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Eagles News: The Miles Sanders dilemma

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/17/21.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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How Nick Sirianni needs to handle Miles Sanders’ return - NBCSP
I’m not saying don’t play Sanders. I’m not saying bench him. But the Eagles have a good thing going right now and it doesn’t make sense to change. I like Sanders, but you can’t ignore the fact that this offense has been more effective without him. There are a lot of other factors. The O-line has played better, Sirianni’s play-calling has improved dramatically and Jalen Hurts has been more efficient. But Scott and Howard have just been consistently productive in a way that Sanders hasn’t been. Over the last three weeks, Howard has averaged 70 yards per game and 5.2 per carry with three TDs and Scott has averaged 60 yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry with two TDs. Sanders has never rushed for 40 yards with a 4.0 average three straight weeks. Howard and Scott have both done it the last three weeks. Since 2019, when Sanders, Scott and Howard all made their Eagles debuts, Sanders has lost yards on 11 percent of his runs, Scott 7 percent and Howard 5 percent. There’s something to be said for consistency. There’s something to be said for moving forward. This isn’t a knock on Sanders, just an acknowledgment that he’s a different kind of back than Howard and Scott. He’s a home-run threat on a team that isn’t trying to hit home runs right now.

5 reasons an Eagles playoff berth is increasingly likely - BGN
Life moves pretty fast in the NFL. This week, the Tampa Bay Bucs were flattened by an awful Washington Football Team and the decrepit Dolphins somehow upended the Baltimore Ravens. Last week, the Jaguars took down the Bills, the Broncos destroyed the Cowboys, and the Giants tripped up the Raiders. Upsets happen in the NFL, but generally speaking, they are one-week occurrences. On Sunday, the 3-6 Eagles went into Denver, a place they had not won since 1989, and dominated the 5-4 Broncos, 30-13. While not a major upset, it was a surprise, given the way in which they controlled all three facts of the game: offense, defense and special teams. And yet, three weeks prior, the Eagles were slapped around by the Raiders in a 33-22 loss that didn’t even begin to tell the story of how thoroughly dominated they were. At 2-5, the Eagles were steaming for a top-five pick in next year’s NFL Draft, but after destroying the Lions, narrowly losing to the Chargers and handling the Broncos, the Birds are 4-6 and suddenly well within striking distance of the 7th NFC playoff spot. Here are five reasons why an Eagles playoff berth is increasingly likely today.

The QB Factory Reboot #36: Put some respect on Jalen Hurts’ name + Eagles-Saints preview - BGN Radio
Raichele Privette and Mark Schofield unload what they saw from Jalen Hurts’ encouraging first half performance against the Broncos, discuss if the Eagles are playoff bound and preview Week 11 against the Saints.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 11 - PhillyVoice
The Eagles have the third-easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, and the easiest in the NFC. But it’s even easier, given proper context, since the Saints are now being led by Trevor Siemian, and the Cowboys, who are extremely likely to have the NFC East wrapped up before Week 18, are candidates to rest their starters. The Eagles could catch a break if Dallas has little else to play for, such as a first-round bye. Oh, and the Eagles still have their bye to look forward to, and they don’t board a flight the rest of the season. FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Eagles a 26 percent chance of making the playoffs. The New York Times says 18 percent. The Eagles are a game behind the Panthers, a team they already beat, for the 7 seed. They’re 1.5 games behind the Saints, the team they play this Sunday, for the 6 seed. If the Eagles can beat the Saints, I imagine those percentage points will rise significantly.

NFL Rookies: Top 15 highest-graded players through Week 10 - PFF
7. WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles. PFF overall grade: 77.9. After back-to-back standout performances, Smith now sits atop this rookie receiver class in PFF grade. He’s been Jalen Hurts‘ go-to guy the past two weeks, with four catches for 66 yards and two scores in a win over the Broncos Sunday.

