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Losses by Sixers to begin season, tying dubious franchise record

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on whether the Eagles might be better off with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, an unforgettable moment in women’s basketball and the animosity directed toward NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski.

Journeyman kicker Shayne Graham boots a 32-yard field goal as time expires, his fourth field goal of the game, to lift the Saints past the Eagles, 26-24, in a first-round playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Gordon Glantz says there shouldn’t be any mystery surrounding the resurgence of receiver Riley Cooper. A lot of his re-emergence has to do with Nick Foles starting at quarterback.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. NFC East lead on line Eagles battle Cowboys in NFC East first-place showdown on Thanksgiving (4:30 p.m.). LB Emmanuel Acho limited participant in practice Monday and Tuesday after leaving Sunday’s win over Titans with groin injury. Acho listed as “questionable” on official injury report. Eagles are 5-0 on Thanksgiving. In previous game, Josh Huff’s game-opening 107-yard kickoff return for TD gets Eagles off on right foot during 43-20 victory over Titans. Eagles (8-3) build 17-point lead during first quarter, then keep Titans (2-9) at arm’s length rest of game. LeSean McCoy carries 21 times for 130 yards, TD. Mark Sanchez completes 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards, TD, but also throw 2 INTs. Rookie Jordan Matthews catches 6 passes for 77 yards.

2. Sixers drop to 0-15, tie franchise mark Sixers rally from double-digit deficit to tie score, but can’t avoid 99-91 loss to Nets. Sixers drop to 0-15, tying franchise record set by infamous 1972-73 team for worst start to a season. Tony Wroten scores 18 points, dishes out 10 assists, but also commits 8 turnovers, including crucial turnover with Sixers trailing by 2 with less than 1 minute remaining. K.J. McDaniels shares team-high scoring honors with 18. Michael Carter-Williams scores 4 points on 1-of-9 shooting from field. Nets’ Joe Johnson leads all scorers with 21 points.  Sixers will try to avoid setting franchise record for most losses to start a season Saturday (7 p.m.) when they host Mavericks, who beat them by 53 points earlier this month.

3. Flyers’ road woes continue Pavel Datsyuk scores consecutive goals during 2nd period to build Red Wings’ lead to 3 during 5-2 victory over Flyers, who have lost 7 straight road games. Players hold meeting after game. After Datsyuk’s 1st goal, Flyers head coach Craig Berube replaces goalie Steve Mason with Ray Emery. Mason had no shot to stop 1st two goals. Claude Giroux scores his 1st non-power play goal of season 2:31 into 2nd period to tie score, 1-1, but Red Wings score 3 times during rest of period to build 4-1 lead. Giroux also assists on Jakub Voracek’s power play goal during 3rd period. Flyers host Rangers on Friday (1 p.m.) in first half of 2-day home-and-home series.

4. Tomas signs with D-Backs Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas signs 6-year, $68 million contract with Diamondbacks, according to report on mlb.com. Phillies pursued power-hitting outfielder, holding private workout for him. Conflicting reports this past week said Phillies were most likely team to sign him and that Phillies backed off because of concerns about Tomas’ defense and conditioning.

5. Listen to Eagles post/pregame show Listen as Gordon Glantz, Ron Opher, Josh Landsburg and Eric Fisher discuss the Eagles-Titans game and look ahead to Cowboys game on PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio Show. Other topics include Eric Lindros and John LeClair entering Flyers Hall of Fame and our weekly feature: When will the Sixers win their first game? To listen to the show, please click here(To listen to past shows, please click here)

6. Cooper’s Maclin jokes fall flat Riley Cooper says he was joking when, while explaining why his number of plays has been cut and fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin’s has not, he said Monday that “Maclin’s trying to get a contract, so he’s probably not going to try and come out of the game.” When told of the remark, Maclin said, “That was not a very smart thing for Coop to say.” Cooper might have caused more controversy with his explanation. Cooper said, “I’m supposed to sub every four to five plays, and that’s what I do. Maclin, I guess, is a lot better player than me, so he doesn’t have to sub.”

7. Football feast Lions host Bears (12:30 p.m.) and 49ers host Seahawks (8:30 p.m.) in NFC West showdown as part of Thanksgiving Day slate that includes Eagles vs. Cowboys. On Sunday, Ravens host Chargers (1 p.m.), Packers host Patriots (4:25 p.m.) and Chiefs host Broncos (8:30 p.m.) in AFC West battle.   (For complete schedule and results, please click on “NFL” in standings sections on lower right side of this page.)

8. Redskins bench RGIII Redskins head coach Jay Gruden says Colt McCoy will start Sunday’s game at Indianapolis instead of Robert Griffin III, saying he’s playing QB that gives Redskins best chance to win. In other QB news, Geno Smith returns as Jets QB, replacing former Eagle Michael Vick.

9. Owls defeat Quakers Mark Williams scores 24 points to power Temple past visiting Penn, 76-67. Tony Hicks paces winless Quakers with 17 points. In other games Tuesday, JayVaughn Pinkston scores go-ahead basket, blocks potential basket on final drive at defensive end as 12th-ranked Villanova defeats 19th-ranked Michigan, 60-55, at Barclays Center to win the Legends Class Tournament; DeAndre’ Bembry scores 17 points, grabs 11 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 74-70 overtime victory over visiting LIU-Brooklyn in NIT Tip-Off Tournament, and Jordan Price pours in 30 points, Jerrell Wright adds 19 as La Salle defeats St. Francis (Brooklyn), 73-60.

