Vick: ‘I take sole responsibility’ for loss to Chiefs

Vick: ‘I take sole responsibility’ for loss to Chiefs

That’s awfully noble of you, Mike. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve some of the blame, but there is plenty of it to go around the Eagles’ locker room after their 26-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Michael Vick can come back for a second helping of blame if he likes. His performance was far too reminiscent of what Philadelphia had been becoming accustomed to prior to this season.

The Birds’ quarterback was erratic, completing 13-of-30 pass attempts for 201 yards. The 11-year veteran was indecisive, which helped lead to five sacks. He also turned the ball over three times, including a terrible pick-six—one of two giveaways to spot the Chiefs 10 points within the game’s first four minutes.

But we couldn’t lay everything on Vick even if we wanted to. The Eagles’ offensive line struggled mightily to protect him. Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston abused Todd Herremans and rookie Lane Johnson to the tune of 3.5 sacks, while at the opposite end Tamba Hali appeared to be getting the better of Jason Peters for much of the night.

Despite an improved pass rush this week, the Birds’ defense had no answer for slot receiver Donnie Avery. Avery hauled in seven passes for 141 yards, including a pair of third-down conversions of 15 yards and beyond, essentially picking up where Eddie Royal left off for San Diego last week.

Even special teams can’t be absolved. Damaris Johnson’s muffed punt at Philadelphia’s 8-yard line was one of the plays that handed Kansas City points at the outset, while Alex Henery missed a field goal for the second consecutive week—although this one probably didn’t matter as much.

There’s only one man in midnight green who comes away unscathed, and that is LeSean McCoy. There was a scary moment where Shady went down clutching his ankle, but he returned to the game and ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles life in the second half. McCoy finished with 158 yards on the ground.

Vick certainly did not play well though, despite rushing for 95 yards himself. Give Kansas City some credit for making him uncomfortable in the pocket, although that had nothing to do with either of his interceptions, or several other missed targets.

The Eagles fall to 1-2 on the season, and have a very tough matchup ahead in Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 10 days from now. Meanwhile, the hardest part was the Chiefs move to 3-0 and Andy Reid gets to extract some revenge on the franchise that sent him packing after 14 years of service. Gatorade shower? Gatorade shower.

Sorry for that.

Despite everything that went wrong for the Eagles, it should be noted they somehow had an opportunity to win this game until late. The defense kept Kansas City’s offense out of the end zone for three quarters, but the hole the rest of the team had dug with stalled drives and turnovers was too much to overcome.

In other words, the one person besides Shady it's hard to lay this loss on is Chip Kelly. When your players commit five turnovers, it's nearly impossible to win the game.

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard batting cleanup, Cameron Rupp catching

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard batting cleanup, Cameron Rupp catching

Following a day off, the Phillies continue their roadtrip with the start of a three-game set with the New York Mets.

Ryan Howard will bat in the heart of the Phillies order with Cameron Rupp at catcher following the trade of Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup remains mostly the same as it was prior to a brief two-game series with American League rules.

With Ruiz's trade, Howard is the last remaining member of the Phillies' 2008 World Series team. He'll try to throw back to that time against the ageless Bartolo Colon. 

Howard has good power numbers against Colon. He has just six hits in 28 at-bats, but has drawn three walks and has three home runs against the 43-year-old starter. There are only 18 pitchers he has faced more often than Colon.

At catcher, Rupp had already inherited the starting job from Ruiz, but he is now the backstop with more experience in Philadelphia. The Phillies called up prospect Jorge Alfaro for now, but he will likely remain on the bench and be sent down when A.J. Ellis reports this weekend. 

Rupp has five hits in 14 at-bats against Colon. He has faced only the Braves' Julio Teheran more times than Colon in his four-year career. The five hits are tied for his most against any one pitcher (Teheran).

Here's the full lineup that will oppose Colon and the Mets. 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Odubel Herrera, CF
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Awwwwe: Chooch leaves his Phillies teammates a love note on clubhouse white board

chooch.jpg

Awwwwe: Chooch leaves his Phillies teammates a love note on clubhouse white board

As if you didn't think you could love Carlos Ruiz any more...

Chooch was traded on Thursday afternoon and he's since departed for the potentially playoff-bound pastures with his new-again teammate Chase Utley and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But not before he left his Phillies teammates a loving note written on the white board in the clubhouse at CitiField where the Phils play the Mets this evening.

Courtesy of CSNPhilly.com's Phillies beat reporter Jim Salisbury:

It reads:

"I will miss all of you guys. Good luck the rest of the season. Love you all, Chooch! (Gracias)"

Awwwwwwwwe.

Gestures like the above help explain why guys like Roy Halladay call Chooch their favorite baseball player ever.

NHL Notes: Brandon Pirri, Rangers agree to terms on one-year deal

NHL Notes: Brandon Pirri, Rangers agree to terms on one-year deal

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with forward Brandon Pirri on a $1.1 million, one-year deal.

The 25-year-old Pirri spent last season with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks, recording 14 goals and 15 assists in 61 games. His 29 points were a career high.

A second-round pick, 59th overall, in the 2009 draft, Pirri has been traded twice and was considered a potential bargain in NHL free agency. Pirri is something of a shootout specialist, scoring on five of his six attempts last season, and that 83.3 percent success rate ranked first among players with at least five attempts.

In 166 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Panthers and Ducks, Pirri has 49 goals and 31 assists for 90 points.

Enroth replaces injured Lerner for Sweden at World Cup
NEW YORK -- With goaltender Robin Lehner still not fully healthy, Sweden replaced him on its World Cup of Hockey roster with Jhonas Enroth.

The Buffalo Sabres' starting goalie was bothered by a right ankle injury for much of last season that limited him to 21 NHL games. Lehner underwent surgery in March and had been working to get ready for the World Cup, which begins Sept. 17 in Toronto.

"We really wanted to give Robin the opportunity to recover from his injury from last year, but unfortunately it wasn't enough time for him to feel 100 percent recovered," coach Rikard Gronborg said in a statement released by the Swedish Ice Hockey Association.

Concussion problems held Lehner to 23 games in 2014-15, and he looked to be over those after the Ottawa Senators traded him to Buffalo at the 2015 draft. The 25-year-old injured his ankle early in the season opener and aggravated it in March.

It was not immediately clear when the Sabres expect Lehner to be back to 100 percent.

"As Robin continues to progress during the offseason in his rehab from last season's ankle injury, he felt that it was best to withdraw from Team Sweden for the upcoming World Cup," Buffalo general manager Tim Murray said in a statement. "Robin felt it was important to continue his rehab in Buffalo to prepare for training camp. He has been working out both on and off the ice and we look forward to seeing him on the ice with our team next month."

Enroth, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Kings, recently signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He joins Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Jacob Markstrom of the Vancouver Canucks as the goalies on Sweden's roster.

The 28-year-old has a 2.80 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 147 career NHL games. Enroth was on the Swedish team that earned a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, though he never appeared in a game. He started for Sweden at the 2013 and 2015 world hockey championships, winning gold in 2013 with a 1.15 GAA and .956 save percentage (see full story).