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Eagles News: “This isn’t a very good defense right now”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/4/23.

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San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Roob’s Observations: 49ers hand Eagles 2nd loss of season in rematch of NFC Championship Game - NBCSP
1. That big giant 42 really sticks out. Hey, the Eagles’ defense has been held together with duct tape all year, but they kept finding ways to beat good teams and shut down good quarterbacks when they had to and all the points and yards allowed and bottom-10 rankings didn’t seem so important because they were a 10-1 team that knew how to win. So you just shrugged it all off. But 42 points? At home? In a huge game against a budding rival with playoff enormous implications? Against a team that’s been talking trash since February? That’s embarrassing? After a couple 3-and-outs to open the game, the 49ers scored touchdowns on six straight drives – 85 yards, 90 yards, 75 yards, 77 yards, 75 yards and 48 yards. The Eagles didn’t put up a fight. Last time a playoff-bound Eagles team allowed 42 points at home in a meaningful game was 2009 against the Saints. This shouldn’t happen. It can’t happen. But it did happen. And this wasn’t a fluke. This isn’t a very good defense right now. On Sunday, it was awful.

Eagles vs. 49ers: The good, the bad, and the ugly - BGN
This was bound to happen. A football team can only play the way the Eagles have the last month before the roof eventually falls in. Well, on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, it collapsed through the living room and into the basement of a 42-19 49ers’ blowout in a venom-filled game that it carried the underlying tone of a street fight in shoulder pads. “We didn’t coach good enough, we didn’t play good enough, it’s as simple as that,” Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni said. “You have to give credit to them, too. That’s a really good football team. You don’t come out and play your best game against the guys and the coaches that they have, it’s going to look like that. We have to coach better, we have to play better. We have a lot to clean up.” They also have something to think about, too: San Francisco has now run over the Dallas Cowboys (42-10) and the Eagles (42-19) by a combined 84-29.

BGN Instant Reaction Show - Week 13: Eagles fall to 49ers, 42-19 - BGN Radio
Jessi Taylor and Shane Haff share their initial reactions following the Eagles’ embarrassing loss to the 49ers, 42-19.

NFL playoff picture: NFC clear, AFC less so through Week 13 - SB Nation
At the top of the NFC, things tightened up a little thanks to the 49ers’ win over the Eagles. Philadelphia is still in the driver’s seat for both the NFC East, and the top-overall seed in the NFC. But that could change in a hurry depending on what happens next week when the Eagles travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.

Butt Kicked - Iggles Blitz
There are two ways to look at the loss. The pessimistic view is that things finally caught up with the Eagles. They did beat Dallas, KC and Buffalo, but easily could have lost those games. Favorable moments in each game helped the Eagles escape with a W. That changed in a huge way against SF. The Niners started slow and then dominated the final three quarters. Dominated. They didn’t punt after the first quarter. Their defense gave the Eagles fits. The Eagles had been living on the edge. San Francisco pushed them off the edge and then dropped an anvil on them. That’s the bad version of things. There is another way to look at the loss. SF was coming off a mini-bye (they played on Thanksgiving). The Eagles were on their third game in 13 days, with all three being huge games with real emotional edges to them. The Eagles started fast and then the tank emptied. They missed tackles. They were sloppy on offense and defense. The Niners made them pay for every mistake. This was also a terrible matchup game. LB is the weakest spot on the Philly roster. Take Zach Cunningham out and things are really dicey. SF is a team that stresses LBs more than anyone. Christian Elliss and Nick Morrow were in over their head and it showed. The Eagles need Cunningham back and it wouldn’t hurt to bring in Shaq Leonard.

