How Top Receivers Are Peforming Against Eagles D

How Top Receivers Are Peforming Against Eagles D

Through five weeks, the Eagles' defense ranks ninth in passing yards allowed (206.8), and fourth in opponent passer rating (67.1). Despite the decent numbers all-around though, some very good wide receivers have posted good games over the past three weeks. That could spell bad news with Calvin Johnson coming to town.

When Philadelphia hosts Detroit this Sunday, the visiting team will have one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL in their employ. Johnson, widely considered the best in football, is a 6-5, 240 lbs. size-speed nightmare that requires constant double- and triple-coverage. Even still, he has reached the point where defenses cant stop him, and only hope to contain him.

Johnson led the league with 1,681 yards receiving in 2011 -- 7th-highest total all-time -- and has caught a minimum of 12 touchdowns in three of the past four seasons. He's off to another fast start this year, catching 29 balls while averaging 105 yards per game.

So while the Birds' secondary has been very good, clearly they will have their hands full in this matchup. What's more, while the team's numbers are very good, some of the better receivers from around the league have been able to pick on them in recent weeks.

It was Antonio Brown for the Steelers, the Pro-Bowl return man who emerged last season as an explosive wide receiver as well. Brown didn't exactly have a huge afternoon, but his seven catches for 86 yards led the Pittsburgh offense.

One week earlier, Victor Cruz eclipsed 100 yards on nine catches, adding a touchdown as well. Cruz posted those numbers without Hakeem Nicks in the lineup by the way, which didn't seem to matter as Domenik Hixon went off for 100-plus as well.

But perhaps the most comparable example of what Johnson could do to the Eagles defensive backs came in Arizona a few weeks ago, where the similarly explosive Larry Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 114 yards, including a 37-yard TD. Only that was a team with Kevin Kolb under center, not 2009 first-overall pick Matt Stafford, who threw for over 5,000 yards last season.

As great as Fitzgerald is, which is likely Hall-of-Fame good, right now Johnson is better, and far superior to receivers like Brown and Cruz.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have had success against the pass overall, but preventing individuals from having big days has been a little more mix and match. While Antonio Brown was having a good game, Mike Wallace was held to two catches for 17 yards. Against Baltimore in Week 2, Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin were limited to two receptions as well, for 51 and 7 yards respectively. (Sorry, Cleveland, you don't have any quality receivers.)

Still, none are quite the test they face this Sunday. I wouldn't expect the Eagles to keep Johnson to two catches, but I would hope they can at least prevent him from grabbing two touchdown passes.

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

The Sixers on Friday announced that center Nerlens Noel will undergo a minor surgical procedure on his left knee to address an inflamed plica. 

Noel appeared in the Sixers' first preaseason game, but has been sidelined since Oct. 6 because of a left groin strain. 

While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

Noel's status for the season opener on Oct. 26 was already in question, and knee surgery should officially rule him out. There is no timetable for his return.

No surgery for Bayless
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless' left wrist ligament injury will not require surgery.

Bayless, who has been a limited participant in training camp, will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

The logam at the center position has dominated talk surrounding the Sixers as they approach the start of the 2016-17 season.

While a trade has yet to be made, Bovada believes there's a good chance two of the team's three young centers won't be in Philadelphia by season's end. 

Bovada released their NBA player props for the upcoming NBA season Tuesday, listing Nerlens Noel (5/7) and Jahlil Okafor (8/5) as two of the league's favorites to be dealt before February's trade deadline. On the other hand, Noel's odds to not be dealt are even, while Okafor's odds to remain a Sixer past this season are 4/9.

Kings swingman Rudy Gay was between Noel and Okafor with the second-best odds to be traded at 5/9. Gay's teammate DeMarcus Cousins had the fourth-best odds at 3/1. 

Bovada's over/under player props featured bets involving six different Sixers. Joel Embiid's rookie stat line was set at 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. In five preseason games, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 14.4 minutes of action. If his limited preseason action is any indication, Embiid could certainly reach Bovada's averages once his minutes restriction comes off. 

Here are the rest of the Sixers' over/under prop bets: 

  • Jahlil Okafor: 15 points, 6.5 rebounds
  • Nerlens Noel: 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds
  • Gerald Henderson: 10.5 points
  • Robert Covington: 12.5 points
  • Dario Saric: 5.0 rebounds