1672723591 Carson Wentz could be done in the NFL — even

Carson Wentz could be done in the NFL — even as a backup — Sports Illustrated

Rightly waiting all day for Monday evening…

• Here are the passer ratings for Carson Wentz’s last five starts: 71.0, 56.6, 102.9, 66.3, 31.4.

In my estimation and in the estimation of the NFL folks who worked for him, this is the end of the road for him as a starter. He may or may not play Dallas (anyway, I’ve heard we’ll see at least a little Sam Howell on Sunday). Regardless, I don’t think anything Wentz is doing could change the grim reality of the situation.

And that begs the question – what the heck happened?

In 2016, he was so good at camp that he convinced the Eagles to burn his redshirt when a trade came up to send Sam Bradford to Minnesota. In 2017, before the ACL rupture, he was the frontrunner to become league MVP and led a team that would go on to win the Super Bowl. And since then there have been more injuries and a downward spiral that Wentz seemed to be caught up in endlessly.

In fact, a lot of people who worked with him in Indy and Washington really liked the guy. More than that, you see a player who was willing to try and fix his mistakes. The conclusion most seem to have come to? As a quarterback he can break.

He can make things look right in practice. In games, however, everything around him has to be perfect. If not, he will freeze and revert to bad habits that he has not been able to break at game speed. The result is that a wide-open recipient, who is his first reading of some pieces, walks by and others are thrown into coverage. To make matters worse, he is no longer athletic enough to escape and break tackles. He’s become a statue back there in many ways, making him a fish in a barrel for the defenders.

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) looks on during the first half at FedExField against the Cleveland Browns.

In what may be Carson Wentz’s last NFL start, the former No. 2 overall ranked for 16-for-28 passes for 143 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions.

Maybe everyone should have seen that coming last year because of the fact that it didn’t work out with then-Colts coach Frank Reich – who killed and warned everything so Wentz could easily get out of games even when he shouldn’t, and runs a very quarterback-friendly system – was a very real red flag.

As I said this morning, I wouldn’t be shocked if his career went like Bradford’s, in large part because like Bradford he made his money and probably wouldn’t fit in as well as Backing most places. It’s all kind of a shame because I think Wentz is a kind hearted, well meaning and talented guy.

It’s hard to make it in that position in the NFL.

• On Sunday night, after making his first comeback from a double-digit deficit as a pro, I wanted to ask Brock Purdy about his circumstances – on the one hand, he was the last pick in the draft; but to go to the Niners, to play for Kyle Shanahan, and on the other side with Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Williams.

I would say he didn’t seem lost on what he stumbled upon.

“I’m a faith-based guy, and for me, man, I’m thankful for everything that’s happening and how it’s happening,” he said. “I don’t get mad if something doesn’t go my way or anything. I’m a competitor and I want to be the best, yes. But where I fell into the blueprint and all, that’s all…to me, I see it as like it’s in God’s plan. And that’s how I knew he had written something for it and a reason.

“I just had to trust it and take it day by day. I’m not saying I made it or figured it all out, but it’s just cool to see how he works.”

In the past few months, it’s fair to say that a lot of things have worked out for Purdy.

• For me, the most interesting quirk of the Week 18 schedule was how the NFL refused to put the only game with guaranteed stakes for both teams, Jaguars-Titans, in the Sunday night slot. On the surface at least, it looks like NBC and the league passed it on to reach for the star power that Packers-Lions bring with the ability to put Aaron Rodgers on the marquee.

But that sure is a roll of the dice.

If the Seahawks beat the Rams, which seems like a fair bet, the Lions will be eliminated from the playoff picture and face spoiler play at Lambeau. If Seattle loses, it’s a win or win for both teams.

• How do the Seahawks see it? I asked Geno Smith because the fate of his comeback player of the year depends not only on what Seattle does on Sunday, but what happens in prime time.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” Smith told me. “We had a chance to take charge of our own destiny halfway through the season and obviously we’ve been through a rough patch and now we need some help from Detroit. … The thing about us is we need to win next week to have a chance, so we can just control what we can control and focus on that.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to compete against the New York Jets in the second quarter at Lumen Field.

The Seahawks had lost five of six games before Sunday’s win against the Jets.

At the very least, a win on Sunday would give the Seahawks a winning record and a two-game improvement from last year, which must count as a win in the franchise’s first post-Russell Wilson season. And considering they likely have a top-five pick and will be bringing back a banner draft class for 2022 next year, there’s no question Seattle is back on the way up.

Now that the free hand beckons, a big question remains as to whether Smith will step up with them.

• Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel told reporters Monday he was preparing to face the Jets with Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thompson (depending on the health of Bridgewater’s pinky) on Sunday, with Tua Tagovailoa remaining on concussion record. Miami can reach the playoffs with a Patriots win and loss in Buffalo.

Anyhow, it looks like the odds that Tagovailoa’s season is over are looking good. And that means the team’s gathering of information on its third-year quarterback is likely to be complete ahead of this offseason’s decision on his 2024 fifth-year option.

Would you guarantee Tagovailoa between $25 million and $30 million today for 2024? Would you try to renew it at a higher rate? Or would you be okay with going into 2023 with your quarterback in a contract year? And if you’re up for that, is there another quarterback, like the one across state, that you’d rather have year by year?

Part of the owner’s idea when investing in Mike McDaniel, Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead over the past year was to get the best answers to these questions. Whether they have these now or not, they must have some answers for them.

• It’s hardly a surprise that Josh Dobbs was chosen over Malik Willis for the Titans this week, given how Dobbs was able to operate offensively and how Tennessee have struggled with Willis at the controls. It’s also likely an indicator this offseason that Willi’s presence won’t stop the team from pouring more resources into the position.

Remember that 2023 is a contract year for Ryan Tannehill, and a non-guaranteed one at that. And while it’s hard to predict what a team that doesn’t currently have a GM will do as quarterback, I think it’s at least fair to expect the Titans to explore their options at the position, both draft and in the Veterans Market. This team is aging at some key points and could be primed for one last good run – or something like a fresh start.

• I’m excited to see how Jalen Hurts fares against the Giants this week, with the Giants in the sixth seed and his Eagles getting a third chance to secure the top seed.

Hurts had so much momentum earlier in the year, and it’s certainly fair to ask if he needs a few series to get his sea legs back. On the other hand, this could be a blessing in disguise as Philly might have rested him this week if they suspended the first seed and then we’d talk about Hurts potentially going to the playoffs after a five-week hiatus (scoring). the bye week) to heal his shoulder.

• Sunday’s game between the Texans and the Colts will be interesting, just from a sporting point of view – who will come to play and whose thoughts will be on the first tee already? It might seem like an irrelevant question, but how the teams and individual players perform could influence some decisions for each team in the offseason, with the big question for both being whether or not they end their acting head coaches’ short tenures on Monday or not.

• Sometimes I think we overdo it to protect boys from injury. And the situation in Chicago is a good example of that. As long as there’s no risk of injury, I’ll play Justin Fields when I’m Matt Eberflus. Fields needs reps more than anything, especially in the passing game, so this is another opportunity to give him those.

If there’s a risk of another injury then obviously we’re talking about something else because you don’t want him spending his rehab off-season instead of training for 2023.

• Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen is a match that we’ll be lucky enough to see in the next ten years in the AFC. And with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Trevor Lawrence in the conference, it could be tough for any AFC team that doesn’t have a guy like that for the foreseeable future.

So here’s one thing I picked up from phoning around in front of Bills-Bengals – respect for Burrow in the NFL is sky high. That means he’s viewed and positioned as right there with Allen and Mahomes to have the Bengals with the Bills and Chiefs long-term.

“With him, the ball is out so quickly,” said a longtime AFC manager. “That’s a trait he showed at LSU. In college you knew he had it and he got better and better and better at it. He’s certainly a top-notch quarterback. Whatever top class you have, he’ll be there, no question.”

I do a quarterback poll every year and I ask executives and coaches to tell me who they think will be the top five guys at the position at the end of the season. At the start of the season, Burrow finished fifth after 76 ballots were counted, behind Mahomes, Allen, Aaron Rodgers and Justin Herbert. Now that we’ve made it to the end of the year? I’m not sure if he wouldn’t be third. If not even higher.