PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s no denying now, the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles are Carson Wentz’s team. How he goes, they will go.
Wentz showed leadership and great accountability this offseason in admitting “maybe (he) wasn’t the greatest teammate at times” over the past year because he was “emotionally kind of all over the place.”
Now that it’s out of the way, Wentz can focus on what he needs to accomplish on the field.
He was 5-6 as a starter last year, throwing 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions. In 2017, a season in which many thought he would have been the NFL MVP had he not gotten hurt late that season, he threw for an Eagles’ single-season record 33 TDs to seven interceptions.
If Wentz had any problem in 2018, it came in the red zone.
Last year, Wentz was 34 of 58 with 18 touchdowns and one interception and was 16th in the NFL in red-zone efficiency. Out of the 110 red-zone plays last year for Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, the Chiefs had a first down or scored on 48 plays — or 43.6%. In comparison, the Eagles with Wentz last season ran 62 plays in the red zone and scored or achieved a first down on 21 plays — 33.6%.
In 2017, Wentz completed 38 of 59 with 24 TDs and no picks, finishing second only behind Tom Brady in red-zone efficiency. Under Wentz, the Eagles ran 60 red zone plays and scored or achieved a first down 29 times (48.3%). That season, Brady and the Patriots ran 96 red-zone plays and scored or achieved a touchdown 36 times (37.5%).
“Red-zone Carson” needs to return in 2019 for the Eagles to be successful.
With the knee brace gone and a much slimmer version of Wentz this season, it’s possible. His continuing issues will be placing complete trust in the offense.
The weapons are certainly there.
It’s up to Wentz to regain that poise he had in the red zone. It’s there. He displayed it in 2017.