Coach Got His Extension; Is Quarterback Next?

Coach Got His Extension; Is Quarterback Next?

For the first time since its inception this summer, the Donovan figure on the McNabb-O-Meter leans Eagles green, gaining a slight 51-49 advantage in favor of the quarterback's return. As you can see, that's a huge departure from our last read taken on November 20, shortly after the team had fallen to 5-4. Much has changed since then though. The Birds are on a three game winning streak, tied for first in the East, and the head coach just received a contract extension. There's no place to go but up from here... right?

Statistically speaking, McNabb is having one of the best campaigns in his career, and from the looks of things, he's only getting more comfortable as the season progresses. There are still a few bugs in the system, but consider what he is accomplishing with all the young, new players in the starting lineup. We may be only just beginning to realize the true potential of this offense. The Eagles are currently sixth in the NFL in points per game (27.2) despite ranking 24th in touchdown percentage (47.2%) inside the red zone. If they can clean that up, there may not be a better unit in the league.

What's really going to swing the decision though is how he performs in the playoffs. If there are signs that it is Donovan McNabb that is slowing down the offense's progression, he's in trouble. Or to put it another way, he can't afford to do anything that even resembles choking in a clutch situation. We're not talking about simply coming up short again, but failing spectacularly with the plethora of weapons that surrounds him now would be enough to make anybody wonder whether the grass gets any greener.

Here is what we know: the head coach who regards McNabb as a Hall of Fame talent is here to stay, and the franchise has made a serious effort to find the pieces that can put them in a position to win. All the quarterback needs to do is lead, and everything else should fall into place.

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.