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October 19, 2016

Ray Didinger: 'Boom,' Michael Wilbon's wrong about 'God-ed' up Wentz

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101116CarsonWentz Paul Sancya/AP

(In serious voice)... "How will Carson Wentz handle 'the adversity?'"

Michael Wilbon, longtime Washington Post reporter and co-host of ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption," is all wrong about Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, according to beloved Hall of Fame football analyst Ray Didinger.

On Monday's edition of "PTI," co-host Tony Kornheiser questioned whether Wentz, coming off two consecutive losses, was overhyped by fans and the media.

"We’re not hearing about ‘Wentzylvania’ anymore, are we?” Kornheiser asked. “Have we overrated this kid?”

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Wilbon responded by claiming he never bit on the initial praise for Wentz, who led the Eagles to three straight impressive victories to start the season (the last two losses, both close games, were largely blown as a result of teamwide breakdowns).

"I didn’t. Every other dope in the world did because they have to declare stuff now. Wentz played three games and people God-ed him up, as if this didn’t happen in the same division with Robert Griffin III over an entire 16-game season. People are so stupid, and fueled with these numbers drunkenly, they have to go out and tell you how great everybody is after two games."

Never mind, as Feed Machine points out, Wilbon's point of view was pretty rosy, albeit cautiously, after the Eagles beat an admittedly bad Bears team 29-14 on Monday Night Football.

“I’m really impressed with Wentz. When you’re a freshman in high school, all you can do is ace the pop quizzes, and so far, he has aced the pop quizzes. … Philadelphia could be the hardest place to play quarterback in the NFL, but when you start off like this, there’s not much for talk radio to dissect at this point."

As it turns out, Didinger had plenty to dissect during a weekday appearance on SportsRadio 94WIP, where he recently signed a multiyear deal to continue his weekend show with Glen Macnow. Via parent station CBS Philly:

“Mike’s wrong. Boom," Didinger said. "Do we need to elaborate? To me, it’s a silly TV driven argument. I would defy Mike Wilbon to sit next to anybody who knows anything about football and look at the tapes of the first three games and not be impressed by what he saw.”

Apparently, even Mike Wilbon would defy Mike Wilbon to do that.

Through five games, Carson Wentz has 1,186 yards passing, a 65 percent completion percentage, 99.9 passer rating, seven touchdowns and one interception. After three weeks, ProFootballFocus found he was off to the best start of any rookie quarterback in the 11 years since the analytics service launched.

Does Wilbon have a point about people gushing over a small sample size? Maybe to a degree, but shouldn't the NFL be thrilled to soak up all the positive attention it can get right now?