Wentz long way from matching Big Ben's rookie season
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Carson Wentz's excellent start is nothing compared to what Ben Roethlisberger did his rookie season.
Wentz is 2-0. Big Ben was 13-0 in 2004.
The two quarterbacks share an agent and other similarities. They'll meet Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) host their intrastate rival Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0).
''I think he's doing a really good job of just kind of letting the game come to him,'' Roethlisberger said of Wentz. ''He's not forcing it. You see him throwing balls away and not trying to make too many crazy throws down the field, and using his legs when needed.
''He's a really smart guy, smart player, physically gifted, so I think all of that kind of helps. And his preparation is very good.''
Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick, worked out with Roethlisberger and had dinner with him in California this summer. Roethlisberger thought he'd see much more of Wentz.
''I thought I was going to be facing him two times a year in Cleveland,'' Roethlisberger said.
The Browns traded the pick to the Eagles and began the season with Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback. They're 0-2 and Griffin is injured.
Wentz was slated to be Philadelphia's No. 3 quarterback until Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota. He's been so impressive in the first two games that he's already drawn comparisons to Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Roethlisberger.
''I've always found it intriguing the way that guy plays the game differently than a lot of guys, and he's fun to watch,'' Wentz said of Roethlisberger. ''That guy can make some really big plays and it's pretty impressive.''
Roethlisberger started his first game in Week 2 of his rookie season after Tommy Maddox was injured in the opener. He didn't lose until the AFC championship game against New England.
''I was blessed with a great defense, and you weren't afraid to make mistakes because you knew they were either going to get the ball back for you, or stop them,'' Roethlisberger said.
Here's some things to know about the first Steelers-Eagles game since 2012:
DAUNTING TASK: Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's much-improved defense - the Eagles are No. 4 in yards allowed after finishing in the bottom five the past three seasons - has a tough assignment against Roethlisberger, All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and NFL leading rusher DeAngelo Williams. ''This will be the most complete team that we'll play this year,'' defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said.
Stopping Brown is an even bigger challenge with starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin sidelined for the second straight game. Ron Brooks and rookie Jalen Mills take his spot.
''You got to keep him in front of you and when he's in front of you, you got to tackle him,'' safety Malcolm Jenkins said. ''He's a great route runner. He's got speed and he can get behind the defense. If you play too soft, he's a hard tackle in the open field.''
FAMILIAR LOOK: The Eagles are playing a 3-4 defense for the third straight week. They handled the Browns and Bears well, scoring 29 points against each team. ''The Steelers actually play a true 3-4,'' Pederson said. ''You will see more of that front with this group. They still play their under front and over front and mix it up a little bit in their base packages. As far as the three games, this is more of a 3-4 look.''
FIELD FLIPPER: One of the reasons the Steelers have allowed just 32 points despite giving up a lot of yards is field position. Punter Jordan Berry has already dropped half of his 10 kicks inside the 20 and his 42.8 net yard average ranks seventh overall. The Bengals started five of their 15 possessions last week inside their 10.
NO PRESSURE: The Steelers have just one sack through two games, and that came on a scramble by Cincinnati's Andy Dalton for no gain. Don't expect a lot of changes as Pittsburgh faces Wentz. ''Our front four is so good, we don't need to blitz,'' said linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Pittsburgh has focused on dropping more players into coverage to protect a secondary working in rookies Artie Burns and Sean Davis.
HEAD START: Wentz has led the Eagles to 10 points on the opening possession. He is 12 of 14 for 102 yards and one TD on those drives. The Steelers haven't scored on their first drive yet.
AP Sports Writer Will Graves contributed to this report.
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