Eagles

How Eagles' run D can make history Sunday

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How Eagles' run D can make history Sunday

Some good, some bad in this week's Roob's Stats. Don't worry … it's mostly good!

• The Eagles haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in their last nine home games. That's the 10th-longest streak in NFL history and five shy of the NFL record of 14, set by the 1995 and 1996 Steelers. Only four teams have gone an entire season without allowing a rushing TD at home — the 1942 Chicago Cards, 1977 Bills, 1985 Saints and 2005 Arizona Cardinals. 

• The Eagles' one third-down conversion Monday night was their fewest in 13 years since they went 0-for-8 in a loss to the Steelers in 2004 — their only loss that year with the starters in the lineup. This was the first game the Eagles won with just one third-down conversion since Nov. 18, 1990, when they beat the Falcons 24-23 despite going 1 for 9 on third down. Their one conversion in that game came on their first third down. They had a 3rd-and-5 on their first drive and Randall Cunningham converted it with a 10-yard pass to Keith Byars.

• With one TD pass and one INT, Nick Foles extended the Eagles' streak of games with one or more touchdown pass and one or fewer interception to 17, dating back to the end of last year. That's the third-longest streak in NFL history, behind the Falcons' 21-game stretch from 2015 through earlier this year and an 18-game streak by the 49ers over the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

• Zach Ertz's nine-catch game was his 12th career game with eight or more receptions. That's 12th-most in NFL history by a tight end and most in Eagles history by any player.

• Ertz locked up his third straight season with 70 or more catches and 800 or more yards. He and Travis Kelce are the only tight ends to do that in each of the last three seasons, and he's the first player in Eagles history to do it three straight years. Only seven tight ends in NFL history have had longer streaks with 70 catches and 800 yards.

• The Eagles have seven players with two or more interceptions — Patrick Robinson (four), Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby (three each) and Corey Graham, Rasul Douglas and Malcolm Jenkins (two each). This is the first time since 1991 they’ve had seven players with two or more interceptions. In 1991, it was Eric Allen (five), Wes Hopkins (five), Seth Joyner (three), Rich Miano (three), Byron Evans (two), Ben Smith (two) and Otis Smith (two).

• Derek Barnett's touchdown as the game ended Monday night was the first by an Eagles' rookie defensive lineman in 36 years, since Greg Brown recovered a Joe Theismann fumble and returned it four yards for a touchdown against the Redskins at the Vet on Sept. 27, 1981.

• The Eagles won despite netting just 219 yards of offense. That's their fewest yards in a win in 12 years, since they had 201 in a 17-16 win over the Rams in 2005 with Mike McMahon at quarterback at the Edward Jones Dome.

• Monday's game was the first in which the Eagles forced five turnovers in a half since the last day of the 1999 season, when they forced six in the second half of a win against the eventual Super Bowl-champion Rams at the Vet. Those six turnovers were a Mike Mamula interception of Kurt Warner, a Robert Holcombe fumble forced by Tim Hauck (now an Eagles assistant coach) and recovered by Barry Gardner, a Rashard Cook strip-sack of Joe Germaine recovered by Mamula, a Cook interception of Germaine, a Watson fumble forced by Gardner and recovered by Hauck and a pick-six off Germaine by Al Harris.

• If the Eagles gain 55 or more rushing yards and allow 61 or fewer rushing yards Sunday, they will become the fifth team in NFL history to gain 2,100 or more rushing yards and allow 1,200 or fewer rushing yards. 

How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

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How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

When you think about the best wide receivers in the NFL today, names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind and rightfully so, but the Minnesota Vikings have a pair of wideouts who have given opposing secondaries fits.

This season, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been the perfect complement to each other. Thielen finished the regular season with 91 receptions (eighth-best in the league), 1276 yards (fifth-best) and his 20 catches for 20 or more yards tied for fifth-best overall. As for Diggs, he finished with 64 receptions for 849 yards.

Together, Thielen and Diggs accounted for 54 percent of the Vikings' receiving yards this season. They also combined for 12 touchdowns. In the Vikes' miraculous playoff win over the New Orleans Saints, they accounted for 66 percent of the passing game. They have been the safety valves for Case Keenum all season long.

Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has the rare luxury of lining up either one of them on the inside or outside on any given play. Both are excellent route runners — whether it's doing deep or intermediate routes or crossing routes, and both are excellent blockers.

So how should Jim Schwartz defend against these two? Some believe help over the top on Thielen and playing single coverage on Diggs is the way to go. We may see that concept occasionally in the NFC Championship Game but I have a feeling Schwartz will come up with some variation we have not seen before. The Eagles are not going to completely shut these two down, but their damage can be minimized. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and the other DBs will put in a full day’s work shadowing these two.

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

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Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

As the Eagles practiced on Thursday afternoon, just a few days before hosting the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stood next to owner Jeff Lurie and watched the team he created. 

Of the 53 members on the Eagles' roster heading into this championship game, 25 weren't on the active roster last season. Roseman had a very busy offseason, molding the Eagles into a Super Bowl contender. 

For his efforts, the 42-year-old Roseman, who began with the Eagles as an intern in 2000, has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. 

Roseman helped turn over a roster that went 7-9 last season into a team that went 13-3, earning the first-overall seed in the NFC. He built the team with enough depth to survive major injuries to Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis. 

Never afraid to make a trade, Roseman came back from his time away from football operations more aggressive than ever. He claims his year away from GM duties while Chip Kelly took over was both humbling and eye-opening. 

For this season, Roseman traded 25 spots in the third round to bring in veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, traded away Jordan Matthews and a pick to bring in cornerback Ronald Darby and pulled the trigger on a midseason move to bring in Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. 

In free agency, he signed Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack. He brought in several of those players on one-year prove-it deals, and for the most part, the team has gotten more than their money's worth out of them. 

He also helped hire VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to revamp the scouting department. That hire of a top personnel man was one of the conditions when Lurie reinstated Roseman to power following Kelly's dismissal. 

Roseman and Douglas spearheaded drafting a class that included Derek Barnett in the first round, an injured Sidney Jones in the second and some other contributors in the next five rounds. 

Aside from just bringing players in, Roseman has been able to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone in the league. It's been a strength of his since his arrival in Philly, so that should be no surprise. 

You could actually argue that Roseman's 2016 was more impressive. That's when he laid the groundwork for this playoff season by moving up and drafting Carson Wentz. But 2017 is when it all came together.