As I said the other day, Carson Wentz starting from day one has been the right move since the day they traded up to draft him.
Carson Wentz then proceeded to go out there on Sunday and showed why he is the rookie quarterback in the NFC East that should be getting all of the hype. Wentz finished with 278 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. This is a stat line that that Bradford has only done ONCE in his entire career. It was a performance that made me think this is the McNabb replacement this franchise has been looking for since 2010.
It was really the perfect storm for a rookie quarterback. First of all, let us all thank the Vikings for being so desperate for a quarterback that they give up a first rounder and a fourth rounder for Sam Bradford. Without that I am not even writing this article. Secondly, there is not a better team to begin your career against than the Cleveland Browns. They are as close to an expansion team as you can get. This is a team that is barren of talent and is super young on defense. This game was a little beat like LSU playing Jacksonville State. So it was pretty much a tune up game for the rest of the season. That was very apparent when an Eagles team that I think will go 6-10 bet another NFL team 29-10. So when we evaluate this performance, you have to take it with a grain of salt for who they played.
Carson Wentz has all of those tools that draft experts love when it comes to being a potential franchise quarterback. The thing I was most impressed with was his football IQ. He was making good decisions the entire game and he had no restrictions when it came to the playbook. The whole game he was reading the defense at the line of scrimmage and when audible when necessary. This was great to see when the Eagles have had guys like Mike Vick who couldn’t read a defense for his life and when Chip Kelly’s offense never had any audibles. So this was a great change of pace.
One of my favorite stats from yesterday was tweeted out by Trey Wingo this morning. When facing the blitz Carson Wentz was 8 for 8. For a rookie from an FCS school to show this kind of poise is something that is really encouraging. One of the biggest criticisms from the scouts coming into the NFL was his release, but it did not seem to be a problem yesterday. Another one of the best moments of the day for me was Hue Jackson’s post game press conference. He said that Wentz was “alright.” This is very funny to me considering, 1. Wentz had a game worthy of more than “alright.” Also, months before this the Browns chief strategy officer DePodesta said that Carson Wentz was not a top 20 quarterback. So this may have been a pretty tough thing for Hue Jackson to have to be a part of when they could have had Carson Wentz.
Now what does this game mean for the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles roster. Well, it does not really mean much. This is still a team that i think will go 6-10 and max out at about 8 wins. After all, this is the Cleveland Browns we are talking about here. The next game, although it will be against another bad team (Chicago), it will present the first road test for Carson Wentz. It will be nice to see how he will react in this environment on Monday Night Football. The combination of Wentz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid is enough to get the city of Philadelphia excited for this fall and beyond.