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[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 09:00:09 EST from rss

Subject: The best photos from the Flyers win against the Sabres

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December 14, 2017: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres featured gallery

Scroll through Kate Frese’s photos from last night’s Philadelphia Flyers win against the Buffalo Sabres.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 09:15:21 EST from rss

Subject: Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 15

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Helping you pick your lineups.

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

Quick Post Disclaimer Note: Yoooooooo! It's that magical time of year – the time when regular old nobodies become legends and find eternal glory. That's right, it's fantasy playoffs time! Did I oversell that? Yeah, I probably oversold it. Either way, the fantasy playoffs are important to you if you're in them – so I'm going to try and honor that with more starts and sits, and (hopefully) less of my long-winded blabbering. Is blabbering a word? We're already off to a bad start. Let's get into it before I dig a hole I can't pull myself out of – but in case I forget to say it later (I will), good luck in your playoff matchups, I wish you nothing but W's. Lots and lots of Double U's . Alright, let's hit it.

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Nick Foles (@ NYG) – Pro Bowl MVP. He left the field with the lead. 27-2. #Next

Aaron Rodgers (@ CAR) – If Aaron Rodgers is playing (which he is), you have to start him. Don't worry about rust or any of that garbage – he's Aaron friggin' Rodgers and he's facing a Panthers defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to QB's over the last month. However, in spite of all this, he's the consensus #6 QB heading into the weekend. That's hogwash. Yup, hogwash.

Case Keenum (vs. CIN) – I often make jokes about Keenum's name. I mean, duh, right? But (I'm on the) Case (study) Keenum deserves better. He's been...awesome (multiple TD's in five of his last six games) and the Bengals just gave up 33 points to the Bears. THE BEARS! That's so embarrassing. Keenum is going to have his way with those Indian Tigers. Get it? Because a Bengal is a tiger from India? Yeah, you're right, not my best work. I vow (to try) to be better.

Matt Ryan (@ TB) – I'm torn (TM Natalie Imbruglia) on this one. On the one hand, Ryan stinks. On the other hands, Tampa's defense blows. Stinks vs. Blows. An all-time conundrum, but I'm going with stinks over blows. Stinks over blows for sure.

Blake Bortles (vs. HOU) – Bortles has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback three weeks in a row and faces a Houston defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QB's. He also...nope. No way. I can't do it. Eff that. Don't start Bortles. He's Blake freaking Bortles. I feel dirty.


Alex Smith (vs. LAC) – You know what else will be dirty? Alex Smith's uniform on Sunday after Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have their way with him! Boom. In all seriousness, Smith was atrocious last week in a cake matchup vs. the Raiders, and should be equally horrendous against a Chargers defense that is outstanding against the pass.

Matthew Stafford (vs. CHI) – Stafford is banged up and facing a Bears defense that has done a decent job defending the pass. He won't be a terrible fantasy play thanks to volume (aka the Lions literally cannot run the ball), but he won't live up to his lofty expectations. And yes, they're lofty. Trust me, I'm a lofty expert. It's my life's work. I have spent years and years analyzing what is lofty and what is not lofty. Stafford's expectations this week: 100% lofty.

Jared Goff (@ SEA) – I know it's chic to say Seattle's pass defense is bad now, but they're really not. Don't get me wrong, they're not the legion of boom anymore, but they're not the legion of doom either. They're more like the legion of mediocre. You know who else is mediocre? Jared Goff. Nailed it.



Jay Ajayi (@ NYG) – The Jay Train is leaving the station to embark on a trip to Minnesota. First stop, New York. Well, it's New Jersey to be honest, but who cares. Either way, THE JAY TRAIN IS RUNNING RIGHT OVER THE GIANTS.

Kenyan Drake (@ BUF) – No more yelling. I promise. Well, except for this, KENYAN DRAKE IS THE TRUTH! Ok, now I'm done. I'm all about the Kenyan Drake hype train – not to be confused with the Jay Train. Drake is good at football. The Bills run defense is everything. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, eat some cake with Drake. Nope. Make a break (for it) with Drake. Again, no. Get on the take for Drake. Still no. Start Drake. Yup, that's the one.

Alex Collins (@ CLE) – I don't need to get on the Alex Collins hype train because I've been on it for a while. In fact, I've been on so long my butt is starting to hurt. I've been sitting in this seat on the train so long that my butt freaking hurts. That's how long I've been on the Alex Collins train. Guess what, the butt keeps hurting this week – Collins is going to drop trow on the Browns. Quick sidebar, was the “drop trow” thing weird? It was, wasn't it? Dammit, my bad...again. I promise to keep any and all trow un-dropped.

Mike Davis (vs. LAR) – The Rams are horrendous at stopping the run. How horrendous, you ask? Really, really, really horrendous. They are bottom five in rushing yards allowed, yards per carry average, and touchdowns yielded on the ground. Conversely, Mike Davis is better than I, or you, or anyone thought. He's aight, and incredibly undervalued this week (consensus #25 running back). Also, he has a sweet name. Mike Davis. Classic unforgettable name.


Mark Ingram (vs. NYJ) – Look, if you own Ingram in a seasonal league and he got you to the playoffs, you have to start him. But I'd shy away in daily formats against a better-than-you-think Jets run defense with Alvin Kamara back in action.

Lamar Miller (@ JAX) – Lamar Miller, more like you are chiller. Amirite? Let me explain, the Jags have the best defense in the league and Miller is playing with T.J. Yates at quarterback. Miller ain't going to be chiller on Sunday, hence you are chiller than him. That may have been the worst, dumbest thing I've ever written and I'm sorry for it.

Samaje Perine (vs. ARI) – Arizona's run defense is stout. Like, Guinness stout. Washington's offensive line is the opposite of stout. They're skinny. Well, not literally, they're NFL offensive lineman. None are skinny. But skinny is an antonym for stout so...just sit Perine and stop giving me lip. I've had just about enough of it.

Joe Mixon/Giovani Bernard (@ MIN) – Minnesota. Vikings. Defense. Moving. On.



Adam Thielen (vs. CIN) – How many times do I have to say it?! Adam Thielen is a Top 5 WR every week until the end of the season – and yet, the consensus continues to refuse to rank him as such. I am outraged and I will not stand...wait, what's that? He's the consensus #5 WR this week? Oh. Well, I guess I don't have to be outraged about this anymore. So, yeah. Start Thielen in all formats...obviously.

