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[#] 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,’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 — Sarah Todd…

[#] 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



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.


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


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.


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. 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


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.



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


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…

[#] 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)


CB Ronald Darby (ankle)

DT Fletcher Cox (calf)

S Corey Graham (hamstring)

S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)

DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist)


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…

[#] 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.


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.


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.


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 — NBA (@NBA) September 29, 2017 That is all.

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 15:22:37 EDT from rss

Subject: Drew Brees Is Somehow The Enemy For Taking a Knee with His Team

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Drew Brees is getting destroyed for this Tweet. He’s getting crushed from the far left Twitter zealots because THAT’S NOT ENOUGH, PRIVILEGED WHITE MAN. And he’s getting crushed from the right because he gave in, slightly, following his comments last week that he would always stand during the National Anthem. Whatever your stance on this…

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 15:21:37 EDT from rss

Subject: Phillies to Participate in Little League Classic

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The Phillies will play 80 of their 81 home games at Citizens Bank Park in 2018. The other home game will be a little less than four hours away from the usual home field in Williamsport. Their August 19 game against the New York Mets will now be part of MLB’s second annual Little League…

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 16:38:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Jake Elliott wins two awards, including NFL Rookie of the Week

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This is awesome.

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott was nominated for two awards this week: “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week” and “Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of Week 3.”

Thanks in part to fan voting, Elliott won both awards. The players he beat out include: Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, Deshaun Watson, Christian McCaffrey, DeMarco Murray, Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, and Jordan Howard. Well done, Eagles fans.

Elliott is undoubtedly deserving of the honors. His 61-yard walk-off field goal to beat the New York Giants was as clutch as it gets. It was also the longest make of any rookie kicker in NFL history.

Elliott is now the first kicker to win NFL Rookie of the Week since, funny enough, Caleb Strugis in 2013. Sturgis was with the Miami Dolphins at the time.

In addition to winning these awards, Elliott was also named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 3.

Thanks to a clip of Carson Wentz being mic’d up, Elliott also earned a donation from the Eagles starting quarterback to a charity of the kicker’s choice.

All told, not a bad week to be Jake Elliott.


Relive Jake Elliott’s 61-yard game-winning Eagles field goal in all its glory (VIDEOS)

This might be the best call of Jake Elliott’s game-winning Eagles field goal

Carson Wentz said he’d give Jake Elliott his game check if the Eagles kicker made the 61-yard field goal (VIDEO)

Carson Wentz is donating his Eagles game check to a charity of Jake Elliott’s choice

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 15:55:54 EDT from rss

Subject: Sixers Notes: Injury Upgrades, Ping-Pong Battles, and Looking

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Friday’s Sixers news wasn’t half bad, both literally and figuratively. Joel Embiid participated in half-court 5v5 segments, while Jahlil Okafor took part in all activities. It was the first time both players practiced in those capacities during training camp. We didn’t get to see it with our own eyes, but Brett Brown provided an update.…

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 17:21:06 EDT from rss

Subject: Odell Beckham Jr. was fined for his dumb taunt in the Eagles-Giants game

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 for his dumb “drop on all fours and act like a peeing dog” taunt during NYG’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3.

When asked if his celebration had to do with Donald Trump’s comments about NFL players, OBJ indicated that it did.

Personally, that seems like some convenient bullshit. Given the way Beckham crawls around before he lifts his leg, I get the sense he was mocking the crawl Brian Dawkins did when he came out of the tunnel. OBJ’s “celebration” took place around the part of the field where Dawk used to do that.

Beckham was flagged for the taunt during the game. He’s since faced a lot of criticism, including from Giants owner John Mara, who was “very unhappy” with the taunt.

The Giants weren’t the only team fined for taunting in this game. LeGarrette Blount also got fined for $9,115. He rolled the ball at New York safety (and self-proclaimed “Giant baby”) Landon Collins after scoring on a short touchdown run.

I think it’s safe to say Blount isn’t a guy who takes crap. I mean, you don’t really need to look further than the time he knocked a dude out cold in college.

