Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz is happy to be with a team that makes him feel wanted and the organization is confident he can be their long-term starter. However, things aren’t exactly off to the perfect start.
Wentz reported for training camp looking to prove himself after consecutive disappointing seasons. The Philadelphia Eagles dumped him early in 2021, replacing him with his backup Jalen Hurts. Many thought a reunion with Frank Reich could revitalize Wentz’s career, but the Indianapolis Colts bailed on him a year later.
The 29-year-old quarterback remains one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, now on his third team in three years. Determined to prove he can still be the face of a franchise and a consistent force on the field, Wentz seems to be struggling in training camp.
Ben Standig of The Athletic is covering Commanders’ practices, witnessing how both the offense and defense look through the early days. He noted on Day 2 that the defense dominated, with Wentz missing on multiple throws and playing a role in the offense rarely clicking the entire day.
There were some improvements on Day 2, with Washington’s wide receivers making some plays in tight coverage. However, per Standig, Wentz’s accuracy is an early problem at training camp so far.
- Carson Wentz stats (2021): 62.4% completion rate, 3,563 passing yards, 27-7 TD-INT ratio
Erratic ball placement has been an issue for Wentz in recent years. He completed just 57.4% of his throws in 2020. While he posted a career-best 69.5% completion rate in 2018, every season outside of that he has finished with a completion rate under 64 percent.
It proved to be an even bigger problem late in the 2021 season with the Colts. Across his final four starts, Wentz completed just 58.33% of his throws and only managed an 86.1 quarterback rating.
A bigger concern for Washington will be how the veteran quarterback handles pressure during games. While he does have a track record of highlight plays when blitzed, it also comes with reckless turnovers in crucial moments.
There’s no reason for the Commanders to be concerned right now. They’ve built a quality offense around their starting quarterback and Wentz remains an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke. At his peak moments, Wentz can help this offense score 30-plus points.
With that in mind, the issues that doomed him in Philadelphia and Indianapolis are likely to return. Quarterbacks don’t suddenly correct all their issues at 29, especially after leaving two quality organizations with strong coaching. Washington will just have to live with the bad that comes with the good this season.