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Eagles News: The Brotherly Shove might not be banned after all?

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/14/23.

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NFL: DEC 03 49ers at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Roger Goodell: I haven’t taken a position on the QB tush push - PFT
Eagles fans have complained that other teams want to ban the play because they can’t stop the Eagles from gaining first downs with it, and NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent echoed that sentiment with his comments today. “Philly does it better than everyone else. That’s a fact,” Vincent said. “You won’t want to punish anyone for doing something well. People have tried different things to stop it, have not had success.” It seems likely that the play will be scrutinized in the offseason, but it would require 24 teams to vote to ban it, and so far there doesn’t appear to be that kind of support for a rule change against one of the NFL’s most effective short-yardage plays.

Eagles-Cowboys Film Review: Feeling a little bit more optimistic than expected - BGN
This article may surprise you a little bit. The Eagles didn’t score a touchdown against the Cowboys so I can hardly say the offense was great, but I think the film showed some changes that I have been asking for and I feel a little bit more optimistic after watching this game back.

On the Shane Page #9: Offensive and defensive takeaways from Eagles Week 14 loss to the Cowboys - BGN Radio
Shane Haff and Jonny Page share their offensive and defensive takeaways from the Eagles Week 14 loss to the Cowboys.

Fantasy football 2023 Week 15 sleepers: Three QBs to stream -
The last time we saw Geno Smith, he was giving the Dallas Cowboys defense all it could handle in a close loss in Week 13. An injury kept him out of action against the 49ers in Week 14, though he was working as hard as he could to get on the field. With the Seahawks playing on Monday night this week, it gives Smith one more day to get ready. If he can get back on the field, he and the ‘Hawks would have a bird battle with a beleaguered Eagles defense. They were shredded by Dak Prescott in Week 14. The week before that, it was Brock Purdy and the 49ers. The week before that, it was Josh Allen and the Bills. If there’s been one consistency this season, it’s that you can start your quarterbacks and receivers against Philly. Add Smith to that list and put in him the low-end QB1 conversation this week.

NFL Week 15 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) vs. Seattle Seahawks. Matchup to watch: Eagles WR A.J. Brown vs. Seahawks CB Tariq Woolen. Brown has produced some decent numbers over the last few weeks, but his play has dropped off compared to earlier in the year. He’ll have another tough assignment in Week 15 with Riq Woolen. While Woolen hasn’t had a huge sophomore season, he has the size and the athleticism to give Brown trouble. Fantasy breakout: Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett. The Eagles have struggled to stop quicker receivers all season, and Lockett could have a huge day against this secondary. Look for Lockett to see a lot of James Bradberry and for Geno Smith to give him plenty of chances down the field.Favorite bet: Eagles -4. The Eagles desperately need a big win after being blown out by the 49ers and the Cowboys in back-to-back weeks. The Seahawks need this win to stay alive in the NFC wild-card race, but this could be a get-right game for the Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread - The Ringer
Since 2000, we’ve seen 107 teams have at least 10 wins through the first 14 weeks of the season. Among that group, the 2023 Eagles rank 104th in point differential, at plus-21. They’ve been outscored by a combined 43 points in back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Cowboys. Offensively, I thought the Eagles looked OK last week in terms of moving the ball, but three of their seven real drives ended with fumbles. The defense, however, is a different story. They can’t get off the field on third down. The Eagles have invested heavily in their pass rush, yet they’re producing sacks on third down just 6.3 percent of the time—the lowest rate in the NFL. As for the Seahawks, they’re fighting for their playoff lives. Seattle has now lost four in a row for the first time ever during the Pete Carroll era. They’ve poured a lot of resources into a defense that ranks 26th in DVOA. As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Seattle will get Geno Smith back for this game after he missed last week’s game against San Francisco with a groin injury. If Smith returns and the Seahawks can protect him, he could shred this Eagles secondary. But I worry about Seattle’s defense facing an Eagles offense that should have all 11 regular starters healthy for this game. I think it’s a competitive game, but I like the Eagles to grab the cover late. The pick: Eagles (-3.5)

Dissecting the Eagles’ defensive struggles on third down this season - The Athletic
On third-and-short, they have logged no sacks. They’re tied for 15th in the NFL with three sacks on third downs of 4-6 yards, according to TruMedia. And their six sacks on third downs of 7 yards or more are tied for 21st in the league. Still, Philadelphia’s pass rush supplied the defense’s second-best third-down play this season in terms of EPA. On third-and-10 at the start of the third quarter on Sunday, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox’s strip-sack of Prescott was recovered by Carter and returned for a 42-yard touchdown. It’s the highlight of the only third-down situation in which the Eagles produce moderately average numbers. They’ve allowed five conversions on 15 third downs of 7 yards or more, a 33.3 percent clip that’s still higher than the league average (23.6).

Eagles’ ST coordinator gives the inside scoop on the fake punt vs. Cowboys - NBCSP
Not much went right in the Eagles’ 33-13 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night in Dallas. The Eagles were overwhelmed on offense and defense in the blowout loss to their biggest division rival. But at least special teams showed up! And the fake punt Michael Clay’s unit pulled off early in the second quarter was a thing of beauty. “It was just something we thought about maybe a few weeks back,” Clay said on Wednesday. “Just something to keep in our back pocket in case the situation came to fruition. Kudos to the guys. When something like that is up, it’s all on the guys executing it well and feeling confident in it. They did a really good job over the last however long we have been working on that to get the old OK.” Clay got the OK on a 4th-and-2 on the second play of the second quarter. The Eagles were already down 10-0 in the game so the fake did give off a sense of desperation but, hey, the Eagles were desperate at that time.

