Valley Voice: Betting on Groundhog Day/Super Bowl LIV

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks
With the season (hopefully) on the way I thought I'd put together some lists for top 5 players at each position in Indianapolis (not Baltimore) Colts history. I'll start with QB, and work my way through. This list is purely my opinion as a die hard fan since the early Manning days, and if you think I have no clue what I'm talking about, please feel free to let me know.
Fun fact, out of the 26 QBs to start a game for the Indy Colts there are only 7 players that have a winning record. Three of them are Colts legends Josh Freeman, Gary Hogeboom, and Craig Erickson.

5. Jack Trudeau

https://preview.redd.it/a54mr7g9g3b51.jpg?width=361&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2d086a51719ff08e2c1a8cb651100c0a37f8458f
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
198-93 18-29 0-1 52.9 9,647 41 62 6.3 64.4

How He Got Here

After the complete disaster that was attempting to draft John Elway #1 in 1983, the then Baltimore Colts stuck with Mike Pagel at QB, who had just led them to a winless season in 1982. Team owner Robert Irsay decided to move the team to Indianapolis before the 1984 season the team stuck with Pagel as their main QB despite him clearly not being their future at the position. This led to 2 season with losing records and last place finishes in the AFC East. Entering the 1986 draft, the Colts were clearly looking for a franchise player at QB. The obvious choice was Jim Everett out of Purdue, but unfortunately he was selected #3 to the Houston Oilers when the Colts had the #4 pick. Instead of drafting the only other franchise QB in the draft, Mark Rypien, the Colts decided to select promising Illinois QB Jack Trudeau in the 2nd round. Trudeau had shown a lot of promise in his career, leading Illinois to a Rose Bowl in 1984 and finishing 2nd in the Davey O'Brien Award (Best College QB) to Doug Flutie. Unfortunately for him and the Colts, this talent would not translate well to the NFL

Colts Career

After trading Mike Pagel to the Browns the starting job was set for Trudeau entering the 1986 season. Unfortunately the Colts were still a very bad team overall and Trudeau was not set to overcome that. In 11 starts he had 8 TDs, 18 INTs, and a 48.9% completion rate for an 0-11 record. It was immediately clear he was not the savior the Colts needed to bring legitimate football to Indy.
Fortunately, a contract dispute between Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson allowed the Colts to trade for Dickerson midway through the 1987 season. Dickerson was an immediate breath of life to the fledgling Indianapolis Colts franchise and helped lead them to their first playoff berth. Trudeau shared starting duties with Gary Hogeboom, and both were successful in not screwing things up too bad, giving the ball to Dickerson, and staying out of the damn way. Trudeau started in his only playoff game and actually played decently well: 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but it wasn't enough as the Colts lost 38-21 to the Bernie Kosar led Cleveland Browns who would eventually lose in via "The Drive" in the AFC Championship.
It was clear the Colts would need a better QB to compliment their new superstar in Dickerson, and thus they drafted future Pro Bowler Chris Chandler in the 3rd round in 1988. However, Chris Chandler was most definitely not a Pro Bowler for the Colts. Chandler didn't impress despite an 9-7 overall record, and was replaced by Trudeau following a bad start to the 1989 season. Trudeau had his best year as a pro in 1989: 2,317 yards, 15 TDs, 13 INTs, but the Colts still finished 8-8 and outside of the playoffs.
Trudeau was improving, but was still clearly not the QB of the future, which they hoped to get by trading All-Pro Tackle Chris Hinton, Future All-Pro WR Andre Rison, and the #3 Pick in 1991 for the #1 Pick in 1990 which they used to draft QB Jeff George (Wow). Trudeau was kept as the backup and was a spot starter for the Colts from 1990-93. Despite the horrific play of George, Trudeau couldn't muster much better in his limited playing time and was released in 1994.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/kM0APJieAME?t=678

Legacy

Jack Trudeau was at best a mediocre QB you could somewhat rely on to manage the game and allow more talented players to make plays. Unfortunately the late 80s, early 90s Colts didn't have too many of those so his play suffered as well. His numbers aren't great and he wasn't much beloved by Colts fans, but he did help lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance which helped me put him on the list over Matt Hasselbeck and others. Trudeau has actually hung around Indy doing various radio and TV appearances talking about the Colts and even has a couple of DUIs as well.

4. Jacoby Brissett

https://preview.redd.it/96cmm0sag3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4a578fcdd25c1a0830d6d6b7fc8b5dde43309455
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2017- 11-19 0-0 59.8 6,042 31 13 6.6 84.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had their franchise QB in Andrew Luck, but leading up to the 2017 season it was revealed during the preseason Luck had a shoulder injury which would eventually lead to him missing the entire 2017 season. This left the Colts scrambling as they knew QB Scott Tolzien was not the answer at QB, so 8 days before the start of the season the new GM Chris Ballard traded 1st round bust Phillip Dorsett for 3rd string QB for the Patriots Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had looked at least competent spot starting for the suspended Tom Brady and hurt Jimmy Garoppolo in 2016, so he was the best option the Colts had available so close to the beginning of the season.

Colts Career

Bringing in a new QB for a team 8 days before the start of the season and asking him to play is like asking a train engineer to launch a rocket to the moon, so Tolzien started week 1 for Colts. He continued to not impress going into week 2, and was replaced for Brissett. Brissett was an improvement, but it was clear he was overwhelmed by the change of scenery and the rest of the Colts roster and staff was not talented enough to make up for it. He finished with competent numbers: 3,098 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.8% completion rate, 6.6 Y/A, but was merely a game manager for a bad team as the Colts finished 4-12.
Andrew Luck was ready to return in 2018 and the Colts were willing to give Brissett the benefit of the doubt and kept him on as the backup. The Colts saw a major resurgence with Luck and an incredible draft and free agent class by Chris Ballard, leading to their first playoff appearance since 2015, eventually losing to the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. The Colts were looking to improve going into 2019, but a now too familiar announcement led up to the season when it was revealed a calf injury was going to cause Andrew Luck to retire 2 weeks before the start of the regular season. The spotlight was once again shown on Jacoby Brissett, who was asked to take over Luck's team. Fortunately this time Brissett was able to get all the first team reps in the preseason leading up to week 1 and was much more familiar with the system.
That familiarity paid off as Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, including wins over playoff teams like the Texans and Titans along with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brissett was not putting up All-Pro numbers, but had clearly improved from 2017 and was still not making game losing mistakes. Through week 9 he had 190 YPG, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs, and and the eye test had shown he was a good leader and could occasionally make big plays when needed. However, after a knee sprain in week 10 he was clearly not the same player. His injury either hampered his physical abilities or his confidence but his poor play for the rest of the season allowed the Colts to fall to 7-9, including an embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Saints that I made the trip over to New Orleans for and watched as Brissett sailed the ball over every receiver's head. Brissett will likely be the backup for the 2020 season behind free agent Phillip Rivers, but he's shown enough flashes of ability that his career is long from over, whether that ends up being on the Colts or somewhere else in the league.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/Q1bFNE0CGXY?t=287

Legacy

I believe I'm with the majority of Colts fans in that when I see Jacoby Brissett I see somewhat of a tragic figure. He got thrown to the wolves in 2017 and did the best he could, but was basically set up to fail. It's honestly not too much of a stretch to say his play through week 9 of 2019 was the best QB play by an Indy Colts QB not named Manning, Luck, or Harbaugh. You could tell he was well-liked by both fans and teammates, especially through the first half of 2019, but his limitations as a player were clear. Colts fans have been spoiled in the 21st century by 2 all-time great QBs, so any deviation from that, especially when it's not by a QB we drafted #1 overall, will be seen as a major failure. I think people came down a little too hard on Jacoby by the end of 2019, and that he's still a solid pro capable of being the QB on a winning team in the right situation. However, he showed in the 2nd half of 2019 that situation is probably not in Indy going forward.

3. Jim Harbaugh

https://preview.redd.it/ka0f9imcg3b51.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f34fa86258b0e403bfe000b84ba246bcf11dfc42
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1994-97 20-26 2-2 60.7 8,705 49 26 7.1 86.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had come out of the Eric Dickerson/Jeff George era looking like an absolute dumpster fire. The Colts had been in Indy for 10 years and Indy was still very much a basketball town. The only signature player the Indy Colts had was Eric Dickerson, and he had a very sour exit in 1992 after 2 bad years. The Indianapolis Colts were still in the woods, searching for the player that could give their franchise hope that they would be treated as a legitimate threat in the NFL and generate significant interest from the fanbase. That hope came from an unlikely source in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had led the Chicago Bears to 2 playoff appearances in the late Mike Ditka-era, but his play had fallen off and by 1994 he looked somewhat washed. The desperate Colts made a surprisingly wise decision in not drafting QBs Heath Schuler or Trent Dilfer. Instead they drafted future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to replace Eric Dickerson (this is the "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" draft) and signing Jim Harbaugh.

Colts Career

Harbaugh didn't come out guns blazing in 1994 as he traded starting duties with Green Bay castoff Don Majkowski. Harbaugh put up decent numbers but the Colts finished 4-5 in games Harbaugh started, 8-8 overall. Harbaugh entered the 1995 season as no sure thing, the Colts actually traded their 1996 first round pick for young Tampa QB Craig Erickson in another baffling trade for an unproven QB. Erickson and Harbaugh competed for the starting position in training camp and Erickson was selected as the starter by head coach Ted Marchibroda.
Erickson played poorly the first 2 weeks, being replaced and outplayed by Harbaugh in both games. By week 3 Harbaugh was the full time starter and didn't look back. Harbaugh was showing that he meshed well with new Offensive Coordinator Lindy Infante as Harbaugh put up some of the most efficient passing numbers of any QB in the NFL in 1995: 2,575 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.7% completion rate, and a league leading passer rating of 100.7 (ahead of guys like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Dan Marino). Even more importantly he was a becoming the tough effective leader to energize the entire team, leading the Colts to 4 game winning drives that season, including one over the 1994 Super Bowl champion 49ers. The Colts were just outside of the playoffs going into week 17, but Harbaugh led the Colts to a win over the Drew Bledsoe led Patriots in the RCA Dome to sneak the Colts into the playoffs at 9-7. Harbaugh earned his first Pro Bowl appearance along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Colts were going into the playoffs as 5.5 point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers, a team they had just lost to in week 16. However, thanks to 3 TDs from Harbaugh and an out-of-nowhere 147 yard, 2 TD performance from rookie FB Zach Crockett, the Colts overcame the odds. They were heading into a gauntlet of Arrowhead stadium against the best defense in the league and a Marcus Allen led 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs. In an ugly game where the wind chill was -15oF, luck worked in the Colts favor. Harbaugh didn't throw well, but picked up several key 1st down with his legs. He had 1 INT and 3 fumbles, but fortunately lost 0. Chiefs QB Steve Bono had 3 INTs and K Lin Elliot went 0/3 on field goals in a season where he made 80%. Colts K Cary Blanchard made 1/3, and that was enough to upset the heavily-favored Chiefs 10-7. Harbaugh's most defining moment as the Colts QB would come in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harbaugh's cinderella story continued on against Bill Cowher and Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. The Colts and Steelers traded scores throughout the game. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh threw a dime to WR Floyd Turner for a 47 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 16-13. Unfortunately the Colts couldn't run out enough clock on their next drive and the Steelers rushed down the field for the go-ahead score to put them up 20-16. Harbaugh wasn't done yet. With 88 seconds needing 84 yards, Harbaugh willed the Colts down the field to the Steelers' 29-yard line for a hail mary shot with 5 seconds left. Harbaugh tossed up a prayer that was very nearly caught by Colts WR Aaron Bailey, but he couldn't come up with it. The Cinderella story was over, but it was a defining moment for the Colts franchise. The 1995 Colts were within a hair of making the Super Bowl, and that 1995 playoff run led by Harbaugh created a real fanbase for them.
Harbaugh's stats regressed some in 1996, but he still led the Colts to a 9-7 record and the playoffs, this time getting whooped by the Steelers in the wild card. In 1997 his stats improved some but the wheels fell off of the team as they started off 0-10, eventually falling to 3-13. Fortunately their record would net them the #1 pick in the 1998 draft. After it was clear the Colts were using the pick on QB they traded Harbaugh to the Ravens.

My favorite highlight

https://youtu.be/FT4vF24WanE?t=155

Legacy

“A lot of people use (the word) ‘culture,’ but the attitude, everybody was team-first, from the front office, together with the coaches, together with the ownership, together with the players, the equipment staff, the training staff, I mean it felt like we were family.” - Jim Harbaugh on 1995
I don't think enough can be said about the effect of Harbaugh and that 1995 team had on the Colts. He gave us our first source of pride in the Colts and set the tone for the franchise to not be the laughingstock of the league. He paved the way for the decades of excellence that came after. Harbaugh will never be a HoF QB, but his effect on the Colts is severely underrated.
For more details on the 1995 Cinderella season, read this IndyStar article: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/01/21/1995-indianapolis-colts-jim-harbaugh-aaron-bailey-afc-championship-game-ted-marchibroda/78291676/

2. Andrew Luck

https://preview.redd.it/8nh7p6pdg3b51.jpg?width=1800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bc67a67720b82f9294b9283924f61d9f261e4d85
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2012-18 53.33 4-4 60.8 23,671 171 83 7.2 89.5

How He Got Here

After a serious neck injury to franchise stalwart Peyton Manning, the Colts went from perennial playoff contender to nearly winless in 2011. It was unknown if Manning would ever be the same QB again, so the Colts opted to release their most valuable player and use their #1 pick in 2012 on a QB. There was some debate on possibly drafting the Heisman winner out of Baylor, Robert Griffin III, but new GM Ryan Grigson made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Andrew Luck. Son of former Oilers QB Oliver Luck, Andrew Luck blossomed under head coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalize the Stanford football program while also graduating with a bachelor's degree in architectural design. Luck was hailed by nearly every scout as a can't miss prospect, having nearly every physical tool you want from a QB along with a clear handle on the mental and intangible aspects of the game.

Colts Career

Expectations for Luck were high going into 2012, but not so for the team overall. Many experts put the Colts at or near the bottom of all power rankings. Not only had the team lost Peyton Manning that year, but also many key pieces from the Manning era such as Pierre Garçon, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett. To make matters worse, new head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and missed weeks 5-16. However, despite all odds, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record. Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians proved to be a diamond in the rough by helping Luck turn a 2-14 team that lost multiple starters into a playoff team. Luck's stats weren't always pretty: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 54.1% completion rate, and a 76.5 rating, but he could clearly make plays happen with an absurd 7 game winning drives. The miracles came to an end with a shellacking by the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, but this season proved Luck would be no bust, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Luck continued to grow in 2013 and 2014, improving in every category to crescendo in 2014 with a league-leading 40 TDs, 16 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, and a 96.5 rating. In 2013 he led the Colts to his first playoff victory in spectacular fashion. After being down 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter to the Alex Smith led Chiefs, Luck led a furious and unbelievable comeback 45-44 victory. Any Colts fan could tell you after seeing all the comeback victories Luck had led to never count him out, and he cemented that in this game. In 2014 Luck led the Colts past their old god of Peyton Manning in Denver in the divisional round, but were given a thorough ass-whooping in the AFC Championship by the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions New England Patriots in what is now infamously known as the "Deflategate Game."
Andrew Luck was a very physical player and was known to take many hits, sometimes making spectacular plays through those hits. However, that punishment started to pile up and wasn't helped by GM Ryan Grigson's poor draft classes and inability to build a competent offensive line to block for Luck. This culminated in the injury plagued 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luck only played 7 games in 2015 and severely regressed in every statistical category, clearly hampered by various injuries such as a lacerated kidney. Luck's stats improved in 2016, but the team did not as they finished 8-8, partially due to an astounding 7% sack of Luck. Either some of Luck's good fortune had finally run out or the team and culture built by GM Grigson had completely failed to support their superstar QB. Owner Jim Irsay bet on Luck and fired Grigson after 2016.
Hopes were high heading into 2017, but unfortunately an unknown snowboarding accident aggravated a previous shoulder injury for Luck. News was very slow to come out, but fans were shocked to find out he would likely miss the entire season 8 days before week 1. New GM Chris Ballard made a quick trade for Jacoby Brissett, but fans were worried after 3 years of being hampered by injuries Luck may never be the same player.
In 2018 we believed those doubts were proven wrong. Luck had an incredibly resurgent season, leading the new look Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-6 record. Luck's numbers were back to form: 39 TDs, 15 INTs, and career bests of 67.3% completion rate and 98.7 rating. Fans were pleased to finally see Luck playing behind a solid offensive line that prevented which prevented him from being sacked for 5 weeks and giving him a career low 2.7% sack rate. Luck led the Colts to a Wild Card win over the Deshaun Watson's Texans, but were stopped in the cold in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs. However, hopes were high leading into 2019 that the structure given by GM Chris Ballard would protect Luck and allow him to lead us to our Super Bowl.
Sadly that did not work out as Luck appeared to have a calf injury leading up to the 2019 season. Fans held out hope he would be ready to go for the start of the season, but after the years of rehabbing Luck had finally had enough. 2 weeks before the season opener during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears it was leaked that Luck planned to retire. Fortunately his backup Jacoby Brissett was put in a better position to take his place as opposed to 2017, but the sudden and unexplained retirement of their franchise QB right before the season led to some fans to boo Luck as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the last time.

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teNLH0p6WHs
or
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBHhO2yWRMo
or

Legacy

Andrew Luck will forever be one of the greatest "what if?" stories in American sports history. Unlike many "what if?" stories, we got to see what we could have had with Luck. What the Colts had in Luck from 2012-14 along with 2018 was nothing short of incredible and it was clear he was improving to potentially become one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Instead he's a tragic story where fans will forever be left to wonder what could have been with Andrew Luck. Would Luck have brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl if he he didn't play the majority of his career under the poor management of GM Ryan Grigson and HC Chuck Pagano? All we do know is that his sack rate under Grigson was 5.5%, and in one year on GM Chris Ballard's team it was 2.7%, coincidentally also one of his best statistical seasons. Peyton Manning's sack rate for his career? Tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino at 3.13%. Maybe if Luck had been better protected and coached better to avoid hits he could have made it up there with Manning, but as fans he'll forever be a "what if?" Luck seems like a smart and content man who's just starting a family, so I doubt he will ever return for any team. Even if he did we'll forever be robbed of what the best version of Andrew Luck could have been. However, in his short time here, he delivered enough incredible moments to give us hope and make us love the team. I, along with hopefully many other fans, will forever love Andrew Luck for his time with the Colts and am grateful for a helluva run.

1.Peyton Manning

https://preview.redd.it/5lr1v2heg3b51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b42edf31a7f2e4910e9adc0dcceb11b045a8630
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1998-11 141-67 9-10 64.9 54,828 399 198 7.6 94.9

How He Got Here

The Indianapolis Colts under Jim Harbaugh had finally established themselves as a legitimate team, but the Colts knew Harbaugh wasn't the long-term answer at QB. He was 35 going into the 1998 season and had just led the Colts to a 3-13 season, bad enough for the #1 overall pick. There was some debate about drafting Heisman finalist out of Washington, Ryan Leaf, but new GM Bill Polian made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Peyton Manning. Leaf had some incredible athletic abilities, but there were some doubts raised about his ability to handle the mental aspects of the game. He also basically made the decision for the Colts when he skipped their draft interview, a passive-aggressive declaration he wouldn't play for the Colts. Peyton Manning, son of former Saints QB Archie Manning, was also a Heisman finalist out of Tennessee. No scout doubted Manning's ability to become a franchise QB in the NFL, but some wondered about his potential ceiling due to a complete lack of running ability and some arm strength concerns. However, he was clearly one of the most mature and mentally ready players to ever come out of college for any position.
"I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass" -Peyton Manning to Colts GM Bill Polian on the day before the 1998 draft

Colts Career

The 1998 Colts were still a pretty bad team overall, and the rookie Manning was not enough to overcome that. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons ever: 3,739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 6.5 Y/A, and a 56.7% completion rate, setting records for yards, TDs, and INTs (yards and TDs are currently held by Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield respectively). However, the deficiencies of the team and Manning's record number of interceptions helped give the Colts a 3-13 record, including a week 5 win over Ryan Leaf's San Diego Chargers.
Fortunately Manning helped lead one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history in 1999, turning the 3-13 Colts in 1998 into the 13-3 Colts in 1999. People weren't exactly ready to give up on Manning after 1998, but 1999 was critical for showing Manning could improve and be at the helm of a winning team. Partially this was helped by sending Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in exchange for the draft pick to select Hall of Fame RB Edgerrin James, who had a phenomenal rookie year. The Colts ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, who had just completed the Music City Miracle the week before and would come within an ass hair of winning the Super Bowl against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams.
Manning was up and down from 2000 to 2002, still posting good stats but missing the playoffs in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oSFYxDGKy8 ) and having first round exits in 2000 and 2002. Whispers started turning into legitimate arguments about how Peyton Manning was a good stats, dome team, regular season QB that just didn't have it in the playoffs. In 2003 Manning started his absurd streak of 12+ win seasons (7 years) and picked up his first MVP award, the first (and still only) Indy Colt to win it. He also got his first playoff wins in 2003, but was quickly put to shame in a 4 INT performance in the AFC Championship against the Patriots, now known by Colts fans as "The Ty Law Game."
The 2004 season is well known by Colts fans for cementing Manning among the all time greats. Manning was white hot all year, throwing for 4,557 yards 49 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 121.1 rating while only getting sacked 13 times. The 49 TDs was a record, which has since been broken by Tom Brady and Manning again while a member of the Broncos. Manning won MVP for the 2nd year in a row, but once again disappointed in the playoffs with a 0 TD, 1 INT performance against the Patriots in the divisional round, losing 20-3. Those arguments of Manning's postseason jitters were starting to feel more and more like reality for Colts fans. They knew they had their franchise QB, but his inability to perform in the playoffs continued to be baffling.
2005 was supposed to be the season that changed all that. Manning's numbers came back to earth somewhat, but he still posted a very efficient performance (104.1 rating) for a much improved overall team. GM Bill Polian had proved his days building the "Four Falls over Buffalo" Bills dynasty was no fluke, he now had a team with the #2 scoring offense and the #2 scoring defense. This was the year to break the Manning postseason curse. Unfortunately in one of the most upsetting games of my life, the Colts could not break that curse against the Steelers in the divisional round. Manning played relatively well: 58% completion rate, 290 yards, and 1 TD with no INTs, but watching the game the Colts struggled to maintain momentum and get stops against the rookie Ben Roethlisberger. Despite the inconsistent play, the Colts still had a shot. Steelers HoF RB Jerome Bettis attempted to ice the game with a goal line carry, but fumbled for the first time all year. With the entire Steelers offense stuffing the line, Colts CB Nick Harper was free to pick up the ball with a nearly open field ahead of him. Normally Nick Harper is one of the faster players on the field, however, as every Colts fan knows, Harper had been stabbed in the leg by his wife in a "supposedly accidental" altercation the night before. This possibly allowed the falling down Ben Roethlisberger to catch Harper by his shoe strings, preventing the nearly sure thing TD by Harper to put the Colts ahead. Instead Manning led the Colts into basically chip shot field goal position for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history (Mike "Idiot Kicker" Vanderjagt) to tie the game. We all know what happened next. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and it was hard to blame it all on Manning, but it still felt like there was some sort of mystical VooDoo curse hanging over Manning and our franchise.
If the Colts couldn't win it all in 2005 it felt like they never would. 2006 wasn't looking like anything special compared to the past few seasons, especially considering the defense regressed from #2 in scoring in 2005 to #23 in 2006. Manning was still putting up great numbers, but those were starting to feel like an exercise in futility. Fortunately the Colts caught fire at the right time, with oft-injured All-Pro Safety Bob Sanders getting healthy towards the end of the season and the trade deadline addition of Buccaneers DT "Booger" McFarland. That momentum pushed them to an AFC Championship, where Manning would match up against the source of his ultimate playoff failures, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Fortunately, this time it was in the RCA Dome, not Foxborogh, MA. Manning and the Colts started off cold, being down 21-3 at one point after a Manning pick-6, but the Colts rallied behind some incredibly orchestrated drives by Manning to finally get the monkey off his back. On a last second drive, Manning drove the Colts down the field to put them ahead 38-34 with 1 minute to go. A Marlin Jackson interception of Tom Brady sealed it, Manning and the Colts were going to the Super Bowl for the first time in Indy history. Manning played well in the Super Bowl, winning the MVP against the league-best Chicago Bears defense.
Manning continued his solid play in 2007 and 2008, including his 3rd MVP in 2008. Both seasons ended with heartbreaking first round playoff exits to the San Diego Chargers, 2008's being the "Sproles and Scifres Game." 2008 also showed the first signs of physical weakness from Manning, having a knee surgery before the season that led to a slow start for the Colts. That was not the case in 2009, as Manning led the Colts to start the season 14-0. In a decision that's still derided today, new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to effectively bench Manning along with many other starters rather than go for the perfect season to prevent any injuries. Many had seen the Patriots in 2007 nearly complete the perfect season, but fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Super Bowl against a less talented Giants team. Caldwell, like many others, decided that any rust from not playing for nearly a month was worth the decreased risk of injury to his stars. That decision nearly backfired in spectacular fashion as the Colts were behind the New York Jets (a team they effectively let into the playoffs by letting them win in week 16) in the AFC Championship game until Manning led a furious comeback. It all ended poorly in the Super Bowl however as Manning threw a pick-6 to Tracy Porter that still haunts my dreams to Tracy Porter, allowing the Colts to lose to Drew Brees and his stupid baby and the New Orleans Saints.
2010 was one of the first signs of weakness from Manning. He had apparently injured his neck on this play in 2006 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gjdmww3vgM ) on a hit that would now be extremely illegal. Manning apparently aggravated that injury in the lead up to the 2010 season, and it showed in the stats as he had how lowest rating since 2002 (91.9). For most other QBs a rating of 91.9 is a pretty solid season but for Manning it was a massive fall. This led to a quick playoff exit to the Jets in the first round. In the lead up to the 2011 season, Manning had several surgeries to relieve the pain in his neck which led to him missing the entire season. It was unknown if he would ever be the same QB again, or even play again. Manning's absence showed how incredibly important he was to the franchise, the only major difference between the rosters in 2010 and 2011 is Manning, yet the Colts went 10-6 in 2010 and 2-14 in 2011. This poor record led to the Colts earning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft, which fueled their decision to release Manning and draft a QB in 2012 (Chandler Harnish...and Andrew Luck).

My favorite highlight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DttfyOeU3vw
or
https://youtu.be/al13DoOFp78
or
https://youtu.be/UE4UgMc2QqA?t=581

Legacy

"Fellas, if 18 goes down, we're fucked, and we don't practice fucked." -Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore on why the backup QBs don't get more reps
Nothing to me cements Peyton Manning's role in Indy as much as this quote. Even his first 5 years before he became an all-time great, that was still the best sustained stretch of QB play in Indy Colts history. Once he ascended to another level in 2003, it was clear we needed to put every egg we could find into his basket. Manning was the perfect franchise QB: a steady presence on and off the field, consistent delivery of either incredible numbers or game winning performances (usually both), and he made nearly everyone else on the team a better player. His drive and commitment to team victory made him the guy every franchise needs if they want to field a consistently great team. Peyton had somewhat of an authoritarian leadership style, my way or the highway, but you can do that when you show that you're willing and able to give every ounce of yourself to the team and deliver the kind of results that he can.
I think some people are disappointed in the Manning Era considering how historically great his stats are but he was 1-1 in Super Bowls in 12 years here. Honestly I think that's not too far off for any all-time QB. Drew Brees is 1-0, Brett Favre is 1-1, Aaron Rodgers is 1-0, Fran Tarkenton is 0-3, Jim Kelly is 0-4, Dan Marino is 0-1, all of these guys are all-time great franchise QBs but it's not abnormal for them to only win 1 or lose several. There are some exceptions: Tom Brady (6-3), Joe Montana (4-0), Terry Bradshaw (4-0), and Troy Aikman (3-0), but honestly you could trade any of the former QBs for Terry Bradshaw and they would also probably be 4-0. There's lots of luck in every playing career, and some get luckier than others. The only season I'd say the Colts were "robbed" of a Super Bowl is 2005, otherwise I think Manning's Colts career went about as good as it could have.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Hasselbeck (5-3 record, probably our best backup ever) and Dan Orlovsky (just for saving us from a completely defeated season).
Dishonorable Mentions: Jeff George and Kerry Collins (being very bad at QB isn't very uncommon for Indy Colts QBs, but these guys were so bad and toxic they dragged down the abilities of everyone on the team and are actively hated by most fans)
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2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - NFC East

If you missed the first two installments of this series, you can read the AFC North review here and the NFC North review here. Every year after the draft, I write a way-too-long review of each team’s draft. The purpose of this draft review is to give predictions for the careers of each team’s drafted players. I’ve watched film of each player I’m commenting on. Draft grades are overly optimistic and unrealistic. Unlike the majority of post-draft coverage out there, I will pick busts. Keep in mind that 23.4% of all first-round picks bust.
Let me preface this by saying: predicting the career of an NFL draft pick is a ridiculous exercise. There is so much unknown that goes into whether a player succeeds or fails at the next level. I can make educated guesses based on team situation, supporting cast, and research about the prospect’s character and work ethic, but there’s a reason teams make so many mistakes every year. You simply don’t know for sure how a player will react to being a pro. Injuries are also a huge factor in the fate of a player and impossible to predict accurately. I still write this long prediction article for three reasons:
1 - No one else does it. 2 - It’s more interesting than draft grades. 3 - It’s fun to try to get things right.

Overview

Like NFL teams, I’m going to get things wrong. The greatest football mind in history drafted Ryan Mallett and Chad Jackson. I also like to argue against the consensus when my evaluations allow me to. That has gotten me in trouble with some unpopular predictions that turned out to be hilariously wrong. On the flip side, I don’t think anyone else predicted Lamar Jackson would be the best quarterback of his draft class. All of my picks are rooted in comprehensive film study and a mathematical understanding of what drafts typically produce (spoiler: draft grades are unrealistically generous).
Before we start, here are some of my general thoughts on the 2020 NFL Draft.
Quickly on the broadcast - they did a great job given the circumstances. The production quality was great and they did more actual analysis than usual. My main gripe with draft coverage every year is that they don’t show incredible highlights (they somehow didn’t show the Aaron Dobson catch in 2013). This year, they showed more footage of actual football and I appreciated that. The only two negatives for me were the constant tragic stories and Booger McFarland.
Oh, and if any poor soul bet on Justin Jefferson Under 21.5 draft position, ESPN should apologize to you. They showed him on the phone celebrating right before cutting to Goodell announcing the 21st pick - Jalen Reagor to the Eagles. Jefferson was of course on the phone with the Vikings, who took him at 22. Brutal beat.
As for the draft, remember this tweet about mock drafts being “wronger” than ever? Funny, this was probably the chalkiest first-round ever in the internet age. Nothing was truly shocking to me, including the Packers trading up for Jordan Love (more on that here). I had Damon Arnette in the first round in my first mock draft this draft season. I wrote an article lauding Jordyn Brooks as an undervalued commodity. Noah Ibinoghene going in the first was surprising, I suppose. But there was no Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 or Tyson Alualu at No. 10. It speaks to how the media and internet scouts might be catching up to, or God forbid actually influencing the teams.
So here is the first installment of my annual draft review. Each player will receive their career prediction in parentheses following their name. For example: Joe Burrow (5). Here's how the picks break down:
5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above-Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below-average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive.
Next up, the NFC East.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles came into the draft with primary needs at wide receiver and inside linebacker. In a loaded wide receiver class with some really solid day two inside linebacker prospects, they would have to try to mess it up. According to some, they did just that.
Jalen Reagor (3) was ranked 20th overall on my board and over Justin Jefferson. I obviously don't think this pick was a mistake. Reagor's play style is reminiscent of Antonio Brown because of his twitch and ability to make contested catches at his smaller stature. Reagor struggled with drops a bit, but also had one of the worst quarterback situations of all the receiver prospects. His play speed looks closer to the sub-4.3 from his make-believe pro day than the turtle-like 4.47 at the combine. If you knocked him for that "slow" time, it pretty much proves you didn't watch his film. He's faster than 4.47 and the red flag is that he didn't prepare enough to execute his 40 at the highest level technique-wise. Back to actual football, Reagor will make a ton of plays as a pro, but continue to drop passes.
In the second round, the Eagles made one of the more shocking picks in recent memory, selecting Alabama back-up - I mean Oklahoma Heisman finalist - Jalen Hurts (2). I disagree with this pick for one reason - I do not endorse Hurts as a franchise quarterback. However, under the assumption that the Eagles view him with that potential, it was a wise choice. Carson Wentz is always banged up, and there's nothing more valuable than a quality quarterback in the NFL. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere - THE EAGLES LITERALLY WON THE SUPER BOWL BECAUSE OF THIS POSITION. It's insurance with upside at the most valuable position in sports on a team with a constantly injured starter.
As for the actual player, Hurts lacks ideal decision-making, tucking as a runner too quickly and showing almost no ability to go through reads at a pro level. On the "did Manziel make Mike Evans or the other way around" spectrum I lean towards CeeDee Lamb (watch Texas). His arm strength also isn't ideal, as a lot of his throws outside the numbers, including simple hitches, take an hour to get there. He has decent touch and accuracy, but his game is based on rushing ability and improvisation.
I knew he would go fairly high in part due to Lamar Jackson's success. However, I was incredibly high on Jackson because he was an UNREAL runner. Hurts doesn't have that type of wiggle, speed, or elusiveness. He can run the heck out of power read though - expect that to be the staple of his rookie year package.
Philadelphia was one of few teams that actually took advantage of the wide receiver depth in this draft. There is a very low chance they didn't add a quality deep threat after selecting John Hightower (2) and Quez Watkins (3) in addition to Reagor. Watkins was one of my favorite speedsters after a highly productive career at Southern Miss. He fights the ball a bit, but his blazing 4.35 speed with that production plays in the NFL.
Hightower was similar on the smurf turf and has upside. Jack Driscoll (1) did not impress on film. He's heavy-legged, gets beat by good handwork, and doesn't show particularly good functional strength. I would give Prince Tega Wanogho (2), a lump of clay who doesn't know how to play yet, more of a chance to be a decent pro.
Despite getting laughed at by many, the Eagles' reasoning in taking Jalen Hurts in the second makes sense. I'm a proponent of Reagor over Jefferson and loved what they did in the later rounds, including the tripling up on deep speed at receiver. This class has the potential to pay huge dividends down the line.

New York Giants

It's time to admit that Dave Gettleman is a good drafter. His schtick is easy to make fun of, but I was in favor of the Beckham trade and the decision to draft Saquon Barkley at 2. I had mixed reactions to last year's picks but Daniel Jones had a promising rookie year. The Giants came in with a need at tackle, and Gettleman took the most polished offensive lineman in the draft at 4.
Andrew Thomas (4) fell down media draft boards due to over analyzation. Looking back, we were silly to believe any other of the technically-developing younger tackles would jump him on the Giants draft board. I had Thomas ranked as my No. 2 tackle (I love the upside of Becton), but this is one where his ultimate draft spot makes me question my ranking.
Thomas was a stalwart on the Georgia offensive line, and generally performed at an extremely high level. He mostly won the battle with K'Lavon Chaisson, and showed probably the best awareness picking up stunts in this class. I noted him as a mauler, and highlighted his length as a positive. He recovers after an initial punch in pass pro and overall shows better technique than the other tackles. He plays a little high and shows some waist-bending tendencies, but will likely usurp Nate Solder at left tackle and become a solid starter for many years in New Yor- Jersey.
Xavier McKinney's (3) evaluation boils down to one question: does he have the range to play deep? His 4.65 is a concern, and the film suggests he's more of a strong safety. The bottom line is that he projects as a quality player who excels most in the box. The head-scratching part is where they choose to play Jabril Peppers, because he's more comfortable in the box as well. A sound gameplan can have them both on the field at once in sub-packages, but McKinney's development as a deep safety is a situation to monitor.
As for the rest of their draft, I wasn't particularly high on Matt Peart (2), Darnay Holmes (1), or Shane Lemieux (1). Peart isn't strong yet but has good athleticism. I thought he was more of a guard. There's upside though. Holmes projects as a slot corner but has slow reaction time, isn't good in off coverage, and gets tossed around because he's so weak. Lemieux looks powerful against smaller defensive linemen and on double teams but he doesn't have pro traits in terms of his size-power ratio translating.
The Giants got their top-ranked offensive lineman and top-ranked safety. This is a huge litmus test for their scouting department because it's not very often you get your top pick at two positions. There will be some chatter about a sneaky Giants team contending in the NFC East, and it will come down to Danny Dimes. But don't forget that Saquon Barkley has an MVP-caliber year in him. With their pedestrian defense, it probably won't matter much.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are getting a ton of praise for following the consensus internet big board to make almost all of their picks. I used to think teams were so much smarter than media and internet scouts. However, after studying the draft for the past 15 years, it has become clear that teams that make "weird" picks usually end up being wrong and teams that simply take the consensus higher rated players usually end up doing better.
CeeDee Lamb (5) was ranked 5th overall on my board. I like Jerry Jeudy, and I see Ruggs' potential, but Lamb is a dog. He's the quintessential WR1 and probably the best run-after-catch receiver I've ever scouted. Lamb isn't a freak athlete, but neither is Michael Thomas and neither is DeAndre Hopkins. The Cowboys needed a slot receiver and lucked out in a big way. Lamb will relegate Amari Cooper to a WR2 in the near future.
Trevon Diggs (3) is an interesting prospect. He's the brother of Stefon and a gifted football player in the general sense, having actually earned snaps at wide receiver and punt returner at Alabama. He surely graded out well as a college corner, but the translatable traits don't pop out as positive on film. There's an awkward mistimed jump to play the ball, struggling to stay in-phase along the boundary, and an overall theme of probably being more comfortable facing forward than backward. He plays high and I envision him getting beat a lot early in press, but there's upside there and he'll develop nicely in a zone-heavy scheme.
I wasn't huge on Neville Gallimore (2) (notes read: jag-ish, jolted back too much, spin gets home but that doesn't translate), but based on everyone else's board it's a good value at 82. I also think Bradlee Anae's (1) ultimate draft slot is telling in a bad way. His sacks don't translate in terms of athletic traits or technique, and he's not big enough for strength to be his best skill.
I did, however, love the Reggie Robinson (3) pick. He showed out against Michigan State and Oklahoma State with a "sick" pick (goes back to YouTube), great feet, "sticking to the MSU receiver's hip," and "nice play vs the run." The Michigan State quarterback stopped looking at him after some great breaks on the ball. It wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being better than Diggs. Finally, Tyler Biadasz (3) is a badass. Injuries made him fall, but I liked him better than Cushenberry. Just a tough Wisconsin center.
📷
The Cowboys killed it, and they needed to. Cheap young players on rookie contracts will be all they'll be able to afford after they extend Dak Prescott.

Washington Redskins

I was not a big Dwayne Haskins fan last year, so I would have strongly considered a quarterback at 2. In the end, the deciding factor probably had little to do with Haskins and a lot to do with the absolute monster they chose instead.
Here's some hard-hitting in-depth analysis: Chase Young (5) is going to be good. He doesn't play with the power of some other elite edge rushers, but his twitchiness is just absurd. Play recognition, hands, inside moves, ability to run the arc, ability to anchor against the run - he has the makings of a hall-of-famer. The most underrated trait that can be evaluated on college film is balance. Chase Young has other-worldly balance for his size. Rumor has it the Wisconsin coaches burned their film against Ohio State. To say Young wrecked that game would be an understatement. You know how Derrick Henry was just largely responsible for a deep playoff run? Chase Young is the Derrick Henry of defensive ends and will do the same for the Redskins in 2025.
In the third round, the Skins took offensive playmaker Antonio Gibson (3) of Memphis. Gibson played mostly slot receiver for the Tigers and wasn't exactly comfortable running routes. He still managed to score 14 touchdowns on just 77 career touches, including an absurd touchdown run versus SMU (gif below). He's a little tight and struggled against better competition like Penn State, but the SMU tape shows off his 4.39 speed and playmaking ability. I was surprised how seamlessly Tony Pollard made the transition to running back last year. I don't know if Gibson has that in him, but as a gadget guy and specials contributor early it's worth it to see if you can develop him.
📷
Other picks included Saahdiq Charles (2) who has character issues but pretty good film, and Antonio Gandy-Golden (3), who was a steal at 142 for his size/production mix. He'll be a surprise contributor this year on the fantasy scene.
The Redskins can thank Daniel Jones for beating them in overtime last year, as that loss locked up the second overall pick. They'll go through the motions with Dwayne Haskins, but ultimately Ron Rivera will get his own young quarterback to develop during Chase Young's prime.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more divisions in the coming days.
Full article with Gifs: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-east/735919
NFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932
AFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-afc-north/735564?src=cat_feat_9954
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Here’s ya bloody coffee!

27th January 2020
US equity futures are falling ahead of the cash open given the continued coronavirus contagion which saw the global cases reach 2700 and the deaths toll topped 80 over the weekend. Travel focussed stocks, such as United Airlines (UAL), American Airlines (AAL) and Southwestern Airlines (LUV) are trading in the red, with some holding losses of over 4% on travel disruption concerns, as is Trip.com (TCOM). Casino names like Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Melco (MLCO) are facing even further pressure as the confirmed cases in Macau increased to five. Copper miner Freeport McMoran (FCX) is lower as copper prices fall to 8-week lows on global growth concerns, while gold miners (GOLD, NEM) are benefitting as the precious metal rises in a safe haven bid. China listed ADR’s (BABA, JD, BIDU) also hit as the death toll increases.
This week’s Barron’s articles highlight that the Super Bowl will be a huge opportunity for sports betting names, as it focuses on expansion in mobile sports betting, highlighting that the street has been enthusiastic in the rising stock price in Diamond Eagle Acquisition (DEAC). Further on the Super Bowl, Barron’s says that advertisers like Omnicom (OMC) and Interpublic Group (IPG) hold less appeal, amid a further inflow of larger tech names partaking in the advertising space. Elsewhere the journalists highlight that largest tech companies such as Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL) are competing for a larger share in esports. Finally, Barron’s notes investors in HP (HPQ) are likely to benefit as it has made it clear it would prefer to lever up and buy back large amounts of shares, instead of submitting an offer to Xerox (XRX).

