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Eagles News: Carson Wentz among top reasons for optimism coming out of the bye

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/9/19.

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

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

8 reasons for Eagles optimism entering bye week: Jordan Howard, Brandon Brooks, Miles Sanders, more -
5. Carson Wentz, doing his job: This was supposed to be an MVP season. He wouldn’t even be in the Top 10 if the voting occurred today. He hasn’t been great, necessarily, but Wentz has done a solid job of not forcing too much, managing the game, playing within the offense, playing mistake-free and efficient football. He was dealt a bad hand with a mediocre receiving core — he’s dealt with 20 drops, third-most in the league — but he’s still handled himself way and has even gained back some of the mobility he had lost after the 2017 knee injury. PFF has him graded as the third-best quarterback in the NFL and he has the second-most yards in the NFL (728) while under pressure. He’s on pace for 3,662 yards, 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Not bad, all things considered.

L.J. Fort getting a contract extension with the Ravens is an embarrassing look for the Eagles - BGN
Well, here’s an interesting development. And by “interesting” I mean “embarrassing.” Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker L.J. Fort signed a significant contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens on Friday.

Special: Eagles’ Bye Week Grades - BGN Radio
John Stolnis hands out bye grades for the Eagles after 9 weeks of regular season action! Brought to you by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation

A recap of the Eagles’ 2019 injuries so far, in stick figure form - PhillyVoice
Every Friday here, we post the Eagles’ and the Eagles’ opponents’ final injury report. With the Birds on their bye, perhaps we can just take a look at all the injuries so far this season, in stick figure form.

Game Review – PHI 22, CHI 14 - Iggles Blitz
Alshon Jeffery did not have a good game. He was 4-36. AJ dropped multiple passes. These were throws that would have moved the chains. Jeffery did come up big with the game on the line. He caught a third down-pass in the fourth quarter that moved the chains. AJ used his size to block out the defender and he held onto this ball. Huge play for him and the offense. Nelson Agholor was 3-21 as a receiver. No runs this week. Agholor and Wentz continue to struggle to connect for some reason. Mack Hollins played 42 snaps and didn’t have any passes come his way. He was called for holding late in the half and that negated a good run by Sanders. Ugh.

Eagles’ expectations for wide receivers were wildly unrealistic, it seems; now the offense grinds it out - Inquirer
Maybe the thought was that Agholor, a dependable weapon in 2017 and 2018, would rise to the occasion in his fifth season since arriving as a first-round draft choice. Instead, he is more like the Agholor of 2015 and 2016: unreliable, seemingly lost inside his own head, but making the $9.387-million-a-year salary of a star. No one seems able to explain why the entire group has been so disappointing. There is yet another wide-receivers coach this season, Carson Walch, the Eagles’ fifth person in that post in the last five years. Walch, 41, was coaching the Edmonton Eskimos’ wideouts when the Eagles brought him aboard as assistant wide-receivers coach in 2018. He was an entry-level assistant with the Bears when Groh was there in 2013-14. Groh was the wide-receivers coach for the Super Bowl season, the guy who turned Agholor around. One would think he could still exert some control over the unit. But Groh speaks ambiguously of the ball “not finding” receivers, as if it controlled its own flight. Is he saying that Carson Wentz won’t throw the ball to, say, Hollins? Pederson has made it seem more a problem of where receivers rank among the options on a given play.

Week 10’s biggest fantasy football questions: 32 NFL reporters give advice - ESPN+
Should we be worried about J.J. Arcega-Whiteside’s long-term prospects considering he has failed to emerge as the No. 3 WR? ... It’s way too early to give up on him. He showed real promise this offseason and seemed headed for at least a red zone role this season but had a couple of shaky moments early and hasn’t been given many snaps since. This falls on the coaches more than anyone else. The talent and the intelligence are there. The coaching staff needs to help bring out his ability over the second half of the season.

PFF favorites for NFL MVP, Offensive/Defensive Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year - PFF
Comeback Player of the Year: G Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles. What we have seen from Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks this season is inane. Brooks is coming off a 96.6 graded game in Week 9 against the Bears, ranking as the fourth-best single game by a right guard in any regular season and postseason game since 2006. Not only is his 93.4 PFF overall grade on the season the highest among any offensive lineman, but it’s also on pace to be the fourth-highest season grade by any guard we have ever seen. In other words, the man is on fire and obliterating any defensive line he faces.

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame honors Donovan McNabb, Troy Vincent, two cornerstones of an outstanding era of Eagles football -
In a timeless moment, Donovan McNabb and Troy Vincent shared an emotional embrace Thursday night in the middle of the bustling banquet hall upstairs at Rivers Casino in Philadelphia. The two Eagles greats quietly chatted out of earshot — no doubt reminiscing about their five years together in midnight green — in the same way long-lost brothers might at a family reunion. Later, the pair sat next to one another on the dais to accept their plaques and receive their well-deserved spots in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. The event was a reunion of sorts, with several Eagles luminaries filling the room. Former head coach Andy Reid was sitting front and center to watch, along with Jermaine Mayberry, Jon Runyan, Todd Herremans, Tra Thomas, Brian Westbrook, Takeo Spikes, and Bobby Taylor. It was a night for family and reflection.

