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[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 11:51:26 EDT from rss

Subject: Dumb and Dumber

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OK I want to be clear from the beginning here that I am not going to piss all over a thrilling Eagles win. Even if the win would be turned on by such a thing, I’m just not going to do it. But I may be a little rough with it and slap it around…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 11:35:46 EDT from rss

Subject: Bryan Colangelo Provided a Vague Update on Joel Embiid

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Joel Embiid looked pretty good celebrating the Eagles’ 27-24 win on Sunday afternoon. Here he is hopping up and down after Jake Elliott’s game-winning 61 yard field goal: @JoelEmbiid you hype — Jay DeVico (@jaythetallkid) September 24, 2017 Embiid is not, however, cleared for 5v5 basketball as the Sixers kick off training camp on…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 13:09:33 EDT from rss

Subject: Three and Out: Defensive Game Planning, Officiating and Play Designs

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This post is brought to you with limited advertising and no surveys by TalentFleX Solutions. TalentFleX Solutions is a full service business consulting firm offering contingent, contract and project based professionals in the Information Technology, Data Analytics, Finance & Accounting and Human Resources fields. Our model provides for flexibility in hiring needs from project, to contract to…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 13:38:13 EDT from rss

Subject: Now You Can Watch Merrill Reese Make His Call

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Yesterday we got Merrill’s call. Today, video: You've seen the kick, but here's what you haven't seen yet: @mreeseeagles' call for @SportsRadioWIP. #FlyEaglesFly — Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 25, 2017 This is great, but I’m not gonna lie: Merrill awkwardly turning towards Mike with his hands up and saying “the longest kick in Eagles…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 14:52:49 EDT from rss

Subject: This might be the best call of Jake Elliott

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One day later and I still can’t believe Philadelphia Eagles rookie kicker Jake Elliott made that 61-yard field goal to defeat the New York Giants. He really did it.

We already took a look at some of the best calls of the kick from yesterday, but here’s a call that might be the best one yet. This one comes from Rickie Ricardo, who does play-by-play for the Eagles Spanish Radio Network (1340 AM in Philadelphia and 1110 AM in Allentown).

Just listen to this:

“Sí Señor! Sí Señor! Sí Señor! Sí Señor! Sí Señor! JAKE ELLIOTT!”

Here’s a video of him calling the play in the booth along with Felix DeJesus and Will Kulik.

Elliott approves of the call.

While we’re at it, here’s a great video of Merrill Reese’s call. Look how fired up he is!

Merrill and Ricky, just two radio legends doing what they do best.

I vividly remember how angry a young BLG was when Matt Bryant hit that stupid 62-yard field goal in that Eagles-Buccaneers game in 2006. It feels much better finally being on the other end of one of those kicks this time.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 12:30:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Why Doug Pederson went for it on 4th and 8 in the Eagles-Giants game

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“Win Probability” may be the key.

Earlier this morning on 94 WIP, Doug Pederson provided some insight into his decision to go for it on 4th and 8 near the end of the second half. He said he receives a lot of analytical information from upstairs, in the moment. He continued, “When you look at the situation and the win probability” the information seems to support being aggressive. Exactly what information is Pederson referring to? Well, his reference to “win probability” tells us a lot.

Win probability is a calculation that takes into account a lot of factors to approximate the chances a team has of winning at any point in the game. For example, Pro Football Reference’s model includes factors like Vegas’ line (to approximate average margin of victory), time remaining, score differential, field position, down, and distance. More info on their formula can be found here.

Fortunately, PFR also has a win probability calculator so we can see the type of information Pederson was receiving just prior to his decision.

The Situation

With 2:43 remaining in the second half, on the New York Giants 43 yard line, fourth down, eight yards to go, leading by seven.

The Eagles have an 85.2% win probability. (Link to calculator result:

Option 1: Punt good

If Donnie Jones offered a decent punt, the Eagles could have given the Giants the ball an their own ten yard line with about 2:30 remaining in the half.

The Eagles maintain an 85.2% win probability. (

Option 2: Punt bad

Donnie Jones over-kicks for a touch back (possible, if not likely, given the short field), giving the Giants the ball at their own 20 yard line.

The Eagles win probability drops to 82.8%. (

Option 3: Go for it and get the first

Doug makes a brilliant call and Carson Wentz makes a brilliant play to get the first.

The Eagles win probability increases to 90.9%. (

Option 4: Turn ball over on downs

Obviously, this is what happened. Wentz was sacked for a six yard loss, giving the Giants the ball on their own 49 yard line with 2:30 seconds left in the half.

The Eagles win probability decreases to 78.4% (

The Decision

Doug’s decision was probably made by comparing the cost of not converting the fourth down (78.4% win probability) and a likely touch back via punt (82.8%) versus the benefit of converting the fourth down (90.9%). In his mind, the risk was worth the reward.

For the record, I thought the decision to go for it prior to the Giants’ time out was good. After the time out, with the Giants more prepared, I would have punted. Ultimately, it didn’t matter because JAKE ELLIOTT HAPPENED.

What do you think? Did Doug Pederson make the right call? Vote in the poll below (click here if you can’t see it).

