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Eagles News: Game day is finally here!

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/12/21.

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New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

The Eagles have positive vibes heading into the 2021 season - BGN
Instead, the Eagles are coming off a pretty successful training camp. A number of young players (Josh Sweat, Jordan Mailata, Quez Watkins) took steps forward in their development. Jalen Hurts finished the summer strong. The Birds were the better and more energetic team in all four of their joint training camp practices. Major injury issues were avoided. The preseason games were rough, to be sure. But it’s not like the Eagles’ starters were playing in those. If anything is to be taken from those, it could be that Philly lacks quality depth. Which shouldn’t be surprise coming off a 4-11-1 season. On the whole, it just feels like this team has some positive momentum working in their favor.

Eye On the Enemy #66: Eagles at Falcons breakdown with David Walker - BGN Radio
On the latest episode John Stolnis is joined by David Walker from SB Nation’s The Falcoholics to preview Eagles Week 1 game against the Falcons. In addition John gives out his NFL predictions, including Super Bowl winners as well as a prediction on the Eagles’ record for this year.

Game Preview – PHI at ATL - Iggles Blitz
Will DeVonta Smith prove to the the real deal? Yes. We saw hints of his potential in the preseason. I’m expecting big things from him. He will be the key receiver for the Eagles this year. No one cares about the rookie status. He is the best route-runner and has the best hands of the receivers. You feed that guy the ball. I’m more curious about Quez Watkins. He went from role player to promising starter. Was that summer hype or legit? Watkins doesn’t have to be a volume receiver. His value would come as a playmaker. He had big time speed and good RAC ability. I think the Eagles will score at least 23 points on Sunday. Sirianni is an offensive coach and he’s got some good pieces to work with. Doesn’t hurt that Atlanta’s defense was awful last year.

How Jordan Mailata is winning over fans in the home of Rocky - The Sydney Morning Herald
Brandon Lee Gowton is the editor-in-chief of Bleeding Green Nation, the Eagles’ leading fan site. Are Philly fans really that vicious? “Very,” he laughs. “People care more here. The culture of the city is all about sports. We know everything. We follow the minutiae of every single transaction. The Eagles are the kings here in Philly. Turn on the radio, it’s all about the Eagles. Downtime in June, they’re talking about the Eagles. It’s what people care about here the most. But they’ll give Jordan a long leash. He has a fun personality off the field, that helps. He’s been honest and accountable whenever he talks to the media. The bar is lower for him. People enjoy rooting for him. It would take a lot for people to turn on him. They think he’s going to be the long-term answer.”

Eagles sign left tackle Jordan Mailata to a four-year, $64 million extension - PFF
An evolving talent: Mailata received a 67.7 pass-blocking grade in 2020 — his first year starting — but improved to 84.8 this preseason. Among the 42 tackles with at least 500 pass pro snaps last season, he has the second-highest knockdown percentage (you could call this pancake rate) at 2.

The edge the Birds must take advantage of Sunday - NBCSP
4. The Eagles are not a young team. They have plenty of young players in key roles, but according to figures on Spotrac, their average age – 26 years, 3 months – puts the Eagles squarely in the middle in the pack, 16th oldest roster in the NFL. What’s really interesting is that among players signed for 2022, they average 27 years, 4 months, which makes them 5th-oldest. That’s because so many of their younger players are on one-year deals or the last year of their deal, while their older veterans are on long-term contracts. That’s not a problem now, but the Eagles really need a high percentage of their 2020 and 2021 draft picks to blossom this year both for financial reasons – rookie contracts are cheap – and for competitive reasons, so the roster doesn’t get too old next year.

Eagles-Falcons cheat sheet: Projected lineups, injuries and what you need to know - The Athletic
Berman: There’s so much mystery about both teams, but more so the Eagles because they have a first-time play caller and a quarterback with only four career starts. There’s a part of me that looks at the advantage the Eagles have on both lines of scrimmage and says that will be the difference. However, the Falcons have the more established quarterback and home-field advantage. Arthur Smith has developed a strong reputation as a play caller for a reason; he’ll likely scheme play action and quick passes to try to neutralize the Eagles pass rush. And the Eagles have their own questions on the back end of the defense. My guess is this is a close game. If I was betting on it with the points, I would take the Eagles. If I’m picking the winner outright, I’d go with the team with the better quarterback and home-field advantage. The Eagles fall to 0-1. Falcons 26, Eagles 24.

Former GM Joe Banner: Eagles in wait-and-see mode with Dallas Goedert, but it could cost them cap dollars - Inquirer
EJ: What are your general feelings about the Eagles matchup against Atlanta this weekend? JB: I’ll be surprised if [The Eagles] don’t win. I mean, there are some fairly significant personnel challenges still with the Falcons and a coaching staff that hasn’t worked together, although that can usually come together pretty quick. I think the Eagles match up well, I think they’re gonna be able to get a lot of pressure on [Matt Ryan]. Even though there are some very good weapons on the other side of the ball, over the course of the game, that should make the overall defense pretty effective. I still think that the Falcons have a lot of flaws on defense that are exploitable, so whether it’s running [Jalen pHurts] or quick passes in the slot to [DeVonta Smith] or using [Miles Sanders] out of the backfield, or using two-tight-end formations like we’ve talked about, there’s a lot of things that are very natural to the Eagles and fit their talent that will be exactly the right things to do against the Falcons.

The 2021 Quarterback Commitment Index, Week 1 Edition - The Ringer
Still Talking to Other People: 18. Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa. 19. Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts. Hurts and Tua were always replacing each other at Alabama, and now they can’t get a firm commitment from their NFL teams, either. The Eagles have already traded for Gardner Minshew II, and both these teams have reportedly expressed interest in other QBs as well.

What if the Falcons win/lose against the Philadelphia Eagles - The Falcoholic
The Eagles will continue their recent dominance in this series, winning their fourth game against the Falcons in five matchups dating back to the 2016 season. Even though we are just getting started, this feels like a game the Falcons can ill afford to lose if they want to possibly compete for a playoff spot this year. On paper, the Eagles are one of the weaker teams on their schedule, and this is one of just seven true home games for Atlanta in this campaign (against nine road games and one neutral site game). A defeat would have the home team staring down the barrel of a second consecutive 0-2 start to the season, with a trip to defending champion Tampa Bay coming up in Week 2.

NFC East Notebook: Predictions for Cowboys, Football Team, Eagles - Big Blue View
Philadelphia Eagles. 2020 record: 4-11-1. Projected 2021 record: 6-11. Biggest question: Will Jalen Hurts become the franchise QB the Eagles need? Hurts will certainly have his fair share of help as the Eagles drafted Heisman trophy winner Devonta Smith with the No. 10 overall pick and they have receivers like Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor who should allow Philly to be more explosive on the deep ball. Hurts completed just 52 percent of his passes in his rookie campaign but receivers like these should only improve that statistic. Philly’s offensive line is also well-positioned to support Hurts. The return of Brandon Brooks next to Lane Johnson on the right side, all-pro Jason Kelce at center, and Isaac Samuelo alongside left tackle Jordan Mailata, should give the sophomore QB ample time to find receivers.

NFL Week 1 predictions: Will the Chiefs hold off the Browns? Can Trevor Lawrence change history’s course? Will the Giants surprise? - ESPN+
Bold prediction of the week: The Giants will show Sunday why they should be the NFC East favorites. It’s pretty wild to think that the New York Giants are three-point underdogs to the Denver Broncos at home. It looks like the Giants are about to get tailback Saquon Barkley back on the field, and if that’s the case, we should be able to project a pretty decent performance from quarterback Daniel Jones. In 11 career games alongside Barkley, Jones had thrown 23 touchdown passes against nine interceptions. Stranger things have happened, but if the Giants have a balanced offense to go along with a defense that limited opponents to a 51 Total QBR in the second half of last season, they should have all they need to beat the Broncos — and change the arc of conversation around their division.

The McCarthy Chronicles: Mike McCarthy’s decision making let the Cowboys down - Blogging The Boys
All in all, this was probably the worst we’ve seen McCarthy in terms of decision making since he came to Dallas. Plenty of fans will point to certain failed conversion attempts last year, but many of those were justified decisions that were let down by the men on the field. Thursday night was the exact opposite: the men on the field (meaning Dak and the offense) weren’t letting anyone down, but McCarthy repeatedly ignored the analytics and fell into old habits. The result was a loss. It’s a potentially troubling development, especially if it continues throughout the year. Thursday night’s game proved the Cowboys can hang with the best in the NFL so long as their quarterback is on. The defense and special teams will get there with time, but if McCarthy isn’t able to carve out an edge with his decision making then things could get ugly.

