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Eagles News: Philadelphia is “a tough team that has a lot of heart”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/3/22.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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

Sitting Pretty - Iggles Blitz
Sirianni praised the calmness of his team. They didn’t panic when they were down 10-0 or 16-7. That might not sound like a big deal to everyone, but it sure resonated with me. The Eagles were 4-11-1 last year. There are plenty of young faces on the roster. They haven’t exactly played in a lot of big games. With a lot on the line, it would have been easy for the Eagles to panic or get flustered. Instead, they kept working and eventually started playing well. That will serve them well this year and in the future. Beyond that, Hurts went to Sirianni and told him the playbook was wide open, meaning don’t worry about protecting the ankle. Call any play you want to. Hurts is a gamer. He will do anything he can to win a game. You love that mentality in your QB. Players will feed off his example. They know his ankle isn’t 100 percent. It has to fire them up to see Hurts moving around and making plays. The Eagles have their share of issues, but this is a tough team that has a lot of heart and more talent than we thought last summer.

The Eagles are going to the playoffs! - BGN
It’s kinda crazy to think the Eagles reached this point, clinching a playoff spot with one week still left to play in the regular season. Who saw that as a likely outcome after the team’s 2-5 start? Things looked much more bleak back then. Of course, one of the big reasons for optimism was the Eagles’ soft schedule. To Philly’s credit, they took advantage of inferior opponents as they compiled the second weakest “strength of victory” metric in the NFL. And they didn’t just merely beat those lesser teams; they dominated a number of them. As a result, the Eagles own the 10th best point differential in the NFL. But the Birds won’t be able to take advantage of bad teams in the playoffs. It’s time for this team to prove they can beat the good ones. The postseason represents a big opportunity to further evaluate Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, and Jonathan Gannon. It’s also another opportunity to defy expectations in a very big way.

BGN Instant Reaction Show: Eagles outlast Washington, 20-16 - BGN Radio
Eytan Shander and Jessica Towne Taylor discuss their biggest takeaways from the Eagles’ Week 17 win against the Washington Football Team, 20-16.

NFL Week 17 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 20, Washington Football Team 16 - PFF
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Eagles’ offensive line had its way with the Football Team’s vaunted defensive line. The unit combined to allow only eight pressures on 29 dropbacks, with the tackle duo surrendering one hurry between them.

NFL Week 17 takeaways: What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks - ESPN
Can they correct their slow starts before the playoffs? The Eagles have been held scoreless in the first quarter in four of their past five games, including the past three straight. They have been outscored 35-7 in the opening frame over that stretch. Philadelphia has still managed to win four in a row, but that was against Washington (twice), the New York Giants and the New York Jets. If they stumble out of the gate against one of the better teams in the NFC, they could face a quick exit.

The day after: Foundation for playoff-bound Eagles looks strong as young building blocks surface - The Athletic
Game ball: Offense – Jalen Hurts. Hurts’ 0.30 EPA per dropback (according to TruMedia) was his fourth-best mark of the season, behind only the loss to the Chargers in Week 9, the win over the Falcons in Week 1 and the win over Detroit in Week 8. While it looked like he was more willing to run on his injured ankle than in each of the last two weeks, he was still operating primarily as a passer. His 27-yard completion to Greg Ward on third-and-14 on the opening drive of the third quarter was proof of the kind of tangible improvement we’ve seen from Hurts over his first two seasons. Earlier this year, he mostly scrambled to run, rarely connecting on passes downfield while rolling out. He has made several such plays in the past few weeks, and this one came as something of a lucky accident. “What actually happened on that play was I didn’t get the play,” he said. “I thought I heard what (Sirianni) said, but I kind of pulled one out of my hat. G-Ward made a hell of a play on the scramble drill adjusting to catch the ball and moving the chains.”

2021 NFL season, Week 17: What we learned from Sunday’s games - NFL.com
Eagles fly into postseason. For the last few weeks, the Eagles have played like a team hellbent on making the postseason. That trend continued on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to their win, the Eagles ended up clinching a wild-card spot following the Packers’ win over the Vikings on Sunday night. Don’t look now, but the Eagles have slowly but surely turned into a group that strikes fear into the hearts of any team with postseason aspirations.

The D adjusts, Boston keeps rolling, and more in Roob’s Obs - NBCSP
4. This wasn’t a huge statistical performance by Jalen Hurts, but he was solid. Completed 65 percent of his passes, no turnovers, no big mistakes, threw for 214 yards and with that ankle injury continuing to heal, he made plays with his legs for the first time in a while, rushing seven times for 44 yards. Nothing came easy for the Eagles Sunday, and when that happens it’s easy to panic and get away from the game plan, and that’s when games slip away. No matter what’s happening around him, Hurts just stays calm and does his job and doesn’t try to do too much. He just plays. He was under a lot of pressure Sunday, and I thought he made a lot of really nice throws on the move as well.

Poise and leadership shine through as Eagles win fourth straight - PE.com
Rodney McLeod had no doubt, none at all. As the entire FedEx Field crowd – at least 60 percent of them Eagles fans – held their breath as officials reviewed an apparent McLeod interception in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining in Sunday’s game against Washington, McLeod told his teammates “I got this. Don’t worry about a thing.” “I knew I made the play,” McLeod said after the call was upheld and the fans and the Eagles sidelines went crazy celebrating a 20-16 win over the Football Team. “I credit Anthony Harris and the defensive line for putting some pressure up there at the line of scrimmage, and then I just saw the ball and went after it. Dove for it, knew I caught it. Great feeling. Amazing feeling. It’s a blessing, it really is. It’s something that’s never happened to me before and to have it happen in such a big moment, I’m just so happy about it.” McLeod celebrated by jumping onto the Eagles’ bench as the fans – most of them adorned in Midnight Green and White – screamed their love at him. It was that kind of emotional, hard-fought game as the Eagles won their fourth straight and seventh in the last nine times out. Playing Washington for the second time in less than two weeks, the Eagles found themselves in an early hole, trailing 16-7 at the half, and then fighting and scrapping and clawing their way to daylight.

Washington Football Team Vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Game Two) - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven
Taylor Heinicke came out of the gate on fire...then slowly cooled off. The biggest issue, is because the book is now out on him, defenses know how to defend against him - completely understanding that he can’t stretch the field deep against them. This severely limits what this offense can do. That being said, he kept us in the game until the late interception in the endzone.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals: 10 losers as the Cowboys fall flat in potential statement game - Blogging The Boys
Loser: Dak Prescott. QB1 bounced back with a force last week and was even named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after dismantling Washington, but he was largely ineffective on Sunday against the Cardinals. Sure, Dak had a fine fourth quarter as the Cowboys made things a little bit less humiliating. But Sunday gave us what we didn’t want which was validation that last week was the anomaly. Prescott took a delay of game (granted the coaches deserve some criticism too) on a crucial two-point conversion that the team then had to kick an extra point on. It was an opportunity to prove that last week was the new norm and unfortunately that did not happen. [...] Loser: Mike McCarthy. Whether or not you feel like the Cowboys lost because of officiating is ultimately up to you, but Mike McCarthy taking that position after the game doesn’t exactly seem like the highest level of accountability. The Cowboys were outplayed and outcoached by the Cardinals. That’s it.

Joe Judge ranted for 11 minutes answering one question after Giants’ 29-3 loss to the Bears - Big Blue View
“But in terms of the next step to take, I can tell you right now, okay, I know we’re a whole lot closer where we’re going than further away. I can tell you that right now.” [...] “I can tell you we got more players here who are going to be free agents next year, all right, who are in my office every day begging to come back. Okay? I know that. There are players who we coached last year that still calling me twice a week talking about how much they wish they were still here and they’re getting paid more somewhere else. Okay?”

The Winners and Losers of NFL Week 17 - The Ringer
We’re now in 2022, but the Giants are setting football back 25 years. They’re doing this by literally setting the football back: Sunday, they managed to lose more yardage passing the ball than any team in any game in the 21st century. Two weeks ago, the G-Men started journeyman Mike Glennon before eventually benching him for 23-year-old Jake Fromm after Glennon threw three interceptions. Last week, they started Fromm but eventually benched him for Glennon after Fromm went 6-for-17 for 25 yards. It’s a QB controversy from hell; a doomed team cycling back and forth between two horrendous quarterbacks who give them no chance to win. This week against the Bears, they went with Glennon. With any hopes of the playoffs long gone and neither quarterback producing, of course you should go with the 32-year-old who has sucked on all six of the teams he has played for. But from the start, Glennon only seemed interested in helping the Bears. (Would you be motivated to beat a team that gave you $16 million and asked you to play in only four games?) On the first play of the game, Glennon was sacked and lost the football.

Knee-jerk reactions: Colts on brink of playoff elimination after 23-20 loss to Raiders - Stampede Blue
If you exclude Carson Wentz’s gift in the end zone, where two Raiders defenders collided as they attempted to intercept an awful pass attempted and T.Y. Hilton came down with it, the Colts’ offense mustered only one touchdown drive, at the end of the first half. Wentz missed T.Y. Hilton who was entirely uncovered on another drive. Hilton may have gone over 60 yards untouched for a score if he hits on that throw. Alas, he misses and the Colts are forced to punt. Wentz keeps plays alive by doing amazing things with his legs. His ability to escape a collapsing pocket is uncanny. Then, with wide-open space in front of him, he panics and throws across his body, across the field, incomplete. Had he calmly looked in front of him, the play could have yielded positive yards and shorted the second down attempt. Instead, it’s second and 10.

Dolphins eliminated from playoffs after miserable Week 17 - The Phinsider
Week 16 of the 2021 NFL regular season went almost perfectly for the Miami Dolphins. They won their seventh-straight game, climbed over .500 on the season, pushed their way into the seventh seed in the AFC playoff picture, and were in control of their postseason lives. The Dolphins saw the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers all lose last week, while Miami won. Things were perfectly lined up for Miami to become the first team to go from 1-7 to the postseason. Week 16 was a great one for Miami. Week 17 turned into an abject failure for the Dolphins. Miami was torpedoed by the Tennessee Titans 34-3, ending the winning streak for the Dolphins, knocking them back down to .500 on the year, out of the seventh seed, and no longer in control of their playoff lives. Nothing worked for the Dolphins on the day as the Titans reclaimed the top spot in the conference at the expense of Miami.

4 winners and 4 losers from Week 17 in the NFL - SB Nation
Winner: The Eagles’ playoff chances. I love the turnaround the Eagles have made this season. I can’t pretend to really understand how it happened, but it’s here. Jalen Hurts hasn’t been playing stellar football this season, but the rest of the team has propped him up and found ways to win. Sunday’s victory over Washington was the their 7th in the last two months, going 7-2 in the stretch and earning this brilliant run.

Sunday Late Night Wrap Up #17: NFC road goes through Lambeau | Antonio Brown quits Buccaneers - The SB Nation NFL Show
The penultimate week of the regular season is just about in the books and the NFL always finds a way to deliver. We now know that the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through Green Bay, but if the Buccaneers head that way they won’t be doing so with Antonio Brown. Check out the latest Sunday Late Night Wrap Up and get caught up on everything you missed.

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