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Eagles News: Avonte Maddox allowed the fewest yards per coverage snap in 2018

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/11/19.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Signature Stat Spotlight: Cornerbacks - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox, who allowed just 18 receptions from 33 targets for 218 yards across his 391 coverage snaps in the regular season, allowed a league-low 0.56 yards per coverage snap in 2018. The rookie Pittsburgh product barely beat the likes of Arizona Cardinals veteran Patrick Peterson (0.63), but giving credit where credit’s due, Peterson did play nearly 200 more coverage snaps than Maddox this season. As he logged two interceptions and allowed just one touchdown in the process, Maddox also led the same group of 86 NFL cornerbacks with 300-plus coverage snaps in passer rating allowed at 59.9. Miami DolphinsXavien Howard (62.6) and Denver BroncosChris Harris Jr. (63.6) finished second and third, respectively.

Eagles vs. Saints Game Preview: Six questions and answers with the enemy - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles (No. 6 seed) and New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed) are set to play on Sunday at the Superdome. In order to preview this Divisional Round matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Canal Street Chronicles. The candid Chris Dunnells (@dunnellz) took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game. Let’s take a look at his answers.

The Kist & Solak Show #68: Slowing Down the Saints’ Offense - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak begin their pair of preview shows by first attacking how the Eagles’ defense matches up with the Saints’ offense. Is the recent dip in Brees’ effectiveness a trend that will hold for one more week, and if not, what can the Eagles’ do to limit them? Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Mailbag: Is the Eagles’ decision to trade for Golden Tate good yet? - PhillyVoice
I mean, he made a play he should make. He accidentally ran a nice route, got open against single coverage, and made the catch. On the day, he had 5 catches on 8 targets for 46 yards and that TD. I wouldn’t say he won them the game by any stretch. He made a play, like a boatload of others did during that game, only his happened in a crucial moment. He certainly deserves credit for making that play, and really, it’s not his fault that the trade looked as bad as it did for as long as it did. But I’m not there yet. I still think that was a bad use of resources and the return on investment hasn’t been good enough yet to warrant a Day 2 pick.

Captain Calm - Iggles Blitz
Foles is getting rid of the ball quickly most of the time, but also mixing in some aggressive downfield throws. He’s taking calculated chances. Foles is spreading the ball around. Get open and he’ll get you the ball. Foles doesn’t care who it goes to. There were a couple of bad picks in the Chicago game. Give the LB credit for making a really good play, even if Foles should have made a better throw. The pick in the end zone was just terrible. Foles didn’t bury his head. He didn’t panic. He kept right on playing and made some clutch throws after that. Foles really does live in the moment and that is a big part of his success. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He stays focused. He stays calm.

Blueprint for an upset: How the Eagles can beat the Saints - The Athletic
The Saints allowed 2,460 yards and 14.56 yards per reception to outside receivers during the regular season. They ranked last in both categories. Outside receivers caught 65.8 percent of their targets against the Saints, which ranked 27th. The numbers have improved since trading for Eli Apple, but they still ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in all those categories from Weeks 8-16 (31st in yards to outside receivers, 18th in yards per reception, 21st in catch percentage). This means two things for the Eagles. First, they need to continue to take shots downfield. Second, it would make a lot of sense to feed Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery doesn’t need to be open to make a play, something Nick Foles recognizes. Foles is 22-for-27 for 383 yards (14.2 YPA) when targeting Jeffery this year. On Sunday, he needs to find No. 17 often.

Film Room: Eagles’ Tight Ends - Football Outsiders
The Saints’ defense, while quietly improved, is going to give up plays to the Eagles’ wide receivers and running backs. They have been shaky all season in defending outside the numbers as well as down the field, ranking as DVOA’s worst defense against deep passes. Their solace has been in minimizing the impact of opposing tight ends, but an entirely different two-headed beast of Ertz and Goedert is plenty capable of flipping the script on the Saints. If the Saints can not quell the Eagles’ overpowering tight ends and 12 personnel sets, they will end up in a shootout. As shaky as the Saints’ offense looked down the stretch of the regular season, a shootout just might give the Eagles a fighting chance to come out victorious in the Superdome.

Upon further review, Eagles’ young DBs can flat-out play - NBCSP
Cre’Von LeBlanc is 24 years old, undrafted, released by three teams before the Eagles snapped him up on the waiver wire. Tre Sullivan is 24 years old, an undrafted rookie and began the year on the practice squad. Avonte Maddox is 22, a rookie fourth-round pick, missed a month of the season with injuries. Rasul Douglas is 23, began the season buried behind Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones in the Eagles’ cornerback hierarchy. This unlikely collection of no-name defensive backs that nobody else wanted — “The Legion of Whom,” as Twitter has taken to calling them — is one of the biggest reasons the Eagles are still playing football.

How The Practice Squad Makes An Impact -
You may have seen Joe Ostman’s name a lot of places lately. He’s the practice squad defensive end who made headlines when head coach Doug Pederson spoke highly of the work he does to prepare the offensive linemen for their coming challenges. He’s imitated Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, and J.J. Watt in practice in the last few weeks. It may be no coincidence that those players in real life were each held without sacks against the Eagles. His teammates all speak highly of him. Tackle Lane Johnson said he’s the hardest worker he’s ever seen. But what does Ostman himself think of his role? “Honestly, I feel like all of the guys on the practice squad work really hard,” Ostman said Thursday after practice. “That’s why I was surprised when I heard about all of this because all of the guys work hard every day. We have a pretty hard-working group as a team.

Divisional Betting Preview - Rotoworld
The Saints melted the Eagles 48-7 in Week 11, but that was before the Eagles turned the keys back over to the nearly bulletproof Nick Foles. At this point, Foles has taken so much of my money that I should’ve just married him. Once again, the Eagles won as playoff underdogs with Foles against the Bears last week. To add to the lore, they were just the eighth team ever in the postseason win on the road when they lost the turnover margin by two or more and the first ever to do that with fewer than 100-rushing yards. If the lore of Foles is going to live on, it’s going to take another tall order. This is an objectively bad spot for the Eagles. As mentioned, this is their third-straight road game and they are playing a Saints team that has been a tough out at home. Since Drew Brees and Sean Payton got together in 2006, they are 68-36 at home in the regular season and 5-0 in the postseason. Three of those wins came by three points or less. Laying 8.5 points is too much for me, even I’m ready to dig in and believe that the Eagles run finally comes to an end. Saints home games featured an average of 59.8 combined points and the over has hit in seven consecutive playoff games with the Saints as favorites. I believe the Eagles score more than seven this time around but still have a hard time slowing down the Saints.

Prime-time Parlay: FPI predictions for the divisional round - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (4:40 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox). Money line: Saints -425. FPI projection: Saints win by 11.5 points. In FPI’s view, this is the best team in the playoffs facing the worst team in the playoffs. It should be a blowout. The Eagles will need some of that unquantifiable NIck Foles magic if they’re going to pull off another upset. The Saints’ offense is almost nine points per game better than the Eagles’ offense, according to FPI.

PFT’s divisional round picks - PFT
Florio’s take: Few believed the Eagles could beat the Bears in Chicago. (I did.) Fewer believe the Eagles can beat the Saints in New Orleans. I do. Coupling the bye week with a lackluster Week 17 game against the Panthers, and it will have been a long time since the Saints played a meaningful game. The Eagles have been playing meaningful games week after week after week. The road team has improved greatly since losing 48-7 in the Superdome, and the Saints peaked during round one. So push the chips into the middle of the table, hope the Eagles keep it close, count on a little magic late in the game, and prepare for the biggest debate of the offseason regarding whether the Eagles should keep Nick Foles or Carson Wentz. Florio’s pick: Eagles 20, Saints 17.

Interview with the Enemy: Eagles looking to ride FolesMagic to the Super Bowl again - Canal Street Chronicles
The Saints are out of their playoff bye week, and we’re back with the Enemy series. This week, our friend, Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation, answers 5 quick questions about our divisional round matchup, a battle in the dome pitting the New Orleans Saints against the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.

The NFC divisional playoffs tale of the tape - SB Nation
It’s pretty hard to make the case for Philadelphia, too, but let’s just say it was hard to make the case in last week’s trip to Chicago, too. That didn’t seem to matter. The defending Super Bowl champs seem to be peaking at the right time. We’ll see if that matters against the top seed. The Saints’ 48-7 destruction of Philadelphia on November 18 seemed to be an inflection point for both teams. New Orleans took its foot off the gas a bit, leaving its offense at home in a loss to Dallas, eking by at Carolina, and barely beating Pittsburgh at home. (They also got smoked by Carolina in the season finale, but that was with quarterback Drew Brees resting on the bench.) Philly, meanwhile, won six of seven, with only an overtime loss at Dallas marring a perfect finish. The Eagles have been an incredibly average team this year, but they’ve been far more than that of late.


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