Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Jalen Hurts finds ‘a little extra inspiration’ as Eagles tangle with Buccaneers - Inquirer
One of those things stored in Hurts’ memory bank going into Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium will be Hurts’ lackluster playoff debut there two seasons ago. Another will be the words said on the opposite sideline there during the blustery wild-card round loss that wasn’t as close as the 31-15 score would suggest. A few days after the game, an NFL Films clip showed Bucs cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross telling players that Hurts “can’t read” a defense. When asked if that clip would be on his mind in the lead-up to the game, Hurts hinted it would give him some added motivation.“I’m wired to give my best and play to my standard,” Hurts said. “But a little extra inspiration never hurts.”
Eagles notebook: Jalen Hurts on benefit of seeing unscouted looks early - NBCSP
The Eagles had one of the highest-powered offenses in the NFL last season, led by an MVP runner-up at quarterback. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve seen a bunch of unscouted looks early in 2023 against Bill Belichick and Brian Flores. And maybe that’s part of the reason why we’ve seen the passing offense get off to a slower start in 2023 than many expected. “But it’ll come to a point where you can’t do anymore new looks,” Jalen Hurts said this week. So maybe the good news is that all this chaos defenses are throwing at the Eagles will help in the long run. Jalen Hurts thinks so. “I’m a sponge. We’re all sponges,” Hurts said. “I’m definitely a sponge and soaking in everything that I see. And so if you get me once, the plan is for you not to get me again.” The Eagles have been able to adjust in each of their first two games and while it wasn’t necessarily always pretty, they escaped with a 2-0 record. The idea is that once they encounter something defensively for a second or third time, it’ll get easier to adjust to it. They’ll know where to go.
Cowboys, Commanders, and Giants all LOSE ahead of Eagles’ Monday night game - BGN
It’s been a nice mini-bye for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Birds got to sit back and watch all three of their division rivals lose in Week 3. It started with the New York Giants getting beat comfortably by the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, as expected. It continued in Sunday’s early game window with the Washington Commanders suffering a 34-point blowout home loss to the Buffalo Bills. It concluded with the Dallas Cowboys entering their game against the Arizona Cardinals as 12.5-point road favorites and losing by two possessions.
Welcome to the Bakery: A look at Baker Mayfield’s first two games with the Buccaneers - Bucs Nation
Tampa’s offensive line was an expected weak spot for their team heading into the season. This week, against Philadelphia, they will pitted against their toughest foe yet and it’s likely Baker Mayfield will need to continue to assist his blockers by becoming his own blocker from time to time to ensure Tampa Bay’s offense maintains its pace. With Baker Mayfield’s current mailing address being One Buc Place. Tampa Bay is the home of the bakery. The Buccaneers’ quarterback has the team sailing on smooth seas at 2-0. After Tampa’s duel against the Philadelphia Eagles, we’ll revisit the bakery and check back in on its head chef.
Eagles boast two No. 1 receivers in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith - ESPN
SOME FRUSTRATION HAS crept in, and Brown’s surfaced prior to the start of the fourth quarter against the Vikings. Cameras showed him having an animated conversation with Hurts on the sideline, compelling coach Nick Sirianni to interject. A team source said the interaction was over a play that unfolded minutes prior in which Brown was the primary read and Hurts went a different direction. Brown, who finished with four catches for 29 yards, left the stadium without speaking to reporters, later saying his emotions were running hot. He downplayed the exchange, ranking it as a 0.5 on a scale of one to 10. Not only are current circumstances creating fewer chances for Brown and Smith — and moments of consternation — but the dynamics are shifting under them. As first-time captains, both are assuming leadership roles. “I’ll be that guy to have uncomfortable conversations,” Brown said, referencing his talk with Hurts. “There’s a reason why I got the ‘C’ on my chest.”
Mailbag: Is the Eagles’ offensive line still elite? - PhillyVoice
In 2022, the Eagles took 48 sacks (44 during the regular season, four in the playoffs). When we assigned blame for each of those 48 sacks, it was determined that offensive linemen were responsible for 18.5 of them. In 2021, the Eagles took 32 sacks. I assigned blame to offensive linemen for 14.5 of them. In other words, Jalen Hurts being sacked a bunch of times doesn’t necessarily mean the offensive line is at fault. Here are the seven sacks the Eagles have allowed so far, with what I see on each sack thereafter [...] Of the Eagles’ 7 sacks allowed this season, 5 were not on the O-line, and they have mauled in the run game. I think you can still feel good about them.
Game Preview – PHI at TB - Iggles Blitz
The numbers look great. The tape is a bit more up and down. It felt like a lot of that was Mayfield getting the ball to Evans and letting his star receiver make plays. The Eagles need a good plan for handling Evans. They could have Darius Slay follow him around. Tampa is mixing Evans in the slot at times. The Eagles could play Bradberry inside to help deal with that. If not, Mario Goodrich will get the start and play a key role. It will be interesting to see what kind of a plan Sean Desai puts together. With the Bucs revamped OL, the Eagles front must get pressure on Mayfield. This could be the week that Haason Reddick has his breakout game. He’ll be going against Luke Goedeke, who has moved from OG to RT this year. Tampa will give Goedeke help, but they can’t do that on every play. Jalen Carter needs to have a big game. He’ll have the advantage on the guys he’s going against. We need to see some improvement from the Eagles defense. They blew leads in each of the first two weeks. This is a game where they need to take a big step forward. It would also help if they could stay healthy.
FMIA Week 3: De’Von Achane’s Not-Undersized Impact and C.J. Stroud’s “Grown Men”- PFT
Perfection. Pretty hard to achieve. By midnight tonight ET, assuming the Eagles and Bucs do not tie, the NFL will have three unbeaten teams: 3-0 Miami, 3-0 San Francisco and the 3-0 winner of Philly-Tampa. Five perfectos bit dust Sunday.
Game Preview: Eagles vs. Buccaneers – 6 storylines to follow - PE.com
1. The turnover ratio looms large. Mayfield has been at his best in the two wins, largely because he has had great ball security, with zero giveaways. He was 21-of-34 with two touchdown passes in the Week 1 win over Minnesota and then he went 26-of-34 for 317 yards and a TD against Chicago. That’s 68 passes without an interception. Tampa Bay has given him solid protection, the Bucs have run the ball just enough, and Mayfield has been efficient. Tampa Bay also has five takeaways against an Eagles defense/special teams with six takeaways, so the turnover ratio, as always, is a very important statistic to win in this game. It’s not a whole lot different than any other game, but it emphasizes one of the primary reasons the Bucs are 2-0: The offense hasn’t made mistakes.
2023 NFL season, Week 3: What We Learned from Sunday’s games - NFL.com
Cowboys can’t dig out of unfamiliar deficit. Dallas had found the sailing to be rather smooth through the first two weeks, cruising to blowout wins over the Giants and Jets without needing to do too much offensively. Week 3 was a different story, though, with Arizona racing out to a 15-3 lead and applying pressure on the Cowboys for the first time in 2023. Dallas slowly chipped away at the lead and appeared primed to complete a comeback after trimming the deficit to five points in the fourth quarter. Instead, the Cowboys slipped at the worst possible time, failing to convert on fourth-and-3 from Arizona’s 4-yard line late in the fourth quarter. When they needed to mount a double-digit comeback, they fell short. Claiming this is a sign of things to come would be extreme, but it is a good lesson for the Cowboys: That star on the helmet isn’t going to convince the opponent to surrender on sight.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Stock Report: 7 stocks down after disappointing loss - Blogging The Boys
Stock Down: Mike McCarthy. Obviously we just talked about McCarthy above this, but as the head coach (independent of his play-calling duties) he deserves a lot of criticism for this game. Dallas had the look of a team that thought they could walk in and collect a win that they were entitled to. They looked sloppy and under-prepared and as if they bought all of the hype that the world threw at their feet over the season’s first two weeks. It is true that it was just one game, but if the Cowboys are truly going to be competitive this season then this one loss may wind up being critical. The difference between 12-5 or 13-4 (using these records as an example) is staggering and this loss could very well be that. More than that this loss, as a result of this idea, adds to the pressure of needing to win the games against higher-quality opponents. Losses are understandable and are inevitable to a certain degree. But getting completely and totally over-matched cannot happen again.
Giants-Seahawks opening odds: Giants are underdogs at home - Big Blue View
The Seattle Seahawks are entering Week 4 on a two-game win streak, but oddsmakers are still expecting a close game with the New York Giants. Seattle is favored by 1.5 points at DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under is set at 45 points, and the Giants have +102 moneyline odds. It’s an unsurprising line for two teams who still haven’t quite proven that they can hang with the true powerhouses of the NFC. The Giants and Seahawks were the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, respectively, in the playoffs last year. Seattle lost in the first round and New York advanced to the Divisional Round. Seattle beat the Giants 27-13 in the regular season that year as three-point favorites.
Washington Commanders Vs Buffalo Bills - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven
Sam Howell - This was about as bad a day as Sam could have had. It got progressively worse as the game went on and the pressures kept coming. Bad decision after bad decision marred his performance and it looked like he was seeing ghosts out there. He finished with a stat-line of 19/29 for 170 yards and four interceptions, while being sacked nine times - some of which were on him for holding the ball too long. Andrew Wylie and the Washington Offensive Line - Wylie was the main culprit who stood out for getting beaten like a Red-Headed Step Child, but when you give up nine sacks and pressure on 80% of your drop-backs, the entire unit deserves to land on the Duds list. [BLG Note: Anyone else find it curious how Wylie was terrible prior to the Super Bowl last year, played the game of life to shut down Haason Reddick, and has gone back to being awful?]
Commanders have given up 19 sacks in three games, most in that span since 2005 - PFT
Sunday was a rough one for Commanders quarterback Sam Howell. Howell threw four interceptions and was sacked nine times by the Bills defense in a 37-3 loss that dropped the team to 2-1 on the season. The nine sacks were eye-popping, but the Commanders had allowed 10 sacks over the first two weeks of the year, so protection had been an issue even when they were winning games. The 19 total sacks allowed through three games is tied for the most of any team over that span since the Texans in 2005 and it is tied for the fifth-most since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
Sean Payton somehow managed to turn the Broncos into an even bigger joke - SB Nation
Hiring Sean Payton wasn’t smart, but it sure was flashy — and when has that ever worked out? Payton, who has never been a defensive genius, had the most embarassing performance in NFL history by letting the Dolphins drop a 70-burger on his Broncos, being saved from history by the grace of Mike McDaniel. That isn’t hyperbole either. McDaniel felt so bad about dismantling the Broncos that he kneeled on the final play of the game, rather than take a guaranteed field goal to set the NFL record for points scored in a game. That came after he benched Tua Tagovailoa for a whole damn quarter just to prevent rubbing Payton’s nose in it. It’s one thing to get dog walked like this, but another entirely when it takes you to 0-3 on the season after you invested significant energy trashing the team’s former coaches upon your arrival. Instead of letting his work on the field do the talking, Payton’s motivation technique was to throw coach Nathanial Hackett an Co. under the bus.
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