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[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 07:17:26 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Jason Kelce is having a great season

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/13/17.

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

Eagles' center Kelce having one of the best run blocking seasons in a decade - PFF
The diversity of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s play calling has had a ripple effect on the entire Eagles team – most notably QB Carson Wentz (85.0 overall grade – fifth among quarterbacks). However, there’s another Eagle on the offense having a career year – center Jason Kelce. Kelce has never shown as a great pass protecting center, but where he excels is run blocking. His 96.7 run block grade this season crushes No. 2 center David Andrews’ 85.6. If the season ended today it’d be the third-highest of any offensive linemen, regardless of position, since 2006. His overall grade reflects that dominance.

Dannell Ellerbe to sign with Eagles - BGN
The Eagles are adding lineback depth.

What went right and wrong around the NFL for the Eagles on Sunday - PhillyVoice
Actually, the Falcons didn't just beat the Cowboys, they dominated them. With no Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys couldn't run the ball effectively, which in turn exposed the Cowboys' offensive line (specifically Chaz Green, who filled in for the injured Tyron Smith) in pass protection. The Cowboys couldn't block the Falcons' defensive line to save their lives, and they are in even bigger trouble next Sunday if Smith can't return to the lineup against the Eagles' front four. The Eagles are now three games up on the Cowboys in the NFC East.

A Good Day - Iggles Blitz
After watching Joe Walker for two weeks, I can understand this move. Walker shows potential, but needs experience. With the Eagles headed for the playoffs, you don’t want a player on the field who isn’t ready for key situations

Eagles' D-line built to dominate for years - NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles might have the best defensive line in the NFL this season, although there are certainly other teams in the conversation. Beyond 2017? It's not up for debate. No D-line is better positioned for future success than the Eagles'. That might've been the case already before defensive tackle Tim Jernigan signed a four-year contract extension worth $48 million on Thursday. A new deal for Jernigan just put the unit over the top. There isn't a defensive line in the league that possesses more high-end talents who are either in their prime or still developing, all under contract for the foreseeable future.

Eagles have been led to where they are by Carson Wentz - Inquirer
As the year has gone along, taking nothing away from a defense that held together much better than expected, Wentz is the clear reason the team is doing what it is doing. Not only is he playing exceptionally well despite his relative lack of experience, but his enthusiasm is infectious. Maybe he’ll get to the point someday where he throws a touchdown pass, tugs loose his chinstrap, and walks to the sideline to accept a handshake or two, but that’s a long way from where he is now. The Eagles are up in large part because they have a leader as rambunctious as a lab puppy, and how can they not follow along?

Rested Eagles Benefit From 0-3 NFC East -
It was early in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys-Falcons game on Sunday when Dallas radio play-by-play announcer Brad Sham summed up the Cowboys’ day: “Pathetic. Just pathetic. That’s what this is.” Dallas lost 27-7, capping an 0-for-3 day by the NFC East as the Eagles enjoyed their bye weekend.

Eagles' top challenger in NFC? Don't count out Case Keenum, Vikings - ESPN
It’s not crazy to imagine this team as a real contender. The Vikings made the playoffs as division champs two years ago and started 5-0 last season before a brutal run of injury attrition on the offensive line cost them any chance of making good on that. They hit the line hard in free agency, brought back the core of a smothering defense, and their wide receiver duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs makes a case as the very best in the NFL. You could convince yourself that they’re a quarterback away, but the way Keenum’s playing, that may be underselling them.

Five thoughts: An Eagles slant to Week 10 in the NFL - The Athletic
Let's start with their next opponent, the Dallas Cowboys. It was the first game of Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, but the bigger issue was Tyron Smith being sidelined with a groin injury as Dak Prescott was sacked eight times. Dallas' offense managed just one score on 10 possessions, and this was against the 29th-ranked (DVOA) Atlanta Falcons defense. It's uncertain whether Smith will be back against the Eagles. He didn't practice last week and has been dealing with back and hip issues in addition to the groin. If Smith is out again, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham and Chris Long may have to have a rock-paper-scissors tournament to see who gets to line up on that side Sunday.

The Jerry Jones vs. Arthur Blank dispute was impossible to ignore during the Falcons-Cowboys game - SB Nation
The chill outside of magnificent Mercedes-Benz Stadium matched the icy pre- and post-game postures of owners Jerry Jones and Arthur Blank. This Cowboys-Falcons clash was a backdrop to a confirmed conflict between two owners once cozy but now split. Two owners at odds on if commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract should be extended and whether Goodell should even remain commissioner at all. Jones, the Dallas owner, supports consideration on both counts. Blank, the Falcons owner, does not. He chairs the ownership committee dealing with Goodell’s contract. He is ready to move forward with Goodell.


