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[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 08:55:29 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Matt Forte listed as a trade target for Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/27/17.

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

Larry Fitzgerald and 4 other veterans we want saved at the NFL trade deadline - SB Nation
Matt Forte to the Eagles: Forte has only played in five games for the Jets this season, but his numbers suggest he can still produce as pass-catching tailback who adds an extra dimension to his team’s passing game from the backfield. That’s something the Eagles and sudden MVP candidate Carson Wentz could use. Forte has caught 91 percent of the passes he’s been thrown this fall, racking up 19 catches for 158 yards as a standout checkdown option. Philadelphia’s top two backs, LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood, have combined for just 12 catches. Add in Forte’s reasonable 4.0 yard per carry average and you’ve got a solid addition to the Eagles’ tailback platoon — and a probable playoff landing spot for a veteran with only two postseason games on his resume.

Eagles vs. 49ers Preview: Trap game or nah? - BGN
The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #273). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. 49ers game in Week 8, analyze key matchups, and much more.

Eagles vs. 49ers: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice
The Eagles' rushing attack vs. the 49ers' run defense: No team in the NFL has faced more rushing attempts than the Niners, mostly because they have been down in games this season. As a result, they have allowed 134.6 rushing yards per game (29th in the NFL), 8 rushing TDs (second-most allowed in the NFL), and they've allowed 59 rushing first downs (by far the most in the NFL). Ideally, the Eagles can lean on their run game in this matchup, and keep Wentz out of peril with a new starter protecting his blind side.

Game Review – PHI 34, WAS 24 - Iggles Blitz
The main reason the Eagles won this game was Carson Wentz. He threw 4 TD passes and made big plays with his legs as well. You could see a noticeable difference in him and Kirk Cousins. Cousins has become a good QB and he had some impressive moments, but Wentz was special. He was good on 3rd downs, in the Red Zone and in creating something out of nothing. The Eagles are now 6-1 and this has gone from a promising start to what could be a special season. It would help if star players would quit getting hurt.

Carson Wentz makes dip into college playbook work for Eagles - ESPN
There was one play Monday night that told you everything you need to know about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and where he is in his development as a player. Following the spectacular third-quarter touchdown pass to running back Corey Clement against the Washington Redskins -- in which Wentz ducked past an initial wave of defenders and tossed a perfect ball to the corner of the end zone while getting hit from both sides -- Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden focused on the roots of the play while everyone else in the nation was buzzing over the fruit. “Carson Wentz is unbelievable," Gruden said. "That’s the same play that they featured at North Dakota State. He went to [coach] Doug Pederson. He said, ‘I want to put this play in our offense.’ They threw it for a touchdown against the Giants, and now they throw it for a touchdown against the Redskins."

All-22: Mack Hollins gets deep with corner-post vs. Washington - The Athletic
Asked what the key is to selling the corner route, Hollins said, “Eyes and shoulders. Some guys will just look real quick, and DBs at this level can recognize that’s not real. So you’ve got to really sell it as if you’re running a corner route and then hit it up.” Hollins was only in the game because Torrey Smith ran a deep route on the previous play and needed a breather. Hollins played eight snaps vs. Washington.

Week 8 Rankings - Rotoworld
No. 1 overall fantasy passer Carson Wentz enters yet another smash spot against the 49ers, who are hemorrhaging a league-high 70.7 plays per game to enemy offenses, enhancing opponent opportunity for box-score production. Four of the last five quarterbacks to face San Francisco have posted top-ten fantasy weeks, including Kirk Cousins’ QB1 result in Week 6 and last week’s QB2 game by Dak Prescott. The 49ers have also allowed the NFL’s seventh-most rushing yards (118) and a league-high three rushing TDs (3) to quarterbacks. Wentz is the overall QB1 play for Week 8. … The Eagles used four backs in last Monday night’s win over the Redskins, doling out touches and snaps as follows: LeGarrette Blount (14, 38%), Wendell Smallwood (10, 37%), Corey Clement (2, 18%), Kenjon Barner (2, 6%). Blount is the best touchdown bet in the group as a two-score home favorite against a 49ers defense that broke down in DE Arik Armstead’s (hand) Week 7 absence, coughing up a 36/223/6.19/2 rushing line to Cowboys backs. Smallwood offers a slightly safer floor in PPR leagues, although I worry his pass-protection woes will cost Smallwood playing time. He was beaten badly twice in blitz pickup in the win over Washington.

Eagles' new linebacker combinations will be in focus against 49ers - Inquirer
You’ve read much about the linebackers this week, and for good reason. With Jordan Hicks out for the season, the Eagles must find a way to continue thriving without their middle linebacker. The group will be in focus on Sunday when the Eagles host the 49ers because the biggest threat posed by the 49ers’ offense is their running backs – whether it’s on the ground or in the air. The Eagles will turn to Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks as every-down linebackers. They will play in base defense and also stay on the field in nickel. Bradham, who’s the Eagles’ leading tackler, has been one of the team’s best players this year. He’ll wear the defensive headset and take Hicks’ responsibilities in the nickel. He’s finally earning recognition he believes is long deserved. Kendricks’ whirlwind Eagles career will take on another chapter; he’s wanted a bigger role, and he’ll get it. The Eagles should feel comfortable with those two on the field – as long as Kendricks remains healthy and plays as he did the first two months of the season.

Mack Hollins Q&A: Chemistry with Wentz, Backpack Kid TD dance - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Mack Hollins has sure made his 70 snaps count. The Eagles' rookie wide receiver from North Carolina is only averaging 10 snaps per game but has made quite an impact on the offense. He's been targetted six times and has six catches, five for 10 yards or more and all five of those for first downs. His 64-yard touchdown against the Redskins tied the game at 10 late in the second quarter — one play after Carson Wentz had been leveled — and got the Eagles back into a game where nothing had gone right the first quarter and a half. Hollins, a fourth-round pick, spoke Wednesday about his big touchdown Monday night, his quarterback, his rookie season and other topics.

Celek Vs. Celek: A Battle Of Brotherly Love - PE.com
The City of Brotherly Love is the setting on Sunday when Eagles tight end Brent Celek suits up against his younger brother Garrett, also a tight end in his sixth NFL season with the 49ers, at Lincoln Financial Field. "It’s going to be fun. I’m preparing just like any other game,” Brent Celek said on Thursday. "I don’t know if there are going to be any times when I’m going to line up against him (including special teams) ... if that was the case it would be a little different story. I think it will be more fun for my family than it will be for me and my brother." Who will the parents root for? "I think they’ll probably say, 'We hope you stay healthy,'" Celek said.

49ers-Eagles preview: Is Carson Wentz an MVP candidate? - Niners Nation
The San Francisco 49ers have faced solid quarterbacks each of the past two weeks, and it only gets more difficult in Week 8. After facing Kirk Cousins in Week 6 and Dak Prescott in Week 7, they face an MVP candidate in Week 8. The 49ers travel east to face the Philadelphia Eagles, and that means one of the leading MVP candidates halfway through the season. The Eagles are off to a 6-1 start, and quarterback Carson Wentz is a big reason for that. Wentz leads the league with 17 touchdown passes, already one more than he had his rookie season. He is fourth in the league in DYAR and seventh in DVOA at Football Outsiders, and ranks third in QBR.

First-and-10: The Latest Evolution of Carson Wentz - SI.com
1. Eagles QB Carson Wentz hasn’t just looked good of late. As the staff sees it, beyond the spectacularly athletic plays he’s made, he’s also doing the routine more efficiently because he’s seeing the field and reading defenses better. One example I got: Wentz’s 64-yard touchdown pass to rookie Mack Hollins on Monday came because the quarterback saw Washington safety D.J. Swearinger settle his feet, a cue for him to uncork it deep because it would give Hollins the step he needed to beat the coverage.

The Case for Overpaying for QBs in NFL Draft Trades - The Ringer
The Eagles gambled their future to get the chance to pick Carson Wentz. His success begs the question: Does it make sense for a team to bet it all to take a star quarterback?

Carson Wentz at WR? AP at LB? What NFL Stars Could Play Alternate Positions? - B/R
Wentz's all-purpose athleticism was easy to understate when he was throwing and running for touchdowns against opponents like Weber State. Now that he's displaying his Cam Newton-meets-Ben Roethlisberger routine on Monday Night Football, there's no doubt he can make plays with his legs as well as his arm. Wentz has already caught one NFL pass—a Bengals defender batted one of his throws right back to him last year, and he dashed for a seven-yard gain. In retrospect, he may have been his own best receiver last year.

...

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[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 09:05:36 EDT from rss

Subject: Your Friday Morning Roundup

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Ron Hextall pretty much described the Flyers game for us: Current mood: pic.twitter.com/ulXb8SpeAS — Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) October 27, 2017 The Flyers lost to the Ottawa Senators 5-4. It started off pretty bad. 91 seconds in, Ottawa scored on the power play. That was one of three goals they would score in the first 13:28…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/QfVTTx9Mqnc/your-friday-morning-roundup-10.html

[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 09:00:42 EDT from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Blown Calls and Fultz Frustration

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Adam and Russ discuss the Flyers debacle and Sixers struggles.   We recommend subscribing in Overcast, the best iOS podcast player, and using the Voice Boost and Smart Speed functions, which improve sound quality (for all shows) and speed up small gaps in the conversation. Download Overcast and just search “Crossing Broadcast” to subscribe. If…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/gpt4NtsLmB4/crossing-broadcast-blown-calls-and-fultz-frustration.html

[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 10:00:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Senators 5, Flyers 4: What we learned from a hectic game up north

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Flyers battle back twice, but fall short in loss to start two-game road trip in Canada.

The Flyers were unable to overcome a pair of overturned goals in their 5-4 loss to the Senators on Thursday night, but there was much more to the game than those two plays. Here’s a look at what we learned from a close battle north of the border in Ottawa.

1. The second and third lines need to catch up to the first and fourth lines

While production has been strong from the first and fourth lines, the same can’t be said of the second and third lines, which were invisible yet again on Thursday. At one point the second line of Jordan Weal, Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds had a combined 13% Corsi For through two periods.