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 11:44:14 EDT from rss

Subject: Darren Sproles Injury: Eagles running back also suffered a torn ACL

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This is awful.

Darren Sproles didn’t just suffer a broken arm on Sunday. The veteran running back also tore his ACL during the Eagles’ win over the New York Giants, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter.

This is just awful news.

Sproles is now done for the season. The 34-year-old’s career might be over as well. Sproles, who is set to be a free agent after this year, previously said 2017 was going to be his last season, although he kind of left the door open. Maybe he’ll try to come back because this would be a terrible way to go out. But who knows for sure.

It goes without saying that this is a huge loss for the Eagles. Sproles is Philadelphia’s best running back. He’s a weapon in the passing game. He’s still one of the best and most dangerous punt returners in the league. And that’s just what he can do on the field. He’s an incredibly well-respected player in the locker room. This is a really bad loss for the Eagles.

Sproles will likely be placed on the season-ending injured reserve list this week. The Eagles could look to call up practice squad running back Byron Marshall in his absence.

Prior to this year, Sproles had never missed more than three games in a single season (save for 2006 when he was out for the entire year due to a broken ankle). He averaged 15.3 games played per season in the 11 seasons he played before 2017.

Ugh. This just really sucks.

UPDATE: Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed Sproles’ injury during his press conference on Monday.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 10:49:54 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Giants Final Score: 9 things we learned from Philadelphia

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Big takeaways from the Birds game.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 2-1 in the 2017 NFL regular season after defeating the New York Giants by a final score of 27 to 24 (recap here). Whew. Talk about a thriller. Here’s a look at 11 things we learned from this game.


Jake Elliott missed a 30-yard chip shot in Week 2. His 52-yard attempt in Week 3 was wide left.

But none of that matters because Elliott stepped up when it counted the most. His 61-yard field goal is the longest kick by a rookie in NFL history. What an impressive moment by the young man. Relive the kick in all its glory by clicking here.

That was certainly one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Linc. From my seat in the press box, I was pretty sure the kick didn’t have much of a chance. I expected it to land short. But then the refs signaled it was good and the entire press box was shocked. Fans went nuts. Eagles players ran out onto the field. After a postgame interview with Dave Spadaro, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Mychal Kendricks carried Elliott to the locker room. The rookie kicker received a standing ovation as he was taken into the tunnel. What a moment.

This week easily could have been very miserable if the Eagles had lost. Thanks to Elliott, it won’t be. What a relief.

2 - The Eagles, who still own the Giants, are first in the NFC East

Last Sunday, I wrote that the Eagles’ loss to the Chiefs wouldn’t really matter as long as the Birds took care of business in Week 3. Well, that’s exactly what happened.

The Eagles are now in first of the NFC East with a 2-1 overall record and a 2-0 record in division/conference games. That’s a pretty good start to the season.

The Washington Redskins are also 2-1 but the Eagles currently have a head-to-head tiebreaker over them. Plus they’re still 0-1 in the division.

The Dallas Cowboys are 1-1 and 1-0 in the division. They play tonight on Monday Night Football against the Cardinals in Arizona.

And then down there in the basement of the NFC East, it’s the New York Giants. The G-Men are off to an 0-3 start with an 0-2 record in the division and an 0-3 record in conference games. With a Week 4 game coming up against the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, the Giants are potentially staring 0-4 right in the face. It might be time to stick a fork in them.

I’d like to take the time to remind you that the Eagles continue own the Giants.

3 - The Eagles overcame major injuries to win this game

Look, I know this wasn’t a pretty win for the Eagles. But that shouldn’t take away from the victory too much. The Giants were playing for their season here. Expecting a cake walk isn’t realistic.

In addition, the Eagles were dealing with a lot of major injuries. The Eagles’ best running back and of the team’s biggest playmakers, Darren Sproles, left the game early with what appears to be a broken arm. The defense lost two of their best players in Jordan Hicks and Fletcher Cox. Two more of the team’s best defenders, Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod, did not play. The Eagles were down to their fourth string safety with Chris Maragos starting since top backups Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins were also out.

Every team deals with injuries during the season; this isn’t unique to the Eagles. But these were some real key absences for Philly. The fact that they were able to win without a number of the team’s best players is impressive.

4 - Not Carson Wentz’s best game, but he showed up when it counted the most

The stats: 21/31, 176 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 92.9 passer rating.

Just not a great game from Wentz. He didn’t turn the ball over, which is obviously good, so it’s not like he was dreadful. But the second-year quarterback certainly left some plays on the field.

Wentz continues to struggle with his deep ball accuracy. He should have been able to hit Alshon Jeffery, who was open, for a touchdown. Instead the ball the pass ended up being majorly overthrown.

The sack Wentz took on the 4th-and-8 play was pretty unacceptable. Just can’t do that there. Throw it away or try to make something happen.

In fairness to Wentz, it’s important to remember the Giants do have some talented secondary players. It’s not like quarterbacks have been carving up New York’s defense this season. Dak Prescott managed a 90.5 passer rating in Week 1. Matthew Stafford threw for a mere 122 yards in Week 2.

