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[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 14:07:21 EDT from rss

Subject: The OFFICIAL Broad Street Hockey home opener tailgate

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The boys are coming home, let’s kick off the season in a parking lot

The Flyers come to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time this season, and we want to throw a party for them. Beginning at 4pm on Saturday October 14th, you can find Broad Street Hockey and friends in the D lot in the southwest corner.

Look at my art

This is a BYO party - bring your own, well, everything. Some people may bring enough food and beverages to share, but don’t count on it. If you’re like me, you have a good friend bringing a chair for you (shoutout @Hinx), because standing is hard. Let’s sit, drink, snack, and talk about The Hockey Team the Flyers with friends new and old. I may put this song on repeat for three hours, who knows, let’s get wild.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 14:03:25 EDT from rss

Subject: NBC Sports Philly Did a Great Job with The Sixers Broadcast Last Night

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pic from (@swjones87) Credit where it’s due. There was a collective eye roll (at best) or freakout (at worst) on Twitter yesterday when people began to realize that the Sixers’ preseason game against the Nets would not be shown locally on the NBC Sports Family of Local Philly Networks. Though understandable that a preseason game…

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 16:46:32 EDT from rss

Subject: Know Thine Eagles Enemy: Panthers Film Review

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Unpacking the biggest test of the Wentz/Pederson era

We’re doing the weekly film preview a little differently, folks.

Typically, I like to go through three offensive plays, and three defensive plays—I usually grab some situational plays as well: red zone, blitz, third down, no huddle, what have you. The endeavor here is not to give you a comprehensive illustration of the opponent’s playbook. Neither of us have the time for that—I, to write; you, to read. Instead, I aim to show you guys some unique looks, distinct plays, and matchup tendencies that you can identify on the television every Sunday, and better understand what’s about to unfold on your screen.

But today, I want to go a different route—because I have a take, born of my film work. You’ve read/seen/heard a lot about this Carolina rushing attack. Cam Newton, the Panthers’ QB, represents the pinnacle of dual-threat QBs in today’s league; rookies RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Curtis Samuel both toe the line of hybrid offensive weapons; veteran RB Jonathan Stewart keeps chugging along.

The Panthers will give you a ton of backfield looks, with TEs lined up as halfbacks and fullbacks and wings, WRs motioning into the slot and through the back field, multiple RBs lined up at every spot possible, lineman pulling this way and that. It’s about as intense of window dressing as you’ll get in the NFL.

But it’s just that: window dressing. At the end of the day, the triple option and QB power and inverted veer have been around—these are recognizable concepts that defensive coordinators have been battling for years.

Sure, teams as multifarious as Carolina will bust the occasional big play with their misdirection and tomfoolery—it’s inevitable. But in order to run the triple option, you have to run basic outside zone; to run QB counter, you have to first work power plays with the RB. This running game is inventive, lively, and dangerous—but it’s also averaging 3.6 yards per carry. The bark is worse than the bite.

And I would argue that Philadelphia’s defense is readily equipped to handle such an attack as this. Carolina’s offense is scary, but this Eagle D is downright nasty, and I expect them to show out on Thursday night.*

*please, dear God, let Fletcher Cox play

Option Play

Let’s take a look at an option play—and immediately, we’ve already met a problem. This option play? It’s not actually an option.

By alignment and post-snap movement, this looks like triple option from the backfield. At the first mesh point, between QB Cam Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey (#22), Cam would read the EDGE defender to the right side of the line; should he decide to keep the football, he has the option to keep it himself, or also pitch it to RB/WR Curtis Samuel (#10). The pulling TE and RG add a wrinkly to this triple option, which usually operates out of a zone blocking scheme, but utilizes a power blocking scheme in this example.

But watching Cam’s eyes, it seems to me that this isn’t triple option at all—the ball is always going to McCaffrey, no matter what. The triple option action simple serves the purpose of freezing the backside contain. Those two defenders that close on Cam and Samuel as they belly out on the triple option action? Those are two fewer defenders for which the blockers must account. They’ve been eliminated, essentially, from affecting the actual play.

In short: misdirection, baby.

But I need to push a crucial point: these defenders were not wrong. They did exactly what they were supposed to do, given the action in front of them. Run defense comes down to trusting your keys—the visual cues given to you by the combination of offensive line and backfield action. In the event this is truly triple option, those two defenders must follow Cam and Samuel into space on the “playside,” less they give up a massive play.

Go watch that third linebacker--the one next to the two defenders who play the triple option. #53 NaVorro Bowman, one of the best linebackers in the league. He begins flowing with the backfield action, but then sniffs out the play, redirects, and closes in the hole—why? He trusted his keys. Pulling linemen add extra gaps to whatever side they pull—he has to flow with those pulling lineman, to prevent them from gaining a numerical advantage on the play side.

So he does, and as the 1-tech generates good upfield push (remember this) and disrupts the pull of RG #70, Bowman can flash in the hole and force McCaffrey to bounce the ball even further outside. Bowman scrapes and pursues, his teammates set the edge in run support, and it’s a loss of two.

Knowing what you know now, understanding this play takes on a whole new meaning.

Pre-snap motion rotates Philadelphia into a clearly single-high look (they were in Cover 3 the whole time). Malcolm Jenkins spills into the box as the eight defender. This sort of a look should show up a ton on Thursday, to help account for the Panthers’ run heavy attack. An important note: KC has 7 blockers.

All keys scream: play is going to the (defensive) right! It’s an inside zone look, so all of the lineman step one direction, and the QB opens that direction, at the snap. And you’ll notice that all of the Eagles linebackers flow with that key, as they should.

But Jenkins stays home on the backside, despite the TE (potential pass-catcher) in front of him committing pretty solid to his zone block; despite the CB to his side of the field accounting for the WR spread wide. Why? Because Alex Smith is a mobile enough quarterback that the boot-action off of inside zone is a very real threat.

8 in the box v. 7 blockers? The additional number helps a defense account for mobile quarterbacks. Just as in the CAR v. SF play above, the backside defender remains disciplined in his responsibility and defends the threat of the QB keeping the football.

The issue now? 7 blockers on 7 defenders. If every blocker can fight their defender, even to a stalemate, this play should pick up at least 5 yards. Someone on the defense has to win their one-on-one battle to make a play.

Fortunately, Philadelphia has the second-best run defense in the NFL, people. Timmy Jernigan (2-tech, playside) recognizes that the center is going to try to reach block him, so he fires directly into the OL’s chest and drives him 2 yards into the backfield. We call this resetting the line of scrimmage. It forces the RB to declare a direction of travel far earlier, and far further back, than the play designed.

Vinny Curry (DE, playside) does similarly well to generate a hard edge, while Mychal Kendricks (OLB, playside) maintains excellent leverage and shucks the climbing LG, ready to handle the RB, should he bounce to the outside. RB instead decides to cut upfield (thanks, Timmy J.) and Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and even Jernigan himself are all there to make the play.

