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Eagles News: Philadelphia has “found an advantage that threatens to leave old-school organizations in the dust”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/12/19.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles provide roadmap to analytics-driven future of NFL - ESPN
The Eagles were first in line to have the corresponding technology installed in their practice facility in 2014 -- only a third of the league has followed suit in the five years since -- and built up an already-robust analytics department to decode and weaponize the information that has been captured. The Eagles are one of only a few teams applying that information to help shape game plans and strategy, according to Zebra vice president of sports business development John Pollard. ”The Eagles have long been at the forefront of using technological advances and information and trying to utilize that to the best of their advantage,” Pollard said. “They’re a model organization in terms of considering the use of information and how they actually apply it day in and day out.” Like their NBA and MLB counterparts, Philadelphia’s staff has become peppered with Ivy Leaguers as the power of analytics has grown in the sport, from Paganetti to vice president of football operations Andrew Berry (economics/computer science, Harvard). The head of the Eagles’ analytics department is Alec Halaby, a Harvard grad and vice president of football operations and strategy, who has the ear of Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman. In a league that champions parity, teams like the Eagles -- who will play at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 (8:20 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC) -- have found an advantage that threatens to leave old-school organizations in the dust.

Three numbers that matter for this week’s Eagles vs. Falcons game - BGN
73.1 — Matt Ryan’s passer rating in his last three games against the Eagles. Jim Schwartz gets a lot of crap from Eagles fans. Some of it is deserved, some of it isn’t. One thing’s for sure: there isn’t much room for criticism when it’s come to Schwartz’s last three performances against the Falcons. The Eagles are 3-0 in those outings with the defense only allowing 38 total points, which comes out to just 12.7 per game. The Eagles’ defensive effort against the Falcons in 2016 was especially noteworthy considering Schwartz’s unit held the NFL’s No. 1 offense at the time to season lows in points scored, total net yards, first downs, offensive plays run, and time of possession. What’s been the secret to Schwartz’s success? It’s simple, really. The Eagles have been able to generate a ton of pressure on Matt Ryan. Schwartz’s defense has logged nine sacks and a whopping 32 quarterback hits on Ryan in the last three meetings between these two teams. As a result, Ryan’s passing stats have been predictably poor: 54.5% completion, 6.5 yards per attempt, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 73.1 passer rating. Hard to win games when your quarterback is posting those kinda numbers!

The QB Scho Show #32: Week 1 Review, Matt Ryan Preview - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Mark Schofield review the quarterback play from several teams in Week 1 including Matt Ryan’s struggles against the Vikings, Mitch Trubisky’s night at Bunker Hill against the Packers, and Carson Wentz’s big day against Washington! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles vs. Falcons: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
2) The right side of the Falcons’ OL vs. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. The Eagles’ secondary will be helped if the Eagles can get some pressure on Ryan, as they have done in the past. Their best bet is on the right side of the Falcons’ line. Heading into the season, the Falcons were starting two rookies there -- RT Kaleb McGary, who was drafted 31st overall, and RG Chris Lindstrom, who went 14th overall. McGary is a 6’8 offensive tackle who had a heart procedure done late in July. He missed most of the preseason, and split work at RT with backup Ty Sambrailo Week 1 against the Vikings. Lindstrom, meanwhile, broke his foot Week 1, and is now on IR. It appears that Jamon Brown will be the next guy up in Lindstrom’s absence. Brown knows Cox well, as he has faced him in each of the last two seasons (2017 with the Rams, and 2018 with the Giants). Here’s a gif from that matchup last season.

Eagles film review: Carson Wentz reminds us of his most special skill - NBCSP
These three plays were all on third downs — 3rd-and-goal from the 5, 3rd-and-15, 3rd-and-7 — and all demonstrated Wentz’s unique ability to move out of the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, not to mention his arm strength to actually make the passes. They also demonstrated the rapport he’s built with two targets he’s had with him for a few years now. Throwing from the pocket is great, but this is the stuff that makes Wentz special.

Film and numbers: Position-by-position grades for the Eagles in Week 1 - The Athletic
Douglas had a rough outing. He gave up a 69-yard touchdown to McLaurin and allowed two other completions that went for first downs. Douglas was beaten on a post by McLaurin on another play but Keenum was pressured and didn’t have time to get the ball to him. He also gave up the final touchdown late in the game. Douglas has to be much better against the Falcons. McLaurin ran right past Jones on what could have been a long touchdown, but it looked like Darby should have been deep on the other side to help out on the post. Keenum overthrew McLaurin, and the play resulted in an incompletion. Jones had one nice pass breakup against Davis. Schwartz needs to find his best three players here, and the corners need to be better. It was only one game, but Washington has one of the worst groups of pass-catchers in the league.

NFL Week 2 PFF Preview: Players to watch, fantasy football advice and betting projections - PFF
DeSean Jackson’s return to Philadelphia got off to an impressive start in Week 1, as the 32-year-old speedster hauled in eight of his nine targets for 154 yards and two touchdowns on his way to an 88.7 overall grade against Washington. Only 18 of his 154 receiving yards came after the catch, six of his eight receptions went for either a touchdown or first down and he finished the game with a 15.6 average depth of target. Jackson will test Atlanta’s secondary in more ways than one, putting the pressure on safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal to limit the big play. Grady Jarrett had himself a day against Minnesota despite coming home with the loss. He tore apart the Vikings’ interior offensive line en route to a 92.4 overall grade and a 95.1 pass-rush grade on the day. Going against one of – if not the – best interior offensive line in football – Jarrett will need to be at his best again to have a significant impact on Sunday.

Pressure is on Tim Jernigan to pick up the pass-rush slack following the loss of Malik Jackson - Inquirer
Which almost certainly means bumping defensive ends Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry inside on occasion, much like he did last year with Graham and Michael Bennett. “I don’t know,’’ Graham said. “We’ll see. [Thursday] is third-down day, so we’ll see how they want to do that.’’ The obvious downside to moving ends inside is the risk of wearing them down. With that in mind, don’t be surprised to start seeing the Eagles include five edge-rushers on their 46-man game day roster. “Things definitely change [without Jackson],’’ Curry said. “He’s a great player. The things he brings to our D-line, it’s awesome. It’s tough that we have to play without him. “But Timmy, at the end of the day, we won a championship with this group, with him out there. He’s excited for the challenge. He’s going to make the most of his opportunity.’’

CB Sidney Jones knows the challenge is real on Sunday -
There was a touch of rust to knock off, Sidney Jones, admits, and when he watched the tape of Sunday’s season-opening win over Washington he saw things he liked and he saw things he didn’t like very much. But at the end of the day, Jones had a positive experience and is moving forward and heads into this prime-time game against Atlanta feeling that he’s headed in the right direction. “I would say that, and that is my goal every day,” Jones said on Wednesday following practice at the NovaCare Complex. “I’m getting there. I’ve got a lot of confidence. I know that I’m not going to make every play. I know that I’m going to get beat sometimes. I just have to bounce right back when those things happen. Some good, some bad, and I hate the bad. The bad was bad for me when you look at the tape. But it was the first game and it was my first couple of series and I was getting settled in. All I can do is move on from it.”

Scramble for the Ball: Fact or Fiction - Football Outsiders
Herm Edwards Award for Playing to Win the Game: By contrast, the Philadelphia Eagles, on their opening drive of the second half, faced fourth-and-1 at their own 34, trailing 20-7 at home to a Washington team that was not expected to be competitive in Philadelphia. Doug Pederson, after whom we might soon need to rename this award, took the road less travelled but analytically preferred -- a quarterback sneak was enough to pick up the first down, and the Eagles drove the rest of the field for a crucial touchdown in their 17-point come-from-behind victory.

New Eagles DT Akeem Spence works to get up to speed with ‘realistic’ chance to play Sunday - PennLive
Spence has seen what Cox and the Eagles defensive tackles have done in Schwartz’s system, and he watched Schwartz put together disruptive defenses featuring tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley when he was the coach of the Detroit Lions. “D-tackles ate in that system,” Spence said. “D-tackles thrive in this system.” This is the first time that Spence has been in the situation where he’s an in-season addition who will be expected to step in right away. He has much to learn, but it’s also an opportunity to help mitigate the loss of Jackson.

What to know about the Falcons - Eagles matchup in Week 2 - The Falcoholic
The Eagles, despite having to travel on the road and despite that Week 1 scare, are still a tough team to beat. Miles Sanders and Darren Sproles are well-suited to the kinds of outside runs that killed the Falcons versus the Vikings, and Jordan Howard is a capable back in his own right. Wentz is also not going to settle for 10 throws in this one, meaning the Falcons pass defense will face a more significant test than they did against Minnesota. It’s not going to be an easy game. and the Falcons have to keep DeSean Jackson in check with some new starters at cornerback and two safeties returning from major injuries.

Ereck Flowers Debut at Left Guard for the Redskins Was Outstanding! - Hogs Haven
Haters are going to hate regardless, but some may want to bite their tongue a bit with their hate for Ereck Flowers. I watched the game four times (although I did not put out my film study breakdown yet) and to put it simply, the guy played VERY well in his first start at left guard!

Chargers bring in three tight ends for workouts amid Hunter Henry injury - PFT
Ben Koyack, Will Tye and Luke Willson were among six players the Chargers hosted for workouts this week. All three players were in training camps with teams before being released during cut-down weekend. Tye (Eagles) and Willson (Raiders) were released during initial cuts while Koyack (Jaguars) was let go to make room for waivers claims the day after.

Four Things to Know About Gardner Minshew II, the NFL’s Newest Folk Hero - The Ringer
He has a marvelous mustache. He’s already breaking league records. The Jaguars quarterback has had a stunning rise to this point, and he may only be getting started.

NFL picks 2019, Week 2: Can the Saints get revenge on the Rams? Experts say ... maybe? - SB Nation
Here are all the predictions for the second week of the season, with the caveat that they’re not locked in just yet. Each expert has a chance to change a pick by Friday, just in case an injury or something else swings their opinion. The guest picker from the NFL blogs this week is Brandon Lee Gowton, the manager at our Eagles site, Bleeding Green Nation.


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