Subject: Crunching The Numbers: Washington Redskins
Will the Eagles sweep the Redskins for the first time since 2013?
Welcome to another edition of Crunching The Numbers, where I compare the Eagles against their upcoming opponent in a set of select statistics to preview the game. If you want more information on my methodology, or read previous posts, check out this hub.
The Eagles have a big game this week against what appears to be their biggest threat to winning the division for the first time in four seasons. But first, I want to adjudicate my “game plan” for the Panthers by seeing how my thoughts and suggestions held up against what actually happened. My main points were:
- The Eagles should be aggressive (again) and attempt some fourth downs in the game. They should also go deep, specifically early in the game.
- The defense should focus on playing contain, pressuring Newton with four rushers, and only allowing completions underneath.
The one big thing I got wrong here was how the Eagles would utilize ball control. I figured they would use the same strategy of killing the clock to keep Newton on the bench, but instead they opted for an up-tempo attack to put pressure on the defense. The Eagles lost the time-of-possession battle for the first time this season, but it worked for them.
Other than that, I felt I was fairly accurate with my predictions. They did indeed play contain with four rushers - the running backs were held to under ten yards and while Newton got his, he was rarely able to turn the corner and mostly took stuff up the gut. I also specifically mentioned the defense preventing the deep ball and forcing Newton to use McCaffrey as a safety valve. Well, two of Newton’s deep passes were picked (McCleod’s was called back by a phantom penalty) and McCaffrey ended up with ten receptions. Offensively, my main point was about being aggressive, and boy were they ever. They went for a 4th-and-1 inside the 10 after getting a red zone pick. There are few things more demoralizing then coming up empty after being gifted field position like that, but Fearless Doug wasn’t worried about that. He wanted to go for the jugular, as was further evidenced by his decision to take points off the board after a penalty on the PAT and go for two.
My favorite line from last week’s post?
I won’t be upset if [the Eagles] win the toss and defer [they lost the toss and received], but the defense better be ready to be physical right out of the gate if that happens.
I think it’s safe to say that the Eagles were indeed physical on defense.
But enough about the Panthers. What does my crystal ball have to say about the Redskins? (NOTE: Numbers in parenthesis represent league rank. Boldface numbers represent which team has the edge in that matchup.)
For as much skepticism as we’ve had about the Redskins, they are certainly performing well in three of the five categories. In particular, Kirk Cousins’ 8.0 YPA is tied for first in the league... with Tom Brady. They are also top ten in TOP and PTS/1HLF. The Eagles have a lot going for them right now, but given the way Washington plays them and the fact that they’re actually playing decent football, we should not be expecting a cakewalk by any means. This will be a hard-fought game and it is very possible the Redskins steal a win on Monday night.
Let’s look to see what Philadelphia can do to prevent that from happening.
When The Eagles Have The Ball
The one thing that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet are injuries, and while the Redskins have been without Josh Norman for a few weeks, they just recently lost their other starting corner, Bashaud Breeland, in their last game. They still haven’t been as injured as the Eagles have been here, who have missed their free safety, best corner, and best cover linebacker at different times this season. And yet their secondary has produced similar numbers defending the pass, allowing 10.4 OY/CMP to the Eagles’ 10.5.
What I’m trying to say here is that Washington needs to be tested on the deep ball early and often. If this sounds like a broken record from the last two weeks, my apologies. I can’t really help that the Eagles happen to be facing defenses with similar strengths and weaknesses for three straight weeks. Which is why it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that the Eagles should also be... aggressive again! Like Arizona (27th) and Carolina (20th), Washington also struggles with OY/PT. As the Cardinals and Panthers showed us, this means they will give up touchdowns. Don’t settle for three if seven is there to be had. This is especially true if Cousins decides to think he’s Aaron Rodgers like he tends to do against the Eagles. If this game turns into a shootout, which it might since Washington is averaging 15 PTS/1HLF, Fearless Doug needs to carpe diem on fourth downs.
When The Redskins Have The Ball
As I touched on a bit above, the Redskins have been a well-oiled machine on offense, producing top ten numbers in YPA (1st), TOP (5th), and PTS/1HLF (6th). Given Cousins’ ability to push the ball down the field and Jay Gruden’s style of offense, I really want to see some press-man to disrupt the intermediate timing routes while playing two-deep bracket coverage on the speedier receivers. Chris Thompson has been the big surprise for Washington this season, as he leads the team in both rushing and receiving. As good as the Redskins are up front, I think Schwartz needs to trust that his line will hit home and give the second level some room to key in on Thompson. I don’t think putting a spy on him would be too crazy of an idea, actually. He is clearly their biggest playmaker right now and shutting him down could make Cousins uncomfortable if the pass rush is having success.
Playing a strategy like this is not without risks, as it requires extreme discipline with communication in the secondary. Playing a two-deep cover shell will provide some easy reads for an experienced quarterback, and if someone blows their assignment that can go for a long touchdown.
Outside of those suggestions, in general I think it’s crucially important to set the tone as soon as possible. Washington’s ability to find a rhythm early in the game and score in the first half should be respected. Taking that away from them early would take them out of their element and should open things up for the Eagles later in the game.
After beating the Panthers on a short week in Charlotte, the Eagles look like a team that can take on anybody. But as any fan of the NFC East knows, division games are a different animal altogether. We should NOT sleep on the Redskins. They are a legitimate threat in the division and unless the Eagles play good, clean football they can easily lose this one. It wasn’t too long ago that we were lamenting how Washington had managed to beat us five times in a row.
Of course, ever since they found their ground game in Week 3, when adversity has challenged the Eagles they have risen to the occasion. I’m a big believer in Doug Pederson and have no reason to feel that this game, at home in a rocking Linc on ten days’ rest, will be any different.
The Redskins are good, but they are beatable. It’s time to fully turn the tables on the recent rivalry.
Subject: Eagles place Chris Maragos on injured reserve, promote Nate Gerry to active roster
This is a bummer.
The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced a few roster moves on Thursday morning.
Losing Maragos is unfortunate. He’s Philly’s special teams captain. He also provides emergency depth at safety. Depending on the severity of his injury, Maragos could potentially be brought back later this season. He’s eligible to return to the roster after eight weeks if the Eagles decide to use one of their two allowed “return from IR” designations on him.
With Maragos placed on IR, the Eagles had an open roster spot. They decided to fill it by calling up 2017 fifth-round pick Nate Gerry from the practice squad.
Gerry played safety at Nebraska but the Eagles have been transitioning him to linebacker in the NFL. Philly will be counting on him to contribute to their special teams unit.
UPDATED LOOK AT THE 2017 EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
WR Rashard Davis
CB DeVante Bausby
QB Nate Sudfeld
C/G Josh Andrews
TE Billy Brown
Subject: Morning Wood: Sleeve of Wizard
Subject: Ronald Darby returns to Eagles practice ahead of Redskins game
Here’s some encouraging news: Philadelphia Eagles starting cornerback Ronald Darby is returning to practice this week. Head coach Doug Pederson revealed as much during his press conference on Thursday morning.
It’s unclear if Darby will play Monday night against the Washington Redskins. Pederson said that he doesn’t want to rush him back and the team needs to see where he’s at with his conditioning.
Getting Darby back would be a big boost for the Eagles’ defense. Young corners Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas have shown good effort in his absence, but Darby is clearly Philadelphia’s most talented corner when healthy.
Darby’s practice will be interesting to monitor as the week goes along. Even if he can’t play against Washington on Monday night, maybe he’ll be ready to play in the Eagles’ game against the 49ers in Week 8. His return to practice indicates he’s closer to suiting up for game action.
Q: IS DARBY GOING TO BE ABLE TO PRACTICE THIS WEEK? DO YOU ANTICIPATE HIM BEING ABLE TO PLAY ON MONDAY?
Pederson: He’s actually going to practice this week. And I can’t commit at this time to if he’s going to be ready, but we’re going to get him some reps this week and then see where he’s at. But he’s doing extremely well.
Q: WHAT WOULD DARBY NEED TO SHOW YOU THIS WEEK TO FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT PUTTING HIM BACK IN A GAME?
Pederson: Yeah, I mean, obviously with the time off, you know, there’s a lot of things that are involved. Conditioning, number one, is probably the most important thing. How sore does he get during the week. And by no means do I want to rush him back and say “We said this is the week […] let’s go play.” There’s a lot of factors that have to be sort of right. Stars have to align in order for him to be ready to go. But this week will be good just to get back and begin that process of practicing and getting that conditioning back.
Subject: Ronald Darby Will Return To Practice This Week
Subject: NFL Picks Week 7 2017: Predictions by Football Writers
Predicting the winners of this week's NFL games.
The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are in for Week 7 of the 2017 regular season schedule! Each week we'll predict the winners of each and every NFL game. We'll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season.
After Week 6, the collective BGN Community is still in sole possession of first place. But your lead continues to slip. We’re coming for you.
The Philadelphia Eagles are back at home for a game against the Washington Redskins this week and the entire BGN crew is taking the Birds to win ... except for one non-believer! I won’t name names, but shame on him.
Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You can also vote for who you think will win the games. I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column. Vote in the polls beneath the table. (Click here if you can’t see the polls.)
Let's get to this week's picks!
Vote for YOUR picks below. (Once again, click here if you can’t see the polls.)
