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Eagles News: Jalen Hurts can’t return soon enough

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

2022 NFL season, Week 17: What We Learned from Sunday’s games – NFL.com
Jalen Hurts can’t return soon enough. The Eagles received a good enough performance from their defense to win Sunday, surrendering just 13 points to New Orleans’ offense and constantly harassing Dalton with its incredibly productive pass rush (more on that below). Nick Sirianni has to be disappointed by the fact his offense only mustered 10 points. It should’ve been 14, but a terrible holding penalty called against Landon Dickerson — who pancaked a Saints defender to propel Kenneth Gainwell to a 28-yard touchdown — wiped out what should have been the Eagles’ first trip to the end zone on the day. They ended up settling for three points, and only found the end zone on a 78-yard catch-and-run touchdown by A.J. Brown. Minshew wasn’t terrible, but certainly didn’t provide the same juice that Hurts would, completing 18 of 32 passes for 274 yards, the touchdown to Brown, and an ugly pick-six that vanquished their comeback hopes. It’s fair to believe the Eagles would have won if they’d had Hurts available. It sounds as if the Eagles believe Hurts might return for Week 18. Philadelphia will be holding out hope their star can come back to a team that is suddenly fighting to retain the top seed in the NFC.

NFC Playoff Picture: Eagles have 3 paths to clinching the No. 1 seed in Week 18 – BGN
After beating the Chicago Bears in Week 15, the Philadelphia Eagles were in a spot where they needed just one more win from their final three games to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. One win. Three games to do it. After losing to both the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints (fairly frustrating!), the Eagles now have just one game left to get that win. Of course, beating the New York Giants in Week 18 isn’t their only path to clinch. It’s the simplest and most desirable, yes, but all of the avenues are still worth noting here. So, that’s what we’ll do.

BGN Instant Reaction Show: Eagles lose to Saints, 20-10 – BGN Radio
Shane Haff and Jonny Page unload their frustrations and try to find any bright spots following the Eagles second straight loss.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Saints game – PhillyVoice
Is it time for Eagles’ fans to crack each others’ heads open and feast on the goo inside? Yeah, probably. For the bulk of this season, the Eagles looked like the best team in the NFL. But after a shaky performance against the Bears, and losses in consecutive weeks to the Cowboys and Saints, they barely look playoff-worthy. The Eagles have a lot of veteran leaders and good chemistry in their locker room, so there is legitimate reason to believe that they can turn things around, but as is they are playing their worst football of the season with the playoffs just around the corner.

What A Stinker – Iggles Blitz
Here is some hard-hitting analysis for you. The Eagles played like crap and lost. You want more detail? The Eagles defense played like crap for the first half. They woke up and pitched a shutout in the second half. The Eagles offense played well for part of the third quarter. They played like crap for the entire game. How’s that for detail? Minshew Mania is officially dead. Gardner Minshew is now 0-2 as a starter, losing a shootout and a tough, defensive battle. He was picked off twice in Dallas. He threw a pick-six against the Saints. Beyond that, Minshew just looked jittery today. He was sacked six times. Protection wasn’t ideal, but it felt like half of those were on him. His pocket presence wasn’t good and there were plays where he held the ball too long. Minshew didn’t get much help.

Week 17: NFL Playoff Picture Comes Into Focus As Giants Make Playoffs; Steelers, Packers Survive – FMIA
The Eagles. The Jalen Hurts absence (shoulder) has contributed to the two-game Philly losing streak, and now the Eagles, with Hurts or without him, have to beat the Giants at home next week to clinch what seemed inevitable a couple of weeks ago — the NFC’s top seed. Too much about this Giants-Eagles game we don’t know, starting with Hurts’ status for it. But you can bet Eagles coach Nick Sirianni won’t want to go into the playoffs with his starting quarterback idle for five weeks unless Hurts is just unable to throw it next week. So it’ll be an intriguing story to watch this week.

Roob’s obs: A pitiful loss to Saints, false hope in Minshew, and more – NBCSP
1. The most concerning thing to me wasn’t the loss as much as the fact that right from the start of the game the Saints were the more prepared team, the more intense team, the more physical team. Not the better team, but it didn’t matter. They played like they were the ones chasing a No. 1 seed, and the Eagles played like a 6-9 team desperate to make the playoffs. This is a Saints team that was 2-5 on the road, and they were the aggressor on offense and defense. Late in the second quarter, the Saints had outgained the Eagles 252-21, they led 13-0, Andy Dalton still hadn’t thrown an incomplete pass and the Eagles didn’t have any first downs. What the hell is that? You can’t talk like you’re a Super Bowl contender and then let a 6-9 team come into your building and jump you like that. Yeah, injuries, I get that. But we’re talking effort here, and the Eagles didn’t have it in the first half, and that’s squarely on Nick Sirianni and his coaching staff. Unacceptable. Inexcusable. Sure, they woke up in the second half and started to make some plays and made it close for a while. Who cares. It’s a 60-minute game and if you don’t bother to bring it for half of those 60 minutes, you’re not going to win many games. This team is damn lucky it has one more chance to lock up No. 1 seed, and obviously they’re a different team with Jalen Hurts behind center. But I don’t care who the quarterback is. If they come out and play like this again, they’re not beating anybody.

NFL Week 17 takeaways: Lessons, big questions for every game – ESPN
How effective will Hurts be? He practiced for the first time since injuring his shoulder this week, throwing a number of short to intermediate passes with decent velocity in the portion of practice open to the media. The Eagles have viewed this as a relatively minor injury and believe Hurts is in a good spot physically. His return will be all the buzz as Philly gets ready for its biggest game of the year.

