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[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 08:06:49 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: ESPN says Philadelphia has the best quarterback situation in the NFL

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/30/17.

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

QB Confidence Index: Rating all 32 NFL quarterback situations - ESPN
1. Philadelphia Eagles - The only negative here is sample size, as Carson Wentz is still less than two years removed from playing for North Dakota State. But the other shoe kind of refuses to drop in Philly, where Wentz's development has accelerated quicker than even the Eagles could have imagined. He's hanging 30 points on the board every week, converting every third down, exhibiting total command with no sign of letting up. He's 24 years old, which means the future is bright. He won't cost them any real quarterback money until 2020. Nick Foles is an experienced backup who knows the system, should anything happen. It's crazy that it happened so fast, but the Eagles' quarterback situation may be the envy of the league right now.

Why does 2017 feel like more fun than 2004? No pressure. - BGN
Why this Eagles team feels like more fun than the last one that went to the Super Bowl.

Next LVL Podcast: Run The Ball Against The Seahawks -
Turron and Barrett Brooks take a look back at Chicago where the Eagles basically did anything they wanted on both sides of the ball. Plus Barrett thinks the Eagles can really exploit Seattle this week on the ground... if the RBs can hold on to the football. All that and more on this edition of the Next LVL Podcast.

Brandon Brooks: We're always trying to make good better - PhillyVoice
Bobby Wagner leads their defense. He’s definitely one of the best all-around linebackers in the game. I would put him up there with [Luke] Kuechly neck-and-neck as far as what he does with the defense and what he means to the team. I definitely give their defense a lot of respect. I know some of the secondary guys have gotten hurt, but they just got hurt. We’re not taking them lightly. We’re not looking past them. We know who Seattle is, and obviously with the crowd noise.

Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll's praise of Carson Wentz went beyond normal lip service - Daily News
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he was quite impressed with Carson Wentz and the Eagles, when Carroll spoke with Philadelphia-area reporters Wednesday on a conference call. This is the time-honored way of the conference call. Never yet heard a coach say, “gee, the team you guys cover really stinks and we ought to win easily this week.” But Carroll mentioned a few specifics that were worth noting. “He’s got leadership, he’s got confidence, he’s got awareness,” Carroll said of Wentz, the Eagles’ second-year quarterback, who continues to lead Pro Bowl balloting at his position. “He just has all the elements to be a great player, I think.”

Glad to be Wrong - Iggles Blitz
I didn’t think the Eagles should keep Corey Clement. He did some good things this summer, but I just didn’t see him as a player who would contribute much to this team. I didn’t think Jalen Mills would be more than an adequate CB this year. I didn’t think Brandon Brooks was as good as his reputation. These players have proven me wrong this season and I’m happy to admit that.

Philadelphia Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins defends Players Coalition, discusses NFL donation offer - PennLive
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said he spoke with Eric Reid on Tuesday night and was surprised to learn Wednesday morning that the 49ers defensive back had broken from the NFL Players Coalition, which Jenkins formed to organize those who wanted to spotlight what they say is social injustice in the United States. Jenkins and other members of the coalition had been discussing this week the NFL's offer to donate at least $89 million to charities designed to benefit African Americans in hopes of ending the movement of national anthem demonstrations. Reid, the first player the kneel alongside former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, told ESPN he and Dolphins safety Michael Thomas were leaving the Players Coalition because Jenkins and Anquan Boldin had not listened to their concerns. Jenkins disputed that notion.

NFC East: The Picture Once Again Changes -
There was a time, from 2001-2004, when the Eagles ruled the NFC East with authority, using division titles as a launching point to four straight NFC Championship Games. Led by head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Eagles were the Beasts of the NFC East. There was no disputing which team ruled the roost ...

Eagles numbers that matter: Derek Barnett already an impact player - The Athletic
12.8 – The percentage of pass-rushing snaps in which rookie Derek Barnett has produced either a sack or a hurry. He ranks first on the team in that category. Here's the full rundown.

Brandon Graham making Eagles fans forget about Earl Thomas - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Brandon Graham has been through so much in his eight years with the Eagles. He's gone through three head coaches, five defensive coordinators and six position coaches. He missed most of a season with an injury. He missed most of a season riding the bench. He was blasted for years by fans who wanted Earl Thomas instead. And Graham is still here, still always smiling and playing better than ever. “We’ve been here a long time," Graham said. "I’m just happy to be a part of this. I’m just happy that they stuck with me and now we’re out here and we put a team together and now we’re trying to take advantage."

Eagles rookies seem masterfully prepared for extended season - Morning Call
An upcoming West Coast road swing that has them playing NFC West title contenders in back-to-back weeks without coming home in between normally would raise the alert level for young players. But thanks to sports science, some strong veteran leadership and the overall feeling of euphoria generated by the team’s 10-1 start, the infamous “rookie wall” is not what it used be 10 years ago or even five years ago. “I feel great,” Douglas insisted Wednesday, four days before the Eagles visit Seattle on Sunday Night Football. “I guess it’s because I’m still young. But I want to play, play, play. I just watch the vets, talk to the vets, see what the vets do, how they recover and keep their bodies right.”

What I didn’t expect from the Seahawks this season - Field Gulls
Did you know that the Seattle Seahawks tight ends have caught at least one touchdown in nine straight games? Jimmy Graham has been the main headline here, leading all TEs in receiving touchdowns with an impressive eight, but the Seahawks as a whole have 12, with three from Luke Willson and one from Nick Vannett. That means more than half of Russell Wilson’s 23 TD tosses have gone to a TE. For perspective, Seahawks TEs caught 31 TDs total in the regular season from 2012-2016, which averages out to roughly a half-dozen.

Ben McAdoo benched Eli Manning in a desperate attempt to save his job - SB Nation
The Giants head coach has been candid inside the building that Manning’s part of the team’s problems. Some of his colleagues think this move was part of the coach’s last-ditch effort to save himself.


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[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 08:28:48 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles can officially clinch the NFC East tonight

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The NFC East is virtually over. The Philadelphia Eagles are 10-1 with five games to play. The Dallas Cowboys currently rank second in the division at 5-6.

The NFC East will be officially over if the Cowboys lose to the Washington Redskins tonight on Thursday Night Football. The only way the Eagles can still miss the 2018 NFL playoffs is if they lose out and Dallas wins out. That’s clearly very unlikely to happen.

