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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s passing offense struggles are a ‘mirage’

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/20/23.

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Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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

Real or mirage? Evaluating NFL trends in the first two weeks - ESPN+
The early surprise: The Eagles are ranked 21st in passing offense. The verdict: Mirage. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ passing offense have shown some rust in averaging 162.5 yards per game, but the early struggles can be largely tied to how opponents are playing them. Defenses are dropping seven and eight men into coverage and keeping the safeties back to prevent big plays downfield. If Philadelphia continues to run the ball effectively (more than 250 rushing yards in Week 2), it’ll force defenses to change their approach, which should open things up through the air.

Eagles notebook: Why Eagles aren’t panicking about lackluster passing offense - NBCSP
Hurts through two games hasn’t looked like the MVP-runner up version of himself from 2022. While he has completed 71.4% of his passes (well above his career mark of 62.3% coming into the season), he hasn’t looked nearly as comfortable in the pocket, has made some bad decisions and has taken too many sacks. Like Sirianni said, you do have to give some credit to the defenses. Bill Belichick muddied the waters pretty successfully in the opener and Brian Flores had a wacky game plan in Week 2, either blitzing or dropping everyone on just about every play. As the Eagles get ready to face the Todd Bowles defense in Tampa in Week 3, Hurts can expect to see a ton of pressure in his face again. But the hope for the Eagles has to be that talent wins out and things get easier as time goes on with a new offensive coordinator. There’s just too much talent on offense to be held down forever. Hurts had a tremendous summer. The Eagles still have a great offensive line. And their top three weapons — A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert — are still dangerous.

Eagles Film Analysis: All-22 offense takeaways from the Vikings game - BGN
This was a fascinating game on offense because the Vikings’ defense was just hilariously weird. I’m sure a lot of you have seen the stats, but it felt like the Vikings either blitzed 6 or dropped 8 into coverage on every single play. There will be a theme to a lot of these clips, and that is that the offense wanted to go down the field—a LOT. I am OK with this overall, but this was the second play of the game and it’s a 2-man route concept with no checkdown available at all. I thought Brian Johnson did some good things in this one at times, but I’m going to argue that only running a 2-man concept is not good and that it’s no surprise Jalen Hurts looked uncomfortable in the pocket early on. What’s he meant to do here? Another note: the Eagles may have run Dagger (vertical route with deep dig behind it) about 20 times in this game and I’m not joking. They might need to mix it up a bit more moving forward because it got predictable.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.128: The NFC Beast Is Off And Running - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa recap the Week 2 action in the division and look ahead to Week 3.

NFL offensive line rankings ahead of Week 3 - PFF
Philadelphia ran for 121 yards before contact against the Vikings, which was the most by any team in the first two weeks of the season. Left tackle Jordan Mailata earned a 96.9 PFF grade against Minnesota, which is the highest individual game grade by an offensive tackle since 2010. Best player: Lane Johnson. Johnson did not give up a single pressure in Thursday night’s game and earned an 84.6 pass-blocking grade.

’When it’s your turn, you make the most of it’ -
Cornerback Darius Slay just wanted to take a moment to recognize the unsung players who contributed to Thursday night’s win over Minnesota. They were largely ignored by the swarms of reporters in the Lincoln Financial Field locker room, but Slay wasn’t having any of that. He wanted to shout out Josh Jobe and Mario Goodrich and Eli Ricks and others. The young guys who stepped up. The ones who made the most of an opportunity. “We’re always preaching next-man mentality and those guys were ready to go,” Slay said. “At any given time, they know it can be them. I’m thankful for this group. I know it was tough on them. We throw a lot at them and we had Minnesota coming in here with a great offense, one of the best receivers in the league. “Our guys, they stepped up real big at a critical moment. It was good. We had fun out there and won a game. The guys were prepared and they played hard. We have to correct some things – we ain’t all perfect – and that’s the next step.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame announces 173 Modern-Era nominees for 2024 class - PFT
Quarterbacks: Marc Bulger, Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Doug Flutie, Rich Gannon, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Michael Vick.

TRUE OR FALSE: Cowboys NFL’s best team? Bengals in real trouble? Patriots cooked? Josh Allen BACK? -
1) Cowboys = NFL’s best team today. I’m obsessed with the Cowboys, who just made quite a mark on the New York/New Jersey area. The ‘Boys deserved all of the praise they received for lambasting the Giants at MetLife Stadium, 40-0. Seven days later, they manhandled the visiting Jets at Jerry World, 30-10. Unsurprisingly, Dallas’ +60 point differential leads the league by a considerable margin. Mike McCarthy has done a fantastic job juggling his dual roles as offensive play-caller and head coach. This team comes out ready to rock on both sides of the ball. In prior years — heck, basically since the Jimmy Johnson days — Dallas routinely messed around to start a season, playing down to the level of inferior competition. But on Sunday, McCarthy’s charges played brilliant, disciplined, hardnosed, team-oriented football in every single phase. Dan Quinn’s defense is amazing, suffocating opposing quarterbacks with relentless pressure and tiny throwing windows. Dak Prescott was brilliant against Gang Green, connecting with CeeDee Lamb 11 times (on 13 targets) for 143 yards, while also spreading the ball around to a bevy of backs and tight ends. But despite all of that, I have to say the statement above is false — just barely.

After years of waiting for a championship QB, Cowboys defense may be the difference - Blogging The Boys
Quarterbacks have always received a disproportionate amount of the credit and blame for their teams’ championship success rate. The Dallas Cowboys have certainly been no different; Dak Prescott and Tony Romo have been criticized for not accomplishing what Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach did before them. But with the way the Cowboys’ defense is looking in 2023, the quarterback’s job may be getting a whole lot easier. After shutting out the Giants in the season opener and holding the Jets to just 10 points last Sunday, Dallas’ defense had spearheaded an unbelievable +60 margin of victory over the first games of the year. With one touchdown scored off an interception, six other turnovers generated, ten sacks, and just about anything else you could ask for, Dan Quinn’s crew has already put the NFL on notice.

Giants-49ers injury report: Brian Daboll not ruling Saquon Barkley out for Thursday - Big Blue View
Odds are it is just gamesmanship, but New York Giants coach Brian Daboll on Tuesday refused to rule star running back Saquon Barkley out for Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Reports are that Barkley is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with an ankle sprain suffered Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Daboll said that Barkley has made “considerable progress” since being injured late in Sunday’s game.

Washington Roster Update: Camaron Cheeseman keeps his job after 5 long snappers get tryouts - Hogs Haven
The fact that a long snapper has been getting headlines over multiple weeks is never a good thing, and that’s a problem for the Washington Commanders. Camaron Cheeseman was drafted to be a stable player who never got much attention from fans unless they watched Tress Way’s Hang Time online show. Cheeseman reportedly changed up his snapping technique before this offseason, but there have been issues since training camp, and now they’re showing up in the games that count.

6 NFL teams that could make Deion Sanders their biggest head coaching target in 2024 - SB Nation
Dallas Cowboys Like the Falcons, Dallas is 2-0. The Cowboys should be legitimate Super Bowl contender and if they fall short, owner Jerry Jones could finally pull the plug on coach Mike McCarthy. it has been rumored at the end of many recent seasons. It’s bound to happen at some time. Jones and Sanders are close (he played for Dallas for five years and was part of their last Super Bowl winning team). Jones has been complimentary of Sanders the coach. Who says this couldn’t happen? [...] Washington Commanders. There is a new ownership group in Washington and if it wants to make a big new hire, Sanders would be a sizzle hire. He played in Washington in 2000, and the fan base would be fired up.


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