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Eagles News: A moment of appreciation for Britain Covey

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/31/23.

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Eagles’ Britain Covey is the best punt returner in the NFL this season - PhillyVoice
“The best comparison I have is in the NBA, when at the end of the first quarter a guy doesn’t take a three-quarter court shot because it will ruin his three point shooting average,” Covey said. “I see that a lot with players, especially players who have average incentives in their contracts. For a lot of them, I think it’s like if they average over 9 yards or over 9.5 yards per return they get a bonus, over 10 yards they get a bigger bonus... I see guys all the time who will call a fair catch that have those incentives, or sometimes even if they don’t. I’ve always felt like that’s just thinking too much about yourself and not enough about the team.” Taking the same sample size of the 10 returners above and instead calculating their return averages by including their fair catches, here’s what their averages look like. “You’ll see a couple of plays this year where I haven’t called a fair catch and I’ve gotten lit up right away, but 2 yards is better than 0,” Covey said. Return average preservation extends beyond just fair catches. NFL returners will also often allow shorter punts that bounce to simply roll down the field rather than picking them up.

Eagles-Cardinals Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 17 enemy - BGN
3) What’s one matchup that you think favors the Cardinals in this game? Umm… Nothing? Maybe the Cardinals can throw on the Eagles defense, but it seems like even with the Eagles struggles the Cardinals receiving corps has not been up to the task much lately. Hollywood Brown is the only true vertical threat and he’s been out with a heel injury. Trey McBride is a blossoming star. Greg Dortch is a fantastic slot receiver if he’s staying on short routes and using his speed and change of direction but he can’t win against big defensive backs in vertical scenarios. Rondale Moore is basically a gadget player at this point. Michael Wilson has not looked the same since his injury put him out for five weeks. Since his return he has seven targets and no catches. So, I don’t know where the Cardinals are going to be able to take advantage outside of McBride and then the Eagles just need to bracket him and it’s basically done. Maybe Matt Prater because he basically is having an otherworldly season no one is going to talk about because the Cardinals stink, but even then Jake Elliot is having another great season for the Eagles.

Eye on the Enemy #163: The Gannon Bowl + why Eric Allen should have been a Hall of Famer long ago - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talks with Walter Mitchell from Revenge of the Birds about THE GANNON BOWL. The guys discuss what Jonathan Gannon’s first year in Arizona been like, how his defense has failed, and why there is no excuse for this not to be an Eagles runaway victory. John also, talked about why Eric Allen should have been a Hall of Famer long ago.

5Qs, 5As: Previewing Cardinals-Eagles with Bleeding Green Nation - Revenge Of The Birds
The Arizona Cardinals take on the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday morning and we talked with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation to discuss all things Philadelphia.

Game Preview – ARZ at PHI - Iggles Blitz
Nick Sirianni made the point that the Eagles know Gannon, but that also means he knows them. This game won’t be won or lost by insider knowledge. This will be won by the Eagles if they play to their ability. They are the better team. They are the healthier team. They’re at home. There is no excuse for losing. Arizona is dead last in run defense. They allow 147 yards a game and 4.7 yards per carry. Not ideal. The Cardinals don’t get off blocks well. They have some gap integrity issues. They don’t always tackle well. Other than that, they’re great. The formula for the Eagles should be simple. Run the ball on this team as much as you can.

In Roob’s Observations: Has D’Andre Swift played himself out of Howie Roseman’s price range? - NBCSP
1. I wonder if D’Andre Swift has priced himself out of Howie Roseman’s running back range. Swift has had a weird year. He’s got 988 rushing yards and 1,197 scrimmage yards despite five games with 15 or fewer touches and five games with 12 or fewer rushing attempts. And just two games with 20 carries. He’s 5th in the NFL in rushing yards despite being just 9th in rushing attempts. And his 4.6 average is 8th-best in the league (minimum 10 carries per game). Swift has set career highs in rushing yards and scrimmage yards and he’s shown he can be a lead back. He’s also playing on the final year of his rookie contract, costing the Eagles just $1.78 million. But he’s also going to probably want something north of $5 million per year on a multi-year deal, and Roseman hasn’t given a running back a significant second contract since LeSean McCoy in 2012. I could see the Eagles going next year with Kenny Gainwell, a rookie mid-round draft pick and maybe another year of Boston Scott. They really like Gainwell and after averaging 2.8 yards per carry through Week 7 he’s at 6.0 since. Gainwell is signed at $1.06 million in 2024 on the final year of his rookie 5th-round deal, so he’s cap friendly. Gainwell is talented, but he isn’t Swift. Maybe if Swift doesn’t like the long-term offers he’s getting once free agent starts he’d come back on a one-year bet-on-himself deal. Running backs are always going to look better running behind this line – Miles Sanders is evidence of that – although if Jason Kelce retires that could change. But Swift is a guy that gets stronger as the game goes on – he leads the NFL with 686 rushing yards after halftime – and that is a valuable trait. All I know is Swift has been very impressive with the opportunities he’s gotten and if there’s any way to keep him around another year at a reasonable price, Roseman needs to make it happen. But I’m not sure he can.

