Eagles

A traveler's guide for Eagles' 2019 road schedule

A traveler's guide for Eagles' 2019 road schedule

There’s no San Francisco on the schedule. No Seattle. No Denver, Phoenix or London.

From a traveler’s perspective, this is not a great schedule.

That doesn’t mean Philadelphians won’t pack airplanes and hotels once again to see their favorite team on the road.

So book those flights to Green Bay, Buffalo and Minneapolis and hope it doesn’t snow!

With the NFL schedule out Wednesday (see Eagles' full schedule), here’s a look what awaits you as you travel to one (or more) of the nine cities the Eagles travel to this coming season.

Week 2 — Atlanta, Sunday, Sept. 15, 8:20 p.m.

Why you should go

Not only a modern cosmopolitan city but one that played a major role in the Civil War and also the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

3 places to visit

1. World of Coca-Cola, 2. Georgia Aquarium, 3. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site 

Travel tip

Atlanta’s MARTA rail system easily connects the airport with downtown and the touristy Buckhead area north of the city.

For more Information, click here.

Week 4 — Green Bay, Thursday, Sept. 26, 8:20 p.m.

Why you should go 

This small community of barely 100,000 is a unique and historic NFL destination.

3 places to visit

1. Lambeau Field, 2. The Outagamie County Historical Society in nearby Appleton, 3. National Railroad Museum in neighboring Ashwaubenon (Most of Lambeau’s parking lots are located in Ashwaubenon).

Travel tip 

Lambeau Stadium is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and the roads can get incredibly congested. If you’re going, leave earlier than you’ve ever left for a sports event.

For more information, click here.

Week 6 — Minnesota, Sunday, Oct. 13, 1 p.m.

Why you should go 

Because who doesn’t want to visit the site of the greatest moment in recent Eagles history.

3 places to visit 

1. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2. Minnehaha Regional Park (if the waterfall isn’t frozen), 3. Mall of America

Travel tip

You will get lost in the Mall of America. I promise. The place is ridiculously huge. The mall, the world’s largest, has kiosks throughout all the concourses where you can actually print out step-by-step directions to whatever store, restaurant or parking lot you’re looking for. If you don’t use the kiosks, you won’t find your way out, and you’ll be stuck for the rest of your life in a giant mall.

For more information, click here.

Week 7 — Dallas, Sunday, Oct. 20, 8:20 p.m.

Why you should go

Because other than being the home of the Cowboys, Dallas is actually a pretty great city.

3 places to visit 

1. Dealey Plaza Museum, 2. Dallas Museum of Art, 3. Texas Discovery Gardens

Travel tip 

The Dallas Metro area is massive. From Mesquite on the east side to Fort Worth on the west side can easily take an hour and a half with no traffic. Always allow plenty of time to get where you’re going.

For more information, click here.

Week 8 — Buffalo, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m.

Why you should go 

Honestly? You shouldn’t go. But if you really have your heart set on visiting Buffalo, more power to you!

3 places to visit 

1. Niagara Falls, 2. Waterfront/HarborCenter area, 3. Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.

Travel tip 

If you don’t want to fly, you can make the drive — weather permitting — from downtown Philly to Buffalo in about 6½ hours. 

For more information, click here.

Week 13 — Miami, Sunday, Dec. 1, 1 p.m.

Why you should go 

Because in a season in which the Eagles visit Buffalo, Green Bay and Minneapolis, Miami should be somewhat warm when the Eagles get there.

3 places to visit 

1. South Beach, 2. Miami Beach, 3. Everglades National Park.

Travel tip 

Before you book your flight, look into Fort Lauderdale Airport as well as Miami Airport. It’s smaller, nicer, easier to navigate and closer to Hard Rock Stadium and really not much farther to Miami’s beaches and attractions.

For more information, click here.

Week 15 — Washington, Sunday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m.

Why you should go 

Because it’s got more museums (most of them free) and historical sites than anywhere in the country.

3 places to visit 

1. The Lincoln Memorial, 2. The Washington Monument, 3. The Smithsonian museums.

Travel tip 

Don’t drive. Take the train and use Washington’s expansive Metro system to get around the city and neighboring towns.

For more information, click here.

Week 17 — East Rutherford, Sunday, Dec. 29, 1 p.m.

Why you should go 

Because the Eagles always win. The Eagles are 10-2 against the Giants at the Meadowlands since 2008

3 places to visit 

OK, this is a challenge, but here we go: 1. Outlet shopping across the N.J. Turnpike in Secaucus, 2. Nearby Jersey City is a growing, bustling city, and the large downtown plaza at the end of Christopher Columbus Boulevard — J. Owen Grundy Park — offers incredible views across the river of Manhattan, 3. The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum in nearby Teterboro.

Travel tip 

If you’re taking the N.J. Turnpike to MetLife Stadium, make sure you stay to the left just past Exit 14 and take the so-called Western Spur north to the stadium area instead of the Eastern Spur, which will take you into Hoboken and the Lincoln Tunnel.

For more information, click here.

Preseason, Game 2 — Jacksonville, Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m.

Why you should go 

It’s Florida, so many of the attractions in Jacksonville are water-related. Beaches, water parks, fishing, cruises, etc. But Jacksonville is also a real hub for art galleries and museums. And it’s only a two-hour drive from Disney World.

3 places to visit 

1. Jacksonville Zoo, 2. Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, 3. Historic Amelia Island

Travel tip 

TIAA Bank Field, where the Eagles played in the 2004 Super Bowl, is in downtown Jacksonville, within easy walking distance of numerous hotels. If you’re only going in for the game, there’s no reason to rent a car.

For more information, click here.

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Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Off the field issues aside, Ezekiel Elliott is clearly one of the top running backs in the NFL. The problem for the Cowboys is that he wants to get paid like it.

According to PFT’s Mike Florio, Elliott has “privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.”

Since the Cowboys report to training camp on July 25, this could be a problem very soon.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson says Elliott hasn’t made a decision about a holdout yet.

But it’s clearly on Zeke’s mind. And he clearly wants a contract extension.

For a team that still has to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper — both more pressing since they’ll be free agents after the 2019 season — this could be tricky. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys giving Zeke a big contract before figuring out Dak’s new deal.

Elliott, 23, might have a problem staying out of trouble off the field, but he creates a whole lot of trouble for opposing teams on it. There’s really no denying his talent. In his first three NFL seasons, he has rushed for over 4,000 yards and has over 5,000 in all-purpose yards. Just 11 players in NFL history have more all-purpose yards in their first three seasons.

And because of that success and because he knows the Cowboys will rely heavily on him this season and next, Elliott is trying to maximize his value. He’s trying to get some coin in his pocket now before that value potentially plummets because usage or injury. That part makes sense.

The problem for Elliott is that the Cowboys probably don’t feel highly motivated to pay him just yet. With his fourth contract year in 2019 and his fifth-year option year in 2020, the Cowboys hold his rights for the next two seasons at cap numbers of $7.9 million and $9 million over the next two seasons. Based on his rookie contract AVY, Elliott is the 10th highest-paid running back in football. That’s a steal and based on recent history, no team should be rushing to pay top-tier money for a running back.

Elliott won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season, so I definitely get why he’s trying to secure his financial future before the Boys run him into the ground over the next two seasons. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of leverage because of how far he is from free agency — he’s not going to sit for two years — but we saw how his suspension sort of wrecked the Cowboys’ entire 2017 season. Now, the Cowboys are coming off a division title and have serious championship hopes this year; if they’re going to be a great team, they’re going to need Zeke to do it.

The Eagles don’t play the Cowboys until Oct. 20 and it would be pretty shocking if Elliott isn’t playing by then. The Birds obviously don’t have a running back as good as Elliott, but they have cost controlled options and they already figured out how to pay their franchise quarterback.

The messier this gets for Zeke and the Cowboys, the better it is for the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East.

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Eagles receive top Madden 20 team rating despite Carson Wentz snub

Eagles receive top Madden 20 team rating despite Carson Wentz snub

It’s that time of year again. 

Today, the good people of Madden released their full rankings for Madden 20, available on Aug. 2. Here are some notable items from how they see they see the Eagles looking this year.

The Best Team in the Game

That’s right, Madden believes in the Eagles. With an overall rating of 89, the Philadelphia Eagles are the highest rated team in the game. They edged out the Dallas Cowboys (88), New Orleans Saints (87), New England Patriots (87) and Green Bay Packers (87).

The lowest ranked teams in the game are the Miami Dolphins (74), followed by the New York Giants (77).

Carson Wentz Snubbed in Madden 20

Carson Wentz will begin the season as an 82 overall, dipping three points from where he was to start the year last season. The rating places Wentz tied for 13th at his position behind guys like Baker Mayfield (83) and Jared Goff (83) and tied with Deshaun Watson (82). After an incredible season last year, Patrick Mahomes (97) is the top-rated QB, followed by the ageless wonder, Tom Brady (96).

The Top Bird

It should come as no surprise that Fletcher Cox is the highest ranked Eagles player at an overall ranking of 96. His ranking makes him the 15th highest ranked player in the NFL and the top defensive tackle (Madden considers Aaron Donald an end). His combination of speed, acceleration and strength make him an unstoppable force in both the video game and in real life.

These Birds Can Fly

One of the more important aspects in Madden often times is speed and the Eagles have 13 players with a rating of 90 or higher in that category. Five players, Ronald Darby, Shelton Gibson, Josh Hawkins, DeSean Jackson and Avonte Maddox, are tied for the highest speed rating on the team at 93.

According to Madden, the fastest player in the NFL is Tyreek hill, with 99 speed and 99 acceleration, the only player with a 99 in either category.

Top of their Class

There’s a number of Eagles players that are ranked very highly at their position. 

Fletcher Cox: 96, 1st among DT

Jason Kelce: 94, tied for 1st among C

Zach Ertz: 93, 2nd among TE

Malcolm Jenkins: 92, 2nd among SS

Brandon Brooks: 90, 4th among RG

Brandon Graham: 89, 3rd among RE

Lane Johnson: 89, 2nd among RT

Lowest Rated Eagle

Sorry Rick Lovato, for the second straight year you’re the lowest rated Eagles player. Actually, Lovato’s ranking lowered from a 43 in 2019 to a 41 in 2020. Lovato, the long snapper, certainly didn’t do anything wrong from a snapping standpoint last season, but he’s listed as a TE in the game and they probably want to make him as unusable at that position as possible. 

Other notable Eagles that received poor ratings are Clayton Thorson (56), Nate Sudfeld (57) and Jordan Mailata (58). 

Click here to see the Madden ranking for the entire Eagles roster.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles