Mitch's Sports Report: Eagles Win Game But Lose Best Player; Yankees Win World Series In December
Ask any Philadelphia Eagles fan which scenario they'd rather be contemplating this Monday morning: lose yesterday's game against the L.A. Rams and put off clinching a playoff spot for at least one more week, or beat the Rams, nail down that playoff berth in week thirteen but lose your starting quarterback for the rest of the season to injury?
Eagles fans know football, and I'm willing to bet every one of them would choose the former rather than the latter.
The Eagles beat the Rams 43-35 and did clinch that playoff appearance, but the win came with the cost of losing Carson Wentz, who was having an MVP year as quarterback for Philly. Late in teh fourth quarter Wentz scrambled into the end zone on a play that was called back on a holding penalty. Wentz was hit hard but somehow stayed in the game for the next play, a three yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey, who made a beautiful catch with the ball tossed slightly behind him and so low to to the ground that he had to secure it with his fingertips. It was one of four touchdowns Wentz threw on the day.
The Rams got the lead back, but then the Eagles went ahead for good when Chris Long stripped Rams quarterback Jarred Goff of the ball, setting up a Jake Elliott field goal,and the Eagles got the win that gives them their first NFC title since 2013. But the word on Wentz is that he tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, and the playoffs.
Nick Foles is the back-up, and he's not a bad quarterback, and the Eagles are still an excellent all around team, but Wentz is the number one reason they have only two losses on the season, and they can no longer be considered favorites to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. The Eagles and their fans have been hopeful this would be the year Philadelphia won its first championship since ever, and it is still a possibility, but the odds without Wentz calling the plays just got a lot longer.
The Denver Broncos had been on an eight game losing streak but the NY Jets helped them end that by showing up and watching Denver put up 23 points while scoring zero themselves. Demaryius Thomas had 92 yards receiving along with a touchdown in the Broncos victory.
The NY Giants had Eli Manning back at quarterback and no Bob McAdoo roaming the sidelines after his firing as head coach last week but it didn't change New York's fortunes in a 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott threw three touchdowns in the win, which keeps Dallas' playoff hopes alive, albeit barely, as they sit at 7-6 on the season.
The New England patriots will need to win in Miami tonight to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers for best record in the AFC after the Steelers pulled out a last minute 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens yesterday. It was the second straight week Pittsburgh had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win, and they did, erasing an 11-point deficit when Chris Boswell made a 46-yard field goal with just 42 seconds left. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and made history as the first quarterback to throw for at least 500 yards three different times. The Patriots, meanwhile, will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski for tonight's game, as he serves a one game suspension for his late hit on Buffalo's Tre'Davious White last week.
Things are good right now for an original six NHL franchise that hasn't won a Stanley Cup since hippies in San Francisco were making their city famous as the epicenter of the summer of love. The Toronto Maple Leafs keep winning, and did so against Edmonton last night, with a rare appearance from their back-up netminder pitching a 1-0 shut-out against the Oilers. Frederik Andersen has started all but five games for the Leafs this year but Curtis McElhinney stepped in last night and turned away all 41 shots sent his way, making Zach Hyman's first period goal in the first minute of play stand up as the game winner.
The Boston Celtics avenged a November loss to the Detroit Pistons, one of just five they have on the season, beating the Pistons 91-81 in the Motor City last night. Andre Drummond owned the glass in the mast meeting, pulling down 22 rebounds while scoring 26 points, but he was held in check last night, scoring just six while the Pistons as a team were held to a season low. Al Horford led the Celtics with 18 as they improve to 23-5 on the year, and have yet to lose back to back games since opening the season at 0-2.
I haven't mentioned baseball yet, and it's not just because it's December. I'm in total denial of the news that broke over the weekend of the NY Yankees trading for National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton in a deal that sends two high level prospects and second baseman Starlin Castro to the Miami Marlins for the best slugger in baseball, a guy that hit 59 home runs last year. That's very little to give up for what the Yankees are getting, and with Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same line-up Yankees pitchers can give up eight runs a game and still expect to win.
Boston Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski would have to pull a rabbit, two ducks, and a rhinoceros out of his hat at the baseball winter meetings to counter that deal, and there's really nothing positive I have for Red Sox Nation this morning, especially with the news that knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright was arrested on a charge of domestic assault against his wife. If the allegations are true, lets hope the Red Sox, who released a statement saying they take the allegations seriously and will have no further comment until a probe by local police and Major League Baseball is completed, simply cut ties with Wright and demonstrate a zero tolerance policy in relation to domestic violence.