Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/8/18.
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Eagles say ref assessed penalty on them that was actually on Falcons - PFT
The Eagles’ win over the Falcons on Thursday night was a penalty-filled mess, but on one penalty in particular, the Eagles say the officials accidentally called it on them when it was actually on the Falcons. Eagles coach Doug Pederson told ESPN he’s convinced that when the officials called offsetting penalties on an Eagles punt in the fourth quarter, both of the penalties were actually on the Falcons. The officials called holding on No. 39 on the Eagles, but there was no No. 39 on the field for the Eagles. Replays did show that No. 39 on the Falcons, Deante Burton, committed holding.
13 things we learned from the Eagles’ familiar win over the Falcons - BGN
Let’s start with the stats: 19/34 (55.9%), 117 yards (3.3 average), 0 TD, 1 INT, 50.7 passer rating. Oh, and one reception for 15 yards. Overalll, it just wasn’t a great night for the reigning Super Bowl MVP. “BUT THE ONLY NUMBER THAT MATTERS IS 1-0!” you may retort. Yes, obviously Nick Foles played well enough to where the Eagles could win with him. But let’s not confuse that to say they won because of him.
NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 1 edition - PhillyVoice
They won a Super Bowl without their MVP QB, their Hall of Fame LT, their starting RB, their young emerging MLB, their kicker, their special teams captain, and others. They’ve faced severe adversity, and won anyway. For any other team to be in this spot before the start of the season would be absolutely asinine.
Looking Back at the Opener - Iggles Blitz
Dan Quinn is a good coach. Doug Pederson is a great coach. When you are a head coach who runs part of the team, you must hire someone who can run the other side of the ball and do a great job. Pederson is a brilliant offensive mind. He hired Jim Schwartz to run his defense. Schwartz can run the defense and get them to play at a high level. Beyond that, they can come up big in key situations. Just think about the Red Zone stop against Atlanta last night and last year. Think about the strip-sack of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Think about multiple 4th quarter stops of the Rams in that game. This is not a fluke. Pederson got his offense to execute in the Red Zone and that proved to be the difference in the game. Beyond that, when his team was struggling, Pederson made the great call for Philly Philly and that brought some juice to the action. It got the team going and sent the stadium over the edge. Pederson also has this ability to keep his team calm when things aren’t going their way.
Beware, NFL: Eagles defense may have gotten even better - ESPN
The league might have a problem on its hands, because one of the top-rated defenses from 2017 is looking as ferocious as ever, and is oozing with confidence coming off a championship run that has armed them with valuable experience. It came up with a pair of goal-line stands Thursday, both to open and close the game, and held the Falcons’ high-powered offense to just one touchdown on five red-zone trips.
Upon further review: What we learned about the Eagles’ offense in Week 1 - The Athletic
Mike Wallace, meanwhile, was targeted three times. His best chance for a big play was on a go route down the left sideline in the fourth quarter, but Foles made a poor throw. One bright spot: According to Next Gen Stats, on two of his routes, Wallace reached max speeds of 20.6 and 21.0 mph, respectively. He only reached those speeds once in all of 2017. That tells me he was fresh (first game of the season) and can still run. Of course, he still needs to get open consistently and improve his timing with Foles (and then Carson Wentz).
A Day Later, Win Looks Even Better - PE.com
September is for banking wins. And the Eagles did just that on Thursday night, beating Atlanta 18-12. Now the players are off until Monday. This mini-bye week is just perfect. Being 1-0 and doing it the way the Eagles did it on a most unusual opener feels right. Deserved. The Eagles are going to enjoy this weekend. “I like it. I like having Thursday games in general, because Thursday games almost give you another bye week, so now we have two of them this year,” center Jason Kelce said a few days before the game against the Falcons. “After this Thursday against Atlanta, we’re going to get three or four days off and then go into Week 2, so in my opinion those small, mini-byes end up making a big difference, so I’m happy that we have it.”
Despite the stats, Eagles’ Ronald Darby didn’t let Julio Jones beat him - Daily News
Ronald Darby not only fought the good fight, he won it. This might not be apparent from the stat line that shows Atlanta megastar wide receiver Julio Jones with 10 catches for 169 yards Thursday night, but it is true, nonetheless. Jones, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, did not score a touchdown, matched against Darby, the Eagles’ top corner, whenever Jones lined up to his left, or against Jalen Mills on the other side. He was targeted an astonishing 19 times in 43 Atlanta pass attempts. Ten catches out of 19 targets for the guy who might be the NFL’s most dominant receiver is not a bad evening’s work for the opposing secondary, especially if you’re playing to keep him in front of you, and that is where he stays. Jones’s longest gain of the night, 36 yards, came on Atlanta’s final drive, Jones got inside Mills and cut across the middle.
What Five Game-Changing Moments From the NFL Kickoff Tell Us About the Falcons and Eagles - The Ringer
It was an amazing troll job by Pederson and sparked the Eagles offense, which, to that point, had looked uninspired. Philly marched down the field and, five plays later, scored a go-ahead touchdown. After the game, Pederson noted that this particular iteration of the play, at least in the Eagles’ playbook, is called the Philly Philly. The Eagles may be running out of chances to use that type of trick, but it illustrates a slowly changing attitude that favors aggressive, nontraditional play-calling in key situations. There’s an old maxim that fortune favors the bold, and the Eagles are clearly buying into that. The NFL at large may soon follow.
Why Eagles took a different approach to national anthem to start season - Undefeated
“I’m following Malcolm’s lead on that [whether to protest],” said Long, who contributed 1½ sacks and consistently pressured Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. “If he wants to protest, I’m down with it. But my whole thing is that I know we’re making an effort to move to attacking the issues. People continually focus on the protest and not what we’re doing. What Malcolm always has been doing. What a guy like Colin, who doesn’t have a job right now, has always been doing. I’m down for whatever. Really. But at the end of the day, the work off the field won’t stop. Malcolm has done a really good job drawing attention to that work.”
Clutch Encounters: ATL-PHI - Football Outsiders
Before the final drama, the Eagles still had to regain the lead after Atlanta had taken a 12-10 lead. Matt Bryant’s extra point loomed large at first, but ultimately became a moot point. Still, Atlanta’s special teams had a bad fourth quarter. At the end of a 12-yard punt return by Darren Sproles, the Falcons were penalized 15 more yards for a reckless grab of the face mask. That set up Nick Foles at his own 46, only needing a field goal with 4:51 left. Not exactly the stuff of legends, and it ended up being a drive dominated by the running backs. On a third-and-8 when Atlanta could have forced a three-and-out (or fourth-and-short at midfield), a cutesy scheme failed the Falcons. Vic Beasley is supposed to be the team’s best edge rusher, so why was he dropping back so deep into a zone he would have no effect on? Either have him spy Sproles, a proven receiving back, or let him rush the passer on a big third down like you would expect to see. Instead, Beasley tried to make up the ground he lost to tackle Sproles short, but the 35-year-old back broke through his tackle to pick up just enough yards for a huge conversion.
Matt Ryan’s struggles against Philadelphia, in the red zone continue - PFF
What followed over the next three plays was a clinic by the Philadelphia defense, putting Ryan under pressure that led to a throwaway, a throw out of the back of the end zone and a play where Ryan was hit as he threw. Fourth down saw a hopeful heave by Ryan also go through the back of the end zone, but a penalty gave the Falcons one last try. If anything was obvious from what had come before it in the game, the ball was always likely to go to Julio Jones. He would finish the game with 18 targets, but the final one wasn’t good enough to win the game.
Keanu Neal out for the season with a torn ACL, per Adam Schefter - The Falcoholic
It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for the defense. Neal is a physical tone setter at the strong safety position, one who is competent-to-good in coverage, excellent in run support, and tremendous at delivering jarring hits that knock balls loose and terrify wide receivers and tight ends. That physicality and skill is going to be so missed, and it makes that Eagles loss even more costly and upsetting than it already was.
The Falcons red zone failures have become a capital-T Thing - SB Nation
If you think about it, there are two primary goals to any offense: creating scoring opportunities and then converting them into points. In his 19 regular season and playoff games as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian has proven himself to be one of the best in the league at the former. And it has exposed just how bad he appears to be at the latter.
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