MANNING MAN HANDLES PHILLY@#@%@#%@#%@

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ImageDAVID AND GOLIATH WAS NO CONTEST….THE BRONCOS (GOLIATH) COMPLETELY DESTROYED THE BIRDS.  PEYTON MANNING IS SUPERMAN………ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER BLOWOUT!Image

ImageWHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SUNDAY”S MARQUEE NFL MATCHUP TURNED OUT TO BE ANOTHER NO CONTEST.  These games are becoming all to familiar with any team that faces the Denver Broncos these days.  On Sunday, Peyton Manning threw another 4 Touchdown Passes, which gives him 16 TD’s in only Four Games.  Even more Impressive is the fact that he has yet to throw an interception.  Peyton man handled the Philadelphia Eagles.  No matter what the Eagles defense scheme was, Manning had an answer.  The Eagles stacked Eight Men in the Box and blitzed and Manning threw the quick out.  The Eagles played zone and Manning picked them apart over the middle.  The Bronco’s Trindon Holiday, one of the premier Return Men in the game, even ran back a 105 Yard Kickoff Return for a score.  Hell…The Bronco’s even converted a blocked punt into a score.

    Yesterday I posted about the Eagles chances of beating the Bronco’s and what they would have to do to have success.  #1) Put Pressure on Manning…Check.  Well, the Eagles did anything but put pressure on Peyton as he looked like a statue back in the pocket.  #2) Run the Ball and slow down the game…Check.  Well, the Eagles had their lowest rushing total of the season and the Time of Possession was a joke.  #3) Change the Game plan Chip Kelly-Make Adjustments…Check.  My suspicion was right as Chip Kelly didn’t adjust and continued to try and run the “Oregon Duck” to the T.  Whats wrong with this picture right now folks.  Andy Reid and the Chiefs are 4-0 and the Eagles are 1-3.  It makes you really wonder was the Eagles problem really Andy Reid.  Look, I am in no way saying that a change was not needed.  However, I don’t care what type of offensive scheme you use…West Coast, Read Option, Run and Shoot, RUN, Play Action, No Huddle, Hurry Up, Roll Out, Shotgun.  None of these schemes will work when your team does not have the personnel to execute.

     First of all…the Eagles could play the Jacksonville Jaguars right now and still have trouble winning a game.  The fact is, this Defense is absolutely Putrid.  That is putting it lightly.  OK…THIS DEFENSE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes I said it.  The Eagles Defense, which used to be the backbone of this team in all of their successful seasons may be the worst I have ever saw.  They could cut everyone on this Defense and start over for all that I am concerned.  The Eagles have plenty of star power on Offense.  Mike Vick can be a star when he has time to throw the ball.  LeSean McCoy is one of the most dynamic running backs in the game.  DeSean Jackson “DJAX” is a highlight film in the making.  However, this offensive line is putrid just like the defense.  When will Jeff Lurie realize that the problem on this team is personnel.  I do not care if you had Bill Bellicheck coaching this team…I don’t care if you had Mike Ditka coaching this team…John Madden Anyone???  Yeah.

     I am a huge fan of Chip Kelly.  I am even more enamored with the “Oregon Duck” offensive scheme.  However, what this team lacks is tenacity.  And they truly cannot defend my grand mom…God rest her soul.  In the offseason, I made it a cry out for the Eagles to go against the Grain and sign a Defensive Minded Coach.  This team needs to learn the fundamentals of the game such as tackling, pass rushing, audibles, etc.  The amazing thing is…if the Eagles had the Bears 85 Defense…they still would have got their ASS KICKED yesterday.  Peyton Manning now has 16 Touchdowns/0 Interceptions/1400 Yards Passing…and most importantly his team is 4-0.  Manning is on pace to have 64 Touchdowns this season…can you say WOWWWWWWWWW!  Knowshon Moreno has been very serviceable in the backfield as he scored a Touchdown yesterday as well.

     The most glaring mistake that I saw yesterday was the inability of Chip Kelly to adjust his game plan.  Sound familiar???  What is it with all of these high profile coaches and their egos?  Note to Chip…If you can slow the game down then it will limit the amount of time that Manning is on the field which in turn will limit his damage.  But no Chip…you keep doing the same thing with all of your different packages, no huddle, hurry up, shot gun, etc.  You have LeSean McCoy!!!  He should have had at least 30 Touches in the game yesterday.  Oh well…it appears that Peyton Manning is going out on top while the precious Birds are getting a crash course in growing pains.  Look, no one significant expected the Eagles to make the playoff this year.  However, in this NFC least they still very well could do that as bad as this division is.  The thing is though, if they do not adjust the game plan, especially during a game, then they will fail every time.  Meanwhile, as a FOOTBALL fan, we all can just marvel at the man named PEYTON MANNING.  Peyton is the MAN right now.  He is putting up ridiculous stats  right now.  The Broncos could go undefeated.  They are the best team in the league hands down.  So Eagles, now it is off to New York to face the 0-4 New York Giants who want blood.  So…as we look back and move forward…we know this team is a long way from competing with the big boys.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I recap Week 4 in the NFL and analyze the winners and losers in Fantasy Football.  Enjoy this beautiful Monday Folks…HOLLA.

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THE EAGLE IS GROUNDED

IMG_0012     As exciting as it was to watch the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Washington Redskins in Week #1…there were still many unanswered questions that arose after watching “The Oregon Duck” offensive system.  One thing I believe that escaped the cracks in the fallout from Week #1 was how God Awful this defense could really be this season.  I mean, going into this season it appeared that the Eagles had at least improved in some aspects of their Defensive side of the ball.  However, after Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, it appears that there are infinite cracks in the Eagles armor.  

First of all, the Eagle’s secondary is hideous.  That may be too nice of a word.  For those of you that are from my generation, their Secondary SUCKS!  Ok…that sounds better.  Nate Allen is an absolute disgrace of a safety and he makes Erik McMillan (Safety 1988-1993) look like an ALL-PRO.  Nate Allen can’t do anything right at the Safety Position.  He consistently gets burned by fast receivers.  In fact…he gets burned by average receivers like Eddie Royal of the San Diego Chargers.  

     Nate Allen may also be the worst tackler I have ever saw in the NFL.  He should be cut yesterday.  The other Eagle’s Safety, Patrick Cheung is average at best.  He made a few tackles on Sunday, but he is not suited to the 3-4 Defense that is employed by the Eagles at this time.  Now let us go to the Cornerback Position.  Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams are considered O.K. by NFL standards, but O.K. does not cut it in today’s Pass Hungry/Offensive Happy League.  I mean, a few years back we had Lito Shepherd and Sheldon Brown.  So much has changed since then.  First, the Eagles signed Asante Samuels in a move that looking back, had the if you can’t beat them…join them MOTTO.  In other words, the New England Patriots were the top standard not only on offense, but their Defense was stellar as well.  Samuel had a few good seasons, he was a playmaker.  However, he would not even fit this defensive system.  And do we have to rehash the nightmare named Nhamdi Asamugha.  I am not even sure if I even spelled his name right…but who cares, he may have been in the TOP 10 Eagles WORST Free Agent Signings of all time.

     We as fans were also sold a bill of goods when we were told that our Linebacker Core had improved.  Maybe on paper this was true.  The Free Agent Demaco Ryans from last year, draft pick Brandon Graham, Casey Matthews, etc.  However, these linebackers were torn apart by an older Tight End Antonio Gates and a career number three wide receiver Eddie Royal.  The Middle was like a war zone and all of the Chargers land mines struck the gold target.  The Eagles could not cover the middle, which also made them susceptible to the Deep Crossing Pass.

     Now let us look at the most important part of the 3-4 Defense, the Defensive Line.  The down lineman need to get a push up the middle to allow the outside linebackers to put pressure on the quarterback.  There is only one problem with this…what happens when the Defensive Line cannot even sniff the quarterback??  Who is Cedric Thornton?  He is one of the Eagle’s Defensive Starting Ends.  He wears Number 72.  Well, do you want to hear a funny stat.  Thornton was almost on the field for all of the Eagle’s Defensive Plays…minus a few.  Well, We never heard his name called once…not even on the television.  Does Cedric Thornton exist?  Was he really playing Sunday or was it just a mirage.  The Eagles managed just one sack and one hurry.  Phillip Rivers looked like Terry Bradshaw in his heyday, sitting back in the pocket ALL DAY LONG…one play even kept alive for 20 seconds.  Sorry, I am a die hard Eagles fan, but these facts are UNACCEPTABLE.  This Defense is putrid!

