PHILADELPHIA, PA – Edition 4
There’s plenty of storylines year-round in the city of Philadelphia. From deadlines and injuries to big games, we’re here to get you caught up on all the action happening this week in the sports landscape!
Upcoming Games: BYE WEEK
The Eagles ended their regular season 13-3 for the second time in franchise history, and enter their first playoff game since January of 2013. With the number one seed in hand, the Eagles will face off against the lowest remaining seed in the NFC bracket which includes New Orleans, Carolina, or Atlanta on Saturday, January 13th at 4:35 pm. As the team and fans await a matchup to be decided, everyone is wonder what kind of Nick Foles will show up in the playoffs. Luckily for the coaching staff, they have an extra week to implement a game plan and their players to rest up.
Additionally, a number of Eagles assistants have been mentioned in the coaching search for teams who have not made it to the playoffs. Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, and Wide Receiver coach Mike Groh have all surfaced in these talks.
Upcoming Games: 1/3 vs. SA Spurs, 1/5 vs. DET Pistons
The Sixers have simply been trying to “figure it out” this season as they currently possess a 17-19 record, good enough for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Winners in three of their last four games dating back to a Christmas Day showdown at MSG, The Sixers successfully downed Denver and Phoneix on their recent 3-game west-coast swing. Now heading home to face 4 of the top 8 teams in the league with a combined 100 wins on the season (.678 winning pct.) during an upcoming 4-game “home” stand (Sixers play in London vs. Boston), January is already shaking out to be the toughest month of the season for Philadelphia. Possibly the most encouraging sign on the floor is the Sixers ability to start closing out games down the stretch as of late. Off the court, everyone is awaiting the return of rookie Markelle Fultz, seemingly one of the only players on the current roster who can create their own shot. Fultz has begun his final step of more basketball activities with the team before he can return while Joel Embiid tries to stay healthy.
Upcoming Games: 1/2 vs. PIT Penguins, 1/4 vs. NY Islanders, 1/6 vs. STL Blues, 1/7 vs. BUF Sabres
The Flyers are also in the midst of a four-game homestand after claiming 3 of a possible 8 points on the road during their last road swing and splitting a pair in Florida. Brian Elliott has started 13 games in a row with the injury to Michal Neuvirth and seems to be coming down from his 2-week hot stretch. Soon the Flyers will have to give him a break and let him rest. Sean Couturier is coming off a three-point night (1G, 2As) in Tampa and Claude Giroux has 10 assists in his last 5 games. Hopefully, the Flyers start off the 4-game homestand on a high note against the rival Penguins as they remain 4 points out of a wild-card spot.
The Phillies remain in the forefront of a few possible acquisitions but have made only one significant move so far this offseason after bringing in Carlos Santana. While still needing to upgrade their pitching rotation to make any major improvement this upcoming season, they are busy working the phone lines. The front office has been looking into guys like Manny Machado and Christian Yelich, but all in all the team has been quiet as spring training is still two months away.
Upcoming Games: 1/6 vs. Marquette
The Villanova Wildcats enter this week at #3 in the AP Top 25 rankings after a tough road loss against unranked Butler. Nova always has a tough time against Butler, and their most recent meeting was a prime example of that as the Wildcats have not beaten Butler in their past three matchups. The Wildcats have some injury issues with freshman Collin Gillespie being out indefinitely and freshman Jermaine Samuels out for a while as well. Bench depth is key as the season progresses and Nova is currently lacking in that area. Marquette is usually another tough draw for Nova, but expect Villanova to bounce back and get the win.
Upcoming Games: 1/4 vs. Cinncinati, 1/7 @UCF
After back to back tough losses against Tulane and Houston, the Owls need a chance to redeem themselves. Temple takes on conference opponent Cincinnati this Thursday and will be looking forward to the opportunity to take down one of only two teams ranked in the AAC. On Sunday, the team will then travel to Orlando to take on UCF, another crucial matchup for the Owls to build on their current 7-6 record.
Penn State claimed victory in the Fiesta Bowl on December 30th with a 35-28 victory over 11th ranked Washington. Saquon Barkley ended his college career with 175 scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns en route to declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft.
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