Orlando Scandrick doubles down on trolling of Eagles - NBCSP
As if the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans needed anymore fodder for their disdain of Orlando Scandrick, the former NFL player once again joined Skip Bayless on “Undisputed” and spoke about the Dallas Cowboys using curious phrasing. ”We,” to be specific. How far does Scandrick believe the Cowboys can go this season? ”We looking good right now,” Scandrick responds. This gets a rise out of Shannon Sharpe. ”Oh, it’s ‘we’ now?!” Sharpe says. Skip comes to his defense because he played for them “for a long time.” Just not that recently. Right. [BLG Note: Scandrick is such a loser.]

Jay Glazer’s NFL mailbag: On Cam Newton’s future, the Bengals front office and a favorite moment from ‘Ballers’ - The Athletic
There’s talk of the Eagles looking into Antonio Brown as a solution to their wide receiver woes, have you heard anything suggesting that was true? What are the chances he would even be allowed to play? – Alex B. ... Well, I said it on FOX NFL Sunday, he was about 10 to 14 days away from being interviewed by the NFL and now we know it is slated to be the middle of next week. We also know he had another Twitter meltdown. I think there are actually people concerned about Antonio. If he reads this, he would probably be mad that I’m saying that I think people are concerned about him, but they are.

Is there a trade market for Nick Foles in 2020? - Big Cat Country
As we discussed yesterday, the end result of having Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles in at quarterback isn’t a very big difference. This team likely hovers between 7-9 or 8-8 by season’s end regardless of who’s under center. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you look to go all in with Minshew after this season and see if there’s a team you can trade Foles to? That would clear up a lot of salary cap room as well as firmly establish Minshew as your long-term solution at quarterback. But it takes two to tango. Who could want Foles (and that huge contract) next spring?

The NFL Reinforcements Who Could Change the League’s Playoff Picture - The Ringer
QB Nick Foles, Jaguars. The Jaguars made a bold—and for some, unnecessary—move on Tuesday in announcing that Foles would replace Gardner Minshew II and take back the starting job following the team’s Week 10 bye. Jacksonville may end up regretting that decision—and for the record, if I were coaching, I’d have stuck with Minshew despite his recent struggles—but perhaps the team couldn’t ignore the allure of Foles’s proven upside. Sure, the wildly mercurial Foles could end up playing worse than Minshew, and everything could fall apart for Jacksonville. He’s certainly looked like a bad quarterback for stretches of his career. But there’s always the chance that the Jags find a way to wake up the playoff-god version of Foles who helped carry the Eagles into the playoffs and to a Super Bowl win back in the 2017 season. That Foles could change things in Jacksonville. At 4-5 and coming off its worst loss this season, Jacksonville needs a spark as it heads into a stretch of must-win games, starting out with a pair of road matchups with the division-rival Colts and Titans. If Foles can activate his Big Nick Energy that helped propel Philly to championship a few years back, it would give the Jags the bump they need to get over the top in a tough AFC field. We’ll see.

Why isn’t the New York Giants’ defense improving? - Big Blue View
Nine games into the season I think it’s easy to agree that the defense has no made the hoped for progress. The Giants are 29th in points and 28th in yards allowed. They are tied with the Green Bay Packers for most 40+ yard passing plays allowed (11). They have given up 400 or more yards in a game five times in nine games, matching how many times that happened in 2018. James Bettcher was asked this week if he thought the Giants’ defense would be farther along than it is. Taking out some of the long-winded gobbledygook, here is the crux of what he said: “I think that no matter where we were at, right now, I would want more, that’s just me ... I think there are some areas that we’re getting better and some players are getting better. We have to keep pressing forward to get the other things out of our game.”

Ravens announce extension for linebacker L.J. Fort - Baltimore Beatdown
The Ravens are in the midst of a defensive renaissance over the last several weeks, ever since their poor play on that side of the ball contributed to a shaky 2-2 start. Since then, they’ve made a few tweaks and additions to the roster that if nothing else have really solidified things up front for Wink Martindale’s formerly top unit. One of those additions was journeyman linebacker L.J. Fort, who many within the Ravens fan base may have not even heard of when he was brought in. Since being plugged into the middle of the D, his solid play is something that can be pointed to as a major factor in this mid-season turnaround.

The 5 O’Clock Club: What will Bruce Allen do to try to “win” the fight he’s engaged in with Trent Williams? - Hogs Haven
I think it’s hard to feel as if this situation between Trent Williams and the Washington Redskins has been handled well. There seem to have been a lot of opportunities missed, and the situation is unlikely to result in a better Washington Redskins team going forward. The only questions in my mind right now revolve around how the player and the team extricate themselves from this situation, and whether it’s possible for Trent to resume his playing career and for the Redskins to transform themselves into a functional organization able to compete for championships. Right now, I’m not optimistic about any of those things.

The Seahawks are letting DK Metcalf be the juggernaut he is - SB Nation
DK Metcalf was the ninth receiver picked in the 2019 NFL Draft, scooped up by the Seahawks with the very last selection of the second round. Halfway through his rookie year, Metcalf is outperforming all eight drafted before him — and every other rookie receiver, for that matter. Metcalf leads all rookies with 525 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He’s caught nine passes for at least 20 yards, and four for at least 40 yards. It’s not that surprising that he’s putting up numbers in the NFL. After all, he looked and performed like a superhero at the NFL Combine. Metcalf is 6’3, 228 pounds and built like the Juggernaut. Somehow, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds — a time typically only sniffed by players 30 pounds lighter.


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