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June 29, 2022

What they're saying: Peter King has the Eagles as a top-four team in the NFC

Training camp is coming in late July. PhillyVoice is ranking literally anything related to the Eagles. Philadelphia is starved for football. To satisfy that hunger, I'm going to take a look at a few new bits of Eagles news and see what the national media is saying about the Birds. 

NFC Contenders? 😲

Peter King | NBC Sports

Famed sportswriter Peter King is buying all the Eagles stock possible. In ranking NFC contenders, King listed the Eagles fourth behind the defending Super Bowl champion Rams, the Packers and the Buccaneers:

Here's how I'd rank NFC contenders as of today (this list could change daily):

1. Buccaneers  

2. Rams

3. Packers

4. Eagles

5. 49ers

6. Cardinals

7. Cowboys

8. Vikings

9. Falcons

10. Commanders

11. Saints

12. Lions

13. Giants

14. Panthers 

15. Seahawks

16. Bears

It feels extremely spicy to put the Eagles that high, but this is what June optimism is all about. 

Miles Overcomes Injuries 🩹

John Clark | NBC Sports Philadelphia

Miles Sanders missed four games in 2021 due to injury (I'm not counting the meaningless Week 18 matchup considering he played in a postseason game the next week). He missed four in 2020 too. Sanders spoke about his health on NBC Sports Philadelphia's "Takeoff with John Clark" podcast on Tuesday. 

Here's what Sanders had to say (transcription via NBCSP's Dave Zangaro):

I’m going to be honest, there’s a lot of injuries in this sport that you can’t control. It’s a very physical sport ... Like a broken hand, you cannot control that. It happens. Ankles and stuff like that, that’s on me.

But being healthy is … it’s going to get better. I can say that. A lot of stuff goes into playing this sport. Everybody does not stay healthy (the whole season). It’s just trying to stay healthy all throughout the year. You gotta do your best. Gotta be consistent with what you do every day. [NBCSP]

Sanders is entering the last year of his rookie contract. I don't foresee him getting a new deal given the way teams shuffle through running backs in the modern NFL and the way rookie Kenny Gainwell performed in 2021. Sanders' talent is undeniable and was a key cog in the Birds' great rushing attack last season, but he needs to be more consistent (and consistently on the field). 

Partying at the OD 🍺

Jason Kelce will be guest bartending at Ocean Drive in Sea Isle on Wednesday, June 29 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to raise money for the Eagles Autism Foundation. 

Here's what a press release from the Eagles had to say about Kelce and this event:

To raise funds for the Eagles Autism Foundation and Team 62, Eagles center Jason Kelce, joined by some special guests, will host his 2nd annual celebrity bartending event at the Ocean Drive (OD) on Wednesday, June 29 from 4-8 pm... The OD is located at 3915 Landis Avenue, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243. Fans and supporters can donate to Jason’s Eagles Autism Challenge fundraising page by visiting (this link).

There will be a $10 cover charge at the door for all guests. Proceeds from the evening – which include cover charge, bartending tips, raffles, autographed items, and an exclusive Team 62 pinnie – will benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation. In addition to the celebrity bartending experience at the OD, Paddy’s Green will feature a family-friendly atmosphere from 4-6 pm with giveaways and activations.

The inaugural event in June 2021 raised $100,000 for the cause, which included $50,000 in proceeds and a matching donation of $50,000 from Jason and his wife, Kylie.

During the summer nights I've been to the OD, I've certainly never had a bartender as cool as Kelce. My plan to use a trip there as a "work expense" for high-level journalism sadly didn't work out. 

Favorite Regular Season Game? 🤔

Brandon Lee Gowton | Bleeding Green Nation

Bleeding Green Nation posed a question to its readers asking them what their favorite Eagles regular season game is. Here are some options that Brandon Lee Gowton laid out:

44-6. If you don’t believe in destiny, well, this moment may have made you reconsider. The Eagles were very fortunate to be in a “win-and-in” position in the 2008 season finale. They took full advantage by destroying their top division rival in what was Brian Dawkins’ final game in Philly as an Eagles player.

The Miracle at the New Meadowlands. Or “The Miracle at the Meadowlands NUM-BER TWO!” as Mike Quick dubbed it on the call with Merrill Reese. I’ll never forget where I was for this one. I was attending a family Christmas party where no one really cared about the game except for me. Despite this, I was the one who wanted to turn it off while others didn’t mind if it stayed on. We did end up turning the game off but morbid curiosity had me wanting to listen to the 94WIP call on the drive home. With the Eagles unexpectedly rallying, I rushed to turn the game on when we got home. I was just in time to see DeSean Jackson’s walkoff punt return. I can’t even imagine being on the other side of that game; what a brutal loss as a Giants fan.

The Snow Bowl. There are multiple contenders from the 2013 season that could be considered here. Chip Kelly’s debut on Monday Night Football in Week 1 was pretty electric. Nick Foles throwing for seven touchdowns in Oakland was special. The Eagles having relatively nothing to play for yet blowing out the Chicago Bears by a score of 54-11 in Week 16 — which spawned Chip’s “We’re from Philadelphia and we fight” line — is an underrated moment. But it’s hard not to go with the incredibly unique atmosphere that was created by a stronger than expected blizzard at Lincoln Financial Field just minutes ahead of the Eagles’ game against the Detroit Lions. I distinctly remember not even being able to see the action on the field from the press box at one point. LeSean McCoy’s signature shifty style was optimized in the snow. [BGN]

Worthy choices for sure. I'm going to do a quick top 10 (I love ranking things!) on my favorite Eagles regular season games during my two-plus decades following the team:

1. Miracle at the New Meadowlands

2. 44-6

3. Thursday Night Football in Carolina in 2017

4. Monday Night Football in Dallas in 2004

5. Snow Bowl

6. NFC East Championship Game Week 17 in 2013 in Dallas

7. 43-point win over Bears on Sunday Night Football Week 16 in 2013

8. Jake Elliott hits a 61-yard field goal against the Giants

9. Eagles drop 51 on Broncos in 2017

10. Monday Night Massacre 

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