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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 20

6 hours 10 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 16,000 dollars believed ripped off from the Chickie’s & Pete’s in Drexel Hill yesterday morning.

2 armed, masked men being sought in the heist.

11-1 margin by which the Boeing union approved a new contract deal.

10,000 dollar ratification bonus included in the deal.

10 percent pay hike for union workers at the top of the pay scale.

9 percent Boeing contribution to a new 401K plan being instituted in 2017. That’s followed by 8, 7 and 4 percent in subsequent years.

12 percent kick-in for their health care for union members starting in 2016, up to 14 percent in 2019.

6 p.m. meeting tonight in Concord on proposed development of Beaver Valley tract.

23, age of suspect arrested in fatal stabbing in Upper Darby bar.

5 mile chase from the Wawa at 84th and Bartram near the airport to Lansdowne, where theft suspect crashed his car.

6 people killed in fire in home outside Pittsburgh.

48 health care workers cleared in Dallas after they were monitored for possible Ebola contamination.

6-1 mark for the Cowboys, 1 game better than idle Eagles.

7 straight games to start the season that DeMarco Murray has rushed for 100 yards. That’s new NFL record.

128 yards and 1 TD on 28 carries for Murray as the Cowboys beat the Giants, 31-21.

5-1 mark for the Cardinals, who are next for the Eagles.

24-13 win for Bruce Arians over the Raiders.

253 yards and 2 TDs passing for Carson Palmer.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

A crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon and no Eagles game to worry about. Who else spent the day outside instead of camped in front of the TV?

I Don’t Get It: One of the suspects who held up the Chickie’s & Pete’s in Drexel Hill was wearing a sweatshirt with the eatery’s logo on it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Goodwill program in Upper Darby School District, which is providing a great opportunity to disadvantaged young people.

Quote Box: “Bar none, I think it’s the best.”

- Local 1069 United Aerospace Workers Union President Chris Owens.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Change comes to the 163rd state legislative district

6 hours 43 min ago
Something almost beyond belief will happen next January.

Someone not named Micozzie will represent the people of the 163rd legislative district.

Nick Micozzie has served in Harrisburg for more than three decades. Before that he was an Upper Darby councilman.

I use my print column this week to salute this public servant, and remind people of what we will miss as Micozzie steps away to start a richly deserved retirement.

The absence of people like Micozzie, Sen. Ted Erickson and Mario Civera means a loss of clout for Delaware County. And that translates into money.

Don't believe it? Just ask the folks in Upper Darby. They were ready to storm the school board meeting and run them out of town on a rail because of staff cuts and curriculum changes that endangered their beloved art and music programs.

It was Micozzie, along with Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, who found the money to avert the cuts.

No one knew the system - how it worked and where the money was - better than Micozzie.

He will be impossible to replace.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A little frost on the pumpkin - and the windshield

6 hours 55 min ago
Brace yourself.

Here's a word I haven't thought of in awhile. Actually, not quite long enough.


Yes, as in ice scraper.

That was a fairly substantial frost on my windshield that greeted me this morning. Instead of trying to figure out where I put the scraper. I just juiced the windshield. Of course, most of that froze on contact. But after a couple more squirts, I was good to go. But not before firing up the heater and the defrost.

My temperature gauge on my odometer was registering 31 degrees this morning when I left the house. Of course, that's early.

Right now just before 7 a.m. it's 41 degrees. We're only going to hit 61 today.

Frost on the pumpkin? Yeah, fall has arrived.

Which of course mans winter is right behind.


Call me in April.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Cowboys go a game up on Eagles

7 hours 11 min ago
Don't look now but the Eagles are suddenly looking up at the Cowboys.

Courtesy of their bye week, the Birds did nothing but watch yesterday as they fell a game behind the surging Cowboys, who pounded the Giants behind the record-setting effort of running back DeMarco Murray.

All he did is become the first running back in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his team's first seven games.

Murray rumbled for 128 yards and a TD in the Cowboys' 31-21 win over the Giants. The win propels the 'Boys to 6-1, while the Eagles remained at 5-1.

The schedule now turns decidedly tougher for the Eagles. They get back in business with the late 4 o'clock game next Sunday in the desert against former Temple coach Bruce Arians' Arizona Cardinals. They now sport the same 5-1 mark as the Eagles after they beat the hapless Raiders 24-13 on Sunday.

This Cowboys team looks like they might be for real, in large part because they are banking on Murray, as opposed to putting the game in the hands of Tony Romo, who managed to create crucial turnovers in so many of those opportunities, including a game last year against the Eagles when an interception foiled what looked like a winning drive for the Cowboys.

Better make plans to have the Thanksgiving turkey a little early this year. Mark this one on the calendar. The Eagles will be in Dallas for the annual holiday treat on Nov. 27.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 17

Fri, 2014-10-17 08:24
The Daily Numbers: 0 tax hike in this year’s proposed Delco budget.

3 straight prior years in which taxes have gone up.

5.604 mill tax rate in the budget.

752.05 tax tab for average house assessed at $134,200.

1st degree murder conviction for Chester man in July 2013 shooting death of another man in the city.

2,000 passengers who travel through Philadelphia International from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, center of Ebola outbreak.

3.19 price per gallon for gas at Wawa this morning. Wonder if it will dip below $3.

100 people who showed up at a forum in Upper Darby last night to address cyberbullying.

2 million dollar Ponzi scheme fraud charged by the feds against a West Chester woman.

1.4 million dollar grant for Chester Boys and Girls Clubs as part of a federal job training program.

19 million profit for Monroe Energy refinery run by Delta Air lines in Trainer in 3rd quarter.

8 percent boost in revenue for Delta, due in large part to the refinery.

630 million dollars in impact fees and @2.2 billion in corporate income and franchise taxes being paid by natural gas drillers, according to GOP pols who held press conference yesterday at the courthouse.

234 pornographic emails linked to Pa. Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery. He apologized yesterday, and then attacked his boss Chief Justice Ron Castille.

3,000 people who turned out in Philly yesterday to protest School Reform Commission move to ax teachers’ contract.

111-91 loss for the Sixers.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

So what are your plans for Sunday, since there is no Eagles game? Might be time to introduce myself to my wife, “Hi, I’m Phil.”

I Don’t Get It: The cable news outlets have sunk their teeth into the Ebola story and they’re not letting go. Keep this in mind. Ebola is not transmissible through the air. You have to have close contact with spit, feces, vomit, urine or some other infected material to be infected.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco Council for holding the line on taxes this year.

Quote Box: “You need money to govern sometimes. When you raise taxes, you get criticized for it.”

- County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, noting this year, as opposed to last 3 years, Delco will not raise taxes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that no-tax-hike budget

Fri, 2014-10-17 07:28
First the good news, then the interesting news. Or at least it is to me.

Delaware County residents this morning are being greeted by the front-page headline that there will not be an increase in county taxes this year.

The initial budget proposal will keep the levy at 5.604 mills. That means is you have the average home assessed at $134,200, you will once again pay $752.05 in taxes.

This year's county budget process reverses a trend that saw taxes increase in each of the last three years. Last year residents took a 2.8 percent hike, largely because of increases in costs tied to the funding cuts from the state for operation of the Fair Acres Geriatric Center, as well as increased costs at the county 911 Center.

Now the interesting part.

The announcement that the county was not raising taxes was made by council at a public meeting in Springfield. That just happens to be the home of Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, who is in a heated race for the vacant 26th District state Senate seat against Demcocrat union leader John Kane.

The county has to present their preliminary budget at least 60 days prior to the end of the year.

That always puts them precariously close to election day.

In years past - in particular when taxes are going up - council has not exactly gone out of its way to make the news public. We usually have to pester them about it and when the initial numbers are going to be available.

Not so this year.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence, right?

At any rate, note that the news is plastered all over our front page.

That's what we did the past few years when taxes were going up. We couldn't very well bury the news inside when council is holding the line on taxes.

I wonder if next year, should the numbers go south and another tax hike is required, if council will be quite as forthcoming with the news.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 16

Thu, 2014-10-16 08:21
The Daily Numbers: 50 to 132 months in prison for former Collingdale Councilman James Bryan.

