When Sam Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, Eagles fans were confused on what to expect in 2016. Carson Wentz, a rookie, from North Dakota State, was now the starting quarterback of a team that finished 7-9 last season.
The offensive line was a question mark. There’s no established threat at the wide receiver position. A rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback. Despite all the unknowns, Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a 3-0 start and had Eagles fans adjusting their expectations. A playoff berth was anticipated. The NFC East was the Eagles’ to lose. Things looked promising.
As we all know, things can change quickly in the NFL For two weeks, an average team can look like Super Bowl contenders. A very good team can go on a two game skid. After the 3-0 start, the Eagles have dropped four of their last five games. Three coming from NFC East rivals. Things don’t look so great now. Playoffs aren’t expected anymore. The NFC East is now the Cowboys’ to lose.
At the halfway point of the season, the Eagles stand at 4-4. Despite the average start, the Eagles are in good shape. Maybe not for the 2016 season, but for the next 13 years. Why?
Look, I get it, after the hot start, it’s human for expectations to rise. And who knows, the Eagles may finish this season hot and reach the playoffs. But if they don’t, it’s okay. The toughest thing to find in the NFL is a franchise quarterback and by the looks of it, The Eagles found theirs.
Yes, it’s only been 8 games, but when you watch Carson Wentz, it’s tough to not be impressed. He showcases everything you want in a quarterback. Size, arm strength, pocket awareness, mobility, the ability to stay calm in chaotic situations, an arm sleeve full of swag, red hair. No seriously, he has it all. The statistics look meh, but the tape looks promising. By no means is Wentz a finished product. He’s still very much a rookie. There are times he has bad footwork, misses throws, takes bad sacks. That’s all part of the process.
I’d even make an argument that Carson Wentz’s current situation, dealing with a below average wide receiving unit, and a shaky offensive line, amongst other things, is good for his development. You see Dak Prescott in Dallas surrounded by the league’s best offensive line, an incredible run game, and a top-15 wide receiver and things look awesome right now. But eventually the quarterback is going to have to carry you. I’m not saying Dak Prescott can’t turn into that guy, but if I were to put money on he or Wentz having to carry an NFL team 5 years from now, I’d put it on Wentz.
Moving forward, Howie Roseman’s number one priority is surrounding Carson Wentz with weapons and protection. Bad NFL teams stay bad by reaching on quarterbacks in the draft. The Eagles don’t have to worry about that. Rather than reach in the draft for a quarterback, their main objective is to find offensive lineman, wide receivers, or anything that helps Wentz, and we all know it’s much easier to find positional players rather than a quarterback.
Enjoy the ride, Eagles fans. Carson Wentz is going to do a lot of good things followed up by a lot of bad things. It’s expected for a rookie quarterback. But the next time you’re upset over an interception, a missed throw, a bad sack, or a bad loss, remember the Eagles have their quarterback for the next 10+ years. Carson Wentz is the real deal.