Updated: 44 min 38 sec ago
The Daily Numbers: 2, age of little Mason Hunt, who died of abuse. His mother and her boyfriend are on trial in his death. 2 charter schools seeking the OK to set up operations in Upper Darby.1993, when Darren Alston joined the Chester Police Department. He announced his retirement this week.89 bed Hilton Candlewood Estates hotel set to break ground in the city next spring.39 years, how long they have been holding their special holiday celebration at the Schoolhouse Center in Nether Providence.16 employees being laid off at Valley Forge Military Academy in Radnor.275 person sales force getting the ax at Endo in West Whiteland.700 jobs being eliminated in North America by Astra Zeneca, including some at its Wilmington HQ.95, age of American hero, astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, who died Thursday.69, age of rock icon Greg Lake, who formed King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He also died, continuing a horrific year of losses in the music biz.35 people now believed killed in heroin overdoses in Philly in the past 5 days.11-22 years in jail, what prosecutors are seeking for former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.143 of 228 precincts in Chester County where they will recount paper ballots.190,462 ballots that will be recounted.7 straight wins for the Flyers.6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night.2 times the Flyers scored 3 goals in a row to rally for the win.1:20 to go, when Mark Raffl scored the game winner, capping rally from 2 goals down.23 game road losing skid snapped by the Sixers.99-88 win over the Pelicans in New Orleans.11 months ago, the last time the Sixers won on the road.14 points and 4 blocks for Joel Embiid. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Break up the Flyers! I Don’t Get It: Donald Trump has announced he is going to say on as boss of ‘The Apprentice’ TV show ever after he becomes president. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to Darren Alston, who announced his retirement as Chester’s top cop. Quote Box: “Throughout my career I hope and pray that I have helped people along the way, hopefully more than I have arrested.”- Darren Alston, on retiring as Chester Police commissioner.
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a long-time Delco pol who made a point I had not thought of. He was commenting on the election of Donald Trump, and then segued into yesterday's big news of the day in these parts, the deal that was struck to keep money flowing from Harrah's Casino in Chester to both the county and city of Chester's coffers.One of the key players in the deal was state Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, of Springfield.The pol was talking about Trump's flurry of actions in his first couple of weeks as president-elect when he made a comparison to McGarrigle."That's what happens when you elect businessmen," he said. "They get things done."He went on to specifically say we could use more businessmen in office, as opposed to lawyers. McGarrigle had lots of help from Sen. Tom Killion and others in the Delco delegation.McGarrigle for years operated a service station in Springfield before running for township commissioner. From there he pole-vaulted to County Council, eventually becoming chairman. He ran and won the 26th District state Senate seat that was vacated by the retiring Sen. Ted Erickson. On our editorial page today, we talk about just how important the deal with Harrah's was to the county, and even more so to the city of Chester.When you get your county tax bill next year, you will notice it's the same as last year.That would not have happened without the deal with Harrah's, which means that $4.3 million will continue to go to the county, while Chester will continue to receive $10 million, a quarter of its annual revenue.In deference to the president-elect, I guess you could call this Delco's version of The Art of the Deal. Nice work, guys.
We have breaking news! It's December - and it's cold out.We can report exclusively that it was brisk when we left the house this a.m. It's been awhile since I've seen the car thermometer register in the 20s, but that's what it said.Brace yourself, not for the cold, but for all the hot air coming from TV this morning as they breathlessly inform us of a cold snap that is going to put us in the deep freeze all weekend.Attention Eagles fans, dress warmly for that Sunday date vs. the Redskins at the Linc. The temperature is not expected to climb out of the 30s either Saturday or Sunday.Lows will be in the 20s.And just to top it off, we have a chance for a dusting of snow Sunday night into Monday morning.I can hardly wait for the Monday morning TV newscasts.Where did I leave my ruler? Need to be able to stick it in the snow, of course.You can get the full forecast here.
Here's a little sports trivia to warm your heart on a cold Friday morning. When is the last time two Philly pro sports teams won on the same day?Someone get a hose and put out the Flyers - they're on fire.The orange and black remained red hot last night, rallying to win their seventh straight game by overcoming Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, 6-5, in a classic at the Wells Fargo Center.Rob Parent has all those details.And speaking of streaks, the Sixers snapped a 23-game road skid by topping the Pelicans, 99-88, in New Orleans. Now if only the Eagles could get on board.
The Daily Numbers: 14 million dollars in casino revenue that will continue to flow to both the county and city of Chester under deal reached yesterday. 4.3 million for Delaware County.10 million for the city of Chester26 percent of the city’s budget.0 tax hike in the Delaware County budget, something that likely would not have happened without this deal.61.2 million dollars in unfunded liabilities in Chester’s city pension plans.9 million dollars the city owes in employer contributions to the police fund.6 million dollars owed to 3 other employee plans for 2016.3,500 hours of overtime worked by one officer in a single year.15.3 hours a day for 365 days a year, what that works out to.25,000 dollar reward posted for information leading to suspect in Chester post office robbery.1,940 given to the Merry Christmas Fund yesterday. 6,670 total for the fund toward our goal of $50,000 so far this year.100 bruises found on the body of little Mason Hunt. His mother and boyfriend are on trial in connection with his death3.5 million dollar fine slapped on Pa. gas driller Rice Energy Inc.297 point jump for the Dow Jones yesterday.19,549.62 close for the markets.66-63 loss for Temple to George Washington last night.81-52 win for Penn over Lafayette1, as in the UConn women, who turned back Notre Dame, 72-61. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Eagles should be preparing for the Redskins, a team that dominated them earlier this year. Instead the conversation is being dominated about the effort the Birds gave Sunday in a dismal loss vs. the Bengals. This team could go one of two ways: Unite & fight; or throw in the towel and mail it in for final 4 games. I Don’t Get It: There is almost nothing worse than reading the testimony in an abuse case involving a child. Just heart-breaking. Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sens. Tom McGarrigle and Tom Killion for crafting a deal that will keep money flowing from Harrah’s Casino in Chester. Quote Box: “They know how important these revenues are to the county and the city of Chester and they agreed to continue these payments.”- County Councilman John McBlain, on Harrah’s actions to keep money flowing to county and city of Chester.
Any way you look at it, $14 million bucks is a big number. Unlike professional athletes or big-time entertainers, when you start dealing with municipal budgets, this starts adding up to real money real fast.Back in September, the state Supreme Court sent shock waves across Pennsylvania, at least those areas that play "host" to one our new-fangled casinos.Here in Delaware County, that means Harrah's down on the waterfront in Chester.The court ruled in favor of one of the state's smaller, so-called "boutique" casinos who had filed suit, saying the host agreements with casinos was unfair. Naturally, this was all about money as well. The way the deals were set up, the little guys in the casino biz made the argument that thet paying more than they should. The court agreed, and blew up the deals.That left Delaware County and the city of Chester in a bit of a panic.Those host agreements mean big bucks to both the city and county. Delaware County gets $4 million from Harrah's. Chester is even more dependent on gaming revenue, owing as much as a quarter of its annual budget from the gaming mecca along Route 291.Yesterday, state Sens. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, of Springfield, and Tom Killion, R-9, of Middletown, announced a deal that will keep the money flowing.That means the county will continue to get its annual $4.9 million haul, and Chester will not have to due without its $10.5 million payment.Delaware County Council unanimously signed off on the deal at yesterday's meeting.You can get all the details here.
The battle for 'Nick's House' is not over. The Swarthmore neighbors who opposed the HEADstrong Foundation's request to use an old home as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their caregivers are planning to appeal the unanimous ruling from borough council in favor.Meanwhile, on our editorial page, we take a look at this most controversial story.I say controversial story from the point of view that most people took, incredulous that anyone would oppose this request.That's not the way the neighbors viewed it.It all made for a textbook example of democracy and civics in action.You can read the editorial here.
Doug Pederson and the Eagles are entering very dangerous territory. The coach, who has a tendency to speak his mind, unlike most big-time coaches, may have bit off more than he can chew at his Monday day-after presser following that dreadful performance against the Bengals.In response to a question about his team's effort from longtime radio and TV guy Howard Eskin, Pederson stunned just about everyone with his response to whether he believed everyone gave maximum effort in Cincinnati."Not everybody."It did not take long for that heat-seeking missile to hit the locker room.Two players seem to be the focus of much of the talk.Zach Ertz is taking heat for passing on a block as his quarterback Carson Wentz scrambled for the sideline. Safety Rodney McLeod has been questioned about his effort on a Bengals' score at the goal line.I like Doug Pederson.That does not mean I don't think he has made mistakes. Actually, I think at least two Eagles losses are directly attributed to some of his actions.I especially like his outgoing nature and honest answers when he's asked a question.That's even more so after more than a decade of Andy Reid, who simply never gave you anything, and a couple of years of Chip Kelly, whose arrogance did little to hide his dislike for the media and actually being asked questions.The Eagles should be preparing for a team they do not match up well against. That would be the Redskins.Instead of putting the wagons in a circle and hunkering down for one last stand in these final four games, the Eagles are trying to patch up internal squabbling.They can either bond, unite behind Pederson, and lay it all on the line.Or pack it in.Of course, some people think they already did that last Sunday.Bob Grotz has the latest on the Eagles drama.
It is the day that changed the world. The "day that will live in infamy."One thing I learned a very long time ago in this business is that you can do a lot of things, but not taking time to mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor is not one of them.On our editorial page today, we talk about the importance of the day, and how some of the lessons derived from that horrific day still reverberate in a very special place in Media.Read it here.
It's a very special time of the year. Not just because of the holidays, but because as one high school sports season ends and another begins, that means it's time for another showing of Delco's best and brightest.Today we kick off the Fall All-Delco teams.The parade is headed by Lizzie King of Strath Haven, our All-Delco Girls Soccer Player of the Year.You can get all the details here, as well as seeing all the rest of the All-Delco Girls Soccer Team.Here's our schedule for the rest of the week.Thursday: Cross countryDec.13: Boys SoccerDec.14: Field HockeyDec.15: VolleyballDec.16: Football
We have a winner in the least surprising sports news of the week. No, not that some Eagles dogged Sunday while getting their lunch handed to them by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.Matt Rhule is leaving Temple.Raise your hand if you saw this one coming.As the wins piled up over the past two seasons, Rhule would constantly be asked of his future plans, and if he had his eye on a bigger job with a bigger school.Every time he said the right thing, that he was happy at Temple coaching these kids and had no plans to leave. Right up until Tuesday morning.That's when he called Temple officials and informed them he was taking the job at Baylor.Actually, the news first popped up on the Baylor website.Rhule will not be coaching the Owls when they face Wake Forest in the Military Bowl in Annapolis in a few weeks.He's be busy putting together a staff and starting the process of rebuilding a Baylor program that is in shambled after a sex assault scandal embroiled the team and the entire university.We don't hold it against Rhule. Just like we didn't hold it against Al Golden or Steve Addazio.This is what happens at schools like Temple. As soon as a coach builds a winning program, bigger schools came calling.Rhule probably held out longer than most.Apparently he could not resist the lure of Baylor.Get all the details here.
The Daily Numbers: 6-0 vote, with 1 abstention, by Swarthmore Borough Council to reject the appeal by neighbors to use of a borough home by the HEADstrong group as a temporary residence for cancer patients. 14 people who could be housed at the sprawling home on South Chester Road.7 cancer patients and 1 caretaker for each of them who would be accommodated.700,000 dollars, how much HEADstrong paid for the home.600 dollars in cash and coins taken during an armed heist of an Upper Darby laundromat during which a worker was terrorized and locked in a storage closet.2 suspects are being sought in the heist.1 driver being sought after going the wrong way on I-95 to elude police and a possible speeding ticket before slamming into another car, and then fleeing on foot.40, age of Aston man charged with having sex with a 16-year-old girl who was a victim of sex trafficking. 1 person fatally shot in broad daylight just before 3 p.m. at an Upper Darby intersection.9 heroin overdoses reported in the Kensington section of Philadelphia over the weekend.19,216.24, record closing for the Dow Jones yesterday.45.82 point spike yesterday for the markets.3.8 billion dollar crude oil pipeline in North Dakota that has been halted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.2 billion dollars invested in the nearly completed project by Sunoco Logistics of Newtown Square and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners.106-98 loss for the Sixers to the Nuggets last night.7 straight losses for the 76ers.7 points for Chester High product Jameer Nelson for Denver.34, age of the all-time Chester great, who played 30 minutes last night.1, as in No. 1, back on top of the college hoops polls for Villanova. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Doug Pederson admitted at his day-after presser Monday that maybe not all of his players gave 100 percent effort in that dreadful loss to the Bengals Sunday. No kidding. I Don’t Get It: Nine people are believed to have lost their lives to heroin overdoses in one notorious section of Philadelphia over the weekend. Bucks County also is reporting a spike in ODs. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the HEADstrong group and those who battled to be able to use a Swarthmore home as a temporary residence for cancer patients. Council voted 6-0 to reject an appeal against the use by some neighbors. Quote Box: “Until you hear the words, this is just historic, it’s monumental, it’s for Nick and it’s for everybody who follows in his footsteps.”- Cheryl Colleluori, after the 6-0 vote by Swarthmore Borough Council in HEADstrong’s favor.
One of the challenges we face in putting together our print edition every day is something we call our 'black line.' That's how we refer to our lead headline on Page One.If you're a fan of 'The Paper,' the Michael Keaton movie based on a New York City tabloid newspaper, you'll remember they refer to it as 'The Wood.'Both terms are part of old-time journalism lore. Today, in the face of breaking news online, posting on Twitter and Facebook, we still take a lot of time in crafting our front page presentation every day.For tabloids like us, which do not use text or stories routinely on their front page, as opposed to our broadsheet print counterparts, that means we often are left trying to deliver what can be very complicated stories and breaking them down to just a few precious words to deliver the story with as much impact as we can.I think we did just that again this morning.Today's front page delivers the result of last night's much-anticipated Swarthmore Borough Council meeting with just two words: HEADS Up!That, of course, is a reference to the HEADstrong Foundation's push to use a sprawling old home in Swarthmore Borough as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families who are receiving treatment in the region.It is the legacy of Nick Colleluori, a former star athlete at Ridley High who conceived of the organization as he was battling the non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that eventually took his life.After they got the initial OK from the borough's Accommodations Board, the HEADstrong request was met with opposition from a group of neighbors.Last night Swarthmore Borough Council voted to reject their appeal and allow the use by HEADStrong.The story has probably generated more response and interaction on social media than any story we've done in recent memory. Give a big part of the credit for that to Cheryl Colleluori, Nick's mom and the head of HEADstrong.She probably put it best, describing herself as a "mom on a mission."You can get all the details here.
We used our editorial page today to draw a parallel between what is happening out in North Dakota and right here in Delaware County. What is the connection?Pipelines.In North Dakota, members of the Standing Rock Sioux are claiming victory in getting the Army Corps of Engineers to halt construction on the Dakota Access pipeline and indicate they would seek to re-route the project away from the tribe's sacred burial grounds and water source.Here in Delco, a lot of people might be like-minded. They're not wild about the proposed path of Mariner East 2, a pipeline that would deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of chemicals such as ethane, butane and propane from the state's Marcellus Shale regions to Marcus Hook.The path of the pipeline would bring it within a few feet of a local elementary school in Middletown, just one of the reasons many residents are opposed to the project.There is another common theme as well. Sunoco Logistics, the company behind Mariner East 2, also is deeply involved with Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access pipeline.You can read the editorial here.
File this one under the ever-growing file of "Things I Didn't Know.' In my Monday print column I talked about my annual holiday mission - to embrace the holiday spirit.It's a little inside joke I share with my daughter, whose sense of the holidays is second to none.We call it getting 'imbued,' or instilled with the special spirit of Christmas and the holidays.She is in charge of alerting me to our ritual of watching holiday movies and TV specials.That is how I came to be on the couch Saturday night watching 'It's a Wonderful Life.'A quick confession. I'm not the biggest 'It's a Wonderful Life' fan. Don't hate me. It's just a tad heavy on the schmaltz and syrup for my liking, although I can admit I still get a little misty-eyed at the end as George Bailey hugs his daughter and says, 'Atta boy, Clarence,' content in the knowledge that he has helped his friend "earn his wings."Actually, I much prefer another Jimmy Stewart holiday movie my wife - the resident old black and white movie expert in the family - turned me on to. It's called 'The Shop Around the Corner.' It was actually on TCM Friday night, the night before we watched 'Wonderful Life' for the millionth time. I highly recommend it.But I digress.It was while we were watching 'It's a Wonderful Life,' and me noting that I don't especially care for it, that my wife informed me it something in common with one of my absolute favorite movies ever. If I ever actually sat down and created a Top 5 Favorite Movies list, 'The Quiet Man' would be right up, along with 'High Society.'What I did not know is that the great John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara Irish epic shares something in common with 'It's a Wonderful Life.'Any idea what it is?That would be one Ward Bond.He played Bert the cop in 'It's a Wonderful Life.' In fact, a lot of people believe they used that name, along with Ernie the cab driver, as the namesakes for Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street.I've heard that a million times.Here's something I did not know.Ward Bond also played Father Peter Lonergan, parish priest, in 'The Quiet Man.'I still can't believe I never made that connection.Ward Bond had a prolific career, often teaming with John Wayne, who he met while they were students at USC, and director John Ford. He appeared in 26 Ford films.He has appeared in seven of The American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies.But it is his role as Father Lonergan that captures my heart. He was at the center of the plot cooked up to get Will Danaher to allow the marriage of his sister Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara) to Wayne, who had gone home to the town of his birth in Ireland after killing a man in the ring in America, only to make a mortal enemy of Danaher by buying his childhood home, which stood right next to Danaher's property. For me, it is pure Irish movie magic. Now if I could just figure out why exactly Bert the cop thought it was a good idea to open fire on George Bailey in the middle of that crowded street in what was by that time Pottersville, instead of Bedford Falls.Oh, that's right, it's the movies.I will likely continue to grit my teeth as I sit through 'It's a Wonderful Life.'But I will do so now with a smile on my face every time I see Bert the cop.Merry Christmas.Hope this adds to your sense of being 'imbued.'I think we all could stand to be a bit more 'imbued' these days.
