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September 07, 2016

Does Dunkin' Donuts believe in Carson Wentz?

Philadelphia runs free on Eagles rookie quarterback

The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the NFL world last weekend when they dealt Sam Bradford to the Vikings for valuable draft picks and anointed Carson Wentz the team's Week 1 starting quarterback. He'll become the first rookie QB in franchise history to lead the squad right out of the gate Sunday when the Eagles face the Cleveland Browns at Lincoln Financial Field.

And if he gets a win, guess what? Free coffee, woot-woot! For the fourth consecutive year, Dunkin' Donuts will extend its gracious "Eagles Win, You Win" promotion, which promises a free medium hot or iced coffee the day after any victory.

The promotion is a bit different this year, in that you must enroll — at no cost — in the company's DDPerks program. There's not really a catch to this unless you're allergic to free stuff. DDPerks lets you order ahead and skip the line in stores. You get a free beverage just for enrolling, again on your birthday, and every time you collect 200 points at five points per dollar spent. You can just download an app, put money on your own card and use it to buy coffee and other treats at Dunkin' Donuts.

That's the mumbo jumbo. Do it and you're covered throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, including South Jersey and Delaware's Kent and New Castle counties.

Here's the real question. How often are we actually going to get to experience this in 2016-2017?

Let's start by considering that in the four years since this promotion began, the Eagles have won 31 games. It's been 77 wins since the Dunkin' Donuts partnership was christened, not including two playoff victories in the 2008-2009 postseason. Lord, remember when we won playoff games?

But here we are in 2016 with Mr. Wentz. It's a whole new world. Never mind what Vegas says, because anything could happen. Right after the Bradford deal, the team's Super Bowl odds took the kind of hit Clay Matthews gave our last savior, Kevin Kolb, in Week 1 of the 2010 season. We dropped from 60-1 odds with Bradford to 100-1 with Wentz at the helm. That ties the Eagles for the third-worst odds in the league, on par with the L.A. Rams, who themselves drafted Cal QB Jared Goff right before the Eagles took Wentz.

Many analysts and fans are very high on the North Dakota State product, who's been compared by his coach to Brett Favre and shows the kind of youthful exuberance the Eagles desperately need in a disciplined signal caller. Some have knocked him for not playing Div. I ball, but truthfully, whooping up on the competition in college is the type of experience that instills confidence in a player, without all the glamor and intrigue of the big name schools. He's in a good spot.

What about Dunkin' Donuts, which stands to lose great lakes of coffee if Wentz lights it up? 

"I think they'll do well this year," said Jackie Keown, a representative for Dunkin' Brands. "I think it's a good sign that they traded Bradford. It speaks volumes for Wentz's ability. It is a lot of pressure for him, but since they moved on from Sam, it's a sure sign of his talent. I'm very hopeful."

Also, good news for faithful fantasy owners of Zach Ertz. As spokesman for the Dunkin' Donuts "TouchDDowns for Kids" program, every time he gets in the end zone a $250 donation will be made toward youth involvement in sports, fitness and recreation.

See? This is a potentially useful way to think about the year ahead. How much free coffee and kids fitness would you need to be content with a team in transition mode?