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[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 11:00:12 EDT from rss

Subject: What is the final roster going to look like?

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The gang’s all here to try and get to the bottom of just who will be on this roster next Wednesday night.

Training camp is winding down and the kids are still competing. Morin, Hagg, Sanheim, Patrick, and Lindblom are still here and fighting to push veterans out. The power play and penalty kill are also starting to take shape and roles are coming into focus with only two preseason games remaining.

You can listen below, but the show is also available on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud.

Follow us on twitter @BSH_Radio and check out our Patreon!

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 10:38:30 EDT from rss

Subject: Fantasy Football Week 4: Is Wendell Smallwood a Potential Feature Back for Philly?

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If one tailback on the Eagles could consume a bell-cow share of the touches—meaning a player who is capable of handling around 15 carries and the rich allotment of routes and targets the team dedicates to the position—they’d likely become a fantasy star. If we had a time machine and mind control over Howie Roseman…

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 12:20:16 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Picks Week 4 2017: Predictions by Football Writers

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Predicting the winners of this week's NFL games.

The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are in for Week 4 of the 2017 regular season schedule! Each week we'll predict the winners of each and every NFL game. We'll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season.

After Week 3, the collective BGN Community is in sole possession of first place. I always knew our readers were the smartest. That’s why you choose to read us! ;)

The Philadelphia Eagles play away this week. The Eagles are ALMOST unanimously favored over the 0-3 Los Angeles Chargers. There is one non-believer in our midst.

Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You can also vote for who you think will win the games. I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column. Vote in the polls beneath the table. (Click here if you can’t see the polls.)

Let's get to this week's picks!


Vote for YOUR picks below. (Once again, click here if you can’t see the polls.)

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 14:39:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Chargers Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy

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Scouting the Eagles’ Week 4 matchup.

The Philadelphia Eagles are back on the road to face the winless Chargers in Week 4. Los Angeles is 0-3 to start the 2017 season.

In order to preview the Eagles’ matchup against the Chargers, I reached out to our enemies over at Bolts From The Blue. Our friend Richard Wade (@RichardWade) kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game. Let's take a look at the answers.

1 - The Chargers are 0-3. What’s gone wrong?

What hasn't gone wrong? The most obvious answer is that the kicking game really let down the rest of the team in the first two weeks. Rookie kicker Younghoe Koo had a game-tying field goal blocked in week 1 and missed two field goals (including a game-winner) in week 2. The more distressing answer is that Philip Rivers has not looked like the greatest quarterback in franchise history to start this season. Instead, he has looked more like the guy who has a troubling recent past that involves leading the NFL in interceptions. He almost single-handedly lost the Chiefs game this past week. He was a complete mess. His footwork was bad and his decision-making was worse. He threw three picks but it easily could have been five or six. If he doesn't get his head right, this team could have a worse record than it has had the past two years.

2 - Despite being winless, the Chargers still “only” have the league’s 23rd worst point differential. Something similar happened last year when the Chargers were 5-11 but “only” had the leagues’ 22nd worst point differential. Are the Chargers better than their record makes them appear? Do you think they’ve just been unlucky or is something else holding them back from winning close games?

The Chargers are not better than their record makes them appear. They have a handful of very talented players like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Keenan Allen who will keep them within striking distance against many teams. However, they have an incredible lack of depth in part thanks to the general manager's affinity for trading away middle-round draft picks. They also sport a roster full of players that are injury prone. That combination tends to reveal itself in the kicking game (where the lack of depth kills the quality of special teams players) and late in games when their opponent is able to rotate in better players throughout the game and keep their stars fresh. The team appears unlucky, but really they're just not very good.

3 - I imagine this question comes up often, so I apologize in advance, but I have to ask. How do you feel about the team’s move to Los Angeles? And how do you think the current stadium situation impacts the Chargers’ home field advantage, or lack thereof? Given how well Eagles fans travel, could this potentially be close to a neutral field situation? I heard there were a lot of Dolphins fans there in Week 2.

The move to Los Angeles has been painful at best. A large percentage of fans have given up on the team and many of them are now actively rooting for the franchise's failure. There is no indication that they have developed any new fans and the 0-3 start certainly is not helping with that. There is no home field advantage to speak of at the StubHub Center. I would be surprised if less than 40% of the crowd is supporting the Eagles. Dolphins fans made up somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% or more of the fans at that game and they are not a fanbase that travels like Eagles fans.

4 - What’s one matchup that really favors the Eagles? And one that really favors the Chargers?

Zach Ertz is one of the most talented receiving tight ends in the NFL and the Chargers have one of the worst safety tandems in the league. Any time you can find Tre Boston or Jahleel Addae in coverage against Ertz you will be looking at a potentially big play. And God forbid you get anyone that's eligible to receive a pass lined up against run-stuffing outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel.

Keenan Allen is one of the finest route runners in the NFL and I think he will find a lot of success against a Philly secondary that is not at full strength and was not the greatest to begin with.

5 - Who wins this game and why? What’s your score prediction?

I like the Eagles in this one. The Chargers just are not a very good team right now and the Eagles are playing well. Mobile quarterbacks have always given them trouble and I don't think Wentz will be any different. I think the Eagles win 24-17.

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 15:00:04 EDT from rss

Subject: Preview: Flyers host Bruins as preseason winds down

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Can rookie defenseman continue to prove they belong?

The Flyers host the Bruins tonight at the Wells Fargo Center as the preseason slate fades away, with just one more meeting with the Islanders on tap on Sunday before the regular season starts in San Jose on Oct. 4.

Tonight’s game will air on TCN and on radio at 97.5 The Fanatic.

Thanks to a Travis Konecny overtime winner, the Flyers come in on a high note following their 4-3 win over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. Sam Morin, Scott Laughton, and Oskar Lindblom also scored for the Flyers in that one.

Following the game, the Flyers again cut down their roster, sending forwards Mike Vecchione and Mikhail Vorobyev to Lehigh Valley. The roster now stands at 28 players, as more cuts loom for GM Ron Hextall and the Flyers’ brass.

Still making their case for the opening day roster are a handful of the Flyers’ top prospects. Defensemen Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin and Robert Hagg are all holding their own, but Sanheim and Morin have each added offense in the past few games for a Flyers offense desperate for goals. Oskar Lindblom scored his first goal of the preseason on Tuesday and Nolan Patrick has begun to show his high offensive ceiling in recent games as well.

But even with a few strong performances under their belt, the youngsters will need to continue to play well these last two preseason games. Both Travis Sanheim and Sam Morin are in the lineup again tonight to continue to make their case for a spot on the final roster. Sanehim scored in back-to-back games against Boston and New York while Morin added his first goal of the preseason Tuesday.

As for the forwards, still battling for spots are Taylor Leier, Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom. From that group only Laughton will draw in for this one while Lindblom and Leier will sit. Of the three, Lindblom seems to be the safest bet to make the final cut, making Leier’s absence in the lineup tonight surprising.

The Claude Giroux wing experiment will continue tonight as it has the past few games to mixed results. The captain has created chances, but at times it has looked like both he and Sean Couturier are trying to play center at the same time. Giroux has largely drifted to the middle of the ice and adapting to life on the wing will certainly need more time.

Taking into account the lot of moving parts and pieces during the preseason, the Flyers’ power play has been dreadful despite the first unit being essentially intact the past few games. The lack of production isn't overly concerning since these games don’t count, but it is something to keep an eye on as opening night draws closer.

Speaking of closer, the Flyers season opener in San Jose is just six days away. Only two more preseason games, people.

Here were the Flyers’ lines this morning per Dave Isaac:


Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Simmonds

Konecny - Filppula - Weise

Lehtera - Laughton - Read


Manning - Gudas

Morin - Gostisbehere

Provorov - Sanheim




[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 14:38:05 EDT from rss

Subject: Wayne Simmonds Does NOT Want to Talk About Taking a Knee

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Will Wayne Simmonds kneel during the National Anthem when the Flyers open the season against the San Jose Sharks next week? Won’t he? There’s been a lot of chatter about it over the past 24 hours. Well, Simmonds has a message for all those who want to talk about the will he/won’t he suspense. You’re…

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 14:58:59 EDT from rss

Subject: Markelle Fultz is

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? That applies to Markelle Fultz, whose shot isn’t in need of repair, but could probably be improved. That’s why the Sixers rookie has been experimenting with his mechanics in training camp. This week he started tweaking his free throw motion. “It was just something going on where…

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 16:41:28 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles Injury Report: Five players still missing from practice

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The Eagles will likely be Cox-less.

The Philadelphia Eagles released their second official injury report on Thursday ahead of their Week 4 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

There’s no major change from yesterday’s injury report. The only thing that’s different is starting center Jason Kelce was a full participant in practice after being limited on Wednesday.

