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Eagles News: The top matchup that will determine Super Bowl LVII

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/7/23.

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Super Bowl Cheat Sheet: 25 Things You Need to Know About the Eagles and Chiefs - The Ringer
3. I think if I had to pick just one matchup that will determine which team wins, it’d be the Eagles pass rush against the Chiefs offensive line and Mahomes, who suffered an ankle injury in the divisional-round win against Jacksonville. The Eagles have sacked opposing quarterbacks on 11.5 percent of their pass plays—the highest mark of any defense since at least 2000. The difference in sack rate between the Eagles and no. 2 Patriots this season was the same as the difference between the Patriots and the no. 29 Bengals. And the Eagles do it, for the most part, without blitzing. Their sack rate actually increased (11.8 percent) when they rushed four or fewer defenders. The Chiefs have a very good offensive line, but their strength is the interior, with center Creed Humphrey and left guard Joe Thuney. It’ll likely be up to Eagles edge rushers Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham to win their battles against Chiefs tackles Orlando Brown and Andrew Wylie.

Eagles vs. Chiefs: Who has the biggest advantage at every position group ahead of Super Bowl 57? - PFF
Defensive Line. Advantage: Eagles. The Eagles defensive line is not only led by an elite pass-rusher, but it is a dominant unit that has four players with 12-plus sacks. Haason Reddick is the leader of the group and has been arguably the best free-agent signing from the 2022 offseason — he has generated 21 sacks and 80 pressures this year, including the playoffs. The Chiefs offensive line and a potentially still-hobbled Mahomes will have their hands full with this deep Eagles defensive line.

Super Bowl preview: Eagles offense vs. Chiefs defense featuring All-22 and stats - BGN
Run. The. Ball. I’ve saved the most obvious until the last. All the above is true, but sometimes football is easy. The Eagles have an elite run game. The easiest way to score points in this game may be to continually run the ball. If the Chiefs continue to play a lot of 2-high shells, the Eagles should feel really, really good about running the ball in this game as long as they can stop Chris Jones from having an impact. Overall, this is a matchup the Eagles must win. I am of the opinion that the Chiefs are going to score a fair few points because Mahomes is just that good. I think for the Eagles to win it all, they need to score 25+ points. It’s time for this offense to prove why they are elite. I’m excited.

Above the Nest with Raichele #74: Symone Stanley on Eagles game plan against the Chiefs + What this win would mean for Jalen Hurts - BGN Radio
Symone Stanley (@Symone_Stanley) stops by to chat with Raichele Privette about her confidence in the Eagles beating the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, how she thinks the Eagles will game plan and what this win would mean for Jalen Hurts.

NFL fans think the Eagles will win the Super Bowl, but they’re not happy about it - SB Nation
In the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, fans were asked who they believe will win. A little over half of fans said the Eagles will win Super Bowl LVII. Despite the majority, this isn’t the outcome most fans actually want. There appears to be a large segment of NFL fans who are pessimistic about their desired outcome. A matching percentage of fans said they want the Chiefs to win their second Super Bowl in four seasons.

NFL Picks & Predictions: Eagles Prop Bets to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for Super Bowl LVII - DraftKings Nation
Receiving Yards. A.J. Brown Over 71.5 Yards (-120). Brown has been a non-factor in the Eagles’ first two playoff games, but that’s going to change on Sunday. First and foremost, this should almost certainly be a more competitive script, with the Chiefs’ elite offense surely set to score more than the seven points that Philadelphia’s surrendered to both New York and San Francisco. A closer contest on the scoreboard means an Eagles’ offense that’s more inclined to throw the football. That obviously means more volume for Brown, who finished top 10 in both targets (145) and receiving yards (1,496) during the regular season. This is also a fantastic matchup for Brown. Kansas City has struggled defending the best wideout on opposing teams all season long, as it sits 31st in the league by DVOA against WR1s. The only secondary worse? The Bears. Brown had the opportunity to square-off with Chicago back in Week 15. The former second-round pick finished that game with a season-high 181 receiving yards on 16 targets. A similar type of performance could be in store for the Chiefs, which is why I also might look at Brown’s +1200 odds for Super Bowl MVP.

Eagles vs. Chiefs: Five matchups to watch, when the Eagles have the ball - PhillyVoice
5) Jalen Hurts vs. Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo. Since returning to the field from his sprained shoulder injury, Hurts has not had the same accuracy on his throws to the intermediate and deeper parts of the field. Notably, he had a couple of overthrows to A.J. Brown against the 49ers that could have gone for big plays. Spagnuolo has a reputation as a heavy blitzer, but he dialed it back quite a bit in 2022. I would expect Spags to try to contain Hurts within the pocket and make him prove he can place his throws with the same accuracy that he showed the first three months of the season.

