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[#] 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.

Odds

Bears +7.5 (-105)

Packers -7.5 (-115)

Over/under: 45 points

SB Nation Blogs

Packers - www.AcmePackingCompany.com

Bears - www.WindyCityGridiron.com

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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…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/quUf9TSDpcc/crossing-broadcast-nuggets-and-knees.html

[#] 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.

 @TJackRH

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.

Cumulative

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 - PE.com
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 - SI.com
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…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/CdXhjGsNhkM/your-friday-morning-roundup-6.html

[#] 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:…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/e4eMygZJt60/phillies-fans-booing-jayson-werth-is-an-absolute-disgrace.html

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 11:16:46 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Chargers Week Four: Five Friday

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BLG didn’t write this post, so there’s nothing smarmy here

Aaaand we’re back!

Sorry I missed Week 3, folks. Life got busy with travel and school. Lucky for you, my Week 3 film breakdown of the Giants held a few predictions that held true on Sunday. What is dead may never die, I suppose.

Rest assured, I would have quite easily predicted the game-winning 61 yard field goal from the rookie kicker. It’s not as if that’s never happened in Eagles history.

Before we move on to this week projections, we have to talk about the newest Carson Wentz detractor gallivanting across the interwebs, excising only the poorest plays of the QB’s performance and harping on those mistakes thereof.

I’m speaking, of course, of Carson Wentz himself:

Is Carson secretly funding the QB couch analysts of the world? Does he thrive off of hatred, not unlike a Sith Lord? When will we discover Carson’s fake Twitter account, and will the treasure trove therein rival that of Kevin Durant’s Instagram? These are serious questions that must be answered, after Carson’s shocking slip of his self-deprecating alter-ego.

And he thinks he can just sweep it all under the rug by donating The Game Check That Was Promised to charity. Oh, such a good guy.

Don’t worry. I’ll stay on the beat as this story continues to break.

1) Ten people. Maybe even twelve.

Let’s talk about the sheer madness of an NFL franchise playing in a soccer stadium. I, for one, am sincerely worried by the larger platform this grants to the inferior “football.” The word ‘soccer’ is now being said once, maybe even twice a week on national television. That’s a huge uptick.

If you don’t know, the newly-christened Los Angeles Chargers have made their temporary home in the StubHub Center, an MLS stadium in southern Cali, as they wait for their joint stadium with the Rams to finish construction. It has a 27,000 seat capacity, and the Chargers have—

Wait, wait, wait. We gotta stop right there. The average NFL stadium houses almost 72,000 people, which is almost three times bigger than where the Chargers currently play. Home-field advantage in such a small stadium can’t be real—you just can’t generate enough volume.

And, and, and! they failed to sell out the stadium in their home-opener against the Dolphins! 25,381 people. This is so sad. It’s just so sad.

There will be roughly 7 Chargers fans in attendance on Sunday.

2) Ten left guards. Maybe even twelve.

Going for it on 4th and 8? Sure. Another wide receiver screen on 3rd down? It’s gotta work at some point. Wearing a polo with a horizontal stripe smack dab in the middle, which is very unflattering to any figure? Wouldn’t be my call, but go for it, Dougie.

Rotating left guards?! That’s where I draw the line.

If we have learned anything over the years of watching Dallas’s offensive line play, it’s that the greatest strength of any trench unit is continuity. So much of what an offensive line does is predicated on timing, teamwork, and tacit understanding. Just as a quarterback develops a rapport with his receivers, the individual pieces of the offensive line unit develop a internal, nuanced style of play that magnifies their power to a height greater than the sum of its parts.

Take the right side of the line: Kelce - Brooks - Johnson. They’re playing some doggone good football, having spent a solid amount of time together since Brooks arrived and Lane returned from suspension.

I had folks tell me the heat led to the rotation of the left guard. Bollocks. I’ve never seen that happen before for just one player in my life. I had folks tell me that Warmack and Wisniewski were playing at roughly the same level. Double bollocks. Wisniewski clearly outclassed Warmack, and even the flashes we saw from Seumalo.

If Wisniewski doesn’t start/rotates, I’m calling Howie for Pederson’s job. I already know I’m a better coach—I retroactively tweet the right play calls and decisions all the time.

3) Ten sacks. Maybe even twelve.

Fletcher Cox looks like he’s a no-go this week, which kinda ruins this episode of my ten-twelve anaphora, but I’m rolling with it anyway. On one side of the field, you’ve got arguably the best EDGE duo in the nation—easy Top-3—in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram; on the other, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry and Derek Barnett and Timmy Jernigan and Chris Long and *deep breath* Elijah Qualls (don’t sleep!) still pose an intimidating two-deep.

The Chargers are tied for 2nd in the league with 11 sacks on the year (3.67 per game), while Philly has only 8, but you can hardly count a Giant game in which Eli Manning played hot potato with the football for four quarters. It is reasonable to expect that the two defenses combined account for around six sacks, maybe even eight.

But this post is not reasonable. It’s reckless, irresponsible, and tons of fun. So ten sacks. Who knows, maybe even...twelve?

4) Ten men on the field. Maybe even twelve.

I mean, it happens sometimes. And the refs will tell us, so.

5) Ten points on the board. Maybe even twelve.

As down as I am for Jake Elliott to come off of The 61 Shot to a four field goal performance, egads—I don’t think twelve is enough to beat these Chargers. Let’s hope this predictions fails (but the other ones definitely come true).

I like the Eagles 20-14 in an ugly road victory. Wentz has a rough road record (2-8), TD:INT ratio (11:11), and his completion percentage drops from 65 to 60. For the Eagles to solidify themselves as a legit NFC contender (which they can be, this year), Wentz must prove he can win on the road. In a stadium that won’t offer much home-field advantage, he has the chance to win his third road game ever--and second in the last three.

The Eagles have the Giants, Seahawks, and Cowboys all left on the road this season. Good teams beat bad teams on the road; great teams play good teams tough—and win a few—on the road as well.

Look for Rasul Douglas to grab pick #2 on his career—no real analysis there, I just trust a guy with 9 INTs in the last 13 games he’s started. I like Blount for 14 totes and 70 yards; Smallwood for 10 and 115, with a big TD run. Alshon could have the biggest game of his Eagle career—the tallest CB he’ll see on Sunday is 5’11—but he won’t.

Final hot take: Zach Ertz has never had a 100 yard game against a non NFC East team. Changes in LA. He hits 110, maybe even 112.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 11:00:08 EDT from rss

Subject: What we learned: Flyers vs. Bruins

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Some observations for your morning...

Some things observed in a delightful Flyers victory over the Bruins ...

1. Look at all that offense!

In the games played so far this preseason, we’ve seen the Flyers putting up some serious offensive pressure but largely fail to capitalize, at least in a way that was proportionate to the effort put forward. The Flyers looked, on the whole, much like they have in the few games before this one, working well to dominate possession and creative pressure in the offensive zone. They put up 25 shots on goal over the course of the game, not making things easy for Boston.

But, for perhaps the first time, we saw these efforts actually translate into tangible results. Five goals, to be precise. And that’s pretty exciting, with the regular season less than a week away. Of course, one game does not make for a clear picture of future production, but, if nothing else, it’s encouraging to see their production at least starting to turn around, with them showing that they can still close.

2. The second power play unit does something

The power play units have been severely lacking in tangible production over the preseason. This much has been made abundantly clear. But one issue preceded this, stretching back to when the first power play unit was producing effectively last season. The first unit was good. The second … wasn’t. But last night gave a hint that this might be beginning to turn around.

Both units kept pressure up, but it was the second unit that was able to finally cash in, flashing some impressive puck movement throughout and ultimately putting two goals up on the board for the evening. If the second unit spent last season wheezing, last night showed that they’ve finally caught their breaths and gotten their bearings, with their new structure and personnel. The turn feels sharp, but in a way that feels pretty difficult to complain about.

