No Foles Magic This Time: Eagles Lose in Sadder-Than-Usual Fashion

No Foles Magic This Time: Eagles Lose in Sadder-Than-Usual Fashion

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For the second time in three weeks, Nick Foles had a chance
to demonstrate a flare for the dramatic. Only on this occasion, he came up
short – then quite literally threw the game away.

Foles underthrew a wide-open Jeremy Maclin in the end zone
with 23 seconds left, a wobbly duck that sent its empty-handed target sprawling
hopelessly on the turf. The would-be-17-yard connection would have knotted the
score, likely sending the game into overtime. Instead the drive continued,
seemingly setting up the rookie quarterback for another last-second touchdown
pass. Thanks to an untimely penalty though, the clock hit zero while the Eagles
were standing around in the huddle.

Three plays after the near miss, Foles was flagged for
intentional grounding. In addition to the yards and loss of down, the penalty includes
a 10-second run-off in the final two minutes, in this case claiming the final :01
in regulation.

No one-last try here. The Redskins earned the technical
knockout, outlasting the Birds 27-20.

Rewind eight seconds. Foles dropped back from the five-yard
line, scanned the field, and saw nothing he liked. Trying to keep the play
alive, he broke the pocket, only to be chased down by defensive end Stephen
Bowen. Frantically Foles heaved the ball, but it didn’t quite travel the short
distance to the line of scrimmage. With no receiver in sight either, the
officials conferenced, then announced the anti-climatic conclusion.

I’m sure there’s some hidden irony in the moment, something
corresponding to this being Andy Reid’s final home game as head coach.

Tough break for the kid though, who otherwise had himself a
decent afternoon. Foles was 32 of 48 for 345 yards, one touchdown.

However, it wasn’t all good obviously. There was an
interception off of an unfortunate deflection, and a lost fumble during a
scramble. He was under pressure throughout the contest, eating five sacks. The
offense only managed six points once on four trips inside the red zone. There
was the underthrow, a throw that absolutely has to be hit, and the grounding in
a situation where a quarterback absolutely cannot take a sack or suffer similar
consequences.

But growing pains aside, Foles had the team in a position to
win the game. Next time he’s just gotta finish – we’ve seen him do it once
before.

As far as finishing is concerned, Reid walked off the field
to a mix of cheers and boos, with a handful of fans even chanting his name. It
might’ve been nice to see the big guy get a win, but let’s face it, there are
no fairy-tale endings this year.

Notes

No excuses, but it’s worth noting Foles did suffer an
unspecified injury to his throwing hand in the first half. He did not miss any
snaps.

In his first game since suffering a concussion, LeSean McCoy
was his shifty self. Shady carried 13 times for 45 yards, and added nine
receptions for 77 yards.

Dion Lewis had one carry for 13 yards – a fourth-quarter touchdown
run that brought the Birds within seven.

Maclin and Jason Avant each had eight catches, with 18 going
over the century mark for the second time in three games. His 27-yard touchdown
catch was courtesy of a beautiful touch pass from Foles.

The Eagles recorded their first interception since Week 6
when a deflected pass found its way into the arms of Colt Anderson. It was the
first pick of his career.

Robert Griffin was limited with a knee injury, and played
most of the game from the pocket. He was 18 of 24 for 198 and a pair of scores.
Washington leaned on running back Alfred Morris, who carried 21 times for 91
yards, and punched one in on the ground.

A lone sack for the defense this week, none from the front
four. Brandon Boykin notched his first career sack on a blitz.

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Joel Embiid officially out for rest of season

Joel Embiid officially out for rest of season

MIAMI -- In the end, he played 31 games.

Joel Embiid's rookie season is officially over, the Sixers announced on Wednesday. Embiid has not suited up since Jan. 27 and has missed 17 of the Sixers' last 18 games because of left knee injuries. An MRI taken Monday revealed a bigger meniscus tear than initially diagnosed but significant healing in the bone bruise.

The Sixers have only 23 games remaining and are not in playoff contention, lessening the urgency of Embiid’s return this season. Embiid concludes his rookie season averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks in just 25.4 minutes per game.

