Carson Wentz is a fierce competitor. He can also be dishonest.
Wentz, who is with his third team in three years, will play his former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, now the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, his most previous team, the Colts, and the Eagles twice.
Although Wentz tried to play down his week 10 Monday night football visit Nov. 14 when the Eagles host primetime Commanders at 8:15 p.m. ET. on the NFL Network last Thursday.
“I know it will be a big game. Lots of emotions,” Wentz said. “I’m sure the fans will eat that one and it’ll be fun – do a good storyline. But at the end of the day, it will just be another ball game. It’s going to be a huge division game for us when this one comes around. So, I’m excited for that, but at the same time, I’m trying not to get too excited for that one, because, again, it’s just football. Unable to press. I can’t do too much.
Lincoln Financial Field lacks the pampering vibe that the crazed 700-level locals had at Veterans Stadium for opposing players and fans, but that night it can feel like the old vet when Wentz visits.
Wentz will draw a splash of applause. But the overwhelming answer will be negative. Wentz arrived in Philadelphia trumpeted as Norm Van Brocklin’s next comer (up to No. 11) and by the time he left he was more reviled than Chip Kelly by the fan base.
So when Wentz said he was visiting the Eagles, “it’s going to be just another football game,” do you really believe him?
You probably don’t.
Unfortunately for Wentz, more Eagles fans will remember his final season going 4-11-1, with many reports of him bubbling on the box, than when he went 11-2 and threw for 33 touchdowns against seven. interceptions in 2017, getting the Eagles to superbowl.
If the Commanders win Nov. 14 and cameras are allowed in Washington’s postgame locker room, you’ll see an exuberant Wentz, much like when Donovan McNabb beat the Eagles, 17-12, on Oct. 3, 2010. and said, “Everyone makes mistakes in their life, and they (the Eagles) made one last year.”
Wentz, in some ways, felt betrayed by the Eagles in his final season when they drafted his eventual successor in Jalen Hurts, who was drafted by general manager Howie Roseman strictly as insurance — not to replace Wentz. The Eagles, in turn, felt betrayed by Wentz, having gone out of their way to give him a nice four-year, $128 million contract extension, accommodate him by firing Pederson and cater to his every whim. during its first four seasons. there, asking to be traded.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, in Week 3, when the Eagles travel to Washington, there will be plenty of under-the-table punching from both sides.
On Monday night, Nov. 14, ESPN cameras are sure to see stuffed Wentz dolls hanging in effigy from tailgates, and Eagles foam burning their Eagles $25. #11 Wentz Jerseys.
If the Eagles win on Nov. 17, the high fives in the Eagles owner’s box will have a bit more impact. If Commanders win, Wentz may not be able to hide the unbridled feeling he’ll get from sticking to a fan base he felt stuck to him, regardless of what he might say publicly about the Eagles fan support.
His aw-shucks, Opie-from-Mayberry overrun routine was exposed. He performed well and converted many local and national media into Wentz fanboys. Underneath there is “Cut-throat Carson” for him. It must be. He wouldn’t be a viable NFL quarterback if he wasn’t. That was his problem – a reluctance to show it, instead of cowering in adverse situations. So when Wentz says, “it’s gonna be just another ball game,” don’t believe him. Wentz will have a lot of fun stomping on Eagles fans on Nov. 14, regardless of anything he says publicly.
It is DO NOT going to be just another ball game. Not in Wentz. Not at the Eagles. Not to the media covering the match. And certainly not to Eagles fans, who themselves will take great joy in seeing “Commander Carson” drop again.
The big problem potentially facing the Eagles and everyone else in the NFC East is, right?
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written stories for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep”. He is best known for his award-winning article on ESPN.com about high school wrestler AJ Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
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