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Eagles News: Philadelphia given the worst chance of any playoff team to win the Super Bowl

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/1/20.

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NFL: NFC Championship-Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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

Which NFL Playoff Team Has the Best Chance to Win the Super Bowl? - The Ringer
12. Philadelphia Eagles. Doug Pederson’s team gutted out huge wins in the past couple of weeks to sneak into the playoff field, but Philly is just too banged up to make a run. The list of injured Eagles is ridiculous. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Malik Jackson, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Jordan Howard, Jalen Mills, Nelson Agholor, and Ronald Darby were all out for Week 17, and that was before both running back Miles Sanders and guard Brandon Brooks left Sunday’s game with injuries. Philly still has plenty of talent, especially in its front four. But even if the Eagles somehow sneak past the Seahawks—who are dealing with their own injury issues right now—next week, it’d be tough to go on the road in the divisional round and beat a talented group like the 49ers. The Eagles are a well-coached team that will be relevant again next season as they bring back most of this roster, but this just isn’t their year.

Looking at how the Eagles and Seahawks have changed since the last time they faced off - BGN
Jordan Matthews played 96% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps before the team waived him just one day later. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was second among wide receivers with 71% of the snaps while Greg Ward was third with 49% and Mack Hollins was fourth with 5%. The Eagles will basically have a new look receiving corps this time around with Ward, Robert Davis, and Deontay Burnett all expected to get playing time this weekend. JJAW has seemingly been limited due to injury so he might not play a ton.

From the Bleachers #13: Playoffs?! - BGN Radio
Shamus Clancy is as excited as you would expect about Carson Wentz leading his rag tag gang of practice squad ballers to the playoffs!

Carson Wentz’s incredible season by the numbers - NBCSP
First in NFL history: Wentz on Sunday became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 20 or more touchdowns and seven or fewer interceptions in three straight seasons. Only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have done it twice. Elite company: Wentz’s 607 pass attempts this year are fourth-most ever by a quarterback throwing seven or fewer interceptions. Only Brady (624 in 2015), Rodgers (610 in 2016) and Matt Ryan (608 in 2018) had more.

Duffy: Carson Wentz’s trust in the young players is paying off - PE.com
Wentz has been outstanding during this four-game win streak. He’s been crisp with his decision-making. If you remove the Hail Mary at the end of the Miami loss, he hasn’t thrown a “real” interception since the last time the team faced Seattle in Week 12. Furthermore, he’s been accurate, confident, decisive, and he’s gotten himself out of trouble. Wentz has defeated pressure with his legs, with his arm, and with his mind. Perhaps most importantly, he’s developed a rapport with the weapons at his disposal. As the chemistry has improved, so has the flexibility within the offense. On Sunday, Wentz and the Eagles were more aggressive in the vertical passing game with designed shot plays. A great example of that was on Wentz’s touchdown throw to Joshua Perkins.

Timmy Jernigan was disruptive against the Giants, with gifs and stuff - PhillyVoice
Jernigan had been particularly quiet, registering just 7 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack, and 2 QB hits on 281 defensive snaps before this past Sunday. Against the Giants, however, Jernigan had his best game of the season. ”Timmy has been really on the rise and has been playing some impactful ball for us over these last few weeks,” Jim Schwartz said on Tuesday. [...] If the Eagles can get this kind of play from Jernigan in the playoffs, especially against a weak Seattle interior OL, they’re going to be tough to block across the board.

Looking Back at the Big Win - Iggles Blitz
Carson Wentz wasn’t perfect on Sunday, but he had some great moments. His TD to Josh Perkins was a big time throw. Only an aggressive QB with a strong arm makes that throw. His pass to Deontay Burnett was a thing of beauty. Rolling to his right, Wentz let it rip and put the ball right on the money. That is a throw only a handful of QBs make. I love the fact Wentz took some chances. His pass to Robert Davis was wiped out by a penalty, but that was still impressive. Wentz trusted his young WR to make a play, and Davis did. The third down throw to Goedert was special. There wasn’t much room to work with so Wentz put it out there to give Goedert a chance and he delivered. Clutch performance.

PFF 2020 NFL Playoff Preview: Each team’s chances and the reasons they could win it all - PFF
What holds them back: The offense can’t generate big plays. The Eagles are completely void of offensive playmakers on the outside, and it shows. The Eagles and Bills are the only playoff teams with below-average expected points per pass play. Wentz’s most lethal deep threat is rookie running back Miles Sanders — which is good for Sanders but very bad for the Eagles, who are the only team that has a running back leading their squad in yards on throws 20-plus yards downfield. Wentz is averaging 6.8 yards per pass attempt to his wide receivers, which is dead last in the NFL this season. It is hard to imagine any team winning on the road without big plays, and the Eagles figure to struggle more than any other playoff team in this regard.

Ranking quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL playoffs: Scouting reports, what’s at stake for all 12 - ESPN+
Strength: Throwing from outside the pocket. When Wentz moved around he was highly effective, with the third-best QBR from outside the pocket, including zero interceptions. On a related note, he also excelled against pressure. Another nugget: Wentz racked up more yards throwing to wheel routes (217 over 13 targets) than any other quarterback in the league. [...] Tim McManus on what’s at stake for Wentz: This is Wentz’s chance to start carving out his own playoff legacy in Philadelphia. Injured each of the past two seasons, he had to watch Nick Foles guide this team to a Super Bowl title in the 2017 postseason and a wild-card win last season. Sunday will be Wentz’s first playoff game, and it comes against a Seahawks team that he has never beaten (0-3).

A 7-step blueprint for how the Eagles can beat the Seahawks in the playoffs - The Athletic
In the first matchup, Wentz completed one pass that traveled at least 20 yards downfield, and that came with 27 seconds left and didn’t have an impact on the game. He completed just four passes that traveled at least 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks do a really good job of limiting downfield completions. According to Football Outsiders, their DVOA against deep passes is fifth best in the league. While the Eagles will need to take a methodical approach in stringing together long drives, they need to find a way to take some shots, too. The 49ers (yes, I know they have better personnel than the Eagles) produced six plays of 20-plus yards against Seattle in their win Sunday. Whether it means getting a running back matched up with a linebacker on a wheel route, hitting Goedert down the seams or unveiling a trick play, the Eagles need to scheme up an explosive play or two in this game.

Will Seahawks and K.J. Wright be able to guess Eagles’ plays again? - Inquirer
”We were just out there communicating, calling the plays out — it was fun,’’ Wright said, according to the Seattle Times. “I know they had some guys hurt. That said, it’s still the NFL and you’ve got to come with it.’’ With the wild-card round game coming up, what is Eagles’ offensive coordinator Mike Groh doing about Wright’s apparent familiarity with their offense? “Yeah, we figure we just run the same ones as last time so that he probably won’t be expecting it,” Groh said jokingly before offering: “We have to do a great job of changing things that we do. We know they do a heck of a job out there in Seattle. Have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and their players. They have smart players. Sometimes that’s the case regardless … but people know that we want to get the ball to our guys on some screens.” This season wasn’t the first time Wright called out the repetitive nature of an Eagles offensive scheme. In 2014, Wright made headlines by calling Chip Kelly’s offense “basic” after a 24-14 Eagles loss.

What’s the deal with Eagles’ Genard Avery? Jim Schwartz discusses pass rusher’s value on defense - NJ.com
The Eagles’ front office saw value in Avery when general manager Howie Roseman shipped a 2021 fourth-round pick to Cleveland to acquire his services the day before the NFL trade deadline. Avery has played a lot on special teams — 132 snaps — since his arrival in Philadelphia, but trading a high Day 3 pick for a player would seem to imply that the organization expects him to contribute on defense as well. Despite his lack of regular usage, Schwartz believes Avery has the potential to contribute moving forward. “I think that he’s a young player that has a good future,” Schwartz said.

Two tight end sleepers for wild card DFS - DraftKings Nation
Joshua Perkins, Philadelphia Eagles ($2,900). Zach Ertz reportedly has a lacerated kidney. I’m no doctor, but if someone told me my kidney was lacerated, I’d ask to be put in a coma and sleep it off. If Ertz is out, Perkins steps into the No. 2 tight end spot on a team desperately in need of receivers. With Ertz out last week, Perkins caught 4-of-6 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. We can’t count on those numbers this week, but Seattle has given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season and the Eagles injury woes don’t look to be getting much better.

Introducing the Closing Index: A new (and proprietary!) way of thinking about the Seahawks’ record this season - Field Gulls
The big knock against the Seattle Seahawks this year is that they’re a dumpster fire that has somehow hydroplaned into the playoffs on a thick layer of one-score games that happened to go their way. An unpleasant graphic circulated not long ago by reddit user u/Comme-Des-Filles observed that if the results of all one-score games in the league were reversed, as of Week 16 the Seahawks would be picking first overall in the 2020 draft.

Takeaways from contentious Dave Gettleman press conference - Big Blue View
“When I came here, I had two major goals. Number one was to find a quarterback, and I really believe we’ve done that. Daniel (Jones) had a terrific year, came on, did some great things and we have seen great things for him in the future. The second accomplishment I had as my goal was to set the team up for sustained success. So, over time since I’ve been here, we have regenerated, we have rebooted, so to speak, and done a lot of things behind the scenes that needed to be done. John alluded to them yesterday. We have completely redone our scouting situation, how we look at college personnel, how we look at pro personnel. We are in the process, we have hired four computer folks, software, and we are completely redoing the backend of our college and pro scouting systems. As John alluded to yesterday, we have hired a full-time clinician. We are doing a lot of things behind the scenes. In terms of being forward thinking, we have also in the last few years (been) ramping up the analytic and technology piece. So, that’s where we’re going. I know that sometimes it’s difficult, the instant gratification piece. But that’s where we’re going, and I really feel good about the direction we’re headed.” — [BLG Note: Computer folk!]

Possible theories as to why the Cowboys still haven’t moved on from Jason Garrett - Blogging The Boys
As of Tuesday evening, the Dallas Cowboys had not announced any significant change to the coaching staff. This seems strange given the season that we were all just witnessed. It feels obvious that the Cowboys are going to part ways with Jason Garrett, so why are they taking so long to do so? This is the question boggling every person’s mind as they try to make sense of all the meetings that Dallas insists on having with Garrett. There are conspiracy theories being floated out because, well, they’re fun. Some believe that the organization is trying to transition Garrett into a front office role while others believe that Jerry is simply holding on for as long as he can so that other openings get filled and he doesn’t have to endure a reality where Garrett is coaching against him. Anything is possible right now.

Officially Official: Ron Rivera announced as Redskins Head Coach - Hogs Haven
The Washington Redskins today announced Ron Rivera as the team’s new head coach. The announcement follows a host of unofficial reports that had been published in recent days saying that the team and the former Panthers head coach had reached agreement. Dan Snyder got his man! Ron Rivera became the Redskins clear target for their open head coaching job as soon as the season ended on Sunday. The rumors intensified, and after a visit to the DC area early this week, Rivera is the new head coach of the Washington Redskins. Rivera was fired by the Carolina Panthers during his 9th season with the team. He ended his tenure there with a 79-67-1 record including the postseason.

2020 NFL mock draft: What could happen after Joe Burrow goes No. 1 - SB Nation
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado — Philadelphia’s offense is light on playmakers, and Shenault showed with average quarterback play at Colorado that he can be a star.

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