Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
NFL contenders’ biggest weaknesses, playoff teams to avoid - ESPN+
I believe Eagles fans could have seen a scenario where the secondary struggled, but the pass rush falling apart seems particularly ominous. The Eagles are 29th in pressure rate and 25th in sack rate over the full season. Things have gotten worse as the year has gone along; they are 30th in sack rate since Week 10, having taken down opposing quarterbacks just 11 times over the past seven games. They had nine sacks in a game last season. If there’s a comparable defense for these Eagles, I’d look at last season’s Vikings. That Minnesota team had a solid front four, but if the pass rush didn’t get home, it was too easy for teams to beat soft, passive coverage and take advantage of mismatches. Throwing short against the Eagles is like a seven-on-seven drill. Their 84.5 QBR against those throws is the worst mark in the NFL by nearly five points.
Eagles Film Review: The worst game on defense I’ve ever studied - BGN
Another 3rd down conversion. There’s a lot of talk about the Eagles’ pass rush and there are loads of reasons why it isn’t effective right now. Firstly, before we talk about scheme and coaching, we have to be clear that the players are not doing a good enough job rushing the quarterback and they are not winning their one-on-one matchups. However, the job of a good coach is to put players in the best position to succeed. Haason Reddick is the Eagles’ best pass rusher and he excels by bending the edge and winning with speed. With that in mind, why are the Eagles asking him to do this on 3rd and 8?! He doesn’t look comfortable doing it, and if he’s meant to be a sort of QB spy, then ask someone else to do that job. Why would you blitz Morrow on the edge and Reddick up the middle? Just why? Additionally, pass rush and coverage are not separate entities. They exist together. The Eagles’ pass rush isn’t good, but they also aren’t getting that long to get after the quarterback because the secondary routinely gives up easy throws on important downs like they do here on 3rd and 8. I don’t want to exaggerate, but everything is bad.
Eagles-Cardinals closing thoughts + Giants preview - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski close the book on the Philadelphia Eagles’ pathetic loss to the Arizona Cardinals and preview the Week 18 matchup against the New York Giants. The guys discuss Nick Sirianni’s outlook and more. Interact with us on social media: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Check out Wrong Crowd Beer Company: wrongcrowdbeer.com! (21 or older, please enjoy responsibly). Use discount code BGN15 at RighteousFelon.com for 15% off your order! Same promotion applies at WildRangerPet.com. Buying, selling, or renting a house? Contact Kristin Roach at RoachRealtors.com.
Nick Sirianni and Brian Johnson somehow continue to defend Eagles’ ill-fated late offensive sequence vs. Cardinals - PhillyVoice
In other words, the Eagles were well aware that their defense wasn’t likely to get a stop. When asked if the staff is overthinking things in these types of situations instead of just allowing their elite playmakers to make plays, Johnson borrowed Sirianni’s “it didn’t work so it was bad” cliché. “Any time something doesn’t work, obviously I think that’s a very normal and natural reaction,” he said. “But I think we’ve played situations like that very, very similar, when you talk about third and super long, in field goal range, close to the line, that happens. But to answer your question, any time that something does not work, obviously you kind of go reassess and be as critical as possible and say, I wish or maybe we could have or I could have done something different. And maybe that would have worked and maybe it wouldn’t have, but I think that’s the nature of the game that we play.” Perhaps more alarming than the offensive sequence itself is that Sirianni and Johnson haven’t concluded in a real way that it was a losing strategy.
Not Dead Yet - Iggles Blitz
If the players start to hold each other accountable, that can make a real difference. The last two losses came down to a handful of plays. Clean those up and you get back to winning games. I’m not telling you to start making Super Bowl plans, but hitting rock bottom may have gotten some guys to wake up. Maybe that will get players to have more of a sense of urgency and will lead to some good things. The 2012 Ravens went 10-6 in the regular season. They won the Super Bowl despite losing 4 of the final 5 regular season games. I wouldn’t count on the Eagles repeating that performance, but it has been done. The Eagles need to focus on playing good football. Live in the moment. Play to play, drive to drive, half to half. Let us on the outside think big picture. It is important for the players to be positive. They aren’t going to accomplish anything if they don’t believe in themselves. AJ still believes.
NFL Week 18 Power Rankings: Bills jump into the top five, Ravens replace Cowboys at No. 2 - PFF
The Cardinals offense turned on the jets in the second half, producing the highest successful play rate of the week (55.9%) over the last 30 minutes.
