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Eagles' latest loss filled with blunders

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Eagles' latest loss filled with blunders

PHILADELPHIA (AP) In another miserable performance, the Philadelphia Eagles put together a year's worth of blunders fit for a football follies video.

A 34-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night featured four fumbles, one interception and one punt blocked by a teammate. That brought the Eagles' turnovers total to an NFL-high 34 in 14 games. They've only forced 12.

``Turnovers destroy you in this league,'' coach Andy Reid said Friday, stating the obvious. ``If we didn't know it before, we know it now.''

Lucky for the Eagles (4-10) and their frustrated fans, only two games remain in this nightmare season.

``I was thoroughly embarrassed,'' wide receiver Jason Avant said after another loss in front of a national television audience. ``I don't care if there were no cameramen there or if we were playing over at the University of Penn. That type of thing that happened was embarrassing wherever you are, even if you're in the sandlot. So, never mind that it was on a national stage, it was just not good football that happened. It just wasn't good.''

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin started the giveaways by fumbling on the second play from scrimmage. On Philadelphia's next possession, there were a series of comical mistakes that occurred when the punting unit took the field.

First, rookie linebacker Ryan Rau, who only plays special teams, didn't realize the Eagles were punting so he stood on the sideline. Tight end Clay Harbor noticed only 10 men out there and ran out at the last second, but one rusher broke free on the outside. Wide receiver Marvin McNutt tried to block him only to get pushed into punter Mat McBriar's kick.

Those two gaffes led to 10 points for the Bengals. But the Eagles rallied to take a 13-10 lead into the third quarter.

Then, they unraveled.

The Eagles allowed 24 points in a span of 3:23. Three straight possessions went interception-fumble-fumble. That was followed up by another fumble when defensive lineman Cedric Thornton tried to catch a short kickoff.

``Turnovers killed us,'' Maclin said. ``You can't keep putting the defense inside of the 30-yard line. Eventually, an NFL team is going to score on you. This was on the offense and special teams.''

The emergence of rookie quarterback Nick Foles has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal season, but he took a step backward against the Bengals. Foles threw for 381 yards, including a game-winning TD pass on the final play to snap Philadelphia's eight-game losing streak. The Buccaneers, by the way, have the league's worst-ranked pass defense.

Foles was just 16 of 33 for 182 yards with one TD pass and a pick against the Bengals. He underthrew Maclin on a deep pass that still went for a long gain in the second quarter. He underthrew him again on what should've been a long TD pass and got intercepted in the third quarter. That started the parade of turnovers.

``I just made a horrible throw,'' Foles said. ``The ball came out bad and it had a little bit of wobble to it. You have to really cut it and I didn't do that. I just have to spin it and it started fluttering toward the end. So it's a bad throw, it's one that I can't have.''

Reid defended Foles' arm strength, blaming his footwork and mechanics for the underthrows.

``Nick has one of the stronger arms in the league, but you have to make sure your feet are right and your drop is right,'' Reid said. ``You have to learn those things. That's one of the tougher things for young quarterbacks to do. Instead of taking what would normally be a five-step drop, he took what would be a seven-step drop. When you're in the gun, it would be a five as opposed to a three. He held too long on the safety and tried to look the safety off. These are rookie mistakes, and he'll learn from that. He's very diligent about those things, and he'll get it right. It wasn't a lack of arm strength that would cause that to take place.''

Foles will start next Sunday's game against Washington even though Michael Vick has been cleared to return after a concussion forced him to miss the last five games. Reid already said weeks ago that Foles will finish the season as the No. 1 quarterback. As for Vick, Reid hasn't decided whether he'll be the backup or No. 3 behind Trent Edwards.

Notes: RB LeSean McCoy will see an independent neurologist next week, probably on Tuesday. He's missed the last four games with a concussion, but could play vs. the Redskins. ... TE Brent Celek has passed all tests in his concussion recovery and should be ready to go. ... DB Brandon Hughes was hospitalized overnight because of a lung contusion, but was released and should be fine.

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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.

Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.

With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.

Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games. 

Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.

Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.

The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.

 

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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