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Eagles News: The case for more Miles Sanders

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/30/19.

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Hey, Doug Pederson! Miles Sanders is really good! Use him more! - NBCSP
There are two skill guys who have played consistently well of late. One is Zach Ertz, who has 30 catches over the last three weeks and is on his way to another Pro Bowl. The other is Miles Sanders, and it seems like no matter how productive he is and how desperately the offense needs firepower, Doug Pederson simply won’t lean on the rookie from Penn State. After a sluggish start, Sanders is averaging an excellent 4.4 yards per carry. Yet he’s averaging just 9.0 carries per game. It made sense early in the year to limit his carries. It took Sanders a few weeks to find his way. We could all see it. Jordan Howard was healthy and productive, Sanders was struggling. But things changed. Sanders showed in Buffalo he belonged with that explosive 65-yard TD run, and it seemed to give him renewed confidence. Since then he’s been more decisive, his vision has improved, his cut-backs have been sharper, and he’s hitting the hole hard.

Eagles vs. Dolphins Game Preview: Five questions and answers with the enemy - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) and Miami Dolphins (2-9) are set to play at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. In order to preview this Week 13 matchup, I reached out to our associates over at The Phinsider. The keen Kevin Nogle (@KevinNogle) kindly took the time to respond to my questions about the upcoming game. Let’s take a look at his answers. Also, don’t forget to check out my side of the Q&A exchange over at TP.

BGN Memories #6: Bounty Bowl I - The 1989 Thanksgiving Classic! - BGN Radio
John Stolnis and Glen Macnow take a trip down memory lane to revisit Bounty Bowl I: The 1989 Thanksgiving Classic! Presented by SB Nation & Bleeding Green Nation.

Podcast: Airing of grievances against the Eagles’ offense, and a Thanksgiving food draft - PhillyVoice
Getting into the holiday spirit, Brandon Gowton and I aired our grievances, Festivus-style, against the Eagles’ offense, and conducted a Thanksgiving food mock draft.

Trending in the Right Direction - Iggles Blitz
Just protecting the ball would make a big difference. Run the ball well and score TDs in the Red Zone. You don’t have to be the ’99 Rams when the defense is limiting teams to 15 to 17 points a game. This has been a disappointing, frustrating season, but it does feel like things are starting to fall into place for the Eagles. This is the time of the year you want things to be going well. This is when games matter. Remember how great Dallas looked in the first three weeks of the season? They are worlds different right now. One other thing to remember…the Eagles have won at Green Bay and at Buffalo, two teams that will be in the playoffs. This team hasn’t just feasted on cupcakes. They can beat good teams.

Injuries have hurt the Eagles’ wide receivers group, but leadership and coaching also figure into its struggles - Inquirer
Asked about the Eagles’ extraordinary inability to complete a deep pass to a wideout – they have five 40-plus-yard receptions this season, two of them to running back Miles Sanders – Walch said: “I think it’s just a work in progress. I truly believe that. We have hit some deep balls down the field. Have we hit every one? No. Have we hit all the ones we wanted to hit? No. But all we can do is continue to go back to the drawing board each week, continue to rep it, get more throws with our guys with the quarterback, and we’ll get it done.” That was the media session in which Walch famously contended that Hollins is “one of our top graders every week, because he aligns right, he assigns right, and he plays with great effort.” When Walch spoke, Hollins had played 59% of the snaps against Buffalo and 47% against Chicago. In the two games since, those figures are 17% and 5%, despite the injuries to Jeffery and Agholor. Hollins’ grades must have dropped.

Signing Lane Johnson again extends core of roster -
”It’s smart,” Johnson said after signing his deal late on Friday afternoon at the NovaCare Complex. “They know what they’re doing. Ultimately, they want to build a good football team for a long time and core players is where it starts. I’m excited to be with Brandon, Jake, and Rick, and there will probably be a few others coming up, too. It’s a blessing being around a lot of great people every day. It’s a lot of fun.” “I think it’s something that you want (to do) the best you can,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “We know this business is tough and guys sometimes try to move on and find other spots. To be able to take our own guys and extend them and have that consistency for the next four or five years … it just helps your team.”

5 matchups to watch in Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins - PennLive
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is coming off back-to-back rough performances in a pair of losses, but this could be a good opportunity for him to get back on track. The Dolphins defense ranks last in the NFL in passing DVOA by Football Outsiders, and Miami is allowing 8.8 yards per attempt, which is the third-worst mark in the league. With his top receivers set to return, Wentz should be able to turn in a big game.

