Until the Flyers and Phillies start the Eagles and Sixers can split my 2 cents. They are quite valuable. Well maybe not, there isn’t much penny candy around anymore. But if you watch your pennies, the nickels will take care of themselves. Let’s start with our beloved Philadelphia Eagles.
We all know it has been a tough year and what we await now is which way Mount Lurie will explode. If the end of the year is any indication, it would indicate that an eruption will be landing on Roseman/Peterson Island. I don’t care about injuries, every team has them. This is what the draft is for and how you groom replacements for when the starter gets hurt. You don’t just do this on a whim to create a quarterback controversy; that is unless the owner says play Jalen or you are fired. This could have been the case and if so then Doug does get some props for taking the heat. Unfortunately, props don’t save your job. Looking toward Howie, the draft has been lame with the exception of Carson. The players drafted wouldn’t make high school teams in Philly. Hightower, the ball has to be thrown right into the basket with no defenders around. The Offensive line has been, well, offensive. Using 13 different starting combos in 4 of 5 positions in 15 games is abominable, not the snowman either. The O-line needs a total revamp, with the exception of Kelce but, I feel, we need to look for his eventual replacement in the later rounds so Jason can groom him. Running backs are needed. Miles Sanders is good, he currently ranks 15th in the NFL. Boston Scott is average. The other 2 leaders in rushing yards are Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz. Just let that sink in. We talked about WRs. But here is something to make you sleep comfortably, Watkins, Hightower, and Jeffrey combined have less than combined team leaders, Goedert and Fulgham at 524 yards and tied for 81st in the league. Our best receiver is 81st. The 31 other teams would have 2 receivers above our leader and 18 teams with 3 receivers. That there is some great draftwork. DeSean Jackson returning last week was like Aquaman showing up after Superman already took care of everything. Good but too little too late. The defense we can discuss at another time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Philadelphia 76ers, cue fake fan noise. (Only during pandemic) the Sixers do well with attendance. I have been trying to figure that out for 5 years of a process that didn’t work as well as expected. The Sixers are starting off better than recent years at 3-1. To this point they are playing well as a team and the new additions are melding well together with the veterans and the new coach. As it looks right now, the off-season moves are working including new coach Doc Rivers. In his post game pressers he seems to be more talking to the fanbase than to the reporter. I love that because ultimately it is the fans who pay the bills, just ask the Phillies. The one downside that I can see and I know it is extremely early, my coworkers will blast me for this, but it is Ben Simmons. Ben is averaging 14.3 points per game, just 1 point better than, drumroll please, Markelle Fultz. And averages 6.0 Assists per game, just 0.2 better than, you guessed it, Markelle Fultz. Not saying in anyway we should have ditched Ben 2 years ago and kept Markelle, just quoting stats. JoJo on the other hand is killing it. Over 28 points per game and 13.3 rebounds. Simmons does add 9.3 rebounds per game but that is not what point guards are supposed to be doing. But it is a positive. He does lead the team with assists at 6.0 with Seth Curry coming in at 3.8 and JoJo at 2.7. Luckily for Ben the ESPN App does not provide foul shooting numbers. Ben is tied for fourth in the league in blocked shots. As a team the Sixers are 2nd in points allowed and first in blocks. This brings us to the elephant in the room, Ben or the Beard. I would choose Ben and doing this piece has changed my mind. Basketball is about the team. Different players are in the top of the stats different nights. The Sixers have a good mix. Harden is better individual player but I don’t think he would fit in the Sixers new mix. Hopefully Ben will continue to grow and develop under Rivers. Just start making some shots, even foul shots would help.