The Linc – Andre Dillard quietly playing well

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/13/21.

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

Talk about Eagles’ Andre Dillard has been quiet … and for good reason – NJ.com
Dillard has been quietly playing well. The reason why no one is talking about him is a good thing because it means he is not making many mistakes and is not putting the offense in bad situations. According to Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grades, Dillard received the highest grade out of the five starting offensive linemen. Dillard did not allow a sack against a Panthers defense that was ranked third in the league in total yards allowed heading into the game. Sunday’s performance has been consistent with the way Dillard has played since taking the place of Jordan Mailata at left tackle after Mailata sprained his knee before the team’s Week 3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Dillard had not allowed a sack and allowed quarterback Jalen Hurts to be pressured seven times over a three-game span.

Weapon X Mailbag: What should the Eagles do with their first-round picks in 2022? – BGN
It’s very early, but the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class doesn’t seem THAT great, right? I dig Liberty’s Malik Willis, who looks like he’ll go in the top 10. Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati is creeping into first round projections. I like what I’ve seen from him. I haven’t seen enough from Matt Corral out of Ole Miss to speak on him currently. Neither UNC’s Sam Howell nor Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler look good enough to me to take with a high pick. If the Eagles truly believe someone like Willis or Ridder can be a legitimate franchise quarterback, pounce on that. If they’re not completely sold on one of these 2022 QBs, I can’t stress enough that a team, whether it’s the Eagles or a different one, shouldn’t force a quarterback pick for the sake of a quarterback pick. It just sets your contention timeline back.

Eagles-Panthers takeaways + Eagles-Bucs preview – BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski run through what, if anything, we learned from the Eagles’ ugly win over the Panthers. The guys discuss Nick Sirianni’s suspect gameplan, take a temperature check on Jalen Hurts, and talk about what the team might be able to build on moving forward. BLG and Jimmy also preview Philly’s Thursday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and make their Week 6 NFL picks against the spread.

Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season – PFF
PICK NO. 10: WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia EaglesOverall Rookie Grade: 69.5 (Rank: 5/18). Week 5 Grade: 65.3. Smith has been steadily productive so far in his rookie season without yet being spectacular. Against the Panthers, he caught seven of the eight passes thrown his way for 77 yards. He had a touchdown taken off the board by a penalty, as the Eagles were called for a pick play down at the goal line. Smith’s route running and savvy are already elite, but the plays in college where he physically imposed his will on defenders have been tougher to come by at this level. Inconsistencies from his quarterback haven’t always helped his cause, either.

Davion Taylor shines in longest career stint – NBCSP
Taylor only played 32 snaps on defense as a rookie and had only played 18 this year before the Carolina game. But on Sunday in Charlotte, we finally saw our first glimpse of the kind of player Taylor can be. In the longest playing time of his career, he really shined in the Eagles’ 21-18 win over the Panthers. Now, that’s not hard to do that considering the way the Eagles’ linebackers have played this year. But we really saw the athleticism and explosiveness the Eagles liked when they drafted him in the 3rd round out of Colorado last year. Taylor played a career-high 24 snaps and was very active, with four tackles. His playing time came at the expense of Eric Wilson, who struggled the first month of the season. Wilson averaged 52 snaps the first four games of the season but was down to 29 Sunday.

Defense knows what waits on Thursday: Tom Brady and a dynamic Tampa Bay offense – PE.com
It didn’t take any tape study this week for the Eagles’ defense to understand the task on Thursday night. Tom Brady has won seven Super Bowls. At age 44, he’s putting up the kind of numbers that most players only dream about – 15 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions this season for the defending Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers. Brady has the quick release, the precision accuracy, the impeccable decision-making. He’s the total package, the G.O.A.T. – and a heckuva fun challenge for everyone who plays this game on the other side of the ball. “We understand what’s at stake. We understand who’s coming in, especially defensively,” safety Rodney McLeod said on Tuesday afternoon in an exclusive interview for the Eagles Insider Podcast. “They have a high-powered offense led by Tom Brady and it’s at home. We want to get that win.”

DVOA Week 5: Bills Continue Ascent to Greatness – Football Outsiders
[BLG Note: The Eagles are 16th in DVOA while the Bucs are 4th.]

2021 NFL expert predictions, odds and spreads: Picks for the Week 6 schedule, including Chargers at Ravens and Cardinals at Browns – The Athletic
The Eagles are underdogs for the sixth week in a row, and a lot of that has to do with consistency. More specifically, a lack of it in Philadelphia. One quarter, the franchise plays like it is rebuilding, and then it manages to look like a division contender a few hours later. The Eagles fell behind 15-6 last week at Carolina before storming back for a 21-18 win. Philadelphia produced 273 yards and turned the ball over twice but held the Panthers to 267 with three turnovers. It was the Eagles’ best defensive performance to date. Then again, stopping Sam Darnold and Chuba Hubbard is much different than containing a Bucs offense that averages 33 points per game.

Best and Worst from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win Over Miami Dolphins – Bucs Nation
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but an opposing running back gashed the Bucs defense as a receiver out of the backfield. Yeah, we’ve seen this dance and heard this song, and it may even be nitpicking at the moment, but Myles Gaskin catching ten of ten targets for 74-yards and two touchdowns has every offensive coordinator looking for their favorite receiving back when they get set to face the Bucs.

Tom Brady: Thumb injury isn’t serious, it’s more discomfort that should disappear soon – PFT
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Brady reiterated that he doesn’t anticipate having a problem for Thursday. “I mean, look, a quarterback’s right hand is important at the end of the day. It’s not like it’s your left hand,” Brady said in his press conference. “If it was my left hand, I wouldn’t even think two seconds about it. But the fact that it’s your throwing hand, there’s not many things that are that important to a quarterback other than probably your right shoulder, right elbow, and your right hand. So anytime you get banged on one of those, it could be an issue. But like I said, there’s no serious injury at all. It’s just more discomfort, but I think that should be gone here in the next day or two.” Brady injured the thumb during the second quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Dolphins but still passed for 411 yards with five touchdowns.