Five players are still not practicing: defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, cornerback Ronald Darby, safety Corey Graham, safety Jaylen Watkins, and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao. They’re all unlikely to play this week.

Yesterday, the Daily News reported Cox could be out for one or two more games in addition to this week. That certainly isn’t good news for the defense.

On the bright side, the Eagles are getting Jordan Hicks and Rodney McLeod back. McLeod’s presence is especially important given the injuries to his primary backups: Graham and Watkins.

In non-injury news, Stefen Wisniewski was seen taking first team left guard reps in individual drills. Team drills are closed to the media, so it remains to be seen who took the first team reps there.

Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Thursday)

Did Not Participate

CB Ronald Darby (ankle)

DT Fletcher Cox (calf)

S Corey Graham (hamstring)

S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)

DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)

Full Participation

LB Jordan Hicks (ankle)

S Rodney McLeod (hamstring)

C Jason Kelce (knee)

Los Angeles Chargers Injury Report (Thursday)

Chargers starting running back Melvin Gordon didn’t practice on Wednesday while starting right tackle Joe Barksdale was limited. LA head coach Anthony Lynn said Gordon will be a full participant in practice and play on Sunday.

Chargers official injury report TBA. Check back for updates.

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 16:55:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles Game Preview: The Chargers are a team without a home

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The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #264). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Chargers game in Week 4, talk about how Los Angeles is struggling, analyze key matchups to watch, and much more.

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 18:13:23 EDT from rss

Subject: With a Body Like a Pogo Stick, Brett Brown Sees Interesting Qualities in Furkan Korkmaz

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Furkan Korkmaz is a project, for sure. After spending the 2016 season overseas, the 6’7″ Turkish swingman was somewhat of a surprise addition to this Sixers roster, considering the crowding in the back court. He’s likely to start the season in Delaware, but the development begins in training camp, where Brett Brown has been focused…

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 18:33:49 EDT from rss

Subject: Talking to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick About Their New Podcast

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Merrill Reese and Mike Quick just launched a podcast, the Mike and Merrill Show, and they were kind enough to give us a few minutes to talk about the big game-winning call on Sunday, how analytics factor into football, and, of course, their new podcast, which you can hear right here or subscribe to on…

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 20:51:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Packers vs. Bears: How to watch Thursday Night Football

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Everything you need to know.

Week 4 of the 2017 NFL season officially kicks off tonight. By the end of Monday, we’ll already be about a quarter way through the new year. Crazy.

Tonight’s game features a classic NFC North matchup: the Chicago Bears versus the Green Bay Packers. The Bears are 1-2 while the Packers are 2-1. The all-time record in this 97-year-old rivalry is 94-94-6, so tonight’s winner will get to be one the winning side of this series.

The Bears have played a little better than expected. They kept things close with the Falcons in Week 1 and then beat the Steelers in Week 3.

The Packers, meanwhile, beat a bad (?) Seahawks team by one possession, lost to the Falcons, and then narrowly defeated the winless Bengals in overtime.

In other words, we might have a game on our hands tonight. Of course, I say that now and it’ll end up being a blowout.

The Eagles will play the Bears in Philadelphia later this season in Week 12.

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

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

TV Schedule

Game time: 8:25 PM EST

Channel: NFL Network, CBS

Date: Thursday, September 28

Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

Location: Lambeau Field | Green Bay, Wisconsin

Online Streaming

Watch the live stream on the NFL's mobile app. International viewers can use NFL Game Pass. Replay on NFL Game Rewind.


Bears +7.5 (-105)

Packers -7.5 (-115)

Over/under: 45 points

SB Nation Blogs

Packers -

Bears -


Open thread: discuss Thursday's game in the comments below.

[#] Thu Sep 28 2017 22:55:11 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Bruins recap: Flyers smother Bruins in best preseason performance so far

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The Flyers’ best effort of the preseason comes with the regular season right around the corner.

Even if it is just the preseason, it’s good to get a dominant effort from start to finish.

The Flyers did just that in their 5-1 drubbing of the Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. Five different players scored and the Flyers struck twice on the man-advantage to end their recent power play woes.

Alex Lyon, called up earlier in the day to make the spot start with Michal Neuvirth sick and Brian Elliott off to be honored by his alma mater, made 31 saves on 32 shots in net for the win.

It was a team effort in all phases and one that coach Dave Hakstol surely will welcome given that the Flyers now have just one preseason game left before they start the regular season.

First period

The Flyers were eager to get to their power play woes under way in this one, missing on a pair of early power play chances in the first five minutes.

The first power play unit moved the puck well in their first chance of the night, generating a nice backdoor passing play from Wayne Simmonds to Jake Voracek, who was stopped by Tuukka Rask. The second power play didn’t generate much besides a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot that Task turned aside easily.

Boston thought they took a 1-0 lead with 9:24 left in the first, but the officiating crew waived off a Brad Marchand goal because Marchand used his glove to re-direct a puck into the net. The crew was on top of the play and waived the goal off almost immediately.

A few minutes later it was the Flyers’ turn to have a goal disallowed. This time it was Simmonds’ stick above the crossbar on a tip in front of a Gostisbehere shot that found its way past Rask.

The Flyers wouldn’t have to wait long to take an actual 1-0 lead, however. Still on their third power play of the night, the second unit would provide the goal with a pretty passing play between Nolan Patrick, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny. Konecny would get the payoff, marking the third goal of the preseason for the second-year player.

Boston thought they had an answer with a Jake DeBrusk tally at the 14:11 mark, but DeBrusk was ruled to have interfered with Flyers goalie Alex Lyon after a challenge by Flyers coach Dave Hakstol. It was the third goal disallowed in the first period.

With just 10 seconds left in the first the Flyers would take a 2-0 lead thanks to a Jake Voracek goal off a rebound of a Radko Gudas shot. Voracek sprung on the loose puck and beat Rask blocker side with a rocket of a shot.

Second period

The Bruins came out flying in the first minute of the second, but Alex Lyon moved post-to-post to deny Charlie McAvoy and keep the Bruins scoreless with the Flyers a little flat to begin the frame.

After surviving a surge from the Bruins to start the period the Flyers settled in and would take a 3-0 lead on a Brandon Manning goal at the 4:51 mark. It was a perfectly placed shot by the veteran defenseman, who found space thanks to a nice pass from Jake Voracek. Claude Giroux would pickup the other assist.

The Flyers weren’t done scoring in the second, not even on their first penalty kill of the night.

With Sean Couturier in the box rookie Sam Morin rushed up ice and made a beautiful pass across to Wayne Simmonds, who put the puck into the empty net to push the Flyers’ lead to 4-0 with just over 11 minutes left in the second. Morin skated wide of about four Bruins defenders and Simmonds broke in behind them for the slam dunk.

With the Flyers thoroughly dominating the action tempers flared between the two teams late in the third and after some pushing and shoving Nolan Patrick ended up with his first NHL fight against David Krejci. As if Flyers fans weren’t already excited enough about their second overall pick, he went and got into a fight in just his seventh game.

Alex Lyon made his best saves of the night with 1:59 left in the second on a pair of stops in quick succession on David Pastrnak and Kevan Miller as the Bruins were shorthanded. Lyon, starting for Michal Neuvirth (illness), made 19 saves through two periods, but none were better than those two.

Third period

After allowing four goals on 18 shots, Tuukka Risk would give way to Malcolm Subban in goal for the Bruins.

David Krejci would open the scoring for Boston with a tally just 48 seconds in to cut the Flyers’ lead to 4-1. Kenny Agostino and David Pastrnak got the assists on the goal.

The Flyers’ power play would answer with a Sean Couturier goal at the 4:06 mark to extend the lead back to four goals at 5-1. Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov got the assists on the Flyers’ second power play goal of the night.

Alex Lyon would hold down the fort the rest of the way as the Flyers improved to 3-1-3 in the preseason.

Next up: Sunday vs. Islanders, Wells Fargo Center, 5pm on NHL Network, TCN and 97.5 The Fanatic

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 07:00:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Friday Morning Fly By: It's the final countdooooowwwwn

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

*Last night saw one of the final preseason games before we get to the real stuff, and it ... was good. RECAP!

*Seems like Scott Laughton has finally earned himself a spot on this team. [Courier-Post]

*We're still asking the "how many rookies" question, despite the fact that it seems pretty clear who has earned a spot. [ProHockeyTalk]

*BAMFBrian Elliott doesn't expect it to take long for him to adjust to playing in Philadelphia. [Inquirer]

*The Flyers have a pretty nice mix of rookies and veteran talent and they're hoping it's the right balance to get them back to the playoffs. [Associated Press]

*Nolan Patrick, for one, is pretty friggin pumped. [ProHockeyTalk]

*Yesterday it was wingers, and today we get to see who the Caps fans are worrying about at center. [Japers' Rink]