DOW

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Ahead of its earnings on Tuesday, Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Cabral is looking for continued improvements in iPhone revenue trends due to a strong start for the iPhone 11. However, he believes the focus is shifting to the upcoming 5G iPhone in H2 20, which should help it drive revenue growth. Elsewhere, RBC Capital analyst Muller maintains an outperform rating on the tech giant with a USD 330 PT (last closing price 318.31). The analyst states his data checks suggest its estimates for Q1 are reasonable, whilst highlighting a slight beat on consensus figures could be seen due to strength in iPhone and wearable sales.
Boeing Company (BA) A Boeing jet reportedly crashed in Ghazni, Afghanistan, which was operated by Ariana Afghan. The number of casualties is currently unclear, however, separate reports state the airline denied the crash. Elsewhere, Boeing successfully staged its first flight of its 777X jet.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) raised its Guyana offshore estimate to above 8ln BoE as it continues to develop the Guyana oil block.
Intel Corp. (INTC) has been downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland, with a USD 70 PT (last closing price: 68.47). Analyst Gus Richard notes that while he forecasts several both positive and negative catalysts, he is unclear what will come first. The analyst expects Intel to fix or jettison underperforming product lines, although sees headwinds which could impact the stock, perhaps as soon as Q2 2020. Gus Richard highlights structural issues, including its design flow and manufacturing.

NASDAQ 100

Alphabet Inc Class A (GOOGL) US State Attorney Generals are to meet with the DoJ to collaborate information on a probe which relates to the co.’s monopolistic behaviour for online advertising which could harm consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.
Kraft Heinz Co (KHC) CEO is pushing for growth, noting its aim is for fewer and bolder bets to increase its sales, according to WSJ.
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Yum China Holdings (YUMC) have closed all its shops and suspended delivery service in the Hubei province due to the coronavirus.
T-Mobile (TMUS)/Sprint (S) are reportedly facing a potential hurdle from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the only remaining state utilities board to not approve the deal, according to WSJ, who note the CPUC is continuing its review which threatens to further delay or even derail the USD 26bln merger.

S&P 500

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) announced that China is testing an HIV drug as a treatment for the coronavirus. Elsewhere, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) / Allergan, Plc (AGN) agreed to divest its Brazikumab and Zenpep drugs, where Nestle (NESN SW) will take ownership of Zenpep, and AstraZeneca (AZN) will acquire Brazikumab. The approval of the deals is dependent upon FTC and EC approval.
Arconic Inc. (ARNC) Q4 19 (USD) Adj. EPS 0.53 (exp. 0.54), revenue 3.4bln (exp. 3.48bln). Forecasts FY20 Adj. EPS between 2.22-2.42 (exp. 2.37), revenue expected between 13.9bln – 14.2bln (exp. 14.16bln). Q1 20 Adj. EPS forecast 0.47 – 0.53 (exp. 0.53)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) has been upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS, raising the PT to USD 900 from USD 690 (Last closing price USD 869.71). Where analyst Dennis Geiger is more confident in the sustainability of the company’s strong sales and earnings growth, highlighting recent performance has significantly exceeded his expectations.
D. R. Horton (DHI) Q1 20 (USD): EPS 1.16 (exp. 0.92), Revenue 4.02bln (exp. 3.77bln), homes closed +13% to 12,959. CEO believes they will continue to see good demand across their markets. FY20 revenue forecast at 18.5bln to 19bln (exp. 18.82bln, prev. 18.5bln – 19.1bln) FY20 home closes expected to be between 60,000 and 61,500 (prev. 60,000 to 61,000). Expects Q2 revenue at USD 4.25 - 4.4bln (exp. 4.25bln) and Q2 home sales between 13,800 and 14,300 homes.
Lilly (Eli) & Co. (LLY) and Incyte (INCY) announced its BREEZE-AD4 trial, evaluating Baricitinib in combination with Topical Corticosteroids for treatment of adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis met its primary endpoint.
Marathon Petroleum (MPC) increased its quarterly dividend to USD 0.58, a 9.4% increase.
Simon Property Group Inc (SPG) is reportedly considering teaming with Authentic Brands to look at an acquisition of Forever 21, the bankrupt teen retailer, according to people familiar with the matter.
Sprint (S) Q3 19 (USD): EPS -0.03 (exp. -0.05), Revenue 8.08bln (exp. 8.22bln); wireless post-paid net additions 494,000 (prev. 309,000); wireless post-paid ARPU 42.04 (exp. 42.30). Sprint is optimistic about the necessary regulatory steps to complete merger with T-Mobile (TMUS, DTE GY) Sees Q4 EBITDA to remain flat sequentially. Capex seen around USD 1bln in Q4.
Yum! Brands Inc (YUM) increased its quarterly dividend to USD 0.47 from USD 0.42/shr.

