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The Notebook: Turnovers The Difference

Posted Dec 1, 2013

Here are some news and notes from Sunday's 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals including Donnie Jones setting a new team record, the defense keeps its streak intact and Trent Cole inches closer to making a leap in the franchise annals ...

Donnie Football ... P Donnie Jones landed seven punts inside the 20-yard line, setting a team record and tying for the third-highest total in the NFL since the stat became official in 1976. Only Jacksonville’s Bryan Barker (8 on 11/14/99 vs. Baltimore) and Pittsburgh’s Mark Royals (8 on 11/6/94 at Houston Oilers) had more. Both Barker and Royals are former Eagles ... Jones has placed 29 punts inside the 20 this season, which is tied for the second-highest total in franchise history behind Jeff Feagles’ 31 in 1993 ... Jones booted a 69-yarder today, his second-longest of the season and the third-longest of his career ... Jones boasts the third-highest career gross punting average (45.3) and the best net punting average (41.3) in franchise history. 

Turning the Tables ... The Eagles were plus-three on the turnover ratio today and are plus-seven on the season. In their seven wins, they are plus-13 and minus-six in their five losses ... During the current four-game winning streak, the Eagles are plus-eight and have committed just one giveaway.

We’re Going Streaking ... The Eagles have now won four consecutive games, which is the third-longest current streak in the NFL behind Carolina (8) and Seattle (6). Seattle plays New Orleans (who has a three-game winning streak) on Monday Night.

King Cole ... LB Trent Cole compiled two sacks on the day and now has 76 in his career, tying Clyde Simmons for second on the Eagles all-time list ... Cole had two sacks in back-to-back games. It’s the third time Cole has had multiple sacks in consecutive games and the first time since 2006 ... Cole also forced a fumble, which was recovered by DT Bennie Logan on the opening possession and led to an Eagles touchdown.

Defensive Nuggets ... The Eagles forced turnovers on the first two possessions and three overall against a Cardinals team that had gone two straight games without a giveaway ... S Nate Allen became the eighth Eagles defender to record an interception this season on his sixth-career pick ... CB Cary Williams also recorded an interception, his third of the year. Over the last two seasons (including playoffs), his nine interceptions rank fourth in the NFL behind Tim Jennings (12), Richard Sherman (12), and Patrick Peterson (10).

Ertz So Good ... TE Zach Ertz scored two touchdowns, marking the first multi-touchdown game by an Eagles tight end in the regular season since Chad Lewis on 12/30/01 vs. NYG. The last Eagles rookie tight end to do so was Keith Jackson on 11/1/88 vs. LA Rams ... Ertz also tied a career high with five catches and set a career high with a team-leading 68 yards.

Sack Attack ... The Eagles defense combined for five sacks of Carson Palmer, including two apiece by Cole and LB Brandon Graham ... It was Graham’s third-career multi-sack game ... LB DeMeco Ryans picked up his third sack of the year, becoming the first Eagles linebacker with at least three sacks and two interceptions in a season since Jeremiah Trotter in 2001.

Forever 21 ... The Eagles defense has held its opponents to 21 points or less in each of the last eight games, the only NFL team to do so during that span. The last time the Eagles held opponents to 21 points or less over an eight-game stretch came in 2003 ... Only the Panthers (10), Chiefs (9), and Saints (9) have held more opponents to 21 points or less this year.

Defensive Turnaround Continues ... The Eagles defense has vastly improved over the last eight games in many of the major categories, holding opponents to just 17.9 points per game, compared to 27.5 over the first four games.

The Turnaround On Defense Continues
Stat First Four Games Last Eight Games
Touchdowns Allowed 4.0 per game 1.9 per game
Interceptions 0.5 per game 1.6 per game
Punts Forced 2.8 per game 5.8 per game
Completion % 70.2 56.6
QB Rating 107.2 72.5

Tighten It Up ... With his 24th career touchdown catch, TE Brent Celek moved out of a tie with Chad Lewis for second all-time among Eagles tight ends. He now ranks second in receptions (303), yards (3,792) and touchdowns, trailing only Pete Retzlaff (452-7412-47) in all three categories ... Celek supplanted Brian Westbrook for 11th on the team’s all-time receiving yards list ... The Eagles are 19-5 in regular season games that Celek catches a touchdown pass.

Birdseed ... The Eagles have not allowed opening drive points in their last seven games ... LeSean McCoy’s 1,088 rushing yards are the 12th-highest single-season total in franchise history ... WR Jason Avant moved past Keith Byars and into 13th on the Eagles receiving yards list with 3,535 ... WR DeSean Jackson has amassed 1,021 receiving yards this season, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in his career, which is tied with Harold Carmichael and Mike Quick for the most in team history ... Jackson celebrated his 27th birthday today and has racked up 5,806 receiving yards in his career. Only Randy Moss (8,375), Larry Fitzgerald (6,241) and Calvin Johnson (6,241) had more on their 27th birthday than Jackson ... G Evan Mathis played in his 100th NFL game.

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