“In all honesty, in all fairness, how can you take a guy out of the game who’s been playing so well?” -Mike Vick
Author Archives: vincequinn
We didn’t make fans with any Lions fans this week (screw ‘em!) so instead I’ll be giving you a preview of some important things to watch this week.
Now this is a HUGE game for the Eagles. Both teams are 7-5 and fighting for the chance to win their division. However, since the Eagles can’t tie Dallas’ record and make the playoffs the next three games are that much more important. This is very much a must-win game for the Birds.
Interesting fact: In the history of the franchise, the Eagles are 16-3-2 vs the Lions
What To Watch For:
1. Big Plays. The Eagles produce the most big plays out of anyone in the league. They have 72 plays of 20+ yards and 18 of 40+. The Lions are third in that category with 60 and 10. Expect a ton of yardage on Sunday as these teams sling it all over the field.
2. Running Back. The quarterbacks will get all of the love because
it gets Goodell’s rocks off that’s the nature of the beast, but running back I think is a far more interesting match-up. Reggie Bush may have been the best free agent signing of the year and he’s put up over 1,300 total yards in 11 games for the Lions. McCoy is regularly compared the Lions legend Barry Sanders, and both teams have great, young defensive lines. I think which ever team performs better on the ground has a definite edge in this game.
3. Calvin Johnson Stressing Linebackers. Megatron is the best receiver in the game hands down. From the report in another top-notch piece from Eagles 24/7, the Eagles won’t do much to blitz this week and Johnson is a major reason why. He’ll be double teamed all day and the Eagles will want to rush four so the they’re not killed in the underneath game. Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin will need to perform well in coverage to get the Eagles and their 7th worst 3rd down defense (40% conversion pct.) off of the field.
4. Rookie Battle! Ziggy Ansah was drafted immediately after the Eagles selected Lane Johnson in the draft. A young, raw, athletic end out of BYU Ansah was brought in to ad some pass rushing talent on the Lions’ line. He’s done pretty well so far notching eight sacks and regularly stopping the run. As a result it will be a great test for Lane Johnson who has really hit his stride the last few weeks. The less a struggling Todd Herremans has to worry about helping on the perimeter the better.
5. Quick Releases and Interceptions. The Lions have allowed only 15 sacks on the season and plenty of that has to do with Stafford not taking his time in throwing the ball. Nick Foles is very much in the same boat given the read and react style of Chip Kelly’s offense. However, the difference between the two is that Stafford has 14 interceptions and Foles has none (because he is a golden god). If the status quo holds true, the Eagles should win this game.
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While all of the focus this season is on guys like Evan Turner, Brett Brown, and Michael Carter-Williams, there’s a player lurking about that could have an impact on the Sixers’ future: Rajon Rondo.
Rondo, who is a four time All-Star, is slowly beginning the process of returning to the court for the Boston Celtics after tearing his ACL in January. He’s begun practicing in a limited capacity and has been allegedly cleared to return by team doctors. Now, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Rondo will choose when he’s comfortable with getting back to speed a la Derrick Rose. As a Sixers fan I can’t help but be fascinated.
Rondo is a star player. He’s averaged a double-double the last three years and plays exceptional defense (think of that Conference Finals game where he went the distance against the Heat). If he’s in the line-up then Boston is a much better team, which means more wins and less competition for the Sixers. Throw in the fact that they don’t play each other until Jan. 29th, a month after Rondo’s expected return, and this sounds like great news. Bring it on, right? Wrong.
If Rondo’s returns early and successfully enough to turn the tide in Boston he could very well be shipped out of town. It’s been reported in the past that Rondo and his bad attitude could be had for the right price. If he can make the Celtics into a fringe playoff (aka worthless) team he could be shipped out of town. That rejuvenates the tanking initiative and, like the Sixers, sets them up for a bright future with a young core to replace the three amigos.
The other concern here would be that the Knicks are interested in Rondo. If they swing a trade, then they’d have a long-term dynamic duo of Rondo and Carmelo Anthony in the Atlantic. That’s a tough pairing to compete against.
The best case scenario in all of this would be for Rondo to take his time and return in early February or later. The trade deadline is on February 20th so it would give sellers a limited amount of time to trust his health and give the Celtics the price they’re seeking (probably multiple firsts or some sort of package deal). That way the Celtics can’t deal Rondo for picks and still damage their chance for a top five pick. Sixers win.
So while most of the fussing will be over what goes on with Evan Turner, there’s a much better player in the similar situation up north. Keep an eye on Rajon Rondo.
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I was at the stadium complex downtown today and as I was hanging around I realized it’s hard not to feel really positive about the state of Philly sports. When all four coaches in town were replaced it felt like a forest fire had run wild. Now we’re seeing the regrowth from the active teams and it’s a beautiful thing. Here’s what I’m talking about.
The Birds are proving to be a fringe-playoff team this year and most of the credit goes to Chip Kelly, who I would gladly bet money on as coach of the year. He turned a 4-12 club into a top five offense and a respectable bend but don’t break defense.
The Eagles now stand at 7-5 following a tough win over the Cardinals and are directly in the hunt. They’ll be playing three similar teams in Detroit (7-5), Chicago (6-6), and Dallas (7-5). They have full control over their playoff chances and if the Birds manage to break through it will be well earned. If you’re not excited for this next month you’re just not human…and that’s not even the best part of all of this.
What’s better? The success is led by a youth movement on both sides of the ball: Nick Foles (24) DeSean Jackson (27), LeaSean McCoy (25), Riley Cooper (26), Zach Ertz (23), Fletcher Cox (23), Vinny Curry (25), Cedric Thornton (25), Brandon Boykin (23). All performing amazingly well in Chip’s first NFL season. This team has a great future.
Get some wings, beer and turkey while cheering on the Raiders to beat Dallas at 4:30! Also, tell my neighbors that it’s not a big deal if I conduct an unofficial parade with stray dogs down the street (Sparky killed it as Spongebob).
The story of the day has been Nick Foles being named the starter, but I can’t help but be intrigued by Michael Vick.
Vick, who was voted the most hated player in the league this year…and seemingly every other year, has been a model teammate in Philly. I wrote months ago about how I buy Vick as a changed man and, after this week’s events, I feel even stronger in that opinion. He went ahead and named Foles the starter before Chip Kelly and has graciously bowed out of a job he lost due to injury.
“In all honesty, in all fairness, how can you take a guy out of the game who’s been playing so well?” he said on Friday. And today when the announcement was official, “You can’t be naïve. You’ve got to understand the situation. You’ve got to just know the most important thing for you to do is try to be there to support your team.”
Vick understands that it’s the nature of the business. Young players supplant players, especially at quarterback.
But the obvious undertone here is where will Vick play next year? Is there anywhere he can start?
While the offense has been well-above expectations the defense has been poor. Why?
Ironically, it’s the same reason that the team has been putting up points: shot selection. The Sixers have chosen a “pack the paint” strategy that Wesley Share digs into on Hoop76.
Here’s an excerpt:
If it seems like opponents are lighting up the Sixers from 3-point land night in and night out, that’s because they are. The defense is surrendering a league-high 29.7 attempts per game, which is four more attempts per game than the Thunder, who give up the second-most attempts. While NBA teams are shooting more 3-pointers than ever–and thus, giving up more 3-pointers on the aggregate–the Sixers’ defense is headed for a record-setting season.
For the whole article, you can check it out here. Definitely worth the read as it provides an interesting look into the methods of Brett Brown (<33333333).
Sixers play their next game Wednesday at 7:00 in Orlando.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
- Who is this team and what are some trade options available? (0:00)
- Prospect watch! Is Wiggins still on top? (13:24)
Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 11-24-13
What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
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Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.
I haven’t had the chance to post this, but Ruben Amaro got on 97.5 the Fanatic to talk with Mike Missanelli about the team and it’s direction.
A couple of quick thoughts on this one:
1. This team is in the stone age.
2. Unless Ruben’s fired, expect no major changes in the next two years. This team believes (at least pretends they believe) in Ryan Howard still and, after seeing how Prince Fielder worked out in Detroit, it just hurts to see the opposite end of the spectrum.
3. He admitted he didn’t want three years for Chooch, but did it anyway to lock him up. Great.
4. A theory was dropped of Chase Utley covering first base should Ryan Howard get hurt, allowing Cesar Hernandez or Freddie Galvas to take over at second base.
5. There’s this quote, which is one of the most painful/laughable things I’ve heard recently:
Well I don’t know that in this marketplace that we can look the fanbase in the eye and say ‘okay, we are going to completely blow up this team’ based on where we are as far as our commitments and what we think is our talent base and expect to just turn things around…I don’t think that’s fair to the fanbase, I don’t think that’s fair to the people who have been so loyal to us.
Now for the full interview, you can check it out here. Credit to Mikey Miss who does a good job of going at Amaro and asking some questions that literally everyone has wanted to ask because damn they’re hopeless.
I’ve always thought that Melo would never be the centerpiece of an NBA championship winning team. Is he a great individual talent? Absolutely. Melo is a six time All-Star, the reigning scoring champion, and he’s been in the playoffs every season of his career.
But as a guy who thrives as an isolation scorer it’s hard to believe that he’s the vital cog in the machine. The only way that he could lead a team to a title would be if he had a side-kick with top talent as well. For example, I think trading for Rajon Rondo would be a fantastic move for the Knicks (Which was a recent rumor). He’d be a perfect counterpoint to Melo with his skills as a slasher, passer, and defender.
I’ve felt like an outsider on this but it seems like I’m not alone. ESPN spoke with four GM’s who seemed to feel the same way. Since the ESPN article is an insider only scam here’s the ProBasketballTalk version of it, which contains some quotes. Check it out and then feel free to come back and call me an idiot.