There is no shortage of intriguing matchups for Carson Wentz in his first season as the Washington Commanders’ quarterback.
The main matchup, of course, will be a long-awaited return to Philadelphia when the Commanders play the host Eagles on Monday night football on November 14.
In his first year in the Monday night booth alongside Joe Buck, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman is ready to call that game. He believes it will be part of a last-chance season for Wentz, who was selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Eagles but is now scheduled to play for his third team in as many seasons.
“I think at this point, Carson had a chance; it didn’t end well in Philly, of course,” Aikman said Monday, via ESPN’s transcript. “Then they traded him to Indianapolis. He didn’t do very well there. They decided to make another trade at that position, and now he landed in Washington.
“This is probably his last chance, being frank about it, to prove that he can be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.”
Aikman began his HOF NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys with a 1-15 season, but that turned out to be the start of a franchise renaissance that saw him quarterback the club to three Super Bowl titles. So Aikman knows what it takes to overcome adversity on the field of play and achieve the greatest glory.
For Wentz, his days in Philly started off pretty well. He showed promise as a rookie and was sensational during a 2017 season in which he made the Pro Bowl after a campaign that had him in the race for AP NFL MVP before missing with injury during the Super Bowl run. Eagles Bowl. However, Wentz’s game collapsed in 2020 and he was sent west to Indianapolis. His play didn’t improve with the Colts and he was traded for the second straight offseason, this time returning to the NFC East with Washington, where he’ll see Philadelphia twice this coming season, including a long-awaited return to Lincoln Financial Field.
That Nov. 14 matchup will actually be the last stop on a Wentz reunion tour that begins in Week 1 when he takes on his former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, who finished the season. Wentz’s 2021 season and his stint at Indy with a shocking win over the Colts in the teams’ regular season finale. Thereafter, Wentz will play the Eagles for the first time at FedExField on September 25 before returning to Indianapolis against the Colts on October 30.
Storylines and subplots abound, but for Aikman, the real drama will be in one last chance for Wentz to prove he has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback when he steps onto the field for his third team.
“I hope he is able to take advantage of that [chance]”Aikman said. “I’m looking forward to that matchup between those two teams. [in Philadelphia]. But this is kind of a defining season, I think, for Carson Wentz and what the future of him is going to look like.”