Wentz also stepped up when it counted the most. Elliott’s miraculous field goal make doesn’t happen without his pass to Alshon Jeffery along the sideline. That play is funny because neither Wentz nor Jeffery were having a great game but they both earned redemption with that one completion.

5 - Doug Pederson gets too much crap sometimes

Based on what I’ve seen in the comments and on Twitter, I know this isn’t going to be a popular take. I really don’t have a major problem with Pederson in that game.

I really think some people jump on Pederson way too quickly. This signals to me that they just don’t like him and they’ll take any opportunity they can to criticize him.

The play everyone is talking about is the failed 4th-and-8 call. First, it’s ridiculous that that’s even been harped on in a win since it didn’t even cost the Eagles any points. But I understand that it easily could have.

That doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision. Pederson defended his decision by citing analytics. He’s not wrong. BGN’s James Keane will have a more detailed post on this later, but here’s a quick look at the numbers.

The feeling here is that it’s much better to have a coach who’s willing to be aggressive than it is one who’s gutless (see: Chip Kelly).

I’m not going to say this was Pederson’s best game by any means. It’s certainly fair to criticize him.

Still, the Eagles did enough to win. And it’s funny because Pederson won’t receive any credit for the fourth down conversions he did attempt which ultimately led to 14 points. Those situations were shorter than the 4th-and-8, yeah, but that doesn’t mean every coach will go for it. Look at New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. He punted it on 4th-and-short from the Giants’ 38. Sproles fielded the ball at the 10-yard line for a net difference of 28. That’s just dumb.

6 - The running game came to life

It’s funny how there was a ton of criticism for Pederson last week for not running the ball but then he does it this week and people still aren’t satisfied.

The Eagles finished with two touchdowns and 193 rushing yards on 39 carries -- an average of 4.9. It was good to see the Eagles be able to take the pressure off Wentz’s arm for once.

LeGarrette Blount ran hard after not taking a single carry last year. Wendell Smallwood finally showed something. Corey Clement only averaged 3.7 yards per carry but his touchdown run was nice. You obviously have to give credit to the offensive line for blocking well.

Now, the run game was aided by a bad Giants run defense. New York allowed 267 rush yards in the first two weeks combined. So I wouldn’t get carried away in thinking the Eagles suddenly have a dangerous running game now.

Still, it was a nice showing.

7 - Stefen Wisnieski should be the Eagles’ new starter at left guard

The whole left guard situation is bizarre. The Eagles named Isaac Seumalo the unquestioned starter early in training camp. Then they were going to cut Allen Barbre before the Broncos gave up a conditional seventh-round pick for him. Then Seumalo got benched in Week 2, and not even because the Eagles felt great about one particular guy behind him. They benched him so that they could rotate between Chance Warmack and Stefen Wisniewski.

While guard rotations certainly aren’t the norm in the NFL, it’s not like it never happens. After the game, Lane Johnson said he talked to Barbre recently and his former teammate told him he’s in a rotation with the Broncos.

But there should be no more reason for rotation moving forward. Wis is clearly better than Warmack. A look at the numbers, via The Athletic:

Not counting penalties, the Eagles gained 3.9 yards per play on Warmack’s 30 snaps and scored 14 points. They ran for 3.5 yards per carry and gained 4.8 yards per pass play (counting Wentz scrambles on called pass plays). They ran the ball 57 percent of the time. With Wisniewski at left guard, the Eagles gained 5.8 yards per play over 41 plays, rushing for 6.3 yards per carry and gaining 5.2 yards per pass play. They ran the ball 45 percent of the time.

Plus there’s this from PFF.

8 - The Eagles cornerbacks are battling out there

No one will be mistaking the Eagles’ cornerbacks for one of the best tandems in the NFL. I think it’s safe to say they’ve held up well, though, especially relative to expectations that they’d be a disaster.

Mills was targeted a total of 21 times, which is the most of any cornerback in a single game in 10 years. It’s not a good sign when a team is willing to pick on a player like this and it’s not the first time it’s happened this season. Washington really went after Mills in Week 1. To his credit, though, Mills really battles out there. He “only” allowed nine receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns to Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ’s longest catch of the day was 14 yards. And even on those touchdown plays, Mills was playing him pretty close. OBJ simply made some spectacular catches that would be nearly impossible to defend. Mills finished the game with two pass deflections, including one that forced a third down stop.

Rasul Douglas is in a similar boat to Mills. He’s not going to be without his mistakes; he missed some tackles and wasn’t perfect in coverage. But he battles on every snap. His interception was great and an example of the good ball skills he possesses.

Patrick Robinson had another strong game. It’s amazing how much better he is at slot corner instead of playing on the outside. It’s not a surprise, though, if you read BGN’s post about him this offseason.

9 - The Eagles’ defensive line forced the Giants’ hand

What happened to the Eagles’ defensive line? No sacks? Only four quarterback hits? Weren’t they supposed to dominate New York’s shaky offensive line?

The pass rush didn’t suddenly get bad, although losing Cox didn’t help matters. Here’s why the Eagles weren’t able to sack Manning:

Allowing explosive plays is worse than making the team try to dink and dunk their way down the field. Sometimes you’re going to tip one of those short passes, as Mychal Kendricks did, and come up with an interception, as Robinson did.

The point here is that even if the Eagles aren’t generating pressure, their defensive line is still having an impact on the game. It forced the opponent to play a certain way.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 08:40:38 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Stefen Wisniewski should be the starter at left guard

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/25/17.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Wisniewski outshines Warmack in bizarre left guard rotation - The Athletic
Not counting penalties, the Eagles gained 3.9 yards per play on Warmack’s 30 snaps and scored 14 points. They ran for 3.5 yards per carry and gained 4.8 yards per pass play (counting Wentz scrambles on called pass plays). They ran the ball 57 percent of the time. With Wisniewski at left guard, the Eagles gained 5.8 yards per play over 41 plays, rushing for 6.3 yards per carry and gaining 5.2 yards per pass play. They ran the ball 45 percent of the time.

Jake Elliott and the Eagles buried the Giants - BGN
The Eagles ran the ball! John and James discuss the surprising effectiveness of the running game, including Wendell Smallwood's strong showing, Corey Clement making the most of his first real NFL opportunity, and most importantly, the terrific outing from Stefen Wisniewski and the crucial role he played in the ground game's success.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Giants game - PhillyVoice
Doug Pederson would have gotten destroyed by local sports talk radio this week if the Eagles lost this game, due his decision to go for it on fourth and 8 near the end of the first half. It was a debatable decision, for sure, but far from egregious. The Eagles were on the Giants' 43-yard line. If they convert, they're very likely getting points. If they punt, it's going to be a low net yardage return, no matter what. That call aside, Doug was 2/2 on fourth down conversions, which eventually led to 14 points they wouldn't have otherwise gotten if Doug were a scared little punk. And I guarantee you nobody will mention that. When coaches go for it on fourth down and get it, they never get credit. They only get criticized when it doesn't work, and that is so far beyond stupid it makes my head hurt. Embrace the aggressiveness.

Clutch - Iggles Blitz
Last year the Eagles failed to protect some 4th quarter leads. There were other games when they couldn’t finish off a comeback. The end of the game did not bring out the best in the team. We saw some of that last week, but Sunday was a very different story. The Eagles were clutch. They had to be, after turning a 14-0 lead into a 21-14 deficit. The first half of the 4th quarter was bad. Eli Manning was red hot and Odell Beckham remembered he was an elite player. Zach Ertz fumbled the ball away and the Eagles offense hit a wall. Thankfully the final seven minutes of the game were a different story. The Eagles outscored the Giants 13-3 and made enough clutch plays to win the game. The two biggest plays were the 19-yard pass from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery to put the team in field goal position and then the amazing 61-yard kick by rookie Jake Elliott.

Blount force: Resurgent Eagles' ground game good news for Carson Wentz - ESPN
Entering this week's action, coach Doug Pederson had his team throwing the ball at an unsustainable clip. Wentz dropped back 99 times through the first two games, more than any quarterback in the league with the exception of Aaron Rodgers (103), per ESPN Stats & Information. Following a road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, in which he dialed up 56 passes to 13 runs, Pederson conceded the approach was not a recipe for success. He responded by calling 39 run plays compared with 34 passes, and the backs incentivized him by racking up 193 yards on the ground. "That was our goal this week," said right tackle Lane Johnson. "We got tired of not running the ball, especially last week when we really needed it, so it was big."

A Miracle Ending To A Remarkable Win -
In a game that changed momentum in great, sweeping waves, the ending was absolutely surreal, improbable, magical. Jake Elliott, signed two weeks ago after placekicker Caleb Sturgis suffered a hip injury the opening-day win at Washington, kicked a franchise-record 61-yard field goal on the game’s last play to give the Eagles the winning points in a 27-24 win over the New York Giants on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field ...

Jake Elliott 61-yard field goal gives Eagles dramatic 27-24 win over Giants - Inquirer
Wentz thought “seven seconds was definitely pushing it with the route,” so the play required precision. Jeffery said that if more time was left, he would have fought for yards. With seven seconds, he needed the play to end quickly so the Eagles could have one last chance to at least try a field goal or set up a Hail Mary. “When I came to the sideline, I asked our special-teams coach if he’s ever made a kick that far,” Jeffery said. “He said [Elliott] can make it from 61 yards.”

10 facts about Jake Elliott's unbelievable walk-off field goal - CSN Philly
It was the third-longest walk-off game-winner in NFL history and the longest in 10 years — since a kick Eagles fans remember well. The longest game-winner ever is Tom Dempsey’s 63-yarder as time expired on Nov. 8, 1970, that gave the Saints a 19-17 win over the Lions at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. The only other longer game-winner was Matt Bryant’s 62-yarder in Tampa against the Eagles on Oct. 22, 2006.

Eagles fans support players’ right to protest during anthem - The Undefeated
Watching from the stands in his No. 84 Eagles jersey, Travis Knapp said the scene felt patriotic. “I’m a proud American, and free speech is a First Amendment right,” said Knapp, who works in sales. “If you don’t feel like something is right, say something.” Of the protesting players, Knapp said, “Just wear their shoes. Wear their lives. Try to imagine what they go through. … So many people have been discriminated against in the world, discriminated against right now, and people don’t understand. Some people just don’t live through it.”