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[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 07:33:08 EST from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Overweight and Under The Radar

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss the Flyers’ loss, Joel Embiid not looking like himself, and the NFC playoff competition.   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…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 08:34:20 EST from rss

Subject: NFC Playoff Picture: How Week 10 impacted the Eagles

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Updated look at the standings

The Philadelphia Eagles did not play a football game on Sunday since it was their bye week. A number of teams did play football games this weekend, however, and some of them had an impact on the NFC playoff picture. Here’s an updated look at the standings.


If the season ended today (it doesn’t), these six teams would make the playoffs.

1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 8-1 overall, 6-0 conference

2 - Minnesota Vikings: 7-2 overall, 5-1 conference (direct tie-breaker over Saints)

3 - New Orleans Saints: 7-2 overall, 5-1 conference

4 - Los Angeles Rams: 7-2 overall, 4-2 conference

5 - Seattle Seahawks: 6-3 overall, 4-2 conference

6 - Carolina Panthers: 6-3 overall, 4-3 conference

As you can see, the Eagles are in good shape at No. 1 overall. They would’ve been in even better shape if the Vikings/Saints/Rams lost on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Birds, all of those teams won.

The Saints, who have won seven in a row, look like they be the biggest threat to the Eagles right now. New Orleans only ranks third because the Sam Bradford-led Vikings beat them in Week 1.

The good news for the Eagles is that some of these top NFC teams will have to play each other soon. The Rams will play the Vikings in Minnesota and before hosting the Saints in Los Angeles. Then the Eagles will get a crack at the Rams in Week 14.

As long as the Eagles keep winning, they’ll be in control of their destiny for the No. 1 seed. A slip up from the other top NFC teams would give Philly more room for error, though.

Note that the Panthers haven’t played yet since they host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. With a win, Carolina would move up to the No. 5 seed. A loss would keep them at No. 6. The Eagles already beat the Panthers so this doesn’t matter a ton.

Teams on the playoff bubble in the NFC:

7 - Atlanta Falcons: 5-4 overall, 4-1 conference (direct tie-breakers over Lions, Cowboys, and Packers)

8 - Detroit Lions: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference

9 - Dallas Cowboys: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference

10 - Green Bay Packers: 5-4 overall, 4-4 conference


The bad news is the Eagles’ top threats to the No. 1 seed won on Sunday. The great news is that the Eagles’ top threat to the NFC East crown LOST on Sunday. Here’s an updated look at the NFC East:

1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 8-1 overall, 6-0 conference, 3-0 division

2 - Dallas Cowboys: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference, 2-0 division

3 - Washington Redskins: 3-4 overall, 3-4 conference, 0-3 division

4 - New York Giants: 1-8 overall, 0-7 conference, 0-2 division

The Eagles are in great shape with seven games to play. Philly has a BIG opportunity this week as they’re set to play the Cowboys coming off their bye. A win would put the Eagles are 9-1 and drop the Cowboys to 5-5. That would effectively allow the Eagles to clinch the division.

The Eagles can officially clinch the NFC East by Week 13 at the earliest. Their magic number (AKA the combined number of Eagles wins OR Cowboys losses) is FIVE. If the Eagles win their next three games (at Cowboys, vs. Bears, at Seahawks), for example, and the Cowboys lose their next two (vs. Eagles, vs. Chargers), then it’s all over. At that point, the Eagles would be playing just to make sure they get the No. 1 seed.


Here’s a looking at the Eagles’ remaining schedule.

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

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

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

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

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

Week 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders (Dec. 25, 8:30 PM ET)

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

There are some tough road games in this stretch, but given the way the Eagles are playing they shouldn’t really fear any of these opponents. Philly has a great opportunity to further prove they’re the real deal by finishing the season strong.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 09:28:01 EST from rss

Subject: Cowboys player gets into argument with Philadelphia reporter

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Thin skin.

Eagles-Cowboys week is here and the back-and-forth banter has already begun. Just not like you’d expect.

Following the Cowboys getting dominated in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the one and only Howard Eskin fired off a tweet about the game.

Howard’s not wrong: Dak Prescott didn’t look very good against Atlanta. Dak went 20/30 for a mere 176 yards (5.6 average), zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 82.1 passer rating. He did run for a touchdown, yes, but he also committed two turnovers by fumbling twice.

You can make excuses that Prescott didn’t have his left tackle (Tyron Smith) and his best running back (Ezekiel Elliott), but he was bad any way you slice it. Besides, Carson Wentz is also missing a number of key players but that hasn’t stopped him from being an MVP candidate.

This didn’t stop Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley from chiming in.

Look, I totally understand a player wanting to show support for his teammate. Especially his quarterback.

But this comes off as Beasley having thin skin. It’d be one thing if, say, another NFL player was trashing Dak. But, with all due respect to Howard, this is just commentary from a reporter. Beasley shouldn’t be concerned with Eskin’s opinion.

King fired back at Beasley on Monday morning.

Again, Prescott was legitimately bad on Sunday. Watch for yourself below.

Eagles-Cowboys week is just getting started. Sunday night’s game is going to be a fun one.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 08:55:11 EST from rss

Subject: Your Monday Morning Roundup

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The next best thing to an Eagles win is a Cowboys loss. With the Birds on bye this week, the latter was the only thing we could root for this Sunday and Dallas delivered. The Cowboys, now without Ezekiel Elliott who is finally serving that six-game suspension, got absolutely trashed by the Atlanta Falcons, who…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 09:50:44 EST from rss

Subject: Trust the Cleaning Process

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How do college kids make the worst part of party hosting fun? You theme it around the Sixers. Cleaning is never enjoyable, but these guys from St. Joe’s get it. One of them is a junior forward on the Hawks’ soccer team. Whoever thought of this idea in the house is a god damn genius:…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 10:09:32 EST from rss

Subject: Some NFL owners have discussed forcing Jerry Jones to sell the Cowboys, report says

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So here’s something: NFL owners have discussed forcing Jerry Jones to sell the Dallas Cowboys, according to a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

A league source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that multiple owners already have been discussing the possibility, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution & Bylaws. Specifically, Section 8.13 authorizes the Commissioner to determine that an owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football.” If the Commissioner believes the available sanction (a $500,000 fine) is “not adequate or sufficient,” the Commissioner may refer the issue to the NFL’s Executive Committee, which has the power to compel “[c]ancellation or forfeiture of the franchise in the League of any member club involved or implicated,” with a directive to sell the team.

It’s obviously an extreme outcome, and it surely would trigger years of litigation. But the possibility has emerged primarily because Jones has opted to take family business outside the family. As the source explained it, the primary affront comes from the belief among owners that Jones instigated Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to disparage the NFL, blaming league leadership for ratings declines and, in turn, a reduction in Papa John’s revenues.

Florio notes Jones being ousted is unlikely to happen, but it’s pretty big news to hear that NFL owners have seriously discussed it.

The conflict between Jones and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell really heightened when Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension after a year-long investigation. Now Jones is trying to make sure Goodell doesn’t receive a contract extension.

Goodell is far from perfect, but it’s hard to see how Jones’ self-serving interests are what’s good for the entire league. I agree with this good take from Les Bowen:

It would be pretty crazy to see Jones, who was just inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, be ousted from the league. Again, it doesn’t seem likely, but the possibility alone illustrates the stakes of this situation.

Perhaps this report is getting to leaked so that it encourages Jones to back off. In any case, this situation is getting ugly.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 10:30:02 EST from rss

Subject: Pizza and Power Struggles: Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell

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Look, I’m not one to brag or tell you that I can see into the future, but I just want to begin with what I wrote last Thursday, moments after Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal to further delay his suspension was denied by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals: “I can’t wait for Atlanta to blow the…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 10:53:38 EST from rss

Subject: Staples of the Eagles

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A look into the plays that the Eagles utilize with success

Waiting through the Eagles’ bye week has been a bummer. To help ease the absence of our favorite 8-1, Super Bowl-bound team, I’ve decided to compile a mini-series that focuses on plays the Eagles run with frequency out of different formations with different personnel and how they’re successful.

The Three-Level stretch

There are a variety of different names for this play. Some call it the Y-sail, some call it flood. The concept remains the same: stress a zone defense by forcing them to pick their poison. The play works well against either cover 2 or cover 3 because the route combination guarantees that there will be an open receiver.

The Broncos come out paying what appears to be cover 3 zone. To the play side you can see that the Eagles have three receivers, matched up with two defenders. One of those three players will be open. Nelson Agholor, who is closest to the line of scrimmage run to the flat, Torrey Smith who is to his left will run a vertical route and Alshon Jeffery who is closest to the sideline will run a a corner route. Alshon is the main target here as the Eagles want to hit that corner route. Sometimes the vertical route will be there, but more often than not, it’s just a decoy to create a hole for the corner. The flat route is used to get underneath defenders to drive up and vacate that zone even more to make the throwing lane to the corner even more open. The result of the play is an incompletion, but the throw was there to be had. You can see Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby on the back end carry the vertical and pass it off to the safety, but in cover 3 he can’t risk driving up because if he does Smith can run open as Wentz tries to hit him near the boundary.

One of the cool things about Doug Pederson’s offense is how he runs these same concepts consistently out of different alignments and personnel groupings. The previous play against the Broncos featured one tight end and one running back — recognized as 11 personnel — while this play utilizes 12 personnel — one running back, two tight ends. The Giants aren't in a zone here, but the play-action fake distorts the coverage and everyone’s favorite safety Landon Collins doesn’t bother to cover Zach Ertz who is running to the corner. The running back chips before releasing into the flat, but the play design and personnel help this win. Typically out of 12 personnel sets, you’re not going vertical with the ball, that keys the Giants to a possible run play. They bite on the play action and miscommunication occurs, getting that corner route open.

Just as they did in the previous play, Pederson and the Eagles disguise the play with the personnel. Here the Eagles have 13 personnel — one running back, three tight ends. The Giants bring the blitz off of the play fake and Darren Sproles, the running back, has to stay in and pick it up. This works because again, the player in the flat’s job is to bring the defender up. Play fakes can do that just as effectively. The corner route to Ertz is open here, but a late miscommunication between the corner and safety allows Bryce Treggs to slip behind the coverage on the vertical route. Wentz notices Treggs getting behind the coverage and throws a bomb to move the Eagles down the field. Again, the vertical route typically serves as a decoy, but there are times, depending on how the play unfolds, Wentz will take the deep shot. The play to Treggs is an example of that, and Mack Hollins’ 64-yard touchdown earlier this season against Washington is another one that was a result of this same play.

Again, this play is versatile and successful because the Eagles disguise it well and run it out of several different formations and personnel groupings. Out of the pistol with two receivers to the left, the Eagles use play action again to pull the linebackers up. Jordan Matthews sells a nice inside fake before pivoting back to the corner. The underneath defender is concerned with Darren Sproles, and the safety and corner, having already been burned once by Treggs are concerned about him beating them deep. This opens up the pocket to the sideline for Matthews to slip in, wide open.

While the three-level stretch does an excellent job of scheming less talented receivers open, one of my favorite aspects of it is how easy it makes the quarterbacks job not just from the perspective of creating open receivers and throwing lanes, but it keeps three reads to one side, all in the same line of vision. As you can see in the play, Wentz pumps, which brings Giants cornerback Eli Apple up and vacates the zone for Alshon to slip in behind him. It looks like Wentz is hesitating after seeing Apple drive, and afterwards sees Alshon open up, which forces him to reload. With the reads grouped together so easily, Wentz is afforded this luxury instead of having to move across the field or completely reset on a play.

While the version above is a little different, it stresses the same concept. We all know that Doug Pederson has brought over concepts from Kansas City with his play designs. This is a version of the play that I have yet to notice the Eagles run this year to this year, at least exactly like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up in the play book going forward. The Chiefs utilize their receiver underneath by having him run a smoke route while the other receiver on that side of the field goes vertical. Travis Kelce, who’s on the opposite side of the field, runs a crossing route designed to get him into the vacancy similar to how the corner routes are schemed in the plays I’ve already shown. This play works so well because the underneath defender doesn't have eyes on Kelce where he’s on the other side of the field and the deep safeties are occupied with the vertical route. The only way to defend this is for a defender to successfully carry Kelce to the sideline, and that’s typically going to be a mismatch. This is a version of the stretch that I’d love to see Pederson incorporate to get more mismatches for Zach Ertz or Alshon Jeffery going forward.

I hope I was able to shed a little light on how the Eagles utilize scheme and personnel to get looks that they like. If there are any other plays you notice with frequency, feel free to drop a comment or send a tweet to @TJackRH. I’ll try to get two or three of these rolling and then get to some suggestions. Hope you enjoyed!

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 11:25:14 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles officially cut cornerback to make room for Dannell Ellerbe signing

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Done deal.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed free agent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to a one-year contract, according to an official announcement from the team on Monday morning. The news was first revealed on Sunday.

In order to make room for Ellerbe on the 53-man roster, the Eagles released cornerback Dexter McDougle.

The Eagles acquired McDougle in a trade with the Jets back in August. Philly sent backup safety Terrence Brooks to New York in the deal.

McDougle played 54 defensive snaps (9.3%) and 135 special teams snaps (49.8%) in eight games this season. Along with play special teams, the 26-year-old served as the main backup to slot corner Patrick Robinson.

McDougle didn’t play poorly, but he became expendable now that starting corner Ronald Darby is expected to return against the Cowboys this Sunday.

The Eagles figured they’d rather have some extra linebacker depth since Jordan Hicks is out for the year. Ellerbe is a veteran player who could serve as an upgrade over Joe Walker.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 11:31:11 EST from rss

Subject: How

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Even when the Eagles aren’t playing, they’re still winning. The NFC East completed the trifecta this weekend, going 0-3 and doing it in style. The Cowboys looked like shit, the Redskins disappointed at home, and the Giants looked like the Giants. At the risk of jinxing it, next Sunday could wrap up the division for…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 12:56:46 EST from rss

Subject: Ronald Darby says he

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He’s baaaack.

It’s happening: Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby told reporters he’s going to play in Philadelphia’s Week 11 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

The expectation was that Darby was going to be able to play after the Eagles’ Week 10 bye. Now the player is confirming the news.

Darby has been out ever since he suffered a dislocated ankle in the Eagles’ Week 1 win over Washington. At the time of the injury, it looked like his season was going to be over. It’s great that he’s going to make it back to the field.

The 8-1 Eagles have been more than capable of weathering the storm in the absence of their best cornerback. Give credit to the trio of Patrick Robinson, Jalen Mills, and rookie Rasul Douglas for stepping up in his absence.

It remains to be seen how the Eagles will use Darby upon his return. The feeling here is it’d be surprising to see him get 100% of the defensive snaps off the bat. He suffered a pretty serious injury and he needs to get back in game shape. Maybe there’s some kind of rotation in store.

Darby was impressive in his time with the Eagles in training camp and preseason after Philadelphia traded for him. Now he’ll get the chance to show what he can do in real games. If he can play up to expectations, the Eagles’ defense — which has already been playing well — just got another boost.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 13:30:57 EST from rss

Subject: At This Rate, 2020

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With apologies to Crosby, Stills & Nash, it’s getting to the point where it’s no fun anymore to report on significant layoffs at ESPN. But there’s no point in ignoring it, so here’s the Los Angeles Times: “Financial pressures on Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN will lead to the layoffs of another 100 employees this year in a further…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 14:00:53 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles players are celebrating Tim Jernigan

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This team is something special.

If you somehow needed more evidence that this Philadelphia Eagles squad has great team chemistry, look no further than the reaction to the news of Tim Jernigan’s contract extension.

The Eagles signed Jernigan to a 4-year, $48 million deal during the bye last week. His teammates took notice as they returned to Philly for their first day back at practice.


Here’s how the $48 million man reacted.

One really cool thing about all of this reaction is that Jernigan hasn’t even been in Philly all that long. The Eagles traded for him back in early April, which was seven months ago. That kind of just speaks to how great the locker room environment is right now. The Eagles are winning and everybody is happy. #Culture.

Here are some more player reactions to Jernigan’s contract extension from last week.

And here’s exactly why Jernigan got paid a lot of money.

He good.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 14:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers prospect report: Carter Hart posts his first shutout of the season

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Goals, goals, goals

Phantoms update: The Phantoms could really use Myers/Morin; how much time does Martel have left?

11/8 - 4-2 WIN vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers
11/11 - 6-1 LOSS vs. Hershey Bears

Mark Friedman (D): 2 GP, 1 shots
2014 3rd Round Pick, 86th overall

Still no points in his last 8 games for Friedman. He has just two assists in 14 games this season for the Phantoms.

Mike Vecchione (C): 2 GP, 1 assist, 4 shots
Undrafted Free Agent

Vecchione has been fairly consistent points-wise this season, only being held off the scoreboard in 4 of his 15 games this season. The rookie has 13 points (2 G, 11 A).

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

NAK will need to curb down the time in the penalty box as he has already eclipsed more PIM (19) than games played (15) in the early going in the season. His assist on Wednesday gave him 9 points (4 G, 5 A) in 15 GP.

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

Another week, another goal for Martel to add to his already league-leading collection. His 14 on the season are 5 ahead of the 2nd most. His 19 points overall are good for 2nd in the AHL. After the decline in secondary scoring recently for the Flyers, you will likely begin to see a public outcry for Martel to “get his shot”.

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

Oskar gets his 3rd goal of the season to go along with his 6 assists already. All 9 of his points have come in the last 9 games.

Mikhail Vorobyev (C): 2 GP, 1 assist, 0 shots
2015 4th Round Pick, 104th overall

Vorobyev has begun to pick things up as he has been paired up with Lindblom as of late. The Russian rookie has 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in 15 games.

Alex Lyon (G): 8 GA, 69 saves
Undrafted Free Agent

Not really a nice week for Lyon. He battled hard on Wednesday in the Phantoms 4-2 win, stopping 42 shots en route to a victory. Lyon then followed it up with a clunker on Saturday. The 2nd year Phantom has a .897 SV% in 11 games.

Phantoms Notes: Both Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin remain out of the lineup with injuries.

Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

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

  • 11/10 - 1 goal, 4 shots, 10 for 13 FOW
  • 11/11 - 1 goal, 5 shots, 5 for 12 FOW

It may have taken Bunnaman his first 6 games to net a goal, but in his last 11 games he has plated 11 of them. He is the Rangers leading goal-scorer and only 3 points off the team-lead in the points. Here is his 10th goal of the season.

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

  • 11/10 - 2 goals, 6 shots, 2 PIM, 1 for 1, FOW
  • 11/12 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, 7 for 10 FOW

Salinitri finally breaks that goal-scoring drought with a monster weekend. He had gone his previous 8 games without one. Salinitri has 19 points (7 G, 12 A) on a stacked Sarnia team this season.

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

  • 11/10 - 2 goals, 4 shots, 7 for 26 FOW
  • 11/12 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, 15 for 25 FOW

Frost is on pace to obliterate his totals from last season (62 points in 67 games). He has 27 (10 G, 17 A) in 20 so far in 2017. While this may not be as impressive as the Eeli Tolvanen’s of the world, we could perhaps view this as “hey, this is pretty great!”. Here is one of his goals from Friday.

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

  • 11/10 - 2 goals, 4 shots
  • 11/12 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 5 shots

With the amount of shots he has taken this season (76 in 18 games), some were bound to go in. For a power forward scoring winger, Ratcliffe hasn’t had the greatest start in his draft +1 season. However, on a poor offensive team like Guelph, he is their leading goal-scorer with 8. You can see his goals here and here.

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

  • 11/11 - 1 assist, 2 shots
  • 11/12 - 6 shots, 0 for 1 FOW

After a torrid pace to open the season, Sushko has quieted a bit with only 2 points (2 A) in his last 6 games. Overall, he still has an impressive 15 points (9 G, 6 A) in 16 games.

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

  • 11/10 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, 1 for 2 FOW
  • 11/12 - 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 shots, 4 PIM, 3 for 10 FOW

Finally, here come the points for Strome. That’s 9 points in his last 4 games. He has 16 (8 G, 8 A) in 17 this season. Check out this nasty move for a goal. Keep doing these things Strome, do it for Krut.

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

  • 11/10 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 4 PIM, 0 for 5 FOW
  • 11/11 - 2 shots, 2 PIM, 1 for 4, FOW

It’s been a nice 4th WHL season for Twarynski so far as he’s seen an uptick in his offensive numbers with Kelowna. He has 18 points (10 G, 8 A) in 16 GP.

Carter Hart (G), Everett Silvertips (WHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

Hart must be feeling much better as he plays back-to-back games for the 2nd weekend in a row and posts a shutout in the 2nd game to boot. Our bastion of hope in net has a .933 SV% in 6 games.

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

  • 11/8 - 3 shots, 4 PIM, 2 for 7 FOW
  • 11/9 - 1 shot, 6 PIM, 4 for 12 FOW
  • 11/11 - 4 shots, 2 PIM, 13 for 17 FOW

Perhaps its time to start worrying about Laberge and what he projects to be at a higher level. The once promising 2nd rounder has only 4 assists and no goals in his last 12 games. This is very much a “prove it” season for Laberge after a injury-filled mulligan last season.

German Rubtsov (C), Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
2016 1st Round Pick, 22nd overall

  • 11/9 - 2 shots, 5 for 10 FOW
  • 11/10 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, 3 for 9 FOW
  • 11/11 - 1 assist, 2 shots, 3 for 9 FOW

While he certainly wasn’t disappointing in his time with Chicoutimi, Rubtsov has certainly picked up the pace even more, compiling 7 points (2 G, 5 A) in his 5 games with A-B. Overall, he has 18 points (5 G, 13 A) in 16 games. Here is his goal from Friday.

Notable European performers this week

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

Things not looking great for Fedotov.

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

Ustimenko has a .921 SV% in 20 games.

Euro Notes: Felix Sandström, Linus Högberg, David Bernhardt, Olle Lycksell and David Kaše were all out of action as the SHL took a break for the Champions Hockey League tournament.

Notable NCAA and USHL performers this week:

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

What, you can’t have hat-tricks every weekend? With no points against Minnesota-Duluth, the sophomore sits at 14 points (6 G, 8 A) in 11 games.

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

  • 11/10 - 2 assists, 3 shots
  • 11/11 - 1 goal, 2 shots

Laczynski continues to build upon his impressive freshman season (32 points in 34 GP) with a solid sophomore effort with 13 points (4 G, 9 A) in 12 games.

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

  • 11/10 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 13 for 20 FOW
  • 11/11 - 2 assists, 4 shots, 11 for 18 FOW

Not for nothing, but it’s worth noting that Marody (16 points) is now 9th in NCAA scoring and just 3 points off the lead. His 13 assists are 2nd most in college.

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

  • 11/10 - 4 shots, 0 for 1 FOW
  • 11/11 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots

Warren picks up his 3rd goal and first assist of the season. You can see the goal here in the highlight reel for the game.

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

Alert the presses, David Drake got his first point of the season this weekend.

