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Eagles News: Two Philadelphia players named to 2018 PFF All-Pro team

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/2/19.

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2018 PFF NFL All-Pro Team - PFF
C – Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles. Kelce is still hands down the best center in the NFL and the fact that he didn’t even make the Pro Bowl is a joke. No center can execute more blocks and more consistently than the Eagles center. He also added a career-high 87.7 grade in pass protection this season for good measure. DI – Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams & Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles. Donald was doing things on the interior the likes of which the game has never seen this season. 106 pressures. 21 sacks. 20 hits. Four separate games with 10-plus pressures. The numbers are absurd. No one can touch Donald’s production, but Cox was in rarified company, as well. His 95 total pressures this season were the most we’ve ever seen from a defensive tackle not named Donald.

Eagles vs. Bears: Thoughts on Philadelphia’s wild card opponent - BGN
Metrics indicate the Bears’ offense is below average. Chicago ranks 20th in offensive DVOA and 20th in yards per play. Chicago’s 23.6 offensive points per game ranks 12th but they’ve had the seventh best average starting field position this season. They’ve also had a number of extra offensive possessions to work with since their defense takes the ball away so often.

The Kist & Solak Show #62: Who Are the Eagles Now? - BGN Radio
It’s the usual Tuesday line-up of press conferences with tons of info.. first up is defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz talking about the challenges the Bears’ offense presents, followed by Mike Groh and how the offense has found their groove in the late part of the season! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

The Postseason Picture - Iggles Blitz
Every team starts the season with the goal of getting into “the tournament”. The Eagles got in and they’re as hot as any team in the league. Let’s talk about this team and some realistic postseason expectations. Last year the Eagles were 13-3 and the #1 seed. They were playing without Carson Wentz and looked vulnerable late in the season. They were underdogs and they knew it. The team used that to motivate themselves and they went out and played at a very high level. They won the Super Bowl. This year is both similar and different. The Eagles didn’t clinch a playoff berth until 7 p.m. on the final Sunday of the year. This team had its share of struggles all year long, even during the 5-1 finish. The 2017 team was like a machine, finding a way to win all year long. They overcame injuries and played at a high level for most of the year. That’s very different than the current situation.

Michael Bennett And His ‘Spider-Sense’ Lifting D-Line -
Among the many moves Howie Roseman made in the months after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII was an aggressive trade that sent a fifth-round draft pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson to Seattle for defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh-round draft pick. It was a head-scratcher for many reasons at the time. Why would Seattle trade a player of Bennett’s stature, a veteran who had won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks and who was so consistently productive year after year? Why would the Eagles take on a player at a position where they were already deep? How would Bennett, who carried with him a questionable reputation, fit into an established locker room with a Super Bowl culture? Roseman and the Eagles made it clear why they wanted Bennett and how they expected him to fit in. “He’s an outstanding pass rusher and a defensive lineman who does it all,” Roseman said shortly after the trade was made. “Michael Bennett is an established, proven player in this league and he’s going to add to what we do on defense.”

The Five Biggest Questions Heading Into the NFL’s Wild-Card Weekend - The Ringer
Combine all that with Philadelphia’s top-notch coaching staff, and the Eagles get frightening in a hurry. Over the past few weeks, head coach Doug Pederson’s offensive staff has once again shown a remarkable ability to put Foles in advantageous spots. Last postseason, the Eagles relied heavily on play-action and RPOs to provide Foles with easy throws. Pederson has used plenty of play-action fakes this season, too, and he’s also mixing those throws with jet motion and other window dressing that’s made the Eagles passing game a pain to defend. Looking at this weekend’s matchup against Chicago, the Eagles appear to be in a decent spot. Philly’s most significant weakness is its depleted and inexperienced secondary, and the Bears aren’t exactly built to torch teams down the field. But even against teams with more high-octane passing attacks, the Eagles’ formula makes them a factor in the NFC playoff race. There may be a shrine built to Foles in the Philly locker room, but it’s the surrounding elements of this Eagles team—many of the same ones that lifted them to a Super Bowl title a year ago—that could have them making noise in the playoffs yet again.

Buffalo Bills fire offensive line coach Juan Castillo, per report - Buffalo Rumblings
While many would say Castillo was saddled with sub-par talent on the offensive line, you could also argue that he was working with lots of NFL experience at his disposal. Buffalo signed Russell Bodine and Marshall Newhouse last off-season and drafted Wyatt Teller to solidify the offensive line, but they could not gel this year in the wake of the loss of Eric Wood and Richie Incognito. Buffalo was 21st in rushing yards per attempt in 2018 at 4.2—a figure that was unacceptable to head coach Sean McDermott. That number was buoyed by Josh Allen, who averaged 7.1 yards per attempt. Running backs averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in 2018. Quarterbacks were sacked on 7.6% of their drop-backs this season.

Report: Antonio Brown has requested a trade from the Steelers - Behind The Steel Curtain
According to La Confora, the reason behind Brown’s request is the fact he has an issue with both Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. More specifically, he feels Tomlin is in too “aligned” with Roethlisberger. If the team wants to trade Brown, it won’t come without a price, both figuratively and literally. The literal price would be the $21 million dead money hit the team would suffer if they decided to deal the All-Pro receiver. The figurative price would be the lack of production on the field without Brown in the lineup. JuJu Smith-Schuster is a tremendous young talent, but has benefited greatly from the defensive attention being paid to No. 84.

The biggest strength of every NFL playoff team - SB Nation
It’s really difficult to paint Philadelphia as a serious contender, but if you can get your defense off the field on third downs, you’re going to give yourself a chance in any game. In open-play situations, the Eagles create the longest third downs in the league, and they’re at least decent at capitalizing on them. Granted, there are caveats. They don’t create enough third downs — in open play, they are 21st in the percentage of first downs opponents generate on first or second down, and they’re dead last in big-play rate allowed. This is their fatal flaw, and it’s severely enmeshed with their biggest strength. That means you absolutely have to capitalize when you indeed find a third-and-long situation. But Philly has, and that’s a major reason why they won five of their last six games and squeezed into the playoffs. They were out-gained in two of those five wins, too — they’ll let you maneuver down the field, but they have been able to count on stopping before you get all the way into the end zone.


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