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Consecutive Big 5 wins for top-ranked Villanova, which beats Temple, 87-67

The Sixers are on the verge of breaking the franchise record for the worst start to a season. In addition to evaluating the Sixers’ opportunities to net their first win, Eric Fisher worries about an exchange between Michael Carter-Williams and head coach Brett Brown (pictured), highlights Nerlens Noel’s best game as a pro, and tells you why Cavaliers fans are experiencing a different kind of misery.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on honoring the Taney Dragons, the Eagles’ kicker situation and the difficult road ahead for the Union.

Even if the Sixers’ plan to sacrifice this season and snare the top pick in the NBA draft succeeds, it’s unlikely it will lead to a parade. Only one No. 1 pick in the past 25 years has won a title with the team that drafted him.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…  

1. Wentz has surgery to repair ACL Carson Wentz has surgery in Pittsburgh to repair torn ACL in left knee. He could be ready in time for start of 2018 season. Wentz suffered season-ending ACL tear during 3rd quarter of Sunday’s 43-35 victory over Rams. Wentz apparently injured when legs get sandwiched by 2 Rams defenders during dive into end zone, although Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he may have suffered injury on leap into end zone rather than on hit. Wentz finishes series, throwing 2-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery before leaving game.

2. Ertz cleared to play TE Zach Ertz, who missed win over Rams after sustaining concussion against Seahawks, clears concussion protocol. Left guard Stefen Wisniewski, who left Rams game with ankle injury, doesn’t practice Wednesday, but head coach Doug Pederson expects him to play Sunday against Giants. Eagles re-sign LB/special teams demon Bryan Braman.

3. Eagles defeat Rams, clinch NFC East  Eagles clinch NFC East title, move into sole possession of top seed in NFC with 43-35 triumph over host Rams, but good news overshadowed by left knee injury for Carson Wentz (see next item in first-and-10). Eagles (11-2) take lead on Jake Elliott’s 33-yard field goal with 3:45 remaining. Field goal set up by forced fumble by Chris Long, who strips QB Jared Goff of ball. Before injury, Wentz throws 4 TD passes, setting franchise single-season record with 33. Nick Foles completes 6 of 10 passes for 42 yards in relief of Wentz. Torrey Smith catches 6 passes for 100 yards. Tight end Trey Burton catches 2 TD passes. Eagles visit Giants next Sunday (1 p.m.).

4. Wildcats overwhelm Owls Jaylen Brunson pours in 31 points, including 22 during 1st half, as top-ranked Villanova cruises past host Temple, 87-67, for its 22nd straight Big 5 victory. Omari Spellman chips in with 27 points for undefeated Wildcats (11-0). Quinton Rose paces Owls with 27 points.

5. Flyers’ success continues at home After winning 3 straight games on road, Flyers extend winning streak to 4 with 4-2 triumph over visiting Maple Leafs in 1st game of 5-game homestand. Sean Couturier scores with 2:55 remaining, putting puck in top corner after gorgeous between-legs pass from Claude Giroux along boards. Earlier in game, Giroux scores off face-off win by Couturier. Maple Leafs respond to Giroux’s goal with 2 goals, taking 2-1 lead after 2 periods. But Flyers tie game on Taylor Leier’s goal 5:36 into 3rd period. Loss is Leafs’ first this season when leading after 2 periods. Brian Elliott makes 20 saves. Flyers to host Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m.).

6. Embiid returns, Sixers win in OT After sitting out last two games, Joel Embiid scores 28 points, grabs 12 rebounds, dishes out 8 assists as Sixers defeat host Timberwolves in overtime, 118-112, to halt 4-game losing streak J.J. Redick contributes 26 points, with 16 coming in 4th quarter and overtime. Richaun Holmes, starting in place of injured Robert Covington (back), adds 15 points, 11 rebounds. Sixers return home Friday (7 p.m.) to face Thunder.

7. Phillies seeking relief Phillies reportedly trying to re-sign veteran relievers Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter. Neshek was excellent for half-season with Phillies this past season before being traded to Rockies. Hunter posted career-best 2.61 ERA last season with Rays.

8. Horse play Broncos visit Colts on Thursday (8:30 p.m.). Trio of 7-6 teams battling for playoff spots in action Saturday, with Lions (7-6) hosting Bears (4:30 p.m.), and Chiefs host Chargers in clash between AFC co-leaders. In Sunday’s early games (1 p.m.) with playoff implications, Panthers (9-4) host Packers (7-6); Saints (9-4) host Jets (5-8); Vikings (10-3) host Bengals (5-8); Jaguars (9-4) host Texans (4-9); Bills (7-6) host Dolphins (6-7); and Ravens (7-6) visit winless Browns (0-13). In later afternoon games Sunday, Seahawks (8-5) host Rams (9-4) in NFC West battle; Steelers (11-2) host Patriots (10-3) in struggle for AFC’s top seed; and Titans (8-5) visit 49ers (3-10). Cowboys (7-6) visit Raiders (6-7) on Sunday night (8:30 p.m.). On Monday (8:30 p.m.), Falcons (8-5) visit Bucs (4-9).

9. Rodgers to start for Packers Aaron Rodgers expected to return from broken collarbone, start at QB for Packers on Sunday (1 p.m.) against host Panthers.

10. Stanton joins Yankees Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season with Marlins, introduced as member of Yankees. Stanton and his $265 million contract go to Yankees in exchange for Starlin Castro and pair of prospects.

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WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
No games scheduled

Saturday
Cleveland 105, Sixers 98
College Football
Army 14, Navy 13
Men’s Basketball
Temple 81, St. Joseph’s 78
Penn 78, Dayton 70

Sunday
Eagles 43, Rams 35
New Orleans 131-124
Men’s Basketball
Villanova 77, La Salle 68
Robert Morris 74, Drexel 60

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
No games scheduled

Tuesday
Flyers 4, Maple Leafs 2
Sixers 118, Minnesota 112 (OT)

Wednesday
Men’s Basketball
Villanova 87, Temple 67

Thursday
Sabres at Flyers, 7 p.m.

Friday
Thunder at Sixers, 7 p.m.

Saturday
Stars at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Drexel at Temple, 5 p.m.

Sunday
Eagles at Giants, 1 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Mercer at La Salle, 4:30 p.m.
Maine at St. Joseph’s, 4:30 p.m.

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

Season’s over (for Wentz)

Carson Wentz will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during Sunday's 43-35 triumph over the Rams. The NFC East-champion Eagles are counting upon Nick Foles to guide them through the playoffs. ***** The Eagles ...
Season’s over (for Wentz)

Should Hakstol be fired?

Should the Flyers fire head coach Dave Hakstol? Share your remembrances in Voice of the Phanatics.

Ecstasy and agony

Carson Wentz sets the Eagles’ single-season record for touchdown passes while the Birds clinch the NFC East title with an epic 43-35 triumph over the Rams, but Wentz leaves the game with what appears to be a serious knee injury.

Sky no longer the limit

Eric Fisher isn’t ready to say that the sky is falling on the Eagles’ season, but it will be significantly more difficult for the Eagles to overcome Carson Wentz’s injury in the same way they’ve overcome other players’ season-ending injuries.

Most indispensable

With Carson Wentz lost for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, we revisit our preseason top 10 list of the players the Eagles can least afford to lose to injury.

Heel Turns: Clashes and Battles

December - 14 - 2017 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling preview this weekend’s big events: WWE’s Clash of Champions and Ring of Honor’s Final Battle. Achilles Heel also informs us there are still tickets available for Ring of Honor’s TV taping Saturday at 2300 Arena, highlights WWE’s large presence on USA Network and praises Drew Gulak for making the most of his current push.

Putting it on the Line

December - 13 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

After picking against bad teams last week, Eric Fisher is selecting good teams for his top picks this week. For all of Eric’s picks, including the Eagles as 7 1/2-point favorites on the road against the Giants, read the story.

Fish ‘n Chips

December - 10 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions about the college football playoffs, the death of Tubby Raymond and how the Angels’ signing of Shohei Ohtani could affect the Phillies.

Flyers Notebook: Elliott has been dependable

December - 9 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

One constant through the Flyers’ up-and-down season has been the steady goaltending of Brian Elliott (pictured). Eric Fisher also highlights the excellent play of Michael Raffl, head coach Dave Hakstol’s shuffling of lines and the success Brayden Schenn has achieved with the Blues.

Sixers Notebook: Okafor casualty of ‘Process’

December - 9 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The trade of Jahlil Okafor is a reminder that “The Process” is far from a complete success. Eric Fisher also revisits the 2015 NBA Draft, provides an update on No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and wonders if the Sixers learned a lesson from losses to the Suns and Lakers.

Eagles-Rams: Marquee matchup, major impact

December - 9 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher 1 Response

Sunday will be the first matchup between quarterbacks Jared Goff (pictured) and Carson Wentz, the top two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the Eagles-Rams game (4:25 p.m.) is important for numerous other reasons.

Wentz suffers season-ending ACL tear