I was listening to 94 WYSP, the Eagle’s post-game show as I usually do on Sunday.  I was driving home from work having missed the entire game.  But I did not have to see the game to know that the Defense played horribly.  The stats showed it all.  I always look at sacks, hurries, and pressures and you can usually see if a defense was good, despite the final score.  Also, yards allowed is a key number.  Well, the Eagles gave up over 500 Yards to the Chargers offense!  Yeah, thats not a mistake folks…500 Yards.  What did the Eagles forget this was the NFL.  Well, while listening to the post-game show I heard many dumb callers.  However, the dumbest call of the day belonged to some fan who truly believes that the Eagles are going to go 14-2 and win their first Super Bowl.  Come AGAIN!!!  Are You Kidding me?!  He said that this was an anomaly and that the Eagles can win no matter what with their High Octane Offense.  He referred to the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants who had the 31st and 30th worst defenses the years that they won their Super Bowls.  There is one huge difference here.  Although those defenses did give up points, they also put plenty of pressure on the quarterback.

Hearing this guy made my stomach cringe.  First and foremost, I am extremely excited about this Offense and I am a true believer in Chip Kelly.  Furthermore, I do believe that we can win a lot of games by outscoring opponents.  However, I am a die hard fan.  And as an Eagles fan, I still go by the mantra that Defense wins Championships.  Wow, I truly miss those Bud Carson and Jim Johnson Defenses.  Even remember the Buddy Ryan era…the Eagles always had a potent offense but they were lead by their defense.  I am afraid to admit it, but until this team addresses it’s defensive woes, I do not feel that they will be going anywhere.  They could sign Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall and A.P.  Their offense can be as potent as they want but they have to be able to have some assembly of a Defense.  So…Chip Kelly, if you are listening, please address this defense ASAP.  And also, let me give you one huge piece of advice…please do not ever mention the words…”I need to do a better job next time.”  Seriously, we spent the last fourteen years listening to that same phrase and we grew to HATE the person who spoke those words.  So, create another phrase for press conferences and interviews.  And no matter what you do the rest of the year, a win Thursday is an absolute MUST!!!!!  I cannot watch Andy Reid beat this team.  I just can’t.

MY FLYERS WISH LIST

Well here we are…July 2nd…the 2013 Draft complete…and three days away from the Free Agent Signing Period. Ok, so let’s look at what the Flyers have done thus far in the weeks leading up to this very exciting moment for all fans of the NHL. First of all…The Flyers traded for Mark Streit’s rights from the Islanders. Streit is a 36 Year old veteran defenseman that brings the total package. Yes, he is 36 but he still had a lot of Hockey left and they signed him to a five year deal. I am happy with this move despite the fact that Streit is 36.

The second wave of transactions was the Compliance Buy-Outs on Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. Briere’s Buy-Out was expected and frees up over 5 million dollars in Cap Space. Briere has been nothing less than a Blessing for this team and have us a lot of good memories, especially in the Playoffs. Briere has 105 Points in 100 Games in the Playoffs making him a postseason stud. Danny…you will be dearly missed 😞. Then we have Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov was supposed to finally be the answer to the Flyers Goaltending Nightmares. He was coming off Five stellar seasons for the Phoenix Coyotes and he was a top-tier goalie. However, for whatever reasons, Bryzgalov’s two year stint in Philly can only be described as drama central. Yes, I do blame the Flyers for giving him such a long term contract with the fact that he was switching conferences. But the past is the past and buy-gones will be buy-gones. Good Luck Bryz but good riddance.

Ok, this brings us to Sunday and the 2013 Entry Draft. The Flyers drafted 4 Defenseman, 1 Goalie, and 2 Forwards. I give this draft a C. However, I do believe their first two picks Sam Morin and Robert Haag, both Defenseman will be important assets a few years down the line. Morin is almost 6’7″ and is compared to Chris Pronger, but he has a lot yet to learn. Haag is more of an Offensive Defenseman and was actually a steal at the 41st pick as he was rated the 22nd best player in draft. They also added a goalie Marsden who has tremendous talent and will be playing at Boston University next season.

With the Draft over, now we get to the fun part. The Free Agent frenzy begins on Friday July 5th at Noon when teams can have at it with all of the unrestricted free agents. They have until then to resign their own free agents. And any players that have had compliance buy-outs can be signed now. Ok…so with that I am providing my wish list that I believe will make the Flyers better and improve their chances of winning a Cup.

