Number 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Carson Wentz took the field on Sunday as the first rookie player to ever start a season open for the Eagles. Coincidently, the Eagles played the Cleveland Browns who traded the number 2 pick to Philadelphia. The Eagles easily won 29-10, with Wentz throwing an outrageous 22-37 for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
His two touchdowns were the most in a players first start for the Eagles since Kevin Kolb in 2009. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, Wentz is only the fourth rookie quarterback to throw a touchdown pass on a teams first offensive drive of the season. On top of that, the Eagles did not score a touchdown on an opening drive all year.
Since 1960, there have been only three rookie quarterbacks to throw for 275+ pass yards, 2+ pass touchdowns, and no interceptions in a season opener: Jim Kelly in 1986, Robert Griffin III in 2012 and Carson Wentz in 2016. On Sunday, Wentz received the fourth highest quarterback rating for week one only behind Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Derek Carr. Wentz also joins Ernie Wheeler as the only Bison to throw for a touchdown in the NFL. Wheeler did so in 1939 as reported by Elias Sports Bureau.
Wentz also completed five passes longer than 15 yards in his first game. The Eagles achieved that feat once through all of last season.
The kid from the small town of Fargo seems to be taking hold of the spotlight. He possesses everything you need from a quarterback at the NFL level: a strong arm, very smart, has an underrated running ability and ways of getting out of the pocket and making throws on the run. After all of the physical traits, even though he’s only a rookie, he still knows how to be a leader. After one week, it shows that his teammates feel Carson has their backs and they have his. That goes a long way on the football field.
“Carson is a special, special player. He didn’t play like a rookie today by any means,” teammate Zack Ertz said.
Another team member, Jordan Matthews, is a guy that Carson seems to have good chemistry with in the early stages of the season.
After the game, Carson was asked if he was nervous for the game. “No, after the first snap I was locked in and it was football again.”
Wentz will be making his Monday Night Football debut next week. The Eagles visit Chicago for a late matchup with the Bears.