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Resilient Eagles look to avoid consecutive losses
That's why Chip Kelly preaches: ''Praise and blame are all the same.''
After dominating the Cowboys in a 33-10 win on Thanksgiving, the Eagles had seemingly stamped themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFC. But they followed up with a 24-14 loss at home to the Seahawks that dropped into the second tier behind Green Bay (10-3), Arizona (10-3) and Seattle (9-4).
They're 9-4 and tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East going into Sunday's rematch against the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field.
''They understand it doesn't define you,'' Kelly said about a bad loss. ''Someone says that you played well and you're real happy about it and then someone says you play poorly. I think you have to answer to yourself.''
The Eagles have been a resilient team under Kelly. They haven't lost consecutive games since Week 7 and 8 last year. They're 16-5 since.
Each time they've lost this season, the Eagles rebounded with two straight wins. They're averaging 36 points per game following a loss. They'll need another strong bounce-back effort and the Cowboys are the perfect opponent.
''This team has good resolve,'' Kelly said. ''There's no better thing to get their attention than playing the Dallas Cowboys at home in the Linc in front of our crowd, so I think they will be fired up for it.''
The Eagles practiced indoors Tuesday because of rainy weather, focusing on the mistakes they made against Seattle.
''We don't look at it like the past game is going to dictate our success this week,'' tight end Zach Ertz said. ''It's the business of football. It's a roller coaster. The highs are high and the lows are low.''
Kelly relies on his veteran players to make sure younger guys don't dwell on losses, especially when the stakes upcoming are high.
''We have a mature group of guys so that's never a problem,'' linebacker Connor Barwin said. ''This game is so important so late in the season.''
It might be tougher for some players to forget the loss to the Seahawks because guys like Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett criticized the Eagles afterward. But the Eagles realize there's a chance they'll play the Seahawks again in the playoffs.
First, they have to beat the Cowboys.
''They were the better team, but hopefully we see them down the road,'' linebacker Trent Cole said of Seattle. ''Our focus is on Dallas. It's a very big game and we have to win.''
NOTES: The Eagles released CB Roc Carmichael without making a corresponding roster move.
NFL preview: Raiders unit analysis
The biggest mistake that general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen made last year was messing with the offense, and a switch from the power, gap scheme to a zone-blocking one was disastrous. Darren McFadden is running straight ahead again this year, and free-agent signee Rashad Jennings looks like a nice, powerful backup. Long-striding quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who could be the starter sooner than later, is the X-factor. The loss of left tackle Jared Veldheer to a triceps injury hurts a lot.
Pass offense Carson Palmer completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards but took a lot of the blame for the fall from 8-8 to 4-12. He's gone, and Matt Flynn was supposed to run an offense that was more horizontal than vertical. Flynn's marching orders were to avoid turnovers, and then he threw two interceptions and fumbled in the third preseason game. That has opened the door for Pryor, whose escapability and run-away-from-you ability might be better suited for this patchwork offensive line, anyway. Denarius Moore should be the No. 1 receiver, but the coaching staff has been questioning his want-to and focus. Applications to play tight end are still being accepted.
Run defense Defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly didn't really buy in last year with Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, so they're gone. All the staff really wants out of experienced defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker is for them to stand up against the run. Fourth-year defensive end Lamarr Houston came to camp in the best shape of his career and will be asked to blow up some plays. Middle linebacker Nick Roach, previously with the Bears, is an immediate upgrade over retired bust Rolando McClain, though if we were nitpicking, 6-foot-1, 234 pounds is a little small for a middle linebacker.
Pass defense Oakland signed free-agent cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, drafted cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round and then signed free-agent safeties Usama Young and Charles Woodson in the offseason. They, and returning safety Tyvon Branch, are the core of this defense. With the different looks, pass-coverage ability, blitzing and expected ball-hawking skills of the defensive backs, the rest of the defense can ride the secondary's experience, play-making and excitement. The pass rush is counting on, among others, a fifth-rounder last year (end Jack Crawford) and a seventh-rounder this year (end David Bass). Did we mention the secondary?
Special teams Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on 25 field-goal attempts from 49 yards or closer, and was 6 of 9 from farther. He is back and will be joined by either Chris Kluwe or Marquette King at punter. King, the second-year player, has a bigger foot, but Kluwe, the former Viking, is better at coffin-corner kicks. There is a very good chance the loser of the competition gets a job elsewhere in the NFL. Special teams was a focus at training camp - last year's kick-return and coverage units were lackluster enough that coach Bobby April was added to replace Steve Hoffman.
Coaching Dennis Allen definitely is carrying himself with more confidence in this his second season. He has more younger players and guys with a chip on their shoulder than he did last season. Whether he has enough talent to improve on 4-12 is debatable, as is whether he makes his players better with his game plans or game-day adjustments. Tarver hopes his defense's energy and communication skills can match his, and offensive coordinator Greg Olson is saying all the right things, even though when he accepted the job, it was to work with Palmer.
2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
Kentucky Derby week is one of the most thrilling times of the year. This race is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate time length.
Check 2015 KY Derby Schedule May 1 and 24 at Sportsbook.com
Odds to Win 2015 Kentucky Derby
Sunday Night Football Preview, Cowboys visit Green Bay
Sportsbook.com Cowboys vs. Packers Betting Odds: Green Bay -7.5, Total: 45.5
Dallas tries to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 1997 as it travels to Lambeau Field for a Sunday night matchup with Green Bay. The injury-riddled Packers are coming off an impressive 9-0 shutout over the Jets and are looking for their third straight win before their bye week arrives Monday. Dallas is the biggest disappointment in the NFL so far tallying a 1-6 record both straight-up and against the spread (ATS).
