Eagles

Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

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USA Today Images

Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

This week’s Rob’s Rants has a sole focus — or should I say a troll focus. It’s more of a public service announcement, if you will. I am imploring all Philadelphia sports fans: Don’t take the bait!

Trolling was around long before the advent of social media. Contrarians have been going against the grain and saying things they don’t even believe to invoke a reaction since the beginning of time. Or as far back as Jaromir Jagr’s rookie season. Same thing. 

Just six weeks into the NFL season, we’ve already heard from some of the usual suspects, who will go nameless in this post. I refuse to give them the attention and ratings they are so desperately begging for. You know who they are, I know who they are, don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t continue to line their pockets. Don’t let yourself walk into their trap. A reply on Twitter or some other social platform, a tune in, a reaction, is a win for them.

So brace yourself for the inevitable national talking head contrarian with the hot take of, “Carson Wentz looks like a deer in headlights.” Or, “besides the Panthers, who have the Eagles played? Or, “they haven’t even won a playoff game since 2008 and the fans have them in the Super Bowl.”

The trolling won’t be reserved exclusively for Eagles fans either. Prepare yourselves, Sixers fans. As we embark on the start of the NBA season, the anti-process truthers are just lying in wait with pithy Joel Embiid barbs about minute restrictions or injuries or tanking. It’s only a matter of time before we get something like, “see what another year of tanking gets you? Markelle Fultz isn’t even good enough to start.” It’s coming.

There’s a fine line between trolling and having a strong, thought-provoking, independent point of view. The goal of any good columnist, radio host, television host or analyst is to make you think or react. Whether you agree or disagree. But there is a cottage industry now of blowhards who don’t have an original, creative or sincere thought of their own. They are either told by a producer or boss or decide on their own to go after a city, player, or team ... one typically with a fan base that will be reactive. You don’t see a lot of shade thrown at the Atlanta Hawks. You know why? No one cares. Not even their fans. Say something about Carson Wentz or snowballs at Santa and loyal Philadelphia fans will go bonkers. Mission accomplished for the troll.

So revel in the Eagles' early season success. Be excited for the infusion of youth for the Flyers. And what could be if Embiid, Ben Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric can actually stay on the court.

Soak it in. We appear to be exiting out of the dark days. Just be prepared for it and don’t allow yourself to be lured into the troll trap.

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

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AP Images

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

After a beatdown of the Cowboys Sunday night, the Eagles remain the most likely team in the NFL to win the Super B... wait, what? The evil empire has taken over? OK, Vegas. 

The Patriots (11/4) have passed the Eagles (15/4) and now have the best odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Bovada. However, the Eagles' odds actually improved from the previous week (5/1).

The Patriots (8-2) are riding a six-game winning streak and seem to be back on track after a 2-2 start. 

However, Bovada did hilariously troll the rest of the NFC East by taking the divisional odds off the boards.

"Odds for this division are off the board due to the enormous lead of the Eagles," reads the site.

The Eagles' odds to win the NFC also improved from 12/5 to 19/10. That puts them atop the NFC, ahead of the Saints (15/4) and the Vikings (11/2).

Unfortunately, you can't bet on the Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell saga. At least not yet.

Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott moving through concussion protocol

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Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott moving through concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has not yet cleared the NFL's concussion protocol, but he's getting closer. 

And head coach Doug Pederson thinks Elliott will be able to play Sunday. 

"I do believe and I feel in the bottom of my heart that Jake will be ready," Pederson said. 

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of the game against the Cowboys, which forced the Eagles to finish the game without a real kicker. Kamu Grugier-Hill filled in on kickoffs and the offense went for two-point conversions after touchdowns. 

"Obviously, we'll take it day by day with [Elliott] and we're hoping obviously," Pederson said. "At the same time, we have to have a backup plan if that doesn't come true. As of right now, everything is looking good for him, where he's at right now."

While Elliott hasn't cleared the concussion protocol, he is apparently moving through it quickly. He is in meetings Wednesday and will be on the practice field as an observer. Both are indications that he is doing much better. 

If Elliott isn't ready for game action Sunday, the Eagles have a couple options. The first would be to bring back Caleb Sturgis from injured reserve. Sturgis hurt his hip in the opener, which actually allowed Elliott to come in and win the job. 

Sturgis has been kicking and rehabbing and Pederson said Sturgis is "close" to being able to return. In order to activate Sturgis, the Eagles would need to cut someone to create a roster space. 

But if Sturgis and Elliott are both not ready for the game Sunday against the Bears, the Eagles would need to go outside of the organization and sign a kicker. They're obviously hoping they don't have to do that. 

Either way, the Eagles are going to have a kicker against the Bears. When asked if he would consider going into a game without a real kicker, Pederson flatly said "no." 

"You definitely want somebody that can kick," Pederson said. "A professional kicker."

Grugier-Hill filled in adequately on kickoffs against the Cowboys but did not attempt an extra point or field goal. He became the emergency kicker after Chris Maragos was lost for the season with a torn PCL. 

Maragos was at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday and said he got a kick out of watching Grugier-Hill kick off. He texted him to compliment him on his "golden toe."