3

Postseason wins for Eagles against Vikings in 3 meetings

By acquiring running back Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins, the Eagles are raising expectations, indicating that they believe they are capable of a run to the Super Bowl.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Jordan Matthews trade, two areas of concern for the Eagles (besides cornerback) and the Union’s trail blazing idea.

The Greek god of wrestling previews SummerSlam, which he says has all the elements to be a terrific event. Achilles Heel also criticizes WWE for firing Alberto Del Rio, tells you when to watch TNA (at least for the near future), which former Ring of Honor champion signed with WWE and which former WWE wrestler won the EVOLVE championship.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…  

1. Eagles prepare for Vikings invasion Eagles to host Vikings on Sunday (6:40 p.m.) in NFC Championship game, with winner advancing to Super Bowl. Eagles LBs Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) limited in practice, listed as questionable. Vikings starting receiver Adam Thielen (lower back), starting afety Andrew Sendejo (concussion protocal) limited in practice, listed as questionable. Backup nose tackle Shamar Stephen, who sustained leg injury last week against Saints, will not play Sunday. Backup CB Mackenzie Alexander (rib), WR Michael Floyd (illness) listed as questionable. Last Saturday, Eagles defense stops Falcons on fourth-and-goal at end of game to seal 15-10 victory over visiting Falcons. Defense holds Falcons scoreless during 2nd half. Eagles, who notch 1st playoff victory since 2008 season. Eagles have homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs. QB Nick Foles completes 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards. In other NFC game, Case Keenum connects with Stefon Diggs on sideline pass to set up field goal, but Diggs turns it into 61-yard game-winning touchdown as time expires, boosting Vikings to 29-24 triumph over Saints.

2. Brady injures thumb on throwing hand Patriots QB Tom Brady doesn’t practice Thursday, limited in practice Friday after injuring throwing hand during practice on Wednesday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game (3 p.m.) against visiting Jaguars. Brady required stitches on thumb after cutting it during Wednesday’s practice, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Brady wears gloves to news conference Friday.

3. Flyers rally past Leafs Flyers score 3 unanswered goals, including Sean Couturier’s goal 18 seconds into overtime, to defeat visiting Leafs, 3-2. Flyers win for 5th time in 6 games. Leafs score 32 seconds apart during 2nd period to take 2-0 lead. But rookie Nolan Patrick scores unassisted goal 1:33 into 3rd period, then Wayne Simmonds scores tying goal shorthanded less than 2 minutes later. Michael Neuvirth makes 29 saves in superb effort. Flyers to host Devils today (1 p.m.).

4. Sixers topple Celtics Joel Embiid scores 26 points, grabs 16 rebounds, dishes out 6 assists as Sixers defeat host Celtics, 89-80, gaining revenge for loss 1 week earlier in London. Sixers notch 5th win in last 6 games, beat Celtics for 1st time in 4 attempts this season. On Monday, Sixers beat Raptors for 1st time in 4 attempts this season. Dario Saric and T.J. McConnell contribute 16 and 15 points, respectively. Sixers will host Bucks tonight (7:30 p.m.).

5. Halladay had morphine in system Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay had morphine in his system when he died in plane crash in November in Gulf of Mexico, according to autopsy released Friday. Halladay also had amphetamines, zolpidem (generic name for Ambien) in his system. Reports have described drugs in Halladay’s system as trace amounts, and autopsy report doesn’t indicate whether these drugs contributed to Halladay’s fatal crash.

6. Flyers retire Lindros’ number Flyers retire No,. 88 worn by Hall of Fame center Eric Lindros during emotional ceremony prior to tonight’s game against Maple Leafs. Lindros introduced by Flyers president Paul Holmgren, who has been instrumental in repairing Lindros’ relationship with Flyers organization. Former Legion of Doom linemates John LeClair, Mikael Renberg accompany Lindros’ family to center ice. Lindros compiled 659 points (290 goals, 369 assists) in 486 games during 8 seasons with Flyers.

7. Embiid named All-Star starter Sixers center Joel Embiid named starter for All-Star Game. Embiid, averaging 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots, is joined in Eastern Conference voting by Cavaliers’ LeBron James, Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo. Sixers guard JJ Redick to miss at least 10-14 days after suffering small crack in fibular head of left leg in collision during Sixers’ 117-111 victory over Raptors on Monday. Rookie Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 pick in draft, practices in 5-on-5 situation at Sixers practice, but he still has discomfort in his shoulder and his shot isn’t in proper form, according to Sixers head coach Brett Brown.

