Not a single Inquirer beat writer picked the Eagles to win against the Broncos. But that’s understandable.

Before yesterday, the last time the Eagles managed to beat the Broncos in Colorado was in 1989.

Yes, 1989, the same year entertainer Taylor Swift was born in West Reading, Pa.

Frankly, the Eagles are coming out of the woods from a difficult stretch of games, but if they can take the criticism they’ve faced and shake it off as triumphantly as they did against Denver, there’s hope for the season yet, even for the fans’ wildest dreams of making the playoffs. Receiver DeVonta Smith certainly celebrated his birthday in style, and no matter who filled in the blank space from quarterback Jalen Hurts handing off, the running game for the Eagles was in fine form.

For so long, it seemed as if there was bad blood building up from the perceived incompatibility of Hurts and head coach Nick Sirianni, but it turns out all they had to do was stay focused on the big picture of synergy and combining what both do well to get a win. The defense, the play-calling — it all came together in a big way for the Eagles at Empower Field at Mile High.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Tell us, did you like the Eagles’ new uniform combination of black pants and white top? Or was that the only blotch on an otherwise ideal Eagles victory? sports.daily@inquirer.com: sports.daily@inquirer.com

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Early Birds

The Eagles looked mighty impressive against the Broncos in a key 30-13 road win. Let us count the ways.

Hurts, at least in the first half, was pinpoint accurate, and his connection with Smith continues to grow. Smith leaped and hauled in a touchdown grab in the first quarter and added a TD reception in the second quarter. The running game once again shined, and that’ll set up an interesting decision when Miles Sanders returns from injured reserve.

An aggressive Eagles defense at last came through with stops, and Darius Slay turned a fumble into a scoop-and-score 83-yard touchdown return that was a game-changing play. Special teams featured a blocked field-goal attempt for what was an all-around win.

Extra Innings

There wasn’t a whole lot of action at last week’s general managers meetings, but there was plenty of talk and speculation as the baseball world gathered in Carlsbad, Calif. The Inquirer’s Scott Lauber and Matt Breen were there for it all and boiled down what they heard and tried to connect some dots in the Phillies’ offseason outlook. There is a lot of work ahead for president Dave Dombrowski and his front office, but with the collective bargaining agreement expiring on Dec. 1, it’s anyone’s guess when the hot stove will truly heat up.

Next: This is a big week for awards and honors. Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins will be on the Hall of Fame ballot, which will be released today. Zack Wheeler will learn whether his career season will result in the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, and on Thursday, we’ll see whether Bryce Harper’s dominant season will be rewarded with the MVP.

Off the Dribble

The 76ers welcomed back Tobias Harris and Isaiah Joe to the team this week, but that wasn’t quite enough to right the ship as their string of losses continued and reached four straight on Saturday after they fell to the Indiana Pacers.

Noticeably, they remain without Joel Embiid (and Matisse Thybulle), the straw that stirs the drink for the Sixers. As Ben Simmons remains unavailable because of his mental state, the Sixers will go as Embiid goes. Embiid was separated from the team and entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Nov. 8. The team is 8-6 this season and 1-4 in games without Embiid, including this four-game skid. As The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey writes, the team is missing Embiid’s presence and won’t be whole until he returns.

Next: The Sixers continue their six-game road trip with another big test against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz at 10 p.m. Tuesday (NBCSP+).

On the Fly

Once a Flyer, always a Flyer?

Drafted 22nd overall by the Flyers in 2006, Claude Giroux, 33, has played for only one NHL franchise. The forward ranks second in franchise history in games played (956) and second in points (870), but in the final season of an eight-year, $66.2 million contract, for the first time in his career, Giroux has an uncertain future.

Will Giroux re-sign with the Flyers and go down as the rare one-franchise player? The winger is off to a scintillating start — 12 points in 13 games — and says he wants to finish as a Flyer. The puck is in the Flyers’ corner now.

Next: The Flyers begin a three-game homestand Tuesday night as they host the Calgary Flames at 7 (NBC Sports Philadelphia). Before the game, the Flyers will induct Paul Holmgren and Rick Tocchet into the team’s Hall of Fame.

Fleet Street

Every goalkeeper has a personal mantra of nothing. Nothing is going to get past them; nothing is going to stop them from making the play; nothing is a good enough excuse for letting the ball into the net. A shutout, a clean sheet, a zero, is their objective every game.

It was Zack Steffen who made the all-important saves against Mexico’s top players in World Cup qualifying action to keep the Concacaf neighbors at a nil score. Then the American players were able to break through in the second half with goals from Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie that now make a return to the World Cup tournament more likely.

All it took was nothing from Steffen.

How did the 2-0 defeat of Mexico happen? Well, though he didn’t score or assist, former Union player Brenden Aaronson was an important part of the team effort from Gregg Berhalter’s group.

Next: Jamaica is up Tuesday as the next USMNT opponent in World Cup qualifying action.

Worth a look