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Eagles News: Jonathan Gannon is dialing up more blitzes

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/25/21.

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Eagles film: Jonathan Gannon is blitzing more successfully — sorta - Inquirer
Jonathan Gannon prefers not to blitz — at least the current defensive play-caller didn’t in the Eagles’ first seven games this season. Only the Raiders, among NFL teams, blitzed less than the Eagles over that span. But Gannon has dialed up more pressures over the last four games (24.7% on quarterback drops) vs. the first seven (14.7%), per Pro Football Focus. The results, for the most part, have been better. Head coach Nick Sirianni said the recent aggressiveness was a byproduct of both his and Gannon’s assessment that the Eagles weren’t challenging offenses enough following the loss in Las Vegas. More blitzing, though, can be circumstantial. There could be myriad reasons for the usage — down, distance, formation, opponent, quarterback, etc. — beyond Ryan’s almost instinctual response to his defenses allowing a first down. “It’s all off of looks,” linebacker T.J. Edwards said Wednesday. “We have stuff in every week, and it’s just getting to those looks and getting to the right down-and-distance. Doing a good job on first and second down so we can get to the things we want to [on third down].”

Eagles All-22 Film Review: Observations from the win over the Saints - BGN
I didn’t actually think the passing game was great on Sunday. Hurts was a touch late a couple of times and missed a few throws I would like him to make. This play is a fantastic example of Hurts slight limitations with arm strength and lack of anticipation. Some QBs make this throw by throwing it earlier, others with elite arm strength and velocity. Hurts is just a touch below par in both areas but I am glad he is making the throw and reading the defense correctly, I just want him to speed it up ever so slightly.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.32: Are Philly and WFT Playoff Contenders? - BGN Radio
In this jam-packed episode, Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa discuss the latest storylines in the NFC East including Dak Prescott who has to be the difference-maker for the Cowboys, the Eagles finding their identity as a ‘nasty’ team, WFT who has the chance to play spoiler and Giants OC Jason Garrett being fired on Tuesday.

Eagles at Giants: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
Andrew Thomas was a disappointment as the No. 4 overall pick as a rookie, but he has played better this season. Otherwise, the Giants have well below average starters at every other spot along their offensive line. They have replacements playing at LG and C, where LG Shane Lemieux and C Nick Gates were lost with season-ending injuries. They are also particularly vulnerable on the right side, where Hernandez has been a huge disappointment ever since a promising rookie season in 2018, and where Solder’s play fell off a cliff three years ago. In a season in which the Eagles have faced a number of bad offensive lines, this one is arguably the worst of the bunch.

How Nick Sirianni got the seeds to bloom in Philadelphia - TouchdownWire
Will it stick? This is, of course, the ultimate question. After all, I could run back through that list of quarterbacks that the Eagles have defeated during their current 3-1 stretch. I could also point out that the teams that Philadelphia has beaten during this run have a combined 10-19-1 record. But things do seem to be clicking for the Eagles right now, even with that context. Looking at Football Outsiders’ DVOA, Philadelphia checks in overall at 15th in the NFL, and 14th in Weighted DVOA. Examining the Eagles in terms of efficiency, as measured by Expected Points Added per Play on both sides of the football, finds Philadelphia in a tier along with other playoff contenders.

The Eagles Finally Tailored Their Offense to Jalen Hurts’s Strengths - The Ringer
When evaluating young quarterbacks, “Is this guy a franchise player?” isn’t as neat a question as it may seem. Everyone would have answered in the affirmative with Wentz when he was a second-year quarterback in 2017 and the coulda-shoulda-woulda-been league MVP. Instead, he was traded four years later. Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield all looked like franchise quarterbacks early in their starting careers before the magic faded. Hurts still has a lot to prove. A deeper look at the Eagles offense shows that their sudden offensive explosion has been less about Hurts’s improvement than the improvement around him. In recent weeks, the Eagles have fundamentally shifted how they execute their offense. On the surface level, it’s fairly obvious. During a 1-3 stretch from Weeks 3 through 6, the Eagles led the league in neutral-down pass rate by a country mile. Then head coach Nick Sirianni about-faced: Since Week 7, the Eagles have been the league’s most run-heavy team, going from a neutral pass rate of 89 percent against the Buccaneers in Week 6 to a 27 percent pass rate against the Lions in Week 8. It was an almost unprecedented in-season shift.

Post-Snap Read: Stats alone don’t do the rushing attack justice - PE.com
What the Eagles are doing right now with their rushing attack is, in a word, unprecedented. They ran for a season-high 242 yards on Sunday against the Saints, who had the top run defense in the NFL entering the weekend. Let’s break that down for a quick second. Entering Week 11, the Saints had allowed just 72.9 yards per game on the ground. That is an impressive number, but sometimes those counting stats can lie. What did they look like from an efficiency standpoint? Per Pro Football Focus, the Saints led the NFL in rush yards before contact per attempt (0.7 yards per carry) through the first 10 weeks – so ball carriers were being impacted basically at the line of scrimmage on every carry. During that same span, the Saints also led the NFL in rush yards AFTER contact per attempt (2.1 yards per carry) – so ball carriers weren’t getting far after touching a Saints defender. That defense was not missing many tackles. On Sunday? No team allowed more rushing yards before contact (133) than New Orleans (the next closest was the Pittsburgh Steelers with 105) and on a per-attempt basis, they ranked 24th (2.6 yards per carry, nearly four times the amount coming into the matchup). After contact, the Saints allowed 109 yards on the ground, good for 24th in the NFL out of 28 teams entering Monday night.

Week 12 NFL game picks: Lions top Bears; Rams rebound against Packers - NFL.com
The Eagles’ transformation hasn’t only come on offense. While Jalen Hurts, Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson have steamrolled opponents for the league’s best running game since Week 8, Philadelphia’s defense has shown some growth over the last month, too. No longer content to just allow underneath receptions, the Eagles are blitzing and getting more pressure with varied defensive looks. That should be enough against a lost Giants offense, even if it gets a post-Jason Garrett bump. When Giants GM Dave Gettleman arrived, he wanted to build a team that was great at running and stopping the run. The Giants are 30th in rush defense DVOA, making them ill-equipped to deal with this Eagles squad.

Actionable Week 11 Stats - NBC Sports Edge
4. With Miles Sanders off injured reserve, the Eagles made Kenneth Gainwell a healthy scratch. Sanders played 34 snaps, Boston Scott played 29, and Jordan Howard played 13. Sanders ran 11 routes to Scott’s 14 – implying Scott took over the role Gainwell held earlier this season pre-Sanders injury – and Sanders got 13 carries to Howard’s 10. Scott was completely invisible for the first month of the season, almost exclusively playing on special teams while Sanders and Gainwell shared time at running back. Once Sanders went down, however, Gainwell actually saw his role shrink, and it hit rock bottom in Week 11 with the Memphis product getting scratched in favor of Scott and Howard. Scott took over the third-down and two-minute role that the rookie previously held. Howard came in for some short-yardage rush plays but only played 13 snaps and mostly ceded his early-down role to Sanders. Moving forward, it looks like Sanders and Scott are the top-two backs for the Eagles. Sanders should be the primary early-down back with Scott mixing in on passing downs. Howard is no longer fantasy-relevant but could be a thorn in the side of Sanders managers if they insist on keeping him involved in short-yardage situations.

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers for Week 12 - Fake Teams
WR19) DeVonta Smith — PHI isn’t throwing the ball often but Smith is getting peppered with more targets in recent weeks. NYG’s defense has given up the 7th most points to WRs in the past 4 weeks.

Eric Allen and Ricky Watters among Hall of Fame semifinalists - NBCSP
Eric Allen and Ricky Watters are among 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022, the Hall announced Wednesday. Allen, the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 1988, made six Pro Bowls in his 14-year career and had 54 interceptions and eight touchdown returns. He added four postseason interceptions and another TD. In his seven seasons with the Eagles, Allen had 34 interceptions, tied for most in franchise history. Allen is one of only six players in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and eight TD returns. All the others are already in the Hall of Fame, with the exception of Darren Sharper, whose exclusion from the Hall is for non-football reasons.

Giants-Eagles injury news: WR Kadarius Toney misses Wednesday practice - Big Blue View
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who left late in Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a quad contusion, did not practice Wednesday for the New York Giants. The 3-7 Giants host the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and Toney’s name was the only significant addition to the Giants’ injury report. Despite an inconsistent rookie season, Toney leads the Giants in receptions (35), targets (48) and yards receiving (324). Linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who has missed the last three games with an ankle injury, participated on a limited basis.

Cowboys vs. Raiders final injury report: Tyron Smith is good to go for Thanksgiving Day - Blogging The Boys
We are just one day away from the Dallas Cowboys squaring off against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day and as tradition holds, the quick week has indeed gone by in swift fashion. As the Cowboys are indeed turning things around in an abrupt fashion from their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs speculation have been all over the place for wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and his return from the concussion protocol. The final injury report for the week is out and things look very good overall. It seems like Tyron Smith is going to play which is certainly needed.

Washington Injury Updates: Logan Thomas returns to practice, OL injuries continue to test the team’s depth - Hogs Haven
Thomas was a big part of Washington’s offense last season, his first with the team. He showed his potential as a tight end, after entering the NFL as a QB from Virginia Tech. Thomas had 670 yards and 6 TDs last year, making some huge plays during the team’s late season run to the playoffs. He had 117 yards and 2 TDs over his first 3 games, and was expecting a big workload in this offense. Thomas’ replacement(Ricky Seals-Jones) was making some plays in relief, but also suffered an injury that has kept him sidelined. He injured his hip vs the Buccaneers and was inactive on Sunday vs the Panthers. Rookie John Bates filled in, and turned some heads with his catching ability, and even more so with his blocks. Both players can be pieces in the offense, but the return of Logan Thomas will be welcomed by Taylor Heinicke and Scott Turner.

How every Thanksgiving food is ruined (and how you can save them - SB Nation
Every year we go through the magical social media dance of arguing which Thanksgiving foods should get axed from the table. Some want pie gone, others can do without turkey, the chaotic evil suggest axing macaroni and cheese. But there’s always one item that makes the cut: Bread rolls. This typifies every Thanksgiving meal problem. Allow me to explain. The rolls are, largely, the one item untouched by human hands. Unless you have an overachiever in the family who wants to bake their own, rolls typically mean opening the bag of King’s Hawaiian, and if you’re a little fancy, warming them in the oven. This tells me that we have an inherent problem with every other item on the table. Clear signs they’ve been totally screwed up and created bad memories. I am convinced that if America was used to eating properly cooked poultry they’d never cut out the turkey, but every year it’s the first to go.

A Very Thankful NFL Show w/Stats, RJ & BLG - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera, Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa get together for a very special Thanksgiving day episode where they breakdown the games going down on turkey day and debate their terrible food takes!

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