8. Towson tops Drexel Towson jumps out to 16-point advantage by halftime, cruises to 90-68 victory over visiting Drexel. In Wednesday’s games, Josh Brown hits game-winning basket for 2nd time in a week as Temple edges visiting Tulsa, 59-58, in Owls’ 3rd straight game down to the wire; Villanova shoots 17 of 33 from 3-point range, placing 6 players in double figures, en route to 88-56 triumph over host Georgetown, the Hoyas worst defeat in more than 40 years; James Demery scores 19 points, Taylor Funk contributes 18 and Shavar Newkirk adds 17 as Saint Joseph’s defeats visiting Dayton, 81-65; and Isiah Deas scores 15 points, Tony Washington adds 14 as La Salle celebrates return of B.J. Johnson (11 points) from ankle injury with 75-67 win over visiting Fordham.

9. Roseman wins award Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman named NFL Executive of Year by Pro Football Writers Association.

10. Union trade for winger  Without pick in first 2 rounds of MLS SuperDraft, which is taking place in Philadelphia, Union acquire wing David Accam from Fire for $1.2 million in allocation money. Accam, 27, has 33 goals in 3 seasons with Fire.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)

WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Men’s Basketball
Penn 69, Cornell 61

Saturday
Eagles 15, Falcons 10
Flyers 5, New Jersey 3
Men’s Basketball
Duquesne 101, La Salle 94 (3 OTs)
Memphis 75, Temple 72 (OT)
Hofstra 91, Drexel 86
Penn 77, Columbia 71
Villanova 78, St. John’s 71

Sunday
Men’s Basketball
UMass 72, St. Joseph’s 69

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Sixers 117, Raptors 111

Tuesday
Rangers 5, Flyers 1

Wednesday
Men’s Basketball
Temple 59, Tulsa 58
St. Joseph’s 81, Dayton 65
Villanova 88, Georgetown 56
La Salle 75, Fordham 67

Thursday
Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Sixers 89, Boston 80
Men’s Basketball
Towson 90, Drexel 68

Friday
No games scheduled

Saturday
Devils at Flyers , 1 p.m.
Bucks at Sixers, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Villanova at Connecticut, noon
Fordham at St. Joseph’s, 1 p.m.
Temple at Penn, 2 p.m.
La Salle at Richmond, 2:30 p.m.
Drexel at J.Madison, 4 p.m.

Sunday
Flyers at Washington, 12:30 p.m.
NFC Championship
Vikings at Eagles, 6:40 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

A case for the defense … or a defense for Case?

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and the Eagles defense will try to make life difficult for Vikings quarterback Case Keenum during Sunday's NFC Championship Game (6:40 p.m.) at Lincoln Financial Field. *****  After last Saturday’s 15-10 victory over the Falcons, the Eagles’ first ...
A case for the defense … or a defense for Case?

How far can Birds go?

Can the Eagles still reach the Super Bowl with Nick Foles starting at quarterback? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

Reasons for optimism

Although the Eagles aren’t getting much respect during the postseason, Gordon Glantz explains five reasons why the Eagles should beat the Vikings on Sunday.

Attitude trumps injuries

The Eagles and Vikings have reached the NFC Championship Game despite injuries to players at important position positions. Both teams employ the “next man up” philosophy and refuse to make excuses, which is a major reason they’ve been able to overcome these injuries.

Greatest playoff wins

With the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, PhillyPhanatics.com presents the top 10 playoff wins in franchise history. Will the Eagles add to the list Sunday against the Vikings?

In the Nick of time

January - 13 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Eagles defense comes up with a critical stop on fourth down at the 2-yard line at the end of the game to preserve a 15-10 victory over the Falcons, with Nick Foles guiding the Birds to their first playoff victory in nine seasons.

Home favorites have the edge

January - 13 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Drew Brees (pictured) and the Saints seem to have the best chance of any of the road teams in playoff games not involving the Eagles during the divisional round. Eric Fisher provides analysis and predictions for all three games.

Eagles’ future isn’t guaranteed

January - 11 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Regardless of who is starting at quarterback, the Eagles can’t afford to waste having homefield advantage in a season in which there isn’t a dominant team in the NFL.

Putting it on the Line

January - 11 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

After a good playoff start last week, Eric Fisher is leaning toward the AFC playoff games this week for his top selections. Did he pick the Eagles to cover as home playoff underdogs? Read the story to find out.

Eagles-Falcons: It’s not all about Foles

January - 11 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Quarterback Nick Foles has been thrust into the spotlight by Carson Wentz’s season-ending knee injury, but Eric Fisher says Saturday’s playoff game (4:35 p.m.) against the Falcons shouldn’t be all about Foles’ performance.

Flyers Notebook: Mid-term grades

January - 8 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Sean Couturier (pictureD) has moved to the head of the class as Eric Fisher hands out his mid-term grades. There are some high grades and some low grades. Check out the story to see whether you agree with the grades.

Believing in Nick Foles