Roob's 10 week-after Super Bowl observations

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Roob's 10 week-after Super Bowl observations

You thought the offseason meant the end of 10 Observations? No way! We'll keep it going as long as there are random observations to be made! 

In this edition, we check in on LeGarrette Blount, Joe Douglas, Zach Ertz, the Eagles' coaching staff and much more! 

1. LeGarrette Blount’s performance Sunday has kind of gone under the radar, but he had a brilliant Super Bowl, with 90 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a 36-yard run and a 21-yard touchdown. Blount averaged 6.4 yards per carry, highest in Super Bowl history by a back in his 30s (breaking the mark of 5.7 by the Bills’ Kenneth Davis in 1992). Blount is only the eighth back in history with two 20-yard runs in a Super Bowl and the third in the last 30 years. His 21-yard TD is seventh-longest in Super Bowl history and third-longest in the last 27 years. Blount had a rushing touchdown in all three postseason games and now has 11 career postseason rushing TDs, sixth-most in NFL history (behind five Hall of Famers). He’s the first player in Eagles history with a rushing TD in three straight playoff games. Blount’s 6.4 yards per carry average was also sixth-highest in Eagles history in any playoff game. I don’t know what Blount’s future is, but he was a beast this year. 

2. And I probably also haven’t written enough about how dominating the Eagles’ offensive line was in the Super Bowl and, really, the entire postseason. They just demolished people. Did Nick Foles even get touched last Sunday? Everything the Eagles wanted to do offensively, they were able to do. Run the ball. Throw deep. Move the chains. Convert on 3rd and 4th down. Foles dropped back 43 times and wasn’t sacked. That’s the third-most pass attempts in Super Bowl history without a sack. He dropped back 108 times in the postseason and was sacked twice — that’s the fourth-most pass attempts in postseason history without being sacked more than twice. The Eagles averaged 442 yards of offense in the playoffs, sixth-highest in NFL history. They’re the first team ever to average 300 passing yards and 120 rushing yards in a postseason. What the Eagles did on offense this postseason is nothing short of historic, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson as a group were one of the biggest reasons why.

3. There were 28 running backs drafted this year, but none of them was Corey Clement. There were 17 running backs drafted in 2010, but none of them was LeGarrette Blount. There were 12 running backs drafted in the first 148 picks in 2015, but none of them was Jay Ajayi. Those two undrafted running backs and a fifth-round pick combined for 255 yards of offense in the Super Bowl. Keep that in mind next time somebody tells you a kid won’t be a good NFL player because he had a bad combine or some nonsense.

4. I know he misses too many PATs but, man, those were a couple clutch field goals Jake Elliott made Sunday, especially the 46-yarder to make it an eight-point game with 1:05 left. Did you know Elliott — a rookie who began the year on the Bengals’ practice squad — became the first kicker in Super Bowl history to make two 40-yarders in a fourth quarter? And that he’s now responsible for two of the four-longest 40-yarders ever made in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl? In fact, Elliott is only the third kicker to make two 40-yarders in any Super Bowl (along with Jim Breech of the Bengals in 1988 and Garrett Hartley of the Saints in 2009). He may not be the most accurate kicker ever, but his mental toughness is off the charts. 

5. This time last year, the Eagles’ running backs were Wendell Smallwood, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner, and their receivers were Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Turner, Bryce Treggs and Nelson Agholor.

6. It happened much later in his coaching career than Year 2, but a big part of Andy Reid’s downfall here was his inability to replace good assistant coaches as they left. That’s the challenge facing Doug Pederson right now. With John DeFilippo now running the Vikings’ offense and Frank Reich hired as the head coach of the Colts, I hope Duce Staley finally gets his chance at offensive coordinator — he’s been an assistant under Andy, Chip and Doug — and I would look for wide receivers coach Mike Groh to move over to quarterbacks, with Press Taylor moving up to wide receivers coach. Pederson has always been big on promoting from within, since it really helps develop a healthy culture. He may go outside on this one, but promoting Duce, Groh and Taylor makes sense.

7. People laughed at me when I said before the season that Zach Ertz was a top-five tight end in the NFL. Now I think he might be No. 2 behind Gronk, although it’s very close between Ertz and Travis Kelce. Including the postseason, Ertz had 92 catches, 1,016 yards and nine TDs this year. When the Eagles needed him most, on a game-winning drive in the Super Bowl, he was unstoppable. 

8. I wanted to try to put that Foles-to-Ertz fourth-down conversion on the game-winning drive into perspective, so I turned to the Pro Football Reference Super Bowl play finder and learned that there have been 54 fourth-down conversion attempts in Super Bowl history, but only 13 have been successful. Of those 13, six came with the game long decided. Of the remaining seven, only one was converted by a team that was trailing inside the 50. That was Brandon Jacobs’ two-yard run on a 4th-and-1 with 1:34 left and the Giants on their own 37-yard-line in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz. Seven plays later, Eli Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, and the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14. The "Philly Special" may be the greatest play in Super Bowl history, but this one — coming with the Eagles losing, inside midfield, with less than six minutes left — was the biggest play of the season. And Foles and Ertz were flat-out money.  

9. A quick Joe Douglas story: During last year's five-game losing streak, I ran into Joe on the field before a game and said something profound like, “Hey, Joe, wassup?” His answer: "The bleepity-bleep losing. I'm sick of the bleepity-bleep losing. I hate bleeping losing. BLEEP losing. I PROMISE we're going to get this turned around." I believed him.

10. I really hope the Eagles play in the Hall of Fame Game this summer, and with Dawk and T.O. both going in, I assume they will. It will make an already short offseason a week shorter, but Eagles fans deserve a Canton, Ohio, takeover weekend. It would also mean only … 174 days until the preseason opener!

Eagles at Falcons live: Highlights, analysis from NFL Week 1 game

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Eagles at Falcons live: Highlights, analysis from NFL Week 1 game

Stream Eagles at Falcons on NBC here

11:17 p.m.: Matt Ryan just hit Julio Jones on a little dump off that went for a 54-yard touchdown to give the Falcons the lead again. It came on 4th-and-3. 

Carson Wentz and the Eagles will get the ball back with two timeouts and 2:10 left. 

11:10 p.m.: Are you kidding me? 

The Eagles just drove 73 yards on 13 plays in 8:29 to score a touchdown, get a 2-point conversion and take a three-point lead with just over three minutes left. 

Carson Wentz connected with Mack Hollins on a 3rd-and-6 and a 3rd-and-9 to move the sticks. And then Wentz punched in a touchdown from the 1-yard line on a QB sneak. He spiked the ball so hard, he fell over. Then he hit Zach Ertz for the 2-point conversion. 

3:13 left: Eagles 20, Falcons 17 

10:54 p.m.: Andrew Sendejo just picked up the first full sack of his career. He’s in Year 10. Good time for it. It forced a punt and gives the Eagles the ball with 11:42 left, down 5. 

10:50 p.m.: The Eagles drive fizzled and now they need the defense to come up with another stop, but the Falcons have a short field. They’re at their own 45-yard line. 

10:41 p.m.: Big INT for Nate Gerry in the end zone. It was a touchback but Derek Barnett was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty to give the Eagles the ball at their own 10-yard line. Still, no points for Atlanta and the Eagles are down five points with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. 

It was Gerry’s second-career INT. 

10:37 p.m.: If you need to catch up on all the injuries: 

And now Sidney Jones to the medical tent. Unreal. 

10:30 p.m.: The Eagles are alive! 

Even though half of their team has taken a trip to the blue medical tent, they’re down just five points in the third quarter. After Ronald Darby got his first INT in nearly a calendar year, Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor on a 4-yard touchdown. Wentz dove across the goal line for the 2-pointer but a review ruled he was short. 

Still 4:57 left in the third quarter: 

Falcons 17, Eagles 12 

10:16 p.m.: Nelson Agholor was being evaluated for a concussion, but he’s back in the game. He’s good to go. That means the Eagles have three healthy receivers. 

But then there's this: 

10:11 p.m.: Well … that wasn’t an ideal start to the second half. 

Corey Clement fumbled the kickoff and the Falcons needed just three plays to punch in a touchdown. Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones for a 4-yard touchdown to cap the short drive. 

Still 13:23 left in the third: Falcons 17, Eagles 6 

9:59 p.m.: Party in the blue tent!

The Eagles are somehow down just four points, 10-6, at halftime, but have had a ton of injuries, including Carson Wentz, who left the game for six plays late in the first half. 

After Sidney Jones picked off a pass from Matt Ryan, Josh McCown took the field with the offense, but Wentz eventually returned. Jake Elliott hit his second field goal to cut the deficit to four points. 

Add Wentz to the growing list of Eagles who have been hurt tonight: Dallas Goedert (calf), Alshon Jeffery (calf), DeSean Jackson (groin) and Jason Kelce, who returned without missing any time. 

The Eagles were out-gained 207 to 95 in the first half. 

At half: Falcons 10, Eagles 6 

9:28 p.m.: The Falcons just scored the games first touchdown. Matt Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for a 34-yard touchdown over Ronald Darby. It’s pretty clear the Falcons are targeting Darby, who isn’t playing well. And Andrew Sendejo didn’t provide the help he was supposed to on that play. 

With 4:56 left in the half: Falcons 10, Eagles 3 

9:19 p.m.: We finally have an update on a couple more injured players. We already knew Dallas Goedert (calf) was questionable to return. 

