Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Sources: Jalen Hurts’ status uncertain for Eagles’ Week 17 game - ESPN+
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who will miss Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys because of a sprained shoulder, also is uncertain to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17, league sources told ESPN. Hurts is recovering from what doctors are calling a SC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder — an injury to the joint where the collarbone meets the breastbone. The Eagles would like to see how this weekend plays out in the NFC playoff race and how Hurts’ shoulder responds to rest and treatment before determining whether the MVP candidate can play against the Saints on New Year’s Day. The Eagles (13-1) need to win one of their remaining three games — they conclude the schedule with home games against the Saints and Giants — to clinch the NFC’s top seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Eagles can win Saturday in Dallas, they would not need to risk Hurts next week against the Saints. But if they lose Saturday, Hurts will push to play against New Orleans even if he is not fully healthy, as is expected to be the case, according to sources. [BLG Note: It was previously reported that Hurts could miss two games, so this report does not come as a shocking revelation. The detail about the SC joint is new knowledge.]
Eagles at Cowboys Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 16 enemy - BGN
“There have been a few things that have gone wrong recently, some that are new and some that are lingering problems. On defense, the Cowboys have lost two starting cornerbacks, Anthony Brown on the outside and Jourdan Lewis in the slot. DaRon Bland has done a good job of filling in at the slot, but the Cowboys just don’t have a competent outside corner for Brown’s spot yet. So teams are certainly looking in that direction for big plays. Additionally, the Cowboys pass rush has tanked the last couple of games, leaving the pass defense even more vulnerable. Teams are getting the ball out quicker because the corners are not as good at shutting things down, leading to a cascade effect. To top it off, the injury to Johanthn Hankins has opened up the running game for the opposition again, just as the Cowboys were starting to get a handle on it.”
Eagles-Cowboys Preview + NFL Week 16 picks against the spread - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski preview the Eagles-Cowboys Christmas Eve matchup in addition to making their NFL Week 16 picks against the spread. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. For a LIMITED TIME only, use discount code BGN20 at RighteousFelon.com for 20% off your order!
Game Preview – PHI at DAL - Iggles Blitz
In the first game, the Eagles used condensed formations to help the passing attack. They wanted DBs in heavy traffic. The Eagles ran crossers and attacked the middle of the field. That worked well and I expect to see that again. Minshew loves throwing to the TE so this is a good week for Dallas Goedert to be back. Expect the TEs to get a lot of work. LB Leighton Vander Esch is out. He is a key run defender for a defense that can struggle against the run. This could be a game to run, run and run some more. I know Nick Sirianni loves to throw for points and then run, but it sure feels like he should test out this run defense early. Since Oct. 30, three teams have run for 190 or more yards on Dallas, including Jacksonville last week. Without LVE, they may struggle even more. Rookie Damone Clark will replace him in the lineup. Dallas could also mix in more Dime looks. If they do that, play 12 personnel and run down their throats. The Eagles did that against the Giants and ran for 253 yards. One of the benefits to having more of a ball control attack would be keeping Prescott and the Dallas offense as spectators on the sideline. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Jordan Davis has become an afterthought and it hasn’t mattered. Where does the Eagles rookie’s future stand? - Inquirer
But Joseph’s presence has been instrumental in improving the run defense, and since returning Davis has lined up over center for only three snaps.“I think the plan all along was for me to only play the nose, but since Linval was here we have the flexibility to move me around,” Davis said earlier this week. “I guess with the weight loss I’m able to go [outside], too. You know, I don’t know why. I just kind of do it.” Davis said he lost 20 pounds during his stint on injured reserve. He said he weighed as much as 355 pre-injury and was 343 as of Thursday. But the biggest reason he hasn’t logged as many snaps overall, or at the nose, may be that his ankle isn’t 100 percent recovered. He tweaked it in his first game back and was on the field for only six snaps. He played 15 of 64 snaps (23%) the following week and 14 of 59 (24%) last week.“An ankle like this is going to tweak,” Davis said. “And you’re not going to be 100 percent when you go back out there. If you wait until it’s 100 percent, I won’t be playing until six months from now.”
Spadaro: 6 storylines to follow vs. Cowboys - PE.com
6. The Dallas run defense has been challenged. Jacksonville last week: 27 carries, 192 yards. Houston, the week before: 37 carries, 114 yards. Dallas is tied for 24th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 133 yards per game. Their big, run-stuffing defensive tackle, Johnathan Hankins, suffered an injury in the game against Houston and is gone for the season. Leading tackler, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who covers sideline to sideline and who is always around the football, is injured and won’t play in this game. The Eagles won’t have the Hurts element in the running game, but the running game can certainly still be very good. The Eagles ran for 185 yards and a touchdown when Minshew subbed for Hurts last season in the win at the New York Jets. Miles Sanders is a Pro Bowl back. He’s going to get some touches here, perhaps. The Eagles will lean on that big, strong offensive line as they have the entire season.