*The Flyers aren't the only team making big roster decisions. The Olympic teams are starting to as well. Here are some Thoughts. [Sportsnet]

*Lest you forget that Gary Bettman is a piece of shit, have a look at what the league is trying to do in Calgary. [Deadspin]

*And finally, new BSH Radio! We share what we think this final roster will look like and yell about possible bad decisions before they even happen. [BSH]

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 07:36:25 EDT from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Nuggets and Knees

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss Sixers excitement, Wayne Simmonds’ anthem comments, the media, Eagles-Chargers and the running game.   We recommend subscribing in Overcast, the best iOS podcast player, and using the Voice Boost and Smart Speed functions, which improve sound quality (for all shows) and speed up small gaps in the conversation. Download Overcast…

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 09:51:05 EDT from rss

Subject: Carson Wentz Report: NFL Week 3

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What did the Eagles ask of Carson Wentz against the Giants?

There are a lot of narratives that have divided the NFL community when it comes to the opinion of Carson Wentz. This will be a weekly installment that focuses solely on the Eagles’ young signal caller, with analysis, evidence and statistics along with context to provide a deep dive on Wentz’s play.

Welcome back to the Wentz Report! As mentioned above, this a weekly article that evaluates Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on a week-to-week and cumulative basis. You can find last week’s Wentz report here.

Interceptable Passes (IPs)

This week, I didn't have Wentz down for any interceptable passes. The Eagles game plan was more conservative this week as opposed to Weeks 1 and 2. The Eagles seemed to want Wentz to take on more of a game manager role. This sort of performance puts into perspective statistics such as IPs and turnover worthy plays. While it’s nice to chart them, they are useless without context. One may look at this performance and think Wentz played well because he eliminated those sort of plays, but it was quite the opposite. Wentz plays with a risky gunslinger mentality. Sometimes this allows him to break the structure of a play and make a throw or play that some quarterbacks only dream of making. When he has the ability to consistently push the ball downfield into tighter windows, he’s going to make more plays that give you hopes and glimpses of a franchise quarterback.

Managing The Pocket

I didn't think this was Wentz’s best day of managing the pocket at all. There were times when his feet would stop moving or he would take off in a full blown run instead of utilizing subtle movements to neutralize the rush and keep the structure of the play alive.

In the play above Wentz has a relatively clean pocket to work with. Lane Johnson was spun around but ultimately recovered and gave Wentz the ability to slide to his right. Another option was to step up, although he may have ended up in the arms of the defensive end. If Wentz manages the pocket better he likely see Zach Ertz streaking open downfield.

Instead, Wentz abandons the pocket and runs himself into trouble. The play ends with a positive gain, but not before Wentz is driven into the ground.

This is another play where Wentz had all of the room in the world to slide left and still keep his eyes downfield. Had he done this he may have been able to work back across the field to his right and see that Torrey Smith had cleared the deep right defender and that Nelson Agholor had slipped in behind the defense.


I understand trying to direct Ertz upfield, but he was the only offensive player on that side of the field, and it was after he broke off his original route. It’s hard to say that — even with sliding — Wentz would've been able to deliver the ball to Agholor with him being outside the numbers on the opposite boundary without the defensive back adjusting, the pocket movement could've extended the play to a better extent. The end result was a scramble for a first down, but it taxes Wentz’s body. All of those hits add up and Carson already has a history of sustaining injuries.

I’m not going to murder Wentz for not taking off here. The reason being is because he’s working through his progression to the opposite side of where the huge hole is developing. What I do think Wentz should've done was dump the ball off to LeGarrette Blount. Fourth down, the last thing you want to do is take a sack. Dumping it off likely won't get you the first down, but it will keep you from likely taking a hit and worsen the opposing team’s field position. Ultimately Wentz takes the sack. He has to be smarter here.

Reads, Progressions and Footwork

I thought Wentz’s feet slowed down as opposed to how they had progressed in the first two weeks. As far as progressions go, the Eagles ran a lot of three-level stretch plays, similar to what they did last year. What this allows the quarterback to do is read three different receivers in the same line of vision instead of moving through reads to different sides of the field. This isn't to say the coaching staff doesn't have faith in Wentz’s ability to read defenses, it’s just a tactic that the Eagles utilized well against the Giants.