OTHER

Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP) had a stake cut to 6.2% from 7.3% by Bayer Global Investments.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from General Motors (GM) which accused the automaker of racketeering and bribing UAW officials to put General Motors (GM) at a multibillion-dollar labour cost disadvantage.
General Motors (GM) announced a USD 2.2bln investment at its Detroit facility to produce a variety of EV trucks and SUV's, noting its first electric truck is expected to begin production in late 2021.
D.R Horton (DHI) expects modest price increases this year.
Starbucks (SBUX) - Guggenheim analyst Matthe DiFrisco states Starbucks has the highest exposure to China out of the restaurant stocks he covers, followed by McDonald's (MCD) and Domino's Pizza (DPZ).
Adobe (ADBE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Cleveland Research
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[Game Preview] Week 8 - Philadelphia Eagles(3-4) at Buffalo Bills (5-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (5-1)
The Eagles road trip struggles got worse as they were thoroughly embarrassed by their division rival on primetime last Sunday. The look to salvage a win on their three game road trip as they take on the 5-1 Bills on Sunday. Finding a win against the tough Bills defense led by former Eagles DC Sean McDermott will be no easy task. McDermott learned from one of the best in late Jim Johnson and his attacking defense will look to shutdown Carson Wentz. It will be up to Doug Pederson and the Mike Groh to put together a game plan to keep the Bills on their toes and slowdown the Bills attacking offense. On the defensive ball Jim Schwartz’s defense has been shredded the last two weeks. Schwartz remains stubborn as he continues to leave his corners out to dry opting instead to lend more help to stop the run despite being the 29th ranked pass defense in the league. The Eagles got a boost last week in Jalen Mills returning at his corner spot for the first time in over a year. Mills had an interception and played tight coverage for most of the day, but he alone wasn’t enough to stop the high powered Cowboys offense. Allen isn’t the QB that Dak or Cousins are, but he still has a cannon and a dangerous deep threat in John Brown who has torched the Eagles in the past when he was on the Cardinals. Schwartz will need to put his guys in the right position or this game could be filled with some big plays to Brown and allow the Bills to do what they prefer which is pound the rock and eat up clock. This game should determine if the Eagles are buys or sellers next week at the trade deadline. The Birds are going to need to man up and come out of here with a win if they want to make it to the post season for the 3rd consecutive season. Go Birds!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Remember to Join us on Discord during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Date
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern New Era Field
12:00 PM - Central 1 Bills Drive
11:00 AM - Mountain Orchard Park, NY 14127
10:00 AM - Pacific [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Era_Field) - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open
Surface: A-Turf Titan
Temperature: 59°F
Feels Like: 59°F
Forecast: Windy and Overcast. Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 27%
Cloud Coverage:95%
Wind: 15m SSW
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Buffalo -2
OveUnder: 43.5
Record VS. Spread: Eagles 2-5, Bills 4-2
Where to Watch on TV
*FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Chris Myers will handle the play-by-play duties and Daryl Johnson will provide analysis. Laura Okmin will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 8 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Bills Radio
Buffalo Bills Radio Network Turn down the sound on the television and turn up the sound on the radio is a phrase unique to Buffalo Bills Fans. From Van Miller to John Murphy, fans from around the region have used this phrase to describe how they watch and listen to Buffalo Bills football. Many fans prefer the hometown feel of play-by-play announcer John Murphy as they watch the game. Joining Murphy in the booth this year is former Bills center Eric Wood. Wood was a member of the Bills from 2009 through 2017. He will bring a unique insight to the broadcast having played with many of the names on the Bills roster.
National Radio
Westwood One will broadcast the game to a national audience with Josh Appel on play-by-play and Hank Bauer providing analysis.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Bills Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 94 (Internet 825) SIRI 82 (Internet 803)
XM Radio (Internet 825) XM 227 (Internet 803)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 386 (Internet 825) SXM 227 (Internet 803)
Eagles Social Media Bills Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: BillsNFL
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Cowboys 4-3 .571 3-1 1-2 3-0 3-2 190 124 +66 3L
Eagles 3-4 .429 2-1 1-3 1-1 2-4 171 186 -15 2L
Giants 2-5 .286 1-3 1-2 1-1 2-3 132 187 -55 3L
Redskins 1-7 .125 0-4 1-3 0-3 0-6 99 195 -96 2L
Series Information
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Buffalo Bills(7-6)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 7th, 1973 at Rich Stadium Orchard Park, NY. Buffalo Bills 27 - Philadelphia Eagles 26
Points Leader
Tied (245-245)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 0-0 against the Bills
Sean McDermott: 0-0 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Sean McDermott: First Meeting between the coaches
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Bills: 0-0
Josh Allen: Against Eagles: 0-0
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Josh Allen: First meeting between the QBs
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Bills 2-0
Record @ New Era Field : Bills lead Eagles 4-3
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 16 - Bills No. 8
2019 Record
Eagles: 3-4
Bills 5-1
Last Meeting
Sunday, December 13th, 2015
Eagles 23 - Bills 20
Sam Bradford and a tenacious defense ruined LeSean McCoy's homecoming. McCoy had 74 rushing yards and 35 receiving in his first game back in Philadelphia after Chip Kelly traded the All-Pro for the oft injured Kiko Alonso. But the effort wasn’t enough to overcome Sam Bradford and the Eagles Bradford threw for 247 yards, including a 53-yard TD to Nelson Agholor. The Bills had chances at the end of the game, but Caleb Sturgis kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:26 left, Ed Reynolds intercepted Tyrod Taylor's pass in the final minutes and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Buffalo Bills 23-20 on Sunday.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here for box score
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
12/13/2015 Eagles Bills 27-26
10/9/2011 Bills Eagles 20-14
12/30/2007 Eagles Bills 27-17
9/28/2003 Eagles Bills 21-17
9/26/1999 Bills Eagles 17-7
11/10/1996 Bills Eagles 30-23
12/12/1993 Bills Eagles 10-7
12/2/1990 Bills Eagles 24-17
12/27/1987 Eagles Bills 26-0
10/27/1985 Eagles Bills 23-13
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Bills Bills
2019 “Expert” Picks
Week 8 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Bills Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 147 240 61.3% 1649 13 4 92.9
Allen 189 118 62.4% 1324 7 7 80.2
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Howard 77 347 49.6 4.5 4
Gore 86 388 64.7 4.3 2
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
35 404 57.7 11.5 1
Brown 33 473 14.3 14.3 2
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 4.0 17
Phillips 4.0 13
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
McLeod 41 21 20 0
Edmunds 43 25 18 0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry 2 8
White 3 6
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 25 1114 60 47.6 44.6 12 0 0
Bojorquez 29 1235 64 42.6 34.4 13 5 1
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 8 8 100.0% 53 17/17
Hauschka 9 7 77.8%% 46 12/12
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Sanders 11 259 23.5 67 0
Roberts 4 112 28.0 40 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Sproles 9 84 9.3 17 0 3
Roberts 14 76 5.4 13 0 3
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Bills Stat Bills Rank
Total Offense 339.9 23rd 361.2 17th
Rush Offense 111.7 14th 135.8 7th
Pass Offense 228.1 20th 225.3 21st
Points Per Game 24.4 14th 20.2 22nd
3rd-Down Offense 48.4% 5th 33.3% 24th
4th-Down Offense 35.7% 21st(t) 40.0% 19th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 63.6% 10th 68.8% 2nd
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Bills Stat Bills Rank
Total Defense 360.0 18th 292.7 3rd
Rush Defense 89.4 6th 91.3 10th
Pass Defense 270.6 27th 201.3 4th
Points Per Game 26.6 24th(t) 15.2 3rd
3rd-Down Defense 38.4% 15th 34.1% 9th
4th-Down Defense 71.4% 29th(t) 66.7% 22nd(t)
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 56% 17th(t) 64.3% 24th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Bills Stat Bills Rank
Turnover Diff. -2 21st(t) -1 19th(t)
Penalty Per Game 6.7 11th(t) 8.5 30th
Penalty Yards Per Game 57.6 14th(t) 68.7 24th
Connections
Bills HC Sean McDermott got his first NFL job with the Eagles when he started on Andy Reid staff in 1999. He coached with the Eagles for 12 years moving up to defensive coordinator following the passing of long time Eagles DC and mentor Jim Johnson.
Bills WR coach Chad Hall was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted FA in 2010 out of Air Force and played 3 seasons for them from 2010-2012.
Bills DC Leslie Frazier got his first NFL coaching job with the Eagles when he started on Andy Reid’s staff in 1999 as defensive backs coach. He coached for the Eagles for 4 seasons from 1999-2002.
Bills backup QB Matt Barkley was drafted by the Eagles in 2013 in the 4th round and played 2 seasons with them from 2013-2014.
Bills RB Frank Gore almost signed with the Eagles in 2015, before Gore realized he didn’t want to play for such a terrible coach in Chip Kelly.
Bills T Ryan Bates was signed as an undrafted FA by the Eagles this year before he was traded to the Bills for LB Eli Harold.
Bills T Dion Dawkins is from Rahway, NJ and played college at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Bills FS Kurt Coleman was drafted by the Eagles in the 7th round in 2010 and played four seasons with them from 2010-2013.
Bills FS Jordan Pryor was drafted by the Eagles in the 7th round in 2013.
Eagles DC Jim Schwartz held the same position with the Bills for one season in 2014.
Eagles LB Nigal Bradham was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 draft by the Bills and played four seasons for them from 2012-2015.
Eagles Senior Football advisor Tom Donahoe served as the GM for the Bills from 2001-2005.
Eagles LT Jason Peters was signed as an UDFA by the Bills in 2004 and played 5 years for them before being traded to the Eagles.
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles
Video The Eagle stunk it up for the 2nd consecutive week. They came out flat from the get go and basically looked to give the game to the Cowboys turning the ball over with back to back fumbles on their first two series. The team never looked like they had their heart in the game and just wanted the game to be over by halftime outside of a few players. Malcom Jenkins was one of them as he was ran over on back to back plays by Zeke Elliott for a touchdown that was overturned and then one that wasn’t. The Cowboys ran all over the highly touted Eagles run defense to the tune of 189 yards. Playing the clock game and wearing out the defense after they were firmly ahead and lead most of the day. The Eagles coaching staff did not have their team prepared for this game and it showed from the opening quarter as the Eagles fell 37-10 to their rival.
Bills
Video Against the winless Dolphins, the Bills trailed at halftime 14–9 following a strong second quarter from Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was Buffalo's starter from 2009 to 2012. The Dolphins looked to extend their lead in the third quarter, but CB Tre'Davious White intercepted Fitzpatrick at the Buffalo 2-yard line. The Bills then regained the lead with two Josh Allen touchdown passes to receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, respectively, with the latter occurring after White forced the Dolphins to fumble near their 30-yard line. Though the Dolphins scored again later in the fourth quarter, the Bills iced the game after safety Micah Hyde returned Miami's ensuing onside kick for a touchdown.] With the win, the Bills improved to 5–1 for the first time since 2008.
2019 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Bills
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) DT Kyle Williams (1st alt)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter)
TE Zach Ertz (Starter)
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: John Hussey
Philadelphia has registered a 7-6 (.538) all-time record vs. Buffalo in a series that dates back to 1973. The Eagles are 3-4 (.429) in games played at New Era Field.
Since 2003, Philadelphia has won 3 of its previous 4 games vs. Buffalo. The Eagles defeated the Bills, 23-20, at home in their last meeting on 12/13/15.
Philadelphia owns the No. 6-ranked rushing defense (89.6) in the NFL. The Eagles also rank 1st in that category since 2016 (including playoffs), allowing 92.8 rushing yards per game.
Philadelphia has produced the 5th-best third-down offense (48.4%) in the NFL, behind Dallas (51.9%), Oakland (50.0%), L.A. Chargers (48.9%) and Houston (48.9%). The Eagles’ 48.4% third-down conversion rate is the team’s 3rd-best mark through 7 games since at least 1991, trailing only the 1994 (51.0%) and 2017 (50.6%) campaigns.
Carson Wentz ranks 2nd among NFL QBs in passing TDs per game (2.16) since 2017, behind Patrick Mahomes (2.71). Wentz is also tied with Matt Ryan for the 5th-best passer rating (100.0) in the NFL in that span, trailing only Mahomes (112.1), Drew Brees (108.8), Russell Wilson (104.4) and Deshaun Watson (130.3) (min. 500 attempts).
Miles Sanders is the first NFL RB to post 450+ scrimmage yards (450) and 250+ return yards (259) in their first 7 career games since Adrian Peterson in 2007 (927-324). Sanders leads all NFL rookies with 709 all-purpose yards.
Jordan Howard ranks 3rd among NFC RBs (9th in NFL) in rushing average (4.51), behind Dalvin Cook (5.45) and Christian McCaffrey (4.87) (min. 75 attempts). Howard also ranks 4th in the NFL (leads NFC) in rushing first down % (26.1%), trailing only Mark Ingram (28.3%), Carlos Hyde (27.0%) and Marlon Mack (26.1%) (min. 75 attempts)
Since 2003, Philadelphia has produced a 40-24-1 record vs. AFC opponents, marking the 4th-highest interconference winning percentage (.623) in the NFL in that span (also the best mark among NFC teams).
Buffalo and Philadelphia don’t share a deep history. However, it should be noted that Philadelphia was the only current NFC East team that did not beat the Bills in their four-year Super Bowl stretch.
Draft Picks
Eagles Bills
OT Andre Dillard DT Ed Oliver
RB Miles Sanders G Cody Ford
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside RB Devin Singletary
WR Shareff Miller TE Dawson Knox
QB Clayton Thorson LB Vosean Joseph
S Jaquan Johnson
DE Darryl Johnson
TE Tommy Sweeney
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Bills
WR Desean Jackson C/G Spencer Long
DT Malik Jackson WR Cole Beasley
DE Vinny Curry WR John Brown
S Andrew Sendejo RB Frank Gore
LB Zach Brown C Mitch Morse
DT Hassan Ridgeway T Ty Nsekhe
QB Josh McCown G Joe Feliciano
WR Andre Roberts
TE Tyler Kroft
CB Kevin Johnson
T LaAdrian Waddle
RB TJ Yeldon
G Quinton Spain
TE Lee Smith
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Bills
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles TE Charles Clay
DE Michael Bennett G John Miller
DE Chris Long TE Logan Thomas
S Chris Maragos OT Jordan Mills
RB Jay Ajayi
RB Josh Adams
RB Wendell Smallwood
WR Jordan Matthews
DT Haloti Ngata
Milestones
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (30) needs 1 TD to move up to 11th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jack Ferrante and Brent Celek and he needs two TDs to move up to 10th all-time tying WR Ben Hawkins.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (5193) needs 133 yards to most up to 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list passing Eagles TE/HB Bobby Watson.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying Jeremy Maclin.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6271) needs 194 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yard list to moving ahead of Mike Quick.
Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player.
Bills RB Frank Gore (15,136) needs 134 yards to move up to 3rd on the NFL all-time rushing yards list passing Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders
Bills RB Frank Gore (79) needs 1 TD to move up to 20th on the NFL all-time rushing TD list tying RB Edgerrin James and 2 TDs to move into a tie for 19th on the list with RB Otis Anderson*
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
Stats to Know
QBs under pressure
Among the 31 NFL quarterbacks with at least 50 pressured dropbacks this season, Eagles’ Carson Wentz ranks first in PFF passing grade (81.3), fourth in yards per attempt (8.3) and fifth in NFL passer rating (85.7). He has completed 40-of-82 attempts for 579 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions across his 100 pressured dropbacks on the year. On the other side only Mitchell Trubisky has a lower grade than Bills second-year quarterback Josh Allen on throws of 10-plus air yards among the 26 signal-callers with 50 or more throws of such depths through Week 7. Allen has completed just 32-of-63 attempts on such throws for 663 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Including plays nullified by penalty, Allen has logged just four big-time throws and five turnover-worthy plays when throwing 10 or more yards down the field.
Matchups to Watch
The Bills passing attack vs the Eagles secondary
Josh Allen is nowhere near the level of Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott who have shredded the Eagles secondary in back to back weeks, but Allen does have a strong arm and two receivers who have given the Eagles trouble in the past. John Brown has faced the Eagles 3 times while with the Cardinals and scored a touchdown in each of those meetings. Allen loves to go deep to the speedy Brown who has turned himself into a number one wideout the last two seasons. Look for the Bills to exploit the Eagles slow corners with go routes and double moves on the opening series, two things they struggle to defend. Schwartz has been stubborn, refusing to give his corners help over the top and I don’t expect that to change Sunday despite the threat of the deep ball from Allen. Schwartz will most likely stack the box and force Allen to beat him, which hasn’t worked out for Schwartz outside of the Jets game against the now unemployed Luke Falk. In the slot the Eagles will also see a familiar face as they line up against Cole Beasley. The scrappy Beasley has given Eagles corners fits over the years with the Cowboys. Beasley creates matchup problems and is great at finding the open part of the field on 3rd downs. Sidney Jones will most likely be asked to defend Beasley has he returns from a hamstring injury. Jones has failed to live up to his hype a projected first round before the injury, but the Eagles need him to step up Sunday to shutdown Beasley in the slot.
Eagles WRs vs the Bills Secondary
The Eagles WRs have not been good this season outside of Desean Jackson who has been missing following his 158 yard 2 TD game against the Redskins to open the season. The rest of the WRs have been one of the worst units in the league having the fewest yards per target when you take out Jackson and his 17.11 average. They have not only failed to get separation and get open for Carson Wentz, but they also lead the league in dropped passes. Someone is going to need to step up Sunday as they take on the Bills who are allowing 201.3 passing yards per game (4th best in the NFL), 5.9 yards per pass attempt (3rd best in the NFL), and they have allowed just one pass of 40+ yards (tied for best in the NFL). The Bills secondary is led by CB Tre'Davious White who leads the Bills with 3 INTs this season. The one advantage the Eagles WRs do have is size as the Bills corners are all 6’0ft or shorter and under 200lbs, so the Eagles WRs should have the advantage on any 50/50 balls. That said it is unlikely anyone from this unit impresses against the strength of the Bills defense.
Eagles Pass Rush vs the Bills Offensive Line
The Eagles pass rush looks like a shell of itself, if you take out the Jets game they only have 7 sacks in the other 6 games. However, the Eagles have some matchups they should be able to exploit this game. Brandon Graham who leads the Eagles with four sacks this season will be matched up against rookie Cody Ford. The rookie has struggled in pass protection this season giving up 4 sacks on the year so far. Jon Felicano has the second lowest grade on the Bills OL according to PFF sitting at 59.3. The scrappy guard will be lining up against Fletcher Cox who has struggled to get going this season as he returns from injury. Feliciano has allowed 1 sack and 8 pressures so far this year. If Graham and Cox can win their matchups and play in the Bills backfield it could be big in forcing turnovers. Allen has 7 INTs and 5 fumbles in his second season, DL needs to be disruptive and get Allen seeing ghosts to force him into mistakes. If the Eagles defense can force some turnovers and put their offense in good field position it will go a long way on getting some points on the board against a strong Bills defense.
Eagles Running backs and Tight Ends vs the Bills Safeties and Linebackers
As mentioned above the Eagles WR is abysmal without Desean Jackson in the lineup, so someone will need to step for Carson Wentz. Goedert and Ertz are probably the most talented TE dou in the league, but Pederson and Groh have struggled to use them as effectively as the Patriots utilize Gronk and Hernandez when they were paired together. The two big TEs should have a size advantage, however the Bills have allowed the second fewest receptions, second fewest yards and no TDs to Tight Ends this season. One possible outlet may be the speedy Miles Sanders who has flashed as a receiver this season. James White was the leading WR for the Patriots in the Bills one loss this season. If Pederson and Groh can get their head out of their asses and better highlight Sanders in the passing game it could mean a big day for the rookie and lead to points on the scoreboard.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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[Game Preview] Week 6 - Philadelphia Eagles(3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at Minnesota (3-2)
The Eagles will look to take momentum gained from the last two wins into a grueling October 3 game road trip which will start somewhere they had success in the past. The Eagles will make their first trip back to US Bank Stadium since they defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl 52 to give the Eagles their first Lombardi trophy. The Eagles number 1 ranked rush defense will be put to the test this week as they face the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the league led by Dalvin Cook. If they can limit Cook and put the Vikings in long 3rd downs the Eagles DL will need to keep up the pressure on the QB following their 10 sack performance against the New York Jets last week. The Vikings OL made improvement in the off-season to fix the OL woes from previous seasons, but it is still a weak spot on the team. If the Eagles are able to get pressure on Cousins and force him to turn the ball over it could be big in the field position game. Mike Zimmer continues to put out strong defenses in Minnesota and this year is no different. The Vikings defense in ranked in the top 10 in most statistical categories and the Eagles look once again to be without Desean Jackson who miss his 5th game following an explosive debut in week 1. With Desean’s absence look for the Eagles to try to establish the run early with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders and use a lot of 12 man personnel with Ertz and Goedert. It seems like the Eagles and Vikings having been played on a yearly basis now with Pederson getting the edge over Zimmer 2-1. Zimmer will try to even that up this week in what looks to be a hard fought game. Go Birds!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
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New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Date
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern US Bank Stadium
12:00 PM - Central 401 Chicago Avenue
11:00 AM - Mountain Minneapolis, MN 55415
10:00 AM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Dome
Surface: UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M
Temperature: N/A
Feels Like: N/A
Forecast: N/A.
Chance of Precipitation: N/A
Cloud Coverage: N/A
Wind: N/A
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Minnesota -3
OveUnder: 44
Record VS. Spread: EAgles 2-3, Vikings 3-2
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a regional audience. Kenny Albert will handle the play-by-play duties and Charles Davis will provide analysis. Pam Oliver will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 6 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Vikings Radio
Vikings Radio Network Paul Allen enters his 19th season in 2019 as the Vikings radio play-by-play voice is KFAN radio mid-day personality. Joining Allen as the color commentator was former Vikings linebacker and coach Pete Bercich.
National Radio
NA
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Vikings Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 134(Streaming 825) SI3RI 82(Streaming 819)
XM Radio (Streaming 825) XM 227(Streaming 819)
Sirus XM Radio SXM 285 (Streaming 825) SXM 227(Streaming 819)
Eagles Social Media Vikings Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: vikings
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Eagles 3-2 .600 2-1 1-1 1-0 2-2 141 111 +30 2W
Cowboys 3-2 .600 2-1 1-1 2-0 2-2 131 90 +41 2L
Giants 2-4 .333 1-2 1-2 1-1 2-2 111 160 -49 2L
Redskins 0-5 .000 0-3 0-2 0-2 0-4 73 151 -78 5L
Series Information
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the series 14-14 with Vikings leading in the Regular season 14-10 and Eagles leading in the postseason 4-0.
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 28th, 1962 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Vikings 31 – Philadelphia Eagles 21
Points Leader
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Minnesota Vikings (650-594)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 2-1 against the Vikings
Mike Zimmer: 1-2 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Mike Zimmer: Pederson leads 2-1
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Vikings: 1-1
Kirk Cousins: Against Eagles: 4-4
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Kirk Cousins: Cousins leads series 3-2
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Vikings 4-2
Record @ US Bank Stadium: The teams have yet to play in US Bank Stadium, however the Eagles are 1-0 in the stadium defeating the Patriots there in Super Bowl 52.
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 9 - Vikings No. 13
2019 Record
Eagles: 3-2
Vikings 3-2
Last Meeting
Sunday, October 7th, 2018
Eagles 21 - Vikings 23
Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards and one touchdown, Linval Joseph returned a fumble 64 yards for a score and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 Sunday in a rematch of the 2017 season's NFC championship game. It was an ugly game for the Eagles offense as the offensive line again struggled to protect Carson Wentz and get anything going as the defending Super Bowl champions fell to 2-3. The Eagles attempted to rally from a 17-point deficit midway through the third quarter and were in great position to take the lead Eagles following a Roc Thomas dropped a backward pass that was recovered by Nigel Bradham at the Vikings 30 in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles continued to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and another Wentz sack forcing a 4th and 20 with Doug Pederson electing not to let Jake Elliott try a 58-yarder. The Vikings got the ball back and extended their lead to two scores before the Eagles adding a late Ertz TD before failing to recover and onside kick for the loss.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here for box score
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
10/7/18 Vikings Eagles 23-21
1/21/18 Eagles Vikings 38-7
10/23/16 Eagles Vikings 21-10
12/15/13 Vikings Eagles 48-30
12/28/10 Vikings Eagles 24-14
1/4/09 Eagles Vikings 26-14
10/28/07 Eagles Vikings 23-16
1/16/05 Eagles Vikings 27-14
9/20/04 Eagles Vikings 27-16
11/11/01 Eagles Vikings 48-17
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Vikings Vikings
2019 “Expert” Picks
Week 6 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Vikings Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 105 174 60.3% 1152 10 2 94.3
Cousins 86 126 68.3% 1041 5 2 100.0
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Howard 53 248 44.5 4.7 3
Cook 92 542 108.4 5.9 5
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 29 312 62.4 10.8 1
Thielen 20 309 61.8 15.5 4
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 3.0 14
Hunter 5.0 15
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
McLeod 29 16 13 0
Kendricks 39 30 9 0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry 2 6
Harris 2 4
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 19 908 60 47.8 44.7 11 0 0
Colquitt 19 898 59 47.3 43.1 7 0 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 5 5 100.0% 41 14/14
Bailey 8 7 87.5% 50 11/12
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Sanders 8 207 25.9 67 0
Abdullah 2 58 29.0 33 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Sproles 9 84 9.3 17 0 3
Beebe 7 46 6.6 15 0 6
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Total Offense 339.2 24th 357.4 18th
Rush Offense 111.8 18th 166.4 3rd
Pass Offense 227.4 21st 191.0 29th
Points Per Game 28.2 7th 122.4 16th
3rd-Down Offense 52.9% 2nd 42.9% 12
4th-Down Offense 33.3% 22nd 66.7% 10th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 68.4% 5th(t) 60% 11th(t)
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Total Defense 334.2 10th 292.4 4th
Rush Defense 63.0 1st 88.2 9th
Pass Defense 271.2 27th 204.2 6th
Points Per Game 22.2 13th 14.6 5th
3rd-Down Defense 37.1% 12th 34.9% 9th
4th-Down Defense 60% 21st(t) 50.0% 14th(t)
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 50% 10th(t) 46.2% 5th(t)
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Turnover Diff. +2 9th(t) 0 15th(t)
Penalty Per Game 7.0 8th(t) 8.8 27th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 62.8 16th(t) 85.2 32nd
Connections
Vikings Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman, Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Tom Hunkele and Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche all spent time with the Eagles prior to joining the Vikings.
Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes started alongside Eagles LB Nigel Bradham while at Florida State.
Vikings OC Coach Kevin Stefanski grew up in Philadelphia and got his first NFL experience with an Operations internship in 2005 in the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vikings Consultant Bud Grant played for the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons from 1951-1952.
Eagles SS Andrew Sendejo played 8 seasons for the Vikings between 2011-2018.
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles
Video The Eagles entered the week 4 matchup against the winningless Jets who were once again without starting QB Sam Darnold. 3rd string QB Luke Falk struggled all day against the vaunted Eagles pass rush.After stuggling to get sacks in their first 4 games the Eagles exploded with 10 sacks, 3 of them from DE Brandon Graham which was a career high. The Eagles also forced 3 turnovers on the day 2 of which were taken for touchdowns.The first was an INT by Nate Gerry who had his second interception of the season. The next was by Orlando Scandrick who was playing his first game for the Eagles and came on a corner blitz ripping the ball from Luke Falk and taking it to the house. The Jets offense couldn't get anything going all day with their only score coming in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard run by Vyncint Smith after a muffed punt. e Eagles became the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and score two defensive touchdowns in a single game. Wentz added 189 yards and 1 TD to Zach Ertz and Jordan Howard added 62 yards and a TD on the ground.
Vikings
Video Following a lot of criticism Kirk Cousins got back on track vs the struggling Giants. He threw for 307 yards and 2 TD in a dominating performance.Dalvin Cook added 132 yards on the ground and the defense was dominate bring Daniel Jones back down to earth as the rookie was sacked 4 times and threw an interception while only managing 182 yards and a TD. The win came just a week after the Vikings (3-2) did little in a 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears and Thielen insisted the team had to stop being one dimensional, relying solely on the run.The Vikings mixed it up with run and pass and came close to a 50/50 split and it paid off for the 28-10 win.
2019 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Vikings
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) WR Adam Thielen
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) FS Harrison Smith
TE Zach Ertz (Starter) DE Danielle Hunter
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt) OLB Anthony Barr
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: Adrian Hill
Darren Sproles (19,684) moved up to 5th all-time on the all-purpose yards list passing HoF WR Tim Brown (19,682) last week vs the Jets.
Philadelphia and Minnesota are split, 14-14 (.500), in an all-time series that dates back to 1962. The Eagles have won 2 of their last 3 games (.667) against the Vikings, as well as 7 of the last 10 (.700) and 11 of their last 14 (.786) overall.
This will be Philadelphia’s first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium. The last time the Eagles played at the venue, they defeated New England, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII (2/4/18), which marked the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
Philadelphia owns the No. 1-ranked rushing defense (63.0). The Eagles also lead that category since 2016 (including playoffs), allowing just 90.6 rushing yards per game in that span. Philadelphia has not allowed 100+ rushing yards in 8 consecutive regular-season contests.
The Eagles rank 7th in the NFL in points per game (28.2), trailing only San Francisco (31.8), Tampa Bay (29.4) and L.A. Rams (29.2) in the NFC. Philadelphia has registered 30+ points in 3 of its first 5 games of the season.
The Eagles have produced the 2nd-best third-down offense (52.9%) in the NFL, behind Houston (53.2%). It marks their best third-down conversion rate through 5 games since the 2017 campaign (53.4%).
Philadelphia is also tied for 5th in the NFL with a 68.4% red zone TD efficiency, which is the team’s highest mark through 5 games since 2010 (75.0%)
Draft Picks
Eagles Vikings
OT Andre Dillard C Garrett Bradbury
RB Miles Sanders TE Irv Smith Jr.
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside RB Alexander Mattison
WR Shareff Miller G Dru Samia
QB Clayton Thorson(I suck and am a Cowboy Now) LB Camerson Smith
DT Armon Watts
S Marcus Epps
OT Oli Udoh
CB Kris Boyd
WR Dillon Mitchell
WR Olabisi Johnson
LS Austin Cutting
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Vikings
WR Desean Jackson G Josh Kline
DT Malik Jackson Dt Shamar Stephen
DE Vinny Curry QB Sean Mannion
S Andrew Sendejo WR Jordan Taylor
LB Zach Brown LB Greer Martini
DT Hassan Ridgeway DE Karter Schult
QB Josh McCown CB Duke Thomas
S Derron Smith
G Dakota Dozier
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Vikings
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles S Andrew Senedjo
DE Michael Bennett OL Mike Remmers
DE Chris Long WR Alderick Robinson
S Chris Maragos CB Marcus Sherels
RB Jay Ajayi S George Iloka
RB Josh Adams QB Tervor Siemian
RB Wendell Smallwood Ol Nick Easton
WR Jordan Matthews OL Tom Compton
DT Haloti Ngata DT Sheldon Richardson
RB Latavius Murray
Milestones
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (30) needs 1 TD to move up to 11th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jack Ferrante and Brent Celek and he needs two TDs to move up to 10th all-time tying WR Ben Hawkins.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying Jeremy Maclin.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6271) needs 194 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yard list to moving ahead of Mike Quick.
Eagles RB Darren Sproles needs 31 yards to move up to 5th on the NFL’s all-time all-purpose yards list passing WR Tim Brown.
Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player.
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
Matchups to Watch
Vikings Passing Attack vs. Eagles Pass Defense
US Bank Stadium was really good to the Eagles not too long ago as the Vikings were gracious hosts when we brought the Lombardi to its rightful home. It was also the site of Choke Fest 2018, which saw the Vikings lose their Week 17 home contest, allowing the Eagles to make the playoffs instead. This year’s version of The Salt Bowl is an important matchup for both teams in the deep NFC between two talented teams. There aren’t many differences between the teams from last year to this year other than offensive philosophy. Mike Zimmer clearly thinks its 1970 and has the offense he desires for his football team after scapegoating John DeFilippo last year. This is a run first, hope-you-don’t-fall-behind-so-you-have-to-rely-on-Kirk offense that is pretty loaded at the skill positions. I don’t necessarily blame Zim for wanting to run more often than they did under Flip, but to neuter the passing game with Diggs and Thielen is borderline criminal. Regardless, the difference that can help the Vikings win is the same one that helped them win last year – passing. Diggs and Thielen are two highly-skilled, versatile, number 1 receivers that the Eagles aren’t very well equipped to handle. Sure, Rasul Douglas has been the best Eagles corner on the season and could hold his own as well as anyone could against these two while losing reps, but the talent available after him is troublesome. Sidney Jones is likely to get the start opposite Douglas this week; if not, it’s Craig James (bitch) job for the second consecutive week. Orlando Scandrick will likely get the start in the slot after going God Mode against the hapless Jets. Basically, this is a strong matchup that favors the Vikings. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are both playing at a high level which helps the Eagles since they didn’t have McLeod for this matchup last year. However, it is hard to hide one side of the field; it’s even more difficult when you face the Vikings top two receivers. Additionally, Dalvin Cook and this Vikings screen game is one of the best in the league. The Eagles defense hasn’t been that good at defending the screen. I know Zimmer thinks passing causes autism like vaccines, but the Vikings would be foolish not to take advantage of this matchup like they did last year.
Vikings Offensive Line vs Eagles Pass Rush
What helps a struggling secondary? Pass rush. The Eagles unit has been very slow to start the season and may not reach the levels it did in 2017. It was encouraging to see the defense put up 10 sacks against a unit they should dominate. The Vikings offensive line is still their most significant weakness and the Eagles defensive line can still murder them. Brian O’Neil and Riley Reiff are a decent tackle tandem and are playing better than they did last year. The interior of the Vikings offensive line has been cheeks on the young season. I think the addition of Garrett Bradbury will help the Vikings over the long term as he adjusts to the NFL. In the short term, his lack of size and power is very evident and damaging, especially in pass protection. Pat Elflein still hasn’t developed into anything decent and their other guard doesn’t matter since he isn’t good. This is an Eagles pass rush that is still good but not elite nor as deep as they once were. The slow emergence of Fletcher Cox has been a welcome addition as he works his way back from offseason foot surgery. Philly needs him to be impactful in a hurry. Brandon Graham is fresh off a career day. Josh Sweat is developing nicely. And Daeshon Hall is making good use of his limited snap. This defensive line need to bring it this week. The Vikings want to run and use play action boot off those looks; control the line of scrimmage and put the Vikings offense off script. Then they need to pressure and sack Kirk Cousins. Kirk is a poor QB under pressure and tends to be generous with the ball under some heat. Pressure and limiting the Vikings rushing attack by winning up front will help force the Vikings into situations they don’t want to be in allowing the Eagles the opportunity to create extra plays for their offense. It always starts up front for the Eagles and this week that need is amplified.
Vikings Pass Defense vs Eagles Passing Offense
The Vikings enter the game with one of the better rush defenses in the NFL. That has been a common occurrence for the Vikings in the Zimmer era. This is a defense that is very good in pass defense but not unbeatable. The problem for the Eagles in this contest, and every subsequent contest without DJax, is the limited deep threats outside. Howie Roseman didn’t do enough this offseason to ensure enough speed at the skill positions. Desean Jackson is still the elite deep threat he has always been but are not close to capable of replacing him. Alshon Jeffery is still the reliable receiver he has been but isn’t a vertical receiver. They’ll need him to play against the Vikings the same way he seems to always moss them. Zach Ertz figures to have a key role in this game after accumulating 18 receptions, 203 yards, and a TD in the last two games against this Vikings team (from Kempski) – they’ll need it again. And Dallas Goedert’s presence in the offense alone puts the Eagles in more efficient looks. One player that could step up and actually do something worthy of the undue praise bestowed upon him would be Nelson Agholor. For a guy that does have talent, he doesn’t do anything. He barely outperforms Mack Hollins, who’d rather play special teams. The Vikings secondary is talented but the CBs are underperforming, at least per PFF; the Vikings have no CBs in the PFF Top 50 (among CBs) in coverage grade. Their safeties are still great, but their CBs haven’t played to their usual talent level lately. There is an opportunity here for the Eagles to get their passing game going to a certain degree but is somewhat limited by their own personnel. I’m not arguing to abandon the run, but passing is slightly more favorable this week. Make their CBs improve. Get Barr and Kendricks isolated in coverage where they really struggle. Profit… as much as possible against this unit.
Vikings Defensive Front vs Eagles Offensive Line
This may be the best strength vs strength matchup in the NFL this week as it is in this game! The Vikings have a very good defensive front with (likely) the best EDGE duo in the NFL. Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter are a versatile, powerful, athletic, and dominant duo that gives opposing offenses fits on a weekly basis. While Shemar Stephen and Linval Joseph do a great job anchoring the interior, they aren’t dominant rushers though forces against the run. Still, this is a front that can take over games. As I wrote in the Eagles case, this pass rush can help out the secondary and generally does. The Eagles have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL with the personnel fully capable of neutralizing this Vikings front. We’ve seen how this offense can operate when the OL takes over a game (Green Bay) – it can go a long way this week. Additionally, Kendricks and Barr are two guys that can blitz as effectively as any rusher from time to time. Zimmer is creative with his blitz and pressure looks. In a hostile environment, it’ll be important for the OL to have another cohesive performance. It’s always important to win of front and this particular matchup is porn for the trench warfare community.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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Super Bowl XXIX (29) Game: San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers Spread: 49ers (-18) Over/Under: 54 SU Result: 49ers, 49-26 ATS Result: 49ers covered by 5 points Super Bowl XXX (30) Game: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Spread: Cowboys (-13.5) Over/Under: 52 SU Result: Cowboys, 27-17 ATS Result: Steelers covered by 3.5 points Super Bowl XXXI (31) Over 1:47 (-160) Per NFL Online Betting, an anthem hasn't been sung faster than one minute and 47 seconds since Kelly Clarkson covered it in 1:34 prior to Super Bowl XLVI. So, why is this total so Prior to that, the Broncos scored in each period during Super Bowl 50 against the Panthers, Seattle did it in Super Bowl 48, plus the 49ers and Ravens both did it during Super Bowl 47. PRE-GROUNDHOG DAY AND SUPER BOWL LIV greetings to you and your favorite football-playing woodchuck. That’s right, Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday are falling on the same day this year, giving everyone a chance to bet not only on the outcome of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers championship game in Miami Sunday night but also on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow at A Fourth Quarter Line will be offered at the end of the 3rd Quarter. Live Betting: Live betting (betting on the game while it's in progress) is your way of never missing out on a game again. Once the game starts, a live game line will be posted on the site under "Live Betting" and will be available for betting throughout the game.

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