Add two more to that list: 

The Eagles now have just three receivers — Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins — and one tight end (Zach Ertz) healthy. 

Matt Bryant just missed a 50-yard field goal to keep this game tied. 

9:08 p.m.: The Eagles just tied the game at 3-3 in the second quarter as Jake Elliott hit a 34-yard field goal. 

The Eagles are dealing with some injuries on offense to their skill position players. Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson all have injuries. And now Jason Kelce is in the medical tent. If Kelce has to miss time, Isaac Seumalo would likely slide to center and Halapoulivaati Vaitai would likely play LG. 

8:48 p.m.: A really nice TFL from Derek Barnett and the Eagles forced their first punt of the game. Interesting that on third down, Josh  

8:38 p.m.: The Eagles were forced to punt on their first drive, but a nice punt from Cam Johnston and a heads up play from Mack Hollins pins the Falcons at their own 1-yard line. 

Dallas Goedert, who might have gotten hurt during warmups, did not see the field on that first drive. 

8:29 p.m.: The Falcons were moving down the field until Brandon Graham had a huge six-yard TFL and eventually the Eagles forced the Falcons into the first third down of the game. The Eagles’ sticks defense held up, but Matt Bryant hit a 50-yard field goal. Still, it looked like the Falcons were gonna score a touchdown in a hurry and the Eagles’ defense held. 

Still 9:28 left in the first: Falcons 3, Eagles 0 

8:05 p.m.: Dallas Goedert was spotted heading back inside during warmups. He was spotted by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. 

That’s something to watch in this game. The Eagles came into this game with just two tight ends: Zach Ertz and Goedert. If Goedert is limited, expect to see a lot of Andre Dillard as a tight end/inline blocker. 

6:55 p.m.: The roof is indeed opening. 

6:54 p.m.: No surprises on the list of Eagles inactive players. In fact, the same seven from last week are inactive: 

Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee)
Jordan Mailata (back)
Nate Sudfeld (wrist)
Nate Herbig 
Matt Pryor 
Shareef Miller
Daeshon Hall 

6:40 p.m.: DeSean Jackson has taken the field.

And this is a good sign for Kamu Grugier-Hill, who's not wearing a brace.

6:20 p.m.: Carson Wentz is out on the field and getting ready.

4:47 p.m.: A quick look from the early games: The Giants lost to the Bills to fall to 0-2. 

And the Cowboys moved to 2-0 with a 31-21 win over the Redskins (0-2). That means the Eagles need to win tonight to keep pace with the Cowboys in the NFC East. Either way, this is becoming a two-team race like we all expected. Dak Prescott has now thrown for 674 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two games. He’s just the 11th quarterback all-time to put up those numbers in the first two games of a season. 

4:44 p.m.: I have arrived to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the second time in two days. This time, I’m really looking forward to the game. 

8:21 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! It’s going to be a long day of waiting for Sunday Night Football, but we should be in for a good game tonight. 

I got into Atlanta yesterday around noon and already saw a bunch of Eagles fans as I walked around town. I’d expect there to be a bunch at the game tonight. 

Last night, I got a chance to get a sneak peek at Mercedes-Benz Stadium a little early; I went to an Atlanta United game. The stadium is really cool; they did a good job. And for those going to the game, remember: the concession prices are really reasonable. That’s one of the coolest things about this new stadium. 

For those who were asking, the Falcons play on different turf than the Atlanta United and the soccer pitch is wider too, so more seats get put in. 

Enjoy watching all the afternoon games. In the meantime, here are our Eagles-Falcons predictions and five matchups to watch. 

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Carson Wentz joins a growing list of injured Eagles on Sunday Night Football

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Carson Wentz joins a growing list of injured Eagles on Sunday Night Football

Updated: 10:36 p.m.

ATLANTA — Late in the second quarter, Carson Wentz left the Eagles’ game against the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium but returned six plays later.

With 43 seconds left in the first half, veteran backup Josh McCown came out with the offense to try to get a score. After a brief trip to the blue medical tent, Wentz returned. He was being evaluated for a concussion.

Jake Elliott kicked a 41-yard field goal to cut the Falcons lead to 10-6 at halftime.

Earlier in the game, Wentz took a shot to his midsection from Falcons linebacker Deion Jones and just didn’t look right after that. He hasn’t looked like himself all game. In the first half he was 6 for 16 for 47 yards and two INTs — good for a passer rating of 6.2.

Shortly after returning to the game on that last drive of the first half, Wentz threw an incompletion to Nelson Agholor in the end zone and Agholor was hurt. Agholor then went to the medical tent. He was evaluated for a head injury and returned to the game in the third quarter.

DeSean Jackson (groin), Dallas Goedert (calf) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) were all already listed as questionable to return.

That means the Eagles are now down to just two healthy receivers and one healthy tight end.

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