Oct 1, 2012, 4:32 AM EST
If you’re a die-hard, you’ve probably been keeping close tabs on the Phillies even as this season winds down. We know a healthy number of you tuned out to some extent though, certainly since they were officially eliminated from postseason play on Friday, if not much earlier.
Well, the Fightins were plugging along in Miami anyway over the weekend — those of them who are still healthy enough to go on at least. You see, Ryan Howard’s season ended a little earlier than anticipated. Officially, the slugger has a broken toe, which is true of course.
But really, it’s because he’s clumsy.
Oct 1, 2012, 3:23 AM EST
It was a truly special night at the Linc, and not because the Birds took care of business by dispatching the rival Giants (but that was swell, too). After returning to Philadelphia this summer to retire as a member of the Eagles, Brian Dawkins was added to franchise’s hall of fame and had his iconic number 20 retired on Sunday night in a halftime ceremony.
In case you weren’t on hand to witness it or watching live on PhiladelphiaEagles.com — and really, even if you were — we bring you the full celebration below.
Hang on Tight, It’s Gonna Be a Wild Ride: Eagles Make Things Interesting Yet Again in Win Over Giants
Oct 1, 2012, 2:21 AM EST
You wanted convincing? You got it. The Eagles didn’t beat their opponent by one point on Sunday night, as they did both the Browns and Ravens in Weeks 1 and 2. No, no, no — they beat the Giants by two!
All kidding aside, there was progress in more aspects of the Birds’ 19-17 victory over rival New York than a subtle difference on the scoreboard. They ran the ball. They protected the quarterback. Most important, they did not commit a single turnover. After they averaged four per game through the first three weeks this season, some of you may have doubled back to read the previous sentence twice.
Yet for their many steps in the right direction, the Eagles still had to take a few backwards. They were forced to settle for field goals in three out of four red zone trips. They needed to come from behind after their defense surrendered a six-point lead in the fourth quarter. Even after it appeared as though they had it sewn up when Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed the potential game-winning field goal, it turned out he would get to attempt it again thanks to Philadelphia’s favorite son, Andy Reid.
Sep 30, 2012, 7:22 PM EST
For a football team that owns a 2-1 record, there certainly hasn’t been a great deal of positive press about the Eagles over the past week, nor much chest thumping among the good citizens of Philadelphia. Last week’s beatdown in Arizona took the wind right out of our sails, while erratic performances that have produced 12 turnovers and a pair of one-point victories have resulted in a whole lot of second guessing.
So it would be fair to say the Eagles are not a very convincing 2-1. Is this a first-place squad capable of a deep playoff run, or a mistake-riddled bunch that can’t get out of their own way? I think it’s still too early to tell.
That will no longer be the case after tonight. How the Birds respond to the wild inconsistencies of the frst three weeks — in prime time, in their building, against a divisional foe, the reigning Super Bowl Champions — should provide some much-needed context to the month of September, and indicate which direction the compass is pointing the rest of the way.
Sep 30, 2012, 3:36 PM EST
Today marks the five-year anniversary of Winston Justice’s first NFL start. Eagles fans can only pray the Giants don’t observe the occasion.
With Tra Thomas ruled out for Sunday Night Football in New York in 2007, Justice was plugged in at left tackle. Nobody could have predicted exactly what happened next. Donovan McNabb would get sacked 12 times in one game — six of those by Osi Umenyiora alone — as the second-year offensive lineman turned out to be as effective at protecting the quarterback as a drive thru. Philadelphia lost 16-3.
Back to 2012. With Jason Peters already on the shelf, and King Dunlap nursing a hamstring injury for the second week in a row, the Eagles are down to their third left tackle heading into tonight’s tilt with the G-men. Jason Pierre-Paul must be licking his chops.
Sep 29, 2012, 12:58 AM EST
In a perfect world, Not Chase Utley is a seasoned third baseman. Not Chase Utley is a right-handed bat who can hit for power. According to Ruben Amaro, Not Chase Utley almost certainly is not Chase Utley.
The Chutley experiment at third base seems to have ended before it ever really got started, with the Phils’ general manager admitting nobody is quite comfortable with that idea after all. Sure, maybe the career second baseman could make the switch, but how could we ever know for sure, especially in time for 2013?
I mean, I guess they could play him there over there for the last five games. Yeah, that doesn’t sound desperate at all.
Sep 28, 2012, 11:05 PM EST
For the first time since 2006, the Philadelphia Phillies will not play meaningful baseball in October.
That statement might have come as a shock to the senses before the season began, but writing it feels like little more than a formality. Even as the Fightins were fightin’ their way back into the Wild Card picture, there was never truly more than a reserved optimism about their playoff chances.
The reality was, and has been for a long time, that they were simply too far out of the race barring the equivalent of a miracle.
Sep 28, 2012, 1:40 PM EST
This isn’t another story about play-calling balance, which has been rightly questioned, although perhaps blown out of proportion as well. The NFL is a passing league, so the Eagles do need to be able to throw the ball — maybe not to the tune of 25 to five in the first half, but as Marty Mornhinweg explains, that number is probably skewed against Arizona. A two-minute drill, multiple long down and distances… they had a number of situations that dictated pass.
That said, everybody would like to see a bit more Shady in the offense, but that isn’t what really concerned me when I watched last week’s coaches’ film. In the first half, the Eagles were doing the same things in the passing game that weren’t working in Cleveland: attacking the defense vertically, and giving Michael Vick few options.
That includes running.
Sep 27, 2012, 12:52 AM EST
And all it took for a deal to get done was for the replacement officials to RUIN EVERYTHING.
I don’t know what the refs got, and I don’t care. What I do care about is the lockout has ended, and competent, properly trained officials will be on the field tonight. That’s right, folks, they’re not wasting any time.
I suppose thank yous are in order to the Green Bay Packers for taking the bullet for the rest of the league’s 31 franchises. Sorry it couldn’t have been Dallas.
Sep 26, 2012, 12:30 PM EST
Each week during the 2012 season we’re going to hit up some of the most knowledgeable people on the Internet when it comes to the team the Philadelphia Eagles are playing that particular Sunday. This week, we have Jimmy Kempski who runs Blogging the bEast, among other things. Follow him @Jimmy_Beast for all things Eagles, NFC East, and football-related.
Kulp: Who are the Giants? It feels like you can never tell if this team is great or not from one season to the next, sometimes one week to the next. Are they even great at all in the classical sense, meaning the way people think of New England or Pittsburgh?
Jimmy: That’s an interesting question. In the last 5 years, not including 2012, the Patriots were 64-16 (.800) during the regular season. The Giants were 49-31 (.613). Patriots Super Bowl wins during that span: None, and a 4-4 playoff record. Giants Super Bowl wins during that span: 2, and an 8-1 playoff record.
Sep 26, 2012, 1:51 AM EST
We’re sorry to report Darin Ruf did not continue his storybook year by depositing a baseball into the flowerbeds in left field, as we suggested he might in the pregame. Had he done that, I would be busy shooting my psychic hotline commercials right now.
Instead the Eastern League MVP went ahead and continued writing the pages himself, and he decided the next chapter could do a little bit better than the flowerbeds. How ’bout 10 rows deep? [video below]
Sep 25, 2012, 3:36 PM EST
Sitting 5.5 back of the Wild Card with nine games remaining, it would seem there isn’t much left to get enthusiastic about as baseball season slips away for Philadelphia. The Phillies begin their final three games at Citizens Bank Park tonight, so if you want to catch a game before it’s all over, this is your final chance.
There is perhaps one last big story left before it’s all over though, and that is Darin “Babe” Ruf making his first Major League start tonight. He will be playing in left field and batting seventh in the lineup.
Sep 25, 2012, 2:16 PM EST
When I went back and watched the first half of Eagles-Cardinals to see what went wrong — only the first half, because frankly that’s when it was over — I was a little surprised. Play after play, a flattened Michael Vick scooped himself off the turf — 20+ times according to the broadcast — yet the protection didn’t seem all that bad. On occasion, I rewound and checked again, and for the most part the offensive line was getting the job done.
I was relieved to discover today that I was not the only person who noticed. As he does every week, Ray Didinger sat down with NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger and watched the tape. What they found was that despite the Eagles’ patchwork up front, there were plenty of issues that were bigger contributing factors to Vick’s abuse than the offensive line.
And Diddy and Baldy were not the only ones.
Sep 24, 2012, 3:03 PM EST
Andy Reid stopped short of opening the can of worms, but he loosened the lid with a little twist. Asked whether he’s given any thought to making a switch at quarterback during his day-after press conference, the head coach told reporters nothing is imminent. Then in his next breath, Reid seemingly left all options on the table.
“Right now, we’re with Michael and that’s what we’re doing. We’ll evaluate it as we go.”
Sep 24, 2012, 4:19 AM EST
The Eagles clearly have issues. Over the next seven days, anybody will be happy to tell you exactly what they are. I’m sure plenty of you are about to educate me as to exactly what they are.
To reiterate, everybody can see there are legitimate problems here. Michael Vick, Andy Reid… 12 turnovers through three games says it all, so as soon as we have a fresh take on the matter, we will be happy to share it. This is of course in stark contrast with what I expect to read and hear the day after — a whole lot of finger pointing in conjunction with calls to oust the quarterback and/or head coach.
