Who’s Carrying Who?

Posted: September 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 39 Comments »

Not everyone is in love with Carson Wentz. Some of his critics argue that he’s benefiting greatly from playing with a stout defense. The Schwartzers fly around the field, making play after play. They don’t give up points. How hard can life be for Wentz when all he has to do is put up 13 points to win a game?

There is some truth in this. Wentz hasn’t been tested. He hasn’t trailed in the 2nd half. There haven’t been any shootouts.

Yes, yes he can.

In the 1st half (when the game was actually competitive), Big Ben led 2 drives that resulted in FG attempts (no fault of his that the first FG was blocked).

Wentz’s drive chart in the 1st half:

  • 7 plays, 63 yards – 3:20 – FG
  • 12 plays, 82 yards – 6:06 – TD
  • 10 plays, 58 yards – 5:15 – FG
  • 6 plays, 21 yards – 1:06 – punt

Not one 3 & out. Wentz moved the chains every time and only failed to score at the end of the half. The Eagles defense did their job in limiting the Steelers, but Wentz and the offense played a big part as well. By staying off the field, that kept Big Ben and the boys as spectators. Antonio Brown is darn good, but he can’t catch any passes while he’s watching the Eagles offense.

Wentz is absolutely benefiting from good defense.

Too many people are failing to understand the converse is also true. The defense is benefiting from Wentz. He isn’t turning the ball over. The offense is moving the ball and scoring points. The Eagles only have 7 drives that were 3 & outs all year. They didn’t have any against the Steelers. The offense did a great job of playing keep away. That rests the defense and it also can frustrate the opposing offense.

The beauty of the Eagles right now is that this isn’t a team being led by the defense. This isn’t a team being led by Carson Wentz or the offense.

This is a team. A total team.

Offense, defense and STs all do their part to help each other. It is easier to praise the defense. We know Fletcher Cox is one of the best players in the league. We know Brandon Graham is a gifted pass rusher. We know Malcolm Jenkins is a terrific Safety. And so on.

The offense feels more like a projection. Carson Wentz looks like a stud QB. Dorial Green-Beckham is playing well so far. The O-line is better than expected. And so on.

I can see where some people are hesitant to buy in on Wentz. I can see where some people think the defense is the key to the hot start. But if you watch all 3 games closely and really examine them, you’ll see this is team football. No one player or group is carrying anyone else right now.

Just think in simplistic terms. The Eagles are #1 in scoring defense. They are #2 in scoring points. And they still have arguably the best STs in the league. This is a good team and there should be plenty of credit to go around.


39 Comments on “Who’s Carrying Who?”

  1. 1 Mitchell said at 10:50 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    I really think that the beginning of this year has been perfect for Wentz and his development. Hes getting experience in real games extremely early in his career. He and Peterson are “the guys” and joined at the hip something Chip never had at qb. Wentz isnt getting killed by a crappy OL and his defense is keeping the score low so the pressure is off. Eventually I want to see him respond to adversity but for now Ill settle for blowout wins.

  2. 2 Greg said at 11:01 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    Ha the adversity will come soon enough. Might be as soon as Lane Johnson is suspended. Hopefully not though. I’m content with total domination the rest of the season.

  3. 3 EJ said at 11:00 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    Who cares what outsiders think. They’ll eventually eat their words.

  4. 4 Ark87 said at 9:32 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    The Eagles have served them a heaping helping of their words 3 times now and the brats refuse to eat them. They just sit there at the table and fall asleep in their seats.

  5. 5 Who’s Carrying Who? - said at 11:00 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor Not everyone is in love with Carson Wentz. Some of his critics argue that he’s benefiting […]

  6. 6 SteveH said at 11:03 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    Contrarians pop out of the woodwork anytime anyone breaks the mold.

  7. 7 TXEaglesFan said at 11:30 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    So when Lane gets suspended the plan is move Barbre to RT and Wiz (or Sem) at LG, with Tobin the backup tackle. I’ve seen some state that why not keep the interior OL as is and put Tobin at RT. Problem with that is Tobin is a hot mess on the right side for whatever reason. The only time he’s ever seemed competent to me is on left side, particularly at LT.

    So my off the wall idea is how about move Peters to RT and start Tobin at LT? Is that worth any merit? I know Peters is borderline HOF and he might not want any part of that. But as awesome and experienced as he is, maybe he could handle that change. As a side benefit, if Tobin plays well enough that he could be the LT of the future and then you don’t have to worry about The thin ice Lane is on with season suspension potential.

  8. 8 FairOaks said at 11:42 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    You’d still be destabilizing two positions with that move, one of them being the blind-side LT. If want a weakness you’d rather at RT. We have more LG candidates to play well than either RT or LT, and they did have Barbre playing RT during preseason some.

  9. 9 Cafone said at 11:56 PM on September 29th, 2016:

    I am very happy that they’ve been getting Dorial Green-Beckham involved this early in the season. When I think about his ceiling and the potential for him to become a giant target for Wentz for years to come… it almost sounds too good to be true.

  10. 10 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 12:21 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Get your hand out of your pants, this is a family blog.

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 5:26 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    I don’t what “NFL Philosophy” is, but it sounds like a complete turd.

  12. 12 Anders said at 7:05 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    He once “worked” for the Bucs FO (lowest of the lowest level) and original only talked about his philosophy to QBs, but then began to “scout” on Twitter

  13. 13 A_T_G said at 6:18 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Doubters claim that Wentz has never been in a close game. I went back and studied the game logs. At one point in each of his games the score was tied.

  14. 14 myartz04 said at 8:58 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Thanks for doing all the hard research.

  15. 15 A_T_G said at 10:07 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    I can’t claim too much credit. I just Googled the play-by-play for each game, then I started at the final score and worked my way backwards through the games, subtracting off the points each time I reached a scoring play. I thencompared scores until I found a tie.

  16. 16 porkrind1 said at 11:08 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    That’s really funny!

  17. 17 mksp said at 2:45 PM on September 30th, 2016:


  18. 18 Dan in Philly said at 6:22 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Well said. The defense isn’t carrying the offense so much as enhancing it, and vice versa. This is not a bad offense, it has been a very good one so far made great by fantastic field position and leads. The defense has been very very good made very great by fantastic field position and long breaks and fewer plays. The fewer plays the defense has to play, the fewer plays are made with second line defensive players, starter end up playing a greater percentage of the snaps..

    Team football is a game where when it all comes together is a beauty. I guess that’s why I’ve enjoyed this team so much. Playing the best team football I can remember from the Eagles through three games, ever.

  19. 19 HawaiianEagle said at 7:05 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    So, 5-0 Eagles vs 5-0 Vikings… Wentz vs Sleves. That game may be close.

  20. 20 MattE said at 8:29 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    man i have already been looking for tickets lol, i got the Nov 28th Packers/Eagles MNF game tickets in hand, but this Vikings matchup might be pretty sweet

  21. 21 Bert's Bells said at 8:44 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Let’s hope the NFL really is fixed. The league would love that match up (with the hot rookie winning).

  22. 22 ChoTime said at 9:46 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Nasty defense, will certainly be a good test.

  23. 23 HawaiianEagle said at 10:19 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    2 nasty defenses…

  24. 24 bsuperfi said at 11:17 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    One game at a time! Just do your job!

    (That game will rock.)

  25. 25 Gary Barnes said at 8:35 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Agreed, Tommy, good post. Team football indeed. It is the best start the team could have desired, all facets are executing well.

  26. 26 RogerPodacter said at 9:26 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    i wish someone had the time to break down what wentz has been doing by quarter. I’d think that with the leads we have had, 1) wentz hasn’t been throwing much in the 4th quarter (maybe 3rd as well), and 2) if wentz does throw, it tends to be more of a ‘safer’ throw (screens, short WCO “running play” passes)

    all of the people that just look at Wentz’s stats are missing some rather big details.

