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[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 11:34:26 EDT from rss

Subject: Seems like the Eagles will wear their black jerseys for the Broncos game

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Black Sunday commeth.

It looks like it’s going to be Black Sunday this weekend at Lincoln Financial Field.

If the hints on social media are any indication, the Philadelphia Eagles seem to be planning to break out their all-black alternate jerseys for the Denver Broncos game.

On Wednesday evening, the Eagles posted this tweet with three pictures of Carson Wentz. He’s wearing midnight green in one, all-white in the second, and then all-black in the third. The Eagles have already worn the former two jerseys but not the latter.

On Thursday morning, the Eagles tweeted out this clip of The Linc fading to black.

It can only mean one thing: Black Sunday.

The Eagles haven’t worn their black alternates since Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season. They’re allowed to wear them twice a year. With only four home games remaining (including Sunday against Denver), they only have a few more opportunities to do so.

It’s a little unusual the Eagles will be wearing black for a 1:00 PM start. Usually they save the all-black for big night games, but that won’t be the case here.

The Eagles are sitting pretty right now at 7-1. But life will be even better if they can reach 8-1 before their Week 10 bye. Denver isn’t playing well lately but they’re still a tough team. It’s up to the Eagles to take care of business in a big game at home.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 12:00:04 EDT from rss

Subject: Crunching The Numbers: Denver Broncos

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Will the Brocket Ship save Denver’s season?

Welcome to yet another edition of Crunching The Numbers, a weekly game preview in which I compare the Eagles against their upcoming opponent using a few select statistics. If you want to read more about why I chose the statistics I use, or see an archive of past entries, check out this hub.

Typically, I’ll use some space at the beginning of the post to critique my suggested “game plan” from the previous game. However, for the 49ers I instead opted to discuss how the Eagles might lose because the matchup was incredibly lopsided statistically. Since the Eagles did, in fact, not lose, going over my “nightmare scenario” seems like a waste of my effort and your time. So before I dig into Sunday’s game, I’ll offer my own thoughts on the big Jay Ajayi trade, since we’re all hungry for fresh Jay Takes, or “Jakes,” as I like to call them. (...I’ll show myself out.)

Overall, I liked the trade. How can you not? Ajayi is an exciting running back (health concerns notwithstanding), and he only cost one of the Eagles’ three fourth round picks next year. And even though the backfield is crowded now, and there’s the old saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” I can appreciate how Howie Roseman was willing to go the extra mile to try and solidify what could be a Super Bowl team. Sure, the Eagles are fifth in rushing yards per game, but in terms of the running back stable that is more fools’ gold than anything else. Put on the tape and, outside of Blount terrifying cornerbacks in the second level, much of the ground game has been a product of a mauling offensive line and Carson Wentz magic scrambles. As we saw Sunday, the line is not the same without Peters, and there’s no guarantee that it will improve.

What I really loved about this move was that it showed off Howie’s ability to find creative solutions. As an engineer, there are few things that make me geek out more than creative solutions. I would bet good money that Howie’s top trade priority was tackle, but when Duane Brown blew the price out of the water he pivoted to finding a running back that can make something happen when the run blocking fails. There is an anecdote in engineering circles about an appliance company that, in order to decrease the energy consumption of their dryers, beefed up the spin cycle on their washing machines so that the clothes weren’t as wet going into the dryer. This is essentially what Howie did with the offensive line situation.

The downside to this strategy was that, while better than our current running backs, Ajayi is still just so-so with pass blocking. This move was a silent message to Wentz that he’s going to have to take his health into his own hands the rest of the season and actively avoid hits, because they will be coming. Also, we can’t sleep on Ajayi’s knees, either. The fact that Miami kept him out of practice to rest them is not insignificant.

Now with the trade talk out of the way, how do the Eagles stack up against the Denver Broncos? (Boldface numbers indicate who has the advantage, while numbers in parenthesis are league rank.)

Matt Takes

There are two things that the Broncos do reasonably well: control the clock and limit yards per completion. Neither are particularly surprising. All of the turnovers have given opponents short fields, leaving to quick scores that chew up little game time. As for the OY/CMP, well, they’re called the No Fly Zone for a reason. That being said, it is surprising (and encouraging) to see that the Eagles are just behind them, only allowing a somewhat-negligible 0.2 yards per completion more than their opponent on Sunday.

