Rejoice Wentzylvania, the Eagles have a rookie star at quarterback
Before this season started, the Cleveland Browns for some reason were openly telling the media they didn’t think Carson Wentz would be a top-20 quarterback in the NFL, so they traded the second pick of the draft instead of taking Wentz.
That seemed like a strange thing to brag about in public before the season, and now it looks downright dumb (especially from a Browns team that has been historically awful finding a quarterback). Three games don’t make a career, but there aren’t 20 quarterbacks you’d select over Wentz right now. I’m not sure you can find a definitive list of 10. And Wentz is still in his first month as a professional.
The Philadelphia Eagles hit the jackpot. Sure they gave up a ton to move up in a trade with the Browns and take Wentz second overall, but it looks like a wise investment now. The Eagles demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 on Sunday to improve to 3-0. Wentz was fantastic yet again. He was 23-of-31 for 301 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s possible no quarterback in NFL history has gotten off to a better three-game start than Wentz has. Last week he became the first rookie quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger who started his team’s first two games, won both games and didn’t throw an interception in the process. Make it three in a row.
According to Randall Liu, the NFL’s director of football communications, Wentz is the first player in NFL history with at least 100 attempts, 60 completions, five touchdowns and no interceptions in his first three career games.
The Steelers are supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, so what does that make the Eagles? Aside from Wentz being way better than anyone could have dreamed so far, the defense under new coordinator Jim Schwartz has been a revelation too. They completely locked up a Steelers offense that is one of the most talented in the NFL.
But the story in Philadelphia is the new quarterback, who looks like a star. He has great physical gifts — he’s big, his arm strength is tremendous and he can move well too — but also understands how to play the position, maybe better than some veterans who we see each Sunday. He made a fantastic play for a long touchdown to Darren Sproles on Sunday. The pocket broke down so Wentz stepped up, and most quarterbacks would have run for it at that point. Wentz has the athletic ability to make plays with his legs. Instead Wentz was patient, kept looking downfield, stayed behind the line of scrimmage and lofted a pass to Sproles, who is impossible to stop in the open field. Sproles scored a 73-yard touchdown.
Wentz is really good, and there’s no need to remain skeptical because he’s a rookie. He probably won’t have a perfect season, but he has shown every good sign you want to see from a quarterback. History won’t look kindly on the Los Angeles Rams or the Browns, the two teams who could have drafted Wentz but passed.
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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter!