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Eagles News: Brian Johnson had a “miserable debut” as Philadelphia’s play-caller

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/11/23.

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NFL: JAN 29 NFC Championship - 49ers at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Roob’s Observations: Eagles open 2023 season with ugly win over Patriots - NBCSP
2. This was Brian Johnson’s first game as an NFL play caller and honestly it was a miserable debut. After a long field goal drive to open the game and a touchdown on a short field after a turnover, the Eagles proceeded to net two yards on their next five drives. It was just dreadful offense – boring, conservative - and most of the time it was hard to even understand what the Eagles were trying to do, how they were trying to attack. The offense looked slow and unimaginative, Jalen Hurts was uncomfortable and out of sorts, the running attack seemed predictable, and the lauded offensive line looked average. Hurts didn’t complete a pass longer than nine yards until the third quarter and for the first time in his career as a starter didn’t complete a pass over 15 yards. Where was Dallas Goedert? He was targeted once. Where was D’Andre Swift? He didn’t have any carries until the fourth quarter. Where was the high-powered passing game? It generated just 154 net yards. Johnson was never able to get the offense into any sort of rhythm and take away seven points on Darius Slay’s pick-6 and the offense managed just 18 points, went 4-for-13 on third down, netted 251 yards, averaged under 4.0 yards per rushing attempt and gave up three sacks. Johnson and the offense have the luxury of knowing there’s a ton to fix but still getting the win. But win or not, there’s a ton of work to do.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Patriots game - PhillyVoice
3) The ‘Stagnant’ Award: The Eagles’ offense. The Eagles only scored one touchdown on the day, and it came on a 26-yard drive following Davis’ aforementioned forced fumble. They punted four times in the second quarter on four straight three-and-outs. The offensive line had an uncharacteristically shaky day, the receivers weren’t consistently getting open down the field, and Jalen Hurts had a fumble late in the fourth quarter that nearly cost the Eagles the game. They were very fortunate that the Patriots did not make enough plays of their own to win this game.

Eagles vs. Patriots: The good, the bad, and the ugly - BGN
The Eagles’ second quarter. Last year, the Eagles owned the second quarter. This was not a very good start to 2023. The offense underwent four-straight three-and-outs, which only happened once last year, though never under Hurts. The Eagles only picked up 19 yards of total offense, while the defense gave up 137 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, new/old Patriots’ offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien picked them apart once he figured them out. O’Brien found a soft underbelly through the middle of the field and Jones exploited it, ending the half by completing 10-straight passes. Everything the Eagles tried in the second quarter offensively was stymied after the first drive of the game. The Eagles established a new team record with 70 sacks last season and went the first 30 minutes without one—against two starting rookie guards.

BGN Instant Reaction Show - Week 1: Eagles win and we’re furious, football is so back - BGN Radio
Jess Taylor, Shane Haff and Victor Williams react to the Eagles unnecessarily dramatic 25-20 win over the Patriots! PLUS Michael Kist drops in to riff on Three Words!

Eagles Dominate Patriots With Perfect Performance - Iggles Blitz
Let’s make sure we give the Patriots a lot of credit. That was a Top 10 defense last year and they added impact rookies in CB Christian Gonzalez and DL Keion White. Bill Belichick then had the entire offseason to come up with a creative gameplan to slow down Hurts and the Eagles. You hate to give the hooded one credit, but he definitely deserved it today. Their scheme really affected Hurts. Dallas Goedert only had one pass thrown his way and it wasn’t very close. The Pats did a good job on him at times and Hurts just missed seeing him at other times. Tony Romo showed a few plays where Goedert was wide open for huge plays. Hurts just missed him. The coaches should have done a better job of forcing the ball to him with screens or quick routes.

Week 1: Tagovailoa bursts back as Rams, Browns, 49ers lead surprise-filled NFL weekend - FMIA
Jalen Carter, Philadelphia DT. Take a victory lap, Howie Roseman, for getting Carter ninth overall last April. How about this for Carter’s NFL debut, per NFL Next Gen stats: In 32 pass-rushes at Foxboro Sunday, Carter had a sack and six pressures as the Eagles held on to nip New England. (I can pretty much guarantee that Howie Roseman won’t be taking a victory lap about this.)

