Eagles officially the hottest team in the NFL

Eagles officially the hottest team in the NFL

It’s cold outside and there’s snow on the ground, but the Philadelphia Eagles are white hot. With their 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the Birds now own the longest winning streak in the NFL at five games.

The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers were the only two teams that owned longer streaks entering Week 14. Both lost on Sunday, leaving 8-5 Philadelphia as the new torch-bearer.

The Eagles’ last loss was October 27 against the New York Giants, a game that Michael Vick started under center and Matt Barkley finished. Since then, Nick Foles has led the team to victories over Oakland (4-9), Green Bay (6-6-1), Washington (3-10), Arizona (8-5) and Detroit (7-6).

During that span, the Eagles are scoring an average of 31.6 points per game while holding opponents to 18.0. They also have an outstanding turnover margin of plus-10 over the last five.

Five clubs are tied for second with three-game winning streaks, which just goes to show how hard it is string together even a month’s worth of wins back-to-back in the NFL.

It's also the longest such streak for the Birds since they won six in a row in 2009.

The Dallas Cowboys can join those teams at three straight with a W at Chicago on Monday night. Or, they can lose and Philadelphia can take over sole possession first place in the NFC East.

With Carolina’s loss, the Eagles are also just one game out of either Wild Card playoff berth, so regardless of what the Cowboys do, the Birds will still be in excellent shape come Tuesday morning.

Philadelphia heads to Minnesota next to take on the 3-9-1 Vikings. All-Pro running back and the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson was carted off with a foot injury on Sunday and would seem unlikely to play against the Birds.

Of course, the Eagles shut down two of the most potent weapons in the NFL in consecutive weeks in wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. Even if AP miraculously finds a way to be ready, the Eagles should be too.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.