Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 2)

Eagles 2018 regular-season breakdown (Part 2)

A game-by-game breakdown of the Eagles’ 2018 regular-season schedule.

For Weeks 1-8, click right here. Let’s break down Weeks 9-17 below.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018
Bye week

Week 10: Cowboys at Eagles
8:20 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Cowboys have given the Eagles more trouble than any other division team of late, winning four of the last seven meetings and five of the last six at the Linc. The Eagles’ only home wins over the Cowboys since 2009 have been in 2011 and 2016. The Eagles overall are 52-66 against the Cowboys, 28-29 in Philly and 6-9 at the Linc. The Eagles haven’t swept the Cowboys since 2011. They lost, 6-0, to the Cowboys on the last day of last season with Nate Sudfeld playing most of the game at quarterback.

Week 11: Eagles at Saints
1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Eagles are 17-13 all-time vs. the Saints but have lost five of seven meetings dating back to 2006. They beat the Saints at the Linc in 2015 after losing to them in a playoff game in 2014. Their last game in New Orleans was a 28-13 loss in 2012. They last won in New Orleans late in the 2007 season. Overall, they’re 8-9 in New Orleans but they’re 8-5 since the Saints moved from Tulane Stadium to the Superdome.

Week 12: Giants at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles are 16-4 in their last 20 games against the Giants, including a four-game home winning streak. A win at the Linc this year would give the Eagles their longest home winning streak against the Giants since they won five straight from 1988 through 1992. The Eagles last year swept the Giants for the third time in the last four years, with the two wins coming by a total of just eight points. The Eagles are 84-86-2 all-time vs. the Giants, including a 10-6 record at the Linc.

Week 13: Redskins at Eagles
8:15 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles swept the Redskins last year for the first time since 2013 after losing five straight against their division rivals. Overall, the Eagles are 78-86-6 against the Redskins in a series that dates back to 1934. They’re 39-42-3 at home against the ‘Skins and 8-7 at the Linc. The Redskins have beaten the Eagles six times in their last 12 meetings at the Linc.

Week 14: Eagles at Cowboys
4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018
AT&T Stadium

The Eagles have won six of their last eight games in Dallas, losing only in 2012 by five points and in 2016 in overtime. Their 28-point margin of victory at AT&T Stadium last November was the Cowboys’ ninth-worst home loss ever. Their last three home losses by 28 or more points have been against the Eagles. The Eagles are 24-37 all-time against Dallas on the road but 6-4 at AT&T Stadium.

Week 15: Eagles at Rams
8:20 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018
LA Memorial Coliseum

The Eagles have won five straight games against the Rams, including two wins in St. Louis, two at the Linc and last year’s comeback in L.A. after losing Carson Wentz for the season. The Eagles are 21-19-1 all-time against the Rams, 6-11-1 on the road and 1-5 at LA Coliseum. Their last loss to the Rams was a meaningless late-season game in 2004. Their last loss to the Rams in Los Angeles came in 1977.

Week 16: Texans at Eagles
1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018
Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles have never lost to the Texans, beating them in Houston in 2006 on opening day and in 2014 and in Philly in 2002 and 2010, with all four wins by double digits and by an average of 13 points per game. The Texans and Jets are the only current NFL franchises the Eagles have never lost to.

Week 17: Eagles at Redskins
1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018
FedEx Field

The Eagles have lost three of their last four games at FedEx Field, with those three losses coming by an average of about four points per game. They did win by 10 points last year during their nine-game winning streak, their biggest win in Landover since 2010. The Eagles are 37-44-3 all-time vs. the Redskins on the road, including three games played in Boston in the 1930s. They’re 12-9 all-time at FedEx Field.

Eagles sign CB Dexter McDougle, waive injured DT Destiny Vaeao

USA Today Images

Eagles sign CB Dexter McDougle, waive injured DT Destiny Vaeao

With Sidney Jones facing a significant layoff, the Eagles on Tuesday re-signed cornerback Dexter McDougle, who spent the first half of last year with the team.

McDougle, a third-round pick of the Jets in 2014, played in eight games for the Eagles last year, mainly on special teams.

Jones suffered a hamstring injury early in the Giants game Thursday night, and head coach Doug Pederson indicated he could miss significant time. McDougle gives the Eagles experience in the slot along with special teams ability.

McDougle played 55 snaps on defense last year, more than half in the 49ers game in place of injured Patrick Robinson. He also played 135 snaps on special teams. 