The short version: you can’t win every single one-on-one block against this line. Can’t be done.


So double team ‘em. If you can’t beat the best interior defensive line duo in the league, then double team them, yeah? Carolina loves a running scheme called Double, or Duo--affectionately referred to as “Power without a puller”, Double is appropriately named, due to the, uh, double teams.

Out of an unbalanced line (3 TEs to the strong side, one of whom is an OL), you generate 3 double teams here: between the two interior TEs; the LT and LG; and the C and RG. The RB will take the football and immediately press the line, reading the action of the linebackers. Whichever gaps they declare to take, the back will go elsewhere, as the double teams peel off and help seal those linebackers in their spots (watch TE #65).

Double, sneakily, is a crucial concept of Carolina’s rushing attack. In most of the blocking schemes you’ll see from Carolina, there’s a lot of lateral action—pin-pull sweeps, reach blocks, arc blocks, every sort of puller. But in Double, the goal is to come off the line hot and vertical.

That vertical climb can really take advantage of a defensive line that’s in their own heads, unsure if the line is going to move left or right or two different ways at the snap. When the attack comes from both sides, right at you, it can be very difficult to drop your anchor and hold your ground—and, of the three double teams, only one needs to go awry for a crease to appear for the RB.

Welp, that didn’t go too well for Los Angeles.

MLB Jordan Hicks (#58) reads and reacts to this play with insane quickness. The moment the gap widens in front of him, he closes. While he knows this basically precludes him from making the tackle, it also forces the double team on DT Timmy Jernigan (#93) to disengage far earlier than ideal.

The congestion created by Hicks’ close forces the RB to bounce to the next gap—but Jernigan one-on-one easily presents in that gap, and the RB has to bounce it out even further. DE Vinny Curry (#75) does decently well setting an edge an ensuring that neither of his blockers can climb to the second level. OLB Nigel Bradham (#53) and Co. fly up in run support, and it’s a 1-yard gain.

When you face Carolina’s rushing attack, go straight Belichick and do your job. Hicks’ play here will never show up on the stat sheet, but he is primarily responsible for the disruption of the backfield. Everyone else fulfills their role, and the threat is bottled up.

Penetration and Disruption

Speaking of disrupting the backfield, the Panthers’ offense has the classical Achilles heel of any complex, fine-tuned machine—throw in just a grain of sand, and the cogs come to a screeching halt. There’s nothing ugly about Carolina’s offense—nobody would mistake it for smashmouth football—and as a result, if you can disrupt the action of the offensive line from the jump, you throw a wrench into the entire operation.

Carolina really struggled to generate offense against Buffalo (28 rush attempts, 77 yards, 2.8 y/a), in large part due to the attacking, upfield nature of Buffalo’s defense.

The playmaker here again doesn’t make the tackle. Playside DE Shaq Lawson (#90) is matched up against TE Ed Dickson (#84)—an obvious mismatch for Buffalo. However, Dickson does very well to get initial leverage on Lawson and prevent him from pursuing the ball-carrier.

So what does Lawson do? He works through Dickson’s down block and gets upfield, into the path of the puller, C Tyler Larson (#69). As you watch playside linebacker and eventual tackler Preston Brown (#52), you can see Brown present in the initial gap, and as he scrapes over the top to follow Stewart, Larson—who would be responsible for Brown—gets held up by Lawson, and Brown is free to make the tackle.

This is clockwork for Philadelphia’s ends. Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry both boast of the first-step explosiveness to penetrate and disrupt, and I would argue neither are even Philadelphia’s best DE against the run (Chris Long).

Pre-snap motion with a big WR into the slot as an extra blocker—you’ll see that a ton with WRs Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin of Carolina. Philadelphia appropriately loads the box with plus numbers (8 defenders, 7 blockers). Brandon Graham, the playside DE (#55) shoots underneath the blocking TE Jermaine Gresham (#84) and blows up the pull of LG Alex Boone (#71). Jordan Hicks, playside LB (#58) is free to fill the gap and make an easy tackle.

When Things Go Wrong

Honestly, I just wanted to highlight this play because it’s very impressive—it still serves a worthy point, nonetheless.

Vinny Curry, the playside DE here, decides being an idiot sounds fun, and when he’s greeted by a pulling OL, he shoots underneath the OL and fails to set an edge. Preferably, he attacks the puller with power and maintains outside leverage, able to make the tackle if the RB takes the outside path, as he does here.

So now we have a problem—a puller has been mishandled. Curry did not read his keys, he did not maintain gap discipline, and the RB has escaped into open space.

Never fear! Rodney McLeod is here!

The Eagles have two of the stoutest safeties against the run in the league. McLeod, instinctive and fast to close, comes from his single-high alignment (again, he’ll be there a lot on Thursday night) 15 yards off the line of scrimmage and makes contact with the RB at a 3 yard gain.

Remember Kareem Hunt’s touchdown against Philly? How Corey Graham, backup safety, was unable to make the tackle in space that would have prevented Hunt from reaching the end zone? The hope is that the returned-to-health McLeod can help prevent the 5 yard gains from becoming 50 yard gains.

When push comes to shove, there’s enough misdirection and madness in this offense that a few big plays will be ripped off. I can almost guarantee you there will be a few play-action passes for 30+ yards. That’s simply the danger of facing an offense like this, just as the danger of facing an offense like Philadelphia’s is deciding whether or not to bring pressure. Schwartz will play this Carolina offense fast and aggressive; he will win some, and he will lose a few too.

But the Philadelphia front seven, and especially the front four*, plainly outclass the Carolina offensive line. GIFs, arrows, X’s and O’s—all of that is well and good, but chalkboard diagrams must be executed by players, and Philadelphia’s players are better than Carolina’s, in this regard. I expect Carolina to struggle to generate a consistent running game all night long.

The Panthers will likely turn to attacking one-on-one match-ups through the air, which isn’t the strength of their offense at all. If Philadelphia’s young and injured secondary can hold up another week longer, the Eagles have an excellent chance to leave Carolina with a victory.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 17:09:46 EDT from rss

Subject: Carson Wentz named NFL FedEx Air Player of the Week for Week 5

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Now go win another.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has officially been named “Fedex Air Player of the Week” for his Week 5 performance against the Arizona Cardinals. FedEx will now make a $2,000 donation to the USO in Wentz’s name.

Thanks to support from Eagles fans, Wentz beat out the other two nominations for this week’s award: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

Carson Wentz: 21/30 (70%), 304 yards (10.1 average), 4 TD, 1 INT, 128.3 passer rating

Cam Newton: 26/33 (78.8%), 355 yards (10.8 average), 3 TD, 0 INT, 141.8 passer rating

Alex Smith: 29/37 (78.4%), 325 yards (8.8 average), 3 TD, 0 INT, 130.2 passer rating

Wentz won’t have very long to enjoy his award. The Eagles are obviously set to face Newton’s team, the Panthers, this evening on Thursday Night Football. There’s a lot of pressure on Wentz and the Birds to win the battle between two of the NFC’s top teams.

It’d be nice to see Wentz repeat as the award winner in Week 6.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 17:46:07 EDT from rss

Subject: Fletcher Cox is

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This would be good news.

Here’s some potentially good news before the Eagles’ game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football: Philadelphia starting defensive tackle Fletcher is “pushing to play,” according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. RapSheet says Cox is “to be monitored in warmups.”

Cox was officially ruled “questionable” on the Eagles’ final Week 6 injury report. The big man hasn’t been able to suit up since suffering a calf injury in the Week 3 Eagles-Giants game.

Getting Cox back would be a big boost for the Eagles’ defense. Everyone already knows how good he is, but here’s a statistic from ESPN that really puts his greatness into context.

Prior to Week 5:

With Cox on the field this season (100 snaps), the Eagles have allowed 4.8 yards per play.

With him off the field (129 snaps), they've allowed 7.3 yards per play.

The combination of Cox and Tim Jernigan could be a big mismatch for the Panthers’ offensive line. Note that Carolina is starting backup center Tyler Larsen, who is dealing with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss two days of practice this week, in place of Ryan Kalil.

Rapoport also notes backup defensive tackle Beau Allen is pushing to play. Allen has been starting in place of Cox but was limited in practice all this week with a foot injury.

It’d be great for the Eagles if both players can suit up for this week’s game. The Panthers are a tough opponent and stopping Cam Newton won’t be easy. Having Cox active should make one feel better about Philly’s chances, however.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 18:06:50 EDT from rss

Subject: Ezekiel Elliott: Cowboys running back

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Bad news for Dallas.

The Cowboys aren’t having a great bye week. Dallas is 2-3 after losing to the Green Bay Packer. Their playoff odds have dropped to under 19%. Jerry Jones angered his players with his recent comments about the national anthem. And now there’s been a major development in the on-going Ezekiel Elliott distraction.

The latest motion in Ezekiel Elliott and the NFL Players Association’s legal battle with the NFL has been decided. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans sided with the NFL and granted a stay for the injunction that was delaying Elliott’s six-game suspension, according to the Associated Press.

The court sided with the NFL in a split decision because it determined that the district court that issued the stay did not have subject matter jurisdiction, according to Gabe Feldman, the director of Tulane University’s sports law program. The appellate court also ordered the district court to dismiss the case filed by Elliott’s representatives, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said.

In simple terms: Elliott’s 6-game suspension is potentially back on and could start to be enforced as soon as Dallas returns from their bye in Week 7.

Now, this dispute might not be over yet. Elliott is expected to fight this latest decision so it’s possible he’s able to stay on the field in the meantime.

But if his appeal is unsuccessful, Elliott could miss the following six games:

Week 7 - at San Francisco 49ers

Week 8 - at Washington Redskins

Week 10 - vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Week 11 - at Atlanta Falcons

Week 12 - vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 13 - vs. Los Angeles Chargers

As you can see, one of those six games is against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys are already off to a bad start in 2017. Losing Elliott, who currently ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing yards, would only make matters worse for Dallas as they try to bounce back.

2017 isn’t treating the Cowboys so kindly and that’s great for the Eagles.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 18:36:09 EDT from rss

Subject: Watch Malcolm Jenkins mic

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Jenkins talks Wentz, Agholor, and more

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was mic’d up for Philadelphia’s home game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. You can watch the entire clip below.

Some important observations:

  • How about Jenkins doing the Brian Dawkins crawl out of the tunnel! That’s respect right there.
  • Gotta Jenk firing everybody up with his pre-game huddle speech.
  • “Tell them to throw that over here, Larry.” — Jenkins did a really good job on Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz had three receptions for 31 yards before the Cardinals’ final drive in garbage time. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz praised him for his coverage on the infamous Eagles Killer.
  • Love Jenkins’ conservation with Corey Graham. “He’s looking like Big Ben, bro.” — “He’s gonna be like a Roethlisberger, but even more agile though.” — Graham: “I don’t know he do that, bro.”
  • Jenkins and Nelson Agholor would get real heated in training camp at times. Fun to see that level of competition and then have it turn around for Jenkins to be happy for his teammate when Agholor is beating their opponents instead of him.
  • “On to the next, though. On to the next.” — Yep. Eagles vs. Panthers tonight.

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 18:41:43 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Week 6: Five Thursday

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I freakin’ hate Thursday Night Games

My entire week is off schedule, man. Had to accelerate film study, move all of my posts forward, forego getting anything productive done Friday morning. And the title isn’t even alliterative anymore! Y’all know how I feel about that.

I’m definitely funnier on Fridays, too. No, I’m not saying I’m actually funny on any day of the week—never that—but it’s a lot easier to be light-hearted on Fridays. Thursdays are awful—they’re like Fridays, in that you’re exhausted, but unlike Fridays, you still have to do all of the same nonsense again tomorrow. At least Thursday Night Football helps break that monotony.

The nice thing about Thursday Night Football? There are a bunch of super easy tropes to cherry-pick for this special, not-Friday edition of Five Friday For Sures. Let’s get it poppin’.


This one is a gimme, and has nothing to do with Thursday, but did you hear? Elliott’s injunction, which prevented the NFL from doling out a suspension, was repealed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, thus opening the door once again for the NFL to suspend Ezekiel Elliott.

Essentially, Ezekiel Elliott’s injunction was deemed ‘premature,’ in that all of the options for arbitration detailed by the CBA were not exhausted. Why did Elliott seek such an injunction, then? Because it was the only option he had that prevented him from missing any games to start the season.

To recap: the Dallas Cowboys, coming off of two straight home losses, had their starting DT retire, their owner hold all of their players under anthem-standing hostage, and star running back essentially but not yet but almost suspended for six games.

It’s too bad they’re on their bye week. Only a third loss in a row could make this sweeter.

Either way, expect the pregame show to cover this development extensively, as well as a couple of references to it during the broadcast. It’s a gimme, I know—but I wanted to talk about the Cowboys’ bumbling misfortune. Can you really fault me?

2) Heresy regarding all-white uniforms

Let’s make one thing very, very clear from the jump:

Philadelphia will be wearing all-white jerseys this evening, as the Good Lord intended. All-white is sharp as heck. All-white is clean, composed, and sleek. All-white is imposing and glorious.

Don’t get me wrong—I love the all-black uniforms as well. But, to me, those are rivalry uniforms. Like a color-out in college football, you don’t just pull out the black uniforms against the Panthers, in Carolina. No, that’s some “home-game-against-the-Giants” nonsense.

Anybody who says anything about “all-green” would have been burned at the stake in the late 17th century. I don’t want my team looking like a gaggle of animate vegetables, camouflaged in the turf between the numbers and the hashes. This isn’t guerrilla warfare in the Amazon, people. All-white for the win.

