It’s Time to Bench Carson Wentz
After another primetime disaster, the Eagles must bench Carson Wentz. The Eagles have now lost three straight games and first place in the NFC East. The Eagles are now in a difficult spot. Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman are firmly on the hot seat; their future is in doubt. All of this stems from Carson Wentz’ abject play. Philadelphia selected Wentz second in the 2016 draft; he now looks a shadow of the player he promised to be. The 2017 season where Wentz played at an MVP level now seems a long way off. Wentz’s regression has been alarming throughout the 2020 NFL season.
Monday night saw Wentz take another six sacks. He is currently the most sacked player in the NFL. Wentz has been sacked an absurd 46 times after Week 12. If you watch Wentz’s play in 2016 and 2017, he held the ball for a long time and he has not shaken that bad habit. Now that habit is causing him to take way more hits than necessary. Wentz takes far too long to go through his progressions, precisely when there is not a hot route or easy completion. The offensive line is ranked 12th in ESPN’s pass block success. It is not a terrible offensive line. He is holding onto the ball because he is simply not reading the field correctly.
His inability to read the field will partially explain the interceptions. We saw on Monday one instance where he almost threw an interception on a throw to the sideline. What Brian Griese then showed on the replay was that Wentz had Dallas Goedert wide open on a seam route. It is insane how Went didn’t see that. He is not reading defenses and is not progressively going through his reads. You can see in his eyes and his feet that he violently bounces between the reads he is supposed to be making. The clarity in his decision making is gone, seldom are his feet set, and that is why he leads the league in interceptions thrown. His total QBR is 49.7 which places him 27th out of all quarterbacks. It is incredulous to believe Wentz would have won MVP in 2017 before he got hurt since he is so far away from that level. The Eagles can not win the NFC East with Wentz under center.
However, there is an argument to be made that it is not entirely his fault. When he arrived in Philadelphia, Wentz was surrounded by former quarterbacks. Pederson as head coach, Frank Reich as the coordinator and John DeFillippo as the quarterback coach. That triumvirate helped Wentz to keep the bad habits hidden. The latter duo has since left the organization, and the current staff have not been able to develop or protect Wentz. There does not seem to have been a high level of coaching available for Wentz, hence the regression.
Furthermore, there is one sizeable green colored problem. Wentz inked a deal worth $128 million not too long ago. That is an enormous amount of money. With that commitment, the Eagles are stuck on the Wentz Wagon. The dead cap value of his deal is $77 million, per Spotrac, which makes him an untradeable asset. Therefore, the Eagles organization are in a challenging situation. Rookie Jalen Hurts does not look ready. All that means is Wentz must play whilst battling all of his technical and mental deficiencies.
With the NFC East likely to go down to Weeks 16 and 17, Carson Wentz will be playing meaningful games while in the white heat of fierce competition. It’s like sending a golfer with no swing out to the Masters and telling him to win. It just won’t happen. Philadelphia made a firm commitment to Wentz when they gave him a new deal. The team now need to fix him. Owner Jeffery Lurie needs to look after his investment. Even if the Eagles make the playoffs, they will not go far. A wildcard team will likely blow out Philadelphia in the first round. This season is gone. To protect Wentz, they must bench him. Jalen Hurts is an excellent young prospect, but the Eagles is able to move on from him if they want to. The team is stuck with Wentz. Lurie needs to take him out and let Wentz mentally reset. He is a broken quarterback right now; he needs help. Hurts can play and prove himself as a tradeable asset.
If Pederson and Roseman are on the hot seat, you may as well fire them. Rebuild that quarterback room with the next coaching staff and give Wentz a mental break from everything. Sticking to the status quo will achieve nothing. You might as well flush $128 million down the toilet. Wentz needs to be benched, for his sake and the long term health of the Eagles.