2023 NFL season, Week 1: What We Learned from Sunday’s games -
Eagles’ offense looks rusty to open the season. Perhaps it’s simply the product of facing a good Bill Belichick defense, with horses up front and months to prepare, but Philly’s offense looked like a shell of what we saw last season. The Eagles couldn’t punch it in outside of a short-field TD, settling for four field goals. Jalen Hurts rarely took deep shots, with only one Eagles pass play going for more than 15 yards. The ground game was stymied (3.9 yards per attempt on 25 carries), and Hurts flubbed what could have been a game-changing fumble late in the contest. Philly finished with 251 total yards and 17 first downs. The Eagles went 4 for 13 on third-down conversions and 0 for 1 on fourth down. Just two drives made it to the red zone (first two of the game). The lack of chunk plays and the consistent pressure on Hurts behind one of the best O-lines in the NFL were not what we’d grown accustomed to seeing.

The Eagles won, but they have some reason for concern after the offense struggled vs. the Patriots - Inquirer
“I don’t know what their game plan was,” receiver DeVonta Smith said. “They did a great job of disguising their coverage. We never knew what they were doing, so I honestly can’t tell you what they were doing.” According to receiver A.J. Brown, the Patriots were trusting their cornerbacks on the outside, but clogging up the middle with defenders passing off in match-up zones. “I think Belichick did a really good job of just throwing lots of stuff at us,” Brown said. “Changing a lot of things up at the last minute, and it was tough. I don’t think we were not prepared, but I just think he was throwing so many curveballs and it was just hard to adjust.”

Ugly win over Patriots is reminder that this year’s Eagles have their own journey - The Athletic
Part of the beauty of Week 1 is that the coaches are finally forced to tell the truth about the depth chart. The most surprising truth bomb was probably at running back, where Kenneth Gainwell played the role of lead back. He was on the field for 38 of 61 offensive snaps and had 18 offensive touches (14 carries for 54 yards, four catches for 20 yards) while D’Andre Swift and Boston Scott both had just one carry and one catch. Rashaad Penny, meanwhile, was inactive. Sirianni said after the game he never wants to leave a game with Swift having just one carry, but there’s no doubting now who he trusts most in the backfield. On defense, Evans and Cunningham got the starting nods, though Elliss rotated in even before Dean’s injury. The most interesting development for the defense in Sean Desai’s first game as coordinator might have been how heavily it leaned on even fronts. By my count, the Eagles lined up in a regular nickel formation — with four down linemen, two linebackers and five defensive backs — about 85 percent of the time on Sunday. That meant only a handful of snaps with a true nose tackle. Maybe that was matchup-dependent or in response to the Patriots’ own personnel groupings. We’ll find out more on that front soon.

Spadaro: 15 takeaways from the Eagles’ win over the Patriots -
1. Huge defensive effort, particularly late in the fourth quarter after a Jalen Hurts fumble was recovered by New England at the Philadelphia 41-yard line with 3 minutes, 28 seconds remaining. After Ezekiel Elliott gained 5 yards, the defensive line came up big. Josh Sweat and Jordan Davis sacked quarterback Mac Jones for a 7-yard loss on second down, Milton Williams put pressure on Jones on a downfield throw on which cornerback Darius Slay (more on him later) made a nice breakup, and then on fourth-and-17, the line again put some pressure on Jones and made him throw incomplete. Then, after the Eagles failed on a fourth-and-2 play with two minutes remaining, the defense gave a little, gave a little, but ultimately held on downs.

This defense is legit, and more takeaways from the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles - Pats Pulpit
1. The New England defense is legit: The Patriots’ defense was facing a tough task on Sunday, going against one of the best offenses in the league with playmakers all over the field. And yet, they were held to only one touchdown that came on a short field after an Ezekiel Elliott fumble in the first quarter. Other than that and a pick-six, it was only field goals for the Eagles, and they were held under 300 yards of total offense for the game. “There’s no secret potion to it. It just comes down to everybody being on the same page, understanding the situation that we’re in, as far as third down or fourth down, and just recognizing what Philly gave to us,” said Ja’Whaun Bentley after the game. “I thought we did a solid job of that. Obviously, you want to come out with the win, but I thought we put ourselves in a great position.” Fellow linebacker Matthew Judon echoed those thoughts. “I believe that we just know what our defense can do. We know how we can move pieces,” he said. “Everybody’s interchangeable. Just making him have to read our defense. We’re not trying to let him or any other offense dictate the game. We’re trying to dictate the game; we’re trying to be aggressive.” To play that well against a dominant offense was impressive, and an encouraging sign of things to come. If the defense continues to play the way they have, the Patriots are going to be in most games this season.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Stock Report: 12 stock ups after Dallas dismantles division rival - Blogging The Boys
It did not take long for the Dallas Cowboys to announce themselves to the world. They are for real and they should absolutely be mentioned as a Super Bowl contender. At a certain point the score felt like it would be meaningless. Maybe that point was halftime. Perhaps it was after the first touchdown of the game. However you want to look at it, the Cowboys jumped out of the gate and pushed the New York Giants out of their way at every possible turn. There was very little to be upset about with the way Dallas played in the season opener. They are among the half of the league who will finish Week 1 undefeated and are 1-0 in division with a road win already under their belt. It should come as no surprise that we only have positive stock ups to hand out.

