It’s fair to say Carson Wentz has exceeded just about everyone’s expectations.
Not only has the Eagles rookie gotten the team off to a 2-0 start, he also has been the best quarterback in the league, according to the numbers crunchers at Pro Football Focus.
Many, like Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, have taken to comparing Wentz to his Sunday afternoon opponent, Steelers quarterback Ben Rotethlisberger.
"Carson has the ability to extend plays with his legs; Ben is big, strong, physical in the pocket, hard to bring down and continues to have great vision down the field," Pederson said earlier this week. "I think that's one of Carson's strengths, is he continues to have that vision down the field when things begin to break down.”
In a conversation with Billy Penn’s Dan Levy, CBS announcer Phil Simms, who will be calling today’s Eagles-Steelers game, took the comparison even further.
“The comparisons are they are both big and they play big,” Simms said. “But Ben couldn’t run like Carson Wentz even when he was young.”
Despite the near-universal praise of Wentz’s quick start, not everyone is sold on the gunslinger from North Dakota.
"Come on, man. Fool's gold," CBS Sports NFL analyst and former linebacker Bart Scott told Damon Amendolara during an appearance on "The DA Show." "He's played the JV. He could play Towson University and get a harder challenge than playing those two teams."
The Browns and Bears are a combined 0-4 to start the season, but their defenses haven’t been terrible. According to Football Outsiders, those defenses rank 19th and 16th in the league after two weeks, respectively. But that isn’t enough to deter Scott.
"It's easy to make good throws when there's nobody there in your face," Scott continued. "There's no threat. There's no imminent threat of danger. He's going to be under pressure. He's going to be under stressful situations. Come on, man. We could go right now. We could get the University of Louisville or Houston, and they could beat the Browns."
The Steelers’ defense will present a greater challenge for the rookie quarterback, who has yet to commit a turnover. As the Inquirer’s Zach Berman notes, Wentz will face a squad that already has four takeaways this season. But the Steelers also haven't gotten much from their pass rush, recording just one sack in their first two games.
“However, the Steelers' front seven is tough against the rush,” Berman writes. “[Cameron] Heyward and Stephon Tuitt are tough on the line, and inside linebackers Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons give the Steelers one of the best combinations in the NFL. Shazier is emerging as a top linebacker in his third NFL season.”