Week 18 NFL picks: Texans unanimously chosen to beat Colts on Saturday; Bills or Dolphins on Sunday? - NFL.com
Why Ali is taking the Eagles: The cracks were apparent even during the Eagles’ 10-1 start. But when the 49ers blew down the doors of the Linc in Week 13, those vulnerabilities looked to be significant enough to prevent Philly from another Super Bowl run. The Eagles have gone just 1-3 since then, losing their hold on the NFC East and the conference’s No. 2 seed along the way. The good news: They appear to have reached rock bottom after last Sunday’s shocking collapse to the Cardinals. The better news: Their lone victory since the start of December came against their Week 18 opponent. In fact, Nick Sirianni’s club has beaten the G-Men four straight times. While the Eagles aren’t going to solve a season’s worth of problems over a single Sunday, they lean on star wideout A.J. Brown to help stave off a feisty Giants team, leaving New York with a much-needed win and a bit of momentum heading into the playoffs.
Eagles’ run defense bottomed out vs. Cardinals after months of decline - NBCSP
The Eagles have given up 455 more yards in two fewer games since the bye week than they did before the bye week. That’s such a massive shift. Before the bye week, the Eagles allowed over 100 yards rushing in just one game. They’ve allowed over 100 in every single game since coming back from the break. So what’s wrong with the run defense? It’s not just one issue. If that was the case, it would be a lot easier to fix. The run fits haven’t been good. The Eagles’ tackling has been suspect. The defensive line isn’t playing as well as it needs to. And the back seven (starting with the linebackers) might just not be good enough. “We’re just obviously working to improve the defense as we go through the season, and different problems present themselves at different times of the year,” Patricia said. “That is definitely true. Some of the runs that we saw early in the year are different than we see later in the year. Sometimes that moves or something may happen through the course of a season or a game or a particular week that new ideas come up that a team that we haven’t maybe seen twice like we are seeing the Giants twice, and that comes up and that’s a little bit of a different look. That is all on me. I have to make sure that we are good in the run game every single week based on the different runs that we are getting that week and what we have seen on tape from them. Like I said, give Coach Gannon credit, he has got good knowledge of the defense and things that are hard or difficult for us, and we’ve got to tighten those back up.”
Cowboys Week 18 rooting guide: Multiple paths to the #2 seed in the NFC - Blogging The Boys
If the Cowboys don’t get it done in Washington, a slew of other possibilities emerge. Dallas could still win the division but wind up as the third seed, or drop back into the fifth seed as a wild card. There’s also a wide range of potential first-round opponents; four teams who remain variables in the wild card race and three others from the undecided NFC South.
Giants-Eagles: When New York has the football, Week 18 - Big Blue View
What’s beautifully poetic (to Giants’ fans) about the Cowboys’ victory over the Lions on Saturday night was it gave the Eagles a direct path to the two seed with a victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, since the Lions dropped to 11-5. But in the great words of a sleazy record label representative in South Park - “YOU BLEW IT, YOU HAD IT ALL, AND YOU BLEW IT!” The Eagles had a strong grasp on the NFC East crown until their loss against Arizona. The Cowboys and the Eagles both are 11-5, and have the same divisional record (4-1). However, Dallas has a better conference record, which is the third tiebreaker when deciding seeding. The Cowboys conference record is 8-3, and the Eagles are 7-4. For the Eagles to win the NFC East and secure the two seed, they must defeat the Giants, and have Dallas lose to Washington. The Eagles lost four games in December - can they lose one in January and destine themselves to the five-seed? It’s possible, and that outcome could drop the Giants down to the eighth pick in the draft. They currently hold the fifth. If New York loses to Philadephia, and the Cardinals, Commanders, and Patriots win, then the Giants would secure the second draft slot. Sure, Philadelphia would jump Dallas, but look at that Eagles’ team - they are plagued with issues and lack the luster and talent of last year’s team. Either way, Week 18 will be consequential for both teams for entirely different reasons.
Commanders vs Cowboys Wednesday Injury Report: Washington is dealing with a long list of injuries - Hogs Haven
Two players that usually receive vet rest days didn’t practice today. DT Jonathan Allen is usually listed with a foot injury from the plantar fasciitis he has been dealing with since training camp. It was reported today that he didn’t practice due to injury. Ron Rivera confirmed that it was a knee injury that kept Allen off the field today. CB Kendall Fuller has been getting rest days for his knee, but that injury kept him on the inactive list for last week’s loss to the 49ers.
Rams name Carson Wentz as starter against 49ers - Turf Show Times
The time for speculating on what Sean McVay would do with his starters in Week 18 is over, as the Los Angeles Rams are going to sit Matthew Stafford and start Carson Wentz against the San Francisco 49ers. We should not expect to see Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Kyren Williams, and many other key starters either. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Rams will start Wentz and give him his first opportunity to play in a game in over a year. Also, the 49ers announced that Sam Darnold will start in place of Brock Purdy.
Taking the Points #18: The final week of the regular season is here - The SB Nation NFL Show
Chris Dunnells (Canal Street Chronicles), JSpence the King (Buffalo Rumblings), and producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera look at the Week 18 storylines around the NFL. Every episode is brought to you by DraftKings. Taking the Points on the SB Nation NFL Show is presented by DraftKings Fantasy Sports. Check out what DraftKings has to offer this season with code SBNFL.
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