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Updated: 9 min 13 sec ago

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-12-20 05:16
Chip Kelly’s high-speed offense suddenly has turned into the fastest three-and-out machine in the NFL.

For the second straight week, the Eagles offense was sluggish at the start, allowing the Cowboys to break out to a big lead. Even at that, the Birds still clawed back and held a 24-21 lead early in the second half before the roof caved in on them.

After losing two straight at home, the Eagles hit the road to the nation’s capital in a game they simply have to win. The loss to the Cowboys took the Eagles’ fate out of their hands. They now will need help to make the playoffs. The most likely scenario is a win in D.C., followed tomorrow by a loss by the Cowboys to Andrew Luck and the Colts.

The immediate problem for the Eagles will remain the guy standing behind center. Mark Sanchez spent much of last week missing wide-open receivers. The Redskins, while they have struggled mightily, still play pretty good defense. It’s incumbent for the Eagles to get LeSean McCoy and the ground game going early. They do not want to fall behind again and put the game on the right arm of Sanchez. He’s proven so far to be every bit the erratic turnover machine that frustrated the Jets.

One interesting subplot to this game will be Robert Griffin III starting for the Redskins because of injury. He and Jay Gruden likely will not be exchanging Christmas cards. Is there a chance Chip Kelly will be using this game to determine if he wants to take a shot on the often-injured signal-caller who would seem a perfect fit for his offense.

Look for the Eagles offense to sputter again under Sanchez, but they will get another special teams score and survive by the skin of their teeth. Then we all become huge Andrew Luck fans.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 26, Redskins 13. It would be inconceivable that the Eagles could get caught looking ahead. They have to win this game. I think they will.

Season Record: I once again was fooled by the Eagles. I expected them to rebound and play well vs. the Cowboys. Instead, all they showed was that there are some noticeable cracks in the aura surrounding Chip Kelly. Not making the playoffs would be a huge disappointment for a team that could finish 11-5 and still be on the outside looking in at the NFL’s postseason. The loss dropped the Eagles mark to 9-5, while I continued to slide, now sitting at a fairly mediocre 8-6. Of course, in the NFC South, that would make me a world-beater.

Game by Game: Cowboys 38, Eagles 27 (My Pick: Eagles 30, Cowboys 26)

Seahawks 24, Eagles 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 23)

Eagles 33, Cowboys 10 (My Pick: Cowboys 29, Eagles 26)

Eagles 43, Titans 24 (My Pick: Eagles 34, Titans 23)

Packers 53, Eagles 20, 21 (My Pick: Packers 33, Eagles 24)

Eagles 45, Panthers 21 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Panthers 17)

Eagles 31, Texans 21 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Texans 19)

Cardinals 24, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 23)

Eagles 27, Giants 0 (My Pick: Giants 31, Eagles 26)

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

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Dec. 19

Fri, 2014-12-19 07:40
The Daily Numbers: 400 students to 850 attending the Delaware County Intermediate Unit campus in Aston under an expansion plan. The township planners rejected the proposal.

21, age of victim struck and killed by train in Darby Borough.

25, age of man charged with 1st-degree murder in fatal stabbing in Yeadon.

23, of Upper Darby man charged with groping a fast-food worker at the drive-thru window.

4 percent tax hike in Rose Valley.

0 tax hike in Edgmont and Middletown.

3 weeks since Shane Montgomery disappeared after he left a Manayunk bar.

55 million dollar price tag for SEPTA to replace the Crum creek bridge on the Media-Elwyn train line.

925 foot span that connects Swarthmore and Nether Providence needs to be replaced.

3 suspects who waived their hearings yesterday in the beating death of 3-year-old Scotty McMillan in Chester County.

421 point boost for the Dow Jones yesterday.

2.4 percent hike, closing at 17,778.15

20 million dollars from Carl Icahn that will keep the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City open for now.

309 million dollars being sought for the school district.

30 million dollar deficit, what they are facing next year.

2-1 shootout loss for the Flyers to the Panthers.

2-1-1 record for Flyers on their homestand.

