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Eagles News: A.J. Brown is the NFL’s best wide receiver, according to analytics

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/3/22.

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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The Best NFL Receivers, According to ESPN Analytics - FiveThirtyEight
These ratings, updated weekly, use player-tracking data from NFL Next Gen Stats to evaluate every route a pass catcher runs and scores his performance in three phases of the game, from 0 to 99. [BLG Note: A.J. Brown is the best WR in the NFL according to these ratings. DeVonta Smith is 12th while Dallas Goedert is tied for 18th.]

Game Review – PHI 35, PIT 13 - Iggles Blitz
AJ Brown was great, going 6-156-3. A couple of those TDs were tough catches, but he makes it look so natural. His 43-yard catch and run was impressive. He’s such a big dude and watching him run out in space is so much fun. He had a catch early in the game where he snatched the ball, which was low. You could see just how strong his hands are.

Eagles-Texans Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 9 enemy - BGN
The Eagles are winning this game. There will be no drama there. The drama comes in the number. All but one of the Texans games have been one score games. I will take the points and go with the Texans. I have nothing in terms of hard hitting analysis to explain why that is the best play. There is nothing the Texans do that will particularly challenge the Eagles. Our offense certainly won’t be a threat to score much and our defense is also bad. We just have a knack for keeping the game closer than it should be. In terms of the rest of the season, I expect the Texans to stumble into another win or two just because it’s the NFL, but I can’t imagine we will ever be favored from here on out. It’s at this point that people will point out how dower this all sounds. The good news is they did have a good draft class this past year and they have extra picks again the next two seasons. Watching those young players will give the Texans’ faithful some hope, so maybe by December and January things will look better than they do now. There are five current starters from the last draft. There are three from the previous draft. If you keep doing that eventually you’ll have something. So, we are patiently waiting for that day to come.

Eagles-Texans preview + Let’s go Phillies - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski discuss trade deadline takeaways, preview the Eagles vs. Texans game, make their weekly NFL picks against the spread, and touch on the Phillies’ World Series outlook as well. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen.

Behind Enemy Lines: Eagles vs. Texans - Battle Red Blog
It’s a busy time in Houston and Philadelphia sports as the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles square off on Thursday Night Football. The NFL insists on every team playing in prime time at least once for some strange reason and this is the best matchup they could come up with for the Texans. The Texans will be two touchdown dogs entering Thursday night and that number feels kind of low after watching them this last Sunday. The Eagles are on the exact opposite path. They are 7-0 and seemed destined to leave NRG with an easy victory. We sat down with Brandon Gowton from our sister site Bleeding Green Nation to get his thoughts on the upcoming game. Is there any reason to tune into this one instead of Game Five of the World Series?

Mailbag: Ranking the Eagles’ biggest threats in the NFC - PhillyVoice
Question from @MKTWgoldstein: Is there a case that A.J. Brown, not Jalen Hurts, should be the team’s candidate for MVP? After all, it’s more or less the same offense as last year, and now it’s far more effective. I get that it’s a QB league, but Brown is just so dominant. ... I think that even if the Eagles had not traded for Brown and instead acquired some other receiver, like they almost did with guys like Christian Kirk, Allen Robinson, Calvin Ridley (if he hadn’t been suspended), etc., we’d still see marked improvement out of Hurts this season. They’d still very likely have a good record, and it would be obvious that Hurts had made significant strides forward as an NFL franchise type of quarterback. That said, there’s no question that Brown has aided Hurts in playing at his MVP-like level this season. Why not both?

‘I’ve prayed for a team like this’: How the Eagles’ splashy offseason is paying off - ESPN
tanding by his locker stall last week, Eagles veteran defensive end Brandon Graham smiled as he rattled off all the key additions to the team over the last several months — a group that includes receiver A.J. Brown, edge rusher Haason Reddick, cornerback James Bradberry, safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, linebacker Kyzir White and the newest member, defensive end Robert Quinn. “I’ve prayed for a team like this. I’m not going to lie,” the 34-year-old Graham said. “I’ve been dreaming about a team like this where, man, we’re playing together, we’re undefeated,” adding that the chemistry this group has right now is similar to the tight-knit 2017 squad that won it all. Chemistry is a fickle thing. When you add big-name players to the locker room mix, you’re about as likely to end up with the “Dream Team” — the ill-fated moniker for the 2011 Eagles who proved to be anything but — as you are a team you dream about.

2022 NFL Midseason Report: All 32 NFL teams’ highest-graded players, biggest surprises and more - PFF
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. Highest-graded player: ED Brandon Graham (90.2). The Eagles have a ton of talent on defense, but it’s the veteran Graham who is having the best season. He’s rushed the passer on only 124 snaps, but he has already totaled 21 pressures and 13 hurries. Plus, he’s always been a solid run-defender, which has helped his overall grade. Biggest surprise: LB T.J. Edwards (77.6). While linebacker has always been an issue for the Eagles, that hasn’t been the case this year. Edwards has been their best linebacker — including a sneaky 90.2 pass-rushing grade that ranks third at the position. Stat to know: Philadelphia’s offensive line has allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL (5), tied with the Bills and Chargers.

Inside Jonathan Gannon’s Vic Fangio-influenced defensive turnaround with the Eagles - Inquirer
Who would you rather have — one theory might have suggested — the coach who runs another guy’s scheme or the guy? The Eagles may end up with the guy eventually, although Fangio is likely to be the top defensive coordinator on the market come January, for the very reason posited above. In a league in which passing offenses have only gotten more complex, it’s easy to see why a scheme predicated on stopping the big play, at its most elemental, has become so popular. “That’s a winning stat,” Gannon said Tuesday when asked about limiting explosive plays. “All the stats out there, you guys know I’m not a stat guy, but that’s one that I look at.” The Eagles’ number of explosive plays allowed — plus-16 yards passing and plus-10 running, by their definition — aren’t actually much better than they were a year ago through seven games when they opened 2-5. Through the air, their improvement is minuscule (24 vs. 26), and on the ground, they’ve done worse (25 vs. 24).

The most important thing the Eagles’ defense has been doing - NBCSP
They might give up 100 straight completions and they might give up a bunch of big running plays. So far, it hasn’t mattered because the one thing the Eagles’ defense doesn’t do is give up big plays. The Eagles’ defense is best in the league at preventing big plays, and it’s a big reason they’re allowing just 15.6 points per game. Factor in their league-high 16 takeaways and 23 sacks – fifth-most in the league - and it’s no surprise the Eagles have only allowed nine touchdowns in their last six games. Combined outstanding pressure – Pro Football Focus ranks the Eagles 4th in the league at generating pressure – and tremendous coverage by two of the best cornerbacks in the game – PFF has Darius Slay and James Bradberry eighth and 10th among all corners in coverage – and opposing teams just don’t have many opportunities to get the ball down the field without hitting plays. Which they can’t do. The Eagles have allowed just 15 plays of at least 20 yards – fewest in the league – and only three plays of 30 yards or more – also fewest in the league.

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread - The Ringer
The Eagles are +14 on turnovers this season. That’s more than double any other team. On one hand, Jalen Hurts deserves a ton of credit for this. He has played 467 offensive snaps and has turned it over twice (and one of those was a fluky interception that bounced off a teammate’s hands). On the other hand, it’s fair to wonder if the Eagles defense will look as good against better opponents when it’s not producing takeaways. We are unlikely to get an answer to that question this week. In their loss to the Titans last week, the Texans had 64 total yards through three quarters. That was the lowest total through three quarters for any NFL offense in a game this season. I generally hate taking favorites to cover lines this big because so many random, unlucky things can happen in a football game. But this is just such a mismatch on paper, and the Eagles have not been susceptible to letdown games so far this season. The pick: Eagles (-14)

Week 9 NFL game picks: Eagles stay perfect against Texans on Thursday night; Lions knock off Packers -
The Texans have been competitive for three quarters most weeks, but this is not most weeks, and the final score is determined after four quarters. Lovie Smith’s defense has quietly taken a step back this season, especially against the run. Davis Mills’ conservative approach wasn’t working with Nico Collins healthy and Brandin Cooks happy, and now neither is true. Meanwhile, the Eagles don’t even need to pass when they have a historically good running game rolling. But they can pass, and they will!

Eagles-Texans preview: Matchups, storylines to watch, game predictions - The Athletic
Berman: It’s hard to see the Eagles losing this game, and I don’t even see the Texans keeping it close. Look for Philadelphia to jump on Houston early, with Hurts starring in his homecoming and Sanders topping 100 rushing yards. The offensive line will control the line of scrimmage, and the Eagles should build a big lead. Similar to last week, they’ll add to the margin in the third quarter before easing in the fourth and keeping some of their veterans healthy. This will be the first time the Eagles reach 8-0, and it’s hard to find when their first loss will come. The question is will Phillies fans be celebrating a Game 5 win at the same time? Eagles 35, Texans 10 Wulf: I’m with you. Barring a major injury, it’s hard to see how the Eagles won’t follow Hurts and Sirianni’s lead in not overlooking a team all the rest of us are. Brandin Cooks is questionable and Nico Collins is out, so it’s not like there’s much to worry about in the Texans’ passing game. And their defense should be there for the taking. The Eagles might lean so heavily on their running game that Kenneth Gainwell has a fantasy-relevant week. Nice and easy enough to let Philadelphia fans focus their attention elsewhere. Eagles 24, Texans 6