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

  • 11/10 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots
  • 11/11 - 3 shots

Kalynuk gets his first goal of the season and of his collegiate career, woo! He has 7 points in his freshman season. You can check out his goal here.

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

  • 11/10 - 4 shots
  • 11/11 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots

Amorosa finishing off his collegiate career in style, banking 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in 12 games. He is college’s highest scoring D-man along two other blue-liners.

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

  • 11/10 - 0 shots
  • 11/11 - 1 shot

It’s been a struggle for Cates this season. He has 3 points (2 G, 1 A) in 12 games.

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

  • 11/10 - DNP
  • 11/11 - DNP

Tomek has clearly established himself as the backup early on with his .885 SV%. He’ll struggle to get in games at this rate.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 15:07:56 EST from rss

Subject: Dallas Week: Why Supporting the Cowboys Probably Makes You a Poser

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We all know one of these guys: “Born and raised in Mayfair! But I’m a lifelong Cowboys fan because my dad knew Tom Landry’s uncle.” “Love the star on the helmet! Used to watch Roger Staubach on television back in ’74.” “Well I grew up in Idaho, but we didn’t have a team, so I…

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 16:49:09 EST from rss

Subject: Byron Maxwell returns to Seattle a few weeks before Eagles-Seahawks game

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The Eagles will be seeing a familiar face soon.

Byron Maxwell is back where he started. Following a season-ending Achilles injury to star cornerback Richard Sherman, the Seahawks have brought Maxwell back to Seattle.

Maxwell was a disappointment at his last two NFL stops. The Philadelphia Eagles traded him away one year after signing him to a long-term contract. After one year starting for Miami, the Dolphins benched him and then cut him last month.

Maybe the 29-year-old corner can get back to playing well now that he’s back with the Seahawks. That’s where Maxwell made himself into a top free agent corner.

We’ll see. Literally.

We will see Maxwell on the field when the Eagles travel to Seattle in Week 13 to play the Seahawks. That’s good news for the Eagles if he plays like the Maxwell who was prone to getting beat in coverage.

Seriously, though, that figures to be a tough game for the Eagles. Seattle hasn’t look great recently, sure, but they’re still 42-7 in their last 49 home games.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 17:02:02 EST from rss

Subject: Sean Lee Injury: Cowboys linebacker unlikely to play in Eagles game

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Big loss for Dallas.

Bad news for Dallas: starting middle linebacker Sean Lee is unlikely to play in the Cowboys’ game against the Philadelphia Eagles this week. NFL insider Ian Rapoport is suggesting Lee could be out beyond this week after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 10.

When healthy, Lee is obviously a very good player. The problem is he’s often battled injuries throughout his career.

The impact of Lee’s absence was on display in the Cowboys’ 27-7 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta started having more offensive success when he had to leave the game.

Here’s some more context on Lee’s importance via ESPN.

The Cowboys have allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a passer rating of 85.6 with Lee on the field, which has risen all the way to 107.8 with Lee sidelined.

Even worse, opposing offenses have averaged 3.5 yards per carry with Lee at linebacker and more than 5.5 yards per attempt with Lee on the bench.

Losing Lee hurts a Cowboys defense that already ranks 23rd in DVOA and 17th in yards per play. Dallas also ranks 24th in opponent yards per rushing attempt, so that suggests the Eagles should be able to have success on the ground this week. Jay Ajayi could be line for a big game.

In other Cowboys injury news, it’s unclear if Tyron Smith (back/groin) will be able to play. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey is out for this week’s game, so Dallas will have to rely on Mike Nugent once again. Nugent missed a 38-yard attempt against the Falcons.

The Eagles’ 53-man roster, meanwhile, is looking pretty healthy coming off their bye. Starting corner Ronald Darby and leading receiver Zach Ertz are on pace to return on Sunday Night Football.

[#] Mon Nov 13 2017 20:37:05 EST from rss

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

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Watch MNF here.

Week 10 of the 2017 NFL regular season ends tonight with a game between the Carolina Panthers (6-3) and Miami Dolphins (4-4). It’s an interconference matchup.

The Panthers have won two in a row. They’re looking to stay alive in the NFC wildcard picture. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have lost two in a row. Things aren’t looking so great for them.

As far as the Philadelphia Eagles are concerned, this game isn’t super important. A Panthers loss would be preferable but they’re not really a huge threat to the Eagles. I question exactly how good the Panthers really are. And Philly has a head-to-head tie-breaker over them anyway.

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

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers TV Schedule

Game time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: ESPN

Date: Monday, November 13

Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Location: Bank of America Stadium | Charlotte, North Carolina

Online Streaming: WatchESPN


Miami Dolphins: +9 (-110)

Carolina Panthers -9 (-110)


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

[#] Tue Nov 14 2017 00:24:44 EST from rss

Subject: NFL Power Rankings 2017: Week 11 Edition

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Ranking all 32 NFL Teams.

