76ers vs Thunder Preview

The Philadelphia 76ers will be taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 7:00 PM EST! This is a very important game for the 76ers; they’re on a 4-game skid, and this is a perfect time for them to turn it around before the end of the season. There’s also a chance they get some key reinforcements back!

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia has blown their last 4 games to the Warriors, Suns, and Bucks (twice). However, injuries have played a major role in their — quite frankly, pathetic — losing streak. As a result of the losing streak, Sixers currently hold the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. It shouldn’t be a tough turnaround, though, as Philly has the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, according to ESPN, while the Brooklyn Nets (who currently hold the 1st seed), have to play the Bucks (twice), Nuggets, and Mavericks.

PHI Injury Report:

  • Joel Embiid – QUESTIONABLE
  • Ben Simmons – QUESTIONABLE
  • Danny Green – QUESTIONABLE
  • Tobias Harris – QUESTIONABLE
  • Furkan Korkmaz – QUESTIONABLE
  • Paul Reed – QUESTIONABLE

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City has been absolutely atrocious this season; they sit near the bottom of the Western Conference (13th seed; 20-40), and are in the midst of a 13-game losing streak. However, this is the youngest team in the NBA and one that is, thus, rebuilding. Thunder have also dealt with several injuries, and that doesn’t change tonight.

OKC Injury Report:

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – OUT
  • Luguentz Dort – OUT
  • Josh Hail – OUT
  • Mike Muscala – OUT
  • Gabriel Deck – OUT
  • Tony Bradley – QUESTIONABLE

A loss tonight would be absolutely embarrassing. Whether or not we are missing 2 guys on the injury report or all of them, we’d have to try to lose this game.

Important Information for Tonight’s Game:

  • Against? – Oklahoma City Thunder
  • When? – 7:00 PM EST
  • Where? – Wells Fargo Center
  • TV? – NBCSP

“Wentz” Did It Go Wrong?

17-0…17-24

*sighs*

For those who are unaware, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost to the Washington Football team. In rather embarrassing fashion might I add, squandering a 17-0 lead. Last year it was the Eagles who came out of the tunnel after halftime and rode hot handed DJAX to a eventual comeback of their own. This year, the Eagles came out hot, and lost all steam once Jack Driscoll was removed from the game.

The negatives of this game are abundant, and positives are few and far between, but, there are a few;

Jack Driscoll- The rookie tackle had a few hiccups, none resulting in anything catastrophic and all fixable mistakes. He’s a bright spot simply because once Mailatta was forced to replace him, the drop off was VERY evident. Overall, at this point Jack Driscoll is no Lane, true. I think more importantly we know he’ll be at worst servicable down the road, pending his injury diagnosis.

Defensive Line- Realistically Washington didn’t light us up offensively, Haskins took advantage of numerous short field situations. A product of our either a interception or failed 4th down conversion. The defense held up and players like Josh Sweat and Malik Jackson made some big plays, this is huge to see as they are key contributors going forward.

Wentz and DJAX are OK- As trivial as it sounds, we have to be happy two of our “projected” key contributors stood healthy. We have to assume they will move on to week 2 eager to erase the memory of the week 1 loss.

Rams are next….Let’s just say if this offensive line isn’t in tact by then, Aaron Donald may have a field day.

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Casey Toohil 7th Round Steal

Casey Toohil Earns Roster Spot

The ink is beginning to dry, leases are being signed, and moving trucks are being rented. The Philadelphia Eagles have announced their 53 man roster, and while there were many surprise cuts made, one man defied the odds and earned his spot.

When you think of 7th round picks, you think practice squad hopful, when Casey thinks 7th round pick, he thinks opportunity! The Eagles for much of their franchises life span has prided themselves on their ability to solidify the trenches. Our defensive line was a strength going into this year, while we knew there would be a couple people fighting for rotational spots, no one could have predicted the outcome.

At pick 233, The Eagles selected a 23 year old LB/DE out of Stanford. North of 240 pounds, Casey ran an impressive 4.6 40! Combine that with a 10.5 inch broad jump and some impressive cone drills, scouts took notice of the athleticism Casey possessed. At the time of the selection, the overlying issue was whether he’d be a stand up lb or DE at the next level.

