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Eagles News: Carson Wentz is PFF’s highest graded quarterback through four weeks

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/1/19.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

TRADE: Eagles acquire linebacker in exchange for safety and draft pick swap - BGN
Well, the Eagles did cut L.J. Fort on Friday. Adding Riley to the roster gives the Eagles someone to help replace his special teams production. Keeping Fort around would’ve caused the Eagles to lose a projected 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick. So, the Eagles not only preserved that pick but made another pick slightly better with this deal. Good job by Howie Roseman. Cyprien was entirely expendable for Philly. He had really only been playing on special teams prior to when injuries forced him on the field against the Packers in Week 4. Cyprien didn’t look that great in coverage, which was concerning. The Eagles still have four safeties — Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, and Rudy Ford — on the roster after trading Cyppy Cup.

Falcons trade LB Duke Riley for Eagles S Jonathan Cyprien - The Falcoholic
In Riley (and, you know, that sixth round pick) Philadelphia tries to shore up a linebacker groups and special teams unit that could use a bit of help. Riley had taken on a ton of special teams snaps the last two seasons and did a nice job in that role, but his role on defense had diminished to almost nothing after he lost his job to Foye Oluokun last season. Riley’s always had interesting athleticism and upside but hasn’t put it together to this point, but he’s still a young player in his third season, and is a worthwhile gamble for the Eagles. We wish him well with his new team.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 5 edition, Washington is dead - PhillyVoice
7) Eagles (2-2): What a difference one week in the NFL can make. Before the week began, the Eagles were staring a 1-3 start in the face, and it looked like the Cowboys might get to 4-0 and just run away with the NFC East. Now... the Eagles are only one game behind them, they have something of a mini-bye to get healthy-ish, and they’ll be something close to two-touchdown favorites over the Jets next Sunday, who may or may not have their starting quarterback.

Film and numbers: From 12 personnel to Jim Schwartz’s adjustment, 7 takeaways from the Eagles’ win against the Packers - The Athletic
3. This was a Doug Pederson game. This was one of Pederson’s best-called games since Super Bowl LII. He and the Eagles coaching staff were one step ahead of the Packers all night long. The screen to Goedert in the red zone on the Eagles’ third possession that picked up 13 yards on second-and-10 was huge. The mesh/wheel call on the 20-yard touchdown to Jordan Howard was the perfect call at the perfect time. On that play, Howard did not have a defender within 10.98 yards of him when he made the catch. No player in Week 4 was more wide open on a touchdown reception, according to Next Gen Stats. The Eagles talked about keeping things simple for a Thursday night game, but they used at least seven different run schemes. An underrated drive came in the fourth quarter when the Eagles got the ball at their own 1 with nine minutes left, holding a 34-27 lead. They inserted Halapoulivaati Vaitai as a sixth offensive lineman and ran the same play three times in a row to get out to the 22. The Eagles gained 50 yards on that drive, took 3:58 off the clock and forced the Packers to start their next drive from their own 11. The five touchdown drives the Eagles produced on Thursday were the second most for regular-season games during the Pederson era. I said last week that I thought this stretch of games against good defenses (the Jets aside) was big for the Wentz/Pederson battery. Wentz played well, but I thought Pederson really shined.

PFF’s NFL Team of the Week: 2019 NFL Week 4 - PFF
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles. Ertz was fantastic in the Eagles’ win on Thursday Night Football against the Packers, catching all seven catchable passes thrown his way for 65 yards. While he didn’t find the end zone, five of his seven receptions resulted in a first down on the night.

Why everything matters in deal to acquire LB Duke Riley -
So, how can Riley help the Eagles in 2019? That is a good question. The Eagles have grades on every player in the league and they have a keen understanding of who might be on the trading block or who might be a roster casualty, and in this case, they were aware of Riley’s reduction in playing time in Atlanta and his potential availability. Riley will get a chance to contribute on special teams right away and he’ll get into the playbook and learn as quickly as possible. The Eagles released L.J. Fort on Friday when they signed cornerback Orlando Scandrick, so Riley fills that seat in the linebacker room. The Eagles are also likely to ramp up the snap count for Kamu Grugier-Hill, who saw his first action of the season in Green Bay after suffering a knee injury in Training Camp.

