The “underdog” Eagles are one more victory away from claiming the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy

One month ago, critics felt the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes snapped right with Carson Wentz’s ACL. But after an up-and-down finish with replacement Nick Foles, the quarterback caught fire during the playoffs.

Impressive performances against the Falcons and Vikings had the Eagles fighting back as an overlooked top seed. Labeled an underdog for two straight weeks, they proved doubters wrong and will need to do so a third time against the defending Super Bowl champs, the New England Patriots.

After seeing Sunday night’s performance, I wouldn’t bet against them. Here are five reasons why these Eagles can topple the Belichick-Brady dynasty. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for this Sunday FanPicks Super Bowl contest.

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5 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Eagles Will Win Super Bowl LII

1. Nick Foles just had the game of his life

Foles has played in three career playoff games. He’s now racked up QB ratings of 100-plus in all of them, throwing for five touchdowns and no interceptions. Guess who else has accomplished such a feat? Waiting… waiting… The answer is no one. Not Joe Montana. Not Troy Aikman. Not even the man named Tom Brady, who has five Super Bowl rings and four MVPs on his resume will be on the opposite sideline on Feb. 4.

Peaking when it matters, Sunday night was easily Foles’ best postseason performance. He had four completions of 35 yards or more, making the Eagles forget about Wentz in Sunday night’s rout of Minnesota. He threw for more than 300 yards for the first time in over three years, ending the night turnover free. Suddenly, a scheme that once looked too daunting for a backup has been reconstructed perfectly around his strengths.

Could Foles be running on borrowed time? Sure. But look at what the Patriots’ defense allowed to much-maligned Jaguars starter Blake Bortles Sunday — 293 passing yards, a touchdown, no turnovers and a QB rating hovering around 100.

Outside of that game, Bortles has a career QB rating of around 80.8. Foles? He’s at 87.4 and even made the Pro Bowl (2013). So don’t count out another monster game against a Patriots defense whose “bend but not break” scheme nearly broke them.

2. The Eagles’ defense causes turnovers

The pick-six of Case Keenum was the game-changer that ultimately tilted momentum in Philadelphia’s direction for good. The Eagles’ 31 takeaways during the regular season ranked fourth in the NFL, and their five defensive TDs trailed only Jacksonville for the league lead.

There’s talent up and down the Eagles’ 11-man front, from Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox to Sunday’s hero Patrick Robinson in the secondary. There’s experience, too, from former Patriots Super Bowl defensive end Chris Long and eight-year veteran Brandon Graham. Other than the first drive against the Vikings Sunday, no one flinched. Minneapolis miracle worker Keenum looked like a chump just seven days later.

Certainly, the high-powered Patriots offense could prove a tougher challenge. But the Eagles have the talent on this side of the ball to go punch for punch.

3. It’s a true team effort on offense: no one person can bring them down

With the exception of maybe Foles, whose backup Nate Sudfeld hardly inspires confidence, the Eagles are a combination of quality offensive pieces. They’re not built like the Patriots, who have struggled through short stretches without star tight end Rob Gronkowski.

This team had zero players with 1,000 rushing yards or receiving during the regular season. But their running game was feared through teamwork: LeGarrette Blount, midseason pickup Jay Ajayi, and young Corey Clement all shared the load. Any one of them is capable of a breakout performance in Super Bowl LII.

There also is a trio of 700-yard receivers, with Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor all making an impact. Sure, there may not be a legendary name in there, but there’s such a variety of strong targets it’s nearly impossible to stop them all.

It’s strength in numbers that means someone will likely be positioned to have their moment to shine.

4. Rob Gronkowski might not even play

The Patriots’ star tight end and easily the second-best player on the team got knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a concussion. There’s no telling how the protocol will go over the next two weeks but you have to think Gronk will do anything to get cleared.

However, the injury history of one of the NFL’s most fragile stars is well-documented. Would anyone be surprised if Gronk suffered the poor luck of post-concussion syndrome? Or if the injury hampered his ability to be 100 percent? While the Pats made a gutsy comeback, surging back in the second half against the Jags they’ve also wilted in late-season losses without him.

5. The Eagles have nothing to lose — and they’re playing like it

“We’ve been kicked to the curb since Carson got hurt,” head coach Doug Pederson said in comments that were aired on FOX during the NFC Championship Game. Pederson has played up the underdog role with his team and they’ve bought it hook, line, and sinker.

No one expected this team to be here after Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending injury. Even better yet, they’re positioned to be in the big game for years to come with their franchise quarterback on the mend. Reaching the Super Bowl this year with a young, growing team feels like an extra credit bonus.

That means the Eagles will be playing Super Bowl Sunday as a hungry team with little to lose. It sounds a lot like the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game and we know how close they came.

At some point, David will hit Goliath with a slingshot that knocks Brady and Belichick off the top of the mountain. Why can’t that moment come with these Eagles?

Posted in NFL

MNF Games of the Week

It’s the last chance game to put your NFL Week 7 bets in. Select your fantasy draft picks from Monday Night Football Cross Sports Game of the Week between the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of three games to choose from. Check out our Redskins versus Eagles preview along with all other Monday’s 8:30pm start time NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles

When the Philadelphia Eagles step onto the field for Monday’s prime-time clash against the visiting Washington Redskins (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN), they will own the best record in the NFL and have a chance to take total control of the NFC East. The Eagles have ripped off four consecutive victories to open a two-game lead on the Redskins as they vie for a sweep of the season series.

Philadelphia won its first three games last season under rookie quarterback Carson Wentz before going into a tailspin, but the team seems better equipped to continue its success this time around. Washington, which won five straight in the series before dropping a 30-17 decision to the Eagles in the season opener, held on for a 26-24 victory over winless San Francisco last weekend after building an early 17-point lead. The Redskins’ only other loss was a 29-20 setback at then-unbeaten Kansas City, which also handed Philadelphia its only defeat.

Teams Breakdown

Quarterback Kirk Cousins had his worst performance in the season opener, but he is coming off a strong three-game stretch and leads the NFC with a 106.4 passer rating. Running back Rob Kelley is dealing with an ankle injury, which could mean the bulk of playing time will go to rookie Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson, who already has recorded two 100-yard receiving performances and made four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. With wideouts Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder continuing to struggle, the tight-end tandem of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis has combined for 29 catches. Linebacker Preston Smith has registered 4.5 of the team’s 15 sacks, including one in the season opener.

Wentz entered the weekend fifth in passing yards (1,584) with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, and during the four-game winning streak has thrown nine scoring passes against only one pick. Moving to the slot has provided a boost for third-year wideout Nelson Agholor, who has recorded four catches and a TD reception in each of the last two games. However, Wentz’s top target is tight end Zach Ertz, who hauled in a pair of touchdown passes last week and has been a nemesis for the Redskins – evidenced by an eight-catch, 93-yard performance in Week 1. Philadelphia ranks No. 1 in the league against the run, allowing an average of 65.7 yards, but is surrendering a generous 273.5 passing yards.

Golden State Warriors vs Dallas Mavericks

The Golden State Warriors came into the season with almost unreal expectations and are having some trouble meeting them in the first week of the season. The Warriors will try to keep their cool and even their record when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET on NBCS-Bay Area (Golden State)).

Golden State stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were both ejected in the final minute of Saturday’s 111-101 loss at Memphis after Curry – protesting a no-call on a drive to the basket – tossed his mouthpiece near a referee and Durant came to his defense. Curry and Durant are both off to strong starts offensively but Golden State is struggling on the defensive end and with turnovers.

The Mavericks are struggling out of the gate as well and are about to face their second straight title contender after falling 107-91 at Houston on Saturday.  Dallas isn’t expected to do much this season but does have some hope for the future in point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who collected 16 points and 10 assists in his NBA debut on Wednesday. Smith, who had left knee surgery in 2015, sat out the last two games with swelling in that knee, but the issue is not believed to be serious and he could return as soon as Monday. Yogi Ferrell started at point guard in the last two games and averaged 16.5 points and four assists.

