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[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 21:36:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Sunday Night Football: Falcons vs. Patriots game time, live streaming, how to watch, more

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Watch SNF here.

Week 7 of Sunday’s NFL action ends this evening with a Sunday Night Football game between the Atlanta Falcons (3-2) and the New England Patriots (4-2).

This is obviously a rematch the Super Bowl that took place earlier this year. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in that game.

As far as the Philadelphia Eagles’ rooting interests are concerned, a Falcons loss is best since they’re an NFC team. It’s not like anyone here wants to see the Patriots win, but it’s better for the Eagles if Atlanta loses.

Here’s more information on how to watch SNF.

Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots

TV Schedule

Game time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: NBC

Date: Sunday, October 22

Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

Location: Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Massachusetts

Online Streaming: Live on NBC Sports Live Extra | Replay on NFL Game Rewind


Falcons +3 (-110)

Patriots -3 (-110)

Over/under: 49 points


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

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 06:32:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Know Thine Eagles Enemy: Redskins Film Review

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What from Week 1 may appear in Week 7?

I try not to be a snob when it comes to football, but the Redskins offense is boring.

Perhaps I was spoiled by the Sean McVay years. The now-Rams head coach coordinated some mighty fine offenses during his time in Washington—a talent from which Los Angeles now benefits.

Matt Cavanaugh, the ex-quarterbacks coach, and head coach Jay Gruden, have combined their heads to formulate Washington’s new scheme. It’s essentially McVay’s offense + one whole gallon of water. Vanilla ice cream, man.

A lot of Washington fans insist this team is a different squad than the Week 1 team the Redskins deployed—really, they’ve just faced worse defensive lines and ran the ball more effectively. Bad news, cowboy: It ain’t as easy to run the ball against Philly, who leads the league in rush yards allowed per game. And the front four? Deadly as ever.

As such, Washington will likely return to the schemes and looks that enabled them to move the football in Week 1. We’ll highlight those first.

On the flip side, to the same extent that this is a different Washington team, this is a different Philadelphia team: scheme hasn’t changed much, but the ship’s a lot tighter and the execution more consistent. We’ll take a look at ways Philadelphia could have exploited Washington Week 1, were they playing as they are coming in to Week 7.

Washington Offense

Little broadcast tip for you: Once Washington crosses the 50 yard line, they want to take a shot deep. They’ll do it one of two ways:

If they line up in Doubles (2 WRs on either side), it’s Four Verts. Watch Vernon Davis down the seam.

If they line up in 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs), it’s play action and a 2-, maybe 3-man route concept. Watch Terrelle Pryor on a go or deep over.

We saw this many times against Philadelphia—but QB Kirk Cousins missed the throw often, and WR Terrelle Pryor didn’t uncover with ideal consistency. As the pass-rush started to grow fiercer, Washington responded to Philadelphia’s off-man coverage by running quicker, higher-percentage routes for Pryor.

It’s funny—you’ll get a lot of split-zone play action from Washington...but they don’t run a lot of actual split-zone runs. Regardless, Cousins makes a pre-snap read here: if he has advantageous coverage on the Bang-8 to the bottom of the screen, he’ll run the play action, plant his foot, turn, and throw. It’s a snappy play, and that’s what happens here.

If Cousins doesn’t like the pre-snap look, however, he can continue through the play action fake, roll out to the left, and work the two-level read concept to the boundary.

Assuming CB Ronald Darby is a no-go, Philly will play their more conservative off-coverage with their young corners, and this quick play-action hitter will be open. Washington will have to make sure, however, they do take some deep shots in these situations—otherwise a safety is gonna come sniffin’.

Another snap, another pre-snap read on the CB’s leverage against the isolated receiver—beginning to notice a trend, folks?

However, once Cousins recognizes pure-man coverage with no safety help over the top, he knows where he’s going with this ball. Washington loves these nasty two-receiver stacks. No, not nasty as in filthy—“nasty” refers to a WR alignment that’s even tighter than the slot, directly next to the TE or OT.

Nasty alignments offer free releases to the receiver off of the line of scrimmage, which creates larger throwing windows and more space for YAC, as you see here.

Washington will motion into nasty alignments often, to get advantageous blocking angles on outside runs or simply confuse defensive assignments. They had a wide-open touchdown to Jordan Reed later in this game that was the product of such an alignment.

Back to the play at hand: Cousins should make this throw, but he panics when he sees the free rusher and launches a terrible ball off of his back foot. This is an easy 6 with even a semi-accurate ball.

The Redskins have struggled mightily in the red zone this year (26th in the league), in large part because the closer you get to the promise land, the harder it is to scheme guys open. You need match-up nightmares—think Zach Ertz or Alshon Jeffery—and Washington is stuck working with Ryan Grant and Terrelle Pryor.

I expect them to take more shots from 15-25 yards out, and work these stacked releases to manufacture the space that their athletes cannot.

Finally, we have to give a cursory mention the running game—even though it will likely struggle to get rolling against Philly’s staunch D. Not much worked on the ground for the Redskins in Week 1, but they’ve found a bit of a groove in recent weeks.

They’ve involved scatback Chris Thompson more as an actual runner, which is a good idea—he’s their best player at the position. A nice mix of thunder and, well, thunder comes from RBs Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley, but the biggest boost for the rushing attack stems from a schematic shift.

The Redskins ran a surprising amount of zone runs with Kelley in Week 1—that’s not his forte, nor is it really the forte of any of Washington’s backs. They’ve got power scheme runners back there, and Gruden’s started giving them those looks that better fit their profiles and styles.

Woah, what was that?! Motion to a nasty alignment?

Almost. Technically, the motion man becomes an H-back, but the point still stands. The newly-christened H-back can now seal off the backside DE, freeing up RT Morgan Moses to pull. I just love that little detail, especially because Philadelphia’s ends are notoriously deadly in backside pursuit of running plays.

Certified hog mollies RG Brandon Scherff and Moses get out in front of the play, while the playside TE does an excellent job working DE Derek Barnett to the inside. That makes CB Jalen Mills the force defender—the player responsible for taking on the pulling OL and preventing him from creating a huge alley for the RB.

Obviously: advantage Scherff. He knocks Mills into next week and opens up a big lane for Kelley. Mills does well to pursue, but Kelley stiff arms the daylights out of MLB Jordan Hicks and rumbles his way for a 4-yard gain.

