Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
The Day After – Talking Defense - Iggles Blitz
DeVonta Smith finished the season with another strong outing. He went 7-67 on Sunday and made a couple of tough catches. Smith was targeted 8 times so he and Jalen Hurts were efficient. It is crazy to think back to the opener. Smith was targeted 4 times, but didn’t have a single catch. There was a lot of talk about whether the presence of AJ Brown might hurt him. The opposite turned out to be true. Smith had a great year and set the franchise record for receptions in a season by a WR with 95. He was 95-1196-7. AJ Brown “only” finished with 88 catches, but did lead in yards (1496) and TDs (11). The Eagles have the most dynamic duo in the NFC. It feels so good to say that after so many years of mediocre WRs or getting older guys for a year or two. The Eagles can now work on building around Brown and Smith. They do need better depth at receiver.
5 crazy Eagles stats from a ridiculous 2022 season - BGN
The Eagles went 14-3 this year and, had things fallen a little differently, easily could have gone 17-0. Think about it. If Quez Watkins doesn’t drop the ball after that long completion in the 4th quarter of the Commanders game, they likely don’t suffer their first loss. The offense was moving up and down the field in the second half, and Washington was barely hanging on. Bad luck on turnovers, that’s it. If Jalen Hurts doesn’t get hurt in Chicago, it’s possible he pulls off the late-game comeback that Gardner Minshew frittered away as he was freaking out late in the Cowboys loss on Christmas Eve. He also probably doesn’t throw two interceptions or fumble the handoff with Boston Scott in that contest, although who knows? And the Eagles certainly don’t lose to the Saints if Hurts is in there. Of course, every team has a few games like that during a long season, but the fact the Birds won 14 games and realistically had a chance to win all 17 is remarkable. I cannot remember another year where they legitimately should have won every single game.
Eagles-Giants takeaways and potential playoff opponents - BGN Radio
The Philadelphia Eagles are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture after beating the New York Giants! Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski discuss their takeaways from the Week 18 game. The guys also talk about the Eagles’ potential playoff opponents in the divisional round. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Use discount code BGN15 at RighteousFelon.com for 15% off your order!
Spadaro: The mandate is clear, Eagles must play their best football NOW - PE.com
The important part now is taking advantage of the bye week and the few extra days of preparation afforded the team. There is a need to self-scout and examine, for the first time since the regular-season bye week in mid-October, what the Eagles have done well and what they need to change for the playoffs. This team needs to play its best football in the postseason; that is the mandate. That is the expectation for an experienced roster that understands what is ahead. “I’ve been fortunate, out of four years, I’ve won the division three times,” said Brown, taking into account his three seasons with the Titans. “I just want more. I’ve been here before. I want more. The playoffs, they’re different. Every drive counts. Every drive matters. The most physical team is going to win. You’ve got to put your blue-collar hat on and go to work. “That’s how I want to play, and the refs will let you play, so I know we’ll be ready. That’s the kind of team we are.” The Eagles are full-throttle focused on what is here, at this very moment. They’ll spend this week working on themselves and then they will focus on an opponent, one they won’t know until Saturday at the earliest.
Week 18: Damar Hamlin Gets His Flowers Right On Time - FMIA
Offensive players of the week: Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia. It wasn’t the most dynamic performance of Hurts’ career (20 of 35 for 229 yards and a pick) but it was an extremely important one. Back in the lineup after missing the past two games (both Eagles losses) with a shoulder sprain, Hurts led his team to a win over the Giants, earning the first-round bye. “For him to play through what he fought through to get back … There was no more risk, but he was hurting,” Nick Sirianni said postgame.
Debunking myths: Why you’re wrong about all 14 NFL playoff teams - ESPN+
The myth: The Eagles’ defense was exposed while Jalen Hurts was out. Philly lost both of the games Hurts missed, in Weeks 16 and 17, because of his shoulder injury, giving up a combined 60 points and 732 yards. Not a great sign for a team with Super Bowl aspirations as it makes its way toward the postseason. Not to go all Micah Parsons on you here, but one of the things that was supposed to be true about this Eagles team was that it has a super-strong roster without any major holes around its emerging young quarterback, and that the defense would be good enough to hold up and deliver even with Gardner Minshew at QB. Why it’s wrong: While the top-line numbers look bad, the Eagles’ defense wasn’t that awful in the games against the Cowboys and the Saints. The Philly defense allowed four touchdowns to Dallas and one to New Orleans (which also scored one on defense in that game). Of the Cowboys’ four touchdowns, two came on drives that were less than 50 yards long, off of Eagles turnovers. A Philadelphia team that turned the ball over just 13 times in its first 14 games turned it over five times in the two games Hurts missed, including four times against the Cowboys. Assuming the turnovers have returned to normal with their starting quarterback healthy — Philly turned it over just once on Sunday against the Giants — the Eagles should be fine. That defense is quite fearsome. Through Week 17, Philly was on a streak of five straight games with six or more sacks, which was the longest such streak of all time. Of the league-leading 70 sacks the Eagles had through Week 17, they got 53 with a four-man rush. That’s 15 more sacks with a four-man rush than any other team has had since such stats have been tracked.
What does Eagles’ lackluster end of season really mean? - NBCSP
This is a team with an electrifying quarterback who’s 17-1 in his last 18 starts, two monster playmakers at wide receiver, one of the NFL’s best tight ends, a big-time offensive line, the No. 1 pass defense in football, one of the best group of pass rushers in NFL history and a head coach running the whole thing who’s 21-5 in his last 26 games. They just got the NFL interception leader back, they should have their four-time Pro Bowl right tackle back and now they have a week more than anybody else to get ready for the postseason. While every other playoff team will be in action next weekend, the Eagles will be at home resting, watching and getting healthy. Was the Giants game frustrating and difficult and agonizing? Sure. But there are 15 teams in the NFC who’d give anything for an ugly win that locks up a 1st-round bye. There are 15 teams in the NFC who’d trade places with the Eagles in a second. The Eagles are right where they want to be, right where they need to be. Even if the road that got them there was a little bit rocky.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Five QBs go in first round, including Colts trading up to No. 1 for Bryce Young - PFF
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints): S Brian Branch, Alabama. Branch is the kind of defensive back that is gaining value around the NFL. He can play the slot position at an elite level against both run and pass. He earned a 90.7 run-defense grade and an 86.4 coverage grade for Alabama this past fall. That would fit in perfectly in Jonathan Gannon’s defense — especially if C.J. Gardner-Johnson departs in free agency.
Bills Finish No. 1 in 2022 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
I wrote last week about some historic sack rates. Philadelphia’s adjusted sack rate dropped a little bit in Week 18, as did the adjusted sack rate for the Chicago offense. In the end, the Eagles still finish second all-time in adjusted sack rate, while the Bears offense is now in a tie with the 2005 Texans for second place behind the 2002 Texans.
Report: Colts Request to Interview Eagles OC Shane Steichen, Rams DC Raheem Morris for Head Coach Job - Stampede Blue
Regarding Steichen, the 37 year old is the offensive coordinator for former Colts offensive coordinator, now turned Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. The Eagles are averaging the NFL’s 3rd most points, averaging 28.1 points per game and the third most yards at 389.1 total yards per game. Per FootballOutsiders, the Eagles rank 3rd best in offensive DVOA. Steichen was formerly the Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and offensive quality control coach among his other prior pro coaching roles. Given what the Eagles offense has done this season, as well as Jalen Hurts’ continued development, and Steichen could make sense for a Colts team that very well could have a top rookie quarterback prospect starting under center with the 4th overall pick in the draft (*and always the possibility of a trade up with the Chicago Bears).
Texans request interviews for 5 coaches, including former LB DeMeco Ryans - Battle Red Blog
Gannon, who turned 40 last week, was a finalist for the Texans head coaching search a year ago and led the Eagles to the second-best defensive ranking this season.
The official Panthers head coach candidate list - Cat Scratch Reader
Shane Steichen - offensive coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles.
Browns to interview Jim Schwartz for DC job - Dawgs By Nature
The veteran Schwartz has been an important defensive coach in the NFL for years starting with his time on Bill Belichick’s staff with the Browns as a researcher. He was the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator for seven years in the early 2000s, was the Detroit Lions head coach for five seasons including returning them to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years and then returned as a coordinator in Buffalo and Philadelphia including the running the defense for the Eagles championship in Super Bowl LII. Schwartz spent this year as the senior defensive assistant back with the Titans. With his wide-9 scheme and significant experience, Schwartz could be the favorite for the position with the Browns but will have to beat out an already-loaded group of interviewees.
Former Colts HC Frank Reich scheduled to interview for Panthers’ HC job - NFL.com
Just two months after he was dismissed as the Indianapolis Colts head coach, Frank Reich is on the schedule to interview to become the Carolina Panthers’ next head coach. The Panthers are scheduling an interview with Reich for their vacant head coaching job, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported late Monday night.
Report: Cardinals request permission to interview Ian Cunningham - PFT
The Cardinals’ search for a new General Manager has commenced. They have requested permission to interview Bears assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham, Jonathan Jones of CBS reports. Steve Keim went on a medical leave of absence Dec. 14 and will not return, stepping away to focus on his health. The Cardinals also announced Monday that they have fired coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Titans also have requested permission to talk to Cunningham about their G.M. opening. Cunningham arrived to Chicago last Jan. 29 to be Ryan Poles’ top advisor after successful stints with the Ravens and Eagles.
Cowboys collapse in “meaningless game” still foreboding for playoffs - Blogging The Boys
But even if there were more options in the passing game, are we sure this quarterback would be making the most of it? Even the most unabashed Dak supporters have to be jarred after that game. His pick-six may have been the worst throw of his career and he looked out of sorts the entire game. It’s one thing to see a guy doing his part and not getting help, but Prescott was clearly a big part of the problem yesterday. Again, you could chalk some of this up to the long week off and the team already looking ahead to Tampa Bay. But that’d be easier to swallow if they’d looked better against Tennessee, Houston, or Indianapolis last month. Even the win against the Eagles, which made us forget about the loss to Jacksonville a week earlier, came with the asterisk of Jalen Hurts’ absence.
The Key to Every NFL Wild-Card Matchup - The Ringer
Playing on natural grass could help to balance what looks like a mismatch on paper between the Dallas rush and Tampa Bay’s pass protection. As former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett mentioned on NBC’s Football Night in America on Sunday, Dallas is 1-4 when playing on natural grass, and its pass rush, which relies on the burst of Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence off the edge, seems to fall off a bit when playing on the real stuff, where footing isn’t ideal. Parsons tallied 1.5 sacks in those five games on grass. Lawrence had just one. Brady doesn’t require much time to get a pass off, so if Parsons and Lawrence are slowed down by even fractions of a second, it could change this game and tilt it in the favor of the underdogs.
Report: Daniel Jones contract extension could come next week - Big Blue View
Daniel Jones just led the New York Giants to the playoffs for the first time in his career, and it might pay off with a contract extension in the next few days. Boomer Esiason reported on WFAN this morning that Jones and the Giants are “close” to agreeing on a three- to four-year extension. Esiason said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Jones inked a new deal within the next 10 days.
Sam Howell impresses in his debut - Hogs Haven
Howell’s decision-making and timing within the offense were good enough for him to potentially function as the Commanders starting quarterback. His mobility, from designed runs to scrambles, also helped keep drives alive and put points on the board.
Stetson Bennett IV is older than these NFL quarterbacks - SB Nation
Now, there will be time to think about Bennett’s NFL prospects. But it is important to note that Bennett, who recently turned 25, is on the older side as far as NFL prospects go. Consider this. These are the NFL quarterbacks who played this season who are younger than Bennett. The list includes a potential MVP from this season, and five quarterbacks who will see action in the playoffs. Here are the NFL quarterbacks younger than Bennett. (Data provided by StatHead): Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles.
Damar Hamlin now in stable condition, transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center - Buffalo Rumblings
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized one week after suffering cardiac arrest during his team’s Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. A lot about the circumstances of his hospitalization changed today, however. Hamlin, who had been in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for nearly an entire week, was transferred to the Buffalo General Medical Center on Monday, making the flight back to Western New York under the watchful eyes of his medical team. Buffalo General put out a statement on Monday afternoon stating that Hamlin is now in stable condition, and is doing well.
Monday Football Monday #122: Black Monday Updates, JSpence on Bills’ destiny feel + NFL Week 18 Action Recap - The SB Nation NFL Show
Buffalo Rumblings’ JSpence stops by to chat with RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney about the surreal energy surrounding the Bills during the win against the Patriots on Sunday. Later in the show, RJ and Pete share their thoughts on the Black Monday updates and recap the NFL Week 18 action.
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