3 reasons Commanders should bench Carson Wentz for Taylor Heinicke

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Wentz
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Wentz /
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It took some time, but Washington Commanders fans eventually warmed up to the Carson Wentz trade. While the front office might’ve overpaid for a quarterback Indianapolis was (seemingly) contemplating cutting, the hope was Wentz’s big arm and athletic frame would elevate the offense to a level Taylor Heinicke couldn’t.

Over the first two games, that theory was dead-accurate. Wentz was second in passing yards, tied for first in touchdowns and in the top 10 in both passer rating and yards per attempt. In the two games since, though, Wentz’s efficiency has nosedived.

It doesn’t help that the Commanders offensive line couldn’t prevent a mosquito from landing on their quarterback, but Wentz has done himself no favors under center.

Fans are quickly losing patience with Wentz. Some even want to see Taylor Heinicke replace the incumbent starter under center; a question that 106.7’s “BMitch & Finlay” proposed on Twitter following Sunday’s loss.

We love Sam Howell, but throwing him into the fire would be a catastrophic disservice to the rookie fifth-round pick. The Heinicke debate, however, might have some legs, so let’s highlight some reasons why it would make sense if Washington (temporarily) pulled the plug on Wentz in favor of the former undrafted free agent.

Why the Commanders should bench Carson Wentz for Taylor Heinicke

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

3. Wentz is declining fast with no signs of improvement

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be complicated. In a vacuum, Wentz isn’t performing like he deserves to keep the starting job. Against the Cowboys, the quarterback was flagged for two intentional groundings. On the first, Wentz eluded Micah Parsons but got greedy and tried extending the play to no avail.

Wentz thought he could out-pace rookie safety Israel Mukuamu and tossed the ball out of bounds before he could get sacked. The second grounding was just as egregious and nearly knocked Washington out of field goal range. A 2nd and 8 quickly became 3rd and 27 after a Sam Cosmi false start.

On the fourth-quarter INT, Wentz started down Curtis Samuel and telegraphed the pass, making it easy for DaRon Bland, another rookie, to jump the route. It was one of the few instances Wentz was gifted a clean pocket and he made a mess of it.

Over the last two games, Wentz is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt and has a 63.8 quarterback rating; a far cry from his 100.3 QBR after the first two games. Furthermore Wentz’s 6.0 yards per attempt ranks 27th at the position. He’s also tied for the most interceptions (five) and ranks 21st in completion percentage.