Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

Putting Carson Wentz's impressive Eagles rookie debut in context (and more).

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

With Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season in the books, here’s a look at three Philadelphia Eagles numbers that matter.


Let’s put Carson Wentz’s impressive rookie debut in context by comparing him to former Eagles starting quarterback Sam Bradford.

It’s crazy how the outlook of this Eagles season changed so quickly due to the unexpected Bradford trade. Given how good Wentz looked on Sunday, it’s hard to believe the plan was to keep him inactive on game day.

Yes, it was only one game, but Wentz looked special out there. For the first time in a long time, the Eagles might just have a legitimate franchise quarterback. There’s hope in Philadelphia again.

Some more impressive Wentz nuggets:

  • Only three NFL rookie quarterbacks have posted 275-plus passing yards, two-plus passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions in a season opener: Wentz, Robert Griffin III in 2012, and Jim Kelly in 1986.
  • Wentz’s 101.0 passer rating is the highest mark by an Eagles rookie quarterback since John Reaves (104.4) on Dec. 17, 1972 (min. 20 pass attempts).
  • Wentz is the first Eagles rookie quarterback to win a home game since Donovan McNabb on Jan. 2, 2000.
  • From Pro Football Focus: “Wentz’s grade against the Browns is the highest passing grade we’ve assigned to a rookie quarterback in Week 1 since Cam Newton in 2011.”


The Eagles took the second longest time between snaps this week (hat tip to @btessler). Just another reminder that Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense is long gone.

Philadelphia led the NFL in time of possession this week at 39 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s longer than Kelly’s Eagles ever possessed the ball in a single game during his tenure.

Part of why the Eagles held the ball so long is because the Browns weren’t very good and had trouble staying on the field. But with that Eagles taking so long in-between plays, it’s clear that a ball-control offense isn’t unintentional.

One benefit to the Eagles slowing things down is taking advantage of Wentz’s intelligence. The rookie quarterback was able to call audibles and make pre-snap adjustments in order to better benefit the offense.


The amount of snaps Zach Ertz played in Philadelphia’s home opener despite suffering a rib injury in the first quarter. Doug Pederson described Ertz as week-to-week so it seems like there’s a decent chance the starting tight end won’t be available against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. If that’s the case, the Eagles will have a lot of snaps to replace.

Ertz is obviously important to Philadelphia’s offensive success. He’s posted five-plus catches and 50-plus receiving yards in five straight games, which is the longest streak for an Eagles pass catcher dating back to Jeremy Maclin in 2011.

With Ertz potentially out, the Eagles will have to rely more heavily upon veteran Brent Celek. Third-year player Trey Burton could also get more looks after missing Week 1 due to a quad injury. Burton had a very strong summer. The Florida alumnus caught everything thrown his way. He made a bunch of nice plays during practice on a daily basis. The Eagles might need Burton to step up in real game action.