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Eagles News: The key to beating Brock Purdy

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/1/23.

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San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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Is 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy really that good? - NBCSP
There’s one category where Purdy is not among the NFL leaders. That’s pass attempts. He’s 25th with just under 28 passes per game. The 49ers want to run the ball to take pressure off opposing pass rushers and make Purdy even more dangerous. Christian McCaffrey is second in the league with 17.6 carries per game, and the 49ers overall are sixth with 30.6 carries per game. Over the last two years, 48 quarterbacks have thrown 40 passes in a game. Justin Herbert has done it 14 times, Kirk Cousins 13 times, Tom Brady 13 times – all obviously last year. Purdy has never thrown more than 37 passes in a game. “It’s not like they ask him to pass the ball 40, 50 times a game,” Roby said. “It’s a balanced, kind of an old-school throwback offense. And he has great anticipation. He throws the ball before guys get open a lot. You don’t really see that very often. That’s kind of almost a lost art. I played with Peyton Manning, and he used to do that. “I remember playing against him and, like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ I’m right here, but he’s throwing it before the guy even breaks. As soon as he turns around, the ball’s right there. I think that’s what he does a great job of. Something that you don’t really see too often, but he does a great job of anticipating.”

Five Questions That Will Decide Eagles-49ers—and Maybe the Entire NFC - The Ringer
What we haven’t seen consistently from Purdy this year is the ability to navigate the pocket while trying to locate an open receiver. If he already has a target in mind, the 23-year-old has no problem unleashing a throw, but keeping his eyes downfield when his immediate options aren’t available is another matter. On plays when Purdy has been moved off his spot but has remained in the pocket, he’s averaging minus-0.84 expected points added per play with a 28 percent success rate, per Pro Football Focus. Those are Mac Jones numbers, folks. And Purdy’s 12 percent turnover-worthy play rate in those situations is the main reason for those ugly figures. That’s the sixth-highest rate in the league, per PFF. This season, 49ers games have followed a simple formula: If Purdy protects the football, they win; if he hands the ball to the other team, they lose. Purdy registered nine turnover-worthy plays during San Francisco’s three-game losing streak earlier this season. He’s had just one in the team’s current three-game win streak. The Eagles have a rush that’s capable of putting the young QB in situations where he tends to turn the ball over. Whether he can avoid doing that will almost certainly decide this game.

Eagles vs. 49ers Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy - BGN
I think it’s easy to see where the 49ers players were coming from, frustrated that they lost their quarterback. Obviously that changes the outcomes of NFL games. For example the two Gardner Minshew starts for the Eagles last season that resulted in back to back losses. Both teams are confident, arguably cocky, about this matchup and for good reason. They’re both strong teams. I don’t see how trash talk will put any added pressure on one side or the other, since both sides have been engaging in it this week. There’s no extra motivation needed for either team. This game likely has a major impact on final NFC standings, so it’s important for more reasons than just the rematch of last year’s Championship game.

Eagles-49ers preview + Zach Ertz reunion?! - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski preview the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 13 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. The guys also talk about a potential Zach Ertz reunion and make their picks against the spread!

5 questions with Bleeding Green Nation: It’ll be a battle of the trenches - Niners Nation
Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation was kind enough to take some time and answer five questions surrounding the Eagles ahead of this week’s matchup against the 49ers.

Gold Standard: Biggest matchups in 49ers Eagles with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation - The Gold Standard Network
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Levin Black sit down with Brandon Lee Gowton of BleedingGreenNation.com to help break down 49ers Eagles on Sunday!

Which Eagles players are deserving of Pro Bowl recognition? - PhillyVoice
DT Jalen Carter: Carter has been an impact player for the Eagles as a rookie, but a bunch of well-know DTs like Javon Hargrave, Aaron Donald, Jonathan Allen, Vita Vea, and Dexter Lawrence all have either as many or more sacks. Carter deserves to get in, of course, but it doesn’t always work that way. EDGE Haason Reddick: Reddick is fourth in the NFC in sacks per game. While there are a number of players who have better stats than Reddick so far this season, he should soon be entering “Pro Bowl mainstay” territory, as he has the third-most sacks in the NFL since 2020:

Game Review – PHI 37, BUF 34 OT - Iggles Blitz
Brian Johnson’s offense got off to a painfully slow start on offense. I think a lot of that was Jalen struggling. Johnson called some terrific plays in the second half and the players executed them very well. The Eagles used one or two looks to get Buffalo off balance and then did different things. Nothing looked all that new, but Johnson called the right plays at the right time. Desai threw the kitchen sink at Josh Allen. Unfortunately Allen threw it right back at him, but harder. Much harder. The Bills had 505 yards and 34 points. They converted several third & long plays. It felt like the Eagles did some good things, but Allen made big play after big play. He is a special, special QB. After Mahomes, Allen is the best in the league.

The Week 13 NFL Betting Props Playbook - ESPN+
Christian McCaffrey under 17.5 rushing attempts (-137): The 49ers might be road favorites this week, but it’s still going to be a major challenge for McCaffrey to hit this mark. CMC is averaging 17.5 carries per game and has reached 18 attempts in seven out of 11 games (though only twice in his past six outings). The key here is the matchup, as the Eagles have faced 16.7 RB carries per game this season (third lowest). Only one back has cleared 16 carries against Philadelphia this season (Isiah Pacheco had 19 in a game Kansas City led throughout in Week 11) and only one additional back has cleared 14 carries (James Cook had 16 last week).

Week 13 NFL picks: Who wins epic matchup between 49ers and Eagles? Will Broncos stay hot in Houston? - NFL.com
Why Brooke is taking the Eagles: There are a million different storylines to discuss — the 10-win Eagles being an underdog at home is certainly a big one — and touching on very few in this space is such a disservice. Yet here we are. There is a lot of talk surrounding Brock Purdy’s post-bye resurgence and the 49ers’ return to Philadelphia, but to me, this game is all about Jalen Hurts and whether he can continue being unfazed against the league’s No. 1 scoring defense. Few QBs are playing better than Hurts over the last six weeks. He’s scored 17 total touchdowns in that span and orchestrated second-half rallies to defeat the likes of the Cowboys, Chiefs and Bills in consecutive games. It also appears the Eagles could get Lane Johnson back — and potentially Dallas Goedert, one of Hurts’ most reliable targets. Even if they don’t, Hurts has won five straight games when trailing by 10 or more at any point.

Are Eagles the Next DVOA Underdog Super Bowl Champions? - FTN Fantasy
Against Miami, the defense dominated in every way and carried a somewhat boring offense. Against Dallas, Jalen Hurts was dominant through the air, bailing out a defense that allowed Dak to do the same. Against Kansas City, the passing offense was nowhere to be found, so they won on the ground offensively and through the air defensively (rainy conditions probably played a role in this). And finally, the offense stepped up once again against Buffalo as the defense corrected their issues on the ground but allowed over 400 total Josh Allen yards. This is the thing that makes Philly truly unique among the 15-20% DVOA teams. The only other teams that can beat you with any unit on any given day are the Ravens and 49ers, the best of the best by DVOA. Take Jacksonville for example, the team tied with Philly at 15.6% overall DVOA. They don’t have a single rushing performance of 10% DVOA all season. If a defense contains or confuses Trevor Lawrence, or conditions keep him in check (like the PHI-KC game), they can’t turn to their ground game like Philly can. On the season, Jacksonville’s pass defense is better than Philly’s, -1.5% to Philly’s 7.5%. Yet, Philly has three instances of -25% pass defense DVOA or better, Jacksonville has just two. It’s a similar story on the ground. Jacksonville (-23.1%) slightly edges out Philly (-22.9%), but Philly has three instances of -50% rush defense DVOA or better, Jacksonville has just one. When the question is “how do you beat an elite team?”, the Eagles have all the answers, as they’ve shown throughout the gauntlet of their schedule.

Every NFL team’s highest-graded wide receiver from Week 12 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith (82.5). Buffalo held A.J. Brown to 37 yards but surrendered a big day to DeVonta Smith. Eighty-seven of Smith’s yards were in the second half, with 65 coming from three explosive gains. Smith recorded his second 100-yard game of the season and finished with a perfect passer rating when targeted. It was also his third game of 90-plus yards in the past four weeks. Smith in that span has 355 yards and 11 gains of 15-plus yards.

