The Eagles’ best Sunday of the season was the one they didn’t play. The Giants gave up seven touchdowns to Drew Brees. The Cowboys lost their fifth straight without Tony Romo. No Eagle was injured. Sam Bradford didn’t throw an interception.
Sunday showed that no other NFC East team is capable of finishing above .500. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ next four opponents have a combined 9-20 record. Chip Kelly’s slow-starting boys have been tossedtheir golden chance – assuming they don’t drop it.
Speaking of the Cowboys, have they ever been more loathsome? One week, woman-beater Greg Hardy assaults an assistant coach. The next, Dez Bryant appears to taunt an opponent lying concussed on the field. We’ve always despised Dallas as the natural rival, but Jerry Jones’s enabling of creeps (“That’s the kind of leadership we’re looking for!”) makes our animus that much easier.
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Of course, now the Eagles need to win in Dallas on Sunday. I wish my confidence level were higher than 6 out of 10.
Temple football hangs tough
Temple’s near-win against Notre Dame was a great moment for the university and the city. But at the end, I couldn’t help but think I had seen this before.
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Let’s see . . . scrappy Philly underdog gets the unexpected big-time shot. Hangs in early against a world-class foe. Wins over the crowd. Fights from behind to shockingly grab the late lead. Ultimately, just can’t keep up with the high-pedigree opponent, but loses with pride.
Of course. Temple-ND was just one more remake of the original “Rocky,” right up to the point where our battered hero remains standing at the end. As a fan, I admire what the Owls accomplished. As a Philadelphian, I just wish we didn’t relive this plotline again and again and again. Who knew that Sylvester Stallone’s great movie (hisonlygreat movie) would condemn us to a lifetime of near misses?
Who are the real Flyers?
It’s too early to gauge what the Flyers are under new coach Dave Hakstol. Certainly, it’s aggravating to watch them follow wins over the Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers with three straight losses to inferior opponents. Hakstol needs to figure out how to get full effort from his mediocre squad in every game.
One problem has been Jakub Voracek, who has no goals and just three assists through 10 games. I assume he’ll rebound from this famine (as Claude Giroux did two seasons ago). But I’ll remain on record as a critic of the eight-year, $66 million deal the Flyers signed him to last summer. Voracek’s career hasn’t hit the level of Corey Perry, Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel – other wingers paid at that level.
Same old Sixers
While the Flyers should improve this season, there’s no sense of that from the Sixers. Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Nik Stauskas are surrounded by guys who couldn’t make your local YMCA team. Expect another 60-plus losses. But, hey, at least the new uniforms look nice.