Oh, one last one: If anyone says the words “kelly green,” promptly throw them out of the establishment in which they were. Alternate jersey are just that—alternate--for a reason.

[BLG Note: Forgive Ben for being off-base with his jersey takes.]

3) A Carson Wentz to Cam Newton comparison

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Carson-Big Ben comp. Maybe it’s because my most recent memories of Big Ben detail a progressively slower, less accurate, more confused quarterback—but Ben has never been much of a running threat, and has always impressed me more with his deep ball.

Carson and Cam? Now, that’s got some legs to it. (I know, I’m a pun genius—please hold your applause.)

Cam has always been a turnover-prone quarterback—both fumbles and interceptions—just like our young Wentz has proven himself over the onset of his career. He excels at creating outside of the pocket, and while he still runs it far more than Carson, Wentz’s numbers have been steadily climbing in that area. And finally, they both have missile launchers attached to their shoulders.

Cam’s a better athlete, and probably still has a better deep ball, but I predict Carson’s career as a playmaker and offensive focal point follows Newton’s more closely than it does Roethlisberger’s. It popped out to me undeniably on tape, and as the two duel this evening, I expect the broadcasters to notice it as well.

4) Wait, Jiminy Christmas, Tony Romo is calling this game

Holy Hannah, what am I doing? How dare I, a disgraceful charlatan, insult the sanctity of Tony’s foresight with these facetious prognostications?

For those of you who don’t know, Tony Romo, the ex-Cowboys QB and first-year CBS broadcast, can see the future. He’s gained notoriety within football circles everywhere for his ability to predict the play call, audible, or play result, given his keen eye for alignment and advantages pre-snap. Plainly, he’s still fresh out of the film room, and his mind defaults every play to gleaning as much information as possible.

It makes for such a refreshing broadcast—though, I must admit, I’ve only heard snippets, and never sat through a live game. Tony brings a liveliness to the booth unrivaled by his grizzled and soporific peers, who have long since lost their edge. Granted, Jim Nantz is probably sick and tired of Romo interrupting him, but it’s Jim—who cares?

Are we allowed to like Tony know? Obviously, when he was a crippling-mistake-prone, refs-in-the-back-pocket Cowboy QB, he was detestable; loathsome; the enemy. But I’m not afraid of saying it, now that he’s moved on: I like Romo. And I don’t care what you think.

5) That’s not true I crave approval please love me

I’ve got a good feeling about Philadelphia tonight (which is never a good thing). This team is young and inexperienced, which can certainly spell doom on such a short week—however! Pederson and Wentz both recognize this game, in my estimation, as the most important to date of their intertwined careers. They’ll come ready to show, on a national stage, Philadelphia is here to compete for more than 16 weeks.

The loss of Lane hurts, but expect Philadelphia to get the quick passing game moving early. I like Agholor’s match-ups tonight, out of the slot and down the seam against an depleted safety corps: give him 6 catches, 96 yards, and a touchdown.

If there’s a week for Alshon to dominate, it’s this one—but I’m still in a “believe it when I see it” holding pattern with the presumed WR1 of this offense. As such, give him 5 catches for 49 yards. Two targets in the end zone both fall incomplete.

I like Timmy Jernigan (and Fletcher Cox, depending on health) to take over this game from the interior. Even if it isn’t in the box score, their disruption is key to Philadelphia’s success. As such, let Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham feast on the mayhem caused by their DT teammates: 16 tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack between the two of them.

I like Rasul Douglas for a pick tonight, Corey Clement for a touchdown, and Barner for another 50+ yard kickoff/punt return. Philadelphia walks out of Carolina with a 31-20 victory, the unquestioned team-to-beat in the NFC.


[#] Wed Dec 31 1969 19:00:00 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles-Panthers Inactives: Fletcher Cox is officially ACTIVE

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Looking at who’s in and who’s out.

The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced their inactives list for their Week 6 game against the Carolina Panthers.

The good news is that starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is officially ACTIVE despite being ruled questionable to play in this game. Cox hasn’t played since suffering a calf injury in Week 3. His return is a big boost for the Eagles’ defense. It’ll be interesting to see if the Eagles limit his snaps.

Backup defensive tackle Beau Allen is also ACTIVE. Allen had been starting place of Cox but he suffered a foot injury in Week 5. Allen was questionable to play in this game after being limited in practice all week.

With Cox and Allen active, the Eagles have chosen to keep Elijah Qualls out as a healthy scratch. It’s worth noting Justin Hamilton is active over him.

Running back Wendell Smallwood is OUT. He hasn’t practiced since suffering a knee injury in Week 4. The full extent of his injury isn’t clear but he’s missed two games now.

Lane Johnson is obviously inactive after being ruled out on Wednesday. Halapoulivaati Vaitai is set to start in his place at right tackle.

Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo is active after being a healthy scratch the past few weeks. Doug Pederson said he’s going to be the backup offensive tackle if Jason Peters or Vaitai get hurt during tonight’s game.

Safety Jaylen Watkins is still inactive. He’s been a full participant in practice last week but he was ruled questionable heading into this game.

Here’s a look at all seven inactive names, along with some brief analysis.

Philadelphia Eagles Inactive List

OT Lane Johnson - Injury.

RB Wendell Smallwood - Injury.

CB Ronald Darby - Injury.

DT Destiny Vaeao - Injury.

S Jaylen Watkins - Injury.

DT Elijah Qualls - Fifth defensive tackle.

WR Shelton Gibson - Sixth wide receiver.

Carolina Panthers Inactive List

S Kurt Coleman, S Demetrious Cox, DE Bryan Cox, C Ryan Kalil, OT John Theus, QB Brad Kaaya, S Dezmen Southward

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 19:00:19 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Panthers Week 6 Live Thread

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After a short week, the Eagles are back in action tonight in Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers, who are also riding a hot streak of their own. On the injury front, Ronald Darby and Lane Johnson are out, while Beau Allen, Fletcher Cox, Chris Long, Wendell Smallwood, Destiny Vaeao, and Jaylen Watkins are…

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 20:23:52 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Panthers 2017: First quarter score updates

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The Philadelphia Eagles continue their 2017 regular season schedule with a road game against the Carolina Panthers.

IT’S TIME FOR PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FOOTBALL! The Eagles are kicking off their sixth game of the 2017 regular season schedule with a matchup against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football. Tonight’s game begins at 8:25 PM Eastern.

The Eagles can advance to 5-1 by beating the 4-1 Panthers. This is a big opportunity for the Eagles to prove they’re the real deal.

Check out the Eagles-Panthers BGN Radio pregame show below (click here if you can’t see it). Stay tuned for the postgame show immediately after the final whistle.

BGN Radio LIVE at The Casino at Delaware Park - #Eagles vs #Panthers Pregame Show

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, October 12, 2017


Here is some basic information to help guide you through the game:


(Note: if the Twitter feed isn't showing up for you, click here.)

Use this open thread as a place to discuss the first quarter!

