Eagles are NFC East Champs

Eagles are NFC East Champs

A.J. Feeley delivers to Matt Schobel for the touchdown!

And that's the kind of game this will likely be.  We may do a mini live blog here until we leave to go get drunk and bring in the new year.  So enjoy.  And Congrats to the Eagles clinching the NFC East.

-The Eagles are up 10-7 and there are only 3 starters in on defense.  I'm going to start drinking now.

-Buckhalter's got a "knee strain."  Buck has been playing well with the Eagles surging run game.  This could be bad for the Birds in the post season.

-The backfield of Thomas Tapeh and Ryan Moats is a dangerous duo.  Man, Feeley and Schobel have some nice chemistry going on.  Maybe the Eagles can use this game to showcase Feeley's talent and trade him for a second round draft pick, likely to the Dolphins.

-Start of 2nd Qtr, Eagles 10 Falcons 7: Not much game action, but I just saw this tidbit about how Jon Gruden wants Jeff Garcia to be the starting QB in Tampa Bay next season.

-Sean Considine is turning into a player.  He's made a nice open field tackle on Vick, one of the toughest guys to bring down one-on-one, and defended a number of passes nicely, just missing a pick.  If he continues to get better, he could turn into a Pro Bowl caliber player.  Eek!  Just as a type that last sentence, Considine gets called for a personal foul.  It would have been a nice sack, his hand just happened to smack Vick in the face.

- Joselio Hanson, who the ladies love, makes two great plays in a row.  Also, Morton Anderson is old. Eagles 10 Falcons 10.

-Hey everybody, The Birdman is with us.  He's one of those sorry souls who has to work on New Year's Eve.  But at least he's drinking of course!

-Reno Mahe gets a carry!  Alright Reno.  Man, John Abraham has a club on his arm.  I don't know how anybody plays with one of those things.  That'd be like me trying to type this live blog while wearing mittens.  Maybe I'll try that.

-I actually think Troy Aikman is one of the better Fox guys.  He actually speaks pretty highly of the Eagles on most occasions.  And on 3rd and 34, the Eagles hold the Falcons to no gain.  Falcons punt to Reno Mahe.  I think the only thing that could make this game worth watching is a Reno Mahe touchdown.

-Greg Lewis!  Amazing catch by GLew.  I don't know how he came down with that ball.  And Thomas Tapeh drops his one chance at a touchdown.

-A.J. Feeley to Jason Avant for a score!  That marks the first touchdown for Jason Avant in the NFL.  Eagles 17 Falcons 10.

-The Eagles finally get to Vick and Juqua Thomas gets the sack.  Where has Juqua been in recent games?  Also, I just looked it up and I guessed the spelling of Juqua correctly.

-Looks like the first half will end with the Philadelphia leading Eagles 17 Falcons 10.  If I'm back for the second half it will be after the jump.

Second Half:

Reno Mahe fumbled.  And I'm done.

No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

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No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

SEATTLE -- Jake Browning threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns, Myles Gaskin added 100 yards and two scores, and No. 10 Washington was dominant on both sides, overwhelming No. 7 Stanford 44-6 on Friday night.

After months of hype that Washington (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was on the verge of a breakout, the Huskies showed they were ready for their return to the national stage.

And they did it emphatically, handing Stanford (3-1, 2-1) its worst loss since a 41-3 setback against Arizona State in 2007.

The Huskies raced to a 23-0 halftime lead, scored early in the second half to go up 30-0 and coasted to their biggest victory over an AP Top 10 team since beating No. 5 Southern California 31-0 in 1990. That game 26 years ago announced Washington as a national contender and the Huskies went on to share the national title a year later with Miami -- taking the coaches' version while Miami topped the AP media poll.

Browning was the leader of an efficient offense that scored on six of its eight drives. He threw touchdowns of 3 yards to Dante Pettis, 19 yards to John Ross and capped the night with a 3-yarder to Aaron Fuller with 5:30 remaining. Browning was 15 of 21 and did not commit a turnover.

Equally important was Washington's ability to establish a running game. The Huskies rushed for 214 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, Stanford star Christian McCaffrey saw his Heisman Trophy aspirations hit a major speed bump. McCaffrey was held to 49 yards rushing on 12 carries, five catches for 30 yards and continued his streak of never scoring an offensive touchdown in a road game.

It was McCaffrey's fewest yards rushing since 2014 at California when he had 19 yards on three carries.

Stanford's only TD came late in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Ryan Burns to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Burns was 15 of 22 for 151 yards, but Washington controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. Stanford quarterbacks were sacked eight times, six in the first half. Stanford had allowed only four total sacks in the first three games combined.

Stanford was playing short-handed without starting cornerbacks Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder, starting wide receiver Francis Owusu and starting fullback Daniel Marx. Starting right tackle Casey Tucker limped off with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter.

Takeaways
Stanford: The Cardinal were unexpectedly sloppy. Stanford committed 11 penalties after entering the week as the least penalized team in the Pac-12. There were communication issues in part due to the roaring Washington crowd, but also a lack of sharpness not normally seen from David Shaw's team.

Washington: The defense was up to the task of keeping McCaffrey under control and forcing Burns to beat them through the air. McCaffrey had 34 yards on 10 carries in the first half and forced the Cardinal into numerous long third-down situations. That allowed Washington to bring extra pass rushers to get to Burns.

Up Next
Stanford: The Cardinal head home after two straight weeks on the road to host Washington State.

Washington: The Huskies travel to Oregon looking to snap a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks.

Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

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Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

ARLINGLTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish looked playoff-ready with a season-high 12 strikeouts in six innings as the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Friday night and clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Rangers can be tied by only the Cleveland Indians and they own the tie-breaker by winning the teams' season series. The AL owns home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to its win in the All-Star Game.

Darvish (7-5) allowed one run, three hits and one walk. His 28th career game of double-digit strikeouts is the second-most in a pitcher's first 100 major league starts, topped only by Dwight Gooden (31). Darvish will likely start Game 2 of the Division Series following Cole Hamels.

Shin-Soo Choo returned to Texas' lineup after missing 39 games with a fractured left forearm. Choo pulled a single to right in his first plate appearance since Aug. 15 and went 1 for 4.

Matt Andriese (8-8) gave up three runs and seven hits, including solo home runs to Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor (see full story). 

Cabrera hits 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves
ATLANTA -- Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and the Detroit Tigers moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night.

The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second AL wild-card spot. The Blue Jays lost at Boston 5-3.

The regular season is scheduled to end Sunday, but the Tigers might need to play beyond that. They were rained out against Cleveland this week and would have to make up that game if it impacts their playoff chances.

Daniel Norris (4-2) gave up one run, five hits, two walks and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.

The Braves, playing their final series at Turner Field before moving north to the suburbs next year, had won 10 of 11. Matt Wisler (7-13) was chased in the fifth when James McCann's RBI single made it 5-0 (see full story).

Trumbo hits 47th, Schoop 5 RBIs as Orioles top Yankees 8-1
NEW YORK -- Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 47th home run, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also went deep in a six-run fifth inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 8-1 in steady rain Friday night to maintain their AL wild-card lead.

Baltimore began the night tied with Toronto for the AL's two wild cards at 87-72, with Detroit 1 1/2 games back and Seattle trailing the Tigers by a half-game.

Trumbo and Jones homered off Michael Pineda (6-12), who started with 3 2/3 hitless innings and suddenly became ineffective.

Schoop tied his career high with five RBIs, hitting a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth and adding a three-run homer in the fifth against James Pazos -- Baltimore's big league-high 250th home run this season.

Yovani Gallardo (6-8) won for just the second time in nine starts since Aug. 5, allowing two hits, three walks and Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly in six innings (see full story). 

Ortiz delivers another HR, Red Sox beat Blue Jays 5-3
BOSTON -- Opening his final weekend with yet another game-winning homer, David Ortiz lined a two-run shot into the right-field stands to break a seventh-inning tie and help the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night.

The AL East champion Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and stayed one game ahead of Cleveland in the race for home-field advantage for the playoffs.

The Blue Jays fell one game behind Baltimore in the wild-card race and are now within range of Detroit and Seattle in the fight for the AL's final postseason berth (see full story).