Eagles News: PFF ranks Philadelphia’s offensive line as second best in the NFL

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NFL Offensive Line Rankings: All 32 team’s units after Week 5 – PFF
It seems like lifetimes ago the hot-button topic was whether or not Philadelphia should cut bait with center Jason Kelce. Pundits weren’t wrong to ask the question either, as Kelce’s 2016 season was his lowest-graded since his rookie year of 2011 and the Eagles were in need of cap space. Kelce’s rewarded their loyalty, though, with a career year in 2017 and is once again atop our center ranks in 2018.

Eagles vs. Giants Game Preview: Five questions and answers with a divisional rival – BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) and New York Giants (1-4) are set to play each other on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. In order to preview this critical Week 6 NFC East matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Big Blue View. The educated Ed Valentine (@Valentine_Ed) took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game. Let’s take a look at his answers.

BLG & Stolnis Preview Eagles-Giants – BGN Radio
John Stolnis and Brandon Lee Gowton get you up-to-date on all the noteworthy stories and trade rumors with the Eagles AND get you prepped for the Week 6 Thursday Night Football showdown with the Giants!

Eagles vs. Giants: Five matchups to watch – PhillyVoice
It’s no coincidence that the five teams returning all five OL starters all made the playoffs in 2017, and that all but one of the teams returning three of fewer OL starters were watching the playoffs from their sofas. More simply stated, offensive line continuity is a big deal. The Eagles’ defensive line should be able to dominate this sorry Giants offensive line. We’ll see.

Wearing and Tearing – Iggles Blitz
I’d be all for this move, if the price was right. Someone said the asking price was a 2nd round pick. No way I do that deal. Shady is a banged up RB and he’s on the decline. He would still help out the Eagles, but you can’t overpay for his services. It would be fun to watch him play with Carson Wentz and behind this O-line. It would be fun to have a RB who could deliver big plays. I wouldn’t think of this as a likely move, but it is possible. If the Eagles can’t find a key RB to get, why did they clear that cap space? There had to be a reason.

Inside the Fletcher Cox restructuring – PFT
The Eagles have indeed created millions in cap space, with the simple stroke of a pen. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has signed a restructured contract that pushes a large chunk of his 2018 and 2019 compensation into future years, adding extra space this year and next year. The specific details appear below. Per a source with knowledge of the contract, the Eagles converted $8.19 million in remaining 2018 salary to a bonus that will prorate at $1.638 million per year through 2022. The net 2018 cap savings becomes $6.552 million.

Lawlor: Game Preview vs. Giants – PE.com
The Giants are going to throw a lot of short, quick passes. They did this last year against the Eagles and had success with it. The real key is to tackle well and limit those plays to short gains. In the December game, the Giants turned short or intermediate passes into two touchdowns of 57 or more yards. That cannot happen again. You must make them drive the long field. This is going to be a big challenge for the Eagles’ secondary. New York has talented receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Eagles corners have been up and down this year so facing Beckham and Shepard is going to be tough. The Giants have a new weapon this year, former Penn State star Saquon Barkley. He can deliver big plays in the run and pass game. Barkley has a 68-yard touchdown on the ground and a 57-yard score in the air. He is dynamic. The good news for the Eagles’ defense is that Barkley likes to dance. He moves laterally more than his coaches would like. That allows defenders to close on the ball and get him for a loss. Barkley is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball, but he can also lose yardage more than the average runner.

All-22: On Lane Johnson, the Eagles’ O-Line and the hits on Carson Wentz – The Athletic
For the Eagles, it’s not just one thing that has them ranked 24th in offensive efficiency through five games. They are second in the NFL with 22 offensive penalties and tied for fifth-worst with nine turnovers. The self-inflicted wounds, errors in execution and failures in scheme have all contributed to the slow start. The good news is that they still have the quarterback, the pieces on the offensive line and a head coach who showed a great ability to adjust a year ago. Oh, and the NFC East has looked terrible. That helps too.

Matchup: Eagles @ Giants – Rotoworld
As pass-protection woes stalled their offense against Tennessee and Minnesota the last two weeks, it’s convenient the Eagles now draw a Giants team that ranks dead last in sacks (6) and 27th in QB hits (22) and has allowed an NFL-high 179 quarterback rushing yards. Carson Wentz set season highs in scrambles (5) and rushing yards (26) in Week 5, growing more comfortable on his surgically-repaired knee. Giants top pass rusher Olivier Vernon is slated to make his 2018 debut, but beat writers expect him to play limited snaps after missing five-plus weeks with a severe high ankle sprain. Back in the every-week QB1 crosshairs, Wentz has turned in back-to-back top-13 fantasy results. The Giants’ defense got flamed for 33 points in Weeks 4-5 by the Saints and Panthers, even as those teams settled for eight combined field goals. … Week 3 against the Colts provides a template for Philadelphia’s post-Jay Ajayi (ACL) backfield with Darren Sproles (hamstring) also on the shelf. As Ajayi sat out with a back injury, Corey Clement led the unit in snaps (55%) and touches (19) with Wendell Smallwood (35%, 13) in the No. 2 role and Josh Adams (10%, 6) third. Smallwood outgained Clement 91 to 75, however, and has outplayed him all year. As Clement missed the last two games with a quad injury, we can’t be surprised if Week 6 brings a closer split, or even Smallwood in the lead tailback role. The Eagles’ offensive staff manufactured touches for Smallwood in last week’s defeat, including a 12-yard wheel-route touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion. The Giants have allowed seven all-purpose TDs to enemy backs and over 115 rushing yards in 4-of-5 games, so this is not an imposing matchup. Clement and Smallwood are both viable flex plays.