The Eagles predominately took the underneath reads during this game, as it was what the Giants were willing to give them. The first play is the Eagles running the three level stretch concept against the Giants last year, and the second play was the Alshon catch from Sunday. On the second play, the Eagles took the second level read to Alshon Jeffery after Eli Apple came up on fake from Wentz. One receiver clears out the deep defender while Janoris Jenkins plays over Alshon on the corner. Apple should've conceded the catch in front of him and played deeper considering the situation. Wentz threads the pass into Jeffery setting up the game wining field goal. In years past, I have trouble believing Jordan Matthews hangs onto that ball, but this is why you bring in a wide receiver like Jeffery. In the NFL, every win matters, especially in division games and while this catch didn't single handily win the game for the Eagles, it set the table.

This miss to Alshon ultimately didn't matter as the Eagles eventually scored a touchdown on this drive, but sometimes you have to trust what you see. Every quarterback will miss an open receiver from time-to-time, but Jeffery is standing wide open in Wentz’s line of vision with nobody within five yards of him. Wentz keeps his eyes locked on Agholor and throws the ball away. You can’t miss the layups, especially against a good defense.

Throwing with anticipation and accuracy

This was definitely Wentz’s worst game in the accuracy and anticipation regard. On numerous occasions he neutralized the opportunity for YAC with late or inaccurate throws.

On this play Torrey Smith has to turn all the way around and adjust to the ball to catch it. Wentz does a poor job of leading him on this third down play that mandates the receiver secures yards to move the chains. I don't think Smith would've secured the yardage necessary to get a first down, but his opportunity to do so was nipped by a poor throw.

This was another one where Wentz killed an opportunity for YAC. Off the RPO, Torrey Smith should've caught this but he had to to stop and reach behind his body to make a play on the ball. Landon Collins was coming off the edge, but from the offensive line view, he wasn't a factor at all. He was completely faked out and flew by Wentz before realizing he kept the ball.

This pass was high over to Trey Burton. One of the criticisms of Wentz was high passes that lead to turnovers, but he had done well at eliminating those throws. In all fairness, going high here was probably the best move as Janoris Jenkins was driving on this route. It’s likely if Wentz puts this lower or inside, Jenkins picks it off. I’m not sure if the placement was by design here is the issue, and if it wasn't, that’s not good.

This is another maddening one. I love what the Eagles are doing underneath, creating a pick with the receiver. This frees up the middle of the field for Wentz to throw into. Instead Wentz throws high and slightly behind Zach Ertz. Ertz still should've caught this ball, but there was nothing but open field for Wentz to lead him into. On the Birds Breakdown podcast, Ben Solak and myself discussed this. Ben thinks that he may have been trying to avoid the ball being tipped at the line of scrimmage, which I can see, but there’s still a lot of field for Ertz to be led to.

What makes that last play maddening is how well Wentz bounces back and puts this throw in a tight window right on the money to Ertz. Fortunately the Eagles were able to get the touchdown here and make up for the points left on the board earlier.

Deep Ball Accuaracy

The deep ball has been an issue for Wentz all year long and that hasn't changed. Wentz has missed three touchdowns on deep throws with general inaccuracy. On this one it looks like his foot may have slightly been turned towards the sideline, which would explain why the ball sailed out of bounds, but even if he had been able to keep it in bounds, it looks like if would've been an overthrow. While it’s nice that receivers are winning deep an stretching the field, the Eagles are going to start seeing teams force Wentz to beat them deep by crowding the LOS. Rome wasn't built in a day, but the deep ball looks much worse than what it did this time a year ago. I can't tell if this is a mechanical thing or just an accuracy issue.

Earlier this offseason I asked Bill Belichick whether or not he believed accuracy was something that could be coached, and his response was that he believes it can be improved, but each player has their ceiling. I don't believe thins Wentz’s ceiling because again, through five games last year, he was relatively accurate downfield, but there seems to be a regression right now.


Overall, we’ve seen improvements in Wentz’s game. At points there are lapses where he reverts to the bad habits that plagued him his rookie year, but he’s still showing the traits that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Although this week called for a different gameplay from the first two weeks, in a way I believe it benefited Wentz. The Eagles were able to run the ball and move it down the field effectively so they didn't need to start from that gameplan. One thing I found interesting was something Sheil Kapadia wrote over at the Athletic. Wentz was changing the calls and audibling into runs based on what he was seeing pre-snap. As much as I focus on the physical aspects of Wentz’s game, it’s important to remember the game is just as much mental, if not more. Wentz isn't a rookie anymore, so it’s not surprising to see him making these adjustments, but that doesn't make it any less impressive or mean that it doesn't deserve praise as well. Sometimes the smart thing to do is to stick with what’s working and that’s exactly what Carson Wentz and the Eagles did on Sunday.