As for the other statistics, the Broncos’ atrocious OY/PT can also be linked to short fields off turnovers and the other two can more likely than not traced back to quarterback play. YPA is somewhat of a wild card here since those are Siemian’s statistics and not Brock Osweiler’s. Yes, “Brock Lobster” has been the butt of jokes since he signed his massive deal with the Texans, but it doesn’t change the fact that we simply don’t have data on the 2017 version of him. I’m not saying he’ll magically turn things around - he probably won’t - but he is playing for the Broncos again, where he beat the Patriots in his first start (granted, that was in Denver and there were some fluky plays).

Given this information, how should Philadelphia approach the game?

When The Eagles Have The Ball

While I will say (again) that they should be aggressive, I’ll amend that by saying they should be cautiously aggressive. Like most of the Eagles’ opponents this season, the Broncos will give up touchdowns, but that pass defense is to be respected. Attempting some fourth downs should only be a viable option if they’ve shown they can run the ball. I would not attempt a 4th-and-2 at any point on the field if the run is being stuffed (remember Denver is right behind Philly in run defense) and the defense can reasonably expect you to throw a pass. They will have it covered and it will fail.

Of course, as of late the Eagles have either not needed to worry about fourth downs or have faced opponents where risking a turnover on downs isn’t necessary. The Eagles can continue this trend by getting themselves into third-and-shorts by one of two ways. If the Broncos are showing off-coverage, run up-tempo (like Doug has fancied recently) and call some quick slants, which are almost impossible to defend when you’re giving a ten yard cushion. If they adjust to playing press-man, start moving matchup nightmares around the field to get someone like Zach Ertz matched up on a linebacker. Should the Broncos open the game with press-man, just flip the strategies. I fully expect the outside receivers to have a middling day regardless. If the Eagles are to win the passing battle, it will be by attacking soft spots in zones or creating matchup problems with Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor.

The one thing they need to avoid at all costs are third-and-longs. The Broncos’ defensive front is terrifying and the offensive line is hurting right now. If they can pin their ears back and attack, it will only be a matter of time before the Eagles cough the ball up.

When The Broncos Have The Ball

This is where I think the Eagles win the game. I’m not going to try and be clever with this, because it’s obvious: stop the run and force the Broncos to beat you with their quarterback. If there’s one thing the Eagles do better than everything else, it’s stop the run. The caveat here again is that we have no present information on Brock Osweiler, but history suggests that, while he may be a marginal upgrade over Trevor Siemian, he won’t be able to put the team on his back.

Part of this strategy also involves keeping the Broncos scoreless long enough for the Eagles’ offense to establish a decent lead (7+ points) by halftime. They won’t be able to relentlessly attack the passer early on, so unless the Eagles are able to pull away early the name of the game on pass defense is confusion. Let’s see some blitzes by a safety (or even a cornerback). Run combo coverages. Drop a lineman into the flat every now and then. Show some new looks that aren’t on tape. When you can’t realistically assume they’ve abandoned the run you can’t let the quarterback gain confidence with easy completions either. Osweiler needs to look lost from the get-go. If that happens, turnovers will follow, which should be enough for the offense to build a nice lead at the half. Once that happens, let loose the defensive line.

Closing Thoughts

Just looking at the statistics, the Eagles have a clear advantage here. The only metric where they fall behind (OY/CMP) is by one spot, and the margin is only 0.2 yards. Throw in the fact that they are playing in Philadelphia and this game is very much winnable.

However, Denver has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and Vance Joseph is a rookie head coach trying to prevent his team from falling into a death spiral. The Eagles will need to put a clean and polished product on the field if they want to take control of this game like they have so many times this season. Otherwise, a close game may be the only spark the Broncos need to pull off the upset.


[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 11:51:03 EDT from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 3-0 loss in Chicago

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The Flyers ran into the dreaded “hot goaltender” Wednesday night

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Flyers just ran into a hot goalie on “Wednesday Night Rivalry” in Chicago’s United Center, dropping the game 3-0 to the Blackhawks despite a plethora of odd-man rushes and scoring chances.

Bill was on post-game duty again to talk about the depleted blueline, which may have suffered another casualty when Radko Gudas exited the lineup, as well as the injuries keeping Samuel Morin and just about everyone else out of Philadelphia’s lineup.

Bill also tackles rooting both for and against Chase Utley, why Ben Bishop isn’t a Flyer, the Jay Ajayi trade and evaluating the team as “mediocre” after their 6-6-1 start.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 11:07:21 EDT from rss

Subject: It Seems The Eagles Will Go With a BLACKOUT on Sunday

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The Eagles hinted yesterday that they were thinking long and hard about their wardrobe for this Sunday’s game. 🤔#DENvsPHI — Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 1, 2017 And unless my inference skills are WAY off, it looks like after some careful deliberation they are rolling with the all-black uniforms against the Broncos. Sunday.#FlyEaglesFly —…

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 11:50:24 EDT from rss

Subject: Video: Doug Pederson Mic

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My jury is still out on Doug Pederson in many regards. He appears to be a great schemer whose players genuinely seem to like him. Thus far, however, he still hasn’t had to coach his way to a win through impactful in-game decisions. Until he shows that he can do that – he’s shown multiple…

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 12:55:42 EDT from rss

Subject: Halfway through 2017, the Eagles are on pace for ...

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A look at how eight-game numbers project over the remainder of the year

Before we dive into the weekly game-by-game notebook, where we see just how the Philadelphia Eagles got to 7-1 in the first place, let’s take a gander at how the team’s leading numbers through eight games project over the the remainder of the season.

This is easy math that’s often and ultimately proven wrong, but it’s an exercise almost impossible to ignore. How would the Eagles’ statistical leaders finish if they continued to produce at their current pace? Here are some of the notable projections, laid out for you to gawk at — and, in a few months’ time, laugh at:

Carson Wentz: 4,126 yards, 38 TDs, 10 INTs, 101.6 passer rating

Those are MVP numbers. Those are franchise records. Those are good.

LeGarrette Blount: 200 carries, 934 yards, 4 TDs

Have to think these take a tip now that Jay Ajayi is in town. Still, they’re rock solid.

Zach Ertz: 86 receptions, 1,056 yards, 12 TDs

Everyone can stop making fun of his “breakout year” now.

Alshon Jeffery: 56 receptions, 832 yards, 6 TDs

These are slightly better than 2006 Donte’ Stallworth numbers. Good but not All-Pro. (And, no, that doesn’t mean Jeffery is Stallworth. His presence alone has been helpful.)

Nelson Agholor: 54 receptions, 784 yards, 10 TDs

Any way you look at these, they’re impressive — for a No. 3 and especially for Agholor.

Nigel Bradham: 92 tackles, 8 pass deflections

There shouldn’t be any more doubts that he’s a tackle machine under Jim Schwartz.

Malcolm Jenkins: 88 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 pass deflections

The consistency he’s brought to the back end of the secondary is still astounding.

Mychal Kendricks: 86 tackles, 4 sacks, 8 pass deflections

Is that you, Jordan Hicks?

Jalen Mills: 84 tackles, 6 INTs, 20 pass deflections

Pro Bowler stats. Say what you want, but those tackle totals speak volumes, too.

Brandon Graham: 40 tackles, 10 sacks

This would mark his first-ever double-digit sack total.

Fletcher Cox: 9 tackles, 4.5 sacks

Quite the tackle-to-sack ratio we’re working with.

Jake Elliott: 32-38 FGs, 36-40 XPs

Welcome to the Eagles Hall of Fame. Or the Alex Henery/Caleb Sturgis career track.

Week One: Eagles 30, Redskins 17: Year Two of the Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson regime started with the Birds ending a five-game losing streak to the Redskins at FedEx Field, where Jim Schwartz’s front-four rotation led the way. Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan combined for four sacks and two forced fumbles, the second of which was returned 20 yards for a touchdown by Cox, sealing a two-score, fourth-quarter lead. After fellow cornerback Ronald Darby was carted off with an injury, Jalen Mills also aided an Eagles “D” that gave up just 64 rushing yards and three third-down conversions, intercepting Kirk Cousins on a red-zone pass when the ‘Skins trailed by two. With uneven protection and a non-existent running game, Wentz (26-39, 307 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INTs) was the victim of a Ryan Kerrigan pick six but channeled his inner Donovan McNabb on an opening-drive scramble and 58-yard TD heave to Nelson Agholor, then extended plays with tight end Zach Ertz (8 receptions, 93 yards) to set up three Caleb Sturgis field goals and a Gatorade bath for Pederson.

Week Two: Chiefs 27, Eagles 20: Late-game grit and a stout start for Jim Schwartz’s defense weren’t enough for Doug Pederson to best ex-Eagles coach Andy Reid at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs used a 53-yard touchdown run from rookie Kareem Hunt, back-to-back fourth-quarter scores and six sacks of an overburdened Carson Wentz to decide a close one. Big stands from a banged-up Eagles secondary offset a rare Darren Sproles fumble on a punt return inside Birds territory, holding Kansas City to a 6-3 halftime lead, but heavy pressure on the Eagles QB led to a tipped interception and more red-zone chances for Reid’s unit. Still, Wentz (25-46, 333 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) started efficiently (7-of-9), spread 19 first-down throws to Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Zach Ertz and scrambled his way to a team-high 55 rushing yards on another dismal day for the backfield. Down two scores with :14 left, his 9-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor preceded a perfect onside kick from fill-in Jake Elliott, who made up for an earlier 30-yard field goal miss and set up a game-ending Hail Mary try.

Week Three: Eagles 27, Giants 24: They were without four injured starters on defense, gave up 366 passing yards to Eli Manning and lost a 14-0 lead after 21 unanswered Giants points, but Doug Pederson found — and stuck with — a rushing attack, not to mention a clutch kicker, as the Eagles sent New York to 0-3. LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement battered their way to a combined 160 yards on the ground, the former putting Philadelphia up 7-0 in the first. Clement tied the contest at 21 on a 15-yard fourth-quarter run after back-to-back-to-back TDs from the Giants — two acrobatic grabs by Odell Beckham Jr. and a 77-yarder by Sterling Shepard. But rookie kicker Jake Elliott, in his second game replacing an ailing Caleb Sturgis, was the real Eagles hero, booting a team-record 61-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Carson Wentz (21-31, 176 yards, 1 TD) again found tight end Zach Ertz for a score, while the Eagles “D” had a goal-line stand and stout play from young cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas, the latter of whom had a pick along with Patrick Robinson.

Week Four: Eagles 26, Chargers 24: With Eagles fans turning Los Angeles’ StubHub Center into an unofficial home game, Doug Pederson kept the pedal to the metal, pushing Philadelphia atop the NFC East with a run-first approach sans an injured Darren Sproles. LeGarrette Blount (16 carries, 136 yards) led the way with a 68-yard Marshawn Lynch-esque gallop on a fourth-quarter drive that prefaced a diving Wendell Smallwood (79 total yards) touchdown and helped the Eagles dominate time of possession. Corey Clement also got five third-down carries for an offense that didn’t turn the ball over and set up four field goals, including a 53-yarder, from Jake Elliott. The Chargers kept it close as Philip Rivers (347 yards) extended drives with Keenan Allen, found Tyrell Williams for a 75-yard score and pulled L.A. within two with 6:48 to go shortly after a 35-yard TD run by an untouched Austin Ekeler. But the Eagles defense set the tone with an opening-series takeaway, a Chris Long strip sack, and helped establish an early 7-0 lead on a throw from Carson Wentz (17-31, 242 yards, 1 TD) to Alshon Jeffery.

Week Five: Eagles 34, Cardinals 7: A career day for Carson Wentz (21-30, 304 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) and a suffocating start for Jim Schwartz’s defense all but put the Cardinals away after one quarter, when the Eagles led 21-0 after consecutive Doug Pederson-scripted marches down the field. A 15-yard lob from Wentz to tight end Trey Burton started the scoring, and a 76-yard punt return from recently reacquired Kenjon Barner (133 total yards) preceded TD passes to Zach Ertz and Torrey Smith, the latter of whom went 59 yards. Arizona’s Carson Palmer found John Brown for a second-quarter TD, but otherwise, the contest was all Eagles — the D-line got in Palmer’s face, the Cards got just 31 rushing yards and Philly’s Patrick Robinson broke up pass after pass, also blocking a field goal try. Barner and LeGarrette Blount also found lanes vs. a typically feisty Arizona “D,” and receiver Nelson Agholor’s 72-yard third-quarter bomb, with a juke and backward fall into the end zone a la DeSean Jackson, was the icing on the cake. Safety Rodney McLeod forced a fumble to stop a potential last-minute Cards TD.

Week Six: Eagles 28, Panthers 23: On the road with three days of rest, the Eagles overcame 10 penalties -- to Carolina's one -- and a scrappy Panthers defense that capitalized on injured tackle Lane Johnson's absence to pressure Carson Wentz and force an opening-drive fumble. Quarterback Cam Newton kept Carolina close with a 16-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 10, plus a late throw to rookie Christian McCaffrey that kept his team within one score. But Philly also engulfed his ground support via linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham (25 combined tackles), and cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and Rasul Douglas all intercepted him -- Douglas after Fletcher Cox pressure, Robinson off a juggled dump-off and Mills on a wayward deep ball that headlined back-to-back defensive stands with about three minutes left. Two of the turnovers came deep in Panthers territory, where Wentz (16-30, 222 yards, 3 TDs) found Ertz for two TDs and, later, slot receiver Nelson Agholor for a 24-yard catch-and-run. A two-point try and two Jake Elliott field goals at one point had the Eagles up 28-16.

Week Seven: Eagles 34, Redskins 24: If 2017 is the year of Carson Wentz’s magical leap forward, Monday night vs. Washington was when the rest of the country got the memo. Dogged by four Eagles penalties and a punt-like pick on the opening series, Wentz (17-25, 268 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) quickly took command of the game, finding rookie Mack Hollins, tight end Zach Ertz and reserve back Corey Clement for three straight scores — Hollins on a 64-yard bomb and Clement on an improbable sideline touch pass that came with Redskins swarming an off-balance Wentz. While erasing a 10-3 deficit, the quarterback also gained a team-high 63 rushing yards, 17 of which came on an inexplicable escape from a scrum in the pocket. The Eagles defense, which lost an injured Jordan Hicks, gave up two Jordan Reed touchdowns as Washington pulled within 10. It also sacked QB Kirk Cousins four times, forcing an easy Corey Graham interception. Philly later lost left tackle Jason Peters to injury but sealed a Redskins sweep with a fourth-quarter Nelson Agholor TD and two Jake Elliott field goals.

Week Eight: Eagles 33, 49ers 10: It was an off day in the rain for Carson Wentz (18-32, 211 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), who gave the 49ers an easy third-quarter pick and felt pressure behind a Jason Peters-less line, but the Eagles used two turnovers and four sacks from four different players (Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Chris Long, Mychal Kendricks) to beat up on the rookie pairing of coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback C.J. Beathard. San Francisco kept Philadelphia to three points up to the two-minute warning in the first half, but a short TD throw from Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz came just 17 seconds before cornerback Jalen Mills picked off Beathard and weaved his way to a 37-yard score. A 51-yard Jake Elliott field goal put the Eagles up 20-0 early in the third, and a 53-yard connection between Wentz and receiver Alshon Jeffery on a jump-ball sideline pass countered the Niners’ only TD of the day, a shovel-pass catch-and-run by Matt Breida. A 12-yard fourth-quarter scoring run by LeGarrette Blount, tipped-pass INT by safety Rodney McLeod and late field-goal block by rookie Derek Barnett helped seal the win.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 13:36:27 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Picks Week 9 2017: Predictions by Football Writers

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Predicting the winners of this week's NFL games.

The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are in for Week 9 of the 2017 regular season schedule! Each week we'll predict the winners of each and every NFL game. We'll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season.

After Week 8, the collective BGN Community is still in sole possession of first place. But your lead has slipped a little. (On a side note: Congrats to Benjamin on the perfect record last week!)

The Philadelphia Eagles are at home once again for a game against the Denver Broncos this week and the entire BGN crew is taking the Birds to win. 8-1 at the bye would be pretty great.

Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You can also vote for who you think will win the games. I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column. Vote in the polls beneath the table. (Click here if you can’t see the polls.)

Let's get to this week's picks!


Vote for YOUR picks below. (Once again, click here if you can’t see the polls.)

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 14:11:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Blues preview: The blue line shuffle

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The midweek Blues ...

Coming off a tough loss last night, the Flyers skate in St. Louis tonight against the Blues, in another tough matchup. Storylines include: a hot goaltender. Injuries abound. Jori Lehtera squaring off against his old team. The Flyers saying hey to Brayden Schenn.

The second game in two nights, it’s also arguably the more difficult of the two matchups. The Blues head into this game well rested and 7-2-1, sitting comfortably at the top of their division.

Here are three things to look for in tonight's game.

1. Pucks in the net.

This feels like an implicit thing to look for, but when you take a look at what the Flyers are facing, it may be easier said than done. Last night, the Flyers faced a desperate Blackhawks team hoping to shake a three game losing streak, and a goaltender with a .925 save percentage. Tonight, the Flyers face a Blue team that's rolling with a four game winning streak, and a goaltender with a .928 save percentage.

The Flyers held the edge last night in possession, with an adjusted CF% of 54.88 percent at even strength, and registered 3.3 expected goals (compared to the Blackhawks 3.44). So their efforts and their methods were good, and technically kept them in the game, had they found a way to crack Corey Crawford. They will face a similar obstacle tonight, and will have to hope that they can bring a similar effort, and somehow find a way to get past Jake Allen.

2. Defense?

Wish me luck, guys. It's my first game playing in the NHL. My first time playing hockey. Things are going really well over here.

Okay, you got me. I'm not playing for the Flyers tonight, but I may as well be. With Gudas going down in last night's game, he made the third of the Flyers' defensemen to be injured. Tonight, the Flyers defense corps will be made up of Provorov and Manning, two rookies, and two AHL lifers. Take a moment with that one.

So things are a little rough. But they may not stay that way. Provorov has been his usual, incredibly solid self. Manning, Hagg, and Sanheim have been, on the whole, solid enough. But Alt and O'Neill still serve as the biggest question marks, and the Flyers will certainly need them to show up tonight, in a big way.

3. Results from a newly arranged middle six.

Last night’s game also saw some line switching, but for once one that wasn’t wholly necessitated by injury. With Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal flipped, even in the relative smallness of the movement, it gave the middle six a very new look. And they looked okay so far.

Members of each line-- with the exception of Dale Weiss-- posted CF%s above 50, and each brought their own fair share of scoring chances. It was a relatively seamless shift, but they were still each held goalless. We will hope that the middle six can hold on to that momentum and rhythm, and translate it into more tangible results, against the Blues.

So, there's no way around it, the Flyers have a difficult road ahead of them. But what are the statistical models projecting for this game?

The models over at Corsica favor the Blues in this one, giving the Flyers a high of 42.9 percent and an average of 39.2 percent chance of winning.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 14:45:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Checking out the competition: St. Louis Blues with Mike Wagenknecht

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Brayden is going to score all the goals and I’m not upset about it

Steph Driver chats with Mike Wagenknecht from St. Louis Game Time about Brayden Schenn. They also touched on the game tonight between the Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues, other topics include:

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 15:00:02 EDT from rss

Subject: The Two O

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The Flyers will be juuuuuuuuust a bit green on defense tonight.

272 — the total number of NHL games played between the six defensemen who will take the ice for the Flyers tonight in St. Louis, assuming that Will O’Neill does in fact play in Radko Gudas’ place.

If you’ve somehow managed to forget, here are those defensemen, along with the number of games they’ve played at the NHL level:

Brandon Manning: 150 GP
Ivan Provorov: 95 GP
Robert Hagg: 14 GP
Travis Sanheim: 10 GP
Mark Alt: 3 GP
Will O’Neill: 0 GP

Look, I know that a lot of us spent this offseason and preseason saying we wanted the Flyers to be willing to embrace the new faces and roll with some inexperience on defense while those guys work through their inevitable early struggles, but this seems like a rather crude way to go about that, doesn’t it? Like, I didn’t have “Brandon Manning becoming the elder statesman of the Flyers’ defense” anywhere on my list of things to expect from this season.

Anywho, here’s hoping that neither Ghost nor Gudas will be out of the lineup for too much longer, because the Flyers are in the middle of a pretty difficult schedule stretch here and they’re in for some tough sledding if they’ve got a lineup that only has one unarguable top-4 NHL defenseman in it.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 13:57:59 EDT from rss

Subject: Sam Hinkie Has Awoken

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Sam Hinkie is back, and the cool chill you are feeling is the shade he just cast on all the doubters and haters. He hasn’t tweeted in 56 days (not that I’m counting). So this Tweet, today, about the Houston Astros’ process marks the first missive from the master since the Sixers season began. It’s a…

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 15:37:29 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Broncos Game Preview: Five questions and answers with the enemy

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Previewing the Eagles’ Week 9 matchup.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos are set to square off this week. It’s a matchup between a team that’s scored more than 20 points in 12 of their last 12 games (the Eagles) and a team that’s scored more than 20 points in three of their last 12 games (the Broncos).

In order to preview the Eagles’ Week 9 game against Denver, I reached out to our enemies over at Mile High Report. The wise Sadaraine 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 Mile High Report.)

1 - Obviously have to start with the quarterback question. What’s the reaction to Trevor Siemian getting benched? Is that the right move? Which Broncos quarterback gives Denver the best chance to win this week?

For me, the reaction is elation. I started souring on Siemian about 8 games into last season. His game has absolutely gone in the gutter. If you watched Monday Night Football, Gruden was spot on with his assessment of Siemian's playing scared and it effecting his mechanics. Yes, it was the right move.

I think Brock Osweiler is the best shot the team has at salvaging anything out of this season. I do not like what we saw from Paxton Lynch in training camp or the preseason games. I'm actually a bit bullish on Brock after his joke of a year in Houston (which was very toxic from everything I've read). He's not going to light up the scoreboard, but I know the guy can win big games. He's done it for us before and we still have a defense that is good enough so that it all won't rest on his shoulders.

2 - Is the quarterback position the only reason why the Broncos have struggled lately? Are there other significant issues?

It is the biggest problem by far, but not the only one. The offensive line is still a year away from getting whole. They are a very good unit at run blocking, but have huge issues at pass protection. The biggest weaknesses there are our right tackle and left guard positions. Our rookie left tackle has been surprisingly decent though which has been a very pleasant surprise for most of the Broncos fans.

On defense, the middle of the field in the passing game is where there is a weakness. Denver has always struggled defending tight ends and this year is no exception. Our ILB talent is not deep and they have had some pretty significant issues with pass coverage which teams have been exploiting fairly consistently.

3 - What makes Denver’s defense so good?

The core thing that makes Denver's defense is still there: It has the best two corners in the NFL, hands down with no question in my mind whatsoever. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr. are the friggin #Truth. When you have corners that are elite on the outside, it makes everything easier for a defense in today's pass happy NFL game.

But the biggest thing that gets attention this year about our defense is no joke either. Our front-7 are absolute monsters against the run. Domata Peko is having what looks to me like one of his best seasons of his career and we've seen a 2nd year player in Adam Gotsis take a big step forward in his play at RDE. They've shut down the best the NFL has to offer and I think the Eagles may be the biggest test for them yet this year.

4 - What’s one matchup that really favors the Broncos? And one that really favors the Eagles?

Aqib Talib on either one of your starting WRs is an easy pick for me. Talib gets beat by the guys with the quicks and neither Jeffrey nor Smith have the kind of ability that is going to make Talib have a bad day.

If your offense can scheme Zach Ertz in single coverage against either Todd Davis or Brandon Marshall, your fans are going to have a good time. Denver can adjust and get safety help, but they tend to let teams work them a bit before they do so and sadly it is a well many teams this year have brought their bucket to with great success.

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

Carson Wentz, all day long and twice on Sundays, please. The QB position is the biggest deal in the NFL and Denver's cupboard is bare. Having a young, promising, fiery guy like Wentz would right a lot of wrongs for the Broncos.

Menelik Watson would be the guy I'd love to see starting across from Von Miller. He's been a turnstile at RT this year (not that we have anything better on the depth chart, let me assure you). That being said, Von would wreck your team's day single handedly with that match up.

Bonus: Who wins this game and why? What's your score prediction?

I've got the Eagles winning this one in a close one as the Broncos offense still struggles and has a couple of costly turnovers that make the difference. Broncos 17 - Eagles 27

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 16:27:21 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles Injury Report: Zach Ertz added to the list

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Eagles injury update.

The Philadelphia Eagles released their second official injury report on Thursday in advance of their Week 9 game against the Denver Broncos.

The big news is that starting tight end Zach Ertz was added to the report with a hamstring injury. That’s not great. Injuries that happen during the week can jeopardize a player’s chances of playing on Sunday.

The extent of Ertz’s injury is unclear, so it may be too early to panic. Philly really needs him for this game, though. Although the Broncos have a tough defense, they’re vulnerable against tight ends. Denver has allowed the third most fantasy points to that position this season.

Ertz is just a reliable target for Carson Wentz on any given week. He leads the team in targets (64), receptions (43), receiving yards (528), receiving touchdowns (6), and first downs (29).

If Ertz can’t play, Trey Burton and Brent Celek are the only other tight ends on the roster. Undrafted rookie free agent Billy Brown, a converted wide receiver, is on the practice squad.

In other injury news, starting cornerback Ronald Darby was limited in practice for the second day in a row. This confirms he’ll likely be out again this week. One would think he’ll be ready to return after Philadelphia’s Week 10 bye for the Eagles-Cowboys game in Week 11.

All other 51 players on the 53-man roster were full participants in practice on Thursday, including new Eagles running back Jay Ajayi.

Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Thursday)

Limited Participation

TE Zach Ertz (hamstring)

CB Ronald Darby (ankle)

Full Participation

CB Patrick Robinson (concussion)

OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (hip)

DE Brandon Graham (shoulder)

DT Beau Allen (foot)

RB Kenjon Barner (hamstring)

Denver Broncos Injury Report (Thursday)

To be announced - check back for updates.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 17:19:36 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Broncos Preview: Figuring out how to attack Denver's defense

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The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #275). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Broncos game in Week 9, analyze key matchups, and much more.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 16:16:23 EDT from rss

Subject: Highlights From Gabe Kapler

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The Phillies just introduced Gabe Kapler to the assembled media. He was wearing clothes and made every single man in the greater Philly area feel inadequate. It is unclear if his balls were tanned. I took a few screenshots from the Phillies’ live stream, but I couldn’t decide on which to use, so you can…

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 16:48:04 EDT from rss

Subject: Sixers Notes: A

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Midway through Thursday’s press availability, a barefooted Joel Embiid walked over to the group of assembled media waiting for Brett Brown. “You guys want to talk to Jahlil? He’s got some shit to say!” Everyone was in a good mood on the day after the Sixers’ third straight win, a 119-109 home triumph against the…

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 18:54:46 EDT from rss

Subject: Deshaun Watson Injury: Texans sign former Eagles quarterback after losing rookie starter to ACL tear

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Not a great day for the Texans.