First of all, I would make priority Number 1 to sign Vinny Lecavlier today. Levavlier’s contract was bought out so he is available now. There are at least five teams that are rumored to have interest in Vinny and the Flyers are the favorites at this point. If I am Holmgren, I am not messing around here. I go hard after this player and give him a nice contract…I mean don’t overpay but make sure you get him into the fold. Lecavlier is a 10 time 25 Goal Scorer and a 1 Time 50 Goal Scorer. At 32, he is still a Number 2 Center and he can bring an excellent presence up the ice. He also has won a Cup so he could really be a great role model and mentor for Claude Giroux who is still growing.

So…Priority Number 2 for me is a Goaltender. With the announcement of Tim Thomas making his return to the NHL…he would be an absolute perfect fit with this team. I would sign him to a two year deal with incentives. And believe me, after sitting out a season he has a lot to prove. He brings a two time Vezina resume as well as a Stanley Cup Ring. He would be perfect to play ahead of Steve Mason, who at 24 could still be the goalie of the future. Tim Thomas is definitely my number 1 Priority behind Vinny.

There has been speculation that Brayden Coburn has received a lot of trade interest. I hate to lose one of our best defenseman but with the Streit signing there is depth and A Coburn trade with give a 3.5 Million dollar cushion towards Vinny and Tim. Maybe you get a third line winger to mix in.

Simone Gagne is interested in coming back so if I am the Flyers, make this happen. Gagne is not the player he once was…however…he is a veteran with heart that has been a part of this team for most of his career. Gagne would be an excellent Third Line Player. The Flyers also need to lock up Louridsen and Manning, their two defenseman of the Future.

Ok…so here is my Wild Card. The Flyers should go after Jaromir Jagr again. We saw how he played when he was paired with Claude Giroux. Jagr still has a lot in the tank and would be an excellent veteran on this team. And then don’t forget…the Flyers need to lock up Giroux and Schenn and Voracek. I am not the Flyers GM, but if I was this is my wish list and then I feel that this team would be built for a Cup Run.

G-Tim Thomas
G-Steve Mason

1st Line
C-Claude Giroux
W-Jaromir Jagr
W-Jakub Voracek

2nd Line
C-Vinny Levavlier
W-Matt Read
W-Wayne Simmonds

3rd Line
C-Brayden Schenn
W-Simon Gagne
W-Scott Hartnell

4th Line-
C-Sean Courtier
W-Zack Rinaldo
W-Max Talbot

D1-
Kimmo Timmonen
Luke Schenn

D2-
Mark Streit
Nick Grossman

D3-
Eric Gustaffson
Oliver Lauridsen

…..Just Saying

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GAGNE RETURN HIT WITH FANS: MORE TO COME

Last night marked the return of Simon Gagne to Philadelphia. Gagne was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Well, Gagne finally won that elusive ring last season with a few other Flyers of the past. As a huge Flyers fan, and an even bigger admirer of the NHL, I could never be jealous that Gagne won a cup wearing another teams jersey. Look, the ultimate goal of any player Is to win a Cup, and lets face it, Gagne had never tasted it in his plus ten years with the Flyers.

Ok…flash forward to last night at the Wells Fargo Center. As Gagne took the ice, I cannot remember a louder ovation for a returning player in an extremely long time. Simon was always a fan favorite and was drafted by the Flyers. He had many great seasons with this team. Some of his most notable goals were the Game 4 Overtime winner against Boston in the 2010 SemiFinals that saw the Flyers down 3-0 to the Bruins. He also scored the game winner in Game 7 of that same series. The last goal that Gagne would score as a Flyer was in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, the closet he would ever come to tasting Cup Glory as a Flyer. The Flyers eventually lost that game in overtime as a seeing eye dribbler went past Michael Leighton and ended the Flyers chase for Glory.

Well, the Blackhawks are perfect his season so far…sitting a top the NHL in almost every statistical category that is measured. Last Seasons Champion, the Los Angeles Kings have also been on a role after an early struggle. However, Gagne had not scored a goal and was a healthy scratch for six straight games. When the trade was announced on Tuesday, I have to admit that I wasn’t surprised. Caught off guard, yes, but not surprised. The Flyers have been known to bring stars back into the fold after trading them away. Mark Recchi three times, John LeClair, Ron Hextall, Mike Knuble most recently and the list could go on for days. The point I am trying to make is that the Flyers have actually made a wise choice at a wise time.

Simon was struggling on the Kings this season…to the point that he was benched. However, he still has better than average speed and a knack for putting the puck in the net. Gagne also should be able to help both sides of the Flyers special teams with their horrible penalty kill and their average power play. Gagne’s presence on the ice paid off immediately in his first game back last night as he scored a power play goal, his first goal of the season. Now Gagne not only brings veteran leadership back to this team, he also brings playoff experience and a ring. Never discount the importance of that fact. Look at the Rangers in 1994 when Mark Messier brought the Rangers a Cup. It happens all of the time. Now the Flyers should make a few more trades for veterans to mix with the star youth of this team. They should not be ready to give up on the season yet…anything can happen if they just make the playoffs.

The trade rumors for Daniel Briere are just that…rumors. First of all, Briere has a no trade clause. Secondly, even though he is struggling right now, he may be one of the best active performers in the playoffs right now. Thirdly, I think trading Briere would send a bad message to the team that they are basically not going anywhere this season. Instead of trading Briere, how about trading Courtier or another young player for a veteran that can put the puck in the net. Look at the trade block, there are many big names available that could help the Flyers get back on track. It’s great to have Gagne back on this team and I believe he Will give this team a tremendous lift. Stay tuned for more moves. Paul Holmgren never sits back.

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ANOTHER EAGLES/GIANTS EPIC BATTLE

McNabb avoids Michael Strahan rush and passes to Todd Pinkston in corner of end zone TOUCHDOWN….Eagles win in last minute 10-9 at the Meadowlands.
That was 1999. 2003….Eagle’s season in the balance…trailing the Giants 10-7 once again at the Meadowlands…1:34 seconds left on the clock. Brian Westbrook back to field the punt…he…could…go…..all….THE……….
WAY! Touchdown Eagles beat the Giants again in the last minute. 2010….Another wild one at the Meadowlands. Eagles trailing Giants by 31-10 in 4th quarter. They score 3 unanswered touchdowns to tie the score at 31-31. With only 14 seconds Desean Jackson was back to field a punt…a low line drive that he muffs. He then picks it up and scampers through numerous missed tackles for the Game Winning Punt Return! The last Monday Night Football game at the Vet and Brian Dawkins levels Ike Hilliard knocking the ball out and icing the game for the Eagles! Eagles trail Giants 17-16 w/ 2:00 left at the Lincoln! Eagles drive down and kick a FG….19-17, but there is over a minute left for Eli to bring the Giants back down the field. He seems to have a game winning drive in him as they drive down to within 54 yards. Lawrence Tynes for the win….He MISSES!….wait…wait…oh no! Andy Reid called a timeout to ice the kicker. Ok…Lawrence Tynes back again….The kick is up…it’s…..No Good! NO Good! Are u kidding me…what an ending to an epic battle. Everytime these Division Rivals battle it out something always occurs. This was a defensive hold out. The Eagles also backed your statement. Well anyways…Great win for the Birds to go 3-1. They have now won 3 games they should have 1.

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Fantasy Fallout

Ok…so I didn’t do to well with any aspects of last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Packers and Bears. First of all, I picked Chicago to win outright so obviously I blew that pick. Secondly, my best receiver In Fantasy Football, Brandon Marshall, had a measley 2 catches for 24 yards, which equaled 4.4 points in
My League….ughhhhhh! Marshall was projected to have 20.1 points so that’s going to hurt my chances of winning this week, and I’m already 0-1. Not only did Marshall stink up the joint, but the team I played had the Packer’s Defense who went off with 7 sacks, 4 picks, 10DPA and 26 points! WTF! Yeah so the team I am playing is already up by 22. But this wasn’t even my worst mistake, because who would not have played Marshall. But I decided to sit Mason Crosby who was good for 14points. Now that was a killer! So as I have stated numerous times…Fantasy does not get played on paper…roster decisions can win you or break you a decision! So anyways…Jay Cutler looked absolutely horrendous. He even showed up his team on the field, which just reaffirms his lack of maturity. Aaron Rodgers did not perform much better though, and after 2 games he definitely does not look like a top 5 pick. Well at least he is not playing that way. The Packers Defense was relentless and the Bears Defense did not play badly either. I have no idea what possessed me to pick the Bears but that was a mistake. Anyways…I have Peyton Manning going this weekend while my opponent has Eli starting. Who will have the better game? I’m hoping my running backs can have a huge game. Not sure who to start at Tight End either….Vernon Davis or Jason Witten. I will wait till closer to game time to make that decision. Well best of luck to all you Fantasy Junkies…hopefully this week brings a whole lotta points!

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