3. Travis Konecny [still] on fire

So Konecny’s been good for the duration of training camp and the preseason games, but we’ve really seen him coming on in the last few games, and last night was a prime example of just what that means. He opened up scoring for the night, jump starting what would become a dynamic first period, while working to breathe some life into the second power play unit. He helped to close out scoring with a quick shot on goal in the third, feeding Couturier for an easy tip in. He flashed speed and got under his opponents’ skin. He played to his strengths and held onto some creativity to generate some heads up plays. And with questions about a sophomore slump looming, Konecny’s making a strong case to have all of those questions put to bed.

4. Behind the net play continues to spark production

This came up a bit in some observations from last week, as we saw the Flyers doing something new, trying something out that they haven't done too much of in the past. We saw them experimenting with moving the puck from behind the net and into the crease to generate some scoring chances up close. They continued on with this experiment, and last night it finally got some results, with the first goal of the night by Konecny coming as a direct result of Nolan Patrick dropping below the red line and making a play. And this bodes well for the looming regular season.

With this method, this area of scoring chance generation, starting to put up results, it stands to reason that it won't remain just some preseason trial that they abandon once it's over. The players have shown that they can make things happen from this area, that there's another — and dare I say more productive — model than just shooting from the point and hoping to beat the goalie or catch a rebound.

5. Sean Couturier back on it

Someone we haven't talked too much about to date — on his own, at least — is Couturier. Of course, there's been a lot of discussion about this new first line he's centering with Giroux on the wing, but we haven't looked too much at his individual production.

He's been just fine in the games preceding, but last night really saw him coming on. Clicking with Konecny, he set up the first goal of the game, and then was himself set up for the fifth and final of the night. He contributed to the offensive pressure brought by that first line with Giroux and Voracek. Of course, it would be unfair to expect him to put together a string of flashy performances like he put up last night, that’s just not his game. But it was sure nice to have our every once in awhile taste of it.

6. Are we ready to be nicer to Jake Voracek now?

This time last week, some of us had some really strong feelings about Voracek. Just to check in — how are we feeling now?

Because he looked pretty solid last night. Obviously, his goal itself was a nice one, just as nice as the fact that he’s back to scoring them. He looked even more comfortable on the first line with relatively new linemates Giroux and Couturier. After he and Giroux fell out of sync with each other last season, we’re also seeing the two of them starting to click again. And after a shaky past season, in many ways, we’re seeing him looking distinctly more confident and settled. It’s still too early to make any major predictions about what we’ll be seeing from him once the season starts, but as it inches closer, it’s encouraging to see him looking a bit more like the self we’re expecting to see.

7. Alex Lyon season preview

One of the assumptions about the goaltending situation at large, gearing up for the start of this season, was that Elliott and Neuvirth would remain in a tandem, with Elliott likely earning the 1A spot. This would leave Lyon as the starter in the Lehigh Valley, eventually earning a handful of starts with the Flyers to relieve Elliott, when Neuvirth inevitably gets hurt again. This was a nearly certain future, we’ve accepted it. But we got a look at it even sooner than we may have thought.

With Elliott away and Neuvirth sick, Lyon got the start in Philly last night, and he looked as good as ever. He faced 32 shots over the course of the game, and only allowed one goal. He held his own against even strength pressure, and against a Boston power play unit that ended last season first in the league. He put up a strong show, letting everyone watching know that he’s ready and able, whenever the team will call on him again.

8. Brandon Manning still holding on

With the influx of young talent vying for spots on the Flyers' blue line, we've seen the attention paid to veterans steadily declining. One of the names getting lost in the shuffle was Brandon Manning's. Suddenly, the discussion around him — if taking place at all — revolved around whether he stood a chance to remain on this team, or if he would find himself waived before the start of the regular season.

And if he's aware of these conversations, last night certainly showed him working to shift them. With a strong overall performance and a goal to cap it off, Manning seemed to push to regain his positive recognition, to work to remain in good graces with the organization. The question remains about where he will start the season, and in what role, but he's trying to assert his presence.

9. Welcome to Philly, Nolan Patrick!

As if his arrival as the second overall pick wasn't enough. As if the strong play in the preseason wasn't enough. As if the rosy cheeks weren't enough. Nolan Patrick, with his first NHL fight, has undoubtedly endeared himself to actual Flyers and Flyers fans alike.

With the Flyers holding a four-goal lead over the Bruins and not showing any signs of letting up, the intensity and the physicality of the game kicked up. Pair that with a few extra hits on a helmetless Jordan Weal, it was only a matter of time before the scrums came together. But while the exchanges broke up, Patrick took his further, dropping the gloves to have a go with Krejčí. And just like that, goals be damned, Patrick solidified his place in all of our hearts. Well done, buddy.

10. The only damn thing I know

So, where did Alex Lyon go to college again?

Oh right. Yale.

How could I forget? It’s not like the commentators mentioned it every other time they mentioned his name.

Like, we get it. Yale. That’s a big deal. Pretty fancy.

I wonder if Lyon told them to keep bringing it up. Just to emphasize “hey. I’m pretty good at hockey and probably smarter than all of you losers.”

He would be wrong though.

No one is smarter than me.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 10:45:16 EDT from rss

Subject: CBS Sports Edited a Sixers Reporter

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This is how the bullshit happens. On Tuesday, Philly.com’s Sarah Todd posted a Twitter video featuring a couple of Sixers doing shooting drills towards the end of practice. It was titled “Justin Anderson, Robert Covington, JJ Redick #Sixers,” as you can see for yourself: Justin Anderson, Robert Covington, JJ Redick #Sixers pic.twitter.com/Hx8lFuej0F — Sarah Todd…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/P30eiNz5v5U/cbs-sports-edited-a-sixers-reporters-video-and-turned-it-into-fakenews.html

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 12:04:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 4

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Helping you pick your lineups.

Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a "Start" is someone I like more than most, and a "Sit" is the opposite. So if I say to start DeShaun Watson and sit Dak Prescott, that doesn't mean I'd start Watson over Prescott, it just means I think Watson will exceed his expectations while Prescott will underperform his. Cool? Cool. Let's get it. -Seltz

Quarterback

Start

Trevor Siemian (vs. OAK) -€” OK, since I'm going back to the Siemian well (phrasing?) for the second week in a row, I may as well address the elephant in the room off the top. I did a terrible, awful, disgraceful job last week. It was an atrocious display of fantasy prowess, or lack thereof. TBH, it was embarrassing. I may never recover from it. Just kidding, I'm fine now. If anything, it's reinvigorated me. This is going to be my best start/sit week ever. E-V-E-R. Now that we have that settled, let's get back to Siemian. Last week I said this: "Siemian has been a beast through two weeks (#2 fantasy QB) and has looked good in doing it. I think he might just be legit." First of all, yes I just quoted myself -€” get over it. Second, thank you Trevor Siemian for making me look like an a-hole. The only way Siemian can redeem himself is by making me look smart this week. Luckily, facing an Oakland pass defense that looked even dumber than me last week, I believe he will.

DeShaun Watson (vs. TEN) -€” I'm all in on DeShaun Watson. I loved him in college and had no doubt he was going to be a successful NFL quarterback. He's a gamer who makes plays #SportsCliches. But I didn't expect him to have fantasy value this soon. While he's not ready to be a consistent week-to-week performer, he has a high floor thanks to his legs (averaging 54 YPG on the ground in two starts) and should be a nice matchup play all season. This week is one of those matchups, as he faces a Titans defense that's allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing QB's this season.

Sit

Dak Prescott (vs. LAR) -€” Dak is the consensus ranked #6 QB this week. NUMBER SIX!!! That's insane. Dak had, easily, his best game of the season last week and was the 10th highest scoring QB. This week he faces a Rams defense that has done a nice job defending the pass. Conversely, the Rams have done a miserable job stopping the run. Start Zeke this week, sit Dak.

Carson Palmer (vs. SF) -€” It seems like most people are bullish on Palmer this weekend. I am not most people. I think Palmer stinks and will disappoint. He's old, playing on a short week, and facing a Niners pass defense that isn't as bad as you think. You know who is as bad as you think? Carson Palmer. Enough said.

Bonus Sits

Cam Newton (@ NE) & Ben Roethlisberger (@ BAL) – I'm guessing you already know to sit these two, but I'm just making sure because I care about you guys. Ben is awful on the road (as we've discussed) and has a tough matchup in Baltimore. He's a definite sit this week. Cam has a great matchup, the problem here is that he stinks. He's really, really bad. So ... yeah.

Running Back

Start

LeSean McCoy (@ ATL) -€” Obviously you're starting Shady if you own him in seasonal leagues, this is more of a DFS play recommendation. Atlanta has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing RB's. Shady is a really good RB. Ipso facto ... or something. Point is, Shady is going to have a monster week. Book it.

Bilal Powell (vs. JAX) -€” Matt Forte is hurt. Powell will get all the work. ALL OF IT. OK, probably not literally all of it, but you know what I mean. The Jags have been far more effective defending the pass than the run and Powell is criminally under-ranked as the consensus #32 RB this week.

Sit

Carlos Hyde (@ ARI) -€” I'm a huge Carlos Hyde fan. I think he's the bees knees. I also think he's overvalued as the consensus #12 running back. Arizona's run defense has been stingy, holding Zeke to a 3.6 YPC average last week, and they'll be keying in on Hyde. So I guess what I'm saying is, you may want to hide from Hyde. Nope. Just...no. Sorry. Let's move on.

Joe Mixon (@ CLE) -€” Am I the only one who doesn't think Joe Mixon is going to be a superstar? I think I'm the only one. I gotta say, it's lonely over here on "Joe Mixon ain't all that" Island. But I'd rather be lonely than wrong. Luckily I'm never wrong. Except for last week, obviously. But that was a one time thing. As a result, trust me, Joe Mixon ain't all that. And while he certainly has some DFS value given his low price point, he won't have the breakout week most people are expecting. Trust me, "I'm never wrong." Yup, you're damn right I just quoted myself again. Can't stop, won't stop.

"Please stop." -You, probably.

Wide Receiver

Start

Golden Tate (@ MIN) -€” Despite having "new Darelle Revis" Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings have still allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Golden Tate is Detroit's best receiver. Furthermore, he lines up in the slot, aka not where Xavier Rhodes lines up. Yet Tate's only the consensus #21 WR this week. That's stupid. Thus, logic dictates, if you don't want to be stupid, start Golden Tate.

Rishard Matthews (@ HOU) -€” With all the talk of Corey Davis and Eric Decker heading into the season, people seemed to forget about Matthews. Whoops. Matthews leads all Titans wide receivers in targets (8 per game) and is clearly in Marcus Mariota's circle of trust. Houston's secondary is banged up and just got torched by Tom Brady. And while Mariota isn't Brady, he's good enough to take advantage of the matchup. With Corey Davis out again, Matthews is a lock to be a focal point of the passing attack, but he's still insanely under-ranked and underpriced (in DFS), making him one of my favorite plays of the week.

Sit

Dez Bryant (vs. LAR) -€” Dez has been a disappointment this season and I love it. God I hate Dez. He's the worst, isn't he? Yeah, he really is. Yet, despite being the worst, Dez is the consensus #9 WR this week. Clearly the rankings like the Dallas passing game more than I do. For what it's worth, I'm right and they're wrong. Dez's subpar season continues this week against a good Rams pass defense.

Tyreek Hill (vs. WAS) -€” Hill is a tough sit because it only takes one play for him to make his weekly nut. Having said that, he faces a Washington defense that's been outstanding against the pass (third-least fantasy points allowed to WR's), making his consensus ranking (#13 WR) way too high. While you're likely starting him in seasonal leagues, be aware this could be one of those weeks where Hill is held in check. Or not. But maybe. How's that for advice?

Tight End

Start

Cameron Brate (vs. NYG) -€” The Giants have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than all but two teams in the league. Brate scored a touchdown last week and is Tampa's preferred receiving option at tight end (sorry O.J. Howard apologists). Did I mention the Giants suck at defending tight ends? Oh...I did? Well, it's true. They really suck at it.

Ryan Griffin (vs. TEN) -€” I know what you're thinking: "Who the hell is Ryan Griffin?" Well let me tell you who Ryan...wait, what did you say? You weren't thinking that? You already knew who Ryan Griffin is? Welp, now I feel like an idiot. I'm not sure if I'll be able to recover from this. For my own sanity, I'm going to pretend you never said anything. Ryan Griffin is the Texans' new starting tight end. He caught five of his six targets last week for 61 yards and a touchdown. He's a great value play this week against a Titans defense that just got gashed by Jimmy Graham. That's who Ryan Griffin is.

Sit

Jordan Reed (@ KC) -€” After missing last week, Reed is expected to play Monday night. However, he's playing through an injury that made him look pedestrian over the first two weeks of the season and is facing a Chiefs defense that has been stout against tight ends. Yet somehow Reed is the consensus #9 tight end this week. That's cray. Super, super cray. I want nothing to do with Reed until he's not playing in serious pain, and that's not happening anytime soon.

Kyle Rudolph (vs. DET) -€” Rudolph is the consensus #6 tight end this week. That's even more cray than Reed's ranking. And yes, I promise -€” no more "cray." Bradford is out again. Rudolph only saw two targets last week, and that was with Case "Joe Montana" Keenum slinging the ball all over the field. With Keenum under center again Sunday, I'd be leery of rolling with Rudolph, especially at his current ranking/price.

Defense

Start

NY Jets (vs. JAX) -€” Gross. This is so freaking gross. But here's my thinking: Blake Bortles. If that's not good enough, add in that the Jags were in another country a week ago. I'm expecting a sluggish showing from the Jags. And again, Blake Bortles.

Sit

Houston Texans (vs. TEN) -€” The Titans have yielded the least fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Which isn't surprising, they run the ball a lot and rarely turn it over. I expect this to continue in Houston.

Kicker

Start

Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.

Sit

Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for "Start."





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 11:44:24 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers Roster Predictions: Defense

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There are two general questions that remain for the Flyers as they prepare to have their opening roster set by the time their charter plane leaves for San Jose Monday afternoon. Which two rookie defensemen make the team, if not all three? Which two forwards earn the final two roster spots up front? There is…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/vdCbc0D-22I/flyers-roster-predictions-defense.html

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 13:01:16 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles

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Good stuff from No. 11.

For the second week in a row, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles has been named NFLPA Community of the Week. Last week it was defensive end Chris Long. This week it’s starting quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz donated $120,000 to Canine Partners for Life, which helps provide service dogs to those in need. Awesome.

As an NFLPA Community MVP award winner, Wentz is also eligible for the annual Byron “Whizzer” White (BWW) Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.​ Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins received the BWW Award in 2017.

Wentz is one of four players to win the NFLPA Community MVP award so far this season. J.J. Watt was honored before the season started, Colin Kaepernick took home the award in Week 1, and Long was named last week’s winner.

It’s cool that the Eagles have so many players on the team who are doing great work off the field in addition to their contributions on the field. It makes the team even easier to root for.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 13:25:07 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Draft Snapshot: Royce Freeman

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It is early in the season to be diving deeply into draft stuff, sure, but there is obviously a big need on the Eagles roster. Despite the Eagles impressive rushing performance against the Giants last week, it is clear that the team is still an every down back away from the offense truly being unlocked. Having a dependable guy in the backfield who can keep a defense honest will take a lot of pressure off of Carson Wentz and balance out the offense.

So, to keep everyone's ears perked up throughout the season, I will be doing weekly highlights of some of college football's most intriguing running back prospects. Luckily for you guys and even luckier for the Eagles, there area lot of exciting backs in the college level poised to have big roles in the NFL.

Royce Freeman

We start with a back who has been running all over college defenses since 2014. Oregon's Royce Freeman took college football by storm his freshman year when he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns, paying a huge part in Oregon's national title appearance. When Marcus Mariota left for the NFL after Freeman's first season, Royce took over as Oregon's star on offense. His sophomore year, Freeman rushed for an impressive 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns, scoring another two through the air. Oregon dropped off his junior year last year, however, and Freeman dealt with injuries in his least productive season where he only scored nine touchdowns on the ground while just missing a thousand yards rushing. This season, Freeman seems to be back in business. With only four games in the books, Freeman has rushed for over 500 yards and is leading the country with an impressive 10 touchdowns on only 97 carries so far. He looks to be in for a huge final season in college.

