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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s biggest surprise so far

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/5/21.

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Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

NFL Power Rankings Week 5: 1-32 poll, plus the biggest surprise for every team - ESPN
25. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3). Previous ranking: 24. Biggest surprise: RB Miles Sanders’ usage. Why it’s a surprise: Sanders is the Eagles’ lead back, yet only has 37 carries through four games — which is tied for 33rd in the NFL with the Cowboys’ No. 2 running back Tony Pollard and Jets rookie Michael Carter. He has nine rushes total in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, rookie Kenneth Gainwell (89 total yards and a TD vs. Chiefs) is heating up. Sanders and QB Jalen Hurts were expected to be a dynamic 1-2 punch out of the backfield, but it’s been slow going for Sanders to start.

Eagles vs. Chiefs: 9 winners, 9 losers, and 2 IDKs - BGN
To start it off on a positive note, Nick Sirianni’s gameplan was much better this week than it was in Dallas. The offense was actually able to move the ball, picking up 461 yards of offense. But moving the ball well doesn’t matter as much if you can’t actually, you know, score touchdowns. And the Eagles left too many points on the board on Sunday. Three scores were called back due to penalties. Yellow flags continue to be an issue for Sirianni’s squad with 44 in four games. The Eagles are far out in front, too, considering the next closest team has 10 fewer. Discipline is clearly an issue. It’s hardly the only one. Sirianni really struggled with game management on Sunday. It started with the Eagles’ first drive when he sent out the field goal team on 4th-and-3 from the 11-yard line. At the time, it appeared to be a very cowardly decision because you don’t beat the Chiefs by kicking red zone field goals. As it turns out, the situation was a little more (needlessly) complicated than it appeared.

At the Podium: Nick Sirianni on Eagles run defense and penalties - BGN Radio
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spoke with the Philly media on Monday afternoon about some major concerns following Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs 42-30.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 5 - PhillyVoice
13) Eagles (1-3): In their last two games, excluding kneeldowns, the Eagles have allowed 11 touchdowns in 18 defensive possessions. It probably should have been 12 touchdowns, if not for a fortuitous “progress stopped” whistle that caused a turnover on downs at the goal line against Dallas. But whatever, 11 TDs is still really bad. The pass rush isn’t getting home, the linebackers are getting owned in the run game, and the secondary is getting eaten alive underneath in the short-to-intermediate area of the field in the passing game. The Cowboys’ and Chiefs’ offenses are great and all, but it shouldn’t look as easy as it has for them the last two weeks. Last week: 11.

The day after: Eagles failing to ‘master the things that require no talent’ - The Athletic
1. Meanwhile, Fletcher Cox is nowhere to be found on the stat sheet. Sure, he draws a lot of attention from opposing offenses. And yes, that attention is partly responsible for Hargrave’s emergence. But Cox has been drawing that attention for years, and his production has never been this quiet. He has five tackles, no sacks and no quarterback hits through four games. At 31, he’s aging as one would expect. “One” not meaning his contract, though.

Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season - PFF
PICK NO. 10: WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia EaglesOverall Rookie Grade: 69.5 (Rank: 4/17). Week 4 Grade: 74.2. The effortless ease with which Smith is able to generate separation is impressive to watch every week. Against Kansas City, he racked up seven catches for 122 yards from 10 targets on a variety of different routes, and there was more meat left on the bone. One of the incompletions was a miscommunication between Smith and quarterback Jalen Hurts that could have resulted in a big play had Smith continued his route rather than broken it off. Another was actually caught in the end zone for a touchdown, but Smith stepped out of bounds along the sideline before the ball arrived.

Our Eagles grades by position a quarter through the season - NBCSP
Jalen Hurts has taken every snap at quarterback through the first four weeks of the season and has had his ups and downs. There have been some things to worry about, especially in the loss to the Cowboys. But he had a good performance in the opener and in the loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. That’s probably to be expected, seeing ups and downs from a young quarterback who had just four starts coming into this year. Through four games, Hurts has completed 66% of his passes for 1,167 yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He is on pace for a season with just under 5,000 yards passing with 30 touchdowns in a 17-game season. Still, that doesn’t tell the full story because the most important game on the schedule so far was the one in Dallas and that was his worst of the season. In addition to his passing numbers, Hurts is also the Eagles’ leading rusher through four games with 226 yards. He’s on pace for 961. Grade: B-

QR Week 4: Patterson Punishes Washington - Football Outsiders
11) This is the first week our DYAR numbers account for opponent adjustments, which has a major impact for Hurts—he loses 47 DYAR due to playing the worst defense in the league. As noted earlier, he was virtually tied with his counterpart on Sunday, Patrick Mahomes, for the best DYAR on passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, going 7-of-10 for 92 yards.

Jalen Hurts’ 4 starts followed a clear pattern. For the sake of the Eagles’ future, he needs to break it. - Inquirer
Important for the Eagles, important for Hurts. This is about more than winning games in the here and now, about climbing back toward .500 after a 1-3 start. This is also about what comes after this season, about gathering more knowledge and a better understanding of what the Eagles are and what they have to do to improve. They’re trying to settle on a starting quarterback. Hurts is trying to establish himself as one. His next game, against the Panthers, will be against the NFL’s third-ranked defense. So far, he has been good against the bad, bad against the so-so. He would bring more clarity to this situation, and help himself and his team, by breaking the pattern this Sunday in Charlotte.

10 final takeaways from Sunday, including a first look toward Carolina - PE.com
9. Interesting note here: I asked Sirianni on Monday about the criticism the team has received for its red zone performance, even though the Eagles were 5-of-6 prior to Sunday and even after the 3-of-6 success rate against Kansas City still rank 10th in NFL red zone efficiency. His response: “Three-of-six was not going to cut it against the Chiefs and so the criticism is fair. I accept the responsibility of that criticism and we’re going to work like crazy to get better at it.” The thing with Sirianni is that he’s more critical of himself than anyone on the outside.

Week 4 Film Room - Chiefs OL vs. Eagles DL - Trench Warfare
The Chiefs and Eagles film was the first one in my inbox this morning, so you are getting the first look at what went down in the trenches from this game. The Chiefs offensive line ran the ball 32 times for 200 yards (6.3 yards per carry) in what was a statement game against a top 8 defensive line in football. Rookie RG Trey Smith was the focal point of this breakdown, but we also touched on a bevy of other topics. [BLG Note: A look at how Fletcher Cox was stifled by a sixth-round rookie.]

10 Facts from Week 4 of the 2021 NFL Season - Fake Teams
Jalen Hurts threw for 387 yards this week, the most of his NFL career.

Cowboys Mike McCarthy’s tendency to become timid with the lead could hurt Dallas down the road - Blogging The Boys
But the Cowboys did not finish them until a third-down conversion on a brilliant, but also somewhat risky, option play with Ezekiel Ellliott lateraling the ball to Tony Pollard to allow them to run out the clock. It seemed to lack a killer instinct that should have had the margin of victory at least two scores, and could have been more. Last week, many worked themselves into a lather over the clock management of Mike McCarthy at the end of the first half. In a way, it presaged what seemed much more evident in the win over the Panthers. When he has a lead, McCarthy becomes timid. It could be characterized as caution, but however you wish to shade it, he plays things conservatively when, in his mind, they are in control of the game.

Giants-Saints ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley star - Big Blue View
Fourth-down decisions — All’s well that ends well, but I once again find myself at odds with Joe Judge’s fourth-down decisions. As I detailed Sunday night, I thought there were at least two occasions vs. the Saints where the correct — and obvious — play was to try for the first down. Judge punted. The Giants won the game, but I thought Judge made the players’ jobs harder.

Panthers 28 Cowboys 36: Four takeaways from Carolina’s Week 4 loss to Dallas - Cat Scratch Reader
We knew the day would come when Sam Darnold finally made mistakes, and that day was yesterday. His stat line was mostly fine: He was 26-of-39 for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns (plus 2 rushing touchdowns), 2 interceptions and he was sacked five times for a total of 35 yards. Overall he was OK, but those two interceptions came at the worst possible time, and one of them was a truly awful decision. (It can be argued that the second one was just a good play by the cornerback, but the first one was indefensible.)

Dolphins have to make changes soon to salvage 2021 season - The Phinsider
The offense is simply not getting the job done. Yes, this is an offense playing without their starting quarterback for at least another week. But, the offense is simply not getting the job done. Yes, if Tua Tagovailoa can come back for the Jacksonville Jaguars game in London in two weeks, the offense may find more rhythm. But, it might not. Something is wrong with the offense. And something needs to be changed. Now.

The Lions snapped the ball directly to the Bears for the NFL’s most chaotic turnover - SB Nation
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both badly needed a win as they met at Soldier Field in Week 4. The Bears, at 1-2, were coming off arguably the worst offensive performance in franchise history a week earlier when they averaged only 1.1 yards per play in a loss to the Browns. The Lions had competed in each one of their games thus far, but were still looking for their first win of the season. Both of these teams would have considered a loss to each other pretty humiliating. Chicago had some good vibes going early thanks to a few nice passes by rookie quarterback Justin Fields, and a pair of tough touchdown runs by David Montgomery. The Lions, meanwhile, kept driving deep into Bears territory, but were struggling to put points on the board. The most prominent example of this happened on their first offensive possession, when the Lions somehow fumbled the ball in one of the strangest ways you will ever see. As Detroit quarterback Jared Goff walked up to the line to communicate a change in pre-snap coverage, his center accidentally snapped the ball. The ball banged off Goff’s groin and straight into the hands of Bears defensive tackle Bilal Nichols.

Monday Football Monday #56: Chiefs back to their winning ways, Cardinals are real deal, Bills schedule a cake walk? - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney run through all of the Week 4 NFL action including the Kansas City Chiefs who snap their two game losing streak against the Eagles, the Cardinals who remain undefeated and discuss if the Bills schedule up to this point has been too easy.

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