“We finally have ourselves a quarterback,” Snyder stated.
It’s imaginable Snyder nonetheless believed that as he posed at the box for a picture along Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones prior to Sunday’s recreation at AT&T Stadium, however Wentz’s resulting dismal efficiency should have a minimum of sowed doubt within the proprietor’s thoughts as he left the development hours later in a police-escorted motorcade. It’s truthful to wonder if Washington’s seek for a serviceable sign caller, let on my own a franchise quarterback, is actually over.
Through 4 video games, Wentz has been underwhelming via virtually any measure, together with each conventional and complex statistics. He has finished 62.2 % of his passes for 1,031 yards, 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and he has been sacked 17 instances, greater than every other quarterback. Wentz’s of entirety fee ranks twenty first amongst certified passers, and he’s twenty fifth in of entirety share over anticipated (CPOE), which adjusts for the complexity of every throw in line with elements such because the receiver’s separation from the closest defender and the place the receiver is at the box. His 82.3 passer ranking is beneath the league common (90.2) and within the backside 10 amongst certified passers.
Wentz ranks twenty first out of 31 certified passers in ESPN’s overall quarterback ranking (QBR), which “values the quarterback on all play types on a 0-100 scale adjusted for the strength of opposing defenses faced.” Those who chart video games at Pro Football Focus rank Wentz twenty seventh — forward of most effective Joe Flacco, Baker Mayfield and Justin Fields — amongst certified passers via 4 video games. The former size is function, and the latter rating is subjective, however each come to the similar conclusion: Wentz has been a woefully below-average quarterback with Washington.
“I got to be better. I got to be more consistent,” Wentz stated after throwing for 170 yards and two interceptions within the Commanders’ 25-10 loss to the Cowboys, which dropped Washington to 1-3.
For a franchise that cycled via 25 beginning quarterbacks between when Snyder purchased the group in 1999 and Wentz arrived in March, the No. 2 select within the 2016 draft should a minimum of be an development over many of the castoffs who wore burgundy and gold prior to him, proper? Not precisely.
According to the predicted issues added (EPA) metric, which accounts for the down, distance and box place of every passing play, the Commanders have scored 19 issues fewer than anticipated in 4 video games with Wentz at quarterback, in step with knowledge from the site TruMedia. Among Washington quarterbacks since 2000, the primary yr for which EPA knowledge is to be had, most effective Dwayne Haskins had a worse cumulative EPA (minus-31 in 2020) over the primary 4 video games of the season. Haskins used to be benched after Washington began 1-3.
Wentz ranks simply in the back of Mark Brunell in 2006 and Jason Campbell in 2009 some of the Washington quarterbacks with the worst cumulative EPA via 4 weeks. Both of their groups began 2-2. Taylor Heinicke (6.5 EPA/recreation in 2021) and Kirk Cousins (6.3 EPA/recreation in 2014) had the most efficient four-game begins to a season since 2000.
Despite the rocky begin to Wentz’s tenure with Washington, his EPA via 4 video games is a long way from the worst over a four-game stretch at any level in a season for a Commanders quarterback since Coach Ron Rivera used to be employed 3 years in the past. That difference belongs to Alex Smith, who led Washington to 39 issues fewer than anticipated from Week 11 to Week 14 in 2020. (Incidentally, Washington received all 4 of the ones video games.) Wentz had more than one four-game stretches with Philadelphia in 2020 wherein the Eagles scored 21 to 50 fewer issues than anticipated, volatility that resulted in his benching in desire of Jalen Hurts and ultimately a business to the Indianapolis Colts.
There is time for Wentz to show issues round, but when his stage of manufacturing persists for all the yr, his full-season EPA would rank twenty third out of 25 certified Washington passers during the last twenty years, forward of most effective Haskins and Smith in 2020.
In the pass-heavy trendy NFL, an erroneous quarterback who holds the ball too lengthy can drag a complete offense down. In addition to being tied for the second-most interceptions, Wentz is tied with Detroit’s Jared Goff, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Buffalo’s Josh Allen for the third-most turnover-worthy throws (8) this season, in step with Pro Football Focus, and most effective one of the ones got here within the face of force. That’s to not say Wentz hasn’t been under duress. Injuries alongside the offensive line, together with to middle Chase Roullier, have affected Washington’s talent to offer protection to Wentz, who used to be sacked a career-high 9 instances towards the Eagles in Week 3.
Wentz said duty for some of the sacks he has taken. Pro Football Focus charges Washington’s offensive line as a mean pass-blocking unit and left take on Charles Leno Jr., who’s charged with protective Wentz’s blind facet, because the Twelfth-highest-rated pass-blocker. Still, Wentz’s time to throw has lowered in every of the Commanders’ previous 3 video games, and he has confronted move force on 36 % of his dropbacks, the 6th maximum within the NFL. Haskins, via comparability, confronted force on fewer than 30 % of his dropbacks right through the primary 4 video games of the 2020 season. Wentz’s of entirety fee is 23 % when dealing with move force this season, neatly beneath the league common of 47 %.
“We’ve got to build on the positives,” Wentz stated Sunday. “… Try not to think the sky’s falling or the world’s ending or anything crazy. What did we do well? How do we build on those [things].”
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Wentz’s early chemistry with Terry McLaurin is encouraging, regardless that Washington has struggled to get its No. 1 extensive receiver concerned within the first part of video games. The two have attached on 14 of 27 goals for 250 yards and a landing, excellent for a 103.8 passer ranking between them. Curtis Samuel has 26 catches on 37 goals for 219 yards and two touchdowns. It hasn’t helped Wentz’s purpose that McLaurin, Samuel and rookie extensive receiver Jahan Dotson all rank in the ground 10 of ESPN’s new “Open Score” monitoring metric, which, for each path run, assesses the chance a receiver would be capable of entire a catch if focused.
One of the explanations Washington’s entrance place of job traded for Wentz used to be his arm energy, which gave him the power to throw the deep ball. Washington finished 32.4 % of its passes deeper than 20 air yards ultimate season, twenty third within the NFL. Wentz entered the season with a 36.3 % profession of entirety share on such passes and has finished 32 % of his makes an attempt of 20 or extra yards with Washington. Wentz additionally has six “big-time” throws — a move deemed via Pro Football Focus to have very good ball location and timing, usually thrown additional down the sector or right into a tighter window. That’s one fewer than Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson and Hurts and is a component of the rationale Wentz ranks tenth amongst quarterbacks in fable leagues the usage of a normal scoring layout.
For now, Washington stays dedicated to Wentz figuring issues out and the usage of his big-play talent to reach real-world good fortune. Don’t be expecting a possible transfer to Heinicke to mend Washington’s offensive struggles. In 15 video games with Heinicke under middle ultimate season, Washington’s offense averaged virtually two fewer issues in step with recreation than anticipated. He ranked twenty third amongst 31 certified passers in QBR in 2021 and used to be rated twenty sixth amongst 30 certified passers via Pro Football Focus. Heinicke’s 2021 marketing campaign may be evidence that you’ll be able to’t pass judgement on a quarterback’s season via a four-game stretch; his 26 anticipated issues added over the primary 4 weeks have been probably the most via a Washington quarterback within the Snyder generation.