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Carson Wentz looking to prove doubters wrong

By Martin Rogers
FOX Sports Columnist

In lower than two weeks, Carson Wentz will come up towards the final group he confronted – the Jacksonville Jaguars. And precisely two months from in the present day, Wentz will meet the group he was taking part in for on the time – the Indianapolis Colts.

For Wentz, who’s the brand new beginning quarterback for the Washington Commanders, the span between these two video games will go a good distance in figuring out whether or not one of many extra divisive gamers within the NFL could have a shot at restoring his popularity this season, or as an alternative proceed down a murky path the place his title will get, it appears, regularly impugned.

Wentz has heard a number of criticism over the previous few years, and it has turned the concept of him being probably the most dynamic and promising signal-callers in soccer into a large query mark.

Once a much-prized No. 2 total decide, then a participant who took the Philadelphia Eagles a lot of the means by way of a wonderful season earlier than he acquired injured and Nick Foles led them to a Super Bowl, it has been a spiky and mysterious sort of plummet.

In some methods, it’s not a lot of a fall in any respect. Last season, Wentz had the ninth-highest QB ranking within the league and threw 27 touchdowns towards seven picks. But needing solely to beat the league-worst Jaguars on the ultimate day of the marketing campaign to ebook a playoff spot, he turned in an insipid show and acquired bumped out of city with indecent haste as soon as the offseason started.

The Colts group hasn’t been ready to cease speaking smack about him ever since.

“I feel the worst factor you are able to do is have a mistake and check out to preserve dwelling with it going ahead,” Colts proprietor Jim Irsay instructed reporters, after Wentz was traded to the Commanders in a transfer that successfully price Washington a pair of third-rounders. “For us, it was one thing we had to transfer away from as a franchise. It was very apparent.”

The similar types of remarks about Wentz that were first heard in Philly rapidly surfaced as soon as extra – that he is egocentric, ego-driven, and a nasty teammate.

As the Colts have welcomed Matt Ryan, it appears like each optimistic assertion in regards to the new quarterback has been twinned with a barely disguised character jab in regards to the outdated one.

Meanwhile, the speak in Washington has been a piece in progress, as a bond with elite receiver Terry McLaurin started to emerge solely after some teething troubles within the early a part of camp.

Wentz admitted that a few of the preseason optics have been lower than flashy, main to concern that at a price ticket of $28 million, he nonetheless isn’t the reply in a capital metropolis that’s been a QB lifeless zone for years.

“We’ve put some good, some unhealthy and a few ugly out on tape and it’s not been excellent, however I like the place we’re at,” Wentz instructed reporters. “I just like the mindset, I just like the make-up. We’re undoubtedly not excellent, we can be constructing and rising each week, each time we step out on the sphere.”

The NFL scheduling pc works in mysterious methods and by no means fails to conjure up some quirkily scrumptious matchups. New Panthers QB Baker Mayfield’s reunion with the Cleveland Browns is the decide of the bunch in Week 1, however there’s some unavoidable irony in Wentz’s date with the Jaguars, the group that prompted him a lot ridicule.

The head-to-head with the Colts in Week 8 (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX) can be much more appetizing. Wentz doesn’t precisely put on his coronary heart on his sleeve, however how might he fail to be fired up and decided to prove some extent for that one?

Strangely, how Ryan’s first season in Indianapolis performs out will partly convey how Wentz is regarded in absentia. If the previous Atlanta Falcons star shines, the elimination of Wentz can be additional celebrated with glee. If Ryan struggles, nevertheless, particularly getting used to an offense relying closely on working again Jonathan Taylor, then it might get fascinating.

“What you had is Carson Wentz, a little bit of a playmaker,” FS1’s Colin Cowherd stated lately, on “The Herd.” “Matt Ryan shouldn’t be. He’s not going to make a few of the errors of Wentz however he’s additionally not going to escape a few of the issues that Wentz might. He’s going to be requested to remedy points which are in personnel.”

Expect the anti-Wentz sentiment from Indianapolis to escalate within the coming weeks. For the veteran brigade in Indy, the idea nonetheless holds that they have been a reliable QB away from making a deep playoff run. That assertion is closely debatable, nevertheless it lingers, and there’s bitterness.

For Wentz, a brand new scenario confers a possibility to alter the script. But if he desires to accomplish that rapidly, he’d higher ship in two particular video games – the place he’s the central character in a fiery narrative.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the creator of the FOX Sports Insider e-newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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