Subject: Checking out the competition: Nashville Predators with Adam Jazdzewski
Turns out Preds fans also thought the challenge was a bad idea
Kelly from BSH Radio is joined by Adam Jazdzewski from On The Forecheck to see what we should expect from tonight’s meeting with the Nashville Predators. The Flyers are coming off two strong home games and have some revenge to dish out after their late-game meltdown in Nashville, so it’ll be interesting to see what we get. Topics include:
- Dave Hakstol’s dumb stupid offside challenge
- The fact that everyone loves Shayne Gostisbehere
- The Flyers’ pretty excellent power play units
- Filip Forsberg’s greasy moves
Tonight’s game airs at 7PM on NBC Sports Philly. Let’s go Flyers!
Subject: Preview: Flyers look for third-straight win vs. Predators
The home stand is off to a roaring start, can the Flyers keep the momentum going against the equally hot Preds?
The Flyers continue their five-game home stand when they close out their season series with the Nashville Predators tonight. Puck drop is set for 7pm and the game will air on NBCSP and on radio at 97.5 The Fanatic.
The first two games of the home stand couldn’t have gone better as the Flyers pounded the Caps 8-2 on Saturday in the home opener and then whipped the visiting Panthers 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Those two victories came following the deflating 6-5 loss at the hands of these same Predators in Nashville almost a week earlier. That game featured the Predators blowing a 3-0 lead and trailing 5-3 at one point before grabbing a go-ahead goal with the score tied at 5-5 with under a minute to play.
Philadelphia trails only the Maple Leafs (28) with 26 goals through six games while the Predators have won three of four after being outscored 8-3 through their first two games (both losses) to start the year. The Flyers have won three of four while outscoring opponents by 10 goals in that span.
Not many players in the NHL are hotter than Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux, who just happen to lead the Flyers’ explosive first line along with Sean Couturier. Voracek has 10 assists through six games while Giroux has points in four-straight, including registering his 400th career assist against the Panthers. Couturier has enjoyed a nice start playing with the former All-Stars as well, notching four goals and three assists already.
Predators coach Peter Laviolette has a hot hand of his own in the form of Filip Forsberg, who has points in four-straight as well and has piled up eight points total in that stretch. Forsberg leads a Nashville power play that is clicking at 28% in the early season, good for second in the league. That should be test for a Flyers penalty kill that has been a sore spot early on for coach Dave Hakstol, killing off just 76% of chances of far.
After an injury scare late against the Panthers, Wayne Simmonds was back on the ice for the Flyers’ morning skate. Per the line rushes it also looks like rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim will draw back in for Dave Hakstol’s club.
Claude Giroux has been a point per game player against Nasville with 14 points in 14 games (six goals, eight assists)...
The Flyers are 12-5-5 all-time against the Predators with three ties...
The Flyers’ lineup (as always subject to change):
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Weal - Filppula - Simmonds (!)
Weise - Patrick - Konecny
Leier - Laughton - Raffl
Provorov - MacDonald
Gostisbehere - Hagg
Sanheim (!) - Gudas
Check out Kelly’s preview with Adam from On The Forecheck:
Subject: Fadeaways: Transition Offense and Interior Defense
Subject: A glance at the Eagles
Plus, an updated game-by-game notebook and a chance to partner with Chris Long’s pledge
Do you realize that if the Philadelphia Eagles capitalize on their 10-day break and beat the Washington Redskins under the Monday night lights in Week Seven that they will be 6-1 overall, 5-0 in the conference and 3-0 in the NFC East?
If you’ve looked at the standings, you should. But the wins have also been stacking up so quickly that it’s hard to grasp just how good of a position this team is in right now. It’s almost harder to grasp that, a month ago, there were rumblings — misguided ones, but rumblings nonetheless — that second-year coach Doug Pederson was already an overlooked man as the leader of this franchise.
Barring a collapse of epic proportions, no one’s getting overlooked any longer. Before we take our weekly look at the game-by-game notebook, a reminder of how the Eagles got to this enviable point, here’s a glance at the second half of the Birds’ 2017 schedule:
Week 7 vs. Redskins — The biggest game of the next four weeks. Save for this year’s opener, Kirk Cousins has traditionally played well vs. the Eagles, but Philly snapped Washington’s win streak in Week One. The Redskins are feistier than we give them credit for and should make this close, but this one will also be at home with the Eagles supremely rested. The Birds should win.
Week 8 vs. 49ers — This has the potential to be an Arizona-type blowout. Maybe the Niners have something in C.J. Beathard, but this has 35 to 40 points written all over it. Trap game? Maybe. But the Eagles defense has been too active to write off for the sake of simply trying to find an “L” on the schedule.
Week 9 vs. Broncos — Here’s one that could be tougher than anticipated, if only because Trevor Siemian isn’t the scariest threat on the block. If Denver’s defense is on, this could very well be something like a 17-14 grinder. Then again, the decimated Giants found life vs. the Broncos, so who’s to say the Eagles won’t be handily favored?
Week 10 (Bye Week) — If Ronald Darby isn’t back by this point, he should be after another week of rest. Pretty good time for a break after three straight home games and an upcoming three-game road trip.
