It is a statistic that is so startling and hard to believe, and yet it is so appropriate for the way he is playing to close out this 2019 Eagles regular season: Carson Wentz is the first quarterback in NFL history, all 100 years of the league, to record 30 or more completions and zero interceptions in three straight games.
As the Eagles have turned their season around, they’ve done so behind the talents of Wentz, the fourth-year quarterback who has raised his game at a time when the team, dressed down in talent because of injuries, needed him to step up and raise the level of play of everyone around him.
All Wentz has done in three consecutive victories, the latest a hard-earned and well-played 17-9 win over Dallas on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, is throw six touchdown passes, no interceptions (although he’s lost two fumbles) and manage an offense peppered with backups and players trying to prove they belong in the NFL. Instead of having DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor at wide receiver, Wentz is making due throwing passes to Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Robert Davis. Instead of having Jordan Howard at running back, Wentz is integrating Boston Scott into the offense.
And it’s working.
“I’ve said this all along: Carson is balling. Any criticism he’s gotten is not merited. We put so much on his shoulders, and he delivers,” Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks said. “He’s playing great football. That’s all there is to that. He is leading the way.”
An offense that was put together with visions of an explosive passing game led by wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a reliable running game paced by Jordan Howard has instead, because of injuries across the board, morphed into a series of creative ways to get the football to the tight ends, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, along with six to eight screen passes every game, handoffs to rookie running back Miles Sanders, who has blossomed into a standout, and it’s all on Wentz to make the right calls, get everyone on the same page and put points on the board.
The Eagles have done that down the stretch, and now they’re only a win at the Giants on Sunday away from winning the NFC East and hosting a playoff game. Wentz, more than at any other time in his career, has taken the significant step into stardom.
“I’m so proud of these guys; I’m so proud of them. It’s been really fun,” Wentz said. “Obviously, we’ve had our backs against the wall for a while now. You can see the sense of belief these guys have, and you see it each week with them getting better and better and believing in themselves and believing in this team. I can’t say enough good things about these young guys that are continually stepping up for us. And we are going to need these guys down the stretch.”
Sunday’s game at the Giants won’t be an easy day, not with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones coming off a five-touchdown performance against Washington. But the Eagles control their playoff fate. Nobody would have thought that possible only a few weeks ago. The Rise Of Carson Wentz continues as he carries the Eagles to the brink of a division title. ••