Eagles film review: How Eagles shut down Packers on key goal-line stand - NBCSP
By now, we’ve all seen the Eagles’ final defensive play from Thursday’s 34-27 win plenty of times. With 28 seconds left, backup cornerback Craig James broke up a pass that was then intercepted by Nigel Bradham. Game over. But on the previous possession, the Packers had a 1st-and-goal from the Eagles’ 1-yard line and failed to punch it in. The Eagles were clinging to that seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. That means the Packers had a total of five plays inside the Eagles’ 5-yard line in the fourth quarter and failed to score. That’s bend-but-don’t-break defense.

‘All hands on deck’: Philadelphia Eagles prepare for crucial stretch while battling injuries in secondary - PennLive
The Eagles cornerbacks are in such a stark situation — five of the team’s top six corners entering the season are injured — that Undlin was almost at a loss for words. But he still delivered a message to his players that conveyed the group’s situation at this point in the season. “That’s what it is,” Undlin said Monday. “I said it today in the meeting: All hands on deck. If you’re up, you’re gonna have a role.”

Sam Darnold cleared for non-contact drills, but status for Eagles game remains unclear - Gang Green Nation
It has felt like getting Darnold back for Week 5 was an ambitious goal. As mentioned by Gase, the Jets are going to need to figure this out. The quarterback isn’t hit during practice so if Darnold is cleared fully for noncontact situations he might be able to practice the full week in theory. However, if he is not guaranteed to go on Sunday the Jets will need to prepare Luke Falk to start the game.

Where Have All the NFC’s Elite Teams Gone? - The Ringer
With the Cowboys, Packers, and Rams all losing this weekend, three of the NFC’s last four unbeaten teams have fallen by the wayside. Their struggles raise questions about each contender—and change the complexion of the conference hierarchy.

Barnwell: How Week 4 showed fatal flaws for the NFL’s best teams - ESPN
The Cowboys, likewise, haven’t been great getting after quarterbacks this season. While they have yet to play a quarterback who wasn’t either benched or a backup to start the season, they’re pressuring opposing passers on just 19.7% of dropbacks after one month of football. That’s the third-worst rate in football, ahead of only the Raiders and Dolphins. The likes of Eli Manning and Josh Rosen weren’t able to make the Cowboys pay frequently, but there’s already a noticeable drop-off when the Cowboys don’t get home. When Dallas does get pressure on the opposing passer, it allows a passer rating of 27.8, which is fifth best in football. Its Total QBR in those situations is a mere 1.2, the third-best mark in the NFL. Without pressure, the Cowboys fall to a 96.2 passer rating and 58.4 Total QBR, which is 12th and 10th in the league, respectively. I suspect that gap will rise as the Cowboys face a tougher slate of passers from here on out, including Aaron Rodgers and the Packers next Sunday.

Cowboys injury update: Tyron Smith gets good news, high ankle sprain likely a week-to-week thing - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have not done well historically when Smith has missed time so people were already beginning to fret over what this could mean for the rest of the season. Thankfully, it appears as if the injury is not all too serious. ESPN reported on Monday afternoon that it could be a week-to-week thing. The Dallas Morning News even added that he would be on track to return next week.

Ryan Connelly injury: Torn ACL to cost Giants’ rookie linebacker rest of season - Big Blue View
The New York Giants feared after Sunday’s game that rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly had suffered a torn ACL in his right knee when he crumped to the ground in the fourth quarter of a 24-3 victory over the Washington Redskins. Those fears have now been confirmed. An MRI on Monday morning showed the tear, per an announcement from the Giants. Connelly, a 23-year-old selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, will be placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Connelly had moved into the starting lineup for the Giants and had become the team’s defensive signal caller with Alec Ogletree out of the lineup. Sunday, Connelly had an interception, a sack, five tackles, a pass defensed and a quarterback hit.

