The Eagles and Carson Wentz set up for their first battle since their messy divorce

The Eagles and Wentz set up for the first battle since the messy divorce first appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Carson Wentz did his best to downplay the drama.

Good luck.

In his first year as the Commanders’ quarterback, Wentz will face the Eagles on Sunday for the first time since the two sides parted ways in a messy divorce after the 2020 season.

This game should come with some extra thrills, right?

“We’ll find out,” Wentz told reporters in Washington.

It seems pretty inevitable.

After all, Wentz was never just one of 53 players on the Eagles’ roster during his five years in Philly. He was handpicked to be the franchise quarterback and actually lived up to it. He played at an MVP level during his sophomore season before tearing his ACL and being forced to watch his backup lead a parade down Broad Street. Even after that, Wentz bounced back and played reasonably well, but things began to unravel as questions about his leadership, accountability and coaching ability surfaced more and more before his level of play dropped.

Ultimately, Wentz was benched at the end of the 2020 season for Jalen Hurts, and then he wanted out. The Eagles obliged, sending him to Indianapolis for what became a first-round pick.

After just one year in Indy, Wentz moved again and is back in the NFC East, getting what is probably his last chance to be a starter in the NFL.

When asked if this game is providing any extra motivation for Wentz, Commanders coach Ron Rivera was quick to say no. He said if there is, Wentz is hiding it well from the team.

“You try not to make the play bigger than it needs to be,” Wentz said. “Every week is a big week.”

Yes of course.

When asked what he thought went wrong in Philly, Wentz deftly sidestepped the question just as we watched him get away from runners.

“I don’t know,” Wentz replied. “That’s a big question that I’ve probably answered many times. I am grateful to be here now. I’m excited about it.”

The real answer to this question is long. There was fault on both sides, but even Wentz casually admitted Wednesday that he could have been a better person and teammate during his time with the Eagles.

In many ways, the Eagles in 2022 are a very different team than the one Wentz left in 2020. But there are still plenty of players on this roster who were once teammates with No. 11.

Some of them will finally get a chance to tackle it on Sunday.

“I know I’ve probably played some quarterbacks that have been here before, but not like this situation,” Brandon Graham said. “This situation with him, the way it ended, with him being here, with the way things went, I feel like some guys just circled this game. … It’s the first time I’ve seen him since he left. So we’re going to do what we have to do.”

Wentz is off to a pretty good start in Washington. He has already thrown for 650 yards with 6 touchdowns in two games, but has also thrown 3 interceptions. As we’ve seen from him in recent years, Wentz makes some incredible, but also terrible, plays.

There were even moments in his one season in Indianapolis where we saw glimpses of the player Wentz once was.

“The thing about Carson is he’s still got the arm talent,” Fletcher Cox said. “He’s still making shots down the field, making guys miss. He’s still slippery when it comes to getting rid of and making guys miss. I think the biggest thing for us is to focus on our game plan, not just focus so much on Carson.”

As bad as things ended up in Philly, there were some really good moments, especially in 2017. Wentz was outstanding that year and was a big reason why the Eagles started that season with an 11-2 record and earned the No. 1 seed. main in NFC. He wasn’t on the field in Super Bowl LII, but he was a big part of the first Super Bowl winning team in Eagles history.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wentz said. “Obviously, we had a lot of success there. Winning the Super Bowl there was very special, being a part of it was very cool. It’s enough city, enough fans, enough experience. One that I will definitely cherish my time there.”

The next two years, Wentz threw 48 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. But injuries were a problem. When he finally made it to a playoff game in 2019, he lasted just a few snaps before being knocked out with a concussion.

Wentz and the Commanders won’t make their trip to Philadelphia until Week 10 for a Monday night game. This will be Wentz’s true return to Philly.

But this weekend, homecoming is coming.

In recent years, Eagles fans have really taken to FedExField. Perhaps the fact that the game is so early this year could prevent that, but Wentz is ready for whatever the split looks like on Sunday.

“It’s going to be fun,” Wentz said. “I know it’s exciting to play at home here. Week 1 was a lot of fun being home there at FedEx. I’m sure Eagles fans will travel well as always. But hopefully we are still dominating the stands there. Either way, it’s going to be fun.”

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