2.9 million dollars, how much he ripped off for the company he worked for Wescott Electric.

12 of November, date for public hearing on controversial plan to develop last open tract in Brookhaven.

5 burglaries in Upper Darby all believed to be the work of the same man.

10,000 to 14,000 drivers who use Route 320 in Swarthmore every day who will be looking at a new traffic plan.

3.7 acre parcel on Baltimore Pike in Middletown that was once home to the Crier in the Country that is set for development as a 4-story life-care facility for seniors.

6 public hearings starting tonight set by the Springfield School Board on options for replacing the high school.

13.4 million dollar treatment center now open at Coatesville VA.

2nd nurse now diagnosed with Ebola at Dallas Hospital.

234 pornographic emails shared by Pa. Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery in the ongoing email scandal roiling the state capital.

2 soccer coaches from Northampton High who have resigned their posts after players taunted an opposing player from Guinea about Ebola.

34,000 price tag for the negatives from the wedding of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

4-0 ALCS sweep for the Royals, putting them in the World Series.

3-1 lead in NLCS for the Giants over the Cardinals.

2 week leave being taken by Garnet Valley football coach Mike Ricci.

27 of their last 80 shootouts in which the Flyers have emerged victorious. That’s just 34 percent.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Let’s hear it for Raul Ibanez and Erik Kratz. Both former Phils are headed to the World Series with the Kansas City Royals.

I Don’t Get It: Things are getting crazy in Harrisburg. Two state reps were involved in a shootout after a holdup attempt as they walked home just a few blocks from the Capitol.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Kansas City Royals. Let’s hear it for small market teams.

Quote Box: “He was treated more like a son than an employee.” - James Wescott, owner of firm victimized by former Collingdale Councilman James Bryan.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Corbett on the hot seat: Join us for a live interview

Thu, 2014-10-16 07:41
Gov. Tom Corbett continues to face a decidedly uphill fight in his bid to win re-election.

Most polls have Democratic challenger Tom Wolf up, although the margin has been moving at least a little bit in the governor's favor.

A recent poll has Corbett within single digits of Wolf with three weeks left in the campaign.

Today we'll be putting Corbett on the hot seat - and you can take part. The governor, seeking to avoid being the first incumbent to fail to win a second term in the governor's mansion, will sit down for a live interview with members of the Digital First Media regional editorial board.

I'll be on the call.

You can watch a live-stream of the broadcast here.And there will be a live Scribble for you to take part in a live chat.

I've received several good questions for the governor from readers. If you have something you'd like him to answer, email me your question at editor@delcotimes.com.

We'll be live with Gov. Corbett at 8:30 a.m.

Join us!
Categories: Pennsylvania

Bizzarro World? No, just Harrisburg

Thu, 2014-10-16 07:33
Interesting place, our state capital is these days.

I'm talking about Harrisburg.

The place where employees of the attorney general's office under Tom Corbett have become embroiled in a scandal involving pornographic emails.

It's already cost several people their jobs. Some of them are crying politics, saying this has been set up by the current A.G Kathleen Kane.

Yesterday we learned that one of those who shared porn was none other than Supreme Court Justice. He was outed by his boss, Chief Justice Ron Castille. You should know those two did not exactly get along either.

But all of this pales compared to what happened to a couple of state reps this week.

After a late session, they grabbed a late dinner and then headed to the place they rent a few blocks from the Capitol when they are in town with the Legislature in session.

That's when they were approached by a teen with a gun.

He picked the wrong guys.

State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, is a former prison guard. He also happens to be licensed to carry a handgun.

He was packing Tuesday night when they were accosted by a pistol-packing teen.

Flynn never blinked.

When the young tough pointed his gun at Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, Flynn took out his Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 pistol.

Several shots were exchanged. Nobody was hit.

Flynn said the experience only reinforced what he firmly believes is the value of packing heat.

He did not exactly offer a ringing endorsement of life in the state capital.

“This isn’t my neighborhood. I didn’t grow up here. I’m not comfortable in this environment,” said Flynn. “I don’t feel safe walking the streets of Harrisburg.”

Four teens now face charges.

Police believe they did the same thing on Monday night.

Too bad it was not Rep. Bizzarro who pulled out his gun.

