It's Dallas Night: The Two Keys to the Eagles Winning the Game

It's Dallas Night: The Two Keys to the Eagles Winning the Game

When the Eagles are on defense...

What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object? DeMarco Murray's breakthrough aside, the Cowboys are still facing legitimate questions with regard to their running game. Similarly, the Eagles limited Redskins running backs to just 28 yards on the ground two weeks ago, but that hasn't convinced anybody Juan Castillo suddenly figured it out. So what's it going to be?

Probably a little bit of column A, little bit of column B. With all due deference to Murray, who looks like a legitimate talent, the Dallas interior is a weakness. It's the type of problem that doesn't often correct itself overnight, or with a simple change at running back. That said, stopping the Redskins -- who basically imploded -- doesn't necessarily mean the Eagles have righted the ship either, and they won't be able to over-commit with so many talented receivers on the field.

The Eagles will probably look strong at the point of attack for stretches, but there will inevitably be a handful of plays where Murray gets loose in the secondary. When that happens, the key will be holding him to nine yards, not 90.

When the Eagles are on offense...

As was mentioned a few weeks back, the bigger concern for the Eagles arguably has been the performance on offense, particularly their ability to finish drives with six. They may be racking up yards at a historic pace, but it's only translated into 24.2 points per game -- and they haven't actually scored more than 24 since Week 2.

There is a good chance the Birds won't be able to lean on their most consistent option in LeSean McCoy either. The Cowboys defense is allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL, and as we saw earlier this season against the second-ranked 49ers, that usually equates to a pass-heavy attack from Andy Reid.

The problem is that's how the Eagles get themselves into trouble sometimes. Mike Vick has already committed more turnovers this season than he did in all of 2010, losing three fumbles and tossing eight interceptions so far, and Dallas certainly has the horses to get after him. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will try to turn the game into a chess match, moving his pieces around the board to give the quarterback different looks in an attempt to disguise their blitzes and confuse Vick.

If they aren't going to be able pound the rock, there still needs to be an emphasis on ball security. As we saw last week, the Eagles can combat the pressure with short drops where Vick gets the ball out of his hands quickly. The offense will have opportunities to take their shots, but if they swing for the fences on every possession, they could be playing right into the Cowboys' hands.

Prediction:

Whichever team wins this game tonight will go on to win the division.

The Giants have a rough road ahead of them, and the Redskins are crumbling. The NFC East is right there for the taking.

It's easy to see how the Cowboys could rise to the top, a favorable schedule in front of them, a potential star breaking out at running back, and a defense that can stop the run and rush the quarterback.

But the Eagles could answer a lot of questions about their identity tonight. Can they at least contain a running back who is capable of hanging 250 on a defense? Can they turn piles and piles of yards into points instead of giveaways? Because those are things they need to do if there is any hope of this team making the playoffs.

That, and beat Dallas.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Patriots advance to 8th Super Bowl in Brady, Belichick era

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USA Today Images

Patriots advance to 8th Super Bowl in Brady, Belichick era

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Give `em a hand: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining, rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship Sunday.

Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after hurting it during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.

And, with the game — and possibly the season — on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.

"I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win."

Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (15-3), who'll play the winner of Sunday night's game between Minnesota and Philadelphia in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times — including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Jaguars (12-7) led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions.

Jacksonville — looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history -- had one more shot, but Bortles' throw on fourth-and-15 to Dede Westbrook was knocked away by Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. And they did it mostly without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the game late in the first half and didn't return.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since the quarterback's right ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon — the bloody sock — in the 2004 playoffs.

Brady was listed as questionable after he hurt his right hand during practice earlier in the week. He was limited Wednesday, sat out Thursday and was limited again Friday because of the injury.

That caused some panic among the Patriots faithful.

Turns out, it was nothing to fret about.

Brady came out for warmups without a glove on his hand, and he came out throwing. He completed his first six passes — including a 20-yarder to Amendola on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30 — for 57 yards to march the Patriots down the field. The drive stalled when Brady was sacked by Dante Fowler Jr., and New England settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown catch from Blake Bortles, who was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on an impressive and efficient seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run, hushing the crowd at Gillette Stadium.

The Jaguars made some big mistakes that hurt them just before halftime. Bortles completed a 12-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-7 from the Patriots 44, but Jacksonville was called for delay of game -— after New England called a timeout.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt.

With just over two minutes left before halftime, New England's offense took over and the fans chanted "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!"

And their quarterback delivered — with some help from the Jaguars on two long penalties.

On first-and-10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw a long pass for Gronkowski, who was injured when he got popped by Barry Church just as the ball was arriving. Church was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball at Jacksonville's 45.

A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference on the next play on an incomplete throw for Brandin Cooks. The 32-yard penalty put the ball at the Jaguars 13. After a 12-yard catch by Cooks, James White ran it in from the 1 to make it 14-10 with 55 seconds left.

Josh Lambo gave Jacksonville a 17-10 lead 4:37 into the third quarter with a 54-yard field goal. He added a 43-yarder 8 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game.

But Brady & Co. were just getting started.