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[#] Sun Oct 08 2017 20:46:21 EDT from rss

Subject: 9 winners and 1 loser from the Eagles

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All I do is win win win no matter what

The Eagles railroaded the Cardinals 34-7 (recap here). As always there are winners and not as always there are basically no losers. Certainly none on the Eagles.


The Eagles

For the second straight week, they won, the rest of the division didn’t, with the Redskins on a bye, the Giants losing to the previously winless Chargers, and the Cowboys losing in heartbreaking if you’re a Cowboys fan, laugh my ass off if you’re not fashion. Philadelphia has a big lead on the NFC East.

Carson Wentz

Wentz threw for his first 3 touchdown game of his career…. in the 1st quarter.

Having won last week in Carson, California, and then out-dueled Carson Palmer, Carson Wentz is now indisputably the greatest Carson in NFL history.

Torrey Smith

Not today, with a big touchdown and a contender for touchdown celebration of the year.

Kenjon Barner

The Cardinals special teams are bad, but Barner embarrassed them. To add a cherry on top, he looked solid when used in the offense.

Patrick Robinson

Two dropped interceptions to start the game, and then he tipped Phil Dawson’s FG attempt to end the first half.

Stefen Wisniewski

I’m not sure if the Eagles scored on every drive he played, but it sure felt like it.

Nelson Agholor

That was a fun touchdown.

Eagles defense

After a pair of bad fourth quarters, the Eagles defense was lights out against the Cardinals. The secondary played a strong game against a passing attack that loves to go deep. The whole second half was low leverage, and it would have been forgivable if they gave up a score in garbage time, especially if it ate a lot of clock. Instead, they pitched a second half shutout, contributing to the Eagles first 60 minute win of the season.

Dave Fipp

The Cardinals kick return was non-existent and they dominated the punt and field goal units, along with Barner’s strong game. Fipp has had a handful of games where his unit was just as big of a reason for a win as any unit, if not the reason why the Eagles won (for the latter, Rams 2014 and Patriots 2015 immediately spring to mind). Today was one of those games.


Larry Fitzgerald

It’s better to burn out than it is to fade away. Coming off the worst season of his career, Fitzgerald is having the second worst year of his career and had a terrible day at the office. He didn’t catch a pass until the end of the 1st half, and half of his receptions went for less than 7 yards.

[#] Sun Oct 08 2017 21:01:15 EDT from rss

Subject: COWBOYS LOSE and Eagles secure two-game lead in the NFC East standings

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Last week was a great football week. Every team in the NFC East lost ... except the Philadelphia Eagles.

This week was also a great football week. Of the three NFC East teams that played (Washington Redskins had a bye) on Sunday, only the Eagles won. Let’s take an updated look at the NFC East standings, shall we?

In addition to these numbers, here’s a look at how each team stacks up in terms of conference and division games

1 - Eagles | Overall: 4-1 | Conference: 3-0 | Division: 2-0

2 - Washington | Overall: 2-2 | Conference: 1-1 | Division: 0-1

3 - Cowboys | Overall: 2-3 | Conference: 1-2 | Division: 1-0

4 - Giants | Overall: 0-5 | Conference: 0-4 | Division: 0-2

A truly great sight to see.

The Eagles are 3-1 are whooping the Cardinals. Their playoff odds jumped to nearly 80% with the win.

The Cowboys lost on a last minute drive by Aaron Rodgers ... just like they did in the playoffs. Dallas’ playoff odds dropped to 20% with their loss.

The Giants are 0-5 and Odell Beckham Jr. might be done for the season. New York was already done, but now they’re super done.

Washington had a bye but now the Eagles have two more wins than they do and Philly still owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Everything’s been coming up Eagles so far this season. Let’s keep the good times rolling.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 07:00:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Monday Morning Fly By: The train is already full

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

*The Flyers beat the Ducks! Finally! Thanks to Wayne Simmonds, who has made it clear in three games that he’s going to give us a hell of a season. RECAP!

*It was a good win, too. The Ducks took the Flyers to overtime, but there were a lot of good things from our boys Saturday night. []

*You’ve probably noticed that there hasn’t been a ton of flashiness from Nolan Patrick so far. This isn’t a bad thing. []

*The Flyers are still carrying eight defensemen. Who do you think is getting the axe when the time comes? []

*It would appear that Travis Sanheim is sticking, which is good. But Sam Morin still hasn’t been given a shot. Which is bad. []

*One of the more interesting things to come out of Saturday’s game was Nolan Patrick’s move to the third line. Boruk is calling this a “demotion”, but it’s only that if you’re stuck in outdated hockey paradigms. If you’re doing it right, your lines are numbered, not ranked. Patrick with Konecny could be a fun thing to watch if it works. [NBC Sports Philly]

*So while it is objectively sucky that we won’t see NHL players in the Olympics this year, it’s objectively cool that guys from other pro leagues will get a chance at bit-time glory. [Sportsnet]

*And finally, if your hockey arena isn’t filled with fans, fill it with a giant television! [ProHockeyTalk]

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 08:12:25 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Carson Wentz has been amazingly good on third down

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/9/17.

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

In career day, Carson Wentz's 3rd-down mastery continues in Eagles' win over Cardinals - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Here's all you need to know about how far Carson Wentz has come: He had three touchdown passes all last year on third down. And he had three Sunday against the Cards. Wentz continued his 2017 third-down mastery Sunday in the Eagles' blowout win over the Cards, going 11 for 12 on third down with nine conversions and throwing for 255 yards and three TD passes. Just on third down.