8 games on the road now. Flyers do not return home until Jan. 6

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

Eagles will need Luck to reach the playoffs. Namely Andrew Luck, who will lead the Colts vs. the Cowboys on sunday. Of course, first the Eagles need to beat the Redskins on Saturday.

I Don’t Get It: There is a sex tape circulating in Bucks County. It involves middle school students. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, who is at the forefront of the Sony hacking story through his position as chairman of the House Subcommitee on Cybersecurity.

Quote Box: “We Mc-locked him up and Mc-photoed him for the offense.”

- Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood, after a man was charged with groping a fast-food worker at a drive-thru window.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The agony continues for family of Shane Montgomery

Fri, 2014-12-19 07:03
There is no end to the agony for the family of Shane Montgomery.

It has now been three weeks since the 21-year-old West Chester University student walked out of Kildare's Irish Pub in Manayunk after a night out with friends - and vanished off the face of the earth. He has not been seen since.

These cases have a tendency to make headlines for a few days or maybe a week, then fade away.

But the horror does not stop for his family.

Less than a week before Christmas, Montgomery's family continues to press the search, looking for any clue of their loved one.

This weekend there is a run/walk to raise money to help the hunt for Montgomery.

It is heartbreaking to listen to Montgomery's mother talk about the situation. Here's hoping they get some kind of resolution soon.
Categories: Pennsylvania

126 hours of shopping: On your marks ....

Fri, 2014-12-19 06:48
Every day in my Daily Numbers portion of the blog, I list an "I Don't Get It" item.

Today I decided it needed a blog post all its own.

Kohl's stores opened their doors this morning at 6 a.m. They will not close until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

That's right. They will be open for business for 126 consecutive hours. I suppose there are some advantages to shopping at 3 in the morning. It's certainly likely that you will be the crowds.

I just hope my wife has not yet heard of this new shopping fad.

She's a Kohl's junkie.

Then again, if she's shopping for me.....
Categories: Pennsylvania

Luck-y Day for Eagles fans?

Fri, 2014-12-19 06:39
There are actually two big games for Eagles fans this weekend.

First, of course, the Birds must take care of business on Saturday when they visit the nation's capital to tangle with the Redskins and what appears to be a newly rejuvenated Robert Griffin III.

If they take care of business, then Eagles fans will need to gather around the tube at 4:30 Sunday, when the Cowboys play the Colts.

The Eagles will not make the playoffs unless they win their final two games, and the Cowboys lose at least once. Dallas ends their regular season with Washington, while the Eagles have to go up the Jersey Turnpike to face the Giants.

DeMarco Murray continues to be questionable for the 'Boys with a broken bone in his hand.

The Eagles beat the Colts early in this season. They need to hope Andrew Luck and company can rise to the occasion.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Dec. 18

Thu, 2014-12-18 06:49
The Daily Numbers: 27 years, how long Dr. Lawrence Wean has been practicing medicine in Media. Yesterday he was busted for selling prescriptions for painkillers to undercover police officers.

14 counts of administering controlled substance and 3 counts of insurance fraud filed against the doctor.

12.5 percent dip in finances at Cheyney University between 2009 and 2013. The state is warning the historic school faces a ‘dire future’ if finances are not reversed.

348 percent increase in bad debt at the school during the same period.

1,471 students enrolled at the school in 2008-09. That dipped to 1,248 in 2012-13 and expected to fall to 1,053 this year.

12.3 million dollar deficit at the school.

10 people, including 1 from Delco, charged in a scheme to cheat PennDOT out of $1.2 million.

8 people busted in a sting operation in Radnor after they answered a bogus letter indicating they were due unclaimed cash.

0 tax hike in Morton budget.

3.9 percent tax hike in works in Marple.

0 tax hike in Aldan.

0 tax hike in Swarthmore

0 tax hike in Upper Chichester.

4:30 Saturday, when the Eagles teen it up against the Redskins in D.C. Remember the Birds play Saturday, not Sunday. On Sunday all Eagles fans will be watching the Cowboys in the 4:30 game to see if they falter.

