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7 ways the Eagles could blow it

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USA Today Images

7 ways the Eagles could blow it

At first glance, it appears things are going pretty great this fall for our Philadelphia Eagles. They’re 10-1, dominant on both sides of the ball, and close to clinching the NFC East. The final scores of their last four games are 33-10, 51-23, 37-9 and 31-3. The team is in the driver’s seat for home field advantage and a favorite to win the Super Bowl.

Carson Wentz is everything you’ve ever hoped for and more. The defense is the best unit in memory, and despite early doubts, Doug Pederson has already firmly established himself as the second-greatest coach in Eagles history. Even position groups of concern like the receivers, offensive line and cornerbacks have played well. Jay Ajayi is the power running back with dreadlocks the Eagles have been missing ever since they didn’t draft Ricky Williams.

With five games to go in the season, you’re probably wondering: How are the Eagles going to blow it? A few possibilities:

They’re getting cocky

You saw the Bears game on Sunday -- the Eagles talked trash. They did choreographed touchdown celebrations. They danced, doing the Electric Slide not once, but twice.

We Philadelphia fans love swagger, of course. But we’ve all seen this sort of behavior backfire. Three words: McNabb Air Guitar.

I fully expect, once we win a championship or two, for the rest of the league and fans of every other team to hate us. And I can't wait for that. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

The Fumbles

Losing four fumbles in one game is totally unacceptable -- and no, winning that same game 31-3 is NOT an excuse.

Carson Wentz has a girlfriend

Remember Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson in Mexico? For quarterbacks, girlfriends are a distraction.

The Fletcher Cox affair story

Speaking of distractions… now we know what Cox was doing last summer instead of reporting to OTAs. Though I agree with TMZ’s analysis: Fletcher Cox having sex with your wife is “pretty cool, if you’re a die-hard Eagles fan.”

The Jay Ajayi postgame anger

Is there dissension in the ranks of the Eagles’ running back corps? Cause for concern, if you ask me.

Linebacker depth

We really still have Najee Goode? Who’s next off the bench, Jamar Chaney? Omar Gaither? Moise Fokou?

No Paul Turner

Yes, this team still misses Paul Turner.

Sure, the Eagles will probably be fine, and stand an excellent chance of overcoming all of those distractions and adversity. As long as the refs don’t inexplicably screw us, a parade down Broad Street in February is assured!
 
Other Philly sports takes:

-      My deepest condolences to any UCLA football players whose favorite day of the week is Taco Tuesday.

-      Why haven’t the Phillies signed anyone yet this offseason? Obviously, Gabe Kapler's coconut oil is scaring off free agents. 

-      Between Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Cure Auto Insurance’s wildly perverted commercials, Sixers broadcasts are finally watchable again. When Markelle Fultz returns in the fall of 2020, they’ll be even better.

-      I look forward to the new governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, coming on the WIP Morning Show and never falling out of his chair or openly rooting for the Dallas Cowboys.

-      Clearly, hiring a star from the ‘80s to run the Flyers hasn’t worked out. It’s time to fire Ron Hextall, and replace him with someone from the ‘70s. Or the ‘90s: Coach Lindros? General Manager LeClair?

-      Likewise, I’m happy to hear the Phillies are considering hiring Chase Utley as bench coach. They’re taking an important lesson from the Flyers: If you have a beloved championship team, keep giving all those guys jobs forever.

Follow FakeWIPCaller on Twitter. 

Philly won weird Super Bowl bet with Brockton, Massachusetts

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Mayors of Philly/Brockton

Philly won weird Super Bowl bet with Brockton, Massachusetts

Mayor Jim Kenney doesn't seem to fully understand the concept of a sports wager.

The general rule I like to follow: if you win a bet, you GET SOMETHING OF VALUE in return.

Now, the Mayor of Philadelphia won a bet with the city of Brockton, Massachusetts, and he has to SEND THEM STUFF.

Makes no sense.

Anyway, I guess the city of Brockton now has to dress their Rocky Marciano statue up in Eagles gear. Lulz. So Mr. Kenney is shipping them some goods. I hope the people of New England had to pay for it.

As Eagles fans know all too well, the official Eagles gear is not cheap.

