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London Calling

Kevin Kinkead - October 22, 2018

The Cowboys get Amari Cooper and the Eagles get a dysfunctional Jaguars team in London this week:

Good news right there.

Bortles has thrown two touchdowns and five interceptions in his last three games, though the Eagles secondary could possibly make him look like the second coming of Joe Montana at Wembley Stadium.

London, you are in for a treat.

Reports: Raiders Fleece Cowboys

Kevin Kinkead - October 22, 2018

Per Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter:

Man, that is pretty steep, but they needed a receiver badly. Look at Jon Gruden stockpiling first-round picks for the Raiders like he’s Sam Hinkie or something.

Anyway, you’re up Howie Roseman. Time to make some phone calls.

 

Sports Betting Updates

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DraftKings Sportsbook Review

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over two full months now and a lot has changed since launch. While they were the first out of the gate for legal US sports betting, they now face competition from many sites, including FanDuel Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetStars and others. How do they stack up and what promos does DraftKings Sportsbook offer? Let’s take a closer look. Bonus: First bet matched up to $200 Minimum

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BetStars NJ Review and $500 in Free Bets Promo

BetStars NJ launched their sports betting app which is now available for both iOS and Android, and they offering a pretty outrageous promo code and deposit bonus. Owned by The Stars Group, a Canadian-based company that powers the popular PokerStars app, BetStars is targeting DraftKings and FanDuel directly, bringing its mobile-focused product to New Jersey with an AGGRESSIVE promo and deposit bonus. Bonus: $500 in free bets and 100-1 odds on any team to win the

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Need To Know Betting Trends For The Eagles and Panthers

After seemingly getting back on track last Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, the Eagles will look to climb over the .500 mark when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. The Panthers, who are 1-4 all-time in regular season games played in Philadelphia, are looking for their first road victory of the season, and they will have their work cut out for them if they hope to get it. The

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Sixers Notes: Lower Back Tightness, Dario on His Slow Starts, and “Overrated” Back-to-Backs

Kevin Kinkead - October 22, 2018

You want the good news or the bad news?

The bad news is that Ben Simmons is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s game against the Pistons with the same lower back tightness that forced him out of Saturday’s win after just eight minutes of play.

“He’s progressing and he did not go through practice today,” said head coach Brett Brown on Monday afternoon. “I believe our club will put out some level of more information later, but he’s progressing.”

“Nobody said he’s definitely not playing, that’s as candid as I can be.”

I saw Simmons having some work done on his back after practice, with a pair of trainers having him do push downs on what looked like a straight lateral bar. One trainer had some kind of monitor on Simmons’ lower back while he slowly did fixed weight reps on the machine.

The good news is that Joel Embiid is on no restriction whatsoever for the Sixers’ first back-to-back of the season. Mike Muscala was also upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” after participating fully in Monday’s session, though Brown said he “personally does not think” he’ll have his backup power forward on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“He moved around okay today,” said Brown of Muscala. “I think one of the things we’re all aware of, concerned of, he felt like last year he was in rehab a lot, then would go play, then back to rehab and treatment and go play, and never really got ahead of it. My advice to him, our direction to him, is that ‘you come back when you feel like you’re not going to be chasing.’ I don’t want him chasing. When he comes back he’ll be good to go and we expect that to be good enough to sustain longevity.”

Wilson Chandler remains out with his hamstring strain and was a partial practice participant. He’ll be reevaluated prior to Saturday’s home game with Charlotte. Jerryd Bayless and Zhaire Smith are also on the injury report, out with a left knee sprain and Jones fracture, respectively.

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Doug Pederson Explains His “Pressure” Quote (and People Still Don’t Know what an RPO is)

Kevin Kinkead - October 22, 2018

Doug Pederson went on 94 WIP this morning for his weekly postgame conversation with Angelo Cataldi.

It was a good discussion. I’ve said a million times before that Angelo is a great interviewer when he turns off the radio shtick.

Three quotes I want to highlight, two that explain Doug’s weird Sunday ramblings about “pressure.”

Here’s the verbatim:

Cataldi: Doug, you said after the game that the pressure was off your team now. Could you explain that to us?

Pederson: Yeah, kind of what I meant by that is, going into the season, obviously Super Bowl champs, there’s going to pressure every week. Games are big. Every week is big. And pressure to win is always there. I think now, more than anything, you look at where we are, and the pressure of being the #1 seed, the #2 seed is probably gone in the NFC. But the fact is that we still control our own destiny. I don’t want the guys to feel any more added pressure to try to make plays. Just make the ones that come to them, don’t go looking for them. From that standpoint, that’s sort of what I meant by that comment, is that let’s focus on our division. Let’s focus on winning our division. You do that and you’re in the postseason and that’s what we need to do.

Angelo asked a follow-up:

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An Epic Choke Job with a Side of “Neocolonialism” – Ten Takeaways from Panthers 21, Eagles 17

Kevin Kinkead - October 22, 2018

I’ll be honest with you; I really didn’t feel like writing about this game. Then I barfed out 2,600 words anyway.

The original lede was great. It was something about how Carson Wentz was phenomenal, the defense was suffocating, and Doug Pederson looked like the aggressive play caller we saw last season.

That was the story for three quarters on Sunday afternoon, then the Eagles suffered a 12-minute brain fart as they surrendered a 17-point fourth quarter lead and lost at home like choking dogs. In turn, postgame Twitter was a spectacular meltdown of outrageous takes and nonstop arguing over whether or not Jimmy Kempski drew a racist stick figure.

It was that kind of day.

