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Eagles News: “A deceptively tough matchup” for Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/31/22.

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Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

All-32: Tyler Huntley Must Evade Steelers Pass Rush - Football Outsiders
Andy Dalton has been surprisingly good this season. He has not been better than he was with the Bengals, but he has rebounded from lousy stints with the Bears and Cowboys. At the very least, Dalton has been an inoffensive presence at the position in a year where there have been plenty of downright abominations. Dalton has done his best work over the middle of the field with the Saints. This season, Dalton ranks 10th in DVOA on passes over the middle. He ranks 13th to his left and 17th to his right—still plenty capable, just not quite as good as when he’s driving it between the numbers. That’s partly driven by the shape of the receiver corps, a group whose only serious outside threat is a rookie—a damn good one, but one who wins more with speed and finesse, not pure ball-winning. That necessitated the rest of the offense being about getting guys running free over the middle or into zones, and both the play calling and Dalton himself have handled that well. That could be a deceptively tough matchup for the Eagles. One of the better defenses all season, the Eagles are now without some of their core guys in the middle of the defense. Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson lacerated a kidney in Week 12 and hasn’t seen the field since then, giving way to undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship. The rookie hasn’t been a total disaster, but he doesn’t have nearly the trigger or athletic skills that CGJ does. Likewise, nickel Avonte Maddox is likely to miss this week with a toe injury. Josiah Scott has played in Maddox’s absence, and if you need to know anything about him, go watch who the Cowboys were picking on relentlessly last week. The good news for Philly is they should outscore the Saints regardless. Even a good day from the Saints offense probably isn’t enough to outgun the Eagles’ loaded offense. If this game stays tight, though, it will probably be because Dalton finds some success over the middle.

Eagles-Saints game preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 17 enemy - BGN
5 - Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Saints as 6.5-point underdogs, what’s your score prediction? It all depends on the injury reports. The Saints and Eagles are both missing a few key players and for the Eagles, no one bigger than Hurts. If he plays, I still want to be optimistic and say the Saints can win but realistically, I know what we are facing on Sunday. So, I’ll just say 20-24, and that can go either way.

Eye on the Enemy #120: Carson Caulfield on if the Saints’ excellent pass defense can stand up to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and whoever is under center? - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talks with Carson Caulfield of Canal Street Chronicles about this Sunday’s matchup against the Saints. Can the Saints’ excellent pass defense stand up to A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and whoever is under center? And how will the Saints protect Andy Dalton?

Jalen Hurts doubtful; Week 18 return possible, source says - ESPN
The decision to list Hurts as doubtful, and thereby all but eliminating his chances of playing Sunday, came down to a health and safety issue, a source said. The functionality in Hurts’ right shoulder has progressed to a point where the team expects him back on the field sooner rather than later, the source added, but the Eagles wanted to give him at least one more week of rest to ensure the injury doesn’t linger.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman won the year in Philly sports - PhillyVoice
Speaking of New Orleans, the Eagles hold the Saints’ juicy first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. That’s currently slated to be the 10th-overall pick, but if the Eagles can knock off NOLA on Sunday, that pick is gonna be dropping to a single-digit number. Imagine plopping someone like Jalen Carter or Kelee Ringo or Paris Johnson Jr. onto the defending Super Bowl champs’ roster. This is a situation fans dream of: contending for a title while also getting caught up in the hype and fun of the top prospects in the draft. It’s the best of both worlds. I don’t know if Roseman will win this extremely prestigious honor come 2023, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone he brought to Philly, like Brown or Hurts, did. Roseman built a foundation and it’s up to him to keep that house of cards that any NFL roster is from falling over.

Eagles-Saints preview: Matchups, storylines to watch, game predictions - The Athletic
The only other time the Eagles lost this season, they followed it up with a near loss against the lowly Colts. There’s more uncertainty now than there was then, but that wasn’t a home game and there wasn’t as much on the line. I think the Eagles will pretty handily take care of business Sunday and lock things up so they won’t have to go on the road again until, potentially, a February trip to Arizona. Minshew protects the ball better and Goedert leads the way with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown, while Cox and Brandon Graham have a throwback game with 1 1/2 sacks each. Eagles 27, Saints 14.

In Roob’s Observations: No reason to worry about Gardner Minshew - NBCSP
8. Darius Slay is a veteran leader, a perennial Pro Bowler, one of Nick Sirianni’s captains. And he didn’t need to be so quick to let everyone know post-game in Dallas that the Cowboys’ 3rd-and-30 conversion wasn’t his fault. The guys in the secondary talk all the time about how they’re a brotherhood, how they win and lose together and how they all support each other. And for the most part that has been the case this year. Slay couldn’t wait to make it clear that one wasn’t on him, and I don’t think that’s how a captain should handle a situation like that.

Spadaro: A sibling rivalry unfolds Sunday at the Linc -
Christian Elliss has always been right by his brother, Kaden’s side. They were high school teammates and they were together at the University of Idaho. They’ve battled, been best of friends, and made sure there was love in everything they did. So this weekend, for the first time in the NFL, they’ll be together on the football field – Christian as a linebacker and special teams ace for the Eagles and Kaden lining up at linebacker, making his 10th start of the season for the visiting New Orleans Saints. Together, as rivals. “Oh, this is going to be different. I’m excited, excited to see him, have some fun,” Christian Elliss said in the Eagles’ NovaCare Complex locker room. “We’ve had a little bit of communication this week, a little bit of smack talk going back and forth. I’m just wishing him the best, wishing that he plays amazing, and wishing that we beat them by 50 points.”

New year, new team? Derek Carr, Zach Wilson among seven NFL players who could use a fresh start in 2023 -
ANDRE DILLARD — The emergence of former seventh-round project Jordan Mailata as a premier left tackle, combined with Lane Johnson’s Pro Bowl play on the right side, makes it nearly impossible for Dillard to crack the Eagles’ starting lineup despite his status as a former first-round pick. Yeah, he could get some burn in the coming weeks with Johnson’s abdomen ailment, but Dillard’s set to hit free agency after this season, as Philadelphia chose not to exercise his fifth-year option. As a pass-blocking specialist with potential, the 27-year-old will garner interest on the open market, especially given the league’s constant yearning for viable bookend blockers, which I mentioned above. While his injury history will give some teams pause, Dillard’s upside could make him a hot commodity in the offseason.

If the Saints win/lose vs. Eagles - Canal Street Chronicles
Losing this game puts a bow on the season, ending all hopes of a playoff berth for New Orleans. This would sit the Saints down at 6-10 record, putting a bow on what’s been a nightmare of a season for this team. A loss here would also wrap up the division for Philadelphia as well as they are still vying for the 1st round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Beating a New Orleans team that they’ve had no issues with as of recent would be sure to send the Philadelphia team and fans home happy. Let’s see if New Orleans has anything to say about this come gametime.

Tyler Biadasz injury update: Cowboys hope to have “dodged a bullet” says Stephen Jones - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys saw one very worrisome development in the win over the Tennessee Titans when center Tyler Biadasz was injured and carted off. He would later return to the sidelines wearing a walking boot, but now the team has to worry about whether he can return in time for the playoffs. On Friday, team EVP Stephen Jones offered some encouraging words.

Big Blue View mailbag: We’re going long in our year-end edition - Big Blue View
Can the Giants beat anyone? Of course. There is always a chance. There is also a chance they can lose to any team in the league. Their roster is still not as good as many of the league’s best teams, and that isn’t going to magically change at this point. They aren’t as talented as the Vikings, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Francisco 49ers. That’s just the reality. The Giants need to have the right game plan. They need to take advantage of their opportunities. They need to play mistake-free. They probably need to catch a couple of breaks. There is a window of opportunity against every team, it’s just an increasingly narrow one when the Giants step up in class.

Washington vs the Cleveland Browns Week 17: 5 Questions with Dawgs by Nature - Hogs Haven
5) What are you expecting the final score of the game to be this week? DraftKings Sportsbook has the over/under set at 40.5. How many points do you expect to be scored overall? With Washington scuffling and starting Carson Wentz this week, it should be an opportunity for the Browns to take advantage. However, with Cleveland officially being eliminated from playoff contention and the Commanders having something to fight for, I think we’ll see an energy deficit for Cleveland defensively — and although the Browns’ offense should fairly OK, I like Washington’s defense to hold strong enough to allow for a win in a 20-17 type of game (which would be the under, I suppose).

Our expert NFL picks for Week 17 of 2022 - SB Nation
We have just two weeks left in the regular season and everything remains up in the air. Every single game more or less has playoff ramifications for somebody, especially in the NFC South where these final weeks could decide who wins the division, who picks in the Top 10, and potentially even two teams making the playoffs if something weird happens.

Cowboys/Titans reaction, Pick 3, & Week 17 Preview - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera, RJ Ochoa, and Brandon Lee Gowton discuss the Cowboys’ win over the Titans on Thursday night–and preview every game on the Week 17 NFL schedule.


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