Lows will slip into the 50s this week, although no rain is expected while Pope Francis is in town
Due to Pope Visit, recycling and trash collection will go to a holiday schedule in Lower Merion Township
The Daily Numbers: 0-2 record for Chip Kelly and the Eagles as they’re off to a putrid start. 13 rushes for 2 yards for DeMarco Murray against his old team. That’s not a typo.7 yards on 17 carries total rushing for the Eagles.11 yards on 21 carries in 2 weeks for Murray, brought in for his ‘north-south’ style of running when LeSean McCoy was let go.1 first down for Eagles in the 1st half.21 yards total offense for Eagles in 1st half.6:51 time of possession for Birds in 1st half; 23:09 for Cowboys.0 for 5 on 3rd down in 1st half23 of 37 for Sam Bradford for 224 yards.2 more interceptions tossed by Bradford.1 fumble lost by Bradford when center Jason Kelce snapped the ball to him in the shotgun before he was ready.5 turnovers for Eagles in 1st 2 weeks of season.2 more key injuries for Eagles defense, with linebackers Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks now nursing knee and hamstring issues. 7 of 7 for 73 yards and a TD for Brandon Weeden, who came in for Tony Romo after the Cowboys’ starter broke his collarbone.46 yard field goal for Cody Parkey.1-5, Eagles record in their last 6 games dating back to last season.5 of 23 on 3rd down conversions for Eagles in 1st 2 weeks of season.8-10 weeks, how long Tony Romo is expected to be out of the lineup with a broken collarbone. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.So far this is on Chip Kelly, more so for his decisions as general manager than as a coach. Questions will be asked about the team Kelly has put together. I Don’t Get It: How did anyone think Allen Barbre and Andrew Gardner would be adequate replacements for Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Eagles defense, which upheld their end of the bargain yesterday. Not that it did much good. Quote Box: “Maybe we got a little overconfident in the preseason and thought we could go out there and beat anybody.”- Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson.
Let's get the pope jokes out of the way right up front. Pope Francis is getting here just in time to perform last rites on Chip Kelly and the Eagles.Actually, things aren't that bad. Yet.
But I don't think it's a reach to point out that no one expected the Eagles to be 0-2 at this point.And it's not only that.It's the way they've gone about it. The Eagles looked like they just weren't ready last week when they failed to show up for the first half Monday night against the Falcons. But a very good second half from Sam Bradford and the offense had most thinking they had shaken off the doldrums and would be firing on all cylinders in the home opener against the Cowboys. Wrong.Chip Kelly's team looked lifeless in a thoroughly dispiriting 20-10 loss
to the hated guys with those stars on the helmet. And the truth is it wasn't that close.The Eagles now only repeated their first-half struggles of opening week, they managed to look even worse.In the off-season, Chip Kelly won a power struggle and took complete control over the Eagles roster and personnel moves. Then he went about breaking up a team that went 10-6 his first two years and put it back together, largely by casting off those who didn't hit his "culture" and adding free agents.The result has been evident the first two weeks of the season.The Eagles look like a bunch of guys who were just introduced to each other.It was Kelly's decision to allow Todd Herremans to walk, then balk when Evan Mathis wanted more money. The result? Kelly has a doughnut offense, one with a huge hole in the middle, with Allen Barbre and Andrew Garner.The backbone of Kelly's up-tempo offensive philosophy is the ability to control the line of scrimmage and run the football.The Eagles have not done that now in the first two weeks of the season. They started badly against the Falcons and got even worse yesterday.DeMarco Murray, brought in by Kelly after he dispatched the Eagles all-time leading rusher LeSean McCoy, and hailed for his 'north-south' rushing style, scratched out 2 yards on 13 carries. Murray didn't go north-south. He didn't go anywhere, as the Cowboys mimicked the Falcons in dominating the line of scrimmage and disrupting the Birds' offense.Bradford looked like he regressed in Week Two, appearing antsy in the pocket and uncharacteristically inaccurate on his throws. The Cowboys arrived without their best weapon, wide receiver Dez Bryant, then watched QB Tony Romo grimace his way to the locker room with a broken collarbone.Didn't much matter.The Eagles offense was going nowhere.Starting a season 0-2 does not necessarily doom the Eagles' season.But Kelly at this point has more questions than answers. The fans have questions, too, such as why Kelly insisted on tearing apart a team that went 10-6.Kelly says he will have to look at the film. He should burn it instead.Pope Francis is getting here just in time. Too bad he's not bringing St. Jude with him.You know him, the patron saint of Eagles fans, and hopeless cases.Oh-and-two.Chip Kelly is about to find out what Andy Reid did. That arrogant act plays OK when you're 10-6 and making the playoffs. It's a lot more difficult to swallow when you're 0-2 and looking God-awful in the process.Time's yours, Chip.