Dallas has allowed 33.5 PPG during the four-game losing skid, allowing its opponents to gain an average of 151 rushing YPG. Dallas also has 11 turnovers in the four-game stretch and just 3.8 yards per carry. The good news is that backup QB Jon Kitna has played pretty well in place of injured starter Tony Romo. The 38-year-old Kitna completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and threw for 379 yards in last week’s loss to Jacksonville. All three of Kitna’s interceptions bounced off receivers’ hands. He also threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns and no picks against the Giants two weeks ago when Romo broke his collarbone.
Green Bay’s defense has been stellar as of late, pitching a 9-0 shutout over the Jets last Sunday. The Packers have allowed just 17.0 PPG this year (fourth-best in NFL) and rank third in the league in sacks (24) and interceptions (12). NFL sacks leader Clay Matthews is expected to play despite being held out of practice with a calf injury. QB Aaron Rodgers will be without his No. 2 receiver Donald Driver, who is suffering from a quadriceps injury. This isn’t a major loss considering Driver did not have a catch in his past two games.
Last season, the teams played a defensive slugfest in Lambeau, with the Packers winning 17-7 on two fourth-quarter touchdowns and three Dallas turnovers.
These two NFL betting trends show why Dallas will fail to cover the point spread yet again.
Play On - Any team (GREEN BAY) - good team (outgain opp. by 0.4 to 1 YPP) against an average team (+/- 0.4 YPP), after being outgained by opp by 100 or more total yards last game. (77-35 since 1983.) (68.8%, +38.5 units. Rating = 3*).
Mike McCarthy is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) off a non-conference game as the coach of GREEN BAY.
The average score was GREEN BAY 26.8, OPPONENT 19.2 - (Rating = 3*).
61 percent of Sportsbook.com bettors are backing the ‘over’ and here is why:
The last 13 times these teams squared off, the ‘over’ covered 10 times.
Wade Phillips is 14-3 OVER (+10.7 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 as the coach of DALLAS. The average score was DALLAS 25.4, OPPONENT 25.9 - (Rating = 3*).
For more NFL betting trends and to check out the NFL Week 9 betting odds, head over to Sportsbook.com now.
Glossary of Football Betting Terms
This glossary of football betting terms, also known as football betting dictionary, provides terms that are associated with football along with the meaning and usage or the terms.
This can prove to be a good reference point for both experienced bettors and for those out to place their first football betting experience. Always play at a trusted book like www.sportsbook.com far and away the top book for USA players.
Spread Betting: Placing a wager on an events outcome with the pay-off being based on the accuracy of the wager
Betting Odds: They are money line odds, which is the even money on your return. It is the amount gained on 100 stake when positive while the state needed to win the same stake when negative.
Betting Systems: It is the classification observed by bettors after closely following the trend in betting business and dodging the odds.
Chasing: Chasing is the covetousness to recover a lost bet. The consequent bet is typically a larger sum as compared to the previous lost bet and the desire to win usually ends up in loosing more and more. Therefore a good money management should be planned ahead.
Money Management: This is a vital term that saves you from losing money and tread carefully while putting money on stake.
Live Betting: It is the hottest trend nowadays where the bet is placed on the live match. The flow of the game can change the odds in an instant and often leads to chasing of losses.
Achieving Parity: The perception that bookmakers try to create of an unbiased action on all the proposals of betting by competently pricing the odds in a bid to minimize their risk as compared to a single bet is termed their achieving parity.
Action: A bet or wager of any kind.
Arbitrage: Grouping of bets anticipated capitulating a positive profit, not considering the result. The prospects of arbitrage are high through mispriced odds or value bets.
Assessing Form: This refers to the study done prior to estimating the possibility for a given bet through a comprehensive research and scrutiny in which bettors consider several essential factors that can eventually affect a team’s chance for accomplishment.
Betting Market: It is an individual betting prospect or proposal on a match or event.
Bookmaker: It is an association or person who accepts bets on sporting events or other events at agreed upon odds.
Efficient Market Theory: The theory claims that all the information of the markets and trends is well known to the general public and that the odds change fast to echo new information.
Favorite: The probable winning team or player for which odd payouts are usually lower than the other proposition at hand.
“Green” Book: Is the situation where the bookmaker makes profit regardless of which outcome occurs though the amount of betting on each outcome may differ.
Fixture: Term to denote competition between two teams
Form: Assessment of a team or a player to forecast their chance to win based on their prior performances.
Handicap: A technique in football match betting when bookmakers award one team a numerical goal advantage to lure the bettors where both team has equal chance for success.
Hedging: When a bookie try to offset risk exposure to a specific outcome by placing bet on an opposite outcome for which they have already taken a large position is referred as hedging.
Overround: The total profit of the bookmaker that he earns on a certain match or wager.
“Red” Book: circumstances where a bookmaker’s risk coverage is not balanced and he do not make profit for that particular betting market.
Underdog: Team or person that is considered to be the least likely to win a Football match.
Value Bet: A bet, in which the possibility of an event occurring is higher than that perceived by the bookmaker.
Vigorish: Bookmaker’s expenses or yield profit on the total stakes collected on a match.