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Eagles News: Tim Jernigan is bringing a “contagious energy” to Philadelphia’s defense

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/12/19.

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NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Timmy Jernigan bringing ‘contagious energy’ to Eagles’ playoff run - NBCSP
Make no mistake about it. Jernigan is a very good football player. And his presence on the football field will certainly help the Eagles win games. But Jernigan brings more than that. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz tried to describe it earlier this week: He means something to our spirit. He’s a guy that has a little bit of a contagious energy. You just see him out on the field. He brings a confidence. He brings a toughness. He has made some big plays for us. Jernigan, 26, is healthy now. He was able to play 22 snaps Sunday and said this week that he feels good to know. That’s enough reason to keep him smiling after an offseason when he was unsure of his football future and a season that certainly hasn’t gone to plan.

Saints writer gives three reasons why the Eagles will win on Sunday - BGN
Bleeding Green Nation already took some time to chat with Canal Street Chronicles in order to preview this week’s Philadelphia Eagles versus New Orleans Saints playoff matchup. (You can read that here.) Today, we’re back with three reasons why each team might lose. This format forces us to consider each team’s weaknesses, rather than just being homers. So, below are three reasons why the Saints could lose, as written by Canal Street Chronicles’s Chris Dunnells (@dunnellz). To see why I think the Eagles could lose, check out CSC.

Eagles-Saints Extravaganza - BGN Radio
Join John Stolnis and Brandon Lee Gowton look back to the Eagles’ Wild Card upset of the Bears before looking ahead to their Divisional Round showdown with the Saints! PLUS Divisional Round picks!

Preview: NFC Div. Playoff Eagles vs. Saints - KYW
The Eagles will visit the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday in an NFC Divisional Playoff game. KYW Newsradio’s Matt Leon spoke with Brandon Lee Gowton of about what to look for in this one.

Safety Blitz with Malcolm Jenkins: This Eagles team is different than last time we played Saints - PhillyVoice
“Well, we are a lot different and certainly have a lot more wins than when we played (New Orleans) last,” Jenkins said. “I think we have a better sense of our own identity since then. We’re a little healthier. I mean all of those things are on paper. When it comes to winning games, you have to perform. For us, the scheme is the same. It’s about executing and winning matchups and performing.”

NFL evaluators make picks on divisional-round playoff games - ESPN In$ider
“New Orleans struggled on offense the last month, so you have to give the Eagles a shot,” one insider said. “Sean Payton is counting on Ted Ginn Jr. to give them the speed they need, but New Orleans is beat up on its offensive line, and Philly’s defensive front is full speed.” Another insider noted that Carolina had its way with the Saints’ defense early in a meaningless Week 17 game that saw New Orleans rest Drew Brees for the full game and defensive starters in the second half. ”Carolina had a free-agent quarterback in there and they beat the Saints’ starting corners deep, and those guys have been beat deep all year,” this insider said. “Because of that, Philadelphia has a chance, but you still have to say the Saints are the smart pick at home.”

Divisional Round Matchups - Rotoworld
After doing just enough to outlast the Bears in last week’s 16-15 Wild Card upset, Nick Foles visits the Superdome for another tough draw with a Saints team that held its last seven non-Week 17 opponents to 14.6 points per game while finishing No. 5 in sacks (49), No. 9 in QB hits (101), and No. 9 in tackles for loss (96), causing constant penetration keyed by do-it-all LE Cameron Jordan, explosive first-round RE Marcus Davenport, and underrated DTs Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata. Foles’ average of 2.22 seconds before pass attempts (PFF) is quickest in the league since replacing Carson Wentz four games ago, however, and Philly’s offensive line kept Foles clean on 70.4% of dropbacks in Weeks 15-18, the NFL’s seventh-highest rate despite facing a brutal pass-rush schedule of Chicago, Washington, Houston, and the Rams, who all finished top 15 in sacks. Foles has also thrown the ball best versus man coverage; the Saints’ man-coverage rate has spiked since acquiring CB Eli Apple. This game’s total and spread suggest Foles will be chasing points, giving him serious box-score appeal in a probable shootout. … The Eagles narrowed their backfield to a two-man committee at Soldier Field. Darren Sproles led the tailback corps in playing time (55%) and touches (15) with Wendell Smallwood (42%, 10) in the No. 2 role. Ex-lead runner Josh Adams played only one snap. New Orleans was giving from neither a rushing nor receiving standpoint to enemy backs this season, but Sproles is clearly the top play from this unit.

‘We’re Playing Some Of Our Best Ball At The Right Time’ -
All week they’ve looked at the New Orleans Saints offense and its complexities, its variety, and its 2018 excellence. Make no mistake, the Saints have a potent attack and when they play in the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, they’re at their best, averaging 37 points per game (not including the final regular-season game, when they rested most of their starters). The Eagles know it firsthand, surrendering 48 points in the November 18 loss. So, the broader question for the Eagles’ defense for Sunday is this: How can the Eagles get off the field in this NFC Divisional Playoff game? “We have to be better on third down, which means we have to do a good job on first and second downs,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “That’s going to be a huge key for us – getting off the field on third downs and then limiting their big plays. They’ve got a diverse offense and Drew (Brees, quarterback) can obviously dissect any defense and dictate. We have to find a way to disrupt him, take him out of his comfort zone. We know what kind of challenge this is going to be, but I feel like we’re ready to play our game. That didn’t happen last time.”

NFC Divisional Round Preview 2019 - Football Outsiders
In many ways, though, the Eagles have become an entirely different team since that Week 11 loss, and the Saints have come somewhat back down to Earth. From Week 1 to Week 14, Philadelphia’s offensive DVOA was -1.8%; since Nick Foles took over in Week 15, it has been 5.6%. In the same splits, their defensive DVOA has gone from 3.9% to -18.3%. The Saints, meanwhile, have come back down a little bit towards the pack. Even excluding their Week 17 rest game, the Saints have seen their offensive DVOA drop from 26.6% in their first 11 games of the year to -3.8% in their next five, with three of those games having a negative offensive grade. They seemed to have righted the ship in their last game in which they tried, Week 16’s win over Pittsburgh, but there are certainly more questions today than there were in mid-November. Was it a three-game blip, or did the Saints peak too early? We’ll begin to find out Sunday afternoon.

Super Bowl Odds - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: (13.1% to make Super Bowl, 6.4% to win the Super Bowl). Aside from one turnover-worthy throw, and another that was turned into an interception via a drop, Nick Foles played admirably against the best defense in the NFL on Sunday on the road in Chicago. He’s not getting much help from his running game (only six yards before contact on 23 carries versus the Bears), but his connection with Alshon Jeffery has been one of the league’s best since he took over. On 26 targets the last four weeks, the former Bear has caught 22 and turned them into 383 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints have improved defensively since the start of the season, but Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and company can continue to win at the rim against the likes of Eli Apple this coming weekend, Big Richard Nick might end up starting his second-consecutive NFC Title Game.

Preview: NFC Divisional Round – Eagles vs. Saints - SportsInfoSolutions
Among quarterbacks who attempted 60+ passes in Weeks 15 through 17, Nick Foles ranked first in completion percentage (77 percent), on-target rate (86 percent), and yards per attempt (8.5). Among receivers with at least 15 targets in that same time, Alshon Jeffery ranked first in yards per target (16.7) and Nelson Agholor ranked first in Receiver Rating (148.3). The Saints allowed 8.2 yards per pass attempt in the regular season, which ranked fifth-worst in the NFL.

As Eagles get ready for rematch with Drew Brees and the Saints, Brandon Graham vows “it’s not going to be like that this time” - Daily News
The Eagles were able to get very little pressure on Drew Brees in their 41-point loss to the Saints in November. Their defensive line hopes to correct that in Sunday’s rematch with the Saints in the second round of the playoffs.

