Subject: GREAT NEWS
Subject: Bird Droppings: Coming Out Hot
Subject: Three and Out: Wentz, Bad Officiating, and The Blitz
Subject: Notes and Quotes from Doug Pederson
Subject: So, Tony Romo Is Pretty Good in the Booth
Subject: Doug Pederson
Subject: Monday Night Football Doubleheader: How to watch, game info, odds, more
The first week of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule features TWO Monday Night Football games airing tonight.
First up, it’s the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints kicking off at 7:10 PM ET. We’ll get to see how Sam Bradford looks in the second year his new team. Meanwhile, Derek Barnett looks pretty good in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. Speaking of that trade, Philly fans should be rooting for a Vikings loss. The worse their record is, the better the 2018 fourth-round pick that Minnesota still owes the Eagles is.
The second game is an AFC West matchup between the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers. The Eagles are set to play both of these teams this year; the Chargers in Week 3 and the Broncos in Week 9. It’ll be nice to get an early look at them.
Find everything you need to know about tonight's games below.
Saints at Vikings TV Schedule
Game time: 7:10 PM EST
Date: Monday, September 11
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Odds: Saints +3 (+100) | Vikings -3 (-120) | Over/under: 47.5
Chargers at Broncos TV Schedule
Game time: 10:20 PM EST
Date: Monday, September 11
Announcers: Beth Mowins, Rex Ryan, Sergio Dipp
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High | Denver, Colorado
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Odds: Chargers +3 (-110) | Broncos -3 (-110) | Over/under: 42
Open thread: discuss Monday night’s game in the comments below.
Subject: Eagles-Redskins PFF Grades: Nelson Agholor among Philadelphia
Who would’ve thought!
Pro Football Focus releases the top five graded players from each team after every single NFL game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Philadelphia Eagles following their Week 1 win against the Washington Redskins.
Edge Brandon Graham, 90.2 overall grade
TE Zach Ertz, 85.3 overall grade
DI Fletcher Cox, 84.2 overall grade
WR Nelson Agholor, 82.7 overall grade
CB Patrick Robinson, 82.3 overall grade
Graham was a beast against Washington. The Eagles’ starting defensive end racked up six total pressures (two sacks, four hurries) in 36 passing snaps. Graham’s game-clinching strip-sack on Kirk Cousins was very clutch. He helped the Eagles put away a team that they haven’t been able to beat since 2014.
The play everyone will remember is the fumble which sealed the game for the Eagles, where he was in Cousins’ face as he released the ball regardless if the referees got the call right. But that was just part of the story as he was a force throughout the game recording two sacks and four hurries.
Graham had a really strong season in 2016. It looks like he’s on pace to follow that up with another big year. The fact that he’s turning his pressures into sacks is a good sign. Graham is already nearly a third of the way to last year’s sack total: 6.5.
Ertz led the Birds in receiving against Washington. He finished the game with eight receptions and 93 yards for 11.6 yards per reception. Six of Ertz’s catches resulted in first downs for Philadelphia. PFF gave Ertz the best receiving grade of any tight end in Week 1.
Ertz might not be that dynamic athlete who generates a lot of yards after the catch, but he’s clearly good at getting open and moving the chains. He’s a nice security blanket for Wentz. I don’t think the Eagles will really miss Jordan Matthews much with Ertz now featured in a similar role.
First 62 career games:— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) September 10, 2017
Zach Ertz: 255 catches, 2,933 yards
Tony Gonzalez: 256 catches, 2,955 yards
Jason Witten: 248 catches, 2,776 yards
Zach Ertz in his last 16 games: 95 catches, 1,061 yards— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) September 11, 2017
(I’m still quietly thinking to myself Ertz will get off to a hot start this year only to cool off later in the season — the exact opposite of what’s happened in past seasons. It’s too ironic not to happen. Hopefully I’m wrong about that.)
The “man dog” feasted on Washington’s defense. Cox generated five total presures in 34 passing snaps: one sack, one quarterback hit, and three hurries. Not to mention he had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a defensive touchdown, and a good big guy touchdown celebration.
Cox currently ranks fourth best out of all interior players in terms of PFF’s pass rush productivity stat.
After the end of last season, I certainly wouldn’t have expected to be seeing Agholor’s name in a post like this. Yet here we are!
