October 24, 2017
Go ahead, pinch yourself, kick yourself, ask somebody to playfully slap you silly just so that you realize this is not a dream, this is not Madden, this is reality.
This is the real deal, his name is Carson Wentz, and he is YOUR quarterback.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the best quarterback in the National Football League. Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles have the best quarterback in the National Football League ... and he is only 24-years old!
Wentz put on another show on the big stage of Monday Night Football when he put on a magic act while the Eagles thumped the Washington Redskins, 34-24. By the time it was over, the Eagles had raised their record to 6-1, they had already swept the Redskins with two victories, and the expectations for this season took another giant leap forward.
Bottom line, it was one small step for a young quarterback, and one giant step for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles.
Well, maybe not a small step for the quarterback, but in the overall, it was just another step in Wentz’s catapult toward the top of the quarterback class. Mind you, not the quarterback class of his draft year, nor his status among young guns.
Nope, the top of the quarterback class in terms of Tom Brady, the injured Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott – you come up with a name, and there will likely be some videotape of Wentz to put him right there with the best of them.
This has truly been a hard-to-believe scenario for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia sports fans in general. This just doesn’t happen to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The best quarterback in the NFL?
The absolute best.
Fans in every other city are watching the Eagles and wishing the guy with number 11 was THEIR quarterback. That includes fans in New England, who would probably trade their 40-year-old GOAT for the rising star in Philadelphia, the fans in Indianapolis, who would gladly swap their young QB, the fans in Cleveland, who …
Well, let’s not rub more salt in that open wound.
There is no time in a football game, Wentz can’t unveil some magic. The Eagles might have lost their true magician when Jon Dorenbos was sent to New Orleans, but the magic remained with Wentz.
As an aside Dorenbos, who is recovering from heart surgery was at the game with Cole Hamels. If Dorenbos needed a test to see if that heart could handle some excitement all he had to do was watch Wentz.
It was truly a night to watch a quarterback put on a show, and even Jason Kelce’s brother Travis was part of the audience, and there was the now expected presence of South Jersey native Mike Trout.
It was a show of shows that included a remarkable 62-yard in-the-air bomb to Mack Hollins for the first touchdown, a hard-to-believe nine-yard touchdown pass to Clement. The pass to Clement was at the end of what looked like a totally wrecked play. It was a mad scramble, and Clement was the last read and somehow Wentz threw a perfect pass off his back foot.
According to TV color analyst Jon Gruden, it was a play that Wentz used while at North Dakota, and it was the second time it has resulted in a touchdown this season.
“He brought (that) play to me he diagramed it,” Doug Pederson said on WIP radio Tuesday morning. “We’ve had it (in our game plan), and it’s been successful. If he’s comfortable, that’s huge. He knew where Corey would be because we’ve used it over and over (in practice) and during games.”
Good as that was, the real magic occurred when Wentz emerged, and a truly play-it-again Sam scramble to get out of a sure sack situation that will become the stuff of legends.
The game was at a critical junction, the Eagles leading 24-17 facing a third-and-eight, and a punt would have put the Redskins in a good position to drive and tie the game. Instead, Wentz emerged from under a pile of players, somehow avoided the sack and gained 17 yards.
The heart had been ripped out of Washington’s defense as Wentz would up at the 44-yard line with a first down and headed for a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor for a 31-17 lead. It was a defining play in Wentz’s early career, and the Redskins were reeling.
“It was amazing,” said Pederson. “He had some wild moments.”
Pederson is also not afraid to place Wentz in the same sentence with some all-time greats. “Carson is now (at a spot) where he makes everyone better,” he said. “I saw this when I played with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, just making everybody around them better.”
No question, Wentz is the leader of this group, but the Eagles are the true picture of a team effort. Every player pumps up his teammates, there is no singular boasting, and there is just a sense of all-for-one, one-for-all.
The Eagles offense is all inclusive with Wentz targeting several receivers, with some unique chemistry with Zach Ertz, especially on critical third down.
It might seem like a fantasy, but this is all very real, and it’s going to make the Eagles a very real threat for a very long time.