Week 11 @ Cowboys — Who knows where Dallas will be by Week 11, but this could be the biggest matchup of the year depending on Washington’s trajectory after this week’s Monday night game. Complacency cost the Eagles a road win against the ‘Boys in 2016, and this one should be a nail-biter regardless of the teams’ records. Something says Dak Prescott will be shouldering a little too much in front of Jim Schwartz’s front seven.
Week 12 vs. Bears — Home-field advantage is back to being a real thing under Pederson, so this one could offer as much blowout potential as the Niners. And yet, for some reason, Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears’ running back duo seem like they’d also make for spoiler material. This feels like it could swing either way — a 42-14 rout or a 23-16 upset for Chicago on a rare off day for the Eagles.
Week 13 @ Seahawks — The Eagles have lost five of their last six to the Seahawks, and Seattle is always a tough place to play, as cliche as that sounds. This is also the time of the year when Pete Carroll’s group usually starts to turn it on, so if you’re looking for the toughest game remaining on the schedule, it’s probably this one. What a statement it’d be for Carson Wentz, though, to avenge his 2016 loss to Russell Wilson.
Week 14 @ Rams — Jared Goff and Co. are not to be overlooked, which is still a little odd to say but increasingly true. Even if the Eagles escape Seattle with a win, a trip to Los Angeles immediately afterward could be problematic.
Week 15 @ Giants — New York will have a grand opportunity to play spoiler, and the roles have been reversed many times over the years. It’s easy to chalk up a “W” with the Giants still just 1-5, but the Eagles also needed a last-second field goal to beat Eli Manning the first time. Like every other divisional game, this should be close.
Week 16 vs. Raiders — What once was primed to be maybe the most anticipated showdown of the year has quickly transformed into a good matchup for Philly. Derek Carr is bound to pick it up in Oakland, but will he have help? This Christmas showdown should still warrant attention, but it’s not nearly as daunting as it once seemed.
Week 17 vs. Cowboys — If Dallas inexplicably turns things around and even beats the Eagles at its own home, this becomes ultra-important. For now, the expectation is it’ll look much like 2016’s finale, except with Philadelphia preparing for a playoff run and the Cowboys looking for an offseason confidence boost.
In case you missed it, Eagles defensive end Chris Long is donating his entire season’s worth of game checks to fund education for lower-income youth. He’s seeking $10,000 in additional pledged donations and said he plans to donate an extra $50,000 to one of the three cities in which he’s played for an NFL team.
In an effort to support Long’s investment in education and less privileged communities, we’d like to challenge you to chip in. I’ve donated to the “Philadelphia Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” fund on behalf of Bleeding Green Nation, but I’ll also ship a free copy of “The Eagles Notebook” to a random reader who does the same and donates either $10 or $25 to one of Long’s fundraisers (click here). Just screenshot your donation and share it here, with me @CodyJBenjamin or at CodyJBenjamin@gmail.com.
Week One: Eagles 30, Redskins 17: Year Two of the Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson regime started with the Birds ending a five-game losing streak to the Redskins at FedEx Field, where Jim Schwartz’s front-four rotation led the way. Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan combined for four sacks and two forced fumbles, the second of which was returned 20 yards for a touchdown by Cox, sealing a two-score, fourth-quarter lead. After fellow cornerback Ronald Darby was carted off with an injury, Jalen Mills also aided an Eagles “D” that gave up just 64 rushing yards and three third-down conversions, intercepting Kirk Cousins on a red-zone pass when the ‘Skins trailed by two. With uneven protection and a non-existent running game, Wentz (26-39, 307 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INTs) was the victim of a Ryan Kerrigan pick six but channeled his inner Donovan McNabb on an opening-drive scramble and 58-yard TD heave to Nelson Agholor, then extended plays with tight end Zach Ertz (8 receptions, 93 yards) to set up three Caleb Sturgis field goals and a Gatorade bath for Pederson.
Week Two: Chiefs 27, Eagles 20: Late-game grit and a stout start for Jim Schwartz’s defense weren’t enough for Doug Pederson to best ex-Eagles coach Andy Reid at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs used a 53-yard touchdown run from rookie Kareem Hunt, back-to-back fourth-quarter scores and six sacks of an overburdened Carson Wentz to decide a close one. Big stands from a banged-up Eagles secondary offset a rare Darren Sproles fumble on a punt return inside Birds territory, holding Kansas City to a 6-3 halftime lead, but heavy pressure on the Eagles QB led to a tipped interception and more red-zone chances for Reid’s unit. Still, Wentz (25-46, 333 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) started efficiently (7-of-9), spread 19 first-down throws to Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Zach Ertz and scrambled his way to a team-high 55 rushing yards on another dismal day for the backfield. Down two scores with :14 left, his 9-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor preceded a perfect onside kick from fill-inJake Elliott, who made up for an earlier 30-yard field goal miss and set up a game-ending Hail Mary try.
