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Eagles News: Philadelphia has three of the NFL’s top ranked run blockers

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/15/19.

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

The NFL’s best at everything: The top 2019 players in 60 categories - ESPN+
Best run-blocking tight end: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles. It isn’t shocking that the Eagles have received stellar play from Goedert in the run game, as he has become an extension of their run-blocking efforts. Goedert is by far the highest-graded tight end in football when run blocking. He has developed into a sixth lineman on run plays. [...] Best run-blocking offensive tackle: Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles continue to get strong play from their offensive line, and Johnson is just one of those pieces. He moves defenders quickly and opens up gaps with relative ease in the run game, as the Philadelphia running backs have gained 17 first downs and three touchdowns on carries in Johnson’s direction. [...] Best run-blocking guard: Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles. The best all-around guard in football also lands here. He uses his strength in both the pass and run games, as he leads the NFL by some distance in run-blocking grade..

The optimistic and pessimistic guides to Eagles vs. Patriots - BGN
The Eagles’ defensive line is coming on recently; their 22 sacks over the last five games rank second most in the NFL. Fletcher Cox is looking more and more like himself and now he has Timmy Jernigan back next to him. Being able to generate interior pressure on Brady goes a long way ... just ask Brandon Graham. Pro Football Focus has the Pats’ o-line ranked 13th in pass blocking.

The Kist & Solak Show #144: Turbo Tom Comes to Town - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak being their usual two-part preview by examining the Patriots’ offense and how they match-up with the Eagles’ defense, plus a certain WR goes missing which is not great, and the gang celebrates Brandon Brooks’ new bag! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

A Big Test - Iggles Blitz
The 5-4 Eagles face the 8-1 Patriots on Sunday. To a lot of people, this is a complete mismatch. New England has been dominant this year, while the Birds have been frustratingly inconsistent. Can the Eagles really pull off the upset and win this game? Absolutely. Let’s not be naive and think this would be easy. The Eagles have been a sloppy team for much of the year. That won’t get it done this week. The Patriots don’t make a lot of mistakes. They make you beat them. The most interesting matchup in the game will be the Eagles offense against the Patriots defense. Bill Belichick’s group is number one in the league in fewest points and yards allowed. That defense is doing amazing things this year. The Eagles offense has been erratic. This will be a huge challenge.

Cursing is a bleeping way of life for NFL players. The Eagles are no different. - Inquirer
The Eagles had just been embarrassed by the Cowboys last month, and Carson Wentz afterward gave an impassioned speech that struck a chord with his teammates not only for its intensity, but for a few choice words the quarterback had used to punctuate his message. He cursed. Wentz, who normally substitutes creative words for profanity, was flipping mad and the expletives flowed out. “I’ve heard him drop hell or something like that,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “But he dropped some significant words then and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, he means it.’ ”

NFL Week 11 PFF Preview: Players to watch, fantasy football advice and betting projections - PFF
There were rumblings that the (relative) struggles of Zach Ertz this season had come in part because of the absence of DeSean Jackson since Week 1. And when Jackson returned for Week 9 and Ertz had his best game of the season (putting up a 9/103/1 line), at the very least confirmation bias rose up. Well, nothing gold can stay, and with Jackson out again going forward, we’ll see if Ertz can succeed despite increased defensive attention. He’s still a weekly must-start, even against a tough Patriots defense, but we might not see peak Ertz the rest of the way.

Duffy: How will the Patriots game plan for the Eagles? - PE.com
Last, but not least, is what New England does against empty sets, where the quarterback is by himself in the backfield and all five eligible receivers are spread out across the width of the field. The Eagles have played a good amount of empty this season, especially in that Detroit Lions game. What is the benefit of an empty set? Yes, the quarterback technically is more vulnerable because there are no extra bodies in protection, but it also forces the defense to declare what they’re doing in coverage. You can’t disguise as much against an empty set. This, in turn, makes things a bit more easily definable for the quarterback, clearing the picture up faster. In the game against Detroit earlier this season, with the Eagles missing both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery and with Dallas Goedert nursing his calf injury, the Eagles played a TON of empty. Detroit responded by leaning heavily toward coverage, relying on three- and four-man rushes to get home while using extra bodies to play in space. This season, the Patriots have done the opposite.

Film room: What the Patriots need to do to slow down the Eagles’ run game - Pats Pulpit
You might not realize it, but the New England Patriots are in a very good position. They sit at 8-1 coming off their bye week, comfortably in first place in the AFC East and atop the conference standings. In addition, history would indicate that the team is poised for another win on Sunday in Philadelphia. After all, during the Bill Belichick era the Patriots are 14-5 coming off their bye week. But working against them is the aftertaste from a week ago. A loss on the road to the Baltimore Ravens has many wondering if, given a loss in their toughest test to date, this version of the Patriots is ready for a playoff run. Especially given how the vaunted defense struggled against the Ravens’ run game? Is what Baltimore does on the ground so different that it is truly unique, or are is the New England defense suddenly going to face difficulty stopping the run? We might get our answer Sunday against the Eagles and their ground attack. Here is a look at what Philadelphia does on the ground.

