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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s future is suddenly looking brighter

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/25/19.

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NFL: DEC 22 Cowboys at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Eye to the Future - Iggles Blitz
If the Eagles play this offseason right, they can have more of a young, hungry and aggressive team in 2020. Build around Wentz with guys that can be here for several years and maybe we can actually get back to “the new norm”. Some of you might think I’m being overly optimistic, but the development of Miles Sanders is really important to me. When you can pair a young RB and QB together, that gives you a chance to compete each year. Just look at McNabb and Westbrook. Let’s add a stud WR to the mix and see this offense go to the next level. Just find one that doesn’t like to do sit-ups in his driveway.

Eagles announce five roster moves ahead of Week 17 Giants game - BGN
Promoting Burnett gives the Eagles four healthy wide receivers on the 53-man roster: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, Robert Davis, and Burnett. Good to see they’re not just rolling with three anymore. The Eagles only signed Burnett to their practice squad 12 days ago. It’s interesting the team promoted him instead of Marken Michel, who has more familiarity with Philly’s offense. Burnett does offer more NFL experience.

The Post-Dallas Feel Good Extravaganza - BGN Radio
Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton have a special guest drop in to give her predictions for the Eagles and the rest of the season PLUS thoughts on the Eagles big win, concerns moving forward, and much more! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 17 edition - PhillyVoice
6) Eagles (8-7): The Eagles have faced (often deserved) criticism all year long, but give them credit where it’s due. They were without Lane Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard, Malik Jackson, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and then they lost both Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby on Sunday, and they still found a way to best a team that has owned them. And they did so convincingly! If the Eagles win on Sunday, I would consider this season simultaneously disappointing and successful, if that makes any sense.

Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus each team’s MVP - ESPN
13. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) — Team MVP: Carson Wentz, QB. Wentz has been lights out over the past three games, completing 71% of his throws for 910 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions to rally the Eagles to a December push that has them on the doorstep of capturing the NFC East title. And he has done it with all three of his original starting receivers and primary running back Jordan Howard sidelined with injuries. Wentz was up-and-down for much of the season, but he has recaptured his MVP-like form at the most critical point of the year.

Miles Sanders makes history and Carson Wentz’s chance at a record in this week’s Roob Stats! - NBCSP
CHASING DONOVAN: Carson Wentz now has 3,750 passing yards this year. He needs 167 against the Giants to break Donovan McNabb’s franchise record of 3,916, set in 2008, and he needs 250 for 4,000. Wentz on Sunday also became the first QB in NFL history to complete 30 passes without an interception in three straight games. ONE MORE WENTZ: Unless he throws four or more interceptions Sunday, Wentz will become the 6th quarterback in NFL history with three straight seasons of 20 or more touchdown passes and 10 or fewer interceptions. The others are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

The Eagles aren’t ready to define roles, but Miles Sanders says Jordan Howard’s return is a good thing - Inquirer
Sanders said whatever the coaches decide on parceling out snaps and carries is fine with him. He didn’t declare himself king of the running back room. “Whatever the plan is, that’s how it’s going to go,” Sanders said. Asked what Howard has been doing, Sanders said: “He’s in every meeting, still taking notes like he’s playing each week. … We want him back, I want him back. … We’re a better team with him. I’m looking forward to him coming back if he does.” Sanders has answered a lot of questions recently about the NFL rookie “wall.” You don’t play four preseason games and 16 regular-season games in college. This is where it might be a good thing that the team has brought Sanders along slowly, keeping him below double digits in carries four times, and below 15 carries in any game until the last four weeks, in which he has run 71 times for 329 yards (4.63 yards per carry) and two touchdowns, while catching 20 passes for 173 yards and two more TDs. “It’s 15 [games] already? It’s what, Week 17? Sheesh. It’s long,” Sanders said. “I just feel like I’m getting better each week. Getting more comfortable out there, feel like myself. I still don’t think I’m playing my best ball yet. I think I’m still trying to grow and get better as it keeps going.”

Beat back and forth: Zach Ertz’s rib injury, the cornerback situation and holiday gift ideas for the Eagles - The Athletic
I think Douglas deserves the first crack at replacing Darby, but considering the stakes, his leash probably has to be short. We know Douglas struggles with speed, and Darius Slayton burned the Eagles deep in Week 14, so it may not be the best matchup for the cornerback. A year ago, the Eagles were willing to play Avonte Maddox outside and Cre’Von LeBlanc in the slot, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the plan this season. It has been an odd few weeks for LeBlanc, who played 17 defensive snaps in his season debut against Miami, but followed that up with four snaps against the Giants, two against Washington and none against Dallas. As for Ertz, it’s obviously a significant blow. Long term, no team can survive the array of injuries the Eagles have sustained to their offensive weapons, but I still trust the Pederson-Wentz tandem to work around it this week.

