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Eagles News: The top playoff threat to Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/14/22.

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San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

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Ranking the Eagles’ potential playoff opponents, from easiest to hardest - PhillyVoice
1) San Francisco 49ers: The Niners pose potential matchup issues for the Eagles that the other teams in the NFC do not. Offensively, they have a set of skill position players in Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey who are all very good at breaking tackles after the catch. While the Eagles’ tackling has improved this season, there have been some games in which it was an issue. The Niners also have a run-based offense that could theoretically succeed in shortening the game, much like the Commanders did in the Eagles’ only defeat this season. Defensively, the Niners have elite linebackers in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, who theoretically could (a) limit Jalen Hurts’ ability to make plays with his legs, and (b) help neutralize Dallas Goedert over the middle. They also have the NFL’s sack leader in Nick Bosa, a very good cornerback in Charvarius Ward, and a playmaker in Talanoa Hufanga roaming the back end. In his limited action as the Niners’ new starting quarterback, Brock Purdy has actually looked like an upgrade so far on Jimmy Garoppolo. Time will tell if exploitable flaws in his game will be exposed down the back stretch of the season. Until such time, this team is the Eagles’ biggest postseason threat.

Hottest Team in the NFL? San Francisco 49ers - Football Outsiders
The Philadelphia Eagles have climbed back into the top spot in our DVOA ratings, narrowly over the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles have single-game DVOA over 60% for each of their last two wins. I thought that the Bills might jump back into first place after the opponent adjustments from Monday Night Football, but the Patriots and Cardinals had one of those games where both teams end up with negative DVOA so the Bills didn’t get any kind of boost from the Patriots’ win. The more interesting move this week, however, might be the San Francisco 49ers moving into the top spot in weighted DVOA. The 49ers have had their three best performances of the year over the last four weeks, including two of the top five games of the year by DVOA.

Ranking NFC teams that could ruin Eagles’ Super Bowl dreams − and whether it will happen - Yahoo! Sports
San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers (9-4) have the most well-rounded offense in the NFL, except for the quarterback. So as great as Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle are, they still need someone who can get the ball to them now that quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo are out for the season. In addition, Samuel could be out for a while with a high ankle sprain. Then again, Brock Purdy came in and helped the 49ers bury the Buccaneers last Sunday in his first NFL start. The playoffs, of course, are a different animal. The Eagles’ defense should be able to pressure Purdy, thus forcing him into mistakes. On defense, San Francisco is strong at all three levels, led by NFL sack leader Nick Bosa. This will be a tough matchup, but the Eagles’ edge at quarterback should be the difference.

Micah Parsons questions how much credit Jalen Hurts deserves for the Eagles’ success - BGN
Jalen Hurts is the betting favorite for NFL MVP but apparently not everyone is impressed by what he’s accomplished so far this season. Speaking on The Voncast with Von Miller, Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons openly questioned how much credit the Eagles’ quarterback deserves for Philadelphia’s success.

Eagles-Giants takeaways + Potential playoff opponents - BGN Radio
The Philadelphia Eagles are 12-1 after dominating the New York Giants! Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski discuss their biggest takeaways from the game, the latest news on the Birds, and look ahead to the biggest postseason threats. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen.

More New (Old) Guys - Iggles Blitz
Why was Kern not on a roster? As more and more teams look at fourth down differently, punting is looked at differently. Why pay a 36-year old punter when you can go with a younger, cheaper option? The Eagles got lucky that Kern was available. Aside from punting, STs coach Michael Clay said he’s confident a veteran like Kern can step in as the holder without the Eagles having issues. Rick Lovato is a veteran snapper and Jake Elliott is a veteran kicker. These guys have enough experience between them that they should be able to get on the same page pretty quickly. Safety is a more complicated discussion, K’Von Wallace replaced Blankenship on Sunday. Jonathan Gannon told the media that Wallace had a good game. I do not agree. I get that the coach wants to support his guys, but he could have been more judicious with his support. With CJ Gardner-Johnson still a couple of weeks away, the team decided they wanted to bring in a veteran who could help right away. Harris started 14 games for the Eagles a year ago so he obviously knows the scheme. He’ll have to get updated on a few details, but he should be able to play quickly. Harris played in three games for the Broncos this year. He hasn’t started at all, but he should be in football shape.

Roob stats: The most preposterous batch of Hurts numbers yet - NBCSP
10. Hurts and A.J. Brown have connected on six TD passes of 25 yards or more in their first season playing together. That’s the most by any Eagles quarterback-receiver duo since Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens hit on seven touchdowns of at least 25 yards in 2004, and it’s two shy of the franchise record of eight 25-yard TDs set in 1962 by Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Tommy McDonald. Other Eagles combos with seven in a season: Tommy Thompson to Pete Pihos in 1948, Norm Van Brocklin to McDonald in 1960, Jurgsensen to McDonald in 1961, Norm Snead to Ben Hawkins in 1967 and Randall Cunningham to Mike Quick in 1987.

