Eagles Carson Wentz and Bengals Joe Burrow: An Interesting Contrast in Quarterbacks

by Marc Narducci | Sep 23, 2020
Eagles Carson Wentz and Bengals Joe Burrow: An Interesting Contrast in Quarterbacks
Admit it, when the Eagle schedule came out, Week 3 almost seemed like a bye, playing the Cincinnati Bengals, the worst team in the NFL in 2019 and one that isn’t considered much better now.
Yet circumstances have changed. Few felt that it would be a must-win situation against Cincinnati, but that is how things appear against the 0-2 Bengals. 
The Bengals were 2-14 last season, which earned them the first overall pick in the draft. They selected Heisman Trophy quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU, who in two games has gotten off to an impressive start, even if his team hasn’t follow suit.
In the home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, Burrow didn’t have the greatest of statistical days during a 16-13 loss. He completed 23 of 36 passes for 193 yards, no touchdowns and one interception and his passer rating was just 66.1. Burrow rushed eight times for 46 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown. 
Burrow showed great poise leading the Bengals on a late-game drive that would have sent things into overtime had kicker Randy Bullock not gotten a cramp while missing a 31-yard field goal attempt with two seconds left.
This past week, as he was against the Chargers, Burrow was running for his life, constantly facing pressure from a formidable pass rush.
He still completed 37 of 61 passes for 316 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 35-30 loss at Cleveland. Burrow’s passer rating was 90.6. He also rushed seven times for 19 yards. 
In both games Burrow was sacked three times and hit countless others. 
The Eagles should also be able to put the heat on Burrow because the Bengals offensive line is a weak link. Entering the season, Pro Football Focus raked the Bengals 31st out of 32 NFL teams. 
That said, Burrow has shown good escapability, and if he can elude the Eagles pass rush, then he possibly could be dangerous.
No matter what Burrow does, the Eagles need Carson Wentz to snap out of his two-game slump to open the season. Wentz has completed 50 of 85 (58.8 percent) for 512 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also fumbled twice, losing one. 
The interceptions are the most concerning, especially since he threw just seven all of last season in 607 attempts.
In the opening week’s 27-17 loss to Washington, Wentz was sacked eight times, playing against one of the best defensive lines in the league. Some of the sacks, however, were his fault for holding the ball too long.
During Sunday’s 37-19 loss to the LA Rams, Wentz wasn’t sacked once. 
Eagles coach Doug Pederson was calling for more plays where Wentz would get rid of the ball quicker, but he still threw two interceptions. 
What is interesting is that Burrow has looked like a poised veteran and Wentz has had the look of a rookie.
Writing off Wentz would be premature. Remember the final four games of last season when the Eagles had to win them to get into the playoffs?
In those four games, Wentz completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,199 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. His passer rating was 100.8.
It’s hard to believe that from the end of last season to now, that Wentz has lost his way playing quarterback.
That does not mean that the Eagles should be concerned. If he doesn’t pick it up, then the Eagles could have a long season.

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The Eagles have to hope that Wentz could show the same type of poise in Week 3, that Burrow has displayed in his first two NFL games.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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