Jordy Nelson (@ CAR) – For the lucky few of you (if any) who drafted Jordy in the first or second round and still are somehow alive in your fantasy playoffs and haven't decided to drop him at any point during his horrendous season – it was all worth it! In case you hadn't heard, or in case you didn't read the “Quarterback” section about 13 paragraphs ago, Aaron Rodgers is back. That means Jordy Nelson is also back. Well I guess he never really left, but whatever, you know what I mean. Point is: Jordy + Rodgers = Good. Plus, the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last month. So, as Hal McRae once so eloquently put it, “put that in your effing pipe and smoke it.”

Mohamed Sanu (@ TB) – You don't need me to tell you to start Julio Jones. Especially considering he put up 253 yards and 2 TD's three weeks ago against this trash Buccaneers defense. Obviously you're starting Julio, but I think you should also give Sanu a look. He's averaging 7 targets per game over the last three weeks and faces the aforementioned trash Bucs defense. How trash you ask? They've allowed the most fantasy points to WR's this season. They also let Sanu throw for a TD last time they played. Don't expect another one of those, but Sanu should exceed his expected value nonetheless.

Marquise Goodwin (vs. TEN) – What the hell happened? I was doing so well with the brevity thing and now I'm a long-winded mess. I'm refocusing myself on being efficient with my words, you have my...word. Alright, let's put that plan into reality, word? Lol. I'm the worst. In the two games with Jimmy G at the helm, Goodwin is averaging 10 targets, 7 catches, and 102.5 yards. Yes, I know it's a small sample size, but it's all we got and I'm buying into it. The G-to-G connection is real, and it's spectacular. The spectacularness (not a word) continues this weekend against a crappy Titans secondary.


Mike Evans (vs. ATL) – I hate Mike Evans. He took my 2017 fantasy hopes and dreams and took a dump all over them. A big, smelly, steamy dump. Which coincidentally is exactly what he's done on the field all season. Don't continue to allow this man to Cleveland Steam you. No more. NO MORE! To quote The Who, “We Won't Get Fooled Again.” And yes, I am absolutely the first person to quote The Who and Hal McRae in the same column.

Tyreek Hill (vs. LAC) – Tyreek Hill has been way better, and more consistent, this season than I ever expected. He's been awesome. You're not sitting him if you own him in seasonal leagues. But I'd shy away in daily formats – the Chargers' pass defense is legit. LAY-JIT. How legit? They've allowed the fewest fantasy points to WR's over the last month and are playing at a really high level. #TooLegitToQuit

Stefon Diggs (vs. CIN) – Thielen stole Diggs' soul. Thielen rules, Diggs drools. What I'm trying to say is, Thielen is worth starting and Diggs is not. You got that, right? No? Man, I'm off my game. Let's get through the rest of this before I embarrass myself any further...if that's possible.

Chris Hogan (@ PIT) – Just because Hogan is back in New England's lineup, doesn't mean he should be in your fantasy lineup. Yeah, that's right, your lineup is better than New England's lineup. Suck it, Patriots. Seriously though, Hogan had 1 catch for 1 yard last week (with Gronk out no less) and faces a Steelers defense that has been stingy against the pass. Stingy is a funny word, isn't it? Stingy. Hehehe. Dingy is a funny word too. Stingy and dingy. See, I told you I could embarrass myself more. Never doubt my ability to embarrass myself! Also, what the hell is wrong with me?



Zach Ertz (@ NYG) – Alright, let's tighten this ish up. Ertz has cleared concussion protocol and will be back on the field against a Giants defense that has yielded the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. By a lot. Also, Ertz was an Eagle in 2013 and 2014, so he should have better chemistry with Foles than anyone else on the field. For whatever that's worth.

Evan Engram (vs. PHI) – Engram may be the only bright spot in the Giants' dumpster fire of a season. No joke, I think he's the only one. Seriously. That's nuts hahaha. And awesome. And I love it. What I don't love, is Engram squaring off against the Eagles' linebackers in coverage. But still, LOL Giants.


Cameron Brate (vs. ATL) – I actually agree with the consensus tight end rankings (for the most part) this week, so I don't feel strongly about this call. But the Falcons have defended tight ends well and Brate is super touchdown dependent. Those are the kind of strong takes you get here.

Austin Hooper (@ TB) – Speaking of strong takes, this is not one of them. I'm guessing no one is starting Hooper in their fantasy playoffs. But I'll lobby for you to avoid him in daily formats as well. Tampa Bay only does one thing well on defense, and that's cover tight ends. They literally suck at everything else. Thus, Hooper sucks too. Don't question it, just roll with it.



Philadelphia Eagles (@ NYG) – Win it for Wentz. Also, Eli Manning.


Buffalo Bills (vs. MIA) – The Bills are the consensus #7 defense this week. That's way too high for a defense that's terrible. Yes, the Bills are terrible. They are the #22 fantasy defense this season aka terrible.



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


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

***For more fantasy football advice, CLICK HERE to check out BGN Radio’s This Week In Fantasy podcast!***

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[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 09:10:23 EST from rss

Subject: Your Friday Morning Roundup

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Flyers fans two weeks ago: Fire Hakstol, fire Hextall this team is a dumpster fire, trade everyone! Flyers fans now: You guys, this team is actually good! Two extremes, but you can say the Flyers have been very streaky as of late. The orange and black earned their fifth straight win by defeating the Buffalo…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 09:28:42 EST from rss

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

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Previewing the Eagles’ Week 15 matchup.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are set to play each other this Sunday at MetLife Stadium. In order to preview the Eagles’ Week 15 game against the G-Men, I reached out to our enemies at Big Blue View. Ed Valentine 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 coming up at BBV.)

1 - This Giants season has obviously been a disaster. Are there any silver linings to be taken away from this year?

That there are only three games left? If you were on the side that said Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese weren't the right decision-makers you could say the fact that both have been fired is a silver lining. You could also point to the fact that first-round pick Evan Engram and second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson have played really well. Otherwise, it's just counting the days until it's over.

2 - Who should the Giants hire to replace Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese? Are there any early favorites in mind? Is anyone from the Eagles on the radar?

It's hard to name a favorite for head coach when we don't know who the GM will be -- it starts there. Dave Gettleman is an obvious front-runner for GM. Eliot Wolf (Packers), George Paton (Vikings), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks) are possible. I've even had the name Trey Brown (Eagles) mentioned to me. As for coach, all I want is someone with a variety of experience. McAdoo's biggest issue was everything he knew came from one system (Green Bay) and one coach (Mike McCarthy). I don't care if it's a first-time coach, as long as it's a guy who will coach the whole team and not just one side, and a guy who has experience under more than one head coach.

3 - What should the Giants do at quarterback after this season? Bring Eli Manning back? Pick someone high in the 2018 NFL Draft? Both?

