By: Kylan Watson
Yesterday, an excited crowd tuned in to the debut of Carson Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 National Football League (NFL). The Philadelphia Eagles played the Cleveland drive and on their first drive Wentz completed four out of five of his passes for 76 yards and the drive ended with a beautiful nineteen yard pass to Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews for his first touchdown completion.
Wentz was not expected to debut this soon into the 2016 season. During the preseason he was third on the depth chart. Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel were ahead of him on the depth chart. Wentz also had broken ribs after the first preseason game and didn’t play throughout the rest of the preseason. The Eagles were saying Wentz wasn’t ready.
Then last week the Eagles traded Bradford for a first round pick. Rumors were going around that the Eagles planned to start Wentz against the Browns if he was healthy. Sure enough on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 Pederson announced Wentz would be his starting quarterback against the Browns.
Fast Forward to Sunday, September 11th, 2016, Wentz proved a lot of people wrong yesterday throwing for 278 yards, recording two touchdown throws, completing 22/37 passes, and recording a 101.78 quarterback rating. Wentz played like a man possessed yesterday, could be because he wanted to show fans, experts, and sports media members. That he was ready for the big stage. The Browns provided plenty of motivation for Wentz, some of the players were saying, “they planned to take advantage of Wentz’s slow release.” It seemed it was Wentz taking advantage of the Browns defense, as he carved them up.
At certain points during the game, Wentz was displaying veteran quarterback level awareness of the defensive scheme. Wentz saw a blitz earlier in the game, he audibled out of the play, and went with a more advantageous play. He hit a receiver with a beautifully thrown ball for a first down.
At least in the first game Wentz was all that was advertised. He successfully made the Eagles coaches, scouts, and front office staff very happy yesterday. He validated the trade the Eagles made for him and trading away Bradford. Fans of the team were also very happy because they got to see the future of the franchise debut. Wentz seemed very ready to all who were watching and in attendance last night. The Eagles may have undersold Wentz’s readiness for the game yesterday. He seems very ready and he has made the Eagles an interesting team to watch again. Coach Pederson has his man, and it seems they will have a beautiful relationship.
Wentz faces another test next week as he faces the Chicago Bears in his first Monday night Football game on September 19th.