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Eagles News: Philadelphia has “some internal concern” about Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/22/23.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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Inside the Eagles: Jalen Hurts’ regression among four big-picture issues with the Birds - Inquirer
The Eagles’ recent misery amid a three-game losing streak was foreseeable based upon more than their uneven play through the first 11 games of the season. The mood inside the NovaCare Complex was tense despite an NFL-best 10-1 start, team sources said. At least, more anxious than the Eagles should have been relative to their record and various past teams under similar circumstances. “The most miserable 10-1 team,” one source said, describing the collective disposition of the team just over three weeks ago. “Imagine now.” That second comment was made on Saturday ahead of a last-second 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. [...] The team has been patient with Hurts, even though they awarded him with a $255 million contract in the offseason. He may just be experiencing a few bumps, but there is some internal concern about the stoic 25-year-old. The Eagles want their franchise quarterback to be authentic, but they also want him to open himself up a little more in the locker room and have a more outward leadership style when it’s needed during difficult stretches, several team sources close to the situation said.

A.J. Brown was indeed the first read on Jalen Hurts’ fateful deep throw - PFT
It’s accurate. It’s blunt. And it’s real. Brown was open for a game-winning touchdown. The ball took too long to come out. It stayed too long in the air. It came down too short of the target. It allowed Love to cover what should have been too much ground to make the interception. Hurts is a great player. He has made great plays. He’s a great leader. He also made a bad throw in a big spot. All of those things can be true. Brown, while trying to push back against the notion that he was supposed to be a decoy on the play but Hurts opted for “buddy ball” in throwing to his close friend, told the truth. Hurts missed the throw. Other quarterbacks would have made that throw. Not many. And, in that moment, not Hurts.

The Eagles offense isn’t broken. It’s just stale and desperately needs to evolve - The Athletic
Hurts isn’t absolved of criticism for the Eagles’ offensive struggles. His inconsistency in getting to his second or third reads has hurt this offense. Hurts has unique arm talent. He can throw guys open as well as any quarterback in the league, and he knows it. But that ability has stunted his growth as a pocket passer. He tries to force too many balls to his first read, which is usually A.J. Brown going deep. Against the Seahawks, on third-and-8 in the third quarter, the Seahawks played Cover 6 with their corners lined up 10 yards deep. The depth of the corners would have been enough to discourage a lot of quarterbacks from throwing deep and instead look underneath. But Hurts forced the issue, and the pass fell incomplete. Smith was wide open on a shallow underneath. No one was near him. He would have gotten the first down and a lot more. After the game, Brown tweeted that he was Hurts’ first read, and Hurts just missed the throw. While that may be true, it’s a low-percentage throw, and the coverage made it an even more low percentage. On the game-ending interception, Hurts forced a pass on a similar play.

Eagles Film Review: Some good and some bad from Matt Patricia’s first game - BGN
I was largely happy with the Eagles’ defense in the first 3 quarters. But my goodness, watching this defense on 3rd and long is incredibly frustrating. You know it’s driving the coaches crazy because they just keep trying weird and wonderful things on 3rd and long and it’s driving me a little crazy. This is 3rd and 10 on the 2nd drive. Why are you dropping Haason Reddick into coverage and blitzing Bradley Roby? I know it sounds great to try and confuse the offense, but Reddick is your best pass rusher. It’s just not good football and it’s a classic case of the defense overthinking things and trying to get cute.

Eye on the Enemy #162: Are the Giants the proper elixir to fix the ailing Eagles? - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talks with Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine about how to stop the dynamic Tommy DeVito. Also, Stolnis shares his thoughts on the locker room turmoil from the last two weeks.

Giants-Eagles ‘5 questions’: Why have the Eagles been grounded? - Big Blue View
I don’t want to let the Eagles off the hook with excuse-making since they deserve criticism. But it is true that they were in a tough spot with their schedule. They faced the 49ers, who clearly look like the best team in the NFL, when San Francisco was coming off a mini-bye. Then the Eagles faced the Cowboys coming off a mini-bye. All in the middle of a six-game gauntlet that began with battles against Dallas, Kansas City, and Buffalo. Expecting them to go 6-0 was never realistic. 4-2 was a reasonable expectation. So, I was willing to give the Eagles some benefit of the doubt after losing two straight because they would’ve been there with a win over the Seahawks. But then they went out and only managed 17 points against a bad and injured Seahawks defense that was allowing 24.5 offensive points per game. The Eagles’ offense has been a disappointment relative to high expectations this season. Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson has taken a lot of heat and I’m not here to say he’s not part of the problem … but he’s received a disproportionate amount of blame relative to Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts. The operation simply hasn’t been good enough. Play design (Sirianni), play-calling (Johnson), and play execution (Hurts) is all lacking.

The Eagles’ loss of Avonte Maddox was kind of a big deal - PhillyVoice
Slot corners have to communicate with outside corners, safeties, and linebackers, so when you’re playing six different guys in there it’s difficult to achieve cohesiveness. The Eagles’ biggest weakness this season has been pass defense, and opposing offenses have consistently and successfully attacked the middle of the field, oftentimes out of the slot. Those teams have gotten some big individual performances from receivers who often worked out of the slot.

