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Commanders Vs Eagles: Back From Wentz He Came

By Mark Solway | September 24th, 2022

For Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz, Sunday will be a homecoming of sorts. He will face the Philadelphia Eagles for the very first time. The Eagles drafted him with the second overall pick in 2016.

It’s a big game for Washington. It might feel like an even bigger game to Wentz.

After all, the Eagles are now quarterbacked by Jalen Hurts – the man who bumped Wentz from his starting position in 2020. Not only that, Hurts is having a blinder of a start to the season.

Prime Time Performance

The Eagles quarterback is coming off of a monstrous Prime Time performance in Week 2. He threw for more than 300 yards (333), ran for two touchdowns, and completed more than 80% of his passes. He is the only person in NFL history to do so.

The Eagles looked impressive dropping the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in the Monday Night game last week. They will be hell bent on keeping their record unblemished.

Washington on the other hand, are coming off a disappointing, shaky 36-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. The offense struggled in the first half against the Lions, although they did turn things around in the second half.

Wentz will be looking to put together a full game effort against Philadelphia – the team that he got his start with.

Always The Gentleman

Carson still speaks positively about the team that jettisoned him for Hurts.

“A lot of really good memories from my time there, I’m not going to lie: a lot of great friends, a lot of great relationships that I made. Definitely will have some mixed emotions in terms of those things, but nothing crazy jumps out other than my time there was a whirlwind.”

Wallpaper Wednesday: Carson Wentz Mobile Wallpaper

Wentz is now in his seventh season, and the 29-year old took a lot of shade in the off-season when he came to Washington.

Third team in as many seasons,” was probably the indictment heard most.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay seemed to go out of his way to tell the world how disappointed he had been in Carson.

Carson didn’t retaliate. He didn’t react. He was a consummate professional. Which is much more than can be said or the Colts owner.

And it seems like a lot of sour grapes from Irsay at this point.

The Colts didn’t beat the Jacksonville Jaguars this past weekend with Matt Ryan. Yet everyone insists that the Colts loss to the Jags in the final game of the 2021 season must have been Wentz’ fault.

Pretty Sound

Wentz has been solid through two games and is at the top of the league statistically. His 7 touchdowns are tied for first with a few other quarterbacks. His 650 yards are second only to Tua Tagovailoa.

Wallpaper Wednesday: McLaurin, Wentz And Dotson

He may not have been TB12, but he has played well enough to give Washington a fighting chance in both games.

Will it be enough?

Wentz has tried to downplay this match-up, but he has to have had it circled on his calendar since the schedule came out. Surely he wants to put on a good show.

Hurts was on fire against the Vikings, and so far Washington’s defense has been… well, sporadic.

Fortunately two players that have been amongst the best performers for the defense, are two players that know Hurts quite well.

Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne both played with Hurts at Alabama. Both defensive tackles have practiced against him and know first-hand what he can do.

“We had to practice against him,” quipped Payne. “We had to get yelled at by Coach Saban for containing him all the time, so I knew he was capable of doing all these things.”

Those things” include running the ball. Hurts is 11th overall in NFL rushing with 147 yards. For comparison’s sake, Washington running back Antonio Gibson has just 86 through two games.

Big Plays

Hurts and the Eagles also leads the league in “explosive plays” — completions of 16 or more yards and runs of 10 or more. They have 28.

Washington struggled to stop big plays in their loss to Detroit. They will need to guard against it as much as they can, if they want to beat the Eagles on Sunday.

“You want to make sure those things get corrected and addressed,” said head Coach Ron Rivera about big plays given up.

Wentz is capable of big plays as well though.

Washington has 7 plays of over 25 yards or more, to lead the league. With big play threats like Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and rookie Jahan Dotson – Wentz will have plenty of opportunity to open up the offense.

Keeping Pace

The Washington / Philadelphia game will be the first NFC East match-up of the young 2022 season.

The Eagles currently sit atop the division, along with the New York Giants. The Commanders will have to put their best foot forward this weekend if they want to stay in the hunt.

The season is long, but division losses can shorten those hopes quickly.


Game Day Week 3



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