Are They Ready? - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles beat the teams they faced. How’d they do against playoff teams? “…when the Eagles faced playoff teams, they went 7-1 with a plus-115 point differential. That was 51 points better than any other team. And their one loss to a playoff team (to the Cowboys, in Week 16) came with Gardner Minshew at quarterback.” That nugget is from a great stats piece by Sheil Kapadia. Does the schedule matter at all? The value in playing tough games is having them get you ready for the postseason. The Eagles winning a pair of playoff blowouts is an incredible rarity. Normally you’re going to be in a tight game. If you’ve been through a challenging season, that won’t phase you. If you’re used to blowing teams out, a close game might bring pressure and lead to mistakes. Normally you might say this gives KC an advantage, but they weren’t much different. Football Outsiders had the Eagles with the easiest schedule in the league. They had KC with the fourth easiest. Neither team faced a gauntlet of great challenges. So what about close games? KC is 7-3 in one-score games, 2-0 in playoffs. The Eagles are 7-1 in one-score games. Similar number, similar results.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘Chip’ on shoulder after not being retained by Andy Reid - ESPN
Sirianni landed a job as a quality control coach with the San Diego Chargers in 2013. He got a little bit of payback that season as the Chargers beat the Chiefs 41-38 in Week 12, prompting a now-familiar demonstrative response from Sirianni. “I was in the press box standing on the [table] like this [waves arms and pumps fist]. I was just so emotional about it,” he said. “But as time goes on and you mature and you think about it, ‘Hey, I needed to go through that, I needed to be in this situation.’ In a sense, you thank God for the things you had to go through because it makes you who you are today.” Sirianni spent five years in San Diego, where he was mentored by Frank Reich. He was hired as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator when Reich became the head coach there in 2018, which led to Sirianni getting the Eagles’ head-coaching gig in 2021. “Did I want to leave Kansas City? No. My future wife was from there, we were engaged at the time, she had a nice teaching job there, she had all her friends there, her mom and dad were a half-hour down the road. Of course I didn’t want to leave there,” Sirianni said. “But when I look at it, God’s always put me in great positions and guided my paths. I know I don’t say stuff like that all the time, but I know he has. “And so, I needed to go to San Diego to learn, to be at a different spot, to be out of a comfort zone, potentially, to meet Frank Reich. To separate there and then go be his coordinator in Indianapolis. Everything happens for a reason.”

Spadaro: Howie Roseman ‘consumed’ with winning the Super Bowl -
There isn’t a moment to spare, and when some people suggest that is the life they’re leading, you sometimes roll your eyes and say, “Yeah, right. How could you have that much going on?” Howie Roseman doesn’t have a minute to spare, truly, and you understand why. He’s “consumed” with winning Super Bowl LVII, of course, but in his world, as General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, there is so much more going on. We’re already one week into February. The clock on the 2023 offseason is ticking, which means that NFL Free Agency starts in five weeks, the 2023 NFL Draft is just a month later, and the Eagles have some heavy decisions to make and, with that, some opportunities to explore. “I’m consumed with freaking trying to balance the Senior Bowl (which was played on Saturday), the East-West Game (college all-star game already played), we have a college (scouting and evaluation) process, we have free agency coming up, and then making sure that we’re supporting all the people on our staff, making sure they are in position to do their jobs really well during this next week,” he says, . “It definitely helps that I’ve gone through this before. We have unbelievable people in this organization and our advance guys – Dan Ryan (Director of Team Travel and Football Logistics) and Jon Ferrari (Assistant General Manager) out in Arizona – our support staff who have done it and who have the experience and that allows me to focus on the things that I need to focus on. I have total trust in them.”

Super Bowl LVII Pre-Preview - Football Outsiders
4) The Chiefs allowed a 36.1% DVOA on “short middle” passes, which ranked 30th in the league. A big part of the problem appears to be linebacker Nick Bolton, who allowed 7.7 yards per pass in coverage with a 33% success rate. Jalen Hurts famously avoided the middle of the field last year but that was not a problem at all this season. In fact, Hurts ranked third in DYAR on passes to the short middle, trailing only Jared Goff and Tua Tagovailoa. A.J. Brown was Hurts’ most common target in this area with 26 targets, but Dallas Goedert was the one who had the most success: 12-of-14 for 169 yards plus an 8-yard DPI. There were also 12 short middle passes to DeVonta Smith, eight to Kenneth Gainwell, and seven to Quez Watkins.

Roob’s Super Bowl Observations: Jalen Hurts’ most remarkable ability - NBCSP
1. What amazes me the most about Jalen Hurts isn’t how he throws the deep ball or how he out-runs defenders on the edge or how he always converts on 4th-and-1 or how much he’s improved his accuracy. The most remarkable thing about Jalen is how level-headed, composed and calm he is in the face of the most intense pressure, in the highest-leverage situations, in the biggest moments. He’s 24. This isn’t normal. In fact, it’s almost spooky how flat-line he is no matter what. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it. The kid was winning games in the SEC when he was 18, so this is nothing new. It’s just how he’s wired. And what it does is allow him to perform at the highest level when the stakes are the greatest. Because he’s focused on the next play and not the enormity of the situation. Seven quarterbacks have started a Super Bowl before their 25th birthday, and the only ones who played remotely well were Tom Brady in 2001 and Patrick Mahomes in 2019. None of the others even had a passer rating over 66. And even Brady and Mahomes had passer ratings of 86.2 and 78.1, and they’re two of the best all-time. The only other one to win a SB at that age was Ben Roethlisberger, who played poorly. This moment is overwhelming, and you have to be at the top of your game both physically and mentally. And it says a lot about Hurts that there’s no doubt in the minds of anyone who’s paying attention that he’ll handle the moment like he’s handled every other moment. With an unreal level of composure. For a few billion people, this is the biggest sporting event in the world. For Hurts, it’s a football game against the Chiefs. Nothing more.