NFL Players Reach a Historic Turning Point in Their United Response to Trump - B/R
Some decades from now, maybe even longer, many Americans will look back at this day—September 24, 2017—as one of the most important moments in the nation's history. This is not hyperbole. This not overstatement. This is a fact. It will be seen as a day when a president attempted to bully a professional sports league, make its players kowtow, bend the knee to his desire. Instead, they took one. By the hundreds.

Donald Trump came after the NFL and made it impossible to ‘stick to sports’ - SB Nation
It’s a demand that anyone who has ever written about sports has heard, an old refrain from readers that just want you to stay in your lane: “Stick to sports.” Any time analysis strays from the confines of a field or locker room to, say, what one thinks of the latest U2 album (it’s bad) or our current political climate (also bad), the call comes out: “Stick to sports.” Sports, the thinking goes, are a respite, a blessed place that can remain free from the awful rhetoric and depressing news of the day. Sports are fun. Sportswriters and broadcasters, by that logic, should respect that, and keep their talking points limited to the game in front of them. On Friday, President Donald Trump made that impossible. During a supposed stump speech for Sen. Luther Strange of Alabama, the president sounded off on the National Football League and his many problems with it. In the speech, he questioned rules meant to protect the safety of NFL players, boasted of his friendships with NFL owners, and implored them to “get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out,” if a player protested. He added, “he's fired. He's fired.”


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[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 15:30:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Prospect report: Junior and Euro seasons get underway

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Aww yeah, you like the prospects?

The Canadian junior and European professional leagues began their 2017-18 seasons this month and that of course means weekly Flyers prospect reports! Look for these at the beginning of each week. Reports will expand quite a bit as both the AHL and NCAA don’t begin until early October.

Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall

  • 9/22 - 3 shots, 9 for 10 FOW
  • 9/23 - 1 assist, 5 shots, 2 PIM, 4 for 13 FOW

The newly minted captain of the Rangers picked up his first point of the season this weekend on a nifty no-look pass.

Anthony Salinitri (C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall

  • 9/22 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 3 for 13 FOW
  • 9/22 - 2 shots, 2 PIM, 2 for 5 FOW

Not only did Salinitri score his first goal of the weekend, his shootout goal ensured victory for the Sting in their 4-3 shootout win on Friday.

Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall

  • 9/23 - 2 assists, 4 shots, 9 for 22 FOW
  • 9/24 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 7 for 17 FOW

Folks have every right to be excited for Frost after a strong rookie camp. His first goal of the season was on this absolutely filthy penalty shot.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall

  • 9/22 - 3 shots
  • 9/24 - 6 shots, 2 PIM

It wasn’t the ideal opening weekend for Ratcliffe, which saw the Storm drop to 0-2 and Ratcliffe himself sport a -4 +/-.

Matthew Strome (LW), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 106th overall

  • 9/23 - 3 shots, 2 PIM, 1 for 3 FOW

Strome and the Bulldogs dropped the season opener 4-1. Strome was a -1 in the game and took a minor holding penalty (that ironically led to a short-handed goal, their only goal).

Maksim Sushko (RW), Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 107th overall

  • 9/23 - 2 shots, 2 PIM

A quiet beginning to his post-draft debut. Sushko finished -2 on the night.

Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall

  • 9/22 - 3 shots, 5 for 10 FOW
  • 9/24 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 4 for 8 FOW

Laberge picked up the primary assist on the winning goal on Victoriaville’s 4-3 OT win on Sunday. The spark plug also threw around his body as well. After a lost 2016-17 season, Laberge will be under the watchful of fans as he tries to put those nasty concussions behind.

Notable European performers this week

Linus Högberg (D), Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
2016 5th Round Pick - 139th overall

  • 9/19 - 1 assist, 8:48 TOI
  • 9/21 - 10:11 TOI
  • 9/23 - 11:06 TOI

Högberg is still essentially the 5th/6th defenseman on the team, but hopefully with improved play we finally see the 19 year old get more and more ice-time.

David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall

  • 9/16 - 11:16 TOI
  • 9/21 - 2 PIM, 6:26 TOI
  • 9/23 - 1 shot, 15:46 TOI

Much like Högberg, Bernhardt is also very much a 3rd pairing defenseman for the club. Though unlike Högberg, I believe Bernhardt has a bit more ceiling.

David Kase (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall

  • 9/16 - 18:17 TOI
  • 9/21 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 17:14 TOI
  • 9/23 - 1 shot, 17:48 TOI

You can check out Kase’s positioning and hands on his first SHL goal. Kase had spent the last two season’s in the Czech Republic’s highest-level league, Czech Extraliga.

Felix Sandström (G), Brynäs IF (SHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 70th overall

  • 9/21 - 3 GA, 29 saves

Sandström will be splitting duties between the pites with David Rautio again this season. Rautio started 2 for the first 3 games for Brynäs and hasn’t looked particularly good. At some point Sandström will need to separate himself and start earning the bulk of the starts.

