Eagles Wake-Up Call: Carson Wentz Has Played Even Better Than The Stats Show

The Eagles' young quarterback is on pace for a special rookie season.

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz isn’t perfect. This much was apparent when the rookie quarterback made a bad decision and threw a game-sealing interception against the Lions in the Eagles’ first loss this year.

But one mistake shouldn’t overshadow what Wentz has accomplished over the first four games of his career. On the whole, the 23-year-old passer has been very impressive. Just take a look at the stats.

Wentz’s current 2016 stats

4 games, 91 completions, 135 attempts, 67.4% completion, 1,007 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 1 interception, 7.5 yards per attempt, 103.5 rating, 11 rushing attempts, 35 rush yards, 0 rush touchdowns, 3 fumbles

Now let’s take these numbers and project them over the course of a 16 game season.

Wentz’s projected 2016 stats

16 games, 364 completions, 540 attempts, 67.4% completion, 4,028 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 7.5 yards per attempt, 103.5 rating, 44 rushing attempts, 140 rushing yards, 0 rush touchdowns, 12 fumbles

It’s obviously early, and things could easily change, but Wentz is on pace for a special season. No NFL rookie has ever posted 4,028 or more passing yards, 28 or more touchdowns, and four or less interceptions. Wentz is on pace for the fourth most passing yards ever by a rookie quarterback. He’s also on pace to break the passing touchdowns record, which is currently set at 26 by Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.

What’s even more impressive is that Wentz’s numbers don’t completely reflect how well he’s played. The rookie quarterback has had at least four touchdown passes dropped this season. That’s a lot. For perspective, Sam Bradford had three dropped scores in 14 games played last season. Here’s a recap of Wentz’s dropped touchdowns.

Week 2 – Jordan Matthews drops a 35-yard touchdown pass (Drive ends with an Eagles field goal)

Week 2 – Nelson Agholor drops a 6-yard touchdown pass (Drive ends with a Ryan Mathews rushing touchdown)

Week 3 – Dorial Green-Beckham drops a 41-yard touchdown pass (Drive ends with a Kenjon Barner rushing touchdown)

Week 4 – Green-Beckham drops a 14-yard touchdown pass (Drive ends with an Eagles field goal)

Drops are obviously part of the game, but if those plays are made, Wentz would have 1,103 passing yards and 11 touchdowns right now. That would put him on pace for 4,412 passing yards and 44 touchdowns on the season, which are rookie record-breaking numbers.

While Wentz is off to a good start, it’s only fair to mention he’s faced some bad defenses. The Browns (27th), Bears (18th), Steelers (20th), and Lions (32nd) all rank in the bottom half of the league in defensive DVOA as determined by Football Outsiders. That’s not to say the rookie doesn’t deserve credit for what he’s done. Rather, the point is that Wentz could struggle to sustain his current level of success against the tougher defenses he’s bound to face.

With that said, Wentz is clearly an improvement at quarterback compared to what the Eagles have trotted out in recent years. Take a look at Wentz’s on pace stats (seen above) versus Philadelphia’s opening day starters over the last three seasons.

2013 Michael Vick – 260 completions, 472 attempts, 55.1% completion, 4,320 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 9.2 yards per attempt, 93.2 rating, 104 rush attempts, 912 rush yards, 8 rush touchdowns, 12 fumbles

2014 Nick Foles – 384 completions, 664 attempts, 57.8% completion, 4,962 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 7.5 yards per attempt, 83.4 rating, 36 rush attempts, 140 rush yards, 0 rush touchdowns, 12 fumbles

2015 Sam Bradford – 352 completions, 580 attempts, 60.7% completion, 3,792 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 6.5 yards per attempt, 82.2 rating, 24 rush attempts, 84 rushing yards, 0 rush touchdowns, 4 fumbles

Wentz’s strong start bodes very well for the Eagles. Not only does Wentz give Philadelphia a chance to be competitive in 2016, but the team’s long-term outlook is very bright with such a promising young quarterback under center.


Reviewing the offense from Sunday’s loss to Detroit.

Where do the Eagles stand in this week’s NFL Power Rankings?

Lane Johnson‘s 10 game suspension was upheld by the NFL.

“But because the Lions defender threw up his arms, the officials threw up the flag, and we just threw up.” What They’re Saying.

All-22: What went wrong on Carson Wentz‘s first career interception.


Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com has more on Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

Vaitai, who played at Texas Christian, stands 6-foot-6, 315 pounds. He was a two-time all-Big 12 pick at TCU. His parents are from Tonga, but Vaitai grew up in Texas and played high school football at Haltom High, about 20 miles northwest of AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys.

“What we saw with ‘Big V’ was on his college tape, just one of the things that jumped out was how good of a pass protector he really is, how natural he is at that,” [Frank] Reich said.

“And then really to me with the big improvements that I’ve seen is in the run game — a physicality, a toughness, an aggressiveness. He’s a very natural pass setter, got great fundamentals and technique in pass protection, but where you’ve seen the improvement has been in the run game.”

[Doug] Pederson said that even though Vaitai hasn’t dressed for any regular-season games, his work on the scout team — working against the Eagles’ highly regarded defensive line — has helped prepare him for what he’s going to face starting Sunday.

“He’s been going against our starting defensive line … so the work he’s done in that capacity, against a good defensive line, gives us confidence that if we had to make that decision we could do that and not bat an eye,” Pederson said.

“Just from that standpoint and then going back and evaluating even his preseason games and looking at that and where he is physically, mentally, puts him in a good position to potentially be that right tackle.”

Rodney McLeod is cashing in on big opportunities in his first season in Philadelphia, pens Zach Berman of the Inquirer.

In McLeod’s first training camp, when he was just one of those undrafted players trying to make the team, Bill McGregor received a phone call. McGregor, then the coach of DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., coached McLeod in high school. The call was from a Rams assistant who also played at DeMatha and wanted to give the coach an update on his former player.

“He’s going to have a 10-year career,” the assistant said.

By the time McLeod’s Eagles contract expires, he’ll be entering his 10th year. McLeod offered the usual reasons to explain how he went from undrafted to becoming one of the 12 highest-paid safeties in the NFL: a work ethic, football skills that belied measureables, good coaching.

But he also mentioned timing and opportunity. He found a team that was turning over its roster and planned on keeping an undrafted safety. That was all he needed to hear.

“Once I got my foot in the door, I’m like, ‘I’m going to show these people what I can do,’ ” McLeod said. “And I just made the most of every opportunity given to me. Didn’t waste a rep.”


Doug Pederson meets with the media at 10:30.

Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post.