2022 NFL Season: Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 14 - PFF
13. Philadelphia Eagles: DI Jordan Davis, Georgia. Davis played 14 snaps against the New York Giants this week but now seems to have a slightly different role along the defensive front than he did before the team signed Linval Joseph. Joseph largely took the nose tackle snaps, forcing Davis to play with a wider alignment, where he had just one hurry and no defensive stops.

‘Separation is in the preparation’ -
Getting off to a fast start and putting points on the board have been huge and have, truly, changed the complexion of games. Playing with a lead is obviously always better than playing from behind, and the Eagles have done a great job of that this season. The work, Steichen said, starts long before the opening kickoff. “I think it’s the preparation part. I say this every week, but I think it’s big,” Steichen said. “The preparation, I truly believe the separation is in the preparation every week, and the way we go about our business up in the meeting rooms and carrying it down to the players and trying to put our guys in position to make plays. Obviously, they have to go out and execute, which they’ve been doing, but it’s the communication part and seeing what we’re seeing on tape and trying to take advantage of those things.”

NFL believes there were no fake injuries in Week 14 - PFT
Some Eagles fans complained about an allegedly fake injury when a Giants defender took a seat before a third and one play. Per the source, it was determined that the player suffered a real injury (hamstring), and that there was no effort to secure a competitive advantage by pretending to be hurt.

Eagles’ Kelce helps Philly nonprofits announce merger to support students in underserved communities - FOX29
Students at George Washington High School in Somerton, Philadelphia were in for a big surprise on Tuesday. Philadelphia Eagles’ center Jason Kelce made a guest appearance as part of the big merger announcement between Philadelphia Futures and Steppingstone Scholars. The two well-known and trusted organizations are partnering to become Heights Philadelphia. “Heights is purposely driven towards providing not just educational resources, but also for providing paths towards success post-high school,” said Kelce. “I’m very involved in our foundation and the things that we’re doing right now, and Heights Philadelphia, I’m going to want to be involved with them as well.” The formers presidents of the two groups Sara Woods of Futures and Sean Vereen of Steppingstone are now the co-presidents of Heights.

Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker will return to Bears practice this week - Windy City Gridiron
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus touched on several topics earlier today when he met the media at Halas Hall, including an announcement that rookie defensive backs Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker have cleared concussion protocol and will both return to practice this week. Chicago’s defense hasn’t had either player since their November 20 game against the Falcons.

New York Giants 2022 playoff odds: Postseason berth largely comes down to beating Washington - Big Blue View
How big is the New York Giants’ game Sunday against the Washington Commanders? Well, according to Football Outsiders it is this big. Odds of making the playoffs: WAS: 86% with win, 28% with loss. NYG: 90% with win, 31% with loss.

NFL Power Rankings: Washington continues to rise as other teams fall - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders tied the New York Giants two Sundays ago, and now prepare to face them again as they return from their bye week. Washington was in the playoff picture as the 8th spot in the NFC, and rose to the 6th spot after losses by the Giants and Seahawks on Sunday. Washington’s odds of getting into the playoffs with a win this week are 86%, and drop to 28% with a loss. Last week most power rankers just left Washington where they had the team ranked before the bye. With the team moving up the playoff ladder, and not losing a game since Week 9, they have moved up on several lists. They highest rank is now 7th, and their average ranking actually went up by .8!

The McCarthy Chronicles: Adversity has come for the Cowboys - Blogging The Boys
Dallas gets one more game before the pivotal Christmas Eve game against the Eagles, so that sets them up for one shot at taking out their frustrations from the Texans game before getting down to business against their bitter rival. As big as that Eagles game will be, the way the Cowboys respond against the Jaguars this week will be almost as important. It will set the stage for this team’s mindset as they prepare for the playoffs. This is the first real bout of adversity the Cowboys have been dealt since Prescott’s return. It’s fortunate for Dallas that it didn’t cost them a win, but the lesson must be learned all the same. McCarthy has done a good job all season of leading his team to a strong rebound following a performance like this. He’ll need these Cowboys to do it at least one more time.

NFL playoff and elimination scenarios for Week 15 - SB Nation
Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot this week, through six different combinations of results. The easiest? A win over Jacksonville on Sunday. With a win the Cowboys are in the playoffs. Their hopes of a division title largely rest on their Christmas Eve meeting with the Eagles. If the Cowboys can only tie the Jaguars on Sunday, they can still clinch a playoff spot. How? With either a New York Giants loss or a Washington Commanders loss. Those teams play each other. Dallas can also clinch a playoff spot with a tie against Jacksonville, and a Seahawks loss or tie with San Francisco. Even with a loss to Jacksonville, two different combinations of results could see Dallas lock up a spot. If the Seahawks and Commanders lose, then Dallas is in. If the Seahawks lose, and the Lions either lose or tie, Dallas is in.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray suffered torn ACL vs. Patriots, out for remainder of season -
NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday the Cardinals have signed Carson Strong to their practice squad after he worked out for them last week. [BLG Note: Former Eagles QB lands in the desert.]


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