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 10:00:09 EDT from rss

Subject: The best photos from the Flyers preseason win against the Bruins

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September 28, 2017: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

Scroll through Kate Frese’s photos from last night’s Philadelphia Flyers game against the Boston Bruins.

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 10:17:42 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Zach Ertz is off to a very hot start

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/29/17.

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

Eagles Mailbag: Can Zach Ertz lead all tight ends in receiving this season? - PhillyVoice
I was curious where Ertz ranked, league-wide, after reading this question, so I took a peek. Turns out he’s tied for fourth overall in the NFL in receptions, with 21, and 10th in yards, with 245. That’s good for first in the league among tight ends, who have generally gotten off to slow starts in 2017. Statistically so far this season, it’s Ertz and Gronk at the top, and then there's a big gap thereafter. Ertz is on pace for 112 catches and 1307 yards. While he still has his frustrating quirks, Ertz is one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL, and the Eagles' best weapon in the passing game right now.

Eagles Game Preview: The Chargers are a team without a home - BGN
The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #264). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Chargers game in Week 4, talk about how Los Angeles is struggling, analyze key matchups to watch, and much more.

Zach Ertz Off To An 'Elite TE' Start -
Start fast. Finish strong. The goal of tight end Zach Ertz from an individual perspective – and it’s very difficult to get him to think or talk or breathe about his individual goals – is to have a complete start-to-finish season for the Eagles ...

Fantasy Football Week 4: Christian McCaffrey Boasts Huge Value As a Receiver -
Only two tight ends have made their owners happy this year. One, of course, is Rob Gronkowski. The other is Zach Ertz. The Eagles tight end came into his own over the second half of last season, and has kept it rolling this year. He’s first among tight ends in targets (28), first in receptions (21), first in yards (245), second in routes run (111), and second in yards per route run (2.21). On top of that, the Eagles rarely ask him to pass block. Ertz has been on the field for 124 passing plays this season. He has had blocking responsibilities on 13 of those, or 10.5%. Only six tight ends in the league have a lower pass-blocking rate than Ertz. He’s not giving up too many of Carson Wentz’s dropbacks to protection responsibilities. At this point, it’s impossible to say that Ertz is anything worse than the No. 3 tight end in all fantasy formats.

Game Review – PHI 27, NYG 24 - Iggles Blitz
Give Pederson credit for going for the win on that final drive. He could have taken a knee or tried throwing a Hail Mary. Instead, the Eagles executed a play they had practiced on Friday. They expected it to take 5 to 6 seconds. It took 6, which was fine with :07 on the clock at the snap of the ball. That gave them a chance to hit a miracle FG. The coaches got the run game going in a variety of ways. They made a lineup change at LG. They mixed in multiples schemes and also used RPOs effectively. The coaches got LeGarrette Blount fired up and then fed him the ball. The defensive strategy was to play off and then tackle. With the exception of one huge pass play, the strategy worked pretty well. The Giants were forced to play small ball and put together long, methodical drives. The Eagles kept them out of the end zone until the 4th quarter.

QB sneaks: Is Wentz the next Brady? - The Athletic
While a different fourth-down play from the Eagles’ win over the New York Giants last Sunday is still the talk of the town, perhaps the more relevant plays were the Eagles’ two successful fourth-down conversions, both of which were picked up on Carson Wentz quarterback sneaks. Theoretically, these should not be difficult first downs to pick up. That the Eagles relied twice on Wentz to pick up those short-yardage conversions, though, was more interesting, considering that Wentz attempted only two quarterback sneaks all of last season. All four of Wentz’s career quarterback sneaks have been converted into first downs.

Carson Wentz showing 'rare' command early in Eagles career - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood found plenty of daylight against the New York Giants Sunday, piling up several meaty runs to finish with 71 yards on just 12 carries. He said this week that the holes he got to run through were some of the biggest he's seen since being drafted by the Eagles last year, and revealed that most of those gashers were plays that quarterback Carson Wentz checked into. "He picked the plays out. He saw a favorable box or he saw a scheme that would work for us -- some of the schemes we haven't done in a while -- and he checked to them. And they looked pretty good," Smallwood said.

