Sports Tonight: Philly no longer dreaming of Mariota

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs while under pressure from Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson during a preseason game.

Hindsight is the worst kind of 20/20 vision because it presumes that things would’ve unfolded the same way.

There is no way of telling what the current state of the Eagles would be had former coach Chip Kelly been able to orchestrate a trade that would’ve allowed the Birds to draft quarterback Marcus Mariota. “Make the Deal” for the Heisman Trophy winner became the cry in Philadelphia leading up to the 2015 NFL draft.

Perhaps Mariota was the perfect quarterback for Kelly, who coached him at the University of Oregon. Maybe Mariota would have worked Kelly’s gimmick offense to perfection in the NFL.

I’d say no, because no quarterback could’ve prevented Kelly’s high-paced attack from wearing out a 53-man roster over a 16-game season.

In any event, the Tennessee Titans, who will play the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football at 8:15 tonight on ESPN, kept the No. 2 overall pick and drafted Mariota. In his short career, Mariota has completed 572 of 931 passes for 7,036 yards with 48 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions. He also has 114 rushes for 717 yards and four touchdowns.

Who knows what Mariota might have been like for the Eagles. Considering the Eagles – minus Kelly – moved up to the No. 2 overall spot in the 2016 draft and took Carson Wentz, does anybody care anymore?


Camera icon CHARLES KRUPA / AP
The Astros’ Carlos Beltran celebrates on the field after the Astros eliminated the Boston Red Sox with a 5-4 victory in Game 4 of baseball’s American League Division Series last Monday.

Senor Octubre’ is not the same as ‘Mr. October’

Houston Astros outfielder/designated hitter Carlos Beltran has put together a borderline Hall of Fame career. Still, tonight when the Astros play at the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS at 8 on FS1, Beltran will carry an inappropriate nickname.

“Senor Octubre?” “The new Mr. October?”

Really? In Yankee Stadium?

Beltran, 40, has been so crowned because his postseason statistics include a .316 average, 16 home runs and 42 RBI in 60 games. The bottom line in sports, however, is winning championships. Beltran has never won a World Series and has played in just one.

Reggie Jackson, the true “Mr. October,” earned his moniker by hitting five home runs in the 1977 World Series, including three on three pitches in the clinching Game 6 for the Yankees.

In 27 World Series games, Jackson hit .357 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI.  He won three World Series with Oakland and two with the Yankees.


Camera icon AP
Oklahoma City players, from left, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

What I’m reading

With all the blockbuster trades during the off-season, the look of the NBA has changed – well, except for the Golden State Warriors. Staff writer Ed Barkowitz looks at each team with championship odds from Las Vegas.

Bobby Jones and Aaron McKie have won NBA Sixth Man of the Year awards as Sixers. Staff writer Sarah Todd breaks down the 2017-18 bench unit. Could it produce another Sixth Man winner?

It’s hard to imagine that anyone predicted that the Eagles would have the best record in the NFC and be tied for the best mark in the NFL after six games. Columnist Marcus Hayes tells how they got there.

Staff writer Sam Donnellon sizes up the attributes of the Flyers’ strong start to the season.

The Green Bay Packers have likely lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the season with a broken collarbone. Pete Dougherty of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes are just as done.

The NFL season is closing in on the midway point, and rates how each team is feeling now. Only the Eagles are at “everything is fine.”

Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, through his lawyers, says there was no “cause” for his contract to be terminated.

The game-management bugaboo hit Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid in the loss to Pittsburgh. Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star takes his turn at explaining the unexplainable.


Camera icon RICK SCUTERI / AP
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick talks during a December 2016 press conference after a game against the Rams. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL on Sunday, alleging that he remains unsigned because of collusion by owners after his protests during the national anthem.

The riff

Most people have a good idea of why quarterback Colin Kaepernick does not have a job, even as a backup, in the National Football League.

Still, I’m thinking Kaepernick, who on Sunday filed a grievance against the NFL under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, is going to have a hard time proving that all 32 NFL owners have colluded to keep him out because he was the first to kneel during the national anthem in protest of social injustices against African-Americans.

Remember that Kaepernick was not released by the San Francisco 49ers. In March, he opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Kaepernick lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert in 2015 – long before he started protesting. After regaining the starting job during 2016, he went 1-10 as a starter. He averaged 186 passing yards per game.

Sure, Kaepernick is better than some backup quarterbacks, but so is former Eagle Matt Barkley and nobody has colluded to keep him out. He’s just not worth the investment.

Tonight’s schedule


Baseball Playoffs
Astros at Yankees, 8 p.m. (FS1)

Colts at Titans, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Changes in listings: Comcast SportsNet has changed its name to NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBCSP). The Comcast Network is now NBC Sports Philadelphia+ (NBCSP+).