Carson Wentz may not be what the Eagles thought he was, a cruel reality the franchise may soon have to face


Carson Wentz was supposed to be the franchise quarterback to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to another Super Bowl following their incredible championship run in 2017. The sky was the limit for Wentz, coming off a sophomore season where he was the front-runner for MVP and sitting at just 25 years old. Wentz had the franchise at his mercy as the Eagles appeared to usher in the next NFL dynasty. Then, reality set in. They haven’t been close to accomplishing any of those feats since and Wentz hasn’t put up the numbers the franchise envisioned. Philadelphia has made back-to-back playoff appearances, but Wentz has played a total of nine postseason snaps while the Eagles have compiled a 14-15 record in the 29 starts since Wentz tore his ACL in December of that 2017 season. 

The Eagles’ problems stem much farther than Wentz, but this is a roster built to win now and he is the franchise quarterback. Wentz is mired in the worst stretch of his career through two games in 2020, ranking 29th in the league in completion percentage (58.8%), 18th in passing yards (512), tied for 16th in passing touchdowns (2), 1st in interceptions (4), 29th in yards per attempt (6.0), and last in passer rating (64.4). Philadelphia has four years remaining and owes slightly more than $132 million to Wentz after this season. They drafted a quarterback in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Can Wentz correct his issues and right his game? There’s no denying the talent is there, but the  “I got to be better” excuse — Wentz’s popular saying after a poor performance — isn’t cutting it with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson anymore. 

“I thought there were some good plays there. Some good decisions,” Pederson said after Wentz finished 26 of 43 for 242 yards, no touchdowns and with two interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams. “He did a nice job handling the run game with some of the checks that we had going on, and got us in and out of some throws from the standpoint of bad defenses into good, positive plays. So he handled the game that way.”

Complimenting Wentz on his game management is not exactly a sign the Eagles coaching staff is fully confident in their quarterback right now, which shouldn’t be the case in year five for a player who once was considered an elite quarterback prospect. Wentz has been far from elite as many other of the game’s young stars have passed him by. 

Since the start of the 2018 season, Wentz is 14th in the NFL in touchdown passes (50) even though he is tied for the fifth-fewest interceptions (18; minimum 1,000 attempts for this statistic). His completion percentage of 65.6% is 15th in the NFL while his 7,625 passing yards are 14th. His touchdown percentage of 4.6 is tied for 21st while the 94.2 passer rating is 18th. In other words, he has been pretty average from a statistical standpoint.

There’s not a valid argument to be made that Wentz is a top quarterback based on the numbers over the past 34 games. Is that really what the Eagles are paying for? Is this what the franchise thought they were getting when they made Wentz the richest player in NFL history in 2019? 

The same mistakes that are plaguing Wentz in year five have been around since his rookie season: Poor decision making, holding on to the ball too long, and ball placement (he tends to throw high). 

And then there are the 50 fumbles in 58 career games, which leads the NFL since his 2016 rookie season (Jameis Winston is second with 44). 

The Eagles’ quarterback can pull himself out of this current funk he’s been in through the first two games of 2020, but will Wentz ever reach the MVP level that the franchise thought he would obtain for years to come? 2017 was three years ago and the Eagles are facing the reality Wentz may not be what they once thought he was. Wentz’s future in Philadelphia isn’t currently in doubt, but the Eagles are facing the possibility of having an average quarterback managing a mediocre roster thanks to his bloated contract. And if they come to terms with that being the reality the face, at that point, something has to give.





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