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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s X-factor for the Buccaneers playoff game

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/13/24.

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NFL: SEP 25 Eagles at Buccaneers Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

NFL playoffs: One X-factor on each of the 14 teams -
D’ANDRE SWIFT. After the Eagles’ late-season swoon, Nick Sirianni could decide to hand the ball to Swift early and often in an attempt to re-establish the run-heavy approach that propelled the team to a fast start in 2023. The electric back flashes big-play potential with the ball in his hands on inside and outside runs, but the Eagles must commit to giving him 20-plus touches in order to maximize his potential. Given the pressure on the reigning NFC champions to avoid a one-and-done appearance, Sirianni could increasingly rely on Swift and the ground game to reverse the team’s fortunes in the playoffs.

NFL playoffs betting advice: Eagles vs. Buccaneers pick and props - BGN
Originally, the Eagles opened as 2.5-point favorites, and now it is up to the key number of three, with the combined total set at 44.5. The betting public still does not think the Buccaneers are any good. In Las Vegas and offshore, 65-percent of the action is on the Eagles. When you take a deeper look at these teams this season, Baker Mayfield has better numbers than Jalen Hurts. He has been the better quarterback all year. The Buccaneers’ defense has been better than the Eagles, giving up 103 fewer points, and Tampa is rated higher than Philly in the turnover margin. Tampa has the better point differential. Going into this game, the Buccaneers are the healthier team with a plus-7 SIC health score over Philadelphia, along with the fact that Tampa Bay is home. Unless there is a magic turn-on switch, which the Philadelphia media keeps talking about, and there is no magic turn-one switch. Tampa Bay is better. Mayfield is a little banged up, but Hurts is more banged up. A.J. Brown may not be playing. Why would he play? There is a lot going on with the Eagles right now.

Above the Nest with Raichele #102: Symone Stanley on the Birds epic collapse + Previewing Eagles-Bucs Wildcard matchup - BGN Radio
Symone Stanley joins Raichele Privette to discuss who is responsible for how the Eagles ended their season and preview the Eagles Wildcard matchup against the Bucs on Monday night.

Tampa Talk - Iggles Blitz
Every time I think I’ve got a feel for this team, I find out that I know nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I hope the playoffs bring out the best in the Eagles, but the last six weeks have robbed me of any faith in them. That doesn’t mean they won’t win, but I don’t expect them to look like the Eagles from midseason. At this point, we’ll take anything we can get.

NFL wild-card round playoff game picks, schedule, guide - ESPN
Stat to know: Hurts has struggled with ball security against the blitz this season, throwing five touchdown passes with eight interceptions. Those eight turnovers were the most by any quarterback when blitzed this season. This weekend, Hurts will face a Tampa Bay defense that blitzed at the third-highest rate during the regular season.

NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Preview: Betting tips, highest-graded players and matchups to watch - PFF
Matchup to watch: Buccaneers C Robert Hainsey vs. Eagles DI Jalen Carter. The interior offensive line has been an issue for the Buccaneers all season, and it starts at center. Hainsey finished the 2023 season with a grade of 52.8, 31st out of 37 qualifying centers. He’ll be tasked with blocking Jalen Carter, who had a fantastic rookie season. This is not a matchup that favors Tampa Bay in the slightest, and they will have to devote multiple blockers to Carter on just about every snap.

Eagles’ aim on defense this week? Simplify and play fast - NBCSP
Earlier this week, Eagles de facto defensive coordinator Matt Patricia talked about wanting to give his players a chance to play fast and aggressive. You know how you do that? You simplify things on defense. And, according to some players, there has been a concerted effort from the Eagles’ coaching staff this week to simplify things as the team prepares to face the Buccaneers in the wild card round on Monday night. “Yeah, there honestly has,” veteran safety Kevin Byard said. “I think the plan this week will be to try to be as simple as possible so guys can go get lined up. “Obviously, there are going to have to be some things we do coverage wise to be able to limit Mike Evans and things like that. You don’t just want to ignore him. You have to be aware where certain guys are. There are some things we have to do on the back end. But I think for the most part, the first down, second down plan will be pretty simple. [Patricia] just wants guys to be able to line up and go play fast.”