Duffy: The 49ers’ offense is operating at such a high level, here’s why - PE.com
That said, they’re also really good with motion in the pass game as well, using it to manipulate second-level defenders to create voids in coverage for receivers to run into. According to Next Gen Stats, 46.4 percent of Brock Purdy’s passes are thrown to “open” (defined as at least 3 yards of separation), which ranks fifth amongst qualifying starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Even deeper than that, 22.6 percent are considered “wide open” (at least 5 yards of separation), which ranks 10th. When paired with their formational diversity, their use of motion helps create wide-open lanes for these receivers to work.

Jordan Phillips’ hit on Cam Jurgens could prompt more defenses to aggressively attack QB push play - PFT
The prospect of a defense deliberately exploiting this reality of the rulebook makes me a little queasy. It could result in injuries. It would make an already dangerous play even more dangerous. Still, what else is a defense to do when the outcome of an entire season might hinge on finding a way to stop a play that has morphed into automatic first downs and sure-fire touchdowns? I hope it doesn’t happen. But if the Phillips hit on Jurgens and Kelce’s reaction to it prompts those on the outside to realize that a defense could just dig in and start pushing before the snap, those inside the game will think of it, too. (They probably already have.) The question is whether a defense at some point between now and the Super Bowl (if the Eagles get that far) when jammed into the phone booth created by the Brotherly Shove will choose to be the ones to shove first.

NFL Flex Scheduling: Seahawks vs. Eagles moved to ‘Monday Night Football’ - Field Gulls
The Seattle Seahawks have picked up another prime-time home game, courtesy of the new ‘Monday Night Football’ flex scheduling rule. Originally scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 17, the Seahawks’ crucial Week 15 match-up against the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles has been pushed to Monday night, booting out the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. It’s not only the first use of the MNF flex schedule, it’s the first prime-time flex scheduling replacement of the entire NFL season.

Per J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz released by the team - Revenge Of The Birds
Previously, Ertz had been eligible to come off of IR but “nothing had changed” per Jonathan Gannon when interviewed yesterday. With ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reporting that he saw Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort talking with Ertz yesterday, it seems as though they had a discussion that eventually led to his release. Of course, it won’t be as easy for Ertz to simply walk to a new team. He has to clear waivers first, but the fact that he has a $12 million cap hit for 2024 means that he might be affordable for this season for any team that would be in need of receiving help (such as the Jets or even the Carolina Panthers) but it seems more likely that he could clear waivers and end up on a playoff team. This situation is similar to how Ertz ended up in Arizona in the first place. In the final year of his contract, Zach Ertz was acquired from a 9-8 Eagles team for a 5th round pick by Arizona, who was a contending team at the time that had just lost Maxx Williams for the year. Ertz made an instant impact for Arizona and it will be hopeful that he can have a similar impact for whatever organization claims or signs him this year.

Cowboys win over Seattle leaves open questions about contender status - Blogging The Boys
Maybe this one will serve Dallas well as they get 10 days rest before the rematch with Philly. If the Giants, Panthers, and Commanders had lulled the Cowboys into a false sense of their own greatness, Seattle reminded them that they’re far from a juggernaut. Dallas still has to prove that they belong in the conversation with the Eagles, 49ers, and Lions. Dominating the Seahawks wouldn’t have sealed the deal, but it would’ve been a far better testimony than the near disaster we saw.

Poll results: 68 percent of fans expect the Giants to win 1 or 2 more games - Big Blue View
The New York Giants have finally reached their bye week after a long (long) 12 weeks to start the 2023 season. Everything has been a struggle for the Giants in 2023, and they’ve had to scrape and claw their way to the 4-8 record they’re carrying into their bye week. Now the team can catch its breath and start getting ready for the final five-game stretch of the season, starting with Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers. SB Nation Reacts took this opportunity to ask Giants fans how many games they think their team will win after this week’s bye. The overwhelming majority (68%) believe the team will pick up one or two more wins before the end of the season. That would have the Giants finishing with a record of 5-12 or 6-11 on the year.

Establish the Fun: Pac-12, Conference-USA, Sun Belt football championship games in spotlight - SB Nation
Welcome back to Establish the Fun, where football is fun and we’re establishing that deep into the heart of football season. This week, we’re doing a special conference championship edition of Establish the Fun, breaking down some cool things that some teams who are playing this weekend do, plus the keys to the biggest game of the weekend when it comes to the College Football Playoff. So let’s have some fun and get into an exciting weekend of college football!

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