Eagles

Ravens overcome vicious hit on Joe Flacco to destroy Dolphins

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Ravens overcome vicious hit on Joe Flacco to destroy Dolphins

BOX SCORE

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was dazed and bleeding as he was helped off the field.

Diagnosed with a concussion after absorbing a late hit by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso late in the second quarter, Flacco was taken to the locker room and did not return.

Fortunately for the Ravens, they didn't need him in a 40-0 rout of the Dolphins on Thursday night.

Alex Collins ran for a career-high 113 yards, and Baltimore (4-4) returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the most lopsided shutout in franchise history.

In the midst of one of his best performances of the season, Flacco was hit high by Alonso while sliding at the end of an impromptu run. Flacco's helmet flew off his head, and the 10-year quarterback appeared wobbly as he struggled to his feet.

Alonso was flagged for unnecessary roughness, providing Baltimore with a first down that ultimately turned into a touchdown.

Flacco was initially placed in concussion protocol, and by halftime was ruled out.

"Joe had a concussion and a cut ear," coach John Harbaugh said. "They were stitching it up without any anesthesia, so he's a tough dude. That's as much as I know."

Flacco went 10 for 15 for 101 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin.

After losing four of five to fall under .500 for the first time this season, the Ravens put it all together with a showing that included a 63-yard interception return by C.J. Mosley and a 50-yard pick-six by Jimmy Smith.

"We coached a lot better, obviously. And we played a lot better," Harbaugh said. "It was just a much better game for us."

The Dolphins (4-3) came in with a three-game winning streak after rallying from 17- and 14-point deficits in the previous two weeks. There would be no comeback in this one, not against a swarming Baltimore defense that limited Miami to 196 yards.

Matt Moore was making his first start of the season, for an injured Jay Cutler. Four days earlier, Moore engineered a victory over the Jets after Cutler left with fractured ribs.

In this one, Moore completed 25 of 44 passes for 176 yards. He was sacked three times, and both his interceptions turned into scores for Baltimore.

"This is tough. These are hard ones," Moore said. "You don't ever go into a week preparing and expect it to turn out like this. I don't know what to say right now. It's just tough, tough. We got to figure some stuff out. I got to figure some stuff out."

Moore received little backing from the running game, which generated only 45 yards against the 32nd-ranked rushing defense in the NFL.

"It was inept. We're not doing anything," Miami coach Adam Gase said.

Baltimore went up 7-0 when Maclin slipped behind Bobby McCain and Nate Allen to haul in Flacco's perfect pass on the right sideline.

Justin Tucker added field goals of 55 and 48 yards in the second quarter. After Cody Parkey missed from 50 yards for the Dolphins -- his first misfire in nine tries this season -- Flacco began the drive that would end in the end zone without him.

The late hit by Alonso gave Baltimore a first down at the Miami 5. Three plays later, Ryan Mallett threw a 2-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson.

Mosley iced it with 14:15 left when he snared a poor throw by Moore near the line of scrimmage and turned it into his first career interception return for a touchdown.

As the Ravens were closing in on another score, a few players exchanged shoves and punches before Chris Moore pounced on a fumble in the end zone.

Overseeing an offense focused on protecting a sizable lead, Mallett went 3 for 7 for 20 yards.

Cat nap
A cat ran onto the field in the fourth quarter, providing some amusement after the game had lost all suspense.

The feline reached the Miami sideline and skipped around a bit before running out of sight.

Injuries
Dolphins: Allen hurt his calf in the second quarter and did not return.

Ravens: TE Vince Mayle was placed in concussion protocol in the second quarter. ... LT Ronnie Stanley hurt his shoulder in the third quarter but returned to action.

Up next
Dolphins: Miami plays the second of three straight night games, this one at home against Oakland on Nov. 5.

Ravens: Baltimore faces Tennessee on the road on Nov. 5, the first meeting between the teams since 2014.

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

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Eagles

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

Jeff Lurie has turned into Willy Wonka for a good cause. 

The Eagles on Wednesday announced that they’re going to raffle off a Super Bowl ring and all the proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. 

This is pretty cool. 

Click here to donate and enter.  

The coolest part is that the ring the Eagles will give away on Dec. 3 before Monday Night Football against Washington at the Linc, is the real deal ring. The one the players got, with all 219 diamonds and 17 green sapphires. And it'll be personalized. 

The contest is underway and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Fans can enter the contest by making a donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge, starting at $10 for 100 entries. The fan who wins will also get 50-yard line seats to that Dec. 3 game. 

There are also other incentives for fans who submit 2,500 entries or more. 

The Eagles have already done incredible work through their autism challenge, raising over $2.5 million at the inaugural event in May. This is a pretty cool way to raise even more money for a good cause.

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

Generally speaking, running backs either begin to decline or hit a wall around the time they turn 30. 

That hasn’t happened to Darren Sproles. 

In fact, today is Sproles’ birthday. He turns 35 and after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL and a broken forearm, he still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. That, in itself, is pretty incredible. 

Since it’s Sproles’ birthday, it seems like a good time to look into the elite company he can join this year as a productive 35-plus-year-old in the NFL. 

Sproles will enter the 2018 season with 19,155 all-purpose yards. He’s already eighth in NFL history and has a chance to surpass quite a few names on this list with a productive season. There are just seven players in front of him and five of them are already Hall of Famers: 

Jerry Rice: 23,546
Brian Mitchell: 23,330
Walter Payton: 21,803
Emmit Smith: 21,564
Tim Brown: 19,682
Marshall Faulk: 19,190
Steve Smith Jr.: 19,180

It’s impossible to know just how productive Sproles will be in 2018, especially as he’s coming off a significant knee injury. Last year, he had only two healthy games and he had just 88 all-purpose yards in them, putting him on pace for 704. That would have been significantly lower than his three previous seasons with the Eagles. 

In those three previous seasons, we saw a very slight decline from 1,237 in 2014 to 1,171 in 2015 to 1,108 in 2016. 

But if Sproles can return to form and is able to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2018, he’d become just the eighth running back in NFL history to do it at age 35 or older. A search of Pro Football Reference shows the top mark ever for a running back over 35 (must be 35 or older on Dec. 31 of that year) was Herschel Walker’s season in 1997 (1,336). 

If Sproles eclipses that 1,000-yard mark, he’d also become just the second Eagles player (any position) to do it at 35 or older. The only other Eagle to do it was Irving Fryar, who had 1,316 back in 1997 too. 

He’d also move past Smith, Faulk and Brown into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass the 20,000-yard mark. 

Even in 2016, when he had a down year as a punt returner, Sproles still had 224 punt return yards. If he surpasses the 200-yard mark this season, he’d be just the third player in NFL history to do it at 35 or older. The other three are Michael Lewis (336 in 2007), Leo Lewis (225 in 1991) and Mel Gray (205 in 1996). 

And this year, with the new kickoff rules, there’s a chance the Eagles might use him as a kick returner too. More chances to pile up yards. 

The man himself doesn’t care too much about individual achievements; he’d rather win another Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tracking his progress. 

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