The first thing that stands out about Freeman is his size. At 5'11" and nearly 240 pounds, Freeman is as well built as most backs at any level of football. Unsurprisingly with a back his size, Freeman can pack a lot of punch in every carry.

Freeman has the ability to power through defenders and finish runs with authority, obviously. However, that is expected with backs of his size and while his strength is impressive, his movement is even more surprising given his build.

Not only is he balanced and strong, but his footwork plays a big part in his productivity as well. He does a good job making subtle cuts without losing speed and just as easily makes guys miss as he can run through them.

This is Freeman at his absolute best. The vision, footwork and acceleration through his cuts leads to this massive run where he busts open the entire defense. It is rare to see this type of breakaway from Freeman, but it is a testament to just how athletic he is.

Freeman is a very solid prospect. He may not have any outstanding traits but he is really the whole package considering his size and athletic ability. Not only that, but he is a proven receiver and pass blocker as well. The only thing that limits Freeman is pad level. He has a tendency to run high early in the play and when he's not at full speed, it makes him easier to bring down. He has natural size and strength, but tends to rely on that too much to help him get through the first level of the defense.

NFL Comparison: It could be a lazy comparison, but Freeman has a lot in common with a former Oregon Duck, Jonathan Stewart. Like Stewart, Freeman is not going to ever be an elite back in the NFL, but his blend of size, strength and athletic ability will make him a valuable piece on any offense.

Freeman is not going to be talked about among the elite backs in college football, nor should he be selected as highly as any of them in the draft, but he has a very bright NFL future. For the Eagles, it's hard not to want a back like Freeman in the backfield. He has the physical tools to be an asset in the running game and provides a blocking option or safety valve on passing plays. With how he has carried the rock so consistently at Oregon, he could be the bell cow the Eagles need to balance out their offense.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 14:59:58 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Chargers Final Injury Report: Two starters ruled questionable

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Final update.

The Philadelphia Eagles released their third and final injury report in advance of their Week 4 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The big news is that starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is OUT. This isn’t a surprise; he’s one of five Eagles players who didn’t practice all week.

Here’s what Doug Pederson had to say about Cox’s injury when asked if it’ll be a multiple-week issue.

He's actually feeling better today. I don't think so, personally. When I mentioned day-to-day, it's really day-to-day with him, and he is feeling better, though, even today.

The Daily News previously reported that Eagles players believe Cox will be out for another week or two. We’ll see.

In the meantime, Beau Allen will start in place of Cox. Sixth-round rookie Elijah Qualls will be the backup to him and Tim Jernigan. The Eagles could look to utilize some of their defensive ends at defensive tackle if needed.

Four other Eagles players ruled out for Sunday’s game include: starting cornerback Ronald Darby, backup safety Corey Graham, backup safety/cornerback Jaylen Watkins, and backup defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao.

Darby is still on pace to return some time around Week 6 through Week 8, according to Pederson. Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas will start at corner with Patrick Robinson working in the nickel role.

Graham and Watkins being out means Chris Maragos is the top backup behind Rodney McLeod, who has been ruled questionable but is expected to play this week.

Jordan Hicks has also been ruled questionable to play after suffering an ankle injury in Week 3. He said he expects to play this week, however, and he’s been a full participant in practice all week.

Starting center Jason Kelce isn’t even listed on the injury report despite being limited in practice on Wednesday. That’s a good sign.


The Los Angeles Chargers have yet to release their final injury report. Rookie wide receiver Mike Williams seems to be the only notable player whose status is uncertain. Starting running back Melvin Gordon and starting right tackle Joe Barksdale are expected to play.

Stay tuned for more updates.


Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Friday)

OUT

CB Ronald Darby (ankle)

DT Fletcher Cox (calf)

S Corey Graham (hamstring)

S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)

DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)

Questionable

LB Jordan Hicks (ankle)

S Rodney McLeod (hamstring)

Los Angeles Chargers Injury Report (Friday)

To be announced - check back for updates.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 14:25:58 EDT from rss

Subject: Pete Mackanin Is OUT

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Not particularly surprising. Mackanin was, at best, a stabilizing force after Ryne Sandberg flaked off to a golf course in the middle of the 2015 season. Since then, he’s led(?) a strange mix of youngsters and veterans who came together to form something barely resembling a baseball team. Had people been paying closer attention, they…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/TvLW7hcf2bc/pete-mackanin-is-out.html

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 16:00:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Chargers writer gives 3 reasons why the Eagles will beat Los Angeles

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Focusing on LA’s weaknesses.

For the second week in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles are set to play a football team that’s yet to win a game during the 2017 NFL season.

Some believe the Chargers aren’t very good and this should be a win for the Eagles. Others seem to think this tilt could be a trap game for the Birds.

If you’re feeling worried about this game, today’s post might have you feeling a little more confident about the Eagles’ chances.

Bleeding Green Nation already took some time to chat with Bolts From The Blue on Thursday in order to preview this Week 4 matchup.

Today, we're back with three reasons why each team might lose. This format forces us to consider each own team's weaknesses, rather than just think of why each team is awesome.

So here are three reasons why the Chargers could lose, as written by BFTB’s Richard Wade. Stay tuned to Bolts From The Blue to see why I think the Eagles could lose.


Why the Chargers will lose

Last week, I predicted that the Chargers would lose to the Chiefs and that the score would not be representative of just how badly they were beaten. They were thrashed and well on their way to losing by only a single score when Kareem Hunt ripped off a long touchdown run to make the score closer to how the game had played out, so I was half right.

Offense

It was expected by most people familiar with the Chargers that their offensive line would struggle to protect Philip Rivers and that the passing offense would suffer for it. Through three weeks, the offensive line has done a stellar job of keeping Rivers upright. They are sixth in adjusted sack rate allowed and yet the passing offense is still mediocre. Why is that?

Sadly, the primary reason the passing offense has been ineffective is Rivers. He is the best quarterback in franchise history (and the Chargers are a franchise that has had some exceptional quarterbacks including Hall of Famer Dan Fouts). For years he was the only one keeping the offense moving at all. But now, Rivers is a playing like a shell of his former self. His footwork is a mess. His decision making is terrible. He seems to make up his mind pre-snap and lock in on a receiver whether or not he is covered. He makes mistakes that would get a younger quarterback benched.

If he continues his current level of play against Philadelphia, there will be numerous turnovers.

Defense

The defensive line featuring last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa and September’s AFC Defensive Player of the Month Melvin Ingram has been excellent. They have the second-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL. And yet they are a middle of the pack defense. There are numerous reasons for that but the one we will focus on is that they are absolutely terrible when it comes to covering tight ends.

They have allowed the second-highest DVOA on passes to tight ends in the league. Only the Ravens have been worse. There are a couple reasons for this. The Chargers have one of the worst safety duos in the NFL. They also have some of the worst cover linebackers in the league. Strong safety Jahleel Addae and outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel, in particular, provide some of the worst coverage you have ever seen.

Add to that the fact that Zach Ertz is one of the best tight ends in the business and you have a recipe for disaster this week.

X-Factor

StubHub Center. The Chargers’ home stadium is a bit of a joke at this point. It holds only 27,000 fans. Nearly half of those fans are likely to be Eagles supporters. The Chargers are 0-2 in their new home. The whole place just has a bad feeling about it. That probably doesn’t or at least shouldn’t matter, but I don’t like it.





[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 14:47:06 EDT from rss

Subject: I Enjoy The Way Brett Brown Pronounces

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Coach Brett Brown prepares the @Sixers for the 2017-18 season! #SixersAllAccess pic.twitter.com/cyKj6ujILr — NBA (@NBA) September 29, 2017 That is all.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/2ksxc5f_k3A/i-enjoy-the-way-brett-brown-pronounces-easy.html

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