Is third time the charm for Carson Wentz and Commanders?

ASHBURN, VA - MARCH 17: Quarterback Carson Wentz of the Washington Commanders shakes hands with head coach Ron Rivera after being introduced at Inova Sports Performance Center on March 17, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
ASHBURN, VA - MARCH 17: Quarterback Carson Wentz of the Washington Commanders shakes hands with head coach Ron Rivera after being introduced at Inova Sports Performance Center on March 17, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Carson Wentz’s arrival to the Washington Commanders marks the third team in three years to employ his services. Of course, this is seen by most as a red flag. But there are some beacons of hope to turn to for this upcoming year, and a few key pieces that should give fans a reason to believe that this time could be the charm.

There is plenty of room for doubt at the QB position in 2022. After all, the search for a long-term franchise quarterback spans 30 years. But every fanbase deserves a healthy dose of hope, so let’s take a look at three reasons why Carson Wentz could find long-term success as a Commander.

3 reasons Carson Wentz could find success with Commanders

A fresh start

Commanders fans had a front-row seat in watching just how good Carson Wentz was when he broke into the league. The 2017 MVP candidate was once thought of as a future Hall of Fame talent who was bound to bring the Lombardi Trophy to the city of brotherly love more than once. But after a season-ending knee injury in the stretch run of the 2017-18 season, things just haven’t looked the same since for Wentz.

Whether it was physical limitations or a mental shift in relationships within the organization, the Eagles and Carson Wentz went through an oddly similar breakup to the one Washington once had with a certain first-round pick in 2012.

The trade to the Colts last offseason felt like the perfect fit. Wentz gets a new team, the Eagles begin to move on, and Carson gets to reunite with his former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, Frank Reich.

But was it really a fresh slate for the former Eagle star, or was there pressure to pick up where he left off in 2017? It’s hard to ever fully know. But what we can say is that Washington is a brand new beginning, and a blank slate to start from.

This could be what’s most needed. An environment for him to start anew, with a new staff and system that can challenge him differently. Who knows? Maybe Scott Turner and Carson have some 2017-style magic up their sleeves.

Ron Rivera

The second reason to believe things could be different for Carson Wentz is a certain head coach we all know as Ron Rivera.

It is important to be aware of the fact that Rivera has yet to take this team to the next level. He is 14-19 as a coach through two seasons and hasn’t led a Washington team to more than 7 wins in either of his two seasons.

But with that said, there is no question that Rivera has been a net positive to the organization as a whole. The impact of his presence and leadership extends far beyond the statistics and box scores. In his short tenure in Washington, he has battled quarterback changes, beginning his job at the start of COVID, taking the job months before the team changed its name, legal issues surrounding the owner and head athletic trainer, and a battle with cancer, just to name a few.

To simplify Ron Rivera’s impact, you don’t have to go further than watching the team play to realize how much his players love playing for him.

Take the playoff matchup against the Buccaneers in the 2020 season. Players rallied behind Rivera in the final stretch of the year, and the Taylor Heinicke-led squad gave Tom Brady everything he could handle.

Wentz comes to Washington wanted, and Ron Rivera went out of his way to make that message loud and clear. As Rivera heads into the third and undoubtedly most important year of his tenure, he has no choice but to give Wentz everything he needs to win.

Talent around him

While winning in Washington feels few and far between when it comes to the professional football team, there is no doubt the roster in recent years has been growing with young talent. The defense for one has been built by first-round draft picks over the last five years. Five of the last six first-round selections for Washington have been on the defensive side of the ball.

Terry McLaurin has well pushed himself into the top tier of wide receiver talent league-wide. Antonio Gibson has proved himself to be a worthwhile running back, while JD McKissic is one of the most electric receiving running backs his team has ever had. The team also went out of its way to sign former All-Pro Guard Andrew Norwell to help shore up the offensive line.

At the end of the day, Wentz has some tools to work with, and with the 2022 draft fast approaching, he’s bound to have one or two more added to the mix.

He certainly had plenty of weapons in Indianapolis, but the drop-off on the offensive side in Washington won’t be a steep one.

There is never a certain way to know if something will pan out in the National Football League. But it’s certainly true that just about anything can happen. Ten quarterbacks have come and gone for Washington since the departure of Kirk Cousins in 2017, and it’s easy to think Carson Wentz will be number 11. But the three reasons above and a dash of hope could prove to be that Wentz’s third team may just be the charm.

Next. Why the Carson Wentz trade can work for Washington. dark