Eagles

Derrick Gunn's top NFL games to watch in Week 16

Derrick Gunn's top NFL games to watch in Week 16

Here are my games to watch for Week 16 of the NFL season:

BILLS at PATRIOTS — Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network

Usually, New England has the AFC East wrapped up by now. They’ve won the last 10 straight division titles and 15 of the past 16. This season, the Bills are not ready to concede the title so easily. Back in Week 4, the Bills gave the Pats all they could handle, but Josh Allen threw three interceptions and left with a concussion. Buffalo is in the postseason party for the second time in three seasons, but for them that’s not enough; they feel they can take the division from New England. Two good defenses will be on display Saturday afternoon in Foxborough. Until further notice, New England is still king of the division hill. Buffalo will make a game of of it, but the Bills won't cash in.

RAMS at 49ERS — Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network

The Rams are still licking their wounds from getting mauled by the Cowboys. Jared Goff has a bruised thumb on his throwing hand, but the word is he should be fine. The Niners are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Last Sunday they got tripped up by Atlanta. A mild setback, but San Fran can still win the NFC West (win out vs. Rams and Seahawks), and the No. 1 overall seed is up for grabs. The Rams are a big play offense with 66 pass plays of 20-plus yards, but the Niners have the defensive personnel to diffuse them. San Fran went on the road and won the Week 6 meeting between the two. The Rams' hopes of getting back to the Super Bowl will end in Santa Clara.

SAINTS at TITANS — Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

What a season it's been for New Orleans. Drew Brees gets hurt, Teddy Bridgewater holds down the fort for six games, Brees comes back and becomes the new all-time leader in touchdown passes. His favorite target, Michael Thomas, is also on a record-setting pace, needing just 11 more catches to break Marvin Harrison's single-season reception total (143). The Titans lost a heartbreaker last week against Houston in a battle for first place in the AFC South, and it may have broken their playoff spirit. Tennessee is currently the seventh seed and needs help elsewhere. The Saints are on a mission, and unfortunately for Tennessee, this is not the season we remember the Titans.

CHIEFS at BEARS — Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

The Bears were making playoff noise having won three in a row until Green Bay officially put their postseason hopes in hibernation. So now, Chicago just wants to finish the season strong. K.C. has gotten hot at the right time. They are champs of the AFC West and winners of four straight. Patrick Mahomes is playing well but not at an MVP level (three INTs in his last four games), yet has weapons galore to choose from. The Chiefs' defense has been playing much better. K.C. will win its fifth straight and the Bears will fall one game below .500

PACKERS at VIKINGS — Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Schedule makers knew what they were doing when they made this rematch a Week 16 heavyweight showcase. The Packers won the Week 2 preliminary bout. It's hard to figure out who these Packers are. Their offense is not explosive and their defense is generous, yet they’ve won 11 games. The Vikings went on the West Coast and demolished a Chargers squad that manhandled the Packers a few weeks ago. Aaron Rodgers is 13-8-1 as a starting QB vs the Vikes. In those 22 games, Rodgers has completed 67.9 percent of his passes, thrown 44 touchdowns, has six interceptions and a 109.3 passer rating. The Vikes' run game could suffer if Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is sidelined. Minnesota is the only unbeaten team at home in the league. They’ll make Green Bay pack it in this time to pull even in the standings. Which means the division outcome won't be decided until the final game of the season.

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Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that one of their home games in 2020 will take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which means the Eagles might play in Mexico City in 2020.

Fun! (Probably.)

Just two years after playing the Jaguars in London, the Eagles are one of six possible opponents for the Cardinals' game in Mexico. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss is reporting Friday that the Lions and Dolphins will not be the opponent:

This will mark the fifth straight season that the NFL has a game scheduled for Estadio Azteca, and the 13th time a game has been scheduled at Estadio Azteca all-time.

The Eagles actually have a super interesting, and kind of wacky, history with Mexico City games. 

They were scheduled to face the Detroit Lions in an exhibition on Aug. 11, 1968, which would've marked the first football game ever played in Mexico City, but the game was cancelled - without much explanation, according to the Associated Press. Half the stadium's tickets were going for about 40 cents at the time, according to the AP.

Ten years later, the Eagles actually ended up participating in the first NFL game held in Mexico City after all, a 14-7 exhibition loss to the Saints. According to Ron Jaworski, the locker rooms were tiny and the goal posts were crooked, which sounds fun.

All-time, the Eagles are 2-3 in international games, a record that probably doesn't mean much because they've played outside of the country once since 1993 - and that was a win.

Vamos Eagles.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON, LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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