Save Our Season: Desperate Sixers Face Celtics One Last Time

Save Our Season: Desperate Sixers Face Celtics One Last Time

Well, guys, this is pretty much it. This is the season right here. The
Sixers failed to take care of business last night against the Orlando
Magic, unable to stop the Magic's makeshift Big Three of Dwight Howard,
J.J. Redick and Glenn "Big Baby" Davis, while the Celtics stomped the
Pacers in Indy, bringing their Atlantic Division lead to two games.
Meanwhile, everyone else is winning—the Hawks have moved to four games
above the Sixers in the standings, basically out of the Ballers' reach,
while both the Knicks and Bucks are coming up from behind, New York just
a half-game behind Philly at the eight seed and Milwaukee a mere
game-and-a-half from forcing 'em out of the playoffs.

The free-falling Sixers, losers of each of their last three and nine of
their last 13, simply have to win this game for their regular season to
have any meaning from here on out. If they lose this one, the Celtics
will be three games up on them and all but out of reach for the Atlantic
Division crown. At that point, the Sixers would essentially lose all
hope at a top-six seed, meaning their best bet would probably be to tank
for the eight seed just to avoid playing Miami in the first round (and
get the chance to lose to the Bulls in five or six instead)—or, if
they're feeling really ambitious, tank all the way out of the playoffs,
and earn a #12 or #13 pick (and something like a 0.25% chance of landing
a top-three selection) in the loaded '12 draft. Yeah. It's like that.

Adding to the stakes tonight is that Coach Collins has now made clear
the leash that the starting unit is on, with the basic message of Play Good Tonight Or Else.
This threat, of course, has implications beyond this season, since if
the Sixers' back court of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner (and you can
through starting SF Andre Iguodala in there too) can't be counted on
long-term by Collins, that basically means that one of them has to
go—either Holiday, Turner, or possibly even Collins. Jrue and Evan were
supposed to be this team's future, but the results of their play as a
starting backcourt have been far from encouraging, with the two duo
seemingly unable to both have good games in the same contest, and the
team's outside shooting and floor-spacing obviously suffering from the
lack of a real three-point threat on the floor.

If the Sixers get soundly beaten tonight—a very real possibility,
natch—it really might be the death blow for this team's core, and could
(should?) lead to dramatic moves in the off-season, which many would
argue are already years overdue. But here's the thing: As much as the
sky resembles one which is falling, it's really not too late to save
this season yet. After the Celtics, only three of the Sixers' last ten
games are against playoff teams—one against the Magic and two against
the Pacers. True, eight of those ten are on the road, but they're
against teams like the Cavaliers, Raptors, Nets and Pistons—teams that,
even as miserably as the Sixers have played recently, they should stand a
pretty good chance against. If they handle the Celtics tonight, they'll
just be one game back, which they theoretically could make up from
Boston as they face the Heat and Hawks twice each in their final
stretch, in addition to one each against the Knicks, Bucks and Magic.

6:00 tip from the TD Banknorth Garden. One more shot at a path to redemption, guys, to proving that this season's 20-9 start meant something,
something more than the exhilarating wind-up to a devastating,
elongated regression to the mean. Show 'em that you're worth a damn.

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.

About NBC internships

Underdog, huh? Eagles headed to Super Bowl

Underdog, huh? Eagles headed to Super Bowl

BOX SCORE

The Eagles have been dead for weeks, right? The only problem is that no one ever told them. 

They're more alive than ever. 

And now, without their franchise quarterback, their Hall of Fame left tackle, their starting middle linebacker, their most dynamic offensive weapon, their special teams captain and their original kicker, the Eagles did it again. 

As improbable as it sounds … the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. 

The Birds got off to a rough start, but clamped down and absolutely demolished the Vikings, 38-7, at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday in the NFC Championship Game (see Roob's observations). They'll see the Patriots in Minnesota in two weeks for Super Bowl LII (see story).  

The fourth quarter became a party as fans were doing the Skol chant — they changed it to "Foles" — mockingly and the entire Eagles' sideline danced along to a Meek Mill song. 

This is the Eagles' first trip back to the Super Bowl since the 2004 season, when they lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. 

They'll get another crack at Tom Brady and the Patriots, who beat the Jaguars, 24-20, earlier in the day. The Patriots won the game but didn't look invincible. They needed to stage a late comeback to take down the Jaguars. 

Nick Foles claimed he was calm and confident all week and he certainly looked like it in the NFC Championship Game. Sure, the play-calling helped, but Foles had a simply incredible game. He played loose and demolished the best defense in the NFL. 