Winning the division is hardly the ultimate goal for this Eagles team. Philly is still looking to maintain the lead for the No. 1 seed in the NFC with the Minnesota Vikings only one game behind them.

But clinching the division is still a noteworthy moment for the Eagles. They haven’t won the NFC East crown since Chip Kelly’s first season with Philadelphia in 2013. And how many teams can say they clinched the division in the month of November?

So here’s to a Cowboys loss on Thursday night.

Dallas opened this game as 2.5 point favorites. The line has since shifted to make the Cowboys two-point underdogs at home. Looks like a lot of people are betting on Washington to win this game.

It’s no surprise as to why. The Cowboys have flat out sucked without Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup. Dak Prescott has been historically incompetent.

Even if the Cowboys can somehow beat Washington, the Eagles will still clinch the NFC East if they defeat the Seahawks in Seattle this week.

It’s only a matter of time.

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 08:49:17 EST from rss

Subject: Your Thursday Morning Roundup

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Just like Donald Trump, the Wizards needed the Wall last night. Washington, sans-John Wall, fouled their way back into the game, but the Sixers held on to win, 118-113. With the victory, the Sixers are now on pace for 48 wins this season. Joel Embiid had 25 points in his 32 minutes, and Ben Simmons had…

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 09:52:41 EST from rss

Subject: Hack-a-Simmons: Four Observations from Sixers 118, Wizards 113

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Ben Simmons didn’t have much to say after attempting 24 free throws in the 4th quarter of last night’s nail-biting win. “It’s not gonna happen much longer. I’m gonna knock em down,” the Sixers point guard explained. Down by 19 points going the fourth quarter, a short-handed Washington team clawed its way back into the…

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 10:43:21 EST from rss

Subject: Crunching The Numbers: Seattle Seahawks

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Will the Eagles steal a win in CenturyLink Field?

We’re rolling full-stop into December with another edition of Crunching The Numbers, a weekly series where I use a few selected statistics to analyze the Eagles’ upcoming matchup. For an explanation of why I picked the metrics I used, along with an archive of past installments, check out this hub.

I’m not going to dive too much into what I said last week about the Bears, because there wasn’t much to say. Despite having an alarming case of fumblitis, Philly rolled over the hapless Bears for their fourth straight victory by 23 or more points. Even though the final score was 31-3, this was somewhat of an “ugly” win for the Eagles, as there were several reminders in the game that they aren’t perfect. I checked to see if the Bears force more fumbles than the average team, and they don’t, so this was just the Eagles getting lazy with ball security. Laziness makes them beatable, which is why I think “ugly” wins are a good thing every now and then (and preferable to a “quality” loss). They serve to keep the team in check and focused on the ultimate goal, which is perfection. Being “good enough” isn’t good enough. They know that fumbling four times won’t be so easy to cover up against a better team.

Speaking of which, the Seahawks are a much better team. This will most likely be the biggest test and most hostile environment the Eagles have faced since they traveled to Carolina on a short week. And even though they’ve been struggling somewhat lately, I think Seattle might have something of a “kryptonite” for the Eagles. We as fans might be licking our chops at the Seahawks’ poor pass protection and awful running game as playing right into our strengths on defense, but that’s exactly why they are terrifying. The Seahawks have struggled to stifle the pass rush and run the ball all season - meaning they’ve had to learn how to win while having those problems. In other words, it doesn’t matter that we can get after the passer or stuff the run, because they can’t block against that anyway. What makes the Eagles’ defense “scary” for most teams is simply what they’ve been dealing with all season en route to a 7-4 record.

And they’ve dealt with that by asking Russell Wilson to give his best Aaron Rodgers impression, and he’s mostly delivered. Wilson has kept the Seahawks relevant almost single-handedly as the defense has succumbed to injuries with both his legs and his arms. The last time the Eagles faced a seasoned dual-threat quarterback in Cam Newton, they gave up 71 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but picked him off three times. Wilson is a much more polished passer and expecting the defense to force turnovers like that in Seattle is simply not realistic.

So then, how do the Eagles beat the Seahawks? Let’s see what the statistics have to offer us...

Matt Takes

Like last week, the Eagles have the edge in every category. Unlike last week, the Eagles’ opponent isn’t terrible in every category. They aren’t particularly good - I was mildly surprised that Seattle isn’t top ten in any area - but they are, by definition, above average.

There is one place where they are decidedly mediocre, and that’s PTS/1HLF. Seattle is barely averaging more than three field goals (or a touchdown, extra point, and safety, whichever you fancy) in the opening half. The Eagles’ modus operandi is to jump out to a lead early, and the Seahawks’ sluggish starts don’t exactly threaten that strategy. It is important to note that Russell Wilson is captaining the league’s tenth-highest scoring offense in spite of this, so their ability to make second-half adjustments should be respected.

The other statistic to pay attention to is the Eagles’ OY/CMP, which ranks fourth. This might look exciting considering how poor the secondary was projected to be, but in their last four games the Eagles have faced two rookie quarterbacks, a Zeke-less Dak Prescott, and Brock Lobster. There is a chance this high ranking is fools’ gold, especially since the last quality quarterback the Eagles played, Kirk Cousins, completed 75% of his passes at a clip of 10.1 yards per completion. It is entirely possible Wilson has a similar outing on Sunday night.

Okay, this is all well and good, but how does this factor into the game? What should the Eagles be doing to win?

When the Eagles have the ball

While I said it would behoove the Eagles to score early (although that statement applies to every team in every situation), points are not going to come as easily as they have over the past four games. This is because Seattle is actually decent at making teams “work” for their scores, as their 16.2 OY/PT ranks thirteenth. All season long I’ve been saying that the Eagles need to be aggressive - well this game might be a good time to exercise caution. Facing a 4th and 4 with a 53-yard field goal? Trot Elliott out there and take the points. It might be a while before they have another opportunity to score.

Outside of PTS/1HLF, the Seahawks “worst” stat is OY/CMP, where they are fourteenth. This is certainly not a bad ranking, it’s just not really all that great either. Even with Sherman and Chancellor out, the Eagles are probably better off utilizing rhythm passes and anticipation throws to pick up medium chunks of yards. Take what the defense gives you. Try to go deep to keep them honest, but don’t force anything! Wentz had a few almost-interceptions against an inept Bears team. At least one of those would have been picked by Seattle’s veteran secondary.

