Merrill Reese doesn't think the Lions are as good as the Cardinals

Merrill Reese doesn't think the Lions are as good as the Cardinals

As you may have heard, there’s a kinda big and important game in South Philly on Sunday afternoon when the 7-5 Lions visit the 7-5 Eagles.

Eagles’ radio announcer and Philadelphia treasure – don’t you forget that - Merrill Reese has seen and called his fair share of kinda big and important games over the years so you know he’s psyched for Sunday.

Never bashful, Reese decided to give his thoughts on the Lions when he appeared on the “In Studio” segment on the Eagles’ website earlier this week.

The major takeaway: He doesn’t think the Lions are as good as the Cardinals, the team the Eagles sent crying and moaning back to Arizona last week with a 24-21 defeat.

“I don’t think Detroit is as good a team as Arizona,” Reese told Dave Spadaro.

One of the main reasons he cites is Matthew Stafford’s tendency to turn the ball over. Stafford has 14 interceptions and has lost three fumbles this season. All tolled, Lions have a minus-8 turnover differential this season, good for 26th in the league.

He even goes on to say Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer has a better arm.

“Yeah, is Matthew Stafford good? Yeah, he’s good and sometimes he’s not good. Does he have a bigger arm than Carson Palmer? No. Carson Palmer can throw it from here to the Delaware River and Matthew Stafford can go deep when he has to, too. I don’t think [Stafford’s] decision making has been all that good.”

Don’t worry, Calvin Johnson, Merrill is getting to you.

He praises Johnson and his abilities, but feels Johnson is par for the course with Larry Fitzgerald - whom the Eagles held to five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown last week - and believes Arizona’s receiving depth is better than Detroit’s.

“There’s a great wide receiver. We know all about Megatron - Calvin Johnson - and how great he is. But I don’t think he’s really that much better than Larry Fitzgerald. I think you’re talking about 1 and 1A. And they don’t have a second receiver who is as good as Michael Floyd.

Oh, Merrill Reese stirring the pot a little bit. He almost sounds like a villainous pro wrestling manager. I like it. Can he do this every week?

Never change, Merrill. Never change.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).