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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/21/21.
Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …
NFL Week 2 Team of the Week & Awards – PFF
Secret Superstar of the Week: T Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles. Mailata was one of the few standouts in the trenches in the 49ers-Eagles slugfest, opening up lanes in the run game and shutting down Nick Bosa, one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL. The former rugby player earned an elite 90.7 run-blocking grade and didn’t allow a single pressure to the Niners. Given Jalen Hurts’ tendency to hold onto the ball and that over half of his reps came against the 2019 No. 2 overall pick, that’s simply incredible.
Post-Snap Read: Javon Hargrave, Jordan Mailata highlight strong trench play – PE.com
Let’s go to the offensive side, where the big matchup going into the game pitted Jordan Mailata against Nick Bosa. We talked about it last week on the Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast, and this battle went about as we expected – both guys had their share of wins. Bosa is a great player. He’s not going to get shut out, but Mailata battled and had a ton of blocks when left one-on-one with the star rusher without any help.
Eagles vs. 49ers: 7 winners, 13 losers, and 2 IDKs – BGN
We all know it wasn’t all bad for Hurts. He hit Watkins on the money for the aforementioned 91-yard completion. He fit a ball in a very tight window to Dallas Goedert on the play right before he executed a QB sneak for Philly’s sole touchdown. He had an absolute dime to Jalen Reagor for a touchdown unfortunately wiped out by the receiver stepping out (more on that to come). But Hurts finished the day completing just 52.2% of his passes for zero touchdowns and a 80.0 passer rating. Outside the Watkins play, he logged just 4.5 yards per attempt. Hurts left a number of plays on the field. He was unable to connect with DeVonta Smith on a couple of deep shots. The first of those came on a play where Hurts rolled right and had an entirely clean pocket but ultimately threw short of the receiver, who had had a step on the defense.
At the Podium: Nick Sirianni confirms Brandon Grahams season-ending injury, provides updates on Brandon Brooks – BGN Radio
Nick Sirianni spoke with the Philly media on Monday afternoon and confirmed Brandon Graham season-ending injury to an Achilles tear, provided updates on Brandon Brooks and discussed holding the coaching staff accountable following the Eagles loss to the 49ers 17-11.
Own Worst Enemy – Iggles Blitz
Hurts ran well and led the team on one scoring drive. He gave the Eagles a chance. But he’s got to be a better pocket passer. The offense can’t be quick screens and QB runs. You must be able to sit in the pocket and complete intermediate passes on a consistent basis to move the ball. The Eagles love RAC yards and didn’t get many of them on Sunday. Give SF credit to be sure. Their back seven played well. Still, Hurts and the Eagles passing game have to be better. I would think that will be a point of emphasis for the coaches this week.
The non-touchdown play to Reagor wasn’t just a microcosm of the Eagles’ loss. But it was also a good summary of Reagor’s career to this point. Obvious talent, but not much to show for it. It was such a good sign that Reagor was able to get in the end zone in the Eagles’ Week 1 win over the Falcons. And the thought of Reagor starting his second season with touchdowns in back-to-back games would be very encouraging, especially given how disappointing his rookie campaign was. Instead, Reagor finished with 2 catches on 5 targets for just 5 yards. A disappointing day in a disappointing loss that all might have changed if his feet landed a few inches to the left.
From the Ravens’ upset to Kyler Murray’s magic, 15 developments from Week 2 that will matter – The Athletic
14. We still don’t know what the Eagles want their offense to look like with Jalen Hurts. That’s because what they did in Week 2 in the loss to the 49ers was a lot different than what they did in Week 1. The opener was all about Hurts getting the ball out quickly on short passes and letting playmakers do work in space. Against San Francisco, though, Hurts’ average pass traveled a league-high 14.6 yards past the line of scrimmage. And 26.1 percent of his attempts were into tight windows, which was second to only Daniel Jones. Hurts’ expected completion percentage was 56.2, which was third-lowest among starters. Bottom line: He was attempting a lot of high degree-of-difficulty throws. The 49ers were playing with a banged-up secondary, and the Eagles tried to attack them downfield but were mostly held in check. Hurts completed just 12 passes but continued to use his legs to extend drives. Hurts had the highest EPA on scrambles of any quarterback in Week 2. Through two games, he ranks seventh in QBR. The Eagles will continue to work on figuring out an offensive identity as they prepare for a Monday night showdown against the Cowboys.
