The Eagles had little time to celebrate Sunday’s dramatic comeback win at Carolina, with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next on the schedule. To make matters worse for the 2-3 Birds, they had only three days to prepare for the Super Bowl champions.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts doesn’t sound like someone ready to back down from the challenge of going against the GOAT in prime time, though, even on short rest.
“This is the next opportunity and I’m grateful for it. We just want to go out there and win regardless if it’s a million people watching or one person watching or nobody watching. We just want to win the game.”
Will the Eagles shock the Bucs and get back to .500? You might want to ask our Jeff McLane first, as he’s a perfect 5-for-5 so far with his predictions.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
While Hurts duels with Brady, what becomes of the running game tonight? McLane digs into the film of Miles Sanders and reports on certain reasons why he’s getting fewer touches this season.
Hurts, of course, has run-pass options available to him and also gets designed runs of his own, but the lack of carries for Sanders has been glaring. Wouldn’t a larger workload for Sanders help take some of the pressure off the young quarterback?
Next: For Thursday Night Football, you can follow along with the TV coverage — and also check out our new GameDay Central.
On the Fly
The Flyers made plenty of moves this offseason, but ultimately the team will only be as good as its Hart. As in goaltender Carter Hart, who will look to rebound from a disastrous season in which he ranked dead last in the NHL with an .877 save percentage.
The Flyers will also need to navigate at least the first 10 games without center Kevin Hayes, who was placed on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday (abdominal injury). The Hayes news did present an opportunity for the Flyers to bring in tough guy Zack MacEwen via the waiver wire.
We have a funny feeling that he’s going to fit in just fine in Philadelphia.
Next: The Flyers open the 2021-22 season on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center against the Vancouver Canucks (NBC Sports Philadelphia).
Off the Dribble
Ben Simmons is back with the 76ers, but does he intend to actually play with them? That’s the big question now as the regular season looms on Oct. 20. Coach Doc Rivers isn’t going to speculate on Simmons’ intentions, saying, “Who knows? I can’t get in anyone’s head.” Rivers won’t rule out Simmons playing in the preseason finale Friday, when he clears the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol, but that doesn’t seem likely since he will not have practiced by then.
As the Sixers await Simmons’ return, it’s business as usual for Rivers, who will have no issues working his star point guard back in.
The saga will not be over until Simmons is fully committed to playing out his contract or is traded, but the Sixers are the ones benefiting from Simmons ending a 14-day holdout.
Next: The Sixers wrap up the preseason with a trip to Detroit to play the Pistons at 7 p.m. Friday (NBC Sports Philadelphia).
Dave Dombrowski had about two months to fill out his roster after taking over as Phillies president last December. After an 82-80 season and another year without playoff baseball, you can bet he’s plotting some significant changes. In fact, The Inquirer’s Matt Breen and Scott Lauber write that he could overhaul half the 40-man roster. With that in mind, we run down the roster and give our predictions on who stays and who goes. And our reporters aren’t in agreement with every pick.
Consider Bryce Harper thrilled with the hiring of the Phillies’ new hitting coach, who gave the star “goose bumps” when he told him the news.
No, it wasn’t destiny saving the U.S. men’s national team from a terrible position in World Cup qualifying, it was Sergiño Dest. The Barcelona player, part of a USMNT starting 11 that was the youngest ever for the U.S. in a WC qualifying match (averaging 22 years, 229 days), sparked the squad’s comeback against Costa Rica. The U.S. was down a goal from the first minute Wednesday night, but Dest scored in the 25th minute, then helped create the winning goal in the second half with a timely pass. Relive all the drama.
Next: It’s happening! Well, OK, it’s not happening until November, but the Concacaf rivalry game like no other, the U.S. vs. Mexico, is next up for the USMNT.
Worth a look
Less cameras, more action: Columnist Mike Sielski approves of the Wells Fargo Center’s new “zero-tolerance” policy against slurs, but argues that in order to really curb fan behavior, arenas need to start taking the cameras off attention-seeking fans.
Progress report: Redshirt freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis is among those beginning to make the grade with Temple. The defense remains another story.
When friends become foes: Penn’s football team looks to continue its forward momentum against Columbia … and former Quakers head coach Al Bagnoli.
We’re pregaming live on Inquirer.com just before the Eagles host the Bucs. Got a question or comment you want answered on-air? Let us know before 3 p.m. today and we might feature it during the segment. Catch the show at Inquirer.com/Eagles/Gamedaycentral on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.