Week 16 NFL picks: Bengals or Steelers in critical Saturday showdown? Ravens or 49ers on Christmas? -
Why Tom is taking the Eagles: Tommy DeVito could rediscover his mojo against the NFL’s 28th-ranked passing defense, and the Giants (tied for ninth in the league with 22 takeaways) could coax a few key turnovers out of the Eagles (whose 21 giveaways are tied for 10th-most). New York would pretty much still need everything to go perfectly to pull off a win here. Philly, meanwhile, has the talent advantage to ensure plenty of room for error, meaning the three-game losing streak should end, even if some of the sloppiness of recent weeks continues.

Every NFL team’s highest-graded wide receiver from Week 15 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: A.J. Brown (71.6). Philly jumped out to a fast start by scoring a touchdown on their first drive of the game, but their offense never looked in sync. Brown led the Eagles with 56 yards receiving. He had four catches of 10-plus yards, including a 15-yard catch early in the fourth quarter.

Let’s Visit the DVOA Splits! - FTN Fantasy
Philadelphia’s defense really loves second down specifically. They aren’t a very good first-down defense (22nd) and they are abysmal on third down (32nd), but the Eagles get up for second down. They rank 13th on second-and-short, sixth on second-and-medium, and third on second-and-long, good for the second-best second down defensive DVOA in the league. Buffalo suffers a similar collapse from second to third down. They fall from a league-leading -23.7% DVOA on second downs to a pedestrian, 17th-ranked 0.8% DVOA on third downs.

Darius Slay reacts to Matt Patricia’s promotion to de facto DC - NBCSP
“And now man he’s the DC and I know what kind of DC he’s going to be,” Slay said. “He’s going to be a guy that will go out here detailed, going to tell the guys what the job description is and what he needs to get this dub. I know he’s going to do an amazing job at it, man.” Meanwhile, the veteran cornerback is out for a while after having arthroscopic knee surgery last week. But the Eagles didn’t put him on IR and Slay is expected to return before the end of the regular season. On his podcast, Slay said his knee has been bothering him since the 2019 season and he and the team finally decided to get it done. Slay admitted he tried to push through the toughest part of the schedule. “I wanted to do the gauntlet schedule with the team, man, because I felt like I could be an impact to the team,” Slay said. “I tried to fight through the tough part of the schedule. We had (Patrick) Mahomes, Dallas, San Fran, Buffalo and we had Dallas again. I was trying to go through the tough part of the stage, man, to try to fight through and give us the win because these was important games.”

The Week 16 NFL Betting Props Playbook - ESPN+
Saquon Barkley over 2.5 receptions (-160): Barkley has had at least three receptions in eight out of 11 games this season. His targets are down a bit since Tommy DeVito has taken over at quarterback, but he’s still reached three catches in four out of seven games since Week 8. This week, Barkley will face an Eagles defense that has faced a league-high 39.6 passing attempts per game. Twelve different backs have accrued three-plus catches against the Eagles in 14 games.

Spadaro: Matt Patricia takes the team approach to new defensive responsibilities -
This is not about Matt Patricia. Instead, he said on Thursday meeting the media for the first time after calling the defensive signals in Monday’s game at Seattle, a job he will have moving forward this season, Patricia insisted everything about his job and the Eagles’ defensive performance is a collaborative effort. “There are great coaches. Coaches that have been here, new coaches that came in,” he said. “(Defensive line) Coach (Tracy) Rocker and (Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers) Coach Wash (Jeremiah Washburn) and those guys that were here, and (Defensive Backs Coach) D.K. (McDonald) to be able to bridge some of the stuff previous and build this year’s Eagles defense is what it’s about. “That’s kind of where we are. We’ve had a little bit of a change of maybe roles or responsibilities, but it’s still I would say a huge collaborative group. Sean (defensive coordinator, Desai) is a tremendous, tremendous football coach. He’s super intelligent with scheme and teaching, and I’ve learned a lot from him from that aspect of it, and tried to offer some insight into different things I’ve seen through the years. So, we’re all still kind of trying to just work together from that aspect of it and make it a group effort.” How much will the defense change under Patricia? That remains to be seen, naturally. He said it’s a matchups-driven league, so the Eagles’ defense – not his, remember – will evolve week to week. He wants to find weaknesses in every offense and go after them.

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread - The Ringer
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-11.5). The pick: Eagles (-11.5).

Confidence in the Cowboys plummets after team gets demolished by Bills - Blogging The Boys
In the aftermath we wanted to check in on your feelings about the team and the NFC East. First up, we asked the question of how confident are you in the direction of the team. Last week when we asked this question, 95% of the fanbase was confident, Like I said, life was good. Post-Bills game, that number plummeted to 50%.

Commanders vs Jets Thursday Injury Report: Brian Robinson continues to miss practice - Hogs Haven
RB Brian Robinson suffered a hamstring injury vs the Dolphins, and he missed Sunday’s game against the Rams. Robinson continues to miss practice and his odds to play against the Jets is continue to go down.

NFL Week 16 playoff and elimination scenarios - SB Nation
First-round bye scenario. San Francisco 49ers. It is worth mentioning that the San Francisco 49ers can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs this weekend. If the 49ers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas night, they have a chance. But they would need: The Philadelphia Eagles to lose to the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys to lose to the Miami Dolphins, AND the Detroit Lions to lose to the Minnesota Vikings. If all four results go their way, they will have the top spot clinched.


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