Spadaro: 6 storylines (including 1 PM kickoff!) to follow vs. Arizona Cardinals - PE.com
1. Kyler Murray: It has been a tough season for him. The good news for Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray is that he’s back after ACL surgery and he looks good and the Cardinals have shown faith and confidence in him. The tough news is that he’s in a really bad situation as he’s been sidelined with an illness and is listed as questionable to play. Now, the expectations are that he makes the trip and plays against the Eagles after seeing very limited time in practice. But if you’d had what is going around, well, it’s yucky and draining and just not something you bounce back from quickly. Will he be the energetic and ultra-quick and dangerous quarterback who threatens defenses with his legs? We shall see, and also see what the Eagles do defensively against him. They’ve played mobile quarterbacks all season, but Murray is a different kind of cat. He’s a blur on the field when at his best. Oh, and if Murray can’t make it all the way on Sunday, do you know the name of Arizona’s backup quarterback? Clayton Tune. Of course you knew.

How the Eagles’ third-down defense was taken away from Sean Desai before his demotion - Inquirer
Before Sean Desai was demoted, the Eagles defensive coordinator had lost his authority over third-down game planning, a process that began after coach Nick Sirianni’s self scouting of the team during the Week 10 bye, NFL sources told The Inquirer.Sirianni wanted more collaboration and communication between Desai and his staff — including senior assistant Matt Patricia — and conveyed to his coordinator a need to be more open to other viewpoints, sources said. But after three games, the first two of which the Eagles won and the third a blowout loss to the 49ers, Sirianni handed third down over to Patricia and two assistants. Desai still called all the plays at the Cowboys, but the result was much as it had been during “the gauntlet” stretch of the schedule: a poor performance on third down, and ultimately a second straight defeat. A day or so later, Sirianni stripped Desai of all his power in favor of Patricia. Desai, who essentially switched roles with Patricia, remains on staff even though the overwhelming majority of NFL coordinators replaced in-season are fired. Sirianni has said that he kept Desai because he believes he can still help the Eagles.The 40-year-old Desai hasn’t been made available to reporters since his demotion became public, but he wants to follow through on the season, a source close to the situation said. There’s also the matter of his contract, which would be affected if the team let him go or he quit. It’s almost certain that Desai will not return next season. The Eagles declined comment through a spokesperson.

NFL fines Jalen Hurts $16,391 for horse collar tackle against the Giants - PFT
When NFL players are fined, it’s often for an illegal hit on a quarterback. It’s rarely for an illegal hit by a quarterback. But today, the NFL announced one fine for one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has been fined $16,391 for a horse collar tackle in Philadelphia’s Christmas Day game against the Giants.

FTN’s All-Rookie Team 2023 - FTN Fantasy
Jalen Carter is the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Carter is already one of the ten or so best interior pass rushers in football – sixth in ESPN’s pass rush win rate and climbing. Giving the Eagles’ front a player like that, who can blow up the interior linemen and let the zillion other studs the Eagles have zip around, seems patently unfair.

Every NFL team’s highest-graded wide receiver from Week 16 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith (67.8). The Eagles held on to defeat the Giants and snap their three-game losing streak. DeVonta Smith recorded three explosive gains for 72 yards in the first half, including a 36-yard touchdown. He averaged 12.8 odds after the catch per reception and finished the day with a perfect passer rating when targeted.

VIDEO: Detroit Lions screwed by more Dallas Cowboys home-cooking on 2-point conversion - Pride Of Detroit
A few seconds after the play was over, the officials threw a flag and declared the play an illegal touch by Decker. In essence, the officials believed Decker was not an eligible receiver on the play. At first, the TV announcers said this was because Decker did not report as an eligible receiver to the officials. However, a replay clearly shows that Decker went directly to the officials before the play to declare as eligible.

10 thoughts on the Cowboys 20-19 Saturday night thriller over the Lions - Blogging The Boys
3. NO THANKS TO MCCARTHY. The Cowboys ended up winning, but it was still frustrating to say the least. The offense struggled to run the ball averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. Again and again, Mike McCarthy called first-down runs with the Lions’ defense on top of it resulting in tackles for a loss. It felt like they were put in 2nd-and-12 situations all night, asking the offense to overcome these negative down and distances. Sometimes they did, others they didn’t. And then, when the Cowboys actually should’ve been running the ball to churn a little clock, they were airing out passing plays. Down the stretch, the Cowboys had two separate drives to ice the game but called passing plays, and some of them didn’t seem like they had a chance, so Prescott just threw the ball out of bounds. The clock management was very bad and it almost ended up costing the Cowboys the game.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley fined for unnecessary roughness against the Eagles - Big Blue View
The NFL announced Saturday afternoon that New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is being fined $21,855 for unnecessary roughness. The play in question, a run in which Barkley lowered his head into an Eagles’ defender, came towards the end of the second quarter in Sunday’s Week 16 game in Philadelphia.

Washington’s quarterback situation descends into tragicomedy (again) - Hogs Haven
Of those who responded to the survey, 40% said ‘yes’ to the change, but 60% said ‘no’, preferring to stick with Sam Howell. It could end up that everyone gets their wish (sort of). On Wednesday (before the voting in the survey was closed), Ron Rivera announced that he had decided to start Brissett, and that he would let Sam Howell “take a breath” (a phrase the head coach used repeatedly in his 8 minutes or so spent talking to the local media folks). Two days later, on Friday, Jacoby Brissett’s name showed up on the injury report, listing a hamstring injury and a ‘questionable’ designation for Sunday’s game. The head coach confirmed that if Jacoby is unable to go against the 49ers this weekend, Sam will get the starting nod. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

TGIFootball #21: Previewing Week 17 - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton preview every game across the NFL in Week 17.

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