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Eagles News: A.J. Brown poised to give the 49ers trouble

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/27/23.

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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11 things to watch when the Eagles host the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game - BGN
Don’t you just feel like Brown is due for a big game after only having three catches for 22 yards last weekend? Brown gave the 49ers problems as a member of the Tennessee Titans during the 2021 season. He saw 16 targets for 11 receptions, 145 yards, and one touchdown in a win over San Fran. Unlike then, Brown will not have the luxury of going up against a washed Josh Norman and a backup rookie Ambry Thomas this week. But he will also have a much better complementary cast than he did in that scenario. The 49ers didn’t have to worry about Derrick Henry in that game since he was injured. They will have to account for the Eagles’ running game. The 49ers didn’t have to worry about receiving options outside of Brown considering the top alternatives were a cooked Julio Jones and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. They will have to account for DeVonta Smith and Goedert. Having recently re-watched Brown’s performance against the 49ers in that game, it looked like he rose to the challenge of playing a tough defense. As a physical player himself, he wanted to out-alpha the competition. The Eagles traded away what it took to get Brown and paid him to show up in a big game like this. Time for him to deliver.

NFL SAME GAME PARLAY: DraftKings Sportsbook Cheat Sheet for 49ers vs. Eagles - DraftKings Nation
A.J. Brown Over 54.5 Receiving Yards. We didn’t see the best of A.J. Brown last week, but the Eagles really didn’t need much from him en route to their 38-7 beatdown of the Giants. Prior to that game, Brown had surpassed 55 yards in six straight contests with relative ease. He is in the midst of the best season of his young career, and we expect that to continue against a Niners secondary that isn’t as effective as some may assume. San Francisco ranks 19th in passing yards allowed this year. Brown should have little trouble bouncing back from last week’s underwhelming outing.

A.J. Brown can laugh at himself, but the Eagles WR is not joking about being open - The Athletic
Malik Joe is an Eagles fan from North Philadelphia who creates comedic content on the internet that could go viral. Earlier this season, he made a mock video of the Eagles’ huddle with Brown repeating, “I’m open!” He made different iterations of this Brown refrain, including Brown in a mock news conference answering every question with, “I’m open,” regardless of the topic. Brown wasn’t offended. He laughed, shared the videos and has since followed Joe on Instagram. “It’s a comedian here in Philly, he’s always making videos. He made a video and it was fourth-and-20, and I was like, ‘I’m open! I’m open!’” Brown said of Joe. “He always does a really good job with that. The guys love that. Hope he keeps it going!” “The background of the video,” Joe said, “came from him actually being open, being honest.”

Eagles-49ers NFC Championship Game preview - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski preview the Eagles-49ers NFC Championship Game! The guys talk about the latest news with the Birds in addition to the top matchups to watch. Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Use discount code BGN15 at for 15% off your order!

Eagles vs. 49ers: Five matchups to watch, when the Eagles have the ball - PhillyVoice
5) The Eagles’ ball security vs. the Niners’ ball hawking. The 49ers were second in the NFL in takeaways this season, with 30 of them. They were third in giveaways (as in, not giving it away), with only 17. They led the NFL with a turnover differential of +13, and so far in the playoffs they’re +3. This team lives off of turnovers. [...] The Eagles are the more talented team in this matchup, in my opinion, as they have been in every other game they have played this season. But in this game the gap isn’t anywhere near as wide as it has been against any other opponent. They were -2 in their loss to the Commanders, -3 in their loss to the Cowboys, and a pick-6 ended the game in their loss to the Saints. If the Eagles lose the turnover battle in this game, that could be what tilts this matchup in the Niners’ favor. Ball security should be prioritized over fighting for extra yardage.

Scouting the Niners - Iggles Blitz
The man who is getting all the attention is rookie QB Brock Purdy. He’s 7-0 as the starting QB. His rating is over 100. Rookies aren’t supposed to get these kind of results in December and January. Wild. I did not like Purdy coming out of Iowa State. He was too frenetic for me and I didn’t see a lot of upside. I’m glad for his sake that I was wrong. His NFL tape is worlds better than what we saw in college. He’s been given great coaching and there is a lot of talent around him. That has brought out the best in Purdy. He is fearless. Some rookies look scared and overwhelmed. Purdy doesn’t show any of that. He doesn’t look nervous late in the game or in key situations. He will throw the ball into tight coverage. Some rookies want wide open receivers. Purdy will give his guys a chance to make plays. He’s pretty accurate. Arm is solid. He can run, but doesn’t have much speed. Purdy wants to get the ball to his first read. When that’s not there, he will hold it. The Eagles can hurt him if they take away that first read. The pass rush will then have a chance to get to him.

Analytics predicts who will win NFL conference titles, advance to Super Bowl LVII - SB Nation
Edge: 49ers - Another very close matchup where both teams are top-10 on both offense and defense, leading to their second and third rankings overall. The difference is that the Niners defense has a larger gap than the Eagles offense does. If what happened during Wild Card weekend and the divisional round continues this week, we are going to see two very closely contested games this Sunday. The Mahomes injury throws the AFC matchup in the air but, assuming he is close to normal, the top seed in the AFC will head to the Super Bowl while the second-seeded 49ers ride their defense to the big game. While DVOA was predictive 90% of the time so far this year, a quick look back at last year provides a counterpoint for its predictive nature. The Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams were the fifth-rated team while the Bengals were all the way down at 17. The four highest-rated teams didn’t even make it to the championship games last season. Will DVOA have a perfect weekend again after a hiccup last week or will Mahomes injury, Joe Burrow’s dominance over Kansas City, Philadelphia’s offense or Brock Purdy’s limitations bring the analytics predictions back down to earth?

4 thoughts on the Eagles offense: Why the 49ers’ defense can win this game - Niners Nation
However, the more I watched the Eagles, and even last week, if you’re willing to get beyond the score, the more I came away thinking the 49ers’ defense is in good hands. DeMeco Ryans said the 49ers’ secondary needs to make a play when the ball is in the air. That’s what Sunday will come down to. That’s a scary proposition, as many will remember the 50/50 passes that haven’t gone the team’s way during the past month, but those are all low-percentage throws. As much as Hurts has progressed as a quarterback, he still struggles with pressure. That’s not abnormal for the position. Every quarterback does. But it’s different with Jalen. He tends to bail from the pocket at the sight of the opposite color. Hurts got away with running from clean pockets last week. He won’t be as fortunate against a disciplined 49ers defense. Ironically, forcing Hurts from the pocket could be the deciding factor for the Niners defense. When Hurts is outside of the pocket, he has a 37 percent completion percentage, 4.2 yards per attempt, and his quarterback rating plummets to 52.5. His decision-making and effectiveness look anything but that of an MVP candidate when forced to throw on the run.

Diving into Jalen Hurts’ point guard-esque performance against the New York Giants - PFF
And it wasn’t just RPOs where Hurts’ decision-making shone through. While he had the shortest average depth of target among all quarterbacks in the divisional round (6.4 yards), he also had the quickest time to throw (2.31 seconds). The latter is more revealing, as it was by far the quickest Hurts got rid of the ball in a game this season. The closest he came to that mark was in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, but even that 2.55-second average was more than 0.2 seconds slower than in this game against the Giants. This play style demonstrated Hurts’ ability to read defenses pre-snap and know where to go with the ball given what the defense threw at him, and it also helped tremendously in neutralizing New York’s pass rush, making Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams basically nonfactors in the contest. Hurts not only did well to distribute the ball in the underneath areas, similar to a point guard, but he also knew when to take a shot. Although he had just two deep pass attempts, the fewest for him in a game since Week 9, he made one of them count. His finding DeVonta Smith on a deep over route on the first drive of the game for 40 yards was his only big-time throw on the night, but it set the tone for the game, and the Eagles scored a touchdown to cap the drive and never looked back.

NFL conference title game plans for 49ers-Eagles, Bengals-Chiefs - ESPN+
Eagles’ X factor: Haason Reddick, OLB. Reddick has logged 17.5 sacks in his first season with the Eagles, including 1.5 in last week’s divisional round win over the Giants, and I like his matchup against 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey. With Reddick’s first-step quickness and ability to bend and cut the corner, Gannon can scheme more one-on-ones while also using stunts to wrap him inside. Look for Reddick to disrupt the pocket and heat up Niners quarterback Brock Purdy. His 27.6% pass rush win rate ranked second in the NFL to Dallas’ Micah Parsons, and his 11.4% pressure rate ranked No. 16 overall.

Man, was I wrong about Jalen Hurts - Saturday Down South
Dog? Dog. Hurts proved countless people wrong in the last few years. It’d be interesting to see how he’d be talked about if he were to make it to the Super Bowl and square off with Burrow or Pat Mahomes. In some ways, that might actually make Hurts feel right at home. Regardless of what happens on Sunday in the NFC Championship, he already showed that we were wrong to doubt his quiet confidence. As I see it, Hurts was right. There’s no cap on his game.

Spadaro: An inside look at NFC Championship Game Week -
6. And one final thing, from Lincoln Financial Field. You have no doubt noticed that the natural grass of the stadium looks absolutely fantastic, a credit to Eagles Vice President of Grounds Tony Leonard and his staff. The field was re-sodded after the Army-Navy game, but there has been heavy action in the month of January. Sunday’s game will be the fourth this month, but the grass looks magnificent. “Kudos go out to our staff and to our sod farm over at Tuckahoe Sod Farm in Hammonton (New Jersey),” Leonard said. “We have a great product and our crew works very hard – it’s probably the most games we’ve hosted ever in the month of January – and the field looks great and it’s playing great. We have the heat system under the field and that helps and we’ve had good weather this week. The field has some recovery since Sunday, and it’s going to be safe, it’s going to be playable, and look great. We’ll have some scuff marks from Saturday’s game, but we’ve worked on it and we’re really proud. “It’s going to play great, feel great for the players, and it will look good for television.” A job well done by everybody and it’s part of the incredible environment at Lincoln Financial Field for such a huge moment.

Joe Burrow headlines 10 NFL players who have earned big-money contracts in the coming offseason -
JALEN HURTS: The 2020 second-round pick is the most underpaid player in the league with a 2022 cap figure of $1.6 million. Hurts faced questions about his long-term upside entering Year 3, and he answered them with MVP-caliber play while leading the Eagles to the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Not only did he post sparkling regular-season statistics — completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,701 yards and 22 TDs (against just six INTs) while rushing for 760 yards and 13 scores — but his value was magnified by the two games he missed with a shoulder injury, both Eagles losses. Hurts has proven to be the right quarterback for Philly, taking the Eagles to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons — with a chance to advance to Super Bowl LVII via a win this Sunday. The Eagles struck gold with Hurts and everyone in the organization knows it.

Road closures, parking restrictions announced ahead of Eagles-49ers NFC championship game - Inquirer
If you’re not heading to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday to cheer on the Eagles as they play the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC championship, you might want to avoid parking your car in certain areas.The city on Friday announced potential traffic closures that could be put in place between 8th and 20th Streets and Race and Lombard Streets sometime on Sunday, should the Eagles clinch victory and people rush to City Hall. Parking restrictions will also go into effect along the South Broad Street corridor and around City Hall on Sunday at noon, per a statement from the mayor’s office. “Temporary No Parking” signs have already started to appear in those areas.

