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Eagles News: Andre Dillard survives the Khalil Mack test

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/4/19.

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Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Holy crap, this is Khalil Mack in front of me’ — and Andre Dillard ‘survived it’ - NBCSP
Dillard didn’t completely neutralize Mack, and he had some help, but he really held his own against one of the league’s elite pass rushers. Mack finished with four tackles, one QB hit and zero sacks in the Eagles’ 22-14 win over the Bears at the Linc (see observations). The biggest challenge for Dillard was forgetting Mack’s résumé and just going out and doing his job. First of all, I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is Khalil Mack in front of me,’” Dillard said. “I’ve watched him on TV before I was even here. He’s really an amazing player, strong and fast, he’s got it all. I just did everything that I was trained to do and survived it. Dillard has faced some truly elite pass rushers in his 3½ games since replacing Peters. But he tries not to see them as Khalil Mack or Everson Griffen or Robert Quinn.

9 thoughts from the Eagles’ ugly win over the Bears - BGN
The Eagles had the most to gain (or lose) of any NFC team this week, per ESPN’s playoff leverage graphic. Regardless of how ugly it was, this was a very important game to win.

Eagles Beat Bears, Concerns Remain - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Brandon Lee Gowton recap the Eagles 22-14 win over the Bears with thoughts on what it means for the team moving forward (if anything) PLUS Three Words from the gentle listeners! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Bears game - PhillyVoice
After the Bills game, the Eagles referred to their newfound ball control offense as the “recipe” for their success, a term that Carson Wentz used once again on Sunday. Those drives are great, and kudos to the Eagles for sealing games in each of the last two weeks, but that’s a bad “recipe” for success in today’s NFL. Sure, that approach will work against bad offenses like the Jets, Bills, and Bears, but it’s going to be difficult winning games against teams that can actually score.

Bearing Down - Iggles Blitz
The biggest disappointment was Alshon Jeffery. He was targeted 8 times, but only caught 4 passes. There were multiple drops and they came in important situations. Jeffery isn’t expected to be perfect, but that isn’t good enough. He must play better. AJ did make a catch on third down on the final drive. Maybe that will help him going into the next game. DeSean Jackson played early, but then left. He went into the locker room for a bit. DeSean came back out and rode the exercise bike, but never got back on the field. He will be tested on Monday morning to see if anything new happened or what is going on.

Carson Wentz made the big plays in the Eagles’ win over the Bears. Nothing else matters. - Inquirer
Isn’t that as good a way as any to measure a quarterback’s performance on a given day? Wentz did not torch the Bears defense Sunday, just as he didn’t torch the Buffalo Bills’ the previous Sunday. But the Eagles had buried the Bills with an 83-yard, eight-minute march in the fourth quarter, and they did something similar Sunday, and those defenses, the Bills’ and the Bears’, ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the NFL. So you can hardly say Wentz didn’t deliver in important spots against formidable opponents. His statistics Sunday didn’t knock anyone over: 26-for-39, 239 yards, one touchdown. But when it would come for him to review the game film and grade himself, wouldn’t those four completions on that late drive – with the game in the balance – carry more weight than anything else? “That’s a very deep question there,” Wentz said. “There are levels to that. Coming out of the game, you just kind of want to critique everything. There are throws I left out there early in the game, late in the game, plays we left out there as an offense. But at the end of the day, being able to sustain that drive, that’s what we have to do. That’s what good football teams, good offenses, have to do: stay on the field, convert, grind the clock out like we did.”

The Eagles’ reliance on DeSean Jackson is a problem, and there are a few people to blame -
As much as Jackson missed being around his teammates, and helping the Eagles win, the Eagles missed Jackson even more. The passing offense is hopeless without him. And that’s a serious problem, for a few reasons. At its core, the Eagles’ group of receivers is practically identical to the one they deployed last year, with Jeffery and Agholor at receiver, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at tight end. There shouldn’t be this big of a drop-off from life with Jackson to life without, but Jeffery appears to be on the downswing of his career, and by most advanced metrics, Agholor grades out as one of the worst receivers in the NFL this season. Hollins has played almost half the team’s offensive snaps and hasn’t recorded a catch since Sept. 26. Arcega-Whiteside was a second-round pick and played almost exclusively on running plays against the Bears.

NFL Week 9 PFF ReFocused: Philadelphia Eagles 22, Chicago Bears 14 - PFF
Fletcher Cox was his usual disruptive self in the passing game, registering a number of pressures and pass-rush wins against the Bears’ offensive line. The Eagles’ secondary didn’t have to worry about much with Mitch Trubisky routinely missing open receivers with uncatchable passes. Philly basically just sold out against the run and forced Trubisky to try and beat them with his arm. Carson Wentz was accurate throughout the day. He didn’t turn the ball over and threw a touchdown to Zach Ertz. Jordan Howard consistently displayed good vision to find holes to run through and had a handful of nice runs on the day. Ertz caught a touchdown pass down the right seam after a bit of a push of Kyle Fuller’s facemask. Ertz had a big day as a pass-catcher.

The new norm: Offense chews up clock, ices wins -
Maybe this is the new normal. For the second week in a row, the Eagles dominated a fourth quarter with an eight-minute drive that ended with points, in this case a Jake Elliott field goal to cap a 16-play, 69-yard drive that consumed 8 minutes, 14 seconds off the clock and featured four third-down conversions against a Chicago Bears defense that just doesn’t allow that to happen. Elliott’s field goal was the topper with 25 seconds remaining in a 22-14 victory that sends the 5-4 Eagles into their bye week with consecutive wins for only the second time this season. “I’m really excited about where we’re at as an offense right now,” said tight end Zach Ertz, who had a monster game with nine receptions for 103 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown, on 11 targets from quarterback Carson Wentz.

Eagles back Jordan Howard gets revenge against former team - ESPN
Promising trend: The defense gave up a couple of big plays in the second half but put together a strong game overall -- its second in as many weeks. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is back to wreaking havoc in the middle following a slow start as a result of offseason foot surgery. With a takedown of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, defensive end Brandon Graham now has six sacks on the season -- all in the past five games. Now relatively healthy, the defense has allowed 27 points total over the past two games.

The need for more Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson’s abrupt return, a navigable road: 7 takeaways from Eagles-Bears - The Athletic
The Eagles have won 15 of the last 20 games in which Zach Ertz caught at least 70 percent of his targets, excluding a Week 17 game in 2017 when the starters barely played. Of course, they don’t win because Ertz is targeted. But unless the Eagles are a big-play offense — and without Jackson, those plays are harder to find — they need productive, chain-moving plays. They’re set back by incompletions. That’s why Ertz’s efficiency is critical. Look at Sunday’s game: Of his nine catches, seven moved the chains and one was a touchdown. Only one catch didn’t result in a first down or a score. Three of the catches came on third down and one on fourth down.

Week 9: ‘Lamar The Dude’ As Ravens Topple Pats, Shifting The NFL Landscape At Season’s Halfway Point - FMIA
1. Look at the Week 12 schedule. The Sunday night game is due to be Seattle (now 7-2) at Philadelphia (5-4). Cool game, with two teams desperate to improve playoff position. It’s a FOX doubleheader week. Most of the country, for a late game, will get Dallas at New England, one of the sexiest matchups of the year. Ratings gold. The other late FOX game that day—maybe 15 or 20 percent of the country would get it—is Green Bay at San Francisco. That also might be the most important game, with playoff implications out the wazoo (what is a wazoo, anyway?), of the second half of the season. Imagine, 13 days before the game, the NFL having to make a choice of games here. Imagine passing on Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz at one of the craziest (and great for TV) venues in football. But when the NFL has to make this call on Nov. 11, San Francisco and Green Bay, combined, could have one loss. How does the league not move to Packers-Niners?

Benjamin Solak’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 - The Draft Network
18 — Eagles. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama. Yeah, Philly needs a corner on the outside something fierce — there’s no doubting that, as they give up a deep explosive play on a weekly basis. But they also desperately need speed on the offense, as WR1 Alshon Jeffery seems to have succumbed to injury and time with a plodding start to the season, WR2 DeSean Jackson is once again unhealthy after a brief foray back into the starting lineup, and WR3 Nelson Agholor is really, really bad. They tried to address the WR corps with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round, but he’s been perplexingly absent from the starting lineup, and doesn’t fit the speed mold anyway. Ruggs is the speed mold embodied — he wins at all three levels of the field because he’s uniquely fast, and while he may not have Jackson’s ball tracking and adjustment abilities, he’s an unbelievable tackle-breaker for his size. That makes sense with Philly’s dedication to the short game.

NFL head coaching search: Past experience could be big factor in filling jobs this offseason - CBS Sports
On the management side, there is heavy support for former Giants GM Jerry Reese; Troy Vincent, VP of football operations for the league has gone on record about his dismay that Reese was not given serious consideration for openings last offseason. Former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and former Lions GM Martin Mayhew are also generating support from the committee. As for those without prior GM experience, Nick Caserio (Patriots), Andrew Berry (Eagles), George Paton (Vikings) and Louis Riddick (ESPN, former NFL exec) are also being discussed as those most ready for the position, sources said.

POLL: Should the Jaguars start Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles? - Big Cat Country
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has to make a decision during the team’s bye week this week — should the team start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew or high-priced veteran Nick Foles? It’s a decision that reaches past this season too and likely further down the road than Marrone will see with this team.

Bill Callahan Redskins Presser: Nothing has been decided for starting QB - Hogs Haven
Bill Callahan stepped up to the podium to speak to the media after the Redskins 24-9 loss to the Bills. This loss drops Washington to 1-8 as they head into their bye week. Callahan won’t commit to a starting QB after the bye, mentioning that he had to check on Case Keenum’s health. He said Dwayne Haskins Jr. managed the game, but wasn’t able to take any shots downfield. Callahan also mentioned needing to change their red zone offense...

The Winners and Losers of NFL Week 9 - The Ringer
The Ravens punctured the Patriots’ air of invincibility on Sunday night. Plus, Adam Gase embarrassed himself in front of his ex, the Bengals got a big win without playing, and the memory of Ray Finkle lingers on.

How Washington alienated franchise left tackle Trent Williams - SB Nation
Don’t expect to see Trent Williams ever play for Washington again. If it wasn’t already obvious for months that the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle doesn’t want to be on the team, Williams made his frustrations with Washington explicitly clear at the end of October. Williams, 31, blamed team doctors for misdiagnosing and downplaying a growth on his head, which turned out to be cancer. That’s why he skipped offseason activities, training camp, preseason, and the first eight weeks of the 2019 season. He reported to the team just minutes after he wasn’t moved at the NFL’s trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean he’s done trying to get out of Washington. A messy divorce between Williams and the team that selected him in the top five of the 2010 NFL Draft looks inevitable. Williams now says he has “no trust” in the organization.


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