As a fellow native North Dakotan, it gives me no pleasure to bring you up to speed on the increasingly downward trajectory of Carson Wentz's NFL career: From promising rookie in 2016 to MVP-caliber player in 2017 to slightly above-average starter (and still injury-riddled) in 2018 and 2019 to the near-bottom of the NFL (at least in terms of Total QBR and the eye test) in 2020.
What happened? Aside from injuries, which are a simple and probably correct explanation, that question leaves even those closest to him like Eagles coach Doug Pederson at a loss for adequate words.
Wentz's struggles were on full display Monday night, as the Eagles failed to get a first down on any of their first five drives against Seattle. Things got a little better as the game went on, but there was seldom any doubt that the Seahawks — a team with huge issues on defense all season — were going to hold Wentz in check and win the game.
Indeed, all that was left to decide was the final score in the closing seconds. The Eagles trailed 23-9 and had the ball at the Seattle 33. Wentz lofted a Hail Mary into the end zone that was tipped … and snagged by Hail Mary specialist Richard Rogers (yes, the same guy who caught Aaron Rodgers' desperation heave against the Lions in 2015) with just 12 seconds left in regulation.
The Eagles decided to go for 2 and they converted. A failed onside kick later, the game was decided. Final score: 23-17.
Wentz had come up short again for the 3-7-1 Eagles, who wasted a chance to once again climb atop the putrid NFC East.
But hold on. Wentz was a hero to some people: Those who run and operate sports gambling books.
The final line for the game had the Seahawks favored by 6.5 points. That was the spread at which a lot of action was wagered on the game — the vast majority on Seattle — including one particularly tortured soul who bet $500,000 at BetMGM on the Seahawks.
The late TD padded Wentz's stats and helped a tiny fraction of gamblers who wagered on the Eagles. But more than anything, it opened Wentz up to a brand new set of angry fans beyond just those who root for the Eagles.