The third line of Matt Read, Jori Lehtera and Travis Konecny had better advanced metics, but wasn’t particularity dangerous outside of Konecny’s goal. That said, Konecny’s goal was on a breakaway and occurred with Laughton on in place of Lehtera off a line change.

Bottom line is the Flyers will continue to struggle as only two lines generate any type of offense. Only a few games ago the Flyers were getting chances from all four lines, and that has quickly dried up and left the onus on just two forward groups to generate chances and opportunities.

2. So, uh, about the goaltending

The Flyers’ problems in goal from Tuesday continued, after Brian Elliott allowed six goals against the Ducks. Three goals on 12 shots for Michal Neuvirth in the first, including a soft one while the Senators were shorthanded, got things off to a bad start.

Then after the Flyers cut the Sens lead to 3-2 late in the third the veteran was beaten by a dandy spin-o-rama by Mark Stone. Though it was a breakdown by the Flyers in transition a bit, Stone was on his backhand and beat Neuvirth easily to kill the Flyers’ momentum. There were a few times the Flyers really needed saves in key spots and Neuvirth couldn’t come up with them until it was far too late.

If it was his chance to distance himself from Brian Elliott a bit, it sure didn’t happen early. Simply put: five goals on 28 shots just won’t get it done on a nightly basis if the Flyers want to be anything other than a lottery team again.

3. The first line was ho-hum dangerous again

Jake Voracek scored his first of the season and Sean Couturier added a goal and two assists to fuel the Flyers’ offense. Senators goalie Craig Anderson flat-out robbed Couturier of another sure goal in the first, springing from post to post to make a great recovery save.

Couturier’s confidence in the offensive zone has really grown this year playing with Voracek and Claude Giroux, and he’s now starting to take ownership of the second power play unit by demanding the puck, something he hasn’t really done in the past.

4. Quick goals give Flyers life (twice!)

Two goals 53 seconds apart gave the Flyers life late in the second at 3-2 before a Mark Stone goal gave Ottawa back a two-goal lead heading to the third. Travis Konecny followed up Voracek’s goal with a quick snap shot past Anderson on a breakaway.

Radko Gudas started the sequence with a good play in neutral zone to halt a Senators rush and then made a great stretch pass to spring Konecny in alone for the goal. Gudas, who later received a game misconduct, isn’t just brawn after all.

Later it was a pair of Ivan Provorov and Couturier goals three minutes apart to pull the Flyers to 5-4 with just over a minute left in the third. A Tom Pyatt goal had just given the Senators what looked like a no-doubt 5-2 lead, but the Flyers again fought back with a couple of quick strikes and a shot to perhaps salvage a point from the game.

5. Taylor Leier hops back in, keeps fourth line chugging

Leier returned from a two-game absence and fit right back in on the fourth line with Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl. The trio had been stringing together good shifts before Leier’s injury, and the chemistry, puck movement and possession continued with Leier back in. On the night the line posted a 72.16% combined Corsi For, easily the best number among the four lines.

Raffl in particular had a couple of golden chances to breakthrough with a goal, but he tipped a pass through Craig Anderson’s legs and out the other side of the crease. He’s still looking for a goal, as is Leier, but their metrics show that it’s only a matter of time before they start seeing pucks in the back of the net.

6. The two goal reviews were killers for the Flyers

The Flyers were victim to a pair of disallowed goals on the night, which would have given them a 6-5 road win if they’d had both counted (noting, though, that had the first one counted, the second one — “scored” with an extra attacker for the Flyers — may not have happened). On the first one Jordan Weal parked in front of Senators goalie Craig Anderson and made contact with the goalie slightly before leaving the crease and watching Brandon Manning’s point shot go in.

On review, Anderson basically sought out the contact with Weal and turned immediately to the nearest referee after Manning’s shot beat him. Even though Weal’s contact with Anderson probably didn’t effect Anderson’s ability to make the save, the call was overturned and the goal was disallowed.

The second one would have given the Flyers the equalizer at 5-5 with under a minute left. Again, the goal would be disallowed as the referee used the old “intent to blow” call without actually saying it. On the ice he said the play was “complete” as the puck appeared to be covered by Anderson’s glove, but the replay showed the puck clearly in the net and not under Anderson’s control.

While both hurt, the intent to blow the whistle call just sucks and the Flyers deserved better after again battling back from a three-goal deficit.

7. The passing wasn’t crisp, good, whatever

There wasn’t a lot of tape-to-tape passing from the Flyers in this one, but there wasn’t even a ton of clean passes until later in the third period. Whether that on “D-to-D” passes or just feeds in the neutral zone from forwards, rarely did the Flyers breakdown the Senators via the pass.

At times the Flyers go through stretches like this where they struggle to make simple passing plays, and in these moments I wish there was a percentage of passes completed like their is in soccer. If there was, there’s no way the Flyers would have posted a respectable percentage in that game.

8. Who’s on the left? Who’s on the right? Does it even matter?

A lot was made on social media about whether or not Ivan Provorov was playing on the left or right side of the Flyers’ defense. Playing with Shayne Gostisbehere proved to provide quite the intrigue as both defenseman have the green light to jump in on the offense at will.

What ended up happening was Provorov and Gostisbehere changing sides of the ice quite frequently. As Charlie O’Connor points out, that’s probably more a product of the two having the freedom to switch sides and improvise more than anything else.

In the end, it didn’t matter who was on which side as the pair combined for three points (one goal, two assists) in their first extended action together.

9. The Flyers’ shot selection at 5-on-5 was better

 via NaturalStatTrick.com

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Flyers’ shots at 5-on-5 were much closer to the danger area of the front of the net in this one. The old adage in hockey says that you need to get to the dirty areas to score goals, and it’s true for a Flyers team that often spends too much of their time at even strength firing shots from the outside.

But in this one you can see the Flyers generating more shots from in close, especially at even strength, which is encouraging as they try to improve their efficiency in that area instead of mostly relying on the power play.

10. Craig Anderson stole this one for the Senators

The 15-year veteran sold the interference call on Weal to deny the Flyers a goal and then denied them in several other instances with timely saves. In the end he stopped 36 of 40 shots (officially) and made a few huge saves late on Valtteri Filppula to keep the Flyers from tying things up.

Apart from that, Anderson is a stand up guy who was easy to root for in the Senators’ run to the Eastern Conference Final as his wife, Nicholle, batted cancer much of the season.

Some things are bigger than hockey, folks.

***

Here’s BSH Radio’s Bill Matz’ reaction to the proceedings from Ottawa:

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Thursday, October 26, 2017




[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 10:31:45 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles v. 49ers Week 8: Five Friday

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Squint and pretend the picture is Agholor. I don’t ask for much.

‘Sup, team!

Welcome to the first-ever, special edition of Five Friday For Sures that we like to call “Suck It, NFL.”

Suck it, NFL, for all having worse records than the Philadelphia Eagles. Suck it doubly for not drafting Carson Wentz, if you’re a team who coulda, shoulda, woulda done that. Also suck it, NFL, if you hired a coach in 2016 not named Doug Pederson.

Y’all know me pretty well by now—I’m not usually much of a taunting guy. But, as a junior in college, I can only just remember the 5-straight NFC Championship era in Philadelphia. Sure, I’ve got the spotty playoff berths of up-and-down Andy, as well as that initial glimmer of hope from first-year Chip, but all in all, I haven’t known sustained success as a post-elementary school Eagle fan.

We can’t call the Pederson-Wentz era “sustained success” just yet, but we can comfortably say that looks to be the direction we’re heading. Some sizable question marks loom on the horizon of the offseason: contracts are due to a few key contributors, such as LB Nigel Bradham and DT Timmy Jernigan, while decisions have to be made regarding WR Alshon Jeffery and LB Mychal Kendricks.

Of greater concern? The potential outflow of coaching talent from Philadelphia. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp and DC Jim Schwartz both have head coach potential—don’t be surprised if OC Frank Reich gets his name in there, either. RB coach Duce Staley wants to start climbing the ladder of offensive minds, while QB coach John DeFilippo simply deserves a whack at coordinating an offense.

As such, I must reel myself in—can’t settle into the comfort of a perennially-competitive Eagles team just yet. That said...ooh! I can smell it. We’re close.

1) A doggone TE throwback touchdown

If you’re just joining us, I’ve been predicting a Brent Celek touchdown incessantly.

From Week 5
From Week 7

When pressed on the matter, I finally tipped my hand:

Firstly, the TE throwback is up there with HB wheel as the greatest, most-undefeated plays in NFL history. Alone, at the pinnacle of all plays, is the OT throwback—similar to the TE throwback, but also different in every way, breathtaking to behold, and full of whimsy.

While the OT throwback requires truly unique personnel (read: an OT), every team should be required by the league to run a TE throwback in the red zone at least once in the season. If you’re unfamiliar with the TE throwback:

It cannot be stopped. You cannot ask a defender to respond to play-action flow to one side, then all of the passing concepts to the other side, then notice the TE leaking out to the original side, and go cover him. That’s too much mental processing.

However, not unlike the final 20 minutes of your favorite superhero movie, you only get one shot at this. Try to run the TE throwback one too many times, and defenders will start to expect it.

Why, then, would Philadelphia run their TE throwback against San Francisco, a team they should handily beat with their regular playbook?

Because I really want to see the TE throwback. Keep the fans happy, Doug.

2) 2017 Nelson Agholor standing over the corpse of 2016 Nelson Agholor

Let’s go. This is some Looper featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis nonsense.

Fun fact: Nelson Agholor has caught a touchdown in his last three games. Funner fact: So has Zach Ertz. Funnest fact: Both have 5 TDs on the season, tied for second-most receiving TDs in the NFL.

It’s certainly possible that Ertz continues to feast on Sunday. Maybe he even scores another TE (on a TE throwback, perchance?)--but I like Agholor in the slot against either K’Waun Williams, who is playing errghblech football as of late. If K’Waun can’t go (DNP on Thursday: quads) expect either Leon Hall, who SF has already cut this season, or Jimmie Ward, who is, um, not a cornerback.

2016 boundary Nelly has been slowly, mercilessly strangled by rebranded 2017 slot Nelly—Week 8 marks his final breath. Agholor reels in 2—count ‘em!—2 touchdowns en route to a league-leading 7 TDs on the season. One goes for 50+ yards.