The 8-Point Lead: A resurgent Eagles D, Carson Wentz takes responsibility, JJ Arcega-Whiteside steps into bigger role - The Athletic
Arcega-Whiteside had two catches for 43 yards against the Seahawks, and played 71 percent of the offensive snaps — his highest rate since Week 3. The Eagles hope Alshon Jeffery and Agholor return this week, and Jeffery will play the “X” and Agholor will be in the slot and can bounce outside in “12” personnel. But the team believes Arcega-Whiteside, who had been limited to a role as Jeffery’s backup in the first half of the season, is far enough along to play Jackson’s spot. “Just different routes,” Arcega-Whiteside said. “Different positioning on the field. Z, you’re to the field more often than the X, the ball travels a little longer, you get a little more space, you also have to time things up a little longer. But at the end of the day, it’s just playing football. Run your route, catch, go score.” Arcega-Whiteside has only five catches for 86 yards this season despite playing 32 percent of the offensive snaps. He’s much more advanced now than at the beginning of the year, with an understanding of both outside spots. There’s also a clear role for him now, too. By the end of the season, the Eagles will have a better idea of what type of player he is.

Fan confidence holding steady for Dolphins despite two-straight losses - The Phinsider
The Miami Dolphins have struggled the past two weeks, losing to the Buffalo Bills 37-20 in Week 11 and to the Cleveland Browns 41-24 in Week 12. Now, heading into Week 13, the Dolphins return to South Florida to host the Philadelphia Eagles. This season, with the Dolphins holding on to 2-9 record after 11 games, is really about the 2020 season, with Miami looking to score an early selection with the first of their three first-round draft picks. How are the fans feeling coming off two-straight losses?

The Rams have major salary-cap issues. Is their title window already closing? - ESPN
Going “all-in” is a popular expression, but the 2019 Los Angeles Rams really were. After Monday Night’s brutal loss to the red-hot Baltimore Ravens, it appears as if the Rams are almost all-out -- out of the hunt for the playoffs and a return to the Super Bowl. The ESPN Football Power Index gives the Rams an 8.8% chance to make the playoffs. Barring a surprise comeback in their final five games, the Rams’ offseason will start much earlier than planned. It’s going to be a tricky one. In a league with a salary cap, the bill eventually comes for teams that go all-in. In 2020, it’s coming due for the Rams, whose cap situation will be among the most challenging in the NFL because their roster is one of the most financially top-heavy. L.A. projects to have a league-high $108.75 million in cap charges allocated to its five highest-paid players:

Dallas Cowboys guard Connor Williams tore his ACL on Thanksgiving, officially done for season - Blogging The Boys
This is devastating for a Cowboys team that is hanging on by a thread at the moment. The coaching situation is one that many people are unsettled about, the Philadelphia Eagles could pull even with Dallas this weekend record-wise, and now the offensive line is without one of its starters for the rest of the year. The Cowboys have Xavier Su’a-Filo as a reserve guard but he did not inspire confidence against the Bills. Considering that Connor tore it in late November his 2020 season is obviously in some question, but some people around the internet are optimistic right now.

The Winners and Losers From Thanksgiving Day Football - The Ringer
Did you know that the Cowboys could soon fire Jason Garrett? It’s only the biggest and loudest talking point in the entire state of Texas. Such a move is probably overdue: Garrett is the longest-tenured NFL head coach who hasn’t won a Super Bowl—and he hasn’t even made a Super Bowl or an NFC championship game. But he always seems like he’s doing well, because he’s always clapping, and people usually clap when good things happen. Garrett may have clapped Thursday, but his team didn’t deserve it. Dallas was throttled by a Bills team that would have scored on six straight drives if not for a pesky missed field goal. Heading into Week 13, Buffalo, now 9-3, had zero wins against teams with winning records. Dallas, now 6-6, will head into Week 14 still lacking a win against an above-.500 team.

Ask a former NFL player: Who would you like to see replace Jason Garrett as the next Cowboys coach? - SB Nation
They are going to first look at two college coaches. Urban Meyer is the odds-on favorite right now, with Lincoln Riley next. I don’t think either is going to take the job, though. Meyer doesn’t feel like a pro coach. He loves having full control, and you’re not getting that in Dallas with Jerry Jones owning the team. Plus, it appears Meyer is having fun in his studio role. Riley has probably done all he can at Oklahoma. He’s on his third straight quarterback and a defense that hasn’t improved much. The Sooners have failed to win a College Football Playoff game so far, and I don’t think they will this season, if they even make it. It feels like a great spot for him to jump to the NFL. Also, with the success of Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona this season, it seems like Riley could easily make the jump. He’d need to hire an outstanding defensive guy to run that side of the ball. But I’m not sure he would want the job. Then, there are two outside-the-box hires: Matt Rhule from Baylor has been outstanding at rebuilding that program and was close to taking the New York Jets’ job last year. Patriots OC Josh McDaniels turned down the Colts two years ago, but I could see him jumping ship now for the Cowboys.

Cardinals DB Josh Shaw suspended for betting on NFL games - DraftKings Nation
The NFL announced on Friday that Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw has been suspended through at least the end of the 2020 season for betting on NFL games. Shaw is currently on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury suffered during the preseason. He will be allowed to petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2021. The NFL announced that the investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised by the betting. Additionally, the NFL announced they found nothing to suggest awareness by his teammates, coaches or other players.


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