It wasn’t all great for the Commanders offense in the first half. That included running back Antonio Gibson continuing with his case of the fumbles. A full-time starter for Washington last season, Taylor Heinicke also threw an interception to conclude a long drive at the end of the first half.
Focusing on the micro here, Wentz turned some major questions about his summer performance into success in live-game action.
“It’s a lot better than you give him credit for, just because of the way things happen in practice,” Rivera said, via John Keim of ESPN (h/t Pro Football Talk’s Myles Simmons) There’s a lot of little nuances that we see that we look at that we get to review. Yeah, there’s some inaccuracy. But it’s nothing that we are overly concerned [about].”
Wentz, 29, drew criticism for his performance in his final season with the Eagles back in 2020 when he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15.
This led to Philadelphia opting to move off Wentz in favor of Jalen Hurts, trading the former to the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz lasted just one season in Indy with questions coming up about his leadership ability. However, his stats were much better than anything we saw from Commanders quarterbacks a season ago.
- Carson Wentz stats (2021): 62% completion, 3,563 yards, 27 TDs, 7 INTs, 94.6 QB rating
- Washington Commanders QB stats (2021): 65% completion, 3,746 yards, 21 TDs, 15 INTs, 85.8 QB rating
With a new lease on his football life, the onus is now on Wentz to up his level of performance. He’s enjoying a fresh start with the Commanders, and finally feels like he’s in the right spot.
“I think for anybody, it just builds confidence. It builds confidence within myself,” Carson Wentz said at the start of training camp, via NBC Sports Washington. “I will always think that I’m a confident person, but hearing it from somebody else, from the head coach, definitely instills that confidence more.”
If the Commanders are able to unlock Wentz, they could surprise the masses while competing with the Dallas Cowboys and his former Eagles team in the NFC East.
While a small sample size, Saturday’s performance has to be seen as encouraging.