In Week 16, Carson Wentz said a showdown against the Dallas Cowboys was probably the biggest game of his career. Then that win would have meant nothing had the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New York Giants in Week 17.
Wentz passed those tests. The Eagles won both and an NFC East championship. That wipes away a lot of the negativity over a disappointing Eagles season. People will just remember the 2019 Eagles made the playoffs. That’s all they remember about the 2018 Eagles too, not the underachieving that preceded that playoff trip.
But this truly is the biggest game of Wentz’s career. He’ll lead the Eagles in a wild-card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports app.
It seems a little strange, but this is Wentz’s first playoff game. It’s not like he was Deshaun Watson and played in a College Football Playoff title game, either. Sunday will be huge in defining what we think of Wentz as a player.
Carson Wentz has had eventful career
The Wentz story is complicated.
Wentz had a good rookie season for the Eagles, and in his second year he was an MVP favorite. Same as Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. Then he tore his ACL against the Rams late in the regular season.
Nick Foles ended up defining Wentz’s career up to this point more than anyone, fair or not. Foles helped lead the Eagles to a championship and won Super Bowl MVP. When Wentz’s season ended in 2018 due to a back injury, Foles saved the underachieving Eagles, leading them to a playoff spot and a postseason win, too. Playoff success matters most in sports, and an Eagles quarterback not named Wentz experienced a lot of it.
Then this season Foles went to Jacksonville and there was no looming shadow over Wentz. The Eagles struggled most of the season, though that’s not all Wentz’s fault. A late rally got the Eagles into the playoffs, and that’s big for Wentz. He can write a different chapter to his season. He started that in December.
Wentz had a big December
Wentz turned his game on in December. In five games, he had 1,509 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. He did most of that despite some crippling injuries around him. He played his best football since that 2017 near-MVP season, and did it when the Eagles needed it most.
That matters. But the Eagles didn’t pay him a $128 million contract extension to play his best ball in the regular season. Much of the noise about Wentz will quiet down if he has a big postseason. He is a very good player but it’s a tough market that has experienced the ultimate playoff success without Wentz.
Wentz has laid a good foundation for his career. Some iconic playoff performances would help enhance it.
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