Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

November 15, 2018 at 12:24 am.

–Tight end Zach Ertz has had four games with more than 100 yards receiving this season. The Eagles have lost all four. On a team that prides itself on having plenty of weapons, does the ball need to be spread around more?

“I think you can get too dialed in on anybody within a game but at the end of the day, are we having success or not is kind of how you measure that,” said quarterback Carson Wentz. “And what is the matchup presenting itself? Everyone knows Zach knows his abilities out there and knows he’s a tough cover for a corner or a safety or whoever they put on him. So you know, we trust him to make plays and get open and he’s done a great job of that.”

–Saints quarterback Drew Brees is having a season for the ages, completing 77.3 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns to one interception while being sacked just nine times because he gets the ball out of his hand so quickly.

“I looked at his interception reel,” said defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. “That was one. Didn’t take us long to get through the sack and interception reel. His incompletions, didn’t take us long to get through those. I mean, he’s playing at an insane level right now. It’s sort of a trend of where the NFL is.

“When I was a kid, if a quarterback completed 50 percent of his passes, that was considered good. If he had as many touchdown passes as interceptions, it was considered playing pretty good quarterback. Then it started becoming, you need to throw twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. Then you need to complete 60 percent of your passes.

“Now pretty much everybody is like near that 70 percent. He’s close to 80. He’s 77-point something. How about 21-1 touchdown interception? He’s made those things the new standards.”

–Alshon Jeffery has 14 receptions for 296 yards (148 per game) and two in two career meetings against the Saints. He has five touchdown catches in last five road games.

–Asked what he sees that shows his team is still engaged in a season that has gone south, head coach Doug Pederson said: “I see signs of guys are in the building on time. I see how they practice. I see how they train. I see how we dialogue back and forth. All the things we have been able to do over this two-and-a half-year period. Those are all things that keep us positive and keep us motivated. They understand where they are and (that we’ve) dug ourselves a hole. It’s a matter of climbing out, and we’re doing it one game at a time.”

BY THE NUMBERS: 18 — That was the number of offensive snaps receiver Golden Tate got in his Eagles debut on Sunday night. The number represents just 29 percent of the snaps. Head coach Doug Pederson said the team didn’t want to overburden Tate, even though he appears to be just an end-of-season rental because he is scheduled to be a highly sought-after free agent following the season.

The limited number of snaps is in stark contrast to the two teams who acquired high-level receiver talent at the trade deadline. The Cowboys played Amari Cooper on 85 percent of their offensive snaps in his first game with the team against the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans played Demaryius Thomas on 79 percent of their offensive snaps against the Denver Broncos.

“We brought him here to play him a lot,” said offensive coordinator Mike Groh. “You know how it is in the first week where he’s just building the foundation, and we had a healthy package of plays. But he was ready to run. He and the coaches worked really hard to prepare, to be ready to go in there. Like Coach (Pederson) mentioned, some of that may have been taken away a little bit when we got in some of the no-huddle stuff that we do and maybe limited his play count a little bit. But we had a healthy package of plays for him, and we’ll continue to build on that.”