It might be time for Broncos ‘fire sale’ - Mile High Report
The more important takeaway here is that maybe its time for Denver to consider going on a fire sale and fully commit to a rebuild process that has already been well underway since the 2018 NFL Draft. As much as I personally love Chris Harris Jr. and how much he has meant to this franchise, he would top the list of players in that fire sale. He, along with Emmanuel Sanders, are prime candidates for a trade before the October 29, 2019 trade deadline. I suppose Von Miller could be added to that mix, but I feel like Von has too many prime years left at this point in his career. He could still be playing at an elite level by the time the Broncos emerge from this rebuilding process - if they ever emerge given John Elway’s spotty track record in the draft and free agency.

Mitchell Trubisky has dislocated shoulder, doubtful vs. Raiders - Windy City Gridiron
The Bears have a bye week in Week 6, and the report indicates that Trubisky could be able to play the following week against the Saints. Whether or not he can play has yet to be determined, but the injury should not hold him back for too long.

Jaguars intend to keep Jalen Ramsey after passing on offer of two first-round picks during ongoing trade saga - CBS Sports
Jalen Ramsey’s future with the Jaguars remains murky after an unusual week in which he was absent from the team at various points for three different reasons. Both the Pro Bowl cornerback and the team are drawing scrutiny around the industry for how this messy contractual and potential trade situation has transpired, with other teams unsure of how or when it gets resolved. Numerous clubs remain very interested in Ramsey, sources said, who requested a trade earlier this month, and whom the Jaguars engaged in trade talks about before sending signals that they now intend to keep him. The Jaguars could have had two first-round picks from one club, according to a league source, but believed those selections would end up too close to 32nd overall for their liking.

Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays - Hogs Haven
Notice I didn’t say that Dan Snyder has ruined the Redskins, or soured fans on the experience of rooting for the Redskins. Sure, he has done those things too, but he has done almost nothing more egregious than his efforts to erode the love of America’s pastime in the nation’s capital—also a top 5 media market in the United States. Think about that. Everyone reading this will think about this from a different perspective. If you ever were a season ticket holder, you’re likely a former season ticket holder (like me). If you used to try and get to a few games a year, you have likely now decided that FedEx Field is no fun to attend anymore (like me). If you like to schedule your whole Sunday around the Redskins on television, you may be among those willing to entertain—gasp—doing other things on Sunday afternoons. I am not there yet, but I am very much in the minority when it comes to people I have always gathered with to enjoy Redskins games. Worse, what I am seeing isn’t just a lack of interest in getting together to watch the Redskins on Sundays. It’s a lack of interest in getting together to watch the NFL on Sunday. This is a pretty big deal if you really think about it. Ultimately, this is what the owners in the NFL should genuinely be concerned about.

Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict suspended for rest of season for illegal hit on Jack Doyle - Silver And Black Pride
This is a significant blow for the Raiders. Burfict was brought in because he knows defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s defense so well. Losing him after three and a half games would be yet another bad break for this Raiders team.

How 36-year-old Frank Gore is still thriving in the NFL - SB Nation
Frank Gore doesn’t break every run for a big gain, but the threat is always there. At 36 years old. he’s a breed of running back we rarely see in the NFL, one that may not surface again. His longevity and productivity is almost in defiance of the rest of the league. On Sunday, Gore made it to 15,000 career rushing yards, becoming only the fourth player in NFL history to hit the mark. He joins Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders — all of whom are in the Hall of Fame. Barring several incredibly unlikely mistakes by those voting on the process, Gore will join them one day. Gore’s vision going through the hole and his determination to scrap for every inch before being brought down make him an important piece for the Buffalo Bills, the latest team to embrace his particular brand of hard-nosed running. After looking at the film, it’s pretty clear he hasn’t lost a step where it counts: between the tackles. This is why Gore is still a valuable asset, and why you’ll certainly see more big runs from him this season (and beyond, maybe?).


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