Eagles

Jerome Couplin? Jack Brewer? Denzel Rice? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

Jerome Couplin? Jack Brewer? Denzel Rice? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

What do Jerome Couplin, Jack Brewer, Jarrad Page, Denzel Rice, Donald Strickland, Brandon Hughes and Deiondre' Hall have in common?

Other than the fact that nobody has any idea who they are?

All have played in the Eagles’ secondary against Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, now with the Dolphins, will make his 7th start against the Eagles Sunday, and he’ll do it in a 7th different uniform.

Fitz made his first start against the Eagles in 2005 while playing for the Rams.

He’ll join Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning as only the fourth quarterback to make starts against the Eagles 15 seasons apart (14 years apart ... 15 seasons apart).

Brady started against the Eagles in 2003 and of course this year for a 17-season gap. Eli and Peyton had 15-year gaps between starts against the Eagles.

Fitzpatrick owns the record for facing the Eagles at quarterback for the most different teams, and he’ll add to that mark Sunday, when the Eagles face the Dolphins in Miami.

Fitz has already played against the Eagles for the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Texans, Jets and Buccaneers.

What makes this so weird is that he’s played exactly one game against the Eagles with each of those teams. He’s never faced the Eagles twice for the same team.

Fitz is 2-3-1 vs. the Eagles, but last year he led the Buccaneers to a 27-21 win over the Eagles in Tampa. In that game, he became only the 8th QB in NFL history with four TDs, 400 yards and an 80 percent completion percentage in the same game.

In all, Fitzpatrick has faced 42 different Eagles defensive backs over the years. That number will go up Sunday.

Here’s a look at Fitz’s first six starts against the Eagles and the secondaries he’s faced in each of those games:

Eagles 17, Rams 16, Dec. 18, 2005
CB — Rod Hood, Sheldon Brown, Matt Ware, Donald Strickland, Dexter Wynn
S — Micheal Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Quintin Mikell, Jack Brewer

Bengals 13, Eagles 13, Nov. 16, 2008
CB — Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Joselio Hanson, Lito Sheppard
S — Quintin Mikell, Brian Dawkins, Sean Considine, Quintin Demps

Bills 31, Eagles 24, Oct. 9, 2011
CB — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, Brandon Hughes, Joselio Hanson
S — Jared Page, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson

Eagles 31, Texans 21, Nov. 2, 2014
CB — Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll
S — Nate Allen, Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Maragos, Earl Wolff

Eagles 24, Jets 17, Sept. 27, 2015
CB — Byron Maxwell, Nolan Carroll, Eric Rowe, Denzel Rice
S — Walter Thurmond, Malcolm Jenkins, Jerome Couplin, E.J. Biggers

Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21, Sept. 16, 2018
CB — Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas
S — Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Deiondre’ Hall

Some other fascinating Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. the Eagles stats (yes, I realize I may be the only one who finds them fascinating):

Overall, Fitzpatrick is 135-for-213 for 1,411 yards with 11 TDs and 7 INTs and an 86.0 passer rating in six games against the Eagles.

Fitzpatrick has been sacked 16 times by the Eagles — twice by Connor Barwin, Darren Howard and Trent Cole and once each by Fletcher Cox, Nigel Bradham, Chris Clemons, Joselio Hanson, Brodrick Bunkley, Brandon Graham, Cullen Jenkins, Sheldon Brown and Mychal Kendricks, with Brandon Bair and Beau Allen splitting one.

He’s been picked off by Walter Thurmond, DeMeco Ryans, Eric Rowe, Brian Dawkins, Jordan Hicks, Jamar Chaney and Ronald Darby.

Fitzpatrick’s longest pass against the Eagles? It’s a tie between a 75-yarder to DeSean Jackson and a 75-yarder to O.J. Howard last year.

Other former Eagles Fitz has thrown touchdowns to? Kevin Curtis, Terrell Owens and Brad Smith.

— The only team Fitzpatrick has played for without facing the Eagles is the Titans, where he was in 2015.

Four other quarterbacks have faced the Eagles for four different teams: Norm Snead [Redskins, Vikings, Giants, 49ers], Vinny Testaverde [Buccaneers, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys], Rich Gannon [Vikings, Redskins, Chiefs, Raiders] and Jim Ninowski [Lions, Browns, Redskins, Saints].

Another 22 quarterbacks have faced the Eagles for three teams, including Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and non-Hall of Famers Jay Schroeder, Mark Sanchez and Jon Kitna.

I’m going to save everybody the headache and not list them.

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One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

It’s “easier than ever” to attend the Super Bowl, according to a Stub Hub press release.

It may also be easier than ever to go into debt doing it.

StubHub this week announced a program that allows fans to finance ticket purchases — including Super Bowl tickets — and pay for them over a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.

All at the bargain-basement price of up to 30 percent interest.

Stub Hub, in conjunction with financial firm Affirm, introduced a program this week that allows consumers to use Stub Hub to purchase tickets and during the check-out process elect to finance the purchase through Affirm. 

Although ticket buyers can use Affirm for most Stub Hub purchase, the company is rolling out this program as a way to encourage fans who can’t afford Super Bowl tickets to buy them at potentially exorbitant interest rates.

According to financial web site The Balance, the average credit card interest rate as of December was 21.26 percent.

“Just in time for the Super Bowl, consumers can purchase event tickets now and pay over time,” reads a joint press release from Affirm and Stub Hub. 

The StubHub-Affirm joint press release makes it sound like paying 30 percent interest is a financially sound idea: “With U.S. credit card debt at an all-time high and many consumers looking to kick off the new year with better financial habits, they’re demanding more transparent financial products that align with their interests.”

According to a CBS News story that examined the Stub Hub program, two lower-level end-zone tickets selling on Stub Hub for $15,760 on a 12-month, 30-percent loan would cost the buyer an additional $2,676 in interest.

The story also said that unlike credit cards, there’s no financial benefit for consumers to pay this sort of loan off early. 

Ted Rossman of creditcards.com appeared on CBS MoneyWatch and warned consumers against using this sort of financial plan to pay for tickets makes no financial sense.

"It is a huge risk to make any type of discretionary purchase with something that carries a rate of 10 percent to 30 percent,” Rossman said on the show, according to the CBS News story. "It's risky to buy it now and think you are going to pay it later."

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After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

Earlier this month, Jason Kelce called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.” 

Turns out, ProFootballFocus agrees.

On Thursday, PFF named Brooks the winner of its annual Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL. The Eagles were also named the best overall offensive line in the league. 

It’s an honor Brooks deserves after he was egregiously snubbed by voters for the Associated Press All-Pro team earlier this month. It was an absolute joke that Brooks wasn’t even named to the second team. No disrespect to Zack Martin or Marshal Yanda but Brooks was better than both of them this year. 

There’s no doubt that Brooks is the best right guard in the NFL. PFF thinks he’s the best overall OL in the league too. 

Here’s what they said about him:

“Brooks has been a perennially underrated player throughout his NFL career, whether it was playing in Houston or Philadelphia. Aside from a rookie season in which he played just 173 snaps, he has earned overall PFF grades of at least 74.0 every season since. Four of those six seasons before this one saw him top 80.0 overall, but this year he took his game to another level, earning an overall grade of 92.9. For years we have been making the case that he deserves Pro Bowl, and then All-Pro, recognition, and now he deserves to be acknowledged as the best offensive linemen in the game.”

While opinions are split on ProFootballFocus, their evaluations for offensive linemen are incredibly valuable. PFF has been able to give stats to a position that was previously stat-less. No, they don’t necessarily know assignments or the exact designs of plays, but they grade each and every play and that detailed analysis can take some of the human element out of giving these awards. 

When the All-Pro voters made their selections, they picked two guys at right guard in Martin and Yanda who have a longer history of playing at an elite level. PFF doesn’t care about that. They did their game-by-game, play-by-play evaluations and came to the conclusion that no other offensive lineman was better than Brooks this season. 

According to PFF, Brooks gave up just one sack and and 19 pressures on 647 pass snaps. That’s pretty impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Brooks was that dominant eight months after suffering a torn Achilles. 

For the start of next season, Brooks will be coming off a shoulder surgery, but there’s no doubt he should be able to return to his dominant form in 2020. 

The Eagles know what they have in Brooks. They signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a four-year extension during the season that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philadelphia through 2024.

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