How close were the Eagles to keeping Raheem Mostert?

How close were the Eagles to keeping Raheem Mostert?

Several years before his monster game for the 49ers over the Packers, Raheem Mostert was just another undrafted rookie trying to make the Eagles' roster. Mostert on Sunday became the first player in NFL history with 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.

Four years ago, he was an Eagle. Here's a story NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank wrote on about Mostert's preseason back in August of 2015.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just when we were all set to concede a roster spot to Kenjon Barner, Raheem Mostert does this.

Fifteen carries for 69 yards, eight catches for 93 yards and quite a statement that if the Eagles are going to keep a fourth running back, it should be him.

Barner, a third-year pro from Oregon, was terrific the first few games of the preseason, with two punt returns for touchdowns, a 50-yard gain on a screen pass and a rushing touchdown.

Mostert, a rookie from Purdue, has quietly been very good playing in Barner’s shadow, but with Barner getting just a couple touches Thursday night against the Jets, it was Mostert’s turn to shine.

He became the first Eagle in at least 15 years with 60 or more yards both rushing and receiving in the same preseason game.

For what it’s worth, only five Eagles in the last 50 years have had 60 rushing yards and 90 receiving yards in a regular-season game -- Brian Westbrook four times, Wilbert Montgomery three times and Timmy Brown, Ricky Watters and LeSean McCoy once each.

“I was just really trying to focus on the task at hand and trying to make a couple big plays out there and help the team out,” Mostert said at his locker.

“That was my main focus. I thought I did a pretty good job, but there’s always room for improvement. But I really tried my best and that’s all I can do.

“I came in with focus, My mentality was I’m going to stick it out, I’m not going to quit, I’m going to keep fighting, keep pushing, and at the end of the day that’s all anybody ever asks me to do in the NFL.”

Mostert finished the preseason with 351 yards from scrimmage, most by an Eagle in a preseason in at least 20 years.

That’s a ton of yards. Nearly 90 per game.

He averaged 4.0 yards on 39 carries and added 194 yards on 14 catches.

No back in the NFL had as many yards from scrimmage this preseason or as many total yards, including returns. He finished fourth in the NFL this preseason in receiving yards and fifth in rushing yards.

All of which guarantees Mostert absolutely nothing.

Barner’s numbers were impressive too. And with DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles -- three Pro Bowlers -- there may not even be a spot on the 53-man roster for a fourth running back.

Final cuts are due Saturday, but head coach Chip Kelly is expected to trim the Eagles’ roster on Friday afternoon.

“I’m not really too worried about it,” Mostert said. “Whatever happens happens. I’m just going to continue to push and just do my thing. Honestly. I’m not too worried about the cuts. I’m going to just work on what I’ve got to work on, regardless.”

Mostert was a two-time Big East sprint champ in college, but unlike most track guys that come to the NFL, he’s a physical runner, a capable blocker and a polished receiver.

“When you look at some of those track guys, you’re like, ‘OK, they’re fast and that’s about it. They can’t catch, they can’t block,’” Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley said. “He’s totally different. He brings a lot to the table. He’s aggressive, he can block, he can catch.”

There’s a school of thought that Barner, as a third-year pro who’s bounced around the league a bit, will be easier to sneak through waivers if he’s released. So you keep Mostert instead of leaving him unprotected and release Barner, hoping to add him to the practice squad.

The other school of thought says that Barner has done more than enough to warrant a roster spot and you keep him and let Mostert go, hoping nobody claims him, then bring him back on the practice squad.

The only certainty is that Mostert will be somewhere. Either on a 53 or on a practice squad.

Not that he wants to get released and start over somewhere else.

“I definitely think that [I’ll be somewhere], but I’m not going to be happy about it,” he said. “I know I can do a lot more and minimize the mistakes that I’ve had because I’ve had a lot of mistakes.

“It’s all on what I put on film, that’s what really matters. I’ve just got to continue to do the little things right in order to be special and be great for the team.

“Whatever the outcome is, I’m not too worried about it. I’ve just got to keep pushing, keep fighting. … Just to be the ultimate player.”

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NBC Sports Philadelphia betting expert Brad Feinberg wins big on Saints' NFC Championship Game loss

NBC Sports Philadelphia betting expert Brad Feinberg wins big on Saints' NFC Championship Game loss

Eagles fans weren't the only ones thrilled to see the Saints knocked out of the NFL playoffs Sunday.

Our betting expert Brad Feinberg didn't mind, either, as he cashed in on the Rams' 26-23 OT win over the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

With New Orleans falling short of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, Feinberg made $57,500 because, during the week, he sold his $8,000 ticket on the Saints winning the Super Bowl. (Technically, Feinberg made $49,500 because he put down $8,000 for the initial wager.)

"Before the year, I had three huge futures. I followed these three teams like the way adults follow their kids," Feinberg said Sunday night in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The Saints were my biggest future, the Rams were my second-biggest future and the Chiefs were my third-biggest future. I followed these three teams an insane amount. I watched every snap of theirs all year. These three bets, I literally followed all year and was trying to manage them.

"I had a much bigger position on New Orleans than I did the other teams. I did think New Orleans would win the game, I really did, but I didn't want to have as much of an overexposure on New Orleans as I did. So I was like, 'You know what, if I can sell this ticket and make myself more even, I don't need to be a hero.'"

Via PropSwap, Feinberg sold the ticket to FOX Sports 1 "Lock It In" co-hosts Clay Travis and "Cousin Sal" Iacono.

Yeah, they're not too happy.

Feinberg sure is happy with the result of his decision and you can see him Monday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia's "Quick Slants" and Fridays at 6 p.m. on "The Daily Line."

I was able to sell that ticket. Because with numbers like that, sometimes it's not easy to unload those kind of big plays, but I was fortunate that PropSwap was able to find a buyer.

It's easier said than done because that's a pretty big … I had to have the biggest ticket in the United States before the year, I'm pretty sure on that.

I always try to look at the process, not the result. I think those guys made a good decision to buy the ticket, they got the best number you were going to get in the world. It didn't work out for them, but it doesn't mean it was a bad decision; it was just a bad result.

The Saints didn't punch their Super Bowl ticket.

And Feinberg won't forget the ticket he ditched to cash in on it.

h/t to BetChicago.com.

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NFL playoffs: Rams, Patriots advance to Super Bowl after OT thrillers

NFL playoffs: Rams, Patriots advance to Super Bowl after OT thrillers

It's never been so clear: This year's Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and Rams is a showdown between the NFL's past and its future.

Led by 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams and their 21st-century offense will take on 41-year-old Tom Brady and the Patriots, who are in search of a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title.

At 32, Sean McVay of the Rams (15-3) will be the youngest Super Bowl coach. He'll be going against 66-year-old Bill Belichick, who is taking the Patriots (13-5) to their third straight title game, fourth in the last five years and ninth since 2002.

That streak started against who else? The Rams.

Back then, though, they were in St. Louis. New England came in as a two-touchdown underdog and won 20-17.

The Rams open as a 1-point pick in this one, set for Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

Blown call, Zuerlein's 57-yard FG send Rams to Super Bowl

NEW ORLEANS — A big comeback. A blown call. And, finally, a booming kick that sent the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

After rallying from an early 13-0 deficit, the Rams stunned the New Orleans Saints with Greg Zuerlein's 57-yard field goal in overtime for a 26-23 victory in the NFC championship game Sunday — an outcome that might not have been possible without an egregious mistake by the officials in the closing minutes of regulation.

Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman committed a blatant interference penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommylee Lewis well before the pass arrived inside the 5, forcing the Saints to settle for Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal that made it 23-20 with 1:41 left in regulation.

"Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, `Thank you,'" Robey-Coleman said. "I got away with one tonight."

After the no-call, Jared Goff had enough time to lead the Rams down the field for Zuerlein's tying field goal, a 48-yarder with 15 seconds remaining (see full story).

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, top Chiefs in thriller

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl, once more thanks to Tom Brady's brilliance.

The five-time NFL champion guided the Patriots 75 yards after winning the overtime coin toss, and backup Rex Burkhead's 2-yard TD lifted New England past Kansas City 37-31 for the AFC championship Sunday night.

The drive against an exhausted defense was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.

New England (13-5) benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach (see full story).

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