NFL Week 17 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 20, Philadelphia Eagles 10 – PFF
Offensive spotlight: Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith was the standout player on offense in this one. He recorded 115 receiving yards, catching nine of his 13 targets. Smith had five first-down catches and three explosive plays of 15 yards or more.

Spadaro: No mincing words for disappointed Eagles after tough loss to Saints – PE.com
There was no mincing words for the Eagles after their 20-10 loss on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints, a loss that dropped the team to 13-3 for the season with the magic number for clinching home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs remaining at one (win). They were angry. They were disappointed. They were frustrated. “We played terrible. That’s that,” wide receiver DeVonta Smith said. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t go out there and do the things we’re supposed to do. Had small penalties that set us back. Just played bad.” “It’s definitely frustrating,” wide receiver A.J. Brown said. “That was definitely a winnable game.” “Disappointed. Pissed off,” center Jason Kelce said. New Orleans set the tone for the day when it took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on 15 plays, converting 3 of 4 third downs and a fourth down and scoring on a Taysom Hill 1-yard run to cap a drive that consumed 8 minutes, 58 seconds off the clock. Philadelphia’s offense never really got into a rhythm and in the first half, it was just unable to get anything going. Witness …

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady’s Shiny New Year – Football Outsiders
The Eagles beat themselves with offensive line penalties and got outmuscled in both trenches in short-yardage situations in their 20-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Most distressingly, however, Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen made the mistake of trusting Gardner Minshew to execute a pass-heavy game plan. Minshew absorbed five sacks in the first half as the Saints climbed out to a 13-0 lead; the Eagles ran the ball just twice and failed to pick up a first down in the half. Sirianni and Steichen returned to the run in the third quarter for a field-goal drive (a touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell was negated by a tacky holding penalty), then it was back to the all-Minshew attack. A.J. Brown brushed a defender aside for a 78-yard catch-and-run to cut the Saints lead to 13-10, but the next two Eagles drives stalled before Minshew uncorked a disastrous pick-six to Marshon Lattimore. Minshew was slow to get rid of the ball, threw a few wild pitches, and demonstrated the limits of his wishful-thinking elusiveness throughout the game. Jalen Hurts will now likely return, 100%-ready-or-not, to help the Eagles salvage the top seed in the NFC playoffs against a Giants team with nothing to play for. In a few weeks, the Eagles’ back-to-back holiday-season losses may be a fading memory. But if anyone writes a sentence in an offseason article along the likes of “Gardner Minshew deserves a chance to be the starter for the Jets/Raiders/Texans,” close your browser window, delete your history, reformat your laptop, pour some memory-cleansing vodka shots, and do everything else you can to ensure that such foolishness does not infiltrate your mind.

‘Things I think’: Daniel Jones earned the cheers he got on Sunday – Big Blue View
I think this is wild: The Giants won on Sunday. They are locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs no matter what happens the rest of the way. The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New Orlelans Saints on Sunday. That means that the 13-3 Eagles have not clinched the NFC East and after losing two straight are now in danger of losing the NFC East to the Dallas Cowboys and falling out of the top seed in the NFC and the home field advantage that comes with it. That means the Eagles need to play their starters against the Giants next Sunday in Philly, while Giants coach Brian Daboll could rest some players if he chooses to.

Cowboys Playoff Picture: All potential postseason matchups based on Week 18 outcomes across the NFL – Blogging The Boys
Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers did not lose although they certainly flew very close to the sun, but nevertheless they remain with an equal record to the Cowboys and have the conference tiebreaker over them. Even if Dallas winds up winning the NFC East (they need to win and have the Philadelphia Eagles lose in order to do so), unless the 49ers lose at home to the Arizona Cardinals, they can be the #2 seed at best.

Ron Rivera should be fired tonight – Hogs Haven
When it comes down to it, Ron Rivera just couldn’t be saved from himself. After overpaying for Carson Wentz in the offseason, and rolling Wentz out for the first six games, before he hurt his finger against the Bears, Washington looked dead in the water at 2-4. It was mid-October, and it appeared to be time to turn our sights on the draft. And then, as it has so many other times in Rivera’s tenure here, injury proved a better personnel manager than Ron and his court of Martys did. Forced into action against the Packers, back-up Taylor Heinicke would go 5-3-1 over the next nine games putting the team in position to control its own playoff destiny over the final two weeks of the season.Was Heinicke perfect? Not by a longshot, but so far this year he had been considerably better than Wentz, and those were really the only options on the table.

Carson Wentz’s return to the Commanders’ starting lineup was a catastrophe – SB Nation
The Washington Commanders woke up on New Year’s Day with a chance to clinch a playoff spot. Now they might be eliminated by dinner time. The Commanders made the decision earlier in the week to return Carson Wentz to the starting lineup. Wentz, who suffered a finger injury back in Week 6, replaced Taylor Heinicke in the second half of Washington’s loss last week to the San Francisco 49ers. With the benefit of hindsight, the decision to start Wentz looks like a mistake. He threw three interceptions, and the Washington offense struggled to generate any consistency against the Cleveland Browns. And instead of being in position to clinch a playoff spot depending on results around the rest of the NFC, the Commanders will be glued to their televisions on this night, hoping to avoid elimination. […] Wentz finished the day having completed 16 of 28 passes for 143 yards and no touchdowns, along with the 3 interceptions. Washington’s 24-10 loss means that the Commanders could be eliminated from the playoffs with a Green Bay Packers win over the Minnesota Vikings. [BLG Note: The Commanders were indeed eliminated.]

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