Carson Wentz started the 2020 regular season with a bang, throwing two touchdowns in his first 15 pass attempts of the year.
And then... the game wound up being one of the worst of his career.
But was it *the* worst?
Analytics site FiveThirtyEight took a deep dive on Carson Wentz's nine worst games to date, and came away with the opinion that it was his second-worst performance ever, not his worst as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank believes.
FiveThirtyEight's ratings are "based on passing and rushing performance, adjusted for the quality of opposing defense", relative to an average NFL starter.
Here are Wentz's five worst performances, according to the site's ratings:
- Nov. 18, 2018 @ New Orleans
- Sept. 13, 2020 @ Washington
- *Jan. 5, 2020 vs. Seattle
- Oct. 16, 2016 @ Washington
- Sept. 15, 2019 @ Atlanta
(I myself put the asterisk on the Seattle playoff game because Wentz was removed in the first quarter after the Jadeveon Clowney hit, and was not really indicative of his play.)
It's fair to call the Saints game the worst of Wentz's career, because statistically he was terrible that day.
But, as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank pointed out on the Eagle Eye podcast this week, that Saints game was more Wentz trying to make up for a lack of any direction that year. (He was also hurt, on and off.) On Sunday against Washington, Wentz simply repeated mistakes he's made his entire career and made bad throws - two for interceptions - that turned the tide of the entire game for the worst.
In any case, Wentz needs to play much better against the Rams in Week 2 if the Eagles want to avoid dropping to 0-2 for the first time since 2015.
Something good to take away from this list of bad games: Wentz hasn't played any of his nine worst games in December. It's a silver lining if ever there were one, but having a QB who doesn't lay eggs in the last month of the regular season is good.