Eagles

Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 12 picks: Old man vs. young gun in weekend's best game

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Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 12 picks: Old man vs. young gun in weekend's best game

Derrick Gunn makes his picks for Week 12 of the NFL season.

Bears at Eagles (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
Their record says the Bears are a 3-7 team, but their play on the field shows they can be competitive. The Bears have lost their last three games by eight, seven and three points. Their three wins this season have been against Pittsburgh (in overtime), Baltimore and Carolina. They have an impressive run game that averages 131.8 yards, which is fifth-best in the league, featuring second-year back Jordan Howard, who is third in the league in rushing with 84.1 yards per game, and rookie Tarik Cohen. Both average over four yards per carry. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has shown promise, but he's still a rookie and prone to make mistakes. Chicago's offense averages just 17.4 points. Their defense is ranked 11th and can get after the quarterback with 29 sacks, tied for fourth-best in the league.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they are running into a red-hot Eagles squad that is firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz and his crew are shredding defenses and the Birds’ defense is making Sundays miserable for opposing offenses. 

I look for this to be an entertaining game for maybe the first 30 minutes, then I expect the Birds to send the Bears into hibernation. 

Pick: Eagles 30, Bears 14 

Tampa Bay at Atlanta (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
Don't look now, but it looks like the Falcons are getting their mojo back. The defending NFC champs are coming off wins over Dallas and Seattle, but they're still looking up to New Orleans and Carolina in the NFC South. Running back Devonta Freeman is still in concussion protocol and will miss this game, but the Falcons still have more than enough firepower to handle a Bucs squad that's won two in a row, though Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked 29th.

Pick: Falcons

Cleveland at Cincinnati (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
The headline in this battle of Ohio isn't about which team will win this game, but which coach might lose his job first, Hue Jackson or Marvin Lewis. The Browns can't win a game and the Bengals are going nowhere but home at the conclusion of the regular season. Cleveland will lose its 11th straight.

Pick: Bengals

Tennessee at Indianapolis (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
The Titans have playoff aspirations, but they have a lot of work to do. The Colts can't run the ball and can't score. Tennessee should be able to run right through Indy.

Pick: Titans 

Buffalo at Kansas City (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
What in the world has happened to both of these teams? The Bills were 5-2 at one point and the Chiefs were dominating their division. Now Buffalo has lost three straight, can't figure out the QB situation and is fighting to stay above .500. The Chiefs have lost two in a row, but they are still on top of the AFC West. Andy Reid is not a happy man right now and his guys know it. The Chiefs will unleash their frustrations on the Bills.

Pick: Chiefs

Miami at New England (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
Until further notice, the Pats are the best team in the AFC (what else is new). The Dolphins will be without quarterback Jay Cutler, who's still in concussion protocol. Tom Brady is in a zone, leading the league in passing (3,147 yards), with 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Pats should put this one away by halftime.

Pick: Patriots

Carolina at New York Jets (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
The Panthers are hot, winners of three in a row. They have linebacker Luke Kuechly back on the field, and now Cam Newton gets his tight end back. Greg Olsen, who's been out since Week 2 with a broken foot, returns this week. The Jets have lost four of the last five but still have slim postseason hopes. You never know which Jets team will show up week-to-week, but the Panthers will be ready for them.

Pick: Panthers

Seattle at San Francisco (Sunday 4:05 p.m. on FOX)
Last week, Pete Carroll made a bad coaching decision, and it cost the Seahawks a chance to beat Atlanta. Thanks to the Rams losing, Seattle is still within striking distance of the NFC West title. The lowly Niners won't be much of an obstacle this week.

Pick: Seahawks

Denver at Oakland (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS) 
The Broncos and Raiders have been two of the biggest disappointments of the year. The Broncos have QB issues and are now turning to rookie Paxton Lynch. The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Morton Jr. with hopes of shaking up that lethargic unit. The Raiders' offense vs. the Broncos' defense will be interesting to watch. Oakland’s offense wins this matchup.

