Eagles Land Highly-Rated Running Back

Gainwell

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles had gone receiver, center/guard, defensive line and corner with their first four picks.

In round five, they looked to add to their running back room.

Kenneth Gainwell was almost universally a top-100 player on big boards, so he should have been a third-rounder at worst based off of that. Landing him in the fifth could be a huge value for the Birds.

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Philly Takes Corner In Fourth Round

McPhearson

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After taking a game-braking receiver and solidifying the future of the offensive line with their first two picks, the Eagles selected an athletic defensive lineman with a high ceiling.

Following those picks, the team entered day three of the draft with eight more picks to leverage in this draft.

While fans were almost certainly watching and hoping for linebacker Jabril Cox, he went to the Cowboys before the Eagles made it to the podium.

With the biggest and most obvious steal off the board, the Eagles turned to the secondary and took corner Zech McPhearson.

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Phillies, NL East: 2021’s Current Predictions

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

For the Philadelphia Phillies, April ended and May began with the New York Mets in town.  And, currently, the National League East is still up for grabs with the Fightins, Metropolitans and Washington Nationals bunched atop the division. Basically, every franchise is near the penthouse and the basement. 

 

One Month After:

Phillies fans are not alone in bemoaning their club’s shortcomings because no clear front-runner has emerged. Unfortunately, NL East supporters can see their team taking advantage of this if they score more, improve their fielding, and/or have more than three dependable starters. But some here see no plan!    

IN OTHER WORDS:

“Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan.” - Simon Sinek

In ‘21, many players are producing unacceptable stats, and their fan bases are unhappy with even some top stars. Translation: Hitters have difficulty in April’s colder climes, shifts are becoming more efficient, and many pitchers improve out of competitive necessity: keeping their job.    

The Phils have three frontline arms and two rotation question marks, but their divisional rivals also have warts. Expectation-wise, Zach Eflin is a solid three-slot hurler, not a five. And Vince Velasquez could be a bottom-rung starter, not an ace or nothing. For now, he and Spencer Howard could battle for the fifth spot.      

Because Matt Moore is the weakest link, Chase Anderson could move up to the fourth slot; and Velasquez’s opportunities could continue, while Howard builds up arm strength at the alternate site. Even so, the red pinstripes are in the middle of the MLB pack for a five-man staff.  

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Birds Go Defense In Third Round

Williams

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After taking a game-braking receiver and solidifying the future of the offensive line with their first two picks, the Eagles almost had to go defense with their next pick.

First, the Eagles chose to make a move to add an extra pick, sending Carolina the 70th pick in exchange for pick 73 and pick 191 (sixth-round).

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Eagles Solidify Offensive Line in Round Two

Dickerson

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Following their drafting of Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith in round one, the Eagles found themselves on the clock with four defenders who could have gone in the first round on the board.

Rather than trade back, the Eagles ran the pick in and landed center Landon Dickerson.

The Alabama big man started the past two seasons for the team after transferring from Florida State.

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Flyers Officially Eliminated from Playoff Contention with Loss to Devils

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Officially, it's over. Any combination of three points gained by the Boston Bruins and lost by the Flyers would seal their fate for the season, officially eliminating them from playoff contention.

After giving up two power-play goals in the first and two more in the third period, the Flyers playoff hopes are officially gone. A 5-3 loss to the Devils coupled with a 5-2 win by the Bruins eliminated the Flyers on Thursday night.

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Eagles Land Heisman Trophy Winner in First Round

Smith

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

When the day started, the Eagles had the 12th pick in the draft.

In a trade late into the Cowboys being on the clock, the Eagles gave up the 12th and 84th pick in the draft for pick 10.

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Flyers-Devils: Game 50 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Thursday's game for the Flyers comes coupled with the news that Carter Hart is done for the season. With where the Flyers are, it's only fitting the announcement came on this day.

As the Flyers face the Devils for the third time this week, a loss of any kind by the Flyers and a win of any kind by the Boston Bruins against the Buffalo Sabres will officially eliminate the Flyers from playoff contention.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

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Flyers G Carter Hart Done for Season

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Carter Hart made 31 saves in regulation and overtime against the Penguins on April 15, then made two more saves in the shootout to secure a win. When the Flyers were scheduled to play on the following Saturday, April 17, Hart was slated to start, but in a surprising turn of events, Alex Lyon got the start that afternoon.

That April 15 start turned out to be Hart’s last of the season. An MCL sprain has kept him sidelined ever since, and on Thursday morning, GM Chuck Fletcher announced that Hart will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 regular season.

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CCL Quarterfinal (Leg 1) Recap: A Game of Two Halves

Embed from Getty Images

By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

The Union came into Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta with a lot to prove.

They were entering the first leg of this CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal without a win in MLS, an uncharacteristically lackluster offense, a defense that relied heavily on the heroics of goalkeeper Andre Blake, and a certain sense of dread of having to face Atlanta United, a team that they’ve struggled immensely against. It seemed like a fairly cut-and-dry matchup—Atlanta would dominate like they usually did against the Union, bursting the bubble of success that Philadelphia has been enjoying in their first season of international competition. It’s not the ideal situation for the Union faithful, but hey...there’s not a ton of shame in losing to a team like Atlanta, right?

Then, in true Philadelphia sports fashion, the Boys in Blue showed up when nobody expected them to.

It didn’t happen right away. The first half of the game was all Atlanta, who turned the Union’s usual strategy of heavy pressing, good ball movement, and holding the majority of possession against them for a dominant performance in the first 45 minutes. Atlanta maintained 60% of possession, had four corners to the Union’s two, and recorded five shots on goal, while the Union didn’t have any. In an all-too-familiar narrative, the only reason the Union were able to scrape together a scoreless tie at halftime is because of Blake’s spectacular saves.

It’s safe to say that expectations for Philadelphia were low going into the second half. However, cracks started to appear in Atlanta’s armor, and the Union were able to capitalize. In the 55th minute, Kacper Przybyłko was left unmarked in the box, and while his initial shot didn’t make it into the goal, it did garner a corner. A low cross skipped past everyone to land at Przybylko’s feet, who was able to translate it into an easy, but essential, goal.

This goal was what the Union needed to get things going, and just like that, the offensive jets were turned on. Some beautiful link-up play came when Leon Flach soared past Atlanta’s defense to find Przybylko with space in the box yet again, leading to the Polish striker’s second tally of the game.

For the final nail in the coffin, Przybylko had the opportunity to bag a hattrick in the 86th minute of play, but played it a bit safer by opting to set up freshly subbed-on Anthony Fontana for the Union’s third goal of the night. The defense was able to hold on for the rest of the game, resulting in a 3-0 victory for Philadelphia.

In looking at the entire 90 minutes, one could argue that the Union came into a bit of luck with their second half performance. They were able to find chances in Atlanta’s mistakes and miscommunications rather than managing to create them out of their own offensive prowess. The forwards did what they needed to do for this game, but it was far from showcasing the skill, precision, and ingenuity they’ve proven themselves capable of in past performances. A win is a win, and going into the second leg at Subaru Park up 3-0 on aggregate is a fairly comfortable position to be in. However, while beggars can’t be choosers, it’s frustrating to see the Union’s game plan come across as scrounging for a win by whatever chances fall into their lap rather than displaying the calm, tidy, razor-sharp abilities of this team.

Man of the Match: It has to be Przybylko. While Blake could’ve easily gotten it (as is the case in most games he features in), the offense was essential in this particular game. Przybylko had a hand in all three goals that night, and he took advantage of the space he was given, even if it was more luck than skill that he was able to find himself unchecked in several situations. He’s deservedly been the centerpiece of the Union’s offense, and it’s doubtful that the Union would have had such a fairytale run in the CCL so far if it wasn’t for Przybylko.

The Main Takeaway: The Union can never be completely counted out, no matter how bleak their chances at victory look. However, being a second half team will not do them many favors going forward. It shouldn’t take an abysmal first half to give them motivation to play a quality second half. They need to show up from kickoff to the final whistle if they want to achieve the success they’re yearning for.