3) Ronald freakin’ Darby

I feel it in my bones. Thunderstorms aren’t the only thing on the horizon for Sunday kickoff. The dawn of Darby is nigh.

Really, I haven’t the faintest regarding Darby’s potential activation, though I can say this—I wouldn’t be surprised if Darby’s active, but at the bottom of the depth chart, and only sees time if San Fran makes this game competitive.

That being said, the Eagles’ staff certainly wants to see him active against Denver next week, when Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders come to town. It’d be nice to get him some live work before then. If he’s healthy enough to go, expect at least some Darby reps.

We should take a moment here to discuss the fact that NFL players’ names often sound absurdly different when you remove the last name.

Ronald.

Now, I am a very small person. I run cross-country, regularly take a box home from the restaurant, and was once beat up by a girl (no shame. Girls are awesome and terrifying). But I can tell you that the name Ronald sends precisely zero quivers of fear to my heart.

I have similar feelings about Rodney, Nelson, and Wendell, by the way. The Eagles’ defensive line sounds like a frat house, for goodness sake: Fletcher, Brandon, Timmy, and Derek. Don’t even get me started on the backups: Destiny and Beau? Sounds like a duo of teenage girls who do a capella covers of pop songs on YouTube.

4) Some freakin’ sacks

Once you attach the last names, the Eagles’ front four is downright frightening. They are the first thing for which opponents prepare every week (though Carson is beginning to challenge that fact).

The lack of sack numbers likely stems, in part, from that very fact: Teams are so fearful of Philadelphia’s rush, they scheme to avoid it at all costs. Whether that entails the QB releasing the ball before he even finds the laces (lookin’ at you, Eli) or keeping extra protection in the backfield, Philadelphia ranks 13th in the NFL with 2.6 sacks/game (18 on the season).

That’s a respectable number, but this pass-rush isn’t the 13th best in the league—it’s better.

How do you increase sack numbers? Facing a rookie QB helps: C.J. Beathard (pronounced beh-thurd, not...beat-hard) makes his second-career start against Philadelphia, having been sacked by Dallas a resounding five times last week.

5, for those of you playing at home, is more than 2.6.

But the bigger storyline to watch is the return of Ronald (didn’t dawn of Darby sound so much cooler?!). Improved CB play—especially near the line of scrimmage—prevents that quick ball from the pocket, which gives Philadelphia more time to generate pressures and sacks.

Let’s Oprah it up: 2 sacks for Fletcher Cox, 1 for Brandon Graham, 1.5 for Timmy Jernigan, .5 for Derek Barnett, and 1 for Vinny Curry.

5) Carnage

Philly should jump out early in this one, and keep it that way all game long. It’d be nice to see this game put away by the middle of the 3rd quarter, but Pederson’s Eagles have always tended to let teams back into games. That’s the question for me, coming in: can the Eagles simply trounce an inferior opponent?

The Niners have lost 5 games this season by 3 points or less—they’re just aching for a win, and if you let them hang around the best team in the NFL, they’ll get quite motivated. We don’t need that drama.

So, give me Carson with 3 tuddies (his fourth game in a row, which would be an Eagle record): two to Agholor, and one to (insert TE name here). I also like the D/ST for a TD, something they’ve failed to do since Week 1 against Washington. Give Malcolm Jenkins (who’s playing simply smashing ball) a pick-six, and throw in an INT for Mychal Kendricks and good measure.

LeGarrette Blount was quiet in Week 7—Week 8 he only accumulates 60 yards, as Corey Clement’s confidence increases with another strong performance (60 scrimmage yards). I think SF scores a bit late, once the game is out of reach—the absence of Jordan Hicks will be felt—and finishes the game 34-24.

Big V, you ask? Doesn’t allow a single sack.

*mic drop*

*scrambles to pick up mic; BLG hates it when I leave them lying around*

[BLG Note: I do.]





[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 11:30:39 EDT from rss

Subject: Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 8

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Helping you pick your lineups.

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

The newest and best app to play weekly Fantasy Football is DRAFT! Sign up now with the promo code BGNR and play a real money game for FREE! You win 80% more on Draft than regular salary cap sites! Don't like it? No problem, they guarantee your money back up to $100 if you don't.

QUARTERBACK

START

Matt Ryan (@ NYJ) – Want to guess how many times Ryan has thrown for more than one touchdown in a game this season? You don't? *Clears throat* You're kind of ruining my thing here. You don't care? Wow. Ouch. Message received – loud and clear. I'll answer the question myself: One. ONE GAME. Here are Ryan's game-by-game TD totals: 1, 2, 1, 1, 1. He's just been...bad. Really, really bad. You may be asking yourself, “Why would Seltz be crapping all over Ryan if he's in the starts section? Did Seltz eff up and put Ryan in the wrong place? I bet he did. That guy's the worst.” That got weird. I have no idea why I took it there. I'm sure it has something to do with deep-seated psychological issues or something. But who cares about that, back to Matt Ryan. Guess what, you were wrong, dear readers. I did in fact mean to put Matty Ice (lol always) as a start and here's why, he can't be this bad. #Analysis. Seriously though, the dude was the freaking MVP last season! Ryan is the consensus ranked #10 QB despite facing a Jets defense that has allowed the most passing touchdowns in the league. I think this is the week he finally exceeds his expected value and potentially gets Atlanta's season back on track.

DeShaun Watson (@ SEA) – Watson has accounted for 17 touchdowns (15 passing, 2 rushing) in the five and half games he's played. He has a high floor thanks to his rushing ability and has shown a knack for making plays out of nothing – kind of like a certain ginger whose team has the best record in the league, except Watson obviously isn't as good. Yet despite all this, Watson is the consensus #13 QB this week. This seems like a clear overreaction to a matchup with a Seattle defense that has played well against QB's. However, if you look a little deeper aka not really that deep just at Seattle's schedule, you'll see that they haven't exactly faced a murderer's row of quarterbacks. You know what, since I'm such a great guy, I'm not even going to make you look it up. I got you. You're welcome. After a Week 1 tilt with Aaron Rodgers, here's the non-murderer's row of QB's the Seahawks have faced: Brian Hoyer, Marcus Mariota, Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff, Eli Manning. So, yeah. I think I've made my point.

SIT

Drew Brees (vs. CHI) – Ok, before you freak out on me, read the disclaimer at the top of the page. I'm not saying to sit Brees in seasonal leagues. Brees at home is impossible to sit. So...why the hell is he a “sit”? Fair question. Very fair. Here's why, because I said so. Just kidding. Well, I mean, that is kind of true. I am the one writing this and thus saying he's a sit. But that's not what I meant...obviously. What I meant is, as the consensus #3 QB (and a high-priced option in DFS formats), Brees is being overvalued for a number of reasons. One, he's steering an offense that has become decidedly more run-heavy than it used to be. Two, Brees has been good, but not great. Three, the Bears' pass defense has actually been pretty good. Four, the Bears' ball control offense (aka never let Mitch throw) should speed up the game and not give New Orleans' offense too many opportunities to put up points. Five, I don't have a five. Four is enough. Let's go with four.

Matthew Stafford (vs. PIT) – Now is the point where I rip myself for being long-winded and promise to do a better job – Andy Reid style. Fair warning, I'm rarely successful in my attempts at brevity, but I swear I'll try. In that vein...The last time we saw Stafford he was hobbling around like...well...someone who hobbles. Granted, he's had a bye week to recuperate, but he'll be without his best weapon (Golden Tate) and facing a Pittsburgh pass defense that has allowed the least passing YPG this season. Alright, that was a little better. Let's keep this brevity train rolling.

RUNNING BACK

START

Chris Thompson (vs. DAL) – Thompson has been low-key awesome. He's averaging 96.5 total YPG and has scored 5 touchdowns in six games. He's really good. More importantly, the Cowboys’ defense is not good. In fact, it's hot garbage. Gross, smelly, disgusting garbage. And this week, Chris Thompson gets to take out the trash! Nope. Just...no. Let's move on.

LeGarrette Blount (vs. SF) – There are 32 teams in the NFL. 31 of them have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Niners. Translation: LeGarrette Blount gonna eat. And let's be real, the man clearly knows how to eat. Just look at him. Add in a potential nor'easter (likely limiting the passing game) and the Eagles chance at jumping out to an early lead, and Blount makes for a terrific play in what should (better) be an easy Eagles victory. #GoBirds

SIT

Carlos Hyde (@ PHI) – What I said for Blount but the exact opposite. The Eagles have allowed the least rushing YPG in the league. The Niners will likely be playing from behind. Hyde isn't good at eating...probably. Well, he's certainly not as good as Blount. In spite of all this, Hyde is the consensus #11 RB. That's I-N-S-A-N-E. Hyde has failed to reach double digit fantasy points in three of the last four weeks (standard scoring). That will become four out of five after the Eagles are done with him.

Tevin Coleman (@NYJ) – Coleman is the consensus #21 running back and I have no idea why. Not only is he banged up with a knee (hehe), but he hasn't been getting enough of a workload to justify such a high ranking. And sure, you could argue the matchup with the Jets is so good that both Falcons RB's will be successful. I wouldn't, but you could. I love Devonta Freeman this week (and clearly Matt Ryan), but I'm down on Coleman, especially considering his gimpy knee.

WIDE RECEIVER

START

Alshon Jeffrey (vs. SF) – Last week I said, “This is it, you guys. It's finally happening. This will be the Alshon Jeffrey bust out week and I cannot freaking wait.” Welp, that wasn't the best call. For what it's worth, I had a pretty good week otherwise, but this miss hurt. I want a monster performance from Alshon so bad. I need it. As a result, I'm doubling down. This is the week it'll happen! Lol. I hope. But the Niners' pass defense has been atrocious, and Alshon seems like the kind of receiver who'd be good in a nor'easter. Right? Doesn't he seem like a nor'easter kind of wide receiver? Ok. I'm clearly too emotionally involved in this one – take this recommendation with a grain of salt. Let's move on.

