C: Rich Schultz Getty Images/Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS Philly) — Cracking the pessimism of an Eagles’ fan is harder than splitting a diamond.
But maybe, just maybe, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is doing it. Maybe, just maybe, he’s whittling away at the craggy, hardcore type that likes to gripe with his poise and precision. He’s certainly convincing each opposing defensive coordinator he faces by driving the Eagles up and down the field.
So maybe, just maybe, Wentz is the real deal. An unfrazzled red-headed Rocky who’s learning to slide and persuading the denizens of Lincoln Financial Field that he’s a franchise quarterback.
Another chapter in the apprenticeship of Wentz came Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team with Super Bowl aspirations and big-game talent.
It didn’t matter to Wentz, who became the first rookie quarterback to beat two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisbeger.
Wentz was 23-30 and two touchdowns—and yet to throw an interception—for his first 300-yard passing game, which translated into a 34-3 thumping of the Steelers. Wentz finished with 301 yards through the air.
Granted, this is a small sample size—but it’s a hell of a sample.
The other beneficiary of this surreal Eagles start has been coach Doug Pederson. His play calling, game management, pretty much everything the rookie NFL coach has touched has turned into gold. It’s rather scary to think not many believed in Pederson just a month ago.
They may now.
Through three games, the Eagles have scored more points than any team in the NFL (92) and given up the fewest (20).
It was a game of absolute domination by the Eagles. They outgained Pittsburgh, 426-251.
The Eagles punted four times the whole day—the first time with :27 left in the half and three times in the fourth quarter.
Wentz directed the Eagles to three scores on their first four drives. He was 18 of 25 for 183 yards and a QB rating 105.9—completing his ninth and 10th quarters as a pro without an interception. He baffled the Steelers with his sleight-of-hand, and his patience. It all led to an Eagles’ 13-3 halftime lead.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, had trouble moving the ball. The Steelers gained 153 yards of total offense to the Eagles 215. But most of the Steelers’ yards came on a 41-yard completion to Sammie Coates and a 32-yarder to Eli Rogers. Other than that, the Eagles defense swarmed all over the Steelers in the opening half.
Offensively, the Eagles didn’t punt the ball until there was :27 left in the half. That was the product of 7-play, 12-play and 10-play scoring drives.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.