Toronto Raptors vs San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs played the first two games without former Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard but still had little trouble shutting down their opponents. The Spurs will try to make it three straight strong performances with Leonard sidelined when they host the Toronto Raptors on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET on NBATV).

San Antonio is leaning on power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in Leonard’s absence, and Aldridge delivered an average of 26.5 points and 10 rebounds in the first two contests while totaling four blocked shots. Aldridge helped hold the Minnesota Timberwolves to 43.5 percent from the floor in a win in the season opener and anchored an even better effort on Saturday, when his team held the Chicago Bulls to 37.8 percent from the field in an 87-77 triumph. The Spurs should have a much tougher time defending the Raptors, who exploded out of the gates with an average of 122.5 points in the first two games, capped by a 128-94 thrashing of the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

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Posted in NBA, NFL

NFL Football 2017-18 Season

NFC East Division Preview

With the days and weeks of summer ticking by, the arrival of a new NFL season continues to approach. Fans still have to wait until September 7th for Kansas City and New England to kick off in Gillette Stadium, but they don’t have to wait much longer for pre-season football starting August 3rd at FanPicks. To get you ready for the new season, here’s the outlook of NFC East teams.

Dallas Cowboys

The plan for Dak Prescott last season was for him to sit, watch and learn behind Tony Romo. But the Cowboys’ best-laid plans blew up in training camp when backup quarterback Kellen Moore broke his right leg and, three weeks later, Romo fractured his back. Prescott, a fourth-round selection, had arguably the best rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history and won Offensive Rookie of the Year over teammate Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott pushed Romo into retirement, with the Cowboys handing the keys to the youngster. Moore, who missed all of last season, re-signed. The 27-year-old veteran is a favorite of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing as a rookie, gaining 1,631 yards and earning six MVP votes. Elliott could contribute more in the passing game after the free-agent departure of third-down back Lance Dunbar. The Cowboys aren’t worried about Elliott’s workload after giving him 354 touches last season. Elliott had 322 carries and 32 receptions in 716 offensive snaps in the regular season. He played another 56 snaps with 23 touches in the postseason. (DeMarco Murray had 449 touches on 782 snaps in 2014 for the Cowboys when he led the league in rushing.) Elliott gained 833 yards and scored seven touchdowns on 166 first-half carries — a 5.02 average per carry — and 922 yards and eight touchdowns on 178 carries in the second half and overtime, a 5.18 average per carry.

Receivers Cole Beasley, Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams combined for 169 receptions, 2,223 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. They rank among the best units in the league. While Bryant remains their big-play receiver, Prescott found a security blanket in Beasley, who led the team in receptions (75) and receiving yards (833) for the first time. The Cowboys re-signed Brice Butler as their fourth receiver and added North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer in the draft. Switzer is a Beasley lookalike and will likely replace Lucky Whitehead.

Veteran tight end Jason Witten signed a new deal in the offseason that virtually assures he will finish his career with the Cowboys. Although he played all 16 games for a 13th consecutive season, Witten isn’t the same Pro Bowl tight end he once was.

New York Giants

One of the biggest selling points for hiring Ben McAdoo as Tom Coughlin’s replacement a year ago for the head coach position was the fact that the Giants’ offense finished in the top 10 in both of his seasons as offensive coordinator. Quarterback Eli Manning was thriving and the Giants didn’t want to lose that momentum. So imagine their shock when they finished 25th in the league in total offense in 2016 and averaged less than 20 points per game.

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has emerged as one of the top playmakers in the game, but the Giants became overly reliant on the All-Pro from LSU. He suffered through a nightmarish performance against Green Bay in his first career playoff game. The Giants need to diversify. Gone is Victor Cruz, who just wasn’t his old self after knee and calf surgeries. In is Brandon Marshall, the big ex-Jet who at 6’4″ is the tallest regular receiver they’ve had since the days of Plaxico Burress (6’5″) and Amani Toomer (6’3″). Manning has been desperate for a big target, especially in the red zone. Marshall and slot receiver Sterling Shepard should take plenty of defensive attention away from Beckham.

The Giants also added speedy tight end Evan Engram in the first round of the draft. Engram is really more of a receiver, but he will replace the unreliable Will Tye and Larry Donnell as a deep option over the middle and provide another weapon who can free up Beckham. Also, the speedy Paul Perkins is taking over for the aging Rashad Jennings at running back, and the hope is that his emergence will force defenses to concentrate on the run more in 2017.

Philadelphia Eagles

Quarterback Carson Wentz set an NFL rookie record for most completions in a season (379) while posting the fourth-most passing yards (3,782) for a first-year player in league history. He started every game, and while his completion percentage dipped as the season progressed and he had some issues with mechanics, Wentz’s rookie season was a success by any measure.

The Eagles decided during the offseason to invest their limited salary cap space on some receivers for him to target. Last year’s crop of wideouts was disappointing, and that’s being kind. Second-year man Nelson Agholor was overmatched, to the point where he was a healthy scratch one week. Dorial Green-Beckham was wildly inconsistent, and even though Jordan Matthews caught 73 balls, he averaged a meager 11.0 yards per reception. So, the Eagles went shopping and purchased Alshon Jeffery for $14 million for one season and Torrey Smith for $15 million over three seasons. They also added a couple of prospects via the draft.

As usual, Zach Ertz looked good at the end of 2016, when the games didn’t matter, and led the team with 78 receptions. But he must become more consistent and deliver in more important situations.

By the end of last year, the Eagles’ running back situation was a mess. Ryan Mathews’ neck injury made him unlikely to return. Faced with the prospect of heading into 2017 with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood as their holdovers, the Eagles signed LeGarrette Blount late in the spring. While Sproles is a veteran hybrid unable to handle many carries, and second-year man Smallwood also lacks size, Blount gives Philadelphia a big back who can get tough yards, especially in the red zone.

Washington Redskins

Despite the gaudy numbers the offense produced in 2016 — when the Redskins ranked third in the NFL in total yards and second in passing yards — there will still be major changes this season, among them a new coordinator (Matt Cavanaugh, promoted from quarterbacks coach), a new primary play caller (head coach Jay Gruden), a new quarterbacks coach (newly hired Kevin O’Connell) and a rebuilt wide receiver corps, with Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson (who combined for 2,046 receiving yards last season) now gone, and Terrelle Pryor on board as the top playmaker. Pryor was an early target for the Redskins, who are desperate to improve their ugly red zone numbers from a year ago. A former standout QB in college, Pryor has completed his transformation to receiver. Last season, he caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards as the top target in Cleveland.

For a long time, it appeared that quarterback Kirk Cousins, coming off a Pro Bowl season, could join the Redskins’ exodus, but after entertaining options ranging from a lengthy contract extension to a blockbuster trade, the team settled on the middle ground of franchise-tagging him for the second year, at a cost of $24 million. Cousins, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has started 16 games in each of the last two seasons. Last year, he threw for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 67.0 percent of his attempts.

If this is Cousins’ last shot at winning big in D.C., he will at least be surrounded by solid pieces, including the electrifying Pryor at wide receiver; Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis at tight end; a running back corps that includes incumbent starter Rob Kelley, fourth-round pick Samaje Perine and third-down back Chris Thompson.

