- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Carson Wentz’s NFL career has been far from uneventful. In fact, it’s been a roller coaster.

Now, the former Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts signal-caller is going to bring his unpredictable ways to Washington.

So, it seems fitting to remind Commanders fans about the good, the bad and the ugly of the quarterback their team just acquired.

The good

Playing Washington: Carson Wentz has been better against Washington than any team he’s played more than twice in his career. In eight games against Washington, Wentz is 5-3 with a 66% completion rate and 17 touchdowns versus six interceptions. 

In fact, arguably Wentz’s best game in his six-year career came against the Redskins in 2017. On “Monday Night Football,” Wentz torched Washington for four touchdowns in a 34-24 win, throwing for 268 yards and adding 63 with his legs. 

SEE ALSO: Commander Carson: Washington settles on Wentz after whiffing on Wilson

High ceiling: It’s been more than four years, but Wentz was once considered one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL. Before Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen took over the league, Wentz in 2017 was not just on the rise — but he was an MVP frontrunner. 

Leading the Eagles to an 11-2 record and the eventual No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, Wentz led the NFL in ESPN’s QBR and tossed 33 touchdowns. But he tore his ACL in Week 14, giving way for Nick Foles to lead Philadelphia to the Lombardi Trophy. 

The bad

Turnovers: For much of his time in the NFL, Wentz has struggled with protecting the football. In 85 starts, Wentz has thrown 57 interceptions and lost 28 of 66 fumbles — averaging exactly one turnover per game. 

Wentz has eight games in his career with three-plus turnovers, none worse than in Week 11 of the 2018 season. About two months after he returned from his torn ACL, Wentz had the worst performance of his career — tossing no touchdowns and being picked off three times in a 48-7 loss to the Saints. 

Injury prone: The 29-year-old has a lengthy injury history: A torn ACL and LCL, a fractured vertebrae that cut short his 2018 season and a high-ankle sprain that hobbled him for multiple contests in 2021.

But the injury that may have been most difficult was the concussion he suffered in the team’s Wild Card round loss in the 2019 postseason. Hoping to show the Eagles fanbase he too could lead them to a Super Bowl, Wentz was injured on Philadelphia’s second drive and missed the remainder of the game. The injury also caused controversy, as Wentz was criticized by some for self-reporting his concussion-like symptoms. 

The ugly

COVID-19 vaccine: After a dismal 2020 season, Wentz was traded to the Colts for a fresh start. But he was quickly embroiled in criticism for his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

He tested positive for the virus leading up to the Colts’ Week 17 game against the Raiders, missing the entire week of practice before being cleared to play. He threw for just 148 yards in a 23-20 loss — a defeat that turned out to be consequential for the team’s playoff chances. 

Coming up short: After the loss to Las Vegas, Wentz faced a simple proposition: Beat the lowly Jaguars in the final game of the season, and make the playoffs. So, naturally, Wentz played his worst game of the year, floundering to a 26-11 defeat to cap off an embarrassing late-season collapse. 

The 2021 season wasn’t a bad one for Wentz. In fact, it was a bounceback in many ways. But even when he was healthy and not excessively turning the ball over, he still came up short. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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