Carson Wentz won the city after one touchdown drive. It’s inappropriate to anoint Wentz as this chosen one after one game. Wentz hasn’t faced different defensive looks. He’s had one opportunity to showcase his abilities, and he passed. But no two opponents operate the same way. Chicago might not seem like this major defensive threat, but the Bears have a full game tape of Wentz to evaluate, meaning they’ll be able to cater their defense to stop Wentz, something Cleveland didn’t have to advantage to do.
It’s easy to be happy about Wentz. The throws he made weren’t just easy ones, although some were simple designs to help build his confidence. Both of his touchdown passes were right on the money, his fourth and four toss to Zach Ertz took guts, because he knew Cleveland was blitzing more than the offensive line could handle and his best pass, a 24-yard completion at mid-field to Jordan Matthews, was an absolute beauty. It was a pass you wouldn’t trust half the NFL to make on a consistent basis. Josh Paunil, of Philadelphia Magazine, explained Wentz’s touchdowns and big-time throws in his All-22 piece. It’s a must read.
One of the most encouraging things about Wentz this week didn’t happen on Sunday. It actually happened on Friday when Tim McManus, of ESPN, reported that Wentz, with the guidance of Chase Daniel, takes the Drew Brees approach to preparation. Daniel might never be a starting quarterback in this league, but he’s worth every penny of his contract if he helps instill the same approach Brees takes into Wentz. The Eagles have surrounded Wentz with quarterbacks at head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and Daniel. At the end of the day it’s up to Wentz to be the best quarterback he can be, but it doesn’t hurt to have four quarterbacks who all seem to have really solid advice to help you. Daniel giving Wentz advice that future Hall of Fame inductee Brees uses should make fans giddy. Whenever scouts and NFL Draft experts spoke about Wentz leading up to the draft, they always mentioned his intelligence, and his intangibles. He loves football. You won’t have to worry about his mind drifting away from the game. And that’s why it’s so easy to buy into the hype. Not only does Wentz have the physical profile of a top-talent quarterback, but he also has the brain.
Wentz could go out Monday night and have a miserable game, but he doesn’t seem like the player to respond negatively to that. He doesn’t seem to be the player to pat himself on the back whenever he does something right, because he probably expects greatness every time he steps on the field. Not because he knows he’s good, but because he prepared for the opponent. He won’t be emotionless out there, but he’ll never be too high and never too low.
Wentz, like any good quarterback, has a short memory. He doesn’t let what impacted him the previous drive dictate what he does in the next. And that’s because Wentz trusts the way he prepares for an opponent. He, of course, trusts his arm to make any throw across the field, but it’s the film he studies that shows him where the defense will be, enabling him to make the decision he believes to be the best.
It’s one game, but Wentz played better than expected. He silenced his critics for at least one day. Philly fans just want a quarterback they can trust, and with the way Wentz prepares he might actually be the one.