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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s offensive line is a “special group”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/24/21.

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NFL: Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Big Sexies - Iggles Blitz
Individual honors aren’t as important as collective play when it comes to the OL. The Eagles have the best OL in the league. There are some other good groups, but I don’t know if anyone would come close to this bunch. I hope fans appreciate what a special group this is. Mailata may go down as the best LT in franchise history, if he continues to develop and plays for a decade. He’s got that kind of potential. Kelce is the best center in team history. Johnson is the best RT in team history. Dickerson can be a Pro Bowl player. Special group.

Eagles vs. Washington: 14 winners, 4 losers, 2 IDKs - BGN
Former BGN Radio hosts Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak used to say “Build the plane out of Jeff Stoutland!” equating the Eagles OL coach to an ever-reliable and indestructible “black box.” For as much credit as Sirianni deserves, Stoutland should be right there up with him. He is the Eagles’ run game coordinator, after all, and the Birds have been flat out DOMINANT on the ground. That the Eagles are the first NFL team to record 175+ rushing yards in seven consecutive games (a franchise record) since the 1985 Chicago Bears is pretty darn impressive. The Eagles’ offensive line is regularly kicking ass out there. And this isn’t like how it was in 2013 when the starters stayed healthy for the entire year. The Birds started third-string options at both left guard (Sua Opeta) and right guard (Nate Herbig) on Tuesday night. Stout consistently gets the most out of his guys.

Can the Eagles run forever? Latest playoff outlook, Pro Bowl news, Giants preview - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski discuss takeaways from the Eagles-Washington game such as Philly’s offensive line dominance and Jalen Hurts’ bounce back performance. The guys also touch on the latest COVID news, the Eagles’ Pro Bowl selections, a preview of this week’s Giants game, NFL picks against the spread, and more! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

NFL picks against the spread: Sheil Kapadia has Rams, Steelers and Cowboys in Week 16 - The Athletic
The Eagles also could be without their head coach. Nick Sirianni, who has somehow produced an offense that ranks seventh in DVOA, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Sirianni is the Eagles’ offensive play caller. If he misses the game, that responsibility would go to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. The Giants, meanwhile, continue to be a complete disaster. They beat the Eagles in Week 12 but have since lost three games by a total of 42 points. It will be either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm getting the start here. Jalen Hurts had his worst game of the season when these two teams last met, throwing three interceptions. I think the Eagles win here, but 10 is a big number. The pick: Giants (+10).

5 positions where depth, development have paid dividends - PE.com
RUNNING BACK. Jordan Howard is having a bounce-back season, averaging a career-best-tying 5.2 yards per carry even though he bounced between the practice squad and the active roster for the first half of the season. The Eagles had vision when they loaded up their running back room, knowing that the 17-game schedule would tax this position. Miles Sanders missed three games with an ankle injury and still has 709 yards with a 5.5 yard-per-carry average. Boston Scott has had carries in six games and in that time has produced 4.7 yards per carry (285 yards) and four touchdowns, running like a man possessed every time he’s had the ball in his hands. Rookie Kenny Gainwell has given the offense 447 total yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns, and he’s also contributed as a return man. Running backs like action. They like to be in a flow. This group has shared the carries and the wealth and there isn’t a better running back foursome in the NFL coming down the stretch of this regular season.

Fantasy Football Volatility Index: The riskiest and safest plays for NFL Week 16 - Fake Teams
QB Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles). Hurts keeps getting doubted, but he ain’t stopped balling, folks. Just this past week, back from a two-game hiatus, Hurts put on one more show for the Eagles—this time facing the Footies for the first time this season. The final FP tally was all the way up to 27.6, his third-highest of the year through 15 weeks of play. He completed 20 passes, threw for 296 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, and of course added his customary score(s) on the ground with 2 rushing TDs on 8 carries. Hurts is fantastic, comes with a rather-high floor thanks to his ground-game ability, and has put up at least 16.7 FP in all but two of his 13 games this season. Can’t get much safer than that, and the only reason bumping Hurts down a bit is his recent season-low 9.9 FP game against the Giants in 12. That’s the little risk baked into this man’s equation, but even then some 10-FP outing would already have Hurts as a borderline QB2 play.

Giants-Eagles injury news: Kadarius Toney activated from COVID-19 list - Big Blue View
The New York Giants welcomed wide receiver Kadarius Toney, edge defender Oshane Ximines and safety J.R. Reed back to their practice facility on Wednesday. All three were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. “We’ll see if there’s any opportunity on the backend of practice even with some kind of a walkthrough with the team or where they would be. We’d have to remove them from the list and activate them to the roster to include them in team activities,” head coach Joe Judge said. “First priority is to see where they are physically. Obviously, the trainers will check with them in terms of just how they feel. They’ve cleared all those tests, they’ve tested negative to get back in the building, but the bigger part will be getting them out here and seeing where they are from a standpoint of inactivity for the last week-and-a-half as well as the symptoms they had to deal with.”

Taylor Heinicke has cleared COVID-19 protocols and will return to practice today - Hogs Haven
The Washington Football Team QB has cleared COVID-19 protocols and will return to practice today. The team was expecting him back this week, along with several more players who have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list over the last two weeks. Backup QB Kyle Allen is also expected to be cleared before the team travels to Dallas for a Sunday Night Football game against the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys playoff tracker: The Dallas Cowboys have officially clinched a playoff berth - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys began Week 16 with overwhelming odds to make the playoffs as well as to win the NFC East. It seems as if it is really only a matter of time until Dallas can claim themselves as division champions for the first time since 2018. While this is the case, Dallas doesn’t even have to wait for Friday morning to declare themselves postseason bound as Thursday night’s loss by the San Francisco 49ers officially punched their playoff ticket. The Cowboys are headed to the tournament! It is very possible that the Cowboys actually clinch the NFC East as soon as the early games come to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon if a few things go their way (see the list of what Dallas needs right here).

Vikings place Dalvin Cook on COVID-19 list, out for Rams game - Daily Norseman
With their latest “must win” game of the year looming against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings have suffered a very significant blow to their offense. The team has placed running back Dalvin Cook on their reserve/COVID-19 list. Cook is unvaccinated, per reports, and so will be out for Sunday afternoon’s game. Cook, as we know, is one of the league’s best running backs and one of the centerpieces of the Minnesota offense. He had a monstrous game against the Pittsburgh Steelers a couple of weeks ago in his return from a shoulder injury, but struggled a bit on Monday night against Chicago. With Cook out, the team will again turn to Alexander Mattison, who was just brought back from the COVID list yesterday.

2021 NFL playoffs: Five contenders with the most difficult paths to the postseason - NFL.com
Isolating each one of these schedules isn’t perfectly fair, given that we’ve seen lots of upsets and low-probability outcomes this season, but one of the most dramatic swings left for a team’s odds happens in this week’s tilt with the Rams: The Vikings’ playoff chances can increase to more than 40% with a win or drop below 6% with a loss. Then, next week’s matchup with the Packers, who will be looking to secure the NFC’s first-round bye, makes it two games in a row in which the Vikings’ win probability is less than 46.7%. Should Minnesota complete both upsets, which will be that much harder to accomplish with Dalvin Cook missing at least the Rams game (reserve/COVID-19 list), the Vikings will then have a prime opportunity to reach double-digit wins in Week 18 against the Bears (Minnesota is favored in 55.5% of simulations). If the Vikings are going to make the playoffs, they’ll have to improve upon their 25.8% defensive pressure rate (which ranks 24th in the NFL, per NGS) and keep Justin Jefferson in the best situations to remain efficient. Jefferson leads the NFL with 48 receptions and 1,045 yards on passes of 10-plus air yards.

Ian Book preparing to get his first career start on Monday Night, per reports - Canal Street Chronicles
The New Orleans Saints will start their fourth starting QB of the season and the fifth of the calendar year. Dating back to last season the Saints have started Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, Taysom Hill and now rookie Ian Book. Now, Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian have been placed on the Covid-19 list. This leads to rookie QB Ian Book getting his first career start Monday night vs the Miami Dolphins in a critical game for the Saints playoff hopes. Ian Book isn’t exactly stepping into the best offensive situation. He could be without both starting tackles and numerous tight ends that are out with Covid as well, with potentially more players on the way. The Saints are also playing a red-hot Dolphins team that is also pushing for the playoffs.

Colts’ stock up/down: Week 16 - Stampede Blue
Stock Down: Carson Wentz. If you take away the little toss to Hines that counted as a pass and resulted in a touchdown, Wentz finished the game passing for 49 yards and an interception on 11 attempts... and what worries the most is at what time and in what context the interception came. The Colts clearly don’t need Wentz to win them games. They just need him to not screw up big time, and against the Pats he did just that.

The Look Ahead #69: 49ers Titans on TNF + Playoff spots on the line in Week 16 - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa take deep dives into the five biggest games of Week 16 and preview the rest in the Lightning Round! Nick Bosa can win either Defensive Player of the Year or Comeback Player of the Year tonight. Why RJ is all-out on the Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury against the Colts. The Ravens are down so many people yet they still have a shot against Cincy. Are the Patriots in the Bills’ heads a little bit or will Buffalo finally wake up? Week 16 Lightning Round.

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