Carson Wentz: MVP Candidate?
Carson Wentz has been harshly criticized by many self-proclaimed draft pundits and NFL analysts, including myself, ever since the hype train arrived at his front door Fargo, North Dakota his senior season. A lot of the criticism was justified, such as his spotty accuracy when throwing downfield and his unsightly turnover rate (28 turnovers during rookie season), but Wentz’ future wasn’t nearly as dim as his critics made it seem. Instead, so far during his sophomore season Wentz has taken a huge leap from his struggles during his rookie year, looking much more comfortable in command of the Eagles offense and making big time throws more consistently on a week to week basis. Wentz’ progression has been evident in his previous two games, against the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins, both on primetime.
On 3rd and 5, Carson does a good job staying aggressive and hunting to keep the drive alive, patiently waiting for Nelson Agholor to get behind the linebacker and throwing a dart for the first down.
Once again on the money down, Carson stands tall in the pocket despite the burgeoning pressure right in front of his face and hits Trey Burton for the first down.
Last season, Carson struggled to make throws on the run with consistency, making some pretty throws and some WTF was that throws. This season, he’s improved his consistency in that category as shown here, as he rolls to his left and fires a bullet to Marcus Johnson.
Carson Wentz simply refused to let the Panthers get off the field on third downs. Here, he rolls to the right to avoid pressure, abruptly stops, settles and throws a good ball to Alshon Jeffery under duress. 3rd third down conversion and it’s still relatively early in the 2nd quarter.
In the red zone, QBs internal clocks need to be a bit faster than anywhere else on the field because everything moves faster with less space to operate, and Wentz’ grasp on that concept has been much more firm this season compared to his rookie season. Wentz looks at his first read at the top of the screen, doesn’t like it, and immediately moves to Zach Ertz, which he does like, and throws a bullet for a TD. Very good play.
At times last year it seemed like Doug Pederson handcuffed the Eagles offense, nerfing Carson’s arm strength and aggressiveness. This season, especially in the Eagles’ current Arizona-Carolina-Washington stretch, those handcuffs are off. The Eagles give the Panthers a taste of their own medicine, sending Zach Ertz up the seams, and Wentz rips a dime for his second touchdown.
Again, Wentz just won’t allow Carolina to get off the field on third down. Carson does a great job stepping up, momentarily avoiding the blitzing corner, giving him just enough time to hit Mack Hollins for a huge 3rd and long conversion.
During his rookie year, this would’ve been a gross overthrow. Deep ball accuracy, along with his footwork, is where Carson has made the longest strides between rookie and sophomore year, and it makes the Eagles’ offense so much more dangerous. This is a straight up dime to Alshon Jeffery.
This play isn’t really anything special other than the fact that it was Carson’s third and final touchdown of the evening, wrapping up a stellar performance on Thursday Night Football.
Moving on to the Redskins game, Carson shows off one of his most underrated skills, his ability to scramble when there’s nothing he likes downfield. Carson pump fakes then takes off for the easy first down.
So you just gonna flex on em like this? I feel you, Carson. Carson once again shows off his much improved deep ball accuracy while unleashing the howitzer attached to his right arm, throwing this ball 62 yards through the air. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, that’s the longest throw through the air on a touchdown in the past two seasons. Unreal.
With nothing downfield open and Ryan Kerrigan creeping on the edge, Carson wisely takes off and picks up yet another first down on the ground. Such a dangerous weapon for any quarterback to have.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have yet another downfield dime from Carson Wentz. Wentz stands tall in the pocket and drops a beautiful ball right into Zach Ertz’ hands in stride, allowing Ertz to pick up a few more yards after the catch.
This is Carson Wentz’ second TD of the evening, and it’s one of the more disrespectful plays I’ve seen so far this season. Why did you have to do him like that, Zach?
This is a phenomenal throw by Carson, delivering this ball perfectly to Nelson on the out route, where only Nelson can catch it.
You would think after burning them for two first downs on scrambles earlier in the game that Washington would respect Wentz keeping the rock on the read option, right? But nope, Washington deemed it unnecessary to account for Wentz, so he keeps it for gains an easy 21 yards on 3rd and 3. Also, he froze that corner in the open field, I’m impressed.
Once again Carson Wentz gets aggressive downfield and puts a throw on the money to Zach Ertz down the seam. With Ertz boxing out the smaller defender, this is easy money for Wentz.
This throw is quite frankly ridiculous. The Redskins went full on blitzkrieg on the Eagles pocket, but Wentz manages to avoid two incoming defensive linemen with one move. Fortunately for the Redskins, they still had one more blitzing linebacker awaiting Wentz after he stepped up. For Carson, that linebacker didn’t matter at all. Wentz absorbs the hit from Mason Foster and drops a pure dime over the outstretch arms of Zach Brown into the waiting hands of Corey Clement. This is elite quarterback play.
Carson Wentz is the modern day Houdini.
Another absolute dime down the field to Alshon Jeffery from Carson Wentz. Night and day compared to last year.
For his fourth and final TD, Carson takes advantage of the wide open space in the Redskins’ zone coverage and hits Nelson Agholor.
If Carson Wentz keeps up his level of play he’s had through the past 4 weeks, Wentz will be a MVP candidate and the Eagles will be Super Bowl favorites.