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Scoreless minutes for Trail Blazers at start of Wednesday’s loss to Sixers

The Greek God of Wrestling says the most intriguing element of Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory might be the appearance of Alberto El Patron, who isn’t scheduled to wrestle. Achilles Heel also praises WWE’s plans for the 25th anniversary of Raw, updates the Survivor Series teams and tells you where Jimmy Jacobs will make his in-ring return.

The Chicago Cubs overcame several obstacles and setbacks to win Game 7 over the Indians, 8-7, in 10 innings, overcoming a 3-1 series deficit and capturing their first World Series title since 1908.

The Eagles were ahead by so much that even backup quarterback Nick Foles saw action during the Birds’ easy 33-10 victory over the winless 49ers, improving their NFL-best record to 7-1.

Archive for the ‘Eagles’ Category

Dak’s all, folks!

Posted by Eric Fisher On November - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Malcolm Jenkins makes one of three interceptions of quarterback Dak Prescott as the Eagles steamroll the Cowboys during the second half of a 37-9 victory, virtually wrapping up the NFC East title.

*****

The Eagles were so dominant during the second half of Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys that it was easy to forget they were trailing at halftime.

But it’s a testament to how well the Eagles are playing that they can transform a halftime deficit into a laugher by the early stages of the fourth quarter.

The Eagles scored 30 points during the first 19 minutes, 17 seconds of the second half to crush the Cowboys, 37-9.

The victory extends the Eagles’ winning streak to eight games and virtually wraps up the NFC East title. The Eagles (9-1) have a four-game lead on the second-place Cowboys (5-5), who saw their hopes of making the playoffs diminished with this humiliating defeat.

The Cowboys led at halftime, 9-7. But they never reached the end zone against the Eagles’ tremendous defense. Dak Prescott was intercepted three times, including once by cornerback Ronald Darby, playing his first game since dislocating an ankle in the season opener.

Safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod also intercepted passes. Linebacker Nigel Bradham returned a fumble recover 37 yards for a touchdown to complete the scoring early in the fourth quarter.

Offense appears unstoppable

The Eagles, who did not turn the ball over, scored at least 30 points for the fourth straight game. They haven’t been held to fewer than 20 points since last season.

The Eagles looked unstoppable on their opening drive, just as they did in their 51-23 triumph over the Broncos the week before their bye. There drove 75 yards on eight plays, including an acrobatic catch by Kenjon Barner for a 22-yard gain, setting up his 4-yard touchdown run on the next play.

After picking up six first downs on the opening drive, however, the Eagles only picked up one more first down the rest of the first half. Consequently, they found themselves trailing at halftime, 9-7, due to three Mike Nugent field goals.

The Cowboys had to settle for field goals against the stingy Eagles defense. By contrast, the Eagles couldn’t kick field goals. Jake Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt during the first quarter, and then left the game with a possible concussion, which was likely sustained when Elliott made a tackle on the opening kickoff, which rookie Ryan Switzer returned to the Eagles 37-yard line.

The Eagles had no choice except to score touchdowns, which they did on their first three possessions of the second half. Corey Clement ran for an 11-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, Torrey Smith caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on the Eagles’ second drive of the second half, with Jay Ajayi’s 71-yard run being the key play of the drive, and Alshon Jeffery made a terrific catch on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 12:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Defense doesn’t rest

Three plays after Jeffery’s touchdown, Derek Barnett forced Prescott to fumble. Linebacker Nigel Bradham scooped up the ball and rumbled 37 yards down the right sideline for a 37-yard touchdown with 10:43 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Bradham’s touchdown, and the 2-point conversion pass to tight end Trey Burton, completed a 30-point outburst by the Eagles at the start of the second half. The Eagles, forced to attempt 2-point conversions because of Elliott’s injury, converted three out of four of them.

The Cowboys were missing their own Elliott. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is serving a six-game suspension for domestic abuse. They also were missing kicker Dan Bailey, linebacker Sean Lee and offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Even if Elliott had played, however, the Eagles might still have had the superior rushing attack. The Eagles rushed for 215 yards Sunday night, which is a tribute to their running backs and the offensive line.

Rushing toward Super Bowl

Ajayi led the Eagles with 91 yards on seven carries. LeGarrette Blount contributed 57 yards on 13 carries, Clement gained 50 yards on six carries, and Kenjon Barner’s 4-yard touchdown run was his only carry during the entire game.