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Posted in NFL

NFC East biggest needs in the 2017 NFL Draft

The Cowboys look like they have long-term stability, while the other three teams in the division are looking for an identity

The Dallas Cowboys returned to on-field relevance in 2016 on the back of two outstanding rookies and elite offensive line play. Suffice to say, the 2016 NFL Draft was kind to them. The other three teams in their division would all love to have the same luck in this year’s draft – and all three need it. The Eagles are in the middle of a rebuild, the Giants are still looking for parts to make everything work and the Redskins appear to be a soap opera gone wrong. There is plenty of talent available in the 2017 NFL Draft, and all four NFC East squads will be in position to acquire players on April 27th who can change the fortunes – both long- and short-term – of their franchises.

  Dallas Cowboys

Dallas knew what they were getting when they drafted Ezekiel Elliott. What they didn’t know was what would happen when Tony Romo went down with a back injury during the preseason. Enter Dak Prescott, and as we all found out, the Cowboys had caught lightning in a bottle. Prescott was the spot on combination of athletic player and cautious game-manager. He led Dallas to the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs. Unfortunately, Dallas’ dream season ended in a shootout against a red-hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Cowboys are in the very fortunate position of not really needing anything. The could be helped by a productive edge rusher, another solid cornerback or the addition of some depth and a possible future starter at offensive tackle. They also could look for a capable heir to Jason Witten at tight end. They’ll have plenty of options – even picking as late as they do in the first round – to land a prospect who will fit one of those roles.

First-round pick: No. 28 overall

Potential picks: It all depends on the direction they go. If they are looking for a pass-rushing defensive end, Auburn’s Carl Lawson could be their guy. At corner, UCLA’s Fabian Moreau makes sense. Miami tight end David Njoku also is an intriguing choice.

 New York Giants

The Giants have made it to the playoffs after a roller-coaster season of early drama, late injuries and an inability to get into the end zone. Eli Manning topped 4,000 yards passing again, but it was not one of the more impressive campaigns of his career. On defense, the Giants looked to be without a true leader or playmaker. That cost them against some of the league’s higher-octane offenses.

The Giants had a hard time scoring in 2016, never hanging more than 28 points on the board in any one game. You simply are not going to be able to consistently contend with the likes of Green Bay, Dallas or Atlanta with an offense that cannot finish. They brought in Brandon Marshall in free agency, and he’ll make a fine No. 2 option to Odell Beckham Jr., What this offense is missing, however, is a reliable tight end. A serious threat over the middle would open a lot of other options up for the Giants. Unfortunately, the all-important left tackle position also is somewhat unresolved.

First-round pick: No. 23 overall

Potential picks: If the Giants want to gamble, they can probably get their tight end in the second round. In that case, they would likely go left tackle and select either Utah’s Garrett Boles or Alabama’s Cam Robinson. If they choose to reach for a tight end early, Ole Miss’ Evan Engram would be a nice addition to the offense.

  Philadelphia Eagles

The season began with promise for the Eagles, led by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. After Week 3 however, it quickly became apparent how far the team still had to go to become realistic contenders in its own division. Wentz had no consistent receiver to target and a revolving door at running back. Defensively, the Eagle defense had a hard time matching up with the better passing attacks in the league. The receiver problem was addressed in free agency, so now the Eagles need to focus on shoring up the running back position and solidifying their secondary. Adding some depth to the interior of the defensive line also is on the list of things to do.

First-round pick: No. 14 overall

Potential picks: The smart move would be to select the best corner available – likely Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey or Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzi. That said, it will be tough for the Eagle brass to fight the urge to take Florida State running back Dalvin Cook or LSU’s Leonard Fournette if either on falls to them.

 Washington Redskins

Washington was nothing short of dysfunctional down the stretch, losing four of its last six games. The problem with looking back to last season is that, perhaps more than any other team in the league, the Redskins of 2017 are going to be a completely different version of what we saw last year. Between a polarizing owner, the firing of a general manager and the saga of Kirk Cousins and his desire to leave town, the Redskins are quite simply a mess. The Redskins need to be proactive in the Cousins situation and hedge their bets with a long-term option at quarterback at some point. Additionally, they’ll need targets for that quarterback to throw to. Linebacker and guard also are two positions of need going forward, regardless of who is taking the snaps.

