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Eagles News: Reed Blankenship is a good football player

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/27/23.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles-Buccaneers, what we learned: Back to what works for A.J. Brown; Reed Blankenship’s big return - Inquirer
It’s easy to forget safety Reed Blankenship’s draft pedigree when you watch him, though. The former five-year starter out of Middle Tennessee State is, simply put, a good football player and has become an important part of the secondary. The Eagles missed him in Week 2 when he was sidelined with a rib injury, and he returned with one of his best games on Monday night. He did a nice job of baiting a throw from Baker Mayfield and broke on the ball just in time to get his second career interception. His seven tackles led the Eagles. Blankenship didn’t come off the field on Monday, logging 47 defensive snaps and making timely plays. Ever since the team reported for training camp in July, it has been apparent that he has become a cornerstone at a notably thin position and his play has elevated the entire secondary so far. Finding players like Blankenship and Josh Jobe, who played 27 snaps at outside cornerback when the Eagles bumped James Bradberry to the slot, is going to be important for the Eagles as they navigate the next few seasons with a handful of massive contracts at important positions. If Blankenship continues playing at this level, it’ll go a long way toward preserving the quality of the secondary over that time.

NFC East Panic Index - BGN
What is working: The offense has played from behind for just 16 snaps, fewer than the vaunted Dolphins (50). 1620 pounds of offensive line can not be stopped. D’Andre Swift is the pickup of the year and Jalen Carter is the front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Georgia Bulldogs on the Eagles defensive line are making opposing offensive lines look like TCU. A linebacker made a play. What is not working: After a season of relative health, the injury report is starting to pile up. Despite being top 10 in both points for and points against the offense and the defense have had trouble getting into high gear. The offense has just two TDs that gained more than 5 yards, they are 21st in yards per completion; the defense is 25th on 3rd downs and in sack rate.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.129: Only one team won in Week 3 - BGN Radio
RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton recap the Week 3 action in the division. Subscribe to the BGN YouTube channel:

The Real Friggin Deal - Iggles Blitz
Carter is showing the ability to win in a variety of ways. He can explode off the ball and beat blocks that way. He can win with power. You see him move blockers around with pure strength. Carter shows good skill for such a young guy. He seems to have a plan when he’s out there. I’ve been very impressed by Carter’s motor. He chases after the ball play after play. His hustle led to the fumble right before halftime on Monday night. He handed 3 points to the offense. We’ve got a long way to go, but Carter is on pace to have a serious chance to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year.

NFL Week 3 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Monday Night Football - PFF
D’Andre Swift starts for the Eagles: Kenneth Gainwell returned after missing Week 2 but didn’t regain his starting job. Swift started the game, and the Eagles then rotated by quarter. Swift took the clear majority of snaps in the first and third quarters. Gainwell took the clear majority of snaps in the second and fourth quarters. Gainwell played well enough, but Swift was dominant whenever he touched the football. Unfortunately, neither back was featured in the passing game, and Jalen Hurts will still take all of the 1-yard-touchdown opportunities, leaving both backs without a touchdown. Boston Scott would typically be the third running back, but he was inactive after suffering a concussion last week. Rashaad Penny was active as the third running back but didn’t play an offensive snap. Swift can stay in fantasy starting lineups going forward. At worst, he will keep this same role. At best, it will expand significantly. Gainwell should at least remain on rosters. He’s the handcuff for a running back with an injury history, and he would be a fantasy starter if something happens to Swift. Penny can be dropped in leagues with lighter benches.

Spadaro: What’s been the key to the success on defense? -
Why the success? How has a defense with a new coordinator and five new starters entering the season and then having to deal with multiple injuries play so well so early and show tangible growth in three victories? “They’ve been playing great, getting turnovers. It’s fun to watch them fly around,” tight end Dallas Goedert said. “The D-line is going crazy getting after the quarterback. The turnovers are huge. You can’t credit them enough for what they’re doing helping our offense. It’s fun to watch them play and it puts us in a good position always.” Yes, that’s true. But why? Why has the defense come together like this? Nobody is saying the defense has been perfect, and no question coordinator Sean Desai is focusing on the things to correct, but seven takeaways in three games is outstanding, the run defense leads the league allowing an absurdly low 48.3 yards per game, the pass rush has had an impact, and the pass defense has had long stretches in all three games of shutdown football.

Why the Bears weren’t wrong to take Darnell Wright over Jalen Carter - Windy City Gridiron
Let’s be honest: some of this rationale is just pure coping. It would’ve been awesome to see Carter ply his game-wrecking trade as a member of the Chicago Bears. Goodness knows it would’ve made this defense more bearable to watch (pun intended). But it was probably more important to give Fields the baseline supporting cast he needed – the jury’s still out on that, maybe – and find out what he is, even if it meant letting the defense suffer another year, than roll the dice on a player you were worried about possibly becoming another powder keg in a volatile situation. No blame to you if you keep wondering “what if” every time this defense gives up another third-down conversion because they can’t rush the passer, though.

Perspective is key after Cowboys Week 3 humiliation - Blogging The Boys
The key for Dallas now is to stay balanced. With the Patriots. 49ers, and Chargers coming up, a much tougher trio than the last three, they can’t afford to still be licking their wounds. Even if New England is in a relatively down year, Bill Belichick is still there to analyze and exploit all of the weaknesses that the Cowboys displayed in Arizona. No matter what they do, of course, there is no replacing Trevon Diggs. There are only a few talents like him throughout the league. You can win a lot of games with Stephon Gilmore, DaRon Bland, and Jourdan Lewis as your top three corners but there’s just no denying that a special ingredient is missing from Dan Quinn’s original recipe. The 2023 Dallas Cowboys are good enough to overcome it. Expecting them to do it within a few days, especially with 60% of their starting offensive line missing in a road game, was clearly more than they could handle. But what happened in Arizona felt more like a one-week collapse than a sign of what’s to come over the rest of this long season.

How Cardinals stunned Cowboys’ defense to pull off biggest NFL upset so far - SB Nation
Because when the final whistle blew, the Cardinals had their first win of the Jonathan Gannon Era, a 28-16 victory that raised a lot of eyebrows around the league. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs secured his first NFL win as a starter, throwing for 189 yards and a touchdown. James Conner and Rondale Moore added touchdown runs, and Dallas mistakes helped seal the win for Arizona. So what can we take from this game? Was it merely a letdown game from Dallas? Did the Cowboys make some mistakes to open the door for the Cardinals? Did Arizona do some creative things on offense that other teams might copy going forward? Perhaps a little of each, but here, we are going to focus on that third element.

So, Which NFL Teams Can Actually Win the Super Bowl? - The Ringer
Tier 3: Probably Not Going to Happen. Dallas Cowboys: +1000. This was the game every Mike McCarthy skeptic was waiting for. The Cowboys, heavily favored against a winless Cardinals team, managed just 13 points in a double-digit loss in Arizona. The Cardinals ran for more than 200 yards, and Josh Dobbs looked fairly competent against a defense that had been among the league’s best coming into the week. Losing Trevon Diggs to a season-ending ACL injury this week had already lowered Dallas’s ceiling, and after Arizona ran through Dallas on Sunday, we’ll need to make some significant adjustments to our expectations.

Saquon Barkley injury update: Giants’ RB is ‘day-to-day’ with high ankle sprain - Big Blue View
Barkley missed three games with a high ankle sprain in 2019. Initial estimates were that he would be out two to three weeks. In 2021 he missed four games with an ankle injury. If he were to play Monday, that would be on the short end of the recovery timeline. Without Barkley, the Giants’ leading rusher in Week 3 was backup running Matt Breida with just four carries for 17 yards.

NFL Power Rankings: A blowout loss drops the Washington Commanders - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders were 2-0 and coming home to face the Buffalo Bills. Last week, some of the more skeptical in the power ranking community had reluctantly moved Washington up from the bottom of their lists. After the Bills dominated Washington, forcing five turnovers and sacking Sam Howell nine times, they are gleefully putting them back in their place...or lower. When you lose as badly as the Commanders did, giving up 37 points and only scoring a FG on the final drive, you’re going to get a lot of people saying “Same old Washington”. If Ron Rivera, Eric Bieniemy, the offensive line, and Sam Howell can’t fix the sack and turnover problem, that will be a very true statement, and new owner Josh Harris will be looking to clean house top-to-bottom. If they can actually learn and adapt after that piss-poor showing, they’ve got the talent to push for a playoff spot this year. Right now they are the team that got all of their

Commanders confident QB Sam Howell’s ‘growing pains’ will lead to improvement - ESPN
The Washington Commanders have raved about quarterback Sam Howell’s calm demeanor, his confidence and his ability to forget about bad plays — or games. Each one of those aspects will be tested this week. Howell, who had won his first three NFL starts and provided hope for a franchise in search of consistency at quarterback, will need to rebound off his worst game. And he’ll have to do it at Philadelphia on Sunday. In a 37-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Howell was intercepted four times and sacked nine times. In three games he has been sacked 19 times, a mixture of his own indiscretions and poor protection. When the Commanders opted for Howell, a fifth-round pick in 2022, as the starter they knew he’d endure rough days. It’s part of the process for a young quarterback. Sunday qualified as a rough day – and then some.


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