Ivan Fedotov (G), Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall

  • 9/9 - 4 GA, 21 saves
  • 9/13 - 1 GA, 10 saves
  • 9/15 - 2 GA, 16 saves
  • 9/20 - shutout, 20 saves

It was a bit disappointing to hear that Fedotov wouldn’t be making the jump to the KHL after a strong season last year for Toros. He will need more performances like that on 9/20 if he wants to make a bigger impression.

Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall

  • 9/9 - shutout
  • 9/13 - 2 GA
  • 9/17 - 2 GA
  • 9/23 - 2 GA

Bear with me for any MHL updates on Ustimenko, as stats are a bit harder to find. According to EliteProspects, he has a .904 SV% and a 2.00 GAA in 6 games this season.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 14:52:55 EDT from rss

Subject: Let Us All Rejoice In The Misery Of Giants Fans

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I’m sure most Eagles fans preferred the team not completely implode in the fourth quarter yesterday before eventually pulling it out as time expired. Makes sense. Allowing a team that scored one touchdown in its first 11 quarters of the season to score three over the final 15 minutes is not good. That Zach Ertz…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 16:05:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Eric Rowe trade draft pick tracker: Week 3 edition

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A weekly update on the Eagles’ 2018 draft picks.

Before the 2016 season started, the Philadelphia Eagles traded cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. This means the Eagles can receive one of two picks.

1 — Eagles receive New England’s third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays at least 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.


2 — Eagles receive New England’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays less than 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.

Where this pick ultimately lands is significant for the Eagles. Philadelphia currently doesn’t own any Day 2 picks due to both the Carson Wentz trade and the Ronald Darby trade.

Since this is an important pick, I’ll be doing a weekly update on Rowe’s playing time to see if the Eagles will get the third-round selection or not.


WEEK 1: Eric Rowe plays 37 out of New England’s 69 defensive snaps. That’s good for 54%. If the season ended today, the Eagles would get the pick! It would also be the first overall pick in the third round since the Patriots have the worst record in the NFL right now. ;)

Week 2: Eric Rowe plays 34 out of New England’s 65 defensive snaps. That’s good for 52%. Rowe actually started over Malcolm Butler in the Patriots’ win over the Saints but Butler ended up playing more snaps due to Rowe suffering a groin injury. So far, Rowe has played 71 out of 134 snaps this season, which is 53%. It’s a close margin, but the Eagles are currently projected to get the third-round pick.

Week 3: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 71 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0% (duh). Rowe was inactive due to the groin injury he suffered in Week 2. The good news (?) is that Rowe was listed “questionable” after being limited in practice all of last week. Maybe he’ll be able to return this week. The Eagles better hope Rowe gets healthy because now he’s only played 71 of 205 snaps this season, which is 34.6%. One thing to keep in mind regarding the Rowe tracker is that Malcolm Butler still appears to be on the trade block. If Butler gets moved, Rowe’s playing time should receive a boost. The NFL trade deadline is set for 4:00 PM ET on October 31.


Current projected Eagles 2018 Draft Picks



4th - (from the Minnesota Vikings)

4th - (from the New England Patriots; can elevate to a 3rd)


5th - (from the Seattle Seahawks)


[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 15:52:51 EDT from rss

Subject: That Sound You Hear Is J.J. Redick Laying Waste to Orlando, Los Angeles and, Most Importantly, Milwaukee

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Weeeeeeeeeee. And we’re off on the unofficial start of basketball season, the day we get a vague update on Joel Embiid media day, as the Sixers come out of the gate with a little SPUNK. First up, J.J. Redick shooting his pistol at his previous homes: "I've never played in a sports town … Philly's…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 16:56:40 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles Injury Updates: Latest on Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks, more

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The Eagles need to get healthy.

Here’s a few updates on the Philadelphia Eagles injury situation as they prepare to play the Los Angeles Chargers this week. (It’s very hard to not write San Diego.)

We’ll have more information on the injury situation when the Eagles release their first official injury report for Week 4 on Wednesday.

Fletcher Cox

Cox left the Eagles-Giants game early and limped to the locker room with a calf injury. Doug Pederson said Cox is “day-to-day” but Les Bowen reports he “would not expect Cox to be ready to play in LA this week.” If true, that’s obviously a significant loss for the Eagles defense. Philly has some nice depth at defensive tackle, but Cox is a beast.

Jordan Hicks

Hicks left the Eagles-Giants game with an ankle injury and did not return. After the win, he was seen with his ankle wrapped but he said he’s going to be OK. Like Cox, Pederson described Hicks as day-to-day.

Darren Sproles

Pederson confirmed Sproles suffered a torn ACL and a broken arm. Out for the season. Just terrible news. Sproles will likely be placed on injured reserve this week, which frees up a roster spot. Maybe Byron Marshall gets called up from the practice squad.

Rodney McLeod

McLeod was ruled out for Sunday’s Eagles-Giants game after being a game-time decision. Doug Pederson, Jim Schwartz, Howie Roseman, Joe Douglas, and Eagles trainers all watched his warmup session but ultimately he didn’t play. When asked if he’ll play this week via a Monday interview on SportsRadio 94WIP, McLeod said: “I think I will.”

The Eagles were down to their fourth string safety (Chris Maragos) against the Giants. Getting McLeod back would be ideal.

