As the Philadelphia Eagles dropped another uninspiring game, Carson Wentz is largely to blame. Thankfully, he’s also the solution.
For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Eagles are 5-6 after Week 12.
For the second straight year, the team’s play leaves a lot to be desired, with minimal room for hope. Yet unlike last year’s version that closed the regular season with three straight wins en route to claiming the final wild-card spot, this year’s squad appears to have no saving grace. Instead, all they have is a painstakingly lethargic offense, incompetent coaching staff, lack of depth, rumblings of in-house discontent…
And Carson Wentz.
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The Philadelphia Eagles are not a good football team. Even at 5-6, it feels like they’ve been much worse. Yet, with five games remaining and one of the easiest schedules in football, the Birds are still (technically) poised to make a playoff push… all of which lies on the unsteady shoulders of Carson Wentz.
To much of the chagrin of the pro-Wentz brethren, the Eagles $32-million-dollar-a-year man has been anything but stellar. And much to the chagrin of the Wentz haters, the quarterback also doesn’t deserve all the blame.
Carson Wentz is a good quarterback. Good quarterback; not great.
Now in his fourth year, Wentz has notched a 28-23 record at the Eagles helm. If you exclude his 11-win 2017 campaign, the North Dakota State alum is a dismal 17-21. I tend to think his upside is much more in line with his MVP-caliber ’17 season, but it is worth pointing out that three of his four seasons leading the way have all resulted in losing records: 7-9 in 2016, 5-6 in 11 games played in 2018, and 5-6 so far this year.
For all the talk that Carson Wentz is an elite player, it’s just not true. Elite players elevate those around them, which Wentz has failed to do. Yes, his receiving corp is about as talented as a JV high school team, but he’s not doing them any favors.
Successful quarterbacks understand the importance of game management, including taking what’s given. This is a concept foreign to Wentz, and it has cost the Eagles greatly.
Part of the reason the Eagles struggle with down and distance is due to Wentz holding onto the ball in an effort to make something great out of seemingly nothing. Instead, with each growing overthrow, lost a fumble, QB sack, and missed opportunity, the Eagles are falling deeper into desolation.
And farther from the promising outlook that once accompanied this season.
Wentz is a good quarterback; not great. At least not yet.
For all the struggles Wentz continues to exhibit – caused in part by his competitive fire and unrelenting desire to make a play – both of which are commendable though detrimental at the moment, it’s this drive that will ultimately lead both he and the organization back to the promised land.
Perhaps more than receivers that can catch and spread the field, Wentz needs time. At just 26-years-old, Wentz is still in the infancy stages of his development as a franchise QB. He has all the tools to become an elite, perennial MVP signal-caller, the most important being something that can’t be learned or taught: heart.
The struggles of today form the building blocks of tomorrow’s success. From a fan base that demands excellence with a minimal tolerance for patience, this presents quite the challenge.
It also presents a perplexing, often polarizing split:
“Carson Wentz is a bum,” vs. “Carson Wentz is an outstanding QB with no talent around him.”
The truth often lies somewhere in between, and that is most certainly the case for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. Once the emotions settle following another underwhelming loss, perhaps you’ll agree that Wentz is a good quarterback on the verge of greatness.
Beyond more offensive weapons, beyond a more balanced play-calling attack, and beyond internal cohesion, Carson Wentz needs to learn and grow. It’s happening right in front of our disgruntled eyes and devastated hearts. Both Carson and Doug are quick to point fingers at themselves saying they need to do a better job to turn this thing around.
Perhaps as a fan base, we need to do the same thing and allow both the time necessary to learn from their mistakes and get better. I can certainly do a better job at this. After all, Carson Wentz is a good quarterback; not great.
Not yet, at least.