Carson Wentz is not a bad quarterback, but a quarterback having a bad season. A really bad season. Fans, analysts, and former NFL players have all spoken on what seems to be one of this year’s biggest controversies — to bench Wentz or not.
But, would benching Wentz solve all of the Philadelphia Eagles’ problems? The short answer is no. So, what exactly is going on with our franchise quarterback?
MYTH: HE’S JUST NOT THAT GOOD
Carson Wentz was the second overall 2016 NFL Draft pick for a reason. He started his rookie year earning single-season franchise records and finished with 3,782 passing yards and 16 touchdowns.
In 2017 he was a possible NFL MVP and produced 17 more touchdowns and seven less interceptions in three fewer games than his previous season. 2018 was a short season with only 11 games under his belt, but Wentz finished with the highest completion rate, highest yards per attempt, and highest quarterback rating to date.
The 2019 season was a little different, with an outrageous amount of injuries wrecking the team. Even still, Wentz finished with 4,039 passing yards – the highest since he started his NFL career. He also secured the NFC East for the Eagles.
In a comparison of performance versus the top ten pass DVOA teams from 2016-2019, Wentz had the third-highest passer rating:
- Drew Brees, 16 games – 104.5
- Tom Brady, 16 games – 93.7
- Carson Wentz, 16 games – 92.5
- Aaron Rodgers, 19 game – 92.4
- Matt Ryan, 16 games – 92.3
Over the years, Wentz has been compared to some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Before the 2020 season, he was considered one of the top-five best values for an NFL quarterback.
He’s among one of the great, so we’ll leave it at that and keep exploring.
A POSSIBILITY: HAVE INJURIES HINDERED HIS ATHLETICISM?
Carson Wentz has been injured quite a few times since the start of his NFL career, beginning in 2016 with a rib fracture.
In 2017, Eagles’ fans witnessed his season-ending ACL and LCL tear. He was unable to play in the Pro Bowl, and, more importantly, Super Bowl LII.
He returned in Week 3 the following year but endured a vertebral fracture, missing the last three season games.
And we can’t forget about 2019-2020 — a concussion during the team’s Wild Card playoff game.
Physically, his injuries mean nothing now. His knee would have healed 12-15 months after surgery, and he was cleared under concussion protocols. But you have to wonder what injury after injury does to someone mentally.
Earlier this year, Wentz stated, “It’s scary stuff. It kind of changes a lot of things in your brain, and you only get one of these brains, and you’ve got to protect it.”
Wentz took a lot of heat for all his injuries over the years, so maybe he’s just trying to finish a full season. Let’s not forget that he’s also a new father — more of a reason to remain healthy.
FACT: THERE’S NO “I” IN TEAM
The Eagles’ offense was ranked 12th best coming into the 2020-21 season. After 11 weeks, they are now ranked 24th in scoring, 27th in yards per game, and 28th in yards per play. They are actually on par for their worst points-per-game ranking since 2012.
From the beginning, the Eagles hoped to rely on the speedy trio of Jalen Reagor, Alshon Jeffery, and DeSean Jackson. Injuries ruined that. They anticipated Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz would be our touchdown saviors. Injuries ruined that. They were also stoked to have Jason Peters back to join a ridiculously solid line formed by Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, and Brandon Brooks. You guessed it; injuries ruined that.
The Eagles will now go into Week 12 with their tenth different offensive line-up. Insanity. No wonder Wentz needs a few extra seconds to figure out where he’s throwing. Meanwhile, half of the guys aren’t even familiar with their new roles each week, resulting in massive inconsistencies, no coverage on the opposing defense, and no safety for the man taking all the heat.
Former Eagles player Brian Westbrook stated earlier this month, “It’s easy to play inconsistently when you don’t know the guys you’re playing with.”
THE GRASS ISN’T ALWAYS GREENER
Piggybacking on unfamiliarity — no one has any idea what Jalen Hurts can do, so why throw an unproven rookie into this mess?
After last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, Doug Pederson reacted to benching Wentz for Hurts, stating, “I think you are sending the wrong message to your football team that the season is over. This is a bad message.”
“My perspective is we have to get it fixed with Carson Wentz. That’s where my trust and faith lies; we can get it done…It’s a matter of getting the corrections done with Carson.”
And I agree. Just because something is broken doesn’t mean it deserves to be trashed. If you want a great football team, you have to fix all of the problems, not just one player.
Despite many thinking that the Eagles’ season is over, it’s not. Yes, the Eagles are fighting to be the winner of the worst division in the NFL, but a win’s a win, so they must keep going.
The Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks this Monday night.