Week 3 takeaways: Carson Wentz's struggles are worse than they appear

Jeff Simmons
·5 mins read

If you play fantasy football or have just been monitoring box scores, you can’t help but notice the amount of offensive production happening around the NFL. Scoring is higher than ever before, and without the usual number of fans in attendance to disrupt timing on offense, it’s much harder on defensive players.

Russell Wilson and Josh Allen have combined for 24 touchdown passes in three weeks, Dak Prescott is on pace for over 6,000 passing yards, and Aaron Rodgers is having one of the best statistical starts of his career.

While all of this is going on, somehow Carson Wentz is regressing. And at a scary level.

From the eye test, Wentz is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL this season. The Eagles are winless (0-2-1) through three weeks, tying the lowly Bengals, and rank second last in the NFC in total points. Wentz has been uncomfortable in every game – appearing jumpy in the pocket with problematic accuracy and displaying an overall lack of playmaking with his arms and legs.

The stats tell an even worse story. The Eagles QB has thrown a meagre three touchdown passes in three games (Wilson had five in Week 3 alone) compared to six interceptions and is last among all quarterbacks in yards per attempt. On top of that, Wentz ranks 30th in the NFL in QBR, a measure of efficiency, only slightly ahead of Sam Darnold and Dwayne Haskins. That is not good company.

Wentz was on the verge of becoming a perennial Pro Bowl player, in a similar fashion to Prescott, over the last few seasons, but the 2016 No. 2 overall pick is playing like a backup this year and the Eagles need a lot more from their $100-million investment. They certainly have to be having buyer’s remorse.

Bears should stick with Foles

Ironically, Nick Foles, Wentz’s former backup, came off the bench to deliver a stunning fourth-quarter comeback to bring the Chicago Bears to 3-0. Eagles fans can’t be happy about that. Foles has made a career out of these kinds of moments, as he’s best known for leading the Eagles to a shocking playoff run in 2017 once Wentz got injured, which included outduelling Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Foles was able to ignite the Bears’ anemic passing game on Sunday with three fourth quarter touchdown drives in nine minutes against the Falcons, oddly matching Wentz’s season total. In just one game, Foles was already showing better rapport with receivers Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller than Mitchell Trubisky displayed the last two seasons. He is way more decisive and accurate and needs to be the quarterback moving forward. The Bears can’t make the classic sunk cost fallacy and try to double down on Trubisky because he was drafted so high. It appears that Bears coach Matt Nagy has accepted that.

Seahawks playing with fire

The Seattle Seahawks are 3-0, first place in the NFC West and Wilson is having a historic start to the season, but we cannot overlook how troubling the Seahawks’ play has been on the other side of the ball. The Seahawks were absolutely torched through the air by Prescott in Week 3, one week after having no answer for Cam Newton, and despite Wilson’s great play, almost blew double-digit leads in back-to-back games. Secondary play was supposed to be a strength for Pete Carroll’s team, given its lack of investment in pass rushers, but the unit has been historically bad. In fact, no team in NFL history has ever allowed more passing yards through three games of a season, and the only team to allow more yards in total was the tanking 2019 Miami Dolphins. Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, who started at cornerback for Seattle on Sunday, had abysmal games against Dallas and need to show dramatic improvement going forward, while star safety Jamal Adams got hurt and could miss some time with a groin injury.

New York teams look disastrous

At least they have the Yankees, because the two football teams in New York City have been absolutely appalling to start the season. Through three weeks, the Jets and Giants are 0-6 and have combined for a disgraceful minus-98 point differential. That is a scary number in three weeks. If you are in a survivor pool, you need to target these teams almost every week because, with mild hyperbole, the Jets have the look of a potential 0-16 team. They have no talent at the skill positions, one of the worst coaches in the NFL, and play like an expansion team on defense. The Giants aren’t much better. Without Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones continued his middling play as the Giants were blown out by San Francisco’s JV roster on Sunday. They didn’t come close to competing with a team missing their starting quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and half of their defensive line. This isn’t new either, as both Big Apple clubs have a combined 28-74 record since 2017. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Jets coach Adam Gase is let go after Thursday’s upcoming game against the Broncos.

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