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Phillies reportedly closest to landing Jay Bruce during offseason

Phillies reportedly closest to landing Jay Bruce during offseason

The Phillies could have not only prevented all of Jay Bruce's damage this April, they also could have benefited from it.

According to a report from Newsday Wednesday night, the Phillies were the team closest to acquiring Bruce this past offseason from the Mets.

"The Giants and Orioles expressed interest, but according to a source, the club that came closest to acquiring Bruce had been the Phillies," reports Marc Carig. "It would have made sense. Though squarely in rebuilding mode, the Phillies had the money to absorb a chunk of Bruce's $13 million in salary. He would have been a prime candidate to flip for prospects had his bat come to life."

Bruce is due $13 million this season, his last before reaching free agency. Instead of trading a prospect or two to New York, the Phils opted to sign Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a team option for a second. Saunders is guaranteed $9 million total.

It might be easy now to question the decision, but consider that Bruce has hit .223 since 2014 and was pretty much a non-factor in 50 games after the Mets acquired him from the Reds at last year's trade deadline.

He's already come close to equaling that second-half production. Bruce has six homers already this season and four home runs and 11 RBIs vs. the Phillies.

Oh and there's this:

Watch Joel Embiid go crazy for Eagles' game-winning field goal

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Watch Joel Embiid go crazy for Eagles' game-winning field goal

Be honest, when Jake Elliott lined up for a 61-yard field goal, after missing earlier in the game from 52 yards out, did you think he was going to make it?

Well, he did and we all went crazy (see story). Even Joel Embiid, who was at the game with many of his teammates, went nuts.

In addition to the people in the stands going nuts, the folks across the street at Xfinity Live went wild.

Here’s the play again, in case you just want to see it again.

Here are the best of the rest and social reaction from Elliott’s amazing kick.

Grading the Eagles' 27-24 win over the Giants

Grading the Eagles' 27-24 win over the Giants

Grading the Eagles' 27-24 win Sunday afternoon over the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field (see breakdown):

Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz: 21/31, 176 YDS, 1 TD

This was a less than phenomenal outing for the Eagles' franchise quarterback. Wentz did avoid turnovers against a tough defense, which was a positive, maybe the only positive. The second-year passer only averaged 5.7 yards per attempt, and really struggled with his accuracy downfield again. Certainly not Wentz's best, but he didn't make a crippling mistake, while also doing just enough to move the offense on two fourth-quarter scoring drives.

Grade: C+

Running backs
Wendell Smallwood: 12 ATT, 71 YDS, 0 TD
LeGarrette Blount: 12 ATT, 67 YDS, 1 TD
Corey Clement: 6 ATT, 22 YDS, 1 TD

See what happens when the Eagles commit to the run? Blount, Clement and Smallwood were all effective, even sensational in spurts. Darren Sproles added three carries for 11 yards before exiting with a wrist injury. All told, the running backs combined to rush 39 times for 193 yards — a 4.9 average per carry. Long overdue (see Roob's observations).

Grade: A-

Wide receivers
Alshon Jeffery: 8 TGT, 4 REC, 56 YDS

Credit a very good New York secondary for keeping the ball out of the Eagles' receivers hands. Wentz missed some opportunities to get the ball to his weapons, but the coverage was also excellent for much of the game. Regardless, given the amount of money the club spent here in the offseason, the leading receiver should probably wind up with more than 56 yards.

Grade: C-

Tight ends
Zach Ertz: 10 TGT, 8 REC, 55 YDS, 1 TD, 1 FUM

Ertz was doing another steady job as Wentz's safety blanket, right up until the moment he fumbled in the fourth quarter. The Giants started in Eagles territory and quickly scored, knotting the score at 14 and swinging the momentum in their direction. Simply put, that can't happen.

Grade: D

Offensive line
Chance Warmack, Stefen Wisniewski: Alternated at LG

Much better job this week. For the first time in 2017, the running game was firing on all cylinders, while the quarterback was provided with clean pockets most of the afternoon. The Giants had three sacks, but Wentz was guilty of holding the ball too long on most, if not all of those. Considering the reputation of the Giants' front four, this was about as strong of a performance as one could hope.

Grade: A-

Defensive line
Eagles: 0 SK

Eli Manning was getting rid of the ball quickly, negating the typically fierce Eagles pass rush. Not only was the defensive line unable to get Manning to the ground, they only logged three hits on the quarterback all day. The unit was strong at the point of attack in the running game, doing their part to limit the Giants to 49 yards rushing on 2.9 yards per carry.

Grade: B

Linebackers
Mychal Kendricks: 5 TKL, 2 PD

Jordan Hicks exited with an ankle injury in the second quarter, giving Kendricks a long-awaited opportunity to play some serious snaps. The sixth-year veteran did not disappoint, deflecting a pass into the air for an interception. Nigel Bradham made eight tackles as well.

Grade: A-

Defensive backs
Patrick Robinson: 4 TKL, 1 TFL, 3 PD, 1 INT
Rasul Douglas: 4 TKL, 1 INT

As you can see, Robinson had a strong game in the box score. What the numbers won't show is Robinson being torched by Sterling Shepherd for a 73-yard catch-and-run. Of course, Chris Maragos didn't do his cornerback any favors. Filling in at free safety for an injured Rodney McLeod, Maragos took a bad angle to the receiver, turning a gain of 15 yards or so into a long touchdown. Playing off-coverage most of the afternoon, Jalen Mills finished with all of the tackles (12), but he was bested in the end zone twice by Odell Beckham Jr.

Grade: C

Special teams
Jake Elliott: 1/2 FG, 2/2 XP

Elliott missed a 52-yard field goal earlier, and there were a bunch of bonehead plays by special teams throughout the contest. However, when a rookie kicker nails a 61-yard field goal as time expires to win the game, you tend to forget about that other stuff.

Grade: A-

Coaching
Eagles record: 2-1

Doug Pederson made some questionable decisions, like going for it on 4th-and-8 at roughly midfield. And Jim Schwartz's decision to play his cornerbacks off the Giants' receivers all day was beginning to look questionable as well. But Pederson stuck with the run for a change, which ultimately paved the way to victory, and Schwartz's unit did just enough to hold the Giants to 24 points. A win's a win, so can't complain much.

Grade: B+