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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s secondary needs to be better

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/4/23.

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NFL: Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Can the Eagles survive with this secondary? - NBCSP
The Eagles’ pass defense has been an adventure so far this year, and as defensive coordinator Sean Desai searches for the right combination, it’s clear the secondary is the biggest concern on one of the NFL’s two undefeated teams. Through four games, the Eagles rank 27th in pass defense (261 yards per game), they’ve allowed the 3rd-most touchdown passes (9) and the 2nd-most passing first downs and they have just two interceptions. They’re the first team in NFL history to go 4-0 while allowing nine passing touchdowns and 67 percent completion percentage in those first four games. This isn’t all a secondary problem. The linebackers have played well, but coverage isn’t their strength. And the edge rushers have underachieved, with just 3 ½ sacks in four games. And it shouldn’t be shocking that the Eagles have had some growing pains in pass defense considering there’s only one 2022 starter who’s currently starting in the same position. And there’s a new defensive coordinator and a new secondary coach. But it’s clear the Eagles’ secondary needs to play better if the Eagles are going to be the type of team that challenges for a championship.

Eagles Fill a Slot - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles have struggled in coverage this year. Only two teams have allowed more TD passes, the Bears and Broncos. Yikes. Those are two teams you don’t want to be compared to. Opposing QBs have a rating of 99.5 against the Eagles this year, which puts them down at 26th. Not ideal. Injuries and youth have caused Sean Desai to put some flawed lineups on the field. Adding Roby can help. That will give the team an experienced player in the slot and allow Slay and Bradberry to stay outside. That is the best lineup for the Eagles right now. As Jeff pointed out in his tweet, Roby will need a little time to get ready. It would be great to have him when going against the Rams, but he’ll probably wait a week or so to get on the field. We have seen promise from some of the young DBs. Josh Jobe is tough and physical. He will battle. He’s got a short memory and doesn’t panic after he’s beaten. I can see Jobe as a future starter. Sydney Brown has flashed at safety and in the slot. The coaches probably like him long term at safety, but could get him slot reps this week. We’ll see if he’s healthy enough to play.

Eagles at Rams: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
Cooper Kupp is eligible to come off of injured reserve this week, and is reportedly likely to play. That’s a problem for the Eagles, who are missing their top two slot corners in Avonte Maddox and Zech McPhearson. James Bradberry has been filling in at the slot in nickel looks, but his value is on the outside. It’s a temporary role for Bradberry, who has unselfishly pitched in inside, but he’s not a natural fit there and the downgrade from Bradberry to Josh Jobe on the outside is significant. As you are aware, if you have seen Kupp play he can carve up slot corners in the middle of the field. He is a potential nightmare matchup for the Eagles if he is healthy. Even without Kupp, Matthew Stafford has the second-most passing yards in the NFL through the first four games. The Eagles have allowed the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL. The Rams have been led by rookie Puka Nacua, who already has 39 catches for 501 yards. But it’s not just him. The Rams are getting contributions from a lot of players. Their leaders:

Bradley Roby, Eagles agree to practice squad contract - BGN
Roby is expected to sign to the Eagles practice squad, get in shape and learn the defense, and then be elevated to the 53-man roster. Philly’s defensive backfield has done a solid job for the amount of holes they’re trying to fill, but between Avonte Maddox out for the remainder of the season, and a weekly combination of players missing games due to injuries, the secondary depth was running thin.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.130: Welcome to October - BGN Radio
RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton recap the Week 4 action in the division.

Spadaro: Fans might have a new appreciation for these players -
The key, say the veterans who now man the linebacker positions for the Eagles, is to always be ready for anything. It sounds like an easy concept to follow, but when you consider where Nicholas Morrow and Zach Cunningham have been, even in these last few months, you might have a new appreciation. Morrow joined the Eagles in free agency after playing 99 percent of the snaps with Chicago last season – 1,086 defensive plays, to be exact. He had been with Oakland/Las Vegas and Chicago over five seasons before signing with the Eagles, so the idea of “always being ready” wasn’t anything new to him. “This league teaches you that you have to prepare the same way every day, no matter what is going on around you,” he said. “You never know what might happen next.”

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers move to No. 1, Detroit Lions continue to climb - PFF
The Eagles’ offensive and defensive lines continue to perform well. Their offensive line has allowed only two sacks, and Jason Kelce is responsible for only two pressures through Week 4.

49ers, Chiefs and Lions have the best betting odds to win their divisions - PFT
The remaining division favorites are the Eagles at -165 to win the NFC East, the Ravens at -125 to win the AFC North, the Bills at -125 to win the AFC East, the Jaguars at +150 to win the AFC South and the Saints at +175 to win the NFC South.

Eagles players volunteered at Strawberry Mansion Green Resource Center -
Philadelphia Eagles players volunteered at the Strawberry Mansion Green Resource Center.

Shared slice of pizza and the internet help create an Eagles love connection - 6ABC
An Eagles love connection is taking the internet by storm after a South Philadelphia woman shared a slice of pizza with a stranger and decided to try to track him down the next day. Aliza Phillips was at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday for the Eagles game, where she had a bit to drink that day all to celebrate a Birds victory. She says after the game was done she was feeling hungry and a friendly guy standing nearby let her have a bite of his pizza.

Cooper Kupp injury not as bad as originally feared - Turf Show Times
The Los Angeles Rams want Cooper Kupp to be at least 80-90% healthy before playing him in a game again, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, and that he’s not there yet. However, the Rams are still hopeful that Kupp will get there in time to play against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. Russini says that the injury seemed “fishy” initially because L.A. sent him to see a hamstring specialist, but that she’s discovered since then that the ailment was not as serious as the Rams thought it was going to be.

NFL quarterback questions: Reporters on concerns, hot starts - ESPN
Will the Cowboys open up the passing offense a bit and get Dak Prescott throwing downfield? This is the trade-off with the offensive changes as coach Mike McCarthy takes over as the playcaller. Plus, the offense has kind of been in a shell because of poor weather (against the Giants) and blowouts (vs. the Jets and Patriots), and the offensive line has yet to take a snap at full strength. As a result, Prescott’s average air yards per attempt (5.5) ranks 33rd of 34 qualifying quarterbacks, and his average time to pass (2.49) is the fourth fastest. Those are shorter and quicker, respectively, than any other season of his career, per ESPN Stats & Information. The Cowboys will be selectively aggressive, but don’t expect them to start throwing deep often even with playmakers CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks.

Cowboys head to 49ers game with some health issues, and a draft class that is underwhelming so far - Blogging The Boys
There will still be a dozen games remaining after this week. There is still an opportunity to win the division, although that will also be difficult if the Philadelphia Eagles keep figuring out how to win with some less than dominant performances. That makes this an important test for Dallas, especially for the defense against Kyle Shanahan’s offense. But however the game turns out, it is not the final determinant for the season. Just as we don’t want to overreact to a loss, we also can’t be too confident if the Cowboys do emerge with a win.

Some people need to take an Emmanuel Forbes chill pill - Hogs Haven
Forbes had a rough day last Sunday against the Eagles and he got schooled by A.J. Brown, who would be a tough matchup for any rookie CB. Brown goes 6’1”, 226 lbs and he is the total package as a WR. In fact, he was a second-team All-Pro last year. There were some loud posts on Hogs Haven calling Forbes a bust after four games (!!!) and several posts criticized the front office and Ron Rivera for taking Forbes over Gonzalez.

Giants-Dolphins, Week 5: 4 storylines to watch - Big Blue View
Saquon Barkley wanted to play Monday against the Seattle Seahawks, but that was never realistic. He admitted on Saturday that a high-ankle sprain is a “tough injury” and that to play he needs to be able to “protect myself.” This is the third ankle injury of Barkley’s career. He missed three weeks with one and four weeks with the other. Monday night was 15 days from his injury vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Sunday against Miami would be three weeks from his injury and might be realistic. The Giants could certainly use him, even if he isn’t as explosive as he can be. One thing is for certain. The Giants need to rely more on their running game — specifically the non-Daniel Jones running for his life portion of their running game. The view here is they need to do that to both protect Jones, who is on pace to be sacked a league-record 93.5 times — and their beleaguered offensive line.

Where do the Giants go from here? - SB Nation
The Giants are currently dead last in EPA per play and 28th in Success Rate. For as good as Kafka and head coach Brian Daboll were last year at finding answers for a roster loaded with middling talent, it seems like all of the answers have run out, especially up front. Even before giving up 11 sacks and 14 QB hits to the Seahawks on Monday, the Giants had the second highest pressure rate allowed in the NFL. Sure, you can say that injuries to LT Andrew Thomas and C John Michael Schmitz getting hurt, but this offensive line has been poor even before that. You can go back to 2019, when Jones was drafted, and the offensive line has been an issue. That spans multiple regime changes and multiple head coaches, but none of them can seem to fix the problem here: Jones can’t keep pressure away from him, and some of that is due to poor coaching on the offensive line and development of talent.

The whole Taylor Swift-NFL cross-promotion thing is starting to feel icky - Vox
First it was Swift, but then the network, advertisers, and the NFL itself swooped in to try to cash in, too. The circles of capitalist behemoths benefiting just rippled out. The whole thing felt like a three-hour over-the-top ad for a variety of interested parties on primetime TV. Jake from State Farm appeared in the insurance company’s commercials, as is par for the course. What is less par for the course is that hours before, he had appeared in real life alongside Donna Kelce, Travis Kelce’s mom, at a Philadelphia Eagles game to watch Travis’s brother, Jason Kelce, play. Jason Kelce is currently starring in a documentary about what he thought would be his last year in the NFL airing on Amazon Prime, titled Kelce. Amazon has the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football.


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