The Linc – Jalen Hurts making another MVP push

NFL: FEB 12 Super Bowl LVII - Eagles vs Chiefs
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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/16/23.

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

Jalen Hurts is Playing Like an MVP, Again – Sumer Sports
Jalen Hurts’ demeanor does not change often. On the field, on the sideline, and in press conferences, his focused eyes and quiet confidence shine through regardless of the scoreboard, play result, or question asked. After a 2022 season that saw Hurts steadily climb through the ranks of NFL quarterbacks, change seemed inevitable. A new contract, a new offensive coordinator (Brian Johnson replaced Shane Steichen), and a quality Hulu commercial were all on the horizon. Despite the changes, the 2023 Eagles sit in a nearly identical driver’s seat to the one they occupied in 2022. Heading into Week 11, the team is once again 8-1, leading the NFC East, and in possession of the best record in the league. Jalen Hurts also happens to be playing at an MVP level, again. Hurts is more productive through the air, against the blitz, and in expected pass situations — all without the same designed rushing success he enjoyed last year.

NFL Week 11 Game Picks – BGN
When it comes to this week’s Philadelphia Eagles game, the BGN staff is favoring the Birds over the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m currently picking KC in this activity but I reserve the right to change my prediction elsewhere closer to game day. I’ve been going back and forth on this one.

On the Shane Page #5: Self-scouting as if we were in the Eagles’ coaches office – BGN Radio
Shane Haff and Jonny Page imagine being in the coaches office and predict what they think they will be focusing on adjusting during this bye week.

The Eagles’ Tush Push got a helpful nudge from a Scottish rugby coach – Inquirer
At first, the Eagles planned for Gray to take a look at the Eagles’ tackling, from the techniques they teach to the drills they utilize. But before he arrived, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland contacted Gray and asked him if he would also like to spend a day with the offense. He had a play — the Tush Push — that he wanted to show Gray, seeking his opinion on both how he would break it up and how he would make it better. That’s where Gray’s willingness to go into the details of the conversation ends. But the key point of the discussion, which Kelce relayed on his podcast in a Scottish accent that sounded to Gray like a cross between “a pirate and Robin Williams,” was that there’s very little an opponent can do to stop organized mass. The Eagles offense, according to Gray, organizes better than any opposing defense. “There’s four key things that the Eagles have,” Gray said. “One, they’ve got a world-class, possibly the best in the game, O-line coach. They’ve got world-class personnel that are within the play. Action will always beat reaction. And the last thing is they tactically and technically do it better than anyone else in the league at the moment because the percentages and stats don’t lie.”

NFL Week 11 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch – PFF
Favorite bet: Eagles +2.5. The Eagles are better at nearly every position outside of quarterback. Their roster is better than it was during their Super Bowl matchup, while the Chiefs are worst at wide receiver and on the offensive line. Expect this game to be close, but for the Eagles to take care of business on the road coming out of a bye.

A Big Test – Iggles Blitz
One of the added challenges for Desai is figuring out what to do with Travis Kelce. The Eagles have struggled against TEs this year. Kelce is the best TE in football (apologies to Jack Stoll). I’m sure Desai will throw double-teams at him, but he can’t do that on every play. It will be interesting to see who Desai chooses to use on Kelce. I would think he’ll mix things up. This might be a good match for James Bradberry. He certainly owest the Eagles a big game this year. In the Miami game Desai proved he could put together a gameplan to slow down an elite offense. The Chiefs aren’t elite right now, but Mahomes is still a special QB and you have to be at your best to slow him down. Desai needs a strong plan this week. One or two key stops could prove to be the difference in the game. That was certainly the case last week. The Eagles couldn’t get that stop in February and it cost them the Super Bowl. The defense isn’t putting up the same kind of overall numbers they did last year, but they feel better in the sense that they aren’t just getting the best of scrubs, rookies and backup QBs. They beat Tua, Dak, Stafford and Cousins already.

