Carson Wentzgot thrown into the deep end.
After being drafted second overall and told repeatedly by everyone in the Eagles organization that he would be brought along slowly, just 10 days before the season started Sam Bradford was traded and Wentz was named the starter.
Wentz, who missed three preseason games with a minor injury, took the NFL by storm after a stellar start with a 3-0 record.
But now, with injuries running rampant, wide receivers dropping passes like hot cakes and the NFC East poised to send three teams (none of them the Eagles) to the postseason, the Eagles are crumbling.
They’ve lose eight of their last 10 games and have been playing from way behind. And as such, Wentz has been called upon to do a lot.
He’s thrown the fifth most pass attempts — and completed the fifth most pass attempts in all of football this season, trailing veteransDrew Brees, Blake Bortles, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr. He threw 60 passes two weeks ago and is averaging 47 attempts over his last seven games. That’s a lot of work for a rookie.
And even though head coach Doug Pederson keeps calling pass plays, it’s something he’s wary of.
“I feel like one of the things that I have to do is I’ve got to be careful of the number of reps that I give the entire team this time of year,” Pederson said a few weeks ago,”so I scale back just a little bit in practice so that we’re not on the practice field as long, trying to keep their legs fresh.”
But even in the face of a low quarterback rating (he’s had almost no help at the line or from his receivers) and a 5-8 record through 13 games, he’s been remarkably productive.
Wentz has produced four 300-plus yard games in 2016, tied for the fourth most in one season inteam history. His 317 completions this season are the fourth-highest single-season total in team history.
Soon enough, Wentzcould be among the league’s elite quarterbacks, but for now he’s forced to push through a losing season.
“It’s never easy,” Wentz said after Sunday’s 27-22 loss.”I want to win every game. And I think we all do. So every single one is different. Every single situation is different. But without a doubt when you lose at the end like that, especially when you’re on the field as an offense, it’s frustrating.”