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Eagles News: More context on Philadelphia’s very bad offense

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/9/20.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

Biggest surprises for every NFC team through first four games of the 2020 season - ESPN+
Obviously, the most surprising stat for the Eagles is the extremely poor performance of the offense. Even after Sunday’s upset win over San Francisco, the Eagles rank 31st in offensive DVOA, including being last in passing DVOA. It’s a huge change from expectations and from recent years. Last season, the Eagles were 14th in overall offensive DVOA and 17th passing. The year before, they were 16th overall and 13th passing. And back in 2017, when the the Eagles won the Super Bowl, they were seventh overall and fourth passing (in the regular season). How rare is this kind of drop in offensive DVOA at the beginning of the season? I went back and found 10 teams since 2001 that had a similar drop in the first four weeks of the campaign. I limited my list to teams that started off with the same quarterback as the year before. For the most part, these teams rebounded significantly after their slow starts, from an average of -35.7% offensive DVOA in the first four weeks to -2.8% DVOA the rest of the year. That’s at least only slightly below average. The bad news is that these 10 teams averaged 6.4 wins. Even in this year’s stumbling NFC East, 6-10 is probably not going to win a division title.

PFF Rankings: Ranking all 32 NFL offenses ahead of Week 5 - PFF
30. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. There was a reasonable argument to be made that the public overrated Carson Wentz a bit, but no one — not even the biggest of haters — expected him to come out and start 2020 like this. Through the first four weeks, Wentz is the NFL’s lowest-graded passer (43.5) and has produced an NFL-high 14 turnover-worthy plays. That’s six more than anyone else and tied for the most by a quarterback in the first four games of a season in the PFF era. Accuracy has always been an issue for Wentz. But this year, it went from something a team could live with to a liability. On throws of 10 or more yards, 57% of Wentz’s passes have been uncatchable. That’s 10 percentage points worse than the quarterback that ranked last in that metric in 2019. It might be time to put in rookie Jalen Hurts.

Steelers writer gives three reasons why the Eagles can win in Week 5 - BGN
But this is more about the Eagles’ ferocious pass rush, and less about the Steelers’ offensive line. The Eagles don’t just have quality pass rushers, but they have a plethora of them who can come in off the bench and make plays in the opponent’s backfield. Sure, in theory the Steelers can run a hurry up style offense to not allow the Eagles to substitute, but this is easier said than done. Fans remember those games in Philadelphia where Roethlisberger was harrassed and sacked almost every time he dropped back. If a pass rush gets to Roethlisberger early, he will start to get happy feet and not be able to hold onto the ball as long as he would like to deliver a strike down the field. The Steelers aren’t necessarily the deep passing team they once were, but Roethlisberger will take his shots. If the Eagles’ defensive line is on their game, they absolutely could wreck the Steelers’ game plan and go back to the eastern part of the state with their second win of the season.

The Kist & Solak Show #199: How to Survive Blitzburgh - BGN Radio
Michael Kist & Benjamin Solak preview the Eagles matchup with the Steelers by digging into the gameplans for each side! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

3 reasons why the Steelers will beat the Eagles in Week 5, from an Eagles writer - Behind The Steel Curtain
The Eagles have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. They rank tied for dead last in yards per play. They only rank above both New Jersey teams in offensive points per game. They’re 31st in offensive DVOA. I’m not so sure how things are going to be much better for the Birds against one of the NFL’s best defenses. The Steelers rank tied for second in opponent yards per play. They’re allowing the fifth fewest offensive points per game. Pittsburgh ranks third in defensive DVOA. Talk about a mismatch.

Brandon Lee Gowton Talks Steelers Eagles Download - 97.5 The Fanatic
Brandon Lee Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation previews the Steelers and Eagles game and how they pull this out.

Exclusive with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation - Steelers Takeaways
What do you expect from the Eagles offense to deal with their injuries and the Steelers defense? — Carson will need to get the ball out quick. You can’t trust the offensive line. He’ll need to pick his spots – it’ll be a lot of dink and dunk ball. It’s frustrating to watch and not aesthetically pleasing. They are last in yards per play – it’s frustrating to see them get a 16 play drive that ends in three points. It’s demoralizing. But that may be the type of football they have to play. I think they’ll rely on their defense. The line has come to life- 33 quarterback hits in three games is crazy. They’ll try and pummel Ben and make his life difficult.