Week 11 NFL picks: Ravens nip Bengals on Thursday night; who wins Eagles-Chiefs Super Bowl rematch? – NFL.com
Why Brooke is taking the Chiefs: We’ve had this game circled since the schedule was released back in May. Now that we’re here, it feels like the Super Bowl LVII rematch will really live up to the hype. These teams are similar roster-wise to the ones we saw in February, but there’s been a big shift in performance in Kansas City, with the offense averaging its fewest points (23.1) in the Patrick Mahomes era and struggling to find a consistent pass game, while the defense has morphed into the team’s best unit in a decade. Andy Reid, Mahomes and Co. always seem to figure it out no matter how grim the situation may look. This time, that’s a red-hot Jalen Hurts and an Eagles team that is arguably best in the NFL. I firmly believe this is the week Mahomes and the offense figure it out, and I see K.C.’s second-ranked scoring defense stymieing Philly, setting the tone for a ferocious stretch run. Home-field advantage also feels like a big factor.

Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread – The Ringer
Both teams are different now than they were in February. The Eagles lost defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and replaced him with Sean Desai. Their secondary has been hit hard with injuries, and Dak Prescott lit them up a couple of weeks ago. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have their best defense and their worst offense of the Mahomes era. It’ll be interesting to see whether that remains true down the stretch or whether the offense shows more juice than it has so far. I think we get a classic, much like the Super Bowl was, where Mahomes and Hurts exchange blow after blow. But Andy Reid has been so good after a bye, and I need to see more from this Eagles defense before I trust them in a spot like this. The pick: Chiefs (-2.5)

Eagles mailbag: What are the Eagles going to do at linebacker? – NBCSP
I got a few questions just like this one and I understand why. The Eagles just lost Dean again and you desperately want to see Nolan Smith on the field. I get all that. But this isn’t really a solution. Could you get Smith on the field for a few snaps at off-ball linebacker? Sure. We saw him do some of that in training camp but doing it a lot it wouldn’t be doing him any favors. That’s clearly not his strength. And Cunningham and Morrow are actually playing fairly well right now so I’m not sure the Eagles are desperate to get them off the field just to play a rookie out of position. But, in general, I’m with you on wanting to see Smith more. When the Eagles made Derek Barnett inactive for the Cowboys game, I thought we’d see more of Smith and it didn’t happen. The Eagles just let Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat empty their tanks before the bye week. Through nine games, Smith has played just 56 defensive snaps and hasn’t played more than nine in any single game. That’s disappointing to me. But maybe the fact that Barnett was finally inactive in Week 9 is a sign that things are heading in the right direction.

How will Eagles’ offense make up for loss of Dallas Goedert? – ESPN
Receiver Quez Watkins in particular saw a bump in activity during that stretch, with 27 of his 51 targets coming over those five games. With Watkins (hamstring) currently on injured reserve, Olamide Zaccheaus and Julio Jones could see the largest uptick in opportunities among the wideouts. Running backs D’Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott also could see a slight increase in targets. Fueled by quarterback Jalen Hurts and the receiver duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia went 5-0 in Goedert’s absence last season while averaging 33 points per game. But the schedule is more daunting this time around, and it will be an all-hands-on-deck situation to keep the offensive machine humming with Goedert out. The coaching staff has the bye week to put its designs together before Monday’s Super Bowl rematch against the Chiefs.

Spadaro: Who is the Eagles’ biggest competition in the NFC? – PE.com
Detroit Lions (7-2). Led by a powerful offense that averages more than 400 yards per game and ranks in the top five in both passing and running, the Lions have positioned themselves atop the NFC North. They beat the Chargers 41-38 on Sunday and for the first time in franchise history recorded 325 yards passing and more than 200 yards rushing, and “aggressive” is their personality. They have converted 12 fourth downs, second only to the Eagles’ 13 this season. Detroit hasn’t been in the playoffs since the 2016 season and hasn’t won a division title since 1991. The Lions have a relatively smooth path to the postseason, with two games against Chicago and Minnesota, a game hosting the Packers, one hosting Denver, at New Orleans, and Dallas. The Lions have given up 38 points in two of their last three games, something to watch down the stretch of the regular season.

