2014 Philadelphia Eagles schedule released, full slate inside

2014 Philadelphia Eagles schedule released, full slate inside

The Philadelphia Eagles reported to the NovaCare Complex on Monday for voluntary workouts as part of Phase One of the offseason program. In case you needed more evidence though that training camp and football season are right around the corner, the NFL has released the 2014 regular season schedule.

The Birds will open their season at Lincoln Financial Field against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 7, then turn around and head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts on Monday Night Football the following week in one of four scheduled primetime games. Week 3, Philadelphia welcomes DeSean Jackson back, one of two games against Washington—the other to be played on a Saturday.

Of course, the crown jewel of this schedule is inarguably the Eagles’ clash with the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington at 4:30 on Thanksgiving Day. Mark your calendars now, folks—dinner just turned into lunch.

All NFC East teams meet twice in addition to playing every opponent in the NFC West and AFC South. The Eagles' unique opponents are fellow reigning division champions the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, in Weeks 10 and 11 respectively.

The full slate of games is as follows:

Week 1 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun., 1p)
Week 2 @ Indianapolis Colts (Mon., 8:30p)
Week 3 vs. Washington (Sun., 1p)
Week 4 @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun., 4:25p)
Week 5 vs. St. Louis Rams (Sun., 1p)
Week 6 vs. New York Giants (Sun., 8:30p)
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 @ Arizona Cardinals (Sun., 4:05p)
Week 9 @ Houston Texans (Sun., 1p)
Week 10 vs. Carolina Panthers (Mon., 8:30p)
Week 11 @ Green Bay Packers (Sun., 1p)
Week 12 vs. Tennessee Titans (Sun., 1p)
Week 13 @ Dallas Cowboys (Thurs., 4:30p)*
Week 14 vs. Seattle Seahawks (Sun., 4:25p)
Week 15 vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sun., 8:30p)
Week 16 @ Washington (Sat., 4:30p)
Week 17 @ New York Giants (Sun., 1p)

*Thanksgiving

Sunday games starting with Week 5 are available for flex scheduling to Sunday night thanks to a new rule passed this year, so it's possible we will be seeing even more (or less) of the Eagles in primetime. Six is the maximum.

We haven't even reached the NFL Draft yet (May 8-10), but that won't stop folks from haphazardly trying to assign wins and losses now. What are your initial impressions of the Birds' schedule?

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

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The Associated Press

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

NEW YORK — The clubhouse mood following the Phillies17-0 loss to the Mets Sunday was somber, in part because of the disastrous game that had just wrapped up, but also because of the tragic news of Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

“It was rough. People are devastated. I didn’t even know him and I was crushed,” Phillies starter Jake Thompson said. “I can only imagine how that clubhouse feels. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, to deal with something of that magnitude.”

Both teams paused for a moment of silence before Sunday’s game and the Mets taped a jersey bearing Fernandez’s name and number onto their dugout wall.

“This morning, that was quite a surprise,” manager Pete Mackanin said of the atmosphere of the day. “I don’t think it affected the players once the game started. It was such bad news this morning that everybody was kind of melancholy.”

Fernandez had built a strong track record against the Phillies in his young career, amassing a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

“It’s kind of cliché to say but you look at the start of his career and he could have been a Hall of Famer,” Thompson said.

Asked how he would remember facing Fernandez, Mackanin was succinct.

“He was a helluva pitcher,” he said.

Phillies suffer worse shutout loss in modern era to Mets

Phillies suffer worse shutout loss in modern era to Mets

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Jake Thompson faced the issues that a 22-year old starter in his 10th career appearance usually does Sunday against the Mets.
 
Thompson struggled with his command at times, walking the bases loaded in the fourth inning before escaping his self-induced jam with a flyout. He hit a batter and surrendered a home run to Curtis Granderson on a pitch that caught too much of the plate.
 
The righty departed after four innings in what manager Pete Mackanin declared postgame to be Thompson’s last start of the season.
 
But perhaps neither he nor the rest of the Phillies expected the extent to which his struggles would ripple through the bullpen. The Phillies’ relievers surrendered 14 runs, hit three batters and gave up a grand slam in a 17-0 loss, the franchise's worst shutout defeat in the modern era (see Instant Replay).
 
“Obviously the bullpen has scuffled for a while now,” Mackanin said. “That shows you how much the game is about pitching. It keeps you in games, gives you an opportunity to win like it did the first couple of months of the season for us. Now, the last month, it’s not keeping us in games or it’s losing games.”
 
The Phillies’ relievers were charged with 28 runs over the course of their four-game swing in New York. Their collective 4.69 ERA is the fourth-worst in the National League.
 
Sunday, Phil Klein — who hadn’t pitched since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley on Sept. 10 — and little-used Colton Murray and Patrick Schuster — who had combined for three appearances in the past two weeks — took the brunt of the damage.
 
Klein walked two batters, surrendered two singles and hit Mets catcher Rene Rivera in the left hand to force in a run. He left the bases loaded for Murray, who allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch. Murray was pulled in the seventh having gotten into a bases-loaded jam of his own. His replacement, Frank Herrmann, allowed all three runs to score on a walk and a grand slam by Asdrubal Cabrera.
 
Schuster was assigned five runs in the eighth after he was tagged for three hits, walked a batter and hit Gavin Cecchini.
 
Which pitchers — if any — out of the Phillies’ cadre of middle relivers will return next year is an open question and Mackanin made it clear that he will use the remaining six games in the season to evaluate his team’s arms.
 
“It’s another audition.” Mackanin said. “We want to see who might fit in.”
 
Thompson can clearly stake a claim to his role in the Phillies’ rebuilding effort. Despite the hiccup in his final outing, he has come a long way in just two months from being the pitcher that surrendered six runs to the light-hitting Padres in his Aug. 6 debut.

His changeup — a pitch that hitters had connected on for six home runs this year, according to data from Fangraphs — was particularly lively Sunday. Cabrera chased it out of the zone in the first inning for Thompson’s only strikeout.
 
“I think the changeup’s probably been my best pitch up here,” Thompson said. “I’ve given up a lot of homers on it, too. That just shows whenever you don’t execute it, it’s a tough pitch to throw in the zone. As far as the swing-and-misses that I was getting with it, it’s kind of night and day.
 
“At this point last year I pretty much had no changeup, so that’s a big thing for me.”
 
Only 23 on Opening Day next year, Thompson has plenty of room to improve.
 
The Phillies’ bullpen does, too.