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Eagles News: “Brian Johnson isn’t the problem that some make him out to be”

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

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Big Picture Thoughts - Iggles Blitz
Shane Steichen is one of the best play-callers in the NFL. Losing him has hurt the offense. That said, the Eagles are still 6th in scoring and 8th in yards. Those numbers were higher before playing two of the league’s best defenses in the last two weeks. Brian Johnson isn’t the problem that some make him out to be. He’s done some good things this year. He’s had some struggles as well. Johnson is learning on the job. Steichen was in the league for a decade before coming to Philly. He was an OC prior to Philly. Johnson is in his third year in the league and his first as an NFL OC. Young coaches are going to be up and down. Jon Gruden was a lot better as Eagles OC in 1996 than he was in 1995. You have to be patient with good young coaches. Sean Desai isn’t new to the NFL or being a DC. But he has less talent to work with on the defensive side of the ball and he’s had a lot more injuries to overcome. Desai has had some good moments, but the last three weeks have been disturbing. The Eagles have allowed 36 points a game in that stretch. Opponents had 10 straight scoring possessions (minus a kneel-down). That isn’t bad, it is awful. The Eagles faced a trio of juggernaut offenses and didn’t have their best LB for 1.5 of those games. Still, that’s just not good enough. Desai is scrambling for answers. The defense was better in the second half of the Dallas game. They must build on that if this unit is going to wake up and start doing their part to win games. Some fans are calling for the coordinators to be fired. That will not happen during the season and I’d be shocked if it happened in the offseason. Sirianni is picky about who he hires and he’s going to give them every chance to succeed.

Howie Roseman and the Eagles need to make a philosophical change - BGN
Howie Roseman and the Eagles need to make a philosophical change when it comes to defense. It’s been said a zillion times before in the Delaware Valley, a lament echoing from the denizens at Lincoln Financial Field, to school cafeterias, bar rooms, and center city construction sites, to corporate offices, to the studios and radio talk show airwaves. This time, that team philosophy could smash any hopes this current incarnation of the Eagles has of making and winning the Super Bowl.

FROM THE SB NATION NFL SHOW: The Eagles defense let the offense down - BGN Radio
The SB Nation NFL Show’s Monday Football Monday crew explains how the Eagles defense made the success they were having on offense irrelevant in the game.

Constant slow starts threatening to derail promising Eagles season - NBCSP
When the Cowboys raced out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter Sunday night, there was an unavoidable sense of … “Here we go again.” By halftime it was 24-6 Cowboys and that was pretty much ball game. The same script just keeps repeating itself. For the sixth straight week, the Eagles trailed at halftime. For the fifth straight week, Jalen Hurts didn’t throw a touchdown pass in the first half. For the fourth straight week, they trailed by at least a touchdown going into the third quarter. The Eagles over the past six weeks have taken slow starts to a new level. The last time they led at halftime was the Miami game back in Week 7 and the last time they scored more than seven points in a first quarter was opening day in New England. They’ve been outscored 38-12 in the first half of their back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Cowboys, and they’ve been outscored 106-50 in the first half going back to the second Washington game.

2024 NFL mock draft: Matt Miller’s Round 1 pick predictions - ESPN+
29. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3). Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia. A Georgia defender to the Eagles? We’ve seen it before! And it seems to work well for Philly. Lassiter isn’t the front-seven playmaker that GM Howie Roseman loves to draft in Round 1, but the secondary could use major upgrades considering that Darius Slay and James Bradberry will both be at least 31 years old come Week 1 of next season. The Eagles took Kelee Ringo in Round 4 last April and signed Eli Ricks and Josh Jobe as undrafted free agents over the past two years, but it’s time to invest in a premium prospect at the position. Lassiter has seven pass breakups this season and has allowed just nine receptions.

Spadaro: At 10-3, everything is still there for the Eagles - PE.com
It can all change in an instant, so that’s the mindset the Eagles had on Monday when they landed back in Philadelphia from Dallas, intent on reviewing the mistakes made against the Cowboys and then addressing and correcting them and then, in rapid order, moving forward. That’s what you do in this league. You move forward. You find solutions. You bring your best the next week. A 10-3 football team, the Eagles find themselves in a two-game losing streak with a tough road game at Seattle ahead. They were 10-1 after 11 games, having found ways to win in sometimes spectacular ways, creating a never-say-we’re-out-of-it persona as they rallied to win games against Washington, Dallas, Kansas City, and Buffalo. And that is the mentality now. The Eagles aren’t out of anything, not by a long shot. The NFL turns around on a dime and with the upcoming game in Seattle, the opportunity to do a 180-degree turn from what has happened these last two weeks begins. There is acknowledgement throughout this football team that a lot of things need to be improved upon, but that is always the nature of football. That’s why players and coaches never get far in front of themselves, never trip over their accomplishments. They always fixate on the mistakes they’ve made and the corrections on their plates rather than the moments of success. In other words, the Eagles know what’s up: They’ve taken it on the chin in losses to San Francisco and Dallas and they need to get back on the winning path right now.

