The moment of truth never comes when you expect — there’s no spotlight or chorus of angels letting you know that it’s about to happen.
The moment of truth for rookie Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ quarterback, came in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the Bears, with 17 seconds remaining in the half.
Philadelphia had a second-and-10 from the Chicago 35-yard line.
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Wentz made a throw that could only be described as perfect. A tight spiral, on the perfect parabola, over the secondary and right to the hands of a streaking wide receiver, Jordan Matthews, at Chicago’s 2-yard line.
The pass bounced off Matthew’s hands — third down.
The incomplete pass eventually led to a field goal, but that wasted second down made it clear: Carson Wentz is ready to not only survive, but thrive at the NFL level.
The real question: are the Eagles?
Monday night, Philadelphia beat a hapless Chicago Bears team 29-14 at Soldier Field in a contest that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Wentz didn’t singlehandedly win the game, but he hardly lost it either. The Bears are not a good team — they handed Philadelphia the game — but there were enough sparks from the Eagles to see how they could contend for a playoff spot this year.
Are the Eagles a team that can take advantage of playing a bad squad, or are they a good squad that will be able to beat any team in the NFL on a good night?
The NFC East was wide open to start the season. The Giants look like they might be better than 8-8, and the Cowboys don’t appear to have lost a step without Tony Romo, while the Redskins are disappointing so long as Kirk Cousins is their quarterback.
Can the Eagles win that up-for-grabs division? It’s hard to rule them out after two weeks.
Wentz looked the part Monday night. That wasn’t an illusion. The rest of the Eagles looked the part Monday night, too. That might be an illusion.
We’ll find out in the weeks to come what’s real and what’s not. But for the time being, Philadelphia is a team to be feared, not only this year but in the next few years as well.
That’s what strong quarterback play can do for a team.