An underrated moment from Sunday’s game (hat tip to our friend Brendan Ekstrom) is when Blount ran up to OBJ after Jake Elliott made his kick.

I love how the entire team goes to celebrate with Elliott ... except Blount, who most assuredly was talking crap to OBJ.

[#] Fri Sep 29 2017 18:42:59 EDT from rss

Subject: Mackanin Was Good At Keeping A Seat Warm, But Now What?

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You know how you learn a piece of information, process it, and then you let it rattle around for a few minutes before forming an opinion? Well, today, when the Phillies announced Pete Mackanin wouldn’t return as manager next season, I began that process. I read it on Twitter. I said, “Oh. Wow.” And then…

[#] Sat Sep 30 2017 07:58:45 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Jeffrey Lurie supports Doug Pederson

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/30/17.

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

Doug Pederson's fourth-down aggressiveness has Lurie's support - Inquirer
“I just want to sort of explain to you how those decisions get made because it should really take some of the burden off … any coach in the league,” Lurie said Sept. 7. “For a lot of teams — and ours is one — it’s all in the offseason done with mathematics. It’s not based on any form of instinct.” Lurie conceded that there were a few situations in which instinct was necessary – when the math was 50-50, 48-52 – but, in truth, situational football isn’t as black and white. Pederson had to gauge more than just the down, length, field position, quarter, and score before deciding whether to roll the dice. But Lurie’s greater point was that the NFL, by and large, had been too conservative and that old-school coaches and their defenders in the media had failed to adopt a more analytical approach to calling a game.

Chargers writer gives 3 reasons why the Eagles will beat Los Angeles - BGN
Sadly, the primary reason the passing offense has been ineffective is Philip 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.

Eagles Game Preview: The Chargers are a team without a home -
Vince Quinn and John Barchard go over the up and downs of the Chargers moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. How much has that effected their 0-3 start? The Eagles seem to matchup pretty well but John thinks line is screaming for a Chargers victory. PLUS, Doug needs a new line with updating injury reports and a lot more!

Wendell Smallwood is improving as an all-around running back, with gifs and stuff - PhillyVoice
Smallwood has worked hard at his pass protection skills, and it showed on Sunday against the Giants. "It's always been an area that needed to get better, and Duce [Staley] has been harping on it," said Smallwood. "As far as me and the running back room, we've been getting a lot of practice at it. We watched the film today, and he said 'Some of those drills are working, and we're going to do some more.' It's been getting better for all of us in that room, and I think with me, as far as using the right technique and being in the right places, it has helped me a lot." Let's take a look at the tape, and show why Staley has reason to be encouraged by Smallwood in pass protection on Sunday.

Off to San Diego - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles got really creative with how they were going to lose on the road. That has to change this year if the team is going to take the next step and become a winning team. Instead of making critical mistakes, they need to start making critical plays. The team did that in D.C., but not in KC. That’s what makes this Chargers game so interesting. This is a long trip, but there won’t be significant crowd noise to overcome. The Chargers don’t have any home field mystique at the new venue. This is a road game, but isn’t like any game the Eagles have played in a long time.

Q&A with Joe Banner: On 4th-down decisions, analytics and acquiring Jason Peters - The Athletic
And he has clearly, since the day he started — and I do believe this is an organizational mindset, not just Doug — decided to be on the more aggressive side of things. So I don't think there's legitimate criticism. It didn't work so the hindsight is always 20/20. But thinking that the defense is playing well and gave them a chance to move the ball, they were kicking off in the second half so you didn't want to be up only 7-0 and have dominated the game and find yourself in a tie game three minutes into the third quarter. So I understand that it didn't work out. But at the time, given the information he had to make that decision and the way the game was going, I think it was a reasonable decision.

Can Defense Continue To Thrive? -
Beau Allen is using air quotes when he talks about backups. Not backups, says Allen. “Backups,” as in there really is no such thing in the NFL, as the Eagles are finding out with a defense that keeps on ticking in the face of some injuries threatening the foundation of the group ...

Jeffrey Lurie’s Long, Strange Trip - PhillyMag
Once upon a time, a wealthy and sensitive man arrived in Philadelphia, determined to find his place in the world while giving rabid Eagles fans the championship they deserved. More than two decades later, Jeffrey Lurie is still hard at work on both.

Copycat league: Will teams attack Eagles' D the way Giants did? - CSN Philly
So did the Giants leave a blueprint? Is this how teams will try to attack the Eagles in the future? "We'll see," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "I think the Giants' offensive line was struggling before they got to us so I think that was an obvious matchup or concern for them was our rush. I'm not sure how teams will see that, if they feel confident they can block them up. The Giants, they were a quick-passing game anyway, where I think the Chargers are a little bit more downfield, a little more vertical of a pass game. But I do think there will be opponents all year that if they can, will try to get rid of the ball a little quicker just to alleviate that rush."

Carson Wentz’s improvement in second season is encouraging for Eagles - Washington Post
Three weeks into Carson Wentz’s sophomore season, the Philadelphia Eagles sit on a 2-1 record after having beaten two divisional rivals in the Redskins and Giants. While there are other important factors, the development of Wentz is by far the Eagles’ most important going forward. He is currently ninth in the league in passing yards per game average and is fourth in number of passes attempted. Until this weekend against the Giants, the Eagles had relied heavily on Wentz to carry the offense and a lackluster run game. So how is Wentz doing in his development? He has shown some encouraging signs of future potential, even if there are still some areas in which he needs to improve.

Philadelphia Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins' next goal: passing new legislation - ESPN
Instead, Jenkins and other members of the ever-growing players coalition are focused on taking advantage of the oversized megaphones suddenly in their hands to draw attention to the issues that they are demonstrating in the name of. That’s why Jenkins, along with teammates Chris Long, Torrey Smith and Rodney McLeod, as well as coalition co-leader Anquan Boldin, penned a letter to Pennsylvania legislators strongly endorsing the Clean Slate Act, which they believe will reduce recidivism by automatically sealing records for those who have a non-violent, misdemeanor record from 10 years ago, thereby increasing the chances that they can find employment and housing.

32 Observations, Week 3 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: All four of the Eagles starting defensive linemen have three or more sacks and hits combined. They are one of just two teams where each of the primary four pass rushers each have gotten to the quarterback that many times.

Eagles Writer Gives 3 Reasons Why the Chargers Will Beat Philadelphia - Bolts From The Blue
Bolts From The Blue previewed the game with Bleeding Green Nation earlier today in our Five Questions With The Enemy feature. And now we have three reasons why the Eagles could lose by BGN’s Brandon Lee Gowton. Check out Bleeding Green Nation to see why I think the Chargers could lose.

7 things to watch in NFL’s Week 4: Tom Brady could set yet another record - SB Nation
Plus, a few heated rivals will go at it, and London-born Jay Ajayi finally gets to play in his hometown.

Circa Survive has a new album: The Amulet -
Philly-based band that features our big Eagles fan friend and occasional BGN / BGN Radio contributor Brendan Ekstrom (guitar). Go check them out.


I did a number of radio/podcast interviews in recent days. Check them out below.


Social Media Information:

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[#] Sat Sep 30 2017 09:00:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Chargers 2017: Game time, TV schedule, online streaming, channel, radio, and more

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Learn more about the Philadelphia-Los Angeles matchup set to take place on Sunday.

After playing at home in Week 3, the Philadelphia Eagles are back on the road for their third away game in a four week span. The Eagles are set to face the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Chargers are 0-3 through the first three games of the 2017 season. They kept things close in the first two weeks before the Chiefs comfortably beat them last Sunday.

One would think the Chargers are desperate to get on the board with their first win. That might be the case. Then again, this is a team that’s playing in a market that doesn’t seem to really care about them. The fans the Chargers had in San Diego feel alienated from their former favorite team.

Los Angeles has a number of talented players on their roster. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram combine to form a fearsome pass rushing duo. Former first-round running back Melvin Gordon is more skilled than his career stats might suggest.

Overall, though, it’s not like this team is stacked. Dating back to last season, the Chargers have lost eight games in a row. They’re 10-29 going back to their last four games of the 2014 season.

This is a winnable game for the Eagles. The travel factor is also something to consider, but it’s not like the Birds will be playing in some hostile environment. If Philadelphia wants to contend for the playoffs, they’re going to need to take care of business against lesser teams. The Chargers are a lesser team right now. The Eagles need to show they mean business.

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the game.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time: 4:05 PM ET

Channel: FOX

Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth

Location: StubHub Center | Carson, California

NFL Network replay: TBD

Radio: SportsRadio 94WIP | Full listings here

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass (Free 7-Day Trial)


Per Bovada, the Eagles are underdogs.

Philadelphia Eagles +2 (-110)

Los Angeles Chargers -2 (-110)

History Lesson

The Eagles are 4-7 in 11 all-time regular season appearances against the Chargers. These two teams last played in the second week of the 2013 NFL season. The Eagles lost to the Chargers by a final score of 33 to 30.

Social Media Information

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BGN Radio Facebook: Click here to like our page

BGN Radio Patreon: Support the show!

BGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowton

Eagles 2017 Regular Season Schedule

Week 1 - at Washington Redskins (Sept. 10, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 2 - at Kansas City Chiefs (Sept. 17, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 3 - vs. New York Giants (Sept. 24, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 4 - at Los Angeles Chargers (Oct. 1, 4:05 PM ET, FOX)

Week 5 - vs. Arizona Cardinals (Oct. 8, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 6 - at Carolina Panthers (Oct. 12, 8:25 PM ET, CBS/NFLN) Thursday Night Football

Week 7 - vs. Washington Redskins (Oct. 23, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football

Week 8 - vs. San Francisco 49ers (Oct. 29, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 9 - vs. Denver Broncos (Nov. 5, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Week 10 - BYE

Week 11 - at Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 19, 8:30 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football

Week 12 - vs. Chicago Bears (Nov. 26, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 13 - at Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 3, 8:30 PM ET, NCB) Sunday Night Football

Week 14 - at Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 10, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Week 15 - at New York Giants (Dec. 17, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Week 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders (Dec. 25, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football on Christmas

Week 17 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 31, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

[#] Sat Sep 30 2017 09:41:14 EDT from rss

Subject: College Football Week Five NFL Draft Preview: 5 prospects for Eagles fans to watch

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Week Five of the 2017 college football season is here! Today features a good slate of games and always with good games comes great opportunities for NFL Draft prospects to boost their profile. Who should Eagles fans keep an eye on today?

