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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s defensive line leads the NFL in pressures generated

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/28/18

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Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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32 NFL Observations, Week 3 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: In the first three games of the 2018 season, the Eagles defensive line has produced 67 quarterback pressures, collectively won 17.5 percent of their pass-rushing matchups and combined to produce pressure on 12.8 percent of their combined pass-rush snaps – all of which rank first among defensive lines so far this season.

11 safety options for the Eagles following Rodney McLeod’s injury - BGN
EARL THOMAS - Can you even imagine? It’d be pretty crazy to see the Eagles get the guy that people criticized Howie Roseman for passing up on in favor of drafting Brandon Graham instead. (I’d say that move worked out OK with Graham strip-sacking Tom Brady to help the Eagles clinch a Super Bowl win, by the way.) Putting that angle aside, Thomas would be a fantastic addition for Philadelphia. Adding his range and play-making ability to this Eagles defense is very enticing.

The Kist & Solak Show #17: Eagles O vs Titans D Preview, McLeod’s Status - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak discuss the unfortunate injury that will sideline Rodney McLeod along with the rest of the injury updates, and then take a deep dive into the matchup between the Eagles offense against the Titans defense.

Safety Blitz with Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles are one or two plays away from being 3-0 - PhillyVoice
In the red zone, on third down, we dominated,” Jenkins said. “On offense, we doubled them in time of possession [40:20 to 19:40]. We outgained them in rushing yards, in passing yards, yet in the end, we were still holding on. When you look at the reason why, it’s simply turnovers and one big penalty [the 33-yard interference call on Jalen Mills in the first quarter], which I thought was a bad call.” But there are a few major concerns for Jenkins and the Eagles. One is penalties. The Eagles are the third-most penalized team in the NFL, with 30 accepted penalties against them, behind Kansas City (33), Pittsburgh (32) and Baltimore (32). In yards penalized, they’re sixth, with 256 yards, behind NFL leader Baltimore, which has been flagged for 312 yards. The other is turnovers. The Eagles are minus-3 in giveaway/takeaways, which places them 29th overall in the NFL through the first three weeks.

Weapons Matter - Iggles Blitz
2018 is off to an odd start. Nick Foles started the first two games. He struggled. Jason Peters missed most of one game. The Eagles are working in two new TEs, one of them a rookie. And the WRs…they’ve been a MASH unit. The offense has been highly erratic so far. The Eagles got good news on Wednesday when it was announced Alshon Jeffery was cleared for contact. He practiced and is expected to play on Sunday. Jeffery isn’t just a receiver. He’s a weapon. And that makes a difference. Even with Carson Wentz back at QB on Sunday, the offense lacked playmakers. Nelson Agholor is very good when used the right way, but he’s not a player defenses fear by himself. Jordan Matthews and Kamar Aiken were not scaring the Colts. Shelton Gibson only played one snap on offense.

Rasul Douglas’s move to safety may be accelerated by Eagles - NBCSP
“Everybody’s ready to roll,” Graham said. “Next guy up, pretty much doesn’t matter who it is. Everybody knows their job and knows what they’re supposed to do. So it’s not really a big drop-off because of that. When you have guys that are ready to roll, you’ll be all right. We’re confident in all our guys. So no matter who it is — me, Rasul, Deiondre’ — it doesn’t make a difference. Everybody knows what they’re doing.”

Eagles RB Jay Ajayi plans to play despite minor back fracture - ESPN
Eagles running back Jay Ajayi says he has a small fracture in his back but plans to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. ”You just have to roll with it until it heals on its own,” he said, adding that it’s possible to do that while still playing. “You just have to protect it.” Ajayi injured his back early in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. A group of Bucs defenders bent him backwards while tackling him behind the line of scrimmage. He remained in for one more play before hobbling to the sideline. Ajayi twice went into the locker room for treatment but did end up going back into the game. He finished with seven carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. He sat out last week against the Indianapolis Colts and missed Wednesday’s practice before returning on Thursday as a full participant. The 25-year-old Ajayi is in a contract year. He has three touchdowns over two games despite limited action.

Eagle Eye: A Titan-Sized Challenge Ahead For The Offense -
The Tennessee Titans will provide Carson Wentz and the Eagles with a tough test on Sunday. New Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel is a student of the Bill Belichick system, having played in New England for a large chunk of his playing career and having coached with Belichick disciple Romeo Crennel in Houston with the Texans. In that scheme, there are a lot of disguises in the secondary, with the defense showing you one thing before the snap only to play something completely different once the play begins. There’s a ton of post-snap rotation, which can be confusing for young quarterbacks. It’s not just Vrabel at the helm of this defense, however, as he was able to coax Dean Pees out of an extremely brief retirement to join him in Nashville as the defensive coordinator. Pees was the long-time coordinator in Baltimore and coached under Belichick as well back in the 2000s. Pees has always been very good with overload pressures, bringing more blitzers than an offense can protect.

