Packers Offer Opinion on Containing Eagles’ Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz

Getty Carson Wentz is ready for the 2019 NFL season.

The biggest challenge teams encounter when facing Carson Wentz is trying to contain him. The Eagles quarterback has an uncanny knack for extending plays with his feet.

Wentz has been favorably compared to Aaron Rodgers in that regard. Since the Packers get to see Rodgers every day in practice, they feel that gives them a slight edge in figuring out how to guard Wentz. One thing is clear: everyone in a Packers uniform seems to respect and admire the Eagles’ young signal-caller.

“He kind of does things like Aaron does. He extends plays,” said Packers linebacker Blake Martinez. “You got to make sure you have all your rush lanes accounted for and also to plaster on the back end because he’s going to extend plays and you got to cover guys.”

Rodgers joked earlier this week that he was going to have to dust off his running shoes. The Super Bowl MVP has 2,946 career rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. It’s another reason the Packers feel confident they have the blueprint to stop Wentz.

“Man, he stands tall in there, big quarterback. He can make all the throws, great playmaker,” Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark said of Wentz. “He can run, hard to tackle. He’s everything you want in a franchise quarterback, I think.”

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Carson Wentz Reminds Packers of Ben Roethlisberger

The other quarterback Carson Wentz gets constantly compared to is Ben Roethlisberger. The two are almost identical in size and possess the same Houdini-like ability to move out of the pocket and stretch plays with their legs. Sometimes, they even drag defenders on their broad shoulders. Both guys are incredibly tough to bring down.

Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine coached in Baltimore for seven years, so he knows a thing or two about slowing Roethlisberger. He used to face the Steelers quarterback twice a year while running the Ravens’ defense.

“A big part of what he does is his ability to extend the play. He’s a tough tackle,” Pettine said. “I was in Baltimore all those years and we had the same issues with Roethlisberger. Guys were bouncing off of him. He just has a knack for it, whether he ducks or spins out. He just has a really good feel for the rush.”

It was one play, in particular, that stood out to Pettine on film. Wentz completed a first-down pass against the Falcons with his knee literally an inch from the ground.

“He has the added gift of the ability when it does collapse around him, you can never assume the play is over,” Pettine told reporters, via Packers.com. “Against Atlanta his knee was an inch off the ground and he threw a strike for a first down. A big part is just the ability to get him on the ground.”


Eagles Expecting to See ‘Funky’ Defense

The Packers boast one of the top defensive units in football. They have dominated the turnover-differential (+6) while racking up eight takeaways this season. It’s an amazing feat considering the team finished last season with 15 total takeaways. The Packers have done it in a variety of ways, too. They have recovered four fumbles and garnered four interceptions. Needless to say, this is going to be a huge test for Carson Wentz.

“They mix it up really well. They bring a lot of different funky pressures,” Wentz told reporters. “They drop eight. They do kind of everything so on a short week to get in there and study everything they do and being that they have a talented defense we’re going to have to be on top of everything. Play fast.”

Overall, the Packers own the 20th-ranked defense in the NFL. However, the unit’s strength has been in holding opposing quarterbacks accountable. The team ranks fifth against the pass, allowing 197.3 yards per game while giving up just one touchdown. Their 12 sacks are good enough for second-best.

If there is one area of concern for Green Bay’s defense, it’s on the ground. They have surrendered 393 rushing yards (131 yards per game) and three scores, a number that is the eighth-worst in the league.

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