Week Three: Eagles 27, Giants 24: They were without four injured starters on defense, gave up 366 passing yards to Eli Manning and lost a 14-0 lead after 21 unanswered Giants points, but Doug Pederson found — and stuck with — a rushing attack, not to mention a clutch kicker, as the Eagles sent New York to 0-3. LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement battered their way to a combined 160 yards on the ground, the former putting Philadelphia up 7-0 in the first. Clement tied the contest at 21 on a 15-yard fourth-quarter run after back-to-back-to-back TDs from the Giants — two acrobatic grabs by Odell Beckham Jr. and a 77-yarder by Sterling Shepard. But rookie kicker Jake Elliott, in his second game replacing an ailing Caleb Sturgis, was the real Eagles hero, booting a team-record 61-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Carson Wentz (21-31, 176 yards, 1 TD) again found tight end Zach Ertz for a score, while the Eagles “D” had a goal-line stand and stout play from young cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas, the latter of whom had a pick along with Patrick Robinson.
Week Four: Eagles 26, Chargers 24: With Eagles fans turning Los Angeles’ StubHub Center into an unofficial home game, Doug Pederson kept the pedal to the metal, pushing Philadelphia atop the NFC East with a run-first approach sans an injured Darren Sproles. LeGarrette Blount (16 carries, 136 yards) led the way with a 68-yard Marshawn Lynch-esque gallop on a fourth-quarter drive that prefaced a diving Wendell Smallwood (79 total yards) touchdown and helped the Eagles dominate time of possession. Corey Clement also got five third-down carries for an offense that didn’t turn the ball over and set up four field goals, including a 53-yarder, from Jake Elliott. The Chargers kept it close as Philip Rivers (347 yards) extended drives with Keenan Allen, found Tyrell Williams for a 75-yard score and pulled L.A. within two with 6:48 to go shortly after a 35-yard TD run by an untouched Austin Ekeler. But the Eagles defense set the tone with an opening-series takeaway, a Chris Long strip sack, and helped establish an early 7-0 lead on a throw from Carson Wentz (17-31, 242 yards, 1 TD) to Alshon Jeffery.
Week Five: Eagles 34, Cardinals 7: A career day for Carson Wentz (21-30, 304 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) and a suffocating start for Jim Schwartz’s defense all but put the Cardinals away after one quarter, when the Eagles led 21-0 after consecutive Doug Pederson-scripted marches down the field. A 15-yard lob from Wentz to tight end Trey Burton started the scoring, and a 76-yard punt return from recently reacquired Kenjon Barner (133 total yards) preceded TD passes to Zach Ertz and Torrey Smith, the latter of whom went 59 yards. Arizona’s Carson Palmer found John Brown for a second-quarter TD, but otherwise, the contest was all Eagles — the D-line got in Palmer’s face, the Cards got just 31 rushing yards and Philly’s Patrick Robinson broke up pass after pass, also blocking a field goal try. Barner and LeGarrette Blount also found lanes vs. a typically feisty Arizona “D,” and receiver Nelson Agholor’s 72-yard third-quarter bomb, with a juke and backward fall into the end zone a la DeSean Jackson, was the icing on the cake. Safety Rodney McLeod forced a fumble to stop a potential last-minute Cards TD.
Week Six: Eagles 28, Panthers 23: On the road with three days of rest, the Eagles overcame 10 penalties -- to Carolina's one -- and a scrappy Panthers defense that capitalized on injured tackle Lane Johnson's absence to pressure Carson Wentz and force an opening-drive fumble. Quarterback Cam Newton kept Carolina close with a 16-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 10, plus a late throw to rookie Christian McCaffrey that kept his team within one score. But Philly also engulfed his ground support via linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham (25 combined tackles), and cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and Rasul Douglas all intercepted him -- Douglas after Fletcher Cox pressure, Robinson off a juggled dump-off and Mills on a wayward deep ball that headlined back-to-back defensive stands with about three minutes left. Two of the turnovers came deep in Panthers territory, where Wentz (16-30, 222 yards, 3 TDs) found Ertz for two TDs and, later, slot receiver Nelson Agholor for a 24-yard catch-and-run. A two-point try and two Jake Elliott field goals at one point had the Eagles up 28-16.
Subject: NFLRA refutes claims of biased officiating
The NFLRA insists each team gets the same treatment
According to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, the National Football League Referees Association has refuted claims that certain referees and their crews have a bias against particular teams.
“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create click-bait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”
As the story notes, the Patriots have complained about receiving unfair treatment when Jerome Boger has officiated their games.
Naturally, the NFLRA is going to push back on this but the numbers and disparity don’t lie.
Pete Morelli’s crew in last FOUR Eagles games— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 13, 2017
Philly penalties - 40 for 396 yards
Opponent penalties - 8 for 72 yards
For comparison, on average in their last four Pete Morelli games, the Eagles are being flagged 10 times for 99 yards as opposed to their opponents who are being flagged two times per game for 18. As Scott Green, Director of the NFLRA, noted in the report, the cited numbers don’t factor in penalties declined, but even then anyone with eyes could see how poorly the Eagles’ Thursday Night Football game was officiated.