What to watch in Eagles-Titans - Inquirer
Stop the run: The Eagles know Tennessee wants to run the ball. The Titans’ 98 rushing attempts are tied for No. 3 in the NFL. Even with only 3.7 yards per carry, they still stick to their running game. (Marcus Mariota’s injury played a factor in this.) The Eagles have the NFL’s No. 1 run defense, keeping opponents to 61.7 yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry. They were No. 1 in rush defense last year, too. So it’s strength vs. strength. The Titans are going to commit to the run with a strong offensive line and the combination of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. The Eagles will trust their run defense to win this matchup. If the Titans don’t have a strong rushing output, the Eagles will be in good position to win the game.

Titans vs. Eagles Thursday injury report - Music City Miracles
The Titans continue to trend in the right direction as far as injuries are concerned. Marcus Mariota was a full participant in today’s practice as were Jack Conklin, Adoree Jackson, Kamalei Correa, Ryan Succop and Kendrick Lewis. Conklin still appears to be on track to start his first game of the season. That means the Titans offense will be at what is now full strength (with Delanie Walker already being out for the year). Adoree apparently isn’t all the way through the concussion protocol, but he has to be getting close if he has practice two days in a row.

Todd Haley says two-point play was lifted from Eagles - PFT
Last Thursday night, Browns coach Hue Jackson bristled at the notion that a key two-point conversion wasn’t borrowed from the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. This Thursday, Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley contradicted his boss. “Absolutely,” Haley told reporters regarding whether he took the Philly Special. “I have no shame.”

Q&A with Joe Banner: Ranking Wentz among young QBs, red-zone defense & Mailata’s trade value - The Athletic
It literally costs as much as a high first-round pick to replace it, which, they’re not gonna have a high first-round pick for any time that we can see in the near term. So that’s why I’m saying nothing. It’s not like his market value is, you know, priceless. It’s just the cost of replacement would be so extreme. And again, he may or may not succeed. I don’t put him in a sure thing (category). I put him in a very high potential category as opposed to somebody I’ve seen and I’m more ready to declare, if I’m running the … Eagles, ‘Hey, we have our left tackle for the long term.’ I’m not in that school. Some people are there. I’m in the school that we may very well have that answer for the next decade. And I just think the replacement cost answers the question as opposed to the market value, and I can’t see what I would be willing to take for him that anybody would even consider giving because of the replacement cost.

10 Bonkers Facts From the Bestselling History of the USFL, ‘Football for a Buck’ - MAXIM
9. The 1984 Philadelphia Stars were so good that many believed they could have beaten the Eagles that season. Led by Sam Mills, Kelvin Bryant and quarterback Chuck Fusina, the Stars defeated the Arizona Wranglers in the 1984 USFL Championship in what was a non-competitive 23-3 romp. This victory avenged a two point loss to the Michigan Panthers in the championship the year before. Even with the anti-climactic outcome, 250,000 locals lined Broad Street to congratulate a team that many believed could have beaten the 5-11 Eagles that year.

America’s Team Has Lost Its Identity - The Ringer
Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott may still be around, but the vaunted 2016 Cowboys offense couldn’t feel farther away. During the past two years, this unit has wandered into Bizarro World: The aspects of the team that seemed set in stone have changed, and the parts that needed changing have stayed the same. Frederick is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and in his absence, the days of Dallas’s offensive line dominance seem to be over. Though the Cowboys drafted franchise cornerstones Prescott and Elliott two years ago, they’ve held onto regressive concepts that are only fit for an outdated version of the league. Other teams have embraced modern ideas like altering receiver alignments, incorporating various motions, and increasing play-action, but this offense has completely stagnated. All of that has left “America’s Team” with no discernible identity. And it begs the question of what, exactly, the Dallas Cowboys mean in 2018.

Film Room: Dallas Offense - Football Outsiders
Prescott’s sense of anticipation has also dissipated. Prescott was never an elite anticipation thrower, but he did have moments early on that suggested he could further develop in that area. His anticipation has noticeably declined this season, likely due in part to playing with less confidence overall.

What we know about Vikings DE Everson Griffen’s health situation - SB Nation
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was not on the sideline during the team’s Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, and he will miss more time while hospitalized due to a “serious, personal health-related issue,” per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. On Thursday — about an hour before the team’s Week 4 game — Griffen posted on Instagram that he’s “focused on resolving personal issues with which I have been dealing for a long time.”


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