Eagles

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

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Does anybody want this Eagles' offensive coordinator job?

Does anybody want this Eagles' offensive coordinator job?

It’s been nearly two weeks now, and the Eagles still don’t have an offensive coordinator, and we’re getting to the point where everybody’s wondering what the heck is going on.

Does anybody want this job?

The Eagles targeted Graham Harrell, but he opted to remain offensive coordinator at USC.

They targeted James Urban, but he opted to remain quarterbacks coach of the Ravens.

They targeted Mike Kafka, but he opted to remain quarterbacks coach of the Chiefs.

Those are three names we know, and there’s no way yet to gauge exactly how badly the Eagles wanted each of them, we do know they interviewed Harrell, they spoke with Urban and they had interest in Kafka.

Other teams are snapping up qualified candidates. Many of the top guys are no longer available.

The Dolphins hired Chan Gailey one day after they fired Chad O’Shea. The Redskins hired Scott Turner as soon as Ron Rivera got the job. The Broncos hired Pat Shurmur immediately after firing Rich Scangarello.

Highly sought-after LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady left for the Panthers a day after LSU beat Clemson.

John DeFilippo, the Eagles’ QBs coach during the 2017 Super Bowl season, accepted the same job with the Bears after getting fired by the Jaguars.

Joe Moorhead, who worked wonders at Penn State in 2016 and 2017 and was fired recently as head coach at Mississippi State, was hired Tuesday as offensive coordinator at Oregon.

Seven of the 10 teams that had offensive coordinator openings have filled them. Only the Eagles, Vikings and Jaguars haven’t filled theirs yet.

It was 13 days ago that Doug Pederson announced Mike Groh would return in 2020 as offensive coordinator. The next day, Groh was fired, and fair or not, there’s certainly a perception that the Eagles are scrambling right now.

Why don’t they have an offensive coordinator yet? Why does it seem like people don’t want the job?

Obviously, Doug Pederson calls the plays here, and Doug isn’t giving that up to whoever takes this job. It’s definitely an easier path to a head coaching job for an offensive coordinator who calls the plays.

But Frank Reich got the Colts’ head coaching job, and he never called plays here. Pederson only called plays occasionally under Andy Reid in Kansas City.

It’s also possible that up-and-coming coaches are wary of joining a staff where the head coach gave the offensive coordinator (and receivers coach) a vote of confidence one day and then fired them the next day. That wasn’t a good look.

There could be a growing perception of instability on Pederson’s coaching staff. He’s fired seven coaches since January of 2017, including three who were on the Super Bowl staff.

Whether or not it’s accurate, that sort of perception can cloud candidates’ decision making. Nobody wants to come into an unstable situation.

It’s also possible the Eagles have had their eye on one person all along and are simply waiting to name him. Sometimes the perception doesn’t match up to the reality. And when a team plays things very close to the vest, like the Eagles have been, it can create a false sense that they’re struggling to find the right guy.

There are still some interesting candidates out there.

Former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is still out there. Former Dolphins QBs coach and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell is out there. Marty Mornhinweg is out there. Mike LaFleur, the 49ers’ passing game coordinator, is out there. ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who played in the NFL for 11 years, is suddenly a hot name.

And then there’s Duce Staley and Press Taylor, the two internal candidates, who’ve been there in the building all along.

There’s no deadline for this sort of thing, although the sooner someone is in place the better. Obviously the Eagles need an offensive coordinator by the NFL Scouting Combine, which starts Feb. 23 in Indianapolis.

And with each passing day more and more qualified candidates are coming off the board.

The Eagles also have openings for a secondary coach, a defensive line coach and a wide receivers coach, so there are a lot of moving parts here.

And a dwindling talent pool to choose from.

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Eagle Eye podcast: The best offensive coordinator candidates left

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Eagle Eye podcast: The best offensive coordinator candidates left

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro go over the latest news from the Eagles’ offensive coordinator search. 

The best candidates left. Taking a guess at the hire. Also, Andy Reid is heading to the Super Bowl … and so is Raheem Mostert. 

That and more on the latest Eagle Eye podcast: 

• Updating the Eagles’ search 
• Who are the top candidates left?
• Figuring out if Duce Staley makes sense  
• Each guy takes a guess at the next OC 
• Big Red is back in the Super Bowl 
• Stealing one player from each team 
• Raheem Mostert’s rise to stardom 

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