Josh Ellis

Reports suggest Chase Utley could be taking a front office job

Reports suggest Chase Utley could be taking a front office job

You knew that Chase Utley, retired from playing, wouldn’t be able to stay away from the game for too long.

A consummate pro with a huge influence on his teammates, Utley appeared to be a lock to have a long career in the game after his playing days were over. It looks like he could lock down his first gig, although it’s not in the city many of us hoped.

While Utley spent the vast majority of his career with the Phillies, he’s from California and living there must make the most sense for someone who wants to spend more time with his family. A baseball operations job will allow Utley to do just that.

In a behind-the-scenes video done by the Dodgers of Utley’s final trip to Philadelphia, we got to see a side of Chase not many have seen before. We were introduced to his two sons, Ben and Max, who, along with his wife Jen, he’d like to spend more time with.

As far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit for Utley in his post-playing career in baseball. While an operations job seems like a natural fit for a first job, Utley can choose his path from there as he learns the inner workings of the game from that perspective.

While many in Philadelphia hoped Chase would return to the city he’s so beloved in, perhaps there will be time for a reunion down the line as he figures out what he wants to do long term. For now, we are happy to see Utley enjoy his retirement, even if it means working for the Dodgers.

Just imagine the public influence from Philadelphia, however, if Utley is ever looking for a more high-profile job that would someday fill a need back here.

Perhaps he still has days of being "The Man," but for now, he’s taking time to be Dad.

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NFL playoff picture: Eagles' odds increase with Monday Night Football result

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NFL playoff picture: Eagles' odds increase with Monday Night Football result

On Monday night, the Eagles got a vital first bit of good news in their quest to make the playoffs as a wild card.

The Seahawks defended their home field and defeated the Vikings, 21-7. Since the Eagles will need to leap the two teams ahead of them in the standings, who both hold head-to-head tiebreakers, this was a huge step.

Let’s take a look at the situation after Week 14.

The Eagles (6-7) have three remaining games and can now still make the playoffs with just two wins, however, three wins would be much better. They’ll travel to L.A. to take on the Rams on Sunday Night Football this weekend.

As it stands, the New York Times model is giving the Eagles an 11 percent chance to make the playoffs and FiveThirtyEight has the Eagles at 18 percent, however, a lot of that has to do with the assumption that the Eagles will lose two of three. Should they be able to win, especially this weekend, the numbers will drastically change in their favor.

With Two Wins 

For the Eagles to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record, they would need:

The Vikings (6-6-1) to lose two of their remaining games: at home against Miami, at Detroit and at home against the Bears.

… and …

The Panthers (6-7) would also need to lose two of their remaining games: at home against the Saints, at home against the Falcons and on the road against the Saints. 

… and …

The Packers (5-7-1) would need to lose one of their remaining games: at Chicago, at the Jets or home against the Lions.

… and …

The Redskins to lose to the Eagles.

With Three Wins 

The Eagles are nine-point underdogs on Sunday night, but if they can pull the stunner, you’d feel better about them coming home to beat the Texans and going on the road to beat the Redskins on the final weekend of the year.

For the Eagles to make the playoffs with a 9-7 record they would need:

The Cowboys (8-5) to lose all three of their remaining games.

or

The Vikings (6-6-1) would need to lose one of their remaining games at home against Miami, at Detroit and at home against the Bears.

… and …

The Panthers (6-7) would also need to lose one of their remaining games at home against the Saints, at home against the Falcons and on the road against the Saints. 

There’s still a chance, but the Eagles are simply going to have to start playing better football.

NFC standings after Week 14

Rams (11-2)
Saints (11-2)
Bears (9-4)
Cowboys (8-5)
Seahawks (8-5)
Vikings (6-6-1)
Panthers (6-7)
Eagles (6-7)
Redskins (6-7)
Packers (5-7-1)

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NFL playoff picture: Here's how Eagles can still make the playoffs despite loss to Cowboys

NFL playoff picture: Here's how Eagles can still make the playoffs despite loss to Cowboys

So you’re telling us there’s a chance.

Yeah, a small one, but there’s a chance the Eagles can still make the playoffs.

Here’s what has to happen:

NFC East

The Eagles (6-7) need to win their remaining games against the Rams, the Texans and the Redskins.

The Eagles would need the Dallas Cowboys (8-5) to lose all of their remaining games against the Colts, Buccaneers and Giants.

The Eagles would win the NFC East with a record of 9-7 to the Cowboys' 8-8.

The wild card

The Eagles would likely need to win their remaining games against the Rams, the Texans and the Redskins to jump two of the teams ahead of them. Should the Eagles win only two of their remaining games, add one additional loss to the teams below.

The Eagles would need the Seahawks (7-5) to lose three of their remaining four games to NFC opponents, the Vikings, the 49ers and the Cardinals.

The Eagles would need the Vikings (6-5-1) to lose two of their remaining four games to the Seahawks, Dolphins, Lions and Bears.

The Eagles would need the Panthers (6-7) to lose one of their remaining three games to the Saints, Falcons and Saints again.

Is it possible? Yes, but it’ll take some much better play from the Eagles on the field to pull it off.

***

NFL standings as of Monday morning:

Rams (11-2)

Saints (11-2)

Bears (9-4)

Cowboys (8-5)

Seahawks (7-5)

Vikings (6-5-1)

Panthers (6-7)

Eagles (6-7)

Redskins (6-7)

Packers (5-7-1)

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