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Eagles News: Rumors continue to swirl about Nick Sirianni’s uncertain future in Philly

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/12/24.

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ESPN Insider Says Not to Rule Out Nick Sirianni Firing if Eagles Lose to Bucs - ESPN
Dan Graziano from ESPN’s Get Up had this to say about the rumors Nick Sirianni could be fired: “I don’t think you should rule it out because I think if the organization decides it’s gotten bad there, you know, inside the building culturally, all that kind of thing. I think they’ve shown in the past that they’re not afraid to move on. Doug Pederson was just two years removed from winning the Super Bowl, which no other coach in the history of the organization has ever done, and they got rid of him because of the way that season ended. So, I think it’s worth keeping an eye on if things go very badly for them Monday night in Tampa and you’re looking at the last two months and going this is not it.”

Eagles Film Review: Depressing defense - BGN
The Giants watched the Cardinals game last week. If you play 12 personnel against this Eagles’ team they often go to a 5-man front. Then all you have to do is motion a receiver across the formation to show 2 receivers on one side, and you will get one of the Eagles’ edge rushers to drop into coverage. This is a great example of the Giants’ offense using the Eagles’ defensive rules against them. My very simple solution to this: stop playing 5-man fronts. Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat can’t play in coverage. Throw all the 5-man front stuff out of the playbook for the rest of the season. If Matt Patricia wants edge defenders who drop into coverage, he needs to realize that he doesn’t have the personnel right now. Stop doing it.

Eye on the Enemy #165: Differences in the two teams since Week 3 + discussing Baker Mayfield’s unexpected season - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talked with James Yarcho from Bucs Nation and the Locked On Bucs podcast about the differences in the two teams since Week 3 and Baker Mayfield’s unexpected season. Later in the show John shares why he thinks Brian Johnson HAS to stay if Nick Sirianni stays, too.

Establish the Fun: 3 critical NFL Playoffs matchups that will determine Wild Card Weekend - SB Nation
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Eagles defense has been very, very bad. Since Matt Patricia took over for a demoted Sean Desai, the Eagles are 26th in the NFL in Success Rate and 29th in EPA/play. Where they’ve been especially weak is up the spine of the defense: the linebackers and safeties. Since Patricia took over, the Eagles are fourth in the NFL in Yards per Coverage Snap allowed and 11th in Positive Play Rate allowed when teams target their linebackers, slot defenders or safeties. Combine that with an expanding injury list, and this Eagles team is one that can get got by a QB who simply does not care. Enter, Baker Mayfield. The Bucs QB has undergone a career revival with offensive coordinator Dave Canales, and where the Bucs QB has done his damage the most is over the middle of the field, attacking weak linebackers and secondaries. Mayfield is eighth in EPA on all passes over the middle of the field and has thrown 17 TD passes in that area. Being in the McVay system has helped him in this area, and that play has translated to Tampa under Canales.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles: Wild Card Preview - Bucs Nation
The Bucs’ game plan in this one needs to revolve around Rachaad White. He struggled in the first meeting between these teams, but this is a different Bucs team than they were in week three. The Bucs have struggled along the interior of the offensive line the last couple weeks and the Eagles have some fantastic interior defensemen. To counter that, Baker is going to need to get the ball out of his hands quickly and no one on the Bucs is better suited to catch those short, quick passes then make plays with their legs than Rachaad White. Neutralizing that pass rush and taking advantage of the space Philly gives up underneath will lead to long, sustained drives for the Bucs that will not only result in points, but will keep their defense fresh - while simultaneously wearing out the Eagles defense and opening up things down the field later in the game. The Eagles are allowing over 30 points per game over the last six weeks, so there will be points to score if the Bucs can just keep Baker on his feet.

NFL wild-card playoff game-plan keys: How every team can win - ESPN+
How the Buccaneers can beat the Eagles. Tampa Bay should be targeting the deficiencies of the Eagles’ pass defense, which surrendered 252.7 passing yards per game during the regular season, second most in the league. Scheme matters, but this is also about the defensive personnel deficiencies that Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield can expose. On the perimeter, Tampa Bay can isolate wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin against cornerback James Bradberry. On the tape, Bradberry’s play speed has declined, and this will create opportunities at the second and third levels. Plus, Mayfield will have opportunities to work the middle of the field against linebackers who have limitations in coverage — which also brings running back Rachaad White into the mix as a receiver. I expect Mayfield to play with an aggressive throwing mentality.

Strengths, weaknesses for all 14 NFL playoff teams - PFF
Weakness: Late-Down Defense. The Eagles’ defense has struggled to get off the field when given the opportunity this season. They’ve seen the sixth-most plays run against them, due largely to being incapable of stopping teams on third and fourth downs. Philadelphia has allowed a 48.1% conversion rate and 20 touchdowns on such downs, ranking last in both categories.

Eagles at Buccaneers: Five matchups to watch, when the Bucs have the ball - PhillyVoice
3) Bucs TE Cade Otton vs. the Eagles’ linebackers and safeties. Otton was a Bucs fourth-round pick in 2022 who is starting to make an impact in the passing game. He has 6 receptions of 20+ yards in their last 9 games. For reference, Dallas Goedert has 6 catches for 20+ yards on the entire season. Again, the Eagles’ linebackers have generally been overmatched in coverage, and it doesn’t help that they have been lost since the staff made the switch from Desai to Patricia. Also, at safety, Sydney Brown’s season is over and Reed Blankenship has a groin injury. There’s a decent chance the Eagles will be starting Kevin Byard and Tristin McCollum on the back end.