Brace yourself. It's here. It's Pope Week.
I think we'll survive. Which is more than I can say about Chip Kelly and the Eagles this morning.I used my print column
this week to talk about what to expect this week with the World Meeting of Families, culminating in the two-day visit by Pope Francis on Saturday and Sunday.The traffic restrictions are already in place. Both the inner and outer lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are now closed and will be through the weekend.Cars are being towed out of the security zone in Center City.One thing still up in the air is just how many people are likely to make the trek into the city on Saturday and Sunday for the pope's three big public events.The pontiff is in Cuba now, and will head to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, where he will address Congress. Then it's off to New York for a speech to the United Nations and a tour of Central Park.Finally, on Saturday morning, he will touch down at Philadelphia International Airport. Later Saturday he will deliver a speech on immigration and religious freedom at Independence Hall, then take part in the finale of the World Meeting of Families, the Festival of Families on the Parkway.On Sunday he will retrace the act of a predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in celebrating an outdoor Mass at Eakins Oval on the Parkway. The big question continues to be just how many people will show up?Initial estimates of as many as 2 million pilgrims now seem to be getting a serious revision. Months of warnings of traffic and security restrictions have many wondering just how many will actually be in the Parkway next Sunday.So I'll over an over/under. I will set the line at 1 million followers. I'm taking the under. I say about 750,000 show up.What do you think? Post a comment and weigh in.
The weird, the wild, and the horrific
20th human case reported this week. Local officials share tips and advice for avoiding infection.
I understand The probably there was no way to save the 19 century storefront given the decrepit buildings it was attached to. But this is the kind of waste that makes me crazy because someone has sat on this land for the better part of what? A decade or better?
This is a clear case of demolition by neglect because the buildings were just pretty much left to rot.
I am told this was Malvern Borough’s last 19th century storefront.
The clear cutting of every tree is so ugly.
Miss a day, miss a lot. Catch up on recent news in Eastern Pennsylvania, including Pope visit preparations and a teen’s foiled plot
So much for the preseason. Yes, the Eagles sparkled in the summer sun. Then they forgot to show up for the first half of their prime-time, Monday night opener in Atlanta.A furious second half rally fueled by the pinpoint passing of Sam Bradford sailed wide – in the form of Cody Parkey’s field goal try that would have given the Birds the lead with 2:30 left in the game. The result was a dispiriting 26-24 loss.
Let’s review what went wrong in that first half:• The Eagles were clearly off their game in the first half. If you ask me, they played like a team whose regulars did not play that much in the preseason.• Nowhere was that more evident than with Bradford and his receivers. Remember, it was the former No. 1 draft pick’s first NFL game in nearly two years. He’s recovering from back-to-back ACL tears in his left knee. He clearly was not on the same page with his receivers, in particular Zach Ertz and Josh Hoff. Nor surprisingly, neither of them played that much in the preseason either.• The offensive line was a mess. Running was nearly impossible. Chip Kelly pulled an ‘Andy Reid’ and abandoned the run.• The Eagles two big acquisitions to replace LeSean McCoy – DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews – were a non-factor. • On defense, it’s clear the Eagles do not get pressure on the opposing QB unless they blitz. In the 1st half, Matt Ryan sat back and picked them apart.• Byron Maxwell, paid $63 million to be a shutdown corner, clearly was not on Monday night. He was left alone on Julio Jones and was repeatedly burned.• Penalties. Way too many of them.• Cody Parkey. Bottom line? Even with everything else that went wrong, he’s got to make that kick. He’s a problem who is about one more miss from being unemployed.I know it’s only Week Two of a long NFL season. But I think the Eagles already are looking at a “must-win” game. They don’t want to fall to 0-2 at the same time the hated Cowboys go 2-0. In addition, both of their losses would be in the conference, and that’s always a problem. Thankfully, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Look for Murray, who’s smartly been playing it low-key all week, to exact some revenge on his old mates with a huge game. But the key is still Bradford. Anyone who watched that second half knows exactly why Kelly was willing to part with Nick Foles and a 2nd round draft pick to get him. He’s the real deal, in line for a monster year if he stays healthy. The Pick: Make it Eagles 31, Cowboys 26.
