As a Giants fan, I went from, “I hope Pat Shurmur brings Keenum with him if he comes to the Giants” to “Why isn’t Teddy Bridgewater starting?” in, like, 1.3 seconds. Keenum was obviously good otherwise, but man, that interception is usually how you lose playoff games.

The city preps for Eagles’ game Sunday - 6ABC
In Mayfair Saturday night employees at New London Pizza are filling big orders ahead of the game, but they are also thinking about safety and fan reaction after the game. Jenny from Mayfair said, “We’re taking precaution because everyone being out tomorrow and we’re going to make sure everything is shutdown, but still running for safety precautions. Philadelphia police warned businesses around Frankford and Cottman to be prepared in case win or lose fans get out of control Sunday night.

What does Sixers’ Brett Brown think of Eagles’ Doug Pederson? He’s impressed - NJ.com
He was not at the game, but said “I think it’s just incredible for the city. I think the final defensive stand, even just as a basketball coach sitting on his couch, just watching it, you feel that moment from your couch ... ”You’re just proud of the city, they represent what we’re all hoping to do here. There’s a spirit, there’s a toughness. It’s blue collar. You see the fans appreciation for their success and the way they play and you’re just proud of what they have accomplished, especially losing the quarterback ... it’s a tremendous team effort.”

How to Beat the Eagles Offense - Daily Norseman
But what the Vikings may do, as they’ve done in the past against similar quarterbacks, is to make their reads more difficult by disguising what they’re doing pre-snap, showing blitz, but then not, or showing coverage but then blitz, and moving around to confuse Foles into either holding the ball longer and/or making a mistake. One thing I noticed watching video of Foles’ recent games, is that he looks where he’s going to throw right before the snap, particularly in shotgun. Just about every time he sneaks a peek toward where he wants to go with the ball, and most often that’s where he goes. When he didn’t throw that way, it was because of good coverage, and he often quickly scanned and made a hurried throw to his second read- at least of few of which were turnover-worthy throws- such as these two on back-to-back plays against the Raiders.

Government shutdown is costing deployed service members the NFL playoffs - SB Nation
The Armed Forces Network is down due to the current government shutdown.

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