Birds D Soars... But Westbrook Could Miss Week 4

Birds D Soars... But Westbrook Could Miss Week 4

Averaging 37 points of offense couldn't last long... Not with the Steelers and Bears on the early schedule. But the Eagles did outlast Pittsburgh in a definitive "under" game, winning 15-6 on the strength of an amazing performance by Jim Johnson's defense. The win came with a sobering price though. Brian Westbrook suffered an ankle strain when he landed akwardly on a teammate. He did not return, and we got word during the equally akward reunion of Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick on the NBC pregame show that he might not be ready in time for next week's game.

Donovan McNabb also came out briefly, but after a quick trip to the training room, he came back to the sideline and annoounced to the crowd he'd be returning to field by pointing his finger in the air. Linc faithful goes nuts. Also injured in the game was FB Tony Hunt, who got knocked silly and is said to have a concussion. Fortunately, the defense didn't need to be spotted many points today.

Both of the Steelers' scoring drives came in the first half, and each yielded only a field goal. The pressure on Big Ben was more than he could handle, and the Eagles sacked him and Byron Leftwich niiiine tiiiimes. Leftwich had to spell Roethlisberger for the game's final two minutes after Big Ben hurt his hand while being sacked (for the eighth time). Big Ben should be OK, but the injuries are mounting early for him, and he has to be hurting after today.

Willie Parker was held completely in check, gaining just 20 yards on 13 carries. Unbelievable. The Steelers receivers also proved to be less than dangerous, with tight end Heath Miller leading them in production with 63 yards and no scores. It's hard to blame the wideouts though; the Eagles front four and blitzing personel were in the backfield quite a few times before Big Ben even got set. If he wasn't being sacked, he was running for his life. 

One of the two most memorable plays of the game was the Eagles once again getting to a quarterback in his own end zone. Just like last week with Tony Romo, Roethlisberger was pressured into what looked like some combination of a fumble and an intentional grounding. Safety. We'll take the ball back too.


The other play was vintage Brian Dawkins. The safety endured a long week of undue questioning related to whether he still had it. He was burned a few times last week, but as Kulp pointed out, there are few safeties in the league that can blanket TO and Jason Witten in single coverage. Dawk took it like a man, said he needed to play better, but that he was nowhere near finished with this game. Then today, he came out and proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Just one possession after Big Ben coughed up the safety, BDawk sped around the end, and then literally flew to drop the Steelers QB and force a fumble. Roethlisberger was trying to step up to avoid the pressure, and Dawkins had little time to close the gap between them. So he just Superman'd it, getting his body completely horizontal. No doubt this guy still has it.

Despite the short week, Jim Johnson made adjustments and kept the Steelers guessing all game. Asante Samuel had an amazing interception, one that most corners wouldn't have made. That's two picks already this season.

The offense didn't look great, but they managed to win. Without Westbrook, who scored five times in the first two games, lighting up the scoreboard wasn't as easy. But after wondering what went wrong in a great game with the Cowboys, it's a good time to just sit back and enjoy the 2-1 record.

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Updated: 9:15 p.m.

ATLANTA — Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson left his final start of the season Thursday night with a right knee sprain.

Facing the Atlanta Braves, Hellickson had gotten one out in the fourth inning when he waved for athletic trainer Scott Sheridan to come to the mound. Hellickson left the field with Sheridan by his side.

Hellickson did not allow a run in 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out four.

Hellickson finished the season 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. The Phillies acquired the 29-year-old right-hander in a trade with Arizona last fall. 

Hellickson will become a free agent after the World Series. The Phillies could extend him a one-year salary offer of $17 million. If Hellickson accepts, he would return to the club in 2017. If he rejects the offer and seeks a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Phillies would get a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds of next year's draft. 

Former Eagles CB Byron Maxwell benched by Dolphins

Former Eagles CB Byron Maxwell benched by Dolphins

Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell is not starting tonight against the Bengals. Maxwell, who the Eagles traded this past offseason, was already seeing his playing time diminish. Now, he will sit in favor of Tony Lippett, who has not seen a single snap for the Dolphins this season.

The Eagles' big trade this offseason keeps getting better and better. They acquired the eighth overall pick in the draft in exchange for the 13th overall pick, Maxwell and Kiko Alonzo. Not only were they able to rid themselves of Maxwell’s awful contract, but they were able to get value for a player who is now not considered an NFL starter. 

The eighth overall pick that the Eagles acquired from Miami was flipped to the Browns among other picks to move up to No. 2. As you may know, that No. 2 pick became offensive Rookie of the Month Carson Wentz. 

At the time of the trade, Maxwell originally failed his physical because of a shoulder injury. It was reported that the shoulder was so bad he could not perform a simple pushup, but the Dolphins traded for him anyway.

The Byron Maxwell trade was the stepping stone for the Eagles to land their quarterback of the future, and this news can only make them feel better about the move. Howie Roseman had an incredible offseason cleaning up the mess Chip Kelly left behind, and Maxwell’s benching will certainly help his case for executive of the year.