The Daily Numbers: 32-14 loss by the Birds to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. Just embarrassing. 3-7-1 record for the Bengals coming into the game.0 points scored by the Eagles in the 1st half.29-0 Bengals before the Birds got on the board.6 consecutive scores by the Bengals to start the game. 42 days since their last win.60 passes attempted by Carson Wentz. Yeah, that’s going to work.3 interceptions tossed by Wentz, who has his worst game as a pro.7 losses in 9 games since Birds got out to 3-0 start.15 completions for 164 yards for Wentz.6 catches for Paul Turner, who caught everything in his general area. Yet it took this long to get him into the lineup.14 catches for tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton.50, 44, 29, 23, 21 yard completions for Andy Dalton against Eagles porous defense.0 sacks recorded by Eagles defense.19 TD passes against Eagles in their last 9 games.10 penalties for 88 yards against the Birds.0 wins for the Eagles in 5 trips to Cincinnati. They do have a tie to go with 4 losses.51 yard field goal missed by Caleb Sturgis.10,000 empty seats in Cincinnati. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.A new low when putting up the Christmas decorations is a more enticing option than watching the Eagles. I Don’t Get It: Carson Wentz threw 60 passes. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to season ticket holders. Good luck trying to dump those three remaining home games. Quote Box: “When you’re down, it’s natural to feel a sense or urgency. Maybe we call it pressing.”- Eagles QB Carson Wentz
It's decision day in Swarthmore. For weeks we've chronicled the discussion over 'Nick's House' in Swarthmore.The HEADstrong Foundation, which was founded by former Ridley star athlete Nick Colleluori even as he battled the non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that took his life, is in the process of buying a stately, old home in Swarthmore to use as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families who are in the region to get treatment.While their request got the initial OK from the borough Accommodation Board, that ruling has been appealed by a group of neighbors, who have raised concerns about parking, traffic, and whether or not the borough's zoning codes are being properly enforced in this case.All of that will be decided tonight when Swarthmore Borough Council votes on the neighbors' appeal.You can get all the details here.We will be there tonight to bring you the decision.
It's time to get 'imbued.' Yes, I know that might be a tad more difficult this morning for Eagles fans.So, what do I mean by being 'imbued?'Well, actually I used my Monday print column to explain it - as well as pay homage to one of the single greatest lines in the history of film.Here are the Daily Times, we celebrate the holiday season with the arrival of our annual fund drive to help the good work of the Chester Salvation Army. It's the 45th year we have offered the Daily Times Merry Christmas Fund.Once again this year we are pushing to raise $50,000.We also are celebrating on Page Two of the print edition every day, with our annual salute to all those great holiday decorations across the county.Welcome back to "Homes for the Holidays."You can read it all in my Monday Letter from the Editor.Let me know if you disagree with my choice for one of the great lines ever in a movie.George Bailey, I'll love that line 'til the day I die.