Green was also quick to point out clickbait headlines and articles for the general belief of biased officiating. The natural response to that would be for officials to be aware and call the game both ways as it applies. Aside from “clickbait,” fans also have eyes and can typically tell the difference between right and wrong as evidenced by the petition Eagles fans have started to ban Pete Morelli from officiating Eagles games. (The petition now has over 71,500 signatures, by the way.)
Human error is always going to factor into officiating, but the large disparity between teams is always going to raise questions and draw criticism.
Subject: Shut Up, Chris Thompson
Subject: The Eagles Can Grab The NFC East By The Throat With A Win Over Washington
Subject: Carson Wentz named NFL FedEx Air Player of the Week for the second time in a row
He’s on fire.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has officially been named “Fedex Air Player of the Week” for his Week 6 performance against the Carolina Panthers. Wentz won the same award last week, so this makes it two in a row for the second-year quarterback.
Carson Wentz: 16/30 (53.3%), 222 yards (7.4 average), 3 TD, 0 INT, 110.7 passer rating
Carson Palmer: 18/22 (81.8%), 283 yards (12.9 average), 3 TD, 1 INT, 139.4 passer rating
Kirk Cousins: 25/37 (67.6%), 330 yards (8.9 average), 2 TD, 1 INT, 102.3 passer rating
Wentz is obviously having a great season. He’s on pace for 4,224 yards, 35 touchdowns, and eight interceptions this year. Thanks to his performance so far in 2017, Wentz is currently the odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP.
While the awards are nice, they won’t mean much if the Eagles don’t continue to sustain their success. That seems to be something Wentz truly understands. Via NBC Sports Philadelphia:
"I'd say one of the biggest things I learned about him just by going to North Dakota is you see how and why he's that way," Torrey Smith said. "Obviously, he's like that as an individual, but the way they built their program is the same way.
"There's nothing celebrated about all the championships they won. You see it in their trophy case, but you go in that weight room, there's nothing. It's work time. It's all about getting to the next one. Their success, they're worried about the future, and I feel like he's kind of the same way."
The North Dakota State football program has won 13 national championships in either NCAA Division II or Division I Football Championship Subdivision, including five in a row from 2011-15. Wentz was the starting quarterback on the 2014 and 2015 championship teams.
"I remember asking him about that one time: 'You ever talk about the records or anything?'" Smith said. "And he said, 'No, we kind of just go about our work.'"
Subject: NFL Injury Report: Four Eagles players limited in practice, Redskins are banged up
Update on the Eagles’ injury situation.
However, four Eagles players were limited in practice: starting cornerback Ronald Darby, starting linebacker Jordan Hicks, starting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, and backup defensive tackle Beau Allen.
Darby returned to practice on Thursday for the first time since suffering a dislocated ankle in Week 1. Doug Pederson wouldn’t say if he’ll be available for this week’s game, but he did note that the “stars have to align” for Darby to return. It sounds like he has a shot to play this week but perhaps a Week 8 return is more realistic. At the very least, it’s a positive sign to see the team’s starting corner back in practice. Click here for more information on Darby’s status.
Hicks has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury for most of the season. Now he’s listed with a calf injury. The issue caused him to leave the Eagles-Panthers game early. It doesn’t sound like the team’s starting middle linebacker is in danger of missing Monday’s game based on what Pederson said about him.
It's good. Yes, he will. He'll go. He's doing fine. So [there] should be no issues [and] no setbacks.
Jernigan only played a limited amount of snaps in the Eagles-Panthers game. Perhaps the extra time off will allow him to be ready to contribute more on Monday night.
Allen was ruled questionable heading into the Eagles-Panthers game. He played anyway. It seems like he should be able to play.
FULL PARTICIPANTS IN PRACTICE
Starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, starting right tackle Lane Johnson, starting defensive end Brandon Graham, running back Wendell Smallwood, and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao were all full participants in practice.
Cox ended up being a game-time decision in Carolina. Now he’s fully back. That’s great news for the Eagles’ defense.
Johnson is also fully back after missing the Eagles’ Week 6 game with a concussion. That’s great news for the Eagles’ offense.
Smallwood being a full participant in practice bodes well for his chances of playing this week. Smallwood hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in Week 4. His presence gives the Eagles another option in the passing game. He’s certainly an improvement over Kenjon Barner.
Vaeao practiced in full for the first time since suffering a wrist injury in Week 1. He projects to be the team’s fourth defensive tackle behind Cox, Jernigan, and Allen. It’s good to have him back just in case Jernigan and/or Allen are limited by injury. More depth.
