Carson Wentz has just beaten the veteran whose job he took a couple months ago with a win against Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Now, Wentz must prepare to face a player who he will likely be connected to for the rest of his career — Dak Prescott.
Wentz’s Philadelphia Eagles play at Dallas, which had a bye in Week 7, on Sunday in a critical NFC East game. Wentz and Prescott have been two of the biggest surprise stories in the NFL thus far in 2016.
Both players have been incredibly poised for rookies and both have shown terrific accuracy, for the most part. Wentz and Prescott both look like they are going to have long NFL careers.
Sunday, begins what has the chance to be a remarkable, fun rivalry between two division opponents. The only thing that would have made the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rivalry better would have been them playing in the same division for most of their careers.
We could have that with Wentz, the No. 2 overall draft pick out of small-school North Dakota State, and Prescott, a fourth-round pick who has had instant success as Tony Romo’s injury replacement.
Wentz was far from terrific in the Eagles’ defensive-fueled, 21-10 victory against Bradford and the Vikings. He threw for just 138 yards and he was intercepted twice. However, Minnesota’s defense is premier. The Vikings have caused quarterbacks to have long days all season.
Wentz will learn from the experience as he prepares for his first Dak encounter.
Here are 21 other observations from Sunday’s Week 7 play:
Let’s hope we see Patriots-Steelers play again: New England predictably had an easy time in Pittsburgh on Sunday, winning 27-16. The Steelers were missing five starters, including star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers may be the second-best team in the AFC behind the Patriots. Hopefully, these two teams will meet in the postseason and the Steelers will be much healthier.
Raiders are road stars: The Oakland Raiders are 5-2 for the first time in 15 years. The story of this Oakland success is their road work. They are 4-0 on the road. The Raiders were bad for a long time and they couldn’t win a game on the East Coast to save their lives. Now, the Raiders are a legitimate playoff threat in the AFC and have proven they can win away from home.
Rams have to go with Goff: Rams coach Jeff Fisher said after a flat, 17-10 loss to the New York Giants in London on Sunday that he will stick with Case Keenum as his quarterback. Meanwhile, No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff sits on the bench. It’s time for Goff. If he’s not ready, he has to get ready. The Rams gave up a lot in a trade with the Titans to be able to draft Goff. He needs to start paying off for them.
How will Bradford react? He experienced adversity for the first time with the Vikings. He hasn’t always bounced back great in the past. Let’s see how he responds this time. The Vikings play at Chicago on Monday Night Football in Week 8.
Hail A.J.: A.J. Green is an awesome receiver. So, it made total sense he came down with an awesome Hail Mary touchdown in a win against the Browns on Sunday.
Is the light coming on for Gase’s team? The Miami Dolphins have won two straight over solid teams, in Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Adam Gase is considered a good, young coach. Perhaps his methods are catching on in South Beach.
Bills finally stumble: The Bills have lost for the first time since offensive coordinator Greg Roman was fired. They had a nice little run and still should be in the playoff mix heading into a big game against New England next week. The Patriots will head to Buffalo with revenge on their minds a few weeks after a home loss to the Bills.
Gurley needs help: Todd Gurley is still a great running back. Yet, his numbers stink. He had 57 yards rushing Sunday against the Giants. Gurley hasn’t had a 100-yard game this season and is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. Blame it on his offensive line. He just needs more around him.
Redskins lose what could be a biggie: The NFC East is better this season than expected. All four teams have a shot and the race should last deep into the season. So, circle the Redskins’ loss to the Lions on Sunday. It ended a four-game Washington winning streak and could loom large in December.
Giants keep pace: Meanwhile the Giants gained a game on Washington with a not-so-pretty win in London. But it matters not. A game gained on the Redskins does matter, though.
So do Chiefs: The Chiefs did their job and beat Drew Brees at home to improve to 4-3 and kept pace with Oakland. The Chiefs are going to be dangerous. They seem to be kicking into gear.
Jay Ajayi is a bad man: Jay Ajayi’s unlikely season took another cool turn Sunday as he ran for 214 yards against the Bills. He had 204 yards rushing last week against the Steelers. Ajayi, a second-year player from Boise State, became the fourth running back in history to record back-to-back 200 yard rushing games. He joins this list – and you may have heard of these guys before – O.J Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.
Baalke going bye-bye? The 49ers are a complete mess. They have lost six straight games, are 1-6 and they’ve been getting blown out. General manager Trent Baalke has put together a dreadful roster and he is one of the reasons why Jim Harbaugh is in Ann Arbor. Fans want Baalke out. Ownership owes these people something. It may start with Baalke’s job.
Joe Thomas in Minny? The Vikings didn’t hesitate to make a trade for a quarterback this year when Teddy Bridgewater went down. They are struggling on the offensive line with left tackle Matt Kalil out. Could the Vikings make a play for Joe Thomas with the trade deadline looming in nine days? He’d be pricey and Kalil will be back next year. But it was a similar deal with the Bradford trade. If the Vikings think Thomas could be the difference between a Super Bowl and not, perhaps they’ll make a run.
Jaguars have a Bortles problem: Blake Bortles stinks. It’s that simple. He makes a lot of poor decisions (Sunday he threw an interception in the end zone in triple coverage) and he is not good on third down. Bortles was taken 33 picks higher than Derek Carr, who beat him Sunday. Carr is so much better than Bortles.
Now what for the Jets? Ryan Fitzpatrick gets benched. Geno Smith starts. He gets hurt. Fitzpatrick spells him and the Jets win. What do they do now? Does it really matter? They are both deficient players.
Quick, someone grab the Ravens a life preserver: Remember when the Ravens were 3-0. That was a long, rough month ago. They are now 3-4 and look more like a losing team than a winning team.
Who wants to be Browns’ quarterback? Life is pretty awesome in Cleveland these days. Well, other than the whole Browns thing. They are 0-7 and losing quarterbacks at a silly rate. The line stopped at Kevin Hogan on Sunday. Yes, it’s that bad.
Hi, Andrew Luck: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is quietly having a really good season again. He threw for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win against the Titans on Sunday. He has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions this season. The Colts are not good, but that’s not Luck’s fault.
Wait, what San Diego? The scene was familiar. A double-digit lead was blown and the Chargers were involved, But this time it was San Diego that came back and won, winning in Atlanta, 33-30, in overtime. The Chargers are the kings of choking. But they have won the past two games and they are a darned good 3-4 team.
Falcons’ defensive issues show: The Falcons fell to 4-3, losing their second straight. Atlanta has been carried by great offense this season. It’s been good enough to overcome shoddy defense. This time, defense cost the Falcons. This is a team that could make some playoff noise. It has to get better work from the defense, though.