Week 2’s biggest decisions: Ravens’ fourth-down call pays off; Giants too cautious? – NFL.com
Under Pederson, the Eagles accounted for three of 11 “go for two when down eight” decisions made between the 2017 and 2020 seasons. Pederson’s successor, Nick Sirianni, continued the trend here. And while the benefit was marginal, according to the Next Gen Stats Decision Guide, the decision was nonetheless the overall right call, given that a successful 2-point conversion would have brought their win probability to 9 percent, compared to just 7 percent after a successful extra-point kick. Sirianni and the Eagles never got the ball back, as the 49ers converted a first down in three plays to set up three consecutive kneeldowns by Jimmy Garoppolo. But as many have explained before, the math behind the decision gave the Eagles the best opportunity to win. Having completed the 2-point conversion (46 percent probability), Philly would have been able to take the lead with an extra-point kick, should the team have gotten the ball back and scored a touchdown. Failing to convert the 2-point try would still have allowed for an opportunity to tie the game with another touchdown and a second 2-point attempt.
QR Week 2: King Henry Goes Once More Unto the Breech – Football Outsiders
QB22) Jalen Hurts. Hurts’ totals include -8 DYAR receiving for his only target, an incompletion. Hurts was kind of the anti-Baker Mayfield in that he threw a lot deeper this week. In Week 1, Hurts’ average pass traveled a league-low 3.8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage; in Week 2, that average was a league-high 14.2 yards. Mind you, there’s a difference between deep passes and deep completions. Hurts had eight of the former but only two of the latter, though those two completions did produce 117 yards.
What we learned from Eagles-49ers: Nick Sirianni will have rookie moments; Jalen Hurts a work in progress – Inquirer
Hurts can throw from the pocket. He can look off his first few reads and complete passes. It may not be a strength yet, but Sirianni has to give him opportunities. Yes, you want to win games, but Hurts will not develop if he’s asked to only execute RPOs and one-read shot plays. He has two more-than-competent tight ends. It shouldn’t have taken more than three quarters for Ertz and Dallas Goedert to be targeted. Sirianni went heavy with three-receiver sets (75%), up from 60% in Week 1. The Eagles will need to be explosive, but DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Jalen Reagor are still young and growing. Use them and push them, but not at the expense of your best talent. A tight end, as they say, can be a young quarterback’s best friend, particularly from the pocket.
Best available running backs on the Week 3 waiver wire – DraftKings Nation
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (28.1%). Next up —at Dallas Cowboys. Gainwell had a modest afternoon in the Eagles’ 17-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, getting six carries for 14 yards and two receptions for 18 yards. The entire Philly offense struggled on Sunday, so there should be an uptick in production next Monday.
The Winners and Losers of NFL Week 2 – The Ringer
But it has a critical problem: There’s only one passing option on the play—the throw from the wide receiver on an end-around to the quarterback, who’s supposed to sneak into the end zone unnoticed. If the defense does notice that guy, there’s nowhere to go. Your quarterback isn’t skilled at getting open, and he’s going up against a starting defender used to guarding wide receivers. And your wide receiver isn’t used to fitting balls into tight windows. San Francisco noticed that guy. Jalen Hurts didn’t make much of an attempt to get open, and even though Greg Ward Jr. was a quarterback in college, he didn’t feel comfortable throwing the ball, and tossed it away. Unfortunately, it was a fourth down. The Philly Regular was a turning point. Just a few plays earlier, the Eagles had hit on a 91-yard pass play from Hurts to Quez Watkins. But Philly dicked around on the goal line, and wound up with zero points. The Eagles should’ve taken a 10-0 lead; instead they gave up 17 unanswered points, failing to score until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Eagles were like a band from the 1960s touring in 2021. (Like, say, the Eagles.) They tried playing the hits—but it’s less fun to hear the hits if none of the band members are the same and there’s a different voice singing the lyrics.
Ex-Eagles head coach Doug Pederson focused only on potential NFL opportunities, not college – CBS Sports
With one of the top college football head coaching job already available, and more inevitably to come, there has been buzz about former Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson perhaps being coveted by USC or others. However, Pederson is focused only on a return to the NFL at this point, according to league sources, and is putting his time and preparation into a return in 2022. Pederson is following the league closely and keeping tabs on what a potential NFL staff might look like as well, with interview opportunities undoubtedly to come in January. The Eagles parted ways with Pederson last year later than what is the norm, making him a free agent while many head coaching searches were already well underway.
