As the NFL season begins to wind down and fans gear up for the playoff push, there is an odd sentiment that is permeating through the sport. The Philadelphia Eagles (10 – 2) and Los Angeles Rams (9 – 3) are two of the best teams in all of the NFL, just a year removed from being borderline afterthoughts in the league. As Los Angeles prepares to host this game, fans in the city are rapidly arriving at a conclusion that should have NFL ownership smiling: football is back to L.A, and it is good.
The Los Angeles Rams will be hosting Philadelphia for the Sunday afternoon game and they will have stacks of fans and press in attendance. According to reports, 2,000 credentials were handed out to privileged individuals which is nearly 500 more than average for a game. There is very real hype for having competitive football in Los Angeles and it is due in large part to the draught that the city has faced. The last time a team in or near LA had a reason for fans to tune in was 1993 when the LA Raiders made their playoff run. Rams head coach Sean McVay seems to understand the importance as he took time to say, “It’s a great opportunity to play in a game like this. It’s a credit to both teams.”
The success of both Philadelphia and Los Angeles is due almost exclusively to the growth of the two young signal-callers that will be starting this game: Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. Goff and Wentz, who both belong to the same agency, came into the NFL as the #1 and #2 picks respectively. Last season we saw flashes of high-level play from Carson Wentz despite a poor second half of the season. Goff struggled the entire year which led many fans to wonder if the franchise would move on from the player after just a single season. The Rams kept their faith in Goff and head coach Sean McVay managed to get an offense in place that worked, thus saving the partnership.
Goff and Wentz both came into the NFL in the same draft, back-to-back, and as a result, this match-up should mean even more. Wentz says, “There’s a lot more at stake than just me versus Jared.” With a win Philadelphia will be able to lock down the NFC East while the Rams would maintain their lead over Seattle with a win in this game.