Eagles

Eagles

Carson Wentz makes “wow” plays. 

Sure, he’s struggled to stay on the field and, yeah, he needs to be more consistent before we name him as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. But there’s no questioning the flashes of pure brilliance we’ve seen from him. 

In his first four seasons in the NFL, Wentz has made so many of those “wow” plays. The Eagles’ 27-year-old franchise quarterback has a rare blend of size, athleticism and strength that allows him to pull off spectacular moments. 

Here’s how I’d rank the top 10 spectacular plays of his career so far: 

10. The Magician 

Date: Oct. 23, 2017
Opponent: vs. Washington 

During what should have been Wentz’s MVP season, this was the play where I realized we might be watching something special. It was as impressive from the press box that day as it was on the TV broadcast. 

At the time of this play, the Eagles had a touchdown lead over the Redskins in the 4th quarter and they were facing a 3rd-and-8. Washington brought a blitz and it looked like they were going to sack Wentz for a big loss and force a punt with a chance to get back in the game. Nope. Somehow, he escaped and led the Eagles on a touchdown drive to put the game out of reach. 

 

9. You missed me

Date: Dec. 22, 2016
Opponent: vs. Giants 

In his rookie season, Wentz was actually out of this game with an injury for a few plays on the previous series and Chase Daniel came in the game. But on his third play back in the game, Wentz somehow changed direction, avoided a sack and sprinted for a first down. Eventually, the Eagles added a field goal on this drive to extend their lead in the eventual win. 

8. Coaches throw up their hands

Date: Dec. 29, 2019 
Opponent: at Giants 

This play happened in the regular season finale of the 2019 season. The Eagles needed a win against the Giants and the score was tied 3-3 late in the 2nd quarter when Wentz made a play that no coach in their right mind would ever advise. Wentz rolled right and threw all the way across the field to hit Josh Perkins in stride for a touchdown. Incredible arm strength and confidence to even attempt this throw. 

7. Find the new guy 

Date: Dec. 3, 2018 
Opponent: vs. Washington 

In Golden Tate’s fourth outing with the Eagles, he had his best game in an Eagles uniform. This play was the first score in a game the Eagles eventually won 28-13. Sure, Wentz’s arm on this play was strong enough to get the ball to Tate through the outstretched arms of a defender, but Wentz’s field awareness on this play is what made it special. 

Wentz was able to navigate the pocket, stepping up, setting up a block from Lane Johnson and then had the awareness to not cross the line of scrimmage before delivering the touchdown throw. 

6. Stand in and deliver

Date: Oct. 23, 2017
Opponent: vs. Washington 

This is the second time the Monday Night Football game against the Redskins shows up on this list. But I couldn’t leave this one out. The Eagles were up a touchdown in the 3rd quarter when Wentz ducked pressure and, while getting hit, threw a perfect touch pass to Corey Clement in the end zone. 

 

5. No, no, no, YES!!

Date: Oct. 11, 2018 
Opponent: vs. Giants 

This one sort of looks like the play Wentz made against the Giants in the 2019 regular season finale but this one had an even higher degree of difficulty. Unlike No. 8 on this list, this play wasn’t a designed rollout. It happened when the play broke down and Wentz escaped the pocket. His entire momentum was going toward the right boundary when he threw across his body, through traffic to Alshon Jeffery in the end zone for a touchdown. 

4. On a rope 

Date: Oct. 28, 2018
Opponent: at Jaguars 

This play happened in Wembley Stadium, so another country got a chance to see one of these in person. It was still scoreless in the 1st quarter when Wentz stepped up in the pocket and it looked like he’s going to take off running. But before he can, and while being taken down, he threw an absolute rocket through several Jaguars defenders to a streaking Jordan Matthews for a pickup of 31 yards. 

The arm strength here while being taken down is incredible. 

3. The Donovan 

Date: Sept. 10, 2017
Opponent: at Washington 

This was the opening game of the Super Bowl season and the Eagles got off to a fast start with this 1st-quarter touchdown that came on their first drive of the afternoon at FedEx Field. The Eagles were facing a 3rd-and-12 before Wentz was able to buy a ton of time and deliver a 58-yard touchdown throw to Nelson Agholor, who then did the rest. 

Wentz bought around 9-10 seconds on this play and it sort of reminded me of a mini version of that Donovan McNabb scramble against the Cowboys in 2004. On this play, Wentz scrambled but then didn’t get a chance to set his feet before heaving the ball deep to Agholor. 

2. The Seattle Sling

Date: Dec. 3, 2017
Opponent: at Seattle 

 

This one will get overlooked by many people because the Eagles suffered their worst loss of the 2017 season in Seattle on Sunday Night Football. And by the time this play happened, the score was already 17-3 to start the 4th quarter. But Wentz’s ability to deliver this football was astounding. 

Wentz was getting tackled while rolling and still threw the ball 45 yards in the air, over a defender, to Agholor for a big gain. There aren’t many players on the planet capable of doing that. 

1. The rocket to Miles 

Date: Dec. 15, 2019
Opponent: at Washington

I’m a little embarrassed about how many times I watched this play last season. In the Eagles’ 37-27 win over the Redskins, Wentz hit Miles Sanders for this 15-yard touchdown. Once the play breaks down, Wentz fakes rolling to his left and goes right, to his strong side. He scans the field and realizes his best play is to thread the needle through two defenders to the rookie in the very back of the end zone. 

While Sanders makes a great grab, the throw is a thing of beauty. The other angle shows just how spectacular it really is. 

Honorable mentions: There were three notable plays I left on the cutting room floor.  

• Wentz threw an absolute bomb to Mack Hollins on Oct. 23, 2017 on Monday Night Football against the Redskins. He had time to plant his back foot but launched the ball 60 yards in the air to Hollins in stride for a touchdown. 

• In his third-career game, against the Steelers on Sept. 25, 2016, Wentz maneuvered around in the pocket and stepped up to hit Darren Sproles wheeling out of the backfield for a 73-yard touchdown pass. Sproles made some people miss on the back end. 

• In the 2019 season, Wentz stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure and as he was being tackled, threw a laser to Hollins for a first down against the Falcons on Sept. 15, 2019. 

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