"The assessment of Monday's follow-up MRI of Joel Embiid's left knee appears to reveal that the area affected by the bone bruise has improved significantly, while the previously identified meniscus tear appears more pronounced in this most recent scan," Sixers chief medical director Dr. Jonathan Glashow said in statement released by the team.

Embiid suffered the injury on Jan. 20 against the Trail Blazers, played one game against the Rockets, and has not suited up since then. Last week the Sixers had targeted a return date of March 3 but changed that status changed to "out indefinitely" after Embiid still was experiencing swelling. 

During an MRI taken the night of the injury, the results also revealed Embiid had a slight meniscus tear, which the team did not believe was related to the contusion. 

Prior to the announcement, there was a strong reaction from the fans who were looking for transparency on the big man's status. Embiid expressed his displeasure last Thursday with the way the Sixers managed after he was informed he would miss multiple weeks. 

"I wasn’t too happy with the way it was kind of handled before," Embiid said at the time. "I saw the day-to-day part. I was told that I was going to miss at least two or three weeks. So I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled."  

The following day, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said he would have done things differently. 

"We should have just said 'out indefinitely,' even though the treatment was still day to day," Colangelo said. "But the fact that there was uncertainty, I'll own that." 

Embiid's short NBA career has been marked by injuries from the very start until now. He sat out his first two seasons with foot injuries. This year the Sixers took an ultra-cautious approach to their starred big man. He was placed under a carefully monitored minute restriction (capped at 28) and did not play on both nights of back-to-back games. Embiid reiterated throughout the season that after missing two years, he was exercising patience to benefit his long-term health.

When Embiid was on the court, though, he shined. He made NBA basketball look easy and he had his way at and away from the basket. Embiid did not appear in enough games to qualify him on the leaders' charts, but based on his raw stats he led all rookies in scoring and in rebounds. Teammate Dario Saric is second in both categories but still trailed Embiid by 8.9 points and 1.6 rebounds. 

Embid ranks second among all players in blocks behind Jazz big man Rudy Gobert. In his first 31 games, he recorded nine double-doubles, which is first among rookies even though he has not played in over a month. 

Embiid scored a career-high 33 points on Dec. 18 against the Nets and 14 rebounds on Jan. 14 against the Knicks. He dished five assists in three games and swatted five blocks in two contests. 

The announcement of Embiid's status comes less than one week after Ben Simmons was ruled out for the season. Like Embiid did, Simmons will miss his entire first year with the Sixers. He suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot during training camp. Simmons received a bone marrow injection on Monday speed up the healing. Both Embiid and Simmons are projected to be the centerpieces of the Sixers' future when they return next season. 

Embiid is with the Sixers in Miami. Expect to see him around the team for the remainder of the season as he stays involved to further their team chemistry for the 2017-18 campaign.

While he works toward his return to the court and eyes his next official game months down the road, he will embrace his mantra. 

As he's always done, Embiid will trust the process.

Flyers trade Mark Streit to Lightning for forward Valtteri Filppula, picks

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Flyers trade Mark Streit to Lightning for forward Valtteri Filppula, picks

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Everyone knew there was a good chance the Flyers would try to move Mark Streit at the trade deadline.

What no one expected, however, was that they would trade him to Tampa Bay for a player who is coming back with a salary nearly identical to the one they are losing and has another year left on  his contract.

That's what transpired late Wednesday at the deadline when Streit left to the Lightning in exchange for longtime 32-year-old versatile forward Valtteri Filppula, who will make $5 million next season. He turns 33 later this month.

Streit, whose contract ends this summer, was making $5.25 million. Because Filppula, who spent eight years in the Detroit Red Wings organization, had a no movement clause, he has to be protected this summer in the NHL expansion draft.

The Flyers will reportedly retain 4.7 percent of Streit's salary, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

The Flyers also received a 4th round pick and conditional 7th round pick.

Filppula will add scoring on the wing, but he has had declining numbers since joining Tampa in 2013-14 when he posted a career-high 25 goals and career-high 58 points.

Streit had a no movement clause in his contract, but also had 10 clubs he could be traded to and this was one of them. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has had a working relationship with Tampa GM Steve Yzerman in the past with the Braydon Coburn trade that brought them Radko Gudas.

Weal to the Phantoms
The Flyers have loaned Jordan Weal to the Phantoms to make him available for the AHL playoffs.

More coming...