The 2020 season was one to forget for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. It was an accumulation of bad external factors while Wentz himself had issues as well.
Doug Farrar of The Touchdown Wire was able to put just how bad last season was for Wentz in statistical form. Farrar broke down the NFL's worst quarterbacks for every type of throw in a recent article. Wentz appeared on the list more than any other quarterback, coming in as the worst quarterback in six different categories.
The categories that Wentz/Eagles' quarterbacks were worst in the league at were listed as:
- Zero/One-step drop
- Without pre-snap motion
- With play-action
- Without being blitzed
- Without pressure
- In the pocket
While I won't highlight everything Farrar said about each metric (as I encourage you to read his piece on the subject), the two that caught my eyes the most were how Wentz performed with play-action and without pressure.
Here is what Farrar had to say about Wentz on play-action passes:
When he did have the “benefit” of play-action, Wentz completed just 74 of 124 passes 747 yards, 375 air yards, four touchdowns, four interceptions, and a passer rating of 79.1. Play-action is often used to create shot plays downfield, but this did not apply to Wentz last season. At all. On play-action throws of 20 or more air yards, Wentz completed five of 17 for 154 yards, 114 air yards, no touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 40.3.
It's safe to say that this will have to improve in 2021 with the Colts' as they are a top rushing offense that has used play-action in the past to attack overaggressive defenses.
In regards to passing without pressure, Farrar had both Eagles' quarterbacks (Wentz and Jalen Hurts) appear on his list:
From a clean pocket, Wentz completed 194 of 295 passes for 2,053 yards, 1,244 air yards, 12 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 85.3. Hurts had a rating of 85.1 without pressure, completing 56 of 93 passes for 692 yards, 324 air yards, three touchdowns and two picks. A passer rating in the 85s sounds like a pretty good deal, but when you consider that 21 starting quarterbacks had a passer rating over 100 without pressure last season, it doesn’t quite work out.
Obviously this article doesn't state anything we don't already know, as even the most diehard Wentz supporters will acknowledge last year's struggles. The stats are a bit jarring every time they are put in writing, though.
Ultimately, the past is the past and it truly comes down to how Wentz bounces back. He is in a good system now with a top tier offensive line and capable pass catchers. There is no excuse for the ship not to get right in 2021.
Wentz was bad in 2020 and it is part of his evaluation, but the only thing that matters is how he performs going forward. Hopefully, 2020 proves to be the outlier in his career.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.