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

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

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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
consequences.

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
before.

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.

Notes

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
snaps.

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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Bovada projects Nets, not Sixers, to finish at bottom of division, conference

Bovada projects Nets, not Sixers, to finish at bottom of division, conference

The Sixers finished in the basement of the NBA standings last season with a league-low 10 wins. But with the influx of young talent and addition of a couple veterans to the roster, the Las Vegas oddsmakers are betting on the Sixers to make some strides upward in the 2016-17 standings.  

Last week, the WestGate Superbook in Las Vegas set the Sixers' over/under for wins this season at an optimistic 27½, which was the fourth-lowest projection in the league.

Similarly, while Bovada is projecting another season of basketball filled with mostly losses in Philadelphia, the sportsbook doesn't view the Sixers as a shoo-in to finish as the league's worst team for the second consecutive year.

Per Bovada, the Sixers have the fourth-longest odds (125/1) to capture the Atlantic Divison title for the first time since 2001-02, beating out the Nets (250/1) by a considerable margin.

The favorite to win the division is the Celtics at 20/21, trailed closely by the defending division champion Raptors (21/20). The Knicks are between the Raptors and Sixers at 10/1.

The Sixers (150/1) also edged out the Nets (200/1) in odds to win the Eastern Conference championship. The two teams in the conference directly ahead of the Sixers in that futures bet are the Hornets (100/1) and Magic (50/1).

The Cavaliers are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference at 5/11, followed by the Celtics (5/1) and Raptors (14/1).

Least surprising of all futures odds, Bovada has the Sixers tied with four other teams for the longest odds to win the NBA title. The Nuggets, Kings, Nets and Suns were tied with the Sixers at 500/1 odds to win the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

The early favorites to win it all are the same two teams that met in the 2016 Finals. The Warriors are alone at top with the shortest odds at 4/5 trailed by the Cavaliers at 3/1.

Pete Mackanin will push to add hitter in meeting with front-office brass Friday

Pete Mackanin will push to add hitter in meeting with front-office brass Friday

ATLANTA — The Phillies entered Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves — No. 157 of 162 — ranked last in the majors in runs scored (591) and were hanging out near the bottom in a slew of other important offensive categories.
 
The stat sheet says the Phillies need more offense.
 
So does the manager.
 
Pete Mackanin plans to make his case for adding a bat this winter — the best fit would be in the outfield — in an end-of-season meeting with the front office Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
 
“Basically, having talked to the rest of the coaching staff, we’re all pretty much in agreement with what our needs are,” Mackanin said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m anxious to hear from (general manager) Matt Klentak and from (president) Andy MacPhail and if there’s an owner there. We’d like to hear what they have to say. We’re pretty much in agreement on a lot of what we need.
 
“I, for one, think we need at least one hitter that gives you quality at-bats.”
 
There could be hurdles in adding a bat. Money is not one of them. All of the team’s big contracts will be gone when Ryan Howard rides off into the sunset on Sunday. The team that spent over a half-billion in salaries from 2012 to 2014 (and missed the playoffs each time) has plenty of money and has vowed to spend it in due time. But that time might not arrive until team leaders believe the club has built a nucleus that would benefit from the signing of a "finishing" talent or two. The team is committed to building that nucleus from within, and there lies the potential hurdle in adding the difference-making bat that Mackanin craves. Building from within requires eventually giving players from the system an opportunity to prove themselves and grow at the major-league level. The front office, still very much committed to a rebuild, will be cognizant of blocking those players (the list includes Roman Quinn, Nick Williams, Dylan Cozens and others) and their opportunities. Klentak has said as much on several occasions this year.
 
Even Mackanin acknowledged that the situation is a Catch-22.
 
“I know I don’t want to block a prospect that has a chance to be a big part of it,” he said.
 
“But at the same time, I think by having one guy in the middle of the lineup or somewhere in the lineup that can take a little pressure off (Maikel) Franco and (Odubel) Herrera and the rest of them could do wonders. You look at when (Matt) Kemp joined the Braves. They all went off. They’re all hitting. They’ve scored more runs than anybody, I think, since the All-Star break. Last year, with (Yoenis) Cespedes, he joined the Mets and all of a sudden they all started hitting.
 
“I will give those examples. I feel that’s important.”
 
A number of outfield bats will be on the free-agent market this winter. Cespedes could be there if he opts out of his contract with the Mets, but he’s not likely to be interested in joining a rebuilding team and the Phillies are unlikely to want the long-term commitment a player like that would require. Dexter Fowler and Matt Holliday could be free agents if their options for 2017 are not exercised. Ian Desmond will be out there, but the Rangers will probably look to retain him. Jose Bautista, Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss and Colby Rasmus will also be out there. Martin Prado is the type of “professional hitter” that would appeal to Mackanin, but he agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.