The Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles’ 2018 campaign hasn’t exactly gone the way most of us thought it would

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The Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles’ 2018 campaign hasn’t exactly gone the way most of us thought it would

Postautor: zhangzk 05 gru 2018, 4:09

What better time to check in on the over/under bets Rodney McLeod Jersey , voted on by you (yes, you), than the halfway point of the season? Carson Wentz - 3,800 Passing YardsResult: 63% Under - Pace: 4,172Wentz has topped last years’ average of 253.3 yards per game and 7.5 yards per attempt with a healthy 298.0 and 7.9 in 2018. Aiding him in this is his 70.7% completion rate, significantly up from last years’ 60.2%. In half of his games since his return, Wentz has thrown for over 300 yards.They’ll need more of the same in the second half of the season if they don’t find a consistent contributor from the running back group.Carson Wentz - 27 TouchdownsResult: 53% Under - Pace: 30There was good reason to believe that Wentz’s league leading 7.5% touchdown rate would regress, and it has, but that doesn’t mean Wentz himself has regressed. He still ranks in the top half of the league in that regard (5.8%) and after a rusty start against the Indianapolis Colts, he’s stormed the box score.In 2018, Wentz has thrown 13 touchdowns in 6 games and is on a 5-game streak with multiple touchdowns. The Eagles have yet to hit their full stride in the red zone but the needle is moving in a positive direction. It looks like the consensus will be proven wrong in a tight vote.Carson Wentz - 10.5 InterceptionsResult: 82% Under - Pace: 5The consensus looks to be dead on with this one. Other than a couple slips in judgement, Wentz has kept the ball out of harms way when he puts it in there air. He currently owns a streak of 23 games without a multi-interception game. The last one came on December 4th, 2016 in a 3-interception game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Go back and watch that game and you see an entirely different quarterback than the one you see now.What is concerning is his 7 fumbles in 6 games and career high 8.5% sack rate. Part of that is obviously on the offensive line, but if there’s one major thing to clean up in his game it’s his propensity for not protecting the ball in the pocket.Nelson Agholor - 750 yardsResult: 82% Over - Pace: 744Nelson Agholor - 5 TouchdownsResult: 83% Over - Pace: 2Expectations were high for Agholor entering the 2018 season and to this point he has under performed those expectations. I still hold Agholor in high regard and have argued that his role will open up with more downfield targets with the addition of Golden Tate, but that remains to be seen.One area that makes his touchdown over unlikely is his inside-the-20 use, which still may see limited use as he shares targets with red zone monsters Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz hogging market share. Last year Agholor was targeted 18 times (t-12th) in the red area with 13 receptions (5th), leading to 4 of his 8 touchdowns. This year he’s only seen 6 targets for 3 catches and a lone touchdown.I believe the addition of Tate helps free up Agholor for more intermediate work, but I wouldn’t make that same argument in regard to red zone work.Zach Ertz - 850 yardsResult: 69% Over - Pace: 1,288Zach Ertz - 6.5 TouchdownsResult: 81% Over - Pace: 6Ertz’s elite route running and mental processing have been on full display this year and it’s led to a blistering pace in the yards column. It remains to be seen if the addition of Tate waters down those numbers, but he’s approximately 200 yards from hitting the over with 8 games left.All three of Ertz’s touchdowns have come in the red zone, where he leads the team with 14 targets, 7 touchdowns, and is second to Jeffery with 3 touchdowns. It’s not important if he hits the over; enemy defenses are aware of the threat he presents and often pour resources into bracketing him when the field condenses. This opens things up for the other threats and is a net positive overall.Fletcher Cox - 6 SacksResult: 78% Over - Pace: 8So far the consensus is crushing this one just as much as Cox is crushing this season. He might not get the hardware he desires, but Cox’s 4 sacks and 49 pressures have cemented him as a top tier player at his position. If Timmy Jernigan returns sooner than later, it will likely lower Cox’s snap count but help him fresh through the fourth quarter. That hasn’t been much of an issue to this point, but as the season wears on it will only benefit him.Michael Bennett - 7 SacksResult: 74% Under - Pace: 7Registering 36 pressures and 3.5 sacks, Bennett has proven to be a key contributor on a front that needed his versatility. Capable of rushing inside and outside while being a master of stunts, Bennett has provided the juice as a chess piece every week. He’s hit over 7 sacks four times in his career and I would not be surprised if he proves the consensus wrong in this case, which is a win for everybody.Brandon Graham - 7 SacksResult: 66% Over - Pace: 3Graham ranks a healthy 8th in the league among defensive linemen with 38 pressures, which puts him in company with Myles Garrett, Danielle Hunter, and Von Miller. The problem has been the final, crucial act of bring down the quarterback.Part of this has to do with the time in which enemy quarterbacks are releasing the ball. Per Pro Football Focus, only once this season have the Eagles played a quarterback (Blake Bortles, who was sacked 4 times) that held onto the ball for an average longer than 2.4 seconds. To put that in perspective, the quickest average in the league for any quarterback is Sam Bradford at 2.31 (because of course) and 2.40 would rank 4th quickest overall.That doesn’t necessarily absolve Graham for his lack of finishing entirely, but it does provide context as to a contributing reason why. The bigger concern is if he’s lost a step, which would facilitate a lack of closing speed. It’s something to track as his finishes the last year of his current contract.Eagles - 10.5 WinsResult: 80% Over - Pace: 8The slow start for the Eagles has been frustrating for all involved, but a win before the bye and two key losses by the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys have kept the NFC East door ajar. Getting to the over would require a 7-1 run, but more important right now is the 5 divisional games on the docket. Folks, it’s Dallas week.There are people who will tell you that the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have the biggest rivalry in football, some will say it’s the Broncos vs. the Raiders, and others the Packers vs. the Bears.Heck, there are some Eagles fans who will tell you our biggest rival in the New York Giants, and there are certainly some Cowboys fans who probably feel Washington is their biggest rival. But they’re all wrong. It’s Eagles vs. Cowboys or go home. So in celebration of Dallas Week, here are my five favorite Eagles vs. Cowboys games of all time. I did not include the 1980 NFC Championship Game, as I was only 4 years old when that game was played. These are all games that I remember vividly as supremely satisfying moments in this storied rivalry.1987 - Buddy Runs It UpThis rivalry wasn’t much of a rivalry at the beginning. From 1960 through October 11 of 1987, Dallas had a 36-18 record against the Eagles. At one point Authentic Lane Johnson Jersey , the Cowboys had won 21 of 23 against the Birds in the late 1960s-early ‘70s, but under Buddy Ryan, the tide began to turn.In 1987, NFL players went on strike and, for three games, scab players played in place of the real players for most teams. Toward the end of the strike, however, some players had crossed the picket lines, although none of them were on the Eagles. Ryan, in his second year as head coach, urged his players to stick together through the strike, so when the “scab” Eagles went to Dallas for an early October match-up, it was a game that supposed to be decided by the replacement players.However, prominent veterans like Tony Dorsett and Randy White had crossed the picket lines and, under the guidance of head coach Tom Landry, Dallas played some of their star players against the clearly overwhelmed Eagles, running gadget plays along the way, in a 41-22 rout.Two weeks later, with the regular players back on the field, the Eagles outplayed the Cowboys and held a 30-20 lead as the seconds ticked away. It looked like Randall Cunningham was simply going to take a knee and run out the clock, but instead, he popped up threw a pass into the end zone intended for wide receiver Mike Quick. Quick was interfered with on the play and, with two seconds remaining, Keith Byars rumbled into the end zone for a “rub-it-in” touchdown to make the final 37-20. Obrazek
That game earned Buddy Ryan legendary status in Philadelphia forever, simply because he spat in the eye of Tom Landry and signaled to Eagles fans everywhere that the Eagles weren’t going to be pushed around, and that he hated the Cowboys just as much as you.1995 - 4th and 1Before his tenure as Eagles head coach imploded, Ray Rhodes had his good moments, and most of them came against the Cowboys.In his rookie season, the 1995 Eagles were 8-5 heading into their Week 15 matchup against Dallas, who entered the game at 10-3. The Birds were not nearly as talented as the Cowboys, but they did have one thing going for them on this day — Barry Switzer.The bumbling idiot who actually managed to luck himself into a Super Bowl title that seasonwith the Cowboys gave this game away at an ice-cold Veterans Stadium. Dallas led 17-6 at halftime but the Eagles had scored 11 unanswered points in the second half to tie the game 17-17 as the clock ticked toward the two-minute warning.The Cowboys faced a 4th and 1 at their own 29. Yes, they had Emmitt Smith, but clearly the play here is to punt the ball away. Even Doug Pederson, who loves to go for it on 4th and 1 more than any coach in NFL history, would have punted this ball away. If you don’t convert, you lose. It was that simple.But, Switzer had Smith and his offensive line and so he figured he’d go for it anyway. They ran Smith off left tackle, but the Eagles front got penetration into the backfield and tackled Smith for a loss, giving the Eagles the ball deep in Dallas territory!But not so fast. Just as the play was starting, officials blew it dead as the clock hit the two-minute warning. Clearly, Switzer would re-think his decision and punt the ball away, right? Arrogance is an ugly sin, kids. Not only did Switzer decide to go for it again, much to the shock and incredulousness of John Madden, he ran THE SAME DARN PLAY. The Eagles, of course, stopped him again, and this time, the officials couldn’t take it away.The Eagles would kick a field goal and go on win 20-17. The two teams would meet again in the Divisional Round of the playoffs a few weeks later, where the Cowboys would get the last laugh Youth Nelson Agholor Jersey , bludgeoning the Eagles to death in Dallas 30-11.2000 - The