NFL Notes: Raiders to Las Vegas should happen Monday with little delay

NFL Notes: Raiders to Las Vegas should happen Monday with little delay

PHOENIX -- Barring an unforeseen obstacle, the Oakland Raiders seem certain to get approval Monday to relocate to Las Vegas .

Several team owners have said this week they don't envision a scenario where Raiders owner Mark Davis doesn't get the required 24 votes to move the team.

One owner, speaking anonymously because he is not authorized to speak for the NFL, told The Associated Press: "Not only have no hurdles been made clear to us, but there isn't any opposition to it."

Added another, also speaking anonymously for the same reasons: "It's going to happen and the sooner we do it, the better it is for the league and for the Raiders."

Yes, the NFL is about to have a third franchise move in just over a year. The Rams played last season in Los Angeles after switching from St. Louis. Earlier this year, the Chargers moved from San Diego to L.A.

NFL: League hires Dr. Allen Sills as chief medical officer
PHOENIX -- The NFL has hired Dr. Allen Sills as its chief medical officer.

Sills, a neurosurgeon who has specialized in the treatment of athletes, will fill a new full-time position based in New York. He comes to the league from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he serves as professor of neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation. He is the founder and co-director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center.

Sills, 52, will work with NFL team medical staffs, the NFL Players Association and its advisers, as well as experts on the league's medical committees. He will guide the NFL's health and research efforts.

"We sought a highly credentialed physician and leader with experience as a clinician and researcher, and Dr. Sills' extensive experience caring for athletes makes him the right choice for this important position," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Studs, duds, turning point and more from Eagles-Giants

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Studs, duds, turning point and more from Eagles-Giants


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Eagles are 1-0 in the second Nick Foles Era. 

It just wasn't easy. 

The lowly Giants put up a pretty good fight on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. But Foles played pretty well, special teams came up big and the Eagles eventually made a late fourth-down stop on defense in a 34-29 win. 


With the win, the Eagles improved to 12-2 on the season and clinched a first-round bye in this year's playoffs. Another goal accomplished. They didn't clinch home-field advantage this weekend because the Vikings beat the Bengals. That could come next week. 

With the loss, the Giants fell to 2-12 in their miserable season. They're just waiting out the rest of the year. 

It turns out Foles might not be the problem down the stretch. While Foles turned in a pretty efficient performance through was looked like rust, the Eagles' defense struggled again. 

That's been a theme over the last few weeks. Jim Schwartz's unit that started the season so strong has become a liability recently. The Birds might not have to worry about Schwartz leaving for a head-coaching gig anytime soon. 

On 4th-and-goal with under a minute left, the Eagles got a huge stop to wrap up the game. Corey Graham covered Evan Engram and the pass went incomplete. The Giants wanted a flag but didn't get one. 

The Eagles came out really slow and let the Giants get up on them 20-7 before a couple big defensive and special teams plays gave the Eagles' offense short fields. The Eagles took a 21-20 lead before the G-men kicked a field goal to go up 23-21 at halftime. 

Turning point
The Eagles just desperately needed a play and Ronald Darby provided it in the second quarter. The cornerback stepped in front of a pass from Eli Manning to pick it off, then returned it 37-yards. That set up the Eagles at the Giants' 20-yard line. The scored a touchdown to cut into their early lead and it seemed to flip momentum. Sure, the Eagles trailed at halftime, but things had turned around from a disastrous start.  

Key stat
The Eagles have gotten back-to-back four-touchdown performances from two different quarterbacks. 

According to the NFL, this is the first time teammates have thrown four touchdowns in back-to-back games since 2011, when the Packers had Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn do it.

Offensive stud
Foles missed a few passes, but played a pretty solid game. He had three touchdown passes in the first half, making it his eighth-career three-touchdown game. He then added another TD pass in the third. 

Offensive dud
LeGarrette Blount really took a backseat to Jay Ajayi on Sunday. He got a huge carry on 4th-and-1 in the first half and couldn't convert. 

Defensive stud
The entire defense didn't play great, but Brandon Graham seemed to have a good afternoon again. 

Defensive dud
Jalen Mills didn't have his best game. He was beaten badly for a touchdown and had some costly defensive holding calls go against him. Aside from his interception (which was big), Darby really struggled too. 

Key plays 
•The Eagles stopped the Giants on 4th-and-goal inside a minute to save the victory. 

•After the Malcolm Jenkins' field goal block, the Eagles put together a FG drive of their own to take a 34-29 lead with just under four minutes left in the game. 

•Jenkins got in to block a 48-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The field goal would have given the Giants a lead. This came after the Eagles had already blocked a punt and extra point in the game. 

•The Eagles' defense forced a three-and-out in the third quarter, but a neutral zone infraction from Najee Goode on the punt gave the Giants new life and Manning hit Tavarres King on a 57-yard touchdown pass. After the two-point conversion failed, the Eagles led 31-29. 

•Nelson Agholor made a tremendous touchdown catch over Darryl Morris in the end zone to put the Eagles up 31-23. After the score, Alshon Jeffery tossed up an alley-oop to Agholor, who threw it down. Ajayi had a big impact on that drive, rushing for a 22-yarder and catching a 32-yarder. 

•Jake Elliott kicked a 28-yarder to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead in the third quarter. Foles had a strong drive. 

•After the Eagles took a lead, the Giants converted two big 3rd downs and drove down the field to kick a 28-yard field goal to take it back. They went up 23-21. 

•Kamu Grugier-Hill broke through the line to block a punt in the second quarter. That set the Eagles up inside the Giants' 20-yard line. A few plays later, Foles hit a wide-open Trey Burton for a 13-yard touchdown pass on third down to give the Eagles a 21-20 lead. 

•On 3rd down, the Eagles desperately needed someone to make a play and Darby obliged. The corner stepped in front of an Manning to pick it off and then returned it 37 yards to set up an Eagles scoring drive. 

Foles hit Zach Ertz for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cut into the lead, 20-14. 

•On 4th-and-1 from the Giants' 44-yard line in the second quarter, Blount was stuffed for no gain to turn the ball back over the Giants. 

•Early in the second quarter, Sterling Shepard got open with a rub play on 3rd-and-2 and went for a 67-yard touchdown to put the Giants up 20-7. Rodney McLeod made a poor attempt at a tackle near the sideline. Shepard has caught two of the three longest passes against the Eagles this season. 

•Jalen Mills was crushed on a double move in the red zone. He bit hard on a 13-yard touchdown catch by King to give the Giants a 13-6 lead. 

•The Eagles responded with a 75-yard drive of their own. The big play came when Foles avoided pressure to throw the ball deep to Torrey Smith. Smith couldn't catch it, but drew a pass interference call and the Eagles scored a few plays later to go up 7-6.

•The Giants marched down the field on the first drive of the game. The big play came when Darby was beaten on a double move by Roger Lewis Jr. for a gain of 18. The drive went 75 yards. Derek Barnett blocked the extra point to make it 6-0 Giants. 

Stefen Wisniewksi (ankle) missed the game. Chance Warmack started in his place. Robinson left in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion. 

Up next
The Eagles return home for the last two weeks of the season. They play the Raiders on Christmas Day and then the Cowboys to finish the regular season. 

Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

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Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win Sunday afternoon over the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium:

Nick Foles: 24/38, 237 YDS, 4 TD

Foles was far from perfect, missing his share of open receivers. He also wasn't afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit or push the ball downfield. Foles threw a touchdown pass on four of the Eagles' six trips inside the red zone. Perhaps most importantly, he avoided the negative plays, taking only one sack and finishing the game without a turnover. You can't ask for much more from a backup.

Grade: A

Jay Ajayi: 12 ATT, 49 YDS, 2 REC, 40 YDS

The Eagles went with a running back by committee approach in the first half to only middling results. In the second half, they turned the reins over to Ajayi, who quickly racked up the offense's long gains of the day — a 22-yard rush and a 32-yard reception. Not sensational production by any means, but at least there weren't any fumbles.

Grade: C+

Nelson Agholor: 9 TAR, 7 REC, 59 YDS, 1 TD

The performance of these receivers with the backup quarterback at the helm is deserving of some respect. Agholor led the team in receptions and receiving yards, and Alshon Jeffery added four receptions for 49 and a score. Torrey Smith drew a pass interference penalty to set up six for the Eagles as well. With or without Carson Wentz under center, this is still a dangerous bunch (see Roob's observations).

Grade: A-

Zach Ertz: 9 TAR, 6 REC, 56 YDS, 1 TD

Another week, another stellar game for Eagles tight ends. Ertz picked up right where he left off with a big day after missing the previous week, while Trey Burton tacked on two receptions for 15 yards and a score as well.

Grade: A

Chance Warmack: Started at left guard

Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled with the speed of All-Pro defensive end Olivier Vernon off the edge, allowing four quarterback hits and a sack. Warmack had trouble keeping his feet and reaching his landmarks is the running game. Of course, you can only expect so much when the left side of the O-line consists of backups. Vaitai and Warmack were adequate, even very good at times, and settled in as the game went along to the point where protection was actually solid in the second half.

Grade: B+

Brandon Graham: 4 TKL, 2 TFL, 1.0 SK

The Giants rely on quick passes, negating the Eagles' pass rush to some extent, but the defense was able to generate some mild pressure. Vinny Curry had a sack erased by a penalty in the secondary, and Fletcher Cox got to the quarterback on a two-point conversion attempt. Otherwise, it was a quiet day up front, though the Giants were limited to 75 yards rushing on 3.3 yards per carry.

Grade: B

Nigel Bradham: 11 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 PD

Both Bradham and Mychal Kendricks with nine tackles were extremely active, as the Giants worked the middle of the field hard with their power running game and short slants. Bradham had a chance to put the game on ice late in the fourth quarter but dropped what could've been an easy interception.

Grade: B

Ronald Darby: 5 TKL, 3 PD, 1 INT

The secondary got off to a horrendous start, allowing 14th-year veteran Eli Manning to set a career high with 252 yards passing in the first half of a game. Darby's interception and 37-yard return while trailing 20-7 in the second quarter flipped the momentum a bit. The coverage was perfect, and Darby's run to the Giants' 20-yard line was even better. Manning went back to work in the second half, racking up 427 yards and three touchdowns. This was supposed to be the 31st-ranked passing offense in the NFL. Not good.

Grade: C-

Eagles: 3 blocked kicks

Derek Barnett blocked an extra point attempt in the first quarter, which turned out to be a huge play. Kamu Grugier-Hill followed up Darby's pick with a blocked punt on the following possession. Malcolm Jenkins blocked a field goal, too. And Jake Elliott was perfect on field goals and extra points. Yet, Najee Goode nearly undid all of it. Goode's totally unnecessary neutral zone infraction on a Giants punt in the third quarter extended a failed drive, eventually resulting in a touchdown. The rest of the unit bailed him out.

Grade: A-

Eagles' record: 12-2

This was not Jim Schwartz's best work. The Eagles' defense seemed wholly unprepared for the exact same offense the Giants ran against them in Week 3 — the same offense they run every week. There's no reason for Manning to go over 400 yards. None. Some of the issues were the poor play on the part of the defensive backs, but the game plan was questionable as well.

Otherwise, great job by Doug Pederson to rally the troops after falling behind by 13 in the first half. It didn't look like the offense dialed anything back at all with Foles under center, which was the right call, too. When the team scores 34 with the backup quarterback, the coach is doing something right.

Grade: B-