The comparisons are inevitable and probably a little bit painful for an Eagles’ fan base eager for information.
Jalen Hurts? Carson Wentz? Who is the better quarterback — the current Eagles quarterback or the former one, now playing for the Washington Commanders?
I figured the comparisons would start closer to Week 3, when the Eagles visit Washington. I was wrong.
Adam Caplan, perhaps knowing his audience, was happy to compare the two on the Washington D.C. sports radio show, The Sports Junkies, 106.7 The Fan last week.
Caplan is an NFL Insider for Fox Sports Radio and SiriusXM with more than 20 years of experience covering the NFL.
Caplan, a Philly native, also is a co-host of “Inside the Birds” podcast.
“Who would you take, if you had the two right now,” Caplan was asked.
Caplan’s choice: Wentz and “it’s not even close,” he said on the air.
“Wentz is so much more talented than Hurts,” Caplan said. “I mean, the guy can play.”
‘WHY DID PHILLY TRADE’ WENTZ?
“The thing you’re gonna see, folks, that Commanders fans are gonna see this season, there are gonna be some games where you’re gonna go, ‘Why did Philly trade him?’ ” Caplan said.
“Now, he does force the ball every now and then. But what you hope is there are no stories about lack of leadership, teammates questioning his leadership, stuff like that.
“I’m not saying they’re [Commanders] gonna be a wild card [playoff team]. Odds are against it. But they certainly could be .500 or a little better, maybe 9-8. There’s enough talent there to do it.”
Caplan made this point: The Eagles didn’t want to trade Wentz two years ago, but relationships had been tattered and the Eagles had no choice.
“A couple things here. The Eagles did not want to get rid of Wentz,” Caplan said. “Wentz wanted out and it was gonna be a problem if he wasn’t traded.
“He [allegedly] had a major falling out with Doug Pederson and some people with the Eagles and it had to happen. And then with the Colts, well the Colts wanted to get rid of Wentz. It wasn’t the other way around. That’s a fact.”
One of the show’s hosts said the problem was “off-the-field stuff” … and that, “I think even vaccine stuff played in.”
ROUGH ENDING TO 2021 FOR WENTZ
You might remember, that an unvaccinated Wentz was placed on the Covid list before the Week 17 game against the Raiders — a game in which Wentz played and the Colts lost, 23-20. The Colts would have clinched a playoff spot by defeating Las Vegas.
In the season finale, still needing a win to make the playoffs, the Colts lost at 2-14 Jacksonville, 26-11. It might have been Wentz’ worst game of his career. Wentz completed just 8-of-15 passes in the first three quarters as Jacksonville’s 32nd-ranked passing defense helped build a 23-3 lead.
“It was just leadership. Just leadership,” Caplan said. “It’s taking responsibility, of being available when you’re supposed to be available. …
“You just, talking to people who work with Wentz, you want him to take responsibility when things aren’t going well.
“All of the great quarterbacks point the finger at themselves and that’s what Carson Wentz has to do or he’ll be playing for his fourth team in four years.”
EAGLES HAVE MOVED ON
Wentz or Hurts? Expect this conversation to be renewed throughout the season as both play in the NFC East and will play each other twice per season. They are different quarterbacks, with different skill-sets and different philosophies on how to win games.
More importantly, they are different people with different leadership skills and methods.
Wentz has had more success but also more failure. Hurts’ NFL journey has barely begun. Who is the better quarterback probably won’t be answered in Week 3, nor will it likely be decided in the Week 10 rematch.
Trading Wentz was addition by subtraction for the Eagles. The Eagles haven’t looked back.