Mailbag: What would the Eagles’ offensive line configuration appear to be Sunday in opposition to the Saints?

Earlier this week, we solicited questions for an Eagle mailbag by way of Twitter. Thanks as at all times for doing half the work for me. This will likely be Half I of a two-part mailbag.

Query from @AlexBloom_05: Assuming Lane Johnson misses an prolonged interval, would you moderately play Jordan Mailata at LT and Jack Driscoll at RT, or Andre Dillard at LT and Mailata at RT? What combo offers the Eagles the most effective probability to win? And do you have to identify a mixture instantly and keep it up to make sure some game-ready reps for January?

My feeling is they may play Dillard at LT and Mailata at RT. I imagine they may select to place their “5 greatest linemen” on the sector, and of their minds that may embody Dillard over Driscoll. However past the starters, the Eagles even have to contemplate who helps who at every spot. Driscoll has extra versatility than Dillard, so he would give the Eagles extra “one-for-one” in-game substitute choices if another person went down in opposition to the Saints.

As for the continuity facet of your query, these guys have all been with the group for years. I do not suppose that will likely be a priority it doesn’t matter what the Eagles finally determine.

Query from @Eagles_Addict: Two-part query: Do you suppose Lane Johnson can survive his damage? And contemplating the Eagles’ total file for when Lane performs versus when he would not, do you set a lot weight on that stat for this group?

I’ve by no means had a sports activities hernia, however my understanding is that it sucks making an attempt to play via them. The excellent news is that if the Eagles can lock down the No. 1 seed, Lane could have a four-week hole between when he suffered the damage (Dec. 24) and the primary recreation he would play (or the 21 an of January or 22).

As for the Eagles’ file when Lane cannot play, traditionally it is not nice. Going again to the start of the Doug Pederson period, when Lane began to develop into an elite participant, listed below are the Eagles’ data with out him.

• 2016: 2-8
• 2017: 1-0
• 2018: 0-1
• 2019: 3-1 (0-1 within the playoffs)
• 2020: 2-7
• 2021: 1-3

So, you already know, 9-21. #Arithmetic.

His significance to the group can’t be overstated. The Eagles put him on an island and say, “OK, Leno, go block (stuff the elite cross) with out assist for 4 quarters,” and he often simply fully eliminates that participant. It is actually not that totally different than if you happen to advised a cornerback, “Go cowl his greatest receiver all day,” and that nook actually by no means gave up a landing cross.

With out Lane, now you are giving assist to the RT, whether or not you are holding again to assist on a cross, whether or not you are asking with the TE, or no matter. And you possibly can nonetheless hand over some performs to that man that in any other case would not have occurred if Lane performed.

Some years the Eagles have good offensive line depth, and a few years they do not. This 12 months I imagine they’ve among the greatest offensive line depth within the NFL. Ought to they have the ability to beat a 6-9 Saints group with Driscoll or Dillard within the lineup as an alternative of Lane? After all! It is a loaded roster and so they’re a a lot better group.

It’s in opposition to groups just like the Cowboys (Micah Parsons) or 49ers (Nick Bosa), the place the proposal to play with out Lane turns into far more worrying.

Query from TJ_Neer: What number of turkey legs on the feast meter would the Eagles’ defensive position be versus the Eagles’ offensive line?

Ah, if I had been a reporter overlaying one other group and I used to be writing a “5 matchups” column concerning the Eagles, I might most likely begin with how good the offensive line is. It is most likely the group’s largest energy on a roster filled with elite place teams. Clearly, the Eagles’ defensive position is superior too, so it would not be zero turkey legs or something like that. I’d establish Josh Sweat as a possible headache for Mailata, or Hargrave vs. Dickerson, however the Eagles do not have holes on their line, not like virtually each different group within the NFL. Perhaps two or three turkeys.

Query from JohnnyAppleC22: What’s the vary of the place the Saints decide may land?

First, a visible of the highest 18, by way of Tankathon:


It will not be high two as a result of they cannot catch the Texans or Bears. The best it might climb is third total, however that is an excessive lengthy shot.

The Saints can nonetheless win the NFC South, however they would want each of the next to occur:

  1. They need to win their closing two video games in opposition to the Eagles and Panthers.
  2. They would want the Pirates to lose their closing two video games in opposition to the Panthers and Falcons.

In the event that they win the NFC South and make the playoffs, then they may nonetheless win the Tremendous Bowl, which in fact would imply it could be the thirty first total decide. Once more, an excessive lengthy shot.

So the brief reply right here is that there is a very wide selection of prospects for that decide, however it’s prone to land proper round the place it’s now.

Query from Juslisun2DaMsg: Would you relaxation Hurts one other week and have him play at the very least the primary quarter/half in opposition to Giants?

If Hurts is not restricted in what he can bodily do and there isn’t any probability the damage will worsen, then the Eagles ought to play him on Sunday in opposition to the Saints. I do not know the way reasonable that’s although.

If Gardner Minshew performs and the Saints beat, then I might most likely sit out Hurts Week 18 in opposition to the Giants.

Hurts tried simply six passes (taking part in in only one recreation) through the 2022 preseason, after which he had a 30-day layoff between that recreation and the Eagles’ Week 1 recreation in Detroit. He will not overlook play quarterback.

Query from @RickP25057744: Chris Lengthy urged Jonathan Gannon held again his defensive scheme in opposition to Dallas, not displaying the complete playbook in the event that they meet once more. With all of the zone protection, may there be something to that?

I respect Chris Lengthy fairly a bit and am a fan of his podcast, however I do not purchase that. I believed Gannon was aggressive early, displaying some distinctive flashes, particularly with Avonte Maddox, however after Maddox went down, he went tremendous conservative, and hoped the Cowboys would beat themselves, which in fact they did not.

However the Eagles needed to win that recreation. That was the precedence in that matchup, for my part, not saving elements for a theoretical playoff contest.

Query from BillMoyerATX: The Cowboys performed Thursday evening. Is that this the primary time they’ve ever performed on the street on Thursday on brief relaxation? Though not fairly a brief relaxation like the remainder of the league since they final performed on Saturday.

When you return and have a look at previous seasons, the NFL often has them taking part in a Thursday recreation the week after Thanksgiving, which in fact means they nonetheless get a full week of relaxation, so at the very least the Saturday recreation within the Thursday recreation is a step in the proper course.

Query from eagle_mass: For perspective, the Eagles misplaced the third of three video games on the street. A tall order to win three in a row on the street. In the event that they face Dallas once more and the Eagles have the 1 seed, then that may be Dallas’ fourth street recreation in a row. Has that ever occurred?

The 49ers closed the common season final 12 months with a street recreation in opposition to the Rams, after which they needed to play three street video games within the playoffs in opposition to the Cowboys, Packers and Rams once more. So sure, it occurs. Getting the 1 seed versus the 5 seed is sort of a giant deal.

As you notice, the Cowboys end the 2022 common season with street video games in opposition to the Titans (which already occurred on Thursday evening), after which at Washington. In a bizarre manner, I ponder if the Cowboys can be almost relieved if the Eagles simply beat the Saints on Sunday, which might imply they’d most likely relaxation their starters Week 18 in Washington. If the Eagles had been to lose, they might go all out to beat the Commanders, which could possibly be an effort if the Eagles beat the Giants in Week 18.

Query from @NoirMark79: Is “No cheering within the press field” an actual rule?

About an hour and a half earlier than every recreation, there’s often a press announcer who goes over the inactives, the climate, any latest modifications to the rosters, and many others. At the moment, a small handful of groups will warn that there isn’t any cheering. allowed within the press field, which for my part is a foolish train. Nobody is blissful. Everybody is aware of.

I solely noticed cheering within the press field referred to as as soon as. There was a recreation in Washington one 12 months by which Malcom Jenkins picked off a display cross and returned it for a landing. I feel it was 2016. Harold Carmichael was within the press field and he made some excited noise proper after the election. He was an worker of the group, and it actually did not intervene in any manner. It was only a pure response to a giant play, and he had a self-realized grimace/smile 😬 on his face like, “Oh, that may have been just a little loud.”

After the play ended, the press field announcer stated one thing to the impact of, “As a reminder, cheering within the press field is completely prohibited,” lol.

It is Harold Carmichael! If Harold Carmichael occurs to make an excited noise after a game-changing play, he is a Corridor of Famer and it’s best to simply shut up and let him make his excited noise.

Query from @mattmacp10: How do you are feeling about pitching your postal employee and trash/recycling individuals for the vacations?

Our mailman places a Milk Bone in my mailbox most days of the 12 months for Charlie. So, sure, she acquired a giant tip for the vacations. And sure, basically, I’ll give my posting employee regardless.

I did not drop the trash/recycling individuals. I am unsure if it issues or not, however we do not have the fellows that experience on the again of the truck that hop round and empty bins by hand. If we did and it was the identical guys each week, I’d completely donate them. However in my city, everybody has the identical massive trash/recycler bins, and a mechanical arm on the truck does all of the lifting. It is principally a two-man operation — one man drives, the opposite operates the mechanical arm, and no person will get out of the truck. We by no means have any private interplay.

Truthfully, it by no means even crossed my thoughts to offer these guys a tip, but when I did, then I might wish to know, so please advise.

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