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Eagles News: Brandon Graham playing at an “elite level”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/28/20.

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Defensive line is in a rush, no matter the Dallas QB -
As for Graham, well, he’s been supercharged. A new diet has added to his game and Graham has been the team’s emotional lightning rod on the field and in the locker room. He’s playing with tremendous energy, fighting through a double-team on Thursday night, for example, to sack New York quarterback Daniel Jones and force a fumble that Vinny Curry recovered to ice the comeback victory. The Eagles need Graham to continue to be great. Burke thinks Graham is one of the best in the league, even if nobody outside of Philadelphia is talking about him. “I think he’s playing at an elite level. I really do,” Burke said. “I think sometimes Brandon gets overlooked a little bit. He’s just kind of a steady guy and everyone expects him to be there and do what he does, but I think he’s playing at a high, high level. At this point in the season, I’d put him up against any other guy in the league from production numbers, rush numbers, sacks, TFLs (tackles for loss), hits (quarterback hits), he’s been very productive.” [BLG Note: Graham ranks fifth in PFF’s Pass Rushing Productivity metric this season.]

Report: Packers, Ravens made trade offers before Eagles put Zach Ertz on injured reserve - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles received trade offers for Zach Ertz before placing him on injured reserve last week, according to a report from Ed Kracz of EagleMaven. Kracz specifically notes the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens were “at least” two of the teams that reached out to Philly. That the Eagles have drawn offers for Ertz isn’t news; we made mention of that last week here on Bleeding Green Nation. But now we’re hearing of the actual teams that are interested in the veteran tight end.

At the Podium: Prepping for Dallas - BGN Radio
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz meets with the media to talk Derek Barnett, Avonte Maddox, prepping for the Cowboys offense and more!

Off Day Debrief #8: Rams pound Bears + Steelers hang on + Watch out for Bucs - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton react to the Rams stomping the Bears on MNF, and debate the best team in each conference heading towards the midway point in the season. Why the Bears are in real trouble in the NFC. Are the Browns still a threat without Odell Beckham Jr.? (with Andy McNamera of Dawgs By Nature). Why the Steelers are the team to beat in the AFC. Will BLG admit he was wrong about the Buccaneers? Week 7 Oddities. Week 8 Survivor picks.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 8 - PhillyVoice
10) Eagles (2-4-1): One of the concerns early in Carson Wentz’s career was his ability to lead game-winning drives, as we documented during the 2018 season. He’s been much better over the last two season on that front, and is actually tied for the NFL lead with three fourth quarter comebacks (a terribly flawed stat, but whatever). When the Eagles were good, they just beat teams for four quarters and didn’t need comebacks to win games. Now, they do, but at least Wentz is putting together impressive end-of-game drives when they matter most, notably against the Bengals, 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, and Giants. Even at No. 10, the Eagles are still the highest-ranked NFC East team, as they’re currently favored to win the division.

Jalen Reagor’s draft class: Taking stock of CeeDee Lamb, deep rookie WR group - The Athletic
In other words, there was concern that Justin Jefferson would fit best in the slot, where he thrived at LSU in 2019. The Eagles were looking for an explosive outside speed receiver. Personnel executive Andy Weidl explained the appeal of Reagor as “outside speed, his vertical threat, his ability to go up, play above the rim and catch the football.” Again, it’s too soon to make a sweeping evaluation — especially since Reagor has played only two games. But Jefferson ranks sixth in the NFL in yards per game (89.5) and is tied with Lamb for second in receiving plays of 20 or more yards. He’s dispelled the notion that he’s a slot-only prospect; only 39 percent of his receptions and 48.8 percent of his yards have come in the slot. So he’s been an effective outside receiver, too. And the numbers show he’s been a big-play receiver — he has touchdown catches of 71 and 49 yards.

10 Eagles players who crushed the Dallas Cowboys - NBCSP
Carson Wentz — Wentz’s 99.4 passer rating is highest ever by an NFC East quarterback with at least 50 career passes against the Cowboys and it’s 11th-highest among all QBs to throw at least 100 career passes against Dallas. He’s also 5th-most accurate at 68 percent. Despite facing Dallas only seven times, his 12 touchdown passes are already 16th-most. Six more get him in the all-time top-10. Wentz has had a passer rating of at least 90 in six of seven starts against Dallas and has 12 TDs to just two INTs.

5 trades I’d love to see happen at the NFL trade deadline - Fake Teams
Marvin Jones Jr. to the Philadelphia Eagles. Like I said earlier, the NFC East sucks and it’s anyone’s division to win. In fact, it’s currently the Eagles’ division to lose as they currently sit atop it with a remarkable 2-4-1 record. (Side note: please NFL take the NFC East’s playoff spot and give it to the far more deserving NFC West.) The Eagles passing game has been a hodgepodge of pass catchers with no true No. 1 option to led the offense and if the Eagles want to retain their division crown, they need to get Carson Wentz at least one reliable target. Enter Marvin Jones. The Lions are bound to be sellers at the deadline and with Jones in the final year of his contract, he’s a prime candidate to get moved. Jones has been somewhat lost in a muddy and uncoordinated Lions offense this year, but he’s coming off a year in which he racked up almost 800 receiving yards and caught nine touchdowns. His size, hands, and big play ability would be a welcome sight in Philly and instantly give Wentz (and those who’ve held onto Jones in fantasy football) an upgrade.

If you want to break a big run against the Eagles, give the ball to anyone who isn’t a running back - Inquirer
This is why the Eagles, despite giving up an average of 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, rank 24th in the league against the run (130.4 yards per game). Quarterbacks are averaging 7.6 yards per carry against them, wide receivers and tight ends 10.3. “It’s been rare that people have methodically driven the ball on us. It’s been more perimeter-oriented,” Schwartz said. “It’s been more reverse, a quarterback loose play, maybe even a quarterback scramble in some of those, a zone-read-type play. Those are plays that just stretch your whole defense.

Seriously, when will the Dallas Cowboys win again in 2020? - ESPN
It’s a simple question without a simple answer: When will the Dallas Cowboys win again? According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, it will not happen until 2021. The Cowboys (2-5) are not favored to win any of their games for the rest of the season. In fact, their best chances to win are against the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving and at the New York Giants in Week 17. FPI gives them a 43% chance of winning each of those games.

Even the ever-optimistic Jerry Jones is having trouble dealing with this Cowboys season - Blogging The Boys
At 2-5, the Dallas Cowboys are causing a lot of unease and anxiety. The players have felt it based on their earlier griping concerning the coaches. The coaches must be feeling based on Mike McCarthy taking a swipe at his team’s passive nature when Andy Dalton went down. The fans are definitely feeling it based on many reactions we have seen on this site. And now, even Jerry Jones, one of the most optimistic people around, is feeling it. On his radio show, he took exception to some prodding about leadership on the team.

The Biggest Questions Ahead of the NFL Trade Deadline - The Ringer
The NFC East is a dumpster fire, so even though Dallas has been awful, it is still very much in contention for a postseason spot. If the Cowboys are truly interested in making a run for the division crown, they should bring in a quarterback to perhaps take advantage of their elite receiver trio. There are a handful of options. When the Dolphins made the surprising decision to name Tua Tagovailoa their starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick was relegated to the bench. Fitzpatrick has played well this season, having completed 70.1 percent of his passes while registering a QBR of 80.2, which would be a career high. At 37 years old, Fitzpatrick doesn’t have much time in the league left. He’s in the final season of a two-year deal he signed with Miami, and is owed $8 million before he hits unrestricted free agency. But prying Fitzpatrick away from the Dolphins could be difficult—he and Tagovailoa are the only QBs listed on Miami’s official roster. Dallas probably doesn’t want to pay too steep a price for a player who may be on the roster for barely more than half a season.

Giants’ Joe Judge insists 1-6 team is ‘moving in the right direction’ - Big Blue View
The New York Giants are just 1-6 after seven games. That isn’t nearly enough victories. Giants coach Joe Judge on Tuesday, though, insisted that the team is on the right path. “When I look at this team long term and I have a vision for this team and I know where this team’s going to go I believe we’re fully on track and I’m proud of all the players the way they work. The culture we’re building, the foundation we’re laying right now,” Judge said. “I see improvement across the board from all the players on a daily basis. The way they come to work and the way they fight on a weekly basis is what we’re looking for. Coaches are sometimes accused of only seeing the next game and not seeing the long term or the big picture. Judge, 38 and a first-year coach, says there is a long-term plan.

Eric Reid turned down a spot on Washington Practice Squad - Hogs Haven
Ron Rivera has spoken very highly of Eric Reid since taking over as the Washington head coach, crediting Reid with helping Rivera to understand many social justice issues. Rivera has said on more than one occasion that he respects Reid and thinks he is a good player. It was the presence of a healthy Landon Collins on the roster, Rivera said at one point in the off-season, that kept the franchise from pursuing Reid as a free agent.

Report: Seahawks release Anthony Rush - Field Gulls
Rush came to Seattle after roster cuts at the end of camp, initially signing with the team’s practice squad before eventually getting promoted to the 53-man roster. Though he appeared in four games for the team, he has been dealing with a knee injury recently and had been inactive during the team’s last two games. [BLG Note: Eagles could look to bring Rush back to Philly with Malik Jackson hurting and Hassan Ridgeway going on IR.]

LeSean McCoy loses third-down role to Leonard Fournette - PFT
The next question becomes whether the Bucs keep McCoy or try to move him before the deadline. With Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake suffering an ankle injury on Sunday night, maybe Arizona will be interested in making a deal like the one they did last week for pass-rusher Markus Golden.

I poured Tabasco in my eyes and tried to answer Cowboys questions like Mike Nolan - SB Nation
As someone with cripplingly low self esteem and a total lack of personal care, I decided to put this to the test and see if I could handle answering questions about the Cowboys’ defense, after putting a whole bunch of Tabasco sauce in my eyes. It would answer a burning question: Am I tougher than Mike Nolan?

Vox Media Recognized in Series of Adweek Awards - Vox Media
In 2020, the network released an impressive slate of programming that captures everything from news and tech, to culture, comedy, and sports including Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect from Recode, The Cut from New York Magazine, Good One from Vulture, The SB Nation NFL Show, and Go For Broke from Epic Magazine. [BLG Note: Thanks to everyone who supports our podcasts and made this possible!]

The Philadelphia police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., explained - Vox
Philadelphia is reeling after two police officers shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man named Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday afternoon. During the encounter, which was captured on video, both officers had their guns drawn as Wallace, who was reportedly experiencing a mental break, advanced toward the officers with a knife, though the knife is not visible in the video. By Monday night, West Philadelphia, the site of heated Black Lives Matter protests in late May and early June, had become grounds for hours of unrest over the police shooting. Community leaders are calling for the police department to release body camera footage of the incident as others question whether the city’s new system for responding to behavioral health crises was put into effect on Monday.


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