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Eagles News: Josh Sweat is off to a hot start

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/16/23.

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Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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What we learned from Eagles-Vikings: Jalen Hurts has adjustments to make. Brian Johnson is still finding his rhythm - Inquirer
Georgia youngsters aside, Josh Sweat was the team’s main disruptor against Minnesota backup left tackle Olisaemeka Udoh and even generated pressure from the 4i-technique on Thursday. He finished with a game-high eight pressures according to Pro Football Focus, which was the most he’s had in his career. Sweat’s strip-sack at the start of the third quarter — along with the Terrell Edmunds forced fumble at the end of the first half — generated a 10-point swing that helped the offense stay in its run-first form for the rest of the game.

Cameras caught A.J. Brown frustrated on the sideline Thursday night, but Jalen Hurts didn’t want to make it a big deal - BGN
This feels like a situation that is being blown out of proportion. Of course Brown wants the ball, and of course he’s going to make that known — if that was, in fact, what he was complaining about on the sideline. But he and the rest of the team have a few days off, and hopefully come back next week with a fresh mentality, ready to tackle their next opponent.

More on Hurts - Iggles Blitz
Hurts has struggled with decision-making more than anything. Defenses have given him a lot to look at and Hurts has had a tough time making good reads and decisions. That will get sorted out. I was highly frustrated on Thursday when he took a pair of sacks with the Eagles in FG range. Just throw the ball away and kick the FG. That mistake put the game in danger. Nick Sirianni preaches the importance of situational football. Hurts should have known that the one thing he couldn’t do was take sacks.

How did DeVonta Smith get so open? Breaking down Eagles’ 63-yard TD vs. Vikings - The Athletic
After the snap, Harrison Smith read Hurts’ eyes and opened up to help on Goedert. DeVonta Smith took an outside release but didn’t run at full speed, presumably to try to beat Evans with tempo. Evans seemed slow to open up and might have wanted to trigger on the running back, knowing the offense only needed 4 yards. Evans also might have been confused about the coverage and thought Harrison Smith would help him deep. Once DeVonta Smith closed the cushion, he took off while Evans still had his eyes in the backfield. We can’t know for sure if Evans or Harrison Smith was at fault without knowing the defensive call, but based on what everyone else was doing and the fact that Smith is a 12-year veteran, Evans seems most likely to be at fault.

Duffy: How Brian Johnson and Jalen Hurts teamed up to beat the blitz -
Earlier this week, I wrote about the Minnesota Vikings’ defense and Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores’ pressure package. This has historically been one of the most difficult puzzles to crack in the NFL in recent seasons, and has been known to give quarterbacks, both young and old, fits over the years. The Vikings blitzed more than any team in the league in Week 1 while also managing to lead the NFL in 3-man rushes in the same game. That’s a wild combination that can keep quarterbacks guessing about what they’re going to get. Last week, the Bucs began the game 0-for-6 on third down, but managed to crack the code and create some big plays late in the game. The Eagles found a different, and more explosive, way to do the same thing with some mid-game adjustments, all while facing a different kind of coverage. Last week, on a third-down snap late in the first quarter, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick ran a coverage that stumped CBS Color Commentator and longtime NFL quarterback Tony Romo. On the play, it looked like Cover 0, an all-out blitz with straight man-to-man coverage across the board. Except ... it wasn’t. It was a well-disguised zone match coverage, and it helped get the Patriots off the field on third down. Flores ended up leaning on the very same coverage in this game against the Eagles and a chess match ensued.

Edmunds waited a long time for first-career forced fumble - NBCSP
Entering Thursday night’s game, Eagles safety Terrell Edmunds had played in 81 career games and had been on the field for over 4,900 defensive snaps, but he had never forced a fumble. He found a good time to end that drought. Late in the second quarter, as the Eagles were clinging to a three-point lead, the Vikings looked like they were about to take a lead of their own but as All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson reached for the pylon, Edmunds knocked the ball free and through the end zone. After a replay, the officials got it right and the Eagles got the ball at their own 20. On the ensuing drive, Jake Elliott kicked a 61-yard field goal to go up 13-7 at halftime and the Eagles were able to walk away with a 34-28 win. “Man, it was a huge moment,” Edmunds said. “It was a long game so you never really know what could happen. That was a key part just to get our offense back on the field and stop them from scoring and take the lead. We just had to keep on playing. We made numerous plays out there. No one play is bigger than the other but sometimes the situation (is).”

