I think I safely speak for all Eagle fans when I say Sunday was amazing. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Are we Super Bowl contenders? No. Favorites to win the NFC East? No. We must’ve crushed the Cowboys then, right? No. Did we even beat a respectable team? No. Who cares. What we witnessed Sunday was hope.
For the first time in what feels like a decade, Eagle fans can point to someone on the roster and say, “Yeh, that’s our future.” From those roller coaster seasons at the tail end of McNabb’s career to the rapid rise and fall of both Michael Vick and Nick Foles, to the brief but ugly Sam Bradford era; the Eagles finally have a franchise quarterback again.
Carson Wentz was great Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. The opening drive of his NFL career was a highlight reel. His stellar debut didn’t end there. Wentz went on to check every box throughout the afternoon. He stood in the pocket, he rocketed passes into tight spaces, he demonstrated touch, he extended plays with his feet, he threw deep, short, in, out; Wentz did it all.
Right before he hit Nelson Agholor streaking down the sideline for a game-breaking 35 yard touchdown, Wentz took a vicious shot and was unfazed. He didn’t press. He never forced the issue, never tried to do too much. Even 13-year All-Pro veteran tackle Jason Peters was in awe, calling Wentz, “the real deal,” before comparing him to Aaron Rodgers. AARON RODGERS!
I approached Week 1 with realistic expectations for Wentz. First and foremost, I didn’t want him to die. After that, all I hoped for were some displays of competency with demonstrations of arm strength and accuracy scattered throughout. Instead, I was treated to a dazzling display of quarterbacking that earned rave reviews from his many teammates, coaches and media alike. I think that’s what matters most. It took only one game for Wentz’s teammates – the guys who see his game the most – to declare Carson Wentz a legitimate NFL quarterback.
The best part of all? This is only the beginning.
Other quick points:
• Oh my goodness!!! Did you notice the Eagles had all three timeouts at the end of both halves?!? I thought Doug Pederson was an Andy Reid disciple?
• The Eagles dominated time of possession 39:21. A 2:1 possession ratio has certainly been common in Eagle games over the past few seasons, but never in the Eagles favor. The Philadelphia defense hasn’t been this rested since 2012.
• Assuming he doesn’t get injured, Carson Wentz will likely start the rest of the season. An Eagles quarterback has started all 16 games only twice in the last 14 seasons. Twice. (Though, it really should read three times if not for Donovan McNabb sitting the final game of the 2004 regular season because the Eagles had already clinched the top seed in the NFC.)
• The irony of Robert Griffin III being on the same field as Wentz Sunday afternoon is not lost on me. I understand this could all go to hell after a stellar season, stretch, game, or even quarter. Just let me enjoy this one week of bliss. Thanks.