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Eagles News: Philadelphia arguably has “the least desirable future in the NFL”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/30/20.

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Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary, Week 17: Eagles are dead - PhillyVoice
The Eagles’ 2020 season is over. Fine, whatever. The worst is perhaps yet to come. Looking forward, there’s an argument to be made that the Eagles have the least desirable future in the NFL. In the wake of this disastrous season, the Birds are left with an old, bad, expensive roster, without a definite answer at quarterback, and unless they commit to a complete tear-down of the roster this offseason and start from scratch in 2022, they are going to be in cap hell for the foreseeable future.

Eagles Film Review: Negatives outweigh positives from Jalen Hurts’ start against the Cowboys - BGN
As I mentioned at the start, this wasn’t a positive piece about Jalen Hurts. But the tape was pretty worrying in my opinion. Hurts came into the league from a very basic offense and he is struggling to process his reads in the NFL. This is not an easy skill to learn and I think it is pretty clear and obvious that he has a long way to go in the NFL. There is a long debate to be had over whether Hurts or Wentz or another QB should lead this team next year. This post isn’t about it, this is just focusing on Sunday’s game and what Hurts looks like right now. I’ll end with a positive, Doug Pederson deserves credit for calling an excellent game in my opinion. He made things pretty defined for Hurts and I think he was let down by bad QB play. This isn’t the first time this season, that’s for sure...

At the Podium: Pederson Post-Playoff Elimination - BGN Radio
Doug Pederson speaks with the media on Monday 12/28/2020 after the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs.

Off Day Debrief #17: Bills are the AFC buzzsaw + MVP Power Rankings - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera (Niners Nation) and Brandon Lee Gowton (Bleeding Green Nation) react to the Bills dominant performance on Monday Night Football, as well as give their MVP Power Rankings with one week to go in the regular season. BLG says the Bills are going to win the Super Bowl this year. MVP Power Rankings. Andy McNamera of Dawgs By Nature on whether Baker can right the ship for Cleveland. Why we’re rooting against the Colts making the playoffs. Don’t believe what you’re seeing from Chicago.

Divvying up blame for the Eagles’ horrendous 2020 season - NBCSP
We need to start with the draft, where Roseman has selected 36 players since being reinstated into power in 2016 and exactly one of them has become a Pro Bowler. That was Carson Wentz in the 2017 season. Roseman has found some pieces to the puzzle. Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert are the blue-chippers in recent drafts and Isaac Seumalo back in 2016 turned out well eventually. But there have been far too many misses and the lack of young, talented players on this roster is a direct result of poor drafting. There’s just no way around it.Advertisement And it has killed the Eagles at certain positions, like receiver and corner, more than others. The Eagles could have had D.K. Metcalf and Justin Jefferson but they ended up with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor. It’s too early to say Reagor is a bust — he still has a chance to be a good player — but will he ever be as good as Jefferson is right now? And we know JJAW will never be as good as Metcalf. But even if Pro Bowlers weren’t selected after them, the Eagles haven’t gotten impact players at receiver. And at corner it’s arguably even worse. The Eagles have drafted four corners in the last few years and the best of the bunch has been Jalen Mills. They failed to get starters in 2017 when they took Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in the second and third rounds and Avonte Maddox has proven to be a depth player that the Eagles force-feed into the starting lineup.

NFL execs make predictions for 2021: Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold on the move? - ESPN+
Wentz’s future is cloudier. As we broke down earlier this month, the dead money attached to Wentz’s contract hurts the Eagles, whether they trade or keep him. But some executives believe Philadelphia will at least try, given the experiment with rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts has gone relatively well. Colts coach Frank Reich’s presence looms large here. Wentz threw 49 touchdown passes and 21 picks with Reich as his offensive coordinator in Philly from 2016 to ‘17, and word is the two connected on a personal level. “Maybe [Wentz] would rework his deal in order to facilitate a deal,” an NFC exec said. “At this point, he might simply want out.” Another AFC exec believes the Eagles would be making a mistake not trying to convince Wentz they can salvage the relationship. “I’m not convinced of the [Hurts] situation just yet,” the AFC exec said. “Bailing on a franchise quarterback after one bad year is a bad look. Even really good quarterbacks have down times.”

The 2020 NFC East’s ‘Greatest’ Hits: A Compilation to Make You Laugh, Cry and Cringe - MMQB
In 2020, Carson Wentz went from trendy MVP candidate to backing up Jalen Hurts at the end of the year. Nearly the entire Eagles’ roster sustained some type of injury, initially forcing Wentz into the Sisyphean task of piloting the offense with Travis Fulgham as his No. 1 wide receiver (this is not a slight on Fulgham, by the way, who had a fine year). Over time, Doug Pederson became less and less committal to Wentz before shifting to Jalen Hurts for a “spark” amid a blowout loss to the Packers. What was once a change-of-pace package became a semipermanent fixture in Philadelphia that will complicate matters for months to come. Wentz, reportedly, does not want to remain in Philadelphia as a backup. His contract is (relatively) immovable. So it goes.

Doug Pederson’s job status: Does he know he’ll be back as Eagles coach? - The Athletic
I have a hard time seeing Wentz and Pederson returning. If the Eagles keep Wentz, they’ll create a different infrastructure around him to try to position him to succeed. They should be intrigued by Jalen Hurts, although as I’ve said, they need to be convinced Hurts is more likely than Wentz to become a winning quarterback in Philadelphia. That’s a hard evaluation to make based on only four starts. To that, I’m not entirely sympathetic. Their job is making those types evaluations — and living with the results.

NFL Week 17 Preview: DFS advice, betting tips and matchups to watch - PFF
The quarterback position remains the biggest question mark. It won’t be Dwayne Haskins drawing the start following the precipitous slide to his release. Still, it remains to be seen whether Alex Smith can return or if it will be Taylor Heinicke drawing his second career start under the lights on Sunday Night Football with the division on the line. It’s hard to feel overly confident in either option. Smith’s 65.8 overall grade on the season ranks 31st out of the 38 quarterbacks who have played at least 300 snaps this season, and he poses little threat to challenge defenses vertically, given that he leads the league in the percentage of passes thrown to players short of the first-down marker (67%). Heinicke, meanwhile, played well in relief last week, but his only start back in 2018 earned a 46.2 overall grade. Washington will likely rely on the defense to make splash plays and provide the offense with short fields.

Week 16 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles are 28th in DVOA and Washington is 16th.]

Washington Vs. Carolina - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven
Ronald Darby - Just like his counterpart on the other side, Darby was outstanding in coverage all afternoon. He racked up three tackles, one for a loss and had three passes defended. He needs to be extended here in the offseason. [...] Jeremy Reaves - Although he far better than Troy Apke, Jeremy Reaves struggled quite a bit against the Panthers. He was beat deep by Samuel and missed some tackles on the afternoon(which is uncharacteristic from what we have seen up to yesterday’s game).

2020 Cowboys rookie report: Trevon Diggs, Eagles killer? - Blogging The Boys
Of course, the last time the Cowboys played the Eagles saw Diggs record his first career interception, and then get another one later in that same game. So naturally he managed to get yet another pick on Sunday, but this time against Jalen Hurts, late in the game. For the rest of the game, Diggs had just one tackle and one pass batted down, but he showed his playmaking abilities on the interception while continuing to display toughness and commitment to the team by being able to return and play this much after a broken foot.

Giants are bad on offense, and there is a lot of blame to go around - Big Blue View
The second-year quarterback has committed far too many turnovers in his young NFL career. In 26 games Jones has thrown 21 interceptions and fumbled 28 times, losing 16. That’s 37 turnovers, or 1.4 per game. Too many. No one will argue that fact. Thing is, Jones is getting better in this area. He has not thrown an interception in five games. He did fumble three times, losing one, against the Arizona Cardinals. In my view, you can’t hold that game against him. He was a sitting duck who couldn’t protect himself from pass rushers. Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Jones took a number of big shots and managed to protect the ball while absorbing those hits. Jones’ injury hasn’t helped. The Giants had scored 20 or more points in six straight games when Jones was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals. They haven’t scored 20 points in the five games since.

Are we doomed? An investigation - Vox
At the conclusion of a dystopian year, we look to historians, preppers, and even the heavens in search of answers: What exactly was 2020, and what happens now?

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