The Bizzarro World headline would be too god to pass up.
Categories: Pennsylvania

2 familiar faces on Royals' roster

Thu, 2014-10-16 07:16
Looking for a team to root for in the baseball playoffs?

I'm going with the Kansas City Royals. Actually, I liked both the Royals and the Baltimore Orioles, who faced off in the ALCS.

Having grown up in southern Chester County, the Orioles were always my second favorite team, after the Phillies, of course. I saw several games as a kid in the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.

Both these teams are from so-called "small markets." And both teams play very good fundamental baseball.

But there is an added attraction to the Royals.They feature several familiar faces.

Our old pals Raul Ibanez and Erik Kratz are both on the Royals' roster.

Ibanez was not active for the Royals playoff roster, but it's clear his class act is setting an example for the young Royals. Same goes for Kratz.

It's been a long time since the Royals appeared in the World Series. 1985 to be exact. That's almost back to those glory days of George Brett. You remember him. Pretty good hitter. Got flipped by Dickie Noles in the 1980 World Series, which broke a long championship drought here in Philly. K.C. fans had their fill of pent-up emotions and they exploded in exhiliration after the Royals completed a sweep of the O's at home yesterday. Here's what it looked like. Phillies fans can relate. Here's hoping K.C. gets 'crowned' in the World Series. Go Royals.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Another test for the faithful - this time in Springfield

Wed, 2014-10-15 07:30
The people are Notre Dame de Lourdes know exactly how their fellow Catholics in Springfield are feeling today.

It's enough to test your faith.

On Sunday, parishioners at the three Catholic parishes in Springfield - St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Cross and St. Kevin - learned they are the latest Delco congregations to come under review by the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee. The results will likely be the same sad song.

Not all three of them will survive.

It is likely that at lest one of them will disappear, merged with a fellow parish.

That's what happened at Notre Dame de Lourdes, over the protests of outrages parishioners who continue to fight the good fight, taking their case to the Vatican.

It is not likely to matter.

The Archdiocese continues to face severe economic issues, as well as a distinct shortage of priests.

The process has been ongoing for the last four years.

In that span the archdiocese has shuttered 47 churches out of a total of 266 across the region's five counties.

In Delaware County alone, the number of parishes has gone from 46 to 38.

The chances are not good that the Springfield triumvirate will be able to avoid a similar fate.

Here's the way some parishioners reacted to the news. I wish them well. I think they will need it. But the odds - and the archdiocese's track record in these instances - does not bode well for them.

In other words, they don't have a prayer.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Not the start the Flyers wanted

Wed, 2014-10-15 06:33
The Flyers have now played four games.

They have yet to record a win.

Last night they fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Ed Snider and the Flyers brass have never exactly been known as a patient bunch.

Should the Craig Berube watch be started.

Columnist Jack McCaffery offers a look back to last year, when three losses to open a season cost Peter Laviolette his job.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 14

Tue, 2014-10-14 08:01
The Daily Numbers: 3 homes damaged when a 2-alarm fire roared through a home in Clifton Heights.

2 residents treated for minor injuries when they jumped from a 2nd floor rear window to escape the flames.

50 minutes, how long it took to bring the fire under control.

3 parishes in Springfield who are wondering about their future. They are the latest to come under the review process that has been ongoing in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

36 years, how long Rep. Nick Micozzie, R-163, has served the residents of Upper Darby in Harrisburg. He will deliver his final remarks on the House floord on Wednesday. He is retiring from this seat.

4 year contract dispute between SEPTA and the engineers who run the regional rails that could be coming to end with a tentative contract.

8.5 percent wage hike for the engineers in the deal. That’s followed by another 3 percent in April.

1,240 dollar lump sum signing bonus for each union member under the deal.

2 million dollars, what it cost Darby Borough to build a new 14,000 square foot borough hall.

5 solutions for the issue of sound emanating from loudspeakers at George King Stadium in Nother Providence put forth by 3 residents who have been complaining about noise from events at the field.

2 hospitalized after a shooting incident in Chester Monday night.

2 local Acme supermarkets that will be closed. Both are in Bucks County.