NFL Conference Championship Picks Against the Spread - The Ringer
Who you got? The in-game coaching decisions will be worth monitoring here. Shanahan has been notoriously conservative in big games. Nick Sirianni has been aggressive all season with his fourth-down calls, and that’s given the Eagles an edge. If the game is close, this could be a big factor that swings it one way or the other. The spread reflects a matchup between two evenly matched teams. For as well as Purdy has played, he’s now going on the road against a team with the best pass rush in the NFL. He’s been surprising everyone since he took over for Garoppolo, and Shanahan will position Purdy to succeed, but at the end of the day it’s still a tough spot. Hurts has answered the call all season long. The Eagles are healthy. They’re at home. And their pass rush can take games over. I like them to advance. The pick: Eagles (-2.5)

All-32: Haason Reddick, Eagles’ Most Important Defender - Football Outsiders
The 49ers fake the outside zone lead pitch to the right before countering back the other way. While this would be enough to influence most defensive ends out of the play, a veteran like Lawrence isn’t so easy to fool. Lawrence sees the run coming back his way, works to get outside of the fullback, and somehow tracks down Deebo Samuel in space before he can get to the perimeter. How does this relate to the Eagles? The uber-athletic Haason Reddick has the capacity to make this kind of play. The 49ers have to be wary of that.

BREAKING: Dan Quinn to stay with Dallas Cowboys for third season as defensive coordinator - Blogging The Boys
It is truly incredible that Quinn went a second straight season without getting poached by somebody else as he was a top target during this particular cycle, and that this cycle specifically included the Denver Broncos who he was connected to a lot a year ago. This is huge for a Cowboys team that will want to build off of what they have already established in the third year of what will now be the Micah Parsons and Dan Quinn era. Get excited. This feels good.

NFL head-coaching news: Giants’ Wink Martindale to have second interview with Colts - Big Blue View
New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will have a second interview with the Indianapolis Colts for their vacant head-coaching position, per multiple reports on Friday. That interview is scheduled for Saturday, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka also interviewed virtually with the Colts. To this point, he has not been invited to interview a second time. Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports reported that the Colts are in the process of trimming their list of candidates from more than a dozen to roughly a half-dozen finalists. The 59-year-old Martindale appears to be one of those finalists. An NFL assistant since 2004, Martindale has long deserved an opportunity to be a head coach.

Washington Commanders request to interview 49ers Assistant Head Coach/RBs Coach Anthony Lynn for OC - Hogs Haven
Nicki Jhabvala broke the news yesterday that Washington has requested an interview with San Francisco 49ers Assistant HC/RBs Coach Anthony Lynn for an interview. John Keim added that a formal request won’t be made until after the 49ers visit the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC Championship game on Sunday. If San Francisco defeats the Eagles and earns a shot at another Lombardi trophy, they will have two weeks to prepare, and also have a window for assistant coaches to interview for bigger jobs elsewhere. Anthony Lynn was a backup running back/special teams player during his 8 year career in the NFL. He has two Super Bowl rings for being a part of the Denver Broncos teams that won back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. Lynn’s coaching career began with the Broncos as a special teams assistant in 2000. Lynn joined the Jacksonville Jaguars as their running backs coach three years later, and he held the same job with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and New York Jets. He added the assistant head coach title after three years with the Jets.

Panthers hire Frank Reich as head coach - Cat Scratch Reader
Reich had spent the last four-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts prior to being let go in the middle of last season. He amassed a 40-33-1 record with the Colts and finished over .500 in three of his four full seasons. He battled quarterback turnover throughout the duration of his tenure but was generally able to lead above average offenses and above average teams. Prior to his time in Indy, he was the whizzbang offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles that made Carson Wentz actually look good and before winning the Super Bowl with Nick Foles.

Jets sign Will Parks to one-year deal - PFT
He entered the NFL as a sixth-round selection of the Broncos in 2016 out of Arizona. Parks played four seasons in Denver before a stint with the Eagles in 2020. Parks has played 90 games with 23 starts and has 206 tackles, four interceptions, 14 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Championship Weekend - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Stephen Serda preview both games ahead of Conference Championship Weekend in the NFL. Both of these games are extremely close on paper–so we should be in for a fun Championship Weekend.


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