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It wasn’t a pretty win by the Eagles | Sports Daily

The Birds overcame early turnovers against Washington to even their record at 7-7 with three games left.

Tuesday night began with turnovers for the Eagles. There was some rust, as coach Nick Sirianni called it. Some hard coaching of Jalen Hurts needed to happen on the sideline.

But in the end, the Eagles took care of business and defeated a shorthanded Washington Football Team, 27-17, to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

The win came two days later than expected as Washington was without its top two quarterbacks. There were some worries late in the game. And yet the Eagles find themselves in a good position at 7-7 with three regular-season games left.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

What do the Eagles need to do to be playoff-ready?:

Early Birds

Take away the turnovers — a bad-luck interception that was one of two bad drops from Dallas Goedert and the Hurts fumble that upset Sirianni — and the Eagles did shake off the rust to look pretty good on offense.

The running game led by Miles Sanders and powered by an offensive line that’s the true star of the show racked up 238 yards. Goedert had 135 receiving yards. Hurts threw for 296 yards, completing 20 of 26 passes. And while he had to answer for some questionable decision-making, his return from an ankle injury after nearly a month since his last game showed he could bounce back.

Washington never did see a large benefit from the NFL’s postponement of the game, as quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen were forced by COVID-19 protocols to leave it to emergency option Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert played well enough to make the Eagles uncomfortable, but the defense also stepped up after a slow start.

Next: It’ll be a quick turnaround as the Eagles host the Giants on Sunday. Thanks, NFL.

Off the Dribble

While the 76ers’ season has been in flux, Joel Embiid has done his best to keep them afloat. He has taken his own lumps, of course, missing 10 games because of COVID-19 and being hampered by minor knee and rib injuries. But when available, Embiid has shown up for the Sixers.

That was the case again Monday, when he posted 41 points and 10 rebounds and produced a 17-point fourth quarter to lead his team to a 108-103 win over the Celtics at TD Garden. The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey takes a closer look at Embiid’s performance, contending that he put together a classic and added to his legend.

On the Fly

Tuesday was a tough day to be a Flyers fan.

First, the team’s scheduled game against Washington was postponed after two Capitals were added to the COVID-19 protocols during Tuesday’s morning skate.

Things went from bad to worse as the afternoon progressed, with reports surfacing that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association had agreed to pull out of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. While the news seemed almost inevitable, it was no less hard to take for fans and players alike.

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov was particularly crushed.

“So to be able to miss two chances to go to the Olympics would be really tough,” Provorov said Monday, the day before the decision was made. “But, you know, I think we’ve got to do what’s right.”

The one bright spot for the Flyers among all the cancellations is the team now has eight days until its next game, which means some much-needed rest and recovery time for the team’s long list of injured players. One of those, Derick Brassard, is nearing a return, as the 34-year-old skated Tuesday and could be back after the NHL’s leaguewide pause (Dec. 22-25).

Next: The Flyers’ scheduled game vs. Pittsburgh on Thursday has been postponed, so the team does not play again until Dec. 29 at Seattle (10 p.m. on NBCSP).

Worth a look

A college football trend: Penn State linebacker Ellis Brooks is opting out of the Outback Bowl, as the senior looks toward the NFL draft.

Another college basketball program battles COVID-19: The St. Joseph’s men’s team is the latest to have issues with COVID, and that led it to cancel Wednesday’s scheduled game against Holy Cross.

What you’re talking about

Before the WFT game, we asked Sports Daily readers if Hurts should be benched in favor of Minshew.

Hurts has got to go!Thomas G. 60% of responders agreed with Thomas.

Hurts deserves all the chances he can get. — Dave S. 40% of responders agreed with Dave.

Trivia time

A decent number of fans can probably guess who quarterbacked the Eagles in their last Tuesday game before last night, on Dec. 28, 2010, but what about the one before that? Who led the Eagles at quarterback back on Sept. 26, 1944? If you don’t give in to an internet search before then, we’ll reveal the answers tomorrow.

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Giana Han, Mike Jensen, Jeff McLane, Keith Pompey, Olivia Reiner, Mike Sielski, EJ Smith, and Josh Tolentino.