Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Doug Pederson and the Jaguars used a 1940s playbook to come back and beat the Chargers - SB Nation
After the first half Saturday night, it looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to see their season end at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers. Trevor Lawrence threw four first-half interceptions, and the Jaguars trailed at the halftime break by a score of 27-7. But in the second half, Lawrence and the Jacksonville offense got on track, and thanks to some timely plays on the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars climbed back into the game. And with under two minutes left, the Jaguars faced a critical 4th and 1 at the Los Angeles 41-yard line. With 1:28 left in the game, and the Jaguars trailing 30-28, they could have settled for a long field goal attempt. Pederson, however, had a different idea. The coach put his offense back onto the field, and pulled something out from deep in the playbook.
The Jaguars are the first team in NFL history to have the worst record in the NFL (including ties) and win a playoff game the following season.— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) January 15, 2023
Doug Pederson’s greatness should’ve never been in doubt - PhillyVoice
Still, I continue laugh in the face of the “It was all Frank Reich!” comments I’ve heard over the last half-decade. Why the rush to discredit the guy who dropped 41 points on the greatest defensive mind of all time with a backup quarterback? It was weird, as a section of the Eagles’ fan base came off as ungrateful for the heights that Pederson’s 2017 Super Bowl brought. Maybe Pederson never acted or looked like the ideal Philadelphia coach, but banners fly forever and the one that hangs at Lincoln Financial Field continues to go strong. Next up for a Pederson? A likely divisional round matchup with with Big Red and the Chiefs. The narrative writes itself.
Wild Card, Wild Comeback: Jaguars erase 27-point deficit to stun Chargers in playoffs - Big Cat Country
The 27-point comeback victory was the third-largest in the history of the NFL playoffs. The Jaguars did not lead throughout the entire game until there was 0:00 left on the clock.
It Was Always the Jags—Whether the Chargers Liked It or Not - The Ringer
And let’s talk about Pederson. There’s a reason Zay Jones was wide open on that touchdown and Marvin Jones wide open on his. There’s a reason why this young team entered a locker room down 20 points at halftime and emerged unflustered. Pederson is the adult in the room, the actual championship coach that the Jaguars once believed they had found when they hired Urban Meyer last offseason. The same message Pederson gave in his halftime interview—just keep “chipping away”—is the same message he gave after the comeback overtime win against the Cowboys. “Our guys—I don’t really think they worry too much about where it is, what the score is,” Pederson said. “I really don’t. We just keep chipping away. I think it’s just a matter of the guys just kind of trusting in themselves and gaining confidence as the game goes on.” Pederson can flat-out coach. He’s aggressive, choosing to attempt a two-point conversion after a Chargers penalty set the football at the 1-yard line with his team down four—and that choice would eventually ensure the Jaguars’ game-winning field goal kick was not a game-tying field goal kick. He’s a developer, as evidenced by Lawence’s steady improvement this season. And he is a schemer, a wicked play designer who called a precious timeout to get into the exact look he knew would win the game for the Jaguars on fourth-and-inches.
Jaguars come back from 27-point deficit to stun Chargers, advance to AFC Divisional Round - NFL.com
Jags overcome disastrous first half for an incredible comeback victory. Down 27-0 with fewer than 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Jacksonville stormed back for an improbable victory. The Jags outscored L.A. 24-3 in the second half, culminated by Riley Patterson’s game-winning field goal as time expired to send Doug Pederson’s club to the Divisional Round. We’ll get to Trevor Lawrence’s miraculous turnaround shortly. First, let’s discuss a young team that didn’t pack it in when everything went wrong. Four interceptions. A punt that bounded off a Jags player for another turnover. An offense that couldn’t generate traction. A defense that kept giving up third-down conversions. Pederson’s team never surrendered. Yard by yard, the Jaguars battled back into the game. After a late touchdown cut the deficit to 30-26, Pederson elected to go for 2 points after a Joey Bosa unsportsmanlike conduct placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Lawrence dove into the end zone for the conversion to cut the deficit to two. The defense then came up huge, forcing a three-and-out. And on the biggest call of the game, fourth-and-1 from the Chargers’ 41 with 1:27 remaining, Pederson lined up in big personnel. L.A. bought the inside run, and Travis Etienne dashed to the edge for a 25-yard gain setting up the game-winning field goal. It was a masterful call. Fearless.
Eagles in jeopardy of losing in-house coordinator replacement candidates? - BGN
Eagles defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson is interviewing for the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator job, according to a report from Jonathan Jones. The Browns have interviewed former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz (!) and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores thus far. They’re also waiting to interview Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach/defensive assistant Sean Desai. It’s not hard to see why Wilson is an attractive candidate. The Eagles’ secondary has regularly played well under his guidance. Darius Slay was a Pro Bowl selection this year while James Bradberry made second-team All-Pro. C.J. Gardner-Johnson led the NFL in interceptions despite only switching to safety and joining the Eagles’ roster shortly before the season. Undrafted rookie free agent Reed Blankenship has played much better than reasonably expected when called upon. Wilson gave off an impressive impression when he spoke to Eagles reporters during a rare press conference in training camp ahead of the 2022 season. He’d probably do very well in an interview setting. The Eagles are high on Wilson. They likely would’ve promoted him to defensive coordinator had Gannon been hired away last year. He’s a natural candidate, then, to replace Gannon if the Eagles’ DC gets a coaching job. One would think the opportunity to remain in Philly for the same position would entice Wilson ... but we’ll see if they offer it to him. In the event that Gannon stays, Wilson could certainly look to go elsewhere.
Eye on the Enemy #122: Previewing the Wild Card Round with Dalton Miller - BGN Radio
John Stolnis previews the wild card round with lead football analyst for Pro Football Network 365, Dalton Miller. The two analyzed and predicted winners for all 6 wild card games, discussed who would be the best match-up for the Eagles in the divisional round, and took his temperature on who he thought was currently the best team in the NFC.
Which Jalen Hurts will we see in the postseason? - NBCSP
1. The biggest question facing the Eagles a week before they begin play in the postseason is what type of Jalen Hurts should we expect? Will he be the guy we saw against the Giants who was so limited in everything he did? Will he be the Jalen Hurts we saw before the injury in Chicago? Somewhere in between? Here’s why I think he’ll be OK. By the time the Eagles play next weekend, Hurts will be five weeks out from suffering that shoulder injury on Dec. 18. While ideally the Eagles would have wrapped up the top seed against the Cowboys or Saints and Hurts could have sat out last weekend, I don’t think anything happened in the Giants game to set him back significantly. The Eagles went into that game with one goal: Win the game with a minimum of energy expended while keeping the offense as vanilla as possible and protecting Hurts as much as possible. And while he was credited with nine rushing attempts, four were kneel downs, and on the others, he was as careful as you could possibly be while still playing professional football. It was encouraging to see Hurts out at practice Friday throwing, and he’s still got another week to rest and heal and recover. Hurts and Nick Sirianni are being intentionally vague, but my hunch is we’ll see a pretty close approximation of the Jalen Hurts we saw the first 13 weeks of the season by next weekend. And if they’re going to put together a deep playoff run, the Eagles need a Jalen Hurts who has all his abilities at his disposal. When he does, this offense is virtually unstoppable. When he doesn’t, we know what that looks like, too. Hurts won’t be 100 percent. But I’ll be surprised if he’s not close.
Spadaro: Nick Sirianni sheds light on what makes this team special - PE.com
1. Head Coach Nick Sirianni dropped into the studio at the NovaCare Complex on Friday after practice and I asked him, among other things, how he feels about this team as it heads into the playoffs. “This is a great, special group of guys that are close together, that want to win for each other, that want to play good for each other,” Sirianni said. “That’s what makes you feel good. That’s what makes you feel good – the talent we have on this team, the guys we have on this team, the work that we got this week. I definitely see that as an advantage. Everyone is fighting for their football lives this week; we get to watch it. We’ve had a chance to watch what we did all season and we’ll fix some of the things we did and all of those different things. It’s an advantage and it’s an advantage to be able to play at home and so we feel really good. We had a good couple of days of preparation this week and I look forward to next week when we’re in preparation for our next opponent.”
