Contextualizing the struggles of Carson Wentz raises even more questions

NFL: DEC 29 Eagles at Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 29: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) warms up prior to the National Football League game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 29, 2019 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Turning back time

Carson Wentz is being sacked on 9.2% of his drop-backs in 2020…which is embarrassing. It averages out to around one sack per drive. He’s not the only quarterback to have been placed under such relentless fire though.

Aaron Rodgers – 2009

Sacked on 8.5% of his dropbacks for a total of 50, a youthful Aaron Rodgers narrowly missed out on an MVP award. He threw for 4,434 yards, had a 103.2 passer rating and had a 30:7 TD:INT ratio. He also led all NFL QB’s in rushing. Rodgers led the Packers to a second-half surge to finish 11-5, winning 7 of their last 8 games.

Russell Wilson – 2014 & 2015

Believe it or not, Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl-winning season actually saw the QB sacked 42 times. He threw 20 TD and 7 INT for 3,475 yards, but it’s the next season I want to pay attention to.

Wilson was sacked 45 times but tossed 34 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, eclipsing 4,000 yards and still pushing Seattle to a 10-6 record. He set a new franchise record in completion percentage a well as passing yards/TD’s. Wilson did have Doug Baldwin, whom he completed 80.4% of his passes to. But on that note, Travis Fulgham has caught 82.9% of ‘catchable targets’ from Carson Wentz, and 65.9% overall.

Randall Cunningham – 1990

Let’s go back even further. Randall Cunningham was sacked 49 times in 1990, but still threw 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with over 3,000 yards, leading the Eagles to a 10-6 record. He lost 461 yards due to being sacked but it didn’t stop the Eagles turning their season around.

What stands out here is the fact that the team started out 1-3 and somehow turned it around. Maybe there’s hope after alll?

Andrew Luck – 2016

Andrew Luck gets compared to Carson Wentz a lot and this season should be especially prominent. Sacked 41 times in 2016 and subjected to such an assault that he had to miss the entire 2017 season, Luck threw a TD:INT ratio of 31:13, eclipsed 4,200 passing yards, and pushed the Colts to an 8-7 record in 15 games.

This was Luck’s fifth season, just as 2020 is for Carson Wentz and both players had no offensive line help. Luck’s receivers had a bad case of the dropsies but he still posted a career-high completion percentage of 63.5% and his interception rate dropped to 2.4. Wentz currently sits at 3.9%.

Overall

You could pick these seasons apart all you want and argue why they’re different, and that’s fine. But all of these QB’s are regarded as ‘elite’ at the very minimum. At the time of his contract, Carson Wentz was the highest-paid QB in the NFL with $128M to his name. He should be able to hold his own in conversations like this, not fall off the face of the earth so far out of the discussion.

The Eagles need Carson Wentz to be better if they have any hope of salvaging their season. It’s down to the coaching staff to do all they can to elevate the face of their franchise and avoid hanging him out to dry.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

More from our Sister Sites