What’s wrong with Carson Wentz ? This is the question I am seeing on my timeline today and one that I’ve seen on my timeline for most of the 2020 season. While most will say the answer is just simply that he sucks, I can’t imagine that is the case, though he sure has looked awful at times. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are attributing to his down season and see if there is any hope over the final few weeks of the fantasy football season.
Get This Man Some Protection
Listen, we know the Eagles are having some issues on the offensive line. Off and on all season, they have been without key players such as Brandon Brooks , Lane Johnson and Jason Peters so oftentimes when you have a makeshift offensive line there are some breakdowns, but the Eagles line has been downright dreadful this season. Per ProFootballFocus.com the Eagles rank 30th in Pass Blocking Efficiency which means pressures allowed per snap with weighting towards sacks allowed.
Through nine games this season Carson Wentz has already been sacked 35 times which leads the league. He has been sacked on 23-percent of his drop backs this season while being pressured on 36.5-percent of his pass plays. Last season through 16 games Wentz was sacked a total of 37 times. Wentz currently finds himself on pace to be sacked 62 times this season which would be tied for the fifth most in NFL history. When pressured Wentz has just a 40.4-percent completion percentage with a 51.8 QB Rating.
Hard to be productive if on a third of your passing plays you face pressure and are only completing 40-percent of your passes in that scenario.
He Deserves Some of the Blame
Now, while the offensive line play has been brutal, Wentz deserves some of the blame here as well. We saw how he has struggled when under pressure this year, and to be honest, most quarterbacks do not do well when pressured, but how has Wentz fared in the 63.5-percent of pass plays when he hasn’t faced pressure? The answer is not great. With no pressure this season Wentz has just a 65.4-percent completion percentage with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has just an 81.8 passer rating when he has time to throw the football. That’s just not good. When Wentz isn’t facing a blitz, those numbers are even worse as his completion rate drops to 57.4-percent and his passer rating drops to 71.7-percent. Wentz is struggling to throw into coverage, now, some of that can be attributed to his receivers not getting open, that is for sure, but you expect your above average quarterback to make some plays when they have time to throw the football and that just is not happening with Wentz under center this season.
Decision making has been an issue for Wentz this season as well. His 12 interceptions lead the league and it’s clear from the chart below that when it comes to throwing to the middle of the field, Wentz should consider a different option.
When targeting the middle of the field, Wentz has thrown seven of his 12 interceptions on the season. Of course, throwing in the middle of a defense is often risky, but it has been a clear weakness for him this season. What is clear, is that most of his success has come from targeting the right side of the field with his highest completion rates coming to that side within 20-yard passes.
Is There Any Hope?
So, is Wentz a lost cause this season or is there any hope for him over the remaining weeks to possibly save his 2020 season? In terms of scheduling, the Eagles do have some favorable matchups coming up when it comes to defense against the pass. Most notably their upcoming Week 12 tilt against the Seahawks that rank 29th against the pass per DVOA and have allowed a league high 353.3 yards per game through the air this season. In theory the Eagles Week 16 contest against the Cowboys should be a positive matchup for Wentz but we saw him struggle against their defense back in Week 8, completing just 15-of-27 passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Outside of Washington in Week 17, the rest of the schedule is packed with middle of the road defenses such as the Saints, Cardinals, Packers and Browns who have all been susceptible to giving up points this season through the air. With the Eagle offense getting healthier with the return of Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery in Week 10 and a possible return of Zach Ertz in a few weeks, the skill position players will at least be on the field for Wentz to make some things happen…whether or not he does remains to be seen. For now, he is definitely not someone you should be starting or even really considering as a starter outside of that Week 12 Seahawks matchup unless things improve in that offense and more importantly that offensive line soon.
For more on Carson Wentz check out today's Hot Takes from Dan Malin https://www.fantasyalarm.com/articles/DanielMalin/92025/fantasy-football-hot-takes-nfl-week-10/
Tables and Data provided by ProFootballFocus.com