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Why The Eagles’ Surprising Start Might — And Might Not — Hold Up - Five Thirty Eight
What does this mean for the Eagles this season? Three teams with rookie QBs are not much of a historical sample from which to draw conclusions, but we can turn to the sidelines and see how 3-0 teams with rookie coaches fared. From 1990 to 2015, 14 rookie head coaches began a season 3-0. On average, those teams played .500 ball the rest of the way and made the playoffs only 57 percent of the time. Compare those numbers with the rates for 3-0 teams without rookie head coaches — a .605 winning percentage and a 78 percent playoff rate — and it’s clear that rookie head coaches are less likely to keep their teams playing well than their veteran counterparts.
The kid couldn't be this good this fast, so Vermeil started digging through record books and statistics to compare Wentz's first three games with the Eagles with the debuts of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks. Joe Montana? No. Troy Aikman. Hell no, not with that 1-15 Cowboys team. Dan Marino? No, not even him. None of them had played this well this early, and perhaps the closest comparison to Wentz was one from Vermeil's own experience: Kurt Warner and the 1999 St. Louis Rams.
"Where Wentz and Kurt Warner are alike is their personality profile, their temperaments," Vermeil, who turns 80 on Oct. 30, said in a phone interview Friday. "Nothing at all, at any time, flustered Kurt Warner. From the very first step he took on the field in the league opener in 1999, [offensive coordinator] Mike Martz coached him as if Kurt had been playing in the league for 10 years."
Nobody can argue that Prescott and Wentz have been disappointing. Quite the opposite, actually: Draftniks and fans who believed in the two quarterbacks before this year's draft have been patting themselves on the back for backing the right horses. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has garnered credit for trading a pile of draft value to grab Wentz, while the hapless 0-3 Browns are already being dragged through the ringer after trading away the opportunity to draft him with the second overall pick even with all the draft picks now in hand.
History also tells us, though, that there are examples of touted quarterbacks who lived up to the hype before fading, some fast.
11 Things I Think About The Philadelphia Eagles - Philly Mag
Wentz is off to an incredible start. The 23-year-rookie has been sensational while leading the Eagles to a 3-0 record. Wentz is breaking records with each passing game. He’s been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month.
Despite all of this, Wentz is actually facing some criticism. Some have suggested he “dinks and dunks” too much. Others claim he hasn’t been as impressive as Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
Simply put, this criticism is ridiculous and way off-base. That’s not to say Wentz has been perfect. He hasn’t. There’s definitely room for improvement. His accuracy could afford to improve at times, for example. Wentz still has an issue with sailing some passes high over his targets. But to suggest he’s been less than stellar is misguided.
Despite what some stats might suggest, Wentz isn’t some Checkdown Charlie. Reporters who watched him in training camp could see he easily took the most deep shots of any Eagles quarterback. His downfield aggression has been apparent in the real games, too.
Ultimately, what a few select critics choose to believe doesn’t dictate reality. The truth is that Wentz has been impressive. He’s shown the makings of a franchise quarterback and the Eagles are very excited to have him leading their team moving forward.