Sluggish Start Costs Flyers in Exciting First Game of Season

Sluggish Start Costs Flyers in Exciting First Game of Season

A loss to your hated rival isn't how you want to end your first day of the season. But the Flyers showed some encouraging things after getting off to a real sorry start in the first period, eventually fighting back and coming a few inches short of earning at least a point if only Wayne Simmonds could have banged one home in the final minutes.

A few positive takeaways:

Ilya Bryzgalov played well in net. After giving up a tough goal off a deflection and later a weaker goal which was his biggest mistake of the day, Bryz kept the Pens off the board from there on, making a couple of real nice saves along the way.

Claude Giroux didn't miss a beat from where he left off last season. He found the net for the team's lone goal of the day and dazzled us as well (video). Seeing G do his thing was a reminder of how much Flyers hockey can be to watch. Scott Hartnell's chemistry with the team's newest captain was fantastic as well. Hartsy found him in scoring position multiple times.

Rookie Scott Laughton held his own in his first NHL game.

On a team that looked really sluggish in the first period, youngsters Matt Read and Eric Wellwood looked like speed demons out on the ice.

The Flyers lost their season opener to the Penguins, but it was a wildly entertaining hockey game for the final two periods. Obviously not how you want to start the season, but nothing too horrible took place on the ice that can't be fixed going forward.

I have to say, it was quite enjoyable to be screaming at my television again. I forgot how fun that can be.

What'd you take away from Saturday's loss?

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

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

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP