Sunday Night Football: Who Are the 2012 Eagles? Answers to Come Versus Giants

Sunday Night Football: Who Are the 2012 Eagles? Answers to Come Versus Giants

For a football team that owns a 2-1 record, there certainly hasn't been a great deal of positive press about the Eagles over the past week, nor much chest thumping among the good citizens of Philadelphia. Last week's beatdown in Arizona took the wind right out of our sails, while erratic performances that have produced 12 turnovers and a pair of one-point victories have resulted in a whole lot of second guessing.

So it would be fair to say the Eagles are not a very convincing 2-1. Is this a first-place squad capable of a deep playoff run, or a mistake-riddled bunch that can't get out of their own way? I think it's still too early to tell.

That will no longer be the case after tonight. How the Birds respond to the wild inconsistencies of the frst three weeks -- in prime time, in their building, against a divisional foe, the reigning Super Bowl Champions -- should provide some much-needed context to the month of September, and indicate which direction the compass is pointing the rest of the way.

And hey, it's Eagles-Giants in Sunday Night Football. Who doesn't get pumped for that?

As if there wasn't enough riding on any one game out of 16 to begin with, there is no bigger rival than New York, and these clashes are always interesting. Of course, Philly has won seven of the last eight meetings (including playoffs) going back to 2008, so usually it's interesting in a good way. But as Nick wrote on Saturday, Michael Vick hasn't exactly been super efficient against the Giants defense coordinated by Perry Fewell, or against any defense so far this season for that matter.

Speaking of defense, for all the talk of the issues on offense, Juan Castillo's defense enters the fray flying under the radar, at least relatively speaking. Hard to judge how much they've improved based on the level of competition to this point, but his unit faces its stiffest test in Eli Manning, who threw for 500 yards two weeks ago in Tampa Bay, then carved up Carolina's secondary with a 77% completion rate last Thursday. Eli is sporting a pedestrian 85.0 passer rating in 16 games against Philly though.

The Giants do have three days extra rest coming into tonight's action, but the Linc crowd will be more fired up than usual with the celebration of Brian Dawkins' career. Maybe it translates into some additional energy for the home team.

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.