Through the first two games of the season, the Commanders posted one of the league’s finest offensive showings: second in passing yards, sixth in total yards, eighth in points. But there’s a reason why the league doesn’t base Super Bowl berths on performances through two weeks. Gravity has a way of returning teams to their base level. And judging from Sunday’s 24-8 loss, the Commanders’ base level is subterranean.
The postgame box score shows that Wentz finished the game with 211 yards on 25 of 43 attempts. The box score doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t come close to telling the truth, either. Wentz, his time as an Eagles star now a distant memory, piled up the majority of his yards in garbage time, with the Eagles ahead 24-0 and the game effectively over.
The swarming Philadelphia defense sacked Wentz a relentless nine times and hurried him another 17 times. The Commanders’ only points came in the fourth quarter, off a safety the Eagles basically conceded and a touchdown the Eagles' defense didn’t much worry about.
There are a dozen different ways to display the Commanders' futility. Here's one, Washington's drive chart: punt, punt, punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, turnover on downs, meaningless touchdown.
Here's another: in the first half, while the Eagles were hanging 24 points on Washington, Wentz was 3-of-10 for 24 yards.
And a third: when factoring in the vast sack yardage that Wentz suffered, the Commanders had a total of negative-4 yards for their first nine drives. While the Eagles were paying attention, Wentz was all but irrelevant.
Asked after the game if he was considering a quarterback change, Commanders coach Ron Rivera was direct: "No. I'm not."
Commanders fans of a particularly optimistic nature might take that to mean he's not considering a quarterback change, he has already decided on it. (Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell are the backup QBs on the roster.)
Life won't get easier for Washington. Ahead on the schedule are perennial rival Dallas, Tennessee and a couple NFC North throwdowns with Chicago and Green Bay. Wentz will need to have a good game before his team is down three possessions if the Commanders are to have any hope.
Contact Jay Busbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.