Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

November 08, 2018 at 1:32 am.

–The Eagles are minus-5 in the takeaway/giveaway department, a season after they were fourth best in the NFL at plus-11. They had 31 takeaways in 2017; just seven this year, including the forced fumble by rookie Avonte Maddox that was a big key in helping the Eagles beat the Jaguars in London prior to their bye. It was the first forced fumble of Maddox’s career. He also has an interception this year.

“There’s some that you earn (and) I thought that was one that was earned,” said defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. “He did a good job of cutting his coverage. He did a good job of getting through that tackle. Again, I’d sort of like to see us — I think the next step for us is multiple turnovers, and then probably the next step after that is getting back in the end zone. We haven’t been in the end zone after being in the end zone a bunch last year. Turnovers are game-changing plays. I thought that certainly could be classified as that.”

–Carson Wentz’s completion percentage is well above what it was his first two seasons in the league. He is completing 70.7 percent of his throws compared to 62.4 as a rookie and 60.2 last year.

“I think just better decision making, not trying to force the ball down the field all the time and taking what the defense gives me,” said Wentz, trying to explain the reason why. “I think a lot of times it has to do with how defenses are playing us. I think we are getting more overall soft zone than in the past, so just taking underneath stuff is probably part of it.”

–The Eagles are 1-1 coming out of a bye week under head coach Doug Pederson, with the win coming last year when the Eagles trounced the Cowboys, 37-9, in Arlington. “We have to avoid coming out sluggish,” said Wentz. “I think over the years sometimes you come out of bye weeks or long weekends after Thursday night games, a little slow. That’s something we’ve already talked about and emphasized starting (Wednesday) at practice, coming out fast, coming out swinging right away on Sunday. That’ll be big for us.”

BY THE NUMBERS: 508 — Number of defensive snaps this season for linebacker Jordan Hicks. Hicks gets a knock for always being hurt, which seems undeserved, but he has been on the field for 100 percent of the team’s snaps this year, leading the team in tackles with 67, with a career-high three sacks, three passes defensed, and one fumble recovery. Hicks, whose rookie contract expires at the end of the season, had a torn pec in his rookie year of 2015 that cost him half the season. Last year, he tore an Achilles and missed the second half of the year. But he has been a full go this year and played 95 percent of the snaps in 2016.