Philadelphia defended well the power schemes of Carolina and Arizona, but Washington must put faith in their superior OL talent (relative to those offensive lines) and attempt to ground out some tough yards in the running game if they have a hope of hanging with Philadelphia.

Washington Defense

You know how I said Washington has been, and should be, running less zone? Well, Philadelphia should run less zone.

Not every week, mind you—but certainly for this match. Washington deploys with regularity a five-man front, and it’s simply more difficult to run zone blocking schemes against five-man fronts, when compared to four-man fronts.

Conceptually, zone blocking schemes ain’t really ‘bout that life. They’re not so much blocking defensive linemen as they are steering them, washing them one direction. Those linemen who don’t have defensive linemen to block, climb to the second level and attack the linebackers. The running back then just reads the flow, finds his crease in the wave, and scoots into the gap.

Five-man fronts are too dense of waves. There’s too much congestion at the line of scrimmage to regularly create a crease. Even if you manage to pry open a crack, linebackers are usually at advantageous angles on the play side, and it’s tough for offensive guards to climb to them.

Watch the EDGE defender in that rep: he’s so far outside of sixth-OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai pre-snap, there’s no way he isn’t setting a strong edge. LT Jason Peters and LG Isaac Seumalo have to try to exchange the defensive tackle, because Seumalo simply cannot climb to that linebacker. Everything is mistimed and clogged.

Look for Philadelphia to lean more heavily on RBs LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and the power running game (like Wham) come Sunday. Blount strung together a few solid runs (on Wham) back in Week 1, though he saw spottier usage than the reps he’s enjoyed as of late. I like him for a big day (please run Wham Doug).

Let’s mosey on over to the passing game: I think this will be a very interesting game for QB Carson Wentz, in regards to his pre-snap recognition, and control at the line of scrimmage.

When you run five-man fronts, you weaken your ability to play to the boundary. You only have two linebackers, and their range is limited. That’s why you saw Philadelphia run so many quick screens in Week 1.

(...oh, yeah. The WR screens may be coming back this week. Just an FYI.)

To solve this problem, you can rotate a safety down, closer to the line of scrimmage, to the strength of the field. That defender, however, is now in a natural state of conflict: he has both run and pass responsibilities. You can expose that conflict with RPOs (Philadelphia did in Week 1 and will do so again), but you can also expose his pre-snap alignment with audibles.

Take this play: the second Philadelphia ran on offense.

With two TEs to the strong side (one is really a sixth OL), Philly has five possible gaps to the strong side. To account for this, S D.J. Swearinger rotates down into the box, accounting for the D-gap.

But he’s nine yards off the ball! If you have a possible strong side run out of this alignment, you should be able to pick up an easy three yards—and likely more—by audibling to that play.

Now, Carson really wants that play action seam route with TE Zach Ertz, but given Swearinger’s alignment and gap responsibility, there’s no reason for him to bite at all on the weak side play action. He’s not responsible for anything over there. He stays home and easily carries Ertz down the field. Carson can’t find a checkdown and takes a sack.

We’ve heard a lot about Carson’s freedom at the line of scrimmage, as he’s grown into the offense—I’d like to see that manifested in a few audibles on Monday night. This is a defense he’s seen before. More than a few times in my film review, he left easy yards on the field by not capitalizing on an advantageous pre-snap look. Those are the little things that great QBs do.

The next step in Wentz’s development into an unquestionable, suck-it-everybody franchise QB is his pre-snap processing, in my opinion. That applies to audibles, yes, but to blitz packages as well. Carson did well sliding protection in Week 1—with C Jason Kelce’s assistance, of course—against a multifarious Washington front. He’ll have to do so again come primetime tonight.

But Washington will throw a ton of different looks your way, and you’ll be wrong on at least a couple.

Everything about this look, pre-snap, says to Wentz: “We’re coming from your right side.” The Redskins have four potential rushers threatening three offensive linemen on that side.

But this pressure is schemed into the left A-gap. The DE (#91) loops all the way around, as the DT and NT crash into the right side of the line: two players absorbing the attention of three blockers. The LB (#54) occupies Seumalo, playing LG, in an effort to hold his attention and keep the lane open for #91.

Since fallen-from-grace, Seumalo reads and closes well here—nor is Jason Kelce fooled for long, either. Keep your eyes on #54, though—he has a free go once Seumalo commits to the looper. He’s what we call a “green dog” blitzer.

Green dogs show up a lot in Washington’s defense. Usually LBs, they typically have a man to cover: a TE or RB. If that man stays in to pass protect, the LB is free to blitz from whatever angle he likes. Here, #54 has no man to cover from the jump, but he becomes a short zone/QB spy player with a blitz option if he sees an alley. Nobody is in his zone, and he has a free rush, so he takes it—still, technically, a green dog.

As an added bonus, I highlighted TE Zach Ertz’s route here—why? Because the middle of the field, at the short to intermediate range, will always be open against Washington. Was in Week 1, will be in Week 7.

The Redskins play a ton of single-high coverage (though, if CBs Norman and Breeland are both out, they may have to employ more Cover 2 looks), but their linebackers play close to the line of scrimmage. There’s a natural gap, 8-12 yards down the field, between the safety and ‘backer. Off of play-action, and even the trendy RPO, Ertz has eaten in that area of the field.

Carson makes a good read and throw here, but Ertz was an option, and Philly schemed him open across the middle more than once against Washington in Week. Ertz regularly sees ludicrous success against the Redskins. I expect a big day from the breakout tight end.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 07:12:59 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Jon Gruden says Carson Wentz reminds him of Randall Cunningham

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/23/17.

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

Jon Gruden: Carson Wentz 'Is Perfect' For Philadelphia -
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement. He’s made some great changes at the line of scrimmage. He’s fixed protections. He’s hand-signaled routes. He’s doing a lot at the line of scrimmage in year two of being in this system. His athleticism – strength in the pocket and scrambling ability – is underestimated,” Gruden said. "He avoids a lot of negative plays. He avoids sacks and hits, and he avoids bad plays by being able to get out of the rush. He reminds me of Randall Cunningham the way he’s scrambling. He’s won a couple of games with that ability alone. In the first meeting, he beat the Redskins on third-and-12 on the opening possession with a 60-yard bomb.”

This ESPN feature on Carson Wentz’s relationship with a boy who lost his fight to cancer will make you cry - BGN
Win it all for The Dutch Destroyer.

