Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick (Special Thanksgiving Edition)

Attention Eagles fans. Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast. I don’t think you’re going to like dessert.

The Eagles invade Jerry’s World for a special holiday clash with the hated Cowboys. Nothing quite gets Philly fans revved up as the sight of those guys with the star on their helmet.

Chip Kelly has constructed an 8-3 mark by beating the teams they are supposed to beat. Today they take a step up in class in playing the team with an identical mark that is tied with them atop the NFC East.

The key to this game will be the Eagles defense vs. Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense. If they can pressure Romo, knock his increasingly brittle body off his game a bit, they have a shot. The Eagles will score points. I’m just not sure they can stop Romo, DeMarcus Murray and Dez Bryant.

Throw in the mandatory couple of turnovers from Mark Sanchez and that’s a lot to overcome.

Also not working in the Eagles favor is their road record this year against three other solid NFL teams. Trips to Arizona, San Francisco and Green Bay all went into the ‘L’ column, the fiasco against the Packers including an exclamation point.

If the Eagles have an advantage, it might be on special teams. Another return touchdown would be huge in Dallas. The Birds’ best bet is to feed LeSean McCoy and try to keep Romo et all off the field, at the same time limiting the chance that Mark Sanchez would throw a pick. But Shady has been kind of spotty so far this year. Maybe the stars will bring out the best in him.

Then again, maybe Romo will once again revert to his old self, and turn the ball over in a crucial situation late in the game.

This one likely will be a shootout, but I think the Cowboys have more weapons.

The Pick: Make it Cowboys 29, Eagles 26. I hate to ruin your Thanksgiving, but I don’t see the Birds beating the ‘Boys on a day when we all feast on bird. I hope I’m wrong. The challenge for Chip Kelly and the Eagles now will be trying to figure out a way to rally and make the playoffs.

Season Record: I had a feeling a team like the Titans was going to struggle on the road coming off a short week following their appearance on Monday Night Football. They didn’t disappoint. Things get a lot tougher for the Eagles the next three weeks, at Dallas, home for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, and a home rematch with the Cowboys. The blowout win over the Titans raised the Eagles mark to 8-3, pretty amazing in light of the injuries they’ve had to overcome. I jumped on the Birds to push my season mark to 8-3 as well. One of us is going to fall today in Dallas.

Game by Game: Eagles 43, Titans 24 (My Pick: Eagles 34, Titans 23)

Packers 53, Eagles 20, 21 (My Pick: Packers 33, Eagles 24)

Eagles 45, Panthers 21 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Panthers 17)

Eagles 31, Texans 21 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Texans 19)

Cardinals 24, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 23)

Eagles 27, Giants 0 (My Pick: Giants 31, Eagles 26)

Eagles 34, Rams 28 (My Pick: Eagles 35, Rams 19)

49ers 26, Eagles 21 (My Pick: 49ers 33, Eagles 29)

Eagles 34, Jaguars 17 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Jags 16)

Eagles 30, Colts 27 (My Pick: Colts 29, Eagles 23)

Eagles 37, Redskins 34 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Nov. 26

The Daily Numbers: 2-4 inches of snow possible across the western suburbs. I’ll believe it when I see it.

6 inches possible up in the Poconos. At least the ski resort operators are happy.

8 p.m., when the snow is expected to move out of the region.

500,000 people expected to be traveling today.

3 home invaders who terrorized a Parkside couple.

1 person fatally shot in Chester.

41 homicides so far this year in the county.

26 of those in Chester. Those numbers likely will go to 42 and 27 later today with ruling in latest shooting.

290,000 dollars being put up by Wawa for traffic improvements for their proposed new store at intersection of Baltimore Pike and Providence Road in Media.

75,000 dollar grant for Ridley to study how to improve the look of MacDade Boulevard.

2 straight months that Rose Tree Media teachers have aired their complaints about the lack of a contract to the school board.

100 members of the teachers union were at the recent board meeting.

14, age of girl who was being held captive by sex trafficking ring in Philly. A 56-year-old Main Line lawyer has been charged with having sex with the girl.

98 jobs coming to the Wharf in Chester with the arrival of Day & Zimmerman, an engineering and construction firm now based in Philly.

17,500 square feet the firm will occupy at the refurbished former Peco power plant.

4:30 kickoff tomorrow for Eagles in Dallas.

4 traditional high school gridiron clashes on tap Thursday in Delco.

60-55 win for No. 12 Villanova over No. 19 Michigan. Nice win.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Have you moved your holiday feast to accommodate the 4:30 start of the Eagles game? Have to have your priorities.

I Don’t Get It: TV Weather. Again. Call me on Memorial Day.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who protested peacefully in the wake of the grand jury decision in Ferguson. And serious jeers who simply used it as an opportunity to cause havoc.

Quote Box: “You can look at what the officer did in this case and be upset about it but when are we going to be upset with the killings we perpetuate against one another every day?”

- William ‘Rocky’ Brown III, longtime Chester pastor on the Ferguson shooting.

No thanks for this weather

Here's something else NOT to be thankful for this year.

TV Weather.

In case you were blissfully preparing tomorrow's feast and have not yet turned on the TV, there is nothing else happening today but the weather. And its possible effect on the busiest travel day of the year.

Of course, right now it's only raining. But it's what's coming that has our TV friends hyperventilating.

Yes, we stand a chance of seeing a coating of snow.

It is not going to paralyze the region.

But it will not stop all-day frenzy whipped up on your local TV station. Reporters have already been dispatched to the western suburbs to talk to people in the rain. Go figure.

Here's what most of the forecasters expect.