Sidney Jones

To be clear, there’s been no real update on Jones. I just wanted to point out there are only three more weeks where he’s definitely out. He’s eligible to start practicing as soon as Week 7, though it’s unclear if he will. For more information on Jones’ situation, click here.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 16:29:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Notes and Quotes from Doug Pederson

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Doug Pederson confirmed on Monday that Darren Sproles will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and broken arm. The Birds running back and punt returner walked off the field under his power after suffering both injuries on the same damn play in Sunday’s 27-24 win. Pederson said that Byron Marshall will be…

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 18:10:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Darren Sproles officially placed on Eagles injured reserve list

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The Philadelphia Eagles placed Darren Sproles on the injured reserve list on Monday afternoon, according to an official announcement from the team.

Sproles suffered a broken arm and a torn ACL during the Eagles’ Week 3 win over the New York Giants. His season is now over.

It’s also possible the 34-year-old running back’s career is over as well. It would be terrible to see Sproles go out like this, but he’s previously suggested that 2017 was going to be his last season. It’s worth noting that Sproles is a free agent after this year.

With Sproles going to IR, the Eagles now have an open roster spot. It’s possible the Eagles might look to call up Byron Marshall in order to fill the vacancy. Marshall is obviously no Sproles, but he at least has a similar skill set as a shifty receiving back.

Sproles being out for the rest of the year is a huge blow to the Eagles. He’s a great player on the field and a well-respected figure in the locker room.

He’ll be missed dearly.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 20:25:57 EDT from rss

Subject: Cowboys vs. Cardinals: How to watch Monday Night Football, game info, live streaming, odds, more

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Watch MNF here.

Week 3 of the 2017 NFL regular season ends tonight with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.

Both teams are 1-1. The Cowboys beat the New York Giants in Week 1 before getting absolutely dominated by the Denver Broncons in Week 2. The Cardinals, meanwhile, lost to the Detroit Lions in the season opener before eking out a close win in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles fans will obviously be rooting for a Cowboys loss tonight. The Birds would love to see Dallas fall to 1-2.

Even if the Cowboys win, the Eagles will still be in first place in the due to their division record (2-0).

Find everything you need to know about tonight's game below.

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals TV Schedule

Game time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: ESPN

Date: Monday, September 25

Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium | Glendale, Arizona

Online Streaming: WatchESPN


Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-105)

Arizona Cardinals +3.5 (-115)


Open thread: discuss Monday night’s game in the comments below.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 22:55:19 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Rangers recap: Downed in overtime yet again

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Travis Sanheim provides all the offense.

The Flyers peppered Henrik Lundqvist with 39 shots, but only rookie Travis Sanheim could solve the New York netminder as the Flyers fell 3-2 to the Rangers on Monday night in the first of a home-and-home series between the two rivals.

Michal Neuvirth matched Lundqvist shot for shot until he left a juicy rebound out front for Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh to punch home to seal the game with just over a minute left in the extra period.

Once again, the Flyers’ special teams let them down in this one, going 0-for-5 on the power play after an 0-for-9 performance in Boston last Thursday. The Flyers also gave up a power play goal, but did kill off the Rangers’ last five power plays on the evening.

First period

Rick Nash opened the scoring early with a power play goal on a deflection on a point shot to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at the 3:16 mark. Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan McDonagh got the assists on the opening goal. Radko Gudas was in the box for a holding call after dragging down a Ranger near center ice.

The Flyers would respond quickly with an absolute bullet from Travis Sanheim, who took a nice pass from Nolan Patrick to lead him to open ice and fire a slap shot by Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 1-1. Patrick and Jordan Weal got the assists on the goal, which came at four-on-four.

After a terrible power play effort against the Bruins last time out (0-for-9) the Flyers generated nice puck movement on their first man-advantage of the night following the Sanheim goal.

Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek got in on a two-on-one near the six-minute mark, but Giroux couldn’t hit the net on the return feed, though it looked like Lundqvist was beaten. It was nice execution but Giroux did seem a little surprised Voracek sent the puck back to him off his initial pass so that could have effected the shot.

After killing off a Michael Raffl penalty with 1:21 left in the first the Flyers began to buzz in the Rangers' zone with Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal giving the Rangers’ defense the runaround. Weal, after dangling away from a defender, was stopped in close by Lundqvist to keep the score even after one.

Second period

After a three-penalty first period, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol couldn’t be happy when Jake Voracek picked up a slashing call just 20 seconds into the second. On the ensuing power play Michal Neuvirth absolutely robbed Rick Nash in close with a sprawling save, one of three from the netminder on the kill.

With Chris Kreider off for tripping the Flyers’ second power play unit generated some nice pressure with Konecny and Weal once again hooking up for a scoring chance. Weal hit Konecny in the slot with a quick pass, but Lundqvist made a strong pad save and covered.

The Giroux line created another nice chance on an odd-man rush with Gostisbehere jumping up on the play but unable to jam home a centering pass from Voracek. Giroux started the play by taking a loose puck of the wall in his own zone and racing up ice. That same group would pin the Rangers in their own zone for the better part of a minute at the five minute mark, but the Flyers could only manage distance shots that didn’t challenge Lundqvist.

Wayne Simmonds nearly slammed home a backdoor feed on the Flyers’ third power play of the game, but Jake Voracek’s pass sailed off Simmonds’ stick with the net wide open. The Flyers only generated a single shot but carried momentum over into the final minute of the period.

With just 3.1 seconds left in the second and the Flyers still surging, Travis Sanheim found a loose puck in front of Lundqvist and buried his second goal of the game to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead heading to the third. The rookie defenseman showed great instinct to jump into the offense and the skill to finish the play on his backhand past Lundqvist.

Through two periods the Flyers again dominated in the face off circle, winning 20 of 31 draws after winning 45 of 66 against the Bruins last Thursday.

Third period

With the Flyers under siege to start the third they got a bad break from the officials, who took Nolan Patrick off for high-sticking at 1:25, when replay showed it was a Ranger who high-sticked Marc Staal in the face and not the Flyers’ rookie forward. The Flyers would survive the ensuing power play, though, killing off their fourth consecutive penalty after Rick Nash’s opening power play tally.

After a Flyers turnover in the neutral zone by Ivan Provorov the Rangers would tie things up at 2-2 with a Mika Zibanejad tally at the 5:29 mark. Chris Kreider and Buchnevich picked up the helpers on the game-tying goal.

The Flyers wasted a golden opportunity to retake the lead when Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux got in on a two-on-none in on Lundqvist. The pair made one too many passes, though, and saw a prime chance go by the wayside because neither one really wanted to shoot the puck yet again.

Tempers would flare after Radko Gudas laid out Fillip Chytil in the neutral zone. Gudas caught the Rangers’ rookie with his head down and didn’t miss. After Neuvirth stopped play the players came together as the Rangers asked Gudas to answer for the hit.

Following another strong penalty kill the Flyers would buzz around Lundqvist looking for the go-ahead goal. Voracek, Patrick and Giroux racked up zone time and a few stuff attempts at the Rangers net but couldn’t convert.

Despite a late flurry from the Flyers, part of 37 shots on in regulation, Henrik Lundqvist proved up to the test with saves on Provorov, Robert Hagg and Simmonds to send this one to overtime.


In the overtime it was a show from the goaltenders with Lundqvist and Neuvrith matching their opposite number shot for shot until Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh was able to beat Neuvirth off a rebound at the 3:51 mark of overtime to give the Rangers the 3-2 win. Fillip Chytil and Mats Zuccarello got the assists on the game-winner.

Next up: Flyers vs. Rangers, 7 p.m. from the Wells Fargo Center tomorrow night.

[#] Mon Sep 25 2017 22:38:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Darren Sproles sounds like he

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While yesterday’s win over the New York Giants was a great day for the Philadelphia Eagles, today was not. News emerged that Darren Sproles suffered a torn ACL in addition to his broken arm. The Eagles placed Sproles on injured reserve and it’s possible the veteran running back will never play again.

But maybe Mighty Mouse is not done just yet. Check out this post from Sproles’ official Twitter account.

Hmmm. “The comeback will be real.”

Maybe he’s leaving the door open after all.

If Sproles does intended to play in 2018, it’s worth noting he’ll need to sign a new contract. He’s currently set to be a free agent after this season.

The Eagles would certainly have to be cautious with allocating resources to a 35-year-old skill player coming off a major injury. But the exceptional Sproles has long been the exception in his career so maybe he’d be worth it to them. Assuming he still wants to play, of course.

Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Sproles’ NFL career. It’d be really depressing to see him go out injured like this. No. 43 deserves better than that.

This will be an interesting situation to monitor moving forward.

[#] Tue Sep 26 2017 07:00:02 EDT from YS.

Subject: Tuesday Morning Fly By: EIGHT MORE DAYS.

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*So we had a game last night, and in that game the Claude Giroux At Wing experiment continued. Sean Couturier loves it, for what it's worth. [Inquirer]

*Speaking of Couturier, he could be your number one center this season. That's pretty wild eh? [Courier-Post]

*On roster moves and Nolan Patrick's likelihood of making the team out of camp. [CSN Philly]

*Meltzer has a little more on the remaining roster battles. [Hockeybuzz]

*One player making those remaining battles interesting is Taylor Leier, who has really turned it on in the last half of camp... [Sports Talk Philly]

*...which has some folks thinking that maybe Oskar Lindblom may now be on the bubble. [Courier-Post]

*Okay now on to the prospects we know won't be making the team: the Canadian Junior and European League seasons are underway! [BSH]

*Our pal Charlie takes a good hard look at the Flyers' penalty kill strategies. [The Athletic]

*The smart folks over at HockeyViz have compiled their previews for the season and the verdict for your Flyers? PLAYOFFS BABY! [HockeyViz]

*Some people still think this is a bubble team, though. It's the Metro Division, it is so dang good. [The Score]

*The league's crackdown on slashing and other stick infractions is going to be a good thing. [Associated Press]

*On five people facing lots of pressure as the season gets underway. [USA Today]

*And finally, ICYMI, BSH is taking over Vegas for a weekend! Join us!! [BSH]

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