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Eagles News: Can Jalen Hurts erase the ambiguity?

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/6/21.

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10 Eagles predictions heading into the 2021 NFL season - PhillyVoice
1) There will be continued ambiguity as to whether Jalen Hurts is “the guy.” [...] Jalen Hurts is going to make some plays in 2021 that only a small number of quarterbacks in the league can make. He’s also going to leave his share of easily makeable plays on the field. There will be occasional impressive moments, countered by inconsistency. That’s not uncommon for any young quarterback, but it feels like Hurts’ margin for error is slimmer than a quarterback taken, say, in the first 10 picks of a draft. At the end of this season, Hurts will not have shown that he is definitively “the guy,” but there will be reasonable arguments to be made that he deserves another year to show that he is. There will also be reasonable counter arguments that because the Eagles have a bunch of high picks in the 2022 draft, that they should jump at the opportunity to land an even better quarterback prospect, or to trade for a more established vet. Are you looking forward to those debates? No? Well that’s probably where we’re headed. [BLG Note: The feeling here is that if there’s any ambiguity, the Eagles will not hesitate to move on from Hurts.]

Jordan Mailata: A living testament to the ‘one percent better’ mantra -
Mailata’s tale is important to consider on many levels. He was only 20 years old when the Eagles drafted him and he knew almost nothing about the game of American football. He watched video of some of the game’s left tackles, leaning toward Jason Peters and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the former Eagle who stepped in for Peters in 2017 and helped the team win Super Bowl LII. Mailata also watched Alejandro Villanueva, a hulking left tackle who, at 6-foot-9, helped the 6-8 Mailata understand pad level and pre-snap stance. Of course, once Mailata joined the Eagles, he worked under the direction of Stoutland, one of the game’s best offensive line coaches who specializes in making players better on a daily basis. His “one percent better” mantra resonated with Mailata, who says it is now part of his “way of life.”

Eleven best members of the 2011 rookie class heading into 2021 -
Don’t overlook Jason Kelce because of his unit’s injury-related struggles or the poor performance of the team overall in 2020. He was the only offensive lineman on the Eagles to start all 16 games last season, earning Pro Football Focus’ 12th-highest offensive grade among centers (he was also graded as the fourth-best run-blocker). While Kelce’s three-season streak of first-team All-Pro nods ended in 2019, he did make his fourth career Pro Bowl team in 2020. It’s not hard to envision two members of Philly’s O-line from the past decade — Kelce and Jason Peters, who is currently with the Bears — generating Hall of Fame talk someday.

The Falcons will try to break a string of season opening losses next Sunday - The Falcoholic
There are easier matchups on the schedule—the Jets are likely to be one of them, the Giants another—but the Eagles are a clearly rebuilding team that doesn’t have a terrific offense on paper. The first week of the season always features plenty of weirdness, but if the Falcons stumble badly against Philadelphia with almost all of their starters healthy, it’s a bad sign for the rest of the season.

Cowboys offensive line shuffle: La’el Collins expected to play, Zack Martin reported out with COVID - Blogging The Boys
The first game for Dallas is hardly one where they want to be relying on backups on the offensive line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers boast one of the most dangerous defensive fronts in Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vae, and William Gholston. Martin has been one of the few offensive guards who was able to stave Suh off. Now Dak Prescott and his surgically repaired ankle will be missing his protection. It is good to see Collins expected to be ready for the game, but that is contingent on not re-aggravating his problem. Stingers are notorious for lingering and reoccurring. Having him back at practice is a great sign, but hardly definitive.

Simulating the 2021 NFL season: Projecting 285 games, biggest storylines and a Super Bowl winner - ESPN
Late push from Cowboys wins them the NFC East. Through Week 13, it appeared as though Washington would win the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys scuffled to a 6-6 start, while Washington had a two-game lead at 8-4. But in Week 14, the tide turned as Dallas beat Washington in Landover, 27-20, then took care of business in East Rutherford a week later with a 17-10 win over the Giants. The Cowboys headed home and beat Washington for the second time in three weeks in a 38-10 rout before finishing off the four-game win streak with a 27-24 win over the Cardinals, sealing the division. Washington, for its part, closed out the year with six straight losses. But as mentioned above, Dallas’ comeback and playoff berth yielded no postseason success, as it lost 24-16 at home to the Saints.

Sorry, Bucs and Chiefs. Here’s Why Super Bowl Will Be Rams-Bills, And More Predictions For NFL 2021 - FMIA
10. My last decision: Dallas over Washington. WFT could have a top-five defense, and that alone might be good enough to win an NFC East stuck in mediocrity. Dallas, though, will have a top-five offense, and I think Micah Parsons the playmaker and Dan Quinn the playcaller move the D from horrendous (29.6 points per game allowed last year) to tolerable (maybe 24 ppg). The NFL did its best to make the NFC East the division of mystery, however. Washington plays one division game before Dec. 10, and finishes this way: Cowboys, at Eagles, at Cowboys, Eagles, at Giants. The height of weirdness: WFT plays Dallas and Philadelphia four times in a 22-day span.

Giants’ Saquon Barkley “close” to being cleared to play vs. Denver Broncos, per report - Big Blue View
It is appearing more and more likely that the New York Giants will have star running back Saquon Barkley available on Sunday when they open their 2021 NFL season against the Denver Broncos. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that Barkley is “gearing up to play” and the he is “close” to being cleared for action vs. the Broncos, and that the Giants are expected to monitor Barkley through practice on Thursday before making a final decision. Barkley suffered his injury on Week 2 of last season, Sept. 20 to be exact. Barkley came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Aug. 9, and has steadily been ramping up his workload since then.

What can we expect from the Hopkins/Pineiro kicker competition? - Hogs Haven
The hope all pre-season has been not that Dustin Hopkins would be cut and cast aside without an alternative plan in place, but instead simply that - like every other position on the roster - the team’s kicking would be benefitted by competition. I’m encouraged that Coach Rivera and Nate Kaczor have decided to bring a kicker onto the practice squad, and the more I learn about him, the more excited I am that it’s Pineiro. The young soccer player with the booming leg may have a future in DC. Only time will tell.

NFL Daily Kickoff, Monday- Cowboys lose Zack Martin for the opener vs. Bucs - The SB Nation NFL Show
In today’s episode, the Cowboys will be without Zack Martin due to COVID-19, the 49ers add a big name with little game, and the Steelers and TJ Watt can’t agree on a contract.


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