Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Comforting Carson: How the Eagles are juggling Wentz, Nick Foles and the QB situation - Inquirer
Wentz is as A-personality as it gets. He has spoken before of having trouble ceding control. The Eagles love Wentz’s passion and intensity, but as former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said in September, he does have a stubborn streak. Foles isn’t as headstrong. He’s almost five years older and has had to endure his share of career setbacks. But it’s hard to imagine many quarterbacks coming off Super Bowl MVP performances who wouldn’t have demanded a trade rather than be subjected to another year as a backup. Who knows if the Eagles would have capitulated, especially if the offers weren’t attractive? But Foles was willing to start until Wentz returned, and then take a back seat, even though he would naturally want to start. “I want Carson to succeed. I want him to play. It allows you to once again take a step back,” Foles said Wednesday. “You’re not going to be in the limelight, you’re going to be in the background. But once again, that’s where it doesn’t matter. I want to bring joy, bring energy, and help my teammates in any way. Now it’s a different role, but I want to be the same person.”
How 12 Personnel Saved The Eagles’ Offense - BGN
Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams. Believable? Sure. Especially if I told you that would happen in the beginning of the season; or before Carson Wentz returned from his ACL tear; or before Philly’s secondary was ravaged by injury. But I’m telling you that this week — a week in which the Eagles are 7-7, holding on to wild card hopes by a thread, wondering what could have been in the games they all but gave away: Tennessee, Carolina, Dallas (twice). Nick Foles was the starting quarterback; second-year backup Rasul Douglas and 5’9 rookie Avonte Maddox were the outside corners; Timmy Jernigan, Derek Barnett, and Jordan Hicks were all missing from the starting lineup. The narrative will follow Foles: a champion, returned to his throne, piling yet another improbable win on a heap of cringeworthy evidence for #QBWinz truthers. But underneath the Season of Saint Nick, the real agent of Philadelphia’s improved offense labors, unannounced and unassuming.
The Kist & Solak Show #57: Shutting Down the Texans Offense - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak know the key to limiting the Texans offense is by investing in stopping DeAndre Hopkins, but where else can the Eagles find the winning edge? The Eagles front four against the Texans awful OL is a good place to start, but you still have to contain Deshaun Watson? How can they do it? Find out here! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation
Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, and more in Roob’s 10 Eagles observations - NBCSP
I have to admit I’ve been kind of shocked at all the anti-Wentz sentiment I’ve seen and heard this past week. And I’m the biggest Foles guy on the planet. How quickly they forget what Wentz did last year and even this year. Foles has played three games this year and had two in which he threw at least one INT and didn’t throw a TD. Wentz has played 24 games the last two years and has had one game in which he didn’t throw a TD and threw an INT. Foles will always be a legend in this city and deservedly so, but that doesn’t mean Wentz is terrible. He’s anything but. Drew Brees has been the best QB in the NFL over the last two years, and Wentz has one less TD and more INT over the last two seasons. Let’s cut it out with the “Wentz sucks” nonsense.
Eagles’ Darren Sproles wins Emmy Award for mini-documentary - PhillyVoice
Already a fan favorite and borderline Hall of Famer, Sproles has another feather he can add to his cap: Emmy Award winner. The Eagles announced this week that Sproles received the award for his role in the team’s “Goal to Go” mini-documentary, a series that looks at players’ lives and journeys to the NFL.
Let’s Talk RBs - Iggles Blitz
Josh Adams averages 4.5 yards per carry and has shown the ability to deliver big plays. He’s got four carries of 20 or more yards despite only having 98 carries this year. Adams doesn’t look like someone you want starting, but he’s shown the potential to be an excellent part of a rotation. It is possible that he could develop into a starting-level RB. One problem for Adams, he has not converted a 3rd or 4th & 1 opportunity this year. Adams is a daylight runner. He likes to get the ball and read his blocks, looking for where to run. You can’t do that in short yardage. You must attack the line of scrimmage.
The five most intriguing games of NFL Week 16 - The Athletic
Texans 21, Eagles 20. I don’t buy that last week’s win over the Rams was some kind of new 2018 Eagles team. Foles made a few good throws, but he also made several mistakes that could have proved disastrous on a different day. The defense has rallied to the ball better over the past few weeks, but they’re still ravaged by injury, and back-to-back weeks of long road trips that included 175 total snaps aren’t a recipe for fresh legs. — Bo Wulf
Off The Beat: Best Free Agents In Eagles History - PE.com
When the Eagles signed Jenkins prior to the 2014 season, it wasn’t a popular move with the fan base. Fans took to Twitter saying the Eagles need needed to sign Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward. Jenkins, who had spent his first four years with the New Orleans Saints, playing both corner and safety, wasn’t coming off a great year and wasn’t the big name the fans thought they wanted. Five seasons later, Jenkins is the unquestioned leader of the Eagles’ defense. He’s played both safety and nickel corner, and he’s been as impactful a player as there is in the league. This season, the Eagles have had injuries to almost every member of the secondary, from Ronald Darby to Jalen Mills to Rodney McLeod to Sidney Jones … the list goes on and on. Jenkins has been the rock, holding things together on the back end all season long. And for everything he’s accomplished on the field with the Eagles, including two Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl Championship, Jenkins’ work in the community has been just as strong.