Eight Questions That Will Shape the NFL Playoff Race - The Ringer
1. Is Jalen Hurts healthy enough to carry the Philadelphia Eagles the rest of the way? Sunday’s lopsided loss to the 49ers won’t derail Philadelphia’s season completely, but injury concerns for quarterback Jalen Hurts could do it if they continue to mount. Hurts briefly left the game to enter the concussion protocol, and while he did return, it’s clear that the Eagles star is far from 100 percent. Hurts has been dealing with a knee contusion since early October, which seems to have limited some of his explosiveness as a runner. But the more concerning effect can be found in the passing game, where Hurts has been a more reluctant scrambler while protecting the knee. That, combined with his tendency to hold on to the ball a bit longer, even when healthy, has put tremendous stress on the offensive line. The Eagles rank 27th in pressure rate allowed, per TruMedia, and many of those pressures have been created by Hurts himself deep into his dropbacks.

Eagles-49ers takeaways: Blowout loss suggests offense needs to evolve, defense needs reinforcement - Inquirer
Against the 49ers, Hurts had just 20 rushing yards. It’s the ninth time in his career he has been held to under 25 yards on the ground and the fourth time this season. Some of this has been out of necessity. Hurts battled through a knee injury earlier this year and had an injury scare Sunday when he got pulled by the concussion spotter in the fourth quarter. Still, the ripple effects are there. The Eagles used a higher percentage of under-center runs than usual on Sunday, which might need to become a bigger part of things if Hurts’ contributions don’t change. Doing so would change the complexion of the offense, but the offense may have to adapt for its own good.

Eagles experience wake-up call in humiliating loss to 49ers, grip on top spot becoming less secure - PHLY
One message in the locker room was making sure the Eagles don’t fracture, although one loss should not do that to a team that remains the only 10-win group in the NFL. The problems are less mental and messaging, and more related to personnel. Linebacker Shaq Leonard will choose between the Eagles and the Cowboys early this week, and he could factor into the team’s approach to fixing the middle of the defense. Dallas Goedert is also close to returning. The path was never going to be easy. Not with the gauntlet that is this portion of their schedule, and not with the team’s inconsistencies. And they’re going to have to beat more top teams if they expect the season to stretch as long as it did last season.

NFL Week 13 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 42, Philadelphia Eagles 19 - PFF
The Eagles’ defense got off to a ferocious start, holding the 49ers to back-to-back three-and-outs with -6 total yards gained. However, after that, San Francisco scored a touchdown on every drive. Edge defender Haason Reddick had a sack early, and interior defender Fletcher Cox had another on the first play of San Francisco’s drive right after the Eagles’ offense scored to make it a 21-13 game. Deebo Samuel scored on a 48-yard reception four plays later, and this game was all but over. The Eagles’ deficiencies over the middle of the defense were on full display, with Kyle Shanahan putting their linebackers in conflict all game long. Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle seemed to come up with big snags on third down time after time.

Spadaro: 6 takeaways from Sunday’s loss to 49ers - PE.com
6. Remember this, the Eagles are 10-2 with a lot of football remaining. It always hurts to lose, but we’ve seen this movie before, right? The Eagles are going to regroup and come back and play a great game in Dallas. They’re 10-2 with a one-game lead in the NFC and they are seasoned and understanding of the big picture. They all spoke after the game of staying together and fighting through this, because they’ve all been at this moment before. It isn’t going to be easy, not with two road games at Dallas and Seattle ahead, followed by two games against the Giants and one against an improved Arizona team. But the Eagles have a lot at stake, still have their sights on the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs, and a very talented team and great coaching staff. Rest up, flush this game, and recover: The Dallas Cowboys are next in Arlington, Texas.

2023 NFL MVP: Nine players to consider in unique award race - ESPN+
Let’s finish with two offensive linemen in different situations. I’ll begin with Kelce, who has become a TV pitchman and successful podcaster over the past year. Before that, the longtime Eagles stalwart was simply regarded as one of the best centers in league history; he would have been a strong candidate for Canton even before becoming known to many millions around the world as Travis’ brother. In addition to all he does as a blocker in Philadelphia’s diverse, often-overwhelming ground game, Kelce already plays an essential role in a successful marriage: the Eagles and their ability to succeed in short yardage. While Jalen Hurts’ squat strength is the most oft-discussed statistic around the Tush Push, Kelce must surely also have an impact on making the play work. While his best asset for years has been his speed and quickness as a puller, he has become an essential part of the cheat code that propels the Eagles’ offense forward in key situations. Philadelphia even converted a Tush Push with Marcus Mariota on Sunday while Hurts was being evaluated for a concussion, albeit while down 22 points in the fourth quarter. And while Hurts undoubtedly plays a more essential role in the offense and would get the MVP consideration here, Kelce’s ability in the run game has helped revitalize D’Andre Swift’s career, too. Despite playing behind a great line in Detroit, Swift is averaging 3.2 yards before first contact this season, up from 2.9 yards per contact.