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

Why do I get the feeling DeSean Jackson would like nothing more than to ruin the playoff chances of Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

I Don’t Get It: Another doctor facing charges of illegally doling out painkillers. No wonder the county has an opioid problem.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Betty Subashi. The Ridley woman is donating $100 to the Daily Times Merry Christmas Fund to honor the anonymous ‘angel’ who returned her fanny pack that she had left in a shopping cart at the local Acme.

Quote Box: “This is all wrong, all wrong.”

- Dr. Lawrence Wean, after being charged in a sting operation with illegally dispensing painkillers.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The men who run Chester Upland

Thu, 2014-12-18 06:14
There is nothing wrong with the Chester Upland School District that $20 million wouldn't cure.

That's the word from the man who should know. Joe Watkins is the embattled state-appointed receiver of the struggling district. He managed to survive an attempt by his boss at the state Department of Education to boot him from his job. But he's not out of the woods yet. Neither is the district.

Chester Upland continues to face fiscal calamity, staring at a $20 million deficit. Watkins says that shortfall could be wiped out if the state went back to disbursing money as it did after a costing-out study done in 2011 that delivered more state aid to those districts in the greatest need.

He's hopeful that a new administration taking over in Harrisburg - namely Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf - will restore the Act 88 funds nixed by the Corbett Administration.

In the meantime, he maintains the district is making progress, both in luring students back to the public schools from charters, in maintaining a safe atmosphere, and increasing test scores.

He has a secret weapon in this daunting task.

His name is Gregory Shannon, the superintendent Watkins hired to help turn around the district.

Watkins and Shannon were my guests last night on our live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom.' If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

I have to admit I was surprised at the move by the state to bounce Watkins, which came just a few weeks after his announcement that he planned to visit China to entice a charter school operator there to invest - perhaps as much as a billion dollars - in Chester Upland.

That trip is now off, but Watkins stands by the move, and hopes officials may still be willing to come here instead.

But if you're looking for a reason for hope in Chester Upland, Shannon is your man.

He speaks passionately about his mission, and creating a safe atmosphere for Chester students.

Shannon did not mince words about his first task when he and Watkins literally went door-to-door in a much-needed attempt to convince families to pull their kids out of the charters and put them back in Chester Upland district schools. They did it. Enrollment at Chester Upland schools is up.

"They didn't think the schools were safe," Shannon frankly admitted last night.

He's changed that.

He's also pushing basics - reading, writing and public speaking - as the cornerstone to give Chester Upland kids a fighting chance. Watkins and Shannon still face a huge task in turning around Chester Upland.

I almost said "insurmountable," but if you ever get the chance to meet them, in particular Shannon, you'll know that's not the case.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Think DeSean Jackson would like to ruin the Eagles' playoff chances?

Thu, 2014-12-18 05:47
Here's a random thought while waiting for the Eagles to continue their desperate hunt for a playoff spot.

Much has been made of the Eagles' inability to throw deep balls this year. Many believe there is a simple reason for that. He will be lining up across the line of scrimmage Saturday in D.C.

How much do you think DeSean Jackson would like to stick a pin in Chip Kelly and the Eagles' playoff hopes.

With Robert Griffin III back as the starting QB due to still another injury to a Redskins quarterback, look for him to try to get Jackson deep on the Eagles vulnerable secondary.

And how nervous are you at the thought of Jackson going up against what has been a persistent problem this year. That would be the Eagles much-maligned corners, Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams.

Buckle your seat belts, Eagles fans, what was thought to be an easy game in the nation's capital may turn out to be one more finger-biting affair.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Dec. 17

Wed, 2014-12-17 07:41
The Daily Numbers: 1st degree murder charge filed against former Colwyn police officer Stephen Rozniakowski in the shooting death of a woman in Glenolden.

3 people shot in the ordeal.

40, age of woman who was killed in the shooting. Police indicated she had broken off a relationship with Rozniakowski.

15, age of her daughter, who also was wounded by the former cop.

