Eagles

LeGarrette Blount advises Eagles to 'stay humble' after 5-1 start

LeGarrette Blount advises Eagles to 'stay humble' after 5-1 start

With a 5-1 record, the Eagles sit all alone atop the division and conference standings, and are tied for the best mark in the NFL. Their quarterback was recently given the best odds of winning the league’s Most Valuable Player award. So, yes, right now, a trip to the Super Bowl seems to be very much on the table for this squad.

But take it from LeGarrette Blount, somebody who’s won a couple of world championships — the Eagles can’t afford to get caught up in the hysteria right now.

“We could lose 10 in a row,” Blount said Tuesday. “We could go 6-10, so we don't want to jump the gun, jump to conclusions. We want to make sure we take it week by week, day by day, keep a level head and make sure we're going to be ready for whoever the next opponent is.”

Blount is one of only five Eagles players with a Super Bowl ring and the only member of the roster who owns multiple. The veteran running back won two of the last three years with the New England Patriots organization, which has been a perennial championship contender for the better part of the last two decades.

In other words, Blount knows better than anybody inside the Eagles’ locker room exactly what it takes to not only reach the big game and come away victorious but also how to sustain that success.

“You have to stay grounded,” Blount said. “You have to stay humble and make sure that all the guys that are in the building are on the same page. The coaches, the staff, everybody is on the same page, ignoring the noise, not worrying about what other teams are doing, what other teams' records are — just worrying about ourselves and locked into us.”

Easier said than done given the week the Eagles just had.

After going to Carolina and upending a tough Panthers squad on Thursday night, the Eagles watched as massive blows were being dealt to some of their stiffest competition over the weekend. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on Sunday, potentially crippling one of the NFC’s elites for the remainder of the season. And Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is awaiting word on the status of a six-game suspension that could seriously hamper the division rival.

But the noise can also be Eagles fans and their exponentially rising expectations, or a media that’s quick to point out any tiny flaw and raise controversy.

Blount has experienced the latter firsthand. Two weeks into the 2017 campaign, he finished a game without a carry — an Eagles’ loss — and was averaging 3.0 yards per carry going back to the preseason. The constant questions coming from reporters about his role easily could have become a distraction.

In the four weeks since, Blount has 344 yards on 56 carries for a 6.1 average. He never allowed the noise to get to him, instead becoming a big reason behind the ongoing four-game winning streak.

“We know what we've been doing to get to this point,” Blount said. “We know what it takes, so we just have to buy in to continue to do that, and continue to do everything that it takes to continue winning games.

“A big part of it is just making sure you ignore the noise, don't listen to the outsiders, everything that is in house stays in house, and that you make sure and know that everybody that you see on TV isn't in your corner. Sometimes that can discourage the younger guys. Every now and then you'll hear them say, 'Oh, did you hear them say this,' or, 'Did you hear them say that? Or, 'Did you see this,' or 'Did you see that?'

“The big part is making sure that everybody ignores that stuff.”

Blount has been through extraordinary highs and lows in his football career and learned to maintain an even keel. But Eagles leadership has also done a tremendous job insulating players from the kinds of rumblings that have a tendency to create discord and cause entire seasons to come off the rails.

For evidence, look no further than rumors that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was trying to undermine head coach Doug Pederson — and how quickly such talk dissipated.

“The veteran groups have a lot to do with it,” Blount said. “I also think the coaches have a lot to do with it — keeping the guys grounded, keeping the guys to where we have to continue to come here and work if we want to continue the success.

“Most of the young guys, all of them have bought into the program, and everybody's locked in and knows their role and what they want to do.”

While Blount wouldn’t go so far as to draw parallels between the ways the Eagles and the Patriots handle distractions, it’s clear he’s been able to quickly establish a bond with his new teammates and coaches since signing in May.

“Every team is different,” Blount said. “I can't compare this team to the New England teams, or any other team. We have a really close-knit team. We believe in each other. Everybody loves each other and we have each other’s backs.”

As far as Blount’s performance on the field is concerned, the best may be still to come. He’s finished with at least 12 carries in each of the last four games and looked explosive and elusive while doing it. And with extra rest between a Thursday night game in Carolina and this Monday’s contest at home against Washington, the bruising runner said he’s feeling refreshed.

Most of all, it sounds as though Blount is in a great frame of mind and feeling comfortable with all of his surroundings. And if you’re looking for a great read on the Eagles’ situation through six games, just listen to the guy who’s come to expect confetti and parades in February.

Roob's Stats: Jay Ajayi's monster start to Eagles' career

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USA Today Images

Roob's Stats: Jay Ajayi's monster start to Eagles' career

Following Sunday's 37-9 win over the Cowboys, Reuben Frank has crunched the numbers like only he can to come up with the following stats you would have never even known existed.

Did you know the Eagles have more wins in the last 59 days than the Browns have in the last 1,115 days?

Really, really good teams and really, really bad teams make for the best stats. Combine the two and that's what you get!

But let's just focus on the Eagles for the rest of today's edition of Roob's Stats. There's some crazy stuff in here!

The Jay Ajayi Section!
• Jay Ajayi's 71-yard run in the third quarter of the Eagles' win over the Cowboys was the Eagles' longest run from scrimmage since Brian Westbrook’s 71-yarder vs the. 49ers in 2006 and matched the longest since Brian Mitchell's 85-yarder vs. the Falcons in 2000. It was the ninth-longest run in Eagles' history and second-longest that didn’t go for a touchdown behind only Leroy Harris’s 80-yarder vs. the Falcons in 1979.

