Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Falcons expose Eagles' issues

PHILADELPHIA — Asante Samuel stared directly at his former team's sideline and started trash-talking after the coin toss. By the fourth quarter, he was dancing on the field between plays.

Matt Ryan made it easy for his loquacious cornerback to gloat.

Ryan threw touchdowns on Atlanta's first three possessions against the Eagles and new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and the Falcons remained the league's only unbeaten team with a convincing 30-17 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

"We're 7-0 over here, baby," Samuel said. "If I was over there now, they have to go to work."

The Falcons are 7-0 for the first time in the franchise's 47 seasons. The Eagles lost after a bye for the first time in 14 such games under coach Andy Reid since 1999.

"That was an embarrassing performance," Reid said. "I'm stating the obvious. We need to get better. I need to do a better job. This is fixable. We have the talent."

Ryan finished 22-of-29 for 262 yards and three touchdowns for his first win against his hometown team in three tries.

Michael Vick didn't turn the ball over for a change, but he played so-so and failed to beat his former team in his second start against the Falcons since returning to the NFL in 2009.

"Whatever decision coach makes, I support it," Vick said when asked about possibly being benched for rookie Nick Foles. "I know I'm giving it everything I have when I'm out there."

Reid said he's going to evaluate whether he makes a quarterback change. The defense was the problem against Atlanta, however. The Falcons scored on their first six possessions before punting for the first time with 5:35 left in the game.

Reid fired Juan Castillo last week and replaced him with Bowles two days after Philadelphia blew its second straight fourth-quarter lead in an overtime loss to Detroit.

Samuel had 25 interceptions and went to three Pro Bowls in four seasons in Philadelphia before the acquisitions of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie forced him out. He was traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick in April.

"I love the fans," he said. "They can boo me. They can cheer for me. Doesn't do anything but add fuel to the fire."

Comments
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Hillsborough player of the year: F Eric Ugarte, Sr., Plant CityThe numbers: Ugarte scored 21 goals and added 11 assists to lead the Raiders to their first state title in soccer. He scored 71 goals in his career.Something about Eric: The skilled ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay girls soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay girls soccer players of the year

Pinellas Player of the Year: MF Mary Raymond, Jr., Palm Harbor UniversityThe numbers: Raymond scored 13 goals and added seven assists. She spent the first part of the season as the central defender.Something about Mary: Raymond is the type of pl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

Florida State's primetime opener against Virginia Tech looks a little tougher now than it did a few days ago.Hokies starting quarterback Josh Jackson has had his academic eligibility resolved and remains on the team, the Roanoke Times reported Tuesda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Published: 06/18/18

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 19

TODAYBaseballOrioles at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas2 p.m.ESPNTexas Tech vs. Arkansas7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals c...
Published: 06/18/18
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Published: 06/18/18