With the surprising Cowboys victory in New Orleans last night, the pressure is back on the Birds this afternoon. With a win, they stay one step ahead of Dallas and keep the momentum on their side. A loss locks them back into a tie, with a tough game at home against Denver to follow. The Eagles could theoretically enter their Week 17 showdown a game behind the Girls.
That's getting ahead of ourselves though. The 49ers are riding the fence between mediocrity and playoff contender. They have a tough defense and several playmakers on offense, but they lack a quarterback who has proven he can get the job done week in and week out. It's the defense's job to limit San Francisco's production on the ground today, then torture an overwhelmed Alex Smith with their complex blitzing schemes. The offense should put together enough to steal a close game, if need be.
Historically, these are exactly the kinds of games the Eagles win under Andy Reid. That is to say, games in December, particularly those versus inferior opponents. The thinking though is they may be in for a letdown somewhere along the way, and the 49ers are not so outclassed that it couldn't be them. This match will really test their focus, coming off a huge W at a division rival, now comfortably home for a team traveling across the country after a brutal Monday night.
Are the Birds content where they are at, or is this a group that will see things through?
If you enjoy a little pigskin in the snow, I'm sorry to say those who are actually attending the game are more likely to battle snow in the parking lots than the Eagles are on the gridiron. The tarp was down, and by all accounts, the field crew has done an excellent job removing any trace of the powdery stuff. The game was pushed back to a late afternoon start, but it will otherwise be just another day at the Linc.
ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.
Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.
The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.
Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).
Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.
The Coyotes have won four of their last six.
Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.
Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).
Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.
After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.
Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.
"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.
"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."
Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below.
Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon.