So I thought I would take a closer look at Carson Wentz this week given that he has led the Eagles to a 2-0 stretch.
I’ve heard several people I respect break down what has been working for Wentz, but I will try to base this only on what I was able to see on tape for myself, but I suspect it will sound similar.
In a 29-14 road victory over the Chicago Bears, Wentz’s number did not look spectacular as he threw for a mere one hundred and ninety yards on twenty-one completion from thirty-four attempts with one touchdown and no interceptions, but there was much more going on than these numbers might suggest.
For starters, at the beginning of the game, in his first regular season road game, Wentz started his opening drive with a series of empty backfield passing plays. He completed the majority of them with quick throws that allowed him to quickly select a receiver and make the pass. However, it has to be said that he was clearly in complete control of the offence, certainly appearing to make adjustments and looking like a quarterback who has been playing in the NFL for years.
It has to be said that it did not look like he was not being asked to go through complex progressions, seemingly work with fairly straight forward reads and a fair amount of play action passes, but this looked to be a feature of good coaching. It is in fact to head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich’s credit that they have schemed so well for their young quarterback. He was not being asked to do much more than three or five step drop passes, or work from shotgun, but he was in clear command of what he was being asked to do.
I can’t say that his arm amazed you with the throws he made, but to be honest all the talk of cannons for arms seems to be overdone when evaluating quarterbacks and despite one hopping a couple of passes under pressure, there were no problems for Wentz in delivery catchable balls. In fact there were at least two drops I noted, one of which really should have been a touchdown to Jordan Mathews as the pass was dropped in nicely as he ran into the end zone. My only real concerns were that Wentz took a couple of unnecessary hits on scrambles, which I’m sure his coaches will want him to protect himself from, and that the offence was not terribly efficient in the red zone, only getting three field goals in the first half.
All in all though, Carson Wentz looks like he could turn himself into a very good NFL quarterback, and it really is very impressive to see him in such control of the offence so early in his career. The big tests are yet to come, starting this evening against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he certainly has done pretty much as well as you could have asked of a rookie quarterback thrown into the starting line-up straight away.