Ranking the Quarterbacks Who Have the Most to Gain From a Super Bowl Win - Sports Illustrated
4) Nick Foles probably authored the most unlikely Super Bowl victory of any quarterback in history last year. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from him. The only thing more unlikely than a quarterback changing his mind about retirement to return as a backup, being thrust into the spotlight as the late-season starter for a contender and then winning three straight playoff games as an underdog, including a Super Bowl shootout with the winningest quarterback ever… would be to return the next year, be relegated to the backup role again, take back over for a sub-.500 team late in the season, win three straight must-win games to end the regular season, then win three straight road games as an underdog in the playoffs and then another Super Bowl on top of it. Foles will already be a folk hero forever. Another Super Bowl would be like taking an unrealistic sports movie and then writing an even more unrealistic sequel.

Eagles writer gives three reasons why the Saints will win on Sunday - Canal Street Chronicles
Our “Interview with the Enemy” series over at Bleeding Green Nation went over about as well as you would expect. (You can read that here.) In order to keep the banter going, today we’re back with three reasons why each team might lose. As each writer, both myself and the Eagles writer, picked our respective teams to win the game, this was a chance to view it from the opposite perspective. So, below are three reasons why the Eagles could lose, as written by Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Gowton. To see why I think the Saints could lose, check out Bleeding Green Nation.

Former Lions CB Cre’Von LeBlanc ‘key’ to Eagles’ playoff run - Pride Of Detroit
When the Detroit Lions decided to waive cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc in the first week of November, it didn’t move the needle much in terms of relevancy. After a couple of poor performances in backup duty for the Lions, LeBlanc was let go to make room for Andy Jones, who was coming off the PUP list in an effort to help replace the recently-traded Golden Tate. But two months later, LeBlanc is proving that one team’s practice squad fodder could be another team’s savoir. LeBlanc would not end up clearing waivers. The defending champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, put in a claim for the 24-year-old corner.

Want to know how crowd noise impacts playoff road teams? Pay attention to the offensive tackles - The Athletic
These numbers support the theory that crowd noise plays a role in home-field advantage, it just doesn’t show up in an expected way like penalties. Football has been around for over 100 years and it would only make sense that coaches have adjusted to factors inherent to the game like crowd noise. But with any adjustment, like the use of a silent count, there are unintended consequences such as making life more difficult for your offensive tackles. So, while the Chargers, Eagles, and Colts defied the odds by winning on the road last weekend, they will face a tough task trying to win at hostile environments in New England, New Orleans, and Kansas City this week. Hopefully their tackles are ready for those loud third downs.

Cardinals make Joseph hiring official, bring back Bill Davis - PFT
In addition to Joseph, they’ve also hired Bill Davis to coach outside linebackers. He went there initially in 2007 under Ken Whisenhunt and ended up defensive coordnator in 2009. He also served as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia, and spent the last two years coaching at Ohio State. He’s a protege of Dom Capers and Vic Fangio, working on their staff in Carolina in the mid-90s.

Ravens promote Greg Roman to offensive coordinator; Marty Mornhinweg won’t return - Baltimore Sun
Greg Roman has been promoted to Ravens offensive coordinator, the team announced Friday, marking the end of Marty Mornhinweg’s tenure on coach John Harbaugh’s staff and the embrace of a new era under quarterback Lamar Jackson. Mornhinweg, 56, the offensive coordinator since October 2016 and Harbaugh’s fifth since taking over in 2008, had the option of remaining on a reorganized staff but declined, Harbaugh said in a team-issued release.

Every remaining NFL playoff QB, ranked by his name anagrams - SB Nation
2. Nick Foles. Sure, Foles threw two interceptions in the Wild Card Round against the Bears, so a fickle son might have turned on the Eagles’ unlikely hero. But the Foles postseason formula worked again, as he flicks one late to win again. Chicago was his fourth consecutive playoff victim. Just think how bad things could have been for the Eagles, who saw MVP-candidate Carson Wentz go down late in 2017, an injury that could have turned any fan into a sick felon with not much prompting. But Foles stepped in to win a Super Bowl last season, and the nice folks of Philadelphia think he can do it again this year, starting on Sunday against the Saints.


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