Today was shaping up to be a pretty great day for the city of Houston. The Astros won the World Series last night.

But then it all came crumbling down. Rookie starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October earlier today, suffered a torn ACL in practice on Thursday. He’s now out for the season.

Really just terrible news.

Unfortunately, it gets even worse for the Texans. The team signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt McGloin to be the backup to replacement starter Tom Savage.

McGloin, as you’re well aware, was pretty terrible for the Eagles this preseason. He finished the summer with a 69.7% completion percentage and 5.3 yards per attempt. He threw one touchdown and three interceptions for a 74.0 passer rating.

McGloin obviously played for Texans head coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State, so there’s a connection there. But is McGloin really the best backup quarterback option out there? (Answer: probably not.)

It’s terrifying that the Texans lost Watson the way they did. If you’re reading this, Eagles, maybe consider keeping Carson Wentz wrapped in bubble wrap during practice.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 20:30:02 EDT from rss

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

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The Flyers are hurting as they walk into the second half of this Midwest back-to-back.

Tonight’s game begins at 8:00 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) and can be:

  • Seen locally via NBC Sports Philadelphia (or via stream on the NBC Sports App)
  • Heard via radio locally on 97.5 The Fanatic
  • Seen in St. Louis via FS Midwest
  • Seen or heard elsewhere via (it’s their free game of the day!), NHL Center Ice, or Sirius XM

Projected Flyers lineup:


Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Konecny - Filppula - Simmonds

Weise - Lehtera - Weal

Leier - Laughton - Raffl

Defensemen, maybe

Provorov - Hagg

Sanheim - Alt

Manning - O’Neill




Projected Blues lineup (via):


Schwartz - Schenn - Tarasenko

Sobotka - Stastny - Steen

Paajarvi - Sundqvist - Bennett

Upshall - Brodziak - Jaskin


Gunnarsson - Pietrangelo

Edmundson - Parayko

Dunn - Bortuzzo




[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 21:42:10 EDT from rss

Subject: Jets vs. Bills: How to watch Thursday Night Football

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Everything you need to know.

Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season officially kicks off tonight.

Tonight’s game features an AFC East matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. The Bills are 5-2 while the Jets are 3-5.

The Philadelphia Eagles won’t face either of these teams this season. This game is pretty meaningless as far as they’re concerned.

With that said, there are obviously a lot of former Eagles connections in this game. Former defensive coordinator Sean McDermott coaches the Bills. Jordan Matthews is Buffalo’s slot receiver. There’s some guy on Buffalo named LeSean McCoy. And so on. Jets players Terrence Brooks and Eric Tomlinson used to play for Philly.

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

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

TV Schedule

Game time: 8:25 PM EST

Channel: NFL Network, CBS, Amazon Prime Video

Date: Thursday, November 2

Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

Location: MetLife Stadium | New York, New York East Rutherford, New Jersey

Online Streaming

Watch the live stream on the NFL's mobile app. International viewers can use NFL Game Pass. Replay on NFL Game Rewind.

Amazon Prime members can stream this game online.


Buffalo Bills -3.5 (-110)

New York Jets +3.5 (-110)

Over/under: 42.5 points

SB Nation Blogs

Bills -

Jets -


Open thread: discuss Thursday's game in the comments below.

[#] Thu Nov 02 2017 23:32:52 EDT from rss

Subject: Tony Romo says Eagles

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Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS color analyst Tony Romo has earned a lot of praise for his commentary skills in his first season on the job.

During the Bills vs. Jets game on Thursday, Romo said something about the late, great Jim Johnson that Philadelphia Eagles fans will surely appreciate.

Romo: “Oh my gosh. I used to go against Jim Johnson. He’s probably, to me, the best defensive coordinator I’ve ever gone against.”

The subject of Johnson obviously came up since his pupil, Sean McDermott, is now the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Romo sure isn’t wrong. Johnson was one of the best to ever do it. Who could ever forget 44-6?

One of the best Eagles games ever. Rest in peace, JJ.

Unrelated to this story, but also from the Bills-Jets game on Thursday evening: a really bad fumble from former Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Yikes.

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