Philadelphia Sports Scene

September 21, 2009 4:11 AM

Phillies Ready to Clinch; Eagles Lose Opener

The Phillies and Eagles were both in action on Sunday but only one team came away with a W.

We start, of course, with the more important team in Philadelphia at the moment.
Phillies magic number: 6!

Brad Lidge gave up a run in the ninth ...again...but the Phils hung on to get a 4-2 win over the Braves on the road. With a 3 game sweep of the Marlins, and some bad luck for the Braves, the Phillies could clinch back to back NL East Division titles this week. Obviously this team has loftier goals then a divisional championship.
They are currently 2nd in the National League in terms of winning percentage....waiting to see how the standings shake out to see who their opponent will be in the first round and whether they will have home field advantage.


The final score of 48-22 really does not indicate how close the game was at Lincoln Financial Field. Saints FS Darren Shaper picked off the ball in the end zone and returned it 97 yards--causing a big 14 point swing. Eagles KR Ellis Hobbs fumbling the kickoff in Eagles territory to start the 2nd half hurt most of all, giving Drew Brees prime field position and he capitalized.
The good news:

QB Kevin Kolb managed the game well. He was put in some very difficult positions since the special teams played so poorly. There was an infraction or turnover on almost every single special teams play. His yardage numbers were padded a little towards the end when the game was out of reach and the Saints coverage dropped way back.

All Kolb was asked to do was to give the Eagles a fighting chance, control the ball and the clock, and don't try to do too much. Except for one interception, he pretty much accomplished those tasks.

The starting QB in Week three will be...??? Kevin Kolb or Donovan McNabb (highly unlikely...recovering from broken rib). Michael Vick will be activated though and considering how many times the Eagles ran the wildcat formation against the Saints (around 10) Vick should get a number of snaps and hopefully build on the success of DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook (ironic side note: Westbrook's Alma mater, The Villanova Wildcats, defeated my Alma mater, Penn, 14-3 Saturday at Franklin Field. Nova is #3 in the country in D-1AA).

Scary but slim possibility: Will the Eagles keep Kolb in over Vick and Jeff Garcia simply to try and prove a point that their first selection in the 2007 draft was not a bust? This team is way to talented and deep to allow a young QB to stand in their way of victories. As Herm Edwards said, "You play to win the game."

Possible Pro Bowl Picks: Trent Cole is a beast, recording a sack and an interception. DeSean Jackson has really made a name for himself and still has not reached his full potential. Way too soon to tell but it's fun to speculate...especially in regard to success.

Thank God for good hands: Jason Avant showed his ability as a tough, sure handed slot receiver last season and he continued to impress against the Saints on a couple of occasions, including a TD. He also happens to love Jesus and can be heard singing Gospel music on the field during practice.

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