from Martin Rogers
FOX Sports activities Columnist
In lower than two weeks, Carson Wentz will face the final group he confronted – Jacksonville Jaguars. And precisely two months from at present, Wentz will meet the group he was enjoying for on the time – him Indianapolis Colts.
For Wentz, who’s the brand new beginning quarterback for the Washington Commanders, the area between these two video games will go a great distance in figuring out whether or not one of many NFL’s most disruptive gamers may have an opportunity to revive his popularity this season, or as a substitute of this you proceed on a murky highway the place his identify, it appears, is consistently contradicted.
Wentz has heard a whole lot of criticism over the previous few years and has turned the concept of him being one of the crucial dynamic and promising signal-callers in soccer into an enormous query mark.
As soon as the extremely prized No. 2 total choose, then a participant who took the Philadelphia Eagles a lot of the approach by means of an excellent season earlier than getting harm and Nick Foles main them to a Tremendous Bowl, has been form of sharp and mysterious. falls quickly.
In some methods, it isn’t a drop in any respect. Final season, Wentz had the ninth-highest QB score within the league and threw 27 touchdowns in opposition to seven picks. However needing solely to beat the league-worst Jaguars on the ultimate day of the marketing campaign to guide a playoff spot, he turned in a meaningless efficiency and was run out of city in unseemly haste as soon as the offseason started.
“I believe the worst factor you are able to do is have a mistake and attempt to dwell with it shifting ahead,” Colts proprietor Jim Irsay advised reporters after Wentz was traded to the Commanders in a transfer that price Washington a 3rd social gathering. rounding. “For us, it was one thing we needed to get away from as a franchise. It was very clear.”
The identical varieties remarks about Wentz first heard in Philly it rapidly emerged as soon as once more – that he’s egocentric, ego pushed and a nasty teammate.
Because the Colts have welcomed Matt Ryan, it looks like each constructive assertion in regards to the new quarterback has been paired with a barely-disguised character jab on the outdated one.
In the meantime, the speak in Washington has been a piece in progress, as a connection to elite huge receiver Terry McLaurin solely started to emerge after some recent hassle early in camp.
Wentz admitted that among the preseason optics have been lower than stellar, resulting in considerations that at a $28 million price ticket, he nonetheless is not the reply in a capital metropolis that has been a QB useless zone for years .
“We have put some good, some unhealthy and a few ugly on tape and it hasn’t been good, however I like the place we’re at,” Wentz advised reporters. “I just like the mentality, I just like the make-up. We’re not good, we will construct and develop each week, each time we step on the sector.”
The NFL scheduling laptop works in mysterious methods and by no means fails to create some deliciously odd matchups. New Panthers QB Baker Mayfield’s reunion with the Cleveland Browns is the choose of the Week 1 lineup, however there’s an inescapable irony in Wentz’s assembly with the Jaguars, the group that earned him a lot derision.
The top-to-head matchup with the Colts in Week 8 (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX) can be much more scrumptious. Wentz would not precisely put on his coronary heart on his sleeve, however how might he fail to chill out and settle in to show some extent about it?
Unsurprisingly, how Ryan’s first season in Indianapolis performs out will partially convey how Wentz is seen within the absence. If the previous Atlanta Falcons star shines, Wentz’s departure can be additional celebrated with pleasure. Nonetheless, if Ryan struggles, particularly getting used to an offense that depends closely on the return of Jonathan Taylor, then it might get attention-grabbing.
“What you’ve got obtained is Carson Wentz, a little bit of a playmaker,” FS1’s Colin Cowherd stated not too long ago on “The Herd.” “Matt Ryan is not. He is not going to make a few of Wentz’s errors, however he is additionally not going to flee among the issues that Wentz did. He will be requested to resolve the problems which might be in personnel.”
Count on anti-Wentz sentiment from Indianapolis to escalate within the coming weeks. For the veteran brigade in Indy, the assumption nonetheless holds that they have been a dependable QB away from making a deep playoff run. This assertion may be very controversial, nevertheless it lasts and there’s bitterness.
For Wentz, a brand new scenario offers a chance to vary the script. But when he desires to do it rapidly, he’d higher introduce two particular video games – the place he is the central character in a fiery narrative.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and creator of the FOX Sports activities Insider e-newsletter. Comply with him on Twitter @MRogersFOX AND subscribe to the every day e-newsletter.
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