Eagles

Barrett Brooks breaks down how Brandon Brooks has been so dominant for Eagles

Barrett Brooks breaks down how Brandon Brooks has been so dominant for Eagles

Update, Nov. 11: The Eagles signed Brandon Brooks to a four-year contract extension.

There are five reasons the Eagles' offense has started to finally develop an identity and those five reasons are the offensive line. The right side, including center Jason Kelce, might be the best in football and lately it's showed in the running game.

The Eagles should now be identified as a power running team. They should make a living running between the tackles. 

As a former offensive lineman in the league, I played with some greats. I played with Alan Faneca with the Steelers and he is a Hall of Fame finalist this year. From across the playing field, I witnessed the best guard to ever play the game, Hall of Famer Larry Allen. 

But I must admit that I'm now covering a great one for the Eagles in Brandon Brooks, who is making his case as one of, if not the most dominant guards in the game today. Both pass blocking and run blocking, he is dominating his opponent.

During last week's Chicago Bears game, Brooks destroyed the backside blocks on inside zone running plays, which allowed Jordan Howard an opportunity to cut back and go untouched until reaching the secondary. Just watch the inside zone run play below on 1st & 10 with 13:15 in the first quarter. Watch how Brooks and Lane Johnson totally crush the entire right side of the line of scrimmage, allowing Howard to run for 12 yards.

Even on pass plays, Brooks stones defenders at the LOS, passes off stunts, and is mobile enough to get out on screen plays. One play that blew me away happened on a 1st-and-20 at the Eagles' 35-yard-line with 9:42 in the first quarter. Check it out below.

On a slow screen play (inside screen to the back), the first OL out in the screen blocks the defender that is responsible for covering the RB. 

The second OL out in the screen blocks the force defender, who is on the numbers or hashes. 

The third OL out in the screen blocks the defender that is trailing the screen behind the RB. 

Brooks is the second OL on this play and he destroys a little defensive back that thought about making the play. He rolled him up and pancaked him!

Brandon Brooks is a monster and it's time he gets his hype. At times it sucks being an offensive lineman — the only time your name is being called is when you are in trouble, with either a holding call or false start. And forgive us all if we give up a sack! But it's time Brandon Brooks gets his praise.

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Live stream: Doug Pederson's Eagles press conference at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

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USA Today Images

Live stream: Doug Pederson's Eagles press conference at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

Doug Pederson takes the podium before the Eagles' Week 11 matchup with the New England Patriots.

The Eagles are coming off a bye week in which they gained ground on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. The Eagles have won two straight games and are now tied atop the division.

Pederson is expected to address the health of various players dealing with injury. He'll also likely be asked about the last time the Eagles faced the Patriots, in Super Bowl LII.

The Patriots are 8-1 and also coming off of a bye week. They suffered their first loss of the season in Week 9 against the Ravens.

 

10 reasons to be optimistic about the Eagles

10 reasons to be optimistic about the Eagles

There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the Eagles right now, and some of it is understandable considering how disappointing the wide receivers have been, how badly the Eagles were blown out by the Vikings and Cowboys and how high expectations were coming into the season.

Still, despite it all, the Eagles are 5-4, tied for first in the NFC East, winners of four of their last six games, and they have a 62 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Sometimes we all have to be reminded that maybe things aren’t quite as bad as they seem.

There’s two ways to do that: 1) Stay off Twitter for a while, and 2) Read this list of 10 reasons for Eagles fans to be optimistic going into the final seven games of the season.

1. DOUG: He has his quirks, but the bottom line is Doug Pederson is 38-24 as an NFL head coach, and that .613 winning percentage is 4th-highest among the 32 active NFL head coaches. The Eagles have the 8th-best record in the NFL since Pederson took over as head coach in 2016. Bottom line is the Eagles are in good hands. Pederson knows how to get the most out of his players, and he knows how to win.

2. CARSON: It’s mindblowing that there are still be fans out there blabbering about Nick Foles. Dude’s a folk hero around here but it’s time to move on. It’s impossible to argue with the job Wentz has done this year with minimal contributions from his wide receivers. How do you have 15 TDs and 4 INTs without any wide receivers consistently contributing? Over the last three years, Wentz has started 33 games and had two bad ones – Saints last year, Falcons this year. In his 31 other games, he’s got 68 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s 21-12 since opening day 2017, the 7th-best winning percentage among NFL. As long as he’s the Eagles’ quarterback, they have a chance to win every game.

3. THE LINC: The Eagles have the second-best home record in the NFL since 2016 at 23-7 for a .767 winning percentage. Of those 30 games, there’s only been one the Eagles lost by more than a touchdown – that was a 14-point loss to the Packers in 2016, and even that was a four-point game in the fourth quarter. The Eagles are in every game at the Linc, where they play four of their next six games.

4. FLETCHER: One of the most encouraging developments of the past couple weeks has been Fletcher Cox really returning to form. Cox is finally healthy after that foot injury he suffered in the playoff loss to the Saints, and having their one-man wrecking crew back at full strength is going to be huge down the stretch.

5. THE CORNERBACKS: Not that long ago the Eagles were running Craig James, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and Orlando Scandrick out there. Now Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox are all back, and Cre’Von LeBlanc will be back soon.  That’s a monumental upgrade.

6. JORDAN MATTHEWS: He became their best wide receiver when he walked through the front door of the NovaCare Complex. Hey, I don’t know how much Matthews will help, but he’s a solid pro, he’s got great chemistry with Wentz, and he knows the offense. He instantly makes this a better wide receiving crew.

7. THE RUNNING GAME: Over the past seven weeks, the Eagles are averaging 140 rushing yards per game, 6th-best in the league. The Miles Sanders-Jordan Howard tandem behind this massive o-line has proven to be formidable. It’s not the offense the Eagles planned on, but their running game has developed into one of the league’s best.

8. PASS PRESSURE: After recording an NFL-low three sacks the first four games of the season, the Eagles have 22 in their last five games, second-most in the NFL. Brandon Graham has come to life, Derek Barnett is showing flashes and Cox has been his old dominating self. The Eagles are 20-7 under Pederson when they get three or more sacks. They’re 18-17 when they don’t.

9. THE COWBOYS: The Eagles’ only competition in the division is a team that lost to the Jets. That’s not only embarrassing, it’s huge for tiebreaker purposes. The Eagles have wins over the Packers and Jets, and the Cowboys lost to both. If the Eagles and Cowboys split the season series and both finish with 4-2 division records, the team with a better record in common opponents wins the division. If the Eagles take care of business, that will be them.

10. THE SCHEDULE: Which leads us to the schedule. Even if the Eagles lose to the Patriots and Seahawks, as long as they beat the Cowboys at home they’ll reach 10-6 by beating the 2-8 Giants twice and the 1-8 Redskins and 2-7 Dolphins. In that case, the only way the Eagles lose the division is if the Cowboys go 6-1 in all their other games. That is not going to happen.

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