Foles turned in an all-time performance. He completed 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had a passer rating of 141.4. 

With the loss, the Vikings missed a chance to become the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl it's hosting. Oh well. 

The Eagles actually got off to a terrible start Sunday. All three phases chipped in. First, the defense gave up a touchdown drive to start the game. Then the offense missed chances and had to punt. Then, they got a fair catch interference call on special teams. 

Things were going badly until that Patrick Robinson pick-six. Chris Long forced the pressure and during the 50-yard return, the Linc got so loud the press box shook. 

After last week's divisional round win over the Falcons, head coach Doug Pederson called another masterful game. He put on a clinic against the Vikings, pushing all the right buttons as the Eagles began to push around the NFL's best defense. 

Turning point
Long turned that corner and affected Case Keenum's throw enough to allow the ball to hang in the air for Robinson. After Robinson picked off the pass, he took it 50 yards to the house and momentum had officially swung the other way. 

Key stat
The Eagles' 38 points are their second most in playoff history and their margin of victory (31 points) is the biggest in franchise history. 

The 38 points the Eagles scored are the most the Vikings have allowed all season. They had allowed 34 in their last three games combined. 

Offensive stud
For all the questions about Foles over the last few weeks, he answered them Sunday. Foles was incredible. He got into a rhythm early and is now leading the Eagles into the Super Bowl (see report card)

Offensive dud
This was about to go to Torrey Smith for dropping a deep pass early, but he totally redeemed himself when he caught that deep touchdown pass on the flea flicker. 

Defensive stud
Long is 32 years old, but he isn't playing like it. He's rejuvenated and made some huge plays Sunday. None were bigger than the one that led to Robinson's pick-six. 

Defensive dud
Najee Goode gave up that early touchdown to Kyle Rudolph that gave the Vikings an early lead. It looked like he didn't know what was going on. 

Key plays 
• Foles threw his third touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to cap off a 92-yard drive and give the Eagles a 38-7 lead. 

• On 4th-and-goal in the third quarter, it looked like Adam Thielen caught a ball in the end zone, but the replay showed it clearly hit the ground. The Vikings turned the ball over on downs. 

• Pederson dialed up a flea flicker on his first drive of the second half and it worked perfectly. Corey Clement took the handoff, tossed it back to Foles, who hit Smith down the field for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 31-7 lead. 

• The Eagles got the ball back with just 29 seconds in the half, but Pederson didn't play it scared. Instead, the Eagles attacked and were able to get down the field and kick a 38-yarder to take a 24-7 lead into the locker room. 

• On 3rd-and-10 from their own 47-yard line with under two minutes left in the first half, Foles avoided pressure and threw a 53-yard bomb for a touchdown to Alshon Jeffery to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead. 

• In the second quarter, the Vikings took the ball from their own 15-yard line and got all the way down to the Eagles' 16 before rookie Derek Barnett came around the left tackle and stripped the ball from Keenum. The Vikings' six-minute drive didn't get them any points. 

• Jim Schwartz dialed up a safety blitz on 3rd-and-2 and Malcolm Jenkins came free to force a quick throw from Keenum, who seemed bothered by the pressure. 

• LeGarrette Blount ran over safety Andrew Sendejo on an 11-yard run to get into the end zone early in the second quarter. That gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead. Just before that, Pederson dialed up a little quick pass to Zach Ertz on 3rd-and-short to convert. The Blount touchdown capped off a 75-yard drive. 

• Long got to Keenum to provide pressure and alter his throw that hung up in the air. Robinson picked it off and had an incredible return of 50 yards for a pick-six to tie the game at 7-7. It was the second-longest pick-six in Eagles postseason history. 

• On the Eagles' first drive, Smith dropped a ball he should have had deep and then Trey Burton couldn't get his feet down on a key third-down pass. For some reason, Burton left his feet and jumped to make the catch. 

• Keenum hit Rudolph for a 25-yard touchdown to cap the opening drive of the game. Goode, starting in place of Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring), looked lost before the play and didn't seem ready. Rudolph blew past him and was wide open for a touchdown.

Injuries
Linebacker Ellerbe (hamstring) was inactive after being listed as questionable coming into the weekend. Ellerbe was questionable last week, too, but was able to play against the Falcons. Goode started in his place Sunday. 

Up next
The Eagles are heading to Minnesota. They'll face the Patriots in Super Bowl LII in two weeks.