Jon Gruden tells high school players Carson Wentz is player they should strive to emulate - PhillyVoice
“The one thing about Wentz, he’s as tough as any guy I’ve seen in this league in a while," Gruden said, pointing to a specific series in the Birds' Week 5 win over the Cardinals when Wentz was popped by Brandon Mebane, only to come back and deliver a huge throw on the very next play. "The other thing I love about Wentz is his preparation is off the charts. This guy works at it hard. He studies, he’s really into it, and when he goes out and practices, it’s like a game. He is really into football, man. "I challenge you guys out here today, when you go back and start practicing, you remember Carson Wentz."

Early But Not Too Early - Iggles Blitz
If the Eagles can win this game, they’ll be up 2.5 games in the division. That doesn’t guarantee them anything, but every win is important. The NFL season only has 16 games so each W puts you closer to where you want to be. There is also the added bonus that the Eagles would be 3-0 in the division and would have a sweep of the Skins. If things went horribly wrong down the stretch, the Eagles would have that advantage over the Skins should they need it. A win would also keep the Eagles with the best record in the NFL and in the running for the top seed in the NFC.

Eagles’ Bradham admits date with Redskins isn’t ‘a normal game’ - Delco Times
Nigel Bradham made some eyeballs pop when he called the Eagles’ Monday night showdown with the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field (8:30, ESPN, WPHL17, WIP 94.1-FM) the “conference championship.” In a way, he was right. At this point the Redskins (3-2) currently seem like the only real NFC threat to the Eagles, who own a league-leading 5-1 record. A half-hour later the veteran linebacker was every bit as emphatic addressing the stakes in this heated rivalry matching the top teams in the NFC East. “It’s a championship game and that’s our mentality,” Bradham said. “It ain’t a normal game. And that’s how we approach it. We’ve got to play big. This is it for us.”

Eagles playbook: No defense for bad tacklers - Daily News
Two numbers bear that out. The first: the Eagles have given up the fifth-highest total of passing yards in the league through their first six games (273.5 per game). The second and much more significant one: they’re a respectable 13th in touchdown passes allowed (9) and have given up more than one in just two of their first six games. Schwartz hasn’t had many elite cover corners in the 16 years he’s been a coordinator and head coach. But he’s made sure he’s always had corners and safeties that could tackle. His current group is no exception.

The Fog, the Flag and the Football - The MMQB
Philadelphia 23, Washington 20. I love this game. It could be a bombs-away affair, but I think more likely the two play-callers will lean on ball-possession to win. The Eagles, with a dominating possession time (34:23) and resurgent back, have the edge. Since being invisible in the season’s first two weeks, LeGarrette Blount has rushed for 67, 136, 74 and 67 yards in the Eagles’ four-game win streak. “I never questioned that I’d have a big role here,” said Blount, whose 5.6-yards-per-rush is a career-best. “We didn’t play much as a first unit in the preseason, and it’s taken a while for some of the new guys to get their legs under them. But right now, I love it. The offensive line feeds on how I run the football. They obviously know that my game is to break tackles. They know I’ll make the right reads. They’re a great line.” They’ll need to be tonight. Washington’s allowing just 88 rushing yards per game.

How to bet Washington at Philadelphia - ESPN
The Redskins held off a late charge from the 49ers a week ago, while the Eagles come in with extra rest following a Thursday night victory over the Panthers. In their Week 1 meeting in Landover, Philadelphia had a 356-264 yardage edge in their 13-point victory. Despite Washington's solid 20-8 ATS mark as a division away 'dog since the start of 2007, the Eagles are arguably one of the league's best so far in 2017, with their only defeat coming against the Chiefs at Arrowhead. ATS pick: Lean on Philadelphia.

Eagles-Washington cheat sheet: Matchups, storylines & predictions - The Athletic
In the first matchup, when targeting Zach Ertz, Carson Wentz was 8-for-8 for 93 yards. Going into the week, Ertz led all tight ends with 34 catches for 405 yards (Travis Kelce has since edged ahead, but he played a seventh game Thursday night). In Week 1, Washington used both safeties — Swearinger and Deshazor Everett — to match up with Ertz. He beat them both on multiple occasions. Linebacker Mason Foster and cornerback Josh Norman got shots at Ertz also and didn't fare much better. Everett (questionable) has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, and his replacement, Montae Nicholson, could draw Ertz as well. Norman has been ruled out. Bottom line: Washington has been lousy against opposing tight ends, giving up 7.9 catches and 84.6 yards per game to them and ranking 27th in DVOA.

Nelson Agholor focused simply on having fun in midst of turnaround season - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Don't talk to Nelson Agholor about his stats. Don't even try. He doesn't want to hear about it. Here we are in Week 7, and Agholor needs 45 yards Monday night against the Redskins for a career receiving high. For a full season. His four touchdowns are already more than his combined career total of three from his first two years. His 16.1 yards per catch is 10th-best in the NFL and light years above his career high of 11.0 coming into the season. Impressed? “Not really," Agholor said. "I just look at how much fun I’m having and team success, and that’s the best part about this situation.

Hating with H8: Philadelphia Eagles Edition - Hogs Haven
Lolskins fans.

NFL draft order 2018: Tracking where picks change each week - SB Nation
It’s never too early to think about the 2018 NFL draft — especially if you’re a fan of one of the winless teams in the NFL. After more than six weeks of the 2017 season, that’s the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. For now, it’s the Browns in line to pick first in April, one spot ahead of the 49ers with the Giants sitting in third after getting their first win in Week 6. It was Cleveland and San Francisco in the first two spots last year, with the Browns taking Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall, and the 49ers sending their selection to Chicago.


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[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 07:13:48 EDT from rss

Subject: Monday Morning Fly By: We

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

* Good morning! Nice win on Saturday against the Fighting McDavids. Bring it here for your recap, photo montage, post-game reactions, and next-day observations.

* The other big news of the weekend dropped on Sunday afternoon, when it was announced that Andrew MacDonald will miss 4 to 6 weeks after blocking a shot on Saturday. Our reaction on what the Flyers may do now: [BSH]

* This news broke minutes after the Flyers dropped a big, long article about how much everyone loves Andrew MacDonald, which felt a little targeted if you ask me: []

* Who gets credit for Scott Laughton’s evident improvements this year? One name you may not know about: his old skating coach. [NBCS Philly]

* On Shayne Gostisbehere’s improvements in his own end of the ice: [CPSJ]

* Elsewhere! “In games Niemi starts the Penguins are 0-3 and have been outscored 22-6, losing games by margins of 10-1 and 7-1.” Ooooh, that’s the stuff. [ProHockeyTalk]

* Vegas is 6-1, which, I mean ... what? How? [Knights On Ice]

* DGB’s Grab Bag, featuring a very neutral and even-handed perspective on whether the Leafs get too much coverage from the media: [Vice]

* But no matter how good the Leafs are, they still can’t beat the juggernaut that is ... the Ottawa Senators, apparently: [Silver Seven]

* Finally, there was a Hockey Nerd Conference this past weekend in Rochester, and it featured a panel with BSH Radio’s own Steph Driver! You can watch that here [YouTube, autoplay warning]; you can check out any of the other talks and slide decks here [Hockey-Graphs].

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 07:56:05 EDT from rss

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

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Learn more about the Philadelphia-Washington matchup set to take place on Monday.

Thanks to a Kansas City Chiefs loss on Thursday evening, the Philadelphia Eagles currently have the best record in the NFL.

The Eagles will need to beat the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football to keep it that way.

Monday’s prime-time game presents a big opportunity for the Eagles. A win over Washington would mean 6-1 overall, 5-0 in the conference, and 3-0 in the division. Barring a massive collapse, the NFC East race could essentially be over.

With this in mind, Washington will likely not go down easily. Much like when the Giants were battling to keep their season alive in Week 3, Jay Gruden’s side will be bringing a fight to Philly.

The good news is that the Eagles are well-equipped to handle the challenge. They’re mostly healthy coming off 11 days rest. Washington, who will be without top cornerback Josh Norman, can’t say the same.

It goes without saying that the Eagles will need another big performance from NFL MVP favorite Carson Wentz in order to walk out of MNF with a win. It’ll take good play-calling from Doug Pederson and a strong defensive effort from Jim Schwartz’s unit as well.

The feeling here is that this game will be a good battle. There’s a lot on the line for both sides, so the pressure is on.

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

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 23, 2017

Time: 8:30 PM ET

Channel: ESPN, PHL17

Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Location: Lincoln Financial Field | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NFL Network replay: Tuesday, October 24 at 3:00 AM ET and 1:00 PM ET

Radio: SportsRadio 94WIP | Full listings here

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass



Per Bovada, the Eagles are favored to win.

Washington Redskins +5 (-110)

Philadelphia Eagles -5 (-110)

History Lesson

The Eagles are 75-85-6 in 166 all-time regular season appearances against Washington. These two teams last played in Week 1, when the Eagles won by a final score of 30 to 17.

Eagles vs. Redskins Game Preview Articles

The Eagles Can Grab The NFC East By The Throat With A Win Over Washington

Know Thine Eagles Enemy: Redskins Film Review

Eagles-Redskins Final Injury Report: Josh Norman out, Ronald Darby questionable

Eagles-Redskins Game Preview: 6 questions and answers with the enemy

Previewing the Eagles-Redskins game (and giving away tickets)

Eagles vs. Redskins Week 7: Five Friday “For Sures”

Redskins coach is “very upset” the Eagles have Carson Wentz

Redskins writer gives 3 reasons why the Eagles will beat Washington

Philadelphia Eagles announce jersey selection for Monday Night Football game

Redskins player told his family not to come to Philadelphia for the game

Crunching The Numbers: Washington Redskins

Redskins lose first round pick for the season

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Eagles 2017 Regular Season Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 10 - BYE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 08:24:31 EDT from rss

Subject: Eric Rowe trade draft pick tracker: Week 7 edition

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A weekly update on the Eagles’ 2018 draft picks.

Before the 2016 season started, the Philadelphia Eagles traded cornerback Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. This means the Eagles can receive one of two picks.

1 — Eagles receive New England’s third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays at least 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.


2 — Eagles receive New England’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft if Eric Rowe plays less than 50% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.

Where this pick ultimately lands is significant for the Eagles. Philadelphia currently doesn’t own any Day 2 picks due to both the Carson Wentz trade and the Ronald Darby trade.

Since this is an important pick, I’ll be doing a weekly update on Rowe’s playing time to see if the Eagles will get the third-round selection or not.


WEEK 1: Eric Rowe plays 37 out of New England’s 69 defensive snaps. That’s good for 54%. If the season ended today, the Eagles would get the pick! It would also be the first overall pick in the third round since the Patriots have the worst record in the NFL right now. ;)

Week 2: Eric Rowe plays 34 out of New England’s 65 defensive snaps. That’s good for 52%. Rowe actually started over Malcolm Butler in the Patriots’ win over the Saints but Butler ended up playing more snaps due to Rowe suffering a groin injury. So far, Rowe has played 71 out of 134 snaps this season, which is 53%. It’s a close margin, but the Eagles are currently projected to get the third-round pick.

Week 3: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 71 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0% (duh). Rowe was inactive due to the groin injury he suffered in Week 2. The good news (?) is that Rowe was listed “questionable” after being limited in practice all of last week. Maybe he’ll be able to return this week. The Eagles better hope Rowe gets healthy because now he’s only played 71 of 205 snaps this season, which is 34.6%. One thing to keep in mind regarding the Rowe tracker is that Malcolm Butler still appears to be on the trade block. If Butler gets moved, Rowe’s playing time should receive a boost. The NFL trade deadline is set for 4:00 PM ET on October 31.

Week 4: Eric Rowe plays 19 out of New England’s 63 defensive snaps. That’s good for only 30%. Rowe left the Patriots’ game against the Panthers due to a groin injury, which is what caused him to be out in Week 3. It seems like this might be a nagging thing for Rowe. Not good for the Eagles’ chances of getting the third-round pick. Rowe has now only played 90 of 268 snaps through the first quarter of the season, which is 33.6%. The Patriots don’t have their bye until Nov. 5 so Rowe might continue to miss some games due to injury. The Eagles’ best hope still is that Rowe gets healthy and the Patriots trade one of their cornerbacks (Butler) to open up playing time for him. If it’s any consolation, the Patriots are now 2-2. It’s looking like they might not be picking at the very last spot of the fourth round.

Week 5: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 72 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0% (thanks). Rowe was inactive due to the groin injury he re-aggravated in Week 4. Rowe has now only played 90 of 340 snaps through the first five games, which is 26.5%. If you weren’t resigned to getting the fourth-round pick by now, it’s probably time you start. The Eagles really need 1) Rowe to get healthy and 2) the Patriots to give less playing time to Malcolm Butler and/or Stephon Gilmore. For what it’s worth, Rowe is the 111th corner out of 111 corners graded by Pro Football Focus this season.