McCarthy’s Critical Coaching Errors - Football Outsiders
The 2021 NFL season kicked off Thursday night in exciting fashion. The Super Bowl Champion Bucs picked up where they left off as Tom Brady orchestrated yet another game-winning drive. Much of the postgame conversation revolved around the poor execution of Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein. He was quick to accept responsibility as he told the press that, “If I do my job, we win this game.” While Zuerlein’s humility is admirable, there are many different jobs that contribute to the outcomes of NFL games, not the least of which is making critical, in-game coaching decisions. Zuerlein did miss two field goals and an extra point, which makes it easy to point the finger at him with some simple arithmetic. When you lose a game by two points, those missed opportunities to score are glaring. It is helpful, however, to look at his kicking woes through the lens of game-winning chance (GWC) and compare that cost to that of Mike McCarthy’s suboptimal fourth-down decisions.

Trade talks for Texans QB Deshaun Watson could pick up around Nov. 2 deadline - NFL.com
Deshaun Watson will watch today’s Texans season-opener against the Jaguars already ruled out for non-football reasons. Barring a dramatic turn, this is the way it will be all season, according to sources close to the situation in Houston. A franchise quarterback in his prime — a healthy scratch. However, this could all change around the time of the trade deadline on November 2. Some of the teams who had some interest in Watson — the Dolphins, Eagles, Panthers, Broncos and others — could renew their interest depending on how the season goes, based on conversations with sources informed of the situation.

Asante Samuel Jr. has trouble learning from one former NFL player — his dad - Los Angeles Times
When the Chargers drafted Samuel Jr. in the second round in April, the convenient assumption was that father helped make son, that two players so similar in style, so alike in technique just had to be close. Turns out, that assumption was too convenient. “People say, ‘Oh, he’s the son of Asante Samuel, so of course,’” Samuel Jr. said. “That’s kind of giving to his legacy and taking away from mine.… For some people, it’s like I’m trying to live off his name.” Said Samuel Sr.: “It’s unfortunate that he still thinks that way. He’s making it difficult. He’s going to drive himself crazy. He should embrace it.” These two do have a relationship, one Samuel Jr. characterized as “far-distance.” In separate interviews, they expressed love for each other. But they haven’t spoken in months, each saying the other struggles to communicate.

The psychology of fanaticism: Everything sports fans do and why - Pride Of Detroit
Why are you the way you are? I don’t mean that in a Michael Scott way. You’re not Toby Flenderson, and you don’t annoy me. I mean as that question to be interpreted on a much deeper level. I also don’t want to just ask Detroit Lions fans. I want to ask all sports fans. Why are we the way that we are? What is it about fanaticism that makes people cram tightly into stadiums in, let’s be honest, uncomfortable fashion? What makes us spend our money on jerseys with someone else’s name on them and apparel with logos of our team? What makes us dedicate our entire week to just getting to gameday? Why is it that the result of that game controls the way we feel hours, days and sometimes weeks? These are the things that go through our brains all the time. This is something about our species that I just needed to understand. So I reached out to Daniel L. Wann to help me understand why we do the crazy things we do as fans. Wann is a professor of psychology at Murray State University, and he’s spent years researching sports fandom and its impact on humans. He broke everything down for us. Here’s what we learned.

NFL City Guides - SB Nation
The NFL is back after a 2020 season disrupted by the COVID pandemic that meant few fans actually got to attend games. Now that we can get out there again (carefully and safely) to enjoy the game we love, SB Nation has you covered with recommendations on where to eat, attractions to visit, and the best ways to enjoy game day in every NFL city.

NFL Show Special Edition with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera talks with his old co-worker Mike Florio of Pro Football talk about the biggest storylines of the year heading into the 2021 season. Can the Bucs repeat as Super Bowl champions? Is there a scenario where Aaron Rodgers stays there beyond this year? Where do things really stand with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks? Did Patrick Mahomes break Kyle Shanahan’s brain?

CDC study: Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of Covid-19 - Vox
As the Biden administration steps up its efforts to get shots in arms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study Friday that underscores the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines against serious illness or death. The study, which examined hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 over a period of more than three months, found that unvaccinated people are more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated, and 11 times more likely to die of the virus, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

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