Adam Thielen (@ CLE) – In case you didn't know, this game is in London. Yup. We sent the Vikings and Browns to London because, obviously, we want British people to hate football. I mean, what other explanation is there? After this barn burner on Sunday, here's list of teams that will have played across the pond this season: Vikings, Browns, Jaguars, Ravens, Saints, Dolphins, Rams, Cardinals. I rest my Case...Keenum. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Back to fantasy – the Browns pass defense is terrible. They've allowed 14 touchdowns through the air (second-most in the NFL) and have done the league's worst job of defending opponent's number one receivers, according to Football Outsiders. Thielen is the Vikings #1 WR (25 targets over the last two weeks) and is good at football. Ipso facto.

Bonus Sleeper Start:

Ju Ju Smith-Schuster (@ DET) – I'll keep this short and sweet. What Ju Ju wants, Ju Ju gets.

SIT

Amari Cooper (@ BUF) – Amari Cooper is a jerk. I guarantee you that's what the majority of his fantasy owners are thinking. He was a high pick in drafts, but played so poorly over the first six weeks of the season that he was on many a bench when he busted out for an 11 catch, 210 yard, 2 touchdown performance in Week 7. That's infuriating. However, it's far more infuriating that everyone seems to have jumped right back on the Amari bandwagon after one big week – he's the consensus #14 WR! That is way too high, even in a week with six teams on bye. Outside of last week, the Bills have a done a nice job defending the pass, and the Raiders are traveling west-to-east for a 1pm start. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let Amari make you sorry. Yup. I went there. And I'd do it again. Don't believe me?

Tyreek Hill (vs. DEN) – Tyreek will make you reek. Damn. That was a spectacular failure. I'm incredibly embarrassed. Please forget this ever happened. Hill faces a terrific Denver pass defense. I think they shut him down. I'm going to leave it at that. I want to distance myself from the reek thing as quickly as possible. Crap, I just brought it up again. Forget about that one too.

TIGHT END

START

Jason Witten (@ WAS) – Jason Witten is ageless. Or not human. One or the other for sure. Either way, he's having his best season in years. He's the #6 scoring fantasy tight end and is third in targets (averaging 7 per game). Only one other team has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than the Washington *Redacted because it's racist*s. Somehow, Witten is only the consensus #10 tight end even though he's facing them – and again, he may be a robot or something. If that's not enough for you, I don't know what is. #StartRobotWitten

Kyle Rudolph (@ CLE) – The Browns are almost as bad at defending tight ends as Washington, allowing the third-most fantasy points to them. Kyle Rudolph is a tight end who facing the Browns. He's also gotten 25 targets over the last three weeks, which is more than every other tight end in the league not named Cameron Brate. As a result – hold on to your hats, terrible joke coming your way – you can feel good about Rudolph guiding your fantasy sleigh in Week 8. Hey, I warned you.

SIT

Jimmy Graham (vs. HOU) – Jimmy Graham has been aight. He's played six games this season and they went something like this: He sucked super hard in the first two, was mediocre the next two, and scored a touchdown in each of the last two. Obviously, any rational person can see that he's going to start his cycle of two's over and have back-to-back terrible games. I kid, I kid. In all honesty, Graham hasn't impressed me yet and the Texans have done a decent job defending tight ends. As the consensus #5 tight end, Graham is simply overvalued considering his production to date. But really it's the two's thing.

Tyler Kroft (vs. IND) – Kroft is as anonymous as it gets. Until a couple weeks ago, no one had even heard of the guy. More importantly, he's a Bengals tight end not named Tyler Eifert. Even though Kroft has had some moderate success, he's way over-ranked as the consensus #11 tight end – he's only garnered nine targets over the last two weeks and is massively touchdown-dependent.

DEFENSE

START

Pittsburgh Steelers (@ DET) – You already know how I feel about Matthew Stafford. Take that and extend it to the rest of the Lions offense. Plus, Pittsburgh is undervalued as the consensus #8 defense because they are legit and match up well with a less than dynamic Lions offense.

SIT

New Orleans Saints (vs. CHI) – The Bears are going to run, run, and run some more. That means less opportunities for turnovers and sacks. It's as simple as that.

KICKER

START

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

SIT

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

...

The newest and best app to play weekly Fantasy Football is DRAFT! Sign up now with the promo code BGNR and play a real money game for FREE! You win 80% more on Draft than regular salary cap sites! Don't like it? No problem, they guarantee your money back up to $100 if you don't.





[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 11:00:04 EDT from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 5-4 loss in Ottawa

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The Flyers outscored the Senators 6-5 but somehow leave Canada’s capital without a point

Sean Couturier was all over the place, racking up three points (officially), Jake Voracek found the back of the net for the first time this season, the new Shayne Gostisbehere - Ivan Provorov pairing combined for a goal and two assists (officially), and yet somehow the Flyers dropped the game, 5-4, to the Ottawa Senators.

Bill Matz gives his postgame reactions to a contest marred by controversy, as Philadelphia had two clear goals denied by questionable replay decisions, while Radko Gudas was assessed a game misconduct for “charging” Chris Wideman.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Thursday, October 26, 2017





[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 10:36:39 EDT from rss

Subject: The Flyers Got Jobbed Last Night

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Gather around folks, gather around. Give me a second to drag my soap box into position. O.K. now spread out, give me room to climb up on there… I’ve got a lot to say. All right. Thank you all for coming. I’m going to take a swig of water here first before I say anything…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/JZqqM0S9xRE/the-flyers-got-jobbed-last-night.html

[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 13:33:49 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-49ers Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy

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Previewing the Eagles’ Week 8 matchup.

The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are set to square off this week. It’s a matchup between the team with the best record in the NFL and the team with the worst record in the NFL.

In order to preview the Eagles’ Week 8 game against the 49ers, I reached out to our enemies over at Niners Nation. The legendary David Fucillo kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game. Let's take a look at the answers. (Also don't forget to check out my Q&A exchanges over at Niners Nation.)

1. The 49ers are 0-7 but they had that recent run where they became the first team to lose five games in a row by three points or fewer. Is it fair to say this San Francisco team is a little tougher than their record indicates?

I think a lot of 49ers fans thought that, and then they went and got pummeled by the Dallas Cowboys. I don't think the 49ers are 40-10 loss to the Cowboys bad, but that game might have firmly encapsulated the worst case scenario for this team right now.

Their margin of error is fairly slim, so when they make mistakes, it is likely to cost them more than better teams. After forcing a three-and-out to open the game, the 49ers fumbled the punt return. That was followed by a touchdown. The 49ers then went three and out, and that was followed by another Cowboys touchdown. Less than halfway into the first quarter, the 49ers were down 14-0. They were down 20-3 late in the first half, but had driven into the Cowboys red zone. They had a chance to cut the lead to 10, and would get the ball back to open the second half. Instead, C.J. Beathard was strip-sacked on a play where he had a wide open receiver in the end zone, but the somewhat reliable tackles couldn't contain the Cowboys pass rushers. It was all but over at that point.

The 49ers had played those previous five games incredibly close. They had chances to win all five of them, and while Arizona and Indianapolis are not good teams, Seattle, LA, and Washington are all in the playoff hunt. In each of those games, something notable went against the 49ers. For example, against LA and Washington, they were flagged for questionable offensive pass interference calls on end of game drives that moved them out of game-winning field goal position. You never want to put the game in the hands of the referees, but also, good teams often overcome crappy calls. The 49ers are not a good team, and so calls like that are more difficult to overcome.

A couple changes here and there, and the 49ers very well could be 3-4 or 4-3. But they say you are what your record is. In this case, the 49ers could have won games, but simply could not get enough done to do it. They fell behind or they made a dumb mistake, or they couldn't overcome something out of their control. The 49ers have some talented players, but not nearly enough. As more in-house talent develops, and they add more players next offseason, I think we start to see some of these close games change.

2 - So what's the deal with the quarterback situation? Was benching Brian Hoyer for C.J. Beathard the right move? Is playing Beathard worse for the short-term but potentially better with the long-term in mind?

The decision to switch to rookie QB CJ Beathard was the right move. Once the 49ers were 0-5 and looking bad again on offense against Washington, I can see why the switch was made. Brian Hoyer had a nice little run in Cleveland with Kyle Shanahan in 2014, and then had some solid performances in Chicago last year before he got hurt. The hope was that he could be just competent enough to squeeze out some wins this year. Instead, nothing really went consistently right for Hoyer and the offense. His accuracy has been an issue, and he has struggled with happy feet in the pocket. At the same time, the offensive line has been inconsistent, and his receivers have dropped way too many passes. Not everything is on him, but for a rebuilding team, there was not much else they could expect to get from Hoyer this season.

I don't actually know if playing Beathard is worse for the short term. He can make most of the same throws as Hoyer, and I think he offers a little bit more mobility. Beathard has to work on his internal play-clock, but I don't think he has the same happy feet issues as Hoyer. Let's be honest, the bar was pretty low with Hoyer. Releasing NaVorro Bowman was an example of getting worse in the short term but better in the long term. The QB change does not strike me as quite the same.

As for the long term, I think it is almost guaranteed to be better because of this. Whether Beathard emerges as a clear option or not, the 49ers are going to get some kind of idea about what he can do over the final half of the season. Next offseason is a huge one for the 49ers for two reasons: 1) Kirk Cousins could come available, and we all know his history with Kyle Shanahan, and 2) the 2018 draft class features quite a few potential quarterback options, and the 49ers will have a high first round pick. The 49ers need to know what Beathard offers so they can make a properly informed decision next offseason. Beathard has not shown anything to suggest he is the clear future, but with nine games left, we can get more of an idea about that. If he is, I still think they draft a quarterback, but maybe they wait until the second or third round (or move up into the back of the first round with their four picks between the second and third rounds). If he is not, maybe Kirk Cousins or one of the high profile college quarterbacks is their guy.

3 - Some Eagles fans have expressed interest in trading for Carlos Hyde and/or Joe Staley. What do you think it would take to get those players? And do you think the 49ers will re-sign Hyde or let him hit free agency after this season?

The trade deadline will be an interesting one for the 49ers. They have proven they have no qualms unloading veterans they don't see as part of their future. I actually think safety Eric Reid is the most likely candidate to be traded given the depth at safety. The 49ers lack depth at running back and offensive line. But, given the rebuilding process, I imagine they are listening to offers on anybody.

Carlos Hyde: I am inclined to think the 49ers will not extend Hyde at this point. He's finding success in the 49ers run and pass game, but we have also started to see 2017 UDFA Matt Breida getting more work on offense. I don't know that Breida is an every down back, but with plenty of draft picks next year, I could see the 49ers looking to add another middle or late round pick. Past performance is not indicative of future returns, but Kyle Shanahan and Bobby Turner have done well with under-the-radar players at running back. If they think Saquon Barkley can be a true stud running back, maybe they invest their top pick in him. But if not, I could see them going a lot of other directions.

As far as doing a Hyde deal, if they were comfortable with it, I could see them dealing him for a day three pick. Adrian Peterson netted the Saints a conditional sixth round pick, and right now Hyde is better than Peterson. Maybe a fourth for him? I would like more, but given that he is in his walk year, could the 49ers really expect more than a day three pick? Given the lack of trades in the NFL, it is hard to real offer a draft pick valuation for a player. But given the AP trade, we at least have something to base a valuation on.

Joe Staley: The 49ers are rebuilding, but with a young QB now, and potentially either Kirk Cousins or a young QB next year, I can't see them dealing away a left tackle who remains a rock on the offensive line. He has his miscues from time to time, but I think he is still one of the five or six best left tackles in the NFL. That being said, if the price is right, I could see them dealing Staley. However, given that Staley is showing no signs of slowing down, and is signed through 2019 at reasonable prices, I can't imagine that price is lower than a first or second round pick. Again, it's hard to put a firm valuation on this, so I could be way off. But given his performance and contract, I just can't see them settling for much less.

4 - Which one Eagles player would you steal if you could have them on the 49ers? Which 49ers player would you put on the Eagles if you were trying to help Philly?

I would steal back Ricky Watters! The 49ers eventually found Garrison Hearst, but having to put up with back-to-back years of Derek Loville and Terry Kirby still has me salty.

But seriously, the obvious choice would be Carson Wentz. The 49ers don't know if CJ Beathard is a guy they can build around, and while he might prove decent, I'd happily take Wentz off your hands. The 49ers QB situation has been a mess for some time. Alex Smith started to develop into something in 2011 and 2012, then got hurt and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. He looked like the next big thing in 2012 and 2013, struggled in 2014, got hurt in 2015, bounced back a little in 2016, and is out of the league now. So yea, the 49ers would take Carson Wentz.

On the other side of the ball, cornerback Patrick Robinson would be my choice. He seems to be playing well at cornerback, and the 49ers have struggled with consistency there. Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson can do strong work in coverage, but the inconsistency is maddening. I don't follow the Eagles defense well enough to say this with certainty, but I feel like he would be an upgrade to the 49ers pass defense.

As for helping the Eagles? On offense, Joe Staley is the easy answer after Jason Peters' unfortunate injury. He would solidify the left side, and allow the Eagles to leave Lane Johnson on the right side. It's too obvious. On defense, I would say defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan seem solid enough, but in spite of a low sack total, Buckner is among the NFL leaders in pressures by non-edge rushers. He consistently gets into the backfield, and as only a second year player, has an enormous ceiling. He would be an immediate upgrade to the Eagles defense.

5 - What’s one matchup that really favors the Eagles? And one that really favors the 49ers?

When you're a 13 point favorite, it's safe to say most matchups are in your favor! While I suggested the Eagles add DeForest Buckner to their defensive interior, I think the current guys should be able to do some damage against the 49ers interior offensive line. The 49ers three interior linemen have been the primary reason for offensive line struggles. Tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown have given up some bad plays at times, but guards Brandon Fusco and Laken Tomlinson, and center Daniel Kilgore have been inconsistent at best. Add in Fusco dealing with an injury that has him questionable, and we might see the return of the immortally awful Zane Beadles in there. I could see the Eagles getting pressure on C.J. Beathard up the middle, and giving the 49ers interior run game problems.

The 49ers pass rush has been a question mark, but they've gotten some good work from Elvis Dumervil off the edge. With the loss of Jason Peters and the shake-up that will result, I could see Dumervil having a shot at making some noise off the edge. The 49ers need to figure out ways to disrupt Carson Wentz's timing where they can, and Dumervil might be their best option at this point.

Bonus: Who wins this game and why? What's your score prediction? How can the 49ers pull off an upset?

I am not a fan of laying the points with a double digit favorite. And considering the line was projected at 10.5 and has since climbed to 13 (and 14 in a couple sportsbooks), it seems like a bit much. That being said, the Eagles are really good and the 49ers are not. I do think the 49ers could find some ways to keep this game close, but it's hard for me to go out on a limb with them. My heart says the 49ers lose this by 10 or less, but my brain says this is a bit more of stinker of a loss, something like 34-17, with Philadelphia generally in control.

That being said, I rest a lot of my hopes on Philadelphia having a bit of a letdown. Y'all are coming off a pair of fairly big back-to-back wins. Going into Carolina for a win and then winning a big divisional matchup against Washington probably has the team feeling really good about themselves. Maybe a little too good? I think the best hope for a real letdown would have been with a bye next week for Philadelphia, but who knows, maybe the Eagles are looking ahead a little bit.

If the 49ers are going to spring an upset, or at least cover the spread, they need to get a few things right. There are the obvious things like getting pressure on Wentz and establishing the running game against a very solid Eagles rushing defense. On defense, the 49ers need to contain the Eagles running backs in the passing game. That has been a major weakness for the 49ers. If Darren Sproles was still healthy, he would have been a big key, and the matchup I would have said really favors the Eagles. But Wendell Smallwood could have himself a day if the Eagles get him the ball out of the backfield. On offense, C.J. Beathard needs solid time in the pocket, and needs to improve his internal play-clock. He can make plays, but he will deal with a lot of pressure. The Cowboys brought more pressure than they normally do, which makes sense against a rookie quarterback. The 49ers need to game-plan accordingly, and maybe that keeps them close.





[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 14:22:26 EDT from rss

Subject: Sony Michel should not have to play second fiddle in the NFL

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Get to know this college prospect.

The state of Georgia is known for peaches, Outkast and running backs.

Ever since the dawn of time, UGA has had the most productive running backs in college football; From Herschel Walker to Knowshon Moreno to Todd Gurley. Now, people know how damn good Nick Chubb is, but the Bulldogs have an embarrassment of riches waiting in the wings behind him.

Most notably is fellow senior Sony Michel. Michel has spent his entire career in relief in Chubb and only once did he get a featured role when Chubb got injured halfway through 2015. Because of this, Michel has only one season where he eclipsed 200 carries. A season where he averaged over five yards per carry on his way to an 1,100 yard, eight touchdown season where he also chipped in 270 receiving yards. Despite this one season where he really got to show his stuff, Michel has played Robin to Chubb’s Batman.

Of course, it is important to know that his place on the depth chart should not be an indictment of Michel. Nick Chubb is so damn good and you can count on one hand the running backs in the country that would start over him. So, despite the small sample size, it is important to evaluate Michel as an NFL talent... Because there is no doubt he deserves a bulk of carries in the league.

During his career, Sony has always been seen as the “lightning” to Nick Chubb’s “thunder” and it is easy to see why. Michel moves easily through college defense; accelerating immediately with the speed to pull away at the second level. His agility seems effortless as well, as he turns corners and changes angles without losing steam.

Up until this season however, it was fair to argue that the 215 pound running back lacked a certain physicality. Not for lack of effort, but he had a tendency to go down too often at first contact; something that impedes a lot of backs from getting featured roles in the NFL. However, there is a notable change this season not only in how Michel looks; but also how he plays.

Michel looks noticeably more muscled up this season and it reflects in his play. While he never shied from contact before; he actually makes an impact when he lowers his shoulder on players. He is bouncing off defenders, breaking arm tackles and rarely loses effort or speed in getting upfield.

Arm tackles at the line of scrimmage are nothing to a full speed Sony Michel and it’s hard not to love him lowering the shoulder on an incoming safety, even if it only generates a few more yards.

Contact at the line of scrimmage rarely slows down Michel. His wiggle and strength are incredibly generative offensively and here he is able to get a touchdown (not fully shown) where a lot of backs would not have been able to speed downfield after that type of early contact.

At this point in his career, Sony Michel only has 503 carries over the course of his three and a half seasons at Georgia. It would be shocking if he finished his career with any more than 650. To give some perspective, Saquon Barkley has 571 carries in one less season of playing and Leonard Fournette had over 600 carries in under three seasons. So, there is a very small sample size for Michel, but there is also very little tread on his tires.

NFL Comparison: While the college production is night and day; Sony Michel reminds me of Kareem Hunt coming out of Toledo. Both are “smaller” backs (5’10” and around 215 pounds) that thrive off of their agility, acceleration and physicality. Hunt was incredibly productive at Toledo, however, as a runner and receiver, but Michel has a Nick Chubb-sized difficulty in getting that same of featured role. Michel could get selected around the same time Hunt was elected, however, because what Michel lacks in production, he makes up for in efficiency against a tougher conference. Similar to Hunt, it would not surprise if Michel thrived if given a featured role in the NFL.

The Eagles should be prioritizing running back, but if they end up missing on some of the top guys; Michel would be a logical mid round player for them to target. While he is not the bruiser the team might need, he has a combination of speed and physicality that could help the offense immediately. His underutilized third down ability would be expanded in the NFL, as well and the Eagles would greatly benefit from that. While Michel will never be mentioned among the top five backs this season; he could massively outperform his draft slot a year from now.





[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 13:44:01 EDT from rss

Subject: This Video Showing The Evolution of Markelle Fultz

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Draft Express has an excellent breakdown of the evolution(?) of Markelle Fultz’s shot, from high school to the NBA. Did you ever play Chutes and Ladders?

