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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s front seven ranked best in the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/9/19.

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL front seven rankings: All 32 teams after 17 weeks - PFF
1. Philadelphia Eagles. Philly was still the gold standard around the league in 2018 thanks in large part to one Fletcher Cox. The defensive tackle somehow took his game to even another level this season with a career-high 95 total pressures. That figure was 17 more than any other player in the NFL not named Aaron Donald.

13 things we learned from the Eagles’ Wild Card win over the Bears - BGN
Seriously, why would you ever bet against this group? They really do feel like a team of destiny … for the second year in a row. I don’t even know what else to say other than they’re fun as hell and there’s every reason to believe in them.

At the Podium #18.5: Coordinating the Playoffs - BGN Radio
Double dose of coaches as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Mike Groh weigh in on the successes on Sunday and the challenges coming ahead! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles vs. Saints: Five matchups to watch when New Orleans has the ball - PhillyVoice
If you want to feel good about the Eagles’ chances this Sunday against the Saints, it’s that Drew Brees’ numbers tailed off as the season wore down. Of course, three of those four games happened on the road, where Brees wasn’t nearly what he was at home this season. And yeah, he’s kinda good at the Superdome. From an Eagles’ media or fan perspective, we viewed the Birds’ loss in New Orleans as the Eagles stinking up the joint. And certainly, they did. However, it’s also worth noting that Brees was amazeballs in that game. Look at some of these throws and reads. That’s a clinic. If Brees is on, no matter how ready the Eagles are to play, the Saints are going to be extremely difficult to beat. However, there is some hope in the fact that Brees didn’t have an MVP-like final quarter of the season, and it’s also worth noting that the Saints haven’t played in a game that has mattered since Week 16 (and even then there wasn’t much pressure).

Just How Different - Iggles Blitz
The D-line is improved. Tim Jernigan missed the first game. He’s now healthy and starting. Haloti started back in November, but wasn’t healthy so he made little impact. He is healthy now and really contributing. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett and Chris Long are in a groove. Nigel Bradham is coming off his best game of the year. He looked like the Nigel of 2017. We’ve missed that guy. The secondary actually has…stability. And even some…ability. That’s very different than the first meeting. Rasul Douglas is playing the best football of his young career. Cre’Von LeBlanc has found a home in the slot and is making a case to keep the job into the future. Avonte Maddox is playing well on the outside. The Bears did attack him with fakes and double-moves, but Maddox can learn from that. Malcolm Jenkins is still his old self. Corey Graham has played better down the stretch. Having good players around him makes a difference. And Tre Sullivan actually looks like a solid role player. Jim Schwartz can use a Nickel or Dime package and feel good about it. He’s got competent DBs.

Doug Pederson’s trust in Nick Foles key to making Philly special - ESPN
“You can’t be scared to speak your mind in situations,” said Pederson, who was thinking sprint-out for that play as well. “I trust the players, and the same is true if they have ideas and they want to bring them to us. I have to trust that, and so the conversation is just that. It’s open. It’s honest. It’s real. It’s based on what he’s seeing, based on what we’re seeing as coaches, what I’m seeing as a playcaller, and if the instinct is right, if the gut feel is right, we go with it.” Pederson’s approach seems counterintuitive to a degree. It would be natural for a coach to clutch the steering wheel extra tight in the most important moments. But as a former quarterback, he has seen things from the other side and recognizes the importance of empowering those who are in the fray

Early Lines Look: Divisional - Rotoworld
The Saints are 0-4 against the spread in their last four playoff games as a favorite and the over has hit in their last seven games as a playoff favorite. Meanwhile, those rogue Eagles are 5-0 against the spread as underdogs in January. Early bet: Eagles +8 and the over.

The Numbers Show This Is Not The Same Eagles-Saints Matchup -
In the Eagles’ first 10 games, the offense averaged 257 yards per game and a completed 68.8 percent of passes. Foles and Carson Wentz combined for a passer rating of 95.7 and the Eagles gave up 31 sacks, good for 3.1 sacks per game. In their 6-1 run, the Eagles average 280.4 yards per game with a 71.7 percent completion rating and a passer rating of 104.8. They gave up 10 total sacks (1.4 per game) and did not allow defensive stars Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, and Khalil Mack to account for any. The Eagles had 16 total offensive touchdowns in their first 10 games and had 15 in their last seven. They went from averaging 20.5 points per game to 25.4. Nick Foles has been the quarterback for four of the seven games in that stretch. He believes the change is the culmination of a lot of hard work.

