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Carson Wentz is a broken quarterback

It’s seriously time to see Jalen Hurts for a few games.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

On October 8th, we published an article titled “Carson Wentz has been the worst quarterback in the NFL this season,” which was met with some of the following criticism:

Lee, it’s obvious this article is a chance to grab clicks. Stop.

I’m not even really for defending Wentz, but this is just a bad and lazy article.

I really used to love coming to this website and reading BLG articles about my favorite team but man has this place gone to the shitter since we won the Super Bowl. Now we just get over glorified fans writing their opinions instead of reporting. So every writer hear hates Carson, got it.

Stupidest post i have ever seen on BGN. I finally made an account just to tell you how stupid it is.

And my personal favorite:

#youranidiot

Now that it’s becoming more acceptable to demand that Carson Wentz should be benched, I wanted to revisit this post to update how Carson has fared since.

Offensive Line

The offensive line has gone through many faces this year, so it’s natural to blame the offensive struggles on the blockers up front. Well, that wasn’t the case early in the season, as stated in my October article:

...according to our friends at Pro Football Focus, Wentz actually has the 5th most clean dropbacks this year, with 126 clean pockets out of 184 dropbacks

Updated, Wentz has the 6th most clean dropbacks, with 275. Among the top 15 quarterbacks in this regard, Wentz is one of just two with a passer rating under 100 from a clean pocket. Wentz’s passer rating of 83.2 from a clean pocket ranks 36th of 39 qualified quarterbacks, per PFF. I’m still having trouble blaming this season on the offensive line, although any Eagles fan knows they’ve been far from perfect. 10 different starting configurations in 11 games clearly isn’t ideal.

Pass Catchers

In October, Carson was dealing with a pretty formidable group of wide receivers, about which I said the following:

...do we blame these players for failing to make big plays themselves, or do we look at the quarterback who has overthrown 10 of 16 deep balls? Do we blame Zach Ertz for catching 19 of 20 catchable balls, or do we blame Carson for throwing only 20 catchable balls out of 27 targets? Do we blame Jackson for only catching 10 of 12 balls, or do we blame Carson for only getting 12 of 19 balls to his hands?

Laugh as you will, but Travis Fulgham is the 42nd ranked WR on PFF with a grade of 73.9 this season, which puts him above the likes of Henry Ruggs III, CeeDee Lamb, and Jerry Jeudy. However, the rest of the receiving group has abysmal with Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, and John Hightower all out of the top 100 WRs, per PFF. On the tight end list, Richard Rodgers is the #2 tight end with an (almost) ELITE grade of 88.9. Goedert is a few spots back at #17 (70.8), and Ertz is down at TE#45 (59.6). I should add that Wentz has 29 drops this year, which is the most among NFL QBs, although I still do not think this is as big of a deal as it is usually made out to be. Drops happen, but we’re only talking about 1 of every 16 passes, even at the league’s highest rate. What matters more is that 29.4% of passes that Carson throws towards a target are uncatchable. If Wentz throws 32 passes in a game and 2 are drops, but 7 are bad throws, which one is a bigger problem? The pass-catching group certainly isn’t doing Wentz any favors, but between unsuspecting players like Fulgham and Rodgers, Wentz seems to have at least a few options.

Running Backs

At the time of writing the earlier post, Miles Sanders didn’t seem to be an issue:

With 236 yards on the ground through just three games, Sanders has actually been among one of the more productive backs in the league. With only Derrick Henry putting up more yards through his first three games.

This season, Sanders has been averaging 5.6 yards per attempt (2nd), with 3.4 of those yards coming after contact (8th). Looking at some of PFF’s advanced stats, Sanders ranks 9th in elusivity (71.9) and 10th in Breakaway % (34.7). These are elite RB numbers, folks. PFF does rank Sanders as one of the worst pass-catching backs this season with a paltry 29.5 receiving grade, good for 53rd of 55 qualified RBs. The running back has not been the issue on running plays; however, the lack of running plays has been an issue, which leads me to the next group...

The Coaches

A few months ago, I was pretty forgiving of Doug’s cold start.

Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman won a Super Bowl with a backup quarterback running a similarly battered offense just a few years ago. Doug has proven to be in the upper echelon of offensive play-calling

Now I’m not quite sure Carson is getting the support he needs. While I genuinely think it is best right now for Wentz to get a game off, I’d be delusional to believe that the same formula with Jalen Hurts would all of a sudden make for a “good” football team. Wentz is in his 5th year, so I’m not too big on bailing him out of his poor performance out based on the coaching staff, but I did want to point out that this entire offense is a mess. The Eagles offense averages 4.9 yards per play (29th/32), has 31 turnovers surrendered (3rd most), has been flagged 70 times (6th most), and is one of just five offensive units with a NEGATIVE, cumulative expected points added. I cannot stress how ridiculously hard it is to win games when your offense costs you more points than it gets you.

It’s always hard to determine whether the coach is hurting the QB or the QB is hurting the coach, but it feels somewhat even with the Eagles. Doug needs to be less arrogant about play-calling and needs to focus on what good coaches focus on, keeping the ball in your players’ hands, keeping the flags in the ref’s pockets, and keeping energized players on the field.

The Defense

Sorry, not sorry, but the defense is not the problem. Here’s what I said before:

The team is top 10 in the least overall yards surrendered this year and has actually been tremendous on a per attempt basis, allowing the 7th and 8th least yards per rushing and passing attempt, respectively.

The Eagles are 4th in the league behind the Rams, the Saints, and the Steelers in terms of yards allowed per play. They rank 8th lowest in the frequency of scoring drives with points allowed in 36.5% of their drives (PIT is 1st with 27%). One area where Schwartz does need to tighten up a little is with the penalties, where the Eagles defense leads the league with 80 for 742 yards; however, this unit is doing just fine. Schwartz is the furthest thing from the problem here.

Howie Roseman

And finally, the man in charge of it all, Howie Roseman. Here’s what I said last time:

Howie has proven time and time again that he is smarter than we are

I’m going to double down on this. Howie gave Wentz the money, but he put a big asterisk on it by drafting Jalen Hurts. Howie strategically gave himself a backup plan by drafting Hurts, and I think it’s time for his plan to come to fruition.

Carson’s Company

I did a “Player Season Finder” on stathead.com to see how many players have had seasons this bad and lived to tell. Here were my variables:

  • Seasons from 1970 - present
  • Passes Attempted > 400
  • TD% < 3%
  • INT % > 2
  • Completion % < 60%

Fifty-three different quarterbacks have finished a season this poorly, but only 6 of them were able to do it a second time, and 0 have done it three times. Carson is legitimately playing at a sub-NFL level, historically to the point that quarterbacks who have played this bad didn’t get many more chances. Jalen Hurts deserves to start a couple of games, and I’m officially calling for Carson to be benched ... again.