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Eagles News: Giants player says they want to play spoiler and knock Philadelphia out of the playoffs

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/27/19.

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New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

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Giants embrace spoiler role vs. Eagles: ‘We want to send them home’ - SNY
Do the Giants care about knocking the Eagles out of the playoffs? It depends on whom you ask. After Thursday’s practice, three days away from Sunday’s 4:25 p.m. finale against NFC East-leading Philadelphia (8-7), several players acknowledged the possibility of playing the spoiler role. ”We want to play spoiler,” said veteran safety Antoine Bethea. “We want to send them home. We’re not going to the playoffs, so we definitely want to get this dub and knock them out.”

8 things to watch when the Eagles play the Giants in Week 17 - BGN
The No. 2 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft is suddenly looking a lot more healthy and effective. In the Giants’ past two games, Saquon Barkley has logged 46 carries for 301 yards (6.5 average) and three rushing touchdowns. Oh, and he also has eight receptions for 121 yards and one receiving score. So, that’s 422 total yards from scrimmage. Dang. It probably helped that the Giants were facing the Miami Dolphins and Washington. Still, the Eagles will have to prevent Barkley from going off on them. Schwartz’s unit did a good job of keeping him in check a couple weeks back. Barkley had 17 carries for 66 yards (3.9 average) and three receptions for ONE yard in his last trip to Philly.

At the Podium: “Santa Hunts Ducks” - BGN Radio
Michael Kist tees up Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz’s pressers from Thursday heading into the all-important Week 17 divisional showdown with the New York Giants! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles vs. Giants: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
As always, the Eagles must exploit the Giants’ shaky offensive line. The Giants are solid at both guard spots, with Will Hernandez at LG and Kevin Zeitler at RG, but they’ve had trouble protecting the edges with the massively overpaid Nate Solder and journeyman RT Mike Remmers. To note, Remmers is still in the concussion protocol. If he is unable to go, it is likely that second-year pro Nick Gates would fill in. Either way, the Eagles could really use a big game from Brandon Graham. During their three-game winning streak, the Eagles only have five sacks, including a Week 15 performance in Washington in which they didn’t get to oft-sacked Dwayne Haskins until the final play of the game. Like a lot of young quarterbacks, Daniel Jones has gotten the ball out slowly this season. According the NFL’s “Next Gen” stats, Jones gets the ball at an average rate of 2.86 seconds. By comparison, Eli Manning has gotten it out at an average rate of 2.66 seconds. The Eagles must find a way to get home, mostly because of our next matchup...

State of Mind - Iggles Blitz
One of the unsung heroes from last week is Big V. He played well at RT. Looks like he’ll get another start there. He’s shown that he can get the job done in big games. One of the things that has really helped the Eagles recently is embracing the players who are healthy and not worrying about those who aren’t. Don’t think of Big V as Johnson’s backup. Think of him as your RT. Greg Ward isn’t Nelson Agholor’s replacement, Ward is the slot receiver. Coaches and teammates have done a good job of this and it has helped the young guys play good football.

Are the Eagles Capable of Another Playoff Run? - The Ringer
Wentz has drawn a fair amount of scrutiny this season, with some fans―and perhaps even a few of his teammates―lamenting the loss of the team’s former playoff hero, Nick Foles. But the fourth-year pro has caught fire lately, exhibiting the type of steely play in the past few weeks that has even the most staunch Foles truthers changing their tune: After completing 31 of 40 passes for 319 yards with one touchdown and no picks in the pivotal win over Dallas, Wentz has now thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three games, all wins for the Eagles. He’s been especially efficient late in games during that three-game win streak, fearlessly leading Philly on game-winning drives in both weeks 14 and 15 before steering them to victory on Sunday. Sheil Kapadia summed it up: “With the division on the line, playing with 4 of 8 skill-position players who weren’t on an NFL roster at the start of the season, Carson Wentz completed 77.5% of his passes and averaged 8.0 YPA - both season highs.”

Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate: Fantasy football sleepers, busts for Week 17 - ESPN
Quarterbacks I love in Week 17 — Carson Wentz, Eagles (at Giants): Don’t look now, but the only QB to have been a top-12 play at the position each of the past four weeks is ... Carson Wentz. Even if tight end Zach Ertz is out for this game, I don’t care. You had me at “Giants.” The Giants’ brutal secondary has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in four consecutive games (including a combo of Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum last weekend) and the fourth-highest opposing passer rating this season. Ten times a QB has scored at least 20.5 points against the G-Men. Wentz makes it 11 on Sunday.

Is Miles Sanders the best rookie in Eagles history? - NBCSP
RB Miles Sanders, 2019: Sanders goes into the final day of the regular season just 40 yards behind Josh Jacobs of the Raiders for the NFL total yardage title. Sanders already has the most receiving yards by an Eagles rookie running back and needs four catches Sunday to break that record. He’ll finish as one of only four rookies in history with 750 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and at least a 4.4 rushing average. He’s the first Eagles rookie in 75 years with three TDs receiving and three rushing. Who’s the best rookie in Eagles history? I would narrow it down to Young, Walston, Baughan and Sanders.

Eagles’ injuries have decreased; they’ve still been part of the story in 2019 - Inquirer
The Eagles turned over their medical staff following the Super Bowl victory. They parted with their top two team doctors and their head athletic trainer and the changes seemed to play a role in the increase in injuries, and perhaps various abnormal recoveries. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman defended his medical staff after last season, but changes were again made this past offseason. Head physician Stephen Stache didn’t return after one year and Arsh Dhanota was hired as chief medical officer. The Dhanota hire was seen internally as one that would centralize the Eagles’ medical staff and improve communications between the many departments. It’s unclear if the decrease in games lost to injury had anything to do with the alterations, but there haven’t appeared to be as many injuries of a dubious nature.

Eagles-Giants forecast: How much rain Sunday for NFC East showdown at MetLife Stadium? - NJ.com
Here’s what the National Weather Service says about the forecast for Sunday evening: “Rain. Low around 42. Chance of precipitation is 90%.” [...] With Ertz, Johnson and Agholor potentially set to sit out of the Week 17 matchup, the Eagles may rely heavily on the running game. Running backs Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, who could return after missing six games with a shoulder injury, should help the Eagles weather the storm, so to speak. The Eagles are on a three-game winning streak and the offense owes a lot of its success to the running game and short-area passing attack, both of which play into the strategy of working in rainy conditions.

Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season - PFF
Pick No. 22: OT Andre Dillard, Philadelphia Eagles. 2019 overall grade: 59.4. Dillard was thrust into action in Week 6 against Minnesota and was not quite ready for live NFL edge rushers. He allowed 14 pressures over his first two starts at left tackle, but then settled down nicely in his next two. Against Buffalo and Chicago, he earned pass-blocking grades over 80.0.

Week 17 NFL picks against the spread - The Athletic
Eagles at Giants (+4.5). Doug Pederson completely outcoached Garrett last week, and for the third straight season, his team is overachieving late. In 2017, it was the Super Bowl run with Nick Foles. Last year it was rallying from a 6-7 start to make the playoffs and advance to the divisional round. And now with a fourth straight victory, the Eagles will win the NFC East and host a first-round playoff game against the loser of the Seahawks-49ers game. Young players like Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Greg Ward have given the offense some juice and given Eagles fans a reason to keep watching. The pick: Eagles (-4.5).

NFL Week 17 odds, picks: Eagles win NFC East, Titans clinch playoff berth, Seahawks upset 49ers - CBS Sports
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET — (FOX) — Point spread: Eagles -4.5. The Eagles haven’t routed anyone during their hot streak, but their offense can’t be much worse than it was early against New York in Week 14. Carson Wentz is feeling it and young playmakers are stepping up, and that’ll be enough to offset any Daniel Jones juice. Prediction: Eagles 29, Giants 24.

Didinger: Jeff Garcia saves the Eagles’ season - PE.com
When the Eagles signed Jeff Garcia in 2006, it was not a popular decision. Why sign a 36-year-old quarterback whose QB efficiency rating had declined each of the previous five seasons? No other quarterback in NFL history with a minimum of 150 attempts had a stretch of five consecutive seasons in which his efficiency rating went down every year. Certainly, that was cause for concern. But I agreed with Andy Reid’s decision to sign Garcia. He was coming in as the backup to Donovan McNabb, so he wasn’t being asked to carry the load. Also, if anything happened to McNabb, Garcia had experience in the West Coast Offense to come off the bench and run the show.

After further review: The Cowboys loss to the Eagles falls squarely on the shoulders of Dak Prescott - Blogging The Boys
While the defense held up okay, the same is not true of the Cowboys offense. They were horrific. Even more specifically, Dak Prescott had one of the worst games of his career. Despite not turning the ball over, the Cowboys quarterback did things so poorly in this game that it just derailed the offense. He had good protection, they weren’t getting behind the chains due to penalties, and there we so many well-designed plays where the coaching staff set him up nicely for big gains. Unfortunately, Prescott just couldn’t make the plays. From check downs and not seeing wide open guys deep to several off-target throws, it was a horrendous day for Prescott. Sure, there were several drops and his receivers had a hand in the offensive struggles; however, Prescott’s poor performance crippled any chance the Cowboys had to win this game.

Giants vs. Eagles: When the Giants have the ball - Big Blue View
Clearly, teams have decided in recent weeks that throwing the ball is the way to attack the Eagles’ defense. Over the past three weeks, opponents have run the ball a league-low 19.3 times per games against Philadelphia. Per Inside Edge, this trend away from running against the Eagles has gone on longer than that. Inside Edge data shows that the Eagles have defended against only 77 rushing attempts since Week 13, fewest in the league. Also per Inside Edge, the Eagles’ defense has allowed passes of 40+ yards on 6 of 142 attempts (4.2 percent) since Week 13 -- highest in NFL. League average is 1.4 percent.

The 5 most fireable NFL coaches of the 2019 season - SB Nation
Though the team’s dream of adding Chase Young to its pass rush probably died with Week 16’s win, defensive help is still likely on the way. If the Giants believe they can patch up the blocking and secondary issues that have plagued them, Shurmur may get one more chance to prove he can turn Jones into a legitimate franchise quarterback. Of course, owner John Mara could just look at his 9-22 record over the past two seasons and decide to gamble on a different quarterback whisperer instead.

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