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Eagles News: Philadelphia ranks among most improved NFL defenses

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/23/19.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Ranking the NFL’s 10 most improved defenses: Why you might be surprised - ESPN+
8. Philadelphia Eagles — 2019: -7.2% (6), 2018: 0.0% (15), Gain: -7.2%. It’s a modest improvement, but the Eagles have gone from a 6.7% pass defense DVOA last year (15th) to -0.5% pass defense DVOA this year (12th). They’ve blitzed a bit more than they used to under Jim Schwartz, currently at 27.2% per SportsRadar, as compared to a league-low 16.0% in 2018. After getting torched by Case Keenum’s Washington outfit in Week 1, the Eagles have allowed just two other teams to hang a positive pass defense DVOA on them: Detroit in Week 3 and Minnesota in Week 6. The cornerbacks are still not elite, but the additional pass rush has largely mitigated some issues. Looking ahead: Philadelphia has had the league’s most variable defense this year, a figure that is largely driven by games like their pummeling of Luke Falk in Week 4. That could lead to this improvement being a bit of a mirage, though we think the extra blitzing will help in the long run.

Eagles fan confidence hits second lowest point of the season ahead of Seahawks game - BGN
The Eagles’ confidence rating is currently 20%, which is good for the second lowest mark of the season. The absolute lowest point was after the Eagles’ Week 7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. There’s just not much for Eagles fans to feel great about. The defense has looked better recently, which is nice, but watching this offense is straight up demoralizing. The Eagles could easily drop to 5-6 with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town this weekend.

Babes On Broad #13: The Vibe Game - BGN Radio
Sam Wilson & Jessica Towne reviews Eagles-Patriots, preview Eagles-Seahawks & get you up to date with What’s Going On Around Philly! Powered by SB Nation & Bleeding Green Nation!

Carson Wentz is a vertical QB playing in a horizontal system - Field Gulls
The Seattle Seahawks are 5-0 on the road this season and have an opportunity to tie their franchise win total on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have only five wins on the season, but they did beat the Green Bay Packers on Lambeau Field and jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the New England Patriots last Sunday. On the other hand, the Eagles were dominated by the Vikings and Cowboys and up until recently were the only team the Atlanta Falcons were able to get a win against. So are the 2019 Eagles a good team or are they a bad team? Michael Kist of Bleeding Green Nation joins the Field Gulls Podcast to talk about some of the things frustrating Eagles fans to this point in the season.

5 must starts for fantasy football in Week 12 - Fake Teams
RB Miles Sanders, Eagles vs Seahawks - 76.1% owned. If you watched the Eagles/Patriots game last week, you might have been screaming at the screen for Carson Wentz to throw the damn ball to Miles Sanders. Sanders is turning out to be a shifty route runner and found himself open many times against what has been the league’s top pass defense this season. Facing a Seahawks pass defense that is league average, I’m pushing for positive regression and more targets and catches for Sanders who has started to establish a floor of around 13-15 touches per game and should be seeing a bigger share in what has been an underwhelming Eagles offense so far this season.

Making Plays - Iggles Blitz
Even after 10 games, I don’t have a good feel for the 2019 Eagles. I don’t know what to expect from this bunch. It will be really interesting to see how these guys respond on Sunday. The offense needs to bounce back in a big way. The defense needs to play well for a fourth straight game. If those things happen, the Eagles will go to 6-5. That could also lead to a good stretch run. This only happens if the players make plays. Effort isn’t enough. Battling isn’t enough. Catch the ball. Make the tackle. Break the tackle. Make the block. Players have to start making plays or pretty soon we’ll be focusing on the draft.

The 8-Point Lead: Why Sundays are different for Jay Ajayi, the JJ Arcega-Whiteside vs. DK Metcalf decision - The Athletic
There’s been no question about which rookie has been more productive. Metcalf has 35 catches for 595 yards (17 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. He’s a big-play threat down the field — the type of player the Eagles lack. Arcega-Whiteside has three catches for 43 yards, and hasn’t yet been an offensive contributor despite the team’s problems at wide receiver. It’s too early to make definitive evaluations of draft picks. But passing on Metcalf for Arcega-Whiteside is a decision that will be in the spotlight on Sunday because both will be on the field, and it’s one that could haunt Eagles fans if Metcalf remains on the trajectory from the first three months of his career. “There was a real narrative coming through the combine that he was too good to be true — too fast, too big, so guys went after all the other things,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in a conference call. “They took apart his shuttle times and this and that. We were thrilled we had a chance to get him. We couldn’t believe he was still there. … People will try to justify why they didn’t do that. We don’t see anything. We don’t see any restrictions on his potential.”

