The Eagles are making a third straight postseason appearance but this one feels different. It feels kind of special, according to a first-time participant.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been the face of the franchise since he was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016. Yet his start in Sunday’s game will mark his first playoff action since arriving in the league as a starry-eyed kid from North Dakota.
The 27-year-old enters the month of January fully healthy for the first time in three seasons after tearing an ACL and fracturing his back in back-to-back seasons. Remember, the fourth-year player came into the year sporting a “leaner” look.
He’ll start his first playoff game on Sunday and comes in riding a four-game winning streak, one that has seen him set new franchise records for completions and yardage in a single season.
Wentz also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards while not having a receiver with at least 500 yards. In any other year — any non-Lamar Jackson year — he may be in the conversation for league MVP.
His quest for a championship, and perhaps a chance to exorcise the ghost of Nick Foles, begins now.
“Grateful to be playing into January,” said Wentz. “The last few weeks have been backs-against-the-wall (games) for us. Guys have responded and stepped up and kept making play after play after play. Just kept believing. And here we are playing into January. Hopefully, we can do something special.”
Doug Pederson Impressed with Wentz’s Leadership
Doug Pederson has been throwing Brett Favre’s name around quite liberally when discussing Carson Wentz these days.
If anyone knows Favre’s habits and tendencies, it would be Pederson. He did back him up for two different four-year stints.
The Eagles head coach has been effusive in his praise for Wentz in recent days, specifically in comparing him to Favre. While Favre’s gun-slinging ways often made him a lightning rod for criticism, he did rack up some pretty ridiculous numbers.
The former Packer was also recently named to the NFL 100 All-Time team as one of only 10 total quarterbacks. Obviously, he left an impression on Pederson.
“I think he’s grown up as a leader of this team,” Pederson said. “You’ve seen it here now the last couple of games, how he’s really just put the team on his back and said, ‘Hey, follow me,’ and I think that’s a sign of growth and a sign of maturity. I spent eight years in Green Bay with Brett Favre and that’s what Brett did. Brett just put the team on his back when the chips were against us and he said, ‘Hey, follow me,’ and that’s what Carson can do.”
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