Eagles

Let's start making the real comparisons with Carson Wentz

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USA Today Images

Let's start making the real comparisons with Carson Wentz

It’s time to stop comparing Carson Wentz to other “young quarterbacks.” It’s time to stop comparing him to Dak Prescott or other current rivals. It’s time to stop comparing him to Donovan McNabb or any other Eagles quarterback from the distant past.

Because with Wentz, it’s no longer about how he stacks up to other Eagles QBs or other young QBs. It’s about how he stacks up with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.

I’ve seen enough.

I’ve seen enough after 27 career games and 11 games this year to safely conclude that Wentz, provided of course he stays healthy, will go down as an all-time great.  

I know, I know. Crazy, right?

This isn't to say he's as accomplished as those guys, just that if you project his current level of play over an entire career, he's right there.

Just 15 months ago, Wentz was the Eagles’ third-stringer behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, and it looked like he wasn’t even going to play.

Now? He’s putting up numbers that very, very few quarterbacks have ever put up at any point of their career.

Think I’m nuts? Think this is premature? That’s fine. Feel free. But the numbers don’t lie. The eye test doesn’t lie. The body of work doesn’t lie.

Let’s just start with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions. Do you know how rare it is for a quarterback to have 28 or more touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions at this point of a season?

Brady has done it twice, Rodgers has done it twice and Wentz has now done it once. And that’s it.

And Brady first accomplished it in his eighth season as a 30-year-old and Rodgers in his seventh season as a 27-year-old.

Wentz is 24.

What about 22 touchdowns in a seven-game span, which Wentz has done over the last seven games? He's one of nine guys in NFL history to do that over any seven-game span but one of only five who's thrown three or fewer interceptions along the way.

One of the most impressive things about Wentz is his consistency. Since that Ravens loss last December in Baltimore, the Eagles are 12-1, and Wentz hasn't experienced anything remotely resembling a bad game. At his worst, he's been very good. At his best, he's been dazzling.

In fact, Wentz has strung together 12 consecutive games with a passer rating of 83 or higher.

Who's had longer streaks in NFL history? Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Steve Young and Troy Aikman. All are or will be Hall of Famers.

Still not buying in? Still not convinced?

OK, how about this:

Wentz is on pace to throw an interception every 70 pass attempts this year and a touchdown every 12½ attempts. There've been only two seasons in NFL history in which a quarterback threw touchdown passes that frequently and interceptions that infrequently. Rodgers in 2011 and Brady in 2007.

Now, the one thing obviously separating Wentz from Brady, Rodgers, Manning, Drew Brees and other all-time great quarterbacks is that he hasn't done it year after year after year, and he hasn't won a Super Bowl. Hasn't even made the playoffs yet.

But he's not going anywhere. All that stuff will come.

I won't be shocked if it comes this year. Honestly, I would be surprised if Wentz doesn't win at least two Lombardis by the time he hangs 'em up.

If you aren't convinced yet that he's capable of it, please raise your hand. Anybody? Didn't think so.

There will be slumps. There will be bad games. There will be challenges along the way.

But you know with his work ethic, determination, approach to practice and the way he takes care of himself, he's only going to get better. Even if he never improves and simply maintains his current level of play over a period of years, we’re still looking at one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

Just based on pure skill, pure ability to carry a football team, he's there.

Wentz has played 27 regular-season NFL games, and we're having this conversation.

Wentz's next touchdown pass will be his 29th.

Brady didn't throw 29 touchdown passes until his eighth season.

And if you want to say, "The Eagles haven't beaten anybody this year," keep in mind that Wentz has faced the No. 4, No. 6 and No. 12 pass defenses in the league and threw at least three touchdowns with no interceptions against each one.

What about McNabb? Don't misjudge all this for any sort of knock on No. 5. It isn't. He was an all-time great Eagle. The best quarterback in Eagles' history. He won nine playoff games for this franchise and reached a Super Bowl.

Wentz doesn't have a postseason résumé yet, but that will come in time.

He's already doing things no quarterback this young has ever done, things that very few quarterbacks of any age have done.

He's your quarterback. And he will be for a very long time.

Eagles vs. Colts 2018: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines

Eagles vs. Colts 2018: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines

The Eagles will try to get to 2-1 when they host the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. 

Here’s everything you need to know: 

• 12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
• 1 p.m.: Eagles vs. Colts on FOX
• 5 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP
• 6 p.m.: End Game on NBCSP 

You can watch the game on fuboTV.

The television broadcasters will be Chris Myers (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (color) and Laura Okmin (sideline). 

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the radio call on 94WIP. 

He's baaack
After more than nine months on the sideline, Carson Wentz will play in a football game when the Eagles host the Colts. It’s a big deal. Nick Foles led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship, but we all knew this day would come. The Eagles never wavered in calling this Wentz's team. 

It’s fair to wonder what Wentz will look like in his 2018 debut. He was playing at an MVP level in 2017 when he went down, but coming back from an ACL and an LCL tear isn’t easy. For what it’s worth, he has looked very good in practices all spring and summer. There might be some rust to kick off, but there are certainly high expectations. 

Let's go, defense!
Jim Schwartz’s unit needs a rebound game. Lucky for the Eagles, they’ll be in the Linc this weekend. They got torched by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs in Week 2 and they let a few huge plays wreck their game. They gave up two 75-yard plays when they knew they couldn’t let big plays beat them. 

The good news, of course, is that the Eagles’ defense and the whole team is just really good at home. Heck, it has been nearly unbeatable at home since the start of the 2016 season. 

Welcome back, J-Matt
After a 2017 season he’d probably like to forget, Jordan Matthews is back with the Eagles after signing on Wednesday morning. The Eagles found themselves in a desperate situation at receiver after Mike Wallace broke his fibula. After they waived DeAndre Carter, they had just three healthy wideouts. Matthews gives them four. 

No, Matthews isn’t exactly what the Eagles need. He’s not an outside speed threat. But he’s familiar with the offense and with Wentz and he was healthy. So he’s going to come in and play immediately.

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Eagles injury update: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles out for Sunday's game vs. Colts

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles injury update: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles out for Sunday's game vs. Colts

Updated: 2:31 p.m.

The Eagles have officially ruled out Jay Ajayi (back) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) for Sunday’s game against the Colts. 

To make matters worse, Corey Clement popped up on the report Friday with a quad injury. He’s listed as questionable after being a limited participant Friday. 

While Clement is likely to still play, that means Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams are the Eagles’ only two completely healthy running backs for the game. That’s not ideal. 

In addition to Clement, Jason Peters (quad), Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) and Kamu Grugier-Hill (groin) are also questionable. 

On Friday morning, head coach Doug Pederson said Jeffery has not yet been cleared for contact. While it seems unlikely Jeffery will play, he could theoretically get cleared for contact between now and Sunday. 

“[Jeffery is] looking strong, running good routes and we’re progressing day by day with him,” Pederson said. 

Peters (quad) has been a limited participant this week and officially listed as questionable. Pederson said they’re just trying to do whatever they can to get Peters ready to play on Sunday. But even if Peters can play, there’s a chance he might not be able to finish the game. That means Halapoulivaati Vaitai would be taking over at LT, protecting the blindside in Carson Wentz’s return.

The Eagles are banged up, but so are the Colts. 

That’s not ideal for an Indianapolis team that’s trying to move to 2-1 on the road. 

As for Wentz, he’s had a good week of practice back with the first-team offense. The entire team seems to have a little more juice now that the franchise quarterback has returned. 

“He’s looked good, looked sharp,” Pederson said. “Mentally, physically looked well. Throwing the ball strong. All the things that we’ve seen through his rehab and a lot of the workouts he’s had, he’s carrying it right over to this week.”

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