Perhaps the Eagles were jealous of all the flack and attention the Sixers got from Philly fans after Friday’s late collapse against the Brooklyn Nets. Or perhaps the 10 days of planning, allotted the Eagles during their mini-bye week, was just enough time to overthink everything and produce a performance that reeked of both desperation and paralysis from analysis in their 33-22 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The final score was too kind. Traveling fans in Vegas resorted to booing after their early cheers. No one on the Eagles could escape responsibility for the debacle, except possibly the injured Miles Sanders, who can’t be blamed for getting hurt. But for the organization as a whole, the game felt like a self-inflicted wound.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
If this particular Eagles loss felt especially bad, it’s because it was. It left Eagles fans who’d traveled to Las Vegas booing the team at Allegiant Stadium. And the 33-22 setback was ugly enough that the new coaching staff should be opened up to more criticism.
That’s what happens when the Eagles flounder coming off a mini-bye week. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr picked Jonathan Gannon’s defense apart, completing more than 90 percent of his passes. And after the Eagles started with a game-opening touchdown, that optimism was snuffed out by an injury to Miles Sanders, dropped and errant passes, and a fumble by Kenneth Gainwell just before halftime.
Nick Sirianni was quick to accept responsibility for himself and Gannon after the game. After all, the team didn’t play well on either side of the ball (and couldn’t recover a surprise onside kick that spoke to Sirianni’s lack of trust for the defense to get a stop). But the Eagles right now appear to have few actual answers in terms of fixing what’s broken. It’s a bad team, and it has been this way for a while now.
The argument that Carli Lloyd is the greatest soccer player from the Philadelphia area is a solid one. But maintaining that high level of skill and production over so long a career may come at a price. The single-minded focus and competitive fire to keep charging after new goals just as soon as she scores the latest one hasn’t left Lloyd much time to enjoy her triumphs. In a rare moment of reflection, Lloyd told the Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald some of the cost of being Carli Lloyd.
We also have some insight into how international players translate their skills in the world’s game to the college level of the United States, specifically at St. Joseph’s University.
On the Fly
After a 2-1-1 homestand, the Flyers are headed to Canada for the first time in over a year. The Flyers will play games in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary this week, after ending their four-game homestand Saturday with a 4-2 loss to Florida.
There were a lot of positives from the opening four-game set, though, as Sam Carchidi writes. But can the Flyers keep it going against two of the league’s best in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?
Next: The Flyers return to the ice Wednesday against the Oilers at 10 p.m. (TNT).
Off the Dribble
Embarrassing as it was for the Sixers to fall to the Brooklyn Nets after holding a lead for almost all of the game, it’s possible that the game showed Ben Simmons two important things: First, it’s not just Simmons who wilts in the spotlight, since the Sixers as a squad often struggle to close out top teams; and second, the Sixers, for all the recent talk about how they don’t want to babysit, still need him. The Sixers appear to have done their part to reach out to Simmons, as Coach Doc Rivers and several players publicly supported Simmons following a crucial discussion with in which the point guard revealed he wasn’t yet feeling mentally ready to play.
Seth Curry came to play against Oklahoma City, however, scoring 23 points in the first quarter. That helped pace the Sixers to a comfortable victory, one that spoke well of the job they have done developing their bench players.
Worth a look
History made: What a painful and frustrating way for Penn State to reach the record books in an epic and long overtime loss to Illinois. After a promising early start to the season, the lights have dimmed on the Nittany Lions and their hopes.
To tell the truth: Did Eagles fans feel Jonathan Vilma being on the call for the Vegas game added insult to the injury of a loss? Or were the blunt assessments he’s known for exactly what the game needed?
The body electric: A Penn Museum exhibit looks at clothes in history, including a comparison of athletes past and present. One reveal is that ancient Greek athletes wore far less.