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Embattled Eagles, Andy Reid stay the course

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Embattled Eagles, Andy Reid stay the course

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A seven-game losing streak won't get Andy Reid to change his ways.

As usual, Reid accepted blame and pointed the finger directly at himself following the Philadelphia Eagles' latest loss, 30-22 to the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

``I take full responsibility. There's a way to get through and I'm not doing it right now,'' Reid said Tuesday. ``Coaches have told you they gotta do a better job. Players have told you they gotta do a better job. End result is you have to do a better job.''

That's about as far as Reid will go in his criticism of his players or coaching staff. Anyone who wants to see Reid call players out for missing assignments, making mistakes or underperforming will have to wait for a coaching change. That's just not part of Reid's philosophy.

``I'm the head football coach of this team,'' he said. ``It's my responsibility these guys do their job. Bottom line. It's my responsibility to deal with those players and coaches man to man. I'm not going to change that now.''

Translation: Reid isn't going to throw anyone under the bus.

Still, the clock is ticking on Reid's tenure in Philadelphia after 14 seasons. Disgusted fans who've been calling for his ouster for years almost certainly will get their wish. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already made it clear the Eagles needed to make ``substantial improvement'' after going 8-8 in 2011.

They'll need to finish 5-0 just to be 8-8 again. That's ``unacceptable'' to Lurie, and to fans who haven't celebrated an NFL championship since 1960.

``I'm coaching to get ready to get after the Cowboys,'' Reid said. ``I don't go beyond that. I'm not going to let anything distract that.''

The Eagles (3-8) visit Dallas (5-6) Sunday night, and will again play in front of a national television audience. At least it won't be at the Linc.

There were thousands of empty seats Monday night and those who showed up lacked their typical luster. The frustrated crowd didn't even boo as heartily as expected. In sports, apathy is worse than anger.

``This is mentally exhausting,'' tight end Brent Celek said. ``I am sick about it. I hate losing and it doesn't get any easier. We just have to turn it around. Everyone has to step up and turn it around.''

Players continue to defend Reid, saying they hear his message. They're just not making plays at important points in games.

``I feel like the guys respond,'' linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. ``There's just a lot of misfortune out there. We turn the ball over and not getting turnovers again. Leaving guys open deep is unacceptable. We can't win like that.''

Changes already have started. The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin hours after Reid spoke to reporters. Babin had 5.5 sacks, down from 18 last year. He signed a $28 million, five-year contract with Philadelphia after going to his first Pro Bowl for Tennessee in 2010.

``We appreciate everything that Jason has given this team over the last couple of years,'' Reid said. ``We wish him all the best as he continues his career. This gives us an opportunity to give more playing time to some of younger guys in the defensive line rotation.''

Things aren't going to get any easier. Injuries are piling up, especially on the offensive side.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season after sustaining multiple rib fractures on a running play against Carolina. Jackson led the team with 45 catches and 700 yards receiving, but only had two touchdowns.

Michael Vick missed his second straight game because of a concussion and still hasn't passed the final test to be cleared to practice. Rookie Nick Foles hasn't shown much in 2 1/2 games to prove he can be the quarterback of the future. But he'll likely have another opportunity against the Cowboys.

LeSean McCoy remains in Phase 1 of his concussion recovery, so he's a longshot to play at Dallas. Rookie seventh-round pick Bryce Brown had 178 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Panthers, but also lost two fumbles.

``I thought I did well, definitely thought I could have done a little bit better,'' Brown said. ``The two turnovers I had, I think cost us the game, so I'm not happy about that.''

On defense, it's been a nightmare the past five games. The Eagles have allowed five straight quarterbacks to post a passer rating of at least 120 since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator. They've given up 13 touchdown passes and have zero interceptions in those five games.

There have been several blown coverages in the secondary, leading to big plays. Both of Cam Newton's TD passes were to wide open receivers.

``Everybody has to do their own job and everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror and try to get something done,'' Bowles said. ``If you can't look at yourself in the mirror, then you're not the guy you thought you were.''

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS