Today was a busy day in Philadelphia sports news. Breaking it down by team-
Flyers – The Flyers announced today that Claude Giroux would miss a few games with concussion symptoms after being kneed in the head the other day. This is concerning since Giroux has been one of the best players in the NHL recently and losing him obviously hurts the team. The Flyers have been bitten by the concussion bug lately losing Giroux, Pronger, and Schenn all to the injury.
Eagles – The Eagles announced today that Steve Smith would be placed on injured reserve. The move marks the end of a frustrating season for Smith who struggled to come back from microfracture surgery and never really made an impact on the field. The Eagles hope to continue their slim playoff chances next week against the Jets.
Sixers – The Sixers, fresh off signing Thad Young, got back to practice today. Jrue Holiday was back after missing practice previously with an Achilles strain. He is expected to be fine.
Phillies – The Phillies traded Ben Francisco for a minor league pitcher today. Francisco was going to struggle to get playing time in a crowded outfield. He will always be remembered for his big homerun in the playoffs against St. Louis. Best of luck to him in Toronto!
The Eagles haven’t been worth reporting on over the last few weeks as they continued to drop games. There are enough blogs out there complaining about how this team has no heart so I chose to not focus on the negative aspects. The Eagles went into Miami yesterday and got a solid team win against a hot Dolphins team. During the night game, the Giants pulled off an unlikely comeback to beat the Cowboys. Because of that, the Eagles still have hopes of the playoffs. Now I don’t want to sound overly optimistic. It’s extremely unlikely that you will see the Birds in the playoffs this year. The Eagles would need to win out the rest of the way and this team has shown us nothing this season that makes you think that is possible. If they do win out and both the Cowboys and Giants go 1-2 the rest of the way, the Eagles would win the division. The fact that this is even possible with how terrible the Eagles have been all season is mind blowing but as a Birds fan you have to hold out hope. It will certainly be an interesting situation to watch going forward. Until they are mathematically eliminated…E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
The NBA lockout is finally over and the Sixers are ready to get back to work. With the new owners of the Sixers, the team finally has owners who want to change the recent excitement over this team. The 76ers are a young and exciting team to watch. With free agency coming soon enough, look for the Sixers to re-sign Thad Young and probably not do too much else. They would probably be better off saving their money for next season to get a big time player. The biggest addition to the Sixers this year could be Evan Turner’s jumpshot. He has been working on improving during the lockout and apparently has done just that. With this team, Philadelphia has a young team that could grow over the coming years which is certainly exciting. The new owners have slashed ticket prices and really listen to the fans. Adam Aron (co-owner) is extremely active on Twitter talking with the fans. It’s exciting to have the Sixers back!
The Eagles lost an important game last night against the Bears. The loss drops them to 3-5 on the season and playoff hopes appear extremely bleak. Realistically, the Wild Card is the only hope for the Eagles and the Bears having the tiebreaker may prove costly.
Offense- The Eagles offense just didn’t click all night. Vick looked pedestrian and the Eagles struggled to give McCoy the ball. Jackson had a few key drops and Maclin was a non-factor. The offensive line allowed the defense to get pressure the majority of the night. Overall, it was a poor effort.
Defense- The defense appeared to not even try last night. The front four couldn’t get any pressure on Cutler. The secondary allowed players to get open all night and appeared to be allergic to tackling. The linebackers were quiet (besides Rolle’s touchdown). DRC, in particular, looked absolutely terrible. Coleman was active in tackles but it’s not a good sign when your safety is making all the tackles on running plays.
Special Teams- Henery missed another kick and Jackson fumbled a key punt return. Henry threw a terrible ball on the punt fake. Colt Anderson was open on the play so it’s hard to argue the call (Henry was a pretty good HS QB).
Next week the Eagles are home against the Cardinals. It should be a win but it’s tough to tell with this team. They need to get their act together.
The Eagles came into this game previously undefeated under Andy Reid after a bye week. They sit here on Monday 13-0 under Andy Reid after a bye week. In what was a stunning display of what Eagles’ fans hoped to see, the Birds dominated the Cowboys in ever sense of the game. Breaking it down…
Offense- The offense was incredibly efficient. Vick was accurate and smart with his decisions. He didn’t turn the ball over at all and looked almost like last year against Washington. The offensive line appears to be coming together nicely. Kelce and Watkins are beginning to look really good as rookies. Herremans and Peters are becoming dominant tackles. It seems like whatever Howard Mudd is preaching is starting to really sink in. Lesean McCoy may be the best player on this team. Every run that he has can go the distance. I think, right now, that he is the best back in football. I haven’t seem anybody make some of the cuts that he makes on a routine basis.
Defense- The defense finally came together last night. The line provided constant pressure, especially Babin and Cole. The linebackers looked better. Jamar Chaney has been a different player since the Bills game. He looks much more comfortable. The corners looked good and shut down the Cowboys receivers. The only Cowboys touchdown came on a poor read by safety Kurt Coleman. The defense showed a lot of different packages. Asomugha played a little safety at times with Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside with Asante. The Cowboys defense looked confused for almost all of the night.
Special Teams- Chaz Henry only had to punt a few times and Alex Henerey made all of his kicks. Ronnie Brown returned kicks with Dion Lewis shaken up from a car accident. Nothing to report here really.
Next week the Eagles have the Bears on Monday night. Matt Forte has looked incredible this year and we will need our defense to step it up against the run again to keep him in check. The Eagles are currently second in the NFC at 3-4. The division is still wide open.
The new-look Flyers have started their season off pretty well. They are currently 5-3 but have earned at least a point in 6 of the 8 games. If the Penguins hadn’t played significantly more games than the rest of the Atlantic division, the Flyers would probably be in the lead. The young players have been major contributors and the new players, especially Simmonds, have been great additions. Bryzgalov has been hit or miss, but you have to believe that the consistency will come in time. The Flyers have an interesting stretch ahead with a lot of games over the next two weeks. This team could certainly be up-and-down over the next few weeks as they hope to gain chemistry. By midpoint of the season, we should just hope that the Flyers have developed into a team that can challenge for a playoff spot. By then, the chemistry should be there and the talent should be able to shine.
The Eagles finally got back on track with a solid win in Washington on Sunday. This was a big win with the NFC East still very close. Even with the Birds terrible start to the season, they are still in the thick of the race for the NFC East. With the Eagles having a bye week this coming Sunday, all eyes should be on the rest of the NFC East to see how they fare. When the Eagles return on October 30, they will be playing the Cowboys in Philadelphia in a big NFC East showdown. Breaking down this past Sunday’s game-
Offense: The offense looked dominant in the first half. They scored on 4 straight possessions but went cold in the second half. They did not score at all then. However, in the first half they moved the ball well. LeSean McCoy continues to show that he is one of the best running backs in the league. The Eagles limited their turnovers and ran a more traditional West Coast offense. This will be their key to success going forward. Vick had another injury scare but according to the team he just had “dirt in his face”. It sure looked like a concussion to me.
Defense: The defense got their got their act together against the run finally. The defensive line got after Rex Grossman well which caused him to throw five interceptions, including four to Kurt Coleman. If they can continue this performance next week against the Cowboys, then we will get a better idea if this defense is for real.
The Eagles lost another game to fall to 1-4 on the season. At this point, it’s become clear that this team is just not good. No matter the 13 Pro-Bowlers, this team is a sloppy team. The coaching has been terrible and overall football “smarts” just have not been there. I have never called for Andy Reid to be fired before, but at this point it seems like he should be. His time management, coaching hires, and an overall inability to win with the talent the Eagles have are terrible. Breaking it down further…
Offense- Michael Vick had four interceptions but they weren’t all his fault. Vick has been playing better than he has been getting credit. The offensive line was very up-and-down for the whole game. At times, they looked very strong but then there were many times where defensive rushers ran right through. LeSean McCoy played well but didn’t get too many chances with the Eagles needing to throw to try to get back in the game. Overall, it’s been terrible turnovers that have killed the Eagles this season. They move the ball down into the redzone and then turn the ball over. You can’t expect to win football games like that.
Defense- Defensively, this team is terrible. It looks like nobody can tackle. Jarrod Page is definitely the slowest safety that I have ever seen in the NFL. Our heralded corners have looked average. Our linebackers are still non-existent. The scheme doesn’t seem to fit the personnel. There are so many things wrong with this team defensively that it doesn’t appear that the Eagles will pull out of it. Juqua Parker’s neutral zone infraction was one of the worst mistakes I have ever seen.
Special Teams- There were no mistakes on special teams really. Dion Lewis looks like a below average kick returner but Andy Reid keeps putting him out there. I’m not sure why they don’t try someone like Rodgers-Cromartie but this is the least of the Eagles concerns right now.
Next week the Eagles are in Washington to play the Redskins before their bye week. It will take a lot for the Eagles to pull out of the slump but if they have any chance of salvaging the season, it starts next week.
Wow. There’s the season. In a season where the Phillies looked like the best team for almost all of the regular season, they exited in the first round of the playoffs. Once again, the pitching was there but the offense didn’t show up.
Offensively, this team has major question marks. Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins are free agents this year. Raul is almost certainly gone unless he comes back in a “Ross Gload” type role. I believe Jimmy will also leave. He has been on record saying that he won’t give us a hometown discount and you get the impression that he wants a huge payday. Ryan Howard most likely tore his Achilles tendon on the last play of the series. The official MRI results have not come out just yet but many are speculating that he will miss the beginning of next season. You have to hope that increased roles for John Mayberry Jr. and Dominic Brown will excite the line up although that’s wishful thinking.
Pitching wise, the Phillies are still stacked. The rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, and Blanton is a dominant one. Right now, I’m assuming the Phillies don’t pick up the option for Oswalt although that could change. So all in all, the Phillies didn’t do what they set out to do this season. The bullpen has some nice, young arms but re-signing Madson will be something to watch for.
There are certainly things to look forward to next season, such as Hunter Pence and the rotation, but everyone will be a year older. There is no doubt that the window is slowly closing. But you can bet that next season the Bank will still be sold out every game. Win or lose, Philadelphia loves the Phillies.