The700Level

Visual proof that Big V is really, really good

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Visual proof that Big V is really, really good

Before Eagles fans felt a sense of dread over losing Carson Wentz, there was the impending doom caused by the season-ending injury to Jason Peters. Turns out, just like at quarterback, they were going to be fine at left tackle.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai has been largely fine in place of Peters all season but may have played his best when the Eagles needed it most in the NFC Championship Game. Working against Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen for much of the contest, Vaitai silenced the three-time Pro Bowler and defense’s best rusher.

Big V opened holes in the running game and did his part to keep Nick Foles upright in the pocket. Technically, Griffen was credited with two quarterback hits, though both were ineffective — one well after Foles released the football, the other a glancing blow.

Prior to the matchup, Eagles coach Doug Pederson called Griffen “a game wrecker.” Yet, a supposed backup offensive lineman shut down one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

It’s time to give Vaitai his due. The kid is pretty good.

Early on, Pederson gave Vaitai plenty of help. It wasn’t necessarily in the form of straight double teams, but the Eagles used the traffic created by tight ends running their routes and simple misdirection to slow Griffen’s attack.

But in the second quarter, Pederson began trusting Vaitai to block Griffen one-on-one. It worked. Some observers would even be tempted to say Big V had his number on this particular series.

Here, Griffen tries to bull rush his way through Vaitai. The 6-foot-3, 273-pound defender does get some initial push, but the 6-6, 320-pound tackle stands his ground, keeping the pocket clean for Foles.

Next play, Griffen attempts to use his speed and go around the edge on Vaitai. That’s not happening, either. The second-year player is in perfect position the entire time and barely lays a finger on the rusher, who winds up running himself right out of the play.

Finally, on the very next pass-rush opportunity, Griffen goes to his vaunted spin move. Vaitai sticks with him the whole way. Not even close.

The Eagles wound up punting two plays later, but Vaitai’s ability to handle Griffen allowed Pederson to open up the offense. For example, the 41-yard flea flicker to Torrey Smith in the third quarter doesn’t happen if there isn’t the utmost confidence in Big V to win his one-on-one matchup.

It wasn’t exactly a pancake block or very pretty but Vaitai got the job done. Same again on Foles’ earlier 51-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery, which required the offensive line to hold up in protection for five full seconds until the ball was released.

Vaitai put the exclamation point on his near-flawless performance at the end of the game. With time winding down and the Vikings fully aware the Eagles were running the football, Big V helped clear the way for two first downs.

Minnesota never got the ball back in the final 5:52 seconds, in part because of blocks like these from No. 72.

Griffen is 30 years old. The eighth-year veteran managed just 2.0 sacks over the final seven games of the season, including playoffs. It’s possible, perhaps likely he was worn down by the NFC Championship Game.

Regardless, some people still have this perception that going against Vaitai can rejuvenate a pass rusher who’s in a slump. That clearly was not the case here and hasn’t been for most of the season.

Over the course of his first two seasons in the league, Vaitai has proven he can be a full-time starter in the NFL — maybe better. After all, he just shut down the top defensive lineman on the No. 1 defense in football, doing his part to clear the way for the Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Did the Flyers just troll the Eagles on social media?

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Did the Flyers just troll the Eagles on social media?

The Eagles have been quite the disappointment this season, with the latest being their atrocious 37-31 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday in South Florida. And with disappointments come possible troll jobs? 

As the clock wound down and fans became increasingly exasperated with the team, social media anger started to build and it looks like one fellow Philadelphia team may have added just an oh-so-subtle jab in there.

As the 37-31 score went final, the Flyers sent out quite the interesting reminder of their impressive record this November. It seems like they don’t want fans to forget that they are NOT part of the teams that have been disappointing this city. 

You have to admit, the timing is a bit suspicious. 


Fans certainly seem to think that the Flyers are trolling the Eagles with their post, based on the replies. 

We love a little friendly fire between the Philadelphia sports teams, if this is a true troll job. Or maybe it’s just a conveniently scheduled tweet by the Flyers' social media team. 

You be the judge. 

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Eagles social media exposed Orlando Scandrick in the best way

Eagles social media exposed Orlando Scandrick in the best way

Updated: 6:35 p.m.

Oh boy.

Things have gotten wild over in the Eagles' world today, beginning with former Eagles cornerback Orlando Scandrick torching almost everyone on his old team on FS1’s “Undisputed” this morning (see story).

Then, Malcolm Jenkins clapped back at Scandrick in NSFW fashion to essentially dismiss the claims by Scandrick, to which Scandrick then responded on Colin Cowherd’s show that he essentially “wasn’t attacking anyone personally”(see story).

And so, after a morning of ping-ponging back and forth, we have the ultimate response, from the team itself.

The Eagles social media account offically weighed in in the most brilliant way. Actions speak louder than words, Scandrick, and you can't run from history.

Well damn, they really just exposed Scandrick. I mean, how do you come back from being shredded by both Jenkins and a professional NFL team?

So long Scandrick, you won’t be missed.

Jenkins himself apparently liked the tweet, too ... he had a very interesting quote tweet.



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