What we learned: Wentz steals show in win over Bears

For the second straight game, Carson Wentz had the look of a quarterback solution for the Eagles. The hotshot rookie led Philadelphia to a convincing 29-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Here's what we learned:

  1. Fans of the Browns and Rams can't be blamed for watching Wentz with a twinge of envy, as the draft's No. 2 overall pick completed all six of his attempts while orchestrating the no-huddle offense and making pre-snap adjustments on the Eagles' opening drive. While it's worth noting that Wentz has yet to be tested against a quality secondary, he has checked the requisite boxes through two NFL starts: The ability to throw with power as well as touch, plus athleticism to make plays on the move, pocket toughness to stand in against pressure, audibling to the run in advantageous situations and recognizing the blitz to hit his hot read. His numbers would have looked better if not for a Jordan Matthews drop at the pylon on a deep throw. An impressive 20-yard strike while taking a hit from linebacker Jerrell Freeman might have been his best play of the night had it not been nullified by a holding penalty.

In a testament to the Eagles' coaching staff, Wentz's delivery has been shortened and his footwork streamlined since the beginning of training camp. Whereas top draft pick Jared Goff landed with a Rams coaching staff featuring a defensive guru (Jeff Fisher), an offensive coordinator with a background in tight ends and the offensive line (Rob Boras), and a quarterbacks coach in just his second season as an NFL coach (Chris Weinke), Wentz has a host of former quarterbacks in his ear. Head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich boast a combined 26 years of NFL quarterbacking experience to go with a dozen more years as offensive coordinator and/or quarterbacks coach. Wentz's position coach, John DeFelippo, is credited with developing Derek Carr with the Raiders in 2014.

  1. In a league that features legislation specifically designed to protect quarterbacks, though, Wentz has taken entirely too many vicious blows in his first two games. The Eagles coaching staff should sit him down and force him to watch a running loop of "indestructo" scrambles by the reckless duo of Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. The rookie won't stay out of the trainer's room if he doesn't adjust his playing style.
  1. The Bears' issues on offense go beyond the right thumb injury that forced Jay Cutler from the game at the end of the third quarter. Outside of deep threat Alshon Jeffery and apparently rejuvenated slot receiver Eddie Royal, there's nothing on which this offense can hang its hat. The offensive line struggles to keep heat off Cutler, whose ball security issues continue to haunt. Still exceedingly raw as a route runner, second-year receiver Kevin White is limited to manufactured touches such as slants, bubble screens and reverses.
  1. Did the Bears overestimate their backfield talent when they decided to let Matt Forte walk in free agency? Forte is averaging 132 yards per game in New York, while all Chicago backs have combined to average less than half of that figure. Although Jeremy Langford appeared to have lead-back duties nailed down in August, he coughed up a costly fumble in a full-blown committee attack. Ka'Deem Carey was featured just as heavily on the Bears' first three drives, only to go down with a hamstring strain. Rookie power back Jordan Howard was perhaps the most impressive of the trio, albeit on just three carries.
  1. The Eagles went with a committee attack of their own, with Darren Sproles starting the game out of the no-huddle formation. Kenjon Barner and rookie Wendell Smallwood also saw plenty of action, while Ryan Mathews contributed one 30-yard scamper and a pair of short-yardagetouchdowns on his eight carries.
  1. An asset as a receiver, Eagles H-back Trey Burton proved to be more than capable as a stand-in for injured tight end Zach Ertz. Prior to leaving with muscle cramps in the fourth quarter, Burton hauled in five passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He would have added a second score if not for a diving deflection by cornerback Deiondre' Hall.
  1. After two games, Chicago's defense has concerns of its own. A secondary short on talent and experience lost cornerback Bryce Callahan and safety Adrian Amos to concussions. Promising nose tackle Eddie Goldman was carted off with an ankle injury that left him in wearing a protective boot after the game. While the inside linebacker duo of Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan has played up to expectations, Pernell McPhee's early season absence has been felt acutely. The front seven can't generate a pass rush without blitzing.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content