Backup safety Jaylen Watkins was not listed on the injury report after being marked “questionable” to play in the last two games. Watkins wasn’t active for either contest. Now he’ll likely replace Maragos’ spot on the game day roster. He also provides extra depth at corner.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Thursday)
CB Ronald Darby (ankle)
LB Jordan Hicks (calf)
DT Tim Jernigan (ankle)
DT Beau Allen (foot)
DT Fletcher Cox (calf)
OT Lane Johnson (concussion)
DE Brandon Graham (shoulder)
RB Wendell Smallwood (knee)
DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)
Washington Redskins Injury Report (Thursday)
Washington is dealing with a number of significant injuries. Starting cornerbacks Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland were both limited in practice. Breeland tried to do one-on-one drills before coaches reportedly made him stop. Norman couldn’t even participate in those drills.
Even if Washington’s corners do suit up for Monday’s game, they’ll likely be less than 100%. The Eagles should test them deep early on.
Starting left tackle Trent Williams missed practice. A knee injury almost caused him to miss the 49ers game, but he’s been toughing it out. Washington is thin at tackle because top backup Ty Nsekhe isn’t practicing.
Did Not Participate
OT Trent Williams (knee)
OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
LB Ryan Anderson (back)
CB Bashaud Breeland (knee)
CB Josh Norman (rib)
OG Tyler Catalina (concussion)
RB Rob Kelley (ankle)
S Stefan McClure (knee)
LB Mason Foster (shoulder)
CB Fabian Moreau (shoulder/hamstring)
S Montae Nicholson (shoulder)
Subject: Sixers Notes: She Blinded Me With Sports Science
Subject: Flyers unveil statue of Ed Snider
The statue of the Flyers’ founder and long-time owner watching over the Wells Fargo Center was unveiled prior to this evening’s game.
Last season was quite the spectacle of 50th Anniversary events and celebrations for the Flyers organization. And today is another special day in Flyers history.
Fifty years ago on this day, the Flyers played their first home game at the Spectrum. It would be nice to bring that full circle with a home game at the old barn, but it was torn down between November 2010 and May 2011.
We wouldn't let this day go uncelebrated. This is a city filled with fans dedicated to the heritage of the Broad Street Bullies. The late founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, Ed Snider, was honored today with the bronze statue unveiling outside of the newer arena, our lovely Wells Fargo Center. The statue was created by Chad Fisher of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, and it can be found near the VIP entrance by the C lots.
Ed Snider was also honored this past May with a section of 11th Street near Pattison Avenue named "Ed Snider Way". A banner with his name was raised to the rafters on October 20, 2016.
There's no doubt that our hearts still bleed orange from the passing of Mr. Snider on April 11, 2016. I remember receiving the news and breaking down in public.
The organization has been doing a phenomenal job of honoring a man who is so important to every Flyers fan. We have reminders inside and out of our beloved arena of the man who gave us our passion.
Subject: Flyers vs. Panthers lineups, start time, TV, radio, live stream and discussion
Subject: Chiefs vs. Raiders: How to watch Thursday Night Football
Everything you need to know.
Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season officially kicks off tonight.
The Eagles obviously already played the Chiefs this year. It’s their only loss so far this season. The Birds will play the Raiders later this season on Christmas in Week 16.
Find everything you need to know about tonight's game below.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Game time: 8:25 PM EST
Channel: NFL Network, CBS, Amazon Prime Video
Date: Thursday, October 19
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson
Location: Oakland Alameda Coliseum | Oakland, California
Amazon Prime members can stream this game online.
Kansas City Chiefs -3 (-120)
Oakland Raiders +3 (+100)
Over/under: 47 points
SB Nation Blogs
Chiefs - www.ArrowheadPride.com
Raiders - www.SilverAndBlackPride.com/
Open thread: discuss Thursday's game in the comments below.
Subject: Predators 1, Flyers 0: Nashville grounds Flyers
Rinne shuts the door as Flyers shutout for second time this season.
The Flyers have had success in the early season, but have also now been dealt a pair of shutout losses following their 1-0 loss to Nashville on Thursday night.
Pekka Rinne stopped all 28 Flyers shots he faced and Colton Sissons’ goal 3:49 into the third period held up as the game-winner to drop the Flyers to 4-3 through seven games. It ended the Flyers’ modest two-game winning streak to start their five-game home stand.
Michal Neuvirth was solid again between the pipes for the Flyers, stopping 23 of 24 shots in a tough loss. It’s the second time the Flyers have been shutout in starts of his this season.
Thankfully, the season series has wrapped up with the Predators, and the next time the Flyers would face the team that has downed them twice already would be in the Stanley Cup Final in the spring.
Travis Sanheim got a nice early chance on a feed from Valtteri Filppula off a Flyers breakout started by Wayne Simmonds. Rinne made the save, but left a juicy rebound next to him that the Flyers couldn’t get to before being cleared.
