Holy shit do I want to hate Carson Wentz, who I would like to first off assure you is NOT Prince Harry. I typed out and deleted a whole paragraph on how his Christian charity and religious work makes me uncomfortable, so let’s just ignore his personality as best we can and break down the Marcus Mariota to Jared Goff’s Jameis Winston (holy shit what a jumble of mediocre quarterback names).
Carson Wentz was the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and has had a somewhat star-crossed career in his time as the Eagles QB, similarly to how a certain member of the royal family is on one hand a darling of the British media while also having a history of wearing Nazi regalia. He came in as a rookie and put up middling numbers, played at a Pro Bowl level in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury in week 14 before watching “Giant Penis” Nick Foles take his team to the mountaintop and win the Super Bowl against New England. Wentz came back partway through the 2018 season and again played well statistically. He’s doing the same this year, but just like last season his team isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.
Let’s take a quick look at his Next Gen Stats from NFL.com from last week:
A lot of short passes or passes behind the line, which makes a lot of sense against a stout Buffalo defense during a game that featured steady high winds. Wentz makes good use of screen passes, which the Bears are actually decent at defending, but he also makes good use of the deep ball when he needs to, which the Bears are shit at stopping. It’s worth keeping track throughout the week to see if speedsters DeSean Jackson and rookie burner Miles Sanders are suiting up on Sunday.
Wentz is an outstanding game manager when he isn’t being asked to do too much. He’s like the Duke of Sussex, he needs just a little less responsibility than one would ask of a proper King. He also excels in making plays with his feet, as he has underrated mobility and can buy time for players like Alshon Jeffery to break off routes and find open spots downfield. He’s getting sacked at the second lowest rate of his career according to Pro Football Focus (a sack on every 5.7 dropbacks), so you know he’s a threat there as well.
How do you beat Carson Wentz? That’s a good question. Even with injuries, Wentz has plenty of weapons in the aforementioned Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert, not to mention Jordan Howard anchoring the rushing attack and a decent offensive line. Wentz is impressive against the blitz, and if given too much time will make things happen with his feet.
He spreads the ball around very well considering the injuries he has dealt with this season with his skill position teammates. As mentioned before, he has two tight ends that can run any route asked of them, a wide receiver that can win at the point of the catch, and if Sanders is healthy he has 3 running backs that can catch passes (I am including Jordan Howard, thank you very much). This is not an offense that you can key on one player and isolate, the Eagles can beat you in a number of ways through the air.
If the Bears want to successfully beat Carson Wentz, they need to pressure him into throwing his occasional bad pass. He will literally pull a Mitch if given the chance and just leave you with a head-scratcher. Wentz tends to have a ball or two sail on him, and the Bears need to capitalize. If somehow Chicago jumps on an early lead, Wentz can get erratic. If the game goes how we all expect it to go, Wentz will put up outstanding numbers.
The Eagles can beat a team in a number of different ways, and this is a far different team than the one the Bears faced this previous January. Holding them to 16 points would be a big surprise and could make this game winnable, but Wentz has too many weapons and the Bears offense isn’t inspiring anyone to make us think opposing QBs will be feeling any situational pressure when on the field. If Carson takes the field and is pressing to make a play, the Bears will be able to take advantage, but ask yourself first if you can actually see that being the case when you envision the game on Sunday.
Good luck on Sunday Bears fans, because I’m setting the line at 2.5 for “mentions by the announce team of the ‘double-doink’ and Eddy Pineiro’s miss last week”.
Take the over for the announcers
Eagles 24 Bears 10
Carson Wentz is NOT actually Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton
…or IS HE?