The Battle for Happy Valley Bragging Rights

The Battle for Happy Valley Bragging Rights

(For the Phils-Marlins thread, see below this post)

One thing we hear a lot about here is that the Eagles-Steelers rivalry is yoooge up at Penn State, for obvious reasons. It may not be as intense in Philly and Pittsburgh proper, where divisional rivalries take precedence, but it's still a pretty good one.

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Eagles Cheerleaders 3, originally uploaded by The700Level.

As we've talked about throughout the week, this is a close matchup with both teams being pretty good. I still like the Birds' chances though. Questions of the day include: Can the Andrews-less line provide adequate protection for McNabb? Can the front four get in Big Ben's, maybe see how that shoulder is feeling early? Will the D be able to contain Willie Parker while keeping an eye on Santonio, Hines, and Heath? If at a wedding, Brian Westbrook's host ran out of wine, could he turn water into Silver Oak?

On that O-line, Jamaal Jackson will be playing with a heavy heart after
attending funeral services for his brother yesterday. A father of four,
he was killed in a hit-and-run accident a week ago today.

I don't know how I feel about this, but the panel of geniuses on ESPN NFL Countdown unanimously picked the Eagles to win. Keyshawn was pretty emphatic about it. Whatever, we'll take it. The Birds are a damn good team, coming off a tough road loss. There's going to be a lot of motivation not to go 1-2, and it's a home game. The crowd, who is long since drunk by now with the 4:15 start, should be on fire. Go Birds.

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.

He might also start the entire Braves series.

The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.

Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P

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Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.

The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.

But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.

Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.

Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.

The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.