Well that escalated quickly.
Going back a month, Carson Wentz was supposed to be the number three option in Philadelphia. Then something half a country away happened. Teddy Bridgewater injures his knee. Next thing you know, Sam Bradford is off to Minny and Wentz is thrown into the spotlight with the Eagles.
Thinking back on it now, it is not a surprise that he excelled in the NFL. We had seen it here at North Dakota State. The guy practices hard and plays harder. It seems that is the only way Wentz knows how to operate.
And that is a great thing. It is because of this work ethic that most in North Dakota scoffed when reporters and analysists were at best cautious of Wentz’s ability to translate into the NFL.
The Wentz Wagon was already a thing for the past two years here. We came to appreciate the “Big Red Head” as Chris Klieman refers to him. After just three starts, the question to ask is, “Are you feeling it now Philly?”
Now, much can be said about the numbers Wentz has put up this month in claiming NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month. 102 completions, 769 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, 64.7 percent accuracy, 103.8 passer rating; most of these numbers are becoming common knowledge. Arguments can be made about the quality of opponent he has faced in the opening three weeks. In reality, only one of the teams he has faced will threaten to make the playoffs, the Steelers.
The argument can be made that he really hasn’t shown greatness yet. Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich have kept things simple with Wentz. Passes against the Steelers averaged just over five yards. It is yards after the catch that helped Wentz amass 301 yards passing.
Really, those are fair arguments. But look behind the numbers, and that is where Carson gets really exciting.
Take a look at the celebration between Wentz and Jordan Matthews. After Wentz found Matthews for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 10-0 over the Steelers in the second quarter, the pair went to celebrate with a common chest bump. Then, they checked their jumps, pretended to straighten their ties, and had a firm handshake.
“It’s all business. We keep it all business,” Wentz said after the Pittsburg game.
That is typical Wentz. It is this “let’s get down to business” attitude which has won fans over. But it isn’t something that new.
Rewind a year, Wentz has a broken wrist and a young gun named Easton Stick is thrown in to lead the Bison forward. Not only does Wentz take Easton under his wing, he teaches him how to be a quarterback. Oh to be a fly on the wall to listen to those two talk, assumedly about plays such as “Spider 3 Y Banana.”
His dedication to learning the game makes it no surprise when a story pops up about him watching game film on date night.
Add his dedication off the field to what he has done on the field, and no surprise that there are some lofty comparisons going on. His pregame preparations have drawn comparisons to those of Peyton Manning. Names such as Brett Farve have come out in the same breath as Carson Wentz.
A year ago, six months ago, even one month ago, who thought that would happen?
While it is way too soon to crown Carson Wentz the next great quarterback, what we can say is what we know. We know that the beginning of the era of Carson Wentz in Philly is one of the best starts to a career of a rookie quarterback. We can say that we knew he was this good coming out of college. But what we can’t really say is that we expected him to put up these numbers in the first three weeks of the year.
Neither can we say he is done. Carson Wentz loves football. That much is sure, and he will keep striving to get better. Undoubtedly, he will stay humble, and look to go 1-0 each week.
Joe Biden is leaning on the horn. All aboard the Wentz Wagon. Next stop, Detroit.