No Foles Magic This Time: Eagles Lose in Sadder-Than-Usual Fashion

No Foles Magic This Time: Eagles Lose in Sadder-Than-Usual Fashion





For the second time in three weeks, Nick Foles had a chance
to demonstrate a flare for the dramatic. Only on this occasion, he came up
short – then quite literally threw the game away.

Foles underthrew a wide-open Jeremy Maclin in the end zone
with 23 seconds left, a wobbly duck that sent its empty-handed target sprawling
hopelessly on the turf. The would-be-17-yard connection would have knotted the
score, likely sending the game into overtime. Instead the drive continued,
seemingly setting up the rookie quarterback for another last-second touchdown
pass. Thanks to an untimely penalty though, the clock hit zero while the Eagles
were standing around in the huddle.

Three plays after the near miss, Foles was flagged for
intentional grounding. In addition to the yards and loss of down, the penalty includes
a 10-second run-off in the final two minutes, in this case claiming the final :01
in regulation.

No one-last try here. The Redskins earned the technical
knockout, outlasting the Birds 27-20.

Rewind eight seconds. Foles dropped back from the five-yard
line, scanned the field, and saw nothing he liked. Trying to keep the play
alive, he broke the pocket, only to be chased down by defensive end Stephen
Bowen. Frantically Foles heaved the ball, but it didn’t quite travel the short
distance to the line of scrimmage. With no receiver in sight either, the
officials conferenced, then announced the anti-climatic conclusion.

I’m sure there’s some hidden irony in the moment, something
corresponding to this being Andy Reid’s final home game as head coach.

Tough break for the kid though, who otherwise had himself a
decent afternoon. Foles was 32 of 48 for 345 yards, one touchdown.

However, it wasn’t all good obviously. There was an
interception off of an unfortunate deflection, and a lost fumble during a
scramble. He was under pressure throughout the contest, eating five sacks. The
offense only managed six points once on four trips inside the red zone. There
was the underthrow, a throw that absolutely has to be hit, and the grounding in
a situation where a quarterback absolutely cannot take a sack or suffer similar

But growing pains aside, Foles had the team in a position to
win the game. Next time he’s just gotta finish – we’ve seen him do it once

As far as finishing is concerned, Reid walked off the field
to a mix of cheers and boos, with a handful of fans even chanting his name. It
might’ve been nice to see the big guy get a win, but let’s face it, there are
no fairy-tale endings this year.


No excuses, but it’s worth noting Foles did suffer an
unspecified injury to his throwing hand in the first half. He did not miss any

In his first game since suffering a concussion, LeSean McCoy
was his shifty self. Shady carried 13 times for 45 yards, and added nine
receptions for 77 yards.

Dion Lewis had one carry for 13 yards – a fourth-quarter touchdown
run that brought the Birds within seven.

Maclin and Jason Avant each had eight catches, with 18 going
over the century mark for the second time in three games. His 27-yard touchdown
catch was courtesy of a beautiful touch pass from Foles.

The Eagles recorded their first interception since Week 6
when a deflected pass found its way into the arms of Colt Anderson. It was the
first pick of his career.

Robert Griffin was limited with a knee injury, and played
most of the game from the pocket. He was 18 of 24 for 198 and a pair of scores.
Washington leaned on running back Alfred Morris, who carried 21 times for 91
yards, and punched one in on the ground.

A lone sack for the defense this week, none from the front
four. Brandon Boykin notched his first career sack on a blitz.

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Eagles-Vikings predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Vikings predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles are coming off two straight losses and the slate doesn't get any easier with the 5-0 Vikings coming to town.

It also marks the return of Sam Bradford, who was traded just before Week 1, paving the way for rookie Carson Wentz to start.

The Eagles kick off against Minnesota at the Linc on Sunday at 1 p.m., so it's time for our (cough) experts' predictions for the Week 7 matchup.

