Eagles

Eagles open as big favorites over Washington in Week 1

Eagles open as big favorites over Washington in Week 1

If you quickly thought “W” when you saw the Eagles were hosting Washington at the Linc to open up the 2019 regular season, you’re not the only one. 

The Eagles opened up as eight-point favorites on FanDuel. That’s pretty consistent with other sports books too. I’ve also seen them at 8 1/2. 

That eight-point spread is the biggest of Week 1 in the NFL, but that shouldn’t be too surprising. Maybe if Washington trades for Josh Rosen, that changes. Maybe if they draft a quarterback in the first round, that changes. But for now? That seems about right. 

Washington fell apart last year, but the Eagles beat them 28-13 in Week 13 and 24-0 in Week 17. In the last two seasons, the Eagles are 4-0 against the Skins and have beaten them by an average of 15 1/2 points per game. If that continues, they'll cover easily. 

Elsewhere in NFL Week 1, the Seahawks are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Bengals, the Cowboys are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Giants and the Saints are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Texans. Those three favorites are also at home. 

Taking a quick look at FanDuel’s futures odds, the Eagles are tied for the seventh-longest odds to win the Super Bowl at +1,600. That means if you bet $100, you’d win $1,600. 

Here are current Super Bowl odds: 

Patriots: +700
Chiefs: +800
Saints: +850
Rams: +900
Browns: +1400
Chargers: +1400
Bears: +1600
Colts: +1600
Eagles: +1600
Packers: +1800
Vikings: +2000
Steelers: +2000
Cowboys: +2300
Falcons: +2600
Texans: +2800
Seahawks: +2900
49ers: +3000
Jaguars: +3300
Ravens: +3400
Panthers: +5000
Titans: +5000
Raiders: +5500
Broncos: +6000
Giants: +6000
Jets: +6000
Buccaneers: +6000
Bills: +8000
Lions: +8000
Redskins: +8000
Bengals: +10000
Cardinals: +11000
Dolphins: +12000

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Pitt runs Philly Special to snap UCF's winning streak

usa_kenny_pickett_pitt_philly_special.jpg
USA Today Images/Charles LeClaire

Pitt runs Philly Special to snap UCF's winning streak

The Philly Special will never die, it appears.

Friday night, NFL Network named the mind-boggling touchdown pass from Trey Burton to Nick Foles in Super Bowl LII the 10th greatest play in NFL history.

Saturday, Pitt football used a version of the play to pull off a big upset over No. 15 UCF, who came into the contest with a 27-game non-bowl game winning streak, the longest in the FBS.

On 4th-and-3, wideout Aaron Mathews found QB Kenny Pickett for the score. Alex Kessman's extra point gave Pitt the lead. 

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said after the game on ESPN that the play call was "Pitt Special."

I'm not sure any football fans will ever think of that play as anything other than the Philly Special, but give credit to Narduzzi and his team for a gutsy call and perfect execution. 

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Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

With DeSean Jackson out for Sunday and Alshon Jeffery questionable, the Eagles on Saturday signed wide receiver Greg Ward from the practice squad to the active roster.

To make room on the 53-man roster, they placed second-year offensive tackle Jordan Mailata on injured reserve for a second consecutive year with a back injury.

This is Ward’s first time on a 53-man roster, but he’s been in camp with the Eagles the last three summers and gotten better each year.

Ward is mainly a slot receiver, so if he does get on the field on offense Nelson Agholor would be outside. 

Earlier this week, Ward spoke about how he prepares, regardless of if he’s going to play or not.

“Honestly, I stay ready every week, because you never know,” he said. “Whenever my name is called, it’s called. If it’s not this week, if it’s not next week, I’m still going to prepare like I’m playing  every single week. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

Once the Eagles practiced Wednesday without adding an outside receiver it seemed like a lock that Ward would get the promotion, because he was able to practice all week and get the same reps whether he was on the 53 or the practice squad.

Without Ward, the Eagles had only three healthy receivers on the roster — Agholor, Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

Ward, a quarterback at Houston, first joined the Eagles in 2017 and spent the season on the practice squad. He was in camp again in 2018, then spent this past winter in the Alliance of American Football, catching 22 passes for 214 yards in eight games. When the AAF folded, he rejoined the Eagles.

Ward caught six passes for 87 yards and a 38-yard touchdown from Clayton Thorson in the preseason.

He was released with the final roster cutdown and signed to the practice squad as soon as he cleared waivers.

As for Mailata, it was really the smartest move for the Eagles, since the only alternative was releasing a player they didn’t want to release.

Depending on how he’s doing and depending also on other injuries, he would be a candidate to rejoin the 53-man roster after eight weeks on IR.

Mailata, like Ward, has never played in an NFL game.

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