  • Steven Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota: Minnesota's defense is led by their disruptive defensive tackle, Steven Richardson. A bit undersized at 6'0" and 300 pounds, the senior defender had seven sacks and 11 tackles for a loss last season but has yet to impact the stat sheet this year. Richardson is explosive off the line and his build gives him an every down advantage in the leverage battle. Facing Maryland (12 PM ET on FS1), Richardson will need to show out against one of the more explosive running games in the country. Richardson has yet to put up flashy numbers this season and this would be a great game to start making those plays in the run and passing game.
  • Colton Jumper, Linebacker, Tennessee: The Volunteers lost a lot of talent in the draft last year on both sides of the ball but one of their returning players has emerged as a leader on their defense. Senior linebacker, Colton Jumper, has made an impact for the Vols this year, especially as a run defender and blitzer. The 6'2", 230 pound backer plays fast and smart and does not mind getting physical at the line of scrimmage. Tennessee will need him to stay on his game today against Georgia (3:30 PM ET on CBS) given that the Bulldogs will be handing the ball off a lot to their stable of running backs. While Georgia is massively favored going into this game, a strong game from Colton Jumper could stifle Georgia's offense enough to keep it close.
  • Akrum Wadley, Running Back, Iowa: One of the country's most unsung heroes at running back, Akrum Wadley leads Iowa in running and receiving at this point this season. The 5'11", 195 pound senior running back from Newark is rushing only a bit over four yards per carry, below average for the college level, but he is going for an incredibly impressive 22.7 yards on every catch. Wadley is Iowa's only threat on offense so it would make sense that offenses are keying on him. He is not the most athletic back, nor the biggest, but he is a very savvy player with great vision, quickness and a tough running style. Iowa faces a tough opponent with Michigan State (4 PM ET on Fox). The Spartans are usually physical on defense and never an easy team to play, so a win for Iowa will require a big game for Wadley. In a college football landscape loaded with running backs, today could be a nice statement game for the senior running back.
  • Adonis Alexander, Cornerback, Virginia Tech: Every year it feels like Virginia Tech has a few defensive backs that warrant attention and surprisingly that is the case this year. Adonis Alexander is eye catching before he even steps on the field, towering over other defenders and offensive players at 6'3" and 200 pounds. His size and arm length makes him a pain in the ass to deal with at the line of scrimmage for wide receivers and it allows him to outmuscle receivers at the catch point on a regular basis. Alexander and Virginia Tech have a season defining match up against Clemson tonight (8 PM ET on ABC). The Tigers will field an explosive offense full of weapons and Alexander will be tasked with limiting one of them on every play. Be it Deon Cain, Hunter Renfrow, Ray Ray McLoud or even Travis Etienne; Alexander will need to be on his game all night. The junior cornerback has incredible potential for the NFL and tonight is a good chance to show every what that looks like.
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton, Linebacker, Alabama: Unsurprisingly, despite losing over half of the defensive starters to the draft last spring, Alabama's defense is still a buzz saw. While they do not have the same level of pass rush, the coverage and run defending ability of the unit is off the charts. A big reason why the Crimson Tide remains so strong, especially up front, is Shaun Dion Hamilton. Much like Reuben Foster was the leader of the unit last year and flew around the field making offensive players pay for even being in his vicinity, Dion Hamilton brings a similar violence to the field. While he is smaller than the average NFL linebacker at 6'0" and 235 pounds, he is an athletic missile who brings the hit against the run, has the speed to run in coverage and even can impact as a blitzer. Alabama's match up with Ole Miss tonight (9 PM ET on ESPN) could prove to be a bigger challenge than the rankings suggest. Ole Miss has a dynamic offense with an electric mobile quarterback, which seems to always trouble Alabama's defense. Dion Hamilton will likely be tasked with spying the dual threat, Shea Patterson, and his ability to contain the quarterback's running will be massive in making sure Alabama continues its reign of terror.

[#] Sat Sep 30 2017 10:27:31 EDT from rss

Subject: Philadelphia Eagles work out four players

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Due diligence.

The Philadelphia Eagles worked out four free agent players earlier this week. This isn’t unusual; it’s normal practice for teams to host these visits in order to have an emergency list of available players ready to go if injury occurs.

Here’s a look at the players the Eagles were working out, via Howard Balzer.


Anthony Fabiano - 24 years old. 6-1, 303 pounds. Undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Harvard. Played four games and made one start with the Cleveland Browns last season. Spent a week on Washington’s practice squad earlier this month.


D.J. Killings - Great name. 22 years old. 5-10, 187 pounds. Undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft out of UCF. Had seven tackles and two passes defensed in the preseason. Waived by New England via injury settlement earlier this month. Here’s a good article with more info on Killings. His college teammates referred to him as a “genius.”

Damian Swann - 24 years old. 6-0, 189 pounds. Fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Georgia. Played in seven games and made two starts with the New Orleans Saints in 2015. Finished with 20 tackles and four passes defensed. Suffered multiple concussions. Struggled in the preseason this summer.

Offensive tackle

Givens Price - Great name. 22 years old. 6-4, 310 pounds. Undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Nebraska. Spent most of his rookie season on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad before appearing in one game with them.


I wouldn’t make too much out of these workouts. The Eagles are just evaluating some depth options. Maybe we’ll see one of these players pop up on Philadelphia’s practice squad at some point this season.

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