The running backs frequently had large holes to run through thanks to the Eagles’ terrific offensive line. The blocking was exceptional, with center Jason Kelce, guards Brandon Brooks and Stefen Wisniewski and tackles Lane Johnson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai consistently creating holes for the running backs. They also did a nice job protecting Carson Wentz, who had a rather pedestrian game, completing 14 of 27 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cowboys defense did a nice job containing the Eagles during the first half, but the Eagles looked unstoppable during the second half.

With the NFC East virtually wrapped up, the Eagles can turn more of their attention to the race for homefield advantage, where the Eagles have a one-game lead on the Vikings and Saints, and a two-game lead on the Rams and Panthers.

But the Cowboys are so far behind that the Eagles can barely see them in their rearview mirror – just like the Cowboys’ halftime lead seemed so far in the rearview mirror after the Eagles dominated the second half.

Time to bury Cowboys

Posted by Eric Fisher On November - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The next-best thing to an Eagles victory is a Cowboys defeat. On Sunday night, the Eagles have the opportunity to accomplish both.

Not only can the Eagles (8-1) beat the Cowboys (5-4) on Sunday, but they can also bury them.

Sunday is the Eagles’ chance to slay the beast.

A victory would virtually lock up the NFC East title for the Eagles. It also would drive a stake through the heart of the Cowboys. With four seven-win teams chasing the Eagles, and the Seahawks at 6-3, a loss would put the Cowboys on the outskirts of the NFC playoff race.

On the other hand, a victory would give the Cowboys life. It wouldn’t necessarily threaten the Eagles’ vise grip on the NFC East, although one more gain in the standings would make the season finale between the Cowboys and Eagles on Dec. 31 uncomfortably important for the Birds, but a Cowboys win on Sunday would undeniably give them playoff life.

Sunday’s game is the first of a three-game homestand for the Cowboys. The Eagles game is followed by a Thanksgiving game against the Chargers and then a Thursday night game against the Redskins. Both are winnable games, as is a Dec. 10 road game against the imploding Giants. To put it bluntly, with three teams with losing records coming up on the schedule, a Cowboys victory Sunday could easily propel them to a four-game winning streak.

All of a sudden the Cowboys would be 9-4. The beast would have new life.

The beast would also have help on the way. Only a road game against the Raiders would stand between the Cowboys and the return of Ezekiel Elliott, who has decided not to further appeal his six-game suspension for domestic violence. A motivated Elliott could spark the Cowboys as they finish the regular season at home against the Seahawks and at Lincoln Financial Field.

The loss of Elliott definitely hurts the Cowboys. They also will likely be without linebacker Sean Lee, the heart of their defense, for a few weeks due to a troublesome hamstring.

The beast is wounded, but they could survive these absences as they hit the soft underbelly of their schedule. That’s why it’s so important that the Eagles slay the beast this Sunday.

Not only will the Cowboys be without Elliott and Lee this Sunday, but all-pro left tackle Tyron Smith also is ailing. He missed last Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the Falcons. The effect was eight sacks of quarterback Dak Prescott.

Eagles defensive ends have to be licking their chops at the possibility that Smith will miss Sunday’s game. Even if Smith plays, he won’t be near 100 percent. The Eagles’ pass rush should also be aided by Elliott’s absence. Without the threat of the running game diminished, the Eagles should be able to load up on their pass rush.

While the Cowboys were losing to the Falcons, the Eagles were resting during their bye week. That has given them a chance to get healthy. Aside from the players who were already sidelined for the rest of the season, the Eagles are healthy. Even cornerback Ronald Darby, who dislocated his ankle in the season opener, is expected to return against the Cowboys.

On paper, Sunday’s game looks like a little bit of a mismatch. The Eagles are 8-1 and healthy. The Cowboys are 5-4 and plagued by key injuries.

The Cowboys appears to be reeling, with their playoff hopes on life support. But a victory Sunday could breathe new life into the beast. In addition to the difference it might make in the standings, a victory over the high-flying Eagles would be a huge psychological boost for the Cowboys.

That’s why it’s imperative that the Eagles bury the Cowboys this Sunday.

An Eagles win is always awesome.

A win over the Cowboys, particularly one that nearly ends their playoff hopes, would be even sweeter.

 


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