NFL Insider Notes: Eagles on the Run That Could Bring Them to the Off-Season, Plus Browns and Bills Have Problems

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Fly Eagles Fly! Fly Eagles Fly!

Okay, so it’s more like: Run Eagles Run! Run Eagles Run!

But it does not matter. Let’s not let the semantics get in the way of a narrative-changing stretch of football from the team playing in Philadelphia. Because the Eagles are playing some of the more interesting football right now in the NFC – they’re off the mat and they’re sneaked in within shouting distance of the playoff chase. Just weeks later, oh so many seemed ready to drive rookie head coach Nick Sirianni out of town, with quasi-rookie QB Jalen Hurts with him (he’s only been a starter in a calendar year), the Eagles are approaching 0.500 with a host of division matches still to be played and a chance to be well placed on their week 14 goodbye.

The Eagles have won three of their last four games, and they are road-class opponents, collecting points. They have scored 138 points (!) In that span. Yes, that’s pretty significant. Even the loss of Jordan Howard to injury did not slow them down on Sunday as they plowed through the Saints, where Hurts again led them. Hurts continue to protect football, take the throws that are there, and provide an improvisational spark in the running game that is hard to defend. They ran in 242 yards on a hard defense in New Orleans – making it pretty clear that their intent would not involve much downfield intent.

Everyone knew they were running; no one could do much about it. How to roll up 37 minutes of possession.

The Eagles came into this game with an NFL-best 761 yards rushing since Week 7 – already 136 more yards than anyone else in that span – and then extended that lead Sunday. Miles Sanders is back in top form. The defense is improving. And it may well be that Philly can get started … maybe even someone who will get them to play meaningful games in January. Because, yes, 5-6 is not great, but 9-8 and maybe 8-9 will get you in the dance, and the Eagles are 4-3 in the conference including head-to-head victories over potential wild card teams like f .ex. New Orleans and Carolina. Food for thought.

They play the Giants and Jets – even defective teams – for the next two weeks before their farewell; it basically equates to bus rides right up the New Jersey Turnpike. After the week off, they get three of the last four games at home, where the only away game (Washington) is also pretty much a bus ride. So for all intents and purposes, their real journey is already behind them before Thanksgiving.

The Eagles get the WFT and Giants at home, and in Week 18 they face a Cowboys team that will most likely be locked in a playoff spot and eager to rest everyone they can ahead of the off-season (or maybe already have the top seed locked). Either way, keep an eye on the Eagles. I like where they’re going.

Brown in need of quick fix

Are there others who can remember when the word was that Odell Beckham Jr. held Brown’s attack back? Yeah, how ridiculous does that look now?

Cleveland has been reduced to a fairly predictable outfit on offense at this point, as its 13-10 survival of the Lions at home pointed out. Baker Mayfield’s limitations are exposed even more as he plays through injuries, and the loss of right tackle Jack Conklin looks like a real problem. There’s not much to this offense right now outside of Nick Chubb, injuries to wideouts have furthered their problems, and they’re damn lucky the Lions played with Tim Boyle on QB in his NFL debut because they’re likely to lose to somebody else.

And this defense is also not something to get too excited about. For the second week in a row, it was cut up on the ground. The Lions continued where the Patriots left off – D’Andre Swift walked off, and Cleveland has suddenly allowed 352 yards to rush in just two weeks. They are not built right now to play from behind, they do not do much quick-strike stuff, and they meet Baltimore twice in the next three weeks, with a goodbye hidden in between.

They have a lot to fix and not much time with a tough schedule on the way. The Browns are 3-3 in their last six games and have been held to 17 points or less in five of them and 10 or less in two of them. The Browns hung 41 points on the Bengals three weeks ago, but produced a total of 61 points in their last five recent games.

Bill’s offense has lost its mojo

Bills’ offensive line looks worse every week, errors and revenue keep rising, and at the moment I’m not sure you can expect Buffalo’s attack at all to ever resemble the level at which it performed. for almost the whole of 2020. It’s just not there. It’s not there with Stefon Diggs, as it was a year ago. That’s not the case with Josh Allen either. And as I pointed out a week ago in what turned into a possible blowout win over the Low Jets, things are very hit or miss and the rhythm has been hard to find. Allen has thrown almost as many picks already as all of last season (8-10), his completion rate and TD percentage have dropped significantly, and his QB rating is 10 points lower than a year ago. And look at Bills’ upcoming schedule. It’s no joke.

Yes, it’s definitely time to worry if Trevor Lawrence is in good hands with Urban Meyer. There have been many reasons to give ownership a break on this lease – some of them without precedent – but above all terrible decisions and poor judgment and embarrassment he has inflicted on himself and the franchise, perhaps worst of all is what happens with the development of the first overall choice.

You can check out my report from Sunday morning for more details, but the bottom line is that Lawrence was rescued again this week. He is a combined 9-to-22 for 99 yards in total in the first half of the last two games. The Jags have a total of seven first downs in those halves. Well they gave Gardner Minshew, otherwise he could actually play there! Seriously, things got a little better in the trash – as they usually do, Blake Bortles asks – but it’s not going in a positive direction.

Several week 11 notes

  • What about the lions? AFC North seems to bring out the best in them. It took a blown delay from the game’s penalty kick and the longest field goal in NFL history for the Ravens to beat them, the Lions drew between the Steelers last week (and should honestly have won that game as well) and then almost beat Brown’s Sunday. Yes, the Bengals ruined them, but it was a great show for a 0-9-1 team against what some thought was the best division in football.
  • Is Jonathan Taylor on his way into the MVP conversation? Maybe. Maybe. But I had a feeling the Colts would train for a win on Sunday, and as long as Carson Wentz avoids the kind of bony, forced mistakes that tend to show up, they look like a playoff team to me.
  • Have to give big props to Steve Spagnuolo to turn Chiefs’ defense. They’re releasing Chris Jones again, and that device has come a long way in the last six weeks.
  • There was a lot of talk around the NFL that the loss of Derrick Henry would catch up with the Titans fast enough and their magic carpet ride would hit some issues. Just surprised it was against Houston, in a relative landslide, on a day when the Texans averaged a minimum of 3.1 yards per carry. game. That’s hard to do, even when QB throws four choices. Also par for the course in the AFC, where no one holds on to the potential topseed for quite some time without opening the race all the way up again.
  • It was cross-border criminal for Wink Martindale to call for an all-out blitz that sent eight on fourth and 11 in the dying minutes and milked a two-point lead, but all credit to the Ravens for continuing to radiate spirit and determination under duress. . Pulling another comeback win – and this time with backup QB Tyler Huntley in his first NFL start, no less on the road – is no joke, and they continue to overcome injuries and adversity similar to head coach John Harbaugh. They do not lack courage, that is for sure.

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