Quarterback controversy? Nick Foles leads Eagles to victory in New York

Quarterback controversy? Nick Foles leads Eagles to victory in New York

When Michael Vick left the game with a hamstring injury and less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Eagles were ahead 16-7, and Nick Foles quickly led the offense on a scoring drive to tack on three. But midway through the third quarter, the New York Giants had retaken the lead, and the Birds’ offense looked stagnant without the threat of Vick running with the football.

Foles never lost his composure though, nor did Chip Kelly deviate from the game plan. The backup quarterback led Philly down the field to retake the lead, then proceeded to pile on with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter—picture-perfect strikes to Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson in the end zone. Between those tosses and Eli Manning’s unraveling, the Eagles managed to climb out of New York on top with a 36-21 victory.

Now they wait for the result in Dallas to see whether or not they’ll finish the week in first place.

But for now, the story in the City of Brotherly Love is all about the quarterbacks. Vick has struggled to find a rhythm since throwing for a career-high 428 yards on San Diego in Week 2, and that continued to some extent on Sunday. When he exited the game, the four-time Pro Bowler had hit on just 6-of-14 passes for 105 yards.

Foles wound up finishing 16-of-25 for 197 yards and the two scores. So, Chip Kelly, do we have a quarterback controversy here?

As of right now, it would appear we do not. Foles did some nice things, but what doesn’t show up in the passing line are Vick’s seven running plays for 79 yards, which had a lot to do with the first 16 points the Eagles put on the board. That also opens things up for LeSean McCoy, who wound up with only 46 yards on 20 carries.

Otherwise though, it’s hard to argue Foles wasn't throwing a better ball than Vick has the last few weeks. The second-year QB’s 64-percent completion percentage was higher than any single-game total Vick has posted this season. Foles also managed to find Celek and Djacc in the red zone, an area where the four-time Pro Bowler ahead of him has struggled especially.

The important thing here is the Eagles pulled out a victory against a division rival, even if the Giants are winless. Yet the play of Foles under center is an impossible story line to ignore, especially given the fact that Vick only beat him out narrowly for the job during training camp in the first place. It will be interesting to follow this week’s practice reports to see if Vick is limited at all, not to mention monitor how Vick performs in his next outing.

Philadelphia moves to 2-3, and has winless Tampa Bay next week for a chance to get back to .500

>> Instant Replay: Eagles 36, Broncos 21 [CSN]
>> Box Score [ESPN]

Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night, is not in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (see lineup).

Franco was hit by a pitch from the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the first inning of the Phillies’ 4-0 victory then was removed after hitting a single in the third inning (see story).

“He’s still sore,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday. “He’s day to day. Maybe he will be back in the lineup (Sunday).

Franco suffered a fracture of the same wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.

Andres Blanco is taking Franco’s place in the lineup after having two hits Friday night when he replaced the third baseman. Blanco is hitting .264 with three home runs in 73 games this season and is reportedly drawing some interest from contending teams looking to add bench help.

“I could see why he would be a desirable player,” Mackanin said. “We’re not going to give him away, though, if we do trade him. He’s played very well for us.”

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration. 

A source tells CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.

Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.

Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.

General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.

Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

After being hit on the wrist by a pitch in Friday's win (see story), Maikel Franco will not play today. Instead, Andres Blanco will take his place, hitting third in the lineup. Blanco was 2 for 2 replacing Franco in the third inning on Friday, with an RBI and a run scored. 

Blanco has been reliable when called upon this season, hitting .264 with a .317 OBP in mostly a utility role.

Other than that, the lineup remains the same as Friday.

Peter Bourjos will leadoff after going 0 for 5 last night, followed by Odubel Herrara. After an All-Star first half, Herrara has hit .211 in July, but seemed to get back on track with three hits on Friday, while scoring two runs. 

After a brutal stretch of games and an extended All-Star break, Aaron Nola returned to form vs. the Marlins last week, tossing six shutout innings. Nola again looks to prove the doubters wrong again today vs. the Pirates, who he has never faced in his brief career. 

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Peter Bourjos RF
2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Andres Blanco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Cameron Rupp C
6. Cody Asche LF
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Cesar Hernandez 2B
9. Aaron Nola P