Eagles

Nick Foles, Andre Dillard, Josh Adams in Roob's random points

Nick Foles, Andre Dillard, Josh Adams in Roob's random points

Josh Adams vs. Miles Sanders, Nick Foles’ future, Philly Special, Rodney McLeod and lots more in a must-win edition of 10 random Eagles points! 

1. We’ve spoken so much about the Eagles’ slow starts, and at this point it sure seems like it’s in their heads. They come out early in games and it looks like they’re fighting themselves. They don’t look loose or fluid or relaxed until they’re down 10-0 or 14-0. Then all of a sudden they spring to life. They’re just not the same team in the first quarter and it has to be mental. How else do you explain an NFL-worst 41 first-quarter points and an NFL-high 12 scoreless first quarters since opening day last year? They’ve led after the first quarter just four times in their last 18 games. They’re 4-0 in those games, 6-8 when they haven’t. Since last year began, the Eagles are the seventh-highest scoring team in football after the first quarter. Whatever’s going on, Doug Pederson has to figure it out. 

2. Josh Adams had more than twice as many yards as Miles Sanders on his first 21 career rushing attempts (107 to 53).

3. Watching that Jaguars-Titans game the other night I couldn’t help wonder what’s next for Nick Foles. Maybe he gets healthy, gets his job back later in the season and Gardner Minshew II goes back to the bench. But in three games since Foles got hurt, Minshew has completed 74 percent of his passes with 5 TDs, 1 INT and a 110.6 passer rating. No rookie in history has put up those numbers in his first three starts. He’s 23, and he’s the Jaguars’ future. If he keeps playing like this, Foles may be looking for a new home once again.

4. The Eagles are going to finish playing at 4 p.m. Sunday and get on a plane for Wisconsin about 70 hours later. Thursday night games should not exist.

5. How are the Lions going to attack the Eagles Sunday? Here’s a hint: The Eagles are third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and 30th in passing yards allowed. They’re only the third team in NFL history to allow more than 650 passing yards and fewer than 90 rushing yards through two weeks. Hmmmmm.

6. I wonder how long a leash Doug Pederson will have with Isaac Seumalo. I like the way Seumalo played throughout camp, but Sunday was a catastrophe. Without Stefen Wisniewski waiting in the wings, the options are Big V, who worked at right guard throughout camp, undrafted rookie Nate Herbig and Matt Pryor. May be time to think about moving Jason Peters to left guard with Andre Dillard at left tackle. If you want your five best linemen on the field, that would be the way to go.

7. It’s impossible not to root for Raheem Mostert, who began his career in 2015 as an undrafted rookie running back with the Eagles. He’s since been released by the Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, Jets and Bears, and once he finally got a chance to play, last year with the 49ers, he broke his arm. But he is a talent. He’s got 191 yards from scrimmage in the 49ers’ first two games this year — 11th-most by a running back in the NFL — and his 6.7 career rushing average is highest in NFL history by a running back with at least 50 carries. In his first 30 career games Mostert had 50 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches. In the last seven, he has 460 yards on 58 touches. 

8. Out of all the guys who got hurt last year, missed time in training camp but still made it onto the field by opening day — Ronald Darby, Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Nigel Bradham and Brandon Brooks — McLeod is the only one who really looks like himself so far.

9. There is no way there are nine better plays in NFL history than the Philly Special. I’m not sure there are any.

10. The Eagles have gone a league-long 35 straight games without a 100-yard rusher:

• Their last one was LeGarrette Blount, who had 136 yards against the Chargers Week 4 of the 2017 season. 

• The 35-game streak is the Eagles’ longest without a 100-yard rusher since a 43-game stretch between Cyril Pinder’s 128 yards against the 49ers at Kezar Stadium on the final day of the 1969 season and Tom Sullivan’s 100-yard game against the Giants at Yankee Stadium in Week 2 of the 1973 season.

• They’ve gone 23 straight home games since Ryan Mathews had 109 yards against the Falcons in 2016.

• The only active player in the NFL who’s had a 100-yard game in an Eagles uniform is LeSean McCoy.

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What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

Remember how overmatched Miles Sanders looked after gaining just 25 yards on 11 carries in the opener against the Redskins? Remember how lost he looked a week later when he was just 10-for-28 in Atlanta?

Three weeks into his rookie season, Sanders was averaging 3.1 yards per carry and ranked 28th out of 33 qualifying running backs.

Six from the bottom.

Since then?

Sanders has blossomed.

In the Eagles’ last nine games, Sanders is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, 7th-best in the league of 53 backs during that span.

Six from the top.

In a season with very few positives, Sanders’ development has been fun to watch.

What’s been the difference?

Sanders is just seeing things better, he’s running more decisively and he's moving the chains forward.

Nothing demonstrates that better than his percentage of carries that have gone for one or fewer yards.

In his first game, more than half his carries went for one or fewer yards (6 of 10). Through five games he was still at 35 percent, with 19 of 53 runs that went less than two yards.

In the last seven games, that number has dropped precipitously. Of his 62 carries since the Vikings game, only nine — nine of 62 — have been one or fewer yards. 

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and better each week,” the second-round pick from Penn State said. “Everybody’s been telling me that, but most importantly, I’ve been noticing it myself, just trying to get better and do it each week. I feel more confident just as far as reading where I’m supposed to be, getting my eyes in the right place and just playing ball out there.”

Sanders has 520 rushing yards and needs 118 to break LeSean McCoy’s franchise rookie rushing record of 637, set in 2009.

He has 879 scrimmage yards and needs 130 to break DeSean Jackson’s franchise rookie scrimmage yards record of 1,008, set in 2008.

Going into this weekend, he was second to Raiders 1st-round pick Josh Jacobs among rookies with 879 scrimmage yards and fourth in rushing (behind Jacobs, David Montgomery and Devin Singletary).

Is Doug Pederson using Sanders enough?

That’s a different question. 

Sanders is averaging 4.5 yards per carry overall but still has only the 30th-most carries in the league and the 25th-most touches among running backs. 

“I think you're seeing the patience in the running game,” Doug Pederson said. “His vision is better, it's improved from Week 1 to Week 13. The more he gets time, the more he gets snaps, the better he'll get.”

Sanders has taken care of the production. Now it’s up to Pederson to take care of getting him more snaps.

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Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

9:57 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! 

We have waited a long time for tonight, but the Eagles will host Eli Manning and the Giants tonight at the Linc. Here are five matchups to watch.

If you’re heading to the game, bring your rain gear. 

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