It will continue raining this morning, and gradually turn over to snow. Around here the ground might get a coating, streets likely will remain just wet or a tad slushy.

Of course, that could be different if you live in the infamous "northern and western suburbs." Just where those are, however, is a bit cloudy. When exactly did the Poconos become "suburbs." They are going to get snow up there. I'm sure the ski resort operators are thrilled.

At some point this morning the rain is expected to change over to snow. At the top end we're looking at 2-4 inches. A Winter Weather Advisory goes into effect at 9 a.m.

Don't panic, this is not a major storm.

The roads are going to be packed anyhow, so make sure you pack your patience.

The airport and trains will be mobbed, but then you knew that was going to be the cast before the forecast took a turn for the worse.

Here's how Accuweather sees the day playing out. Want to be thankful? Hey, we don't live in Buffalo.

The key to beating the Cowboys

Yes, there will be a 'Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick, even though the Birds are playing on Thanksgiving in Dallas.

I hope the game does not disrupt your holiday dinner.

I fear it may give you indigestion, however.

Here's the deal, at least as I see it.

This game comes down to the Eagles defense vs. Tony Romo.

If they can put pressure on him, make him uncomfortable in the pocket, bang his increasingly brittle body around a little, I like their chances. I'm just not sure they will be able to do that.

In addition, the Cowboys just might try to make Romo less of a factor by pounding away at the Birds with the league's leading rusher, DeMarco Murray.

We might as well resign ourselves to the fact that Mark Sanchez is going to turn the ball over a couple of times. That was his M.O. with the Jets, and not much has changed since he's opted for a different shade of green.

This game will be up to the Eagles defense.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Nov. 25

The Daily Numbers: 400 police vehicles in 42 departments across Delaware County that will be equipped with the overdose-reversing drug Nalaxone starting on Saturday.

1st law enforcement officers in the state that will be able to save lives by administering the drug.

320 percent increase in heroin deaths in Delco over the past 5 years.

325 people lost to ODs since 2007.

22, age of Aimee Willard when she was killed by Arthur Bomar in 1996. The state high court has rejected the latest appeal from Bomar, who faces the death penalty.

4-3 vote in Brookhaven to OK the proposed development of a tract on Edgmont Avenue and Coebourn Boulevard.

25 acres of the 55-acre tract that will be developed.

22 conditions slapped on the site.

0 tax increase in the preliminary budget for Media Borough.

0 tax increase in the preliminary budget for Ridley Park.

63, age of woman from Elkins Park killed in an accident on I-95 in rainy conditions early Monday.

5 hours, how long the northbound lanes were shut down.

4 inches of snow a possibility across the region on Wednesday.

72, record-setting high temperature that we hit on Monday.

17,817.90 close for the Dow yesterday, another record high.

0 wins so far for the Sixers this season.

0 goals scored by the Flyers last night in loss to Isles.

14 straight losses for Sixers, who fell to Portland last night, 114-104.

24 points for Michael Carter-Williams.

33 points for LaMarcus Aldridge to lead the Blazers

46 shots stopped by Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who finally allowed 1 to get by him in shootout.

5 losses in last 6 games for Flyers.

5 straight losses on road.

2-6-1 road mark this year for Flyers.

2 more days until Eagles-Cowboys.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Is the turkey done yet? It’s almost time for a Thanksgiving treat. No, not the holiday dinner. Eagles vs. Cowboys at 4:30.

I Don’t Get It: Still trying to figure out this weather. Record warmth followed by 4 inches of snow. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who took part in press conference yesterday with D.A. Jack Whelan to announce use of Naloxone by county police officers. It will save lives.

Quote Box: “David’s in heaven smiling down on us at what a good thing we did.”

- Lynne Massi, on her nephew David, for whom David’s Law is named. It will be crucial link in fight vs. heroin overdoses.

A win for Lynne Massi & Tricia Stouch, and the battle vs. heroin

Lynne Massi was smiling.

So was Tricia Stouch.

It's something that comes easily for both women, despite being scarred by the heroin scourge that is taking a horrific toll on Delaware County and the region.

We were all in the Media Courthouse for a press conference at which District Attorney Jack Whelan announced the implementation of several crucial aspects of "David's Law."

That is the measure passed by the Legislatire this fall and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett. It will do two very important things: Offer limited immunity to a person who alerts authorities to a possible heroin overdose of a friend or acquaintance; and put the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone in every police car in Delaware County.

Lynne Massi had taken on the crusade for David's Law, named for her nephew, who died of a heroin overdose in 2013. She believes his life could have been saved if an acquaintance had been able to report it without fear of facing charges.

Tricia Stouch lost her daughter to heroin, and has been in the forefront of raising awareness to this dangerous new surge of opioid and heroin abuse. She founded a group that is going into school to tell young people of the dangers that are out there.

District Attorney Jack Whelan announced that this Saturday, Nov. 29, when the 'David's Law' goes into effect, 400 patrol cars across Delaware County will be equipped with a kit containing Naloxone.

I was invited to the press conference by the D.A.'s office. Whelan graciously noted our coverage of this issue over the past year. Reporter Rose Quinn did a series of stories based on the experience of the Massi family.

It is what community newspapering is all about.

I was proud to be a part of it.

I am even more proud of Lynne Massi and Tricia Stouch.

Here's our editorial in support of yesterday's rollout

An early snow job

Here's one reason not to be thankful.

We were in the 70s yesterday, record-setting warmth. Today it's expected to push close to 60.

And tomorrow - on the busiest travel day of the year - we're going to get socked with a storm that could dump several inches of snow on the region and cause travel mayhem.

Here are all the details. Brave yourself for a blizzard of TV coverage.

How long until Memorial Day?