FIRST of all, I don’t think QB Carson Wentz is going to fail at either winning a Super Bowl (while playing in it), or becoming the Eagles GOAT at QB. Let’s get that out of the way right now. However, it’s a slow offseason, so we have time to ruminate, and to discuss the flip-side of our expectations. A rare occasion amongst Eagles fans, no doubt!
Wentz has always had good arm strength, but no one has ever said he had a cannon. So his game isn’t reliant on that. His knee situation is unlikely to repeat in the same leg, and even if it did, his game isn’t that of a running QB. Long story short, barring a serious injury to his throwing shoulder (knock wood), his career should survive pretty much any serious football related injury.
As far as coaching stability, and stability of system, he has those. He’s mastered the system he plays in. As far as not having weapons, his weapons are top shelf. Right now he has a TE who just set the NFL all-time record for catches in season; the NFL’s top deep threat; a WR who makes 50-50 balls into 85-15 balls (even in double coverage); and a slot WR who’d be a #1 or 2 receiver for a number of teams (Detroit, Washington, New York (either), Buffalo, Tennessee, and New England to name a few).
So Wentz has weapons, coaching stability, system mastery, and the youth to recover from pretty much any serious football injury. He also has a well demonstrated devotion to his craft. So what could stop him, since Father Time hasn’t begun to work against him yet?
Circumstance. Carson Wentz can be stopped, by circumstance. No one ever sees how big a role circumstance plays in the day to day. We generally only think of the broad strokes. Let me give you an example of Circumstance.
Last year we were swept by the Dallas Cowboys, so Carson Wentz goes 0 – 2 against that team in 2018. This means Dallas QB Dak Prescott went 2 – 0 vs the Eagles in 2018. Those are immutable facts. Let’s not ignore them, but let’s look a little deeper, shall we?
Prescott: 26 – 36 – 72.2% – 270 – 1 – 0 – 102.8/ 6 – 9 – 1.5 – 1 – 1
Wentz: 32 – 44 – 72.7% – 360 – 2 – 1 – 102.5/ 2 – 7 – 3.5 – 0 – 0
Prescott: 42 – 54 – 77.8% – 455 – 3 – 2 – 104.9/4 – 2 – 0.5 – 1 – 1
Wentz: 22 – 32 – 68.8% – 228 – 3 – 0 – 120.3/4 – (-3) – (-0.8) – 1 – 1
It’s impossible to look at those numbers and come away thinking that Prescott was the better QB last year. Yet Dallas got the sweep. That could have something to do with the fact that the Eagles Secondary was so beat up, that slowing people down was hard enough. Totally stopping opposing offenses was next to impossible.
Factoring that in, you understand how circumstance helped net Wentz those two loses, in games he played well in. (It also explains partly why Dallas is so hesitant to commit big money to Prescott, who is also a victim of circumstance. I’ll explore that if enough of you ask for it.)
Another example of Circumstance, is the Super Bowl that Wentz helped us win. This is not to take anything away from QB Nick Foles. If I were the GM, Foles would still be on the roster. So understand, I’m not trying to knock his contribution in any way, shape, or form. But let’s sprinkle a lil’ context on these facts. You know how much I love context…
When Wentz went down against the Rams in 2017, it was in the act of giving us the lead, to help keep us the #1 seed in the NFC. Foles came in, baby sat for a couple of drives, and then the defense put the game on ice with a score. The following two weeks saw Foles win a shootout vs a 2 -12 giants team, and a “closer than the score would indicate” 19 – 10 squeaker over a 6 – 9 Raiders team. Foles held the fort in a 15 – 10 playoff win over Atlanta, but didn’t shine.
However, Foles had two weeks of absolute magic in the NFC Championship game, and in the Super Bowl itself. Those two weeks cannot be denied, but they are still only two weeks. They belie the fact that many in the Eagles fan base, had doubts about Foles. (Not me. I was pumping out supportive meme after meme.)
But after just two magic weeks, Foles is a Philly legend, complete with a statue, and Wentz is rhetorically in the backseat trying to get on that level. Fact is, Wentz built the stage that Foles was able to perform on. Yet circumstances make it appear otherwise.
With the NFL being a pass first and second league right now, there is no doubt that Wentz will soon overtake Donovan McNabb for franchise GOAT at QB. You can practically set a date and start a countdown. (I just typed ‘cuntdown’. LOL) The Super Bowl win is less of a given, but still I wouldn’t bet against Wentz.
If he doesn’t meet both of these marks, I won’t be angry. What I’ll be is shocked.