Carson Wentz's Escapability Would Make Harry Houdini Proud

LANDOVER, Md. -- Washington defensive end Jonathan Allen is probably going to see it in his sleep. A nightmare playing over and over again. 

Allen had Carson Wentz in his grasp. He had him for a 13-yard sack. Only he didn't. 

Wentz somehow pulled off an escape that would have made Harry Houdini proud. Then he did it again to linebacker Preston Smith, before finding Nelson Agholor downfield for a 58-yard touchdown pass. 

"He's a magician, man," Agholor said. "He does what he does and it's my job to give him a target because he's going to juke as many people as he needs to and then find his receivers. I'm just happy it happened today and we got a touchdown out of it."

From the time of the snap, Wentz avoided pressure for 8.82 seconds before he released the deep bomb with a sidearm throw that carried the ball about 40 yards through the air. 

"It was amazing, ridiculous, very impressive," tight end Zach Ertz said. "The guy's an unbelievable athlete. You guys see it. I see it every day. He's a special kid."

Philadelphia Eagles

Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.

How to watch Eagles vs. Cowboys in Week 14 on Sunday Night Football

Fans say the Eagles ‘need to make a statement' in matchup against the Cowboys

Time after time Sunday afternoon, during the Eagles' 30-17 win over Washington (see breakdown), Wentz looked like he was going down until he sidestepped, dipped and ducked his way away from pressure. He ended up getting sacked just two times for nine yards despite being under some pretty constant pressure throughout the afternoon. 

This ability, perhaps more than anything else, has plenty of Wentz's teammates thinking he might end up being something really special. 

"That's just what he does, man," right tackle Lane Johnson said. "He's special. He's dynamic. He can make great plays with his feet. You know, sometimes, it looks like a sack is coming and he can get out under it and make plays. He's a special player."

Sunday wasn't Wentz's best game statistically. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. At times, his accuracy simply wasn't there. 

But there's no real stat to quantify how many "did you see that?" plays he makes during a game. And there were plenty of those Sunday (see report card)

Another one of those plays came in the fourth quarter on a key 3rd-and-10 conversion. Wentz was able to buy just enough time to find a streaking Ertz down the left sideline for a 23-yard pickup. That play came on the drive after Jalen Mills' interception and helped completely flip the field, leading to Donnie Jones' punt to the 1-yard line.  

Aside from those types of scramble plays being effective, they can also be demoralizing for defenses. And Wentz knows it. 

"That's tough on the secondary," Wentz said. "Anytime the quarterback can extend plays, and find guys down field, they have to cover for a long time. That can be really frustrating, talking to our defense a lot during the spring. It's something we have to keep developing and be on the same page."

Wentz was under way more pressure Sunday than head coach Doug Pederson wanted to see (see 10 observations). And Pederson said the hope is always that his quarterback doesn't have to run quite as much. That's understandable; a clean and healthy Wentz is good for business. 

But on Sunday, Wentz made it work. And it was something to watch. 

"That's what you want," Alshon Jeffery said. "Scramble plays are always big. Scramble plays are huge in any offense for anyone. Big Ben (Roethlisberger) does a great job of that. [Aaron Rodgers] does a great job of that. It's huge."

Copyright CSNPhily
Contact Us