Bradford will lead the Birds precision passing game, perfectly complimented by Murray and Matthews. Look for Ertz to have a big game as he and Bradford get acquainted. The defense will play better, not great, but good enough for the win. Last Week:
Dick Vermeil once said you’ve got to beat the teams you’re supposed to. The Eagles are a better team than the Falcons. They had no business losing. I certainly didn’t see that one coming. Now they have little room for error. Season Record:
The Birds are sitting in the hole at 0-1. They really don’t want to start “oh-and-two.” I joined them in the loss column and am 0-1 one game into a long season. Game by Game:
Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)
With nine days until the long-awaited visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia, many Delaware County parishes have begun handing out tickets to the see him live in Philadelphia.
See the score of Saturday afternoon's game in real time here
Board of Commissioners approved one tentative plan at contentious meeting
In an update for township commissioners Sept. 16, Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath gave some new details about what local residents should expect during the visit to Philadelphia of Pope Francis in just a few more days.
Market, which recently re-opened on Lancaster Avenue, will host a grand opening during the Saturday of the Pope's visit
Digital First Media As the worlds eye turns to Philadelphia next week with the visit of Pope Francis, Digital First Media will have you covered all week with coverage. We will be on the ground starting Tuesday at the World Meeting of Families and have a team of reporters to get all your stories when the pope arrives.
NARBERTH >> Several times during a long debate on the issue, Narberth officials have said they are so convinced a roundabout is the better solution for traffic and safety near the Narberth Tunnel that the borough would pay the higher cost over neighboring Lower Merion Township’s preferred traffic signal.
Jack McShea’s will host a one-day beer garden, featuring seasonal food and beer, on the afternoon of October 4
The Daily Numbers: 50 bucks, the pricetag for the 3-inch Pope Medallion created by Keystone Mint in Folcroft. 50 dollars for the 1.75 inch coin.2,700 of the larger size that the Delco firm created.15,000 of the smaller ones.32 page special section on the World Meeting of Families and visit by Pope Francis in the Daily Times today.60, age of man who pleaded guilty to peeping on a woman at a Wawa restroom.853,000 dollars, how much Middletown Township paid for the old Roosevelt School property on Old Middletown Road.33 million dollars, who much Comcast will pay for a privacy breach in California.5 million dollar pricetag as the Philadelphia Theatre Company bought back its home.27 years, how long Jeffrey Knueppel has worked for SEPTA. He will become the new GM, succeeding Delco resident Joe Casey, who is retiring.3 suspects in an alleged attack on a gay couple on a Philly street who are considering a plea deal.0-1 record for the Eagles.1-0 record for Cowboys. Birds don’t want to fall 2 games behind their NFC East rivals.4:25 kickoff Sunday at the Linc for Eagles vs. Cowboys.Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Yes, it’s early, only the 2nd game of the NFL season. But the Eagles are looking at what amounts to a must win. I Don’t Get It: Parking in Center City will be severely limited starting on Monday, although the pope is not arriving until Saturday. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco’s own Keystone Mint in Folcroft, which created the official medallion to commemorate the visit by Pope Francis. Quote Box: “It’s good to be a part of the pope. It’s good to be involved.”- Keystone Mint worker Nancy Rodriguez.