Eagles

Eagles

When Carson Palmer told our Dave Zangaro over the summer that it really takes a quarterback two years to get himself physically and mentally right after reconstructive knee surgery, I kind of brushed it off.

God didn’t design your knee to split it open, pull everything apart, wrap stuff with pliers, wrench stuff down, screw a ligament into a bone and then sew it all back up. That wasn’t intended for the knee.

Carson Wentz will be different, I figured. He’s Carson Wentz. He’s Superman.

I figured he’d pick up right where he left off once he was healthy enough to play.

It hasn’t gone that way. Wentz may be Superman, but his knee is human. And we’re all seeing that.

It’s been a disappointing year for the Eagles and a disappointing year for Wentz.

And it’s tough to put your finger on exactly what’s happening with him, other than he just doesn’t look like himself.

His numbers are really good. He’s got the seventh-highest passer rating in the NFL. He’s on pace to join Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as only the second QB in history with 25 or more TD passes and single-digit interceptions in consecutive seasons.

He's faced five top-10 defenses, and he’s got 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in those games.

So he’s not playing poorly by any means, although the Saints game was a disaster for everybody. 

 

But he just looks off. We all see it. Something isn’t right.

Decision making has been clunky. Comfort level in the pocket isn't there. At times, he holds the ball too long and at times, he misses open guys. 

And it has to be the knee. And the way I figure, it has to be temporary.

I’ve written a lot about Wentz the last couple weeks, but I needed to again because this needs to be said:

If you’ve given up on Carson Wentz you’re out of your freaking mind.

The way he played last year before he got hurt — flinging the ball up and down the field, using his legs as a springboard for playmaking, making huge plays at huge moments — didn’t just disappear.

Considering everything, he’s really performed at a high level this year. He shredded his knee a year ago yesterday. He didn’t have OTAs. He didn’t have a training camp. He didn’t have a preseason. 

And it’s important to note that he didn’t have any time off, either. While his teammates were celebrating a Super Bowl, Wentz was grinding for hours every day at the NovaCare Complex. He went right from the 2017 season to surgery to rehab to facing the Colts and I’m sure there’s some fatigue involved here, too.

In the Washington game two weeks ago, Wentz ran around and made more plays using this legs than he had all year, and I thought, “Whoa, he’s back.”

Then Sunday in Dallas, he again looked sluggish and slow-footed in the pocket, and you’re reminded that this is a non-linear process. 

All Wentz is going through is what anybody who’s ever torn up their knee has gone through, and that’s a slow, arduous process with highs and lows, ups and downs and lots of frustrating moments.

I’ve heard everything the last week. People are giving up on him. They want to trade him. Bench him. Draft a quarterback. Sign Nick Foles to a long-term deal. 

Suds. There’s always someone who wants Suds.

Twitter’s a funny place, isn’t it?

All Wentz needs is some time. It’s the one thing we never want to give anybody, but he needs it.

The guy we saw play 13 games at an MVP level last year hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s just still finding his way back. And Doug Pederson’s shaky play calling sure hasn’t helped.

And despite all this Wentz has a higher completion percentage than Pat Mahomes, a higher passer rating than Jared Goff, more passing yards than Russell Wilson.

Wentz is going to win a lot of football games for this team over the next decade. 

Giving up on him because he’s been inconsistent less than a year after ACL surgery is lunacy.

Looking at it honestly, I feel like Wentz hasn’t really fallen short. Maybe the only thing that was off was our expectations.

 

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