1 person fatally stabbed in Yeadon last night.

8,750 dollar bribe, what Philly D.A. alleges state Rep. Ron Waters, who represents a portion of Delaware County, pocketed.

2 state pols who face charges stemming from a sting operation.

19, age of Upper Darby man charged with allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in Arlington Cemetery.

33, age of man who faces new charges after allegedly lighting up a marijuana cigarette while inside the Upper Darby police station.

40 dollar hike in taxes for Prospect Park residents under their proposed budget.

9 percent pay hike for police officers in Springfield Township.

.5 mile from his home, where authorities found the body of Bradley Stone, wanted in connection with killing 6 people in Montgomery County.

141 people killed when Taliban fighters invaded a school in Pakistan.

3-1 loss for the Flyers to Tampa Bay last night at the Wells Fargo.

23 saves in his NHL debut for Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevsky.

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

Robert Griffin III will be running the Redskins’ offense Saturday vs. the Eagles. Anyone else wonder how he would look running Chip Kelly’s offense?

I Don’t Get It: Stephen Rozniakowski’s track record gave a harrowing foreshadowing of what eventually happened Monday night in Glenolden. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the volunteers who were saluted at a recent meeting of Chester City Council. They do the city proud.

Quote Box: “His intent was to arm himself with a gun, with a bullet-proof vest, and to execute all three people and take down all who got in his way, including police.”

- D.A. Jack Whelan, describing the actions of Stephan Rozniakowski, who now faces murder charges.
Categories: Pennsylvania

An 'execution' in Glenolden

Wed, 2014-12-17 07:02
It's hard to imagine the terror that unfolded inside a home in Glenolden Monday night.

Valerie Morrow was all too familiar with the volatile nature of Stephen Rozniakowski. She had obtained a protection from abuse order against him earlier in the day.

But as is too often the case in domestic incidents, it did her little good.

Rozniakowski, with whom she had broken off a relationship, showed up at the Morrow home Monday night wearing a bulletproof vest and packing a gun.

He didn't go there to talk.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Rozniakowski, a cop with a bad history of harassing women, went there to "execute" the Morrow family.

He was only stopped when Valerie Morrow's husband, Thomas, himself a police officer in Morton, returned fire, wounding Rozniakowski. You can read all the details of the horrific incident here.

Earlier in the day, Rozniakowski had resigned his position on the Colwyn police department. He had been on desk duty while awaiting trial in Montgomery County for stalking and harassing another woman. He was due in court for a pre-trial conference.

Rozniakowski now faces first-degree murder and a slew of other charges. Whelan said his office will consider the death penalty in the case.

Actually, the death penalty has already been used.

Stephen Rozniakowksi, a spurned suitor, used it on Valerie Morrow.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Chester Upland's top brass visits 'Live From the Newsroom'

Wed, 2014-12-17 06:44
Do you have a question you'd like to ask the top brass of the Chester Upland School District?

This is your night.

After surviving an attempt by Gov. Tom Corbett to remove him from his job, Chester Upland receiver Joe Watkins will pay a visit to our live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom,' tonight. Joining us will be Chester Upland Superintendent Gregory Shannon.

Watkins was targeted in a surprise move by acting state Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, who filed a petition in Delaware County Court to have Watkins ousted. But Delco Judge Chad Kenney decided Watkins deserves more time to turn things around in the seemingly forever troubled school district.

We'll talk about the reasons why Watkins may have been targeted, why he believes it was the wrong move, and the things he's done to reverse course in Chester Upland.

Shannon will be on hand to talk about the current state of affairs in Chester Upland, and where the district goes from here. Do you have a question you'd like to ask either Watkins or Shannon? Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com, and I will ask them tomorrow night.

Then tune in to DelcoTimes.com tonight at 7 night as we go live with Joe Watkins and Gregory Shannon. Join the conversation!
Categories: Pennsylvania

How would RGIII look running Chip Kelly's offense?

Wed, 2014-12-17 06:16
The Eagles just might get a glimpse of their future Saturday when they travel down I-95 for a crucial game against the Redskins.

The Eagles need to keep winning - and hope for a Dallas loss - to have any hope of winning the division and making the playoffs. The odds of making it as a Wild Card team are even longer.

But they might be looking at the ghost of Christmas future across the line of scrimmage.

Robert Griffin III will be back as the starting quarterback for the 'Skins, thanks to a neck injury that has put Colt McCoy on the shelf for the rest of the season.

RGIII, once heralded as the face of the Washington franchise, clearly has fallen out of favor with new coach Jay Gruden. Most people believe he will be playing somewhere else next year.

Could that spot be Philadelphia.

Griffin ran an offense similar to that employed by Chip Kelly when he was a college standout at Baylor. He's mobile, which most people believe is something Kelly desperately wants - and does not really have with Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez - in his QB.

The down side? RGIII has proven to be brittle, reeling from a string of injuries since he's been in Washington. Part of that comes with the exposure that the run-option demands of a signal caller.

But it's still an intriguing option.

It is unlikely that the Eagles will be able to pull off any kind of blockbuster that would put them in position to draft Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, who Kelly also coached at Oregon.

I happen to think that Kelly's franchise quarterback is not on this roster.

He just might be staring at them from across the line of scrimmage on Saturday.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Dec. 16

Tue, 2014-12-16 08:11
The Daily Numbers: 6 people slain by a man in 3 different towns in Montgomery County in an early-morning rampage.

1 more person was wounded. The gunman is still on the loose.

35, age of suspect Bradley Michael Stone, whose ex-wife told friends she feared he was going to kill her.

2 people shot - 1 fatally - in a home in Glenolden Monday night.

14 and 17, ages of niece and nephew among the victims.

3 suspects facing charges in connection with stolen credit cards in Upper Chichester.

26, age of Philly man facing charges for allegedly dealing heroin in Upper Darby.

8 people homeless following a fire in Chester.

6 people out of their homes following a blaze in Yeadon.

7,500 dollar grant coming to Eddystone to study its recycling program.

1,107 tax bill for average resident in Colwyn after borough council OK’d a budget that actually cuts taxes.

22 months in prison for former Kutztown University football player in connection with the beating of a student

98.6 million Americans who will travel 50 miles from home this Christmas holiday season, according to AAA.

4 percent increase over last year.

2.53 a gallon, national average price at pump for gas.

70 cents less than last year.

50,000 dollars left by a secret Santa at a Wal-mart in Mechanicsburg, Pa., to pay off layaway bills.

3 dead after siege ends in Sydney, Australia.

0 wins for the Sixers at home this year, to go with 13 straight losses.

105-87 loss to the Celtics last night.

19 points, a career high, for Nerlens Noel in the loss.

1 Dallas loss and 2 Eagles wins, what Birds need to still win the division.

2 Eagles wins and 2 losses by either Green Bay, Detroit or Seattle would give them a wild card.

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

The Eagles will need help if they are going to get to the playoffs. They no longer control their own destiny.

I Don’t Get It: Just a horrific day of violence on Monday, and we still need an answer to guns.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Villanova QB John Robertson, who won the Walter Payton Award as the best college football player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Quote Box: “The community has been very kind. A man I didn’t know offered to give us a house to live in.

- Fire victim Joe McCullough, of Morton.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A horrific Monday

Tue, 2014-12-16 07:17
As Mondays go, that was just God-awful.

It started early in Montgomery County, where police now believe a man killed six people and injured another.

It appers Bradley William Stone, 35, was involved in a bitter custody dispute.

He is believed to have fatally shot his ex-wife, her mother and her grandmother and the ex-wife's sister. The shootings took place in three different locations, in Lower Salford, Lansdale and Souderton.

Despite a day-long manhunt, Stone remains on the loose. It is possible that he attempted to carjack someone in Bucks County.

You can get all the details here.

Then last night, gunshots ran out again, this time here in Delaware County.

Two females were shot inside a Glenolden home, one of them fatally.

Police believe the suspected triggerman is a former Colwyn police officer.