• Ajayi is only the third player in NFL history to record consecutive games with 77 or more rushing yards on eight or fewer carries. The other two were Warren Wiliams with the Steelers in 1990 and former Eagle Felix Jones with the Cowboys in 2009.

• Ajayi is the first Eagle with runs from scrimmage of 45 yards or more in back-to-back games since Ricky Watters in 1996 — 52 yards against the Lions, 57 yards against the Falcons.

 The Corey Clement Section!
• Corey Clement’s sixth red-zone touchdown of the year came on his 10th red-zone touch. Clement ranks seventh in the NFL in red-zone touchdowns but 42nd in red-zone touches.

• Clement’s six TDs this year are the fourth-most ever by an Eagles rookie running back and the most since 1953, when Don “Heartbeat” Johnson had seven. Since 1950, only 11 undrafted rookie running backs league-wide have had more touchdowns in a season than Clement.

• Clement is only the second player in Eagles history to score six touchdowns in his first 10 career games. The other is Jordan Matthews.

The Carson Wentz Section!
• With no intercepetions in his last two games and just three in his last eight, Carson Wentz has improved his career interception ratio to 2.05 [per 100 passes]. That's ninth-best in NFL history. Just ahead of him? Sam Bradford (1.97). Just behind him? Nick Foles (2.10).

• Carson Wentz has now gone six straight games with two or more TD passes and one or fewer INTs. Only eight QBs in NFL history have had longer streaks — Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Stafford, Brett Favre, Russell Wilson and Len Dawson.

• Wentz is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to open a season with 10 straight games with a passer rating of 83.0 or higher. The other five are Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers.

• Wentz is only the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 25 or more touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions 10 games into a season. The others are Brady, Rodgers and Y.A. Tittle.

The Dak Prescott Section!
• Dak Prescott has thrown four career interceptions before halftime. Three of them have come against the Eagles (Jordan Hicks last year and Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod Sunday).

• Prescott, who has the best interception ratio in NFL history, was picked off three times by the Eagles in the span of 44 minutes Sunday after throwing just eight INTs in his previous 25 career games. In his career, he's averaged one interception every 19.5 attempts against the Eagles (4 in 78 passes) and one every 100.1 attempts against every other team combined.

The Miscellaneous Offense Section!
• The Eagles are only the 16th team in NFL history to win eight straight games and score 26 points or more in all eight of them. 

•Jay Ajayi [91 yards], LeGarrette Blount [57] & Corey Clement [50] are the first Eagles running back trio to rush for 50 yards in the same game since Oct. 22, 1961, when Billy Ray Barnes [89], Timmy Brown [66] and Ted Dean [76] did it in a 43-7 win also at Dallas. That game was across town at the Cotton Bowl.

 The Miscellaneous Defense Section!
• The Eagles have now gone 12 straight games without allowing a first-quarter touchdown. The streak is their longest since they held 13 straight opponents without a first-quarter touchdown to open the 1971 season.

• Rodney McLeod recorded an interception in his third straight game, becoming the first Eagle to do that since Asante Samuel in 2010 and the first Eagles safety since Dawk in 2004.

• The Eagles have held six straight opponents under 35 percent on third-down conversions, the first time that's happened since 2008.

• The Eagles haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 20 games, the longest current streak in the NFL and the Eagles’ longest streak since a stretch of 48 games over the 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 seasons. Emmitt Smith ended that with 163 yards.

The Eagles-Crush-the-Cowboys Section!
• The Cowboys have lost 22 games by 23 or more points since 2000. Eleven of those 22 losses — exactly half of them — have been to the Eagles.

• The Eagles on Sunday became the first team in 55 years to shut out the Cowboys in a second half while scoring 30 or more points. The last time that happened the Cards blanked the Cowboys 37-0 in the second half of a 52-20 win.

• The Eagles have won three straight games by 23 or more points for the first time since 1953. That matches the 12th-longest streak in NFL history. The record is five straight games, set by the 1949 Eagles and matched by the 1953 Eagles. The Frankford Yellow Jackets had a four-game streak in 1924.

•The Eagles on Sunday became the 19th team in NFL history and 10th in the last 50 years to win a game by 28 or more points after trailing at halftime. The Eagles had never done that. The last time the Cowboys lost by 28 or more points after leading at halftime was Dec. 9, 1962, when they led the Cards 20-14 at halftime before losing 52-20 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

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AP Images

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

After a beatdown of the Cowboys Sunday night, the Eagles remain the most likely team in the NFL to win the Super B... wait, what? The evil empire has taken over? OK, Vegas. 

The Patriots (11/4) have passed the Eagles (15/4) and now have the best odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Bovada. However, the Eagles' odds actually improved from the previous week (5/1).

The Patriots (8-2) are riding a six-game winning streak and seem to be back on track after a 2-2 start. 

However, Bovada did hilariously troll the rest of the NFC East by taking the divisional odds off the boards.

"Odds for this division are off the board due to the enormous lead of the Eagles," reads the site.

The Eagles' odds to win the NFC also improved from 12/5 to 19/10. That puts them atop the NFC, ahead of the Saints (15/4) and the Vikings (11/2).

Unfortunately, you can't bet on the Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell saga. At least not yet.