Wentz Wows Again, Joins Graham as Top-Rated Eagles for Week 2
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Carson Wentz era is off to a stellar start as the rookie quarterback was again rated as the Eagles best offensive player during the team’s impressive “Monday Night Football” win over the moribund Chicago Bears.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Wentz, who is the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first two NFL starts without committing a turnover, is the top-rated passer in all of football through two weeks.
The rookie star completed 21-of-34 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown, numbers that would have been much more impressive of not for egregious drops by Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor.
The top-graded offensive players behind Wentz were right tackle Lane Johnson, who is now officially in line to be suspended 10 games for violating the league’s PED policy, left guard Allen Barbre, who will be moved out to RT once Johnson is popped, tight end Trey Burton, right guard Brandon Brooks, and tight end Brent Celek.
With Zach Ertz sidelined with a rib issue, Burton caught five balls for 49 yards and a TD while on the field for 31 snaps, 43 percent of the team’s total.
On the defensive side, the top-graded Eagles players were defensive end Brandon Graham, SAM linebacker Nigel Bradham, weak-side linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who was impressive this week as a part-time player with 20 snaps, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, and cornerback Ron Brooks.
As for the official snap counts, for the second straight week, the Eagles defense was only on the field for 52 plays, a startling transformation from the Chip Kelly era. Only safety Malcolm Jenkins was in for all of them while corner Nolan Carroll and safety Rodney McLeod, who each missed one snap, and Bradham, who missed two, were essentially the other full-timers.
Schwartz mixed in veteran Stephen Tulloch (12 snaps) at the Mike more this week, cutting down on Hicks’ participation (39). Brooks was on the field 81 percent of the time (42 snaps) while rookie Jalen Mills (43) saw extensive action as the main replacement for the injured Leodis McKelvin.
As for the rotation up front saw Vinny Curry got 24 reps at DE in place of Graham (37) and Connor Barwin (41) while Marcus Smith got 12 tries. Inside Beau Allen was in for 11 plays while rookie Destiny Vaeao was in for 7 to spell Fletcher Cox (42) and Bennie Logan (31).
The most interesting playing-time note on the offensive side of the ball was Stefen Wisniewski (12 of 17 snaps) and Matt Tobin (16) getting work in jumbo formations.
The receiver rotation saw Jordan Matthews on the field for 71 of 72 plays with Nelson Agholor next at 56. Dorial Green-Beckham (33) and Josh Huff (14) also got plenty of opportunities.
The running-back-by-committee approach saw Darren Sproles (41) doubling Ryan Mathews (21) for playing time, followed by Kenjon Barner (8) and Wendell Smallwood (5).
At tight end, Celek was in 74 percent of the time (53) with Burton at the 43 percent. Tobin also lined up as an extra tight end at times for the second straight week.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen