Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been affected by drops this season. What if that wasn’t the case, though?
Week two against the Atlanta Falcons might’ve been the most frustrating Philadelphia Eagles game in 2019. As the team lost Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery, and DeSean Jackson in pregame warmups, the offense looked entirely sluggish in the first half.
Carson Wentz morphed from his 2017 self to 2016 in the matter of a week. And because of that, the offense struggled to move the ball and put points on the board. By the second half, though, they picked up the pace. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but they were getting the job done.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish the matchup with a win, even though Wentz hit his wideout, Nelson Agholor in stride on a would-be touchdown to seal the deal — if only Agholor caught the ball. It felt like 2016 all over again in that situation, and the hope was that it was a one-time occurrence. It was not.
The following week, the Eagles dealt with seven total drops. Once again, Wentz delivered a game-winning throw, this time to JJ Arcega-Whiteside. And sure enough, the wideout dropped it. At that point, it was realized by Pro Football Focus that Wentz had made five ‘big-time’ throws where he put the ball on the money, but the receiver couldn’t hold onto it.
Wentz currently has an NFL-high of 8.3-percent of his throws dropped by the receivers. Stats aren’t everything, but if we’re judging quarterbacks by what we see on paper, Wentz needs an honest assessment. Right now, Wentz’s stats don’t scream MVP as many want them too, but if the receivers do their job on those five plays, the situation is much different.
A look at the adjusted stats
Forget the total amount of drops Carson Wentz’s receivers hurt him with this season. Let’s just focus on the five that should’ve been reeled in as big-time throws. As of right now, Carson Wentz has a total passer rating of 95.3 on the year, which ranks 15th in the NFL.
Had those passes been caught, Wentz’s rating would see a nice jump to 108.5, giving him a top-five rating in the league, according to Brandon Lee Gowton. And the plays that were likely touchdowns when dropped? They would’ve had Wentz at 11 total, as opposed to nine, which would currently lead the NFL — just like he did two seasons ago during his MVP campaign.
It’s unfortunate this is the case, but PFF felt the need to explain their reasoning behind rating Wentz as the best passer in the league so far. Considering everything that has gone against Wentz early on, his progress needed to be investigated. And what the pros came up with was that Wentz is indeed playing at a high level. Unfortunately, his co-workers have failed him a handful of times.