Agholor went off for a career-high 86 yards and one touchdown on eight receptions against Washington. He looked confident and competent out there. Maybe all that offseason hype wasn’t just a mirage. It’ll be easier to believe if he can string together more performances like this one.
Agholor currently ranks second in PFF’s signature “WR rating” statistic, which shows the quarterback rating when a receiver is thrown at. In other words, Carson Wentz’s passer rating when targeting Agholor is 149.3.
Patrick Robinson! One of the worst players in training camp ended up being one of Philadelphia’s top graded players in Week 1. The veteran corner was targeted six times but only allowed three catches for 22 yards. He also had four solo tackles.
It’s hard to have a lot of confidence in Robinson playing well on the outside with Ronald Darby out. He’s ideally more of a slot guy. The good news is it sounds like Doug Pederson recognizes Robinson’s limitations.
Those guys are always going to give you problems. They are tough to defend, speed guys, quick, shifty guys. As we look at it, if Rasul [Douglas] is in there, if Jalen [Mills] is in there, [Jaylen] Watkins is in there, try to keep Patrick Robinson possibly at the nickel spot as much as we can -- I think it's beneficial for guys to learn one spot, and he's been comfortable in there.
Can he get you out of a game at corner? Yes, he can. He did it yesterday a little bit. And then, you know, with the three safeties that we have, obviously we know Malcolm [Jenkins] can play nickel and then Corey Graham comes in the game.
Yeah, it's going to be one of those situations where it's going to take all hands on deck these next few weeks to really get the job done.
PFF gaves props to Carson Wentz.
Wentz enjoyed an efficient start to the 2017 season without wowing overall in the season opener. He missed only 5-of-29 attempts short of 20 yards, showing good accuracy in the intermediate range in particular. The second-year starter also looked spectacular at times escaping pressure. On the other hand, he took a number of risks downfield, fortunately seeing a number of potential interceptions dropped. Combined with some issues throwing the ball laterally around the line of scrimmage (including a disastrous lateral recovered by Washington), it is obvious there are a number of areas where Wentz can still improve.
Pretty accurate assessment. Wentz needs to clean up some of those underthrows/overthrows that can potentially intercepted. Wentz currently ranks 12th out of the quarterbacks graded by PFF so far.
Jalen Mills was also highlighted. The second-year corner was targeted a whopping 15 times. That shows Washington really wanted to pick on him coming into this game. He did give up 10 catches for 108 yards, which isn’t awesome, but at least he didn’t allow any huge plays. Plus he had that critical red-zone interception. And this pass breakup:
Forget the INT, this was Jalen Mills' best play yesterday. 1-on-1 vs. Pryor, gets his head turned around and high points the ball. pic.twitter.com/ELuGb9W1SS— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroCSN) September 11, 2017
Starting left guard Isaac Seumalo did not grade out well by PFF’s standards.
Although adequate in pass protection (one hit & two hurries allowed on 46 dropbacks), he looks ill-suited to executing the Eagles’ running scheme. On one series of plays with Philadelphia trying to run down the clock, Seumalo missed the same assignment three times in a row, allowing Washington’s linebackers to consistently penetrate.
Yikes. The Eagles’ run game is really a work in progress right now, and that’s putting it nicely.
Subject: Caleb Sturgis injured: Eagles kicker will miss several weeks
Here’s some not so good news. Philadelphia Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis suffered a quad strain in his plant leg (though Les Bowen reports it’s hip flexor) and is expected to be out for “several” weeks, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport notes that the Eagles will try out free agent kickers this week.
The injury occurred during the Eagles’ Week 1 game against the Washington Redskins. Doug Pederson opted to go for a two-point conversion late in the game because he didn’t feel comfortable with Sturgis trying to attempt the kick.
During his press conference on Monday, Pederson confirmed the Eagles will be working out some kickers this week. Rapoport said to keep an eye on Bengals practice squad kicker Jake Elliott. Mike Garafolo speculated Mike Nugent could be one of the players the Eagles look at. Nick Novak is another notable name on the market.. Former Philadelphia fan favorite Cody Parkey is NOT a free agent; he’s with the Dolphins.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles handle this situation when it comes to freeing up a roster spot. Philadelphia’s roster is currently at the 53-man limit. The Eagles will either have to cut someone or place someone on injured reserve in order to free up a spot for the new kicker. The problem with placing someone on injured reserve means they’re out for at least eight weeks. Note that NFL teams can only bring two players back from IR in the same season.
Though he hasn’t been perfect, Sturgis has been pretty solid overall since joining Philadelphia in 2015. 2016 was a career best for him. It’s not great that the Eagles will be without Power Sturge moving forward.
Subject: NFL Draft Prospect of the Week: Courtland Sutton
With week two of college football in the books, there is a lot to look back on in terms of individual performances. Week two definitely gave viewers a lot more exciting games and thus, great performances by individual players. While lots of prospects showed out on the big stage, one of the week's most dominant performances was happening in Dallas, Texas.
Courtland Sutton has been the go to guy at SMU for a while and the redshirt junior is off to a strong start to his season. Sutton eviscerated the North Texas defense, catching high passes for over 160 yards and a whopping four touchdowns. This brings his early season total to 10 catches for 185 yards and five touchdowns. Obviously it's a small sample size but scoring on 50% of your touches is pretty incredible.
North Texas had no answer for Sutton as he scored in a variety of ways. His first touchdown came on a short pass where he immediately broke a tackle and sprinted away from the entire defense. As a 6'4", 220 pound receiver; speed is not the thing you are expecting from Sutton. However, he has more than enough athletic ability to make defenses pay deep down the field. His next touchdown also showed off that speed as he was able to get behind the entire defense for a deep touchdown in the end zone. The quarterback actually under threw Sutton, but he was still able to come back and adjust to secure the catch. His next score was a contested grab where pulled one down over coverage at the edge of the end zone. So, in a night he showed off deep speed, yards after catch creativity and the ability to go over defenders to make a catch.
A lot of folks will point to the opponent being North Texas, but understand that Sutton is carrying this Southern Methodist team and his dominance will be directly correlated to their success for the rest of the season. Also, great prospects are supposed to truly dominate their competition, regardless of level, instead of just eking by with okay performances.
At this point in the season, there is still no clear cut top wide receiver in terms of consensus. This class is a little bit more of a question mark in that regard in relation to the last few classes. However, Courtland Sutton has the frame, athleticism and diverse skill set to make NFL teams drool over his potential as a number one wide receiver in the league.
Other Performances of Note:
- Royce Freeman, Running Back, Oregon: Royce Freeman carried the ball 29 times for over 150 yards and two scores for the Ducks in their win against Nebraska. After spending all of last year nursing injuries, Freeman looks close to his regular self. He showed off his power and impressive athletic ability for his size all game and while he did not break any huge runs, he consistently chipped away at Nebraska's defense to give Oregon a win.
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge Defender, Oklahoma: Oklahoma pulled off a huge upset on Saturday; beating Ohio State in Columbus. While Baker Mayfield deserves credit for the win, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo led a great defense effort to frustrate JT Barrett and limit the Buckeyes offense tremendously. Okoronkwo is somewhat of a hybrid player for the Sooners, playing a bit in coverage while also using the passer and stopping the run. On Saturday, Okoronko accounted for two sacks, one hurry and five total defensive stops (Per Pro Football Focus) to neuter the Buckeye offense. Okoronkwo is an intriguing player at 6'1", 240 pounds and it is yet to be scene if he is a edge defender or an off ball linebacker in the NFL, but his continued strong play with the Sooners is certainly fun to watch.
- Darius Phillips, Cornerback, Western Michigan: Western Michigan has had a tough schedule to start the season, playing USC and Michigan State back-to-back, losing both match ups. What they can take solace in is that their senior cornerback, Darius Philips continues to be their major playmaker. Philips is a good cornerback but he turns into a different player when he touches the ball. In 2016, Phillips returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns and returned a kick and punt for a touchdown. In his first three years with Western Michigan, Philips has 10 combined return touchdowns between defense and special teams. This year is no different. On Saturday, Philips returned his second kick return touchdown of the season and had a 67 yard fumble return for a touchdown. If that isn't impressive enough accounting for both of his team's scores; Philips picked off a pass, his second interception of the season, forced a fumble, broke up three passes and had a tackle for a loss. Philips' ability to fill up the box score with video game numbers is insane and even as a smaller cornerback at 5'10" and 190 pounds, Philips should be getting some serious attention from NFL teams.
Subject: Enjoy this video of Josh Norman being a sore loser in Washington
One of my favorite things that flew under the radar from the Eagles’ win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday was how Josh Norman acted like a sore loser following Philadelphia’s game-clinching touchdown.
