Philly Blues

The Philadelphia Eagles have always been a franchise with the potential to get to the big game and they falter when they get to that moment. I’ll always remember them cruising through the regular season to the NFC East division title, clinching a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs and getting to many NFC title games. After the Donovan McNabb days, the Philadelphia Eagles struggled to find that franchise quarterback. Kevin Kolb didn’t pan out and when he didn’t, they had Michael Vick to lean on and he took advantage of his opportunity for sure and led them to a division title. Three seasons later in 2013, the Eagles decided to turn to Nick Foles who helped lead the Eagles to a division title in 2013 with a really impressive stat-line throwing 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions. Last season, the Eagles finally decided to draft a quarterback and they decided to select a guy by the name of Carson Wentz with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of North Dakota State. His first year, he was still trying to figure things out and you expect that as a rookie quarterback. This year, he really improved his all-around game and he was considered to be the leading candidate for the league’s most valuable player award. Today, a day after a huge win in Los Angeles and clinching the NFC East, Carson’s season has been cut short with a torn ACL.

I remember when I first saw the tape on Carson Wentz before he was drafted. He’s a six-foot-five quarterback with excellent footwork and the ability to extend plays with his feet. I’ve often compared him to a younger Ben Roethlisberger because he plays similarly to the Steelers signal caller when it comes to moving out of the pocket, in the pocket, buying time and just as you must do with Ben, as a defense, it truly takes more than one guy to bring him down. He’s a big and strong kid and plays with a ton of mental and physical toughness. The Eagles weren’t expected to do much this year and they’ve really had people talking about the winning streak that they went on. I truly didn’t know what to expect from them but they have really surprised me and the reason why they were in the driver’s seat in the NFL for a majority of the season has been because of Carson Wentz. To play the position of quarterback, you have to be extremely cerebral and that’s Wentz to a T. To be such a young quarterback, he has such a strong understanding of the game with the ability to read defenses, audible and make adjustments and if he sees a mismatch, he’s taking full advantage of it as he should. He’s a blast to watch and if you really think about it, he doesn’t really have a go-to guy as most quarterbacks do. The Eagles offense is loaded with a talented receiving core of Alshon Jeffrey, Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor and Brent Celek. Wentz has been the anchor of an offense that averages close to 31 points per game. If you were open, Carson was getting you the ball.

It’s a tough loss for the Eagles, but I don’t think this injury necessarily throws them out of the running to win in the playoffs. In this game, you need to have a very solid back up quarterback and this is exactly why the Eagles re-signed Nick Foles, a guy who was drafted by the Eagles and a guy that Doug Pedersen has become extremely familiar with over the years from his time as a coach for the Eagles, as an offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs and now as the head coach of the Eagles. He doesn’t have to emulate Carson Wentz. Nick just simply has to play his own game. This is where Blount will come in handy and Jay Ajayi as well. This is why you traded for Ajayi so these two will need to really get their touches to take pressure off Foles. Their defense needs to play better as well as they have been inconsistent as of late. This is a tough day for one of the NFL’s brightest young stars.