Week 16: Previewing key NFL matchups, fantasy football and Greenline - PFF
Houston struggled with the Jets last Saturday, while the Eagles enjoyed their most impressive win of what has been a disappointing Super Bowl hangover season. One of the biggest mismatches of the week is the front four of the Eagles against the offensive line of the Texans in pass protection. If Rasul Douglas and Avante Maddox can continue to hold up on the back end, the Eagles can have some success here, which is why we like them to cover in this spot.
Texans-Eagles Preview: SIX Things To Watch For - Battle Red Blog
The Eagles not only have Foles back, but they have their entire offensive line back as well. Last week Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson started. Kelce, Johnson, Peters, and Wisniewski, who’s missed half the season, all have missed time, and are now finally back together. With their entire offensive line back and healthy they controlled Los Angeles’s pass rush. Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Dante Fowler Jr. all were quiet, and the Rams failed to generate any sort of meaningful pass rush. It’s dumb to run the football at the Houston Texans. Yet if a team was going to, the Eagles could be that team. I don’t think they will. I just think there’s a possibility of them having some success. They should be able to move the interior of the line of scrimmage and Wisniewski, Kelce, and Brooks can all climb up to the second level and make blocks on Zach Cunningham, and Benardrick McKinney.
Injury roundup: DeAndre Hopkins a game-time decision - NFL.com
The Houston Texans already ruled out Lamar Miller for Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. Will DeAndre Hopkins be next? The prolific wide receiver is considered a game-time decision as he continues to battle through an ankle injury, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Hopkins, for his part, is adamant about playing, but the Texans’ trainers want to see him work out before the game to see how he looks, Rapoport added. It makes sense the Texans are taking a cautious approach with their star wideout. With the team on the cusp of clinching the AFC South division title -- a win Sunday over the Eagles would secure the crown -- there’s no reason for the team to be foolhardy with one of the NFL’s top playmakers.
From substitute teacher to Texans, DeAndre Carter grateful for his journey - Houston Chronicle
Carter got his first big break earlier this season at age 25 when Philadelphia’s Darren Sproles, one of the best returners in NFL history, was hurt. Carter played well for the Eagles but was cut when Sproles returned, and the Texans claimed him off waivers. ”I understood the decision,” Carter said. “Sproles is one of the greatest return men ever to do it. With him coming back from injury, you’re going to put him back there. I will forever be grateful to that organization, to Howie Roseman to Doug Pederson for giving me an opportunity to put on display what I can do, and that allowed me to get to Houston. It’s fun to be able to get out there and make plays and contribute and have a role on offense and on special teams.”
NFC playoff picture: Washington all but eliminated - PFT
Technically, Washington is still in the NFC playoff picture. Realistically, it’s over. Washington’s loss at Tennessee today makes it nearly impossible for Jay Gruden’s team to get to the playoffs. Washington would now need to beat the Eagles next week, have the Eagles lose to Houston tomorrow, and have the Vikings lose both to the Lions tomorrow and to the Bears next week.
D.J. Swearinger airs ‘frustration’ with Greg Manusky’s playcalling - ESPN
Swearinger ripped into defensive coordinator Greg Manusky after the Redskins’ 25-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans for what he termed bad playcalling. Swearinger’s frustration was due to the heavy amount of man coverage Washington played, especially when backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert entered the game for injured Marcus Mariota. The Redskins were in man coverage when corner Fabian Moreau was called for holding against receiver Taywan Taylor on a third-and-7 incompletion, extending a fourth-quarter drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown. The Titans had three receivers on the right side with Taylor on the left. “Man, it’s three by one; you’re going backside every time,” Swearinger said. “A kindergarten quarterback can know that. That’s my frustration right now, dog. We played a hell of a game.”
The Super-Villainy of the Ravens Defense, About Jay Gruden and the Hot Seat - Sports Illustrated
Jay Gruden is a shrewd play designer, one of the league’s better in-game play-callers and I while I can think of a few instances in which his team didn’t play well, I can’t think of a game in which they didn’t play hard. This offseason, the front office hamstrung him by letting his quarterback walk and replacing him with Alex Smith, a great dude but an ultra-conservative passer with a limited ceiling (presumably someone in that front office either made a decision based purely on box-score stats or didn’t realize Smith wasn’t bringing Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill with him). Gruden was forced to patch an offense together with a street free agent at running back and after both starting guards got hurt, then after Smith’s injury had to rotate through a mid-level backup in Colt McCoy, a guy who had no right being in the league in Mark Sanchez, and a mid-level No. 3 in Josh Johnson. Under those circumstances, most teams would have been looking ahead to their top-five pick in the spring rather than hanging around in playoff contention a few days before Christmas. This franchise has a recent history of almost comedic dysfunction, but even they must realize that Gruden is closer to Coach of the Year than a hot seat, right?
The Ultimate SB Nation Holiday Gift Guide - SB Nation
‘Tis the season for joyous college football bowl games, Christmas Day NBA games, that long, long Michael Jordan vs. LeBron GOAT debate you’ll be having with your uncle, winter break days where you stay inside and play Madden for 10 hours straight, and all the sports gift options you could possibly want. But instead of searching endlessly for the perfect present, SB Nation has done the work for you with 111 (yes, you read that correctly) items the sports fan in your life needs. And for yourself, of course. Here’s our curated list to celebrate the holidays.
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