Is This the End? Eagles Flatline in New Orleans

Is This the End? Eagles Flatline in New Orleans

That was hard to watch. This entire season, even when things seemed to be going well, has been hard to watch.

The Eagles walked into the Superdome and maintained some semblance of control for most of the first period. Then almost on cue, Michael Vick hurled a red-zone interception, which the Saints returned 99 yards for a touchdown. New Orleans never looked back, finishing the Birds -- and likely their season -- by a score of 28-13.

As has been the case all year, missed opportunities crushed the Eagles. Vick's interception, which was just out of the Brent Celek's reach and deflected off the tight end's fingertips, was one of five trips to the red zone for Philadelphia. None of them resulted in a touchdown, and two ended in turnovers.

Meanwhile, the defense managed to hold Drew Brees and the Saints' offense to 21 points, but they weren't necessarily as effective as the scoreboard suggests.

Todd Bowles' unit forced two punts out of seven meaningful possessions, and had another possession end with a Brandon Graham strip sack. However, the Eagles allowed 139 yards on 24 rushing attempts (5.8 YPC), and Brees was able to connect on 21 of 27 pass attempts (77.8%). New Orleans also missed on a 53-yard field goal attempt.

For the second week in a row, the Eagles' defense was far from good, but once again the offense was a bigger issue. A battered offensive line was unable to handle the Saints' blitzes, especially once Todd Herremans was knocked out with an injury. Remarkably, LeSean McCoy and company ran the ball well -- 29 carries for 221 yards -- but without a consistent passing attack, the one-dimensional offense couldn't find the end zone. DeSean Jackson scored Philly's only touchdown on a 77-yard catch and run.

Amazingly enough, special teams nearly helped the Eagles claw back into the game. Chris Polk forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff following DJacc's TD, which resulted in a field goal. Then on a kick return late in the third quarter, Brandon Boykin threw the ball across the field to Riley Cooper, who raced 94 yards for a score, only to have the play called back because it was a forward pass.

When that's what it takes to win though, obviously there are far bigger problems. That's why the Eagles are 3-5, and that's why we're talking about this season being over, and Andy Reid being on the way out. More to come on a huge loss, but one that ultimately was not a very big surprise.

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored the tiebreaking goal in Montreal's three-goal third period as the Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Thursday night for their sixth straight win.

Alex Galchenyuk and Torrey Mitchell also scored to help Montreal improve to 7-0-1. Carey Price made 29 saves to win for the fourth time in four starts this season.

Alex Killorn scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who lost against an Eastern-Conference opponent for the first time this season. Ben Bishop stopped 23 shots.

With the scored tied 1-1, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal at 10:23 by beating Bishop glove-side. Blown coverage by the Lightning left the Canadiens' captain all alone on the edge of the face-off circle, and Bishop couldn't see the shot with Andrew Shaw posted firmly in front of goal.

Montreal remains the only NHL team still undefeated in regulation (see full recap).

Crosby's late goal gives Penguins win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored -- each getting his third of the season -- to help the Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.

Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game.

Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, and Halak finished with 31 saves (see full recap).

Streaking Red Wings win marathon shootout vs. Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.

In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.

Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Frans Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.

St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek (see full recap).