Eagles signed him to add depth to a pass rush that is getting older by the minute. Anchored by veteran Brandon Graham, and a underwhelming Derek Barnett. Younger players such as, Shareef Miller, Genard Avery, Josh Sweat etc all fought for playing time. Well, that fight continued through training camp and Miller unfortunately was deemed the odd man out.

I’m excited to see what Casey can do, he needs to work on using his hands and becoming a solid run stopper, but let’s be honest if he can consistently get to the QB we can work with the rest.

What do you guys think? Who was a suprise cut for you? Watch this weeks Sunday Sports Talk now on youtube for my analysis on breaking news and the upcoming Thursday night game.

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Where Will Miles Sanders Rank Among Top Running Backs After This Season?

Miles Sanders, as all Eagles’ fans know, was drafted out of Penn State with the 53rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles’ fans were sure they were getting a promising, young player based on Miles Sanders’ stats from his recent year at Penn State, in which he totaled 1,413 yards from scrimmage (1,274 rushing the ball and 139 receiving the ball). They were right, but it didn’t seem like it from the beginning.

For the first half of the season, Miles Sanders would be listed behind Jordan Howard on the depth chart as RB2. In that stretch of games (leading up to Week 9 against the Chicago Bears), Miles Sanders totaled just 336 yards rushing the ball and 305 yards as a receiver. During that game, Jordan Howard suffered a mysterious shoulder injury and was diagnosed with a shoulder stinger. He was expected to miss some time, and due to this, Miles Sanders got promoted to RB1. What was supposed to be a short recovery became a painfully long one for Howard, giving Sanders the RB1 role for the remainder of the season. Sanders made the most of that opportunity through the remaining 7 games, totaling 482 yards rushing the ball, a significant increase in rushing production. He stayed relatively steady in receiving yardage in terms of averages per game (he went from roughly 34 yards per game to 29 yards per game).

The point is, Miles Sanders saw a massive increase in production as the lead back, and this increase was in a matter of 7 weeks. Miles Sanders totaled 818 yards on the field last season, and he himself said that he left ‘200 or 300 yards’ on the field as rookie.

In the upcoming season (2020-2021 NFL Season), Miles Sanders is set to be the lead back for the entirety of the season, barring anything unforeseen. If last season is any indication, Sanders should amass over 1000 yards. The question is, with those numbers, where will he rank among the league’s top running backs?

He isn’t in the Top 10 just yet, but with a good year, he can sneak into the league’s top 10 running backs. It took 1091 yards to break the Top 10 running backs solely based on rushing yards last year (Marlon Mack), and 1230 rushing yards to break the top 5 (Chris Carson). Miles Sanders is more than capable of topping these numbers.

As of now, Miles Sanders is a solid player, but we shouldn’t be surprised when he is in conversations with the league’s best backs.

The Eagles Offensive Situation

Ben Carlson

QB: The QB situation for the Eagles is pretty straight forward. Carson Wentz will obviously lead the team as the starter as long as he is eligible to play, and Nate Sudfeld will likely back him up. The addition of Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round of the draft confused a lot; however, I am confident that Coach Pederson and Howie drafted Jalen Hurts mainly to use as a gadget player like the Saints use Taysom Hill.

RB: With the departure of Jordan Howard this offseason a lot of people are wondering what the Eagles will do to replace him for the 2020-2021 season. Their have been some big names popping up such as Carlos Hyde, Shady McCoy and Devonta Freeman. Me personally, I have a ton of faith in Miles Sanders as an RB 1; however, bringing in a vet that can help with the workload and potentially guide Miles for a year isn’t something I wouldn’t be opposed to.

WR: The front office did a great job at adding new weapons for Wentz this offseason. The additions consisted of Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. Pederson and Howie were obviously going for speed and I’m all for it. I have high hopes for Jalen Reagor, I think he will have an impact from the start of the season. Marquise will be a good speed guy to have along side D-Jax. As for John Hightower and Quez Watkins, they were both good picks (especially for when we got them) and from the looks of their college tape if needed they will be ready (I really do think they are better than being just random backups but I don’t know what the front office will do about it, for we have a lot of WR on the roster) . To top that all off we still have Alshon Jeffery, Greg Ward, JJAW, Robert Davis, Deontay Burnett and Shelton Gibson

TE: The TE situation similar to the QB room is also really straight forward. We have the three headed snake from last year consisting of Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedart and Josh Perkins. I’m a big fan of our TE corp, year after year they continue to be reliable and consistent.

O-Line: As usual we still have a dominant O-Line; however, Vaitai left and is now on the Lions. A solid player and a pretty big lose, but definitely replaceable. As of right now it looks like the starting lineup will be Andre Dillard, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and Lane Johnson. This is a lineup I’m extremely confident in despite Isaac Seumalo’s super mediocre past. The front office did make some moves this offseason to pad the line such as draft Jack Driscoll and draft Prince Tega Wanogho. Both excelled in college and were good picks in the 4th and 6th round. The main obstacle is not being able to avoid injuries, we need to stay healthy. That doesn’t go for just the O-Line, the entire roster needs to stay healthy if we want to succeed this season.

Grading the Eagles' Free Agency Moves

After letting some big name free agents slip through their hands on day one, Eagles fans seemingly lost hope in the front office. Byron Jones signed with the Dolphins, Stefon Diggs got traded to the Bills, and most of the names Eagles fans wanted to target were off the market. The signing of Javon Hargrave only exacerbated the frustration of Eagles fans as the front office chose to superload a position of strength when there were glaring weaknesses on the roster. Then Darius Slay happened. The trade for Darius Slay was a phenomenal move by Howie and the rest of the guys. The Lions were in a poor position after they signed Trufant and were forced to trade Slay in a couple of hours. This allowed the Eagles to acquire Slay at an extremely low price. The birds followed this acquisition with a couple of strong depth signings. That being said, here are the grades for our free agency moves thus far:

Resigning DB Jalen Mills to a 1 year/ $5 million deal: A-

I’m still not sure how the Eagles managed to sign Mills for such a cheap price. Mills came back from his Lisfranc foot surgery in an emphatic way. He solidified his position as our CB1 and offered stability at a relatively unstable position. The move to safety is one that I, and many other Eagles fans, am excited to see. Mills played safety at LSU and excelled there. If it weren’t for off the field issues he would not have dropped to the 7th round. He has been told that he will assume the Malcolm Jenkins role. These are obviously huge shoes to fill. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Green Goblin. He has this gaudiness to him that makes him fit to be a CB, S, or LB. His tackling ability is top notch and he backs down to no man. Much like Jenkins, he embodies the Philly mentality. Losing Jenkins was gut wrenching and left a sour taste in the mouths of all Eagles fans, but the resigning of Mills should act as a mint.

Signing DT Javon Hargrave to a 3 yr/ $39 million deal: B+

The duo of Cox and Hargrave will give offensive coordinators literal nightmares. Fletcher Cox had a poor statistical season last year because of the constant double teaming he faced. If teams double him this year with Hargrave lined up right next to him? Good luck. Now this signing didn’t address our principal needs which is why it didn’t reach an A, but this is going to be fun to watch. Hargrave is a strong, bull of a man who simply knows how to attack the QB. He was shadowed by Tuitt, Watt, Dupree and many other talented defensive Steelers last year, but with more reps, he will prove how he is a force to be reckoned with. The move was a bit puzzling at first, but after watching some film, one can understand how disruptive Hargrave truly is. We already know that Schwartz rarely blitzes but with this signing, it seems as if he doesn’t even have to. Oh, and did I mention Malik Jackson is rostered and healthy as well? The best part of this signing is that we can finally see Cox getting one on one matchups. Because Schwartz rarely blitzed, Cox was the target of a lot of offensive gameplans and thus, a lot of double teams. This year will have a different narrative.

Trading for and signing CB Darius Slay to a 3 yr/$50 million deal: A

Darius Slay is a straight playmaker. The clear differentiation between him and Byron Jones is that Slay has a knack for locating and intercepting the ball. The Eagles haven’t had this type of talent at CB since Asante Samuel. Now, we’ve seen the Nnamdi Asomugha experiment fail and the same thing be done for the Byron Maxwell signing. But this just feels different doesn’t it? To make matters better, in the two games Darius Slay has faced Amari Cooper, he has been utterly shut down. Cooper has 0 TDs and averages only 21 yards per game when being followed by Slay. Darius Slay is the type of cornerback to welcome a challenge against opposing teams number one guy. In fact, he prides himself on doing just that. And in a 2020 schedule when the Eagles face Hopkins, Beckham, Thomas, Green, Kupp, Cooper (twice), McLaurin (twice), and Smith-Schuster, the acquisition of a true CB1 who is not afraid to cover any receiver in this league was crucial. The Eagles simply delivered. They covered up a hole that has been a detriment to this organization for years. And they only traded a 3rd and a 5th to do so. Howie has outdone himself with this signing, and the fact that Slay is in Philly for 3 more years is exciting to say the least.

Signing LB Jatavis Brown to a 1 year deal: B

This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward type move. Jatavis Brown had a down year last year, but had more than 90 tackles in 2018. He’s athletic and most importantly, he’s young. He wasn’t a full time starter in Los Angeles, but a change of scenery may turn him into just that. With the departure of Nigel Bradham, the depth at the LB position has thinned and the Eagles were (and still are) in dire need of quality LBs. At the worst, Jatavis will come in an immediately help in Special Teams, but an impressive training camp could bump him into being a starting linebacker.

Signing S Will Parks to a 1 year/$1.6 mil deal: A

When two sides want to make something happen, chances are that it’ll happen. Philly native Will Parks wanted to come back to his hometown in such a great fashion that he took a paycut to play for the Eagles. He’s a physical, passionate player who in my eyes, should take over the Malcolm Jenkins role. He lacks elite coverage skills, but he makes up for it in tackling and athleticism. I would love to see him in the box, confusing the defense and acting as the wildcard for our defense. The cheap price tag is the most mind boggling part of this deal. Parks could’ve easily signed for more money elsewhere. Instead, he chose to come to Philadelphia. We should all respect that fact.

After receiving some criticism on day 1 of free agency, Howie has delivered in an emphatic way. Headlined by the Darius Slay move, the Eagles free agency period has improved the talent on the team without breaking the bank and has left them flexibility to sign a couple more role players. What Howie Roseman has done so far is remarkable. And draft season is only getting started…

Making Sense of the Javon Hargrave signing

The Eagles have signed Javon Hargrave to a 3 year/ $39 million deal.

The NFL Free Agency period has been crazy. WR DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Cardinals. Stefon Diggs was traded to the Bills. Former backup LT Halapoulivaati Vaitai inked a luxurious 5 year/ $50 million deal. And all these moves all happened in the first day. With all of these big name players being moved, the Eagles signed someone that some Eagles fans may not have even known: Javon Hargrave. A player who was underused in the Steelers system, Hargrave, AKA the “Grave Digger”, is a NT/DT that can get to the quarterback in a hurry. He registered 6 sacks in a scheme that didn’t even favor him. Schwartz’s 4-3 defense combined with the fact that he will lined up next to Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and a multitude of other talented pass rushers, makes the Eagles’ defensive line scary.

Similar to Fletcher Cox, his pure strength makes him a nightmare for offensive linemen. Don’t forget, the Eagles also have Malik Jackson, a talented interior lineman whose season was cut short last year, on the inside as well. Last year, Cox saw a plethora of double teams come his way. Malik Jackson was supposed to help Cox break out, but his injury allowed opposing teams to double Cox and because Schwartz rarely blitzes, this allowed for one on ones on the outside. Doubling Cox and leaving Hargraves and/or Jackson in a one on one is something that teams just can’t afford to do. This signing is great for Cox in particular.

