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Eagles News: Jalen Hurts is playing chess

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/7/23.

Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

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

How a chess guru became a trendy mental coach for rising NFL quarterbacks - Los Angeles Times
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts has won each of his last five regular-season starts in which the Eagles have faced a double-digit deficit. Houston’s C.J. Stroud has the third-most passing attempts (151) by a rookie without an interception to start his career. Despite not taking a snap for Arizona in the preseason, the Cardinals’ Joshua Dobbs has completed nearly 71% of his passes in the last three games, with four touchdowns and zero picks. Some play checkers. These guys play chess. No one understands that better than Los Angeles-based performance coach Seth Makowsky, who has worked with all three quarterbacks at various points in their football careers, harnessing the game of chess to teach poise under pressure, quick decision making and how to avoid turning one mistake into a string of them. [...] “I’m able to identify somebody’s personality type and gear the teaching accordingly,” Makowsky said. “For example, someone like Jalen Hurts. In his case, he wanted to be thrown into the fire right away. Other quarterbacks, they might first want to understand what’s going to happen, understand every element before they play.” Hurts, whose undefeated Eagles play at the Rams on Sunday, worked with Makowsky earlier in his career but declined to discuss that for this story because, according to a team representative, “He keeps his offseason work under wraps.”

Eagles vs. Rams stats preview - BGN
Bonus stat via The Athletic Football Podcast which terrifies me... The Rams rank 1st in throws between the hashes (and significantly above the league average). Unfortunately, the Eagles rank 30th in EPA per dropback in throws between the hashes. In simple terms, this means the Rams are going to run a lot of Hi-Lo’s and target the Eagles linebackers in pass coverage. I expect the Rams to throw it a lot this week and the Eagles better be ready.

Above the Nest with Raichele #91: Rams players to watch Week 5 + Injury Reporters - BGN Radio
Raichele Privette briefly runs through the bright spots and lows from the Eagles OT win over the Commanders Week 4. Later in the show, she shares what you need to know about the Eagles’ new veteran CB Bradley Roby and previews Week 5 against the Rams.

Podcasts: Wrapping up Eagles-Commanders, and a look ahead to Eagles-Rams - PhillyVoice
In the latest episodes of BGN Radio, Brandon Gowton and I discussed our takeaways from the Eagles’ Week 4 win over the Commanders (episode #353 below), and we previewed Eagles-Rams (episode #354).

5Qs, 5As with the Eagles: What makes Jalen Carter so dangerous early into his NFL career? - Turf Show Times
The Los Angeles Rams return to the friendly confines of SoFi Stadium to play the Philadelphia Eagles who are favored by 4 points according to DraftKings Sportsbook. LA is coming off a thrilling overtime win over the Colts in a game where the Rams nearly choked away a massive lead in the second half. If LA has any hope of knocking off the reigning NFC champs, they can’t let their foot off the gas for a second. I spoke with Brandon Lee Gowton from SB Nation’s Eagles blog Bleeding Green Nation to gain more insight on the opposition ahead of their Week 5 matchup.

The Week 5 NFL Betting Props Playbook - ESPN+
Jalen Hurts under 41.5 rush yards (-106): This might not seem like a big number, but Hurts has yet to clear it in four games this season. The versatile quarterback is averaging a hefty 10.0 carries, but that has resulted in just 33.5 rush yards per outing. Hurts is running only slightly less often than in 2022 (11.0 carries per game), but his yardage has fallen off quite a bit from 50.1 per game last season. Even then, Hurts reached 42 rush yards in seven out of 15 regular-season games. Hurts’ 3.4 yards per carry is easily a career low.

Week 5 NFL picks: 49ers top Cowboys to remain undefeated; Ravens beat Steelers in Pittsburgh -
Why Ali is taking the Eagles: The Eagles have yet to showcase that world-beater form we’ve come to expect after last year’s Super Bowl run. And still they’re 4-0. That should worry a lot of folks. The Rams are one of the more spirited 2-2 teams and will not be an easy out. But I worry how a hobbled Matthew Stafford will hold up against Jalen Carter and Co. — even with (former) security blanket Cooper Kupp potentially making his 2023 debut. The Eagles’ advantage in the trenches and the recently rekindled Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown connection put them over the top.

Philadelphia Eagles-Los Angeles Rams preview and predictions: What’s the plan for Aaron Donald & Cooper Kupp? - PHLY
Wulf: The Eagles will have to play their best game of the season to remain undefeated. It says a lot about the talent and depth of the roster that they are 4-0 despite having played mostly C+ or B- games and not yet putting a full performance together. I don’t think that will cut it this week. Either the defense will need to surprise us in their ability to handle an offense that gives unprepared units fits or the offense will have to be explosive enough to overcome whatever mismatch there is when they don’t have the ball. The Rams’ offensive line is gettable, so a breakout game from Reddick or a dominant performance from Carter would go a long way in stemming the tide. I tend to think there’s a little too much juggling going on with the Eagles at the moment. Can they keep Goedert happy while his production drops so precipitously? Can they keep all the pieces in the right place in the secondary? Can Hurts be himself while working so hard to protect himself? Maybe in the long run, but not this week. Rams 31, Eagles 28.