Week 6: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 76 defensive snaps. That’s good for 0%. Rowe was inactive again due to his groin injury. Rowe did not participate in practice all of last week so there’s no indication he’s really close to returning. Rowe has now only played 90 of 416 snaps through the first six games, which is 21.6%. It’s becoming more and more likely the Eagles will get the fourth instead of the third. It’s frustrating, too, because there’s a chance Rowe would be playing enough to get over 50% if he was healthy. The Patriots played third string corner Johnson Bademosi, who is below Rowe on the depth chart, a total of 96% of the team’s snaps this week. If it’s any consolation, the Patriots haven’t looked super awesome. They needed a blown call to beat the Jets. New England’s pick would be ahead of the Eagles’ pick if the season ended today.

Week 7: Eric Rowe plays 0 out of New England’s 57 defensive snaps. Rowe was inactive again due to his groin injury. He didn’t practice all week. Rowe has now only played 90 of 473 snaps, which is 19%. In other words, the Eagles aren’t getting that pick. I know some have asked why I’m still doing the tracker. The answer is: I still get questions sent to me via Twitter, email, etc. about the Rowe pick. ALSO: I’ll use this post to track where the Eagles’ other draft picks are. Philly currently has the best record in the NFL so they’re set to pick at No. 32 in the 2018 NFL Draft order (of course, playoff elimination determines the picks after No. 20). The Vikings are 5-2 so they’re set to pick at the back of each round (No. 29). Same thing with the Patriots (No. 31). The Seahawks are 4-2 (No. 23). It’d be ideal if those teams started to lose more.


Current projected Eagles 2018 Draft Picks


4th - (from the Minnesota Vikings)

4th - (from the New England Patriots; can elevate to a 3rd)


5th - (from the Seattle Seahawks)



[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 07:33:24 EDT from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Discarded Cooler and Missed Shots

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Kyle and Russ discuss their Friday night at the Sixers and the team’s poor start.   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…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 09:12:39 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Redskins 2017: Game Predictions

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Who will win this week?

Big game for the Philadelphia Eagles tonight.

Monday Night Football. Prime-time spotlight. Division matchup against the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles will be looking to defend their 5-1 record, best in the NFL, against a Washington team that’s desperate to keep their NFC East hopes alive.

The pressure is on.

This has the makings of a tough game. It doesn’t matter a ton that the Eagles already beat Washington in Week 1. Kirk Cousins and company have given the Birds enough trouble in recent history that a win over Washington can’t just be easily assumed.

But there’s obviously reason to feel good about the Birds. Carson Wentz is playing at a very high level. He’s literally the favorite to win MVP. He’s not the only offensive player succeeding, either. LeGarrette Blount has been a force in the ground game. Zach Ertz is making his case as an elite tight end. Much unlike the 2016 season, Wentz has a number of viable wide receivers.

Another advantage is that the Eagles are mostly healthy heading into this matchup. Ronald Darby, who has been ruled questionable, might be the only player on the active roster who misses this game due to injury.

Washington, meanwhile, is dealing with a lot of significant injury issues. Starting cornerback Josh Norman is out. He kept Alshon Jeffery quiet in Week 1. Fellow starting corner Bashaud Breeland has been ruled questionable for this matchup. He was limited in practice all week due to a knee issue. Coaches had to pull him out of practice at one point. With Washington’s secondary banged up, the Eagles should be looking to attack early and often. Torrey Smith was able to burn Washington’s secondary in Week 1. It’s just that Wentz couldn’t hit him at the time. This could also finally be the week where Jeffery has a really big game. Then again, everyone’s been saying that all season.

Philadelphia’s secondary also has their weaknesses. If you think back to Week 1, Washington had a lot of opportunities where guys were running open deep down the field. Cousins either overthrew them or the wide receivers, especially Terrelle Pryor, dropped the ball.

A big reason why Cousins wasn’t as successful in Week 1 as he has been against the Eagles in the past is that Philly’s defensive line came to play. The Eagles sacked Cousins four times and hit him an additional two times. Cousins turned the ball over three times that time: one interception and two fumbles.

Washington’s offensive line is very good, so it was impressive how the Eagles handled them that day. The Birds will need another big performance from their front seven this time around. Perhaps the Eagles should look to exploit banged-up left tackle Trent Williams. He’s playing through a knee issue that will require surgery at some point. His backup, Ty Nsekhe, is out so that would force T.J. Clemmings to step in if Williams misses time. Clemmings is a total sieve in pass protection.

The Eagles have done a really good job of stopping the run this year. They’ve allowed 65.7 rush yards per game, which ranks first in the NFL. Washington is expected to get Rob Kelley back, so the Eagles’ run defense will be tested, but if Jim Schwartz’s unit holds up once again it’ll force Washington to be a one-dimensional offense. That’s another reason why the pass rush needs to get home.

A win tonight would be so big for the Eagles. It would mean advancing to 6-1 and virtually locking up the NFC East in Week 7. A loss, meanwhile, would hurt, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The Eagles play the 0-7 49ers at home in Week 8. And then it’s another home game in Week 9 against a struggling Broncos team that’s scored 10 points combined in their last two games.

But now’s the time for the Eagles to assert their dominance. They can prove they’re not only the best team in their division — but the entire league as well.

Again, the expectation is that this is going to be a tough one. The Eagles are capable of pulling it off, though.

Here's who the BGN writers are predicting to win. Here's advice when picking against the spread.


Suggested format:

Score prediction:

Bold prediction:

My predictions:

Score prediction: Eagles win, 31-26.

Bold prediction: Alshon Jeffery catches three touchdowns tonight.

Your predictions:

Leave your own predictions in the comments. Vote in the poll below (click here if you can’t see it).

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 08:56:54 EDT from rss

Subject: Your Monday Morning Roundup

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It’s GAMEDAY! For the second time in as many weeks, the Birds did not play on Sunday, going primetime. Tonight in Philly, the ONLY team in the NFL with just one loss, hosts the Washington Redskins at the Linc. An 8:15 p.m. kick-off is set on ESPN. Our CB staff predictions, which you can always…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 09:36:00 EDT from rss

Subject: This Carson Wentz Feature Makes You Like Him Even More

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I know you loved Carson Wentz before this, but what he did, his connection with this kid is something special. Couple the actions with Tom Rinaldi telling the story, just gets you feeling all types of ways this morning.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 10:09:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Kyrie Irving Is a Big Baby

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After the Celtics beat the Sixers on Friday night, Sal Pal, doing double duty covering the NBA in his own backyard, interviewed ALL-TIME GREAT TOTALLY THE BEST PLAYER EVER IN HIS MIND Kyrie Irving and asked him an ostensibly foolish question about playing in a difficult environment. Kyrie laughed it off, because Kyrie is too…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 12:38:48 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Redskins Game Preview: Monday night has the makings of a tough battle

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A special bonus episode of BGN Radio!

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 11:50:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Stay or Go? The Philadelphia Union and the Road to Relevance

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The 2016 Philadelphia Union finished with 11 wins, 14 losses, 9 draws, a -3 goal differential, and a playoff appearance. The 2017 Philadelphia Union finished with 11 wins, 14 losses, 9 draws, a +3 goal differential, and no playoff appearance. So.. they improved? Or they didn’t.. Wait, what? Jim Curtin’s team clobbered Orlando 6-1 on…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 13:40:23 EDT from rss

Subject: Three Eagles numbers that matter for the Washington Redskins game

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Previewing this week’s MNF matchup.

Here’s a look at three numbers that matter as the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to play the Washington Redskins in Week 7.

6 - Washington’s rank in DVOA.

Last week, Washington ranked second in DVOA.

If you’re asking yourself “What the heck is DVOA?” you can read more about it at Football Outsiders. In short, it’s a way to measure the quality of a team.

I bring up the fact that Washington is sixth in DVOA because I think they’re a better team than some might realize. I’ve seen people predict the Eagles are going to blow Washington out. A number of callers shared this sentiment during our BGN Radio show on SportsRadio 94WIP this weekend.

I think the way Washington barely squeaked by the 49ers at home is what’s causing people to feel that way. Not to mention that the Eagles already beat Washington, so why can’t they do it again?

Look, I’m not saying the Eagles can’t win this game. Philly ranks second in DVOA. The Eagles are mostly healthy entering this game and coming off extra rest while Washington doesn’t have that same advantage. Carson Wentz is playing at a high level. There are plenty of reasons to believe the Eagles are a legitimately good team.

I just think it’s a little premature to think the Eagles will easily handle Washington. We all know how Kirk Cousins has a track record of succeeding against this team. Cousins actually has the highest passer rating (117.7) in the NFL from Week 2 and beyond (hat tip to Jaws). Washington’s wide receivers were getting open looks down the field in Week 1. They just didn’t execute on them.

Everyone would be happy if I’m wrong, and I’d obviously be very willing to admit that if that’s the case.

The feeling here is that tonight’s going to be a tough battle that comes down to the wire.

Thankfully Pete Morelli won’t be involved this time.

65.7 - Rushing yards per game allowed by the Eagles’ defense - fewest in the NFL.

The Eagles have the best run defense in the NFL. It’s so good that they held the Panthers’ running backs to a mere ONE YARD on 13 carries in Week 6.

Washington’s run game could provide more of a challenge than Carolina’s did. Jay Gruden’s side is averaging 122.8 rush yards per game, which ranks 10th in the NFL. Their starting running back, Rob Kelley, is expected to return tonight after missing a couple games. He’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season.

The Eagles did a good job of holding Washington to only 68 rush yards on 17 attempts (3.8 yards per carry) in Week 1. The Birds have come a long way from the first Eagles-Washington game in 2016 where Washington ran for approximately one million yards that day.

Forcing Washington’s offense to be one-dimensional will be critical. It’s not like Washington can’t move the ball through the air if their run game isn’t working, because they can. But a big reason why the Eagles beat Washington in Week 1 is because their pass rush dominated a Washington offensive line that’s pretty good on most game days. Stopping the run should allow the Eagles to tee off on Cousins and limit the effectiveness of play-action.

The Eagles’ defensive line really needs to show up in order to win this game.

92.1% - The Eagles’ current chances of making the playoffs, per Football Outsiders.

These numbers are all great. They’ll be even be better if the Eagles beat Washington.

If the Eagles win this game, their playoff odds will be the high 90% range. They’ll be a virtual lock and the NFC East race will essentially be over. Washington’s odds, meanwhile, would drop by about 21%. For those wondering, the Dallas Cowboys are currently around 20%.

ESPN’s FPI model give the Eagles a 70% chance of winning this game. That’s encouraging. A number of NFL insiders are also picking the Birds to win.

All three insiders picked Washington (3-2) to beat Philadelphia (5-1) in Philly, which could mean Eagles fatigue has arrived in full. It also could mean the Redskins are earning respect. Both themes have been prominent in conversations with coaches and evaluators.

"Everyone is riding high on Philly right now," one of the insiders said, "but I feel like, let's wait and see with them, especially after last year. I think Washington defensively is sneaky good, especially in the pass game. I don't know if [Redskins cornerback] Josh Norman is back yet, but their mix with their rush and coverage is actually pretty good."

Norman, who fractured a rib against the Chiefs in Week 4, could return, but the Redskins just put defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (foot) on injured reserve.

"When [Redskins assistant head coach Bill] Callahan wants to get it going and [head coach Jay] Gruden sticks to it, the Redskins can clearly run the ball," one of the insiders said.

Washington is running the ball 53 percent of the time on early downs. That's the fourth-highest rate in the NFL and a big increase from last season, when Washington ranked 25th at 41 percent. The difference in percentage points remains in double digits after removing plays when the Redskins were trailing and potentially more apt to throw.

"This will be a fun game," an insider said. "I do like the Eagles' defense, but a lot of things swing back to .500 in this league, and I wonder how many times the Eagles can keep winning."

If the Eagles DO lose, it won’t be the end of the world. They’ll still be a half game up on Washington. Their upcoming schedule also isn’t looking so difficult:

But forget that. Just win, Eagles, and you’re in great shape. Get it done.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 14:44:43 EDT from rss

Subject: Here

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Great breakdown on No. 11

I can’t get over the fact that Carson Wentz is currently the odds-on favorite to be the NFL MVP this year. You have to go all the back to Norm Van Brocklin in 1960 to find the last time a Philadelphia Eagles player was named MVP by the Associated Press. It just feels like it’s been way too long since the Eagles had a quarterback playing this well.

Thankfully, Philadelphia’s current quarterback is the real deal. Carson Wentz baby, he’s our baby, he’s it baby.

Our friend Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) of Houston Texans SB Nation site Battle Red Blog put together a great film breakdown on Wentz. You can watch it below (click here if you can’t see the video).