Dave Zangaro (2-3)
I'll admit, this game just has a weird feel. It has the feeling like the Eagles might be able to catch the Vikings sleeping after their bye week and hand them their first loss of the season.

I was almost tempted to pick the Birds in this one.

But I'm not.

Ultimately, the Vikings are just the better team. I'm not sure how the Eagles are going to put up points against them. And I'm not convinced the Eagles' defense will be able to stop anyone after what we saw last weekend.

They keep it close, but the Birds fall to 3-3.

Vikings 20, Eagles 17

Derrick Gunn (2-3)
The good news is Minnesota's offense is ranked 30th in the league and the Vikings' run game is dead last averaging 70.6 yards per game. 

The bad news is the Vikings' defense is a monster, ranked 2nd overall and first in points allowed at 12.6.

There is not a weak link in the Vikings' D and they are fundamentally sound across the board. The Eagles' defense vows that what happened to them at Washington — allowing 230 rushing yards — won't happen again. 

Carson Wentz got roughed up by the Redskins' pass rush, and unless the Eagles' offensive line plugs the leaks, more of the same could happen this Sunday. The Birds have every reason to rebound at home, but I just don't like the overall matchup. 

Vikings 20, Eagles 13

Ray Didinger (2-3)
The Vikings aren't going undefeated. You don't go 16-0 in the NFL with a 30th ranked offense which is what the Vikings have. Yes, their defense is very good. Going back to last season they have held each of their last nine opponents to 17 points or less. They are deep, fast and well-coached by Mike Zimmer. But the offense led by Sam Bradford coughs and sputters a lot.
As a result, the Vikings will play a lot of close, low-scoring games and somewhere along the line they are going to lose. It could even happen this week when they play the Eagles. Special teams could be huge. The Eagles have a big edge with kicker Caleb Sturgis. Vikings kicker Blair Walsh has already missed three field goals and two PATs. However, the Vikings return men -- Marcus Sherels on punts, Cordarrelle Patterson on kickoffs -- are very dangerous. I expect the Eagles to keep it close but in the end I have to go with the superior defense.
Vikings 21, Eagles 16

Andrew Kulp (2-3)
Which Eagles defense shows up on Sunday? If they can limit Minnesota's anemic ground attack, which ranks dead last in the NFL, this should be a close game. Sam Bradford is playing really well, but it's not like he's airing it out all over the place.

Then it becomes a question of how Halapoulivaati Vaitai responds to a rough debut. The Vikings pass-rush is fierce, so it doesn't get any easier this week. As long as the protection gives Carson Wentz a chance, that will at least give the rookie signal-caller a shot at making a few big plays.

For some reason, I like their chances at both. It's going to be another ugly one, but the Eagles do just enough to squeak by.

Eagles 20, Vikings 19

Corey Seidman (2-3)
I foresee a low-scoring game in which the Eagles are more competitive than some might think.

But in the end, the Vikings have the personnel and the defensive-minded head coach (Mike Zimmer) to get key stops down the stretch.

Vikings 20, Eagles 16

Andy Schwartz (1-4)
You’re still reading? 

Well good for you. Much appreciated. 

Because clearly I certainly don’t know what to expect from this team. 

But let’s forget all that for the moment and look at the Bradford Bowl. 

The Vikings’ offense is hardly scary (30th in the league in yards per game behind the Rams and Niners), but their defense is (second in yards per game behind Seattle).

The Eagles’ offense is hardly scary (22nd in yards per game), and their defense (sixth in yards per game) was pretty scary a few weeks ago.

So let’s look at the intangibles. Which team needs this game more? The Eagles. And they’re at home. 

But given the outcomes the last two weeks and that Minnesota is unbeaten and coming off a bye, it certainly makes sense to pick the Vikes, who are favored by 2.5.

Then again, the Eagles not too long ago were unbeaten and coming off a bye … and we all know what happened.

So I’ll say the Birds pull off another upset and remain unbeaten at the Linc. 

Just don’t bet on it.

Eagles 6, Vikings 5

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.