In a game that could’ve ended the Eagles’ season, while down 17-3, Wentz found a way to rally a shorthanded offense back from the brink of collapse, and he did so freely. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction for the Franchise QB in a game he was able to take over when it mattered most…and that’s something fans have been itching to see since his drafting in 2016.
After losing Alshon Jeffery early on in the game, Carson Wentz had little to work with. The offense had two healthy wide rceivers, while Lane Johnson was taken out of the game early with an injury, leaving the right-side of the line vulnerable. No RB1, no RT1, no WR1/2/3. The Giants aren’t a great team, but overcoming a 17-3 deficit at halftime with that much working against you is a tough challenge for any quarterback to overcome.
“Just keep believing. Keep believing and it’s time to make a decision how this is going to define us tonight” Were the words Wentz echoed to his offense at halftime. “Obviously, we knew it was not our first half. That was a rough one and that was an ugly one. We just said, ‘Keep believing and keep staying together.’ Defense was going to take care of their piece, which they did. And we were able to do enough offensively to get this win.”
Wentz relied heavily on his pro bowl tight end, Zach Ertz, but the biggest plays of the night came from three players who were considered to be the bottom of the barrel-esque receivers.
TE Josh Perkins, and WR’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward, all made big plays down the stretch to collect some huge first downs in the two final drives of the game. It took Wentz out of his 2019 comfort zone and dragged him into that lethal zone of raw instinct and sheer will. He owned the moment. He also had fun doing so.
“Like I said, it’s big. It’s big for me and for all of these guys” Wentz said after the game. “You know, the emotional rollercoaster of the day and obviously realizing how poor we were in the first half and just how it spring-boarded us into the second half. We just made plays and kept making plays. Winning late in overtime like this, it’s been a while. Shoot, I don’t think I’ve had an overtime win. That was just a lot of fun.”
Wentz played as free as he’s played since his big injury against the Rams in week 13 of 2017. He was throwing on the run with confidence, and taking chances on players not named Jeffery or Ertz. Even after Greg Ward dropped a somewhat difficult catch to tie the game, Wentz still looked for him afterward. Carson trusted JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s ball-tracking skills as he lobbed a pass over the wideout in hopes that the rookie would make the catch. He did.
Many questioned the Eagles personnel decisions and they were right in doing so. Even in this game where the team came in with 3 receivers and 7 corners. Mind-boggling isn’t it? Still. That didn’t stop Wentz from being Wentz.
Even after the massive amount of boo-birds at halftime, the Eagles QB came out and did what he needed to do. In a season where the Eagles’ receivers have dropped a total of 9 touchdown passes, Wentz still found a way. Currently, the NDSU star has 22 touchdowns on the season, if all 9 of those TD passes were caught, Wentz would have a league-leading 31 touchdowns. Crazy isn’t it? Not so far from his 33 touchdown season.
While all of the world still debates if Wentz is the problem for the Eagles this season, let me leave you with this. While Wentz has been inconsistent at times, he’s also dealt with nothing but inconsistency around. An inconsistent offensive line, inconsistent playcalling and no consistency of healthy players from the WR group. Still, even with dealing all the odds against him, Wentz has managed to put up 22 touchdowns, 3,165 passing yards followed by only 7 interceptions. Most importantly, he’s managed to keep the Eagles in the race for the NFC East title with only one healthy wide receiver right now.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports