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Lawlor: Carson Wentz Is Simply One Of A Kind

Posted Oct 26, 2017

Carson Wentz reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger with his size, strength, and ability to extend plays in the pocket.

Others might think Wentz is more like Brett Favre, in terms of being a country-boy quarterback and having an explosive arm.

Some see flashes of Aaron Rodgers, with his ability to turn make big plays out of chaos.

Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden compared Wentz to Peyton Manning in regards to the way both are extremely smart and can process complex information prior to the snap and make good adjustments.

You can go on with interesting comparisons, but you really shouldn't.

Carson Wentz is one of a kind.

Instead of trying to figure out who he reminds us of, everyone should enjoy the fact that Wentz is a unique player. He's huge but nimble. He loves to attack downfield but isn't afraid to dump the ball off. He spends a tremendous amount of time studying his playbook and the opponent so he can make the best decisions possible, but some of his best plays happen on the fly. Wentz is showing us that he can do special things on a regular basis.

Something wasn't right for the Eagles at the beginning of Monday night's game against the Redskins. Things just weren't clicking. The Eagles trailed 10-3 and were lucky to be that close; if we're being honest. That's when Wentz worked some magic. He dropped back in the pocket and launched a throw deep into the Philly air. Instead of being short or long, left or right, this pass landed in the arms of rookie receiver Mack Hollins. Just like that, the game was tied at 10.

Not only did that play tie the game, it woke up the Eagles. They were dominant for a while, but Washington cut the lead to just seven late in the third quarter. The Eagles faced a tough third-down situation early in the fourth quarter and Wentz made a remarkable play. The pocket collapsed around him and it appeared he was down for a sack, but magically No. 11 escaped the scrum and ran for 17 yards and a huge first down.

I was yelling at my TV for the Eagles to hurry up and snap the ball. I just knew Wentz's knee or arm had touched the ground and I didn't want a replay to wipe out that moment. The Eagles didn't rush off a snap and when we did finally see a replay, it was clear that Wentz never went down. Amazing. It took a lot of strength and toughness to fight out of that pileup. Most quarterbacks don't make that play. Heck, I'm not sure any other quarterback makes that play.

Wentz did.

There was tremendous excitement when the Eagles drafted Wentz second overall in 2016. He looked like a franchise quarterback and the organization had been looking for someone like that since the departure of Donovan McNabb.

Everyone had their idea of what Wentz might be. There were different thoughts on how quickly he might develop. I don't think anyone had him pegged as the front-runner for NFL MVP halfway through his second season.

Wentz isn't just a good young player. He is doing special things. The fun part of all this is that we're just getting started with Wentz. He could be the face of this franchise for years to come.

I don't mean to make it sound as if Wentz is the only reason the Eagles are 6-1. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Eagles are playing good team football right now. There are key moments on offense, defense, and special teams.

Rookie Derek Barnett had a pair of sacks and a tackle for loss. Veteran safety Corey Graham made some key tackles and picked off a pass. Halapoulivaati Vaitai took over for Jason Peters at left tackle and held his own. Hollins caught the first touchdown of his career.

You have to single out tight end Zach Ertz. He and Wentz have become a dynamic duo. Ertz always showed big-time ability, but not quite the consistency to become a star tight end. Stability at quarterback has helped a lot and Wentz and Ertz have terrific chemistry. You can argue that Ertz is playing better than any other tight end in the league right now.

The Eagles have the best record in the NFL and lead the NFC East by 2.5 games. That doesn't get them any awards in October, but it is fun to see the team playing so well and finding a way to win every week. This team is talented, but they also have great intangibles. Plenty of NFL teams have talent. The best teams play as one and just have a winning vibe. That's the Eagles right now.

It will be challenging to keep that going with Peters and Jordan Hicks both out for the rest of the season. Beyond being an elite left tackle, you lose one of the best leaders on the whole team with Peters being gone. Hicks is also a key leader and playmaker on defense.

Doug Pederson has preached the “next man up” philosophy all season long. Vaitai and Mychal Kendricks will now go from role players to starting at key positions.

It would be easy to get down because of this, but you shouldn't. As long as the Eagles have Wentz on the field, they have a chance. Take a look at the Packers. They had all kinds of crazy injuries, but the Packers kept scoring points and winning games.

The team got healthier and then Rodgers went down. They lost on Sunday and didn't look good at all. Coaches and players can fix a lot of things, but you can't replace a great quarterback. The Packers are going to be hurting without Rodgers.

The injury news for the Eagles just made life tougher, but the presence of Wentz means a lot. A great quarterback can mask a lot of deficiencies. There are going to be some challenging moments over the final nine regular-season games, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Wentz has in store for us.

He is a special player.

Tommy Lawlor, goeagles99 on the Eagles Message Boards, is an amateur football scout and devoted Eagles fan. He is the editor of IgglesBlitz.com.

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