130 employees at the 2 stores. They will be placed at other Acme stores.

20, age of Penn State student who now faces charges in connection with a threat made against the school’s main campus.

223.03 plunge on late trading for stock market yesterday.

1.35 percent decline.

1-2 weeks, how long Eagles running back Darren Sproles is expected to be out after suffering a knee sprain Sunday night vs. the Giants.

1,628 passing yards for Nick Foles. That puts him in 5th place among NFL signal callers.

4th in the league in rushing for LeSean McCoy on the strength of his 149-yard effort vs. Giants.

422 yards rushing for McCoy so far this year.

4-1 record for the Eagles next foe, the Cardinals, out in the desert in 2 weeks. They have their bye week this Sunday.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Raise your hand if you hate the bye week in the NFL. The Eagles are rolling at 5-1, but they won’t play again for 2 weeks.

I Don’t Get It: How could anyone steal the prosthetic leg from a veteran who was merely looking to entertain fans outside the Eagles game at the Linc Sunday night. Police continue to hunt for the inebriated young woman who made off with Sonny Forriest’s leg.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to state Rep. Nick Micozzie, who will make his final speech on the floor of the Pa. House today after serving Upper Darby for 36 years.

Quote Box: “I would be crushed if they closed the parish or the school.”

- Ronnie Sidebottom, parishioner at Holy Cross Church in Springfield, one of three Springfield parishes that are under review by the archdiocese.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Changing the way we gather news

Tue, 2014-10-14 07:13
I have written many times over the past couple of years about the changing way we gather the news each day.

One of the biggest shifts is in an area that is sometimes referred to as "user generated content."

We are partnering with readers much more than we did in the past. We engage with them on Twitter and Facebook. We ask them to work with us on stories.

Today's front page would be a perfect example.

The photo of flames roaring through a home in Clifton Heights was not shot by one of our staff photographers.

As it turns out, we only had one photog on the schedule Monday, and she was on the other end of the county, out in Chichester. The key to covering breaking news, of course, is being on the scene when news erupts.

That's what happened yesterday when fire broke out in Clifton.

You can get all the details on the fire and the way several residents had to scramble out a window to escape the flames here from reporter Rose Quinn.

But we really needed an image to deliver the dramatic impact of this story.

That's where readers got involved. Today almost everyone has a smartphone capable to taking pictures and video.

When I realized we likely were not going to be able to get our photographer to the scene for anything other than an "after" shot, I went on social media in search of photos of the fire.

It didn't take long before I noticed the shot posted on a website used by Philadelphia area firefighters to document the conditions they deal with every day.

The photo was taken by Mike Jernegan. I was able to contact him via social media and ask him for permission to use the photo. Eventually we received several more pictures from people who witnessed the scene.

Our preference usually will be to have our own photographers shoot the photos that appear in the pages of our print edition as well as DelcoTimes.com. But the truth is we can't be everywhere.

When breaking news happens, I welcome readers to reach out to us, tell us what you know or saw, and offer any photos or video you have shot.

We will always deliver the news.

But today the process of gathering that news has fundamentally changed. We used to talk "at" readers. Now we are talking with them, asking them to join us in this process of chronicling what is happening here in Delco every day.

If you have something you'd like to share, reach out to me at editor@delcotimes.com.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The scariest word in the language: Ebola

Tue, 2014-10-14 06:50
The Ebola situation seems to get a little scarier every day.

Last week we dealt with the shock of the first death of a person with Ebola in the United States in a Dallas hospital. Now comes the equally unsettling news that a health care worker who was part of the team that treated that patient now has been diagnosed with Ebola.

Now comes word that Delaware County is putting together an Ebola task force.

They will meet for the first time today at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit to promote prevention measures,work with health care providers to ensure proper screenings and institute procedures established by the CDC.

We'll be there to provide full coverage.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The questions about Nick Foles

Tue, 2014-10-14 06:33
So, are you sold on Nick Foles yet?

It's usually not this hard, this business of making up our minds as to whether the guy standing behind center for the Birds is "the one."

I'm not exactly sure what a "franchise" quarterback is. I guess it's a little bit like the famous description of porn authored by none other than a U.S. Supreme Court justice: "I know it when I see it."

Well, I've seen Nick Foles now for an extended period of time, and I'm still not sure.

All of which may be beside the point.

The bottom line is this guy wins. He's the starting quarterback of a team that has raced out of the gate at 5-1 in the NFL season. He's coming off a Sunday night prime-time affair in which he led his team to a dominating, 27-0 win.

And yet he continues to display some confounding characteristics that simply will not allow that nagging feeling that he's not the guy to go away.

Sunday night Foles threw for 34 passes, completing 21 of them, including two TD tosses.

He also threw two incredibly bad interceptions, throws he never should have made.

It's those kinds of decisions that continue to shroud the Foles era, if there is such a thing.

I want Nick Foles to be the guy. But I still have my doubts. Maybe we all were spoiled last year when he somehow managed to do something that may never be repeated. After taking over the starter's job, Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.

That has not been the case this year. Foles has been turning the ball over at a fairly prodigious clip.

More than that, his mechanics at time seem badly flawed. He has a tendency to drift backward in the face of a rush, leading him to throw passes off his back foot. That's a sure-fire recipe for turnovers.

None of which really matters.

5-1 is all that matters.

And Nick Foles is the guy who has quarterbacked the Birds to that sterling start.

Onward and upward.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 13

Mon, 2014-10-13 08:08
The Daily Numbers: 0, as in the number of points scored by the Giants in a 27-0 beatdown at the hands of the Eagles.

18 years, how long it’s been since the Eagles shut a team out.

149 yards on 22 carries for LeSean McCoy. He’s back.

21 of 34 for 248 yards for Nick Foles.

2 TDs and 2 INTs for the Birds QB.

8 sacks racked up by the Eagles marauding defense.

13 of 23 for 151 yards for harassed Giants QB Eli Manning.

448 net yards for the Eagles offense, as opposed to just 253 for the Giants.

5-1 mark for the Eagles as they go into the Bye Week.

3-3 mediocrity for the Giants.

8 straight wins for the Birds at Lincoln Financial Field.

2 straight games in which linebacker Connor Barwin has recorded multiple sacks.

10-0 deficit that the Cowboys turned into a 30-23 win on the road in Seattle.

5-1 mark for the ‘Boys as well as they remain tied with Eagles atop NFC East.

3 tight ends used by Eagles early in game, leading to TD pass to a wide open James Casey.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Let’s hear it for the all-black look for the Eagles as they absolutely dominated the New Yorkers.

I Don’t Get It: OK, I’m officially off the ‘doubters’ list. This Eagles team can be very good. But keep an eye on the Cowboys.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to defensive coordinator Billy Davis, who completely confused the Giants with his schemes and blitzes. Quote Box: “Everybody was happy just to go out there and hit somebody in the mouth because they fired us up with all that talk.”

- Eagles Brandon Graham, on the all the trash-talking the Giants did last week.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Black Beauties: Eagles make believers out of doubters

Mon, 2014-10-13 07:18
Turns out Chip Kelly's team knows how to play defense, too.

Kelly, often referred to as an "offensive genius," and defensive coordinator Billy Davis blindsided their NFC East rival the Giants last night, shutting them out in a 27-0 blowout win.

Give credit for this one to Davis, who concocted a bewildering package of blitzes and coverage that seemed to totally confuse Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who spent much of the night on his back or running for his life.

The reserved, low-key Manning was one of the few Giants who was not trash-talking the Eagles last week. Maybe he knew something. A confident Eagles team - apparently intent on ridding Philly of any nagging doubts about this squad - dominated in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams.

Nick Foles had a solid night, going 21 of 34 with 2 TDs. The Eagles finally managed to get LeSean McCoy untracked. The running back burned the Giants for 149 yards on 22 carries.

But it was the defense that really dazzled in prime time.

The Birds came out dressed all in black, and quickly put Manning and the Giants into mourning.

It was the fist time in 18 years that the Eagles kept an opponent off the scoreboard.

The Birds' defense has been spotty at best in the first six weeks of the season. Not so last night. They harassed Manning into a miserable night, compiling just 12 first downs and 253 yards of total offense.

