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Eagles News: Miles Sanders’ teammates believe he’s primed for a big season

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/5/19.

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Baltimore Ravens v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

Eagles locker room survey: 35 players predict who is primed for a big season - The Athletic
DeSean Jackson: Shit, Miles Sanders. Explosive young player. Don’t nobody know about him, really. Come on the scene and surprise a lot of people. ... Matt Pryor: Oo. Man. Dang, that’s hard. We got so many good players on the team. I really think Miles. Just because being a young back, going into a new offense, I feel like he has some good awareness. We talk about it in film. And the dude can run. I mean, preseason, you only get so many reps. But I feel like you can tell when somebody has that kind of thing. (Brandon) Brooks too. I think he’s gonna have a comeback year. ... Fletcher Cox: Everybody. I think Miles Sanders. ... Brandon Graham: Big season? Miles Sanders. Because I just love that he got this chip on his shoulder to prove his worth early.

State of the Eagles: Regular Season Primer - BGN
Given all this, what does that mean for Carson Wentz? His boost in efficiency in 2018 should help him in an offense designed to exploit the intermediate middle of the field, and we know that he’s established good chemistry with Jackson in practice. He should also be able to lean on a more reliable run game. I don’t think he will ever recapture his third down magic he had in 2017 - that was lightning in a bottle - but I don’t think he’ll need it as much either. The offense, if well designed and running smoothly, should help him avoid those situations, especially when you consider the talent involved. I think Wentz plays a full season, and posts a stat line in the neighborhood of 65% completion percentage, 4500 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. (I’m not even going to take a stab at his rushing stats.) I don’t think he needs to do this for the Eagles’ offense to dominate, and I won’t be disappointed if the numbers are lower than this. But I think this stat line is reasonable considering his talent and supporting cast, and I have no issue expecting it.

Eagles vs. Washington: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
The right side of Washington’s offensive line has a pair of good players in RG Brandon Scherff and RT Morgan Moses, though it’s worth noting that the Eagles have been able to do damage against them in the past. However, it’s the left side of the line that could be a real troublesome area for Washington this season, with 36-year-old Donald Penn slated to start in place of Trent Williams at LT, and former Giants bust Ereck Flowers starting at LG. RDE Derek Barnett and RDT Malik Jackson should be licking their chops.

Looking at the 2019 Season - Iggles Blitz
First quarter points: The Eagles scored early and often in 2017. They built leads and played from ahead. This is a simple formula that all teams want to make happen. The 2017 team did and it delivered the city of Philadelphia its first Super Bowl title. There is no one thing from 2018 to correct. Turnovers were a problem. Penalties were a problem. The coaching could have been better. So could blocking and execution by the skill players. Everyone had a hand in the problems. A scoreless first quarter on Sunday would be a bad sign. If the Eagles are up 21-0, go ahead and make your Super Bowl plans.

Barnwell: How all 32 NFL teams can win Super Bowl LIV - ESPN
5) The Eagles have staggering depth on both sides of the ball. Their backup offensive line -- which would require two practice-squad starters -- is better than Miami’s starting five. Their second-string defense -- a group that could include players such as defensive linemen Vinny Curry and Tim Jernigan, and defensive backs Andrew Sendejo and Johnathan Cyprien -- might very well not be the worst defense in football over a full season. No team is better positioned to deal with the impact of injuries than Doug Pederson & Co. Should they be higher in these rankings? Maybe. The only obvious concern for the Eagles is quarterback Carson Wentz, who still hasn’t suited up for a playoff game after missing each of the past two postseasons because of injuries. We know they’re capable of winning a Super Bowl without their franchise quarterback, but their most likely path to Miami involves keeping Wentz healthy and the top seed in the NFC. If the Cowboys decline, a middling division should put the Eagles in great shape to claim home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Owing to that friendly schedule, they have the best shot of any team in the NFC at winning 13 games.

Philadelphia Eagles fantasy preview - Fake Teams
Do not leave your draft without Miles Sanders—next year we’ll be debating which area of the 1st Round he should be coming off the board, not whether he belongs in it. The rookie running back excels in all facets of the game: pass protection, pass catching, rushing -- the latter especially out of shotgun. Lucky for him, per Sharp’s 2019 Football Preview, “[t]he Eagles had the second-highest rate of shotgun snaps last season and the 4th-highest run percentage when in shotgun”. Some may argue that Philadelphia is committed to using a running-back-by-committee approach. Rest assured this isn’t the case, HC Doug Pederson just hasn’t had an all-purpose bell cow to deploy before. Sanders is going to get 15+ touches per game in an offense that is going to live in the opponents’ red-zone. As Evan Silva’s repeatedly said on the Establish The Run’s podcast, Jay Ajayi averaged 14 touches per game with the Eagles. A running back as talented as Miles Sanders is going to smash that number. As a final note, the Eagles used a 2nd Round pick on him. Analytically driven teams do not use that kind of draft capital on one of the league’s more replaceable positions only to use him sparingly. Lastly, let’s not forget that this offensive line is so good that the Eagles’ 1st Round, ultra-talented offensive tackle Andre Dillard won’t even be a starter.

NFL Week 1 PFF Preview: Players to watch, fantasy football advice and betting projections - PFF
Earlier this week, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters that it would be Derrius Guice, not Adrian Peterson, who would pull the proverbial cart for this Redskins rushing attack, so the sophomore running back will want to get off to a good start against a formidable Eagles defensive front. Guice looked sharp enough this August, churning out 44 yards from 11 carries, with 28 of those yards coming after contact at 2.55 yards after contact per carry. And that ability to make something out of nothing will come in handy behind an offensive line that is still missing star left tackle Trent Williams. For the Eagles, all eyes will be on DeSean Jackson as he lines up against his former team, and given that the Redskins secondary currently doesn’t have a player who graded over 71.0 last year, the chances are that Carson Wentz will want to give Jackson as many looks as possible to test them deep. Jackson enters Week 1 with the league-lead not only in deep receiving yards, but he also leads the league’s wideouts in deep receptions, yards after the catch from deep passes, deep touchdowns and explosive plays, all while averaging the second-most yards per reception (40.0) among receivers with at least 100 deep targets over the past 10 years.

Eagles thought Nigel Bradham went AWOL after missing the preseason finale. He said he was sick. - Inquirer
When the Eagles’ bus departed for North Jersey last Wednesday, Nigel Bradham wasn’t on board. The team didn’t know why the linebacker was missing or where he was. Bradham wasn’t scheduled to play against the New York Jets the next day, according to coach Doug Pederson, but he was expected to work out before the preseason finale. The coaches were livid when they realized he was absent and had considered him AWOL, according to sources close to the situation.

Sights set on Washington: A trip around the locker room - PE.com
“I feel good and I was excited to be out there with the guys,” Brooks said. “It’s good to be back. As for Sunday, I’m going to leave it up in the air. We’ll find out then.” Brooks said “it would hurt,” if he doesn’t play against Washington because his goal all along was to be ready for Week 1, but he knows that the important way to approach things is to be smart about the long-term plans. The Eagles are equipped if Brooks can’t play and they’re ready if he’s back in the starting lineup, so it’s a win-win either way. His approach to “do everything twice a day” has paid off with a rapid recovery. As for Sunday? That’s still a question.

Decoy DeSean? ‘I got a broken finger, man’ - NBCSP
DeSean Jackson spoke to the media on Wednesday after Eagles practice and was asked about the optimum amount of touches he’d like to get in Week 1.

Complete list of Week 1 NFL point spreads - DraftKings Nation
Biggest favorite: The Philadelphia Eagles are a 9.5-point home favorite over Washington, just edging out the Seattle Seahawks, who are laying nine points at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Eagles are favored to win the NFC East, while Washington is a mess. Case Keenum will get the road start, and while Derrius Guice is an intriguing running back, the offense is otherwise pretty bare-bones. Add in the Trent Williams holdout, and this could get ugly in a hurry for Washington.

Trent Williams holdout is now going into the regular season, will miss the Redskins opener vs the Eagles - Hogs Haven
Ian Rapoport just confirmed what everyone was expecting, Williams is not with the team as they begin practices for the Eagles. He will not play Week 1 in Philadelphia, and it remains unclear when, or even if his holdout will end. Hall thinks he comes back before Week 11 to get an accrued season which moves him one year closer to free agency.

2019 DVOA Projections - Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles have the seventh best playoff odds in this model.]

Nick Foles on Jaguars injury report, sort of - PFT
Via Phillip Heilman of TheAthletic.com, quarterback Nick Foles was listed on the estimated participation report today with abdominal oblique soreness. The situation isn’t considered serious and Foles is expected to be fine for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

NFL Preseason Power Rankings, Part 3: The Seahawks’ Stock Is Up, and the Texans’ … We’ll See - The Ringer
It’s tempting to think that the defense’s performance last season was an indication of what’s to come, but defensive success is often hard to predict from year to year. Outside of Lawrence, there are concerns about the pass rush. Quinn will miss the first two games of the season and hasn’t been dominant for years, and the Cowboys interior defensive line isn’t going to scare anyone. Strong safety Jeff Heath is a liability at times, and looming paydays for their stars prevented the Cowboys from addressing that position during free agency. If Moore can’t jumpstart the offense and the unsung members of the defense can’t improve enough to stave off regression, last year’s playoff berth could prove to be a fluke.

The Dallas Cowboys are betting big money their offense will finally reach its potential - SB Nation
If the Cowboys get what they paid for, that won’t be a problem. They’re spending on players they see as a franchise cornerstones at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and multiple spots on the offensive line. Dallas’ offense is going to look the same, more or less, for years to come. But the question that bears asking is if these franchise-changing talents have already been in place, why don’t the Cowboys have the hardware to show for it?

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