When the Seahawks have the ball

Strangely enough, this represents the more intense chess match for me. As I mentioned before, the Seahawks make good halftime adjustments and have dealt with a poor running game and no pass protection all season. What the Eagles bring to the table isn’t new to them. And there’s no sure-fire way to shut down Russell Wilson, whose ability to extend plays turns professional games into sandlot football.

If there’s one weakness to Wilson’s game, it’s that he hasn’t been much of a downfield threat this season (6.9 YPA - 12th). Combined with the rather average clock control (30:32 TOP - 12th), the best strategy might be to simply ask Wilson to beat them as a pocket passer. Don’t abandon the pass rush, obviously, but don’t attack so ferociously that he initiates a scramble drill. The Eagles are best off dropping seven in coverage and bringing an exotic variety of rushes and stunts from Wilson’s blind side, while running more pedestrian fronts on the other - even possibly drop a lineman into coverage and bring a delayed blitz from a safety or linebacker. By using longer-developing rushes on Wilson’s right side, the Eagles can create the illusion that he has more time in the pocket than he actually does. When the rush hits home, Wilson won’t have the time or real estate to make magic happen, and if he tries to step up in the pocket he’ll be charging right into the teeth of the defense.

I won’t talk much about the run, since the Seahawks can’t really do it and the Eagles are so good at stopping it. I think they should spread out the back seven of the defense, however, since they’ve been susceptible to stretch and sweep plays to the outside. This would also double as insurance against Wilson scrambles. With the receivers, the Seahawks’ biggest threats are players on the inside - tight end Jimmy Graham and slot receiver Doug Baldwin. As such, I expect Schwartz to run his two-deep look he’s been relying on all season and force the Seahawks to play underneath. The Eagles have been more than happy to give up sixty yards and a field goal all season, and unless the offense really struggles to find its footing all game, I don’t see that tendency going away.

Closing Thoughts

Even though it feels like the dominant Seahawks of 2012-2016 are finally starting to fade away, the fact remains that Seattle is an incredibly difficult opponent to beat at home. The Eagles opening as road favorites for the first time in five years should only serve to galvanize their team and boisterous fans.

Given all that, this Seahawks team is still beatable at home, and as long as the Eagles play smart, clean football they will be in this game until the very end. Granted, they weren’t exactly “clean” against the Bears, but that’s all the more reason to practice harder during the week. I have no doubt that the Eagles will rise to the occasion.


(I was going to say “real birds” but it turns out a seahawk is a thing that exists. TMYK.)

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 12:30:01 EST from rss

Subject: November Phantoms report: It could be worse

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At least they’re not on a nine game losing streak...

After starting the season 7-2-1, the Phantoms coming out of November with a 5-5-1 record is disappointing, but I feel that they did better than it seems given their circumstances.

Along with injuries to Cole Bardreau, Philippe Myers, Samuel Morin, Reece Willcox, and Maxim Lamarche, the Phantoms were without top defenseman, Mark Alt, and AHL leading goal scorer, Danick Martel, for six and three games, respectively, due to recalls to Philadelphia. Their schedule was not too kind to them either. They opened November by playing three games in three nights followed up by immediately going on a six game road trip. I’m not trying to make excuses for the team, the results have to be better, but the challenges they faced should be taken into perspective.

The only “positive” trend this month was 5-on-5 goals against which is, well, not exactly positive. I guess the takeaway here is that despite the challenges they faced, they ended the month hovering right around 50% CF, which isn’t bad.

Positives for the rookies

Rookie skaters James de Haas, Mark Friedman, and Mikhail Vorobyev all had great months when it comes to driving play. Friedman was the most surprising of the trio as he had the 4th-worst CF% relative to his teammates in October, at -6.58%. The eye test would tell you he’s improved recently as well, especially when it comes to setting up chances in the offensive zone.

O’Neill continuing to shine

Early this season I’ve learned that whatever pair Will O’Neill is on will usually end up with the best CF% that night. I attribute this to his ability to get the puck of out the defensive zone. It’s not always with control, but it’s a rare sight to see him fail to exit the zone and turn the puck over.

Lindblom trending in the right direction

There were high expectations for Oskar Lindblom after scoring 47 points in 52 games as a 20-year old in the SHL, and after a rough -6.76 CF% relative to his teammates in October, he seems to have turned a corner as far as driving play goes. While his production stayed mostly static, his underlying numbers improved quite a bit, putting his full season CF% at 50.26% (-1.18 CF% Rel). Whether it was his linemates, his own play, or some combination of both, it’s great to see him on the positive side of things this month.

The Good: Special Teams

The Phantoms were outplayed and outscored at 5-on-5 this month, but two areas of concern showed signs of improvement; The power-play and the penalty kill.

The power-play scored on 20% of their 55 opportunities this month, scoring 11 goals, which was a huge improvement on their pretty terrible 11.76% in October. As of the morning of November 30th, the Phantoms power-play has climbed up from the bottom of the league to 19th.

The penalty kill, while still not great, had some minor improvement as well. An 80% penalty kill isn’t something to be excited over, but it’s an improvement on the 75.56% last month so I’ll take that as a positive.

The Bad: Goaltending

There’s no way to sugar coat this: the numbers are bad. Like, really bad. Keep in mind that using save percentage to judge a goalie without accounting for shot quality isn’t ideal, but this is the best we have so let’s get into it.

Alex Lyon: 2-4-0, .878 SV%, -0.12 average Game Score

Lyon’s first game really set the tone for the month he had. In his first start, he was pulled prior to the third period after allowing four goals on fifteen shots (.734 SV%) against the Binghamton Devils. However, he did rebound nicely after that game and went on to play one of his best games this season by the numbers. In a Wednesday morning game against the Sound Tigers, he made a season high 42 saves on 44 shots en route to a 4-2 victory. Following that game, he would have just one more appearance with a save percentage above 90%. That’s just not good enough.

Dustin Tokarski: 3-1-1, .876 SV%, -0.16 average Game Score

While Tokarski exits November with the superior record, his individual numbers were just as poor as Lyon’s. He did do something this that most goaltenders don’t when he played in every game during the 3 in 3 weekend to open November. Twice due to getting the start, and once in relief. He only had one positive Game Score this month, a 5-2 victory over Laval in which he made 28 saves on 30 shots. That was his only game with a save percentage above 90%.

These numbers don’t fall solely on the goaltenders and it should be noted that the Phantoms’ defensive play was, at times, suspect to say the least. I fully expect both goaltenders’ numbers to improve based on their past performances.

3 Stars of the Month:

1. Phil Varone

Visually, I felt that Varone was the Phantoms most creative player in November and his points speak for themselves. He led the team in points with 14 and was tied for second in goals with 4 behind only Greg Carey. While a -3.94 CF% relative to his teammates isn’t pretty to look at, his average Game Score of 0.93 accurately depicts his impact this month. Varone is currently tied for 4th in league in points with 22.

2. T.J. Brennan

After missing time with an injury October, Brennan returned to the line-up with four multi-point performances this month. He had nine more points than any other Phantoms’ defenseman and although his 41.99 CF% doesn’t bode well for his future success at 5-on-5, his 8 even strength points and +2 5-on-5 goal differential shouldn’t be ignored. Brennan also led the team in shots on goal this month with 33. With just 2 goals on 44 shots this season, we can expect more goal scoring from Brennan soon, as his career shooting percentage is almost double the 4.55% he has shot at thus far.

3. Nicolas Aube-Kubel

This spot could’ve gone to a multitude of players but in the end I decided on Aube-Kubel. It’s true that his production wasn’t in the top three for the Phantoms this month, but, in my opinion, his all around game really shone through. Besides Cole Bardreau, who only played in three games, he was the only forward with a positive 5-on-5 goal differential this month, and he had a solid +4.51 CF% relative to his teammates as well. His 0.58 average Game Score was the 4th-best among players who played in at least half of the games this month.

Highlight of the Month:

11/3/2017: T.J. Brennan scores from a ridiculous angle against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Quick Notes:

  • Mark Friedman had the best penalty differential this month at +5. He drew six and took one.
  • Chris Conner’s 3.97 Game Score on 11/4 was the second highest this season.
  • Congrats to James de Haas for scoring his first professional goal on 11/24.
  • Mike Vecchione, who I neglected to mention, had great production this month as well, with four goals and four assists.
  • For the second time this month, Philippe Myers left mid-game with an apparent knee injury on 11/25. He missed the Phantoms’ last game and his status is currently unknown.

All stats via Phancy Stats, Prospect-Stats, and

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 13:25:51 EST from rss

Subject: NFL Picks Week 13 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 13 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 12, the collective BGN Community is still in sole possession of first place. Killing it.

To some surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles are big favorites over the Seahawks IN Seattle this week. The odds-makers have the Eagles favored by as much as six points. That’s a lot!

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 30 2017 13:32:48 EST from rss

Subject: Swingin

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Death, taxes, and Joel Embiid getting a swing-through foul call. These are life’s certainties. If you’ve watched at least one Sixers game this season, you’ve probably seen the 7’2″ center frustrate defenders with a high-IQ low block play, one where he anticipates contact and motions upward through it, drawing a whistle. It happened twice last…

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 15:05:57 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Seahawks Preview: Seattle provides Philadelphia's toughest test in what feels like a long time

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The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #281). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Seahawks game in Week 13, analyze key matchups, playoff implications, and much more.

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 15:29:34 EST from rss

Subject: Shipping Update: Devastation

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The holiday weekend – Black Friday through Cyber Monday – has decimated our stock, the local post office and, potentially, my marriage. My wife has been fulfilling orders around the clock for four straight days now. Cruel and unusual? Maybe a little. But she’s getting two meals per day and adequate hydration. Shop now I…

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 15:35:32 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles Injury Report: Two players were limited, one sat out

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Update on the Eagles-Seahawks injury situation.

The Philadelphia Eagles released their second official injury report on Thursday in advance of their Week 13 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

For the second day in a row, only one player did not practice: linebacker Joe Walker. It seems like he won’t be able to play this week. If that’s the case, it could be Dannell Ellerbe making his first start with Philly. Or maybe the Eagles split playing time between Ellerbe and Najee Goode. With both Walker and Jordan Hicks hurt, Philly is now down to their third string linebacker option(s).

Two players were limited during Thursday’s session: starting center Jason Kelce and rookie defensive end Derek Barnett. Kelce was also limited on Wednesday. The veteran blocker is pretty good about playing through injury so I doubt his status is in jeopardy. As for Barnett, he was a full participant on Wednesday, so it’s interesting to see he got moved down to limited. If he can’t play, that would mean more playing time for Steven Means.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and slot cornerback Patrick Robinson were upgraded to full participants on Thursday after being limited yesterday. Both players are on pace to suit up on Sunday. The same goes for Trey Burton and Beau Allen, who missed the Eagles-Bears game but returned to practice as full participants on Wednesday.



LB Joe Walker (neck)


C Jason Kelce (ankle)
DE Derek Barnett (groin)


WR Alshon Jeffery (foot)
CB Patrick Robinson (knee)
DT Beau Allen (knee)
TE Trey Burton (back)


Official Seahawks injury report to be announced - check back for updates.

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 16:37:25 EST from rss

Subject: Malcolm Jenkins explains why he plans to stop demonstrating during national anthem

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Hear from the Eagles safety.

Malcolm Jenkins will no longer be raising his fist in the air during the national anthem prior to NFL games. The Philadelphia Eagles safety said as much in the locker room on Thursday.

Jenkins has been demonstrating since the start of the 2016 season, shortly after Colin Kaepernick began kneeling on the sideline. So why the change now? Here’s a lot of good information from a recent ESPN report:

In an unprecedented move for a major professional sports league, the NFL has proposed partnering with its players to effect social justice change, though not all players are in agreement on the proposal.

On Monday, the league submitted to players the final draft of a proposal that, according to documents reviewed by ESPN, would contribute nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities. The NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful-yet-controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he refused to stand for the national anthem last season.


Under the proposal, money at both the national and local level would provide grants for nonprofit organizations focused on law enforcement and community relations, criminal justice reform and education reform.

As a leader of the Players Coalition, Jenkins has been one of the main people involved in negotiations with the NFL.

Not everyone is on board, though. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid — Kaepernick’s former teammate — and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas withdrew from the Players Coalition on Wednesday. They both issued the following statement:

"The Players Coalition was supposed to be formed as a group that represents NFL Athletes who have been silently protesting social injustices and racism. However, Malcolm and Anquan [Boldin] can no longer speak on our behalf as we don't believe the coalition's beliefs are in our best interests as a whole."

Jenkins disputed their claims and called their decisions to withdraw “disappointing.”

Jenkins’ decision not to protest anymore indicates a level of satisfaction with the NFL’s response to demonstrations. Some players clearly feel differently.

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 19:00:45 EST from rss

Subject: Cowboys vs. Redskins: How to watch Thursday Night Football

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Everything you need to know.

Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season officially kicks off tonight. Only five more weeks remain in the regular season.

Tonight’s game features an NFC East matchup between the Washington Redskins (5-6) and Dallas Cowboys (5-6).

As you should know by now, this is a game big game for the Philadelphia Eagles. A Cowboys loss (or tie) means the Eagles will officially clinch the NFC East. Doing so would mark the Eagles’ first division crown since 2013 and ensure Philadelphia a spot in the 2018 NFL Playoffs.

Even if the Cowboys do win tonight, Philly can still officially clinch if they beat the Seahawks in Seattle this Sunday.

But screw that. Let’s have a celebration tonight. Get it done, Washington.

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

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

TV Schedule

Game time: 8:25 PM EST

Channel: NFL Network, CBS, Amazon Prime Video

Date: Thursday, November 30

Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

Location: AT&T Stadium | Arlington, Texas

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.


Washington Redskins -2 (-115)

Dallas Cowboys +2 (-105)

Over/under: 47 points

SB Nation Blogs

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

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 18:42:57 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers Rot Goes Straight to the Top

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It was June 9, 2010 when Michael Leighton gave up what was then just the latest in ridiculous, embarrassing playoff goals in the franchise’s brutal goaltending history. Seeing that one cost the Flyers the Stanley Cup was especially galling. Little did any of us know that, years later, that low moment was as good as…

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 23:15:39 EST from rss

Subject: NFC Playoff Picture: Eagles get no help from the majorly choking Redskins

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The Philadelphia Eagles will have to wait to officially clinch the NFC East title.

The Washington Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night by a final score of 38 to 14.

The Eagles needed Washington to win in order to officially clinch the division.

But Washington just couldn’t help but beat themselves.

They made a number of dumb turnovers and mistakes, especially early on in the game. It was a total choke job performance. They just played incredibly dumb football and handed the game to the Cowboys. It didn’t help that Washington suffered approximately a billion injuries in the game as well. Especially on the offensive line.

The good news for the Eagles is that they can still officially clinch the division by beating the Seahawks in Seattle this weekend. The Cowboys only managed to delay the inevitable on Thursday night.


Top six seeds

1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 10-1 overall, 8-0 conference

2 - Minnesota Vikings: 9-2 overall, 7-1 conference

3 - Los Angeles Rams: 8-3 overall, 5-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)

4 - New Orleans Saints: 8-3 overall, 6-2 conference (direct tie-breaker over CAR)

5 - Carolina Panthers: 8-3 overall, 4-3 conference

6 - Atlanta Falcons: 7-4 overall, 6-1 conference (direct tie-breaker over SEA)

In the hunt

7 - Seattle Seahawks: 7-4 overall, 5-3 conference

8 - Detroit Lions: 6-5 overall, 5-4 conference

9 - Dallas Cowboys: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference

10 - Green Bay Packers: 5-6 overall, 4-4 conference

11 - Arizona Cardinals: 5-6 overall, 3-5 conference

Rest in peace

12 - Washington Redskins: 5-7 overall, 4-6 conference

[#] Fri Dec 01 2017 06:00:04 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: LeGarrette Blount says the Seahawks

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/1/17.

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

LeGarrette Blount on Seahawks defense: 'They're not anything special' - PhillyVoice
Over their last four games, two of which came on the road, the Seahawks have allowed an average of 273 yards and 20 points, with a 34-point outburst by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11 slightly skewing the latter. And in all but three of their games this season, they've held opponents under 20 points. It's not quite The Legion of Boom we've been accustomed to over the past several years, but it's still a formidable defense. Just don't tell Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount that. "We'll play them just like we play everybody else," he said when asked how the Birds offense is preparing for Seattle's D. "They're not anything special or anything different from any other team."

The Eagles face their toughest test in what feels like a long time - BGN
Previewing this week’s Eagles vs. Seahawks game!

Gotta Earn It - Iggles Blitz
Dallas loss or an Eagles win and the Eagles will be NFC East champs. The Skins had a chance to give the Eagles a nice gift by beating Dallas on Thursday Night Football, but the Skins proved to be just as gutless as we all feared. No title tonight. That’s probably a good thing, as crazy as that sounds. It would be hard to believe the Eagles would keep their edge for Sunday if they had the title wrapped up tonight. And that’s not a team you want to play without complete focus. Seattle is already upset that they are underdogs.

Eagle Eye: First Look At Seattle's Offense -
On offense, the Seahawks obviously have some flaws, but they have the ability to put up huge chunks of yardage and a ton of points on anyone due to their style of play. This is a team that loves to plunge daggers into the hearts of defenses with back-breaking plays. Russell Wilson is usually the one holding the dagger when it’s all said and done, and his dynamic playmaking style certainly helps fuel the entire operation.

Let's start making the real comparisons with Carson Wentz - NBC Sports Philadelphia
It’s time to stop comparing Carson Wentz to other “young quarterbacks.” It’s time to stop comparing him to Dak Prescott or other current rivals. It’s time to stop comparing him to Donovan McNabb or any other Eagles quarterback from the distant past. Because with Wentz, it’s no longer about how he stacks up to other Eagles QBs or other young QBs. It’s about how he stacks up with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen enough after 27 career games and 11 games this year to safely conclude that Wentz, provided of course he stays healthy, will go down as an all-time great.

What are the keys to the Eagles-Seahawks game for the Eagles? - Inquirer
DEFENDING WILSON: There’s been a lot of attention paid to Russell Wilson this week, and for good reason. The Seahawks have 27 offensive touchdowns this season, and 26 have come from either the arm or legs of Wilson. He is almost their entire offense — it’s not as if they have the balanced attack of some other teams, or the run-heavy offense of past Seahawks teams. If the Eagles can neutralize Wilson, they’ll win. But that’s easier said than done. Wilson is so elusive and so dangerous on off-schedule plays that he creates problems even if the Eagles get past a leaky Seahawks offensive line. And like Carson Wentz, he raises his play in the red zone. Wilson has 16 touchdowns and one interception in the red zone with a 94.2 quarterback rating. The Seahawks need a big game from Wilson to win, and a red-hot Eagles defense could be challenged unlike any other point this season.

32 NFL observations, Week 12 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: Defensive end Brandon Graham makes a stop in run defense on 14.6 percent of his snaps in run defense – the highest percent of any 4-3 defensive end with at least 70 snaps in run defense.

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins won't protest Sunday after NFL's pledge - ESPN
According to ESPN's Jim Trotter and Jason Reid, commissioner Roger Goodell was furious over the players leaving the coalition. But during an afternoon call, Jenkins asked that Goodell and the owners continue to stand with the players and allow them to do important work in the community. "It's been a trying process for the last year and a half," Jenkins said, "and I'm sure even moving forward there's going to be some growing pains and things we need to move through. But at the end of the day, I'm focused on solutions and outcomes. I really want to make an impact in my community. I want to make sure we do it in the right manner and that we accomplish what we set out to do when we first started to protest as players."

All-22: The silent count, Vaitai's struggles and trying to ‘wham’ the Seahawks - The Athletic
Sunday was not Vaitai's best game. He was called for two holding penalties and allowed two QB hits. On Sunday, look for the Seahawks to attack the left side of the Eagles' offensive line with Clark, Bennett and Sheldon Richardson. They'll use stunts and games up front and occasionally blitz middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Against the Bears, on Wentz's touchdown pass to Zach Ertz, Vaitai got beaten.

Seahawks-Eagles: Seattle looking to avoid unthinkable third consecutive home defeat - Field Gulls
If there’s anything that no one could’ve predicted about the 2017 NFL season, it’s the distinct possibility that the Seattle Seahawks could miss the playoffs because of their uninspiring W-L record at home. Seattle comes into Sunday night’s pivotal matchup vs. the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles having lost their last two at CenturyLink Field, including a 34-31 defeat on Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons. It marked just the sixth time Seattle had lost a home primetime matchup at the stadium since it opened in 2002.

Carson Wentz tops fan Pro Bowl voting - PFT
Millions of fans have cast Pro Bowl votes at, and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is their favorite. Wentz leads all players with 422,491 Pro Bowl votes. That puts him ahead of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the Top 5.

Sean McVay’s Rapid Rise With Rams Offers NFL Coaching Search Lessons - Sports Illustrated
With firing and hiring season drawing near, revisiting how Los Angeles found its coach and the steps other teams should follow to find similar success. Other sections include: Peyton Manning's next job; Eli Manning’s future team; Pittsburgh’s growing optimism; the NFL players’ social justice situation; and more.

Chart Party: Let’s talk about Colin Kaepernick - SB Nation
A common argument we hear these days is that Colin Kaepernick isn't good enough to play in the NFL. This is absolutely not true.


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[#] Fri Dec 01 2017 06:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: Friday Morning Fly By: No way we hit ten, right?

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

*The Flyers are back tomorrow! And after several days to reflect, here’s hoping they’ve pulled some semblance of their shit together and pull out a win. In the meantime, who do you think has been the worst during this skid? [NBC Sports Philly]

*Jordan Weal will be back in the lineup tomorrow, which is good. []

*A lot has been made of Ron Hextall’s “patient approach” to putting together this team, and would appear that the biggest benefactor of this approach is going to be Dave Hakstol. []

*But anyhoo while Ron’s being patient the Metro just got a little tougher after the Devils pulled off a pretty good trade yesterday. [All About The Jersey]

*It’s been a bit of a tough road for the Phantoms lately too, mostly due to injury and call-ups. [BSH]

*Do you think the NHL tries too hard to force rivalries to happen? Rather than just letting them naturally develop over time? [Sporting News]

*The KHL is wild. [ProHockeyTalk]

*Remember the funny SNL sketch about hockey that got a lot of attention recently? Well, what if hockey people designed the next funny hockey sketch? [SB Nation]

*And finally, Lou Nolan and Sam Carchidi discuss their book, which is actually a really fun read. And it just so happens that we’re giving away a copy and today is your last day to enter to win! Just follow BSH Radio on twitter and retweet the tweet linked here and we’ll be choosing a winner this afternoon. [CBS Philly]

[#] Fri Dec 01 2017 08:00:11 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles vs. Seahawks Game Preview: 6 questions and answers with the enemy

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Previewing the Eagles’ Week 13 matchup.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks are set to play each other this Sunday at CenturyLink Field. In order to preview the Eagles’ Week 13 game against Seattle, I reached out to our friends over at Field Gulls. The great Kenneth Arthur (@KennethArthuRS) 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 exchange over at FG.)

1) To what extent do you see similarities to the 2013 Seahawks Super Bowl team in the 2017 Eagles? Both started 10-1 with second-year quarterbacks, strong defenses …

The first difference that jumps out to me is the defenses, not just in how dominant they were, but in which ways they were dominant. The 2013 Seattle Seahawks had an elite free safety in Earl Thomas going into his fourth NFL season, an elite strong safety in Kam Chancellor going into his fourth NFL season, and an elite cornerback in Richard Sherman going into his third NFL season. The Eagles defense has its strength, but I wouldn't say that it emanates from having three elite secondary players. That's not trash talk, it's just a reality that Malcolm Jenkins, Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod don't compare favorably to Thomas-Chancellor-Sherman, all in the early prime of their careers in 2013. I'm sure with Ronald Darby, Philly's secondary gets even better, and I'm not saying it's not good, it's just not what Seattle was boasting from 2012-2015. That resulted in the Seahawks finishing first against the pass with a DVOA against of -34.2%, which is an insanely good number. (The Jags this season have a pass defense DVOA of -36.6%, while the Eagles are at -12.8%, which is still good for fourth. Seattle is at -0.6% this season and that was mostly with Sherman and Chancellor, both now on IR.)

The Seahawks overall defensive DVOA in 2013 was -25.9% and they had a weighted defensive DVOA (more emphasis on the last 10 games of the year) of -30%. The Eagles are currently at -18.7% and their weighted DVOA is -19.4%. So I'd say that Philadelphia has a great defense, but the 2013 Seattle Seahawks had a greater defense, going down in history as one of the top five units ever, in my admittedly biased opinion. The numbers and their dominance over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl help support that argument however. If the Eagles win the Super Bowl, will history classify their team as a "defense-first, all-time defense" type of champion? I don't think it would. The focus is probably more on how balanced they are and that their second-year quarterback is leading the NFL in touchdown passes.

