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Grading the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Chiefs in Week 2

Grading the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Chiefs in Week 2

Grading the Eagles' 27-20 loss Sunday afternoon to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium (see breakdown):

QUARTERBACKS
Carson Wentz: 25/46, 333 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Wentz was very good, even sensational at times — for about the first 50 minutes of the game. The 24-year-old collapsed down the stretch, albeit under constant pressure (see Roob's observations). Regardless, Wentz got a little too careless with the football in the fourth quarter, throwing a sidearm screen pass into traffic that wound up tipped in the air and intercepted. That turnover led to an important Chiefs touchdown. There was some garbage-time production here as well.

Grade: C

RUNNING BACKS
Darren Sproles: 10 ATT, 48 YDS, 2 REC, 30 YDS

Is the LeGarrette Blount experiment already over? Blount didn't record a single carry for the Eagles, though he did have a catch for no gain. Wendell Smallwood saw more work, but he finished with five touches for one yard. In other words, Sproles was the only running back of consequence, and though he played well, the offense simply needs more production from this on the ground.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS
Alshon Jeffery: 7 REC, 92 YDS, 1 TD
Nelson Agholor: 1 REC, 9 YDS, 1 TD

Torrey Smith had another day he would like to forget. While Smith finished with four receptions for 66 yards, it was the pair of drops people will be talking about afterward. Smith left a 19-yard touchdown on the field in the first quarter, then in the second quarter, got bumped and was unable to come away with an underthrown pass. Both would've been tough catches, yet at some point, these plays need to be made. Agholor dropped a pass in tight coverage but came back and scored in garbage time. Mack Hollins had three receptions for 32 yards (see rookie report).

Grade: C

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz 5 REC, 97 YDS

Ertz has quietly become both Wentz's safety blanket and go-to receiver. The fifth-year tight end was second only to Jeffery with 10 targets. Ertz hasn't dropped a pass yet this season, either. Trey Burton pitched in with a 10-yard reception.

Grade: B+

OFFENSIVE LINE

Hindsight is 20/20, but the Eagles' leap of faith with Isaac Seumalo at left guard is not paying off. Seumalo was eaten alive by the Chiefs' interior linemen, and he was the biggest source of pressure on the signal caller throughout the game. Wentz wound up taking six sacks, and Kansas City totaled 10 quarterback hits. Obviously, that's not all on Seumalo. The Eagles have struggled to pick up blitzes as well, the blame for which could fall on any number people.

Grade: D

DEFENSIVE LINE
Vinny Curry: 4 TKL, 1 QBH, 1 TFL
Fletcher Cox, Chris Long: 1.0 SK

Curry played a very good game, maybe even outstanding one. Unfortunately, all anybody is going to remember is Alex Smith escaping Curry's grasp in the fourth quarter. If Curry can get the quarterback to the ground, the drive is over, and the Chiefs are forced to attempt a long field goal. Instead, Smith scrambled for the first down, and two plays later, Kansas City was in the end zone. The Eagles dominated up front early but faded late.

Grade: B+

LINEBACKERS
Mychal Kendricks: 2 TKL, 2 TFL, 1.0 SK, 1 PD

Not Jordan Hicks' best. Hicks missed a tackle on Travis Kelce's 15-yard touchdown reception and was nowhere to be seen when Kareem Hunt ripped off a 57-yard touchdown run right up the middle. Kendricks came up big for the Eagles — right up until the fourth quarter, when he was unable to corral Hunt and on a third-down run. Kendricks continued to make a strong case for more playing time nonetheless.

Grade: C

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Rasul Douglas: 4 TKL, 1 PD
Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins: Left game in first half

Already down Ronald Darby, the Eagles could ill afford to lose bodies in the secondary. Naturally, McLeod and Watkins both went down early and would not return. Filling in for McLeod, Corey Graham took a horrible angle on Hunt's 57-yard touchdown run, so the absence hurt. Douglas, on the other hand, came up with a big pass breakup on third down and turned in a generally-sound performance in his NFL debut. Jalen Mills wasn't heard from much either, which was a positive. A respectable job overall, given the situation.

Grade: B

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jake Elliott: 2/3 FG, 1/1 XP
Darren Sproles: 1 FUM

Backbreaker. We knew going in the Eagles did not have the advantage here. Elliott missed a 30-yard field goal, which was not surprising. Sproles fumbled a punt return deep in Eagles territory, which was a little more uncharacteristic. Those two plays alone caused a six-point swing in Kansas City's factor, as well as cost the Eagles a possession. 

Grade: C-

COACHING
Eagles' record: 1-1

Hard to fault the coaching staff here. Regarding the offensive line, the Eagles made Doug Pederson's bed when the front office dumped Allen Barbre in the offseason. Defensively, Jim Schwartz's unit held up for three quarters, but the Chiefs had to go only 31 and 56 yards to find the end zone twice in the fourth quarter. Injuries also tied Schwartz's hands in the secondary and on special teams as well.

Kansas City had the better team Sunday, and this Eagles coaching staff did what it could on the road. Pederson's play-calling balance will once again draw questions, but game-flow had a lot to do with that. There wasn't a whole lot Pederson could've done differently.

Grade: B-

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

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MLB

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

Dodgers fans had a reason to be ecstatic on Sunday night after Justin Turner hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs, 4-1, and give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.

But not as ecstatic as one fan in particular.

Keith Hupp, a retired police officer and lifelong Dodgers fan, was waiting under the home run ball in the center-field stands and snagged it with his son's glove. He was also wearing a Dodgers Chase Utley jersey.

He even made the catch with his non-preferred hand.

“I’m a lefty,” Hupp said to J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register. “I’ve dislocated my right shoulder so many times, I had to resort to my son’s glove on my left hand. So the last five or six home run balls I’ve caught, I’ve caught with my left hand.”

And the craziest part about this story is that it wasn't the first time it had happened. Hupp caught Turner's sixth-inning solo homer in Game 3 of last year's NLCS against the Cubs in almost the same place, the center-field stands at Dodger Stadium.

Although he has 24 home run balls in his collection, Hupp won't be keeping last night's game-winner. After making the catch, he gave the ball to a security guard, and was escorted underneath the stadium to meet Turner and make a trade with him. 

In a postgame interview with MLB.com, Turner said Hupp couldn't decide what he wanted for the ball right away. They exchanged information and agreed that Hupp will get back to Turner in a few days when he decides what he wants.

Twitter had some good responses to Hupp's memorable home run catch:

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside battled on the court on Friday night and then on social media following the Sixers' victory over the Miami Heat to finish off the preseason.

Embiid seemingly got the better of Whiteside, sending Philadelphia fans into a frenzy when he told Whiteside his "+/- was ass."

It appears as if Whiteside is taking it all in stride and actually has a pretty good level of respect for Embiid. The Miami big man was asked about the trash talk after practice over the weekend.

"It's funny to me," Whiteside said according to the Sun Sentinel. "I'm going to talk trash back if somebody talks trash to me. Maybe when I was younger, I would have been a little more angrier, I would have been a little madder.

"But, you know, that's the kind of guy he is. He makes jokes. He's a good player, so it's all fun to me. I can go all day with it."

Embiid has shown glimpses that he has the potential to be one of the greats of the NBA game on the court, while he's already one of the best at entertaining off of it. Whiteside will clearly have his hands full but he knows a little trash talk on social gets fans excited.

"Yeah, man, you know fans love it, man. Fans get into it. I love it, too," he said. "Because I know the next time we play him, he's going to give it his all, he's going to go as hard as he can. And as a competitor, that's what you want. You want your opponent to play at his maximum speed."

Playing at maximum speed is something Sixers fans hope and pray they get to see out of Embiid this season on a more regular basis. The trash talking is bonus fun.

"It's not him talking about somebody's family," Whiteside said. "It's not nothing crazy. It's just basketball. He called me softee. Come on, man. He knows that's not true. I'll be on his team's scouting report."

The Heat and the Sixers meet again on Feb. 2. Let's just hope both Embiid and Whiteside are out on the court to go another few rounds off of it afterward.