If this is the most important season of Carson Wentz’s career,he began it in the worst way possible.
Wentz, the former No. 2 overall pick who has already cashed in with the Eagles, collapsed late in Philadelphia’s Week 1 loss to the Washington Football Team. After opening the day in dominant form, Wentz played a major role in the Eagles allowing 24 unanswered points.
The excuses about injuries don’t work anymore for Wentz, who is already in his fifth season. Wentz’s mediocre finish proved why he isn’t the Philadelphia Eagles‘ future at quarterback.
Carson Wentz opened Week 1 strong
When Carson Wentz is healthy, he’s been a fine starting quarterback.
Wentz was on an MVP-pace in 2017, his second season, and threw 81 touchdowns to just 21 interceptions over the last three years.
Unfortunately for Wentz, injuries — both to him and the weapons around him — have kept him from becoming an elite quarterback. That’s what made this fall a make-or-break season for the former first-round pick.
Wentz — who turns 28 in December — opened the 2020 season on-point, at least for a half. He completed 12 of his first 15 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns against the new-look Washington Football Team.
Wentz played a role in the Eagles’ collapse
When Philadelphia received the ball on its 28-yard line with 1:44 left in the first half, the Eagles led 17-0 and looked ready for more.
The team that scored before the half, instead, was Washington. Veteran cornerback Fabian Moreau intercepted Carson Wentz at the Eagles’ 45-yard line.
Washington drove 45 yards in less than a minute on a drive that culminated in Dwayne Haskins Jr. hitting tight end Logan Thomas, a former quarterback, for a 6-yard touchdown.
After a punt on their first third-quarter drive, Philadelphia again watched Wentz throw an interception. This time, it was second-year cornerback Jimmy Moreland, who returned Wentz’s pass to Philadelphia’s 20-yard line.
From there, the rout was on — and it didn’t end in an Eagles win. Washington tied the game at 17 early in the fourth quarter and took the lead with 6:13 left.
Philadelphia had a missed field goal, two drives that ended on downs, and a lost fumble in the final 30 minutes. The fumble came courtesy of Wentz, who took a hit from Washington rookie Chase Young and defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne.
Wentz’s fumble came with 3:15 left and the Eagles down by 10. That was it for the Eagles, who lost in Week 1 for the first time since 2015.
Carson Wentz just proved why the Eagles are doomed
Every game in a 17-week, 16-game season matters. Carson Wentz has to perform better, especially in division games against rebuilding teams like Washington.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wentz took full responsibility for the Eagles’ collapse during his postgame media session.
“I’ve got to clean up those interceptions. I put our defense in a bad spot on a couple of occasions. We definitely lost the momentum and didn’t make the plays we needed to make. I’ve got to do better. Starts with me. I’ve got to protect the ball. Lead these guys better.”
In Wentz’s defense, he’s playing without numerous starting offensive linemen. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson missed Week 1 with an ankle injury and is considered questionable for the Week 2 game against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams.
However, those excuses only go so far. The NFL’s best quarterbacks win regardless of the obstacles in their way, whether it’s injuries around them or playing in sub-optimal weather conditions.
Seahawks star Russell Wilson has perennially played with average or mediocre offensive lines, and he’s built a Hall of Fame resume. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson faced pressure on 42% of his dropbacks from 2012 through 2019.
Wentz was right to take responsibility, and the Eagles’ season is far from over. But if Wentz can’t overcome those issues and win in spite of an injured offensive line, the Eagles may have to make some uncomfortable decisions down the road.
Luckily for Wentz, he’s under contract through 2025. However, with rookie Jalen Hurts waiting in the wings, Philadelphia may have to ask how long they really want Wentz in the picture.