Eagles

10 Roob Stats to help you feel better about the Eagles!

10 Roob Stats to help you feel better about the Eagles!

Unearthing positive stats when a team has lost a couple games in a row and has a losing record isn’t always easy. But we're here for you!

So here’s the Week 13 edition of Roob Stats, featuring facts and figures you won’t see anywhere else on Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders and the Eagles’ defense.

UNCHARTED WATERS FOR ERTZ: With 9 catches against both the Bears and Patriots and 12 against the Seahawks, Zach Ertz became the first tight end in NFL history with 9 or more catches in three straight games. He’s also only the third Eagle in the last 25 years with 90 yards in three straight games, joining Irving Fryar in 1996 and T.O. in 2004.

MOVING ON UP: Those 12 catches moved Ertz from 22nd to 17th in NFL history among tight ends, ahead of Steve Jordan (498), Todd Heap (499) and Ben Coates (499) and into a tie with Melanie Walker. Two more catches moves him past Frank Wycheck and Dallas Clark and into 15th place all-time. Finally, Ertz needs 20 catches in the last five games for the most ever by a tight end in his first seven seasons. Witten had 523 from 2003 through 2009.

ELITE COMPANY: Ertz went over 700 yards for the sixth straight year, becoming only the fifth tight end in NFL history to do that. Among tight ends, only Jason Witten (12), Tony Gonzalez (11) and Antonio Gates (8) have had longer streaks of 700 or more yards. Travis Kelce is also over 700 yards this year for a sixth straight season. The only longer current streak by any player is DeAndre Hopkins’ seven-year stretch.

HOW MANY CATCHES? Ertz also became the first tight end in NFL history with six 12-catch games. Witten had five, and Gonzalez and Kellen Winslow Sr. had three each. Only three others had two. The only players who’ve had more 12-catch games are Wes Welker (9), Marvin Harrison (8) and Antonio Brown, Andre Johnson and Jerry Rice (7).

ONE MORE ON ERTZ: With 12 catches Sunday, Ertz increased his career total to 504, and he did it in his 102nd career game. The only tight end to reach 500 career receptions faster was Winslow, who did it in 101 games.

DEFENSE CARRYING THE TEAM: The Eagles have held four straight opponents to 17 or fewer points for the first time since 2017 and the first time in four straight regular-season games since 2009.

I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES: Miles Sanders’ 774 yards from scrimmage are most ever by an Eagles running back in his first 11 career games. Only DeSean Jackson (791) had more yards in his first 11 games among all Eagles. LeSean McCoy is third with 734. Jackson had 1,008 scrimmage yards as a rookie. Sanders needs to average 47 yards per game to surpass him.

ELITE COMPANY: Sanders is on pace for 635 rushing yards and 490 receiving yards. If he reaches 500 in both categories, he’ll become only the 13th rookie in NFL history with 500 yards both rushing and receiving. Among those who have done it are Hall of Famers, Charley Taylor, Gale Sayers and Marshall Faulk. The only 2nd-round pick to do it is Giovani Bernard, who had 695 yards rushing and 514 receiving for the Bengals in 2013.

DOING MORE WITH LESS: Sanders is on pace to net 1,125 scrimmage yards on 183 touches. Only six rookie running backs have ever surpassed 1,100 scrimmage yards on fewer than 200 touches, only two since 1965, none since Terry Kirby of the Dolphins in 1993 (when he was Doug Pederson's teammate).

THIRD DOWN MAGIC: Despite their recent offensive woes, the Eagles are 7th-best in the NFL on third down, converting 45 percent. That’s their highest on record, since the league started keeping third-down stats in 1991. Next-highest was their 43.5 percent mark in 2014.

Hitting the road this week, or wasting away on the couch in a food coma? The perfect time to binge your favorite NBC Sports Philadelphia podcast! Click here for more.

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Lane Johnson says one awful Eagles game made him shave his head for good

Lane Johnson says one awful Eagles game made him shave his head for good

Lane Johnson is officially in offseason mode, and he kicked off Pro Bowl week - which he's now officially part of - by showing up on former teammate Chris Long's podcast and shooting the breeze for an hour.

The duo bantered about plenty, from dealing with failure and ego as football players, to Johnson's time as a grave digger. About halfway through, Johnson offered up a seldom-heard explanation for his hairstyle, or lackthereof.