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 22:06:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Panthers updates for the second quarter

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After the first quarter, the Eagles and Panthers are tied at 3-3.

Here is some basic information to help guide you through the game:


(Note: if the Twitter feed isn't showing up for you, click here.)

Use this open thread as a place to discuss the game!

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 22:55:45 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Panthers score updates for the third quarter

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After the second quarter, the Eagles and Panthers are tied at 10 to 10.

Here is some basic information to help guide you through the game:


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Use this open thread as a place to discuss the game!

[#] Thu Oct 12 2017 23:56:57 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Panthers 2017 fourth quarter score updates

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After the third quarter, the Eagles lead the Panthers by a score of 21 to 16.

Here is some basic information to help guide you through the game:


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Use this open thread as a place to discuss the game!

[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 00:52:11 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Panthers Final Score: Observations from Philadelphia

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The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Carolina Panthers on Thursday at Bank of America Stadium by a final score of 28 to 23. The Eagles advanced to 5-1 on the 2017 NFL regular season. Read on for a recap and observations from the game. Up next for Philadelphia is a Monday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins. Watch the BGN Radio postgame show LIVE in the video below (click here if you can’t see it).

BGN Radio Postgame Show - #Eagles vs #Panthers

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, October 12, 2017


Panthers win the coin toss and defer. Eagles up on offense first.

Stefen Wsiniewski gets the start at left guard. Doug Pederson had said he’ll be getting more snaps. The Eagles run LeGarrette Blount on first down and it goes nowhere. Then they go tempo to a quick play for Torrey Smith. Third down, Wentz hits Nelson Agholor over the middle for a big gain. Then an 11-yard run by Blount. Then Julius Peppers hits Wentz from behind to force a fumble. Halapoulivaati Vaitai got beat on the play. Panthers recover. Welp. The loss of Lane Johnson already being felt early. In fairness, Wentz probably has to get rid of the ball sooner.

Thankfully for the Eagles, the Panthers went three-and-out. Nigel Bradham broke up a pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin on third down. Great play in coverage. Panthers punt.

Agholor dropped a pass that was a little behind him on first down. Wentz right back to him to set up 3rd-and-3. Wentz hits Trey Burton for a first down. Then the quarterback gets sacked again on a corner blitz. Not feeling pressure well early. Wentz ran for a first down ... but it was cancelled out by a very tacky “block in the back” penalty on Alshon Jeffery. Wentz threw a dime to Marcus Johnson along the sideline for the first. Wentz overthrew Agholor on third down to force the Eagles into a 50-yard field goal. Jake Elliott nails the kick. Yawn. Nine in a row. Great job by Donnie Jones to save a Rick Lovato long snap that was a little high/wide in order to get it down in time for Elliott. Eagles lead, 3-0.

Jalen Mills got called for an absolutely BS pass interference penalty on the Panthers’ next drive. So that’s two bad calls now. Cool. Nigel Bradham made a great tackle for loss to set the Panthers back. Hot start to the game for him. Jordan Hicks stuffed the Panthers on 3rd-and-2. Carolina settles for a 39-yard field goal from Graham Gano. Game tied, 3-3.

Wentz hit Jeffery for a first down. Then Wentz got hit after Blount did a poor job in pass protection. Wentz overthrew and open Jeffery on third down. Then Blount got called for unnecessary roughness after the play. And then the Eagles had a special teams penalty. Four Eagles penalties to zero Panthers penalties so far.

(Broadcast note: Tony Romo joked that Rick Lovato is Demi Lovato’s husband. Lol.)


The Panthers went three-and-out. Great job by the Eagles’ defense. Carolina punted and they almost got the ball back because Kenjon Barner muffed! Thankfully Patrick Robinson jumped on it before the Panthers could get it. Yikes.

Wentz threw high to Torrey Smith on second down. Every pass is high. Gotta stop that. Then Wentz converts to Zach Ertz for a first ... but the play is wiped out by a timeout?! What the hell. How did the officials not stop that play before it got off? Doug Pederson took the timeout to prevent a delay of game, for the record. Wentz sacked on third down. This sucks. And this looks painful:

Brandon Graham got held on a first down to Ed Dickson. No call. The Panthers moved into the red zone and Cam Newton scored on a 16-yard touchdown run. Rasul Douglas got totally fooled by his juke. This sucks. Panthers lead, 10-3.

Kenjon Barner ran into an offensive lineman (instead of the open space) for no gain on first down. Corey Clement ran for a loss. Wentz stood in and found Jeffery for a first down. Then he ran a quick play so that the Panthers couldn’t challenge. Good job by the QB, but it looked like a catch anyway. Barner dropped a shovel pass that would’ve been a first down. Sucks too because Wentz did a nice job of escaping pressure. Then Barner got trucked in pass protection on third down and Wentz threw high again with pressure in his face. Disastrous game so far for Kenjon. Three sacks and six hits already on Wentz. Eagles punt.

Tim Jernigan got hurt on the next Panthers drive. Then Fletcher Cox hit Cam Newton as he threw and Douglas picked off the ball that sailed high! HUGE PLAY! Great to have that No. 91 guy back, huh?

Eagles take over in the red zone. Blount gets thrown down after the play on second down. No flag. Blount gets the Eagles to 4th-and-1. Then Wentz converts on the sneak. Wentz tries to punch it in himself after his receivers are covered on second down. Unsuccessful, but Wentz showed great toughness to run at a defender straight on. Now never do that again.

3rd-and-goal ... Wentz hits Ertz for the score! Let’s go. Tie game, 10-10.

Jernigan back on the field. The Panthers move into field goal range, but then Brandon Graham and Cox sack Newton to move Carolina back. Then a great job by Bradham to tackle Newton inbounds after his scramble to keep the clock running. Corey Graham breaks up a “Hail Mary attempt” pass to end the first half. I put Hail Mary in quotes because the design way to throw way short of the end zone.

Tie game at the half.

By the way, it looked like the Eagles should have had a chance to attempt a Hail Mary of their own. Peep two seconds left on the clock and the ball incomplete on the ground.

Refs really doing a bad job in this one.


Panthers ball to start the second half. Jordan Hicks out of the game with an ankle injury. Uh, that’s not good! Joe Walker in for him. Vinny Curry immediately logs a tackle for loss. Then Newton throws a screen pass on 3-and-12, the Panthers running back bobbles it, and Patrick Robinson catches it! Wow, what a pick!

Wentz has a pass tipped and he wisely bats it down so it’s incomplete. Then he throws a STRIKE to Ertz for an EAGLES TOUCHDOWN. Boom! Those two are really clicking. The Panthers get penalized on the Eagles’ extra point attempt. Instead of taking the five extra yards on the kickoff, the Eagles elect to go for a two-point conversion from the 1-yard line. Blount punches it in! Love that aggressive call by Doug Pederson. It’s only a yard and you have one of the best short-yardage backs in the league. Eagles lead, 18-10.