Hargraves is a short and compact player who has a powerful bull rush. You’re not going to get the finesse in the big fella as you may see in Cox, but he knows how to use his hands and how to attack offensive linemen. He may not be the run stopper that you may expect him to be, but the Eagles are already tremendous at stopping the run, as they ranked in the top 3 in rushing yards allowed, but ranked in the middle of the pack in sacks per game. And the importance that he can now play in a scheme that fits the way he plays cannot be stressed enough. Hargrave was shadowed by Tuitt in his time in Pittsburgh and was able to perform when given the opportunity. The Steelers just had to choose between Dupree and Hargrave. The Eagles should be thankful they chose Dupree.

Many people such as myself wanted the Eagles to make a splash and sign Byron Jones or trade for Stefon Diggs. The thing with football is that one improvement can have a domino effect. A more talented defensive line will help the secondary defend deep passes because the QB will have less time to throw. Now as of March 17th, the Eagles have not done enough this free agency. But after cooling down, I realize how valuable the Hargrave signing is. I’m extremely excited to see what he can do in Philadelphia.

Will Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper Finally be on the same team?

All the news around the baseball media has gone crazy in the past week. The Mookie Betts trade with the Twins and Dodgers was crazy. Although that trade might not go through because the twins opted out because one guy didn’t have a physical.

Anyways Kris Bryant is now the new talk, now that Betts has been “traded.” There are many teams pursuing Bryant as of now. The main ones are the Phillies, Nationals, and Yankees. The Mets are also in there but these are the main three as of now.

Kris Bryant is likely to trade to a team. Per Jon Heyman, he thought right after Betts was traded Bryant would be traded either that night or the next. Now though, sources are saying the cubs are going to keep Bryant until the trade deadline.

To me this shows how cocky the Cubs management team can be. They think the have the best player, just because everyone wants him. But Arenado is still out there looking to be traded. There are two hot 3B.

Personally, as a Phillies fan I think we need one to make the playoffs. I’d give up Bohm because he really can’t field he can only hit. So if we give up Bohm, Segura, and a bit of cash we are golden.

I say this because Josh Harrison can take over at 2nd, who I think is a better 2nd basemen than segura. Then At 3B we can have Bryant there to make our hitting and feilding just that much better.

This could be a reunion for the century here if Bryant and Harper reunite. Harper and Bryant have played ball together since they were kids! Now they both kept moving to the next level and now they are in the majors.

Let’s hope they reunite!

Thanks for reading my article! You guys have no clue how stoked I am to be writing every week! Follow me on Instagram @philliesphan.01 Get me to 400 followers! And remember it’s a great day to be a Phillies phan!

Phillies Ace? Nola or Wheeler?

As we all know by now Aaron Nola has been the Ace of the Phillies for many seasons now. Nola had a better than average season especially for being a philles pitcher. He had a WAR of 3.9, W/L was 12/7, and his ERA was 3.87. Now do not get me wrong this is a pretty good season as a pitcher. His first game in the 2019 season he popped off! But after the Phillies sign Wheeler to a 5 year deal will Nola still be the ace?

Wheeler had a season about the same as Nola. Although according to stats Nola did better. Just barley though. He had a WAR of 4.1, W/L 11/8, and an ERA of 3.96. Overall Wheeler had a pretty good season. Will he be the new ace of the Phillies though is the question?

I think this is the year Nola gets his rest. I think Nola will still have a good season, but man Wheeler I think will have an outstanding season. If I had to say it now, which I am, Wheeler is going to win NL Cy young or become one of the top contenders. Thats my Very BOLD prediction for the Phillies 2020 mlb season! And Remember its a great day to be a Phillies phan!

If it came down to me picking who the ace will be I’m going to go with Wheeler. Hold up let me explain. I think it will be Wheeler because he want to be the best he can on his new team, the Phillies. He wants them to grow on him like they grew on Nola. I also think this because now that Nola knows he has a reliable pitcher by his side he can not take all the blame and stress. the stress and blame can be shared by both of them now by wanting to be the best.

I hope you guys all enjoyed this blog! This is my first one and there will be many more to come! Be ready because every Sunday there will be a new blog! You can also check out my instagram @philliesphan.01 for daily Phillies and MLB news! (300 followers)

Who do you think will be the better pitcher/Ace for the Phillies in 2020? Comment below!