Philadelphia Eagles: History isn’t on Carson Wentz’s side this Sunday
Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller Carson Wentz seemingly has everything working against him this weekend in Cleveland.
If you’ve watched any of the Philadelphia Eagles this season (I’m so sorry), then I don’t have to tell you how rough things have been for quarterback Carson Wentz.
And if that isn’t a bad enough indicator of how he and the Eagles might fare on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, some historical context on Wentz’s career trends make the situation seem even bleaker, as if that were possible.
I’m not one to put full faith into these sorts of things but, when added together, a number of Wentz’s career splits point to this weekend being more likely to continue his downward slide than being a game where he starts to snap out of his funk.
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I was personally not trying to be too pessimistic about how this game might go for Wentz, but a dive into the numbers on his Pro Football Reference page says otherwise.
For starters, Wentz has not put up good road numbers during his four-plus years in the league. And while I understand that even the best QBs might find it hard to crack .500 away from their home stadium, Wentz isn’t even treading water. His 13-19 mark outside of Lincoln Financial Field is pretty unsightly.
Yes, we’re reaching back pretty far for some of those losses, but this seems like something that should have course-corrected by now. That’s a .406 winning percentage. By comparison, the currently injured Dak Prescott is 18-16 on the road. I’m just saying.
Venue aside, because the Dawg Pound won’t be making any noise on Sunday, everything else seems to be working against Carson Wentz as well. Let’s take the 1 pm start time. He and the Eagles are winless (0-5-1) with the early kickoff this year, while they’re mindbogglingly 3-0 in prime time. Because of this, Wentz has actually slipped below .500 in his career in early start times, at 17-18-1. Even worse, he now has a losing record on Sundays as a whole, going 26-28-1 to this point.
These things become worrisome when you start to consider that Wentz has made 55 of his 65 career starts on Sundays, with 36 of those instances happening at the early kickoff time.
Maybe they can’t be seen as outliers, but rather more of a true indication of what he is. The fact that he performs better in prime time games and on Mondays and Thursdays, given the smaller sample size, might actually be the anomalies here. It’s a bizarre situation for sure, and it’s hard to get a true handle on.
A few other parts of Wentz’s statistical profile stick out for this game.
First, Wentz’s record in November games is 7-8, the only month in which he has a losing record. Owing largely to this, his record during the “third quarter” of the season (games 9 through 12) is 7-10, which is easily the worst segment of the schedule for him. And these can’t even be chalked up to bad luck. This time of the year, for whatever reason, sees his QB rating, completion percentage, and TD/INT ratio drop to their worst levels compared with any other month or section of the schedule.
Again, it’s hard to find a logical reason for this, but we’re now deep enough into his career that these kinds of things can’t be ignored.
Finally, Wentz is just 2-4-1 against the AFC North, which is his worst record against any division. That morsel is a bit of a throwaway, but it’s just one more number to toss on top of a seemingly large pile of trends that are working against Wentz finding some kind of success against the Browns. Separately, all of this is pretty anecdotal, but it really tells a story when it’s all put together.
On a final note, our colleagues over at Dawg Pound Daily even unanimously picked the Browns in this one. And when six people all pick you to lose to the Browns, you know how dire the situation has gotten.
Most people aren’t feeling good about the Philadelphia Eagles right now, and I don’t expect this look at Carson Wentz’s past performance to help matters. But the future isn’t written yet, and so maybe #11 can start to turn things around and reverse some of the troubling patterns of performance that have become part of his profile. As a fan, I’ll be hoping that he does, but I’m not foolish enough to expect it to start happening this week.