Angry Birds? | Sports Daily Newsletter

Those poor, poor New York Giants. Turns out the Eagles had extra motivation to sweep them in the NFC divisional round, and they did, with 31 points.

That source of inspiration? The Eagles felt that fans, observers, and the media were on them going into the playoffs. (Where have we heard this before, dog mask wearers?)

The Birds lost Games 15 and 16 without Jalen Hurts, then they didn’t look as good as the winning Game 17 and their stock went down a bit. They fell to No. 4 to win Super Bowl LVII despite winning 14 games.

That was enough to frustrate them, apparently. “They were ready,” coach Nick Sirianni told Marcus Hayes. “They were laughing.”

Linebacker Haason Reddick said: “We hear everything, man. We hear what you’re saying. We hear what people [are] saying. And the media. Followers. Don’t think we don’t hear it all.”

As Hayes writes, they were ticked that they were not chosen. And now (the anger!), they have opened as just a 1½-point favorite at home against the 49ers in the NFC title game. Whatever it takes to fire you up, folks. Here’s hoping you’re disrespectful of the Super Bowl odds, too.

– Jim Swan, Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport, [email protected].

❓ Is AJ Brown’s “minor injury” worrying you? Email us back for a chance to be featured in the newsletter.

Wide receiver AJ Brown is dealing with a minor leg injury, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni says, but should be fine for the NFC championship game.

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“He was going through a little thing with his body that was hurting,” Sirianni said Monday. “We feel like he’ll be ready to go this week, but he was hurt in the game that, and that’s why he wasn’t in the game.

Saturday’s CBS broadcast caught Sirianni apparently comforting Brown on the bench, but the coach said the receiver’s frustration stemmed from his lack of production. Brown finished with three catches for 22 yards on six targets.

Are the Eagles better off facing the 49ers instead of the Cowboys? It depends on which of our hit writers you ask. They give the thumbs up or down on the Niners.

EJ Smith breaks down the matchup with advanced metrics and explains why San Francisco excels at limiting explosive plays.

Next: The Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game at 3pm on Sunday (Fox29).

While he’ll never be mistaken for a lockdown defender, Georges Niang has made big strides on that side of the ball — and he’s proud of his contributions to the 76ers.

Niang spoke to The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey about his defensive games and enjoying the challenges he has faced as a member of the Sixers: “I’m not going to lie.”

Next: The Sixers host Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 pm on Wednesday (ESPN).

In the last 10 games, the Flyers have allowed just three goals on 20 opposing power plays. The penalty kill rate of 85% since January 5th puts the Flyers in the top 10 in the league.

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Being on the death penalty is supposed to put you at a disadvantage. Instead, the Flyers have nine shortstops this season. They use it to create an advantage.

Flyers forward Scott Laughton and defenseman Tony DeAngelo were honored with awards at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s annual banquet.

Next: The Flyers host the Los Angeles Kings at 7pm on Tuesday (NBCSP).

Paxten Aaronson has participated in LA-area national training camps before, but this latest one marks a new milestone, as he participates in the senior level of the United States Men’s National Team . He could feature against Serbia and/or Colombia this week for his first international cap. However, it is also a time of upheaval for the USMNT, and Aaronson himself is in the midst of a life transition to his new club in Germany.

The Medford native spoke on all of these topics exclusively to the Examiner.

Jonathan Tannenwald has news on the Union’s latest big trade.

So Temple beat the odds in a big way by knocking off the No. 1 team in the nation on Sunday. Mike Jensen wonders if Houston’s upset will help the Owls’ chances of reaching the postseason, as this same team has lost to Wagner and Maryland-Eastern Shore. Will the real Temple team stand up?

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The Penn men snapped a three game losing streak by defeating Hartford, 76-52.

Five years ago, Drexel’s men defeated Delaware in the greatest comeback in Division I college basketball history.

On the gridiron, Penn State has hired a new wide receivers coach.

Who was the MVP of Super Bowl LII, when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33? Reply here for a chance to be featured in the newsletter.

A) Corey Clement

B) Nick Foles

C) Alshon Jeffery

D) Tom Brady

We asked you: Of the times that the Eagles have been the dogs or the best dogs, which has you enjoyed more? Among your answers:

… Living in the shadow of New York City, known as the Evil Empire, it’s in our blood to enjoy underdog status. Philly doesn’t just love pro sports – it worships it! Bryce Harper said that the feeling of this city is a major part of his decision-making process to become a Phillie, although the $330 million certainly helped as well. We’re underdogs through and through – bring it on! —Frank P.

I like them anyway. But I like it a lot when they are underdogs. That brings out all the grit and fight in them and makes me love them even more. — Kathy T.

We put together today’s newsletter using reports from Marcus Hayes, Jeff McLane, EJ Smith, Olivia Reiner, Giana Han, Keith Pompey, Mike Jensen, Jonathan Tannenwald, Andrea Canales, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Carter .


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