Here is some weekend reading to get you ready for today’s Eagles-Packers game.
Here is the injury report for Sunday’s game in Green Bay: Read more »
As Darren Sproles brought in the 55-yard punt off the foot of Brad Nortman Sunday, he said the middle of the field “opened up like the Red Sea.”
Sproles shot right through the gap and zipped 65 yards for the touchdown. For his efforts, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
This is the third such honor for Sproles this season – twice for special teams and once for his contributions on offense. He is tied with Aaron Rodgers (this week’s opponent) for the NFL lead with three Player of the Week Awards. Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
After Marcus Smith was drafted by the Eagles in the first round, but before he had ever participated in a practice at the NovaCare Complex, he received a message from Connor Barwin that gave him a good feeling about his new home.
“He texted me,” Smith recalled. “He texted me and was like, ‘We want to welcome you to the team. We can’t wait for you to be a part of what we’ve got going on.’ Ever since I came in, he took me under his wing and has been teaching me the ropes.”
Barwin has been one of the most valuable signings of the Chip Kelly era. When he first arrived, he helped organize team dinners for the defensive linemen and linebackers. Those are still going strong as the guys get together every Thursday night after practice.
For Fletcher Cox’s birthday, Barwin wheeled over a bike to surprise his teammate at his locker. He knew Travis Long would be sticking around Philadelphia during the offseason, so Barwin got him a bike too.
The 28-year-old’s value can be measured in a variety of ways. By all accounts, he’s the ultimate teammate. And in Billy Davis’ scheme, he’s asked to fulfill a variety of roles – some of which don’t produce numbers in the box score. But on Monday night, Barwin totaled 3.5 sacks and led a defensive charge that completely shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers. Read more »
Asked about the pace at which the offense has operated thus far under Mark Sanchez, Evan Mathis noted this week that Sanchez “takes the tempo seriously. He’s a fast thinker. He’s the kind of guy that will move the referee out of the way and get the ball snapped.”
Assuming the officials cooperate. There was actually one sequence in the first half against the Panthers when the refs couldn’t catch up to the Eagles’ pace, blowing the whistle before declaring: “The officials were not in position to officiate.”
The offense under Sanchez wasn’t flawless, but it was fast and hit Carolina with enough pointed strikes to draw serious blood.
In his first start as an Eagle, Sanchez ended 20-of-37 for 332 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (102.5 quarterback rating) as the Eagles steamrolled Carolina, 45-21. Read more »
During the days leading up to the Eagles-Texans game, Brent Celek spent part of his film-watching sessions focusing in on J.J. Watt.
For some tight ends, that might seem unusual. For Celek, it was not.
“When you watch him on film, he lined up at every single position,” Celek said. “So I knew there was gonna be times where I was gonna line up against him, and then it happened.”
Since Chip Kelly took over, the 29-year-old tight end has entered a new stage in his career. The days of catching 70+ balls (like Celek did back in 2009) are over. Instead, he spends more than 50 percent of his snaps as a run blocker. And on Sunday, that meant occasionally getting matched up against Watt. Read more »
Here’s the injury report for Sunday’s game in Houston: Read more »
Part of the solution to the Eagles’ red zone woes might be right under their noses.
Zach Ertz has taken a step forward in his second season. He is on pace for 54 catches for 809 yards and five touchdowns despite playing only 56 percent of the snaps. His seven catches of 20-plus yards is tied for second amongst tight ends (behind only Rob Gronkowski) and he ranks first in yards per reception (14.8). With speed, size and precise route-running, he has proven to be a difficult matchup for linebackers and safeties alike.
Those attributes can come in particularly handy in the red zone. When space is at a premium, a quarterback can certainly be aided by a big target that’s regularly able to win his one-on-one matchups. Ertz, though, has been featured very little in this capacity through seven games. Read more »