Giants-Cowboys ‘things I think’: Shocked Giants still not ready for prime time - Big Blue View
Disaster. I think that is perhaps the only family-friendly word you can use to describe the embarrassing performance by the New York Giants on Sunday night in a 40-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. A team that made the playoffs a year ago, that believes it is on the rise, that spent the offseason adding play-making weapons and had a widely-praised draft, and that had raised hopes it was capable of playing with the big boys in the NFC, got obliterated on national television. “Obviously, it wasn’t good enough,” said head coach Brian Daboll. “No area was good enough tonight, from protection to coaching to running to tackling, whatever it may be. You name it, it wasn’t good enough.” By total points, this was the seventh-worst loss in franchise history. It was the Giants’ second-worst loss ever to Dallas, and the first time they have been shut out by the Cowboys since 1996. This was the most one-sided opening day loss in Giants history, overtaking another home loss to the Cowboys. On Sept. 4, 1995, they lost to Dallas, 35-0.

The Washington Commanders defeat the Arizona Cardinals 20-16 - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders came into their season opener as 7-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals. They didn’t play like the favorites, and were down 13-10 at half time. They had three turnovers in the first half, but they turned that around in the second half when Montez Sweat and the defense took over the game.

2023 Roster Breakdowns - Over The Cap
I define homegrown talent as a player who was either drafted by or originally signed as a UDFA by the team that the player currently plays on. On average 61% of a team’s roster comes from their own draft process with the rest coming from free agency, trades, waiver claims, etc…Having a high number of homegrown players does not mean that a team has necessarily drafted well but it does give insight into how they are attempting to build and develop their current roster. The teams with the largest percentage of homegrown players are the Cowboys (80%), Rams (79.6%), and Buccaneers (72.7%). On the bottom are the Cardinals (44.4%), Panthers (45.6%), and Raiders (46.6%).

20 Very Important Questions for Hologram Jerry Jones - The Ringer
This week in “Too much money and not enough sense,” the Dallas Cowboys debuted the latest attraction at AT&T Stadium: an AI-driven hologram of owner Jerry Jones. What a preposterous sentence! I swear this is a real thing. From the looks of it, Hologram Jerry lives in a box somewhere inside the stadium, and for the low, low price of $55, you can “meet” and ask him questions as part of something called the “Owner’s Experience,” which I assume just involves getting plastered on scotch and complaining about running back pay. Obviously, no one asked for this—or, well, presumably just one person did. I would pay far more than $55 to see the Cowboys intern group chat on whatever day the Organic Jerry called this meeting to pitch turning himself into a bot. Either that’s how this happened, or it’s actually just the real one back there, looking for people to talk to.

The NFL’s emergency quarterback rule, explained - SB Nation
The designation can only apply to QBs on a 53-man roster. Practice squad quarterbacks are not eligible to be an emergency quarterback. This rule again seeks to prevent teams from circumventing the rule and buying an additional roster spot. According to this piece from NBC Sports Boston, the New England Patriots were trying to exploit this loophole with Matt Corral and Bailey Zappe, leading to a clarification from the league. During games, a team can activate the emergency quarterback if the two active quarterbacks cannot play due to injury or ejection. Benching one of the active quarterbacks does not allow a team to put the emergency quarterback into the game. Should one of the active quarterbacks later be cleared to return to action, the emergency QB must be removed and can only return to the game with another injury or a later ejection. The player designated as the emergency quarterback can participate in pregame warmups.


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