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Eagles News: Nick Foles got some help that Carson Wentz wasn’t getting

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/19/18.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles won on Sunday night, but it wasn’t all just Nick Foles - NBCSP
Nick Foles didn’t rush the passer. He didn’t block for Wendell Smallwood. He didn’t tackle Todd Gurley. He didn’t go sky-high to pull down one of his passes. He didn’t dive on a muffed punt. Foles certainly played his role in the Eagles’ 30-23 win over the Rams Sunday night, but the idea that he won the game overlooks the fact that the Eagles played their best overall game of the season at the LA Coliseum. The Eagles won because all three phases showed up. So I know most of the talk this week will be about Foles vs. Carson Wentz, and I get that. The Eagles haven’t ruled out a possible Wentz return this season and if he can play at some point, I’d imagine they’re going to put him back in. He’s still the franchise quarterback; he’s still the better quarterback of the two. But I also get that there seems to be some kind of magic when Foles steps on the field. But watching the game Sunday night, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, imagine if Carson Wentz got the same kind of performances from his teammates.”

Carson Wentz would’ve benefited from a lot of what the Eagles’ offense did against the Rams - Daily News
The Eagles ran simpler concepts with less motion and more of a consistent commitment to the running game Sunday night. That was a good idea, regardless of the quarterback. They also seemed luckier.

Nick Foles is the best closer in the NFL, but Carson Wentz is the Eagles’ franchise quarterback - BGN
When Wentz is healthy enough to play at 100%, he should be back in there. Never forget, Wentz has played with a broken back as he recovers from a major knee injury. We haven’t seen a truly healthy Wentz all season long and his performance must be viewed under that lens. For now, as Pederson mentioned in his Monday news conference, Foles will be the guy against the Texans this Sunday. That’s the right call. But moving forward, Wentz is the franchise quarterback, the Aaron Nola-starter you build your team around. Foles is the incredible closer that wins huge games with his poise and steadiness, the type of QB every team would like to have as a back-up on their roster. Both guys are valuable, but one is the starter.

The Kist & Solak Show #55: How the Eagles Upset the Rams - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak have a lot to talk about concerning their film break down of the Eagles’ win over the Rams. What are the keys to Foles’ success and what can the Eagles do around him for support? Avonte Maddox, Fletcher Cox, and Michael Bennett have huge days but what about Jim Schwartz’s excellent gameplan? All that and more on a packed film review show! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 16 edition - PhillyVoice
7) Eagles (7-7): We’re two days removed from the Eagles’ upset win over the Rams, and my brain already hurts from the bad Nick Foles - Carson Wentz takes. Foles is a legend for life in Philadelphia after his Super Bowl run last year, but make no mistake whatsoever that Wentz is unquestionably the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, and Foles will almost certainly be on another team in 2019. That has always been the truth in 2018, and remains so.

New-Look Defensive Backfield Is Making Progress - PE.com
Second-year man Rasul Douglas is one starter at cornerback, rookie Avonte Maddox is the other starter on the outside – more on that below – and Cre’Von LeBlanc is the nickel cornerback. With Ronald Darby walking around the NovaCare Complex with a brace on his knee after suffering a torn ACL, Jalen Mills in a walking boot, and with Sidney Jones still rehabbing a hamstring that has given him fits for most of the season, the Eagles have had to reconfigure their cornerback depth chart. There have been some bumps along the way, but the Eagles are hopeful that Douglas, Maddox, and LeBlanc are stabilizing the cornerback room. That’s the word defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz used on Tuesday as he talked about the corners. “Stabilizing.” It’s not to be confused with “starring,” but it’s a start. And the Eagles, torn apart by the injuries in the secondary – the biggest one of all was a season-ending knee injury suffered by safety Rodney McLeod – will take any progress they can get.

Here’s the real reason Eagles backup quarterbacks like Nick Foles are so popular in Philadelphia - CBS Sports
Is there a pattern? Is this an organizational flaw in identifying “safe” QBs? Or is it happenstance? A natural result of far too many circumstances to analyze -- offensive line play, QB tendencies, etc.? McNabb and Vick were both dual-threat passers who absorbed big hits outside the pocket -- something Wentz has mirrored. Foles and Bradford suffered injuries far different ways.

5 players that the Eagles need, besides Foles, to continue run to NFL playoffs - DelawareOnline
Alshon Jeffery was easily the Eagles’ best receiver last season, despite playing with a torn labrum that required offseason surgery. It seemed like Jeffrey’s top receiver status was going to continue when he returned in Week 4 and had eight receptions for 105 yards. But Jeffery wasn’t heard from much lately. In the previous six games, he had just one reception longer than 20 yards. Against the Rams, he had three, including a 50-yard bomb where he outleaped his own teammate Nelson Agholor for the catch because both had gotten behind their defenders. Maybe it was the change in quarterbacks, maybe not. But if Jeffery is effective, then everything opens up for the other receivers. And Foles, who threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeffery in the Super Bowl, likes throwing the ball up there for Jeffery to use his basketball skills to get the ball. ”He’s a great player,” Foles said. “He showed he can make those plays and he made them. He helped me out a lot.”

Week 16 Fantasy football picks: Streaming defense/special teams options - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Houston). Yes, we like both DST units in this critical Week 16 matchup as streaming options. The Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive with a win at Los Angeles last week and the defense continued to produce turnovers. In the past three games the Eagles have forced seven turnovers and racked up seven sacks. The Texans have protected the ball extremely well of late and haven’t had a turnover in the past four weeks. The offense has struggled to protect the quarterback over that time having allowed 19 sacks in the past four games. At some point the law of averages will kick in and a strip sack or tipped pass will lead to a turnover or two, maybe for Philadelphia this week.

Week 15 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles improved to 17th in DVOA. The Texans rank 14th. The Cowboys are 20th.]

2019 NFL General Manager Candidate Study - Inside The Pylon
Timing matters. Okay, I knew this before, but it really stands out this year. Owners are drawn to executives from a successful team and as such, the team Win/Loss record and the recent draft results get attached to candidates as it is almost impossible to identify their individual contributions to the team building process. As such, candidates like Joe Douglas of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, may see a different market after the Eagles 2018 campaign than their 2017 one. The negative change in the Eagles Win/Loss record may have absolutely nothing to do with Douglas, but the stock of candidates is directly impacted by it.

Lamar Miller injury could lead to D’Onta Foreman’s return to lineup - PFT
The Texans activated running back D’Onta Foreman from the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago, but he hasn’t played in either of the team’s games since his return to the active roster. That could change against the Eagles this weekend. Lamar Miller injured his ankle in last Saturday’s win over the Jets and Foreman would join Alfred Blue as backfield options in the event Miller can’t go this weekend.

Let’s just say it, if the Cowboys can’t beat the Bucs on Sunday they don’t deserve to win the NFC East - Blogging The Boys
Just one win. That’s all it will take for the Cowboys to close out the NFC East and get ready for playoff football. After the Cowboys beat the Eagles in Week 14, the math was kind. Win one game among the last three to play and the Cowboys were the NFC East champs. Seemed easy enough, especially since the last two game were against underachieving teams - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants. But after the Cowboys went to Indianapolis on Sunday and put up little resistance in a humiliating defeat, fear and angst started to set it. Could this whole thing go awry? Could that five-game win streak all be for naught?

Report: Redskins safety Montae Nicholson arrested for assault and battery and drunk in public - Hogs Haven
The Redskins will be dealing with a player being arrested as they wind down their 2018 season. Montae Nicholson was arrested after he and his girlfriend got into an altercation with another couple around 2 a.m.

Exit Interview: New York Giants - The Ringer
The question isn’t whether to take a quarterback in the top 10, but which one to take. (There are some saying the Giants should wait until 2020, when the quarterback class looks more fruitful. Nonsense. Ignore them. There is no time like the present.) Oregon’s Justin Herbert may not declare for the draft because he reportedly wants to play college football with his brother, though that may change if he is potentially a top-10 pick. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins might be the best passer in the draft and could be the best fit for the team, but he also is not a lock to declare for the draft. Among the people who will be eligible, West Virginia’s Will Grier looks like the best, and while he knows how to deal with fame, he may do worse with NFL defenses. Yet debates between which college QB would be the best don’t matter if the team doesn’t admit it needs to draft one. The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, but Manning and the Giants aren’t known for mobility.

Could the Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl window already be closing? - Turf Show Times
With a flurry of acquisitions this spring, the Los Angeles Rams firmly pushed all of their chips to the center of the table for Super Bowl 53. They weren’t shy about it either, relishing in the media attention that it brought the team. Nine months later and the 2018 Rams are at a crossroads that their 11-3 record fails to portray. The combination of consecutive losses, injuries, and poor play by key players has us rightfully questioning the Rams viability as a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. Me? I’m looking at the bigger picture. I’m questioning whether the window that Les Snead and the Rams front office opened this spring is already closing on Sean McVay.

Todd McShay’s Top 32 for 2019 NFL draft: Ranking best prospects - ESPN In$ider
16. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Grade: 90 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 300 | Previous: 17. Simmons plays with a natural leverage at the line. He has above-average awareness, good range and more strength than his frame would suggest, but he certainly can improve his hand usage. The junior had 14.5 TFL this season. He fits best in a one-gap-heavy scheme and plays a lot of snaps. There is some character history here, though, that teams will take into account.

2019 NFL mock draft: Defense will dominate the 1st round - SB Nation
18. Philadelphia Eagles: Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida. Michael Bennett and Chris Long are both 33 and nearing the end of their careers and Brandon Graham is a free agent so pass rusher looks like an offseason need for Philadelphia. Polite is a pass rush specialist who had a breakout season at Florida with 11 sacks.

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