Johnson, of course, famously keeps his hair short (read: nonexistent) on top, and keeps his beard long. He explained to Long that it took some serious self-reflection, and a couple rough games early in his rookie season, to officially start shaving his head:

I was in college, it was my senior year, and my friend goes, 'Bro, are you f***ing losing your hair?' I said, what are you talking about? Then I went to the mirror, and I'd clearly been in denial for some time. I said, 'Bro, this s*** is terrible.' 

So I played with it my senior year, it was bad. I'd comb it over, wear my hats, feather it out in the back, try to look cool. Then I got to the Eagles, and after getting bull-rushed by Dwight Freeney and giving up three sacks to Justin Houston, I just shaved that s*** off. I've been a different man ever since.

The Eagles, you might remember, lost in Week 2 that year to Freeney's Chargers, and then lost in Week 3 to Houston's Chiefs, to fall to 1-3. They went 9-3 the rest of the way, a startling and fun turnaround. I'm not saying it's all thanks to Johnson shaving his head... but maybe?

That's about as good a reason as I can think of to make a hairstyle change. Johnson has been one of the best right tackles in the NFL since he started shaving his head, so maybe he's on to something. He spends very little time focusing on his hair, and plenty of time focusing on his game.

When you go back and look at Johnson with hair, it's... extremely jarring:

Johnson is basically unrecognizable in that video. He looks like a child! Thank goodness for Freeney and Houston shellacking Johnson as a rookie, or he might still be clinging to that brutal hairdo.

Maybe Johnson should've floated this idea to the Eagles' coaching staff years ago. Who knows what a haircut could've done for Nelson Agholor?

You can listen to, and watch, the full conversation between Johnson and Long below:

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Eagles reportedly getting close to hiring Marquand Manuel as DBs coach

Eagles reportedly getting close to hiring Marquand Manuel as DBs coach

The Eagles are reportedly getting close to filling at least one of their four vacant coaching jobs. 

According to ESPN, the Eagles have interviewed former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel for their defensive backs coach position and “a deal could happen as early as today.” 

The Eagles are looking for a new DBs coach after Cory Undlin, who held the position for five seasons, left to take the defensive coordinator position under Matt Patricia in Detroit. The Eagles’ other vacancies are at offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and defensive line coach. 

The Eagles have also reportedly interviewed Browns DBs coach DeWayne Walker for the vacant DBs coach position. 

Whoever gets the job is going to have some work ahead of them. The Eagles’ secondary has plenty of questions marks heading into the 2020 season. Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod are all set to be free agents. Malcolm Jenkins wants a new contract. And Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones are former high-round draft picks who couldn’t get on the field in a playoff game. 

Manuel, 40, comes with a relatively impressive resume. He was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator from 2017-18 and before that was their secondary coach from 2015-16. He began his coaching career with the Seahawks as a low-level assistant and was eventually the assistant secondary coach. He also had an eight-year NFL career at safety as a sixth-round pick; Doug Pederson values former players on his coaching staff. 

When Dan Quinn took the Falcons’ head coaching job in 2015, he brought Manuel with him and promoted him to DBs coach. He then promoted him again two years later. So Manuel has been coaching in that Cover 3 scheme for years. The Eagles use many zone concepts. 

Here’s what Quinn said about Manuel before the 2018 season, via Falcons.com: 

From the time I've met him from now, one thing that's cool to see that has stayed consistent is the energy and enthusiasm he has for players. He made the transition from player to coach really seamlessly because he knew the boundaries of coach, but he also stepped across to say, I can push you. That's not easy to do. He's always had mental quickness of a quarterback or someone who gets concepts really quickly. That transferred into this coaching fast. He can communicate concepts and ideas quickly to people on the run, in the moment, that's a really valuable asset as a coach.

During Manuel’s four years in Atlanta, both as DBs coach and defensive coordinator, the Falcons had the 24th-ranked pass defense in the NFL. But in his second season in Atlanta, the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. He was promoted after that season. But after two years as DC, Manuel was fired by the Falcons after the 2018 season and was not in the NFL in 2019 as Quinn took back DC responsibilities. 

This would be an important hire for the Eagles and it sounds like they’re getting close to making it. 

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