NFL Power Rankings: Colts, Cowboys roll into Divisional Round -
8 - First-and-goal, down 15-10, under two minutes to play -- last-chance saloon for the Eagles to defend their Super Bowl title. They call Darren Sproles’ number. Nothing doing. Bears coach Matt Nagy calls a timeout to leave time for Chicago’s offense should Philly score. Second-and-goal. Sproles again. Stonewalled. Nagy calls another timeout. Third-and-goal. Doug Pederson calls a pass play, with Nick Foles looking to his biggest target in Alshon Jeffery. Incomplete. It’s now fourth-and-goal. Fourth-and-2, to be exact, in a 15-10 game, with just over a minute remaining, in the postseason ... Wait, what the hell? That was the exact score and situation, with the roles reversed, in Philly’s first playoff game last season. Falcons WR Julio Jones let the fourth-down pass squiggle through his hands. Golden Tate didn’t. The Eagles rolled Foles out on the play, with Playoff Santa finding Tate for the go-ahead score. Unbelievable. Fate smiles on certain athletes, and Nick Foles seems to be one of those athletes. How else do you explain the manner in which the last two years have played out, er, the synchronicity that has led to Foles and Philly’s success? It might not be luck. It might not NOT be divine intervention, either. Side note: Tell you what ain’t luck -- Foles’ actual touchdown toss to Tate. Watch it again. Leonard Floyd gets his formidable wingspan in Foles’ line of sight, causing the Eagles QB to drop to a three-quarters arm slot before flicking the ball to Tate in stride for the short score. So impressive. And so easy to miss while watching the play unfold in real time. Nothing is real anymore with Foles and this Philadelphia team.

Eagles need to get out to fast start vs. Saints on Sunday - NBCSP
The Eagles have scored in the first quarter in seven games this season (including the wild-card game) and are 7-0 in those games. They are 3-7 when they don’t score in the first quarter. While the Eagles have the best winning percentage in the NFL when they score in the first quarter this season (they’re 7-0), the Saints are second. They’re 10-1 when they score in the opening quarter. Including Sunday, the Eagles have now won 19 straight games when they score in the first quarter. In the last two seasons, they are 20-1 when they score in the first. That’s the best winning percentage in the league for those games. The only loss came in Kansas City in Week 2 last year.

New Orleans vs. Philadelphia Matchups: Saints offense vs. Eagles defense - Canal Street Chronicles
The injured Saints line will have to get healthy in a hurry against a talented Philadelphia front seven that had 44 sacks on the year. The Eagles pass defense gave up 269 yards per game through the air, ranking 30th in the league, but were ravaged by injuries in their secondary all season. Philadelphia allowed eight 300-yd passers this season, including 303 to the Bears Mitchell Trubisky last week. A physical foursome of pass rushers up front are the key to any success this defense has against the pass. All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (10.5 sacks), along with talented edge rushers Michael Bennett (9), Chris Long (6.5), and Brandon Graham (4.5) are disruptive to any offensive scheme. Linebackers Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, and Kamu Grugier-Hill can be devastating blitzers, but are extremely athletic in pass coverage. Despite the Eagles struggles at cornerback, safeties Corey Graham and former Saint Malcolm Jenkins can still be difference makers on the back end.

Ten Thoughts on the NFL, the playoffs, and the Bears - Windy City Gridiron
The Philadelphia Eagles head to the dome to battle the #1 seed New Orleans Saints at 3:40 pm (Central) on FOX and will the “underdog” Eagles keep the Nick Foles magic going? I doubt it. The odds of the Eagles getting a bunch of breaks two weeks in a row are slim, so give me the Saints to win 28 to 14.

Week 18 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
The other obvious story in the current DVOA ratings is that there is a huge gap between the top six teams remaining and the final two, Dallas and Philadelphia. This gap exists whether you look at total regular-season DVOA or weighted DVOA. Even this last weekend, both the Colts and Chargers had higher single-game DVOA ratings than the Cowboys or Eagles.

Kliff Kingsbury is the new Arizona Cardinals head coach per reports - Revenge Of The Birds
Kingsbury is coming off being fired from his job at Texas Tech, where he amassed a 35-40 record at Texas Tech while going 1-2 in bowl games in his six seasons as head coach with the Red Raiders. The thing that stands out above all else on Kingsbury is his work with offenses. His Texas Tech offenses were always some of the most prolific in college football. His offenses while with the Red Raiders finished 12th, 16th, 1st, 2nd, 10th and 8th in terms of yards per game. The questions that Kingsbury will have to answer will relate to who he feels out his coaching staff with and if he can compete defensively.

Buccaneers announce the hiring of Bruce Arians - Bucs Nation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that Bruce Arians has been named the 12th head coach in franchise history. Arians is a two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year, earning the award in 2012 (Indianapolis Colts) and in 2014 (Arizona Cardinals). He is the only coach in NFL history to earn the award multiple times in a three-year span with different teams and is one of only 12 coaches in NFL history to win the award multiple times.

LeSean McCoy openly hopes Buffalo Bills add Alabama offensive linemen - Buffalo Rumblings
Dion Dawkins and Tre’Davious White both had a run-in with LeSean McCoy on social media.

Even the Philly skyline is trolling the Bears over the double-doink - SB Nation
Philadelphia’s penchant for having precisely zero chill continued on Monday night with the famous PECO Building over the city being all lit up to celebrate ... the double-doink.


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