The Eagles have landed. With a thud.How bad were the Birds yesterday in getting thrashed 32-14 by the Bengals.The Eagles got shut out in the first half. It was 29-0 before the Doug Pederson's charges got on the board.To the Bengals, who came into the game 3-7.This was not the Patriots. Or the Broncos. This was the stinking Cincinnati Bengals.Which tells you something about Jeff Lurie's team.And all of this on a day when both the Giants and Redskins lost, which could have opened a door for the Eagles to resuscitate their faint playyoff hopes. Instead the Eagles were DOA in Cincinnati. There are a lot of stories to come out of yesterday's disgraceful effort. The Eagles are a team bereft of talent on both sides of the ball. They have no weapons on offense, and no way to stop other team's efforts.Compound that with a lack of effort - you can make a case that this team simply did not show up yesterday - and you have an indictment of the entire Eagles organization.And that includes both of the team's rookies, first-year head coach Doug Pederson and fledgling quarterback Carson Wentz, who for some reason Pederson decided to have throw the ball 60 times yesterday.The fact is there are now some fairly serious questions about Wentz, who is showing signs of mechanical problems that might explain why some teams were reluctant to hitch their wagon to him in the NFL draft.Wentz has a hitch in his throwing motion, a strange wrist action in his release that results in high throws. When he throws the ball down the middle of the field, that is a guaranteed recipe for disaster, overthrowing receivers and sailing throws right into the arms of waiting safeties.But there is even a bigger story at play here, one I experienced and one I am guessing a lot of other Eagles fans have hit as well.I really no longer care.Enough.I've seen all this before. The Eagles as run by Jeff Lurie no longer seem capable of being a consistent, winning organization. They had a great run with Andy Reid, but they have done nothing since.That is the real danger here, at least for the Lurie and the Eagles.They are in danger of coming in second to putting up Christmas decorations.That hasn't happened in a long time, if ever.
This is what rebuilding looks like - at least for the Eagles. This one could set the NFL back a ways.Two struggling teams will meet in Cincinnati when the Eagles arrive to tangle with the Bengals.If you can remember the optimism that surrounded the Eagles, along with Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz as the Birds sprinted out to that 3-0 start, you're a good fan.Pederson is a first-year coach; Wentz is a rookie quarterback. Both are beginning to look like it.The truth is this is probably more representative of the Eagles than that mirage early in the season, including that impressive win vs. the Steelers.Pederson in particular seems to have lost the imagination and touch he demonstrated - and his team is paying for it.He's fallen into the Andy Reid playbook, abandoning a running game that would immensely help his young QB while controlling the game and keeping some potent offenses off the field.Instead Pederson for some reason insists on throwing the ball, including an ugly effort vs. the Packers when the key to the game should have been to limit the time Aaron Rodgers had to dissect your defense.The Bengals aren't nearly as good. They look like they will miss the playoffs again. They won't need to be all that good today. The Eagles arrive likely without their top two weapons, which I guess is a bit of a stretch. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews has a bum ankle; running back Ryan Mathews is out again with a knee injury. There's a stunner: Ryan Mathews is injured.Pederson could load up with a huge diet of Wendell Smallwood, the running back who has given every appearance of being a solid lead back. Instead the guess here is that Pederson instead will try to have Wentz win the game again. Expect lots of 6-yard passes to Zach Ertz on third and eight.On defense, the Birds can't possibly be as bad as they looked against the Packers.Just about anything would be an improvement. They'll be better, just not good enough. The Pick: Make it Bengals 17, Eagles 13. Offense could be strictly a rumor in this one. The Eagles are lousy on the road, the Bengals should kick enough field goals to get the win. Last Week: I don't know what everyone else was thinking. I looked on one side and saw Aaron Rodgers, who is having a very good season even as the Packers have struggled. They are lining up a spot in Canton for Rodgers. How many Eagles can you say that about? The win pushed me over the .500 mark on the season at 6-5, while the Birds slumped to 5-6 mark, as they head back out on the road - where they have not fared well this season, against the Bengals. Game by Game: Packers 27, Eagles 13 (My Pick: Packers 27, Eagles 23)Seahawks 26, Eagles 15 (My Pick: Seahawks 24, Eagles 13) Eagles 24, Falcons 15 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Falcons 29)Giants 28, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Giants 17)Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Cowboys 29, Eagles 24)Eagles 21, Vikings 10 (My Pick: Vikings 26, Eagles 13)Redskins 27, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)Lions 24, Eagles 23 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Lions 10)Eagles 34, Steelers 3 (My Pick: Steelers, 26, Eagles 23)Eagles 29, Bears 14 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 16)Eagles 29, Browns 10 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Browns 13)