Joe Banner: Eagles’ DeVonta Smith is showing a rare combination as a rookie - Inquirer
The mental processing that all young quarterbacks struggle with, and realizing that he’s really in his first year in terms of actually playing, I think we’re seeing good progress there. His decision-making has improved quite a bit. Although what we’ve seen is encouraging, we still need to see him play the quarterback position in a more traditional way, so they can mix that in with some of the other things that he brings to the table. I do think the accuracy has improved a bit. It’s not something where I’d say he’s accurate, but we’re seeing more hopeful signs in that area. I don’t know if it’s improvement or he’s getting more chances to show it. He’s reinforced what we thought about his leadership and his drive, which is really important in the quarterback position because, whether they like it or not, they play a huge role in leadership and setting the tone. I think we’re gaining information every week and it’s all positive. If I had to make a decision today, I’d still be a little nervous but definitely feeling a lot more hopeful than I was a month ago.

Post-Snap Read: A film breakdown of Jalen Hurts’ outstanding performance vs. Broncos - PE.com
The Philadelphia Eagles offense was very impressive on Sunday in Denver against the Broncos in multiple facets. The run game was once again a focal point. The offensive line was very good in both pass protection as well as at the point of attack on the ground. The passing game was sound and quarterback Jalen Hurts looked as good as he’s ever looked in an Eagles uniform. The game plan was nearly flawless. It all led to a big victory with a lot to take away. Let’s start with Hurts, who was outstanding in this game for a number of reasons. I thought Hurts looked decisive as a passer more often than not. He was accurate. He continued to be a playmaker with his arm and with his legs as well. There’s a trio of plays from the first half, all against single-high man coverage (Cover 1), where you see a lot of those qualities on display. Hurts was 7-for-9 for 198 yards and a touchdown against Cover 1 man coverage on Sunday, and here were a couple of my favorite dropbacks.

NFL Power Rankings: The Titans May Be Invincible - The Ringer
This style of offense makes so much more sense for an offense helmed by a young quarterback like Hurts, who can function as a force multiplier for his team’s run game because of his ability to pick up chunk yards with his legs. Critically, the balanced tack has effectively taken pressure off of Hurts to carry the team with his arm, which would’ve been a tall order for any second-year quarterback with a shallow receiving corps outside DeVonta Smith (who finished with four catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns). The proof has been in the pudding the past three weeks: As The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia points out, the Eagles rank first in expected points added (EPA) per drive and actual points per drive (3.23) over the past three weeks, and they rank second in points per game in that stretch (28.0). The Eagles sit at 4-6, still outside the NFC playoff picture. But with continued strong play from this offense, Philly could make a run down the stretch. They’ve got a tough matchup with New Orleans next week, but from Week 12 on, they draw matchups against the Jets, the Giants twice, and the Washington Football Team twice before finishing up their year against the Cowboys. There’s plenty of winnable games in there, and it won’t be a huge surprise if the Eagles emerge as a dark-horse playoff team.

NFL Power Rankings Week 11: 1-32 poll, plus we identify each team’s most important remaining game - ESPN
22. The only realistic path to the playoffs is by securing a wild-card berth. Currently, the Eagles are one game back of the final slot. The Saints are one of the teams they’re contending with. A win Sunday could give them an essential tiebreaker advantage over New Orleans if the teams both end up with the same record. Philly already owns the tiebreaker over the Panthers and Falcons after beating them earlier this season. They’d be positioned well for a late playoff push if they can find a way to register their first home win of the season against the Saints.

Philadelphia Eagles and Campbell’s Chunky to donate 50 Thanksgiving meals - PHL17
Tuesday November 16th, 2021 the Philadelphia Eagles & Campbell’s Chunky will donate 50 Thanksgiving meals to families in need to combat food insecurity in Philadelphia and ensure that residents have a nutritious meal on the table for Thanksgiving.

Biggest Takeaways from the Saints frustrating loss to the Titans - Canal Street Chronicles
Many times in the NFL it’s a game of inches as the old cliché says. The talent level on most teams are comparable so it may come down to a few plays made here or there that really determine the outcome of a game. You would like for those plays to not be the self-inflicted type that has befallen the Saints for much of the season. The story in Nashville on Sunday was just that, where time after time the Saints were putting more hurt on themselves than on the Titans. When you are playing the record-wise best team in the AFC on the road, mistakes like these will cost you the game and they did. From the missed extra points, to the jumping early for a false start on a 2-point conversion (more on that later), to fumbling the opening second half kickoff all played a part in the Saints demise. Even the refs helped in burying the Saints with an egregious roughing the Quarterback call that not only negated a Saints interception, but then led to a Titans touchdown. When you are playing this game without your starting quarterback, starting running back, starting wide receiver, starting left tackle, and starting right guard just on offense, your margin for error is razor thin. You make the type of mistakes often throughout a game and you can see why you have lost 3 games by 6 points or less including the last 2 by 2 points. Before the Saints start thinking about beating the other team, they need to not beat themselves first.

New York Giants second half of the season storylines - Big Blue View
Will Jason Garrett make it to the finish line? If the Giants really wanted to pin the blame for their struggling offense on offensive coordinator Jason Garrett they probably would have fired him during the bye week. Garrett remains the coordinator, and the offensive play-caller. That, though, doesn’t mean Garrett will make it to the end of the season. If the Giants continue to lose games, and continue to struggle offensively even if they get healthier, I can see Joe Judge sacrificing Garrett and turning to Freddie Kitchens to run the offense. Honestly, if the Giants don’t improve on offense despite getting healthier there would be justification for that. Such a move, though, could also be considered self-preservation by Judge, whose seat could grow warmer if the Giants don’t win more games the rest of the way. He can always blame Garrett and make the case that he deserves a full chance with his guy — Kitchens — in charge of the offense.

Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore are one of the most potent quarterback-coordinator pairs in the NFL - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL for a lot of reasons. Defensively we have seen the Cowboys generate multiple turnovers more often than not this season, and the special teams unit is impacting games with three punt blocks over the last four games as an example. These are obviously new developments for the team which are part of what is propelling them to their current 7-2 record. However, one thing has remained the same: The Dallas Cowboys have one of the very best offenses in the NFL. This has been the case for a while, and the origin point has a lot to do with quarterback Dak Prescott taking things to a new level as far as his own play is concerned intersecting with the arrival of Kellen Moore as the team’s offensive coordinator. As the two have grown together the offense has grown to be elite.

Buying Packers ‘stock’ is the best scam in sports - SB Nation
It’s a huge day if you like giving away money to a billion dollar organization and getting nothing in return. That’s right folks, your chance to become an “owner” of the Green Bay Packers is here! On Tuesday the Packers opened up shares of their “common stock” for the first time in 10 years. It gives anyone the chance to say they’re part owner of an NFL team for the low, low price of $300. Alternatively, you could just lie about it and tell people you part own an NFL team, because you’re pretty much getting the same thing out of it. So, what does that $300 get you? What can you expect as a part owner of one of the proudest teams in NFL history? Nothing at all! It doesn’t matter if NFL profits soar, or if the Packers become the most valuable sports franchise in the world — the team is very quick to tell you that you won’t make anything. Heck, it’s right there on the landing page.

Off Day Debrief #63: 49ers embarrass the Rams on MNF + Week 11 Power Rankings - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton react to the Rams getting destroyed on Monday Night Football and reset the state of the league with the only 100% accurate power rankings in the entire NFL podcast kingdom. How did the 49ers streamroll the Rams? Are we sure the Rams as good as they’ve looked all year long? Does OBJ have Big Loser Energy? Week 11 Power Rankings. Is Mac Jones getting too much credit, or not enough? MVPs and LVPs of the Week.

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