A Rodney McLeod interception on an awful deep pass from Newton gets wiped out by a Mills pass interference penalty. It was another tacky call. These refs, man. Carolina moves into the red zone. Bradham makes a HUGE solo tackle to stop Christian McCaffrey short of the goal line on 3rd-and-goal. Panthers settle for a field goal. Eagles lead, 18-13.

Eagles get a big run from Blount. Wentz connects with Mack Holllins, who is literally unstoppable, for a big gain over the middle. Eagles get into field goal range. Wentz’s third down scramble is stopped a yard short of the marker. Elliott drills a 48-yard field goal. 10 in a row. I would’ve gone for it, but three points ain’t bad. Eagles lead, 21-13.

Philly’s run defense stops the Panthers on first and second down. Then Bradham comes up with a huge hit to stop Carolina short of the sticks. But he’s immediately hurt. Not good. He’s been having a great game and Hicks is already out. The Eagles are suddenly thin at linebacker. At least the Panthers had to punt. Carolina injury update: Luke Kuechly ruled out for the game after getting mauled by Brandon Brooks.

Big opportunity for the Eagles here to make a statement with this drive. Jeffery can’t come up with a low pass on first down. Wentz throws wide of Ertz on second down. Wentz airs it out to Jeffery on third down and it’s a good pass. Just goes through the receiver’s hands. Gotta catch that. Also: James Bradberry was holding one of Jeffery’s arms. No call, though, of course. It would’ve been a tacky flag, but that’s what the refs were calling on Mills. Call it both ways. Eagles punt.

Najee Goode and Mychal Kendricks in at linebacker with Hicks and Bradham out. Newton runs for a big gain. Then he hits Benjamin for a big gain into field goal range. Bradham comes back in (phew). But Brandon Graham (shoulder) leaves the game. Not good. It looked like McLeod might’ve had a pick on third down but it definitely hit the ground. Carolina settles for a kick. Eagles lead, 21-16.

It looked like Barner got facemasked on a run for a loss of six. No call. Then Wentz scrambles ... and it’s a holding penalty on the Eagles. Except it should’ve been hands to the face on the defensive lineman Wisniewski was blocking. Awesome. No matter. Wentz hits Hollins on third and long. Then he drops a pass in the bucket to Jeffery for a big gain. Gorgeous.


And then Wentz connects with Agholor over the middle who catches and runs it in for a TOUCHDOWN!!!!! Wow! Eagles lead, 28-16.

Carolina moves into field goal range. The Panthers face 3rd-and-10. It’s a delay of game ... but Derek Barnett hits Newton and gets called for a 15-yard penalty. Such bullshit! There was no whistle. How were the defenders supposed to know the play was over?! This is f***ing garbage. Insanity. The Panthers go on to score a touchdown. What a joke. It should’ve been 3rd-and-15. Instead the refs gifted Carolina a touchdown. This is stupid. Eagles lead, 28-23.

Ertz gets called for a false start on first down. Another penalty. Wentz targets Jeffery on third down. No good. Jeffery may have been held there, but of course the Eagles weren’t gonna get a call. Chris Maragos got hurt on the punt coverage. Ruled out for the game.

Barnett notches his first career sack on Newton to put the Panthers in 3rd-and-13. Carolina facing 4th and 1. They get it. Then Newton airs it out deep after getting pressured by Barnett ... and the ball goes through Douglas’ hands. Ugh. Newton throws it deep again and THE TERRIBLE PASS IS NOT DROPPED THIS TIME! MILLS WITH THE EASY INTERCEPTION! HUGE!

Blount runs up the middle for a seven yard gain. Panthers call their final timeout. Then Blount is stopped in the backfield after Ertz whiffs on a block. Agholor wide open on third down but Wentz throws to Ertz and it’s incomplete. Ugh. Big mistake by Carson. Mack Hollins injured on the punt coverage team.


Bradham knocks a pass down to force the Panthers into 4th-and-1. Newton’s pass on fourth down is ... INCOMPLETE! THAT’S GAME.

Victory formation.


Eagles beat the Panthers AND the refs, 28-23.


Stay tuned for much more Eagles-Panthers postgame coverage (click here).

[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 02:19:32 EDT from rss

Subject: 10 winners, 5 losers and one sore loser from the Eagles win over the Panthers

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Celebrate good times

The Eagles held on to defeat the Carolina Panthers and Pete Morelli 28-23 (full recap here) on Thursday Night Football. Let’s get to the winners and losers.


The Eagles

If the playoffs started next week, everyone would be stunned, but if they did the Eagles would be the #1 seed. They beat a very good team on the road, along with the officials, and put the Cam Newton comeback to a screeching halt. And you can savor it for a while—they don’t play again until next Monday.

Carson Wentz

It wasn’t his best game, as he sailed some passes under pressure and missed a wide open Nelson Agholor on a key third down. But it was more than good enough in a big and prime time game. For the second straight game he had 3+ passing touchdowns. His blocking struggled early in the game, the run game was inconsistent, and the officials were abysmal and set the Eagles back. But Wentz put the offense on his back, again, and delivered in prime time against a very good team. He outdueled Cam Newton, who entered the game with deserved “back to MVP form” praise for his recent play. Wentz got the job done with his legs, with the deep ball, and everything in between. That’s a hell of a performance.

Doug Pederson

Not a flawless game, but his decision to go for it on fourth down and the decision to go for two were big moments, and he got them right. Short weeks aren’t easy, but just as he has for every game this season, he got his team ready to play.

The defense

Panthers running backs totaled 9 yards on 14 carries. Two of their four running backs finished with negative yardage. Cam Newton was great on the ground, but then Cam Newton is great on the ground. Shutting down everyone else on the ground is the best you can hope for. In the air, they picked off Newton thrice (though one was more of a fumble), and held Carolina to a pathetic 3.9 yards per play.

And yet it was heart burn inducing. With two fourth quarter meltdowns already this season, there was no shame in assuming the worst on the Panthers penultimate drive. But they held. Jim Schwartz called a beautiful blitz and it paid off with an interception, and they held on Carolina’s final drive to seal the win. The Eagles defense sent the Panthers offense back to last year, and if not for an atrocious game by the officials this game should have been a blowout.

Zach Ertz

Ertz entered the season with just 9 career red zone touchdowns in 61 games. His 2 against the Panthers gives him 4 this season alone. The breakout season is definitely upon us.

Fletcher Cox

Welcome back. Cox was a huge factor early on, setting up a touchdown with his tipped pass that was intercepted. Cox’s return was all the more important with Jordan Hicks, Brandon Graham and Nigel Bradham all missing time with injury.

Donnie Jones

What a hold on Jake Elliott’s 50 yard field goal.

Jason Kelce

It’s a good day for an offensive lineman when he gets to spike the ball.

Mychal Kendricks

The Panthers ran 77 plays, so someone is going to rack up some counting stats, and tackles can be misleading, but this was just the second time in his career that Kendricks had double digit solo tackles. Last year he couldn’t get on the field, this year he’s having good game after good game.