Eagles mailbag: Who had worse receivers in their first five years, Donovan McNabb or Carson Wentz? - PhillyVoice
Question from Scojos: How did K’Von Wallace look on further inspection? — I watched his snaps, and he mostly played in the base defense (when they had 3 LBs on the field). Marcus Epps played in nickel. Wallace didn’t have a lot of action come his way, but when he did… eh. Missed a tackle on Kittle in the flat, led to a decent run after catch. Had close coverage on Kittle down the field, but didn’t locate the ball quickly enough to bat it away, and it ended up being a pretty easy catch for Kittle, even with no separation. On another play covering Kittle, he was trailing Kittle running across the middle, and he fell down. It would have been an easy completion to Kittle, but Nick Mullens threw somewhere else, incomplete. We’ll need to see more, but he didn’t stand out in a positive way.

Time is running out for the Eagles to justify bringing back injury-prone DeSean Jackson - Inquirer
No other team in the NFL has gotten so little in return from its two highest-paid receivers. Jeffery, who signed a four-year, $52.25 million extension in December 2017, has missed 14 games in the last three seasons to various injuries. He was a possibility to play Sunday for the first time this season after foot surgery last December, but he contracted a non-COVID illness this past week and was also ruled out. The Eagles can say that bad luck has factored into their misery at the position, but the ineffectiveness of certain players and the rash of injuries can be attributed to an overall failure to evaluate and project the position.

Week 5 NFL picks against the spread - The Athletic
Jordan Mailata and the Eagles’ offense face a huge test this week against a Steelers team that has blitzed more (52.8 percent of the time) than any defense so far this season and is currently first in pass rush win rate. The Steelers should be well rested after having not played last week, and I’m not convinced the Eagles figured a lot out offensively, despite their first victory. The pick: Steelers (-7.5).

Tyron Smith is out, and here are some options for the Cowboys to move forward - Blogging The Boys
Well, quit your whining. This is the NFL, injuries happen and the games go on. Smith is one of the best tackles in the league - when healthy. His loss is certainly significant, but it is possible for teams to overcome a rash of injuries at key positions. If you want evidence, just go look at the injury history of the Green Bay Packers when they won their most recent championship. And then check who the head coach was. So now the team has to figure out who to field as the offensive line. Don’t forget they are also dealing with Joe Looney being injured as well, so the problems extend to the interior of the line, too.

A get right opportunity for the Giants vertical passing game - Big Blue View
We expected the Giants’ passing game to have a vertical feel when the organization hired Garrett to be the offensive coordinator. With a few exceptions, that has largely failed to materialize. This week presents an opportunity to get more downfield in the passing game, with plays that have worked for the Giants against a secondary that has given up some downfield throws this year. If it does not happen this week, we might start to wonder if we were just wrong about what this offense is going to be.

This is why Nick Foles is QB1 - Windy City Gridiron
Foles will never elude pressure and take off for a big scramble like Trubisky can, and we’ll certainly see Foles make some mistakes because he does have limitations, but we’ll also see him make plays like this and trust his playmakers to do what they do best. Also, with Foles’ injury history it’s likely we’ll see Trubisky back in at some point, so hopefully his time on the sidelines will help him grow as a quarterback. So, now that we’re two games into the Foles era, are you feeling any better about the direction of the offense? I know I am.

Schedule Carousel, Bears Claw Their Way to 4-1 - Rotoworld
Although QB Nick Foles did lead the Bears to victory, the journey there sputtered and was riddled with errant throws and incompletions. There was one throw in the first half that was way off the mark to rookie WR Darnell Mooney and another that was at least five yards short of WR Allen Robinson. Luckily, the latter play drew a defensive pass interference call and the Bears were given a fresh set of downs that led to a field goal. Those weren’t the only bad throws. Foles was overthrowing or underthrowing his receivers while under pressure from the Buccaneers’ front seven.

Your Week 5 NFL Matchup Guide: How Will COVID-19 Impact This Week’s Slate—and Beyond? - The Ringer
The Eagles already understand that fairness is long gone after cycling through three starting left tackles, three left guards, four right guards, and two right tackles since June. Major zoinks. On Sunday, that offensive line will be facing Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt, who is tied with Aaron Donald for the league lead in quarterback hits despite playing just three games. Watt leads a Steelers defense that: blitzes more often than any other NFL team, gets pressures more often than any other team, has the second-most sacks in the NFL through four weeks (15) despite playing just three games. They have racked up those stats by playing three bad offensive lines—Giants, Broncos, and Texans—but at this point, the Eagles unit might be worse. Worst of all, quarterback Carson Wentz leads the NFL in turnover-worthy plays, according to Pro Football Focus.

Tom Brady’s 4th down confusion was one of the weirdest moments on Thursday night - SB Nation
We’re starting to see cracks in the Buccaneers’ brain trust after a game-ending Thursday night snafu that saw Tom Brady seemingly forget what down it was as he tried to lead Tampa Bay on a comeback victory. It was a move that sealed the game for the Bears, and left Tampa Bay reeling. Now there’s dispute over what happened, a back-and-forth between Brady and coach Bruce Arians, and this whole thing is a mess.

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