Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/4/18.
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The irony in Eagles’ intense practices - NBC Sports Philadelphia
“It was intense, for sure,” Zach Ertz said. “Most intense practice we’ve had probably in a long time. Full pads, 1’s against the 1’s. Since the season started, we’d only have a couple plays here and there during Wednesday and Thursday practices, 1’s against the 1’s whereas today the whole practice was. We did a lot of situation work, trying to get those situations with Nick (Foles), give him the opportunity to go through them with us. I thought it was a great practice. It was really intense. A lot of trash talking, as you would expect when the guys are heated like that.” Doug Pederson said Tuesday his so-called player’s council — a group of veterans he meets with regularly — requested tougher practices this week.
Eagles’ home field defense will give them fighting chance to make Super Bowl - BGN
Jim Schwartz isn’t perfect, but he’s a pretty good defensive coordinator. His unit has been able to do some real impressive things at the Linc. It’s not just like they’ve beat up on bad teams. I always think back to how he shut down an historically good Falcons offense last season.
Final Eagles 2017 drop tally - PhillyVoice
The improvement from 10.2 percent to 8.6 percent, was significant, but not drastic. The biggest drop offenders in 2017, as the chart above shows, were Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor, who each had seven drops on the season. However, the difference between those two players is that Agholor made more than his share of big plays, while Smith left a lot to be desired. A number of Smith’s drops were egregious, like the one last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys that hit him in between the 8 and the 2, and likely would have gone for a score. Without naming Smith specifically, Doug Pederson noted his frustration with that drop in his press conference on Tuesday.
Practice Makes Perfect - Iggles Blitz
Pederson decided to be pro active and put his players through tough, competitive practices. Iron sharpens iron, as the saying goes. He wants his players to push each other and to get this team back on track. You might wonder about having a tough practice during the bye week. What’s the point in having the week off if you’re going to go hard in practice? Games are a whole other level of intensity and wear and tear. A tough practice can help you improve, but isn’t going to exhaust you to the point where you need several days to recover. There is a huge difference. The players are on board with the tough practices and that’s important. They know things have to change. They’re embracing the challenge of the postseason and doing whatever they can to get back to playing good football.
Are the No. 1-seeded Eagles the least feared of all the NFL playoff teams? - CBS Sports
The bar for success in Philadelphia has been both drastically raised and lowered all in one season
Lawlor: A Guide To Wild Card Weekend For Eagles Fans - PE.com
The Eagles got the No. 1 seed and a bye week so they will be spectators on Wild Card weekend. There is a pair of games featuring NFC teams, with the Falcons playing the Rams on Saturday and the Panthers playing at the Saints on Sunday. Both games will be of tremendous interest to the Eagles. The Rams are the only team the Eagles can’t face in the Divisional Round. They are the No. 3 seed and if they win, the Rams will face the Vikings. That leaves the Falcons, Panthers, and Saints as potential opponents so let’s talk about them and what to watch for this weekend.
The 10 most important Eagles going into the postseason - The Athletic
1. Nick Foles – There’s no need to overthink this one. Foles has been flat-out bad in his last five quarters of action: 23-for-49 for 202 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He’s completed 46.9 percent of his attempts and averaged 4.1 YPA during that stretch. His processing has been too slow, his accuracy has been off, and his decision-making has been suspect. Doug Pederson started Foles in a meaningless Week 17 game to build up his confidence, and the offense came up scoreless on four offensive drives. Despite what Foles has said, he looks like a player who’s unsure of himself. Historically, he’s been an aggressive downfield passer, but just 11.9 percent of Foles’ passes in the last three weeks have traveled 20 yards or more downfield.
Eagles’ Nick Foles says he feels re-energized, but will it matter? - PennLive
For those words to carry significance, the good vibes must translate into game action. Foles has struggled to complete passes to his outside receivers -- particularly Alshon Jeffery -- since taking over for Wentz, and he’s steered the team to a 1 of 17 conversion rate on third downs over the past two weeks. Perhaps Foles grew a bit overwhelmed with his new responsibilities after Wentz’s injury. He played well in his first start of the year, throwing four touchdowns in a win over the Giants on Dec. 17, but troubles hit in a narrow win over the Raiders and a quarter’s worth of play in a Week 17 loss to the Cowboys.
Final NFL stats leaders in every major category for 2017 season - ESPN
Considering that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson essentially accounted for every offensive touchdown his team scored in 2017, it should be no surprise he claimed the passing touchdown crown. Had he stayed healthy, Carson Wentz almost certainly would have beaten out Wilson, but it shows just how ascendant Wentz was that he still finished second after missing the tail end of the season because of a knee injury. Brady’s inclusion is old hat at this point.
32 NFL Observations, Week 17 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: Prior to his injury, quarterback Carson Wentz posted an adjusted completion percentage of 75.9 percent on his attempts inside his opponents’ 20-yard line. This ranks second among quarterbacks with at least 25 red-zone attempts this year, and it’s the highest mark recorded by an Eagles quarterback since Kevin Kolb in 2010. Wentz’s 116.3 red-zone passer rating leads the league’s signal-callers, and it’s the highest rating by an Eagles quarterback since Nick Foles’ 118.0 rating in 2013.
Sean McDermott Has Buffalo Bills in Playoffs Now, Pointing in Right Direction For Future - Sports Illustrated
The first-year coach navigated difficult circumstances, partly of his own doing, to lead Buffalo to its first postseason berth in 18 years. Other sections include: Carr’s role in luring Gruden; why Lewis stayed in Cincy; the Browns’ blueprint to compete in 2018; and much more.
What do NFL players do when the season ends? - SB Nation
Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz explains a couple different scenarios for players.
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