Zach Ertz: A great player who shows just how tough he is -
Zach Ertz is a lot of things, as we’ve gotten to know him these last seven football seasons. He has great natural gifts and has accentuated them with his hard work and dedication to become the greatest tight end in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles and one of the best in the NFL. He has made three consecutive Pro Bowls. He set an NFL single-season record for tight ends with 116 receptions (also a franchise record regardless of position) last season and followed that up with perhaps an even better 2019, even though his statistics aren’t quite at that record-setting level. Ertz has become a solid in-line blocker and a do-the-dirty-work kind of guy playing a position that is, in today’s game, more in tune with what wide receivers do than what offensive linemen do. He’s a team-first man all the way, and he has represented himself and his family and the Eagles organization in a first-class manner on and off the field for his entire career. Add to the list of what Zach Ertz is this: He’s a tough, tough man.

Why is Eagles’ Vinny Curry finding late-season success during playoff push? Jim Schwartz weighs in -
Curry’s sack neutered the Cowboys’ late-game momentum. It was a huge play in a big moment for the Eagles’ defense. Curry has been on an individual hot streak during the Eagles’ three-game surge. He has produced three sacks in as many games. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz believes Curry’s recent resurgence has been the result of his determination. “He’s just been tenacious,” Schwartz said about Curry during his weekly press conference at NovaCare Complex on Tuesday. “His sacks have been effort sacks. That’s always been a hallmark of Vinny.”

Week 16 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles rank 12th in DVOA while the Giants rank 26th.]

Injury Adjusted Salary in 2019 - Over The Cap
The NFL has a number of reserve lists for players who miss time, the most prominent of which is injured reserve. So often every year we hear about how injured teams were and how they have so many players on IR, but sometimes that doesn’t always tell the full story. Sometimes a team has a large number of players on IR but they may not be expensive players and thus the loss not that big. Other times the player doesn’t land on IR until late in the season and his injury may have minimal impact on the season. So what I wanted to do was to create a salary adjusted IR list that would better put into perspective the actual magnitude of the impact of injury on a team’s roster. To create the adjusted injury salary I first looked at every player who was on IR, PUP, and NFI and is still in the NFL as of week 16. I then turned to our friends at to get a listing of every player who was designated for return from IR or activated from PUP or NFI during the year. [BLG Note: The Eagles rank 10th in injury adjusted salary.]

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Chase Young lands in Washington with the second pick - PFF
21. Philadelphia Eagles — CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah. Johnson has been one of the biggest movers up the PFF draft board this season. He allowed only nine completions from 22 targets for 112 yards over his last seven games in Pac-12 play.

The long-term prognosis for Leighton Vander Esch’s neck - Blogging The Boys
Yesterday, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett announced that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch would have surgery on his neck and that the team was putting him on injured reserve. Vander Esch initially hurt the neck in Week 7 of this season and has basically been sidelined since then. The Cowboys and Vander Esch were hoping rest and treatment would fix the problem, but after an MRI was performed, the plan changed to surgery which will happen this January. So what is exactly wrong with Vander Esch? Cervical spinal stenosis is the medical term, it means a narrowing of the spinal cord. Vander Esch has a bulging disk in his neck and that combined with his stenosis has led to surgery.

Valentine’s Views: Could Pat Shurmur have done enough to convince Giants to keep him? - Big Blue View
I am on record as saying that if the decision were up to me Dave Gettleman would remain as general manager of the New York Giants and Pat Shurmur would be out. I will stand by that. But ... But, what if the Giants defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at MetLife Stadium and deny them a playoff berth? What if Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley light up the scoreboard again? What if Giants’ co-owners Steve Tisch and John Mara determine that the progress we have all been begging for is finally showing up? What then?

Dan’s Disaster: How the Washington Redskins Plummeted to Rock Bottom - The Ringer
The professional football team in the nation’s capital was the hottest ticket in town for decades. But under Dan Snyder’s ownership, the franchise has lost a lot of games and managed to alienate even some of its most dedicated fans. What made one of most unshakable fandoms in America give up on its team?

The Rams, to put it politely, are screwed - Yahoo! Sports
Uh … wrong. Now, the Rams are out of the playoffs, the latest in a long line of teams that lost the Super Bowl and flamed out the next year. But there’s more to it than a simple hangover; this is a team whose wins were paid for by credit card, and the bill’s come due a lot sooner than expected. This isn’t a case where you can rip out the walls down to the studs and start over. No, the Rams are shackled to their current personnel for years to come, and the dividends on those investments are already dwindling.

The Cowboys’ season may be over now, because they stubbornly refuse to win - SB Nation
The Cowboys’ only path to the playoffs is to win the NFC East. They may have flushed that scenario down the toilet by losing to the Eagles in Week 16. The 17-9 loss doesn’t eliminate Dallas, but it did hand the division lead to Philadelphia with one week left to play. Now the Cowboys have to beat Washington and hope the Eagles lose to the 4-11 Giants in Week 17. The Cowboys’ entire 2019 season has been defined by stretches of brilliance that are promptly ruined by the team stubbing its toe. Just a week prior to the loss to the Eagles, the Cowboys put together their best performance of the season in a 44-21 blowout of the Rams. It was a glimpse at what Dallas can do when both the offense and defense play well on the same day. That win was followed by the Cowboys delivering a lifeless performance in what could’ve been an NFC East clincher. After the game, Eagles running back Miles Sanders talked about Philadelphia knowing how high the stakes were. Meanwhile, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said, “talent without direction is nothing at all,” a statement that encapsulates the team’s year, whether he meant it that way or not.


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