He was in turn shot by one of the women's husband, who also is a part-time police officer.

I get phone calls just about every day slamming the newspaper for our stance looking to get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

I don't pretend to know what the answer is.

What I know is that Bradley Stone, an Iraq war veteran, likely had serious issues. He also had guns. And yesterday he used them in a deadly shooting spree.

We are now two years removed from the shock of the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 innocent children lost their lives when another clearly troubled young man walked into their school armed to the teeth.

There is a common theme that runs through these stories.

Guns in the hands of people who should not have them.

I have said many times I have no interest in taking away anyone's Second Amendment rights. I did not want to penalize hunters. But I am tired of writing these kinds of stories.

And guns remain at the center of every one of them.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Chester Upland officials talk about district on 'Live From the Newsroom'

Tue, 2014-12-16 06:52
He survived an attempt by Gov. Tom Corbett to remove him from his job, now Joe Watkins is ready to tangle with 'Live From the Newsroom.'

We'll have the embattled receiver of the Chester Upland School District as our guest Wednesday night, along with CU Superintendent Gregory Shannon.

Watkins was targeted in a surprise move by acting state Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, who filed a petition in Delaware County Court to have Watkins ousted. But Delco Judge Chad Kenney decided Watkins deserves more time to turn things around in the seemingly forever troubled school district.

We'll talk about the reasons why Watkins may have been targeted, why he believes it was the wrong move, and the things he's done to reverse course in Chester Upland.

Shannon will be on hand to talk about the current state of affairs in Chester Upland, and where the district goes from here. Do you have a question you'd like to ask either Watkins or Shannon? Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com, and I will ask them tomorrow night.

Then tune in to DelcoTimes.com at 7 Wednesay night as we go live with Joe Watkins and Gregory Shannon. Join the conversation!
Categories: Pennsylvania

How the Eagles make - or don't make - the playoffs

Tue, 2014-12-16 06:39
If the Eagles are going to make the playoffs, they will need help.

That is the penalty for losing that game against the Cowboys. The Birds no longer control their own destiny.

Even more, they better plan to win the division. Getting in as a wild card is a long shot at best.

The Eagles may very well finish 11-5 - a better record than the 10-6 they put together last year - and still miss the playoffs.

Chip Kelly's team will go to D.C. in a Saturday game to face Robert Griffin III, who has been installed as the starter again for the 'Skins. If they win, they can then sit back with their fingers crossed hoping the Cowboys trip at home against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

And the Eagles might have gotten a break - because of a broken bone suffered by Dallas star running back DeMarcus Murray. He broke a bone in his left hand in that game vs. the Eagles and likely will miss Sunday's match.

If Dallas prevails Sunday, it will all come down to the final week, when the Eagles travel up the Jersey Turnpike to play the Giants in the Meadowlands, while the Cowboys finish the season with the Redskins.

Reaching the playoffs via a wild card is very much a long shot for the Birds. They would need to win both of their final two games, while hoping that either the Packers, Lions or Seahawks lose both of their remaining games. That isn't likely to happen.

For now, will see if the Eagles can be in 'Luck,' as in the Colts starting QB.

He just gained a lot of fans in Philly.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Eagles come up short on all fronts

Mon, 2014-12-15 06:50
Mark Sanchez is not the answer.

I'm not sure Nick Foles is either.

Now for the really bad news. Is anyone else wondering if Chip Kelly is the answer as well.

All of this is stewing in the rubble of a thoroughly disheartening loss Sunday night before a national TV audience to the hated Dallas Cowboys.

In effect, the Cowboys simply returned the favor after the Eagles tattooed them on Thanksgiving. Dallas, and their creaking quarterback Tony Romo, played that game on a very short rest after playing on Sunday night. It was a different Romo last night, who clearly decided early on that Bradley Fletcher and the rest of the Eagles' secondary was no match for Dez Bryant, who hauled in three TD passes.

The game got off to an ominous start when, for some reason, the Eagles return men decided to let the short kickoff drop between them, giving the Cowboys the ball inside the Eagles 20-yard line.

They cashed that into a TD and the trouble mounted from there.

Chip Kelly's uptempo offense hurried into a 3 and out, putting the Eagles defense right back on the field.

Mark Sanchez reinforced last night that he is not the Eagles' answer at quarterback. He was off-target right from the start, constantly throwing high in the first half, then just flat missing wide-open receivers in the second half.

The Eagles found themselves down 21-0 and on the verge of being blown out of Lincoln Financial Field when an odd thing. Suddenly the Birds reeled off 24 unanswered points to take the lead, and raise the specter of another epic December collapse by Romo and the Cowboys.

But the 'Boys had a secret weapon - the Eagles secondary.

Romo went back to work, finding receivers again and again, leading the Cowboys to two scoring drives to put the game away.

Looking for something - anything - to vent their wrath at, many Eagles fans were left to contemplate the sight of New Jersey Governor and Presidential hopeful Chris Christie high-fiving folks in the box of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The governor has never made it a secret that he likes Dallas, but I'm not sure who told him it would be a good idea to be seen yukking it up with Jones and his cronies.

That's not the Eagles' real problem this morning.

This is: There are in imminent danger of not making the playoffs. If the Cowboys can beat the Colts next weekend in Dallas, the Birds' odds will nosedive.

But there is also this: Chip Kelly does something very well. He rarely gets beat by a team he is expected to defeat.

The Eagles feast on lesser opponents. The problem occurs when Kelly and the Eagles play winning teams. That's when Chip Kelly fails to get it done. Take away the Thanksgiving game vs. the Cowboys. The Birds went to Arizona and San Francisco and lost both. They got blown out in Green Bay. Then, last night they came up short in a crucial game with first place on the line in the rematch with Dallas.

Not helping matters is Sanchez. He's just not good enough. The problem is I'm not sure Nick Foles is either.

The real quarterback for Chip Kelly and this team likely is not even on this roster.

That's where we sit this morning.

Just not good enough.

On a lot of fronts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Holiday traditions carry on at Daily Times

Mon, 2014-12-15 06:26
The holidays cometh.

Christmas is exactly 10 days away.

As usual I am having my usual issues getting into the holiday spirit.

That is why I am glad we have been able to continue two special projects we do here at the Daily Times each Christmas season.

It's in my print column today.

And if you have any ideas to get into the holiday spirit (the Eagles are not exactly spreading holiday cheer) I am all ears.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-12-13 05:50
Just call it The Rematch.

Every great game needs a nickname, and the Sunday night showdown on national TV between the Eagles and Cowboys just two weeks after the Birds blew out Jerry Jones’ minions on Thanksgiving Day should be a classic.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons not to like the Eagles this week.

First there is the standard NFL axiom that it is very difficult to beat a team twice in the same season.

Dallas has the revenge factor going, looking to avenge the humiliating beatdown on their own turf that soured their Thanksgiving.

Dallas - and most importantly QB Tony Romo - comes into this game well-rested. Part of their problem on Thanksgiving is that they had just played Sunday night. Romo usually does not even practice until Thursday because of his cranky back. He also was nursing sore ribs in that game. This time he’ll be ready to roll.

Then there is the weird Seattle factor. The last seven teams that have played the Seahawks have lost the following week.

All of that adds up to a much closer game than Round One, a 33-10 Eagles romp.

I still like the Birds.

Why? Because these days Dallas lives and dies with DeMarco Murray and their running game. The Eagles front seven on defense is playing some of their best ball of the year. I think they can contain Murray, than go after Romo with a vengeance.

On offense, once again the Eagles will merely ask Mark Sanchez not to lose the game, not make any careless throws that lead to turnovers.

Same goes for LeSean McCoy. He will have extra motivation going into this game, looking to get back on track after what he admitted was his worst game of the year vs. the Seattle, including a killer fumble on the first play of the second half. A huge game from McCoy, mirroring the 159-yard effort he put up in the first go-round with Dallas, will pave the way to an Eagles victory.

