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Eagles News: Philadelphia leads the NFL in scoring efficiency over their last seven games

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/23/21.

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NFL: Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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5 stats that highlight the evolution of the offense - PE.com
1. In their last seven games, the Eagles lead the league in scoring efficiency (percentage of drives that result in a field or a touchdown) at 52.9 percent. 2. They lead the NFL since Week 8 in explosive plays (defined by the coaching staff as a passing play of 16-plus yards and a running play of 10-plus yards) with 80. 3. The running game? A slam dunk. The Eagles are averaging 214.4 yards per game starting with the game in Detroit and have eclipsed 200 yards in five of those games. 4. Philadelphia is second in the league in points per game, averaging 29.3 points in their last seven games, with five victories. 5. A stat that really is indicative of how effective the Eagles have been, the Eagles rank first in the NFL in third-down efficiency, converting 51.6 percent of those situations.

Eagles issue estimated injury report ahead of Giants game; plus COVID/practice squad news - BGN
Five players were listed under DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Le’Raven Clark, Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, Jordan Mailata, and Miles Sanders. Clark was listed with an illness and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He’s the third Eagles offensive lineman — joining Landon Dickerson and Andre Dillard — to go on that list in the past four days. That much is concerning for the OL outlook in terms of both potential spread and immediate depth issues. Clark was one of three backup blockers behind the starters on Tuesday night. Now the current swing tackle is Brett Toth. Elsewhere on the COVID front, Nick Sirianni might have to miss this week’s game after testing positive on Wednesday morning. More on that here.

The QB Factory Reboot #40: A look at Hurts’ Week 15 performance, Sirianni deserves credit, Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm to start at QB for Giants? - BGN Radio
*This episode was recorded prior to the news that Eagles HC Nick Sirianni entered the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol.* Raichele Privette and Mark Schofield are back, recharged and refreshed after the Eagles Bye Week. They dissect Jalen Hurts performance against Washington on Tuesday, praise Nick Sirianni for his Week 15 play calling decisions and preview the Eagles-Giants second matchup of the season Week 16.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 16 - PhillyVoice
As we noted in our postgame “10 awards” column, the Eagles have out-rushed their opponents 1501-554 over their last seven games. The Eagles need to just worry about getting into the playoffs, before anyone should start worrying about their best possible matchups should they get in. But what the hell. Just for fun, I was curious where each of the top five teams in the NFC rank in terms of rushing defense. Let’s just use DVOA: Rams: 4th, Cardinals: 8th, Buccaneers: 12th, Cowboys: 19th, Packers: 25th. The Cowboys and Packers are arguably their two most likely opponents, should they get in.

What we learned from Eagles-WFT: Credit Nick Sirianni for a possible playoff trip, but there are questions on defense - Inquirer
The Eagles can beat subpar quarterbacks. Nick Sirianni deserves a lot of credit for turning his team’s fortunes around following a 2-5 start. He addressed what wasn’t working on offense — and defense, for that matter — and made proper adjustments to help turn the Eagles into a winning squad. I don’t want to take away from what the first-time coach has accomplished, particularly in terms of his game plans and play-calling. The offense, especially in the run game, has performed at a high level and has beat up on at least one top-notch defense in the Saints. But the Eagles, in their last seven games, have benefitted from playing substandard competition. Overall, they’ve yet to beat a team with a winning record. The combined records of their opponents in their seven victories is 37-60-1 (.383 percentage). On the opposite side of the ledger, their seven losses have come against teams with a combined 57-41 mark (.582). They are likely as their current record states: a mid-tier team. But where they fall in that group may depend on one’s view of Jonathan Gannon and his defense.

The day after: Can the Eagles go from playoff hopefuls to serious contenders? - The Athletic
But it’s not all gravy for the plucky Eagles. With the playoffs in sight, they have outgrown pluck. Now, they have to be evaluated as a playoff contender. And while a win is a win is a win in any division game, let alone one played under such odd circumstances, there were signs of trouble Tuesday night that could eventually prevent them from achieving the feel-good finish they want. For instance, it took until the final play of the first half for a defensive line that has underperformed all year relative to its cost and reputation to finally hit Washington journeyman quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who was playing behind a mediocre, undermanned offensive line. There was also the disappointing 61-yard touchdown drive allowed by the defense in the fourth quarter that cut the Eagles’ lead to 20-17. On offense, there was Hurts’ fumble and a handful of missed opportunities downfield.

Dallas Goedert emerging as big-play threat during Eagles’ playoff push - ESPN
Goedert, 26, took over as the primary tight end starting Week 7 after Zach Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. Since that time, he ranks second among NFL tight ends in yards per reception (15.6), fourth in first-down receptions (25) and fifth in receiving yards (515), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Hurts has a 71% completion rate when targeting Goedert this season while averaging 10.6 yards per attempt, well above the quarterback’s season averages (61.3 completion rate, 7.2 yards per attempt). Goedert is also an above-average blocker, which has played a part in Philly becoming the top rushing team in the league.

The slam-dunk case for Jason Kelce to make the Hall of Fame - NBCSP
Kelce was a 6th-round pick and because he didn’t come into the NFL with the fanfare of a high draft pick or college star, it took four years before the league even noticed that he was playing at an extraordinary level. But since 2014, there’ve been only nine other players at ANY position who’ve made five Pro Bowls and three all-pro teams. Only one of them is an offensive lineman – Cowboys guard Zack Martin – and only four of them have also won a Super Bowl (Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Antonio Brown, Bobby Wagner). That’s the company Kelce is in. He’s one of the best players in the NFL, one of the best centers in history and a Super Bowl champion. He’s the most durable center in the league and maybe it won’t help his Hall of Fame chances but anybody who dresses up as a Mummer and makes that legendary speech in front of the Art Museum after the Super Bowl parade deserves a little extra consideration as well.

As Giants sell out to stop Eagles’ running game, is this when DeVonta Smith breaks out? A ‘top-10′ wide receiver is lurking - NJ.com
And now, as the Giants try to rebuild one of the NFL’s weakest and most dysfunctional offenses, twice a year — including this Sunday — they will get an up-close view of the receiver who got away. That’s delightful for Eagles fans, who have complained about draft letdowns at wide receiver for the better part of a decade, from Nelson Agholor to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to Reagor. “The only question in Smith’s game is if he can hold up with his body build,” said Doug Whaley, a former Buffalo Bills general manager. “I think the sky is the limit. Top-10 wide receiver if he gets competent quarterback play.” Is this the week that Smith breaks out?

NFL QB Index, Week 16: Aaron Rodgers hits No. 1 for the first time this season! Joe Burrow eyeing top five - NFL.com
17) Jalen Hurts. That was everything I want out from a Hurts start. His running — and the threat of him running — helped put the Eagles’ ground game over 200 yards again. He hit chunk plays to Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor with touch and arm strength. He only had six incompletions and moved well in the pocket. The time off appeared to do Hurts right.

Giants vs. Eagles, Week 16: What to expect when the Giants have the ball - Big Blue View
Jake Fromm did enough last week to force a “conversation” at the quarterback position. While it was only a brief showing in garbage time and a very pared-down two-minute offense, Fromm did what was asked of him and did it well. He executed the offense with decisiveness, showing good anticipation and precision in his passes — better than the Giants have seen from their passing offense in some time. Likewise, the Giants’ offense actually played with urgency in a two-minute situation, which was refreshing to see. But still, it was only about two and a half minutes of action and far from executing a full game plan against a team trying to claw its way into the playoffs. Much of the Giants’ game plan and how they can attack the Eagles will depend on who is under center. Glennon has a much fuller command of the playbook and will have seen much more of the defensive schemes used around the NFL. However, paring back the offensive playbook could be to the benefit of the whole offense. Relying solely on the plays the coaches know the team can execute well and quickly (as they do in a two-minute drill) will allow the offense to play faster. Taking wrinkles out of the game plan might make the Giants easier to defend for 60 minutes, but it’s also fair to ask whether all the rotations and trick plays were doing any good. Really, the Giants have nothing to lose by rolling with Fromm, but right now we don’t know if he’ll get the nod.

The Dallas Cowboys offense has to find a way to capitalize on the success of their defense - Blogging The Boys
We have all said for years that if the Cowboys can have even a competent defense then they can contend in the playoffs and as we sit three weeks out the Cowboys sort of have a supremely elite defense. In fact, they are literally the best as they have the top Defensive EPA/Play Allowed over this three-week stretch. Maybe the defense can really keep this up for another month and a half, that certainly exists in the world of all possibilities; however, the hope is that the offense will start to carry its own weight and we won’t have to find out the answer to this.

Washington Roster Moves: Cole Holcomb placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list; Two more players taken off - Hogs Haven
Washington also announced that starting LB Cole Holcomb has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He joins fellow LBs David Mayo and Milo Eifler, who remain out due to protocols. Washington’s list now sits at 12 players waiting to be activated. There are 6 players on offense and 6 players on defense. Washington plays the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in a must-win game if they want any chance at making the playoffs this year. They are likely to have both QBs, and most of the rest of the players still on the Reserve list back in time to play Dallas, but the flight to Dallas is a little longer than the flight to Philly if there are any last minute activations. The late start time for SNF may prove to be an advantage in this regard.

The 6 teams with the most hopeless futures in the NFL - SB Nation
No. 1: New York Giants. Pros: Two Top 10 picks. Cons: Literally everything else The Giants are an absolute mess, and this has been brewing for a long, long time. There was a fundamental problem turning the keys over to Dave Gettleman as general manager to right this ship, and it’s become a disaster. Gettleman has been rumored to be stepping away after this season with a gracious retirement, and that’s a huge boon for the Giants who desperately need someone to shape this roster as if it’s about to be 2022, and not 1972, as Gettleman tends to value football.

NFL University #20: Nate Tice of The Athletic, making sense of the playoffs, & explaining the AFC - The SB Nation NFL Show
Welcome back to another edition of NFL University! Stephen Serda, Kyle Posey, and Justis Mosqueda are joined by the host of the Athletic Football Show Nate Tice to try and figure out the NFL playoffs. The Rams are ready to give the Cardinals a run for the division. The Packers officially clinched the NFC North, and we’re all in on the Tyler Huntley train. The AFC continues to wide open but we keep finding our way back to Kansas City, and the Cowboys defense is turning it on at the right time.

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