Andy Reid on Eagles’ tush push: “I just think they’re good at it” – PFT
Chiefs coach Andy Reid says there’s not much to say about the Eagles’ “tush push” quarterback sneak play, other than that they’re a team that found something that works. Reid was asked whether he thinks the Eagles spend a lot of time practicing the play, and he said he doubts it’s a significant portion of their practice simply because it involves so much contact that teams tend not to practice during the season. Instead, Reid thinks the Eagles’ players are just good at running it. “That’s a tough one to practice. You almost have to do it live. So I don’t think they’re spending a ton of time on it. I just think they’re good at it. I think their inside three do a pretty good job with it and they’ve grown with it over time. That’s what I see,” Reid said.

Examining Kadarius Toney’s usage with the Chiefs this season – Arrowhead Pride
Before the season, I argued that with Toney’s training camp injury (and his history), he should be given a longer recovery time — that he should not be rushed back into the lineup for Week 1. While he was back for the season opener, he dropped two passes. This might have been an indication he had not had enough practice reps to be ready for his return. So his reduced role through the midpoint of the season could be intended to allow Toney to be fully acclimated into the offense. It does not appear that Toney has aggravated his partially torn meniscus. Given the nature of the injury (and its surgery), he should be fully recovered from it. His recovery from this injury is the main reason Reid cited for Toney’s limited role — but it is concerning that he has been on and off the injury report for multiple issues. With the wideout’s injury history, there will always be cause to worry about Toney. And while Reid is often coy with the media, we should still take his word that the Chiefs have a plan for him. In his opportunities, his talent and ability have been evident. If he is able to stay reasonably healthy — and even if he gets less use than we expected — he can make a difference in Kansas City’s offense.

Cowboys at Panthers: Carolina head coach Frank Reich to take back over play-calling duties this week – Blogging The Boys
But Carolina is in a bit of a precarious spot as the aforementioned number one overall pick has not lived up to much hype early on in his career. The Panthers are watching C.J. Stroud look more and more like a superstar with every passing week and the pressure for everyone to do something positive is mounting which is probably what led to all of this. Still, we are talking about a team that has changed offensive play-callers twice in what is now fewer than six weeks. Whether or not the change is a prosperous one for the Panthers remains to be seen but it is official nonetheless.

Washington Commanders Wildcard Watch 2023 – Week 11 – Hogs Haven
Following the win over the Patriots in Week 9, I decided to launch the Wildcard Watch series for 2023 a week or two earlier than I should have if I wanted to avoid any risk of looking stupid. I knew it at the time, but I was counting on the idea that Washington would be able to pick up a win in Seattle followed by another against a Giants teams that has about 40% of its roster on IR, including the starting and backup quarterbacks. There was no guarantee that the good guys would beat Seattle, but, no guts, no glory, right? As everyone reading this knows already, Washington lost on its road trip to the great northwest, and, as you can see from the tweet below, saw its meager playoff hopes dim to the equivalent of a flickering candle flame in the wind.

Tommy DeVito: Finishing the game with a touchdown was about ‘Having pride’ – Big Blue View
DeVito said, “Yeah, it was about pride and just having some kind – I don’t want to say good feeling at the end, but really just showing a positive throughout the game because you know there were positives throughout the game, there wasn’t so many. The negatives kind of overbear the positive, but just to go out with that and just have that kind of feeling that like, we are right there with some of these drives, you put one play here, one play there, one detail here, one detail there, that drive can turn into multiple drives in the end that like. I think that kind of just put that feeling in everybody going out that like we need to start off that way.”

Ken Dorsey didn’t deserve to be Bills’ fall guy – SB Nation
Someone has to be the fall guy. The Bills are .500 after a demoralizing loss at home to the Denver Broncos, and someone had to get the axe. The people needed a head, and someone had to fall. So out goes offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, who was fired Tuesday morning. It’s the first domino in what feels like the year from hell for the Bills. For a team that was supposed to be Super Bowl favorites going into the season, nothing has gone right and now they sit way outside the playoff picture in a loaded AFC. Something had to give, but did the Bills give up the right person? If you just look at the Bills against Denver, you would think the offense is struggling. However, a deeper look into the unit’s performance over the course of the season shows the Bills have one of the best offenses in the league. Buffalo is top five in almost every efficiency rating and metric you could ask for, and the numbers are almost similar to what Brian Daboll did in his tenure with the Bills.

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Title: The Linc – Jalen Hurts making another MVP push
Author: Brandon Lee Gowton

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