Pick: Raiders 

New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS)
This is the marquee matchup of the week. The Rams are trying to regroup after their high-flying offense crashed in Minnesota. The Saints are looking to extend an eight-game winning streak. It’s the old man Drew Brees vs. the young gun Jared Goff. In big game situations like this, I like to rely on experience. Brees and the Saints win a shootout.

Pick: Saints

Jacksonville at Arizona (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS)
I still can't get used to calling Jacksonville a division leader, but the times have changed. The Jags' defense is rock solid, first overall (276.6 yards allowed), first in pass defense (162.0) and first in points allowed (14.1). The Cards, just 2-2 at home this year, will lose their third straight overall.

Pick: Jaguars 

Green Bay at Pittsburgh (Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on NBC)
The Packers got embarrassed last week at home vs. Baltimore, and Green Bay QB Brett Hundley appears to be lost. Now to add to the Packers’ woes, they venture into the Steelers’ den to face a team trying to keep pace with New England for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Packers don’t have a prayer in this one.

Pick: Steelers

Houston at Baltimore (Monday 8:30 p.m. on ESPN) 
Right now the Ravens are the sixth seed in the AFC. They haven’t played at home since late October. For a second straight week, the Ravens face a backup QB. They destroyed Hundley in Green Bay. This time Tom Savage is in trouble. 

Pick: Ravens 

Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

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Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

Doug Pederson has made his decision. 

The Eagles are promoting wide receivers coach Mike Groh to offensive coordinator, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the move.  

On Monday, Pederson interviewed Groh and running backs coach Duce Staley for the vacant offensive coordinator job after Frank Reich became the Colts' head coach earlier this month. 

Groh, 46, just joined the Eagles last offseason, taking over for Greg Lewis. In his first year in Philly, he did a masterful job with the Eagles' receivers and had a bigger role in the offense and game-planning than a typical receivers coach. 

There had been a report that Pederson was thinking about not having an official offensive coordinator for the 2018 season. He already calls the plays. But it looks like he saw the value in filling Reich's old spot. 

It'll be interesting to see how this goes over with Staley, who has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011 and has been in his current role as running backs coach since 2013. He has previously expressed interest in moving up the ladder. 

When Pederson hired Reich to be his offensive coordinator, he said he was interested in what Reich could bring to the downfield passing game. If that's still important, it would make sense for him to hire a receivers coach with a background as a quarterback over a former running back and running backs coach. 

The 2018 staff is starting to come together. Press Taylor is expected to be named the team's quarterbacks coach (filling in for John DeFilippo), Groh is OC and Staley will stay with the running backs. The last shoe to drop appears to be filling Groh's old post of receivers coach. 

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

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Eagles might lose backup defensive back

Jaylen Watkins' time in Philadelphia might just be coming to an end. 

The Eagles don't plan to tender Watkins, who is a restricted free agent, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Watkins, 26, played a decent role with the Eagles in 2017. He came into the summer as a safety, but when the team needed him at corner, he began to fill in there. He offered them a backup at multiple spots. 

So why won't the Eagles tender him? 

Well, if the Eagles did place a tender on Watkins, it would have been an original-round tender. He was drafted in the fourth round back in 2014. So teams could have negotiated with Watkins as a RFA but if the Eagles didn't match the offer sheet, they'd get back a fourth-round pick. Sounds great, except for one thing. 

The problem with the original-round tender is that it would bring back Watkins on a one-year deal worth just over $1.9 million. That's a projection after last year's number was just under $1.8 million. 

Watkins proved to be a valuable backup for the Eagles in 2017, but $1.9 million is probably just a little too pricey, especially as the Eagles are sitting around $9 million over the cap and have to trim that number down. 

And the Birds should have plenty of younger depth at corner in 2018. 

Not tendering Watkins doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back. What it does mean is he'll be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He will be able to negotiate with any team freely, but that will also include the Eagles, who might be willing to bring him back for a lesser price.