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/UtS-cLLyIC8/this-video-showing-the-evolution-of-markelle-fultzs-jump-shot-is-unfortunate.html

[#] Fri Oct 27 2017 15:06:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Checking out the competition: Toronto Maple Leafs with Sean McIndoe

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Kelly is joined by Down Goes Brown himself, Sean McIndoe, to talk about tonight’s game in Toronto

BSH Radio’s Kelly had a chat about tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs with none other than the inimitable Down Goes Brown himself, Sean McIndoe. Still can’t believe it happened, to be honest. Topics include:

  • The kinship of long-suffering hockey fans
  • Confusing decisions by NHL head coaches
  • The underrated brilliance of William Nylander
  • DGB’s long-standing love and affection for Brian Elliott

Tonight’s game will air at 7PM on NBC Sports Philly locally and is the big Hockey Night In Canada to-do up in Southern Ontario. Let’s go Flyers!





[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 07:00:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Jeffrey Lurie defends NFL players

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/28/17.

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

Gaffes, TV ratings concerns dominated as NFL, players forged anthem peace - ESPN
Now, suddenly, Jones found himself in an unfamiliar position: He wasn't getting his way. He knew it, and everyone knew it. Like the numerous reasons behind the protests, the business concerns were nuanced -- one major sponsor had threatened to pull out if the NFL were to issue a mandate to stand. York spoke next. Though Jones and Snyder were angry with him -- they felt that if he had forced Kaepernick to stand a year ago, this crisis could have been averted -- York and Jeffrey Lurie of the Eagles had emerged as thoughtful leaders. Knowing that many of the players who were still kneeling were on his 49ers, York emphasized that he understood the business concerns and that each market was different, and that he had been talking to his players for a long time and would continue to do so. Lurie had spoken up during the meeting, supporting the players' right to kneel.

Carson Wentz Report: Week 7 - BGN
There’s no denying it, he’s legit.

Mailbag: Which Eagles players are early Pro Bowl candidates? - PhillyVoice
Carson Wentz: Duh. He's on pace for 4200-plus passing yards, 39 TDs, 9 INTs, and 448 rushing yards. If the season ended today, he'd be the MVP.

Silva's Week 8 Matchups - Rotoworld
No. 1 overall fantasy passer Carson Wentz enters yet another smash spot against the 49ers, who are hemorrhaging a league-high 70.7 plays per game to enemy offenses, enhancing opponent opportunity for box-score production. Four of the last five quarterbacks to face San Francisco have posted top-ten fantasy weeks, including Kirk Cousins’ QB1 result in Week 6 and last week’s QB2 game by Dak Prescott. The 49ers have also allowed the NFL’s seventh-most rushing yards (118) and a league-high three rushing TDs (3) to quarterbacks. Wentz is the overall QB1 play for Week 8. … The Eagles used four backs in last Monday night’s win over the Redskins, doling out touches and snaps as follows: LeGarrette Blount (14, 38%), Wendell Smallwood (10, 37%), Corey Clement (2, 18%), Kenjon Barner (2, 6%). Blount is the best touchdown bet in the group as a two-score home favorite against a 49ers defense that broke down in DE Arik Armstead’s (hand) Week 7 absence, coughing up a 36/223/6.19/2 rushing line to Cowboys backs. Smallwood offers a slightly safer floor in PPR leagues, although I worry his pass-protection woes will cost Smallwood playing time. He was beaten badly twice in blitz pickup in the win over Washington.

Mufasa returns: To surprise of no one, DeMeco Ryans is now a coach - NBC Sports Philadelphia
This weekend, Ryans will return to Philadelphia as a defensive quality control coach with the 49ers under first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan. Absolutely none of his former teammates still on the Eagles' roster are surprised about Ryans' new profession. "There's nothing but great things to say about DeMeco," Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox said. "He really just helped me become the person that I am. When he was here, he was one of those guys I could go to and talk about anything. It don't even matter if it was about something simple because he just made you feel better afterward. I thought, shoot, DeMeco could probably go back to Alabama and be the AD. That's how much weight his name carried. I don't think anybody would have anything bad to say about him."

Matchups To Keep An Eye On Against 49ers - PE.com
Are you ready for the Mud Bowl? We’ve had Snow Bowl (2013) when the Eagles mashed up the visiting Detroit Lions in eight inches of snow at Lincoln Financial Field. The weather forecast for Sunday is scary, with a confluence of storms about to soak the East Coast ...

'Can't sleep on these guys': Philadelphia Eagles approach Niners game with serious tone - PennLive
Carson Wentz said he pored over video footage of the 49ers' defense this week, just like he does in preparation for every game. The Philadelphia Eagles' second-year quarterback doesn't intend to tinker with his routine or readjust his mindset simply because the opponent rolling into Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday has yet to earn a victory this season. Wentz noticed talent on San Francisco's defense when he studied the film, especially in a defensive front filled with high draft selections. "You turn on the tape, and you wouldn't think that's an 0-7 football team," Wentz said. "We definitely can't sleep on these guys."

Q&A with Joe Banner: On drafting Wentz and blocking John DeFilippo - The Athletic
You've heard me say that the elite teams in the league dominate the offensive line and defensive line, and they get great quarterback play. That's what got the Eagles to 6-1. You can't lose a player that's this good and have it not have an impact — talking about Peters. But you can mitigate the impact. If [Halapoulivaati] Vaitai can come in and play decently, they can help him. What you don't need to have is two tackles that you need to help because that basically shuts down your offense. If you have to help one, you make that commitment. And that's the key. Don't assume that the next guy up will just be OK. You can overcome it, but it's a big loss. It's a big loss on a lot of fronts. He's been a team leader. He's been a guy that you can just give assignments to and not worry about it. I don't think they'll be as good without him, but that doesn't mean they can't still be really, really good. They've just got a lot of positive things happening — obviously the quarterback being, by far, the most important.

Which areas are most impacted by Vaitai replacing Peters? - Daily News
Officially, the Eagles aren’t worried about Halapoulivaati Vaitai replacing franchise legend Jason Peters at left tackle, this Sunday against San Francisco and presumably for the remainder of the season. Doug Pederson confirmed Friday that Vaitai will step in, as previously reported, with Lane Johnson staying at right tackle. Unofficially, it’s complicated. Teammates and coaches do seem to feel Vaitai, a 6-6, 320-pound fifth-round pick in 2016, is ready to play and lacks only experience to become a solid, decent, reliable tackle. But Peters was so much more than that.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz reminds him of Brett Favre - CBS Sports
Carson Wentz has the Philadelphia Eagles sitting at 6-1, the best record in the NFC. He's got 17 touchdown passes through seven games, an Eagles record. His coach, Doug Pederson, is so impressed that he compared the second-year starter to one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football. "A little bit of Brett Favre, honestly," Pederson said, when asked who Wentz reminds him of. "He's got that mentality, he's got that aggressiveness that Brett had. Those are some of the skill sets that I see in Carson. That aggression, that ability to throw the ball down the field. And listen, I love quarterbacks that are willing to take a chance, take a calculated risk down the field. Favre was that way, and I see a lot of the same characteristics in Carson.”

Kyle Shanahan: Trent Brown not expected to play vs. Eagles - Niners Nation
The offensive line has struggled big time in both the running and passing game this season. Brown has been the only consistently strong performer, with even left tackle Joe Staley struggling off and on. Brown hasn’t had a bad game yet, so he will be sorely missed against a tough team like the Eagles.

In what world is Eagles QB Carson Wentz the midseason MVP over Patriots QB Tom Brady? - Pats Pulpit
Booooooooooooo

Miami Dolphins Linebacker Kiko Alonso Scrutinized for Hit on Joe Flacco - The Phinsider
The Miami Dolphins’ dismal performance against the Ravens on Thursday night is still in the spotlight due to linebacker Kiko Alonso’s vicious hit on quarterback Joe Flacco. David Steele of Sporting News gathered comments from those close to action after the game, and things aren’t looking good for Alonso at this point.

Fixing the NFL's O-Line Problem - Sports On Earth
Other than, "What do you think about the anthem protests?" the following is by far the question that I have been asked the most during this football season from fans, family members, or talking with the hosts of sports talk radio shows across the country: "Why is offensive line play so poor across the NFL?" It's complicated and there are many different reasons, but rather than trying to explain it every time, I thought it made a lot more sense to write it all down so I can just point people in one direction moving forward. Week 7 was just the latest example of how many more teams are "have nots" as opposed to "haves" along the offensive line around the NFL.

Texans’ Bob McNair apologizes for saying NFL can’t have ‘inmates running the prison’ - SB Nation
Expression or not, the optics of an owner essentially describing himself as a prison warden are not great.

...

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[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 11:10:41 EDT from rss

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

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

  • Al-Rasheed Benton, Linebacker, West Virginia: The Mountaineers game against Oklahoma State (12 PM ET on ABC) will likely not have a lot of people thinking about defense. However, it will be the better defense that decides this ranked match up. West Virginia’s senior linebacker, Al-Rasheed Benton is enjoying a breakout season and is coming off a week in which he had 4.5 tackles for a loss in a win. The 6’1”, 238 pound linebacker is rangy, athletic and has an aggressive mindset coming downhill. A big game today could really put him on the map.
  • Jerome Baker, Linebacker, Ohio State: In a game where a lot of people will rightfully focus on Saquon Barkley; Ohio State will need their defensive impact players today to defeat Penn State (3:30 PM ET on Fox). The speedy linebacker will be needed to come downhill to limit Barkley on the ground and it is more than likely he will be depended on to slow Barkley as a pass threat. It is a massive task for the athletic junior defender, but also a great opportunity to raise his profile and help his team get a key win.
  • Allen Lazard, Wide Receiver, Iowa Sate: Iowa Sate is a surprise five win team at this point in the season and is currently sitting pretty: ranked #25 in the country. Their success can be due, in part, to the efforts of their senior wide out Allen Lazard. The massive, 6’5”, 225 pound receiver decided to stay in school after a successful junior year that saw him catch 69 passes (nice) for 1018 yards and seven touchdowns. While this year he has not been leading the passing game in the same fashion; he still affects the game by creating opportunities for his teammates. Despite not leading the team in catches or yards, he has the team lead for touchdowns with five. Iowa State has a huge game today against the #4 TCU Horned Frogs and their playmaking defense (3:30 PM ET on ABC). While Iowa Sate has already pulled off a few upsets this season; TCU is going to be their tallest task. Lazard will need a big game against this stingy unit to give their team a chance and a few big plays against top competition will get a conversation going about him.
  • Bradley Chubb, Edge Defender, NC State: One of the most disruptive players in the country and arguably among the top senior prospects, there is no denying how good Bradley Chubb has been this year. The 6’4”, 275 pound defender has a relentless motor, strong technique and is incredibly physical. Today Chubb will have to get through Notre Dame and one of the best offensive lines in the country (3:30 PM ET on NBC). The Irish have a deadly offense, starting with their running game. Chubb will need another one of his monster games despite going up one of the better blocking units he has faced. Watching him dictate the game for the Wolfpack will be a hell of a show if he gets going.
  • Christian Wilkins, Interior Defender, Clemson: Christian Wilkins had a ton of hype around his name going into this season but the talk has somewhat tapered off in the last few weeks. The 300 pound junior is still very much an impact player, however, and has a chance to help himself and team massively tonight against Georgia Tech (8 PM ET on ABC). Unsurprisingly, Georgia Tech has one of the best running games in the country and they remain an absolute pain in the ass to defend. For a player like Wilkins, being disruptive against the run couldn’t be more important than against an opponent like the Yellow Jackets. After last week’s major upset, Clemson will need to bounce back in a big way. Wilkins commanding the line of scrimmage would go a long way to help Clemson get back on track.