First-round pick: No. 17 overall

Potential picks: If it’s going to be a quarterback, I don’t see any way it’s not Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. He’s the most reliable option at the position in the draft. If they decide to go receiver, Washington’s John Ross is a guy who might remind some Redskin fans of Santana Moss. If they are looking for a bigger, more traditional No. 1 receiver, they are better off waiting until the second round and potentially grabbing Penn State’s Curtis Godwin. Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp also is in play.

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Posted in NFL

Green Bay Packers vs Philadephia Eagles Preview

The early-season hype surrounding rookie Carson Wentz has quieted down, but the whispers are growing louder around two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers’ inability to stop his team’s maddening slump. Both quarterbacks will be trying to keep their teams in the playoff chase when Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles host Rodgers and the sliding Green Bay Packers on Monday night (Enter Contest).

The Eagles have dropped five of seven since No. 2 overall draft pick Wentz led them to a 3-0 start, slipping into last place in the NFC East. Still, the Eagles are right on the heels of division rival Washington (6-4-1) for the final playoff spot in the conference and also own a 4-0 record at home, including victories over Atlanta and Minnesota in their last two at Lincoln Financial Field. The Packers are in the midst of a spectacular four-game slide during which they have allowed a staggering 153 points.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-6):

Following narrow losses to Atlanta and Indianapolis by a combined six points, Green Bay’s defense has been carved up for 89 points by Tennessee and Washington in the first two stops of its three-game road trip. The Packers have failed to force a turnover in three of the last four defeats. Green Bay is hopeful that Christine Michael, claimed off waivers from Seattle, will be ready to bolster a sagging running game with a full week of practice. Rodgers continues to put up solid numbers with 15 TD passes and three interceptions in his last five games. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who sat out last season with a knee injury, leads the NFL with nine TD catches. The Packers have won four of the last five meetings, including a 53-20 rout at Philadelphia two years ago.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (5-5):

It’s hardly a surprise that Wentz has been unable to sustain his hot start, given the dearth of playmakers at wide receiver and a spotty running game. Wentz threw seven touchdown passes against one interception in his first four games, but those numbers have changed with four scoring tosses and six picks in the last six contests. Wentz has thrown for more than 238 yards just once in his last seven games, with wideout Jordan Matthews his favorite target with 53 receptions and three touchdowns. Matthews has four TD receptions in his last six home games and recorded 107 yards and a score versus Green Bay in 2014. Ryan Mathews rushed for a season-high 109 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Atlanta on November 13, but he injured his knee in last week’s loss at Seattle and is not expected to play. Philadelphia has surrendered only 38 points in its four home games.

Posted in NFL

Monday Night Football

EAGLES (1-0) vs BEARS (0-1)

Carson Wentz showed he could handle the big stage in his much-ballyhooed NFL start, but the lights will be even brighter when he leads the Philadelphia Eagles on the road to face the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football (Enter Contests). Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick overall pick out of North Dakota State, earned raved reviews nationally after leading Philadelphia to a 29-10 win over Cleveland in its season opener. His 101.0 passer rating was the highest by a Philadelphia rookie since John Reaves in 1972.

Wentz was supposed to open the season on the bench but was thrust into the starter’s role following the abrupt trade of Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings. He responded with 278 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns against those lowly Browns. While Wentz looks to be the towns hero in Philadelphia after his starry debut, there are major injury concerns on both sides of the ball for the Eagles.

Tight end Zach Ertz, who collected six catches for 58 yards, suffered a rib displacement under his collarbone and did not practice again Friday. This is likely robbing Wentz of a safety valve that hauled in 75 receptions in 2015. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin also did not participate in practice. He strained his hamstring, putting further stress on a position where Philadelphia lacked depth after trading Eric Rowe to New England. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews had a big first game with the Eagles acquiring seven catches for 114 yards and a TD.

Chicago was not impressive in its season opener, failing to get on the board in the second half of a 23-14 loss at Houston. Playing at home is not necessarily an advantage for the Bears. They’ve came out victorious only once at Soldier Field last season. Chicago’s offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jay Cutler, who was sacked five times and pressured repeatedly. Cutler passed for 216 yards with one touchdown and a costly interception in Houston.

Speedy wide receiver Kevin White, the No. 7 overall pick in 2015, had three receptions for 34 yards in his NFL debut, but accepted the blame for running the incorrect route on Cutler’s pick. After missing his entire rookie campaign with a shin injury, it’s likely that the jitters got to him for his first official NFL game. The Bears’ defense, which ranked in the bottom third of the league against the rush (120.9 yards per game) last season, gave the Texans control of the ball for more than 36 minutes. Alshon Jeffery was the best offensive player with four catches for 105 yards. He has at least 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in his last three games.

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football Draft News 10-6-2015

New Orleans Saints versus Philadelphia Eagles NFL Real Money League Fantasy Preview 10-11-2015

Two disappointing 1-3 teams meet in week five from the NFL as the Philadelphia Eagles will be hosting the New Orleans Saints. Fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to FOX TV at 1PM Eastern Time on Sunday October 11th to track the results of their roster picks.

The last times these teams played were in the 2013 NFL season playoffs with the Saints posting the 26-24 road victory at the Eagles. It was a 32 yard field goal by Shayne Graham as time expired for the Saints win. It was freezing temperatures in that game and Drew Brees had two picks and the team was just 1 of 4 in the red zone.

The Saints come off their first win of the season with the 26-20 victory in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys. Drew Brees returned back to the lineup after sitting out the previous week with a shoulder injury. The Saints failed to make a stop in the final drive which allowed the Cowboys drive for a game tying touchdown in the final seconds with a backup quarterback. New Orleans won it on an 80 yard touchdown pass by Drew Brees to C.J. Spiller. The Saints were able to move the ball on the Cowboys defense for 438 yards.

The Philadelphia Eagles coughed up a late lead as they dropped a 23-20 decision at the Washington Redskins. The Eagles allowed a four yard touchdown pass by Kirk Cousins with 26 seconds remaining. The Philadelphia offensive line looked bad as they gave up five sacks in the loss. The offense has sputtered this year for the team as the Eagles are 29th in total yards per game (294), 26th in passing yards per game (224) and 30th in rushing yards per game (70).

New Orleans Saints QB:

Drew Brees

Brees returned to the lineup after missing week three with a shoulder injury. He is completing 68% of his throws this year for 969 yards with four touchdowns and two picks. Against the Cowboys Brees hit on 33 of 41 throws for 359 yards with two touchdowns.

New Orleans Saints RB:

Mark Ingram

The veteran running back has 56 carries for 214 yards with two touchdowns. Ingram is only running for 3.6 yards a carry this year. He had his best game of the season against Dallas last week with 77 rushing yards on 17 carries.

New Orleans Saints WR:

Willie Snead

A rookie out of Ball St leads the Saints with 16 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. He had six catches on Sunday night for 89 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles QB:

Sam Bradford

The Eagles quarterback has struggled under this new system in Philadelphia. On the year he is hitting on 60% of his passes for 948 yards with six touchdowns and four picks. Last week against the Redskins Bradford passed for 270 yards with three touchdowns. After four interceptions in his first two games Bradford hasn’t thrown a pick in his past two games.

Philadelphia Eagles RB:

Ryan Mathews

In his first year in Philadelphia after coming over from San Diego Mathews have 33 rushes for 132 yards with a touchdown. He rushed for 108 yards against the Jets in week three and has just 24 yards rushing in his three other games.

DeMarco Murray

Murray is having a poor season with 29 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. He had a long of 30 yards this year. Take out that 30 yard run and Murray has 28 carries for 17 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles WR:

Jordan Matthews

The second year wide out is getting the bulk of the targets with 38 on the year. He has caught 25 balls for 281 yards with a touchdown.

Posted in NFL