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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Fish ‘n Chips

Posted by Eric Fisher On September 15

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So far, so good.

Carson Wentz has only played one NFL game. That’s not quite enough to anoint him a future Hall of Famer. It’s not even enough to make him rookie of the year.

But he sure looked good.

Wentz completed 22 of 37 passes for 278 yards during Sunday’s 29-10 triumph over the visiting Browns, pushing aside concerns about the competition he faced while at North Dakota State.

The rookie quarterback certainly looked as if he belonged. He played with a veteran’s poise. Wentz was calm in the face of a rusher barreling right up the middle while he completed a pass to Zach Ertz on fourth-and-four while the game was still up for grabs. He did not commit a turnover.

He was good enough to cause people to re-evaluate their preseason predictions. Many of those who dropped the Eagles’ win total after the Sam Bradford trade were scrambling to restore those wins to their prognostication.

We need to wave some yellow caution flags for those who are racing to put the Eagles in a future Super Bowl. Wentz is a more polished quarterback than Robert Griffin III, the opposing quarterback in his debut and also a No. 2 overall selection. But Wentz could sustain a career-altering injury, just as RG3 did after an electrifying rookie season.

Barring injury, however, Wentz certainly looks like he should have a bright future – even if this is based upon just one game against the lowly Browns, who are in extreme rebuilding mode.

Wentz answered almost all of the questions about his preparation to play in the NFL in his first game.

One of the few remaining unanswered questions is: what were the Eagles thinking when they planned on making Wentz inactive on game day?

*****

WILL HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF? Temple defeated Penn State last season, 27-10, ending a streak of 39 straight losses to the Nittany Lions. The win was the Owls’ first over the Nittany Lions since 1941.

The Owls will be aiming for a repeat performance Saturday (noon) at Happy Valley. The Owls must pay special attention to Saquon Barkley, who scored five touchdowns last Saturday during the Nittany Lions’ 42-39 loss at Pittsburgh.

If the Owls wins a second straight game from Penn State – this time at Penn State – the seat will get hotter for head coach James Franklin, whose high-risk play call late in the fourth quarter Saturday ended with an interception. The Nittany Lions were on the edge of field goal range, which made the decision to throw to the end zone with one minute remaining while trailing by three points extremely questionable.

*****

HALL MONITORING: Brian Dawkins and Donovan McNabb are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, joining former Eagles Terrell Owens, Randall Cunningham and Eric Callen among 94 nominees for induction in 2017. Other former Eagles on the list of potential nominees include running backs Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters and Brian Mitchell, cornerback Troy Vincent, linebacker Levon Kirkland, punter Sean Landeta, tight end Mark Bavaro and former head coach Dick Vermeil.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Dawkins and McNabb both make the list of 15 finalists (to be revealed in January) in their first year of eligibility. Owens, a finalist last year in his first year of eligibility, should also be a finalist this year.

Owens has the best chance to be in the class of 2017. In my opinion, Dawkins should leap frog Steve Atwater and John Lynch, both of whom were finalists for the class of 2016. But that doesn’t mean he will. McNabb is a long shot to get inducted this year, and I’m not convinced that he’s a Hall of Famer. I would love to see Vermeil get inducted, but he’s part of a distinguished eligible coach group that includes Jimmy Johnson, Dan Reeves, Mike Holmgren and 2016 finalist Don Coryell.

*****

KING OF HEART: Nobody ever questions Allen Iverson’s heart. When he stepped on the court – for games, not practice – Iverson did everything he could to deliver a victory.

Iverson’s heart was evident in other ways, though. His emotion wasn’t restricted to the court. Iverson frequently wore his heart on his sleeve.

That was the case last week during his induction speech at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. An emotional Iverson thanked his former coaches, his teammates, his friends and family, and the fans. Even during a media interview the day before the ceremony, Iverson teared up while thanking people.

Iverson was truly humble as he received the crowning achievement of his career. He said he couldn’t have done it without all the people who helped him along the way. When his eyes teared up and his voice quivered with emotion, you knew that Iverson meant every word. He was speaking with his heart.

*****

HALL OF A DUO: It’s fitting that Allen Iverson and Eric Lindros entered their respective hall of fames during the same year. For seven or eight years, Lindros and Iverson dominated the local sports scene. Not only were they exceptional players, but they were fascinating figures who captured the region’s attention, and not always for the right reasons.

I’m pleased to see both Lindros and Iverson take their rightful place in their sport’s hall of fame. And it’s appropriate that they enter the halls in the same year.

*****

CUP RUNNETH OVER: The World Cup of Hockey begins Saturday in Toronto. The eight-team tournament features seven Flyers. Captain Claude Giroux is a member of tournament favorite Canada; center Sean Couturier and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere are playing for the North American 23-and-under team; Forward Jakub Voracek and goalie Michal Neuvirth team up for the Czech Republic; and defenseman Mark Streit and forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare are playing for Team Europe.

*****

CAMP OPENING: The Flyers will start training camp at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees on Fri., Sept. 23. Many Flyers are already at Skate Zone for conditioning and informal workouts.

*****

CAMP OPENING II: Sixers training camp will begin on Sept. 27 at Stockton College in Galloway, N.J. There should be much more anticipation surrounding Sixers camp than usual.

*****

TOUGH ROAD: With five games remaining in the regular season, the fourth-place Union seem to be in comfortable playoff position. But there may be some potholes on the Union’s playoff road.

It’s not a secret that the Union have struggled on the road this season. They are 3-7-4 on the road, which could be a problem. Their next three games are on the road. After visiting Portland on Saturday, they play road games against Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, both of whom are ahead of the Union in the Eastern Conference. Those games present on opportunity to catch up to the teams ahead of them, or it could represent a danger in sliding back in the standings.

Montreal, with six games remaining, trails the Union by just three points. Orlando City SC, with six games remaining, trails the Union by seven. D.C. United and New England are just one point behind Orlando City in the battle for the final playoff berth in the East. It’s difficult to imagine the Union being in danger of not making the playoffs, but an unsuccessful three-game stretch on the road could force the Union to battle for their playoff lives during their final two games.

*****

FEAR THE TURTLES: The Chase for the Sprint Cup gets underway Sunday with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The Chase comes to Dover on Sun., Oct. 2 for the Citizen Soldier 400, the final race before the 16-driver field is reduced to 12.

*****

FRESH FACES: I wanted new blood in the winner’s circle at the U.S. Open, and I received what I wanted. Although they are familiar names to tennis fans, second-seeded Angelique Kerber and 3rd-seeded Stan Wawrinka captured their first U.S. Open championships last weekend.

Eric Fisher, who has been covering sports for 28 years, won his last tennis trophy at age 11.

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