Inside Eagles-Chiefs Super Bowl matchup: What to watch when Philly has the ball - The Athletic
Davante Adams scored a long touchdown on the same route against the Chiefs’ bracket coverage in Week 5 as well. However, the Eagles don’t want to rely on throwing into double coverage. They have a trump card in Goedert, who is one of the most productive tight ends in the league. He could see a lot of targets against the Chiefs’ linebackers and safeties on third and fourth downs. In the playoffs, Spagnuolo has proven time and time again to be one of the best game planners and play callers on the defensive side of the ball. Against the Eagles, he’ll have to deliver one of the best games of his career. It takes a lot of resources to stop the Eagles’ run game, and then they have two targets on the outside who are consistent playmakers. To have a shot, the Chiefs have to

Tom Brady’s Father Tells SI When He Knew His Son Wasn’t Coming Back - SI
The Cardinals’ slower pace has people wondering. Arizona’s identified three finalists—Kafka, Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores and Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo—with at least two other candidates (Vance Joseph, Callahan) now officially out. They’ll interview Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, respectively, over Zoom, and then, presumably, owner Michael Bidwill and new GM Monti Ossenfort will huddle and make their pick. Why are they dragging it out if all this is being done virtually? Well, one theory I’ve heard is that they could be waiting for the Eagles coordinators to get through the Super Bowl. The Cardinals missed their window for first interviews with Steichen and Jonathan Gannon (Philly’s DC) during their GM search, and that meant they weren’t allowed to interview either guy during the window for second interviews over the Super Bowl bye week. The Cardinals haven’t yet put in requests for them, but there are ties here. My understanding is Bidwill and his group put a lot of work in on Steichen by calling around to research him early in the process. And Ossenfort’s actually built a relationship with Gannon, and those two have a close mutual friend in Texans GM Nick Caserio. Now, the Cards could certainly just pick a guy this week and be done with it. But if this drags into next weekend, that could be one reason why.

NFL coaches whose personalities best match their cities: Where do Super Bowl LVII opponents rank? -
1) Nick Sirianni. This seems convenient because of the Eagles’ dominance in their run to the Super Bowl this season. And really, it’s amazing how far this team has come over the past two seasons, because Sirianni was brutal during his introductory press conference, as he’d surely admit. The Eagles started slow, going 9-8 in his first year on the job in 2021, but look at where they are now, coming off a 14-3 campaign and rolling to within one game of winning it all. I wanted to know what real Philly fans thought, so I turned to my friend, ECW legend and Eagles fan Brian Heffron (a.k.a. the Blue Meanie), who told me this: “Philly identifies with Nick through his passion. Philly is a hard-working, passionate city and we recognize those who not only show they are as invested emotionally as we are but hold themselves accountable. Nick has done that time and time again and we love him for that. He is one of us.” You totally see that, too. Especially during the playoffs. Securing a second Super Bowl win for the franchise — against Reid, who has the most regular-season wins in Eagles history — would only further endear Sirianni to Philly.

Brandon Graham credits Nick Sirianni for making football fun for the Eagles - PFT
“You’ve got a coach who’s young, who’s being him, just having fun,” Graham said. “It’s a game, so he tries to make it fun for us. That’s how you get the most out of your players. When you try not to make a game fun, and it’s too serious, it ain’t gonna end well for you on game day.”

Donna Kelce brings cookies to Super Bowl LVII Opening Night - Arrowhead Pride
Their mother Donna Kelce walked onto the stage, bringing out Tupperware containers full of cookies to give her sons some relief — and fuel — for a very busy night full of interviews. Mother Kelce is also a possible option to do the coin toss before the game, according to a petition mentioned by Irvin. If that does come true, Jason Kelce will be a part of the preparation.

Statistics that bode well for the Cowboys after hiring Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator - Blogging The Boys
The Seahawks were one of the more efficient teams when passing the football in the red zone. In 2018 Russell Wilson threw the fourth most touchdowns in the red zone (23), went on to lead the league in 2019 (25), and was second in 2020 (29). It’s noteworthy that Schottenheimer will now have a quarterback that’s much more consistent at reading the middle of the field when compared to Russell Wilson. Overall, the Cowboys hiring Brian Schottenheimer wasn’t some amazing home run hire, but it brings a fresh mind to an offense that’s lacked consistency.


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