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5 Things: Three's A Crowd In NFC East


Good morning, Eagles fans! Monday was a day to cherish the win over Buffalo, but the team resumes training on Tuesday with a prime-time showdown on the horizon with the Arizona Cardinals. At 11:45 AM, coordinators Bill Davis and Pat Shurmur meet with the media to review the Bills' game before previewing the matchup with Arizona. After practice at around 1:30 PM, safety Malcolm Jenkins hosts his weekly press conference.

To wrap up the day's news and notes, Dave Spadaro will be joined by Glen Macnow on Eagles 360. They will review the biggest takeaways from the Buffalo game and offer a first look at the Cardinals. All of our live programming is streamed online and on our app. Until then, here are the 5 Things to Know Today for Tuesday, December 15 ...

1. It's Still A Three-Way Tie At The Top

The Eagles remain tied for first place in the NFC East with both the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. The Eagles and Redskins took care of their business on Sunday, and on Monday night the Giants beat the Miami Dolphins, 31-24.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. had his sixth-straight 100-yard receiving game, leading the Giants with 166 yards on seven receptions including two touchdowns. Beckham has eight touchdowns in this six-game span. Eli Manning set a franchise-record completing 87 percent of his pass attempts.

Here is a look at the remaining schedules for the three 6-7 teams. The Eagles host Arizona and Washington before facing the Giants in New Jersey. The Giants host undefeated Carolina, travel to Minnesota before the Week 17 Eagles game. Washington, meanwhile, plays home against Buffalo and goes on the road to Philly and Dallas.

Shot 2 - Cox bull rushes the center in Taylor's lap, Barwin stays disciplined while spying Taylor, forces incomplete — Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) December 14, 2015

2. Any More Questions About Cox's Dominance? Didn't Think So

The fan vote for the Pro Bowl ended Monday and the players who will comprise the initial all-star teams will be announced next Tuesday.  As of December 9, there were three Eagles who were in the top 10 of their respective positions in the fan vote: defensive end Fletcher Cox, safety Malcolm Jenkins and return specialist Darren Sproles.

If you needed another reason to know why Cox belongs, just check out Fran Duffy's All-22 breakdown of the Eagles' performance on defense. A sample is in the video above.

3. Kelly Discusses Bradford's Future

Over his last four games, quarterback Sam Bradford has thrown five touchdowns against only one interception. He has posted a quarterback rating of 99 or better in three of the games. More importantly, the Eagles have won three of those contests with the only loss coming against Miami after he was injured and exited with the Eagles ahead.

The Eagles made the bold move to acquire Bradford from the St. Louis Rams even though he is in the last year of his rookie contract. Head coach Chip Kelly is pleased with Bradford's development.

"I just think Sam, as a whole, has progressed as the season has gone along," Kelly said. "I know, it takes a long while to play quarterback in this league. There are so many things that you have to get and when we got Sam, we knew with any quarterback it's going to take time.

"Name any quarterback playing at a high level now and they have been playing in the same system for years, not for months. And that's what Sam's case is; he's just been playing our system for months. But I've said it, and I'll continue to say it, I just see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him. I thought he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. We could have helped him a little better. I thought we had too many drops. That really would have extended a lot of things for us on Sunday. But I think Sam has improved in all aspects of his game."

Kelly also shed some light on how he feels about Bradford moving forward as the Eagles' quarterback, beyond this season.

'We've always wanted Sam here," Kelly said. "We wouldn't have traded for him if we thought he was going to be here for a year."

4. Can Eagles Discover More Explosive Plays?

With the Bills' aggressive blitz scheme, the Eagles wanted to test the Buffalo secondary and did so on the very first play with a deep pass down the left sideline for wide receiver Riley Cooper. The pass was incomplete, but it set the tone for the afternoon.

The Eagles finished with three explosive pass plays, gains of 20 yards or more. Two of them were by tight end Zach Ertz, including the 41-yard catch-and-run to set up the game-winning field goal. The other was wide receiver Nelson Agholor's first-career touchdown reception, a 53-yard score for the longest play of the entire game.

The Eagles, according to Stats Inc., have 52 explosive plays this year, good for a tie for 16th in the league. This Sunday, they face the Arizona Cardinals, the team with the most explosive plays with 70. It should be noted that the Eagles are tied for seventh with 11 touchdowns off of explosive plays.

As Bradford continues to get more comfortable and the emergence of players like Agholor and Ertz, can the Eagles generate more explosive plays?


5. Eagles Will Be Back In Black

The Eagles announced that they will be sporting all-black uniforms for Sunday's game with Arizona. Philadelphia beat the New York Giants back in Week 6 on a Monday night wearing the black uniforms. The Eagles have worn black jerseys in two key meetings with the Arizona Cardinals - a Thanksgiving win in 2008 and a December 2013 win.

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