Wentz was incredible on Monday night. There's no other way to say it
Carson Wentz was incredible in a 34-24 win over Washington Monday night. There's no other way to say it.
During a 17-point second quarter, the second-year QB connected with rookie Mack Hollins on a 64-yard rainbow to tie the game, coming just one play after Wentz had been crushed by a blitzing Zach Brown on a sack. Wentz then finished the half with a masterful two-minute drive, needing just 90 seconds to take the Eagles 80 yards for the TD that put them ahead for good. On a third-and-goal in the third quarter, he stepped up in a crowded pocket and jumped toward an oncoming rusher (with another lingering near his feet) to throw a perfect lob to the right side of the end zone, finding running back Corey Clement. And in the fourth, Wentz kept the Eagles' momentum alive with a magical 17-yard scramble on third down—one that had Jon Gruden asking "Where did he go?!"—before throwing his fourth touchdown of the night.
"Hard to argue Carson Wentz isn't the best quarterback we've seen this year," Gruden said near the end of Wentz's superstar turn, in which he threw for 268 yards and led the team in rushing (63 yards on eight attempts). He's now the NFL leader with 17 touchdown passes, and the first Eagles QB to throw at least three TDs in three straight games since good ol' Bobby Thomason in 1953. With the Wentz Wagon rolling, the Eagles are poised to take control of the NFC; they enter Week 8 (a home game against the reeling 49ers) as the NFL's only one-loss team. Also of note: Only two remaining teams on Philly's schedule have winning records at the moment. There was one downer for the Eagles: the loss of left tackle Jason Peters with what appears to be a major knee injury. But if he can return, or if the team can find a suitable replacement (second-year OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has made seven career starts as a fill-in for Lane Johnson at right tackle, stepped in on Wentz's blindside Monday night), coach Doug Pederson has a Super Bowl contender on his hands.
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1. Eagles 34, Washington 24. Ultimately the stats looked pretty similar (Philly only outgained its visitors, 371-344), but the home team pulled ahead with a 17-point second quarter and opened up a two-score lead with a 75-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.
2. The Falcons, after a third straight loss, held a team meeting Monday—"our own state of the union," according to head coach Dan Quinn.
3. After the Texans' bye week, star left tackle Duane Brown ended his holdout. "I'm just ready to get back on the field with my brothers," he said. Despite generating some buzz with Deshaun Watson, Houston is currently third in the AFC South, but considering the team's offensive line struggles, this addition gives it a hefty boost in a hard-to-predict race.
4. John Fox explained why he's fine throwing the ball seven times in a game (I think?) while also giving some financial advice (as far as I can tell?). “You just don’t take a lot of risks,” he said Monday. “It’s a little bit like investing your money. I don’t know if you want to be 100% in tech stocks. You might want to have some bonds; you might want to have some money in cash. Everything is risk/reward—including football.” However, Rick Morrissey writes, "It’s worth asking whether winning now at all costs is a good thing for Trubisky’s development."
5. A week after reportedly requesting a trade from the Steelers, wideout Martavis Bryant posted on Instagram Sunday that rookie WR "Juju [Smith-Schuster] is no where near better than me" and seemed to imply that there was a lack of support from the team to help him get back into the league after his yearlong suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. And on Monday, he called in sick for a meeting. Bryant has officially become a problem, writes Sean Gentille.
6. Following a judge's ruling Monday, Ezekiel Elliott will be available to play against Washington Sunday.
7. It seems that Vontaze Burfict won't be fined for seemingly trying to kick Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix after a play Sunday. Le'Veon Bell took offense to the act, tweeting "man dude gotta go man...that's not football AT ALL!!"
8. As was feared, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has a torn triceps and is out for the year.
9. Having played 35% of the snaps against the Bills, Bucs safety T.J. Ward, who joined the team right before Week 1, is frustrated by his lack of playing time. "I did not come here to rotate," he said. "I did not come here to be a part-time player."
10. Julius Peppers' jersey and gloves were sent to the Hall of Fame after he became the first player in league history to tally 150 sacks and 10 interceptions.
Unlike some of the other beautiful touchdown celebrations we've seen this year, I don't think this one involving three Chargers slipping in the same place was planned.