Carson Wentz finally caught the break he needed this season. Though the season didn’t go exactly as planned, it went in the direction that it needed to for the Eagles franchise QB. Dare if I say it, this season may have been the sequel to his 2017 campaign but in this case, the sequel was actually better!
In 2017, Wentz played 13 games with a healthy core of weapons such as Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Zach Ertz. That season he finished with 3,296 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.
Fast forward to 2019 after an offseason where an article ripped into his character and demanded better leadership, and the punches were only just starting. Anonymous sources, injuries to key playmakers, and a the weight of the world all came crashing down on Wentz like a tonne of bricks.
Not once did he blame his teammates, not once did he call out a member of the organization. He just got his head down and played the remarkable football we’ve come to know and love.
Wentz finished his 2019 campaign with a franchise-record 4,039 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. This time around, he did it with the likes of three practice squad receivers, one rookie receiver, one rookie running back and a practice squad running back. The Eagles receiving leaders this season were tight end’s Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert followed by rookie running back Miles Sanders.
To say that a QB passes for 4K in a season where his number one wideout came off the practice squad late in the season is one for the ages, possibly for the record books. Wait a minute, it is. Wentz is the first QB in NFL history to accomplish such a feat.
Were all the injuries to the receiving core a blessing in disguise? It seems so. Wentz has found his confidence and it’s been contagious in the locker room. The offense has been remolded around the star QB as opposed to forcing him to stand tall in the pocket and dish it out to the playmakers who went missing. Rollouts, play-action, and a lot of escapability enabled Wentz to come alive in the lights and lead the team to an unlikely playoff berth.
His playoff debut ended shockingly fast. He took an illegal hit to the head and was taken inside with a concussion. Just as Wentz had turned the corner, galvanized a band of broken brothers, and looked ready to fight for his first playoff win, the carpet was ripped from under him again.
“Carson Wentz has put a ton into this season and to get to this moment, especially the things that he’s gone through.” Said backup QB Josh McCown.
“I’m disappointed for him.” His Head Coach told reporters. “I wanted this for him obviously, and I think a lot of his teammates did, too. The team, the organization did. He’s battled through a lot, but we’ll learn from it and move on.”
After the injury, Carson Wentz reportedly stopped at every locker stall, apologizing to his teammates and thanking them for their efforts.
“You hate to see it,” Boston Scott said. “I didn’t see the hit but you hate to see it. We’re behind him, he’s our leader, we have the utmost confidence in him. I feel for him. Afterwards, he was like, ‘Thank you for what you’ve done.’ And I was like, ‘Are you OK?'”
Wentz has overcome everything thrown his way this year, and this was just another challenge. But through all the highs, lows, and anonymous sources, we’ve found the real Carson Wentz. The boy has turned into a man. A leader who can put the team on his back and drag it over the line when all seems hopeless. Someone who can step up to those who doubt him inside his own locker room, and make them eat their words.
The culture of the Eagles locker room is currently heavily revolving around the franchise QB instead of the ghost of the past back up QB and the possible disgruntled veteran offensive players. It’s his room. It’s his team now. Wentz and the new kids on the block are rocking with it.
What the future holds is unknown, but Carson Wentz is at the epicenter of it all and the Eagles have finally reached the last few raindrops of a terrential downpour. The best is yet to come.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports