Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Jason Kelce went blonde too, and it’s blowing our minds - NBCSP
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz blew the Twitterverse wide open when he reported to training camp last month, both because he wasn’t expected to be in camp after a summer of trade rumblings... and because he rolled up rocking a new bleached-blonde hairdo. Was it a message? A midlife crisis? Did we need to talk to Julie Ertz? Eagles fans had all the theories. Ultimately it was probably just a fashion choice, but it was a fun talking point for a little while. And apparently Ertz’s new style inspired at least one of his teammates to join the Blonde Brigade. Brandon Brooks updated his Instagram story on Thursday night with a quick snippet of none other than Eagles center Jason Kelce sporting a new blonde hairdo.
Drums or flats? Jalen Hurts settles the chicken wing debate - BGN
Having covered Jalen Hurts for more than a year now, I think it’s safe to say we don’t always get to see him show off his personality. That’s not a criticism of the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, to be clear. It’s not uncommon for professional athletes to play it straight when they have more important things to focus on than entertaining people in a press conference setting. But it was fun to see Hurts open up a little bit more than before in a recent one-on-one interview for the Bleeding Green Nation podcast feed. BGN Radio’s own Raichele Privette sat down with Hurts to discuss a number of topics.
Eagles vs. Falcons Week 1 preview! - BGN Radio
THE 2021 NFL SEASON IS HERE! Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski are back in full force to take you through the latest team news, three reasons for optimism and three reasons for concern heading into Atlanta, and picks for all four NFC East games — including Eagles vs. Falcons.
NFL picks: Week 1 best bets - ESPN+
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (-3, 48). Schatz: Last year, the Eagles ranked dead last in DVOA when covering opponents’ No. 1 receivers. Darius Slay allowed 9.6 yards per pass target, which ranked 72nd in the NFL among qualifying cornerbacks. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Calvin Ridley is undeniably the No. 1 receiver with the trade of Julio Jones to Tennessee. Football Outsiders’ stat projections give Ridley the most receiving yardage of any wideout in the league this week. Pick: Ridley over 85.5 receiving yards (-125).
The best DFS stacks & blowup targets in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season - PFF
If that continues in 2021, Ridley could be the answer to the No. 1 receiver question. Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts could cut into some of Ridley’s target share expectation and makes for a very affordable DFS option — at least for Week 1. He has a salary expectation under 10 fantasy points. Buying into the Falcons’ offense in Week 1 is buying into Arthur Smith, and that seems like one of the safest bets.
Chargers Shine in 2021 Staff Predictions - Football Outsiders
Scott Spratt: Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI. In projecting 104 carries for 586 yards and 5.2 touchdowns, KUBIAK is already lower on Hurts for fantasy than many other projection systems. But I still believe he has major downside risk. As a draft prospect, Hurts drew unflattering comparisons to Tim Tebow because of poor arm strength and poor decision-making. And he did little to prove questions of his NFL future wrong in a rookie season with a -17.6% passing DVOA, dramatically lower than that of Tua Tagovailoa (-8.5%) who has somehow sparked greater public concern. That may be overly critical since Hurts had the deck stacked against him on an Eagles team whose offensive line injuries netted them the worst pressure rate in football (31.5%). But I don’t believe the team invested enough in Hurts to give him every chance to succeed as a starter. Late-offseason addition Gardner Minshew could end up starting games this November and December.
Amid the Eagles’ commitment to analytics, how it will affect Nick Sirianni’s game planning is unclear - Inquirer
But his father has increasingly placed him in various settings to learn the family business, most significantly the head coaching interviews in which Julian Lurie was a stand-in for analytics. He didn’t have a major say in the Sirianni hire, but he did have “a meaningful voice in their discussions about who they liked and who they didn’t,” a front office source said.“It may not be fair, but a [prospective] head coach walks in and he sees the owner’s son there, and he’s 25-years old, it’s not ideal,” the front office source said. “But that’s clearly where this is headed. And there’s absolutely no doubt there was a significant difference in his role from Doug to now.” Born into ownership, and unlike his father, Julian Lurie will be a lifelong Eagles fan when he is given an active role and inevitably succeeds him.But Jeffrey Lurie, who turned 70 on Wednesday, has no apparent plans of slowing down. His presence at Sirianni’s first training camp was the same as ever. He remains as hands-on with the Eagles as ever, team sources said. Which begs the question: Will he continue to have Tuesday meetings with the head coach?
What will the Eagles defense look like on Sunday? - PE.com
What can we expect on Sunday? It’s hard to know, because Atlanta has its first-time Head Coach Arthur Smith, who has a run-heavy background from his time as offensive coordinator in Tennessee, marrying his football principles with the Falcons’ personnel, which includes Ryan, some big-time receivers in Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, and a highly touted rookie tight end in Kyle Pitts, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. What is Atlanta’s game plan going to be? So much mystery. So much intrigue. When the Eagles’ defense takes the field, Gannon wants his players to be loose and play freely. He has challenged the players through the summer with a heavy mental load, gauging how much they can handle and how much responsibility he can put on their shoulders. Now the playbook has been tapered down to a game plan, and that game plan – with in-game adjustments so essential in a Week 1 “unknown” situation so very important – is expected to be executed.
