Bird Droppings Week Two Wrap-Up (PHI @ CHI): All Systems Are A Go At The First Wentzylvania Road Show
Have the Eagles found a bona fide franchise quarterback?
Is there any possibility the 2016 Eagles are actually good?
These are the big questions currently burning off into the fall air in South Philly, like a Jetro lot tire fire at the break of dawn before a game day tailgate.
I’m not ready to answer the second question yet, at least not on the strength of simply being able to take care of business against the perennially moribund Browns in the opener, then last night beating a Bears team that went 1-7 at Soldier Field in 2015.
They were supposed to do both of those things.
Or at least by going into last night as a 3-point-underdog, Las Vegas odds-makers essentially had these teams as a "coin flip" contest before the game began.
TCB became pretty much mandatory once the Bears began losing starters at Hamburger Hill rates and Smokin’ Jay Cutler began plotting his Eric Cartman “screw you guys, I’m going home” exit.
On the other hand, it is now time to throw caution to the wind and to go on record with this before it just becomes blatantly obvious: Carson Wentz is the real deal.
I am incredibly pleased to now fully believe, with the caveat of staying healthy, that the Birds have found their QB from here until well into the next decade.
This kid is looking like a smarter, faster and less rape-y version of Big Ben Roethlisberger out there.
The Wealthy Man’s South Jersey Joe Flacco.
The rightful heir to Carson Palmer’s “Best Ginger in the Game” throne just in time before it’s given to Palmer’s swaggerless replacement in Cincy, Andy Dalton, by default.
Carson Wentz looks like the “do you see what a real franchise QB pedigree looks like?” question to pose to all of those lost souls who tried to talk themselves into that impossibly lucky, dying quail-tossing, cornball mirage that was Nick Foles.
Is Foles still in the league, by the way?
It’s a rhetorical question but I’m sure he will be joining Riley Cooper on the NFL’s unemployable scrapple heap soon enough.
They’ll always have that day in Oakland, which got them both paid money they proved not to deserve.
This kid Wentz on the other hand is dressing for success already, sounding naturally relaxed and fashionably sporty in that postgame national TV interview after last night’s game.
And this is all before his face has even fully cleared up.
What’s not to like?
It’s almost even a little bit fun to think about what his first public misstep and subsequent local sports-radio controversy might be while being Philadelphia’s QB.
You just know it won’t be one that taps into any of the racially charged animus always bubbling beneath the surface, probably won’t involve hostile house-pet activists picketing outside the building and definitely won’t involve seeing someone without a starter-quality skill set out there defying the laws of statistics over the course of what was essentially a hot night at the NFL craps table.
This could be the type of “controversy-free QB” who might just be able to put his head down, go to work, be smooth at saying absolutely nothing publicly and go on to do things no QB has ever been able to do in this city…like, you know, maybe win a Super Bowl.
So again, for the people in the cheap seats, after only eight quarters of regular season in-game evidence, we at #WudderSports hereby do indeed proclaim that unlike the Foles-like fraud that is Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz is legit.
For the foreseeable future, the rest of the NFC East is just going to have to deal with it.
As for the game, well…do we really need to even talk about it much?
We were afforded the luxury of being able to mentally tune it out during the final few minutes while the Birds were still playing, but here's a few additional notes/observations:
-The Eagles via a number of ridiculous penalties and bad dropped balls felt like they were trying to keep the Bears in it like Jake LaMotta in his infamous fixed fight with Billy Fox.
-The refs didn’t help by some of the home cooking provided by calling the Eagles for an illegal procedure but then somehow missing Agholor getting groped for a full ten yards before a Wentz passed arrived, which the defender failed to turn around to see while continuing to mug a guy who probably would have dropped it anyway.
-Jason Kelce continues to be loudmouthed, light-in-the-ass, overrated, two-penalty-a-game-drive-squandering trash.
-Caleb Sturgis doesn’t need to get back on the plane, let him stay in Chicago to compete for the aptly named “sometimes you get what you pay for” fellow-kick-shanker Connor Barth…who’s name and game reminds you of a vile 80's kid show chef.
-Donnie “Longball” Jones as the new “Slash” of the kicking game works for me.
-Josh “Still” HUFF.
-Nelson Agholar is not quite OJ Simpson levels of USC Trojan Fan embarrassment yet but he’s got an outside chance of catching up to Matt Barkley.
-Jordan Matthews might be the least sure-handed “possession receiver” and slowest in-game football-speed 4.5 guy in the league.
-Fletcher Cox is nowhere near as good or impactful on a game as his current level of compensation might suggest but I’m still always glad he’s out there.
-Brandon Graham played his best game as an Eagle last night, with at least three tackles for loss before they salted it away. Of course, that being his best game as an Eagle seven years into his career means we should have taken Earl Thomas instead, which everybody but Big Red (or Howie) seemed to know on 2010 Draft Night.
-Connor Barwin looks like he may be either officially losing a step or they can’t hide his lack of speed as well in a 4-3 scheme.
-Dougie, those goal line hand-offs go to Matthews, not Sproles.
-Tre Burton…who knew?
-Like the inverse of some of Nick Foles’ gaudily numbered 2013 box scores, the Wentz stat line doesn’t reflect how well he actually played. That play in the first quarter looking off the safety in the end zone and coming back to Brent Celek was beautiful, the defender just made a hell of a play on the ball. The throw running to his left then throwing a dart across his body with a flick of the wrist in the third quarter was some elite-QB-toolbox type of stuff. He made some nice pre-snap read adjustments that the o-line gave back with penalties. He was a little off target on some throws but never looks rattled and the way he hangs in to deliver footballs is sort of frightening but instills belief at the same time. Imagine what this guy could do with time to mature and a legitimate NFL receiving corps.
Onward and upward, the Monday Night Football debut may not have been Randall-like but for right now it certainly will do.
Now it’s time to see this young God-fearing young red-headed mountain man go up against Big Ben next week for the Battle for Best Quarterback in the State, while not having to root for a predatory meathead who’s been thrice accused of rape.
The kid has got to be due for a teachable moment sometime soon.
Still, here’s hoping any of those visiting Stiller fans leave Philadelphia following Sunday’s game feeling as bad as one those nasty Primanti sandwiches taste.
Good Luck, Young Buck.