NFL wild-card playoff game plans: Keys to win, matchups to know - ESPN+
How the Giants can beat the Vikings. Attack the perimeter in the pass game. This is another rematch from a December game, as the Vikings beat the Giants 27-24 in Week 16. In that game, quarterback Daniel Jones targeted the perimeter matchups against the Minnesota corners, completing 11 of 15 passes for 115 yards on throws outside of the numbers. This is where he can challenge Patrick Peterson and Duke Shelley — in man-to-man coverage or Quarters — on both play-action and fade balls. With wideouts Isaiah Hodgins and Darius Slayton, Jones has targets with the vertical juice to create explosive plays. They need to hit on a few of them Sunday.
4 reasons the Giants are a dangerous playoff team - Big Blue View
Brian Daboll ... and his staff. Brian Daboll is a rookie head coach. He has, though, been part of five Super Bowl-winning teams. He was offensive coordinator on a national championship team at Alabama. This time of year isn’t new to Daboll, and he won’t be overwhelmed by it. Daboll built a tremendous veteran coaching staff filled with assistants whose resumes are stockpiled with NFL success. Week after week that coaching staff has given the Giants an advantage. It is no accident that players like Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence are playing better than ever. Week after week the Giants coaching staff has found ways to put players in advantageous positions and get unexpected production from a constantly rotating cast of characters. That isn’t going to change.
Cowboys rumors: Sean Payton reportedly does not consider Cowboys head coach job to be open - Blogging The Boys
Jerry Jones appeared on 105.3 The Fan and shot down the idea that McCarthy could be in trouble if the Cowboys disappoint on Monday night down in Florida. That in and of itself is a change in tune from last summer. While you may or may not agree with that, it appears that Sean Payton does. Payton is the top name associated with any head coaching vacancy at the moment and given the connection between him and the Cowboys over the years, many people have assumed that he would be a logical choice for Dallas if things do indeed go south. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Payton does not consider the Cowboys’ job to be open or potentially open.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Final Injury Report - Bucs Nation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys have released their final injury reports for Monday night’s Wild Card playoff game. The Bucs have not ruled out any player, but have two players listed as doubtful, and nine others listed as questionable. The Cowboys have ruled out cornerback Trayvon Mullen (illness) but have no other players with injury designations. Offensive lineman Nick Leverett (knee/shoulder) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (knee) are both doubtful for Monday night’s game. Both players practiced once this week in limited fashion but were not able to practice on Saturday. Leverett’s condition is concerning, considering that starting center, Robert Hainsey (hamstring), and backup lineman John Molchon (ankle), are both questionable for the game. The team’s saving grace could be the return of center Ryan Jensen, who has not played all season after injuring his knee in training camp. Jensen could be activated from injured reserve on Monday before the game, which is when head coach Todd Bowles said the team will make its decision on who will be manning the guard, and center positions. The only Buccaneer, besides Hainsey, who was limited in practice on Saturday, was defensive tackle Vita Vea (calf.) Vea should be available on Monday barring an unforeseen setback.
Re-building Washington’s offensive line for 2023 - Hogs Haven
Washington’s offensive line play in 2022 left quite a bit to be desired. The good news is, really depending on Chase Roullier’s ability to bounce back, the re-configured line could end up being quite functional in 2023 if Washington’s front office invests significant draft and/or salary capital into it this offseason, and if the young guards continue to develop well.
Super Bowl 57 odds: Likelihood of all 98 possible outcomes - DraftKings Nation
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering up odds on every possible Super Bowl outcome ahead of the start of the playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles hold the two No. 1 seeds, but the Buffalo Bills are viewed as a stronger contender than the Eagles. The top two outcomes for the 2023 Super Bowl result odds are Chiefs over Eagles (+1300) and Chiefs over 49ers (+1400), and the following two are Bills over Eagles (+1400) and Bills over 49ers (+1500). The first NFC winning outcomes are Eagles over Chiefs (+1500) and 49ers over Chiefs (+1600).
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