Carson Wentz Can Remind Everyone He is Not the Worst QB in the NFL Against the Bengals

Liam McKeone
Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz / Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Through two weeks of NFL football, Carson Wentz has played very badly. Like, oh my god what happened to him bad.

The Philadelphia Eagles are 0-2 and Wentz leads the league in interceptions. He's thrown exactly two touchdown passes in two games. His 58% completion percentage is the worst of his career. He's been sacked more times than any other quarterback in the NFL, which is partially on the Eagles' banged-up offensive line, but there have been more than a few sacks that fall on the shoulders of Wentz.

It has been, shall we say, a rough start. It has also put Wentz squarely in the crosshairs of the hot take industrial complex. Marcus Spears said earlier this week Wentz's play has reminded him of Jameis Winston, which seems a little strong. Even just on Get Up today (where the takes tend to be a bit more measured than other studio shows), two separate segments were dedicated to his struggles.

First, Mike Greenberg rattled off a laundry list of stats to show how Wentz has been the worst quarterback in the league, bar none.

Then Domonique Foxworth came flying in to say that the clock on Wentz's time as Philly's starter might be ticking, seeing as the Eagles picked Jalen Hurts in the second round. Foxworth acknowledges that Philadelphia has a lot of money tied up in Wentz and likely did not draft Hurts with the intention of starting him at quarterback anytime soon, but Wentz's play has been poor enough that it's a possibility worth considering.

As a reminder, Wentz is only 28-years-old. He's not some washed-up older QB who's nearing the edge of his shelf life with an energetic young pup nipping at his heels on the depth chart. We're a long way from his MVP run in 2017, but he also wasn't exactly bad in his first healthy season since then in 2019 when he threw for 4,039 yards and 27 touchdowns with only seven interceptions and led the Eagles to the division title. He's been bad, sure, but the discourse has been a little too damning for someone who's in his athletic prime and is owed quite a bit of money over the next few years.

Fortunately for Wentz, he need not rely upon bloggers to defend him from the critics. He will face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. It represents an excellent opportunity to remind everyone that he is not, in fact, the worst quarterback in football and won't be usurped by Jalen Hurts by Week 9. These Bengals have given up an average of 398 yards per game in the first two weeks. They've only given up 213 passing yards per game, but their secondary isn't exactly stacked with talent. Even Philadelphia's receiving corps, which consists of essentially DeSean Jackson, two tight ends, and Miles Sanders right now, shouldn't have too tough of a time.

Most importantly, Cincinnati struggles to generate any sort of pressure outside of Geno Atkins. The Bengals notched two sacks over the opening weeks of the season against an average set of lines (Chargers and Browns). The biggest issue thus far for the Eagles has been protection, and they get an easy draw here. Wentz needs to work on his terrible habit of holding on to the ball for too long, but if he has enough time to work with (as he should this week), picking apart the Bengals' underwhelming secondary should be easy.

Head coach Doug Pederson has harped constantly about the impact of a shortened training camp and how that translates to struggles in the early goings of this regular season. Those are valid points. Wentz has also definitely looked bad. But even the best quarterbacks have a bad stretch of games. While it remains to be seen if Wentz belongs in the "best quarterbacks" tier, he's certainly better than what he's shown this September.

Sometimes a guy needs a layup to get the mojo flowing, and that's exactly what Wentz will get this week. He just needs to make sure he doesn't blow it.

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