Sean McVay is hopeful Cooper Kupp can return for Week 5 vs. Eagles - PFT
The Rams placed receiver Cooper Kupp in injured reserve before Week 1. Coach Sean McVay hopes Kupp can return from IR for Week 5, against the Eagles. “We are hopeful about that,” McVay told reporters on Friday. “I want to be careful to say, but the reason that we put him on IR was so that you know if it’s going to be those four weeks that he’s mandated to be able to miss and then we can take him off of the IR and be available for that fifth week. That was the reason that we made that decision that we did last week because you don’t know what’s going to really come up. It doesn’t put a timetable on really rushing him back, allowing him to be able to go throughout a thorough process. He’s so conscientious and I think he wanted to be out there so bad that sometimes it’s, all right, well let’s protect you from you because you’re such an elite competitor. I want to be careful to put the cart before the horse that they say, but I’m hopeful about that.”

Cowboys point/counterpoint: Separating reality from hopefulness - Blogging The Boys
Tom: There are a lot of elements that make me worry the Sunday night massacre was not a good indication of what the Cowboys have. Even if Dallas is better than we thought, it is also possible that the Giants are just that bad. That rain had to have an effect, and there will be perfect conditions inside AT&T Stadium this weekend. Defenses tend to start the season more ready than offenses, and if one team has a better defense, that can be magnified. The Cowboys jumped out to a huge first quarter lead on touchdowns by the special teams and the defense, which is not likely to happen this Sunday. And one thing I think is not talked about enough is how Mike McCarthy, Dan Quinn, and John Fassell had their players ready for the game after the starters sat out the entire preseason. With the abbreviated preseason schedule, many teams look rusty and out of sync in the first game now. That certainly was not the case for Dallas. All of that leads to musing on whether we really know what the Cowboys are just yet. The Jets may be a much better test, particularly when their defense is on the field.

Big Blue View mailbag: Evan Neal ... and a few other topics - Big Blue View
I understand this question. I really do. My answer, though, is going to be the same as it was last season and during the offseason leading up to this season. It isn’t time yet. The Giants drafted Neal No. 7 overall because they believed he could be the team’s right tackle for the next several years. One awful game into his second season isn’t time to give up yet. Now, if the type of play he exhibited on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys becomes the norm, or if it just becomes obvious that he isn’t up to handling the job out on the outside, then I do think a move to guard could be possible. When? I honestly don’t think that would happen until next season. Maybe the second half of this season if things are really bad, but to be fair to the young man you actually have to give him a real opportunity to practice inside so that he has a chance to perform there. I believe the Giants would like to give him this season, unless it simply becomes untenable. I am not giving up on the idea that Neal can take steps forward this season after one game.

With road trip to Denver this week, Commanders fans are concerned about OL play and a strong NFC East - Hogs Haven
Commanders fans collectively spent the offseason wringing our hands with concern about the offensive line. It had been terrible in 2022, and the front office took notice and took action by parting ways with Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell — both signed in an unsuccessful effort to bolster the OL last offseason — and adding a couple of free agents. Right tackle Andrew Wylie was signed from the roster of the super bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5), while Nick Gates came over from the Giants to fill the shoes of Chase Roullier, who retired after back-to-back seasons with serious leg injuries. The issue, of course, was that fans felt that the team hadn’t done enough to improve the line. The top two draft picks were defensive backs, and the 5-man starting group didn’t really inspire confidence; the depth behind them even less so.

Absolute genius reveals Taylor Swift’s master plan with Travis Kelce on TikTok - SB Nation
Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift are reportedly “quietly hanging out,” and that vague tip was all the content machine needed to work into overdrive. Jason Kelce was asked about the rumors after the Philadelphia Eagles’ win on Thursday Night Football this week, while our James Dator is already envisioning what their breakup will look like from a songwriting perspective.

TGIFootball #6: Ryan Fitzpatrick, and previewing Week 2 in the NFL - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Stephen Serda start things off by breaking down Thursday night’s shootout between the Eagles and Vikings. Before we preview every Week 2 contest across the NFL–RJ is joined by former NFL quarterback Ryan “Fitzmagic” Fitzpatrick.


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