Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Why has Nick Sirianni struggled to rally the Eagles? - ESPN
On top of those struggles, Jalen Hurts’ desired direction for the offense has not materialized, which has been a source of disappointment for the franchise quarterback, according to a source with direct knowledge of Hurts’ thinking. A disconnect between the visions of Sirianni, Hurts and offensive coordinator Brian Johnson has affected the offense’s ability to land on an identity, the source said. [...] In the early stages of the Eagles’ skid, Hurts was hoping the direction of the offense would change, the source familiar with Hurts’ thinking said, believing they were overly reliant on vertical routes and not utilizing short-to-intermediate throws, particularly over the middle of the field where Brown has thrived in his career. In short, the belief was there was too much flash over substance — a sentiment others on the offensive side of the ball shared. [...] A source described Johnson as having to fit his own philosophy within an offensive structure belonging to Sirianni. And just how much autonomy Johnson has as a playcaller is unclear. Sirianni has acknowledged that he’ll step in to overrule a call on occasion, as he did on a critical third-and-long play against the Washington Commanders in Week 4 when Johnson wanted to pass and Sirianni dialed up a run, which didn’t pan out. The line is blurred enough that some offensive players don’t know for sure who is calling the plays and when, a team source said.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: Eagles vs. Buccaneers winner will play the Lions in Detroit - BGN
The combination of the Dallas Cowboys losing (insert Nelson Muntz laugh here) to the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions beating the Los Angeles Rams means the winner of Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be headed to Ford Field next Sunday. That’s a relatively ideal result for the Birds. It sure beats going to play the San Francisco 49ers on the road. Of course, the Eagles were not too far away from actually being able to host a playoff game had the Rams won.
FROM THE SB NATION NFL SHOW: BLG says Eagles Bucs could get ugly - BGN Radio
The SB Nation NFL Show’s TGIFootball crew debates whether the Eagles can right the ship against the Buccaneers on Monday.
Wild Card: Decibels in Detroit, Doubt in Dallas, Harmony in Houston - FMIA
On Nick Sirianni. No inside information here, other than to know the people involved, and if I’m Sirianni, I’m thinking I’ve got to win tonight at Tampa Bay to show owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman that I deserve the chance to re-shape the coaching staff. He’ll have to erase the defensive staff, at least, and do surgery on the offensive staff. Maybe Sirianni proposes to the bosses that he call the offensive plays next year. Either way, the 1-5 plummet job down the stretch, with some effortless stretches of terrible losses, puts Sirianni’s future in question.
Is Nick Sirianni’s job really in jeopardy? - NBCSP
Jeff Lurie is not one to make rash decisions, but he also doesn’t like to be embarrassed, and the last month and a half has been downright embarrassing for this entire franchise. If he believes Sirianni lost the team and is not the person to fix this, it wouldn’t be shocking if he does make a change. Or if he insists on specific coaching staff changes and Sirianni resists, and he’s out anyway. What’s interesting is that a total of 13 NFL head coaches have been fired within three years of reaching a Super Bowl, and one of them is Doug Pederson and if Sirianni goes, he’d be No. 14. So if Lurie makes a move, he will have fired two Super Bowl coaches in four years, both of them within three years of a Super Bowl. For an owner that talks about consistency and stability, that’s not ideal. But this has also been a historic collapse. The Eagles are the first team in 37 years to start a season 10-1 and not win its division and the first team in 37 years to start out 10-1 and not win 12 games. And the losses have all been either blowouts or late collapses. If that pattern continues Monday night in Tampa – against a mediocre Buccaneers team that the Eagles should beat – anything is on the table.
Podcast: Eagles-Buccaneers playoff preview - PhillyVoice
In the latest episode of BGN Radio, Brandon Gowton and I previewed the Eagles-Buccaneers playoff game.
Game Preview – Wild Card – PHI at TB - Iggles Blitz
If the Eagles are going to win without AJ Brown, they will need another strong rushing performance. D’Andre Swift didn’t play last week so he should have fresh legs on Monday night. This will be his first playoff game so let’s hope that brings out the best in him. Brown had a monster game in Week 3, going 9-131. DeVonta Smith doesn’t have to put up those numbers, but he needs to play like a star receiver. He’s got to make some plays. One of the key areas in this game will be the red zone. The Eagles were just 1 for 5 in the first meeting, which kept that game closer than it should have been. Tampa finished the season third in red zone defense so they’ve been stingy in there all year long.
Eagles security chief Dom DiSandro is expected to return to the sideline on Monday - PFT
Eagles security chief Dominic DiSandro was banned from the sideline for the rest of the regular season after he was involved in a sideline altercation with the 49ers on Dec. 3. But now, the postseason has arrived. As noted by Jonathan jones of CBS Sports, DiSandro is expected to be back on the sideline for Monday night’s wild card matchup between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
Spadaro: 6 storylines to preview in this Eagles-Buccaneers Wild Card matchup - PE.com
4. Tampa Bay’s blitz game. It is definitely a factor, as the Bucs blitz at the third-highest rate (40 percent) of any defense and went after Hurts more than 60 percent of the time in Week 3. Tampa Bay Head Coach Todd Bowles has a creative and effective pressure package and the Eagles know the challenge here. What is the best way to attack the blitz? Everyone has to be on the same page, for starters. We’ve seen Hurts gash defenses with his legs, we’ve seen the Eagles win down the field, and, of course, a strong running game helps everything.
Yarcho’s Pick Six: Super Wild Card Weekend Primer - Bucs Nation
6.) Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wow - not many people would have believed the Bucs would be in this situation, but here we are. Three straight division titles, four straight playoff appearances, and a matchup with a familiar playoff foe. The Bucs are 3-2 all time against the Eagles in the playoffs and can make it three in a row with a win on Monday night. It stinks that the Bucs are the ones stuck with the first two Monday night playoff games, but a chance to make up for last year’s embarrassing loss to the Cowboys - and they’ll face an Eagles team that has an injured Jalen Hurts, no A.J. Brown, and a defense allowing over 30 points per game over the last six weeks. Timing is everything and the Bucs need to take advantage of it.
Discussion: Would you rather play the Buccaneers or Eagles in the Divisional Round? - Pride Of Detroit
The Buccaneers have the edge over the Eagles in terms of defense (14th in DVOA versus 29th), and there would be some karmic retribution in facing Matt Patricia and his Eagles defense in the playoffs, but I feel less frightened by the Tampa Bay offense. When the Eagles offense is on, they are among the best in the league. A win over the Buccaneers could be the spark they desperately need, and I do not want to risk them finding their footing against the Lions next week.
NFL rumors: Conversation continues to swirl around status of Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy - Blogging The Boys
When a loss of that proportion happens, you have to have conversations and even more so when you had all sorts of things going in your favor. Consider that Dallas was as healthy as could be entering the postseason and had players like Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb operating at as high of a level as we have ever seen from either of them. None of it mattered. The team as a whole no-showed and failed. So again this brings us back to coaching and how you have to talk about it after a meltdown like this which is why Mike McCarthy is the name at the center of it all. Early on Monday morning, Ian Rapoport discussed McCarthy’s job status and floated out Bill Belichick’s name (which anybody who watches football is doing) while mentioning that there could be “significant, significant” changes coming as soon as Monday.
The Cowboys blow it again, and it’s time for Bill Belichick in Dallas - SB Nation
That’s not to say this can’t work. If Bill Belichick and Jerry Jones can find a way to coexist, if Bill can take a much-needed back seat when it comes to college scouting, and if Jerry can handle not being the sole focus of his organization — then this weird marriage could work. Belichick is only 15 wins away from passing Don Shula and becoming the winningest coach in NFL history. That would happen quickly by inheriting this Cowboys roster, and if that’s not enough then if Belichick is able to get this team over the hump, well, bringing a Super Bowl to Dallas for the first time in 30 years would make him a thing of legend. There’s no guarantee Belichick would be interested in the Cowboys job, even if it became available — but at this point what else is this team to do? Their roster is too well constructed to warrant a teardown, and a young coach entering the picture could wind up having the same problems with executing in the playoffs that McCarthy did — it’s a crapshoot. At this point Belichick really might be the best possible option for a team trying to get over the hump, and so the drama begins.
The First Read, Divisional Round: Biggest immediate question for advancing/eliminated NFL playoff teams - NFL.com
It’s time to have a hard conversation about that in Dallas, especially when owner Jerry Jones said he was “floored” by his team’s wild-card loss to Green Bay. For all the success Mike McCarthy has enjoyed over the last three years — a run that includes two NFC East titles and three 12-win seasons — he simply can’t move this team deep into the playoffs. The Cowboys have one postseason victory in his four seasons and this latest defeat was easily the most disturbing. Dallas came into that contest riding a 16-game home winning streak. They wound up looking ill-prepared to deal with a Packers team that was ready to scrap as soon as that game kicked off. The Cowboys faced a 27-0 deficit at one point in the first half, which was mind-boggling given that this team averaged 37 points per game at home this year and Green Bay’s defense had been abysmal lately. Jones has supported McCarthy plenty in the past. Does that change now that he’s endured his third straight soul-crushing defeat with McCarthy at the helm? The marketplace is stocked with a number of strong head coaches, a group that includes Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Mike Vrabel and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. It didn’t make sense for Jones to take a chance on a less proven commodity before. Now that his Cowboys have lost once again — in a year when they held the No. 2 seed and it wasn’t the 49ers knocking them off — it might be time to think about a new head coach.
Giants striking out in efforts to interview special teams coach candidates - Big Blue View
The New York Giants have thus far run into a brick wall of resistance in their efforts to interview candidates to replace the fired Thomas McGaughey as special teams coordinator. The Giants have requested permission to interview three candidates since letting McGaughey go on Monday morning. They have been denied permission each time. The Giants have asked to speak with three special teams coordinators whose teams currently do not have head coaches. Those are Marquise Williams of the Atlanta Falcons, Chris Tabor of the Carolina Panthers and Ryan Ficken of the Los Angeles Chargers.
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