The700Level

Ten wins! Ten wins! The Sixers have ten wins!

Ten wins! Ten wins! The Sixers have ten wins!

Do you remember how pathetic our tenth win was last season? It came on April 5 with five games to go in the season, interrupting a streak of 13 losses in a row, and it came at home against the New Orleans Pelicans -- a lottery-bound team closing the season without the overwhelming majority of their good players, including Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis. They started such luminaries as Toney Douglas, Luke Babbitt and our old friend Tim Frazier, and they still led for much of the first half. The Sixers won 107-93, and went 0-for the rest of the season, avoiding historical impotence by just the narrowest of margins. 

This year, we're a little ahead of that schedule. The 10th W of the season came yesterday afternoon -- nearly three months earlier -- against the Nets in Brooklyn, one of two (two!!) Eastern Conference teams currently with a worse winning percentage than these Philadelphia 76ers. Bad as these Nets are, though, they're still good enough to make us have to earn the victory -- which the Sixers did, again trailing for most of the first half before coming back to secure a decently decisive 105-95 victory. 

Joel had 20 -- his sixth straight game with at least that many -- Nik bounced back with 15 on 4-7 shooting, and Robert Covington was so handsy on D that he probably reflexively swatted the iPhone out of Sean Kilpatrick's hands on their way out of the arena. The win was Philly's third in four tries -- one Al Horford triple away from it being four out of four -- and the momentum is serious enough that Joel is already starting to talk playoffs. (The Sixers are currently in 13th, 7.5 games out of the 8th spot). 

We'll talk about how realistic that goal is another time, but the fact that it's January and vibes are still that good is a tribute to how the Sixers -- led of course by The Process himself -- have turned things around. Hell, the Sons of Sam are only four games behind the Sacramento Kings in the standings, meaning that #Pickswap watch is definitely in full effect. Next up: Knicks at home on Wednesday, kicking off a stretch of 12 games in 20 days that should really show where these Sixers currently stand in the NBA landscape. In the meantime, tell Alexis Ajinca we say what's up.

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a change.org petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create clickbait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

jake2.jpg
Jake Elliott Instagram

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good ...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?