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Eagles News: NFL executive says Jalen Hurts’ improvement is for real

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/4/22.

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Buy or Sell: Jalen Hurts as a top NFL QB, Lions’ offense, Giants’ improvement - PFF
An NFC analytics executive we spoke to believes in Hurts’ improvement and sees significant improvement from the third-year pro as a deep-ball passer. “His rushing ability is a real problem for defenses, as he has one of the highest scramble rates in the league,” he said. “He’s forgoing checkdowns and throwing the ball downfield a lot more than he did in previous years.” Hurts has thrown just four checkdowns across 163 dropbacks (2.4%) this season. That’s down from 23 checkdowns on 592 dropbacks (3.9%) last year. Hurts also has a 92.6 PFF grade on intermediate-to-deep passes this season. That’s up from an 85.7 mark in 2021. His 91.8 PFF grade on deep balls is up from a 75.5 mark last year. The NFC analytics executive did point out that Hurts has struggled against the blitz this season, however. His 64.4 PFF grade when blitzed ranks 20th among 35 qualified quarterbacks. He’s first with a 90.1 PFF grade when not blitzed. “I don’t know how long he will be able to keep it up, but a team is likely to expose him this year via exotic blitzes and containing him in the pocket,” he said. The Eagles’ expected points added per passing play figure drops to 24th in the NFL when blitzed (-0.167) from second in the NFL when not blitzed (0.299)

Offensive Player Rankings, Week 5: Three players who can rebound after slow first quarter of season -
10) Jalen Hurts. By no means did Hurts have his best performance of the 2022 season against the Jaguars, but his overall improvement is a big reason the Eagles are the only undefeated team through four weeks. Hurts’ marks in completion percentage (66.7) and yards per attempt (9.1, tops in the NFL) are way up from his corresponding figures over his first two pro seasons (59.0 and 7.3). His play — and the confidence that has come with it — has elevated those around him (SEE: Eagles’ D had five takeaways vs. Jags).

Eagles Rookie Report Card: Jordan Davis is progressing nicely - BGN
Jordan Davis saw the third most snaps of defensive tackles against Jacksonville and rewarded the Eagles with his best game yet. Davis’s strong run defense contributed to a tremendous defensive effort that helped limit Trevor Lawrence, James Robinson and Travis Etienne. Davis looks better and better every week, so hopefully the Eagles keep his snap count where it is.

Eagles-Jaguars Recap, Thoughts on Kenny G’s use in offense + hope for special teams? - BGN Radio
The Eagles are 4-0! Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski run through their biggest takeaways from Philly’s win over the Jaguars. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen.

Eagles report cards through the first four games of the season: Offense edition - PhillyVoice
QB Jalen Hurts: As a passer, Hurts is 82 for 123 for 1120 yards (9.1 YPA), with 4 TDs, and 2 INTs (only 1 that was on him), for a QB rating of 99.6. He has also added 205 yards and 4 TDs on the ground. In each of the Eagles’ first four games this season, Hurts has won in different ways. Week 1 he beat the Lions’ blitzes with his legs. Week 2 he sliced and diced the Vikings zone defense with accurate throws. Week 3 his poise was on full display during a sequence at the end of the first half. And in Week 4, he showed toughness and resolve bringing the Eagles back from a 14-0 deficit, with the highlight being a hard-nosed 4th down TD run. If the season ended today (it doesn’t) Hurts would be in the conversation for league MVP. If he continues to play at or near this level, the Eagles are probably Super Bowl favorites in the NFC. Grade: A+

Game Review – PHI 29, JAX 21 - Iggles Blitz
Jalen Hurts had another good game. His stats weren’t great (16-25-204 with an INT), but this wasn’t a game where any QB was going to light it up. The INT was a bad play. Hurts forced the ball into coverage. He could have run for a short gain or thrown the ball away. Hurts didn’t let the mistake affect him beyond that. He made a couple of good throws to Brown that both moved the chains. Hurts was smart and safe in this game. He protected the ball well in the pocket and when he ran. Hurts most impressive moments came with the Eagles down 14-0. They faced 3rd/goal from the 16-yard line. Hurts dropped back and saw the middle was wide open so he took off and ran for 13 yards. On 4th down, Hurts dropped back and didn’t see anyone open so he took off for the goal line and had to fight his way into the end zone. He took a big hit at the goal line, but was strong enough to get through it and stretch the ball for the score. Tough dude. Hurts was 16-38 on the ground, but that included a couple of QB sneaks and three kneel-downs.

Punter Arryn Siposs is one of the few Eagles who are not rolling right now - Inquirer
Of Siposs’ 16 punts, only seven of them have pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line (four occurred in Week 3 at Washington). He is tied for the second-highest total of touchbacks with three. His touchback numbers are concerning; Siposs had three touchbacks during the entire 2021 season. His net average of 39.9 yards is nearly 10 yards behind the league’s top net average.