Week 13: The walk-on danger of the 49ers, and Dak Prescott’s chances at MVP - FMIA
You know what football needed? A new great rivalry. A bitter rivalry. Steelers-Ravens was terrific for a while, but Ray Lewis and James Harrison are long gone. Eagles-Cowboys is good, but not particularly angry. Niners-Seahawks has calmed down since Richard Sherman went volcanic. Kansas City doesn’t have one great rival. Jets-Pats, Falcons-Saints, Bears-Packers … meh. Both sides need to be good for the rivalry to draw an audience. Now, Niners-Eagles. That could be a great one for years to come. Seeds are planted. Young coaches who won’t back down (Nick Sirianni 42, Kyle Shanahan 43), young quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy launching promising careers, angry defenses that play chippy, an ejection of the leading tackler in the game … … for what looked like Dre Greenlaw trying to rub shaving cream on Dom DiSandro’s face. Dom DiSandro. Eagles director of security. The security guy, who is supposed to do the ejecting, got ejected too! Nice trade. The 49ers lose the leading tackler in the game. The Eagles lose the escort for Nick Sirianni.

5 Winners and 2 losers: Deebo Samuel deserves to talk all the trash he wants to - Niners Nation
Not only did Samuel have his best game of 2023, but it featured not one but two vintage Deebo plays, something that hasn’t quite happened this season. The 49ers receiver finished with four receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown, with another three carries for 22 yards and a rushing touchdown, Samuel’s first multi-score game since Week 12 of 2021. Samuel didn’t have a score until the second half but scored all three touchdowns in the 49ers’ final four drives. The first was a 12-yard touchdown run on an end-around - giving the 49ers a touchdown on the two-for-one around halftime - to put San Francisco up 21-6. That’s when 2021 Deebo Samuel reared his head. Philadelphia responded with a touchdown of its own, cutting the lead to eight points. After converting a third-and-10 at the 49ers’ 26-yard line, Brock Purdy hit Samuel on a six-yard en route before Nicholas Morrow wrapped Samuel up. Samuel quickly shook Morrow off and easily sped past Darius Slay en route to the 48-yard score to put the 49ers back up two scores.

Cowboys vs Eagles: Dallas opens as 3-point favorites for Week 14 - Blogging The Boys
They are now 10-2. The 49ers busted up the Eagles just like they did the Cowboys earlier this season. That means when the Eagles visit the Cowboys next Sunday, Dallas can take over the lead in the NFC East, although Philadelphia would still control their destiny based on how tiebreakers shake out. And Dallas has a very tough road ahead, while the Eagles have an easier slate. Still, hope will be alive for the Cowboys to catch the Eagles in the division.

Giants designate QB Tyrod Taylor to return from IR - Big Blue View
The move to designate Taylor for return opens his 21-day practice window, allowing him to return to the practice field without taking a roster spot. The Giants confirmed that he will start practicing Monday. He has not been activated off of the IR as of this writing. Head coach Brian Daboll was non-committal last week when asked whether DeVito or Taylor would be the starting quarterback once Taylor was healthy.

Washington Commanders Vs. Miami Dolphins - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven
Eric Bieniemy - I said when the rumors were floating around about Bieniemy possibly coming to DC that it would be career suicide to do so under Ron Rivera and this current dumpster-fire. Now you see why... Or maybe, just maybe, Bieniemy isn’t that good.

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