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An Eagles case of mistaken identity | Sports Daily

The Birds almost cutting the wrong linebacker proved symbolic, the Flyers win again, a Sixers villain returns, and the Phillies have some bargain options.

The Eagles typically haven’t valued linebackers in recent years, but nothing tops the slight Alex Singleton experienced in 2019. That was when Singleton was asked to bring his team iPad with him to meet with the personnel department. He was going to be cut from the team, but he was the wrong linebacker.

The Eagles realized they had a case of mistaken identity (Joey Alfieri was the real target), but it also proved symbolic of a position they have overlooked for years. That’s even more evident this season as a new scheme has further exposed their deficiencies.

But on the bright side, they play the 0-7 Lions this week …

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

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Early Birds

Nick Sirianni and the Eagles head to Detroit to play Sunday’s game on Halloween against a team with a worse record. The Lions are winless, so can the Eagles get back on track? Each of our beat writers is predicting the Eagles to win.

A win would mark a happy return to Detroit for Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, who made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons there. Slay is having a solid year for the Eagles. But will their defense come to play coming off an embarrassment against the Raiders?

Off the Dribble

Tyrese Maxey has a lot on his young shoulders. Not even 21 years old yet (not until Nov. 4), he has been tasked with playing point guard for a playoff contender. But that’s just the base-level information. The more daunting element for Maxey is that he replaced a three-time All-Star who has demanded a trade and told the team he’s not mentally fit to play. Maxey hasn’t put together a sterling performance in his first four games in place of Ben Simmons, but his transition to the starting lineup was never going to be mistake-free.

Maxey did show improvement Thursday night in the Sixers’ 110-102 victory over the winless Detroit Pistons.

He has support and patience in the organization. Danny Green made that clear on Thursday when asked about Maxey’s performance. Green, a veteran who is now in his 13th season, said Maxey is taking everything in and handling it amazingly. “He’s got a lot on his plate, throwing things at him every day, every game. He’s handling it like a mature adult for a kid who’s barely 21.”

Next: The Sixers play the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. Trae Young, who put Philly out of the Eastern Conference semifinals, comes back to town for the first time since last season’s Game 7.

On the Fly

Went to bed early Wednesday and missed the Flyers’ thrilling 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers? No worries, Sam Carchidi has you covered and looks at the game’s biggest takeaways, including another encouraging showing from goaltender Carter Hart.

The Flyers carried that momentum into Vancouver last night when they beat the Canucks, 2-1, behind strong play from another goaltender, Martin Jones.

After a day to reflect on the scandal that has shaken the NHL to its core, key leaders on the Flyers expressed their thoughts exclusively to The Inquirer on the mishandling of Kyle Beach’s allegations.

Next: The Flyers finish up their three-game road trip at 10 p.m. Saturday in Calgary against the Flames (NBCSP+).

Extra Innings

Everybody likes to see their team make a big splashy signing, and the Phillies have done just that the last three years with Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Zack Wheeler. Club president Dave Dombrowski hasn’t ruled out adding another big salary, but he might be better off spreading that money around to several players. Just look to this year’s playoffs as a reason, with the Red Sox, Giants, and Braves among the teams who have done more with less. With that in mind, The Inquirer’s Scott Lauber and Matt Breen offered up six midlevel-salary players who could actually make a big impact for the Phillies in 2022.

Awards season is here, and Harper snagged his first, winning the National League’s Most Outstanding Player. Could MVP be next?

Fleet Street

Alejandro Bedoya would really like to get the Union’s playoff spot in Major League Soccer’s postseason signed, sealed, and delivered. However, it’s not happening yet, due partly to the team’s tendency to let winning goals and points slip away.

At Drexel, a former Dragons goalkeeper is not only coaching her old position, but also helping her players find a balance between sports and their lives off the field as a mental performance expert.

Barcelona fans may not be dancing in the streets, but there is a palpable sense of relief among many that Ronald Koeman is finally gone as manager. There’s hope that club legend Xavi will return to coach as well. Our own soccer guru, Jonathan Tannenwald, covers this and more in a look ahead at the soccer games to watch this weekend.

Worth a look

  1. Got your costume all set? If not, check out these ideas, including some that incorporate story lines from Philly sports teams.

  2. Beat Ohio State? Matt Millen says Penn State must get improved play from its offensive line.

  3. Villanova’s three-headed monster in the backfield is becoming a nightmare for the rest of the CAA.