One other thing. This Eagles team is not built to come from behind. With Sanchez at quarterback, you want them to get a quick start, build an early lead, allow their up tempo offense to unsettle Dallas, and control the game. If they fall behind, that means more emphasis on Sanchez and the throwing game, which usually means trouble.

How important is this game? It’s entirely possible the loser does not make the playoffs.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 30, Cowboys 26. The Birds get the early lead and hold off the Cowboys. Cody Parkey is your MVP, with three field goals.

Season Record: I was very disappointed in the Eagles effort last week, and the fault lies on offense, and that puts it in the lap of Chip Kelly. Basically, the Eagles were no match for the vaunted Seattle defense. So far Kelly has shown a clear ability to beat the teams the Eagles are supposed to beat. But he’s consistently come up short in matches with the better teams in the league. That needs to change. The Eagles now sit at 9-4, but a win vs. the Cowboys is crucial to them controlling their own destiny in terms of the playoffs. A loss likely means they will need help. I’m now sliding toward mediocrity, with an 8-5 mark after wrongly thinking the Eagles would handle Seattle at home.

Game by Game: Seahawks 24, Eagles 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 23)

Eagles 33, Cowboys 10 (My Pick: Cowboys 29, Eagles 26)

Eagles 43, Titans 24 (My Pick: Eagles 34, Titans 23)

Packers 53, Eagles 20, 21 (My Pick: Packers 33, Eagles 24)

Eagles 45, Panthers 21 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Panthers 17)

Eagles 31, Texans 21 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Texans 19)

Cardinals 24, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 23)

Eagles 27, Giants 0 (My Pick: Giants 31, Eagles 26)

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

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Dec. 12

Fri, 2014-12-12 07:48
The Daily Numbers: 3.62, 3.67 and 5.2 percent raises in proposed contract for Garnet Valley teachers. They rejected a fact-finder’s report on the deal.

126,958,952, what the new 3-year deal would wind up costing the district.

98 percent of union that rejected the deal.

8-1 vote in favor by the school board.

26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting remembered at candlelight vigil in Aston last night on 2-year anniversary of the school shooting.

100,000 dollars in rare artifacts believed ripped off by a man working for an elderly Haverford woman.

0 tax hike in the East Lansdowne proposed budget.

5,000 salary as township councilman being donated to Primos Elementary School for their new playground push by Jamie Santora. Nice move.

0.99 tax hike included in the Upper Darby budget.

140 mph wind gusts recorded in some mountain passed in California during massive storm sparked by the ‘Pineapple Express.’

60 dollars a barrel, where oil prices have now hit.

1,000 bags of heroin seized during traffic stop in Delaware.

6.6 percent unemployment rate in the Philadelphia region, down 3.3 percent from October 2013.

8,500 jobs added during October.

1.7 billion in savings for Delta Air Lines.

75 million dollar profit now being forecast for Delta’s Monroe Energy Refinery in Trainer.

400 truckloads of concrete that will be poured to form the foundation of the new Comcast building at 18th and Arch in Philly.

15 million pounds of concrete involved.

4-1 win for Flyers over the Devils.

17 saves for Ray Emery in an easy win.

7 straight teams who have played the Seahawks who have lost the following week. Eagles need to break that streak.

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

Forecast calls for a fairly mild night Sunday for the rematch of Eagles and Dallas. Fans will have all day to tailgate and get fired up.

I Don’t Get It: A woman working part-time in Chester delivering pizzas to help pay her school bills was shot in what police believe was a set-up. She was called to a site for a delivery, then shot. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Upper Darby Councilman Jamie Santora. He recently won election to the state House, replacing legendary Nick Micozzie in the 163rd District. He will donate his council salary to Primos Elementary for their playground project. Nice move.

Quote Box: “The feeling of the membership is that the district’s School Performance Profile is first in the county and 11th in the state, but teachers are paid in the middle of the pack in Delaware County.”

- Zeel Weil, of the PSEA, talking about contract talks in Garnet Valley.
Categories: Pennsylvania