Philadelphia Eagles’ ‘A Philly Special Christmas Special’ Charity Album Scores Big on Billboard Charts - Billboard
The new charity holiday album A Philly Special Christmas Special scores big across Billboard’s charts (dated Dec. 16), as the star-studded set debuts in the top 10 on Top Album Sales, Independent Albums, Top Current Album Sales, Top Holiday Albums and Vinyl Albums. The 11-track project, led by Philadelphia Eagles players Jason Kelce, Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, features 10 covers and one new original song. Special guests on the project include Patti LaBelle, Travis Kelce (Jason’s Kansas City Chiefs star brother and Taylor Swift’s boyfriend), Amos Lee, Howie Roseman (Eagles’ executive vice president/general manager) and Waxahatchee. All profits from the album will be donated to Philadelphia-area charities, including Children’s Crisis Treatment Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Why the 2023 Seahawks defense could be the worst of the Pete Carroll era - Field Gulls
It should come as no surprise that the Seattle Seahawks defense was overmatched against the San Francisco 49ers. What’s most disheartening is the fact that they started the game allowing a 72-yard run to Christian McCaffrey, and finished the afternoon allowing about 10 yards per play and 527 overall. The Seahawks defense is a mess. They traded for Leonard Williams, who’s been one of the few bright spots on this unit since he made his debut in Week 9. I know I keep harping on this, but this is extraordinarily incompetent play throughout this 1-5 stretch. Over the course of the entire season, the Seahawks are now 27th in EPA/play and 27th by FTN Fantasy’s DVOA. From a pure rankings perspective, this is the worst Seahawks defense by DVOA since 2010, when they finished 28th in Pete Carroll’s first season with the team. It’s worth reminding everyone that the 2010 Seahawks were a heavily rebuilt roster and still had a lot of Mike Holmgren and Jim Mora’s players on the squad. The only Pete Carroll acquisitions who started the majority of games on defense were Earl Thomas, Kentwan Balmer, and Chris Clemons. A 37-year-old Lawyer Milloy started all 16 games, for crying out loud! Aaron Curry! Colin Cole! Kelly Jennings! Remember those guys?

Seahawks expect Devon Witherspoon to play in Week 15 - PFT
Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith’s status for Week 15 is up in the air due to the groin injury that sidelined him in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, but the word is more positive about another injured member of the team. Rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon left the 49ers loss after suffering a hip pointer early in the contest and head coach Pete Carroll said on Monday that the team won’t be sure about his availability against the Eagles until later in week. Carroll went on to say that he expects Witherspoon will be able to go against the NFC East club. “He’s had a fantastic start. I would expect he’s going to make it back this week, and he’ll be out there battling again,” Carroll said, via the team’s website.

Cowboys vs Eagles: The good, the bad, and the ugly from Week 14 - Blogging The Boys
THE BAD - Johnathan Hankins’ injury. Unfortunately, the Cowboys didn’t escape unscathed despite their dominant and impressive Week 14 victory over their division rival, the Eagles. Sadly, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins exited the game early and was carted to the locker room with what has now been diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. He was seen walking the sidelines in uniform after being carted off so it is believed that it could be on the mild side, which is hopefully the case. Any amount of time he could be sidelined would be a pretty significant blow to Dallas’ run defense. Mazi Smith and others may need to step up.

The First Read: Confidence rankings for eight division leaders entering final quarter of 2023 NFL season - NFL.com
Most important game remaining: at Buffalo Bills (Week 15). The Cowboys can’t worry about the difficulty of their remaining schedule. They can only play the games one at a time, and that journey starts with a road trip to face a Bills team that is already in playoff mode. Dallas has ripped off five straight wins. Six straight would sound a hell of a lot better. Biggest red flag: Limited wins over good teams. It’s been a problem all season, but the Cowboys finally earned that defining victory against Philadelphia on Sunday night. They won’t get another shot at San Francisco unless they meet in the postseason, but it’s encouraging to know Dallas can beat up on contenders, as well. It’s one thing to blast lesser teams like the Commanders, Panthers and Giants. Taking out a squad like Philadelphia — which had the league’s top record coming into the weekend — was a statement the Cowboys needed to make.

NFC playoff picture: Giants are now part of the conversation - Big Blue View
It is suddenly fashionable to use the ‘p word’ — playoffs — around the New York Giants. Once 2-8 and looking as though they were playing out the string in a lost season, the Giants have suddenly moved within one game of a playoff spot in the NFC after Monday’s 24-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The 6-7 Packers still hold the seventh and final spot in the NFC playoffs, but that is a tenuous hold. The Giants have won three straight and have games upcoming against two of the teams ahead of them in the chase for that last spot.

Hail Joe Flacco, the NFL’s robot football dad who might save the Browns - SB Nation
Joe Flacco is the unlikely hero of Cleveland. A man who walked in off the street, made history, then went back to his garage wood shop, or whatever I presume Flacco was doing with his time before football called him again. This is a profoundly weird time in the NFL where someone like Flacco can return and shine. We entered this season with what be believed to be knowledge of how the league ticks. Everything told us that to win in football you needed an elite quarterback, and everything else can slot in from there. Now we’re 14 weeks into the season nothing feels further from the truth.

Monday Football Monday #163: Week 14 NFL Recap - The SB Nation NFL Show
Mark Schofield and JP Acosta recap everything you need to know from the NFL in Week 14. The Chiefs are upset about a penalty, the Cowboys dominate the Eagles, the Jaguars drop their 2nd straight, and everything else.

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