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Eagles News: Encouraging signs for the secondary

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/25/23.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

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In Roob’s 10 Eagles Observations: Encouraging signs from the secondary - NBCSP
1. The Eagles’ pass defense has come under a lot of criticism this year, much of it warranted. With injuries riddling the secondary, players coming and going from the practice squad to the playing field, guys being put in positions they never practiced and rookies getting high-leverage reps they never expected, it’s not surprising the Eagles are 28th in the league in passing yards allowed. But here’s an interesting corollary to that: The Eagles are also 9th in the league in passing yards allowed per play. How do you account for the disparity? Two big reasons. First of all, the Eagles are best in the NFL against the run, which encourages teams to throw. A lot. Eagles opponents are running only 19 times per game –which over a full season would be the lowest in NFL history. Second of all, the Eagles are usually in the lead, which also encourages teams to throw more often. But the Chiefs game illustrates how teams are passing a ton against the Eagles but not for a lot of yards. Patrick Mahomes’ 4.1 yards per attempt last Monday night was lowest of his career and 3rd-lowest ever against the Eagles by a quarterback throwing at least 40 passes (Phil Simms in 1980, Jay Cutler in 2009). And overall this year, the Eagles are allowing 6.1 yards per pass attempt – the same figure as the 2017 Super Bowl-championship team allowed. Total yards are important. But if you’re top 10 in the league in limiting yards per pass, that’s definitely encouraging. 2. Also encouraging is the way Kevin Byard and Bradley Roby played Monday night, and if they can continue to play at that level it’s going to help the entire secondary big-time. Remember, that was the first time they’ve been on the field together. You saw Darius Slay and James Bradberry play better Monday night and Reed Blankenship continue to do his thing. This was the first time this year the Eagles had what should be their strongest secondary together, and with each passing week – if they can stay healthy – they’ll continue to grow together, get used to each other and develop better chemistry. Secondary play is all about communication. When you look over at the slot and know it’s going to be Roby and not, oh, maybe Mario Goodrich, Mekhi Garner, Sydney Brown, Eli Ricks or Josiah Scott, you can play faster and freer. It’s remarkable that the Eagles got to 9-1 using 15 different defensive backs. Pass defense should only continue to get better as this group learns to play together.

Eagles vs. Bills stats preview - BGN
I’m still waiting for the day when the Eagles run Pony personnel enough for it to appear on this chart! At this point in the season, the Eagles’ numbers remain pretty similar, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the designed rollout number increase from 32nd in the league. It feels like the Eagles should aim to get Jalen Hurts on the move a little more if his knee is OK.

Eagles - Bills Week 12 Preview - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski preview the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 12 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Interact with us on social media: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Check out Wrong Crowd Beer Company: wrongcrowdbeer.com! (21 or older, please enjoy responsibly). Use discount code BGN15 at RighteousFelon.com for 15% off your order! Same promotion applies at WildRangerPet.com. Buying, selling, or renting a house? Contact Kristin Roach at RoachRealtors.com.

A reason for every NFL fanbase to be thankful this Thanksgiving - SB Nation
Philadelphia Eagles: The Tennessee Titans. Be thankful they were dumb enough to trade you A.J. Brown, who is already over 1,000 yards on the season. What a steal. [BLG Note: Plus Kevin Byard!]

Who is the 2023 Coach of the Year? - FTN Fantasy
Among the favorites, I think Nick Sirianni has the ideal balance of good odds and great resume. The Eagles have an easy enough remaining schedule to run away with the NFC. The Brotherly Shove dominates national conversation, but only Philadelphia has managed to execute it successfully with any regularity. That play alone has catapulted Sirianni to second behind Campbell in the Aggressiveness Index, attempting the second-most fourth-and-1s in the league this season. Plus, Sirianni is maintaining all this success with two first-time coordinators and a massive overhaul on defense. At +1400, few coaches currently have better value with that long of a resume.

NFL Week 12 predictions, fantasy sleepers, key stats, buzz - ESPN+
Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter will have a sack. Carter has 4 sacks, 17 pressures and a pass rush win rate of 20% this season. And I see matchup advantages for him on Sunday against the interior of the Bills’ offensive front. Look for Carter to get home to quarterback Josh Allen, using his ability to shed blockers and close in a hurry.

Five Buffalo Bills to watch at the Philadelphia Eagles - Buffalo Rumblings
When Josh Allen’s hot, he’s arguably the best quarterback in the league. When he’s not, he’s still a top-three player at his position. Buffalo doesn’t need him to play as if every snap could be his last. What they do need from Allen is to do exactly what he did last week — take his check-downs, make definitive reads, and throw to the open guy in space. Allen used his ancillary weapons effectively last week, completing 10-of-14 passes not thrown to his top two options, wideout Stefon Diggs and tight end Dalton Kincaid. Those 10 completions went for 202 yards and three touchdowns. If Allen can continue to spread the ball around, it makes him and the Bills’ offense incredibly difficult to defend. Philadelphia has allowed the tenth-most passing yards in the league so far, but only two teams — the Washington Commanders and the San Francisco 49ers — have had more passing attempts against them than the Eagles. This implies that Philly’s defense is going to make teams remain patient, as they allow an excellent 6.1 yards per attempt. However, the Eagles have allowed 21 passing touchdowns — more than every team in the league except for the Commanders and the Chicago Bears, and the Eagles also have just five interceptions on the season. This is a strong defense, for sure, but there are ways that Allen and the Bills can use a patient, controlled game plan to exploit a secondary that hasn’t done much to force turnovers to this point. Turnovers are really the biggest way Buffalo’s offense has been contained , and if Allen can avoid those, then the Bills have an excellent shot at success this week. Look for some quick-hitters early, especially using the running backs, to try to open up some bigger gains as the game goes on. Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady tried to work in some quick throws to Stefon Diggs last week, as well, but Diggs had some uncharacteristic drops early. That type of passing attack could have success this week.

Spadaro: 6 storylines that will define this Bills vs. Eagles showdown - PE.com
Buffalo is a desperate football team coming to South Philadelphia. Things haven’t quite yet played out the way Buffalo scripted the 2023 season, but that can change quickly for such a talented team that knows how to win. Buffalo is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC postseason picture with a 6-5 record, so the Bills know every game means so much to their chances. This is their final game before the bye week and the Bills are going to lay it all out on the line here. Don’t ever underestimate the hunger a team in this position has. The Eagles, coming off a big win on Monday night, have to play good football from the start and perform with intensity against a team that knows it can’t afford to lose many more games and reach the playoffs.

Eagles have competition for “Brotherly Shove” trademark - PFT
It’s impossible to stop the Eagles from gaining a yard with their quarterback push play. It’s apparently not impossible to stop them from getting the trademark for one of the terms used to describe the play. Via John George of the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Eagles face competition for the legal rights to “Brotherly Shove.” The Eagles filed a trademark application on October 10. Two others have filed applications as well: Inspired Synergy of Brigantine, New Jersey and Lawrence Caplan of Boca Raton, Florida.

Debating whether DaRon Bland is a true DPOY or just part of a well-oiled machine - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys second-year corner is having a remarkable season and he’s still got six more games to go. He absolutely deserves to be in the DPOY conversation. The effect of defensive touchdowns is of great value in a team’s ability to win football games. His contributions are substantial. He’s a great player that we will be cheering for in years to come as he’s only in the second year of his four-year rookie deal. But if we’re being honest, it’s fair to also recognize that there are some parts of his game that could hinder his ability to be a true shutdown corner. As long as Stephon Gilmore is providing tighter coverage, teams will continue to challenge Bland. Good plays can beat him. The Cowboys are entering a stretch where they will square off against six Pro Bowl receivers Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, A.J. Brown, Amon Ra St. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett over the next five games. While we should all be thankful that the Cowboys have a player like Bland in the secondary, it might also be wise to not put too high of expectations on him. Sometimes he will be the chicken, sometimes he will be the feathers.

In defense of tanking: Giants should have chosen delayed gratification - Big Blue View
At this point, the No. 1 pick is likely out of reach, and the chances for the No. 2 pick are not that great. The Giants clearly need a new quarterback, and while there are certainly many other names out there, none seemingly have the clout of the top two. Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and others may demonstrate how the biggest names are not always the best players at the NFL level, but the numbers dictate that the top names have a more likely shot. With so many injuries and a practice squad player at the helm, it made (and still makes) the most sense for the Giants to tank. Their roster is not quite as bad as those of some of the other teams who have been in this position. While they definitely have holes, they have enough talent to potentially turn things around quickly with the right player under center. They just need to be bad enough to get that pick and not settle for another Daniel Jones. In this case, tanking would mean sitting players who are ailing even somewhat, giving Saquon Barkley more rest, evaluating younger players by giving them more playing time, and sitting Tyrod Taylor when he returns (especially to evaluate if DeVito can possibly stick around next year). None of those are totally unreasonable decisions for a team in the Giants’ situation.

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