Eagles

What’s changed for Eagles since first Seahawks game?

What’s changed for Eagles since first Seahawks game?

This has been a different Eagles offense since the first Seahawks game. And they'll have to be for another week if they’re going to advance in the playoffs.

The Seattle game was one of the low points of the season for the Eagles’ offense. They committed five turnovers, didn’t score a touchdown until the game’s final 20 seconds, converted only 4 of 12 third downs and were generally just a mess in a game the Seahawks won 17-9 after leading 17-3 until the final seconds.

The rematch is Sunday afternoon at the Linc with a berth in the conference semifinal round at stake, and the offense the Seahawks will see is dramatically different than the one they saw in November.

“I don't think any of us are proud of the way last game went,” Mike Groh said Tuesday.

Not counting the meaningless 2017 year-end 6-0 loss to the Cowboys, the nine points the Eagles scored were their fewest at the Linc since a 15-7 loss to the Giants in October of 2013.

“I would attribute that as much to the turnovers as anything else,” Groh said. “You can't turn the ball over five times against a really good football team and win. We were able to move the ball. ... We had 23 first downs, but we couldn't sustain the drives. The self-inflicted wounds really made it so they were able to control the game.”

A lot has changed since then.

In the first game, Jay Ajayi got six carries, Jordan Matthews played 72 snaps, Mack Hollins played, Boston Scott didn’t play.

Ajayi, Matthews and Hollins have all been released. Scott is now a prominent member of the offense. Miles Sanders has blossomed as the Eagles’ lead back.

And most importantly, Carson Wentz has played at an elite level since that game.

“We know we have to do a lot better than that,” Groh said. “We have to protect the quarterback. We have to be able to run the football better. We have to take care of the ball. I think we've been doing those things. We are confident in who we are.”

The loss to the Seahawks dropped the Eagles to 5-6, and they fell to 5-7 a week later in Miami.

But the offense has really undergone a transformation since that miserable performance against the Seahawks. 

Look at the Eagles' offense in 11 games through Seattle and 5 games since:

Points  
First 11 games: 20.8 per game
Last 5 games: 27.0 per game

Yards  
First 11 games: 338 per game
Last 5 games: 410 per game

Turnovers  
First 11 games: 20  
Last 5 games: 3

First Downs
First 11 games: 20.8 per game
Last 5 games: 25.0 per game

Miles Sanders
First 11 games: 70.4 scrimmage yards per game
Last 5 games: 111 scrimmage yards per game

Carson Wentz
First 11 games:  17 TDs, 6 INTs, 62.6%, 10 turnovers, 89.6 rating 
Last 5 games: 10 TDs, 1 INT, 66.2%, 3 turnovers, 99.3 rating 

Boston Scott
First 11 games: 9 scrimmage yards per game
Last 5 games: 70 scrimmage yards per game

“That (loss) wasn’t just on Carson, it was on all of us, and I certainly take full responsibility for that,” Groh said. “We've been playing a lot better, and it's a credit to everybody in the huddle and on offense trusting the process and one another and just rolling up our sleeves and going to work.”

The Eagles’ loss to the Seahawks was only 38 days ago, but so much has changed. This is really a different Eagles offense, a different Eagles team.

How different they really are we’ll find out Sunday evening.

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NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

With the 2020 NFL Draft just weeks away, now is the time to start scouting your first round bets - if you haven't already.

LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a breakout 2019 season, teaming up with Joe Burrow for monster numbers - 111 catches, 1,540 yards, 18 TD - and a national championship.

But where will he fall in the 2020 NFL Draft?

With Jefferson's over/under set at 23.5, NBC Sports Philadelphia betting expert Brad Feinberg thinks you should take the under on Jefferson going before the 24th overall pick.

It's a combination of talent and circumstance, according to Feinberg. He expects this draft class's top three wideouts - Jerry Jeudy, Ceedee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III - to be gone in the first 15 picks. 

After the big three are off the board, Jefferson is almost unanimously the top choice for teams in need of young, talented pass-catchers like the Raiders (No. 19), the Eagles (No. 21), and the Vikings (No. 22).

"I think 23.5 is a great bet for the under," Feinberg said, "because I fully expect one of those three teams to snag [Jefferson] up in those picks."

Earlier this week, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Gatti looked at the betting lines surrounding the Eagles' No. 21 pick, and found Jefferson as the odds-on favorite at +170.

In what's expected to be one of the most loaded WR drafts in recent memory, four wideouts going in the top 23 isn't a reach. In fact, it's starting to feel like a safe bet.

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Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

The Eagles need better wide receivers in 2020 if they want to return to the Super Bowl. 

With the 2020 NFL Draft loaded at that position, and the Eagles' inactivity at wide receiver in free agency, all signs point towards GM Howie Roseman targeting a star pass-catcher in the first round.

But what if... they don't?

During a Twitter AMA on Thursday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter didn't exactly sound convinced the Eagles are going to take a wide receiver in the first round, and floated a few other possibilities for their No. 21 pick: 

And here's the answer, transcribed:

Jack, that is the most logical thing, is to see Philadelphia go wide receiver in round one. But what if there's a good linebacker there? What if there's a good defensive player there? What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player? There's a lot of different things they can do.

I would never say the Eagles are guaranteed to get a wide receiver in round one. What I would say is, that they're guaranteed to get some wide receivers in this draft, one way or another. They just might not be in round one.

It's a quick hit from Schefty, but there's plenty to unpack.

"What if there's a good linebacker there?"

The Eagles need to start valuing the linebacker position, especially considering their current roster of LBs, and if a name like Patrick Queen is high on their draft board, maybe he's a surprise pick. Eagles fans might not like it.

"What if there's a good defensive player there?"

There are some very interesting defensive prospects who could last until No. 21. Edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson and DT Javon Kinlaw are two notable talents who would probably pique Roseman's love for first-round defensive linemen.

"What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player?"

This feels like a pretty obvious allusion to the Eagles' rumored interest in trading for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The price for Ngakoue begins with a first-rounder, and the No. 21 pick might start an interesting conversation.

Schefter ending by saying the Eagles will leave the draft with at least one wide receiver is certainly intriguing, and might spell a second-round pick going towards a wideout if Roseman is otherwise tempted at No. 21. Could Clemson's Tee Higgins fall into the second round? Will K.J. Hamler still be available at pick No. 53?

So many question marks - but in three weeks, we'll have answers. 

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