  27. 27 the DONALD said at 10:04 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    its 3 games in, call off the dogs RP.. whos your team?

  28. 28 Dan said at 11:11 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Donald, Roger is saying that Wentz’s stats might be higher: TD’s, yards, ypa if we weren’t so far ahead and in clock management mode.

  29. 29 Cafone said at 11:26 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Dan, “the DONALD” is roleplaying Donald Trump so he is lashing out aggressively without any understanding of the point he is responding to.

  30. 30 Mark Sitko said at 10:05 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    If Wentz was being kept in games by the D I would listen to the haters…but he has always scored fast and gotten the team ahead…which if anything has really helped the D by making the opponents one dimensional on defense…especially in the 2nd half. Teams have to try to catch up and the d line pins their ears back…Wentz helps ad more than other way around so far.

  31. 31 BobSmith77 said at 10:09 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    I have already been massively wrong about how this season would start or the validity of starting Wentz in Week 1.

    I’m just going to sit back and enjoy what has been a very pleasant surprise already instead of nitpicking about this kind of argument. Only strikes me as a point of conversation right now because the Eagles have a bye this week.

  32. 32 BobSmith77 said at 10:26 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Still waiting for the ‘Brandon Graham’ bandwagon to get a bit more loaded up. He was a solid contributor but hardly had any games where he stood out heads and shoulders above others.

    If he keeps playing like this or even close to it on passing downs, teams have going to have to give help against him. Can’t double Cox then and it also leaves Logan in almost one-on-one situations.

    Can’t remember the last time the Eagles had two DL where ideally you needed to double/give help on both of them.

    Defense played very well at the end of ’08 with Howard & Cole supplying pressure but as usual Cole had worn down as the season wore on and wasn’t quite the same player as the defense really came on in late Nov through the playoffs (sans the NFC Championship game).

    Even in ’04, this defense didn’t have a period where they had two DL playing at that high of a level rushing the passer.

    Maybe ’11 with Cole and Babin but that seems to be more scheme-generated and teams didn’t necessarily need/willing to double Babin.

    Maybe ’95 when Fuller was here (he drew double teams and help a lot) with Harmon but I really think you have to go back to the late 80s with the hey-dey of Simmons and White to really have two Eagles’ DL who were rushing the passer at such a high level.

  33. 33 bsuperfi said at 11:13 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    You know, to those who followed BG’s career closely, I don’t think it’s much of a surprise. BG always clearly had big time talent, but the injuries, instability in coaching, and dumbass coaching held him back. At the same time, BG turned himself into a capable 3-4 LB, which is really incredible, not just athletically, but also personally given his history.

    Being a Michigan fan too, I’m super psyched for BG. As in many things in life, it’s about timing and fit. You can just prepare yourself to take advantage of the chance when it comes.

  34. 34 ColoradoEaglesFan said at 10:45 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    There is no doubt that Wentz is talented, but I give more credit to the coaching staff being on the same page so fast giving Wentz the opportunity to succeed. Ladies and gentleman we might have gotten lucky with… Show me how to Dougie, and his coaching staff.

  35. 35 Cafone said at 11:06 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    You awake in a room full of bright lights. “Where am I? What happened?”, you rasp through a parched throat.

    “You’ve been in a coma. It’s been months.” says a woman you recognize as your wife. “You freaked out when you heard Chip Kelly was fired and drove the car right into a utility pole.”

    “But the Eagles… we have a quarterback now.”

    “Well, yeah, Mark Sanchez re-signed.”


  36. 36 bsuperfi said at 11:10 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    “But you should see this Wentz kid play. He’s killing it for the Browns!”

  37. 37 Cafone said at 11:15 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    oh nice addition. If I was a skilled writer I could have had a Browns game on the hospital TV with Carson Wentz running up the score against Pittsburgh,

  38. 38 Cafone said at 11:31 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    The ending is a tribute to George Lucas.

  39. 39 Nailed It! said at 11:57 AM on September 30th, 2016:

    Game Review Defense just posted.