Did the Sixers Really Win That Game II: The Portis vs. The Process

Did the Sixers Really Win That Game II: The Portis vs. The Process

Geez, if you only watched the ends of the last two Philadelphia 76ers games, you'd think they were owed years' worth of good karma from getting perpetually screwed in the fourth quarter or something. That's right, the basketball gods may have finally approved the Sixers' line of credit: One game (and eight days) after Brett Brown's squad came back from 20-plus down to squeak one past the Miami Heat, the team again pulled out a miracle last night in Chicago, coming from five down in the final minute against the Bulls to win 116-115. 

And boy, did this one feel like a loss, too. After surging out to a 25-7 lead in the first, the Sixers quickly relinquished the majority of their lead to the Bulls, who pulled even in the third and kept the Sixers from ever running away with it. They hit an absurd 18 threes, tying a season high, and two role players posted career highs: starting wing David Nwaba (21 points on 9-14 shooting) and bench forward Bobby Portis (38 points on 15-26 shooting, including a stupefying 6-9 from three). 

Meanwhile, the Sixers went cold down the stretch; Robert Covington missed a clean look at a three, Ben Simmons missed two of two from the line, Joel Embiid dribbled the ball off his foot. When Zach LaVine hit a tough pull-up three to put Chicago up five with a minute to go, and then Cov missed an open baseline two, it almost felt a merciful end to our suffering. 

But somehow, that wasn't it. Portis shot a long two a little too quickly at the other end and missed, and Simmons put back his own miss at the other end for a quick two to cut it to three. LaVine bricked a tough jumper with 17 to go, and J.J. got fouled at the other end to prevent a possible tying three. He made both, and then good ball denial on the ensuing Chicago inbounds led to an Embiid steal and pass to Simmons, who got fouled. 

After going just 4-9 from the line to that point, Simmons calmly nailed both his free throws to put Philly up one. Embiid stonewalled a Portis attempt near the basket at the other end with seconds to go, Denzel Valentine's putback attempt missed, and the game was over, with the Philly outscoring Chicago 6-0 in the final minute to seal the W. 

It was beautiful, man. There aren't going to be many games in this life where you give up 18 threes, allow two opposing players to go for career highs, miss 14 free throws and go down five with 60 seconds to go and still somehow manage to win the damn thing. 

But there also aren't gonna be many teams in this life with a one-two punch as potent as Simmons and Embiid. The latter picked up where he left off at the All-Star Game, scoring 30 (on 11-17 shooting, including 3-3 from deep) with 13 boards, five assists, three steals and two blocks -- just a few box score tallies away from his first 5x5 game. And the former picked up where he left off before the All-Star Game, scoring a career-high 32 (13-18 shooting) to go with seven boards, 11 assists a steal and a block. And maybe most impressive of all? The two had just three turnovers between them in 69 combined minutes. 

Ben and Jo were nothing less than dominant on offense all night. They couldn't turn the faucet off on the Bulls defensively for most of the game -- though aside from a couple slow-ish rotations in the first half, I'm not even sure they played all that badly, rather just paying the three-point defense regression to the mean that Liberty Ballers writer Sean O'Connor had long been warning fans about

But in any event, Embiid finally got the best of Portis in the final minutes, shutting him down on a couple crucial possessions (including the final one), and he made the play of the night on that inbounds steal. When you have two transcendent talents -- as Embiid and Simmons undoubtedly have proven they are, even this early in their careers -- you win a lot of games you probably shouldn't, and gravity was finally on the Sixers' side tonight. 

Of course, the Sixers might not've needed such combined brilliance from their two best players if their supporting cast was able to pick up the slack a little. But no one else was really cooking for Philly last night, and as is becoming a distressingly frequent occurrence this season, Covington hit a couple shots early and then went flat for the rest of the game. Even on the Bulls broadcast, they were talking about how Cov was gonna have to hit shots in the playoffs for the Sixers to have a chance, and they're probably right: We need Rock's defense and smarts out there, but if he's gonna routinely brick open looks in big moments, he's gonna be a liability -- and he's now 6 of his last 29 from deep. 

But that's a concern for another day -- one that seems more and more likely to actually be upcoming at this point. In the meantime, Philly is 31-25, having won six in a row, and with a creampuff game coming up next at home against Orlando, before a three-game roadie against East playoff teams (Washington, Miami and Cleveland) that represents the only really tough swing remaining on the Sixers' schedule. The playoffs seem increasingly probable, and with Simmons and Embiid playing at this level, just about anything seems possible if we get there. Pity the foolish rival execs who still don't trust the process at this point.