The other thing about the 2013 Seahawks is that Marshawn Lynch was so integral to what they were doing on offense. He led the NFL in touchdown rushes in 2013 and 2014 and was the ultimate broken-tackle runner. LeGarrette Blount has drawn Lynch comparisons over small moments in his career, but we all know that he's miles and miles behind what Lynch was doing in the prime of his career. Again, I'm not saying this as a dig on Philly overall; I think it's fair to say that the Eagles offense is better than the 2013 Seahawks offense, it's also just different. Wentz has 28 touchdown passes and he'll probably finish the season with 35+. Russell Wilson had 26 touchdown passes in all of 2013 and the use of the zone read option was a major part of what they wanted to do on offense. They had reliable receivers but they didn't lean heavily on a tight end like Zach Ertz (because Zach Miller was a bit of a free agent bust) and they didn't have a single player with more than five touchdown receptions; the Eagles already have three players with at least six touchdown receptions.

So I would not say that the two teams are very much alike outside of the commonalities that you mention. The Eagles offense is better than what the Seahawks had in 2013, and they're scoring points in a much different fashion. The Seahawks defense in 2013 is better than what Philadelphia has now, and also seemed to start from the back to the front rather than going from the front (Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, etc) to the back. I would have to say that the 2013 Seahawks are a better team, but only because this season isn't even close to being over yet. With five regular season games and the playoffs yet to go, the Eagles could surpass the 2013 Seahawks as a football team; but only if they win the Super Bowl, in my opinion. And they could.

2) The Seahawks are usually really good at home, but they’ve lost their last two games there. The Seattle-Houston game came down to the last minute as well. Why are the Seahawks suddenly vulnerable at home? Is it just the injuries or is it more than that?

It's pretty hard to encapsulate why something might be different, if that "something" is sort of intangible and unexplainable, while the sample size is all of two games. They lost to Washington at home by three points while missing three field goals, two of which inside 50 yards. So if Blair Walsh makes his field goals and the Seahawks win by 3-6 points (let's say that is true, though we won't ever know for sure) then suddenly they aren't having as many "problems" at home. And if Blair Walsh makes a 52-yard field goal against the Falcons and sends the game to OT, as most NFL kickers would be able to do, then maybe they beat Atlanta and suddenly they're undefeated at home. As it stands, the Seahawks could still go 6-2 at home. They needed fourth quarter comebacks to beat the 49ers and Texans at home too, so I'm not saying they're as dominant as usual there either. I do think it's all based on a ton of perspective and lack of context though to say that they're now vulnerable at home though given that we have nothing to base the struggle on outside of things we can't measure or even acknowledge without actually being a part of the team.

If that doesn't make sense (and I'm sure that I've done a horrible job of conveying my point but I'm fighting to get the right words together), I guess I'm just saying that homefield advantage itself is still a bit of a mystery. When the lines on the field are the same at all 32 stadiums, what makes teams so much better when those lines are drawn in the cities or states in which they reside? The home crowd? Sure. The advantage of not having to travel? Absolutely. The familiarity with all the intricacies and nuances of your field? Yeah, why not. But then what about when there is a change in your performance at home? None of those advantages are now un-true, right? The Seahawks still don't have to travel this weekend. They still have the home crowd. They're still familiar with CenturyLink. So why would they be playing worse at home? Locker room tensions? Complacency? Maybe the Rams have secretly been moving CenturyLink by one foot per day every day for years and then one day you look up and the stadium is in Sacramento and it's like "How did we miss this?" I don't know and that's the hard part of answering this question: Are the Seahawks less dominant at home this season? Seems so. What is the cause? Impossible to know, if there is even something causing anything. Could they be just as dominant at home from now until indefinite? Yeah, they could. It probably does just have to do with the fact that the Seahawks are not as good this year as they were from 2012-2015.

3) If you were game-planning for the Seahawks, what’s your strategy to beat the Eagles? And vice versa?

I don't know about game planning so much, but here's what I'm sort of seeing as advantages/disadvantages and how Seattle can take advantage of those things:

The Eagles are eighth in rushing by DVOA, which is good, not great. It's borderline great. I know they're 2nd in rushing yards and 3rd in yards per carry, but they carry some advantages there because they're a good team that gets out to early leads and then can continue to run it with Blount, Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, etc. Seattle used to operate that way but they can't build early leads and then they abandon the run and before you know it Russell leads the NFL in pass attempts. How quickly the world changes. But it should be interesting to see what happens if the Eagles can't put the game away by running it, because I think the Seahawks could be featuring an elite run defense right now at this moment -- they're only 11th in run defense DVOA, but right now when they're putting Jarran Reed and Sheldon Richardson on the field at the same time, they're almost impossible to get through. And even outside runs are often stopped by Bobby Wagner, the best linebacker in the NFL (again, my opinion, but defensible), or K.J. Wright. I have utmost confidence in Seattle's run defense and they've been as good as ever since Week 5, the lone exception being how Deshaun Watson ran on them in Week 8; I don't think Wentz is going to do what Watson did, even if he is a better passer. He's just not going to personally get Philly's run game going, I don't think. So I expect the Seahawks to actually win the ground game on that side of the ball, and "force" Wentz to beat them (force in quotes because I don't think Doug Pederson has a problem relying on his soon-to-be Pro Bowl QB, tight end, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor) in the air. The Seahawks are now running a defense without Sherman or Chancellor though, so it could be a struggle for them against an offense that's fifth in passing DVOA. I think in watching Seattle every week that I'm comfortable in saying that I think their defense is still great, even without Sherman and Kam, but they have one or two extra "lapses" per game; something they rarely had in the prime of their franchise. Against an offense like Philly's that could turn into 3-4 extra lapses though, so that's something that could be a problem for them. Overall, I think the Seahawks will shut down the Eagles on like 70% of their drives. It's just a matter of two things: Can Wilson avoid turnovers and giving the ball to the Eagles with great field position? And two, can Wilson score 30 points against the Philly defense?

I say "Can Wilson" because he's 80% of the offense, the team's leading rusher, and I don't know if the Seahawks should ever hand the ball off to a running back even once all game. The Eagles should only rush three though because they have an elite defensive line and even with Duane Brown and Luke Joeckel finally playing together (the Seahawks just had their best pass protection game of the season, by far, and it was the first game with Brown and Joeckel together) I think they'll have a difficult time slowing down Cox and Graham. Put pressure on Wilson early and then drop 7-8 and get as many coverage sacks/coverage force Wilson into a short gain on the ground, and maybe spy Wilson and give yourself a shot to not get beat by him on the ground. We already know that Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls almost certainly won't be factors, so if you can take Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin out of the offense, there's not as many other areas to go to. Paul Richardson is another player to watch for, a rising star that could get a $40-$50 million deal next year (really) but drive-in, drive-out, take Baldwin out of the middle-field offense and Jimmy out of the red zone offense, and the Eagles could end up winning by 20. Let Wilson run all around you, pick up first downs through his legs/scramble passes, lose track of Baldwin in the middle of the field, and I think we've got a close shootout. Wilson is typically at his best at home in primetime too, so I'm giving myself a little hope in that regard as well.

4) Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said one of the biggest challenges of playing Seattle is facing Russell Wilson’s ability to run backwards and extend plays in that matter. Based on the times you’ve seen his worst games, what’s the best way to limit him?

Basically more of what I was just talking about, but in the times I've been frustrated with Wilson I've yelled at him (through the TV) for not giving up on plays that he should have given up on. He holds onto the ball for 2.5 seconds in a pocket that's bound to collapse in 2.4. And we all know that the pocket can't usually withstand a pass rush for longer than a couple of seconds in this offense. That's different now with Duane Brown, but it's still a common theme that Wilson holds onto the ball too long, or misses wide open receivers and tight ends because he couldn't see them, either physically or because he was just locked onto the wrong target. There's a version of Russell Wilson that is the best player in the NFL. Any position. Any person. There's a version of Wilson (see: the end of 2015) that's the best football player in the world. And it's when he sees the entire field. Then there's the version that leaves points on the field, runs into sacks, misses open targets, overthrows his receivers, and doesn't quit when he should quit so that he can live to play on the next drive.

However, that same Wilson player who won't give up on a play has also made some of the most incredible plays in NFL history based on the fact that he held onto the ball for too long. The guy who scrambles and picks up a first down. The guys who avoids a sack or three within the pocket to throw a pass that seemed impossible for a first down or a touchdown. The guy who nobody has ever seen before on a football field. Pressuring Wilson is the best way to stop him, but it is also how we somehow manage to get the best out of Wilson. It's when he shines in doing what makes him unique. Because beyond just being a tough guy to tackle, he also has one of the best deep balls in the NFL. He leads the league in total yards per game. He could finish the season as 2017's leading passer while also rushing for 600+ yards. He'll go three quarters with an ugly stat line but almost always seems to add two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and he's almost impossible to put away. Only two times in the last six years have the Seahawks not been within a touchdown of their opponent in the fourth quarter. That's wild stuff. And it's almost all because of Wilson.

5) Which one Eagles player would you steal if you could have them on the Seahawks? If you were FORCED to help Philly, which best Seahawks player would you put on the Eagles?

Part of me wants to say Jake Elliott. The Seahawks are really struggling at the kicking position over the last two years and honestly last season one missed field goal cost them a top-two seed and hosting the Falcons in the divisional round instead of the other way around, while this season they could be 9-2 if they had a decent kicker. The other reason to choose Elliott is that he's a cheap, young kicker and it seems like Philly can forget worrying about the kicking position, at least for a couple more years; of course, the nature of any kicker is that they could implode at any shank, and Elliott has missed three PATs and two kicks under 40, but he's clearly got a special leg. Blair Walsh really doesn't. He missed three kicks in a three-point loss to Washington and couldn't get the ball past 50 yards in a three-point loss to the Falcons. So I'd really like to snag some team's star kicker to put that concern behind the Seahawks for a little while, but ... anyone who could steal any player from a team and chooses a kicker is a damn fool.

If it's for one game or just the rest this season, I'm taking Brandon Graham. Defensive end isn't a huge weakness for Seattle, but depth is an issue there and I don't think that Frank Clark has played up to expectations as a starter since losing Cliff Avril in Week 4. The Seahawks need to do a much better job of pressuring and getting to the quarterback and I think if you line up Graham next to Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, and Michael Bennett, they'll be unblockable and you'd never gain a rushing yard against them. Clark moving back to the depth would maybe be good for him again and it would take a ton of pressure off of the depleted secondary.

If we're talking about taking on any player, long-term, current contract and everything, my very literal answer is Carson Wentz. And no, I wouldn't start him over Russell Wilson, but you'd be stupid to not see the advantages of having Wentz on his rookie deal for the next 2-3 years. But my answer in the interest of the spirit of the question could be Lane Johnson, for obvious reasons. You put Johnson at right tackle over Germain Ifedi, their biggest weakness on the line, and Seattle suddenly has a top-five pass blocking offensive line. Since acquiring Duane Brown, the Seahawks rank eighth in pass blocking efficiency. So if you added Lane to the right side, you'd be taking them that much further towards having an elite line, and much like in the Jason Peters' situation, he could take over at left tackle when Duane Brown leaves.

I think the Seattle player you'd want for the Eagles is the same answer as it's been for the last 6-7 years: Earl Thomas. He's still young, elite, and really not an injury concern. He broke his leg, that healed, and he has had some hamstring troubles in the last year, but that's it. However, you may want Bobby Wagner because he's the best middle linebacker in the NFL and I know Philly lost their inside linebacker. So that's a fit too. I also think Doug Baldwin is a sensible steal for most offenses. A reliable receiving weapon who likely has a lot more good seasons left in him.

Bonus: Who wins this game and why? Score prediction?

I know everyone's picking the Eagles and that my prediction will be dismissed as a homer pick, and maybe it is, but the Seahawks are at home on Sunday Night Football with Russell Wilson. I'm just not going to pick against Wilson at home on primetime, and yes, I realize that they recently lost to the Falcons on Monday Night Football at home. That's my pick, 26-25. (Probably scorigami too!)

[#] Fri Dec 01 2017 08:09:02 EST from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Too Big To Fall and Tough Night Games

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss Lauer, the Sixers’ losses, and the Eagles-Seahawks game.   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”…

[#] Fri Dec 01 2017 09:19:14 EST from rss

Subject: Your Friday Morning Roundup

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Despite not having the dominance of Joel Embiid or the grittiness of T.J. McConnell for last night’s matchup against Boston, the second of a back-to-back, the Sixers did a decent job of making it a game. They did lose by 11, but you could argue they played better than their first meeting back in October,…

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