Think Again About Fourth Downs - McNabbOrKolb
When Doug Pederson hears base rate data and associated variables over his headset, the Eagles organization is harnessing anchoring bias, and turning it from a bug into a feature. Moreover, the augmented expert approach is consistent with that of the more sophisticated analysts in the fields of finance, academia, chess, and government. It’s nice to root for a team that pays attention to the world outside sports, rather than snickering at it dismissively.

Mychal Kendricks (once again) can't hide frustration - Inquirer
He doesn’t expect to play more, however. “I don’t know. Who knows, man?” Kendricks said. “All I can do is do what I do.” Kendricks asked to be traded after last season. The Eagles dangled him on the market and were looking for a fifth-round draft pick around the start of free agency. Ultimately, they kept him, even though he has a $6.6 million salary-cap number. Hicks’ injury, and the unlikelihood that he and Bradham will play all 16 games again, suggests the team made the right decision. But Kendricks, who has had his own issues with injuries over his career, may have to continue to bide his time. “I don’t know even know what a third year [in one scheme] feels like because I … split reps with Kiko Alonso” in 2015, Kendricks said. “… I just want to know what it would be like to play a third year, like a full third year, in a defense.”

Is Eagles coach Doug Pederson being treated fairly? - BCCC
Most telling is that the 2-1 Eagles have won both of their NFC East games by defeating Washington on the road and New York at home. That could eventually determine who wins the division if it comes down to a tiebreaker. Even if Pederson occasionally leaves you scratching your head, the bottom line is what matters the most.

Improvements have Eagles center Jason Kelce back at Pro Bowl level - CSN Philly
Jason Kelce struggled so badly the first half of last year that he admitted his days in Philadelphia could be numbered. “I think that I quite frankly need to do a better job,” the veteran center said on Nov. 9. “I love playing in this city, I love playing in this organization, and if I’m going to keep doing that, I have to do a better job.” Here we are 11 months later and Jason Kelce is still here and definitely doing a better job. Kelce, who became a popular whipping boy of many fans over the past year, is back to his Pro Bowl level at center. The Eagles stuck with him, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland worked with him, Kelce vowed to improve, and here we are three weeks into the 2017 season and we're all seeing a different guy.

NFL QB Overview from Week 3 - PFF
Carson Wentz ranks 14th overall.

Players, team owners discussed anthem with Roger Goodell in NY Tuesday night - PFT
Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas said on Thursday that he was one of the players at the meeting along with Eagles defensive end Chris Long, Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater, Patriots safety Devin McCourty, Browns cornerback Jason McCourty and Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey. Giants co-owner John Mara, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Steelers owner Art Rooney II, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Jaguars owner Shahid Khan were there as was NFL exec Troy Vincent for a discussion about how the league, teams and players will approach the playing of the anthem in the weeks to come.

Darren Sproles has been a human highlight reel his entire career - Yahoo! Sports
As things stand right now, Sproles – a three-time Pro Bowl selection – is only 539 all-purpose yards away from reaching No. 5 on the all-time all-purpose yards leaderboard. Doing so would surpass Steve Smith, Jr., Marshall Faulk and Tim Brown. With the 34-year-old’s football future now in jeopardy, we decided to take a look at the top five plays of his brilliant career with the Eagles, Saints and Chargers.

Melvin Ingram Named AFC Defensive Player of the Month - Bolts From The Blue
Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. He has 5.5 sacks on the season which is good for second in the NFL and first in the AFC. Perhaps more impressive than that sack number is when and how he has amassed the total. Ingram’s sacks have consistently come on 3rd downs and in high leverage points of the game. He has personally kept the Chargers in games on multiple occasions this year.

Pretty Good, episode 13: Randall Cunningham Seizes the Means of Production - SB Nation
In 1987, Eagles coach Buddy Ryan and quarterback Randall Cunningham ran the most unsportsmanlike play in NFL history. The Cowboys totally deserved it.


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[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 09:11:33 EDT from rss

Subject: Your Friday Morning Roundup

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There’s about five days until the Flyers take on the San Jose Sharks in their regular season opener. And most of their lineup is set in stone. Five different Flyers scored in the 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins, including Travis Konecny’s third of the preseason. The power play unit also went 2-for-7, which was…

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 09:26:42 EDT from rss

Subject: Phillies Fans Booing Jayson Werth Is An Absolute Disgrace

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If you are still booing Jayson Werth, then you are an asshole. Plain and simple. That’s it. There’s no cute lede here, no exploration of the opposing viewpoint because the opposing viewpoint is total bullshit. It is beyond me how this went down in the final inning of Wednesday night’s Phillies game against the Nationals:…

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