The Philadelphia Eagles are only two games into the Carson Wentz era, but the rookie has now led his team to a pair of wins after an easy 29-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday.
Chicago also lost defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, who was carted off the field with an ankle problem, and running back Ka’Deem Carey with a hamstring issue. He pursued Carson Wentz for a sack in the first quarter and combined with Willie Young for a key third-down stop in the second. “And he’s commanding the huddle and dialog on the sideline with the players and coaches is something that a nine or 10-year vet would do”.
Indeed, the NFL’s bright lights shining down on the former FCS champion from North Dakota in the country’s third-largest market didn’t equate to a stage too big for the No. 2 overall pick.
The Eagles’ corners did their best, but if you tell Nolan Carroll to guard Jeffery on a deep ball, you might as well hand him a snorkel and a fishing net and say, “Hey, go chase down that nuclear submarine and drag it back to shore”.
According to ESPN, Wentz is the fifth rookie quarterback since the merger to start and win the first two games of his team’s season, joining John Elway, Ryan Leaf, Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. Jordan Matthews caught six passes for 71 yards and tight end Trey Burton added five catches for 49 yards. Shifty veteran Darren Sproles had 40 yards on 12 attempts, and the team racked up 100 total rushing yards Monday.
The interception gave Philly the ball at the Chicago 2-yard line, and the Eagles punched it in to increase their lead to 22-7.
As Wentz looked poised, accurate and polished in the pocket, Cutler played the role of shaky rookie, losing a key fumble and throwing a awful interception before he left the game with a right hand injury.
He followed up a strong performance against Cleveland by completing 21 of 34 passes and playing turnover-free ball for the second straight game.
The Bears were never really in Monday night’s ugly home loss to the Eagles. And, unlike Chicago, the rookie directed a Philadelphia offense that, for the second game in a row, did not lose a turnover.
Doug Pederson and Favre were together for seven years with the Packers – 1996 through 1998 and again 2001 through 2004 – and they have remained friends since. Right now, all our focus will go very quickly to Dallas.
Even though he played two more offensive series after the fumble, Cutler watched Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham step in front of an underthrown pass intended for Alshon Jeffery another 10 yards up the field and made a decision to exit and begin treatment in the locker room. Cutler was seen having his right hand examined on the sideline early in the third following a strip-sack by Destiny Vaeao.
To make matters worse, cameras caught injured Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee letting Cutler have it after the interception.
After the game, Cutler was wearing a cast on his right hand and said that he is indeed anxious about his thumb going forward. He does as well.
Coach John Fox likes to boast about how the Bears have transitioned from the oldest roster to one of the youngest in the National Football League in less than two years.