Carson Wentz is playing like the NFL MVP

Carson Wentz is truly playing like the NFL MVP

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Sunday, October 22, 2017

From the video:

I love Alex Smith, and Kareem Hunt, and Tom Brady, and Todd Gurley, and whoever else you want to throw into the discussion. But to me, the NFL MVP right now is Carson Wentz.

The Eagles are 5-1 because of what he’s doing on third down this season and because of the magnitude of his talent. He’s elevating this franchise beyond any level that they’ve been at since Donovan McNabb was in his prime.

You can check out more great film breakdowns from Brett at his YouTube channel (click here). Also here’s a link to Brett’s Patreon page.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 13:40:04 EDT from rss

Subject: Donovan McNabb Says Jared Goff Might be the Best Quarterback in the NFC

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Donovan McNabb is the arguably the greatest quarterback in Eagles franchise history. There’s no disputing that. But there was always that head-scratching quote or goofy air-guitar type of moment that made fans wonder what exactly was going through his head. This morning he dropped a Jared Goff hot take: McNabb says Goff may be the…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 14:40:55 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers prospect report: Phil Myers hurt, Danick Martel hurting other teams

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The Phantoms keep winning despite mounting injuries.

Phantoms update: Phil Myers hurt, Danick Martel hurting other teams

10/20 - 5-2 WIN
10/21 - 4-3 WIN (Highlights)

The Phantoms keep on winning, cruising to a 5-1-1 record and the most points in the AHL. They’ve done it mostly on the back of the dynamic Danick Martel / Mike Vecchione / Nicolas Aube-Kubel line, which has combined for 10 of the team’s 24 goals this season. Let’s use the comments to think of a creative nickname for the line.

Philippe Myers (D): 1 GP, 1 shot
Undrafted Free Agent

Well, this is no good. Myers exited the game early on Friday and did not return. No updates have been given on his status and obviously did not play on Saturday. The team is already without T.J. Brennan on the back-end as well.

Mark Friedman (D): 2 GP, 2 assists, 5 shots
2014 3rd Round Pick, 86th overall

Friedman gets his first two points of the season! He had one in each game and both were at even strength. With injuries to Myers/Brennan and the potential for Samuel Morin to get called up soon, Friedman will be put in the spotlight.

Samuel Morin (D): 2 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 6 shots, 6 PIM
2013 1st Round Pick, 11th overall

Morin was a wrecking ball in what may be his last weekend in the Lehigh Valley for quite a bit. The injury for Andrew MacDonald (that will see him sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks) could finally enable Morin to get that extended look in the NHL.

Mike Vecchione (C): 2 GP, 2 assists, 4 shots, 2 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

A pair of primary assists from Vecchione gives him 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in his first 7 AHL games. He is finding a lot of success centering Danick Martel and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (RW): 2 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 7 PIM
2014 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

Good things are happening for the 21-year old. It’s now 5 points (3 G, 2 A) in 7 games after only scoring 18 in 71 last season for LHV.

Danick Martel (RW): 2 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 5 shots, 5 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

He’s not slowing down yet, folks. Martel’s 7 goals are tied for the league-lead with Daniel Sprong. His 10 points overall are just 1 off the tops in the AHL. The kid is still young (22) and has a chance to make a name for himself.

Oskar Lindblom (LW): 2 GP, 1 assist, 4 shots
2014 5th Round Pick, 138th overall

Finally, that elusive first point of the season. It’s been a slow start to Lindblom’s first full season in North America.

Mikhail Vorobyov (C): 2 GP, 1 assist, 1 shot
2015 4th Round Pick, 104th overall

3 assists in 7 games for Vorobyov. This isn’t too bad considering he is getting 4C duties with teammates like Tyrell Goulbourne and Radel Fazleev.

Alex Lyon (G): 1 GP, 3 GA, 28 saves
Undrafted Free Agent

Only one game this weekend for Lyon who gave way to backup Dustin Tokarski in net on Friday. In his action on Saturday, Lyon held strong, though did give up a late 3rd period goal in the game. In 6 starts he has a 4-1 record, .916 SV% and 2.61 GAA.

Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall

  • 10/20 - 1 shot, 5 for 11 FOW
  • 10/21 - 1 shot, 5 for 10 FOW

After going nuts last weekend (6 points in 3 games), the Bun-man went back into hibernation and sits at 8 points (5 G, 3 A) in 11 games.

Anthony Salinitri (C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall

  • 10/19 - no shots, 3 for 8 FOW
  • 10/20 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 5 for 13 FOW
  • 10/21 - 1 shot, 4 PIM, 4 for 6 FOW

Sarnia scored 20 goals in 3 games this weekend and somehow Salinitri was only part of one of them. Call it a fluke for the 4th year junior player. He has 14 points (4 G, 10 A) in 13 games.

Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall

  • 10/18 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots, 7 for 19 FOW
  • 10/20 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 7 for 16 FOW
  • 10/22 - 4 shots, 11 for 22 FOW

No videos of his goal (that I’m aware of), but it did give him 4 on the season to go along with his 10 assists.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall

Shots, shots, shots! No this isn’t the start to an LMFAO song, Ratcliffe has thrown 52 shots on goal this season. His double-shot of goals on Saturday gave him 4 goals to go with his 3 assists on the season.

Maksim Sushko (RW), Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 107th overall

One of the brightest spots of the early season in the Flyers’ pipeline, Sushko is putting on quite the display. He has 12 points (8 G, 4 A) in 9 games and has even missed some time due to injury. Here’s his goal from Sunday. Sushko has helped push Owen Sound to 6-3-1 and just 1 point behind division-leading Kitchener.

Matthew Strome (LW), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 106th overall

  • 10/20 - 3 shots, 5 for 8 FOW
  • 10/22 - 1 goal, 5 shots, 2 for 2 FOW

Matthew Strome picks up his 4th goal of the season on this nice give and go.

Carsen Twarynski (LW), Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2016 3rd Round Pick, 82nd overall

  • 10/17 - 7 shots, 1 for 2 FOW
  • 10/20 - 3 shots, 2 PIM, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 10/21 - 3 goals, 3 shots, 0 for 1 FOW

Hat Trick for Twarynski! Here is the goal that earned the honors. Twarynski has surprised me with his point production so far this year. He is up to 11 points (6 G, 5 A) in 9 games. He had 43 in 64 last season.

Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall

  • 10/19 - 1 assist, 2 shots, 8 for 13 FOW
  • 10/20 - 1 assist, 3 shots, 4 for 8 FOW
  • 10/22 - 1 shot, 4 for 9 FOW

Laberge has had points in 7 of his 10 games this season to give him 10 total (4 G, 6 A). This is a big season for him as he answers questions about his effectiveness after his disappointing and injury-filled 2016-17 season.

German Rubtsov (C), Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
2016 1st Round Pick, 22nd overall

  • 10/18 - 1 assist, 2 shots, 4 for 8 FOW
  • 10/20 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 10/21 - 1 goal, 4 shots, 0 for 2 FOW

First goal of the season for Rubtsov on an absolute snipe, so that is fun and good. The Russian import has 9 points in 8 games.

CHL Notes: Carter Hart (G) and fans received the news that he has been diagnosed with mono. The Everett Silvertips (WHL) will be without the top goalie prospect for the foreseeable future.

Notable European performers this week

Linus Högberg (D), Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
2016 5th Round Pick, 139th overall

4th pairing minutes on Saturday was the only action Högberg was able to get last week. However, Högberg was named to Team Sweden (U20) for the 4 Nations Tournament next month.

David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall

  • 10/17 - 1 shot, 16:00 TOI
  • 10/19 - 1 shot, 13:48 TOI

Still no points for Bernhardt through 10 games.

David Kaše (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall

  • 10/19 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 16:24 TOI
  • 10/21 - 14:37 TOI

3rd goal of the season for Kaše! He has 7 points in 11 games in his first season in the SHL.

Olle Lycksell (RW/C), Linköping HC J20 (SuperElit)
2017 6th Round Pick, 168th overall

Lycksell is cruising through the J20, racking up 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in 14 games.

Felix Sandström (G), Brynäs IF (SHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 70th overall

Sandström’s first legitimately awful start from beginning to end. The 20 year old still sports 7 wins, a .910 SV% and 2.71 GAA.

Ivan Fedotov (G), Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall

The box score wasn’t posted for Sunday’s game just yet, but Fedotov had a much better week than his start to the season has been thus far. He still has an ugly .894 SV% in 10 games.

Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall

  • 10/18 - 2 GA
  • 10/19 - DNP
  • 10/22 - 3 GA, 28 saves

I apologize in advance because full reports and breakdowns on Ustimenko’s games this week were a bit confusing. However, has the young goalie at .921 SV% in 15 MHL games this season.

Notable NCAA and USHL performers this week:

Wade Allison (RW), Western Michigan University
2016 2nd Round Pick, 52nd overall

  • 10/20 - 2 assists, 4 shots, 4 PIM
  • 10/21 - no shots, 2 PIM

More points for Wade as his two assists this weekend gave him 7 on the year. His 9 points for WMU is 2nd best on his team.

Tanner Laczynski (RW/C), Ohio State University
2016 6th Round Pick, 169th overall

  • 10/20 - 1 assist, 3 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/21 - 3 assists, 4 shots

After going pointless in his first 4 games, the 4-assist weekend was just what Laczynski needed.

Cooper Marody (C), University of Michigan
2015 6th Round Pick, 158th overall

  • 10/20 - 3 shots, 13 for 15 FOW
  • 10/21 - 3 shots, 9 for 20 FOW

U of M was back in action with last weekend off. Marody was held pointless this go-around and sits at just 1 assist in 4 games.

Brendan Warren (LW), University of Michigan
2015 3rd Round Pick, 81st overall

Warren fared a little better than Marody, getting his first goal/point of the NCAA season.

David Drake (D), University of Connecticut
2013 7th Round Pick, 192nd overall

Drake is pointless in 6 games this season. Ho-hum.

Wyatt Kalynuk (D), University of Wisconsin
2017 7th Round Pick, 196th overall

  • 10/20 - 3 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/21 - 1 assist, 8 shots, 2 PIM

The freshman collects his first point of his college hockey career.

Terrance Amorosa (D), Clarkson University
2013 5th Round Pick, 132nd overall

Make that 7 points (2 G, 5 A) in 6 games for the Clarkson senior. There are only 3 defensemen in all of the NCAA with more points than Amorosa.

Noah Cates (LW), Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2017 5th Round Pick, 137th overall

A quiet weekend for the 18 year old. Cates still sits at 2 points (1 G, 1 A) in 7 games.

Matej Tomek (G), Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 90th overall

  • 10/20 - 1 GA, 20 saves
  • 10/21 - DNP

Albeit it’s just two games, Tomek does have a .933 SV%. With games like these, hopefully the Slovakian is paving his way to not only more starts, but a home for next season.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 15:24:48 EDT from rss

Subject: What

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There’s a Chick-fil-A joke to be made here, but I’m not going to do it. There is a very good possibility that 3-4 years from now, when Markelle Fultz is selected to his second All-Star team, we will look back at this weird start as a mere blip on the radar. Plenty of NBA stars…

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 18:02:35 EDT from rss

Subject: Update on Nigel Bradham

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Good news for the Eagles linebacker.

Last year during Philadelphia’s bye week, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to the airport. Bradham was originally charged with a second degree misdemeanor, but now TMZ Sports is reporting the charges have been dropped.

We spoke with Bradham's attorney, Adam Swickle, who tells us, "The state had no case against him and they found that it wasn’t something he should be criminally sanctioned for."

Swickle pointed out Bradham had a valid concealed weapons permit and didn't intend to break the law. Simple accident.

The gun arrest certainly wasn’t a good look for Bradham, especially since he was already arrested for alleged assault a month earlier in July 2016. These incidents prompted Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to essentially call Bradham a “dumbass.”

Legally speaking, however, Bradham is now relatively in the clear. In addition to the gun charges being dropped, the linebacker accepted a deferred prosecution program in relation to his alleged assault case. This means the case will be kept out of court and he won’t face any jail time if he meets the requirements of the program.

Bradham is still subject to punishment via the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but there’s been no indication he’s going to face discipline from the league.

Bradham is coming off arguably the best game of his career in which he had 10 tackles in Philadelphia’s win over the Panthers. The team needs him to stay out of trouble moving forward so his on-field status isn’t jeopardized.

[#] Mon Oct 23 2017 16:39:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Not To Be Dramatic, But The Eagles Have To Win This Game Tonight Or It

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There is a pivotal monster football game that will be played tonight at Lincoln Financial Field between the Eagles and Redskins. To call it pivotal would be an understatement. It’s a must-win game. The Eagles are the last one-loss team remaining in the NFL, so, theoretically, they are the team that could afford a loss…

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