Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Why Jalen Hurts isn’t Bobby Hoying in Roob’s 10 Observations - NBCSP
A lot of people are comparing Jalen Hurts to Bobby Hoying as a warning to not get too caught up in what Hurts does in his first few starts, and that’s fair. Hoying was indeed fantastic in his first three career starts back in 1997, throwing for 835 yards with six TDs, one INT and a 98.1 passer rating. A few things to keep in mind: Hoying was 25 and wasn’t a rookie. Hurts is 22. Hoying had already played in eight preseason games and had two full offseasons before getting a chance to start. Hurts hasn’t had either. Hoying also had Irving Fryar and Ricky Watters catching passes and a coach committed to the running game to take some pressure off. Hurts hasn’t had any of that. And most of Hoying’s production in those three games — 4 of the 6 TDs — came against a 29th-ranked Bengals defense. Hurts beat the No. 1 Saints defense and threw three TDs against the No. 10 Cardinals defense. Finally, Hoying was a statue in the pocket and when he began struggling throwing the ball he didn’t have any fall-back options. Hurts’ legs are slump-proof. Not drawing any conclusions. Time will tell how good Hurts is. But while there are some similarities, I have a hunch Hurts won’t wind up out of the league in a couple of years like Hoying.
Three numbers that matter for Week 16: Eagles vs. Cowboys - BGN
5.0 - That’s how many yards/carry the Cowboys are allowing this year. It’s tied for the highest number in the league. It’s pretty rough in Dallas. While they’ve actually been solid against quarterbacks on the ground, giving up only 280 yards on 60 carries, they bleed in the base running game: no team has seen more handoffs against them, and only the Houston Texans have given up more gross yardage. Philadelphia should be considered a run-first offense, now, having largely flipped the script on their offensive philosophy since the insertion of Jalen Hurts in the starting lineup. Against the Cardinals last week, they were by-far the most dependent on early down runs than they had been all year.
Five over/unders for Eagles’ Week 16 matchup vs. Cowboys - PhillyVoice
Eagles sacks allowed: 3.5. The Eagles offensive line has allowed an NFL worst 59 sacks through 14 games, and they were up to their old tricks in last week’s loss to the Cardinals, allowing the agile and speedy Hurts to be pulled down six times. With veterans Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks and Jason Peters sidelined — plus youngsters Andre Dillard and Jack Driscoll — the Eagles offensive line has started a remarkable 13 different line ups in 14 games, an NFL record. DeMarcus Lawrence looms large on the outside and keeping him away from Hurts could be a struggle for the Eagles offense. It will be interesting to see if Hurts makes more quick passes to try and alleviate the struggle the offensive line might have in this one. Hurts will be able to extend several plays but not all of them. OVER.
A New Challenge - Iggles Blitz
On Sunday, Hurts will face his weakest opponent and the weakest defense. Fans know that and think the Eagles are going to kick some Dallas butt. That just might happen, but it isn’t a lock. The Cowboys have won 3 of 5 games. They have hopes of making a playoff run. This is as confident as Dallas has been since August. Their defense is still an issue, but they do have plenty of Hurts tape to study. They now can see him off the bench, as a running QB and as a pocket QB. They’ll be as prepared as possible. On the flip side, the Cowboys will be missing three starters. DT Antwaun Woods, LB Leighton Vander Esch and S Xavier Woods are out. A porous defense will be missing players at each level. The Eagles are three point favorites so it isn’t just fans who expect a win from Hurts.
Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys fighting for possible shot at playoffs - ESPN
Stat to know: Hurts has been more successful protecting the ball this season than Wentz. He has turned the ball over twice on 198 snaps, a rate of 1.0%. That’s the sixth-lowest turnover rate among 46 QBs with 100 snaps this season. Wentz turned the ball over on 2.5% of his snaps, third highest in the NFL. His 19 turnovers are still most in the NFL despite sitting the last two games.
A six-pack sample: DeSean Jackson is active; what does it mean? - PE.com
The really interesting news: The Eagles activated wide receiver DeSean Jackson from the Injured Reserve list. Clearly, they’ve seen enough from him in practice this week to think he can help at Dallas. Jackson has played in only four games this season and hasn’t played since the first Giants game on October 22. Jackson has had such an injury-plagued two seasons since returning to Philadelphia and it seemed the Eagles were turning the page at the position with the emergence of their young receivers. Jackson has 13 receptions for 155 yards this season. He’s an intriguing addition to the passing attack, for sure. The speed is there. The deep threat is significant. How much of an impact can Jackson have for an offense that wants to be multifaceted against Dallas?
Eagles-Cowboys cheat sheet: Predictions, key matchups, lineup news, stats & more - The Athletic
Sheil Kapadia: Both teams are somehow still alive in the NFC East. Hurts has provided the Eagles with some juice, and if nothing else has at least made them entertaining. Watching the Eagles for the first 13 weeks felt like a chore. They were one of the league’s most boring teams. The Cowboys could be without a number of defensive starters Sunday, including linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (ankle). I think Hurts moves the ball consistently and leads the Eagles to victory. Eagles 31, Cowboys 24.
Thinking with head AND heart: Why Eagles need to extend Brandon Graham’s contract | Opinion - NJ.com
That’s why the Eagles should extend — and not exit — their relationship with Graham this offseason. Graham is set to make $13 million in the final year of his deal. However, signing him to an extension and converting $10 million of that already existing salary into an immediate bonus would save the Eagles $10 million on the salary cap, according to Pro Football Focus salary cap consultant Brad Spielberger. The team could then spread out the bonus money over a three- or four-year extension. With an estimated $70 million cap debt awaiting them, taking a $10 million chunk out of that hole, while rewarding a homegrown talent who is still performing at a very high level, is a win-win scenario.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: QB - Rotoworld
Jalen Hurts’ second career start was the sixth biggest fantasy quarterback performance of the season. It came against a Cardinals Defense that has been anything but a smash spot. The Cowboys? They’re a smash spot. This is a ton of faith to place in such a limited résumé, but the upside is such that it will be almost impossible to leave Hurts on benches for the fantasy finals.
DFS data dive: The highest fantasy ceilings of NFL Week 16 - PFF
[BLG Note: Jalen Hurts has the highest fantasy ceiling of any quarterback this week.]
Report: Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday - PFT
A week ago, an injury kept Ezekiel Elliott out of a game for the first time in his career. Tony Pollard replaced him against the 49ers and had a longer run (40), a longer reception (30) and more yards from scrimmage (132) than Elliott has had in any game this season. The Cowboys listed Elliott (calf) as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Eagles. The starting running back had limited practices all week. Elliott, though, will play, Todd Archer of ESPN reports. [BLG Note: Seems like good news for the Eagles. The Cowboys will waste touches on Zeke instead of giving them to the more efficient Pollard.]
How the Eagles defense has changed since the last time the Cowboys saw them - Blogging The Boys
Perhaps Kellen Moore will try and take some more shots down the field with this poor secondary, but the uncertain status of deep threat Michael Gallup could complicate that, even if he manages to suit up and play. Even so, their approach of getting the ball out of Dalton’s hands quick is well-suited for this defense, which has been gashed by yards after the catch at times. This Eagles defense may be playing slightly better in recent weeks, their DVOA numbers have been increasing by minimal gains, for sure, but they’re still dependent on their defensive line creating an effective pass rush. With a more experienced quarterback this time around, the Cowboys can pick apart this secondary so long as the offensive line prevents the pass rush from impacting things.
Washington Injury Updates: Terry McLaurin OUT, Antonio Gibson returning, Alex Smith still a game-time decision - Hogs Haven
We got an Alex Smith injury update before the final Saturday Night Football game, and now we’ve got updates on the statuses of Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. There isn’t a lot of good news for the Washington Football Team’s offense in these updates. Ian Rapoport reported Alex Smith was sore today as he tries to return from a calf injury that forced him to miss last week’s game. He said the optimism that he will play isn’t the same as it was earlier in the week, which has been said by other reporters as the week progressed. Smith is still considered a game-time decision, but the team did elevate Steven Montez from the practice squad again. If Smith can’t play again, Dwayne Haskins Jr. will start again with Taylor Heinicke and Montez backing him up.
Boise State coaching search reportedly down to 3. - OBNUG
Kellen Moore, Dallas Cowboys OC. Kellen Moore is just short of a god in Boise, Idaho and would move the booster and fanbase needle in a BIG way. He went from player to QB coach to OC for America’s Team™ in record time and is considered a brilliant young coaching mind. Yeah, the Cowboys stink on ice this year but that’s mainly on their defense. Before Dak Prescott got hurt and their O-line got down to the practice squad, they were putting up silly numbers. With the offensive weaponry the Broncos currently possess (but didn’t always know how to use) this could be a huge boon. Besides, Kellen’s first game as HC would put butts in the seats at Albertsons Stadium...wouldn’t matter if we were playing The Little Sisters of the Poor (aka Idaho). My only reticence with Kellen is the recruiting aspect—he’s never done it. Finger guns OUT.
What Week 16 Sunday means for the 2020 NFL playoff picture - DraftKings Nation
The two big games of the day are Colts-Steelers and Rams-Seahawks. Pittsburgh has fallen apart in recent weeks and a loss coupled with a Browns win would create a tie heading into the teams’ Week 17 matchup in Cleveland. The Rams lost a shocker to the Jets last week, but can move back into first place with a win over Seattle to secure the head-to-head tiebreaker. We could have an NFC East champ by the close of Sunday. The Giants travel to Baltimore while Washington hosts Carolina. Washington clinches the division with a win and a Giants loss. Meanwhile, the Cowboys host the Eagles and the loser is eliminated from the playoff race, regardless of what happens with Washington and New York.
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