Nigel Bradham

His best game of the season, maybe his best game as an Eagle, with a tip that created an interception and a touchdown saving tackle on third down. It’s no coincidence that the Panthers were able to move the ball while he was out.


Pete Morelli

Morelli and his crew are the worst in the NFL and it once again showed. Alshon Jeffery was called for block in the back that he didn’t commit, Corey Graham was called for a penalty that wasn’t committed by Jalen Mills, LeGarrette Blount got 15 yards for doing a nice job blocking, Mills was called for pass interference on an uncatchable ball, there was no pass interference on the deep ball to Jeffery, a facemask on Kenjon Barner, Cam Newton’s dive for a TD not being called a TD… and those are just the ones I bothered to write down.

This is from last year when Morelli called the Eagles-Lions game. And it still applies.

Jeffery Lurie would be justified in raising hell with the league until they promise to never schedule Morelli to officiate Eagles games again. Or for Morelli to retire, because he’s been awful for years.

Ron Rivera

Had he kicked a field goal to end the first half, he probably walks away a winner. Whoops.

The “Carson Wentz is bad without Lane Johnson” narrative

Early the in game it looked like 2016 all over again: no Lane Johnson, no ability to move the ball. But the Eagles adjusted and Carson Wentz went off against a good defense. You can put that narrative to bed, it’s a new year.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

That said, Vaitai was terrible. Like last season the Eagles started the game leaving Vaitai to his own devices and he struggled. And like last season, the team adjusted as the game went on and the right side of the line was no longer a sieve. Vaitai is still a liability.

Kelvin Benjamin’s knee

Ewwwwwwww. It looked like scarabs from The Mummy (the good one with Brendan Frasier) were about to pop out of that.

Sore Losers

The Panthers

Oh boo hoo.

[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 03:03:22 EDT from rss

Subject: Philadelphia Eagles players celebrate Thursday Night Football win over Carolina Panthers

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The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-1 after beating the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night by a final score of 28 to 23. You know what time it is!

[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 05:50:33 EDT from rss

Subject: Panthers fan sucker punches Eagles fan in the face during Thursday Night Football

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Warning: This is disgusting.

A disturbing video from last night’s Philadelphia Eagles versus Carolina Panthers game was brought to my attention in the early hours of Friday morning (hat tip Bleeding Green Nation reader Kenny Nakamura). A Panthers fan was caught sucker punching an Eagles fan (?) right in the face at the Thursday Night Football game.

The video contains blood/violence, so I don’t recommend you watch it unless you’re sure.

A post shared by Warren C (@odubco) on

Here’s the caption on Instagram (with some censoring from me):

dude bro & his chicka were standing for the entire game. words gradually got more and more escalated. there previously was a single mom and her son between us, they left halfway through the 3rd. after that, the lid was off. the dude took offense to the couple never sitting down and obstructing his view. the victim telling the dude bro how they’re being jerks and how rude they are for not sitting. the dude bro turns around and calls the victim a “geriatric f***”, “fa****”, and “hick”. then sucker punches him right in the face. i don’t know if he got away or left in handcuffs, but i hope it’s the latter.

It looks like the sucker punch victim may have been an Eagles fan considering the man directly next to him has an Eagles hat on.

But Eagles fan or not, this kind of behavior from the guy in the black Cam Newton jersey is unacceptable. Kudos to the Panthers fan in the white Cam Newton jersey who tried to break up the violence.

Quite simply, this is disgusting behavior. There’s no need for this to happen. Here’s hoping the Panthers have done something to address this.

[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 06:21:37 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/13/17.

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

They're for real: Eagles erase all doubt with win at Panthers - ESPN
The Philadelphia Eagles' legitimacy as contenders was in question thanks to the quality of their opponents over the first quarter-plus of the season. They had won four of their first five games heading into Thursday night. But three of those victories came against the New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals, who have a combined record of 3-12. The Eagles should be questioned no more after going on the road to beat the Carolina Panthers 28-23 on short rest Thursday night to become the first team in the NFC to five wins.

Statement Made: Eagles Are For Real -
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was everything a prime-time matchup should be: Big plays, high tempo, a lot of physical play, and, in the end, a win for a team determined to make a national statement. And here’s the statement made by the Eagles after a thrilling 28-23 win at Bank of America Stadium: The Eagles are for real with a 5-1 record, and they are in commanding position six games into the season.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Panthers game - PhillyVoice
Let's also just go ahead and state that Carson Wentz is very clearly a franchise quarterback that the Eagles can build around for the next decade-plus. He has the arm, mobility, leadership skills, smarts, and there's no question whatsoever about his toughness after the beating he took Thursday night. Carson Wentz is a stud, and if you disagree, you have no idea what you're watching. Against the Panthers, Wentz was 16 of 30 for 222 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, and QB rating of 110.7. Those numbers are fine, I suppose, but they don't at all tell the story of how gritty a win this was.

Answers - Iggles Blitz
On the road. Short week. NFC opponent with 4-1 record. Questionable officiating. The Eagles had a lot to deal with and they showed a national TV audience just how tough this team is. They won a tough, physical game where both teams really battled. This game had the feel of January football. There was a lot of sloppy play, but I think the short week was responsible for some of that. This wasn’t the prettiest win. The Eagles had so many chances to put the game away and just couldn’t do it. You do have to give some credit to the Panthers. They’ve got a strong core of players that has won a lot of games in the past few years. Those guys don’t quit and Cam Newton can make spectacular plays. Somehow, the Eagles came up with an answer every time they had to have one.

10 winners, 5 losers and one sore loser from the Eagles win over the Panthers - BGN
Panthers running backs totaled 9 yards on 14 carries. Two of their four running backs finished with negative yardage. Cam Newton was great on the ground, but then Cam Newton is great on the ground. Shutting down everyone else on the ground is the best you can hope for. In the air, they picked off Newton thrice (though one was more of a fumble), and held Carolina to a pathetic 3.9 yards per play. And yet it was heart burn inducing. With two fourth quarter meltdowns already this season, there was no shame in assuming the worst on the Panthers penultimate drive. But they held. Jim Schwartz called a beautiful blitz and it paid off with an interception, and they held on Carolina’s final drive to seal the win. The Eagles defense sent the Panthers offense back to last year, and if not for an atrocious game by the officials this game should have been a blowout.

Instant observations: Eagles escape with 28-23 win in Carolina - The Athletic
Much of the game was a struggle for the offense with Carson Wentz under constant pressure. But a huge sequence at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter temporarily gave the Eagles control of the game. They faced a 3rd-and-16 from their own 19 when Wentz stepped up in the pocket and found Mack Hollins for a 20-yard completion. Wentz then threw a beautiful pass down the sideline for a 37-yard hook-up with Alshon Jeffery. And he finished the drive with a 24-yard touchdown strike to Nelson Agholor. The offense went 81 yards on four plays and took a 28-16 lead.

Eagles have all the signs of a Super Bowl contender - Yahoo! Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles’ breakthrough wasn’t supposed to happen this season. The Eagles were supposed to watch the Dallas Cowboys win the NFC East. Maybe the New York Giants (ha!) would challenge the Cowboys. Maybe next year, the building Eagles would take a step. But early in the season, it became apparent the Eagles might actually be the best team in the NFC East. Now, it’s fair to wonder if they’re the best team in the NFC. The NFC has a few quality teams, but the Eagles can hang with any of them. On Thursday night they played at the Carolina Panthers, who were 4-1, and the Eagles were the better team. The Panthers made it close at the end, because they’re good too, but Jalen Mills picked off Cam Newton late and the Eagles held on fourth-and-goal in the final two minutes to finish the 28-23 win.

Fletcher Cox back to his dominating ways as Eagles win showdown - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Last June, the Eagles handed Fletcher Cox a six-year, $102.6 million extension. He was worth every penny on Thursday night. After missing two games with a calf injury, Fletcher Cox wasn't just active for the Eagles' 28-23 road win over the Panthers. He was dominant. "S---, it felt good," his fellow defensive tackle Tim Jernigan said. "It felt like he's back to his normal self. Dominating, doing what he do."

Carson Wentz's Philadelphia Eagles teammates follow 'the general' to win over Panthers - PennLive
"He is fearless," Panthers cornerback James Bradberry said. "I saw him take on one of our linebackers and a safety down there by the goal line. You could tell he was trying to will his team to win." Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor echoed that sentiment. And with the Birds surging into first place, the team seems more and more comfortable with direction Wentz is pulling them.

4 things we learned from Eagles’ 28-23 win over Panthers - SB Nation
Wentz faced a stiff challenge from the Panthers’ defense, and for the most part he passed the test. He was far from perfect, but made the big plays when needed to and rarely lost his composure. Wentz finished the game with 222 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-30 passing, throwing two scores to Zach Ertz and spraying key passes to Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. The Eagles are 5-1 partly thanks to Wentz, who still has flaws to his game but has taken a big step forward in his second season. This team looks like the real deal, and is now the odds-on favorite to win the NFC East.

Panthers vs Eagles Final Score: Panthers can’t seal the deal, lose 28-23 - Cat Scratch Reader
This game was all about missed opportunities, and not playing Carolina football. The Panthers couldn’t run the ball, and they couldn’t capitalize on the chances they had. The Eagles are a good team, with a great defense. But Carolina needs to find their running game again to be successful.

The NFL’s Surprise One-Loss Teams Look Built to Last - The Ringer
Philadelphia, Carolina, and Denver are all off to hot starts. Which is the most likely to remain a contender for the entire season?

HB Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is upheld - PFF
With the original injunction in place, Elliott was able to resume his role as the Cowboy’s starting running back, and has played 294 snaps through five weeks of the 2017 season. He’s off to a good start, and is currently ranked ninth among 54 qualifying running backs with a PFF overall grade of 81.9.

This Week In Fantasy - Week 6 Lineups -
James Seltzer and Sigmund Bloom preview the entire Week 6 slate of NFL games - telling you who start, who to sit, and a whole lot more. Plus, we go deep Inside the Mind of Sigmund Bloom.


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[#] Fri Oct 13 2017 07:07:34 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles overcame AWFUL one-sided officiating from Pete Morelli

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This was disgraceful.

Look, I don’t enjoy being “complain about the refs” guy. I don’t think anyone really wants to be that person.

But the AWFUL, one-sided officiating from Pete Morelli’s crew on Thursday night in the Philadelphia Eagles versus Carolina Panthers game needs to be called out. It was disgraceful. It was so bad that I’m still talking about it after the Eagles friggin won the game.

The Eagles were penalized 10 times against the Panthers for a total of 126 penalty yards. The Panthers, meanwhile, were also penalized once for one yard. This disparity was so lopsided that it was actually THE FIRST TIME IN NFL HISTORY that it happened.

It’s not like this was just one weird game, either. Morelli’s crew has a track record of calling a lot more penalties on the Eagles than their opponents. Remember the awfully officiated Eagles-Lions game from last year? Yep, that was Morelli’s crew.

But wait! Morelli’s one-sided officiating goes back even further.

I’m not saying I know Morelli has an agenda against the Eagles. But I am saying that this just doesn’t seem right. It’s not even close to being fair or balanced.

There were a number of awful calls (and non-calls) in the Eagles’ win over the Panthers. Here’s all what I noticed:

1 - Carson Wentz ran for a first down ... but it was cancelled out by a very tacky “block in the back” penalty on Alshon Jeffery.

2 - Jalen Mills got called for an absolutely BS pass interference penalty on the Panthers’ next drive.

3 - LeGarrette Blount got called for unnecessary roughness for legally blocking a rusher in pass protection. Bad flag.

4 - Wentz converts to Zach Ertz for a first ... but the play is wiped out by a timeout?! What the hell. How did the officials not stop that play before it got off? Doug Pederson took the timeout to prevent a delay of game, for the record.

5 - Brandon Graham got held on a first down to Ed Dickson. No call.

6 - It looked like the Eagles should have had a chance to attempt a Hail Mary of their own. at the end of the first half. There was two seconds left on the clock and the ball was incomplete on the ground after Carolina’s attempt on fourth down.

7 - A Rodney McLeod interception on an awful deep pass from Newton gets wiped out by a Mills pass interference penalty. It was another tacky call.

8 - Wentz airs it out to Jeffery on third down and it’s a good pass. Just goes through the receiver’s hands. Gotta catch that. But also: James Bradberry was holding one of Jeffery’s arms. No call, though, of course. It would’ve been a tacky flag, but that’s what the refs were calling on Mills. Call it both ways.

9 - Kenjon Barner got facemasked on a run for a loss of six. No call.

10 - Wentz scrambles ... and it’s a holding penalty on the Eagles. Except, if anything, it should’ve been hands to the face on the defensive lineman that Stefen Wisniewski was blocking.

11 - The Panthers face 3rd-and-10. It’s a delay of game ... but Derek Barnett hits Newton and gets called for a 15-yard penalty. Such bullshit! There was no whistle. How were the defenders supposed to know the play was over?! This is f***ing garbage. Insanity. The Panthers go on to score a touchdown. What a joke. It should’ve been 3rd-and-15. Instead the refs gifted Carolina a touchdown. This is stupid.

Officiating crews aren’t going to get every call right. It’s a tough job. But Morelli’s crew has had a bad track record for quite some time now.

Morelli has no business calling Eagles games from now on. His performance seriously requires a close review. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie really needs to address this matter with the league. It sounds like the organization might do just that.

I enjoyed Doug Pederson’s response to questions about officiating. He did enough to imply the calls were awful without actually saying as much and getting himself fined or in trouble.

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