Spadaro: The message from inside the Eagles’ locker room: ‘Win or it’s over’ -
Lane Johnson: ‘Get this running game going’. The hope, All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson says, is that the pressure of the playoffs pushes the Eagles into their best football of the season. The locker room has a slew of players who have been here before and who understand what it means. “We’ve been playing like (expletive) the last month and a half and so hopefully with the pressure on, hopefully we will play to a certain standard,” Johnson said. “There have been times here when we’ve suddenly turned things around – Nick’s (Sirianni, head coach) first year, for example, some years before that – and I think that us not playing well lately is going to impact our focus and try to be the team we were early in the year. “Hopefully we get this running game going, be balanced, and have a clean game. Pound the rock. There hasn’t been a game where we feel like, ‘This is the Eagles.’ We’ve always felt like we’re wanting more.” Philadelphia ran for 201 yards in the Week 3 win over the Bucs and the Eagles will look to establish the line of scrimmage against a tough and aggressive front on Monday night. “They’ve got good players and bring a whole lot of different blitzes and disguises,” Johnson said. “Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay head coach) is probably the best as far as disguising stuff and bringing different blitz packages.”

NFL Prop Bets for Buccaneers vs. Eagles: Wild Card Weekend - Bucs Nation
Rushing. Their last matchup back in Week 3 featured poor offensive line play and a non-existent run game. Since then, the offensive line play has improved and the run game has come to life with Rachaad White coming just shy of a thousand yards rushing. White’s alternate rushing lines are as follows: 80-plus yards at +155, 90-plus yards at +235, and 100-plus yards at +360.

5 things to watch when the Cowboys play the Packers in the wild card game - Blogging The Boys
2. LOVE POTION NUMBER 10. Prescott isn’t the only good quarterback in this one as Jordan Love is having a great inaugural season in his first year as the team’s starting quarterback. Similar to Aaron Rodgers, he’s had to sit behind a Packers legend for multiple years before getting his chance. Well, he has the keys now and he’s making it count. He started the season off hot with two straight 3 TD/no pick games, but then fizzled and was rather forgettable over the first half of the year. But over the second half of the season, Love has got it going on as he’s only had one pick over his last eight games and the Packers have gone 6-2 in that span. Love will be playing in his first playoff game, so this will be a new element for him, but he has some wild card in him.

Giants begin interviewing candidates for vacant defensive coordinator job - Big Blue View
The New York Giants have interviewed Baltimore Ravens secondary coach Dennard Wilson for their vacant defensive coordinator job. That is the first known interview since the team parted ways with Wink Martindale. [...] Wilson made the jump to coaching in 2012 as a defensive quality control coach for the Los Angeles Rams, becoming their defensive backs coach in 2015. He was hired by the New York Jets in 2017 for the same position and also became their passing game coordinator in 2019. Wilson then coached the Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs in 2021 and 2022, and was their passing game coordinator in 2022 as well. He joined the Ravens’ coaching staff in 2023. [BLG Note: It’d be pretty annoying if Wilson ends up being a good DC for the Giants.]

Commanders fans are overwhelmingly positive about early moves by Josh Harris and the direction of the franchise - Hogs Haven
Of those responding to our survey, 93% were confident in the direction of the franchise. The only time this year that a higher percentage of respondents said ‘yes’ was after the Week 2 victory over the Broncos, when the Commanders were 2-0 and tied for the NFC East lead. This week’s result is a sharp uptick in comparison to the 34% figure from two weeks ago — that was the week Ron Rivera initially decided to bench Sam Howell in favor of Jacoby Brissett. It already feels like a long time ago.

NYS Governor postpones Bills vs. Steelers playoff game until Monday due to storm - Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers will have to wait a bit longer to decide their playoff fates during NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, thanks to a dangerous January blizzard wreaking havoc on the greater Buffalo area. The playoff game, scheduled to be played in Orchard Park, NY, has been postponed until Monday, January 15 at 4:30 p.m. EST. New York State governor Kathy Hochul made the official announcement.

How Jim Schwartz’s defense has propelled the Browns to an unlikely playoff berth - SB Nation
Don’t let the modest 13 ranking in points allowed ranking fool you; the Browns have an elite defense. After firing defensive coordinator Joe Woods at the end of last season, Cleveland hired Jim Schwartz, who won a Super Bowl as DC of the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Detroit Lions head coach fielded top-10 units in Philadelphia, Tennessee, and even his one season in charge of the Buffalo Bills’ defense. Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II told The Athletic that in Schwartz’s first team meeting, he said they were “gonna lead the NFL in these three things: effort, passion and swag.” We don’t have any swag metrics handy, but they certainly lead the NFL in many other categories.

TGIFootball #23: Previewing Wild Card Weekend - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa, Brandon Lee Gowton, and Stephen Serda preview every NFC matchup on Wild Card Weekend.


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