Manning was just 12 of 23 for 151 yards before he took a seat late in the fourth quarter.

I suppose this would be a good time to revisit my 'Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick,' which of course appeared in this space on Saturday. In it I went with the Giants, saying I continued to have my doubts about both the Eagles and in particular Nick Foles.

The Birds answered all those questions Sunday night.

Foles was money. LeSean McCoy is back. The defense was lights out.

I've never been happier to get a game so wrong.

It appears the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are on a collision course to see who will win the NFC East. Mark your calendars. They will meet in Dallas on Thanksgiving in the 'Boys annual holiday affair.

The Cowboys served notice that they are for real by going on the road and beating the Seahawks in Seattle yesterday.

I'm done doubting the Eagles.

Bring on the 'Boys.

CLICK HERE to read Bob Grotz's game story on the Birds' big win.

CLICK HERE to read Jack McCaffery's take on the game.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Listening to our readers

Mon, 2014-10-13 06:52
If you ever for a second doubted the passion of the readers of this newspaper, come into the office some day and spend some time answering the phones.

That's what many of us did again and again last week, as readers weighed in on our new look.

During that process, I noticed a distinct pattern starting to emerge.

Many of our longtime, loyal readers did not care for the change.

They believe the type is smaller, lighter, and in general is more difficult to read.

On the other hand, younger people seem to like the new, energized look, the way the paper is organized, and the design items we are using to get information to our readers as quickly as we can.

Today we're throwing another wrinkle at readers, one I am guessing they are not going to be thrilled about. We're streamlining our TV pages. We will now use only a single page, with the full prime time graphic.

The phone lines lit up yesterday with people protesting the loss of the second page, which carried the afternoon and late night listings, as well as our movie guide. We're not dropping the movie guide. It will simply appear elsewhere in the newspaper. But we are going to live without those two other TV grids. I'm not sure how many people actually use them, but we just don't have the luxury of offering two pages every day.

You can read my print column on the reaction to our new redesign here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-10-11 06:01
The Eagles decided to flip the tables last week. After consistently falling behind in the first four weeks of the season, the Birds tried a different tack against the Rams. They raced out to a big 34-7 lead, giving every indication that they were going to blow out the lowly Rams.

Not exactly.

The Eagles did everything in their power to give the game away, holding on by their fingernails as Austin Davis rallied the Rams and had the ball with a chance to win twice in the last two minutes.

If not for the continued sterling special teams and an opportunistic defense, Chip Kelly would be explaining one of the team’s all-time El Foldo’s.

Chip Kelly’s offense has yet to really get untracked, in no small part because Nick Foles continues his erratic play. LeSean McCoy was better against the Rams. Better, not great. This team - in particular Foles - needs him to be great.

This week brings a hated NFC East rival to town, those trash-talking New York Giants.

The Giants have won three in a row after playing some truly lousy football in the first two weeks. Eli Manning looks like he’s finally grasping a new offense.

The problem for the Birds in a prime-time Sunday night matchup is going to be how to stop the Giants. The Eagles defense will be undermanned again, without Mychal Kendricks and likely Demeco Ryans as well.

If the defense can’t get off the field, the Eagles just might need more special teams fireworks to keep up with the New Yorkers.

Expect a lot of points to be scored in this one. The Eagles will be able to field the same offensive line for the second week in a row, but I don’t think it will be enough.

The Pick: Make it Giants 31, Eagles 26. Another sub-standard day from Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy will raise even more questions about the Birds’ struggles. Should be an interesting post-game.

Season Record: The Eagles held on by the skin of their teeth to go 4-1. Maybe we should all revert to what one-time Giants head coach Bill Parcells always used to say: You are what you’re record says you are. Both the Birds and I are sporting 4-1 marks. We will part ways again Sunday night.

Game by Game: Eagles 34, Rams 28 (My Pick: Eagles 35, Rams 19)

49ers 26, Eagles 21 (My Pick: 49ers 33, Eagles 29)

Eagles 34, Jaguars 17 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Jags 16)

Eagles 30, Colts 27 (My Pick: Colts 29, Eagles 23)

Eagles 37, Redskins 34 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)
Categories: Pennsylvania