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VY Tweaks a Hammy, Sunshine and Kafka Get Jacked Up, But Some Good Signs in Eagles Final Tuneup

VY Tweaks a Hammy, Sunshine and Kafka Get Jacked Up, But Some Good Signs in Eagles Final Tuneup

The Eagles left the Meadowlands with the all-important preseason win, dropping the Jets by a 24-14 count, and they got a good look at some of the guys who could play key roles later in the season. A few guys will be pretty sore today though, with last night's starter Vince Young coming up lame with a hamstring issue as he rolled out for a red zone strike.

VY was having a very good night until that point, throwing for 193 yards (15 for 23) and a TD pass to Chad Hall, generally looking pretty comfortable. On his final pass though, he pulled up without contact, wincing and grabbing his leg. After the game, he said he'd get an MRI when the team returns to Philly, but Andy Reid thinks he'll be ready to go for the season opener. It was encouraging to see VY with a smile on his face on the sideline not long after coming out, and after the game he said it felt pretty good. No word on whether he'll tweet the MRI for us.

Mike Kafka had a scary moment too, taking a nasty hit to the chest, and for a minute it looked like the Eagles might have to send emergency QB Jason Avant in. Kafka was able to resume play though.

Surprisingly, Riley Cooper was also OK after the hit you'll see in the video below.

Daaaaaammmnnn. Brodney Pool was flagged on the play, but didn't appear to deserve anything more than some helmet slaps by the other guys in his secondary. That's life in today's NFL, for better and worse.

Rookie running back Dion Lewis racked up 100 total yards (15 carries for 62 yards, 3 catches for 38 yards) and a touchdown, and generally looked great, with explosive speed and some slick moves. And he's third on the depth chart. Not bad for a team that relies heavily on the pass and probably always will.

Danny Watkins was the sole starter to see action in the game (*correction: Dixon played too), having requested to play to get some more snaps before the regular season (Jeff McLane says he was probably going to see time whether he asked or not). McLane also points out that Watkins still has some learning to do, starting off slow for the second straight game, which can be dangerous for the guy behind him. But in both contests, he got better in subsequent series, which is a good sign. Lockout, holdout, late to the game of football… He's also a rookie OL no matter how you slice it. There'll be some growing pains, but it's good to see progress in there too.

The rookie kicking tandem also had a pair of shaky moments, with Alex Henery missing one field goal and punter/holder Chas Henry bobbling a snap on another, then rolling out and throwing a pick, although the latter play was washed out with a Jets penalty. Henery did hit his three PATs and drill a 49-yarder in the fourth quarter to end the night on a better note though.

So that's it for the preseason. The Birds exit exhibition with a 3-1 record and, hopefully, no major injuries to key players. Along with the rest of the NFL, there will probably still be some rust when the take the field in week one, and there's still work to do in the areas we knew would be iffy, most notably the new-look OL and the linebackers.  

Reuben Frank has much more on the game, including what standout performances by Brian Rolle and Donald Lee mean for their chances to make the team as a big wave of cuts looms.

>>Young pulls hammy, Birds cap preseason with win [CSN]

Photo: Noah K. Murray, The Star-Ledger-US Presswire

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
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Deadline: November 20

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This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

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Eagles-Giants thoughts: Injury-plagued secondary key to gaining NFC East edge

Eagles-Giants thoughts: Injury-plagued secondary key to gaining NFC East edge

Eagles (1-1) vs. Giants (0-2)
1 p.m. on FOX
Eagles -6


The Eagles try to jump out to a 2-0 start in NFC East play Sunday but host a desperate Giants squad whose season is already on the line in Week 3.

New York's record is in danger of falling to 0-3, which would seriously cripple whatever playoff hopes the franchise has. This is as close to must-win as an NFL game gets in September. However, the league's 30th-ranked scoring offense will be searching for answers against a hostile Eagles defense at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles enter the week with a 1-1 record after a tough loss in Kansas City. A win would not only push the club back above .500 on the year but also keep them ahead of the sticks so to speak in terms of the division standings.

Eli Manning at the Linc
The Giants' offense was broken long before the 2017 season got underway. New York hasn't eclipsed 19 points in any of the last eight contests, including playoffs — a stretch that runs through last December.

As if the unit didn't have enough problems, their quarterback will be walking into an environment where he's been notoriously awful. Since 2009, Eli Manning has completed 60.0 percent of his passes for 6.2 yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Giants are 2-6 in those contests, and 4-14 in their last 18 meetings with the Eagles, period.

In other words, if Manning and his mates are going to get their season turned around, this would not appear to be the matchup to do it. Add in the fact the Eagles' defense looks like it has the potential to be a top-five unit, and New York's offense could be in for another long day.

Key matchup: Giants WR Odell Beckham vs. Eagles secondary
If the Giants get any kind of reprieve at all, it could come in the form of the numerous injuries in the Eagles' secondary. Defensive backs Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins have already been ruled out, and starting free safety Rodney McLeod is questionable. All three are dealing with hamstring injuries.

While this might sound favorable for the Giants' receiving corps, it remains to be seen whether that group will be able to take advantage. Three-time Pro Bowl selection Odell Beckham Jr. missed Week 1 with an ankle injury and was still limited in Week 2, finishing with four receptions for 36 yards against the Lions. Meanwhile, fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepherd have been little more than window dressing in his absence, and tight end Evan Engram is a rookie.

It's going to be interesting to see which Beckham shows up, as he has the potential to raise the level of play of Manning's secondary targets as well. In particular, whether Beckham can get over the top of a gimpy McLeod — or whoever winds up in centerfield for the Eagles — could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.

Balance is important, but avoiding turnovers is essential
For all the talk about the Eagles' run-pass ratio this week, the real reason they failed to pull out a win over the Chiefs came down to something much simpler: turnovers.

The Eagles gave the ball away twice last week, on the road no less, which is a huge no-no. Both plays occurred in enemy territory, too, giving the opponent a short field — a Darren Sproles fumble on a punt return that led to a quick field goal (and cost the Eagles a possession), and a Carson Wentz interception that eventually wound up in a touchdown the other way. Meanwhile, Kansas City did not turn the ball over at all.

Sure, the Eagles need to commit to the ground attack. Even a bad running game has some benefits. But what really cost the team in a seven-point loss last Sunday were the giveaways.

No matter how many times the Eagles run or throw the football against the Giants, there is no excuse for giving a struggling offense more opportunities. Then again, that might mean handing the ball to LeGarrette Blount 20 times for three yards and a cloud of dust and playing the field-position game is the way to go here.

A chance to take a commanding lead
Don't expect anything to come easy. This is a rivalry game, against a team with its share of problems, but a championship-caliber quarterback and respectable defense. If the Giants can't get anything going on offense, the Eagles might be able to run away in this one, but more likely, it will be close.

That being said, if the Eagles can pull off the victory in front of their own crowd, they will be the first NFC East team to 2-0 in the division. The Giants will fall to 0-2, and Washington is sitting at 0-1. Only the Cowboys currently have a win as well and will be 1-0.

A win Sunday moves the Eagles to 2-1 on the season. More importantly, it would put them ahead of the curve in their division, which despite the potential for New York to fall out of the race early, looks like it will be very competitive as usual.