After Fletcher Cox scooped and scored on a (controversial) strip-sack by Brandon Graham, the Eagles went for a two-point conversion. Doug Pederson explained they did this because Caleb Sturgis was hurt and couldn’t kick.
Here’s that Josh Norman thing I was talking about. pic.twitter.com/oUbJeHOmYu— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 11, 2017
Earlier this offseason, Norman said he was looking forward to playing against Jeffery. I’m not so sure he feels the same way after losing.
I asked Josh Norman about how it went covering Alshon. Didn't wanna talk about it. "You tell me" #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) September 10, 2017
It’s not like Jeffery totally dominated him, though, since the receiver only had three receptions for 38 yards. The conversion was nice (though not important), but the Eagles need more out of Alshon moving forward.
Jeffery and Norman will go at it again in Week 7.
Subject: Ronald Darby Injury: Eagles cornerback only out 4 to 6 weeks, report says
This is great news for the Eagles. Relatively speaking, at least. Ideally Darby wouldn’t be hurt at all, but it looked like his season might have been over when he was carted off the field during Philadelphia’s win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon.
Now we know Darby will only miss four to six games. Note that the Eagles don’t have their bye until November 12, so he should be back before their rest week. Here’s a look at the Eagles’ next six games.
Week 2 - at Kansas City Chiefs (Sept. 17, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 3 - vs. New York Giants (Sept. 24, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 4 - at Los Angeles Chargers (Oct. 1, 4:05 PM ET, FOX)
Week 5 - vs. Arizona Cardinals (Oct. 8, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 6 - at Carolina Panthers (Oct. 12, 8:25 PM ET, CBS/NFLN) Thursday Night Football
Week 7 - vs. Washington Redskins (Oct. 23, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football
At the latest, Darby should be able to return in time for the Eagles’ Week 8 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Darby missing time still isn’t great. The Eagles were weak at cornerback to begin with and his absence only magnifies that concern. To their credit, Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson played well in Week 1. A strong pass rush certainly made life easier on them as well.
We’ll see how things hold up. The key takeaway, though, is that this Darby injury could have been a lot worse and the Eagles are lucky he’ll be back in a month or so.
Subject: Eagles vs. Redskins snap count analysis: Figuring out the rotations
Here's a look at how often each player saw the field in the Eagles' Week 1 game
The following player(s) were active but did not play: Nick Foles.
The running back rotation is shaping up. Sproles is still playing the most of anyone at his position. Blount is second with Smallwood behind him. When it came to carries, Blount led the team with 14. Smallwood had four and Sproles only had two. Corey Clement only played on special teams. Pumphrey was inactive and likely will be all season.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai saw snaps at left tackle when Jason Peters went out. The Eagles also used him as a sixth offensive lineman in certain situations.
Nelson Agholor was the Eagles’ most productive receiver despite playing the fewest snaps out of the three starters.
Brent Celek played about 39% of the team’s offensive snaps last year. Seems like he’s on pace for a similar role again this season.
Trey Burton played 29% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps last year. He only played 21% on Sunday, so it looks like his role isn’t expanding.
Patrick Robinson wouldn’t have played as many snaps if Ronald Darby didn’t get hurt. He stepped up nicely in the starting corner’s absence.
The linebacker situation is similar to last year. Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham are the main two guys. Mychal Kendricks only played 37% of the snaps. He played 27% last year, so maybe the Eagles plan to give him a slight increase?
The Eagles have a heavy defensive line rotation. Brandon Graham played 75% of the snaps last season. Philly might prefer to bring that number down a little in order to keep him fresh. The presence of Derek Barnett and Chris Long should allow them to do that. Same story for Fletcher Cox, who played 76% in 2016.
Curry wasn’t super productive in the 59% of the defensive snaps he played. He only had one tackle and it was assisted. He did get two hits on Kirk Cousins, though, so at least that’s something.
Curry has the fourth biggest cap number on the roster. 19 players (nine defenders) played more snaps than him on Sunday. Kendricks’ cap number ranks ninth. 25 players (13 defenders) played more snaps than him. Just not good value.
No real surprises here.
Subject: Eagles at Redskins winners and losers
You win some, you win some more
The Eagles won, which automatically makes them winners, but more importantly they ended their five game losing streak against the Redskins. It wasn’t always pretty, and the Redskins are probably a pretty bad team, but a win against a division rival is a win against a division rival. There’s still 15 games to go, but this is a sign of progress.
