It's Carson, from North Dakota State, not Pete, from the Chicago rock band.
Nine days after going from third-string understudy behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz was elevated to Opening Day starter following the trade of Bradford to Minnesota. That despite just a handful of NFL preseason snaps, courtesy of broken ribs in the first exhibition.
All he did Sunday was give the tough Philly fans exactly what they wanted, with a 22-of-37 passing performance for 278 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 101.0 passer rating in a 29-10 win. OK, so it was against a Cleveland defense that put six starters on the field with less than ten games of NFL experience. Yet still...
The number-two overall pick became the Eagles' first rookie starter at quarterback in the opener since 1939 (Davey O'Brien). Heck, even Donovan McNabb wasn't afforded that opportunity in 1999, as Andy Reid went with Doug Pederson instead, the same Pederson who made his rookie NFL head coaching debut after deciding to go with Wentz.
In the process, Wentz became just the third QB to pass for 275-plus yards, and throw at least two TDs with no interceptions in the season opener of his first NFL season since (wait for it...) Robert Griffin III and Jim Kelly (who had USFL experience).
His first scoring pass was a thing of beauty to Jordan Matthews, who remained the receiving corps' top target (7 catches, 114 yards). But listen to the warning 34-year-old left tackle Jason Peters gave Vic Fangio's defense:
"All we have to do is keep the pocket clean. He'll eat `em up."
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The eight-time Pro Bowler also already claimed Wentz's passing on the run is as good as... Aaron Rodgers. Don't tamp down expectations for the kid, Jason. Sounds like the Bears are in trouble.
Wentz won't have his secondary target next Monday night in Zack Ertz. The tight end (6 catches, 58 yards) apparently played most of the game with a rib displacement beneath his left shoulder. The fifth-year Stanford product caught 35 passes over the final four games last season and won't play. Last year's first-rounder, Nelson Agholor, had four catches Sunday after being limited to 23 as a rookie due to ankle issues. Tennessee gave up on its 2015 second round pick during training camp and dealt 6-foot-5 Dorial Green-Beckham, who had just two grabs versus the Browns.
With DeMarco Murray dealt in the aftermath of the Chip Kelly Cleanup Project, injury-prone Ryan Matthews took over the top running back job after averaging a career-high 5.1 yards per carry a year ago. He ran 22 times for 77 yards Sunday, but Kenjon Barner added 42 on just four carries to get the team average up to about four per rushing attempt.
Peters' enthusiasm over Wentz may be a carry-over from relief over Kelly's firing, as the two did not get along. His back and ankle injuries the last couple of years had affected what had been great footwork and athleticism that consistently punched his ticket to Hawaii. The fourth overall pick from 2013 bookending the other side of the line is Lane Johnson, who continues awaiting closure to a potential PED suspension. Jason Kelce went from 2014 Pro Bowl to a bad 2015 as an undersized center who relies on leverage. The Eagles signed ex-Texan Brandon Brooks and former Jaguar Stefen Wisniewski in free agency to strengthen the guard position, but only Brooks starts and 10-year vet Allen Barbre held off third-round rookie Isaac Seumalo at left guard.
Join Chris & Dan Jiggetts from Halas Hall at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on CSN Chicago, for "Bears Huddle" and "Bears Blitz." You'll hear from Bears coaches and players after practice, previewing Monday Night's home opener.