Some dandy passing from the Flyers’ top line resulted in a good scoring chance for Sean Couturier, who ended up deflecting a pass from Jake Voracek on Rinne in close. The veteran goalie made the stop but it was another great buildup from the trio that has shown incredible chemistry early on this season.
Nashville began to respond to the Flyers’ early push with eight minutes left in the period, creating a chance in front of Michal Neuvirth’s crease on an aerial pass but the puck fell wide of the net and was quickly cleared. The play started when the referee called off an icing call at the last second, surprising Radko Gudas.
Jake Voracek would draw the first penalty of the game with 2:48 left in the first as he was taken down along the boards by Colton Sissons. Neither unit was able to generate much of a threat at the net as the Predators penalty kill closed off shooting lanes and Frederick Gaudreau blocked the most promising attempt from Travis Sanehim late in the kill.
Though Nashville had the edge in shots in the first, the Flyers won seven of eight faceoffs and had the more dangerous of scoring chances.
Michael Raffl and Scott Laughton would hook up for the first scoring chance of the second, with Laughton hitting Raffl in the high slot for a shot on goal that was turned aside. The fourth line has been effective all season long and has really benefitted from Laughton’s growth.
On an ensuing power play with Anthony Bitetto off for tripping Valtteri Filppula, the Flyers set up shop in front of Rinne but managed just one shot on goal. The Predators’ penalty kill blocked a couple shots and cut down shooting lanes to stave off pressure and keep the Flyers scoreless six minutes into the period.
Nashville got a great chance off a four-on-two rush at the 9:40 mark, but the puck ended up on Matt Irwin’s stick and the defenseman found the outside of the post next to Neuvirth instead of the back of the net.
Not long after, Radko Gudas would send the Predators to their first power play of the game at the 10:10 mark of the period. Gudas got tangled up with former Flyers Scott Hartnell along the boards and got Hartnell up high with his stick.
The Flyers would kill it off thanks in part to a great individual effort from Travis Sanheim, who worked a puck free along the boards late in the penalty and cleared the zone himself. Sanheim showing the ability to be a reliable penalty killer will go a long way in helping the rookie get in the lineup on a regular basis.
With 5:10 left in the second Neuvirth would keep the visitors scoreless with a brilliant glove save to deny Craig Smith of what would have been his 100th career goal. Neuvirth was in perfect position atop his crease and made it look easy.
As they did in the first, the Predators really pushed play in the last five minutes of the period. A long shift for the Flyers’ fourth line ended up in a semi-breakaway for Calle Jarnkrok, who fired a shot high and wide without forcing Neuvirth to make a save.
Not helping matters late in the period was a loose stick along the boards catching Wayne Simmonds up high as he sat on the bench. The forward would head off the bench to get repairs but did return to the game.
The Flyers would steal back some momentum thanks to a penalty to Filip Forsberg for interference with 1:59 left. Despite good zone time for both power play units, the Flyers managed two shots on goal but nothing to pierce Rinne and break the scoreless tie after 40 minutes of play.
A couple early chances to start the third for the Flyers came courtesy of Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick, who worked a nice two-man game ending in a sharp angle shot for Dale Weise. The trio’s relentless work on the forecheck created the opportunity.
Colton Sissons would break the scoreless tie at the 3:49 mark of the third, giving the Predators a 1-0 lead. Wayne Simmonds pinched in from the neutral zone, but Kevin Fiala chipped the puck past him and created an odd man break that ended up on the stick of Sissons, who beat Neuvirth to the blocker side.
Pekka Rinne would come up huge with 5:40 left, stopping a dangerous wraparound chance from Claude Giroux with the teams at four-on-four. Giroux nearly stuffed the puck home but the lanky Rinne would slide across just in time to make the save and keep Nashville’s 1-0 lead intact.
So who thought Claude was declining? pic.twitter.com/96LGCNjSi2— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 20, 2017
The Finnish netminder would make another game-saver on Sean Couturier not long after, though the shot hit his left pad as he was sliding to the right to peek through a screen. Nevertheless, it was another close call for the Flyers, shut down by the Preds’ goalie.
With the net empty with just over a minute left, Claude Giroux was slashed by Viktor Arvidsson and the Flyers had one last chance to tie things up. As the Predators did in the game back in Nashville, the Flyers would leave the net open to gain an extra-man advantage.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the result wouldn’t end the same as they were unable to solve Rinne with the two-man advantage for the final minute. After a solid build up a Sean Couturier pass missed Shayne Gostisbehere at the point and time ran out.
In the end the Flyers simply didn’t get enough pucks to the net early when Rinne was vulnerable, and as the game grew on the Flyers’ shot started to come from further and further outside.
Credit the Predators, too, who have a great defensive core even without Ryan Ellis. Mattias Ekholm was a beast all night shutting down passing and shooting lanes in addition to blocking a pair of shots in 26:09 of ice-time.
Next up: Flyers host Oilers at 1pm on Saturday from the Wells Fargo Center on NBCSP and 97.5 The Fanatic.