San Francisco to Meet Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII

San Francisco to Meet Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII

Another year, another Super Bowl that doesn’t feature the
Eagles, but at least we will get something we haven’t seen for awhile. The last
time either the 49ers or Ravens were competing to win a world championship was
over 10 years ago back in 2001, while this is the first meeting between the two
franchises in Super Bowl history.

Just to put in perspective how long it has been since San
Francisco or Baltimore had teams standing on pro football’s biggest stage, Ravens
middle linebacker Ray Lewis is the only player on either roster who also made
his team’s last Super Bowl appearance. Lewis of course has announced he will
retire at season’s end.

Lewis was named Super Bowl MVP 12 years ago, the Ravens’
only appearance and victory in Super Bowl history. The 49ers are 5-0 in the big
game, but last won it all after their ’94 campaign.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this year’s event is
no matter what happens, one squad’s starting quarterback will be hoisting the
Lombardi Trophy for the first time. Either first-year starter Colin Kaepernick or
Audubon, New Jersey native Joe Flacco will be joining a club of active passers
that includes Tom Brady, both Manning brothers, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and
Ben Roethlisberger who have picked up their hardware.

The question is who, if anybody, will you be rooting for when this one kicks off 13 days from now?

San Francisco certainly had their glory days, but since then
experienced one of the worse down periods of any NFL franchise in recent history.
Most of the guys on that roster stuck with the Niners through some really hard
times.

Baltimore has the local tie-in, especially with
Flacco, but also head coach John Harbaugh who was an assistant coach with the
Eagles for a decade. Still, many fans detest future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer
Lewis for his involvement in a double homicide over a decade ago, to which he
received the lesser charge of obstructing justice.

We sense there will be plenty of indifference, as there
always is and generally should be. Again though, at least it’s fresh. Feel free
to offer your reactions and instant predictions below.

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Radko Gudas shooting pucks, 'pretty close' to 100 percent

Radko Gudas shooting pucks, 'pretty close' to 100 percent

VOORHEES, N.J. — Radko Gudas (wrist) is closer to game action as the Flyers’ defenseman has been cleared to shoot pucks for the “past couple of days.”
 
The 26-year-old, recovering from a fractured right wrist (his shooting hand), was shooting and hitting in practice Wednesday at Flyers Skate Zone. Gudas has yet to play in a preseason game, but said he’s “pretty close” to 100 percent.
 
“I can’t say it’s really 100 percent, but it’s getting there soon,” Gudas said following practice.
 
“There’s a lot of time for me to get in top, game-like shape. There’s not a chance I would miss the start of the season.”
 
Gudas said the most important aspect of the wrist’s healing is keeping it stable by wearing a brace to limit too much moving.
 
“It’s better, I’m shooting on it in practices, feels better every day,” he said. “I’m working on a lot of it every day with the strength guys and the doctors here. We’re going day to day, I’m seeing myself sooner than later jumping on the ice.”
 
The second-year Flyer would like to play in preseason games before the start of the regular season, but also understands the importance of not rushing to avoid costing him regular-season games as a result.
 
“That’s the main part — feeling pain-free,” Gudas said. “Throughout the season, there’s not a lot of time off so we need to make sure everything is the best it can be before the season starts.
 
“Obviously it’s going to be the coaches’ decision when to put me in. I’m sure they’re talking with the staff for when would be the proper time.”
 
Gudas signed a four-year contract extension in June after playing a career-high 76 games and recording 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 2015-16.
 
After practice, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol did not have an update on Gudas or defenseman Nick Schultz, who was shaken up Tuesday night.
 
“Everybody wants to play at least a game or two before the season,” Gudas said. “I don’t think it needs to be said.
 
“He wants to have me ready and I want to be ready.”

Now 22/1 to win Super Bowl, Eagles also the NFC East favorite

Now 22/1 to win Super Bowl, Eagles also the NFC East favorite

The Eagles crushed a Super Bowl contender on Sunday at the Linc. And Vegas took notice.

According to Bovada, the Eagles' odds to win the Super Bowl went from 33/1 to 22/1. Just nine teams have shorter odds to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots are tops at 15/4, followed by the Packers (8/1) and the team the Eagles beat, the Steelers (9/1).

With the win, the Eagles also became the favorite to win the NFC East, going from 11/4 to 2/1. They're followed by the Cowboys and Giants (both at 11/5) and last year's division champs, Washington, is at 6/1.

The Eagles are also 12/1 to win the NFC.

Of course, the biggest story for the Eagles this season has been the emergence of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. He had his first 300-yard passing game Sunday and was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week. His odds to win MVP went from 50/1 to 33/1. Those are the same odds as Drew Brees and Eli Manning.

Meanwhile, former Eagles quarterback and current Minnesota Viking Sam Bradford went from 50/1 to 25/1 to win MVP.

While Wentz's MVP odds shortened, his odds to win Rookie of the Year actually got longer, going from 8/5 to 7/4. That could have something to do with the odds of Ezekiel Elliot (7/4), Dak Prescott (5/1) and Sterling Shepard (7/1) all improving.