Spadaro: Through 4 games, offense has answered all the questions -
It’s not always on the level of what they did to the Jaguars on Sunday after Jacksonville entered the game ranked first in the NFL in run defense, allowing 55 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry. The Eagles crushed those numbers to oblivion, gaining 210 yards on 50 carries. And so, I asked Sirianni on Tuesday, “Why?” “Uh, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Isaac (Seumalo), right? Jordan Mailata. Landon Dickerson. The guys that came off the bench – Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta. The running backs. (Offensive line) Coach (Jeff) Stoutland. Jalen (Hurts, quarterback), creating an extra gap. Everyone (including tight ends and wide receivers) up front,” Sirianni said. Ummm, OK, understood. It’s a talent thing, it’s a scheme thing, it’s a coaching thing. The Eagles have a running game that emerged right around this time a year ago – to be technical, it really showed after the Week 7 loss at Las Vegas – and has just gotten better and better and better. Hey, every team is going to have a hiccup along the way, but with this offensive line and tight ends at the line of scrimmage, with the way the running backs room has four players in whom the Eagles have a ton of confidence, with a quarterback like Hurts who creates such problems for defenses who aren’t able to handle him, with great coaching, and with other weapons in the offense, the running game is on point.

Can Seahawks Keep Up High Offensive DVOA? - Football Outsiders
The Buffalo Bills remain No. 1 in DVOA after Week 4 with a win over the Baltimore Ravens. It was a close win, so the Baltimore Ravens remain at No. 3. In between them are the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2. The Eagles switch places with the team they beat this week, Jacksonville, which is now fourth. There’s a pack of teams nearly tied there from fourth through seventh: Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and San Francisco. Then Kansas City is eighth. [BLG Note: While the Eagles are 2nd, the Arizona Cardinals rank 29th in DVOA.]

The Cardinals beat a bad football team. Now what? - Revenge Of The Birds
A running theme in my columns the past couple of weeks has been asking what we have learned about the Cardinals so far this season. And this team has me flummoxed. We got manhandled by the Chiefs—no shame in that—and were beaten soundly by the Rams (even if the score made the game look closer than it was). We probably *should* have lost to the Raiders. And now we beat one of the worst teams in the league on the road after looking clueless in the first half. It all adds up to 2-2, like every other team in the NFC West. The division looks up for grabs, but is this team ready to take charge and make a statement? They’ll get their chance this weekend when the undefeated Eagles come into town. I’ll be back later in the week with some thoughts on that matchup.

Cowboys news: QB Dak Prescott to miss Rams game, LS Jake McQuaide likely out for season - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys are technically off on Tuesday and earlier in the day team owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones was coy as to whether or not Dak Prescott would return this Sunday. Mike McCarthy said on Monday that he would want to see an entire week of practice from Prescott before he returned which is why Wednesday was elevated in importance. The simple math of it all suggests that Dak would need to practice on the first day of practice (Wednesday) to achieve a full week. It seems that we do not need to wait even that long. Tuesday afternoon we got a report that Rush will in fact make his fourth straight start for Dallas on Sunday, that Dak will sit out yet another game, and that Will Grier is being signed to the 53-man roster to give the team an adequate backup option.

What have we learned about the Giants’ defense after 4 games? - Big Blue View
Like many areas of the Giants’ team, the defense as a whole is still a work in progress, but for the most part it has played better than expected. The Giants’ run defense has been an issue at points in this young season, and big plays have been there for the teams that attempt them. However, their aggressive scheme and versatile personnel packages have allowed the Giants to frustrate the weaker passing offenses they saw through the first four games of the season. The question of whether or not the Giants’ play on defense is more due to their efforts or a reflection of the offenses they’ve played. To be sure, we’ll get more of an answer on that over the coming weeks as the Giants see a jump in their level of competition. Over the next three weeks they’ll face the Green Bay Packers (in London), the Baltimore Ravens, and the suddenly formidable Jacksonville Jaguars. Assuming those offenses are healthy, we could have a much better idea of how the Giants’ defense stacks up.

You’re wrong, Ron Rivera. It is important how you start. - Hogs Haven
So, apart from the outlier seasons of 2013 and 2020, where the Panthers ultimately finished 12-4 and Washington snuck into the playoffs at 7-9, respectively, a strong start has almost always presaged a playoff birth, while a weak one has killed playoff chances before the team has gotten to Halloween. In his twelve seasons coaching, through his first four games, Rivera has posted a 1-3 record six times, a 2-2 record three times, and a 3-1 or better record three times. In 50% of his coaching career, his teams have started off in a hole. Only 25% of the time have they finished the first quarter* of the season with a winning record. Not surprisingly, when they did that, they usually made the playoffs. It turns out, one of the reasons that Ron’s teams may have slow starts to their seasons is because they’ve tended to have slow starts to their games.

Packers sign LB Eric Wilson off Saints’ practice squad - Acme Packing Company
Last year, Wilson split time with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing seven games with each team. He pitched in significantly on defense in Philadelphia and even started in week one before playing almost exclusively as a special teamer in Houston. He then signed with the Saints in May and was cut at the end of training camp, but returned to the team’s practice squad for the first four weeks of the season.

How NFL teams are reviving the run game in 2022 - SB Nation
Through four weeks, one thing has been made clear: the Detroit Lions are an offensive BUZZSAW. Yes, THOSE Detroit Lions are 13th in EPA per play and second in the entire league in explosive plays. Among the top teams in EPA per play, we have the usual Bills and Chiefs, but they’re also accompanied by ... the Falcons? We’re all aware of the defensive evolution in the NFL. The rise, no, return of two-high safeties is putting a cap on the NFL’s most explosive offenses. Next Gen Stats’ Michael Lopez wrote that through the first quarter of the season, NFL teams aren’t scoring as many points as they were in previous seasons, and passing games may be the culprit.


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