Spadaro: What’s the vibe ahead of Eagles vs. Rams? -
“I definitely have more confidence now than I did 12 months ago. Just being here for a full season, you know what to expect and how to prepare and what it takes to go out there and have success,” Jordan Davis said. “You know that you’re here for a reason, and being the first-round pick last year, I felt that, but now I’m seeing it every day.” Davis started five games of the 13 he played as a rookie, battled an ankle injury, and showed a tremendous upside. In four games this year, Davis has 17 total tackles, 1.5 quarterback sacks, 3 quarterback pressures, 6 quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. Quite a jump. “I feel a lot better out there seeing things, knowing the game more and having that experience, but I’m never satisfied,” he said. “Nobody on this team is satisfied. We want to dominate every game. That’s the mindset, so you just prepare to be the best every day and you see what happens. But, definitely, I feel the difference from last year to this year. And I’m still growing and improving every day.”

Game Review – PHI 34, WAS 31 OT - Iggles Blitz
Hurts wasn’t all good. He forced the ball downfield too much. There were multiple throws to AJ where there was no chance for it to be completed. I like giving your guy a chance, but those were wasted plays. Hurts was off-target with a deep throw to DeVonta. He had a chance for a big play to Swift and was just a bit too long. There was a throw to Goedert that was off the mark. You expect some misses to be sure, but these felt like poor decisions or sloppy throws. His running was awkward. The Eagles ran a designed draw for Hurts. WAS ran a stunt and that killed the play. The outside was wide open. Hurts stayed inside and got nothing. He kept the ball on an RPO where he should have given it to Swift. There were times when Hurts got into space and went down quickly. I’m in favor of that when big guys are chasing him, but at least once it was a DB. That’s a situation where I’d like him to try to get by that guy. Overall, a good game. He was great at times and that’s what we want. That’s what he wants. He did look more like the 2022 QB than any other game this year.

In Roob’s Observations: The importance of a more unpredictable passing game - NBCSP
2. Eight Eagles have made their NFL debut this year. Five of them are defensive backs (Sydney Brown, Mario Goodrich, Tristin McCollum, Eli Ricks, Kelee Ringo). That’s already the 3rd-most Eagles defensive backs who’ve made their NFL debut in a single season (not including the 1987 replacement players). In 2010 and 2021 they had six d-backs play their first game – Nate Allen, Colt Anderson, Jorrick Calvin, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley and Jamar Wall in 2010 and Andre Chachere, Tay Gowan, Mac McCain, Zech McPhearson, JaCoby Stevens and Kary Vincent Jr. in 2021.

Cowboys loss to Cardinals has hopefully re-focused this team for a tough schedule ahead - Blogging The Boys
After their bye week, the Cowboys have the Los Angeles Rams coming to AT&T Stadium and their top 10 defensive unit. Then, Dallas has back-to-back NFC East clashes with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Giants. So, the Cowboys have quite the gauntlet coming up. You never want to lay an egg like Dallas did against the Cardinals, but now that it has happened, they are hopefully using it as a reason to re-focus, and to tighten up for this tough stretch.

Ron Rivera should be fired today: Take 2. - Hogs Haven
This should have happened last season. After the debacle against the Browns, when Ron Rivera sat the 5-3-1 Taylor Heinicke in favor of the horrific Carson Wentz, destroying the team’s playoff hopes (much to Rivera’s surprise), I called for his firing that evening. It was too late last night, and I was in too foul of a mood, to pen this after the evening’s brutalization against the Bears though, so it had to wait for daybreak. Rivera was saved last year by the ownership turmoil. Perhaps he was given a bit of a benefit of the doubt after having to operate under Dan Snyder. But, more than anything else, Snyder had far bigger things to worry about than firing his coach last January. But now it’s time. It’s time to go.

Big Blue View mailbag: Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones, offensive line, much more - Big Blue View
I don’t think it was a good look for Daboll. We have seen coaches and players yell at each other before. Bill Parcells and Phil Simms used to scream at each other all the time. I did think Daboll’s tablet flip was unfortunate. That’s your franchise quarterback — a guy who played his guts out and helped make the Giants a playoff team a year ago. A guy who has been getting pounded mercilessly for most of four weeks, thanks to poor offensive line play and some questionable play-calling. He made a bad decision and a worse throw. I do think Daboll regrets that. I hope we don’t see it again.

College football’s 5 best games of Week 6, ranked - SB Nation
1. Oklahoma (12) vs. Texas (3). Dare I say it, but this might be the first truly competitive Red River Rivalry game in a while. We all know how good Texas is at this point: the offense is physical up front, and when QB Quinn Ewers is on, there might not be a more impressive team in the country. They’re just as big and physical on the defensive side, and now have the dudes on that side of the ball to make opposing offenses’ days just absolutely miserable. However, it’s been rather quiet but Oklahoma has been one of the better teams in the country. Their defense has gone through a complete 180 this year, placing 10th in total EPA per play allowed through this first portion of the season. Head coach Brent Venables has stopped toggling with three and four man fronts and now has started to get the players to win games for him on that side of the ball, and it allows him to get very creative on that side of the ball. This game will be won on the arm of Dillon Gabriel. If Gabriel can make the throws to keep up with the Texas offense without making boneheaded mistakes, we could have an upset on our hands. Either way, this is the game of the week, and one that’ll hold major CFP implications.

TGIFootball #9: Previewing Week 5 in the NFL - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa, Brandon Lee Gowton, and Stephen Serda recap the Bears’ impressive win on Thursday night–and preview every game ahead of Week 5 in the NFL.


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