Fans of Philadelphia sports have a certain, how would you say… a negative attitude when it comes to the success of their sports teams. Whether it’s injuries or an unlucky year, we tend to doubt our teams in the clutchest moments. Well that time of marginal improvements helping you sleep at night are over. Philly sports are back and these are the guys who are the main factors to the city’s sports turnaround.
If there’s a team to start off with here it has to be the Eagles. At 9-1 they’re at the top of not just the NFC, but the entire NFL. They have already surpassed last year’s win total and are the clear favorites for the NFC East division. With a possible first round bye and their first real shot at the Super Bowl since Donovan McNabb, this team looks legit.
Carson Wentz: It’s a comfortable feeling knowing who is gonna be the leader of the team for the foreseeable future. Wentz has the build of Ben Roethlisberger, the brains at the line-of-scrimmage similar to Peyton Manning, and the escape ability of, well Carson Wentz. Wentz has been Rodgers-like in ducking tacklers and netting positive yards. He doesn’t just have MVP numbers this year but looks to be a force in the new wave of NFL quarterbacks.
Fletcher Cox: Just 26 years-old, Cox is already one of the most dominant rush defenders and playmakers in the league. Cox is a freak athlete who makes game-changing plays. To win a Super Bowl you need guys in all three phases, and as the leader of one of the best defensive lines in the league, he has to get some recognition. Plus he has phenomenal naming tandems with Chris Long and Wendell Smallwood also on the roster…think on it.
Howie Roseman: Having a balanced roster is the key ingredient to a dominant football team, and Roseman has done a great job assembling such a balanced squad.
Having players like Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Graham are major keys to success. Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby are impressive additions with high ceilings to improve the only weakness on the team, the secondary. On the offensive side of the ball, Zach Ertz can now settle into potential stardom with no doubt who he’ll be catching the ball from. Roseman was also busy during the trade deadline, trading a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins for Pro-Bowl running back Jay Ajayi.
Other noteables that you will see make a huge impact for this team and will be here for the next five or so years are Lane Johnson, Nelson Agholor, Timmy Jernigan and maybe even Jake Elliott.
Next up is the Sixers. I really could have put them as the first team to be jumping for joy about. blossoming talent all over the floor has you picturing a playoff team for years to come. They’re going to compete with any team in this league now and depending on how fast they can grow and win close games, they can potentially make a run in the Eastern Conference
Ben Simmons: A 6’10” point guard.
Joel Embiid: A fan favorite across the league. Embiid said he feels like he is at a 69 percent conditioning level after putting up 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks against the Lakers. A silky mid-range jumper and shot-altering ability, Embiid has all the moves and strength to go up and guard any dominant big man in the league. It is going to be exciting to watch him grow even more and play to the likes of Anthony Davis and other star centers in the league.
Ben Simmons: He’s obviously more than just height. It is just the idea of a man that large dribbling it through his legs, spinning around a defender and gliding above everyone for an easy layup that is so jaw-dropping.
Oh, and he loves to dunk. Simmons has a broken jumper as of now, but he’s also just 21 years old. The rest of his game is so polished and he can switch onto any defender. In an NBA built of pick-and-rolls, Simmons is as versatile as they come.
Brett Brown: Let’s see what he can do! J.J. Redick was the last piece of the puzzle to complete this roster. They’ve got size, shooting and youth. Brown should have plenty of tools to utilize once Markelle Fultz and Jerryd Bayless return from injuries to add to the rotation with Robert Covington and Dario Saric. The roster is deep, and pending health they are going to have Philly fans on their feet in Wells Fargo for years to come.
Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phillies
Let’s combine the Flyers and the Phillies. Two teams that seem to be on the come up. After competing for a Stanley Cup a few years back the Flyers are back on the rise after a few mediocre seasons. A new head coach and star players like Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds have the future looking bright. The Flyers have enough promise that they could position themselves for the playoffs. Anything can happen if you sneak into the NHL playoffs but again, the future is bright.
The Phillies are at the end of their rebuild process. Slower than an NBA process, the Phillies now have some prospects like J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams who will look to lead a club walking into the new season with no expectations. Aaron Nola could breakout as an ace pitcher along the way. The Phillies could improve marginally and we could start to see some young players who could really start increasing the speed of this rebuild. Who knows? Maybe process-truster Mike Trout comes home to Philly and makes the team relevant again.
In all four major sports Philly fans have something to look forward too. Yet, when you really zoom your focus in on the 76ers and the Eagles, both could make the playoffs and have young leaders that have the franchise heading a new direction. This is the officially the Golden Age of Philly Sports!