The defensive line
Four sacks was just what was needed for a defensive line that wasn’t able to find that extra gear last year. And just as important, they gave up only 58 yards rushing on 2.4 yards per carry against a running game that embarrassed them last year. The tables got turned.
He lined up all over the field and caught 8 passes for 93 yards, and didn’t rack it up in garbage time. Five of his catches came in the first half, and four of them moved the sticks. Just a real nice, evenly productive game for Ertz, who hasn’t had a lot of them before December.
Another game against a division rival, another turnover. Hicks is the most underrated player on the Eagles, but that shouldn’t last.
The 5th 300+ yard game and 6th multi-touchdown game of his young career, once again getting his season off to a good start. Again he had to carry the offense, with 43 called passes to 20 rushing attempts, and he again kept his team in it. And let’s watch this one some more:
*Wentz is going to need to play better moving forward though. The first pass of the game was a poor throw, the swing pass to Agholor was a great play call that should have been a TD but the throw wasn’t good enough, and later in the game he tried to force feed Jeffrey when others were open. Against a good defense that performance isn’t going to cut it. But he outdueled Kirk Cousins, a QB that quite a few people were saying is a better QB. That’s another sign of progress.
Despite the Eagles playing 0 games prior to Sunday, Pederson came under quite a bit of backlash. And while he didn’t have the greatest game (Doug, burn those screen passes), his team got a small monkey off their back (a guenon? let’s go with that), and the Eagles just looked like a better team. The offense converted on 57% of their third downs, spread the ball around as 8 players caught a pass, and opened up the playbook by moving Ertz all over the field (which he should have done last year). For the first time in three years, the Eagles outcoached the Redskins.
Kirk Cousins looked bad. The receivers looked bad. The running game looked bad. Jamison Crowder was supposed to be a difference maker in the game, he had 3 catches for 14 yards. The defense looked bad. And half the stadium was Eagles fans. It’s going to be a long season in Washington. You like that?
The running game
20 called runs for 52 yards. The longest run was 7 yards, by LeGarrette Blount, who had 3.3 yards per carry. The Redskins had a bad run defense last year, so there’s no curve to be graded on. The Eagles are going to struggle to run the ball again this year.
The 2017 draft
The Eagles made eight draft picks this year, and half of them were healthy scratches for this game. On one hand, you don’t want to rely on rookies. On the other, just two of six active rookies is very low, and it wasn’t like these guys were buried on the depth chart. Two players with 0 career games were dressed over draft picks at the same position (Corey Clement and Marcus Johnson played while Donnel Pumphrey and Shelton Gibson sat), and the team dressed just three cornerbacks and left two inactive, including 3rd rounder Rasul Douglas.
Subject: Tuesday Morning Fly By: All rookies all the time
Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...
*Day one of rookie camp is in the books! Here are five things to watch for as the train rolls on this week. [Flyers]
*Who are you most excited to see on the ice this week? [CSN Philly]
*Hopefully Patrick and the rest of our highly-touted prospects perform well enough in camp to pressure Hextall into giving up on this "patience" thing. If they're ready let's go! [Courier-Post]
*I personally find "life after hockey" stories to be pretty interesting, and this one on former Maple Leaf Rich Clune's turn as an actor is no different. [ESPN]
Subject: Your Tuesday Morning Roundup
Subject: The Eagles and The
Subject: Training camp is here so let
The gang is back after a week-long hiatus to ponder our favorite subject: Dave Hasktol
The long Flyers-less summer is over. With rookie camp now in full swing, BSH Radio is back from its one-week hiatus to get you back into hockey mode. Training camp brings the obvious question of expectations for the season, and the gang starts by evaluating how head coach Dave Hakstol fits in with those expectations. Steph and Kelly express their concern regarding the coach and the overall decision making process in the organization, while Bill holds to his "wait-and-see" approach, with some reservations. Then, it's on to the goalies, as Anthony Stolarz's recent surgery is discussed, along with reasonable hopes for Brian Elliott. After a brief detour in projecting the captain's 2017-18, it's time to rant about Cole Bardreau, and question yet again just what the Flyers actually have in Jordan Weal.
Follow us on twitter @BSH_Radio and let us know what you think!
Subject: Comcast Spectacor Acquires New Box Lacrosse Team
Subject: Because I Can