Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Carson Wentz should never take another snap for the Commanders - Hogs Haven
What you absolutely do not do is start Carson Wentz one more game at quarterback. Currently on injured reserve, Wentz will be eligible to come back in three more games, after the Eagles’ game. A more likely scenario, depending on the time it takes his finger to heal, would be for him to miss through the Falcons’ game, returning against the Giants, just before the bye week. Under either scenario, I expect Heinicke to be no less than .500, which would be a substantial improvement over Wentz’s 2-4 record before his injury. Keeping Wentz out also guarantees that Washington won’t owe Indy its second round pick next year, a variable, which, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to matter much to the man in full command of football operations. The Carson Wentz experiment should be over in DC, and the franchise should be positioning itself for salvaging whatever joy can be mined from this season, while at the same time coming to grips with the certainty that it will have to secure a first round quarterback in the 2023 draft.
Jay Glazer says he could see the Eagles trading for a running back - BGN
The point here is that Sanders has not been so good that the Eagles should avoid splitting touches with other talented options. The problem is they lack great alternatives. Kenneth Gainwell had a disappointing camp. The second-year back has been OK as a runner but he hasn’t lived up to envisioned expectations as a pass catcher, logging just four catches for 21 yards on eight targets thus far. Boston Scott hasn’t done much, either. Trey Sermon looked intriguing in a very small sample size but has mostly been a healthy scratch. Given how Sanders has also struggled to contribute as a receiving option since his rookie year, the Eagles could be looking into a back who helps in that regard. And/or the Eagles could be looking for a back who provides more physicality so that Hurts doesn’t always have to be the de facto short-yardage power option.
NFC East Mixtape Vol.81: Is this the best division is football? - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa unload their thoughts on each team in this division that happens to be playing extremely well (besides the Commanders).
Eagles vs. Steelers: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
The Steelers have a talented set of wide receivers in George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. Pickens is a second-round rookie who has gotten at least six targets in each of the Steelers’ last four games. Over that four-game span, he has 21 catches for 273 yards and 1 TD. He also made this ridiculous catch against the Browns:
Trade Talk - Iggles Blitz
SAF Jabril Peppers – Peppers is a role player for the 3-4 Patriots (fun to type that last part). I could see them being willing to trade him. He is a versatile DB. Also has return ability. Could be a good role player for a team making a playoff run. Peppers was a productive starter for the Giants in 2020 and he’s only 27 years old. [...] RB Kareem Hunt – This is the move that probably is the most interesting and exciting. Hunt is a very talented RB. He’s the backup to Nick Chubb in Cleveland. Hunt will be a free agent in March so the Browns might be willing to deal him in the middle of a down season. They used a lot of assets in the Watson trade so adding picks would make some sense. Hunt would be an excellent fit. He is a gifted runner and talented receiver. He and Sanders would make a heck of a 1-2 punch. The question is his price. The Eagles aren’t going to overpay for a rental. They could consider re-signing him. The question then is how much they want to pay a RB.
T.J. Edwards: The rock in the middle of the Eagles’ defense - PE.com
The rise of the Eagles’ defense in 2022 certainly has a lot to do with how the new pieces have assimilated into the scheme – how quickly C.J. Gardner-Johnson has morphed into a ball-hawking safety, the way James Bradberry has given the defense a pair of shutdown outside cornerbacks, the impact Haason Reddick has made on the pass rush, and the performance of Kyzir White as an off-ball linebacker locking it down in space. All have been difference-makers on a defense that has taken its game to the heights in a 6-0 start. From an “unsung” perspective, let’s discuss the play of middle linebacker T.J. Edwards, who is “unsung” only to those outside of the Eagles organization but someone who is very much understood and acknowledged inside. This is not even a little bit of a surprise to those who have tracked Edwards in this defense, on this team, since the Eagles signed him in the post-2019 NFL Draft period, but it is worth noting as the team returns from the bye week and prepares for a run-heavy Pittsburgh Steelers offense that is likely to challenge him in every way possible as it looks for consistency with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett at the helm. Edwards was making steady progress here in the Jim Schwartz defense, but when Jonathan Gannon came on board, Edwards’ game really jumped. Right around this time (mid-November, to be exact), the Eagles announced a contract extension for Edwards, who had earned Gannon’s trust.
2022 NFL MVP odds: Joe Burrow pushing Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes - The Athletic
QB Josh Allen, Bills and QB Jalen Hurts, Eagles. Both major candidates watched from home or some vacation spot this past weekend with both of their Super Bowl contending teams on a bye in Week 7. So it’s not as if their chances dropped by any means. Allen ranks second in Expected Points Added per dropback (via TruMedia) at 0.30 and third in passer rating at 109.1. Hurts ranks fourth in EPA per dropback at 0.16 and sixth in passer rating at 98.4. If the wins continue to pile up for both players, the hype surrounding their claims for MVP will too. The Bills will host the Packers, while the Eagles host the Steelers.