Pickle Juice GameIn Andy Reid’s second season as head coach, the Eagles were seen as a team on the rise, and would get an early test in the opening week of the season by traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, who had gone 8-8 the previous season and lost a wild card game to the Vikings.What set this game apart was the unbelievable heat the players were forced to play in, with temperatures on the Astro Turf reaching 109 degrees, reportedly the hottest game in NFL history. In order to keep the players hydrated, Eagles trainers had them drink pickle juice leading up to the game, a disgusting-sounding bit of torture that seemed to help them play at a level no team should have been able to play at in the sweltering heat. Reid showed the world this Eagles team would be far different than the one that went 5-11 the season before. This was Donovan McNabb’s first full season as a starting quarterback and Reid began the 2000 season with an onsides kick that caught Dallas completely off guard. The Cowboys never recovered. Completely outclassed by a fresher Philadelphia team high on pickle juice, Duce Staley ran for 202 yards and the Eagles destroyed Dallas 41-14. It signaled the beginning of what would be the greatest run of sustained success in franchise history.2006 - The Return of T.O.This may have been the most highly anticipated regular season Eagles game of my lifetime. In 2004, Terrell Owens had led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance in nearly a quarter century, coming back from an ugly ankle injury late in the season to make a miraculous and heroic appearance against the Patriots.Following the Super Bowl, Owens felt his seven-year, $42 million deal that included a $10 million signing bonus didn’t match his true value to the team (he wasn’t wrong, by the way), and so he became vocal about wanting his contract restructured. After bad-mouthing the team for failing to celebrate his 100th career TD catch and making numerous comments critical of McNabb, he was suspended for the last half of the 2005 season. He would never play another snap for the Philadelphia Eagles.The following off-season, Owens went looking for a new team and, despite disrespecting Cowboys fans by standing on the Dallas star in the middle of the field as a 49er and in the end zone star as an Eagle, T.O. signed with those very same Cowboys ahead of the 2006 regular season.Obviously, the two Eagles vs. Cowboys games on the schedule that year became filled with even more drama than usual, and the first of those contests came in Week 5, when the Birds, at 3-1, took on the 2-1 Cowboys at the Linc. The home crowd booed T.O. mercilessly, and he seemed to revel in the attention. However, he wouldn’t stay upbeat for long.The Eagles took a quick 10-0 lead after two early turnovers by Dallas, but the Cowboys would recover, taking a 21-17 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Eagles defense stiffened and the Eagles took a 31-24 lead on a 40-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to Reggie Brown. But Drew Bledsoe would have a couple more chances to tie the game. In his final drive, he went the length of the field, eventually getting the ball to the Eagles’ 6-yard line before throwing an interception in the end zone to Lito Sheppard that he returned 102 yards for one of the most memorable plays in Eagles-Cowboys history.Despite the hype, Owens would catch just three balls for 45 yards, completing one of the most satisfying moments in franchise history. The Eagles would beat the Cowboys 23-7 later in the year, with Jeff Garcia at QB, to win the NFC East.2008 - The Silver Lining Playbook GameIt was a game chronicled in the popular film Silver Linings Playbook, and took place just weeks after the Philadelphia Phillies had beaten the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. Here were the Eagles, trying to keep that winning feeling alive in their season finale against the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia entered the final game of the season with an 8-6-1 record while the Cowboys were 9-6. It was a 4:25pm ET kickoff, and the Birds needed a couple things to go their way in the early slate of games in order to have a chance at making the playoffs.Perhaps riding the Phillies’ mojo, they got exactly what they needed when Oakland upset Tampa Bay and Houston beat Chicago in the early games. The Raiders were 13-point underdogs against the Buccaneers. However, with Tampa Bay and Chicago both losing, this final game of the season became a winner-take-all game in which the winner would win the wild card and the loser would be sent packing.After the two teams played a 3-3 tie in the first quarter, the Cowboys imploded and the Eagles exploded with a 24-point second quarter and a 17-point third quarter that turned this all-important Week 17 contest into an absolute party, with the Birds coming out on top, 44-6.The Eagles would ride that momentum all the way through the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, beating the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants on the road before finally falling to the Arizona Cardinals in an unexpected NFC Championship Game.There are many more games I could have chosen to populate this list. The 1992 Monday Night Football match-up with Herschel Walker, either of the Bounty Bowl games, the Snow Ball Game, or the 1991 game when they sacked Troy Aikman 11 times. All are great memories, but these five are my favorite.

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