I think both is ideal. Whether that's realistic, who knows? No idea right now if Manning wants to continue in NY if you put him in the position of being the 2004 version of Kurt Warner -- just waiting to be replaced. Can they get the guy they want at the top of the draft? That probably depends on whether Sam Darnold stays in school? Can you really pick Baker Mayfield No. 2 overall? Or, Lamar Jackson?

4 - How could the Giants potentially pull off an upset this week? What would it take to beat the Eagles?

Yes the Giants could pull off the upset. Teams with 2-11 records have beaten 11-2 teams before. What would it take? An uncharacteristically bad game from the Eagles and an uncharacteristically good one from the Giants. A few explosive plays that go in the Giants' favor -- unfortunately, who is actually capable of making them I have no idea.

5 - Who wins this game and why? Score prediction? Do you even want to see the Giants win since it could hurt their draft positioning?

The Eagles win, a lot to a little. Why? They're better, they still have something to play for and the Giants ... well, 2-11 speaks for itself. Yes, I would love to see the Giants win. I can't understand rooting for a team you are allegedly a fan of to lose. Besides, I think the Giants are pretty much locked in at No. 2 regardless at this point.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 10:00:08 EST from rss

Subject: If the NFC East was Star Wars ...

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I was up until 2 AM last night watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi on its opening night and I strongly recommend going to see it yourself. While it is not the best of the new Star Wars renditions, it is highly entertaining with some truly awesome moments. Of course, as with anything, I was thinking about how the new Star Wars universe relates to the Eagles and the NFC East.


  • Rey: It is pretty obvious that Rey is Carson Wentz. Both came from isolated planets no one goes to (Jakku/North Dakota) and have ascended their humble beginnings to become the face of a new beginning. Like Rey, Wentz has fought through developmental struggles to realize his true power and while adversity continues to bear down on our heroes, their role in greatness is undeniable.
  • Finn: Despite coming to the Resistance from the First Order, Finn has been valuable to fighting tyranny in the galaxy. Not unlike Jay Ajayi’s late arrival to the Eagles, where he has played a huge part in the offensive success. While the Dolphins are definitely a worse organization than the First Order, considering they willingly gave up Ajayi while Finn escaped to the Resistance, the impact of these turncoat talent has been integral.
  • Po Dameron: The things that stand out about Po Dameron is that the Resistance needs him and that he is incredibly handsome. So, yeah, he’s Zach Ertz.
  • Leia Organa: As a fearless leader who is willing to sacrifice anything to win, Doug Peterson comes to mind. Pederson has a tendency to get players to rally around him no matter what, even in the wake of Carson Wentz’ injury. From now on, the Eagles will go as Doug Pederson goes and his risk taking will be the reason they’ll be able to get anything done.
  • Chewbacca: Like Chewbacca, Brent Celek has been around for a long time but will still kick someone’s ass.
  • Rose Tico: No one expected Rose Tico to be a game changer as a rebel fighter, much like no one expected Nelson Agholor to be a weapon on the Eagles offense this year. Now, both are invaluable.
  • The Millennium Falcon: Old, clunky, yet still dangerous with the ability to wreck enemy fighters and hit light speed; LeGarrette Blount is the Millennium Falcon of the Eagles.
  • C-3PO: C-3PO has always been with the Star Wars franchise and through many directors. C-3PO is somewhat of a prude and never really does much outside of the occasional great moments, but yet he feels important to the franchise. Enter Nick Foles, who is doesn’t really have the fiery spirit of the average football player, but he has been with the Eagles since the beginning of time (or it feels like it) and he is constantly depended on to deliver something to the team despite not really being capable of it.
  • BB-8: Small, agile, versatile and dangerous; it only makes sense that Darren Sproles is BB-8.
  • BB-9E: Like Darren Sproles, but actually bad? Donnel Pumphrey!
  • General Hux: Talentless, useless, goofy, incapable of getting anything done on his own, and ginger; General Hux is clearly the Jason Garrett of Star Wars.
  • Snoke: An ugly, old bag who is the incarnation of Evil makes him and Jerry Jones separated at birth.
  • Kylo Ren: This is a tough comparison, but I eventually realized Kylo is an easy comparison to Eli Manning. Like Manning, Kylo was destined for greatness based off his bloodlines. Despite stretches of time where that greatness was evident, Kylo and Eli have spent much of their career letting people around them down without shouldering any of the blame. Similarly, they're both entitled cry babies who will only really wreak havoc when their superiors want to hold them accountable for how bad they are.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 10:00:06 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers 2, Sabres 1: It isn

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Some observations for your morning...

Five! Five wins in a row! The process may not have been excellent, but the result will more than do. Let’s take a look at what we learned.

All stats and graphics via Corsica.Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, and

1. We should talk about that first goal...

... but I do not want to.

Inside the first two minutes of the game, the puck was chipped behind the net, and Elliott left his net to retrieve it. A simple enough play, made terrible by the fact that he passed it straight to a Sabre, then got caught behind the net, and O’Reilly sent it into the goal, while Sanheim made a diving attempt to save it, to no avail. It was, on the whole, kind of an all systems failure, but Elliott had to make a better play. Should Sanheim have not been blocking him in behind the net? I mean, yeah. But Elliott shouldn't have passed straight to a Sabre, either.

It was an ugly, but fluky play, one that we shouldn't expect to see--OH MY GOD HE DID IT AGAIN.

Minutes later, Elliott went back behind the net to retrieve a puck, again handed it off to a Sabre, and again was slow getting back out front. Luckily, this time he had Patrick there to block the shot and bail him out, but oh man, was that almost bad all over again.

After the early snafus, Elliott was able to tighten up his overall play, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced in total. With the team in front of him putting in solid work to clog up the area around the crease, they did well to make Elliott's job just a little bit easier.

2. Travis Sanheim!

After taking part in the horrible breakdown that led to the O’Reilly goal, Sanheim was able to get back on track with ease, and this time in his own zone. With the puck cycling around, but the Flyers unable to get set enough (in their eyes) to put up a shot, they sent the puck out to Sanheim between the faceoff circles, who rifled it in and past Lehner, for the first Flyers goal of the evening, and his first goal of his NHL career.

And honestly, it was a long time coming. Though not without his hiccups and mistakes, Sanheim has been making great progress in the NHL, getting settled well, and doing the little things well. There have been more than a handful of games, to date, where it looked like he might pick up his first goal, or deserved to. It wasn't an absolutely stellar complete performance, but all the same, it was nice to see him rewarded for the work he’s been doing, as the work has been good.

3. Defense again

Much of last night’s game felt reminiscent of Tuesday’s against Toronto, with the tight defending and relatively easy breaking up of plays. The first period saw the most of this, the greatest struggle to establish momentum, but it was an issue that never fully dissipated, one that was carried throughout the game. The Flyers themselves defended well, but were also well defended against. They held the Sabres to 1.6 expected goals, and were held to 2.14 themselves.

Throughout the season to date, they Flyers haven't fared terribly well against this type of slowed down, tight checking game, but it was encouraging to see them finding a way to adapt to this style. Just a few weeks ago, the outcome of this game may have been very different. But the adjustments are being made, they're finding a way to make something out of this style, and that's certainly a step in the right direction.

4. Checking the numbers

Some numbers for you: As noted above, the Flyers accrued 2.14 expected goals for the game, while registering 27 shots and an adjusted CF% of 51.79 percent at 5-on-5. This made for what was in many ways a close to even game, perhaps when it really shouldn’t have been. The Sabres just flat out aren’t very good. The Flyers should have skated circles around them, right? What’s going on here?

Well, one issue is an old one that has haunted them on and off throughout the season. Shot quality.

The good news? The Flyers are generating chances in close to the net, and those generally have a better chance of going in. The bad news? They leaned pretty heavily on shots from around the points, which do not have great chances of going in. We’ve been through this time and again, so there’s not much else to say. The Flyers had a bit of a rough night last night, in part because, even as they were outshooting the Sabres, the quality of the chances weren’t doing them any major favors in helping them as they aimed to pull far ahead.

More good news? We’ve seen them clean up this area before. So hopefully they can do that again.

5. Cleaning up

I put this section heading in my outline about midway through the second period, when the Flyers had been able to draw two penalties, while not taking any of their own.

Well, that balance was shifted a bit, as a Filppula hooking call late in the second would send the Sabres to the power play, but the overall idea that I wanted to get at remains.

By and large, the Flyers have really tightened up their personal discipline. During the losing streak, they were taking many more penalties in a game and shooting themselves in the foot. A big emphasis fell on tightening up on this, and the results have spoken for themselves. Even with a penalty kill that is more or less middling, they have been able to make use of the best penalty killing strategy of all--just not taking any penalties.

And while it’s an area that may feel more or less tangential to other areas of overall play, it's one whose resolution has not gone unnoticed, has still made a difference.

6. The second line gets rewarded

After getting, to put it lightly, numerically thrashed in the first period, the second line of Raffl-Filppula-Voracek came back in a big way in the second. The matchup against Buffalo's O’Reilly line wasn't an easy one, but they were able to get something going in the second.

A late-period shift saw them at their best; keeping Buffalo hemmed into their own zone, they were able to start generating solid, sustained pressure. A near-miss came close to letting them extend the lead, but the shot was blocked. And the attempts had to keep rolling.

But wait! A nice move kept the Sabres from clearing the puck out of the zone, and the push stayed alive. The puck found its way from Voracek to Filppula, who sent it in from the right faceoff circle with speed. It was a goal that, in retrospect, given the amount of pressure generated in the sequence, you could see coming a mile away. It was a trial to get there, and it was certainly well earned.

7. Loosening up in the third

After a dominant second period effort, the Flyers loosened up some in the third period. And not in a good way. They entered the second intermission with a 21 to 13 edge in shots, and held an adjusted CF% of 72.39 percent at even strength. They had seized tight control of momentum through the second period, but let up in the third.

The Flyers were still able to hold onto that edge in possession, but allowed seven more shots from the Sabres across the period, and a fair amount of sustained pressure. Defense didn’t fall apart completely, but they had the chance to take the wind out of Buffalo’s sails and really seal the game off for themselves, and they just weren’t quite do that. The key saves at key times kept them covered, but the chances they gave away had the chance to bite them back in a big way. And they’ll be looking to avoid sitting back like this, late in games, in the future.

8. Third period deployment

Something of a hot button topic of late, Hakstol’s lineup and ice time decisions late in games have garnered a fair amount of criticism since the tail end of the losing streak. In some ways, the third period of last night’s game went as expected, as players like Konecny and Sanheim saw their ice time cut a bit. They weren’t exactly stapled to the bench, but they were used somewhat sparingly.

But a pleasant surprise also came out of last night’s final period, as Nolan Patrick showed that he had taken a step up in the coach’s eyes, and was given just under four minutes of ice time, through the end of the game. And while this still suggests a bit of sheltering, it’s also a big step up from the closer-to-zero minutes he’s played in some recent third periods. And, sure, his play hasn’t been stellar, to date, but at least he’s being given the opportunity to learn as he goes and figure things out, rather than just from watching at a distance.

9. Finding a way to win

To sort of summarize and simplify this game, the sentiment would be that it wasn't a pretty one. Voracek noted, plain and simple, that they didn't play a great game last night. He even went on to say that it was a "boring game." And, honestly, he wasn't wrong.

But, as we gestured to above, what's worth noting is that they were still able to pull a win out of this lackluster performance. Before, they couldn't even pull a win out of an impressive performance. But the tides have changed.

And, of course, process matters, and you don't want to see a team consistently putting up that type of performance, no matter the results. But the team now finding ways to win games--rather than finding and more inventive ways to lose--despite the underlying performance isn't nothing.

10. The only damn thing I know

We touched on Travis Sanheim's performance in the second point, above. He had a fine enough night, and tallied his first NHL goal, in the process. Which is great news. And we knew all that.

But there's something you may not have noticed.

After Sanheim's goal, there was a roaring cheer. But when it subsided, there was another sound that lingered. Soft, it was but a hum by the time it reached my ears. It was easy to miss, but I recognized it immediately.

It was Steph Driver, screaming in the distance. Rejoicing as another large adult son earned his first goal.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 11:00:04 EST from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 2-1 victory over Buffalo

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The Flyers make it five straight with a win over the lowly Sabres.

Five in a row? Five in a row!

The hockey team the Flyers have won five straight games, their latest victory a 2-1 decision over the Eastern Conference cellar-dwelling Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Travis Sanheim put the biscuit in the basket for the first time as an NHLer. Jake Voracek picked up his league-leading 31st assist, setting up Valtteri Filppula’s eighth goal of the year. And Brian Elliott stopped 19 of Buffalo’s 20 shots to pick up his 11th win of the season and extend his streak of allowing two or fewer goals to five straight games, matching Philadelphia’s own winning streak.

Check out Bill’s Facebook Live post-game reactions to a game he described as about as much of a “must win” as a team can play in December.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Thursday, December 14, 2017

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 11:16:51 EST from rss

Subject: Everything is Right Again

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  With a mild wave of my hand I feel confident in telling you, “This is not the hockey you were looking for.” Yes, the Flyers won, extending their season-best win streak to five games. Yes, they somehow have turned a disastrous 10-game losing streak into a 5-5-5 performance over the past 15 games. And…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 12:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: The Flyers want to light up your Saturday night

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If you’re headed to the game tomorrow night, you’re in for a treat.

If you’re anything like me, Christmas lights are your favorite thing about the holiday season. Everything is sparkly and pretty and magical. It’s the best. Well, the Flyers are bringing that holiday magic to The Farg tomorrow, and if you’re going to be at the game you seem to be in for something really special.

Per the team:

The Philadelphia Flyers will introduce the “Holiday Light Spectacular, presented by the Rothman Institute at Jefferson,” a new, holiday-themed light show prior to their home game on Saturday vs. the Dallas Stars at the Wells Fargo Center. The light show will begin at 7 p.m. and light-up bracelets will be distributed to all fans to wear that are programmed to match the sights, sounds and colors of accompanying video projected on the ice and around the building. The three-part show, the first of its kind in a NHL arena, is set to a compilation of popular holiday songs, and feature reindeer, elves, Santa, animated Flyers players, and much more.

The 10-minute show, produced by Montreal-based technology firm PixMob, in conjunction with the Flyers and 3601 Productions, features eight, 32,000 laser phosphorus projectors and 50 moving lights that are programmed to be in sync with the 20,000 bracelets worn by fans. The show will be enhanced by special effects, including the inclusion of the center hung video board over the ice, LED ribbon boards around each level, and 20 colored CO2 Cryo jets, to give fans a 360-degree experience all from their seat. The show will also continue during the first and second intermissions between game action.

“This show is a new, can’t-miss holiday attraction in Philadelphia and one that we hope becomes an annual tradition for us,” said Shawn Tilger, EVP & COO of the Philadelphia Flyers. “This show is in line with the holiday staples of the region, and we’re excited to bring entertainment of this caliber to Flyers fans here on Saturday night.”

The Flyers holiday themed game will also welcome Santa Claus for free photos with fans, and feature a pre-game performance by a fifth grade choir group from Evergreen Elementary in Collegeville, Pa. Both activities will take place on the Main Concourse of the Wells Fargo Center. For holiday shoppers, retail outlets at the Wells Fargo Center will offer 15% off all Flyers Adidas jerseys.

OK, so a few things:

  • First, this sounds extremely cool.
  • Second, if you have littles in your family, this seems like a can’t-miss event. Between the cool lights and Santa, the kids will have a blast.
  • Third, if we’re being honest with ourselves, The Farg has been a bit of a morgue lately. Not a lot of life in the building during these games, and this seems like a fun opportunity to pack the building and make some noise.
  • Lastly ... don’t throw the bracelets, guys. We’re begging you. Don’t make Lou Nolan sad at Christmastime.

The Flyers were cool enough to share a couple of previews of what to expect from the festivities, so if you’re on the fence, check these out:

The game starts at 7 p.m. but you’ll want to get there nice and early to enjoy all the fun. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-218-PUCK or at Go Flyers!

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 12:36:56 EST from rss

Subject: Joel Embiid Is a Human Treasure

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Whoever was on the dump button in Bristol this morning was asleep at the wheel, because Joel Embiid dropped a pair of cuss words on live television. It was part of ESPN’s “All Access Philadelphia,” a day highlighting the 76ers on the network’s various TV and radio programs. Embiid was on “First Take” with Stephen…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 13:46:13 EST from rss

Subject: Freddy Galvis Will Now Not Be Very Good At Baseball For the Padres

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Can you feel that warmth? Can you? It’s the HOT STOVE, baby, and it’s heating up. Freddy Galvis, he of poor contact rates and weak infield pop ups, is on his way to San Diego. Can confirm @BNightengale report that the Phillies are getting Double-A RHP Enyel De Los Santos in return for Freddy Galvis.…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 14:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: The Two O

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To quote Staind, “it’s been awhile.”

591 The number of games the Flyers have played, including playoff games, since the last time they tallied five or more consecutive wins in regulation. That goes back to the Orange and Black’s 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on November 6th, 2010, which at the time was their sixth straight regulation win.

Since that time, the Flyers have had five winning streaks that lasted five games or more, but each streak featured at least one win that needed overtime to secure the victory:

  • 5 straight from 12/9/10 - 12/18/10, 1 OT win
  • 7 straight from 12/2/11 - 12/15/11, 2 OT wins
  • 5 straight from 3/1/12 - 3/10/12, 1 SO win
  • 5 straight from 3/15/14 - 3/22/14, 1 OT win
  • 10 straight from 11/27/16 - 12/14/17, 3 OT wins and 1 SO win

It’s important to remember that hockey is probably the dumbest sport (if not the dumbest thing) on the face of the Earth. The 2011-12 roster that featured a Jaromir Jagr-Claude Giroux-Scott Hartnell top line, a 2013-14 team led by their Hart-nominated captain, or the 2015-16 team that needed to go 15-5-3 down the stretch to reach the postseason couldn’t rattle off five straight wins without the assistance of extra time. However, this team, the one that had serious secondary scoring troubles and a horrendous penalty kill just two weeks ago, has managed to pull off this feat.

After receiving precisely zero bounces during their 10-game losing streak, it was inevitable that the Flyers would have some things go there way once they started winning again. That has been illustrated during this win streak, as they were outshot 45-21 against the Calgary Flames and 37-26 against the Vancouver Canucks within the first three wins, which featured poor 5-on-5 play and heavy reliance on Brian Elliott in each contest.

Then, the Flyers dominated the Toronto Maple Leafs and overcame a third-period deficit they didn’t deserve before pulling off the team’s goal of the season; they then received another bounce last night when they played the Buffalo Sabres.

With four lines that seem to be clicking, Elliott still playing well, and luck temporarily on their side, can the Flyers make it six straight regulation wins tomorrow against the Dallas Stars?

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 14:24:23 EST from rss

Subject: The Phillies Signed Carlos Santana It Could Mean Something Big Will Go Down

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Flames! Flames are flying EVERYWHERE from the hot stove. Man! I must say, I didn’t see this one coming: Source confirms: Carlos Santana in agreement with #Phillies, three years, $60M. First reported: @JonHeyman. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2017 Oh, shit. You know what? Yes, I did. I actually wrote about it last month.…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 15:06:54 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles-Giants Final Injury Report: Stefen Wisniewski is questionable, New York is really banged up

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The Philadelphia Eagles released their third official injury report on Friday in advance of their Week 15 game against the New York Giants.

Only one Eagles player is listed: starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski. He’s officially questionable to play.

The feeling here is that it’d be surprising if Wisniewski is able to suit up. He sat out of practice entirely on Wednesday before being limited on both Thursday and Friday. Considering how important Wis is to the Eagles’ long-term success this season, they might be better off not pushing it.

If Wis can’t play, it seems like Chance Warmack might be the one who gets at the start at left guard. He reportedly got first team reps this week. He probably won’t have a long leash if he struggles, however. The Eagles quicky pulled him out of the Rams game after he struggled filling in for Wis there. Or maybe the Eagles just rotate Warmack with Isaac Seumalo. Who the heck knows.

Either way, being without Wis is a significant loss for the Eagles. Warmack and Seumalo have really struggled at left guard. So has Halapoulivaati Vaitai at left tackle. Big V has allowed an NFL-high 21 pressures over the last four weeks. That left side of the Eagles’ offensive line is a real concern right now.

The Giants are so bad that the Eagles might be able to overcome their o-line issues. We’ll see.

In other injury news, Zach Ertz is ready to play after missing last week’s game.

Joe Walker is also set to return after sitting out the last two games with a neck injury. He’ll likely resume his role as the middle linebacker in Philly’s base defense.

Alshon Jeffery and Steven Means are good to go after missing Thursday’s practice due to illness.

Nick Foles will start at quarterback with Carson Wentz out for the season. Nate Sudfeld, the backup to Foles, will be active for the first time in his career.

Everyone else is ready to play.



OG Stefen Wisniewski (ankle)



CB Sidney Jones


QB Carson Wentz

OT Jason Peters

LB Jordan Hicks

RB Darren Sproles

S Chris Maragos

K Caleb Sturgis

CB Randall Goforth

DT Aziz Shittu

WR Dom Williams


In addition to the myriad of key players the Giants have on injured reserve, New York is dealing with some injuries on their 53-man roster.

Starting safety Landon Collins is doubtful to play. He sat out of practice on Wednesday and Friday. He tried to test it on Thursday but only managed to be limited. Collins is one of the Giants’ best remaining players so this would be a significant absence.

Giants backup safety/special teams ace Nat Berhe has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury in practice this week. Berhe is like the Giants’ version of Chris Maragos; he leads New York in special teams tackles. So this is a noteworthy loss for a Giants ST unit that already ranks 29th in special teams DVOA.

Starting cornerback Brandon Dixon is questionable. The Giants are already very thin at corner.

Roger Lewis is also questionable. He leads all Giants wide receivers in snaps played this season. Lewis sat out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday before being limited on Friday.


S Nat Berhe (hamstring)


S Landon Collins (ankle)


CB Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring)

WR Roger Lewis (ankle)

WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring)



Too long to type out, so here’s a screenshot.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 16:26:37 EST from rss

Subject: Sixers All Access: Distrusting the Process, Beet Eating, and the Allure of Kobe and Hakeem

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ESPN is in Philadelphia today for the “All Access” look at your 76ers. We didn’t learn anything Earth-shattering from the wall-to-wall media coverage, but there were some interesting quotes and nuggets that I wanted to highlight here, beginning with JJ Redick, who did a live hit with Kevin Negandhi on Sports Center this morning: on…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 16:23:55 EST from rss

Subject: This Eagles season is not completely lost with Nick Foles starting

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The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #285). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Giants game in Week 15, talk about how the team moves forward with Nick Foles, and much more.

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 16:55:30 EST from rss

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It’s Oklahoma City vs. Philadelphia on national television tonight and Russell Westbrook is coming off a 3-17 shooting clip from Wednesday’s win at Indiana. He finished with just 10 points but added 17 rebounds and 12 assists for – surprise! – another triple-double. Knowing what we know about Westbrook, that scoring performance was probably an…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 16:34:17 EST from rss

Subject: Win $500 Worth of Tailgating Prizes From Our Friends at AmeriGas

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So we’ve entered a fabulous partnership with AmeriGas, through the big game, to give away some awesome tailgate items to a lucky reader. All you have to do is enter your name and email here and you’ll be entered to win $500 worth of tailgating equipment: a portable grill, patio space heater, two tailgating chairs…

[#] Fri Dec 15 2017 17:04:21 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles v. Giants Week 15: Five Friday For Sures

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Does life have meaning without Carson Wentz?

It’s Week 15? Jeez that’s depressing.

I know we still have some postseason ball around the corner, but still. the NFL season has never gone slowly enough. I move for a second league—a developmental league—that runs from late winter to mid-summer. Practices start in December, games start in February, championship by July. Never will we be without football, and there will be a place for young players to grow. Boom-shakalaka.

Hey Rog! When that $200M contract expires and you’re ready to move on, you know where to find me.

(I mean really you don’t, cause I’ll be three years removed from college, in a completely different city, and the internet may be totally destroyed by then or something, but whatever. We’ll get in touch.)

Let’s get into these for-sures.

1) The future defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles

He’s going to be on the field this Sunday. Don’t ask me exactly who it is, but he’ll be there.

I think the smart money is still on Jim Schwartz. If you look at the recent resounding successes on the NFL coaching market, you find offensive-minded men: Doug Pederson, Sean McVay, Doug Marrone, Kyle Shanahan, Anthony Lynn (if we’re ready to call that a success). And certainly, there have been a fair share of failures as well: Hue Jackson, (Adam Gase (maybe?), Mike Mularkey, Bill O’Brien (if they fire BOB I’m gonna be pissed)—but it only serves the point:

NFL teams are hiring offensive minds to become their head coaches.

Across the 32 head coaches of the NFL, 18 have predominately offensive backgrounds and 14 have predominately defensive backgrounds. If you cut sample size to just include coaches hired in the last 5 years, the ratio jumps to 22 offensive minds, 12 defensive minds. In the last 2 seasons, 10 offensive coaches, only 2 defensive coaches.

All this goes to say: I’m not as sold on Jim Schwartz’s departure from Philadelphia for a head coaching gig as others seem. Looking across the league at jobs that may likely open, I see a lot of teams with 3-4 personnel and young, bright QBs. Jim Schwartz isn’t the man for those jobs. Honestly, his best fits may be in Cleveland and New York (Giants)—but both of those teams are predicted to spend top picks on young QBs.

As such, I still believe Jim Schwartz is the defensive coordinator of Philadelphia in 2018—especially when you consider that he may feel Philadelphia has unfinished business, if the Eagles fail to make it as far into the postseason as they would have with Carson at the helm. But let’s say he leaves (Tennessee? I dunno). I think the best candidate for Philadelphia’s job is already in house: Chris Wilson.

Philadelphia’s defensive line coach only has two years of experience at the NFL, both as the DL coach for the Eagles. However, he was the defensive coordinator for three years at Mississippi State before moving on to coach some good defensive lines in Georgia, USC, and Missouri. Philadelphia’s front-four raves about Wilson’s zeal and sound knowledge base. Because Philadelphia’s defense is constructed to rely more heavily on the front four than the back-end, Wilson is a more likely promotion than DB coach Cory Undlin, a great positional coach in his own right.

Don’t sleep, however, on the potential of Steve Spagnuolo, defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Giants, as a potential DC target for Philly should Schwartz leave town. Spags may fall victim to a house-cleaning under the new regime. He runs an aggressive 4-3, and some of his particular preferences already fit in Philadelphia: DL who can play all across the line; smaller, quicker linebackers who can execute his zone blitzes.

[BLG Note: Plus the Eagles were reportedly interested in Spags before hiring Schwartz.]

2) Bad OL play

The Giants offensive line is going to play poorly? Permit me a moment to collect my jaw from the floor.

Of course, the running joke that is the Giants’ offensive line is well-worn by this point, but we must capitalize while we can. It’s quite likely that New York’s new front office prioritizes the trenches, after they were so neglected by the previous administration. Gotta get in my jabs where I can.

However, we must recognize that the poor line play will not be exclusive to New York: if LG Stefen Wisniewski (questionable, ankle) can’t go, or is at all limited, Philadelphia is going to struggle as well.

I said in the middle of the season that Philadlephia’s offensive line was playing better than any unit in the NFL. Now, it is the biggest liability on this team.

QB Nick Foles’ blindside is already a big question mark. While QB Carson Wentz excelled at escaping pressure, Foles lacks his athleticism and presence, which will only magnify the previously-masked issues had by LT Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Big V, heralded by a few to be the long-term answer at RT when Lane Johnson shifts over to the left, simply has not looked like NFL starter material. Servicable backup? Certainly. But he’s not the dude.

Meanwhile, he and Wisniewski have endured their share of struggles, as the lack of practice time and continuity on the left side has led to the misdiagnosis of stunts and twists all too often. Considering the steep drop off in pass-protection at LG, should Chance Warmack or Isaac Seumalo step into Wiz’s shoes, things can’t get much uglier on the left for Philadelphia.

Solutions? Run the ball a whole stinkin’ lot. Both Big V and Warmack are far stronger run blockers than they are pass protectors. When you have to pass, slant protection to the left or rollout to the right. Leaving those two on their lonesome is a recipe for disaster.

The silver lining: OT Will Beatty may dress for the first time as an Eagle against his former team.

(That’s not really a silver lining, I know. It’s just a fact.)

3) Super duper over-analysis on the Jason Kelce rage kickSuper over-

I was legitimately shocked when I got a Bleacher Report push notification to inform me that Jason Kelce had kicked over a garbage can at practice. Admittedly, I have no idea how push notifications, apps, phones, or technology works as a whole, and there’s a very good chance I involuntarily checked the box that says “Send me a doggone homing pigeon whenever Najee Goode sneezes.”

But c’mon.

Firstly: I freaking hope Jason Kelce is kickin’ stuff in practice. He is officially the leader of this football team, with Jason Peters and Carson Wentz both injured. He is the incumbent veteran, the coordinator of the offense, and is the longest-tenured Eagle on the offensive not named Brent.

And his offensive line, as we alluded to above, has not been playing good football as of late.

Secondly: have any of y’all been cleated? I grew up running cross country. You wore metal spikes in your race shoes, and if you got caught in traffic the wrong way, you were bleeding profusely for the next 3.1 miles. Getting cleated sucks in all caps.

Meanwhile, Jason Kelce is a 300 lb man and looks like a grizzly bear. I think we’re fortunate that he only kicked a small plastic bin, and not, you know, a hole into the wall.

All things considered, I’m really looking forward to coming back from commercial only to have Thom Brennaman and Chris Spielman dig into the deep implications of Kelce’s receptacle spectacle like it’s a college lit class.

I will, however, always, enjoy Pat McAfee breakdowns.

4) An ode to Carson Wentz

Let me tell you what I do not need.

I do not need a montage of Carson Wentz’s greatest plays, Merrill Reese’s elated cries in the background.

I do not need a breakdown of Carson Wentz’s numbers across 16 games, and how they compare to MVPs of the past.

I do not need pie charts and graphs that detail the precipitous drop of the Eagles’ probability of achieving the NFC’s first seed, or reaching the S**** B*** (bad juju), or even winning the S**** B***.

My body and soul are not prepared to withstand a well-prepared homage to the latest casualty of the 2017 injury bug. I just can’t do it. He was so young—*sniffles*—and so innocent.

Let me tell you exactly what’s gonna happen on Sunday.

I’m gonna bawl my doggone eyes out when the Fox broadcast subjects me to the torment nonetheless.

5) #FolesMania2k18

Yeah, I think (hope? pray? rest my entire self-worth on the thought that?) Philly will win. Despite the loss of Carson Wentz, the sum of this team’s roster and coaching staff had the Eagles humming at a championship level. Carson is gone—but the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles remain, and they are a darn good football team.

Foles will hold things down. He’s a vet; he knows what’s up. He won’t try to do too much in his first start, but rather will execute the offense carefully tweaked by HC Doug Pederson to fit his skill set. The goal against New York isn’t to come out with a high-powered offense, remove every doubt, etc... The goal is to ensure this team doesn’t spiral into a pit of despair and presumed playoff elimination. A bumpy victory is fine—it’s even expected; I can even stomach a loss with bright spots.

Just give us something to build on, that we can have a solid offense on the field come Divisional Weekend.

I expect a strong game from this defense, who simply must step up in Carson’s absence. After S Malcolm Jenkins’ impassioned postgame speech, I expect him to give Eli fits (as he did in the second game against New York in 2016). I like both Jenk and CB Ronald Darby for picks on the day, while DE Brandon Graham (3.5 sacks in his last 4 games, 8.5 on the season) breaks double digits for the first time in his career, with 1.5 on the day.

Foles will manage the game and move the football, but Philly will sputter in the red zone without Carson’s stellar play in that area. I like Foles to get throw one TD to TE Zach Ertz (and one INT). Jay Ajayi, off of his first 15+ touch game as an Eagle, sees 15 again, this time for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. K Jake Elliott hits 3 field goals, including one from 50+, as Pederson grows more conservative on 4th down in Wentz’s absence.

23-10 Philadelphia. With a win against the Giants, Philadelphia locks up a first-round bye for the playoffs.

[#] Sat Dec 16 2017 05:12:40 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: RG3 thinks Philadelphia should give him a chance

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/16/17.

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

RGIII Pleads His Case To Eagles: ‘I Can Help’ - CBS Philly
Robert Griffin III made his case to the Eagles, pleaded they bring him in as a backup to Nick Foles. “You know, I sat here and I watched you banging the hammer for Colin Kaepernick to go there yesterday, right?” Griffin told Stephen A. Smith during a guest appearance on ESPN’s First Take via The Washington Post. “I think you should be banging the hammer for me to go there. If you want to talk about a guy that can do similar things that Carson can do, why not? Why not? Why not?”

This Eagles season is not completely lost with Nick Foles starting - BGN
The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #285). In this episode, we preview the Eagles vs. Giants game in Week 15, talk about how the team moves forward with Nick Foles, and much more.

Where does Doug Pederson rank in new 'Head Coach Rating?' - PhillyVoice
According to 'Head Coach Ranking,' Doug Pederson is rated third in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick and Sean Payton.

Game Review – PHI 43, LAR 35 - Iggles Blitz
Jay Ajayi had a good game, maybe his best as an Eagle. 15-78. Ran hard and did a good job of breaking tackles. Made several good cuts in the game. Had a terrific run in the early 2nd. Went to the left. Made a jump cut to get by the ILB and then read his downfield blocks well. Got 19 on the play. Ran for 10 yards in the 4th Qtr to move the team into good FG range. Made a real smart play when he went down inbounds on outside run at the end of the game. Forced Rams to burn a timeout. Bobbled the handoff on 3rd down run and made everyone hold their breath for half a second, but secured it and almost got the 1st down. Loved the fact he protected the ball on the final drive. Also had some good pass blocks.

Eagle Eye: Then And Now, Analyzing Nick Foles' Entire Career -
With the Eagles losing Carson Wentz due to a knee injury, many people - fans, reporters, analysts - are trying to project what the Eagles' offense will look like with Nick Foles moving forward. I wondered the same thing so I watched all of Foles' tape from the last few years because it’s been quite a journey. We all remember the "27 and 2" year from 2013 when he was incredibly efficient as a starter in Chip Kelly’s first season. He was more down than he was up in 2014 but still managed to win a lot of games for the Eagles. He was traded to the Rams in 2015, performed moderately well, but was released after the team selected Jared Goff with the first overall pick. He was signed by Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 and won his lone start. Now he’s here and ready to take the reins of a team looking to make a deep playoff run.

'Listen, he's going to get hurt.' Philly soaks up another beatdown - ESPN
The diagnosis slammed the door on the quarterback's breakout sophomore season -- his franchise-record 33 touchdown passes, his MVP pursuit -- and abruptly rerouted the Eagles' 2017 campaign. If they get to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII, backup Nick Foles will have to take them there. But Wentz's newly torn ACL did more than just lay waste to the Eagles' plans. It also ripped the scab off an old wound the size of the Delaware Valley. "If you're a Philadelphian, you accept the reality that you're living in a Road Runner cartoon," explains Ray Didinger, the Pro Football Hall of Fame-recognized scribe who has seen more Philly football games than almost anyone. "You go through life looking up, waiting for the anvil to fall. And this is it. This is the anvil."

32 NFL observations, Week 14 - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been one of the most effective pass-catchers in scramble drill situations this year. Through 14 weeks, he’s caught 4-of-5 catchable targets when his quarterback has scrambled, for 43 yards and one touchdown, and a wide receiver rating of 127.1 that ranks third among receivers with at least five targets during the scramble drill.

How will the Eagles respond after Carson Wentz's injury? Doug Pederson, key veterans work to set the message - Inquirer
“To the fans out there, you can’t lose faith,” Pederson said. “This has been a resilient football team all season long. If there’s ever an opportunity for me as a head football coach to rally the troops, now might be the time.” Pederson wants it on his shoulders. Good luck walking by him in the team facility wallowing in sorrow. He won’t allow the Eagles to feel bad for themselves. He hit the same note after Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, and Jordan Hicks were injured, and he’s not going to stand for it now that the Eagles are a league-best 11-2 with a chance to clinch a first-round bye on Sunday against the New York Giants.

Lucky for Nick Foles, his go-to guy is back - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Nick Foles won't see many familiar faces when he makes his first start for the Eagles in over three years, but at least one of his go-to receivers is still around. Foles hasn't been in the lineup for a week, and the Eagles quarterback is already getting reinforcements. Zach Ertz cleared the concussion protocol on Wednesday and is expected to play against the Giants on Sunday, adding a valuable weapon to the offense, and reuniting a dynamic duo in the process.

What Philadelphia Eagles' Doug Pederson wants to see from Nick Foles against Giants' blitz - PennLive
"Obviously, No. 1 would just be get the ball out of your hand and then get it to the right receiver," Pederson said. "Secondly, would be to make a protection check and get us into a safer protection possibly. And then, thirdly, is just sometimes you know you're getting heated up and you know you're going to be one less [blocker] and just make a play. Those are kind of the three factors that go into it."

Q&A with Joe Banner: On the Eagles with Foles and revisiting the A.J. Feeley trade - The Athletic
So I'm a big fan. I think whoever signs [Trey Burton], including the Eagles, will be getting a great value. It's just going to be hard for the Eagles as they look at all the different guys to just keep everybody. Because he's a backup, he may fall into that category. But they're lucky to have him. I think if they were in a different situation with the roster overall or with the position, they'd be working really hard to sign him. You can't really miss it once he starts to play.

Can Eagles win it all without Carson Wentz? Giants showed the way - Big Blue View
He raised the Super Bowl rematch against the Bills, completing 62 percent of his passes for 222 yards and a touchdown, doing enough — along with a 39-carry, 172-yard rushing attack — to dominate the time of possession, while an innovative defense concocted by Belichick frustrated the Jim Kelly and the K-Gun offense. The moral of all this? Even if the Giants were healthy and playing up to expectations, they can not take the Wentz-less Eagles for granted this Sunday. They still have a good team with good pieces around Foles, and that can be enough. All they have to do is look to their own history books to see an example of the backup getting it done.

Is the XFL coming back? - PFT
In 2001, the WWE (then the WWF) and NBC launched the XFL, a no-holds-barred football league that served as a supplement to the NFL, whose broadcast rights NBC didn’t have at the time. A documentary that debuted earlier this year regarding the long-defunct league ended with WWE owner Vince McMahon and former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol musing about a revival. Now, out of nowhere, rumors of a potential return of the XFL have surfaced, with Brad Shepard reporting that McMahon is “looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.”

Panthers investigating owner Jerry Richardson for alleged workplace misconduct - SB Nation
The Carolina Panthers announced Friday that an internal investigation has been launched into allegations of workplace misconduct against the team’s owner, Jerry Richardson.


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