Even the toughest NFL players struggle with mental health -
Lane Johnson is the Eagles’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide, partly because of his courageous public battle with anxiety. Learn how Johnson has used his platform to make mental health a comfortable topic for NFL players to address.

Former Seahawks assistant Sean Desai under fire for struggling Eagles defense - Field Gulls
I guess this is a “stoppable force vs. movable object” situation, where the Seahawks’ terrible third-down offense meets an even worse third-down defense. While the vaunted Eagles pass rush is more dominant on early downs, they have a third-down sack rate of just 5.1%, so the likes of Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Haason Reddick, and Josh Sweat are capable of being neutralized. It’s easy to point to the difficult schedule of the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and Buffalo Bills and says that’s why the Eagles are struggling, but then you dig deeper and realize that two of the top four Washington Commanders offensive performances came against Philadelphia. Even the offensively challenged New England Patriots had their season-high in yards (382) on opening day, nearly rallying from a 16-0 deficit before losing 25-20.

Cowboys playoff outlook: What it’s going to take for them to win the NFC East - Blogging The Boys
SCENARIO 2: Cowboys lose to Detroit, Eagles lose one other game. If the Eagles lose another game, any other game, the Cowboys will be given a small margin of error in the form of being able to lose another game as long as it’s to the Detroit Lions. That’s because, in that situation, the Cowboys would win the common opponent tie-breaker over the Eagles. Now, that’s not much leeway, but it’s something. The Cowboys still have to make it through the AFC East road trip unscathed and that’s the tough part. It’s also worth noting that if the Cowboys did win the NFC East, beating Detroit might still prove important. If the Cowboys end up facing the Lions in the Divisional Round, the winner of their regular season matchup could end up being the tie-breaker that dictates which team is the two-seed and which team is the three-seed, or in other words, which team is at home. So, while that game might not be relevant to winning the East, it still could have some importance.

Where the Dak Prescott MVP Case is Lacking - FTN Fantasy
It isn’t inherently a problem that Prescott has played his best at home this season. The randomness of a short NFL season assures that some players will perform much better at home and some will perform much better on the road. And Prescott’s seven wins in as many games at home still count, and they will carry the Cowboys to the No. 1 seed if they can jump the 49ers and Eagles these next four weeks. But modern MVP voters have overwhelmingly supported quarterbacks with standout home and road productivity. And Prescott’s consistent and extreme home/road splits beg a question of whether his perceived contributions are entirely his own.

Is Tommy DeVito’s success a fluke or sustainable? Top NFL analysts weigh in - Big Blue View
Mark Schofield: I do think it is sustainable, but I think the ultimate question is whether DeVito’s ceiling is that of a QB you win with, or a QB you win because of. I think, even as good as he has been, he is probably the former. Which, is OK! Teams can win lots of games with a QB like that, and he has certainly given Joe Schoen and company more options than they had in the upcoming offseason just a few weeks ago.

Commanders vs Rams Wednesday Injury Report: Brian Robinson misses practice with hamstring injury - Hogs Haven
Washington ruled out two players for Sunday’s game. Emmanuel Forbes suffered an elbow injury vs the Giants, and was inactive vs the Cowboys. He’s going to miss another game, but Ron Rivera said that he would likely be active next week, but the team is on a bye. Forbes should return to practice for the Commanders Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. James Smith-Williams has still not been on the field since injuring his hamstring vs the Seahawks five weeks ago. Washington will continue to have Casey Toohill starting at DE with rookies KJ Henry and Andre Jones behind him. RB Brian Robinson suffered a hamstring injury vs the Dolphins, and he didn’t practice today. Rivera said he thought BRob would be ready for practice this week, but he would be evaluated at the start of the week.

Ranking NFL head-coach openings for 2024: Best, worst jobs - ESPN+
7. Washington Commanders. With apologies to what has been a high-octane year for sophomore quarterback Sam Howell, the Commanders don’t have much to be excited about at those other positions. The jury is still out on rookie first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes, and they need to start hitting on draft picks at positions they’ll have trouble filling in free agency. They’ll have extra second- and third-round picks from the trades they made at the deadline involving Montez Sweat and Chase Young, which will help. If they end up with a pick that has significant trade value for one of the teams wanting to add a quarterback, the Commanders will need to give that deal serious thought. Cutting ties with one of the last remnants of the Snyder regime will buy the new coach some time, but this is also going to be a job where the public-facing executives running things are going to need to be friendlier and more open than usual. The new regime is going to need to do whatever possible to reignite the passion of lapsed Commanders fans, and for the next couple of years, it won’t be the quality of the play on the field or the comfort of the stadium. If you pay attention to coaching news conferences around the league, you’ll see that openness and warmth aren’t exactly qualities some coaches care to exude.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots have gone full circle - SB Nation
Early in the 2014 NFL regular season, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stood in front of the assembled media following an embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Asked repeatedly about the state of that team, and the status of staring quarterback Tom Brady, the legendary head coach demurred each time stating simply: “We’re on to Cincinnati.” It became a rallying cry in and around New England, as the team would go on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in dominating fashion the following week, and ended up winning the Super Bowl. Year later, Belichick is trying a similar tactic. Only the questions are about him, and his future.


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