In other words, the usual.
Sep 23, 2012, 7:58 PM EST
Poof. And Philadelphia’s undefeated football season is over.
Okay, so that was never gonna happen, but any good vibes that carried over from last week are dead effective immediately.
Sep 23, 2012, 3:04 PM EST
I know a lot of people are picking the Eagles today, and by association, many of them disrespecting the Arizona Cardinals. This is a dangerous game for the Birds though, and not just because the Cards upended New England last week, or because they’ve won nine of their last 11 games going back to last November.
This has some of the makings of a letdown game for Philadelphia — coming off of a huge victory over a potential Super Bowl contender in the home opener, playing in a dome two time zones away, and looking ahead to next week’s primetime battle against the rival New York Giants.
Sep 21, 2012, 2:58 PM EST
Last week, we used our first look at All-22 coaches film to break down the Michael Vick vs. Ray Lewis match-up. Needless to say, we were pleased with the outcome, not only during the game, but with our research. Lewis may be a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but against the Eagles he showed little of the range and instinct in the middle that led to two of Vick’s four interceptions in Cleveland.
Look no further than the impact Brent Celek had in the passing game. Celek torched the Ravens defense to the tune of eight catches for 157 yards, and while not all of that production came at the expense of any one defender, it appeared Lewis was on the hook multiple times.
Sep 21, 2012, 12:28 PM EST
When the Cardinals came to the Linc last year and surprised the Eagles — we’ll say surprised and not upset, because the Eagles were 3-5 after all — one excuse for the debacle was DeSean Jackson’s absence from the lineup. After missing a meeting earlier in the week, Andy Reid decided to leave his unhappy wide receiver inactive. The offense predictably stumbled.
DeSean will play this time around when the team makes the trek to Arizona, but his running mate will not. Jeremy Maclin, who has been battling a hip injury since Week 1, was declared not healthy enough to make the trip, leaving the Birds shorthanded once again for a tough Cards D.
Sep 21, 2012, 11:47 AM EST
It’s been nine months since Chris Pronger last took the ice for the Flyers, shut down indefinitely while suffering from post-concussion syndrome. Over that time, we’ve had to come to grips with the fact that the team captain has likely played his last game. Worse yet, updates on his health have been few, far between, and as bleak as “just hoping to have a couple good days in a row.”
But on Thursday, GM Paul Holmgren revealed to The Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi that Pronger is beginning to show some improvement.
Sep 20, 2012, 12:56 PM EST
Irony is hard at work today touting Sunday’s Eagles-Cardinals tilt as Kevin Kolb versus the world, or versus the team that dumped him anyway.
Ironic because it would’ve been Kevin Kolb versus the Eagles last season, except he was hurt and couldn’t play. Ironic because at best this is Joe the Quarterback versus the Eagles, and at worst, it’s John Skelton’s backup versus the Eagles.
Sep 18, 2012, 4:33 PM EST
As Enrico mentioned earlier, the referees for Monday night’s contest between the Falcons and Broncos were heavily criticized by the ESPN broadcast team, and they certainly weren’t the first to do so. I didn’t notice the NFL’s own network was silencing their booth on the matter either, and even college football announcers have been taking shots. Heck, just listen to the soundbites or read the comments by players and coaches all over the league.
Sep 18, 2012, 2:00 PM EST
The bad news came down on Tuesday morning, and that it was sort of expected doesn’t help to soften the blow any. A scope revealed the partial tear of Jason Kelce’s ACL will require surgery after all, knocking the second-year center out for the remainder of this season.
The Eagles turn now turn to 6-4, 320-lbs. Dallas Reynolds to anchor the middle of their offensive line. The 28 year old participated in his first NFL game when he relieved Kelce in the third quarter on Sunday, and actually performed quite well. How he will respond over the course of a full season is anybody’s guess.
Sep 17, 2012, 2:13 PM EST
Somewhat lost in the aftermath of Sunday’s huge victory over the Ravens, which was awesome enough in its own right before anything else came along to sweeten the pot, the good fortune continued to swing the Eagles’ way later that evening. Dallas and Washington each would go on to drop their respective games against NFC West opponents, leaving Philly the only remaining unbeaten in the East, and thus alone at the top.
Sep 17, 2012, 12:32 PM EST
You mean to tell me Juan Castillo actually knows a thing or two about defense even though he spent the better part of two decades coaching offensive linemen? He’s more comfortable after one year on the job, and the players understand the scheme with a full offseason to digest everything?
You mean to tell me the defense appears to be improved now that there are some quality linebackers, the cornerbacks are being used to their strengths, and the safeties are healthy and not worried about getting yanked? And this combination has led to an increase in turnovers and stiffer defense inside the red zone and on third down?
Really, you don’t say…
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