Sam Darnold Has Much More Support Around Him on the Panthers – MAQB
It’s hard to blame a player for getting hurt, but Carson Wentz has long needed to be more judicious with how he plays. And while the hit on which he hurt his ankle(s) would’ve been tough to avoid (Aaron Donald ran him down from behind and bent him backwards), it was another snap where Wentz held the ball and gave the defense time to get to him. In other spots, he stuck his nose into places where he could’ve managed to save the damage on his body. And again, some of this is bad luck. But if this bid for a football rebirth in Indy is going to work, Wentz has to stay on the field, and based on how often he gets hurt, a big part of that should probably be an adjustment to his playing style. Ben Roethlisberger went through this nearly a decade ago, when Todd Haley arrived as his new OC in Pittsburgh. And now, very clearly, it’s Wentz’s turn to make the changes he needs to, just to give himself a chance.
Report: Colts QB Carson Wentz Suffered Sprains in Both Ankles During Sunday’s Loss – Stampede Blue
The two ankle injuries certainly cloud Wentz’s potential availability (or lack thereof) even more for a critical divisional clash against the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on the road this weekend, who remain the frontrunner to win the AFC South’s crown as reigning champions. Without Wentz, the Colts will have to turn to 2nd-year quarterback Jacob Eason, who’s essentially a rookie in experience, having not garnered any snaps during 2020 in either the regular season or preseason. (Although he did receive 1st-team offensive reps this past training camp and preseason as Wentz recovered from his late offseason foot surgery).
Ten lessons learned from the Cowboys win over the Chargers – Blogging The Boys
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky rather than good. The Cowboys played their hearts out in this one. Still, the Chargers could so easily have won it. Twice in the second half they had touchdowns wiped out by penalties. The first led to Damontae Kazee’s interception in the end zone. The second forced them to settle for three rather than six. Those were two flags that definitely had a huge impact on the eventual outcome. Outside of that, there were several other plays where the referees made calls that seemed to favor Dallas, including the sack awarded to Micah Parsons. And luck can be both some calls by the zebras that go in your favor, or the other team making a lot of errors to draw penalties. While the Cowboys had plenty of their own boneheaded plays, such as going for the block on the punt (which admittedly seemed to have a missed holding call by L.A.), they still came out ahead in penalties. Eight infractions for 76 yards is not good, but the Chargers’ 12 for 99 is worse.
J.J. Watt channels Ted Lasso and Lamar Jackson’s big night: What you might have missed in NFL Week 2 – ESPN
Before you say anything: Please understand that I am not saying they are the division favorite. I am saying it’s not an overreaction to say they’re the favorite, because it wouldn’t be an overreaction to say that about Washington or Philadelphia either. Maybe even the Giants, but it’s been so darn long since the Giants have been good that I struggle to extend them any benefit of the doubt. The point is, if you thought before the season that the Cowboys would win the division, and you’ve watched their first two games, you probably still think that. The DeMarcus Lawrence injury and the La’el Collins suspension are both damaging and likely will cost them games. But they didn’t cost them Sunday’s game, and the Cowboys are 1-0 without those guys. Tread water until they get back, steal another game here or there, beat the other teams in the division, and they could be in strong position for a big finish come December and January.
Giants’ Kenny Golladay: I was yelling at Jason Garrett – Big Blue View
When cameras caught New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay blowing off steam near the end of Thursday’s loss to the Washington Football Team, it looked like his target was quarterback Daniel Jones. Turns out, his target was offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. “Pretty much just me talking to JG (offensive coordinator Jason Garrett) a little bit and that’s two competitive guys right there,” Golladay said. More so, just me wanting to do anything I can. Not so much, ‘Give me the ball more,’ though.”
Peyton Manning said he was paranoid the Patriots used to bug his locker – SB Nation
Here’s Peyton’s answer transcribed: “Every time I played against New England, I used to go talk to my receivers in the shower in the far corner, I’m like ‘don’t talk about a play next to my locker, because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there.’” The Patriots were famously at the center of “SpyGate” in 2007, a scandal that saw head coach Bill Belichick fined $500K and the team docked a first round pick after a league investigation showed New England videotaped signals from the Jets’ defensive coaches. The Patriots had another major scandal a few years later with DeflateGate.
Monday Football Monday #54: Lamar Jackson balls out, Titans pull together comeback win in Seattle + notable injuries – The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney discuss all of the Week 2 NFL storylines including the Titans OT victory over the Seahawks, the Bills dominating performance, Kyler Murray who had an unbelievable fourth down pass to Christian Kirk, Lamar Jackson who finally gets a victory over Patrick Mahomes and so much more.
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