Week 11 NFL picks against the spread - The Athletic
Eagles (+3.5) vs. Patriots. As a group, Eagles wide receivers rank last in yards (933), 31st in 20+ plays (11), 31st in yards per reception (10.7) and 26th in drop percentage (9.4%). The Patriots have allowed the fewest number of big plays (completions of 20+, runs of 10+) in the NFL. The Eagles will have to methodically move the ball down the field, and they could be without Alshon Jeffery. I don’t think they have enough firepower offensively to pull off the upset. The pick: Patriots (-3.5).

7 reasons to be pessimistic about the Eagles’ chances - NBCSP
JORDAN MATTHEWS: I like Jordan Matthews! I liked him during his first tenure with the Eagles, I liked him during his second tenure, and I suggested the club re-sign him a couple weeks ago, so I like him on this squad, too. But Jordan Matthews as the offense’s No. 1 receiver in 2019 is not ideal! And that’s exactly what he’s going to become if Alshon Jeffery misses time with an injury — maybe even if he doesn’t. All of this is really a way of saying that listing Matthews as one of the reasons to be optimistic about the Eagles is actually highlighting what a disaster the wide receiver position is, because while he can certainly help, you prefer the guy who was on the street in November isn’t instantly the best option.

Fantasy Football Rundown: Week 11 - Fake Teams
Carson Wentz’s ho-hum year is likely to continue against New England’s shutdown pass defense. He’s the QB15. Alshon Jeffery’s ankle injury has kept him from practicing this week, putting his availability for Sunday squarely in doubt. Expect tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to lead the way in the passing game this week. Nelson Agholor will takeover as the team’s No. 1 WR but he is not a recommended start. Neither are any of the other receivers, including the newly re-signed Jordan Matthews. Both Nick Chubb and Mark Ingram II found running room against New England in Week 8 and 9, boding somewhat well for the rushing oriented Jordan Howard. He’s a mild flex option. Miles Sanders should see 10-15 touches, with an emphasis on passing game work. He’s a strong flex, especially in PPR.

Start and Sit: Week 11 - Football Outsiders
Carson Wentz suffers a similarly steep fall from 10th to 23rd facing the New England defense. Like the 49ers, the Patriots have an exceptional pass defense (No. 2 DVOA). They reduce their opponents’ passing yards and touchdowns per attempt by 24% and 64%, both the most in football. Their relative weakness against the run (No. 14) will likely induce the Eagles to decrease their pass attempts and increase their run attempts, especially playing at home in 41-degree weather with forecasted winds at 14 miles per hour, the highest on the schedule this week.

FanPulse: Bye week blues — New York Giants fans say goodbye to their confidence - Big Blue View
You knew this had to happen eventually. The confidence of New York Giants has held fairly steady despite the mounting losses in recent weeks. Until Sunday’s disturbing loss to the previously 1-7 New York Jets, who had lost the week before to the at-the-time winless Miami Dolphins. In the wake of that defeat, fan confidence in our most recent FanPulse survey plummeted to a season-low 8 percent.

Browns release Antonio Callaway - Dawgs By Nature
While it was widely expected that the Browns would activate Forbes, who has spent the season on injured reserve, it comes as a bit of a surprise at first that it is at the expense of Callaway, a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. But then NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Callaway is currently appealing a 10-game suspension for another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Callaway had his hearing with the league in the last week and the suspension reportedly stems from a “tainted CBD product.”

Jaguars will be more efficient and decisive with Nick Foles - Big Cat Country
Under Foles, the Jaguars might have less creative quarterbacking, however, drives will not stall nearly as often — especially in third-and-long situations. Minshew was slightly better when blitzed, completing 54 out of 105 (51.4%) of his passes for four touchdowns, and two interceptions, however, he still showed the same rookie-like tendencies which likely forced Marrone to go with the veteran.

Steelers players comment on Myles Garrett’s attack on Mason Rudolph - Behind The Steel Curtain
It’s one of the worst moments in NFL history to intentionally take place on the football field. Personally, I can’t think of any situation that comes close to what occurred with eight seconds left in the games between the Steelers and Browns Thursday night. When the Browns’ former first-overall pick Myles Garrett ripped off quarterback Mason Rudolph‘s helmet, it instantly drew a penalty. But when Garrett swung the helmet violently at Rudolph, it crossed a completely different line other than just high emotions on the field of play. Luckily, although the helmet did connect with Rudolph’s head, it glanced off of him enough to not do serious and permanent damage.

The 2020 QB Carousel Could Be the Biggest Shuffle the Modern NFL Has Ever Seen - The Ringer
With a quarterback-heavy draft class incoming and plenty of teams ready to move on from established veterans like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton, nearly a third of the league’s franchises could be in the hunt for new passers this offseason. Let the frenzy begin.

You have to *really* watch Jadeveon Clowney to see the difference he makes for the Seahawks - SB Nation
Think back to all those folks who loudly doubted that Jadeveon Clowney was legit after he went No. 1 overall to the Texans. How quick some were to label him a bust after a slow, injury-filled start to his career. Not only did he not let that criticism get to him, he just put his head down and kept working his ass off until his play could shut every single one of those doubters up. I have to say it’s mighty quiet in those corners these days. I still don’t quite understand the Texans’ decision to not offer him a contract on par with his value to that defense, but their reluctance continues to pay huge dividends for the Seahawks after they traded for him right before the start of the season. Because he missed pretty much the whole offseason, including padded practices in the preseason, he had gotten off to a somewhat slow start at the beginning of the year, but now he is looking like the Clowney of old. Actually, he’s looking a little better.

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