Who’s going to be the first team to beat the Eagles? - NBCSP
Dec. 11, At Giants: I feel like everybody keeps waiting for the Giants to fall apart and start playing like the team we all expected them to be, but it’s not going to happen. They’re legit. They have a weird way of playing – they lean on a very good defense, a big-time running back and a quarterback who’s passing for 175 yards per game and running for 50. Brian Daboll is the best coach they’ve had since Tom Coughlin, and he’s got them believing in themselves, coming from behind late in games and finding ways to win. The Eagles are 21-6 in their last 27 games against the Giants, but this is a different Giants team. If the Giants win the Dallas rematch in Week 13, they could come into this game on an eight-game winning streak, with the Eagles 12-0. Difficult game. Dangerous game. Who would have thought?
Chiefs, Bengals, Jets Climb the DVOA Ranks - Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles rank 2nd in DVOA while the Steelers rank 24th.]
Mike Tomlin outlines Steelers injuries, and a tough decision on Calvin Austin III - Behind The Steel Curtain
Cornerback Levi Wallace, who was unable to finish the game Sunday night, was the first player listed with a shoulder injury. Tomlin said Wallace’s availability in question, and the team will have to see if he can return to practice before he could be a potential candidate to play this Sunday. In Week 7 Wallace had just returned to the team after missing Week 6 due to a concussion. The other injury of note was to another defensive back, and it was Josh Jackson. Jackson’s injury was labeled as a groin injury and Tomlin said it could impact his participation early in the week. All other injuries were categorized as “bumps and bruises associated with play”, and Tomlin made sure to note all players who had been in the NFL’s concussion protocol had no setbacks in Week 7 and are good-to-go. On top of the players listed above, Tomlin did mention several players who had spent time on Injured Reserve (IR). He said there were no updates on players like T.J. Watt, Damontae Kazee and Calvin Austin III.
“Highly unlikely” T.J. Watt, Calvin Austin come off IR this week - PFT
Watt injured his pectoral in the season opener and is eligible to come off of injured reserve at any point, but head coach Mike Tomlin called it “highly unlikely” that the team will have him back on the field before facing the Eagles this week. That’s not great news for a pass rush that has struggled to generate pressure without Watt coming off the edge.
2022 NFL Trades: Dallas Cowboys trade for Las Vegas Raiders DT Johnathan Hankins - Blogging The Boys
Whatever the case, the Cowboys had some bodies to work with along the interior in players like Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna, but while they are talented the team has been struggling at defending the run for most of the season. It is the one true weakness in an otherwise all-world defense. It appears that the Cowboys have identified this and are not satisfied by it. It was reported around lunchtime on Tuesday that they are trading for Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
Is the Giants’ 6-1 record a mirage or the start of something big? - Big Blue View
It’s hard to get our arms around it, but the 2022 New York Giants are a good team. So much of it has to do with the coaching job of Brian Daboll and his staff. But they are doing more than making lemonade out of lemons. They are taking a group with some very talented players and many ordinary players who are receptive to instruction and showing that it is possible to make an effective, even dangerous, team out of them. In Daniel Jones they are taking a player who has always labored, college and pro, on untalented teams and/or with subpar coaches and showing that he has plenty of talent. It’s just that it is a different kind of talent than today’s NFL prototype, and the football world has a hard time getting its arms around it. Next Sunday it will be the same old story. The Giants are underdogs once again. They may win again or lose. But regardless, this team has turned a corner. Forget yards gained, forget 60-yard bombs, forget sacks. The Giants move the ball often enough and make it count when they do. They stop the opponent often enough when it matters. It all adds up to 6-1. It’s consistent with advanced metrics and may be sustainable. It may well add up to a playoff berth.
NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers leap back into the top five, Tampa Bay Buccaneers plummet six spots - PFF
The Saints are hurting: The New Orleans Saints have the most WAR lost to injury this season, as it feels like they have an entirely different team out there each week. To highlight this, receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry and CB Marshon Lattimore (who each have WAR values above 0.045) have all missed time.
BREAKING NEWS: Colts to start Sam Ehlinger over Matt Ryan at quarterback for remainder of season - Stampede Blue
In a stunning move, the Indianapolis Colts have announced that Sam Ehlinger will start Week 8 against the Washington Commanders. Starting quarterback Matt Ryan has a grade two sprained shoulder, but Frank Reich has stated that regardless of the injury, the plan is now for Sam Ehlinger to start for the rest of the season. [BLG Note: The Eagles are on track to face Ehlinger instead of Matt Ryan in Week 11.]
The Colts’ failure at QB is their own fault - SB Nation
Before the season, when Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich was asked about what Matt Ryan brought to the Colts franchise, and one word stood out: “Steady.” The idea was that a 37-year old Ryan could come into Indianapolis and provide stability for the Colts and a roster that had talent, but lacked at the QB position. Fast forward to yesterday, and Matt Ryan is benched for the rest of the season while the Colts run with QB Sam Ehlinger, effectively punting on this season and Ryan. While Ryan didn’t play well for a majority of the season—his adjusted Expected Points Added (EPA) per play is 29th in the NFL and his arm has a noticeable lack of zip—the Colts decision makers should take most of the blame.
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