[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 12:03:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. 49ers 2017: Game time, TV schedule, live online streaming, channel, radio, and more

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Learn more about the Philadelphia-San Francisco matchup set to take place on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles own the best record in the NFL. They’re 6-1 through the first seven weeks of the 2017 season.

The San Francisco 49ers own the worst record in the NFL. It’s both them and the Cleveland Browns tied at 0-7.

On Sunday, these two teams will face each other. Something’s got to give.

The Eagles are obviously really big favorites to win this game. They’re the better team. They’re playing at home. They’re not the ones who have to travel from the West Coast to play a 1:00 PM game.

This should be a win for the Birds.

But it’s not always that simple. “Any Given Sunday” is a real thing. The Eagles have been beaten by inferior opponents before. Look no further than “The Joe Webb Game” or “The John Skelton Game.” The Eagles must avoid this week turning into “The C.J. Beathard Game.”

Philadelphia’s defense should be well-equipped to take care of business. They’re the best running-stopping unit in the NFL. If the 49ers can’t throw, that’ll force Beathard to have to carry the 49ers with his arm. That’s a lot to ask of a rookie quarterback making his second carer start.

The Eagles’ run game has the potential to be much more effective. San Francisco has struggled in that area this season; they rank 30th in rushing yards allowed per game. An effective ground attack will make life even easier on MVP candidate Carson Wentz, who should be able to move the ball through the air.

One X-factor in this game is the weather. As of right now, there’s a lot of wind and rain projected for Sunday.

For now, this forecast is essentially a carbon copy of the NYJ game. Likely to be wet, potential for downpours, winds occasionally breezy, but manageable. I won’t know who gets the heaviest of the rain until Sunday morning, it’s just too far out to know the specifics.

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

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 29, 2017

Time: 1:00 PM ET

Channel: FOX

Announcers: Kenny Albert, Charles Davis

Location: Lincoln Financial Field | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NFL Network replay: TBA

Radio: SportsRadio 94WIP | Full listings here

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass

FOX Sports GO

Odds

Per Bovada, the Eagles are heavy favorites to win.

San Francisco 49ers +13 (-110)

Philadelphia Eagles -13 (-110)

History Lesson

The Eagles are 12-18-1 in 31 all-time regular season appearances against the 49ers. These two teams last played in 2014, when Philadelphia lost in San Francisco by a final score of 26 to 21. That was a frustrating game.

Eagles vs. 49ers Game Preview Articles

Eagles vs. 49ers Preview: Trap game or nah?

Eagles-49ers Final Injury Report: Mychal Kendricks set to return, San Francisco banged up

Eagles-49ers Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy

Eagles v. 49ers Week 8: Five Friday “For Sures”

Eagles Injury Report: Mychal Kendricks healthy, Ronald Darby still limited in practice

NFL Picks Week 8 2017: Predictions by Football Writers

Crunching The Numbers: San Francisco 49ers

Eagles will reportedly keep Lane Johnson at right tackle following Jason Peters injury

Eagles release “estimated” injury report ahead of 49ers game

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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)





[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 12:59:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Previewing the Eagles-49ers game

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Listen to BGN Radio on SportsRadioWIP!

BGN Radio, our site's podcast, will be streaming live on SportsRadio 94WIP this afternoon (Saturday, October 28) from 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET. (Click here to listen to us) We’ll be talking about the Philadelphia Eagles and taking your calls! Join the conversation by dialing 888.729.9494. Tweet at us on Twitter: @BGN_Radio.

Brandon Lee Gowton (that’s me), John Barchard, and James Seltzer will be broadcasting live from the Tastykake Studios to talk about the EAGLES’ WEEK 8 GAME AGAINST THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson, the NFC lEast, NFL picks, and much more.

Listen to the WIP show via online stream by [CLICKING HERE] or turning your radio to 94.1 FM. Listen on your phone by downloading the brand new Radio.com app.

Also stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation’s official Facebook page (click here) for any live videos we might do.

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[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 13:00:05 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Leafs preview: Closing out the Canadian road trip

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Will the Flyers fell the Leafs? (sorry)

It’s Hockey Night in Canada, hockey night in Philly, hockey night wherever you’re watching, and the Flyers will swing into Toronto to face off against the Maple Leafs.

Hit with injuries, already, and scrambling to find the most effective lines and pairings, the Flyers dropped their last two games against Anaheim and Ottawa. Late game resurgences have aided them in getting back in contention, but they haven't been able to save them. But things finally seemed to click at the end of Thursday's game, and the Flyers will hope that they can hold onto that momentum and get back on track in Toronto.

Likewise, the Leafs have lost two of their last three games, are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes, and have been hit with some personnel troubles of their own. If their last two practices are to be any indication, they will be without James van Riemsdyk for tonight's game. Marner looks to take van Riemsdyk’s place on the second line, and Kasperi Kapanen has been called up from the Marlies to fill in elsewhere. Given such depth, the Leafs will still prove to be a difficult opponent, and you can get more on this as Kelly checks out the competition with Down Goes Brown.

It’s certain to be a tough match, with much on the line for both sides. This considered, let’s take a look at three things to be thinking about, heading into tonight’s game.

1. No more slow starts, please

One of the biggest obstacles the Flyers have faced in their last few games was the Flyers. They've dug themselves into holes early and had to spend much of their time trying to claw out of them. It seems to be taking them a few shifts to get to a point where they're clicking and able to make anything happen, but opponents are capitalizing while the Flyers try to figure things out. Outside of the first period, they have asserted dominance and held an edge in possession, but what they had given up in the first twenty minutes has not done their hopes of winning any favors.

But with the new lines starting to click, there remains hope that the early game adjustment curve will be shortened or even eliminated, and that they can establish themselves early against an offensively dominant Leafs team.

2. Second line resurgence

A headline of the night will almost certainly be how the Ginger Line will match up against Toronto's first line of Bozak-Matthews-Nylander, but we should also be looking for what the second line will bring to this game. After getting positively thrashed early on Thursday, they were able to come back late, bringing a performance that averaged out to middling. Of course, to a certain degree, this could have been expected, with Simmonds and Weal having been nicked up in the past week or so, and still working to get back to 100 percent. But with production in the middle six still lagging, we will be looking to the second line to take a step up and make their presence known.

3. Defensive stability

With Andrew MacDonald out for the next month or so with a knee injury, it's left the Flyers with some shuffling to do in their defensive pairings. And the results so far have varied. Gostisbehere and Provorov have looked more or less fine and solid as the new top pairing, but the initial groupings of Hagg-Sanheim and Manning-Gudas certainly left something to be desired, and the all rookie line showing some vulnerabilty. But things started to click later in Thursday's game, when Gudas and Sanheim were flipped, and the defense began to settle and fall into place. So far, the indications are that the Flyers will stick with these new new pairings for tonight's game, and we will hope that they have finally found the answer to the puzzle.

You can check out the rest of the Flyers' projected lineup below.

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Filppula - Simmonds

Weise - Lehtera - Konecny

Leier - Laughton - Raffl

Defensemen

Provorov - Gostisbehere

Hagg - Gudas

Manning - Sanheim

Goaltenders

Elliott

Neuvirth





[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 18:30:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers at Maple Leafs lineups, start time, TV, radio, live stream and discussion

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It’s Hockey Night In Canada as the Flyers head to Toronto to face a young but impressive Leafs team.

Tonight’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. ET and can be:

  • Seen locally via NBC Sports Philadelphia (or via stream on the NBC Sports App)
  • Heard via radio locally on 93.3 WMMR
  • Seen in Canada via CBC
  • Seen or heard elsewhere via NHL.tv, NHL Center Ice, or Sirius XM

Projected Flyers lineup:

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Filppula - Simmonds

Weise - Lehtera - Konecny

Leier - Laughton - Raffl

Defensemen

Provorov - Gostisbehere

Hagg - Gudas

Manning - Sanheim

Goaltenders

Elliott

(Neuvirth)

Projected Maple Leafs lineup (via):

Forwards

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander

Marleau - Bozak - Marner

Komarov - Kadri - Brown

Leivo - Moore - Kapanen

Defense

Rielly - Hainsey

Gardiner - Zaitsev

Borgman - Polak

Goalies

Andersen

(McElhinney)





[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 19:56:52 EDT from rss

Subject: How will the Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks injuries impact the Eagles' season?

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A special bonus episode of BGN Radio!





[#] Sat Oct 28 2017 22:56:54 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers 4, Maple Leafs 2: Bouncing back on Hockey Night in Canada

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The Flyers got help up and down the lineup tonight and received a great effort from Brian Elliott as they ended their two-game skid in Toronto.

Tonight, the Flyers headed up to Toronto to try and snap a two-game losing streak as they face the Maple Leafs. And they’d do just that! Solid work by the team’s top line and its goaltender gave the Flyers a 4-2 win, one which should help get rid of the bad taste in the mouth that Thursday’s loss in Ottawa clearly left. Below, you can read as we relive this one via my minute-by-minute thoughts, sort of.

***

6:50 p.m.: The Flyers have lost two games in a row and given up 11 goals in doing so. Their second and third lines are close to nonexistent, and their goaltending has been ... well, it’s been Flyers goaltending. And they’re facing off with the highest-scoring team in hockey in Toronto.

So ... they’re totally winning this one, right?

6:55 p.m.: Strange start to the year for Brian Elliott. Pretty much every game’s either been above-average or terrible by the numbers — not a whole lot of in-between. Tough task for him tonight against a lot of offensive talent in Toronto.

6:58 p.m.: Also, the World-Destroying top-line of the Flyers gets one of its toughest tests of the young season tonight. Auston Matthews and William Nylander ain’t no joke here.

7:10 p.m.: Remember when they said this was going to be a 7 p.m. start? That was fun. (We’re still waiting.)

7:16 p.m.: And we’re FINALLY underway. Flyers’ top line out against Toronto’s third to start it out.

7:22 p.m.: The much-maligned middle-six off to a solid start. Good shift by the Lehtera line early on, with Konecny getting a couple of chances in close.

7:29 p.m.: Oof. Offensive-zone penalty on the Flyers as Sean Couturier trips Connor Brown coming out of the zone. Late whistle there by the ref. Big test early after what’s been a pretty strong start by the Flyers.

7:31 p.m.: And Brian Elliott is really called upon for the first time tonight — and he answers, stopping a wide open Marleau in front on the PK. Marleau beat Hagg to that spot.

7:32 p.m.: Flyers kill the penalty aaaaaaaaaaaand it’s 1-0 Toronto. Matthews sneaks behind Provorov, goes cross-ice to Kadri who beats Elliott. Those kinds of things will happen.

7:34 p.m.: On replay here, Laughton gets caught behind here, but perhaps more curiously what exactly is Gudas doing all the way over on that side of the ice?

7:35 p.m.: And now Marner streaks down the opposite side and rips a dangerous shot that goes high and wide. Things have been going poorly for the Flyers basically ever since that initial penalty by Couturier.

7:38 p.m.: TWO BRANDON MANNING GOALS* IN TWO GAMES LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

* That was a goal. Come on. We all know it.

7:39 p.m.: In plain English: We’re tied 1-1 as Brandon Manning puts the Flyers on the board. Raffl with the pass from the neutral zone to spring Leier, then Laughton makes the cross-ice pass to Manning who whips it home. That’s how you bounce back.

7:43 p.m.: Leafs have been threatening since the Flyers evened things up. This team creates offense out of nowhere about as well as any in the league.

7:49 p.m.: Awwwwwwww, here it goes. Jake’s back. Second goal in two games. 2-1.

7:50 p.m.: What a classic power move by Voracek in front. Put Morgan Rielly and Freddy Andersen on a dang poster.

7:53 p.m.: 2-1 Flyers through one period. Ebb and flow of this one shifted around a bit, but all three goals here were pretty quick strikes. That’s the kind of game you’re going to get in against this team, and so far the Flyers seem up for it — they bounced back well following the first shift or two after Kadri opened the scoring.

8:11 p.m.: We’re underway in the second after a long intermission. Seriously what’s with the long delays bookending periods here? Are Canadian minutes like Canadian dollars where one minute here is like 1.2 minutes there? Do people really want to hear Don Cherry that much in the year of our lord 2017?

8:13 p.m.: Kasperi Kapanen — yes, that one — denied on a 2-on-1 right in front as Elliott slams the door on him. Kapanen beat Sanheim to the front of the net there. Elliott’s been good while facing a number of chances and hectic situations already -

8:14 p.m.: Shayne Gostisbehere takes what we’ll describe as a “good penalty to take”, as he slashes Matthews right in front to prevent what would probably have been a goal otherwise. Do whatcha gotta do, Shayne.

8:16 p.m.: Aaaaand then the Flyers will go on a brief 3-on-5 as another minor is called. Robert Hagg will head to the box as he held Nazem Kadri in the offensive zone, I guess? Kadri — an asshole, for the record — hit the ice reeeeeeal easily there. I get the call, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

8:17 p.m.: What a start to the second PK by Couturier. Wins the faceoff and immediately fires it down ice, then turns around Matthews after he enters the zone again and gets the puck out. 5-on-3 is over.

8:19 p.m.: Outstanding extended penalty kill there by the visitors. A couple of chances by Toronto but about as good of an effort as you can ask for. Featuring a half-decent chance by Scott Laughton, who pinged one off the upper-left corner of the cage.

8:21 p.m.: Nifty shift there by Konecny, who gets the puck in the offensive zone, gets dumped by Polak, and still moves the puck out to the point from his butt to help create a scoring chance.

8:27 p.m.: Sheesh, Auston Matthews is good. Hagg and Manning are right up in his face as he hits the blue line and he still manages to create a chance for himself down near the circle on a shot that pings off the crossbar and out of play.

8:29 p.m.: Jordan Weal shoots up the left side, Sanheim creeps down low and hits Filppula RIGHT IN FRONT OF AN EMPTY NET AND he can’t push it home. Delay of game called on the Leafs, though, and the Flyers will go on the man advantage for the first time this evening as we hit the halfway mark of the contest.

8:32 p.m.: Naturally, right after Filppula blows an easy one in front, he comes back and fires one from the top of the circle that makes it past Andersen and lands bar-down. I guess he heard me? And how does Andersen not stop this? 3-1 good guys.

8:33 p.m.: That goal, by the way, came not long after Ghost was pretty flagrantly boarded (and un-called!) by Leo Komarov. Ghost was a bit slow to get up after the hit, but he had the stretch pass that started that goal so hopefully he’s fine? Something to keep an eye on. (AFTER-THE-FACT UPDATE: Here is that hit. Cripes.)

8:35 p.m.: And there’s your bounce-back. Voracek tries to push Rielly over at the blue line, it doesn’t work, a point shot rebounds out in front and is pushed to Elliott’s right, Ghost gets completely lost, and Kadri beats him to the rebound and gets his second goal of the evening. We’re back within one. Let’s get back to ahead by two? I liked that more?

8:40 p.m.: Leafs’ forecheck has been all over the Flyers on these past couple of shifts since the goal. Don’t let things snowball here.

8:41 p.m.: They won’t! An absolutely obscene pass from Voracek’s own goal line makes it off the boards and out to Giroux at the opposite blue line, Giroux outraces Kadri (GOOD) towards the net, and wires one top-corner past Andersen, who is not having a very good night. Back up two as it’s 4-2, The Philadelphia Team.

8:47 p.m.: Pretty quiet in the few minutes since that goal. The Flyers haven’t won the overall shot-attempts battle this period, but in terms of hitting the net, they’ve outshot Toronto 15-6 so far in the middle frame. Great to see.

8:50 p.m.: A couple of good chances in the final push of the second period as Laughton and Provorov both get shots in there, teaming up with Simmonds and Filppula to get a nice cycle going, but there’s no goal and we’ll go to the third up 4-2.

9:09 p.m.: Getting going here in the third period. 20 minutes away from a really good win against a really good team, but if anyone’s gonna charge back from down in the third period, it’s Toronto. Don’t give ‘em an inch.

9:15 p.m.: One nice chance for Zach Hyman that went off the bar and out, but otherwise a pretty slow start to this third period. How the Flyers would prefer it, you’d think.

9:16 p.m.: Wellllllllp.

The Flyers surely won’t tell us more on the matter here, but with how that hit went, it could be darn near anything that’s sidelining Ghost here. A concussion? A shoulder? Who knows? He played in multiple shifts after the hit on Komarov. Hopefully this is precautionary.

9:18 p.m.: What a spinning pass by Nylander back to Hyman, who proceeds to ... put another one off the bar and out of play. Not his period so far.

9:22 p.m.: Another scrum in front that Elliott covers up quickly. Shot from the point by Rielly was gobbled up before Matthews or Hyman could get to the rebound.

9:24 p.m.: Nearly-broken play following a nice carry up-ice by Couturier still leads to a quality chance by Giroux, who gets a swat at a rebound from Voracek. This line is fun. I like this line.

9:28 p.m.: Defensive pairs sans-Gostisbehere are all over the place. It looks like Manning is taking Gostisbehere’s spot next to Provorov, and Hagg is being used to spell guys on both of those pairs.

9:31 p.m.: What a dang shift by Jordan Weal and Wayne Simmonds to eat pretty close to a minute by just hanging around in the neutral and offensive zones playing keepaway.

9:33 p.m.: Per a graphic on the NBCS Philly broadcast, 19 of the Flyers’ 28 shots on goal tonight have come from defensemen. That’s very 2016-17 of them. Though, per Natural Stat Trick, they’re still getting some solid volume from right in front as well.

 via NaturalStatTrick.com

We’ll ... talk about that defense some other time, I suppose.

9:36 p.m.: Man, if they don’t come back that top line of Toronto is going to see this period in its nightmares tonight. A lot of close chances gone by the wayside.

9:40 p.m.: Another good shift by that Weal/Simmonds/Filppula line, which has had a pretty nice night even without any goals (at evens).

9:42 p.m.: Babcock pulls Andersen with about 3:20 left. Like the move from Toronto’s end, I gotta say. Shoot your shot(s).

9:44 p.m.: Brian Elliott makes a big stop through traffic with 1:31 left and this has definitely been one of his better games in net for the Flyers. His overall numbers — 25 saves on 27 shots as of this moment in time — are good, and while he hasn’t made a ton of ten-bell saves on the evening, he’s looked as poised and controlled as he has at any point in this young season — no small task against this Leafs team.

9:46 p.m.: Top line — with Voracek! — out with Provorov and Hagg for the draw in the final minute. Well-deserved, too.

9:47 p.m.: Game. 4-2 is your final. The home crowd boos (man who let all the Philly fans in am I right?) as the Flyers bounce back from a clunker and a heartbreaker with a big win against one of the East’s best teams.

We’ll have more on this one for you in the morning. Otherwise, the Flyers are back at it on Monday at home against the winless Arizona Coyotes, so be prepared for a demoralizing and inexplicable loss. Until then, go Flyers.





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