I’m really struggling to remember a worse loss over the last ten years. Tennessee was bad, for sure, and that held the title of “worst loss of the Pederson era” for a whopping three weeks. This one takes the cake, easily. It felt like a 2016 game, did it not? They struggled to finish that year, and this loss was reminiscent of the overtime Dallas defeat when the Birds blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead. It even brought back vile memories of Andy Reid-coached NFC Championship Game losses.

Right, so let’s just get into it and try to make this as painless as possible.

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“We Needed Every Bit of JJ Redick” – Observations from Sixers 116, Magic 115

Kevin Kinkead - October 21, 2018

The clock showed 1:24 remaining in the fourth quarter with the Sixers clinging to a one-point lead against the Orlando Magic.

A brilliant defensive possession saw Joel Embiid deflect a pass beyond half court, with Terrence Ross collecting the loose ball some 50 feet from the basket. As JJ Redick stepped up to close the distance, Ross pulled up from 42 feet and let go of a three point attempt that found nothing but net on the way down, giving his team a 112-110 lead.

“When I turned around to look at the ball I knew it was going in,” said Redick of the long-range heave. “I just knew from the path of the ball. I knew it was going in. It was a sick feeling.”

It was an eye-roller of a sequence in a game that should have never been close in the first place. But the first-quarter injury exit of Ben Simmons tested the Sixers’ already thin-depth, with a scrappy Orlando team hanging tough and keeping the game close throughout the second half.

Head coach Brett Brown suggested that a shred of doubt might have creeped in when he watched the Ross shot go down.

“Sometimes that’s the hoop God. Maybe it isn’t your night some nights,” he said. “To the guys’ credit, we found a way to win. Normally when you’re looking at those types of games you come into it and you’re like ‘jeez, we’ve got 20 turnovers or whatever,’ and we didn’t (in this game). I think (Orlando’s) ability to make threes, our inability to get to the foul line, those types of things I feel like are most on my mind. I look forward to seeing their threes. That’s a big number of threes to make.”

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Eagles Friday: Panther Preps and Tackle Depth

Kevin Kinkead - October 19, 2018

Big roster move on a Friday morning.

The Eagles promoted defensive tackle Bruce Hector from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and released wide receiver Kamar Aiken.

That means you’re looking at a group of Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, and Hector at DT this Sunday, with Michael Bennett likely to play a good chunk of snaps on the inside. Ngata is still iffy with a calf injury and that’s something head ball coach Doug Pederson mentioned in his press conference today:

  • Jalen Mills is fine after tweaking a hamstring in practice Thursday. “He’ll be good.”
  • Hector adds some depth at the tackle spot, Ngata is questionable, day-to-day with his calf injury. Addition of Hector doesn’t mean anything in regard to Ngata’s health.
  • Treyvon Hester has practiced well and can take #2 defensive tackle snaps if it comes down to that. “He’s going to be asked to do more this week.”
  • Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins “are doing well,” progressing nicely through rehab.
  • Optimistic Darren Sproles will be able to practice next week.
  • Rasul Douglas is back with the team (death in the family)
  • Pederson does talk to his team about the week’s refereeing crew (more on that later)
  • deferring on winning coin tosses is about gaining another possession in the first half
  • Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are both expected to play Sunday
  • Jordan Hicks is back to the player he was before the injury, has done a really good job, making plays and getting the defense lined up and organized.

Not a ton to write home about. Full injury report should come later today. Corey Graham (hammy) and Sidney Jones (hammy) did not practice Thursday.

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College Gameday is Finally Going to Washington State

Kevin Kinkead - October 19, 2018

This doesn’t have anything to do with Philly sports, but it’s a cool story.

If you’ve watched College Gameday even once since 2003, you’ve noticed that there’s one specific flag that flies behind the set on every single Saturday morning. That’s “Ol’ Crimson,” the colors of Washington State University. You’ve seen it in Norman and Austin and State College and even on Independence Mall a few years ago when Temple hosted Notre Dame on Halloween night.

The idea started on a Wazzu message board more than 15 years ago as a way to convince ESPN to visit Pullman, located about 90 minutes south of Spokane on the Idaho border. The Cougars were coming off a pair of 10 win seasons under Mike Price, which resulted in a Rose Bowl appearance and top ten AP and coaches poll ranking.

Sports Illustrated continues the story:

Tom Pounds, a Washington State alum, liked the idea and drove from his home in Albuquerque to the ESPN broadcast in Austin for the Kansas State-Texas game on Oct. 4, 2003 with the flag. His wife, Syndie, made the first Ol’ Crimson, a flag emblazoned with the Cougars’ logo. Someone saw the flag and asked Pounds if they could wave it at the Purdue-Wisconsin GameDay broadcast in Madison on Oct. 18. Pounds mailed them the flag, and the streak began.

A booster club called Ol’ Crimson manages the flag-flying schedule. Booster CJ McCoy helps coordinate the group and mails a “flag kit” to each week’s recipient, which is always a Washington State alum. The kit comes with two flags, poles and instructions on how to properly handle flag-flying duties during broadcasts. UPS even gives Ol’ Crimson free shipping.

Since the pregame show lasts three hours, sometimes multiple people help fly the Wazzu flag during the broadcast. McCoy told SB Nation that he estimates 500 to 600 people have waved Ol’ Crimson on the set over the past 15 years.

It’s a really cool tradition. The flag can be easily seen in literally every College Gameday broadcast, of which there have been about 14-15 per year dating back to 2003, so Ol’ Crimson has appeared more than 200 times, even in smaller towns like Fargo and Harrisonburg.

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