Wentz, Commanders, overcome adversity to defeat Jaguars

The past three years have been full of ups and downs for Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz, and Sunday was the same. 

In the first half, Wentz, who was starting for his third team and three seasons, was solid as he threw two touchdown passes and the Commanders led the Jaguars 14-3 at halftime. But, in the fourth quarter, with the Commanders leading 14-12, things got a little crazy. Wentz threw two interceptions on consecutive drives, and the Jaguars took a 22-14 lead.

However, against his former coach Doug Pederson, Wentz bounced back and led Washington on two scoring drives, including a 49-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin and a 24-yard touchdown connection with rookie Jahan Dotson as Washington defeated the Jaguars 28-22 in the season-opener at FedEx Field.

Wentz completed 27-of-41 passes for 313 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and he became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw four-plus touchdowns in his first game with the organization.

After the win, Wentz discussed the bad stretch in the fourth quarter.

“It was an ugly stretch, obviously,” he said. “Any time you get back-to-back, turnovers. That’s never fun. First one I threw, the guy made a good play, but that was a bad decision. The second one made a play came outta nowhere. Tough break, ideally just dirt that one, but yeah, it’s a tough stretch there to bounce back from, but guys did a good job. Everybody was rallying around each other, and obviously, we got it done.”

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera added on Wentz: “Well, first off(interception), he comes to the sideline after the second one and kind of beat the ground a little bit. But we both looked at each other, and I said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna have to win this.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I will.’ And just walked away. He said it so confidently, and that was good to see..  So I think because of who he is and because of his ability to be able to brush things off, I think that’s a pretty strong person.”

Despite the picks, Wentz stayed confident in himself and the team.

“I got nothing but confidence in them, and I know they look at me, and they have nothing but confidence in me,” Wentz said. “And so when you feel that, obviously it’s a tough feeling, but at the same time, it’s who else is gonna be if it’s time for us to step up and, and get it done. Like I said, we rallied together, and they picked me up. I picked them up. It was huge for us to come out and do that the way we did that.”

Clearly, Wentz is going to have to clean up the interceptions. The two picks were unacceptable, but most importantly, he overcame them, and Washington got the win.

Notes: 

-Wentz was the first Washington quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns
in a single game since Kirk Cousins did so on December 26, 2015 against the Philadelphia
Eagles.

-Wentz is the first Washington quarterback to throw for four-plus touchdowns in a Week 1
contest since Billy Kilmer did so in 1975. The only other Washington quarterback to accomplish
the feat was Sonny Jurgensen in 1968.