Jason Peters

Eagles LT Jason Peters may be having his best season at age of 35

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Eagles LT Jason Peters may be having his best season at age of 35

Offensive linemen. We typically only talk about them when they're really bad, or simply incredible. It's time to talk about Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, who is playing about as well as he ever has β€” at 35 years old.

Stop to think about that statement for a moment. Peters is a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro. A veteran of 14 seasons, there was about a three-year period from 2011 through 2013 where he was hands down the most dominant offensive lineman in the NFL.

And based on the first six games, 2017 has the potential to be his best campaign yet.

Not bad, considering there was talk that Peters could be a casualty of the salary cap the past two offseasons. There's no reason to sugar-coat it β€” he's old, has battled injuries, and it certainly looked like regression was beginning to set in. If Chip Kelly were still the head coach of the Eagles, with his constant uptempo offense, there is no doubt in my mind Peters wouldn't be here right now.

But Peters is revitalized since Doug Pederson took over the program. Last season was a bounce-back year, at least enough that the Eagles felt confident in signing Peters to a one-year extension in August. Yet, even 2016 pales in comparison to what he's been able to accomplish thus far.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peters did not allow a single pressure on the quarterback in 37 dropbacks against the Panthers on Thursday night. It was the third time he shut out the opposing defense in the last four weeks, and on the season, he's on the hook for six pressures and one sack total.

Peters has dramatically cut down on penalties as well, which have been an issue even in some of his previous great years. The guys in black and white have only called out No. 71 once so far. Not even Pete Morelli could find fault in his performance.

In '16, Peters allowed 4.0 sacks, 8 quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries. Based on overall performance blocking the run and in pass protection, PFF had him graded ninth among all offensive tackles.

Peters is currently second among tackles in PFF's graded, behind only longtime Cleveland Browns stalwart Joe Thomas.

Frankly, the entire Eagles offensive line could take a bow. Since replacing Isaac Seumalo at left guard, the unit has begun staking its claim as the best front in the league.

That all starts with Peters, and it always has. That's how he got the nickname "The Franchise" years ago. But even then, nobody would've imagined a couple years ago he would still be arguably the Eagles' most important player, right up there alongside Carson Wentz.

Eagles Mailbag: Free agents to-be; 5 players they can't lose

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Eagles Mailbag: Free agents to-be; 5 players they can't lose

It's hard to believe we're already through a quarter of the 2017 season. Time is flying. 

And thanks to the Thursday night game in Carolina next week, the Eagles will be through six games by this time next week. 

Let's hop into your questions: 

Yeah, it's a little early for this. But so far, it looks like the Eagles will be interested in signing both of these players long term. Sure, Alshon Jeffery's numbers haven't been great but he's gone against some great corners and he hasn't really clicked with Carson Wentz just yet. The Eagles tried to downplay the issue of their chemistry all summer, but now it looks like there was something to that. Jeffery still has the skills to be a top receiver in this league. 

Meanwhile, Jernigan is playing so well, he might price himself right out of Philadelphia. If he continues to have a big season, the Eagles are going to have a tough decision to make because he might demand some big money on the free agent market. He has proven he can play in a passive 3-4 system as well as an aggressive 4-3 like Jim Schwartz runs. 

If either of these two guys walk after the season, the Eagles will need to replace them. Beau Allen is also set to become a free agent, so the Eagles will definitely need help at defensive tackle. That's tricky, though, because their other defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox, will have a $17.9 million cap hit in 2018. 

With LeGarrette Blount on a one-year deal, the Eagles might need to bring in another running back. Another key free agent will be linebacker Nigel Bradham. He played very well in 2016 but is off to a rough start this season. 

"Why do we fall, Bruce?" 

I get why some fans want to forget about last season and move on, but it's important for the Eagles to learn from their mistakes. This week, there has been a lot of talk from last year and it's not hard to figure out why. For the second straight season, the Eagles started with a 3-1 record. This is about the time of the year where things went downhill in a hurry in 2016. The Eagles obviously need to avoid that type of free fall this year. 

This time around, it looks like they'll have Lane Johnson for the entire season. That makes a big difference. Don't overlook the fact that since the start of the 2016 season, the Eagles are 8-2 with him and 2-8 without him. 

Well, Cox is already out right now, so that's why I'm leaving him off the list. But the five aside from him: Wentz, Jason Peters, Zach Ertz, Jordan Hicks, Malcolm Jenkins. 

It was tough leaving Brandon Graham off this list. He was the toughest omission because he starts so much of their pass rush, but the team can replace him with a first-round pick. That wouldn't be awful. 

Wentz is the obvious one. Nick Foles is a good backup quarterback but the Eagles can't lose Wentz. Peters is defying everything we know about age. He continues to play at a high level. If they lost Peters, Lane Johnson could fill in but then Big V would be at right tackle. Ertz is the best tight end in football right now and everything on offense has been running through him. Hicks is a very good middle linebacker and is responsible for the calls on defense. And Jenkins never gets enough credit. He's a leader on the back end. He's a great safety and can even come down and play in the slot. Those are my five. 

Yeah, that's the way it works. When a team is forced to forfeit their pick, it just goes right to the next one. I guess that is unfair to potential draft picks but there's always fluctuation in the number of draft picks because of the compensatory selections. 

Undrafted players and late-round draft picks don't really get paid much differently. The real difference is the amount of guaranteed money, which isn't a little thing. But undrafted free agents have the ability to choose their destination. So if two teams want to sign them, they can pick the better fit. They'd obviously rather hear their name called, but it's not the end of the world if they don't. 

Yeah, Graham didn't have his best game against the Chargers. But he wasn't bad either. I think we've all just become used to him constantly getting pressure. He'll have a real chance to get something going this weekend. The Cardinals' right tackle, Jared Veldheer, has struggled and Carson Palmer has been sacked an NFL-high 17 times (see 5 matchups to watch)

Looks like Jake Elliott made 61-yard field goal in total fear of Jason Peters

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Looks like Jake Elliott made 61-yard field goal in total fear of Jason Peters

Well, now we know how Jake Elliott nailed that 61-yarder.

He was kicking in complete and utter fear for his life.

During Week 2 against the Chiefs, the 22-year-old rookie made his NFL debut and missed a 30-yard attempt. Then, in Week 3, Elliott couldn't connect on a 52-yard try against the Giants.

So, Jason Peters, in his ninth year with the Eagles, decided that was enough to strike some urgency into Elliott, whose Eagles career wasn't even two weeks old yet.

On the sideline, big Peters, at 6-foot-4, 328 pounds, summoned over the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Elliott.

"Hey, Elliott," Peters said in a video by NFL.com. "C'mon, baby.

"Let's go, no more misses."

As Elliott turned, Peters stopped the first-year kicker and made sure he would be terrified to ever miss a field goal again, even a 100-yarder.

"Hey," Peters said, still staring down Elliott. "No more misses, bro."

Looks like the message was received.

The Eagles' 27-24 win ended like this.