The surprisingly successful history of Eagles backup QBs - NBCSP
Backup quarterback is one of the most important positions on any football team, and recent Eagles history sure bears that out. Only once since 2005 has the Eagles’ opening-day quarterback taken every meaningful snap all year, and that was Carson Wentz in 2016. Every other year, the starter has gotten hurt or benched. But incredibly, the backups have done almost as well as the starters. Going back to 2000, which is when the Eagles started the current 23-year run as one of the NFL’s winningest teams, Eagles opening-day starting QBs have a combined 173-114-2 record, which is pretty good – a .602 winning percentage. But their backups are a combined 45-35 when forced to play, and that’s good for a .563 winning percentage, which isn’t much worse. And if it wasn’t for Mike McMahon, the backups’ winning percentage would jump to .589.
Cowboys loss to the Jaguars causes a giant loss of belief from the fanbase - Blogging The Boys
You might think that Dallas Cowboys fans didn’t like the way the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars turned out last week. And you’d be right. Very right. So right that the Cowboys graph covering this year’s confidence in the team looks like a capital ‘M’. The lower left corner of the ‘M’ is the week after the Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fan confidence was at a season-low 5%. Then we slowly climbed until the Green Bay game happened, then the Vikings rebound. That formed the middle of the ‘M’. Now, the Jaguars loss has plummeted us down, forming the right side of the ‘M’. Only 22% of fans feel confident in the direction of the team. That will happen after a lackluster run through the AFC South, with the Titans still to go.
Giants vs. Vikings: When the Vikings have the ball - Big Blue View
The Vikings are a good football team, but one that isn’t dominant despite their record. Like the Giants, they’ve been hyper-efficient in one-score games. Minnesota is an incredible 10-1 in one-score games. However, this team drastically collapsed in the first half against an Indianapolis Colts team who lost their star player on their first drive. Yes, they assembled the greatest comeback in NFL history, which must be applauded, but dominant teams aren’t going to surrender 33 points to an interim-coached squad with an elder Matt Ryan at quarterback. The Giants will be prepared, well-coached, and ready to build on their pivotal Week 15 win over Washington. However, the injuries in their secondary will be a huge issue in containing the 11 personnel package of Minnesota. It’s looking like a track meet with two sub-optimal defenses in a dome December environment; that’s not the typical script for Giants’ team that hasn’t scored more than 27 points this season.
Bris Vegas NFC Playoff Seeding Projection – Week 16 - Hogs Haven
Having won only 7 games, with three remaining, the Commanders face an uphill battle to finish ahead of either Detroit or the Giants to make it into the post-season. Of the three teams, the Commanders have the toughest remaining schedule, consisting of the 49ers, Browns and Cowboys. New York has a less formidable schedule with remaining games against the Vikings, Colts and Eagles. The Lions have it the easiest, as they do not face a team with a winning record for the rest of the season. At this point in time, it would be very difficult for the Commanders to finish ahead of Detroit (7-7) or tie their win total. If they can manage 10 wins, they are in. They just have to beat the 49ers on the road and Cowboys to pull that off. The Commanders’ best chance would seem to be overtaking the 8-5-1 Giants. However, if the Giants win one more game, that would require the Commanders to win all three of their remaining games, since the Giants also hold the head-to-head tiebreak.
Jets WR coach Miles Austin suspended for violating league’s gambling policy - NFL.com
The NFL is suspending Jets wide receiver coach Miles Austin for violating the league’s gambling policy, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Friday, per a source. Pelissero reports that there is no indication Austin bet on NFL games as a coach but bet on other sports, which violates the NFL’s personnel gambling policy. Austin’s suspension is indefinite and will last at least one year, per Pelissero. Austin, who was absent for Thursday night’s game versus the Jaguars, is appealing the suspension.
Establish The Fun: Josh Allen goes into Leroy Jenkins mode - SB Nation
Welcome back to Establish the Fun, where football is fun and I will continue to establish that, even through the holidays. We’re headed into Christmas and it’s almost time for a playoff push, but I do want to say thank you again for reading and following. One of my biggest Christmas gifts is being able to write and share things that I find cool in the NFL and that’s really crazy to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to establish some fun, and hopefully I’ll keep doing this for a long time. So let’s get into the fun, starting with Josh Allen going berserk for the Bills.
Jags/Jets reaction, Pick 3, & Week 16 Preview - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera, RJ Ochoa, and Brandon Lee Gowton discuss the Jaguars’ win over the Jets on Thursday night–and whether it’s the last time we’ll see Zach Wilson take the field for the Jets. Of course, we’ve got our locks of the week–and preview every game on the Week 16 slate.
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