Week 10 of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it's time to see where all 32 teams rank. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week's NFL Power Rankings.


1 - Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 1) - Bye week. Next up for the Eagles is a road game against the Cowboys. Philly can virtually lock up the NFC East with a win.

2 - New England Patriots (LW: 3) - After some shaky early season performances, the Patriots have rounded into form. It’s helped that they’ve played a bunch of bad teams lately.

3 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 4) - The Saints have won seven games in a row. The offense is firing on all cylinders and the defense is playing well. New Orleans is the biggest threat to the Eagles in the NFC.

4 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 5) - Sean McVay’s Rams are averaging 32.9 points per game. That ranks first in the NFL.

5 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 6) - The Jags won in spite of Blake Bortles yet again. If this team had a good quarterback, they’d be much more threatening.

6 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 2) - Steelers moving down four spots after a win? Yep, they didn’t look very good against a bad Colts team. Pittsburgh is fortunate they can rely on their defense because their offense isn’t playing great.

7 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 9) - Case Keenum threw four touchdowns against Washington. It seems like he’s playing over his head and is bound to regress. But maybe not. We’ll see.

8 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 8) - Bye week. Next up for the Chiefs is a road game against an awful NYG team. We all know how good Andy Reid is after the bye.

9 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 10) - The Seahawks didn’t look awesome in their win over the Cardinals, but they got the job done. The bad news is Richard Sherman is now done for the season. RIP to the LOB.

10 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 11) - Carolina beat up on a really bad Miami team.

11 - Detroit Lions (LW: 12) - The Lions overcame a slow start against Cleveland in order to advance to 5-4.

12 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 14) - After losing four of their last five games, the Falcons got back on track with a win over Dallas. Adrian Clayborn earned an extra $750,000 by notching six sacks on Sunday. Not bad.

13 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 7) - Dak Prescott predictably failed to overcome the losses of Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott. He faced a lot of pressure and totally collapsed. Sean Lee getting hurt didn’t help Dallas either. This team was exposed in Atlanta.

14 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 17) - Four wins in a row. The Titans are first in the AFC South at 6-3. It hasn’t been pretty but they’re finding ways to win.

15 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 19) - Green Bay is still alive after finding a way to beat the Bears. Solid outing by Brett Hundley: 18/25, 212 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 110.8 passer rating.

16 - Washington Redskins (LW: 13) - Kirk Cousins doesn’t come up big in big games. In a game where Washington really needed a win at home, Cousins finished with a 78.7 passer rating. Enjoy making him the highest paid player in NFL history, Dan Snyder.

17 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 17) - Bye week. Up next: a road game against the Packers.

18 - New York Jets (LW: 15) - Leading up to Week 10, this upstart Jets team was showing some good fight. And then they went out and lost to the Bucs with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Gross.

19 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 16) - When the Bills were 5-2, there was some talk about how Sean McDermott isn’t getting enough “Coach of the Year” love. Buffalo has since lost their last two games by a combined score of 81 to 31.

20 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 21) - The Bolts have mastered losing in close games.

21 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 22) - Bye week. Next up: home game against the Patriots. Big test.

22 - Houston Texans (LW: 20) - Houston is doomed with “Tom Savage” at quarterback.

23 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 24) - Arizona is 1-4 in their last five. They’re going nowhere fast. Drew Stanton got banged up so the Cardinals might be down to Blaine Gabbert.

24 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 25) - The Bengals are on pace to have their first back-to-back losing seasons since 2008. Will the Bengals finally move on from Marvin Lewis? I’ll believe it when I see it.

25 - Chicago Bears (LW: 26) - Chicago managed to lose at home to a Packers team that didn’t have Aaron Rodgers. Still bad.

26 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 29) - They won, but they’re still bad.

27 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 28) - It almost looked like the Colts were going to beat the Steelers. Indy played better than expected. They still have the worst point differential in the NFL.

28 - Denver Broncos (LW: 23) - Denver owns the NFL’s second longest losing streak at five in a row. Their offense averaged a mere 13.6 points in those games. Brock Osweiler has to be the least inspiring starter in the NFL, right?

29 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 27) - How the hell does this Dolphins team have four wins? They’re awful. Outscored by 112 to 45 in their last three games.

30 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 31) - The 49ers are on the board with a win!

31 - New York Giants (LW: 30) - I really thought about putting the Giants dead last. They’re just playing such uninspired football right now. Getting decisively beat by the 0-9 Niners is about as bad as it gets. New York issued a statement indicating they’re sticking with Ben McAdoo for the season. It’s hard to take them at their word considering how awful he’s been.

32 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 32) - You know what time it is.

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