So much for sitting the rookie quarterback so he can better learn the game at the pro level from the sidelines. With Sam Bradford shipped off to Minnesota and Chase Daniel still penciled in as a backup, it will be a baptism of fire for Carson Wentz when he starts his first NFL game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Right off the bat Wentz has two things going for him. First he is playing at home and even the worst Eagles' fans should give him a pretty big break no matter how bad he plays. The second thing is that he his playing against the Browns, which are widely recognized as the worst team in the league.
On a scale of one to 10, I have set my personal expectation level for Wentz's first NFL start at five. I think he is going to do a few good thinks and can also see him throw a pick or two as well as take some unnecessary sacks. All told, I still have the Eagles winning this game on the strength of their defense and special teams. It probably will not be a pretty game given that it is Week 1 and both teams on the field are coming off a losing record, but in the NFL a win is a win no matter how you get it.
It will be very interesting to see what type of offensive scheme first-year head coach Doug Pederson goes with on Sunday. Is he going to try and run the ball and limit Wentz to short high-percentage passes to the sidelines or is he going to open things up to see how well he can move the ball downfield through the air. I do think we will get a good taste of the rookie's mobility with a few scrambles out of the pocket. This would quickly endear him to the crowd at the Linc, especially if he runs for a first down or two in an effort to extend a drive.
Overall when it is all said and done, I see Sunday's game turning out to be like an old Clint Eastwood movie; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!