4 years later, LeSean McCoy still taking shots at Chip Kelly – NBCSP
LeSean McCoy had little to say about trade rumors involving his possible returning to the Eagles, but he did manage to get in a dig at Chip Kelly during his chat with writers covering the Bills Wednesday. ”I shouldn’t have gotten traded, anyway,” he said. “I was killing stuff.”

Clutch Encounters: Week 5 – Football Outsiders
Change in other areas in the NFL is harder to come by. Expecting an extra point to make it 20-13, spectators had to be surprised to see Doug Pederson pull the very unconventional move of going for a two-point conversion. Since the advent of the two-point conversion to the NFL in 1994, there have been 371 touchdowns scored by a team trailing by exactly 14 points in the fourth quarter (including playoffs). Those teams kicked the extra point 367 times. Only Bill Belichick (1994 Browns), Jimmy Johnson (1998 Dolphins on a direct snap to the kicker), and Brian Billick (2001 Ravens) had attempted the two-point conversion before Pederson joined that exclusive club. This is something I’ve wanted to see, but it’s been almost 17 years since a coach even tried. I think it was a smart move and should become the standard strategy in the fourth quarter. Simply put: 14-point comebacks like this are really hard. Since 2001, teams down exactly 14 points with possession of the ball in the fourth quarter have only gone on to win 5.4 percent of the time (record of 32-570-1), according to ESPN Stats & Info. According to EdjSports, Pederson increased the Eagles’ Game Winning Chance by 1.2 percent (up to 15.6 percent) by deciding to go for two. Those numbers feel right, because for the aforementioned 371 teams that were fortunate to get the first touchdown, they still produced a game record of 42-328-1 (.115).

Sean McDermott doesn’t dismiss Eagles’ interest in LeSean McCoy – ESPN
Asked specifically Wednesday if the Eagles had contacted Buffalo, McDermott said, “I’m not gonna go into any more detail than I said.” Then, asked if McCoy was available in a trade, McDermott responded, “Men, this is why I came out and started where I started [in the news conference]. If you just want to hear the same reply, I’ll give you the same reply. I respect where you’re coming from and the jobs you have to do. Respect where I’m coming from. He’s a valuable member of our football team, and I’m gonna leave it at that.”

Report: Philadelphia Eagles made trade inquiry for Buffalo Bills’ LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Rumblings
One question that swirled as the Buffalo Bills embarked on a season with low expectations was what would happen with star running back LeSean McCoy. With a shuffled offense, a rookie quarterback, and a losing season ahead (not to mention several alleged civil incidents that came up in the offseason), people were wondering if McCoy could be traded at some point. Now we can believe at least one team is exploring the option, with WIVB’s Josh Reed reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have reached out to Buffalo discussing trading McCoy back to the team where he grew into an NFL star (and where he’s the all-time leading rusher). The Eagles, who defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, are currently scuffling at 2-3 and lost their starting runner Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL.

Pat’s Perspectives: The calm before the storm as Giants brace for crucial game vs. Eagles – Big Blue View
There’s a strange sense of calm in the 1-4 Giants locker room this week. That and thoughts on Ereck Flowers and OBJ in this week’s perspectives.

The Giants Blew This Season—and Maybe Their Future—in the 2018 Draft – The Ringer
The holes in the Giants offense have (predictably) proved too much to overcome despite Barkley’s immense talent, and New York’s 1-4 start has the Giants on the outside looking in at the playoffs in a weak NFC East. Quarterback Eli Manning is visibly worse than he was in his disastrous 2017 season, and the offensive line—supposedly bolstered by free-agent left tackle Nate Solder and second-round pick Will Hernandez—ranks 31st in run blocking by Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards and 26th by adjusted sack rate. (On Tuesday, the Giants waived former first-round pick and human turnstile Ereck Flowers, who started 46 of 48 games from 2015 to 2017 but lost his job to undrafted second-year tackle Chad Wheeler.) Barkley ranks 15th in the league in rushing yards per game (61.6), just behind the undrafted Phillip Lindsay of Denver. But that figure hides how inefficient Barkley is on a per-game basis: As Vincent Verhei of Football Outsiders wrote this week, Barkley’s rushing yardage overwhelmingly comes from breakaway runs for long gains, but he barely gets any yardage on the majority of his carries. That dichotomy was exemplified Sunday, when Barkley earned 50 yards on two carries and negative-2 yards on his other 13.

Allen Hurns blames the playcalling, not the receivers, for ruining the Cowboys’ offense – SB Nation
The Dallas offense is so bad it made a guy who spent four years with Blake Bortles complain.

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