NFL Wild-Card Picks Against the Spread - The Ringer
How I see it: This is a tough one to pick, given the injury situations on both sides. Hurts is dealing with a finger injury and was a limited practice participant on Thursday. Brown hurt his knee in Week 18, and he didn’t practice at all on Thursday. Those are obviously two big ones to keep an eye on. Mayfield, meanwhile, is dealing with ankle and rib injuries and did not practice on Thursday. Other than Troy Aikman complaining about how he once again got stuck calling a game with such little juice, I’m not sure of anything in this matchup. But I keep coming back to the Eagles defense. They can’t rush the passer. They can’t stop the run. They can’t cover. They’re taking direction from Matt Patricia. And everyone seems generally confused about what they’re supposed to be doing. Maybe they create a couple of turnovers and the Eagles offense and special teams lead the way. But I just can’t take this team as road favorites after what my eyes have seen in recent weeks. The pick: Bucs (+3)

How the 1986 Jets can give the 2023 Eagles a reason for hope - NBCSP
Those 1986 Jets and these 2023 Eagles — two teams separated by nearly four decades — are the only teams in NFL history to open a season 10-1 and fail to win their division. They’re the only teams in NFL history to open a season 10-1 and lose five games the rest of the season. And they’re among only six teams in history to lose five of their last six games and still reach the postseason. The Eagles will face the Buccaneers, who went 9-8 but won five of their last six games, on Monday evening in Tampa. Thirty-seven years earlier, the Jets played a home wild-card game against a Chiefs team that went 10-6 but won seven of its last 10 games. Those 1986 Jets — like these Eagles — said all the right things leading up to game-day in East Rutherford. “I still feel we earned our way into the playoffs,” Walton said. “We beat New England in New England and Seattle in Seattle when they were going well and Denver when they were playing well. The (players) should feel good that they are in the playoffs. It ain’t easy. It’s a long season and you have to overcome a lot. We should feel damn good.”

Spadaro: Nick Sirianni’s message to the team might surprise you - PE.com
“We just talked about our identity, who we are, and like I said, physical, violent. We talked about with the offense, don’t forget you’re a top 10 unit these past two years, or top, whatever, eight unit, whatever we finished this year in scoring and offense, total offense. Don’t forget that,” Sirianni said. “And special teams has been doing a great job all season long. Just talked about our identity. I don’t think you come up with a new message because you got to the playoffs. You come back to who you are, what got you here. Even if you drifted a little bit from who you are, what got you there, just trying to get yourself back to that moment. And know we can have confidence that we’ve been here before and are ready to go up there and play a really good team that we’re facing this week.” The Eagles didn’t handle the final six weeks the way they would have liked – a 1-5 record dropped them to the fifth seed in these conference playoffs – but Sirianni is hammering home the message that the Eagles are still breathing and hungry. Hungry dogs run faster?

Chris Godwin: We’ve evolved so much since losing to Eagles - PFT
Godwin doesn’t think the Bucs offense is the same either. Baker Mayfield was in his third game with the Bucs and Godwin thinks that the time together makes the previous matchup an afterthought. “We’ve evolved so much,” Godwin said, via a transcript from the team. “Just going through an entire season, figuring out who you are, going through the ups and downs of a season, you know, things have changed in a lot of ways. So, I’m excited about the opportunity, but at the same time, they’ve changed as well. Surely, they’re going to come into the game with a different game plan and plan to attack us in a different way. Obviously, we have already played this year, but things will be different this week.”

NFL Super Wild Card Weekend bold predictions: Jordan Love shreds Dallas; Mike Evans cooks Philly - NFL.com
The Eagles spiraled toward disaster after the calendar flipped to December, losing five of their last six games with seemingly nothing going right on either side of the ball. But in the wake of last week’s no-show against the Giants, Philadelphia finds a little left in the tank Monday night in Tampa Bay. Looking like the team that began this season at 10-1, the Eagles beat the Buccaneers by double digits.

Semi-Game Review – NYG 27, PHI 10 - Iggles Blitz
One of my big takeaways from the game is that Nick Sirianni didn’t approach it well. He talked about maybe resting players, depending on how the Dallas game went. He sat Fletcher Cox out to get him rest. I think some of the veterans weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders. Sirianni would have been better to tell his guys they were playing all game, regardless of other scores, or to just sit them. What he did was logical, but his players didn’t handle it well. I think they assumed they would beat the Giants and that showed in the sloppy play. This week is a playoff game. No one will rest. Sirianni won’t have to worry about trying to motivate players. They should be fired up for this.

A year in the making: It’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to ‘seize everything’ - Blogging The Boys
What a feeling it is to come to a point where playoff appearances are no longer a hope - but an expectation. As we are in the midst of a third consecutive 12-win season, and a third consecutive playoff appearance, not too far in the distant past lies dormant memories of fighting for a playoff spot every year, merely being successful only about half the time. Now the standard has been set, the bar has been raised. If you believe it shouldn’t have been this low to begin with - you’re right. But now it’s time to capitalize. With a talented team falling short for the second straight year to the same organization, and walking off the field with their heads hanging low and thoughts of “how” racing in the mind, it was clear a change was needed. And those in power recognized that and made it happen.

Giants hire offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, per report - Big Blue View
As we mentioned earlier in the week, the Raiders fielded one of the better offensive lines in the NFL over the last two years despite not investing anywhere near the resources the Giants have over the last several years. The Raiders fielded an offensive line which boasted just one first rounder and a pair of UDFAs, but were third in true pass sets per Pro Football Focus, ninth in pass protection, and 14th in run blocking.

Adam Peters hired as the Washington Commanders General Manager - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders interview five executives for their General Manager position. San Francisco 49ers AGM Adam Peters and Chicago Bears AGM Ian Cunningham were the two finalists, and they were interviewed by the full selection committee that included three limited partners. Adam Peters has reportedly been hired by Josh Harris to lead the rebuild of the Washington Commanders.

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