Eagles

Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season

Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season

Here are Derrick Gunn's five matchups to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season.

Vikings at Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Key early-season showdown between these NFC North rivals. The Vikes used a ground-and-pound attack to roll over the Falcons with 38 rushes for 172 yards. Kirk Cousins only threw an unheard of 10 passing attempts. Meanwhile, looks like the money the Packers spent this past offseason in free agency and the draft to fix their porous defense paid off. They held the Bears to three points and 254 yards of total offense. The Packers' offense struggled in head coach Matt LaFleur’s debut. You never know what could happen when these two are on the same field. They actually tied in their first meeting in 2018. There will be no tie this time around. The Packers' offense shows enough improvement to slip by the Vikings.

Seahawks at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

The bad part of trying to figure teams out early in a new season is you don’t know if a team is as good or bad as their initial outing showed. The Steelers were the last team to beat New England in 2018 — Week 15 to be exact — but they were no match for the defending Super Bowl champs last Sunday and got embarrassed. The Seahawks, hoping their defense can recapture some of that past dominance, got to Cincy QB Andy Dalton five times. The Steelers' run game (just 32 yards vs Cincinnati) is a vital part of their offense. Mike Tomlin's crew will be focused this week. Two physical teams. Only one can be victorious. I like the 'Burgh at home.

Cowboys at Redskins (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Jerry Jones handed out big money to his big-time players this offseason. While Dak Prescott is waiting to get paid, he’s just going about his business. He really gave the Giants' defense the business last Sunday, throwing for 405 yards and 4 TDs. The Redskins' offense, with a new QB in Case Keenum and new WRs, is still trying to find its identity. It started fast and finished slow against the Eagles.  Now their young RB Derrius Guice, who missed all of last year with an ACL injury, is out 6-8 weeks after having surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus. Dallas has won five of their last six meetings with the 'Skins. They’ll improve that to six out of the last seven this Sunday.

Cardinals at Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson square off for the first time in their young careers. Murray in his NFL debut wasn’t bad throwing for 308 yards and 2 TDs helping the Cards come back to tie Detroit. The negative is he threw 54 passes, which you don’t want him doing against this Ravens defense. Baltimore’s offense put on a show against a young Dolphins defense racking up 643 yards, which included 265 yards rushing and five Jackson TD strikes. Murray will need his track shoes in this one, but the Cards won’t be able to outrun a beatdown in Baltimore.

Saints at Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX)

Just six days after surviving a thriller against Houston, the Saints now have to travel west. Drew Brees and Jared Goff are the headliners, but Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley are headline grabbers in their own right. Both teams, while known for passing, also take pride in their run games. The Saints rushed for 148 yards and the Rams 166 yards in season-opening wins. Last year in New Orleans these two met and put up a combined 80 points in a Saints 10-point decision. The Rams want some payback and should get it in another close, high-scoring affair.

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Eagles release linebacker Zach Brown

Eagles release linebacker Zach Brown

Three days after linebacker Zach Brown called Kirk Cousins “the weakest part” of the Vikings’ offense and one day after Cousins threw four touchdowns against the Eagles, the Eagles parted ways with Brown.

The Eagles signed the one-time Pro Bowler this past offseason to a one-year, $1.4 million contract, but he played only six games and made virtually no impact. He was credited with 29 tackles and two pass breakups.

The move came after head coach Doug Pederson met with the media earlier in the day and without comment. Pederson is not scheduled to meet with the media again until Wednesday.

The Brown signing was a big deal when the Eagles signed him in May. He was expected to help offset the departure of Jordan Hicks, who signed with the Cards.

Brown’s $1 million base salary and $400,000 signing bonus were guaranteed.

The move doesn't affect the Eagles' salary cap since Brown was playing on a one-year deal and his base and signing bonus were both guaranteed.

How much of the move was related to Brown’s ridiculous trash-talking last week, which backfired in embarrassing fashion, and how much was related to his nondescript level of play isn’t clear.

But the timing of the move is very unusual for a starting player and indicates there were important factors in play that led to the move beyond his performance on the field.

It's reminiscent of the Eagles releasing Jason Babin 11 games into the nightmarish 2012 season one year after he had 18 sacks.

Whoever winds up signing Brown will be his fifth team in the last five years.

Brown played 271 snaps in the Eagles’ first six games, second most of any linebacker behind Bradham’s 352.

The Eagles, who released cornerback Ryan Lewis earlier in the day, do have two open roster spots. One is expected to go to Jalen Mills, and the other would likely be a linebacker.

Former CFL star Alex Singleton, who had such a strong training camp, is on the practice squad and would be an obvious choice to replace Brown on the active roster.

With Nigel Bradham dealing with an ankle injury he suffered Sunday in Minnesota, the only healthy linebackers currently on the roster are Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, undrafted rookie T.J. Edwards and recent acquisition Duke Riley. Edwards has played only 12 defensive snaps this year — 10 of them in garbage time Sunday — and Riley hasn't played any.

Brown, who turns 30 next week, is in his eighth season. He was originally a second-round pick of the Titans in 2012 and spent four years with Tennessee, one Pro Bowl season with the Bills and two years with the Redskins before joining the Eagles.

The only news Brown made during his stay in Philadelphia was when he ripped Cousins, his former teammate with the Redskins.

After Cousins and the Vikings embarrassed the Eagles on Sunday, Brown declined to talk about it or apologize for his remarks.

The Vikings' Twitter account didn't hesitate to mock Brown after the game, although it did slightly misquote him.

Not the legacy anybody expected when the Eagles signed Brown.

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Eagles make move that seems to indicate a Jalen Mills return

Eagles make move that seems to indicate a Jalen Mills return

The Eagles on Monday afternoon made a move that seems to be a good sign Jalen Mills will return this week. 

A few hours after Doug Pederson said he expects Mills to practice this week, the Eagles waived cornerback Ryan Lewis, possibly to create a roster spot for Mills. 

Mills, 25, is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury that has kept him out nearly a year, but should practice this week and could be ready to assume a role on defense this Sunday night in Dallas. 

“We’re going to incorporate Jalen Mills a little bit this week in practice, we’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week and if he’s capable maybe there’s an opportunity there (for him to play),” Pederson said.

If Mills returns to practice this week, the Eagles will have three weeks to either add him to the active roster or place him on Injured Reserve. It looks like he’s clearly coming back to the Eagles’ roster and it seems like it will happen sooner rather than later. 

But even if Mills plays this Sunday, don’t expect him to have a huge role. He hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 28 last year in London. The Eagles will need to bring him back slowly. 

In addition to Mills, Ronald Darby (hamstring) is also expected to practice this week. While Mills and Darby aren’t saviors, they should at least help a secondary that was completely gashed by Kirk Cousins in Minnesota this past weekend. 

Lewis, 25, was signed to the Eagles’ practice squad on Oct. 1 and was called up on Oct. 4. He played 43 special teams snaps during his two weeks on the Eagles’ active roster. The Eagles’ practice squad is full at 10, but if Lewis clears waivers, he’s a candidate to return in that capacity.

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