Matt Ryan played better than his numbers would suggest, but the Falcons had no chain-moving running game and failed to exploit the Eagles’ weakness at cornerback. With the exception of Taylor Gabriel’s devastating double-move on Leodis McKelvin for a 76-yard touchdown, Ryan got little help from the supporting cast behind Julio Jones. Although Ryan and Jones connected on a series of passes with high degrees of difficulty, the All-Pro receiver suffered a key third-down drop and failed to pull in a back-shoulder throw in tight coverage with the game on the line.
The contest premise is simple enough for anyone to get on board: The Eagles announce that their mascot, Swoop, will be at a location in Philadelphia or the surrounding area. The first person to see Swoop and give him a high five gets two tickets to the upcoming home game. Thirteen out of 20 times since 2014, it’s been @YungYle — real name Kyle Lloyd.
“I don’t have any connections with the Eagles or I wouldn’t be out there on my lunch break not getting lunch,” Lloyd told BillyPenn.com on Tuesday. “I clock out for lunch early to get there. I have a boss who’s cool enough to let me take a lunch break at 11 o’clock to go see Swoop and give him a high five.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson initially said after Mathews suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks that the lead back was day-to-day. But now that Mathews is slated to be sidelined for at least one week, Pederson has changed his tune.
“There’s always that fear, especially with the knee. We just want to make sure that it’s 100 percent before we put him back out on the practice field,” Pederson told reporters Saturday. “There is a concern that it could linger because now we will be coming off a Monday night game into a short week and cheap nba jerseys going back on the road, so we’ve just got to find out next Wednesday where he’s at.”
The Giants’ recent surge featuring eight victories in nine games has inspired lofty comparisons to the 2007 and 2011 editions that ran the table to host the Lombardi Trophy. Considering Manning’s obvious limitations, a susceptible offensive line and a ground attack on pace for the franchise’s lowest output since 1945, those visions are mere wishcasting. If there’s a 21st century comparison to be made, it’s the 2003 Carolina Panthers, with Odell Beckham playing the Steve Smith role as a game-breaking wideout and punt returner capable of carrying the offense on his shoulders in a scorching hot streak.
Eliminating angles like no other player in the NFL, Beckham plays like he believes he’s going to take every catch to the house. With 11 receptions for 150 yards against the Eagles, Beckham (1,323) vaulted past T.Y. Hilton (1,248) and Julio Jones (1,253) for the league-lead in receiving yards. He’s now tied with Randy Moss for the most 100-yard receiving games (19) in a player’s first three seasons. Holiday season now belongs to Beckham, who averages 127.8 yards in 11 December games — nearly 25 more than any other receiver since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
Veteran punter Donnie Jones also earned a three-year extension. In his 13th season in the league, the 36-year-old punter is 22nd among qualified punters in average net yardage (39.7) and is 25th in punts inside the 20 (12).
Jones will be joined by his long snapper/part-time magician Jon Dorenbos, who also agreed to terms on a three-year deal on Friday, per coach Doug Pederson.
Ravens fans will question why Baltimore dialed up a risky first-down pass play at Philly’s 11-yard line with just over six minutes to play. Up 27-17, the Ravens were in fine position to milk the clock and — at worst — kick a field goal. Instead, quarterback Joe Flacco tossed a pass toward the end zone that was picked off by linebacker Jordan Hicks to set up a field-goal march that brought Philly within a touchdown. Flacco also hurt the Ravens with a first-half fumble at his own 8-yard line that triggered a quick seven points for the Eagles. These mistakes are partly why Flacco came into the game ranked 25th in passer rating, but the veteran looked good unfurling a brilliant 34-yard touchdown strike to Steve Smith just before the half. The Ravens need more of this.