Not since the days of Donovan McNabb have we had a true franchise QB. Say what you will about McNabb and how he did not bring us a Super Bowl, he was still an amazing selection for the Philadelphia Eagles franchise. Andy Reid and McNabb put the Eagles on the map. However, we all witnessed the divisive effect McNabb had on the fanbase. Some hated him and blamed every single Eagles shortcoming on him. Some loved him and stayed true to their guy. Fast forward to the present day, I have noticed Carson Wentz has been getting the same treatment. The major difference is, I don’t feel Carson deserves anywhere near the same level of disdain as McNabb had.
Let’s not forget, Carson Wentz was drafted in 2016 and within the completion of his second NFL season in 2017, the Eagles were already Super Bowl champions. While some non-Eagles fans will debate about Carson’s role in that Super Bowl, it is more than fair to say without Carson leading us to an 11-2 record at the time of his tragic injury, there would not have been a Super Bowl.
Nick Foles may have had two of the greatest playoff performances probably ever, but there is no need to take anything away from Nick to give Wentz his share of the credit. Believe it or not, we can appreciate both without needing to hate one. However, can we really say that the Eagles win the Super Bowl if they don’t have the first round bye? If they had to travel on the road to face the Saints, a team who has had our number for years? Carson’s near MVP 2017 season, which included setting a franchise record for 33 TDs (in less than a full season), was a more significant factor than most non-Eagles fans want to admit. But my issue is not with non-Eagles fans. It’s with our own.
It appears that a combination of stubbornness and ego has infected a very large portion of our fanbase when it comes to Carson Wentz. We have the members of #EaglesTwitter who do not miss out on a single opportunity to take unnecessary and ludacris shots at Carson. We even have members of Eagles media who still do not believe he is the guy.
The truth of the matter is, Carson Wentz is the best thing that has happened to the Eagles since the McNabb days. Let us not forget the days of Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, and a several other lackluster QBs who suited up for the Birds. Carson is the stability and the champion we have not had at the QB position.
Could you imagine the Eagles landed Jared Goff in 2016 rather than Wentz? Look at the complete collapse of the Rams franchise since their Super Bowl loss, could you honestly say to yourself, “we’re better off” if that were the case, if Goff were our QB?
Yes, Carson has had a few injury issues, some of which cannot be blamed on him at all. Yes, he occasionally makes a bone-headed decision or occasionally fumbles at a key moment of a game. I can never say he is perfect. But who among us is, in life or in football? Which QB in NFL history has been 100% perfect for a 16 game season with no issues, no turnovers, or no injuries and a Super Bowl to cap it off? Aaron Rodgers, widely considered one of the greatest arm talents in NFL history, only has one season which ended in a Super Bowl win. Carson Wentz has that Super Bowl victory under his belt in Year 2, regardless of his playing status in the actual game.
To return to the point I had earlier, about stubbornness and ego, something I notice very frequently on Twitter…these reluctant fans spew their horribly wrong opinions on players and often have no intention of backing down from those opinions. The way it comes off, it sounds like “my first opinion about (insert player name here) has to be right, so nothing that contradicts what I think is actually going to matter to me”. Fans choose a side and then stick to that side regardless of how foolishly illogical that choice might be. Recently, I’ve seen some people question Carson’s toughness because he “did not push through a concussion”. Ignoring the NFL concussion protocol is one thing, but those same fans would purposely neglect the evidence that shows the potentially life-threatening consequences of sustaining a second concussion before healing from the first one (you can find the information in the attached link). The fact of the matter is, concussions are no matter of toughness. Additionally, Carson has proven his toughness time and time again. He has taken some serious punishment in the NFL. In fact, in 2017, moments after tearing both his ACL and LCL, he threw his 33rd touchdown pass of the season, setting the Eagles single-season record, to Alshon Jeffrey. So toughness can not be the issue. He’s a tough-as-nails kid and has done nothing but show us that at every turn.
Another common criticism I see Eagles so-called fans making of Wentz is the fact that he is not a leader. For this one I will admit, there may have been a few hitches along the way. Keep in mind, these NFL players are still very young, and with that youth, developing a sense of leadership over an NFL team, a team where many of the players might be older than you, tends to develop gradually and not in an instant. So when questioning his leadership, all we have to ask ourselves is…has he progressed? The last month of the 2019 season should be clear evidence that he has come leaps and bounds from where he started. Again, without Carson Wentz, do the Eagles make the playoffs in 2019? The likely answer is no. He carried the team, despite the injuries at nearly every key position. Our WR group (with no offense intended to Greg Ward) should not have been playing significant snaps in D1 college football, no less NFL football. Yet Carson gave us the chance to make a deep playoff run. The team rallied around him and he led us to the NFC East championship. Unfortunately that chance was taken from us by a DE who will not be named. The point remains, however. Since Carson’s arrival in Philadelphia in 2016, we have had 3 playoff appearances and 1 Super Bowl championship. His injuries aside, he has been stellar. He has also been great for the Eagles off the field, avoiding trouble and representing the Philadelphia Eagles franchise with great dignity and pride.
When you listen to him talk, you can’t help but like him. He carries himself so well. He’s a good kid who gives his heart to this franchise every time he steps out on the football field. I often liken his love of the game to Allen Iverson’s passion during his tenure in Philadelphia. Effort was never questioned with Iverson and should never be a question with Carson either.
So to the Eagles fans who insist upon themselves, who refuse to budge even an inch from their misplaced hate of their own QB, I ask you…who would you rather have as QB1 of the Philadelphia Eagles? Jared Goff? Dak Prescott? Or maybe you wish we chose the 30-year-old Nick Foles, who aside from a 2-game stretch and his 2013 season, has not shown the ability to consistently lead a team for a full season and was about 5 years older than Carson at the time of 2019 FA. Would you rather have had a sub-par QB playing when our WR group was getting decimated on a weekly basis? When half our offensive line was in and out of the lineup? Who would have taken us to the playoffs, if not Carson Wentz?
To those Philly fans, the truth is your hate of Carson Wentz has no merit and no basis in fact. It is simply your attempt to go against the current. To be different for the sake of being different. To bring attention to yourself where there would otherwise be none. Your hate takes more effort than it would to appreciate what we have before he’s gone. Your inability to think and process information, often information that is easily found with a few google clicks, is more telling of the condition of your mind than anything about Wentz himself.
Ultimately, Carson will rise above your insistence to bash him. He will have his share of fans in your place and then some. Philly is all about that passion, a feeling you probably struggle with. We love the players who give us their all. He has given us his best for the last 4 years and for many years to come, no matter how much you fight it. He has brought us the Super Bowl we starved for. He has brought us back into perennial contention after the oblivion Chip Kelly left our franchise in. He has given us his heart. So lastly I will ask you, self-proclaimed Eagles fans and self-aggrandizing haters, when was the last time you were known for giving others your best?