Spadaro: 6 key stats to follow Thursday and why they matter -
6. Here is a number to remember and to keep in mind throughout the remainder of the season: 53. That’s the number of points the Eagles have scored after taking the football away, and it ranks second in the league (New England has 68). It is the most points off of turnovers through seven games for the Eagles since the 2015 season, when they had 60 points off of takeaways. This is a huge, double-whammy kind of number as it signifies the strength of the defense with its NFL-high 16 takeaways and an offense that is making those takeaways show up on the scoreboard. That kind of defense-to-offense success is something the coaching staff loves and that leads to victories.

Romeo Doubs and DeVonta Smith could be unsung heroes for you in Week 9 - NBC Sports Edge
DeVonta Smith - WR, Eagles @ Texans. I had Smith in this column for Week 8 and he didn’t deliver, despite a monster day in the passing game from Jalen Hurts. It’s ok, it was just an A.J. Brown day, that happens with stud wide receivers. Although Smith had a quiet day with five receptions for 23 yards, he still saw eight targets so he’s very involved. Even with that down game, he’s still been the WR18 since Week 2 and the Eagles have already had their bye week. The Texans enter Week 9 with the sixth-best defense against receivers in fantasy, but don’t let that fool you, they have the worst fantasy defense against running backs. So why start Smith? The Eagles will want to make sure they jump out to a lead much like they did against the Steelers in Week 8 and they’ll continue to use the passing game to get there.

Arizona Cardinals sign linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill per report - Revenge Of The Birds
Originally a sixth round pick by the New England Patriots, Hill spent his first four years with the Philadelphia Eagles as a special teams and part time starter, before moving to Miami for a year. He requested his release from the Texans in order to find a better spot for his game. It will be interesting to see if Grugier-Hill replaces Ben Niemann who looked old and slow against the Minnesota Vikings in his return from injury. Welcome to the desert, Kamu.

Under-the-radar roster additions have been key to Giants’ success - Big Blue View
Brown was director of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021, and is highly-regarded for his work prior to that running the Eagles’ pro personnel department. Rossetti worked in pro personnel for the Miami Dolphins from 2015 until being hired by the Giants, ascending to the role of assistant director of pro scouting in 2021. Hickey is former GM of the Miami Dolphins (2014-15) and has worked on both the pro and college scouting sides. Schoen said the team’s data shows the Giants have gotten more from players signed after Sept. 1 than any team in the league.

The Snyders are looking to sell the Commanders! - Hogs Haven
The Snyders are exploring all sales options including selling minority ownership stake(s) and the full sale of the team. [BLG Note: The Snyders selling the team would be bad for the Eagles. Pretty much any new owner is a major upgrade.]

Why the Cowboys did nothing at the trade deadline and why it’s better than you think - Blogging The Boys
This can be frustrating for fans as we all see the opportunity in front of them. The NFC isn’t laced with dominant teams this season. In fact, the 6-2 Cowboys currently are tied for the second-most victories in the conference, trailing only their divisional foe, the Philadelphia Eagles. All signs point to this being a good year to strike, but yet the front office remains complacent. Many wanted the Cowboys to go after another wide receiver. There were talks about going after Texans WR Brandin Cooks, but they fell through when they couldn’t agree on the draft compensation and guaranteed salary to hit the books in 2023. A dynamic player like Cooks would definitely spark this offense when healthy, but the front office wasn’t willing to subject themselves to the consequences of paying such a hefty price. Why not, many ask. When you take a step back and look at everything, there are some really good reasons to balk at the Cooks trade, and today we’re going to highlight three important factors.

Finally there’s alcoholic sports seltzer so you can stay hydrated AND drunk on the court - SB Nation
If you’ve ever been on the court, field or course and thought to yourself “I wish I could be hydrated and drunk at the same time right now” then hoo boy is there a product right around the corner for you. Basketball apparel company Trillblazin is teaming up with Portland’s Great Notion brewing to bring the world “Electric Lights,” which combines an alcoholic seltzer with the smooth refreshing electrolytes of an energy drink.

The Commanders are on the market, Trent Dilfer, and the NFL trade deadline gauntlet - The SB Nation NFL Show
This week on the SB Nation NFL Show, Rob “Stats” Guerrera, Kyle Posey, and Justis Mosqueda discuss the Washington Commanders reportedly being up for sale. Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer joins the show to discuss what’s happening with Tom Brady–and the surprising season from Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. With the NFL trade deadline behind us, it’s time to take each transaction through ‘the gauntlet.’


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