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Friday, September 30, 2016

Rob’s Rants on Sports: Eagles Dominate Steelers; Wentz Rolls On; Sixers Relevant Again; more

Forget the Wentz Wagon. Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz needs a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here’s the latest Rob’s Rants:


  • Wentz is doing the unheard of, and, after Philadelphia destroyed the Steelers, no one is questioning who they have played. According to NFL.com, he’s the first rookie to throw zero interceptions in his first 100 pass attempts, one of only two rookies to ever start and win the first 3 games in his team’s season (Mark Sanchez is the other, tempering excitement?), and the “first rookie quarterback since 1960 to throw 30+ passes and win in each of his first 3 career starts.” And, I’ll keep repeating it, he barely played in the preseason.

  • Are we headed for a PA Super Bowl? I doubt it, but here’s two fun facts. The same NFL.com article mentioned above reports that the last time the Birds won their first 3 games by 15+ points, as they have this year, was at the start of their 1980 Super Bowl run. Last time they beat the Steelers at home? The Steelers won the Super Bowl in the 2008 season. (I first read the note on the Steelers in a tweet by @BlueDudeSports; confirmed by checking the Steelers’ schedules starting with 2008.)

  • Philadelphia might want to start working on a float for head coach Doug Pederson while they’re expanding the Wentz Wagon. He’s the first coach in Eagles history to start 3-0, and, I don’t think it can be said enough, Pederson has done it with a rookie quarterback.

  • What the hell? Don’t forget defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz while erecting these rides. Through three games the Eagles “D” has given up 20 points.

  • I confessed in my re-entry to sports blogging that I gave up on the Birds and became a Steelers fan when I turned 40. (Have your fun; just remember, it’s September.) The point is that I watched the first two Steelers games, and just the “eye ball test” made it clear how dominating the Eagles defense was on Sunday. But the numbers really show it. The Steelers rushed for 29 yards in the game, after totaling 147 and 124 in their first two games. Their longest rush on Sunday was 21 yards. That’s 8 yards rushing the rest of the game! (That’s slightly skewed by of tackles-for-loss, but the point remains.)

  • The Sixers opened training camp, which was always another reason to love the fall for me before the seemingly endless tanking began. (I once had a guy take a knee at me because I wore a Sixers coat during Fred Carter’s head coaching stint.) I’m thrilled basketball is relevant in this town again. I wasn’t sports blogging during the mistake that was the Sam Hinkie tenure as general manager. But check social media. I was never on-board. One of many reasons was that I knew today’s players were never going to wait for Hinkie’s never-arriving future. Hinkie is gone, but the stank from his job as a GM remains. Nerlens Noel made my point last weekend, saying, “I think it’s just silly . . . this situation that we are in now with three starting centers. . . . With the departure of . . . Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer.” I can’t imagine how ugly this situation would have gotten under Hinkie, who never had a plan to actually put a winning team on the court. He had already burned out former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, and he was clearly on his way to grinding more players into the ground.

  • In Wednesday’s Inquirer, I read that Joel Embiid was scheduled to be limited to 20 minutes of work in Tuesday night’s practice. It wasn’t clear (even after some googling) if the curtailed minutes were due to illness or previously mentioned restrictions due to his foot problems. He actually showed up for the morning workout despite being sick. And that’s great. But I’m wondering just how limited he’ll be throughout camp. I want to get so excited about this guy, and I completely understand taking it slow with him. He’s missed two full seasons with injury, which, by the way, is exactly why the Sixers did the right thing in not trading Noel or Jahlil Okafor. I’m just hoping Embiid finally getting on the court isn’t a big tease.

  • Ryan Howard is likely wrapping up his career with the Phillies this weekend. Regardless of the last several years, Howard deserves a good send-off from fans. Without him, there’s no 2008 World Series Championship in Philadelphia.

  • I first noticed this from a tweet by @JoeGiglioSports—The only two undefeated teams in the NFC are quarterbacked by Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. (Shaun Hill started for Minnesota in the opener.) Go figure. It’s kind of sad, too, as in pathetic. After three weeks, only two NFC teams are undefeated. There are three undefeated teams in the AFC—Denver, Baltimore, and the friggin’ Patriots. (Are you kiddin’ me? The New England Patriots, who had to play their 3rd string quarterback in last week’s Thursday night game, are undefeated? Maybe they’ll stop crying about Tom Brady being suspended for cheating. I’m kidding, of course. They’ll never stop.)

  • Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre. They’re just a few names I’ve heard Carson Wentz compared to. Can we please pump the brakes just a little? For his sake. As Aaron Rodgers once said, “R-E-L-A-X.” I understand most of this—though not all*—has come from fans. And, I get it, this is what fans do. Remember people who wanted to make Bobby Hoying’s last name reverberate around the stadium? Fans delighting in Koy Detmer’s TD celebration, which I believe he referred to as spanking it? No? That’s the point. Don’t get me wrong, I think Wentz looks like the real deal. If you’re under 30, knock yourself out. Everybody else should know to be on guard. Just a little.


*Found link via Philly Football Talk

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