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Perhaps it was the jitters for some younger teams Youth Lane Johnson Jerseys , particularly their quarterbacks: Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and Lamar Jackson.Or maybe defense actually still has a place in the NFL, especially in the playoffs.The most points anyone scored during wild-card weekend, when only Dallas won at home, was 24 by the Cowboys. In total, 145 points were scored, an average of 36.2 per game. The Chiefs averaged 35.3 all by themselves this season.As Nick Foles — St. Nick in Philly for his clutch work as a relief pitcher and, oh yes, as a Super Bowl champion — observed following the Eagles‘ 16-15 comeback escape in Chicago : “Our defense really kept us in this game. It was a hard-fought defensive battle tonight and we were able to come up big in the end.”Or as coach Anthony Lynn noted following the Chargers‘ 23-17 win at Baltimore in which Los Angeles forced three turnovers and held the Ravens to 229 total yards, 90 on the ground: “Our defense was outstanding. We held that team down to 100 yards rushing. No one has played that team the way our defense played today. I was really impressed with the way our defense stepped up.”All the winning defenses will need to step up a few more rungs next weekend. Consider that aside from the Chiefs scoring 565 points this season, the Rams got 527, the Saints 504 and the Patriots 436. All of them will be at home.The Colts (11-6) head to Kansas City (12-4) on Saturday, followed by the Cowboys (11-6) at the Rams (13-3). On Sunday, the Chargers (13-4) are at the Patriots (11-5), while the Eagles Lane Johnson Jerseys Stitched , who lost 48-7 at the Saints during the season, finish off the divisional round at New Orleans (13-3).While the NFL loves to tout all the scoring records set during the 2018 season, all of the yards gained and general wide-openness of weekly contests, when it comes down to deciding who winds up in the conference title games, maybe the guys trying to stop those video-game offenses will have a say.It’s unlikely that any of the wild-card victors can win a Super Bowl without being balanced. The Eagles will need to play far better defense in the Big Easy or Drew Brees will have, well, an easy time picking apart a secondary playing mostly backups. The Chargers likely will require more than 24 points to succeed in Foxborough, where the Patriots had the NFL’s only unbeaten home record this season.Dallas needs more offensive imagination and another huge performance against the run to win at L.A. Only Indianapolis, which was superb on both sides of the ball at Houston, displayed enough of the formula needed to get the conference championship game.Then again, the Colts must slow down All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes and crew at Arrowhead Stadium.“We’re not worried about who’s on the other side,” said Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, himself an All-Pro. “We always talk about whoever’s playing on the opposite side is gray matter. So we’re always talking about doing what we can do and controlling what we can control, and that is going out, playing each play Youth Derek Barnett Jerseys , play by play and going from there.”What about the four teams coming off byes? Which ones are best suited to come up with a solid defensive showing?The two most suspect are the Chiefs and Rams. Sure, KC averaged all those points weekly. It also yielded 26.3, including 43, 54, 29 and 38 in its losses, and the 421 points opponents scored by far were the most any playoff team surrendered. The Rams allowed 384, easily the most of any NFC postseason qualifier; L.A. had seven games in which it allowed at least 30 points.New England also can be vulnerable on defense even though it’s been stingy at times when it comes to giving up touchdowns. The Patriots aren’t a force in the pass rush and against quality quarterbacks the linebackers and secondary have had trouble in coverage.New Orleans probably has the most well-rounded roster, with some standouts on defense to accompany Brees and All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas and the terrific running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.And don’t think defense won’t be needed through the rest of January and into February. Nick Foles said it well following the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints: the toughest part about the season being over is knowing it’ll be the last time that exact team will be together. Philadelphia’s front office has a lot of critical roster decisions to make this offseason, especially when it comes to free agency. The team is currently projected to be $12.1 million OVER the cap so they’ll have to be wise about how they spend their money.Here’s a complete list of Eagles players that are set to be free agents when the new league beginsat 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, March 13.2019 Eagles Free AgentsPlayerPosition Type PlayerPosition Type UFAAs you’ll notice in the “Type” column, 17 of the Eagles’ 20 free agents are set to be unrestricted free agents. This means they’ll be able to sign with any team once free agency officially begins. The Eagles can prevent players from hitting the open market by signing them to contract extensions — or applying the franchise tag — before March 13.OptionFoles’ situation is unique since there’s a mutual option in his contract. If the Eagles want to keep him, they can pick up his $20 million salary for 2019. Foles can opt out of his deal, however, by paying back a $2 million signing bonus he received last year. Foles would then be an unrestricted free agent. Here’s some more information on this scenario:It’s been rumored that the Eagles could place the franchise tag on Foles in order to be able to trade him. There are some challenges that come with that scenario, though Derek Barnett Jerseys Stitched , so it’s not a sure thing.RFAThe Eagles have one restricted free agent: backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld (aka Nate Studfeld). It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles choose to tender him. Here are their four options:With Foles potentially gone, the Eagles might have to use the second-round tender on Sudfeld to ensure they keep him. Tendering Sudfeld at the original-round level would be less expensive but some team might sign him to an offer sheet and all they’d have to give the Eagles in return is their sixth-round pick. And then the Eagles would have no backup behind Carson Wentz.ERFAThe Eagles have one exclusive-rights free agent: kicker Jake Elliott. Being an ERFA is hardly like being a free agent at all. Basically the team will offer you a minimum deal and you have to take it because the alternative is not playing in the NFL at all.The Eagles have some tough decisions to makeHow the Eagles will navigate the team’s quarterback situation will be very interesting. Howie Roseman is one of the most creative executives in the league so I wouldn’t put anything past him. Maybe he’ll be able to trade Foles. We’ll see.The Brandon Graham decision is another big one. Not unlike Foles, Graham is a Super Bowl hero after having strip-sacked Tom Brady to help clinch Philadelphia’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy. He’s given everything he’s got to this team. Graham has seemingly indicated that he’s willing to give the Eagles some kind of hometown discount in order for him to stay but it’s not like he’s going to play for free. The Eagles will still have to make a competitive offer.Jay Ajayi and Ronald Darby are young talents coming off major ACL injuries. If they were healthy, they’d likely have pretty big free agent markets. Who knows, they still might. Allen Robinson suffered a torn ACL in 2017 before then signing a three-year, $42 million contract with the Bears during the 2018 offseason. Maybe there are teams out there willing to gamble on the upside of Ajayi and/or Darby. But perhaps their markets won’t be strong and they’ll end up back in Philly on one-year prove-it deals. You might be able to lump Jordan Hicks into this category as well.I’d be very surprised if Golden Tate is back despite the fact the Eagles traded a 2019 third-round pick for him. It seems like he’ll be able to get more money on the market than what he’s worth to the Eagles. Plus, Tate might not even want to be back considering he wasn’t exactly a smooth fit in the offense.Older guys like Haloti Ngata, Darren Sproles, and Chris Maragos could potentially retire. There’s talk that Sproles might be interested in playing at least one more season.Cap causalities and retirementsThe Eagles have some players currently under contract for 2019 who might not be back with the team next season. Jason Peters, who turns 37 in one week, might retire. Chris Long could retire. Jason Kelce didn’t shut the door on possibly leaving the game.Then are there are guys who could end up being cap causalities. Tim Jernigan is an obvious candidate since there are no guarantees left in his contract. Perhaps the Eagles will be able to rework his deal. Rodney McLeod could be a name to watch as he comes off his ACL/MCL injury. He has a $9.9 million cap hit in 2019.Nelson Agholor’s situation is worth monitoring as well. He currently has a $9.4 million cap number for 2019 but none of it is guaranteed just yet since it’s a fifth-year team option. One would think the Eagles might try to work on a long-term deal to lower that cap number. Or maybe they just move on from Agholor? So, yeah, the Eagles’ front office will be very busy this offseason. The moves they make will shape the 2019 roster and beyond. It’s imperative they get it right.

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