How Philadelphia Eagles changed things up to make run to NFL playoffs

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Biggest surprise entrant in the 14-team playoff field: Philadelphia. Through the Eagles are 0-7 against teams with winning records, they were 6-2 in their last eight games. More significantly, they remade themselves in midseason, when it looked like they were headed to a battle for last in the NFC East with the Giants.

“But we changed course a little bit,” rookie coach Nick Sirianni told me early Sunday morning, driving home after the Cowboys clobbered his scrubs 51-26 in the regular-season finale at the Linc on Saturday night. “The mindset I was preaching to the team was, ‘Get a little better each day.’ If we’re asking the players to do that, as coaches, shouldn’t we be doing the same thing? And I think we as coaches opened our eyes and got a little better too.”

Here’s what happened: When the Eagles lost on a Thursday night in Week 6 to Tampa and fell to 2-4, the coaches used that sort of weekend mini-bye to examine what they were doing on offense, and how they could be more efficient. They decided to run more two- and three-tight-end packages, to both protect quarterback Jalen Hurts better and to boost a run game Sirianni hadn’t used to its max. “We thought it’d allow Jalen to see the field better too, to have a little more time,” Sirianni said.

The Eagles fell to 2-5 the following week at Las Vegas, beginning to use the new offense. Then Sirianni put the new offense into high gear. In the first seven games, Philly went 2-5 and averaged 23 rushes per game. In the next four, the Eagles were 3-1, ran it 44 times a game, and Hurts turned it over once while rushing for 65 yards a game.

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Football Team
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. (Getty Images)

That was the start of something big. Between Weeks 8 and 16, the Eagles ran for 194.3 yards per game, first in the NFL in that period. Jordan HowardBoston Scott and Miles Sanders took turns gashing foes. After a real clunker loss to the Giants in Week 12, the Eagles reeled off four straight wins to clinch a playoff spot. They’ll be a sneaky tough foe on Wild Card Weekend for Tampa Bay. Philadelphia plays at the No. 2 seed Bucs on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Using 12 and 13 personnel groupings (two- and three-tight-end formations), it turns out, has saved Sirianni’s rookie year. And it all came from the brainstorming in the mini-bye after the Thursday night loss in October.

“For as tough as it is to get ready to play on Thursday night,” Sirianni said, “you get some benefits from it. The players can rest, and we can work on some self-scouting that we might not have time to do during a regular week. Sometimes, as a staff, you’ve got to swallow your pride and change course. And since midseason, we’ve been one of the higher 12- and 13-personnel teams in the league. I can tell you, that really helped us. One way it helped was we didn’t have to put as much on Jalen with the running game performing so well.”

First seven games: 19.8 percent multiple-tight-end formations. Next nine games: 33.5 percent.

In the meantime, Hurts has done his best to convince Eagles GM Howie Roseman to use the team’s three first-round picks next year on non-quarterbacks. “One of his best qualities is he’s totally unfazed by things,” Sirianni said. “He plays a bad game against the Giants, Gardner Minshew comes and plays great to beat the Jets, this city’s got a big quarterback controversy, and Jalen just comes back and has his best three-game stretch. It doesn’t bother him. Great example: Did you see when the stands collapsed at Washington after the game and fans spill out onto the field? Did you see Jalen? Never flinched. He’s there, just helping people.”

Last point with Sirianni. He’d been an anonymous coach through his one-year coaching life before now, cloaked by Frank Reich in his NFL years, never having to be The Man or be much of a front-facing guy with the press. He told me he was shocked when the Eagles played the Patriots in the preseason, got creamed, and got booed. He was driving home with his wife after the game and bitched about it being preseason and getting booed.

“Well,” she said, “what’d you give them to cheer about?”

Sirianni said, an hour past midnight Saturday, driving home: “Sometimes it takes the ones who love you to give you the truth.”

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

How to watch Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers: TV, live stream info for Sunday night’s game

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It’s the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers this Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

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Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins (8-4) currently hold one of the AFC’s Wild Card spots after a tough 33-17 loss against the 49ers last Sunday afternoon that ended Miami’s 5-game win streak. Tagovailoa finished 18-of-33 for 295 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble). He did not return for the game’s final play after injuring his ankle on a strip sack late in the 4th quarter but is expected to start this Sunday. Despite last Sunday’s performance, which was Tagovailoa’s worst of the season, the Dolphins QB has exceeded expectations in year 3. In the 10 games he’s played this season, Tagovailoa has already surpassed his career highs in touchdown passes (21) and passing yards (2,859). He also leads the NFL in passer rating (112.0) and yds/attempt (9.02).

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa feels “as good as I can be after a game”

LA Chargers

Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers (6-6)  fell 27-20 to the Raiders last Thursday night picking up their 3rd loss in the last 4 games. The team, which is seeking its first playoff appearance since 2018, currently sits one game behind the NY Jets and outside of playoff position. Herbert finished 28-of-47 for 335 passing yards–his most in a game since Week 4–and one touchdown. WR Keenan Allen had 6 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown while RB Austin Ekeler had 5 receptions for 57 receiving yards and picked up 35 yards on the ground. The 6th-year RB leads the Chargers’ offense with 85 receptions this season and is second on the team with 564 receiving yards.

How many times have Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert gone head-to-head?

Third-year QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert went 5th and 6th overall, respectively in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, Sunday night’s matchup will be just the second meeting between two players who have quickly become some of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Tagovailoa and Herbert met in Week 10 of their rookie season when the Dolphins defeated the Chargers 29-21. Tagovailoa threw for 169 yds and 2 touchdowns in the win, while Herbert passed for 187 yds, 2 touchdowns, and an interception in the Chargers loss.

Both quarterbacks are looking to make their first career playoff appearance this season.


How to watch the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers:

  • Where: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
  • When: Sunday, December 11
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on January 14! Here is everything you need to know before then!
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The 2022 NFL playoffs are quickly approaching and this year’s format will once again include a total of 14 teams –seven from each conference with the top seeds automatically getting a first-round bye. Six games will take place on Wild Card Weekend under the following format for each conference:

2022 NFL Wild Card Weekend Format :

  • No. 2 Seed (host) vs No. 7 Seed
  • No. 3 Seed (host) vs No. 6 Seed
  • No. 4 Seed (host) vs No. 5 Seed

The Wild Card winners will advance to the Divisional round where they will face the top seeds in each conference. See below to find out the 2022 NFL playoff format and schedule.

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs Start?

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

2022 NFL Playoff Schedule

Be sure to check back for times and teams but until then follow all the NFL action on ProFootballTalk!

Wild Card Weekend Schedule:

  • Saturday, January 14
  • Sunday, January 15
  • Monday, January 16

Divisional Weekend:

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Sunday, January 22

Conference Championships:

  • Sunday, January 29

When is the Super Bowl?

This year’s Super Bowl will take place at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. The last time the Super Bowl was contested in Arizona was in 2015, Super Bowl XLIX when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks.

How will overtime work in the 2022 NFL playoffs?

After Kansas City’s exciting 42-36 overtime victory over the Bills in last year’s divisional round, when Kansas City scored a touchdown on the first possession of OT denying the Bills a chance to touch the ball, the league has made a change to its postseason rules. Each team will now have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime. See below for the NFL’s official postseason OT rules:

2022 NFL Playoffs Overtime Rules:

  • If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period — or if the second team’s initial possession has not ended — the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed for a winner to be determined.
  • There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime period. There will not be a halftime intermission after the second period.
  • The captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will either choose to possess the ball or select which goal his team will defend unless the team that won the coin toss deferred that choice.
  • Each team will have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime.
  • Each team gets three timeouts during a half.
  • The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of a second or fourth overtime period.
  • If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.

RELATED: NFL overtime rules and procedures


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!