Eagles

Eagles

All of the Carson Wentz-Kevin Kolb comparisons can cease after the rookie played extremely well in the Eagles' 27-22 loss to the Redskins at the Linc Sunday (see Instant Replay).

Wentz finished the game 32 of 46 for 314 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Doug Pederson was better as a play caller this week (see report card). He set Wentz up to succeed with several easy completions and by mixing in the run early. Pederson did, however, get pass happy as the game wore on and the score still close.

The makeshift offensive line was understandably shaky, but Wentz did a spectacular job feeling pressure and getting himself out of trouble.

Here's a look at some of the key plays for Wentz on the day.

1st quarter, 8:08, 1st-and-10, PHI 20 - Eagles 3, Redskins 0
This is the Nelson Agholor the Eagles saw when they took him with the 20th overall pick out of USC. Agholor flat out beats his man on a go route and the defensive back has no choice but to drag him down for a pass interference. The throw itself was a thing of beauty. Wentz's back foot is on his own 12 and the ball lands around the Washington 30. The ball traveled roughly 55 yards in the air and was accurate. Pederson did well to get Wentz in a rhythm early so throws like this are just in the flow of the offense.

 

1st quarter, 5:20, 1st-and-goal, WSH 8 - Eagles 3, Redskins 0
This is the only receiver blunder on the day, but, unfortunately it was a big one. Wentz delivers a beautiful ball to the corner of the end zone for Jordan Matthews, but Matthews fails to get drag his right foot in bounds. This has been an issue for Matthews in the past, but it is fair to wonder if his injured ankle played a part. The timing and touch on the throw by Wentz were absolutely perfect.

1st quarter, 4:33, 3rd-and-goal, WSH 3 - Eagles 3, Redskins 0
This play only magnifies Matthews' mistake. In reality, this was the only mistake Wentz made all game, but again, it was a costly one. Wentz feels the pressure and tries to force the ball to Ertz on a slant. Wentz throws the ball off his back foot and makes an inaccurate throw that is picked off. All interceptions are bad. Red zone interceptions are the worst. It was Wentz's first red zone pick of the season.

2nd quarter, 14:19, 1st-and-10, PHI 39 - Eagles 3, Redskins 0
On this play, Will Compton shows blitz and Wentz checks out of the play. Unfortunately, the protection calls for Brent Celek to take on edge rusher Trent Murphy 1-on-1. Celek gets beat immediately, causing Wentz to slide to his left. Murphy takes out Wentz's legs — which easily could've have been flagged for a low hit roughing the passer penalty — and Wentz still gets enough on this throw to get the ball down the field to Zach Ertz for a 29-yard gain. Wentz all day demonstrated toughness, poise and awareness in the pocket. This was a prime example.

2nd quarter, 1:30, 3rd-and-3, WSH 36 - Redskins 7, Eagles 6
On this play, Washington sends the kitchen sink. Before anyone can even touch Wentz, he rifles the ball on a slant to Paul Turner. Great recognition of the blitz by Wentz, a great route by Turner and a bullet of a throw that hits Turner perfectly in stride for 16 yards.

4th quarter, 8:06, 3rd-and-14, WSH 47 - Redskins 21, Eagles 19
This was arguably Wentz's most impressive play of the day. Josh Norman comes in untouched on a delayed blitz and the offensive line allows pressure up the middle. Wentz hangs in the pocket and gets absolutely crushed, but delivers the ball for 13 yards to Trey Burton. The play set up a 4th-and-1 that was picked up on a quarterback sneak. Burton really emerged as a target for Wentz on Sunday, hauling in seven passes for 65 yards.

Overall analysis
This was a very encouraging game from Wentz after a few rough outings. Like all rookie quarterbacks, Wentz has had his ups and downs. Sunday was definitely on the positive side. The patchwork offensive line was clearly an issue all day, but Wentz hung in there and consistently made plays. He drove them right down the field on the final drive, but Matt Tobin — who was replacing Allen Barbre, who was replacing Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was replacing Lane Johnson — gave up pressure to Ryan Kerrigan and Wentz never stood a chance on the Eagles' final play. This kid is the whole package and this team's franchise quarterback.