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Eagles News: Jerry Jones says the Cowboys aren’t all that different from the undefeated Rams

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/29/18

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Jerry Jones would like you to believe the Cowboys and Rams aren’t that different - SB Nation
Jerry Jones doesn’t look at his Dallas Cowboys and see a 1-2 team or the league’s 31st-ranked scoring offense. No, Jones stares down from his owner’s box at AT&T Stadium and sees a team that has the potential to be the Rams when it comes to moving the ball. “Well, I like our offensive line when it stacks up against the Rams,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan Friday. “I think it’s fair to say we’ve got good running backs.” Ezekiel Elliott came into Week 4 as the league’s co-leading rusher, so no qualms there. But then there’s the claim about Cowboys’ offensive line. This was true when the franchise was turning DeMarco Murray into the league’s leading rusher. It was true in 2016 when it made a rookie Elliott the NFL’s top tailback. But now Doug Free has retired, Travis Frederick is out with Guillain Barre Syndrome, and then unit looks a few stages removed from those salad days. But Jones wasn’t done there. “I remember [Jared] Goff when he first came in, they moved him along at a little slower pace than Dak [Prescott] got to come in. But I know that we’ve been just as proud of Dak as those that are Rams fans that are proud of their quarterback.”

Titans writer gives three reasons why the Eagles will win on Sunday - BGN
The Titans have had an unbelievable start to the season with a 7+ hour game in Miami, a week 2 game without Mariota and their top 3 offensive tackles and a week 3 game in Jacksonville where Mariota had to play at far less than 100% after Blaine Gabbert suffered a concussion in the first quarter. Somehow they are 2-1, but that is a lot for any team. They are feeling good after 2 division wins and are essentially playing with house money in this one. It feels like it could be a classic letdown spot.

Mailbag: Should the Eagles trade for Seahawks S Earl Thomas? - PhillyVoice
McLeod was likely to be a cap casualty after this season anyway, Graham almost retired this season. As such, the Eagles need a multiple-year solution at the safety position opposite Jenkins, unless they’re banking on moving Mills. If you think Thomas can play at a high level a couple more seasons and you can work out a trade-and-extend, I don’t think it’s that crazy, but it’s still unlikely.

Next Man Back - Iggles Blitz
Corey Graham will likely slide into McLeod’s spot as a starter. Graham is a veteran so he can easily handle the basics. He’s not as fast or athletic as McLeod so he won’t be as effective on some plays. Graham has seen a lot more so that might help him to do some things that McLeod didn’t. Graham does have better hands and that could benefit the defense. The Eagles love to use three safeties in their passing down packages. This is where there will be some questions. Does Graham move back to his old spot in those looks with Deiondre’ Hall taking over as the deep safety? I know some fans have talked about moving a CB over. Jalen Mills isn’t moving. He’s playing well this year, aside from Tampa. The Eagles love him at CB so he’s not going anywhere. Avonte Maddox is a rookie so he’s not an ideal candidate. Rasul Douglas could make some sense. He has excellent length, which would help him cover ground, and Douglas has outstanding ball skills. Some think safety is where he’s meant to play.

Week 4 NFL score predictions: A guide to best games, fantasy help, more - ESPN
Tim McManus’ pick: The Eagles’ defense yielded 25 points per game as the visitor last season compared to 12 points at home in 2017, and the trend has continued through three games this season. Fortunes could change some this week against a Titans team that is near the bottom of the league in scoring (16.3 PPG). Carson Wentz should get a weapon or two back Sunday, and the offense will do enough to get the job done. Eagles 23, Titans 17.

PFF’s 2018 NFL Week 4 spread picks - PFF
Well let’s see here, the Titans have a quarterback that can’t feel his hand, the Eagles have our highest-ranked defense and Carson Wentz has a game under his belt. What else can you ask for? Marcus Mariota has a 49.9 passer rating from a clean pocket, and the Eagles are the only defense in the league to blitz less than 20.0 percent of the time while allowing an average time to throw under 2.5 seconds. This number is definitely hard to swallow, but the Eagles are the best team in the NFL and are easily seven points better than the current Titans squad on a neutral field. This will be the first time the Titans face an above-average quarterback this season, and the combination will simply be too much for the Mike Vrabel’s team to overcome.

Defense Prepares For Smash-Mouth Day On Sunday -
It always starts with stopping the running game. The Eagles set up their defensive game plan every week and begin with a focus on the opposition’s rushing attack. So the Eagles are in a bit of a strange place this week as they prepare for Sunday’s game against Tennessee because the Titans have relied so much on a pounding, grinding ground game to fuel an offense that has struggled to put up points. The Eagles know they need to stop the run, yes. They also know that even if they have success doing so, the Titans aren’t going to back down sticking to what they do best. “We try to make teams one-dimensional by stopping the run,” middle linebacker Jordan Hicks said. “With the mentality the Titans bring and that offense has, I think it’s going to be a great clash. It’s what everybody wants to see – the leading rushing-attempt team (actually second) versus the best defensive run-stopping team (the Eagles lead the NFL allowing only 61.7 ground yards per game). We embrace it. It’s who we are. It’s our mindset. Stop the run. Make them one-dimensional and let our defensive line go have some fun.”

Silva’s Week 4 Matchups - Rotoworld
Despite underwhelming with last week’s QB22 fantasy result, real-life and forward-thinking takeaways from Carson Wentz’s 2018 debut were largely promising. Wentz moved well in the pocket and as a scrambler, only for the Colts’ underrated defense put clamps on Philly’s injury-ruined vertical passing game, and the Eagles wound up leaning on the run. Wentz now draws a fast-improving Titans defense that is finally healthy after limping into the season. Since pathetically generating one sack and two quarterback hits in Week 1 against Miami, Tennessee has moved to top ten in the NFL in sacks (8) and No. 13 in hits (18) and is allowing the league’s fourth-fewest points per game (16.7). Until his supporting cast regains form and Wentz shows he’s capable of producing at a higher box-score level, he will stay on the QB1/2 fringe. … Jay Ajayi (back) resumed practicing fully on Thursday and appears on track to return against the Titans, who surrendered a combined 58/273/0 (4.71 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs in Weeks 1-3. Darren Sproles (hamstring) seems likely to miss another game. Corey Clement held up on 19 touches playing through his quad strain last week, yet was outplayed by Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams. Based on Ajayi’s 2017 stretch run with Philadelphia and his to-date 2018 usage, we can ordinarily project him for 14-17 touches per game at full strength. Still, the Eagles’ backfield depth, Ajayi’s come-and-go health, and Philly’s RBBC commitment render Ajayi a risky flex play in Nashville. Ominously, Ajayi revealed Thursday that he is dealing with a “fracture” in his back.

For an Eagles team thin at safety, it takes a village to replace Rodney McLeod - Daily News
”I’ve talked to [defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] about it and we’ve worked it in practice this week,” Pederson said. “We’ve got options back there, obviously, moving some guys around. We have a plan and we’re comfortable with what we’ve got.” Malcolm Jenkins said: “I don’t think we’ll try to replace Rodney with just one guy, and give somebody Rodney’s role. I think based on the personnel and the packages, you can roll in a number of guys. It could be week-to-week, formation-to-formation, package-to-package, whatever those matchups are. ”Obviously, we’ve cross-trained a lot of guys to make sure we’re fine in these types of situations. … We’ve got guys who can come in and play safety, nickel, dime. It all depends on the matchup.”

Concern about Michael Bennett, remembering Wes Hopkins, more in Roob’s 10 Random Eagles observations - NBCSP
I started covering the Eagles in 1987, and guys like Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Andre Waters and Wes Hopkins were like superheroes to me. Just larger-than-life figures. They were immense talents with personalities to match their ability. Those Eagles teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s put football back on the map in Philadelphia, and those defenses are still revered. Even now, 30 years later, mention Reggie, Wes, Jerome and Andre to a random stranger walking down Walnut Street and they’ll know exactly who you mean. I feel so lucky that as a young sports writer just starting out at the Burlington County Times I got to know those guys and got to watch them play football every Sunday and see their antics in the locker room and talk to them after their triumphs and disappointments. I can’t believe they’re all gone. It’s so hard to keep saying good-bye. They’ve all left us way too young.

Three reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles will lose to the Tennessee Titans - Music City Miracles
The Titans rank fourth overall in special teams DVOA while the Eagles check in at 29th. Tennessee is averaging 10.3 yards on punt returns and they’ve returned one kickoff for a touchdown. The Eagles, meanwhile, are averaging just 4.2 yards per punt return and 19 yards per kick return. Last week, the Eagles used Corey Clement at punt returner in place of Darren Sproles and he muffed multiple return attempts. Perhaps the wet and rainy conditions were to blame but it’s not like he has a ton of returner experience so that’s something to keep an eye on. If this turns out to be an ugly game, a special teams mistake could make all the difference.

Are you afraid of the Eagles? - Cat Scratch Reader
I don’t see any reason to believe that the Panthers can’t secure a win against all of our remaining opponents, though surely they will lose a few. When thinking about which game I fear the most, like last year, I think about the Philadelphia Eagles. The main concern by then will be a healthy Carson Wentz. Assuming he continues to play without setbacks, he’ll be in a groove by week seven and the fact he missed all that preseason time will no longer be relevant. Any rust to shake off will have been shook. Wentz was amazing in 2017 and there is no reason to think he won’t duplicate that success this year. The Panthers’ corners will have to continue their current level of good play, and the pass rush will have to hold up its end of the bargain to get Wentz off his spot.

The Four Must-See Matchups for NFL Week 4 - The Ringer
I’m as big into nostalgia as the next guy, so if Manning can turn back the clock this season, I’m all for it. But his air yards have dropped dramatically over the past decade; his arm strength isn’t near what it was. He averaged more than 9 yards per throw in four straight seasons … the last being in 2013. In 2014, his average was 8.3, then 7.9 in 2016, and then 7.3 last year. This year it’s 6.6. Brees, meanwhile, has averaged 7.3 yards, has not thrown an interception this season, and is completing 80 percent (!) of his passes. If Manning can win a shootout with Brees, or even take part in a shootout, then more power to him. That would be a fun game. Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the best players in football, but even he can’t turn the Giants into a Saints-like offense. I’m skeptical the Giants have the firepower to keep up. And no, Manning is not the quarterback of the future.


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