How should Eagles fans look back on the Carson Wentz era?

It feels like only yesterday that Carson Wentz was drafted with the second overall pick. It’s hard to forget the excitement that came with every trade-up, knowing that the Eagles would finally have a quarterback they could lean on. For the most part, they did…until they leaned a little too hard.

There’s so much to unpack when discussing the Carson Wentz era that it almost becomes difficult to find a place to begin. Of course, the very origins of his tenure in Philadelphia tell the tale of a rookie quarterback turning up to the NovaCare Complex a week earlier than everyone else in a bid to build chemistry with Jordan Matthews. That was ultimately who Wentz was – quiet. Nothing he did was ever for the clout, for the retweets, or for legions of TikTok followers. Wentz just put his head down and got to work, knowing it bettered the team and himself.

During his first year with the Eagles, Wentz broke multiple NFL and Eagles rookie records, including most pass attempts and completions of all time. That would be a sign of things to come, but we somehow never talk about it.

We could sit here and talk for hours about one of the strangest ‘rise and fall’ stories in NFL history. One riddled with anonymous sources, character concerns, fractured relationships, and of course, injuries. But the problem in doing that is it would be doing exactly what Howie Roseman did – simply adding to the problem.

The Eagles had it cozy with Wentz. Everyone remembers his iconic 2017 campaign. The mesmerizing footwork, the cannon confidence, and the resilience to go back into a game on a torn ACL and throw a touchdown. That’s who Carson Wentz was. The question we faced in 2020 was one of who Carson Wentz is now.

Was it the drafting of Jalen Hurts? Was it the buddy-buddy relationship with Press Taylor? Was it the expectations of being the $128 Man? Perhaps it was a combination of all of the above and a whole lot more, but on the field, Wentz regressed in a frankly shocking way.

The more he struggled, the more he took full accountability, refusing to blame an offensive line that allowed him to be sacked more than any other QB in the NFL not named Russell Wilson. or the gameplan that abandoned the run week after week. Through all the noise, adversity, and setbacks, Wentz remained the same man he always was – calm, composed, accountable.

It’s puzzling then that the endless barrage of slander against his name painted him out to be an egotistical maniac who had his heart set on doing things way. What’s equally puzzling is that teammates were no longer the ones making these reported accusations. They’d all bought into Wentz after he bought into them just one season before where he carried a dead beast on his shoulders to an NFC East title.

In fact, during that 2019 campaign, Wentz became the third QB in NFL history to throw a TD in every single game and have 7 or fewer picks to his name. That kind of production should not die off overnight.

What followed was a year of utter chaos. A broken offensive coordinator positioned that did the total opposite of their intent, a drafted QB, a weak offense, and a Head Coach beginning to lose his grips on the team as the glue came unstuck.

The world, wanting vocal answers, gradually turned their backs Carson Wentz after he said absolutely nothing during an offseason where his name was being tossed around NFL bully circles for fun. Why wouldn’t he stand up and say he’s all-in on the Eagles? Why didn’t he speak about Pederson’s firing?

Could you imagine if he had?

Nobody outside of the NovaCare Complex really knows the ins and outs of the downfall endured by Carson Wentz. But for fans, remembering him for all of the negatives surrounding his name would do his tenure in Philadelphia a massive disservice.

Instead, remembering the ‘G-money’ and ‘Small-world’ nicknames, the goofy outfits, and Favre-like tendencies on the field is far more productive. Carson Wentz produced some of the most breathtaking moments fans have witnessed in over a decade and regardless of whether or not he was at fault fully, partially, or not at all for his downward spiral, nobody can take that away.

For five years Eagles fans were treated to quarterback play worthy of cheers. The carousel had stopped spinning and Wentz, through his selfless acts off the field, and his stunning ability on it, had brought a sense of stability to Philadelphia – a player fans can hang their hat on.

How we got to this point is irrelevant. The Carson Wentz era is over and the NDSU product gets a fresh start with a new team built on incredibly strong foundations. He may well thrive and leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Howie Roseman…but there is no reason why fans should have that same experience.

One thought on “How should Eagles fans look back on the Carson Wentz era?

  1. It’s very simple. We expect a lot from our professional athletes, and rightly so. Fans pay a ton of money for tickets and parking and concessions and merchandise, etc. For that, you expect your team to put the best team they can on the field, with the ultimate goal a SB. Anything less is unacceptable. Wentz started out like a ball of fire and slowly over the 5 seasons was in a downward trend. There were moments along the way where the greatness shined through, but there were also some pretty bad moments. The injuries play a part. No athlete can determine when, where or if they will get injured or not. Nobody can predict a torn ACL. Did Wentz play on it enough to throw a TD against the Rams, absolutely. Then the following year it was a broken back…again not a common injury, but an injury nonetheless. I am completely discounting the dirty cheap shot by Clowney in the playoffs, but still, again we were without our starting QB. So of the 5 years that he was here, 3 years he missed the playoffs, so we will never know if he hadn’t been injured, would he have led us to the title.

    Philly is a tough town. The fans expect a winner every time. Even after the SB, the expectation was to win it again the next year. Every QB is wired different and I don’t think Wentz had the mental toughness to play here. In 2017, he had basically just gotten here, and the team was winning, so all was good. As the team started to decline, so did Wentz. We hold QB up to a lofty place. It may be unfair, but we do. Your QB touches the ball on almost every play. What he does with it, plays a huge role in how well the team does. When I look back at Wentz, I see a QB who is only as good as the players around him. There was that time at the end of 2019, where he rallied the troops and snuck into the playoffs, but basically he declined along with the team.

    If Wentz had always been accurate and always made good decisions, things would have been better. Doug reminds me of coach Kline from the Waterboy. When Reich was here, Coach Kline and his green notebook were full of good plays, but after he left, somebody took Dougie’s green notebook.

    There are many reasons for Wentz’s downfall. It’s Howie’s fault for not surrounding him with better players. It’s Doug’s fault for not getting a better OC and instead promoting his buddies from within. It’s both of their fault, but especially Doug’s for not holding Wentz’s feet to the fire. But mostly, it’s Wentz’s fault for not accepting the coaching that would make him better. It’s Wentz’s fault for feeling threatened by Hurts. If you are the starting QB and you shrivel up because they drafted another guy, then you don’t belong being the starter. That’s what I mean by wired differently. Wentz seemed to thrive, as long as things were going good. None of us know how much they did or didn’t have to prop up his ego, only the players and Doug and Howie and Jeff know that, and they will never say anything.

    The point is, however it got to this point, the end result is better for all involved. The Eagles move on from Wentz and after this season his cap hit as well. Wentz moves to Indiana, where the fans are different and more his style. Hurts becomes the starter and may have to battle for his job, but whoever comes out as the winner, makes the team better. I hope it’s Hurts. Every player gets humbled at some point in their career. I think Hurts’s happened in the title game at Alabama. He didn’t play well and was replaced by Tua, and the rest as they say is history. But Hurts went to Oklahoma and lit it up. He was a Heisman finalist. When surrounded with good players, it’s clear what Hurts can do. I believe he can do that here. His ability to run, makes all the difference, and allows Sirianni to tailor an offense to a guy who showed in college he can be accurate, and can also rush for first downs on his own.

    So we all wish Wentz well…thanks for the help getting to the SB, and thanks for all the other good things you did, but sadly, we will remember your last season and why you are no longer the starting QB in Philly. We will remember, when we counted on you to be your best, you weren’t. In fact you were the opposite. It wasn’t just one thing, it was everything. It was a meltdown for the ages. In every passing category measured, you were at, tied for, or very close to the bottom. The guy we traded all those picks for, the guy we watched make astounding plays was gone. In his place was a guy who just could not do anything right. And when we all knew it was over, and the only solution for everyone involved was to trade you, only one team in the entire league wanted you as their QB.

    I think that says it all

Leave a Reply