10. Red Sox sign Ramirez, Sandoval Red Sox sign Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval. Third baseman Sandoval reportedly signs 5-year contract for close to $100 million. Ramirez’s contract reportedly for $88 million over 4 years, with an option for 5th season.

(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program this Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. — or call in to express your opinion or ask a question — by calling 805-727-7014. To listen to past shows, please click here)

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Trail Blazers 114, Sixers 104
Islanders 1, Flyers 0 (Islanders win shootout, 2-0)
Men’s Basketball
Legends Classic

Villanova 77, VCU 53
(at Barclays Center in Brooklyn)

Tuesday
Men’s Basketball
Temple 76, Penn 67
La Salle 73, St. Francis (Brooklyn) 60
NIT Tip-Off Tournament
St. Joe’s 74, LIU-Brooklyn 70 (OT)
Legends Classic
Villanova vs. Michigan, 9:30 p.m.
(at Barclays Center in Brooklyn)

Wednesday
Nets 99, Sixers 91
Red Wings 5, Flyers 2

Thursday
Eagles at Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
NIT Tip-Off Tournament
Saint Joseph’s vs. W.Kentucky, 6 p.m.
(at New York)

Friday
Rangers at Flyers, 1 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Barclays Center Classic
La Salle vs. Virginia, 9:30 p.m.
(at Barclays Center in Brooklyn)

Saturday
Flyers at Rangers, 1 p.m.
Mavericks at Sixers, 7 p.m.
College Football
Cincinnati at Temple, noon
Michigan St. at Penn St., 3:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Penn at Wagner, 4 p.m.
Barclays Center Classic

La Salle vs. Rutgers/Vanderbilt, 7 or 9:30 p.m.
(at Barclays Center in Brooklyn)

Sunday
Men’s Basketball

LIU-Brooklyn at Temple, 4 p.m.
Delaware vs. Villanova, 4:30 p.m.
(at Wells Fargo Center)
S.Mississippi at Drexel, 5 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

Thanksgiving showdown for NFC East lead

Generating pressure on quarterback Tony Romo will be crucial for the Eagles when they take on the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving showdown (4:30 p.m.) for first place in the NFC East. Eric Fisher has 10 questions to consider while watching the game. ***** Eagles ...
Thanksgiving showdown for NFC East lead

Sixers’ 1st win will be …

The 76ers aren’t going to go 0-82. At least we don’t think so. The question is: when will they register their first win?

Flyers Notebook

Other than their top line, the Flyers aren’t getting enough contributions on offense from their forwards. Eric Fisher also revisits the Flyers Hall of Fame ceremony for Eric Lindros (pictured) and John LeClair, cites problems with the penalty killing and examines the Flyers’ upcoming road-heavy schedule.

Eagles’ goal is simple

The Eagles control their own destiny. If they beat the Cowboys twice, they’re almost assured of winning the NFC East. If they lose to the Cowboys on Thursday, they lose some control of their own destiny, create a “must win” against the Seahawks and endanger their hopes of making the playoffs.

Top 10 list

With expectations even lower than last season, when the Sixers won 19 games, we bring you the franchise’s 10 worst seasons since the team moved here from Syracuse, N.Y. How high — or low — will this season rank on this list? Stay tuned …

Heel Turns: Time to be thankful

November - 27 - 2014 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek god of wrestling continues his Thanksgiving tradition of listing people and things for which wrestling fans should be thankful. (Yes, he includes himself on the list.) Achilles Heel also reviews an eventful Survivor Series (including the first WWE appearance by Sting!), highlights two wrestlers vastly underappreciated by WWE and tells you the new venue for Ring of Honor’s January event in Philadelphia.

Putting it on the Line

November - 25 - 2014 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

There are some terrific games this week — Seahawks-49ers, Packers-Patriots, Broncos-Chiefs and, of course, Eagles-Cowboys — but Eric Fisher advises against betting on the marquee games. Read the story to see which games are among Eric’s top selections, and which side he’s taking in the Eagles-Cowboys game.

Fish ‘n Chips

November - 25 - 2014 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on Pat Quinn’s legacy, Peter Forsberg entering the Hockey Hall of Fame and Mo’ne Davis writing her memoir.

Bring on the Cowboys!

November - 23 - 2014 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

LeSean McCoy rushes for 130 yards and Cody Parkey makes five field goals as the Eagles roll past the Titans, 43-24. The Eagles (8-3) are entering an important three-game stretch in which they play the Cowboys twice.

Sixers Notebook: Closing in on history

November - 23 - 2014 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

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.

Fantasy Fisching: Planning for playoff success

November - 23 - 2014 Reporter: Jacob Fischer Respond

How can you solidify your roster to improve your chances for a deep playoff run? Jacob Fischer provides five strategies. He also tells you which running backs broke loose last week, which suspended players may or may not be returning, and provides some roster advice for Sunday’s (and Monday’s) games.

Eric Lindros career highlights