Carson Wentz has been nearly flawless two games into his NFL career. The North Dakota State product threw for 190 yards and one touchdown to lead Philadelphia to its second win of the season Monday night.
According to the league office, Wentz is the first rookie since the 1970 merger to win his first two games without throwing an interception.
He has completed 60.6 percent of his passes and has three touchdowns through two weeks. Eagles coach Dough Pederson said Wentz is playing like a veteran.
“Again, he took care of the football, stood in there and made some nice, tough throws,” Pederson said after the 29-14 victory. “Was it perfect? By no means was it perfect. At the same time, he’s seeing things really well. He’s commanding the huddle and the dialogue along the sideline with players and coaches with him is something that a nine, 10-year vet would do. It’s just shown his maturity and the ability that he has to play quarterback.”
Pederson isn’t the only one raving about Wentz. The national and North Dakota media like what they see from the No. 2 overall pick.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King called Wentz “genuine.” Former NFL coach and now NFL analyst Brian Billick said he “Had Wentz as No. 1 player in draft but wasn’t without major hesitations. Those hesitations are quickly disappearing. This kid can flat play.”
Fox Sports writer Dieter Kurtenback proclaimed Wentz is ready for the big time, but are the Eagles?
“Wentz looked the part Monday night. That wasn’t an illusion,” Kurtenback wrote. “The rest of the Eagles looked the part Monday night, too. That might be an illusion.
"We’ll find out in the weeks to come what’s real and what’s not. But for the time being, Philadelphia is a team to be feared, not only this year but in the next few years as well.
"That’s what strong quarterback play can do for a team.”
Mark Maske of the Washington Post wrote “It was fair to wonder when the [Sam] Bradford trade was made if the Eagles were in rebuilding mode, especially with Wentz having lost so many preseason snaps after suffering a hairline rib fracture. But now it doesn’t seem farfetched that they could contend in what remains a far-from-imposing division.”
Bleacher Report NFL national columnist hails Wentz as the “real deal.”
He wrote “You had to see it. You had to feel it. Wentz's coming-out party had to be witnessed.
“You had to watch as he confidently checked out of plays after scanning the Bears defense at the line of scrimmage, as he boldly stepped into the rush to deliver missiles and as he commanded the offense like a 10-year veteran.
"Quarterback is the most cerebral position in professional sports, and Wentz established on Monday night that he possesses both the physical and mental prerequisites to be a franchise quarterback. Not in 2017, not later this year.
USA Today’s Luke Kerr-Dineen isn’t as impressed.
He wrote “Firing up the hype machine really is fun, especially this early in the season, so this will probably come as a wet blanket: Pump the brakes on Carson Wentz. …
"Wentz completed just 22 passes in the preseason before getting injured. How do you prepare to play against that? Put simply, you don’t. That lack of preparation from the opposition is something every rookie quarterback benefits from, and it’s why we’re still nowhere close to being able to make a call on Wentz yet. Two games is just too small a sample size. Things need time to sort themselves out.”
North Dakota media celebrated another great effort from their local star.
The Forum columnist Mike McFeely led his Tuesday story with a jab at the national skeptics.
McFeely wrote “If Carson Wentz reaches a point this season when he looks overmatched or out his element—you know, because he's a quarterback from a small school—somebody alert the media or the Internet or something. … Not bad for a quarterback the Cleveland Browns deemed not good enough and the Los Angeles Rams rated second behind a QB currently sitting at No. 3 on their depth chart.”
ESPN sent a production team to a bar in Fargo Monday night to capture some of the Wentz frenzy. Lia Satermo of Fargo told The Forum "You'll see the Bison fans show their support for Carson no matter what because they're pretty dog loyal fans.”