By Josh Whittemore, PSO Sports Operations Executive
Jan 12, 2021

The ‘Best of the Day’ is a daily PSO original series showcasing the most significant stories, highlights, and facts going on in the land of the NFL, NBA, & MLB every day. Get a recap on EVERYTHING that happened on 1/11 here

Monday saw the Philadelphia Eagles fire Super Bowl-winning head coach Dough Pederson. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided to part ways with Pederson after a dismal 2020 season. Also, CJ McCollum’s All-Star play has made the Portland Trail Blazers a dark horse contender in the stacked Western Conference, and NFL Draft prospects got their last chance to put good film on tape during the National Championship, as Alabama dominated Ohio State behind a historic performance from Heisman winner WR DeVonta Smith who’s solidifying his spot as a top-10 pick in April.

 

Here is the best of the day from January 11, 2021:

Eagles fired HC Doug Pederson just 3 years after winning Philly’s 1st Super Bowl

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Monday that they fired head coach Dough Pederson, who led the franchise to its only Lombardi Trophy in 2017. That season, he coached Philadelphia to a 13-3 record and an improbable run to the Super Bowl with backup QB Nick Foles after Carson Wentz, an MVP candidate, went down in Week 15 with a season-ending injury. The magical run culminated in a 41-33 upset win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, in which Foles earned MVP honors. The pairing of Pederson and Wentz, who would be entering just his third year in the league in 2018, appeared to set up an exciting future for the Eagles.

Each year following 2017 though, the Eagles have regressed. They finished 9-7 in 2018 with one playoff win and then won the division at 9-7 in 2019, but were eliminated in the Wild Card round. Then, this offseason, Philadelphia made the questionable decision of drafting QB Jalen Hurts in the second round after having signed Wentz, 28, to a massive extension. Despite the downward trend in recent seasons and questionable draft decisions, Philadelphia was thought of as a playoff contender once again entering 2020. 

The wheels fell off, though, as the team was hit hard by injuries, especially along the O-Line, and Wentz’s play took a nose dive. He finished with a 72.8 PASS RTG after posting a 98.3 RTG from 2017-19. Wentz’s struggles ultimately led to him being benched for Hurts in Week 13 for the remainder of the season. Pederson then made the controversial decision to pull Hurts for Nate Sudfield in their Week 17 loss to Washington. With Pederson gone after finishing in last place in the NFC East at 4-11-1, Philly faces crucial offseason decisions regarding the franchise’s future, headlined by who the next coach will be and what to do at the QB position.

Related: Stories of the Day

CJ McCollum’s All-Star play makes this the most talented Blazers team of the Dame-CJ era

COLORS KEY | FULL BLAZERS FUTURE OUTLOOK
 

CJ McCollum is having a career-year for the Blazers this season. McCollum is averaging career-highs in points (28.1), assists (5.0), and three-point percentage (44.5%), while being an elite scorer alongside All-Star Damian Lillard. McCollum’s ability to knock down shots has been crucial to the Blazers’ success, as Lillard has seen double and triple teams on numerous occasions. 

On Monday, McCollum was the hero for Portland, as he knocked down a pull-up 17-footer with 10 seconds left to give the Blazers the lead, and ultimately the win. On a team where fourth quarters are known as “Dame Time,” McCollum had the ball in his hands when the game mattered most — and he delivered. If McCollum is able to sustain these numbers, he could finally be looking at his first career All-Star appearance during his eighth NBA season. But more importantly for the Blazers, if this play is sustainable from CJ, they have a real shot at beating ANYONE in the West, including the champs.

Related: NBA Takeaways of the Day

Air Gordon took flight on the reigning DPOY

Related: NBA Highlights | Orlando Magic Highlights

WR Devonta Smith, BAMA (W v.OSU): 12 REC (FBS Title record), 215 REC YDS, 3 REC TD

Related: Players of the Day

Toronto Raptors (111) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (112) [GW-FG]

 [Highlights] @BLAZERS (-169; $11.17) d. RAPTORS (+169; $7.68112-111 (GW-FG) [TOR +4.5 | u231]

Related: Games of the Day

CJ and Dame are off to the greatest shooting start by a duo ever

  • CJ McCollum & Damian Lillard combined for the most 3PM (86) ever between 2 players through a team’s 1st 10 GP
 

Related: Facts of the Day 

10 Most Interesting Facts From NFL Wild Card Weekend by Arslan Ubul

Super Wild Card Weekend saw historic playoff droughts end while teams and stars broke playoff records.

Related: Latest PSO Posts

FULL ARTICLE: Most Significant Sports History on January 11th

YEAR: 1987, 2004 & 2015

SIGNIFICANCE: Elway’s “Drive”, McNabb’s miraculous comeback, Dez’s controversial “catch”

Related: Significant Sports History

 

 

 

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