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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s defense might be better than you think

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/16/18.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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With one big fix, 2018 Eagles can be an elite team - NBCSP
The real question is how good is this defense, and honestly, I don’t know the answer yet. Six games in, two things stick out: No. 1, they’re allowing way too many big plays. And No. 2, when they don’t allow a big play, they’re very good. The Eagles have allowed seven plays of at least 45 yards, tied with the Raiders for most in the NFL. It’s also the most they’ve given up six weeks into a season in at least 25 years. Those seven plays have netted 420 yards, which equals an incredible 20 percent of all the yards the Eagles have given up all year. This sounds nuts, but when the Eagles aren’t allowing big plays, they’re not allowing very much at all, and the numbers prove it. The Eagles’ defense has allowed the third-fewest first downs in the league, 17.7 per game. Only the Ravens (15.5) and Bears (17.0) have allowed fewer.

Terrible, Awful Defense - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles defense has been awful this year. Right? Wrong. The Eagles are 5th in points allowed and 13th in yards allowed. The Eagles have played three teams in the Top 10 in the league in yards gained. Two of the teams are in the Top 10 in scoring. Adam Thielen lit up the Eagles secondary. He happens to be the leading receiver in the league this season and has set an NFL record by having six consecutive 100-yard games to start the season. I’ve written a few times already about how this is the Year of the Offense. We are seeing some amazing things done this year. We have to keep that in mind when judging the defense. I’m not excusing them for blowing the lead in the Titans game, but the defense hasn’t been nearly as bad as some would think. The Eagles have the third best 3rd down defense in the league. They have the best Red Zone defense.

Win a copy of Doug Pederson’s book, plus a signed football and Eagles visor - BGN
It’s been some time since we’ve had a giveaway here at Bleeding Green Nation but thanks to our friends over at Hachette Books we now have some cool prizes for some lucky winners. Hachette Books is giving away ONE grand prize of Super Bowl winning head coach Doug Pederson’s book FEARLESS, a signed football and a signed Philadelphia Eagles visor! Five runner ups will each get a copy of FEARLESS.

Ranking the Eagles’ positional needs for a move before the trade deadline - PhillyVoice
The thinking here is that Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby will continue to start on the outside, with Mills kicking inside to the slot in nickel, and Rasul Douglas coming in to play on the outside. That’s a decent enough emergency solution for now, but what if the Eagles suffer even more injuries? The acquisition of a safety who can play deep middle would solve a lot of problems. Of course, safety also happens to be an under-performing position league-wide, meaning that it’s not all that likely that a good one will be available for a reasonable cost. Adding a corner with some inside-outside versatility would also make some sense, if the Eagles like what they have seen of Avonte Maddox at safety.

Study Week: Preparing For QB Cam Newton - PE.com
Call it Project Cam Newton. As the Eagles returned to work on Monday after a mini-bye weekend, the defense turned its focus to the Carolina quarterback who presents such a unique challenge. At 6-5 and 245 pounds (more on that later), Newton is a blend of rocket-armed quarterback and bruising running back. There is no other player like him in the NFL. Welcome to prep week for the Eagles’ defense. “If you don’t prepare for Cam Newton and his ability as a ballcarrier then you will have a rough day against him,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “They have designed runs. They’re running ‘power’ runs. He’s more of a power running back than half the running backs they have. He’s tough to get on the ground. At the same time, you can’t commit 1,000 guys to the run, because he can pick it up and throw it. They’ve got more-than-capable guys on the back end. So that’s what makes it a unique challenge to match up with these guys.”

Monday Morning Optimist: I’m done defending Ron Rivera - Cat Scratch Reader
Ron Rivera is going on eight years of trying to establish the run in the Carolinas and it is past time he gave it a rest. If I thought he knew who I was then I would think he opened the game yesterday with five straight runs just to spite me. This is the part in the Optimist where I am supposed to point to the Panthers’ 3-2 record. I should say that there is still plenty of season left and that the Panthers are only getting healthier as they approach the meat of their divisional schedule. All of that is true. But can you really look at the rest of the schedule and tell me you trust Rivera to lead the Panthers into the playoffs?

Source: Le’Veon Bell not expected to report to Steelers this week - ESPN
The Pittsburgh Steelers are not expecting running back Le’Veon Bell to return to the team this week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Steelers are on their bye this week and the players are off Thursday through Sunday. Bell could next report Monday, Oct. 22.

8 NFL teams that are proving you should never overreact in September - SB Nation
Philadelphia Eagles: They are 3-3 now after a dominating performance against the awful Giants on Thursday Night Football. Carson Wentz has now started four games and he’s starting to get his sea legs back. The offensive line, which has weirdly struggled at times, is starting to clamp things back down. Their defense is super legit and the Eagles are on the way back to the playoffs.

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