PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz is doing things only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have done.
The second-year quarterback has the Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) on the verge of securing an NFC East title with five games remaining. He leads the NFL with 28 touchdown passes and has thrown just five interceptions.
Wentz is the third QB in NFL history to have at least 25 TD passes and five or fewer interceptions through his team’s first 11 games, joining Brady (2007, 2015, 2017) and Rodgers (2011, 2014).
And, he’s still learning.
“I think he can get incrementally better,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday. “There’s still things that show up on tape where he can make a better decision. He makes a lot of great decisions, don’t get me wrong there.
“But I think he can continue to get better and continue to help this football team win games. We wanted to see that incremental increase with Carson in his development and his growth and that’s what you’re seeing. Is there room for improvement? Yes, yes, there is, and he’s going to continue to even get better.
Wentz threw three TD passes in Philadelphia’s latest rout, 31-3 over the Chicago Bears. He’s five TD passes away from breaking Sonny Jurgensen’s single-season team record set in 1961.
The Eagles have won nine straight games, including four in a row by 23 points and the past three by exactly 28.
They’re 10-1 for just the third time in franchise history. They did it in 1949 and went on to win the NFL championship. They also did it in 1980 and 2004, and lost the Super Bowl both seasons.
“I never really think too much about that,” Wentz said of the team’s impressive start.
“I always have high expectations, so nothing really surprises me. I would be more surprised if we weren’t where we’re at, to be honest. I just knew we had a good team coming into the year. I knew the brotherhood we have, the chemistry we have, and the players we have.
“It starts with Coach putting guys in the right positions. I wouldn’t really say I am surprised, but at the same time this is a lot of fun and we have to enjoy it while we can.”
Wentz has been at his best inside the red zone. All three of his TD passes on Sunday came inside the 20-yard line. He’s also making big plays on the ground.
Against Chicago, Wentz spun away from a blitzer coming at his blindside and raced 16 yards for a first down on third-and-9.
“The difference between who we played last year and what he was (Sunday), the margin is crazy,” said Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who faced Wentz in Week 2 in 2016.
“He is just so much better than he was. Kudos to him and all the work he put in during the offseason and in-season. He is a solid quarterback in this league and he is having a great year.”