Captain to chess club, career-ending injury to Eagles DC: Why you’ll know Jonathan Gannon’s name - The Athletic
Gannon has an expression he uses with his players: “Calm is contagious.” That’s an attribute he believes comes from his father, although “calm” should not be misinterpreted. “By no means is Jonathan Gannon a chill guy,” Massey said. “He is focused. But always in control.” The sense of control came through in a moment that’s become associated with Gannon. He was fouled in the final seconds of the state championship game with Saint Ignatius leading by one point. “Don’t screw it up,” one of his teammates said on the bench to break the ice. Gannon, who did not excel as a free-throw shooter, sank both free throws to cement the first state championship in school history.
2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight ends for Week 1 - Fake Teams
11) Dallas Goedert — Zach Ertz’s presence limits his upside.
2 QBs to start and 2 QBs to fade in Week 1 fantasy football - DraftKings Nation
Jalen Hurts, Eagles vs. Falcons. Hurts might not be your prototypical NFL quarterback, but we’ve learned that you don’t have to be a Peyton Manning to put up fantasy numbers. It’s actually easier for rushing quarterbacks like Hurts to put up fantasy points, as rushing yards and rushing touchdowns are worth more than passing yards and touchdowns. And we know the Falcons are going to have a below average defense this season. Hurts’ fantasy floor will be high and against the Falcons poor pass defense, he should have plenty of chances to put up numbers through the air.
Falcons vs Eagles preview: Offensive and defensive stats comparison for Week 1 - The Falcoholic
You might remember from last season that the Falcons offense was frequently maddening from an advanced statistics standpoint. This is due to the fact that their overall scoring efficiency (how many offensive drives ended in a score) was high, but their red zone efficiency (how many red zone drives ended in a TD) was very low. That resulted in an offense which scored at a pretty average level despite an above-average number of red zone trips. Even taking this into account, the advanced statistics do heavily favor the Falcons. Atlanta was top-10 in scoring efficiency (9th) and third down efficiency (10th), were above-average in turnover percentage (12th), and were right around average in sack rate (T-17th). The Eagles have only one advantage: red-zone efficiency, which was Atlanta’s Achilles heel in 2020 under Dirk Koetter. Philadelphia had a fairly league-average 60.9% efficiency (15th), while the Falcons finished with just 53.4% (26th). In the other advanced stats, the Eagles were among the worst in the NFL: 31st is scoring efficiency, 31st in turnover percentage, 28th in third down efficiency, and dead last in sack rate allowed.
Eagles’ Fletcher Cox barely avoided devastating Mullica Hill tornado - NJ.com
Cox’s appointment that landed him in a barber’s chair proved to be a good decision. It helped him avoid an EF-3 tornado and the 150 mile-per-hour winds that ripped through the Gloucester County town, leaving siding and insulation in the streets, houses ripped apart, and trees in the middle of the road, hindering vehicles from getting around the area easily. “By the time the tornado did come through, I would have been going through that same area, at the time that it came through, had I timed it up just right,” Cox said Thursday.
Cowboys come up just short against Buccaneers 31-29 in very competitive game - Blogging The Boys
It is still a loss, but Dallas proved they belonged on the field. [BLG Note: Congrats to the Cowboys on their moral victory.]
The 5 O’Clock Club: Where will my attention be on Sunday? - Hogs Haven
The 2021 Washington Football Team will succeed or fail based on which Ryan shows up each week — will it be Fitzmagic or Fitztragic? Fitz has a habit of starting seasons fast, then faltering later, so even a good outing this Sunday won’t really answer the most burning question that most fans have. With a talented roster surrounding him — and especially a strong defense that he can rely on — can Ryan Fitzpatrick lead a team to a division championship for the first time in his career? I’m on record as believing he can, but after a less-than-inspiring preseason, I’ll be watching closely to see what No. 14 can do at home against the Chargers on opening day.
Giants vs. Broncos injury news: Giants TE Evan Engram sits out another practice - Big Blue View
Tight end Evan Engram was the only player who sat out practice on Thursday as the New York Giants prepared for Sunday’s season opener vs. the Denver Broncos. Engram, who suffered a calf injury in the preseason finale, has done nothing but work on the side with trainers since suffering the injury.
Colts Injury Report: CB Rhodes Continues To Miss Practice - Stampede Blue
CB Xavier Rhodes continued to miss practice today. Rhodes is dealing with a calf injury that appears to be a new injury. Rhodes will need to practice tomorrow in some capacity or the Colts could be down a starting cornerback against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing attack. If Rhodes can’t play Sunday then the Colts could lean on TJ Carrie to fill in for Rhodes on the outside.
A major commenting update for fans - SB Nation
You might know that we’ve been rolling out a new commenting platform across some of our sites. One thing we’ve heard loud and clear: It needed a much-loved feature from the old platform. And so, we’re delighted to announce that the Z Key is back. If you know, you know, but in case you don’t: the Z Key (and on mobile devices, the Next Unread button) lets readers jump between comments they haven’t previously seen, in order to catch up on the latest comments and replies.
The Look Ahead #53: Dak returns vs. Brady + Baker vs. Mahomes and more - The SB Nation NFL Show
Each week, Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa tell you what to watch, what narratives matter, and what you might not be thinking about in the biggest games on the schedule. How can the Cowboys slow down the Bucs’ offense? Josh Allen has a tough test early against the Steelers pass rush. Which AFC team announces their presence with authority: The Browns or the Chiefs? Will Pete Carroll let Russ cook again? Does Aaron Rodgers want to prove he was right more than he wants to win? How much do the Bears use Justin Fields against the Rams?
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