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Eagles News: Doug Pederson is struggling to push the right buttons

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/25/18.

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Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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Doug Pederson’s messaging, to team and in public, has been off mark - Inquirer
Pederson pushed almost every right button during 2017. He didn’t panic after the Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. He was the picture of poise after Carson Wentz was lost for the season. He listened to his players when they asked for padded practices before the postseason, for instance. And he played the underdog card to perfection. But he has seemingly been unable to adjust to this season’s narrative. The “Embrace the Target” shirts that were given out to every player at the start of camp acknowledged their new status, but every season is its own entity. It took two games and a loss to the lowly Bucs for that slogan to lose its meaning. After the Eagles coughed up a fourth-quarter lead to the Panthers last month, Pederson said that he told the players, “Nobody on the outside world is giving us a chance to do much of anything. Pressure’s off, so we can go play, have fun, and just relax.” Did anyone underestimate the reigning champs? If anything, the pressure was ramped up. And for the most part, the Eagles have crumbled under it since those comments. In the losses since then, Pederson has mostly repeated the cliche about looking in the mirror.

Eagles in attendance for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s big day - BGN
It’s difficult to quantify the character of Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown without selling him short. Luckily, another writer has already done a fantastic and thorough job capturing his journey to this point. Looking at the player he is on the field, the fact that the headline of that piece including the phrase “college football’s most dangerous player” should tell you what you need to know. Hollywood Brown is a burner. Those jets were on display in a 59-56 shootout win over the West Virginia Mountaineers. He put up a blistering 11-243-2 stat line in the contest and had several highlight reel plays.

Five over/unders for Eagles’ Week 12 matchup vs. Giants - PhillyVoice
Carson Wentz passer rating: 99.5. A week ago in New Orleans, Carson Wentz played the worst game of his NFL career, throwing three interceptions in a blowout loss to the Saints. After a surprising strong return from a torn ACL, Wentz has come back down to earth since the bye week, but he may need to get back on track Sunday if the Eagles hope to snap their losing streak against the Giants. While last week’s performance doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, the good news here is that Wentz played arguably his best game of the season when the Eagles visited MetLife back in Week 6, throwing for three touchdowns in the 34-13 win over the Giants. Furthermore, prior to that Saints loss, Wentz had posted a passer rating of at least 99 in six straight games, including a season-best 122.2 against last time he faced New York.

Game Preview – Giants at Eagles - Iggles Blitz
The biggest questions involve the secondary, where the Eagles will play a bunch of guys nobody knows anything about. These guys could come out and play well, shocking the world. Or they could get burned, over and over. These are fringe players with virtually no experience. The argument for them is that unproven doesn’t mean “can’t play”. The argument against them is that unproven, undrafted, fringe players usually can’t play. You wonder who Jim Schwartz prefers to cover Odell Beckham Jr. Or does it even matter? The Eagles can’t worry about backup CBs and a backup MLB. They must find a way to go win this game. Carson Wentz plays great. Or the run game really comes alive. Or Fletcher Cox puts on a one-man show. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. The Eagles must make key plays.

Lawlor: Game Preview vs. Giants - PE.com
The Eagles have one game with 30 or more points this year. That came in the first meeting against the Giants, a game that was played on a short week. Because that was a Thursday night game, the Eagles couldn’t put in their normal game plan. They had to keep things a bit more basic. Maybe there is a lesson in that. Doug Pederson and the offensive coaches keep trying to figure out the best way to get the Eagles’ offense off to a quick start. Maybe the answer was right there in front of them the whole time. Keep things simple.

NFL reporters answer Week 12’s biggest fantasy questions - ESPN In$ider
Does the Eagles’ injury-plagued secondary have any chance of slowing Odell Beckham Jr. this week? No. It will be up to the front four to disrupt Eli Manning’s timing. If it can’t, it will be a long day for a defensive backfield that may be forced to ride with Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby and Cre’von LeBlanc at cornerback. Only LeBlanc has starting experience at this level.

Eagles player gets hefty fine for flashing middle finger at Saints coach Sean Payton - CBS Sports
Malcolm Jenkins’ decision to flip the bird at Saints coach Sean Payton is going to cost him some serious money. According to NFL.com, Jenkins has been fined a total of $13,369 for flashing his middle finger during the fourth quarter of Philadelphia’s 48-7 blowout loss to the Saints. After the game, Jenkins admitted he was frustrated with New Orleans’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-6 while leading 38-7 with just under 14 minutes to play in the game. Payton had the option of punting, trying a 54-yard field goal or going for the jugular, and well, he went for the jugular.

Rankings vs DFS Pricing Plays - Rotoworld
Josh Adams – RB22. FanDuel: RB23 ($5,700) DraftKings: RB31 ($3,800). Adams played a season-high 55 percent of the offensive snaps last week and ran a season-high 16 pass routes last week as handled 10-of-15 touches in the Eagles backfield. He hasn’t wasted his touches either, Adams has carried 23 times for 161 yards (7.0 YPC) over his past three games. The Giants have allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs, 29th in the league. trading Damon Harrison, the Giants are also allowing 152.3 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry after allowing 113.8 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry prior.

The baffling Golden Tate situation, 2 Hall of Fame travesties, more in Roob’s 10 random Eagles observations - NBCSP
This whole Tate thing is baffling to me. Every aspect of it. I understand that getting a new player up to speed in the middle of a season is a tricky process. But when you give up a third-round pick, you better have a sense of exactly where a new player is going to fit in before he even gets here. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the offense has actually looked less smooth since Tate got here. And 4-4 has turned into 4-6. The supplemental pick is great in case the Eagles don’t re-sign Tate, but the Eagles won’t get that until the 2020 draft. They have a lot of needs right now, and they could sure use that third-round pick this spring. I liked the trade when the Eagles made it because I thought they desperately needed a playmaker. But maybe that was the problem all along. They already had playmakers, this staff just couldn’t figure out how to get the most out of them. And now they have one more playmaker that they can’t get the most out of. I don’t blame Tate for any of this. He’s a talented wideout. We just haven’t seen it yet, and I’m starting to wonder if we will.

Eagles-Giants cheat sheet: Matchups, storylines and predictions - The Athletic
The Eagles should beat the Giants. They’re six-point favorites, they have a better quarterback, a better coach and better talent on the defensive side of the ball. But the Eagles are not a good team right now and it’s hard to envision them doing a better job against Beckham than they did in the teams’ first meeting, especially with a secondary pieced together with duct tape and glue. Offensively, I worry they’ve become too predictable and unexplosive. Truly, I cannot believe I’m picking Pat Shurmur’s team again. Giants 23, Eagles 20 — Bo Wulf

What’s going on with the Eagles? Let’s learn in this week’s ‘5 questions’ - Big Blue View
The offense has majorly contributed to the Eagles’ struggles. Philadelphia ranks 23rd in points per game (just under the 22nd-ranked Giants), 22nd in yards per play, and 22nd in offensive DVOA. There’s no real running game to speak of and there’s a real lack of explosive play-makers. Carson Wentz has posted good numbers this season but he’s coming off the worst game of his career with a three interception performance against the Saints. Philadelphia’s top-ranked offensive line in 2017 has regressed in 2018. Doug Pederson and his coaching staff deserve blame for an offense that’s averaging a league-worst 2.1 points per game in the first quarter. (14 of those 21 first quarter points came against the Giants.) Jim Schwartz’s defense doesn’t look so awful on paper when you see the Eagles rank seventh in opponent points per game. But that figure doesn’t tell the whole story. The Eagles are still 22nd in defensive DVOA and only two teams have fewer takeaways this season. No defensive players can really be counted on to make a big play. Injuries haven’t helped, either. The Eagles rank 24th in adjusted games lost this season, which shows they’ve been hurting more than most teams.

Report: 49ers LB Reuben Foster arrested on domestic violence charge in Florida - Niners Nation
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Saturday night on charges of domestic violence in Tampa Bay, Florida, per San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. Branch reported Foster was arrested at the team’s Grand Hyatt hotel at 9:10 p.m. EST and booked into jail at 11:11 p.m., according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The 49ers play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 10 A.M. PST Sunday.

7 NFL rivalries that should exist just so they can have these made-up trophies - SB Nation
The NFL has its rivalries that have been established decades ago. Ones that immediately come to mind might be Packers-Bears, Eagles-Giants, Steelers-Ravens, Falcons-Saints, among many others. But these rivalries don’t really have any spice to them. College football has rivalries that are nearly a century old, and in some cases, have a ridiculous reward to go along with it like when Nebraska and Wisconsin duke it out for the Freedom Trophy, or the Golden Hat between Oklahoma and Texas. Plus, these games are usually just better. Let’s change that. Here are some NFL rivalries that don’t exist, but would add a little flavor with unique awards.

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