The Philadelphia Eagles were wearing smiles and Batman capes after their 24-8 victory in Week 3. Meanwhile in the other locker room, the Washington Commanders were responding to rumors surrounding their starting quarterback.
Carson Wentz – the one-time face of the franchise in Philly – came out flat against his former team. He was sacked nine times on the day, fumbled twice, and oozed a general lack of awareness. Wentz was 3-of-10 for 24 yards in the first half and finished with a 11.5 QBR.
After the game, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was asked if he considered benching Wentz for Taylor Heinickie. His answer? “No, I’m not,” adding later: “Well, I think he could have played better. That’s the truth.”
Fair enough. But there was a more pressing question on everyone’s mind. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Washington had the “parameters of a trade agreement in place” for Jimmy Garoppolo in February. It was a done deal until Garoppolo opted for shoulder surgery, forcing them to switch gears and trade for Wentz. Space-time continuum stuff, if true.
“That was a bullcrap report, just so everybody understands it,” Rivera said. “I didn’t talk to anybody about that. I’m not sure it all came from. I’m disappointed it came out. I didn’t talk to anyone about Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Wentz Reflects on ‘Surreal Pregame’ vs. Eagles
Between the unrelenting Philly pass rush and the rush of raw emotion on facing his former squad, Wentz was under siege all afternoon. The Commanders quarterback admitted that it was a “surreal pregame” as he embraced several former teammates – Fletcher Cox, Dallas Goedert, Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce – prior to the coin toss.
After that, football took over. The Eagles dominated, plain and simple.
“Once the kickoff happened, it was football again,” Wentz said, via The Associated Press. “I know the Eagles’ fans travel well, and they showed up and had a lot to cheer for today. We didn’t play our best ball, and I didn’t play my best ball.”
When pressed whether the moment was too big for him, Wentz shook it off: “I don’t think so. I think they just got our number today.”
Eagles Respond to Seeing Wentz in Commanders Colors
Jalen Hurts replaced Wentz as the starter in Philadelphia but any trace of bad blood there has dried up. The dual-threat quarterback was more focused on the Eagles not playing to “our standard” than he was on No. 11.
“It’s a faceless opponent to me,” Hurts said. “We came out here and we were able to come away with a win. We didn’t play to our standard and that’s kind of the biggest takeaway I have from this game.”
Meanwhile, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham – those two combined for 4 of the 9 sacks on Wentz on Sunday – were happy to see their old teammate and wished him well, just not on this particular day.
“It was weird to see him in another color,” Cox said. “I respect the hell out of Carson. He’s competitive and a really hard worker but he was on the other side today so, obviously, our conversations and friendship will still go on because we gotta see that team again.”
“I didn’t say nothing to him after the sacks,” Graham said, “but before the game we had a little fun. He was like, ‘Now I know what it’s like to hear BG on the other side of it.’ I just told him I hope he has a good year … but just not today.”
The Eagles won the first NFC East showdown going away. The rematch is slated for November 14 at 8:15 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.