He was released on Nov. 13. He spent a week with the Saints later in the season then spent time with both the Jaguars and Lions during the offseason but has been out of football since the Lions released him on Aug. 31.

To make room on the 53-man roster for McDougle, the Eagles waived/injured defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao. He'll land on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Vaeao has played the second-most snaps on the team this year among defensive tackles.

Vaeao hasn’t been listed on the Eagles’ injury report, so apparently, he got hurt either in or since the Giants game. He played 28 snaps and picked up his third career sack in the win Thursday night.

With Tim Jernigan out and Haloti Ngata injured, Vaeao has been a big part of the defensive line rotation. He’s averaged 26 snaps per game so far this year with three starts.

Ngata hasn’t played the last two weeks after getting hurt in the Titans game.

With Jernigan, Ngata and Vaeao out of the picture, the only healthy defensive tackle on the roster other than All-Pro Fletcher Cox is Treyvon Hester, who was promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago and played 11 and 15 snaps the last two games.

The Eagles like Hester, a seventh-round pick of the Raiders last year, and he played well Thursday night. 

But it’s hard to imagine they would go into the Carolina game with only two pure inside defensive linemen, so that indicates that Ngati could be healthy enough to play. Or another move is possible.

The Eagles did add a defensive tackle to the practice squad Tuesday. Winston Craig joins the practice squad and takes the place of linebacker Kyle Wilson, who the Eagles just signed on Oct. 2.

Craig, 23, has had three separate stints on the Eagles’ practice squad. He spent the entire offseason with the Eagles and was on the practice squad the first week of the season.

One other defensive tackle is on the practice squad, Bruce Hector, who spent the first four weeks of the season on the 53 and got 18 snaps on defense.

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New NFL rules make defending Cam Newton harder than ever

New NFL rules make defending Cam Newton harder than ever

A big concern for the Eagles this weekend is figuring out exactly when Cam Newton is a passer and when he's a runner.
With Newton, there's often no clear line. He runs when it looks like he's going to throw, and he throws when it looks like he's going to run.
This makes him more dangerous than ever because the way officials are calling hits on quarterbacks, the Eagles' defenders have to be very careful how and when they hit Newton, even when it looks like he's going to take off scrambling.
Because the officials will still protect him as a quarterback until he's beyond the line of scrimmage and clearly established as a runner.

"It certainly makes it difficult," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "When he's sitting there like this (assumes QB stance), he's still a runner. He's protected like a passer, but he can run at any time, not just when he's out of the pocket. They have designed runs that are almost Wildcat-type plays. He's taken direct snap and running quarterback power and quarterback counter and things like that. If he's in a passing posture, he gets protection. If he's running, then he doesn't, but, again, sometimes you have a hard time deciphering between the two."

Newton has 4,528 rushing yards since entering the NFL in 2011, third-most in NFL history among quarterbacks behind two former Eagles — Michael Vick (6,109) and Randall Cunningham (4,928).
New Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner has incorporated Newton's running ability into the Carolina offense more than ever, to the point that Newton, at 29 years old, is on pace for a career high in rushing attempts. 

And while most running quarterbacks slow down as they get older, Newton is on pace for 666 rushing yards this year, which would be his second-most since 2012.
"Cam Newton has opened up every design run that you can imagine," Schwartz said. "They've really ramped up their designed quarterback runs this year over anything they've done in the past."

Schwartz spoke about what makes the Panthers' running game with Newton so dangerous.

Probably their willingness to do it in all down and distances and all field positions. There's a lot of teams that will run zone read stuff in the red zone or on a short yardage play. But Carolina, I don't think you can put any kind of constraint on down and distance. Third-down and whatever, you still got to handle the quarterback's designed runs, 2nd-and-20. I think (Sunday vs. the Redskins) they had 2nd-and-17 or 2nd-and-20, and they ran the quarterback. There's a lot of other teams you can take him off your radar in those situations. Not in this game. Every time that ball is snapped, whether it's a designed run or just an off-schedule scramble, we're going to have to account for him.

Newton is throwing the football better than ever, too. He's hitting on 66 percent of his passes — far over his career average of 59 percent — with nine TDs and four interceptions.
The Eagles have done OK against running quarterbacks, although they did allow Andrew Luck — a non-running QB — a career-long 33-yard scramble earlier this year.
Newton ran for 71 yards against the Eagles last year in Charlotte although he also threw three interceptions, and the Eagles won 28-23. 

Newton has faced all 31 teams other than the Panthers in his career and his lowest passer rating is against the Eagles at 69.4.

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