Injuries are never an excuse, but oh boy ... - PE.com
Nobody is mentioning injuries as an excuse. It’s something you just don’t do in the NFL because every team has them and it’s the responsibility of those who put a roster together to prepare for the long and physically taxing toll of the regular season. There comes a time, though, when you just say, “What the …?” Now is one of those times. As the Eagles prepare for Sunday’s big, big game against Seattle, they’re again staring an at injury situation that’s just, well, mind-boggling. They’re already without wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who really played only one game this season before an abdominal injury turned his dream sequence into a nightmare. They haven’t had wide receiver Alshon Jeffery since late in the Chicago game and he’s been a limited participant all week with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is battling a knee injury and hasn’t practiced all week. Both players are listed as questionable on the official Status Report.

Did Eagles GM Howie Roseman make a mistake in passing on Jadeveon Clowney and Josh Gordon? - Inquirer
According to two league sources, the Eagles inquired about Clowney, who is playing under the franchise tag this season, but never made a serious offer. As for Gordon, the Eagles never put in a waiver claim for him. Because they had a worse record than the Seahawks when Gordon was waived, he would’ve been awarded to them. But they expected to get DeSean Jackson back soon, and they also were reluctant to throw someone with Gordon’s history into their locker room. “They were very unique situations,’’ Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said this week in a conference call with Philadelphia reporters. “We needed to find help improving our pass rush. When J.D. [Clowney’s nickname] came along and he was available, we just thought it was a great opportunity.

20 PFF stats to know entering Week 12 of the 2019 NFL regular season - PFF
7. Look for Zach Ertz on first down. Zach Ertz led all receivers in first-down targets in Week 11, furthering a trend that has him sitting firmly in first place among tight ends in the category this season. Ertz saw eight passes thrown his way on first down against the Patriots, reeling in seven for 79 yards — including a contested catch and two missed tackles forced.

Week 12 Rankings - Rotoworld
With the Eagles back to 2018 levels of injury, Zach Ertz is back to 2018 levels of performance, going 18/197/1 over his past two games. Just five teams have permitted more TE yardage than Seattle. [...] Emerging as the No. 2 target for the receiver-desperate Eagles, Dallas Goedert has scores in 3-of-4 games. The Seahawks have been soft up the seam. Goedert should not be this high, but tight end is just that dire.

Eagles’ Andre Dillard offers interesting analogy to explain his Week 12 switch to right tackle (VIDEO) - NJ.com
With Lane Johnson shelved by the NFL’s concussion protocol, Dillard spent the entire week learning the right tackle position in practice. Since Johnson was ruled out for the Week 12 matchup against the Seahawks, Dillard will take over as the starting right tackle. “Think about it like this: you probably write with your right hand, right? Say, all of sudden, you had to write a big essay with your left hand right now,” Dillard said Friday in the Eagles’ locker room. “You think about how that would feel. It’s kind of like that.”

Nick Foles perceived lack of urgency a point of frustration - Big Cat Country
You have to show some kind of sense of urgency. I’m not going to claim that Nick Foles doesn’t care and is just happy to be here, because I genuinely do not think that’s in his character, but man that is what it feels like after his last two press conferences.

The Colts’ Late-Game Management Against the Texans May Cost the Team a Playoff Spot - The Ringer
With a chance for a game-winning drive, Frank Reich wasted crucial time with ill-fated run plays and confusing timeout decisions. Now Indianapolis has lost control of the division—and its own postseason fate.

Let’s pretend the Giants or Washington can make the NFL playoffs. Here’s how - SB Nation
It’s NFL Playoff Machine season, folks. Every year in mid-November, ESPN publishes an application that allows you to see how different possible outcomes in the final weeks of the season will affect the playoff picture. And if you’re like me, then you immediately try to come up with the silliest scenario possible. How can I find a way to keep the Patriots out of the playoffs? And what needs to happen to get the worst teams, like Washington and the New York Giants, in the postseason? Technically, the only team in the NFL that enters Week 12 knowing for sure what it’ll be doing in January is the 0-10 Cincinnati Bengals. They were eliminated from the playoffs with a Week 11 loss to the Raiders. The other 31 teams still haven’t clinched or been eliminated. That includes both 1-9 Washington and the 2-8 Giants.

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