We knew this day would come when Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts back in 2021, but I don’t think that any of us could have predicted that it would come in a matchup with the Washington Commanders. Frankly in 2021 we wouldn’t have been able to predict the name of the team the Eagles would be playing this week. Oh, how much can change in a year and a half! Now a member of division rival Washington, Carson Wentz will face the Eagles for the first time since departing from Philadelphia when the birds travel down to FedEx Field this weekend. Even though it was pretty clear his time in Philadelphia had run its course, there have still been flashes since Wentz was traded that show he is still a competent starting QB in the NFL, so the question needs to be asked: How worried should the Eagles be about facing their old signal caller this week?
It’s more than most people would give Wentz credit for, myself included. I’m not remotely worried about facing Carson Wentz, but maybe we all should be, if only a little bit. Currently, Wentz is 2nd in the NFL in passing yards with a whopping 650 through 2 games. He’s also tied for the NFL’s lead in TD passes with 7 so far, 6th in rating with a 100.3, and among players with 50+ pass attempts this season he’s 12th in completion percentage. It has only been 2 games, but Wentz has put up some solid numbers for Washington despite the team only being 1-1. Some of those are garbage stats in a 2nd half against Detroit that was an air raid down 22 points, some of those are stats against a Jaguars team in week 1 that went on to shut out Indianapolis the next week. The issue with Carson Wentz is the same as what it was here in Philadelphia. He is immensely talented one play, and then will have a couple where he looks like he’s never heard of the sport of football before.
Here’s the plus side for Philly, and it’s the same as last week against Minnesota: the secondary is NASTY. Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox could create the cornerback room in the NFL this year, and they’re certainly playing like an elite unit right now. That helps shut down any QB, especially one like Wentz who is prone to making boneheaded plays. This team is also familiar with him, even if the coaching staff is new. Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and other Eagles vets on the defensive side of the ball know Wentz’s tendencies well, and that could certainly be a benefit as well. So, the answer? We should probably be more worried about Wentz than your average NFL QB, but not enough that he should strike actual fear. He’s a slightly above quarterback, and so was Kirk Cousins. We all saw how that ended up. Bring on the reunion; the birds will be ready.