The Philadelphia Eagles finally played a complete game - BGN
The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #267). In this episode, we recap the Eagles vs. Cardinals game in Week 5, celebrate the greatness of Carson Wentz, talk about how the Birds are 4-1, and much more.

Carson Wentz Had the Game of His Career Against the Cardinals - The Ringer
Wentz played lights out on third down, finishing an incredible 11-of-12 for 229 yards and three touchdowns on third downs to push his season-long passer rating on that down to 137.7, with six total touchdowns and a 71.1 completion percentage. Combining efficiency and sound decision-making in the short and intermediate areas, an improved run game, and a few well-timed deep throws down the field, Wentz and the Eagles’ offense look capable of stressing defenses as we’ve never seen under head coach and play-caller Doug Pederson.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Cardinals game - PhillyVoice
Pederson explained multiple times this past week that he thinks the Stefen Wisniewski - Chance Warmack platoon is effective. On the first three drives of the game, Wentz was protected well, and the Eagles put three touchdowns on the board. On all three of those drives, Wisniewski was the starter. So if things are going well, maybe just leave him in, right? Nope. Instead, the Eagles put in Warmack, who proceeded to give up pressure, and they gained just 23 yards on their next two drives.

The Time Machine - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles have big play ability, as you saw on Sunday, but they also can move the ball methodically and really work the clock. This is important. It keeps the other offense off the field and it shortens the game. The key to this is being able to run the ball and convert on 3rd downs. Carson Wentz and the offense have been masterful on 3rd downs this year, especially the last couple of weeks. The offensive line has done a strong job of protecting Wentz. Give him a clean pocket and he will find someone to get the ball to. Eagles receivers have gotten open and they’ve caught the ball when it comes to them. Give the coaches credit for calling good plays. It also helps that Wentz can run for a 1st down when that is needed.A big reason for the 4-1 start is the offense’s ability to move the chains, score points and shorten games. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this up.

The day after: Inside Carson Wentz's career day against the Cardinals - The Athletic
The Eagles and their fans have plenty of reasons to be excited on this Monday. The team is 4-1 and has a point differential of plus-38, tops in the NFC. The Eagles are in first place in the NFC East (no other team has more than two wins) and expect to get key contributors like Fletcher Cox and Ronald Darby back in the weeks ahead. But the biggest reason for excitement continues to be the second-year quarterback. “He’s the face of the franchise,” said tight end Zach Ertz. “As he goes, we go. And the most impressive part is he’s so even-keeled, through the highs and the lows. We love playing for him.”

Praise for Carson Wentz builds after latest stellar effort - Inquirer
The rest of the NFL is beginning to pay notice. The Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson, possibly the league’s best cornerback, said that it’s only a matter of time until Wentz is a “top-tier quarterback.” “He’s a guy that had great pocket presence, and he understands where the pressure and blitzes are coming from,” Peterson said. “He knows the outlets, and he moves very well.”

Carson Wentz, Eagles soar to new heights with emphatic win over Cardinals - ESPN
Wentz (21-of-30, 304 yards, 4 TDs, INT) established a personal best with four touchdown passes -- three of which came on consecutive pass attempts in the first quarter. He is the first quarterback with a touchdown pass on three consecutive attempts since Ben Roethlisberger did it Week 4 of 2016, per the Elias Sports Bureau, and is the first quarterback in Eagles history to throw three touchdown passes in the first quarter of a game. The breakout was somewhat expected internally. Earlier in the week, a team insider told ESPN that Wentz's outing against the Los Angeles Chargers was being viewed as his best as a pro even though he finished with an average completion rate and one touchdown. They saw a signal-caller who was maturing in his decision-making and command. The statistical fruits of that growth came at the Cardinals' expense.

Blowout Win Keeps Eagles Rolling At 4-1 -
These are the kind of games you’ve seen in the past where the Eagles, who looked overwhelmingly good on paper as 1 p.m. approached, would misfire here, jump offsides there, drop a pass all over, and in the end, well, it would just not be a satisfying afternoon. On Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles took care of business early (in the game) and late (on third downs) and blew apart the Arizona Cardinals 34-7, the team’s third consecutive victory ...

A play to remember for Nelson Agholor, Eagles - BCCC
Agholor, who was selected for random drug testing by the league after Sunday's game, has been able to bounce back by "working my butt off." "I really enjoy the game of football and the process of getting better," Agholor said. "I want to go out there and have fun with my teammates. We had a lot of fun today." Sunday was a blast for Agholor. His confidence has returned even as Smith's has ebbed and flowed after signing with the Eagles as a free agent. Agholor has been encouraging Smith, just as Smith first encouraged Agholor during summer camp.

Winners and Losers From the Arizona Cardinals’ 34-7 Loss to the Philadelphia Eagles - Revenge Of The Birds
Wentz was efficient and outside of a Bethea INT, he managed to have an incredibly efficient day and avoid turnovers despite Arizona throwing some tight blitzes at him. His offensive line held up despite the fact they couldn’t run the ball and he did exceptionally well on third down and completed several deep shots on Arizona’s secondary. Wentz looks to be coming into his own and seems to be on the rise as a young quarterback in the league.

