Three reasons why Carson Wentz might be struggling in 2020

NFL: SEP 20 Rams at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz (11) walks off the field after an interception in the second half during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles on September 20, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

It’s not been a great start to the season for Carson Wentz. In fact, for a man that has become synonymous with being underrated, throwing a pair of touchdowns and four interceptions through two weeks is beyond concerning. It’s hard to really explain what’s going on with the QB who was once snubbed of an MVP award…but here are three potential factors working against him.

*Note, this is just speculation. I’m not in the business of making excuses for poor play as much as I am trying to find some understanding as to why the bad play is happening.

A change of mentality

This offseason was a breath of fresh air for Carson Wentz. Finally healthy, he no longer had to rehab an injury or deal with any internal ‘anonymous sources’ trying to rip him down by talking to the media. Wentz could finally relax and focus on getting better.

He became a Father and bulked up considerably at the gym due to having more time on his hands that wasn’t spent rehabbing. It looked as though that he had finally turned the corner. That all the noise, all of the criticism, all of the adversity, was all about to finally fade away.

Then the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round.

I don’t care who you are or how it’s explained to you, any time a boss brings in a prospect with high-potential into your role, you’re going to see it as a slight or at least question the reason why.

Eagles players reacted the same way. Wentz had just got the whole locker room on side and Roseman rips the rug from under his feet. So now Wentz has an entire offseason with Jalen Hurts breathing down his neck. Every mistake, every pick, every setback, suddenly becomes that much more impactful.

This isn’t like Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. This isn’t a quarterback who has had his team onside for so long and been elite for so much longer that he has the pull to essentially force a coaching change. Wentz is young. He’s been hurt. He’s battled a lot of inner angst against him.

There is every chance this move upset the apple cart and that Wentz is feeling a lot of internal pressure. It’s easy to say ‘ThAt’S hIs JoB’. You’re right. It is. But he’s also a human being and if that is playing on his mind, his regression is a little more understandable.

Wentz isn’t a bad quarterback. The errors he is making have been ingrained in his game for so long though, that maybe that mentality change is enough to force them out of the floorboards.

The pandemic

A much simpler answer in premise – The Eagles have had a shortened offseason and a lot of offensive changes. Rich Scangarello and Marty Mornhinweg joined an OC by committee approach, and the receiving corps was totally revamped.

Without OTA’s or preseason, it’s fair to assume that Wentz doesn’t have the timing down with his new weapons just yet. But then we can’t make that excuse for Wentz when the majority of quarterbacks in the league seem to be doing just fine. It’s probably played a role, but if it’s bigger for Wentz, then it falls on…

The coaching staff

Carson Wentz was asked after the game about one of his interceptions. The key part from his response?

“I got pretty aggressive and tried to force one in there. [Rams CB Darious Williams] made a great play. I have to be smarter in that situation.”

When asked about the second?

“I was just moving to my left and saw J.J. had a step on his guy. I really just tried to force it in there before the free safety – obviously not what I should have done. 

He could’ve said that about most of the plays from the first two weeks. Wentz getting frustrated and forcing passes that just aren’t there isn’t new. Wentz getting his feet stuck in the mud on shorter drops isn’t new. Wentz missing deep passes isn’t new. Wentz being over-aggressive and risking ball security isn’t new. But these are all coachable.

Wentz has had the same criticisms in terms of mechanics since he first entered the league. John DeFilippo once did an amazing job in helping him improve. Since his departure, Wentz continues to fall back into old habits.

This is just as much on the coaching staff as it is Wentz. For not helping him improve and rectify errors that are plaguing him time and time again.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire