Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
“Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” - SiriusXM podcast
Brady went on to joke about the failed trick play in Super Bowl 52, between the Eagles and Patriots, that saw a pass from Danny Amendola slip off Brady’s fingertips. Brady: “I’m thinking the first play from scrimmage, I’ll hand it off, give it to a receiver and they’ll throw it back to me. So what could possibly go wrong with that?! I need to redeem myself so expect to see that at some point.” Gray: “Do you think about that play often, off your fingertips?” Brady: “I get reminded of that play! Every time I see an Eagles fan I get reminded of that play.”
Weapon X Mailbag: What can we expect from the Eagles’ defense against Tom Brady - BGN
Brady has been a monster this year, throwing for a career-high 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. Both marks led the NFL. Brady’s inexplicably better now as a quarterback in his age-44 season than he was when the Eagles first played Brady in the Super Bowl 17 years ago. What will be working against Brady and the Bucs’ favor this postseason, however, is the losses to their wide receiver corps. Tampa Bay will be without Pro Bowler Chris Godwin, who suffered an ACL tear back in Week 15. Antonio Brown has been cut because of, well, uh, Antonio Brown things. 28-year-old Cyril Grayson, who has 11 career catches and has never played in the postseason, started at receiver for the Bucs this past Sunday. Superstar Mike Evans remains as good as ever, but the Buccaneers’ receivers suddenly aren’t as terrifying as they looked just a handful of weeks back. Gannon has Darius Slay, Steven Nelson and Avonte Maddox playing better than I ever could’ve imagined. Slay has looked revitalized in the regular season, resembling the All-Pro corner he was with Detroit. Nelson has been the best-case scenario for a veteran stop-gap starter. Maddox has lived up to the promise he showcased as a rookie in 2018 and earned a new contract extension along the way. Slay will be following Evans across the field all afternoon. Eagles fans will need Big Play Slay to live up to his namesake, as he has done frequently this season. No one makes fewer mistakes than Brady, but Slay has to be ready to pounce on an opportunity if one arises. As for Rob Gronkowski? Gronk is still Gronk. I don’t know how a team is supposed to defend him. I’m just hoping Brady forgets he’s on his team like he did in the first half of Super Bowl LII.
The QB Factory Reboot #43: Confidence level in Eagles defeating Bucs + How do you fool Tom Brady? - BGN Radio
Raichele Privette and Mark Schofield get carried away previewing the Eagles’ first round of playoffs against Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs. They discuss their confidence in the Eagles pulling through with a win, and the keys to the game.
Eagles vs. Buccaneers: Five matchups to watch, when Philly has the ball - PhillyVoice
At that point in the season, the Eagles were a finesse offense, through no fault of the players. They were unable to be physical when the play caller simply opted not to run the ball, almost at all in some games. And you know who loves that? Defenses! By completely ignoring the run, the Bucs’ defense was in attack mode all night, and they stayed in attack mode. The Eagles did eventually run the ball late in that game, oh and hey(!) they had some success with it, but it was too late. Sirianni and the Eagles offense have come a long way since Week 6, and their offensive approach is completely different these days. They are now the most run-heavy offense in the NFL. Bowles won’t have his “shut down the run” victory just by showing up on Sunday. Back in Week 6, Miles Sanders was healthy, Kenny Gainwell was the No. 2, Boston Scott didn’t yet have a rushing attempt on the season yet, and Jordan Howard was still on the practice squad. Howard played against Washington Week 16, but he did not look like his normal self, while Sanders has been out since Week 16 with a broken hand. “We’re hopeful for Miles this week,” Sirianni said on Monday. “Again, that’s why we didn’t put him on IR way back when he did have the hand injury. So, we’re hopeful for him. We’re hopeful for Jordan this week and Boston and Kenny. So, I think we’ll have our full stable of backs and really excited about where our backfield is. I think a lot of teams in this league would like the depth we have at this position.” The Eagles really need at least of one of Sanders or Howard to be close to 100 percent in this game, but ideally they’ll have both at close to full strength. That positional group probably benefited the most from the team resting starters Week 18.
Strengths and weaknesses for every 2021-22 NFL playoff team - PFF
Weakness: Through the Air. While the rushing attack has opened up some holes down the field in the passing game, Hurts struggles in known passing situations. His passing grade on third downs is 53.8, 26th in the league this season. He at least ranks 13th on first and second down, but if a team can stop the run and force the Eagles into too many third downs, the team might be in trouble. The offensive line has been very good on third down, recording a cumulative 75.8 pass-blocking grade, which is second-best in the league. Hurts just hasn’t been able to find receivers and throw the ball accurately in these situations.
‘Perfect for the city’: Jason Kelce’s greatness born of his passion for life - Inquirer
Kelce has a family now. He married his wife, Kylie, almost three years ago. They have two young daughters, Wyatt and Elliotte. His family is a good enough reason to hang up his cleats. Kelce also won’t be without opportunity in retirement. He could do almost anything he wants, but that may also make him reluctant to take the plunge. “I talk to Kelce a lot and I don’t think anybody knows if he’s coming back,” Celek said. “It’s a fluid situation. He could have retired every year for the last four years — and he never did.” Kelce has another year left on his contract. The easing of his practice load without affecting his performance in games has made recovery easier. The Eagles are on the upswing. And he’s still the best at what he does in the world. Whatever he does, it’s likely he’ll still be wearing the cape, thinking he could fly, and inspiring others to follow. “Almost feels like a lullaby,” Kelce said of Clark’s tune. “In fact, I often sing it to my daughter before she goes to sleep.”
The Tom Brady Factor: ‘A big-time challenge’ awaits the Eagles’ defense - PE.com
Round 2 is Sunday and Gannon is well aware of the challenges against an offense that won’t have wide receivers Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin (who combined for 14 receptions, 136 yards, and a touchdown the first time around) but will have tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was injured in October. “We’ve got to be ready for everything,” Gannon said. “It’s going to be a big-time challenge.” Gannon explained more deeply, discussing how the defending Super Bowl Champion Bucs have “adjusted and adapted” with new personnel on the field, praising the timing, spacing, continuity, and precision of the routes and the marriage of the concepts in Tampa Bay’s passing attack and, of course, noting the Brady Factor in all of this. Gannon referred to Brady as a “trained killer” on the football field for good reason.
The Perfect Hyperbolic Eagles Team for the NFL’s Most Hyperbolic Fan Base - The Ringer
What we don’t know with any level of confidence is whether this team is good. Whether their George Patton–inspired offense is sustainable. Whether they’re as good as their record or merely better than their soft second-half schedule. That uncertainty makes it impossible not to project one’s own hopes and fears onto this cipher of a team. And given that Eagles fans have the most hopes and fears of any NFL fan base, the lead-up to Sunday’s confrontation with the Buccaneers could constitute a genuine threat to public safety. Particularly given what happened the last time these two teams met in the postseason, or the last time Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski came up against an underdog Eagles team in the playoffs.
Yarcho’s Pick Six: Historic day en route to the playoffs - Bucs Nation
4.) Reunited and it feels so good. For the first time since week one this season - all the way back in September - the Buccaneers are positioned to have their entire starting defense on the field together next week against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round. Though the Bucs defense didn’t look great to start the day yesterday, they clamped down and finished strong. Having their full array of defensive playmakers and talent will be a breath of fresh air and something that opposing offenses haven’t been able to plan for all season long. The biggest impacts will come from Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David, but a rested and hopefully somewhat healthier Jason Pierre-Paul could be the biggest X-Factor of the postseason. Nothing against Joe Tryon-Shoyinka - who has played great over the last month - but JPP brings something to this defense that is nearly impossible to replicate. Having him and Barrett on the edges against a running threat like Jalen Hurts will be a huge help for this defense looking to replicate their shut-down, grave digger style of the last postseason.
Weighing fifth-year options for 2019 NFL Draft’s first-round picks: To exercise or not to exercise? - NFL.com
Exercise the option? No. Andre Dillard has been a major disappointment for the Eagles. They thought the Washington State product would be a foundational left tackle to build around. He’s been anything but that. Philly has tried to find a home for him, but he’s more of a depth piece when all players along the line are healthy. The Eagles just gave Jordan Mailata, a 2018 seventh-rounder with no previous football experience, to a four-year deal, so Dillard will likely get a fresh start somewhere else soon.
Judgment Day: Joe Judge fired by Giants after 2 seasons as head coach - Big Blue View
It was clear that Judge had lost the support of the fan base. MetLife Stadium was only about one-quarter full for the season finale, some wearing bags over their heads or with their faces made up like clowns in reference to a Judge remark that the Giants “ain’t some clown show organization.” Judge consistently emphasized process and culture in his remarks, deflecting from the lack of quality play on the field. In recent weeks, he had given unbelievable six- and 11-minute answers to questions about why he felt there was progress being made or that he could get the Giants turned around. In that second 11-minute answer he had indirectly taken a shot at the Washington Football Team for having a sideline fight, said that players “tapped out” at the end of Shurmur’s tenure and made his infamous “clown show” comment. The Giants ultimately appear to have decided that the regression to the product on the field and Judge’s embarrassing comments off of it made going forward with him untenable.
This is one of the most complete Dallas Cowboys teams in recent memory to enter the playoffs - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys are going to be playing a playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, just one day shy of the 29th anniversary of beating them in the 1992 NFC Championship Game. It was that victory at Candlestick which launched a dynasty for Dallas, one that the team has had trouble coming anywhere close to for over a quarter century. Our collective hope is that the drought comes to an end this year as the team is certainly positioned to have some sort of postseason success. While we are all nervous, the facts are what they are at this point. The Cowboys are an incredible statistical team by a lot of metrics, ones that apply to both the offense and defense. Football is easiest when you are elite at everything and the Cowboys have had that sort of fortune throughout this season. Being frank, they are one of the most successful teams in an overall sense that the franchise has put out since the 1990s.
Report: Minnesota Vikings to interview Doug Pederson for head coaching job - Daily Norseman
Personally, the idea of Pederson being the head coach of the Vikings doesn’t do a hell of a lot for me. But, as we mentioned earlier in this piece, with the Vikings deciding that they need to replace the GM first and let letting that person have a say in hiring the coach it seems way too early to engage in a lot of coaching speculation. Perhaps the new GM will be high on Pederson, and perhaps they won’t be. But, now that the coaching and GM searches are underway, we have actually gotten a little bit of news on the subject so I thought we’d pass it along to you.
NFL mock draft 2022: Complete first round projection - SB Nation
The NFL regular season is in the books, college football has crowned its National Champion. Now it’s time to turn out sights to the NFL Draft. Right now this is a very, very early look before the combine and pro days, which can also sometimes lead to the most accurate examination of the draft. It comes at a time before we fall in love with the measurables and dream of possibility, instead focusing purely on who produced, and who didn’t during their college careers. It’s perhaps the best time to look at the class.
Off Day Debrief #71: Power Ranking the Playoff Teams - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton power rank the 14 remaining teams in the playoffs, and hand out their MVP and LVP points of the week. How much faith do you put in the Bengals hot offense down the stretch? Why no one has confidence in the Steelers. How seriously do we take the 49ers in the NFC? Which Josh Allen will we see in the playoffs? The Titans aren’t as good as their record says. MVPs and LVPs of the week.
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