Vice President Mike Pence leaves Colts game after 49ers kneel for national anthem - SB Nation
Vice President Mike Pence left the Colts’ game against the 49ers on Sunday after players took a knee during the national anthem. He tweeted why he felt the need to leave in a string of tweets.


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[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 07:12:47 EDT from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Cardinals Game

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss the Cardinals 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 and just search “Crossing Broadcast” to subscribe. If you just…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 08:41:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Your Monday Morning Roundup

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Your Philadelphia Eagles are 4-1. That’s right, with a big win over the Arizona Cardinals yesterday, the Eagles are atop the NFC East standings and are among the best in the whole NFC. To make things even better the Giants lost, the Cowboys fell to the Packers, and the Redskins had a bye. Chris had…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 09:12:00 EDT from rss

Subject: A Tale of Two Carsons: Ten Takeaways from Eagles 34, Cardinals 7

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Let’s start with this: The Arizona Cardinals were garbage yesterday. Now that we’ve established that, let’s dive into the thesaurus to find an accurate word describing the Eagles’ performance: Comprehensive? Commanding? Dominating? Domineering? We’ll go with all of the above. Your Philadelphia Eagles looked more like the ’85 Bears on Sunday afternoon, scoring early and often to complement a stifling…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 10:18:42 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Cardinals Final Score: 13 things we learned from Philadelphia

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Big takeaways from the Birds game.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 4-1 in the 2017 NFL regular season after defeating the Arizona Cardinals by a final score of 31 to 7 (recap here). Three wins in a row! Here’s a look at everything we learned from this game.

1 - The Eagles can play a complete game

Winning close games is important and all, but the mark of a truly good team is one who is able to blow out inferior opponents. That’s exactly what the Eagles did on Sunday as they dominated the Cardinals in all three phrases.

Doug Pederson’s offense looked great. Philadelphia racked up 34 points and 419 yards. 21 of the Eagles’ points were scored in the first quarter alone.

On defense, Jim Schwartz’s unit only allowed seven points despite missing two of the team’s defenders: both Fletcher Cox and Ronald Darby. The Eagles would’ve have logged multiple interceptions on Sunday if their cornerbacks had better hands.b

Dave Fipp’s special teams group is still one of the best in the league. He does such a good job with that unit. The Eagles had a huge punt return (more on that later) and a blocked field goal (more on that later as well).

Just an overall great team win. A total statement game from the Eagles.

2 - Carson Wentz is amazing

11 of 12 (91.7%) for 225 yards (18.8 average), three touchdowns, nine first downs, and a 158.3 passer rating. These were just Wentz’s numbers on third down. Wentz has been unreal in that area. He’s just so clutch in those moments. He sees the field so well and makes the right call. Or, if there’s nothing there, he can always just take off running and move the chains with his legs.

Wentz’s complete game stats: 21/30 (70%), 304 yards (10.1 average), 4 TD, 1 INT, 128.3 passer rating. He also rushed for 11 yards.

Wentz is clearly ahead of where he was at this time last year. He’s making that Year 1 to Year 2 leap that most NFL players make in their career. There’s progression and growth. His accuracy looks improved. He’s racking up all the Air Yards.

Wentz’s success is clearly a great thing for the Eagles’ outlook. It’s terrible news for all his unreasonable critics and doubters out there.

In fairness, Wentz was not perfect on Sunday. The interception he threw was really bad. Can’t turn the ball over in that situation. Even if the Eagles have to kick a field goal, they go up three possessions (17 points) and then get the ball back after the half. It wasn’t the appropriate time to force a tight throw. Wentz also terribly missed a wide open Ertz on third down in the red zone. Completely threw behind him and in the dirt.

In a way, there’s comfort to be had in these mistakes. Because for as good as Wentz played, there’s still room for him to be even better. And given his incredible work ethic and will to win, there’s confidence he’ll correct the things that went wrong moving forward.

3 - It’s time to really give Doug Pederson some credit

4th-and-8? No, 4 and 1. That’s the Eagles’ record right now and it’s time to give credit to the head coach.

The Eagles have been very well-prepared heading into games this season. Pederson has had his guys ready to go from the jump.

If you’re still not sold, look at these numbers:

In addition to this consistency, players seem to enjoy playing for Doug. They’re having fun expressing themselves in their touchdown celebrations, which is something Pederson actually encouraged the guys to practice during training camp.

Doug’s done a good job. It’s still relatively early in the season, but the man at least deserves to be in the Coach of the Year conversation.

4 - Nelson Agholor looks like a new player

I always believed in you, Nelson. And now you’re proving me right.

OK, just kidding, I didn’t believe in him at all. But there was great reason not to. He was literally one of the worst wide receivers in the NFL over the past two seasons. And now Agholor is a guy who can do THIS:


Through five games, Agholor now has 16 receptions for 266 yards (16.6 average) and three touchdowns. He’s clearly on pace for his best season yet.

The Eagles’ 2015 first-round pick has been a great option for Wentz in the slot. He’s not the volume target that Jordan Matthews is, but he’s much more explosive. The Eagles really aren’t missing JMatt at all.

5 - Patrick Robinson has been such a pleasant surprise

Patrick Robinson looked awful in Eagles training camp. It wasn’t just me who thought this, either. A number of media types thought he was having the worst camp of any player. Even Robinson admitted he was really struggling.

But he’s really rebounded in a big way. And it’s not just because he’s playing in the position he’s best suited for: the nickel cornerback role. On Sunday against the Cardinals, the Eagles used Robinson on the outside a good amount. He was in position to make multiple interceptions. Unfortunately, he dropped them, but still ... he was pretty great in coverage.

Now’s a good time to remind you the Eagles signed him for the mere cost of $1 million. Tremendous bargain signing.

6 - Larry Fitzgerald isn’t an Eagles Killer anymore

Well, at least he wasn’t on Sunday. Fitz only had six receptions for 51 yards and zero touchdowns. Two catches and 20 yards came on the final drive of the game, which was pure garbage time production.

In his last two games against the Eagles, Fitzgerald only has nine receptions for 94 yards. Take out the garbage time numbers and it’s seven for 74. The 34-year-old is not the Eagles Killer he once was. I declare his reign over.

7 - Kenjon Barner is the unsung hero of this game

Back when the Eagles re-signed Barner, I was optimistic about his chances of contributing to the team’s return game.

Barner rewarded my faith with three punt returns on Sunday for a total of 110 yards. His longest of the day went for 76. Barner might not be some exceptional talent but he has familiarity with Fipp’s scheme and he seems to have picked up a thing or two from his mentor, Darren Sproles.

But it wasn’t like Barner only contributed on his returns. He also had five carries for 23 yards (4.6 average) on the ground. And he drew a 16-yard pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter.

The Eagles are fortunate that the Chargers cut Barner this summer. He’s a nice role-player to have.

8 - Another great game for the defensive line

The Eagles only had two sacks but they were pressuring Carson Palmer all game long. If the cornerbacks could catch, I’d be saying the line pressured Palmer into throwing multiple picks.

Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry each had one sack and one quarterback hit. Tim Jernigan, Chris Long, Beau Allen, Derek Barnett, and Elijah Qualls also all had one quarterback hit.

When it came to run defense, Graham was a monster. He had three tackles for loss. Curry and Jernigan also logged one each.

The Eagles held Arizona to 31 yards on the ground for a 2.2 average. If you take out J.J. Nelson’s 14-yard jet sweep, Cardinals running backs combined for a mere 17 yards on 13 carries (1.3 average).

9 - The secondary stepped up

I talked about Robinson’s performance earlier. He could’ve had like three interceptions if he had better hands. Jalen Mills also dropped a potential pick, though in fairness John Brown did a great job of playing defense and breaking it up.

I thought Malcolm Jenkins quietly played a very good game. He deserves credit for holding Fitzgerald to a meager performance.

No one will be mistaking the Eagles’ secondary for the best in the league anytime soon, but they played pretty well. Now imagine when Ronald Darby returns.

10 - The Lane Johnson injury looms large

Johnson suffered a head injury during the Eagles-Cardinals game and did not return to the game. Jeff McLane reports the injury is indeed a concussion. If that’s true, Johnson will have to pass through the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol before he can suit up. He might not be ready in time for the Eagles’ Thursday night game against the Carolina Panthers. Even if he thinks he’s ready to play, it doesn’t matter. It’s not his call. He has to be cleared by an independent doctor.

The good news is that Halapoulivaati Vaitai seemed to play well in his absence. The bad news is he’s no Lane Johnson.

Stay tuned for more updates on Johnson’s situation as Pederson addresses reporters on Monday.

11 - The offensive line is still mashing people

You have to love the way this Eagles offensive line is performing. Wentz was only sacked once. According to PFF, the Eagles have the NFL’s best pass protection unit since Isaac Seumalo was benched.

The run game has obviously been awesome as well. Against a tough Cardinals run defense, Philly running backs gained 114 yards on 26 carries (4.4 average).

The only complaint I have about this offensive line is the dumb left guard rotation. It’s just so unnecessary. The Eagles’ offense was playing well on Sunday. They had three straight scoring drives with Stefen Wisniewski starting ... and then Chance Warmack took over and drives suddenly started to stall. The rotation is so forced and unnecessary.

A holding penalty on Warmack late in the game wiped out a rushing touchdown. The game was virtually over, but come on. Just get Chance out of there.

12 - LeGarrette Blount has been surprisingly good

Blount finished with 74 yards on 14 carries against the Cardinals. His longest run of the day was for 37. The offensive line deserves a ton of credit for opening a huge hole for him, but Blount is able to generate his own yards once he’s in the open field because people can’t tackle him very easily. It’s just really fun to watch defenders bounce off of him and he continues to keep his legs moving and pick up extra yards. It must be really demoralizing for a defense to have to go up against a player like that.

13 - The Eagles gained a buffer in the NFC East

Sunday was a great day to be an Eagles fan.

The Eagles blew out the Cardinals, the Cowboys lost to the Packers, and the Giants are now 0-5.

The Eagles now have two more wins than the second place team, the Washington Redskins, in the NFC East.

1 - Eagles | Overall: 4-1 | Conference: 3-0 | Division: 2-0

2 - Washington | Overall: 2-2 | Conference: 1-1 | Division: 0-1

3 - Cowboys | Overall: 2-3 | Conference: 1-2 | Division: 1-0

4 - Giants | Overall: 0-5 | Conference: 0-4 | Division: 0-2

That’s a nice little buffer to have, especially with the Eagles having a tough road game against the 4-1 Carolina Panthers coming up on Thursday night.

Right now, it’s hard not to feel pretty good about this Eagles team. They’re 4-1 and they haven’t even hit their ceiling yet. Wentz is still developing. Cox and Darby will be returning from injury at some point. Sidney Jones might be on the way as well.

Beating the Panthers would be incredible. That’d put the Eagles at 5-1 with 10 days to prepare for a Josh Norman-less Washington team in Week 7. Winning in Carolina won’t be easy, but you can’t say the Eagles don’t have a shot. The Birds are a good football team.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 12:17:28 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Cardinals snap count analysis: Patrick Robinson plays well in increased role

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Playing time tracker.

Here’s a breakdown of the snap counts from the Philadelphia Eagles' 34-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.


Alshon Jeffery played the most snaps of any wide receiver but only had three receptions for 31 yards.

The Eagles are still doing their rotation at left guard. Just like last week, this was roughly 60% Stefen Wisniewski and 40% Chance Warmack.

Lane Johnson had to leave early due to suffering a head injury. Halapoulivaati Vaitai took over in his place.

With Wendell Smallwood out, LeGarrette Blount played the most snaps of any Eagles running back. Corey Clement’s playing time just by 10% from last week. Kenjon Barner played a quarter of the Eagles’ snaps in his first offensive action with the team this year.

Trey Burton and Marcus Johnson didn’t play much but they made some worthwhile contributions. Burton had two receptions for six yards and a touchdown. Johnson had a six yard reception that moved the chains in the red zone.


Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod were the only two defensive players to play all the snaps. Jalen Mills had to come out for a little bit after getting shaken up early in the game.

Patrick Robinson’s playing time increased from 56% in Week 4 to 77% in this game. The Eagles were using him more often on the outside, which meant less playing time for Rasul Douglas. The third-round rookie corner only played 33% of the snaps after playing 100% in Week 4. The Cardinals have a lot of speed at wide receiver and Douglas isn’t the fastest guy so it seems like this was a matchup based decision. Robinson obviously played very well against Arizona. The Eagles rotating their corners isn’t a new thing. They often did this with Leodis McKelvin and Jalen Mills last season.

Corey Graham returned from missing two games and played 67% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. This allowed Jenkins to move down to the slot to man up against Larry Fitzgerald. Jenkins held Fitzgerald to three catches for 31 yards prior to the Arizona’s final drive, when he had two receptions for 20 yards in garbage time.

Justin Hamilton played more snaps than Elijah Qualls. Hamilton was originally on the practice squad while Qualls was on the roster.


K Jake Elliott - 13 - 46%

P Donnie Jones - 9 - 32%

LS Rick Lovato - 9 - 32%

LB Joe Walker - 6 - 21%

Elliott hasn’t missed a kick since nailing that 61-yarder against the Giants. He’ll likely never miss again.


The following players were ruled inactive prior to the game: Fletcher Cox, Ronald Darby, Wendell Smallwod, Jaylen Watkins, Destiny Vaeao, Shelton Gibson, and Isaac Seumalo.

The following player(s) were active but did not play: Nick Foles.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 11:24:23 EDT from rss

Subject: Ruben Amaro Jr. As The Next Phillies Manager?

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When everything seems to be going right in Philly, the return of Ruben Amaro Jr. would quickly bring the city back down to Earth. According to Nick Carfado of The Boston Globe, the Phillies are eyeing several candidates to be the next manager, one of which being former Phillies GM and current Boston Red Sox…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 12:30:01 EDT from rss

Subject: The Eagles-Browns trade for Carson Wentz keeps looking better

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1 win since passing on Wentz at 2

On Sunday the Browns benched DeShone Kizer for Kevin Hogan. If Hogan starts next week (or whenever he eventually starts), he will be the fifth different starter for the Browns since the start of last season, two of whom have been Browns draft picks. The Browns are 1-20 since deciding to pass on Carson Wentz.

Neither their means nor their ends have been justified.

Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, who never worked in football prior to being hired as Cleveland’s front office #2, justified passing on Wentz because they were convinced he would never be even a top 20 quarterback:

I think the hardest part, and where we have to stay the most disciplined, as much as you want a player, you can't invent him if he doesn't exist. In a given year, there may be two or three NFL-ready quarterbacks at the college level. In another year, there literally may be zero. There just may be not be anybody in that year who's good enough to be a top 20 quarterback in the NFL.

Even though you have a desperate need for one, you have to resist the temptation of taking that guy just because you have a need if you don't believe he's one of those 20 guys at the end of the day. I think that's the hardest part, just maintaining your discipline because you have the need. That's what we did this year.

DePodesta’s overall point is fair: teams reach for QBs nearly every year and drafting a position high just because you need someone is a terrible strategy.

But Cleveland’s front office, the third iteration in the five full seasons that Jimmy Haslam has owned the Browns, doesn’t have the luxury of taking the view from 40,000 feet. They specifically passed on Wentz on 2016 because they didn’t think he would be any good, and on Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017 because they thought they weren’t good value. Trubisky makes his debut tonight, Mahomes looked terrific in the preseason but as the backup on the only undefeated team in the league is going to have to wait his turn, while Watson is looking like the next big thing. Meanwhile the quarterbacks the Browns did take because they were “good value” have both been benched: despite a decent season in 2016, Cody Kessler lost his job in the offseason to Kizer, who has now lost his job to Hogan.

The argument that the Browns were right to pass on a QB high and focus on building up the team around the position first, as Browns legal counsel turned Executive Vice President of Football Operations explains, has always been weak.

High-value draft picks in the first couple rounds are tremendously valuable. We have a long way to go to get our roster where it needs to be. We understand that and so this is a great opportunity to add a player and add another player next year that we hope, again, will be another impact player for us. So it's really for us a two-for-one and where we're coming from on our roster that's valuable.

The Browns roster is no doubt terrible, but that’s in part to having a carousel of terrible quarterbacks.

-The Browns offense in 2016, sans QB, was just as untalented as the Eagles, who had the worst skill position players in the league. The Browns offensive line wasn’t as good as the Eagles, but it wasn’t a liability either. And Wentz’s mobility is a big asset. The Eagles supporting cast was at best on par with the Browns in 2016, and that clearly didn’t ruin Wentz.

-They still drafted a QB in 2016, and gave him 8 starts. If you were so worried about the supporting cast getting a QB killed, you’d completely punt on one in the draft and have a depth chart of veterans to get you through the season, like the Jets are doing this year. They didn’t. The Browns felt they would be smarter than everyone else and take Cody Kessler in the 3rd round. If you want to be really reactionary, they graded Cody Kessler higher than Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. Kessler has spent the 2017 season inactive.

-Talent changes hands often in the NFL. The Eagles have four new starters on offense this year, as many as the Browns. Tanking in the NFL can work, but there’s little need to do it for multiple years when there is a QB staring you in the face. Upgrades to help out your young QB on a bad team are readily available in free agency, especially when you have as much cap space as the Browns.

And then there is the return in the trade to consider. The Eagles supposedly “gave up the farm” or “mortgaged the future” when they traded for Wentz, which ignores that without a QB there is no future for an NFL team. In the trade for Wentz and subsequent trades of some of those picks, the Browns received Corey Coleman, Shon Coleman, Cody Kessler, Derrick Kindred, Spencer Drango, Ricardo Lewis, and Jordan Payton in 2016, and Jabrill Peppers and DeShone Kizer in 2017, and have a 1st (from Houston for Deshaun Watson) and 2nd (from Philadelphia) in 2018. Both the Colemans, Kindred, and Peppers are starters. Kessler and Kizer have been benched, Payton is out of the league. The rest are situational players at best. It’s not quite the opposite of the Hershel Walker trade, but it’s not too far off. The Browns got a mud farm and a reverse mortgage, the Eagles and Texans got the future. The Browns process has always been broken. They visit Watson and the Texans on Sunday to further drive home the point.

At least they’ll be in position to pass on another quarterback in the draft again. Well, maybe not Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta. History says they’ll be fired by then, and it will be justified.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 11:50:13 EDT from rss

Subject: Bird Droppings: Bombs Away

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What a delicious and truly tasty win. For real, I want to lick it. Not like that fucking freak, Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster wants to lick a stripper’s hoo-ha, but in a friendly way, like a dog warmly greeting you with a smooch on the nose and oh, did you have beef while you…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 13:54:46 EDT from rss

Subject: Lane Johnson Injury: Eagles preparing to play without starting right tackle

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Well, this sucks.

Lane Johnson suffered a concussion during the Eagles’ Week 5 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. It seems unlikely he’ll suit up for Philadelphia’s Week 6 game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.

“Right now he’s in the [NFL’s mandatory concussion] protocol,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed on Monday. “And so I’ll get more information this afternoon when the players come in and meet with the doctors. But that’s where he’s at coming out of the football game.”

Since Johnson suffered a concussion, he must be independently cleared before he can return to action. Here’s what Pederson had to say when asked if it’s even possible for Johnson to be cleared in time for Thursday’s game:

“It’s tough, based on the protocol and what the players have to go through. So, again, I’ll find out more this afternoon. But it’s hard … on a short week.”

So are the Eagles preparing to play with Johnson?

“Going forward, kind of have to. Again, on a short week like this, players will be in today and we’ve got to work today, obviously, and this afternoon and this evening. I have to plan that way, going into this game.”


As Eagles fans are well aware, Johnson is such a critical part of the team’s success. He’s a force at right tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s only allowed five pressures in 193 total pass block snaps. That rate ranks third best in the NFL among offensive tackles.

The Eagles are 9-2 in their last 11 games when Johnson has played. They are 2-8 in the last 10 games he’s missed.

With Johnson out, the Eagles are expected to start Halapoulivaati Vaitai in his place. The man they call Big V has made six career starts and played in 11 total games since being selected by Philadelphia in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Vaitai got off to a rough start as a rookie but then he started to settle in a little. The team is high on him; they use Big V as an extra blocker in some special situations.

Vaitai had to fill in for Johnson for the second half of the Eagles-Cardinals game. Pederson was encouraged by what he saw:

“Big V came in and started the third quarter. We went down and got the points right away. Played good. Played solid. He’s one that, the more he plays, the better he gets, obviously. Even on a short week, for him, not getting a ton of reps at tackle, to come in off the bench like he does, it’s just a tribute to the way he prepares himself and the way he battles and gets better every time he gets out there.”

According to PFF, Vaitai didn’t allow a single pressure (sack, hit, or hurry) in pass protection. That’s good.

Vaitai is typically the Eagles’ top backup at either tackle position. So with him starting instead, it’s going to be Isaac Seumalo as the swing tackle this week.

Seumalo opened the season as the team’s starting left guard before getting benched in Week 3. The Eagles have kept him as a healthy scratch since Week 4 but now he’ll likely be active again. Seumalo has some college experience at tackle and also made one start there against the Ravens in 2016.

Johnson missing this game is a tough blow for the Eagles since the 4-1 Panthers seem to be hitting their stride. It’s going to be difficult to go down to Carolina and get a win.

The good news is that the Eagles will have 10 days off before they play the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. One would think Johnson will be back in time for that NFC East matchup.

Johnson might’ve even been ready to play this week if the game was on Sunday. Just another reminder that Thursday Night Football sucks.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 12:51:27 EDT from rss

Subject: What

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I woke up today, showered, and brushed my teeth as I stared into the mirror and contemplated my hollow existence. Typical Monday stuff. But something about this morning felt different. My standard feelings of impending doom, self-loathing, and general self-disgust had been replaced with something that felt like, I don’t know, optimism, maybe? Initially, I…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 15:07:18 EDT from rss

Subject: Odell Beckham Injury: Giants wide receiver officially out for season

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Tough year for the G-Men.

Odell Beckham Jr. will not suit up again this year. Ben McAdoo confirmed the New York Giants’ star wide receiver is out for the season after suffering a fractured ankle injury in Week 5. Beckham is set to have surgery this week.

The Beckham injury is a major blow to a Giants team that was already among the league’s worst teams. New York is 0-5 through their first five games of the 2017 NFL season. It’ll be hard to win many more games this year without the team’s best player.

There’s a long-term angle to the Beckham injury as well. This situation complicates his future with the team regarding his contract desires. For a more detailed breakdown, check out this post from SB Nation.

Making matters tougher on the Giants this season is that a number of their other receivers got hurt during their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Dwayne Harris, like Beckham, suffered a season-ending injury. Sterling Shepard is expected to miss a few weeks with an ankle injury and Brandon Marshall could miss some time with an ankle sprain.

The Giants are serious contenders for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The only other two winless teams are the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns. The 49ers have played some close games, though, so it might just come down to the Browns and the G-Men.

New York desperately needs, well, a lot of things, but an heir to long-time franchise quarterback Eli Manning, who turns 37 in January, is certainly near the top of the list. The 2018 draft class is expected to potentially feature some intriguing quarterback prospects, such as Sam Darnold (if he leaves school).

At this point, the Philadelphia Eagles should be hoping the Giants win some meaningless games in order to hurt their draft position. But if the worst case scenario involves getting to see the Giants lose a lot more games, that’s not so awful in the short-term.

The Eagles defeated the Giants in Week 3 this season; shoutout to Jake Elliott for his 61-yard game-winning field goal. The two teams will meet again in Week 15 on Dec. 17 at MetLife Stadium.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 15:42:05 EDT from rss

Subject: The Eagles Defense and an Appetite for Destruction

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Four hours after the Eagles 34-7 win, Guns N’ Roses opened their South Philly show with a track that appropriately described the earlier performance of Jim Schwartz’s defense. “It’s So Easy” is a song about nailing rock and roll groupies, but for the sake of the article the analogy stands, because the Birds did indeed…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 17:17:55 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Cardinals PFF Grades: Carson Wentz somehow not among Philadelphia

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Best and worst of the Eagles-Cardinals game.

Pro Football Focus releases the top five graded players from each team after every single NFL game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Philadelphia Eagles following their Week 5 win against the Arizona Cardinals.

CB Patrick Robinson, 91.5 overall grade

DE Timmy Jernigan, 87.2 overall grade

DE Vinny Curry, 85.6 overall grade

LB Jordan Hicks, 85.5 overall grade

S Malcolm Jenkins, 83.5 overall grade

Hmmmmmm ... I feel like someone is missing from that list! You know, that guy who threw four touchdowns and had a 128.3 passer rating on Sunday?


So Wentz didn’t make the top five, but PFF included a blurb on him in their game review.

QB Carson Wentz, 79.0 overall grade

A near flawless display from Wentz, with the only blot on his copy book a couple of errant throws on the final drive of the first half that saw him first have an interception dropped, before turning it over on the next play. But in the grand scheme of things, minor gripes, and Wentz (who was ably protected, with pressure on just 10-of-35 drop backs), was able to make a number of big plays that the Cardinals never recovered from. He ended the day with just five completions over 10 yards in the air, but his lofted pass to Nelson Agholor demonstrated just how devastating he is when moving the ball downfield.

PFF’s write-up is less critical than the grade might make it seem. With that said, it’s confusing how the grade ends up being what is when you compare it to other quarterbacks.

PFF reserves the right to adjust their grades after watching All-22 and going through a more thorough review process. In the meantime, though, Wentz’s grade just doesn’t seem to match up with what we all saw on the field.

I’m not saying PFF is inherently biased against Wentz, because they’ve been generous to him when I thought they should’ve been harsher (Week 3 review), but this latest grade is a head-scratcher. Wentz wasn’t completely flawless against the Cards but the good so clearly outweighed the bad.

Wentz now ranks ninth out of 32 quarterbacks graded by PFF this season. Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, and Dak Prescott are all below him. (In more way than one.)


Robinson has now finished in the top five in every week this season except one. He’s been pretty good.

Just imagined what this grade would be if Robinson could catch? Carson Palmer kept testing Robinson, and the former Saint and Charger had no problem passing it. He was thrown at nine times, broke up three balls and surrendered just 80 yards (with the majority of those in garbage time). Just imagine what this grade would be if Robinson could catch? Carson Palmer kept testing Robinson, and the former Saint and Charger had no problem passing it. He was thrown at nine times, broke up three balls and surrendered just 80 yards (with the majority of those in garbage time).

This review didn’t even mention his field goal block, which ensured a 14-point lead for the Eagles heading into halftime.

But indeed, Robinson’s performance would’ve been even better if was able to hold on to at least one of the three interceptions he dropped.

Despite that, Robinson is now PFF’s No. 1 graded cornerback in the entire NFL. That’s pretty crazy. He’s definitely not the best corner in the NFL, obviously, but he’s played pretty well. Kudos to him.


As I wrote about last week, the man with the gold teeth has been having a great season.

No Fletcher Cox, no problem. Jernigan was particularly disruptive in the first half where no body on the Cardinals interior could handle him. He finished with two tackles for a loss and was constantly disruptive.

Jernigan ranks eighth out of 124 interior defenders this season. He’s been very good in run defense and he’s also able to generate pressure from the interior as well. He might even be more productive when Cox returns. The two of them combine to form a formidable pair of defensive tackles.

They gotta find a way to re-sign this guy.


Curry had four solo tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, and one QB hit in Sunday’s game. He did a good job of regularly getting pressure on Carson Palmer. This is to be expected since he was going up against a second team left tackle and a third team left guard. Still, he took care of business.

Curry ranks 22nd out of 104 edge rushers this season. He’s generated 13 pressures in 118 pass rush snaps. More surprisingly, he ranks sixth in run stop percentage. That was an area to be considered Curry’s weakness but he’s shown progress there.


Hicks has quietly had a quiet season — for his standards, at least. He didn’t have a particularly splashy day against the Cardinals (four tackles, three solo) but somehow he ended up in the top five.


I wrote about Jenkins’ performance earlier today:

Corey Graham returned from missing two games and played 67% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. This allowed Jenkins to move down to the slot to man up against Larry Fitzgerald. Jenkins held Fitzgerald to three catches for 31 yards prior to the Arizona’s final drive, when he had two receptions for 20 yards in garbage time.

Jenkins also had a part in Robinson’s field goal block.

During his press conference last week, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was extremely effusive of Jenkins.

I still think that when we get to full strength, that's something that we can benefit from is him playing down because he is good in some of those matchups. With a 3-1 start and everything that's gone on, I think Malcolm's play has sort of flown below the radar. He doesn't have interceptions or sacks and things like that, but he's played consistent football. Early on, talking about some of our positions where we're striving to get consistency, you can scratch Malcolm off of that list. He's played very consistently and he's also had to handle a lot of different situations from, losing his running mate at safety next to him, plugging another guy in, and plugging another guy in. There hasn't -- he's taken a lot on himself to stay productive and I think he's playing at a higher level than I've ever seen him play, and that says an awful lot because he's been a good player in this league for a long time.


Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson earned a mention in PFF’s recap.

Another good performance from Johnson who turned his 33 snaps into the highest grade on the offensive line. The problem of course was the head injury that saw him leave the game and meant Halapoulivaati Vaitai entered the game. If Johnson is to miss time then Vatai is a guy we’ll be seeing more of, so it was heartening for Eagles fans to see his performance go largely unnoticed (in a good way). He ended the day with no hurries allowed and a 71.7 grade.

Johnson ranks third among offensive tackles in pass protection this season. He ranks tied for fourth out of 69 tackles graded by PFF this season. (Jason Peters, meanwhile, is second.)

It sucks that the Eagles will likely be without Johnson against the Panthers on Thursday night.

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 17:39:17 EDT from rss

Subject: UPDATE: Joel Embiid Has Signed a Five-Year, $148 Million Extension

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BOOOOOOOOMSHAKALAKA. Philadelphia center Joel Embiid has agreed to a five-year, $148 million designated rookie scale max extension, league sources told ESPN. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 9, 2017 If Embiid meets the super max criteria over course of deal, he could earn as much as $178M. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 9, 2017 I’m…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 19:00:11 EDT from rss

Subject: T.J. McConnell Continues To Be The Man

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T.J. McConnell was a guest on Spike Eskin’s Rights To Ricky Sanchez live podcast on Saturday at. From accounts of those in attendance, McConnell was a great sport about everything in front of a raucous and likely inebriated crowd, which he clearly fed off of. He later took pictures with 500 of them. The best part?…

[#] Mon Oct 09 2017 20:25:00 EDT from rss

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

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Watch MNF here.

Week 5 of the 2017 NFL regular season ends tonight with a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. It’s a classic NFC North matchup.

The Vikings are 2-2. They looked pretty good in Week 1 before Sam Bradford missed the next three games with a knee injury. Now Bradford is back. I’m more interested in seeing how Sammy Sleeves fares after this game than he does during it. Is that knee gonna be a long-term issue? (Probably.)

The Bears are 1-3. They benched Mike Glennon so Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is starting for them now. Chicago has played decently at home this year so maybe they can not get blown out.

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

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

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears TV Schedule

Game time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: ESPN

Date: Monday, October 9

Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Location: Soldier Field | Chicago, Illinois

Online Streaming: WatchESPN


Minnesota Vikings -4.5 (-105)

Chicago Bears +4.5 (-115)


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

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