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Grading the Eagles' 34-7 Week 5 win over the Cardinals

Grading the Eagles' 34-7 Week 5 win over the Cardinals

Grading the Eagles' 34-7 win Sunday afternoon over the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field (see breakdown):

QUARTERBACK
Carson Wentz: 21/30, 304 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Believe it or not, this was Wentz's first NFL game with three or more touchdown passes. He was especially sharp in the first quarter, connecting on 7 of 9 attempts for 121 yards and three scores, including a 59-yard bomb to Torrey Smith. Wentz went back to that play in the second half, this time hooking up with Nelson Agholor for 72 yards and the TD. A first-half pick was the lone blemish on Wentz's day, but everything else was working.

Grade: A-

RUNNING BACKS
LeGarrette Blount: 14 ATT, 74 YDS

There certainly is no disputing the vast majority of defenders that have a severe aversion to tackling Blount, especially as the game wears on. That was evident once again on a 37-yard carry in the third quarter, with the game already well in hand. Corey Clement tacked on 32 yards from scrimmage, while Kenjon Barner added five rushes for 23 yards. No Wendell Smallwood, no problem this week.

Grade: B+

WIDE RECEIVERS
Nelson Agholor: 4 REC, 93 YDS, 1 TD
Torrey Smith: 3 REC, 70 YDS, 1 TD

Smith finally held on to a big one, his 59-yard scoring play essentially putting the Cardinals away in the first quarter. In case there was any doubt, Agholor one-upped Smith on a 72-yarder, with some nifty moves after the catch that made the defender look silly (see Roob's 10 observations). Alshon Jeffery — three receptions, 31 yards — was probably just fine playing the role of decoy in this game.

Grade: A

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz: 6 REC, 61 YDS, 1 TD

The Cardinals had no answer for Ertz. They tried putting a safety on him, and that didn't work. They tried putting a cornerback on him as well, and that didn't work, either. Ertz finished with six receptions for 61 yards, though the highlight of the game belonged to Trey Burton — a nimble 15-yard touchdown catch in the end zone. The Eagles have no shortage of ways to beat a defense.

Grade: A

OFFENSIVE LINE
Lane Johnson: Left game in 2nd QTR (head)

Can't ask for much more out of a unit than this against a pretty stout defensive front. Wentz was largely untouched, as the Cardinals registered three quarterback hits and a sack, while the O-line paved the way for 124 yards rushing with a 4.0 average. The offense didn't even miss a beat with Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced Johnson at right tackle, though the rotation at left guard remains weird.

Grade: A

DEFENSIVE LINE
Brandon Graham: 4 TKL, 1.0 SK, 3 TFL

Absolutely dominant performance up front, albeit against a vastly inferior offensive line. Still, the Eagles took care of business here, even without Fletcher Cox, and that set the tone for the rest of the defense. Vinny Curry and Graham each registered a sack and at least one tackle for a loss, and Carson Palmer was hit seven times overall. Arizona could muster only 31 measly yards on the ground as well, with a 2.2 average per attempt.

Grade: A

LINEBACKERS
Nigel Bradham: 8 TKL

Nothing flashy here. Just good, solid work by Bradham and Jordan Hicks. Bradham led all Eagles with eight tackles — five solo — while Hicks had four. Quiet game for Mychal Kendricks, who wasn't on the field much. That was likely a symptom of the Cardinals' use of multiple receivers and falling behind quickly on the scoreboard.

Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson: 3 PD each

Hard to tell who was better in coverage: the Eagles' secondary or the Cardinals' wide receivers, who broke up a ton of potential interceptions. Robinson nearly had two, including a potential pick-six, but couldn't hang on. Mills took a shot on a pass that was seemingly thrown right to him, the impact from which was enough to jar the ball loose. Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Rasul Douglas broke up passes as well.

Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS
Kenjon Barner: 3 PR, 110 YDS, 36.7 AVG

As is often the case, special teams were a game changer for the Eagles. Barner's 76-yard punt return set up an easy first-quarter touchdown, and Robinson blocked a Cardinals field-goal try before halftime. Jake Elliott was 2 for 2 on field goals and 4 for 4 on extra points (see rookie report)

Grade: A+

COACHING
Eagles' record: 4-1

There is absolutely no question Doug Pederson had his team ready to play this week. The Eagles came out absolutely on fire, and while the offense didn't keep up that breakneck pace the whole game, they never really let their foot off the gas pedal. Same goes for Jim Schwartz's defense, which dominated in the trenches the entire game and allowed the back seven to make all kinds of plays on the football. This was as close to a perfect win as you see in the NFL.

Grade: A+

What's the deal with Nick Foles' feet?

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@NickFoles

What's the deal with Nick Foles' feet?

Nick Foles is new to Instagram but we're pretty sure he's not new to footwear.

The Super Bowl MVP joined Instagram over the weekend and his first photo was fantastic: Nick, his wife, his daughter, all posing in front of the beautiful Super Bowl display over at the NovaCare Complex.

It's pretty much perfect. Except if you look a little too closely. Nick appears to have some mismatched footwear on. What's the deal, Nick?

PREVIOUSLY: Nick Foles chokes up talking about his daughter

Bring your family to work day! #FlyEaglesFly

A post shared by Nick Foles (@nickfoles) on

UPDATE: Could the conspiracy go deeper?

Other things you can glean from Foles' insta: he has a cute dog and a Rocky statue and likes what we're assuming is country music. No ads for Uber just yet, but we expect them.

My boy, Henry.

A post shared by Nick Foles (@nickfoles) on

Rocky in the locker. #underdog #eagles #rocky

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One projection model has Sixers with suprisingly good chance of reaching NBA Finals

One projection model has Sixers with suprisingly good chance of reaching NBA Finals

The rest of the sporting world is starting to recognize something Sixers fans have been realizing for weeks now.

This 76ers team is different.

Dwyane Wade, a future Hall of Famer, called them "special" after their hard-fought win in Game 4 in Miami on Saturday (see story).

“They’re good,” Wade said. “They’re special. They’re a good group. They put the right team together.”

Now, the stat-heads over at FiveThirtyEight are showing the love today in their updated prediction models.

The team with the highest percentage chance of winning the NBA title this season, according to their unique mix of team Elo ratings and player projections, is the Houston Rockets at a whopping 41percent. But you know who has the second-highest percentage chance of winning it all as of Monday morning? Not the Golden State Warriors. Not the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not the Toronto Raptors.

Your Philadelpha 76ers currently have a 14 percent chance of winning the NBA title this season, again, according to 538's unique projections. That is higher than all other NBA teams. The Warriors (10 percent) and Raptors (11) are the only other teams in double digits.

They also put a 40 percent chance the Sixers represent the East in the Finals. The Raptors (32), Cavaliers (12), Celtics (8), and Pacers (5) all follow.

The Sixers can end their opening-round series with the Heat with a win on Tuesday night and would await the winner of the Celtics-Bucks series which is currently tied at two wins apiece. The Sixers would have home-court advantage over the Bucks but not the Celtics in the next round.