Should Reich be on the Hot Seat?: Week 5 @Ravens – Stampede Blue
The main reason Reich deserves to be on the hot seat is the Colts’ record this season. 1-4, with the one win against a Dolphins team led by Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. This is inexcusable beyond any injuries for a team with such high expectations. The problem is that the Colts were outcoached in each of the 4 losses, as the coaching staff looked like they had no answer to what the opposing team was doing. While some games were close, this was not because of any merit by the Colts, but rather because of lucky blunders, like the Rams’ special teams fumble and the Chester Rogers dropped pass interception against the Titans giving life to the Colts in those games, and let’s not even get into the Ravens game, where Reich’s ultraconservative play-calling and Eberflus’ famous soft-zone defense allowed the Ravens to come back from what should have been an insurmountable deficit.

Dolphins sign wide receiver Travis Fulgham to practice squad – The Phinsider
The Miami Dolphins made a minor roster move Tuesday afternoon when the team signed veteran wide receiver Travis Fulgham to the team’s practice squad. The former sixth-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft caught 38 passes last season with the Philadelphia Eagles totaling 539 yards (14.2YPC) and four touchdowns. Fulgham played college football at Old Dominion.

Elijah Holyfield joining Bengals practice squad, per report – Cincy Jungle
Holyfield then declared for the 2019 NFL Draft as a true junior, went undrafted, joined the Carolina Panthers practice squad, joined the Philadelphia Eagles’ active roster in December, was part of Philly’s practice squad in 2020, signed a futures contract with them this past offseason, then was waived by the team this past August and has been waiting for his next NFL opportunity ever since. He’s appeared in one career game with no statistics.

Saints sign kicker Brian Johnson, per reports – Canal Street Chronicles
Saints add another kicker after Cody Parkey has been placed on IR.

Opinion: Rivera fails to “read the room” – Hogs Haven
In his Monday morning Zoom session with the media, Ron Rivera got a bit testy as the journalists asked him repeatedly if he was going to take any significant action to fix the ongoing defensive failings that plagued the team during the first five weeks of the season. At one point, he tried to simply cut the questions off before they could be asked. Here is a feel for the flow of the Monday media session: After flatly refusing to consider or discuss coaching or scheme changes, when Rivera was asked a second or third time about what action he might take, he snapped, “Boy, you guys really wanna go there, don’t you?” and added, “I don’t see the issues the way you guys do.” It seems clear that Coach Rivera doesn’t see the issues the way anyone does at the moment. What everyone else sees is five weeks of underperformance by the defensive linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties. What Ron sees is apparently 54 pretty good plays against the Saints with two mistakes: “We had two plays that, if you could take [them] back, it’s a different conversation.”

The Giants are not what they expected to be: A look at the offense – Big Blue View
Daniel Jones has played the best football of his career thus far. His completion percentage, passer rating and yards passing per game are at high water marks for his career. He has thrown only one interception, and that on an end of half Hail Mary. His fumbling issues appear to be under control. He threw for a career-best 402 yards in Week 4. Analysts far and wide have begun to acknowledge that Jones is playing like a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, Jones is now hurt. Again. The scary concussion Jones suffered Sunday vs. the Dallas Cowboys means he is almost certain to miss at least one game. If he misses time, that will mean games missed to injury in three straight seasons — every season of his career. As Emily Iannaconi said in our live stream on Monday, that’s a pattern.

Five things we are happy to be wrong about so far regarding the 2021 Dallas Cowboys – Blogging The Boys
Trevon Diggs is the best cornerback in the NFL. Again, the spirit of our conversation (which you can listen to up top, friendly reminder since you made it all the way down here) was things we were wrong about, but that doesn’t mean that we were ever down on any of these possibilities. We just didn’t think they were all too likely. Within this context there are surely many Cowboys fans who thought/expected Trevon Diggs to be a better player in 2021 than he was in 2020. He showed a ton of promise as a rookie so growth made sense. But what we have seen through the first five games of the season isn’t just extremely good… it is historic.

This Is Who Jon Gruden Always Was – The Ringer
Gruden is out as the Las Vegas head coach after a report detailed his history of making racist, sexist, and homophobic comments. But the questions about his emails don’t end there—for both the Raiders and the league as a whole.

Tom Brady had a slow motion QB scramble, then mocked himself for it – SB Nation
Tom Brady wasn’t exactly known for his speed even when he was young. Brady famously ran a 5.28 seconds 40-yard dash at the NFL draft combine back in 2000, which is not good. He became arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time playing for the New England Patriots, but rarely beat the opposing defense with his legs. In his 22 seasons in the league, Brady has finished a season with more than 100 yards rushing only three times. Now at age-44, Brady is almost exclusively a pocket passer. That’s why it was so jarring to see him bust a 13-yard run for a first down during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Just before halftime, Brady scrambled to put the Bucs in position for a 60-yard field goal. The kick missed, but Brady’s rare scramble still turned some heads. Brady’s 13-yard scramble was his longest run since 2019 on the Patriots.

Off Day Debrief #58: Jon Gruden is out, Ravens win on MNF + Week 6 Power Rankings! – The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton react to the resignation of Jon Gruden in Las Vegas, break down the Chargers victory over the Raiders, and unveil the only 100% accurate power rankings in the entire NFL podcast kingdom. Why Jon Gruden had no other option but to resign. Where do the Raiders go from here? Lamar Jackson smashes all the narratives about him in one game. Week 6 Power Rankings. MVPs and LVPs of the Week.

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